Pancakes & Pi

Five years ago today I embarked on a multi-year web comic journey.

I have May fifth marked in my calendar as a recurring event to remind me that on that day (THIS day) in 2017 I uploaded the first of about 200 comic strips that I wrote and drew.

Almost all of those strips are still available online at where I used to have a particularly nice website but after a couple of upgrades and moves has been pared down to a basic collection of posts and comic strips and a wee bit of history about the whole effort.

The premise behind my strip was dad jokes.

And pi day, the celebration on the fourteenth day of the third month of each year, March 14th, as it connects to 3.14 seems like a day baked around the very notion of a corny dad joke. So, every day at our house was pi day. Yesterday was pi day. Tomorrow will be pi day. This is pi day.

At the time my kid was just entering her double digits and was delicately balanced in a narrow window of time where she was old enough to appreciate her old man’s sense of humour but young enough to say enough funny stuff herself. I took the advice of “you should write this stuff down” to heart and then to the next level, and started drawing and publishing it. A few hundred fans online and lots of family and friends seemed to appreciate the effort.


The era was so fleeting that I was just getting into the groove of writing and drawing and telling these little parenting tales in comic form before I noticed that she’d become a more sensitive teen and ribbing her in comic strip form was no longer a green zone activity.

I tried to adapt and adjust the strip, but like anything with a lot of momentum behind it, steering it into a new direction proved to be more like steering a train than a bicycle. It didn’t. And coupled with a pandemic and other more pressing family concerns the whole thing fizzled into more of an archive than an active project.

I write here often about both cartooning and sketching and in my personal history both these things have a wending and winding history deeply rooted in my life. My digital art project of drawing a weekly (or often more frequently) comic strip consumed a huge chunk of that history and was one of the first times in my life I was very public about those interests.

Five years on, there’s no real plan to revive the effort and This is Pi Day has been tucked away in the archives of my creative efforts as just another thing I did once.

I’m ok with that. But it doesn’t hurt to point in it’s direction on an anniversary of the effort and say “I made that thing!” and be a little proud that I did.

Perspective is Everything

As another year comes to an end (in the next few days) it’s hard to remember that just one year ago we were looking with all the hope in the world at 2021 as it approached and left behind a monumentally bad 2020 somewhere in the past.

This year hasn’t quite been the surprise gut punch that 2020 had been, but those second, third and fourth punches tend to hurt just as much as that first one, even if you start to get used to them after a while.

Certainly it wasn’ that bad, you say.

No. Certainly not. Certainly it could have been worse.

What is one thing you’d like your kid to know about the year 2021?

In fact, I’ve had plenty of reason to look at the world from a different perspective this past year.

That old life, the one we had pre-pandemic, was still pretty much hanging on by a thread back at the start of this year. I don’t write about a lot of these things, but between work, home, self, and family a lot has changed since we hung that old calendar up on the wall twelve months ago.

So, really, my perspective has really changed… even though I’m still sitting in that same desk looking at the same screen day after day.

Pespective. It’s something a lot of us have gained this year.

Putting things into a new perspective is not an easy thing to do, and sometimes it takes a jostle to one’s life to make that shift. Travel does wonders for giving us perspective. New experiences, new sights, new foods, new cultures. Waking up in a different climate or time zone, with the sun shining through a different set of blinds shakes us out of our routine.

Or, one can live through a disaster, one of nature or of health or of countless other dark horsemen. That’s something a lot of us tried this year, and it shook us all out of our routines.

What did that teach us?

I’m sure it taught us lots of different things, each individually something unique and personal… but I’d be willing to bet that all of us have learned a little about perspective in the last year.

Not every year is going to be this way.

But that was 2021.

Thirty one topics. Thirty one posts. Not exactly a list… but close. In December I like to look back on the year that was. My daily posts in December-ish are themed-ish and may contain spoilers set against the backdrop of some year-end-ish personal exposition.


I’ve never grown older before, so forgive me if you have and I’m just being obvious.

The older I get the more I think about the balance between the entropic impermanence of all things and the human urge to continue creating and planning and hoping in the face of that impermanence.

I think it is all twisted up in this idea of legacy.

What excited you most in 2021?

I thought about legacy a lot this past year, and when I paused to reflect on what gave me back some of that hope and excitement during the past twelve (give or take) months, this idea of legacy kept popping into my head.

I’ve had no shortage of unplanned opportunities since starting a blog called “the cast iron guy” to explain my connection to that particular style of cookware, particularly since I can’t fallback to a simpler explanation such as “I sell it” (which I don’t) or “I collect it” (which my wife may argue is where I’m trending but my collection is not worth writing home about) or “I’m an expert in it” (which would be a stretch to sincerely claim.)

As I’ve often alluded to, occasionally openly written about, this whole “cast iron guy” idea strays into a universe where I adore all things ferrous, but is actually more of a clue to an overarching philosophy of lifestyle that I’ve been trying to embrace more fulsomely: uncomplicated things, life lived, and a mindset that reflects the philosophical practicality of well-seasoned cast iron frying pan, enduring, simple, down-to-earth & extremely useful, as I write in my snippet.

It’s also deeply entrenched with the idea of legacy.

Instilling in my daughter a legacy tied to objects like cookware and sourdough starters.

Building a legacy of lifestyle through travel, exploration and curiosity.

Maintaining a legacy of worldliness and environmental stewardship.

Leaving behind a legacy of ideology and an approach to the universe.

I think as we get older we may not all panic about the dwindling time we have left, but in some small way many of us start putting more effort into shaping what will remain behind when that time dwindles to nothing.

Maybe it’s imprecise to say I got excited about legacy this past year. Though it is clear that I thought and wrote and waxed poetic quite a lot about this idea of legacy, even if those thoughts were not strictly labelled as such.

Thirty one topics. Thirty one posts. Not exactly a list… but close. In December I like to look back on the year that was. My daily posts in December-ish are themed-ish and may contain spoilers set against the backdrop of some year-end-ish personal exposition.

Friday Finds: Pressed Flowers

Fatherhood is funny.

Finding honest and interesting things to do with a young child can lead one down all sorts of previously unfollowed paths of creative exploration and into all kinds of time-filling follies.

For (nearly) fourteen years I’ve been nudging my daughter to try new things, to explore her creative self, and find fanciful ways to fill her mind with fabulous experiences.

For whatever reason for which I can’t quite recall, I was recently exploring something far less fanciful: the closet in my office… which is in itself an archeological site dating back to my having moved into the space well over a decade ago.

Finding my old university textbooks was not surprising, but finding those same textbooks stuffed full of dried wild flowers was something that I had obviously done long ago but almost forgotten about.

Foggy though my memory was on the exact timeline, I recall spending the day with my toddler-aged daughter in the local natural areas of the river valley, filling our days with simple delights and effortless fun.

Frolicking through the tall grasses and between the poplar trees, I remember that we picked flowers and I’d promised her that we would dry them and “make a present for mommy.”

Fascination is an emotion so easily overwhelmed by impatience, especially for someone only three or four years old, and I assume the flowers were stuffed into some conveniently fulsome tomes, my old microbiology textbook for one, to begin the drying and pressing process, then…


Fast forward to this week and the aforementioned archeological dig through the back corners of my closet revealed a small stack of flagrantly outdated text books filled with the feathered edges of wax paper pressings, and a dozen or so samples of decade-old dried flowers.

Finding something meaningful to do with these fragments of my shared history with a daughter who is growing up and out so quickly may be a fruitless effort, or…

Forcing some kind of nostalgia into something so fleeting, a single day from a forgotten timeframe shared by a father and daughter my prove old-fashioned to her teenage eyes.

Faithless as that may seem, I almost stuck those textbooks back into the dark corners of my closet to wait out another decade.

Flowers, dried and brittle, imbued with some kind of narrative for a long lost day would likely age further and form an even more fortified link to that flipbook past given a few more fleeting years of passing time, or…

Forgotten again.

Frail and lost to time.

Famous to no one but my fleeting recollection of a fragile moment.

Fatherhood is funny, and fumbling my forties with emotions and curiously fading memories in unforeseen forms on an otherwise quiet Friday morning.