Alphabetical Order

As per Thursday tradition on Don’t Blink it is time for the five topic scramble. But let’s bring some order to today’s edition and go in alphabetical order. Sound good?

Baltimore – I have my next (planned) trip locked up. Over the first weekend of August Sidney and I will be traveling north to Baltimore, Maryland. What will we be doing there? Baseball of course! We have purchased tickets to watch the Baltimore Orioles play a couple games. Ever since I became a baseball fan I have desperately wanted to see a game inside Camden Yards and in a couple weeks that wish will become a reality. I can’t wait to catch some action inside the ballpark that inspired the building of all the other modern day ballparks. Making the trip that much sweeter is who I get to see the Orioles play. For the first time ever I will have the opportunity to watch the Seattle Mariners in person in a ballpark other than the Kingdome or Safeco Field. Yes, I do plan on wearing Mariners gear to at least the first game.

Bowling – You know what I just realized? Since arriving in South Carolina I have not yet bowled. I guess all the miniature golfing has kind of filled the void. But really, I need to hit an alley soon and show off my famous 50 MPH straight line throw that has steadily gotten me low scores and weird looks for the past 15 years. I can put up with the embarrassment though just because I am curious to see what a Myrtle Beach bowling alley looks like. I am thinking that behind the pins there might be an ocean backdrop, the player tables might be beach chairs in real sand, and the music played is stuck on a Beach Boys loop.

CCUSA – We are now 13 states in on our CCUSA campaign where each day we feature a Coastal Carolina supporter waving a Chanticleer flag in a different state. So far so good! The photos we received have gone above and beyond. Today we featured Illinois and the rep had taken a picture with an Abraham Lincoln statue and a Stephen Douglas statue that commemorated their famous debates. A couple days ago it was Hawaii’s turn and that state’s rep took a photo with the flag UNDERWATER! Heck, my parents even got in on the act. They served as the reps for Idaho, nicely driving the half hour or so from their home in Washington state to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. To view the CCUSA website, click here.

The CCUSA campaign is off to a great start. States pictured in this montage include (clockwise) Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Florida.

The CCUSA campaign is off to a great start. States pictured in this montage include (clockwise) Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Florida.

Derek Jeter – Pretty much everyone knows that I am a New York Yankees fan. Because I am a Yanks supporter I am obviously a big proponent of Derek Jeter. With that said, the All-Star game on Wednesday went way over the top in making the game 100% about him. I know he has done a lot for the game and has earned a spot in Cooperstown but I thought this year’s Mid-Summer Classic did a disservice by doing every little possible thing to praise him. The interviews, the commercials, the ovations, the introductions, the easy pitching, the 3,587 shots of his family in the stands, etc. seemed overkill to me. But what can I say? All of the Jeter fanfare resulted in big ratings for Fox, the best for the All-Star game in years. It still rubbed me the wrong way.

Planet of the Apes – I admit it, I had my doubts about the new “Planet of the Apes” franchise. I assumed that these recent movies would have human looking apes doing geeky things in a hokey fantasy storyline that only diehard science-fiction fans and weirdos would like. Not so. After watching the first movie last Thursday night to prepare me for the sequel when I went with my co-workers on Friday evening I totally changed my tune. These movies are fabulously done with engaging storylines, top notch acting, and awesome effects. This is not your 1970’s Planet of the Apes! Give it a try and rent “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” I guarantee you will then want to hit the movie theater and watch “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

My ticket for "Dawn of the Planet Apes" from last Friday.

My ticket for “Dawn of the Planet Apes” from last Friday.


Friday is just around the corner and I am excited. No big plans  for the weekend but you know how it is….I will most likely have a story or two to tell by the time Sunday night rolls around. Have a great weekend my loyal readers! Don’t Blink.

Chap Stick. Shattered Light. CCUSA. Sunglasses. Demi Lovato

For the third straight Thursday I wish to ramble on about five totally different topics. So sit back and let me quickly take you through the five things on my mind this evening.

Chap Stick and Pens: It is freshmen orientation season here at Coastal Carolina as the first two of nine total orientations took place this week. In order to advance our #CCU Social Media program I hand out a card I had made listing our social outlets to our incoming freshmen. To make the card a little more attractive I tape either a CCU tube of chap stick or a CCU ballpoint pen to it. Standing outside of the main dining hall during their lunch hour I await for the students to walk out as they march to their next session. Both days I did this it was as if I was giving away cards of gold instead of cards of paper with a writing utensil attached to it. I got swarmed and had to put forth an amazing effort in the hot South Carolina sun to keep up with seemingly a thousand hands in my bubble waiting for a card. I never felt so popular in my life.

A look at the card complete with the chap stick that is making me very popular with freshmen college students.

A look at the card complete with the chap stick that is making me very popular with freshmen college students.

Shattered Light: Last Thursday night a violent storm passed through Myrtle Beach. Angry thunder and constant lightning accompanied a downpour of rain. It was pretty ugly. Trying to stay out of it all I hung out in my apartment while, you guessed it, blogging. All of a sudden another round of ear-jolting thunder rattled the area and I let out a gasp as the light fixture right outside of my bedroom and laundry room completely shattered, producing a savage noise. Now I don’t know if the shattering was caused by the sound of the thunder, the shaking it produced, or a bolt of lightning but it could be 100% attributed to the storm. Although I didn’t get too angry with the glass breaking itself I might have uttered a faint curse word when I cut my finger cleaning it up.

A look at my shattered light fixture. It was not pretty.

A look at my shattered light fixture. It was not pretty.

Update on CCUSA: Last night I wrote about our CCUSA: Fifty States, Fifty Flags social media campaign. I explained the initiative and talked about the crazy response we received. At posting time last night 34 states were represented. As I type this right now we have 45 states represented! Missing are Hawaii, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. By tomorrow I think we will have the whole map covered. In between my regular work load today I managed to ship off 25 flags complete with a letter and a couple promo items. By quitting time Friday I hope to have the remaining flags on their way to various destinations across this country.

I spent a lot of time stuffing these tubes with flags today.

I spent a lot of time stuffing these tubes with flags today.

$10 Sunglasses Work Just Fine: Apparently I am very, very out of touch with the sunglasses market. I expressed to Sidney that I wanted a pair. While in Charleston we went inside a Sunglasses Hut to look around. I looked at a pair and glanced at the price…$340!! I went to the other side of the store where Sidney was and she looked at a pair and mentioned it was over $400. Excuse me?!? Why would anyone want to shell out that kind of money for SUNGLASSES? I remember back in the day when it seemed outrageous that a pair of Oakleys ran for $120. To spend triple digits on sunglasses in my opinion is asinine. I know I am tacky and not very hip but I think a $10 pair of sunglasses at Wal-Mart look and work just as well as a $400 pair at some fancy sunglasses shop.

Demi Lovato’s New Song: I admit that I have a low key crush on Demi Lovato. I think she has a great voice and I really like her latest song called “Really Don’t Care.” It is pretty catchy and if you like Cher Lloyd she has a small part in it too. If you care to, listen to it here.


Everyone in the office seems to have mentioned that this week has seemed really long. I think I have to agree with them. I am excited for the weekend and as is the norm for me in Myrtle Beach I know adventures await. Please remember all the dads this Sunday and you all keep safe! Thanks again for your tremendous support of this blog. Don’t Blink.

#CCUSA: An Explosion of E-Mails

When I worked at the University of Montana I ran a promotion on Facebook where I asked our fans to guess a number that one of our student-athletes secretly chose between 1 and 10,000. They had two hours to respond and there was an incentive for guessing the correct number. In theory the idea seemed like a great way to generate engagement but when I saw that we had 100+ responses within five minutes I wondered if maybe I bit off a little more than I could chew, especially with a page boasting well over 100,000 likes. When the deadline passed and we had roughly 1,000 guesses I felt a little overwhelmed. Going through and checking so many responses over Facebook is neither fun nor easy.

I can say that experience was really the only time I have felt overwhelmed with social media. Even when I was running twenty different accounts with numerous things to post on each one I never felt like I couldn’t keep up. Well today I got a faint reminder of what I felt that day I ran the student-athlete number guessing promotion.

Chanticleer Athletics and University Communication got together at Coastal Carolina University to design a sweet social media promotion. To put faces to it all you had Marketing Director Kevin Olivett and his assistant John Fernandez from athletics and from University Communication you had yours truly. The three of us met and came up with the “CCUSA: Fifty States, Fifty Flags” (think CCU + USA) campaign. We would send a CCU flag to one person in each state. He/she would then have to take a photo with that flag in a place that showcased his/her state. The photos would then be sent back to us for our use on social media. We ran with it. Kevin and John provided all the physical materials for the campaign (poster tubes and flags) while I designed the website, coordinated the design of other creative materials, and launched the campaign. It was also agreed that I would facilitate the campaign by serving as the point person for folks interested in participating.

I give to you the CCUSA: 50 States, 50 Flags campaign (awesome graphic done by Regis Minerd).

I give to you the CCUSA: 50 States, 50 Flags campaign (awesome graphic done by Regis Minerd).

At 1:30 p.m. today I sent out the first posts announcing the CCUSA campaign on Facebook and Twitter. A student worker and I then went to quickly cover a Cold Water Challenge attempt. The water dumping took ten minutes tops and as we made our way back to the office I looked at my phone and saw that I had 17 new e-mails. When I said I was facilitating the campaign I meant to explain that our audience would be e-mailing me to say they wanted to participate in CCUSA. I ferociously started to respond to all e-mails. However, it seemed as if for every one I responded to I got two or three more. Fifty minutes into the campaign and I had already received 63 e-mails. When an hour and a half had passed I reached the triple digit mark.

You see, on something like this you must respond immediately both to make sure the promotion stays organized and to show your audience excellent customer service. I zoomed through the e-mails as quickly as possible, either letting the person know that I would be sending them a flag by the end of the week or that their state already had a representative. Duplicates from states such as South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania came in like crazy. But also inquiries from far off states such as Nevada, New Mexico, California, and my home state of Washington came in as well making my task a lot of fun. While responding to all this correspondence I was also simultaneously updating our CCUSA webpage, making sure that a state was marked off when claimed.

While the volume of e-mails did go down just a tad it has been a steady stream since. Throughout the last couple hours of the day I went back and forth between video editing, social media directory building, and responding to CCUSA inquiries. When I left work I made sure every single e-mail was responded to. When I arrived home after my commute I had ten new e-mails related to CCUSA. As I sit here right now I am responding to flag requests every couple minutes. It seems as if they won’t stop.

Although eventually they will. I might have felt a little overwhelmed at times today but pretty soon the onslaught of e-mails will die down. In just less than seven hours we have 34 states plus the District of Columbia claimed. When the remaining 16 states find a representative I will make it very clear to our audience that the campaign is completely full. As of right now I have received by my best count 200 e-mails. I have responded to each one. I estimate that I will receive 100 more before we have the whole map completely closed up.

Shipping each one of these flags out will be a long process. I am a one man show so getting the tubes stuffed with a flag, a letter detailing the instructions, and a couple goodies will drain some of my time. But who cares? This campaign is going to yield some of the best user generated content ever. In an unrelated closing note, one of the 16 states still up for grabs is Montana. To all my devoted readers in my former state…who wants a Chanticleer flag?! Hurry up and text me already! Don’t Blink.