Tuesday update

The Memphis Tigers got their bowl bid yesterday. They will play in the Hawai’i Bowl on Christmas Eve. Memphis’ opponent has not been announced yet, but will be from the Mountain West Conference. Nevada and Wyoming are possibilities.

For those of you who are fans of the New Wing Order food truck, you’ll have a rare opportunity to catch it Downtown this week. The truck will be at Soul & Spirits, the new brewery at the far north end of North Main, Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze comes to the Orpheum tomorrow night. It combines Broadway, circus artistry, and the holiday season. Tickets are $29-$99.50.

The Center for Southern Folklore wants everyone to know they are still open – they just no longer have a storefront opening directly on Main. They’re in the main lobby of Pembroke Square, behind the Belz Museum.

The Blind Bear turns 10 years old on Thursday, December 23, and they’re throwing a party. Charles will host blackjack where you can win “bear bucks” which can then be used at an auction to purchase prizes. Albert King Jr.’s Final Touch Band will play 8 to midnight. Jamie Harmon will be taking photos and “mug shots,” and the Amurica photo booth will be on the patio. Got plans to go out of town for Christmas? Better move your departure date to the 24th, because you won’t want to miss this.

Ghislane Maxwell’s trial started yesterday. She’s allegedly the one who recruited underage girls for billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his buddies which could include two presidents and a prince.

Catherine & Mary’s is hiring a bartender.

Got to get out of here, so that’s it for now, back tomorrow.

Monday update: Cyber Monday deals and my advice for driving/parking during the St. Jude Marathon

Bottled PBRs have a playing card rank and suit on the underside of the cap. Perjorie T. Roll hit trip 10s at BarWare yesterday.

Got a number of shopping deals to share with you this morning. Let’s get started…

Bardog now has hoodies in stock with their O.G. logo. You can get one for $45. A friend who bought one told me they run slightly small, so you might want to size up.

River City Records will give you $1 off if you post a photo to Facebook or Instagram of your purchase and check in or tag them.

You can get 20% off all purchases on Walking Pants Curiosities’ website through the end of today. No special code is needed; just check out. The discount also applies if you shop in-store today.

Use code PINKPIG10 to get a $10 discount when you shop online for Pink Pig polos.

Lansky Bros. has free shipping today only on purchases of $50 or more from its online store. Use coupon code FREESHIP50 to get the deal. Not valid on overnight or two-day purchases.

Desmond Bane’s workload is increasing while Ja Morant is out for a few weeks with a knee sprain. The Grizzlies beat the Sacramento Kings 128-101 yesterday. That puts them in a tie for 7th-9th place in the West with Portland and Minnesota.

Updated CBS Sports bowl projections have the Memphis Tigers traveling to Boston to play in the Fenway Bowl on December 29. They’ll effectively be the road team if that happens, because the projected opponent is Boston College.

Texas Tech and Auburn are now projected to come to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl. That’s about a “meh” game as one could ask for. Both of those schools travel well, though, so Downtown businesses will make lots of money.

From StyleBlueprint: Meet the Memphis duo behind Primas Bakery and Boutique

It’s National Chocolates Day. Good day to visit the Dinstuhl’s shop next door to the Majestic Grille.

The Blind Bear will have its annual Repeal Day party Saturday beginning at 8 PM. December 5, 1933 was the day Prohibition was officially repealed and Americans could legally sell and consume alcohol again.

The St. Jude Marathon is this Saturday. Best advice is to not even attempt to drive Downtown between 6 AM and noon that morning. If you have to, note that runners will be on Front, Second, and Danny Thomas Blvd. from A.W. Willis far into the southern part of Downtown (course maps). Here’s the trick: Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe all have overpasses at Danny Thomas. So you can get into Downtown using those streets without crossing paths with the runners. You can search the Downtown parking map to find a lot or garage. Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you come into Downtown on the streets mentioned above, you want to turn before you hit Second or you’ll intersect the runners
  • B.B. King is one-way north
  • The city charges for metered parking on Saturday now, and you can only put so much money in a meter – so spots on the street are not good choices if you plan to park all day

If I had to come into Downtown from the east, I would take Madison or Jefferson west to B.B. King Blvd., then find a surface lot or garage on B.B. King. I have never parked on any of those, so I don’t have recommendations. Make sure to wear your walking shoes because you’ll have a minimum of several blocks to get to restaurants and entertainment.

If I had to come into South Main from the east, I’d do it on Crump, turn north on B.B. King Blvd. and find someplace south of G.E. Patterson to park.

If I lived on Mud Island and had to come Downtown, I’d take Mud Island Dr. north to Second St., turn south on Second, east on Chelsea, south on Manassas, and then use Jefferson or Madison as described above to get into Downtown. If you follow these directions, you will want to keep your car doors locked, as this routes you through some not-so-nice parts of town.

If I had to get to Mud Island during the race, I’d do the reverse: North on Manassas to Chelsea, west on Chelsea until it ends at Second, north on Second to Mud Island Drive.

And yes, all of this is a little inconvenient, but it’s only one day a year and it raises millions to ensure that families will never receive a bill for their children’s cancer treatments.

What will the weather be like for the marathon? The MemphisWeather.net forecast says to expect above-normal temperatures, with a low around 50 and a high around 60. 30% chance of a shower. That sure sounds a lot better than the years when it’s 27 and icy outside.

I had a great time at a wedding reception at BarWare yesterday. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed the place. I need another bar to add to my potential hangouts, especially on certain nights of the week. BarWare may fill that spot.

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

Sunday update

The Memphis Tigers beat the Tulane Green Wave to improve to 6-6 and become bowl-eligible. The latest projection I have seen has the Tigers facing Wyoming in the Hawai’i Bowl on Christmas Eve.

What a wild Iron Bowl that was! Alabama looked like a dead duck for most of the game and needed help from the NCAA’s new overtime rules to survive Auburn 24-22 in 4OT.

So here’s what we have for conference championship games of interest to those in the Mid-South (all games Saturday, December 4 unless otherwise noted):

  • Pac-12 championship: Oregon vs. Utah in Las Vegas, 7:00 PM Friday, December 3, ABC
  • Big 12 championship: Baylor vs. Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas, 11:00 AM, ABC
  • SEC championship: Georgia vs. Alabama in Atlanta, 3:00 PM, CBS
  • American championship: Houston at Cincinnati, 3:00 PM, ABC
  • Big Ten championship: Michigan vs. Iowa in Indianapolis, 7:00 PM, FOX
  • ACC championship: Pittsburgh vs. Wake Forest in Charlotte, 7:00 PM, ABC

Implications for College Football Playoff:

  • Georgia is almost certainly in, win or lose.
  • Michigan and Cincinnati are likely in with a win
  • Alabama is likely in with a win too, but let’s face it, it’s not gonna happen
  • Oklahoma State will need a win and some help to get in
  • Notre Dame is an independent and therefore does not play a conference championship game. It will need considerable help (like two of Michigan, Cincinnati, and Alabama losing) to get in

Wow… a college football playoff without Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, or Oklahoma. I like it. Time for some fresh faces in the CFP.

Looks like Memphis is in for some very nice weather this week, with temperatures warming into the 60s by Tuesday. Lows in the 50s are expected Thursday and Friday morning with highs those days reaching into the 70s.

Fox 13 has a look at holiday festivities that happened yesterday: The Downtown Christmas tree lighting and Grizz Shop Local.

Fox 13 also has a look at a Day of Service that recently happened at Hospitality Hub, an organization that connects the homeless with needed services.

The Better Business Bureau has info on how to avoid scams. The holiday season is peak time for scammers. If you have any older people in your life, especially share this list with them. My mom got taken by several scams in the final years of her life.

Championship Wrestling from Memphis has its television taping this afternoon from 2:00 to 4:45, and the taping will feature Swoggle Claus! That’s right, the artist formerly known as Hornswoggle will be there. (Hey, isn’t he Mr. McMahon’s son?) The location is 3296 Winbrook Drive and tickets are $10-$30. The VIP experience includes photos with Swoggle Claus.

Grassfire Bluegrass Band performs today at noon at Loflin Yard.

It’s back… the 17th annual Stumbling Santa pub crawl departs from the Flying Saucer Saturday, December 4. Come dressed as Santa (or Mrs. Claus, an elf, a reindeer, a Christmas tree, you get the idea) and bring an unwrapped toy so a child can have a merry Christmas. The Santas will gather at 7 PM.

Feelin’ Groovy Fest returns to the Ghost River taproom at 341 Beale today, featuring live music by Jeffrey and the Pacemakers, The Bugaloos, and Pam & Terry.

Teachers get 20% off at both Ghost River taprooms through the end of November.

I am very excited about today, because a lot of the different circles of friends I have run in the past 15 or so years will come together this afternoon for a celebration. So many of my favorite people together in one place. Back tomorrow with more news, or possibly Tuesday if tomorrow is a slow news day.

Saturday update: Remaining Lion King performances canceled

Well. That was not a good day for Memphis basketball.

The Tigers played some extremely sloppy basketball in Brooklyn, turning it over way too much and not carefully executing plans. They lost to Iowa State 78-59. Goodbye number 9 ranking, and there will be those who question whether the Tigers should even be in the Top 25. The Tigers travel to Athens Wednesday to take on Georgia. It’ll be another chance for a victory over a Power 5 opponent.

Back in Memphis, the Grizzlies lost Ja Morant in the first quarter to a possible knee sprain. They then went on to lose to the Atlanta Hawks, 132-100. The Grizzlies drop to 9-10, under the .500 mark, and fall to 8th-10th place in the Western Conference.  Next up: The Grizz host the Sacramento Kings tomorrow at 5.

The big event Downtown today is the Downtown Christmas tree lighting at the corner of Main and Peabody Place. From 4 to 6 this afternoon, you can get photos with Santa. There will be free hot chocolate, and the first 200 kids get free candy from Dinstuhl’s, whose Downtown shop is just steps away. The actual lighting of the approximately 50-foot-tall tree will happen about 4:30.

The remaining performances of The Lion King at the Orpheum have been canceled. Breakthrough COVID cases have been detected among the show’s cast and among the local crew. Read more

It’s that time of year when Santa Troll joins Perjorie on her Memphis adventures.

River City Records has a sweet deal going on: A Jensen Bluetooth turntable and Bluetooth speakers for $199.88. The turntable comes with a $75 gift card to River City Records, so you can get started building your collection. There are a limited number, so if you want one, get down there.

Have a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers? Make loaded nachos with them.

The new COVID variant that is wreaking havoc on South Africa and Botswana has a name now: Omicron. Travel bans are being issued to contain the new variant. Eventually there are going to be so many variants that they run out of greek letters. Maybe they could use Chinese characters since that’s where the virus originated.

Today is Movember, a day to raise awareness of men’s health, at Grind City Brewing Co. They’re open from noon to 10 PM. Here’s the schedule:

  • Food trucks (Diamond Dave’s Pizza and Guru’s City Vegan 901) open for business at 12 PM
  • Poker tournament starts at 2 PM; re-entry deadline 3:30
  • Mustache judging at 5 PM
  • Live music by Elevation Memphis 6-9 PM

Hollywood A-lister and the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, The Rock, proved this week that he is truly one of the good guys. He learned of a Navy veteran in need of a vehicle, a man who is a leader in his church and who prepares meals for women escaping domestic abuse. The Rock gave him a truck. But The Rock did not just stop by a car lot and pick something out – he gave the vet his own personal truck.

Use code THANKS through November 29 to get 25% off tickets to WWE Monday Night RAW held at FedExForum on December 6.

My Arkansas Razorbacks picked up a nice win over Missouri yesterday to improve to 8-4. The latest projection I’ve seen has the Hogs facing Clemson in the Gator Bowl. Sounds good to me.

DJ Superbrad plays ’80s and ’90s at Blind Bear tonight 9 to 1.

It’s Small Business Saturday, when you are encouraged to avoid the malls, big-box retailers, and national chains, and instead shop locally and support small business owners. My top two recommendations would be Feelin’ Memphis (509 S. Main) and Walking Pants Curiosities (109 G.E. Patterson). You will have no problem finding unique gifts at those two places, and you’ll be spending your dollars with people who are a part of the community.

As for me, I plan on doing some shopping for PBR at 3 great locally-owned businesses this morning, afternoon, and evening. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

I hope you had as happy a Thanksgiving as I did. I went out to see friends in Eads, where we had turkey and ham with all the trimmings:

I was stuffed. There was apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

The Memphis Tigers face an Iowa State team tonight that was terrible last year but which knocked off a Top 25 team in Xavier Wednesday night. It’s a chance to get a win over a Power 5 conference opponent. 8:30 tonight on ESPN2. The DM has a scouting report on Iowa State.

By the Brewery Restaurant at 496 Tennessee Street will host a Small Business Saturday Holiday Market where you can support local makers this Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM. “Brunch, Lunch, & Shop a Bunch.”

The South Main district is getting a new convenience store. The CA reports that Big River Market in the Emerge Building, 516 Tennessee Street, will open in February. They’ll have breakfast tacos and sandwiches, convenience store fare, and beer and wine. They’ll also have a small patio fronting on G.E. Patterson Avenue. The market will create 10 jobs in the area.

Today is National Cake Day. My recommendation would be to visit Cheesecake Corner on G.E. Patterson. Then stop by next door at Max’s Sports Bar for a PBR.

Westy’s served holiday meals to the hungry yesterday for the 17th consecutive year.

The Grizzlies, in conjunction with the Shelby County Health Department, are hosting a COVID vaccination event tonight 5-7 PM. Those 12 and up can show up, get a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and receive two free tickets for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

It’s the final weekend for The Lion King at the Orpheum.

There will be multiple vendors at Small Biz Saturday at Butterific Cafe, 488 S. Second, Saturday from noon to 7.

The Will Tucker Band plays Memphis Clover Cafe, at the corner of B.B. KIng and Court, tonight at 8.

As a professional writer, I study top writers in my field, and how they achieved success. Several of them built vision boards, collages that contained images of the life they want to manifest for themselves. For example, one aspiring writer wrote herself a $5000 check and put it on her vision board at the beginning of January 2020. It was a sign of her intention to earn $5000 in one month on the Medium platform.

In February 2020 she earned over $7700 on Medium. Now, obviously, she had to put in a lot of hard work to get there, but seeing the check many times a day, every day, opened an energetic connection that drew that success to her.

“Okay, Paul,” you’re probably asking right now. “This is a Downtown Memphis blog. Why are you telling us about vision boards?”

I’m glad you asked. Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe out in The Edge District is hosting a Vision Board Brunch on Sunday, January 2. There you will be able to eat, drink, and envision. You’ll get an all-you-can-eat brunch, bottomless mimosas, and all the supplies needed to create your board. Cost is $125 and space is limited. Chef Tam says this will be the first of many empowering experiences including talks with her, live music, and fun.

By the way, if you want to learn more about adjusting your energy to attract the life you want to you, two books I recommend are The Last Law of Attraction Book You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Kap and You Are a Badass by Jen SIncero.

It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving – Black Friday as some people call it – and the majority of people who have corporate jobs have today off. Looking for something to do this afternoon? I invite you to join me at the Silly Goose for the best happy hour Downtown. It runs from noon to 7:30 – that’s not a typo, it’s seven and a half hours long – and features $2 domestics, $5 well drinks, and $5 house wine. The domestic options include 16 oz. cans of PBR and they have plenty of it. They will not run out, even with me there all afternoon.

That’s it. Back tomorrow.

Thursday update

The Memphis Tigers got their first signature win of the season last night, beating Virginia Tech in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off, 69-61. The Tigers advance to the finals of the tournament, playing Iowa State at 8:30 PM Friday. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

The Memphis Grizzlies, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well last night. They fell to Toronto, 126-113. That loss knocks them back to .500 and ties them with the L.A. Lakers, the Denver Nuggets, and the Minnesota Timberwolves for 7th-10th place in the Western Conference. Ideally, the Grizzlies would like to finish 6th or better and avoid play-in scenarios.

Next up for the Grizz: At home vs. the Atlanta Hawks Friday. First 3000 fans receive Jaren Jackson Jr. slides.

In other Grizzlies news, Tony Allen has asked the Grizzlies to postpone his jersey retirement, which had been scheduled for January 28. The Grindfather has some legal matters he wants to get cleaned up first.

Bardog will open at 5 this afternoon and will have a $20 Thanksgiving special that includes

  • Turkey
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Sweet potato mash
  • Pumpkin pie

Max’s Sports Bar will open at 5. They have eggnog slushies back just in time for the holiday season.

The Blind Bear opens at 6 and will also have a Thanksgiving special.

Silly Goose opens at 7.

For a list of more places open to the public on Thanksgiving, check out Holly’s blog.

Breakfast cereal is the next thing that’s about to get more expensive.

A woman has been charged with disorderly conduct and vandalism related to the damage done on and around Main Street early Tuesday morning. She’s also accused of throwing three rocks through the window of the Lansky store in the Peabody Hotel, shattering glass, damaging merchandise, and almost hitting a customer.

Makeda’s Cookies will name their chocolate chip cookie after Young Dolph. The rapper was shot and killed at their Airways store last week. He was a regular customer and the chocolate chip cookie was his favorite.

Exercise Unlimited at 387 S. Front will have a Small Business Saturday celebration this Saturday. There will be in-store discounts, live demonstrations of exercise equipment, and booths by other Downtown vendors.

That’s it for now. Heading out for Thanksgiving with wonderful friends here in a bit. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Yesterday morning I walked out of my apartment building near Madison and Main, on a caffeine run to Walgreens. I noticed that the two large lion’s head concrete planters that sit outside the building’s front door had been dumped over on their side.

Later in the day, I read a news story (hey, there’s Zach!) that reported similar damage elsewhere on South Main, as far as 9 or 10 blocks away from where I live. Urevbu Contemporary, an art gallery at Main and Huling, had planters out front that were damaged or destroyed, and Grecian Gourmet in the same block reported similar damage. Further up Main, a restaurant had some of its patio furniture thrown out into the street.

From a discussion I saw on Facebook, it appears a woman, by herself, in a trench coat got asked to leave Central Station a little after 2 yesterday morning and went on a vandalism spree. She must have been strong (or on something) to flip over those planters outside my building having already walked nearly a mile. I bet those things weigh 100 pounds apiece.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve! This is one of the busiest going-out nights of the year. Expect the bars to start filling up in the early afternoon as employees get the long-awaited “you can leave early” email.

The Memphis Tigers play on national television tonight. They’ll take on Virginia Tech in the first round of the NIT Pre-Season Tournament. 6:30 PM on ESPN2. A win over the Hokies would likely be considered a “quality win” in the eyes of the NCAA tournament committee.

The Grizzlies host the Toronto Raptors tonight at 7.

Memphis Hungry Turkey 5K starts Thanksgiving morning at 8:30 at Bass Pro at the Pyramid.

Violinist Lindsey Stirling performs at the Cannon Center Friday night.

DJ Superbrad hosts ’80s Into ’90s Night Saturday at the Blind Bear starting at 9 PM.

Want to be a well-liked Thanksgiving guest? Stop by The Peanut Shoppe at 24 S. Main today and pick up some nuts to take with you. I believe the hours today are 10 AM to 5 PM. Note that since it is a rather small enclosed space, the owners require that you wear a face mask when inside the shop.

This will come as no surprise for those who like to listen to the Memphis Police scanner: The Peppertree Apartments have been declared a public nuisance. It’s rare that I listen to the scanner for any length of time and NOT hear a call to Peppertree.

Bad news for craft beer drinkers: The price of canned craft beer is expected to go up next year

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has his first Nike TV ad: Question those who question your game

Very cool: The Shelby County Health Department received a million-dollar grant to fight crime. Dr. Bruce Randolph, County Health Officer, said they are treating crime as an infectious disease. They hope to place “interrupters” in the streets, people who are known and respected by both sides, who can calm things down and prevent chains of murders from happening. Certainly sounds worth a try, because traditional policing tactics sure aren’t preventing murders.

It’s time to take a look at college football games of interest to those in the Mid-South this weekend. All games are Saturday unless otherwise noted.

  • 9 Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Egg Bowl), 6:30 PM Thanksgiving, ESPN
  • 4 Cincinnati at East Carolina, 2:30 PM Friday, ABC
  • Missouri at 25 Arkansas, 2:30 PM Friday, CBS
  • 1 Georgia at Georgia Tech, 11 AM, CBS
  • 2 Ohio State at 5 Michigan, 11 AM, FOX
  • Florida State at Florida (Sunshine Showdown), 11 AM, ESPN
  • Texas Tech at 8 Baylor, 11 AM, FS1
  • Texas State at Arkansas State, 1 PM, ESPN+
  • 3 Alabama at Auburn (Iron Bowl), 2:30 PM, CBS
  • Vanderbilt at Tennessee, 2:45 PM, SEC Network
  • 15 Texas A&M at LSU, 6 PM, ESPN
  • 10 Oklahoma at 7 Oklahoma State (Bedlam), 6:30 PM, ABC
  • Tulane at Memphis, 6:30 PM, ESPNU
  • 6 Notre Dame at Stanford, 7 PM, FOX

Bleacher Report: Chaos looms for College Football Playoff discusses the scenarios in which each of the top 8 teams would get in.

Well, I fell down a rabbit hole yesterday, reading answers Stewart Cook posted to questions asked on Quora. Stewart is a life coach who helps people who have been victims of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That’s different from a therapist in a couple of ways:

  • Many therapists haven’t personally experienced someone with NPD and therefore don’t know what they’re talking about, other than what they’ve read from textbooks; and
  • Against narcissists, you have to fight dirty, and therapists’ code of ethics prevents them from advising you to do that. Life coaches can tell you whatever they want.

What are the biggest signs that you may be dealing with someone with NPD and would benefit from talking to a coach like Stewart? In my opinion, they are

  1. You catch someone openly, BRAZENLY lying to you, and they couldn’t seem to care less that you caught them lying… yet, they’re generally such a likable and charming person that it just doesn’t add up
  2. You’re in a relationship, and you just can’t shake the feeling that your partner or spouse is hiding things – possibly BIG things, possibly a LOT of things – from you

View Stewart’s profile and answers on Quora

Unless I have highly timely or urgent news, I will take tomorrow off from posting. Thanksgiving is a slow news day and I’m hitting the road early to celebrate with friends. Back Friday with more.

Tuesday update: Amazon Super Saver Shipping is no longer a great deal

Welcome to my first post typed on my new MacBook Air! I am so happy to have it. After my old laptop’s trackpad became unreliable, I decided to return to the cult of the Mac. I got on the Amazon app on my phone and ordered a new computer. But, I have some words of caution about that.

I ordered the MacBook Air on Thursday, November 11. When I checked out, Amazon told me I had three shipping options:

  • Become a Prime member and get my package Saturday, November 13
  • Pay for regular shipping and get it Sunday, November 14
  • Choose free Super Saver shipping and get it Tuesday, November 16

Never had I ever had a problem with Super Saver shipping. I’ve ordered using that method many times before, and my packages usually arrived in 2 days and always in 3. Since the old laptop was still working, my need for the MacBook was not urgent. So I choose Super Saver.

Boy, was that a mistake.

Tuesday, November 16 I checked the tracker. It said the carrier had the package and that it should be delivered no later than 10 PM. It also informed me the carrier was Amazon itself, rather than a third party. That’s good, I thought. My worst fear anytime I order something online is that it will be handed off to the U.S. Postal Service.

I checked my email throughout the day for notification of delivery. I never got it. I got home that evening and reloaded the tracker. “We’re sorry for the delay. Your package should arrive November 17-18.”

Wednesday, November 17 came and went. No delivery. The tracker now read, “We’re sorry for the delay. Your package should arrive November 18.”

Thursday, November 18 came and went. No delivery. Now the tracker read, “We’re sorry for the delay. Your package should arrive November 17-24.”

ARE YOU F’N KIDDING ME??? I was beginning to wonder if Amazon’s tracker was a total lie and my package hadn’t even left the warehouse yet. I was being told that my package might arrive more than a week later than my promised date. In 1972 that kind of service was acceptable. In 2021, not so much.

Here’s my theory: Since Amazon no longer uses third-party carriers, they have control of the package all the way to the destination. Therefore, they can bump Super Saver-shipped packages as much as they choose to accommodate Prime customers. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if they informed customers of that practice at the time of checkout.

I wonder if executives are hoping that I’ll come to the conclusion that I better join Prime so I’ll get expedited packages in the future. Actually, the conclusion I have come to is that I’ll shop somewhere else next time I’m in the market for a computer.

But then, this is a Mac, so I probably won’t need to go computer shopping for another 7 to 10 years.

I didn’t realize when I was placing my order that Macs come in more than one color now. So I ended up with a “Rose Gold” laptop. Had I been paying attention, I would’ve chosen differently, but I’ll learn to love it.

On to the news…

Following the shooting death of Young Dolph, Makeda’s cookies reopened its Downtown location this week. There’s a GoFundMe set up for repairs to the Airways location, which was shot up. These are wonderful local businesspeople who have had a connection to Downtown for years.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will not have a typical meeting for the month of December. Instead, they will have a Soup, Socks, and Scarves event on Tuesday, December 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at the corner of Main and Peabody Place. DNA members who can do so are asked to come and hand out those items to our Downtown neighbors. If you want to drop off socks and scarves, the location is BankTennessee at 30 N. Second (ask for Michelle). As for the soup, it will be provided by Chef Elijah Townsend, DNA president-elect.

Jennifer Biggs of the DM has a look at the empanadas and arepas at Sabor Caribe in her $10 Deals column this week. The Venezuelan restaurant is located on Madison Avenue in The Edge.

The Blind Bear will open at 6 PM Thanksgiving evening and they are definitely planning a turkey special – as a matter of fact, I was up there Sunday and they were asking my opinion on how many turkeys to order. “As many as you can get,” I told them.

Now that’s the Jaren we wanted to see! Jaren Jackson Jr. hit a three last night to give the Memphis Grizzlies a win over the Utah Jazz, 119-118.

The Grizzlies are now tied with Portland and Denver for 6th-8th in the Western Conference. Next up: A home game vs. Toronto tomorrow night at 7.

The Peanut Shoppe’s 2-story-tall PEANUTS sign is still for sale. The owner can’t take it to the new location at 121 S. Main when he moves after the first of the year. Reminds me, I’ve got to go see Rida about some nuts to take to Thanksgiving.

Speaking of nuts, did you know that today is National Cashew Day?

That’s it for now. You know, this Rose Gold MacBook is starting to grow on me. Very Roaring Twenties. I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm today, so I won’t be out early. Apologies for any typos – I’m still learning this keyboard. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update: Lots of birthday and birthday weekend pics

I rarely go three days without posting, and it prompted a few readers to send “you ok?” emails. Yes, totally. I’ve just been out in the world, living life and loving life.

I had a fantastic birthday on Thursday. I knew it was going to be a long day, so I needed to get a good meal in me as a base. I walked over to the food truck rodeo in Court Square.

Fried fish from Mr. Frazier’s Fish Fry sounded like the perfect choice to soak up the shots that I knew were coming. Those are crabby fries in the upper right, fries covered in lump crabmeat in two kinds of cheeses.

After lunch it was time to get the day started. I led off at the Silly Goose.

Nate (center in photo above) has a doppelganger who was walking around outside the Goose on his phone. We need to get a photo of them together. I think he works somewhere nearby.

About 3:00 the cake came out.

It was a turtle ice cream cake. I’m not sure where it came from (I think possibly Margie’s 901) but I will ask and let you know.

I told them I was limiting myself to one shot between noon and 8. Of course, that plan went completely out the window within 45 minutes of getting there. By the fifth or so shot I was looking a bit rough:

We weren’t done, though. From there, it was time for a quick trip around the corner to the Blind Bear.

(Dammit – got one more that is a GREAT group pic of us at the bar at Blind Bear, but WordPress is giving me an HTTP error when I try to upload.)

Thanks to everyone who celebrated with me and/or wished me a happy birthday. I’ll repeat what I said on Facebook – To know that I am loved by so many amazing people is the best birthday present I could ever ask for.

Got a couple more pics too:

Crickets! This was our Friday adventure at the Goose. There’s a candy store on Beale Street between Miss Polly’s Cafe and the King’s Palace patio. They sell packs of edible crickets there. Someone brought them back and all of us (except one) ate a cricket. Even Jessica, the bartender, ate one. I have pictures of that but I’m not allowed to post them.

A few people commented, “Gross,” but they’re really not. The reason I wouldn’t pick up a cricket off the street and eat it is that it could have all kinds of bacteria and diseases. Commercially-sold food crickets have been sanitized, though. They’re as safe to eat as a Dorito. They’re an excellent source of protein and in some parts of the world, they are delicacies.

Here’s a recipe for cricket tacos that is said to be popular in Mexico. I have Mexican readers – do you eat these?

Next topic: Have you ever gone to a bar and the music is turned too loud? Or turned so low that you can barely even hear it? Well, there’s an app that you can install on your phone to measure how loud it is.

I got the Decibel Meter app for my iPhone on Saturday. Decibels are a measure of loudness. Here’s a chart for decibel levels of common sounds.

I started off by establishing a baseline. I set Decibel Meter on my kitchen counter, a few feet away from a humming refrigerator in an otherwise quiet apartment. It measured 47-51 db.

Then I took the app to Bardog. There had been a request to turn the music up and it was loud, but just slightly. The app measured 77-91 db with an average in the low 80s.

I turned it on once again as one song finished playing and another had yet to start – so I was capturing the loudness of only the ambient conversation in the two-thirds-full bar, without any music. It measured 75-81 db, not much lower than when the music had been playing. That surprised me at first, but thinking about it more, you want the music to be only slightly louder than the conversation around you, so you can talk to the person next to you without going “Huh???” over and over again.

I suspect the sweet spot is the low 80s, but I need to do a little more research. When the bar is packed, I would bet the ambient conversation noise alone would be in the mid 80s, so readings inching up to 90 and above would become more appropriate.

I have yet to use the meter in a bar where the music is playing WAY TOO LOUD, so I will have to come back with an update on that measure.

Anyway, just wanted to inform you that this thing exists. If you’re a bartender who constantly gets “the music’s not loud enough” complaints, this is a tool that would allow you to establish a definitive baseline for “loud enough.”

Word on Nextdoor is that thieves are stealing license plates in Uptown. Might want to bolt yours down with anti-theft bolts if you live in that area.

Starting November 24, you will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test to attend Grizzlies games. The Grizzlies are on the road tonight to face Utah at 8:00. They will be back home Wednesday to host Toronto.

That’s the news for now. Thanksgiving is a slow news week, so I’ll be back when there’s stuff to report.

Thursday update

A number of people reported on Nextdoor that they felt their homes shake shortly before 10 PM last night. There was a magnitude 3.7 earthquake in southeast Missouri. I hope that’s just a small slip in a tectonic plate and not a forewarning of “The Big One.”

Yesterday was a sad and shocking day for our Memphis community. There was a murder at the Makeda’s Cookies on Airways and Ketchum, and it was confirmed to be 36-year-old Memphis-born rap artist Young Dolph.

Whoever planned the murder knew Young Dolph’s routine. He had bulletproof cars and tight security, but everyone becomes vulnerable at some point. For Dolph, this was when he stopped to indulge in his love of chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. The shooters knew this and had a clear shot.

As the story unfolded, I couldn’t help but think, “This reminds me of Albert Anastasia.”

In 1957, Anastasia was in his 6th year as boss of one of the Five Families of New York City. Vito Genovese, boss of a rival family, hated “Don Umberto” and wanted him removed as head of the Anastasia family. But Anastasia, the former head of an organization known as Murder Inc., was a dangerous and paranoid man. Like Young Dolph, he had security and bulletproof cars.

Everyone has to get haircuts, though. Genovese’s shooters learned when he’d be stopping by the barbershop and moved in for the kill. As was the case with Dolph, they got him in a rare moment of vulnerability. Genovese then arranged for Anastasia’s underboss, Carlo Gambino, who he perceived to be an ally, to be installed as head of what then became known as the Gambino family.

Y’all, please show Makeda’s Cookies some love. The murder happened at the store at Airways and Ketchum, but they had a Downtown store at 488 S. Second for years and now have a bakery and warehouse at 301 Jefferson. You can order their cookies online.

Young Dolph was well-known Downtown, having performed at Memphis Madness and at Grizzlies halftime shows. He was in town this week to visit a sick aunt and to hold a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway in the neighborhood where he grew up.

There were calls for a curfew yesterday to prevent possible retaliation, but none was implemented.

Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, and others posted their reactions to Young Dolph’s death.

The Memphis Grizzlies, who had a rare two consecutive days off between games, lent a hand at the Mid-South Food Bank yesterday. They’re back in action tonight, hosting the L.A. Clippers at 7.

You can now drink the greatest beer in the world while looking at animals. The Memphis Zoo now has PBR on draft.

Beale Street is planning “an amazing holiday experience” Friday, December 3 and Friday, December 10 5-7 PM. There will be holiday music, free hot chocolate, and free photos with Santa.

The Board of Adjustment postponed the discussion of a new 7-story St. Jude parking garage until its December 22 meeting. Plans for the garage are opposed heavily by those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. The delay will give St. Jude a chance to meet with residents and come up with a design that is friendly to all. Jerred Price, president of DNA, thinks traffic studies and environmental studies need to be done as well.

Speaking of DNA, don’t forget, its big year-end meeting is tonight at the Renasant Convention Center. State of Downtown address, guest speakers, election of new board members, live music, food and drink, tours of the new convention center. Social hour at 5, presentation at 6.

I got a pro tip from a cook yesterday: If you like the flamin’ hot Cheetos, sprinkle a little lemon salt on them. It’ll really bring out the flavor.

The Grizzlies are hosting a Grizz Shop Local event Saturday, November 27 from 3-6 PM in the Grand Lobby of FedExForum. Area small businesses will be on hand, and there will be exclusive promotions for those who come out and shop. Get a free order of pretzel bites at WynnBET Sports Bar with any purchase.

Downtown employees: If you have to come to work between 6:30 and 11:30 AM Saturday, December 4, the day of the St. Jude Marathon, there will be a Downtown employee parking lot (free parking) at 216 Court Ave. To get there coming from the east, take the Jefferson Ave. bridge over Danny Thomas Blvd., then turn left on N. Fourth St. The Blue Suede Brigade will staff the lot and employees will need to sign a parking log.

The following roads will be closed 6:30-11:30 AM on race day:

  • Beale
  • Vance
  • Second
  • Front
  • Huling
  • St. Martin
  • G.E. Patterson
  • E. Butler
  • Danny Thomas Blvd. (closed 6:30 AM-4:30 PM)
  • Union Ave. (no traffic or vehicular parking 1 PM Dec.3-6 PM Dec. 4 between B.B. King and Danny Thomas)
  • B.B. King (no traffic or vehicular parking 10 PM Dec.3-noon Dec. 4 between Vance and A.W. Willis)

More info at stjude.org/marathonneighbors

Here’s a list of trucks for today’s Court Square food truck rodeo.

It’s my birthday! I’ve been ordered to eat a huge lunch so I’ll be ready for a celebration this afternoon, so I’ll probably hit the food truck rodeo at 11. Back tomorrow with more news.