Jan 142015

Do you like beer so much that you wish you could bathe in it? Well, you can.

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One of my Christmas presents was Beer Soap from AllThingsHerbal.com. The soaps smell really good, and you won’t come out of the shower smelling like beer (probably a good thing in case you get pulled over for speeding on your way to work). They do, however, have beer ingredients in them including hops. I got the Killian’s Red and Guinness Extra Stout soaps in a 2-pack.

One of my favorite websites, statistics site FiveThirtyEight, has started a new newsletter called Significant Digits that readers will soon be able to subscribe to via email. In today’s newsletter, I learned that the median American carries $22 cash, and that 62% of people who start reading a book complete it.

The University of Memphis suffered a great loss yesterday. Former provost Dr. Ralph Faudree passed away. When he was chairman of the Mathematics/Computer Science department, he hired me as a full-time instructor teaching undergrad math and computer literacy classes. I held the job for 5 years and it was the most fun job I ever had. My thoughts are with Dr. Faudree’s family and I cannot thank him enough for the opportunity he gave me.

MBQ has a great article on the redevelopment of South Front Street. It’s not just Gus’s anymore.

The Grizzlies play an away game against their former coach, Lionel Hollins, and the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 6:30. Couple of good articles from SBNation: a preview of tonight’s game and possibilities for Jeff Green, who plays his first game for the Grizzlies this evening.

From Mashable: Find out where your NBA team’s fans are, based on Twitter followers. Good news: The Grizzlies have a following in the northeast corner of British Columbia, Canada. Bad news: Almost no one lives there. I only found one small town called Fort Nelson, which according to Wikipedia has 3902 residents. According to Google Maps, the Alaska Highway runs through the town and they have a Domino’s Pizza and a Subway. To whomever it is in Fort Nelson supporting the Grizzlies, we thank you!

If you like playing trivia but don’t want to think too hard, try 50/50 trivia hosted by Kevin Cerrito tonight at Tamp & Tap at 7. Every question is true/false, yes/no, or similar, so at worst you have a 50% chance of being right.

High Cotton Brewery has an exclusive Raspberry Wheat available in their taproom at 598 Monroe. It’s open Thursday-Saturday 4 to 9. Growlers of the new beer will be available there, as well as pints. I haven’t been there since the opening… I need to find an excuse to get over to the taproom. It’s really no farther a walk from me than South Main is, and I walk to South Main all the time.

I’m going to lead off tonight at the Silly Goose like I usually do on Wednesday, but I may stop by Bardog later where I believe it is their poker league’s final table. I don’t play in that league much but I know people who do. That’s all for now, back this evening if there’s more news.

Jan 132015

A friend who has been working internationally as of late is back in Memphis for a visit, and he came bearing gifts. “Are you a coffee man?” he asked. He had brought back gourmet coffee from one of the countries in which he has been working lately. “It’s a unique kind of coffee,” he told me. “They feed the coffee beans to a civet cat, and then after the cat craps them out they pick the beans out of the crap and wash them and bag them up. It has a different kind of taste, that’s for sure.”

I decided to decline his offer and will continue to turn to Mountain Dew as my caffeine source.

There will be a job fair next month to hire 600 employees to work in the new Bass Pro Shops store in the Pyramid, whose opening date is now officially set for May 1. Date of the job fair is TBA.

There’s a GoFundMe account where you can help raise money for repairs to legendary BBQ restaurant Cozy Corner, badly damaged in a January 8 fire.

Updated plans for the Tennessee brewery have been released. Read all about it on Choose901.

If you’re a Memphis Tiger football fan, you ought to go to the men’s basketball home game Thursday night against Cincinnati at the FedExForum… and you ought to get there early. You’ll be able to get your photo with the AAC football championship trophy and the Miami Beach Bowl trophy. Platinum Jewelers will provide free prints while they last. Line for the photo-op begins at 5 and will pictures will be taken until halftime. Tip-off is at 6. More info here.

Of course, if you’re a Tiger football fan, you’ve probably already heard that the Tigers finished in the Top 25 in the AP poll and the coaches’ poll as well. They were voted 25th in both. What a remarkable turnaround. Big congratulations to Coach Fuente and the entire team. Without a doubt the best season in the program’s history.

If you bring a canned good donation to the National Civil Rights Museum for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day next Monday, you will get a discounted price toward your ticket to the museum. Donations will go to the Mid-South Food Bank.

Attendees of Sunday’s Grizzlies game at the FedExForum saw ads for WWE’s Fast Lane pay-per-view, to be held at the arena next month, and the planned main event was revealed: John Cena and Roman Reigns vs. Big Show and Seth Rollins. I can’t say I’m very inclined to buy a ticket if the lumbering, past-his-prime, 43-year-old Big Slow will be part of the biggest match on the card. The card is subject to change, and I hope it does.

From Mashable: How to sneakily steal pizza without your friends hating you. This one went straight on the Nuh-Uh Girl’s Facebook timeline as soon as I saw it.

That’s all for now. Late getting a post up today because I was feeling a little under the weather. Should be back on regular schedule tomorrow. Stay warm and I’ll see you then.

Monday news

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Jan 122015

It’s official: the Jeff Green trade has happened. The Flyer’s Kevin Lipe has an excellent piece on the trade for Jeff Green and what it could mean for the Grizzlies. Lipe believes it’s a sign that the Grizzlies are all-in for this season being The One where the team tries to go all the way to the NBA Finals. The trade comes with risks, though. By the end of the decade, the Grizzlies’ core will be old and not as productive, and right at the time when the team needs the help the most, they could have to ship Boston a lottery pick.

Meanwhile, SBNation has a farewell to Tayshaun Prince, looking back on his time with the Grizzlies.

Well this is unexpected: R.I.P. Urbanspoon. The restaurant review service has been acquired by Indian startup Zamato, and everything will be converted to Zamato’s branding.

If you missed the debut of the Memphis Beer Show Saturday on AM 600, you can listen here.

Several Memphis senior football players have been chosen for college all-star games.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of one of Downtown Memphis’ true comfort foods: The roasted half chicken from Majestic Grille. It’s a breast, wing, thigh and leg in pan juices along with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. It’s a great meal for a cold, blustery January day and it will satisfy even hearty appetites.

Nice to see my Hogs move up to 19 in the latest AP poll. Kentucky is not the only good team in the SEC.

It’s Monday, so I will be at Melissa Monday at Bardog for happy hour. Later in the evening I will decide where to watch the national championship game. Out for now, back tomorrow.

Jan 112015

Today the Memphis Tigers travel to Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston to take on the Houston Cougars. The game is at 3 PM and it will be carried on the CBS Sports Network.  Memphis has a chance to beat the Cougars twice in a dozen days, after a 73-54 victory over the Cougars on New Year’s Eve that didn’t really even feel that close.

Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies are back at home today, where they host the Phoenix Suns at 5. The Grizzlies are in the middle of trade speculation that would bring Boston Celtics swingman Jeff Green here. It would be a three-team trade in which Tayshaun Prince and a Grizzlies first-round pick would go to the Celtics, and Quincy Pondexter and a Grizzlies second-round pick would go to the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal likely won’t be done today so the Grizz won’t have Green available for tonight’s game.

Usually I start off my Saturdays at Panda’s bar at Bardog at 11, then wander over to the Blind Bear for D-RANKS with B-RAD around 1. However, when I got to the Bear yesterday, Brad wasn’t there, but I did get a welcome surprise. They finally filled the bartender/server position that had been open for a couple of weeks.

And they filled it with MY FAVORITE PAIR OF LIBRARIAN GLASSES!!!!!!!!!!

Having not worked Downtown since she parted ways with the Saucer a few months back, my favorite pair of librarian glasses was behind the bar training. I helped her out by ordering mixed drinks instead of PBR so she could learn to mix and muddle the Bear’s giggle water. She was having a blast, dancing behind the bar as she worked (as a customer she had been known to dance ON the bar). She will be in training for the next couple of weeks and finishing up shifts at her other job, then the plan is for her to take over the Saturday day bar shift and Brad will keep Sundays.

Good news for the Blind Bear poker players: My favorite pair of librarian glasses will be the Tuesday night server. Not sure if she will start this week, but definitely by the week after that. It will be nice for the poker players to have young, fun librarian glasses with a great personality. Needless to say I will not be taking any Tuesday nights off from poker anymore.

When she worked at the Flying Saucer, my favorite pair of librarian glasses was the day bartender on Fridays, and she built up a regular crowd who came in to see her for lunch. Recognizing that she has a following, the Blind Bear scheduled her to work day bar on Fridays.

She also has Thursday and Saturday evening server shifts. That means she will get to see her former co-workers since many of the Saucer girls go to the Bear for after-work drinks.

Icy weather is moving through western Arkansas as I type this on Sunday morning. The precip will soon get here, but as of 6:40 this morning the MemphisWeather.net folks were 90% confident that we stay all rain, although a little sleet is possible. Follow @MemphisWeather1 on Twitter for the best and most accurate local weather information, and check the “Winterize” checkbox at the top of StormView Radar to see where ice and snow are falling.

Having grown up with 1980s video games, this is really cool: Budweiser is building a life-size Pac-Man arena for the Super Bowl.

The PBR tap at Bardog has been fixed. It was broken much of the day yesterday.

Plan for today: D-ranks with B-rad may not have happened yesterday, but will today as he has the day bar shift at the Bear. I plan on getting there 12:30ish. Brad has some really cool regulars and I hope to see some of them today. Due to my status as “Mr. Load-in” I may have to step into the back for a few minutes to help with a planning session, but most of the afternoon I will be at the bar. I feel the need to verify that the Bardog PBR tap is indeed working (this kind of verification is one of the many services “Mr. Load-in” provides for the BBQ team) so I will stop by there at 11 for a couple of pulls from the tap. Stay safe if you’re traveling to Arkansas today, where the weather is going to get much icier than we will see here in Memphis.

Jan 092015

If you’re looking for a job, you may want to get your resume and business clothes ready for an event at the Memphis Botanic Garden next Tuesday, 10 AM to 3 PM. Who’s Hiring Memphis is having their quarterly career fair. I found out about this thanks to a tweet from the Peabody, which is one of the participating hiring companies, with over 40 positions open.

In other job news, Leadership Memphis is hiring a Program Coordinator for the Memphis Talent Dividend program.

The Harlem Globetrotters perform at the FedExForum tomorrow at 3.

If you like local craft beer, tune into WREC AM 600 Saturdays at noon. Memphis Craft Beer has a new radio show on the station beginning tomorrow.

Wow this is really stupid… an Oklahoma legislator wants to introduce a bill banning hoodies. As someone who wears my PBR hoodie at least a couple of times a week to stay warm in the winter, I find this very offensive.

That’s all. Short update but the beer/radio news was time sensitive so I didn’t want to wait to post.

Jan 092015

What a poor showing the Memphis Tigers had against the SMU Mustangs last night. I recently read a Bleacher Report post that Kobe Bryant is glad he grew up playing basketball in Europe because his game wasn’t tainted by the style of AAU ball in America. Last night’s game made me think Kobe has a point. It looked like Austin Nichols and a bunch of AAU players out there for Memphis.

What has happened to Shaq? It seems like he has regressed since last year.

Trahson Burrell, who had started the past 6 games, was a Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision last night due to “unacceptable behavior.” Burrell is said to be close to suspended player Kuran Iverson who caused a controversy on Twitter earlier this week.

The Tigers’ next game is Sunday at Houston. The Tigers beat the Cougars by a comfortable margin at FedExForum New Year’s Eve, but a road game may be a different story. Maybe I should get a guest blogger to post on what it’s like to step into a Cougar den. (Katie?)

In observation of Elvis’s 80th birthday, the Orpheum is showing an Elvis double feature tonight at 7. Jailhouse Rock and Viva Las Vegas will be shown back-to-back with an intermission in between. $22.50 ticket for both movies.

From the MBJ: The Redbirds’ GM is excited about changes being made to the ballpark but he also understands that it is important to retain the team’s identity.

The comet Lovejoy is now visible in cities. Follow the link for info on how to see it. Its closest approach to Earth will be Wednesday. The last time the comet passed by, woolly mammoths still roamed the Earth.

Here’s some fashion news for 2015… You can now own a poop emoji shirt.

That’s it for now. Maybe a second update post tonight if there’s more news.

Jan 082015

There was a fire at Cozy Corner BBQ on North Parkway this afternoon. Fortunately, it did not burn the legendary restaurant to the ground. It was caused by electrical issues and the restaurant should only be closed a few days.

Congratulations to Miles McMath, chef at St. Jude, named by Southern Living magazine as one of 50 people changing the South. McMath uses local heritage farmers and an organic garden to provide patients with something far better than the average bland hospital meal. He commented that food is one of the few ways the hospital can offer patients a way to indulge themselves.

A MEMfix event will be coming to The Pinchon April 11. You may remember a successful MEMfix event in the Edge last October, with live music, performances, food trucks, and pop-up shops. The April 11 event will be a chance to re-imagine the Pinch and prepare it for the influx of visitors that May 1’s Bass Pro opening will bring. Community input will be key to the project’s success. The first of several public meetings in preparation for MEMfix will be held Friday, January 16 at Ferraro’s, Jackson at Main, at 3:30 PM, and feedback is sought from Pinch business owners, stakeholders, residents, and others who see potential in the neighborhood.

Texas de Brazil is selling a $21 gift card that entitles the holder to free dessert and coffee with the purchase of a meal up to 12 times this year.

From WREG Live at 9: Chef Terrrance Killon prepares Bon Ton Cafe’s blackened catfish

Choose901 has more on Dr. Bean’s Coffee and Tea Emporium, coming to 72 Madison.

Tweet “#NBABallot Marc Gasol” to vote for Marc Gasol to be selected as an All-Star. As of this morning Gasol was in third place among big men (forwards and centers). Of course, you can tweet other Grizzlies names too if you desire. Gasol is nearly to the point of overtaking the Clippers’ Blake Griffin for second place.

Tomorrow (Friday, January 9; this is an evening update) is your last day to sign up for the Grizzlies’ next Beer Tasting Night at the game against Portland on Saturday the 17th. The featured brewer that night will be Goose Island. Tickets are $105 for a Club seat and admission to the tasting, or $41 for a Terrace IV seat and admission to the tasting. Everyone at the tasting gets a free Grizzlies pint beer glass. Order tickets here.

That’ll do it for now. Home from work and ready for beer.

Jan 082015

The Memphis Tigers have a nationally televised road game tonight at SMU. ESPN2 will carry the game and tip-off is 8 PM. Do any Downtown bars plan on showing this game with sound? With the Kuran Iverson/Twitter controversy that happened yesterday, the commentary could be quite interesting.

If you’re into cars, the Memphis International Autoshow happens Friday through Sunday at the Cannon Center.

If you’re into science, technology, sci-fi, and superheroes, you might be able to win a prize tonight at Green Beetle trivia starting at 8 PM. Those topics and more will make up the questions in a special Geek Night.

I’ve learned of a couple of top-drawer job openings in Memphis. Copeland Coaching has reported that there is a Director of Guest Relations position open with the Grizzlies. The person hired will be responsible for providing a championship guest experience to the Grizzlies’ customers. If you are job hunting, the Copeland Coaching site is one to bookmark, listing some of the best open positions in the city.

The Memphis Daily News is looking to hire a Managing Editor.

In RSVP Magazine’s Vox Popular, Center for Southern Folklore director Judy Peiser talks about the Center, its creation in 1972, upcoming plans for the Center, the Center’s media archive, and plans for the 2015 Memphis Music & Heritage Festival.

There’s a Groupon for upcoming Grizzlies games. You get $24 for a Terrace II seat plus XL Grizzlies T-shirt, or $69 for a Club level seat plus Grizzlies scarf. Game options are Wed 1/21 vs. Toronto, Mon 1/26 vs. Orlando, Thur 1/29 vs. Denver, or Brooklyn Tue 2/10. When you purchase the deal, you get something called a G-Pass emailed to you 48 hours after the deal ends. You print out your G-Pass and take it to the door, with no need to go to Will Call. Due to security restrictions, you can’t use Groupon Mobile to display your G-Pass.

The Grizzlies had an away game at Atlanta last night, and there was a big promotion for dating app Tinder called “Swipe Right Night”. The Sporting News reports that Swipe Right Night was a success and matches were made during the game.

Too much news to fit into a quick lunchtime post, so there may be a follow-up after work. Check back.

Jan 072015

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I had chili cheese tamales with pepperoncini and sour cream from Huey’s as my to-go snack tonight. Not many people know this but I do own a Crockpot. Is there a simple Crockpot recipe for tamale pie? That’s one of my favorite dishes ever. The only thing is, I don’t like to do much. If I ranked the top things I like to do, “much” would not be in the top 3. Let’s face it, “much” would not be in the top 1,256. But I would still like some tamale pie.

Downtown bistro Belle Diner will be closed for lunch beginning Monday, January 12. It will still be open for dinner Tue-Sat and Sat-Sun brunch.

The Blind Bear will begin a 6-week trivia tournament beginning next Wednesday. You have to come for all 6 weeks (unless you build up an insurmountable lead) but you can win significant prizes. Maybe not as big as their 16-week poker league which is 2 1/2 times long, but still significant. Charles calls trivia every Wednesday night at 8. Between rounds he announces how to beat the cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights.

Random TV thing I noticed tonight. On the American Home Shield commercial there is a redheaded woman probably in her mid 40s whose TV works but her heat doesn’t. She can’t change the channel because she has mittens on. Question: You remember the winter commercial from Wendy’s, about 10 years ago when Dave Thomas was still alive? People would be too cold to speak and Dave would interpret. Is that the woman who ordered a baked potato?

If you like the taste of Cheerios I have a beer recommendation for you.

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I don’t do enough drunk posts. I need to do more. Off to bed.

Jan 072015

Memphis Tigers guard Kuran Iverson was suspended yesterday by Coach Pastner for undisclosed violations of team rules. He will not be able to travel to Texas with the team to play the SMU Mustangs tomorrow and the Houston Cougars on Saturday.

If that were the end of the story, it probably wouldn’t even be blogworthy. But then former Tiger Wesley Witherspoon jumped in on Twitter with a comment:

Then radio host John Martin tweeted a look at Iverson’s favorited tweets. Look at the second one in particular.

Then it came out that he was not only favoriting comments criticizing his coach, but replying to them and retweeting them too.

My guess is this will end up in NCAA orientation “what not to do on Twitter” for incoming athletes in future years. Hey Air Traffic Mike, you may want to check your 1-800-BAD-IDEA hotline’s call log for calls from the University of Memphis today. Radio host Gary Parrish speculated that Iverson is likely done with the team, noting that Pastner once kicked a McDonald’s All-American off the team before he ever played a game.

In better news, former Tiger Elliot Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz.

The World Series of Poker circuit event is coming to Tunica at the Horseshoe January 22-February 2. Most of the events are No Limit Hold’em, but there are Pot Limit Omaha and H.O.R.S.E. (combination of Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, and Stud/8) events as well. There are rebuy events, events for seniors, events for ladies, satellites, turbos, and six-max events during the twelve days. Here’s a schedule and here’s more information.

They invited me to a special invitation-only WSOP Media Tournament on Sunday the 18th. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to go. Winner gets $1000 to donate to their favorite charity and the top 10 places pay out (probably all charity donations). I have until the 15th to RSVP so I have a little time to think about it. It’s nice to be considered a member of the media for things like this.

Interesting fact: Only five people who were born in the 1800s are still living and all of them are women.

On my way out for a cold, cold evening… once again, everyone please be careful tonight.