Tuesday update

Yesterday a friend of mine, who had his car parked on Peabody Place, went outside to smoke. He noticed an officer writing him a parking ticket. (I believe the city outsources ticket writing to private security now, rather than using sworn MPD officers or PSTs. My friend ran over there. “What are you doing?” he asked the officer. “I still have 90 minutes left on the meter.”

“Oh. Sorry. I made a mistake,” said the officer, who then started to change the license number letters he had written down on to the ticket.

“Why are you writing me a ticket?” my friend asked again. “My meter’s not expired.”

“My fault,” said the officer, abandoning the writing of the ticket. He walked right past two cars, both of which were parked at meters that were flashing red, meaning their time had expired. He did not bother to write either of those cars a ticket. The officer got in his car and drove off.

Has this happened to any of my readers? Been written a ticket when your time on the meter had not expired? Makes me wonder if the security officers are on a salary or get paid on the basis of how many tickets they write.

I have to agree with what Penny Hardaway said upon finding out that the AP poll voters dropped Memphis from number 9 to number 21 after losing a game to Georgia. The people voting in the poll were just sitting there waiting for Memphis to lose so they could drop the Tigers way down in the poll, and it didn’t matter to whom they lost. As Penny says, the disrespect will motivate the team. Unfortunately, I bet the disrespect shows back up  again on Selection Sunday, limiting the Tigers to around a 6 seed at best.

The Daily Memphian has a primer on how city government is run that is well worth a read and even a bookmark. Actually, it’s only a primer for city council. I hope they will do a follow-up listing the structure of the mayor’s office and the top positions/departments that report to the mayor.

The annual MLK Day parade will close Second from Jackson to G.E. Patterson from approximately 9 AM to 2 PM on Monday, January 20. If you have to work that day and take Second to get there, you’ll need to figure out an alternate route. Probably Danny Thomas is your best bet since Front is in the middle of convention center construction.

The annual Mix-Odyssey cocktail competition will return Friday, March 6 at the Botanic Garden from 7 to 10 PM. Bartenders and mixologists from all over the city compete to see who can make the best cocktail, the proceeds benefiting a wonderful organization that promotes volunteerism in Memphis. In addition to being able to vote on the cocktails, your ticket gets you gourmet hors d’ouevres, fortune tellers who predict where you will volunteer (I’ve had my fortune told, it’s really cool), the Grizzlies’ DJ, Wiseacre beer, Kendra Scott giveaways, and a special guest emcee.

Downtown company Indigo Ag has made such a name for itself in agricultural technology that it has attracted investment from FedEx. In addition to improving profits for growers, Indigo is working on measures to address climate change, lowering the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Chewish, a mash-up Chinese and Jewish dinner hosted by Wok’n in Memphis and Caramelized, two restaurants inside the Puck Food Hall at 409 S. Main, will happen Monday, January 20. This 7-course meal is $75 plus tax and gratuity. Spots are limited, so if you’re interested, reserve yours today.

The Internet of Things has officially gone too far: With ingestible new pill, you can track your farts on your phone

The Grizzlies host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7 at FedExForum.

There’s a cornhole tournament in the Tin Roof’s Green Room tonight with live music at the Roof as well.

I embarked on my study of data science this weekend and yesterday, installing the Anaconda suite which includes the Python language, an integrated development environment, and a bunch of libraries I will need to learn. I spent yesterday working with the numpy library, which facilitates fast operations on arrays of numbers. I’ve formulated an overall plan for my study of data science:

  • There are a number of great free PDF books out there about data science. My plan is to read as many of them I can and work through the exercises, absorbing as much knowledge as I can for free.
  • Only then will I enroll in IBM’s data science certification course. You pay per month until you complete it, so I want to get through it as quick as possible. The final project is to use the Foursquare API, and I know I can combine that with my knowledge of Downtown to come up with a really cool project (and if anyone has suggestions I’d love to hear them).

So I’ll have a certification in data science, but no professional experience. So how will I get a job? Well, I found a site called Kaggle that offers data science project competitions (as well as lots of great free data sets). So my plan at that point will be

  • Enter a bunch of data science competitions, and lose, and then see what the winners did.
  • Eventually win a bronze medal. Win a second bronze medal. Work my way up to winning silver medals and even maybe a gold.
  • Get to the point where people are wondering “who is this guy?” and reaching out to me saying, “Hey, want a job?”

That path may change, and I know it’s ambitious, but it’s where I’m heading at the current time. As I said, in 2020 I plan on being out less, so if you go to happy hour at the Goose and don’t see me, don’t worry, I’m probably at home writing Python code.

Of course, I’ll be writing blog posts too. Back tomorrow with another one of them.