Nerd Clusters Thursday Rundown

Spring is definitely in the air here in the Inland Northwest, another very distinct season in this beautiful part of the world. Hope you are enjoying some decent weather in your neck of the woods too. Let’s get started on my latest Thursday Rundown…

Nerd Clusters Sale – If you remember, my wife’s favorite candy is Nerd Clusters. Whether in regular form or freeze-dried, there is something irresistible about them to Sid. Imagine my surprise when I saw them on sale for just 99 cents at Safeway on Sunday. I don’t know if you realize what a screaming deal this was! This candy, at least at the size pictured, is usually always more than $3. And to find them so cheap at Safeway? It was incredible! Do you really even have to ask if I got some for my wife?

I couldn’t believe it so I had to take a photo of the Nerd Clusters on sale at Safeway.

Getting Medieval – Over the weekend, I took the kids to Valley Mission Park for an interesting demonstration. Our good friends, Dylan and Fidela Perry, have many unique interests. One of them is the passion to strap on the armor and go to battle like it was the Middle Ages. They engage in this fun via the Society for Creative Anachronism and last Saturday the organization had a rare event in Spokane. Sloan, Beau, and I met the Perrys right as Dylan was going toe-to-toe with another knight. It was a lot of fun to watch and Dylan graciously let the kids hit him with his own sword.

Sloan and Beau pose with Fidela and Dylan in their full gear.

Eclipse Tourism – This week’s eclipse provided a jolt to the economies of many states. “Eclipse Tourism” was a very real thing as millions and millions of people traveled to catch a glimpse of totality. Include my sister’s family in that mix. The five of them traveled all the way to Dallas for the special event and made a nice little vacation out of it that included the zoo and Six Flags. My sister caught this below photo that I think is outstanding.

My sister’s family watched the eclipse in a super random field in Dallas.

Parting Ways With Stuff – It was 10 years ago this month that I was packing up my life in Montana and preparing for a move to South Carolina. I wrote this blog post about the necessity of letting go of junk. It is a pretty entertaining 3-minute read if you have the time. One of the items I was especially proud of myself for discarding was my old lap top I received as a high school graduation gift. It was 10 years old in the photo below making it 20 years old today. In my opinion, that hunk of metal looks more like 30 years old.

It was tough to do but I tossed my old lap top from my college years into the big black trash bag and threw it into the dumpster.

Chick-Fil-A Shout Out – Wanted to squeeze a bit of gratitude into my last topic tonight. Last Friday, I took the kids to the Spokane Chick-Fil-A for an Easter Egg hunt. The restaurant decided to hold its egg hunt several days after Easter Sunday but I don’t think it bothered anyone 😊. In addition to the eggs filled with candy and toys, all participating families received a free entrée for everyone in their party. Thanks, Chick-Fil-A!

The North Spokane Chick-Fil-A staged an Easter Egg hunt on April 5, 2024.


Stick a fork in it, another Thursday Rundown is in the books. We have a weekend coming up with sports, birthday parties, and a school fundraiser dinner. Thanks for reading this blog and I wish you a restful Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Don’t Blink.

Finally! Chick-fil-A is Coming to Spokane

Go back a couple years and the crisis of the summer in Spokane was something much less serious than what we are facing today. Instead of a pandemic or racial injustice, the heartbreak of Summer 2018 was the news that Chick-fil-A would not be coming to Spokane.


The way it unfolded was especially cruel. An official press release from Chick-fil-A announced that a restaurant would open soon in the Gonzaga district. The news put the city in a frenzy as chicken sandwich-deprived citizens rejoiced and positive social media sentiment shot through the roof. Sadly, within hours, the fast food giant announced it had made a mistake and that Chick-fil-A would not be coming to Spokane––at least not in the location originally reported.

We have an active and fun group text messaging thread that includes my siblings and our significant others. There was absolute glee when the news broke that a Chick-Fil-A was opening in Spokane. Unfortunately, this release was published by mistake.

When I wrote my initial blog post about the snafu, my friend and Retro Donuts owner John Fine commented on the post. He said that even though we would have to do some more waiting, he believed that a Spokane Chick-fil-A would eventually be a reality and that it would be in North Spokane. What can I say? The man knows what he is talking about.

It isn’t rumor anymore, Spokane is actually getting a Chick-fil-A! In fact, the restaurant is under construction as we speak. Even better, the location is just minutes from my parents’ house. If only we didn’t move to the Valley…

Chick-Fil-A is opening in Spokane and the restaurant is already being constructed (photo courtesy of KHQ).

Well, now we just have another excuse to visit my parents! In all honesty, this is great news for Spokane. I know we live in a society that hypes up everything, but I can honestly say that Chick-fil-A is the real deal. Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a skeptic too (I mean, how incredible can a chicken sandwich actually be?), but living nearly six years in South Carolina changed my tune. There really is nothing better than a fresh spicy chicken sandwich and hot waffle fries.

I am a big Chick-Fil-A fan so I am glad that a restaurant will finally be opening in Spokane.

I realize that the opening of a fast food restaurant can’t do anything to detract from the serious issues we are facing today, but if the confirmation of Chick-fil-A opening in Spokane brings a smile to at least one person’s face, I think we can all be OK with that. Hope to see you at 9304 N. Newport Hwy! Don’t Blink.

Spokane Chick-fil-A Heartbreak

At the start of the year, Myrtle Beach was set to receive a measureable blanket of snow. For a community that NEVER gets snow, this was an event that was highly anticipated by many, especially our area’s children. You could imagine the tears that were shed when our neighborhood didn’t even see a flake.

I never thought I would have to write about a community plagued by so much disappointment ever again. However, unfortunately, only eight months later, I have something that might top the Myrtle Beach snowstorm bust.

We all know those national and regional restaurants that attract cult followings and take on mythical qualities, especially for the people who don’t live near one: In-N-Out, Sonic, Cheesecake Factory, Panda Express, etc. 

Over the weekend, near insanity erupted in my old hometown when an announcement was made…

Chick-Fil-A was coming to Spokane.

Local media went nuts, my family members started blowing up our text message group, and diehards started lining up where the location was to be built.

We have an active and fun group text messaging thread that includes my siblings and our significant others. There was absolute glee when the news broke that a Chick-Fil-A was opening in Spokane.

Although that last part about people camping out might be a little embellished, the Chick-fil-A announcement was literally breaking news in Spokane, a city that currently has the worst air quality in the nation.

In a part of the country that has ZERO Chick-fil-As, the news that a restaurant would open felt like Christmas. In Spokane, you have two groups: Those who have tried the magical taste of Chick-fil-A once or twice and know of its greatness AND those who have been deprived of it their whole lives and salivate at the thought of sinking their teeth into a spicy chicken sandwich based on word of mouth alone.

I am a big Chick-Fil-A fan so I was excited that a restaurant was supposed to open in Spokane.

As social media and local newspapers spread the news that a Chick-fil-A would open on the campus of Gonzaga University, the two groups went into a collective frenzy. The long wait was just about over; the brutal, unfair fact that eastern Washington did not have a Chick-fil-A would soon change.

My parents at a Myrtle Beach Chick-Fil-A on April 9, 2018. I know they were looking forward to eating those chicken sandwiches in Spokane.

Only it didn’t. As citizens of Spokane started to daydream about waffle fries and Chick-fil-A sauce, the plug was pulled.

False alarm. The Chick-fil-A website had made an error. The internet announcement on its corporate site that a restaurant would open in Spokane was a MISTAKE. Stop the press. Hold off on clearing your calendar for the grand opening.

My brother, who loves Chick-fil-A was bitterly saddened and disappointed by the announcement.

The city pretty much went into a state of mourning. The smoky air predominant in Spokane seemed to thicken with the development. The day was ruined for my brother and sister.

It was a bad morning for my Spokane family.

Probably the worst part was breaking the reality to my dad. Not of the social media age, he gets news a little later than us. When he found out that Chick-fil-A was coming to Spokane via the Sunday paper, I tried to let him down easy.

Well, maybe on second thought, I guess I wasn’t as subtle as I thought I was when telling my dad that the news report was inaccurate.

Stay positive, Spokane. I don’t think you will be without a Chick-fil-A forever. I mean honestly, how could the Chick-fil-A website make such a random mistake? Something must be in the works. Truth be told, I have heard rumors that a Chick-fil-A is slated for Spokane in a different part of the city. But who knows? I know things are hard right now at least you can still order a McChicken at McDonald’s. Sorry, that was mean. Don’t Blink.

Thoughts on the Recent Chick-fil-A Promotion

In this morning’s newspaper I read a very interesting article about Chick-fil-A. In short, the wildly popular restaurant has started a campaign to discourage folks from using their phones while dining in their eateries.

Many Chick-fil-A locations now have paper boxes for groups to place their phones in when they sit down at a booth. Marketed as “cell phone coops,” the boxes are supposed to help provide a peaceful dining experience. The thought is that families dining at Chick-fil-A restaurants will engage with each other as opposed to engaging with their devices.

Obviously it is a nice and wholesome idea to begin with. But customers who crave a digital distraction free meal will be delighted to know that there is more. If a group surrenders their phones into the coop and manages not to grab for them during their meal, a sweet incentive is given. Totally on their honor, successful families/friends/teams/etc. can go up to the front counter and say they passed the challenge. Everyone in the group is then rewarded with a free ice cream cone. Yes, it is a great concept.

This is what the cell phone coop looks like.

This is what the cell phone coop looks like.

However, as a marketer, I am not the biggest fan.

Most companies are tickled to death when customers show themselves using or consuming a product. For fast food restaurants, this equivalent is people taking any sort of media of their food. In this day and age, it is almost second nature for younger generations to take a photo of their lunch, add an image to their Snapchat story with the restaurant’s geofilter, or record a Vine that shows them eating their sandwich in six seconds. Not only is this FREE marketing, but in my opinion, it is also the best marketing! There is nothing more valuable than user generated content and social media testimonials. The booths and tables of fast food restaurants across the nation are where a company’s brand strength is really established.

With Chick-fil-A this sentiment is magnified even more. I don’t know of any other fast food joint that has such a passionate, cult-like customer base. When I look at my social media channels no other comparable restaurant comes close to Chick-fil-A in regards to name and hashtag mentions. I constantly see people who visit the place on a weekly basis tweet about how they can’t live without it. On top of that, I also see the social media reaction from people who must live without it. I have many friends residing in Washington and Montana who freak out by posting snaps, Instagram images, and Facebook photos whenever they travel out of state to a location where they get to eat at a Chick-fil-A restaurant.

This enthusiasm that is expressed on social media is marketing gold. It is brand awareness that money can’t buy. It is the type of exposure that marketers dream of. Why would any company want to sabotage such a prime outlet by asking customers to go device free at the social hub known as the restaurant booth?

Well, to put it simply, it is because your company happens to be Chick-fil-A.

When I read the article I actually wasn’t that surprised with the seemingly blatant slap in the face to marketing potential. You see, Chick-fil-A is just different. This fast food giant prides itself on doing things their way. It doesn’t matter if that means closing on Sundays, taking positions on social/religious issues, or encouraging customers to put their phones down while eating. Whatever they seem to do, it just works.

So while I cringe at Chick-fil-A giving customers an incentive to literally not spread the company name at dinner, I also respect it. Going against Marketing 101 best practices is a hallmark of this unique chain and last time I checked they seem to be doing pretty well. Don’t Blink.