Saturday update

If you’re planning on attending the Big River Crossing opening today, there is an attraction you won’t want to miss. The Union Pacific Railroad #844 steam locomotive traveled 1200 miles one way to take part in the celebration. The locomotive will be at the intersection of East Carolina and S. B.B. King Blvd. (Third) from noon to 3 today.

The Life-Changer Frank Mastriciano, former strength specialist for the Memphis Tigers’ men’s basketball team, talked to John Martin on ESPN 92.9 about why he parted ways with Josh Pastner. He did not mince words to say the least. He compared himself to a high-end auto mechanic trying to have a conversation with someone who is just learning to arrange flowers. Daaaamn.

The 12th annual Stumblin’ Santa pub crawl has been announced for Saturday, December 3. The idea is that you dress up as Santa (or Ms. Claus, a Christmas tree, a reindeer, you get the idea) and stumble to bars all over Downtown with other Santas. And there will be many other Santas. In recent years attendance has broken the 1200 mark. Meeting place is the Flying Saucer at 7 that evening. This is a toy drive for Porter-Leath. Participants are asked to bring a toy to donate to children, with the biggest need being toys for kids under 5. Here are some toy ideas from Porter-Leath. Although the pub crawl is big, Porter-Leath needs 6000+ toys to meet the needs of all the kids the serve, so don’t be shy about bringing more than one. Ho ho ho! (And that’s a reason to do the pub crawl; there will be plenty of hoes in Slutty Santa outfits.)

Good news from the blog: The outlook for this winter has been issued and Memphis is in the “warmer” and “drier” range. That is where we want to be! Ideally I’d like highs in the winter months to stay in the 50s and above, except for one freezing-cold snowstorm (which ideally would happen overnight on a Sunday night) that is bad enough to cause most offices to close but not bad enough that Bardog fails to open at 8 AM.

The Flyer has a Q&A with Nicholas Oyler, the new city manager of bikeway and pedestrian program. He brings experiences with walkable neighhorhoods in Germany and Texas to our city.

If you don’t understand why popular sites like Twitter were down for a while yesterday, read this: What is a denial of service (DoS) attack? I have to explain this to people all the time. It’s not that the servers were hacked, but that they were so flooded with requests that it takes time to handle and get everything back to normal.

From the Daily Beast: Taxi war turns tourist mecca Acapulco bloody. There are some bad hombres down in Mexico. One of them already escaped to Memphis. Better hurry up and build that wall, Trump!

This weather this time of year… it’s beautiful, but impossible to dress for. It’s going to be sunny with a high of 69 today. That’s T-shirt and shorts weather. However, if I watch the Arkansas-Auburn game at Max’s Sports Bar, I will be getting out of there around 9, and the temperature will have dropped into the 50s by then. If I were bar-hopping all day, I would just take one of my Pink Pig fleece jackets with me and hang it on the back of my seat, but River Arts Fest complicates things. I’ll be walking around and possibly buying stuff to take home. I don’t want one more thing in my hands.

No Farmers Market for me today. Bardog will be my first stop, then down to RiverArtsFest.

Friday update #2

This morning I checked the forecast and found they are predicting a low of 45 tonight. That means that I will be wearing the PBR hoodie to Rockin’ River Arts Show, the first day of River Arts Fest which is free to the public with three live bands, tonight.

If you want more live music after the bands on South Main are done, head to the Flying Saucer where SNOZberry will be playing starting at 9:30.

Looking for something to do with the kids tomorrow, Saturday, October 22? Bring them to the Cossitt Library at 4 PM for Pandemonium Cinema Showcase: “Spooky Cinema” presented by Craig Brewer and Black Lodge Video. Monster House, Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, Gremlins, and The Monster Squad will be shown during this FREE interactive screening. There will also be special screenings of the original Goosebumps and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! There will be costume contests, face painting, horror video games, and giveaways.

In other Halloween news, the 11th Annual Costume Twilight Tour of Elmwood Cemetery happens tomorrow starting at 3:30 in the afternoon. A great way to get to know the individuals laid to rest here, costumed characters portraying Elmwood residents will introduce you to the cemetery. The first all-walking tour will begin at 3:30, with tour groups departing from the Cottage ever 10 minutes. Final tour begins at 5:00. $15 in advance, $20 at the gate, children under 12 free.

If you’re looking for a Halloween costume, Theatre Memphis is having a yard sale tomorrow.

A pop-up cat cafe is coming to 101 S. Main, next to Oshi, next Saturday, October 29 from 11 AM to 3 PM. You’ll be able to enjoy some coffee, shop designs by Beth Spencer, and there will be adoptable kittens and cats that you can bring home for $35, half the Memphis Animal Shelter’s usual fee. Cash only will be accepted.

Stats site FiveThirtyEight does a great job tracking elections but I hope their NBA forecast is wrong. They have the Grizzlies missing the playoffs with a record of 35-17, most likely landing in the lottery with the 10th pick.

By the way, FiveThirtyEight reported this morning in its Significant Digits newsletter that bots accounted for 33 percent of pro-Trump tweets and 22 percent of pro-Clinton tweets during the third and final presidential debate. A 3-to-2 advantage for Cheeto Voldemort… if all those bots vote on November 8, Trump may pull of the upset.

Move along, Bozo: A Mississippi county has banned clown costumes until at least after Halloween.

Silly Goose happy hour for a couple of PBRs, then south to River Arts Fest is my plan. I’ll be doing “show and tell”, so if you see me showing people a piece of paper and then my phone, feel free to ask what that’s about.

Friday morning update

Bonnie Raitt plays the Orpheum this evening at 8:00. She’s touring in support of ‘Dig in Deep,’ her 20th album. Tickets are $59.50-$99.50.

Visible Music College hosts Indievisible, the fourth of its series of student concerts, tonight at 7. The college is at 200 Madison.

Bellator MMA comes to FedExForum tonight with the returns of Alexander Shlemenko and Bobby Lashley. If Lashley’s name sounds familiar, he is a pro wrestler as well as an MMA fighter. His victory over Umaga at Wrestlemania in 2006 gave future WWE Hall of Famer/presidential nominee Donald Trump the right to shave Vince McMahon’s head.

I wonder if Trump groped Trish Stratus or Lita backstage?

The Downtown Memphis Commission has announced its annual meeting, open to the public, at the Halloran Centre Wednesday, November 16. Terence Patterson who runs DMC will present strategic priorities for Downtown, and Gehl Studio will present public space considerations for Main Street and the surrounding area. The Downtown Vision Awards Ceremony will also take place. $20 to get in, with your ticket including complimentary appetizers and an open bar. Cocktail reception 4:30-5:30 that afternoon, with the program beginning at 5:30.

In other Halloran Centre news, country star Pam Tillis will make a stop there Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 PM. Tickets to see the multi-time CMA and Grammy award winner are $35 and can be purchased on the Orpheum website.

John Paul Keith plays Loflin Yard tonight at 7.

Here’s the lineup for the opening of Big River Crossing tomorrow. Note that the live music starts on the West Memphis side, then there’s food and music on the Memphis side at Martyrs Park at 4, and fireworks at 7.

For the past 27 years, Tim Sampson has written The Last Word column for the Memphis Flyer… however, this week’s column really is Tim’s last word.

Prior to the start of college basketball season, many teams play secret scrimmage games to assess how good they are and where they need to improve. The American Athletic Conference schedule has been leaked and it shows the Memphis Tigers hosting a secret scrimmage vs. North Carolina on October 29.

A study shows IPA is better for your liver than other types of alcohol.

I went in Belle Tavern for the first time last night. If you walk down the alley between Barboro Flats and Tamp & Tap/Van Vleet Flats, the tavern is at the end. Elegant bar, seems like not a lot of people have discovered it yet. Give it a try if you’re out in the Downtown core this weekend. They have PBR in bottles for $2.50. I didn’t get a look at the menu but I heard the food is good. They have a U-shaped bar so everybody can look at each other. Table seating too.

I stopped by Bardog for some ahi tuna to go, and Panda requested my presence at the bar Saturday morning. Request granted! No Farmers Market, no Earnestine & Hazel’s for me tomorrow, October 22, if that’s news of interest to anyone.

As for tonight, I will be all over South Main for the first night of RiverArtsFest. I’ll be checking out the artist preview and listening to Squirrel Nut Zippers and the other bands. Of course I will stop in my “home away from home on the south side,” Max’s Sports Bar, tonight too. As for now, off to work on this (finally) chilly Friday morning.


Thur update #2

Let’s keep on truckin’ is the theme for this Saturday at the Memphis Farmers Market. You have five Saturdays left this year to support our local farmers who load up their late-seasonal goods in their trucks. There will be a lot going on this Saturday on the south side, so the Market suggests that you come there early to secure a parking spot, then walk down the street and give RiverArtsFest a visit, then walk to the river for the opening of Big River Crossing in the afternoon. Live music by Steve Schad 8:30-10, Bashville 10-11, and Bud Summers 11-12:30. The Market happens under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday through November 19 from 7 AM to 1 PM.

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is having a pop-up shop at 101 S. Main through 6 PM today.

The third annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Poker Tournament happens tonight at 6 at Blind Bear. Food and drink specials for players: $20 for 2000 in chips, $30 for 4000 in chips. One rebuy allowed for $10 for 1000 chips, $20 for 2000. Prizes for the top three. Not into poker? They will also have karaoke with Super Brad (not B-RAD) in the back room with a $5 donation for each song requested.

Some Good People are coming to Memphis:

Good People Brewing is a craft brewery based in Birmingham, Alabama. Good to see breweries around the region expanding their reach!

While we’re on the subject of craft breweries, YOGA!

Well, yoga and running. And beer. On Sunday, November 13, High Cotton will host Feed the Seed to benefit the Midsouth Chapter of the National MS Society from 8 AM (WTF?) to 3 PM. The day will start off with Bendy Brewski Yoga and a casual 5K run, followed by a beer tasting (tickets include unlimited samples from home brewers, and High Cotton will have discounted pints) and live music. $30 for yoga, run, and beer; $20 for just yoga and run; $10 for just the beer tasting. Hot Mess Burritos and Dr. Bean’s coffee cart will be on site, and artist Angelina Mazzanti will be selling her beerings and other jewelry.

Moderator Chris Wallace is receiving a lot of praise for not letting last night’s presidential debate get out of hand the way the first two did:

Maybe Wallace will return to UNLV on Election Day and people will ask him, “Hey Chris, do you remember the Love Fest we had up here a few weeks ago?”

Good news: A downtown burglary suspect has been arrested. He is accused of stealing two bikes and also $500 worth of wine.

Whether you’re a Bernie fan or not, he could not have summed up the tone of the 2016 general election cycle any better:

I’m sure hoping Trump’s comment about possibly refusing to concede convinces Republicans to stay home on November 8. If the Democrats gain a majority in the Senate, the Budget Committee will be Feelin’ the Bern next year when Sen. Sanders becomes chairman.

Be sure to check out the cover story of the Memphis Flyer this week, an investigative piece on chicken in Memphis. Nice to see the Smoked Chicken Debris Po’boy at The Dirty Crow Inn mentioned. I have heard a lot of good things about that sandwich. Did you know that Jack Pirtle’s sold Kentucky Fried Chicken at one point? Pirtle had a contract with Col. Sanders.

That’s it for now. Heading to the Silly Goose after work for happy hour as usual.

Thursday morning update

Looking for a fun way to get some exercise? Come to Cardio Disco tonight at Paula & Raiford’s Disco.


Get your workout in while you get down to some disco. Class is $10 and start time is 7 PM. Paula herself participates in the class. Several of my friends have taken this class and have told me it is a lot of fun. This is the final Cardio Disco of the year, so don’t miss out.

WMC’s Joe Birch has a sneak peek of Big River Crossing as he rides a bike across the Harahan Bridge, where the largest pedestrian/bike trail across the Mississippi River opens Saturday. NOTE: The 11-minute video goes dark for part of the first 30 seconds. Give it time; it’s worth watching.

AIRSIDE presents Rock the Brass Door with special guests Arthur, Laramie, and Aaron James Monday, October 31 from 7 to 10:30 PM. It’s a Halloween concert, so costumes are encouraged. $10 to get in, or $5 if you’re wearing a costume.

Early voting turnout was strong on the first day, the CA reports, with about 6000 voting as of 2 PM Wednesday. Friends of mine tweeted lines stretching out the door at the Election Commission Downtown. One friend who voted in his lunch hour reported about a 20-minute wait. I would think wait times will drop as we get farther into the early voting period.

Bobby and Tasha play The Dirty Crow Inn next Wednesday, October 26 on the patio from 8 to 11 PM.

Grizzlies veteran Vince Carter and newcomer D.J. Stephens explain The Art of the Dunk in this video.

The fifth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march happens Thursday, October 27, departing from the Memphis Cook Convention Center at 5:30 PM and walking to FedExForum. This is an event where men put on heels and march to show that rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence against women must come to an end. “First you walk the walk, then you talk the talk,” encouraging the community to discuss these topics that are difficult, but necessary, to talk about. WMC-TV has more info.

I don’t always crack open the fortune cookies that come with dinner at Yao’s, but when I do, this is what I see:


Thanks to the Blind Bear for letting us watch the debate in the back room. By the time it was over, though, I was thinking, “I wish I had been watching the Cubs instead.” For those who missed it, Trump appeared entirely presidential for the first 30 minutes… and then, the real Trump came out. He refused to say he would concede the election. WOW. He’s willing to disregard a 200-plus year old tradition of a peaceful transition of power. I bet that’s the final nail in his coffin. I bet a lot of people vote Republican up and down the rest of the ballot but leave the presidential race blank (or write in Pence, McMullin, Romney, etc.) after hearing that.

Time for work. Possibly back later today with a second update.

Wednesday update

The third and (thankfully) final presidential debate is tonight on the campus of UNLV. It will start at 8 PM, last approximately 90 minutes, and be moderated by Chris Wallace. The New York Times has a preview. You can stream the debate online here.

Television news: HBO has ordered a second season of its smash horror hit series The 2016 Presidential Campaign.

Early voting begins today in Shelby County. You can vote at any early voting location from today through November 3. However, if you wait until Election Day to vote, you must do so at your neighborhood voting location.

Those of you who have packages stolen off your front porch might want to take a look at this MakeUseOf article about Amazon Locker. If you select this option at checkout, your package will be delivered to a Locker location rather than your home. You will be given a unique code, which you enter into the locker, which will open it and you can pick up your stuff. You can also use Lockers for returns.

Not surprised that Taste of the South included Rizzo’s on its list of the South’s best chicken pot pies. I have had the pot pie and it is the real deal. I’m going to have to plan a visit to Rizzo’s soon to get another chicken pot pie.

And to steal the mayorship back. :mrgreen:

The scariest costume of all this Halloween: The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall

Food Truck Wednesday at Miss Cordelia’s tonight from 5 to 8 PM will have food trucks El Mero Taco and Monkey Train Grazing Co. They will also have Bartlett’s Long River Cider on hand to sample their hard cider.

Thanks to an ordinance the City Council passed yesterday, there are new restrictions on panhandlers. They now have to stay at least 25 feet away from intersections.

Here’s a coupon that will get you $6 lasagne at Spaghetti Warehouse tomorrow (Thursday, October 20).

A cornhole challenge to strike out cancer by former St. Louis Cardinal and Memphis Redbird Jason Motte is planned for The Columns at One Commerce Square on Saturday, November 5.

The Memphis Flyer issue hitting the stands today is “The Chicken Issue.”

Interesting read: The drug trafficker and thrice-convicted felon Donald Trump risked his casino empire to protect

High Cotton has announced they will be showing the debate in their taproom tonight with Oktoberfest and Hefeweizen drink specials.

Sports columnist and radio host Geoff Calkins has his new book After the Jump: Columns on the Best 20 Years in Memphis available for sale on Amazon.

Just purchased my ticket for Sinners for Saints Halloween Ball II! Best Halloween party Downtown. You don’t want to miss it.

That’s it for now. Eating chocolate mint ice cream for lunch like a proper adult should. Out at Silly Goose for happy hour later.

VERY IMPORTANT art show on October 28 (Tuesday update #2)

A very important art show will take place Friday, October 28 from 5 to 10 PM at 500 S. Second Street. The 2016 PBR Art Showcase will feature Pabst Blue Ribbon-inspired artworks by ten artists. PBR will be served to those over 21. Learn more about these exhibits at the PBR Art website.

High school seniors trying to decide what to do with their future after graduation have a new option to consider: Blue Path. This is a program announced by Mayor Strickland today, a partnership between Memphis Police, TN promise, and Southwest Tennessee Community College. Beginning next June, the city will offer graduating seniors full-time employment with MPD as a police service technician, and a path to an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Southwest Tennessee Community College. Once they get the degree and turn 21, they will be eligible to become a Memphis police officer after completing sworn officer training. It’s a path that will attract bright young talent to MPD, will open career and education opportunities to young people, and will develop well-rounded and community-focused police officers for Memphis. FANTASTIC IDEA Mayor Strickland and everyone who worked to make this program happen!

Street musicians, you can take part in the busking challenge on Main Street two days this fall. The event is an open call for local musicians and bands to perform on the Main Street Mall Friday, October 28 and Friday, November 4. The audience will vote on the winners. Those who perform both days will increase their chances to win. There will be three prizes: First place will get a 5-hour recording session at Ardent Studios, second gets $200 in gift cards to Downtown businesses, third gets $100 in gift cards.

The Union Mission has started their Thanksgiving donation campaign. $1.67 can give a homeless person a meal and access to services that could be his or her beginning down a better path in life.

Twitter had two suitors to buy the company, Disney and Salesforce, but both backed out because they were concerned about the meanness and bullying often seen on the network, in conflict with how the suitors saw their corporate images. Don’tcha just hate those crazy trolls?

The MBJ has a photo gallery of the renovation of Clayborn Temple, the civil-rights landmark at Pontotoc and Hernando. The plan is to open the temple to the public for a season of events, then come back and finish renovations next year.

An appeals court has upheld a decision that MPD cannot conduct sweeps to get people of Beale Street except in matters of public safety.

There’s been a meme going around in the form of a political poster. Walken-Busey 2016: Because if we’re going to elect batshit crazy, let’s at least make it highly entertaining. Well, guess what: Gary Busey has been accused of groping women on the set of Celebrity Apprentice several seasons ago. He allegedly touched a production employee’s breasts and then held her hand to his crotch. Employees of the show debated whether to lobby for Busey’s removal from the show. The complaint made it all the way to the top, where Mr. Trump laughed it off with Busey as boys being boys.

And then there’s this:

Cheeto Voldemort!

See the evolution of naughty Halloween costumes over the past 100 years.

The Redbirds are offering some deep discounts on Redbirds merchandise at AutoZone Park’s plaza through Thursday.

Memphis Comic Expo happens Saturday and Sunday at the Cook Convention Center.

River Arts Fest coming this weekend + Tues news

There’s a big festival coming up on South Main this weekend: River Arts Fest. Main will be blocked off from Huling to St. Paul and G.E. Patterson blocked off from Front to Mulberry. There will be over 200 artists with booths selling their work. This is a great chance to buy something unique for your home or get some holiday shopping done.

Friday night the festival kicks off with free admission, an artists’ market preview, and live music by the Squirrel Nut Zippers from 6 to 10 PM. Saturday and Sunday admission is $5 per day, and in addition to the art there will be live music on three stages.

Food sold at this festival tends to be well above average, so come hungry. I had a couple of really good dishes from a Cajun vendor in years past. Also, look out for a vendor selling cinnamon pecans. If he is there this year, those are a must-get.

The cover charge means you will have to pay River Arts Fest $5 to have access to some of your favorite bars and restaurants Saturday and Sunday. One note, though: In past years, Max’s Sports Bar has arranged to be outside the rail of the festival area. So people who want to come watch sports at Max’s will not have to pay the festival to be able to do so. With Arkansas-Auburn happening at 5 on Saturday, I expect I will be dividing my time between the festival and my “home away from home on the south side.”

Lifehacker has an excellent article on how to get a bartender’s attention without being a jerk. Good points here. I will add a few things not to do: Don’t snap your fingers at the bartender, don’t interrupt them when they’re talking to another customer, and don’t call female bartenders “honey.” Also, if you’re the type of person who leaves a $1 tip on a $20 tab, you’re probably going to get the level of service you deserve.

I had to make an emergency trip to the AT&T Store this morning after my iPhone 6’s Lightning port stopped working and I couldn’t get the phone to charge. I am now the owner of a new iPhone 6s – I decided against the 7 because the headphone jack is so jacked up. I think all my contacts came over from a backup of the old phone, but if you text me and I reply “Who’s this?”, please forgive me.

Bleu has posted the menu for the spooky food and wine dinner they are hosting Thursday, October 27.

Cafe Keough is accepting applications for kitchen and barista positions.

Have you seen this man?

Two Downtown Elementary students made a fine showing on Shark Tank last Friday night. Their pitch for a line of pre-teen body lotions and sprays received funding.

That’s it for now, off to work. Possibly a second post later today.

OK, back. Saturday update

My PBR koozie finally died. The koozie, brought back by a friend from a Colorado trip, was a brown paper bag, the perfect size to hold a tallboy, with a thin insulated inner lining and the PBR logo on the front. I expected it would last about a month, but it made it 57 days before finally becoming unable to hold another beer at D-RANKS with B-RAD (appropriate, since that’s where I met the friend who gave it to me) this past Sunday. I thought it was the coolest koozie ever.

Until I saw this tweet.

In other beer news, local brewery Wiseacre is holding a 10 day sale on cold weather items like hoodies and socks.

Chili lovers: Come to The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee’s Chili Cook-off in Overton Square on November 5. Be sure to stop by the Blind Bear team and get some of Colin’s award-winning Prohibition Chili in you.

Topics for the October 19 presidential debate have been announced. “Fitness to be president” is on there. My, my, that will be interesting. It almost sounds like the Commission on Presidential Debates is setting Trump up for a meltdown.

Petra Cafe is said to be eyeing a Downtown location for sometime in 2017.

The Psychedelic Furs play the New Daisy tonight at 7:30.

Chalking in Memphis: On October 28, the day prior to Race for the Cure, you can grab some chalk on Beale Street and write the name of a woman you know who survived breast cancer, or a loved one that you lost to the disease.

Thanks, Obama: The president issued an executive order allowing U.S. citizens to bring Cuban cigars and rum back from the island.

Plan on being in the kitchen this weekend? Food & Wine has 9 killer pumpkin desserts you can make. Don’t forget that the Memphis Farmers Market is open til 1 today if you need a pumpkin or two!

Mollie Fontaine’s has announced their Halloween Party and it’s actually on Halloween, Monday, October 31. Hosted by Doug Osborn, with DJs A.D. and Jordan Rogers. $10 cover.

High Cotton is hosting Pints for Pits tonight in support of this often-misunderstood dog breed.

The Commercial Appeal has an excellent article on the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. The ministry distributes hundreds of nutritious burritos weekly to those who are hungry. The great thing about this organization, as rider Frank Rouse puts it, is “we do not judge. I’ll put a burrito in someone’s hand if they have a can of beer in the other.”

The Memphis Smoke cigar festival happens today at 1 at the Tinder Box, 346 S. Main. Over 20 confirmed vendors and more still being added.

Rice Drewry and Friends play the Center for Southern Folklore tonight at 8. $10 cover.

The Comedy Get Down Tour comes to FedExForum tonight. Performers include Cedric “The Entertainer,” Eddie Griffin. D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy.

Off to the Farmers Market for my weekly visit. After that I’m going to spread a little sunshine! Back tomorrow with more news.