Fantastic Thursday Rundown

I can’t believe that in less than a week it will be the Fourth of July. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holiday – but time is going by so fast. Let’s proceed with the Thursday Rundown…

Sloan’s Playmate – There is absolutely nothing cuter than watching toddlers interact with each other. Last Friday, Sidney’s good friend, Leslie, visited us with her daughter, Stevie Blair. Just a couple months older than Sloan, the two are natural playmates. We took the little girls to our neighborhood pool for a Friday afternoon of fun in the sun. It was so cute to watch the two stand side-by-side in the water and play with pool tools. Although Sloan can work a little bit on her manners, they got along great.

Sloan and Stevie Blair enjoying their playdate.

Cap’n Crunch Blueberry Pancake Cereal – I am always game to try new cereals, especially ones that are a little wacky. Cap’n Crunch recently released a limited edition blueberry pancake delight. I took one look at the box and yanked it off the shelf. So, how was it? Well, when I opened the plastic bag inside the box, the aroma that floated out smelled exactly like a plate of fluffy blueberry pancakes! But the actual taste did not. Even though the taste didn’t match the smell, the cereal was still pretty good. It was mild and light with a fruity flavor. For $1, it was worth it.

My box of Blueberry Pancake Cap’n Crunch.

Late Night Ice Cream Visit – I have written extensively about my love for ice cream trucks. However, this past weekend my affinity was tested. At around 9:45 p.m., Sidney and I were on the couch watching “48 Hours.” Suddenly, we looked at each with puzzled expressions. Is that children’s music? It was. Wait, is that the ice cream man? It was. At this hour? No joke. I walked outside to investigate. Sure enough, a Mr. Softee ice cream truck was doing steady business about a block away from our house. Never mind that it was pitch dark or that most children were fast asleep – the dude driving the truck was obviously after the adult audience. He stayed parked in the same spot until after 10 p.m. before finally moving on. It was bizarre.

I caught this photo of the Mr. Softee ice cream truck going by our street well after 10 p.m. on Saturday night.

Big Brother 20 – As my wife tweeted yesterday, it is the best part of the summer! Last night, the latest season of Big Brother premiered. As a converted fan, the opening episode was something I looked forward to. This season is especially interesting to us – a Coastal Carolina University alumna is on the show! Rachel Swindler, a 2010 CCU grad, is competing for the $500,000 prize. Needless to say, she is who I will be rooting for! My backup favorite is Scottie, a 26-year-old shipping manager who is a complete nerd. I feel like I have a little “Scottie” in me, so how can I not pull for him?

Sid is right, the best part of the summer is here!

Hoopfest – Quick shout out to everyone participating in Hoopfest this weekend. The largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament on the planet, I was involved in the spectacle for many years. After my playing days ended, I volunteered as a court monitor, keeping order on the streets of Spokane for seven years. Since living in South Carolina, I have made the trip back to Spokane for the tournament once, and got on the news for doing it, but I won’t be returning this year. I hope everyone has a great time!

This is me wearing the 2015 Hoopfest t-shirt and shorts while holding the 2015 Hoopfest ball.

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Enjoy this last weekend in June! It has been a good month for us and we look forward to continuing the good times over the next few days. As always, thanks for reading my blog. Don’t Blink.

Pre-Labor Day Thursday Rundown

With Labor Day weekend right around the corner, I hope I find everyone in great spirits. If you are a fan of my blog, perhaps my latest Thursday Rundown will elevate your mood even more. Here we go with tonight’s five topics…

NASCAR Driver Brent Reser – For this first time in my life, I jumped inside a racecar this morning. Our University Communication team was doing a photo shoot featuring our NASCAR driver Brandon Brown and his #90 XFINITY car. With Brandon yet to arrive and the vehicle parked innocently right in front of our signature administrative building, I was encouraged to jump in. Believe me, I am not using “jump in” as a figure of speech. I awkwardly maneuvered inside the car and almost broke something clumsily exiting it. However, I got some pretty sweet photos and crossed an item off my bucket list.

This was me inside Brandon Brown’s XFINITY car this morning.

First FBS Football Game – Speaking of Coastal Carolina, our football team will play in its first game as a member of the FBS this Saturday. A major supporter of this move, I am stoked that CCU is now playing at the ultimate varsity level of college football. I will be on the sidelines for the historic game as I cover it for #CCUSocialMedia.

Me standing in Brooks Stadium on our teal turf after the September 26, 2015 game. On September 2, 2017, Coastal will play its first game as a member of the FBS.

Weeks Keep Flying By for Sloan – Tomorrow, Sloan will turn 24 weeks. The biggest development this week? Ha, that’s easy! Her new thing is spitting. Yes, I am not kidding. She is constantly sticking her little tongue out and making a sweet (well, that’s debatable) spitting noise. Sometimes stuff (spit, carrots, rice cereal, etc) comes out and sometimes it doesn’t. Other than that, her hair continues to grow and her smiles still come in an abundant supply.

Seriously lacking on the quality of photos this week…sorry guys!

Awful Concert – Seven years ago today, I attended one of the worst concert of my life. On Aug. 31, 2010, I watched Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp perform on a pleasant Missoula night in a minor league baseball stadium. Although the weather and venue proved satisfactory, I just didn’t find either performer that energetic or engaging. The sound was suspect and I found myself bored. Can’t win them all.

I took these photos of a lackluster concert. Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp just didn’t do it for me.

Latest Big Brother Reaction– Although I know some people don’t feel the same way, I am a fan of Big Brother 19. Pretty much everything has shaken out exactly how I want it to. From the beginning, I wanted to see Christmas and Kevin do well and currently both are still in the house and will be safe at least through the week. However, the house guest I am rooting for the most is Paul. To watch him lose in such an unfair way last season was tough and I want to see him earn redemption. I think all of us can take our hats off to how he has played the game thus far. Even with the huge target on his back from the moment he entered the house, he has not only survived but thrived. Paul is the ultimate puppet master and I am getting a kick watching him pull all the strings. I really hope he makes it the distance.
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Organize a cookout, bust out the cold drinks, and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Thank you for your constant support of my blog. Don’t Blink.

Thursday Rundown Here We Go

Good evening and welcome to the Thursday Rundown. Because I have a couple topics tonight that will be more or less summed up with a photo, this might be the shortest Thursday Rundown (in terms of word count) that I have ever done. Here we go…

Tweeted at by Dateline – As I mentioned before, I watch news magazines like crazy. When you like them as much as I do, you have a dilemma come Friday night. When 10 p.m. rolls around, do you watch 20/20 or Dateline? This past week I tweeted out the decision I ultimately made. It didn’t take long for a reply from the main Twitter account of the program I didn’t choose. Although the blunt assessment of my choice was a little cold, I still found it pretty awesome that Dateline tweeted at me.

Not even a minute had passed before Dateline responded to my tweet.

Not even a minute had passed before Dateline responded to my tweet.

Gas Going Up – One of the major stories in South Carolina right now is rising gas prices. Because of a major pipeline leak in Alabama, our state has responded by raising prices. Ironically, the person who alerted me to the crisis was on the other side of the country. Pete, a good friend of mine from my Missoula days, texted me about the problem Friday morning. After work I filled up hassle free for $1.79 per gallon. I beat the mad rush to the pump that occurred over the weekend and of course the new $2.05 per gallon price.

Last week, gas was at &1.79 in Myrtle Beach. I filled up before it went up.

Last week, gas was at &1.79 in Myrtle Beach. I filled up before it went up.

Too True – Okay, okay I apologize for sharing comics in consecutive weeks but this was too good to pass up, especially for a blogger. The below strip comes from a comic called Crankshaft. As my brother, sister, and wife all routinely give me a hard time for blogging about “nothing,” I felt they would get a kick out of this.

This Crankshaft comic strip had me thinking about what my brother says about my blog.

This Crankshaft comic strip had me thinking about what my brother says about my blog.

Big Brother 18 Finale Reaction – I can’t put into words how disappointed I was about last night’s Big Brother 18 finale. For those who don’t watch the show, you just need to know this: The person who should have won did not. Just the fact alone that the vote was close provided enough of an insult but for Nicole to actually WIN over Paul was asinine. When you looked at Paul’s body of work throughout the show compared to that of Nicole’s it appeared as if there was no debate on who should win. It seemed so cut and dry. I didn’t like Paul from the start of the show but I wanted to see the person I thought deserved to win bring home the $500,000. I literally stormed out of the room last night when the deciding vote was cast.

From The Archives – I have a couple past blog posts written on September 22 to share with you. Two years ago I told the world about my top five favorite fast food restaurants. As I sit here presently, I can tell you that my list has since changed! The changes include both the order and a couple of the restaurants included. An updated list will come in the future. Three years ago on September 22 I wrote about the life, death, and legacy of our family cat, Nabisco. We had her for 16 years and she brought my family so much joy.

Nabisco and I...the best cat I have ever known.

Nabisco and I…the best cat I have ever known.

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Sorry to end the Thursday Rundown on a somber note. However, snap out of it by realizing football is on tonight! While you might opt for the NFL game, I will be watching Clemson vs. Georgia Tech. Have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

Middle of Summer Thursday Rundown

It is the middle of July and that means we are in the heart of summer. I absolutely love this time of the year! Here I go with the latest edition of the Thursday Rundown…

Eating Good – One of the best parts about marriage is the food! Sidney has made me some incredible meals since we tied the knot. This week alone we have feasted on some terrific dinners. On Monday, we celebrated our one month wedding anniversary with delicious steaks. The meat was very flavorful and the homemade mashed potatoes she made from scratch would make Paula Deen envious. On Tuesday, she used inspiration from another recipe to create her own sausage pasta. Doesn’t it look pretty? The dish tasted even better yesterday when we ate it for leftovers!

Steak one night, sausage pasta the next.

Steak one night, sausage pasta the next.

Taco Time – A popular Mexican fast food restaurant in the northwest is Taco Time. This particular location below is a restaurant in Spokane. My brother sent me a snap of the marquee a couple days ago. With the Pokemon Go craze dominating the interest of our country right now, I thought the sign was pretty funny.

I enjoyed this message on the sign of a Taco Time restaurant in Spokane.

I enjoyed this message on the sign of a Taco Time restaurant in Spokane.

Movies – Over this past weekend, I saw two movies. The first one I watched was “Free State of Jones.” The film stars Matthew McConaughey and tells the story of southern defectors who fought against the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was interesting and the scenery in the film was beautiful. But what really stuck with me was the superb acting performance from McConaughey. It was worth the admission.

I also saw “The Purge: Election Year.” I went by myself to this one as Sidney is not into that type of stuff. I got pretty much what I went there to see: chilling and sadistic images of purgers. Tough to explain but I just like seeing the twisted costumes they wear and the way the producers highlight them for optimal “creep out” impact. Each film in the series sheds more and more commentary on the structure of society, with this latest movie doing it to a high degree. I was entertained by “The Purge: Election Year” but if given the choice, go see “Free State of Jones” first.

I enjoyed both "Free State of Jones" and "The Purge: Election Year."

I enjoyed both “Free State of Jones” and “The Purge: Election Year.”

Trump’s Vice President Pick – First off, I was completely wrong when I predicted two months ago that Donald Trump would pick John Kasich as his running mate. Then, this week, my gut told me that Trump would probably select Newt Gingrich as his second-in-command. But with credible news agencies saying he is going with Indiana Governor Mike Pence it looks like I have no idea what I am talking about. To be honest, out of the finalists announced this week, I was hoping Trump would give the nod to Chris Christie (although I truly thought he was going to select Gingrich). That pair just seemed more entertaining to me.

Distinguishing Between Reality TV Shows – Before I met Sidney, I did not watch reality TV. Now I watch every episode of “Big Brother.” This isn’t by force either; I enjoy “Big Brother” and look forward to it. However, most of my reality show watching ends there. A co-worker asked me today if I watch the other shows that Sid watches. I answered no. The reason why I can watch “Big Brother” and not programs such as Real Housewives of whatever and “The Kardashians” is simple: I can relate to “Big Brother.” I see myself and I see others I know in the people on the show. There is strategy and there is a point. With the other shows, I don’t see anything familiar or real. I can’t bear to watch.

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It was a good week of blogging, I hope you all enjoyed. I will catch up with you on Sunday. Have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

How I Fell in Love with “Big Brother”

On a Wednesday evening early in the summer I was bummed. Sidney and I were to leave for Spokane to enjoy vacation with my family. However, Delta Airlines called me right as we were about to leave for the airport to tell me our flight was canceled. With our trip now on hiatus at least for the night, we tried to make the best of the situation. We went and picked up Chinese food and returned to my place to eat and watch television. Sidney had the remote and changed the channel from ESPN to CBS. If there was a silver lining in our whole mess with Delta, it was that Sidney could now watch her favorite summer program.

It was the “Big Brother 17” season premiere. On a typical day I would have protested. I am not a fan of most reality television and at the time I considered the Big Brother franchise the scum of the genre. How boring, uncreative, and trashy can you get? People are confined to a house for three months while cameras follow their mundane activities and random conversations. No thank you.

I watched that first episode with Sidney from start to end. I made fun of it the entire time. I wasn’t really even paying attention to the content of the show, I was just expressing how dumb I thought the people and concept were. Sidney told me that she didn’t want me to watch it with her anymore.

We went to Spokane and for roughly the 12 days we were there, she kept up with the show. I didn’t. When we returned to Myrtle Beach and she started watching it on the scheduled nights again, I told her I wanted to watch it with more of an open mind. She gave me a second chance. Those first few episodes I was still very cynical. I tried to be on my best behavior but my sarcasm sometimes came out and Sid became frustrated with me. However, after those initial episodes, I started to chill out a little bit. My interest was piqued.

My insults turned to questions. I asked Sidney question after question about game strategy. I inquired about Power of Veto competitions, double evictions, Zingbot, and Julie Chen. I learned about the tradition of the show and common tactics. I actually learned the names of the cast and the weekly format of the show. Although I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the program yet, I was at least becoming educated.

As the weeks went on I actually started to kind of look forward to Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings in front of the TV. I started to understand the competition. Perhaps most importantly to my Big Brother initiation, I began to root for certain houseguests. I also zeroed in on a few houseguests who I absolutely detested and wanted to see evicted. A subtle passion was developing inside of me.

By late August I was very involved with the show. Sidney and I planned our evenings around the program and discussed it during our free time. I was talking “Big Brother” with people at work. At times I would watch the expanded “Big Brother After Dark” programming. In a couple true moments of weakness, I turned to blogging sites for spoilers. Sidney had converted me into a true “Big Brother” fan.

My fandom reaches a new level tonight. The “Big Brother 17” season finale will play out at 9:30 p.m. Three contestants remain but by the time 11 p.m. hits, only one person will be left. A cool $500,000 will be awarded to that skillful player and his/her name will forever be revered in Big Brother lore. I will have a rooting interest…

Throughout the season I strongly supported Jackie, Austin, and Vanessa. Jackie appealed to me much to my fiance’s chagrin. Austin was just a likeable and eccentric guy. Vanessa had been on my radar since her poker playing days and I respected her intelligence and strategy. Unfortunately, not all three made it to the end. Jackie earned herself a spot on jury but was evicted weeks ago. Austin was stunned early last week when he was evicted by an unlikely houseguest. Who was that houseguest, you ask? It is the person I am 100% rooting for tonight…Vanessa!

Like I mentioned, I am in awe of how smart and calculating Vanessa is. She has been my favorite the whole show and I want to see her win that half million. I know she faces a tough road this evening but her back has been up against the wall several times this summer. I really hope she makes the final two and that the jury makes the right decision to crown her the champ.

Sidney, you were right…”Big Brother” isn’t that bad. I have enjoyed watching the show this summer and I appreciate you putting up with me! Will I watch next summer? Tough question. These shows bring with them a significant time investment. I might watch, I might not. However, I won’t knock it. Enjoy the finale, everyone. Don’t Blink.