Welcome, bridge players + a lot of Thursday news

The 2019 Spring North American Bridge Championship (NABC) begins today at the Cook Convention Center and continues through Sunday, March 31. Bridge players from around the continent and in some cases even beyond come here to play in the bridge equivalent of the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, or the World Series. There are three NABCs each year, rotating among major cities. Memphis last hosted the event in 2012.

Welcome, bridge players! I worked for the company that presents and sanctions the NABC for almost nine years. I live half a mile from the playing site and have written a blog about the neighborhood for 15 years. If you have any questions about Downtown Memphis, email me at paul@paulryburn.com and I will do my best to give you a true local’s perspective. If you ride the trolley during the NABC, it’s free if you show your convention card.

For those here in Memphis interested in bridge but not ready to compete at a national championship level, there are events for you too. Check out the Intermediate/Newcomer schedule.

Aces & Knaves, a documentary on the game of bridge and the characters involved, plays the Halloran Centre Monday for two showings at 10 AM and 7:30 PM.

All right, enough bridge stuff. Let’s get on to the rest of the news…

The date and time has been announced for Memphis’ second-round NIT game. It will be at 7:30 tomorrow, Friday, March 22, 3 Memphis vs. 2 Creighton on ESPNU. Here’s the full second-round schedule.

Taste of Fitness Memphis will happen Sunday, April 14 at Old Dominick Distillery from 8:30 AM to 1 PM. This event will offer 25-minute “tastes” of different workouts you can do around Memphis. On hand will be

  • Spincult
  • Neighborhood Barre Memphis
  • Sumits Yoga Memphis
  • Work & Play Studio
  • Shred415
  • Recess 901

Your ticket includes your choice of workouts, a sampling tour of the distillery including tastes of three Old Dominick favorites, visits to vendor booths, and a goodie bag to take home with you. Early bird ticket sales ($29) end soon.

Incoming Memphis Tiger recruit James Wiseman has been named the Gatorade high school boys’ player of the year. Congratulations James! Tiger Nation can’t wait to see you on the floor this fall.

Max’s Sports Bar will open at 10:30 today and tomorrow for your NCAA tournament viewing needs. Max’s is the best place to watch the opening round of the tournament, with enough TVs to show every game that is on. Max’s is at 115 G.E. Patterson, half a block east of Arcade restaurant.

Memphis 901 FC is on the road this weekend at Bethlehem Steel. The team will host a watch party at Silky O’ Sullivan’s Sunday, March 24 from 5 to 8.

Bailey Bigger will play original music this Sunday at the Ghost River taproom at 6:30.

The Brass Door will have live music this Sunday for brunch 11:30 AM-2 PM with singer-songwriter Freeman Shane Weems and Ron Shuman.

Also this Sunday, Crosstown Brewing Co. will have a crawfish boil, bluegrass by The Late Greats, and of course, beer. 1-4 PM.

With Memphis the honored place for Memphis in May this year, Memphis movies will be shown throughout the month. Eight movies will be shown around town.

Contemporary Media, the parent company of the Memphis Flyer and Memphis Magazine, is hiring a part-time staff graphic designer.

Speaking of Memphis Magazine, Vance Lauderdale has a piece on the bandstand at Court Square.

The Millennium Tour comes to FedExForum on Sunday. B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins & Chingy. Doors open at 6:30.

The Downtown Memphis Commission, Memphis River Parks Partnership, Kayak Memphis, and the Downtown Neighborhood Association will present Sunset Happy Hour on the River next Monday, March 25, at Beale Street Landing from 5:30 to 7 PM. Come get a look at the plans for Tom Lee Park, and Kayak Memphis will tell you what you need to know to get on the river. Light snacks and beverages will be served.

But you don’t have to wait until Monday to view Tom Lee Park designs… Memphis River Parks is hosting a Party for the Park tonight at 6 at Loflin Yard. Free stickers for the first 40 people.

The Social Network is having a networking event at Blind Bear 5:30-8:30 tomorrow. Posting this not only to inform people who might be interested in the event, but to inform the Blind Bear regulars that the place will be super busy during those hours.

Those of you wondering, “When will the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck ever make it Downtown?” I now have an answer for you. It will be here for South Main Trolley Night on Friday, March 29. The truck will be parked outside Stock & Belle at 387 S. Main. (The truck will be in Cooper-Young at Memphis Made tonight, by the way.)

J. Edwards plays Earnestine & Hazel’s tonight at 8.

Harbor Town’s Cafe Eclectic has closed but there are signs it may be moving to a bigger location across the street. That would be the former Movie & Pizza Co. location.

Bring your dog to bingo at Loflin Yard on Sunday, March 24 and get an extra bingo card. There are new hours for bingo: 4-6 PM. Bingo is always free to play at Loflin and dogs are always welcome.

Teach your kids about pot! Memphis Made and Erica Bodine Pottery are hosting a Kids’ Pinch Pot class Sunday at 1:00.

The Daily Memphian’s Dan Conaway has recipes for some of the most popular items served at the Calvary Waffle Shop during Lent: tomato aspic, fish pudding, and chicken hash.

Relevant quote I saw online yesterday: “A pretty face can hide an ugly mind.” That was from “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers. In fact, based on personal experience I’d change it to “A pretty face can hide an ugly soul.”

Whew! I guess that’s enough information for one day. I’ll be back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Memphis Tigers play on! Penny’s team defeated San Diego 74-60 last night at FedExForum. The next matchup is against 2-seed Creighton. Because Creighton is the higher seed (Memphis is a 3), it will host the second-round game.

HotNewHipHop.com is reporting that the Foamposite sneakers Nike made for Penny Hardaway will be re-released Friday on Nike’s SNKRS app. The sneakers will cost $230 and will most likely be a limited run.

$2 frozen pops all day Saturday:

If you want to see some great photos of Hotel Indigo, the new boutique hotel at the site of the former Econo Lodge at B.B. King and Court, check out this visitor’s blog post. Actually, the entire post is a great guide to cool things to do in our city. She explored all over Memphis. There are some good photos of dinner at Downtown restaurant The Gray Canary as well.

Membership forms are now available for the May 1 opening of Lucky’s Social Club, the new members-only dog park and bar on South Main. Join by April 17 and your pups will be Founders members. Tours of the site are available if you have yet to make up your mind about joining. You can contact them on Facebook to arrange a tour.

Johnny Manziel’s introductory press conference:

Good Twitter account I found yesterday: @dumbdrunkpeople. The handle is pretty much self-explanatory.

The New Wing Order food truck will be at Cordelia’s Market from 5 to 8 this evening.

Downtown’s new co-working space, The Launch Pad at 175 Toyota Plaza, is having a grand opening tomorrow night, Thursday, March 21 from 5:30 to 9.

The Grizzlies tip off against Houston in their attempt to CONVEY THAT PICK tonight at FedExForum at 7. Both tonight and Saturday are Grind City Wrestling Nights. On Saturday, there’s a promotional giveaway:

The Orpheum will host brunch on stage Saturday, April 27. There will be delicious food, a backstage tour, and Bloody Marys and mimosas. $75 per person, $50 for season ticket holders. $550 for a table of 8.

Guitarist Wayde Peck will perform solo at Regina’s Cajun Kitchen tomorrow from 7 to 9 PM.

Pre-game details have been announced for The Battle of the Birds, the St. Louis Cardinals vs Memphis Redbirds exhibition game to be held at AutoZone Park next Monday. Gates will open at 4:00. The Redbirds will take batting practice 4:15-5:15, then it will be the Cardinals’ turn 5:15-6:00. Pre-game ceremonies will start at 6:35, followed by the first pitch at 7.

WWE Smackdown Live is returning to FedExForum on July 30. The blue brand’s live Tuesday broadcast will come from Memphis that night. Advertised stars include Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, The New Day and Shinsuke Nakamura. The card is subject to change, and remember, there’s usually a Superstar Shake-Up right after Wrestlemania, so some of the names listed could move to the Raw brand.

Then again, the announced stars, in particular what stars were NOT announced, could be an indicator of who might be traded to Raw. The biggest names not listed currently on the blue brand are Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and Jeff Hardy.

Two Girls and a Whip at Front and Huling has a peanut butter banana cupcake among this week’s offerings. Yum!

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday update

Got details on two upcoming beer festivals for you. Memphis Brewfest will happen on the field at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday, May 11. This is Memphis’ biggest beer festival of the year, with a long list of breweries (click the link to see who is coming). There will also be food trucks there: Flying Saucer (they have a food truck?), Central BBQ, New Wing Order, The Fiesta Wagon, Cousins Maine Lobster, and MeMPops. There will be a special Belgian beer area by the Flying Saucer. Tickets are $25 designated driver, $48 general admission, and $100 VIP.

The date has been set for the Cooper-Young Beerfest: October 19. This will be the tenth annual C-Y Beerfest, and they say they’re going big. If you enjoy learning about beers, there is no better place to do it. They have an education booth where the brewers give talks. Also, the breweries that get accepted to the festival are required to send someone who had a hand in actually brewing the beer, so you can talk to them about the process; for other festivals, breweries often send marketing/sales people. In addition, the breweries have to be within a day’s drive of Memphis, so if you like what you drink you can road-trip it easily.

Support the fight against fires, and breast cancer, with this Memphis Firefighters shirt:

The Memphis Tigers vs. San Diego game tonight will be broadcast on ESPN3.

The Peabody has announced its 2019 rooftop party schedule.

Gould’s Span and Salon is opening Big Cypress Spa in Bass Pro at the Pyramid. Unlike the Gould’s at Main and Union that offers haircuts, Big Cypress Spa will offer only luxury spa services like facials, manicures, and pedicures. The spa will be open to the public but will be geared toward serving Big Cypress Lodge hotel guests.

Malco Powerhouse movie theater news:

Comedian Jim Gaffigan brings his Quality Time Tour to FedExForum Saturday, August 17. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 AM.

The River Series at Harbor Town Amphitheater has announced its Spring Series. Craig Brown Band, Aquarian Blood, Pat Sansone, Alicja Trout, Obruni Dance Band, and Yazan will be among those performing on three dates in April and May.

Win free wings for a year!

Your reminder for the day that people suck: Saturday night, during Nate’s 27th anniversary party at Earnestine & Hazel’s, someone punched three holes in the upstairs wall of the circa-1906 building. If you witnessed this act of vandalism or have any information as to who did this, the people who run E&H would like to buy you a Soul Burger and a drink and talk to you about what you know.

Cordelia’s Market has released the menu for its Sweet Water beer dinner this Thursday at 6:30 PM:

Manchego stuffed dates wrapped in bacon
Sweet Water 420 Extra Pale Ale

Fresh herb & watermelon panzanella salad
Sweet Water IPA

Crawfish Spaetzle
Sweet Water G-13 IPA

Crisp pork with spiced ginger chutney
Sweet Water Mango Wheat Kush

PB&J beignets
Peach Love & Happiness Berliner Weisse with peaches

Buy tickets to the beer dinner here.

There will be a Sweet Water (is it one word or two? I’ve seen both) beer tasting at the Grizzlies game Friday night. Ticket including beer tasting is $50 Pinnacle level, $40 Terrace level.

Downtown Yoga has a spring deal going on. Use the promo code Spring15 when paying for classes online and get 15% off unlimited classes for a month, or buy 10 classes and get 2 free. YOGA!

Nominations are being sought for the inaugural class of the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Monday update: Tigers/NIT, March Madness, cookies, Bar Olympics, job creation and more

Tiger basketball at FedExForum is not done yet. Last night the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team received a bid to the National Invitation Tournament, claiming a 3 seed. Memphis will play 6 seed San Diego Tuesday at 7 at FedExForum. The way the NIT works is, for the first three rounds the higher seed hosts the game. The semifinals and finals are played at Madison Square Garden. The NCAA likes to experiment with rule changes in the NIT and you can read the list of changes here.

The NIT is never a goal of college basketball teams, but the invitation shows how much Penny’s Tigers have improved over Tubby’s Tigers a year ago. Remember, Calipari started off taking Memphis to the NIT (and those wins didn’t get vacated). This Tiger team was expected to be a bottom-feeder in the AAC – I believe ninth place was the preseason prediction. So the team overperformed with a fifth-place regular season finish and an NIT bid. At least this’ll shut up the boo-birds, the Negative Nancys who say Penny can’t coach. I’m so sick of hearing from them.

If you want to learn about Memphis’ opponent, here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry for the San Diego Toreros men’s basketball program. We don’t hear much about San Diego because they’re in the Gonzaga and Some Other Teams Conference, also known as the WCC.

I got a treat yesterday in the form of the SEC tournament final. Early on, I was watching the game with a Tennessee Vols fan. Auburn had just gone on a run to go up by 7. “Just watch, Tennessee will come back and win,” the Vols fan told me. Didn’t happen. The Vols got blown out by Auburn, losing by 20. In my opinion, Tennessee should have been dropped to a 3 seed for such a bad loss, but the committee probably already had their minds made up before the game started.

Tennessee’s going to run into Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA, assuming they both take care of business in the first round. I would love to see Cincy send the Vols to an early exit in the second round of the South regional. If they beat Houston, they can definitely beat Tennessee. A second-round loss after being in the top 10 most of the year would certainly fit the Tennessee tradition of always screwing up.

Over in the Midwest region, if I were John Calipari coaching 2 seed Kentucky, I would be real unhappy to see Houston as the 3 seed in my region. Houston is underseeded as the 3.

FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictor is online. Mouse over your favorite team to see the probabilities they will make it to each round. The probabilities will be updated as game results come in.

Memphis made the news in FiveThirtyEight’s Signficant Digits e-newsletter this morning. It said that at the Memphis airport, recyclables are simply sent to a landfill. Booooo…….

Insider has made a list of the best chocolate cookie in every state, and a Downtown restaurant made the list for Tennessee. Kooky Canuck’s skillet chocolate chip cookie a la mode was named the best.

The Hi-Tone out on Cleveland has announced The Bar Olympics for Sunday, June 23. Register your team of 6-8 people to compete in bar sports like beer pong, Wii games, flip cup, and more. It will be an afternoon of competition and drinking, and proceeds will benefit ALIVE! Rescue Memphis. ALIVE! is a foster-based rescue program whose goal is to save as many homeless animals as possible from kill shelters. Sounds like a wonderful afternoon of fun with a purpose.

Sammy Hagar’s bar and grill over at the Southland dog track/gaming complex has closed. In its place will rise the Betlucky Sportsbook Bar and Grill. Another sign that Memphis is going to see its dollars float away to Arkansas and Mississippi if the state of Tennessee does not act quickly to legalize sports betting on Beale Street.

Memphis was named the top large metro area for job creation in January, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Statistics of Labor data. The analysis was made by comparing the number of jobs created to the city’s historical 10-year employment rate.

The week-long run of Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof begins tomorrow at the Orpheum.

The Hi-Que BBQ food truck will be at Cordelia’s Market tonight from 5 to 8.

That’s the news for this Monday! Back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update: Johnny Football to come to Memphis

No, this is not an early April Fool’s Day joke.

Big sports news broke yesterday, and oddly for this time of year, it wasn’t basketball-related. Johnny Manziel was declared clear to sign with the Alliance of American Football, and following being waived by the San Antonio Commanders, he was assigned to Memphis. Manziel tends to bring drama with him everywhere he goes, but really, that will spice things up in a league that has been boring AF since its inception.

Over at the Daily Memphian, Geoff Calkins ponders, what could possibly go wrong?

I started to type, “Hey Johnny, want to be on a Memphis in May BBQ team?”, but I better run that one by my teammates first…

I watched the Beale Street St. Patrick’s parade yesterday from the King’s Palace Tap Room. I have to give them compliments on realizing that one bartender working the day of a parade is not enough! They had two bartenders on duty and at times the manager acting as a third.

Perjorie T. Roll was very excited that the beer was the same color as her hair, but I wasn’t too excited about paying for it. 32 ounces of green PBR was $8.75. That’s pretty damn steep. Let’s calculate the Value Drinking Index on this beer: 32 ounces X 5% ABV / 8.75 = about 18.3. For your average beer at the Flying Saucer that would not be bad, but for a PBR such a low score is terrible.

With the AAC tournament here in town, the school bands were invited to participate in the parade. When the Cincinnati band passed by, people booed. NOT CLASSY, Memphis. That was a dick move. If you want to boo something, boo those Sprock n’ Roll and River City Pedalers party bikes that appeared later in the parade. Those things turn any hour into Amateur Hour On Demand.

Toward the end of the parade I snuck out and went to the Blind Bear to get a good seat for the Tigers vs. Houston game. There I got $2 PBR cans as well as this:

Let’s again compute the Value Drinking Index, this time on the PBR I had at Blind Bear. 16 ounce can X 5% ABV / St. Pat’s discount price of $2 = 40. Much much better. The Bear’s St. Patrick’s celebration, with discount PBR and $5 and $6 specials on whiskey, continues today.

Congratulations to Memphis 901 FC, who got their first goal ever in a draw against Loudoun last night.

John Mellencamp plays the Orpheum tonight at 8. Tickets start at $39.50.

There’s a South Main Bar Crawl beginning at noon at Loflin Yard today to celebrate St. Patrick’s. Other stops include the Ghost River taproom, The Dirty Crow Inn, and Carolina Watershed.

Bardog has green pancakes and green beer today, along with Guinness and Jameson specials.

Tin Roof will have country singer/songwriter Jerry Patton from noon to 4 today.

It’s Selection Sunday. Tune into CBS from 5 to 6 PM tonight to find out which teams made the NCAA tournament and what their seeds are.

The Memphis Tigers played a fine game but ended up losing to Houston yesterday. Damn, Houston is a great team. They are worthy of a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Probably won’t get it because non-Power 5 schools don’t get respect. As for the Tigers, I would not be surprised for the NIT to come calling. That’s better than was projected for the team at the beginning of the season.

This is what I’ll be having for brunch:

Pontotoc Lounge is having an Irish breakfast special. I will be there at 11 today. Join me, will you?


Saturday update

We have a big, big day coming up in Downtown Memphis. Things kick off with the Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day parade, with a special start time of noon. This is a family-friendly event (but of course, there are adult beverages), with plenty of opportunity to catch beads and candy thrown from floats. The parade should last about an hour. Try not to get hit on the head by a cabbage.

The Memphis Tigers have earned the right to play at FedExForum at 2 this afternoon. Yesterday they showed their full potential, blowing out UCF and shutting down 7’6″ center Tacko Fall. Today the Tigers face Houston in the AAC semifinals, ranked #11 by AP and having lost only 2 games all season.

There’s a celebration at Earnestine & Hazel’s upstairs bar tonight at 6. It’s Nate’s 27th anniversary of his first weekend behind the bar, and many of his regulars plan to be there.

USL team Memphis 901 FC is once again at home tonight, playing Loudoun at 7 PM. The Bluff City Mafia will be pre-gaming at the Brass Door starting around 3, 4 PM.

The 1836 Mageveney House, at 198 Adams, will be open Fridays during Lent 11 AM-2 PM for tours.

Absolutely worth the money:

Go to TdB three times and you’ll make back the price of the card.

The Flying Saucer will have a St. Patrick’s celebration this afternoon beginning at 4. Bagpipers will kick things off, followed by DJ Superman. There will be Irish food specials. On tap: Terrapin Irish Buh Bye, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Wicked Weed Bourbon Barrel French Toast Stout.

Random thing I learned yesterday: There’s a psychiatrist in Downtown Memphis now. Downtown Psychiatric Services is at 364 S. Front. Man, that would be a tough job, having to hear about all the Downtown drama.

There’s now a Facebook event listing for the Comeback Coffee grand opening on the 29th in the Pinch.

That’s it for now. Time to head to Beale and grab a Big Ass Beer. Later today I plan on being at Nate’s party.

Friday update

The Classic Movie Series returns to the Orpheum tonight as Space Jam plays on the big screen. Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny star in this 1996 movie in which the Looney Tunes attempt to win a basketball game and earn their freedom. 7 PM start time, and tickets are $8. The movie is about an hour and a half long and is rated PG due to some mild cartoon language. Captions will be shown on screen.

Even food trucks are getting in on the St. Patrick’s action.

The Memphis Tigers beat Tulane 83-68 in the opening round of the AAC tournament yesterday. Tiger fans are celebrating, of course, but I can’t help but point out how sloppy Memphis got in the first 10 minutes of the second half, letting a horrendously bad team claw back to the single digits. If the Tigers get that sloppy against a good team – like UCF, their opponent today – they’re going to be watching the rest of the tournament on TV.

Memphis vs. UCF will be broadcast on ESPN2, and the listed starting time is 1 PM. However, that’s not the first game of the day at FedExForum: UConn vs. Houston tips off at 11. College basketball games generally take about two hours. I would expect the Memphis-UCF tip to be somewhere in the 1:35 range, provided the previous game does not go into overtime.

Okay, I can’t resist. Which is more likely?

A) The Memphis-UCF game tips off promptly at 1 PM today as advertised
B) Charles starts Blind Bear trivia promptly at 7:30 PM Wednesday as advertised

Memphis River Parks Partnership is not only reimagining the riverfront, but they’ve also reimagined their website as well. Check it out.

Songwriter Night #110 happens tonight at 7 at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main. Nancy Apple, Cowboy Bob Sawyer, Jordi Baizan, and Alice Hasen will perform.

Starting in April, legendary North Parkway BBQ restaurant Cozy Corner will begin opening on Sundays 11 AM to 4 PM.

The Memphis Flyer has a write-up of Ghost River’s new beer Grind-N-Shine, a cream ale flavored with coffee beans and vanilla.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Normally when I get a “click here to sign up to receive our newsletter” pop-up, I think, click here to get spammed every day. However, recently I found one such newsletter that is worth it, and I wanted to share it with my readers: medium.com. I’ve been directed to several articles there recently, and when they offered to sign me up for their newsletter, I decided I would take the chance and unsubscribe later if it’s spammy.

It’s not spammy at all! Two days ago I blogged that I wanted to learn client-side Javascript frameworks, and yesterday’s newsletter contained a comparison between Angular, React, and Vue, right as I was in the process of trying to figure out which one of those I wanted to learn first. Last week I was talking with my friend Otto about the need to get up to speed on modern additions to the Javascript language. Yesterday’s newsletter linked to a summary of every addition to Javascript since 2015. The newsletter also figured out that I’m interested in psychology and smart cities, and sends me links to articles on those topics. Can Medium read minds? Anyway, go there, read some articles that interest you, and if it asks if you want to sign up for a newsletter, take a chance and see what it gives you. Relevant content in my inbox every morning? Yes, I will take that!

The AAC tournament kicks off at FedExForum today at noon as UConn takes on South Florida. Following that game, the Memphis Tigers play Tulane, winless in conference play this year, about 2:15. The Tigers are going to have to run the table this weekend and win the tournament on Sunday to have a chance to make it to the big dance. The Daily Memphian has the tournament bracket.

Max’s Sports Bar will open at 1 this afternoon for those who want to watch the Tigers game there. It’s on ESPNU, which a lot of bars with the standard Comcast packages do not carry but Max’s does. Starting tomorrow any games involving the Tigers will be on ESPN2 or ESPN.

This is what I plan on having for breakfast Sunday morning:

Pontotoc Lounge is doing a special Irish Breakfast for St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday for brunch. Bacon, sausage, eggs, peas, red and black pudding, and roasted tomatoes. Yum!

On Tuesday, June 11, tribute band Brit Floyd will be at the Orpheum to perform a special show for the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s rock opera The Wall.

Memphis in May announced this week that BBQ Fest will add a rib eating contest to its program this year. Details to come.

The new Malco theater on G.E. Patterson is still hiring bartenders and servers. Apply on ZipRecruiter or on Malco.com.

MLK50 has an excellent piece on what Tami Sawyer would do as mayor if elected. The community activist turned county commissioner wants to see equity across Memphis ZIP codes.

The weather widget on my desktop certainly has an interesting concept of what mist is.

Tonight is the kick-off to a weekend of St. Patrick’s celebration at Silky O’ Sullivan’s, the caravan to the airport to pick up the Irish dignitaries. The public is invited (21+) and there is plenty of room in the vehicles. After a drink at Maggie O’Shea’s at the airport, there will be stops at Huey’s on Madison, then Murphy’s, then back Downtown to Silky’s to party until the wee hours.

Read about all the things the Grizzlies are doing to celebrate Women’s History Month.

In honor of Pi Day, Aldo’s Pizza Pies is offering all slices for $3.14 today, and all 18 inch pies for $18.89. Why $18.89? Because in 1889 Queen Margherita approved the dish made with red tomato sauce, white mozzarella, and green basil reflecting the colors of the flag of newly-unified Italy.

Just learned that our friends at Squeal Street BBQ are only four doors down from us this year at BBQ Fest. Excellent, should be a good year for synergy between the two teams.

Downtown Walgreens is a good place to see athletes. I went there on my morning Mountain Dew run today and cheerleaders from USF were in front of me in line. Saturday when I went there, the director of soccer operations for the Tampa Bay Rowdies was behind me.

Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton is doing a book tour for a children’s book she wrote about endangered species. The tour will make a stop at the Memphis Zoo on Tuesday, April 23.

All right, that’s all for now. I’m going to read about Javascript for a while then get out somewhere and watch the game. Back tomorrow.



VERY IMPORTANT PBR NEWS and Wednesday update

From Friday night at 8:00 through Monday morning at 3:00, the Blind Bear is having an all-weekend-long St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The staff will be dressed in their Irish best all weekend long, and there will be specials including $4 Irish whiskey, $6 top shelf Irish whiskey (4 choices), $5 Irish car bombs, $4 Guinness draft pints, and……


No, they are not doing green beer this year, and that is fine with me. I would rather drink discounted PBR than pay an upcharge for green PBR, as is happening at some other bars.

If you want to get in the spirit of the Irish, check out The Daily Memphian’s Jennifer Biggs’ Destination Delicious podcast this week. Among the guests: Irish native/Majestic Grille owner Patrick Reilly.

If you need a sweet treat, stop by Makeda’s Cookies at 488 S. Second. Cristina from City Tasting Tours posted yesterday that they have started baking cinnamon rolls. Those of you who gave up sweets for Lent are going to miss out!

For those of you who want to hang out with the Bluff City Mafia this Saturday, they tweeted their schedule. Saturday they will meet at 3 at the Brass Door. At 6:15 they will march over to AutoZone Park, and at 7 they will make the park a hellish place for Loudoun to visit.

Start Co. is having a Transportation & Mobility Hackathon Friday through Sunday this weekend. Spend 48 hours solving pedestrian and commuting problems that Memphis faces. If you show up alone, they’ll help you find a team. If you don’t have an idea, show up anyway – they’ll have some helpful primers. Plus, they’ll feed you and give you swag.

Moody Ques: We received our booth assignment yesterday.

The southern (Georgia Ave.) entrance to Tom Lee Park is to the immediate left of this diagram. Our booth number is S-339 and we are about where we were last year.

2018 members – have you paid your dues yet? I paid mine on Monday. Paying by March 15 guarantees you your spot on the 2019 team, whereas after that we will open it up to others interested in joining. At that point you’ll be in a race with the new people to pay your dues. When we hit our membership cap, no more members will be accepted, whether on last year’s team or not.

(Insider tip: It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend and I can’t really see us conducting a whole lot of team business… so you’re probably fine if you pay on Monday the 18th)

That’s the news for now. Very excited about shorts weather today and tomorrow. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

How would you like to get up close and personal with Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff? You’ll have the chance next Monday at Hard Rock Cafe on Beale. Grizzlies Coaches Corner will feature an insider Q&A with Bickerstaff from 5 to 6, hosted by Grind City Media Senior Editor Michael Wallace. After that, stick around for live music and more. Tickets start at $10 and include light appetizers. $5 more adds a drink ticket for one call drink.

Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick does not normally open for Sunday dinner, but this Sunday they will, for people who want to pre-game for the Mellencamp concert at the Orpheum.

The Vault on G.E. Patterson will have St. Patrick’s Day music by Jeremy Stanfill and Josh Cosby Sunday afternoon 3:30-6:30.

The Peanut Shoppe has introduced a new item: sarma. This dessert is imported from Jordan, made fresh for the shop’s customers. It consists of blended pistachios in phyllo dough, rolled in more pistachios and drizzled in simple sugar syrup. They have it in stock now! The Peanut Shoppe is located on the Main Street Mall, a couple of doors north of the new Starbucks at Main and Monroe.

Memphis River Parks Partnership will present a Spring Night Market Thursday, March 28 from 4:30-7:30 PM. Ummm… it will still be light outside at the end time, how is this a night market? Anyway, there will be fire pits and s’mores. Lil’ Buck will be on hand giving Jookin lessons. TapBox will be there serving up some craft drafts. The following artists and craftspeople will have their products for sale:

Danielle Mora Jewelry
Dolly Doe
Jacko’s Pepper Jelly
Larksome Goods
Marsena Signatures
MEK Design
Mbabazi House of Style Memphis
Mili’s Flowers And Gifts
Primas Bakery and Boutique
Terri Scott Illustration
Vice & Virtue Coffee

The third installment of the In This Place speaker series at Clayborn Temple will happen next Monday, March 18. Tami Sawyer, County Commissioner, mayoral candidate, Managing Director for External Affairs for Teach for America and speaker-in-residence for this speaker series, will facilitate the discussion, entitled Dangerous Women: The Case for Never Being Safe.

Joining Sawyer in the discussion will be Anasa Troutman, Executive Director at Clayborn Temple; Jasmine Tasaki, Executive Director at WeCareTN; Terri Freeman, Executive Director at National Civil Rights Museum; Erica Perry, Partnership Director at Law For Black Lives; Aimee Lewis, Vice President of External Affairs at Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi; Zoe Tripp, student at Middle College High School; Andrea Morales, photojournalist; and Lori Spicer-Robertson, Chief Communications and Engagement Officer at United Way of the Mid-South.

Memphis basketball players have been collecting honors all over the place this week. Starting Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley was named the Western Conference Player of the Week, (surprisingly) his first time to receive that honor. Jeremiah Martin of the Memphis Tigers was named to the all-conference first team, and his teammate Tyler Harris was named to the all-conference rookie first team. The AAC Player of the Year will be announced Wednesday and Martin is a strong candidate for that accolade.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Jennifer Biggs of the Daily Memphian has the best job in the city. Her most recent task? To go eat at the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck and report back to subscribers. Man, that Connecticut Roll looks superb. I must try that truck soon. Possibly Saturday, when the truck will be at the Ghost River taproom from 1 to 8. Hmmm… watch the parade, walk down to Ghost River for lobster and (hopefully) Tiger basketball, then back north to Earnestine & Hazel’s for Nate’s anniversary… yes, I believe I see a plan coming together.

Edible Memphis continues in their consistently outstanding series of articles with a day trip to Little Rock, my hometown. As soon as I read that their first stop was Lost Forty Brewing, a rare brewery with a full food kitchen, and they had the Petit Jean bacon cheese dip, I knew this was going to be legit. Can’t argue with any of their suggestions. Little Rock is indeed the cheese dip capital of the world, and I will warn you that if you take this trip, Memphis cheese dip will be ruined for you. Damgoode Pies is excellent. I recommend the Hillcrest location (2701 Kavanaugh Blvd.) in particular.

Time to nerd out

If you’re not into techie stuff, you’re dismissed. However, a number of people have been wondering what I’ve been up to lately, so I thought I would give everyone an update.

For a period of months I was kind of down on the world of computers and IT, other than using a computer to write this blog. Holding the same job for almost 9 years is generally smiled upon. “Oh, he’s loyal to his company.” “Oh, he’s the kind of person who grasps on to a project and sticks to it.” Yeah, but working for one company for 9 years is a disadvantage as well, when you’re in IT. You end up knowing only the programming languages, frameworks, databases, etc. that you used in that job. In the meantime, various other technologies spring up and pass you by. I ended up feeling useless because there are so many in-demand skills that I didn’t have.

I also was bummed out about computers because the 15-inch HP laptop I inherited from my mom died. Well, it didn’t die – the hardware still works perfectly – but it stopped being able to boot into Windows, and I tried every recovery trick in the book and none worked. That left me working from my 10-year-old, 10-inch dimly-lit screen, underpowered netbook, and let me tell you, that was not much fun.

Last month, I started experimenting with portable versions of the Linux operating system. I got a flavor of Linux called Porteus installed on a USB drive and made it bootable. That brought my mom’s computer back to life. Porteus wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but even so, being able to access my favorite websites on a beautifully lit 15-inch screen was an improvement. I went through several other portable Linux distributions, including Slax and FatDog64.

Then I found Linux Mint. It is the most intuitive form of Linux I have ever seen. The graphical user interface is friendlier than Windows 10, and nearly as friendly as MacOS. It comes with a ton of programs installed, including an office suite, the Firefox browser, and an open-source clone of Google’s retired Picasa photo manager (which solves a major question I had about how I would manage BBQ Fest photos this year). If you want additional programs, there’s a software manager that makes getting them a piece of cake. And yet, because Linux Mint is based on one of the best Linux distros around – Ubuntu – if I need to go to the command line and deal with sudo apt-get and .tar.gz files, I have that ability too. Linux Mint turned out to be so good that after a week of running it from USB, I installed it on the hard drive.

I installed the Apache web server, PHP, and MySQL. I also installed the node.js Javascript web server, and I plan to get the Laravel framework on PHP. After that my task will be to learn all the popular client-side Javascript frameworks – Angular, React, Knockout, Vue, and maybe one or two others. What I want to do is grab JSON from a source that freely provides it – currently I’m working with OpenWeatherMap – to write service endpoints in PHP/Laravel that go get the data and provide it, then use Javascript on the client side to consume and display that data.

On the server side I may learn Python too, and maybe Ruby on Rails. There seems to be a lot of work in Python these days. I’m going to try to avoid getting back into .NET. I like C# but I’m a person who likes to think outside the box and people working in open-source tend to think outside the box more than Microsoft people. I’m a better personality fit for open-source.

Once I get up to speed, it’ll be time to get back in the game. There’s a lot more remote work out there than I realized and I am going to try to pick up some remote contract gigs in some of the technologies I have learned. Contract because I prefer that to being tied to a single company, and remote because sitting in cubicles has taken more years off my life than Fireball ever did.

So basically, for the first time in months, I am excited about computers. In addition, that book The Gaslighting Effect that I’ve been recommending finally gave me clarity about a situation which for years I had none. In short, I’m feeling better mentally than I have in a long while. I believe in myself again, where there for a while I didn’t.

Another reason I feel better today is the weather. As I type this, it is 56 going to a high of 61, with the temperature not expected to fall below 56 tonight. In other words, today is a perfect PBR hoodie and shorts day! Going to mess around on the computer for a couple more hours, then get out there and enjoy. To those of you who have kept reading, thanks for sticking around. Back tomorrow with more news.