How to win at Father’s Day the AIR MILES Way!

People often forget about Father’s Day. You know—that day between Mother’s Day and summer where we celebrate dads with their ceremonial dress shirts and ties.

Well… not anymore.

See—Father’s Day doesn’t have to fall short in the effort department. It doesn’t need to be so routine or predictable. You might think you know everything about dad after all these years, but the man might surprise you! Part of agreeing to do this gig is giving up some of the man you were before, and you eventually forget that guy as you get used to your new normal.

But you can do better – and I have the solution! You can get a gift that truly matches dad, and get some benefits for yourself along the way. Friends—let me introduce you to the world of airmilesshops.ca and the curated Father’s Day Gift Guide that AIR MILES has created to help find that perfect match.

The AIR MILES Father’s Day Gift Guide

Let’s face it—everything’s online these days. You can buy just about anything from one of a million places out there, but that’s also kind of the problem, isn’t it? You use all this time visiting sites. Making comparisons. Trying to find the perfect place to buy from that won’t charge an arm and a leg for shipping.

But with over 200 online retailers to shop from with all sorts of unique gift ideas, the airmilesshops.ca Father’s Day Gift Guide lets you find just the right thing while getting Miles on gifts you’d buy anyways! That’s right—while shopping for others you can get Miles for yourself! I got spoiled with some of these gifts this year, ones that are both practical and personal.

HP Tango Printer – Get 5x the Miles

The HP Tango Printer is an all-in-one device that prints whatever you need, whenever you need, wherever you are – you don’t even need Wi-Fi!. I’m a dad constantly on the go, so being able to have the luxury of last minute prints from my phone is life changing. Not to mention the fact that with a young family, free space in our home is a commodity. So having a more compact tool that makes my life easier is a win-win!

Lenco L30 Turntable – Get 5x the Miles

The Lenco L30 Turntable has stirred up feelings of both nostalgia and curiosity in my house this Father’s Day, letting me revisit all the records I’d forgotten about while introducing my sons into the world of vinyl. Music is a big deal to me, and being able to share this new experience with my children is better than any gift I could have imagined.

So if you’re on the hunt for something unforgettable this Father’s Day, make sure to check out airmilesshops.ca—trust me; your dad will thank you!

Good luck, fellow shoppers, and until the next, I remain,

–case p.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 — Day 4 — Get a Check-Up from the Neck Up!

So for anyone who doesn’t know it already, I’m one of the eleven digital ambassadors for Children’s Mental Health Ontario, doing what we can to shed light on children’s mental health in our province and all the stories that come with it. I’ve been at it for a little while now, joining their #kidscantwait Twitter chats, supporting fellow ambassadors’ initiatives, and steadily learning more about the many faces mental health has out there in the world.

But why do I do it?

This is Why I’m a Children’s Mental Health Ontario Ambassador.

Admittedly, my interactions with mental health issues have been scarce. I did suffer a nervous breakdown at sixteen because I never learned how to say “no”. And it took me years to get over my shame of not succeeding at private school, but I eventually understood I had to have that experience to set me down the path I’m walking now.

But it’s not a path I’d ever want my kids to travel themselves.

I already see the sparks of intelligence in my boys, understanding things about the world around them at a far earlier age than I expected—but I’m not trying to push them.

For better or worse, my generation grew up in a culture of perfection. Our emotions weren’t in the equation—our parents raised us for performance, our lives graded on a pass/fail scale.

But that’s not how it works with kids today, with mindfulness exercises in kindergarten and toddler yoga in daycare. I’m seeing that—in the school system, at least—mental health is working itself into the conversation, wanting our kids to be happy instead of “successful“.

And I’m all for it. Things like being an ambassador for Children’s Mental Health Ontario let me invest in my children’s futures, if not financially, then by pushing the ideas that help shape the world I want to see them in—a better one than the one we have today.

But that’s just my story—my ten peers had very different reasons for joining the #kidscantwait movement.

And Laurie McCann, amongst other reasons, is in it for the sake of her daughter.

Laurie McCann and Why Our Children’s Mental Health Matters.

Laurie McCann—mom, anti-bullying advocate, and Toronto police officer—faced children’s mental illness head-on when her daughter started suffering mental illness at an early age. And the question she had to ask herself was this—where would she find the help she needed in a world that didn’t value children’s mental health issues the same way it did with the physical ones?

Laurie put it well:

“If you walked into a doctor’s office and said, I need to see a doctor about a broken arm, they are not going to tell us to come back in eight to 12 months, they’re going to help you. But when your child has a mental health crisis, they are like…well… we can’t fit you in until six months down the road, and that’s not helping anybody.”

No—what Laurie and so many other parents’ stories go to show you is that we’ve still got a very long way to go, and with any luck, these interviews can play a role in moving our children’s mental health care system in that direction.

So without further ado, here’s the Chatting with Casey Children’s Mental Health Week special, Day Four: Get a Check-Up from the Neck Up—a chat with Laurie McCann.

I hope you enjoy it!

And that’s it for this one—when we unify our voices, our messages are louder and more likely to be heard! You too can join the #kidscantwait movement, but for the meantime, be well out there!

Until the next, I remain,

–case p.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, March 2019 — Consistently Inconsistent

As I hustle to consolidate my ideas in one place, I can’t help but look back on the year so far and how much I’ve accomplished in the process. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to slow things down and take some time to let things simmer, but it hasn’t been that kind of year—I’m finally getting my act together, and I know it won’t happen overnight.

The Quest to Make EXCELLENT Content.

I’m convinced I’m on to something, trying to mine the very best content from the hundreds of ideas I have scattered about, but I need to be patient with it all because amazing content can’t be rushed.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Our standards have plummeted in the hunt for quick content, too many creators looking for ways to game the system instead of actually innovate. We try hard to mimic others’ successes rather than look to forge our own paths, confused when it doesn’t work for us as well as it did for the last guy. And that’s a damn shame in a world craving better content than ever.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, March 2019 — Consistently Inconsistent — Current Shot of Casey

So sure—I’m a bit behind with my posts. But it’s because I want to create something the calibre of which the world rarely sees—I’m consistently inconsistent, but when I put work out, I want it to be amazing.

That in mind, let’s not dawdle any longer. You came here to see where I’m at with my second monthly update, and I’m more than happy to oblige. Without further ado, I present The State of the #BloggerLife, March 2019—”Consistently Inconsistent”.

I hope you enjoy it!


The 2019 200 Monthly Update — February

Zach put it best—with any to-do list, it’s only human to do the easy stuff first for that rush of accomplishment and leave the harder stuff for later. And that’s precisely what happened with The 2019 200, getting so much done in January that I was on track to finish the list by September.

But reality eventually catches up to you, and as you struggle to make everything fit, you soon understand what’s actually possible with the time you have and what’s just wishful thinking.

So for February, amidst Live from the 3.5 and everything I got up to for Black History Month, here’s what I managed to accomplish amidst all the chaos….

Destroy and Rebuild — or — How to Have Your Digital Cake and Eat it, TOO.

I know many bloggers who make their reputation in a specific genre based more on their interaction with people via Twitter and at parties than by actually writing blog posts.

A friend who doesn’t fit this scenario at all has a saying… ‘I’m not a blogger I just talk a lot’. What’s strange about that saying is that he best describes the so-called ‘famous bloggers’ more than he describes himself. The dude actually has good content and  close to 700 blog posts over nearly five years!

…[Casey] lives the dream family- and job-wise but still finds time to fork out nearly a blog a week. I’m pretty sure he’s Clark Kent by day and the Superman of the blogs by night. But as his quote goes, he obviously feels that the words aren’t enough.”

— Eric Freedlander, “When the Words Weren’t Enough We Had Milk

It’s been half a decade since my buddy Eric wrote these words about me, but they’ve only grown truer over time. The fam’s grown bigger. The job more complex. I’m still churning content on the daily.

But though the hustle’s still real, a lot changes over time—let me tell you a bit about what my #BloggerLife’s like today.

DESTROY | Blogging Ain’t Like It Used To Be.

It’s been a long time since what I do was “just blogging”. I’ve obsessively raised the bar time and time again since the turn of the decade, seeing the brand evolve into something unrecognisable from its beginnings. I swapped consistency out for quality and socialising out for scribing. I needed to see how high I could reach before I closed this chapter of my life.

But this gig ain’t easy.

DESTROY | You Can’t Do the Same Thing Forever and Expect the Same Results.

Anthony Sistilli put it well when he shared his story of mastering StarCraft II on Medium. His take on his journey was this:

“Breaking my plateaus felt like rebuilding myself from scratch… [t]here were cracks in my foundation, gaps in my understanding, and a lot of things that needed refining. I had to reinvent the way I played. In order to go higher I had to break it down and rebuild it up again.”

When you stop feeling like you’re growing, it’s time for some serious self-evaluation, and figure out whether you’re doing the things you should be doing.

#100HappyDays — Day 16 — Pink Shirt Day — Casey Palmer

And Anthony’s right—there are so many of us who’ve been at this since forever, but we haven’t made it big because we haven’t tapped into what makes each of us unique and stand out from the crowd.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, February 2019: Do Less Better.

One thing I’ve been particularly horrible at is learning to say “no”.

The Long Road to Becoming a Better Blogger

They say hindsight’s 20/20, and if my old report cards are an indication of anything, the people around me could see I was sowing the seeds to my destruction long before I could.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, February 2019 — Do Less Better. — The Pile of Work

We all know there’re only twenty-four hours in a day, but I’ve been working to optimise every minute of my days since I was twelve. I could sleep when I was dead—I had too many ideas and a plethora of interests; it was all about the short-term pain for the long-term gain, and I was confident that I’d reach the day where I wouldn’t need to work so hard anymore.

But it’s been more than twenty years of sleepless nights and wishful thinking since, and I’m still not quite so sure when I’ll figure it all out.

I mean, the question is this—how do you succeed with your content when you can’t make it your everything?

How the Electrical Safety Authority Will Help Power Your Home!

Part of me knows that my kids have no idea of how good they’ve got it. Plenty of things they have today would seem like space-age technology when I was their age in the ’80s. The shows you want to watch, whenever and wherever you want to watch them. Literally the entire collected knowledge of humanity available in your pocket. Or how about the ability to summon just about any song ever released just by shouting at a tiny little robot?

Smart home tech has truly made a world that gives my family more convenience than we know what to do with it all.

But all that convenience doesn’t come without a cost.

How the Electrical Safety Authority Will Help Power Your Home! — Home Entertainment System

When we think of smart home tech, the obvious concerns come up—privacy concerns with hackers always around causing trouble. Or concern over what your kids will discover by accident without the proper parental controls in place. But the one thing we never think about is the safety you need with smart tech, with so many of us consumers woefully underqualified to know what we need to do to get it right.

Black Fridays 0001 — Every Black ‘You’re Not Black Enough’ is a White ‘You’re All The Same’.

Staying on my me ████, but hated on by both sides
I’m just a kid who blowing up with my father’s name
And every black “you’re not black enough”
Is a white “you’re all the same”

— Childish Gambino, “That Power”, Camp (2011)


I’m not the brother you want, but I’m the one you’ve got right now.

Fear of a Black Story

Sometimes I wonder if we even want something like Live from the 3.5.

It’s been a challenging month—February often is. Horrible weather. Journeys in and out of town. A death in the family and people looking to make things really difficult for me at the 9-5.

The way it is now, I might not be the right guy for Live.

Beyond Black History Month

Black Fridays 0001 — Every Black 'You're Not Black Enough' is a White 'You're All The Same'. — Casey Unimpressed

The older I get and the longer I keep creating content, the more realistic I get about it all. Most of the people who used to just dabble in this found other things to do with their time, like pursuing careers or raising kids. And most of the creators around me today treat content as their full-time gig, choosing the potentially lucrative influencer life over office job drudgery or raising kids. The choices I’ve made—and still make—set me apart from many others, both in how unique my lifestyle is, and also the work I need to do to keep it all going.

Which is all a long way of saying Live from the 3.5 isn’t the kind of project you plan overnight. In fact, if I wanted to do it in 2020 without a hitch, I’d probably need to start planning it today, making room for all the stuff that’ll inevitably pop up over the year.

No—if I want to continue with this project, I’ll need to make some changes: do it in a way that’s reasonable for my life and doesn’t have me scrambling each year.

And so I have a little proposition—instead of trying to shove this all into a single month each year and working well beyond my capacity already strained at the seams, why don’t we just do away with Black History Month altogether and celebrate our community every day of the year?

Lord knows our country needs it.

Live from the 3.5, 2019 — Chapter 3: “Where You From?” — Why ‘Black Canadian’ isn’t JUST ONE THING.

“You think we all Jamaican, when nuff man are Trinis
Bajans, Grenadians and a hole heap of Haitians
Guyanese and all of the West Indies combined
To make the T dot O dot, one of a kind”

— Kardinal Offishall, “BaKardi Slang”, Firestarter, Vol. 1: Quest for Fire (2000)

It took a long time for me to understand that all Black Canadians don’t act like Jamaicans do. Yes, we might make up a good chunk of Black Canadians (25.8% of them), and Jamaicans are who I mostly grew up around, but we’re far from all that Black Canada has to offer.

A Culture of People from Every Which Place

Live from the 3.5, 2019 — Chapter 3 — "Where You From?" — Why 'Black Canadian' isn't JUST ONE THING. — Black_Canadians_at_Queens_Park_(detail)
Detailed Photo of a Group of Blades at Queens Park | Source

You won’t get a complete picture of the Black Canadian population by studying the list of ethnic origins from the 2016 Census, but it lists about twenty different Caribbean roots and sixty across Africa—there’s a whole world of Black people beyond the ones occupying 10,992 square kilometres in the western Caribbean.

With so much diversity in our population, one could almost say it’s justified—curious Black and non-Black Canadians alike asking where you’re from not as where you currently live in the Great White North, but from where your lineage came from before.

Live from the 3.5, 2019 — Chapter 3 — "Where You From?" — Why 'Black Canadian' isn't JUST ONE THING. — montego-bay-painting-landscape-in-jamaica
A painting of a Jamaican landscape. Source

But that question’s not as simple as it seems since not all Black Canadians showed up so recently.

Yes, the 1976 Immigration Act opened the floodgates, allowing for more Black Canadians than ever before, but long before that, Black Americans fled here to seek refuge from the persecution and discrimination down south, and we shouldn’t readily forget that. They didn’t arrive to a perfect existence, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve been here as their part of our national fabric for as long as Canada’s been around—so when you ask where they’re from, the only answer is here.

Live from the 3.5, 2019 — Chapter 2: Being Black in the Great White North

We don’t talk a lot about Black Canadian history, and that’s probably because so much of it was so horrible.

We had segregation. Just look at Viola Desmond, convicted after refusing to leave a whites-only area of the Roseland Theatre in 1946. And though we shake our finger at the United States and their centuries-long enslavement of Black people, we were doing the same thing in Canada for just about as long—the only difference is that Canada hadn’t established itself yet as the country we know today. No—Canada isn’t quite the utopia we make it out to be for its 1.2 million Black Canadians, but we work hard to thrive with the little bit we’ve got.

A Quick Idea of What it’s Like to be a Minority with a Loose Idea of their Identity.

Born and raised just outside of Toronto, Canada—our most populous city with the largest concentration of Black Canadians—I grew used to the idea that I wouldn’t see myself represented in the world around me.

It’s probably better now, but back in the ’90s, being Black and smart just drew comparisons with Steven Q. Urkel. And I’d argue that before we became more Americanized with a basketball team, access to BET and the meteoric rise of Drake, we struggled to find an identity that worked past our discrete pasts into something decidedly “Black Canadian”. We had Caribana. The various neighbourhoods we made our own. But we also had limitations on our educational and work experience from abroad. And continual discrimination from those wary of giving up their way of life. This country’s not only made it tough for Black Canadians to find themselves, but also to get ahead and redefine themselves.

But it’s not all bad.

Live from the 3.5, 2019 — Chapter 2 — Being Black in the Great White North — Casey and His Brothers as Youths

With Black Canadians holding down five of the 338 seats in the House of Commons (1.5%), six of the 124 seats in Ontario’s Parliament (4.8%), and one of the 25 seats in Toronto’s city council (4%), we’re starting to see representation. Sure, we’re not at every table. We often feel ignored. But, we’ll never be heard if we give up.

There’s no magic solution to make being Black in Canada any easier, but at the very least we’re building the stage for a future where little Black boys and girls can dream bigger than they ever have before.

Live from the 3.5, 2019 — Chapter 1: What IS Blackness, Exactly?

Am I Black enough?”

Blackness — More than just Melanin

Those who’ve followed my podcast Chatting with Casey from its very first episode know that this isn’t the first time I’ve asked this question.

If you considered the archetypal Black man you know from popular media—rocking an oversized hoodie; listening to rap music full-blast; and having a deep affection for curvaceous women, basketball and ballin’ outta control—not only would you fail to capture what my Blackness means to me, but you’d entirely miss the point of why we’re doing this in the first place.

What IS Blackness, Exactly — Black_Canadians_at_Queens_Park
Group of Blades at Queens Park | Source

Every Black person I know has had to come to terms with what Blackness means to them in their own way. There’s no unifying guide to being Black like what the Bible does for Christianity or the Quran for the Muslim faith. We use it as an identifier for our culture, but Black literature could mean books from the Congo to St. Vincent and back. It’s an oft-debated and loosely defined term, but we all understand what we mean when we say it.