My Top Five Favorite Hard Candies

When I was a teenager and had braces, I followed the rules. I didn’t eat caramel, drink soda, or chew gum. For me, the gum part was the toughest. As someone who hates bad breath, I would chew gum regularly to keep mine in check (when I didn’t have a toothbrush around). When I got the metal put in my mouth, I switched from gum to something else: hard candy.

Over the two years I had braces, I sucked on a lot of hard candies. I tried a wide variety and developed both favorites and ones that I will never put in my mouth again. Tonight I give you my countdown for my top five favorite hard candies.

5. Jolly Ranchers – Perhaps the most popular type of hard candy, Jolly Ranchers barely crack my list. With a wide variety of flavors to choose from and a long lasting staying power in your mouth, Jolly Ranchers pack a great value. However, for me, “Ranchers” never really offered any type of reward for sucking them until they dissolved or until you could bite down on them. You weren’t left with a fresh mouth or something in the middle to enjoy. Also, Jolly Ranchers carry with them a reputation for being a cheap candy, the type of treat that you don’t want dropped in your bag at Halloween. I only want the premium stuff!

These are good, but not the best.

4. Brachs Strawberry Filled Hard Candy – This is a classic. Who doesn’t remember these candies with a strawberry decorated wrapper hanging out in candy bowls at the homes of our grandparents? Bigger than Jolly Ranchers, they also contained something that my #5 candy lacks: a filling! After you sucked on your Brachs candy for long enough, you could bite down and enjoy the gooey strawberry middle. The shell was pleasant, the middle was delicious, and the strawberry taste that stayed around in your mouth was enjoyable.

A complete classic.

3. Atomic Fireballs – At the time I was enjoying hard candy, Atomic Fireballs posed a fun challenge to me. I don’t know if the candy would still burn my taste buds today, but 15 years ago it was tough for me to keep it in my mouth the whole time. That cinnamon flavor sizzled my mouth but the reward at the end was worth it: fresh breath.

I liked Atomic Fireballs so much because it was a challenge for me to keep them in my mouth the whole time.

2. Brachs Peppermint Candy – When it comes to the ultimate staple of hard candies, this is it. If you look up “hard candy” in the dictionary, I am pretty sure a photo of the disc shaped red and white striped candy accompanies the definition. During my years wearing braces, when no one was watching, I would take a handful of peppermint candies out of the baskets at restaurants. For me, the peppermint candy substituted for gum perfectly. It was long enough lasting and it left your mouth with that clean, cool taste. You could also suck the candy at your own pace because it wasn’t so hard that it would break your teeth if you chomped down too early nor would it disintegrate if you wanted to make it last for a while.

You can’t go wrong with these.

1. A&W Root Beer Candy – Are you surprised? Enjoying A&W candies softened two of my braces restrictions. First, it obviously substituted for gum. Second, it let me kind of  enjoy soda. If I remember correctly (or maybe it was just in my head), the wrapper said that actual A&W Root Beer was in the candy. I imagine it was probably just artificial flavoring but the vision that the soda was actually “poured” inside the middle of the candy made me enjoy it that much more. Besides my wife who hates root beer, who doesn’t like anything that is root beer-flavored? To this day, A&W Root Beer candy is still my favorite.

My favorite hard candy of all-time.


Hopefully I don’t have anyone out there who loves sour candy. As you can see from my list, Warheads did not make the list and that was by design…I hate sour candy. But other than that, the list looks pretty representative of the hard candy world. What do you think? Don’t Blink.

Laughing at AFV

I think the show I am addressing tonight can legitimately be classified as one of our nation’s classics. However, I am not laughing.

I hate America’s Funniest Home Videos (now known by the hipper name, AFV). My dislike for the program is multifaceted.

First, I just don’t find it funny when someone is startled or accidentally hit with an object. Animals that do silly things don’t tickle my funny bone either. Slipping or tripping doesn’t make me LOL. I don’t particularly enjoy birthday or wedding bloopers either. Obviously, what I just mentioned is the bread and butter of AFV. And, unfortunately for me, it never changes. Each show, in my opinion, is practically the same. Besides the evolution of better video quality over the years, a show from 1989 is the same from a show in 2017. I just don’t do slapstick.

I also don’t do horrible hosts. Bob Saget and Tim Bergeron made me cringe. Their presentation went beyond corny. I literally could not watch AFV because of them. I am dead serious. Since then, I think a couple of other people have taken over hosting duties and hopefully they (along with the writing) are better. But Saget and Bergeron completely ruined the show for me.

Finally, the fakeness  (or so I thought) of the show also turns me off. I don’t need a laugh track to tell me when to laugh and on AFV it is played after every single video. Even worse, there is the studio audience that will make you roll your eyes. The show will cut to the studio after a video is shown and focus on some dude practically rolling in laughter. I mean, how funny can it be when a kid swings and misses at a piñata? An adult really doesn’t find this stuff hilariously funny, right?


Case in point…my wife.

Last night we found ourselves watching AFV. Before the first video was even done Sidney was already laughing hysterically. Over the next several minutes, she was howling as we watched the various videos. Watching Sid enjoy herself so much made me happy. In fact, it also made me lightly chuckle at a few of the videos as well. It almost goes without saying that when your spouse is joyful, it makes you joyful as well.

I still don’t like AFV but I will always watch it with my wife. I stand by my first two points in that every episode is the same and the hosting is awful, but I will concede my third point: people actually do have laughing fits while watching the show. Now keep those cameras rolling! Don’t Blink.

Classic Dad Moves

Every now and then, a really funny/clever parody account pops up on Twitter. The latest one that I enjoy following is called Classic Dad Moves (@ClassicDadMoves). The account’s profile photo is of a middle aged dude in front of his grill wearing a ball cap and a pullover. However, the appeal of @ClassicDadMoves isn’t the profile photo, it is the actual content.

This is what the @ClassicDadMoves Twitter account looks like.

The Twitter account tweets out things a dad supposedly says (i.e. referring to text messages as “emails”) or things a dad supposedly does (i.e. ignoring the GPS on long road trips). The person behind @ClassicDadMoves relies on stereotypical dad behavior but also tweets out stuff that isn’t quite widely known that all dads do. The latter content is what makes me follow the account.

My own dad has always been a compassionate, loving influence so a lot of the macho/rude jokes the account tweets out doesn’t register with me. However, sometimes @ClassicDadMoves hits it right on. Some of what it tweets out describes my dad to a “T” and makes me laugh out loud. In today’s blog post, I want to share five recent instances when the @ClassicDadMoves account nailed it about my own dad.

Some of the tweets from the @ClassicDadMoves account remind me exactly of my dad.


Making sure he states the time at the end of every voicemail he leaves – Since I can remember, my dad has always stated the time when leaving a voicemail. Even when he is calling me, it is always “Hey Brent, it’s dad. It is about 4:57 p.m. right now…”. Even though any cell phone or voicemail system made after 2000 will clearly tell you the time the message was left, my dad will always re-confirm it. Growing up, my dad would expect the same courtesy as well. He was the voice on our own voicemail recording and he always prompted callers to leave the time they called as well, even though it was unnecessary.


Still grilling despite it being 10 degrees outside – Where I come from, there was definitely a grilling season. Living in Spokane, the weather can get bitterly cold. Because of this, most people would grill primarily in the summer. However, this never stopped my dad from “barbecuing” (as we called it) year-round. Before I hit my teenage years, I had not developed a taste for food off the grill yet. When it was the middle of January and temperatures dipped below zero, I would remind my dad that it wasn’t the appropriate time to be firing up the grill. My protest never deterred him. To this day, grilling still occurs 12 months out of the year at my parents’ house.


Clipping his phone on – Recently, both my parents each bought iPhones. However, until that fateful day, my dad would clip his phone on. We love my dad so much, but it was always a little silly to see his outdated device clipped to his belt. We gave him a hard time about it, especially when he would struggle to unclip it each time someone “paged” him, but it was to no avail. He was a proud “clipper” for over a decade.


Referring to himself as “your old man” to his kids/ Saying “correctamundo” when his kid says the right answer/ Son: “I’m hungry.” Dad: “I’m dad.” – Instead of taking up multiple spots on this list, I wanted to lump a few of the @ClassicDadMoves quotes together. Ever since I can remember, my dad has always referred to himself to me as “your old man.” I can also hear him saying “correctamundo” as I write this. But the lame joke of expressing your state by saying “I’m ______” and having someone (in this case my dad) reply with “I’m dad” accurately described my father all too well. My dad always pulled this awful one-liner on me. In fact, he did it so much that I sometimes pull it out on Sidney!


Over dramatically putting his arm across the passengers chest when he stops the car too fast – This one didn’t just have me chuckling, it had me laughing out loud. Whenever I would drive in the car with my dad, if a motorist cut us off or if my dad had to apply just a little extra pressure on the brake, his arm would quickly and forcefully extend across me. It didn’t matter if we stopped 30 feet in front of the nearest vehicle, the arm would still come out. If I drive with my brother, he will jokingly put his arm out in an exaggerated manner to pay homage to my dad’s classic tendency. I honestly didn’t know that this was “a thing” of dads across the world until I saw the tweet.


If you want a good follow, make sure to look up @ClassicDadMoves. I thank my own dad for being a good sport about this blog post. Don’t Blink.

Thursday Rundown Version 8.0

Good evening my friends! I hope everyone has enjoyed a nice week thus far. It is time for the weekly tradition I like to call the Thursday Rundown…

Crazy Soda – I am such a kid! The other day at the grocery store I was walking down the soda aisle and a bright blue liquid caught the corner of my eye. I turned my head and I discovered Berry Fanta. You bet I bought a bottle! I tried a couple sips last night and I must say it wasn’t bad. It has a smooth raspberry taste that I am sure my nephew would love.

Holding my Berry Fanta.

Split – This past weekend I went to the theater by myself to watch the Sunday matinee showing of “Split.” The film is about a guy with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls. The first half of the movie was decent as I enjoyed the psychological themes and the acting of James McAvoy. However, the second half of the movie was so unbelievable and such a departure from the first that I left the theater with a negative impression.

I went and saw “Split” last weekend.

I Need This – I was recently watching Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show and I just about salivated the whole time as she cooked entirely with peanut butter! She made several delicious dishes but the one that really caught my eye was peanut butter pasta. How amazing does that sound?! Not only does it include peanut butter and pasta (two of my favorite things ever) but the recipe also calls for other things I like such as spices, soy sauce, and chicken. After Sidney gives birth, I am going to ask her to make it for me.

A look at Trisha Yearwood’s peanut butter pasta.

Too Early? – Quick question for all of you: Is it too early for Cadbury eggs to be on the shevles? At Food Lion this past weekend, I encountered the below boxes of the popular Easter treat. I love Easter and I love Cadbury eggs, but it is January and Easter doesn’t fall until April this year. We still have two full calendar months to go. This is analogous to stores putting out HALLOWEEN candy in JULY. Perhaps I am overreacting.

Is it just me or is it too early for this?

Getting Practice – On Saturday, Sidney and I went and visited a couple friends who just had a beautiful baby girl. Sid went to college with Leslie and they have remained tight since then. Leslie and her husband Brooks welcomed Stevie Blair into the world on January 8. It was so nice to meet and hold Stevie while also talking to Leslie and Brooks about their experience (they went to the same doctors as us and gave birth in the same hospital we will be in). Sid and I were both thankful to the Causeys for hosting us during such a busy and exciting time for them.

Sid and I with Stevie Blair.


That will wrap this Thursday Rundown up! I am ecstatic to celebrate my wife’s birthday this weekend and I hope all of you have exciting things ahead as well. Don’t Blink.

My Fashion Sense

When it comes to the image of ourselves, we all have our own individual traits that we value more than others. For me, I try to maintain a solid online image while also doing my best to maintain my physical body image. However, when it comes to my fashion image, I definitely don’t stay up late stressing over it.

Wardrobe wise, I am one of the most vanilla people there is. This goes for both on the streets and in the workplace.

But let’s start with the workplace so I can save what I wear when I am not in the office for last. My job allows me to wear collared shirts and slacks which is just fine with me. Over the past couple years, I have built a section in my closet that is entirely Coastal Carolina University polos. Because I live in a climate that is warm 12 months out of the year, this rack in my closest is always in use. Most of my CCU polos are dri-fit, and by now, they are also worn in. I get to go to work each day rocking my employer while also feeling comfortable.

A look at my wide range of teal (and other colors) #CCU polos.

I have 3-4 pairs of khakis in circulation that I pair with my desired polo of the day. While I don’t buy Jim Harbaugh $5 khakis from Walmart, I don’t buy super expensive ones either. Well, to be honest, I actually don’t buy them at all. Most of my khakis were picked out and bought for me by my wife or sent to me as a Christmas/birthday gift from my mom.

Some of my fellow male co-workers dress really nice and do a wonderful job at assembling matching outfits. Some wear suits. However, I like to reason that since I am running around so much, I can get away with showing up each day in a lovely polo.

Wearing a polo is almost a daily occurrence for me.

When it comes to the weekends at home, you can find me in my signature outfit: a thermal and jeans.

I love my thermals.

I have made an effort to clean out American Eagle and Old Navy of every thermal they have produced. Ah yes, that brings me to a point of contention. Sidney gets on me for shopping at the two places I just mentioned, saying I am much too old to even set foot in one of the stores, let alone buying something. But I can’t turn my back on American Eagle and Old Navy because both places produce super comfortable and inexpensive clothes. Also, I should point out that Sidney recently lost all her leverage against me when she helped her mom pick out a pair of jeans from American Eagle for her DAD.

I need a couple shots to show how many thermals I have in my closet.

Speaking of jeans, if I am not at work I am wearing them. Even during the Carolina summers, I wear jeans just as much as I do shorts…but never jean shorts (I said I don’t stress out over my wardrobe…NOT that I willingly commit the biggest fashion faux pas ever). Once again, I rely on the women in my life to purchase my pants. I will wear the jeans they give me into oblivion.

Thermals work great for a few months in South Carolina. They serve as your lounging wear inside and as your coat outside. But when it gets really hot, I obviously ditch the thermals and turn to more dri-fit gear. Regular t-shirts and casual polos in dri-fit material is what I can be found in April through November. For me, the comfort and lack of effort needed to pull off a wardrobe of this caliber always wins out.

As you can see, I don’t put much stock in making fashion statements. I don’t stand out, I don’t match, I don’t wear leather, I don’t dress like a GQ model. I just strive for comfort. Luckily, someone decided they wanted to marry me. Don’t Blink.

The Worst Era of Music Ever

Although I prefer to listen to mainstream Top 40 or country music, I can tolerate just about anything. Most of the time, if I am not into it, I can just block it out. However, there is one genre that I really can’t stand.

I would gladly listen to oldies, classic rock, rap, blues, or Weird Al Yankovic before I ever subjected my ears to an hour of early 2000s hits.

To be fair, I lived through the early 2000s and was conscious of the music. Incredibly, I actually liked some of it at the time. But these days, whenever the gym or grocery store happens to be playing it, I just want to run and hide.

I mean isn’t it just awful? The mix of Puddle of Mudd, Nelly, Jimmy Eat World, Pink, Uncle Kracker, Matchbox 20, and P-Diddy drives me insane.

I don’t really even know how to describe it. I guess the garage rock sound of the bands and the boring/irritating beats of the solo artists before the explosion of DJ collaborations just turns me off. I don’t want to call the music depressing but it definitely isn’t inspiring. I think perhaps that is why I hate early 2000s music…it just doesn’t make me feel anything.

When I listen to music from 2000, 2001, 2002, etc., I feel unmoved. It just comes across as so manufactured. I had a great high school experience (started in August 2001 and graduated in 2005) but even the great memories made during that time can’t justify to me that the music of the era didn’t suck.

For me, I designate the Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow duet disaster known as “Picture” as the worst song ever made. The cheesy, annoying, and unlistenable song was recorded in 2001 and released in 2002. Although it is probably unfair to do so, I always envision that lousy track holding the banner for all the other crap that was made in the early 2000s. Unfortunately for me, it seems to always find its way on every playlist from that era. Each time I hear it, I hate the music from those years even more.

It is true, I do like a few songs from the turn of the millennium but the word “few” is quite literal. Am I off base here? Please let me know. Don’t Blink.

My Top Five Pizza Chains

A little over a week ago, I addressed gourmet pizza. Tonight I want to talk about greasy pizza. This evening is not about pies dusted with pesto sauce and topped with corn and roasted garlic. Rather, it is about pepperoni, extra cheese, and plenty of red sauce.

I have felt the urge to talk about my favorite pizza chain restaurants for a couple years now. For the purpose of this post, when I say “pizza chain restaurants” I am talking about places that are primarily either delivery or carryout. So please note that buffet places like CiCi’s or sit down places like Roundtable Pizza were not considered. With that said, I give you my top five pizza chains:

5. Domino’s – Growing up, I enjoyed the Domino’s coupons that were cut out to fit on your door handle. Our neighborhood would be targeted a couple times each month so we had plenty of them. I enjoyed looking at the offerings that always included a pizza, side item, and soda for what seemed to me like an inexpensive amount. All the way through my teen years I held a pretty favorable impression of Domino’s. But as I became a little more aware of quality, my enthusiasm for the chain dimmed. A few years ago, I shook my head as Domino’s ran a marketing campaign that showed their food in a bad light and basically sent an apology to the American people for their pizza sucking so much. This concession by the company almost made me leave it off of the list but there was no way I was going to let Little Caesars replace it.

4. Costco Pizza – This isn’t a joke. Costco is legitimately listed as one of the country’s largest pizza chains. Although I usually opt for a hot dog at Costco, every now and then I go for a gigantic slice of pepperoni pizza that sends grease oozing through the paper plate. But how could I place Costco on this list if the pizza isn’t even my primary food court choice? You see, while I might not be a huge fan of pizza by the slice at Costco, I love to buy the full pizzas offered take and bake style. When I was a bachelor, I would buy a pizza for myself and immediately bake it. I would then put the slices in ziplock bags, place them all in a Tupperware container, and eat the slices throughout the week. It was convenient, cheap, and pretty darn good. I have a soft spot for Costco pizza.

Me with my container of take-in-bake pepperoni Costco pizza.

3. Papa John’s – Out of the five places on this list, I like Papa John’s as a company the most. It is safe to say that this chain has distinguished itself. When you think of a Papa John’s pizza, you immediately think of a jalapeno pepper and a garlic sauce container coming inside the box. You think of the CEO acting goofy in commercials with Peyton Manning. You think of the Super Bowl heads or tails coin toss promotion that won us all free pizza. You also think of that distinctive taste. Yes, put me through any pizza blind taste test and I will always be able to pick out the Papa John’s pie. Now, this isn’t to say that the taste of a Papa John’s pizza is amazing but it isn’t bad either. I would say the chain is extremely consistent in taste and a little unpredictable when it comes to specialty pizzas…like the Fritos chili pizza that was introduced in 2014.

Me holding the Fritos Chili Pizza from Papa John’s.

2. Pizza Hut – It is no secret that Pizza Hut has fallen on tough times as of late. The chain recently revamped its entire menu in response to a country that was demanding more options. However, throughout my whole life I have never had a problem with Pizza Hut pizza. I think I became a Pizza Hut loyalist for life after hearing these two words: stuffed crust.

Yes, I am dating myself here but I remember when stuffed crust first came out. I can see those David Robinson commercials right now advertising God’s gift to pizza lovers. To this day, I still love stuffed crust pizza. But I like Pizza Hut for more than just that one reason. Like Papa John’s, I think Pizza Hut is pretty consistent. I like the other types of crusts offered as well. On the days I took a break from the stuffed crust, I would order the meat lover’s pan pie (so good and so many calories). When I was younger, I was motivated to reach my summer reading goals because a coupon for a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza awaited me. When I worked at the University of Montana, I lived on Pizza Hut pizza because of a corporate contract. I can’t tell you how many days I scarfed down a couple slices while working games. The good memories make me like Pizza Hut even more.

1. Papa Murphy’s – I love my lists where I don’t have to debate the top spot. This is 100% one of those situations. Without a doubt, Papa Murphy’s is BY FAR my favorite pizza chain business. Don’t think this is nostalgia over the fact that Myrtle Beach doesn’t have a single Papa Murphy’s location because it is all about the taste baby. A take and bake pizza joint as my all-time favorite? You bet!!

Ask my mom, ask my wife, ask my brother…I love Papa Murphy’s pizza. The entire experience is delightful. No other pizza place smells better than a Papa Murphy’s location. Watching them make your pizza is a testament to the freshness and care that is devoted to each pie. The smell that takes over the kitchen when you put it in the oven is incredible. The taste of a freshly baked Papa Murphy’s pizza is of course delicious. But it is the taste of either cold Papa Murphy’s pizza or reheated Papa Murphy’s pizza that is the ultimate satisfying experience. Eating the pizza a couple days after it was cooked gives me incredible enjoyment. It is my belief that the love affair many of us have with cold pizza can be traced to the moment the first person ate Papa Murphy’s pizza about 48 hours after it was cooked.

I love all kinds of Papa Murphy’s pizza but for me, nothing beats the stuffed pizzas, especially the 5-meat stuffed pie. You basically have a whole bunch of meat stuffed between two thick floors of delicious crust. Try it, your life will never be the same.


So, Sid…is pizza for dinner tonight?

Don’t Blink.

A Defeated Media

This past Friday was a great day for two men. First, it was special for President Barack Obama. The day signified a wrap on his eight years of faithful service to the United States. He was able to hold his head high as he boarded a helicopter to take him off on a well-deserved vacation. It was also a triumphant day for President Donald Trump. The man launched an against-all-odds campaign for the presidency and emerged victorious. His Inauguration was a textbook example to kids on what it means to never give up.

However, Friday wasn’t a good day for everyone. In fact, it was a downright lousy one for the national media.

If the media thought nothing could be worse than Election Night when national networks were humiliated for bad reporting and for the reliance on inaccurate pollsters, this past Friday proved them wrong. It was a gloomy day for an unapologetic left leaning national media forced to report all day long on the man they despise taking the reins of the office they tried so desperately to prevent him from taking. It was a bitter pill to swallow. The look of awkwardness, disdain, and anger was clearly visible on the faces of many anchors and reporters all throughout Friday.

Resiliency is a desirable characteristic, however, and there was no doubt that folks working at such networks as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. were not going to take their medicine peacefully. Throughout Friday, many from the national media predictably focused less on President Trump’s unlikely and historic rise to the highest office in the land and more on stories they thought would take away from the moment they hoped they would never see. Throughout the day, viewers could turn on the TV and hear about…

The awful weather. The rain and the gloom seemed to speak to the mood of the country. Mother Nature sent the dark weather to prove a point that Trump is an illegitimate president. I mean, why else would it rain right when President Trump started to deliver his Inauguration Address?

Speaking of that Inauguration Address, it was another hot topic for the press. A speech that gave power to the people and pledged for the end of “all talk, no action” politicians must be something we never let our children hear. Never mind that President Trump spoke in a clear and powerful manner that contrasted with the philosophical and vague addresses of past presidents. While many neutral citizens with an interest in public speaking and relevant content thought the speech was well-done (including this blogger), the media didn’t quite think so.

How about those Friday protestors? The national media gave a lot of coverage to the people who converged on Washington D.C. to incite violence, destroy property, and impede the progress of service men and women whose job it was to line the parade route. On a day when hundreds of thousands of American citizens gathered to mark the peaceful transition of power, the media seemed to give an unproportionate amount of coverage to the small group of people who arrived in our nation’s capital for the sole purpose of causing damage.

Then there was the crowd. How embarrassing for President Trump that, according to the media, the amount of people gathered for his Inauguration fell short of satisfactory? It was almost as if that since the press thought the amount of American citizens was not adequate for the occasion, it made President Trump’s dominiating Electoral College victory invalid.


With the last storyline mentioned, the media registered a small victory. The Trump Administration seemed offended by the constant Inauguration attendance talking point, causing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to come a bit unglued. He lectured the media on inaccurate and biased reporting.

Here is the thing, Mr. Spicer: It is not realistic to think that the media is going to do you any favors. Get over it.


The Trump Administration needs to relax and realize one major point: On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, President Trump won. Despite every obstacle thrown his way, he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Conversely, the media lost. Although the press pulled out every stop to derail his campaign and to sour his Inauguration, Trump survived. So, until his term concludes or until he is impeached (I won’t be surprised if it happens), the media must wake up each morning knowing that someone they can’t stand is the president. Trump is the winner and he should act like it. Don’t Blink.

Feeling Good Thursday Rundown

Thank you for once again returning to Don’t Blink. It is another Thursday and that means I get to bore (I mean “entertain”) you with another rundown. And we are off…

Patriots Day – I want to start off my Thursday Rundown with “Patriots Day” just because it was such a great movie. Sidney and I went on premiere night last Friday and we really enjoyed the film. It managed to effectively capture the spirit of the city of Boston. It also kept our eyes misty the whole time, especially at the end. The performances by Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon are solid. The last outstanding movie I saw was “Hacksaw Ridge” and although I would say “Patriots Day” might not be on its same level, it is still a film I recommend.

I recommend the movie "Patriots Day."

I recommend the movie “Patriots Day.”

Long Hair, Don’t Care – Most people know I used to have really long hair and most people have seen a couple of the classic photos that are widely circulated. However, not everyone has seen this horrific mug from my junior year of high school. Sorry to make you throw up your dinner.

This was my junior year high school photo.

This was my junior year high school photo.

Getting the Ax – Because I am a social media professional, I always pay attention when other social media professionals get fired. Last week, the social coordinator for a school district was let go after she had some fun with a student who misspelled the word “tomorrow.” I make it a point to never get sarcastic or condescending with anyone while I am behind the accounts of my employer but I know several counterparts who will push the envelope. Not saying that it is bad one way or the other, I just choose not to. Anyway, I actually reached out on Twitter to the woman who lost her job and she responded. Our conversation is below.

I had a Twitter conversation with Katie Nash, the social media professional who was fired from her position at a school district.

I had a Twitter conversation with Katie Nash, the social media professional who was fired from her position at a school district.

Inaugruation – As I have mentioned before, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s Presidential Inauguration from a historical standpoint. For someone like me who is a fanatic of the United States Presidency, I am mesmerized by the peaceful transition of power. I hope the big day goes by smoothly and everyone stays safe. Despite what we all think of President-Elect Trump becoming President Trump, take time tomorrow to appreciate one of the defining principles of our democracy.

Baby Update – Sidney hits the 29 week mark tomorrow. This past weekend she dressed up the crib for our daughter who will be here sooner than we know it. Sid is in full nesting mode and has gone about preparing the nursery with enthusiasm and care. The daddy is doing his best to get himself ready for the amazing gift of human life that is about to come.

A look at the completed crib.

A look at the completed crib.


Enjoy the weekend with the Inauguration and NFL Championship games. God is good and life is good…remember that. Don’t Blink.

Making the Big Popcorn Purchase

Almost exactly three years ago, I wrote about a major life dilemma I was facing. In fact, the issue was bothering me so much that I had to ask for help. I did this by writing out all my thoughts and publishing it as a blog post so the entire world could counsel me on a tough decision. In the end, I opted not to make the investment.

In January of 2014, I wrestled around with whether I should buy a $20 tub of popcorn from my local movie theater. Living in Montana at the time, there was a Carmike Cinemas that I would frequent often. The chain offered a tub of popcorn that came with an initial price of $19.75. After the purchase was made, you could bring the tub back throughout the entire year for $3.75 refills.

I LOVE movie theater popcorn....not so much the microwave version though (photo from original popcorn blog post in 2014).

I LOVE movie theater popcorn….not so much the microwave version though (photo from original popcorn blog post in 2014).

After much deliberation and internal struggle, I decided against buying the tub. Although several factors made up my decision, the price was ultimately the one that carried the most weight and discouraged me from making the purchase.

Now fast forward to 2017 and wouldn’t you know it?! I found myself once again perplexed by another movie theater popcorn conundrum. This past Friday, Sidney and I went to our favorite theater in Myrtle Beach for “Patriots Day.” This particular theater is part of the Cinemark chain. I stepped in line to purchase our popcorn and right in front of me was another tempting deal.

For $14 I could purchase a tub of popcorn AND a giant soda, a price that these days usually passes for normal (if not a little cheaper than usual). But there was something that made the offer much, much better. Both were refillable throughout 2017! Like with Carmike, the price per refill was $3.75 on subsequent trips to the theater.

Spoiler alert...I ended up buying the soda cup and the popcorn tub. This is what they look like.

Spoiler alert…I ended up buying the soda cup and the popcorn tub. This is what they look like.

Okay, there was just one thing holding me back. At first glance, the tub of popcorn looked a little small. In fact, it really isn’t even a tub, it is a bucket. However, I reasoned that perhaps a little bit of portion control might be a good thing. Besides, the soda cup was huge, a screaming deal for only $3.75 (after the initial purchase) when your typical soft drink at the theater runs $6-$8.

I knew paying the $14 was the right thing to do. There was just one more obstacle. I had to ask the wife.

“You go ahead honey, it’s your gift card!” Sidney enthusiastically said.

It is true. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law gave me a $25 gift card to Cinemark. I earmarked the gift card specifically for concessions because I also received a couple Fandango gift cards that will cover strictly movie tickets. There was no holding me back, I made the transaction!

This leads me back to my comment about the size of the popcorn bucket. “Patriots Day” is over two hours. By the time the movie ended, we still had a little bit of popcorn remaining. The amount of corn you get in the bucket is more than enough for two people.

The Cinemark refillable popcorn/soda deal is a complete steal. While it probably won’t work for a family, it is perfect for a couple or for the movie watching fanatic who prefers going to movies alone. So far in 2017, this has been our best purchase thus far. Don’t Blink.