Exceeding Expectations: Richard Green

Over the course of a career, we can only hope that we will have the opportunity to work with individuals who positively stand out. I am talking about people who set the bar high and then somehow continue to vault over it.

While at Coastal Carolina University, I had the good fortune of working with Richard Green. Hired as our digital journalist within University Marketing and Communication, Richard was tasked with covering the daily news happenings and developments of CCU. Little did I know that he would take “daily” quite literally.

Richard Green with CCU President Michael Benson.

Call him a work horse, a grinder, a phenom or my personal preference—a machine—and you should have a pretty good idea of Richard’s work ethic. To put it mildly, it was off the charts. I have never met someone in my professional career who could turnaround such quality work at a mind-boggling rate. Give Richard an assignment in the morning and by the end of the day he would have the footage shot, interviews recorded, voiceover written, closed caption file developed, video edited, and final product ready to go.

I imagine his news background played a role in his incredible productivity but in an industry like higher education where everything moves slower, Richard refused to conform. Instead, he doubled down on getting shit done. Richard was EVERYWHERE doing EVERYTHING to tell the story of CCU. He cranked out video after video as he spent many long hours on campus.

From covering major CCU events to spotlighting the people of Teal Nation to developing superb packages on the institution’s accomplishments, Richard Green was probably one of the best things that happened to Coastal Carolina University in the past decade and I am 100% sincere in saying that.

Richard was also a social media manager’s best friend. He provided constant video content optimized to succeed on the various social platforms. Before sending videos my way he would always stop by my office to brief me on what he was sending and would then follow up to make sure I had everything that I needed. Relevance and timeliness are two crucial elements of successful social media videos and Richard infused all his work with both.

It is extremely tough to identify my favorite piece from Richard’s vast video vault because his work is so excellent and there is soooo much to choose from. However, if forced to choose something, I would point to a series that he actually produced after I had left CCU. With the pandemic threatening the very fabric of higher education, Richard chronicled Coastal Carolina University’s efforts to deliver an in-person education in a safe and meaningful manner. Titled Coastal Comeback, the series contained a staggering 36 videos and covered absolutely everything about the college experience from campus recreation to housing to technology to programming and so much more. What an invaluable contribution during such a difficult time!

Today is Richard’s last day at Coastal Carolina University. It is now time for him to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. When I left CCU, I wrote a farewell blog post that described Richard as a “consummate professional.” But to be honest, he is much more than a rockstar employee—he is a fabulous person. I am thankful that our tenures at CCU overlapped by a couple years and I wish Richard nothing but the best in this next stage of his life. Don’t Blink.

Observations About Sloan’s First Froyo Experience

For months now, Sloan has asked if we could stop at a froyo place we pass every day after school. Yesterday, it just so happened that the Memorial Day holiday combined with the hot temperatures proved to be the perfect time to go. So, Sloan and Beau hopped in my car and we drove to Froyo Earth in the Spokane Valley.

Most of you probably didn’t know that about a decade ago I was a froyo connoisseur. Although I am no longer an expert on the frozen yogurt scene, you probably aren’t surprised that I have some observations from yesterday’s experience…

Yesterday, we visited the Froyo Earth location in the Spokane Valley.

Kids choose weird flavors. Sloan opted for the dynamic and agreeable froyo combination of cake batter and watermelon sorbet.

Kids choose even weirder toppings. To go on top of her exquisitely paired flavors, she chose peach sugar rings, boba pearls, and marshmallows.

Sloan putting peach rings on her froyo.

Fun and games. It was something along the lines of “Monday Guess Day” where you could guess the weight of your froyo at the scale. Those who correctly guessed to the nearest ounce received their treat for free. My estimate was seven ounces over.

Pricey. Sloan and I each grabbed the smallest cup and filled it with a modest amount of ice cream but the bill was still more than $12.

But what about Beau? Our 3-year-old was so exhausted with our day that included stops at three parks and water toy fun in our backyard that he slept in my arms the entire time we were in Froyo Earth.

You Gotta Be Kidding. A month after I wrote my passionate post about the absurdity of current tip culture, I was flipped a tip screen for our $12 bill…at a froyo shop. Yes, the froyo shop where I did everything myself to help a giddy 6-year-old girl fill her cup while I tried to fill my own at the same time that I held a toddler in my arm.

Almost worth it. Hats off to Froyo Earth, our frozen yogurt was delicious. Texture was on-point, the flavor was strong, and the toppings fresh. But for $12 should I have expected anything less?

On second thought… Maybe I am being too much of a scrooge. The visit was in fact worth it because Sloan was on the moon. She loved her froyo as she ate every bite with a smile while constantly saying, “This is the best day ever!”

Sloan had such a cool time at Froyo Earth that it made the price and tip solicitation worth it.


I had the urge to go through the yogurt line again but thankfully self-control and financial responsibility won out. Through the positives and negatives of the experience, the ultimate silver lining was that Sloan had a special time. Don’t Blink.

Wrapping Up the 2023 T-Ball Season

Sloan concluded her 2023 Spokane Indians Youth Baseball (SIYB) t-ball season last week. Her second season playing “ball” was a little different than her first so I thought I would chronicle the five themes unique to her time with the Red Pandas. Let’s do it…

“Friendly” Team – Last year was special because Sloan played with her cousin. But to make the arrangement work, we had to drive far up north for every practice and game. This year we decided to stay closer to the Spokane Valley and because of that Sloan landed on a team with a lot of her friends from school. Five of Sloan’s Red Panda teammates are in her Kindergarten class which made things a lot of fun.

Sloan and her teammate/friend/classmate Aminah posed for buddy photos during team pictures.

Fans – Besides Sid, Beau, and I cheering on Sloan each game, she had other special fans show up at the ball field as well. My parents alternated between my nephew’s games and Sloan’s games which allowed them to catch half of her schedule. My brother also came out to support his niece and play a little catch. For the last game, our family friend, Kailey, came out to surprise Sloan. It was great to have so many people cheering our ball player on.

Sloan had special fans come out to watch her play this season.

First Base Coach – I was delighted when Coach Bob asked me to coach first base for the Red Pandas. This opportunity allowed me to get to know each kid on the team pretty well. Trust me, the many conversations I had with the players when they reached first base were priceless. Although the interaction I had with the children was the best part, I also enjoyed offering encouragement, exchanging high fives, and providing base path instruction.

That’s me coaching first as Sloan rounds the base.

Hardware – Playing for the Red Pandas resulted in Sloan earning her first ever trophy. Sure, it was a participation trophy but it definitely made her feel special to receive it. The trophy is currently proudly displayed in a prominent spot in her room.

Sloan holds her t-ball trophy at the Pizza Hut team party as Beau manages to get in the photo.

Fantastic Coaches – We were extremely lucky to have Coach Bob and Coach Shauna lead the team. They approached the season with plenty of organization, enthusiasm, and patience. They did so many special “extras” such as putting the names of the kids on the back of their jerseys, bringing water to every practice/game, buying the team trophies, throwing an end-of-season pizza party, and more. They injected an abundance of positive energy to the Red Pandas!

Coach Bob and Coach Shauna did such a great job with the team!


Congrats to Sloan for taking her t-ball commitment seriously by making every practice and game. We really enjoyed watching her play but will appreciate having a couple days back in the week 😊 Don’t Blink.

Happy 12th Ordination Anniversary, Fr. Jeff

It is a date that Sidney and I now celebrate just like family birthdays and our wedding anniversary. When May 26 rolls around we immediately recognize it for one reason: The ordination anniversary of our pastor, Fr. Jeff Lewis.

Today, Friday, May 26, 2023, Fr. Jeff Lewis celebrates his 12th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Earlier this week we got a head start on the celebrating as we recognized his anniversary at our Engaged Encounter meeting.

Today marks the 12th anniversary of when Fr. Jeff was ordained to the priesthood. We are proud to say we have known “Papa J” for almost a quarter of those dozen years.

During the nearly three years we have known Fr. Jeff, he has helped get us involved in different ministries. One of those is St. Mary’s marriage prep Pre-Cana program where we get the opportunity to mentor engaged couples. This photo is of Sid, Fr. Jeff. and I with Sarah and Brendan–a couple we mentored who will get married in July.

The first time we walked through the doors of St. Mary Catholic Church, Fr. Jeff greeted us immediately. After some small talk he asked us where we lived in the Spokane Valley. We told him the area where we had recently settled and even though we were on the wrong side of Pines Road and thus outside the parish lines, Fr. Jeff laughed and said, “It’s okay, you’re welcome here anyway…just don’t tell Fr. Kevin” (Fr. Kevin Oiland is the pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, the Catholic community we technically should have attended based on geography).

Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin Oiland started a Young Adult Group for Spokane Valley Catholics. It launched 2.5 years ago and because of the time and energy that Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin devoted to it, our group continues to grow and thrive. This effort by the two priests really helped Sidney and I find friends and grow in our faith upon moving to Washington.

Fr. Jeff was exactly what we needed after our cross country move and Sidney’s recent conversion to Catholicism. We joined his Young Adult Group that he started with Fr. Kevin and from there he kept getting us more and more involved in other ministries—both at the parish and diocesan levels. Just a text message away, Fr. Jeff has always been there for us. Whether we have needed him for the sacraments, a house blessing, prayer support, his presence at retreats/events, a Hoopfest sponsorship, or a host of other things, he continues to be that constant rock in our daily drive to grow closer to God.

Fr. Jeff Lewis with us at our house blessing.

We admire Fr. Jeff for his faith, self-deprecating sense of humor, and the insane schedule he maintains. Sidney and I are grateful for how much he cares about St. Mary School and its mission to deliver the best Catholic education possible. Speaking of children, it warms our hearts how he always makes time for Sloan and Beau, effortlessly connecting with them no matter the situation. I am inspired by his ambitious goals for evangelization, his commitment to his parishioners, and his love/defense of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Jeff has a genuine love for children…and the relationship is reciprocal! You should see how excited Sloan and Beau get when they see Fr. Jeff.

In my life, I have never had a priest as invested in me as Fr. Jeff. Because of this, I can only say Thanks Be To God. Let us pray that impactful and holy priests like Fr. Jeff Lewis continue to be invigorated by their vocation. Happy anniversary to our very special pastor. Don’t Blink.

Wine Thursday Rundown

Hello again friends. I know I always act surprised when a new month is around the corner, but can you believe that next week’s Thursday Rundown will be published in June? But for the time being let’s not worry about next month and instead focus on this month with tonight’s rundown. Here are five topics…

National Wine Day – Happy National Wine Day to all my wine connoisseur friends who enjoy nothing more than curling up on the couch with a glass (or two). However, you won’t find me celebrating. I have been pretty vocal about my distaste for wine, going as far as to include it on my famous The Drinks I Hate list. I find wine too complicated for a simple dude like myself. I like my drinks to be refreshing and wine is definitely not a beverage you drink to satisfy your thirst. I admit it, when it comes to this “holiday” I am a scrooge.

I received a Total Wine gift card for Christmas and I love the store! But I won’t be using it to buy wine 😉

Lilac Parade – Last Saturday, I took the kids to Spokane’s Armed Forces Torchlight Lilac Parade. The day set a city record for hottest May 20 ever which boded well for a night parade. We met my sister and her children for the event that features floats, military personnel/vehicles, and high school bands. After taking Sloan to last year’s parade, Beau got to experience it for the first time this go-around. Everyone had a blast and the kids had no problem returning to the house at 11 p.m.

Beau and Sloan at the 2023 Lilac Parade on Saturday night.

A Man Called Otto – Sidney and I recently watched “A Man Called Otto” on Netflix. Starring Tom Hanks, the film originated in theaters but is now available to stream. The whole time I watched it, I couldn’t help but think this just an updated version of Gran Torino. Not saying that is a bad thing because I thought “Gran Torino” was an awesome movie and I felt the same way about “A Man Called Otto.” Tom Hanks plays a bitter aging man who is eventually able to make peace with the world because of some people who come into his life. Hanks is great in the film and I would 100% recommend it if you are looking for a movie to watch with your spouse this Memorial Day weekend.

Sidney and I enjoyed watching “A Man Called Otto.”

Spirit Week – St. Mary School just wrapped up Spirit Week. It started with Mismatch/Crazy Hair Day on Monday, Career Day on Tuesday, Sports Day on Wednesday, and concluded with Decade Day today. Sloan participated each day and enjoyed the opportunity to take a break from wearing her uniform.

Sloan on Mismatch/Crazy Hair Day of Spirit Week at St. Mary School.

Classic Chinese Restaurant Experience – There is nothing better than an excellent outing at the local Chinese restaurant. Last Friday night we ate at the Dragon Inn on Sprague in Spokane for the first time. It had everything from a marquee with an inspiring message to a fountain with a dragon emerging from it to a yummy sweet and sour sauce. Did it stand out enough for us to go out of our way to visit again soon? No, but if we are ever in the area and hungry we will definitely consider walking through the doors.

We had a decent experience at Dragon Inn in Spokane Valley on Sprague.


That will wrap things up. If you enjoyed this blog post with a glass of wine, more power to you! Stay safe out there and let’s pray for kindness and civility in our country. Don’t Blink.

Same Name

My mom tells the following story whenever the opportunity presents itself. When I was just a little older than Beau, my dad and I walked over to our next door neighbor’s house. When we arrived, our neighbor had a contractor over. Upon my dad meeting him, he excitedly told me that his name was “Brent” too.

I didn’t share my dad’s enthusiasm.

A meltdown ensued as I demanded he change his name because there could only be one “Brent” in the world. Never mind the fact that he had the name first, I was predestined to be the sole Brent to walk the planet. My tantrum was intense.

Last night at Sloan’s t-ball game, Beau played with the son of a fellow team parent. This little boy was also 3 years old, born in February, and…(drum roll)…named “Beau.” It was the first time that Beau had hung out with someone who shared his name. And, no, he did not suffer a breakdown like his daddy did 30+ years before him.

We did chat with the parent about names and identities. To us, Beau is Beau (if that makes sense). He encapsulates the name in our minds. For another little boy to also have the name does feel a tad bit strange.

Beau is a Beau to us.

I think this is just another illustration of how humans are self-absorbed creatures. Names are such a central part of our identity that it can be hard to go beyond that and realize that other people share it as well—whether it be our own name or that of our toddler.

Instead, we need to frame shared names as a special connection with the person or people who also have it bestowed on them. We need to celebrate the other person for also having good taste, right? I think for the most part we embrace this but sometimes it is harder to grasp for ornery little boys and parents (like Sid and I) who hold their children as the center of their world. Don’t Blink.

Cancel The “Taco Tuesday” Trademark

Because I grew up in Spokane and then lived in Missoula for several years thereafter, I became familiar with Taco John’s. Although I didn’t eat there on a regular basis, I was still fond of the regional fast food Mexican chain that served its signature Potato Oles.

I always thought Taco John’s was pretty solid.

However, one bit of trivia that I was not aware of at that time was that Taco John’s actually trademarked the phrase “Taco Tuesday.” That’s right, the Patent and Trademark office approved the trademark for Taco John’s back in 1989.

Fast forward almost 35 years later and “Taco Tuesday” is a major cultural event for bars, restaurants, and family dining rooms across the country. In fact, back in September of 2020, I wrote about the insane level the Taco Tuesday phenomenon had reached and even revealed that our family observes its own Taco Tuesday.

A couple tacos prepared at one of our family Taco Tuesday evenings.

Thankfully, Taco John’s isn’t coming after Sid and I with cease and desist letters to halt our usage of the phrase during our Tuesday dinners. The same is true for the local dive near our house that uses the popular phrase every Tuesday when it offers up the greasiest tacos you have ever seen.

But while American homes and local watering holes are seemingly safe from Taco Tuesday trademark enforcement, the same can’t be said for Taco John’s competitors. Needless to say, the worldwide giant of Mexican fast food is counted as a worthy rival and restricted from using the alliterative term. However, Taco Bell is officially sick of it.

Sloan enjoying a Taco Tuesday at our house a couple years ago.

Last week, Taco Bell filed a petition of cancellation to the Patent and Trademark office asking for “Taco Tuesday” to no longer be trademarked. Now, I am usually a guy who will side with the underdog to exploit any competitive advantage it might hold over a gigantic corporation, but I must side with Taco Bell on this one.

I think we can all admit that the term “Taco Tuesday” is not overly creative and very much generic. It is a phrase comprised of a popular Mexican food and a day of the week for Pete’s sake. Any kindergartener could naturally piece together the phrase, no marketing background needed. A trademark is issued to help a business distinguish itself from competitors, but other than the ultra amount of media coverage Taco John’s has garnered because of the Taco Bell challenge, no one in the country ever connected “Taco Tuesday” with Taco John’s.

While my argument above is that “Taco Tuesday” should never have received trademark protection in the first place, Taco Bell is arguing its case from a slightly different angle. The main argument of Yum Brands, which owns the Taco Bell brand, is that “Taco Tuesday” has reached a point where it is so common that it is now a “ubiquitous term.” It cites terms such as escalator, aspirin, and yo-yo that used to be trademarked but had the protection removed because of how common and mainstream the words had become.

Taco Tuesday is simply not a Taco John’s “thing.” Let’s use common sense and remove the “Taco Tuesday” trademark. Don’t Blink.

A Dozen Years of “Don’t Blink”

Make it a dozen. Last weekend I celebrated my 12th anniversary of Don’t Blink. For those itching to guess my age, I can now say that I have authored my blog for exactly a third of my life. During that span, I have written more than 2,340 posts.

I have authored “Don’t Blink” for 12 years…way before these children were born! (thanks to Sloan for making her own handmade sign to commemorate the anniversary).

Just a quick history lesson: My blog launched as a Blogger site back in 2011. After a year of writing on that free platform, I decided to “get serious.” During a summer night in 2012, my friend and I bellied up at our favorite college bar so we could use the establishment’s free internet. With drinks in hand, he set me up on WordPress and we purchased my current domain name (brentreser.com).

So while the destination to Don’t Blink has been the same for most of its existence, the primary goal has not. I started blogging as a cocky young 20-something who wanted to spout off his “insightful” hot takes. As my ego lessened (but just a bit) I started writing more to maintain a personal brand, strategically grow my digital footprint, and increase my professional prospects. These days, I am no longer writing solely for me. Rather, I put forth such an effort with this blog to chronicle memories. My posts have become dramatically more family-centered over the last several years. It is less about my opinion and more about lifestyle. My hope is that my writings will forever remind my family about these precious years and be something that my children will value decades down the road.

Call it perspective, I guess.

Cheers to 12 years of blogging, indeed (and cheers to my wife’s artistic skills).

I questioned the sustainability of this blog during my past several major life events, especially when I got married and when my children were born. But I have continued to write. And at this current point in my existence, I don’t see anything—including a major lack of sleep from writing late at night and early in the morning—preventing me from publishing blog posts. Besides, I just paid my annual hosting dues so you are stuck with me for at least another year.

Thank you to everyone who chooses to hang around. I have never suffered from a lack of reader support and for that I am grateful. For all my posts about silly TikTok trends and nerdy food reviews, I hope that every now and then I publish something that actually resonates with you. Again, thank you. Don’t Blink.

Eccentric Pancakes Thursday Rundown

I can’t help but feel optimistic. The weather is gorgeous, the days are longer, and the birds are chirping. Summer is on the horizon. But before we get to that point, I want to enjoy the rest of what has been a busy and fun month of May. Let’s go to the Thursday Rundown…

May At St. Mary – Speaking of May, it has been a blessed month for Sloan at St. Mary. She helped with the Mary crowning, participated in a special children’s rosary, and won a class raffle for a Happy Meal lunch. But what really made me proud was on Tuesday when she delivered a reading during the school mass. Proclaiming from the Acts of the Apostles, Sloan stood at the lectern and read flawlessly in front of the entire school and a crowd of parents. I admired the bravery of Sloan and her classmates who also read during the mass.

It has been a busy month at St. Mary School in Spokane Valley. Photos include Sloan and her friend holding Mary’s crown, the group of children who prayed the rosary, and Sloan delivering the reading at the school mass.

Lucky Charms Pancakes – On Mother’s Day, Sidney requested I make my famous pancakes. I happily obliged and in addition to the traditional buttermilk hot cakes I made for her, I whipped up something a little different for the kids. I had a package of Lucky Charms pancake mix that I threw on the griddle for Sloan and Beau. The mix itself had Lucky Charms bits inside it and the box was accompanied with a package of actual Lucky Charms pieces that I sprinkled on top. Overall, the Lucky Charm pancakes were better than the Cinnamon Toast Crunch pancakes I made 15 months ago.

Despite Beau’s scowl, these Lucky Chams pancakes weren’t that bad.

Last MLB Game – It is hard to believe that it has been four years since I last attended a Major League Baseball game. On this date in 2019, Sidney and I visited brand new SunTrust Park to watch the Atlanta Braves host the Milwaukee Brewers. Sid’s parents took care of Sloan as we had a fantastic weekend that also included TopGolf and Cheesecake Factory. Perhaps we will break our MLB drought this summer and go to a Seattle Mariners game.

A photo of Sidney and I from our seats at SunTrust Park on May 18, 2019.

Mother’s Day Photo – During our Mother’s Day celebration at my parents’ house, my siblings and I took a break from the good food, ladder golf, and the metal detector to snap this photo with my mom. We sure owe a lot of gratitude to her for all she has done for us over 3+ decades.

My sister, brother, and I stand with my mom.

7th Grade School Photo – Not much else to share tonight so I thought I would throw in this headshot of a pudgy seventh grader. Let’s hope Beau doesn’t go through this awkward phase 😂

My school photo from seventh grade at Northwood Middle School in north Spokane.


Yet another Thursday Rundown is now in the books. Thanks for reading and keep your eyes open for a rare Friday blog post tomorrow. Don’t Blink.

Not Striking Gold

It was another perfect Mother’s Day celebration at my parents’ house this past weekend. The weather was gorgeous, we ate grilled hamburgers on my dad’s new deck, and we played competitive games of ladder golf.

Mother’s Day 2023 was a blessing with beautiful weather, delicious food, and fantastic moms.

However, come to think of it, there may have been one thing that wasn’t so perfect.

As a kid, I dreamed about how cool it would be to have a metal detector. The way I saw it, there was buried treasure waiting to be found in every yard or park I stepped foot in. If only I had the right implement to verify where my fortune rested.

I do remember a particularly magical moment from my childhood when we had a family gathering at Pioneer Park, Walla Walla’s oldest and largest green space. We spotted a man with a metal detector searching near our picnic tables. Much to the poor dude’s chagrin, a few of us kids became his shadow and followed him around the area as he ran his device over the ground. I remember he had small digging tools with him and would artfully puncture the ground when he found a hit worth investigating. Although we didn’t find anything of value while stalking him, my fascination grew.

The years passed and I became an adult. Up until Sunday I had never placed my hands on a metal detector despite my dream of going on treasure hunts. Well, wouldn’t you know it? For my sister’s birthday in March she was given a metal detector—apparently she had the same aspirations as me.

Over the past couple months, she has taken it to the campground where her family stays, the park across the street from my parents’ house, and other various locations. On Sunday, I asked her to bring it over to the Mother’s Day celebration. She obliged.

Miranda gave me permission to “play” with her new toy. When I removed it from the trunk of her car, I realized that it wasn’t some rinky-dink metal detector. Rather, it was a high-tech piece of equipment with multiple settings and all the bells and whistles. Alright, let’s do this.

I took the metal detector to my parents’ yard and started to search for the gold that I knew always existed within the earth. Of course, much in the same way that I observed the man in the park years ago, I suddenly had my own kids and Miranda’s kids tracking my every move.

Unfortunately, sometimes the fantasy doesn’t quite live up to the reality.

Although it was exhilarating at first to move around with the detector, I kind of started to lose interest with it. It wasn’t that I was not registering hits with it—because I was—but there is only so much you can pursue when your dad has stricter “no dig” rules than the Utilities and Transportation Commission. And even if I did have permission to disrupt even a single blade of grass on my dad’s prized lawn, I wouldn’t really know where to start as pretty much the whole premises made the detector go off. Gigantic treasure chest that spanned the entire area or sprinklers and pipes? Sadly, most likely the latter.

It wasn’t long before the detector was off my hand and in the possession of the aspiring young buccaneers who had matched every step I had taken for the past 15 minutes.

I wouldn’t say that my time with the metal detector was a complete bust. I just think it was impossible for it to live up to my expectations that were years and years in the making. I believe if in the future I am able to conduct a “Round 2” in a spot where I can dig freely that isn’t tainted with irrigation equipment, I might have a better experience…and perhaps even find some gold. Don’t Blink.