2021 Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween! It is time to reveal the costumes of Sloan and Beau. Why now? Well, two reasons. First, it is October 31 (duh). But also, these two kids have had plenty of practice modeling their costumes during different trunk-or-treats and parties this weekend that I am confident they are finally ready to me presented to my highly esteemed blogging audience. So, without further ado…

This year, Sloan is Moana. Despite some issues with the wig, this costume has been pretty solid. Sloan likes to truly embrace character and will break into song by performing the film’s opening number, “Where You Are.” We have had zero issues with costume recognition, both from kids and adults. Success!

This year, Sloan is Moana for Halloween.

After his Halloween debut last year as a pumpkin, Beau transitioned from the vegetable to the person responsible for growing it. Ladies and gentlemen….Farmer Beau is at your service! It is a good thing that this is just a costume though because I don’t think he is cut out for the farming profession. He doesn’t like his bandana and he rather his hat be thrown on the ground instead of planted on his head.

Beau is a farmer for Halloween 2021.

There you have it. Come at me with your best Moana and a farmer walked into a bar jokes. This odd couple is ready for some serious trick-or-treating tonight! I wish everyone a spooky and safe holiday. Don’t Blink.

Halloween Eve Eve Eve Thursday Rundown

Trick-or-treat! I hope everyone’s Halloween preparations are going well. Thanks for joining me for the latest Thursday Rundown. Let’s get started!

Past Halloweens for Sloan – Hard to believe that this will be Sloan’s fifth Halloween. Her past four costumes include a flamingo, unicorn, Peppa Pig, and Poppy. Although I won’t reveal what Sloan will be this Halloween, you were most likely tipped off if you read a blog post earlier this week. And let’s not forget about Beau…he spent his first Halloween as a pumpkin. Stay tuned to learn what he will be on Sunday.

At the top are the Halloween costumes that Sloan and Beau wore for their first Halloweens. The bottom three photos are Sloan in her Halloween costumes as a 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and 3-year-old.

YOU (Season 3) – What a wild ride! After season 2, I said “You” improved from the debut season. Well, it seems like the series keeps getting better because I think season 3 was the best 10-episode package yet. The key formula from the past two seasons—plot twists, Joe’s deadpan narration, and fascinating characters—was back for the third…but amplified. The commentary on American suburbia was hilarious and characters like the Conrads made me cringe and laugh at the same time. There were violent parts that made my stomach turn and I did feel guilty because at points I actually sympathized with Joe, but what I enjoyed most was that Sid and I watched every episode together and exchanged many looks and entered into many dialogues about what was transpiring. My favorite part of season 3 was when Joe, in one of his inner thoughts, said with dry disgust, Disney should sue these people. If you have watched the season, you know what I am talking about!

The third season of “You” was a wild ride.

Good Halloween Reads – Our frequent trips to the library with the kids become a little more special when a holiday draws near. We make it a point to check out books that commemorate whatever holiday is being celebrated that month. Obviously, we all know what October is known for and our family has fallen suit with our reading materials. Now, one thing you need to know is that the Spokane County libraries will only check you out five holiday books per visit. Thus, we have had to make multiple visits to satisfy our Halloween fix. Our last trip to the library was yesterday and these our the final five Halloween books we will bring home until a year from now.

These are the latest Halloween books we checked out at the library on Wednesday. I think I am most excited about the snowman one.

Spirit Run – If you don’t go to Spirit Halloween solely for entertainment value, then did you really celebrate Halloween? Last Sunday, I took Sloan to the Spirit store in Spokane Valley just to get out of the house. We walked down every aisle, interacted with the displays, and tried on masks. We didn’t spend a cent but Sloan had a lot of fun. Your local Spirit location might be picked over or insanely busy at this point but if you are looking for something to do, you might consider visiting it.

Sloan scoping out one of the displays at the Spirit Halloween store in Spokane Valley.

Another Classic Post – Today marks the 7-year anniversary of when I put EVERCLEAR in my gas tank. I know, not my brightest moment. But my engine light would not go off and a South Carolina mechanic was adamant that I treat my vehicle with the alcohol to solve the problem. It didn’t work. Oh well, at least it is a good story that I chronicled with this blog post.

Me getting ready to put Everclear in my car on Oct. 28, 2014.


Happy Halloween, everyone. Please be safe and enjoy the weekend. Don’t Blink.

Area Code Pride

An old school way to contact someone recently became a thing of the past. No longer can you dial a 7-digit number, such as 867-5309, and expect to reach your friend down the street. Area codes are now required on most outgoing calls, even if you are just calling your spouse who is in the room next to you.

Big change? Not for me.

The last time I remember using just 7 digits to call someone was when I still lived with my parents and they had a landline phone attached to their kitchen wall. For the past 17 years it has just been second nature to insert the area code followed by xxx-xxxx. Perhaps I became so conditioned to it because I lived in different places other than my hometown that it was simply necessary to do. But in all seriousness, I thought 7-digit calling went the same way as pay phones many years ago.

I am a loyal 509 guy!

To be honest, area codes have become such a point of pride for many geographic regions that I don’t know why people didn’t gleefully use them at all times even when 7-digit calling was still available. I guess saving the nano second of time it took to dial three extra numbers was worth more than paying homage to your roots.

On a serious note, the reason for the recent demise of 7-digit dialing is a sound one. It will now streamline calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. To reach this emergency service, one just needs to dial 988. There are numerous states around the country that use “988” as the first three digits in their 7-digit phone numbers (think 988-1234 or 988-9876). If you tried to call someone at one of those numbers without using an area code, you would connect yourself to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Has it been years since you didn’t use an area code? Do you have a shirt or other accessory that has your home area code printed on it? Let me know and please remember that is all about the 5-0-9. Don’t Blink.

Do You Remember Your First Live Show?

On Saturday, Sloan got to enjoy a pretty cool experience. “Disney on Ice” came to Spokane and she attended one of the several shows that took place in the Spokane Arena. Sidney accompanied Sloan and they met up with my sister and her two kids. I drove my wife and daughter to the Arena and watched as children decked out in Disney princess dresses and other costumes emerged from every vantage point of my periphery.

Sloan (dressed as Mouana) with her cousins outside the Spokane Arena before they entered the facility to watch “Disney on Ice.”

During the show, Sidney sent a couple different videos of Sloan and Mikayla (her cousin) having the time of their lives. They were pointing with excitement and singing at the top of their lungs. As I watched the videos, I thought, this is something that Sloan will probably remember.

With small children, you always do wonder if they will remember certain events and experiences decades in the future. Although I can’t say with absolute certainty that Sloan will in fact remember “Disney on Ice,” I have a hunch that she will. Why? Well, my first live event that I remember came when I was a 4-year-old.

I have mentioned before that I was a big WWE (back then WWF) fan as a kid. Sure, I know, kind of embarrassing. But I can’t escape that part of my childhood that manifested very early on in my life. By the time I was 4 it was evidently such a big interest of mine that my dad took me to the WWF “Superstars of Wrestling” show when it rolled into the old Spokane Coliseum in 1991.

I was such a pro wrestling fanatic that I had a WWF bedspread and sheets.

The memories are still clear in my mind. I remember sitting in our seats and my dad pointing over to the section right next to us and seeing my next door neighbor and best friend, John, with his dad. I remember a street clothes-clad Andre the Giant hanging out ringside and banging one of his crutches inside the squared circle. I remember Jake Roberts grabbing his infamous snake and chasing Earthquake around the ring with it.

I still have our tickets from the WWF Superstars of Wrestling show we attended in 1991.

But what I remember most of all was the main event when the Undertaker made his entrance. When the lights in the arena go off and that chilling music is played while a shadowy figure makes his way to the ring, the impression is not lost on a 4-year-old. I was lucky to have my dad right next to me!

Undertaker would wrestle my favorite WWF superstar at the time, the Ultimate Warrior, in a body bag match. Undertaker managed to get most of Ultimate Warrior into the body bag except for one hand. That lifeline was all the Warrior needed to dig deep and escape from what looked like a certain defeat. As you can probably guess, Ultimate Warrior ended up winning the match.

For as many events from my childhood that I don’t remember, it is kind of neat that I remember my first arena live show. Perhaps Sloan will too. I hope so. Don’t Blink.

Nightmare Before Christmas Thursday Rundown

It is Oct. 21 and a perfect time to buy your pumpkins. Don’t carve them just yet (wait until next week’s Thursday Rundown to do that) but make sure you secure your gourds now. Speaking of now, make sure you read about tonight’s five topics…

The $25,000 Man – It is hard to believe, but Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of one of the more entertaining and viewed Don’t Blink posts. On Oct. 19, 2011, I told the wild tale of my brother winning $25,000 on a single card hand at a small bowling alley casino. It was a memorable and insane late evening/early morning that literally entailed my brother “making it rain” in my parents bedroom among other absurdities. In addition to that epic entry, I would do a follow up post 7 years later.

After Glen won the $25,000, we went to Vegas a few days later. This is him at the original O’Sheas playing some Blackjack.

Common Mistake – I used to make this error all the time. How did I overcome my forgetfulness? No, it wasn’t because I was more cognizant and self-aware. Rather, Outlook watches out for you these days and if you mention a form of the word “attach” in your email and nothing is attached, you will be notified prior to your correspondence flying through space. Thankfully, I no longer leave people at the runway. Thanks to my friend Lindsi for the meme.

I used to do this, but I don’t anymore.

Halloween Watch Options – In the past I have written about how I become overwhelmed by the endless options of movies and TV shows on the streaming services that we subscribe to. So much content, so little time. I am feeling this way currently with all the Halloween options at my disposal. With Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Peacock, there is simply no feasible way that I will ever come close to even watching a quarter of the movies and shows I would like to. A month is simply just not enough. With that said, I am still trying to watch as much as possible. From Halloween sitcom episodes to original movies part of Hulu’s Huluween lineup to cult classics like “Children of the Corn,” to kid-friendly films like “Nightmare Before Christmas” I am getting my spooky time fix. I just wish there were more hours in the day.

Sloan and I recently watched “Nightmare Before Christmas” together. It was actually my first time ever watching the film.

Buffalo Wild Wings – For the first time in at least a few years, we ate inside a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. It was actually a little trippy when we walked into the Spokane Valley location but its layout was identical to the one we would visit in Myrtle Beach. Anyway, Sid and I ordered 20 boneless wings to share. For sauces, I chose spicy garlic and parmesan garlic while Sid chose Asian zing. She couldn’t think of a second sauce she wanted so Sid deferred to the waitress who suggested honey BBQ. I used to love BWW so it was nice to visit again.

Please don’t mind the hands of Sloan and Beau as I show you our 20 wings from last Friday’s visit to Buffalo Wild Wings.

The Best Energy Drink – While we are on the topics of things I had not enjoyed in years, let me give a shoutout to Xyience. When I lived in Missoula, this energy drink was my jam. I even named it the best energy drink on the planet. But when I moved to Myrtle Beach it wasn’t as widely available as it was in Montana. I recently discovered that a small grocery store near our house now carries it. Over the past couple months I have returned to drinking a Xyience once every two weeks or so. If you opt for an energy drink every now and then, I strongly recommend you give Xyience a try.

I am back to drinking the occasional Xyience energy drink. If you have not tasted it before, I recommend you give it a try.


I must say I am a little sad because I don’t have another football trip planned this weekend. Oh well, it will be nice to hang around town. I will catch up with everyone next week! Don’t Blink.

The New Way to Order Fast Food

You can file this under first world problems, but there is a current fast food trend that I don’t particularly care for. I have experienced it at places ranging from Taco Bell to Chick-fil-A and I personally don’t see much benefit to it. Maybe you know exactly what I am talking about…

Chick-fil-A may have led the way with this fast food ordering technique but I am not pleased that it is spreading to other chains.

Have you turned into a fast food drive-thru to see an employee standing outside holding a tablet? They are typically staged before the menu board where you would typically order your food. You roll down your window and they greet you with something along the lines of “What can I get you?”

To which I reply, “Um, how about a menu?”

I then get a bewildered look from the employee that implies I should know the entire Taco Bell menu like the back of my hand.

Call me a cranky old man, but I don’t like this new ordering format that is becoming increasingly common. I don’t know if it is supposed to be faster or if it is supposed to convey a better commitment to customer service but it kind of irritates me. When I order food, I like to see my options. I like to take a breath and browse the different offerings on the colorful and illustrated board. When the first thing you encounter is a human with a head set expecting you to know exactly what you want to order it is a little off-putting.

On Sunday we went to Panera. We maybe go there once a year. I know an air conditioner manual better than I know a Panera menu. But there we were stopped 10 feet before the menu board talking to a young woman who wanted to take our order. Having been through enough of these orders at other restaurants, I knew she probably didn’t have a menu on her but I still asked.

“Well, I guess you could drive up there if you really needed to,” she pointed to the menu straight ahead, implying that I was perhaps the worst person ever.

Sidney was already embarrassed by me so we just did pretty much guess and check with her as we decided on what we wanted. In the end, all we wanted was some soup. After narrowing it down to chicken noodle, she asked us if we wanted a large. Sidney answered “yes” but after thinking to myself wait a minute I asked the employee how much that would cost.


I would have spit out that soup if I had some in my mouth at the time. That is another major flaw of this new ordering system. Not only do you not know what is on the menu, you don’t know what items actually cost. For someone like me, who is price-conscious, this is super annoying. I will pay $18.40 for a large pizza—not for a large container of soup.

As you can imagine, Sid was less than pleased with my inability to get with the times. She told me that from now on I just need to go inside and place our order if they have an employee outside intercepting customers. And believe me, I will gladly do that. It will save me frustration, Sid embarrassment, and the employee annoyance.

Am I alone? Again, I don’t want to make a huge deal about this but I do want to know the method behind the madness. I welcome any enlightenment from my readers. Don’t Blink.

Back to Martin Stadium

It was November 20, 2004. My dad, brother, and I hopped in the car and drove to Pullman for the Apple Cup game between Washington State and the University of Washington. We sat in the end zone of Martin Stadium on a snowy and bitter cold evening. On that evening the Cougars would end a 7-year drought to the Huskies and win a thrilling double overtime contest, 28-25.

I didn’t take this photo but this is the scene that I still remember in my head from attending the 2004 Apple Cup.

As someone who grew up going to Washington State Cougar football games with my dad, little did I know that would be my final one for a long time. When I watched that Apple Cup game I was a senior in high school and my life was about to change. I went off to college, started my professional career, and lived far away from the state of Washington. Sure, I could stay up until 2 a.m. watching some of the infamous “Pac-12 After Dark” games that involved the Cougs and took place in Martin Stadium but it hardly replaced being there. As I would lay in bed watching those games, I would tell myself that one day I wanted to watch a game there again.

After 17 years, I finally had that opportunity this past weekend. Not only did I watch the Cougars pull off a thrilling victory over the Stanford Cardinal, but I got to do it with the same crew that I watched my last WSU football game with—my dad and brother.

This past Saturday, my brother, dad, and I watched our first game inside Martin Stadium together since the 2004 Apple Cup.

The three of us knew the significance. When we piled into the car on Saturday, my dad asked us if we knew the last time the three of us went to a Coug game together. There was no hesitation. My brother and I both replied with the Apple Cup and we recounted some of the memories and smells (yes, smells) from that night that will always stay with us. We reminisced about our Cougar football history together and then prepared to make new memories.

We could not have asked for a better day. Just like the previous week in Missoula, it was sunny and unseasonably warm. The three of us walked around campus, soaked up the sun, hung out in the fieldhouse like old times, and then entered the hallowed gates of Martin Stadium.

My dad and I pose for a photo inside the fieldhouse prior to the WSU vs. Stanford game on October 15, 2021.

After loading up on concession stand items, we found our seats and literally basked under the glow of, first, the sunshine, and once night fell, the stadium lights. I geeked out the whole time. From the team entrance to the flyover to Butch to the “Welcome Home” tradition to the fight song to the “And that’s another…(Cougar First Down)” cheer it was so incredibly awesome. Mind you, over the past 17 years I have watched numerous college football games in different settings, including the SEC and ACC variety, but nothing is ever like your first love…and for me that is WSU. To finally watch a game in the stadium that played host to some of the very best Saturdays of my childhood after so long was a little emotional.

The view from our seats during the second half of Washington State’s victory over Stanford on Oct. 15, 2021.

And to watch it with my dad and brother made it even that more special. Man, we had fun. That game was so good and we were so invested in every down. For the Cougs to pick up the win in the fashion they did just seemed like it was meant to be.

After Washington State’s thrilling 34-31 victory over Stanford, my brother and I posed for a photo.

I didn’t take this past Saturday for granted. I know for a fact it won’t be 17 more years until I watch my next football game in Martin Stadium and I can’t wait to continue to build more memories in the town and place that will always hold a special place in my heart. Don’t Blink.

Dan Kleckner Thursday Rundown

I am munching on some Cub Scout caramel corn right now and it is so good. I need to stop snacking and start writing! Easier said than done. Okay, let’s get going…

Dan Kleckner Signing Off – Growing up in Spokane, my family would always see KHQ news anchor Dan Kleckner in one of two ways…either inside our house via the TV or in the pews for mass at St. Thomas More. He was Mr. Consistent and a local Spokane celebrity who always represented his community well. When I returned to this city 15 years after leaving for college and starting my professional career, I was heartened to see that Kleckner was still in his KHQ anchor post. You don’t always get that with local news personalities. Tonight, Dan Kleckner signed off for the final time in his 40-year journalism career. I will miss his talent and professionalism.

Dan Kleckner signed off from KHQ tonight.

Professor Beau – I don’t know how I feel about this photo but it is definitely a different look for Beau so I decided to run it. Earlier this week my dad put his reading glasses on Beau while the little guy examined a pamphlet. He looks very….academic? Again, don’t know if I really care for this side of Beau but there you have it.

Meet Professor Beau!

Soda Fountain – If you ever go to the Grocery Outlet in Spokane Valley, you will find a shelf that has canned soda for $.25. You can usually find some eccentric flavors, most likely promo inventory that didn’t sell. The other day I picked up a can of Major Melon Mt. Dew and a can of Frost Bite Mt. Dew. I tried Major Melon during last February’s Super Bowl but only in bottle form. I had never tried Frost Bite until I cracked open the can a couple nights ago. The verdict? Mellow taste that deserves to be tried!

I recently bought some unique Mt. Dews.

New Marquee – Back in 2018, I identified the light up LED marquee box as the best inexpensive holiday gift of the season. I had received one in 2017 and used it heavily throughout the year. In fact, I used it heavily for the next three years after that as well. But the $10 gift eventually succumbed to wear and tear putting me in the market for a new one. Sidney delivered on my birthday when she upgraded me to a color marquee with a whole library of emojis. Heck, it even comes with a remote control that allows you to switch on different effects like strobe and flash. Sid tested out the new toy by drafting a message that honored yours truly.

I am the owner of this new light up marquee box.

Unicorn Dreams – Three years ago on this date, Sidney brought home a unicorn. Well, a unicorn costume that is. Sloan fit inside it perfectly and got to break it in for a couple weeks before Halloween. What will Sloan and Beau be this year? That is still up for discussion!

Sidney and Sloan share a laugh on October 14, 2018.


Okay, I managed to put away the popcorn once I hit my first topic. But now that this baby is done I think I am going to reach for the bag again. Have a great weekend! Don’t Blink.

Dying Twice

More than three months ago I mentioned that I am doing Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Bible In A Year Podcast. What a blessing it has been! Yesterday was Day #285 as we navigate through Sirach. A couple verses from Tuesday’s reading inspired Fr. Schmitz to address a certain theme.

The verses were…

“How can he who is dust and ashes be proud” (Sirach 10:9)

“He has removed some of them and destroyed them, and has extinguished the memory of them from the earth” (Sirach 10:17)

These verses obviously address pride and make us think twice about developing a heightened sense of self. Fr. Schmitz is a famous priest who has a large global audience due to his ability to leverage his digital presence. Despite that, one of his spiritual mentors told him not too long ago, “No one will remember you after you die.”

A raging ego does not reside inside of Fr. Schmitz. Even with his crazy popularity and the souls he is saving each day, this humble priest agreed with the opinion of his spiritual mentor.

Fr. Schmitz then made it hit home. He asked: How many of you know the first name of your great great grandfather? What about your great great uncle? Just a few generations removed and I personally couldn’t identify the names of my great great grandparents. We really do have short memories, huh?

It gets even more sobering. Fr. Schmitz then said that we all die twice on earth. The first death is when we take our last breath before physically dying. The second time we “die” is when our name is uttered for the very last time. This could come 10 years, 50 years, or 100 years after our physical death. But let that sink in. There will be a time when our names will be completely extinct from this world.

With all that said, it is not wise to walk around like a big deal nor to make it our mission to build a legacy while on this planet. Eventually it will all be for naught. Rather, build for eternity. Don’t Blink.

Our Birthday Photo Tradition

When my birthday rolls around, I do a little more than eat candy bar cake, write a blog post about turning a year older, and drink a celebratory beverage. I also take a photo with my wife. Since our dating days, we have always snapped a photo of us together along with a birthday cake.

For tonight’s blog post, I thought I would very briefly stroll down memory lane of each birthday I have had the good fortune of spending with Sid. For those counting at home, that is EIGHT.


A few days ago we celebrated my birthday at my parents’ house.

Our tradition continued with my most recent birthday.


This was the first birthday we spent together in Spokane and it was also my first birthday with Beau. My mom made her famous ice cream pie.

In 2020, we spent our first Oct. 8 together in Spokane.


Little did we know how things would change in just a couple months. I would soon accept a job at Washington State University and Sid would give birth to Beau followed by a NICU stay. This was the first ever store-bought cake (thanks, Publix!) we had for one of my birthday celebrations.

A look at our birthday photo from 2019.


Sidney made a homemade lasagna for this birthday and her parents dined over with us. Definitely one of the more mellow birthdays.

The photo may be blurry but my memories of that birthday were not.


My first birthday as a daddy! We look surprisingly well-rested in this photo.

We have the glow of new parents!


Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on my birthday plans in 2016. We couldn’t even get to a grocery store to buy cake mix because the conditions were so bad. We pivoted and settled for brownies as that was the only thing we had in the cupboard.

Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, we swapped a birthday cake for brownies.



Sidney made me an ice cream pie on my birthday in 2015.


Look how young we look! This was the first birthday we spent together and my first introduction to Sid’s delicious candy bar cake.

Who are those young kids?! Our first birthday spent together in 2014.


This tradition is not meant to end soon. As long as there is cake (or brownies), there will be a birthday photo of Sid and I. Don’t Blink.