Sunday, August 19, 2018

WiseFire Coffee: Drink Wisely

Blacksburg, SC is a small town going through a lot of transition. A new football stadium is finally being constructed, the town has a new mayor for the first time since the early 90s, and we have some burgeoning small businesses.

One of which is Wisefire Coffee. This coffee house is owned and operated by Thomas Dover. Despite the last name, I don't think we're related. He certainly makes you feel like you're family. He has Blacksburg ties and brings that sense of family values and caring into his shop.

He has some awesome drinks, from lattes made from Uganda beans, some of the most potent you can find. He takes very care in preparing your beverage, whether hot or cold, coffee or tea. He wants it to be the best you're going to have.

Also, Dover realizes he has to have a great business, atmosphere and conversation. He nails all three and more. You can stop by and engage him about local and national issues, and even see what's going on in the town now and in the past. He's becoming more involved in helping out the town improve and regain its proud presence. He is also learning, as a business and as an owner, so Dover is very open to feedback.

Drop by Wisefire sometime and even if you don't like coffee, tea, or even books, see what he and his family are doing to better Blacksburg. He has had open mics and game nights in the past. Furthermore, he has some good plans and ideas for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for more from this small business and owner.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Mind Ya Business

People can't seem to stop worrying about each other when they need to worry about themselves.

They steady wait on them to mess up, quick to criticize but slow to praise. I pretty much know who these folks are. There are some that suprise you though. 

They throw dirt on your name, tell lies and spread continuous gossip. Maan you must be badder than Donald Glover if they're doing all of that.

Recognize who they are, and distance them quickly.  Don't become part of the circus and entertain the clowns.

Own up to when you are wrong but stay confident and powerful when you're right.
Be open, forgiving, respectful and loving. We definitely could use more love and courtesy. Some people are just miserable for no reason. 

Also, don't try the quiet, nice ones. They may not blow up your school or such but they are tougher than you think.

Let's live and love more and end the divide.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Rosa Parks didn't do, what?

Ok before there's further controversy, I have a point here.

Some of you remember the iconic scene in the movie Barbershop where Eddie, the elderly barber, basically stated (which most of it are facts). Rosa Parks wasn't the first person to refuse to sit in the back of a bus but of course she did more. She simply received more media attention for certain reasons, one was her NAACP connections and another were her ties to Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.

That being said, enter on LeBron James.

He has been receiving mostly positive attention for the public school in Akron, OH that he plans to open. Basically, everything is funded for the students, even college. Bron has a long term plan for the funding, including involving the media, which he is good at and people will and are backing him.

I morally back this effort as well. However, I think it's good to remember that while what he's doing is monumental and unique, it definitely isn't original.

Enter Jalen Rose. Member of the Michigan Fab Five during the 90s. Former NBA player   ESPNU analyst now. He has been known for being salty and even negative. Early Wednesday following Bron's announcement, he made a very informative 3:01 video praising and applauding Bron, but making it a point to realize there are others that did similarly and are doing similarly. 

Not once in the video did Jalen say anything negative. He did mention that Bron is getting more attention due to his higher profile which is true.

What I'm saying is, the higher the profile, the more people notice you and your efforts. Think of which cars get noticed on the road more. They are rarely the grey or silver cars. They are usually the shiny, red and yellow luxury vehicles. And in this case LeBron and even the late Rosa are/were those cars.

Now while no one is really obligated to honor those from the past, it's a good gesture. They set the pace and paved the way for you to succeed. I don't put this on either figure either. Either people have short or zero memories of those that came before them and only acknowledge the here and now. 

I remember when Jordan was the face of the NBA, then Kobe, now it's Bron. The Golden State Warriors have won three championships in four years yet LeBron gets mentioned the most. Probably rightly so also.

People may not always possess the proper tone but the message is clear. The brightest flowers get picked first and that's life. However the other flowers matter also.

See my post on www.imjustdrew.com for more on supporting each other properly and honoring each other when we achieve more.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Domestic Violence: Let's All Be Accountable

It has been a strong narrative for a while about battered women, women that don't or can't get out and end up getting killed or seriously harmed.

Given all that I have seen happen over the years, this has been weighing heavily on my mind and heart this week. I have even went back and did more research to ensure I didn't miss any detail or leave any stone unturned.

It comes down to this: at its core, we are ALL responsible as adults.  We have to check on and take care of each other in these situations, men and women. We have to be better partners, lovers, people. If there are emotional and psychological issues, we have to seek help and get it.

Also, we have to screen out people better. People do come with warning labels and often instructions. These come in the forms of abusive and violent pasts, quick tempers, uneasy demeanors, bad energy. so on and so forth. If you wouldn't be around that person as even an associate, why do you have that person as a romantic partner.

Furthermore, there are more resources now than ever regarding shelters, crisis counters and hotlines. You shouldn't have to stay in a bad situation without first trying to get out. There are options and you don't need to be subjected to poor behavior of any kind.

Finally, there are limits to what you can do as a person. Adults will be with who they want. You can offer them help, guidance, resources, etc. But until they want to start helping themselves also and removing themselves from these situations, your efforts are falling on deaf ears.

Let's continue to educate and talk to each other calmly about this issue. It can be controlled if we fight it.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Vacation tips and even quick savings methods

I have been off for quite a while celebrating my birthday. It feels good to be 40 and to still be doing what I love to do. One of those is traveling.

Speaking of traveling, here are some pointers to maximize your travel experience:

1. Whether through spending or planning, start early and often. You cannot do this last minute and have a great experience. Especially if you're traveling out of the country.  You have to have all of your expenses covered, vacation time at work approved (or if you're an entrepreneur, plan around that), get your passport straightened out and have spending money.

2. Save about $10-$20/week to assist towards your expenses. Give up eating out at lunch or even dinner. Coupon more, use travel and dinner deals, and shop at places like Aldis and Old Navy. Once you go on that vacation, you'll be glad you tightened up.

3. Sign up more for overtime at your job, do some legal side hustles, just anything for extra money. This is your play money. I have kept a play money account for years. It's all in how you budget or save.

4. Get a low interest travel credit card. You won't see me pushing a credit card often at all but this type of card can give you bonuses and such on hotel, transportation and often food and beverage on vacations. 

5. Final tip: have your house safe and secure before you leave.  The best method is to get a housesitter and not post anything on social media until you return. Yes you can take all the precautions you want. But if no one but a select few knows that you're gone, it can prevent many accidents from happen.

That say, save your money, take that trip and have fun!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

All These Lanes

Yeah it's hot, I'm old and I'm mad.

I've been doing a great job maintaining my irritation.  But someone is always trying my goodnatured demeanor. 

Here are a few points of interest (may need to add them to the instruction manual)

1. If you haven't spoken to me in months, address me properly. Don't embarrass me, berate me, etc

2. If you're talking to me in person, #1 still applies

3. Mind your business. If it doesn't apply to you, step off. Let certain authorities handle it

4. Don't talk down to me, be condescending or catch a tone or attitude with me. It won't end well, trust me.

5. If you're feeling angry, moody or whatever, take a pause, gather your thoughts and return back later so we can have a civil conversation

6. Don't be all in the Kool-aid and not know the flavor.  When you come for and/or at me, know what you're talking about.

7. Sweep around your own front porch before you try to point out my flaws and mistakes. None of us are perfect..

8. Finally, don't insult my intelligence or play a game of wits with me. I can play also and again, it won't end well.

Ok just so we're all clear here. I will go full Drew and have zero tolerance for nonsense. So take that mess somewhere else. You're only making yourself look foolish.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Check In

For my friends and family that have left me suddenly.  Depression and mental illness are real and people need to know they are loved and valued. 

Check In

Hello, just wanted to see what's all good
Hope you didn't do what I thought you would
Remember you did all you can and could
Life is precious but also hectic
People will try and get to you with every tactic
Often saying nothing says it all
They were definitely waiting on your downfall
You're here, I'm here so let's talk
No judgment, let the words flow, no one is at fault
You have to live and be you
No one does that better than you do
Reach out to me as well
Don't feel like I'm too busy or going through Hell
Talking to you can be good for both of us
I couldn't imagine if you didn't take another breath, word or fuss
You're you and I want to know how all is
I like to drink the drink before there is no fizz
Let me or someone know that you're okay
And maybe then, one less life spared, more words to say