August 2023

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Security by Obscurity

A few things to know before stealing my Porsche 914

Welcome to my Porsche 914. I imagine that at this point (having found the door unlocked) your intention is to steal my car. Don’t be encouraged by this; the tumblers sheared off in 1978. I would have locked it up if I could, so don’t think you’re too clever or that I’m too lazy. However, now that you’re in the car, there are a few things you’re going to need to know. First, the battery is disconnected, so slide-hammering my ignition switch is not your first step. I leave the battery disconnected, not to foil hoodlums such as yourself, but because there is a mysterious current drain from the 40-year-old German wiring harness that I can’t locate and/or fix. So, connect the battery first. Good luck finding the engine cover release. Or the engine, for that matter.

Read On

Who killed Google Reader?

Google’s bad reputation for killing and abandoning products started with Reader and has only gotten worse over time. But the real tragedy of Reader was that it had all the signs of being something big, and Google just couldn’t see it. Desperate to play catch-up to Facebook and Twitter, the company shut down one of its most prescient projects; you can see in Reader shades of everything from Twitter to the newsletter boom to the rising social web. To executives, Google Reader may have seemed like a humble feed aggregator built on boring technology. But for users, it was a way of organizing the internet, for making sense of the web, for collecting all the things you care about no matter its location or type, and helping you make the most of it.

A decade later, the people who worked on Reader still look back fondly on the project. It was a small group that built the app not because it was a flashy product or a savvy career move — it was decidedly neither — but because they loved trying to find better ways to curate and share the web. They fought through corporate politics and endless red tape just to make the thing they wanted to use. They found a way to make the web better, and all they wanted to do was keep it alive.


How To Spot An Idiot

The best way to spot an idiot? Look for the person who is cruel. When we see someone who doesn’t look like us, or sound like us, or act like us, or love like us, or live like us — the first thought that crosses almost everyone’s brain is rooted in either fear or judgment or both. That’s evolution. We survived as a species by being suspicious of things we aren’t familiar with.

In order to be kind, we have to shut down that animal instinct and force our brain to travel a different pathway. Empathy and compassion are evolved states of being. They require the mental capacity to step past our most primal urges. I’m here to tell you that when someone’s path through this world is marked with acts of cruelty, they have failed the first test of an advanced society. They never forced their animal brain to evolve past its first instinct. They never forged new mental pathways to overcome their own instinctual fears. And so, their thinking and problem-solving will lack the imagination and creativity that the kindest people have in spades.

Over my many years in politics and business, I have found one thing to be universally true: the kindest person in the room is often the smartest.

Bowl of Oranges

The Man Who Broke Bowling

Nothing in the rule book makes the two-hander illegal, but the delivery does confer at least one advantage. Because two-handers don’t use their thumbs, it’s easier to impart spin, or revolutions, says Mark Baker, a renowned coach. And when coupled with the right velocity, those revs translate into power down lane, sending pins flying: messengers, as they’re called, when one of them rolls or bounces and takes out a still-standing pin to complete a strike or spare. Belmonte’s rev rate, which topped 600 per minute when he first joined the tour (most players averaged somewhere around 350-400 at the time), was otherworldly. The trade off, says Baker, is that it’s harder to generate velocity with the two-hander, to remain balanced and accurate in your delivery. (Belmonte’s technique is, technically, a one hander—his left hand leaves the ball a split second before he releases it with his right.) Metaphorically, Baker says, Belmonte is still playing the same instrument, just with different artistry: Jimi Hendrix on the guitar instead of Chuck Berry.

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Thanks for reading. Have a great month,


Hi, that's me!

How kind of you to make your way down here.

A bit about me: I can be interested in anything, for better or worse. I love photography, travel, golf, and baseball. My latest pursuit is learning the guitar. I write a rad newsletter that I publish monthly.

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