The 2017 100 Wrap-Up β€” 31 Successes.

Several weeks, a few dozen photos and four thousand words later, we’ve finally made itβ€”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 meβ€”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 yeahβ€”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 presentβ€”the 31 things I did well in 2017! Let’s get it!

Busking

 

Busking is β€˜like public art’

So it would seem that busking in the TTC might not be the best idea if I want to reach this goal in a timely fashion. If we consider that:

  • There’s a $150 annual permit for busking in the TTC
  • One would need to commit to six-hour shifts three to four times a week, which would definitely cramp on sleeping time
  • I have limited musical talent – I don’t think I could very readily pass a serious audition
  • It’s a subway station. Those things are COLD.

So maybe we’ll look to something more like street performing. Or maybe doing portraits of people – but WAIT!

  • If I’m just busking or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, we’re looking at a $35.69 permit fee.
  • If I want to draw portraits of people as takeaway items – it’s a $300.00 permit fee. THREE HUNDRED. I’ll need to think this over; see what approach might even be good to take care of this πŸ˜•
  • The application for this is pretty lengthy – and there’re a gajillion rules and regulations and bylaws associated with the practice – man. Buskin’ ain’t easy! I’m going to need more me’s just to make this work!

I was going to enter one of those surveys you see on the back of your receipts from the fast-food joints – you know – let us know your thoughts and you could win $1,000 – but damn! The recession must’ve hit Wendy’s hard because theirs is “tell us about this visit and we’ll give you a free Single hamburger“! Wow, Wendy’s. Wow. And you can only redeem one every thirty days. You know what – how about I fill it out and give it to a homeless person? Least I can do with this thing. Note: I actually would’ve done this, but just realized that I needed to fill in the survey within 48 hours of my visit. It’s been 79 h 23 min. My bad, random homeless person πŸ™ Also, in an amusing aside, it appears that Burger King (huh – guess I have fast food more often than I think) doesn’t even WANT your two cents – only a portion of it:

Whopper

 

Still collecting Air/Aeroplan Miles like a fiend – kinda hoping that I’ll be able to supplement some of the trips to come with these.

  • Aeroplan Miles to date: 1263
  • Air Miles to date: 609

If anyone has ideas on how to optimize collecting and using these, let me know! I’ll post some ideas that I found and go from there – I expect that I have some fellow avid collectors out there!

And now, observe as I forge out into the snow to try and get to work on time!

Plus I have another couple of resumes to look at – commuter reading! Woo!

Digits:

The 2010 20K Running Total = $192.14

Have a great day, y’all!

–case p.

The 2010 20K: Day 40 – From Pocket Change to Potential

I love pay day – seriously love it. New possibilities, new options – it's like waking up and unwrapping a new present to do with as you wish.

As of late, though, my pay days mean more that I get to see my credit card balance reduce at an accelerated rate moreso than getting the shiniest new whatever's out there. With my regular income, I've devoted myself to getting rid of the invisible shackles that hold me down and being able to go into the future a bit more carefree and content πŸ™‚

I remember the days of living cheque to cheque – I mean, I'm 26 with no kids or mortgage, so thank goodness I didn't really have anyone else relying on me to feed or clothe them – it would've been a horrible situation. No, oftentimes it was because of that desire I just mentioned. To be the best dressed. Have the new toy. Eat the finest foods. It was really just me valuing all the wrong things and doing whatever I needed to do to get them.

On one hand, I think that these are the kinds of lessons we all need to learn in our lives at one point or another – and for me, I'm glad that it's something I came across early on – but at the same time, one would hope that people are given enough teaching that they can avoid falling into similar pitfalls. Not everyone gets the same opportunities in life, as we can often see from the disparity between the rich and the poor in our world. I can remember from my time spent as a Financial Sales Representative that I'd often have to counsel people twice my age on their finances, simply because they were never given the same access to knowledge about investing, credit, budgeting, etc. that I had. Now that I'm at a point in my life where I'm purging items more than I am collecting, I can see the benefits of all this and hope that I can eventually pass on what I know to others in such a way that it very practical and easy to follow.

Some easy tips come to mind:

  • Don't spend what you don't have – if you must do so, find the method that costs least (borrowing interest, especially) and/or can be paid off the quickest
  • Try to make do with what you have – mend a tear if you gotta – make notes on envelopes – reuse jars like crazy – do what you gotta!
  • Shop smarter, not cheaper – cheaper isn't always better – example: dollar store batteries versus a solid set of rechargeable batteries, ESPECIALLY if you have a charger! Over time, the money you save from not having to dash out to the store repeatedly to replace those batteries will start to look pretty good once you keep using quality rechargeable batteries through their lifespan – they can last a VERY long time. There are a number of instances like this in life where what seems like a massive investment compared to alternatives in the beginning may turn out to be the better option.

Just some food for thought.

In other news:

  • I did sell that RAM, but my friend discovered that their computer won't actually accept anything higher than what they already had, so we're trying to figure out what we can do to fix the situation
  • The last chart I released in my other blog (chart is NSFW!) became more widespread than I'd expected – about 240 diggs, 70 total comments, 40 notes on Tumblr and 3,250 views on Huffington alone. I'm pretty encouraged by that, despite the rather embarassing nature of the chart itself, lol – I'd like to create something Olympics-related, but nothing's come to mind just yet that really knocks my socks off. If anyone has something they've always wanted to see in chart form, please let me know!
  • I got those three resumes that were on my plate out of the way, and I'm happy to say that the clients are all very happy with the new products I put together for them. I got one person a job in two months after years of looking – maybe I can do the same for you? Let me know!

Otherwise, it's been your regular sort of week – I have a cousin getting married this weekend, so the work time will be reduced significantly, but other than that, the hustle continues as per usual. I have noticed that I haven't quite made it easy to share my blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, what have you – so worry not; new functionality will be on its way!

So, in closing, thanks for joining me once more – please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas – they're always welcome in the 2010 20K. I can't wait till this cold is over and it gets dark later so I can get out in the world and REALLY do some stuff!

The 2010 20K Running Total: $192.14

Winter, you can't stick around FOREVER, homey!

Have a great Friday, y'all,

–case p.

The 2010 20K: Day 9 – The Bridge from Planning to Reality

One of the methods I commonly use for saving – and caveat, I'm saying that this works for me personally, not necessarily for everyone – is saving my change in a bucket. I don't spend change if I can help it (and it helps that I'm not a coffee drinker); I take all that change goes in a bucket so I can eventually deposit it into the bank account. At the same time, though, you don't want to leave it sitting TOO long. You start to think about it after a while – all the change I have sitting here, I could be using to pay debts, gain interest – whatever it is that you could do to improve your financial situation. I just did a roll-up (i.e. the times where I'll sit down and roll up a bunch of change), and there's $451.50 to be banked (plus another $125 US cheque, a British 5 pound note and a cheque for all of 19 cents from a refund) [note: Just returned. Apparently TD has free change counting machines. When did THIS happen? All that time and effort… for nothing D:]

Today's activities won't include too much for the 20K, I fear. Two birthday parties tonight mean that I won't work directly on my site, but I'll still be working on the layouts on construction paper, and trying to get that entry for the Indie Writers' Deathmatch done by tomorrow.

In fact, why don't you give the "monologue" I wrote a read and tell me what you think? Any comments, positive, negative or ambivalent would be HIGHLY appreciated. [Sarah took a quick read over it at one of the birthday dinners tonights and gave some crits and comments – please note that this copy has not seen them yet.]

Premise: In a dystopian near-future, economic collapse has sent the United States into a frenzy, and after being shunned by the United Nations in their time of need – including their neighbours to the north – they attack to make their point made and voices heard. This is a short story detailing the situation found in one of the cities affected by these events.

This used to be a nice town. That was before urban sprawl led to social collapse. Before vertical growth sent everyone scrambling for refuge in the tunnels. Before the glass house that we thought protected us all was found to be cracked just enough to shatter from the first stone thrown.

Back when the word "Canadian" meant something.

Who would attack US, the Canadians thought.

I mean, we ONLY had a wealth of natural resources. We ONLY had the second-largest political land mass on the globe. We were ONLY one of the last economies to feel the chilling touch of the Great Recession. Oh yeah, NO ONE would want a piece of THAT.

And yet they kept pretending that nothing was coming. The prices kept rising, but that didn't matter – condos, computers, cars, real estate, stocks, bonds, drugs, identities – whatever was on the market, they'd eat it up like there was no tomorrow.

Too bad so few realized how SOON that clichΓ© would become so APPLICABLE.

When the U.N. turned their back on the US in their time of need, all those years of pent-up rage, blind patriotism and political shenanigans came to a head when their neighbours in the Great White North couldn't be bothered to spare them a dime.

We thought we'd be safe in our overpriced highrises; our new digs from the boutiques downtown; our brand new luxury cars with the tops down in our pleasant – albeit brief – summer days.

Like I said, let me know what you thought.

Karaoke tonight reminded me that I should look into singing lessons eventually – my breathing was ALL sorts of messed up. I can sing okay – just not with any stamina πŸ˜‰ But I guess that would translate to my performance in intramural sports as well – huh. Who'da thunk it.

Ah! I also received an AWESOME idea from Jen, someone who was at one of the parties I attended – if I break down the $20,000 into daily chunks, I can try to advertise to do jobs at one flat rate to try and make those daily goals πŸ™‚

So $20,000/365 = $54.79, so let's round that up to $55 to make it easier.

Imagine:

Casey Palmer – The Job Man! Does any* job for $55!
*the option to do a job or not is at the discretion of Casey Palmer and Casey Palmer alone

I could advertise this alongside my resume and people could challenge me to see what jobs I'd actually take on. It'd be interesting πŸ˜€ I need to get my sites done so I can advertise this PROPERLY. I thank you Jen for your beautiful, beautiful brain.

That's all I've got in me for now.

The 2010 20K Running Total = $62.20

–case p.

Expectations

chart?chs=400x300&chd=t:0,0,1,1,1,3,23.1,40.1,62.2&chds=0,65&cht=lc&chxt=x,y&chxr=0,0,8|1,0,65&chtt=The+2010+20K+Running+Total+by+Day&chg=12.5,7.692&chm=N*f01*,000000,0,-1,11

I took some time this morning to teach myself how to use the Google Charts API. It’s a handy tool for making graphs on the fly by simply putting the data you need in a URL – but I can see how it might become a little more difficult to use when you have a LOT of data points to put in. Expect to see more tinkering in future updates.

So 2010 may very well be the year of explicit contracts and service level agreements with clients. I mean, I’m a nice guy and all, but some things really blow my mind at times. Let’s take, for example, the calendar I worked on near the end of 2009 and was trying to get a follow-up done in the last couple of weeks by getting desktop stand-style calendars printed with the same images (by the way, if you’re ever trying to do this, make sure it’s in the October-November period of the year – it gets far more difficult to find a printer after this).

Let’s look at some numbers on the original calendar:

Time spent on making 13 drawings for the calendar = 10 hours
Money spent on printing the calendar = $24.85
Money spent for next day shipping = $15.00

Money paid to Casey for this calendar = $20.00

The look on Casey’s face upon seeing this = PRICELESS.

So yes, even though people may be friends or you may have or had a good working relationship with them, you still need to get things down on paper and a firm understanding put together before you start doing the work. Otherwise, things like this happen. It’s not something that I’ll let sour the relationship nor will I be bitter about it, but I’ll definitely approach things differently next time.

Today was still a good day, though. I sat with one of my more “big business”-minded friends, and she was able to have a good talk with me on the ideas of things like incorporation, focusing my efforts on doing one thing well and how to invoke actual growth in money. It was good to bounce ideas off of someone who’s really into making effective change in a limited scope of time.

Doing some research on avenues already available to me, and I’ve (re-)discovered a couple:

I’m resurrecting an art book that I published called Blazin’ Apes: Sketches to Sketches, Brush to Brush (Edwin, I still need to sign yours!) – it’s a collection of work that I’ve done over the years, collected into one tome – feel free to support if you’re interested πŸ™‚ You can get more information on it by clicking below:

http://www.blurb.com/books/312787

Also, LiveJournal gives Paid/Permanent users to generate revenue through ads in their journals. I might try it out – LJ friends, if it drives you insane, please feel free to let me know. But, you’ll need to give me a better alternative for continued revenue. Deal?

Today’s increases came from $0.10 donated by Sakshi this morning, which was awesome – every little bit helps πŸ™‚ – $2.00 from cashing in a December lottery ticket and $20.00 from that calendar job. Money is money, right? This means that…

The 2010 20K Running Total = $62.20

For anyone who’s done the math, $20,000 over the span of the year means that I’ll need to earn an average of $384.62 per week to make it. It’s a good start, but I’m going to need to turn up the heat to hit the goal. But Day 7 out of 365? It’s way too early to say die πŸ™‚ Let’s do this.

Thanks for reading,

–case p.