Pickleball Thursday Rundown

Let’s open this blog post with the sobering reality that many people in our country are facing unimaginable hardships due to disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. Please pray for all those impacted and for the conclusion of these disastrous events. On that sad, but necessary, note, here are tonight’s five topics…

Night At Indians Game – On Wednesday evening we finally attended our first Spokane Indians game of the summer. Thanks to our friend Shauna (whose daughter, Aminah, is a great friend/classmate of Sloan) we had free tickets. Even better, Shauna arranged for Sloan to announce the first Indians batter. If you think I am lying, watch her flex her announcing chops here. It was a rainy day but it all cleared by first pitch as it was truly a gorgeous evening at Avista Stadium.

It was a great night for baseball at Avista Stadium as the Spokane Indians hosted the Everett AquaSox.

Other Drink Stand Business Models – Last night I told the story of the drink stand business model we concocted for Sloan. Well, there are many other creative options out there as well. Nearly eight years ago, several groups within a business class at Coastal Carolina University converged on Prince Lawn to compete against each other in a lemonade stand battle. Each group did something different and innovative to attract customers. I loved going from stand to stand and I wrote this blog post highlighting the models and tactics that each group used.

This was one of the lemonade stands I encountered on the Coastal Carolina University campus back in September 2015.

Pickleball – Our new neighborhood has a couple of really well-done pickleball courts and we are all about them. The Resers are now part of the national craze as we have ventured down to the courts multiple times for some family fun. Sidney bought a couple of the Target pickleball sets and they are working just fine for us at the moment. However, if we continue to have a blast playing, we might have to invest in equipment that is a little nicer 😎.

Sloan loves pickleball already!

Strike Force Five – It is kind of a neat concept. Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver are collaborating on a podcast to support their striking writers. Although I am not a fan of any of them, especially the first three I mentioned by last name, I admire what they are doing. When reading about it, I kept thinking, Could you imagine Letterman, Leno, and Conan doing this in their heyday?

I admire the teamwork of these five comedians.

What A Feat! – Early in my career I was a marketing director for an intercollegiate volleyball team so I understand the challenges of packing the venue with fans. Because of this experience, I was blown away by the 92,003 people who filled the University of Nebraska’s football stadium to watch the Cornhuskers volleyball team host Omaha. Many Division I football programs would be ecstatic if just a third of the fans that showed up in Lincoln went to a game in their venue. What transpired on Wednesday night reveals so much about Nebraska’s passion for women’s sports, the commitment of the institution’s marketing team, and the success of the volleyball program. How cool it must have been to watch that match in-person!

What an incredible and encouraging sight! (photo courtesy of CNN).


Okay, I think I am going to release all of you so you can enjoy a terrific Labor Day weekend. Be safe and savor these last official moments of summer. Don’t Blink.

Sloan’s Savvy Drink Stand Business Model

I wanted to offer a quick first grade “business model” if anyone is interested…

All summer, Sloan has been asking to do a lemonade stand. She sees them set up across the street from my parents’ house at the neighborhood park and has become a little obsessed. I loved doing lemonade (Kool-Aid) stands as a kid and I think I learned a lot too. However, my thought was that Sloan is still a little too young.

You see, my anxiety was at work again. Will she have the coordination to pour lemonade from a large pitcher into a cup? Probably not. Will she keep the stand organized and sanitary? Doubtful. Will she be able to accept bills, calculate change, and then distribute it correctly? Sloan is smart, but her development isn’t at the point yet to perform those tasks.

Weighing Sloan’s strong desire to do a lemonade stand with the reality that this is the last week of summer vacation, I tried to think of something that would give her a quasi-lemonade stand experience. An idea finally came to me yesterday morning at the gym.

We did a creative spin on the typical lemonade stand.

After my workout, I hustled over to Safeway and purchased cheap soda, bottled water, ice, and poster board. Back at home, I packed a cooler and Sidney wrote a sign. Later that morning, I set Sloan up in the front of our house. I gave her a chair and placed the cooler beside it. I put a bin in front of her that “displayed” the product she had to offer.

Sloan was in charge of her own complimentary soda stand. To bypass the concerns of her spilling lemonade all over the place, I totally removed the need for a pitcher. Sloan would just hand out canned soft drinks and bottled water. As for the possibly chaotic situation of Sloan making change? This business model didn’t charge customers for the refreshments. That’s right, we had a large sign that said, “FREE DRINKS.”

Our target audience was the many workers who are on our street each day building houses, installing lawns, painting walls, and performing every single other activity you would associate with erecting a brand new neighborhood. We figured these folks would appreciate a small reward for their hard work. We explained to Sloan that she was presiding over her first stand as a service to those making our neighborhood beautiful.

However, customers of Sloan felt compelled to leave “donations.” So even though Sloan didn’t go to work expecting to make money, she clocked out with plenty of cash in a plastic cup.

If you have a first grader who wants to do something fun with the last days of summer, I recommend our drink stand model. Provide pre-packaged drinks free of charge and you won’t have to worry about spills, messes, or change. The only thing you might have to worry about is your child becoming money hungry as those donations roll in. Don’t Blink.

Stopping the Beat

I have a question about a specific instance of human behavior and I am open to all of your theories!

When we moved earlier this month, I started going to a new gym. This place is actually another Snap Fitness and it is going to work out just fine for me. If you are familiar with Snap Fitness gyms, you know that these fitness centers aren’t elaborate by any means but aren’t basic sweat boxes either.

This is my new gym…Snap Fitness on Dishman-Mica in Spokane Valley.

I am usually the first one to arrive at this particular gym in the early morning. At this location, the “sound system” is a simple stereo that sits near the entrance. Sometimes it is turned on when I walk inside. In those instances when it is not turned on, I will flip the switch myself and set the volume at a medium level. I do this more for some background noise as I have never exercised with a personal music device/earbuds. As I wrote 10 years ago, my thoughts serve as my “music” more than anything.

Because I have such a relaxed disposition to music at the gym, what happens on the daily doesn’t bother me that much but it does make me curious. After I am pretty deep into my workout, a couple other people trickle in. Shortly after those regulars are pumping iron, I hit the treadmill. As I begin to run, a couple will walk in. Probably in their late 40s, both the man and woman are muscular and very fit. After they stretch out, the woman will come over and turn off the stereo.

But why?

Both individuals wear earbuds. This woman obviously notices that I don’t wear them and I am pretty sure at least one other person doesn’t as well. Don’t you think she would assume that since the music is playing and since we don’t have personal music devices that we are listening to it? Does she just really detest classic rock?

As a newcomer to the gym, I wonder if I am breaking some type of etiquette norm with this morning group. You don’t even have to be an observant person to notice the deliberateness of this lady marching up to the entrance after her stretching regimen and shutting off the stereo (which is right next to the treadmill I am running on).

Enough of my rambling. What are your thoughts? Why is she doing this? Why would the music bother her to the point of turning it off? The crazier theories the better 😂. Don’t Blink.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Growing up, my family could always count on a particular event occurring on New Year’s Eve. When the clock struck midnight, the neighbor to the back of my parents’ house would emerge into his backyard, straighten his arm to the sky, and shoot the rifle he was holding about a handful of times.

Although I thought it was kind of cool, my dad had a different take.

“Doesn’t that guy (he used a different word) know those bullets have to land somewhere?,” my dad would ask in an angry and rhetorical manner.

No, I guess the sky doesn’t swallow up stray bullets.

Nowadays, whenever NYE comes around, I still think about the neighbor and my dad’s reaction. It happened so consistently during my childhood and my dad was so displeased about the boneheadedness of such an act that it is hard to wipe off my mind when December 31 comes around.

However, this particular memory came to the surface for me a little earlier than usual this year. On Friday night, two women were injured while watching a Chicago White Sox game in Guaranteed Rate Field. They were seated in the outfield bleachers when a bullet grazed the abdomen of one of the women and struck the leg of the other. As confusion ensued, the Chicago Police Department allowed the game to continue. As you can imagine, the CPD and Chicago White Sox organization are currently taking a lot of heat for that decision.

At this time, a couple of facts have been established: There was no altercation that took place during the game and there was never an active shooter in the stadium. The top theory about how the women were shot was that the bullet(s) came from outside the ballpark.

For all the other reasons we have to be scared about guns, add the possibility about sitting in a stadium and having a bullet randomly strike you from outside the confines. It is the NYE neighbor scenario that my dad always warned about.

I am following the investigation closely and will update my readers in a Thursday Rundown when more information becomes available. As for the neighbor behind my parents, the tradition ceased many years ago. Don’t Blink.

Waffles And Burgers Thursday Rundown

And so the summer continues. Let’s get started with the five topics of my latest Thursday Rundown…

Darius Anniversary – Yesterday marked the 9-year anniversary of when I participated in a Darius Rucker music video shoot. Rucker came to perform a concert on the Coastal Carolina University campus but wanted to maximize his time in Conway. The day before he arrived, his social accounts asked CCU students to show up to the venue early for a chance to participate in the filming. I showed up at the designated time to cover the excitement but ended up participating in the shoot as well! If you have time, I encourage you to read this blog post I wrote about the experience because it has some great behind-the-scenes info. The next month I was grinning ear-to-ear as Rucker’s “Homegrown Honey” music video was released and your favorite blogger made the cut!

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

Roller Skating – I will never forget those nights at the skating rink as a young lad. Growing up, we would go to Pattison’s in north Spokane to skate our hearts out. The smell of the rink, the jitters of couple skating with someone, and the pain/embarrassment of falling on the unforgiving track stick with me to this day. On Sunday, I took Sloan to Roller Valley Skate Center. She used one of the trainers and became proficient with it pretty quickly. She had a blast and has been bothering me all week about going again this Sunday.

Sloan had a lot of fun at Roller Valley. She is currently relying on her trainer but I think it is just a matter of time before she is off it.

Praying Mantis – I am not a fan of insects and bugs but it was kind of interesting to observe this praying mantis. I arrived home with the kids the other day and I noticed something on the front of our garage door. I opened the door and the creature fell to the ground. Sloan, Beau, and I rushed out of the car to investigate and watched the brownish mantis move around. I don’t think there is a more graceful insect.

We encountered this creature over the weekend.

Waffles and Burgers – Today is both National Burger Day and National Waffle Day. For the latter, I actually wrote about it in-depth last year. Namely, I wanted to know if National Waffle Day only celebrates the breakfast waffle or if it includes other items like waffle fries, waffle cones, and Waffle Crisp? As for burgers, I have written about America’s favorite sandwich in a variety of contexts countless times over the years. However, tonight I will recommend my favorite hamburger topping post (spoiler alert: blue cheese crumbles is my favorite) and the entry I penned regarding the first time I tried a peanut butter burger.

I love a good burger (and a good retro shot)

Big Brother 25 – Another summer, another season of “Big Brother.” Because of vacation and other life events, I wasn’t able to give my initial reaction after the first show so perhaps that saved me some face. You see, my favorite girl, Reilly, has already been evicted 😱. Oh well, the dude I am pulling for, Cory, is still going strong. Sid and I are already hooked and can’t wait to see what happens as more developments play out.

Sidney and I are watching “Big Brother 25” closely.


Another Thursday Rundown is in the books. Thanks for visiting and let’s pray for those impacted by wildfires both here in the Inland Northwest and beyond. Don’t Blink.

My Inner Nerdiness

During our weekly University Marketing and Communications leadership meetings, we begin with a fun/off-topic question to lighten the mood. Yesterday, the question was what was the worst fashion decision you ever made? I answered by admitting that back in middle school I accessorized my wardrobe by wearing a pocket watch. Yes, I know what you are thinking: Middle school is hard enough, why heighten the nerd factor my wearing a pocket watch?

Speaking of nerdiness, today is Find Your Inner Nerd Day. Needless to say, I didn’t have to do much searching to find mine. According to this super official day, the goal is to “share your uniqueness and your favorite nerdy things with the world today.” Okay, I will play along. Here are 10 ways in which I am a complete nerd…

You ready for this list? My annoying/nerdy hand-rubbing habit is included!

– Before going to bed, I always lay out my clothes for the next day

– I write in a journal—or as my brother calls it, a “diary”—every single day

– Much to my wife’s scorn, I use those tree-shaped air fresheners in my car

I rub my hands together constantly as an unconscious, excited act

– Just short of a pocket protector, I always carry at least one pen in my pocket

– I write on stationary that is printed with my name, blog address, and social media handle

– I proudly wear New Balance shoes

Our bedroom clock is 25 minutes fast to ensure that I will never sleep in

– I collected bouncy balls as a kid

– At the gym, I carry around towels designated for washing your car as my sweat towels

It goes without saying, I am a nerd! In fact, I think my nerdiness goes beyond “inner” and manifests itself externally in a major as well. At least I am embrace it, right? Don’t Blink.

The Intrigue of S’mores

When we were on vacation earlier this month, we made s’mores three nights in a row. It may have been the favorite activity that Sloan and Beau did while in Seabrook. Is there anything better than roasting marshmallows on an open fire and then snatching it off the skewer with two graham crackers loaded with Hershey chocolate? I think not.

Making s’mores was one of our favorite activities while in Seabrook.

But can I make a confession? I don’t really like s’mores. Sure, making them is a lot of fun but as a confectionery treat I am not a big fan. To be honest, when we were in Seabrook, I pumped out golden brown marshmallows for the kids to use in their own s’mores but I held off myself to save room for ice cream later that night.

Sloan and I roasting marshmallows in Seabrook.

When I say I am not crazy about s’mores, I am talking specifically about the traditional graham cracker/chocolate bar/marshmallow combination. Something about that classic trio just doesn’t sit right with my stomach. I don’t particularly care for the messiness either. It is tough to take a clean bite as the graham crackers typically slide of the marshmallow and it is impossible to eat a s’more without being left with sticky hands.

A look at our s’mores ingredients from our vacation. I am not a huge fan of these three items combined together.

But the flavor of s’mores? I am all about that. Whether it be s’mores cereal, cheesecake, Pop-Tarts, donuts, etc., I will gladly partake. In the same way that I like the artificial taste of blueberry but not the fruit itself, the same holds true for s’mores.

Sloan roasts a marshmallow in Seabrook.

One final thing that I should make clear: I am a darn good marshmallow cooker. As I said just a moment ago, I have a knack for making them golden brown. And while I don’t care for a traditional s’mores sandwich, I do enjoy the fruits of my labor. So while I would supply my kids with marshmallows I made to perfection after they torched their own, I would also sneak a couple for myself.

S’mores are fun to make even if they aren’t my favorite sweet treat.

As I write this blog post, I am very sensitive to the fact that s’more season is pretty much finished in the northwest, especially here in eastern Washington. Wildfires are devastating our area and it is flat out irresponsible to possibly contribute to the carnage with a s’mores-induced spark. So for those of us who live where I live, let’s make sure to stick with s’mores Pop-Tarts and s’mores cheesecake. Don’t Blink.

Sand Dollar Thursday Rundown

The Thursday Rundown is back! You didn’t receive five topics from me last week because I was on vacation but this week is a different story. Let’s get right to it…

2023 Crop Mural – I worked on the WSU Pullman campus today so I had the opportunity to see this year’s crop mural. The 2023 design was recently completed on the hilly wheat field that is visible as you approach the entrance to Pullman. A feeling of Coug Pride always manifests inside of me when I pass the depiction. The latest design features Butch with a megaphone and a speech balloon that spells out “Win the Day.” Thanks to the talented artists for creating it and BECU for sponsoring it (to see the design in greater detail instead of from the window of my car, click here).

This is the 2023 WSU crop mural presented by BECU. I was able to take a photo before any traffic pulled up behind me.

Sand Dollars – I mentioned in our vacation recap that a highlight of my time in Seabrook was waking up early to hunt for sand dollars with Sloan. It was so rewarding to hit the jackpot after being unsuccessful at finding an intact one the previous three days. I thought I would share a photo of our loot—22 sand dollars! They aren’t all dazzling white but Sloan could care less; to her, they are treasure.

A look at the sand dollars we collected. This photo was taken on the porch of our cabin.

Happy 42nd – I want to congratulate my parents on celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary yesterday. On Sunday, August 16, 1981, my parents entered into the sacrament of holy matrimony inside St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Walla Walla, WA. Their marriage is something that my siblings and I try to emulate with our own spouses and it is something that I draw on when counseling engaged couples. Thanks for the example and inspiration, mom and dad!

My parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary yesterday.

Our Lady of the Olympics – One of the things I enjoy most about vacation is the chance to visit different Catholic churches. When we were in Seabrook, there was no parish in the town so we had to travel 40 minutes to a small community called Amanda Park. It was there that we attended mass at Our Lady of the Olympics. It probably grabbed the honor of the tiniest Catholic church (excluding college and hospital chapels) that I have worshipped in. A humble nave with 64 portable chairs is where we sat as we listened to Fr. Navy Kumar Thomas deliver the gospel about Jesus walking on water. He then preached a homily about the need to “just listen” during prayer. The church was probably 50% full but as is often the case with small parishes like that, the faith of those present was strong.

My family attended mass at Our Lady of the Olympics Catholic Church in Amanda Park. The church was small but the faith of the congregation was not.

Stream of Week – Sidney recently chose “Fatale” from Netflix’s Top 10 movies. It was just background noise for me at first but later that night I decided to give it more of my attention. I became engaged with the psychological chess match and the carnage that was being done to a hot shot sports agent by a corrupt cop (played by Hilary Swank). If you have 90 minutes to spend on a film that will keep your attention and deliver a pretty solid soundtrack, you might appreciate “Fatale.”

“Fatale” had some twists and turns.


Thanks for reading! If your area is experiencing oppressive heat, please make smart decisions and stay cool. Don’t Blink.

Arcade Agony

A couple years ago, Sloan played hard at Chuck E. Cheese all summer long. We bought her a summer pass that allowed her to play unlimited games for 30 minutes each week. For as much as we all love to hate on Chuck E. Cheese, I sure yearn for the “all-you-can-play in a set amount of time” arcade model.

Chuck E. Cheese provided a good value with its “unlimited play” option.

I think one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences for a parent is taking a young child(ren) to an arcade. During last week’s vacation we paid visits to two different arcades and both experiences made me scream internally.

Never mind that just from my own personal perspective I really dislike the direction arcades are going. The “point” price system for games really rubs me the wrong way. Oh, this game takes 16 points to play? Great, now can you translate how much that actually is going to cost me in actual U.S. dollars? I just find it so deceptive and disingenuous. When it comes down to it, the arcade games are priced so outrageously that they have to disguise the true cost with “points.”

So if as an adult I am having a tough time figuring out how to decipher the point system, how is a 6-year-old supposed to understand it? That is where the first big headache originates. When Sloan and Beau run wild in an arcade and I have loaded their cards with $10 each, I have to convey to them that they have to budget their funds accordingly. Of course they immediately gravitate to the games that cost 20 points and I have to “advise” them that if they want to stay at the arcade for more than five minutes, they should probably play something else. Then comes the back-and-forth of whether they can play the 20-point game “just once” and what their balance will be after they play it (to which I respond “I don’t know”).

Adding to the agony of this predicament is that many of these expensive games are too advanced for my kids. Beau tried a shooting game last week and in addition to difficulty he had of just holding the gun he didn’t understand the concept of shooting off-screen to reload. Sometimes my kids can’t even get through the long instruction tutorials many of these games have at the beginning.

These VR games are just too advanced and expensive for my kids.

Then there is just the scam-like nature of the “skill games” that young kids can’t fully grasp. All the claw games for cheap crap like jewelry, stuffed animals, and toys are virtually impossible to win for even a well-coordinated adult but yet my daughter has the confidence that she is going to clean out the machine of every glitzy bracelet it has. I then watch as Sloan deploys the claw on the plastic partition, never even touching the prizes. Sure Sloan, try again.

After much negotiation, frustration, and suggesting, the visit ends with a trip to the ticket counter for a dream-crushing ordeal. Low ticket counts of my kids combined with the deeply inflated ticket costs of the prizes isn’t an ideal combination. I find myself deflecting their gazes from the cornhole boards and repeating, “No, you can only choose between these three bins” (which usually consist of Tootise Rolls, hair ties, and mini erasers).

Last week at the Seabrook arcade, Sloan took a moment away from the scams and overpriced games to play some pinball.

The days are gone when my kids would be happy “playing” the games when they really wouldn’t be playing them. It is all pay-to-play for the Resers now. Unfortunately, at this point in their lives, that price just isn’t worth it. But don’t tell Sloan and Beau that 😉 Don’t Blink.

8 Reasons Why Attending A Seattle Mariners Game Is A Good Value

When our family went on vacation last week, we kicked off the fun with a day in Seattle. The main event of that particular Tuesday was a Mariners game later in the evening. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, it was the first time I had watched a Mariners game in-person in nine years (at Camden Yards) and the first time I had caught a game in T-Mobile Park in such a long time that I didn’t even know how many years it had been.

Needless to say, attending an MLB game with children is a little different from the days when I would order numerous beers and stroll around the ballpark at my leisure. For this blog post I thought I would list eight ways that our family maximized the value of our time in T-Mobile Park.

Beau and the rest of us had a fantastic time at the Seattle Mariners game.

Convenient Transportation – We bypassed the headache of finding parking and then forking over an astronomical amount of money to pay for it. Our hotel offered a shuttle that took us to SeaTac. Once there we hopped on the light rail that took us to T-Mobile Park. After the Mariners shut out the Padres, we got back on the light rail and jumped off at SeaTac where our hotel shuttle picked us up. Round trip ride on the light rail for an adult was $3 and kids were free. So…yeah…we paid a total of $6 for transportation to/from the game.

Sidney and Beau ride the Seattle light rail to T-Mobile Park.

Value Seats – For every Tuesday home game, the Mariners offer highly discounted tickets. We were able to score $20 seats in the lower sections. We sat in 114 and had a clear and spectacular view of the action.

A view from our seats. Not bad for $20 each.

Affordable Eats – The Mariners now offer a value food menu (and value beer menu 😎) where you can get items for under $5. We loved the value popcorn.

Beau and Sloan enjoying their stadium food.

Unlimited Soda – Our family loves a good souvenir cup! We purchased a $9 Mariners plastic cup that came with unlimited refills! Self-serve soda kiosks are all over the T-Mobile Park concourse so we had no problem filling up our cup whenever we felt the inclination to do so. Let’s just say this…we definitely got our $9 worth.

Cheap Entertainment – This might come as a surprise to you, but Sloan likes attention. The T-Mobile Park video board provided plenty of entertainment as my daughter would dance her heart out between innings in hopes that the camera would spot her and she would get up on the board. Although Sloan didn’t make it up there, she had fun showing off her moves to those around us. We all enjoyed the sponsored games (i.e. hat trick, boat race, etc) and player features that also appeared on the video board.

Sloan had a blast in (and out of) her seat.

First Game Certificate – Thanks to a tip from my friend Shauna, we knew to take the kids to Guest Services so they could get their own certificate printed out that commemorated their first Mariners game at T-Mobile Park.

Beau and Sloan each got a certificate for attending their first Mariners game.

Play Structure – The Seattle Children’s Hospital sponsors a play area in center field that is FREE for kids to play on. When Beau was getting a little restless in the later innings, we took him over there. He played his heart out while Sloan and I watched the ninth inning from behind the center field wall. Beau didn’t want to leave the play area even well after the game was over!

Beau and Sloan ate Dippin’ Dots by the center field fountain before entering the play structure (you can see some of it if you look in the top right corner).

$5 Beer – As I mentioned above, T-Mobile Park now offers a value beer menu with select 12 oz. cans selling for $5. The popcorn was a bit salty so I needed something to drink so I hit the adult beverage stand. I was all set at the counter with my two cans of beer when the worker asked to see my I.D. Unfortunately I didn’t have it with me as I handed it off to Sid when we checked in at the hotel. Oh well.


I was pleasantly surprised with the overall value of attending a baseball game as a family at T-Mobile Park. With discounted tickets, affordable food, and many free entertainment options, I would recommend an afternoon or evening at the ballpark with the Seattle Mariners. Just remember to bring your driver’s license. Don’t Blink.