My Scoop on Ice Cream

I have always liked to think of myself as an ice cream connoisseur. I like all the forms: hard ice cream, soft ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, etc. Growing up, the three of us kids (I have an older sister and a younger brother) always knew it was a special occasion when our parents would take us out for ice cream.  My memories from these childhood trips to the ice cream parlor centered surprisingly not on taste but rather on the smell of the place and the sight of the ice cream. Nothing, and I mean nothing, smells better than when you walk into an ice cream place. To this day, when I walk into a place that specializes in ice cream and that smell engulfs my nostrils, I am taken right back to when I was four years old.

Likewise, when I think of my childhood days visiting the ice cream parlor I remember the bright, seemingly glowing colors of all the different ice creams sitting right next to each other. At the time, it really seemed like a magical place. “If only I could get on the other side of the counter” I would think as the store employee probably looked on in horror as I pressed my hands against the glass.
Enough about my nostalgic ice cream memories though. This post is for me to rank the three ice cream chains I am most familiar with. Based on the fact that I have lived in the western United States my whole life, I have always gotten ice cream at either Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone, or Dairy Queen. Nothing against places such as Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs, I have just not bought ice cream from their scoop shops enough to rank them. So without further ado, here are the rankings.
1.       Cold Stone Creamery  – Taking a bite out of anything that this place creates is like taking a bite out of heaven. No other ice cream is nearly as rich or as flavorful as Cold Stone. You could be content simply with a cup of their ice cream in it. However, with all the mix-ins offered and all of the established “creations” available, you are really in for a major treat. The whole schtick of them preparing your creation on a stone is pretty cool. The singing that the employees do is the absolute worst part of the Cold Stone experience but their ice cream is good enough to suffer through it.  When I was in high school I had a friend who worked at Cold Stone and she would always go completely off the deep end by adding probably 4X the standard amount of mix-in to whatever I ordered. Yes, that was pretty awesome. Cold Stone also gets a nod from me for having the best smelling parlors.
      Brent’s Choice at Cold Stone: Love It sized Peanut Butter Cup Perfection
2.       Dairy Queen – Dairy Queen is home to probably the most famous ice cream treat in the country: The Blizzard. I absolutely love blizzards. What is better than delicious soft serve vanilla ice cream mixed with large pieces of soft candy bars/cookies/cookie dough? DQ is always coming up with different blizzards as well so there is always something new to try.
Quick story…When I was probably 11 years old, my aunt took me to a DQ and I tried (this is no joke) a grape kool-aid, pop rocks blizzard. That’s correct, grape kool-aid ice cream mixed with grape pop rocks. I never had it again.
Besides blizzards, Dairy Queen serves great sundaes and other signature items. Their brownie earthquake sundae is amazing and sometimes I still will even order a Dilly Bar.
Brent’s Choice at Dairy Queen: Medium Cookie Dough Blizzard
3.       Baskin-Robbins – By placing Baskin-Robbins third in these rankings, I am in no way saying that it is a bad place for ice cream. It is actually a great place for ice cream. I just feel that they really do not have a special “schtick” or signature item that separates them from the competition. Of course they do have 31 flavors and that is pretty cool. If you want old fashioned hard ice cream with minimal frills, Baskin-Robbins is your place. Also, the smell of a Baskin-Robbins store is just narrowly under that of Cold Stone. I also feel that B-R makes the best ice cream cakes (Yes,  I have had ice cream cakes from all three places).
      Brent’s Choice at Baskin-Robbins: Scoop of Peanut Butter and Chocolate and a scoop of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in a sugar cone.
I could talk about ice cream for hours but I think it is time to stop for now. Don’t Blink.

The End of President Trump

Today Donald Trump announced that he will not run for President. To that, I respond with a big, sarcastic “REALLY??”
Donald Trump’s flirtation with a possible presidential run was the biggest joke ever. Are you asking who took the brunt of The Donald’s bush league, self-promoting, far-fetched scheme? Well, that is easy: the media.
I know no one who would ever in their right mind would even consider voting for Donald Trump for President. Even my friends who are desperately hoping for some special Republican candidate to come out of the woodwork and separate themselves from the very weak 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate field never took Trump seriously. The guy literally flip-flopped all of his views over night to align with the platform of the Republican  Party.
I watched in amazement as the media did exactly what Trump wanted and bought into his fantasy run. All of the news channels had sit down interviews with him, Time Magazine ran a detailed feature on him, talk radio went on and on about his prospects, newspapers from coast to coast gave him their front page.
Bottom line is that Trump is much more obsessed with himself than his country to ever realistically consider the Presidency. Don’t get me wrong, he is a brilliant man who has earned every cent of his fortune.  Like it or not, he is a product of the American Dream and I give him a lot of credit. In fact, I admire him for this latest publicity stunt. He took the media in his hand and advanced his brand on a big national stage. Again, this post is not to call out Mr. Trump but rather to call out the media.
One more thing to illustrate the silliness of this all. Trump said he would announce on the finale of The Celebrity Apprentice whether he would for President or not. Well, the finale of that show was taped back in the Fall, way before Trump even mentioned the word “President.” Don’t Blink.

Man Up Jorge!!

I am a New York Yankees fan. I like everything about the organization from their tradition to their players to their management. My all-time favorite Major League Baseball player is Alex Rodriguez. So with this whole Jorge Posada controversy that erupted this weekend (Check Here) you are probably wondering, “Brent, who do you side with?”
Management 100%.
Things are still anything but rosy economic/job wise for our nation. Many people are out of work.  Many people would kill for a job that would pay them $30,000 a year. With this in mind, it is so hard to support Posada’s decision to not play in Saturday’s game based solely on the fact that he was placed in the #9 spot in the batting order. Jorge, you are making $13.1 million dollars a year…if you are put in that lineup you better go out and give it 100% no matter what spot you are hitting in. I have very little tolerance for professional athletes with larger than life egos that correspond in no way, shape, or form to their production. As of today, Jorge Posada is batting .165. That is the single-worst  batting average in the Major Leagues.
Ken Griffey Jr. did a very noble thing last baseball season. He realized that he could simply not cut it in the big leagues anymore so one day out of the blue he retired. No press conference, no shenanigans, no farewell tour. He left in a way that minimized all distractions. Jorge Posada is not even half of the player that Griffey was and look how he is acting. Jorge, do us all a favor (including yourself) and hang it up.
However, there are Posada supporters out there. In fact, some of these supporters are very prominent people in the baseball world. I want to address their opinions quickly.
Curt Schilling, former All-Star MLB pitcher was very vocal in the way he feels the Yankee management “mishandled” the Posada decision. Schilling says that Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman should never have told the press that Posada refused to play. They should have went along with some lame story that Posada’s back was bothering him. I am sorry, but there is no way a player deserves that type of protection after snubbing his team because he feels he is better than the #9 spot in the batting order. So what Curt was basically saying is that because Jorge has given the Yankees so many great years, he has to right to 1. Tell his manager to shove it and 2. Have his manager lie for him because he did not have the guts to play. That is bunk. Besides all of that, it is New York City. The press would have found out eventually that Posada never was injured. Better to come clean now.
The other opinion that is laughable at best comes from Derek Jeter. Jeter said today that Posada had no reason to apologize and that if he had done something wrong, Jeter would have told him. Well, if Jorge does do the right thing and retires, Derek knows he is going to be front and center on the list of aging Yankees who are no longer any good. So I guess it makes sense why Jeter said what he said but it is still funny because it is so easy to see through.
Jorge, next time you are up at the plate and you are just about to strike out on another fastball right down the plate, I have some advice for you: Don’t Blink.

My Take on the NBA Conference Finals

Today was a big day in the NBA. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in the 7th game of the Western Conference Semis to advance to play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Elsewhere, the Chicago Bulls defended their homecourt advantage and defeated the Miami Heat in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
I have always felt that the Conference Finals are the best part of the NBA Playoffs, even better than the Finals. I believe this is the case because the teams that meet in the Conference Finals usually have a rivalry established by the time they play each other just because they play each other more during the regular season.
My NBA Finals prediction: Heat vs. Mavericks
Who I want to see in the NBA Finals: Bulls vs. Mavericks

When it comes to the Eastern Conference Finals, I feel that the Heat will take the series even though they are currently down 0-1 (I predict Heat win the series 4-2). Honestly, the Heat are just too stacked. Coming into this series, Miami was 8-1 in the playoffs. That is dominating. I feel the Heat will manage to win at least one game in Chicago before everything is all said and done and of course I believe they will take care of business in their home arena. Again, the Heat are just too good and Lebron James gets EVERY SINGLE CALL. The Heat will advance. However, I am really pulling for the Bulls to come through. Derrick Rose is so much fun to watch play. I am also a Carlos Boozer fan. Most of my desire for the Bulls to represent the Eastern Conference though is my dislike for Lebron. There is no doubt that he is one of the best players in the league (Top 3). When he took over in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semis, I looked on in amazement. However, how he conducted himself this last off season was straight up bush league. After “The Decision” I told myself I could never cheer for that guy. Also, his pre-game chalk ritual rubs me the wrong way,

For the Western Conference Finals, I simply think the Mavs are too rested, too experienced, and too good for the Thunder (Mavs win 4-2). What a ride the Thunder has given the city of Oklahoma though. Hopefully it will be the end of that ride. Being a lifelong Seattle Supersonics fan it is hard to see your team get stolen and then implanted over 2,000 miles away by some sleazy, bush league businessman. I have loved Kevin Durant since he played college ball for Texas and I would not mind if he made it to the Finals and had a chance for a ring but I do hope Dallas prevails. Besides, I am a Dirk guy. That guy can play and has paid his dues. He has been a mainstay in the NBA Playoffs for many years now. He deserves a championship (not so much Mark Cuban).

So I expect to see a Mavs-Heat championship series. When that happens, I will have a prediction for you. Don’t Blink.

Pros and Cons of a College Grad

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work The University of Montana’s 2011 Commencement Ceremony. I feel like I was the best usher out there (just ask the proud mom from Ohio who talked my ear off). Graduation was held in Washington-Grizzly Stadium and the commencement speaker was one of my favorite media figures of all-time, Tom Brokaw. Despite very annoying winds that reached 30 mph consistently the whole ceremony, it was cool to watch. In fact, it made me reflect on my own graduation day.

Exactly two years ago I graduated from college. It was an exciting time and also an uncertain time. You see, I had earned a tuition waiver and a teaching assistantship for graduate school but I was also in the running for a job I desperately wanted (I ended up getting that job). My future was anything from set in stone when I was handed my diploma so I relate with all of the 2011 graduates who do not have all their questions answered yet.
However, I know there are many of you out there who do have a plan and who will soon be in the work force. It is for all of you who this post is for. I want to lay out my top 3 pros and my top 3 cons of living life as a young professional as opposed to a college student. Before I go too far, I want to say that I feel I have the best of both worlds. Although I am no longer a student, I work at a college and many of my good friends are still in college.  I have not been cut off completely from the college world and I am thankful for that.
Benefits of the Real World
1.       Money: The absolute best thing about entering the real world and leaving the college years behind is your financial situation. When I was in school I had to budget my meager earnings from my job in residence life tighter than the way an 18 year old manages his chips at one of those poker free rolls that Montana casinos always seems to have. I had to live lightly and do what I could to make sure I had $20 left at the end of the week to go downtown. Now, my situation is much nicer. Because I am single and because I have never knocked anyone up, I only have myself to worry about. If I want something, I buy it. It is an amazing feeling and it allows you to have a lot of fun.

2.       No Homework: This one took me a lot of getting used to. I would come home from work and would ask myself “Okay, what paper/assignment/report should I start on first?” It would then dawn on me that I was out of school and had no obligation to turn anything in. I was an obsessive student who while in school put in about 5 hours a night studying so to finally have evenings to do whatever I wanted was empowering.  Two years later I still feel very fortunate for my free nights. It is so nice to be able to watch the Mariners play from the first pitch of the game to the final out of the ninth inning. It is enjoyable to go out to the theater and watch a movie. It is relaxing to go to bed at a decent hour.

3.       Prestige: I do not get wrapped up into this one too much but it is nice to have the status of a young professional. People look at you differently and treat you differently. Also, I kid you not, you receive a much better shot with women, especially older women.
Drawbacks of the Real World
1.       No Excuses: Once you graduate from college, you lose most of your ability to make youthful, dumb mistakes. You are held to a higher standard. Things you did in college no longer fly in your new life and consequences are much steeper. Bars, Facebook, and football games will no longer be the same.

2.       I’m Getting Old: After you get your diploma, you start to feel old. It sucks, but it is definitely a fact of post-graduation. It is tough for me to say that I am in my mid-20’s. This past Saturday when I saw the graduates in their gowns with their mile wide smiles I saw that youthfulness still in them. Sadly, it fades fast. After college, pretty soon you are just an average adult. Welcome to the club.

3.       College Challenge: Now up above I stated that one of the benefits of post-college life entails not having your whole night taken over by homework. I stand by that. However, I do miss the challenge college gave me. I loved nothing more than to succeed on a paper, succeed in a class, succeed in a semester. College gave me drive and it gave me great purpose. I always played a game of me vs. the professor. I was out in the arena (classroom) to defeat the opponent (the professor). Sure, you will have challenges every single day for the rest of your life. College is different though.  In college the challenge is much  more laid out and succeeding is much more defined. I miss that.

Congratulations to the Class of 2011!! Don’t Blink.

Bin Laden

When Navy Seals ended the life of Osama Bin Laden a little less than two weeks ago, the world went nuts with reaction. When President Obama addressed the nation, Twitter reported that over 5,100 tweets were being sent a second! Take 5,100 and multiply that by 60 and that equals out to a whole bunch of tweets for one minute. Now multiply that number by the 9 minutes that Obama talked and that is a very large number (2,754,000 total tweets to be exact). Obviously, the world had a lot to say about the death of Bin Laden.
I want to say right off the bat that I support the killing of OBL. Mass murderers have no place on this earth. However, I will talk more about this really soon when I put to the test two of the most common arguments against the death of OBL.
Before I get into that though, I want to reflect on the mission that killed Osama. Before the raid, I knew very little about the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Basically, JSOC is a collection of our military’s most skilled and deadly divisions (hence, the Navy Seals being one of them). These guys are given dangerous missions of the utmost importance that hinge on absolute precision and accuracy. It is a no-brainer that JSOC was in control of killing Osama.
I honestly could not read/watch enough of the coverage about the mission that killed OBL. Absolutely incredible. These guys started training for this mission by literally rehearsing the raid on a compound that the military built that was an exact replica of the one that OBL lived in. After Obama gave them the go-ahead, they flew into foreign skies, rope jumped into the compound, killed Osama’s cronies on the first floor, secured the second floor, went up to the third floor and took care of OBL, secured his body, scoured the house completely to come up with enough material that could “fill a small college library”, blew up their own helicopter that crash landed, and then got everyone back into the helicopter plus a corpse…in 40 minutes. Yes everyone, we have some absolute bad asses who are protecting us while we get to live our lives. We are very lucky.
Not everyone appreciated this mission as much as I did. I have to admit that it is kind of weird to rejoice over someone’s death. However, there are exceptions. Over and over again I heard two different arguments people used in objection to OBL’s killing. Well, one is an argument against it and the other is a point that people kept bringing up.
First thing people say: OBL’s death is not going to bring back all the people he killed     Are you serious? I don’t think anyone who has any of their brain cells still working would think their loved ones are going to come back or, more realistically, think it is ever going to fill the void of the loss they suffered. Everyone who lost a loved one knows this, do not insult them by saying that OBL’s death is not going to bring anyone back. This is not an argument, it has nothing to do whatsoever with why people have found some sort of satisfaction with why he is gone. For everyone who had the unbelievable horrible fate of losing someone in the 9/11 attacks, they did gain something with OBL’s death: No longer do they have to worry about the person in all of their worst nightmares stalking the earth anymore.  No longer do they have to fathom the possibility that the person who killed someone they love in addition to thousands of others might not have to pay the same price that they did. No longer do they have to worry that someone who ruined their own lives could ruin anyone else’s life with similar attacks.  Justice was served to a degree, and that is something to be content with.
Second thing people say: Americans are hypocrites for celebrating the death of OBL.   No, this could not be further from the truth.  When 9/11 occurred, Middle Eastern nations took to the streets with their children and held parades, BURNED American flags, and cheered on the fact that thousands of INNOCENT lives had been lost.  They were celebrating solely for the loss of human life. When the Navy Seals took OBL out of his misery, Americans gathered on the streets for a few hours in a sign of a mission accomplished, in a sign of relief, and in a sign that justice had been served. Americans were gathering to mark the fact that the devil incarnate, someone who impacted millions of lives in the worst possible way, was gone.  People who celebrated the 9/11 attacks celebrated an event that made the world worse; people who celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden celebrated an event that made the world better. You tell me where the hypocrisy is. Don’t Blink.

Weather Psychology

It is amazing to me how much the weather can play with my head.  Over the past few years I have noticed how less and less tolerant I am of the gray skies, harsh temperatures, and brutal winds we experience about eight months of the year here in Missoula. There is nothing worse than going outside and immediately getting pulverized by the weather. Over time you view the weather very cynically and your memories of the big yellow thing in the sky start to fade away.

This week in Missoula, Spring finally decided to show itself. Not only did the temperatures go up dramatically but the SUN shined brightly through all of our mountains and valleys. Waking up in the morning and having the sunlight engulf my room is an automatic mood booster that lasts the whole day for me. Even though I spend most of the day in the office, having that exposure to the sun in the morning while I drive to work is enough to improve my mood throughout the whole day even if I am trapped indoors.  I can’t wait for the weekend as I will literally spend all my time outdoors.

Now while I do love the sun, I do not feel like its mere presence warrants a license not to wear a shirt. Living in a college town with a large hippie presence, you would probably not be surprised to know that once the thermometer hit about 65 degrees this week, dudes thought it was cool to walk around shirtless while playing their guitar or attempting to walk on a slack line. Come on now. Please, please wait until it is the middle of July and it is pushing 100 to do that….in fact, just don’t do it at all.

I am very thankful for the sunny skies this week. It really did seem like a long time coming. However, I can only imagine the agony I would go through if I lived in Seattle. I have no idea how people live in that city. is big, exotic, and full of different things to do but rain 50% of the days of the year and cloudy for mostly all of them? I could not do that. Seattle is a great place to visit, not to live.  So before I bash on the climate too much in Missoula, I do understand that it could be worse. Eventually I do want to move to a city where the climate is more mild, the skies are more blue, and the wind a little less harsh. Probably not until I retire.  Don’t Blink.

My Coming Out Party

I am officially throwing my hat into the blogging ring.

Most of you who know me will not be expecting much out of this blog. Good, you shouldn’t. If you do not appreciate my Twitter account ( ) , you will probably hate my blog. What I plan to do is expand on my tweets. This means many of my blog posts will pertain around two things:

1.       The things I am currently doing in my life


2.       Pop culture, mainly sports.

I have marginal writing skills. Sadly, those marginal writing skills have deteriorated over the two years since I have graduated from college. I apologize to everyone in advance for this. When I read the blogs of other people I always marvel at the tremendous voice they are able to express in their posts. Through time I hope my voice shines through just like some of the bloggers I admire. This, I hope, might help cover up my less than perfect writing skills.

My name is Brent and I am a 24 year old guy who lives in Missoula, Montana. I am lucky enough to work in an industry that I have an unwavering love for: Athletics. I serve as the Assistant Marketing Director for The University of Montana Intercollegiate Athletics. It is a position that I cherish and a position that I have learned so much from in the past two years. Besides sports, my interests include working out, traveling, eating/drinking, social media, reading, gambling (cards), and hiking to name just a few.

I would be perfectly content with this blog if no one ever looked at it and if it was just there for me to look back on and be able to reflect on my experiences and opinions. I am an avid journaler. I have filled many journals by writing an entry every single day religiously for the past 10 years of my life.  These journals have been so valuable to me in that they allow me to look back and have a record of my life. This is why I am now authoring a blog so I have an electronic version of my life/thoughts to look back on… cause you never know when a fire is going to destroy everything I own.

However, since I am putting my life/thoughts out on the internet for all to see, I am more than open for interaction with all of you regarding what I write. I encourage it.

Welcome to my blog everyone! It should be an interesting journey. Don’t Blink.