Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Burger King Considering Delivery Service: Is it Worth it?

Recently, there’s been talk of Burger King starting home delivery service. While it might seem like a dream of couch bound college frat boys, it’s actually already occurring in certain other countries.

In a recent article on, it’s been reported that a minimum order of between $8 and $10 would be necessary, with an associated $2 delivery charge. While our family doesn’t eat a ton of fast food anymore, it’s still an occasional treat.

So what do you think? Is Burger King delivery service worth it? Will it work here in America?

Consider this…
It takes our family time to get to our local Burger King. There is the time to get the family together and ready, or if going alone, getting on shoes, coat, possibly out of pajamas and into pants, etc.

For a self-employed individual, even losing 15 or 20 minutes to go pick up food may be time that could be spent making money or at least doing something else productive. So not only may I be paying money to buy the food, but I’m losing money just to get there in the process.

Then we have the Chicagoland traffic to consider.

There is the gas spent to drive there, and the wear and tear of stop-and-start driving on the car, that while minimal, is there nonetheless. Add in the ever-present possibility of accident or injury, especially in an urban environment and with all the texters and cell phone talkers out there, and the list of benefits of Burger King home delivery service begins to grow.

While on their own, each little item might seem small, but combined, they can add up. Seeing as how our regular order for a family of three is around $8 and $10 anyway, the extra $2 delivery charge might be worth it.

A Hard Habit to Break
I actually find it somewhat tough though, thinking about picking up the phone and ordering Burger King rather than hitting the drive-thru. In actuality, I find that it might be a somewhat strange habit to break, but not impossible.

It Might Just Work
On those cold winter days, it might be nice not have to bundle up and battle the snow, ice, wind or rain, and head out into the darkness, or on those humid summer afternoons to have to blast the ac just to make it to the drive-thru window.

And when those late night cravings hit after a few too many drinks or during the ballgame that we don’t want to miss, it might be really nice to be able to order our food and not have to leave the comfort and privacy of our own home.

And with Burger King being the first to make such an attempt among their main competitors, they might make a niche for themselves that has up to this point remained relatively untouched.

Who knows? It might just work!

Bain, Zoe. “Will Burger King Bring its Delivery Service to the U.S.?” January 17, 2012 at 7:34AM January 19, 2012.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Will Paying My Child for Grades Send the Wrong Message?

I still remember the times my grandfather actually threw me a few bucks for my grades. We didn't have anything in writing. No verbal contract. I didn't even have a clue that I was going to be rewarded for my efforts, but I got a little cash anyway, and boy was it satisfying.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Survivalist Travel Strategy

When I travel, I enjoy the fact that I do so being as prepared as reasonably possible for a variety of scenarios. When I am on extended travels especially, a lot can happen in two or three week’s time. World events can change our global atmosphere in days or even hours. Just think about how our perceptions were changed in a matter of hours on September 11th, 2001, then tell me that it’s a little over the top to be prepared when leaving home for several weeks.

Call it sad, call it neurotic, call it overboard, call it paranoid, call it whatever you want. I call it being prepared.

Food Supply
We can’t always carry a lot of food with us when we travel, especially when we are doing so by way of the airways. At least having enough snacks on hand for a day or two though can keep us comfortable should an unexpected situation arise.

Bad weather, a terrorist attack, or other unforeseen issue can create lengthy travel delays or other situations in which you might not be in a location where food is plentiful or even available. And especially when traveling with a child, young children, or someone with a medical condition such as diabetes, having some snacks on hand can play a significant role in curing those savage -- and even life-threatening -- cravings.

Back Up Forms of Payment
What would happen if a situation suddenly hit the country that left the economy in shambles while you were far from home? We’ve seen what can happen in a matter of minutes during a stock market “flash crash” back in May of 2010. With computers controlling so many aspects of our daily lives, things can change rapidly and in extreme ways these days.

What if a week after you left home, a situation occurred in which computer systems were down, financial institutions closed their doors and hyperinflation began to take off? You might find yourself in a situation in which you would need a lot of cash to get back home.

Having items like checkbooks, debit/credit card, and at least a phone number for your financial institution with you on your travels can help to cover your bases should a dire situation arise. While it can be a bit risky should you loose such items, for many of us, carrying these things with us on vacation may be no more risky than taking them to work with us each day in our purses or wallets.

Extra Cell Phone Battery
Being left in a bad travel situation is one thing; being left in a bad travel situation with no communication or with communication devices that don’t work, could be even worse. Getting ready to make new travel plans, call a family member, or make similar arrangements only to realize that your cell phone battery has died can be extremely frustrating and in some cases even dangerous.

Finding that there are no outlets available where you are, that there is no power or that everyone else is scrambling to utilize such items to charge their own phones and laptops can leave you out of luck and feeling helpless. By carrying an extra -- charged -- cell phone battery though, you may be able to avoid such disruptions in your schedule.

Roll of Silver
Call me crazy (I don’t mind, I’ve been called worse), but carrying a roll of silver coins or even just a few ounce-sized silver coins in my bag can give me a little protection against a situation in which cash might suddenly become useless. While I expect the odds of ever encountering such a situation small, I don’t feel that carrying a few such coins with me is much of a hardship to guard against it happening.

Backup Eyewear and Prescription Items
If you’ve ever been left with a torn contact lense or a lost pair of eye-glasses with no replacement, you might realize just how important it can be to carry backups. Similarly, with a lost prescription item, you can begin to get that sense of panic, especially if you don’t have a way of recovering that loss any time soon and your life or well-being depends upon it.

With my needing corrective eyewear and my wife being a type 1 diabetic and relying upon insulin, having backups when it comes to such supplies can be of critical importance if placed in a situation where we might be forced to sit and wait things out for an extended period of time.