Monthly Archives: November 2019

Gear Review: Dexter-Russell All-Purpose Turner

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Not to get all Marie Kondo on you, but every time I pickup the Dexter-Russell All-Purpose Turner (not spatula), I’m happy with my decision to spend a little extra.  And I would place this solidly in the “buy it for life” category of purchases.

Pancakes. Pancakes.

Plus, it turns me into a pancake making machine.

There are multiple styles, but I chose the 5 inch, “all-purpose” version and purchased through Amazon, but available elsewhere.

Purchase Date:      October 2018
Summary:  Definitely a worthwhile purchase.


  • Solid, well made cooking utensil
  • Beats the pants off a plastic spatula
  • Thinner metal blade with rounded corners and beveling slides under food
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Really not that expensive
  • Looks good too!


  • For the grill, you could use a longer handle (12” overall)

Darts Are Fun

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Darts are fun. Especially when virtually every spot on the board is a bullseye.

[Insert basically any chart for any asset class.]

What’s going to happen when that isn’t the case?

I don’t know, but I’m thinking it’s less fun than today.

Also see Reflexivity.

Good-Bye K-Cups

Reading Time: < 1 minute
Pour Over Setup

We’ve had an unstable relationship with our Keurig for a while now.  Actually, our Keurig machine seemed to prove fairly durable compared to some family and friends that seemed to go through the machines on a relatively frequent basis.  But the plastic waste we were putting out on a daily basis from the single serve cups always made us uncomfortable. Sort of a guilty pleasure. Without any pleasure.

So, the Keurig was sent to Goodwill.

And, we’ve started using a pour over setup for our weekday routine (we always make a full pot of coffee on the weekends). That’s a Hario V60 and Bonavita gooseneck electric kettle.

If you need some additional prompting, here’s a stat for you:

“While Keurig does sell some recyclable K-Cups, as well as a reusable mesh cup for ground coffee, 95% of the K-Cups they produce cannot be recycled and aren’t biodegradable. “ – Impacts of Materials on Society (

Adventure: Yosemite N.P.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We took advantage of my business trip in late July to the Los Angeles area to take a family trip to Yosemite National Park (  While not necessarily the closest option, Mrs. SFTE had never been and I was there only once for about a day back when I lived in San Francisco.  So we decided to go for it.

Given that we had limited time and the trip was multi-purpose, I think we did a pretty solid job of seeing a solid portion of the park.

Day 1

We left the Los Angeles area around noon and had a pretty hefty drive up to the park. 

We stayed in the cabins at Camp Curry (formerly Half Dome Village).  No, not real camping, but convenient, since we didn’t really have gear.

Home sweet home!

Day 2

We have some friends that worked in the park for a while, so we asked them about areas that would provide a good feel for the park given our limited time but also help avoid the heat and the crowds.

They sent us up to Toulomne Meadows.  I’d highly recommend making the trek up there.

Lembert Dome

We did a few hikes here.

Lembert Dome – awesome hike!

We at lunch by some cascades on the Dana Fork.

Cascades on Dana Fork

We did a scramble up a dome near Olmstead Point.

And then finished with a hike through the Wawona Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Wawona Grove

Day 3

We decided to take on Yosemite Valley.  First up was the Mist Trail – all the way to Nevada Falls.  The above average snowpack meant the water flow was still impressive.

Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, Mt. Broderick & Half Dome

We got an early start, but to avoid the crowds coming up the trail, we descended via the John Muir Trail.

Super proud of Little SFTE.  She handled the hike like a champ.

Top of Nevada Falls

Once we got back to the valley, we walked over to the visitor’s center and grabbed a pizza and ate it by the river.  There was also a river bath – but no pictures were taken.

Valley Floor

Day 4

Unfortunately, we had to head back to Los Angeles to catch our flight.  On the way out of the park, we checked out El Capitan.

Climb on, kid!

El Capitan

And, we stopped by the Mariposa Grove.  As expected, it was super crowded, but still worth a visit.

Mariposa Grove


It is difficult to describe the scale of the majesty of the park.  All I can really say is that you need to go see it for yourself. I just kept muttering “this is freakin’ amazing” at every turn. 

There’s not much we would do differently.  We’d like to come back and spend more time up in Toulomne Meadows and try to camp up there.

Influential Reads – October 2019

Reading Time: 2 minutes

October was pretty unremarkable.

Updated stats through October:

Here are my most influential reads – in no particular order:

  1. Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Trump is what he had in mind. – “Not only is Trump himself on trial, but he is also testing our constitutional system to the breaking point.”
  2. MARGINal – “I believe we are seeing the mother of all shifts from a focus on growth to margin.”
  3. Behind SaaS’s Choppy Day – “The broader selloff, however — coupled to an implied revenue multiple compression — paints a stagnant picture for SaaS companies more generally.”
  4. Why Hard Training Makes You More Impulsive – “Now we see that the arrow goes both ways, and that bolsters the idea that mental and physical exertion both draw on the same finite well of… something.”
  5. What The Downturn Will Probably Look Like in SaaS – “But second, enterprise customers all renewed.  Almost all of them.”
  6. The Art of Creating a Ritual for What Matters Most – “Our hours are precious and limited, and we can take care to only place the things that matter most into that limited space.”
  7. Stamina Succeeds – “the most successful have a lot more energy and stamina than do others.”
  8. Microsoft, Slack, Zoom, and the SaaS Opportunity – “This is why companies like Zoom and especially Slack are so valuable: they create new customers who are primed for growth; Microsoft, meanwhile, is mostly keeping its existing customers in-house.”
  9. How to build durable and long-lasting Atomic Habits – “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”
  10. Let Children Get Bored AgainLet Children Get Bored Again – “Boredom teaches us that life isn’t a parade of amusements. More important, it spawns creativity and self-sufficiency.”

Note: This is based on when I read the article, not necessarily when it was first published.  Unfortunately, my backlog of things I would like to read always seems to dwarf the amount of time I can devote to reading.