Dec 312008
 

A few notes to end 2008…

The Hard Rock Cafe on Beale e-mailed me and asked me to inform everyone that they are among the Downtown businesses offering free Wi-Fi to customers.

The Liberty Bowl parade is on Beale Street tomorrow at 3 PM.

I had someone e-mail me and ask if I know of any place serving the traditional New Year’s meal of blackeyed peas and greens tomorrow.  I don’t know of any specific restaurant doing it, but my guess would be to try the restaurants on Beale, many of which specialize in Southern dishes like ribs and chicken anyway.  Probably the first place I’d try would be Miss Polly’s next to Club 152.

There aren’t any cab companies offering free rides home tonight.  The cops will be out in extra force, so be careful.  Take some extra $ to get a ride back home if you come Downtown without a designated driver.  Leaving your car Downtown and coming to get it the next day is a better bet than a DUI charge.

French Broad Brewing Company, based in Asheville, NC, will have a fresh keg of cask-conditioned ESB (Extra Special Bitter beer) Friday night at the Flying Saucer.  The Saucer will start carrying several of their products at that time.

Heading to dinner at the Majestic in a little while.  I had someone ask if they need to wear a tie to tonight’s dinner.  General rule of thumb here, events I have a hand in planning will never have dress codes, with the exception of TubeTopalooza.  It’s the Nirvana dress code – “come as you are.”

Looking forward to a few surprises at dinner tonight, and then a blast of a party on South Main.  I have all three camera batteries fully charged.  There will surely be a photo album posted in the days ahead.  Happy New Year everyone!

The Y2.1K problem

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Dec 312008
 

Tomorrow will be the 9th anniversary of “the Y2K bug,” when people believed that computers wouldn’t be programmed correctly to understand that it was 2000, and due to two-digit years would reset to 1900.  It turned out to be much less of a problem than people thought.

However, today I’ve been revising some code for a personal finance program I’m working with, and I see something that will eventually become a problem:  The Y2.1K problem.  Here’s the thing:  Years that are multiples of 4 are leap years.  However, years that are multiples of 100 are not, unless they’re also multiples of 400.  That system is in place to make years correspond to almost exactly one complete Earth orbit around the Sun, over the long haul.  It means that 2000 was a leap year (since it was a multiple of 400) but 2100 won’t be.

Problem is, programmers writing code rarely account for that case.  They take the attitude, “Well, I won’t be around in 2100, so I’ll just test for a multiple of 4 and call it a leap year if it is.”  That means March 1, 2100 will be incorrectly registered as February 29, 2100 by many computers.

Is it a big deal now, in 2008-2009?  Probably not, since none of us will be around in 2100 (except my health guru AL, who claims her diet will allow her to live to 150), and code programmers write today will almost certainly not be in use.  But, will programmers still take the shortcut when coding leap years in 2080, 2085, 2087?  You betcha.  I think the Y2.1K problem will be a bigger mess to straighten out than the Y2K problem.

Getting ready for tonight… I let myself sleep until 10 this morning so I’d be well-rested and able to stay out late.  The party in South Main I’m attending after dinner has a pimp theme.  I’m not fully dressing up, but I have a ’70s two-tone denim cap that would probably work well at the party.  I’ll go with that and a matching fleece pullover and jeans… the predicted low is 22 tonight, so I’m more concerned with staying warm than being fashionable.

Oooo… I just realized I can stick my pimp glasses and my fake pimp teetheses in my coat pocket, and pull them out at the party… maybe my “Big Paul” pimp persona will make an appearance.  Looking forward to tonight!

Dec 302008
 

Orleans on Front, the Cajun restaurant on Front that used to be Cayenne Moon, sent me an e-mail with lots of good info to post.

First of all, they’re having a New Year’s Eve dinner tomorrow.  $5 cover includes a strawberry mimosa and music.  Special entrees for the evening include shrimp and crab stuffed whole flounder, crawfish and asparagus stuffed redfish, pepper bacon wrapped filet, gulf coast ribeye, shrimp and grits, fried shrimp or oysters, and grilled gulf shrimp skewer.

Now, on to news about the Voodoo Room, the downstairs bar with separate entrance on Front, staffed by Hoop Tues-Sat and Lauren Sun-Mon.  They now have a Wii, and are being fitted for a pool table today.  They also plan on getting a “video crack” machine.

From 10 PM to 3 AM every day there will be a “bartender’s shot” $3 special.  Shot will vary from night to night.

From midnight to 3 AM daily they will have a single cheeseburger with fries for $5.

Mondays 10 PM to 3 AM – buy one Sicilian ribeye poboy, get the second for half price.

Thursdays 10 PM to 3 AM – buy one get one free apps.

Saturdays 10 PM to 3 AM – pork chop poboy half price.

The Voodoo Room is a lot of fun, and will be even more fun with Wii and a pool table.  It’s open from 8 PM to 3 AM every day.

Dec 302008
 

Today was errand day.  I replaced a lost pass to my parking garage, made a run to West Memphis for groceries, and dropped off some liquor I’m donating to the New Year’s Eve party in South Main tomorrow night.  On the way back I stopped at BP Riverside for gas.  I came in and gave the deli selection a look.

“Let me give you a sample,” the guy at the counter said.  He gave me a homemade tamale covered in chili.  It was really good, good enough that I bought another one to take home.  They sell them for $1.99 each – beef, pork or chicken tamales covered in chili and cheese or salsa.  They also have a dinner with two tamales and two sides.

I think he knew I’d mention the tamales in my blog in exchange for a sample, but what the heck, I’m not above whoring out my blog for a free tamale.

Info about Orleans on Front still to come.

Dec 302008
 

After posting yesterday that my friends and I plan on having dinner at the Majestic on New Year’s Eve and then head to a party in the South Main area, I had a couple of people approach me and ask, “The Majestic dinner – can I get in on that?”  The people who approached me were too good friends to say no… and they’re in, but we can’t add any more.  Our reservation is for 30 and we’ve had 31 RSVPs at this point.  Looking forward to it though.  GREAT group of people we’ve assembled to ring in the new year.

All right – on to my announcement.  After the success of some of my college-themed stores like College Logo Watches and College Logo Cornhole, I’ve decided to go vertical rather than horizontal.  Hence, I’m building sites that carry all logo items sold on Amazon for individual colleges, under the banner of College Logo Shopping.  This weekend I created sites for Memphis and the 12 SEC schools.  Here are the individual links.

Memphis Tigers store

Alabama Crimson Tide store

Arkansas Razorbacks store

Auburn Tigers store

Florida Gators store

Georgia Bulldogs store

Kentucky Wildcats store

LSU Tigers store

Mississippi State Bulldogs store

Ole Miss Rebels store

South Carolina Gamecocks store

Tennessee Vols store

Vanderbilt Commodores store

As with all my sites, Amazon handles secure checkout and shipping arrangements.  I never see your name or credit card number, just a notification that someone ordered items.  After I started building these, I realized that these are perfect niches to organize into storefronts – the individual items are all over the place on Amazon, often in the wrong category, and in some cases misspelled, and I can fix all that with my storefronts.  There may be a few empty categories here and there, as the SEC stores are all copies of each other and not every item may be carried for some of the smaller schools such as Vandy.  I’ll refine them when I get more time.  Overall though, I think these will be very useful for locating school merchandise.

More to come.  I plan on doing the ACC schools next, then probably the Big 12.  Eventually I hope to have a store for every major college.

I just received an e-mail about new developments at Orleans on Front and the Voodoo Room downstairs, so there will be a post on that later.  Right now I gotta run some errands.

Dec 292008
 

Calhoun’s will be open at noon Thursday, January 1 and Friday, January 2 for those who want to watch early-afternoon bowl games.  They have added extra TVs and are now up to 8 total.  There’s a special purpose in mind for a couple of those TVs after bowl season is over.  Don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about it yet though.  Pete S. and Tracy:  You will be very happy to hear the news, once I’m given permission to announce it.

Here are a couple of how-tos to wind up your day.  First of all, here’s an article on how to clean your toilet with Coke.  Secondly, here’s one for the ladies:  How to pick up men in 4 easy steps.

I applied for a very cool job today.  I’m going to be somewhat vague about this, so as not to give the competition any leads, but it’s a programming job for a nonprofit whose mission is near and dear to my heart.  Thanks to one of my blog’s readers for informing me about the position.  I’ve spent the past couple of months spinning my wheels, waiting for “the right job” to come along… this may be the right job.

Now that I’ve applied for “the right job,” it’s time to go drink “the right beer”… Dos Equis Lager on sale for $2.75 at Pint Nite at the Saucer.

Dec 292008
 

Right after I did my last New Year’s Eve post, someone sent me a link to McEwen’s New Year’s Eve menu.  For anyone interested in celebrating there, here it is.

Dec 292008
 

I’ve heard about some more places Downtown throwing New Year’s Eve parties, and I’ve received additional details about some of the parties I already knew about.  So here’s Take 2:

AUTOMATIC SLIM’S

There will be a set menu dinner at Slim’s at 6:30 and 8:30.  At 10:30 Walrus takes the stage, and will play until 3 AM.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Fans of Walrus and/or Michael Patrick’s cooking.  Crowd should be mostly locals who are fans of one or the other; not many tourists, maybe a few who wander in off Second.

—–

BARDOG TAVERN

Bardog will open at 11 AM on New Year’s Eve and serve its regular menu until 2 AM (they close at 3).  The party will kick off at 5 PM with two hours of happy hour, then continue until close.  No cover, bar open to all comers.  Their doormen will be in tuxedos, although this is a place where you can feel quite comfortable in jeans.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to party with the Downtown core neighborhood crowd.  It will be wild, but it will be friendly people who know how to party without acting stupid, getting in fights, etc.  If I didn’t already have plans (see below) this would likely be my pick.

—–

B.B. KING’S

The King Beez take the stage at 5 PM, then the B.B. King All-Stars take over at 9:15.  $25 general admission; $75 VIP ticket with reserved seating, a bottle of champagne, and party favors.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Music fans who are willing to spend some money to ring in the New Year with a good band.  Drink prices tend to be on the high side, although not to the point of being as outrageous as some parties (see “Peabody Hotel” below).

—–

BEALE STREET

The annual New Year’s Eve countdown party broadcast on Channel 5.  No cover, just stand out on the street, watch the bands at the Pepsi Pavilion if you want, beer or drinks available from restaurant to-go windows.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to spend absolutely no money and still go to a New Year’s party, and people who want to possibly be seen on TV for a brief second, and who are willing to put up with the cold and an unruly crowd to do it.  Otherwise, avoid Beale.  Of all the Downtown parties, this gets my vote for the “sucks the most” award.

—–

CALHOUN’S

December 31 is Calhoun’s Sports Bar’s first birthday.  I haven’t heard about anything special yet, but I know they’ll be open and will have $1.50 PBR.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: The same people who are in Calhoun’s December 30, January 2, and all the other days of the year; people who like to hang with the South Main locals; people who want to drink PBR for a relatively cheap New Year’s bill.  Note:  If you’re hungry, eat somewhere else before coming to Calhoun’s (Harry’s Detour across the street is a good call, or see the Majestic Grille below).

—–

FLYING SAUCER

Party starts at 8 with a $10 cover for UFO members, $15 for non-members.  Champagne and party favors at midnight.  As always, 75 beers on draft, and another 120 in bottles.  Hot waitresses in miniskirts.  Pool, darts.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to celebrate New Year’s in a very crowded mainstream bar.  The Saucer tends to turn into amateur night on New Year’s Eve, full of douchebags who are there to “kick some ass” and “get some pussy.”  Downtown regulars avoid the Saucer like the plague on New Year’s Eve.

—–

GROUND ZERO

Blues with Preston Shannon.  $25 cover gets you party favors, finger foods, and champagne at midnight.  Party starts at 8.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Blues fans.  This will draw a more mature crowd than Beale Street, although it’s still close enough to Beale that you’ll have to deal with the traffic and the parking.  Preston Shannon plays Ground Zero frequently, so this will not be your one and only opportunity to see him and his band.

—–

HARD ROCK CAFE

The Hard Rock will do a “guitar drop” on Beale Street at the stroke of midnight, dropping a Gibson guitar 100 feet from a 60 ton Barnhart crane.  Performances by Surrender the Fall, The Franchise DJ Mic Tee, Dennis Coffey, and the official comeback show of Whiskey Penny.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Hmmm.  You’ll have to brave the cold and crowd on Beale to see the guitar drop, but Hard Rock is known for having one of the better sound stages.  If you’re into one of these bands, or if you’ve never been to the Hard Rock and want to try it for the first time when there’s a huge crowd, you’ll probably like it.

—–

HOLLYWOOD DISCO (formerly Raiford’s)

$15 cover, champagne at midnight, the usual disco tunes and 40s of beer.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Anyone with a pulse.  Seriously, who doesn’t like Raiford’s?  Actually, I better qualify that for the benefit of people who’ve never been.  If clubs with fog machines make your allergies act up, this might not be the best bet.  Also, it’s a small club, and the music is LOUD.  That said, we love the place.  A top recommendation.

—–

HUEY’S DOWNTOWN

The Beat Generation will play at 9 PM.  This is the Memphis band that went to play the Cavern Club in Liverpool, the Beatles’ home from 1961-1963, as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of rock ‘n’ roll.  Thanks to rhythm guitarist Jeff Golightly for e-mailing me and providing me with details.  It’s Rick Nethery’s band, and he and Jeff were in The Crime back in the day.  Expect plenty of Beatles covers.  Huey’s is a great place for band interaction with the audience, and you’ll probably learn a lot about music history.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Fans of the 1960s British Invasion.  Note that after midnight, partiers from Beale will begin to flow in to get something to eat on their way home.

—–

KOOKY CANUCK (formerly Big Foot Lodge)

$2 Super Cold Coors Light all day (from opening at 11 AM).  At 9 the party starts with DJ Tree spinning until 2.  Champagne and party favors at midnight.  No cover.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who’ve been to this restaurant’s parties in the past and had a good time; people who like big, cheap beers.  The name may be different, but Shawn and Lana still know how to throw great parties.  One of my top recommendations for people who want to have a fun, crazy time, but away from the “amateur night” crowd.

—–

MAJESTIC GRILLE

The Majestic will have their regular menu at regular prices with no cover, but Patrick will also whip up a few special dishes to celebrate the evening.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want a sit-down dinner; people who want something more elegant than a crowded bar; people who want to get a good meal then go to a party elsewhere.  That’s what my friends and I are doing:  We have reservations for 30 at the Majestic for 7:30, then we’re heading to a keg party in South Main.  If you like to “get buck” as my friend Johnny Mason likes to say, you may find the Majestic a little too sedate.

—–

ORPHEUM

The Orpheum will hold the Bluff City Ball, with jam band The North Mississippi Allstars and Lucero headlining.  Amy LaVere and Jim Dickinson will also perform.  $30-45 tickets.

WHO WILL ENJOY THIS SHOW: Music fans who are more interested in hearing some good music than moving around and mingling to ring in the new year.

—–

PEABODY HOTEL

The Peabody is throwing “Aristocrunk New Year’s with Lord T and Eloise.” with a $35 cover.  There’s also “The Scene” party for $25 with Andy Childs and the John Felix Trio.  You can also get reservations for dinner at Capriccio ($95) or Chez Phillipe ($125), which includes complimentary admission to “The Scene.”  The one year I went with a group to the Peabody New Year’s Eve party, there was a 25 minute line for drinks, 15 minute line to the men’s room, and drink prices were about 200% of what a reasonable person would pay.  My group of friends and I were just about the only people there over 23.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to spend a lot of money to brag that they were at the supposed “THE place to be” on New Year’s Eve; people who want to ogle barely legals in skimpy cocktail dresses; people who enjoy standing in long lines.  In my eyes, second only to Beale Street on my list of parties to avoid.  Even the presence of Lord T & Eloise doesn’t change my opinion.  They’ll probably play Newby’s sometime in the next month; go see them then.

—–

PIG ON BEALE

$5 cover for “Louisiana Mojo Queen” Ms. Zeno and the Guy Venable Band.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who are already on Beale and get hungry and tired of standing in the cold.  The Pig has some of the best ribs on Beale (I’d probably tie them with Blues City for first place).  Zeno is one of the most underrated singers in Memphis.

—–

RED ROOSTER

Red Rooster will have the band Nix for their New Year’s Eve party.  It consists of the singer from Deep Shag, two former members of Snozberry who also played in Deep Shag, and an Ardent producer.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: This is the Rooster’s first New Year’s Eve, so I have no past record to look back upon.  My guess is, if you’ve enjoyed the Rooster on a very crowded Saturday night, you’ll probably like it for New Year’s Eve.  See “Flying Saucer” for my best guess as to what the crowd will be like.

—–

RUM BOOGIE CAFE

Dinner package with 3-course meal, guaranteed seating, party favors, and champagne for $85.  Pam and Terry play from 5:30 to 9:30.  James Govan and the Boogie Blues Band play from 10 to 2.  Regular admission without guaranteed seating is $20.

WHO WILL ENJOY THIS PARTY: People from out-of-town who are willing to pay to guarantee themselves a seat to hear some good music; people who are part of the Beale Street crowd and want to come in out of the cold.  These are two great acts, but they play Rum Boogie and other nearby restaurants all the time, so I can’t see a lot of Downtowners paying $85 or $20 to catch them unless they’re very dedicated fans.

—–

That’s all for now.  If you know of anything I missed, e-mail me at paul@paulryburn.com.  There MAY be a third draft if necessary.

Dec 272008
 

Thanks to the people who e-mailed me about a couple of New Year’s Eve events I missed in my last post.  I also got a copy of this week’s Memphis Flyer and found several more.  I’ll do Draft 2 of “what’s going on Downtown New Year’s Eve” tomorrow or Monday.

Been busy.  Took the laptop to the Second Street branch office and worked all afternoon.  Early next week I’ll unveil my newest websites – 13 of them, with more to come after that.  I’ve got these things on a production line and am going to start cranking them out in rapid succession.  I’ve also figured out a way to stop paying $10.19 to GoDaddy for a domain name every time I want to build a new site.  Maybe reading the Warren Buffett biography has inspired me to find new ways to cut costs to a bare minimum.

Going back out in a few minutes, although I have no particular plans for the evening.  The rain will probably keep me close to home, so probably the golden trio of the Saucer, Voodoo Room/Hoop’s new bar, and Bardog will command my attention.

I’m doing brunch tomorrow at Slim’s again.  Looking forward to trying more of Michael Patrick’s excellent menu.

Dec 262008
 

I’ve been promising this for a while, and here it is, or at least Take 1 of it.  Here’s a look at what’s going on New Year’s Eve in Downtown Memphis.  Since different events appeal to different people, I’ll give my assessment as to who might enjoy each.  Venues listed in alphabetical order.

BARDOG TAVERN

Bardog will open at 11 AM on New Year’s Eve and serve its regular menu until 2 AM (they close at 3).  The party will kick off at 5 PM with two hours of happy hour, then continue until close.  No cover, bar open to all comers.  Their doormen will be in tuxedos, although this is a place where you can feel quite comfortable in jeans.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to party with the Downtown core neighborhood crowd.  It will be wild, but it will be friendly people who know how to party without acting stupid, getting in fights, etc.  If I didn’t already have plans (see below) this would likely be my pick.

—–

BEALE STREET

The annual New Year’s Eve countdown party broadcast on Channel 5.  No cover, just stand out on the street, watch the bands at the Pepsi Pavilion if you want, beer or drinks available from restaurant to-go windows.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to spend absolutely no money and still go to a New Year’s party, and people who want to possibly be seen on TV for a brief second, and who are willing to put up with the cold and an unruly crowd to do it.  Otherwise, avoid Beale.  Of all the Downtown parties, this gets my vote for the “sucks the most” award.

—–

CALHOUN’S

December 31 is Calhoun’s Sports Bar’s first birthday.  I haven’t heard about anything special yet, but I know they’ll be open and will have $1.50 PBR.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: The same people who are in Calhoun’s December 30, January 2, and all the other days of the year; people who like to hang with the South Main locals; people who want to drink PBR for a relatively cheap New Year’s bill.  Note:  If you’re hungry, eat somewhere else before coming to Calhoun’s (Harry’s Detour across the street is a good call, or see the Majestic Grille below).

—–

FLYING SAUCER

Party starts at 8 with a $10 cover for UFO members, $15 for non-members.  Champagne and party favors at midnight.  As always, 75 beers on draft, and another 120 in bottles.  Hot waitresses in miniskirts.  Pool, darts.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to celebrate New Year’s in a very crowded mainstream bar.  The Saucer tends to turn into amateur night on New Year’s Eve, full of douchebags who are there to “kick some ass” and “get some pussy.”  Downtown regulars avoid the Saucer like the plague on New Year’s Eve.

—–

HOLLYWOOD DISCO (formerly Raiford’s)

$15 cover, champagne at midnight, the usual disco tunes and 40s of beer.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: Anyone with a pulse.  Seriously, who doesn’t like Raiford’s?  Actually, I better qualify that for the benefit of people who’ve never been.  If clubs with fog machines make your allergies act up, this might not be the best bet.  Also, it’s a small club, and the music is LOUD.  That said, we love the place.  A top recommendation.

—–

KOOKY CANUCK (formerly Big Foot Lodge)

$2 Super Cold Coors Light all day (from opening at 11 AM).  At 9 the party starts with DJ Tree spinning until 2.  Champagne and party favors at midnight.  No cover.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who’ve been to this restaurant’s parties in the past and had a good time; people who like big, cheap beers.  The name may be different, but Shawn and Lana still know how to throw great parties.  One of my top recommendations for people who want to have a fun, crazy time, but away from the “amateur night” crowd.

—–

MAJESTIC GRILLE

The Majestic will have their regular menu at regular prices with no cover, but Patrick will also whip up a few special dishes to celebrate the evening.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want a sit-down dinner; people who want something more elegant than a crowded bar; people who want to get a good meal then go to a party elsewhere.  That’s what my friends and I are doing:  We have reservations for 30 at the Majestic for 7:30, then we’re heading to a keg party in South Main.  If you like to “get buck” as my friend Johnny Mason likes to say, you may find the Majestic a little too sedate.

—–

PEABODY HOTEL

Their usual party with several bands playing in various ballrooms on the second floor.  I believe the cover is $50 this year.  The one year I went, it took 25 minutes to stand in line for drinks and 15 minutes for the men’s room line.  Drinks are about 200% of what you’d reasonably expect to pay at a bar.  The year I went, my group of friends and I seemed to be the only ones there over 23.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: People who want to spend a lot of money to brag that they were at the supposed “THE place to be” on New Year’s Eve; people who want to ogle barely legals in skimpy cocktail dresses; people who enjoy standing in long lines.  In my eyes, second only to Beale Street on my list of parties to avoid.

—–

RED ROOSTER

I haven’t heard exactly what they will be doing, but I know they will be open and plan to throw a big party.  More details to come.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS PARTY: This is the Rooster’s first New Year’s Eve, so I have no past record to look back upon.  My guess is, if you’ve enjoyed the Rooster on a very crowded Saturday night, you’ll probably like it for New Year’s Eve.  See “Flying Saucer” for my best guess as to what the crowd will be like.

—–

That’s my first draft of the NYE list.  There are also a few private parties I know about, but the hosts would probably prefer that I not blog about them.  Let me know (paul@paulryburn.com) if there are other parties Downtown that I should add to this list, and I’ll refresh it before the big day.  In particular, what will be going on at Earnestine & Hazel’s?  I’ll be a hop, skip, and a jump away later in the evening and may stop by.