Memphis drivers, summed up in one line + Thursday news

Yesterday I saw a rant about Memphis drivers. It was similar enough to rants that I have posted here before that I didn’t bother saving the link, but one line really said it all: Courtesy is a sign of weakness. Yes. That accurately sums up the attitude of interstate drivers in Memphis. Really, it sums up the attitude of drivers on just about any road in Memphis. I drove to work 40 minutes early to dodge the incoming rain, so let’s see what I can find to talk about until starting time.

Memphis has landed a big convention for May. The National Cartoonists Society will have its convention here May 26-29. Creators of “The Family Circus,” “Beetle Bailey,” and more will be in town for the equivalent of the Oscars for cartoonists. More typically, exotic locations like New York or Bahamas are chosen for the convention. About 500 will come to Memphis to take part in the activities.

The Grizzlies have announced their summer camps for kids age 7-16. Included in the camp are 28 hours of instruction and skills & drills, lunch, a reversible jersey, and two Grizzlies tickets.

Want to win free tickets to BBQ Fest? Submit a photo from a past BBQ Fest and if it is voted by the public to be the best, then you will win two three-day passes to BBQ Fest ’16 May 12-14.

The lineup has been announced for South Main Sounds Songwriter Night #23 at 550 S. Main during South Main Trolley Night Friday. Among the performers will be Graham Winchester, Jesse James Davis, Frank McLallen, David Cousar, Mark Abis, and Crockett Hall.

The City of Memphis’ bike and pedestrian coordinator is leaving. Kyle Wagenschutz has accepted a position with PeopleForBikes, a national nonprofit whose goal is to help build a better bike infrastructure across the United States.

The 5 Spot behind Earnestine & Hazel’s is having Throwback Thursday tonight from 9 to 1. DJ Jordan Rogers of Tiger City Entertainment will spin ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s tunes, everything from Motown to James Brown. $5 cover, ladies free before 10.

There will be a ’90s Baby Ultimate Lip Sync Battle tonight at the New Daisy at 7:30. There will be team and individual competitions. Winner takes the ’90s Baby trophy and prizes from the event’s sponsors. Tickets are $15.

Don’t forget that food trucks will be in Court Square at lunchtime.

That’s all for now. Possibly a second post at lunchtime or after work.


Wed update #2

You know, I was thinking this morning what an opportunity the Great River Indoor Food Truck Festival and Marketplace is for me, and probably others as well. There are food trucks that I have been wanting to try for months now, but they’re rarely Downtown. When they are Downtown, it tends to be when I’m working, or when I am around but not hungry. Saturday we’re going to have 14 food trucks, all in one place. I’m planning on going Nuh-Uh Girl style and eating two meals at the festival and maybe even three. Heck, I may spend the entire afternoon there! My friends the South Side Supper Club are playing and that will be a treat. Plus, I have two friends’ last-weekend-Downtown party that night, and the food in my stomach will be a good base for surviving the late-night activities.

One of the most important female figures in tennis history is Althea Gibson. Coming up from the rough streets of Harlem, she competed in the highly segregated world of the 1950s. She became the first African-American to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, yet she was forced from the game in order to make a living. Throughout her struggles, Gibson remained true to her convictions. On Wednesday, April 6 at 7 PM, the film Althea will be shown at the Halloran Centre. Stay after the film for a brief Q&A with the filmmaker. More info and ticket sales here

Two words: Poop Peeps. Happy Easter everyone!

@Choose901 tweeted good things about the Key Lime Martini at eighty3. I love key lime anything and the restaurant is across the street from me. I will have to try one of these soon.

This morning I blogged about going to Brass Door last night and saw Seamus’ new guitar. However, I forgot that I had a second item to mention on the blog: 2 for 1 Fish and Chips on Tuesdays. Two people can dine on two pieces of fried fish apiece along with fries (“chips” as the Irish call them). The meal comes with not only tartar sauce, but the Brass Door’s signature curry sauce which is excellent for dipping both the fish and the fries. At a regular menu price of $10, two people can get a great dinner for five bucks apiece on Tuesday. I was by myself so I got the double order all in one bowl, and tried to eat as much as I could:

fishandchipsI think I’m going to try to learn some basic Romanian so I can order from the bartender in her native language.

By the way, the Brass Door is having a Spring Break Special for teachers and students (with valid ID): You get 2 bingo cards for British Bingo this week.

The two douchiest schools in the SEC nearly got in a baseball fight last Saturday. Ugh. What an embarrassment to the conference Ole Miss and Tennessee are. Of course, a kerfluffle on a baseball diamond is nothing compared to the allegations against the UT football team of a culture of tolerating sexual assault.

Chicago artist Damon Lamar Reed has been approved to design a mural to front blighted 107 S. Main, making the appearance of the building less shitty until the new owner moves forward with plans to renovate.

That’s it for now. Time to grab some lunch.

Save the date for live music: Friday, April 29 – and no, not Music Fest

Last night I did happy hour at the Blind Bear. Poker started at 8, and I didn’t really feel like playing. I decided to do something different. “Since I’ve started going back to the Brass Door, I’ve gone mainly for happy hour,” I thought. “Let’s see what it is like later in the evening.”

I walked over there and walked in on a special moment. Two weeks ago, Seamus gave Diamond Dave a guitar for Dave’s birthday. Last night when I got there, Dave had just returned the favor.

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My iPhone camera had trouble with the light and really didn’t do this beautiful cherry red guitar justice. “I’m humbled by Dave’s gift,” Seamus told me. “It’s a Gibson Gretsch, built to Bono’s specifications.”

“I let Dave down, you know,” Seamus continued. “I said I would play on Dave’s birthday and I didn’t. So we’re going to play together on Friday, April 29. Dave and me and a hastily assembled house band.” Seeing them play sounds like a much better use of my Friday evening than the opening day of Music Fest. I will be there!

It’s the last Friday of the month this Friday, March 25, and that means it will be time for South Main Trolley Night. Most of the shops and galleries in the area stay open until 9 PM or even later that evening, and some will have appetizers, wine, beer, and specials. “Hop To It” is the theme, Sunday being Easter and all. Music will include Three Kings outside Guidingpoint Financial, Melissa Milligan at Cafe Pontotoc, and Songwriter Night at 550 S. Main, South Main Sounds.

Meanwhile, that evening over at Downtown Yoga, there will be a special WineDown class with free wine and free yoga from 6:30 to 7:30. Sign up here. To save one of my BBQ teammates (who I shall not name) the trouble of asking me next time he sees me, no I do not think they will let you come watch and bring your camera.

In other yoga news, Downtown Yoga is offering a 6 week beginner series starting Wednesday, April 13. Instructor Amy Hutcheson will introduce the class to yoga movements and principles, and help students get started on their practice. Class time is 6:45 each week. $60 for the series.

I wonder how many people are thinking to themselves, “I’m interested in taking this series but class number 5 is the day of BBQ Fest Friends & Family Night?” #downtownproblems

WREG Live at 9 had a cooking demo by a chef of a popular Downtown restaurant this week. Chef Jamarcus Frazier from Bleu demonstrated how to make salmon stir fry, a dish that is an alternative to Easter ham. Joining the chef for the demo was Bleu GM Carrie Ashley.

Memphis in May has announced this year’s International Gala, “A Toast to Canada,” Friday May 6 at the Peabody Grand Ballroom at 6:30 PM. Live entertainment from Petula Clark, The Temptations Review, Russell Thompkins Jr. and The New Stylistics, Deniece Williams, Billy Paul, Candi Staton, Kim Weston, Ace Cannon, G.C. Cameron, Melba Moore, Gregory Abbott, and Anita Ward. Tickets are $250 individual or $2500 table. $5000 for a sponsor table.

Memphis City Football (soccer) Club tweeted their game schedule in case you have not yet seen it.

The new owners of 100 N. Main are headed to court for 32 counts of neglect. The DMC is turning up pressure on the building’s owners by asking a $200 fine per day per blocked sidewalk to be enforced. The building construction is currently blocking three sidewalks.

Off to work. Possibly back later today with a second post.

Food truck festival Saturday + Tuesday news

We are rolling into spring festival season, and there is one coming up Saturday. However, given that you never know what kind of weather you are going to get in March, the organizers made a smart call and made it an indoor festival. The Great River Indoor Food Festival and Marketplace happens this Saturday at the Cook Convention Center. There will be food trucks, vendors, and live music, and the money raised benefits a worthy organization, the Hospitality HUB. Your dollars spent at this festival will help HUB staff provide needed services to help the homeless get back on their feet. I will be checking this festival out for sure sometime Saturday. I will find out when my friends will be there, but who knows, I might even lead off there and move Bardog back to my second stop. This is the last Saturday for a long while for which the Farmers Market does not factor into my plans.

Downtowners now have two bingo options on Wednesday nights. Of course, I have blogged about Diamond Dave’s British Bingo every Wednesday at 7:30 at the Brass Door, in the Downtown core. South Mainers now have a bingo option as well. The folks behind Cerrito Trivia are bringing (American) bingo to the Green Beetle Wednesdays at 7. Cerrito Bingo is sponsored by North Carolina’s Oskar Blues Brewery and there are $3 beer specials at the Beetle during the game.

Speaking of the Brass Door, I stopped by for happy hour last night. I got to talking to the bartender and she told me how she used Couchsurfing to see America on a budget. “You’d be an ideal host, Paul,” she told me. “You know so much about Downtown.” That’s true, except for one problem: I’m never home. However, our conversation reminded me of the Party with a Local app. When I mentioned it on this blog previously, it wasn’t available in Memphis yet. Last night I checked and now it is. I downloaded it and signed up. I will fill out my profile this week. I enjoy showing people the reasons I love Downtown, and showing them that the “real” Downtown is not the Rendezvous and Beale Street.

The bartender mentioned that she’d love to turn the Brass Door into a vegetarian and vegan Irish pub. Please, no! Not right after I rediscovered it! Fortunately I am pretty sure Seamus will veto her idea. Now that LYFE Kitchen is open, that crowd already has a spot to get their kale and tofu and quinoa while sitting at a bar.

For those of you who like what DJ Cody does at the Silly Goose but hate the Downtown traffic and parking situation, this Friday is for you. Cody posted that it looks like he will be playing a set at Celtic Crossing out in Midtown.

If you’re looking for a chance to express your creative side, my friend Mandy is teaching a special class to celebrate her birthday next Tuesday, March 29, with free cupcakes. You’ll have to travel, though; the class is in Olive Branch.

The MBJ reports that $20 million in construction permits have been filed for the Tennessee Brewery.

Short a couple of barbacks right now, the Blind Bear is experimenting with a new idea: Sunday Fun Day regulars doing special guest barbacking. Tony was the barback Sunday and B-RAD was surprised at the excellent job Tony did.

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Another regular, Rahul, will bareback next Sunday.

You know, taking Lyfts is not only cheap, but you meet some interesting people. This morning I ordered a Lyft to take me to a garage in Bartlett that had been doing brake work on the car. I told the driver I was a web developer, and he mentioned that he maintained the website for his church. He said the tools he was using were getting a bit out of date. I told him to take a look at WordPress as a possible engine to power his site, and CodeAcademy if he wants to learn more about the language of websites. I’ve taken cab rides to Bartlett before and they were in the $29-35 range. Cost of my Lyft out there? $16.01.

Back at work and plenty to do. I will be out about 5:30, not sure where yet.

Monday update

Back when Amazon’s Kindle Fire first came out in 2011, I ordered one. Five months later, I won an iPad in a poker tournament. Since then, the Kindle Fire tablet has mostly sat on a shelf, unused, except for sick days when I wanted to read in bed. Well, if you have a rarely-used first-generation Kindle Fire like I do, you need to plug it in and turn it on today so it can download updates. If you don’t install an update that was put out last October by tomorrow, Internet connectivity will stop working. Updates download automatically as long as the tablet is on and connected to Wi-Fi.

There will be a happy hour tonight 5:30-6:30 at 387 S. Main to spread the word about TransLoc and Uber, and how their partnership will shape the future of mobility in Memphis. There will be free High Cotton beer, and if you sign up as a beta tester you will be entered to win a free T-shirt.

From Country Living: 13 next-level mimosas that you’ll love

Thanks to Otto’s mom for this link: 9 alcoholic popsicles that will rock your world this summer

Redbirds single-game tickets are now on sale. Fireworks games, July 4 tickets, special promotions, any day you want.

The Salty Dogs runners group is doing its modified trolley track run tonight, departing Bardog at 7. There are 2 and 4 mile options and there is no charge to participate.

Last day of working from home, so it’s time for me to run to Court House Deli and get the last lunch I will be able to eat there until the week of BBQ Fest. Melissa Monday at Bardog and Blind Bear are my plans as is usually the case on Monday, but since I’m getting out early due to the lack of commute today, I will add a Brass Door stop at the beginning. Back tomorrow with more news.

Unofficial recap: Moody Ques 2016 Spring MEAT & Greet

My BBQ team The Moody Ques had our 2016 spring mixer at Holliday Flowers in The Edge yesterday evening. We had shoulder, butts, ribs and beer, and team leaders caught everyone up on the news and our plans for Atoka, other regional competitions, and of course BBQ Fest at Memphis in May. I have written an official recap of the event on the team website. If you are a team member or someone who otherwise has an interest in the Moody Ques, it is a must-read. My recommendation is that you go read that post and then come back here, for my “unofficial” take on the event.

First of all, what a beautiful, elegant event space Holliday has at 444 Monroe! It looks like an old motor lodge on the outside, but check out the lobby and meeting rooms!






Note: Event space rental does not include Otto sleeping on the couch.







Nice to see Otto woke up from his nap.





How many 55-year-old motor lodges have a digital media board? I would think not many.


This image was on the wall of the men’s room.

In the meeting part of our MEAT and Greet, team president Clay and pitmaster Frank talked about the practice cook and presentation we did for three BBQ Fest and Memphis Barbecue Network judges that between them have about 50 years experience. The judges told us to keep doing what we’re doing, and in a year or two after this year we are going to be running with the big dogs. Hopefully so. We already run with the little dogs.



I love the seafoam green motif of the motor lodge/warehouse/event space:


Thanks to Chicken Fried Steak Rodger (in the middle below) for supplying us with the keg for yesterday’s event. BTW thanks to High Cotton next door for loaning us a tap.


Of course, the main event of the evening was the MEAT part of the MEAT & Greet. Let’s have a look at what the team had for dinner.




Dining tip: Always sit next to the guy who has March Madness on his smartphone.


Let me tell you about these two lovely ladies:


Some people say that you know you have a truly great BBQ team when vegetarians want to join. Aaron (left), a Wheeling, West Virginia native, is ours. That’s her husband Jamie in the background along with Chicken Fried Steak Rodger. Vegetarians love the Moody Ques!

On the right is Sarah, one of the most fabulously creative people I know. Sarah’s talents have led to at least one of our first-place Best Booth finishes, and she is involved with logo design and all things creative on the Moody Ques.

I didn’t get a photo of him, but I want to extend the team’s thanks to Chef Patrick Reilly of the Majestic Grille. His advice and demonstration have been invaluable to Frank and Erik’s cooking education. If you love steak and haven’t had one at the Majestic, you must go. Personally I favor the filet but I know Patrick cooks a mean ribeye as well.

After dinner we had our team meeting.


The details of the meeting have been recapped on the official team site, so I will let you go there to read them. Now I will offer my personal thoughts and reactions.

First of all, I cannot say enough about the hard work this guy


and this guy


have put in the past 10 months to hone their skills at competition cooking. From two fundraisers for the Memphis Farmers Market, to numerous practice cooks at Frank’s house, to the presentation to experienced judges, to shadowing other teams competing in regionals, Frank and Erik have come a long, long way. We are so proud to have them behind the smoker.

Clay stressed that we are shifting our focus as a team. Previously we could be counted on for a good “kegger,” but no one really expected us to produce shoulders that could seriously place in the top 10. This year the team’s focus is competition first. To that end, if team members see any way they can help make Frank and Erik’s lives easier the week of BBQ Fest, please do so.

When treasurer Misty spoke, she made a point that I want to reiterate here. This is not a choice where we can have top-quality competition cooking OR a big party; it is an AND. We are not taking anything away from the party experience in our booth, but rather adding to it. We will still be dancing. We will still have Jello shots and gummy worms (this was brought up at the meeting). We will still have DJ Cody from the Silly Goose selecting the tunes to put on our iPod. The Moody Ques will not be any less of a party than we were in 2015. I personally guarantee that and am working with one of our sponsors on some plans related to that promise.

Earlier in the day before the MEAT & Greet started, I was at a Downtown bar talking to a female bartender who has been mentioned on this blog in the past. She told me about her 2015 BBQ Fest experience: “I had a list of teams I planned to visit,” she said. “But I didn’t make it to most of them. Once I got to the Moody Ques, I didn’t want to leave. I just wanted to stay there and dance all night.” We intend to make sure she has that same experience in 2016, just with better food.

After the meeting we got a tour of the cooler where Holliday stores its flowers, trees and plants used at events:


Misty was completely in love and wanted to move in. That warehouse is so much bigger than it appears from the street.

Meanwhile, Nick made some new friends.


After the MEAT & Greet, some of the team leaders blew off steam with some shenanigans at Silly Goose and Blind Bear.





What a fun, fun, fun night. Team member interest and involvement is at an all-time high, and we are sailing into BBQ Fest ready to compete. Thanks to everyone who participated last night, and thanks especially to those who handed Misty their 2016 dues.

Wow, this post has taken two hours, soaking up every bit of my morning. Time to put some clothes on and head to D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear. It has been two weeks since we have seen Brad and there is much news to share with him. Happy Sunday Fun Day!

Chocolate, the first change to my “Big Five” in more than four years, and Saturday news

Having grown up in a middle-class household in a middle-sized city in America, there was plenty of chocolate around. If you had asked me when I was 10, my definition of chocolate would have been a Hershey bar or Hershey’s kisses. As I got older I tried a Nestle bar (solid milk chocolate, not Crunch) and found it to be a little bit smoother. I ate a good bit of World’s Finest Chocolate when my school had fundraisers. On a trip to Memphis I tried a Toblerone bar bought at the Peabody and thought it was really fancy.

When I was 16 my mother went to an employee Christmas party at the Arkansas Gazette where she worked. She brought back a box of leftover chocolates. They were shaped like miniature liquor bottles, and wrapped in foil to appear to be liquor brands like Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan. She let me have a couple, and they were unlike any chocolate I had eaten before. Up to that point in my life I had never had booze, and I felt the ZING! as the flavors of the chocolate and the whiskey or rum interacted. I really liked it.

Yesterday, I fulfilled my promise to introduce my friend and BBQ team sponsor Chicken Fried Steak Rodger to the Brass Door. I got there a bit before Rodger, who was having trouble getting an Uber. The bartender told me, “I brought you chocolate from my country,” as she had said she would a couple of days before. She placed a bar in front of me.

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“Before you eat it, Paul, I have to tell you, many Americans do not like Romanian chocolate,” she told me. “It is different. It has kind of a rum flavor.”

“Is it solid, or is there a filling in the middle?” I asked.

“There is a filling,” she told me. “It is a rum-flavored creme filling.”

I unwrapped the bar, noticing “Bucuresti” on the wrapper, denoting Bucharest, the country’s capital. I bit into the bar and was immediately thrown back to the miniature chocolate liquor bottles I tried that night as a teenager. I like Romanian chocolate! There was one difference though – the Romanian chocolate was dark chocolate, as opposed to milk chocolate. The taste of the dark chocolate mixed with the rum flavored smooth creme in the center made for a delightful experience. Here’s an article about the chocolate.

You know, I have talked about my “Big Five” on here a lot, the five Downtown bars at which I spend the most time. Since last Wednesday, I have been back to the Brass Door five times, and every time I have been treated with the utmost kindness and respect by Seamus, Diamond Dave, the chef, the bartenders, the servers, everyone. I found that I knew more Brass Door regulars than I thought I would, and that I have friends who want to go there now that they know I go there. So, for the first time in four and a half years, I am announcing a change to the “Big Five.”

My “Big Six,” in order from north to south: Brass Door, Bardog, Blind Bear, Flying Saucer, Silly Goose, Max’s Sports Bar. Understand I am not saying that these are the best six bars and every other place Downtown sucks; that is not the case at all. I am saying that these are the six places that have happened to become my homes away from home.

As for Chicken Fried Steak Rodger, he talked with the bartender about Romania and said that he had been stationed on Romania’s coast next to the Black Sea when he was in the military. He said he really liked the country and remembered there being lots of chocolate. He told me he really liked the Brass Door and would come back. He liked the food they served too, although it escapes my mind at the moment what he ordered to eat.

The Metal Museum just south of Crump has a Cosmic Trunk Show today from 10 to 5. There will be art vendors, a food truck, and a cash bar. Participating artists include Susan Senogles Mildred Schiff, Katie Dan Lisa Butts, Pat Chaffee Helen Russell, Lisa Ritenour Virginia Fisher, Michele Price Theresa Childress, Dale Strand, Louise Coulson, and Paula Mistretta. Admission to the museum’s galleries and grounds is free for this event.

The New Daisy continues to prove that it has stepped up its concert game considerably since new management took over last year. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony play the Daisy tonight. Tickets are $22-29. The doors open at 7, with the show beginning at 8 and ending at 10.

The Grizzlies host the L.A. Floppers Clippers tonight at 7 at FedExForum.

Congratulations to Justin Turner, a Memphian who won Thursday night’s episode of “Chopped.” Justin was Shane Battier’s private chef, and he opened Bernie’s Burger Bus in Houston. He is currently the chef at new restaurant Catfish Blues in Hernando. You can catch reruns of the episode on the Food Network Tuesday at 9 or Wednesday at midnight.

Photo Mar 12, 7 20 07 AMA couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Roots Farm Academy, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of farmers. Roots has a CSA (community-supported agriculture) subscription where you can pick up freshly-grown veggies weekly at 387 Pantry on South Main, with subscriptions running $20-50 a week depending on your needs. High Ground News has an article on how Roots is shaping the next generation of local farmers. Cheers to those learning to cultivate Mother Earth’s bounty, and perhaps I will see you at the Memphis Farmers Market in two weeks.

Onix is moving out of Downtown. Their current space at 412 S. Main has become too cramped, with the jazz bands that perform in particular needing more room. They will be going into the space at 1680 Madison that was formerly Dragon China and a laundromat. I’m happy Onix is succeeding but man, I hate to hear Dragon China is no more… when I was a Midtowner in the 1990s, that was the spot my friends and I went. As for 412 S. Main, that is prime real estate for someone who fits the space. Main and Huling is about as good a corner for a restaurant or bar as anyplace Downtown.

I saw the best quote about Donald Trump ever on social media yesterday: “Basically, Donald Trump is what would happen if the comments section became a human and ran for president.” Here’s a list of all of Donald Trump’s business failures. If you didn’t realize what a narcissist Trump is, just read through this list. People compare him to Hitler, but I don’t agree; Hitler wouldn’t allow a cult of personality to be formed around him. I think Stalin might be a better comparison.

Moody Ques members coming to the MEAT and Greet tonight, here’s a sneak peek of your dinner.

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If you’re not a Moody Ques member but would like to be a part of all this, shoot me an email at We still have a few team spots open. Dues are $350 individual/$500 couple (must be a real-life established couple, not two random people joining together to save money). Both dues rates go up $50 April 1. Team membership gets you free admission to the park during the three public days, Thursday, March 12 through Saturday, March 14. You will have full access to the Moody Ques booth during public park hours, including BBQ, side dishes, dessert, beer and liquor. We usually also have Jello shots, spiked gummy worms, and other alcoholic treats. Our music is selected by Cody who DJs at the Silly Goose on the weekends. For each of the public BBQ Fest days, you get a couple of guest wristbands so you can invite friends to have the Moody Ques experience. You also get a ticket to Wednesday Friends & Family Night, a teams-only event not open to the public. Our booth is a two-story structure that, while not facing the river, the second story offers river views. We compete in the Shoulder division, but we will be serving more than pork shoulder to our teams and their guests. Ribs, burgers, beer can chicken, and hot wings are commonly seen on the Moody Ques serving table. We have four consecutive top three finishes for Best Booth, including two first-places. Although we have really stepped up our cooking this year and are said to be a dark-horse threat to the top ten, we have a reputation as one of the best damn parties in Tom Lee Park. We’re also a younger team. Although we have members of all ages, I would guesstimate the average team member age at about 35. Long-lasting friendships and business connections as well have been formed in our booth. To get a taste of what the Moody Ques are all about, have a look at our 2015 photo album.

Interested in sponsoring? Assuming you don’t conflict with one of our other sponsors (95% of businesses out there wouldn’t) we would love to have you. if interested.

One more thing about the beer: We always have kegs, which we purchase from Memphis in May, but this year we will have canned beer as well that I am very very very excited about. (Consider that a hint as to what brand of beer.)

Plans for today: No day off for the team’s Director of Public Relations. I have a meeting with teammate John D at 11. He is cooking at the Atoka BBQ Festival we are doing the first weekend of April, and he wants to talk strategy. He suggested this place called “Bardog” to meet. A couple of hours later I have an important meeting with one of our sponsors at the Blind Bear. Around 4:30 I will take the sponsor to The Edge for the MEAT & Greet. I have my camera fully charged and will be taking photos for the team website. I’m no longer team workhorse “Mr. Load-in” but I still have a plate full of responsibilities. Time to hit Publish and get this long day started.

Late Friday lunchtime update

Apologies for the super-late lunchtime update today. I was pair-programming with another developer at work and we were making too much progress for me to stop.

Thanks to reader Carol who passed on some valuable information to me today. Yesterday I went over to Food Truck Thursday at Court Square and brought home a huge plate of nachos. When the food truck rodeos first started, they were the third Thursday of every month, and since I don’t work Downtown I haven’t been keeping up with recent developments. Weather permitting, the food trucks try to be out every Thursday now. That is excellent news!

FiveThirtyEight has its interactive March Madness bracket up. (Unless you have an unusually tall screen, you will need to scroll a bit to see it.) Mouse over your team to see the probability it makes it to each next round, all the way to the finals. With Memphis and Arkansas out of the mix and not having filled out a bracket, I find it hard to care about the NCAA tournament as much as I usually do. I will root for Arkansas-Little Rock in future rounds of course, given that Little Rock is my hometown. Today I will root for Middle Tennessee, given their proximity. (First person who asks, “If you root for teams in the same state as you, why don’t you root for UT too?” gets a boot upside the head.) I will also root for West Virginia, because I have two BBQ teammates who went to school there, and I don’t want them to be unhappy with me at tomorrow’s MEAT and Greet.

Easter is just over a week away. Need to buy candy for the kids, or for yourself? Check out this board at the Peanut Shop on Main Street:

2016-03-18 11.19.39In case you can’t read it, they have 8 oz. boxes and 1 pound Easter boxes available until Saturday, March 26. The boxes are made to order and you can choose from chocolates, candy and nuts. This is a locally-owned business and you will be supporting some of the nicest people you will find Downtown.

Job news: MIFA is seeking a part-time meals driver

At a concert in Brisbane, Australia yesterday, Madonna brought a fan on stage and accidentally pulled down her tube top, exposing the fan’s bare breasts.

Wondering why plants are blooming and grass is growing so early in the season? Part of it is last week’s rain, of course, but offered an additional explanation.

Paris has meat vending machines now. Wonder if these will ever come to the US?

Heading out to a late lunch. Happy weekend everyone.


Moody Ques booth location for BBQ Fest + Friday news

This week the BBQ Fest teams received their team packets with rule book, forms to sign, and most importantly the booth number and park map. Yesterday I met with the Moody Ques team president to find out our location in the park. Here’s a map of the south end of Tom Lee Park, with the south entrance at the top of the image (click to view in a larger size):

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The Moody Ques’ booth is highlighted in yellow. It is approximately where we were last year, near the far south of the bluff side (as opposed to the river side) of Tom Lee Park. Competing in shoulder means being far south in the park, which is something of a trade-off. Most of the team members and their guests enter the park from the north, which means they will have farther to walk to get to the booth. On the other hand, the farther south you are, the easier it is to load in. In my opinion, it’s best to do whatever is most convenient for the team cooks unless there is a compelling reason otherwise.

Many of us are friends with Squeal Street BBQ, a patio porker team that moved up to the shoulder division this year. Bones from Squeal Street posted their location last night – S-305, fourteen doors down from us on the sidewalk side. That’s less than a one-minute walk, closer than we have ever been to Squeal Street before. I am delighted that I will be able to spend more time in their booth, and that it will be more convenient for them to come visit us. We can be all neighborly and stop by to borrow a cup of sugar… or a bag of charcoal.

On to the news… Mud Island River Park is hiring bartenders for their up-and-coming concert and banquet season. Must have valid ABC card. Fill out the form here if you want to be part of the park’s special events team.

The Green Beetle presents Blues, Burgers, Beer, and Basketball with Davis Coen tomorrow night, Saturday, September 19, from 6 to 10:30 PM. Davis Coen will bring his brand of the blues before, after, and during the half of the Grizzlies game.

Fall Out Boy brings their Wintour is Coming Out tour to FedExForum tonight, in support of their album American Beauty/American Psycho. Show at 7 PM.

What a fantastic win by University of Arkansas – Little Rock over #5 seed Purdue last night. The Trojans may very well be the 12-seed Cinderella story of 2016.

Plans for after work: One of the other Downtowners learned that I have been going to the Brass Door. “I’ve always wanted to try that place,” he said, and today I will give him the excuse and meet him there for happy hour. Plans after that to be determined. Possibly another post at lunchtime or after work, so check back.

Food truck rodeo and Thursday update #2

When I work from home, I usually go to Court House Deli and get lunch to go and bring it back to my apartment. However, today I discovered that there was a food truck rodeo a block away from me, in Court Square. I walked over there and walked around the food trucks. Eventually I stopped at the Moe’s Southwest Grill truck, ordering the Billy Barou Nachos.

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After placing my order, I stepped back to get out of the next customer’s way, and backed up to get a photo of the Moe’s truck and the park full of trucks. I didn’t have time! By the time I unlocked my phone and got ready to open the Camera app, my nachos were ready. That was speedy!

Yeah I know I am blogging about chain restaurant food, but Moe’s is not an option Downtown normally, nor in Horn Lake where I work. If you are ever unexpectedly Downtown the third Thursday of the month, go to Court Square for lunch!

The Peabody announced the first half of its Thursday night rooftop party schedule. Here are the acts that will appear:

April 14: The Molly Ringwalds with special guest performance by David Cook *

April 21: Hollywood

April 28: Cruisin’ Heavy

May 5: Frankie Hollie and the Noise

May 12: The M-80s

May 19: Twin Soul

May 26: Fifth Kind with special guest performance by Shawn Hook *

June 2: The Dantones

June 9: Swingin Leroys

June 16: Seeing Red

Most weeks admission is $10; where you see an asterisk above, $15. Doors open at 6 and music begins at 7, with the first 200 ladies free each week. Every week this is a snack buffet and drink specials with a weekly theme (for example German, Mexican, beach food, seafood, All-American food, and expect a Canadian buffet in May because of the Memphis in May honored country). I haven’t been in a few years but these parties have a reputation of being one of the top places in Memphis for singles to meet and mingle.

There’s a VIP pass for $150 that gets you into all 19 parties, a T-shirt, and a discount in all the Peabody restaurants. There is also a special VIP area with an additional chef-prepared buffet each week. You can buy VIP passes at the door.

Memphis in May has announced its international programming for the year. The headliner is Traces, a contemporary circus show, as well as When it Rains, a play in the form of a live-action existential graphic novel, lit by projector.

In observance of St. Pat’s, Hungry Memphis tried Hard Rock Cafe’s Guinness and Jameson bacon half-pound cheeseburger. It’s prepared in their from-scratch kitchen.

Want to find out what is happening in the Medical Center district, bounded by Poplar, Vance, Danny Thomas, and I-240 (and therefore including Victorian Village and The Edge which are usually considered Downtown neighborhoods)? Come to the Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday, March 22 at High Point Pinch at 111 Jackson. Tommy Pacello, president of the district’s collaborative, will offer an update.

Time to go celebrate the Irish holiday. Happy St. Patrick’s everyone!