“How My Ford Edge Got its Groove Back” — A Short Film by Casey Palmer x Armor All Canada

With 6 months of parenting and 3 years of marriage under my belt, there’s a new Casey Palmer coming out to play, taking care of all the things you couldn’t pay me enough to do as a child. The Casey who’s  learned to man up and do the things necessary to take care of his family, whether it’s  traversing an ice-covered Toronto to pick up a new glider; converting my office into a nursery; or the various lessons one learns when they become a father.

There’s only one Casey who could fill these very big shoes without tripping — Domestic Casey.

Last summer, that very same Casey bought his very first vehicle with his wife, knowing despite living in a city whose transit system connects everything, a baby on the way changed the game, and we weren’t about to brave the rush hour sardine can subway rides with a stroller. G2 in my wallet and a 2011 Ford Edge on the driveway, those wheels came with a new sense of freedom, giving me access to experiences I’d never have otherwise.

But that freedom comes with a price.

Vehicle ownership comes with general upkeep, annual maintenance, hidden costs, mistakes that make you wish you’d read the manual, and mechanics that make you wish you’d got a second opinion. If you want your wheels to last, you’ve gotta take care of them, and that’s where Armor All reached out to lend me a hand!

Because Spring Cleaning

It’s not as bad as it looks…

In the 10 months since our purchase, not once did we wash the Edge — in fact, Sarah said that washing the car is husband work! (Though, she also says that changing the baby, taking the trash out; doing the dishes, mowing, mopping, sewing, vacuuming, dusting, grocery shopping, cooking, ironing and gardening, so….)

We kept it clean all that time, initially refusing to eat inside; with no indoor parking, we let the rain do its work; and when we suffered through The Endless Winter, all the salt and sleet and slush and snow made for considerable foes against a freshly-washed ride and its glistening exterior. If Armor All hadn’t reached out, who knows when I would’ve gotten to it!

But get to it I finally did, with the help of Armor All’s Spring Cleaning Kit as part of the Armor All Spring Kick Off Challenge. The tools they sent included:

  • An Armor All Wash Bucket
  • An Armor All Car Vacuum Cleaner
  • A Microfiber Towel Pack
  • A Car Wash Mitt
  • An Armor All Soft Storage Caddy
  • A Multi-function Emergency Tool (to keep in your car)
  • These Armor All Products:
    • Trim & Plastic Restorer
    • Premium Wash & Wax + Protect
    • Clean-up Mini Can Wipes
    • Auto Glass Cleaner
    • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
    • Disinfecting Wipes
    • Pure Linen Protectant
    • Air fresheners

I’d forgotten to mention that my ride’s got leather seats, though, so I hit up Canadian Tire and added these to the mix:

  • Armor All Leather Wipes
  • Armor All Leather Care Gel

No doubt, though, I had quite the job on my hands! 10 months of everything Toronto weather had to offer and driving the Edge all the way to northern Quebec and back, it was time to give it a little TLC as a sign of thanks!

So without further ado, here’s “How My Ford Edge Got its Groove Back”, a short film presented by Casey Palmer and Armor All Canada!

How My Ford Edge Got its Groove Back

  1. Hose car down to rid yourself of all that icky dirt and grime that’s built up for almost a year
  2. Fill Armor All Wash Bucket with water (water not included by Armor All, obviously)
  3. Put some Armor All Premium Wash & Wax + Protect in the water to make a smooth mixture for scrubbing the car down
  4. Wash the car using a car wash mitt, applying the soapy mixture in smooth, circular motions worthy of Mister Miyagi’s teachings (Cobra Kai’s got nothing on my Edge!)
  5. Rinse the body off for a nice sheen, using some microfiber towels to dry it off
  6. Take that Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner to clean those mirrors and windows, so you can see how filthy the interior is
  7. To correct this, plug that Armor All Vacuum Cleaner into one of your DC outlets (my 2011 Edge has four) and revel in how much suction power it has! Vacuum all interior carpets and mats liberally — they really need it!
  8. Take those mats out and spray them down! We’re trying to be thorough here, people!
  9. Use the Armor All Trim and Plastic Restorer on both the inside and outside to bring some lustre back to all those parts that aren’t chromed out
  10. Scrub the heck out of your carpet and upholstery with the Armor All Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner to get at the dirt that’s soaked deep into the fabrics
  11. Spray some of that Armor All Pure Linen Protectant on your dashboard to get rid of all the dust that’s making it look ages
  12. Hey look, you did a great job with all that cleaning! Take a victory selfie!
  13. Keep your Clean-Up Mini Can Wipes, Air Fresheners, Disinfecting Wipes and Multi-Function Emergency Tool (and Armor All Leather Wipes) in the car just in case you need ’em (because sprills, thrills and all sorts of other accidents can go down in a moving vehicle!)
  14. Put everything else away in your Armor All Soft Storage Caddy to clean again another day!

Or if you’re more of a visual learner, here. I put a little animation together for you…

Cleanin’ ain’t easy!

What a workout!

You Too Can Armor All it Up!

“Bling bling — every time I roll around the city, bling bling!”
— B.G., “Bling Bling”, Chopper City in the Ghetto (1999)

It took 3 hours, 700 photos and at least 30 plays of Drake’s “Worst Behavior” to keep me going, but I eventually got ‘er done and it was quite the sight to behold!

If you’re lucky enough to own a set of wheels, you’ve gotta take care of them. I was already smart enough to change my oil regularly and fill the tires when the air was lacking, but quickly discovered that its exterior is just as important to its well-being!

There’s no off-roading on the mean Toronto streets, but the potholes, speed bumps,  debris and inclement weather definitely add up!

If you want to keep your ride looking brand new, Armor All’s a good solution to keep you covered.

But that’s not all — they’ve put together a Spring Cleaning Prize Pack that you could win, which includes:

  • Armor All Soft Storage Caddy
  • Premium Wash & Wax + Protect
  • Disinfecting Mini Can Wipes
  • Auto Glass Cleaner
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
  • Pure Linen Protectant
  • Air fresheners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You too can look like this after getting your Armor All on!

The contest runs until Sunday, June 8th at 11:59 PM EST, so enter soon and enter often!

The Point of it All

Just as mo’ money yields mo’ problems as paraphrased from the eternal words of the late, great Notorious B.I.G., mo’ age only leads to mo’ responsibility. As you strike out on your own into the world, away from anyone who once did things for you like keep a room over your head or do your laundry, you’ll soon discover that your time’s devoured by all these little tasks to keep your life in order.

Though they’re rarely fun, and at times may even overwhelm you, the more you do them, the more you learn to work smarter, not harder.

And that’s what the Armor All’s for — helping you clean your ride right the first time, making it far easier the next time you go at it.

Because if you don’t take care of the stuff you’ve worked so hard to get, who will?

This is how we celebrate after washing the car!

Good luck out there in the real world — I hope you’re all giving your chariots the TLC they deserve!

Until the next,

–case p.

Disclaimer: Armor All reached out to have me join their Spring Kick Off Challenge, sending me the merchandise listed above in exchange for a blog post. My car definitely came out shinier than I’d started, and you can feel free to check Armor All out at their website or Facebook page!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 1-10: Driving, Drawing and Dining

Somehow it always comes down to this — it’s suddenly December and we look at our to-do lists realizing that we hadn’t accomplished nearly as much in the year as we’d planned to. So we get in a tizzy, try to do months of work in a matter of weeks and end in the year in a BANG on New Year’s Eve!

And we wonder why it’s always so hard to start our resolutions off on the right foot in January!

Ever the overachiever, I set out a list of 100 goals for myself in January, hoping to knock some things off of the list that’d been there entirely too long, and set foundations for others that’d lead to a promising future in the years to come.

Too bad I didn’t put the secret 101st item into the equation: having a kid.

I’ll admit — much of 2013 is a blur. One baby, two Vegas trips and three job changes later, my priorities have definitely changed, with me at home more often than not, trying to enjoy what quiet moments I can before DoomzToo’s more vocal — and more mobile.

But kid or not, 2013 was still a year for the books, and while I didn’t always get it out in the blog, I never truly lacked things to do.

So I wrap the year up with this — a look at what I pulled off in 2013; what flopped; and what will rear their ugly heads once more in 2014 to see whether I’ll manage to finally get them done. It’s all too long for one entry, so I hope you like reading about my hijinks and exploits, because it’s going to take 10 to get through it all!

Buckle up, my lovely readers. Uncle Casey’s gonna tell you some stories!

The 2013 100, Items 1-10: Driving, Drawing and Dining

  1. Negotiate a way better phone contract
  2. Give Sarah the present I always alluded to but never got around to giving her
  3. Start a business or two
  4. Learn to drive, learn to drive, for the love of God learn how to drive!
  5. Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell
  6. Start drawing comics on some sort of regular schedule
  7. Get my clothes tailored
  8. Get up-to-date on my emails
  9. Cook at least one meal
  10. Make an app

1:  Negotiate a way better phone contract

I’ll be the first to admit that I pay way too much for my cell phone. It’s good to have a monster of a device with plenty of features, considering how much time I invest in social media and geo-location games, but I rarely use it like a telephone anymore. So maybe it’s time to revisit what features I actually need and make it a priority to get a new plan in 2014!

There’s something I need to remember about having a traditional 9-to-5 at a large organization — there’re more benefits when telecom companies sell deals in bulk and not haggling individually level. It’s time to get a corporate plan.

2014 Casey Palmer — saving more money to feed his kid!

STATUS: On to the next year!

2: Give Sarah the present I always alluded to but never got around to giving her

Jeez — I think I alluded to this gift from our first Christmas together in 2008! Welp. Sorry, babe — this one’s going to 2014, ’cause you’re not getting it this year! (I even saw it on her Amazon wish list — hold your horses, Sarah! You already got the ring on your finger, yo! Way I see it, we have all our lives for me to work on this one! [Insert maniacal laugh here.])

STATUS: On to the next year!

3: Start a business or two

Somewhere in my mind is this idealized fantasy of owning a business, where I call the shots, wake up when I damn well please, do work in my house clothes and essentially do what I want, when I want.

Then I quickly come back to reality, realizing that it takes a heckuva lot of work before you make money while you sleep like the Dragons on Dragons’ Den.

Owning a business means taking on a lot of risk, a whole lot of discipline, and some prayers — especially if you’re trying to raise a family on that money! If I’d developed the online presence that I have now 10 years ago, going out on my own would be a highly attractive notion. But in 10 years, I got married, had a kid, and built knowledge and clout in my organization. I’m compensated for the skill set I’ve developed, and the benefits package that comes with the job mean that DoomzToo will never be stuck with crooked teeth or poor vision.

While choosing a 9-to-5 and owning a business aren’t mutually exclusive, I’m content enough to take the long path on this one and not search endlessly for a quick payday.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

4: Learn to drive, learn to drive, for the love of God learn how to drive!

For a decade, driving was the biggest cloud hanging over my head.

My hometown in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, In the ‘burbs, driving is essential to living, as the public transit isn’t world-class and places of interest are seldom walking distance from the residential blocks. I originally tried to get my driver’s license at 20, which was already years later than everyone around me. Spending my Saturday mornings in drivers’ ed with kids who’d celebrated their Sweet Sixteens just the week before is an experience I’m not eager to repeat.

Failing that test at 20 led to a decade of avoidance, keeping a schedule filled with just about everything else in the world, not helped by my parents living in a subdivision a mere 10-minute walk from a train into the city.

Why drive? Toronto already had too much traffic as it was — I could read, draw and sleep on public transit, making far better use of my time than I would if I spent it stuck in gridlocked traffic every day.

But DoomzToo coming along was a wake-up call. I’ve seen the parents trying to navigate the subway system with a stroller, struggling to get up and down stairs as just under half of the TTC’s stations are elevators for accessibility. I didn’t wanna be one of those parents. How dare they take up valuable space on the rush hour subways? Why don’t they find another way to get their baby from A to B?

So I celebrated my 30th birthday at a Ministry of Transportation DriveTest centre, nervously waiting to take my G1 exit test and see whether I could drive the 2011 Ford Edge Select (with All-Wheel Drive) that we’d bought just that weekend. It was nerve-wracking. It was tense. It was in Port Union. But I passed after waiting ten whole years to try again, and I’ve driven since, ferrying us to distant places like Bouchette, Quebec, while Sarah makes sure I get plenty of practice for my G2 exit test!

STATUS: SO done.

5: Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell

I suck at selling. Not because I’m unconvincing, but because I’m unwilling to rip someone off nor am I enough of a penny-pincher to spend time listing thing on Craigslist, courting buyers, making time to meet with them, etc.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So instead, while cleaning up the house for the baby, we packed a number of boxes with books, clothes and electronics and drove ’em to the local Value Village so someone in need could get them.

Everybody wins. Go give something, people!

STATUS: Please see above.

6: Start drawing comics on some sort of regular schedule

I finally started drawing again in December, taking a real crack at costume designs for my characters that’d stick — not just clothes that looked like they came right out of a clothing ad. Comics are a difficult medium to create for — where literature relies on description and pacing to paint the world for a reader and keep their attention, a comic must do it blatantly and appeal visually on top of all the things literature needs to do!

Fish ‘n’ Chimps will be no easy undertaking, but it’s a labour of love. It’s a story that’s been in my head for damn near a decade, and the time for everyone else to see what’s been going on in my cranium is long overdue.

STATUS: On to the next year!

7: Get my clothes tailored

Somehow I imagined myself living the male equivalent of Sex and the City (EntourageCalifornication?) and having my “go-to-guy” for making sure my clothes fit “just so”.

All I’ve managed to do is get my dry cleaner to mend my clothes when accidents happen and let pants out since my body shape’s already change from those carefree newlywed days.

Shout-out to Kathy for making sure I still look decent, and I doubt I’ll have the time (or the money) to get a tailor anytime soon.

Besides — what good is shopping at Harry Rosen when your ridiculously expensive wardrobe has baby spit-up all over it?

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

8: Get up-to-date on my emails

Simple truth — there is no catching up on email. The sooner one accepts this fact, the sooner they can accept the deluge of data that is their daily life.

It’s especially futile now that I’ve become a Redditor, there’s no time for stuff like lifehacking. Links to click, things to see!

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

9: Cook at least one meal

When I included this item on the list, Sarah was thinking of an extravagant meal that’d leave Susur Lee salivating in envy.

While not quite as elaborate as she may have hoped, I did manage to cook a couple of times this year:

1: A while back, I’d received review copies of Julie Anne Hession’s 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes: Sweet to Savory and Tammy Algood’s In a Snap! Tasty Southern Recipes You Can Make in 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes. While I didn’t get a chance to use my buddy’s key limes to make a pie (sorry, Jon), I did try my hand at some bacon grilled cheese on raisin bread — one of Tommy’s 5-minute recipes.

Turned out okay — I’ll admit that microwaving bacon was as crispy as I usually like it when done in the frying pan, but the sandwich was decent overall.

2: On the morning of DoomzToo’s birth, Sarah gave me a verbal crash course on making scrambled eggs, and while they didn’t turn out perfectly, I’ll learn more egg recipes for the future — never know when you’ll want a better breakfast than Just Right or Oatmeal Crisp with Raisins!

STATUS: SO done.

10: Make an app

Still interested in making an app, no time to do it right.

I’m largely an ideas guy. I like coming up with new ideas and schemes, so I learn a little about everything so I can translate my ideas to various kinds of people.

What apps need are experts. People who eat, sleep and breathe design and code and get paid handsomely for it. If I want to make an app, I need to align myself with the skilled people to build them — and the wealthy business people to pay them — in 2014.

Even if I get something like a 10% cut for the idea on an app, if that app profits $1,000,000 — well. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be too sore about the $900,000 I didn’t get.

STATUS: On to the next year!

That’s all for today, y’all! Make sure to come back tomorrow, when we discuss birthdays, BiSC, and what really happened to Mansformation. See you then!

P.S. Gratuitous link to get my blog registered on Bloglovin’!

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