Sweet Way to Start the Thursday Rundown

It is the last Thursday in February. However, no matter if it is the first or last, any Thursday means it is time for the rundown. Time to get started.

#CCU Director of Athletics – Today news came down that our university now has a permanent athletic director. The man officially in charge of our sports program is Matt Hogue. Not a stranger to this huge responsibility at all as he served as the interim athletic director for the past several months, I couldn’t be more thrilled for Matt now that it is official. He was one of the three members on the committee that decided to hire me. When I came for my on-campus visit almost one year ago he was so welcoming and professional. Since I have started working here at Coastal he has humbly reached out to me several times and has even asked for advice whether it be about social media or about how we would do certain things at Montana. AD Hogue has already done a great job in his interim role and will continue to move Chanticleer Athletics forward now that he is the guy.

This is a photo I took of Matt during summer commencement.

This is a photo I took of Matt during summer commencement.

Recognition for #CCUSocialMedia – Yesterday I received word that our summer #CCUSA campaign was recognized in the Educational Advertising Awards. Entered in the “Social Media: 4-year Institution, 5,000-10,000” category, it received the bronze award. Although I am much more interested in winning gold awards, earning any type of national recognition is a cool deal and a great starting point for our social media program. Thank you to Kevin Olivett and Jon Fernandez for their great help assisting with the conception of the #CCUSA campaign.

#CCUSA earned some recognition through the Educational Advertising Awards.

#CCUSA earned some recognition through the Educational Advertising Awards.

Very Interesting App – Last week my brother drew my attention to an app called Fling. Here is the concept: You take a photo or video, hit send, and then the app will transport the media you created to 50 random people worldwide. My brother likened Fling to a cross between Snap Chat and Chat Roulette. I personally like it because I can broadcast my blog to 50 new people at a time over the whole planet. Sadly, I have found out that not everyone is as enthusiastic about my website as I am. You see, people who receive your “Fling” can respond. I have had a couple people tell me in not so nice terms that they don’t really care about www.brentreser.com and that they rather see a hot girl instead.

This is the Fling logo.

This is the Fling logo.

Silly Weekend Planned – Saturday will be a lot of fun! I am not going to release the exact details now because I am going to write about it on Sunday night but I will say this: It has to do with Sidney and I traveling to the area of Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a typical “Brent Being Brent” trip. Stay tuned to www.brentreser.com for a recap at the end of the weekend.

Words of Wisdom– Exactly one year ago today, these words of wisdom appeared on my “Life’s Little Instructions” calendar. This definitely goes down as one of my favorite pieces of advice. Personal disappointment is tough, but nothing helps remedy the pain more than by lifting someone else up. I have tried to use this remedy as much as possible as I have faced my own setbacks. With these words appearing exactly 365 days ago, I knew I had to share.

Great Advice!

Great Advice!


Have a superb weekend, everyone! As always, I am very appreciative of your readership. Don’t Blink.

Shutting Down Because of An Inch of Snow

Ten months since moving to Myrtle Beach I am still learning ways in which the south is different from out west. I love observing and experiencing the ways in which the two cultures differ, it is very interesting and fun to me. This week I have come across another major contrast.

Growing up in the northwest, getting around and dealing with the snow was just a fact of life. From at least October through March we knew that snow would fall and driving would become a little more hazardous. Sometimes, when the white stuff would come in accumulations of a foot or two, maneuvering a motor vehicle would get especially tricky.

Another part of growing up was hearing stories about far off lands that rarely had the blessing of snow or ice. You would hear about towns shutting down, motorists abandoning vehicles, and people freaking out. Because these measures seemed so drastic and so over the top, the question of whether these things actually occurred always went through our heads.

I can now say that they do…to a degree.

On Monday, the threat of a winter storm loomed over the Grand Strand area. The local media ran with it and forecasted snow and ice! The major school district in our area raised the white flag immediately. At 6 p.m. on Monday the district’s leadership cancelled school for the next day. This decision came before even one snowflake could fall, let alone one raindrop. The technical college in the area followed suit. We here at Coastal decided to wait until 6 a.m. on Tuesday to make a final decision.

Oh, I guess I wasn’t very specific when I noted that the forecast called for snow and ice. Let me fill you in on what was expected: The weather service warned of up to a HALF INCH of snow accumulation with periods of possible freezing rain. Armageddon.

Come Tuesday morning the forecast had not materialized. However, because the threat still loomed for later in the day, Coastal made the move to cancel classes. However, campus was still open and employees were required to come to work. As someone who hates snow days (or “threat of snow” days in this case), I was very happy that campus was still left open.

The snow never came. The dangerous road ice never made an appearance either, although icicles did form on cars which looked kind of cool. For people not from the South and even for those native to it, it seemed a little strange to walk around in mild temperatures and just rain while knowing that schools and services were closed. Perhaps the weirdest moment for many came this morning. As another precautionary measure to miss the threat of a storm, most of the Myrtle Beach/Conway area didn’t start classes/work/life until 10 a.m. today. With the temperatures pleasant and no precipitation at all, the delay seemed rather wacky to some.

My license plate was frozen and icicles formed!

My license plate was frozen and icicles formed!

But don’t count me as one of them! Although I do admit that I was a little shocked at first with the reaction to what constitutes June weather in Montana, I did come to realize why such decisions are made.

People in this area of the country are not used to snow and ice. Not only are folks not used to it, but necessary equipment for the removal of such hazards are not readily available either. Thus, even with the threat of a snow dusting, closures can be necessary because if it does materialize, there would not be an efficient way to remove it. Even a miniscule amount of snow can make roads dangerous. For those not accustomed to driving in it, the chance for accidents increase.

So it is not about being brave or macho. It is about being safe. Different areas of the country are accustomed to different climates and patterns. I am sure my hometown of Spokane would freak out and collapse if a hurricane warning came. A little perspective and background can go a long way when understanding why different areas respond to weather situations like they do. Don’t Blink.

Bone Chilling Nightmare: Mall Terrorism

Yesterday, another terror threat delivered by an immensely deranged group made news. Only this call to violence caught my attention a little more. To be honest it sent a chill up my spine and gave me a bad feeling. Some bastard terrorist group called Al-Shabab used their primitive ways to issue a type of warning you don’t always hear.

It seems like terror threats usually zero in on airports, landmarks, and streets of big cities. However, very rarely do you hear of plots to disrupt shopping malls on American soil. Yesterday, video of some P.O.S with an ugly bag wrapped around his face and head warned of attacks in shopping malls, specifically the Mall of America in Minnesota. This made me feel a little uncomfortable.

This is the scum that sent out the threat of an attack on the Mall of America.

This is the scum that sent out the threat of an attack on the Mall of America.

To me, it seems like a shopping mall is the most vulnerable/mass casualty prone area to pull off a savage attack. If you think about it, places like airports, stadiums, tourist hot spots, and even schools all have metal detectors and law enforcement personnel located at the entrances. At malls you have numerous entry points where people are free to come and go without any sort of check. A polar bear could pretty much wander inside any American mall undetected, let alone some terrorist strapped with explosives or carrying automatic weapons.

Of course it just isn’t the undetected entry that makes me worry. Once inside a mall, it is pretty much a playground for someone who is up to no good to stake out, hide, and wreak havoc. Even with no plan at all, a maniac could run into a mall, randomly shoot twenty people, and then go run to a vacant store space or disappear into a corner of a department store. Even scarier, a terrorist could stroll to the middle of the food court and blow himself up. These are the things of nightmares.

Could you imagine a sophisticated attack? A terrorist cell could send lunatics on every level of a mall and then at the designated second let loose. Mall cops receive an unfair reputation but there is no way they could compete with a choreographed attack against automatic weapon yielding psychos. Now I know the Mall of America has a much more aggressive law enforcement fleet than your typical shopping center but it is these less prominent malls that I am especially worried about.

To me it just all seems way too easy and way too scary. What can we do against these agents from hell who will do anything to kill innocent Americans? I have thought a lot about the mall I grew up going to and the Coastal Grand Mall here in Myrtle Beach when it comes to ways in which they might be attacked. It is chilling.

I am fully aware that many of these terror organizations put out these threats as a way to scare us and to make us alter our routines. Hundreds of specific threats are just that…threats. They never physically materialize. But jackasses like those in Al-Shabab also inspire loner jackasses unaffiliated with any terror ring to do stupid things.

I hope I never see a mall terrorist attack on American soil. However, the threat and possibility is very much there. Don’t Blink.

The Major Supermarket Inconvenience

Something really refreshing happened to me when I was in Spokane over Christmas. I paid a visit to Albertson’s, a western supermarket chain that I grew up going to. I picked up a few items and headed to the checkout line. After the cashier scanned my items and the total price appeared on the monitor I locked eyes with the teenager and asked him the question that would drop my total price by ten dollars.

“Can I give you my phone number?”

“No sir,” the courteous young worker said, “We don’t have a loyalty program anymore. Everyone receives the ‘preferred’ prices now.”

Hallelujah! With that said he hit a key and my grocery tab dropped like a rock. I didn’t have to hand over a key card, I didn’t have to type in a on a key pad, and I didn’t have to recite my mom and dad’s landline telephone number that they have not used in ten years. The sale price that was noted on the aisles was no longer a price that only “preferred” or “valued” or “loyal” shoppers with a ridiculous barcode on a piece of plastic could use. It was a price that applied to all customers, a price that wouldn’t waste time at the cash register because of an unnecessary swipe, a trivial spitting out of ten digits, or the major delay of signing up for a program.

I really wish other supermarket chains would follow suit. I think it is time to put to rest these stupid programs where you need a store card to cash in on the discounted/sale prices. If the item is on sale, just let it be on sale for everyone. Supermarkets holding on to these loyalty programs do nothing but waste time. Instead of just honoring the discount for everyone, an additional step must be taken no matter if it is asking someone for a phone number or having someone type something/scan something into a machine. It is complete asinine.

It is time to put the kibosh on grocery store loyalty cards.

It is time to put the kibosh on grocery store loyalty cards.

But let me take one step back because I think I am being too hard on just supermarkets. Pharmacies and discount stores have them as well. It doesn’t matter what store I stop at on my way home from work, each one (except for Wal-Mart) will ask if I am a “club member.” Lowe’s, CVS, Rite Aid, Food Lion, Bi-Lo, etc. all pull this card (pun intended) on me. It gets so irritating because I am not a “VIP” shopper at any of them. Because of this, I pull the same dumb, time draining stunt at each one:

Cashier: Are you a ________ member?
Me: No I am not, can I become one please?
Cashier Response #1: I will just swipe our card for you.
Cashier Response #2: Yes, here is your card (hands me a worthless piece of plastic that I will not use). You must call the number on the back to activate.

I do this because heck yes I am going to get the store discount, usually it is significant. My hope is that I will get the first cashier response and he/she will just swipe the store’s card for me. If I get the second response I still get the savings because they swipe my new card it is just that I have another chunk of material to add to my graveyard.

At my apartment I have all kinds of unactivated cards hanging around. I probably have like six alone just from Food Lion. I see no need to activate these cards because I am not going to keep them in my wallet, I would have way too many of them. What, just activate the card and use your phone number at these stores? Sorry, the activation process is usually wackadoodle.

It is time to do away with these loyalty clubs. In this day of advanced technology, high tech cameras, social media, and credit/debit cards, we don’t need these types of programs to track the buying habits of customers. Let’s save time while including everyone. Don’t Blink.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

In honor of the Academy Awards tonight, I thought I would briefly review a couple movies I saw in the theater this weekend. Mind you, neither of these movies will be up for an award soon, let alone an Oscar, but since both are bringing in the cash at the box office I thought I would give my two cents. By the way, if you do want some throwback Oscar literature from yours truly, click here.

This weekend I enjoyed two movies that were both released to quite a bit of fanfare. Last night I watched “Fifty Shades of Grey” and then this morning I saw “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Let me tell you what I thought.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” – Yesterday evening, Sidney and I went to see the movie that garnered gasps from women when the secretive teasers were shown in theaters months before the release date. I swear these same women came back for our showing yesterday. Besides them, many couples around the ages of Sidney and I also took up room in the theater. But even with these two groups, the auditorium was only about 75% full, making it very puzzling why an older gentlemen climbed all the way to the top row where Sidney and I sat and decided to sit down in the unoccupied seat right next to me. Hmmm…Fifty Shades of Weird.

My ticket for "Fifty Shades of Grey."

My ticket for “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

For everything I have heard about the “Fifty Shades” franchise over the past couple of years, I was preparing myself to see something completely graphic, taboo, crazy, and sinister. When the movie concluded, I was honestly asking myself what the big deal was. I really didn’t find the film that offensive or shell-shocking.

I was pleasantly surprised that the film took place in my home state of Washington. I did not know this detail prior to last night. I enjoyed the shots of Seattle and I took pleasure in seeing the great promotion of Washington State University, the college I grew up cheering for and where I thought I would one day attend. The institution is where the lead female character, Ana, went to school.

As for the movie itself, I thought it was well-done. I think it had a very interesting plot, one in which the dilemma of Ana is very captivating. I loved the acting job of Jamie Dornan, the man who played the title character of Christian Grey. He did such a superb job of making himself a man of intrigue, someone who might really qualify as “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” He played his role so smoothly and did a convincing job of portraying the secret life his character must live. The ending absolutely sucked but I guess that is what is expected when a sequel is to follow. Even though the movie ended with me on the ropes, “Fifty Shades of Grey” exceeded my expectations.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” – The plot for this movie is much too complex to explain so I won’t try to do so. However, I hope that by describing what the movie is like you might have a better idea on whether you want to see it or not.

My ticket for "Kingsman: The Secret Service."

My ticket for “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

“Kingsman” is a mix between a thriller/spy/comedy film. Although the movie is very humorous and on the lighter side, you must be tuned in from the beginning to the end to understand everything that is going on. Although Samuel L. Jackson stars in the movie, it is very much a British film. Because of this, at times it is hard to catch everything that is said because of the English accents.

It is a very clever movie with lots of twists, killing, and crazy ideas. Dialogue is quick and witty. There is actually a moral dilemma that is at the center of the film but it is purposefully overshadowed by the action and humor. For me the movie lasted a little too long and I became really annoyed with a few of the characters who reappear throughout the whole feature. With that said, if you like comic books and enjoy spies, you will most likely enjoy “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” I was entertained, but like I said above, this movie will not be taking home an Oscar.


Enjoy the Academy Awards! I will be turning back and forth throughout the evening. As I said on Thursday, my fingers are crossed for “American Sniper” to take home Best Picture. Don’t Blink.

The Return of the Thursday Countdown

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday! When you think of Thursday, do you automatically say to yourself, “I can’t wait, it is Brent’s random rundown day!”? I didn’t think so. Let’s get to the topics.

Boom, Clap, the Sound of My Tires – This morning got off to a rough start. As I was driving to campus for my workout, I rammed over what looked to be a good sized log in the middle of my lane. Driving in the dark and maybe zoning out about the day ahead of me, I didn’t even see it until it was too late. A loud crashing sound went through my car and I knew I had at least one flat. Roadside assistance came to tow my car and Sidney came to the rescue and picked me up.

Later in the day the repair shop called me. They delivered the unfortunate news that not only was the front passenger tire toast but the back one was as well. This morning when I got in my car I had little idea that I would run over some random object that would force me to shell out $172 for new tires.

It’s Going Down, I’m Yelling Tinder – Last month I was interviewed by WPDE to give an expert opinion regarding online dating, specifically with popular apps such as Tinder. I decided to take the advice I gave in the interview and expand on it for my latest Coastal Now segment. To watch me give my best advice on how to play safely with Tinder, click here. Additionally, I would like to announce that I have started my own personal YouTube channel. If you would like to check that out, click here.

In my latest Social Circle segment I talk Tinder.

In my latest Social Circle segment I talk Tinder.

You’re As Cold as Ice – This past week Myrtle Beach has seen record cold temperatures for the area. Believe it or not, temperatures have dropped to (gasp) 20 degrees. No, not -20 degrees, just 20 degrees. However, for people who are not used to those temperatures it is cold. Believe it or not, the local school district actually delayed classes by two hours. Of course the schedule went on as normal at Coastal. Speaking of my work place, I took this photo of one of our fountains at the start of the week. There is your proof that it occasionally does get cold in South Carolina.

The fountain in the Edwards Courtyard was icing over.

The fountain in the Edwards Courtyard was icing over.

Short Stay – Catholic priests usually don’t stay at parishes for too long. Dioceses move around personnel every few years or so. However, this past weekend I saw an early exit that was especially brief. A few months ago at St. Andrew we received a Polish priest named Fr. Filip Wodecki to serve as our parochial vicar. This man, probably in his forties, loved to joke around and had a very sharp wit. The only problem was that his humor didn’t translate with everyone simply because they couldn’t understand him. His accent was sometimes difficult to decipher, even for me. Nonetheless, he was still a great guy who was committed to his job. It came as great surprise last Saturday evening when he said he was moving on. The bishop had assigned him to a new parish. I wish Fr. Wodecki the best of luck!

The front of St. Andrew Parish. This is the church I attend in Myrtle Beach.

The front of St. Andrew Parish. This is the church I attend in Myrtle Beach.

My Oscar Pick – So obviously you all are anxiously awaiting my Oscar pick for Best Picture. Having seen half of the nominees, I have to go with “American Sniper.” The story, the themes, and the acting make this film the best of the year. I will tell you this, there should be no way in hell that Bradley Cooper doesn’t win Best Actor. His performance as Chris Kyle is one for the ages. Dear Academy, please give him the award.


You made it through another rundown! I hope you all have a great weekend and thanks again for reading. Don’t Blink.

SportsCenter Highlight Atrocities

Everyone has their gripes with ESPN. I have my short list as well but I don’t try to make it public because, well, ESPN happens to be my favorite channel. It kind of goes against the advice of “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” However, there is something that I do want to throw out there just because it bugs me so much.

I get irritated when the network’s signature program, SportsCenter, showcases events that have no relevance in the sporting world at all. The spelling bee and competitive eating are two examples. If I didn’t enjoy watching poker I would include it as a third. But what really gets me is what Sportscenter has decided to show “highlights” of the past two days. I think it is a sign that our society is going downhill when the most popular sports show on the planet decides to feature the Westminster Dog Show. Yuck!

I would rather watch ants crawl around on a curb than watch the Westminster Dog Show. I find it boring, stuffy, and stupid. With that said, I guess it pulls in decent ratings for the USA Network so I can’t blame that station for broadcasting it. But I can blame ESPN for putting something on SportsCenter that is the ultimate antithesis to anything remotely athletic. In my opinion, a dog show has no right to take up even two seconds on a station that is supposed to be devoted to real athletes and the spirit of legitimate competition.

But like I said above, I know ESPN features non-athletic junk quite frequently. However, I got to thinking…if ESPN insists on filling SportsCenter highlights with strange, quasi-competition oddities, why don’t they at least make it interesting? I am talking about permanently axing dogs walking across a stage and kids trying to spell long words with something entertaining and physically skill-based. If I had to pitch you an idea for such an alternative, I would tell you to go to one place…

The arcade.

ESPN should create an arcade league that brings people from all over the world that specialize in the following events. Following each competition is my thinking on what it would be like/look like:

Skee-Ball: These competitors go for the highest-value hole at the top every single time and seldom miss. They massage those nasty brown balls for good luck and make the celebrations of bowlers look tame.

Air Hockey: These head-to-head battles are absolutely ruthless. Competitors slam the puck with as much strength as they possibly can. Many times the mallets go airborne. There is sweating involved and the march to seven points is usually very grueling.

Hot Shot: These “athletes” train their lives away hoisting up as many shots on the mini hoop in 60 seconds as possible. It is a game all about speed because the people who compete in this activity never miss. Those who score 100 points automatically make the Top Ten on SportsCenter.

Ball Crawl Wrestling: Object of this game is to submerge your opponent under the balls for three seconds. This competition gets nasty and by the time the bout is over, half of the balls are out of the netted area.

Whack-A-Mole: Of course this little game would be prominently featured. Pros at this game would have excellent hand-eye coordination as well as an uncanny ability to know in their heads what mole would pop out of which hole next. Watching this would not be for the faint of heart…competitors swing with violence and curse excessively.

So who knows if any of these games would ever make good TV. Most likely, it would probably appeal to a niche, just like competitive eating and poker do. But one thing I know for sure, you ask? It would be much more entertaining and physically challenging than the Westminster Dog Show. What a complete waste of time. Don’t Blink.

A Reason to Talk About Pancakes

It pains me to ever mention a stupid, phony “national day of _________ (enter a specific item that has no reason for a day’s worth of recognition)” on brentreser.com. One time, I even blogged about how much I hate it. However, when it inspires a blog post I have to swallow my pride. For whatever reason, today is National Pancake Day. It just so happens that pancakes are my favorite breakfast item. Just a few words on this delicious delicacy:

I grew up loving pancakes. From the ages of 9-16, whenever we went out for breakfast I would always order two pancakes and a side of hash browns. Perhaps no place offered better hot cakes than our family Italian restaurant, the Pastime Café, in Walla Walla, Washington. The plate sized pancakes had something special about them, a taste that included a slightly sweet flavor. The whipped butter and old fashioned maple syrup set them apart.

This is me with a plate of banana pecan pancakes in a Myrtle Beach restaurant.

This is me with a plate of banana pecan pancakes in a Myrtle Beach restaurant.

I have other restaurants that stick out in my mind because of their pancakes. A place in Spokane called Frank’s Diner would serve silver dollar pancakes covered in whipped cream, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. A family restaurant in Walla Walla called Clarete’s would whip up great tasting pancakes that happened to be yellow! In Missoula, Montana, I was very fond of a place called Paul’s Pancake Parlor. At this particular restaurant I would order the signature dish, a sampler plate with a chocolate chip pancake, a sourdough pancake, a blueberry pancake, and an original pancake. Other establishments with really good hot cakes come to mind too but I don’t want to bore you.

These are some chocolate chip pancakes I had at Plantation Pancake House in Myrtle Beach.

These are some chocolate chip pancakes I had at Plantation Pancake House in Myrtle Beach.

Of course I grew up eating my mom’s pancakes. Quite frequently she would make pancakes for weekend breakfasts and even for dinners. She would get her griddle out and pour on the batter, making several pancakes at once. Every now and then she would let us make our own pancake! Standing over us, she would let us pour the batter on the surface, flip it over, and then transfer the completed product to a plate.

People sometimes get weirded out by this, but to this day I always have my mom undercook my pancakes. I am talking undercooked in such a way that the pancake pretty much rips apart in doughy shreds as it is transferred from the serving plate to my own individual plate. Actual batter streams out on my plate. This makes some people a little queasy but when it comes to eating pancakes hot, this is my preferred way to do it.

I am also a huge fan of leftover pancakes. My mom would always make extra pancakes and freeze them. I would then eat several breakfasts where I would reach into the freezer, take out a bag of 3-4 pancakes, heat them up just enough so they would unthaw, and spread peanut butter on them. It was a great way to start off the morning!

Now I live in an area that has “pancake houses” on every corner. In Myrtle Beach you will find numerous breakfast restaurants that specialize in pancakes. It really is a little slice of heaven for me. I went through a little spurt where I tried three or four of them in a short span. At one place I ordered banana pecan hot cakes and loved every bite.

Pancake Houses are all over Myrtle Beach. This is Woodhavens Pancake House.

Pancake Houses are all over Myrtle Beach. This is Woodhavens Pancake House.

So that is what I have to say about pancakes. If you know of a place that I have to try, please let me know! As much as I say to hate it, Happy National Pancake Day. Don’t Blink.

Fiverr: Best Website Ever

I feel really compelled to write tonight because I want to tell you all about an awesome website. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, in some fashion you will be able to utilize this promised land on the internet. Bear with me for just a couple minutes this evening.

In September I attended a social media conference in Columbia, S.C. It was here that I heard about www.fiverr.com for the first time. The presenter explained how Fiverr is a website bursting at the seams with freelancers who will do pretty much anything for $5 (hence, FIVErr). Well, of course the word anything in this context has limits. He was talking jobs dealing with branding, marketing, writing, website design, social media, etc. I was mildly intrigued and looked up the website while he was talking but then kind of forgot about it.

The Fiverr logo.

The Fiverr logo.

A couple weeks ago while thinking that I needed a professional logo for my blog, I remembered Fiverr. I surfed on the site and started looking around. The amount of graphic design artists on the site practically pleading to design your logo for just $5 was astounding. I scrolled down looking at my options. I could choose from 3D logos, cartoon logos, retro logos, signature logos, elegant logos, mascot logos, and more. To say the least, it was a little overwhelming.

This was the first logo that my seller made for me. She made me two vintage logos for $5. I told her I wanted a circle-shaped logo in blue.

This was the first logo that my seller made for me. She made me two vintage logos for $5. I told her I wanted a circle-shaped logo in blue.

After looking around and doing some research, I chose a seller who specialized in vintage logos. For $5 she would not just create one logo for me but TWO logos. In the Fiverr world, a job is called a “gig.” I purchased the gig and the seller immediately contacted me to get some information. She asked for color choices, shape preferences, and style considerations. The next day, I had two cool looking Don’t Blink logos to use at my discretion.

This is the second logo she created for me and the one that I prefer.

This is the second logo she created for me and the one that I prefer.

With such great results the first time around, I started exploring the site more. While Fiverr definitely includes all of the services I mentioned above, it offers so much more. People will write songs about you, dance for you, hold signs on your behalf, give legal advice, Skype with you for 15 minutes, write blog posts, model your jewelry, and do voice-over work. Fiverr also enters into the “weirder” realm as well. For an Abraham Lincoln bill, you can listen to someone overact about any topic you choose, watch a fat man pour chocolate on himself, enlist a fake girlfriend to write on your social media accounts to make others jealous, have someone’s baby kitten sit on a digitally imposed photo of yourself, or direct someone to prank call an enemy.

So far though, I have just purchased the more practical gigs. Last weekend I had a seller create me a personal business card. I was very happy with the design and immediately went to Office Depot where I had them printed. You bet, I now have my own Don’t Blink business cards.

These are the business cards that a seller off of Fiverr created for me.

These are the business cards that a seller off of Fiverr created for me.

The last gig I purchased though did result in a few jokes and eye rolls at my expense. I paid an aspiring actress/model the normal Fiverr fee to provide me with a testimonial of my blog. When I opened up the video for the first time and showed Sidney, we both rolled on the ground in laughter. The seller did exactly what I wanted, and she gave me an excellent review, but with her over exaggeration combined with my silly request to have a testimonial created for my website in the first place, it all seemed a bit absurd. Please, please, please check it out by clicking here. I am proud of it and embarrassed by it at the same time.

Here is a screen capture form my testimonial. I sought out the help of an actress/model to talk about my blog. It is 15 seconds of gold.

Here is a screen capture form my testimonial. I sought out the help of an actress/model to talk about my blog. It is 15 seconds of gold.

I plan to continue to utilize Fiverr. For the first time in my life, I now know what an online shopping addiction feels like. I could literally order 15 different gigs tonight if I let my temptations take over. The anticipation of waiting for the finished gig to be delivered is just as fun as receiving the final product.

Writing to you all in a perfect state of honesty, I would recommend Fiverr. The website can offer tremendous opportunities for your business or personal brand. In the future, I might become a seller myself. I have a couple ideas but nothing concrete yet. If you need something done or created, I can tell you that Fiverr is not a scam. You might want to stay away from those testimonials though. Don’t Blink.

Our Ruth’s Chris Valentine’s Day Experience

When my girlfriend suggested that we try out Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for Valentine’s Day dinner, I didn’t object. What guy doesn’t love a great steak? I had heard a lot about Ruth’s Chris before and knew its reputation as the best fine dining steakhouse chain in the nation so I was all in…as long as we could get a reservation that is.

It turned out we could. The only stipulation was that I had to settle for a 10:30 p.m. reservation because I made the preposterous error of calling them just a week before Valentine’s Day. Oh well, I reasoned that the late time might actually make the evening more memorable as the restaurant probably wouldn’t be as crowded and the wait staff would not be as stressed. Yesterday I spaced out a couple of light meals throughout the day so by the time 10:30 p.m. hit, I would be in prime dining form for a fabulous dinner.

My blurry photo of the Myrtle Beach Ruth's Chris from the outside.

My blurry photo of the Myrtle Beach Ruth’s Chris from the outside.

Sidney and I arrived at the Myrtle Beach Ruth’s Chris and checked in. We were about 10 minutes early so we went to the bar and had a drink. The bar itself was inviting and the bottle arrangement was aesthetically pleasing. Mixed drinks ran at least $12.50 but beers were only $4.50. Sidney sipped on a Fuzzy Navel while I enjoyed a Budweiser. A few minutes past 10:30 p.m., a staff member came and took us to our table.

The Ruth's Chris bar and then Sidney and I sitting at it.

The Ruth’s Chris bar and then Sidney and I sitting at it.

We sat down at our table and the wait staff warmly greeted us. As is the case with most fine dining establishments, you have a team of people taking care of you, all with different roles. The person who sat us, the person who set our table, and the person who checked on us for drinks all told us that Maureen would be our main server. When Maureen came over she asked us if anyone had called to ask if we wanted to come in earlier. I said no. It was the last time we would see Maureen.

You see, her question made sense. As Sidney and I looked around the dining room, it was probably 35% full. Open tables and booths were all over the place. If this was the case, why couldn’t they have called us for an earlier reservation (I had requested that if an earlier slot came open I would like to be contacted) and why were we seated late? It wasn’t that big of a deal, though. We did wonder what happened to Maureen, however. After her brief appearance, a man named Saul came by and announced that he would be our server. This gentleman did a fabulous job.

Sid at our table.

Sid at our table.

The bread served at Ruth’s Chris is outstanding. They come in loaves with a delectable spread. We ate the first loaf (well, I ate most of it) and they brought us another one right away. Sometimes at these types of places they can be a little stingy on the complimentary bread. Sidney had her eyes set on a ribeye but unfortunately they had ran out. She settled with a petite filet while I ordered the regular filet. We decided that we would each decide on a side to share. I chose mashed potatoes. Sidney narrowed her choice down to two options and let me choose…asparagus or onion rings. Naturally, I chose onion rings.

As you can see, the onion rings were just silly big. The steak is my filet.

As you can see, the onion rings were just silly big. The steak is my filet.

The wait for the food was perfect. Not too long, not too short. Because the restaurant had a closing time of 11 p.m., I thought the food might be out in lightning type speed but it wasn’t. In fact, we never felt rushed at all, even though we left the restaurant at around 11:45 p.m. Our steaks came out sizzling on their plates, a signature trademark of Ruth’s Chris. The onion rings were outrageously gigantic. When the staff set them down for us, a girl at the table next to us exclaimed “Why didn’t we order those?!”

Sid with her steak. The girl who asked aloud why they didn't order the onion rings is in clear view.

Sid with her steak. The girl who asked aloud why they didn’t order the onion rings is in clear view.

My steak was delicious. It was cooked perfectly and I could cut it with my fork. However, while it was very good, it wasn’t the best steak I have had in my life. I was expecting a little more flavor. I have ate at steakhouses where no matter how full I was, I would eat my whole steak just because it was so phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to ruin the taste by taking it home. Last night, I ended up taking a good chunk home. The mashed potatoes were good, nothing too amazing though. As for the onion rings, they had to have been the best value on the menu. For just $9 you received seven enormous rings. Eating just one could almost act as a meal itself. We ended up taking four home.

Me with my steak.

Me with my steak.

Saul came back and asked us if we wanted dessert. We declined. The staff member responsible for bagging up leftovers and clearing the table of crumbs then came by. He made a show of perfectly packing up the remaining food and cheerfully obliged when we asked him to take a photo. Saul then came back with a surprise.

The Ruth's Chris staff member was more than happy to take our photo.

The Ruth’s Chris staff member was more than happy to take our photo.

Even though we had passed on dessert, Saul came to our table and said he wanted to provide us with a complimentary treat since it was our first time dining at Ruth’s Chris. He placed in front of us a plate with chocolate mousse cheesecake on one side and bread pudding on the other. Even though I was full to the brim, I still dug in (Sidney watched me). It was an edible joy taking a bite out of the cold cheesecake and then switching to a bite of the hot bread pudding. It was exhilarating going back and forth. Even though I was full it was absolutely delicious and definitely my favorite part of my meal. With the very nice gesture, Ruth’s Chris secured a repeat customer.

Even though I was crazy full, the dessert was my favorite part of the meal.

Even though I was crazy full, the dessert was my favorite part of the meal.

We walked out of the restaurant satisfied with our special dining experience. While my steak maybe didn’t live up to all the hype I had heard over the past week, the atmosphere, service, and other food did. Most importantly, I had an amazing girl to share it with. It was a good first Valentine’s Day for me in Myrtle Beach and a good first Valentine’s Day with Sid. Don’t Blink.