Daly Thursday Rundown

Wow, I can’t believe it is already Thursday evening. I hope everyone is doing awesome tonight, thank you for giving me another chance to throw five random topics at you. Let’s get started…

Evening With the Bishop – On multiple occasions in this blog, I have mentioned the Young Adult Catholic group Sid and I are part of. Well, this past weekend something pretty special happened. Our group had the opportunity to host the bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, the Most Reverend Thomas Daly. Our friends, Brian and Hailey, opened the doors of their home for the gathering and Bishop Daly brought the energy right when he walked in. It was so neat to be in such an intimate audience with him and to hear his thoughts and guidance. I even had the chance to speak with him one-on-one not long after he arrived. We were so honored that Bishop Daly made time for us and I can confidently say that our diocese is in great hands!

Our Young Adult Catholic group surrounds Bishop Thomas Daly (center, with hands in pockets). Also pictured is Fr. Jeff Lewis (back row, tallest person in photo), the leader of our Young Adult group and the man responsible for making our visit with the Bishop happen.

Luau Across the Miles – Yesterday was the fifth birthday of my nephew, Henry. He was having a Hawaiian-themed party at his house in Myrtle Beach and we wanted to join too. So Sid went out and purchased leis, a Hawaii backdrop, and a cake. We decked ourselves out in the leis, hung up the backdrop, and then FaceTimed Henry. After singing to him, Henry “blew out” the five candles on the cake from thousands of miles away. Sidney went out of her way to make Henry’s birthday special and she definitely succeeded.

Beau, Sloan, and Sid finish up their call with Henry on Wednesday.

Lake Mead Discoveries – Because of massive drought in the southwest, water levels in lakes and rivers are depleting. An example of this is at Lake Mead where the water level is lowering so much that “discoveries” are being made. Last month a barrel was revealed that happened to have a body stuffed inside. Law enforcement was able to estimate the date of the man’s death to the late 1970s or early 1980s because of the shoe style he was wearing. The violence was most likely inflicted by the Mob. As the surface continues to drop, it is expected that more and more remains will be found.

This is a barrel (not the one that the dead man was stuffed in) that is no longer underwater at Lake Mead.

Kind of True – When I saw this meme that my friend Lindsi posted today I knew I had to include it in my Thursday Rundown. Does anyone have doubts about it? The retro Chuck E. Cheese does look downright creepy, in fact it reminds me of the animatronic creatures from Dimes N’ Critters, a wild place I blogged about a few months ago. If Chuck E. Cheese still looked the same way he did on the left panel of this photo, I don’t think I would take Sloan as much as I do. Actually, that’s a lie…I still would.

Chuck E. Cheese has undergone quite the transformation over the years.

Educational Books – We have been introducing these “start to finish” books into Sloan’s nightly reading. They provide an educational break from the narrative stories we typically read to her. They are a little old school but it is fun to trace the many steps it takes to produce a product such as peanut butter or chocolate. Other books in the series include “From Wax to Crayon,” “From Clay to Bricks,” and “From Tree to House.”

These “Start to Finish” books are perfect for curious kids. We just finished reading the ones about chocolate and peanut butter.


I am calling it a night, folks. Thanks for listening and I hope you have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

A Chuck E. Cheese Birthday Party

As a Chuck E. Cheese superfan, it probably won’t surprise you where Sloan chose to have her birthday party. This past Saturday, our new 5-year-old hosted seven of her friends at the wildly popular entertainment center’s Spokane Valley location.

Sloan hosted seven of her friends at Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate her birthday on Saturday.

Yes, birthday parties are back as the pandemic continues to loosen its grip on our world. All one needed to do to see this reality expressed was peek inside Chuck E. Cheese for a half second on Saturday. But more on that in just a bit.

If you are a parent and are considering where to allow your child to host their birthday party, I thought I would give you some pros and cons for choosing Chuck E. Cheese.


Even though Sloan had her heart set on a Chuck E. Cheese party, Sid did look around at some of the trampoline parks and inflatable centers around Spokane. By a decent margin, Chuck E. Cheese offered the most affordable “per kid” price. You might be surprised to learn what some places are asking for birthday parties.

I feel the value of a Chuck E Cheese birthday party is strong compared to other alternatives. Sloan got some special time with Chuck E. and much more.

The value we received was another positive. The per kid price included an unlimited game card for TWO HOURS, pizza, unlimited soda in a Chuck E. Cheese souvenir cup, ice cream, and a party favor bag. We felt like Sloan’s friends were well taken care of.

That value also provides enhanced treatment for the birthday kid. It all starts with the name badge they receive and wrist watch they are given to activate the games, a VIP piece of “bling” that contrasts with the standard card that all the other children get. The birthday designee also receives free tickets, recognition from Chuck E. Cheese himself, and a chance inside the ticket booth where occupants are challenged to grab as many tickets swirling in the air as possible.

Sloan in the Chuck E. Cheese ticket booth with her cousin, Mikayla.

The flexibility is also nice. We could have purchased a cake from Chuck E. Cheese but we weren’t required to do so. Rather, we were allowed to bring our own cake to the facility and our party host gladly served it to the kids. That is another thing, Chuck E. Cheese assigns an employee to your party to facilitate the schedule, serve food/drinks, make the birthday kid feel special, and provide customer service.

We were able to bring our own cake to Chuck E. Cheese.


On the other side of things, it wasn’t like Sloan had a private party. There were five other birthday parties taking place during the same noon – 2 p.m. time slot as Sloan’s. All these parties took place on the same floor area, with six rows of seating (one row per party) lined up right next to each other.

With so many parties taking place simultaneously, that obviously translates into lots of kids running around. The gaming floor was pretty busy on Saturday resulting in wait times at some games and a long line at the ticket redemption prize counter.

Also, Chuck E. Cheese is Chuck E. Cheese. For those people who experience anxiety walking into a place with kids running wild all over the place or who think that Chuck E. Cheese pizza tastes like cardboard, your perception is unlikely to change even if you are experiencing the venue from a birthday party perspective.


With all that said, judging by my count, the positives still outweigh the negatives. Because of that, I feel like I can recommend Chuck E. Cheese for your child’s birthday party. And oh yeah, Sloan can too! Don’t Blink.

About Time! Visiting Chuck E. Cheese

We went from living in a Dave and Buster’s town to living in a Chuck E. Cheese town…

Loss for Sid and I; win for Sloan and Beau. Right? Well, I don’t equate my level of happiness with access to arcade games and skee-ball so please don’t feel too bad for me.

It is mildly amusing though that Myrtle Beach had the monopoly on the ultimate adult arcade experience and Spokane seemingly has the upper hand with children as it boasts multiple Chuck E. Cheese fun centers.

A look at the exterior of the North Spokane Chuck E. Cheese location. This was the first Chuck E. Cheese that Sloan ever went to.

Just before the libraries re-opened, Chucky decided it was time to invite all the kids and their parents back. It was another one of those small victory moments when you could sense the tide turning with respect to the Coronavirus.

Sloan had waited a long time to ride alongide this mouse.

By the time Chuck E. Cheese re-opened, Sloan was chomping at the bit to go. We had driven by the two Spokane locations so many times and she had watched countless Chuck E. Cheese-related YouTube videos that she couldn’t wait to get inside and meet the Mouse himself.

Needless to say, Sloan was ready to run loose at Chuck E. Cheese.

As a little boy growing up in Spokane there was nothing more rewarding than when my parents would take me to Chuck E. Cheese. There used to be a location in the Shadle Park Shopping Center and in my day that was ground zero for where “a kid could be a kid.” There was no cooler place to have a birthday party or spend a day of spring break than at Chuck E. Cheese.

So, yes, I was a little nostalgic when I took Sloan to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. But once we walked through the doors that nostalgia turned to mild panic as I tried to navigate the changes that have taken place over the years (or decades).

Sloan learned a lot about Chuck E. Cheese by watching some of her favorite YouTubers visit it.

You no longer get a stamp to ensure that you leave with the people you came with. Instead, you just take a selfie. To play games, it is no longer as simple as feeding the token machine dollar bills. Rather, you select between different packages at the front counter. Once you choose your package, don’t expect to receive any of the coveted Chuck E. Cheese tokens you could no longer get at the token machine—like with most arcades, everything is now placed on a play card.

The Chuck E. Cheese staff makes sure parents leave with their kids by requiring them to take selfies upon entering. When you leave, you show them the selfie so they can verify that everyone leaves with who they came with.

But after the shock wore off and I could quickly evaluate the changes made since 1999, it was obvious that they were made to improve the experience. I don’t think it is even more obvious than with the packages. You can still select a package that let’s you pay per game OR you can choose one based on time. The latter is what I have done with Sloan both times we have gone.

The ball is in your court when it comes to choosing a package.

I pay $13 for a 30-minute pass. During that half hour, Sloan can play all the games as many times as she wants. It doesn’t matter if it is a ride, a redemption game, or the latest arcade game, she has access to it all courtesy of the $13 paid upfront. You can pay for longer time periods but the half hour option has worked out perfectly for us both visits. Not only does it satisfy Sloan’s energy level as we zip around the facility playing as many games as possible but it also satisfies my wallet.

We spent a portion of our 30 minutes playing air hockey.

Other changes I have noticed since “back in the day” include kiosks that will take your picture, ice cream vending machines set up on the play floor, and Blue Moon beer on tap. Dang, Chuck E. Cheese really has evolved, huh?

Sloan and I got these made at separate kiosks during yesterday’s trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

In a day and age where entertainment options are still limited for toddlers in these waning days of the pandemic, Chuck E. Cheese has proven to be a great place to expel some energy. Don’t Blink.