2019 In Review, Look ahead to 2020

Every year I post a review/resolutions blog post, usually within the first week of the new year. I look at what I had said I would do the year before, and I set out some goals for the coming year.

  • Take care of my health
  • Take care of our financial health
  • Succession plan for NorthIQ
  • Be more present

Take Care of My Health

Fail. While I took care of the problem that was killing me and ended up out of commission for most of April, I ended the year in worse shape than I started it. I have to make a doctor’s appointment soon to get all my levels checked, and I’ve made significant changes to my diet.

Take care of our financial health

So much pass! Debt gone, and now we can start building up our “rainy day fund”, plus our damn roof probably needs to be replaced in the next couple of years.

Succession Plan for NorthIQ

This doesn’t belong here, but I’m working on this right now, it was a fail for 2019, but it will happen this year.

Be more present

I think I was better at this? I don’t know. I try to hang out with the family, I am home every night at 4pm, so that is pretty cool…but I could do better.

Things for 2020

  • Take care of my health
  • Take a good vacation
  • Make more art

Take care of my health

I need to get in a shape that is not round and lose some lbs. Both of these are currently underway.

I’d like to be able to run a 5k in the spring. That’s my current goal. After that happens, maybe I’ll run more, maybe I won’t…we’ll see.

Take a good vacation

We haven’t been on a decent vacation since Disney World. The kids are getting older and soon won’t want to vacation with us. Let’s go somewhere cool this year (pending the world not ending because the Cheeto doesn’t like the cut of someone’s jib somewhere in the world).

Make more art

I plan on drawing once a week, with a goal of having 52 finished drawings in 2020. I’m not going to limit myself to only drawing on paper or digitally, anything will do so long as I am drawing. Heck, a good sticky note drawing is better than nothing!

Bonus – Write more

I’d like to write some more blog posts. I used to update this site monthly, if I could even get to quarterly that would be better. Maybe show off some pictures of the family, and post the occasional drawing over here.

At some point writing became work. I enjoy it, but I write over 2000 words a month at Manage Comics, and I write an additional 500-1000 words a month for NorthIQ. I need to get some joy back into writing.


My brother-in-law Chris

My little sister’s husband passed away on Thursday January 31st. I got a call at 7 in the morning from my mom, but my phone was in the basement and I missed it. Char missed a second call, and as I got to my phone my mom’s voice was on the other end saying “Chris is gone”.

Chris was a big guy. Not just big in stature (although he was that), but big in every way you can think.

He had huge hands. Hands that were refined by decades of manual labour, he was a mechanic, and could twist a bolt with ease that would make me give up.

He had a huge presence. He filled a room with his booming voice, and his big personality, but he could also fade into the background and just observe those around him.

He had a huge heart.

It’s no small irony that it was his huge heart which finally gave out.

Unexpectedly at home on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 Chris Fullard passed away.  Beloved husband of Annette Fullard for 16 years. Loving son of the late Liselotte and Anson Fullard.  Loved brother of Maureen Fullard, David and his wife Judy Fullard and Peter and his wife Michelle Fullard.  Dear son in law of Margaret and David Garside. 

Dear brother in law of Brian Garside and his wife Charlene. Loved nephew and Godson of Trudi and John Krebs and family.  Uncle Chris will be fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews and his family at Ken’s Auto Care. 

Visitors will be received at John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo Street, London on Monday evening from 5-8 o’clock.  Funeral Mass will be held at Mary Immaculate Church, 1980 Trafalgar Street, London on Tuesday morning at  11 o’clock.  Interment in St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Donations to the London Health Sciences Foundation – Cardiac Care Program ( would be appreciated.

About Me

My 2018 Review, 2019 Preview

Each year I post a year in review/resolutions blog post. This site is my journal, and I use it to keep track on what past me has done.

Review of 2018, here’s what I said.

  • Get in shape
  • Continue building NorthIQ
  • Build a second saas product
  • Be consistent with Content Marketing
  • Plan some actual vacation time
  • Do more stuff around the house

The Results:

Get in Shape:

Fail. I am in worse shape than I was this time last year, although I weigh less. My biggest problem this year was a health challenge which has only recently been identified as an internal bleed which is causing severe anemia. Luckily this is about to get solved, and after 4 weeks of recovery, I can get back to doing physical activity. This is going to be the year of Self Improvement!

Continue Building NorthIQ:

I’m calling this one a success. While we didn’t double revenue, we did some pretty awesome things, and I wrote a full post about it. Yay NorthIQ, we’ll keep building it, but it is doing very well for itself considering this is only it’s second full year in business.

Build a Second SaaS product

Why build when you can buy? We became Sharpspring resellers in 2018, and have a couple of really great stories to tell about how marketing automation is changing our clients businesses.

Plan some actual vacation time

Success and then some! We took two full weeks off to travel to Nova Scotia, and did a ton of things along the way. I took the better part of a week off late in the fall, and we basically closed the shop down from December 21st on, and the business didn’t fall apart.Schedule vacation week for March

Do more stuff around the house

Success! We completely revamped our first floor, had the entire house painted, and took care of a bunch of little projects around the house.

My 2019 Goals:

  • Take care of my health
  • Take care of our financial health
  • Succession plan for NorthIQ
  • Be more present

I am going to make this simple with four little goals.

1: Take care of my health. Once I am recovered, I am going to get to the gym, and start really focusing on yoga. I need to improve years of flexibility, and repair this aging husk.

2: Take care of our financial health. We are in a good spot, but it could be better. Build and stick to a budget, make a plan to pay down the renovation debt, and create a “rainy day fund”.

3: Succession plan for NorthIQ. This boils down to documentation and figuring out processes for everything. It’s not the sexy stuff that making a website is, but it’s still gotta be done, and 2019 is the year to do it in!

4: Be more present. Yeah, it’s granola-y, but it’s important. My grandfather used to say “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.”, my kids are growing up faster than I can know, and they’re not going to be in the house forever. It’s time to be here when I am here, and work when I am at work.


Development Setup – For Mac OSX High Sierra – 1 of 2

I wrote a guide about this about five years ago – Ruby Newbies – My Ruby on Rails Recipe – but in the meantime, life has changed.  We’re now on OSX High Sierra (about to introduce Mojave, so this will be obsolete in a couple of months), and because of that, everything is different.

Here’s what we are going to cover in this really simple guide.

  • OSX Command Line Tools
  • Installing HomeBrew
  • Installing Zshell
  • Fixing your terminal so you look like you know what you’re doing
About Me

Darkside’s back! How I started loving pro wrestling again

There was a time, where I was kind of a big deal.

I’ve loved wrestling my whole life, it’s been a close one/two between wrestling in comics. My buddy Ryan once walked into my bedroom in college where I had wrestling playing on TV, and I was drawing comics. He said “Dude, you are living your 12 year old self’s dream life!”.

In 1997, I set up a wrestling website on to provide coverage for TSN’s professional wrestling programming. I covered WWF and WCW, occasionally ECW and some independent promotions. As our audience continued to build, I started getting footage from WWF’s developmental group, and I got to follow the earliest appearances by guys like John Cena, Dave Bautista, Shelton Benjamin, and a young man named “Brock Lesnar”.

At one point, my columns were read by over a million people a month.

I was a guest on The LAW, Live Audio Wrestling many times, and I met a young lady named Trish Stratus on that show.

About Me Business

2017 in Review, and 2018 Resolutions

Every year I write a blog post that’s about a review of the previous year, and goals for the current year.

This post is one of the few posts I write every year that is for an audience of one.  They’re for future me, and I post them publicly so I have some accountability, and so that I can reflect on them a few times during the year.

The last two years have been a whirlwind. It has both taken longer to accomplish everything I wanted to do, and yet everything is happening so fast.

In 2017, NorthIQ Business Solutions became NorthIQ Inc., and my business made it through two full years in operation.


How the Royal Bank of Canada – RBC acts completely incompetently


Through the last 12 years I have had four different business banking accounts with RBC.  The first two accounts were prompted by partners who had good experiences with RBC.  In both cases setting up the account caused us problems, but in both cases we were treated incredibly well.  One of those businesses, All New Comics, which I am no longer a part of, has gone on to be very successful, and makes a good amount of money of which RBC benefits from various fees.

When I started my own solo enterprise in 2015, I came to RBC because of the ad campaigns they had created around small business.  I was approved for a $5,000 credit card, and other than a few very minor snags when the account was created (including the naming of the account…something that RBC seems to get wrong regularly), things were mostly good.

This year (2017), I incorporated my business, and went to RBC to create an account.  The first version of this account was built completely wrong, with the account in the numbered corporation’s name, rather than its trade identity. The new corporation was granted a credit card, and when paperwork started rolling in I found out that in addition to the name of the company being wrong, I was also listed as “Mrs Brian Garside”…I assure you I am not a Mrs.

Movies and TV

Wonder Woman the Spoiler Free Review

Wonder Woman is a good movie that suffers from some of the typical issues with DC Comics movies, namely a weak third act and a villain who is simultaneously overpowered and not very well realized.

Overall it’s a good film, and is the best DC Cinematic Universe film to date (this includes Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad).


Adventures in Wrestling – Me and Edge

Back in the late 90’s, I was “’s Darkside” who wrote “Tales from the Darkside” for the second most popular section on…which at the time was I built that bad boy from the ground up, and wrote a ton of awesome articles.

There was a time where I could write something and get a million views in a month. Those were heady, heady days.

Two of my favourite wrestlers, Edge and Christian, have a podcast now – E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness, every week they ask for reader letters, and since I’ve got some fun Edge and Christian stories, I thought I’d send one in.

This is that email.

Our Family

Our Disney Adventure

As our kids have gotten older, we’ve tried to take an annual trip with the kids to make some memories that will last a lifetime. We’ve done a Disney Cruise, a week at a cottage in Kingston, a trip to Las Vegas, and this year we decided we’d do a week at Disney World in Orlando.

We planned things out for a while, and I looked into the best times to visit Disney when the lines would be shortest, and the weather would not be punishing. We settled on the week of April 22nd – 30, and booked a Villa in Florida.  Our condo, the 2100sq foot “Ocean Villa Inn” was listed as minutes away from Disney World with a pool, BBQ, and tons of space.

We decided we would save some money on airfare, and planned to drive down to Florida. We talked with a number of people about the trip, and I got some great recommendations on the cities to stay on the way down.