The 2017 100 Wrap-Up: 31 Successes.

Last updated on April 30th, 2021 at 04:56 pm

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!

Best Buy Smart Home

Last updated on April 20th, 2021 at 09:39 pm

Part of me wants to think I was the perfect kid, never causing trouble for my parents… but my childhood home would likely disagree. I routinely fell asleep with the light on. I burned TVs out holding my place in the video games I kept on all night. Yes, I kicked holes in walls and jammed garage doors through idiocy—the fact that the house is in great condition today is a miracle unto itself!

But the ’90s it is not. We’ve come a long way since towering home entertainment systems with dedicated real estate to handle their bulk. TVs are slimmer, computers are lighter, and our phones are remotes for the whole shebang.

Though my childhood had wired peripherals and cords galore, the same doesn’t have to go for my boys, and I’m glad—I don’t think this house could outlast them otherwise!

What we really needed was a home far smarter than ourselves, and I knew just the people to help—none other than Canada’s go-to retailer with the best selection of the latest tech at the best prices.

It was time to say what’s up to Best Buy!

And it just so happened they had a Smart Home showcase at 2017’s National Home Show!

The Best Buy Home Show and the National Home Show—A Match Made in Homeowner’s Heaven!

The 2017 100

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 01:08 am

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100—It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It.—New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

August Smart Home Access System

Last updated on April 14th, 2021 at 10:53 am

How to Let the Right Ones In!

I can still remember it vividly: it was a nippy day in January 2000, and I left home in the morning—as I often did—to go write a midterm exam at school. The Mississauga Palmers followed their routine in suit—my brothers went to their school; Mom went to work; and Dad was the last to leave to open the restaurant for 10. I don’t remember the exam. I don’t remember what I wore. What I do remember is how odd I found it when I called home and all I got was a busy signal instead of the answering machine.

This next part is still crystal clear to me—reaching the front door of our house and trying the key… only to find the door already open.

In the space of something like 3 hours, my family had been robbed.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part Two—Letting the Right Ones in With the August Smart Home Access System!—The Palmer House c 2000

It’s hard to understand what it feels like to be the victim of a home invasion unless you’ve suffered it yourself. Though the main floor was left largely untouched, I’ll never forget the sight of our bedrooms upturned, drawers piled on the beds yanked loose from their cabinets, and piggy banks devoid of their change. They took the wedding rings, computer, MP3 players and more—they even emptied the suitcases my Mom had packed for a trip to Jamaica, using them to cart away their ill-gotten goods with no one being the wiser.

Even after we’d given our police statements, bought an alarm system and replaced what we could when our insurance claim went through, things didn’t feel the same for a long time thereafter. The home we’d once taken for granted didn’t feel quite so cozy anymore, and we were left with more questions than answers: Why us? What could we have done differently? How could we make sure it wouldn’t happen again?

The place that was supposed to be our safest was violated, and it’s really hard to come back from that.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part Two—Letting the Right Ones in With the August Smart Home Access System!—August Product Suite

More than 15 years later with a family of my own, the memories still ring vividly in my head, inspiring me to do whatever’s in my power to keep them all safe—and fortunately, 2016’s technology gives us options that simply weren’t around back then, with plenty of choices for how we can make our homes smarter at a fraction of what it used to cost to do the very same thing!

And the August Smart Lock with its companion—the August Connect—are two little devices that’ll do just that: change how you think about home security and the things you can do to stay a step ahead of those who might not have your family’s best interests at heart.

But what makes a smart lock so “smart”? I mean, we all know how locks work—you either have a key to open your door or you don’t. It’s that simple. I mean, of course, if your lock doesn’t get jimmied. Or, I mean, there’s also the fact that keys can be lost—they’re so dang small, after all! We worry about whether we actually remembered to lock our doors in the first place, often doubling back to check; get accidentally locked out; fumble for keys in the dark to get in… I’m sure our ancestors meant well all those millennia ago, but it’s probably time we put a little more thoughts into the thing that keeps the wrong people out of our homes and lets the right ones in whenever they need it!

Which is why the August Smart Home Access System turns the very idea of locks and keys on its head with features you can’t get from a simple chunk of metal.

Using the power of the August App, the smartphone software that does everything from determine whose phones can open the door to automatically giving you notifications and logs on who’s coming and going, the August Smart Lock will protect your home in ways you’ve likely never even thought about.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part Two—Letting the Right Ones in With the August Smart Home Access System!—August Smart Lock

The door automatically locks behind you and opens upon your approach. It lets you create virtual keys for your guests that expire when you want them to expire. And it connects to the Apple Watch. It takes 15 minutes to install and keeps your existing hardware so you can still use your keys if the batteries run out. It’s literally designed to help you put worrying about your home’s safety squarely at the back of your mind.

And when you pair it with an August Connect, you don’t even need to be home to open the door! If you’ve got a dog walker, cleaner, or anyone who’s going to need entry, all it takes is an alert and the push of a button to let them in! Sure, it probably feels like this is all straight from a sci-fi movie, but we’re finally hitting a point with technology that truly challenges what we can demand of our lifestyles, and I for one embrace it!

And a recent study commissioned by TELUS tells me I’m not alone—while only 34% of Canadians currently own a smart home device, 68% predict they’ll own at least one by 2018, and half of those think that number will be three or more! Rob Currie, vice-president of Mobile Devices at TELUS notes that while today “we’re seeing basic functionality like controlling lighting or thermostats from our smartphones”, this is just the beginning to get us used to new technologies—can you imagine biometric security systems like you see in Mission Impossible? Kitchens that sort their functions through learning your preferences and habits? The future’s coming fast, folks, so we’d better start getting used to its ideas while we still have the chance!

The August Smart Home Access System—Keep the Wrong Ones Out and Let the Right Ones IN.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part Two—Letting the Right Ones in With the August Smart Home Access System!—August Smart Lock Cross-Section

When it comes down to it, the August Smart Lock won’t solve all your home security woes—when we were robbed those 16 years ago, the thieves jimmied a window open at the back of the house, taking advantage of an absent security system to have their way—but I can imagine that things would’ve gone far differently had my family received alerts on our phones that all wasn’t as it should be at home!

You never know when something like this might happen to you—if that’s not incentive enough to keep up with the ever-changing times, I don’t know what is.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part Two—Letting the Right Ones in With the August Smart Home Access System!—Casey Palmer and His Sons

But the August Smart Home Access System—I’ve gotta admit, its possibilities have me excited. Even if home security’s not something you often think about, I assure you it’s not to be taken for granted—it’s just like insurance: it seems like quite the investment up front, but if you don’t do it, you won’t truly appreciate what it offers until it’s too late.

Thanks for reading, y’all, and may you always choose to invest in peace of mind!

Until the next,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

Disclaimer: While TELUS originally compensated me for this post with an August Smart Lock and August Connect of my own, it turns out that our house is old—like 100 years old—and they probably didn’t design homes with smart home technology in mind back then.

But good thing this isn’t our forever home, right?

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