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Monthly ArchiveApril 2008

Life by Spencer on April 23, 2008

Close but Not Close Enough

I went through a McDonald’s drive through for breakfast yesterday and I saw a very intriguing sign for a new sandwich: the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich.  On first glance it looks strikingly similar to my beloved Chick-Fil-A.  I looked it up and all of the press information confirmed my suspicion that this sandwich was created to directly compete with CFA.  I decided that we would come back here later for dinner to try it.  I knew it could never replace CFA, but if it was at least close enough to substitute from time to time I’d be happy.

I told my wife about it and she agreed we could go there for dinner.  Pulled up to the drive through and ordered 4 sandwiches, 2 with pickle (for her), and 2 without (for me).  They told us it would take about 6 minutes to cook up (must not be a big seller if they cook it to order).  We pull around to the parking lot and about 10 minutes later our food comes out.  Now for the taste test and results.

First, my wife loved it.  She thought it was a terrific sandwich and close to the original and for her would certainly work as a substitute.  For me, not nearly close enough.  Even though the sandwich has no pickles, they use dill juice as part of their seasoning because the whole sandwich had strong dill flavor to me.  I think this is probably because McD’s uses lower quality pickles and wanted to supplement that flavor.  Ok, if you like the pickle flavor.  Beyond the dill, the breading wasn’t nearly the fullness that CFA provides and fairly plain.  The chicken itself was tender white meat and did compare to CFA.

So, my wait for a Chick-Fil-A to come to Vegas will still be met without any substitutes; although I’m truly happy that it will work for my wife and I can find other things at McD’s if she is ever craving a Southern Style Chicken Sandwich.

Games by Spencer on April 21, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different

Greetings all,

I received this interesting math trick via e-mail and wanted to pass it along. It is quite ingenious. Grab a calculator or if you really want to, or go ahead and do this in your head. This does not follow the order of operations so do each operation in full before going to the next step:

  1. Take the first three digits of your phone number (NOT including area code)
  2. Multiply by 80
  3. Add 1
  4. Multiply by 250
  5. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
  6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again
  7. Subtract 250
  8. Divide by 2

Recognize the answer?? Again, I thought this was very cool and something different from my house hunting stories. Take care!

UPDATE: So on second look, this really isn’t all that clever.  It’s just a roundabout way of multiplying your first 3 digits by the necessary 10,000 and then adding your last four digits.

Life by Spencer on April 17, 2008

House Hunting – The Waiting Game

It has been nearly two weeks since we sent our signed forms back to the bank with their addendums.  We are still waiting for them to sign to be able to start our inspections and get moving toward closing.  It seems strange that a bank wanting to get rid of a property is waiting so long to sign the paperwork and keep the process moving.  We’re told that the house is still ours and they are not entertaining any other offers.  This could be just lip service, but without any indication otherwise has to be taken at face value.  We have gone forward and ordered the appraisal which should have taken (or will be) place today.  I’m not concerned about this appraisal coming in at where we need it to but still want to see the report regardless.

At this point, there is nearly no way to close in April, which may or may not be advantageous to us in the long run as there are other setbacks we will have to work through.  Mainly, there are still many questions about the current house and the refinance of the property.  We will have to look at all of our options and make some decisions.  I am intentionally vague at this point since we have a lot to work through at this point.  I know everything will work out, it is just a matter of how.

I will continue to periodically post updates with everything and once we know a plan for the current house, moving, etc. I will let you all know.  Take care and have a great week!

Life by Spencer on April 5, 2008

House Hunting – The Bids

On to chapter two of the house hunting process – the bids. Two things we wanted to avoid this time around were having to bid on multiple houses and bidding wars. We are 0 for 2. After nearly a month of looking, we found a house we really liked. It was one of the 3 mentioned in the previous point. I will leave exact amounts out for obvious reasons, but here was the exchange between us and the bank summed up:

  • House listed at $$$
  • We offer a bid of $$$ – 20 asking the seller to also pay closing costs
  • They come back with $$$ + 5. Yes, they countered with a price of 5 more than their list price.
  • We laughed and walked away

That house was at the cusp of our spending desire anyway so if the bank had come back with something close it could have been a hard decision. At least this way it was very easy to walk away.

We went our looking again this past Tuesday but only at three houses. The first one was awesome and we thought we would like to make a play at it. We found out that there were already multiple offers so if we were to throw ourselves into the mix, we would have to come in above list price. The list price was pretty low considering the house so we kept it in mind. The next two houses (one with the same floor plan) both left us wanting; the one with the same floor plan was trashed and more expensive, the other was too close to a major highway and you could hear the traffic. That was a shame, too, because outside of that the area was quite nice.

We decided we would make a play for that first house. We started by offering list + a little more.  The bank came back with a blanket counter to all offers: withdraw, keep the same, or try to sweeten a little.  We didn’t want this going on forever, but we decided to offer a touch more to show we were serious about the property.

It worked!  The house is ours.  Now starts the long list of things to do to get that house to close, move, and get this house ready and rented.  It will be an exciting couple of months!