Wednesday update

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for the bi-weekly staff meeting here at This is a chance for the staff to share with the group what they have been working on. It’s also an opportunity to look for synergy among team members, to look for ways we can help each other be successful, and to share any problems or issues they have with the projects they are working on.

Senior Deputy Director of Public Relations Perjorie T. Roll, we’ll start with you. What have you been working on since the last meeting?

Excellent. Keep up the good work, SRDDIR Roll. That concludes the staff portion of the meeting. Now we’ll move on to announcements from management. There will be a team off-site at the Silly Goose this afternoon, starting around 2. I feel it’s important for us to get out of our office now and then and work in an alternate space where new and different ideas may come to us. Also, there is a team outing to play trivia tonight at the Blind Bear at 7:30. Attendance to the outing is not required, of course, but is highly recommended.

You can bring your dog to the Redbirds game tonight for Woof Wednesday. A special ticket and a special interest get you and your pet in. First pitch tonight is 6:35.

In other Redbirds news, if you love the team, you will want to be there on Friday, August 23, and you will want to get there early. That evening the first 2000 fans through the gate will receive a replica of the 2018 Triple-A Championship rings that the team received earlier this season. The ring features the music note “M” Redbirds logo, the words “National Champions,” the Memphis skyline, and pennants from the years the ‘birds won the Pacific Coast League championship.

Can’t make it on the 23rd, or don’t want to rush to the ballpark to be one of the first 2000? You can get the ring as part of a specialty ticket that also gets you admission to the 2019 Triple-A Championship Game, to be played at AutoZone Park on Tuesday, September 17.

Stanley’s Sweet Street Treats is the food truck today at Cordelia’s Market 5-8 PM. Don’t forget, they’ll be showing Shark Week on the TV there all week long. Someone needs to order the soft shell crab sandwich and post a photo to Memphis Sandwich Clique.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Memphis Sandwich Clique is the best thing to happen to Memphis Facebook in a long, long time. The premise is simple: People post photos of the yummy sandwiches they order from Memphis restaurants – locally-owned restaurants that is, no one wants to see a pic of your Cold Cut Combo from Subway. They also do sandwich meetups, with one planned for the RAWK’n Grub inside Growlers this Sunday at 4. The group is only about a week old and has already exploded in popularity.

Did you know there’s a bar Downtown with a Hookah Night? Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe on Beale has one every Wednesday. It’s Service Industry Night too.

Electric Watershed, a Memphis electronic dance music experience, will take place at Carolina Watershed on Saturday, August 10. This event is described as “a music festival in your backyard.”

WWE Smackdown Live was televised from FedExForum last night, and the rumor was true: Jerry Lawler hosted his interview segment The King’s Court, and his guest was retired Hall of Famer Trish Stratus, possibly the most accomplished female wrestler ever to appear in WWE. He asked her if she’d ever thought about coming out of retirement for one last match. Of course, you just can’t have one of these interview segments without an interruption.

Full results from Smackdown Live from Memphis can be found here.

That’s it for today. Time to get ready for the team off-site this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Lost dog + Tuesday news

This dog went missing from Loflin Yard recently:

Please be on the lookout for her if you live in the south end of Downtown. Her name is Lola and she is a 7-year-old boxer. She has a GPS collar but the battery is dead. If you find her, contact me at or private-message me on Facebook or Twitter and I will get you in touch with the owner. Although, the owner works at Loflin Yard, so it might be easier if you just call up there.

Sorry for no post yesterday. I guess you could say I took a personal day. I haven’t heard back about the job I applied for last week, and anxiety started to kick in. I also realized that Friday is the five-year anniversary of the beginning of a very unhappy time in my life that continues to this day. Although I had about seven news items in the queue, it all just kind of got to me, and I ended up going to Bardog at 9 AM. I know that drinking at 9 in the morning is not the healthiest way to deal with problems, but it’s the route I chose yesterday.

You know, several times a day I get asked, “Any news on that job yet?” The people are asking because they care about me, they’re rooting for me, and they want to see me do well. But it turns into a several-times-a-day reminder that I haven’t heard anything back about the job. It depresses me even more. By the way, it’s quite common to apply for an IT job and not hear anything back after a week. Sometimes it’s two, four weeks or even more. Interviews often have to be delayed due to people going on vacation, urgent projects that have to get done, etc.

There’s a hot deal going on in AutoZone Park right now, where you can get a bluff seat for every game there during the month of August for $20. That’s 16 Memphis Redbirds games and one Memphis 901 FC match. Barely more than a dollar a game! They are offering the deal to celebrate the park’s 20th anniversary.

There’s a new business called Feast & Graze that makes custom charcuterie boards and delivers them to your home or office. They are taking pre-orders now and their delivery area is Shelby County.

Tonight is WWE Smackdown Live at FedExForum. I had previously heard that Hall of Famer Trish Stratus might come out of retirement to wrestle Charlotte Flair. It’s now believed that Stratus will be there, and will be a guest on Jerry Lawler’s King’s Court interview segment to kick off the program with Flair.

Lawler, by the way, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hardeman County, claiming that staff at the jail there failed to adequately protect his son Brian Christopher Lawler from other inmates there. Brian was found dead in his cell a year ago yesterday. It was ruled a suicide by hanging at the time, but evidence suggests that he may have been murdered.

Tonight’s show at FedExForum will not be the last WWE event of the year in the Memphis metro. WWE’s developmental brand NXT comes to the Landers Center in September. This is your chance to see up-and-coming stars who will be on the Raw and Smackdown brands a year or two from now. The wrestling tends to be top-notch, often better than on the main shows. Champions Adam Cole and Shayna Bazler are scheduled to be there.

United Way has a position open for Associate, Community and Corporate Engagement.

Registration is under way for Max’s Sports Bar’s fall cornhole tournament. It will happen on 6 Tuesdays beginning August 27. There are drink specials for players. Max says the prizes have been significant, although he didn’t say exactly what they were. Also, a portion of the purse gets donated to a charity chosen by the winning team.

The Redbirds are back in town tonight with a 6:35 game.

Fast Company reports that the next big thing in fashion is not washing your clothes. We’re running out of ideas here, people.

Another trend that is big Downtown right now: Taking a video of yourself shotgunning a White Claw and posting it to Facebook. White Claw is a hard seltzer that comes in 16 ounce cans and is the latest trend in getting white girl wasted. It’s said to be what Zima was in the 1990s in terms of market appeal. Needless to say, I have not strayed from old reliable PBR. Takeout asks, why are people so obsessed with White Claw?

Memphis Travel has put together a rockabilly fan’s guide to Memphis.

That’s the news for now. Let me know if you see the dog. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update: How going on a free run tomorrow night could lead to a free bar tab for a year

In poker, a freeroll is a tournament in which it’s totally free to enter, but the winner receives something tangible, either cash or a prize. Years ago, a co-worker of mine entered a freeroll online and won. The prize was an entry to what’s known as a satellite, another tournament, this one with the prize being a free entry into a World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. He won that too. Unfortunately he didn’t make it into the money in Vegas, but how cool would it have been if a free entry led to him winning hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Well, I have news of a different kind of freeroll, one that involves running rather than poker. There’s a group called the Salty Dogs that does a run Downtown every Monday night. They meet at Bardog at 7 PM, and anyone can join them, and it’s totally free. They go on a run usually about 3 miles in length. The run ends back at Bardog, where they enjoy food and drink specials in the Underdog Room downstairs. One of the organizers of the Salty Dogs announced that after tomorrow’s run, they are going to put names in a hat and draw one, the winner receiving a free entry to the Breakaway-Bardog 5K on Sunday, August 18. As I posted previously, three people who run Breakaway-Bardog 5K will receive free bar tabs* for a year – the fastest overall male and female, and one entrant chosen at random at the Monroe Avenue Fest following the race. So going on a free run tomorrow night could lead to you winning a free bar tab*.

(Bar tab is in the form of a $20 Bardog gift card every week for 52 weeks.)

OK, I’ve told you how to win a bar tab… now I’m going to tell you how to possibly get some free money. (Isn’t this a great post). You may have heard that Equifax, one of the major credit reporting agencies, had a massive data breach in 2017. They settled with the U.S. government last week, and if you were affected you may be eligible for a payment. It’s easy to check whether you were affected by the breach. I wasn’t, but a friend of mine checked, found out she was affected, filled out a short form on her phone, and was told she would receive $125.

Today’s the final day of Hamilton at the Orpheum. The highly-acclaimed Broadway musical has performances at 1:00 and 6:30.

The first Rose Review happens tonight at Atomic Rose, the new restaurant and nightclub on Second in what used to be the Purple Haze space. The club opens at 5 PM and DJ Maverick 1990 will be on the turntables from 9 PM until closing time at 1 AM. From 9 to 11 there will be a drag show.

85 South Memphis Late Show happens at the Cannon Center tonight.

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

Saturday news and opinions

I want to share a photo I took on Monroe Avenue about 10 yesterday morning.

If someone in a wheelchair were trying to get down Monroe, they would not be able to get by. As I have said before, it’s not that the scooters are inherently bad – they are very useful for getting to places not within easy walking distance quickly and cheaply. What’s bad is the inconsiderate riders. They disregard traffic laws, blowing through red lights and nearly running into pedestrians trying to cross the street. They ride the scooters on sidewalks when they are supposed to be ridden in the street. They park without thinking if their chosen parking location will impede the progress of others.

I posted this photo to Facebook, and it received a fair number of comments; the scooters are almost as much of a polarizing issue Downtown as Tom Lee Park is. I want to address a few of those comments here.

One person said, “Really, what is the chance someone in a wheelchair is going to come rolling down Monroe?” Well, if the chance is anything greater than zero, it’s a problem. That chance, is in fact, greater than zero: I have seen people in wheelchairs who work in the area come to Bardog for lunch with co-workers.

Another person pointed out it would take less than 30 seconds to move the scooters. The point is, no one should have to. It shouldn’t be the person in the wheelchair who has to push the scooters out of the way. It’s shouldn’t have to be a good Samaritan who comes along and moves the scooters out of the path. It should be the responsibility of the person who last rode the scooter to park it in a manner that impedes pedestrian traffic as little as possible.

Two more people brought up something I hadn’t even thought of. One of those scooters is parked right in front of a fire hydrant. That’s one more example of scooter riders feeling free to disregard traffic laws. And yeah, it would take a couple of seconds to move the scooter, but it shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Okay, now let’s talk about the other major polarizing issue Downtown, Tom Lee Park, where there is news. Mayor Strickland has announced that Memphis in May will remain in Tom Lee Park in 2020 and will move for one year in 2021 for park renovations. The mayor also said he is committed to keeping Riverside Drive a four-lane road, but installing speed-limiting features and providing better access to the park.

All right. I have opinions. I have lots of opinions today. So far I’ve been pretty 50/50 on the Tom Lee Park matter, seeing validity in the arguments of both Memphis in May and Memphis River Parks Partnership. Now, however, I am starting to sway toward one side more than the other.

First of all, let’s discuss Riverside. Keeping the road four-lane is absolutely the right decision. It provides much easier access to I-55 than alternatives like Front or Second/B.B. King/Crump. I also absolutely agree that speed-limiting features need to be added to Riverside between Beale and Georgia. The posted speed limit of 35 is a joke. If you go anything less than 45, other drivers get mad at you, and I’d guess the average speed is closer to 50. It’s a danger for people trying to cross Riverside from the Pontotoc, Huling, and Butler staircases to get to the park.

As for whether I favor going ahead with the Tom Lee Park renovations… let me preface my opinion with a couple of comments. There are people saying this is happening to funnel money into the pockets of companies/families’ companies of those who run Memphis River Parks Partnership. I know some of those people personally and I absolutely do not believe that is true. They are people who love Memphis and want to see our city prosper.

I also don’t buy into the argument we shouldn’t proceed with Tom Lee because MRPP (then RDC) failed when they built Beale Street Landing, shooting way over budget to build a space that is inadequate to serve the public. True, if I were grading the Beale Street Landing project, probably the best I could give it would be a D+. However, the management of RDC during those years is largely different from current MRPP management. It is not fair to blame people for mistakes that their predecessors made.

The thing I can’t get away from, though, the reason I’m starting to sway toward the “scrap the Tom Lee Park plans or at least delay them for a number of years” side, is Mud Island. There’s so much there that needs to be fixed, so many improvements that could be made. In my opinion MRPP should focus on that park first, spend the allotted money there. Make it the crown jewel of the Mississippi. Show us that you are capable of making a Downtown river park a thousand times better… give us a track record of success first… then let’s talk Tom Lee Park.

Another reason to do Mud Island Park first is that there is another attraction nearby that has tremendous appeal to both tourists and locals – Bass Pro at the Pyramid. It would be very easy for people to come Downtown and shop at Bass Pro and also visit Mud Island River Park in the same day.

Remember when Riverside Drive was reduced to two lanes? There was the impression that the plans were foisted on the people who use Riverside regularly without bothering to get their input; it was presented to them as a fait accompli. There’s a similar perception about the Tom Lee Park plans. Slowing down and delaying park construction for a matter of years would help to remove that perception.

Of course, the results of the mayoral election could change plans. Willie Herenton has already said he would scrap the Tom Lee Park plans, and Tami Sawyer would possibly try to divert the money to lesser-served Memphis neighborhoods. I wonder what Prince Mongo’s plans for Tom Lee Park would be. I’m sure they would be interesting.

On to the rest of the news… the big day is almost here for one Downtown bar. The Silly Goose has their new wood-fired pizza oven installed and I am told the Monday will be the first day they have pizza. I’ll be curious to see how much of a game-changer this will be for the Goose.

Joyce Peterson (@MemphoNewsLady on Twitter) reported that the lights on the Mighty Lights display on the I-40 bridge will read “Hush Y’all” this weekend in honor of the World Golf Championships.

The Memphis Tigers’ conference The American is losing one of its top schools. UConn will leave the conference in 2020, paying a $17 million exit fee. UConn will become an independent in football and will join the Big East in almost all other sports. Penny Hardaway is sad to see UConn go and I agree. Although their men’s basketball program is currently in a slump, they were national champions as recently as five years ago. It will not be easy, and in fact may be impossible, for the AAC to find a replacement with the same level of prestige.

Hmmm…. you know who would be an interesting replacement? Arkansas State. The football program has a history of producing head coaches that go on to great things, and has six alumni currently playing in the NFL. With Memphis nearby, A-State would have a built-in conference rivalry. It’d be a chance for Arkansas State to get out of Arkansas’ shadow and excel, the way Texas A&M did when it got out of the same conference as Texas.The New Wing Order food truck will be at Cordelia’s Market Monday evening for National Chicken Wing Day.

Memphis Flyer barfly Meghan Stuthard has a look at Bar Ware on Front Street and the benefits of having a juice bar next door.

The CA has a look at the throwback Vancouver Grizzlies jerseys the Grizzlies are rumored to wear for select games this coming season.

Yesterday was a really good day. I stopped by Blind Bear with a friend during the lunch hour. Mainly I just wanted to hang out and watch the golf tournament, but cook Phillip brought out the lunch special, chicken in a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce with hand-made onion rings.

Phillip is doing some amazing things in the kitchen. Later in the day he posted a photo of a chicken pot pie that may be on special next week and it looked delicious. You know, a lot of people are missing out by not going to the Blind Bear for lunch. I go by there now and then and wonder why the place isn’t busier. The food is certainly as good as any of the other lunch spots that are popular with the Downtown workers.

Later in the day yesterday I made my way south to Max’s Sports Bar and then South Main Trolley Night. I got to listen to The Handy Band in front of the Machine Shop condos and some hip-hop at the future Slider Out location. After that I went to a friend’s birthday party in one of the most tastefully decorated condos I have ever seen. There I was introduced to a beer I had not tried before, Frio Light. It was quite tasty. Thanks to the host for his hospitality!

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Friday update

Memphis 901 FC wanted to do something to celebrate the FedEx World Golf Championship happening in the city this week. They tweeted that whatever the best score under par was for yesterday’s round, that would be the discount on tickets for the Memphis 901 FC vs. Ottawa Fury FC match tomorrow at AutoZone Park. Jon Rahm birdied three times on the final four holes to finish at -8. So for the 24-hour flash sale on 901 FC’s website that began at 9:01 this morning, all tickets to tomorrow’s match are $8 off.

The Commercial Appeal’s Jennifer Chandler has an excellent article profiling each of the 10 vendors at Puck Food Hall, 409 S. Main. If you haven’t been yet, 1) this article will tell you exactly what you will find there; and 2) you really should go.

In other food news, the Daily Memphian’s Chris Herrington has a food fight where everybody wins: The Cornish hen at Cozy Corner vs. the Cornish hen at the Flying Sobies food truck.

Also over at the DM, Geoff Calkins has an excellent piece on what to do/what not to do when visiting Memphis.

As your #1 source of news and information about the Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link you to this MBJ article about a new business coming to the neighborhood. Paying homage to the Edge’s history as Memphis’ original Auto Row, Gasoline Alley, a car consignment shop, will open at 680 Union. The space has the capacity to house 22 cars.

The Daily Memphian has a good piece on Grizzlies internships. The internships are not all just basketball; they are an opportunity to learn many aspects of business.

Food & Wine has a review of the new PBR Hard Coffee. It is not available in Tennessee yet but hopefully will be soon. Described as having a flavor similar to Bailey’s or Kahlua, it sounds delicious.

Tonight is Trolley Night on South Main. Live music at 363 Mulberry (future home of Slider Out) from 6 to 10. The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be parked in front of Stock & Belle. I plan on being there, and I have a friend’s birthday party to attend in the area as well. That’s all for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

The Memphis Flyer reports that Downtown has a new coffee shop. Heaven has opened at 333 Adams. This is a spacious coffee shop with 5000 square feet spread over two stories, plush chairs, and a good food menu. I had to type in the address into Google Maps to see exactly where this place was. It appears to be at the southeast corner of the intersection of Danny Thomas and Adams. That area does not see much pedestrian foot traffic – well, pedestrian foot traffic that can afford coffee and a panini. With several coffee shops on the beaten path Downtown, they’re really going to have to be superior to attract a lot of customers from the neighborhood. I wish them all the luck in the world though.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan is bringing his Secrets and Pies Tour to the Orpheum on August 17.

I learned something about the restaurant and bar industry this week. A while back, I was in the habit of checking my balance on one of my debit cards every day. One Thursday, the balance had dropped by nearly $50, even though I knew I had only spent $18 the night before. This week I found out that some bars and restaurants batch out their credit/debit card tips once a week. So that extra thirty dollars or so were all the tips I put on the card for seven days, not just one. Makes sense.

Wiseacre posted that they will open their taproom at 1 PM today for the World Golf Championships. Anyone know what channel that’s going to be on? It doesn’t appear to be on the Golf Channel.

Local Memphis has an article about the support Magan Hall has received from the community in her battle against cancer. Her fellow members of the Bluff City Mafia have fundraised for her treatment, as has Memphis 901 FC and Zach Myers, the lead singer of Shinedown. Magan was named honorary captain of 901 FC for their match against Nashville last week.

Monday is National Chicken Wing Day and Hooters is celebrating with $15.99 all-you-can-eat wings all day long.

I’ve been asked where the wrestlers will go to party after Tuesday night’s episode of Smackdown Live wraps up at FedExForum. Well, first of all, wrestlers don’t party like they used to. Gone are the days of Ric Flair routinely running up $1000 bar tabs; of Andre the Giant drinking 128 beers in a single day; of Jake Roberts peeing on a hotel carpet because he was too drunk to make it to the bathroom. A lot of wrestlers prefer to go back to the hotel and play video games nowadays. However, I have been told that Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair have been known to go to the Flying Saucer after shows. Sasha is not on the road right now so if Charlotte hits the Saucer, I would expect her to be with Andrade who she is dating.

Of course, Jerry Lawler’s Bar and Grill on Beale is usually a good bet. However, most of the current crop of Smackdown wrestlers have never come through Memphis and don’t have a connection to Lawler. My guess as to the most likely to show up there would be R-Truth, who spent some time in Memphis under the name K-Kwik in the early 2000s.

Those who know me – especially those who play trivia with me – know I am not big on watching movies. However, I might go see one on November 1st, about the woman who should have been on the $20 bill, Harriet Tubman.

Mashable has some Google settings you should enable right now to protect your privacy.

Here’s a recipe for the rectangular school lunchroom pizza. Of course, if you don’t feel like doing the work in the kitchen, Max’s Sports Bar has it on their menu. If you want, you can have them add extra cheese, bacon, or any of the toppings from the sandwich bar there.

Well, I guess I should have kept watching the Mueller hearings. I kept up with the hearings on FiveThirtyEight’s live coverage. The morning session was mostly a waste of time, but in the afternoon session Mueller agreed that Russians meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump, that the Trump campaign knew about the Russian assistance and welcomed it, and that no one from the Trump campaign reported the meddling by a foreign power to the FBI.

Not that it matters. The House may vote to impeach Trump, but even if that does happen, the Senate won’t vote to remove him. As Trump himself has said, he could shoot a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his base would still support him.

Yesterday I talked about how Congress has become a bunch of grandstanding bozos who have abandoned civility and cooperation. I have a reading assignment for anyone who chooses to take it. Read a biography of Gerald Ford. Not the part about Watergate and becoming vice-president and then president; read the years 1949-1973, when Ford was a member of the House. He was the very picture of treating his colleagues with respect no matter which side of the aisle they sat, of working out win-win deals for everyone. He was a Congressman who was there to serve his constituents, not accumulate power (although he eventually did become Minority Leader).

Oh, read the part about his years as the center for the Michigan Wolverines football team too. He nearly refused to play in a game because of discrimination of a black teammate. The only reason he relented on his stance was at the insistence of that teammate.

All right, that’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

New restaurant/nightclub Atomic Rose opens to the public today at 4:30 PM. Atomic Rose, which calls itself a LGBTQ-friendly establishment, will have retro night with DJ Tree this evening. A cover charge will begin around 10:00, based on occupancy. The cover charge per night will be between $10 and $20. It will be open Wednesday through Sunday with a variety of entertainment including karaoke, various types of dance music, and on Sundays a drag show.

Next week is Shark Week, the Discovery Channel’s week full of programming to help viewers understand sharks better. Cordelia’s Market will be streaming the channel on its north patio, and there will be shark-themed food in the deli.

Speaking of Cordelia’s, tomorrow is the monthly Meet Your Neighbors Dinner at the market. All who live on Mud Island are welcome at this event, which runs 5:00-7:00. Dinner plates will be available for $12, and guests will be able to purchase beer and wine if they wish.

Front Street will be closed between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. and Pontotoc Ave. today through Saturday 7 AM to 9 PM. Based on a letter a friend of mine who lives in the area got on his door, it appears the closure is for the filming of new TV series Bluff City Law.

Jobs, jobs, jobs! TRUE Sports is moving Downtown to two floors in One Commerce Square, bringing 35 employees down here. Welcome! You’ve got some great lunch spots nearby: McEwen’s, Bardog, Little Tea Shop, and Huey’s, to name a few. For snacks and sweets, be sure to visit The Peanut Shoppe on Main.

More scooters are coming Downtown. Spin is the newest e-scooter company to put its vehicles on city streets. I’m generally not a fan of the scooters, but this Memphis Flyer article indicates that this company is more socially responsible than Bird or Lime. They have a program called Spin Access, making use of the scooters possible for riders who don’t have a credit card, smartphone, or device with GPS. Cheers for making transportation available to all! They also detect when the scooters are ridden into areas where they don’t belong and automatically slow them down.

South of Beale is getting a new home. The owner bought the old Ambassador Hotel right down the street on South Main and will move the restaurant there. SOB has been so successful that it needed to be in a larger space.

Chef Demitrie at The Brass Door is rolling out a small plates menu on Fridays. The menu will change every week, and this Friday the menu will have a Spanish and Latin theme. Offerings will include

  • Frijoles Charro with chorizo – $8
  • Ceviche with pico de gallo – $7
  • Shrimp tacos with chipotle cream – $9
  • Gazpacho – $5
  • Steak chimichurri soft taco – $10

The Blind Bear is hosting a cigar brunch with a cigar roller on site Sunday, September 1 from noon to 6 PM.

The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday.

The annual Tennessee sales tax holiday is this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Purchases of clothing up to $100, school supplies up to $100, and computers up to $1500 will not be charged sales tax during that time.

A new clothing store called 901 2 504 has opened in The Edge at 676 Marshall. Why the name? One of the partners is from Memphis, while the other is from New Orleans where the area code is 504.

Woof Wednesday returns to AutoZone Park for tonight’s game. Dog owners can purchase a special ticket to get themselves and their pet admission.

Those of you who commute to other parts of town have probably discovered this already: Extra officers are patrolling Memphis interstates. They are aiming to curb aggressive drivers. This is a good thing! I have been saying for years, the cops need to go after these drivers who make travel in Memphis so dangerous, not the guy going 72 in a 65.

Teachers, save the date: There will be bingo at Loflin Yard August 13, 15, 16, and 18 and teachers get an extra bingo card.

WWE Smackdown Live will be at FedExForum next Tuesday. Announced names include World champ Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns, and Dolph Ziggler. Not announced but almost surely there to take away TV time from up-and-coming talent: Shane McMahon. Also, it’s rumored that Hall of Famer Trish Stratus may come out of retirement to face Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam, so it’s very possible Trish may show up on Smackdown to get the wheels in motion to set up that match.

Sunday at 4 PM, Street Church Under the Trees will pop up at Court Square. At this event, Unitarian Universalists and friends will share a conversation about new beginnings.

I watched an hour of the Mueller testimony and then turned the TV off. Here’s a summary for those of you who were lucky enough not to watch:

  • Democrats tried to get Mueller to say that Trump checked all three boxes for requirements to prove obstruction of justice
  • Republicans tried to get Mueller to explain why he indicted some people who lied to his team and not others. They also painted the two-year Special Counsel investigation as a waste of taxpayer money. (Hello! What about Trump’s golf trips?)
  • Mueller said “I’ll refer to what’s in the report” and “I can’t get into that” a lot

It’s all a dog-and-pony show. Nothing will change. It’s all just a bunch of grandstanding to fire up the respective bases. I’m sick of it all. None of these clowns work on behalf of their constituents anymore. All they care about is either putting or keeping themselves and their party in power. I’m sad for those of you who are too young to remember a time when Congress worked across the aisle, in a civil manner, for the good of the country.

And, look at the message these bozos send young Americans. It’s OK to be completely disrespectful of those who disagree with you. It’s OK to condone baser traits like white supremacy if those displaying those traits can help you get what you want. Compromise is for wussies.

I’ll get off my soapbox now. For the next little while, I may miss a day posting, as I did yesterday, so I can step up my game on this “where does my career take me next” thing. Back tomorrow or Friday with more news.


Run. Party. Eat. (and maybe win a free bar tab* for a year)

It’s almost time for one of Downtown’s biggest parties and fundraisers of the year. The Breakaway-Bardog 5K and the Monroe Avenue Festival will happen Sunday, August 18. Every year this event raises tens of thousands of dollars for the kids of St. Jude, ensuring that no child’s family ever receives a bill for treatment.

There’s an additional incentive to run the Breakaway-Bardog 5K this year. The Top Overall Male and Top Overall Female finishers, as well as one race participant selected randomly, will receive a free bar tab* for a year. Okay, the asterisk is there for a reason. Winners will get a $20 Bardog gift card every week for 52 weeks. (If they gave away an unlimited bar tab for a year, that could put them out of business if one of the regulars won it!) Runners get a Breakaway-Bardog 5K T-shirt and admission to one of the best race after-parties of the year.

After the race, the Monroe Avenue Festival begins. This event was originally called the Bardog alley party, and many regulars still refer to it by that name, because it started off in the alley just east of Bardog. However, the party grew so much each year that they now have to block off Monroe from Front to Main. There is a LOT to do at the festival, including

An air-conditioned VIP area with food from local restaurants

Dunk tank – Dunk your friends, or have your friends dunk you, to raise money for St. Jude. Sign up for a shift in the dunk tank here.

Bust Grandma’s balls – This is a contest to see who can eat 40 of Aldo’s grandmother’s famous meatballs the fastest. Sign up here to compete in the contest and receive an exclusive T-shirt.

All-day raffle for St. Jude – They give away some sweet prizes, including bikes and gift cards to area restaurants.

Dabbles for Donations – Get your hair cut in exchange for a donation to St. Jude.

Live music all day long

Food – The cooks make sliders and other treats on the grill

Beverages – Lots of beers and other boozy choices. PRO TIP: They have PBR on tap inside.

Photo booth

Face painting

Celebrity sightings

Vendors selling T-shirts, art, food, and more

Here are the important times to know:

  • 7:00-8:45 AM – Race-day registration and VIP sales
  • 9:00 AM – Race begins. After-party on Monroe for runners through 11:30 AM.
  • 10:00 AM – VIP area opens
  • 12:00 PM – Monroe Avenue Fest opens to the public
  • 4:00 PM – Grandma’s meatball eating contest
  • 5:00 PM – Festival closes

I hope to see you all there for this incredibly fun event. Back tomorrow with more news.


Sunday update

Memphis is hosting a regional for TBT – The Basketball Tournament this weekend. It’s at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on the University of Memphis’ campus. The winners of the 8 regionals will advance to a championship round August 4-6 in Chicago. It is winner-take-all with the team that earns the championship getting $2 million. Also, the teams that win the regional championships get a percent of ticket sales for that regional.

The Memphis regional championship is today, pitting #8 seed Jackson TN against #6 seed Louisiana Untd. The game will be on ESPN3 at 2:00 this afternoon.

TBT is different in that it uses something known as the Elam Ending. On the first stoppage of play with 4 minutes or less to go in the 4th quarter, the game clock is turned off and a target score is set. The target score is always the score of the team in the lead at the time plus 8. So if play stops with 3:48 to go and a team leads 72-67, first team to 80 wins.

(Wonder what happens if there is no stoppage in play the final 4 minutes, and time expires? That would be extremely rare but theoretically it could happen. I consulted Wikipedia, but no help there.)

When I first saw the Elam Ending, I thought it was stupid, but I have to agree there are two real advantages:

  • There are no overtimes. That means if a TV network schedules 2 hours for a game, they’re virtually guaranteed the game won’t run over into the next program.
  • Teams play real basketball up to the very end. Contrast this to the NBA and college, where the last few minutes of a game often drag on with intentional fouls and free throws.

Some of these teams have obviously not thought much about Elam Ending strategy. In a game yesterday, the score was tied 78-78 with a target score of 80. The team in green (I don’t remember their names) ran the ball down the court. When he got to the three-point line, a player attempted a shot and missed. The team in white then ran the ball down the court and dunked for the win. Why would you ever shoot a three when the target score is 2 away?

On to the rest of the news, where I’ll start off with a brunch alert: As of this weekend, 3rd and Court diner is now doing brunch until 3 on Saturdays and Sundays. You know, it amazes me… after I had lunch there back in June, I had several conversations about 3rd and Court, and people asked “Where is it?” Now, if the person asking has lived here less than three years, I can understand it because they might not know that the section of Third and runs through Downtown was renamed B.B. King a few years ago. But lifelong Memphians? Sheesh.

Renovations have started on the historic marine hospital near the Metal Museum. It’s being converted into apartments, more than half of which will offer river views. Work should be complete by next summer.

It’s National Ice Cream Day, and Makeda’s Cookies Downtown location (488 S. Second) is offering a free cup of ice cream with any purchase. Free ice cream? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Accessories play The Dirty Crow Inn today 5 to 8.

Take the kids out for a swim with Santa this afternoon at Hotel Indigo.

The Jerry & Jerry Show is today at 7 PM at Jerry Lawler’s Bar and Grill on Beale Street. This will feature never-before-heard stories about Memphis wrestling from The King and longtime referee Jerry Calhoun. You know, these days, thanks to podcasts, there are plenty of opportunities to hear wrestlers tell their story about famous matches… but how often do you get the chance to hear those stories from a referee’s perspective? There will be a Q&A as well. The event will be emceed by Dustin and Maria Starr, hosts of Championship Wrestling.

If you install software on your computer, this article is an important read: How to spot and install fake download buttons. I hate those things! They often appear on software download pages, green buttons that say “DOWNLOAD” in big, bold letters… but they’re not legit software links. Instead of the program you wanted, you will get spyware, malware, ransomware, key loggers, viruses… all kinds of bad stuff.

I want to make a plea to my readers. Those of you who use cocaine recreationally, please stop for the time being. Drug dealers are cutting cocaine with fentanyl, an opioid that is lethal in even tiny doses, more and more these days. There’s no way to tell it’s in there, turning what’s meant to be a good time into robbing the people who care about you of many, many years with you. Next time you’re about to snort a line, take a moment to think of your family, your friends, and know that if you take that line, they could be attending your funeral in three or four days.

Tomorrow I will be back with news on how you can win a bar tab for a year at one of Downtown’s favorite establishments. See you then.

Saturday update (the Birds Aren’t Real video is a must-watch)

Sorry for no post yesterday, but it was for a good reason. I’ve got a lead on a developer job, but it is one that is going to require a carefully written cover letter as well as complete rewrite of my resume. This job appeals particularly to me because it is 100% remote, meaning I wouldn’t have to deal with the two things I dislike the most about corporate IT jobs: rush-hour commutes, and cubicles. Blog posts may be short or nonexistent through about Tuesday as I get things together to apply.

Times have been announced for the first four Memphis Tigers football games. They are

  • vs. Ole Miss, August 31, 11 AM, ABC
  • vs. Southern, September 7, 11 AM, WMC-TV
  • at South Alabama, September 14, 2:30 PM, ESPNU
  • vs. Navy, September 26, 7 PM, ESPN

Also announced: Memphis will host Cincinnati on November 29, with the game on either ABC or ESPN.

The Daily Memphian’s Jennifer Biggs has a first look at the food at Bar Ware.

Perhaps you have seen those “Birds aren’t real” sign. Live at 9 has an explanation. This four-minute video is worth watching. It is pretty far out there.

King Willie has come out against the plan to re-do Tom Lee Park, criticizing Mayor Strickland for attempting to wait until after the election to take a side. Yikes. That stance could actually get him some votes. A lot of people are very passionate about that issue, as evidenced by the Save Tom Lee Park & the Festivals group on Facebook.

Less than 3 months out from the election, I’m as of yet completely undecided who to vote for. My head says Strickland. My heart says Sawyer. Mongo is a friend. No part of me says Herenton. Well, maybe my rectum the day after eating an entire jar of habanero peppers. It worries me that we now have a decade of voters who have come of age, who are too young to remember what a terrible job King Willie did during his last term as mayor.

At Trolley Night next Friday, there will be live music and beer by the TapBox at 363 Mulberry, future home of Slider Out.

StyleBlueprint has a look at the history of Huey’s.

A new coffee shop, Vice & Virtue, will open at 477 S. Main. Wow that’s awfully close to Bluff City Coffee.

That’s it for now. Back with more news at some point in the next 3 days.