Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Getting Out In Front: Staying Steps Ahead Of The Game

We're in a procrastination era, where we put off, float stuff and are simply unprepared. Now one person can never be fully prepared for every situation or scenario. You should control what you can though.

Some of it requires careful planning, but most of it comes down to routine maintenance. You don't want your gas tank running too low, or you want to ensure that your bank account is good. Also, making and taking routine appointments to the doctor and dentist are important. It's little things like this that make a big difference long term.

You should always stay a few steps ahead with a plan B, C in life. It sounds simple, but many fail to do it. All it takes is a few minutes of simple planning and forethought.

Expect the unexpected, plan well, prioritize and never assume. Also, rest and relax. This will keep you with the energy to push forward and stay ahead.

How do you stay ahead in your daily lives? What are some things you could do better?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Learning Properly: A Shoelace Analogy

I will start out this post with a story related to shoelaces.

I am usually a quick learner and can pick up on things well, especially if I am properly taught. Well I was a late bloomer on tying my shoelaces. I was around eight before I learned. Then when I finally got it, I realized a fundamental flaw that everyone that was teaching me made: they went too fast and didn't go step by and step. Many people skipped the last step: lacing through to make a bow. I used to get that "rabbit going around the tree into the hole" analogy and my brain didn't comprehend this.

Speaking of analogies, that seems to be the flaw nationwide, especially in our educational systems. School is back in session for many students, and now is the time to educate them properly. Kids need to be taught well not only at school but at home as well.

I have been tutoring and helping kids and adults for decades and let me tell you one thing: everyone doesn't learn the same. You often have to adjust your methods to better help the general population. Two things I have mentioned before: 1. How I struggled with learning subtraction until I was properly taught and 2. Teaching something new to someone is similar to following the steps in a recipe. If you neglect or skip steps, your dish may not turn out well.

Let's get these kids off to a good start. They have their fresh new clothes and supplies and may already be nervous enough. Stay in tune with how they are doing, and stay ahead of any potential problems.

Again, it's also important to understand a person's learning style and ensure they understand. One cannot assume they can just go out and pick it up as they go along with the work and lessons. Practice doesn't make perfect: PERFECT practice makes perfect.

Therefore, now, not October, December and especially not May, is the time to work with the kids and help them excel. After all, who doesn't feel good when the kids are excelling?

"Each one, teach one. Each one, reach one."

What are some concepts that you have had trouble learning in the past? How could you have been taught better?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Part Two: More To These Restaurants Than Meets The Eye

Last week, I covered a few mom and pop restaurants around the area, many of which have sketchy appearances but awesome food. This week, I will cover more in North and South Carolina.


Courtney's BBQ:

This joint looks small and run down. But trust me, you would be hard pressed to find a place around here that serves better pulled pork. I mentioned them in my article last year about Clover. They also have an awesome Saturday country breakfast buffet. They are open Thursdays-Saturdays so get there early and come hungry.


I can't say enough good things about this place. The building used to be Cagie's Bar in the 70s but now has lots of good eats and specials. I dare you to find a place anywhere with better stuffed burgers.

Rock Hill:

Anna J's:

It is a small quaint joint that serves some of the best southern cuisine you will find at low prices. When I lived in Rock Hill, I went here twice/month for lunch.

Empire Pizza:

Empire has become one of Rock Hill's newest hangouts, and anotuer gathering place for Winthrop alums. Their Italian food is hard to beat, and they are open late. Plus they have a live band nearly every Friday.


It is not easy to find good Mexican food other than Broncos in Gaffney. Charondas isn't far off. They have awesome drink specials, great food, and two locations in Rock Hill.



Yeah I know it's mostly a jump off spot after the club and it's on Beatties Ford Road near Johnson C. Smith University. But they have pretty good food and it's hard to find anything open late than isn't a chain restaurant.

Jack Beagles:

I have mentioned them before also. My friend Rashad swears by them. They have good, unique dishes and are located in the NoDa arts district in Charlotte. They are definitely worth a try.

Buca di Beppo:

Located off of South Boulevard in the Pineville area, their Italian food is delicious and they serve large portions. They don't have calzones or strombolis but I'm sure they could make them special. If you want authentic Italian in Charlotte, this is the place to go.

Shelby/Kings Mountain:

Bridges BBQ:

This is long a Cleveland County staple. They have good BBQ, almost as good as Courtney's and they are near the mall.

Mi Pueblitos:

You wouldn't think a Mexican joint out in the cut would be that tasty. But it is and their cooks take pride in serving you delicious food.

That's all for now!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Part One: More To These Restaurants Than Meets The Eye: Some Local Restaurants That You Should Try Out

I saw an article on Facebook recently with a list of mom and pop restaurants that are much better than their appearance would lead you to be. Well to that end, I decided to write a listing of some places around the way that were omitted.

I like to try out the local cuisine whenever I road trip and leave the chain restaurants alone. Hopefully I can help some of you out.

Here is a listing by city:

Blacksburg, SC:

Bailey's Fish Camp.

A long time staple in Blacksburg, it is ran exclusively by the Bailey family. They have good food, a relaxed atmosphere and even fed the local football team for many seasons.

Gaffney, SC

Daddy Joe's BBQ and Grill

I have written about my former Thursday night hangout a few other times. Surface wise, some may think it's an old barn. But that is the look owner Shag Stepp wants: the beach house BBQ look. They have some of the best ribs and hush puppies you will eat, and always have some sort of entertainment on Thursday nights: live music on the patio, corn hole, trivia, etc. Add in the free Pac-man machine and you have a place built to entertain.

Colonial Fish Camp

No disrespect to Bailey's, but this may be the best seafood restaurant in the Upstate. Delicious food, mid-week specials, and large portions make this place a must try.


When you're in downtown Gaffney, you think of Harold's. It was on the Food Network of course. Many neglect Sticks.  This bar and grill has a quaint atmosphere, with a wide selection of wings, and homemade hand cut fries. Wednesday night gets the weekend started as it is wing night, and all wings are at a discount.

Spartanburg, SC


You may not think much about this place on the East Side (the old side of Spartanburg). However, I'm here to tell you that their food is first class all the way. It's great as either a date restaurant or a hang out. The prices are steep but the food is well worth it.

Venus Pie Pizzeria:

This looks like an artsy place to the naked eye. Deep inside is some of the best pizza you will find along these parts, and the largest calzones. All it usually takes are a couple of large slices to satisfy your appetite.

The Junction

Located off of Hearon Circle, it looks run down, closed and the billboard doesn't have all of the letters. But if you want good, home cooked food that's clean and all you can eat, look no further. They have breakfast, lunch and dinner except on Sundays (no breakfast then). I don't recommend many buffets anymore but this one is definitely worth a try.


Chinese Kitchen:

They have some awesome, giant wings and other specials, which include a heaping portion of their delicious rice.

York Family Seafood

This is another tasty, down home place, and one of the few restaurants that still has a salad bar. They still handwrite their specials on the tables and believe in giving you a good, small town dining experience.

I will wrap up the rest of South Carolina next week. But for now, these give you ideas to chew on.

Have you ever been to these places? Any you would add or delete?