A Dying Game

In sixth grade, my class was taught a unit not mandated in any curriculum you will find. In fact, the unit centered on a game. In my last year of elementary school, I was taught chess.

My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Jared Hoadley, taught our whole class how to play the strategic game of chess. I can still see him sitting up front in class holding different pieces and telling us what they could do on the board. Before long we knew that the horse piece was called a “knight” and that your queen was the most powerful piece in the game. Soon, we were all playing matches against each other. Mr. Hoadley was making nerds of us all.

Well, not really. There is a perception that chess is played by antisocial brainiacs but the reality is that the game is played by all types of people across numerous countries. What is true, however, is that the overall number of people playing and learning chess is declining. But honestly, is it really a big surprise? With electronics and the culture we live in today, folks don’t necessarily want to learn a complex game and then sit down and devote an hour to playing it.

Never mind the fact that chess can be played on any iPhone or computer, the game itself (perception and complexities included) just seems to turn people off these days. Heck, the game seemed to turn most people off before I even started playing it around 17 years ago.

So why even play it? Come on Brent, just because you are getting all nostalgic about your elementary school days does not mean we should start playing an outdated game. I understand what you are saying, but…

Today I talked to someone who was on fire for the game of chess. He had just returned from a major tournament and is climbing his way up to the Chess Master level. Even though I am as amateur as they come with regards to chess, I was still able to chat with him about the game. It made me miss it.

We should play chess because it is a classic, thinking-person’s game. It is based on strategy. Every war and every sports metaphor is relatable in chess. If you like competition, if you like the idea of matching wits against someone, if you like locking yourself down for a battle of intellect then chess is your game. Patience and aggression are both key. If nothing else, at least learn how to play.

Do you play chess? If you do, I would like to know. Also, if you have ever taught someone to play it before I would like to know. Until then, check mate. Don’t Blink.

The Conway Ghost Walk

This past Friday, Sidney and I participated in a Halloween activity that was new for the both of us. Pairing up with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, the four of us went on the Conway Ghost Walk.

On Friday night, we attended the Conway Ghost Walk.

On Friday night, we attended the Conway Ghost Walk.

Conway is the small and historic town right next to Myrtle Beach. One of the oldest towns in South Carolina, it was founded in 1732. The town has significant ties to both the American Revolution and the Civil War. Well, we all know that old American towns with 300 years of history and connections to some of the bloodiest wars fought on our soil usually have one thing in common: ghost stories!

Officially called the Conway Ghost Walk: Spirits of the Lowcountry, the event was put on by the town’s downtown association. Participants were given the spooky opportunity to hear about the creepy legends of Conway as told by professional storytellers. I had four passes to attend the walk. Sidney, who hates anything scary, agreed to go on the adventure with me since the goal was more about historical awareness as opposed to getting frightened out of your wits. Courtney and John were nice enough to make the evening a double date by joining us.

This is one of the stops at the Conway Ghost Walk (we aren't in this photo). People dressed in 1700's clothing tell spooky stories (photo courtesy of the Conway Downtown Alive Facebook page).

This is one of the stops at the Conway Ghost Walk (we aren’t in this photo). People dressed in 1700’s clothing tell spooky stories (photo courtesy of the Conway Downtown Alive Facebook page).

The Conway Ghost Walk begins after dark falls. The tours leave every 15 minutes over the span of a few hours. Participants meet at the Conway Visitor’s House. Once you check in, they send you across the street to wait. If you arrive early, you can enjoy a beer/wine garden set up in the house’s lawn.

After a couple minutes of waiting next to an old cemetery, a Conway Downtown Alive official briefed us on the tour. Throughout the evening we would be escorted to seven different places in downtown Conway to be told seven different ghost stories told by seven different storytellers. We were told to follow our various guides and to expect to walk around a mile. We were then entrusted to our first tour guide, a woman dressed completely in 1700’s garb and carrying a lantern. She took us to a storyteller dressed in similar authentic clothing. This particular storyteller got more specific with the ground rules/background information of the tour but explained it more in a humorous/spooky way. After we finished with her, we walked to the lawn of a church that also served as a cemetery.

A look at what the storytellers look like (photo courtesy of the Conway Downtown Live Facebook page).

A look at what the storytellers look like (photo courtesy of the Conway Downtown Live Facebook page).

At this first stop, the gentleman who told the story, also dressed in 1700’s clothing, explained the legend of a girl who was buried alive. He told the story with passion and animation. After he finished, he thanked us for our time and instructed us to follow the tour guide and the lantern to the next spot. This is how it went for the next six stops. Our group would walk the dark streets of Conway until we came to the next location where the next storyteller would describe a spooky tale. The total Conway Ghost Walk took about 80 minutes.

If you are planning to go next year, let me tell you a couple things:

– The storytellers are actually in character and use theater to tell the story. Going in, I thought “professional storytellers” just meant they were going to tell a ghost story in a way that a favorite uncle might do so around a campfire.

– I mentioned it above, but the tour is not meant to scare. The evening is much more focused on the art of storytelling and the awareness of some well known local legends. It is very much kid appropriate.

– The best part of the tour, in my opinion, was just walking around Conway at night. They have luminaries guiding the walk path and someone with a lantern leading at the front. You go by beautiful old houses and you really experience a “Halloween” type feel.


The Conway Ghost Walk was a unique activity to do in order to get into the Halloween spirit. I am glad we can cross a “ghost walk” off our bucket list because it has always been something that I wanted to do. However, I am still itching to get chased by chainsaws this Halloween season so I imagine a haunted house is in my future before October 31. Don’t Blink.

First Thursday Rundown With a Baby Update

Okay everyone, it is Thursday! With most of the work week in the books, let’s celebrate with the latest Thursday Rundown installment.

Baby Update – Yesterday, Sidney had her latest appointment with the doctor. We had the thrill of listening to the sound of our baby’s heartbeat. Everything seems to be going well and at the next appointment in four weeks we will be able to find out the sex of our baby. A week ago, we purchased the crib. It is already set up in our office area upstairs.

This is the crib we bought last week for our baby!

This is the crib we bought last week for our baby!

Newest Show – Sidney and I have found our newest show and it is NBC’s “This Is Us.” The series is on every Tuesday night and the actual runtime of each episode is about 27 minutes but commercials stretch it to an hour. Besides the constant advertisements, we enjoy watching it. “This Is Us” tells the story of triplets by going back and forth between their childhood and adulthood. Mandy Moore stars in it as the mom and several other actors give solid performances. The show is unique and I recommend that you give it a try.

The Loris Bog-Off – Last Saturday, Sidney and I went to Loris, South Carolina, for an annual festival. Called the Loris Bog-Off, the event centers around a chicken bog competition. However, the small South Carolina town offers much more on this day than just a favorite local dish. The downtown areas becomes a hub for music, entertainment, and vendors. I finished up my bog just in time to watch the chicken clucking contest. Sidney and I sat on bleachers and howled as we watched some of the contestants (men, women, and children) give their perfect clucking calls.

Sid and I at the Loris Bog-Off last Saturday. On the right is the actual winner of the Bog-Off.

Sid and I at the Loris Bog-Off last Saturday. On the right is the actual winner of the Bog-Off.

Final Debate Reaction – I watched every minute of the three presidential debates. By far, last night’s was the most organized and controlled. However, that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the madness of the other two. I just appreciated the dynamic of watching a career politician go up against a career businessman. In my opinion, both candidates had their moments. I can say with absolute certainty that I know who I will be voting for.

Cool Supermarket Promotion – The grocery store right by our house is offering a pretty cool promotion. If you spend so many dollars at Lowe’s you will be given (drum roll please)….a set of knives. Okay, maybe not the most exciting prize but it is definitely something to shoot for. Those who participate are given a stamp for every $10 spent. Once you fill up the board, you get the knives. At the rate we go to Lowe’s, this shouldn’t be a problem!

For every $10 spent, you get a stamp. Just $790 more dollars to go for us!

For every $10 spent, you get a stamp. Just $790 more dollars to go for us!


I extend my best October wishes to all my readers. Have a safe weekend and we will touch base soon. Don’t Blink.

Proud To Be A Myrtle Beach Local

Last night, Sidney and I attended Taste of the Town, a Myrtle Beach event where over 40 area restaurants set up booths and offer food samples. As we walked up to the convention center I looked at Sid and said, “Can you believe this is the third year we have attended this?”

This was Sidney and I at Myrtle Beach's Taste of Town last night. The event is sponsored by the St. Andrew Catholic community.

This was Sidney and I at Myrtle Beach’s Taste of Town last night. The event is sponsored by the St. Andrew Catholic community.

Although I have come to realize it for at least a year now, when I asked her that rhetorical question the truth couldn’t have been more obvious to me: I am a genuine Myrtle Beach local.

Of course I was immediately a Myrtle Beach local the day I moved here by way of my address but I don’t think from a psychological standpoint I was. Now, almost exactly two and a half years since I arrived here in a U-Haul, I don’t think they come much more local than me.

Besides still messing up on directions every now and then, I would say I am a solid Grand Strand citizen. I work here, got married here, and our baby will be born here. I know about all the popular restaurants, the diviest bars, and the best ice cream parlors. I am familiar with all the local high schools, car dealerships, and putt putt courses. I have spent enough time on 501 to last a lifetime and enough time in the surf shops to know that if you have seen one you have seen them all.

But back to Taste of the Town real fast. It really is a fabulous event. Besides the restaurants I mentioned above, there is also entertainment, a beer garden, activities for kids, and much more. It is a major Myrtle Beach event and it is all put on by the St. Andrew Catholic community. As Sid and I walked around during the peak period of the event and admired what seemed to be the entire city inside that convention center, we felt very proud to be members of St. Andrew.

But you know what else I am proud of? Being a Myrtle Beach local! This place is my home and it is much more to me than just a popular tourist town. Don’t Blink.

My Pumpkin Preferences

Last week, I wrote very thoroughly about my love for “Forrest Gump.” As I pretty much appreciate every scene in that movie, it goes without saying that I enjoy the scene where Bubba tells Forrest about all the different types of shrimp. The film makes it seem like Bubba rattles off varieties of shrimp for hours (if not days) as the two friends complete army tasks.

Much in the same way that Bubba explained different kinds of shrimp, I feel most people could recite a list dealing with pumpkin. This day and age, it seems like there isn’t an entrée, side item, drink, or dessert that can’t be pumpkin-inspired. In my opinion, it has gotten a little bit out of control but who am I to judge? In fact, when it comes to judging, I think the only opinion I am entitled to would be the pumpkin products that I actually like.

So, for tonight’s blog post I am going to present my top five favorite pumpkin made/inspired/flavored products made for consumption.

5. Pumpkin Beer – Brews like Pumpking and the hundred other pumpkin beers out there are very popular. I happen to like an occasional pumpkin adult beverage too. However, my stomach can only take one of them and to be honest, South Carolina isn’t the best “pumpkin beer drinking” state. I can feel good doing most Halloween activities in any climate but if I am really going to savor a pumpkin beer I like it to be crisp outside with the smell of fall swirling around. Currently here in Myrtle Beach it is humid and hovering around 83 degrees.

4. Pumpkin Soup – I am a big soup fan and one of my favorites is pumpkin soup. The way I see things, it is the liquid version of pumpkin pie. I love the taste and I love the way it goes down. When I worked at the University of Montana, all game personnel would get fed before basketball games. A couple times each season the menu would include pumpkin soup and that was when I was the absolute happiest.

3. Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt – When I was younger, we would go to a mom-and-pop frozen yogurt place (Didier’s for my Spokane friends) on occasional Tuesday nights. This was way before the froyo craze. Each week the yogurt handles would rotate and once October hit, a flavor called pumpkin spice would be offered. The flavor was a sign to me that my birthday and Halloween were both coming and I always made sure to order it. I kid you not, you could taste the pumpkin and you could taste the spice. A little bit of nostalgia might be responsible for why this item is on the list but it honestly was very good.

2. Pumpkin Dip – A couple weeks ago when we were tailgating at the Clemson-Louisville football game, my sister-in-law introduced an incredible addition to our pregame spread. She made pumpkin dip! The stuff was incredible. It was literally like scooping out pumpkin pie. Making it even better was what we used to enjoy the dip. Get this…we had the option of going with either vanilla wafers or graham crackers. Of course I went with both!

1. Pumpkin Pie – People either love or hate pumpkin pie; you can count me in the former. It doesn’t matter if it is hot or cold, I love myself a big piece of pumpkin pie with a generous amount of whipped topping. I enjoy the taste and texture of the pie along with the element that the whipped topping brings. I also enjoy pumpkin pie just because it reminds me so much of family and the holidays. I take a bite and I seem to immediately be surrounded by warmth and love. When a food makes you feel like that, there is no way you deny it the top spot on a countdown.


I am not a pumpkin fanatic by any means but I do enjoy some of the dishes inspired by this very popular seasonal fruit. Am I missing out on a pumpkin dish that I have to try? Please let me know and if you make it for me I just might eat it. Don’t Blink.

Carving A Pumpkin!

I love Halloween by almost all counts. The candy, the costumes, the horror, and the cool autumn evenings are all aspects I really enjoy. However, two years ago I quickly revealed for the first time a part of Halloween I don’t particularly care for.

Carving pumpkins.

Carving pumpkins has never been one of my favorite activities. However, last night Sidney and I carved one. Read on to hear about my experience.

Carving pumpkins has never been one of my favorite activities. However, last night Sidney and I carved one. Read on to hear about my experience (photo credit to my mother-in-law).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate pumpkins in general. In fact, there is a lot of pumpkin-related “stuff” that I enjoy. I rarely pass on pumpkin inspired food. I get a good feeling when I go to the grocery store in October and see loads of pumpkins in crates for shoppers to buy. I still fondly remember going to the pumpkin patch as a kid. And, to this day, nothing says “Halloween” more to me than walking down a dark street and encountering a few lit up jack-o-lanterns on the porch of a house.

However, just in the same way that I like to eat a delicious cake but not put in the work to bake it, I have never really enjoyed taking the time to carve spooky faces or themes into a pumpkin. For at least the past 15 years, I have not participated in pumpkin carving activities.

All of these photos were taken at least 15 years ago.

All of these photos were taken at least 15 years ago.

Okay, let me be straight up with the two main reasons why I am not a pumpkin carving enthusiast. For one, it is dirty work. I don’t enjoy the smell of raw pumpkin upon cutting the top open and I am definitely not a big fan of pulling all the “guts” and seeds out. Two, I am not an artistic person. Using a knife to carve something into a large hollow vegetable is not my forte.

But after a decade and a half of not getting within a few inches of a pumpkin not called pumpkin pie, Sidney and I decided we would carve one last night.

We went to our local grocery store in the late afternoon and picked out the perfect pumpkin. (Full disclosure: We took the pumpkin from an autumn display in the floral section just because it was so much better looking than all the others in the crate).

After checking out, Sidney proudly put the pumpkin on her lap in the passenger’s seat as we drove home. We waited for it to get dark out and then I turned on a spooky Halloween YouTube playlist while Sid covered the kitchen table in paper.

This is a look at our pumpkin right before we started carving it.

This is a look at our pumpkin right before we started carving it.

I told myself that if we were going to carve a pumpkin, I was going to be a full participant. This meant facing my fear of getting my hands dirty with pumpkin innards. After Sid cut open the top, I plunged my hand deep inside the pumpkin and started pulling out the insides. My handfuls were matched by the scoopfuls that Sid was taking out with the apparatus that we were given in our pumpkin carving kit.

Once we cleaned out the pumpkin, we selected the pattern we would use (no easy, unoriginal jack-o-lantern face for us). Deciding on a bat and pumpkin portrait that was titled “Besties,” we taped the paper on and got to work. Sidney would poke along the pattern for a little bit and then she would turn it over to me to poke. So it went for a few rotations until I pressed too hard and broke the tool. Sid completed it by using a screwdriver.

This was the pattern we chose. We had to tape on the paper before we got to work.

This was the pattern we chose. We had to tape on the paper before we got to work.

After we had laid out the foundation of the pattern, we started to cut out the pieces. Sid would cut a piece and then I would cut a piece. I was much more at ease using the tiny orange knife our kit provided as opposed to a large kitchen knife. Finally, the last little jagged piece was gone and our design had transferred from the sheet of paper to our actual pumpkin!

It was at this time we realized that we didn’t have a light source to put in our masterpiece. However, we were not going to be disappointed. We went over to my in-laws and Brenda gave us a candle to use. Placing the candle in the pumpkin while turning off the lights, we admired our jack-o-lantern.

This was what our final product looked like! 45 minutes of hard work.

This was what our final product looked like! 45 minutes of hard work.

Let me say this…pumpkin carving is hard work! It took us 45 minutes to complete ours. It took us the longest to poke the holes around the pattern while the cutting part was tough but not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Honestly though, last night was a lot of fun. Sidney and I enjoyed working as a team to create a respectable jack-o-lantern. Most of all, it was great practice for me. I can’t wait to carve one for my new son/daughter next Halloween! Don’t Blink.

Please Don’t Let the Presidential Election Give You Anxiety

Over the past week, a lot of discussion has focused on the scientific fact that half the United States population is experiencing anxiety over the 2016 presidential election. With the never ending coverage on cable news networks combined with the social media hot topic that it is, those who can’t turn off the television or stop checking their Facebook account feel overwhelmed by it.

For those who are losing sleep over the election or feel that the stress is too much to wake up to in the morning, I say this: Relax.

It is no secret, I have loved following the presidential election this year. I have annoyed my wife with my enthusiasm for watching political talk shows and staying up to watch all the conventions/debates/campaign speeches live. For me, it has been a lot of fun. However, I have not allowed it to consume my life with anxiety.

When I was younger, I based a good day on whether my favorite sports team won or lost. I was convinced that the players on my team were the good guys, the players on the other team were the bad guys, the opposing fans were “deplorables,” the referees were always against us, and the game itself was life or death. By the time I turned about 14, I decided to broaden my worldview just a little bit.

In the way that I used to think about sports, many today think about politics, especially the 2016 presidential election. When someone, especially an adult with responsibilities, puts so much energy on the outcome of an election, is it really that surprising that they might develop some anxiety? Hardly.

Look, I know there is a lot at stake in this election. I know many of us directly identify with one candidate. I know many of us despise another candidate. In the heat of the moment, which is pretty much right now in mid-October, it feels like this election is everything. However, we must realize that life will go on after November 8.

Yes, someone will win the presidency and someone will not. Thus, according to polls, half the people in this country will be able happy with the outcome and the other half will not. But to the half that loses, whatever side that might end up being, please keep this in mind: You will still live in the best country on the planet, you will still have every right to believe in your political views, and you can rest assured there will still be checks and balances on the person who is elected president.

Don’t get yourself worked up to the point of anxiety over these next few weeks. How can you do this? Well, for starters, you don’t need to respond to someone on Twitter who has a different viewpoint. You don’t need to become so angry at a network that seems to lean a certain way. You don’t need to watch the opposing candidate’s stump speech to the point that your blood boils. You don’t need to read the editorial section of the newspaper. You don’t need to do anything that will bring you right in the middle of this bitter, crazy election.

Seriously, there is no need to feel anxiety over the presidential election. Take a step back and breathe. Then, take measures to limit yourself from the mediums that will start to trigger your boiling point. Remember, one of the greatest aspects of this beautiful country, the election of our president, is about to take place. Instead of letting it make us sick, how about we allow it to make us proud? Don’t Blink.

Cereal and Steak Thursday Rundown

It is so nice looking ahead to an upcoming weekend that calls for plenty of sunshine as opposed to one that calls for a hurricane. With the weekend in view, it must mean that it is time for the latest Thursday Rundown. Here we go…

How I Pass the Time – What do I do when I am bored? Tweet at sugary cereals of course! While browsing Twitter the other day, the Lucky Charms account popped up as a suggestion to follow. Not only did I heed the situation but I sent a tweet to Lucky Charms as well. It looks like the way I have always ate the cereal isn’t really all that unique.

Lucky Charms supports the way I eat the cereal.

Lucky Charms supports the way I eat the cereal.

Meme Worth Sharing – I love Facebook birthday wishes, especially really creative ones. Pete, my friend from Montana, posted a custom meme to my wall this past Saturday. It not only made me laugh, it made my other Facebook friends laugh as well. Since the meme generated so much engagement on Facebook as well as my Instagram account where I re-posted it, I thought I would share it on my blog as well.

This was the meme that Pete posted to my Facebook wall on my birthday.

This was the meme that Pete posted to my Facebook wall on my birthday.

Milk With Steak? Why Not? – Apparently it is a slow news day and that is why there is a story out about Jim Harbaugh drinking milk with his steak dinner. Recently, Harbaugh went to Ruth’s Chris and ordered milk with his meal. It sparked minor outrage as people questioned how someone could ever pair a glass of milk with steak. However, I am just chilling over here saying WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? I am a big milk drinker and I don’t think twice about drinking it with my steak when at home. However, I will concede this: ordering milk at Ruth’s Chris might just be a tad bit unconventional. Do you want something even more unconventional? Harbaugh once used Gatorade instead of milk in his cereal…yuck.

I have no problem with drinking milk with my steak.

I have no problem with drinking milk with my steak.

Throwback Thursday Photo – When I worked at the University of Montana, one of my duties was to serve as the mascot coordinator. During my tenure I learned a lot about the pressures of being Montana’s favorite grizzly bear. My last year working at the college we filmed several mini movies centering on our mascot (I starred in one of them, click here to watch). This photo was taken on October 13, 2013, outside of the local hospital. Click here to watch it. Miss you, Monte!

This photo of Monte and I was taken three years ago on this date outside of St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.

This photo of Monte and I was taken three years ago on this date outside of St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.

From The Archives – One year ago I wrote about the downfalls of both Steve Spurrier and Steve Sarkisian. However, that blog post doesn’t hold a candle to the one I wrote on this date two years ago. On October 13, 2014, I wrote about the worst hotel experience in my life. To this day, it is still by far the absolute nastiest hotel situation I had ever found myself in.


That is a wrap. Thanks again for reading my blog and I hope you have a great weekend…and watch out for those clowns! Don’t Blink.

Why Working Out in the Morning is the Best

Although I enjoyed working out in different gyms during the Hurricane Matthew Shut Down, there is nothing like returning to your home gym. At noon today, University Recreation opened back up. That meant our super nice gym at Coastal Carolina University was back in business.

It was nice to walk back inside my home gym today.

It was nice to walk back inside my home gym today.

I used my lunch hour to visit the place I spent a week away from. It felt great to use the equipment I am comfortable with, enjoy the amenities that the CCU gym provides, and see familiar faces. Tomorrow the facility will go back to operating on regular hours and while I enjoyed today’s experience, I am very glad for one big reason…

Working out in the early morning is simply the best.

Trust me, I can speak on this. I have gone through stages in my life where I worked out at all different times in the day. In fact, today’s noon workout used to be the normal for me. I spent my last couple years working at the University of Montana by exercising right when my lunch hour hit. Because I worked so much basically seven days a week, I could take a longer lunch, thus enabling me to work out beyond the standard 60 minutes.

When I first started working after graduating college I opted to get my workout in once I got off. It made for some late nights but I was single and it didn’t matter what time I arrived home. For the first couple years of high school, I lifted in both the mid-morning and the mid-afternoon, depending on when my weights class was scheduled.

However, throughout my whole life I have always gone through stages where I worked out bright and early in the morning. It started with zero hour weights during the latter part of high school and translated to college where I worked out at 6 a.m. all four years. When I started working professionally, although I mainly exercised after work or at noon, I would still get my pump on in the morning if I had a day off or if I was visiting my family in Spokane. When I arrived at Coastal almost two and a half years ago, I decided that I would revert back to always working out in the morning.

I don’t care what you tell me, working out in the morning is the best time to do it and let me tell you the main reason why: there is simply no better way to start the day.

A sign at one of the gyms I worked out at over the Hurricane Matthew break had a sign that read “Want To Be In An Instant Good Mood? Get Your Workout In.” This is so true. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, it is going to make you feel good. However, why not get that euphoric feeling in the morning so it lasts you the whole day? If you work out in the morning, it will give you a great outlook on whatever you are going to face over the next 12 hours. It is powerful.

But working out in the morning isn’t just about feeling good the rest of the day. It is also about taking advantage of the gym when it isn’t crowded. It is also about using the equipment when it is at its freshest. It is also about sharing the space with other dedicated people who don’t mind waking up at 5 a.m. so they can arrive at the facility five minutes before it opens at 5:55 a.m.

Another main reason why I choose to exercise in the mornings is to get it done with. Believe me, working out is a hobby for me and I enjoy it but it can also stress you out. When I would work out in the evening, it would always be in the back of my mind throughout the day. I knew after I finished the long work day I couldn’t just go home; rather, I had a date with the gym. Even when I worked out during the lunch hour the fact that I had to hit the rec center always loomed in my brain. It is so nice to exercise early in the morning and then not have to worry about setting aside time later in the day to work out and get sweaty.

The morning is really where it is at. If you are new to working out, I would really suggest you consider starting your day with it. Don’t Blink.

The Top 10 Things I Did During Hurricane Matthew Shut Down

After almost a week off, tomorrow I will return to work. I can’t describe how ready I am to get back on campus. Although I completely understand it, as I have declared before, I dislike missing work for unplanned weather events.

However, I did my best to try and enjoy the time off I had over the last several days. Even though I was working from home a majority of the time, I did make provisions to take advantage of the fact that I was not in the office. Tonight I want to briefly share the top ten things I did during the Hurricane Matthew Shut Down.

10. Watched every Governor Nikki Haley press conference – Along with the rest of the state, I became a fan of interpreter Jason Hurdich.

9. Got out of the house and went to the movies with Sidney to watch “The Girl on the Train.” – Although I can’t recommend the movie, the popcorn I had at the Coastal Grand Mall Cinemas was some of the freshest I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

We enjoyed getting out of the house last night and going to "The Girl on the Train."

We enjoyed getting out of the house last night and going to “The Girl on the Train.”

8. Ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch and doughnuts for breakfast one day – Sure beat my usual half of a peanut butter sandwich.

7. Watched day time TV, including “Let’s Make A Deal.” – Turns out I am not missing much when I am at work.

6. Intensely followed the U.S. Presidential race – What a wash, absolutely nothing happened at all.

5. Worked out at three different gyms – If only the exercise I put in could compensate for the roughly 10,000,000 calories I ate over the past week.

Over the last several days I worked out at Planet Fitness, Gold's Gym, and Sky Fitness.

Over the last several days I worked out at Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Sky Fitness.

4. Managed to petrify all of my relatives who feared that Hurricane Matthew would sweep me away – Hey, the national news made the hurricane look like it was Armageddon.

I had many family members texting me to make sure that I would survive Hurricane Matthew.

I had many family members texting me to make sure that I would survive Hurricane Matthew.

3. Celebrated my birthday – No better way to ring in your “dirty thirty” than in a state of emergency with no electricity.

On the day that Hurricane Matthew hit Myrtle Beach, I celebrated my birthday.

On the day that Hurricane Matthew hit Myrtle Beach, I celebrated my birthday.

2. Experienced my first major hurricane – Pretty big deal for a west coast boy.

1. Grew a Hurricane Matthew beard – Well, my best excuse for a beard anyway.

It was the best I could do.

It was the best I could do.


So happy to return to work tomorrow. It is time to get back to normal. Hurricane Matthew, it has been real. Don’t Blink.