Thursday update

The National Civil Rights Museum has a full slate of events planned for King Day on Monday from 8 AM to 6 PM, including free admission to the museum for all. Get free future admissions to the museum by participating in the food drive or blood drive. There will be performances on stage all day long and plenty for kids to do.

The Daily Memphian reports that Downtown Memphis will soon have a monument to suffragists and the role the Tennessee legislature had in ratifying the 19th Amendment. The statue will be located near the U of M law school. Paula Casey, who pushed for the statue, notes that the unanimous support for giving women the vote from the Memphis delegation was what swung the Tennessee legislature to ratify the amendment.

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers return to the national stage tonight, hosting Cincinnati in a 6 PM game at FedExForum, to be broadcast on ESPN.

A wrestling star who spent a lot of time in Memphis in the 1970s and 1980s passed away yesterday at the age of 75. “Soul Man” Rocky Johnson frequently challenged Jerry Lawler for championships here in Memphis, and he went on to win the WWF tag team championship with Tony Atlas. Rocky was the father of Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock.

I went back to River Time Market & Deli yesterday to get some of that pimiento cheese with bacon to go, and this time I got a photo:

Pam tells me she has ideas for future batches, including ingredients such as jalapenos, red Italian peppers, and Italian salami.

Three medical marijuana dispensaries are set to open in West Memphis. The mayor of West Memphis believes there are Memphians who would consider moving to West Memphis to take advantage of the dispensaries. He is hoping to use tax revenue from medical weed to fund a bus system, which West Memphis has not had since MATA pulled out two years ago.

Pabst is launching a new luxury beer line named Captain Pabst. The line is named for Captain Frederick Pabst, the brewery’s namesake. The first release in the line is an IPA, and it’s available now. As long as they don’t mess with the Cadillac of beers, the Blue Ribbon, I support Pabst in it business expansion.

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

Wednesday update

I’m going to start off today with a food recommendation. Yesterday I checked River Time Market & Deli’s Facebook page to see what soups they had for lunch. They had white bean & ham, which I had not tried there yet, and I walked over after work and ordered a medium bowl to go. When Pam was packing up my order, I saw her take out a sample-sized cup. “I made some pimiento cheese and I want you to try it,” Pam said. “I made it fresh, with bacon.”

Pimiento cheese was one of those foods I was ambivalent toward as a kid – and as an adult. I never hated it, but I never went out of my way to buy it at a grocery store or order it as a restaurant. My attitude toward pimiento cheese was one of, “Meh, what’s the point?”

That sample cup from River Time, though, made me understand the point! The bacon made it nice and smoky and full of flavor. I will most likely go back today and see if I can order some of it to go. If you work Downtown and you have not yet been to this little deli on Court Square next to Blue Plate Cafe, you are missing a treasure. I don’t get off work until 1 so y’all don’t eat all the pimiento cheese before I get there.

You know people ain’t got no common sense when it’s necessary to hang a sign like this one in a restroom:

The Grizzlies secured another win last night, and this one was not against an NBA bottom-feeder… it was against the Houston Rockets, a playoff team led by James Harden, one of the top-tier players in the league. That makes it six straight for the Grizzlies.

Another look at the standings reveals the situation in the Western Conference. There are 7 good teams, with winning percentages ranging from .825 to .575. There are 7 not-so-good teams, with winning percentages ranging from .463 to .366. Last but not least (well, yes, least) is Golden State coming in at .214. There are 8 playoff spots, so the best of the not-so-good teams will make it.

Unless, that is, you look at it a different way… with 6 wins in a row, it could be argued that the Grizzlies are maturing faster than expected, and are on the path to move out of not-so-good status and join the list of good teams. At this point Memphis is only 3 wins away from .500.

The Grizzlies are getting noticed outside of our city, as well. From Bleacher Report: Ja Morant is torching defenses and becoming NBA’s newest must-see sensation. By the way, I didn’t have to dig deep into Bleacher Report’s NBA section to find that article; it was in the number-two position on the BR home page when I looked there this morning. Ja is a big deal. Unless Zion Williamson averages 30/10 for the rest of the season upon his return, the Grizzlies’ point-guard looks like the favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Your next chance to see the Grizzlies will be Friday, when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at FedExForum at 7 PM. First 5000 fans will get a Ja Morant pocket square. This will be a Hardwood Classics night with the team in their throwback Vancouver Grizzlies 25th anniversary uniforms playing on the alternate court that has elements of all the Grizzlies teams over the years.

I discovered a really useful tech trick this week. If you need to free up space in your Gmail account, type size:1000000 into Gmail’s search box. It will return all your emails that have attachments that amount to 1 MB or more in size. You can then pick and choose which ones to delete.

The final AP and coaches’ poll football rankings have been released, and Memphis finished number 17 in both, their highest end-of-year ranking since 1963.

I’ll wrap up with a couple of links that I discovered yesterday. These won’t be of interest to most of you, but my fellow computer nerds will appreciate them.

  • OnlineGDB – online compiler, interpreter, and debugger for 20 different languages. Really useful for trying out code snippets to see what they do.
  • Regex101 – fantastic way to learn about regular expressions. Put a regular expression in and the site will tell you exactly what it does. You can then test any string to see if it’s a match for the regex or not.

I feel like I have slightly less news today than most days; that’s because I came across a really interesting book while eating lunch yesterday and spent most of the rest of the day reading it. Off to work. Back tomorrow with more news.


Tuesday update

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kicks off a week at the Orpheum, with 8 performances between tonight and Sunday. There are no Golden Tickets to get in, but there are $20 student/teacher/hero rush tickets for the Wednesday performance.

Old Dominick Distillery celebrates a Birthday at the Bar Thursday during the hours its sampling room is open from 2 to 10 PM. This will be a celebration of the 177th birthday of the distillery’s founder, Domenico Canale. All day long there will be Old Dominick birthday punch drinks for only $5. At 7 there will be cupcakes and hors d’oeuvres honoring the founder’s heritage. Jennifer Biggs of The Daily Memphian has more info about the birthday celebration.

Oh. one more thing that’s happening at Old Dominick Thursday: At 7 Kevin Cerrito will host a special whiskey-themed Cerrito Trivia night. There’s no need to RSVP for this one. Just show up and you’ll be good to play.

The New Wing Order food truck will hold a New Flavors Release Party at Wiseacre Brewing Co. this Saturday from 2:30 to 8 PM. That day the brewery will have a wing flight pairing each new wing flavor with a sampler of Wiseacre beer. Follow the food truck on Facebook for a preview of the new flavors this week. Already announced as an addition to the regular menu: the Spicy Garlic Wings, their most popular monthly special of 2019, made with traditional Buffalo sauce, fresh garlic, and other spices.

Diamond Dave is doing a Sunday Fun Day British Bingo this Sunday at Belle Tavern from 4 to 7. I’m never able to make his Wednesday bingo sessions because that’s my trivia night around the corner, but Sunday? I could get down with some bingo in the late afternoon. It’s free to play and a lot of fun. Unless Dave has changed the format, there are six rounds with $100 in bar cash total given away.

What a fine victory by LSU last night, proving itself among the greatest national championship teams of all time. I wonder how many Clemson fans will call in sick to work today because they got hammered watching their team lose.

Michael Nelson of The Daily Memphian has an excellent op-ed piece about how late NBA commissioner David Stern embraced Memphis. Stern embraced the civil rights movement and wanted to bring NBA basketball to mid-sized cities. Most definitely worth 5 minutes of your time to read.

That’s it. I am outta here. Back tomorrow.

Monday update

It was a good sports weekend for the state of Tennessee. The Titans won, advancing to the AFC championship game. The Grizzlies won yesterday, holding on to their 8th place in the NBA’s Western Conference. The Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak after trailing South Florida by as much as 14 yesterday.

Loflin Yard will hold another Titans watch party for the AFC championship game next Sunday, January 19, at 2 PM. I notice there’s no mention of dollar Fireball this time around.

People ask me, do you hate the Tennessee Titans as much as you hate the Tennessee Vols? No. I’ve got nothing against the Titans and have no desire to see them lose. I’m not really an NFL guy but if I had to pick a couple of teams to root for, I’d pick the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers because I think they have the best fan cultures in the NFL. The converse is why I root for whoever is playing the Vols; they have the worst fan culture in college sports.

The Grizzlies are back in action tomorrow night, with a game against the Houston Rockets at FedExForum at 7. It will be adoptable pet night and the first 5000 fans there get a free Grizzlies 2020 Team Pet Calendar. Tomorrow’s game will also the the halfway point, the 41st game of an 82-game season. I don’t think too many analysts projected Memphis to have 18 or 19 wins halfway through, having projected the Grizz’s wins in the high 20s for the entire 82.

Those of you running Windows 7 on your computers, take heed: Microsoft ends support for that operating system tomorrow. What does that mean? If a vulnerability is discovered in Windows 7 on the 15th or after and is exploited by hackers, Microsoft will not issue a patch to fix it. Lifehacker has the answer to, Am I screwed if I don’t upgrade Windows 7 by January 15?

To my friends who are in technical fields, I highly recommend getting a subscription. You can tell Medium what your interests are, and it will tailor a daily email to those interests, as well as tailor its website content. Every day I receive an email with links to about 20 stories, one to three or four of which are directly relevant to the projects I am working on. It is so worth the $5 a month, and it’s a great answer to a technical interview’s question of “What do you do to stay current on the latest trends in your field?” They’re not just for techies, by the way: They have great articles on food, dating and relationships, psychology, and much, much more.

The Daily Memphian has a tale of two bridges, a story of the Harahan and Hernando de Soto bridges, which light up in the evenings to greet those arriving in Memphis from the west.

I decided to leave the Memphis Sandwich Clique Facebook group yesterday. I am grateful to them for all I have learned about where to get deliciousĀ  sandwiches (“dank sammies” to use their lingo) in Memphis. I am especially grateful to the group for introducing me to River Time Market & Deli, and its owners Pam and Bill who have become friends of mine. However, lately (especially this weekend) it seems like the group is more about the moderators than about the sandwiches. I got tired of it. I am still a member of There are many other foods besides sandwiches that are great and will continue to post there from time to time.

YOGA! Downtown Yoga has two workshop series coming up:

  • Myofascial Release for Everyone, 4 dates between January 16 and April 16. The class is said to help increase mobility, get circulation flowing, and reduce muscle soreness.
  • Shaolin Qin Na Joint Locks Series, 10 dates between February 1 and April 11. In these classes you’ll learn how to neutralize one or more joints of another person, taking away their ability to attack. It’s one of the four categories taught in any Chinese martial art.

The Flyer reports that Memphis Tourism recently rolled out a new Music Hub website. The site does a lot to promote one of the city’s greatest assets, its music. Have a look

It’s the Clemson Tigers vs. the LSU Tigers in the NCAA Division 1 football championship game tonight at 7 PM on ESPN. I will be solidly behind the purple and gold for this one. Probably I will watch the game at the Blind Bear. Although, it might be interesting to watch the table at Max’s Sports Bar, knowing that the corner table crew will be a house divided tonight.

That’s it for this Monday. Back tomorrow with more news.

Not-much-news Sunday

Well, I don’t have much in the way of news today. If you like Memphis basketball, turn on

  • ESPN2 at 3 PM for the Tigers vs. the South Florida Bulls
  • Fox Sports Southeast at 5 PM for the Grizzlies vs. the Golden State Warriors

My first non-holiday week with the new laptop has been a success. I’ve worked through 165 pages worth of examples from the data science/Python book I have been reading, learning the numpy and pandas libraries. I have installed Linux Mint and Ubuntu virtual machines on my laptop, although I’m thinking about getting rid of Linux Mint because it doesn’t prompt for a password when I sudo a command (i.e. run it with root/administrator privileges). That kind of bothers me. I have installed the Apache web server, PHP, and MySQL on the Ubuntu machine.

I still plan on making my study of Python and data science my main project, but I have a project in mind for PHP too. I want to build a REST API in PHP in three different ways: using the Laravel framework, using the Zend framework, and using the CodeIgniter library. I want to expose service endpoints that return JSON when called, then write client-side code to consume that data using Angular, React, and possibly one or two other client-side frameworks/libraries. Starting out, I won’t care if these projects look pretty, but eventually I want to apply the Twitter Bootstrap layout framework so they look good on both a phone and on a screen.

I want to build a portfolio on GitHub… it’s the kind of thing I should have done years ago, but I came home so mentally burned out from sitting in cubicle hell every day that I never had the motivation to do so.

For the first time in years I am excited about what I can do in the world of computing. Not for the sake of earning a paycheck, but because I enjoy it.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Saturday update

This week I had somebody ask me, what are the various neighborhoods of Downtown? I’ll take a shot at answering that question here, although there are organizations (DNA, DMC are two) that probably have better ideas of the exact boundaries than I do.

  • Mud Island: Boundary explanations not necessary.
  • Uptown: Bounded by the river on the west, Chelsea on the north, Manassas on the east, and A.W. Willis on the south.
  • The Pinch: Bounded by the river on the west, A.W. Willis on the north, the St. Jude campus on the east, and Exchange on the South. Sometimes considered part of Uptown, although The Pinch had its name long before Uptown did.
  • The Downtown core: Roughly bounded by the river on the west, Exchange on the north, Danny Thomas on the east, and MLK Ave. on the south, except where neighborhoods listed below cut into that definition. Realtors have attempted to give this area cutesy names like The NoB (north of Beale) but residents have laughed those names out of existence.
  • Victorian Village: Bounded by Danny Thomas on the west, Adams on the north, Manassas on the east, Jefferson on the south. Known for its 1800s mansions.
  • The Edge: Bounded by Fourth on the west, Madison on the north,Manassas on the east, and Union on the South. Unclear whether the definition of The Edge will grow to include the Union Row development, or whether that will be seen as a neighborhood of its own. The Edge is considered a part of both Downtown and the Medical Center District.
  • Beale Street entertainment district: Beale between Second and Fourth. Sometimes the definition is expanded to be bounded by Peabody Place on the north and Lt. George W. Lee on the south and including FedExForum.
  • South City: Bounded by B.B. King Blvd. on the west, MLK Ave. on the north, Lauderdale on the east, and Crump on the south. Formerly know as South of Forum or SoFo.
  • South Main: Bounded by the river on the west, MLK Ave. on the north, B.B. King on the east, and Georgia on the south. The intersection of South Main and G.E. Patterson is the center of this neighborhood.
  • Martyrs Park: Bounded by the river on the west, Artesian Condos on the north, Riverside on the east, and Crump on the south. Channel 3 Drive is the main road through this neighborhood.
  • South End: Bounded by Riverside on the west, Georgia on the north, B.B. King on the east, and Crump on the south. This neighborhood didn’t exist 15 years ago, yet is now teeming with apartments, condos, and fun places like Loflin Yard, Carolina Watershed, and the Ghost River tap room.
  • French Fort: Bounded by the river on the west, Crump on the north, I-55 on the east, and Jack Carley Causeway/McLemore on the south. It’s debatable whether this is a Downtown neighborhood, but the National Ornamental Metal Museum is in it and that’s usually considered part of Downtown.

That’s my best guess as to the Downtown neighborhoods and their boundaries. Again, I speak in no official capacity when I type these definitions.

I rebooted my new laptop for the first time this morning. It was up and ready to go in 20 seconds. To anyone looking to buy a new computer, I cannot say enough about how much a solid-state drive is worth the money. Traditional hard disks are on their way to joining vacuum tubes, punched cards, floppy disks, and 2400 baud modems in the museum of outdated computer technology.

Let’s have a look at the NBA standings, shall we? Following a fine victory over San Antonio last night, if the season ended today the Memphis Grizzlies would be the #8 seed in the playoffs. That’s right – if the Grizzlies keep winning at this pace, they’re a playoff team, not a lottery team. That’s an unexpected boost to the collective team ego, and when it’s time to CONVEY THAT PICK to Boston for the 2020 NBA draft, it’ll be a less valuable pick than everyone thought.

Your next chance to see Memphis’ NBA playoff-caliber team is tomorrow at 5, when the Grizzlies host the Golden State Warriors at FedExForum. Come early to get a throwback Grizzlies scarf, free to the first 5000 fans. Stay late to see the look on Draymond Green’s face as he walks off the court in defeat.

Residents of Waterford Plaza were awakened by noisy midnight concrete pours at the One Beale construction site. Guess what… there will be more, although the developer said none of them will last as long as the one this week.

AutoZone Park will hold three hiring fairs for part-time, seasonal positions this month. Positions will include box office ticket seller, guest service representative, team store associate, team attendant, fan experience team member, video operator, and camera replay operator. These positions are part-time and paid hourly. Applicants must be at least 18 and pass a background check and drug screening. Job fair dates and times are

  • Saturday, January 18, 9 AM-noon
  • Monday, January 20, 9 AM-noon
  • Thursday, January 23, 6-8 PM

If you wish to be considered for these positions, you must attend one of these job fairs. Those who finished the 2019 season employed by AutoZone Park do not need to attend.

The National Ornamental Metal Museum invites you to spend Valentine’s Eve in the Museum Store Thursday, February 13 from 3 to 7 PM. Enjoy champagne while you shop. Admission to the Museum Store is free, and if you’re a member of the Museum you get 10% off.

That’s it for now. Looks like the rain will move out just in time for my walk to Bardog. Back tomorrow with more news.


Yesterday I went to happy hour at the Silly Goose, where the GM was giving a test to the bartenders and servers, to assess their knowledge of the Goose’s offerings. One of the questions was, “What kind of wood do we use in our wood-fired pizza oven?”

A bartender answered “Tree wood.”

I have a favor to ask my readers: Go to one of the Downtown Ticer/Hudman restaurants and tip your server extra well. You may have heard that Hog & Hominy caught fire yesterday morning and will take months to repair. Their employees will be relocated to the other restaurants under the company umbrella, including Downtown restaurants Catherine & Mary’s, the Gray Canary, and Bishop. Please help support the employees who have been displaced, and the employees who are making room for them.

Loflin Yard will host a watch party for the Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers Saturday, kickoff being 3:35 PM. Even if you don’t care about either team, or the NFL, or sports in general, you might still want to show up for this one. The reason why is that they will have ONE DOLLAR SHOTS OF FIREBALL during the game.

I saw another meme on Facebook that is worth repeating on here. If you have luggage that you no longer want, donate it to your local foster agency. Too often foster children have to carry their belongings in trash bags when they move from one home to another.

This week I posted that there was a thread on the Memphis Sandwich Clique group about places in Memphis that cater sandwiches. Well, as your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, I have been informed that Sabor Caribe does Cuban sandwich catering.

If I have any Memphis Police readers out there, here’s a tip for you: Set up DUI checkpoints on the roads between Downtown and Midtown on Sunday, January 19 between 11 AM and 5 PM. The reason why is that there is going to be a mimosa bar crawl that day, organized by a national company that does bar crawls. The stops will include Hopdoddy, Babalu, and Lafayette’s in Midtown, and Coyote Ugly and Flying Saucer Downtown. How are people going to get from one location to another without drinking and driving? You can tell this event wasn’t organized by locals because no local would be stupid enough to organize a pub crawl with stops 3 miles apart.

Friends of Cossitt Library will have a meeting at the temporary pop-up library in Puck Food Hall, 409 S. Main, Thursday, January 16 from 6 to 7 PM. If you’re interested in becoming a friend of the library, this is a good time to do it. All are welcome and refreshments will be served. Come hear about future programs at the library as well as progress on renovations. When it’s done, that library is going to be something special for the community, going far, far beyond a place to check out books.

Susan Marshall and Reba Russell play the Halloran Centre tonight at 7:30. Tickets are $35.

IVY Multimedia will present a Podcasting 101 workshop Saturday, January 11 from 10 AM to noon at 60 N. B.B. King Blvd. You’ll learn how to develop content for your podcast and select the podcast style that is right for you. You’ll also learn the technical side of podcasting, including hosting and distribution. They’ll also give you tips to build a social media presence to promote your podcast.

Food & Wine recently made a list of the best coffee shops in America, and The Pinch’s own Comeback Coffee made the list.

Steak night will make a return to Green Beetle on Mondays. Every Monday they will have an 8 ounce strip, cut by Charlie’s Meat Market, and a baked potato for $12.99.

Longshot has a special this weekend: Frito pie with berber spiced lamb chili, Fritos, Greek yogurt, chili oil, mint oil, and micro celery.

The Grizzlies host the San Antonio Spurs at FedExForum tonight at 7.

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

Thursday update

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hits the road tonight to play Wichita State. This is probably the most important game left on their schedule, a chance to get a road win against a Quadrant 1 team. A victory will probably push the Tigers up one seed in the NCAA tournament and maybe two. The game is at 6 PM and will be televised on ESPN2.

Yesterday I had to walk over to First Horizon and I noticed a couple of things on my way there and back. First of all, there is a sewing and alterations place on Madison right next to the convenience store at the corner of Second. I never knew it was there. Just thought I’d mention it for those in need of one of those places Downtown.

Second, Havana’s Pilon, the Cuban restaurant just east of the alterations shop, has a great deal for lunch: $6.99 for an entree of the day, along with two sides and a 20 oz. bottled Coke product or a bottled water. Yesterday it was the piccadillo, the Cuban ground beef dish.

I want to thank the Blue Suede Brigade, the Downtown guides/public safety officers employed by the Downtown Memphis Commission, for addressing what has long been a problem down here. Every morning the street people gather outside CiCi’s Liquors waiting for it to open so they can get their first drink of the day. They’ve been known to harass people walking to work, walking to Walgreens, waiting at the Madison trolley stop. The Brigade has posted up two to three officers at Main and Madison every morning around 8 and it has made a tremendous difference in the behavior of CiCi’s regular customers.

Dave Brown joined commentary on All Elite Wrestling last night, broadcast live on Fox from the Landers Center in Southaven. has the results.

Tim Howard, who had a storied soccer career including being the US team’s goalkeeper at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, embarks on a new soccer journey this coming season. Howard has been named the new sporting director of Memphis 901 FC.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association has announced its first meeting of 2020. It will be Tuesday, January 21 at the Arrive Hotel at 477 S. Main. Appetizers will be provided and there will be a cash bar.

That’s it for now. Kind of a slow news day. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

Trolley Stop Market has closed its doors a few days earlier than announced, after posting last week that Friday, January 10 would be their last day. They are taking the rest of this week to prepare for the sale of their restaurant equipment. If you are interested in purchasing any of the equipment, contact the Market on Facebook.

Yesterday I was surfing Facebook, and someone posted to the Memphis Sandwich Clique group, asking where was the best place in Memphis to get sandwiches catered for lunch. There were numerous responses, including a couple of people who recommended Jimmy John’s. Predictably, the Memphis Sandwich Clique account posted to the group and warned everyone not to discuss chain restaurants on there, that the Clique was a place to show local restaurants some love, and that those who mentioned chains would be muted. Fair enough. But…

A couple of hours later, the owner of the Memphis Sandwich Clique account posted a photo of the burger he was having at the Cordova Flying Saucer. Now, there’s no doubt the Saucer makes great burgers. However, it is a chain! Its headquarters are in Texas, the original location was in Fort Worth, and 5 of the Saucer’s locations are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There about 15 locations total in the Southwest, South, and Midwest. Here’s a map of the locations

The Grizzlies, after last night’s win, are a half game back from eighth place in the Western Conference. If the Grizzlies keep improving as Ja, Jaren, and especially last night Dillon find their place on the floor, they will be a playoff team come April. Who’da thought? As recently as six weeks ago, people were still talking about finishing in the bottom six in the NBA so they wouldn’t have to CONVEY THAT PICK to Boston.

Arcade restaurant at Main and G.E. Patterson was recently honored by the Food Network as having one of the best sandwiches in the U.S. Their peanut butter and banana sandwich on Texas toast is a tribute to Elvis.

Edible Memphis magazine will have a pick-up party for its 46th issue this Saturday at Puck Food Hall, 409 S. Main, from 11 AM to 1 PM. Dr. Bean’s Coffee and Tea Emporium will offer samples of coffee and soda. Bar 409 will have Old Dominick’s coffee-infused vodka. Come meed fellow foodies, folks from the Memphis restaurant scene, and the Edible Memphis staff.

Stats site FiveThirtyEight released their global rankings of 628 soccer teams. Memphis 901 FC was near the bottom at 615, but the good news is they’ve come up one spot since the previous rankings. Liverpool came in at number one, followed by Man City and Bayern Munch.

Speaking of Memphis 901 FC, I got a media alert to expect a “big announcement” from them today. Keep your eye on the news if you’re a local soccer fan.

Cardinals Caravan returns to AutoZone Park on Friday, January 17. This is a chance for St. Louis Cardinals fans in Memphis to find out what is going on with their team during the offseason. Current Cards Jack Flaherty, Randy Arozarena, Tyler Webb, and Justin Williams will make the trip, along with former players Bo Hart and Scott Terry.

This year there will be two Caravan events in Memphis. The first is a luncheon at the Home Plate Club on the second level of AutoZone Park at noon that day. There will be a question-and-answer session followed by autographs. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

That evening, there will be a free event at the ballpark at 6 PM. Children 15 and under will be able to get autographs, with a ticketing system in place due to high demand. First 400 kids with a ticket will be guaranteed an autograph from one current and one former player. There will be a question-and-answer session and a raffle as well. The event will be emceed by Cards broadcaster Tom Ackerman, and local radio station 92.9 ESPN will be onsite.

For those of you who knew Uncle Ray, don’t forget that the celebration of his life is tonight at 6 at the Downtown Local.

That’s it for now. I’m deep into my data science study, relearning matrix algebra that I haven’t used in years. Back tomorrow with more news.



Tuesday update

Yesterday a friend of mine, who had his car parked on Peabody Place, went outside to smoke. He noticed an officer writing him a parking ticket. (I believe the city outsources ticket writing to private security now, rather than using sworn MPD officers or PSTs. My friend ran over there. “What are you doing?” he asked the officer. “I still have 90 minutes left on the meter.”

“Oh. Sorry. I made a mistake,” said the officer, who then started to change the license number letters he had written down on to the ticket.

“Why are you writing me a ticket?” my friend asked again. “My meter’s not expired.”

“My fault,” said the officer, abandoning the writing of the ticket. He walked right past two cars, both of which were parked at meters that were flashing red, meaning their time had expired. He did not bother to write either of those cars a ticket. The officer got in his car and drove off.

Has this happened to any of my readers? Been written a ticket when your time on the meter had not expired? Makes me wonder if the security officers are on a salary or get paid on the basis of how many tickets they write.

I have to agree with what Penny Hardaway said upon finding out that the AP poll voters dropped Memphis from number 9 to number 21 after losing a game to Georgia. The people voting in the poll were just sitting there waiting for Memphis to lose so they could drop the Tigers way down in the poll, and it didn’t matter to whom they lost. As Penny says, the disrespect will motivate the team. Unfortunately, I bet the disrespect shows back upĀ  again on Selection Sunday, limiting the Tigers to around a 6 seed at best.

The Daily Memphian has a primer on how city government is run that is well worth a read and even a bookmark. Actually, it’s only a primer for city council. I hope they will do a follow-up listing the structure of the mayor’s office and the top positions/departments that report to the mayor.

The annual MLK Day parade will close Second from Jackson to G.E. Patterson from approximately 9 AM to 2 PM on Monday, January 20. If you have to work that day and take Second to get there, you’ll need to figure out an alternate route. Probably Danny Thomas is your best bet since Front is in the middle of convention center construction.

The annual Mix-Odyssey cocktail competition will return Friday, March 6 at the Botanic Garden from 7 to 10 PM. Bartenders and mixologists from all over the city compete to see who can make the best cocktail, the proceeds benefiting a wonderful organization that promotes volunteerism in Memphis. In addition to being able to vote on the cocktails, your ticket gets you gourmet hors d’ouevres, fortune tellers who predict where you will volunteer (I’ve had my fortune told, it’s really cool), the Grizzlies’ DJ, Wiseacre beer, Kendra Scott giveaways, and a special guest emcee.

Downtown company Indigo Ag has made such a name for itself in agricultural technology that it has attracted investment from FedEx. In addition to improving profits for growers, Indigo is working on measures to address climate change, lowering the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Chewish, a mash-up Chinese and Jewish dinner hosted by Wok’n in Memphis and Caramelized, two restaurants inside the Puck Food Hall at 409 S. Main, will happen Monday, January 20. This 7-course meal is $75 plus tax and gratuity. Spots are limited, so if you’re interested, reserve yours today.

The Internet of Things has officially gone too far: With ingestible new pill, you can track your farts on your phone

The Grizzlies host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7 at FedExForum.

There’s a cornhole tournament in the Tin Roof’s Green Room tonight with live music at the Roof as well.

I embarked on my study of data science this weekend and yesterday, installing the Anaconda suite which includes the Python language, an integrated development environment, and a bunch of libraries I will need to learn. I spent yesterday working with the numpy library, which facilitates fast operations on arrays of numbers. I’ve formulated an overall plan for my study of data science:

  • There are a number of great free PDF books out there about data science. My plan is to read as many of them I can and work through the exercises, absorbing as much knowledge as I can for free.
  • Only then will I enroll in IBM’s data science certification course. You pay per month until you complete it, so I want to get through it as quick as possible. The final project is to use the Foursquare API, and I know I can combine that with my knowledge of Downtown to come up with a really cool project (and if anyone has suggestions I’d love to hear them).

So I’ll have a certification in data science, but no professional experience. So how will I get a job? Well, I found a site called Kaggle that offers data science project competitions (as well as lots of great free data sets). So my plan at that point will be

  • Enter a bunch of data science competitions, and lose, and then see what the winners did.
  • Eventually win a bronze medal. Win a second bronze medal. Work my way up to winning silver medals and even maybe a gold.
  • Get to the point where people are wondering “who is this guy?” and reaching out to me saying, “Hey, want a job?”

That path may change, and I know it’s ambitious, but it’s where I’m heading at the current time. As I said, in 2020 I plan on being out less, so if you go to happy hour at the Goose and don’t see me, don’t worry, I’m probably at home writing Python code.

Of course, I’ll be writing blog posts too. Back tomorrow with another one of them.