Rango Thursday Rundown

It is June Eve Eve. In just a couple days we will welcome the first month of summer. So on that sunny note, let’s get to this evening’s five topics…

Grave Recipe – Our geocache activities took us to a small graveyard this past weekend. The Saltese Cemetery featured many unique tombstones and memorials. A particular gentleman who passed away in 2022 had a recipe for ranch dressing on the back of his stone. Marty Woolf also had a Diet Mt. Dew can resting on the base of the monument. I would make the recipe in his honor if I liked ranch dressing but since I don’t hopefully one of my readers will do it instead. I read his obituary and Marty seemed like an exceptional human being.

Those who enjoy ranch should take note of this recipe. May eternal life grant upon Marty, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Rango – On Saturday, I took the kids to the Garland Theater to watch “Rango.” This particular animated film was made in 2011 and stars Johnny Depp as the voice of the leading character, a lizard who tries to re-invent himself. The movie is billed as a western and received rave reviews when it came out 13 years ago. However, I personally thought the price of admission—which was free—was about as much as I would ever pay to see it.

We went to the Garland on May 25 to watch “Rango.”

Signature Select Cookie Dough Ice Cream – In last week’s Thursday Rundown, I marked the eighth anniversary of my famous cookie dough ice cream battle that tasked my wife with sampling and rating five different brands of cookie dough ice creams. Since we lived in the South at the time, we didn’t have access to a Safeway store. If we did, I would have been curious to see how the company’s Signature Select cookie dough ice cream would have performed. I opened the below tub earlier this week and was impressed with how packed it was with cookie dough and chocolate chunks. The taste was on-point too.

This ice cream looked good and it definitely tasted good.

Top Five Fun – If you remember, last week marked the sixth anniversary of my top 5 beers blog post. Today I get to mark a couple of other “top 5” anniversaries. On May 30, 2017, I revealed my top 5 favorite sodas. I will let you follow the link for the full list but the shirt I am wearing below will give you a good idea on what tops it. And then on May 30, 2018, I wrote about my top 5 favorite Glade air fresheners. I promise, I do actually have a life 😂.

I am a Dr. Pepper fan.

Rainbow – What better way to end this rundown than with a rainbow? Yesterday evening Sloan and I were out geocaching. We hit up a couple sites that no longer had a cache and it put Sloan in a bad mood. However, the rainbow managed to put a smile back on her face.

Taste the rainbow! What a beautiful scene on May 29, 2024, in the Spokane Valley.


I hope everyone has enjoyed a worthwhile May. Sending positive vibes for June and the best summer ever. Don’t Blink.

Celebrating National Hamburger Day

It is National Hamburger Day and since I missed National Cheeseburger Day back in September (😂), I thought I should probably write something today. However, I don’t want to beleaguer the topic too much so how about just a few points—or better yet—bites? Just the perfect amount it takes to devour a good-sized slider.

There is nothing better than a great burger.

I have much admiration and comfort for the universality of the hamburger on a restaurant menu…and when I say “universality” I am of course speaking of just American restaurants. You won’t just find a hamburger on the menus of restaurants like Applebee’s, Chilis, and Buffalo Wild Wings. You will also find them on the menus at the fish house you don’t like because you hate seafood, the Thai place that intimidates you a bit, and the steakhouse where you don’t want to shell out $60 for a steak. Hamburgers are seemingly on most restaurant menus and provide the perfect fallback option.

Retro photo of me eating a hamburger in 2012.

Although ordering a hamburger can be the economical choice on many menus as I just alluded to with the steakhouse example, don’t think it has been immune to inflation. I see many burgers priced at $17-$20 these days and let me say this: I have had a lot of bad $20 burgers over the past couple years. But I have also enjoyed some pretty good ones over that span as well. Case in point, just this past weekend we ate at a place called Pint House Burgers and Brews here in the Spokane Valley. My $17 cheeseburger came with two patties, a shiny/fresh bun, and the necessity that two hands be used to eat it. Almost worth every penny.

I ordered this cheeseburger just this past Friday at Pint House Burgers and Brews.

I can easily make due with just the bun, meat, and slice of cheddar cheese but I am not opposed to enhancing a burger with toppings. Back in 2017 I wrote a post that revealed my top five burger toppings but I can save you the link click (because I am feeling nice today) and just tell you them here: bacon, pepper jack cheese, french fries, BBQ sauce, and blue cheese crumbles. And oh yeah, I also love some peanut butter on my burger too!

This is a peanut butter hamburger I ate at River City Café, a famous burger place in Myrtle Beach.

Happy National Hamburger Day, friends. Make sure to celebrate accordingly. Don’t Blink.

Treasure Hunting For Kids

After mass yesterday, the four of us were looking for something fun to do. Sloan then suggested the perfect idea: geocaching.

We dipped our feet into the world of geocaching late last year when we went to a couple sites during winter break. However, with the arrival of longer days and warmer temperatures, Sloan figured the conditions were more favorable to resume our geocache expeditions.

Sloan holds her first-ever Geocache capsule that we found in December 2023 outside the Safeway store on 32nd and Pines in Spokane Valley.

For those who don’t know, geocaching is an activity where people use their smart phones to navigate to specific places marked by coordinates. Once at these various spots, the goal is to find the cache that is usually creatively hidden within the natural environment. We like to think of it as modern-day treasure hunting. And, if you know anything about kids, you know they love a good treasure hunt.

As I mentioned, during the winter we scoped out a couple different geocache sites. At the first one, we didn’t even find the cache! With Sidney now part of our squad, we decided to begin our day of hunting by going back to that same spot. I thought my wife would push us over the edge and find it herself. But guess what? Sloan was the one who found it. This particular cache was hiding in a fake rock at the location that had alluded us back in December. I couldn’t believe Sloan sniffed it out!

Sidney, Sloan, and Beau look for the geocache at the location that stumped us back in December.

You see, caches are usually hidden in tubes, kits, and bottles. From all our research, we never suspected that a fake rock with a sliding bottom door would house one. That big find by Sloan instilled confidence within us for the rest of the afternoon.

By using the geocache app, we visited three additional spots to look for caches. Even though we chose locations near us, the specific places we visited were completely new to us.

Beau investigates the contents of a geocache. Wearing a Spiderman costume will give you an advantage when on the hunt.

Our first new spot was an old dairy farm. It is now an out-of-the-way, overgrown park but learning about the history was fascinating. Sloan found the cache kit in a corner of the grounds…

Sloan found this Geocache kit in an old dairy farm. It has since been converted into a very basic park.

Our geocache adventure then took us to a small pioneer cemetery. Many of the graves were from the 1800s and with it being Memorial Day weekend, the visit was very timely. In addition to finding the cache under a bench, I taught the kids about cemetery etiquette and respect for the dead…

One geocache hunt took us to Saltese Cemetery. Sloan looks on as Beau opens the cache.

We concluded our hunt in a neighborhood we never knew existed. We had to navigate through some bushes but eventually found the kit without drawing too much attention from the neighbors who were outside enjoying the pleasant Sunday…

Sloan holds the geocache kit we found in a random neighborhood.

If you are looking for something unique, inexpensive, and educational to do with your children this upcoming summer, consider geocaching. With our adventure yesterday, I think Sid and I opened up a can of worms with Sloan and Beau. Don’t be surprised to find the Resers roaming around random spots in the Spokane Valley over the next couple of months. Don’t Blink.

Happy 13th Ordination Anniversary, Dear Friend

It is a special day for our pastor and friend.

Today, Fr. Jeff Lewis celebrates the 13th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. On May 26, 2011, he answered God’s call and became a living sacrament of Christ when Cardinal Blaise Cupich ordained him a priest for service within the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

Fr. Jeff celebrates 13 years of priestly ministry today. He was ordained by Cardinal Blaise Cupich on May 26, 2011.

When I wrote about Fr. Jeff’s 12th anniversary of ordination a year ago, little did I know all he would do between that time and today. It certainly has been a banner year for our family priest. Over the past 52 weeks, Fr. Jeff delivered an incredible talk at SEEK, launched a parish-wide evangelization challenge, produced major increases in average weekend mass attendance, made a grand slam principal hire that positively changed the trajectory of our school, and so much more.

Fr. Jeff receives the gifts from Sloan during a St. Mary School mass just a few weeks ago.

However, this year’s ordination blog post isn’t about delving into his many successes as pastor of St. Mary Parish. Nor is it to highlight his numerous priestly merits (I did that last year). Rather, the purpose of this year’s post is to thank him for being such a good friend.

Fr. Jeff has a close relationship with Sloan and Beau. My kids think the world of him.

In the four years that we have known Fr. Jeff, he has always nourished our family with the sacraments and sound spiritual direction. Over the course of this time we have also had the pleasure of getting to know him on a personal level. Thanks be to God, he has always been just a text message away for our family. But this past year we grew even closer and our friendship blossomed.

We are blessed to call Fr. Jeff a dear family friend. (photo courtesy of Carl Lockwood).

When I look back on the past 12 months, it seems like many of our family’s memorable events included Fr. Jeff. From spending Hoopfest weekend together to watching Cougar football in Pullman to “guy’s night” at the rectory to birthday parties to dinners, we have had the blessing of enjoying these good times alongside Fr. Jeff.

We joined Fr. Jeff Lewis and other St. Mary friends on a fun road trip to watch the Washington State University football team defeat the University of Colorado.

There is nothing like hanging out in a seemingly “non-parish” public situation with Fr. Jeff. Although we might be outside the walls of the physical St. Mary church, he is truly always on call as a disciple of Christ. This is evidenced by the many people who approach him for counsel, request a blessing, or call out “FATHER” when walking in a crowd (alright, Fr. Jeff is really tall so he does stand out).

Achieving success during Hoopfest 2023 was great but spending the weekend with Fr. Jeff in-between games was just as awesome.

What I am trying to say is that being a friend of a priest is eye-opening because you are constantly reminded of how much they are needed. Observing this firsthand via our friendship with Fr. Jeff has not only underscored the importance of priestly vocation but has left little doubt about how much our tall friend cherishes his.

Sidney sits next to Fr. Jeff during a break in action during Hoopfest 2023 (and of course Sloan had to be close by as well 😂). It was so cool to see so many approach Fr. Jeff during that weekend.

For all the great times we had with Fr. Jeff over the past year, the undisputed highlight came just last week. Sidney and I had the blessing of presenting with him at the latest Spokane Diocese Engaged Encounter retreat. Over the course of three days, we worked together to deliver five different marriage-based presentations to 14 engaged couples. I would say the chemistry between the three of us was pretty evident 😉. To minister with our friend in such an intimate and important way was pretty special.

The last night of our Engaged Encounter retreat, we had a little celebration for Fr. Jeff after all the programing was done for the day. What a blessed weekend it was!

As Fr. Jeff celebrates his anniversary today, I know there are scores of parishioners—both from St. Mary and his past parishes—who are celebrating his 13 years of priestly service too. Count us in that bunch! For our family, we are celebrating a priest who gladly eats our cooking, humorously inserts Sloan’s name into mass, and gladly accepts Beau’s hugs. We are also thanking God for a priest who genuinely cares for our salvation. Whether Fr. Jeff is saying a mass for our family, hearing our confessions, blessing our house, or doing a multitude of other things, we know his desire is that we make it to Heaven.

Fr. Jeff blessed our house in September. We know our salvation means a lot to him.

Throughout this past year, I have heard Fr. Jeff express how he is filled with joy and peace for the gift of his priesthood. As he embarks on the next 13 years of his priestly ministry (and the next 13 years after that, etc.), I hope the Holy Spirit continues to swell those blessed fruits within him. Please pray for our friend. Don’t Blink.

Apple Thursday Rundown

Is the Memorial Day weekend within your grasp yet? I know a few of you out there will be playing hooky tomorrow. I will be working but let me promise you, I won’t let my envy deter me from writing my latest Thursday Rundown. Here we go…

Apple Jacks Pop-Tarts – Alright, after boycotting Pop-Tarts for a few days because I was so disappointed with “Unfrosted,” I am back to eating them again. And not only have I resumed chowing down on them but I am once again seeking out weird and limited edition flavors. This week I tried Apple Jacks Pop-Tarts and in the same way that “Unfrosted” didn’t resemble the actual origin of Pop-Tarts, Apple Jacks Pop-Tarts didn’t resemble the actual taste of Apple Jacks. Actually, that first bite I took was pretty bad. But it grew on me as I went along—it tastes just as you would expect an apple-flavored pastry to taste. Also, for what it’s worth, my wife came downstairs about 15 minutes after I toasted mine and said, “What smells so good?”

These Apple Jacks Pop-Tarts were decent.

Apple Pizza – From Apple Jacks Pop-Tarts to apple pizza. No, I am not talking PINEapple, I am talking straight up APPLE. On Tuesday night during our WSU System Marketers and Communicators Conference, I went with some colleagues to a pizza place in Moscow, ID, called Maialina. I ordered the Mela, a pie topped with caramelized onion, gorgonzola dolce, cow’s milk ricotta, cream, sage, and APPLE. Always good to try something different but I don’t think I would order it again.

When we dined at Maialina, I ordered the Mela. Probably not something I will order again.

Spirit Week – It has been a week of fun and creative outfits for Beau and Sloan. It is Spirit Week at St. Mary Catholic School so the students have ditched their uniforms for sillier options. Mismatch/Crazy Hair Day, Career Day, Sports Day, and Decade Day have all transpired throughout the course of this week. Much gratitude to Sidney for serving as the architect of putting all these outfits together!

Sloan and Beau pose in their mismatch clothes (left) and then in their career clothes (Sloan is a teacher in the top right image and Beau is a police officer in the bottom right image).

Sloan’s Soccer Season – I took some time earlier this week to recap Beau’s t-ball season so I also want to recognize Sloan’s soccer season. She concluded her spring slate of games this past Saturday. She improved a lot from the fall and I really enjoyed watching her engage with her teammates and the enthusiasm she constantly displayed. Sloan’s coach, Caleb Hatch, is so patient and knowledgeable. The Squids won more games than they lost (although they don’t keep score) while playing up a division. Congrats to Sloan and her teammates!

That is one happy bunch! This photo was taken after the last game of the spring season this past Saturday.

Archives – Since I don’t have anything better to do, I thought I would reach into the archives for other blog posts I have written on May 23 in the past. Back in 2013 I described the importance of checklists. In 2015 I wrote about ice cream pie and how it became a birthday tradition in the Reser household growing up. In 2018 I wrote a blog post I find myself sharing at least a couple times each year—my top 5 favorite beers. In 2022 I told the story about a high school teacher of mine who conveyed in dramatic fashion that cheating is not okay. Alright, is that enough?

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


That will wrap things up for tonight. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, everyone! Don’t Blink.

Full House For WSU Marketers and Communicators

I now have three WSU System Marketers and Communicators Conferences under my belt! I completed my latest one this week after marketing and communication professionals at Washington State University converged on our flagship Pullman campus.

I have had a good time at all three WSU System Marketers and Communicators Conferences I have attended. Makes me proud that UMC continues to put these on.

As with all previous such meetings, our system University Marketing and Communications (UMC) team organized the conference and Phil Weiler, UMC vice president, served as the master of ceremonies.

This year’s conference was stress-free compared to the previous two. I didn’t carry the burden of presenting like I did at WSU Vancouver in 2022 and I didn’t experience a rental car snafu like I did prior to the 2023 conference at WSU Everett. Instead, I had a relaxing and fruitful time with no speaking engagements or vehicle issues 😎.

As I reflect on this year’s all-communicators gathering, this is what stood out to me…

I enjoyed the themes that were covered at the WSU System Marketers and Communicators Conference.

Great Turnout! – Because the 2024 conference was on the WSU Pullman campus, the turnout was strong. We had more than 130 marketing and communication professionals participate. The attendance was greater than anticipated as the venue changed from the CUB Junior Ballroom to the CUB Senior Ballroom to accommodate everyone.

Attendance at the WSU System Marketers and Communicators Conference was strong. WSU President Kirk Schulz “Zoomed in” to welcome us on Tuesday.

Brand Progress – I take a lot of pride in the brand work that our UMC system marketing and communications team is doing with our partner, BVK. Last year in Everett, BVK Vice President Vince Kalt presented on the early stages of our efforts and the research that had been conducted. What a difference less than 52 weeks makes! Vince returned for this year’s conference to report on our progress, reveal our campaign concept, share assets, and premiere our brand anthem video. It was received very well and I can’t wait until we launch! (stay tuned).

BVK senior vice president Vince Kalt concludes his presentation on the progress of the WSU system brand marketing campaign.

Digital Accessibility – The topic of new federal digital accessibility requirements was discussed at length. The conversation originated from a panel comprised of two members from our UMC web team (Danial Bleile and Lesa McPeak), WSU’s assistant director for civil rights and ADA (Kiara Drake), and an IT business analyst from our WSU Vancouver campus (Scott Fraser). I took note of the numerous tips and best practices provided for complying with accessibility regulations. When it all comes down to it, publishing accessible content is critical for people with disabilities. Furthermore, as Danial Bleile told us bluntly, it is also a legal requirement. But perhaps Phil summarized it best when he said it is just the right thing to do.

AI Explosion – The unofficial theme of this conference was the continued accelerated advancement of artificial intelligence. Lisa Anderson and Seth Bracken from the University of Utah presented on how they are using AI at their institution and some best practices for achieving the best results with it. WSU Vancouver adjunct professor Tina Mulqueen then followed with a superb presentation. She was able to talk honestly about the seemingly dystopian nature of AI while also highlighting the undeniable helping power it possesses for marketers. Mulqueen was able to exquisitely convey these contrasts in the context of the rapidly changing AI world, including the major recent breakthroughs from Google (that I mentioned last week).

WSU Vancouver adjunct professor Tina Mulqueen presents during the WSU System Marketers and Communicators Conference.

Communicating With Students – The final day of the conference was kicked off with a focus group. You might think a focus group with 130+ people would be awkward—or at least completely ineffective—but it wasn’t that bad. Staff from the WSU Social and Economic Services Research Center led the discussion as we conversed about communication mediums, deployment methods, and success stories. Much of the session rested on the usage of CRMs.

UMC Video Manager Jason Refsland provides feedback to the Social and Economic Services Research Center staff member who led the focus group.

Is SEO Going Away? – I was really intrigued with this presentation considering the recent Google AI developments. Josh Krause from our UMC web team gave an informative talk on SEO best practices. When asked about the significance of SEO moving forward in light of a shift to AI-generated top-of-page responses, Josh said it should still be top of chief importance. If AI does completely push website links off SERP, we need to still optimize for SEO so that the snippets retrieved by AI come from our web sources. And even if that isn’t attainable, sound SEO practices should still be paramount because, just like with accessibility, it is the right thing to do.

Jason Krause emphasized that even with the changes to Google search, it is still important to use SEO best practices.

Cougs Help Cougs – The conference ended with a couple of helpful exercises. First, we did a “Teams Chat Live” task where a topic or question was brought up and then collectively answered by those of us in attendance. After that session concluded, we huddled with our table to discuss what/how we could implement what we learned the past couple days post-conference. It was the perfect way to end things as it reinforced that we are all Team WSU and that all of us possess the talents and opportunities to help others succeed.

UMC Creative Director Jackson Price answers a question during the Team Chat Live session.

When it comes to content, this was the best marketers and communicators conference I have attended. Much gratitude to the members of the planning committee and the presenters for making it so worthwhile. Special thanks to Lael Gray for her tireless work as the head coordinator of the event. I definitely left Pullman excited about what I learned and appreciative of the relationships I built. Don’t Blink.

The Verdict on Beau’s T-Ball Season

Beau’s first season of organized sports is in the books. His t-ball season came to an end last night in a rain-shortened half inning game.

Beau played his first season of organized sports this spring as he suited up for the “Team Navy” t-ball team.

What can I say about the season? Well, I know Beau had fun. However, the entertainment didn’t come directly from hitting the ball and playing catch. Rather, it was derived from horse playing with the other boys on the team. Beau loved to run, wrestle, and goof off with his teammates. He looked forward to going to the games but the t-ball aspect definitely wasn’t the main draw.

Beau mastered running around the bases.

As Sidney and I look back on Beau’s first season, we both agree that we might have started him a year too early. I really wanted to get him involved but his attention span didn’t seem quite up to the task. If you watch this highlight video of him, you will see he liked playing with dirt and pulling grass just as much (actually, probably more) than actual t-ball tasks.

One thing is for sure, Beau brought constant smiles to the faces of the coaching staff.

His coordination still needs some work, too. He could hit the ball really well but his lack of hand-eye coordination prevented him from consistently catching the ball with his glove. Throwing was hit and miss—mostly miss 😂.

Beau had the chance to play catcher a couple different times.

Beau needs the next 52 weeks to grow into his uniform. On a team with kids as old as 6, my 4-year-old son was the youngest on the team. He still connected really well with his teammates but he lacked some of the experience and skill that others possessed while we did everything we could to keep his pants from falling down.

Thanks to grandma and papa for coming to so many of Beau’s games!

It was a 10-game season for Beau. He made every game and honored his commitment. We didn’t have the best weather for most of the contests but we always had the best snacks. I think Beau will return to t-ball next year a much more focused and skilled player. Until then, we are going to enjoy the off-season. Don’t Blink.

Welcome, Olivia!

I am an uncle again!

Me holding my new niece, Olivia, on May 16, 2024.

My niece, Olivia Jean Reser, was born on May 15. She is the first child of my brother and sister-in-law. All three are doing very well.

Carrie and Glen admire Olivia shortly after her birth.

Of course I am not the only one earning another notch in my familial relationship belt. Sidney is an aunt again while Sloan and Beau have a new cousin.

Olivia was born on May 15, 2024.

I had the thrill of picking up the kids from school on Thursday and surprising them with the news that we were going to the hospital to visit Baby Olivia. Sloan had the chance to hold her and Beau glowingly described his cousin as “dorable.”

Sloan and Beau meet Olivia for the first time.

Sidney met Olivia for the first time on Sunday after we returned from a weekend retreat. It was a special moment for my wife who had been so excited throughout Carrie’s pregnancy and had enthusiastically helped prepare for Olivia’s arrival.

Sidney was so excited to hold Olivia for the first time.

We are now in the midst of those first several days of Olivia’s life. For new parents like Glen and Carrie, there is nothing more exciting than spending this time with your baby. So much learning, growing, and loving. I may be living vicariously through them 😉.

Sloan is one proud cousin.

Please pray for Olivia during this initial stage of her life. May it be characterized by good health and joy. I am a proud uncle and couldn’t be happier for my brother and sister-in-law. Don’t Blink.

Golden Giveaway Thursday Rundown

Savor this time, friends. Mid-May is always fun. The weather is heating up, end-of-school excitement is building, and outdoor events are starting to take place. Here we go with my latest Thursday Rundown…

Surprise Ticket – This is pretty wild. On Saturday at Sloan’s soccer match, my dad peeled away the label on his 20 oz Pepsi bottle (something he never does). When he did, it revealed another label that said he had won a free ticket to Silverwood. Here is the crazy thing: there was no marketing at all on the bottle indicating any sort of giveaway or cross promotion with Silverwood. The bottle just included regular Pepsi branding. My dad purchased the bottle from one of those sliding door coolers at the checkout stand so we don’t know if perhaps the packaging said something about it. But the other weird thing is that when I did a Google search for “Silverwood Golden Giveaway” and other combinations (i.e. “Pepsi Silverwood”) nothing came up whatsoever. Considering a Silverwood ticket at the gate is $84, this sure was an awesome—and mysterious—surprise.

This is the winning bottle. I can’t find any info about this promotion online.

13th Anniversary of Don’t Blink – As I mentioned this week, Don’t Blink turned 13 on Tuesday. Since 2011, I have written more than 2,520 blog posts. 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. This post summarizes the history of my blog.

Don’t Blink is now 13

Oppenheimer – To go from “Unfrosted” to “Oppenheimer” is quite the contrast. But all joking aside, I finally had the chance to watch “Oppenheimer” as I streamed it on Peacock. Wow, it wasn’t awarded the Best Picture Oscar for nothing. The film is smart, complex, and extremely well-done. To get that glimpse into the life of Dr. Oppenheimer and the battles he faced was fascinating and worth every minute of the three-hour movie. After going in-depth with the Manhattan Project when I watched the Turning Point documentary, it was interesting to see it covered via this film. I strongly recommend “Oppenheimer.”

“Oppenheimer” was a very impressive movie.

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Battle – Yesterday marked eight years since I conducted one of the most scientific and important experiments of our generation: I conducted a blind cookie dough ice cream taste test. I twisted Sidney’s arm to sample FIVE different cookie dough ice cream brands and rank them. To this day, I am still shocked at the results. My wife didn’t rate powerhouses like Ben & Jerry’s or Blue Bunny her favorite. Instead, she selected the Walmart Great Value option as her top choice. Can you believe that?! For all the details and photos from that day, you can read the post here.

Believe it or not, the Walmart Great Value brand ended up winning the blind taste test.

Google Search Changes – On Tuesday, Google kicked off its I/O 2024 Developer Conference and it was all about AI. What stood out to me the most, especially as a marketer, is the complete revamp of its search capabilities. Pretty soon—like within the week—AI will handle all of our Google search queries. Instead of the prominent display of web links based on what we typed, AI technology will simply provide us with the info we requested right at the top of the page…no links needed. Of course this poses many questions for those of us who rely on SEO to promote our businesses (or universities OR silly blogs) as web links will now be regulated to the bottom of the page. However, as my very smart and talented web colleague told me, these changes will actually present opportunity as well. Stay tuned for more and a get ready for an entirely different Google experience.

Buckle up, the Google search process is going to be transformed like never before.


As I wrap up this Thursday Rundown that corresponds to my 13th blogging anniversary, I want to thank everyone for their support and readership over the years. I appreciate you! If possible, please pray for Sid and me this weekend as we will preside over another retreat for engaged couples. Don’t Blink.

The 13th Anniversary of Don’t Blink

My wife and I have a tradition whenever I hit a blogging anniversary. She will commemorate the milestone by making a quick, handheld sign. She will then take a photo of me holding it as I smile like the Cheshire Cat.

Some of the signs that Sidney has made me over the years.

For my most recent blogging anniversary, Sidney outdid herself. I celebrated 13 years of Don’t Blink on Tuesday and my wife brought the creativity. Not only did she work in a Taylor Swift reference but she also got kind of personal.

The sign that Sidney made me this year to commemorate my 13th blogging anniversary.

My wife pulled 14 blog posts I have written, symbolizing the 14 calendar years Don’t Blink has been in existence (2011-2024), and wrote the titles/dates within the sign. What fun it was for me to see the ones she included!

Celebrating my 13th blogging anniversary with the kids!

And now, I want to give you the option to see the posts she included as well. Going in chronological order, here are the Don’t Blink entries she included on my 13th anniversary sign…

The $25,000 Man (Oct. 19, 2011) – My brother won a whole bunch of money on one hand of Paigow poker. My writing was so bad/immature.

My Insanely Long Hair (Feb. 13, 2014) – You haven’t seen ugly until you have seen my hair in 2003.

Celebrating Accents (June 24, 2014) – Whenever people ask what initially attracted me to Sidney, I always say her accent.

Making the Cut: My Cameo in Darius Rucker’s Music Video (Sept. 29, 2014) – NBD, just messed around and found myself holding a solo cup in my pal Darius’ “Homegrown Honey” video.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Myrtle Beach (May 3, 2015) – A person who I didn’t know who happened to stumble onto my blog would later tell me that this post convinced her to move from the northeast to Myrtle Beach.

Back as a Married Man (July 19, 2016) – Nothing like the feeling of being freshly married.

Our Fierce Fighter (April 25, 2018) – A year after Sloan overcame a very serious medical issue, I wrote about it.

We Are Lucky (Jan. 16, 2019) – And don’t ever forget it.

Beau Meets World (Feb. 12, 2020) – My top Don’t Blink blog post of all time.

Farewells (February 19, 2020) – I have written a few of these posts as I have left for new adventures throughout my life but I will link to the most recent one.

They’re Here (May 12, 2020) – One of the happiest days of my life was when my wife and children were finally able to join me in Washington after COVID disrupted our plans.

Hey Southern Belle: What Have You Learned After a Year? (May 12, 2021) – Still amazed at my wife’s bravery and how she made the 3,000-mile transition look so easy.

Losing Our Rock (Jan. 24, 2022) – The first big loss that Sid and I had to face together was when my Aunt Nancy passed away.

Donut or Doughnut (Sept. 19, 2023) – Of course Sidney had to conclude with the most important question ever.

Thanks, Sidney, for marking my 13th blogging anniversary in such a thoughtful way. Don’t Blink.