Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shouldn't Jerry Manuel be Holding a Clarinet or Something?

A couple weeks ago I was watching SportsCenter and saw some shot of Jerry Manuel out of uniform, wearing maybe a grey t-shirt, seated with his back against a mostly blank wall, looking up toward the cameras. Something about that just made me think he should be on stage at an old jazz club holding a clarinet rather than filling out major league lineups. While I couldn't find that image of Manuel, the images below give you a sense of what I was thinking. The shot of George Lewis, in particular, is uncanny in how well it captures what I imagined. Manuel has a bit more of a beatnik look, but still, this is pretty close.

Collage of Jerry Manuel, George Lewis and Blue Note records studio scene

Image sources: Jerry Manuel, Zimbio / Jeff Gross - Getty Images; George Lewis, George Lewis Society; Blue Note, Martin & Jopparelli

Friday, September 26, 2008

Supporting Clean Energy Candidates - Message from Al Gore / MoveOn

I haven't taken any action on this email I received from MoveOn on 9/18, but I'm thinking about it. I like the fact that it's specific, succinct (relatively - and it formats a bit better in my inbox as I haven't done much to clean it up here) and provides a clear next step. Good stuff.


Subject: Obama's going to need some help

Al Gore, Political Action
Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 12:30 PM
To: art sindlinger <>>

Barack Obama could "repower America" using clean, cheap energy sources. But he'll need us to elect more clean-energy champions in the Senate to stand up to the oil lobbyists. Can you help elect three champions of clean energy who are in close Senate races?

Make a donation

Dear MoveOn member,

Elections matter. We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track. I'm personally focused on what I think is the greatest threat and greatest opportunity—averting the climate crisis and "repowering America" using clean, cheap energy sources. That's why I'm supporting Barack Obama. He's the sort of transformational leader who could move us through such deep, structural change.

But trust me, Barack can only succeed if we also elect more champions in the Senate to stand up to the incredibly powerful oil lobby.

Those leaders are emerging—and three of them are in close Senate races. Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Mark Udall in Colorado, and Al Franken in Minnesota are all real, clean-energy heroes who need our help to win. And they're fighting against Republicans who have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from the oil industry.

Can you help elect three champions of clean energy to the Senate? You can donate by clicking here:

At the convention, I said that the oil industry has a 50-year lease on the Republican Party. And they're drilling it for everything it's worth. Unfortunately, this is no joke. It's the sad truth. Look at what's going on in Congress right now. We're in an energy crisis, and the burgeoning solar and wind power business is on the edge of shutting down—because Republicans are blocking the tax incentives they count on. Yet they'll fight to the death for huge oil industry subsidies.

This election offers us our best chance ever to elect leaders who will switch our economy to home-grown, renewable, zero-carbon energy—and restore our economic health, our national security, and stabilize our climate.

Here's a little about these good folks:

* Kay Hagan is a North Carolina state senator and a strong supporter of solar power. She pushed to require North Carolina utilities to adopt renewable energy.
* Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado has one of the highest lifetime scores in Congress from the League of Conservation Voters. His opponent is a former congressman turned oil executive who makes oil deals in Iraq.
* Al Franken is fighting for green jobs in his home state of Minnesota. He's proposing a national "Apollo project" to fuel the development of new technologies in clean and renewable energy.

You can read more by clicking below.

Will you join me in supporting three champions of clean energy? They really need our help. Just click here:

And thanks so much for all you do,

Al Gore

Saturday, September 20, 2008

21 Hours in New York

Had a quick trip for some meetings. Managed to pack a few things into 21 hours.

Stayed at the Flatotel (see my review).

Flatotel rm 910

They didn't have a mini bar, so I found Cafe Duke, which was brilliant (another mini review).

Cafe Duke

Look past the piles of trash - place is brilliant inside

Had some meetings at ESPN. Love this particular wall whenever I see it.


Enjoyed a nice lunch at The Palm.

Parmesan truffle fries @ the palm

'Parmesan Truffle Fries' with the Palm's beer (sort of Bass like)

tuna burger @ the palm

Ground Ahi Tuna burger with sweet potato fries (which were brilliant)

Got 5 minutes of fresh air on a brilliant late summer afternoon that felt like fall.


And saw one of the MNF out of home installations with the turf effect.

MNF OOH near ESPN's ofc

Touring the ESPN Campus in Bristol, CT

ESPN Tour - my official visitor badge
(People who still call me "Arthur": my mom, and the security desk folks at ESPN)

As my wife likes to remind me weekly, I am spoiled.

I get to do some pretty cool things in the name of 'work'. Nice meals, big games, etc. And over time you get used to some of these things as 'coming with the territory'. I wouldn't say you take them for granted, but after 8+ years of it the 'wow' effect isn't as strong as it was, say for example, the very first time I got an afternoon of free beer, sun and baseball on a rooftop in Wrigleyville.

However, every now and then you get to do something really cool and unique that snaps you out of your nonchalance and reminds you how freaking lucky you are not to still be writing table tent copy promoting monthly catering specials for a local bagel bakery chain (although those were good times, too, in their own way).

On Monday September 8th, I got to log work hours that involved touring some of the ESPN campus in Bristol, CT.

ESPN tour

It was literally like this SportsCenter commercial with Peyton and Eli Manning.

At one point we were in that hallway and our host pointed out that yes, it was the hallway from that commercial. I resisted the urge to back trip one of my colleagues.

Below is a shot of a mini football field which you may or may not see figure into an NFL Countdown this season. Would be nice to see the guys take their mini run throughs outside once or twice.


Pretty cool hallway. Wouldn't be bad walking through that everyday.


Unfortunately there weren't any games going on when we were there, but we were told it can get pretty heated on this court.


The set where NFL Live is shot. One of a number of studios we got to see that day.


Early days shot of Berman. One of many classic pictures hanging on the walls.


The NASCAR studio. That car was actually raced once by Tony Stewart. I've been to one race but never got this close to a car. Much more compact than you might imagine seeing them on TV.



At one point during the tour we got to "see the sausage being made", if you will. They were producing a quick phone interview between Bob Ley and Bobby Knight, getting Coach Knight's reflections about Don Haskins, who had died over the weekend. Was pretty interesting seeing all the logistics involved in putting that together. The areas highlighted by the yellow boxes are (1) the graphic slate showing a head shot of Coach Knight and something like a 'by phone' note, and (2) Bob Ley in the studio doing whatever he does while the production folks patch the call together and whatnot. Got to hear Knight refer to Haskins as a 'tough, honest son of a bitch' or something along those lines.

espn control room interview bob ley and bobby knight

Other notable things that I didn't capture with my Helio:

- Linda Cohn walked right by us while I was txting someone about something. So I missed seeing her directly, but through my peripheral vision I would estimate she's like 5'1", tops.

- At one point Kordell Stewart and Jamaal Anderson also walked past us. Jamaal Anderson is listed as 5'11". No way that's true. Maybe 5'9". And, for what it's worth, he has his own MySpace page.

All in all, pretty damn cool.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More Thoughts on the Sarah Palin Thing: Potential to Bring About the "End Times"

From the article, Palin's Faith is Seen in Church Upbringing:

At the Pentecostal church where Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin worshipped for more than two decades, congregants speak in tongues and are part of a faith that believes humanity is in its "end times" -- the days preceding a world-ending cataclysm bringing Christian redemption and the second coming of Jesus.

I tend to agree with the perspective that David Gushee shares later in the article:

Mr. Gushee says Gov. Palin should explain her beliefs concerning the inevitability of a cataclysm and the end of time. "To me, it is highly relevant to someone who potentially has her hand on the nuclear button," he says. "If that is her worldview, I would want to know about that."

Sarah Palin simply cannot be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

More Thoughts & Observations on the Sarah Palin Thing: Idiot Voters

Why is it that we make people pass a test in order to drive a car but require no similar demonstration of competence before letting people vote? This has certainly crossed my mind before. But while reading WSJ's "Palin's Star Power Can Outshine McCain" the other day, I was stopped in my tracks by the pure stupidity exhibited by my fellow U.S. voter Ann Breshears in this passage:

Ann Breshears, 69 years old, who came to Monday's rally, says she used to support Sen. Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, but now plans to vote for McCain-Palin. "She's like the people I know," she said. "Her husband snowmobiles. We drive tractors and fly airplanes."

Attention Ms. Breshears: we are not talking about determining who should be captain of the bowling team or who you'd like to volunteer with at the Bake Sale on Sundays. This is the Presidential Election. Please tell me you take into consideration something a bit more relevant than the Vice President nominee's recreational preferences.

Mike Judge was right

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tonight's Agenda: Persepolis

Tonight's Agenda: Persepolis ... and what wound up being a mediocre Chilean Merlot from the Super Foods (not a big surprise, I suppose). Movie was great, though. Feel free to click through this link to buy it so I get my 11 cents as an Amazon affiliate.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thoughts Triggered by this Whole Sarah Palin Thing, Volume I

* 17 cities have larger populations than Alaska. If Alaska were a city, it would be fall between Memphis and Baltimore on the population list.
Sources:; and U.S. Census Bureau

* Alaska is the 4th least populated state in the U.S., ahead of only North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming
Source: Wikipedia

* Wasilla, Alaska had a population of 5,469 in 2000; in 2007 the Census estimated Wasilla's population at 9,780, which would make it the 4th biggest city in Alaska
Source: Wikipedia

* Only three cities in Alaska have populations greater than 10,000

* The 2000 Census reports a population of 62,198 for the Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago
Source: Wikipedia

* My 2.7 square mile neighborhood (Edgewater) is 11.4 times more populous than Wasilla, Alaska

* My 2.7 square mile neighborhood has roughly 10% the population of Alaska

* If you divided my 2.7 square mile neighborhood into 6 evenly populated subsections (or lil' "cities") and took them to Alaska, they would become 6 of the top 9 most populous cities in Alaska

* 27.6% of the current U.S. population is Black or Hispanic
Source: U.S. Census

* U.S. Census forecasts that 30% of the U.S. population will be Black or Hispanic in 2015
Source: U.S. Census

* 9.3% of Alaska's current population is Black or Hispanic
Source: U.S. Census

* You are 3 times less likely to encounter a Black or Hispanic person in Alaska than you are in the general U.S. population