Open house at Court Square Center complex tonight, new menu items at Bardog

There’s an open house at Court Square Center tonight.  That’s the complex on Main between Court Square and Jefferson, consisting of the Lincoln-American Tower, an apartment building that opened several months ago; the Lowenstein Building at Main and Jefferson, still under construction and coming along nicely; and the yet-to-be-built CA2 building that will replace the Court Annex building that burned down.

Although I’m not looking to move – I still love Number 10 – I’ve heard the apartments there are very nice, and I want to get details about Court Square Center to pass along to friends and blog readers who are considering moving Downtown.  Also, when I saw the event on Facebook, there was one phrase that was particularly intriguing – “free wine, beer, and food.”  Free food – I wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up?  There will also be drawings for two plaza-level tickets to the upcoming Grizzlies-Lakers game, and other prizes.

Hmmm I kind of feel in the mood to dress holiday festive for this one… unusual that I actually feel like dressing up.  I have to get dressed up again Saturday for a wedding at St. Peter’s.  That’s the night of Stumbling Santa, and I’ve had people ask if I’m going to wear a Santa suit to the wedding.  No, not wearing a Santa suit, although I can think of things even more ridiculous to wear (e.g. a tie).

I did happy hour and beyond at Bardog Tavern last night.  They recently added three new items to their menu.  There’s an Italian sub, which is the sandwich version of their antipasto salad.  There’s a chicken quesadilla, which I took home last night.  And finally, there’s a fisherman’s stew (it’s called some Italian word I can’t remember on the menu, starts with a C), a stew full of seafood.

Slow news day… probably won’t be 6-7 posts a day like I did earlier this week, unless I hear about more stuff.  Outta here for now…

Wed update: Carb specials for Friday, Girls’ Night Out at the Rooster, tribute to Isaac Hayes and more

The Downtown Memphis Core group on Facebook is working exactly the way I’d hoped.  It’s grown to 70 members, and people are discussing things on the Wall and in the group’s forum.  I like it, because it’s a great way to disseminate information to Downtowners without it all having to be sent to me and posted on my blog.

It’s also a great resource for stuff to post to my blog, I’m finding… for example, a member posted this list of all restaurants offering “carb up” specials Friday, December 5 in preparation for Saturday’s marathon.  You have to show a race number to get the discounts.

The Red Rooster is doing a Girls’ Night Out party next Thursday, December 11.

Management has told me that only females will be admitted from 6 to 9, so you can bring all your gal pals and do whatever it is y’all do on Girls’ Night, heck if I know.  They’re hoping to get a lot of groups of girls in there to meet each other and network and have fun.  There will be food, drinks, and prizes.  At 9, guys will be admitted, and the usual Thursday night Rooster party will begin.  I guess this is one Thursday when there definitely won’t be anyone there to “rock out with their cock out,” at least not before 9 PM.

Don’t forget, Big Foot Lodge is on the Travel Channel tonight at 9 (did I mis-post it as Food Network earlier?  If I did I was wrong) on the Man vs. Food Show.  I got wings to go night before last – decided to torture myself with the Holy Smokes wings, which when I got them home seemed to have been turned down a notch to what would be right around “extra hot” in most wing restaurants, as opposed to the “suicide” level that they were before.  Good, extra hot is perfect for me.

The students of the Stax Academy will present “Go Down, Moses,” a tribute to Isaac Hayes, Thursday, December 18 at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre.

Normally I don’t mention Germantown events, but this is an exception because the students are participants in the SNAP! After School program at Stax Academy just southeast of Downtown.  This is a program that mentors Memphis high school students through music education and unique performance opportunities.  A lot of kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods receive the chance to play musical instruments they could never otherwise afford through this program.  Some of them will go on to become professional musicians; all of them will come out of the program with a sense of accomplishment that will benefit them in future endeavors.  Tickets are $10, sold exclusively at the Stax Academy.  901-946-2535 x334 or go to for more details.

Busy day… got a freelance gig that’s finally coming together, and I also have to buy Majestic Grille gift cards, go grocery shopping, and get a haircut.  Not sure what I’ll do this evening… probably Bardog unless the Fire Sale at the Saucer is particularly good.

The waiting game

Building websites that make money can be frustrating.  Over the past two months, I’ve built 10 websites that I know will sell a considerable amount of items through Amazon in the future, producing big commissions for me, possibly enough to replace a full-time income.  However, I’m not yet seeing that money.

Why not?  Two main reasons.  First of all, although I link to all my sites from my blog, in the long run most of my sites’ hits will come from Google search traffic.  Problem is, it takes Google a while to trust a new site and reward it in the search rankings.  Google wants to see new sites stay around for a number of months, so it’s sure they aren’t fly-by-night scam sites.  It also takes several months for other bloggers/webmasters to see new sites and link to them – the more incoming links Google sees to a site, the better that site gets ranked.

Tube Top Boutique has been up a year and a half now, and has had time to build Google trust.  As a result, it now has a PageRank of 4 (same as the Commercial Appeal’s home page), and gets 400-500 hits a day, not bad considering December is hardly tube top season.  As recently as last month it was running as high as 800 a day.  My newer sites, however – especially those less than 3 months old – have not had time to build that Google trust, and are lucky if they get 20-30 hits a day with a PageRank of 0.

The second reason that it takes a long time to see money from these sites is Amazon’s payment schedule.  Commissions earned during a particular month are not paid out until the end of the second month afterward.  That means that if you go to Mid-South Alcoholic Supply today and buy a cocktail shaker or electric drink mixer, I will earn a certain amount of commission from its sale (probably 7.5% this month), but I won’t get that money until the end of February.  So I can see myself earning money when I check my reports on a daily basis, but I don’t have access to that money.  Meanwhile, I doubt my apartment building’s manager will be too happy if I tell her I plan on paying my December rent on February 25.

I’m not complaining about these things… I’m just saying, they are facts of life if you do business on the Web.  I’m hoping that writing about my experiences will be useful to people just getting into website affiliate marketing.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and hope for a big payday within a month or two.  Sorry, but it probably won’t happen.  There are exceptions, like that “I can has cheezburger” site where you caption pictures of cats that went to a million hits within a month’s time, but those are one-in-a-million sites.

You know what I think will be a big business in the future?  Payday loan companies for Amazon Associates.  People who have pending commissions a month or two out will be able to go to these places and get advances on their commissions at a massive interest rate, much as paper paycheck loan companies do nowadays.  There’s a business idea for anyone willing to take it on.  You don’t have to give me any royalties for the idea, but if you want to stick something in the account, that’d be cool.

When my 10 new stores attain the same level of Google trust that Tube Top Boutique has, they’ll start getting lots of hits and generating big commissions.  In the meantime, though, I just have to wait it out.  And look for office jobs.  Sigh.  I guess it’s time to contact the recruiters and let them know I’m ready to start hunting.  Probably tomorrow I’ll do that.

Trivia tonight at the Saucer at Bardog at 7.  Immediately after trivia I’ll pay my tab and head to Bardog for Pint Night.  If anyone wants to join me there, please feel free, I’ll be there about 9:15.

Second Tue update: Majestic gift card sale tomorrow, Circa’s Sun/Mon; Circa starts Sunday brunch

The Majestic Grille’s gift card sale starts tomorrow at 9 AM.  You can buy $50 gift cards for $25, good for food purchases.  This is a great deal!  Don’t miss it!

Circa is getting in on the gift card action too – they’ll be selling gift cards at $100 face value for only $50 on Sunday and Monday, December 7 and 8.

In both cases, the cards can’t be redeemed until after the first of 2009, and can’t be used to buy alcohol.  Still, these are both great deals at the two restaurants I recommend most Downtown.

More big news from Circa:  They’re starting a Sunday brunch.  Here’s a quick summary of the menu:

Booze: Mimosas (bottle of champagne + OJ) $14; cocktails (bloody mary, ice pick, kir royale) $6; French press coffee (serves 2) $6

Starters: Basket of fresh baked breads $6; New Orleans beignets $6; smoked salmon plate $14; seafood and sausage gumbo $8

Entrees, served with choice of side: Poached salmon $13; petite filet of beef $15; maple glazed pork tenderloin $14; English breakfast (toast, bacon, fried egg, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms) $12

Signature egg dishes: Eggs Victor $16; Eggs Benedict $13; Beef Tenderloin Benedict $18; Circa omelets (you choose up to 4 ingredients) $14

Crepes: Nutella and vanilla ice cream $9; ham and gruyere cheese $11; chevre and raspberry $11

Sides: Bacon or sausage $5; 3-cheese grits souffle $6; home-style fried potatoes $5; potatoes au gratin $5; oatmeal $5; two eggs, any style $5; wheatberry toast $3

Desserts: Grand Marnier Creme Brulee $7; Chocolate pot de creme $7; assorted sorbets $7

Guys, if you get lucky and bring a girl home from one of the bars Saturday night, taking her to brunch at Circa the next morning would be a great way to show her that you really like her and want to keep her around.  On the other hand, if a one-night stand was all you wanted, give her a coupon for a free Egg McMuffin and send her on her way.

Circa is also doing a “reverse happy hour” after 10 PM Friday and Saturdays now.

How to read the Commercial Appeal without seeing those massively annoying pop-up ads on the homepage

Wish you could read the Commercial Appeal online without having to deal with those incredibly annoying pop-up ads on the home page?  You can – RSS to the rescue.  Go to (or your favorite RSS reader, if you have a different one) and subscribe to whichever you choose of the feeds below:








GoMemphis: Events

GoMemphis: Music

GoMemphis: Dining

GoMemphis: Movies

GoMemphis: Arts

GoMemphis: Nightlife

Now you’ll be able to use Google Reader to bypass the home page and see the headlines in a much more straightforward format, and when you see a story that interests you, you’ll be able to click through and read it on the CA’s site.  Goodbye pop-up ads!

I guess in today’s economy, the CA has to make money where it can, but it seems like rule number one ought to be, “thou shalt not irritate the reader.”  I wonder if that’s why the CA’s homepage has a lower Google PageRank than any other major Memphis media outlet’s homepage.

Please send info: New Year’s Eve events

I’m starting to get people sending me New Year’s Eve events to post, and I’m starting to get “what should I do New Year’s Eve?” queries.  If you are hosting or know of a NYE event Downtown, e-mail it to  I’m going to compile a list.  Since different people like have different ideas of how to celebrate the New Year, I’ll make a post listing each event, and my best guess as to who would enjoy each.

Even if your restaurant or bar is not doing anything special but will be open – “just good times with good friends, that’s all we need to ring in the New Year” – I’d like to know that too.  A lot of people (myself included) prefer that type of thing on NYE.

Tue update: Corey Osborn tribute, donate to Salvation Army via phone, Big Foot Lodge on TV, more

For those of you who were fans of Corey Osborn, the guitarist who played BB King’s and other venues who recently died in a car wreck at a very young age, there will be a tribute show tonight at the Midtown Blue Monkey.  Rusty Lemmon, Kirk Smithart, and others will be there to honor their friend.  Music should start around 10.  This is the MIDTOWN Monkey, not the Downtown one.

You can now use your mobile phone to donate to the Salvation Army’s holiday drive.  Just text RING to the phone number 90999.  A message will come back asking you to confirm your $5 donation to the Salvation Army.  Reply with YES and a $5 donation will be added as a separate, tax-deductible line to your phone bill.

Big Foot Lodge will be on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel at 9 PM Wednesday, December 3.  Host Adam will take on the 4 lb. Sasquatch burger that is free if you can finish it in under an hour.  Be sure to set your Tivo or DVR to record it.

Also, Big Foot will offer all you can eat spaghetti this Friday night, December 5.  It comes with your choice of meat sauce or marinara.  Big Foot is one of the restaurants helping runners carb up for the marathon on Saturday.  If you’re on the Downtown Memphis Core group on Facebook, I started a discussion in the forum where you can post other places runners can go Friday night to carb up.

The Downtown Memphis Core group already has over 40 members, and there are several questions and discussions that have been posted.  If you’re on Facebook and love the Downtown Memphis Core, feel free to join.  If you have questions about how to join, shoot me an e-mail.

Probably back later with more.  Gotta clear out 39 e-mails in my Inbox first though.  Good news is, most of them are notifications that people bought stuff from my stores.  And someone bought me a beer!  Yay!  Thank you!