Thursday Rundown Not Sponsored by Reser’s Fine Foods

Let me start this post by asking us all to take a moment to realize how lucky we are to be alive. Life is good. Okay, now let’s get to the Thursday Rundown…

I Don’t Make Potato Salad – There is a food brand headquartered out west called Reser’s Fine Foods. The company makes potato salad, smoked meats, tortillas, and much more. Reser’s is successful enough that the Oregon State football stadium bears its name. Although I have never attended a game at Reser Stadium before, I think I should get free tickets if I ever do. With all that said I want to make something clear: My family has no relation to this company. If we did, I would probably be driving a different vehicle.

My family has no relation to Reser's Fine Foods

My family has no relation to Reser’s Fine Foods

Another “Honor” for Spokane – Last June, I wrote about an incident that brought unflattering attention to my hometown. This morning my eye caught sight of the trending topics on Facebook and sadly Spokane was in the news again. This particular headline said that citizens spend more money on marijuana than they do on milk or bread. Pot use is legal in Washington state so people in the Lilac City aren’t breaking the law but they are just making the town look really bad.

Come on, Spokane.

Come on, Spokane.

From the Archives – I wrote a couple blog posts on this date that I thought would be worth sharing again. One year ago, I took advantage of the Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day and rushed to four different stores in Myrtle Beach and got ice cream at each. On this date in 2014, I explained my dilemma with packing as I was preparing to move from one side of the country to the other. How about you pick one or the other to read?

Enjoying Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day last year (one of four stops).

Enjoying Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day last year (one of four stops).

More Wisdom – I thought today’s Life’s Little Instruction was worth sharing. This advice is perfect for developing relationships with people. Simply put, everyone wins in this situation. The person who receives the compliment is flattered, the person who originally gave the compliment is established as a nice person even in his/her absence, and the person who actually says the remark comes across as a caring and attentive individual. I recommend trying it.

Whenever you can do this, I recommend you don't let the opportunity pass by.

Whenever you can do this, I recommend you don’t let the opportunity pass by.

Wedding Update #27 – Yesterday evening, Sidney and I met with the music director at St. Andrew Catholic Church to pick out our song selection for our wedding. We sat up in the choir loft with the director as she played different melodies for us. After about 45 minutes, we had our music picked out. It was quite fun.

Here is a look at the inside of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach. I took this photo last night before our meeting with the music director.

Here is a look at the inside of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach. I took this photo last night before our meeting with the music director.


It has been a busy week for me! I am looking forward to the weekend. Hope all is well and I thank you for reading. Don’t Blink.

Since When Do I Care About the NBA?

I usually don’t start paying attention to the NBA until the playoffs. However, I will make an exception this year and keep an eye on the last day of the season. Although many boring and meaningless games will tip off this evening, there are two important contests with massive storylines that also will be played and I have opinions on both.

Kobe Bryant – I am a Kobe fan and an admirer of the competitor that he is. Throughout most of his career I rooted for The Mamba and enjoyed the postseason runs of the Los Angeles Lakers. Most people are either a Lebron guy or a Kobe guy but I am not just a Kobe fan because I dislike James. With that said, I feel #24 separated himself from “King” James because of his competitiveness, his non-flashy nature, and his loyalty to his team and teammates.

I remember in college before flag football intramural games, some of my teammates and I would watch a Kobe Bryant highlight reel set to Nelly’s “Heart of the Champion.” It didn’t matter that we used an athlete playing a different sport to motivate us because it wasn’t about dunks, blocked shots, and buzzer beater shots. Rather, it was all about Bryant’s incredible hustle plays and his expressions of desire throughout the entire Youtube video that pumped us up to walk over to the field. It has been a great run, Kobe.

Golden State Warriors – I am weird in that when it comes to sports I don’t always like to see records broken. However, I don’t have that sentiment at all when it comes to the NBA record for wins during the regular season. I would like nothing more than to see the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls completely wiped out of the books for most wins in a season. I was a big Seattle Supersonics fan and as a little kid I wanted to see my team beat the Bulls in the NBA Finals. It didn’t happen and 20 years later I am still bitter. Since that NBA championship trophy will never be taken from them, I hope the record for wins is.

Besides my distaste for that Bulls team, I actually really enjoy the Golden State Warriors. I love rooting for Klay Thompson and I have a lot of respect for Steve Kerr. Not to mention, how can you not enjoy watching the current best player in the game, Steph Curry? I want the Warriors to take care of business and take possession of the most impressive regular season record there is.

Will I actually be watching the Lakers and Warriors play their respective games tonight? Nope. But I will follow the developments on Twitter and listen to ESPN Radio tomorrow for analysis and reaction. Long live Kobe and Go Warriors. Don’t Blink.

My 5 Favorite Mall Foods

Back when I was a kid, I would get excited to go to the mall. Of course my enthusiasm was not due to the shopping options but because of the food options. As a young one, I remember the concept of a food court being a little overwhelming to my developing mind. To view the restaurants I would see in different stretches on the side of the road all squished together indoors made my heart beat a little faster.

Fast forward to the adult version of myself and I still get excited to go to the mall. Only this time my enthusiasm is due to…wait a minute…nothing has changed…I still go to the mall mostly for the food.

With almost three decades of enjoying culinary delights at shopping malls all across the nation, I thought I would run down my top five favorite edible choices at these giant commerce centers. (Please note that this list counts down in order from the item I like to the item I love to the item I dream about).

5. Dippin’ Dots – I admit that my enjoyment of this mall “food” item is half novelty and half actual taste. When the Dippin’ Dots cart appeared at my local mall in Spokane when I had probably just turned double digits, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I would always get a free sample in one of those mini spoons but since the price for a small cup likely equated to two dots for $1, my parents would rarely buy me the treat. However, because it was something I couldn’t have and because it was the “ice cream of the future” I developed a soft spot for Dippin’ Dots, one that still exists to this day.

4. Candy – Every mall has one. Usually tucked between a fragrance store and an American Eagle, you will find a candy store. Big bins with chocolates, brightly colored gummis, jelly beans, salt water taffy, and assorted hard candies will draw the attention of anyone with a sweet tooth. Add to the fact that most of these places also have fudge up front at the cash register and it is tough to walk by. If I was lucky, my mom would let my brother and I place a couple pieces into a bag, weigh it to make sure it didn’t exceed ¼ of a pound, and then walk around the mall munching on our sweets while my mom shopped. It kept us happy and I still feel a bit of that happiness when I pass a candy store today.

3. PIZZA – Yes, I did purposely write “pizza” in all caps. Going to the mall and getting pizza was a neat experience because it was pizza by the slice. Not only was it pizza by the slice, but each individual slice was gigantic. Growing up I had my fair share of Sbarro and I would always enjoy looking through the glass and watching the steam rise off of the pies. You pointed to what you wanted and the employee would put the slice on a plate that was much too small and transport it to a big red tray. Like I alluded to above, getting pizza by the slice was just so different from when mom and dad ordered delivery or took us to a restaurant that I grew to really like it.

2. Pretzels – I must admit that I don’t eat the above items anymore when I go to the mall. However, with soft pretzels it is a whole different story. If I am in the mood for a snack while shopping, I am almost always going to get a pretzel. Whether it be Pretzel Time, Wetzel Pretzel, or Auntie Anne’s, I am a big fan. Nothing beats dunking a hot pretzel in nacho cheese or pizza sauce. I am not a soda person but when I eat a pretzel I will order a Pepsi. It is a perfect combination that hits the spot in the right way because it is delightful but not filling (who wants to leave the mall with a full belly anyway?). Every now and then I will let myself splurge and order a pretzel dog. Pretzel + hot dog = YUM.

1. Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll – Was this even up for debate? It almost isn’t fair. Once you come within 20 feet of a Cinnabon, the sweet air hits your senses and you can’t help but surrender your wallet. Don’t worry though because it is worth it. In a world where smells will sometimes lead to a letdown in taste, Cinnabon cinnamon rolls do the exact opposite. I let the Cinnabon aroma serve as a non-edible appetizer that sets me up to enjoy the actual product that always manages to blow my mind. Every bite is heavenly with the eating experience just getting more and more intense as you reach the middle of the roll. A Cinnabon cinnamon roll just isn’t the best food option at the mall, it is an experience that defines your entire shopping outing.


Who wants to be a mall rat with me and raid the food court? A cinnamon roll and pretzel counts as a nutritious dinner, right? Don’t Blink.

Wedding Countdown: Two Months Out

Today is April 11. To most, it is just a Monday and an ordinary day on the calendar. Honestly, for the most part, this is what the day is to me too. However, there is a small caveat that makes this date just a little more interesting for me. Today marks exactly two months until Sidney and I get married.

We are just 60 days from our wedding.

We are just 60 days from our wedding.

This special two month mark was preceded by another important wedding milestone this past weekend. The people who we have requested their attendance at for our big day received their invitations. On Friday, most of the guests in our local area received mail from us. By Saturday, everyone west of the Mississippi received their invites. It was very cool to see the texts and the photos come in confirming receipt of the invitations. At the same time, it was also very real as well. This thing is happening.

Of course I couldn’t be more pleased and excited. The sending out of the invites and the arrival of the two month countdown really signifies the home stretch until we say “I do” at St. Andrew Catholic Church on June 11. As I asked Sidney to marry me last June, we were looking at a year-long engagement. Now 83% of that time is gone. We have come a long way.

So how will the remaining 17% go? I am sure there will be crazy times ahead but with Sidney and her mom driving this wedding bus we will arrive smoothly right at the door step of June 11. Seriously, I can’t begin to describe how much planning, shopping, organizing, and strategizing they have already done so far. They have sat in on meetings, ordered supplies, and selected wedding attire. They have hired caterers, photographers, florists, and DJs. The amount of work poured into the date 60 days from now by those two has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Then on the other side of the country you have my parents who have done all they can do considering they are 3,000 miles away. From addressing invites, securing travel, ironing out rehearsal dinner details, and much more, they been busy and attentive as well. Perhaps the most important thing they have consistently contributed is support. Each day they tell me how lucky I am to marry such a beautiful and smart bride and that they are so happy for us.

So what I am contributing? Well, compared to everyone else, not much. I am concentrated on serving as the liaison between the church and our wedding party and looking presentable for the big day. Since I wrote this blog post with my then fat fingers in January, I have slimmed down a bit and almost reached my goal. The next several weeks I hope to meet it.

Thanks to all who say they enjoy my wedding updates. I will have another new development to report on Thursday. Until then, we are now inside of two months! It should be a fun ride to the finish. Don’t Blink.

Cooking Something Legitimate

About nine months ago, I wrote a blog post that brought to light my cooking exploits. In all honesty, it was pretty much a parody post mocking my culinary skills. I detailed some of the “dishes” I made by using my microwave, shredded cheese, and a couple items found in my pantry. It was pretty brutal.

However, last night I took a step forward. I went from a joke chef to perhaps a chef-in-training. I didn’t just make something that I hastily threw together. Rather, I prepared an actual recipe. In order to make it all happen, I actually went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients, prepared the dish in the kitchen, and then cleaned up. To make it even more official and challenging I did one other thing: I broadcasted the whole spectacle on Facebook for all my friends to see.

In a Thursday Rundown post, I mentioned a recipe for Pop-Tart cheesecake truffles. Because the dessert contained a breakfast item I love and because it was so unique, I wanted to try them. However, I assumed Sidney would just make them for me. Not so fast! She challenged me to make them myself.

Last night we went to Food Lion and I did some ingredient shopping. I picked up Pop-Tarts, cream cheese, white chocolate coating, and cereal. The total came to a measly $10.

We headed back to the house and I took center stage in the kitchen. With Sidney sitting on a chair watching me from the dining area, I started the Facebook Live broadcast and went to work. I threw a pack of blueberry Pop-Tarts into a big zip lock bag and crushed it with a rolling pin. I then transported the Pop-Tart crumbles into a big mixing bowl and threw in cream cheese. Using big utensils that Sidney gave me (she was no longer sitting down, in fact, she had taken an assistant role) I created a perfect mixture for forming balls.

Using the scooper that Sid provided me with, I grabbed portions of the mixture out of the bowl and used my hands to perfect the ball shape. I then placed each orb shaped treat on a cookie sheet. While I was doing this, my assistant was dutifully preparing the white chocolate topping. When I had exhausted the Pop-Tart/cream cheese mixture, I took each ball and plunged it into the creamy white chocolate. Using additional utensils that Sid had given to me, I used them to turn each treat in the white chocolate so it was adequately coated.

The most challenging part might have been taking the freshly coated truffle and transferring it from the white chocolate to the topping bowl. I had to make sure I kept the newly formed ball intact while also taking care not to drip white chocolate all over the place. I had two topping bowls that welcomed the treat; Fruity Pebbles and red velvet Pop-Tarts. The recipe called for a different flavor of Pop-Tart to be used as the topping but I utilized my creative mind to offer an alternative crunchy, colorful, and breakfast-related option.

The Fruity Pebbles provided a beautiful and fun touch.

The Fruity Pebbles provided a beautiful and fun touch.

After I topped the treats, I had a cookie sheet with white chocolate Pop-Tart truffles covered in brightly colored toppings. There was also a section with perfect plain white balls for Sidney who wasn’t too excited about either of the toppings. We transferred the truffles to the freezer for a chill period and while our dessert cooled, we cleaned up. Yes, picking up after yourself in the kitchen isn’t the most fun thing to do but it is necessary. The process is made much more bearable if you clean up before you enjoy whatever dish you cooked up.

I popped these in the freezer and after we had cleaned up they were ready to eat!

I popped these in the freezer and after we had cleaned up they were ready to eat!

With the kitchen now spotless, it was time to taste our Pop-Tart cheesecake truffles. It only took an initial nibble to realize that they were incredible! I savored each bite while my confidence shot through the roof. Perhaps I can do this cooking thing, huh?

I was satisfied with how my Pop-Tart cheesecake truffles turned out.

I was satisfied with how my Pop-Tart cheesecake truffles turned out.

Next time I might actually try to make something that requires using the oven! Until then, I am going to enjoy the current cooking high I am on and enjoy the leftover truffles I have in the freezer right now. Don’t Blink.

Sending Out My Thursday Rundown (along with our wedding invites)

Good evening and hello! Hope the week has treated you well thus far but if it hasn’t, don’t worry, the Thursday Rundown is here. It is time for me to rattle off five topics…

Evening Entertainment – As soon as I finish this, Sidney and I are off to the theatre to watch the Coastal Carolina University production of “Pride and Prejudice.” One of my students in our #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory group is in a starring role as Mr. Darcy and I want to be sure to support him. A couple other students who I regularly interact with on campus also have roles in the play. Although I don’t know the first thing about “Pride and Prejudice,” I am excited to be entertained and watch our CCU talent shine.

I am excited for the Coastal Carolina University version of "Pride and Prejudice" tonight.

I am excited for the Coastal Carolina University version of “Pride and Prejudice” tonight.

Back to the Links – I have started to once again work on my golf game. With spring here and the endless options in Myrtle Beach to enjoy the sport, I have spent time trying to break in my new clubs. I started lessons again, this time at our course here at Coastal Carolina (Hackler Golf  Course) and I have devoted my weekend mornings to the driving range. The whole goal is to become literate and somewhat respectable when it comes to golf.

I have been hitting the golf course lately.

I have been hitting the golf course lately.

The Irony – Of course the evening I write about not missing cable at all, the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels play in one of the best national championships ever. Yep, I totally missed out on Nova’s epic three-point buzzer beater. As I followed the madness on Twitter I did feel a bit left out that I didn’t get to see the ending of the game. However, the blow was softened to a degree as I was watching an entertaining Australian film called “Sucker.” Take a look at it on Netflix.

Favor For My Dad – I documented it pretty thoroughly on my social media channels but I guess a mention on my blog wouldn’t hurt. When my dad visited me in Myrtle Beach he noticed some old time military planes in a park area on the side of the road near where I live. We didn’t get to check it out but he never forgot about those planes once he went back to Spokane. Over the past couple months, he has asked me to make a trip to the area and take a couple photos so that he could show them to a veteran he works with (my dad works for the VA Hospital). Well, I made that trip earlier this week. The Market Common area in Myrtle Beach used to be an air force base and the city has done its best to honor the past as the plane park serves as a perfect example. I took plenty of photos and streamed a Facebook Live video for my dad. He was very pleased.

I went out and took these photos of the planes that commemorate the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

I went out and took these photos of the planes that commemorate the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

Wedding Update #26 – The other day, Sidney handed me the bag full of wedding invitations she had recently stuffed into envelopes. I took that bag full of invites and carefully handed it over to the lady at the post office to send out. In the next couple of days, people will start receiving the request from Sidney’s parents to attend our big day! Also, yesterday, Sidney received a call from Zale’s informing her that my wedding ring has arrived (we had to order it). It just keeps getting more and more real.

Me holding our wedding invites right before I brought them into the post office.

Me holding our wedding invites right before I brought them into the post office.


Time for me to head off to a play. Enjoy the Master’s and I will check back in on Sunday. Don’t Blink.

Saving Your Popcorn for the Movie

As I recently mentioned, I read the comics from time to time

When I read the Blondie comic strip this morning, I immediately related to it.

When I read the Blondie comic strip this morning, I immediately related to it.

I couldn’t help but laugh at this morning’s Blondie strip. I am sure most all of us have been here before. You go to the movies and happen to arrive in the theater right before the film is supposed to start. Of course that means that if you found your seat at 8:59 p.m. for a 9 p.m. movie, the feature presentation won’t begin until 9:15 p.m. or later. In this day and age of previews and commercials, a movie start time is basically a big joke.

So, what do you do during the drawn out “upcoming attractions” marathon? You rip open your box of Milk Duds, grab handfuls from your popcorn tub, and down your Pibb Xtra! By the time the cheesy PSA plays asking everyone to turn off cell phones and practice common courtesy, you have already consumed your refreshments. Unless you do have free refills on popcorn and soda like Dagwood (character from Blondie), it is a little depressing.

I would face this conundrum outside of the theater also. I used to have a bad nightly habit of serving myself up a bowl of ice cream while watching whatever movie I rented that particular evening. As I was on a massive Red Box kick for a couple years, I would have to watch previews. Similar to my theater experience, I would polish off my ice cream by the time the opening credits rolled. Again, the empty feeling of not having a special treat to munch on while the actual movie played hit me pretty hard.

This sense of low key failure started to “eat” away at me. One day I made a personal change and told myself I would no longer indulge in movie treats until the previews finished. It was a lifestyle alteration that has proved positive for three main reasons:

1. I now get to enjoy food and drink while the actual movie is playing
2. The temptation and torture of smelling fresh popcorn while it sits on your lap for 20 minutes makes it so much more delicious and gratifying once you finally get to dig in.
3. It decreases the likelihood that you will overeat or pay more money on additional concession items.

But while I approve of my small stab at discipline, Sidney doesn’t so much. While she sees where I am coming from, she doesn’t necessarily understand why I allow my ice cream to practically melt to the consistency of liquid just so I can hold out until the movie starts. Furthermore, it isn’t all that fun eating something by yourself when it was meant for your partner as well. I guess she doesn’t accept my explanation that I am just giving her a head start on the popcorn and soda.

Do you save your junk food for when the movie actually starts? Or do you just dig right in? I would be interested in hearing from you. Just remember that no matter what, always put some extra butter on that popcorn. Don’t Blink.

A Proper Transition for the Pastime Cafe

I am always intrigued when a business swoops in and sets up shop in an old building. I find it fascinating to see what is done to shoot new life into the structure and, if lucky, what is done to pay tribute to the building’s past. You commonly see businesses transform desolate apartment buildings, deserted movie theaters, and rundown grocery stores all the time. The only thing better than watching the transformation take place is walking inside the remodeled building once the ribbon is cut.

News of an upcoming major transformation project hit close to home yesterday. I learned that the site of some of my best childhood memories would finally get a facelift.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at the family restaurant. Named the Pastime Café, the place served the best Italian food in Walla Walla, Washington. Don’t think it was a short run. For over 80 years, my mom’s family operated the Pastime. That’s right. For over eight decades, the prominent but blue collar Italian joint on Main Street in the “town so nice they named it twice” thrived. The succession was nothing short of perfect. My great grandpa (Louie Fazzari) opened the place, passed it on to my grandpa (Frank Fazzari) who devoted his whole life to it, who in turn left it to my uncle (Robert Fazzari) who ran the restaurant until the last day of business in 2006.

The Pastime Café, the restaurant I grew up in.

The Pastime Café, the restaurant I grew up in.

My memories inside those Pastime Café walls couldn’t be much sweeter. Whenever we visited our family, we always dined there. My grandpa’s employees treated us like royalty and the regulars would always stare at us as we entered the restaurant and proceeded to a table in the dining room. After dinner we would go up to the front counter staffed by my late Aunt Becky and she would let us pick out a candy bar from underneath the giant glass case that boxed in the antique cash register.

This is my great grandpa at the cash register. As you can barely see, the glass counter case is visible at the very bottom of the picture.

This is my great grandpa at the cash register. As you can barely see, the glass counter case is visible at the very bottom of the picture. This entire setup remained the same up until the restaurant closed in 2006.

Sometimes after dinner and before our candy raid, my grandpa would quickly take us back into the bar. Let me tell you, that was a different world! Shady looking characters and clouds of cigarette smoke filled the dark, long area. It was a 360 degree change when we would return on Sundays. The Pastime was closed on the Lord’s Day but my grandpa would always stop by to check on the place. He would take my siblings and I with him and give us full reign of the restaurant. In the bar we would have a ball picking up loose change on the floor, playing the video games in the back, and scratching off lotto tickets while sitting on the stools. We would run around the lounge and dining room areas, “play restaurant” at the cash register, and follow my grandpa into the kitchen where he would let us step into the gigantic freezer. Beautiful times.

The Pastime staff probably around the mid to late 1940s. My grandpa is in the back row on the far right. His brother (Art), who I also grew up around and who was extremely generous just like my grandpa, is standing right next to him.

The Pastime staff probably around the mid to late 1940s. My grandpa is in the back row on the far right. His brother (Art), who I also grew up around and who was extremely generous just like my grandpa, is standing right next to him.

This past January marked ten full years since the building at 215 Main Street was last operational. After the business closed, my uncle sold the place. In that decade span, ownership of the property shifted hands more than once but nothing ever materialized within those walls. The building that was already a throwback in the first place sat abandoned on a street corner in Walla Walla for far too long.

Yesterday my brother sent me a link to an article in Walla Walla’s local newspaper that said the wait would seen be over. Some visionaries have been hard at work creating Pastime 2.0. Well, to be fair, it won’t be a Pastime replica (there could never be another one anyway). But what is going in at the location is something that will carry on the proud tradition of the space while at the same time capitalzing on what Walla Walla is now known for: Wine.

This summer the Passatempo Taverna will open. The Pastime building will once again be a functioning restaurant and the parking lot in what we used to call “the alley” will be developed into a wine tasting room. Talented people have come together to represent each facet of Passtempto Taverna from the menu to the design to the wine. The project is in good hands. I could rest easy when I read the article and realized that the construction was done with absolute integrity and care. The discoveries made during the renovation fascinated me and the plans to keep around a touch of Pastime nostalgia encouraged me.

A look at the construction of Passatempo Taverna (photo courtesy of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin).

A look at the construction of Passatempo Taverna (photo courtesy of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin).

I am very excited to see more progress photos of the construction and then ultimately coverage from the grand opening. Of course one day I hope to visit Passatempo Taverna; it would be a very special moment. The Pastime building deserves to once again be a community gathering center and I am 100% ready for this new chapter to begin. Don’t Blink.

Doing Just Fine Without Cable

Back when I lived in Missoula I grew tired of my cable company. After another price hike for a very limited channel lineup, I called up the company and canceled my cable. I lasted maybe a week.

Bored to tears in my apartment with only a few grainy channels and no sports, I swallowed my pride and called back the cable company and resumed my service. Highway robbery or not, I knew in order to keep my sanity I would have to pay whatever outrageous fee they charged.

Now a few years later the situation couldn’t be more different.

As Sidney and I approach the two month countdown to our wedding, I am starting to cancel services at my apartment. Since I will be moving in with her, I have started the process of taking care of matters at my current residence. At the beginning of last week, I said “bye bye” to cable.

Despite arriving home at the end of the day and turning on the TV expecting to have hundreds of channels, the transition has been very smooth. The reason for this? Two words: Apple TV.

As I have mentioned before, Sidney gave me an Apple TV for my birthday. It took me a week or two to really embrace it but these days I can say I truly love it. Because of this amazing device, I am not pathetically running back to the cable company asking them to once again turn on my service.

For those of you who don’t know, Apple TV is a device that streams endless entertainment in the form of television shows, movies, broadcasts, youtube videos, etc., right through your TV. When you sit down, any genre of programming is at your thumb as you use it to make selections on the mini Apple TV remote.

To put it simply, I am all set with my Apple TV. I can choose from a couple different 24/7 news stations, view all the current Dateline and 20/20 episodes, watch documentaries until I drop, and curl up on the couch to enjoy a movie. With Netflix, major stations, video streaming services, and so much more included on Apple TV you don’t have to feel sorry for me.

In fact, I have actually asked myself a certain question a few different times over the past week…why didn’t I cut cable sooner?

Of course the one disadvantage to not having cable is missing out on live sports. While Apple TV offers many sports channels, the content isn’t live if you don’t have a cable subscription. So although this makes watching tonight’s NCAA Championship game and this week’s Masters tournament tough, I am managing just fine. After all, Sidney’s house is just a short drive away and my apartment complex is located within walking distance of a couple sports bars. Soon enough, it won’t even be an issue.

It feels good to save money and not have the feeling that you are suffering. Sidney, thank you very much for the Apple TV. Don’t Blink.

Why Sundays Are So Important For “Don’t Blink”

I think we can agree that everything is bigger on Sundays. Undoubtedly the hallmark day of the week, many of us notice that restaurants, television networks, and movie theaters place a high emphasis on the Lord’s Day. The same rings true for bloggers.

By a very wide margin, Sundays are the busiest day for Don’t Blink. So busy, in fact, that my blog receives almost double the traffic on Sunday than it does on the next busiest day of the week. Why is this though? Is it because I cause it by producing my best content of the week for this day? Or is it because Sunday is just simply the day where more people around the world jump online?

Sunday is a huge day for "Don't Blink."

Sunday is a huge day for “Don’t Blink.”

I can confidently say that it is the latter.

Even if I didn’t write a blog post on Sunday, there would still be a very good chance that the day would still generate the highest numbers of the week. Theoretically, I could lay in bed all day and decide against disturbing my weekend by taking 1-2 hours to tend to my blog. So, why not do what the bible says and rest on Sunday? After all, the numbers will take care of themselves.

Well, the reasons to avoid being lazy are numerous. First, although Sunday will most likely be my highest rated day despite if I write or not, a new blog post will add dramatically to the bottom line. A fresh piece of content will increase the views on my blog on a given Sunday by at least 30%. Of course, that 30% is made up of my regular readers, the ones who receive email updates when I publish something new or the ones who follow me on social media.

Speaking of my regular readers, a big reason why I don’t take Sunday off is because I put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver for them on this day. You see, my dedicated Don’t Blink fans have come to expect my best work on Sundays. It goes along with what I said at the beginning about the tradition of the day. Also, my Sunday blog post comes after my “blogging weekend.” I write for five straight days and then take Friday and Saturday off. After a break like this, it is expected that I come back rejuvenized and fresh with ideas.

I have capitalized on these expectations by giving my longtime readers what they want. Yes, I do try to save my best blog post of the week for Sunday. I mean come on, there is no excuse for bad quality, right? I have all day to write on Sunday (actually all weekend) whereas I am up against the wall writing after work on the weekdays. There better be a noticeable distinction. On social media I have marketed my first blog post of the week as my Sunday Blog Post. I post all of Sidney’s blog takeovers on Sunday as well.

To capitalize on the tradition of excellent content on Sundays, I post Sidney's blog takeovers on this day.

To capitalize on the tradition of excellent content on Sundays, I post Sidney’s blog takeovers on this day.

But the most important reason why I make it a major priority to blog on Sundays goes back to the influx of new readers I receive on this day. The heavy traffic I garner comes from random internet users typing something into Google and being directed to one of my 1,000 blog posts I have written over the years. After someone reads the specific blog post that corresponded to their “weird Easter bunny” or “Does Dickey’s BBQ sell beer” search, they will most likely click on my header and go to the Don’t Blink homepage. It is imperative that they see I am active and producing fresh content. When they notice that not only am I active but that I have actually blogged that day, the chance for them to become a regular reader increases. It is all about building my audience.

Here are some of the search terms that random internet users typed in to find my blog. As you can see, "Bar Rescue" inquiries are high. I write about this in the next paragraph.

Here are some of the search terms that random internet users typed in to find my blog. As you can see, “Bar Rescue” inquiries are high. I write about this in the next paragraph.

In closing, I want to just point out a quirkier source of my high Sunday blog traffic. Spike TV routinely shows “Bar Rescue” marathons on Sundays to lead up to the new episode at 9 p.m. Because episodes are shown for hours throughout the day, viewers are very much exposed to the program. This of course leads them to look up the show on Google. Because I have written a couple different blog posts on the show (here and here), every Sunday I get many “Bar Rescue” fans directed to my site. I am more than happy to welcome them.

If I ever decrease my blogging activity, Sunday won’t be one of the days I take off. I am thankful to all who choose to spend this special day of the week reading my blog. Have a great rest of your weekend! Don’t Blink.