Saturday update

The Office Depot on Union in the Medical Center District is closing. A source on Twitter said that as of yesterday morning, the shelves were still well stocked and there are many good deals to be had.

Last night I met the guy who is opening the Swanky’s Taco Shop that is going in the Chisca in the former LYFE Kitchen location. He told me he is hiring servers, although the restaurant is still a few weeks from opening. I got his contact info and will pass it along if you’re interested in a job there. Email me at or hit me up on Facebook.

Tonight is the first fireworks night of the season at the Redbirds. Prior to the first pitch (6:35, gates open at 5:00) fans can enjoy $2 beers at the Left Field Bar. First 500 fans receive a schedule poster featuring Adolis Garcia. After the game ends, stay in your seat for a fireworks show.

Justin Timberlake posted his own local’s guide to Memphis, and he is a fan of Downtown. JT recommended The Arcade, Sun Studio, Gus’s, STAX Museum, Rendezvous, and Earnestine & Hazel’s.

Memphis lost a Downtowner yesterday, but for a good reason. Jerry Stackhouse, formerly an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, has been hired as Vanderbilt’s head coach. That’s going to be a tough gig, competing with other SEC coaches and Penny Hardaway for recruits in the region. I wish him luck, though; I would love to see him build Vandy’s program to the point where he thumps Kentucky and Tennessee on a regular basis.

Play wrestling trivia for House Money in the Bank at Cerrito Trivia at Memphis Made Brewing Co. happens on Thursday, May 9. Normally I wouldn’t post about that so far in advance, but the wrestling trivia nights are extremely popular and you need to make a reservation. Open spots will fill up quickly.

Rep. Steve Cohen proves once again he’s one of the good guys:

Edible Memphis posted a reminder that the Craft Food & Wine Festival is not far away, on Sunday, June 23 at The Columns in One Commerce Square. Tickets are $60-115 and get you a two hour tasting session at either 4:00 or 6:30. The festival has started to list the vendors and they are top-notch, including not only some of Memphis’ best food, but craft beer, cider, and wine. Money raised benefits the Church Health Center.

Hmmm… the Craft Food & Wine Festival is the same day as The Bar Olympics happening out at the Hi-Tone. That’ll put some people to a difficult choice as to what to do that afternoon, and no, I am not kidding. Someone was asking me what the entry fee for The Bar Olympics is… I looked at the signup form and it’s $150 to enter a team of 6 to 8. Sign up the max of 8, and you’re talking less than $20 a person for an afternoon of drinking and competition. Quite a reasonable entry fee compared to similar events, and the money goes to Alive! Rescue Memphis.

The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will pay a visit to Cordelia’s Market this coming Wednesday, April 10, from 5 to 8.

Wine lovers might want to make plans to take off work early this coming Monday, April 8. The Majestic Grille is having a cellar sale, selling some of the wines they currently have in stock at great prices to make room for new ones. The sale begins at 4 PM and goes on until 10, but you know the best bottles will get picked over fast! Tell your boss you have a dentist appointment and leave work at 3:30.

Speaking of the Majestic, I was in there for lunch yesterday. Can’t go wrong with a classic, fish & chips.

This was a special yesterday, but they tend to have fish & chips, along with other fish and seafood specials, every Friday, even outside of the Lenten season. Pro tip: Put some malt vinegar not only on the fish, but the steak fries as well. If you’re addicted to the Majestic’s famous thin Parmesan fries, you can get those instead of the steak fries.

For my friends who like to smoke up, this article is for you: There sure is a lot of poop in weed

Farmers Market, Farmers Market, time to go to the Farmers Market! I’ll try to take a few pics. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Yesterday I was thinking about something, and I’m going to wonder out loud on here. The situation with the Downtown parking meters has changed since this time last year. You now have to pay them 8 AM to 10 PM, and the maximum you can pay at one time is 4 hours. How is that going to work during Music Fest? You can’t exactly leave Music Fest and walk a mile to your car to feed the meter. Is everyone who comes to Music Fest going to have to pay to park in a garage this year? Or will the cops be lenient with their meter enforcement that Saturday?

There is sad news about one of the food trucks that regularly participated in the Thursday Court Square food truck rodeos. Last Friday, the owner of the King of Kings BBQ trailer was driving home on I-40 near Watkins. He encountered potholes, causing the trailer to fishtail and eventually flip on its side. The trailer’s roof buckled and there is a hole in its side. Damage is estimated at about $100,000. If there’s any good news in all this, it’s that the owner was not injured, using his experience as a truck driver to prevent his pickup truck flipping along with the trailer.

Tomorrow is opening day at the Memphis Farmers Market, under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. The Market runs from 8 AM to 1 PM at that location Saturdays through the end of October. Check out the vendor list for the Market’s opening day so you can plan your shopping. Three food trucks, El Mero Taco, Fuel Cafe, and Grub, will be on site to feed you. Live music throughout the day by Jennifer Westwood and Dylan Dunbar, Laramie Renae and Dylan Wheeler, and Pierce Crask. The Cossitt Library will be there with its Reading Corral for kids, with story time, crafts, and more. Downtown Yoga will have a pay-what-you-can class at the Market from 9:45 to 10:45 (bring a mat and water). Student pharmacists will be on site to answer whatever questions you have about immunization. Bring your compostable items to the Market and The Compost Fairy will take them away and turn them into dirt.

Envision Memphis on the top floor of the Cadre Building will hold a Nutrition 101 seminar tomorrow from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Learn about meal planning and nutritious balanced meals, staying hydrated, what to eat before and after workouts, the basics of healthy eating, and daily nutrition reminders. At the end there will be a Q&A. Cost is $20.

Memphis history fans will want to check out Refinement on the River at the Woodruff-Fontaine House tonight from 5 to 8. This bicentennial celebration will feature photos of the early days of Memphis, with looks at the architecture Downtown and along the river. The exhibit will cover the period through the 1950s, when Urban Renewal led to the demise of many of our city’s most beautiful landmarks.

United Way celebrates 95 years in Memphis with a party tonight at The Columns at One Commerce Square.

Play in the 2019 Grizzlies Prep Mini Golf Classic tomorrow and help support the development of young men here in Memphis. Winner gets $300, and funds raised will be used to send Grizzlies Prep students to visit college campuses. The location is 168 Jefferson, with family play noon to 2 and tournament time 4 to 8.

Amazingly, opening day at the Redbirds did not get rained out, and new manager Ben Johnson got his first victory.

Job alert: The Memphis Chamber is hiring an administrative assistant.

The Flyer has a piece on Sweet Magnolia, the new gelato place going in at the 409 South Main food hall.

Check out this Dallas Observer story in which Shannon Wynne, partner in the Flying Saucer chain, thinks brewery taprooms are responsible for putting financial strain on the Flying Saucer locations and other similar bars. In 49 of the 50 states, production breweries can sell beer to go. The one state in which they can’t is Texas, thanks to the lobbying of people like Wynne. Saucer corporate is really, really bad at embracing changes in the beer scene and in the neighborhoods in which their bars are located, and Wynne’s comments are proof of that. If the Saucer chain is losing business, management needs to look in the mirror instead of looking for others to blame.

The brewery taproom thing doesn’t matter that much to me, but I want to go on a rant here for a minute. In 2007 the Memphis Saucer was the Downtown locals’ bar. We all met up there after work, made lasting friendships, gathered a huge team for trivia on Tuesday nights. In the years after that, things started to change. The Saucer had new competition in the form of locals’ bars: Max’s Sports Bar, which opened in 2007; Bardog, which opened in 2008; Silly Goose, which opened in 2009; and Blind Bear, which opened in 2011. The Saucer could have retained us as regulars; we told them what we wanted. We told them:

  • We wanted more interesting Fire Sales, the daily discount beer which is sold for $3.50 ($2.50 back in those days). The Fire Sale rotation was a boring bunch of mostly brown ales, Shiner Bock being the one that comes to mind, along with a blueberry beer that tasted like feet and some other dull choices.
  • We wanted PBR. At least six other Saucers, including Little Rock and Nashville, carry the beer. We were even willing to pay a slight premium. Bars like the Goose and the Bear charge $3 for a 16 ounce can. We would have paid $3.50 for the privilege of drinking PBR at the Saucer.
  • We wanted Fireball. Granted, I sure don’t want it anymore, but several years ago it was the thing to drink in Memphis bars.
  • We wanted management to drop the attitude that employees are expendable and treat their staff, particularly the ones who had built relationships with their regular customers, better.

The GM at the time flat-out refused to carry PBR. He said he didn’t want “that kind of clientele” coming to his bar. That was insulting to a large group of his regulars who he knew very well were PBR drinkers.

The GM was eventually forced by corporate to carry Fireball, but he charged $7 a shot for it as a further insult to the regulars that had requested it. Fireball is typically sold for $4 per shot at locals’ bars Downtown, sometimes on special for $3 (or $2 at one bar when it’s snowing).

One of our favorite long-time Saucer girls was given an ultimatum to choose between the Saucer and her other job. She chose her other job, and when Daniel from the Silly Goose found out she was no longer at the Saucer, he immediately contacted her and offered her a job bartending. Six years later, she’s still there, and I’ll be sitting at her bar in a few hours. No plans to go to the Saucer today or at all this weekend, on the other hand.

Another of our favorite Saucer girls, who had built a loyal base of regulars who came up there to see her, got fired for the stupidest of reasons. She was driving home from Nashville on a Sunday afternoon. Her car broke down on the way, and she called the Saucer to tell them. Their response was “We don’t care what happened, if you’re not here at 5 for your shift, you’re fired.” The Blind Bear hired her and she’s still there. Two other Saucer girls left – one fired for a similar stupid reason and the other saw the writing on the wall and put in her notice –  and they became longtime Blind Bear employees. You know, Daniel and Jeannette really should write thank-you notes to Saucer corporate for providing their bars with such excellent staff and the regulars who followed them to their new workplaces.

As for the Fire Sales, they did improve, but it took years. I do have to admit that local management at the Downtown Saucer is much better than it’s been in the past, and their idea of being a burger bar is a cool one. However, management was so inattentive to their regulars for so long that it’s too late. Many of us have moved on. In my case, I’m comfortable going to the Goose for happy hour and Blind Bear in the evenings, and Bardog Saturdays for brunch and occasionally south to Max’s. It’s not that the Saucer as it stands in 2019 isn’t worthy of the occasional visit, but my dance card is full at this point.

Okay. Rant over, and that’s all the news I have tomorrow. I may take tomorrow off so I can get an early start at the Farmers Market. Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.

Thursday update

This afternoon there will be a commemoration at the National Civil Rights Museum, outside the Lorraine Motel balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed 51 years ago today. It will begin at 4 PM, with a speech by keynote speaker Dr. Omid Safi and reflections by Dr. King’s colleagues, Rev. James Lawson and Rev. Jesse Jackson. The program will pause for a moment of silence and changing of the balcony wreath at 6:01 PM, 51 years to the minute since the shot rang out. The museum’s Hooks Hyde Hall will be the rain location. This event is free to the public.

It’s opening day for the Memphis Redbirds. The Redbirds start their first homestand against Omaha with the first pitch at 7:05. The Pacific Coast League and Triple-A National Champion Redbirds will be welcomed prior to the game in a Players to the Line ceremony, and the PCL championship flag will be raised. First 2500 fans in the gate get a schedule magnet, presented by Southern College of Optometry. There will be select $2 domestic beers tonight, and $1 Polk’s Meats hot dogs.

TGI Friday’s in the hotel across Union from the ballpark has a deal for Redbirds fans:

Of course, looking out the window it appears that tonight’s season opener will get rained out. I remember how disappointed I was as an 8-year-old when I’d been looking forward to the Arkansas Travelers season opener for months and it got rained out. There are going to be a lot of sad kids in Memphis tonight, I am afraid.

The Great American River Run, the half marathon that is part of the Memphis in May schedule, will see the King/Queen of the Hill Challenge return for 2019. Mile 10 of the half marathon is a run across the A.W. Willis Avenue bridge connecting Downtown to Mud Island. Fastest to make it across the bridge will win $500.

The Commercial Appeal’s Jennifer Chandler writes that Malco at the Powerhouse takes dinner and a movie to a whole new level.

You can get boozy milkshakes at Malco Powerhouse, or down the street at the Arcade.

Pabst is expanding its line of beers once again with PBR Extra. It’s the great taste of PBR with a whopping 6.5% alcohol by volume.

I may have had that info wrong about the April SMA meeting I blogged about yesterday. I’m now seeing that the April meeting will be April 9 at Old Dominick Distillery, and will be a preview of a festival to happen at the distillery the last weekend of April.

Plans are in the works to spruce up Mud Island for Memphis’ 200th birthday. A 50-foot long “MEMPHIS” sign will be installed on the southern part of Mud Island. Walking paths, sunflowers, swings and lights will be added, and there will be a summer concert series. The Mud Island River Park will open to the public May 2.

The Downtown Memphis Commission is in the process of trying to figure out what to do with the W.C. Handy house on Beale Street. Tours were given previously but the tour operator was forced out in February.

For my readers who ride Bird and Lime scooters: I want to show you a photo and then challenge you to think about something.

This photo was taken at the 100 Peabody Place office building’s front door, looking westward to the Main Street Mall. Here’s my challenge to Bird and Lime scooter riders: Every time you park a scooter, look at where you’re parked and ask yourself, “Would a person in a wheelchair be able to get by?” A wheelchair-bound employee in that office building would either have to get by that scooter, or face going down steps. I know those scooters are convenient, but let’s not be in such a hurry to get where we’re going that we abandon consideration for all of our fellow humans.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. has announced its Hopped V celebration the day of Saturday, April 20.

The Blind Bear’s Totally ’80s party happens this Saturday night. Costume contest, photographer, drink specials, and ’80s music by DJ SuperBrad.

FedExForum has announced that Celine Dion’s Courage world tour will make a stop at the arena on Sunday, February 9, 2020. Tickets will go on sale to the public Friday, April 12 at 10 AM.

Loving Local, the annual fundraiser for Project Green Fork, has been set for Thursday, June 13 at Carolina Watershed. PGF works with local restaurants to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and eliminate pollution. Come enjoy food and drink from PGF-certified restaurants and breweries, and live music by Marcella Simien.

Memphis 901 FC travels to North Carolina for a 6 PM Saturday game against North Carolina FC. The Bluff City Mafia will host a watch party at the Brass Door beginning at 5:30 that evening.

Kranch is a thing now. It’s half ketchup, half ranch. I’m guessing that as soon as he becomes aware of this product, Donald Trump will request some kranch for dipping his well-done steak.

That’s all for now. Stay dry, everyone. Back tomorrow with more news.


Wednesday update

The AAF, the league in which the Memphis Express plays, suspended operations yesterday. There will be no AAF championship game. There will be no more Johnny Manziel games in Memphis. Turn out the lights, the party’s over.

Happy Wednesday, YOGA! This post is going to be a yoga lover’s dream as I have three upcoming events to tell you about. There will be plenty of non-yoga news too.

Yoga is coming to the Memphis Farmers Market the first Saturday of every month, including this Saturday, April 6. The all-levels class by Downtown Yoga will start at 9:45 and participants need to bring a mat and some water. This will be a pay-what-you-can class, with money raised donated to a different charity every month.

Goat yoga, the practice of doing yoga with goats around, has become a thing lately. It comes to Health Sciences Park in the Medical District Saturday, April 27. This is a free class but donations to Memphis Animal Services will be accepted. There are two sessions. You must sign a waiver to participate.

Downtown Yoga will host The 5 Animals Qigong Series, a series of four classes beginning April 27. This 2000 year old practice is a fun way to energize the body, imitating the movements of five animals: the Tiger, Deer, Bear, Ape, and Bird. There is said to be a correspondence between the animal movements and five internal organs. The series will progress as follows:

  • April 27 – first and second movement for each animal
  • May 25 – third and fourth movement for each animal
  • June 22 – fifth movement for each animal, correspondence with internal organs, five phases and healing sounds
  • July 27 – putting theory and practice together with the complete 25 movement set

Memphis BBQ chain Tops BBQ has been sold, but the new owners plan on keeping the Tops experience the same. Notable for Downtowners: The new president of the 15-location restaurant chain will be Terry Trim, longtime director of operations at Kooky Canuck.

The Green Beetle will host a neighborhood crawfish boil the afternoon of Sunday, April 14. Beale Street Wine Race is that day and you can go get crawfish after the races end.

Wine Race, by the way, is on a different day than usual this year due to Easter. Usually it’s the last Sunday of April. That most likely means, for the first time in years, it won’t fall on the same day as the “take your dog to the Redbirds” promotion so folks won’t have to choose between the two events.

The Memphis Flyer has an article about the new tables at Southland, the name now changed to Southland Casino Racing.

Get your 2019 Redbirds schedule poster this weekend:

The Jam for Justice will happen Saturday, April 20 in the B-Side bar in Minglewood Hall. John Paul Keith, Grace Askew, and Cameron Bethany from Unapologetic will perform. This event benefits the Community Legal Center, an agency providing legal services to those who would otherwise be unable to afford them.

Do you live, work, or play in The Edge or would you like to? Take this survey and tell urban planners what you would like to see in the neighborhood.

Peppa Pig returns to Memphis:

As if the 16-person party bikes were not bad enough, now there are mobile hot tubs rolling around Nashville. I guess they’ll be showing up here in Memphis soon. The party bikes are Amateur Hour On Demand and I suspect the mobile hot tubs will be much the same.

Teens can now apply for Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’ youth jobs program.

Jerry Patton, Dylan Dunbar, Jennifer Westwood, and Pierce Crask perform at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, this Friday at 7 PM.

The April South Main Association meeting will be something different: It’s going to be on Friday night, April 26, on Trolley Night. It will be held at Old Dominick Distillery.

The Tambourine Bash benefiting Memphis Music Export, an organization which raises awareness of Memphis music in other cities in the region, will happen at Century House, 151 Vance, from 7 to 10 PM Thursday, April 18. Live music on two stages will feature Nick Black, Marcella Simien, Talibah Safiya, Coldway, Daz Rinko, Cameron Bethany, the Unapologetic Crew, and more acts to be announced. There will be food by the Majestic Grille, cocktails by Old Dominick, and a photo booth.

I can’t resist embedding one more tweet from author Reva Steenbergen who wrote The Gaslighting Effect. This is a short one but it really hit home for me:

The tweet seemed like a shorter version of something an extremely insightful friend once said:

She watched you from afar for years, gathering information about you, learning your likes and dislikes, who your friends were, where were the places you loved to go… and when she had all the information she needed, she stepped into your life and tried to push you out of it, tried to take away your friends and your favorite places and leave you with nothing.

That is the essence of The Gaslighting Effect, a book that describes narcissistic abuse, in one sentence. Read it in paperback format or on Kindle.

Finally, we’re back to shorts weather. Should be a lovely day. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Spring is a time of birth and rebirth, and that will definitely be the case this Saturday, April 6.

Saturday will the birth of Championship Wrestling, broadcast on channel 30 locally here in Memphis, sponsored by Pro Shingle and hosted by Dustin and Maria Starr. The new wrestling promotion is affiliated with a promotion in Hollywood and is a member of the National Wrestling Alliance. Watch the new show every Saturday at noon.

Saturday will also be the rebirth of the Memphis Farmers Market, which will happen every Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. Longtime readers know I am a big fan of the Market, which in addition to offering fresh produce is a gathering spot to mingle with your neighbors. Live music, food trucks, and a program of fun and educational events each week. They have dog-sitters too.

I will have details on this week’s opening Market in a few days. I PLAN ON BEING THERE this Saturday around 10:30, with visits to Max’s Sports Bar, Earnestine & Hazel’s, and Loflin Yard in the hours to follow.

It’s not too late to apply to be a vendor at Memphis Farmers Market, or to sign up to be a volunteer. Volunteering there is a fulfilling experience, with one of my BBQ teammates enjoying it so much that he rose to the position of board president a few years ago.

One day you will want to put on your calendar is Saturday, April 27. That day there will be a crawfish boil at the Market from 10 AM to 1 PM.

The Silly Goose has their spring cocktail menu up:

Penicillin and Peter Rabbit’s Revenge are the holdovers from the winter menu, with seven new cocktails added. The Non Compos Menace, with bacon as an ingredient, sounds like a drink I will have to try soon.

If you’re a fan of Cuban sandwiches, this is a good month for you to stop by Bluff City Coffee.

It just doesn’t get much more Memphis than this: Manhunt Monday is a thing on a local TV station’s website now.

The Grizzlies’ chances to CONVEY THAT PICK got slimmer yesterday, as the team announced that Jonas Valanciunas will be out the remainder of the season with a grade 2 ankle sprain.

More Grizzlies news:

Sunrise Memphis, the breakfast/lunch spot on Jefferson, is hiring for all positions. Apply in person.

The monthly Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting has been set for Tuesday, April 23 at Comeback Coffee, 358 N. Main. The presentation this month will be a panel discussion entitled, “How to Effect Change in Your Neighborhood.”

From time to time Amazon sends me promotional emails trying to sell me junk I don’t want. I usually delete them. Yesterday, however, they sent a promo for an item I’m seriously considering ordering: habanero ghost pepper Monterey jack cheese. Yummmmm!

A permit application has been filed for the new 9-story hotel that will be part of One Beale. After all the false starts, I won’t believe One Beale is going to happen until I see concrete poured, but this is at least a step in a positive direction.

The Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman has a list of the best landing spot for the likely number-one pick in the NBA draft, Zion Williamson. I like his thinking.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.


No foolin’

It’s April Fool’s Day. In the past I have posted gag April Fool’s articles, but I couldn’t come up with anything this year. Everything in this post is real.

However, I do have a programming note: My post tomorrow may be shorter than usual. That’s because I can’t trust anything I see on social media on April 1. If I can’t verify it, I will delay blogging it.

Bill Dries and Chris Herrington have a Daily Memphian headline story this morning that is a must-read: The river defines who we were and who we will become. This is a longer piece but worth your time. I will say it once more: The Daily Memphian sits behind a paywall (after a limited number of free articles) but at $7 a month, it is well worth your money. The writing is superb and the people there clearly love Memphis.

A Southland employee posted yesterday that tables are going live today: blackjack, craps and roulette. No need to drive all the way to Mississippi anymore.

More bad luck for the Grizzlies last night. With half the team already out for injuries, center Jonas Valanciunas went down with an apparent leg injury. I have become a big Jonas fan recently. The Grizzlies PR team tweeted that his 34 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks Saturday was the first game an NBA player put up that combination of numbers since January 1978 (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

On a better note, Tankathon shows that the Grizzlies remain half a game out of ninth worst. Johnnie Cochran voice: “IF THERE IS A WAY, YOU MUST CONVEY.”

It’s an evening with Bon Iver tonight at the Orpheum at 8.

Grub will be the food truck at Cordelia’s Market tonight from 5 to 8. That’s the truck where I bought my Korean beef quesadilla last Thursday.

Other entrees include Memphis BBQ chicken, Falafel Ain’t Awful, and breakfast, all available in quesadilla, burrito, and sandwich format.

Shelby County Schools students showed off their creative side at the Halloran Centre yesterday.

Please don’t do this to your cat.

I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m starting to become a fan of Bruce Pearl. Laying down the whoopins’ on both John Calipari and the Tennessee Vols in one month is hard to ignore, and you could see the genuine emotion in his face during the post-game celebration. He’s no longer employed by an athletic department where ethics are a secondary concern, and he no longer wears that ugly Volunteer orange jacket. I guess it’s time to let the hate go. Michigan State and Virginia are the two teams left standing in my bracket, but I won’t mind if Auburn wins its first national title next Monday.

Yesterday I stuck to my plan of staying home and teaching myself the Python programming language. Y’all want a quick lesson that is applicable to real life? I’ll keep this fun and as non-nerdy as possible.

In Python there are elements known as dictionaries (sometimes called associative arrays) that associate a key with a value. So I created a dictionary that associated the names of select 2018 BBQ Fest shoulder teams with their placement in the final standings. Then I looped through the dictionary with

for key, val in dict.items():
 if val <=10:
  print (key, "got a trophy")

By the way indentation is a big deal in Python and it’s hard to do it properly in WordPress. But anyway, the code would get to the {“Moody Ques”, 7} associative pair, see that 7 is less than or equal to 10, and print “Moody Ques got a trophy.” For teams with a value greater than 10, nothing would be printed.

Then I made a second dictionary, the keys again being the names of select BBQ teams, and the second element whether they have sponsor time during prime party hours when paid team members and their guests are encouraged to leave their booth and go elsewhere (True or False).

for key, val in dict2.items():
 if val == False:
  print (key, "loves its members")

This would see the {“Moody Ques”, False} associative pair and print “Moody Ques loves its members”.

Oh, by the way, if you want to be on a team that wins trophies and loves its members, the Moody Ques have a few spots open! Details here. If you want to take us for a test drive before making up your mind, email me at and I’ll invite you to our April 13 “Meat” & Greet.

That’s it for now. Time to jump back into my Python training. Back tomorrow with more news.


Sunday update

I just read Geoff Calkins’ recap of the Memphis-Orlando AAF game at the Liberty Bowl. Man… that game and the entire league seem like a complete shitshow. The Express have one remaining home game, on April 13, but it’s not clear that the league will even exist by then.

In much better Memphis sports news, the Grizzlies made a quality acquisition this weekend. Dusty Hannahs was a star for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and following college he signed on with G-League affiliate the Memphis Hustle. Hannahs was a star sixth man for the Hustle, averaging 29 points per game in their two playoff games this season. That convinced the Grizzlies to sign Dusty Buckets to a 10-day contract and give him a look. Hannahs wore number 9 for the Hustle, but out of respect for Tony Allen who will one day have that number retired, he will wear number 8 for the Grizzlies.

A new modern luxury cruise ship, the American Harmony, will dock in Memphis. The ship will accommodate up to 190 guests and will feature lounges 40 feet above deck. An economic study found that boat dockings added $36 million to the Memphis economy in 2013, and dockings have risen steadily in the years since. The boat launches in August, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny – staterooms start at $4320 per person.

Perjorie T. Roll wanted me to tell my readers about a great deal she found at the Downtown Walgreens this morning.

They’re phasing out the mint flavor of the Oreo candy bars and so they have been discounted to 69 cents each from their normal price of $1.29. Mint chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream, and the troll likes the candy bars because the inside is the same color as her hair, so this purchase was a win-win for the Ryburn household.

Ghost River is having a release party Friday, April 5 from 7 to 10 PM for its new Zippin Pippin IPA.

May 4 is Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth Be with You”), but did you know it’s also International Respect for Chickens Day? Be sure to tell a chicken you respect it that day. It’s okay if the chicken is on a plate at Gus’s.

Bardog has a new special (click the photo to see at a higher resolution):

For those who can’t read the fine print, it says, “Ask me about my Dickel Pickle.”

Cheers to the University of Memphis on taking steps to protect students from the rising cost of tuition.

Flic’s Pics will be playing BB King’s on Beale this afternoon 2:30 to 6.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to inform you of a one-man poetry/prose show entitled The Making of Love at Marshall Arts, 639 Marshall, today at 3 PM.

Oh cool, a former co-worker of mine won a national title Friday in the bridge tournament that’s going on at the Cook Convention Center. Congratulations Richard! The tournament wraps up today.

Something different… this is the first Sunday Fun Day in quite some time when I haven’t gone out at 11 AM. I’m deep into my books on the Python programming language and using Python in data science, and continuing with them seems a better plan than getting out and drinking. I will be out tonight, around 7 probably. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update: Margarita Fest coming Downtown

The Memphis Flyer’s Margarita Fest is coming Downtown this year! The tequila-fueled celebration will take place from 3 to 6 PM Saturday, May 11 at Fourth Bluff on the River. Admission gets you samples of margaritas from 15 of Memphis’ best restaurants, as well as live entertainment. There will also be a cash bar where you can buy full-sized drinks. This is a 21+ event. Buy early bird tickets here ($37.36 with fees). Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis.

Zac Brown Band brings the “Down the Rabbit Hole Live” tour to FedExForum this evening.

Rain, rain, go away! The predicted inclement weather has caused the Redbirds to cancel their Fan Fest that was to be held today at AutoZone Park. That sucks but you can’t fault them for wanting to keep their players, fans and staff safe.

Catherine & Mary’s, the Andrew Ticer/Michael Hudman restaurant in the Chisca, is once again hiring.

For those of you who are confused by the “link in our bio to apply” thing, here’s the link. Restaurants: Don’t do “link in our bio!” Use to shorten the link and post it directly in the tweet.

More job news: The Memphis Restaurant Association recently sent out its monthly newsletter, and if you scroll down for a bit you will see that there is a concierge position open at the Orpheum’s Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts. This position would be mostly nights and weekends, and would involve front desk duties as well as event support.

Pirates of Penzance and other favorites from Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas will be performed live on stage tonight.

ArtsFest happens at the Halloran Centre tomorrow:

Bill Maher returns to the Orpheum Friday, October 4. Tickets will go on sale this coming Friday at 10 AM.

For those of you who plan on going to some Redbirds games this season, there are a Triple-A rule changes you should know about:

  • Extra innings will start with a runner on second base for each team.
  • Barring injury, a pitcher must pitch to at least 3 batters before he can be taken out of the game.
  • There is a limit of 5 mound visits. An additional mound visit will be granted for each extra inning.

The U of M’s Greg Gaston makes a point worth remembering:

Memphis continues to be the class act of the state. Not that the Vols aren’t good at anything… I bet if BBQ Fest added a “possum” category, Vol fans and alumni would dominate.

Cheers to Downtown employer ServiceMaster on being a good corporate citizen. Employees spent a day this week beautifying campuses of Shelby County Schools.

Memphis 901 FC took a loss to the New York Red Bulls last night. Complete game stats here.

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky’s 4th at the Cannon Center today and tomorrow.

Stay safe from the rain this afternoon, and if you plan to be out all day pack a jacket – it’s warm outside right now, but the low tonight will be 39. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Two Girls and a Whip will host a Cupcake Dinner in the Underdog Room of Bardog Tavern Sunday, April 14 at 6:30 PM. You already knew you could have breakfast for dinner, but did you know you could have it in the form of cupcakes? Here are the courses:

Ham, potato, and cheddar quiche, baked in a wonton wrapper with green onion garnish

Garlic cheddar grits cake topped with a shrimp kabob and remoulade drizzle

Sweet potato hash cake with a slice of bacon and a poached egg on top

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Caramel macchiato cupcake with marscapone cheese butter cream icing, a slice of French toast on top, crowned with bacon crumbles and a blueberry reduction drizzle

Each course will be expertly paired with wine or a cocktail by Bardog’s very own Melissa. Cost is $40 and seating is very limited so an RSVP is required. Call 901-472-2253 to make your reservation.

For my friend Katie Mac:

The Withers Collection Museum & Gallery on Beale Street, featuring the work of photographer Ernest Withers, will host commemorative history tours on Thursday, April 4, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. The tours will begin on the hour 10 to 3, and will include a short lecture, a guided tour of the Civil Rights Exhibition, and a collectible takeaway. $7 adults/$5 students.

Edge Motor Fest, celebrating the new automotive history museum opening at 645 Marshall, now has a website and it’s a very good one. As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge, I plan on being there!

While we’re on the topic of The Edge, Evelyn & Olive on Madison is having a jerk chicken festival there today from 4 to 8. While there, enjoy their signature cocktail “The Crazy Jamaican.” Or in some cases, “The Batshit Crazy Jamaican.”

Huling Avenue will be blocked between Tennessee and Wagner while the railroad works on repairing an overpass. The closure will start this morning at 9 and is expected to last until Monday, April 1.

Yesterday I tried the Grub food truck at the Thursday Court Square food truck rodeo. I got the Korean beef quesadilla.

Absolutely delicious! One of the very best Thursday food truck meals I have had. The Korean beef is also available in the form of a sandwich or burrito. All entrees come with fries. The truck has a variety of hot sauces, and there are to-go cups with lids to make it easy for you to take hot sauce back home or back to the office.

The Grizzlies’ G-League affiliate the Memphis Hustle has advanced to the second round of the G-League playoffs. They play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers tonight at 7 and the game will be broadcast on Facebook Live. I saw that in the last game, 6’9″ Yuta Watanabe got some time at point guard. The Japanese Magic Johnson?

If you love beer and people, as well as music, food, trivia, and good vibes, there may be a job for you. Ghost River is looking to hire a bartender for its taproom, 15-25 hours a week, mostly nights but some days. Come by and fill out an application, or email

94.1 Songwriter Fest comes to the Halloran Centre tonight. It will feature the music of three country hit songwriters: Ryan Hurd, Brandon Kinney, and Parker Welling.

Tomorrow is Ladies’ Day Out at Bass Pro at the Pyramid:

YOGA! The Kroc Center will have aerial yoga on Saturday, April 13.

Hard Rock Cafe will kick off a weekly Open Mic Night hosted by Amber Rae Dunn next Thursday at 8. They’ll have a house guitar and expert sound. Performers get free parking and discount food.

With the baseball season under way, I’ve got a couple of baseball-related articles for you. JSTOR Daily has a look at how baseball became a profession. The first team to put all its players on salary was the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869. In the early decades, baseball was not looked upon as a worthy profession, but rather the work of ruffians and hooligans. It took decades of work to evolve the sport’s reputation into one of a gentleman’s game.

Deadspin opines that the best way to see America is to visit every last minor league ballpark. There are 159 of them total. Take on this task and you’ll venture not just to tourist towns like Memphis, but to smaller towns like Johnson City.

Memphis 901 FC has an Off the Pitch video series so you can get to know the team, the players, and the fans better during the soccer club’s inaugural season.

Don’t forget that you have a chance to try the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck without leaving Downtown today. The truck will be parked at Stock & Belle, 387 S. Main, for Trolley Night this evening.

The work of the Memphis Ten will be on display tonight at Jack Robinson Gallery, 44 Huling. Come view the art of Houston Cofield, Brandon Dill, Ivy-Jade Edwards, Paige Ellens, Amy Hutcheson, Ziggy Mack, LaAndrea Deloyce Mitchell, Sara Moseley, Robert Sims, and Najee Strickland. There will be artist talks, wine, and snacks.

Mercy Me’s Imagine Nation Tour stops at FedExForum tonight, with special guests Crowder and Micah Tyler.

If you want to get a sense of how a visitor perceives Memphis, check out Ned Plays Bridge, a Londoner who came to Memphis for the bridge tournament last week and this week. He’s staying in the Chisca while he is here.

I’ve been recommending The Gaslighting Effect to protect yourself from the worst manipulators. Follow the author on Twitter for lots of good quotes like this one.

One of my Final Four went down last night, as Michigan lost to Texas Tech. There was some good news though… Tennessee lost! Purdue beat the Vols in overtime. UT’s ranking prior to the tournament would have suggested at least an Elite Eight finish. As usual, though, they underperformed. Typical Tennessee. I think the Vols are so bad for so long that when they finally hit a decent stretch (like their football team beating 5 cupcakes and getting lucky in a 6th game) that people give them too much credit. But then once reality sets in (like getting shellacked by South Carolina), expectations come back down to earth.

That’s it for now. I’m going to spend the next several hours on my new interest: Data Science. It’s field that blends software engineering, math and statistics, and human behavior, all interests of mine. Much of it is a practical application of graph theory, which was one of my favorite math classes in college. It also gives me a reason to pick up the Python programming language, which has never crossed my path previously. The nice thing about installing Linux Mint on the laptop I inherited from my mom is that Python is part of the default installation. So I’m going to have some fun nerding out, and tonight I plan to head south to Trolley Night. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

(Impractical) Jokers, stars of truTV, will perform their pranks live on stage at FedExForum tonight. Memphis is tonight’s stop on their “Cranjis McBasketball World Comedy Tour starring the Tenderloins.”

Fantastic job opening in the nonprofit sector: Volunteer Odyssey is hiring a Director of Volunteer Experience. This person will work with individual and corporate volunteers as well as community partners. Volunteer Odyssey is in a great location, on the Main Street Mall, and they believe in investing in training and development for their employees. Deadline to apply is April 14, with interviews conducted in late April and the position beginning in June.

Despite the Grizzlies’ loss to Golden State last night, they are still only half a game out of the ninth worst record in the NBA, ideal to CONVEY THAT PICK. Still, looking at the revised 2019 NBA draft lottery odds, a seventh-place finish wouldn’t be totally horrible. They’d have a 31.9% chance of a top-four pick (and there are considered about 4 top-level picks in this draft), and a 14.2% chance of dropping to the ninth pick or worse in the draft, in which case they would convey.

Tonight there will be a kick-off of the new Cossitt Pop-Up Library at 409 S. Main from 7 to 8:30 PM. Bob Levy, a former Washington Post columnist, will give a short presentation on his new novel, Larry Felder, Candidate. There will be books from Friends of the Library for purchase, as well as books from the Cossitt Collection to browse. Be among the first to hear details of upcoming Cossitt programs. The Daily Memphian has more on plans for the Cossitt Library and Fourth Bluff.

There will be a celebration in Health Sciences Park tomorrow, 11 AM to 1 PM, for the opening of Dry Rain, a new art exhibit created by Atelier YokYok, the artist who created Treedom Memphis in Uptown last year. DJ Siphne Anye will provide the music, and there will be food trucks for those who want to purchase lunch.

Memphis 901 FC has announced the Salvation Army Kroc Center as its permanent training facility and partner. With indoor and outdoor soccer pitches and a weight training facility, the Center is an ideal fit.

Terrace at the River Inn over on Mud Island is starting Whiskey Night Wednesdays with weekly specials on whiskey as well as small plates. Here’s a look at the menu.

Speaking of alcohol-related specials, Max’s Sports Bar has a new, everyday one: A Yazoo Daddy-O beer and a shot of Old Grand-dad for $10.

Your days of seeing Johnny Manziel in a Memphis Express uniform may be coming to an end. The AAF, the league in which the Express plays, may be in danger of folding. The issue is that the NFL Players’ Association won’t give AAF teams access to young, practice-squad players contracted by the NFL, citing risk of injury and numerous other concerns. I have no sympathy for the AAF here. Why would you stake your very existence on the assumption that an outside third party, who owes you nothing, would be willing to bend over backward to help you?

I think part of the problem, at least for Memphis, is that the start of the Memphis Express’ inaugural (and perhaps only) season coincided by a matter of weeks with the start of Memphis 901 FC’s inaugural season. People only have so many entertainment dollars to spend and so much time to go to sporting events. Soccer was a novelty to Memphis this year, while football was not. I suspect that hurt Express attendance as much as anything.

March Madness resumes today, and many Memphians will be rooting for the Purdue Boilermakers to run the Tennessee Vols out of the tournament. That game tips off at 6:29 PM on TBS. I saw a good meme on Facebook this morning: “Behind every screaming goat there is a Tennessee fan.” How true.

Beer Connoisseur ranked all 50 states for beer, and Tennessee didn’t do too bad, coming in at number 24. I suspect the state should have ranked higher, as the writers didn’t seem to understand that Nashville is not the only city that brews beer. Congratulations to Mississippi on finishing dead last on yet another “states ranked” list, followed closely by good ole West Virginny and Alabama. Top three: California, Oregon, and Michigan.

The final installment of the In This Place speaker series at Clayborn Temple will happen Friday, April 5. Rev. Dr. James M. Lawson Jr., a civil rights activist and university professor, will speak about building the future of Memphis. Following Rev. Lawson’s speech there will be small group conversations about the topic.

Insider tip for those of you who work or live in the northern part of Downtown: There are food trucks gathering every day across from the Cook Convention Center, near Main and Exchange, to serve the bridge players who are in town. I’ve read they are there for both lunch and dinner, and I’m sure you don’t have to be a bridge player to make a purchase. The tournament runs through Sunday.

Of course, it’s Food Truck Rodeo day in Court Square for lunch, and I’m headed over there now. Back tomorrow with more news.