Big Brother Season 21 Review and Prediction

This is the post each year when I lose 90% of my daily reader traffic because I discuss a niche topic: Big Brother.

Ah yes, the season finale of Big Brother 21 is tonight and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t give my thoughts on the past 100 days and offer a prediction. So, as I conclude my fifth season of watching Big Brother (seventh season if you count the two celebrity versions), let me get a few things off my chest.

Time to offer some thoughts on Big Brother 21

Season 21 won’t go down as one of my favorite seasons. There never really was a houseguest who I was actively rooting for. When the season started, I tabbed Bella and Jack as my early favorites, but it only took a couple episodes before I was turned off by both of them. As the season went on, I would start to warm up to a certain houseguest but then they would get evicted. I liked Michie and Holly enough, but I never got on the Cliff or Nicole bandwagons. Basically, I never felt passionately one way or the other about any of the final four houseguests.

I think Season 21 lacked signature moments. A year from now, I doubt I will remember much about what happened over the past few months. One way I remember seasons is by the musical guest who performed in the house (i.e. Bebe Rexha last year) and they didn’t even have one this year. Even the “twist” of having two people know each other (Tommy and Christie) didn’t excite me that much.

But I don’t want to sound too critical of all the twists. I thought the Camp Comeback concept was kind of interesting. Having evicted houseguests inside the house in a purgatory state was a unique social experiment. I also liked the “make a pie” punishment, especially the instance when they had to pie other houseguests who were sound asleep in their beds in the middle of the night.

The season honored tradition by including classic challenges and appearances (you made me laugh again, Zingbot). Game play seemed pretty solid (Michie’s blatant lying at the house meeting to evict Tommy was a bold move). Julie was Julie, although I think she was a little more aggressive than usual during the eviction interviews.

So, I wouldn’t say Season 21 was a disaster by any means because it delivered what it was supposed to. But it just didn’t standout and it didn’t keep me glued to the TV. Oh well, not every season can be a sensational success.

No questions asked, Michie should win tonight. I am pulling for him to win and I believe every jury member should vote for him. But I am not naïve. If there is one thing I have learned over the past few years, it is that the deserving houseguest rarely goes home with the half million dollars. I am predicting that Nicole will win. Although it is a little sad that the Big Brother season is concluding, I am excited to have my Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights back! Don’t Blink.

Family Feud

This summer, a frustrating thing happened. Our cable company had a contract dispute with the parent company of a TV station we watch a lot. During this stalemate, which lasted two months, the station went dark. Not only did we lose local news and “Big Brother,” but we lost “Jeopardy.”

My dedicated readers know that “Jeopardy” is part of the nightly routine at our house. To lose this Reser family staple was pretty hard. During this period, my depression was strong enough that I had no interest in channel surfing to find another game show to fill the void. The same can’t be said for Sidney.

The Game Show Network became Sidney’s rebound as she searched for something that could replace Alex. After testing the waters, she found just the person…

Steve Harvey.

Over the past several weeks, my wife has become a major “Family Feud” fan. Because it plays on multiple stations and because she records the shows, there is a good chance that it will be on our TV if you ever decide to unexpectedly walk through the front door. Like with other things, except for her reality TV preferences, I have followed suit in enjoying what my wife watches. Yes, I can admit that “The Feud” isn’t that bad.

Steve Harvey does a pretty darn good job on “Family Feud.”

I remember watching the show as a kid when Louie Anderson was the host. I watched maybe once or twice when the sidekick from “Home Improvement” took over. But I have never watched it as much as I have over the past month. In my opinion, I am glad it has worked out this way.

Why? Because Steve Harvey is HILARIOUS!!

Harvey’s facial expressions, rapport with contestants, and quick one-liners are entertaining. He knows when to let a moment play out with no narration and he can subtly question the intelligence of the contestants without appearing mean. The way he confidently walks out on stage sets the tone for the show and the way he will remove himself from a family’s celebration at the end puts a bow on it. He does a really nice job.

The show itself isn’t bad. It takes an entirely different skillset than Jeopardy but it is kind of a nice change. There are things I don’t like. I believe playing first is more of an advantage than it should be, I think some of the categories contain peculiar/insignificant answers, and I think the scoring system is wonky. But there is something simple and fun about playing Scattergories on TV.

The dispute has ended and Jeopardy is back on our TV…but Family Feud hasn’t gone anywhere. For now we are a two-game show household, at least until Steve Harvey leaves the show. Don’t Blink.

Observing the Generosity of the Community

Yesterday, my eyes were opened to the generosity that exists in the Myrtle Beach area. I spent the afternoon at Sam’s Club volunteering for the Knights of Columbus. We were doing one of our charity drives to raise money for Columbus Hope, a non-profit that assists individuals with intellectual disabilities and special needs in South Carolina.

Standing outside the Sam’s entrance, we handed out Tootsie Rolls and collected donations. It is a simple operation but one that has familiarity. My guess is that most of my readers have seen gentlemen in yellow vests with red lettering at the entrance of grocery stores. Well, that was me yesterday.

I had the pleasure of dawning the Knights of Columbus vest yesterday.

But it definitely wasn’t just me. In fact, it was barely me. My other Knights of Columbus brothers made it possible for our council (#5086) to have a presence at the store’s entrance the entire weekend, many of them taking multiple shifts. Although I only took one shift, it was enough for me to observe the kindness of my fellow citizens.

We handed out a lot of these yesterday. Over the course of the weekend, we raised more than $2,500.

The amount of people who would start digging into their purses or wallets upon getting a glimpse of our vests from halfway deep in the parking lot was pretty cool. The numerous times I saw parents exemplify giving by feeding their young children bills to put in our buckets also resonated with me. The man who was obviously down on his luck and just passing by the store who still stopped to give us his only pennies drew direct comparison to the poor widow of the Gospel.

The folks who would quietly drop big bills in our buckets without even taking a Tootsie Roll left an impression. Same with the folks who would walk in cashless only to return to the entrance to give us a donation after getting cashback. And I can’t forget about the people who would lobby their spouses or friends to give as well.

Observing the generosity of others is inspiring and gratifying. Another benefit of volunteering is working with incredible people. Since I joined the Knights of Columbus, I have had the pleasure of meeting some selfless and motivated Catholic brothers.

I could go on and on about some of these men, but let me just use my shift partner from yesterday as an example. John Kost will turn 90 in June but he manned the other side of the entrance with me for two hours in the hot afternoon sun. He brought in more money than I did and charmed everyone who approached us. An Air Force veteran who has lived through a lot, it was such a pleasure to speak with him and learn about his experiences and love for the Church. I want to be like him when (if) I get to that age.

I had the pleasure of working with John Kost yesterday. He is one of the coolest guys I know.

The perspective gained by serving the community is invaluable. I need to do a better job of doing it more. Thanks to organizations like the Knights of Columbus and people like John, I have no excuse not to. Don’t Blink.

Thursday Rundown Inspection

Gooooooood evening! Can you feel autumn in the air? Believe it or not, we can in Myrtle Beach. But I am stealing my own thunder, I will get to that later. So before I spoil any of my other topics, let’s get started…

Story Time – Sloan has reached the stage where she will patiently listen to us read her multiple books in a row. There was a time in her early toddler days where she was really antsy and a little disruptive. We have made frequent trips to the library to check out books to keep things fresh, but there is something she loves for us to read over and over. She is a big fan of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” One of Sid’s co-workers found out about Sloan’s fondness for the book and her purchased her a mini version with a stuffed caterpillar! As we read the pages, Sloan likes to move the caterpillar’s head over each food item, pretending that the stuffed animal is eating it. Thanks, Reni!

Watch out for that caterpillar!

Fall Has Arrived? – I put a question mark at the end because perhaps today was just a teaser, but the lack of humidity was really nice. How cool was it? Well, I turned the heat on in my car and Sloan asked me if she could wear a jacket (I could only find a rain coat). It has been a hot summer and I don’t necessarily mind the humidity, but today’s weather was nice for a change.

Sloan stepped outside this morning and asked for a coat.

Tailgate Fun – I normally don’t get the opportunity to tailgate because I work the football games, but last Saturday was different! Coastal Catholics held a (dry) tailgate a few hours prior to kickoff of CCU’s win over Norfolk State. I was able to bring Sid and Sloan and we had a great time. I enjoyed socializing with faculty, staff, students, and community members while eating delicious tailgate fare. Sloan couldn’t stay still and especially enjoyed the Bruster’s ice cream that was available to all. Who am I kidding?! I enjoyed it too! I was given a large portion of caramel apple crunch, one of the store’s latest seasonal flavors.

We had a really nice time at the Coastal Catholics tailgate.

Can’t Argue With That – This wasn’t today’s Life’s Little Instruction but rather it was the instruction from four years ago. Nonetheless, it resonated with me. I have grown so cynical of any type of inspection, regardless of whether it is free. If I am taking my car in I know there will be many suggestions on what else I can do to improve it. Same with my personal computer. I know I should probably change my attitude but it is tough to erase from your memory the feeling of being taken advantage of.

This instruction carries with it a lot of truth.

How Did You Celebrate? – Thankfully I still follow some local news stations in Montana, otherwise I don’t know if I would have been aware of this little fact. I decided to go all-out celebrating this important second in time, sitting at my desk doing work. Although I appreciate the info, I have never been one to get too excited about these fleeting moments.

I didn’t do much to mark this moment.

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I sincerely appreciate the time you give me. Not the best five topics in the world but thanks for following along. Have a nice weekend and I will catch up with you soon. Don’t Blink.

Another Simple Idea from the Reser Kitchen

You want to know something? When I go to KFC, I never order fried chicken. Instead, I get a bowl. Filled with popcorn chicken, corn, cheese, and gravy, I can enjoy a full homestyle meal without the mess and bones. It never disappoints.

Until about a week ago, I had the thought in my head that these bowls were somehow unique and that I could only order them at KFC. That notion was debunked when my co-worker and friend, Geoff, told me that his family used to make homemade mashed potato bowls for dinner.

Wait…how could you possibly pull that off? I wondered in my head.

But then it kind of dawned on me (with some assurance from Geoff)…it really isn’t that difficult.

There is nothing too entirely special about what KFC does. The “trick” is to take several items and throw them in a bowl. Hey, I can do that!

These were the items we used in our Reser Bowls.

Last night, we made Reser Bowls for the first time. We purchased a family sized Bob Evans mashed potato container, sweet corn, Great Value popcorn chicken, and a big package of shredded cheese. We prepared the items that needed cooking and then we built our bowls. I made a base of corn and cheese and then layered on the mashed potatoes. I then added the popcorn chicken. Finally, I topped it with another layer of corn and cheese.

The first layer of my bowl consisted of corn and cheese.

Before taking that first bite, I sprinkled my bowl with salt and pepper and then dug in! I was so tickled that we were able to make this “out of the norm” dish for dinner. Sidney wasn’t as impressed, but didn’t try to kill my enthusiasm. I ate my bowl, then ate a much smaller bowl, and then ate the rest of Sidney’s bowl.

The finished product…minus the corn and salt/pepper.

The best part? We still had enough ingredients that I was able to make a bowl for lunch today! As is often the case with leftovers, it was even better this afternoon than last night.

I ate a leftover bowl at lunch today.

Looking for something easy and new for dinner? Consider potato bowls. In addition to the simplicity, they are inexpensive (not to mention delicious). Don’t Blink.

Happy Half Birthday, Sloan

When you are little, half birthdays mean more. In fact, I consider turning 2 and a half a bigger milestone than the whole age I will turn next month. Any guesses on who we are celebrating today?

Sloan has now reached a point that when someone asks me her age, I will no longer say “she is 2.” Although I no longer describe her age in months, I do feel it is appropriate to include half years––so when I am asked the age question, I will now respond with “she is 2 and a half.” With her new “age promotion,” a few things stand out to me.

– By the time these next six months are over, she will be a big sister.
– After today, she is more of a 3-year-old than a 2-year-old.
– I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!

For tonight’s blog post, I thought I would just share a photo from every March 17 and September 17 she has lived through (three each!). Not only is it easy on me, but it is a good way to show her development over the course of the past 913 days. P.S. – I got to mark on my calendar the day she will turn 1,000 days old (Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019).

March 17, 2017 (0 years old)

This photo was taken very soon after Sloan was born.

September 17, 2017 (a half year old)

Sloan at a half year.

March 17, 2018 (1 year old)

Sloan eating her cake during her first birthday.

September 17, 2018 (1.5 years old)

I took this photo of Sloan exactly a year ago.

March 17, 2019 (2 years old)

Sloan eating her cake on her second birthday.

September 17, 2019 (2 and a half years old).

This is Sloan today at 2 and a half years old.

Happy half birthday, Sloan! Enjoy the final 50 percent of your trip around the sun, someone will be joining you as you reach the home stretch. Don’t Blink.

An Annoying Habit

I twitch my eyes, fold my arms, and tug at my wedding ring. These are just physical mannerisms, some might call them nervous ticks, that I have. The first one gets my wife the most, who believes it is a sign of agitation (it really isn’t). But, there is one outwardly quirk that I do the most.

I rub my hands together. Obsessively.

I have rubbed my hands together obsessively for a couple of decades.

Although excitement will cause me to start rubbing my hands the most vigorously, I will do it in other instances, including for no reason at all.

I can’t pinpoint how I picked up the habit but I know I have been doing it since early high school. Well, at least that is as far back as I remember my friends mocking me for it. You see, it is not a subtle or quiet rubbing of the hands. Rather, it is a hands-tightly-clasped-aggressive rubbing that can be heard through walls.

Believe it or not, I do it so much that Sloan started to do it! Don’t worry, she is not doomed. Sidney immediately intervened and weaned her from performing the act. Not just that, but Sid taught her to actively push back against it. Now when I do it, Sloan will assertively say, “Stop rubbing your hands together, daddy!”

I think everyone who knows me well is aware of my habit and I am sure people I don’t think are aware of it actually are. Like I said, you don’t need to see me doing it to know that I do it.

Maybe in the future I will be more cognizant of it and try to stop. But, for the time being, judging by what my wife thinks it means, I should work on my eye twitching first. Don’t Blink.

Little Miss, Big Sis Thursday Rundown

So you stumbled upon Don’t Blink again, huh? Well, welcome back! You picked a good day to do it because it is time for the Thursday Rundown. Let’s go…

Big Sister Books – In my blog post on Monday, I mentioned that we are trying to slowly help Sloan understand and become comfortable with the fact that she will soon be a big sister. One way we are trying to do this is by reading her subject-related books. We recently checked out the below stories from the library. They are a lot of fun to read and Sloan actually listens to them. We love story time and when the books can actually educate her on a situation she will soon face, it is all the better.

Here are the books we currently have checked out from the library.

Mt. Dew Mystery Flavor – Last week I tweeted about my desire to try a new “Voo-Dew” mystery flavor Mt. Dew. My good friend and co-worker Geoff saw the tweet and brought in a couple cans to work on Monday. Once lunch came around, we sat at my office table and tasted Voo-Dew for the first time. For a few minutes, we thoughtfully discussed what we thought it tasted like. Geoff noticed a sweet, almost candy-like, flavor. After taking a few more sips, I said I thought it tasted like creamsicle. Around this time, another one of our co-workers, Tad, just happened to be walking by my office. He popped his head in and mentioned that it is supposed to be a candy corn flavor as a lead up to Halloween. When it was all said and done, we agreed that it was fun to taste the new soda together and share our observations.

The Voo-Dew Mystery Flavor Mt. Dew taste test took place in my office during the Monday lunch hour.

Water in Road – Hurricane Dorian didn’t seriously impact our area in terms of storm destruction, but it sure did bring some heavy rain. The street right outside of our house flooded and the below image is what it looked like at 7 p.m. on Thursday. I was convinced that the water would still be there on Friday morning and that my father-in-law would have to take me to work (I was going to walk to the entrance of our neighborhood where he would pick me up). Luckily, the water had completely receded by 6 a.m. on Friday and I was able to report to the CCU EOC in my own vehicle.

When Hurricane Dorian impacts hit our area last Thursday, this is what the street in front of our house looked like.

Reflecting on our Evacuation – Hurricane Dorian was a breeze compared to Hurricane Florence. One year ago today, Sid, Sloan, and I packed up some belongings and evacuated to Florida. Florence was supposed to pulverize Myrtle Beach and we wanted no part of it. Before we left, I published this blog post laying out our insecurities. Our evacuation to Jacksonville turned out to be awesome. The three of us bonded and made trips to Disney World and the Jacksonville Zoo. When we finally returned to Myrtle Beach, our house had suffered no damage. It was almost a blessing in disguise.

Our evacuation included a trip to Disney World!

Birthday Cake Remix Cereal – Wait, Cold Stone makes cereal? I was as surprised as you! When we went to pick up hurricane snacks last week, I couldn’t help but grab a box of Cold Stone Birthday Cake Remix cereal. The idea was better than the reality. Let’s just say the odd-tasting birthday cake flavored pieces and chocolate marshmallows didn’t exactly jibe with one another. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t edible. By the end of the weekend Sloan and I had finished the box.

A look at the Birthday Cake Remix cereal.

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It has been a pleasure bombarding you once again with five random topics. Have a fabulous weekend filled with gorgeous mid-September weather. Don’t Blink.

Never Forget, Always Educate

The anniversary of September 11 causes great reflection for myself. I always go back to the awful day and replay it through the perspective of a high school freshman who was horrified at what he was watching on TV.

But it never fails that each year something new tugs at me about the tragedy. As we mark the 18th anniversary of the attacks, the milestone itself is what has me thinking. Today, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States will become legal adults as they turn 18. A high percentage of these people were born after the second tower fell at 10:28 a.m. ET.

We now have adults in our country who were not alive during the 9/11 attacks. Guess what? This number is going to grow tomorrow and the next day and the next day….

We hear the phrase “Never Forget” whenever the anniversary draws near. I don’t think we can say it lightly, or, even worse, discount it as a cliché. We truly can’t forget and we need to vigorously educate the younger generation about what happened 18 years ago today.

It isn’t just a cliché….we truly must never forget.

Although they will never know the feeling of despair and shock that we all felt, they can at least learn about the atrocity and honor the thousands who perished. Perhaps the best way they can pick up on the magnitude of what occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, is to just observe the reverence those of us who lived through 9/11 have for the day. Saying prayers, watching the actual coverage of the event, and even looking through some of the sobering picture books that document the day are all meaningful ways we can remember the anniversary ourselves while teaching those who didn’t live through it.

Consider this: Every second, the percentage of people who lived during 9/11 dwindles and the percentage of people who didn’t live during 9/11 increases. Let’s do everything we can to make sure we never let those who come after us forget what happened. Don’t Blink.

We Are Expecting (again)

Thanks be to God!

A new family member will be joining us in February and as you can imagine, this blogger is over the moon happy. I loved fatherhood from the moment Sloan was born and for the past 18 months or so, I have had the itch to add to our Reser clan.

I love my girls and I am so excited that I will have someone else to love soon!

Sidney, the person who does the actual childbearing (you know, the hard stuff?), is overjoyed too. I think it took her a little longer to get to the point of wanting another little person, but she is on the same cloud that I am. We found out about the pregnancy after we came back from the Florida Keys in late June and have been dreaming about becoming a family of four since then. Although she had several days of feeling crummy during the first trimester, she trudged through it with strength and optimism. Now 15 weeks pregnant, we are talking names and predicting the baby’s gender.

What about Sloan? Well, when we ask her what is in mama’s belly, she will loudly exclaim, “A baby!” Just last night, she wanted Sid to “rescue it” so she could hold it. Although we doubt she fully comprehends that she will soon be a big sister, we are trying to gently introduce the idea. Whether she understands it now or not, she will in the future. That is a big reason why we are so ecstatic about having another baby––Sidney and I both believe that there is no greater gift you can give your child than a sibling. Sloan deserves it.

We waited until this past weekend to make the news “social media official” and I am not going to lie, I am glad it is now “out there.” It is hard to talk about the future or make long term plans with people when they have no idea that a certain month is going to be rather busy. Special props to Sid for coming up with our method for announcing.

Sidney announced that we are expecting this past Saturday.

Thank you for all the support we have been given over the past 48 hours. The next five months will be an adventure and we are glad to have our friends in our corner. Don’t Blink.