An encounter with Sharp Dressed Bum

Having come home from work, a few minutes ago I threw my backpack over my shoulder and headed to the Flying Saucer. As I crossed the parking lot at Second and Gayoso, I saw Sharp Dressed Bum, in his navy snowflake hat and winter coat, walking down Second. He didn’t see me and I stopped for a minute to let him pass.

My plan backfired. Immediately as I rounded the corner onto Second, I saw him ten feet ahead, begging a couple for money. “We’re sorry, we can’t help,” they said, and quickly moved on.

I walked right past him, not even acknowledging him. But he acknowledged me. “Punk ass,” he started. “I’m gonna beat your fucking ass one of these days, mother fucker. I’m gonna knock your head in… you better watch out… punk.” This has been typical conversation from him every time I’ve encountered him for the past three years.

Of course, I know he’s all bark and no bite. But still… how much longer are we going to tolerate people like him on the streets? And how many people visit downtown, get approached by him and decide to never come back? How many people decide to move out of downtown because they’re sick of dealing with him every time they go out?

The Dempseys @ the Saucer Thursday, February 1 at 9:30

If you missed The Dempseys Sunday night at Huey’s, you have another chance to see them, at the Flying Saucer tomorrow night. They take the stage at 9:30 and will play until a little after 1. Needless to say, I will be there. I have a possible business meeting tomorrow night, and I’ve told them that the meeting must end by 8:30, unless we meet at the Saucer in which case I can go until 9:30. Business is business, but I ain’t missing the Dempseys!

Maybe we can convince Brad to do The Worm again.

Forgot to mention in my Sunday post… another one of the songs in their “cities, states, counties, towns” medley is “What made Milwaukee famous… made a loser out of me.” As they sang that line I raised my beer glass. Bass player Slick Joe Fick commented, “Well, at least you’re honest, Paul.”

Actually, I was drinking Bud, so I guess it was what made St.Louis famous, rather than Milwaukee, if you want to get technical, that made a loser out of me.

Tied up in meetings with Microsoft all day long… so I get to sit through presentations on SharePoint Services and SQL Server. But the good news is, they’re buying us pizza for lunch!

I have a new website 99% ready to go, and I hope to finish it this evening after work. Look for an announcement soon. For now I’ll just say that it will be a big deal.

Gotta get back upstairs to the meeting, it’s pizza time and if I get there late it’ll be picked over and I’ll be stuck with veggie pizza (yuk). See ya later…

Attn Harmony: Mr. 0.1 cable rating is making me rich

Who cares if he’s talking shit about me… his readers are clicking my Google ads and that’s all that matters.

Apologies to the 99% of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, this is a drunk post.

Congrats to the Rapscallions who won 1st place tonight, bringing our total Saucer gift certificate winnings to $325.

Back sometime Wed. with a worthwhile post.

(Edit: Attn Master Polo: I apologize for calling you a Z-list celebrity last summer, I didn’t know what Z-list was until Sunday night.)

da bears.

Since the teams for the Super Bowl were determined a little over a week ago, I’ve been trying to figure out who to root for. After a lot of mental debate, I have decided that I will be pulling for the Chicago Bears. Here’s why:

1) I’ll be going to a Super Bowl party at Barton Flats, and the hosts are from Chicago. It would be rather rude to go there and then pull for the other team;

2) At my old job – the one I quit last April – the corporate client I managed who was by far the most annoying/demanding was located in Indianapolis;

3) Peyton = blah. The guy bores me. I just can’t find any reason to get excited about him. I understand he’s Archie’s son and Archie is a big deal around here, but still… yawn.

Therefore, I’m for Chicago.

Some big posts coming soon… within a couple of days I’ll be rolling out a site that is something of a big deal… I’ll also be telling you about a new organization focusing on networking, career development, and corporate social responsibility.

Off for a 4-hour meeting with Microsoft engineers. Fun.

15% off coupon for EP’s, good until February 28

If you checked my blog a few minutes ago you may have seen a post appear and then disappear… here’s what happened.

One of my readers sent me a link to a 15% off coupon at EP Delta Kitchen and Bar. I posted it, but then found out that they were asking people to fill out a short form (to add them to their mailing list) before giving them the coupon. I didn’t want to circumvent EP’s attempt to build a mailing list, so I took the post down.

Here’s the link. You can decide for yourself whether you want to provide your name and e-mail address in exchange for a 15% off coupon.

Wild Sunday night: Celebrity sighting, Bradley D does the worm, Sharp Dressed Bum and more

Last night I went to Downtown Huey’s to see The Dempseys. Turned out to be a wild night.

About midway through the performance, my friend Harmony who was sitting next to me at the bar asked, “Paul, do you have your digital camera on you? Because, there’s a celebrity in here and you have an opportunity to take a picture of him. Down there at the other end of the bar, that’s Rob Corddry.”

“Really?” I asked. “Rob Corddry is in here? In our local bar, only two blocks from where I live, ROB CORDDRY is here? Oh my God!” Then I asked, “Who the hell is Rob Corddry?”

Harmony explained that he’s a former correspondent for The Daily Show and he got his start as a comedian with the Upright Citizens Brigade. “He was one of the funniest, most satirical correspondents on The Daily Show,” Harmony told me. “Why don’t you go down there and talk to him? I’m sure he’d let you take a photo.”

“What am I supposed to say?” I responded. “‘Hi Rob, I don’t know who the hell you are, but I’d like to take a picture of you’? I don’t think so.” So I gave Harmony a quick lesson in how to operate my camera and she took it down to his end of the bar. A few minutes later she brought him over and I snapped this pic:

Meanwhile, The Dempseys were having fun on stage. At one point Brad put his guitar down and told the others, “I’m sorry, guys, but I gotta do this,” and proceeded to do The Worm on Huey’s wood floor. He actually did it very well too, reminding me of the late ’90s when WWE wrestler Scotty 2 Hotty used to do The Worm in the ring during his matches.

Later in the evening, the band broke into a Poison song. Now, it’s normal for them to start riffing the first few bars of Metallica or Skynyrd or something like that and then breaking off and saying “Just kidding, folks,” or “that’s all we know.” But last night they played the Poison song ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Remember, this is a ROCKABILLY band. I guess if the rockabilly thing doesn’t work out for them, they could have a second career as a heavy metal/hair band. There’s probably an opportunity for a Hair Club For Men sponsorship in there somewhere.

They did a medley of songs about cities, states, counties, and towns. Of course, I’ve been to so many of their shows that I know the medley all the way through… the last song is Marty Robbins’ “Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl.” I like to sing along but I change the lyrics to, “Out in the Mid-Southern town of Memphis, I fell in love with Romanian girls.”

Here are a few photos of The Dempseys doing their usual thing:

When the band was on break, Huey’s had the music turned to the Led Zeppelin channel on whatever radio service they subscribe to. Or maybe they had all Zeppelin CDs in the player, don’t know. Whatever the case, my compliments to the person who selected the music.

Also during break, I noticed Sharp Dressed Bum wander through on three separate occasions. He’d walk in the front door, use the restroom, and then walk back out. People who had come in recently told me that he was standing outside, begging for money. When he came in the next time, I alerted the bartender. “Do you know that guy?” I asked. The bartender said no. “He’s a bum! He’s not in here to order anything. He’s been outside panhandling.” That was all the bartender needed to hear. He got the manager, and Sharp Dressed Bum was kicked out of Huey’s. Hopefully they’ll remember him and not let him come back.

Due to the cold weather, Sharp Dressed Bum hasn’t been looking so sharp lately. He’s been wearing one of those navy knit caps with white snowflakes on it that ties up under the chin, and a brown coat. I’ve been seeing him walk down Second every night about 11 PM, and up Third every morning about 7:45 AM. I wonder if S.D.B. has a J.O.B.? I find that hard to believe though.

Here’s one more pic, my attempt at artistic photography:

It’s a picture of the inside of a beer glass, with Huey’s neon lights reflecting off the beer. Far out, man! Psychedelic! Trippy!

Taking a day off work to get some personal projects done… really, I can’t do anything at work until two different meetings get set up, so there wouldn’t have been much to do there anyway. Microsoft is sending some engineers down here tomorrow and Wednesday for question-and-answer sessions about Visual Studio 2005, Active Directory, SharePoint Services, SQL Server, and anything else we want to ask. Microsoft is even catering lunch for us tomorrow. Looking forward to that.

Also looking forward to tonight, when I have a meeting scheduled at The Majestic Grille. Anytime I can find an excuse to eat at the Majestic, it’s a good thing.

That’ll do it for now… see you later, still have plenty to blog about, just have to find the time.

An example of the Commercial Appeal’s timely reporting

Friday, January 19: Professional wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow, 45, passes away at his home in Hudson, Florida.

Sunday, January 28: The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that professional wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow has passed away.

Now, granted, this is hardly a story of primary importance, but still, it’s nine days old. Why even BOTHER with it? If you can’t report the news in a timely fashion, why report it at all?

This is what passes for “journalism” in 2007. No wonder the bloggers are running the newspapers out of business.

Someone had fun at the Residence Inn last night

From my living room windows, I have a perfect view of the hot tub on the roof of the Residence Inn by Marriott (formerly the Wm. Len). Looked out the window a few minutes ago, and there was a brown garment hanging on the rail next to the hot tub. Got out the binoculars and could see that it was either a bikini top, or a bra.

Guess someone had a good time up there last night.

Spindini now open

Last night as I was walking to Trolley Tour, I passed Spindini, the Grisanti family’s new restaurant at 383 S. Main, and noticed it was open. My friend Bruce was working the door. “Come on in, take a look around,” he said. The place is beautiful – elegant-looking bar that seems to go on forever, as long as the one at the Majestic or even longer. “We’ve been open since Wednesday,” Bruce told me. “But tonight is the first night we’ve had a full bar, because the liquor delivery went to 383 N. Main by mistake.” Oops.

Before I hit Trolley Tour, I stopped by (where else) the Saucer for a beer. We got talking on the subject of Sunday brunches… the guy standing next to me at the bar told me the Huevos Rancheros on Zanzibar’s Sunday brunch menu are outstanding. I also picked up a recommendation for the Sunday brunch at the Majestic Grille, although I don’t see details about it anywhere on their site. I know the Majestic people read this blog… if something special goes on for Sunday brunch, shoot me an e-mail and let me know.

Speaking of the Majestic, I see they have their new menu up on their site. Can’t wait to try the filet au poivre, a peppercorn-encrusted filet with Dijon mustard brandy sauce which appears to be the standout among the new menu items.

Trolley Tour was all right… ran into my friend Shane and we hit a few of the galleries, which was a real treat because Shane is an artist himself, and it was interesting to see his reaction to the work on display. After that we hit Earnestine & Hazel’s and played pool on what must be the worst pool table in the city – threadbare felt, cue ball that doesn’t always return when someone scratches, cue sticks that are taped together with duct tape, no chalk. But because it’s E&H the pool table absolutely fits in with the rest of the decor. I love E&H. I forgot to go upstairs and visit Nate though.

After a few games, Shane got pissed off when one of our opponents tried to talk on the cell phone to one of her girlfriends and shoot at the same time, and walked away from the game. We then walked up to the Tap Room on Beale, where I visited my mug and shot a few more games. About 1:00 I stumbled into Huey’s for a Texas Toast burger to go, and that was the end of the night. Mmmm… that was a good burger… think I’ll have another one tomorrow night when I go to see The Dempseys.

Bumped into Semi-Charmed Kat and her Ptolemy friends last night on South Main. One of them asked if I graduated from Ole Miss, and I had to say to myself, “Take it easy, Paul, she isn’t trying to insult you.” Kat and her friends are planning their annual Poker Run, which apparently is one of the big reasons people join Ptolemy. “It’s on a Sunday, and you get to hop from bar to bar downtown, and drink,” they explained to me. Sounds like what I do every Sunday.

(Note: People who don’t have a sense of humor about religion, stop reading now)

Drunken thought I had last night while munching on my Texas Toast burger: You know how people sometimes say “Jesus H. Christ!” when they’re shocked or upset? Well, that gave me an idea for a take off on the “W: The President” bumper sticker – how about one that reads “H: The Gospel.” Hmmm… maybe I need to open a new CafePress store and start selling those.

And that’s the Saturday morning post. Plans for today: A trip to Office Depot to buy a business card creator program (I ordered one online last month but it never shipped) and some laptop screen cleaner. After that I’ll take the laptop someplace where there’s Wi-Fi and waitresses in miniskirts and get to work on learning CSS. Probably won’t go out tonight, although I could change my mind if something interesting comes up.

Coming soon: The most interesting non-profits from the expo I attended, and a new T-shirt I bought from a company with a really cool product line.

Need web templates? Check out this site

If you’ve followed this blog the past week, you know that I am bound and determined to learn CSS so that I can create my own website and blog templates. But, even for someone like me with a background in web development, it’s a lot of work.

If you need a website and don’t have time to learn CSS and/or graphic design, here’s an option. I found a site today called DreamTemplate that has almost 1,000 Web templates, as well as hundreds of Flash, PowerPoint, and Word templates. Unlike most sites of its type, this is not a pay-per-template deal. Rather, you join for 1 year (and it’s hardly more expensive than one template would cost on other sites), and get access to ALL of their templates. If you build a lot of sites, or if you want to download templates and dissect them to see how they work, this might be worth joining.

If you really, really love a template and want it to be yours and yours alone, you can pay the unique price and they will remove it from their list of free member downloads. (Be warned though: the unique prices are high as a kite. The download-all-you-want, non-unique price is a much better deal.)

Staying in tonight… that makes 3 nights of the past 4 that I haven’t made an appearance at the Saucer, and I can’t remember the last time that happened. But, I have a new CSS book and want to work through as much of it as possible. See ya at the South Main Trolley Art Tour tomorrow evening… (Edit: Changed my mind, heading to the Saucer in a few minutes.)