#PrayForLasVegas

I get up around 4 a.m. these days and this morning the first thing I saw was a breaking news tweet sent to my phone. It reported that two people had died and 20 people were injured in a Las Vegas shooting. I read the link that accompanied the tweet and found out the horrible incident occurred at a country music festival by the Mandalay Bay.

About 20 minutes later as I drove to the new gym I am working out at, the sports talk radio program I was listening to stopped talking about the NFL. Amy Lawerence, the host of the show I was listening to, shifted gears and relayed the breaking news that over 20 people had died and over 100 people were injured in the Vegas attack. The jump in casualties deeply disturbed me.

This was my reaction at 4:52 a.m. this morning when the casualty toll shot up.

Sadly, it would get worst. Back at home a couple hours later I was rushing to get my daughter to daycare. I had the TV on but I was more focused on trying to get Sloan to stay still so I could pull her pants on. However, I stopped fiddling with her clothes when I heard the update that over 50 people had been killed and over 200 people were injured (the toll of the injured would later jump to over 500).

While dressing Sloan, I heard the news that over 50 people had lost their lives. I added to my tweet from earlier in the morning.

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I really think living through the news of this awful act of violence will stay etched in my mind just like 9/11. Of course the casualty numbers of the two events are different, but the surreal/sickening feeling I felt from both was very similar.

In no way do I want to make what happened last night about me. But I do want to say that what occurred truly did impact me. Before moving out east, Las Vegas was my favorite vacation destination. After turning 21, I made at least a handful of visits to the city. There is no place in the world like it. As for country music, it is my favorite genre. In fact, just this past summer, Sidney and I attended a country music festival where Jason Aldean was a headliner.

For those of us who have visited Vegas, we know this: It is a fantasy land. Large crowds of people gather and shady characters are able to fly under the radar. For those of us who have attended music festivals, we know all about the dense throngs of humanity that come to enjoy the talents of famous musicians, making mobility sometimes impossible. So, for some people, it might come as no surprise that the deadliest shooting on American soil came at a country music fest on the Las Vegas strip.

Well you know what? It is a surprise to me.

How someone could open fire on an unsuspecting sea of people from a hotel room overlooking the concert venue is a shock to my heart. Innocent men and women had no chance. They paid their hard earned money to watch a concert that featured country music superstars in an electric atmosphere. It was supposed to be the time of their lives.

To know that there are people in this world who would like to not only completely ruin this experience for innocent people but to also TAKE THEIR LIVES or SERIOUSLY INJURE them is completely beyond me. Yes, it surprises me.

It also makes me very angry.

Throughout the day I heard the stories about significant others holding onto each other as one died in the arms of the other. I heard about teen girls, dressed in their best country music concert apparel, realizing they were shot when they looked down at their outfits to see them blood-soaked. I heard about people using wheelbarrows to transport victims out of harm’s way.

How could someone want to inflict so much carnage? How could someone want to take away and destroy so many lives? How could someone be so evil?

I don’t have the answers. All I have is sorrow and prayers for the victims. Today was a tough day, one that we as a country will never forget. The hate must stop. Don’t Blink.

Why I Love October

Happy October to all! My favorite month of the fall is here. To steal a cliché from the Christmas season, when it comes to October, there is just “something special in the air.” The weather is crisp, the colors are beautiful, and the smells are rich. In my Sunday blog post, I want to pass along five reasons why I am excited for this month.

Halloween – I LOVE Halloween. Haunted Houses, ghost walks, candy, and costumes are just a few of the things I enjoy. Halloween is, for the most part, an exclusively October holiday. Although some exceptions are out there, once October 1 hits it is Halloween season and it runs all the way until the last day of the month when the holiday itself occurs. October is synonymous with Halloween and there is nothing I like more than taking an entire month to celebrate the spooky and strange!

I am a big fan of costumes! In this photo from Halloween 2015, I dressed up as an evil clown and Sidney was Wednesday from the Addams Family.

College Football – October is the premiere month for college football. By this time, the major questions about which teams are for real have been answered but the race for conference championships and playoff spots start to heat up. In fact, the first FBS Playoff poll will be released this month. Whereas in November the list of teams with national title hopes is small, in October many squads still aspire for glory. It is fun to watch many of these teams enter the month with title hopes only to see the number of true contenders shrink dramatically come Halloween.

Kenny and I on the sidelines in Clemson’s Memorial Stadium in October of 2014.

Scary Movie Marathons – Usually starting a week or two out from Halloween, a couple stations start airing horror movie marathons. Nothing prepares me more for October 31 than watching the 10 different “Friday the 13th” films or the classic Michael Myers movies. To me, it is just tradition. I like relaxing in bed after Sidney has fallen asleep to watch an hour or two of slasher mania. You see, there is no need to watch an entire marathon. Because of the simplicity of the plots of these movies, you can tune in randomly and feel like you aren’t out of the loop. I can’t wait for the films to begin!

Fall Festivals – Okay, I am not a pumpkin flavor fanatic nor a big fan when it comes to carving pumpkins. However, I am a sucker for a pumpkin patch! Nothing says “October” more than visiting a farm that specializes in fall fun. Hay rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and warm cider are all things I really enjoy. I think it just goes back to the weather, colors, and smells I mentioned at the start of this post. You can get an abundance of October sensory overload just by visiting your local community farm in the middle of the month.

Sidney and I with our niece and nephew at Thompson Farm in South Carolina in 2016.

Birthday – Well, call me biased. I was born in the month of October many, many years ago so the month holds a special place in my heart. How can you not love a month where you get to celebrate Halloween AND your birthday?

October receives extra points because I was born during it.

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I hope everyone has a great October! Enjoy each day of this fun month and start stocking up now on candy. Don’t Blink.

A Hot Thursday Rundown

It was a hot day here in South Carolina. Temperatures hit 90+ degrees and the humidity pushed the heat index past 100 degrees. Time to cool off with the Thursday Rundown.

Fall Television – It was great to watch “This Is Us” again on Tuesday. Sidney and I are big fans and we looked forward to the season premiere. Looks like the show hasn’t missed a beat. I still managed to shed a tear, laugh out loud, and express how much I hate Toby. But perhaps “This Is Us” won’t be our only show this season. Last night we watched the brand new series “SEAL Team” and I must admit it is pretty good. However, I don’t know if I can commit to watching TWO shows each week.

Counting the Weeks – Since Sloan was born, I have taken a weekly photo of her. I make her pose with a folded piece of notebook paper with her age written out in black Sharpe. I didn’t do this to poke fun at the practice of creating elaborate chalkboards for each milestone that many parents employ. Rather, I wanted to simply document each week of her life in a non-tedious way. My intention was never to embarrass Sidney by letting the world know that I do something that many would consider sloppy. But because Sid actually shared one of these photos on her Facebook page this past weekend (much to my honor) I decided I would share my low-maintenance method on my blog.

Each week, I rip a piece of paper out of a notebook, mark it with Sloan’s age, and pose her next to it.

280 – The magical number in the social media world right now is 280. Twitter finally announced that it will begin rolling out its increased character count starting with randomly selected accounts. I have learned that you can’t be a traditionalist and survive in my profession so I am happy that Twitter is giving all of us a little more freedom when it comes to expressing ourselves. My only question is WHAT TOOK SO LONG? Twitter has flirted with increasing the character count on tweets for such a long time that it almost became a joke. Heck, I wrote a blog post about the anticipated change practically two years ago! Glad the adjustment is finally here.

Sloan at 28 Weeks – Sloan keeps rolling and rolling and growing and growing. She loves her solid food and becomes upset when she sees that it is almost gone. Sidney and I can both make her laugh instantaneously and she lights up our world by flashing us a big smile whenever we see her at the end of the work day.

Sloan will turn 28 weeks tomorrow. Here is her latest photo collage.

Flo – I give credit where credit is due. Although I despise the Progressive Insurance commercials featuring Flo, it sure has worked out well for the company over the years. However, did you know Flo has an acting career outside of her Progressive gig? The other day, Sidney and I watched an old Ben Stiller movie from 2007 on Netflix called “The Heartbreak Kid.” We were just watching the film when all of a sudden Sidney exclaimed “It’s Flo!!” We looked it up and sure enough an actress named Stephanie Courtney (Flo) has quite an extensive list of acting credentials. I still don’t like her.

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Don’t worry about me too much. After today the temperature is going to dip and we will have a weekend that hovers in the upper 70s. Life is tough. Thanks again for reading my blog and I hope you have a great evening. Don’t Blink.

Keeping Quiet

Can I just say this?…

I am so happy I choose to use my blog space to write about topics such as peanut butter sandwiches, canker sores, and hamburger toppings. I simply don’t have the guts to address more important issues in this country.

For most of the existence of Don’t Blink I chose not to write about politics and/or major societal issues because I simply didn’t want to. But things have changed. Now, I choose not to write about politics and/or major societal issues because I fear what would happen if I did.

So much has gone on in this country lately that I have had the urge to weigh in with my thoughts. But I have thought better of it. Call me a coward, but it is just not worth it.

In the social and political climate we live in right now, it seems like any stance taken is a direct indictment on someone’s character. If you believe in something or if you support a certain leader/candidate, it automatically makes you a ___________(insert any unsavory label here). Mind you, I say this in a completely nonpartisan way. It doesn’t matter what way you lean on the political spectrum, these days you are going to receive hell for it.

Having an opinion doesn’t make someone a bad person. Taking a stanD doesn’t make someone a bad person. Supporting a politician doesn’t make someone a bad person.

But it sure seems that way these days.

I will continue to keep majority of my thoughts about current hot button political/societal topics within my family both here in Myrtle Beach and back home. Although I enjoy a good controversy just like the next person, I tend to shy away from bringing on blatant disrespect. Don’t Blink.

Tired of a Lunch Tradition

Last week, I caught Sidney off guard a bit. While sitting down on our couch in the living room, I called out to her while she washed something at the kitchen sink. In a serious tone, I said…

“I have a confession to make…”

In all honesty, I was going for a much more lighthearted approach. The subject I was about to unload on her actually didn’t need any unloading in the first place. It was something that most people would just laugh at. Although what I was about to say was a semi-big deal for me, I do keep things in perspective, and my intention wasn’t to alarm Sid.

“…I think I am starting to get tired of peanut butter sandwiches.”

My wife broke her concerned face and muttered, “good.”

For the past eight or so years of my adult life, I have ate a peanut butter sandwich for lunch pretty much every single day at work. This has never been a gimmick. I didn’t do it to make a point or extend a streak. Rather, I ate PB sandwiches because I genuinely really liked them. Sure, it also helped that they were easy and economical to prepare but I went “plain jane” for so long simply because it was what I enjoyed to eat.

Even though I won’t be eating peanut butter sandwiches every day anymore, I will still eat them. In fact, I ate one for lunch today.

My change of heart came on suddenly. A couple weeks ago I was eating my lunch and it dawned on me that I wasn’t enjoying my sandwich as much as usual. It was a day where I had put on more peanut butter than I usually do (but not as much as this) and I think I was just a little sickened by it. And we all know how enjoyable/not enjoyable certain foods can be after we get a certain thought in our heads.

I think another contributing factor to my lessening enthusiasm with peanut butter sandwiches is a rare change that crept into my lunch routine over the past month. At Sidney’s urging, I actually took leftovers to work a couple times. Eating actual homecooked, nutritious food was a nice treat. Think of it as if you ate the same kind of bland cereal for a decade and then one day you were served steak and eggs. It would be hard to go back to cereal.

I will be eating a peanut butter sandwich for lunch (and breakfast) tomorrow. I prepared them when I got home.

However, I have not reached the point yet where I can’t go back to peanut butter sandwiches. In fact, I ate one today for lunch and I ate one yesterday as well. But I will eat leftovers at least once, maybe twice, before this week is over. I am not quitting cold turkey nor am I looking to quit permanently in the future. I am just going to start changing it up a bit. Rest assured, at the end of the day, I will always be a big peanut butter guy, it might just not always be between two slices of bread. Don’t Blink.

Last Rundown of the Summer

Is it already Thursday again? Indeed it is. I hope everyone has had a great week so far. Let’s start the latest rundown…

Study Advice from World’s Smartest Person – I read Parade Magazine every Sunday and I look forward to reading Marilyn von Savant, the woman credited with having the highest IQ in the world. Each week she answers intellectual questions. Three years ago today, someone asked her how she would approach preparing for an exam 30 days away covering a 600-page book. Marilyn explained that she would read 30 pages every day and then repeat the process twice more. She noted that repetition just doesn’t help us remember, it helps us understand. I love learning tips from smart people!

I love Marilyn von Savant’s column in Parade Magazine. I enjoyed the advice she dished out three years ago.

Note on Mac and Cheese Burgers – Earlier this week I mentioned that I occasionally enjoy macaroni and cheese topped on my burger. However, this post that I viewed this morning from the Food Porn account is not what I have in mind. I prefer it Cheesecake Factory style with a deep fried ring of macaroni and cheese neatly placed on the burger itself. I will pass on the mess below.

When I said I enjoy macaroni and cheese on my burger, this is not what I had in mind.

Sloan Update – Our half-year-old girl can now roll over like it is going out of style. Whereas before when we placed her on top of her blanket she would perhaps slowly go from her back to her stomach, now she does it freely and frequently. Yesterday she practically rolled across the whole carpet! She is also at the stage now where she will put anything in her mouth. I was changing her diaper this morning and she grabbed a piece of plastic and proceeded to put it in her mouth, giving her daddy quite a scare (I was able to intervene). Oh, by the way, her cheeks are still chubby.

Here is the latest Sloan collage made up of photos from this week.

Reaction to Big Brother 19 Finale – I was both happy and upset with last night’s Big Brother 19 finale. In my heart, I was glad that Paul at least made it to Final Two. He can hold his head high knowing he pulled off a near impossible feat by making it to finale night two years in a row. He did absolutely everything he could possibly do before his fate was put in the hands of the jury. For that I am happy and proud. However, for the second year in a row, Paul was robbed of the Big Brother title and a half million dollars. For the second year in a row, he played a far superior game compared to that of the other finalist. For the second year in a row, he was the victim of a bitter jury. You hate to see such injustice but I guess in Big Brother there is no such thing as an impartial jury. PISSED!

Update on Monday’s Post – The saga impacting the schools in Flathead County took a bizarre twist a few hours after I published Monday’s post. After instilling fear into the community, the hacker notified district officials that he wasn’t some lone wolf psycho craving bloodshed but rather an extortionist representing a notorious hacking organization called the Dark Overlords. In a threatening and sinister ransom note fit for a movie, the hackers belittled the school district while demanding bitcoin. It was unlike anything I had ever seen in real life. Crossing my fingers that even though the school officials are in a tough situation at least the community itself can feel at ease knowing that the violent intentions expressed have no merit.

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Enjoy the last day of summer! Time now to put the computer down and hang with my wife and daughter. Don’t Blink.

The Poster Sale

As a college student, there was one week early in the semester that I looked forward to. The reason wasn’t because of the first home football game, welcome back activities, or the start of the intramural season. Rather, it was a much more low key and nerdy reason.

During the second or third week of classes at the University of Montana, a company would set up shop in the University Center (campus gathering place). This particular outfit would place tables all around the first floor of the facility and cover them with posters. The posters themselves were actually encased in large plastic coverings. The coverings were binded together in a way that let you flip through them like a book. Each “book” (for lack of a better term) contained posters that college students wouldn’t think twice about taping up on the wall of their dorm room or frat house.

We are talking movie covers, album covers, musicians, super models, quotes, iconic photos, cartoons, symbols, landscapes, and more. Because the selection was so vast and diverse and because it took place inside a prominent campus building, the annual poster sale was a big event. Droves of students would descend on the books, flipping through the pages to find the perfect poster. It was extremely busy and you often had to wait for other students to clear out before you were able to step up to a table and look for yourself.

I specifically remember hanging up TWO posters in my room:
1. The infamous image of Muhammad Ali gesturing over a knocked out Sonny Liston.
2. The Uncle Sam “I Want You” artwork.

This was the exact same poster I had up in my room as a college student.

Obviously for how much I say I enjoyed the poster sale I didn’t really back it up with my wallet. True, I didn’t cover my room in posters. But I still looked forward to the event simply because I entertained myself simply by browsing the selection. It was nostalgic and a great way to pass time between classes.

Why such a random memory on this Wednesday night? Well, this week at Coastal Carolina University there is a poster sale. The bookstore on campus is sponsoring the event and it reminds me of the one I used to enjoy several years back. As I watched students browse through the posters, which are stored in plastic coverings just like at Montana, I saw myself. If I asked you to tell me the one poster you had tacked up on your wall as a college student, what would you say? Don’t Blink.

Talking About My Favorite Hamburger Toppings

It was brought to my attention this morning that National Cheeseburger Day was yesterday. The craziest part about this fact? Sidney made us cheeseburgers for dinner last night! Sid doesn’t make cheeseburgers that often and we had no idea about the “holiday” so it really was the ultimate coincidence.

By the way, Sidney prepares the best cheeseburgers. She cooks them in something she calls a griddler and they are delicious and filling!

The cheeseburgers were so good that I took the unusual step of forgoing my peanut butter sandwich and bringing leftovers for lunch. The burger was just as good today as it was yesterday.

For tonight’s blog post, I thought what better way to celebrate a belated National Cheeseburger Day than to state my five favorite hamburger toppings? I mean, come on, you all are just dying to hear my list, right? Before I start, let me say one thing: I don’t eat kethcup, mustard, or mayonnaise so don’t be shocked when you don’t see those conidments on the list.

In order, here are my five favorite burger toppings…

5. Bacon – Occasionally I enjoy a bacon burger. The crispiness of a couple strips gives your sandwich a satisfying crunch. Also, it is a great way to fill up. Whereas sometimes one regular burger might not take your hunger away completely, a burger with bacon will make you feel just right. But besides the crunch and hunger satisfying attributes, we all know that anything in general is better with bacon.

4. Pepperjack Cheese – Out of the cheeses you can slice, I will always choose to top my burger with pepperjack cheese. As a guy who loves a little kick, adding some spice to my sandwich is a no-brainer. If there is enough available, and if no one is looking, I will add two slices of pepperjack.

3. French Fries – If I am served steak fries with my cheeseburger, I will take the top bun off and create a layer of potato on top of the patty. I love the texture it gives to the sandwich and there is nothing more American than meat and potatoes.

2. BBQ Sauce – I am not a condiment person by any means. As I mentioned above, I stay away from the mainstream “big 3.” However, there is one particular sauce that I really enjoy. I will usually ask for a side of BBQ sauce when I order a hamburger. Last night, I took our bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s out of the refrigerator and used it. To me, BBQ sauce just tastes natural on a burger. The smoky flavor combined with hearty beef is a winner in my book.

1. Blue Cheese Crumbles – Whenever I have the opportunity to order a blue cheese burger off any menu I will do it. Although not a big fan of blue cheese dressing, I adore blue cheese crumbles. I feel that adding some crumbles to a burger makes it taste at least 2X better. I wish I had more to say about it, but I guess all I can express is that it is my all-time favorite burger topping.

Retro photo of me eating a hamburger in 2012.

Honorable Mentions:

Mac and Cheese – Once a novelty, macaroni and cheese burgers are now pretty popular. As someone who counts mac and cheese as one of his favorite foods, it goes without saying that I don’t mind it on top of my burger.

Hot Sauce – Although BBQ sauce is my favorite sauce to put on a burger, my favorite type of sauce in the world is hot sauce. Adding some Sriracha to a burger with pepperjack cheese is a true spicy delight.

Peanut Butter – I have to be in the mood, but every now and then I will scarf down a peanut butter burger.

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

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Do you like blue cheese crumbles? Do you have an obscure topping you like to put on your burger? Let me know. Until then, let me fill you in on one little secret…although toppings are great, I have absolutely no problem eating a plain cheeseburger. Don’t Blink.

A Scary Situation for Montana Schools

Currently, something really strange is impacting students in Flathead County, a gorgeous area in northwestern Montana. Since last Thursday, over 30 schools covering multiple districts have temporarily closed down. The reason is chilling.

A hacker, or, as President Trump would call him, “a bad dude,” supposedly managed to infiltrate the computer system of the Columbia Falls School District. Once successful, this person didn’t demand money or seek other collateral. Instead, his goal was to simply incite fear.

This particular person was able to obtain information from the computer system that has allowed him to contact school officials and random parents not just by e-mail but through text messaging as well. The contact has been continuous. The message?…

Content so disturbing, violent, and vulgar that school officials and the media won’t even reveal it.

However, the gist is clear: go to school and die.

Imagine this for a moment: You receive a text message that uses your name and says your children and classmates will be subjected to violence. You freak out, right?

Yes, messages sent to people within the district have been personalized. The hacker is extremely sophisticated and able to send threats that include the name and info of each recipient. Things are starting to get out of control. Law enforcement, school officials, and students/families are understandably spooked.

But it gets even weirder! In my opinion, the craziest part of this whole story is that the hacker contacted the major newspaper in the county and requested an interview. During the course of the electronic discussion with journalists from The Beacon, the hacker continued speaking in violent and obscene terms, stating his goal was to kill people in large numbers. He admitted he wanted to paralyze the community in fear. He also spent considerable time mocking Flathead County by spewing stereotypes about that specific area of the country and shaming the community for closing down schools based solely on threats. 

Talk about a superintendent’s worst nightmare. What can you possibly do? This hacker has seized complete control of Flathead County. I don’t think a sane person would question the school leadership for closing down but of course the impact is immense. Three days of instruction have been lost; all athletic contests, dances, and extracurricular activities have been canceled. Students and staff are at home, wondering how the situation will unfold. It is tough to guess the long term effects on the academic/activities calendar.

Over the weekend, law enforcement officials did determine that this hacker is operating in an area thousands of miles from the state of Montana. With this news, despite the threats that are still continuing from this lunatic, classes are expected to resume tomorrow.

I feel for everyone in Flathead County. This is beyond scary and completely unfair. I hope students can return to classes tomorrow with a sense of safety. As for the hacker, I hope he is brought to justice and his identity exposed. It is impossible to calculate the damage he has done. Don’t Blink.

The Don’t Blink Emmy Awards

Tonight is the 2017 Emmy Awards. Not that I will be watching. First of all, I find these awards a snoozefest. But, adding extra incentive to not watch this year is the host. I don’t think there is anyone on TV whose work I dislike more than that of Stephen Colbert. So, there you have it, I won’t be tuning in.

What I will be doing, however, is “hosting” my own Don’t Blink Emmy Awards right here on my blog. Even though I am absolutely 100% unqualified to do something such as this (I used to never watch anything other than sports programming on TV until I met Sidney) I am going to take full liberty of my right to sit behind a keyboard and type out my hot takes. Without further ado, could I have the envelopes please?…

Best Drama: This Is Us – The writing and the themes in this program made it must-watch TV last fall. Sidney and I had Tuesday nights pretty much circled on our calendars and looked forward to watching the latest episode throughout the day. This show is about real life topics. All of us can relate to it in some way and even the most heartless individual couldn’t watch an episode and not feel some type of emotional pull at the end.

Best Reality Show: Big Brother – In my opinion, I think it is best when reality shows are actually based on reality. With “Big Brother,” it is raw and believable. It is based on actual human nature. Most of all, the show is about strategy. Regular people come on the show and battle it out to be the last one standing. It is structured and it is goal-oriented but it isn’t scripted. Nothing beats it.

Worst Realty Show: Housewives of __________ – Sidney calls the shows that follow “socialites” around trash. I couldn’t agree more. Even though she continues to watch it, at least she calls it for what it is. Nothing is more cringeworthy than the “Housewives of (insert whatever city is given a bad name).” The entitlement, the disrespect, and the first world problems are all enough to make me walk out of the room when it is on.

Best Game Show: Jeopardy – I know a lot of game shows came out this past season including “The Wall,” “Candy Crush,” and “Beat Shazam” but I would watch a 1980s rerun from Jeopardy over all those any day of the week. Jeopardy tests your intelligence while needing no gimmicks to keep you entertained. It is a great show to watch with others and Alex Trebek is still on the top of his game.

Best Made-for-TV Documentary: 30 for 30 – Yes, ESPN is starting to go downhill a bit but its 30 for 30 series is a bright spot. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, the way these stories are told will keep you glued to the TV. The reason? These documentaries focus just as much on the cultural aspect as the athletic pursuit. When you watch one of these programs, it really feels like you are living through it in the moment.

Best News Magazine: Dateline – Let me tell you, the news magazine category is stacked. Shows like 20/20, 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours keep improving by adding effects, social media components, and more drama. However, there is one show that has something those other programs don’t. Which show is that? Dateline. And what does it have that the others don’t? Keith Morrison.

Enough said.

Best News Broadcast: Nightly News With Lester Holt – Sure, the mainstream news networks have an obvious left-leaning bias these days but we still got to get our news somehow. At our house, we never miss Lester Holt’s nightly broadcast.

Best Crime Show: Live PD – This program quickly became a favorite of Sidney’s family and for someone like me who grew up watching Cops, Live PD is intriguing to me too. Making it even better is the fact that a regular department the show covers is the Spokane County Sherriff’s Office. Watching the cameras film the crime on the streets of my hometown and then have law enforcement experts in the studio analyze it is pretty cool!

Best Flipping Houses/Remodel/Fixer Up Show: Fixer Upper’s – This is another genre of show I would never watch if not for meeting Sidney but over the past few years I have seen all of the 47 programs that fit this category. The one I like best is “Fixer Upper’s.” I enjoy both hosts and, I must admit, Chip actually makes me laugh. Although it is not a show I could watch a marathon of, I am good for back-to-back episodes.

Best Baby Show: Color Crew – Surprise surprise that this is a category, right? My favorite show to watch with Sloan is “Color Crew” on Baby First TV. Give it an actual Emmy, please.

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Congratulations to all the winners! I know my opinion means a lot. Regardless of how bush league this blog post is, it sure is better than one thing: sitting through a show hosted by Stephen Colbert. Don’t Blink.