Atheists, earthquakes and more in this Thursday update

The American Atheists National Convention kicks off today at the Peabody. This week’s Flyer has a cover story about the convention.

And of course there’s a religious group who has pulled a permit to close one lane of Second, on the northeast side from Union to Monroe, so they can have a “Pray-Test” for the atheists. Can’t you people live and let live?

I’m not an atheist by the way. I’m non-religious but have strong spiritual views. That means I’m not agnostic either. I don’t know what to label myself, and I hate labels anyway, so I’ll just say this: I don’t go to church. I don’t go to atheist conventions. I go to bars. I fully expect the bunny to bring me a PBR on Sunday.

In case you missed it, there was a minor earthquake in the Mid-South last night just before 11. The blog has a report.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band plays the Orpheum tonight at 8 with tickets $45-79. The band is described as producing roots-rich music with “an electrifying blend of blues, soul, jazz, and rock.”

The Pinch District has held on to its historic designation. Consideration had been given to taking it away. By the way, there’s a planning meeting for April 11’s MemFIX Pinch at the Crowne Plaza today at 3:30.

Holly has info on Tennessee Brewery: Revival that starts next week. Grizzlies screening room… nice!

Hungry Memphis has a post about the duck confit enchiladas at McEwen’s.

There’s a Groupon for the Metal Museum for admission for two, four, or six.

Like the Memphis Farmers Market and want to support the organization? Eat at South of Beale. The market is SOB’s charity of the month, and you can add a donation when you sign your check.

I had a couple of people ask me what I thought the speed limit should be on Riverside when it goes back to four lanes in June. Forty. Four zero. Ten times four.

Last week I was showing everyone an Instagram video of my BBQ team’s flamethrower. This week I am showing everyone photos where I posed with a giant stick of butter on my head. Ah, life Downtown, never a dull moment.

(I mentioned the flamethrower :mrgreen: )

Out at the usual spots after work. Goose, Bear, and Saucer will all receive visits tonight. Time to go buy a Circle K breakfast sausage covered in mustard, salsa, and jalapenos for lunch. Truly livin’ the high life.

Big second Wednesday update: Four-lane Riverside, Bass Pro opening date, Race for the Cure now official, great news for live music on East Beale, and more

Enough news, and big news, today to warrant a second post. Yes, all of this is real news, not April Fool’s jokes.

Mayor Wharton has announced that Riverside Drive will go back to four lanes in June, pending further study. EXCELLENT. Us crusty old white men in cars, as our detractors like to refer to us, are happy. (And, by the way, there are more than 6 of us, as I have seen implied this afternoon.) Note that when I wrote about the Riverside controversy, I never once insulted or name-called people who disagreed with me on the issue, and I even said I admired them and respected them for their efforts to make Memphis more livable.

Oh, and one of the people who was pro-bike lanes called for a traffic light at Riverside and Georgia. I agree on that point. It is nearly impossible for cars to turn left from Georgia onto Riverside. There’s just never a break in traffic, unless you’re turning at 4 AM.

Bass Pro has moved its grand opening for the Pyramid back from May 1 to April 29. At 6 PM on the 29th, there will be a special Evening for Conservation event, with celebrities from fields related to Bass Pro on hand. There will be discounts and prizes, and experts in Bass Pro-related fields will be on hand to answer questions. The first full day open to the public will be Thursday, April 30.

It’s official now: The Susan G. Komen Memphis-Midsouth Race for the Cure will be coming Downtown this fall, headquartered at AutoZone Park. 9 AM October 31 is the start time.

Live Nation, the world’s largest producer of live music events, has signed a strategic partnership with Beale Street and will book events for the New Daisy at 330 Beale and the Palace at 380 Beale. East Beale will now be a prominent stop for national live touring acts. MBJ reporters tweeted that the New Daisy will be renovated and although it won’t be rebranded a House of Blues, it will likely be on the same touring circuit.

You know it’s a big news day when the East Beale story is the #4 story in my news post. I am SO HAPPY to hear that Live Nation, and not anyone local, will be booking 380 Beale. Finally the former site of the Plush Club will no longer be a ghetto embarrassment to Downtown Memphis.

Allan Long, owner of dilapidated 107 South Main, will have to appear in environmental court tomorrow. The city has filed a second lawsuit against Long, this one asking the court to declare the building a public nuisance. The lack of maintenance on 107 Main has caused increasing moisture levels in adjoining buildings, and may have even made it a danger to passersby on the street.

Time to go out for a PBR, for there is much good news to celebrate today.

No April Fool’s prank today, just Wednesday news and a rant about a hamster

The Orpheum has announced its 2015-16 season lineup of Broadway musicals. Here’s the list:

  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
  • Pippin
  • Disney’s Newsies
  • Matilda the Musical
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
  • Bullets Over Broadway
  • Season ticket holder option: Return engagement of The Book of Mormon

Go to to purchase season tickets.

Bass Pro has released a video showing updated Pyramid construction. The 28-story elevator is now complete. We are one month away from the store’s scheduled opening.

Also, Choose901 has a rendering of the store’s bowling alley with an underwater theme. Looks beautiful. The balls come out of the mouths of sharks and alligators.

Holly has written an awesome guide to Memphis crawfish festivals. The largest and in my opinion the best is the Downtown one: Rajun Cajun on April 19. It’s held on Wagner and Riverside between Union and Beale. There will be spicy boiled crawfish for sale, of course, and there will be food trucks and other food vendors too. Live music, kids’ crawfish races, cornhole, a bobbing for live crawfish contest that can get pretty gory, and a gumbo-cooking contest. It benefits Porter-Leath, one of Memphis’ best charities.

I just hope Robo doesn’t bring his karaoke machine to the gumbo contest this year. The organizers of the contest need to make a rule about noise pollution. Imagine the sound a cat makes when you accidentally step on its tail, but as a Neil Diamond song.

Oh, one other thing about Rajun Cajun: In previous years I saw the organizers give several kids a live crawfish in a cup to take home as a pet. I bet their parents were thrilled with the new addition to the family.

Here’s the schedule for Friday’s Memphis Redbirds vs. St. Louis Cardinals game at AutoZone Park: Plaza opens at 8 AM, merchandise kiosk at 11 (Redbirds and Cardinals merchandise), gates at 3:30, Cards batting practice at 4:15. Pre-game ceremonies at 5:40 will include introduction of both teams, a moment of silence for Oscar Tavares and Rodny Jimenez, national anthem by Reagan Strange, ceremonial first pitches, and an umpire meeting. First pitch of the game at 6:05.

Absolutely sickening: Graphic video shows Ole Miss student biting the head off a hamster. I have to agree with animal-rights activists, the kid should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, even that will not solve the true problem here. We live in a society in which some people think it’s cool to try to impress others by bringing harm to themselves or other living beings. That societal belief needs to be completely eliminated the way we wiped smallpox off the face of the Earth in the 20th century. It’s just as much of a disease, just in a different form.

Pick up a living, breathing being and take its life away just for kicks? Dude! That’ll make an awesome video on YouTube! Just think how many “Likes” it will get!

Do a “quick six” (chug six pint cups of beer in under 30 seconds), then drive to the grocery store to get more beer? Sweet! The bros will totally think I’m a stand-up guy if I replenish the stash! Just hope I don’t kill myself or anyone else on the way there and back!

Get a sorority pledge so drunk she doesn’t know where she is, then when she passes out take her clothes off and take advantage of her? Why not? I mean yeah, she’ll carry an emotional scar from that night for the rest of her life, but I will like totally have the best slampiece story to tell at the meeting Monday night!

Let me make it clear, I’m not trying to bash fraternities here. A very small percentage of fraternities would tolerate this kind of behavior. Also, this attitude is found in MANY other groups all over the world as well (the “point ’em out and knock ’em out” incident at Kroger last year comes to mind). This attitude is one of the things that is holding us back as a species from further evolving. I don’t know how to wipe it out but I hold hope that a way can be found.

By the way, before the incident the hamster was in its cage, being force-fed vodka and hot-boxed (smoke blown into an enclosed space). Not one person at the party saw that the hamster was in imminent danger and took steps to get it the hell away from there. Not one decent human being in the entire bunch. Everyone who was there should be ashamed of themselves and should go get counseling.

Okay. Rant over. This probably wasn’t what you were expecting on April Fool’s Day, was it? I tried to come up with a joke to play on my readers, but I’ve conditioned you over the years to expect them, and I just couldn’t come up with anything funny and believable enough.

The 7th annual South Main Ninja Parade happens tonight on South Main beginning at 6 PM.

A problem Downtown has, the best kind of problem to have, is that there are too many interesting people to talk to down here. As a result, I have had a 12:30 bedtime each of the past two nights. Not really ideal when I have to be at work at 8. Maybe I will try to catch up a bit tonight. Or maybe I’ll stay out until 12:30 again and catch up on sleep after I’m dead. Who knows. Out at the usual spots around 5:45.