Month: January 2015

Our Family

My 2014 In Review

I had, frankly, a fantastic 2014, both personally and professionally.

Personally, we took the kids on a Disney Cruise, which was mere months after Char and I had returned from a trip of a lifetime in Cancun.  My batteries were more recharged than they have been in a long time, and I spent March through August burning myself out by working full time and putting everything I had left into making BalanceDo a success.

Unfortunately, we failed with BalanceDo. A combination of a bunch of factors killed the project, and in late August the team and I made the painful decision to close down the business.

I promised myself I wouldn’t take on any side projects, and that for four months (September, October, November, and December), I did nothing more strenuous with my non-working hours than play video games.  It was everything I had ever hoped for, completely wasted time where all I had to concern myself with was where my next loot cave was going to come from. Continue Reading

Effective Web Design and Development

Effective Web Design and Development – COMP-1363

Starting February 4th, I’ll be teaching a five week (one session per week) course on effective web design at Fanshawe College’s continuing education program.

The course is called “Effective Web Design and Development – COMP-1363“.

I’m breaking the five weeks up by doing foundational work first, and building on that work weekly. My idea is to build a very simple HTML website, using the fundamentals that we learn weekly to build upon each week’s lesson. At the end, the attendees will have a very simple, semantically correct, SEO optimized, modern, responsive, and accessible website.

Here’s what Fanshawe’s course outline says:

Effective web design and development is about more than code, and pretty pictures. This course is designed to help you understand the things required to build an effective website for yourself, your business, and your clients. This course will review strategies, software, marketing, promotion, content creation, and modern website design techniques while not requiring coding in-class time.

Continue Reading

Dollar Shave Club

Stuff I Like: Dollar Shave Club

I hate shaving, but I like to be freshly shaved. It’s a dichotomy that has plagued me since my teen years. I am what the old folks call “hirsute”, meaning I’ve got a lot of hair, but it’s thick and shaving wrecks my skin, so I only shave every three or so days. My usual routine is Sunday night and Wednesday night (unless we’re doing something fancy which requires a touch-up). I shave my head too, but that’s usually once a week.

I have an electric razor, but it is slow, and hard to groom around ye olde goatee. My preferred battle weapon is a wet blade, usually a three bladed job (although a twin blade works well on my head). Of course like most men, I usually forget to buy blades, so I’m left hacking up my skin with something dumb.

I’m not gonna say Dollar Shave Club saved my life, but it probably saved my skin. Literally.

I initially signed up for “The 4x”, for $6.50/month, which gets you a monthly shipment of a package of four – four bladed razors. Your initial shipment also comes with a nice metal handle which has some heft to it.

I quickly found that four blades a month is too many for me, I only go through about 2 a month. I switched to the “Humble Twin” for a couple of months at $3.50, which I used for just my head.

The blades fit perfectly on my “HeadBlade“, which takes Gillette Atra style blades.

The only problem with The Humble Twin is that the handle is really flimsy plastic that is intended to bend, but a couple of trips across my head, and I broke the thing.

I’ve stopped ordering the Twins, and now I just get The 4x every other month (they have a “not so hairy” option), so every two months, I get charged $6.50 to have blades delivered right to my mailbox. It’s a pretty good deal, and I never think about whether or not I want to get one more shave out of that blade, I just chuck it and use a fresh one after about two shaves.

Their packaging is pretty bare bones, but comes with one little feature I really like. Every month they spotlight one of their members’ businesses. It’s about post card sized, and it’s usually a fun little story.

Dollar Shave Club, I’ve been a member for two years now, and as their ad says “I’m practically a genius”. I highly recommend them.

What is This Site About?

What is this site about?

I’m Brian Garside, and this is my professional website where I offer up two decades of world wide web expertise.

I’ve archived a number of my classic posts from “The BalanceDo Blog” here as well, which you’ll find tagged with “BalanceDo”.  These come from hands-on experience building and eventually folding a SAAS business over four years of development.

This is where you will find details on my upcoming book “The Web Hero’s Guide”, everything you need to know about getting your yourself or your business online, and tapping into the power of a global audience.

You’ll also find “So I’ve Got A Website…Now What?”, a free publication about marketing your website and making it an effective marketing tool for yourself or your business very soon. Continue Reading

My Favourite Comics of 2014

My Favourite Comics of 2014

I like putting together a few year in review lists that remind me what I enjoyed in a year.  Comics are a big passion of mine, big enough that I take the kids to two or three conventions every year, and always make plans to go to one of the bigger ones (like C2E2, WizardWorld Chicago, or the big daddy of them all, San Diego Comicon).

I sat down this year to put together a little list of my favourite comics of 2014. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there was plenty of one-off stuff that I enjoyed through the year, but this is the stuff that stood out to me month-in and month-out. Continue Reading