• Declan's Birth Story
    06 Apr 2017

    I have been meaning to write Declan’s birth story since he was just a few weeks old, and now he is about to turn 6 months this week. I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly, it feels like I was just getting my maternity photos taken and making sure his room was ready. I remember wondering when he would come and what his birth would be like. Would it be everything I had been hoping and planning for or would he surprise us and change every aspect of our birth plan? Pre-labor pains began two weeks before he...

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  • How Im Coping With Death As An Atheist
    27 Feb 2017

    Today my mom called me to let me know that my Grandmom had passed away. She was 91 years old, and had been suffering from dementia for several years. I’m glad her pain and confusion is finally over. Her husband survives her. As do her five children, and their families. She will be remembered by so many family members, and the countless people whose lives she has touched over the years. I hope that they all can find comfort in her passing. Remembering Grandmom When I was a boy, my cousin Renee teased me once that Grandmom was hers, not...

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  • How to Build a Bed Frame
    29 Nov 2016

    Despite being in our thirties, and married for eight years, my wife and I still slept with our bed on the floor like we did in our off campus college apartment back in 2005. Go Duke Dogs! Since we have a baby on the way, we decided it was time to grow up and get an adult bed frame. However, when we started looking for beds, we were quickly reminded why we hadn’t taken the plunge earlier: $$$! All the king bed frames with a style we enjoyed were in the $500 - $700 price range. We weren’t excited about...

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  • DIY Goliath Bookshelf
    16 Aug 2015

    We are trying to save as much as we can so that we can remodel our kitchen ASAP, so we have started trying our hand at building some of our own furniture. Technically, our first project was a floating headboard a few years ago. It was a simple project that didn’t require any sawing, drilling, or screwing. Our first “real” build was a table to house our Big Green Egg (post coming soon). It was frustrating, but I guess that’s what you can expect for my first time using pretty much any of the tools I own. The end result...

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  • Crustless Quiche With Mushroom And Sausage
    12 May 2013

    Recently my wife was throwing a baby shower for a dear friend. Because she is an absolute nut for delicious homemade food, she took the responsibility to feed her guests very seriously. I had the privilege of helping her taste-test many of the foods that she was considering for the menu.

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  • The Best Board Games
    28 Apr 2013

    I play board games one or two times a week. I think that they are a fantastic way to engage with a group of friends or family. The best board games can ignite a healthy competitive spirit, or exercise team work. The best board games can be silly fun, or intensely strategic. So, if you are looking for a cheap way to have a fun and engaging evening with friends or family, I hope you’ll find my list of the best board games helpful. Ticket to Ride Why it’s one of the best board games Ticket to Ride is the...

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  • Its A Piece Of Cake To Make A Diaper Cake
    12 Mar 2013

    So your best friend is pregnant, and you want to give them something that comes from the heart, but also has a down-to-earth, utilitarian purpose? Good news, I have just the right gift idea for you. A Diaper cake! It’s got all the decorative beauty of a wedding cake, and all the sensibility of a box of diapers. My wife made one for her best friend, and just look at the results: Cool! Teach Me How! It’s a piece of cake to make a diaper cake! I’ll tell you what materials you need, and the method for putting them together....

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  • How To Build A Floating Headboard
    02 Sep 2012

    My wife Crystal has been bugging me about our bedroom life for a while now. She said it was boring and lacked interest… somehow, I hadn’t noticed. Luckily for me, all it would take to liven up the mood is a new headboard. Oh, you thought I was talking about our sexlife? No, I’m talking home decor! Shaking Things Up Crystal wanted a headboard, and I wanted to save money. So we set out with the idea of building our own on the cheap. Pinterest is amazing for things like this, and she quickly stumbled across a DIY project that...

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  • Startup Weekend Preview
    22 Aug 2012

    As I’m writing this, I’m practically SHAKING in anticipation and excitement for Startup Weekend Blacksburg. I’m serious, this event is going to be AMAZING! Alright you caught me, I’m a bit biased because I’m on the team of organizers making this event happen. So let me explain why I think my Blacksburg readers should be just as excited as I am… Amazing People This is a ticketed event, and the tickets aren’t cheap. We’re talking $99 a pop. Why is this a good thing? Because it ensure that the people who are attending the event are others who are super...

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  • My Introduction To Board Gaming
    01 Jun 2012

    Like most Americans who eventually discovered how fun and blissfully geeky boardgames can be, I grew up occasionally playing the mass market standards: Monopoly, Clue, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Risk, etc. About 3 years ago, I was working in a job I didn’t much like. My wife and I had moved far from all of our friends and family. The town was Helena, Montana… it was colder and quieter than we were used to, being from the active and highly populated Northern Virginia. Fortunately, I liked a few of my co-workers. One of them pulled out a game called Masterpiece: The Art...

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  • Prezcon And Other Fun Things
    29 Feb 2012

    Skeptical Coworker (SC): “How was your weekend?” ME: “It was a ton of fun. I went to a board game convention.” SC: “A board game convention? That sounds geeky.” ME: “It is exactly as geeky as it sounds, but much more fun.” SC: “What is fun about a board game convention?” ME: “Well, board games of course. Actually, the games are fun, but I suppose its really the people that make it fun. Just imagine: hundreds of people, who all have the imagination to make good fun out of a box of cardboard and other bits. All of these people...

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  • My 5k Adventure
    20 Feb 2012

    This weekend I did something I usually don’t do… I moved. In fact, not only did I move, I ran a 5k. Now if you know me, right now you are probably in disbelief. I’m not what you would call an athelete. And true to form, I didn’t train for this event beyond running a couple of miles one time, the week before the event. So on Saturday, when I showed up at the school where the race would be started and saw enthusiastic and seasoned runners, I felt a little out of place. Luckily as time went by and...

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  • The Post That Started It All
    11 Feb 2012

    #”Who the hell are you?”# First of all, the title of this post isn’t quite right. It implies that I created something important, relevant, and meaningful, and that this post is responsible for that something existence. Well, I’ve created a lot of things, and I’d like to think that some of those things are important, relevant or meaningful. But certainly, nothing I’ve done has been all three. Rather the title was quite arbitrary, but its contents will not be. My intention is to introduce myself, and so that’s what I shall do: My name is Brian Hazzard (just Hazzard to...

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