Picture Perfect

The nice thing about scaling back on my posting commitments for a couple months is that I’ve been able to comb through the site I’ve built this past year and tweak what’s here, refine how it’s displayed or add completely new things.

Most of this is “under the hood” so to speak, but regular readers may notice a few minor changes I’ve made to castironguy.ca over the last week or so.

One of the big things is photo galleries.

I hastily added a photo gallery plugin at the end of June as a means to do some light updates to the site in between my sporadic summer posting schedule. If you haven’t seen that I’ve been updating a Summer 2021 gallery of random photos a few times per week.

I’ve been fascinated by online photo sharing for a long time now. Fascinated? Well, intrigued and captured by the potential of sharing a medium that I love in a fluid and barrier-free way, I guess would be the better explanation.

For years, in fact, I maintained an online gallery that had thousands of photos grouped into hundreds of albums, ranging the gamut from kid-pics to be shared with the family, all the way through to a kind of semi-professional portfolio of my better, high quality images. The effort got dated, of course, content and software-wise. It was lightly hacked. I took it down, archived it and never tried to replace it.

I did replace it with social media, I guess. Over the last couple years I’ve been active on Instagram sharing photos to various curated accounts, one private for people I know IRL and a couple public themed accounts for everyone else. Yet, social media has lately become something of a tangled mess of paywalls and advertising and fake content and frustrations, so I’ve leaned away from that and other platforms in recent months and chosen to put more effort into private website content like this site.

So having added that gallery plugin I’ve been getting some photos into it, deciding how I want it to look and act, and posting some updated collections. It makes me excited to have a place to post more photos again. Stay tuned.

Summer

Where I live, there exists a short and precious span of time between snowfalls. It is when gardens grow strong, trails turn green, and daylight extends well into the night.

SUHH - murr

For July and August, this blog is on a summer publication schedule: still posting, but not-daily. Check back for sporadic summer check-ins and stay turned for my regular daily blogging schedule to return this September.

In the meantime, my summer photo gallery will be updated as often as I can remember to post new pictures.

Thanks for reading!

– bardo

Dog Days of Summer

It’s officially summer here in Edmonton where I live, and the days are marked by a sharp increase in temperatures and an equally sharp decrease in my motivation to move with any sort of speed … yes, even when I’m running!

Also, it’s been a long, dark winter … at least sixteen months if I recall … and this summer seems more welcome than any of us can put into words, I think.

With the arrival of summer, the re-opening of our world (locally at least) following a long, exhausting pandemic, the end of the school year for my daughter, and the wrapping up of a huge project I’ve been involved with at my real job, I’ve been eyeing the arrival of July with no shortage of excitement.

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly six months, every day, and making it a daily exercise has not only resulted in one hundred and seventy plus blog posts since January, but has given me great motivation to go out into the world more openly, explore more deeply, cook and eat more adventurously. Six months is not long, but it has been long enough to kickstart a respectable quantity and tone of articles that I’m (mostly) proud to have online.

Of course I never wrote about how I intended to keep blogging every day, well … forever. Because… to be honest I didn’t intend that. I intended to write daily for as long as I could manage to keep it interesting for myself and for my readers, and (more importantly) for as long as I wasn’t trading the living of my life for the writing about it.

Summer is short and definitely for the living of life, and with all those simultaneous moments approaching with the first of July, I am in the important moment and existential position of asking myself if I’m following that very rule: I don’t want to sacrifice adventure to the publication cycle of a blog.

You may have also noticed that more than a few of my articles lately have been a bit … um … navel-gazing? Bland? Space-filling? I’ll be the first to admit I’ve phoned in a few posts this month. Gak!

So, here’s the thing…

I’ve decided that I’ll be switching over to a summer schedule for July and August.

This summer we have some mountain vacations planned, some technology-free camping trips in the north country to do, weekends at the lake or on the river to enjoy, and a whole of lot of intention to get away from our screens as much as possible. I will still be posting here, probably more regularly than I should, but look for my posts to be a little more scattered over the next two months as of the first of July.

Expect your daily dose of cast iron guy goodness to resume to full daily schedule in September, and with any luck I’ll have a long list of stories to catch you all up on.

Work-Life-Balance

I’ve had a busy week.

While this blog tends to be a great outlet for me to find some balance between my time at my desk and my time in real world, sometimes that balance tips too far to one side and I find myself sitting on a Friday evening with not much to write about because I haven’t done much worth writing about over the past week.

Today is kinda like that.

Balancing Screen Time

With dozens of readers coming to this blog every day you may be wondering why I still need to work.

But seriously.

I have a great job with lots of flexibility for time off and to live a life where I can sleep in my own bed every night. I’m grateful for that.

That said … said job is ninety-five percent spent in front of a screen.

So you blog in your free time? You ask. On a screen?

I enjoy having a place where I can be myself and do something similar that I do for others, but do that thing for myself. But yes, not every day do I find myself savoring the idea of another few minutes in front of another screen.

How does one balance?

Balance comes from a having a plan, or so I find. Balance is the result of having something to do that pulls you away from the easy thing to do … too easy, like flipping open your phone and scrolling, or flicking the remote and queuing up the next streaming show.

Balance comes from doing the things that you need to do in proportion to the things you want to do. Not everyone has that luxury, of course, but it is something that we all seek and for many a thing that we will spend much of our lives working for, looking for, striving for.

I’m here on a Friday afternoon after completing a very long list of things I needed to do.

Meetings. Reports. Emails. Managing.

I’m hoping my weekend holds an equitable list of things I want to do.

Wandering. Cooking. Running. Creating.

That’s my work-life balance.