An Unpredictable First Day

I love it when the academic year starts! If you read my blog post last night you already know that. However, after working the first day of the 2015 Coastal Carolina University fall semester it just reinforces my passion even more. I guess what makes my job so much fun, especially during the school year, is that no day is the same. Let me just take a few examples from today to illustrate.

Last week I made arrangements to get access to an area of campus that most people don’t ever venture out on. Our business building has an outdoor balcony located outside of the structure’s big boardroom that is seldom used. A super nice employee of the College of Business opened the glass doors for me and let me go out on it. I then climbed over the balcony and stood on the lower roof of the building. Although I say lower roof, it is still many feet up. For someone who isn’t that crazy about heights, standing right on the ledge was a little bit nerve-wracking. But the view was awesome and I was able to take some cool photos and video. Later in the day a student who happened to look just at the right time all the way from Prince Lawn and spot me up high on the roof mentioned how bizarre it looked to see me hopping over the balcony.

I had the opportunity to watch the first day of classes from the best seat on campus this morning.

I had the opportunity to watch the first day of classes from the best seat on campus this morning.

Another not-so-ordinary event occurred mid-morning when it turned into a very memorable day for a couple of Coastal Carolina alumni. A 2013 grad proposed to a fellow 2013 grad on our campus. Because Bruce Turman and his at-the-time girlfriend Erin Dooley had so many positive experiences while at Coastal, he set up a scavenger hunt for her on campus. Erin was sent all around to different significant spots on our grounds before ending her odyssey at Wheelwright Auditorium. When Erin entered the venue and went up to the stage where Bruce was waiting, I was hiding in the balcony with a co-worker from the Office of Alumni capturing the special moment. You definitely don’t take part in documenting a proposal on a frequent basis. The images proved to be a big hit on social media (oh yeah, she said yes).

I had the opportunity to cover a proposal today.

I had the opportunity to cover a proposal today.

Although in my job I get to interact with students on a daily basis, I never know exactly who all I am going to talk with and cover. Today I had the opportunity to visit with students I met last year and students I met for the first time today. With the academic year now here, it also means that I get to work with our student-workers more. I went out with our video intern as we strolled around campus chasing a couple of stories. To be able to interact once again with students felt good. You just never know who will brighten your day.

Adrianna is a student who I got to feature today for a social media campaign I kicked off.

Adrianna is a student who I got to feature today for a social media campaign I debuted today. In the future I will explain more about this specific initiative.

Yes, work is more intense now but I know most staff members here at Coastal wouldn’t trade it. This is when the fun starts. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring. Don’t Blink.

The Start of Classes at Coastal Carolina University

A main reason why I choose to work in higher education is because of the people I get to serve. In my opinion, there is no better group to keep you positive than college students. I get to go to campus each day and be around people who are driven, happy, healthy, and optimistic. How do you beat that combo?

Working at Coastal Carolina University has exposed me even more to this special demographic. When I was at the University of Montana I worked exclusively with student-athletes. While athletes no doubt excel at the characteristics I mentioned above (you won’t find a harder working group), I immediately became introduced to a much broader scope of the college population when I started work at CCU. It was very refreshing.

Last academic year I had the amazing opportunity to personally interview over 100 students for a social media campaign I took on. By connecting with so many students on this personal, face-to-face level, I seemed to really get a special feel for the pulse of this university. Besides the 100+ students I did features on, I met countless more through the work I do on a daily basis for #CCUSocialMedia. The people I met and the experiences I went through made one thing clear to me about Coastal Carolina: I really like it here.

With that said, I am very excited for the start of the academic year tomorrow. Although I worked this whole weekend and am already in “full blast” mode, there is just something about that first day of classes. I liken it to opening day of Major League Baseball. There is just a special feeling in the air that is full of excitement and optimism.

The campus of Coastal Carolina University is beautiful, even when students aren't around. But...

The campus of Coastal Carolina University is beautiful, even when students aren’t around. But…

When it all comes down to it, I am mostly excited for campus to come alive. Students bring an indescribable energy to the table. Without students, none of us at CCU would have jobs. I personally prefer to have the people around who make it a possibility for me to enjoy a paycheck. I am also pumped to see the individual students I got to know and work with last year. They keep me young!

...I prefer when Coastal Carolina University is full of students. (Brent Reser photo).

…I prefer when Coastal Carolina University is full of students.

From a professional standpoint, I am ready to unveil all I have planned for #CCUSocialMedia this year. Last year was an incredible, record-breaking couple of semesters but that means nothing starting tomorrow. The plan is to continue to push the envelope, grow our brand, tell our story, and stay ahead of other universities. Luckily I have a passionate student body of 10,000 Chanticleers who are really the ones who make our social media program such a success.

I have a feeling it is going to be another great year for #CCUSocialMedia.

I have a feeling it is going to be another great year for #CCUSocialMedia.

Best of luck to all students returning to campus tomorrow. Thank you for motivating me. I have a feeling it is going to be another great year. Don’t Blink.

The 8-13 Thursday Rundown

I would like to wish a pleasant good evening to you all. It is Thursday so that means I am able to make my opening paragraph very short. Here we go with the rundown…

International Flavor – This week I helped organize a photo station for Coastal’s international student orientation. I brought our large press conference backdrop over (thanks to Ron for helping me set it up!) and supplied a few props. The students had a blast dressing up and posing for photos. I enjoyed the opportunity to hang around such a group. Because the students had literally just arrived on American soil the day before, it was cool to see them start to become accustomed to their new surroundings. This year’s international contingent is large and diverse and will greatly add to the positive environment on campus.

Photos that I took of our international students having fun at the photo station this past Tuesday.

Photos that I took of our international students having fun at the photo station this past Tuesday.

Fire It Up! – Speaking of Coastal Carolina, we embark on the busiest weekend of the year tomorrow. With classes starting on Monday, students and faculty alike will return to campus over the next few days. Freshmen will arrive for the first time and my university will do all it possibly can to make them feel welcome. With events, presentations, and ceremonies going on, it will be a packed time for me. The next 72 hours will be busy and fun!

Lizard Man – Did you know there is a Bigfoot of the South? I didn’t until last week. Called Lizard Man, this walking seven-foot-tall amphibian with red eyes and scales will occasionally come out of the swamp and spook South Carolinians. Since the late 1960’s, many reports of Lizard Man sightings can be found documented in city logs. Last week, after a hiatus that spanned several years, Lizard Man supposedly re-emerged in Bishopville, South Carolina. The woman who saw the creature had the presence of mind to snap a photo with her phone. Myrtle Beach is much too touristy for someone like Lizard Man to enjoy, but he might do himself a favor by coming here. I am pretty sure that even our most disgusting Goodwill location has costumes better than that. The funny thing about this is that this sham of a photo actually appeared in national news stores.

This grainy photo of a person in a lizard suit portraying Lizard Man was circulated nationally this past week.

This grainy photo of a person in a lizard suit portraying Lizard Man was circulated nationally this past week.

Reaction to Trump’s Debate Performance – In last week’s rundown I wrote about how excited I was to watch the Republican debate and see if The Donald could shine. After watching it, I wholeheartedly agree with the majority of political analysts and Twitter all-stars…Trump did not have a strong showing. To me he looked inexperienced, out of place, and not very prepared. I was kind of pulling for the guy but that doesn’t mean I will lie on his behalf. To me, he was underwhelming. Despite the poor debate showing he is still leading the polls and he is still as outspoken as ever. The roller coaster goes on.

Wedding Update #6 – I have a couple informative updates from this front. First, if you look at a countdown clock, we are now at single digits month-wise until our big day. On Tuesday it was exactly 10 months until our wedding. Now we are at 9 months and 29 days! Also, my parents booked a beach house for the week of my wedding. Technically it is a three-bedroom condo but this news got me really excited. It makes me feel good that my parents and other family members will have the opportunity to come down to Myrtle Beach and have a memorable vacation while staying in a nice place.


Have a wonderful weekend, especially to those who will be going back to school, either as a student or a teacher, this upcoming Monday. I will catch back up with you all soon. Don’t Blink.

How We Got Through Road Trips

Summer isn’t quite over yet and that might mean you still have a road trip ahead of you. Do you have kids? Or do you just have a very short attention span yourself? Tonight I want to offer up the five techniques/devices that my parents offered us kids when we went on multi-hour drives. Now please understand that these tips are now over two decades old. Back then we didn’t have televisions in cars or ports to plug smart devices into. What you are about to read is totally old school.

Road BINGO – Now I am guessing that half of you probably played this at one time. You receive a card that is laid out exactly like a traditional BINGO card except for one thing…the numbers are replaced with objects. For example, instead of B5 or G57 you have an image of a bridge. That means that once you cross a bridge on your travels, you get to close that slot. Other possible items you might find on your card include a horse, various road signs, a gas station, power lines, specific vehicles, and whatever else you might encounter while traveling. My parents always had a few Road BINGO cards to entertain us with.

This is what a travel BINGO card looks like!

This is what a travel BINGO card looks like!

Gameboy – My parents flat out refused to buy us game systems when we were young. No Nintendo, no Sega, no Playstation. However, they did cave in and buy us Gameboys. Thinking about it, they probably bought  them solely because of road trips. While driving in the car, we played our Gameboys non-stop. I can still picture my Gameboy case loaded with my favorite games…Mario Brothers, Tetris, and Donkey Kong.

Pepsi and Coke War – This road trip game is a Reser Family Original. At any given time when we were traveling, my parents would give us a pen and paper to keep track of Pepsi and Coke advertisements we would see on our voyage from Point A to Point B. We would keep tally of sandwich boards, window decals, signs, and anything else that carried the logo of the soft drink giants. If we could see it from the window of our car, we recorded it. Looking back now, after countless trips of us keeping track, it was probably a dead tie when it came to total victories for the two brands.

2-XL – You can blame my love for Jeopardy and my knack for useless information on a robot named 2-XL. This was an educational toy from the mid-1990’s. Built as a miniature robot that could rest on your lap, you fed the thing cassette tapes that would offer educational lessons followed by trivia questions on the particular lesson. To answer the questions, you would press 2-XL’s buttons. We literally wore out these tapes because we listened to them so much. Because 2-XL made it necessary for the car radio be turned off, my parents most likely hated life as they sat up in the front and had to listen to the painfully terrible robotic voice.

Did anyone besides us enjoy 2-XL as a kid? This is what it looked like.

Did anyone besides us enjoy 2-XL as a kid? This is what it looked like.

Name That Tune – Along with my sister and brother, I would plead at my dad to whistle while we were driving in the car. He was great at it and he would whistle theme songs to television shows. That was the game right there. My dad would perform theme songs from shows on Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Saturday morning cartoons, and even random shows we didn’t know. The first person to blurt out the song he was whistling earned a point. Over time the random shows weren’t random anymore. They kept coming up trip after trip that we knew them well. Because my dad’s theme song whistling repertoire was quite large, this entertained us for a good amount of miles.


Again, I understand these methods are a little dated but perhaps you might purchase a Gameboy or try your whistling skills to entertain your kids. Perhaps you should do a “throwback road trip” where all you do is utilize old time tricks to make that drive go by faster. Just always make sure to wear your seat belts. Don’t Blink.

Don’t Waste Remaining Time

It is common advice to “not wish your life away.” This refers to not looking so forward to a certain day, such as Christmas or Friday, that you totally discount the days between now and then. For example, I would “wish away” valuable days of my life if I started to obsessively countdown the days until the official kickoff of college football season. It is perfectly fine and healthy to look forward to things coming up, it is just not productive to spend all your energy awaiting them at the expense of the days inbetween.

This is very solid advice but sometimes I think we need to be just as mindful about a related way of thinking. I believe sometimes we discount the time we have left with something because we already dread it ending.

For example, when I was in Spokane this summer I didn’t fly out until 8 p.m. on our day of departure. However, instead of enjoying every minute of that extended day I spent some of it feeling bummed that I was leaving while also dreading the upcoming long flight. While taking a nice walk with my mom, playing with my niece, and eating a big steak dinner numbed some of those negative feelngs, I could have done a better job savoring the remaining hours that I had as opposed to dreading them slipping away.

With summer coming to a conclusion for teachers, Sidney is excited to return to the classroom but also a little let down that her break is nearing its end. I have tried my best to tell her that she still has actual days off to enjoy and that it is important to live each of them one at a time while not looking too far ahead. However, it is hard to buy in when you know that no matter what you do, you can’t stop time.

I think we just have to look at time slipping away, the type of time we don’t want to slip away, in psychological terms. I do this with sleep each night. If I get in my bed at 2 a.m. and I have to get up at 5 a.m., I try not to think like this: dang it, I only have three hours of sleep. Rather, I think back to when I was a child and we would make trips from where I lived in Spokane to see my grandparents in Walla Walla. It was just a three hour drive but we thought it took forever. So, when I hit the sack at 2 a.m. I tell myself this: you get to sleep for as long as it takes to drive from Spokane to Walla Walla. Putting it in those terms, it really does make me feel better…and yes, I still use that example in my head to this day.

We got to use this type of thinking on a grander scale. If you are dreading the weekend coming to an end and it is Sunday, you have to tell yourself that you still have some quality hours to enjoy. If you are on summer break and you only have a week left you have to tell yourself that a week break is still significant. It is the same duration of time as spring break, a period that during the school year sure seems really long. If you only have a day left of vacation, try to tell yourself that you have 86,400 seconds left. Conceptualize it in a way that will put your remaining time in a favorable light.

Use psychological methods to deal with a fun or great experience coming to an end but also look at it from a realistic standpoint as well. Feel good about the awesome time you had and know that life will go on and more memorable times will come. You can’t stop time but you can make the most out of it. Don’t Blink.

Sid’s Blog Post Reaction and Atlanta with the Mathis Family

Please don’t throw virtual tomatoes at me as I begin to write. Throughout the day I thought that might be the response I would get after Sidney’s blog post from yesterday. The message sent was strong…from website statistics to social media reaction to the texts that Sidney and I received, it seemed like you all really enjoyed reading what she had to say. So naturally I feared that my return to Don’t Blink might spark some disappointment from readers. Don’t worry, you haven’t “read” the last of her.

From my personal viewpoint, I thought Sidney did a wonderful job with her guest blog post. Keep in mind that this says a lot coming from me considering about half of it poked fun at my quirks and obsessions. She wrote a piece that was informative while also cute. It had a great deal of voice and honesty. She formatted it well as she understood that bloggers can hold attention longer by breaking up text in other ways besides paragraph breaks (she utilized a couple of lists with two items each). It all worked very well.

As Sidney’s blog post yielded about double the amount of traffic my typical Sunday post does, I will be inviting her back to write a Don’t Blink entry on a monthly basis. Don’t think this didn’t take some convincing, however. After Sidney finished her debut post, she pretty much wanted to hang up the keyboard right then. Maintaining a blog, even if it entails just writing once a month, takes time and energy. She had no idea that it would take her three hours to compose the “Peaks and Pits of Dating a Blogger.” But I think the reaction she received once her writing was published let her know that the toil is worth it.

Since Sidney wrote the Sunday blog post I got to enjoy Atlanta just a tiny bit more.

Since Sidney wrote the Sunday blog post I got to enjoy Atlanta just a tiny bit more.


With Sidney taking care of yesterday’s blog post, it allowed me to experience a weekend without worrying about a Sunday topic. Because of this luxury, I got to enjoy our mini getaway a little more.

Late Saturday morning after I finished working the Coastal Carolina summer commencement, Sidney and I hit the road for Atlanta. We arrived in town just shy of 5 p.m. After checking into our hotel we walked to the Marta station (Atlanta’s Subway system). In a stroke of luck, the train that picked us up happened to have all of Sidney’s family aboard. Yes, we made the trip to hang with them but we had no idea that we would meet up with them before we got to the ballpark. With the nine of us huddled together (Sidney, myself, Sidney’s parents, Sidney’s two sisters, Sidney’s brother-in-law, Sidney’s niece and nephew) we rode to the transfer station. From there we hopped on a shuttle bus that drove us to Turner Field.

We had wonderful seats all in a single row on the third baseline. The Braves hosted the Marlins on an evening devoted to the 1995 World Series team. Before the first pitch there was a softball game where many of the players from that championship team took part in. It was really cool to see baseball legends such as Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz mix it up. As for the actual game it was nice and relaxing. Because it was a night game, Sidney and I didn’t melt as much as we did last year. We ate ballpark food and drank beer as we enjoyed a Braves victory on a beautiful evening.

It was a beautiful night for a ballgame at Turner Field.

It was a beautiful night for a ballgame at Turner Field.

The next morning we met Sidney’s family at the Georgia Aquarium. We got right in and started looking at the aquatic life. I found this aquarium to be much different than the National Aquarium we visited in Baltimore last year. Both places were very nice, they just have completely different offerings. The major highlight I think for us all was watching the dolphin show. My personal highlight was the albino alligator exhibit. It was really cool to see two completely white alligators roaming around, something that would never occur in the wild.

I really enjoyed seeing the albino alligators at the Georgia Aquarium.

I really enjoyed seeing the albino alligators at the Georgia Aquarium.

After the aquarium it was time for lunch. The Mathis family has a very deep love for the Cheesecake Factory. Eating at that restaurant was one of the major events on the vacation itinerary. We went to the location and experienced great disappointment when we were told it would be a two hour wait. There would be no denying Sidney’s family, however. It just so happens that Atlanta has TWO Cheesecake Factory restaurants. We drove to another part of Atlanta where the second location was and got right in. We sat on the outdoor patio and enjoyed a fabulous meal. I had the spicy cashew chicken, the best dish I had ever had at a Cheesecake Factory before. Afterwards we all ordered our own slices of cheesecake (which we shared). I opted for the banana cream selection.

The Cheesecake Factory was delicious. I had the spicy cashew chicken which was amazing. I got banana cream pie cheesecake and Sid got red velvet cheesecake.

The Cheesecake Factory was delicious. I had the spicy cashew chicken which was amazing. I got banana cream pie cheesecake and Sid got red velvet cheesecake.

With leftover boxes and extremely full bellies, Sid and I had to say goodbye to her family. We needed to get back to Myrtle Beach while the family was staying through Monday morning. The drive back didn’t seem as long as the drive there, I think the thrill of tracking how well Sidney’s blog post was doing might have had something to do with that. We arrived back at the Beach by 10 p.m. Thanks so much to Sidney’s family for letting us (I really just mean me) crash the middle part of their vacation. Both Sid and I had a wonderful time! Don’t Blink.

Blog Takeover: Dating a Blogger

Note: This afternoon Brent is taking a Sunday off, releasing some control, and letting his beautiful fiancé write a guest blog post for Don’t Blink. Sidney Mathis, a second grade teacher in Myrtle Beach, writes about what it is like to date a blogger.

Today is a day that will go down in Don’t Blink history. Brent has granted me, Sidney Mathis, permission to takeover this blog and compose a post of my VERY OWN!

As a part of my inaugural blog, please allow me to include a disclaimer. I am in no way, shape, or form a blogger. There are in fact a plethora of other things I’d call myself before I claimed to be a blogger. Teacher…? Yes. Southern Belle….? Yes. Reality TV connoisseur? You betcha! Blogger….? Absolutely not. With that being said….please bear with me as you read my debut post. Here goes nothing!

Sidney, Brent's fiancé, takes over the blogging duties for Sunday.

Sidney, Brent’s fiancé, takes over the blogging duties for Sunday.


As many of you may know, I teach 2nd grade. One of my favorite things to do in my classroom is hold a Community Circle meeting on Friday mornings. In these meetings we all participate in a reflective exercise called “The Peak and the Pit”. The objective is for each person to share what they believed to be the best part of the week—PEAK— and the worst part of the week—PIT. (Yes…I stole this idea from an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”…..please don’t judge me.) Anyway…in an effort to get my game-face on for the upcoming school year, I thought I’d share with y’all 2 PEAKS and 2 PITS of dating a BLOGGER.



1. Hassle-Free Scrapbooking
Since Brent and I have met, I’ve been in 133 blog posts. That means that Brent has mentioned me, by name, in over 100 of his posts in the last 15 months. Not only am I very flattered by the recurrence of my name on, but it makes keeping track of our time together very manageable. It’s like having a virtual scrapbook. With just a few clicks, I can go back and reread and relive some of my favorite memories with Brent. What’s the best part? I didn’t have to contribute ANYTHING. Even though I’m a sucker for a good craftivity, scrapbooks are not my thing. But thank goodness for dating a blogger…all of the scrapbooking and memory keeping has been done for me! Score!

2. Priceless Side-Kick
Brent is forever on the hunt for the next great blog idea. Most times this involves some type of trip, dinner, outing, etc. On most of these excursions, the blogger needs a side-kick…someone to take part in the adventures, keep him company, and occasionally offer opinions. How is this a perk of dating a blogger, you ask? You get to tag along, take part in some pretty interesting adventures, and all the while have no obligations!! I usually pay very little and NEVER have to write about it. It’s like those old, corny MasterCard commercials. Bar Tab…$30. Tank of Gas….$25. Having an unforgettable adventure (and getting to read about it the next day)… PRICELESS!



1. The Time Element
Writing posts for Don’t Blink takes up a fair share of Brent’s time. Luckily Brent doesn’t normally post during the weekend, so we get to spend lots of uninterrupted time together. But during the work week, Brent’s blog can easily consume up to 8 hours of his time. So naturally the time he devotes to writing creates a void of time for myself. As a teacher, on any given weekday I can be home no later than 4 p.m. That leaves about an hour for me to run home, do some chores and relax before Brent gets done with his work at 5 p.m. Brent usually goes home and gets started writing as soon as possible, and can take up to 2 hours to reach completion. That leaves me two options. 1. Sit at my house bored and waiting for my phone to PING with a new “Don’t Blink” post notification, or I can go to Brent’s house and watch him write. Let me tell you…he doesn’t like it when I watch him write…sooooo….9 times out of 10…the blog contributes to my boredom.

2. Pausing for Pictures
Sprinkling pictures throughout a post is definitely a forte of this blog’s namesake. Brent is very conscientious about getting photo-documentation for most of his blog posts. However, this means that I have to stop for photographs…A LOT. If we’re out at dinner…I have to wait until a picture of my entrée is taken before digging in. If we are out at a new bar, a selfie is a necessity. Or if we go try out a new putt-putt course, we have to double back around the front of the course before leaving in order to get a good pic of the signage. I know that all of the picture moments are meant to keep with Brent’s mantra of “Don’t Blink”, and most of the time I kindly oblige. But sometimes I just don’t WANT to pause for a picture. I want to just plow through my dinner, socialize at a bar, and head straight for home after playing mini golf.


So there you have it…the PEAKS and PITS of dating a blogger. Maybe next year Brent will let me takeover again and I’ll fill all of you in on the pits and peaks of MARRYING a blogger. Until then, keep reading and….. you guessed it!!…Don’t Blink.

Another Thursday, Another Rundown

It is time for the Thursday Rundown! Are you excited for the five topics that I am about to write about? Or are you just excited for me to finish so you can look forward to Sidney’s post on Sunday? Whatever the case, let’s get started.

Tax Free Weekend – The state of South Carolina stages a pretty cool event. Once a year, sales tax is suspended for a whole weekend. Shoppers can go nuts purchasing clothes, schools supplies, big screen televisions or whatever without paying tax. This is the weekend where those pesky cash register add-on charges are thrown out the window. When I lived in Montana, there was nothing I liked more about the state than not paying sales tax. Knowing that the $10 bill I had in my pocket was going to cover the $9.99 item I had in my hand was beautiful. I totally get the allure of Tax Free Weekend and I hope my South Carolina friends with a lot of purchasing to do take full advantage of it.

Sweet Digs – Today our Director of Housing here at Coastal Carolina University took a small group of us on a tour of the brand new residence halls recently built on our growing campus. With four new buildings in all, two of them will be ready for classes starting on August 17. The other two will open next year. As you can imagine, the two finished structures are amazing. The new era of residence halls nationally is all about technology, community spaces, and beefed up security. I assure you that Coastal has made a big splash in this “new era.”

This is what the "new era" of residence halls look like. I took this photo of Tradition Hall at Coastal Carolina University this morning.

This is what the “new era” of residence halls look like. I took this photo of Tradition Hall at Coastal Carolina University this morning.

Atlanta Bound – After a few weekends sticking around Myrtle Beach, I will be getting out of the state on Saturday. After working the Coastal Carolina summer commencement that morning, Sidney and I will make the five hour drive to Atlanta. We will meet her family who are spending a little more time in the city than we are and then attend the Braves vs. Marlins game that night. On Sunday we will visit the aquarium. I am really looking forward to this.

Sidney and I at Turner Field in Atlanta last year.

Sidney and I at Turner Field in Atlanta last year.

Television Choices – Tonight at 9 p.m. I will have a tough call on what to watch on TV. The crazy thing about my conundrum? Not one sporting event is involved. Sidney did what she set out to do and got me addicted to “Big Brother.” Sad, I know. This evening is an eviction episode! But competing with it for my viewership is that Republican debate. I really want to see Donald Trump’s performance while taking in the spectacle of ten different candidates up on stage at once. Of course if Sidney was around it would be a total non-issue as we would be watching “Big Brother.” But she is attending a teacher event tonight that stretches until 10 p.m. so I will have a little bit of freedom with the remote. There will definitely be some flipping back and forth. ***To those asking why I just don’t record one or the other you have to understand that I am a social media nut and must watch things live.***

Wedding Update #5 – This is a big development…Sidney has selected her dress! Actually, she has had it picked out for a few weeks now. But do you know what she is waiting on?! Tax Free Weekend!! The purchase, minus the sales tax, will be made this weekend.


Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! Time to see if Shellie or Clay will go home and whether Donald Trump can live up to expectations. Don’t Blink.

Historic Moment on Sunday for My Blog

Something that has never occurred on Don’t Blink before will happen on Sunday. After over four years and close to 900 posts, someone other than myself will write in this space. All things considered, it doesn’t sound as preposterous when you realize that the person filling in will be the girl I will spend the rest of my life with.

At the end of the weekend I let go of my control issues and let my fiancé write a blog post. Calling it her “Blog Takeover,” Sidney’s writing will soon be published on this site. I know vaguely what the topic is and I think you will enjoy it. She is already hard at work writing the post and I am excited, nervous, and a little scared to see what she comes up with.

We will see how Sidney does in her blogging debut. If she maintains the ratings (Sunday is by far the biggest day for traffic on my site) there might be more blog posts in the future. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we need to see how Sunday goes.

I just wanted to give you all fair warning so you don’t think Don’t Blink has been hacked. For those of you who know how closely I protect this silly blog, you might think I have lost my mind. But I have come around to the notion that sometimes you need a fresh voice every now and then. I also realize that my female readers might want a female opinion. Finally, I just really wanted a Sunday off. I hope you enjoy it. Don’t Blink.

Joining the Century Club

Although the news media has made these stories cliché, I still get fascinated by the people who live to be 100 and beyond. To me, reaching triple digits is an incredible achievement. Of course the ones who make it well past the century mark earn even more of my awe. To me, those humans who manage to live to be at least 110 are complete freaks of nature. My thinking is that when someone reaches 100 they must be jubilant but at the same time extremely exhausted. How can these folks realistically say to themselves, “Well, I made it to triple digits…time now to live for another whole decade.”

This is on my mind today because I saw another one of those typical stories about a person reaching an old age. This particular one, a New Jersey woman named Agnes, recently turned 110. The article stated that with over 7 billion people on the planet, you will find only 360-600 who have reached or exceeded 110. Agnes said in the article that her secret to living a long life is drinking three Miller High Life beers a day.

I have thrown my hands up in the air when it comes to what someone must do on a consistent basis in order to live for a century or more. Every article I read has few common denominators. Each person has a different routine, usually with weird quirks, that they followed to reach a very old age. In my opinion, there is no special formula. Rather, I think in order to live past 99 you must have insanely good genes and amazing luck.

But is it really considered “amazing luck” if you reach 100? I hear people all the time quip, “I would never want to live that long!” Personally I am not 100% sure on my exact stance but I think I would actually want to go the distance. The opportunity to live so long and see so much would outweigh the sadness of seeing loved ones pass on and the constant care I would eventually need.

I have had one relative live to 100. He actually passed away at the age of 101. My Great Great Uncle Tony lived an extremely long life that was characterized by a love for boxing and photography. I had the opportunity to attend his 100th birthday bash that was held in the basement of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Walla Walla, Washington. At the party he was healthy and happy. It is an event in my life that I will always remember.

I would turn 100 on October 8, 2086. That means I need to live 25,998 more days to reach the milestone. As with everyone on the planet, the odds are dramatically stacked against me. However, it is always good to have lofty goals and trying to reach this mark will definitely deter me from blinking. Would you want to live to be 100 years old? Don’t Blink.