What I Want This Father’s Day — A Selfish Father’s Day Gift Guide by Casey E. Palmer

As a Dadfluencer who’s worked hard to tell a fatherhood story that stands on its own, Father’s Day is a time of year where a lot of people reach out to see what a Dad like me would like to see when I wake up Sunday morning.

Now I’m not an easy guy to shop for—as a Buy it for Life-type, I’ve scaled down to owning things I actually use.

But it’s not impossible. There are still things I use up. There are things I need to upgrade as my needs and understanding of the things I need continue to evolve. So this list isn’t just what’s new or what’s hot—it’s a take on what can help your Dad be even better than he is today without needing to go bankrupt in the process.

Thanks, Bell, I’m Done: Why Shortchanging Your Customers with Inferior Service is NEVER the Way to Go.

A system outage is one thing when you’re trying to binge a series or catch up on the latest episode.

But when it makes you miss out on a moment in Canadian history because their infrastructure can’t keep up? That, my friends, as they say, is some bullshit.

For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing what a very expensive screw job feels like, Bell’s Fibe Alt-TV service crapped out on its thousands of customers not only once during the 2019 NBA Finals, but twice. The first time was in Game 5 with forty-odd seconds left on the clock, leaving us scrambling to find out whether our Toronto Raptors won their first NBA title or not, and leaving us saying “Well, at least it wasn’t the game winner!”

Yeah… well, we shouldn’t have held our breath for Game 6.

Fool Me Once…

I only have a vague idea how the Raptors won because I had Sportsnet’s live tracker running on my iPad, but with four minutes left in the game, Fibe Alt-TV crapped out yet again, making us piece the action together through pirate streams, social media and whatever other info we could find.

As I write this, I hear all the honking, cheering and fireworks outside, a city awash with joy after twenty-four years of waiting, the true fans redeemed for all their patience. But seeing Kawhi Leonard’s free throws after the fact just wasn’t the same. Missing Van Vleet’s critical three. I wanted to be there with the millions of other Canadians on the edge of their seats for our time to shine, but I missed it for what? Unexpected server load? Untested fibre optic technology? For someone who’s only been a Bell customer a few months, it makes me wonder what our future relationship has in store.

So, Bell, what do we do? Do I find a service that’s more reliable? Do we make services cheaper since they’re not performing as advertised? Either way, friends, we’ve gotta do better.

Sincerely, your very disappointed customer,

–Casey Palmer

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.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 — Day 3 — Toronto Isn’t Everything: Mental Health Across the Province

Children’s mental health’s about more than just the stats.

The People Behind the Numbers — Canada’s Children’s Mental Health Stories

While we do talk about mental health now more than ever, with many of us, the conversation goes as far as sharing a post once a year and calling it a day.

But it’s about so much more than that. There are people behind the stats — people suffering from mental illnesses who have friends and families who care about them. There’s a whole world of untold stories out there about children’s mental health, and we hope that through this work for Children’s Mental Health Week, we can start to change that.

And sharing these stories is essential—in some parts of our province, children and youth wait upward of eighteen months for treatment for the problems they face today. The community-located mental health centres can’t keep up with the ever-growing problem—with suicide as the second-most cause of death for children and youth in Canada; inaction can prove fatal.

Kim Moran, CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, puts it well:

“There are long wait lists across the province for child and youth mental health which is placing a strain on mental health service providers, hospitals, and the families turning to them for care…immediate and increased investments towards the support of young people with mental illness are needed. We can’t continue with the status quo.”

In short, it’s important that we do what we can to bring about some much-needed change… and it usually starts with a conversation.