December 31 of 31 December-ish posts

Oh, rich. Coming from the guy who couldn’t manage a daily post in December, huh?


One word that sums up your theme for 2023.


Yes. That’s it.

It’s New Years Eve. Again. And rolling into 2023 leaving 2022 behind I got to thinking of how I want to spend the year.

As it turns out (I find as I have two weeks off work and have time to think about these things) I’m happiest when I’m creating, y’know, anything.

Oh, maybe I won’t be posting a blog article every day, or whatever, but my mind was churning on what it means to be creative and productive for every single day of a whole year.

Writing. Drawing. Photographing. Video…ing.

And not only the net results of daily effort but the meta-results: creative output about daily creativity. Like, making posts or videos about “How I Painted One Picture Daily for a Month!” or “What Daily Cycling did for My Mental and Physical Health” and sharing those.


Daily stuff.

Daily reflections.


Tomorrow morning will be the two-year anniversary of this website. I set out on January first of 2021 to start writing a daily blog. We were in the middle of a pandemic (arguably we still are) and I had no idea that we would spend two more years slowly getting back to normal. I had assumed (like most of you) that 2021 was our year to climb back out of it and by, say, mid-summer we’d be camping and hiking and cooking on firepits with our friends. I was going to document that. Daily was my theme for 2021. And I almost did it.

My perspective was wrong, though.

I wanted to bring you all into this adventure and create a wonderful site full of amazing ideas. What it turned into was a journal of a guy trying to do that.

If you’re still reading, or just recently joined, you may be a bit disappointed with my effort in 2022.

I wrote about some of that yesterday and how I’ve been in a bit of a funk because of a knee injury. It sucks. And I know it. And I think I can will myself to do better.

I keep telling myself that (a) since I’m not trying to make money off this blog then (b) I don’t need to follow any particular set of rules from all those pro-bloggers out there with their tips for maximizing traffic, so (c) this site can be whatever I want it to be.

In 2021, it tried to be a daily blog about outdoor life, cast iron cooking, and running adventure.

In 2022, it was a journal of healing and reflecting on a tough year.

In 2023, I think I want it to be about that idea of daily. Creating daily. Living in the day. Being present and enjoying the moment each and every day, even if just long enough to capture a bit of it as art or photos or video. You’ll see more of that starting tomorrow. If you come along for the ride, or if you’ve been along the whole time, thanks. We’ll see you on the next day… and the day after… and the day after that.

Happy New Year.

long ago, and far from now

December 27 of 31 December-ish posts

What do you want the world to look like in the future?

The past is behind us. The present is fleeting. The future is what you make it.

What do you think the world will be like 25 years in the future?

Every day I get up and think about my day.

No, really…

I’ve been journaling in the mornings.

I keep what most would call a bullet journal, which by any standard is just point form writing and notetaking that is mostly about making lists that are about three things: the past, the present and the future.

I make point form notes about things that already happened, blurbs about how much I slept, exercised, or stressed about things. I write about what I read with brevity. I comment on the movies we watched last night or the food we ate yesterday.

I build lists of stuff I’m thinking about right now. I note how I’m feeling in the present and comment with a few quick words on my place in the flow of the moment. I put myself into the now and capture the instant with an insight or two to remind myself that it happened at all.

I plan ahead for tomorrow, next week and next year. I plot out projects and jot down to do lists of how I want to accomplish things in the future.

I do all these things to ground myself in the universe.

All that said, I haven’t written about anything so far in the future as twenty five years away.

What do you want the world to look like in 25 years?

Do you even think about it. Do you plan for tomorrow? Next week? Or maybe next year?

Have you thought about what the world will be like a quarter of a century from now?

I do, sometimes. Maybe I should start a bullet list for that.

Excuses Me

December 26 of 31 December-ish posts

We were driving home from the last of multiple family christmas gatherings today and, as we sped north down the highway, we passed the giant outlet mall on the outskirts of the city. Then we passed about five hundred cars driving slowly bumper to bumper in the southbound direction and queuing for the mall where the possibility of countless sales, deals, bargains, and boxing day shopping bonanzas waited therein.

We kept driving.

What did you want this year
… but not get?

As a guy who has a small category on his blog about “gear” I use and like it would be too easy to write about a “thing” that I was coveting and didn’t happen to find a way of adding to my collection this year.

On the other hand, my Christmas gifts included all manner of delicious coffee bean blends, running kit, microbrew beers, and spice mixes so I can’t really complain about my lack of holiday haul.

It has occured to me, particularly as I look at blank notebooks, missing blog posts, and a stack of unread novels on my bedside table, that I didn’t find myself with a lot of productive time this year.

I’ve been busy.

What a terrible excuse, huh?

When I did find a bit of time here or there I managed to paint many awesome sketches, upload a hearty collection of writing, and even crank out a healthy smattering of code. Not as much as I would have liked, but still… quite a bit.

But, all that said, work was consuming this year, consuming in the way that it followed me home and drained my evenings, and sapped me of motivation. I’ve been work busy. I’ve been dad busy. I’ve been family busy. I’ve been health busy. I’ve been paying the bills busy.

Also, put that all with the fact that I haven’t been for a decent run in over six months thanks to my knee injury, and the free time I did have was usually spent doing physiotherapy exercises and trying to get something resembling recovery going on down there. Not running and instead doing physiotherapy at the gym is far less exciting than running through the trails with my friends.

What I’m trying to say is that productive time was not my companion this past year.

I hope to change that up in 2023.

I hope.

Thing is, I can’t buy more time from the outlet mall, and no matter how long I queue on the highway I don’t think motivation will be waiting at the other end.

But I have started thinking about my 2023 projects: drawing comics, making videos, writing more frequently here (though still unlikely back to daily right away) and generally easing my foot off the metaphorical gas of my career in favour of some creative pursuits to balance out my life.

I didn’t get much of that in 2022, but maybe my personal boxing day deal will be to give myself this big ol’plan to put some productive time at the top my my 2023 priority list. Thanks, bud.

What a fruitcake?

December 17 of 31 December-ish posts

First, before you read any further and must feel that crushing disappointment of yet another recipe blog that doesn’t seem to put the recipes at the top of the page, while you scroll to the bottom and try to find something resembling an ingredient list, let me be honest and up front: if you’re here looking for a fruitcake recipe, there isn’t one.

I often post recipes. This is not a recipe, this is:

… something I should have cooked in 2022, but didn’t.


You know fruitcake.

Cake. Fruit. But somehow both and neither at the same time.

The cake that is more of a dense loaf full of what should be healthy ingredients but is masked in sugar and spices and alcohol to the point that no is even sure if they should hate it or love it or mock it for the curious monstrosity that it is. Booze-soaked gluten gluing together colourful lumps of sweet, sticky globules that may be candied nuts or sugary, dried fruits, or mystery orbs summoned from the Christmas dimension to haunt our dreams.

I love weird things, though, and I especially love weird foods. A well-made fruitcake is weird and wonderful and a baking curiosity that often defies logic, reason, and sensible palates.

I have never made a fruitcake.

And it seems like it is one of those deserts where there is really only a short window, sometime around Halloween or early November, when bakers should be thinking about fruitcakes that might be needed for the holiday season, when fruitcakes will be tolerated in small doses for the holiday season, and outside of that short window fruitcakes are just not done.

I thought about making a fruitcake in mid-November. We had just come back from New York and I was pondering my next bit of time off around the holidays and thinking I would like to break out the cookie recipe book and get some serious baking done. Fruitcake popped into my head, because while I do admit fruitcake is not everyone’s jam, if you’ve tried good fruitcake you understand how this concoction has survived the eons of time since that first batch of fruitcake was made… some of which may still survive in your grandparent’s holiday stash.

I thought about making a fruitcake in mid-November, and then I went to the grocery store with a list. Yes, I made it as far as the market with an actual recipe that I’d researched online, suffering through hours of endless recipe scrolling, reading heartfelt, keyword-stuffed stories of precious family Christmas memories vaguely connected to the recipe hidden at the bottom of the page. I found a recipe that had ingredients I thought looked like something I could both find at my local grocery market and which collected together resembled a fruitcake I would enjoy.

I thought about making a fruitcake in mid-November, but then pricing out the ingredients in the store gave me some serious pause. Pause. As in pause, put down the bag of dried apricots and step back slowly and carefully from the merchandise. I mean, we keep a well-stocked kitchen, but the collection of fruits, spices, nuts and booze that I needed for this recipe was creeping up well into the triple digits at the cash register.

For my international readers, some comparisons: locally a 10kg bag of flour is worth about $15 right now, a liter of rum is worth about $30, and a week’s worth of groceries for a modest family of three averages at about $200. My fruitcake was going to set me back over $150 in ingredients. Y’know, like almost a week’s worth of groceries for cake ingredients … and all this for a cake that most everyone was likely going to turn up their noses because of it’s reputation. (You know what I’m talking about.)

I thought about making a fruitcake in mid-November, but I didn’t.

To that end, if you have read through this sad-sack story of fruitcake or merely speed-scrolled to the bottom looking for a recipe here’s the rub: I neither made a cake, nor saved the recipe, nor do I have a happy ending to this tale. I just didn’t do fruitcake in 2022.

Maybe that’s a good thing.

Maybe that one time I had great fruitcake will forever be a magical, weirdo memory untarnished in my mind.

Maybe I would have crushed fruitcake, or maybe fruitcake would have crushed me.

This will not be the year I figure that out.

All that said, next year in 2023 when mid-November rolls around again there is one post I would like to scroll to the bottom of and find a great fruitcake recipe. This one? Maybe? Maybe you have a recipe you can post or link to in the comments. Maybe this could be an amazing fruitcake recipe page afterall? And like all those terrible recipe blogs, we can keep it hidden at the bottom of the page, tucked into the comments for someone to find after scrolling right to the end of the heartfelt story. Maybe.