Feb 182015
 

We may not be done with icy weather yet. MemphisWeather.net’s forecast calls for a chance of light snow late Thursday night with a low of 20. Friday, sleet and freezing rain are expected with an accumulation of a quarter inch of ice, with the precip converting over to rain Friday night. The high is predicted to be 33, only one degree above freezing. Ugh. This could be one of those scenarios when people get up Friday morning and say, “Well, it’s clear now, I’m not going to not drive to work because it MIGHT sleet or snow” and then it does and the interstates become a skating rink nightmare as everyone tries to get home while they still can. Be sure to check the weather Friday morning and use common sense.

The big buzz this morning is that Gus’s is going national. New locations are planned for Atlanta, St. Louis, Knoxville, Los Angeles, Fort Worth, Kansas City (Kansas), Chicago, and Philadelphia. Here’s an article about the planned Chicago location from Chicagoist.com.

Beck will play the Mud Island Amphitheater Saturday, May 16. That could create a conflict for some people; it’s the Saturday of BBQ Fest.

There’s a free professional development workshop called “Branding Yourself” next Tuesday, February 24, at Buckman Hall on the Christian Brothers University campus. Career coach Angela Copeland will discuss dressing for success, resume writing, and branding yourself online. It’s a good way to prepare for the upcoming Multicultural Career Expo. More info and a link to sign up for the workshop here.

The Eric Hughes Band plays the Hard Rock Cafe Saturday at 9, with no cover. Share the event on Facebook to receive your choice of an Eric Hughes Band sticker, or a pony.

Elmwood Cemetery is hosting its first-ever Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28. The hunt is for kids 10 and younger, admission is free, and the Easter Bunny will be on hand.

Ever ordered a drink with mint in it and wondered why the bartender smacks the mint before putting it in your glass? This article explains why.

Single-digit temperatures tonight. PLEASE bring your pets inside! The cold won’t stop me from being out and about this evening.

Feb 172015
 

Volunteer Odyssey is having its annual Mix-Odyssey fundraiser Saturday at Visible Music College from 7 to 10 PM. It’s a craft drink contest with seven amazing mixologists, each vying for your vote. They will also have a fortune teller who will predict your future as a volunteer. They even have free cab rides so you can sample to your heart’s content without having to worry about getting home. Here’s a video recap of last year’s event:

Tickets are $60, but if you use the promo code Ryburn901 at checkout you can get $10 off.

(Full disclosure as required by the FCC: They gave me a ticket)

I’m getting an unexpected 4-day weekend. Yesterday the office was closed due to all the sleet and freezing rain that fell in the morning. Today we had the option of getting there by 10 AM, or taking one of our floating holidays, to which I said FLOAT, BABY, FLOAT.

Seems like I run into the most interesting conversations on snow days. I popped into Blind Bear about 2 yesterday and found Chef Michael Patrick sitting at the bar. He is in the process of opening the new, larger Rizzo’s Diner in the former Cafe Soul space at Main and Butler. As soon as the health department signs off on everything, the doors will be open, so it will be a matter of days, most likely. Here’s a look at the menu. Mike told me that the Lobster Pronto Pup that I loved back in the EP’s days is on the menu. They have a brunch on the weekend, and although I have never had it I’ve been told that the catfish eggs benedict is really yummy. Mike also told me they have a vegetable plate that changes daily, and several other meatless options on the menu – good information to know in case I ever take someone there who has dietary restrictions. As for myself, the chorizo meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and ancho chile brisket are among the dishes I plan on trying at the diner this year.

A new craft brewery, Crosstown Brewing Company, will open in Memphis within a year. It will be Memphis’ fifth craft brewery.

The Beale Street Mardi Gras parade is today at 5:30. Since I’m off work and will be out long before 5:30, I may have to check this out. Never seen it before. As I understand it, this is more of a parade for adults than kids.

Wish I’d stayed out at the barĀ a little later Saturday night than I did. I hear I missed a bit of drama. Let me just make this comment: One bar owner did what was best for business a few weeks ago, and maybe it’s time for other bar owners to consider following suit. This is at least the fifth such/similar incident involving the same person in six months. Some people belong in anger management classes, not bars.

A friend of mine has an apartment for rent in Midtown in the Poplar/Garland area. All utilities are included, the rent is very reasonable, and I know that the owner is an awesome landlord.

I said FLOAT, BABY, FLOAT and that means it’s time for DRANKS, BABY, DRANKS. Plans subject to change but I’m tentatively running with Bardog as the first stop at 11, over to the Blind Bear at 1, Flying Saucer around 3ish, Silly Goose sometime between 4 and 5, then back over to Blind Bear at 7. Not playing poker tonight for a reason alluded to elsewhere in this post. It’s very unlikely I will get a third day off tomorrow, so I may make it an early night.

Feb 132015
 

Everyone needs to keep an eye on the forecast for the end of the weekend and the beginning of next week. MemphisWeather.net has the following for Sunday night: “Snow likely overnight, some accum. possible.” YESSSSS! Overnight Sunday is the absolute best time for snow.

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but just a reminder… the Say Cheese food truck, serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, makes its debut this evening at the High Cotton taproom at 598 Monroe. View the menu and photos here.

From Gizmodo: These are the songs you have sex to, according to Spotify.

The Peabody is having a modern bridal expo this Sunday at 12:30. The event will include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet tastings from chefs, a fashion show, and 65 wedding vendors. 850-332-0105 for more information.

The Peabody is also doing a March of the Ducks special during the month of March. For $179 you get duck cookies, a Duckmaster gift, a $30 restaurant credit, wifi, and parking. The hotel didn’t mention it in their tweet but I assume you get a room as part of this deal too. 1-800-PEABODY if you want to make a reservation.

From Lifehacker: This cheat sheet shows you how to make every “official” cocktail (75 of them)

Attention cougars: L’oreal now makes hair colors for maturing hair.

Couple of pieces of food porn from the Hungry Memphis blog: Vegetarian bahn mi from Local and fried deviled eggs from South of Beale.

A few weeks ago I ran into Richard, founder of e-bookseller Screwpulp, and he told me a name change was coming. It has happened: Screwpulp is now leafless.

You can view the NCAA’s Men of March episode featuring Josh Pastner here.

That’s it for now. No definite plans for tonight but I’m sure some dranks will be involved.

Thursday update

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Feb 122015
 

Not much time today, so this is going to be brief.

Bob Dylan will perform at the Orpheum on Thursday, April 30. Tickets will be $62-92 and will go on sale on Ticketmaster February 27.

Monster Jam is tomorrow and Saturday at FedExForum.

The Cooper-Young Beerfest folks tweeted a job link today: Craft beverage jobs. Coffee, non-alcohol, and wine are covered as well as craft beer. Currently nothing in Memphis listed but it might be a good site to bookmark.

Friends of mine who went to the Lion King performance at the Orpheum last night have said it is absolutely worth the money, even if you have never seen the movie. The show is in town until March 1.

That’s the news for now. Time to grab some unhealthy junk food and get back to an afternoon at work.

Feb 112015
 

A friend of mine has a very nice condo for rent in the South Main district, in The
Lofts at Tennessee and G.E. Patterson. It’s a 1 bedroom/1 bath, loft style, hardwood
floors, 18-foot ceilings, all appliances including washer and dryer. 1100 square
feet. Includes two parking spaces and a storage unit. There’s a gym on the top floor
with all modern equipment, and a rooftop with a river view and lap pool. I believe
the rate is $1500/mo. If interested email thomcla1278@gmail.com, the landlord’s
representative here in town who can show you the place.

By the way, the landlord is a good friend of mine and one of the most solid guys I
have ever known in my life. He lived in the condo 2006ish-2010 when his work took
him out of town. I have been in the unit and can vouch that it is a very nice space.
You’d be within walking distance of the Memphis Farmers Market, the revival of
Brewery Untapped this spring, the National Civil Rights Museum, South Main Trolley
Night, and RiverArtsFest. You’d also be within walking distance of great restaurants
like Spindini, South of Beale, and Central BBQ, as well as plenty of shopping and my
favorite sports bar, Max’s.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association has announced a couple of February events. There will be a happy hour next Thursday, February 19 at wine and tapas bar Cafe Pontotoc. This is a casual event at which no DNA business will be discussed, and you can feel free to bring a friend.

The DNA’s monthly meeting will be on a special date – Thursday, February 26, rather than the usual fourth Tuesday of the month. The meeting will be at the National Civil Rights Museum, and that’s why the date was moved, to give attendees to purchase a tour at a discount price. You do not have to purchase the tour to attend the meeting, however. Chocolate chef Phillip Ashley will give a talk, and there will be a sampling of some of his treats.

Here’s a pic of Owen from the Flying Saucer with the Memphis Made Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout, on tap tonight at both Flying Saucer locations for their Valentine’s Day glass night. Glasses go on sale at 7. Owen, one of the managers at the Saucer, helped the Memphis Made folks brew the beer.

The Redbirds have a media relations assistant job open.

Little Rock has a brew bus now that offers tours of the Central Arkansas craft beer scene. Maybe one day Memphis will get something like this. By the way, the people behind the Little Rock bus are gauging interest on whether to take a field trip to Memphis Brewfest at AutoZone Park in April.

I’ll be out after work, leading off at Jessica’s bar at the Silly Goose and then walking over to Bardog at 7:30 to play their weekly poker game in the Underground Room. I consider myself fully back in the game at this point and while I may not play every Wednesday at Bardog, I plan on being there at least 60% of Wednesdays. It’s always a good game and has got even better these past two weeks, and I look forward to seeing everyone tonight.

Feb 102015
 

I paid my Moody Ques BBQ team dues for 2015 this morning, and I have a team update. As I mentioned last week, we lost a sponsor and therefore have less money in the bank than we usually do this time of year – and we have to pay a large entry fee to Memphis in May on February 20. Our team’s board of directors is going to meet Tuesday, February 17 and decide whether we are solvent enough/expect to be solvent enough in the next three months to have a team this year. If it’s decided we are, we will write a check to Memphis in May for the entry fee. If it’s decided we are not, we will refund the money of everyone who has paid dues.

Right now, it’s looking promising, and I tend to believe there will indeed be a team. However, if a few more of you could vote with your dollars to keep the team going, it would sure help.You can pay dues here. If you’re not a member of the team but would like to be, shoot me an email at paul@paulryburn.com and I will put you in touch with the team leaders.

Programming note before I get started with the news: Blog posts may be a little skimpy through Friday. I have a co-worker leaving and may have to spend my lunch breaks doing knowledge transfer with him. So I may not have a lot of time for news posts. There is, however, going to be a long, introspective, personal post about practices I have gotten away from since my current friend group formed in 2005. I have that in Drafts and may finish it tonight after work.

A kind of gross thing I learned last night while talking a fellow beer lover: Guinness is filtered with fish bladders. Yuck. I don’t know how I’m going to get my next plate done at the Saucer knowing that. Guinness was never my favorite beer by any means, but having to drink 16 ounces of it to get plate credit, thinking “fish bladders” all the way through the beer, just sounds really, really disgusting.

Need a job? Home Depot plans to hire 180 in Memphis.

A new hotel may be coming Downtown. A permit has been filed to build a LaQuinta Inn on the former New York Suit Exchange site at the corner of Union and Danny Thomas.

From Mashable: Super rude hawk crashes through man’s window, poops on everything.

The Silly Goose is doing “Sweet Vicious Valentine’s” Saturday starting at 5, with all food items $5 from 5 to 9, $20 on select bottles of wine, $20 punch pitchers. Single people get free hugs.

That’s it for now. Back possibly as soon as tonight, although if I post tonight it won’t be Downtown news.

Sunday update

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Feb 082015
 

For those of you who are not friends with me on Facebook, I’ll share a little rant I posted there yesterday. I was sitting at Panda’s bar at Bardog. In an hour and a half, there were four Russell Stover commercials pimping Valentine’s Day candy.

Guys, don’t be one of “those people” who buys Russell Stover candy for your girl. If you aren’t familiar with “those people” I’m talking about, Germantown exists for those people. Chevrolet Suburbans exist for those people. Applebee’s and Red Lobster exist for those people. And Russell Stover exists for those people. Don’t be those people.

There’s a locally-owned, family-run store in the heart of Downtown where you can choose from a huge selection of candy, nuts, and other treats for your Valentine. The Peanut Shop is a little shop on the Main Street Mall, halfway between Madison and Monroe. The friendliest people you will ever meet will help you pick out a custom selection for your Valentine and they have beautiful tins and other gift packages in which to put your candy. They will remember you by name years later and ask how your sweetheart is doing. It’s a little store but it’s a big part of what makes Downtown the community it is.

The Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest and Mardi Gras party is this afternoon at BRIDGES at 4:30. Your ticket (purchase here) lets you taste gumbos from some of the best cooking teams in Memphis, vote in the People’s Choice Award, and enjoy live music, beer, and soft drinks. Those under 21 are welcome, and there’s a special ticket they can purchase that gets them everything but the beer. They released the list of gumbo judges on Wednesday and I am pleased to see my friend Tawanda Pirtle on the panel. She certainly knows a thing or two about food. I don’t believe I will be able to make it to this event, but I am proud to be a straight person who fully supports equality for Tennessee’s LGBT community.

The Metal Museum is having a special Champagne Sunday today where you can sip champagne while looking for artist-made Valentine’s Day gifts.

Two of the best teams in the NBA collide today at FedExForum when the Memphis Grizzlies take on the Atlanta Hawks at 5.

Ever thought about being a teacher? There will be a teacher job fair at the Downtown Central BBQ at 5 Tuesday afternoon, hosted by Teach901. More than 20 organizations will be there to talk to those interested in pursuing a career as an educator.

Sunday Fun Day time… brunch with Bloom at Bardog at 11, D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear at 1 and then I’ll figure out the rest. By the way I’ve written a D-RANKS with B-RAD theme song that you may hear later today…

Feb 062015
 

Big news: Tennessee Brewery Untapped is returning this spring as Revival.

Also, Billy Orgel, the new owner of the Tennessee Brewery, will speak about speak about his plans for the brewery’s redevelopment at a public meeting at Emerge Memphis, down the street from the brewery Monday at 7:30 PM. Q&A will follow his presentation and refreshments will be served. Orgel’s 22-year-old son Benjamin will be project leader for Revival.

There’s a new Tennessee Brewery Facebook page that you can “Like”.

Google Chrome now allows you to establish a remote desktop connection to any PC over the Internet. Chrome makes you set up a PIN so that people can’t establish unauthorized remote connections to your computer.

Next Wednesday, February 11, Central BBQ Downtown will host a Grizzlies/Thunder watch party with Ghost River Brewing. The restaurant will have the brand new Ghost River Grindhouse Ale for $3 a pint all evening.

Radio Shack filed for bankruptcy this week. Here’s a look at Radio Shack’s 1981 catalog, published in an era when Radio Shack produced the world’s most popular personal computer.

A $2 million building permit has been filed to finish development of The Horizon, the tower on Riverside that has sat unfinished for most of the past decade.

Now this is pretty cool… an external power pack that will not only recharge your phone, but also jump-start your car.

From Toyland: Build your own Pac-Man ghost-chomping clock

The WWE’s Daniel Bryan was in town today doing promotional appearances for the Fast Lane pay-per-view two weeks from Sunday. He was on the Chris Vernon Show and Verno got a photo. Hey, I just noticed that Daniel Bryan and I have pretty much the same hair.

Work week is over, time for a PBR. Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.

Freezza Friday

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Feb 062015
 

Usually I don’t post until about 1, but one of my co-workers just showed up with freezza (free pizza, someone gave him 4 pies). That changes lunch plans considerably! Early post today.

There are several events happening relatively early in the day Downtown tomorrow. The annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-off will happen tomorrow on Mud Island. Notable times to keep in mind if you plan on attending: There will be a People’s Choice judging of the chili from 10:30 to 3. The chili teams will have their showmanship judging at 11. There will be a donut eating contest at 2, a Polar Bear Plunge costume contest at 2:30, the plunge into the freezing Mississippi River at 3, and an awards ceremony at 4. With an expected high of 62 tomorrow, the plunge won’t be quite as brutal as it is most years.

Chili teams: Feel free to contact me if you want advice from “Mr. Load-in” on the showmanship competition.

At 10 tomorrow, the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum will have a “Spirit of Harriet Tubman & African music & spirituals” program. There will be poetry, spoken word, slave narratives, readings, and guest writer Calentine Thompson. The museum is at 826 N. Second just north of Chelsea Avenue.

At noon, the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team will host Temple at the FedExForum. Following the men’s game there will be a women’s game.

Today is “First Friday” at the Woodruff-Fontaine House at 680 Adams. These are monthly gatherings of 20-30 guests from 6 to 9 PM that focus on a particular facet of Victorian history. This month’s theme is “Victorian Valentine”. Guests will get a spread of chocolate treats, a look at Tom Shelton’s collection vintage Vanity Fair “Spy” prints, and a look at the refurbished men’s tower room with the mansion’s men’s archival collection. $15.

Memphis Beer Week has a new website. It’s April 18-25 this year.

Here’s an app that was recommended in an email newsletter I receive weekly: TinyScan. It turns your iPhone’s camera into a portable scanner. You take pictures of documents, TinyScan transforms them into PDFs, which you can then send to Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive. That could be very useful.

The Memphis Redbirds unveiled a new birds on the bat logo yesterday.

Yesterday at lunch I got on Bleacher Report and one of the featured articles was Secrets to being the NBA’s premier star stopper. I thought to myself, “I wonder if this is about Tony Allen?” Sure enough it was.

The police sweeps that were used for crowd control on Beale a couple of years ago have been ruled unconstitutional and now a federal judge will decide how the city of Memphis will be punished.

May be a second post later today, so check back.