Amazing August Rundown

It is that time of the week that majority of my readers look forward to…Thursday! Don’t worry, we aren’t breaking with tradition today, I got five topics coming at you right now. Enjoy my latest Thursday Rundown…

What A Month! – Without a doubt, August takes the cake for biggest month of 2018…so far. So much has happened that as we approach September I am a little out of breath. Besides Sid starting her fifth year of teaching, Sloan going back to daycare fulltime, and work heating up for me, we had a lot of other things on our minds as well. We made some major decisions that coincided with a couple of professional triumphs. We have also spent the entire month orchestrating a move (see below). A lot went on behind the scenes as we made this month as successful as possible and I owe a lot to Sid and family members for support and guidance. Over the last four weeks it has become even more evident to me that family is everything. It was a good reminder to always put your loved ones first and always treat them well.

Our family could not have asked for an August with more blessings (even if this photo is from July).

On the Move – All the packing and planning we did over the last few weeks will culminate this weekend. Sid, Sloan, and I are moving into a bigger and better house and we couldn’t be more excited. Don’t worry, we are staying in Myrtle Beach! Our new home is closer to both our workplaces and to Sloan’s daycare. Movers arrive at our old house tomorrow and we will take the Labor Day weekend to get settled. More details on the new home to come in the future. Until then, I want to thank all the family members and friends who have so graciously asked if they could help us move. Also, I want to take the time to recognize Sidney for taking the lead in moving logistics. She has done an amazing job!

We can’t wait until we move into our house. The best part might be the huge backyard (bottom left hand corner).

Sloooooaaaaaan – Thought I would share a recent photo of Sloan to update you on her constant growth. She becomes less of a baby and more of a toddler each day. Her current hobbies include dancing, going to the park, and blowing bubbles. She is extremely skilled with articulating what she wants and she is constantly making us laugh. We pray that God continues to bless her (and us).

Like I said, one of Sloan’s new hobbies is going to the park. She loves playing on the jungle gym.

3 a.m. Doorbell Ring – The most eerie story of the week for me was the case of the mystery woman ringing doorbells during the wee hours of the night. A surveillance camera caught a distraught-looking woman going door-to-door in a Texas neighborhood frantically ringing doorbells. It appears as if she has restraints on her arms. This story blew up social media yesterday and everyone had their theories on who she was and what she was doing. Thankfully, news broke this morning that the woman had been located. At this time, no additional details are available. All I can say is I got chills when I saw that ghostly looking individual approaching doors with the look of sadness and desperation in her eyes. I really hope she is okay.

A screenshot of the Texas woman who was ringing doorbells at 3 a.m.

Canker Sores, Willy Wonka, Don’t Blink Insight – I have written about some random topics on this date. A year ago, I wrote about the painful battle between my mouth and canker sores. I am a sucker for them and could still use suggestions on how to combat them. On Aug. 30, 2018, I wrote a tribute blog post about Gene Wilder. The man who was best known as Willy Wonka had recently passed away and I decided to give my two cents. Three years ago on this date I wrote a Q&A post about Don’t Blink. I answered a lot of questions people would routinely (and still do) ask me about my blog. In fact, it is one of my favorite posts of all-time so I suggest reading it.

Three years ago, I answered some common questions I get about my blog.


Busy and tiring weekend coming up for us! I hope my readers are able to enjoy a more relaxing weekend. Enjoy the start of college football and have a great Labor Day. Don’t Blink.

My Top 5 Favorite Vegetables

I think most of my readers saw this coming. A week ago, I counted down my favorite fruits. As I was wrapping up the post, I mentioned that a similar one covering my favorite vegetables might be a possibility.

Yes, I am revealing my top 5 favorite vegetables tonight. But before I dive in, let me start with this disclaimer: This list contains the vegetables I would willingly enjoy eating raw or mildly prepared. Because come on, I will gladly eat broccoli and cauliflower when it is covered in butter and topped with seasonings but am I really going to eat a head of either one straight from the produce section of the supermarket? No. With that in mind, let’s get started.

5. Celery – How can you go wrong with celery? It is an easy to eat, simple vegetable. We buy celery sticks and bust them out at dinner. The sticks are great for munching and they are refreshing too. Although fine to eat raw, I am still a sucker for “ants on a log.” Sid, who really loves celery, prefers ranch to my peanut butter.

4. Green Beans – My favorite vegetable green is the green bean. Green beans make the perfect side for any meal and also compliment other vegetables that might be served. Fresh or from a can, I will never pass on green beans if they are offered at a meal.

3. Corn – When I was in kindergarten, we made vegetable soup. We were all assigned a vegetable to bring and my responsibility was corn. Perhaps that was the start of my preference for yellow kernels. On the cob, from a can, or in a chowder, I really like corn. With green beans I will be content with a serving but with corn I will go back for more. I don’t know what I like more – the taste or the texture. Serve my corn next to some mashed potatoes and you will win me over.

2. Carrots – I like carrots so much that I made them a staple in a diet that helped me lose 30 pounds. We buy bags of baby carrots every week at the grocery store and often go through it before the week is even over. I have snacked on raw carrots for most of my life and don’t see that stopping anytime soon. When I was a youngster, I would feed full-sized carrots to the horses of my friends but I would always be tempted to eat them myself. I would eat cooked carrots with a glaze of brown sugar for dessert but my first love is eating them raw right out of the refrigerator.

Carrots and corn — two of the greatest!

1. Potatoes – It almost isn’t fair, right? How can any vegetable compare to the potato? Well, it is tough to not like something that is so delicious that it is served as one of the marquee items at countless fast food restaurants. The potato is versatile, readily available, and yummy. French fries, hash browns, tater tots, chips, the list goes on and on. But take away the salt and deep fryer and you still have a quality food right at its core. Bake me a potato and I will eat the entire thing – skin and all – no butter or sour cream needed. Potatoes pack a hearty, agreeable taste that don’t overpower taste buds. They are filling and satisfying – perhaps the only vegetable that doubles as a comfort food. No hesitation on my part, I like potatoes more than any other vegetable.


Dang, I want to relive my kindergarten days and make another big pot of vegetable soup – served with extra potatoes and extra corn. By no means am I a huge vegetable eater but I do, as evidenced by this blog post, have my favorites. Don’t Blink.

Ice, Ice Baby

During our honeymoon in Cancun, something weird happened. One evening, Sidney and I had a late, romantic dinner at the open air Asian restaurant at the resort. Needing a break from the endless stream of mixed drinks and beer, I ordered a glass of milk. When our waiter returned with our drinks he brought me what I had asked for, but it was served in a way that I was not accustomed to. My milk was poured over numerous cubes of ice.

This is a collage from our romantic Asian dinner we enjoyed on our honeymoon. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of my milk served over ice.

Around the world, especially in European countries, people don’t normally drink beverages with ice. If you are overseas and you want frozen water chunks added to your soda or screwdriver, you have to ask for it (or so I am told). Although we were still in our home continent during our honeymoon, I am pretty sure the waiter, who was a little shocked when I asked for milk, thought this: This American just ordered a very American drink…surely he wants it with ice.

Well, I didn’t want ice with my milk but I drank it anyway.

I am not a big fan of loading my drink glasses with ice.

I thought more about this episode today when a sports radio program I was listening to did a whole segment on ice. The hosts brought up the point that the popularity of putting ice in drinks is really an American thing.

It got me thinking: I am pretty non-American when it comes to ice. I usually pour soda and water straight, not wasting any volume with ice. To be honest though, I shun ice not because I want to maximize the amount of liquid or because I don’t want it diluting my beverage. Rather, I am just oddly content with a plain drink. I don’t go as far as to tell restaurants or movie theaters to hold the ice, I just don’t make an effort to use our ice machine at home.

My wife is a different story.

Sidney LOVES ice. Check that. She REALLY LOVES ice. As much as she enjoys her Diet Dr. Pepper and sweet tea, she actually looks forward to munching the ice most of all. In fact, contrary to what I wrote above, I now make the effort to use the ice machine when I pour a drink, at Sid’s request, so I can give her my cubes when I finish.

Sid likes ice so much that she once used a drinking glass that was made entirely from ice!! (Yes, she consumed the whole thing).

Sure, it can get quite loud sitting next to her or lying in bed with her (always chewing that ice) but by now I am used to it. She loves ice and keeps she keeps our ice machine quite busy. But so be it, we all know there are worse and more expensive habits in this world.

Again, I don’t have a vendetta against ice. I am a big fan of crushed ice and Sonic ice – I just don’t go out of my way to consume it. How about you? What are your thoughts on the use of ice in drinks? Are you an ice-eater yourself? Let me know! Don’t Blink.

Texting With iMessage Reactions

Remember when emojis completely changed the text messaging game? Well, these days you can do so much more to spice up your texts than by just adding a smiley face or a hand gesture. If you have iMessaging capabilities (sorry to my Android users) you can add effects, GIFS, stickers, and more to your texts. But in late 2016, Apple added something even better to its texting repertoire.

In my opinion, nothing enhances text messaging communication more than iMessage reactions. Again, I hate to alienate my non-iPhone users, but what I am about to write about is either completely irrelevant or incredibly annoying* to you.

Capitalizing on social media reaction buttons (i.e. liking a Facebook status or favoriting a tweet), Apple allows texters to do something similar. For those iPhone users who choose to do so, the option exists to either like, love, question, laugh at, or emphasize a text or photo in a text message conversation. All you have to do is hold down on the text or photo and decide how you wish to react to it.

You can “react” to text messages in a variety of different ways via iMessage reactions.

Real quick examples to get everyone on the same page…
– If a friend texted me to say that he would meet me at the golf course in five minutes, I would “like” it.
– If my wife texted me a photo of Sloan sleeping, I would “love” the photo.
– If a reader found out my number and texted me telling how much my blog sucks, I would “laugh at” it.
– If my brother texted me saying he won $25,000, I would “emphasize” it.
– If my buddy from college sent me a drunken text with several misspellings, I would “question” it.

I love iMessage reactions. I started using them primarily in our infamous Reser Pride 7.0 group chat. This group is comprised of my immediate family and our significant others. An extremely supportive and active chain, I found myself using the reactions to recognize some of the great content that was coming through when I didn’t have time to compose a response text. It worked great.

Soon enough, I was using iMessage reactions with all of my iPhone text messaging conversations. It didn’t matter if I was talking to friends, co-workers, Sid’s family, or even mere acquaintances who texted me for the first time to ask a question. I was using iMessage reactions as if they were going out of style (and I still am).

But why? What is the benefit of using iMessage reactions? Let me give you my three brief reasons for using them to communicate.

Best Read Receipt Ever – As I mentioned above, sometimes you can’t respond to every text that hits your phone. However, just because you can’t reply doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge that you have seen it. I never want to keep someone in the dark on whether I saw their message or not. So, if I don’t reply to something, I will “like” it. This sends a clear message that I did see the correspondence. Most of my loved ones know that if they send me a text and I don’t respond to it or react to it, it probably somehow got lost in my inbox.

Communication Enhancer – Using an iMessage reaction solidifies and enhances the communication process. You can use the reaction buttons to confirm, question, elaborate, agree, and approve. If you “question” something, the person is going to correct what was sent. If you “emphasize” something, the person is most likely going to expound a little more on the bombshell that was dropped. If you “like” something, then everything is cool. It is just so useful.

Honoring Superior Texts – If a text or photo is deserving, I will not only send a response but I will add a reaction as well. For example, every now and then my dad sends a text to our Reser Pride 7.0 group that has us all rolling in laughter. I will not only reward that text with a HAHAHAHAHA and an emoji laughing face but I will give it a “laughed at” reaction as well. Likewise, during the summer, Sid would send me videos of Sloan being cute. I would respond with something along the lines of what a precious baby we have while “loving it” as well. This double whammy never fails to communicate that I really appreciated what someone had sent.

I look forward to even more iMessage reactions being added to the lineup. As text messaging continues to evolve, I am excited to see what new rollouts will be offered in the future. Until then, text me the link to this blog post and I guarantee I will “love” it. Don’t Blink.

*If you are texting with a non-iPhone user and employ an iMessage reaction, the reaction will be “spelled out” as opposed to noted on the actual text bubble. So, if I “liked” a text message from Mr. Jason Android, he would get a message that says “Brent liked a text.”

Jenga Jenga Jenga Thursday Rundown

Good evening to everyone! The second day of school treated my wife well and the first week of classes at CCU is going well for me. On that positive note, let’s get right to the Thursday Rundown.

Jenga – One of these days, I might get a wild hair and write about my most despised board games (I have wrote about board games I actually like before). Until that time comes, let me give you a preview of a game that will be on the list. I can’t take the stress of Jenga. The pressure of pulling out a block while fearing that the structure will tumble over and make that distinctive cacophony of failure is too much for me. Needless to say, going to school to become a surgeon was never an option for me. I bring all this up because the local Walmart carries a really cool CCU-inspired Jenga set. I might not like the game, but I sure like the colors!

I am not a Jenga fan, but this CCU Jenga set is pretty cool!

Framed Photograph – At the beginning of each school year, I always frame a photo for Sid to display in her classroom. This time around, my wife didn’t want to be surprised. She told me the exact photo she wanted me to frame. The best part of the image is obviously Sloan looking like the happiest girl on the planet. But the history of the carrousel she is riding is pretty cool as well. The below photo is of Sloan on the Looff Carousel at Riverfront Park in Spokane. It was completed in 1909 and is one of the nation’s most beautiful and unique carrousels. It was built by a man named Charles Looff as a wedding gift for his daughter. A master craftsman, he hand-carved all the horses and creatures, and over 100 years later, every original piece is still functional and included on the carrousel.

This is the framed photograph I gave to Sid for this school year.

Family Is Everything – Pope Francis (@Pontifex) sends out the most beautiful tweets. He is an incredible follow for not just Catholics but all Christians. Today he tweeted about family. I don’t need to add any commentary because his post says it all. I just thought that it was something we could all enjoy.

This tweet says it all.

Another Milestone for Sloan – Earlier this week, Sloan showed that she can use a certain eating utensil. Our daughter discovered how to use a fork. Using a miniature one to match her size, she successfully stabbed at pieces of watermelon and fed herself. She alternated between using her right and left hands but she seemed more comfortable with the latter. Could she be left handed? Mostly I am including this in the Thursday Rundown because the photos are really cute (she looks so triumphant!) but it is also a testament to the fact that she enjoys watermelon just like her daddy.

A couple photos of a triumphant Sloan eating watermelon with a fork.

August 23 Is Cool – Over the past four years on Aug. 23, I have been active with Don’t Blink. A year ago, I wrote about a parental rite of passage(spoiler alert: it is not particularly fun). Two years ago on this date, I wrote about how I constantly text myself to stay organized (I continue to use this technique in the present). On this date in 2015, I wrote about the importance of kids participating in fundraisers (learning to properly sell something is a very important skill). Coolest of all, on this date four years ago I participated in the filming of Darius Rucker’s “Homegrown Honey” music video. I would make the final cut and actually appear in the video (of course I blogged about it!).

I made the cut in Darius Rucker’s “Homegrown Honey” video.


Enjoy your last weekend in August. Soak up the sun and savor these waining days of summer. Don’t Blink.

The Start of a New 180 Day Journey

“I am prepared, but I am not ready.”

These were the words my wife uttered last night when I asked her for her thoughts on returning to school. After a nice summer, Sidney officially kicked off her fifth year of teaching today. She returns as a 2nd grade teacher at Palmetto Bays Elementary.

Before Sidney went off to school today, I took this photo of her. She started her fifth year as a teacher this morning.

Sid clarified for me what she meant but I got it. She had put in seven days of meetings, lesson plan prep, and trainings. Before last week, she had already spent time in her classroom getting it ready. This past Monday night, she held an open house for her new students and their parents. For all intents and purposes, she walked into Palmetto Bays this morning fully prepared to teach 23 kids.

This is my favorite classroom photo of Sidney…or should I say Mrs. Reser?

Mentally ready to begin another year is a different story. Although I am positive she was 100% focused when the bell rang this morning, last night she was still holding on to the small amount of summer she had left. How can you blame her? When you are on the eve of a new 180 day grind, it takes a special educator to be over-the-top psyched to begin the long journey.

But ready or not, the 2018-19 school year kicked off today. With its start, a fresh group of youngsters started a 9-month-run with a special teacher who will teach, motivate, and care for them. Little do those students know how lucky they are to be placed in Mrs. Reser’s classroom.

I took this photo of Sid after she returned home tonight from her first day at school. She survived!!

Well, a few of them do.

Sidney is now a veteran teacher and she has had a positive impact on many kids in her 5 year career. Because of this, parents who had children in Sid’s previous classes are requesting her for their younger children who are now 2nd graders. What a compliment.

Our little family sure loves our teacher wife/mom!

I am proud of my wife. As I become a “teacher’s spouse” once again, I am excited to be there to support Sid and watch her continue to shape the minds of the youth of Horry County’s. She has a tough job and she does it so well. Don’t Blink.

My Top 5 Favorite Fruits

Imagine you walk inside a house and on the kitchen counter is a fruit bowl. The bowl is filled with beautiful, ripe, colorful fruit of all varieties. What do you choose?

Well, I don’t know what you prefer but I sure know what I do! In tonight’s blog post I give you my top 5 favorite fruits.

5. Apples – I come from Washington state, aka apple country, so it is a formality that the fruit is on my list. Some of my best childhood memories are of taking field trips to the apple orchards and picking the best apples you will ever eat in your life. I prefer to eat apple slices as opposed to biting it off the core and I enjoy apple products – apple juice, apple pie, applesauce, etc.

Apple Crumb muffins from Costco are another apple product I enjoy.

4. Watermelon – Summer. Yes, summer. If there is one fruit that is defined by a certain season, it is watermelon. What is the Fouth of July or an early August cookout without a big watermelon to share? For those who don’t like this fruit, I ask this: Do you even like summer? Thankfully I like watermelon and I like summer. Nothing is more refreshing than fresh chunks or a juicy slice on a hot day. I never refuse watermelon and it is actually one of my favorite artificial flavors as well.

3. Bananas – You really can’t go wrong with a banana. I have to go out on a limb and say that the banana is probably the most popular fruit in the world. There is just never a bad time to eat one and the fruit is pretty much a lunch time staple. I personally love them! I will go on banana kicks, eating them on a daily basis for a period of time. These stages will come and go but my fondness for the fruit remains eternal. I prefer bananas post-ripe stage but before the peel starts to turn black. As with watermelon, I enjoy the artificial flavor of banana as well.

I love bananas.

2. Pears – I have memories of my grandparents’ garage lined with big cans. These cans were filled with one of two fruits. If you liked peaches or pears, you were in luck. Thankfully for me, I really enjoyed the latter. I grew up eating bowls of canned pears. I know the texture isn’t for everyone but I never minded it. I liked how they tasted and how they were easy to digest. To this day, I still really enjoy pears and will never hesitate to eat them as a side at dinner.

1. Cantaloupe – Call me crazy, but I will eat an entire one of these. Nothing is better than a fresh, ripe melon. Although it can be challenging to find that perfect tasting cantaloupe, once you do, there is no fruit that is more rewarding. My mom would always mix chunks of watermelon and cantaloupe in a large mixing bowl and serve it at dinner. I would scoop myself out a generous portion and eat the watermelon first so I could save the best for last. I would also routinely raid the refrigerator on a hot summer day and pluck out pieces and eat them right there. The taste is just so pleasant with a mild fruity taste. Cantaloupe isn’t just in a melon class of its own I believe it is in an entire fruit class of its own.


Fruit medley, anyone? Don’t forget your veggies either (I know I won’t  – perhaps a top five countdown of my favorite vegetables is coming) but take advantage of the season because fruit doesn’t taste any better than it does during this time of the year. Don’t Blink.

Spokane Chick-fil-A Heartbreak

At the start of the year, Myrtle Beach was set to receive a measureable blanket of snow. For a community that NEVER gets snow, this was an event that was highly anticipated by many, especially our area’s children. You could imagine the tears that were shed when our neighborhood didn’t even see a flake.

I never thought I would have to write about a community plagued by so much disappointment ever again. However, unfortunately, only eight months later, I have something that might top the Myrtle Beach snowstorm bust.

We all know those national and regional restaurants that attract cult followings and take on mythical qualities, especially for the people who don’t live near one: In-N-Out, Sonic, Cheesecake Factory, Panda Express, etc. 

Over the weekend, near insanity erupted in my old hometown when an announcement was made…

Chick-Fil-A was coming to Spokane.

Local media went nuts, my family members started blowing up our text message group, and diehards started lining up where the location was to be built.

We have an active and fun group text messaging thread that includes my siblings and our significant others. There was absolute glee when the news broke that a Chick-Fil-A was opening in Spokane.

Although that last part about people camping out might be a little embellished, the Chick-fil-A announcement was literally breaking news in Spokane, a city that currently has the worst air quality in the nation.

In a part of the country that has ZERO Chick-fil-As, the news that a restaurant would open felt like Christmas. In Spokane, you have two groups: Those who have tried the magical taste of Chick-fil-A once or twice and know of its greatness AND those who have been deprived of it their whole lives and salivate at the thought of sinking their teeth into a spicy chicken sandwich based on word of mouth alone.

I am a big Chick-Fil-A fan so I was excited that a restaurant was supposed to open in Spokane.

As social media and local newspapers spread the news that a Chick-fil-A would open on the campus of Gonzaga University, the two groups went into a collective frenzy. The long wait was just about over; the brutal, unfair fact that eastern Washington did not have a Chick-fil-A would soon change.

My parents at a Myrtle Beach Chick-Fil-A on April 9, 2018. I know they were looking forward to eating those chicken sandwiches in Spokane.

Only it didn’t. As citizens of Spokane started to daydream about waffle fries and Chick-fil-A sauce, the plug was pulled.

False alarm. The Chick-fil-A website had made an error. The internet announcement on its corporate site that a restaurant would open in Spokane was a MISTAKE. Stop the press. Hold off on clearing your calendar for the grand opening.

My brother, who loves Chick-fil-A was bitterly saddened and disappointed by the announcement.

The city pretty much went into a state of mourning. The smoky air predominant in Spokane seemed to thicken with the development. The day was ruined for my brother and sister.

It was a bad morning for my Spokane family.

Probably the worst part was breaking the reality to my dad. Not of the social media age, he gets news a little later than us. When he found out that Chick-fil-A was coming to Spokane via the Sunday paper, I tried to let him down easy.

Well, maybe on second thought, I guess I wasn’t as subtle as I thought I was when telling my dad that the news report was inaccurate.

Stay positive, Spokane. I don’t think you will be without a Chick-fil-A forever. I mean honestly, how could the Chick-fil-A website make such a random mistake? Something must be in the works. Truth be told, I have heard rumors that a Chick-fil-A is slated for Spokane in a different part of the city. But who knows? I know things are hard right now at least you can still order a McChicken at McDonald’s. Sorry, that was mean. Don’t Blink.

Mid-August Thursday Rundown

Let me tell you something, it definitely feels like mid-August. We have had some brutally hot and humid days here in Myrtle Beach. I hope all my readers are staying cool. For your approval, here is my latest Thursday Rundown…

Happy 37th Anniversary, Mom and Dad – Today my parents celebrate their 37th anniversary. Every year I try to mention the special date in my Thursday Rundown (I actually wrote a whole post once too) so what I am about to write might sound repetitive but it is worth repeating. My mom and dad exemplify what a happy, respectful marriage is. I know I am not alone when I say they have had a major impact on how I conduct myself in my own marriage. Thanks to their selflessness, loyalty, and Catholic faith, they have enjoyed a beautiful life together. Congrats, mom and dad!

My mom and dad in their earlier years. Happy anniversary!

RC Cola and Shasta – Earlier this week, I read that the Cleveland Browns will now exclusively serve RC Cola in their stadium. I got a chuckle out of the deal because who expects to be served RC Cola anywhere? Usually if you go to a restaurant and order a Pepsi and they don’t have it, the server will counter with “Is Coke okay?” Or, if you order a Coke at a restaurant that doesn’t carry it, you expect to hear “Can I get you a Pepsi instead?” Imagine ordering a Coca-Cola or Pepsi and being told, “We don’t have that, but we do have RC Cola.” Hmmmmmm.

I tweeted about the situation. My co-worker and friend, Geoff, saw the tweet and brought me another junior varsity cola to my office just to be funny. Thus, yesterday I found myself drinking Shasta at my desk. Geoff and I both drank Shasta as kids but it had been a long time since I had “enjoyed” one. Believe it or not, it actually quenched my thirst after a long, hot day running around campus.

Geoff gave me this can of Shasta Cola yesterday. He also gave me a can of Shasta Tiki Punch this afternoon.

It Is Starting – Well, it is “back to school” but it isn’t “back to school.” Sid and I are both taking major steps when it comes to walking away from summer. Monday was Sid’s first mandatory work day. She has been in meetings and trainings all week. Although the first day of school with students is not until next Wednesday, it is only a small consolation, as Sid will reply, “It doesn’t matter, I still have to do stuff.” I am just about in full student mode as well. First day of classes at Coastal Carolina is on Monday but Move-In Weekend starts tomorrow. I have used this week to prepare content for the start of the semester and I was actually working with multiple students today. Here we go!

Sid and Sloan before my wife went off to work earlier this week.

Unique Dish – On Saturday after church, we went to one of those fast food restaurants built in the 1980s to resemble a diner in the 1960s. Called Burkey’s, it is a Myrtle Beach favorite for Sid. It was my first time actually eating inside the restaurant and when I looked at the menu I saw something that intrigued me. Three-way chili. It was a combination of chili, cheese, and SPAGHETTI. I couldn’t resist. In addition to my cheeseburger, I got a bowl of the chili/spaghetti mix. I really enjoyed it! However, my belief that it was a Burkey’s original dish was soon dashed. After I took my excitement to Twitter, multiple people told me they too enjoy three-way chili – and they don’t order it from Burkey’s.

Our order from Burkey’s last Saturday. If you can’t see the three-way chili, you must be blind.

Intergender Professional Wrestling – I read a thought-provoking piece of sports journalism today. The story reported on the underground world of male vs. female professional wrestling and raised many good questions. The writer, a female, presented both sides of the issue, detailing the arguments of those who support it and those who oppose it. Believe it or not, guy vs. girl wrestling used to be mainstream in the WWF during the Attitude Era. However, with the transition from the WWF to the WWE and a more PG-13 approach to storylines, the company abandoned these types of matches. Intergender pro wrestling is now reserved for small, shady promotions. I encourage you to read the article and make your own judgment.

Intergender wrestling is very controversial. I encourage you to read the article (image courtesy of


Stay cool, my friends. If you find yourself dehydrated in this heat, perhaps you should reach for a can of RC Cola. Have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

The Success of Mr. Softee

Earlier this summer, I wrote about an ice cream truck rolling through our neighborhood at 10 p.m. At the time, I thought it was a little odd and annoying.

This was my first ever glimpse of the Mr. Softee ice cream truck. It was June and I saw it in our neighborhood at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night.

I changed my tune a week later when I actually tried product from that particular ice cream truck. Wow, I thought, if the ice cream is this good, it can come around at any hour it wants.

The next week after seeing the truck for the first time, we actually got ice cream. It was incredible.

Almost two months later, my attitude toward Mr. Softee is completely different than it was that initial June evening when I watched it drive by our cul-de-sac at a very non-traditional ice cream truck time. In fact, my opinion on Mr. Softee is even more accepting than it was after I was converted on the quality of the product alone. You see, it isn’t just the ice cream I like – it is the entire Mr. Softee marketing operation.

Sid, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew getting ice cream from Mr. Softee. The entire operation is pretty impressive.

For many of you who are probably unfamiliar, Mr. Softee is an ice cream truck franchise that originated in the northeast. Although it has been around since 1956, it hasn’t aggressively expanded its number of trucks until recently. Even now, you can only find Mr. Softee in 15 states. Luckily, South Carolina is one of them.

Mr. Softee started riding through Myrtle Beach streets just a few months ago. However, thanks to the way franchises do business, it made an immediate splash.

This is a Mr. Softee sundae I enjoyed in July. Can’t you just tell that it is quality ice cream by looking at it?

Mr. Softee offered something that “the other guys” didn’t – soft serve ice cream. We aren’t talking ice cream sandwiches and fudgesickles stuck in a freezer all summer long. Rather, what the new guy on the block brought to the table was a creamy, rich, and fresh product that had Myrtle Beach residents hooked from the first taste.

With actual ice cream on the menu opposed to a processed frozen dairy concoction on a stick, Mr. Softee was already a winner. But was that all? Hardly. Mr. Softee had enough marketing tricks up its sleeve to make an all-out assault on other ice cream trucks.

We are a Mr. Softee-loving family!

An identity is so important to any brand. On any given summer day, I can hear random children’s melodies playing outside. Oh, just another one of the numerous ice cream trucks in Myrtle Beach. Not with Mr. Softee. Every single Mr. Softee truck in all 15 states at all times plays the same jingle. There is no switching back-and-forth between songs when the driver grows tired of hearing one. By now, the Mr. Softee jingle is cemented in my brain (along with everyone else in Myrtle Beach) and when I hear it I know that delicious ice cream is not far away.

The perception of being unique is coveted by any company or franchise that is worth a damn. I have already made it clear that Mr. Softee offers an ice cream product that other trucks don’t. But it stands out in a couple of other ways too. You know how I initially bashed Mr. Softee for keeping late hours? Shame on me! The non-traditional schedule satisfies the large Mr. Softee adult fan base while at the same allows it to reach more customers and sell more ice cream. Mr. Softee is the “cool” ice cream truck that will remain on the streets when the sun goes down, outlasting the other trucks by hours. The franchise also accepts debit cards, hands out business cards, and will pull up to random block parties.

Although all of us in the family enjoy Mr. Softee, Sloan probably likes it most of all.

Nothing is more vital than effectively advertising your business. Not only does Mr. Softee thrive at this, it does so at a low cost. Social media, like many food trucks, is the major advertising vehicle of Mr. Softee (at least the Myrtle Beach franchise). Do you want to see Facebook engagement at its best? Watch what happens when the Mr. Softee page simply posts who wants ice cream? Hundreds of people will respond, creating enough leads for Mr. Softee to be busy for about 20 years (and that is just from a single post). There is no doubt about it, Mr. Softee has developed a unique social media voice with an extremely active audience. It is a money-making marketing machine.

Good PR can only help one’s marketing efforts and Mr. Softee has this covered as well. The truck will show up at community events, offer discounted prices for fundraisers, and even stop at local lemonade stands. This is all chronicled on the Mr. Softee Myrtle Beach Facebook page.

Nothing better than enjoying Mr. Softee with family.

Yes, Mr. Softee became a sensation on the Grand Strand this summer. The franchise has generated media coverage, won over avid fans, and established itself as the best ice cream truck in Myrtle Beach. Congrats to the franchise on its success and I hope the truck drives by our street soon. Don’t Blink.