Who the Hell is Uncle Ray? The Most Delicious Way to Spend Your Father’s Day!

Disclaimer: The team at Uncle Ray’s sent over a Ray’s Backyard Bud & BBQ Kit (minus the Bud) for the Palmers to review. But all thoughts and opinions remain my own, and when I eat meat down to the bone… you know it’s a good sign.


The night before everything went to hell, my friend Gabe and I were supposed to have dinner. With us living on opposite sides of the city, I usually try to find somewhere in the middle to meet up, and this time it was Uncle Ray’s Food & Liquor.

Or rather… we would’ve, but bowed out as the world grew dicier and everyone sent home. But if you’d told me then that our city would shut itself down and we wouldn’t sit in a restaurant proper for months to come, we might’ve reconsidered.

So for a long time, it was a remnant of the world before, one of the things on a long list that we wouldn’t get our hands on for who knows how long.

But in June 2020, that need not be the case, since Uncle Ray’s Food & Liquor has both takeout and delivery options that go perfect with this weather!

Murdered for their Melanin: An Infographic on Black Lives Taken far too Soon.

(Please find the full 5.7 MB version of the infographic for download here.)

So—while it’s good that more of us are getting on board with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, though well-intentioned, not everything necessarily tells the stories they need to when it comes to the Black experience.

Take this meme, for example, which serves as a cry for others to recognise their white privilege and understand why Black people are fighting for their rights:

“I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…
I can go birding (#ChristianCooper).
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
I can go to church (#Charleston9).
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
I can run (#WalterScott).
I can breathe (#EricGarner).
I can live (#FreddieGray).
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED. (#GeorgeFloyd)
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today. EDUCATE YOURSELF AND USE YOUR PRIVILEGE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ALLY.
#BlackLivesMatter”
*I copied and pasted this…please do the same. 🖤

…and that’s a good start. Yes, it gets Botham Jean’s name wrong and confuses parts of Sean Bell’s story with Khiel Coppin’s, but overall, it’s good to raise the awareness.

Except that what’s missing from this meme is the humanity. The stories that make you understand how heinous these killings were, often against Black people who died far too young, too often for no good reason at all. What was missing was context, so I wanted to put together a guide that’d give you a little more information on the names we keep throwing around.

#BlackDadWorries | Worrying About Raising Black Children in a World That Doesn’t Value Them.

Yesterday, thanks to the advice from a friend to save my Instagram story to my profile, I came up with a new hashtag #BlackDadWorries that spells out how I feel in the face of all this death. And death isn’t even calling it what it is—murder, with Black lives continually cut short, and the message made clear: there’s nowhere out there where Black people should reasonably expect to be safe from a world that’s trying to get them.

#BlackDadWorries — My Two Boys in the Kitchen My boys are still young, but they’re growing up quick, developing worlds and lives of their own. And while I’d love just to sit back and let them develop on their own so they can build senses of self in the truest sense of the phrase… the world we live in won’t let me do it. Yes, they’re six and four, but they’re six- and four-year-olds who hear they look “dirty” because their skin is darker. Six- and four-year-olds who hear they’re not white enough to play with other kids. I’d love to take things slow, but their world’s developing quickly, and it makes me wonder when I’ll need to sit them down and tell them what the world’s really like.

Why I Made The Corona Chronicles A Series

Casey's Corona Chronicles — How to Outlast Your Kids in the Midst of a Global Pandemic — Empty Grocery Store Shelves
Is this what the world’s end looks like? Credit to André Proulx.

What do you even write about when the whole world’s burning down? Multibillion-dollar sports empires ended their seasons early. The travel industry shut down in one fell swoop. I didn’t start talking about COVID-19 right away because it was all anyone could talk about, but as soon as we closed schools down for three weeks across Ontario, how could I not?

When I first published The Corona Chronicles on March 13th, though, I was so short-sighted. I called the three-week quarantine “March Br3ak”, thinking this would all somehow resolve itself by April. I didn’t jump on long-term prep right away, figuring I could do some catch-up once things calmed down a bit.

But then our businesses shut down on the 16th. Travel another four days later. We learned that this was no small thing—we needed to learn a “new normal” with a very uncertain future ahead. This was no three-week ordeal.

And as the days dragged on and I kept writing about the experience, it only grew clearer there was more going on than a single post could contain. I needed a full series.

So here, in week eight of The Great Quarantine, I’d like to welcome you to The Corona Chronicles: The Series, where we talk about life as a family in Toronto, trying to stay sane each day as we find new ways to adjust.

I, for one, look forward to returning to some semblance of normal soon, but until we do, you can expect me to keep writing about it.

Be well, everyone, and keep doing what you need to to make it in these times!

Until the next, I remain,

cep wrap-up logo

Casey Palmer x BN3TH Present: How to Dress Your Best When You’ve Got Nowhere To Be.

Question: can you make underwear so comfortable that it barely feels like you’re wearing underwear at all? That’s the question BN3TH hopes to answer!

Casey Palmer x BN3TH Present — How to Dress Your Best When You've Got Nowhere To Be. — Casey with a Superhero Pose in BN3TH Underwear

I first got into upscale underwear in 2012 when I started winning them at tweetups. They were a vast upgrade from the boxers and tighty whities that came before them, and a step closer to becoming the kind of Dad who doesn’t sacrifice style just because the world thinks we should.

See, I want to make fatherhood cool again. Suits, not sweats. Dividends, not debts. Letting our children enhance our lives—not learning to live with regrets.

Popular media’s vilified Dads for who knows how long, and it couldn’t be farther from the truth. We’re not buffoons. We’re not aloof. There’re plenty of Dads putting their hearts, minds and souls into raising great children, and it’s a story we need to dive into far more often. I want to show that we don’t need to exchange the things defining our character to hold up our ends of the parenting bargain—we can kill it and still hit the gym. Or rock a three-piece. Or keep travelling, indulging and enjoying fancy foods without somehow feeling like we’re betraying our kids.

It’s time we shift the narrative around fatherhood, and BN3TH very much agrees.

Nine Things I Learned from the Ninth Dad 2.0!

Nine Things I Learned from the Ninth Dad 2.0! — Casey with Canadian Chips
When you go to Dad 2, come bearing gifts!

The Dad 2.0 Summit is a different kind of conference. Sure, it has many of the moving parts that make a conference a conference, but they all come with a twist that makes them unique. Sponsor presentations like the man who understood how divorce and being there for his daughters made him a better Dad, or the company whose creative director went undercover as a teenage girl to ferret out sexual predators online. Fathers who’d take the stage and share what it’s like to lose a wife to cancer or the things they discover as they think about their children and the lives they lead. Each time someone spoke, it peeled back another layer, leaving hundreds of Dads forever changed by the time they found their ways back home.

But then, one might argue it’s a bit masochistic. That we convened from clear across the continent to face the parts of ourselves we couldn’t share in our everyday lives, and the demons we never seem to shake. That we come out knowing more of the things that go “bump” in the night and the dangers around each corner if we lose sight of our kids for a second. Why would anyone in their right minds want to subject themselves to this?

Because we must. Because it’s all important. And because if we dads with the platforms to share messages to the people who need them most can do a little more today than we could with what we had before Dad 2.0, then why would we not?

Let me show you a little of what Dad 2.0‘s all about.

The Corona Chronicles | Day Four | Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 | You Know I’m Trying to Work Here, Right?

If St. Patrick’s Day happens and everyone forgets that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, did it even really happen?

The funny thing about me forgetting about St. Patrick’s Day, in particular, is that I’d bought a green shirt from UNTUCKit on my recent trip to DC with the express purpose of having something thematic to wear when the day came along.

But COVID-19 changed everything, and I forgot all about it.

It probably has something to do with the childminding not ending up as equitable… or as easy as either of us initially imagined.

The Corona Chronicles | Day Three | Monday, March 16th, 2020 | A Strange and New Normal

And so begins the first day of a strange and new normal.

Casey's Corona Chronicles — Casey Holding Some Toilet Paper

Working from home isn’t entirely new to me—I’m fortunate enough to work for an organisation that values flexibility alongside productivity—but I’ve rarely done it with my kids underfoot, constantly seeking entertainment and asking for something new every five minutes. I don’t quite know what I expected—perhaps that with how well I knew my job, I’d be able to do it all without a problem.

But if this first day was a taste of what things could look like in the weeks ahead… we might be in for a problem.

The Corona Chronicles | Day Two | Sunday, March 15th, 2020 | The Last Days of Normalcy

Day Two had me feeling a bit more like an outdoor cat trapped indoors, clawing away at the screen door for the world he thinks he’s supposed to be in.

Casey's Corona Chronicles — Day Two — Selfie at the Park

The weekend’s over and tomorrow will be the first real taste of just how much the world has changed for many Ontarians. For those of us not working at home, or employed by one of the numerous services already shut down in the province, it won’t be a regular Monday, and will start to set the tone for the next few weeks ahead. But rather than dwell on the negatives and let them burrow deep inside us, we should look at all this as a challenge to our norms, giving us new ways to do the things we’d always taken for granted.

The Corona Chronicles | Day One | Saturday, March 14th, 2020 | So You Find Yourself Under Quarantine…

The Corona Chronicles | Day One | Saturday, March 14th, 2020 | So You Find Yourself Under Quarantine… — Chicken WingsIt’s Day One, and things are still a little surreal. We still went forward with our plans, shopping for furniture and taking a leisurely lunch while our kids’ godmother looked after them at home. We’ve shut down just about anywhere where 250 people or more could gather, but it was clear there’s still several of us not quite ready to shut ourselves off from the world.

This is only short-term, though. The restaurants and small businesses operate in constant fear of a national lockdown, barring doors and keeping everyone at home, so we’d better enjoy it while we can, right? But I’m taking every spare moment I can find to jot some thoughts down, sure they’re a lot better here than jumbled inside of my head.

I think I’m trying to hold on to a sense of normalcy as long as I can, fully aware that it could all get a lot worse before it gets any better. But the most important thing we can do right now is prepare, and that includes what we’ll do while the kids have nowhere to go.