Sunday update

For the first time in history, the Memphis Tigers football team are champions of the American Athletic Conference, having handed Cincinnati a second straight loss, 29-24. The Tigers will most certainly finish in the rankings as the highest Group of 5 team and will receive an invite to the Cotton Bowl.

The CFP committee will announces its final rankings, and the top four teams, today around 11:15. At 2 the selections for the non-playoff New Year’s Six bowls (including Cotton) will be announced, followed by the matchups for the rest of the bowls. The CFP rankings will be streamed live on the ESPN app.

Mike Norvell is headed out to Florida State, exactly the kind of program I predicted he’d be drawn to. The Seminoles have a rich football tradition but have not been a top-tier team the past few years, partly due to the dominance of Clemson. Norvell is the man who can guide FSU back to the top of the ACC.

Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss? I like Kif but he’s not going to be successful in a conference where you have to play Alabama, Auburn, and LSU every year. Kiffin was the favorite at Arkansas but he chose Ole Miss instead. I hope this doesn’t lead to Arkansas hiring Butch Jones.

Let’s get on to the news: Kansas City becomes the first major city to make public transportation free. Memphis, if you want to become a world-class city, this is the way.

Well crap… the Memphis vs. Tennessee basketball game is at 2 next Saturday. That conflicts with the Beale Street Christmas parade. Going to have to figure that one out.

WREG reports that a man was detained after driving a car through St. Jude Marathon barricades. What is wrong with people?

The Peabody is serving up some holiday drinks at both the lobby bar and the Corner Bar. Choices include a Snowflake Martini, The Grinch, Milk & Cookies, and a Winter Bourbon Smash.

Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.

 

 

Saturday update

Special guest post
by Perjorie T. Roll

NOTE FROM PAUL: Perjorie T. Roll is my personal assistant and Senior Deputy Director of Public Relations of the Shoulder trophy-winning Moody Ques BBQ team. Today is her 3rd birthday. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she pointed out that it’s been a while since she did a guest post. So here we go. I hope I don’t regret this.

Howdy everyone! I’m Perjorie, Paul’s troll. Today is my birthday! It’s also St. Jude Marathon day. I decided not to run this year because my legs are not that long. Massive respect for all the people and trolls who are pushing it to the limit for the kids today.

Yesterday a friend told Paul and me that he recently went to Flava House Lounge, a new restaurant at 95 S. Main #105, next door to Local in what Paul believes is the former Downtown Nutrition space. It’s owned by the same people who run Flava House on Kirby Parkway and our friend said the food is quite good. Here’s a look at their menu. They have a pretty wide range of chicken wing sauces to choose from. When Paul orders chicken wings, I like to stand next to them because the celery is the same color as my hair. They’re BYOB and have set-ups with cups, ice, and juices. Also, they’re a hookah lounge with happy hour hookahs only $15.

Insomnia Cookies on Beale Street is now open. You can get warm cookies to go with your Big Ass Beer or Call-a-Cab until 3 AM.

And now, I would like to present to you my top five bridges to stand under in the city of Memphis.

  1. The bridge over the creek at Loflin Yard. So pretty and serene.
  2. The Cooper-Young railroad trestle. I know that’s pretty touristy but I like it because when I get done standing under the bridge, I can go get a slice at Aldo’s and a beer at Memphis Made.
  3. The railroad bridge at Southern and Josephine. Because I’m ‘hood and shit, yo.
  4. Any of the bridges on I-55 between Crump and 240. It’s fun to watch stupid truck drivers realize their truck won’t fit under the bridge and the cops have to close down the interstate while they back up.
  5. The railroad bridge over G.E. Patterson. I like to stand under this bridge on Saturdays when the Farmers Market is open nearby. This bridge is also near Malco Powerhouse.  I hope they show the new Trolls movie there when it comes out in 2020.

Turn your TV to ABC for Cincinnati vs. Memphis in the AAC championship game today at 2:30. So many teams named Tigers and Bulldogs and Cougars… and yet not one team named Trolls. You’d think someone would seize on to such a fabulous marketing opportunity. Perhaps the Tennessee Vols wouldn’t suck so much if they changed their name to Tennessee Trolls.

Oh, who am I kidding? Yes they would. In other football news, I’m rooting for Oregon in the Pac-12 game and Baylor in the Big 12 game because their uniforms are the same color as my hair. In tomorrow’s NFL games, I like the Seahawks, the Packers, and the Jets.

The MBJ has an article on Rizzo’s riding the wave of Downtown with Chef Michael Patrick’s decision to open for lunch Tuesday through Friday. With Arrive Hotel open across the street and Central Station Hotel open a block away, foot traffic on South Main has picked up considerably. The meat-and-three for lunch is outstanding. I like the veggie plate because the foods are often the same color as my hair.

The Blind Bear put up its Christmas tree yesterday.

This is a photo of Mary dragging the tree from the storage room to its location up front. Mary: “This is what you get when you get a bunch of drunk people trying to put a Christmas tree back in the box.”  I like Christmas because the trees are the same color as my hair.

Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas makes a stop at the Orpheum tonight. Tickets are $34.50-$74.50.

Fun for the entire family down the street from the Orpheum, at the Halloran Centre at 3 PM, for a performance of A Cup of Tea at Christmas. Each character in this 4-part show has a particular present they want for Christmas… but they have to remember it wouldn’t be Christmas without peace, love, joy, and trolls.

A poverty expert says that funding public transportation is critical to bringing the city out of poverty. So true!

We’re a little over two months away from Trolls LIVE! at the Cannon Center. Do you have your tickets yet?

One high school has added an adulting class where students learn to do things like paying bills, cooking for themselves, and changing tires. I wonder if there’s a high school somewhere that has a trolling class?

As your number-two source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to inform you that Venezuelan restaurant Sabor Caribe is now baking ham breads (panes de jamon). If you don’t like raisins or olives in your bread they can customize it to your taste. Call 901-425-5889 on 901-303-2886 to order.

Recommended: Mondays with Q Whiskey Tastings at Belle Tavern. You can choose from two whiskey tastings:

  • A single malt from Benriach, the 10yr Unpeated, the 10yr peated Curiositas, and the 12yr Sherrywood
  • Booker’s, Little Book 2, and Little Book 3

These tastings are only available on Mondays. Q is so sweet. She always asks “where’s the troll?” when Paul forgets to take me out of his pocket and stand me on the bar.

Stumbling Santa, the annual Downtown pub crawl, starts at the Flying Saucer tonight at 7. Dress up as Santa and bring a toy for the Porter-Leath toy drive.

Ariana Grande plays FedExForum tonight.

The Memphis Tigers basketball team has an away game at UAB at 4:30. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.

That’s the news for today! Paul says we’re leading off at Blind Bear today because Bardog tends to get overrun (pardon the pun) with runners on marathon day. We may wander over to Bardog later in the afternoon once the crowd has cleared out. Paul will be back tomorrow with more news. If anyone wants to buy me a birthday drink today I like PBR and shots of Jameson.

Friday update

A few more St. Jude Marathon updates:

  • The Silly Goose will open at 10 tomorrow. As I previously mentioned, they will have recovery tools and massages for runners, and a DJ starting at noon.
  • Show your race bib at Slider Inn for $1 off all drafts, all weekend long.
  • Someone was asking about the course maps. Here they are. If you live Downtown and need to get out of Downtown between 7 AM and 2 PM, I would recommend allowing 2 hours. No I am not kidding.
  • I haven’t confirmed this is happening, but in past years there’s been a guy on S. Front handing out cans of beer to the runners. Can you imagine getting stopped by an officer while you’re running a race to cure childhood cancer and getting cited for an open container of Miller Lite?

Here’s a quick review of my previous updates on the marathon:

  • Brass Door will open at 7 and runners can drop bags there
  • Loflin Yard will open at 8. Mimosas, hot drinks, to-go breakfast items
  • Kooky Canuck will open at 9
  • Automatic Slim’s will open at 9 (their normal opening time)
  • Free parking for Downtown employees at a lot on Court between Fourth and Danny Thomas. Use Jefferson to get in and out

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, I have one more traffic impediment to tell you about. The intersection of Monroe and Marshall will be closed all day Saturday through Sunday morning. The reason why is they will be doing upkeep over the art installation that hangs over that intersection. Couldn’t they have found another day to do that?

Yesterday I was sitting at the Silly Goose when several police cars with sirens blazing sped by. The reason why? A man attempted to rob Bank of America at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, near the Downtown Christmas tree. He didn’t get anything and fled north on Main. A friend of mine reported seeing “some weird characters” loitering around the bank about an hour before the robbery. He was going to use the ATM there but decided not to.

City-ordered mediation between Memphis in May and Memphis River Parks Partnership has concluded. I’ll let you click through to the article to read the full list of agreed-upon points, but I want to touch on a few:

  • A traffic light will be installed on Riverside halfway between Beale and Georgia, to allow pedestrian traffic to safely cross. GOOD! That will slow traffic down on that street. As I have mentioned in the past, the posted speed limit of 35 on that part of Riverside is an absolute joke. Drivers get mad at you if you’re not doing at least 47, 48 or so. I would guess the Huling Ave. staircase would be the location of the light.
  • The park’s “tailout nature area” on the south end is still planned, with play areas and play equipment. I have a feeling that may push my BBQ team’s booth northward. The shoulder teams usually occupy the southern end of the park.
  • A mutual non-disparagement agreement has been put in place between the two sides. Again, GOOD! As Majestic co-owner Patrick Reilly pointed out, the personal attacks on the people in charge of both sides were disgusting.

Developer Tom Intrator, who is working on multiple projects in The Pinch, the core, and South Main, wants to bring national brands Downtown. That immediately drew some harsh comments on Facebook, saying, who is this New York developer to come in here and think he knows what Memphians want? I don’t totally agree. I don’t want Downtown looking like the Saddle Creek shopping center in Germantown, but I think a mix of local and national brands is best.

However, what I would advise Mr. Intrator to do is bring in national brands that fill in gaps in the Downtown experience, rather than competing with existing businesses. For that reason I am not thrilled that national yoga studio chain YogaSix is one of the first brands he plans on bringing here. Downtown already has two locally-owned yoga studios, Your Inner Yogi in the core and Downtown Yoga in South Main, that are much loved by their students. I would hate to see Intrator’s development put one or both out of business.

The Memphis Farmers Market is having another holiday market! The Homegrown Holiday Market will happen under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson on Saturday, December 14 from 9 AM to 1 PM. For those of you who have Dirty Santa parties – and some of my readers have one that evening – this would be a good place to pick up interesting gifts.

A Memphis Flyer writer recently paid a visit to Longshot, the new shuffleboard bar in the Arrive Hotel. Excellent food, reasonable prices, and they have PBR.

FM 100’s Deck the Hall Ball with Rob Thomas is tonight at the Orpheum.

Jimmy Stephens Jr. will play a Christmas show tonight at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, at 7:00. Join him, won’t you? Tony Manard, Rice Drewry, Bailey Bigger, Alice Hasen, Amber Dunn, and Paul Waits will be there and there will be CDs for sale.

That’s it for now. Off to work, then I’ll get out where I’ll hopefully see some runner friends from out of town. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

More early openings for St. Jude Marathon Saturday:

  • Loflin Yard will open at 8 AM and is on the race route, around mile 8. They will have mimosas and hot drinks, and they will also have to-go foods like muffins and breakfast burritos available.
  • Kooky Canuck will open at 9 AM.
  • This isn’t an early opening, but Automatic Slim’s opening time is always 9 AM on the weekends. I have not had their brunch but have heard very good things.

This is in addition to previously reported openings:

  • Brass Door – 7 AM – food and drinks plus runners can drop their bags there
  • Silly Goose – 11 AM – massages and recovery tools for runners. DJ starting at noon.

I want to remind all my readers that The Peanut Shoppe is open for business and is a fantastic resource for holiday candy, nuts, and treats. They have decorative holiday tins in which to put your candy, and you can get just about everything you need there to stuff a Christmas stocking. They are wonderful local people. Due to construction two doors down, visibility of their entrance has been partially blocked lately. This has hurt their business a good bit, with many people not realizing they are open. If you need holiday candy or nuts, please keep them in mind! They are on the Main Street Mall, at 24 S. Main halfway between Madison and Monroe.

For my fellow history lovers, this would be a good time to follow the @RealTimeWWII Twitter account if you don’t already. They tweet news from World War II in real time, one day at a time, as if you were actually living in that era. They start in 1939, go through until 1945 and then start over. As of today, they are tweeting the news from December 5, 1941, with the neutral United States building up its navy in anticipation of entering the war against Germany. You know what’s going to happen December 7, (If you don’t, you should.)

The Daily Memphian has a first taste of Bishop, the French brasserie in Central Station, in Jennifer Biggs’ New Eats column this week.

Dave Chappelle‘s tour stops at the Orpheum this evening.

That’s it. Kind of a short post today because I got up late again. Back tomorrow with more.

Marathon info: Early openings, free parking for Downtown employees, Uber/Lyft locations + Wednesday news

I’ve been asked to compile a list of what Downtown bars and restaurants will open early and/or do something special for the runners of the St. Jude Marathon this Saturday. Here’s what I have so far:

  • Brass Door will open at 7 AM and will offer runners a place to drop their bags
  • Kooky Canuck will open early (getting clarification on what time)
  • The Silly Goose will have a Post-Race Party. Flow Cyro will be there with recovery tools, including theragun and normatec boots. Belinda Hobbs will be there for runners in need of massages, and there will be post-race pizza and pasta. DJ starts at noon. (Goose opens at 11 on Saturdays now; I will try to find out if they will open earlier than that)

Know of another bar opening early for the race? Email me at paul@paulryburn.com or hit me up on Facebook. If needed I will update the list above tomorrow or Friday.

Downtown Memphis employees who need to get Downtown, find a parking spot, and get to work on Saturday: There will be free parking on the lot at 272 Court Ave. (between Fourth and Danny Thomas) for Downtown employees. Enter from Jefferson Ave. only, due to road closures. If you plan to arrive Downtown between 9 and 11 AM, expect delays.

Streets closed Saturday will include B.B. King Blvd. (Carolina to A.W. Willis), Second (Beale to Butler), Front (Monroe to Georgia), Riverside Drive (Channel 3 Drive to Court), and Union (Danny Thomas to B.B. King).

Uber/Lyft locations Saturday:

  • 272 Court Ave., the aforementioned parking lot
  • S. Lauderdale between Beale and Union
  • S. Front between Monroe and Union (6:15-10:00 AM)
  • Tennessee Welcome Center (115 N. Riverside)

Info above (other than bar openings) was provided by the DMC’s Safety Coordinator.

On to the news. Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick has brought back their lunches. They are open 11 AM-2 PM for lunch Tuesday-Friday effective yesterday. I saw photos posted to Facebook of Tuesday lunch and it looked delicious.

The Memphis Flyer has the info on Bishop, the new Ticer/Hudman restaurant to open in Central Station Hotel mid-month. I did not know that the restaurant was named for late COGIC bishop G.R. Patterson, whose namesake street borders the hotel.

The Daily Memphian reports that the Orpheum will screen the 1946 classic It’s A Wonderful Life on Monday, December 9.  Three cans of food for the Mid-South Food Bank will get you admission to the movie. Most recommended donations include cans of tuna or chicken, jars of peanut butter, and canned fruit or vegetables.

The Union Mission announced that women’s recovery program Moriah House is seeking a counselor. The job description is long so I’m just going to copy and paste:

Moriah House, a women’s recovery program, is currently looking to hire a highly motivated, biblically trained counselor to join our team. This position is a two tier position which is; administrative assistant to the Director and counselor. The prospective candidate would have a consistent pattern of following the Lord Jesus a reputation of compassion and a heart for discipleship. The prospective candidate needs to possess great leadership skills, administrative skills and experience with counseling women from various backgrounds. The clients we serve are dealing with one or more of the following issues: drug addiction, alcohol addiction, crisis pregnancy or victims of domestic violence. If you are interested in this position please contact Ariyana Rimson at arimson@memphisunionmission.org.

Heh… copy and paste… that’ll give one of my readers something to talk about… and a way to avoid talking about why he hasn’t been seen at Silly Goose happy hour in over three months.

Oh! Speaking of the Silly Goose, I got to try another product of the wood-fired pizza oven, and this one’s not a pizza.

This is artichoke kale dip, baked with five cheeses: Gouda, Fontina, Parmesan, mozzarella and cream cheese, with wood-fired bread service (“our sexy house bread” as Daniel calls it). Normally I stay away from anything with kale in it, but a good chef can do magical things with kale, and that’s what happened here. So much cheese! I guess technically this qualifies as an appetizer, but you probably won’t need a meal after you finish this. (What you will need is a nap.)

There will be a Holiday Night Market at Friday, December 20, 4:30-7 PM at River Garden, the park on N. Riverside near Jefferson. Last-minute shopping, food trucks, drinks, fire pits.

Chris Tomlin will perform Christmas songs of worship at the Orpheum tonight. Tickets start at $23.

The Grizzlies start the first game of a long road trip tonight. They’ll be in Chicago to battle the Bulls at 7.

Today is National Cookie Day and Makeda’s Cookies at 488 S. Second will have cookie samples and specials all day (9 AM-7 PM).

The December edition of the Master Taster’s Club happens tonight at the Peabody. This month’s club, held in the Peabody Corner Bar, will feature tastes of the holidays and bubbles.

That’s the news. Back tomorrow with more.

 

 

Tuesday update

No post yesterday because after 5 days off, my body had shifted back into a weekend schedule. I got up late and barely made it to work on time.

The Memphis Tigers return to the home court tonight, hosting Bradley at FedExForum at 8. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.

The South Main Association will have its annual Holiday Party in the grand ballroom of the Central Station Hotel this Sunday at 4 PM. This will take the place of the December monthly meeting. There will be food by chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of the hotel’s restaurant Bishop, and seasonal cocktails by Old Dominick. Free for SMA members, $10 for non-members.

Crosstown Brewing Co. hosts a Christmas ornament craft workshop Sunday at 2 PM. For $10 you get a beer and everything you need to make ornaments out of beer cans.

River Time Market & Deli on Court Square now has soup in three sizes. Get a small for $3.99, a medium for $5.99, or a large for $7.99. Follow the deli on Facebook to find out their daily soup offerings.

ATCK (All The Cool Kids), featuring a DJ set by A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys as well as DJ Lux, comes to Tin Roof Monday, January 27.

In other Tin Roof news, they will host the official pre-party for WWE Smackdown Friday, January 3. Join them at 5 PM then walk over to FedExForum for the show.

Another WWE brand, NXT, will be in town next month. They will come to Minglewood Hall Thursday, January 23. This will be a house show, not a live TV broadcast. NXT used to be the WWE’s developmental brand but has been considered more than that since they got their new TV deal this fall. Although lesser-known, the performers on the NXT roster often put on better matches than you’ll see on the more established Raw and Smackdown brands.

Another poker night is coming to Downtown. The River Rat Rounders will host Texas Hold’em games Thursday, December 5 and 12 at Loflin Yard at 7 PM. Players will earn double points in the Rats’ poker league those nights. Winners of the main game and the turbo each week will get $50 bar tabs, a Horseshoe Casino comp, and a card guard.

More Loflin Yard news: FreeWorld will hold its 33rd annual Holidaze celebration there on Friday, December 20. There’s no cover charge but everyone is encouraged to bring canned good donations for MIFA. Dr. Herman Green will be there… his appearances have become more limited, so having him there should be a real treat.

Downtowners’ dream of being able to go to a full-service grocery store without having to travel to Mud Island or Midtown took a step closer to reality yesterday. Tax incentives were approved for Union Row, and a grocery store is among the expanded plans.

A man shot at security guards at Margaritas on Saturday night. Ugh… one more reason for me to avoid that place.

Off to work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

I want to start off this post with a link to a meal preparation program that has helped a friend of mine embrace healthy eating. It is called Eat Amplified, and a subscription is not required (although they do offer the option). They will talk to you, if you wish, and build a custom meal plan to address your health goals, or you can pick out what you want online. My friend who uses this service had tried keto and other diet plans and could never stick to them. With Eat Amp’d, he says, he has eaten delicious meals, has never felt still hungry after eating, and he’s learned what a reasonable portion size is and has stuck to his diet, even through Thanksgiving. Check out their a la carte page for an idea of the variety they offer.

A second friend of mine, female, a generation younger, and with totally different health goals recently tried this program and seems to love it too. I’m told that you put in your order by 4 PM Thursday and they do all the shopping for you and prepare your meals for the following week and deliver them to your door.

The Memphis Tigers have announced the men’s basketball team will return to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas the week of Thanksgiving 2020, and the field will be stacked. Other teams participating will include Creighton, Duke, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Utah, good ole West Virginny, and fellow AAC member Wichita State. No matter how talented Memphis is, Penny will have a tough time navigating through that slate. It’ll get the Tigers’ strength of schedule up there, that’s for sure.

Tickets are now on sale for next Saturday’s AAC championship game at the Liberty Bowl. Cincinnati will play Memphis for the title and a probable invitation to the Cotton Bowl at 2:30 on ABC.

I’ve said this once before already, but I want to again extend appreciation to the DMC and Beale Street officials to moving the Downtown holiday parade off the first Saturday of December. For years, no one cared about being in front of a TV for football that day. However, with Memphis now a perennial contender for the AAC championship, it makes perfect sense to let everyone watch the game and have the parade the following Saturday when football season is in the down-time between championship games and bowls. I plan on being at my usual spot, King’s Palace Tap Room, to watch the parade on the 14th. Wonder if the South Main “fam” will watch another parade at Tin Roof?

It’s December 1, and that means it’s time to take a look at non-basketball events coming up at FedExForum this month.

If you’re the type of person who goes to a Grizzlies game at FedExForum now and then, may I suggest the following:

  • Friday, December 13 vs. Milwaukee Bucks: First 5000 fans get #12 Ja Morant and #13 Jaren Jackson Jr. socks
  • Sunday, December 29 vs. Charlotte Hornets: First 5000 fans get a retro fanny pack. I guess Bloom will have to get someone to cover her shift at Bardog so she can add to her fanny pack collection

Cheers to the folks of Deal Cancer Out, who raised $5700 at their Central BBQ Downtown Texas Hold’em tournament yesterday. I saw photos and there were a massive amount of giveaways from local restaurants. The top three places paid out prizes but I bet most of the participants left with something.

Starting next Sunday, Regina’s Cajun Kitchen at 60 N. Main will have Soul Food Sundays. The menu will change from week to week, and there will be live jazz and gospel and games on the TVs.

South of Beale is looking to hire an A.M. Bartender. This position will work mainly 10 AM-4 PM and will make $8/hour plus tips. Bartending experience and a current ABC license is required. Bring your resume and ask for a manager 2-4 PM any day.

That’s it for now. I will start off at B-RAD’s bar today, then decide whether to head south to Slider Inn or stick around the core for the Downtown tree lighting. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.

Saturday update

Yep. Took a day off from blogging yesterday, as I expected I would. Yesterday I got up, showered, dressed, and was in my usual seat at Bardog at 8:30. I was happy to be there early on a weekday morning again, although I’m also happy I have a reason to not be at Bardog early most weekdays.

Memphis 83, NC State 78: I had to admit I had a fear going into this game that Memphis (especially without James Wiseman) would be exposed as not as good a team as people thought. However, they took care of business against the a caliber of team that the Tigers will see in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. They got a bit sloppy at the end, their inexperience showing as they allowed NC State to cut a 19-point deficit down to 5, but they got the W and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

No one wants to see a teammate get suspended, but I’m sure Precious Achiuwa realizes Lady Luck dropped opportunity in his lap when the NCAA ruled Wiseman can’t play until January 12. Latest projections I have seen have Achiuwa going as the final lottery pick – 14th – in the 2020 NBA draft. NBA scouts are going to be watching to see if Achiuwa steps up between now and January 12. If he steps up, Precious might improve his position to, say, 9th. The difference between 9th and 14th in NBA rookie scale salary is about a million dollars a year. That’s a pretty nice incentive to give the Tigers his very best.

Memphis football controls its own destiny now: Yesterday, the announcers said several times that Memphis will advance to the AAC championship game with a win, or with a loss and a Navy loss. In next week’s game, there is no “or” scenario. If the Tigers win, they are without a doubt the best team in the Group of 5 conferences and will be invited to play in the Cotton Bowl. All the Tigers have to do is beat a team they already beat on their home field.

Do the Tigers still have a chance to get to the Cotton Bowl if they lose Saturday? I don’t think so. Both Memphis and Cincy would be 11-2 in that case and 1-1 against each other, but Cincy would hold the conference championship and that supposedly matters to the CFP rankings committee. Memphis would also have to worry about Boise State jumping both the Tigers and Cincinnati in the final poll.

I’ve been keeping up with bowl projections, and some analysts predict a Memphis-Florida matchup in the Cotton Bowl. That would be a hell of a game. Defeating a marquee SEC opponent would make the statement “WE BELONG HERE,” in a Big Six bowl, able to hang with a Power 5 conference opponent that, at least for a while, was in the conversation for a CFP slot.

I continue to hear that Arkansas has some interest in Mike Norvell as a head coach. As much as I love my Hogs, I hope that doesn’t happen. Norvell has built up too good a thing here at Memphis to leave now. I think he knows that too. Eventually a program will come along that makes Norvell an offer he can’t refuse, but Arkansas is currently too much of a shitshow for him to have a chance at building the program into a winner. I see Norvell eventually going to a program with a storied history in college football, but that just has not found a way to get past 7-6, 8-4 types of records in recent years. Maybe a school like Texas A&M or Oklahoma State.

As for Arkansas, I think they need to reach out to Bobby Petrino about coming back. If I were the AD I’d lay down the law with Petrino, and tell him he will be closely monitored to make sure he is not having affairs with any staff members. Add a clause in his contract that he can’t ride any motorcycles as long as he is head coach. But realistically, I think Bobby is the only one who can return Arkansas to its winning ways.

Another thing Arkansas needs to do is put out feelers about jumping to the Big 12 if they have any thoughts of expansion. As a former member of the Southwest Conference, the Hogs already have history with Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU. Their basketball program has a lot of shared history with Oklahoma State via Eddie Sutton. Oklahoma and Arkansas have a couple of wild Orange Bowl battles under their belt. And besides, it’s not like strong ties to the other schools are even necessary to be admitted to the Big 12 (West Virginia got in somehow).

All right, enough rambling about sports… let’s get on to what little Downtown news I do have. Loflin Yard will have a Bluegrass Brunch Buffet every Sunday beginning tomorrow, from 11 AM to 3 PM. $22 adults and $12 for kids.

There’s a Black Friday deal on Across the Board gift cards through Christmas Eve: Buy a $100 gift card and get a free $20 one, or buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 card for free. These cars can be purchased in store and can be used at Sunrise Memphis, 117 Prime, Belle Tavern, or Sweetgrass Next Door.

If you still send Christmas cards, consider supporting a great nonprofit b buying Church Health Christmas cards this year. Donations help provide health care services for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.

There will be performances of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert today at the Orpheum at 2 PM and 8 PM. Tickets are $39.50-$77.50.

Deal Cancer Out happens today at 2 at Central BBQ Downtown. Play some tournament Texas Hold’em, eat from a BBQ buffet, and have a chance at winning some fabulous prizes. River Rat Rounders staff will be tournament directors ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Nick Jr. Live Move to the Music is at the Cannon Center today at 2, if you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos.

All right, I’ve still got a little time to kill before Bardog opens… y’all want to see some photos of a troll standing next to food?

My friends Staci and Darin kindly invited me over to their place for Thanksgiving dinner and an afternoon of fun watching the Tigers. Of course the troll wanted to stand by the Brussels sprouts and the green beans because she likes foods that are the same color as her hair.

The troll with a piece of chocolate pie that we had for dessert

The troll after discovering there was whipped cream to go on the pie

One photo without a troll or food in it. Bardog now has their own branded coasters. It is a pleasure to place my PBR on such a beautiful work of art!

Bardog always has a turkey plate as its special on Thanksgiving Day… which makes the Friday after Thanksgiving one of the best days of the year, because every year they make too much food and end up fire-saling the turkey plate for Friday lunch. Can you believe I got this massive amount of food for only $15? I guess I could’ve rotated the plate around so the troll could stand next to the green bean casserole.

All right, time to get in the shower and get dressed and head to Bardog. My Bardog schedule will be interrupted the first two Saturdays in December – I don’t plan to be there at all on the 7th and only for a short time on the 14th. Today, though, I plan to stay a while. It’s Small Business Saturday and I plan to give myself the gift of PBR. Back tomorrow or Monday with more news.

Thanksgiving update

Team “Yes, dear a.k.a. OK Bitch” won best team name and second place in trivia last night. No I did not come up with that name. It was a good one though.

Nonprofits: If you want people to read your November e-newsletter, don’t send it out at 2:30 PM the day before Thanksgiving. People are not checking their email at that time, unless they’re waiting for the “office closing early, you can go home” email.

Speaking of which: As I got dressed for work yesterday, I thought to myself, as soon as I get there, I need to ask the office manager if the office is open on Friday. I never got the chance! I got to work to find an “office closed Wednesday-Friday, happy Thanksgiving” sign on the door. I came home and changed clothes and Early Morning Bardog Paul made a temporary return.

Max’s Sports Bar will open at 1 PM tomorrow for the Memphis-Cincinnati game and all the other football action.

For those going to the Memphis-Cincy game at the Liberty Bowl, there will be $2 hot dogs all day.

On Saturday, Loflin Yard is hosting an Alabama-Auburn watch party at 2:30.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to link you to this MBJ article about the apartment building part of the Wonder Bread bakery renovation. It is scheduled to go before the Design Review Board December 4 and will be called The Rise (get it? bread rises when baked). There will be 199 apartments and a parking garage. I wonder if Memphis Made will finish its taproom around the time the apartments start renting? If so, the Edge’s new residents will have a short walk for some great craft beer.

The same article linked above has more beer news. The Design Review Board will also hear plans for Upourium Social & Tap Room at 399 S. Second. It will serve craft beer as well as wine and cider, and will have games, live music, and karaoke. It will be a short walk from Central BBQ, the new Slider Inn, the Civil Rights Museum, and (when it opens) the second Wiseacre taproom. Once again, the South Main District just keeps getting better.

Loflin Yard will host an Ugly Sweater Silent Disco tomorrow from 9 to midnight. $10 gets you live DJs on three different channels.

The best Downtown Big Wheel relay race of the year happens this Saturday, November 30, on Beale Street at 1 PM. Big Wheels will be provided. Put together a team and show Beale Street what you’ve got.

Trolley Stop Market will host Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus Saturday from 9 to noon. In addition to getting to visit with the Clauses, the experience includes an ornament station and a buffet of eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, pancakes, biscuits and gravy.

The South Main Association will host a Holiday Arts Market at Artspace Lofts as part of its monthly Trolley Night tomorrow night. Why spend Black Friday fighting some redneck for the last discount TV at Walmart when you could spend it in South Main instead?

The same evening, Stock & Belle at 387 S. Main will host the 3rd annual Made in Memphis Holiday Market.  10 local artists will have items for sale. Can’t make it tomorrow? No problem, they will have the market Saturday as well.

Blind Bear brings back its Repeal Day Party next Thursday, December 5. Celebrate the 86th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with drink specials. $6 Old Fashioneds, Dark & Stormy, American Mules, and Manhattans; $3 flavored whiskey; and $5 Bear Balls and beef tacos. Seven-piece Early Blues band The Handy Band will provide the live music.

For those who like to watch sports at the Bear, good news: They have installed an additional TV above the main poker table. That will be nice to have during college football conference championship and bowl season.

There will be a dessert festival called Delectable Festival Sunday at Beale Street Landing. 14 vendors will serve a variety of desserts and craft cocktails. This event will benefit Friends for Life.

That’s it for now. It’s almost time for Thanksgiving dinner! There’s about an 80% chance I will take tomorrow off from blogging. I plan for this to be a late night and for tomorrow to be an early Bardog morning. Back Saturday with more news, or tomorrow if there’s something that’s time sensitive.

 

Billion dollar idea, new spring events, Dave Chapelle and more Wednesday news

Last night I decided to call it an early night. This was partly because I wanted to get a good night’s rest so I’d be ready for a big weekend, and partly because I wanted to avoid the worst of the rain. So, shortly before Subway closed at 8, I stopped in there, took in a foot-long tuna salad sandwich with all the fixins, ate half of it and went to bed.

I got in a few hours of deep sleep, then after the patter of the rain beating my window woke me up around midnight, I fell back to sleep and started having intense dreams. In one of them I dreamed that I wrote a debugger. For cats.

A debugger is something computer programmers use when they write programs. It lets you step through each line or each block of your code as it runs, stopping whenever you wish to examine the state of the program as of that line of code – what values variables hold, that kind of thing. Without debuggers a lot of the software running on the computer/device you’re using to read this post never would have made it to market.

It makes sense that I would dream up a debugger for cats. Lately I’ve been working on a program that is sorta doing what I want and sorta not, and I’m trying to eliminate the sorta not part. Tomorrow I’m going to a Friendsgiving party where there will be five cats. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to take a snapshot of them at any given moment, and examine their current state – what is on their mind? (examples: feed me, I want to knock this off the shelf, feed me, ooh there’s a bug, feed me, I want to look out the window, feed me)

I woke up, and while a debugger for cats would certainly be entertaining, I thought, it wouldn’t be very useful. But then I had a million dollar idea: What if there were a debugger for HUMANS???

I was recently involved in a conversation that turned into an argument I couldn’t win, not because the facts weren’t on my side, but because the other party managed to artfully dodge the facts. What if there were a way to attach a debugger to a person and have it tell you when they are using manipulative tactics such as

  • Deflection (giving a BS cop-out answer to a question to which they know the real answer would cast them in a bad light)
  • Projection (assigning their own bad qualities to you)
  • Triangulation (pitting you against a third party, manipulating both of you for their benefit)
  • Saying things they hope will provoke an emotional response from you, so that they can use that response against you later
  • Building a web of lies so deep that others (and possibly you) don’t know what the truth is anymore
  • Exaggeration (taking a molehill of truth and blowing it up into a mountain of mostly lies)

So let’s use a hypothetical example: Let’s say that I know someone got caught stealing food from the Farmers Market and is no longer allowed there. Suppose I asked that person, “Why don’t you go to the Farmers Market anymore?”, and they responded, “It doesn’t matter because the food they sell is crappy,” and a window popped up on the computer screen with DEFLECTION in big red letters.

Or, let’s say someone has stopped speaking to you, and you use the fact that you’re friends with their boss to try to get their boss to force them to talk to you. A box pops up with TRIANGULATION in red letters.

It would be GAME OVER for manipulators if such a human debugger existed. All their tactics would be out in the open. Years ago I posted a video of a leopard who walked by a bush and saw a python lying underneath in the dark. She grabbed it by the neck and dragged it out into the sunlight for all the animals to see. That’s what the debugger would do to manipulative people.

Is such a program possible? Maybe. There’s a program called ELIZA that allows a computer to carry on a reasonably intelligent conversation with humans, and you know when it was first written? 46 years ago. With the advances in artificial intelligence over the past few decades, I believe a human debugger may indeed be a possibility. If I could craft a human debugger, I bet it would make me a billion dollars. Plus it would save so many people so much grief. Heck, for that reason alone I’d consider doing it pro bono.

And now, let’s get on with the news…

Dave Chapelle has been announced for the Orpheum the night of Thursday, December 5. Tickets go on sale today at 10 AM and are $69.50-$89.50.

An exciting new festival will be added to the spring calendar! Bluff City Brunch Festival will happen Saturday, May 30 from 11 AM to 3 PM at Fourth Bluff Park overlooking the Mississippi River. Food vendors will have individual takes on brunch available for sale in the $3-5 range, so you can pick and choose what you want to eat. You can also leave your vote for People’s Choice for best brunch dish. There will be DJs, the Grizzline drum line, giant yard games including Jenga, Connect Four, and beer pong, as well as a photo booth.

So, what does it cost and what do you get? A general admission ticket costs $35 and gets you 12 drink tickets. 1 ticket gets you 4 ounces of craft beer or cider, or a mimosa. 3 tickets gets you a Bloody Mary, screwdriver, or Irish coffee. 5 tickets will get you a journey down the 30-foot Old Dominick Bloody Mary bar. You get a souvenir cup that you can take home.

Or, you can go VIP for $50, getting everything included in the general admission ticket, as well as access to a VIP tent with exclusive bites from Phillip Dewayne of Park+Cherry restaurant.

A list of restaurant vendors will come soon. Sounds like a fantastic addition to our Downtown spring season! 12 mimosas for $35… even if they’re on the smallish side, that is not a bad value at all!

The brunch fest won’t be the only welcome foodie addition to the spring calendar, either. The week of April 6-11 will be Charc Week, a celebration of charcuterie plates, organized by City Tasting Events. Come enjoy hand-made and locally-sourced meats on charcuterie plates for only $15 all week long (dinner only) at participating restaurants, which include Alchemy, Bari, knifebird, Pontotoc Lounge, Silly Goose, and Strano by Chef Josh, with more to be added. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Church Health.

Comeback Coffee in The Pinch District is hosting an Art Night this Saturday, November 30 from 6 to 8. Let me jump right to the two words of the Facebook event description that are the most important: FREE BEER. Artists Reid Mitchell and Kyle Taylor will have their work on display. You can talk with them about their work while supporting Small Business Saturday. The El Mero Taco food truck will be parked out front.

The Grizzlies host Kawhi Leonard (if the Clips don’t “rest” him), Paul George and the L.A. Clippers tonight at FedExForum at 7. Don’t forget to get there early, to score a pair of those Jonas Valanciunas oven mitts (free to the first 5000) just in time for Thanksgiving.

The MBJ has a look at the sneak peek inside the Moxy Hotel to open in Court Square in December. (The article is subscriber only but the photo gallery is not.) They have foosball, pinball, and shuffleboard for guests, as well as a retro phone that allows their guests to hear bedtime stories. Out back they will have a bocce ball court.

The Halloran Centre will host A Visible Christmas next Tuesday 4:30-6 PM. Visible Music College students, faculty, and alumni will perform Christmas music. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the college at 200 Madison.

Loflin Yard hosts its annual Sippin’ with Santa Paws fundraiser benefiting Streetdog Foundation the afternoon of Sunday, December 6. The event will be in the Coach House which is heated, and for those who prefer to be outside there will be fire pits. $20 gets you and your dog (or your kids) a photo with Santa Paws, a limited-edition pint glass, and a drink ticket. Sangria, Memphis Made beer, Old Dominick cocktails, silent auction and raffle, and adoptable dogs as well as Streetdog Foundation alumni.

While we’re on the subject of dogs, check out this TODAY Show story on how therapy dogs give St. Jude patients a reason to smile.

The Daily Memphian has a good article on Soles4Souls, providing foot care, shoes, and socks for those in need in Memphis.

Tonight is one of the biggest party nights of the year, and I am planning to stay out late at the usual spots. Thanks to two very kind-hearted friends of mine who knew that I have no family left and invited me to their place for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow afternoon. They are amazing cooks so I know I will be full of delicious food. Tomorrow evening I am co-hosting a Friendsgiving with Mark, Nappin’ Ass Nate, and Mark’s five cats at Mark’s place, then out to the Blind Bear after that.

Not sure there will be a post tomorrow, but maybe. Check back and see.