Tuesday update 2: Watch out for “lost” USB drives

Yesterday I got dressed, put my jacket on, grabbed my keys and opened my front door about 8:50, ready for my short walk to work. On the floor in the hallway, in front of my door, I saw a small USB drive. I picked it up and put in my pocket. When the elevator reached the first floor, I went to the main office and turned it into Lesley, our property manager. I figured one of my neighbors dropped it on their way to or from the elevator. Perhaps it fell out as they were reaching for their keys.

However, after I got to work, it started to occur to me that it was very suspicious that the USB drive was lying right outside MY door. USB drops are a common tool for those who want to hack a particular person’s accounts but don’t know any of their login information. They drop a USB drive where they hope the target will find it, and curious to find out who it belongs to, will put it in their computer. There the target might see a file named something like “Tom_resume” which would possibly contain clues as to the owner of the USB drive and address to return it. However, the Tom_resume file would actually contain malware that would install itself on the target’s computer, able to take screenshots and record keystrokes and send them back to an IP address specified by the hacker.

I am aware of that trick and didn’t fall for it, if indeed I was being targeted. But, imagine if I’d put that in my home computer – someone could have gained control of my email, my blog, and who knows what else. Or worse, what if I’d taken the USB drive to work and plugged it in to my computer there: I could have compromised our entire network.

Just want to make my readers aware this scam is out there. If you find a USB drive, best bet is to take it to your computer network administrator at work and let them determine what is on it.

Read on for today’s news.

Tuesday update

When I got out yesterday, people were asking me, “Why no post today?” There was a very simple reason: I got up too late yesterday! It was almost 8 when I got out of bed and I have to be at work at 9.

Let’s start off with a few photos. First of all, thanks to Facebook for the not-so-subtle reminder that I turned 50 last week:

I finally got into the screaming women/dinner cat meme. This is in memory of my late grandfather who lived in Trimble, Tennessee, who would definitely side with the cat on this issue.

And finally for the pictures, here’s look at the latest pizza experiment by the chefs at the Silly Goose:

This is artichoke dip pizza. It had chicken on it so it’s not vegetarian. I thought it was good. Perjorie T. Roll liked it because it was the same color as her hair.

On to the news: The Memphis Sandwich Clique has started doing Sandwichtons on Sundays, where they meet up at one of their favorite sandwich restaurants and get 10% off. There will be merchandise giveaways and secret sandwiches as well. Mark your calendars for the Downtown sandwichthon Sunday, January 19. They will come to Puck Food Hall at 409 S. Main, where City Block Salumeria has some delicious sandwiches. See their Facebook page for a full listing of stops on the sandwich tour.

Due to the forecast of rain, the Downtown Memphis tree lighting has been moved to Sunday, December 1 from 4 to 6 PM.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen is hosting their annual Naughty or Nice Pajama Party Thursday, December 19 at 7 PM.

Yeah, not a very newsy post today either. That’s partly because it’s Thanksgiving week and there just isn’t much news, and partly because I’ve had other stuff on my mind lately. Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow (probably) with more news.


Sunday update

Yesterday the Blind Bear announced that there’s a new dog in the fight for Hung Over Like a Bear brunch. On Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM they will have 12 different flavors of Bird Dog Whiskey for $3 a shot. They will also continue to have $3 Bloody Marys and mimosas and $4 moonshine shots, as well as a full brunch menu during those hours.

River Time Market & Deli is cutting back on its Saturday hours during the slow fall/winter season to 8 AM until noon. Get in there early and get you one of those good cornbread breakfast sandwiches!

I don’t normally talk about chain restaurants on this blog, but those chili cheese bites at Sonic sound amazing.

Rob Thomas comes to the Orpheum December 6 for FM100’s Deck the Hall Ball. Man… I bet those people who always ask for the Pandora station to be changed to Matchbox 20 when they come in the Silly Goose are in hog heaven right now.

If you’re looking for something to do today, come to the Silly Goose at 5, where they will host a “Quick Draw” competition. Find out which of eight bartenders can make craft cocktails the fastest.

The competition starts at 5, but I’m going to get there about 6 hours early to make sure I get a good seat. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.

Saturday update

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live comes to the Orpheum tonight. This is a live version of the 1990s TV show. The premise of the show is that Joel Hogdson, the series’ star, was kidnapped by mad scientists and was forced to watch bad sci-fi movies. To keep him company, Joel built robots, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, to watch the movies with him and provide commentary throughout. Joel’s final tour, The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour, is underway and stops in Memphis this evening.

Southern Avenue performs on stage at the Halloran Centre tonight. They are the first Memphis band signed to the STAX label in 40 years.

The Grizzlies will wear their throwback Vancouver Grizzlies 25th anniversary uniforms and play on a throwback court tonight as they host LeBron, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers at FedExForum. L.A.’s other team, the Clippers, will be here on Wednesday for a Thanksgiving game at which Jonas Valanciunas oven mitts will be handed out to the first 5000 fans.

Today is a basketball doubleheader at FedExForum. The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Ole Miss at noon.

The football Tigers have a road game vs. South Florida today at 3. That game will be on ESPNU.

The Flying Saucer has its annual Turkey of the Year glass night at 7 this coming Wednesday. Come out and see who this year’s Turkey is.

The Daily Memphian has coverage of Memphis 901 FC’s fan forum that happened at The Brass Door Thursday night.

The DM’s Extra podcast this week features the Brooks Museum’s Emily Neff, talking about the Brooks’ planned move to Downtown.

Sydney Carty and Friends will play South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, on Thursday, December 5 6-9 PM.

I see that the guy who randomly blocks me and unblocks me on Facebook has unblocked me again. In other, possibly related news, I sure have enjoyed happy hour at the Silly Goose these past three months.

That’s it for now. I slept late so I’m not going to make it to the Turkey Market today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Yesterday my umbrella, my troll and I braved the rain to make a trip south to Longshot, the new shuffleboard bar in the basement of the Arrive Hotel at Main and Butler. I wanted to try something else on the menu, and this time I strayed away from their signature house-made sausages. My choice was the chili con queso, with brisket chili, cheese sauce, and pico de gallo.

This was SO good! The chips seem to be house-made, fresh and thin, but not so thin that they break in the cheese dip. As for the cheese dip – wow! Even without the brisket chili, this would be a huge hit. With the brisket chili, though, the flavor is outstanding. Although listed under the “Shareables” section of the menu, I had the queso all to myself, and it was just the right amount of food. This may become my go-to when I order food at Longshot.

I was there from about 5 to 8:15, and let me tell you, every time I have gone to Longshot, except the day of Arrive Hotel’s grand opening, I have thought, “Surely the place won’t be busy.” I mean, think about it – last night was a rainy weeknight in mid-late November – who would want to get out, to go to a relatively unknown bar with an entrance on a side street that’s easy to miss?

Well, a lot of people wanted to! By 6:30 or so the place was full! Nearly every bar seat was occupied, nearly every booth was occupied, and four of the five shuffleboard tables were in play. A handful of people there were South Main locals, but the vast majority of the crowd were people I had not seen before.

My next stop was Slider Inn Downtown. Another packed bar, every seat at the bar taken, nearly every booth and table full. That was fine, though, because there was room at the community table in the middle. I grabbed a spot and ordered from the server. I was happy to hear that they now have PBR 16 ounce cans, reasonably priced at $3.50.

Funny thing about the community table – Bardog regulars took it over! If you looked at that table, you might think you were in Bardog at 4 on a Friday or Saturday afternoon.

Looking around the crowded room, guess how many people I recognized who live in Slider Inn Downtown’s South Main neighborhood: one. Now, I’m sure there were more South Mainers there than that, but I feel fairly confident in saying that the majority of the people there were from an area other than South Main. It’s happened – South Main has become a destination. Very good to see.

Panda is in town, bartending the late shift at Slider Inn through Saturday. Before I left we got a picture together.

On to the news… Downtown may soon get another place to have a beer. A notice of beer permit application has appeared in the window of 51 S. Main. That’s the former site of DejaVu, Krispy Krunchy Chicken, and other restaurants that didn’t work out. Let’s home this next one, whatever it is, makes it.

Tomorrow is the Turkey Day Market at Memphis Farmers Market, the annual holiday market where you can buy fixings for Thanksgiving dinner as well as decor for your home and holiday gifts. Live music by Charlotte Taylor, food trucks, hot cocoa. Cossitt Library will have a table there where you can do arts and crafts or sign up for a library card. The Market runs 9-1 under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, behind the Malco Powerhouse. I’m going to try and make it down there before my usual Saturday Bardog stop.

Great news: MIFA receives $5 million grant to fight homelessness in Memphis

Yesterday I mentioned that a onesie holiday brunch will happen next month at Tin Roof. Get this bean bag onesie and be guaranteed a seat!

That’s it for now. I know this post is a bit short on news today but there’s a reason for that… Comcast was out in the Downtown core much of yesterday, so I didn’t have an Internet connection for parts of the day. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update: Help spread the word about Uncle Ray and more news

A member of our Downtown community has suffered a setback. On Friday, October 18, Ray Werfelmann, known to many of us as Uncle Ray, was hospitalized with what doctors believed to be pneumonia. However, the following Tuesday they ran an MRI on Ray and found that he had a massive stroke. Ray fully understands everything that is going on around him, but he cannot talk and he is paralyzed from the neck down. He’s said to be a prisoner in his own body, suffering from a condition called “Locked-In Syndrome” similar to what Stephen Hawking had.

It’s said to be unclear whether Ray will ever come home, although knowing Ray to be a fighter, I predict he will. However, even in the best case he will need a nurse around the clock. He and his wife Ruth have insurance, but insurance has lifetime caps and Ray will reach that cap. His friends have set up a GoFundMe to help cover expenses that insurance won’t pay. If you are a friend of Ray’s, please share this link to social media, and if you feel so inclined, a donation would be very appreciated.

One more thing… please keep Ray’s wife Ruth in your prayers. Ray handled all the finances for many years, and now she’s having to figure everything out.

Keep fighting, Ray. We need your reports on the benches and street preachers in Court Square. I believe it is possible we will one day get those reports again. Last night I predicted that I’d be taking photos of you in our booth at BBQ Fest 2021.

The NCAA finally issued a ruling about James Wiseman’s eligibility. The Tigers do not have to vacate the two games in which he played, but he has to sit out 11 more games, making him eligible January 12. That means Big Ticket will miss games against Ole Miss (Saturday, noon, FedExForum), NC State, Tennessee, and Georgia. He’ll also miss conference games against Tulane and Wichita State.

Wiseman also has to donate $11,500 to the charity of his choice, approximating the amount Penny Hardaway gave his family to move to Memphis. How does a kid like Wiseman come up with $11,500, without borrowing it from somebody, which would be another NCAA violation? Is the NCAA willing to let the donation slide until after he signs his first NBA contract?

If you’re a soccer fan, The Brass Door is the place to be tonight at 7:30. They will host a Memphis 901 FC Fan Forum, with Tim Howard, President Craig Unger, and Coach Tim Mulqueen. Come hear what plans are for the 2020 season and there will be a Q&A session.

Check out this beautiful charcuterie plate from my friends at Feast & Graze.

They make custom charcuterie boards and deliver them to your door. Keep them in mind for upcoming holiday parties. You’ll be supporting an awesome local business that makes the Memphis food scene richer.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ G-League team, the Memphis Hustle based in Southaven’s Landers Center, is looking for people to sing the National Anthem at home games.

If you’re a Daily Memphian subscriber, Otis Sanford has a good op-ed piece on why Berlin Boyd lost his city council seat in a runoff. “Council members had their own agendas and were not interested in what the community wanted.” That sentence says it all.

You can own a model replica of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation‘s Christmas village, complete with Christmas lights on the Griswold house that actually work.

The kitchen at the Silly Goose did some experimenting yesterday, and my troll and I got a sample:

This was The Mighty Muff, a muffaletta on a pizza. I didn’t get the complete list of ingredients, but I heard the chef say it had several types of olives, Fontina, Sopressata, mustard, and more. This is being considered for a place on the regular menu and I hope it makes it.

Convicted felon John Ford, barred running from public office, is trying to run for general sessions court clerk anyway. GO AWAY dude! The city can do better than you. If you want to work in government, ask the Trump administration for an appointment. You’d fit right in!

IrishCentral.com published results of a study that found you’re likely to be happier if you live near a pub.

Cedric the Entertainer and Friends have a show at the Orpheum tonight. Tickets are $60.50 to $90.50.

That’s it for this post. Please don’t forget to share the link about Ray. I’ll be back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Green Beetle will host the official watch party for the Grizzlies’ away game next Monday, November 25, at 6 PM at the Indiana Pacers. These parties are a lot of fun, with giveaways, Grizzlies trivia, and Budweiser beer specials. Grizz and the Grizz Girls often show up to these parties. If you go, take photos of the party and post them to Twitter or Instagram and tag them #GrizzWatchParty for the chance to win even bigger prizes.

Post Malone has announced a March 6 date at FedExForum. Tickets go on sale Friday.

The Memphis International Jazz Festival comes to South Main November 21-24. There will be performances all weekend long, some of which will be free and open to the public.

The Downtown Christmas tree is up at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, and the official lighting is set for Saturday, November 30 5 to 7 PM. There will be Makeda’s cookies, Kooky Canuck s’mores, and hot cocoa. Santa will make an appearance and kids can write letters to Santa (they have a mailbox next to the tree). There will be arts & crafts and Christmas carols. The lights go on at 5:30.

Check out The Daily Memphian’s Destination Delicious podcast, because this week’s guest is the one and only Aldo. He has had his hands full lately, with the re-branding of the 855 Kentucky building as Momma’s Roadhouse, the opening of Slider Inn Downtown, and trying to keep Bardog open amid the city’s sewer repairs in the alley outside.

Yesterday was a good day for Downtown business news. Cargill Cotton announced that it’s moving back Downtown after 20+ years in Cordova. The MBJ article was behind a portal so I didn’t get the full story, but there’s a photo of the One Commerce Square building at Main and Monroe. Also yesterday, Varsity Spirit announced it is moving its headquarters to the Snuff District redevelopment in Uptown. The company will occupy 80,000 square feet of office space, giving them plenty of room to grow.

I knew this would happen: Vegans are suing Burger King, claiming that Impossible Whoppers are not truly vegan because the Impossible patties are cooked on the same surface as the regular Whoppers’ meat patties. Burger King should’ve seen that coming a mile away.

Cordelia’s Market is hosting cookie decorating the evening of Thursday, December 12. For $10 you get a cup of chili, half a grilled cheese sandwich, and two large sugar cookies to decorate to your liking and take home. All supplies needed to decorate (icing, sprinkles, etc.) will be provided. Space is limited, so reserve your spot early.

Central Station Hotel is hiring front office positions, specifically Guest Services Agent and Guest Service Supervisor. If interested send a resume to Kimberly at kbrooks@centralstationmemphis.com.

Tin Roof on Beale will host a Christmas Onesie Motown Brunch Sunday, December 15 from noon to 4. Savannah Brister who was on Season 16 of The Voice will sing Motown tunes. Full brunch menu. Unlimited mimosas for $15.

Very cool: Memphis libraries are eliminating overdue fines. It is excellent that the city is taking the opinion that a few dollars shouldn’t stand in the way of people’s access to information.

Yup that exists: Chainsaw turkey carving knife

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Little Rock tonight. Game time is 7 and it will be carried on ESPN3.

That’s it for now. Off to work. Back tomorrow with more news.





Monday update: Computing the Value Drinking Index of those 99 packs of PBR

For the past week, I have been tagged on Facebook over and over again in one particular photo: Pabst is selling 99-packs of PBR for the holidays in 15 different states. Unfortunately, Tennessee is not one of those states. (Arkansas is, though, and I’m trying to find out if they are sold in the West Memphis/Marion area).

Just for fun, I thought I’d compute the Value Drinking Index of one those 99 packs. The Value Drinking Index is something I invented about 5-6 years ago as a regular at the Flying Saucer. The formula is

(number of ounces) * (percent alcohol by volume) / (price in dollars)

As a general rule of thumb:

  • A VDI greater than 15 indicates a good value in a craft beer or import
  • A VDI greater than 20 indicates a good value in a domestic beer
  • A VDI greater than 25 indicates a good value if the beer is a PBR

Now, those 99 packs are not all original Pabst Blue Ribbon (5.0% ABV). Only 33 of them are. Also in the pack are 33 PBR Easys (4.2%) and 33 PBR Extras (6.5%). Average those ABVs out and you get 5.23333333%.

I’ve been told the packs sell for $59.99. So that would give us the following formula for their Value Drinking Index, assuming the regular 12 ounce cans rather than tallboys:

12 ounces * 99 cans * 5.2333333 percent ABV / 59.99

That works out to a whopping 104! That’s such a high Value Drinking Index that you could even put the 33 PBR Easys out in the alley as a Christmas gift to Downtown’s street people, and only drink the originals and the Extras.

104 is not the highest Value Drinking Index I’ve ever seen, though. If you have a Bardog Tavern wooden nickel, you can purchase a pint of PBR for only 5 cents. So the VDI would be

16 ounces * 5 percent ABV / .05 = 1600

You know, Bardog and the Aldo family of restaurants are proof that different people can have different interpretations of you. For example:

  • To Panda @ Slider Inn I am Paulie Poo
  • To Bloom @ Bardog I am P-Funk

Who’s right? They both are.

Amanda “Panda” is in town all this week, visiting from Colorado. Originally the plan was for her to split her time between Downtown Slider Inn and Bardog, but Slider Inn has proved such a huge success that she said she’ll be needed there all week.

… But don’t go up there today to visit her. Slider Inn will be closed for the day as they take a little time to relax and tweak the systems they have in place. The original Slider Inn in Midtown will be open, as will all of Aldo’s other restaurants. The new Slider Inn will be back open tomorrow with regular hours.

Yesterday on Facebook I learned of a new bar, to open in early 2020, called Board to Beers which will be Memphis’ first board game bar. They will have a library with 400 board games you can play, as well as a regular schedule of events. I am not sure what part of town this bar will be in. Pop-up board game nights have done well in Memphis the past several years, so it’s not surprising to see someone take the concept to a new level.

The Daily Memphian reports there is concern that the $1 billion in construction in the Pinch District to the west of St. Jude will fail to preserve historic buildings. The Pinch nearly lost its status as a historic neighborhood earlier this decade, most of the original buildings long gone.

Father Auggie made the news! Congratulations to St. Peter Catholic Church on 180 years. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them earlier this year to develop literature listing resources for those in need.

The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be at Cordelia’s Market tonight 5 to 8.

That’s the news for now. I’m off to work, then the birthday celebration will begin. Back tomorrow or Wednesday with more news.

Sunday update

Down to my final 24 hours in my 40s. Yesterday at Bardog, this came out:

They all sang happy birthday to me and then it was time for cake.

Photo credit Brittany Bloom on that last one.

My friends Randy and Theresa gave me a birthday card and look what I found inside!

Half the cake is in my refrigerator. (It’s surprisingly hard to give away birthday cake.) Between that and all the shots I had yesterday, my sugar intake this weekend is through the roof. When I get to D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Silly Goose this morning, I’ll balance it out with a pizza… I can afford one, as you can see, I have Goose Bucks!

Speaking of the Goose, give Edible Memphis a Like on Facebook if you haven’t already… they recently interviewed Daniel, got a look at the wood-fired pizza oven, and sampled three pizzas: Aldo the Apache, the Sancho, and the Mr. Peabody.

You know, yesterday I mentioned the hair extension vending machine that may or may not still be at Wolfchase Galleria. After I published the post, I got thinking about that. Back when I taught at the University of Memphis, I had hair down to the middle of my back. I thought, maybe I could get hair extensions put in and look like that again.

Just kidding… it’s not gonna happen. If I got hair extensions, I wouldn’t look like a 27-year-old again. I’d look like a middle-aged person trying desperately not to look like a middle-aged person.

Random thing I learned this weekend: There’s a restaurant in Minneapolis called Bacon Social that serves flights of bacon. A flight consists of applewood, candied, BBQ, habanero, paleo, and chef’s special. For the first time in my life, I want to go to Minneapolis!

For those of you who are fans of the holiday drink, egg nog, it’s now available in the slushie machine at Max’s Sports Bar.

I’d like to congratulate my friends Tree and Prez  who organized Ultimate Brunch Set II at the Blind Bear yesterday. I hear it was a stunning success. Maybe I need to let those guys introduce me to the world of cigars so I can come to their third edition of the party.

The Peanut Shoppe at 24 S. Main has restocked just in time for the holiday season with the following:

  • Milk chocolate peanuts
  • Milk chocolate butter toffee peanuts
  • Praline pecans
  • Milk chocolate butter toffee pecans
  • Cinnamon pecans
  • Milk chocolate haystacks
  • Milk chocolate pretzels
  • Yogurt pretzels
  • Dark chocolate pretzels
  • Creamy white chocolate pecans
  • Milk chocolate peanut/pecan/cashew delights

Please support this great local business! They are SO NICE and they have lost a bit of street visibility due to the construction a couple of doors down. They have decorative holiday tins, sectioned off so you can include multiple items in one tin. I used to go there all the time to get my mom treats for Christmas. If she were still alive, I would get her a tin that is a sampler of all the different types of pecans. The Peanut Shoppe is located at 24 S. Main, just north of the Starbucks at Main and Monroe.

There will be trolley detours and trolley stop closures on the Main Street line between November 14 and March 2. Read more here.

Sad to hear of the passing of Memphis-area bluesman Zeke Johnson this past week.

Memphis Bartenders Group has announced an event called Quick Draw: Battle of the Spirit Slingers to be held at the Silly Goose Sunday, November 24 at 5 PM. 8 bartenders will compete, and the fastest time wins a championship belt. There will be specials: 20% off pizza, and $1 off all domestic beers, well drinks, and Jameson. David Yancey III will do tattoos at this event. There will be games including beer pong, flip cup, and Jenga.

Today is Bring Your Dog to Bingo Day at Loflin Yard. Those with a dog get an extra bingo card. 10 rounds, 4-6 PM.

Time to get this day started. Back tomorrow or Tuesday or Wednesday with more news.