It’s been the hottest minute since I put out a Week That Was, so much so that I needed to roll ’em up into a month’s worth of material to catch up on the stories! A bit of a fail, I admit, but when you’re simultaneously preparing for Christmas, scribing a lively giveaway series, and trying to keep the rest of your life in order, things are gonna fall between the cracks. But with Christmas over and done with and the new year just around the corner, I’m jonesing to start 2016 with a clean slate, taking everything I learned this year to push the blog in exciting directions!
But enough jabbering about the future when you’re here for the past — let’s take a look at my last five weeks and all the antics that took up my time!
Any blogger who writes a post like this asking “Where do I start?” obviously doesn’t store enough of their moments on Google Photos. Scrolling through a quick search of 11/21/2015-12/26/2015 gave me everything I needed, and jeez was it a lot!
Though I don’t quite know how I made it this far through 2015 with my sanity intact, November was closing itself off solidly with events like Read for the Cure courtesy of TELUS (where we sat in the closest possible seats to the authors thanks to their status as Platinum Plus Sponsors and Ian Brown gleefully called my wife a “little shit”*), and emceeing DECA’s Festival of Lights, an annual event in my ‘hood to help ring in the holiday season by lighting the trees on the edge of East Lynn Park. I made a new friend — a potential Dad blogger who was visiting town, and reassured me there’re others out there looking to parent how I parent through an enlightening conversation! I won a FitBit Flex and promptly gave it to a coworker, knowing I couldn’t make as solid use of it as some of my gym-going colleagues could; I succumbed to the hype and tried Hot Star Large Fried Chicken to discover it was little more than that — a bit of pounded white meat covered with tons of breading and even more hoopla; and we continued tradition, getting Little Man a snowboarding Elmo to hang on the tree amongst the various Christmas accessories we’d ordered in to jazz up Casa de Palmer!
November was busy, without a doubt, but there’s no way I was ready for what’d come next.
Perhaps it was out of jealousy or some innate need to compete, but I felt immensely compelled to use my skills to whip together Christmas giveaway that’d show my audience how much I appreciated their patronage over the year! Zach repeatedly warned me to start something like this early to make time for the numerous variables beyond my control, but me — seemingly needing to learn things the hard way — went for it anyway, despite everything else making sure it’d be a December to remember!
I feel like December was but a taste of things to come should CaseyPalmer.com keep growing the way it did through 2015.
The first thing to show up on my doorstep was the Keurig Kold, an interesting device that shows the potential of what we can expect from the future of beverage technology, even if it seems a little peculiar today.
Using a unique cooling system to chill drinks on the spot, the Keurig Kold combines tap water and Coca-Cola-licensed Kold pods to get you the same drinks you’d buy in-store in the comfort of your home!
Some problems, though:
- The thing’s HUGE. Coming in at 26 lbs. and taking up a significant amount of counter space, the Kold isn’t something you use in a modern Toronto condo unless you’re drinking Coke pretty much all the time. But that could be a little difficult considering point #2….
- There’s a high price to pay for convenience. Coming in at $6 for each Kold pod 4-pack, or $1.25 drink, the math just doesn’t add up. Each drink from the Keurig Kold is 237 mL, 100 mL less than what you’d get in a pop can. But a bulk purchase of pop will run you around $9 for 24 cans, or $0.001/mL to the Kold’s $0.005/mL — the Kold pods would need to be near a fifth of their current price to make sense in the soft drink market. The pricing is strange, indeed….
- The world wants too much for what the Kold can offer right now. There’s just too much working against the Keurig Kold — its 2-hour cooling time. The lack of customizability with your beverages like other machines that shall not be mentioned. Limited flavour selection, and how easy it is to waste a pod and your money along with it**! But great ideas need to start somewhere, and the Keurig Kold represents a shift in our thinking for how we get our drinks — now we just need to develop the technology to take us all the way.
So right now, I find the Keurig Kold a little too niche — if you’re looking for a piece that’s more a conversation starter than a money saver, hurray… but that doesn’t quite sound like the audience I know here at CaseyPalmer.com. If you get a chance, do give it a whirl… it’s a pretty cool device (pun not intended, but #SorryNotSorry), and eventually it’ll be the cold drink dispensing machine we deserve… but it’s not the one we need right now***.
On a more serious note, it’s not that often someone pitches me something that appeals to the more foundational parts of my life, like race, values, identity — the kinds of things I want to communicate to my sons as best I possibly can when they’re older.
While we read to Little Man daily, one thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve little to offer from my childhood in the books we choose — I moved on from children’s literature pretty early on, and took little from it with respect to my heritage: in the ’80s, I think Canadian Black parents would be hard-pressed to find any kids’ books speaking on elements from their world!
And that’s why when I got an email about Black Cowboys, I knew I had to have it.
[Tweet “Did you know that over 1/3 of cowboys in the Wild West were Black?”]
Since getting my copy of Kyla Ryman’s Black Cowboys, I’ve read it to our son several times, explaining that while he might not always see it, people who look like Daddy can do — and have done — so many things in this world, and that he should never let anyone tell him any different. At 2, I’m obviously not expecting him to have any sudden epiphanies, but I’m hoping this is the first in a long list of things we can share to let him know a bit about his Dad’s world.
While suffering through bronchitis, I kept busy with plenty of other things that weren’t A Case Cringle Christmas. We held the fourth annual Team Trolling Christmas for my fam away from fam, a nice change from the hectic pace I usually keep for myself as we noshed at Jack Astor’s and stuffed our faces with Marie’s baking in Burlington. In my first event as part of the Netflix Stream Team, I learned to make me some cocktails at NetfliXmas, and finally met the elusive @WhatTheDamn who’d been but a bunch of words on the screen ’til then. I met my boys at TELUS more in the span of a month than I had all summer, Sarah and I stuffed face with ShopBake, and things only got better when The Captain’s Boil opened up the street from my office, adding some new flavour to a culinary neighbourhood that sometimes seemed rather drab. I took family Christmas photos in exchange for Trappist beers, brought the coolest gift at a Kris Kringle with a PocketMonkey, and learned to change my oil all in the name of the #BloggerLife.
All this and we haven’t hit Christmas yet ????
By the time A Case Cringle Christmas even started, everything was in holiday mode, with packages coming in from Cards Against Humanity’s Eight Sensible Gifts for Hanukkah (shout-out to my fellow Canadians who didn’t really contribute to this year’s puzzle); finally finding cause to rock my Hotline Sleigh Bell Ring sweatshirt at seasonal events; and taking little Man to the city’s Christmas offerings like the Distillery District’s Toronto Christmas Market and the Evergreen Brickworks’ Evergreen Winter Village. I stuffed my face — repeatedly — in true holiday fashion, finding myself at Tucker’s Marketplace for my mother-in-law’s birthday; Via Vai for a pre-Christmas catch-up with a colleague; and of course, the countless office potlucks as we celebrate just about everything there is to celebrate in December… by the time we actually got to Christmas, I’m not sure I had anything left to offer my family!
Five Weeks in the Life of Casey Palmer — aka, Why I Should REALLY Write These Posts More Regularly ????
So there you have it — the life and times of Casey Palmer as we close out 2015, wrapped up by the 3 days of Christmas we enjoy every year with events on both sides of the family, including a 97th birthday for Sarah’s grandma! You’d think I’d learn by now that my years rarely go out quietly, but I’m glad to be on the other side of December, ready for whatever may come my way in 2016!
This post took forever to write, but I promised myself I wouldn’t post it ’til it was done. It may take me ages to learn some of life’s most important lessons, but at the very least blogging’s taught me that you’re better off putting all your time into one great post than a hundred you half-ass. That said, there’s so much I’ve yet to do in the new year ahead and I’d love to tell you about it right now — but let’s leave that for tomorrow.
After all — good things come to those who wait!
Thanks, as always, for reading my lengthy thoughts on the world around me, and I’ll be sure to catch you on the flip side!
Until the next,
*I was amused.
**Forget to remove the foil? Pay up. Didn’t put in enough water? Pay up. Keurig, give us some warning — please!
***That reference from The Dark Knight? Never gets old.