Wednesday update

The annual Christmas tree lighting at the Peabody happens Friday from 11 AM to 6:30 PM. The ducks march at 11 and 5 and will spend the afternoon swimming in the lobby fountain. Local choirs will sing all day. After the evening duck march, the tree will be lit and there will be an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The CDC has issued a nationwide warning about romaine lettuce. The bacteria E.coli has been found on the lettuce in multiple states. If you have romaine lettuce in your home, throw it out and sanitize any surfaces that it touched. If you own a restaurant, throw out romaine lettuce and temporarily remove any menu items for which it is an ingredient. Better to inconvenience your customers than to poison them.

Give the gift of baseball this holiday season:

The Metal Museum is interested in acquiring the Memphis College of Art building in Overton Square after MCA closes in 2020. The Metal Museum would move its gallery there, freeing up space in its French Fort location just south of Downtown. The extra space in the French Fort location would expand opportunities for internships, giving the students a chance to work with a variety of materials to which they would normally not be exposed as they are just starting their careers.

Lifehacker has a good article on why you should donate money, not food to your local food bank. Food banks have wholesale/bulk purchasing agreements with local sources, so they can get those canned goods a lot cheaper than you can. Also, money donations allow them to address whatever is the immediate need, whether it is Thanksgiving for families or nutritious meals for seniors.

If you’ve ever thought about being a mentor, opportunities are abundant in Shelby County:

CBS Sports has an excellent article on the Grizzlies finding success by doubling down on the Grit ‘n Grind mentality.

Heading over to Bardog here in a bit to meet my friends Cat Daddy Mark and Nappin’ Ass Nate for lunch, then we’re going to go shopping for a Friendsgiving celebration tomorrow. Back tomorrow or maybe Friday with more news.

Tuesday update

BREAKING NEWS: #1 class of 2019 men’s basketball recruit James Wiseman has committed to the University of Memphis.

Let’s start off this post with a look at the NBA standings.

Roughly one-fifth of the way through the season, the Memphis Grizzlies are in a three-way tie for first place in the West. These are the same Grizzlies predicted to win 34.5 games this season and end up back in the draft lottery. Overachieving!

Rumors all over Twitter are that the Grizzlies are in serious talks with free-agent center Joakim Noah. It’s clear that people have strong and polarized opinions about this. I don’t think such a signing would be a bad thing. The Knicks still owe Noah many millions so we could get him for the veterans’ minimum. He’s a good fit for the team’s defense-wins-games mentality, and he’d be an insurance policy in case Marc Gasol gets injured. Noah wouldn’t steal substantial minutes from Jaren Jackson Jr. – maybe at the beginning of the season this would have been a concern, but now that he’s starting it’s too obvious to everyone the team has something very special in JJJ. Jackson will likely end up at center after Marc Gasol retires, and Noah would give him another excellent mentor at the position. Seems to me this is worth a gamble.

From November 19 through December  19, any time you drink a Sierra Nevada beer on draft at the Flying Saucer, a dollar will be donated to wildfire relief in California.

Fake friends are the worst: This video was making its way around social media yesterday.

I wonder if orange cat offered gray cat a fist bump and said, “Hey, cat, I’m glad we’re still talking. I’mm glad we’re still friends.”

Bardog will open at 5 on Thanksgiving and for those who come hungry, Chef Hector will offer a Thanksgiving feast. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes for $21. Bardog will be open until 3 AM that night.

Commissioner Tami Sawyer has an Amazon wish list where you can donate items for winter care packs. These packs will be given out to 7th and 8th grade boys shortly before the holiday break, to ensure they remain healthy and in good hygiene while they are away from the resources of school.

Ghost River is holding another important meeting the day after Thanksgiving. If you’ve had enough of your relatives and you just need to get away and have a beer, tell them you have an important meeting to attend. Marcella Simien will perform 3-5, football will be on TV, Eddy’s Pepper food truck will be on site, and they’ll have a special-release Rosemary Pale Ale on tap.

Holiday hours for the venues on Beale Street:

TEDxMemphis will happen at Crosstown Concourse on February 2. Submit your ideas for TED talks through December 3. Artists, activists, academics, innovators, leaders and dreamers are invited to submit ideas.

Useful for shopping for Downtowners: Gifts for the sneaky booze drinkers among us

Aldo’s Pizza Pies Downtown has announced its annual Pizza with Santa event from noon to 3 on Saturday, December 15. There will be photos, crafts and cookies. All they ask is that you bring a wrapped toy for Memphis Toys for Tots.

From Maxim: Science says vegetarians are sad and unhealthy, so go ahead and have another steak. Studying over 1300 different people with all kinds of diets, scientists found that vegetarians are more likely to need health care and have higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health issues. So toss that tofurkey in the garbage can this holiday season!

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

I had a good birthday yesterday. I led off at B-RAD’s bar at Pontotoc Lounge, where Full Metal Jackie brought me a warm brownie.

It was good! Perjorie T. Roll (herself with a birthday coming up soon) and I enjoyed it very much.

About 4:00 I moved on to the Blind Bear. My friend Stacey was eating some beer cheese soup, and thinking it was a special for the day, I ordered some. It turned out to be Stacey’s soup but she gave me a cup. 

I planned to make it a late night, but plans changed. My buddy Josh asked, “Can I buy you a birthday shot, Pauly?” I don’t do a lot of shots anymore but I’d been well behaved all day, so I agreed to one. A minute later I found a glass of clear liquid in front of me.

“Josh… what’s that?” I asked.

“That’s moonshine,” Josh replied. Now, the Bear has 7 flavors of moonshine, most of them a harmless 40 proof. The highest alcohol content of the flavored moonshines is the hunch punch at 80 proof. However, all the flavoted moonshines have color to them.

“Which moonshine?” I asked.

“Blue Flame,” Josh replied. Blue Flame is the Bear’s most potent Old Smoky moonshine, at a devastating 128 proof.

“And what’s that smaller glass next to the moonshine?” I then asked.

“It’s a pickle back,” Josh replied, meaning pickle juice. “You’re going to need it.” I had no doubt I would. I clinked glasses with Josh and did the shot, then the pickle back. Amazingly it didn’t come back up.

Thirty minutes later, I knew I had to call an early end to the night. I could barely order a ride home through my Lyft app.

It was a good birthday though. I got the one thing I wanted, which was to be with my friends. Thank you to all who celebrated with me and all who sent me good wishes.

The Memphis-Houston game to determine who will be champions of the AAC West has been set for 11 AM Friday. The game will be broadcast on ABC.

The River Rat Rounders free poker league are having a fun and unique event at Club 152 on Beale on Saturday, December 1 at 7 PM. It will be a tag team poker event. You and your partner start at separate tables, each with your own stack of chips. At various times the tournament director will announce “tag!” and when that happens, you have 30 seconds to trade places with your partner – even if you are in the middle of a hand.

The students of Visible Music College are putting together two free performances of A Visible Christmas – Too Much Christmas at the Halloran Centre on Tuesday, December 4 at 4:30 at 7:00. Caroling, trees, lights, elves, with Christmas music old, new, and original.

Most people know this, but from this past weekend it was clear some don’t: If you go to a bar to watch football on a local station, and the bar has Xfinity cable, add 800 to the channel number. So put 803 instead of 3 in the remote control; 805 instead of 5, and so on. That gets you the game in HD.

Firepit Fridays start this Friday at River Garden at Mississippi River Park. They will light a couple of fire pits and there will be s’mores, hot cocoa, and more. This will be a weekly event, presented by Memphis River Parks Partnership, through January 25.

Seen on Facebook: “If I see that elf on a shelf, I will probably unfriend you this holiday.”

All right, that’ll do it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

The Grizzlies are offering a new way to introduce your kids to the basketball games without busting your budget. For Sunday games this year, any adult who purchases a Terrace I, II, III, or IV ticket will receive a free ticket that can be used by a child age 12 and under. The special will be on for next Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks, the March 10 game against the Orlando Magic, and the April 7 game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has been on fire this week, full of good news about Downtown restaurants. Their latest is a report on Little Italy opening a location Downtown at 106 G.E. Patterson.

I was in Bardog Tavern yesterday and I saw something kind of interesting. The guy sitting to my right ordered the Amazing Island Club (grilled chicken cutlet, ham, fried egg, bacon, provolone, white American, avocado, onion, lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo), normally a double-decker sandwich, without bread and ate it out of a bowl with a fork and knife. For his side he substituted grilled asparagus for fries. I never knew there was a healthy way to eat the Amazing Island Club, but it looked good. I may have to give that a try sometime.

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers beat Yale 109-102 in two overtimes last night at FedExForum. What a fun team this is turning out to be.

Random thing I learned on Facebook this weekend: There’s a new Beastie Boys book out by band members Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Kid Adrock” Horovitz. I may have to get that one next after I finish the current book I am reading. It’s available in ebook format, which is nice because I like to keep all my books on my iPad.

Memphis clothiers Lansky Bros. and Oak Hall are teaming up to offer Lucky Socks for the holidays. These socks are vibrant and colorful, designed by patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can get them 3 for $32 (men’s or women’s) at any Lansky at the Peabody or Oak Hall location. They come in a collectible gift box and a portion of the sales are donated to St. Jude.

The exhibit Crafting a Legacy, celebrating 40 years of collecting and exhibiting at the Metal Museum, will open February 3.

It’s Bring Your Dog to Bingo Day today at Cerrito Bingo at Loflin Yard at 5. All players with a dog will get an extra card. When y’all going to have Bring Your Troll to Bingo Day?

Folk/rock artist Brian Sabel will provide the tunes at Sunrise Memphis brunch this morning 10 to 1.

I watched a bit of WWE NXT Takeover last night, particularly the Tomasso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream match for the NXT championship and also the WarGames match. Great stuff. If you’re a WWE Network subscriber and you don’t watch NXT, you are missing out. Tonight, of course, is Survivor Series, with 5-on-5 Raw vs. Smackdown men’s, women’s, and tag team matches. Also on the card are Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan and Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair.

That’s if for this post. I wanted to go over a couple of easily-missed stories in the national news, but I’ll save those until tomorrow because I have the time-sensitive item about Sunrise brunch. Heading out to D-RANKS with B-RAD at Pontotoc Lounge for Sunday Birthday Fun Day at 11, then this evening I will be at Blind Bear. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

The Downtown Christmas tree lighting party happens this afternoon at 4. A giant tree has been erected at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, and today it’ll be time to light that sucker up! Santa appearance, hot chocolate, S’mores, fun for the entire family. Or you could leave the damn kids at home and pop into the Silly Goose next door to try one of their seasonal cocktails. Whatever you want to do.

While we’re on the subject of the Main and Peabody Place area, a couple of months ago I teased in a post that a high-end barbershop and men’s grooming parlor was on its way to the area. The cat is now out of the bag – Downtown is getting a Baron’s Man Cave location. Haircuts, beard and mustache trims, facials, shaves, and treatments for men’s hands and feet.

Their Presidential men’s pedicure is sixty bucks… yeah I don’t think I’ll be throwing my toenail clippers anytime soon. Besides, I kinda like the feeling of getting out the vacuum hose and sucking up the nails after I get done cutting them.

Not a Downtown event but worth a drive tonight: There’s a gala in support of Caritas Village out in Binghampton at 2509 Harvard. Caritas Village is a wonderful organization that uses food, art, and hospitality to break down walls between cultures and ensure a place at the table for everyone. There will be art by artist in residents Jared Bullock and a meal by Chef Mac Edwards.

If you’re passionate about the development of our beloved Downtown, there may be a job waiting for you at the Downtown Memphis Commission. The DMC is looking to hire a Commercial Strategist. From reading the description, I can tell that this would surely be a job that is never boring.

The Memphis Tigers are now one game away from winning the AAC West. The Tigers toppled SMU last night 28-18 in Dallas. The Tigers host Houston at the Liberty Bowl next Friday and a win would give Memphis the West. As of Saturday morning ESPN’s power index gives Memphis a 59.4% chance to win that game. Betcha everyone down in Orlando will be rooting for the Cougars next Friday, because Memphis is NOT the team UCF wants to see in the American championship game.

What could this mean for Memphis bowl-wise? The AAC does not have well-carved out slots in bowls. (Meaning, first place goes here, second place goes here, etc.) The AAC has 7 partnerships with bowls and teams are selected to deliver the best matchups in markets where people will want to see them. None of the other AAC leaders (UCF, USF, Houston, SMU) are within a convenient driving distance of Birmingham, making the Tigers an ideal fit for the Birmingham Bowl, where they’d play an SEC opponent. Tennessee maybe? That’d draw fans from all over the area. It’d also keep the Vols’ orange-wearin’, possum-eatin’ hick fans out of the Liberty Bowl and Memphis.

Crosstown Brewing Co. will host a silent disco the Saturday after Thanksgiving from 9 PM to 12:30 AM. DJ Tree and DJ Taz will be spinning the tunes. The last time they had one of these it sold out, so get your tickets early.

Here’s another event not happening Downtown today but which would be super, super cool: A conversation with the legendary Bar-Kays at Crosstown Arts.

Thai restaurant The Nine is now open in the former Bangkok Alley space on Union, and Hungry Memphis stopped in for a look.

Hungry Memphis also reports that the new chef is tweaking the menu items at Evelyn and Olive, tuning up the spices a bit, making the food more authentic. Coconut seared salmon, Caribbean fried chicken, and soups made with chicken feet and goat’s head are also in the works.

Asian-American restaurant Wok’n in Memphis is settling into its new digs at the 409 S. Main food hall. Yesterday they posted a photo of their Peking duck with scallion pancakes, the duck from fellow 409 business City Block Salumeria.

Out at Memphis Made Brewing Co., the annual Memphis Bigfoot Festival happens today.

I learned a Lyft/Uber tip this week that is especially useful for those who live on places like the Main Street Mall where cars cannot pull right up to your front door. Previously, I had been ordering Lyfts from the lobby of my building, 10 S. Main, which is in between Madison and Monroe. Problem was, sometimes Lyft would route the drivers to pick me up at Main and Madison; sometimes Main and Monroe; sometimes it would try to route them down alleys (including ones that don’t exist) to try and get them to my front door. Now I just put in 1 S. Main, which is at the corner of Madison, as my pickup location. Since then Lyft has routed them all correctly to Main and Madison and there haven’t been any more problems. If your Lyft drivers have trouble getting routed correctly, change your pickup spot to a nearby convenient location for better results.

Time to head out to Bardog for Saturday brunch at Bloom’s bar. Arkansas-Mississippi State will be on ESPN but I don’t know if I can bear the torture of watching any more Arkansas football this year. Really, if someone requests the Ohio State game be put on, I’m not going to argue.

I may take tomorrow off because I won’t have a lot of time, but I will be back soon with more news.


Friday update

A huge game for the Memphis Tigers football team will be nationally televised tonight. The Tigers travel to SMU for a game on ESPN2 tonight at 6. As unlikely as it seems, the Tigers could repeat as AAC West champions with wins over SMU and Houston.

From the CA: Why does Memphis play so many Friday night games? And how does this affect high school football in the area? (On a side note: This is a good article but I HATE that the CA’s Tigers podcast starts to auto-play when I pull up the page. I went there to read an article, not listen to a podcast.)

On a sad note for Tigers athletics, basketball player Karim Sameh Azab has passed away from leukemia.

Tonight Postmodern Jukebox turns back time to a point we all imagine as being in black and white – a simpler time – as they bring their Back in Black and White tour to the Orpheum.

Cordelia’s Market will show The Goonies on the North Porch this evening. Chili and grilled cheese are on the menu. Food will be served beginning at 6, and the movie will start at 6:30.

First 5000 fans at FedExxForum tonight get a Marc Gasol cooking apron. It’s part of Zero Hunger, Zero Waste night sponsored by Kroger. The Grizz tip off against Sacramento at 7.

That’s it for now. Posts may be kind of brief as I get out to celebrate my birthday weekend. Plan today is lunch at Mary’s bar at the Blind Bear, over to the Silly Goose for happy hour, then probably back to the Blind Bear to watch the Tigers vs. SMU.

Thursday update

It is believed that Gordon Ramsay was in town yesterday to save a Memphis restaurant. The host of 24 Hours to Hell and Back tends to seek out restaurants that were once popular, profitable hotspots, but which have now seen better days. He then rescues the restaurant in 24 hours. There were lots of people on Facebook and Twitter speculating yesterday as to what restaurant he is here to rescue. I won’t speculate here other than to say the most credible guess I heard is not a Downtown restaurant.

Liars in The Edge District? Say it ain’t so! The Bluff City Liars bring The Kevin McDonald Thing! to Stop 345, at the corner of Madison and Danny Thomas, the night of Sunday, November 18. Kids in the Hall‘s McDonald will perform a standup comedy routine, then there will be sketch comedy performed by Memphians (McDonald is in town to conduct a seminar on the topic), and then the evening will wrap up with a bit of improv by the Bluff City Liars.

Professional golfer, golf analyst, talk show host and comedian David Feherty comes to the Orpheum tonight. Reviewers have described Feherty’s one-man show as “uncensored and unhinged,” “stupendous,” and “two hours of zaniness and madcap storytelling.”

Explore Bike Share is throwing a party/fundraiser at their historic warehouse quarters, 61 Keel Avenue, tonight. There will be food, drink, music from the Soul Shockers, a silent auction, and you’ll get to mingle with the people who keep the bikes on the streets and expand mobility for Memphians.

Tako’s Treasures has opened at the Peabody Place office building in the former Life Is Good space. They have vintage clothing and accessories with a focus on recycling.

Popular Downtown restaurant McEwen’s on Monroe has purchased additional space and will be expanding soon.

Several Mud Island employees were let go as Memphis River Parks Partnership plans to integrate the park with the rest of the riverfront.

Still having computer problems. I bought a 16 GB USB drive at Walgreens for $17.99 so I can load a 4.4 GB Windows 10 Recovery disk image into it and use it to reset my full-sized laptop. Except, that didn’t work, because the 16 GB drive errors out “drive full” just past the 4 GB mark. I’ve tried every trick in the book, but despite the drive’s Properties showing 14.5 GB free, it won’t fill up beyond 4 GB.

So I went on Amazon and found a 64 GB USB drive for $13. Four times the storage (and 16 times more, if this new drive lives up to what is advertised) for a smaller price. When I am going to learn not to go anywhere but Amazon for electronics?

That’s it for now. Going to finish up a few chores at home and then get out and about. Back tomorrow with more news.

Possible snow day update

*** $2 Fireball at Bardog when it’s snowing ***

Up to an inch of snow is expected to accumulate in Memphis this afternoon through tonight. Be careful on the roadways. Especially be careful if you’re out around midnight, when freezing rain may be mixed in with the snow. If we get an inch, this will tie the record for the earliest 1″ snow accumulation here in Memphis.

I thought the Memphis Tigers did well against #22 LSU last night, despite losing 85-76. The talent level appeared to be close to that of LSU, which had one of the deepest recruiting classes in the country. Yes, Memphis blew some easy shots and some defensive spots, but that’ll happen when a first-year coach in his second game is trying to figure out how to have 3 point guards on the floor at the same time. Can you imagine if Tubby (and Tubby’s recruits) had played this game? It would have been 62-32 LSU at halftime. LSU would have played their second string/walk-ons the entire second half and won 104-66.

Today is Prince Charles’ 70th birthday. I have read recently that when the Queen turns 95 in about two and a half years, she will give up her monarchical duties and name Charles to be Prince Regent.

World-renowned blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa plays the Orpheum tonight. The theater is touting this as “the guitar event of the year” and Bonamassa is said to be the foremost blues-rock guitarist of this generation. He’s had 20 albums go to #1 on Billboard’s blues charts, and his new album Redemption was released in September.

In other Orpheum news, the theater has announced this year’s holiday movie. It will be on Wednesday, December 19 and the movie will be Elf. Starting on November 26, there will be three ways to get tickets to see this movie:

  • Bring a Mid-South Food Bank donation (3 non-perishable items per ticket suggested) to the Orpheum box office between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday-Friday, or the night of the movie
  • Bring your donation to the Orpheum or Halloran Centre the night of any performance
  • Purchase a $5 cash-only ticket 9 AM-5 PM at the box office or on the night of the performance

Lots of Elf-themed holiday activities popping up around Downtown. Which is fine, as long as it’s not Elf on a Shelf. I hate that stupid thing.

If you want to be part of the St. Jude Marathon on December 1st but you’re not a runner, the race needs volunteers. There are many different assignments from which to choose.

Poker players, this Saturday you can Deal Cancer Out at Central BBQ Downtown. This Texas Hold’em tournament, sponsored by the River Rat Rounders and, gives you the chance to win some fabulous prizes while helping to stomp out men’s prostate cancer. Your $45 buy-in includes a Central BBQ buffet. Teresa from River Rat Rounders will be directing the game. Top 5 places pay out, with first place getting a 3-day trip to Las Vegas, with airfare and hotel included. Second to fifth will win $400 to $100 in gift cards and prizes from local shops and restaurants.

For my fellow regulars of the original Sleep Out Louie’s who remember the late Bobby Durango: A new album by his band, Rock City Angels, on which Bobby performed, has been released. Southern Vision features demos recorded between 1989 and 1992 which were intended to become the Angels’ second Geffen album.

I remember reading years ago on The Motley Fool website the secret to McDonald’s success: Don’t think of it as a fast-food burger restaurant. Think of it as a real estate company with some burgers out front. Well, ESPN reports that NBA franchises are getting into the real-estate game. Owning some of the best real estate in town allows franchises to supplement their basketball-related income. Also, unlike basketball-related income, rent money earned as a landlord does not have to be shared with the other 29 franchises.

The Daily Memphian has reactions to the Union Row development set to rise on Union between Fourth and Danny Thomas. The article also has a gallery of plans for Union Row.

Blind Bear has $5 fried pickles all day today in celebration of National Pickle Day.

In the news: Company offers nonsmokers up to 6 extra days off a year to compensate for the time they don’t spend outside on smoke breaks. Sounds good to me. More companies need to do this.

Memphis wrestling luminary Randy Hales has a new podcast.

I’m sure you have heard by now that PBR and other Pabst beers could go out of existence after 2020 if Pabst loses a lawsuit to Miller-Coors. People are asking, “Which cheap domestic beer tastes most like PBR if I have to switch?” I have done extensive research on the matter, and the beer that tastes most like PBR is Harp. I guess if Pabst loses the lawsuit, I will be spending more time in Irish pubs beginning in 2021.

Taking the day off from going out today. Still dealing with leg problems, I don’t need to be slipping and falling all over the Main Street Mall. I’ll be back out tomorrow, and I’ll be back on the blog with more news.

Giant Tuesday update: Union Row, COGIC convocation returning, Sterick Building and a lot more

Well, I missed a major news story yesterday while I was busy having computer problems. Union Avenue, often considered the gateway into Downtown, may see some major new development in the years to come. The proposed Union Row, covering most of the area between Union and Beale, Fourth and Danny Thomas, would be a $950 million mixed-use project with over 2000 apartments, 380 hotel rooms, over 2500 parking spaces, and office and retail space.

The huge yellow Sterick Building at B.B. King and Madison is once again about to be on the market for sale and development. Previously this building was thought of as just too much of a behemoth for any developer to tackle, but with the success of Crosstown Concourse, Memphis is now ready to undertake a project of the Sterick’s size.

COGIC has voted to return its annual convention to Memphis in 2021. Held in early November, the COGIC convention was Memphis’ largest until 2010, when the “Saints” voted to move to St. Louis in the hopes of better deals on lodging. The construction of additional hotel rooms and Cook Convention Center renovations convinced the congregation to return to Memphis.

Elvis Costello and the Imposters come to the Orpheum next Monday, November 19, one of 20 stops on the “Look Now and Then” tour.

Costello isn’t the only big name coming to the Orpheum. “Weird Al” Yankovic brings his Strings Attached tour to the theater on June 20, 2019. This will be a high-energy rock and comedy tour with props, a video wall, background singers, and a full symphony orchestra.

One more Orpheum announcement: The Price is Right Live comes to the theater March 1. Come on down! Play the classic games you see on the show every day, including spinning the Big Wheel for a chance to compete in the Showcase. You could win A NEW CAR!

Teachers: Put in your requests now for World Cargo Crates. These crates, provided by Memphis in May, are sent one a month from January through May, and are described as a “children’s museum in a box.” Normally Memphis in May honors a different country every year, but this year the crates will educate children about Memphis in May’s 2019 honored city… which is none other than Memphis itself.

The Daily Memphian has a great article on why my friend Rocky Goodwin, concierge at Hotel Napoleon, was recently recognized as one of the best in Memphis’ hospitality industry. “I get paid to do what I would do for anybody,” Rocky commented on his efforts to make each guest feel a personal touch.

The injury bug has hit the Grizzlies again. Dillon Brooks will miss 6-8 weeks with a sprained knee following last Saturday night’s game with Philadelphia.

Volunteer Odyssey will host a Pop-Up Volunteer Party Friday, November 30 at its office at 60 S. Main. Stop by in your lunch hour and participate in one of three volunteer projects that will take you as little as 60 seconds. There will also be fortune-tellers who can look in their crystal ball and tell you where you will volunteer next. The event is free but they ask that you RSVP.

Primas Bakery and Boutique has announced its December tea party. It will happen on Sunday, December 9 and the theme will be “Elf.” Your ticket, which admits two, includes a platter of Elf-themed pastries, along with a selection of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Holiday attire is encouraged.

Despite being 3-3 in conference play, the Memphis Tigers football team still has a shot at the AAC West title. Evan Barnes of the CA lays out how it could happen.

Pontotoc Lounge had so much success with its Downtown Dining Week menu that they are going to keep it going for another week. Here’s the menu.

Check out the second chapter of the book columnist Geoff Calkins is writing about Penny Hardaway. Read about the parallels between the chance the school took on Hardaway as a student in 1990 and the chance they took on him as a head coach 28 years later.

The Daily Memphian has a good article on how ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude, is adjusting to the challenges of the digital age.

The Dirty Crow Inn has announced that it will be showing The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson the day after Thanksgiving. This is an 18-hole, $9 million winner-take-all, heads-up match between the two golfers available only on pay-per-view.

Cordelia’s Market is the latest Downtown spot to announce they will cook for you for Thanksgiving. Items and prices are on their website (scroll down on the main page) and prices are pretty reasonable compared to other places cooking Thanksgiving dinners. They’ll have full dinners for 6-8 for $99, many sides for $12 and they have desserts too.

Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus comes to Trolley Stop Market Saturday, December 1. Ticket price includes breakfast for kids 10 and under, as well as crafts, cookie decorating, and a holiday movie. Parents are invited to take their own photos. There will be breakfast and lunch specials.

You know, spending more time at home for my health has re-introduced me to classic TV. The following exchange was on Archie Bunker’s Place last night.

Archie’s niece Billie: “Philosophy is what moves the world.”

Archie: “No, no, no, laxatives is what moves the world.”

So, like I say, I’ve been staying at home more than lately than usual… but this weekend is my birthday weekend. I don’t want a party, I don’t want presents, I don’t want shots – in fact, I won’t be drinking much at all. All I want is to see as many of my friends as possible. Friday afternoon, November 16, I’ll be at the Silly Goose for happy hour. Saturday, November 17, I’ll be at brunch at Bardog from 11 AM until about the time the 11:00 college football games end. Then November 18 will be Sunday Birthday Fun Day and I will be leading off at Pontotoc Lounge for D-RANKS with B-RAD. Plans mid- to late Sunday afternoon to be determined and I will end up at Blind Bear that evening. Come join me!

I hope this super-long news post made up for the lack of news here yesterday. I typed this on my tiny 9-year-old netbook which wasn’t much fun. About to walk over to Walgreens and buy a USB drive. I found a Windows 10 recovery image that I will copy onto the USB to see if I can revive my full-size laptop. Back tomorrow with more news.