Monthly Archives: May 2013

Day 16 – Salute to Freedom

So it appears I lied the other day when I said Day 15 would be my last one in a while.  Turns out Day 16 is the last one, as Chick-fil-A, that bastion of all that is good, right, and true with American enterprise, is actually open on Memorial Day.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t say a quick word of heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of those who’ve served to make it possible for me to freely type this blog post, freely think and express speech, and freely worship the God I please. I have never served in the US military, having been born after the draft days of the second World War, Korea, and Vietnam. I chose to play college football after high school, though looking back, while I don’t regret my time under Coach Mike Swider at Wheaton College, I could’ve seen myself enlisting.  Part of the reason my Christian faith defines my identity is precisely because there is a longing in the human spirit to be complete, to be meaningful, to do something noble.  Serving others in armed services is eerily similar to the Christian walk – serving others and sacrificing self. So today, dear veterans of the United States Armed Forces, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Speaking of bottoms, at the bottom of my stomach right now are the digesting remnants of a #3 Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal, courtesy of Sarah and the folks at the Trinity Chick-fil-A. If that doesn’t charge you up for some Chick-fil-A this instant, I don’t know what will!

One thing I love about the up and coming generation is that they’re pretty used to cameras being shoved in their faces. Sarah is a prime example, friendly and helpful:

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I’ll say this about my meal today – there’s nothing quite like your bald head moistly tingling as that spicy crispy chicken breast hits your tongue and slithers its way to the back of your throat and down the hatch. Cleans out the sinuses and makes you want to skydive at the same time. And seeing as how it’s the last Chick-fil-A I’ll have for the next couple of weeks, it was a good way to go out.

Liza was there with me today but held off on her free Chick-fil-A as the stomach was slightly touch and go. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t stop her from having a couple waffle fries, and with the Chick-fil-A honey bbq sauce, who could blame her?

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I’ve asked her to carry the torch while I’m gone, but only if she’s able. She’s got a lot on her plate with AddictedtoSaving.com, and with our pending adoption possibly going through, so if you’re in the mood and are a praying person, we would both greatly appreciate them.

As for me?  I’m off to Uganda for a couple of weeks to teach leadership at three different men’s conferences, and serve orphans and widows at the local churches of our ministry partners there. We have 19 of us going on this Man Up missions trip, and we are bursting with excitement to serve. I’m excited to report back, but also excited to have Every Day with Chick-fil-A once again.

Here’s a pic from last year’s trip to whet your appetite (trying to bring you back from that bottom of my stomach analogy earlier):

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Can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for this trip! See you in a couple of weeks, my Chick-fil-A friends.

Day 15 – A Day of Temporary Sadness

Let’s see, what are we on now – ah, Day 15. If the days are running together now, I can only imagine what Day 156 will be.

At any rate, it’s time for a little confession, and I hope you’ll understand.  As much as I want to continue Every Day with Chick-fil-A in actuality, I will have to take a brief respite as I fly to Uganda on Monday for a Man Up & Go missions trip.  Now granted, if Chick-fil-A would get its act together and open on a franchise in downtown Kampala, I can assure you the Ugandans would EAT IT UP, quite literally. Mr. Cathy – if you’re listening – I will personally help you open up the first international Chick-fil-A franchise in the capital city of Uganda, as soon as you’re ready. I got connections.  😉

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That being said, I’m afraid today was my last Chick-fil-A meal for at least a couple of weeks.  I am really quite sad about it, truthfully.

Good thing I had Evan to wait on me. ^^^ Dustin was there, Ryan was there, and some of the other folks too. What’s great about going every day is that you can’t help but get to know the peeps making the food.  I find that to be comforting, like an old favorite t-shirt or a Chicago Bears victory. Okay, so I’m not comfortable very often.  But knowing the staff at my local Chick-fil-A makes up for the lack of Bears’ wins. You can’t put a price tag on that.  (Of course, I don’t have a price tag on any meal from Chick-fil-A these days…the analogy would’ve worked better if I was actually paying for them.)

But hey, I am giving them promotion.  I mean, my mom, my dad, even my wife sometimes, they all read this blog, so, in essence, FREE advertising Chick-fil-A.  In true Bubba Watson flavor, “You’re welcome.”

My send off meal today? Well, I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

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No really, the picture obviously speaks for itself.

Now I’m trying to employ the services of a couple of other VIPers to take my place while I’m gone, so stay tuned. But either way, home is where the heart is, and my heart will always be in a Chick-fil-A drive-thru flashing a VIP Black Card. See you in a couple of weeks, Chick-fil-A, Lord willing.

Day 14 – First Late Night Run (Well, Late for Us Old Fogies)

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Whew. Day 14 – are you over yet? This has been one of those, If-I-don’t-laugh-about-it-I’ll-cry kind of days. I’m man enough to admit it. So much to do. So much to prepare. So little time. It’s all good though.

Before I share my late night run to the Trinity Chick-fil-A, I have to tell you about a serious Twilight Zone experience earlier today. I can’t get my Brighthouse bill to load in Google Chrome, so I call up my local rep to pay by phone. (Sorry if you’ve seen this on Facebook already, but I’m bringing back Baby Girl and not making apologies for it.)

Anywho, here’s the conversation:

Brighthouse Customer Service Rep: Hello, [muffled muffled muffled] can I help you?

Me: I’m sorry, what was your name?

Brighthouse CSR: Baby Girl

Me: Wait, what?

Her: Baby Girl

Me: Baby Girl. is that your real name?

Baby Girl: Yessir.

Me: Is that on your birth certificate?

Baby Girl: Yessir.

[awkward silence]

Me: Well then, Baby Girl, I’d like to pay my bill….

Really? Really…Baby Girl? That’s your name. Did you not think it might be a good idea to change it before working in a call center where you it would be your job for the first words out of your mouth to be, ‘Hello, I’m Baby Girl, how can I help you?’ Really, Baby Girl?  Really…. [SNL fans know what I’m talking about – go HERE if you don’t. Although word of advice, if you can’t laugh at a joke about Michael Vick and his “recreational” proclivities then viewer discretion is advised.  Also, it’s really poor quality, Comcast.]

Now this wasn’t as Zwilightish per se, but as I was rolling into the Winn Dixie to do a shopping run, I see lights go off and turn around to witness this, though it’s hard to see:

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Now those who live in the area would find nothing surprising about this happening in Moon Lake. But nevertheless, when you see it all go down live, there’s a sense of voyeuristic wonder about the whole thing. On the one hand, you’re like, “yeah, get ’em!” But there’s the grace side of me, the compassionate side of me that says, “Dude, I feel bad for you…why’d you gotta go and pull a Michael Vick?”

[Side note – although I detest the inhumane treatment of all living creatures, I don’t appall Michael Vick. He just happens to be in the line of fire tonight.]

Okay, so this has been my latest Chick-fil-A run yet.  Liza got to come with me (which is always a huge plus!), and we took about a dozen pics of the moon because it was so amazingly bright. Of all the pics, this is our best shot (makes you feel sorry for our worst one, huh?).

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There’s only so much you can do with an iPhone, let’s be honest.

We rolled up to the Chick-fil-A about 9:45, and I was in the mood for a salad. But since Liza is GF (gluten free for those not in the know), she whimpered about not having some of my waffle fries, which are GF. Well girlfriend, it doesn’t take much for me to get on board with some Chick-fil-A Waffle Fries, so I ordered at number 5 with an 8-pc and a large fries so we could split it, and she ordered her standby, the Asian Salad.

If I’m honest, my nuggets were not as hot as I’d like, but I’m hard to please – if it doesn’t leave a scar on my tongue, it wasn’t hot enough. Scars aside, my server McKenzie was nice and ready for both my VIP card and Liza’s as well.  Here’s McKenzie getting ready to serve me my 1/2 Diet, 1/2 Regular Dr. Pepper:

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Liza thinks I’m strange to capture the servers on camera, and admittedly, 10 or even 5 years ago it may’ve been. But we live in a Big Brother world, and they’ve all been so gracious anyhow. Thanks for the memories, Chick-fil-A employees!

Good night folks. Day 14, in the books.

Day 13 – Banking Mishaps (Which Has Nothing to Do with Chick-fil-A)

Ah, Day 13. Lucky number 13.  Since pictures are worth a thousand words, videos must be worth….wait for it….one million dollars.

I know, you got the reference.

So a big shout out to my servers at the Trinity Chick-fil-A today – Brittany and this other guy who was super awesome.  And I think her name was Brittany, but I’m not 100% sure. At any rate, they were friendly, the Chick-fil-A® Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich was delicious, and I loved having them post in tandem for my picture.

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So here’s my million dollar video leading up to my Chick-fil-A experience. There’s really no rhyme or reason for this, but I’ve got like 190 something more of these, so fortunately for you, this won’t be the only time ou’ll get to explore Every Day with Chick-fil-A from the driver’s seat.

Day 11 – My Pleasures, All the Way Around

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This was my view rolling down SR 54 in Trinity, FL, just minutes away from Day 11’s Every Day with Chick-fil-A meal. Watching this beautiful sunset unfold, I couldn’t help but think of the irony of nature, haunting and terrifying one minute, inspiring and jaw-dropping the next. What one man exalts, another detests; what can be so serene can in the next frame be so mean. I was thankful for this sunset, and in my heart prayed to God for the people of Oklahoma. So many stories coming to light, one of my favorites being the old woman who found her dog in the rubble while giving an interview.

Cue Kleenex.

Tonight I ordered my stand by – #1 meal, the Original Chick-fil-A Sandwich with a medium waffle fries a 1/2 regular 1/2 Diet Dr. Pepper. I fumbled over my drink order too, but Colby handled it with graceful ease.  Here’s Colby smiling for the camera:

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Colby had the “my pleasure” down, and I have to say, I really love that about Chick-fil-A. I don’t care if you don’t want to say it, Chick-fil-A employee, you make me feel like a million bucks when you do.  So go on with your “my pleasures,” because it is indeed my pleasure hear yours. With all this pleasure going around, think about how much better the world would be if everyone gave it a whirl!

Seriously, if everyone looked as happy as this young lad, we’d all be better off:

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Haha, the young lad is me. Course, everyone doesn’t have the VIP Black Card, so I have extra reason to smile. In all fairness about my review of Chick-fil-A in these blog posts, the first couple bites of my chicken tonight were a little on the dry side. And I have to say, I can’t ever remember having a piece of dry Chick-fil-A chicken.

Mind you, that didn’t deter me from polishing off the rest, as I calmly consumed this carnival of carnivorous deliciousness to completion on my drive home. Still looking for a good way to carefully dip my no-pickled Chick-fil-A sandwich into their BBQ sauce without making a mess.

Two words: very carefully.

Every Day with Chick-fil-A. Out.

Day 10 – Praying for Hope in Oklahoma

I’m into double digits in my Every Day with Chick-fil-A quest, and I have to admit, today’s blog is written with a heavy heart as I think about those who are struggling in Moore, OK, after the Category 4 twister did so much damage earlier today.  Life is fleeting and makes no guarantees, and every time a catastrophe like this happens I think about one thing: HOPE.

There’s hardly a more potent force in all the world; more powerful than a twister, to be sure. And my prayer tonight is that the people in that town have hope, hope in the eternal God above, who always was, always is, and forevermore shall be.  There’s hope of not getting a speeding ticket when you’re busted, hope that you’ll win the lottery, but I speak of a firm foundation of hope, bedrocked in solid stone, unmovable, unshakeable, steadfast, strong, and secure. That is what the people of Moore, OK, need this evening. I pray dear Lord in heaven that you would provide it.

Then there are silly hopes, like the hope of having an excellent Chick-fil-A experience each day, made possible by my VIP Black Chick-fil-A card.  Today’s run was later than anticipated, as times are busy in the Ford household. I’ve already noted the busyness in a previous blog, so I’ll spare you the details here. But I made the most of a late run, putting in my prescription request at CVS for Malarone and Cipro (the first for malaria prevention, the latter for a prevention of another kind.) Deposited some checks in the bank, and I was off to Chick-fil-A.

Was at my local Trinity location Chick-fil-A today; home base, if you will, and they’re starting to catch on.  Now this girl was new to me, and honestly, I think her name was Megan, but for truth in reporting, I have no idea.  She was super nice though and put up with a camera in her face with kindness:

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You know who also was there was my guy Ryan, and he definitely remembered me. If you’re reading this blog, Ryan, here’s your second shout out!  Go HERE to see the first post.

I knew my wife was making something with veggies at home, so I went with what is slowly becoming my favorite – the Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips®. Pile on a medium waffle fries and a small vanilla shake, and I was on my way home.

Oh, have to give my mom a shout out too – she was on the phone when placed the order.  Gotta love on the family, am I right?

Liza had the veggies baking in the oven already so I only had to wait about another ten minutes to have my meal.  I decided to cut up my strips and throw them amongst baked broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, garlic and potatoes.  Here’s what it looked like:

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You don’t need to ask if it was good or not – I won’t let you even attempt to slander my wife’s good cooking paired with Truett’s patented chicken breast recipe with the question, even if it’s rhetorical. (Legal disclaimer: I have no idea if Truett’s recipe is patented or not. Remember I speak often in metaphors.) Both Truett and my wife are the holy grail of eating as far as I’m concerned.

So there you have it, Day 10 in the books. Of course I wish it was under brighter circumstances, so with humility and reverence do I end this blog for the dear folks in Oklahoma today. I think my father’s favorite verse is appropriate in this instance:

May the God of hope fill you with all ljoy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. – Romans 15:13

Day 9 – Mall Rats & Chick-fil-A

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Day 9 has now come and almost gone, and I would be remiss if I didn’t relay my Chick-fil-A experience. It would also defeat the purpose of the blog, which is Every Day with Chick-fil-A. Right now is just a crazy time in my life.  Mi vida loca, over and over, destiny turns on a dime. (Country fans will get the reference.) And yes, I think I wrote it in the feminine tense, ease up grammar Nazis. (And to my Jewish friends, I love you, we share the same biblical history, but the Nazi comment is a figure of speech; please take it with a grain of humble salt.)

Here’s what I got going on:

  • I’m headed very soon to Uganda with 18 other awesome folks for a Man Up missions trip to serve orphans and widows, and I can’t wait to get to Africa!  That said, when you’re responsible for helping lead the trip, it’s just a whole ‘nother animal, beastly and hairy. Taming the beast though, is the goal. We’re leading a Man Up Men’s Conference there for the first time ever and have been organizing and writing curriculum for this event. It’s rewarding work, and I love it, but time is of the essence, and I’m up against the clock.
  • We are having to redo a bunch of paperwork for our adoption. This is a very good problem to have, because it means we’re moving forward instead of standing still like we’re in Eisenhower expressway traffic at 5 pm on a Tuesday rolling out of downtown Chicago. But again, it’s more time, and more money for that matter. I’ll say it again, adoption is not for the faint of heart.
  • We got some business deals in the works which are requiring a lot of extra time and careful attention. Another excellent problem. As my buddy Bjorn says, it’s kind of like needing to buy more chairs at a restaurant. Obviously the food’s good, and you need to take the time to plan a way to accommodate the folks. That’s where we’re at.

All that being said, there’s nothing like heading out for a little Chick-fil-A for free. And today was oh so worth it.  Not only did we get the pleasure of perusing Walmart today, but we hit up the Chick-fil-A in the mall too! There’s just a whole new breed of mall rats these days. Like this guy:

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What is that, a bunscumber? I mean, I couldn’t tell if he had weapons in those pockets or if he just always sachets with his derriere in public.  Whatever the reason, there was plenty to enjoy about the mall. In this guy’s defense, he’s probably not really a “mall rat,” exactly.  He was just, well, fixated with that darn jacket around his backside. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

My favorite part of today’s trip? Victor!  This guy was awesome.  If you don’t believe me, just look at this smiling face for the camera:

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He required me to wear a hat before I ordered my Chick-fil-A® Spicy Chicken Sandwich, which I was obviously all about. Hats are great, especially on defensive coordinators from Elmhurst College in the late 90’s. But I digress.

Here’s me in my hat. Clearly I think hats are great:
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Liza ordered the Chick-fil-A® Asian Salad, which looked eerily similar to the Cobb, but that tangy Honey Sesame Dressing was a deal-maker! (Yes, she did let me have a little of hers too.)

We quickly ate in the mall, and I would tell you more about this adventure, but my wife is texting me that the dog has to poop, and let’s just say that in this case, good things do NOT come to those who wait.

Until next time…

Day 8 – Matthew McConaughey, Jason Clemente, & Singing. Yes, singing.

Another day with Chick-fil-A is in the books. Before I move any further in this post, I have to give an important shout out to my buddy Jason, Mr. Clemente as I call him, who happened to ring me as I had a pile of piping hot Chicken Tenders in my lap, lid open, ready to be dipped in that delicious Chick-fil-A honey bbq sauce. Sensing I might be at that very spot, he admitted to wanting credit in today’s blog. There you have it my friend!

I’ve already talked about how delicious the Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips® are, so there’s no need to belabor the point. Or is there? I have to say, I’ve always been an Original Chicken Sandwich kind of guy, but I do believe I’m slowly turning over a new taste bud. There’s something a little purer about the Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips® – chicken, seasoning, golden crispy brown, and that’s it. No need for a bun here. It’s freeing, actually. Probably what Matthew McConaughey must’ve felt like when playing the bongos in a, er, primitive state of mind. And body, for that matter.

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Doggoneit if I didn’t get today’s server’s name either.  But she was very nice, and kindly even smiled for the picture.  Since I was once again at my home Chick-fil-A, I’m sure I’ll see her again. Really, I’m going to get these names down.

 

Finally, I have a very special treat for you. Me. Singing. My new Chick-fil-A Anthem. Well, it’s not so much of an anthem, per se, and it’s completely plagiarized from Tim Hawkins. But I love Tim Hawkins, and we both love Chick-fil-A, so in a way, I am Tim Hawkins. Not only that, we went to the same high school in St. Charles, MO. Go West!

I bid you and Day 8 adieu, with this:

Day 7 – Liza Laughs

Ah, Day 7. The number of perfection. The number of completion. The number of wholeness. Chick-fil-A does make me feel whole.

I’m one week into my Every Day with Chick-fil-A experience, I have to say, I love it.  And I really love it when I get to share this blessed daily ritual with my wife. Unfortunately, while she loves the consummation of daily Chick-fil-A as much as I, I’m not sure she loves the documentation of it so much.

Let’s take a look:

“Um, yeah, I’m gonna have to see a little more positive emotion from you, um, yeah…..”

It’s crazy, Liza can go on Fox 13 or ABC Action News or Daytime on Channel 8 and she knocks it out the park for her blog, but a little facetime with hubby has her giggling like Anderson Cooper in a Ridicu-list meltdown.

On to today’s meals.  We both went salads at our local Trinity Chick-fil-A.  I think they must’ve had a staff talk about the elusive VIP card because they’re starting to get the hang of things.

Here’s what we ate:

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For me it was the delicious Chick-fil-A® Cobb Salad, and I decided to go with the fat free honey mustard dressing.  I definitely made the right call. (Only men who watched football in the 80’s will care about that reference.)  Can I tell you I just LOVE those crunchy red dried pepper thingees. Man.

Liza got the Chick-fil-A® Grilled Market Salad, probably because of its whopping 180 calories. She’s not a big fan of the blue cheese, and quite frankly, I’m not either. I think it would go better with feta, but that’s really a tomato/tomahto thing.

I left my Yellow Card at the docs office, and I have to have that to enter into Uganda, so I’ll be out that way again tomorrow for lunch. Maybe I’ll see if I can get the Grilled Market with feta?  Oh, the stresses of eating Chick-fil-a Every Day.