Happy Birthday Poppa Bear

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Happy Birthday Poppa Bear

Oct 18th will be a day I will never forget. It’s the birthday of my father, Michael Butler Sr. He would have been 63 years old on today. It’s funny because I always thought my dad would live forever. I never thought I would ever have to be without him. I figured he’d be at Maddy’s high school and college graduation, her wedding, and become a great grandfather one day. 

I sit thinking about how I don’t have him and get upset thinking of all the things I want to tell him and can’t. I want to hear him tell me how the Cowboys are going to the Super Bowl or have him hold the flash light while supervising me fixing a faucet. My father was supposed to be with me forever and never leave.  

Then I realize that he’s still here with me and he will live forever. I have all these memories of him smiling, fussing at me, and all the lessons he taught me. There hasn’t been a day since he passed that I haven’t remembered one of his many sayings. Lord knows he had hundreds lol. 

So, here’s to my super hero! It’s your day Poppa Bear! In honor of your day, I have to share some silly pics of you. It’s only right lol.  

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Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Riverboating on the Mississippi!

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Riverboating on the Mississippi!

One of my earliest childhood memories was riding a riverboat with my family. I was probably about 5 and my sisters and I were dressed similar. My dad also had a jheri curl and my mom had a red headband on Andre Agassi style, but that’s a story for another day! I do remember how scared I was to get on the boat, but my parents basically made us go. 

So naturally, I decided to put my own kid through the same horror! I took her on a ride on the Memphis Queen and boy was she afraid! This ride is an annual thing for the Downtown Neighborhood Association, so we decided to crash. 

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Well Maddy was not the least bit afraid. She was mesmerized by the paddle wheel. I don’t think she was out of eyesight of it the entire trip. It was a great experience nevertheless. She got to ride the riverboat for the first time while meeting some really nice people in the Downtown Neighborhood Association.  

Have you ever been on a riverboat? Have a funny story? Drop a comment and tell me about it!  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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3 Quick Thoughts on the Now Infamous Dove Ad

Oh Dove, maker of great soaps, has found itself in the latest of social media outrage. If you’ve been unplugged from the social media world, which is probably a great thing these days, then you might be lost. Well, Dove ran a 3 second ad showing women taking off their shirts and turning into a different woman of a different race.

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Seems harmless on the surface level, but these days people are a bit more sensitive and someone created a different snippet of the ad that went viral. Here’s the created ad:

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So there you have it. It is being called racist. I would have to admit if I were only to see the second picture of the black woman turning white that I would feel a way as well. That’s the issue. Many didn’t actually see the real 3 second clip. They only saw the created image above and were outraged. The power of social media is insane these days. So here’s my quick thoughts. 

1. Never fully trust everything on social media.  

We all know anything can be created online. Literally anything. Knowing that, anyone with any agenda can create any scenario. I always fact check each and every link or article I’m sent. There are lots of fake news sites out there.  

2. The race card can’t be used all the time.  

Do I think the ad was racist? Not really. I think it might have not been the best ad to run at this moment, but I didn’t get a racist vibe from it. That’s the thing about ads. The consumer can interpret them in any way. Dove probably had good intentions, but it was just poorly executed.  

3.  This is not the end of the world for Dove 

There are some calling for a boycott of Dove and their products, but I’m not sure how successful they will be. I can only speak for myself but I like Dove for Men soap. I’m willing to try a different soap but I wouldn’t personally boycott a company over a dumb ad. 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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A guy and his motorcycle

I was exploring the Cooper Young area the other day when I can across a really cool vintage motorcycle. I initially walked past it but something told me to go back and snap a pic of it.  

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Pretty cool right? Yeah I’m really into playing with tones now. After snapping a few pics,  the owner comes over and wants to see the pics. He had this cool James Dean type vibe, so I naturally asked if I could take a few pics of him. Epicness followed! 

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He was a really cool guy. We did the customary exchange of Instagram names, because real names are played out lol. Go follow @d_a_d_b_o_d. 

All images taken by me with my Sony a7ii with Sony Zeiss 55mm and edited in LR mobile on my iPhone 7, yes I can edit right on my phone in most instances. No presets here! 

 

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The King of the North vs The King of the South

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The King of the North vs The King of the South

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           Memphis is a city locked in what seems to be an eternal turf war. There’s a long standing beef between North Memphis and South Memphis, yet both seem to agree that East Memphis and the suburbs are far inferior to both. We won’t even start on West Memphis and why it’s not even invited to the discussion. This war has yielded no victors as of late. Just more and more beef. So what’s beef? Well Biggie Smalls describes it eloquently on his track titled “What’s Beef?”. Basically beef is a disagreement amongst two or more people that can go from words to violence. In the world of hip hop music, beef is very serious.

         Enter the King of the North, Yo Gotti, and the King of the South, Young Dolph. Yeah I’m really into Game of Thrones lol. If you’re not caught up, here’s a link from Heavy.com to catch you up LINK

         Now you’re caught up. This beef is really bad for Memphis. Not only is it airing our dirty laundry, letting the world know that we have internal division, but it’s bad for everyone involved. This could have been an opportunity to put Memphis on a musical platform its never seen before. Memphis has always trailed behind Atlanta and Texas as far as southern rap. 8Ball and MJG both left Memphis because they felt that they couldn’t make it in this city and migrated to Texas to carve out a legendary careers. Other artists have come and made national headlines, but have never cemented Memphis as a musical powerhouse. Now we have two artists that are not only local icons but are also nationally acclaimed in the hip-hop arena. Along with Blac Youngsta and Moneybagg Yo, these four artist could have cemented Memphis as a hip-hop powerhouse, but the King of the North and the King of the South couldn’t get past their petty beef and see the bigger picture. Or is it as simple as there can’t be two kings?

          My thoughts and prayers are with Young Dolph and his recovery as well as the hip hop scene in Memphis.

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

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Hey there!

hey that’s me!!  

hey that’s me!!  

Hi readers!! It’s Mike! Yeah I know I’ve been writing less often as I normally did in the past and for that I apologize. I still love writing but I have so many other projects that I’m working on. I really need an assistant and some staff for all this stuff. I’ve been doing lots of photography, recording a podcast and recently I’ve gotten into filmmaking. All this on top of having a regular full time job and a 9 year old that demands my undivided attention. 

None of those are excuses in any way. Writing is my passion and I promise to write more. Possibly more initiate pieces like this or thoughts of the day. Who knows what random shenanigans I will write about. 

Well that’s all I got. Just wanted you guys to know I am still here and I am thinking of you all. I promise to write more! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Tennessee Taco Co Review

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Tennessee Taco Co Review

Dope edit, right?  

Dope edit, right?  

Memphis has another taco spot! That in itself is awesome because tacos are my absolute favorite thing to eat and having more options is always welcomed. When I heard Tennessee Taco Co was coming to the space Los Compadres once occupied, I was so excited for a different take on tacos. 

The decor of this place is awesome. The huge mural and blue tones truly set this place apart. It's not like anything I've ever seen before. Think Festival of the Dead meets a huge box of crayons. There's plenty of space inside and outside. Speaking of outside, they have an awesome patio! What’s better than margaritas on a patio? Nada! 

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Ok, let’s get to why you’re really reading this article; the food. The first thing you have to understand is that there are literally 24 taco choices. Yes, we counted them. There could be more, but we got tired lol.  With that being said, there might be too many choices. It’s not quite as bad as say a menu at Cheesecake Factory, but it took a minute to get through all the choices. For those that don’t eat meat, there are also plenty of vegetarian choices as well. 

She’s obviously happy about her food!  

She’s obviously happy about her food!  

I settled on the Remember the Alamo and Gus’ favorite. The Remember the Alamo is shredded chicken with pico, jalapeños and queso while the Gus’ favorite is fried chicken with cheddar, bacon, pico and chipotle ranch. My daughter went with queso dip with a side of tater tots. That queso though!! It was awesome! There’s something unique about those tater tots. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but they taste different than other tater tots.

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The Remember the Alamo chicken was very good. Like really good. Go for that shredded chicken! I will say that the red onions in the pico really took away from the tacos. There was just way too many and the chunks were really big. I found myself removing them because there were just too many. That was really my only knock.  

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     I think Tennessee Taco Co is worth the visit. I’m going back to try more options myself. You can really never go wrong with tacos anyways. They are always awesome. Go check them out and tell me what you think. If you’ve already been, drop a comment and let me know what I need to try on my next visit. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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It's been real Mike Norvell

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It's been real Mike Norvell

      Memphis football is back and making national headlines. QB Riley Ferguson, a UT transfer, is national player of the week on several sports sites. WR Anthony Miller is considered a 1st round pick for the upcoming NFL draft. Coach Mike Norvell has shot up as a hot coaching candidate on the national radar. If you've been living under a rock, Memphis just beat #25 UCLA in the Liberty Bowl. 3 years in a row these Tigers have become upset assasins. Everything is going well, right?

Well.....yes and no. Let me explain.

Yes, this is great because there was a time the Memphis football program was considered the worst program in the country. Yes, it was that bad. No one wants to relive those Larry Porter years. So this turnaround is nothing short of amazing. But that's where the problem lies.....the success brings doom.

Not sure if anyone remembers the guy responsible for this turnaround. Current Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuentes. Remember he took over as an assistant from TCU and engineered the great rebuild. There were finally bowl games and a huge win over then Top 25 ranked Ole Miss. He was courted by several bigger schools and bolted to Virginia Tech before the Birmingham Bowl against Auburn. Virginia Tech is currently a ranked team.

Any of this sounding eerily familiar? It should. This years team has the potential to go undefeated and play in a New Years Day Bowl. With that success will come the doom. No on can be upset with any one getting a better job. Who doesn't want to level up? Memphis being outside the Power 5 conferences is the one if the reasons. The American is pushing for a Power 6 conference but that looks slim.

So enjoy this season Tigers fans. You deserve it, but this time next year we might have a new coach. Mike Norvell is a awesome coach and guy and that appeals to bigger programs. Maybe he will. I know the trend and stay and build here. That's wishful thinking. Some jobs you just don't turn down. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

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My thoughts on the iPhone X

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My thoughts on the iPhone X

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       Wow! The Apple Event was yesterday and I was super excited about it! I'm not an Apple head like lots of people are, but I do own a few iOS and Mac products. I love the simplicity and beauty of Apple. Not to mention, they also make some of the best performing devices you can buy. Software optimization is paramount!! That's something Android still hasn't gotten right. 

        Moving on. So I was already pretty much set on what the iPhone X would look like based on leaks I've seen. I already knew the price(more on that later).  What I really wanted to see what the specs. And boy were they impressive! It's basically an iPad Pro sandwiched into a smaller package with better technology. I totally had a nerdgasm. 

          My issue with the iPhone X is not just the pricing, but the storage allotment for the pricing. For $1000, you only get 64GB. What the hell? You have to move up to the only other option of 256GB to get any real memory. 1 min of 4K video is about 350-400MB. You can squeeze about 4 hours on a 64GB drive. But the OS takes up a bit of space as well, so you're not really getting 64GB. 

       Apple really messed up on this one. This device should have started at 128GB minimum. Your only other option is forking out $1149 for the 265GB version. That's the price of a MacBook Pro. I really wanted to get the iPhone X, but I can't justify the pricing to storage options. I will just keep my iPhone 7( because the iPhone 8 was blah), and buy a $329 new iPad if I need a bigger screen. Plus I enjoy having a home button.

Life is for Living, 

Michael B  

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A Few Thoughts and Tips about this Football Season

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A Few Thoughts and Tips about this Football Season

Well it's that time of year again! Football season! When the NBA is over and there's nothing on TV but baseball or soccer, life can be really depressing. Thank God for the fall! Yes football is back! I've created a little list to help out those that might need a little guidance during this season. Lets jump straight into it!

Sunday Funday is over

Yep, no more Sunday brunching. Sunday is reserved for football now. The mimosas on patios will have to wait until after the first set of games and before the night games. Monday and Thursdays are off limits as well. Why? Because football. Not only is Sunday a day for the gridiron, but we have a game on Mondays and Thursday! 3 days of football bliss! If you’re a real football fan, you also have Saturday for college football!

Bandwagon fans run rampant

Each year there are people who swap teams based on popularity or certain players. Historically, it’s been women but now the fellas are getting in on the action. Any real sports fan knows that you don’t switch teams under any circumstance. Normally after a Super Bowl, that team acquires new fans. Seems everyone’s a Patriots or 49ers fan now. Don’t remember any of those teams being mentioned a decade ago…..

NFL Protestors

This year there will be lots of protesters of the NFL due to Colin Kapernick not being signed by a team. Many feel it’s due to him taking a knee during the national anthem last year. Others feel he just isn’t a good player anymore. Regardless, there will be many that protest this year. They might ask you to join in as well. There are quite of few actively signed player at kneel or sit for the anthem, so you have to make your own decision on this one.

Never bet against Tom Brady

This is a given for anyone that knows anything about football. There are few things that are constant in this universe, but Tom Brady is a mainstay in the playoffs. Yes, the Patriots will lose a game or two in the regular season, but no one is better in the playoffs than #12. Everything about this guy isn’t fair. He’s probably the best QB ever, he has fashion model looks and he’s married to Giselle. We all hate Tom Brady, but we all secretly want his life. 

Evade Cowboys fans like the plague!

This should really be rule #1 for anyone on Earth. I grew up around a family full of Cowboys fans and they all think exactly alike. They swear this is the year that Dallas goes back to the Super Bowl. They haven’t been since 1996, but each year is the year for them. Trying to talk football with a Cowboys fan about how the team has been mediocre at best since the last Super Bowl will result in them wanting to physically harm you. They will overwhelm you with sheer numbers, but just walk the other way if you see a Cowboys fan. It will save you your sanity and from having to cold cock a 50 year old man in a Dez Bryant jersey. 

    These are a few quick tips to get you started this season. What other tips do you have? Drop a comment and let me know! Whats your team? 

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Dessert Therapy

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Dessert Therapy

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       I love sweets! I really do. No, I really really really love sweets. My dentist also loves me. I get sweets and he gets paid. Life's better when everyone wins.  

      I recently stumbled upon this dessert spot called Dessert Therapy. Doesn't that just sound amazing? This sounds so much better than sitting in a couch talking about my problems. Anyways, I found it through Yelp while searching for blueberry muffins near my job. There were no muffins, but boy was this place awesome!  

Sweets!! 

Sweets!! 

Drools

Drools

       I got in as they were closing so they didn't have a lot left over from the earlier rush. They still had more than enough for my taste buds. The owner, I forgot his name sorry, walked us through the process and the specials. We were overwhelmed with the possibilities. I settled on this beauty:

Behold, the cupcake sundae

Behold, the cupcake sundae

        The cupcake sundae!  Basically, it's a cupcake cut in half and ice cream in the middle. A cupcake ice cream sandwich if you will. That thing was awesome. I'm no fan of frosting, but that frosting in this little piece of heaven was really good. 

Cake Pops! 

Cake Pops! 

        The kid settled on a cake pop and a chocolate lava cake because she can't just have one. They were both kid approved even with Maddy's strong hate of dark chocolate. 

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       Dessert Therapy is definitely a place you should try out. It's located at 6645 Poplar Ave Suite 109 in Germantown inside the Carrefour.  The hours are a bit weird. They normally close around 7pm Monday through Wednesday, 8pm on Thursday and 9 Friday and Saturday.  You can also check out their website www.desserttherapybar.com 

        Hurry up and go get some dessert! 

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

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Men Can Brunch Too

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Men Can Brunch Too

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        I recently heard that men aren't supposed to brunch together because it makes them look suspect. Oh how I love the homophobic Facebook crowd. They truly are the most misguided group of people. Why can't men brunch? Why can't I brunch with my other guy friends either? What if I brunched with my brother, uncle, cousin, father? Do those fall under the "suspect" rule as well? There are just so many inconsistencies in that theory. Lol. 

         Well I brunch and I love it! What's not to love? I get to combine food, drinks, bar hopping, patio chilling, more drinks, and my friends. What's not to love about that? 

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Polenta and Shrimp from Aldo's Pizza

       I wonder where the idea that men doing things together somehow implies that they are gay even came from. Men have gone to sporting events, parties and bars together forever and now it seems all this must stop because some feel that having friends means you're secretly hiding homesexual tendencies. Could it not simply be that I love food, drinks and hanging with my friends? 

Brunch and work  

Brunch and work  

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        My typical Sunday Funday consists of meeting up at a local bar, Blind Bear for you Memphians, and bar hopping around Downtown Memphis. It starts small but we usually run into other people we know and the group expands from there. We eat, drink, people watch, talk shit to each other, share life stories, and eventually make our ways back to our individual homes. Always responsibly though!

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        And that's it. Another successful Sunday Funday. There was no suspect activities LOL. No one turned gay or fell in love with one another LOL. Just fellas hanging out like any other day. So go brunch fellas. You'll enjoy hanging with the fellas, the food and definitely the drinks. Be secure within yourself and don't let Facebook or any other homophobic person define you or what you can and can't do. Live the life you want. Don't live I the fear of what others may say because they are gonna talk regardless of how safe you think you're living. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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