Restarting the Ultra Marathon

Readers and Friends –

Welcome to my first newsletter and thank you for reading.

I hope you’ll treat this as an “asynchronous conversation”… I really want to hear from you.

If you like this, please share, if not – let me know – this is a work in progress… and if it isn’t a good fit, definitely unsubscribe and I wish you all my best.

As of today, there are 3 of you – thank you all again.


This issue will give you a bit of an introduction to me and why this newsletter exists and what it is intended to do – so, like all origin stories, it is probably necessary for me to get out of my system, but may be a bit boring, and isn’t what “typical” newsletters are going to look like.

A rough start, A week late

My goal is to publish a newsletter and a blog article weekly (I missed the newsletter last week – not a great start – but did get a couple of articles written).


My 3-year, not-for-profit partner and I decided to take different paths in our shared focus on disability rights.


My family is moving at the end of June… not far, but as I’m sure you know, distance isn’t the big factor in moving – STUFF is.

And we’ve got a lot of stuff.

Let the packing begin. Onward!

2016 – Starting the Ultra Marathon

On 15 September 2016, my son as diagnosed with autism by our insurer. At first it was a literal shock. We didn’t do anything at all until the next week when we received a preemptive denial of services – before we’d even applied for any services.

Welcome to the world of disability services.

It was actually a gift (though it didn’t seem so at the time).

It was a shock to our systems and the beginning of the journey that brought me (and you) here today. At one point early one, I wrote in a now-defunct blog post that if parenting is a marathon, dealing with disability is an ultra marathon (and really it isn’t disability, it is our society’s disability systems).

You need to keep going forward. You need to be ABLE to keep moving forward.

One step after another

So, this newsletter and blog (and my work) are intended to be sustainable. I have a lot of interests (far beyond disability issues) and they need to be fed and I need them to keep balanced. Also, as a solo business, I don’t have a team to bounce ideas off of, shoot the **** with, or hold me accountable.

That is where you come in (and I hope I can do the same for you).

The blog rises again!

Between 2006ish and 2011ish, I wrote a 5-day-a-week blog, PlayNoEvil, on game security issues (I think there were over 2600 posts by the time it petered out). It led to a book, Protecting Games, and helped build my writing muscles and voice.

I am out of practice, however.

But, I think I’ve had a good restart at – this is a general purpose blog to cover… whatever I want to cover (your suggestions welcome!).

I wrote two big pieces over the past 2 weeks – a review of the new edition of Content Inc. and a long, still growing article on Cryptocurrencies – an article that has been simmering (maybe stewing) in my head for years. My traditional career started in 1986 working for the National Security Agency in the information security world, so there are probably a couple of more security focused articles that I need to get out of my system, but I don’t plan for that to be a major focus.

(There are some Easter eggs in the Cryptocurrency article for several of you as a thank you for your early support 🙂 )

I also wrote a short piece on adding a second Twitter account to my iPhone app so I could “sandbox” my wide-ranging personal musings from my more “official” Twitter activities. This addressed a couple of things that you should see going forward:

  1. I wrote the article because the available online explanations on how to do this were either terrible or terribly out of date… as a good Internet citizen, if I can add to our collective pool of knowledge, so much the better.
  2. I’m looking for ways to be more effective (not necessarily efficient). I like sharing and learning, so a personal Twitter account is a handy complement to this blog. But, I’m using my “official” Twitter account to mostly network and build an audience (or, more correctly market to an audience), so it helps to keep the two separate.

Starting my Systems Collection

I am NOT a fan of personal development stuff and my personal experience with online courses has been pretty poor. I prefer articles and books. Maybe I’ll hire a coach some day. But, I love systems. So, I’ve started collecting systems and ideas for how to do “things” on the blog. Big. Small. Business. Personal. For me. For you. For kind of anything. It doesn’t matter. I don’t have a great format for this yet, but I hope you find it useful or, even better, have some systems to share.

What isn’t here (yet)

My wife and I got married in 2010. For me, this was pretty late (I turn 56 this year). We decided to have kids and also decided that someone should stay home with them. That someone was me.

The decision was pretty easy. I was burned out on the computer security business and my wife’s career was (and is) going great.

My grand plan was to start designing and hand-building board games once things settled down (actually building them, not contracting out to China or somewhere).

So, I wound up investing in real estate in South Carolina as a side business (I live in the SF Bay Area, so investing in real estate here isn’t really an option).

I know it sounds crazy, but I had a plan to manufacture physical board-games.

I still do 10 years later (it has marinated), but it is also modest part of the ultra marathon “system” and “this” system or rather system of systems (more on this system in later issues). Make sure it is sustainable. Make sure I can keep going. Rob Walling posted this on Twitter yesterday:

Venture backed companies fail when they run out of money.

Bootstrappers fail when they run out of motivation.

I need to keep my motivation up. Keep work going forward. Keep it satisfying, fun, meaningful. Do it smart. Try to find engines, systems, and flywheels.

Explore business, play with ideas, solve problems. Share.

I hope you’ll stay with me.

All my best.


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