Saturday update

Happy Saturday everyone! It’s been a long few days down in Tom Lee Park as the Moody Ques have been competing and feeding our members and guests. My camera went on the fritz so I don’t have as many pictures as usual, but here are a few.

To honor this year’s Memphis in May place, which is not a country but rather Memphis itself, we went with a Peabody theme. We had a photo wrap of the lobby as our facade, complete with ducks, a red carpet, floral arrangement, and a cardboard cutout of the Peabody duckmaster.

Above is a photo of the booth at night, complete with a lit up Peabody sign atop the structure. We didn’t take top three in Best Booth but nevertheless we are pretty proud of our home for this week.

This was the first year ever for the turkey ancillary, and our cook team nailed it with some of the most flavorful turkey I have ever had. The rules said, everything in the entry box had to be edible, which posed a challenge because we wanted the judges to try our Alabama white BBQ sauce. A resourceful cook hollowed out half a lemon and used it as the sauce container.

Here I am posing with our cutout of the Peabody duckmaster. You won’t find a better cardboard cutout in the Shoulder division! By the way, I was told that the Peabody duckmaster and staff were very nice and assisted us with getting a hi-res photo of the lobby and the image of the duckmaster.

Today is the big day. Kris and our cook team put the competition meat on yesterday afternoon, and it has been smoking low and slow all night. This morning it’ll be time to take the meat off, wrap it, let it rest, and clean the booth for presentation to the judges. For those of you who don’t know, presentation is a big part of the score, and if you slip up and say something the judges don’t want to hear, that can drop you from 1st to 40th. Luckily, Kris and the team give an expert presentation. They even explain that the pigs we cooked were walking around on a farm in North Mississippi earlier this week, and why we chose that farm and the individual pigs that we did.

(Sigh… probably gonna get hate mail from vegans/PETA)

After years of being the lovable losers in the Shoulder competition, never breaking out of the bottom third, we surged to 7th place out of 57 teams last year, getting us a trophy and a check for $500. The judges came back and gave our cooks valuable feedback, and Kris is the kind of guy who makes copious notes in his head. You never know, but I think we’ve got a shot at moving up from 7th this year. I prefer not to be around during judging (I’ve come to accept the fact that I don’t make a good impression) and so I’m going to lead off at either Bardog or Blind Bear at 11.

A few first-year members or guests came to me and told me they were blown away by the quality of food in our booth. I can’t take credit for cooking any of it, but thank you! We will be back in 2020 and we always seem to manage to have spots open up due to members’ busy schedules. If you are interested in joining for 202o let me know and I will keep you in the loop.

The good and the not-so-good

I don’t want the subheading to confuse anyone… the not-so-good part has been slightly irritating, while the good part of this week has been really, really good.

First and foremost, I received confirmation that my Two Feet from the End post at the end of April helped someone make a different decision than they might have otherwise. That just blows me away and I am beyond Cloud Nine… I am on Cloud Eighteen level happy. Up until now, my biggest bragging right about this blog has been that it has affected the population number of Memphis, three people having decided to move here from out of state having read what I wrote. But now, I may have helped save a life. Even if the rest of this week went to hell in a handbasket (so far it hasn’t), I would still count this as one of the best weeks I have ever had.

Funny thing is, I found that fact out late at night, when I’d been up for 18 hours and in the park for 13, so it really didn’t register at first because I was exhausted. The next morning at Bardog, it sank in, and my eyes welled up with tears… in front of a bunch of dudes on other BBQ teams. Well that was awkward.

I’ve had several really good heart-to-heart conversations with friends this week, both face to face and online. A lot of people have told me they’re happy I’m still here. I’m happy I’m still here too.

I’ve received leads on two jobs – not just jobs I’d be doing for the paycheck, but work that I would find really interesting. The people I was in contact with understood that I’m on a BBQ team and I will be in touch next week.

Then, of course, this has been a great basketball week for our city. Penny Hardaway started it off by bringing in graduate transfer Rayjon Tucker who was a star at Little Rock last year. Then he signed four-star Boogie Ellis. Then he signed five-star Precious Achiuwa, moving Memphis up to the number-one recruiting class in the country for 2019. Radio host Gary Parrish had the Tigers ranked sixth in his most recent pre-season poll, and that may have come out before Achiuwa was signed.

Of course, now the expectations are sky-high, and Penny is going to have to silence his “Penny can recruit but he can’t coach” haters. He’ll have to move fast – Wiseman is definitely a one-and-done and some of the others might be too. I’d say that with the talent as stacked as it is, Penny needs at least an AAC regular-season title, an AAC tournament title, and an Elite Eight appearance to answer his critics. AAC regular-season title, AAC tournament runner-up, and Sweet Sixteen is the absolute floor.

Then there’s the Grizzlies. I was watching the lottery at the Blind Bear while I did team bag handout, and I nearly jumped out of my seat when the number-8 pick card was opened and it did not have the Grizzlies’ logo, meaning Memphis had moved into the top four. When the 4 card opened and it wasn’t the Grizzlies either, I started yelling, “KEEP GOING! KEEP GOING!” The 3 card also wasn’t the Grizz, and we had a 50% shot at the #1 pick. However, we’ll have to settle for the second pick. I’ll take it!

There’s a near-consensus that point guard Ja Morant from Murray State will be the best available player at the 2 pick, someone who will be NBA ready from the get-go. If the team selects Morant, it’s probably a little more likely Mike Conley gets traded this summer. The 2 pick’s salary will be almost $9 million, shooting Memphis way over the luxury tax line. The front office will need to make moves to get back under and Conley could be involved. I will be sad at the thought of Grizzlies basketball without Mike, but perhaps it’s time to let The Conductor go chase a ring while he’s still got some years left.

However, keep in mind that one of the reasons why the Grizzlies front office wanted Jaren Jackson Jr. last year is because he had a basketball pedigree, his dad a former NBA star and his mom also involved in basketball. That mindset may give the nod to R.J. Barrett rather than Morant. Barrett is the godson of NBA legend Steve Nash and his father played  pro basketball overseas.

Edit: Well, I just knew I was leaving out one of the things that made me happy this week, just couldn’t remember what it was. Two of the most wonderful people I know got engaged this week. Congratulations Alex and Mary!

Now to the bad (but it’s small stuff and shouldn’t be sweated). First of all, allergies! The pollen and dust in Tom Lee Park has been near max level all week, and I have dealt with watery eyes, a runny nose, a sore throat, and itchy ears all three days so far. I guess I could run over to Walgreens and get some medicine but I’ll probably just gut through the one remaining day.

Secondly… Wednesday. I planned on leading off at Bardog, then heading down to the park to help my team with last-minute setup. In previous years, I had been told that team members  with only gate hours wristbands, rather than 24-hour access wristbands, could get in the park on Wednesday up to a certain time (I’ve heard both noon and 3) and otherwise they’d have to wait until 5 when the park opens to the public. Knowing this, I made it a point to get down there at 11:35 so I’d beat the earlier time. The guard told me I couldn’t come in until 5.

So I walked back to the Blind Bear where I tried some of Tre’s mushroom stroganoff, a vegan dish with carnivore options that may be added to the lunch menu. While eating, I texted my team vice-president and told him what had happened. He replied that the guard at the south gate had let his wife, also without a 24, in with barely so much as a look. That’s the kind of thing I hate. They’re inconsistent.

They’re even inconsistent year to year. Last year, I did the same thing, went down to the gate about 11:30 AM. The volunteer working the gate gave me a kindergarten teacher-style lecture about how I’m supposed to have a 24 on, but “just this once I’m going to make an exception. Tomorrow, though…” Memphis in May, you really need to get your staff better organized on BBQ Fest Wednesday. The people at the gates are making a bad first impression on members whose teams have paid thousands of dollars to be part of your event.

Then there was the mandatory evacuation of the park Thursday night because of a few lightning bolts nearby. About 7:15 a deputy entered our booth and said, “If you have a green wristband (one of the 24s) you can stay. Everyone else has to go!” Of course, nobody left. We know how the game is played. The deputy did his part. Now, if the lightning struck someone without a 24, the lawyers would be able to say it was the person’s fault for not heeding the deputy’s instructions. Except the lighting stayed well to the north of us, and no one was in any danger of getting struck. I hate how they’ve been so quick to order mandatory evacuations in recent years. People would generally be safer sheltering in place in their booths besides, given that you have to walk for blocks and blocks to get to cover if you head for the hills.

The cellular service in the south part of the park was horrible, to the point that I didn’t get any PMs or Facebook notifications from 4 PM until the time I left the park. Once I got out of there I found I had missed PMs, missed texts, and 15 new notifications. If you contacted me about coming to the booth last night and I didn’t answer, sorry, I wasn’t trying to ignore you.

Of course, there were always issues at the door. I won’t go into detail here but we’re going to have to pull a couple of team members aside and have a talk with them about their guests. I do want to give our treasurer Misty big props on handling the door as flawlessly as could be given all that was going on. I also want to give props to our doorman Stone on a job done very well.

The booth really slowed down after the 11:00 hour, so we let Stone go early. By 11:30 I was ready to get out of there myself, and walked back into the booth for one last trip to the porta-potty and to get a road beer to last me while I walked to the north end of Tom Lee. I walked out the entrance to find Fratty McFratterson, who had no connection to anyone on the team whatsoever, sitting on Stone’s stool waving people into our booth. I turned around and stood next to him, and he went running off, meeting up with his bros further down the sidewalk. I guess he thought I was about to get my remaining teammates in the booth together and beat his ass.

Good luck to all the teams competing today. I’m going to do a little pre-gaming then head down to the park. Apologies if you find typos in this post. Too pressed for time to proofread today. Back tomorrow or Monday with more news.

 

Tuesday update

The NBA draft lottery is tonight at 7:30 on ESPN. We will learn where the Memphis Grizzlies will pick in this year’s June 20 draft, with a 6% chance of the #1 pick which would surely be converted into Zion Williamson. If the Grizz finish ninth or worse in the lottery, they CONVEY THAT PICK to Boston.

The defunct Memphis Express AAF team owes the city of Memphis nearly $150,000. The debt is related to expenses related to the Express hosting home games and practicing at the Liberty Bowl.

Cordelia’s Market will have a special dog-friendly food truck night on their patio tomorrow night, Wednesday, May 15, from 5 to 8 PM. Bring your own dog (to the patio; they’re not allowed in the store) or meet a new friend from Streetdog Foundation. In addition to the usual food trucks, Cordelia’s will have treats for dogs, including Pup Pops from MemPops and Fram House Dog Bakery “Ruffins” (dog muffins).

YOGA! Goat yoga, yoga with baby goats, returns to Health Sciences Park this Sunday, May 19 with 1 PM and 2:15 PM sessions. Reserve your spot in advance for $5 with proceeds benefiting Memphis Animal Services. These are 45-minute, all-levels classes, and kids over 10 are welcome.

Having vacated its longtime building in The Edge, the Commercial Appeal is moving to the Downtown core. Their new office space will be on the third floor of Pembroke Square at 119 S. Main.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen is bringing back their popular Memphis Murder Mystery this Saturday at 6.

Allie Prescott has been named interim AD for the University of Memphis, after Tom Bowen resigned to pursue another career opportunity. Prescott is a former GM of the Memphis Chicks and Memphis Redbirds, and was instrumental in bringing Triple-A baseball to Memphis.

Why I like U of M president M. David Rudd so much: He responded to a tweet, “If you have all six infinity stones and snap your fingers, what would disappear?” Rudd’s reply: “Orange.”

Those in search of a job or a better job, head over to Indeed’s Facebook page tomorrow, May 15, at 12:15 Central time. Local career coach Angela Copeland will be answering job seeker questions on Facebook Live, along with Indeed CEO Chris Hyams and HR expert Jim Stroud.

Lifehacker has some good advice for travelers: Always take a photo of your hotel room number.

All right y’all. I am already tired out and I haven’t even been to the park yet. I seriously doubt there will be a post tomorrow. I’ll be back when I can with more news.

It’s No Post Monday!

The BBQ team has me on a writing assignment, so no post today. Just checking in with all of you so you won’t be concerned.

As I said earlier, posts will probably not be on an every-day basis this week. My duties for the BBQ team have increased from what they were 3 or 4 years ago, and now that we’ve proved to ourselves that we can win I want to do the best job possible.

I’ll write more when I have time.

Sunday update

The Redbirds have a special Mother’s Day Ticket today that includes brunch in the Home Plate Club from noon to 1:30 prior to the first pitch at 2:05. Brunch is $40 club level or $36 dugout, and comes with a coupon for a one-topping Papa John’s pizza to be redeemed later. Items on the brunch buffet include

Bottomless Mimosas
BBQ Chicken Breast
Carved Ham
Scrambled Eggs (plain and with cheese)
Applewood Bacon
Country Sausage
Roasted Garlic Breakfast Potatoes
Belgian Waffles with Chocolate, Strawberry, and Caramel Toppings
Assorted Breakfast Pastries
Pecan Deviled Eggs
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Salad Bar and Cheese Display
Seasonal Fruit Station

The special ticket also allows moms to play catch on the field with their kids during the noon to 1:30 brunch hours. Heh. I like what they did there… bet a lot of moms are going to want to suck down as many of those bottomless mimosas as they can fit into 90 minutes, but their kids are going to be all like, “Mom! Hurry up and finish eating! I wanna play catch!”

All kids (whether on the special ticket or not) under 12 receive a free Prairie Farms ice cream treat upon entering the park. Allegiant Air will sponsor autographs on the field from 1:15 to 1:30. (How exactly does a sponsorship like that work? I can’t imagine there’d be costs involved with people standing on a field and signing scorecards. After the game, all mothers can run the bases with their kids.

There will be Sunset Jazz in Court Square tonight from 6:00 to 8:00. Joe Restivo will perform and this event is free to attend. There will be food trucks and seating available.

Max’s Sports Bar is having an (unofficial) NBA draft lottery watch party Tuesday night, May 14. There will be Grizz shots all night for $3, and of course PBR is only $2.75 all day, every day.

Speaking of Max’s, they have this new game you can play with your friends called The Shot Wheel of Death. You and your friends decide what shot you want to do – Jameson, chocolate salty balls, whatever floats your boat. The bartender counts up the number of people participating and pours that number of your requested shots, minus one. The remaining shot put on the wheel is Besk, which is said to be like “a shittier version of Malort.” Whoever the Besk lands on has to drink it.

I guess you could order a round of Besk to put on the wheel, and that way everybody loses.

The most wonderful time of the year has begun. My BBQ friends from both my own team and other teams are starting to arrive in town, and I spent many good hours at Blind Bear yesterday catching up with old friends. I only distributed 4 team bags yesterday though, which was kind of surprising. Moody Ques teammates, if you need your bag, you can pick it up from me between 4 PM and 8 PM Monday or Tuesday at the Blind Bear. After 8 PM Tuesday I will hand off our remaining bags to our team treasurer, who will take them down to Tom Lee Park. Note: If you don’t pick up your bag ahead of time, you will have to pay gate admission at Tom Lee Park Wednesday evening.

That’s it, short post for now. Back with another as time permits this busy week.

Saturday update

Well, we had our first snafu with the BBQ team. A few weeks ago we designed the T-shirts, with our Moody Ques logo on the front and an Elvis theme on the back, with the words “Love Meat Tender.” The design was posted to our discussion board, and a couple of us commented, “Hold up, I think that might be the name of another BBQ team.” We did a little research and went back to the drawing board.

We changed the slogan on the back to “Rub Meat Tender,” sent the shirt design to the printer, and the shirts are in the team bags I’m handing out this weekend and early next week. Memphis in May released a park map with the names of all the teams and their booth locations. Guess what?

Rub Meat Tender is the name of a team too.

Sigh.

At least they’re not another shoulder team, close to us in location. They’re way down the park from us in ribs. And at least we didn’t enter the design in Best T-Shirt. We’ve never entered that competition because if you use the words “Memphis in May” on the shirts, you have to pay a licensing fee to the festival – and it’s well-known that any shirt without “Memphis in May” on it will be very unlikely to be considered for the winning spot.

I guess it will give the team down the walk from us something to gossip about though…

Yesterday was a good day for Penny Hardaway and Memphis Tigers men’s basketball. Four-star combo guard Lester Quinones chose Memphis over Indiana yesterday. That gives Penny five recruits in the incoming class rated 4-stars or higher, giving Penny a recruiting class said to be in top 5 or 6. It’s also believed that Penny isn’t done and that Quinones’ signing could cause other dominoes to fall in Memphis’ direction.

The May South Main Association meeting has been announced for Swanky’s Taco Shop in the Chisca building for Tuesday, May 14. Hear from the GM what to expect in the upcoming months (patio concerts were mentioned) and what makes this Swanky’s location special. Start time is 6 PM, although the first 30 minutes are usually social time before the program begins.

This weekend won’t break the streak either, as you know if you’ve looked out the window the past couple of days. That’s OK – for all I care it can do whatever it wants this weekend for weather, as far as Wednesday through Saturday of next week look good. Every extended forecast I’ve seen shows little chance of rain, no temperature below 60, and no temperature above 85. That will be perfect if it holds up!

T-shirt giveaway at AutoZone Park next Saturday:

Bluff City Mafia will move up their march time from Brass Door to the park that day so that those marching with them will get there in time to get a shirt.

Also from Memphis 901 FC, check out this offer that combines a special game, flexibility, and a nice price.

Tin Roof will host a Cajun shrimp and crawfish boil Saturday, June 9 from noon to 11 PM. Sylvester Crawfish Farms will drive the crawfish up from Louisiana. DJ Epic, DJ Snow and DJ Desire will spin the tunes. $27 for 5 lbs. June is the end of crawfish season and the ‘bugs should be huge by then.

Cheers to the Green Beetle for doing the right thing. Tomorrow, they will delay their opening until 4 PM so that their employees will be able to spend time with their mothers on Mother’s Day.

Sunrise Memphis over on Jefferson will run Mother’s Day brunch specials today and tomorrow. They will be crab cake benedict, and banana bread French toast topped with candied pecans.

The Grizzlies are seeking a Promotions and Marketing Intern. (Damn, that is the longest URL I’ve ever seen in my life)

The Redbirds are back at AutoZone Park tonight, first pitch at 6:35 with gates opening at 5:00. The first 1000 fans in the gate get an “I Love Memphis” Redbirds T-shirt. $2 beers in the left field bar until the first pitch time. It’s Teacher Appreciation Night, and of course it will be Fireworks Saturday following the game.

From the Washington Post: The XFL plans to change football and avoid the AAF’s fate. There are innovations being discussed including radically changing kickoffs, providing an opportunity for a 9-point play on a touchdown, and an overtime that resembles soccer penalty kick shootouts. The league was founded by WWE’s Vince McMahon and is being run by Oliver Luck (Andrew’s father).

St. Jude has opportunities for you to volunteer at the hospital.

The Memphis Chicken and Beer Festival returns to the Liberty Bowl Saturday, August 3.

Huge beer news this week: Boston Beer, maker of Samuel Adams beers, acquired fellow brewery Dogfish Head. Fortune has a look at what this means for the future of craft beer.

In other beer news, scientists can now explain the cascade of bubbles in a pint of Guinness.

Changing things up today and making my first Saturday stop the Blind Bear rather than Bardog. I’m in charge of team bag handout, and noon to 4 today is my first of three sessions doing handout. Teammates, feel free to stay a while and try the Hung Over Like a Bear brunch menu which runs until 6. $3 mimosas, Bloody Marys, moonshine, and Fireball until 6 as well.

Back tomorrow probably. I may do my usual “how to enjoy BBQ Fest if you’re not on a team” post.

Friday update

Up until now I’ve been pretty neutral in the debate over whether to remodel Tom Lee Park. As a member of a BBQ Fest team it’s natural for me not to want the park to change. On the other hand, I understand that the park needs to be something that can be enjoyed by all Memphians – not just music lovers, not just BBQ team members, not just Downtowners – all year. I’ve wanted a win-win for everybody, and yesterday I saw a suggestion that was so good that I support it.

Memphis River Parks Partnership is responsible for developing the entire riverfront, from Mud Island to MLK Riverside Park as I understand it. Why not redevelop Tom Lee Park last? Imagine if MRPP redeveloped the other parks first, and had smashing successes turning them into desirable and highly usable public spaces (we’re already seeing this with River Garden). Let MRPP rack up some wins, and eventually Tom Lee would stick out like a sore thumb and the public would want something done with it too. Memphis River Parks Partnership has only existed under that name for under a year. Let it build up a fantastic reputation and earn the trust of the people of Memphis.

The Mixtape Tour comes to FedExForum tonight at 8. Bands from the early ’90s, headlined by New Kids on the Block, will perform. Also on stage will be Debbie Gibson, Salt-n-Pepa, Tiffany, and Naughty by Nature. No Milli Vanilli though. Wonder what they’re up to these days?

Calvary Episcopal Church at 102 N. Second will have Feast and Follies: A Choir Cabaret tonight at 7. This is a Friends of Music fundraiser and $25 gets you drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a show.

Lots going on at the Redbirds tonight. There’s a specialty ticket that gets you a buffet of tacos, fixings, Mexican rice, hot dogs, and soda/water (2 per person) from 6:00 to 8:00, and you get a Dave & Buster’s gift card as part of the deal. Another special ticket gets you a St. Louis Cardinals vest for $29 club/$25 dugout/$22 field box. Yet another specialty ticket gets you 4 field box tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas, and one bottomless popcorn at the game, plus 2 coupons for large Papa John’s pizzas that you can redeem at a later date. A fourth special ticket gets you all-inclusive access to the Budweiser Bowtie Bar (free food, beer, and wine) for $45, a $15 savings off the usual price. $2  beer specials at the left field bar until the 6:35 scheduled first pitch.

Bluff City Coffee has revised their lunch menu.

Mike Wilson, longtime HVAC service veteran and rescuer of Pipe Kitty, has launched a direct-to-consumer air conditioning e-commerce site with the help of LAB Digital Creative. In the model of services like Casper, this site sells directly to the customer with the potential of big savings.

Cheez-It has hidden a secret snack bunker somewhere in the U.S. The bunker contains a year’s supply of Cheez-It Snap’d, a flat-screen TV, and a year of streaming service. Clues to find the bunker will start appearing on Cheez-It’s Twitter account next Tuesday, May 14. Free Cheez-Its? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Daily Memphian has added an app for Apple and Android devices.

Margarita Fest by the Memphis Flyer won’t be Downtown this year after all. They’re moving it to the Creative Arts Building by the Liberty Bowl. 3 PM start time tomorrow. I have to think that Lyft and Uber drivers will make a lot of money tomorrow afternoon.

Silly Goose is looking to hire a barback/busser. If interested email me at paul@paulryburn.com and I will put you in touch with the hiring manager.

Natty Light is looking to hire an intern with “party skills” (and really bad taste in beer).

Eddie Izzard brings The Wunderbar Tour to the Orpheum tonight.

Chris Hill, who has been in Nashville lately, returns for a performance at The Vault on G.E. Patterson tonight at 8.

That’s it for now. Programming note: Blog posts will be irregular for the next 10 days. BBQ Fest is almost here, and Senior Deputy Director of Public Relations Perjorie T. Roll and I are in charge of team bag handout Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. After that we’ll be down in the park. I will post when I can. Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.

Thursday update

Before I start with Thursday news, a public service message to my readers on BBQ teams. Next week is a busy week, but don’t let it cause you to forget what is truly important.

On Sunday, May 8, 2016, I sent an email. “Mama, happy Mother’s Day. I am too busy with the BBQ team to call today, but will call sometime this week.” It was Wednesday before I finally got around to calling her. I felt bad, but I rationalized it with, “I’ll do better next year.”

The next year, I didn’t have anyone to call.

I know Sunday is load-in day for a lot of BBQ Fest teams, but still… take the time to take your mom out to lunch if she lives in town. If she doesn’t, at least call her and talk as long as she wants to talk. The scaffolding and the Visqueen and the refrigerators will still be there when you get done.

Frankie Hollie and the Noise, at the intersection of country and rock, headline the Peabody rooftop party tonight (which will probably be moved indoors). Cover is $10, $20 for VIP. Admission gets you a buffet of tomato bruschetta and assorted hors d’oeuvres. If you’re in VIP you get an additional buffet of shrimp and oyster po’ boys, jamabalaya, and Mother’s Day cookies.

The Redbirds take the field tonight at 7:05 in their Memphis Chicks throwbacks. There will be $2 beers and $1 Polk’s hot dogs.

If you know any veterans in need of assistance, please tell them about Veterans Stand Down Saturday, May 18 9-3 at the Pipkin Building adjacent to the Liberty Bowl. Services offered will include

  • VA eligibility assistance
  • My Healthy Vet registration assistance
  • Chaplain services
  • Medical screening
  • Homeless veteran services
  • Housing assistance
  • Employment assistance
  • VA benefits counseling
  • Haircuts and styling
  • VET center
  • Mental health counseling
  • Legal assistance
  • Burial registration assistance
  • Dental screening
  • Women’s services
  • Drug and alcohol treatment information
  • Entertainment
  • Food

Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Historian Jimmy Ogle is back in town with 90 minute walking tours this Saturday and next. He’ll do the manhole cover tour at 1 this Saturday and the Beale Street and Memphis Heritage Trail tour at 3. Next week it’ll be Court Square at 1 and South Main at 3.

The Memphis Local Music Festival returns Saturday. It’ll be at 10 N. Fourth in the field next to Downtown Elementary. Noon to 11 PM.

The Metal Museum will have yoga in the Sculpture Garden tomorrow morning at 9 AM. Cost is only $6 and the museum grounds are beautiful and serene. YOGA!

Don’t forget to be in front of a TV at 7:30 next Tuesday, when the NBA draft lottery will be on ESPN. The Grizzlies have a 12.3% chance of getting a top-two pick and therefore one of the prized talents in this year’s draft, Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. They have a 42% chance of dropping to 9th or lower even though they finished with the 8th worst record. If that happens they will CONVEY THAT PICK to Boston.

The Memphis Flyer has a Best Bet: chicken salad at Front Street Deli.

There’s a Save Tom Lee Park & the Festivals Facebook page for those of you who support that cause.

Insider tip for anyone planning to go to Memphis Brewfest this Saturday at the Liberty Bowl: Buy your ticket at an Aldo business (Bardog, Slider Inn, or either Aldo’s Pizza Pies) and avoid paying the convenience fees.

The Daily Memphian has a look at Tom Lee, the hero whose name is on the park many of us will be tromping around in next week.

The Memphis Flyer has the 1990 Great American Pyramid investor video.

Attention country music fans:

The second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is coming to Memphis next Wednesday. At 7:00 that evening Memphis 901 FC will play the New York Red Bulls U-23 team at AutoZone Park. Winner will play in the third round on May 29.

A new festival, Memphis MOJO Fest, is coming October 5-6 this year. The festival will celebrate the memory of Memphis musician Omar Higgins who recently passed away.

FreeWorld will celebrate the 89th birthday of its member Dr. Herman Green with a concert at Blues City Cafe’s Band Box on Sunday, May 26. For those of you who have heard FreeWorld but never at Blues City, GO… more than any other place, that is their home where they jam out the most.

Moody Ques: Our Mexican teammate Kao is coming back to BBQ Fest this year, and I think he said a couple of his buddies are jumping over Trump’s wall and coming with him. Hopefully they will bring us some good firearms and narcotics since that’s what all Mexicans do.

JUST KIDDING. I will get a frantic text from a redhead if I don’t mention that I am just kidding.

That’s the news for now. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

A judge has ruled it’s illegal for the Blue Suede Brigade officers to write parking tickets Downtown. The officers often targeted people parked in alleys. Yesterday I watched a different officer – not MPD, he was wearing a shirt that identified him being an officer with private company CDA – write tickets in the block of Monroe between Front and Main.

A $5 cover is being reinstated for Beale Street for the rest of the month, following crowd surges and a shooting on the street the nights of Music Fest.

Sold-out crowds caused cell service problems at Tom Lee Park during Music Fest. The problems were said to affect some vendors who were taking credit and debit cards. If anyone from Memphis River Parks Partnership is reading this: I think we can all agree that Wi-Fi in Tom Lee Park would be nice to have and would make people want to spend more time there.

For the first time ever, October festival RiverArtsFest will have an emerging artists program. Artists will receive mentoring from people involved with the festival. Apply here and use the code RAFEMERGE.

City Councilman Berlin Boyd, at times a controversial figure and a target of criticism by activists, will have challengers in the upcoming election, most notably Jerred Price.

Urban Art Commission is seeking two summer interns. These will be paid positions. Must be a rising junior or senior living in, or going to school in Memphis, and must be FAFSA eligible. Graphic design, photography, or curatorial skills are a plus.

Paris has banned electric scooters from sidewalks. Those things are vehicles and belong on the streets.

I’ll let you in on a little secret as to why our BBQ team has run so well the past couple of years: We’ve started using project management software called Basecamp. It is great. We can have discussions, assign to-dos, share PDFs when we discuss things like T-shirt design. Every day it sends out a recap of what happened the day before, so everyone stays in the loop. It prevents “oh, we decided that at the bar the other night, you weren’t there” problem which we sometimes had in past years, and which I see affecting other teams.

The Redbirds play a day game today at 11:05 AM. It’s an Education Day and there will be robotics demonstrations from local schools.

Robert Stock, the founder and designer of the Robert Graham line of clothing, will make an appearance at Lansky Bros. on Saturday, May 18 1 to 4 PM. Robert will introduce guests to his latest business venture, Robert’s Club.

One-fourth of the new Forum Flats apartments, 55 of 205 units, were destroyed in a Sunday morning fire. The apartments were not yet occupied.

Jennifer Biggs of the Daily Memphian has a look at the new Soi No. 9 permanent location in the Medical District. The Thai restaurant will continue to operate its food truck, a favorite at the Thursday Court Square food truck rodeos.

Also in the Daily Memphian today, Tanja Mitchell has an excellent piece about creating a Downtown for everyone.

Memphis musician Tav Falco recently had his signature Hofner electric guitar stolen. Falco’s band was loading a minivan with equipment for a tour out West. They went inside for only a few minutes, and came back to find their stuff gone.

From the Washington Post: Open-office plans don’t work. Nope. Thanks to Copeland Coaching for sharing this article on social media.

Jamie Baker will play The View on the Residence Inn’s rooftop tomorrow evening from 5 to 8.

Bedrock Eats & Sweets at Main and Vance is hiring a part-time front of house position. You get easy hours, competitive, pay, and waffles. Email diana@bedrockeatsandsweets.com if interested.

Mud Island River Park, now open for the season, has received some upgrades and now allows dogs.

The former Gibson building caught fire yesterday. The building is the future home of FedEx Logistics, and the area of the building that was damaged was set to be demolished next week anyway. FedEx plans to move into the space April of next year.

Food and Wine has a list of the most popular liquors in every state. Not surprisingly, Jack Daniel’s is the most popular in Tennessee. In Arkansas and Mississippi, it’s Fireball.

The National Civil Rights Museum has won a prestigious award. The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is given to museums and libraries that have made exceptional contributions to their communities. The award will be presented in DC next month.

Before I hit Publish, I want to thank my many incredible friends and blog readers for their support this past week. You all mean the world to me. Good news – I am caught up on rent, I have spending money, and the debit card works again. I have a consulting project I’m working on this week, and next week will be all about the Moody Ques.

Life’s gonna be all right. Back tomorrow with more news.

 

 

Tuesday update

If you’re looking to hear some live music tonight, Tin Roof would be a great place to do it. Mark Parsell’s Backline Memphis starts at 7 and tonight the artists will be Patrick McGee, City Silos, Bobby Stacks, Jack Rowell, Caleb Walker, Amber Rae Dunn, and possibly others.

Cousins Maine Lobster will make its debut at the Court Square food truck rodeo this Thursday. If you can’t wait until then, the truck will be at Juvenile Court, 616 Adams, for lunch Wednesday and the public is welcome to come.

Reminder: It’s $4.99 sandwich week at Lenny’s through Friday. Yesterday I got a roast beef sub with lettuce, mayo, salt and pepper, black olives, onions. and bell peppers.

Sunrise Memphis is giving 25% off to nurses, hospital, and health care workers this week. Just show your badge.

It will be Nurses Appreciation Night tonight at the Redbirds as well. First pitch 7:05.

If you have trouble shooting toothpicks into the ceiling at Huey’s, this device can help.

I went down to Loflin Yard and checked out Cerrito Bingo last Sunday at 4. So much fun! Moms get an extra bingo card this Sunday for Mother’s Day. Every bingo winner gets an automatic entry into the Turtle Races following bingo. The winning turtle gets their person a $40 gift card.

The biggest international soccer friendly ever held in our city has been scheduled. Memphis 901 FC will host Liga BBVA Bancomer powerhouse C.F. Pachuca on Saturday, June 22 at 7:00 PM.

Edible Memphis recently profiled a true Downtown legend, Nate who tends the upstairs bar at Earnestine & Hazel’s.

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will play alongside Harry Potter this fall. The November 30 event will feature the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the big screen with MSO performing the musical score.

MPD posted a photo of items left at Tom Lee Park during Beale Street Music Fest. If you lost items, contact the North Main Station’s GIB at 901-636-4099 to check and see if your item was recovered.

Get a St. Louis Cardinals vest with a special ticket to the Redbirds this Friday.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update: Cinco de Mayo, weird new sports, how to tip, and more

May the fourth has been with us now, and we move on to May 5, Cinco de Mayo. I’ll start this post off with a couple of tips on places to go Downtown to celebrate.

First of all, it’s Kooky de Mayo at Kooky Canuck, and they will celebrate with $5 34 ounce margaritas all day long. Championship Wrestling hosts Dustin and Maria Starr will be there at 5 if you want to have a beverage with them.

Over at Brass Door, Chef Carlos will observe Cinco de Mayo with authentic chicken mole for an Irish-Mexican brunch.

Loflin Yard will have Cinco de Bingo today at 4. Enjoy queso and $5 margaritas while you play bingo. If you bingo on a cinco, you get an additional prize of free tacos. Bingo should wrap up around 6 and will be followed by turtle races.

Primas Bakery and Boutique is hosting a pop-up Cinco de Mayo festival today in the open space next to their shop at 523 S. Main, 10 AM to 3 PM. Confirmed vendors include

Mobius Theory
The Faint of Heart
Hometown Design Co.
Riverside 1844 Artisanal Foods
Somersault Designs
Marie Ryan Art
The Crystal Sisters
Memphis Metals Malas and More
Eny’s Tamales
Art by Jo
Por Fuego Lento
Miles Flower Truck

I learned of two new “sports” yesterday that I had never heard of. ESPN2 was broadcasting the college championship round of a sport called spikeball. It’s similar to two-person volleyball, except the net is a trampoline-like device that sits on the ground.

Georgia defeated Texas A&M to win the collegiate championship. They give college scholarships for this? It looks like a sport that I would have invented in my living room when I was 8 years old.

This wasn’t on TV (would have been better than spikeball though), but I was told about a new form of beer pong called Roomba beer pong. It’s what it sounds like – the cups into which you attempt to bounce the ball sit atop Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners.

I wonder if Skinny from the Hi-Tone has seen these sports? If so, maybe he’s got a couple of new options for The Bar Olympics on Sunday, June 23.

A big announcement came out this weekend: Facebook has been announced as the major sponsor for Music Fest and BBQ Fest this year. I know that not everyone loves Facebook, but this is a big get for Memphis in May. They weren’t the only surprise big get for them either, as Miley Cyrus was a last-minute addition to Saturday’s Music Fest lineup.

There are free samples of Corky’s BBQ nachos and Wing Stop wings being handed out at the festival. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Cordelia’s Market beer rep, Angelina, will lead a wine and watercolor class on Tuesday, May 14 at the market. Cost is $15. There will be wine samples, and you are welcome to BYO bottle.

I found out something I didn’t know yesterday: You can download your entire purchase history from Amazon.

The Memphis Union Mission is looking for a few volunteers to help with its 14th Annual Memphis Union Mission Classic Heritage Gold Tournament. They need people to verify holes-in-one, check in, and be beverage cart drivers. If interested email hterada@memphisunionmission.org.

The Daily Memphian has an article about how even the pouring rain can’t stop the enthusiasm for Memphis 901 FC.

Back at Best Memphis Burger Fest ’17, the Moody Ques fell in love with the versatility of air fryers. Food & Wine has 7 brilliant ways to use your air fryer for food prep.

You just can’t make this stuff up: Metro Vancouver, Canada has two new mascots called Pee and Poo.

I hate to lecture my readers, but after a couple of things I saw yesterday, I can see it’s time for a reminder how to tip. Some people seem to think rounding a $57 tab up to $60 or a $135 tab up to $140 is tipping an appropriate amount. No. It is not. Here’s an easy way to compute a reasonable tip on your tab.

  • If your tab is between $10 and $99, take the first digit of your tab and double it.
  • If your tab is $100 or more, take the first two digits of your tab and double that amount.

So, for the $57 tab, take the 5 and double it, a tip of $10. For the $135 tab, take the 13 and double it, a tip of $26. This method will let you easily compute a tip in the 18-20% range, which is the custom in America where most servers and bartenders make $2.13 an hour.

Personally, I like to add a bit more to the tip if the person serving me is a friend of mine, which is often the case. I also tend to tip a bit more if I ran the bartender around a lot, requesting extra this and that or making substitutions to dishes on the menu.

I did not make it to my intended first stop at Bardog yesterday. I walked there about 10:50 – 10 minutes prior to opening – and there were already 25 people waiting outside the door. I probably wouldn’t have even got a seat at the bar. F that, I went to Blind Bear. I hate it that I didn’t get to see Panda while she’s in town. Maybe I’ll try again today.

I may take a day off tomorrow. One thing I learned many years ago is that you can’t live Downtown and expect to get a good night’s sleep Sunday of Music Fest, because people will be screaming “WOOOOOOOO!” into the wee hours. I figure, if I can’t beat ’em, I might as well join them. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.