Not So Awkward Moments

I am working out at a new gym this week and I received quite the surprise this morning. As I was about to march off to the cardio section of this particular north Spokane gym, I heard someone call out my name.

“Hey, Brent Reser?”

My direction turned to the man who said my name. We had entered the gym around the same time and I had definitely noticed him but didn’t think there was any connection as he was wearing a hat and we were both focused on our workouts. But as I gazed over at him with a slightly puzzled look, he ended the mystery by quickly identifying himself. It was my high school assistant principal!

We took just a couple minutes to catch up but it was really nice to see him after so many years. It also helped that he told me I didn’t look much older since the day I graduated high school (yeah right! 😂).

Since moving back to my hometown three years ago, I can say that it has been such a joy re-connecting with people from my childhood and teen years. To be honest, when I returned to Spokane in 2020 after 15 years away, I thought it might be awkward to see people who I last saw a decade and a half ago. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Over the past few years, I have run into old friends and acquaintances at the store, community events, and the park. I have also bumped into blasts from the past under more unique circumstances. For example, on Halloween when I was passing out candy at my parents’ house, an old classmate brought his child to the door. Last weekend at the wedding I attended, the photographer was an old elementary school friend. And then of course this morning I chatted with my high school principal as we pumped iron.

Each time I have engaged with someone after not seeing them for 15 years or more, I have walked away feeling energized. It hasn’t been weird or uncomfortable but rather interesting and a little inspiring. No matter how small the role we had played in each other’s lives, we were able to recognize that history and celebrate it.

I didn’t attend my 10-year high school reunion because I was living on the east coast at the time. But even if geographic limitations didn’t factor into my absence, I don’t know if I would have attended. With my 20-year reunion just a couple years away, I am actually looking forward to it.

I feel fortunate to live in the area where I grew up and I have appreciated re-uniting with some of those people who I knew from my original/first stint in Spokane. It is important to embrace, not avoid, these opportunities. Don’t Blink.

For Par Thursday Rundown

The time has come for my latest Thursday Rundown and the final one of July. Let’s get this party started with five topics…

Froyo Date – Back in June, I wrote about a list Sloan made for school that detailed her summer plans. An item on that list indicated she wanted to “Eat at Froyo Earth on 7-3-23 at 10:20.” Although we were over three weeks late, Sloan finally had her froyo with Robbie, the classmate she made the intention with. It was awesome to get the two together and see the plans they made actually materialize!

Robbie and Sloan at the froyo outing they organized.

Golf Night – On Friday evening I dusted off the golf clubs. My childhood best friend asked me to play a round after work at Deer Park Golf Club. With a 6:30 p.m. tee time, the course was pretty quiet by the time we got on it. We had a fantastic time catching up and swinging the sticks. As for my golf game? Terrible!

It was a lot of fun to play golf with John at Deer Park Golf Club.

Crazy Price Difference – When picking up a certain over the counter medicine (sorry for TMI) at our neighborhood grocery store, I couldn’t believe the price difference between the premium and generic products. Now granted the Imodium had more caplets than the generic but that price gap of $13.80 was pretty intense. I will always buy generic name brand medication over premium but unfortunately it wasn’t an option this time. Evidently everyone else had already made the sane decision to pass on a $15.19 product in favor of a $1.39 one.

The price difference is just bonkers.

Stream of Week: Bling Ring – Way back at the beginning of our relationship, Sidney and I watched the movie “Bling Ring.” It was based on the true life events of Los Angeles teenagers who broke into the homes of multiple Hollywood celebrities and stole their stuff. Fast forward nearly a decade since we watched the movie and we recently finished up Netflix’s “The Real Bling Ring” docuseries. Over the course of three episodes, two of the actual perpetrators are brutally honest about their crimes. Although they are now repentant, you will be knocked off your feet by the audacity, entitlement, and thirst for fame they had while committing the crimes.

It was interesting to hear Alexis and Nick tell their stories.

Pet Rock – I was today years old when I learned that “pet rocks” used to be a thing. I guess in 1975 a guy came up with the concept when after his friends complained about the significant commitment of owning a pet. This entrepreneur wanted to find a “pet” that didn’t require such strenuous care. The dude sold 1.5 million pet rocks in a short period of time before the fad slowed down. Sidney and Sloan keep asking for a pet…I wonder if a rock will pacify them?

This guy became a millionaire because he sold pet rocks.


Huge weekend for our family coming up but more on that later. I hope everyone is able to enjoy these last remaining July days. Don’t Blink.

The X-Pulsion of Twitter

To be honest, I was a little angry.

Over the course of nine months, I observed an ego maniac cripple a social media giant with bad decision after bad decision. I watched this guy treat his employees like garbage, strive to create deliberate division, and chase whatever impulse he felt entitled to even if it was to the detriment of his company. I cheered when this toxic “leader” supposedly removed himself from day-to-day operations of Twitter by announcing a new CEO.

So after all the turmoil and damage that Elon Musk caused, I was happy when Twitter seemingly scored a big win. This past weekend, engagement numbers for the new social media platform that was supposed to send Twitter to its grave were released…and they weren’t good.

Forbes reported that the daily active user count for Threads plummeted from 44 million on July 7 to 13 million this past weekend. Even worse, the average daily time spent on the app tanked from 19 minutes in early July to four minutes as of July 21. Compare that to Twitter’s 200 million active users and average daily time spent on app of 30 minutes and you would think that new bird boss Linda Yaccarino and her crew would be toasting champagne. After so many months of crummy developments, Twitter notched a victory by standing strong against its latest (and what was supposed to be its “greatest”) direct competitor.

Leave it to Elon to sabotage the positive momentum.

I wasn’t impressed by Elon Musk’s name/logo change (graphic courtesy of The Mirror).

Twitter Deserved Better

I am disappointed in the rushed and Mickey Mouse-esque way in which Twitter was “re-branded” to X. Even as a digital marketing professional who knows the greatest constant of social media is change, what happened in this case was an impulsive shit show. A platform that has meant so much to millions of users over the span of 17 years deserved better than to be ousted overnight and replaced by a single letter with a logo that looked like it was created on Kids Pix.

Sorry to sound cranky, but I am also irked from a professional standpoint. The haphazard “re-brand” means our WSU team needs to swap out countless Twitter depictions found in areas such as our website, residence hall posters, online social media directories, and even my analytics reporting spreadsheets. But even more frustrating than swapping a bird for an X is that I have been answering for Elon to my WSU colleagues for nine months now. I have given him way too much leeway while advising my fellow Cougs to stay the course. But when is enough truly enough?

X Isn’t Going Anywhere

Well, enough is still not enough…at least not for now. Despite Musk’s latest and most extreme stunt, the sun still rose for the platform now known as X. On Monday morning, my favorites like CNN, Darren Rovell and the Seattle Mariners were all still twe—I mean Xing? Despite the hideous new logo, the app is still essentially the same microblogging platform it was before Sunday. We shook our fists at Elon and mocked the rollout but it was still business as usual in terms of content deployment on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

So, yes, once again I advise not to pause/delete your X presence. The vast majority of accounts will continue to exist and engage on the platform and the stakes may be too high not to participate. If Twi—sorry, X—has proven one thing over the past nine months it’s that it is stronger and more resilient than a man who seems hellbent on destroying it.

Elon’s Motives Aren’t Mine

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so appalled at Elon Musk’s quest to dismantle what we knew as Twitter. After all, it is his company and his priorities aren’t mine. I look at the changes happening through the lens of a social media strategist who wants to preserve X as the social media powerhouse it once was. That’s not Elon’s vision. He wants to make X an enterprise that people depend on for fulfilling the most pressing tasks of life. With a goal like that, I guess I can see why posting updates about what you ate for breakfast might not be his primary concern.

But based on Musk’s decision making, maybe I am giving him too much credit. Although I can see why he would buy a platform with millions of users to springboard his lofty goals, I don’t think the way he treats people nor the prideful esteem he holds himself in will translate to the glory he is seeking.


So let the X era begin. I hate being held mercy at the hands of a whiny billionaire but as I have said time and time again, we must adapt to the constantly changing ecosystem of social media. Don’t Blink.


This past Saturday, our family had the blessing to attend a special wedding. We sat inside St. Mary Catholic Church as Brendan Quinn and Sarah Hiller entered into the sacrament of holy matrimony. We became part of the lives of Brendan and Sarah when Fr. Jeff Lewis asked us to provide their Pre-Cana marriage prep counseling. It was a very rewarding few months for all involved as we went through six content lessons plus an introductory meeting and then a casual debrief session at a Spokane Valley Mexican restaurant with Fr. Jeff.

A photo of us with Brendan, Sarah, and Fr. Jeff in March. This was taken at De Leon Foods in the Spokane Valley at the conclusion of our marriage prep program with the Quinns.

We were delighted and honored that Brendan and Sarah extended the relationship we had forged by inviting us to their special day. The entire afternoon/evening was beautiful but here are three quick things that I remember especially fondly from the #QuinnTheDay experience.

Sidney and I pose for a photo with Brendan and Sarah at their wedding reception.

Holy Wedding – Whenever I attend a Catholic wedding, I am always in awe at the reverence devoted to the most holy sacrament of matrimony. Saturday’s mass was incredible and such a fantastic start for the Quinns. In Fr. Jeff’s homily, he preached how God made woman as the perfect complement to man. However, he illustrated this point in the direct context of Sarah and Brendan which was pretty hilarious. Brendan was portrayed as a golf-obsessed cave man and Sarah was the woman who carried him out of the stone age 😂.

Sarah and Brendan up at the altar with Fr. Jeff Lewis. Sarah and Brendan were married at St. Mary Catholic Church in Spokane Valley on July 22, 2023.

Sidney on the Altar – Brendan and Sarah humbled Sid and I by asking if one of us would do the opening reading at their wedding. Believing that the guests would be more captivated by a sweet Southern accent proclaiming God’s word instead of my boring, accent-neutral monotone, Sidney represented us. She read Genesis 2:18-24 and did a really nice job. Sidney has expressed interest in becoming a full-time lector at St. Mary for regular Sunday masses and this was a perfect way for her to get a taste of what it takes…I think she has it!

Sidney delivers a reading at the wedding of Sarah and Brendan at St. Mary Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley.

Butch Appearance – The reception was at Center Place in Spokane Valley and it was so much fun! Sloan and Beau had a blast dancing the night away and the food/drink was such a treat. But what really stood out was the ultimate wedding reception surprise of all! Early on, the DJ teased that a special guest was about to make an appearance. At that moment, the WSU fight song started to play and Butch T. Cougar ran out onto the dance floor, a grand entrance indeed! Butch stayed for a couple hours as he interacted with guests, posed for pictures in the photo booth, and gave plenty of well-deserved attention to the Coug-crazed bride and groom. Both my kids were starstruck!

A big highlight of the #QuinnTheDay experience was Butch. What a surprise!!


Sidney and I wish the Quinns a happy, faith-filled marriage. It is worth saying again: We are so blessed to be part of their lives. Don’t Blink.

Teeth Thursday Rundown

Yesterday was the 200th day of 2023…I hope your year is going well! Consider me honored that you have returned for another Thursday Rundown. Without further ado, let’s get to tonight’s five topics…

Weird Teeth – I have always known that George Washington had fake teeth but I was under the impression that they were wooden. Sloan and I recently read an awesome book about oral care called “The Tooth Book” and in addition to all the great tips about maintaining healthy teeth, it also had some interesting trivia. That’s how I learned that Washington’s dentures were made of ivory, gold, human teeth, and ANIMAL TEETH. Animal teeth in your mouth?! That would be just a little too weird for me.

“The Tooth Book” was educational and entertaining.

Losing My First Tooth – Okay, because we are on the subject of teeth and because Sloan is so mad that she has not lost her first tooth yet, I thought I would share the below photo. “The Tooth Book” says that kids lose their first tooth between the ages of 6-7 and I believe I was right in that range for this picture but I am not 100% sure. As for Sloan, I am telling her to just be patient as she is low key freaking out that she still has all her baby teeth.

A photo of me as a little boy after I lost my first tooth.

National Fortune Cookie Day – Today is the day we celebrate fortune cookies. I don’t care for their taste but the messages do intrigue me. In fact, they interest me so much that 10 years ago I went to every Chinese restaurant in Missoula to snag some of their fortune cookies. I then went back to my apartment, cracked them open, and compared the fortunes. This is what I found.

A photo of me with fortune cookies laid out in my apartment.

Churro Kit Kat – This portion of the rundown might be kind of a letdown because I didn’t actually try them, but Sloan and I encountered Churro Kit Kat bars at our neighborhood grocery store last night. Perhaps the reason why I didn’t give them a try is because I am not a big fan of churros (or Kit Kats for that matter). But Sloan and I thought we would let the world know that they exist. Okay, I am done with that.

Sloan poses next to the Churro Kit Kat display in the Harvest Foods grocery story on Trent in Spokane Valley.

Stream of the Week – I managed to watch the five episodes of the American Gladiators documentary over the course of several nights. On Netflix and titled “Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators,” the documentary will produce some nostalgia for those of us who remember the show. I recall watching reruns as a young boy during the summer and I fondly remember the “Family Matters” episode where Steve and Carl competed on it. The documentary tells some wild stories and offers interesting insight about how the series was created and the extremely challenging first season that ensued. I found it pretty entertaining!

The Netflix documentary on the American Gladiators was entertaining.


That will wrap things up for tonight. We have endless hot weather on tap here in Spokane and I plan to enjoy it. Hope everyone has an excellent weekend. Don’t Blink.

It’s A Snake!

On Friday night, Sloan ran into the house full of excitement.

“Can I pet the snake?!”

After she blurted out the question in a winded and enthusiastic tone, she managed to add a couple of sentences of context. Some neighbors had a snake in their yard and they wanted to make sure Sloan had permission to touch it. Sidney and I looked at each other.

“You go!” my wife commanded.

You bet I will, I thought. I was as excited to be around this snake as Sloan was.

These neighbors live right off the street that we do. Because there is a little bit of distance separating us, it was the first time I had met them. What a way for us to become acquainted! I only needed to take a couple steps off my property before I could already see the snake.

The reptile was wrapped around the neck of my neighbor, Justin. Sally—the snake—was much larger than I had imagined. Sloan’s cul-de-sac friends and Beau were all standing around Justin as he taught the children about Sally in a very age appropriate and animated way.

Justin introduces Sally to the neighbor children.

Justin’s wife, Allie, was standing by with hand sanitizer for the kids. Sally originally belonged solely to Allie! When her and Justin started dating and later married, Sally was part of the deal. Although a little hesitant of Sally at first, Justin has completely warmed up to her.

Despite the very controlled situation, Sid couldn’t bring herself to meet Sally. If there is one fear that is most prevalent in my wife’s life, it is the fear of snakes. She has a tough enough time if one comes on the TV or if a snake is depicted in one of the books I read to Sloan and Beau.

In South Carolina, wild snakes slither freely. Our house in Myrtle Beach backed up to some woods and it was a haven for snakes. It wasn’t uncommon that they would come into our backyard. Sidney, who enjoys doing yard work, delegated all the lawn maintenance to me while we lived there 😊

We all have things that make us squirm. Bugs bring about the same reaction in me as snakes do for Sid. But snakes? I think they are cool and it was a treat to meet Sally on Friday. Don’t Blink.

The Forms of Stealing

There is a shopping center in the Spokane area that we frequent often. For those familiar with these parts, the Argonne Village is home to a Yoke’s supermarket, Pizza Hut, a hardware store, and even our gym. And, like most other shopping centers in Spokane, it also boasts a Dollar Tree.

Beau and Sloan navigate the candy aisle at Dollar Tree this past Saturday.

The past couple of times we have visited this particular Dollar Tree we have witnessed shoplifting. Each instance, a person gathered their items and made a bolt for the door. These individuals knew the significance of clearing the threshold of the entrance/exit door in context of Dollar Tree’s no-pursuit policy. The company mandates that the moment a customer steps foot on the pavement outside of the store, employees are prohibited from following or attempting to retrieve the stolen inventory.

Of course the policy doesn’t prevent the employees from telling the shoplifters off. The last time this escapade occurred my kids watched as the two gentlemen working the registers that day told the woman as she marched through the parking lot, in less than diplomatic terms, not to come back.

These recent episodes are very explicit and raw ways for Sloan and Beau to see what stealing is and how it is wrong. At the same time, it is my hope that we can convey to them that stealing isn’t always so obvious.

I think most of us can admit that we have stolen too. No, it might not be a brazen shoplifting attempt but perhaps in moments of weakness we have taken more than we were supposed to, cheated our employer of time, or pocketed something that we should have turned in.

Although not proud of it at all, I have a personal theft story. While in college, some friends and I thought it would be a good idea to “take” a souvenir from a couple of the bars we would frequent. Perhaps motivated by liquid courage and the erroneous thought that the glassware supply was endless, we each managed to swipe a pint glass from two Missoula bars after we drank the beer that was in them.

Oh, they will never miss a couple pint glasses, I rationalized. This is so far removed from “real” stealing, I told myself. Wrong and wrong.

I look back now on my act of stealing with disgust and embarrassment. Those two pint glasses? They stayed with me throughout my time in Missoula but when I moved to South Carolina my parents took my collection of pint glasses (both honestly obtained and the two that I swiped) back to their house. When we moved back to Spokane, the two that I stole from the bars still had spots in my mom’s cupboard.

I refuse to drink out of them.

It is important that my children know what stealing is, the specificity with which it is addressed in the Ten Commandments, and, eventually, the many forms it takes. Although they are at a young age where I feel they just need to be aware of the broad concept of stealing, I will have a humbling example (and the actual evidence) to share with them down the road. Don’t Blink.

A Camping Birthday Party

My sister knows how to throw a themed birthday party. Whether it be dinosaurs, unicorns, horses, or rainbows, Miranda can get pretty creative. Today my nephew turned 6 years old (exactly four months after Sloan turned the same age) but his birthday bash was yesterday. As you can imagine, it was themed…

Johnny and Sloan are once again the same age and it will still that way for the next 8 months.

Johnny’s birthday was based on camping! Just like Sloan’s Catholic Summer Camp last month, the party was all about embracing the wilderness.

Everyone sings “Happy Birthday” to John at his 6th birthday party.

For snacks, you could make a plate with classics such as firewood (pretzels), rainbow trout (Goldfish crackers), flames (cheese puffs), and bait (gummy worms)…

The snack table at the party topped with camping treats.

You could then play a rousing game of “Stick the marshmallow in the fire.” Don’t worry, no children were burnt by the flames—the beating sun did it instead…

“Stick the marshmallow in the fire” was a fun play on a classic.

My favorite part of the theme was the campground cake. Although from the exterior it looked like some pretty hardcore camping was taking place, when you cut in the vibe was more like glamping—a confetti cake layer and a red velvet layer…

My sister made this campground cake that was pretty cool.

Everyone then “sat around the campfire” for the opening of presents…

Johnny opens his presents at his 6th birthday party.

And of course the party attendees didn’t leave empty-handed…

Sloan holds her camping-themed party favors.

Happy 6th birthday, Johnny! Thanks for inviting us to your party and we hope you have many more real camping trips this summer. Don’t Blink.

National French Fry Day Thursday Rundown

Happy Thursday, friends! It is peak summertime and I hope you are enjoying every second of it. Let’s begin tonight’s rundown…

Ice Cold – Is the Reser family the only ones out there who throw ice? One of our longstanding traditions is to empty the cooler at the end of the day and then proceed to practice our aim. The other day I overturned the cooler in our own backyard and as the kids and I started to chuck ice, Sid asked, “Did you do that when you were young or something?” You bet! We are the best at cheap entertainment!

We got to do some ice throwing at my parents’ house on the Fourth of July.

Soda Machine Update – I have documented the magical soda machines on the side of the road here in Spokane and raved about the inexpensive prices. Sadly, a couple weeks ago I broke the news that the sodas would increase in price on July 6. At the time I didn’t know what the price increase would be but I now have that info. Beau and I paid a visit to the machines last week and the prices doubled. The 12 oz. cans increased from $.25 to $.50 and the 20 oz. bottles jumped from $.50 to $1. This is a pretty significant hike and it definitely takes some of the mystique away from the machines.

As Beau tries to steal a soda from the machine on the right, you can see that the machines have the new prices clearly displayed on them.

National French Fry Day – Today is National French Fry Day and because of that I must bring back the beloved French Fry chart that ranks and explains the different varieties of my wife’s favorite food. More than 7 years ago, I wrote about this chart and asked two questions: 1. Why aren’t spicy fries on the list? AND 2. Why are tater tots on the list? I wrote a lot more so you will just have to read the blog post but besides a couple of questionable calls on this chart, I sure think it is a thing of beauty.

This list ranking french fries is pretty cool.

Latest Beau Daycare Photos – St. Paschal’s Childcare recently sent home the prints from Beau’s latest photoshoot and once again they are so cute. Our son’s daycare went with an ocean theme this month and I had a hard time choosing which one to include in this post. I ended up opting for the the below image of him holding the lifesaver although the shots of him without the prop are adorable too.

Ahoy, Beau!

Capone – I have been on an Al Capone kick lately. Last week I finished a lengthy biography on the notorious gangster and I followed that up with watching “The Untouchables.” The film is from 1987 and it stars Robert De Niro as Capone and Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, a government agent and arch nemesis of Capone. The movie is historical fiction at best but it was fun to see two blockbuster actors star in a movie that was made when I was 1. There is also a shootout scene with a baby stroller that will put you on the edge of your seat. If the movie appeals to you at all, you can catch it on Paramount+.

“The Untouchables” wasn’t bad but was highly fictionalized.


Thanks for taking the time to read another Don’t Blink blog post. I wish you an awesome July weekend! Don’t Blink.

After 22 Years, I Will Be Watching

The summer of my freshman year of high school I was in Las Vegas. But on a particular night of that family vacation I could care less about the lights, excitement, and pretty girls that waited outside of our Strip hotel. Because on that hot July evening, all I wanted to do was stay inside our room with my eyes fixated on the television screen.

As a sports-obsessed 14-year-old, the only thing that mattered to me that night was the MLB All-Star Game. Not only did the spectacle of the best professional ball players converging in one spot for the Mid-Summer Classic captivate my attention but this particular year the game was played in Seattle at Safeco Field—the one place on earth that I loved more than any other. Add to all that the fact that the Mariners were having a record year with eight All-Stars on the American League squad and you could imagine that for a young man like myself it was must-see TV.

This game that took place 22 years ago was pretty special for me.

It was pure magical. I still remember vividly the many iconic moments that happened during that game: Alex Rodriguez trading positions with Cal Ripken Jr. Ichiro sprinting past Randy Johnson for an infield single. Ripken belting a ball out of the park in his last All-Star Game. Tommy Lasorda dramatically falling backwards when a bat flung his way. The good guys (the AL) picking up the W. It was simply everything that I hoped it would be.

Tonight, the MLB All-Star Game will once again return to Seattle. A lot has changed in 22 years. Safeco Field is now T-Mobile Park, the game of baseball has pitch clocks/instant replay/bigger bases, and I am no longer a sports nut. In fact, I haven’t watched an entire 9-inning MLB game all season. But that changes tonight.

Watching this evening’s All-Star Game is a priority for me. Of course I want to pay homage to that epic evening more than two decades ago when a star-struck boy put the glitz and glamour of Vegas on hold to watch a baseball game full of pageantry that was taking place in his backyard…or at least his home state. But in all honesty, whether tonight’s game was in Seattle or not, I would be tuning in. In my opinion, no other all-star game comes close to what Major League Baseball offers.

I also equate the MLB All-Star Game with summer. Aside from Independence Day, nothing screams July more than the Mid-Summer Classic. There isn’t any other game—Super Bowl included—that I can remember what I was doing at that moment. I have so many crystal clear memories that I can connect with All-Star Games over the years…it is a little crazy.

Because we don’t have cable, I won’t be able to watch the game at home tonight. That won’t stop me from catching the game. During lunch today, I will drive over to my parents’ house. I will work the afternoon from their home and then transition directly to watching the game with my dad. We are going to eat tacos and I am so excited!

I hope those who plan to watch tonight’s game enjoy it. I sure know I will. Crossing my fingers for many special moments and an American League victory. Don’t Blink.