Court Square snow pic

Pic from Saturday when the snow was fresh – this is of Court Square, taken from my rooftop on No. 10 Main. Click on the image to see it in full size. Warning to dialup users: this file is almost a megabyte, may take a moment to download. Shouldn’t be a problem for cable, DSL or wireless users. I didn’t want to resize this one (2560 x 1920) and lose any detail.


Snow is pretty rare in Memphis, so this pic is a keeper. You’ll notice that there is something else rare about this pic of Court Square: there aren’t any pigeons or bums.

Deal of the Week

Continuing my “Deal of the Week” series, in which I scour the ads in the Sunday paper to find the best deals…

This week’s Deal of the Week is the Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 5000, a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. It normally runs for $99.95 but Office Depot has it on sale this week for $49.95 ($59.95 plus $10 mail-in rebate). It’s a good opportunity to eliminate some wires from your desktop, and users seem to especially like the feel of the mouse in their hand. It also provides one-touch access to photo-editing and screen magnifying features.

The Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 is also on sale for $49.95, but reviews on the Web seem to indicate that the Optical Desktop 5000 is better put together and a more comfortable product to use.

One word of caution: Other devices that emit electrical current can interfere with the wireless signal. My manager at work has a wireless keyboard/mouse, and sometimes his telephone cord gets in the way and knocks the signal out. So if your wireless keyboard suddenly stops working, it’s not necessarily a sign that it’s defective; you may just need to move some things around on your desk.

Back next Sunday with another deal.

Update from last night’s party

Due to the wishes of one of the people at the party, I’m not going to post the images from last night. My apologies for leading everyone on, but it’s important to respect people’s wishes. To the person in question: No hard feelings and we would still love to have you guys join us for trivia night or some other night sometime soon.

“Deal of the Week” and the restroom post coming soon.

Attn wrestling fans

Tickets for the WWE Supershow, to be held at the FedExForum Monday, March 20, go on sale today. This will be a joint TV taping – first, they’ll be taping Smackdown to be shown on UPN Friday night, and then they will have a live Monday Night Raw which will be broadcast on USA Network. This show will occur right before Wrestlemania so it should be a good one.

I haven’t been to a live wrestling show in 8 years – went with one of my students to see Memphis Wrestling in 1998, and I went with a fellow instructor to WCW Monday Nitro in 1996. Normally, I’m not that interested in seeing it live, but this time I might be for one reason:

“I’m… the… BOOGEYMAN! ha ha ha… and I’m coming… TO GETCHA! ha ha ha ha…”

I know WWE sometimes “papers” arenas, meaning they give away thousands of free tickets so that the arena will look full on TV. Anyone got info on how to score some of those tickets?

Going to Zydeco Fest today?

If you are, buy a wristband from this guy:


He’ll be standing outside Tater Red’s/The Black Diamond. Tell him Paul sent you. Wristbands are $12 and get you in all the clubs that are participating in Zydeco Fest.

He also sells wristbands for Beale Street’s weekly Friday night wristband night, so look for him then too.

Lots going on Saturday, if there isn’t an ice storm

First of all, congratulations to my former student Naseera (aka The One Normal Person Who Works At Autozone Corporate HQ) and Ron Perrone, Jr., drummer for the Dempseys, who both turn 30 today. Ron has mastered the art of time travel, as he has found a way to jump directly from age 16 to age 30.

Bad weather is moving in, but in case the forecast is wrong (NAH! that never happens) here are some things going on tomorrow night (Saturday, February 18).

– Zydeco Fest on Beale Street, 5 pm to 5 am. You can buy a $12 wristband that gets you into all the clubs, and it looks like even Alfred’s is participating. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is worth going to just for the people-watching. Imagine the street and all the clubs packed with sexy, beautiful women. Got that? Well, keep imagining, because that is definitely NOT the crowd that attends Zydeco Fest. Lots of people come up from Looziana for this. Not Louisiana, but Looziana.

– If you want to be downtown but zydeco isn’t your thing, check out FreeWorld at the Flying Saucer. They should start around 9:30 and are always a good show.

– And over in Midtown at the Hi-Tone, there will be a Save Libertyland benefit with the Luv Clowns, Harlan T. Bobo, and the Minivan Blues Band. I may not have been Libertyland’s biggest fan over the years, but I can explain why it needs to remain open in three words: LIBERTYLAND HIRES ROMANIANS. We need to support local businesses that make it possible for college-age Romanian girls to come to Memphis to live, work, and play. Especially “play.” And there’s now a serious offer on the table to keep the theme park open. So if you’re in Midtown, come by, lend a hand, hear some bands.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll make it to any of these fine events. I have the James Bond party being thrown by neighbors in my building, and I’ll be hanging out with a friend who is about to leave town for 13 weeks.

In local news, the Rapscallions trivia team (minus me) hit TJ Mulligan’s last night and won second place, for which the prize was a $25 bar tab. Meanwhile, while watching the Dempseys I got handed coupons good for a free appetizer and a free drink at Swig. Considering they had to split the tab four ways, I came out better than the team did.

All right – time to get some work done, because I have a week’s vacation next week! Not going anywhere. Downtown Memphis IS my vacation. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

I’ll be back with a Deal of the Week post on Sunday, and who knows, maybe before that.

Laptop users: this might be worth a look

Monday night, I was at the Saucer complaining to my friend Bobby that my laptop battery is a couple of years old and can only hold a charge for about 45 minutes. He told me I should check out BatteryGeek.net. They sell external batteries for laptops and DVD players. Now, it’s true that the batteries are more expensive than regular replacement laptop batteries ($169-189) and they are external, which means one more thing to carry around and plug in. But, these batteries can go a massive EIGHT hours or even longer on a charge, which is two to three times what a regular battery can do. I could take my laptop to a coffee shop or restaurant and work all day without plugging in. Pretty cool.

In addition, these batteries plug into the laptops’ AC adapters and are fairly universal. So if you upgrade to a new laptop later on, there’s a very good chance the battery will work with it too.

Looks like BatteryGeek.net gets high satisfaction ratings from customers. They offer a free battery audit: you send them info about your laptop and they’ll tell you what battery you need.

I’m probably going to order one this week. If you use laptops or other rechargeable electronic devices on the road, this might be a worthwhile investment.

The Blond Bum responds: the rest of the story

Edited by Paul 8:30 PM: Sorry about publishing this multiple times. Apparently when I copied this from e-mail, it added some tags which IE didn’t like… and I wasn’t aware of this, because I was using Firefox. Should be fixed now.

Since I’m one of the few people you have chosen to name by name in your blog, it’d be nice of you to publish these corrections and clarifications. I’ve already been contacted by friends who are concerned about the negative impression that today’s blog entry involving me gives. I don’t think you had any malicious intent in writing it. Still, could you please do a Paul Harvey and tell the audience “the rest of the story”?

Thanks,

Carmel

Corrections and clarifications:

I didn’t show up for trivia last night to get free drinks. To the contrary, I came, as usual, simply to enjoy time with some friends.

I did say that I thought girls shouldn’t have to pay for drinks on Valentine’s Day. But I was honestly just joking. My comment was initially directed only to you, not to all of the men on the trivia team. I figured saying that would get your attention and promote some lively discussion. It did.

I only had two beers * the one I purchased and the one a team member kindly offered to purchase for me.

When I observed that my glass was empty, I said this to you jokingly. My pout was exaggerated precisely because I was joking. Joking is a theme here. If I’d really wanted another beer, I’d certainly have paid for one myself.

I was actually armed with plenty of cash and credit cards. The only reason I paid with a dollar and a bit of change was so that I could avoid waiting to sign a credit card slip or to get change for a twenty-dollar bill for my $2.50 beer. Besides, in my view it was an ideal opportunity to get rid of some change. Unlike the situation you’ve encountered many times at Walgreen’s, I wasn’t holding anyone up by counting out the change I was leaving for the waitress. It shouldn’t have annoyed the waitress too much, either, since it wasn’t a huge heap of pennies like a bum might leave.

Also, the trivia question about whether women or men talked more during sex referred specifically to talking “dirty.” I disagreed when you suggested that calling someone “hot” or “baby” was an example of talking dirty. It’s true that I declined to provide examples.

Added by Paul: Carmel was just kidding around last night, as was I when I made this post. Carmel is a good friend and an incredibly good sport about all the teasing I give her in this blog.

The Blond Bum, and other trivia notes

Trivia night at the Saucer last night turned out to be a disaster for the Rapscallions. We didn’t win, we didn’t make the top three, and frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if we finished in the bottom three.

One problem was that all the questions were Valentine-related, and that fell outside all of our areas of expertise. I’ll post a few sample questions below.

Another problem was that trying to agree on an answer was like herding cats. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with one of the team members back in September 2005, when the Rapscallions first started doing Tuesday night trivia:

Imran: “Paul, look at that team over there. They have SEVEN PEOPLE! How can we possibly compete with them?”

Me: “Imran, there’s no way that team is going to win.”

Ioana: “I am Ioana. I am from Romania. I will be your server this evening”

Me: “Look at them, Imran. They’re all over the place. There are at least three separate conversations going at that table. There is no way they’re going to stop what they’re doing and all focus on the question being asked. They’ll never come up with good consensus answers.”

Five months later, we have become that team. Trying to run around and get suggestions for answers from everyone meant interrupting dart games, conversations about movies, conversations about work, etc. Then I’d have to run back around a second time and say, “These are the answers everyone came up with, which do you think is best?” So when Trivia Guy came around for our response, we were unfocused and just throwing random stuff out.

And then there was the Carmel problem. Let’s post a pic of Carmel, just to make sure everyone knows who I’m talking about:


There ya go. That’s Carmel. So Carmel showed up last night, sat down at the table, and immediately looked at the male members of the team and said, “I don’t think females should have to pay for their own drinks on Valentine’s Day.”

Now, a couple of problems I have with this. First of all, I’m not fond of women playing the “you should buy me drinks” card in general. And secondly, offering Valentine’s Day, a holiday I DETEST, as a reason is not a good idea.

So I ignored her. One of the other team members said, “Oh, honey, of course I’ll buy you a drink. What do you want? Get something good – you don’t have to get the $2.50 Fire Sale (which was Honey Brown last night, one of the worst beers the Saucer has).”

So Carmel was happy. But 30 minutes later, her beer was gone. She looked at me and said, “My glass is empty. Somebody should do something about that.”

“There are people here who can do something about that,” I told her. “They’re called ‘waitresses.’ It’s easy to tell who are the waitresses here, because they wear miniskirts.”

Carmel pouted and one of the other team members bought her a beer.

About 45 minutes later, I ordered a Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre and ordered one for my friend Ish as well. He has excellent taste in beer (he drinks a lot of Duvel and Lindeman’s Framboise), and I wanted to see what he would think of Raison. Carmel looked at me expectingly like, “I’d like a beer too, please.” Again I ignored her, and this time she had to order her own beer.

But here’s what really got me. When Carmel’s check came, for the one beer no one had bought her, she took out a dollar and then had to fish out a bunch of change from her purse to cover the rest of the cost. She was so sure she could work the free-beer angle that she didn’t even bother to bring money. Which makes me all the happier I didn’t buy her anything. Watching her count up change to pay for that beer reminded me of the bums on Beale Street at $1 PBR night at the Tap Room.

Anyway, on th the questions themselves. We were at something of a disadvantage in that several of the questions deal with female behavior or female opinions on love and sex, and we only had two women on our team – Carmel and the Nuh-Uh Girl. (Although, the Nuh-Uh Girl didn’t go “Nuh UHHHH!!!!….” this week so I’m not sure that nickname is going to stick. The Nuh-Uh Girl also didn’t bring her cute blonde friend this week.)

One question was multiple-choice – what percentage of valentines (meaning, cards) are purchased by women – 45%, 65%, or 85%? We correctly guessed 85%. Husbands/boyfriends purchase all kinds of stupid crap – flowers, candy, teddy bears – to get their Valentine’s Day obligation out of the way. But we don’t buy cards. Because then, we’d have to write a personal note inside the cards, which is more work than we generally feel like doing.

Another multiple-choice question – what percentage of women say they would prefer a good night’s sleep to sex – 26%, 46%, or 66%? I tended to believe 26%, because in my experience women are some horny critters. But Carmel and the Nuh-Uh Girl both insisted it was 66%, so we went with that. We were both wrong – it was 46%.

Another question – who talks more during sex, men or women? Carmel was insistent on “women,” so we went with it and got that one right. “What do you say?” we asked her. “Something like, ‘Oh baby, you’re so hot, I want you?'” Carmel indicated that it was MUCH MUCH MUCH dirtier than that, but declined to give examples. Too bad, I might have re-thought the free-beer thing if she had.

Another question – “what are the chambers of the heart called?” When Trivia Guy came by, we told him, “auricles and ventricles,” and he looked at us funny and said, “All right, I’ll give it to you.” A minute later, while he was still making his rounds, we realized the reason for the funny look – it’s atria and ventricles. “I’ll run over and tell him,” said one of the team members. WHY???? He already gave us the points. Why change the answer, and risk changing it to something wrong? Donald Trump would fire your ass if you pulled a stunt like that on The Apprentice.

We were so bad last night that the Sissy Bitches team would’ve beaten us if they had been there. I can tell I’m going to have to turn into the Trivia Nazi next week and get things under control.

Other notes:

– After we got home last night, I promptly turned around and went back out to see my one true Valentine – my mug at the Tap Room.

– I’m taking the night off tonight, but a faction of the trivia team/Sunday drunks will be at Sleep Out Louie’s to play NTN around 7.

– I’ve been invited to a James Bond party in my building Saturday night. “Hot chicks in slinky dresses” is how it was described to me. Yessss! I’m using Zydeco Fest on Beale Street as an excuse not to get dressed up myself. Apparently the organizers of the party asked, “Paul… is that the guy who was dressed up as a Flying Saucer waitress on Halloween?” Four months later and that’s still being talked about.

All right, that’s enough for now. Off to work.