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.

#100HappyDays — Day 17 — VaultPress

Start a blog they said.

You’ll get lots of free stuff, they said!!!

While I started blogging long before it started paying people’s bills, there are core elements of the trade that never change — like the need to back your stuff up!

 

Since migrating to WordPress some years back, I’ve tried a few solutions for archiving my work.

BackUpWordPress was good until it bogged my server down enough for my webhost to kill the automated service and slap me with a warning. For a while, WordPress Backup to Dropbox worked too, but as your site grows, it voraciously consumes what little free space you have in your Dropbox.

You ultimately get what you pay for and after finding a number of old images mysteriously absent from my blog, I thought it was time to invest in a better solution.

Enter VaultPress, a paid backup service built into WordPress’ Jetpack plugin. It backs my site up with every change I make. It’ll automatically restore my site with the press of a button. And I can spend more time working on my site and less time rebuilding posts when things go wrong!

And that’ll do until I renew my site 🙂

#100HappyDays Day 17/100, c’est tout!

–case p.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 81-90: Lessons, Language, and Leaving Laziness Behind

I doubted myself for a while there, but I’m finally at the point where I think I’ll actually close The 2013 100 in time 🙂 I’ve already promised myself that I’ll be a lot more organized in 2014, not forcing posts out in the last few days of the year like I am now. I look forward to what’s coming in the year ahead. Trips, more things to learn about fatherhood, telling better tales… but let me save all that for the last post. For now, let’s get into 81-90!

The Need for Themes — A November to Remember PRELUDE

Don’t judge. Though it’s a haphazard method for coming up with post ideas, it’s EFFECTIVE, damnit.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Originally, this was just going to be a review of themify.me’s Fullscreen theme and what it’s done for me so far, but with the unexpected madness that’s been November; the hoops I needed to get through in order to get my site back and running; amd the vast amounts of sleep I haven’t been getting through this entire process, a simple task exploded into one big learning experience. It’s been, without a doubt, a November to Remember.

But I digress — let’s start at the beginning — let’s talk themes.

Feeling Frumpy

 

If I could build a time machine, I’d go back to 2005 and teach 2005 Casey how to dress….

If you’re into the world of website development, there are few simpler options than building one with WordPress. Speaking from experience, I know I’d get frustrated when building sites in the past, not knowing what to include, how to structure things, whether my code was up to current standards, etc. was all a huge pain in the ass.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner, but eventually I moved to WordPress and everything just… clicked. Aligning strongly with my belief that we should leverage the knowledge and abilities of the many rather than constantly try to do everything by ourselves, WordPress is the sum effort of a cast of thousands of developers, making it way simpler to integrate things like security, design and functionality features.

However, when you create for mass usage, you often run the risk of everything looking the same, and that’s a hurdle that all WordPress users need to overcome at some time or another.

And thus, enter the premium theme. For a relatively low cost, you can pay for the fruits of someone else’s labour and buy a theme that’ll help you stand apart from the rest of the pack with a slicker look and additional functionality. There’s more companies puitting these themes out than I have fingers to count,but Toronto-based themify.me is the only one so far who’s been kind enough to let me review some of their stuff, so I’m here to try one out! I’ve actually dealt with Themify themes for a little bit now, but I had my eye on Fullscreen specifically since the day it came out.

Designed for people leaning toward using a site as a visual portfolio, Fullscreen lives up to its name and immediately presents your images on the front page the way you intended for people to see them — spread across the full dimensions of your browser.

Fix Up, Look Sharp

Themify’s Fullscreen is what’s UP.

Just like how sometimes we need to reinvent ourselves to keep aligned with how we want the world to see us, the tools we use to represent ourselves often need love, too.

And this includes our websites.

I’d never meant to keep my site as a blog along, but never really got around to finding a solution that’d help me get any further.

However, I think that Themify’s Fullscreen is definitely part of that solution, though!

In a world where we’re all trying so desperately to be heard — whether it’s sharing thoughts through the power of social media or making our faces known about town as local socialites — it’s important to stand out. When you have a site, you might write with the right words and tell some amazing stories, but if your site looks like everybody else’s, you’re just about guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle!

So, I think it’s all about trying something new.

Fullscreen, or — “Something New”

Fullscreen does something that a lot of themes out there don’t bother to do — make an impact the very first time you see it!

Tons of themes I see want you to be one thing or another. You’re either a writer or an artist. You either take photos or draw comics. You either write for fashion-forward women or sports fanatics. No one fits into one box so easily — we’re all a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Fullscreen helps me express this a little by including both a rotating background gallery that showcases my favourite drawings and photos, and a slick layout to show all of my blog posts.

Doesn’t hurt that they’ve included an easy-to-use interface behind the scenes for all of you out there who never learned how to code! The ability to quickly switch design and functionality elements is built right in so that you never need to code an iota if you don’t want to!

If this doesn’t help you individualize your site — NOTHING will. That is, unless you want to go code it yourself…

All in all, I’m happy with my blog’s new look. It’ll take a bit of time and elbow grease to truly master it and call it my own, but I think it helps to define a new Casey for a new age! Fullscreen has a lot to offer, and while moving from one company’s premium WordPress theme to another means that I’ll lose some functionality, it’s nothing that a little tinkering, coding and ingenuity won’t fix!

My only beef is that I don’t immediately know what dimensions of photos work best for the theme, but I’m sure some research will help me fix that.

Themify’s all about supplying cost-effective solutions to make your WordPress site fresh to death, so if you’re ever wondering why your site isn’t getting the love it deserves, maybe it’s time to give it the makeover it so sorely needs. If you want to be a step ahead of the rest, support a Canadian company and make your life easier, I suggest looking at Themify’s themes  for WordPress. There’s no way to look this fly in life for this cheap, so hey — why not start doing it right somewhere?

–case p.

P.S. In our next chapter, we discuss my best laid plans and what I actually managed to accomplish this past month other than growing facial hair and writing some words!

[Disclaimer: Post written in exchange for a free install of Themify’s Fullscreen theme, which now powers my site. Huzzah!]