Dempseys apparently NOT playing Saucer tonight

Just got back in town.  Found a voice mail and text message from one of the other Saucer regulars.  The Dempseys are apparently not playing the Downtown Saucer tonight, as I’d announced twice this week on my blog.  “One of the managers can’t read a calendar,” said the text message.  I had posted they’d be playing after seeing it on the Saucer’s website calendar, although I thought it was a bit odd for them to play the day after Christmas, because they usually take an extended holiday in Seattle around that time.

The updated calendar says the “Sausage Assassins” will be playing.  Somehow I don’t have expectations for them to be as good as the Dempseys.

Holiday update

Among my Christmas presents were two biographies:

I’ve been reading the Buffett biography tonight and am finding a lot in common with the greatest investor of our times. He was barred from his 8th grade graduation because he refused to put on a suit. He’s also fond of saying that he judges how well he’s doing using his Inner Scorecard, rather than the Outer Scorecard most people use.  In other words, his own assessment of his progress is far more important than what other people think of him.  I’ve read about 220 pages of it today and am currently on the late 1950s where he meets Charlie Munger for the first time.

Spent a good part of today at my mother’s new apartment.  We forgot to make reservations for lunch and ended up eating at a Chinese buffet, which at $11.99 was probably just as good as the $30 buffet we forgot to go to.  They had pieces of crabmeat wrapped in bacon… mmmm.

Back in Memphis late afternoon, will be at the Saucer by the time the Dempseys take the stage at 9:30.

In other news, I’ve learned there will be a beer pong tournament at Quetzal on January 8, with two-person teams and a $20 entry fee to benefit charity.  If you’re on Facebook search for “beer olympics at Quetzal” to read more about it.

A different kind of post: Childhood memories and stuff

This is going to be a different kind of post from my usual.

I’m home in Little Rock on Christmas Eve night.  It’s a more eventful Christmas than usual around here.  My mother is moving into an assisted living facility this month.  She’ll still have her own apartment and a normal life, but help will be a button away if she needs it, which is important because she’s had two minor strokes and some other health issues the past three years.  The movers came and moved the stuff she’s keeping into her new apartment yesterday.  The stuff she’s not taking, including the extra bed, is still in her old house.  So tonight we’re staying in separate places – she’s in the new place and I’m in the old.

The old house is about 1200 SF plus a good-sized attic.  The new place is less than 600 SF.  That means she’s having to leave a lot of stuff behind – sell the items that are worth money, and throw the rest out.  The movers have brought down everything from the attic, and I’ve been walking around tonight looking at memories from my childhood.  The box full of toys that made me so happy when I was 3.  The green watering can that my grandmother used to water the violets on the windowsill.  A bag full of stuffed bunnies that I received in Easter baskets over the years.  There’s a stuffed chick in there too.  I can’t remember the chick’s name but I distinctly remember that I loved it very much when I was only a couple of years old.  There’s the original Atari VCS that I spent many hours of 1982 playing.  I wonder if it still works.

Then there’s the silver place settings that my grandmother wanted me to have.  She died in 1999 and I guess she figured at some point after that, I’d turn into a normal person and get married and have a family.  I wonder if she ever looks in on me late night as I gobble down some to-go nachos from Huey’s with a plastic fork, and if so, what she thinks about the direction my life has taken.  Funny thing is, that silver is worth several thousands of dollars probably, but I’d rather have her old watering can which would probably sell for 50 cents at Goodwill.

I’m kind of glad all this stuff is being dispensed with though.  If my mother had stayed in the old house until she died and I had to deal with the removal of all of it, it would have sent me right over the edge.  I’ll grab a few souvenirs to take back with me to Memphis before I leave Friday afternoon.

The new apartment looks like it’s going to work out great.  My mother is already meeting “the girls” in the lunch room and making lots of new friends.  I have a feeling she’ll be a lot less lonely than she was in the house all by herself.  I think it will be the start of a whole new life for her.

One of the things she’s leaving behind is her computer.  The apartment building has a computer lab with Internet connections.  She’s going to use the lab until I get my employment situation straightened out, at which time I’ll buy her a laptop and she’ll get Internet in her apartment.  I went ahead and gave her a Christmas gift a day early, a 16 GB flash drive with installed on it to use in the lab.  I gave her a computer when she retired in 1995 and taught her how to use e-mail and create her own web page.  Most of her neighbors don’t even know how to turn a computer on.  I predict she’s about to come upon a newfound popularity as “the one who knows about computers.”

So I spent the day at her new place, then drove back to the old place about 7.  On the porch I found 5 giftwrapped lawyer boxes full of food from my mother’s church.  “You are deeply loved,” said the note on the box.  They know she’s not been in the best health lately, and that she spent a lot of money on the move, and wanted to help.  I was really touched by that gesture.  Kind of made the “experiencing God’s love through the act of giving to others” thing strike home to me.

All right.  Enough rambling.  Merry Christmas to all my blog readers and friends.

Quick update: Christmas opening, Kooky Canuck NYE party

(9:31 PM Wed night:  Had posting problems this morning, sorry.)

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m waiting for the rain to clear out of here so I can drive to Little Rock.  In the meantime, a few notes:

The owner of Calhoun’s Sports Bar e-mailed me and said that the bar will be open at 4:30 on Christmas Day.

Jennifer Biggs, who writes the Whining & Dining blog for the Commercial Appeal, has a list of restaurants that will be open on Christmas.

Kooky Canuck, the restaurant on Second formerly known as Big Foot Lodge, is having a party on New Year’s Eve.  No cover, $2 Super Cold Coors Light 34 oz. draft all day, DJ Tree spinning tunes from 9 PM to 2 AM, champagne and party favors at midnight.  Remember, if you have extra pennies lying around the house, they make great tips for bartender Meghan.  Big F- er, Kooky Canuck’s parties are always superb.

Finally clearing up… still raining but I can see to the Arkansas side of the river out my window now.  Guess it’s time to pack up and hit the road.  Hopefully I’ll have Internet access in Little Rock and will continue blogging.  Will be back Friday night the 26th.

Watching the weather… and launching sites

Sitting here watching the weather.  I’m supposed to drive to Little Rock today, but it’s below freezing with ice and snow between here and there.  I’m going to wait until about 2 and see if it gets significantly above freezing all the way there.

In the meantime… time to launch my latest website.

College Logo Golf Bags is the place to find not only golf bags, but golf balls, golf towels, and other golf accessories with your favorite college logo.  You’ve seen me launch enough of these things to know how they work, secure checkout and shipping by Amazon, I never see your name or credit card number, blah blah blah.  There is a Memphis Tigers golf bag in the store, as well as Memphis golf balls, divot tools, and towels.

I’ve been asked what is open Christmas Eve/Day.  I haven’t compiled much of a list, since I’m heading out of town.  I know that you can usually count on Westy’s and Wang’s to always be open, and restaurants inside hotels pretty much have to be (although for the more popular you’ll need reservations).  Bardog Tavern will have its tree trimming party tomorrow, so it will be open for Christmas Eve, and will open at 5 Christmas Day.  Flying Saucer will be close at 4 PM Christmas Eve and reopen at 5 Christmas Day.  I’d guess most of the restaurant row along Union and Second will be closed on Christmas Day.  Not sure about Calhoun’s and Earnestine & Hazel’s.  If you know of a place Downtown that will be open, shoot me an e-mail ( and let me know and I’ll post it.

Temp still hovering around 33 here and 30 in Little Rock.  I’m going to wait until about 2 and then make a decision.  If conditions don’t improve by then, I’ll postpone my trip until morning and join the team at the Flying Saucer for trivia.  Back in town Friday night either way.

That’s right, that’s right… it’s time to launch another new site. Also: the restaurant coupon code I forgot to include in this morning’s post

This morning I told you about two web stores my friend Buck Daddy had recently launched.  Well, now it’s time to launch another of my own:

College Logo Billiards is the latest in my series of “college logo” niche stores, organizing billiards and pool items sold through into an easy-to-find-things shopping experience.  There you’ll find items like logo pool balls, pool cues, pool felt, and pool lighting for about 70 top schools.  I’m sad to report that I couldn’t find Memphis Tigers merchandise for this store, although other area schools are represented.  As always, Amazon handles the secure checkout and shipping.  I never see your name or credit card number, just a report that I’ve received commission on items ordered.

I’ve been informed that I left something out of this morning’s post… I told you that there’s an 80% off coupon code for good through Christmas, but I forgot to tell you what it was! Typical Monday morning for me, sorry. The coupon code is HOLIDAY.

Going to see if I can crank out another website this afternoon before I hit Pint Nite at 5… I’ve pretty much got them on a production line now.

Mon update: New restaurant promo code, tacky sweater and Obama stores, brunch at Automatic Slim’s, more

There’s a new coupon code good for 80% off restaurant gift certificates.  (Edit:  I forgot to post the code!  It’s HOLIDAY.) Heck if I know why they didn’t just continue last week’s coupon code, since it was also 80% off… maybe they wanted to separate the two weeks for reporting purposes.  Anyway, if you haven’t bought them yet, you still can at 80% off through Christmas Day.

I’ve been giving my friend and fellow blogger Buck Daddy some tutoring on how to build online stores, and he’s recently finished and launched his first two.  I wanted to give them a plug on my blog because he’s done a good job.  They are

  • Tacky Christmas Sweater Store. I must have heard of four or five tacky sweater parties this holiday season – it’s definitely a popular Christmas fad right now.  Buck identified this fad and built a store around it.  Great job, and I’m mad at myself for not thinking of that one.
  • Everything Barack Obama Store. We’re in the middle of Obama-mania.  People have high hopes for our new President – he’s young, he’s extremely intelligent and well-spoken, and he’s the first African-American President.  It makes sense that Obama merchandise would be flying off the shelves right now.  Another timely store idea.

The brunch crew visited Automatic Slim’s for the first time yesterday, to try Chef Michael Patrick’s new brunch menu.  There was a lot of excitement about this one – we had 14 people, filling the entire bar and a 5-top table.  I believe that’s the most people we’ve had at a brunch since the Sleep Out Louie’s days.  Great food.  I had the Automatic Omelet with jerk tenderloin, mushrooms, and cheese – delicious.  Others in the group tried the Creole Eggs Benedict (with fried green tomatoes instead of muffins), the Crawfish Eggs Benedict, and the Eggs Sardou, and were quite pleased with them.  Air Traffic Mike:  “That’s the first time I’ve had Eggs Sardou prepared correctly outside of New Orleans.”  The Nuh-Uh Girl ran around and sampled everyone’s food.  “I think you should get a crepe for dessert,” she told me, “so I can try it.”  Great food.  I’m sure I’ll be back there soon.

A reminder to everyone Downtown:  PLEASE DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS DOWN ALLEYS.  A bartender walked a patron to her car this weekend, and he cut through an alley on the way back and was pistol-whipped and robbed.  It is not worth the extra 30-60 seconds you’ll save by taking the alley.  As long as you stay where it is well-lit and well-traveled, Downtown is perfectly safe.  I’ve been down here 7 years without incident.  There are too many alleys for the police and Downtown Safety Patrol to be able to patrol all of them.  Also, if you have a video camera that looks down an alley, please register it with MPD.  It may help them solve robberies as well as car break-ins.

This is my only full day in town this week.  Tomorrow I leave town for Little Rock and will be gone until Friday.  Back Friday night to catch The Dempseys at the Saucer.

Time to build some websites and return some e-mails.  I’ll be at Pint Nite tonight about 5.  Someone just stuck some money in my account and instructed me to share the holiday cheer with a couple of friends who frequent the Saucer, so I’ll be looking for them tonight.

Sun update: Weekend recap, restaurant coupon code correction

A rare day without a post yesterday… that’s partly due to a big Friday night.  I had a party to go to at a condo in South Main.  We did an anonymous gift exchange were the point was to give a crap gift under $5.  I got one of those toilet bowl cleaner cakes as my gift, which I wore around my neck the rest of the evening.  About 1 I wandered back north, and at the Saucer I ran into the organizers of the New Year’s Eve party I’m attending.  We closed down the Saucer, then went to Calhoun’s and closed it down as well, then we went to the Green Beetle and watched people straggle in from Raiford’s.  About 4:30 I threw in the towel.  Latest I’ve stayed out in a while.

As a result I didn’t get up until noon yesterday, and just wasn’t in a state of mind to post.  I spent most of the afternoon feeding my Wikipedia addiction, reading about the American Mafia of the past 100 years.  Wow the major families have entries on Wikipedia listing their current leadership and all their caporegimes (captains).  That can’t be good for their business, considering that “no one really knows who we are” is one of their guiding principles.  With the rise of the Internet, it’s a lot harder to fly under the radar, no matter what you’re doing.

Interesting fact I learned:  If a Mafia member introduces you to another Mafia member, he’ll say “he’s a friend of mine,” unless you are a member as well, in which case the introduction will be “he’s a friend of ours.”  “Ours” indicates that business may be openly discussed around you.

I also learned that two names commonly associated with the mob, Meyer Lansky and Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, were apparently not members, but only associates.  You can only be a member if you are Italian, and Lansky and Siegel weren’t.

Late in the afternoon I wandered up to the Saucer, and was rewarded with an unusually good Fire Sale, Tennent’s.  Then I went to dinner with my friends Lee and Lauren at Pearl’s Oyster House.  With the holiday party season wrapped up, it was wonderful to just relax and spend some quality time with good friends.  After that I went back to the Saucer, but hadn’t recovered from Friday night and decided to call it quits after only two beers.

Today it will be time for something different.  After having a look at Automatic Slim’s brunch menu, I e-mailed the Sunday brunch crew and suggested a venue change to Slim’s today.  Response was so enthusiastic that even people who don’t normally show up for brunch have said they’re in.  I’m trying to decide whether to go with the Bananas Foster French toast or the Automatic Omelet with jerk tenderloin.

Correction to something I posted earlier… has a coupon code SANTA that you can enter at checkout for 80% off restaurant gift certificates and the Dining of the Month Club. I’d previously reported that the coupon code is good through Monday the 22nd. I’ve since learned that the code cuts off at midnight tonight. So, if you want to pick some up, better do it today. It’s likely they’re release another coupon code this week, but I doubt it will be as big a discount as 80%.

That’s all for now… I’ll be at Slim’s about 11.

Announcing my latest website: College Logo Rugs. Also Silly Goose and Raiford’s info

My College Logo Watches, College Logo Jewlery, and College Logo Cornhole web storefronts have all been wildly successful in the short time they’ve been up, so I decided to create another one:

College Logo Rugs sells rugs of all shapes and sizes with your favorite college’s logo on them.  In addition to rugs and carpets, you can also find door mats, car mats, and bath rugs there.

(Tennessee Vols fans:  Note which item I chose to display for you on the home page.  That wasn’t an accident.)

As with most of my stores, secure checkout and shipping is handled by the world’s most successful Internet retailer, I receive a commission on each item sold, based on the total number of items all of my stores sell for a given month.  This month it looks like I’ll receive 7.5% commission per item.  I never see your name or credit card number, just a confirmation letting me know what items were purchased.

In other news… I received an e-mail saying that it’s not a done deal that the Silly Goose will be open on New Year’s Eve… it’s going to be a race to the finish to get their liquor license by then.  If they have it in hand, they’ll open.  If not, it won’t be long after.

I also got an e-mail from Hollywood Disco, or as everyone still calls it, Raiford’s, saying that they will be open on New Year’s Eve.  There will be a $15 cover and doors will open at 9 PM.  They expect the place to fill quickly, so they’re encouraging everyone to prepay on their website.  I’ve already lined up New Year’s plans (Majestic Grille for dinner, then a fun private party in South Main), but if I hadn’t Raiford’s would be at the top of my list.

Speaking of parties in South Main, got one of those tonight… sort of a holiday party combining my circle of friends and the Calhoun’s regulars (quite a bit of overlap there already).  That doesn’t start until 7:30.  Hmmm that gives me a few hours to kill… with almost 70 degree weather in December, I may have to grab me a window seat at the Saucer for happy hour.  I’m tempted to apply the “rule of 60” (if it’s over 60, I put on shorts), but with the low tonight revised to 42, maybe I better not.

Big Foot Lodge changes its name to Kooky Canuck

Last night at Big Foot Lodge’s Christmas party, it was announced that the restaurant’s name is changing to Kooky Canuck.  They already have their new website up, and the 7 1/2 pound Sasquatch burger has been renamed the “Kookamunga.”  They’ll still be able to maintain the “lodge” theme of the restaurant.  The changes are being made to settle a lawsuit with two California restaurants that go by the name Big Foot Lodge.

I had a fun night last night… I judged the ugly sweater contest at the Majestic Grille while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and eating ham and drinking PBR.  Then I headed over to Big Foot/Kooky Canuck for their Christmas party, which was a jam-packed fun time as always.

I have a party at a friend’s house on South Main tonight, and that’ll be the last party for me this Christmas season.  Tuesday I’m headed to Little Rock for Christmas, and will return Friday in time to catch the Dempseys at the Saucer.  I’ll still be blogging throughout the remainder of this week, and next, though, so check back often.