The 2016 100 — or — How to Build a Better Casey

I can’t even lie, guys — coming up with a list of 100 goals for the fourth year in a row was hard — ridiculously so. I’m a very different me than I was when The 2013 100 came out, back when free time was still an abundant commodity I didn’t even know I was taking for granted, trying to fill it with countless things that’d keep life interesting.

A problem I most definitely don’t have in 2016!

As I work at surviving the upcoming year — especially with our second child’s imminent arrival — I needed to make the list a lot more realistic; I’m all too skilled at chasing ambitions that exceed my lifestyle’s capacity, and I’ll need to keep wary of that in 2016 if I want to see myself make it out the other side!

So without further ado, The 2016 100. It took a couple of days to polish off after recovering from the gauntlet that was 2015, but I feel like it’s a list that will really make waves in this life o’ mine should I see it finished!

But hey — that’s what I say every year ????

Thanks for reading!


1) Write an amazing series for Black History Month
2) Win a vacation for my dry cleaner
3) Watch Creed; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Martian; Ant-Man
4) Take Eric to a sporting event so he can stop complaining about getting left from sporting events
5) Phase my old 3.5″ hard drive out
6) Get rid of my old electronics
7) Stop biting my nails
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent
9) Clean out the basement crawl space
10) Build shelves into the crawl space
11) Give my FWD Powershot 2 to my old manager the hockey coach
12) Do the CN Tower Edgewalk
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP
14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad

Though a chiropractor I started seeing late into 2015 told me I’d developed some mild sciatica in my back, I didn’t need him to tell me I carry too much STUFF. In a digital age where we can pack mountains of information into a single device, there’s really NO NEED for me to carry all the draft posts and note that I do — save the fact that working from hard copy’s the way my brain’s WIRED.

In 2016, I need a little more focus to keep all my ideas stored in one place so I’m not constantly carrying EVERYTHING in my house made of paper, knowing that I probably scribbled SOMETHING on ALL of ’em.

15) Sort out the Internet situation at home so I can stop relying on tethering to LTE data
16) Learn enough Spanish to understand my sister-in-law’s Mexican wedding in May
17) Find time for date nights, which will involve finding someone who wants to babysit two kids… how about we just find more awesome things to do at home, just in case?
18) Try Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake
19) Get to 0 drafts on CaseyPalmer.com by converting everything into live posts
20) Install the growth chart for my kids that we got at my office baby shower
21) Update all the old content on CaseyPalmer.com
22) Upgrade the site infrastructure to better support contest traffic
23) Redesign the heck out of the blog (Twenty Sixteen, what up)
24) Find the time to pack more lunches for work
25) Clean up and optimize my Pinterest account (I still have that copy of Pinterest Savvy lying around somewhere)
26) Shave more regularly
27) Hand out my remaining business “cep” cards so I can put in a new order (wait — do we still do business cards?)
28) Clear out the bookshelves to prepare for Baby #2
29) Replace the lost key to our 2011 Ford Edge
30) Figure out what I ACTUALLY need to run my site and invest in THAT.
31) Replace our bathroom sink
32) Meet with the people who I never seemed to schedule in through 2015 (Aaron, Emma, Ria, Adrienne, Dianna)
33) Get a Brookhaven Computer Cabinet

The 1% of the Casa de Palmer workspace I use to do all the things isn’t the best — in fact, it’s falling apart. As I get older and start formalizing my #BloggerLife, Sarah and I agree that my workspace should evolve to show that. It’ll take some saving to make it happen, but it’d be a nice addition to the home.

The Month That Was… November 22nd – December 26th, 2015.

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.

The Week That Was… October 11th -17th, 2015

I struggled a lot with this week’s The Week That Was, trying to get in the right headspace to write on everything that happened. These seven days weren’t extraordinarily good nor bad — with how hectic my life usually is, you could even call them tame. I burned through page after page trying to get it right, but I couldn’t get it flowing like I wanted — a story worth reading for an audience that expects as much of me as I do of myself wasn’t within grasp, no matter how much I hustled.

But just because something’s hard doesn’t mean you don’t do it — sometimes you just need to find another approach to getting your story across!

The Week That Was... October 11-17, 2015 — TTC Subway Delay — Toronto — Bloor-Yonge Station
I mean, seriously — when some of your mornings start off like this, would you want to write about it???

The Week That Was… September 27th – October 3rd, 2015


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Pretty sure I had this idea before, but couldn’t make it stick. Putting together a quick synopsis of the week to show what I’d been up to without needing a full post for every little thing.

But the last time I did it? I overthought everything, getting too lost in the details to make it effective.

This time it’ll be quick, dirty, and good for people who just want the highlights of what your favourite blogger’s favourite blogger* is up to!

So let’s go!!!

Sunday, September 27th

Started the week by wrapping up our church retreat at Camp Kwasind in Utterson, ON, a few hours north of Toronto. Little Man had a killer time, even going as far as finding comfort in the arms of other parents.

You do you, bro. You do you.

Also, I’m horrible at foosball.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — Dear February: Goodbye and Good RIDDANCE.

Sorry, I can't go to work tomorrow I fractured my motivation.
Thanks, Li, for sending this one my way!

Dear February,

You were a real pain in the rear, you know that? With temperatures plunging into the negative 30s, the blogosphere in a quiet lull as the influencers hibernate, and motivation at a standstill as the deadly winter saps the life from everyone it touches, you’re only four weeks long, but easily one of the hardest months to endure.

January was so promising, too — I hit up the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with TELUS and learned much about my nation’s love for hockey; relaxed as I segued into a trip to Cuba that temporarily got my mind right enough to write Dat Varadero, Doe, written after some much-needed reflection and change of pace from my hectic life here in Toronto; and felt like a new me after shedding the skin of a 2014 Casey Palmer who very much felt like he’d sold a bit of his soul for a taste of success. If you sat down for a chat with January 31st Casey Palmer, you’d be talking to a guy full of hope, confident the year ahead would bring amazing things, and all he needed to do was put pen to paper and keep doing all the things he was doing.

That changed all too quickly when Toronto was hit by a storm bad enough to cripple the city for a day, setting the tone for a winter with no one all that enthusiastic to deal with it.

#100HappyDays — Five Days in the Life of Casey Palmer, Father Blogger

When Sarah got me doing the #100HappyDays, I thought it’d be a good exercise to teach me how to write shorter posts, giving my readers a break from the lengthy novellas I usually write.  A daily picture with a short description — not that hard, right? Except that all too soon, I’d lapse back to my old habits, and contextualized them with lengthy stories instead of posting pictures that simply spoke for themselves (a thousand words and all)!

It worked well enough until I just didn’t have the energy to keep it up.

With enough real-time stuff to keep me busy (visiting my parents in Mississauga, celebrating a friend’s birthday and having company over); side projects to work on (archiving old drawings at 1200 dpi so I can resurrect my Fish ‘n’ Chimps webcomic, marathoning through Seinfeld and playing this stupid game); and of course, the stuff that pays the bills and keeps my family flourishing (spending time with Sarah and our son, writing for The Hooray Collective, PTPA and other clients, and — of course — the 9-5), the weekend got away from me, the blog posts I planned to write fleeting with it.

But stumbling blocks only last forever if you let them win, and my blog posts won’t write themselves!

Welcome back, Mr. Palmer — it’s time to get your blog on!

#100HappyDays — Day 30 — Mophie Warming Winter’s Revenge

#100HappyDays — Day 30 — Mophie Juice Packs

If you’ve never been to Toronto, you’d never know how random our weather can get. We went from the budding of spring yesterday — with snow melting and neighbours in t-shirts — to a vengeful storm flattening the city under a foot of snow, winds whipping ’round to make us all miserable.

Work was a ghost town — Mother Nature and March Break had my coworkers scurrying, leaving a handful of us in the office watching the weather only get worse. I called it a wrap early and got told off by an elderly woman on the train home because my jacket spilled into the middle seat she wanted — though I didn’t hear a thing with my earbuds in. I shovelled the snow, I cleaned off the car, I realized I’m not as young as I used to be.

When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him.
“Hey buddy, would you like a backache waiting to happen?” — Mother Nature

But after a week and a bit of two dead Mophie Juice Packs and a phone that felt horribly inadequate without them, thanks to Justin’s advice I got in touch with Mophie’s Twitter support line, and soon found two replacement cases at home, after one of the easiest and smoothest customer service experiences I’ve ever had.

Bit by bit I’m sorting life out. Piece by piece it’s all coming together. I hope to look back on all of this one day and feel like these baby steps were all for a reason — but I guess I’ll find out when I get there!

#100HappyDays Day 30/100 — wish it was a snow day!

–case p.