The 2017 100 Wrap-Up — 31 Successes.

Several weeks, a few dozen photos and four thousand words later, we’ve finally made it—the Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad 2017 wrap-up, filled with stories aplenty of 365 days spent in my not-so-orthodox life.

After wrapping the year up on a quiet note (because two sick children under five will do that to you), I still felt it necessary to do this. These year-to-year changeovers offer a lot of perspective for me—with so much happening all the time, I often forget what I had for breakfast, so I write everything down. And if the height of the pile on my desk is any sign, 2017 was quite the year. But it’s also the time where I’m the most transparent, looking back objectively at everything I’ve done and celebrating successes, owning up to failures, hoping all the while that I’m somehow growing from the process.

But yeah—let’s do this as we did in 2016: look at the year in excruciating detail, figuring out what’s worth taking with me into 2018 versus what doesn’t feel part of my world anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present—the 31 things I did well in 2017! Let’s get it!

Buffalo Wild Wings | World Cup of Hockey

It’s an undisputed fact that Canada’s Hockey Nation. I didn’t grow up with it myself, but Canada deeply respects its hockey—it even runs through the veins of those who’ve never touched a rink! And so, one should never underestimate our sporting culture and how rabid our fans can get when it comes to the fastest game on earth!

Which is why you shouldn’t watch it alone.

To celebrate the sport that whips us all into a frenzy, Buffalo Wild Wings invited me to check them out during the World Cup of Hockey.

But I couldn’t make it—being a family man means carving out family time, so I wasn’t leaving on a Saturday for anything short of the Rapture 😂

Good thing I knew a hockey fan or two willing to take my place!

Canadian Dad Bloggers | Where Are the Dad Bloggers in Canada?

Last Updated: November 5, 2020


In the vicious wild of the blogosphere in a creature mighty impressive, but rarely seen. He’s ferociously protective of his young, carving out territory to tell their tales without overexposing them to the dangers of the world. He creates for his peers that may never see his craft, more likely to follow sports teams and tech trends than they are tales of families and minivans. The Dad Blogger is very real, very vocal, and though small in number, are a group of bloggers you’d better keep eyes on for the future!

The Rare Beast of the Blogosphere: The Dad Blogger

The Mom Bloggers are a reckoning force, hundreds if not thousands in number here in Canada alone, having built solid distribution channels through sites like Parent Tested Parent Approved, Mom Central Canada and the Yummy Mummy Club. Many other breeds of blogger love to hate on them, seeing their success with Brand Ambassadorships, Twitter parties and vast social media metrics, wondering why they can’t have a piece of what the Mom Bloggers have cultivated for themselves. And not only have Moms collectively formed a blogging ecosystem unto their own, the mother as the classic parental figure also lends itself well to the medium. They have so many opportunities to share on similar experiences, whether they’re birth stories, breastfeeding or the barrage of emotions that come when children hit their milestones like their first steps or that fateful morning where you first drop them off at daycare.

But Moms aren’t the only parents — Dad Bloggers do exist, even if there’re only a handful of them.

What Does a Dad Blogger Even Look Like?

Most male bloggers I’ve met aren’t fathers and the ones who are don’t often don’t blog about their fatherhood experiences. The guys I know blog food, they blog tech, they blog on all these things that society deems “masculine”, but the joys, trials and lessons that come from fatherhood aren’t a topic often discussed around the digital water cooler.

So far, I’ve tracked down just over 30 Canadian Dad Bloggers (aka “Daddy Bloggers”, or my personal favourite, “Father Bloggers”). 30. Thirty’s a mid-scale blogger event in Toronto. It’s an average attendee number at a popular Twitter chat. Thirty’s a group, but it’s shockingly small for the size of a niche that spans a nation!

A quick look at the 2011 Canadian census would have us expect 2,054,645 fathers across Canada, yet 99.99853989% of them are oddly silent with their stories.

Where are the fathers? If they’re not sharing their stories online, where are they sharing them?

Casey Palmer: Man in the Mirror

“Brrrrrrrr. What happened to that boy?”

–Birdman (featuring The Clipse), “What Happened to that Boy?”, Birdman, 2002

I decided to stay away from blogging until I had something worthwhile to say. I’m not just an event blogger. I don’t just take photos of food and share stories from my past.

I used to draw. I used to write novels. I used to spend months on projects instead of trying to crank content out to keep — what, relevant? Popular? To show how good I am at social media?

Whatever the reason, I was lost. I was blogging out of control with no end in sight.

This wasn’t the way it meant to be.

An Epiphany

After two solid years of spending the lion’s share of my time on social media and events related to it, I’ve figured out that I’m far happier investing time in creating quality projects than I am doing lots of little things daily to keep fresh in everyone’s mind. I wasn’t doing anything for myself anymore — I was starting to do things because of so many other obligations, and not simply because I could. It was like being 16 all over again.

We might be the sum of our experiences, but we are measured by the sum of what we put out into the world around us — and if we put stuff out that we can’t always stand behind, then what does that add up to?

Christine recently asked me a question that caught me dead in my tracks. It was so alarmingly simple that I’m surprised I hadn’t thought on it before, but the more I thought on it, the more I realized that I’d lost my way and needed to stop figure out what exactly I was doing. It was only four words, but they captured much of what I’ve felt lately — and that question is this:

“What are your goals?”

Why Am I Doing This?

I usually start things for one reason: because they’re interesting. When I started blogging on LiveJournal in 2002, it was because it gave me an outlet to express myself through all the emotional turmoil and confusion that was my transition from high school to university. When I started doomsdayblaze.com and Fish ‘n’ Chimps in 2003, I was looking to develop my coding skills even further and put a regular webcomic out about the characters I’d grown to love. I started using Facebook in 2005 because it was “cool” and gave me a better place to represent myself than I would anonymously on other sites like AsianAvenue or BlackPlanet.

I start things because they interest me, and social media was no different. When I started with a Twitter account in ’08, I barely used it, and no one was listening to me. That would change when I finally started meeting people at tweetups by the end of 2010 and building a network of peers, friends and business associates to work with.

But there lies the problem — work at something enough, and it reaches a tipping point where what was fun and interesting suddenly becomes serious. You become marketable. That thing you dabbled in suddenly becomes work.

LiveJournal became less important to keep up as my life became more routine and I found less wonder in each day — forcing myself to write about myself became an uphill battle that I didn’t want to fight. With school, work and a social life, I found myself at home less and less often, which meant my art suffered from my absence, and my content for doomsdayblaze.com with it. And while I still use Facebook and connect with my friends, I’ve stopped broadcasting my every thought like I used to and started sharing — almost instinctively — the ideas which I think others would actually respond to.

But social media took that tipping point to an entirely new level.

Blogging Outta Control

I’ve changed a lot over the years of social media, blogging attempts and general Internet consumption… but is it for the better?

Okay, let’s be real — for the most part, bloggers don’t know what the heck they’re doing. They like to party, they like to get free stuff and they like to feel important — but why are they blogging? Ask a blogger what their goals are for their blog and wait to see if they have an answer. What story are they trying to tell? Who is their audience? Does it make them happy?

When I hit that first tweetup a little over two years ago, it was an amazing experience for someone who thrives off of the energy level in a room — I met dozens of new people, tried new places — it was a rush.

My calendar would fill with more and more of these events, like HoHoTO                            shortly afterwards — one of the craziest parties I’d hit up in a while; TwestivalTO and DefineTO which merged dancing, drinking and competitive karaoke; or even the upcoming Bloggers in Sin City, an unconference specifically for bloggers which I wouldn’t have considered investing in during those earlier days.

Twitter’s very likely been one of the last steps in my transition to becoming a complete adult from the big kid I’ve always been. I’ve held jobs pretty steadily for the last 15 years, but never in any of them did I have to work on being a brand. I was given tasks and I did them — but that’s a heck of a lot simpler than doing things while trying to stand out from a crowd. Or trying to develop your own personal signature or way of doing things. Working a job and trying to do things for a boss is simple cause and effect — but social media sees a lot of effort going toward cause… but without the effects being as obvious when you fire things out into the ether, it’s not the same at all.

The Art of Selling Out

Back in the early days of my social media journey, there were others I looked up to with what was almost a reverence, wondering how they managed to make a name for themselves. The Zaighams, the Jos, the Craigs and the Casies of the world – the people I saw out there with thousands of followers; everyone knew their names, and they just seemed to exist on an entirely different level.

The years go by, though, and you see that everyone else is just as human as you are. Everyone else might have some idea of what they’re doing, but they’re not working any less than you are. They’re not any luckier than you are. Oftentimes, that person you’re envying is probably who you could be if you were willing to put the years of work, network building and sheer effort needed to get there.

I’ve learned that nothing comes easy, but in that quest for the best, you can lose sight of who you are. Of what you’re supposed to do. Of why you’re doing it.

Waking Up

So, social media, my eyes are open and I’m awake for the first time in a good while. There’s a lot I need to do, but you know what?

I have all the time in the world to get it done.

Until the next post,

–case p.