67 Madison catches fire again

Just took a walk to Walgreens and discovered a large number of fire trucks, chief cars, and ambulances headed to 67 Madison.

67 Madison is a high-rise (11 stories I think, maybe 12) at Front and Madison that is being converted into luxury apartments. It has caught fire several times in the past year, including one that was big enough for Action News 5 to cover with their chopper. This one appeared to be a minor trash fire and is now out.

I hope all these fires don’t delay the completion of the project. As I’ve said many times before – more apartments – as opposed to more condos – are badly needed downtown.

(How in the world am I going to work the June theme into this post…) If you wear a tube top, you’ll look really hot, much like a fire which is also really hot.

Patio boils Tuesday night at EP Delta Kitchen

I saw an ad in yesterday’s Memphis Flyer that EP Delta Kitchen is now doing all-you-can eat crawfish and shrimp, boiled in Cajun spices, for $12.99 every Tuesday through the rest of the summer. Yum… crawfish boils are a lot of fun… I used to go to the ones they had at Newby’s years ago. Wonder if they’ll throw taters and corn in too, like Newby’s did… taters that have been boiled in Cajun spice are the best.

Of course, it gets warm on that patio during the summer, and you wouldn’t want to overheat… ladies may want to consider a tube top as an appropriate clothing option for the patio boils.

Dammit, I just realized, Tuesday is trivia night! I may never get to go to this!

Lots of stuff to do Thursday night

Earlier today I posted about a lot of events happening Friday night. Well, this Thursday the 21st looks busy as well. Let’s see what’s going on:

– The Downtown Neighborhood Association will have their monthly meeting at 6:30 PM at the Burch, Porter & Johnson law firm, 130 North Court next door to Court Square Park. The dean of the University of Memphis Law School will discuss the law school’s move Downtown, into the post office space at Front and Madison.

– Bravo Memphis is hosting Bravo Caliente: Wines South of the Border, a fundraiser to benefit the Greater Memphis Arts Council, Thursday from 6 to 8 PM in the penthouse of Pembroke Square, 119 South Main. It will feature a tasting of South American wines and a demonstration of Zumba, the newest Latin-influenced fitness craze. Hors d’ouevres courtesy of Sauces, Dish, Blues City Pastry, Automatic Slim’s, and other area restaurants. Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple; call Pat at 901-578-2787 ext. 201 to reserve yours, space is limited.

– Dress for Success Memphis will have a fashion show called Turn Your Closet Inside Out from 7 to 9 PM at Runway Boutique, 522 S. Main. The show will pair Mary Kay cosmetics with creative work outfits that exude personality. Dress for Success helps women in need get business suits and other work-appropriate attire so that they can go out and get the jobs they want. There will be door prizes, a Mary Kay compact featuring the cosmetics on display, valued at $111; and a Runway Boutique gift certificate valued at $50. Admission is your monetary or clothing donation to help Dress for Success. They request that you donate only clothing that is work-appropriate.

– Tube tops are not work appropriate, but they are most definitely appropriate for Thursday night rooftop parties. This week we’ll have John Angotti and Common Ground at the Peabody, Elmo and the Shades at the Madison, and Garry Goin and G3 with Q107.5 at EP’s.

My tentative plan is to hit the Saucer for happy hour, then move to the Peabody rooftop between 7:00 and 7:30, then move to EP’s between 9 and 10.

When’s the last time I posted 4 times in one day? It’s been a while. Off to run a few errands, then it’ll be time for Trivia Bowl at the Saucer.

Attn entrepreneurs: great blog I discovered today

One of the people who e-mailed me in response to my Google optimization question was Memphian Hugh Hollowell, who writes a blog called A Politically Incorrect Entrepreneur. He has some very good, well-thought-out opinions on what it takes to succeed in the land of the self-employed. If you enjoy reading Guy Kawasaki’s blog, I think you’ll enjoy Hugh.

As an entrepreneur trying to make a living selling tube tops online, I look forward to learning a lot from him. Thanks Hugh for the response to my Google question and for a great blog.

Second Tuesday update: Comcast, Stax 50th, Shelton Clothiers, Fox/Malco controversy

– Gotta admit when I was wrong. Yesterday I went on a tirade against Comcast, angry that my connection speed was slower than that of a 14.4 modem. But, later in the day, I pulled the cable out of my wireless router and plugged it directly into my laptop… and suddenly I had my speedy connection back. The wireless router just needed to be rebooted. So it wasn’t Comcast’s fault after all. Apologies to Comcast for the misunderstanding.

– Received an e-mail this morning about two Downtown events happening this Friday, June 22. The first is the Stax 50th Anniversary concert at The Orpheum, a fundraiser for the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Chuck D and Randy Jackson will host, and other acts will include Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, William Bell and some newly-signed acts. Here’s a link to more info from Paste Magazine. Tickets range from $25 to $1,002, depending on how close you want to get to the celebrities.

– Also on Friday night, Shelton Clothiers will have a second anniversary celebration from 5 to 9. The e-mail didn’t say, but that likely means free appetizers and wine. You know, this past weekend I went to the mall to shop for summer shirts, and today it occurred to me, “Why haven’t I been to Shelton?” They’re known for their suits, but they also have a good selection of comfortable, casual shirts. I’ll have to remember to make it down there this week.

Shelton sells men’s clothing only, but ladies, you can walk a block to the Peabody Place Mall, where Coco & Lilly has a wide variety of tube tops for you to purchase. Or, you can visit the Tube Top Boutique online to do some shopping.

– The CA has an update to the Malco controversy, where a projectionist was suspended for writing a negative review about the new Fantastic Four movie. He’s back on the job, but has put in his two weeks’ notice, feeling that the employer/employee relationship has been damaged. Malco projectionists will now be required to sign confidentiality agreements saying they will not write about movies that they project during advance showings.

Whew! Lots of news today. Thanks to Otto who sent me some good suggestions on Google optimization in response to the previous post – I’m going to try those out this afternoon.

Tuesday update: Leonard’s BBQ, 411, Collierville, Cold War, search engine optimization

– If you haven’t been to the buffet lunch at Leonard’s BBQ in a while, you may want to go soon… while you still have the chance. A reader told me there’s a For Sale sign in Leonard’s window. He says that the original owners of the Claridge House, at Main and Adams where Leonard’s is located, are selling off the remaining 5% of the building they still own since the Claridge went condo two years ago. Most likely, the reader speculates, someone will buy the restaurant space and offer Leonard’s a new lease, but at much higher rent, which could force them out.

Hope this rumor turns out to be false. Leonard’s is one of the best lunch buffets in town. For $10 (counting the price of a soft drink) you get ribs, shoulder, BBQ chicken, smoked sausage, spaghetti, BBQ beans, corn, bread, several other vegetables (which I can’t remember because I never get them – they take up room on the plate that could be occupied by meat), a salad bar (hey! another place downtown with a salad bar), a couple of desserts of the bread pudding/peach cobbler variety, and soft-serve ice cream.

If you haven’t been, you need to. It’s only open for lunch. If you live Downtown but work out east, it’s worth taking a long lunch and driving down here – just tell the office you have a doctor’s appointment or something. Or, better yet, call in sick for the entire day – you won’t feel like going back to work after lunch at Leonard’s anyway, believe me.

– Another reader e-mailed to let me know that you never have to pay to dial 411 again – Google is implementing a free 411 service that you can call from any phone. It’s in beta in their Google Labs, but it seems to be working pretty well so far. Here’s a link to the 411 on the 411.

Stuff like this makes me think… you remember when Microsoft used to come up with cool innovations like this (or, rather, buy them from people who came up with them)? Microsoft is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the 21st century.

Which reminds me, I downloaded OpenOffice 2.2, a free office suite that competes with Microsoft Office, and installed it this past weekend. I remember downloading OpenOffice 1 several years ago, and at the time it was a bare-bones word processor and spreadsheet that would get you buy if you were totally broke and couldn’t afford anything better. Well, how times have changed. This weekend I did some editing in OpenOffice Writer 2.2, and it’s every bit as good as Microsoft Word, if not better. And it has the ability to save and read files in Word format, as well as its native format. With OpenOffice and Google Docs available for free, I’m wondering why any individual would pay for MS Office anymore.

– And yet another reader sent me a link to this CA article. If you read all the way to the bottom you’ll see that Collervillians apparently don’t want people from Downtown Memphis in their neighborhood.

– It was good to meet fellow blogger Doc Hancock yesterday, while I was out on the University of Memphis campus looking for tube tops and old friends. It was also good to see Mike Hollihan, who writes the Half-Bakered blog, at Otherlands yesterday where he was playing a cool board game about the Cold War with Pete the Trivia Guy. “It’s about the Cold War from 1945 to 1989,” Pete told me. “One person plays the US and the other plays the Soviet Union.” The goal of the game is to set up spheres of influence so you control as much of the world as possible.

“Well, if you get control of Romania, be sure to send me some girls,” I told Pete.

Of course, we’ll see Pete tonight at 7 for trivia night. Hoping for a big Rapscallion win to add another $50 to our total before we have a party.

– Speaking of Romania: My new store The Romania Store is not doing well in the Google search rankings. Which is odd because a week after I opened my previous Amazon storefront, the Tube Top Boutique, and linked to it from my blog, it started getting 20-35 hits from Google search a day. The Romania store is getting nothing from Google – only direct links from my blog.

The difference is that the Tube Top Boutique is on its own domain and has its own hosting account. Whereas, for new online stores/sites, I decided I didn’t want to waste 7 bucks a month for a hosting account for each site – so I bought a domain/hosting account called “profprsites.com” (PROFPR was my old NTN trivia nickname at Sleep Out Louie’s). I figured I’d park all my new sites in subdirectories of profprsites, and then if a site became successful enough to justify it, I’d move it to its own domain and hosting. But apparently Google doesn’t like the fact that The Romania Store is in a subdirectory of another site. If anyone has search engine optimization experience and has suggestions for getting the store’s search rankings up, please let me know. I may just have to break down and but the store its own hosting.

All right. Time to get some work done!

Hangover remedy

Yesterday a friend of mine told me about a hangover remedy that she and a lot of other people swear by: AIRBORNE Cold & Flu Remedy. This is a natural supplement with 17 herbs and nutrients designed to fight colds and flu, but she says it’s also great for hangover prevention and recovery. They have it in the cold section of Walgreens and similar stores, or you can order it from Amazon below:

These are tablets you dissolve in water, and then drink. She said to avoid the apple cider flavor, because this is a nighttime formula and will make you sleepy.

I also need to point out that the person who told me about Airborne had a tube top dress on.

My Internet connection from home is running slower than a 14.4 modem… (Edit: There was a tirade against Comcast here, but it turned out to be my wireless router that was responsible. Gotta admit when I was wrong. Sorry, Comcast.) So I took the show on the road to MO’s Edge coffeehouse near the University of Memphis where I’m having one of their double espresso Avalanche milkshakes as I work. The U of M had a graffiti fest this weekend, so when I get done here, I’ll walk up there and take some pics of it, if it’s not raining.

Question for Downtowners – one of my readers is looking for a salad bar in the area. The only one I can think of is Elliott’s, and they’re only open weekdays for lunch. Are there any others Downtown?

Later today I’ll probably do an afternoon work session at Otherlands, then back downtown for Pint Nite.

Memphis Wallpaper reloaded

FINALLY… now that I’m free from the rat race, I had time to give my Memphis Wallpaper site a much-needed overhaul. You can find the new site here. I’ve added the first new pictures in 4 years (including a pic I snapped of Raiford’s before it closed – that’ll be one for the memory books).

The good news is that the site is on a new server with 1000x the storage, so there’s no longer a limit to the number of photos I can post. That means I’ll be adding more in the future. From now on I’m not going to post the images in different sizes, because there are too many monitor sizes to bother with. The “Save as background” option should handle it automatically if you choose to make an image your desktop wallpaper (the site explains how to do this). Otherwise, you can save the full-size image and pull it into Paint or your favorite image editing program if you want it in a different size.

The site is kind of Downtown-centric right now (big surprise), but I plan on extending it soon, adding a Midtown section and possibly others. If you have requests let me know.

Been a good weekend. Hung out at Pearl’s with friends Friday evening – got some good pics, may post a few of the best once I get them off the camera. Then I moved on to Earnestine & Hazel’s, then EP’s. EP’s is really growing on me as a place to hang out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Good, young singles scene, but it’s comfortable – it doesn’t have that “meet market/air of desperation” feel like some places do.

Saturday I made a trip to East Memphis for shopping, then in the evening I went to my rooftop to catch Blackberry Wednesday’s debut. The gang showed up and we all hung out. The Nuh-Uh Sister has a new tube top and I got a pic – will be posting that soon. Afterward we went to the Saucer and called it an early night.

And of course today was Sunday brunch – Majestic then the Saucer. The gang wanted to go to EP’s to get one of those high-alcohol F.U.C.T. drinks, then out to MLGW’s lawn to throw Frisbee. This was about 3:30 in the afternoon, sun was bright and it was 95 and humid. I thought about the proposed plan and decided… hell no. Sounded like a recipe for instant dehydration. So I bid them goodbye and continued to play pool at the Saucer. I feel like I should go drive a Gatorade truck over there to rescue them.

Mikey came up with a new Mikeyism today (actually I’ve heard it once before) – a member of our gang was in the bathroom for a while and Mikey commented that the person was “taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.” Heh.

Dammit, Jessica had a tube dress on and I forgot to take a picture for the blog!

Still at the Saucer, after having gone home and got the laptop. Time to post, then shut it down and be social for a while.

Blackberry Wednesday debut party tonight

Blackberry Wednesday

The band Blackberry Wednesday is having their debut party on my building’s rooftop (10 South Main) tonight from 8 PM til. You can listen to some of their music on their MySpace page, and if you like what you hear, come check them out tonight. Besides, Number 10’s rooftop is a pretty fun place to party when it’s warm outside – it’s 16 stories high and has one of the best views of Downtown Memphis. Click the flyer above for details about the party.

Ran into one of my regular blog readers last night at EP’s, and she told me that she bought 4 new tube tops this week because of Tube Top Month. See, this blog makes Memphis a more beautiful place. If she comes to the party tonight, hopefully she’ll wear one of the new tube tops.

A Superior lunch

I had lunch at Superior Bar on Beale Tuesday, and wanted to type up a review.

First of all, I can get a wireless connection there, which is a good thing because it allows me to do a working lunch. Superior doesn’t provide Wi-Fi but it’s available through MoochNet, meaning someone nearby has an unsecured wireless network.

I took the suggestion of my server Josh and got the crawfish and corn chowder soup, which was quite tasty, lots of meaty crawfish in a creamy broth. Very good. It’s the Tuesday soup of the day, but Josh tells me they have it every day of the week. Other soups of the day are

  • Monday – red beans and rice
  • Wednesday – chicken tortilla
  • Thursday – ham & tater
  • Friday – Mamou’s gumbo
  • Saturday – Momma Reynolds’ chili topped with cheddar, onions, jalapeno
  • Sunday – mushroom & potato

I spent some time studying the menu and here are some of the other things I noticed:

– They have a Black & Bleu creole salad – blackened sirloin medium rare, blue cheese, tomato, cucumber, carrot, spaghetti over mixed greens with basil dressing. Sounds tasty.

– As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a grits person, but I know a lot of my readers like shrimp & grits… well, you might want to try Superior’s crawfish & grits.

– I mentioned earlier the eggplant club sandwich, which substitutes slices of fried eggplant in place of the bread.

– Other popular sandwiches: The King’s peanut butter and banana sandwich (nice that they have a menu item honoring Jerry Lawler), a Cajun fried turkey melt, and oyster, shrimp and catfish po-boys.

– They have meat-and-two ($6.99) and meat-and-three ($7.25) options available every day for lunch. Heck, why not pay the extra 26 cents and get the third vegetable?

– They have several BBQ options: Ribs, pulled pork, chicken dinner, sausage platter, and barbecue nachos. Josh told me that unlike many places, the nachos come fully dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

– They have $2 domestics for Happy Hour. Not sure when Happy Hour ends, but it had started by the time I arrived for lunch at 1 PM.

Very comfortable atmosphere. Once you’re inside you don’t feel like you’re at a bar on Beale Street, and Superior could easily be used for business lunches.

Some of the menu items seem to be priced a little high ($9.95 for a bowl of soup, $10.95 for the eggplant club), but it is in a tourist district and the prices are no worse than what some of the other restaurants on the street (BB’s, Alfred’s) charge.

Overall, I enjoyed it and will definitely be back. I hear they have good music at night too – will have to go down there some evening and check it out.

Just watched the last episode of The Price Is Right with Bob Barker – no one’s tube top fell off this time. A woman won two cars – a Corvette and a Cadillac convertible – and some other crap worth $140,000 total. Not a bad day for her.