My Ugly Hands

Since the summer of my freshman year in high school, I have had less than flattering hands. This time corresponded to when I started to lift weights. For many, pumping iron doesn’t impact the inside skin of their hands too much. But for me, large callouses develop.

It was wishful thinking to believe that after 16 years my skin might have toughened up a bit and my callouses disappeared. Unfortunately not. The fact that the weight program I do these is by no means intense hasn’t resulted in my callouses going down either. They are still there, plain as day.

This is what my right hand looks like. Luckily I took this photo today. My hands always look the best on Sunday because it is after they have had a couple days of rest with no weight lifting.

This is what my right hand looks like. Luckily I took this photo today. My hands always look the best on Sunday because it is after they have had a couple days of rest with no weight lifting.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays when my exercise regimen calls for an abundance of curls and other work with barbells, the callouses on my hands really flare up. You can see skin peeling and the discoloration is even more evident. They calm down on Tuesdays and Thursdays plus over the weekend but they are always there.

To be honest, my callouses don’t bother me that much. I have had them for more than half my life and I really don’t think twice about them. However, I do realize that to others they look unsightly and provoke questions.

What are those on your hands? Do they hurt? How did that happen? Are you contagious?

Those are all questions I have received, some of them over and over and over again. For young children, callouses are especially alarming. Most have never seen them before so they usually react with curiosity. My 3-year-old nephew and I play a game where he will dodge and run from my touch to avoid my calloused hands (all in good fun). When it comes to strangers, if I shake someone’s hand or hold it (like at church) they always seem to contemplate a bit on the rough skin that was piercing the inside of their palm.

Like I said, I don’t have a problem with my less than beautiful hands. However, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt if I took measures to heal my callouses. Do any of my fellow gym freaks out there have tips for taking care of callouses? I will listen to anything except for wearing gloves. I would love to see some of gigantic callouses that the Olympic weight lifters must develop! Don’t Blink.

Thursday Rundown: Bye to a Legend

Let me wish you all a pleasant Thursday evening. Thanks for coming back to Don’t Blink. Here we go with my latest installment of the Thursday Rundown.

Cool Photo Editing App – For those who enjoy enhancing your iphone photos, I want to tell you about a cool new app I have been using. If you have time, download Prisma. It is a photo editing app that offers some pretty wild filters. Think the styles of anime and gothic meet up in a Candy Land dream world. In the photo below, I used the mosaic style to create this photo of Sid and I. Best part of it all is that the app is free.

I like how abstract the photos turn out when using Prisma.

I like how abstract the photos turn out when using Prisma.

Legend – Yesterday, longtime University of Montana women’s basketball coach Robin Selvig announced his retirement after 38 seasons. I had the honor of working in the same athletic department as him for almost five years. However, believe it or not, I won’t remember him the most for the portion of his 865 wins I got to witness. Rather, I will remember him for participating in our Monte videos (go to the 54 second mark, you have to watch!), running a really fun annual poker tournament, and never hesitating to warmly greet me in the hall. I will also never forget a moment in a closed door staff meeting with the university president. It was the morning our athletic director and football coach were unexpectedly let go and as the top official at Montana looked down at his feet, Coach Selvig defended the two men who lost their jobs as well as our department. Talk about leadership. Enjoy retirement, Robin.

Robin Selvig is a legend but also a very good man (photo courtesy of the great Todd Goodrich).

Robin Selvig is a legend but also a very good man (photo courtesy of the great Todd Goodrich).

Good And Plenty – I wore the below shirt for our rehearsal dinner. I wore it again last weekend at church. Before leaving, we said hi to Father LeBlanc. He looked at me and said “Hi Good And Plenty.” I don’t think there was a better way to describe the color scheme of my shirt than that. From here on out, whenever I put it on, I will always think of it as the Good and Plenty shirt.

Father LeBlanc called me "Good and Plenty" when I wore this shirt. He gave it the perfect description.

Father LeBlanc called me “Good and Plenty” when I wore this shirt. He gave it the perfect description.

Central Intelligence – This past Friday, Sidney and I went on a double date to the movies with the in-laws. We watched “Central Intelligence” in a recliner-only theater. The film stars The Rock and Kevin Hart. Sid thought the movie was hilarious and broke out in laughing fits the whole way through. I thought the movie was funny but to a lesser degree. In my opinion, I wish the movie didn’t even have the CIA plot worked in. I wish the film just focused more on the secondary plot of the film of two guys with a complicated history getting in touch just prior to their high school reunion.

From the Olympics Archives – A whole four years ago on this date, I wrote about my excitement as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London opened up. I also spent time describing why the summer games are just so much better than the winter ones. To this day, my opinion has not changed one bit. There is not a question in my mind about which one is superior. To read my long blog post from 2012, click here.


Life is good. Remember that and have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

Revisiting Donald Trump One Year Later

I always like to use a year as a good measuring stick. Looking back 365 days is a good exercise for assessing your professional development, judging a relationship, or critiquing a project.

In my case, a year is also a good benchmark to revisit past blog posts.

On July 27, 2015, I wrote about Donald Trump. It was in the infancy of his presidential aspirations and he had a long road ahead of him. Although I gave him credit for the media coverage he had generated and the unconventional way he managed his campaign, I was also honest. I gave him no chance to win the Republican nomination and I stated that I most likely would never vote for him.

One year later, I think the only person more surprised than me is Hillary Clinton. If you told her in July 2015 that she would not only be running against Donald Trump but also LOSING to him in the polls, she would have flat out laughed at you.

But that is Hillary’s problem to deal with. I have to come clean with my own errors. I clearly underestimated The Donald. I was critical of him (and sometimes still am) throughout the year as I doubted him and questioned his tactics. In the end he proved me, and millions of other Americans, wrong.

With that said, does it mean I am voting for him? Heck no! I am a total free agent at this point in the game. Like I have written numerous times, I am not a political person. I am going to continue to watch the process play out and make my final decision in November.

Now that I have admitted my ignorance when it comes to predicting who will succeed in politics, I think my work for tonight is done. Little did I know how much I would really need that popcorn bowl I mentioned one year ago. Don’t Blink.

My Favorite Beer: It’s Not All About Taste

I am always a little embarrassed to admit my favorite beer. Because I lived in Beer Country (Missoula) I feel like people get really angry about my preference but I can’t lie. My favorite beer is Blue Moon.

I know, I know, I know. This shame just doesn’t derive from the fact that I lived several years in a place that has eight breweries, an endless calendar of beerfests, and a public tap system that almost replaces water with a hoppy IPA. The embarrassment also comes from the notion of many beer drinkers that Blue Moon is too corporate, too fruity, too common.

I started drinking Blue Moon eight years ago as a junior in college. One of Missoula's famous bars, the Bodega, sold pints for $1 on Thursday nights.

I started drinking Blue Moon eight years ago as a junior in college. One of Missoula’s famous bars, the Bodega, sold pints for $1 on Thursday nights. That is me on the right and my friend Nick on the left.

But I can’t help it. To me, most of the time at least, no beer tastes better to me than Blue Moon. However, the taste isn’t the only reason why I enjoy this Belgian White beer so much. Because of my profession, it might come as no surprise that I also love the drink because of its marketing.

When I think of the people behind the marketing for Blue Moon, I think of a small team of folks around my age who like to have fun. I think of seven or eight laid back men and women who “get it” when it comes to what it takes to get people to drink a brew. While Coors does in fact own Blue Moon, you can bet that there is a specific marketing team solely responsible for the this uniquely named brew I like so much.

Ah yes, the name of the beer! The whole reason why I am writing this blog post is because of the education I received on the “Blue Moon” name just this past weekend. Sidney and I went inside a bar for a drink right before we went and picked up our takeout food at a nearby restaurant. I ordered a Blue Moon and the glass they served it in (see below) brought a huge smile to my face.

I enjoyed this Blue Moon this past weekend. I loved the glass it was served in.

I enjoyed this Blue Moon this past weekend. I loved the glass it was served in.

I loved the fact that the Blue Moon name is based off of a short, fun, and marketbale story. Who knows whether the tale is actually true or not but it totally works (and it also happens to easily fit on a glass). Genuis.

My brother and I enjoying Blue Moons.

My brother and I enjoying Blue Moons.

But the naming story is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to superb Blue Moon marketing. Nothing beats what was done to catapult Blue Moon into the mainstream beer scene. It is basically a marketing legend by now, but the Blue Moon people wanted to do something that differentiated their beer from all the other Belgian Whites and hefeweizens out there. A common denominator for both types of beer just mentioned was to garnish each glass with a lemon slice. Blue Moon decided to introduce a much more popular fruit to pair with its beer…the orange!

To say it caught on is an understatement. The orange captured the attention of drinkers. People liked the way it looked on the glass, they enjoyed squeezing it into their beer, and most importantly they loved the way it complimented the taste. By simply changing out the fruit, Blue Moon went leaps and bounds above its competitiors.

I love the Blue Moon logo. I talk more about it below.

I love the Blue Moon logo. I talk more about it below.

Another part of the Blue Moon marketing presentation I appreciate is the logo and other company marks! Attractive, warm, and easy to look at, the Blue Moon brand is represented by a perfect logo. The light blue dominant color of the moon combined with a dark blue background on packaging makes it inviting. The snow capped trees on the bottles of labels and cans never fails to give a “homey” type of feel. For me, I equate Blue Moon packaging with being as impactful as the Coca-Cola Christmas season packaging.

The Blue Moon aesthetics go beyond just the logo. The packaging is also very well-done and inviting.

The Blue Moon aesthetics go beyond just the logo. The packaging is also very well-done and inviting.

Looking back above, it looks like I have outlined three main marketing staples: a story (the name), a distinguishing characterisic (the orange), and an identity (the logo). When you have this dynamite trio under command, as long as your product doesn’t suck, you are going to be successful.

Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the other marketing components that Blue Moon excels in. The brand has a great social media presence, they are always introducing seasonal products, and the commercials aren’t all that bad either. It is no mystery why Coors shelled out big money to bring Blue Moon under its umbrella.

So please don’t make fun of me too much for liking Blue Moon. I promise you, my preference for the beer goes beyond its fruity and refreshing taste. Don’t Blink.

My Tolerance for Social Media Political Posts

You are going to think I am either crazy or sarcastic but this is an honest statement: I actually enjoy reading political rants of my friends on Facebook. Many folks will post a status describing how they dislike political chatter and will block or “unfriend” people who engage in it. With the presidential race heating up and with us in the middle of the two conventions there is no shortage of posts centering on politics. This has ruffled the feathers of many.

But like I said, I don’t mind it. By viewing these statuses I learn a lot about my friends and acquaintances. I find out their views, their thought process, and their mental health. Politics is a complex subject. Several times I have stumbled across status updates of friends I didn’t even know cared an iota about the topic. To then hear them write about it usually tells me more about them than I had known before.

Of course I prefer the more eloquent and polite posts but I also get a sense of satisfaction out of the more “passionate” variety as well. However, whereas my friends who try to post with civility usually educate me on political issues, the ones who blow off steam just entertain me. Nothing makes me smile more than when I see people go off the deep end and air out their political grievances with an excess of exclamation points and a sprinkling of curse words.

However, just don’t go off your rocker so much that you say something as blasphemous as threatening to leave the country if a certain candidate gets elected. I don’t like that.

But besides that extreme example, rant away! Please know though that I care about your own words. Don’t prove your point to me by littering my timeline with links to articles written by far, far, far left/right leaning organizations. It is garbage.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc. you are more than welcome to sound off if you are a social media friend of mine! As I try to educate myself for the upcoming election, I will take time to read what you have to say. Don’t Blink.

My “Sweet” Documentary Idea

I love documentaries. On Netflix, the genre I will always search first is documentaries. Sidney and I watched a couple of them this past week. First we viewed “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake” and last night we watched “My Friend Rockefeller.” Both were great.

The documentary industry is booming. These days, these type of films are so specialized and perfected that it makes for great watching. It is definitely an art. Although documentaries are now being made about seemingly every aspect of life, there still must be a great story to tell.

With this understanding above, I would like to pitch a documentary. The subject at hand is pretty narrow but there is a legitimate and interesting story that is to be told. I would like a filmmaker to do a documentary on the ice cream truck business.

Over three years ago, I wrote this long blog post about my mild obsession with the ice cream man/woman. During my childhood I would almost waste my summer away waiting for the ice cream man to arrive in our neighborhood. I wanted to be an ice cream man when I grew up. I heard the jingle of the ice cream truck in my sleep.

During the time since I wrote it, my interest has not died. Rather, because of my relocation to South Carolina, it has possibly intensified. You see, since living in Myrtle Beach, I have seen even more twists on the “ice cream on wheels” concept. I have seen ice cream men on mopeds, in pick up trucks, and in regular cars! I guess it only makes sense that the types and volume of “mobile ice cream professionals” would increase in a climate that is dominated by hot and humid days.

It has been this awakening to the diversity of the ice cream truck profession that my idea for a documentary is based. I think it would make a great film to follow several different ice cream men from all corners of the country to get an inside look at their profession. The documentary would chronicle the routes they take, the products they sell, the music they play, the problems they face, and the vehicle they use.

But the heart of the documentary wouldn’t hinge on any of those aspects above. Rather, it would focus on the joy of the children whenever the ice cream vehicle pulls up to the curb. My hypothesis is that no matter where at in the country, there would be a similar sentiment of happiness displayed by all the young people waiting to give their ice cream order. The imagery and uniqueness of this documentary could be award winning.

Anyone want to take a stab at this documentary? Let me know. I should be able to donate the cost of a fudgesicle to the project. Don’t Blink.

Spicy Cherry Thursday Rundown

Welcome back to Don’t Blink. You have returned just in time for the latest edition of the Thursday Rundown. Here we go…

Pibb Xtra – I tweeted about this last week but wanted to mention it on my blog. Although not a big soda fan, I do enjoy a glass of Dr. Pepper or Pibb Xtra every now and then. However, all my life I never really knew it had a flavor that could be defined. Last week when we purchased this two liter bottle of Pibb Xtra, it had a description on the label. It reads “artificially flavored spicy cherry soda.” Interesting! To be honest, I never knew I was drinking cherry soda. I just thought it tasted like Pibb Xtra or Dr. Pepper.

I just thought Pibb Xtra was "Pibb Xtra" and not spicy cherry.

I just thought Pibb Xtra was “Pibb Xtra” and not spicy cherry.

Convention Season – This week I have watched with interest the Republican National Convention. Next week I will do the same with the Democratic National Convention. How can you not? These major gatherings only happen every four years. They are full of pomp and circumstance but also contain fiery speeches and drama as well. My favorite part so far was watching the delegate vote on Tuesday night. To watch the different states cast their respective votes in their own colorful way was a lot of fun. Donald Trump’s speech tonight should be very interesting! You bet I will be watching.

RIP Garry Marshall – Yesterday, legendary director Garry Marshall died. His most popular project was “Happy Days.” If there was one show I watched on Nick At Nite more than any other growing up, it was “Happy Days.” As a kid I looked up to sports stars, Slyvester Stallone, and FONZIE. I enjoyed the whole cast but “The Fonz” was my favorite. Heck, one of the major reasons why I like “The Waterboy” so much is because Henry Winkler is in it. Thank you Garry Marshall for creating such a great show and a great character.

Latest Coastal Now Episode – We recently released our latest episode of our university television show, Coastal Now. I once again have my own segment on it. At a university there are many more social media accounts besides the official/main options. In this edition of the “Social Circle” I rundown some of the most popular social media accounts at Coastal Carolina University. Watch me by clicking here.

I talk about the other social media accounts at Coastal Carolina University in my latest Social Circle segment.

I talk about the other social media accounts at Coastal Carolina University in my latest Social Circle segment.

From the Archives – Two years ago on this date I wrote about a bar promotion that I thought was the best I had ever seen. Well, 24 months later, I can say that I still haven’t found a better one. The Sun-Up is an old, run down bar in a rough part of Myrtle Beach but they know how to get people in the door. Is that a good enough teaser? Read my blog post from July 2014 to find out what they exactly do.


Wherever you live, I hope you have another great summer weekend. Thanks for your support of this blog. Don’t Blink.

Our Household Differences

After six weeks of blissful marriage, I find myself wondering how I managed as a bachelor when I wasn’t living with Sidney. Having her by my side when I wake up in the morning and coming home to her each day is an incredible feeling.

When the two of us went through Pre-Cana, we were counseled in the reality that once we started living with each other we would discover differences in how we do things around the house. Our sponsor couple taught us to not let these differences be points of contention but rather opportunities to understand each other better.

Well, Sid and I can vouch for the lesson we learned above on both counts. We do sometimes operate in different ways around the house but they never divide us. In fact, they make us laugh more than anything. And, I must admit, for the most part, her methods are much more superior to mine! So, in an effort to write a lighthearted blog post, I present to you the ten ways in which Sidney and I do things differently around our home.

Her: Separates whites and colors. Does laundry with care.
Him: Throws everything into the washing machine and starts it up.
I never knew what a white shirt actually looked like until Sidney showed me.

Her: Watches reality TV and celebrity gossip.
Him: Watches sports and CNN.
Our TV screen might not be big enough for Kim Kardashian AND Lebron James

Her: Premium toilet paper only.
Him: Buys the cheapest TP he can find.
Sidney has helped me see the light on this one.

Her: Washes all silverware and clothes after use.
Him: If he only used a knife for peanut butter or didn’t sweat in it, it might be re-used.
Just doing my small part to help the environment.

Her: Prefers blinds that block out all light in the bedroom.
Him: Likes to be woken up by natural sunlight in the mornings.
Come on, who doesn’t like being awakened at 6 a.m. on the weekend?

Her: Sleeps with several fluffy pillows
Him: Only uses one standard pillow.
Less is more.

Her: Likes to eat dinner with the TV on.
Him: Prefers to eat with no background noise.
With the TV on, I can’t hear myself chew.

Her: Making the bed in the morning is not mandatory.
Him: Conditioned to make bed the second he gets out of it.
It is my OCD.

Her: Keeps bread in the pantry.
Him: Keeps bread in the refrigerator.
Could be an urban legend but I heard it keeps it fresher longer.

Her: Re-arranges furniture.
Him: If it was up to him, would keep the same arrangement for the rest of the marriage.
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it, right?


More than anything, these differences are fun to us. They enable us to talk about how we were raised and help us to learn even more about each other. But man, let me tell you, Sidney really was right on paying a little extra for the toilet paper. Don’t Blink.

The Last #SidAndBrent Wedding/Honeymoon Post

I want to start this blog post by saying thank you for your patience. One month ago today, I wrote my first post after a two week hiatus from Don’t Blink. Most of you excused my absence, noting that getting married and going on a honeymoon are significant life events. Because those events made such an impact on me and kept me away from this blog for so long, I had a lot to write about when I returned.

Since June 19, I have written 20 blog posts. Out of those entries, 14 of them centered on wedding activities or our honeymoon. The six non-related blog posts? They were either about Coastal baseball, Pokemon Go, or it was a Thursday Rundown.

This is the last wedding/honeymoon focused post you will read for the near future.

This is the last wedding/honeymoon focused post you will read for the time being.

Although I am sure I will write about wedding and honeymoon events in the future, the focus on #SidAndBrent will not be as prominent going forward. I am sure Sidney will welcome this as she was starting to wonder how far I was going to stretch everything.

But as a final curtain call to the best two weeks ever as chronicled in this blog, I do want to lay out the posts I wrote pertaining to our wedding activities and honeymoon below. Thank you all for reading my blog over the past month and for showing genuine interest during this very special time in our lives. Don’t Blink.

Back As a Married Man
Weddings Are About Family
Inside Our Rehearsal Dinner
The #SidAndBrent Wedding
My Wedding Week Thursday Rundown
The Reception
Our Mexican Honeymoon
Swimming With the Dolphins
Finding My Husband (blog takeover written by Sidney)
Our Memorable Photo Shoot in Cancun
Coco Bongo
An Awful Travel Dilemma
My Top Ten Photos From Our Wedding Day
Our Wedding Photo Memes

Our Wedding Photo Memes

Before putting the wedding photos to rest on this blog, I wanted to have a little fun. When Sidney and I sat down and looked through the images together, we noticed something on the lighter side. As we scrolled through the over 600 photos, we laughed and commented on how some of them would be perfect for memes! So, tonight, I bring our observation to reality. Here are five memes from the photography of Nicholas Gore Weddings.

This is Sidney walking down the aisle to her groom. No doubt the color of the dresses caught her eye…

Excuse me for being a little cocky, but I think I caught her eye as well.

Excuse me for being a little cocky, but I think I caught her eye as well.

After the group photos were taken at the reception, I shared a quick chat with my parents…

Don't worry, no cake was ever shoved in anyone's face. And let me save his dad never suggested it.

Don’t worry, no cake was ever shoved in anyone’s face. And let me save his reputation…my dad never suggested it.

The bridal toast is always a time to be happy and to reflect…

This meme was actually written by Sid.

This meme was actually written by Sid.

The groom must have his moment of glory…

Telling myself not to screw it up the entire night before obviously paid off.

Telling myself not to screw it up the entire night before obviously paid off.

If only they knew…

This is a truthful meme. Sid handed off the bouquet to her sister.

This is a truthful meme. Sid handed off the bouquet to her sister.

Okay, I had to add one bonus meme in because this one of Sidney’s sisters is too good not to use.

We can only hope they get Sid's good looks!

We can only hope they get Sid’s good looks!


Thanks for sharing a laugh with Sidney and I. Remember, it is always fun to turn your professional, beautiful photos into memes! Don’t Blink.