Sourdough Starter vs. Laptop Computer Smackdown!

Readers and Friends –

Welcome to my sixth newsletter.

Thank you for reading. You can read all of my previous newsletters in the archive at my blog –

I hope you’ll treat this letter as one side of our “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 this newsletter isn’t a good fit, definitely unsubscribe and I wish you all my best (perhaps we’ll reconnect some other day or some other way).

If someone shared this newsletter with you and you like it, subscribing is easy.

As of today, there are 3 of you – thank you all again. Time to apply the Bootstrapper Ratio of product work and sales & marketing! (I think I’ll be back in business next week)

I’m back on track for my target with one article (see The Speechless Strategy below) and one newsletter a week – thank you for your help!

BTW, I’d appreciate a note if I forget to send my newsletter…if I can do something similar to help you keep yourself accountable, let me know!)

Hospice – Week 3

So, we’re near the end of week 3 in hospice for my mom.

She’s doing OK. Or at least better than she was when we started.

I continue to be frustrated with our elder care systems.

I sent a quick text on Tuesday to our hospice case manager only to find out that she’s been promoted (congratulations), but someone else is taking over our case (glad I checked in…).

… as of Thursday PM, I still haven’t heard from the new case manager.

I’m looking at bringing in a elder care case manager to manage the various groups I need to deel with:

  • hospice
  • caregiver company
  • assisted living facility

I can do this, but I just don’t know the systems or questions to ask and … the clock is ticking.

Fortunately, my parents can afford to pay for all of this support.

It should be shameful to us all that so many people can’t and that our elder care system is such a mess you need to hire someone to keep everything working.

… We’ve MOVED!

Holy (****) / cow, moving takes a lot of time!

We’re now in Palo Alto and we really like our new place.

Still tons of boxes to unpack, but they’re mostly my books and board game collection in the garage (which will never see a car). The house itself is largely “deboxed”.

Now, we’ve got all of the systems and companies that need to be notified that we’ve moved that can only be notified that we’ve moved after we’ve moved.

We did get our new library cards last night (Priorities!), so that is something.

(I want to thank my wife, Eleanor, again for getting me back into the library habit. Amazon has made it so easy to order books, you forget how many books you can get for free. I will say I absolutely HATE ebooks if there is an option – let me know if I can send you my Kindle).

Collateral Damage – Sourdough Starter vs. Laptop

So, there are certain things you don’t let movers move.

  • Fragile items.
  • Your personal computer.
  • Food.

I’ve been making sourdough bread for more than 8 years. It is easy and the bread is great (lots of elapsed time, not much work – let me know if you’re interested), so I have a jar of starter that had to be moved…. so I threw it in the car on the floor with the other things I was taking on moving day….

… where it wound up next to my laptop….

… and tipped over.

My laptop was dipped in the sourdough starter like a tortilla chip in guacamole.

Lots of guacamole.

And, of course, the covered portion wasn’t sealed, it was the vent area for the processor.

Yummy ooey gooey starter in my laptop cooling system.

…I was so afraid, I left my laptop off from Thursday when we moved until yesterday (Wednesday).

I cleaned it out after the starter had dried out.

I would not recommend this.

The laptop is working fine, so far.

… and we made two loaves of fresh bread on Saturday.

​Systems Collection

It is taking a while to get back to work, but I did add an entry to my systems collection on… the Minimum Viable System. Tyler King wrote an article arguing that you sometimes don’t need systems or procedures… which I half disagreed with in that sometimes simply naming a system or procedure is valuable.

Susan Boles is just completing a long series of podcasts on “Maintenance Mode” or “Autopilot”. The podcast and series are excellent.

If you have any systems or procedures you would like me to add, send me a note!


I did a ton of driving between my old apartment and new house moving boxes and boxes and boxes, so I caught up on a lot of podcasts.

I think my Honda Element may be a TARDIS – it held 54 book boxes in one trip!

My “big listen” (not binge) was to Standing Ovation by Jay Baer. If you are a public speaker, teacher, or just want to listen to a superb stack of speakers, this is well worth diving into. It has been on hiatus for a while, so you have a chance to catch up. Virtually every episode was excellent. A master class in public speaking and a ton of excellent content.

I quite enjoyed Nathan Berry’s interview with Jack Butcher. I really connect with the idea of “Build Once, Sell Twice” as a model. A great listen and Nathan’s podcast is one I look forward to every week.

Courtland Allen interviewed Rob Walling in a wide ranging discussion about podcasts, investing, and other things. There is a lot of great content, but it was also especially entertaining as both men are very experienced podcast hosts, so they just talked together “well”. A pleasure to listen to. It is probably one of the few podcasts that I’ll listen to again.

Finally, if you want to learn what it is like to be really trolled on the Internet, check out Bridget Todd‘s interview with Lyz Lenz on There Are No Girls on the Internet. You will be both disheartened and inspired. Lyz has a good newsletter and this podcast will open your eyes and mind.

The Speechless Strategy – moving to a better school district for students with disabilities

As part of getting back to work, I wrote an article this week on why and how we moved to our new school district. Shopping for school districts isn’t really new, but it is extra challenging and important if your child has a disability. Check it out. You won’t believe how badly our special education system works (especially in California)… and how much better is possible (even in California).


No programming. I may have caught a video or two. I’m beginning to think through my architecture. I suspect I won’t get rolling for a couple of weeks. Ramping back up takes time.

Back to unpacking and parents.

All my best.


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