The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, September 2018 — Go Out with a BANG.

The hardest part of creating great content is figuring out where all the pieces go.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, September 2018 — Go Out with a BANG. — LEGO Pieces

The job of a great storyteller is creating a compelling narrative from beginning to end. No fluff to lose your audience’s attention. No ambiguity so they miss the point. A great storyteller uses every tool at their disposal to tell tales that stay with people long after they hear them.

And it’s rare—with blogging, most creators only think a post at a time. They pat themselves on the back for a job well done when they knock a story out of the park.

But there’s a much bigger story at hand—that massive overarching story that started when you shared your very first piece of content with the world and that you’re still developing even as you hustle today.

Maybe it was when you first became a parent and started jotting all your thoughts as your whole world changed around you. For others, it’s that proud moment they finally start a business and begin changing their destinies.

But for me, it goes back earlier still—to my first days as a writer in the ’90s when I wrote short stories and novels as a teenager. I didn’t know then what I know now—that it was the start of a story more than twenty years in the making. One that’d show me where I need to go next.

Get Your Kids’ Brains to Connect with LeapFrog and VTech!

Back when I got ready for school after the summer break, it was flash cards and workbooks to get me back in the swing of things.

Get Your Kids' Brains to Connect with LeapFrog and VTech! — The LeapFrog LeapStart 3D Ready to Go!

I’m about to sound like my Dad, but—these kids don’t know how good they have it!

While I didn’t need to walk miles uphill to and from school or forage through the woods with my bare hands for dinner, technology has come a long way in the last few decades!

There’s so much that can distract my kids now. With so much going on, it can be hard for them to learn the skills they should be learning, like reading, counting, and how to tell time on their own.

But just as the Kidibuzz gave my eldest a taste of what it’s like to have his own phone, VTech/Leapfrog came back with a few more tricks up their sleeves to get your little ones ready for September!

Making Kitchen Chores a BREEZE with the Power of LG! — How the LG InstaView Door-in-Door Refrigerator and LG QuadWash Steam Dishwasher Help You Make the MOST of Your Time in the Kitchen!

You know you’re getting older when you start having appliance envy.

Making Kitchen Chores a BREEZE with the Power of LG! — Rick Campanelli Showing Off the LG QuadWash Steam Dishwasher

As a kid, all you want are toys. Household management? A foreign concept. The multiple bits and pieces to do well at adulting? You completely take it for granted. Childhood’s a simpler time with simpler desires, and it only takes plastic, lights and music to keep you going.

But things get a bit more complicated as you grow up. Whether you invest in a home or start your own family, toys eventually don’t mean what they did as you fill your life with genuinely invaluable things, and you’ll soon do just about anything to protect them.

Which itself takes a ton of time and energy. You cook, you clean and take care of everything that matters to you, but why should being responsible mean not having the time to enjoy it?

The very question that LG’s looking to solve with its line of stellar appliances.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, August 2018 — In the Belly of the Beast

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, August 2018 — In the Belly of the Beast — Casey at JapanQuakeTO
Photo courtesy of Chris Luckhardt.

I told myself that once I made my way through my never-ending pile of paper, I’d get myself a Nintendo Switch with the latest Mario and Zelda games to reward myself for all the hard work. Which is great, because getting months ahead in my content by getting all of this done is the only way I’d find the time to play them.

But if you’re new around these parts, my problem with paper’s not entirely new.

It’s not the paper itself that’s the problem—I’m my most creative when I write things out by hand—but all that creativity leads to a ton of unfinished ideas, piling up to the sky as they await the finishing touches that’ll let me share them with the world! I’ve kept a high standard for my work—easy wins like question posts and blindly following trends isn’t my style… I’m trying to create content that’ll forever outlast me. We’re in a world right now where few want to invest in anything needing more than a few minutes of their time, but I’d rather not sell my soul for the sake of popularity.

There’re bigger prizes at hand.

This IS Toronto. What Do We DO About It?

I was driving the five minutes home from dropping off a friend as I saw several police cars zoom by westbound in front of me—we’re just one street away from the Danforth. I was woefully unaware of what was happening only five minutes away. Unaware, that is until the messages started pouring in.

Please tell me you don’t live here!”

“Are you okay???”

“This happened just five minutes from us!”

This IS Toronto. What Do We DO About It? — Baby Palmer on the Danforth

When we think of violence in Toronto, Greektown—the bustling stretch of the Danforth known for its family-friendly nightlife and generational communities—is not what comes to mind.

Though we can say the same for an angry young man running pedestrians down in a van in North York or a gunfight breaking out in the city’s busiest mall. Sadly, Toronto’s no stranger to violence—it’s just rare that it hits so close to home.

But let me explain to anyone who doesn’t live here why this is so surprising.

See What a CREATIVE Kid Does with the VTech KidiBuzz!

So I don’t know about you, but my kids always want to do what I’m doing. They want to drink from my cup, even when it’s the same juice in their cup. They want to dress like I do, going as far as borrowing my security pass from work to pretend they’re doing my job and working at my office. And of course, since I’m often typing away on my computer at home, they too want devices they can play on. And even though they sometimes get tablets to watch videos and play games on lengthy road trips, the number of times I’ve helped a whiny child because an accidental tap changed screens or made the movie “go away” is countless. Plus, your device might not be safe for them to use with your videos and internet cookies on them!

If we’re going to give our kids devices, wouldn’t it be nice to have ones tailored to their interests so we can feel secure knowing they’re not experiencing anything they shouldn’t?

With this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to the VTech KidiBuzz — the device that’s made for fun and made for kids!

The VTech KidiBuzz — The Device That’ll Give Your Kid’s Creativity the Tools it Needs!

Make GREAT Plans at Canada’s Wonderland!

It’s when you’re a little kid that Canada’s Wonderland most truly lives up to its name. With a park full of surprises they’ll experience for the very first time, you’ll have them wanting a second visit in no time.

Dear Canada’s Wonderland — Hey there, it’s been a while!

Make GREAT Plans at Canada's Wonderland — A Relaxing Time on Swan LakeLet me paint a picture for you—before this summer, it’d been a good decade since I’d been to Wonderland. I went plenty of times as a kid, but one grows up and starts seeking out different thrills in their life. I wanted to travel. Eat fine foods. Do things that mere mortals could only dream of. There was too big a world to stay satisfied with what was in my own backyard.

But that’s how life is, right? It goes in cycles—the things that once thrilled us as kids lose lustre as we grow older, and then it takes so much more to light our spark.

And then it all changes when you have kids.

Score 76 points in Scrabble with “Ophthalmologist” — The Canadian Ophthalmological Society: See the Possibilities

If I asked most of you what an ophthalmologist does, I’d likely see a lot of blank stares. (Some ocular humour for you there!) But you wouldn’t be alone. Despite a family history of glaucoma, it honestly wasn’t clear to me, either. I mean, I know what my optometrist does—I stop in every couple of years, make sure my eyesight’s still good, and fill a prescription for my latest pair of specs.

But my eyes aren’t all that bad—at -2.00 each, I can live most of my day without wearing my glasses, preferring to have them on for fashion over function. But what about those who aren’t so lucky? Consider the cornea, the transparent dome that covers the front of the eye. With the most densely integrated set of nerves in the body, the cornea requires an immense degree of precision and symmetry to fix it if it ever ends up diseased, and that’s where ophthalmologists come in!

As the only eye care professionals who are also medical doctors, ophthalmologists help navigate Canadians through numerous eye diseases that they’re woefully unaware of. I recently had the chance to scrub in and shadow Dr. Clara Chan, an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto, a specialist in cornea and cataract surgery, and a member of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society who opened my eyes to what ophthalmologists get up to at Toronto’s Kensington Eye Institute!

Score 76 points in Scrabble with “Ophthalmologist” — The Canadian Ophthalmological Society See the Possibilities — Surgery

When I told some of my peers I’d be sitting in on some cross-linking and cornea transplant surgery; it left them with mixed feelings!

I’m not a gambling man, but I’d wager scalpels and sutures are some of the last things that come to mind when you think of bloggers, yet there I was, watching as tissue donation helped restore sight and cross-linking helped maintain it. Sure, it was an experience that might not be for the squeamish, but I have so much more appreciation for why we need ophthalmologists now! Imagine having to sew stitches with sutures one-tenth the width of human hair. Or needing to slice just enough of the cornea off to improve vision and not inflict permanent damage by preserving the remaining half-millimetre of tissue. These are things ophthalmologists need to do every day, and I’m glad that we have such skilled and adept professionals at the helm for this work!

Chatting with Casey 0008 — We Are the Sum of Our Experiences

It’s no secret that I’m busy. If I didn’t have Sarah and the kids to keep me grounded, I’d likely spend every waking moment thinking about content, always trying to find the best ways to tell the next story. But with all this thinking going on, people often wonder how I find time for it all. Where did I pick my skills up? How do I find guests for my podcast? How do I keep from falling apart?

The answer, my friends, is through Facebook Groups.

Facebook Groups are where I find my people. They’re where I learn. Many of the contacts I have and much of what I know today is because someone in the many groups I belong to pointed me in the right direction. And it’s through a group for podcasters who’re also Dads that I learned about Ricky Shetty‘s new book. 

Ricky Shetty — Author, World Traveller and One of Canada’s Original Dad Bloggers

Chatting with Casey 0008 — We Are the Sum of Our Experiences — Ricky Shetty Head Shot

Ricky and I have known each other at least peripherally for some years now—since branding himself as Canada’s premiere Daddy Blogger at the turn of the decade, it was tough to not enter the arena myself without knowing who he was. But it wasn’t until last year where we’d finally cross paths for his Digital Nomad Mastery channel to discuss Dad Blogging and everything that comes with it! (I’ll link it in the show notes, but I hope you’re ready for some crappy pre-Casey knowing what he’s doing headphone built-in microphone audio!) So we’d connected, but we didn’t speak a whole lot after that, because after all, Ricky’s travelling the world.

And that, my friends, is perhaps the most essential part of this entire story—Ricky, with his lovely wife Anne and their three young children, is aiming to become the first family to have visited everySingleCountry.

THIRTY-FIVE: Just Trying to Thrive!

Thirty-five—it doesn’t feel like a big deal, but it sure sounds like one.

THIRTY-FIVE — Just Trying to Thrive! — Baby Casey

I’ve made birthdays a bit of a non-event for myself since having kids. It isn’t me being “emo” about it as Sarah surmised last year when she planned out a wonderful surprise dinner with my family, but the exact opposite.

I’m not who I thought I’d be at 35, living a regular life and working a regular job. Somehow I’ve managed to build this world around me that has excitement at every turn, and though it takes a lot to keep it going, I never question whether I’m living life to the fullest. I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose every day, getting more done some days than others.

And that’s why I didn’t make a big deal about my birthday—because it was just another day celebrating my life like I do every day.

But 35 isn’t just about turning 35—there’s an entire year ahead looking to see what I can do!