Reser’s Foods Thursday Rundown

How about we send March out in glory? The Thursday Rundown is here and I once again have five topics to discuss. Here we go…

Pretzel Pizza – For a recent ministry meeting that I attended, I decided to bring some pizza. I went cheap and stopped at Little Caesars. Always in the mood to try something new, I opted for the new pretzel crust pizza with a cheese sauce base. I purchased two of them (along with a cheese pizza for the kids) and went to the church the meeting was held at. Everyone was intrigued with the concept but not so much with the state. I unequivocally said I will never order it again.

As you can tell by the fact that only one piece is missing, the Little Caesars pretzel pizza wasn’t a huge hit.

Reser’s Truck – I finally got to show my daughter firsthand that there are people much richer than us who happen to have our last name. When taking Sloan to school the other day, I pulled up right behind a Reser’s Foods truck. Sloan got a kick out of seeing her last name featured so prominently on such a large vehicle. I explained what Reser’s is and the products they serve….and that we are in no way related.

I pulled up right behind a Reser’s Food truck when taking Sloan to school the other day.

Filling Up On Bread – My friend, Lindsi, posted this meme today. It insinuates that Olive Garden strategically tries to fill up customers on bread, perhaps to cut down on multiple requests of other bottomless items such as soup, salad, and sometimes pasta (looking at you, never ending bowl of pasta). Did you know buffets use this tactic too?! They will place bread items at the beginning of front-facing, highly-trafficked areas. They will be presented in large serving dishes whereas more expensive items aren’t as accessible and presented in smaller serving dishes. Ever wonder why the guy cutting the prime rib is a bit out of the way? Golden Corral and others want to entice you to devour bread products so you don’t eat as much of the good stuff.

This is the meme that Lindsi posted that warns against filling up on bread at the Olive Garden.

We Have the Meats – Speaking of prime rib, on this date seven years ago I wrote a blog post about my favorite holiday meats. I broke down the merits of prime rib, ham, and turkey which was then followed by an official ranking. You can go to the post to see my #1 but I will offer one tidbit here about the meat many of us will be eating soon—ham. I like ham most of all because of its staying power. Out of the “Big 3,” nothing tastes better as a leftover. Whether you warm it back up or eat it cold, leftover ham is delicious!

Spoiler: Prime rib is my favorite holiday meat.

Palm Sunday – Friends, Holy Week begins this upcoming weekend with Palm Sunday. It is a great reminder of how we can embrace Christ but then be so quick to reject him. The first gospel reading on Sunday will chronicle Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem when he triumphantly rode a donkey into the city and townspeople laid out palm branches along his path. Sadly, the ensuing Gospel passage will be Christ’s Passion according to Matthew. We will see how the same people who celebrated Jesus with palms would soon demand his crucifixion. Of course, there is underlying joy. His crucifixion will ultimately result in his resurrection and our own salvation. I wrote this more in-depth Palm Sunday reflection five years ago.

We commemorate Jesus’ triumphant return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.


That will do it for tonight. Let us pray for Pope Francis as he remains hospitalized. It is my hope that he is revitalized and healthy by Easter. Have a nice end of March and a very blessed Holy Week. Don’t Blink.

The Frustrating Thing About Trains

Until I moved to the Spokane Valley, I had never faced something so unpredictable on the road. I am talking about something that could immediately dash your prospects of showing up to a place on time or nullifying the promise you made your wife to be home in 15 minutes. It is something that renders you powerless and frustrated. I am not talking about snow, road construction, or traffic accidents. Nah, this is something completely different…

I am talking about trains.

Since moving to the Spokane Valley three years ago, I am not exaggerating when I say I have been stopped hundreds of times by trains. Not that railroad tracks suddenly popped up when we moved west to conspire against us. Spokane is an old railroad town and tracks used to crisscross pretty much everywhere in this area, especially in the valley where we live.

Perhaps the most frequent word used in text messages between Sid and I is “train.”

With that said, it has been an adjustment as I had personally not faced the possibility of being stopped at a train crossing for well over 10 years prior to moving here. Even growing up in Spokane, it was a blue moon when a train impeded our progress. In fact, it was a novelty that gleefully attracted my attention enough to carefully count every car attached to the train. That enthusiasm has since waned.

Now, when the red flights flash and the train crossing gate goes down, I might utter a word I usually try to avoid. You might think an extra five minutes (at least) to scroll through my phone as the train passes could be a good thing but not when you have somewhere to be. Nothing is more infuriating than when you are already short of time but manage to make all the lights and avoid heavy Spokane traffic only to have a train wipe out your efforts. The simple text message comprised of just one word (train) is understood by all Spokanites that you are going to be late.

It is pretty deflating when the red flights flash and the gate goes down.

Not all train situations are equally damning. Although you are lucky if it is just your typical five-minute wait, delays can extend far beyond that. Some trains are longer. Some trains are slower. Some trains will decide to nearly pass through only to inexplicably stop…and then go in reverse. The cruelty.

Sophisticated planners will allot more time for travel or use detours but it isn’t always that simple. Our family doesn’t always have the luxury of leaving the house 10 minutes early and not all roads lead to Rome. Despite best intentions, sometimes the best we can do is to leave the house on time and cross our fingers that we won’t encounter a train on a route that is dotted with train tracks. Luck isn’t always on our side.

I hate to use a train as an excuse but sometimes I have no other choice.

Of course I know this is a first world problem. Perhaps I should emphasize more with the train. It is undoubtedly delivering goods in a society crippled by supply chain issues. But it is easier said than done. Needless to say, gliding through a train crossing just as the gate begins to close is one of the sweetest feelings in the world. Don’t Blink.

March 28 Birthdays

(cue “Birthday” by The Beatles)…

For those that don’t have a calendar or an iPhone, today is March 28. On this particular date there are some noteworthy birthdays so I thought I would devote tonight’s blog post to recognizing a loved one, an institution, and a celebrity on their special day.

Miranda Koutecky – First and foremost, I want to wish my sister a very merry birthday. The milestone birthday comes next year as she turns 39 today. Her birthday was the first one I got to celebrate in-person after moving back to Washington state three years ago which means this is her fourth consecutive birthday that I have been in town for. Miranda is a great older sister and member of our family…may she eat cake.

Happy birthday to my sister!

Washington State University – On this date in 1890, House Bill No. 90 was signed into law, creating the State Agricultural College and School of Science located in Pullman. The rest, as they say, is history. That AG school would eventually blossom into Washington State University, a major Power-5 research institution with campuses across the state and an extension presence in every Washington county. To commemorate WSU’s birthday, I helped work on this video that we shared on some of our social media channels today.

Happy 133rd birthday to WSU!

Vince Vaughn – Last week, I watched a movie called “Dragged Across Concrete” on Netflix. It starred Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn as a cop duo that get suspended and then embark on a dangerous Robin Hood-esque quest. It was one of those films that I thought was recently released exclusively on Netflix only to find out after the fact that it was made in 2018. But I digress. I have never been a big Vince Vaughn fan but I didn’t mind him in “Dragged Across Concrete” and since today is his special day I feel obliged to give him a shout out. Happy 53rd birthday, Vince!

Happy 53rd birthday to Vince Vaughn!


Let me extend a pleasant happy birthday wish to everyone else born on March 28. May today bring you happiness and blessings. Don’t Blink.

Sloan’s Polka Dot Pottery Party

After a Chuck E. Cheese celebration last year, Sloan wanted to do something a bit more unique for her 6th birthday party. For a girl who begins the countdown to her birthday months and months out, you better believe she didn’t make her decision lightly. After brainstorming every possible idea under the sun, she made a decision.

Sloan wanted to celebrate with her friends at Polka Dot Pottery. For those who don’t know (like I didn’t), Polka Dot Pottery is a place where you paint pottery, not make it. You pick a pottery mold and then you paint it. After you have released your inner Van Gough on the piece, Polka Dot Pottery beautifies it via a firing process. You then return a week later to pick it up.

In addition to girls from Sloan’s kindergarten class, her cousin, Mikayla, also attended the party.

We made our Polka Dot Pottery reservation about a month prior to the party at the chain’s Spokane Valley Mall location. We chose between a few different packages and put down our deposit. The next four weeks flew by and in no time I was confirming our reservation with a PDP employee the day before the party.

Sloan invited the girls in her kindergarten class and her cousin, Mikayla, to the party. Sidney and I chaperoned the celebration and a Polka Dot Pottery employee, Brittney, was our party host. Brittney was patient and descriptive as she explained to the girls the entire process of creating this special kind of art.

Polka Dot Pottery employee and party host, Brittney, explains the creation process to the girls.

After everyone was briefed on how the experience would transpire, Brittney allowed the girls to leave their seats and follow her. Our party host showed everyone in Sloan’s party the different paints that were available and then she took them over to a corner where the different pieces rested. The girls chose what they wanted to paint as a selection of mermaids, unicorns, and cupcakes made it back to our table.

Brittney showing the girls the different paints they can use on their pottery pieces.

The girls then got to work. Sidney and I streamlined the process by retrieving the paints. As Sloan and her friends painted away, Sidney couldn’t resist the fun they were having. She went up and selected a bunny piece for her to paint.

Sidney painting away at the Polka Dot Pottery in the Spokane Valley Mall.

Our kindergarten Picassos showed no signs of timidness. After they applied the base paint layers, they were applying the glittery and bumpy paints as well. Once each of them had their piece designed exactly as they wanted it, Brittney placed the painted pieces in a box for firing.

Sloan busy at work painting her unicorn.

With the pieces in the box and the paints put away, it was time for cake and ice cream. Sloan’s friends performed an enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday” and then it was time to dig in.

What an awesome afternoon it was with Sloan and her friends.

Parents came to pick up their daughters and we transported the very generous gifts they brought to the car. It was then time for the waiting game.

Sidney’s finished bunny and Sloan’s unicorn.

The seven days it took for the firing process to be completed eventually passed and on Saturday I went and picked up all the pieces. Each piece was individually wrapped with the name of the artist written on it. Back at home, Sidney put each finished piece into a gift bag along with a thank you card from Sloan. This morning, Sloan brought the gift bags to school and her kindergarten teacher placed each one in the respective cubbie of the girl who it belonged to.

We sent these gift bags to school with Sloan today. They contained the pottery pieces that the girls painted.

Overall, the Polka Dot Pottery party was a hit. There are some advantages and disadvantages to be pointed out—please feel free to ask me if you are interested. We thank Brittney for being our party host AND all of Sloan’s friends who attended and made her feel so special. Don’t Blink.

Back Again Thursday Rundown

The Thursday Rundown is back after a brief hiatus. Last week my WSU three-year anniversary landed on a Thursday so that bumped the rundown. Please forgive me. I did consider offering TEN topics tonight to make up for last week’s snub but that would have been just plain silly. So without further delay, here are FIVE topics…

Adding to the Tradition – Last year I wrote about a birthday tradition that I do with Sloan. Each year I throw on the green polo that I wore when Sloan was born and take a photo with her. The pose is always the same and this year was the seventh edition. If you look at the collage below, the photos go in chronological order beginning with the image in the top left.

This year I took my seventh photo with Sloan in my old green St. Pat’s polo.

Sloan’s Cake – Keeping my quasi-tradition of sharing Sloan’s birthday cake with all of you (but not literally sharing), here is what we ordered her this year. We opted to go with Walmart and they baked her this mermaid-themed cake. The aqua blue frosting matched perfectly with the party venue’s décor (more on that next week). The cake itself was a marble chocolate/vanilla combination that we paired with vanilla ice cream cups.

This was Sloan’s birthday cake that we got from Walmart.

Birthday Artwork – As I have documented on here before, my dad marked our milestones and achievements as children with colorful sketches. In fact, he still does it for us today. But that’s not all—he does it for his grandchildren too! This was Sloan’s sketch for her 6th birthday. Kudos to my dad for manipulating the “O” in “Sloan” to take on the form of the number “6.”

This was the drawing my dad did to commemorate Sloan’s 6th birthday.

Chips And Dip Day – Today we celebrate National Chips and Dip Day and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the blog post I wrote two years ago. In this particular post, I opined that family Mexican restaurants can standout from competitors by offering superior chips. I declared that “good” chips must be hot, thick, tasty, bottomless, and accompanied by a distinctive salsa. I sure can eat a lot of them!

Chips are very important at a Mexican restaurant.

Eggo Frosted Maple Pop-Tarts – As we conclude tonight, I share a find from my recent trip to our local WINCO. These Eggo maple frosted Pop-Tarts were on the shelves and provided plenty of temptation. Although I wanted to try them, I refrained from buying them…for now. They did make me think long and hard about whether they would crack my top 10 Pop-Tart flavor list.

Would you give these Eggo Pop-Tarts a try?


I apologize again that you had to go two weeks with a Thursday Rundown. Hopefully this didn’t disappoint…although I am sure it did. Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t Blink.


I like to think of myself as a confident and experienced driver in the snow. But sometimes I question whether I am just a grandma. Over the past few months, I have watched drivers appear in my rear-view mirror from a distance only to catch up to my car and pass me like a bat out of Hell…in dangerously icy and snowy conditions!

I have also questioned the sanity of drivers I encounter during my commute to Pullman. The number of motorists who dare to pass on a two-lane curvy road with obstructed visibility is, quite frankly, mind-boggling.

And then there are the people during the morning work/school commute who will do everything to plow through a yellow/red light on Sullivan only to be immediately stopped at the next light just 300 feet away.

Again, I admit I can be an overly cautious driver. I have conceded as much in multiple blog posts (here and here). Although I would not classify myself as an extremely overly cautious driver, I would think most of society would opt for that extreme over the alternative one.

When behind the wheel, I am a cautious driver.

You see, I just question the skewed risk/reward calculation that some drivers compute when driving in the snow, passing vehicles, and doing everything possible to beat a red light. The risks are many: traffic tickets, accidents, loss of life, and property damage are just a few. The reward? Perhaps the salvage of a couple minutes at the most but in most cases probably just a couple seconds. Doesn’t seem worth it, right?

The intention of this short blog post isn’t to necessarily point the finger at aggressive drivers. Rather, it is just to get them to consider whether the glory of passing someone or being the king of the snowy roads is an accomplishment worth aspiring to. Drive safe, everyone. Don’t Blink.

The Ultimate Restaurant Birthday Treat

Not everyone thinks like me. While I couldn’t envision anything much worse than a restaurant staff singing to me on my birthday, my daughter is different. She doesn’t mind being the center of attention in a crowded eatery. But once I saw what she received after her birthday serenade on Friday night, I might change my tune.

On St. Patrick’s Day, we took Sloan to a popular Spokane restaurant called The Onion. The business has been in the area for decades and is known for its (surprise) onion rings and extensive beer selection. It is also starting to earn quite the reputation for its birthday tradition.

After we finished our dinner, our rock star server asked if Sloan could have the restaurant’s complimentary birthday treat. Heck yeah, we responded. Not long thereafter, our server emerged with most of the restaurant staff behind him (watch it all here).

Our server at The Onion emerged from the back of the restaurant with a large sundae for Sloan.

“Happy Birthday, Sloan,” the server warmly told our daughter as he placed a gigantic sundae in front of her. He then took a step back and addressed everyone in our section of the restaurant. “Attention everybody, it’s Sloan’s birthday, let’s give her a hand!”

The wait staff that stood behind our server clapped with intensity as the diners at surrounding tables joined in. All eyes were now on Sloan. The server leaned in again and asked Sloan if she wanted the “short” or “backward” version of The Onion’s birthday song. Sloan selected the backward version.

The Onion staff doing the “backward” version of its happy birthday song.

The Onion contingent hopped 180 degrees so their backs were facing Sloan and started to sing a happy birthday song that incorporated lots of clapping. At the end of the song, everyone hopped 180 degrees in a dramatic way to once again face Sloan in perfect coordination with the final lyrics of “happy birthday to you.” It was quite the performance.

But for as “extra” as the birthday song was, it didn’t compare to what was sitting in front of Sloan. As the applause faded and the restaurant employees walked away, the birthday girl focused on the giant ice cream sundae in front of her.

Sloan had a large sundae to deal with after The Onion staff performed the happy birthday song.

In a large glass goblet was a creation of sugary excess. It contained a couple scoops of ice cream, large pieces of confetti cake, an enormous mound of whipped cream, hot fudge, and COTTON CANDY. Yes, cotton candy was added in. The rim of the goblet was coated in more hot fudge and topped with sprinkles. In a final display of sweet insanity, a big carnival sucker was propped up in the whipped cream.

Where to begin? Luckily, Sloan had no trouble coming up with a game plan to devour the sundae. Of course the plan wasn’t perfectly executed because there was no way a single 6-year-old girl could eat the whole thing. Even with the help of her eager brother and grandparents, there was still a lot of the sundae left by the time everyone tapped out.

Another angle of Sloan eating her sundae from The Onion.

The crazy thing is that the sundae is free on your birthday. I know some restaurants will offer a complimentary scoop of ice cream or milkshake on a customer’s special day… but something as elaborate as what The Onion offers? It is basically dessert for the entire table and why the sundae runs for $17 on the menu.

Why would The Onion so freely give away $17 sundaes to every person who dines at the restaurant on their birthday? How is that sustainable? Just during our visit, another person in our vicinity was also celebrating her birthday by enjoying a free sundae. Who knows all the other birthday people who came in on that night alone.

It definitely took more than one mouth to put a dent in this sundae. Beau was more than happy to help out.

My guess is that The Onion manages just fine. In fact, I think the free sundae is probably one of its most valuable marketing tactics. I am sure a lot of people are influenced to celebrate their birthday at The Onion because of the sundae that awaits them. If they bring in an average party with them, the $17 sundae turns into a $150 dinner bill.

Regardless of the intentions behind the free sundae, it does add an exclamation point to a fun dining experience. I thank The Onion staff for making my daughter’s birthday special. Don’t Blink.

Sloan Reser: This is Six

St. Patrick’s Day is always associated with luck and that connotation took on new meaning for me six years ago. When Sloan made me a dad on March 17, 2017, I felt luckier than a leprechaun sitting at the end of a rainbow with a big pot of gold.

The greatest day of my life.

As Sloan celebrates her sixth birthday today, I can assure you that I am still feeling lucky. It is impossible for me to express the joy that she delivers to my heart daily and a silly blog post can’t even begin to scratch the surface.

Happy birthday to this sweet girl! (photo courtesy of Nicole Lynn).

So instead of me vainly throwing words out to describe something that can’t be described, let me offer just a few insights into Sloan’s time as a 5-year-old…

She had plenty of firsts. Sloan played on her first sports team, went to her first dance, and visited Pullman/cheered on the Cougs for her first time. Bold and brave since birth, Sloan is always willing to jump headfirst into any new experience or challenge.

Sloan played t-ball for the first time as a 5-year-old.

Sloan also improved in certain areas. Her sleep habits became more normal, her temper cooled down, and her coloring skills evolved to a point that surpassed those of her dad. Most impressive of all, she became a more patient big sister. Once not very understanding about Beau’s differing stage in life, Sloan and her brother will now amicably play with each other for long stretches of time. Sidney and I aren’t complaining.

Sloan and Beau became great siblings over the past year.

She learned a lot. Sloan can now read, count to 100, and memorize song lyrics at an astonishing rate. Most impressively, her vocabulary has grown exponentially. Out of the blue, she will use words that Sid and I had no idea she knew. Just in the past few days alone she has correctly used “concept,” “intriguing,” and “literally” seemingly out of thin air.

Sloan is doing great in school and is learning a lot.

Sloan has also become more independent. She fixes her own snacks, entertains herself for hours, and has no problem communicating with other adults and telling them what she wants. As her kindergarten teacher quips, “Sloan is 6 going on 25.”

Sloan loves crafts and can do a lot of them all by herself.

With all that said, we hope Sloan makes strides in other areas as a 6-year-old. We cross our fingers that she becomes more cooperative in the morning, stops sneaking candy from the pantry, and refrains from talking back. We hope she comes to grips with the fact that she can’t win every time, realizes that a lot of content on YouTube is trash, and finally stops asking if I will buy her something every single time we go to the store. Lots to aspire to over the next 52 weeks 😊 .

Sloan has my heart.

But at the end of the day, we will take these potential opportunities for growth in stride. I know I will continue to draw on Sloan for inspiration. I admire her radiant love of life, her already strong faith in God, and her genuine concern for others. My money is on another banner year for Sloan Anne Reser. Don’t Blink.

Past Sloan Birthday Posts
Sloan turns 5
Sloan turns 4
Sloan turns 3
Sloan turns 2
Sloan turns 1

My Third Year at WSU: Progress

When are you not new anymore? From the perspective of a new job, especially in higher education, I believe it is the one-year mark. You need those first 365 days to understand the academic calendar, recruitment cycle, and days of significance. It takes time to learn an institution’s culture, assess challenges, and build relationships with people inside/outside your department.

But the “one-year” benchmark is for normal times. A pandemic can delay things a bit…

After a debut year spent at Washington State University reacting to the daily twists and turns of COVID-19, my second year as the social media strategist within WSU’s University Marketing and Communications was more of what I envisioned my first year would be. I actually worked from the office, tackled projects, set strategy, and built relationships. By the end of that 24th month, I didn’t feel new anymore. 

And with that, I was perfectly set up for my third year at WSU.

Today I celebrate three years as a Coug. My dad drew this to commemorate the anniversary.


My third year as a Coug can be characterized by progress. If the first year was reacting and the second year was building, then the third year was activating. By the time March 16, 2022, rolled around, a strategy was in place, content avenues were established, and roles within our department relating to social media were defined. It was beautiful.

I started work at WSU on March 16, 2020, so I naturally had to wear the same thing on my 3rd anniversary of employment.

But even if you have a process that is spelled out, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t have buy-in. We have it within our department. From our designers to our photographers to our videographers to our writers to our web experts, no one thinks twice about devoting their talents to help our social media efforts. I can’t thank my colleagues enough.

Another theme from my third stanza at WSU was emergence. I crept from behind the anonymity of the screen to the front of conference rooms. I had the opportunity to do a lot of speaking this year. I spoke in Vancouver at our WSU Communicators Conference, presented with my fellow PAC-12 peers at the American Marketing Association Higher Ed Symposium, gave a flash talk to a senior group of Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) communicators, served on an APLU-sponsored panel, and gave numerous private presentations. Although not a natural speaker by any means, I did appreciate the chance to share the cool things WSU is doing to audiences comprised of professionals from across the nation.

I had numerous speaking engagements during my third year with WSU, but none more important than my presentation with colleagues at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed.

As adrenaline-inducing an activity like public speaking can be, I much prefer keeping quiet and contributing to team projects. This year, I worked with a core group of my UMC colleagues on some high-profile integrated campaigns. The portfolio includes a major effort to celebrate a record-setting gift from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) and an initiative to highlight a nearly 60-year partnership with Boeing. After closing out the calendar year by promoting how WSU is leading the quest for cleaner air travel, we launched our #GoCougsMeans brand marketing campaign at the beginning of 2023. This campaign uses powerful storytelling to share the innovative ways that WSU is positively impacting the state. To say I am grateful to have the opportunity to run point on the social strategy for all these important WSU campaigns is an understatement. No outsourcing here!

Working at WSU doesn’t mean I must stick in my digital marketing lane. During this third year, I worked with two colleagues on our CARE team to foster unity within our department as we organized events and outreach. I sat on multiple search committees that allowed me to meet people in other areas and help hire new Cougs. I wrote award submissions on behalf of the amazing work our team is doing and was elated when one of those entries was presented the CASE Circle of Excellence gold award, the organization’s highest honor. To be empowered to contribute in other ways beyond what it says on my position description makes my job even more fulfilling.

A shot of me speaking during the WSU Communicators Conference.

This third year wasn’t without its challenges. My team responded to various negative developments, nothing more jarring than a former WSU student’s involvement in the tragic University of Idaho murders. I will always remember where I was on December 30 when the news broke and the morale-crushing work that ensued that day.

With that said, there was never a time when my co-workers and bosses ceased to support one another and persevere through the challenging times. There really is something to be said about that one-of-a-kind Coug Spirit.

As I wrap this up, I have a couple people I must recognize by name. First, I couldn’t ask for a better boss. Holly Sitzmann has supported me and allowed me to grow. Whether it be her attending my AMA presentation or accommodating my family schedule or just her overall leadership, I am grateful and so lucky. I also would like to give a big shoutout to Matt Haugen, our social media manager. Our department is fortunate to have someone so passionate and knowledgeable about WSU. His contributions to our social media program are immense and are reflected in many ways, including the ascension of WSU Pullman in the respected Rival IQ Rankings. This year, our social program ranked #23 out of 300+ colleges/universities.

We weathered some storms during my third year at WSU, but overall it was a positive year for me.

I am so happy to be a Coug! This third year was the best one yet. From the people around me to my hybrid schedule to the work I get to do, I have it made. I look forward to Year #4 and pledge to serve this university with pride and integrity. Go Cougs! Don’t Blink.

A Stroke of Personality

One of my favorite aspects of Wikipedia when it comes to looking up famous people is viewing the respective person’s signature. In the box that contains their education, nickname, family members, etc., you will also find a row for their signature. You can even tap it to view in full screen and see all the loops, crosses, and dots up close.

There is just something humanizing and revealing about seeing the signature of someone like Dwight Eisenhower or Charlie Chaplin. Not only do you get a sense that they share a commonality with us in that they have to sign their name too, but you also get a unique look into their personalities by how they express their name with pen and paper.

I wonder what my own signature conveys to others. To be honest, it is not pretty. I perfected it probably in fifth grade when we had our checkbook unit and it has not changed since then. My inspiration was from my dad’s signature. I liked how he used the last “r” on Reser to cross the “t” on his first name (Thomas) so I did something similar. For a quarter century, I have used the last “r” on Reser to cross the “t” on the end of my first name. Same idea as my dad but much less elegant and much more sloppy in terms of execution on my end.

This is my signature.

Did you know there are handwriting experts who will work with you to create/modify your signature? I heard it is like $600 per session. Good for those people who can make a living off what must be a niche customer base but I don’t think I will be contracting those services anytime soon. Although I know my signature is lacking in style, I don’t have the urge to change it at this point.

And that leads me to my overall point. Even though my signature isn’t aesthetically pleasing, at least it is distinctive. After using it for 25 years, I am pretty much protected against fraudsters who might try to sign something on my behalf. Voting officials flag my ballot if my signature doesn’t look like the one they have on file. My wife, parents, and other close friends could replicate it themselves because they have seen it so many times. In many ways, it is an extension of my personal brand.

Whether it will be immortalized on Wikipedia forever or whether it will just be used primarily to sign your checks, take pride in your signature. Just like your fingerprints, it is unique entirely to you. Don’t Blink.