RSDM news video and a Tap Room pic

First of all, if you missed my Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis co-founder Mike King on the news tonight, here’s the link. Once there, click on “Video” to view the footage. I am thrilled with the coverage they gave us. I’ve already had a couple of people e-mail and ask, did I mind that they said, “King and a friend started the organization”? Not at all! This is not about me, it’s about keeping downtown safe, and they mentioned the walking police patrols! The Memphis Police, in a meeting week before last, promised us that they would put walking police patrols on the streets, since downtown is a walking neighborhood. Now that it’s been publicized, I can’t wait to go back to MPD and get a timetable for the patrols’ implementation.

On to other news… I needed to unwind tonight and hung out at the Beale Street Tap Room for a while. I had my camera with me and decided to snap a pic of myself holding my mug. On the 7th attempt I finally came up with a good photo:


Click on the pic for a full-sized image. Warning: dialup users beware, I didn’t downsize this one at all because the detail is so good. It’s almost a megabyte in size.

This pic is eventually going to end up as my profile pic for my blog, or MySpace, or both.

On the way home I stopped by Big Foot and got a four-cheese burger, add mushrooms, to go. I’ll leave it to your imagination to determine if the burger was good.

I wandered by Country on Beale tonight and there were tons of people, I’d estimate 1,000 at least. Many of them were hot, young females. Although, I saw a higher proportion of tube top wearers going into the Peabody for their rooftop party.

That’s it for now… don’t forget, a major announcement tomorrow. And tomorrow night, I’ll definitely be at South Main Trolley Art Tour with my sleuth hat on. I have a feeling that a mystery is about to be solved.

Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis on Channel 24 News tonight

(Post edited 6:36 PM)

I try not to post from work except at lunchtime, but this one’s urgent.

Channel 24 contacted Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis this afternoon and asked if they could do an interview for tonight’s news. I wasn’t able to do it, but my co-founder Mike King was. He’ll be on the news this evening, which I’m assuming means 5, 6, and 10.

I have to set up a friend’s computer system after work, and after that I’ll be out tube top watching, so I’ll definitely miss the 5 and 6 and possibly the 10. If anyone can tape or DVR the newscasts I’d appreciate it. (Just talked to Mike and the interview went well, he thought. The entire segment was about RSDM. It will be on Channel 30 at 9 PM and Channel 24 at 10 PM. I have my DVR set to record both of these.

I don’t have it in me to do the Peabody rooftop tonight. Today’s been too stressful. I’ll be on Beale and at the Saucer and maybe Big Foot.)

Fireworks and other weekend notes

Every now and then, you get to touch the life of a fellow human being. Let me explain… I still have not uncovered the identity of elusive MySpace legend Master Polo. So I went in and changed my MySpace profile, promoting him to #1 on my list of “Top Friends.” I also added a “Who I’d like to meet” section to the profile and listed, “Master Polo, waitresses from Romania.”

A few days later Master Polo left a comment on my MySpace page: “You have made one of my dreams a reality. For this I cannot thank you enough.”

And he SHOULD be pleased. For me to give someone top billing ahead of the Romanians… that’s a high honor indeed.

Oh well. I may not have met Master Polo, but at least I’ve met Master Polo II. Master Polo II was wearing a tube top when I met her. Master Polo II looks good in a tube top. I don’t think I’d want to see the original Master Polo in a tube top.

And that concludes the “inside jokes/comments that 95% of my readers don’t understand or care about” section of the post. Now, let’s see what’s going on this weekend.

Trying to decide if I can deal with the Peabody rooftop crowd tonight. Deep Shag is playing and they’re usually pretty good. I think a couple of my neighbors will be up there chasing women, so I’ll have people to hang out with. On the other hand, I may skip the rooftop and go to Beale Street. I can get a beer in my mug at the Tap Room and watch all the cute girls in cowboy hats walk by on their way to Country on Beale.

Tomorrow is the South Main Trolley Art Tour. I mention this just about every month in my blog, but since I’ve picked up significant new readership recently, let’s run through the basics again.

1) All the art galleries in the South Main district open from 6 to 9 PM the last Friday of every month.

2) Many of the galleries put out FREE ALCOHOL!!!!!!! Wine, beer, etc. Gestures usually has good punch or some other mixed drink, so be sure to check them out.

3) This is NOT an event when it pays to be fashionably late. If you show up at 8:30 the galleries will have run out of free alcohol.

4) It’s called the “trolley” tour but no one actually rides the trolley from gallery to gallery. They walk. The trolley is free from Linden to GE Patterson during trolley tour, but still, no one rides it. Actually, a couple of new businesses which are on the Main Street Mall, about 3/4 of a mile north, open up for trolley tour – Dr.Bob and Shelton Clothiers. I wish they’d extend the free trolley as far north as Madison. Then it would actually make sense to ride it. Dr.Bob is showing a new movie about Hurricane Katrina tomorrow night, by the way.

5) If you see anything you like in the galleries, buy it to show your support. If you don’t see anything you like or can afford, at least tell a few friends about the galleries you like best.

Let’s move on and talk about fireworks! On Monday, July 3, there will be a Red, White, and Blues Celebration with fireworks at Tom Lee Park. Oh, and American Idol star Gideon McKinney will be singing, whoever the hell he is. I’m trying to decide whether I will watch the fireworks from my rooftop or actually go down to the park. Going down there would be more fun if I had a cute girl to sit on a blanket and snuggle with. Why don’t I ever have girlfriends? I need to spend less time blogging and more time getting my game on.

The Redbirds will have their fireworks Tuesday, July 4. Game against Nashville starts at 6:40, with fireworks to follow.

There will also be fireworks at Shelby Farms on Saturday, July 1, for those of you who prefer to watch fireworks at an East Bumblefuck location.

The Memphis Farmers Market (Saturday, 7 AM to 1 PM). One of this week’s themes is “Fireworks Safety Day.” I guess they’re more or less admitting that everyone disregards the ordinance banning fireworks within the city limits.

The annual St.Peter’s Picnic will be this Sunday at St.Peter’s Villa, Poplar at McLean, from 2 to 8 PM. Although I doubt I’ll make it (Sunday is Sleep Out’s/brunch day), this is usually a fun event if you’re looking for something to do. Kevin and Beth Paige will supply the music, and there will be burgers, hot dogs, and a spaghetti dinner. You can also register to win a Saturn Vue. The Picnic tends to draw a lot of politicians on election years. Good opportunity to meet them personally and find out what they stand for.

Reminds me, last night Steve Cohen told me he reads my blog. WOOOHOOO! Someone IMPORTANT reads my blog! Actually, two important people, since Master Polo II is a blog reader as well.

Sure enough, I was the only person at Mpact’s After Hours in shorts last night. On a sunny rooftop in 91-degree heat. People had freakin’ ties on. A couple of them were even wearing suits. I continue to believe I’m the only one in that organization with any damn common sense.

Congratulations to my friends The Dempseys, who will get to play for Crawford, Texas’ Village Idiot and Japan’s Rock-and-Roll Prime Minister tomorrow when they visit Memphis. Drummer Ron Perrone says they’re going to try to get the Japanese prime minister, who is a big Elvis fan, on stage to sing with them. Congratulations to Ron for something else too – he’s about to become a father.

Attn local strip clubs: I’m pleased to see that you’ve taken my suggestion that you hire models to pose for your Memphis Flyer ads, rather than using the skanks who dance in your clubs. However… I meant, hire FEMALE models. From the looks of this week’s ads, it looks like some of you misunderstood and hired drag queens.

And that’ll do it for today’s post. Remember, I will be posting a MAJOR announcement tomorrow, so be sure to drop by.

Wednesday update: Main Street Flats, sales tax holiday, and when did country start to suck?

– First of all, I’ve written a new news article on the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website, about Memphis Shelby Crime Commission President Mike Heidingsfield’s talk yesterday at the Leadership Academy. Check it out.

– Last night at trivia, team member The Nuh-Uh Girl mentioned that she had been looking at apartments at The Main Street Flats, the row of renovated buildings between Union and Gayoso on the west side of Main Street (the New Main block). I flipped through the brochures and these apartments look really cool. They have controlled access, exposed brick, hardwood floors, a rooftop deck, and washer/dryer among the amenities. They also have location, location, location – you’d be a block from Peabody Place, a block and a half from Beale, two blocks from Autozone Park, three from the FedExForum. I’m also very excited to see new units being developed as apartments rather than condos in core downtown – that’s something that is badly needed. Thumbs up to Slovis Commercial for a great renovation that looks like it will bring life to New Main. If you’re thinking about making the move downtown you should take a look at the Flats.

– The Rapscallions lost badly once again at trivia. However, I have to compliment team member Carmel for showing up in a tube top. I bought her a beer in appreciation for her excellent fashion sense. Although, she needs more confidence. She kept hunching over and looking around the room and asking, “Is anyone else here wearing a tube top? I don’t want to be the only tube top wearer here.” I explained that she should be proud, that she should dance around the room saying, “Look at me! I have a TUBE TOP on!!!” Carmel expressed concern that if she danced around the room, the tube top might not stay up. “Exactly my point!” I said. Eventually three other tube tops came in and she was able to relax.

– Carmel e-mailed me this morning and informed me that the State of Tennessee is having a sales tax holiday August 4-6, where sales tax will be waived on certain clothing, school supplies, and computers. Might want to write those dates on your calendar – good chance to pick up a new computer and save a few bucks.

– If you’re looking for an alternative to the Peabody and Madison rooftop parties Thursday night, you may want to check out KIX 106’s Country on Beale concerts every Thursday night at 8 PM, W.C. Handy Park, Third at Beale. No cover charge and drinks are more reasonably priced. (I recommend a Call-a-Cab from Wet Willie’s across the street, as long as you’re not driving. It’s Beale Street so you can buy a drink at a bar and carry it over to the park.) Don’t get me wrong, I hate country music, but I checked out a couple of these shows last year and some HOT girls showed up. Cowboy hats look a lot less stupid when they’re worn with a tube top.

I guess I don’t hate ALL country music. Classic country is actually quite good – remember when they used to advertise that “Classic Country” box set in a 30-minute infomercial on Channel 5? I almost ordered that a few years ago. Hmmm… when exactly did country start to suck? When did it change from good music into the boot scootin’, shit kickin’ crap that it is today?

Let’s see… country was still cool in the late ’70s when Smokey and the Bandit came out. Jerry Reed’s “East Bound and Down” is one of my favorite songs that The Dempseys perform during their set. You can tell “East Bound and Down” is a great song because local MySpace legend Master Polo currently has it as the background music on his page.

Country was still cool when Kenny Rogers did “The Gambler.” That was 1980 I think.

And country was still cool in 1981 when Dolly Parton did “9 to 5.”

On the other hand, country music had definitely gone down the toilet by the time Billy Ray Cyrus released “Achy Breaky Heart.” What year was that, 1990? You had “Ice Ice Baby” and Milli Vanilli that year as well… man… 1990 was a horrible year for music.

And country had taken a turn for the worse by the time Garth Brooks got big, and that may have actually been a few years before “Achy Breaky Heart”… late 1980s I think.

So sometime between 1982 and 1987, country music began to suck. And it’s never recovered since. It definitely hadn’t recovered by November 2005, when I went home for Thanksgiving and my mother made me sit through that godawful Kenny Chesney concert on TV. Hmmm… maybe I’ll stay in Memphis this year for Thanksgiving. I wonder if David Gest will put out a free meal for all the crackheads again? Maybe I’ll eat with them.

– And that’ll do it for this lunchtime post. Perhaps I’ll see you at the Mpact After Hours at the Lofts tonight, or at the Saucer or Big Foot later in the evening…

Another pic

After my picture-taking success yesterday, I decided to take another pic. This time I decided to photograph myself in one of the outfits I wear to Raiford’s. Then I photoshopped out the white background so it wouldn’t look like I was posing against my bedroom wall.


Raiford’s is a great place to go dance. Raiford’s is a great place to see tube tops. Raiford’s is a great place to watch people wearing tube tops dance, and hope that the tube tops don’t stay up.

All right – I want to get a few more pictures, to totally capture my life downtown:

  • A pic of me holding a mimosa and sitting next to my champagne bucket at Sleep Out’s on Sunday
  • A pic of me holding a 34 oz. Big Foot Beer
  • A pic of me holding my mug at the Tap Room
  • A pic of me holding a can of PBR at the Black Diamond
  • A pic of me at the Saucer. The Saucer beer glasses aren’t very interesting (except for the ones they sell on “Buy the Beer, Waste Money on the Glass” night, but I never buy those). So I guess I’ll have to get a pic of me posing with one or more waitresses. Actually, I already have such a pic (from last year, with the Romanians), but it’s a horrible pic of me.

I got to hear Mike Heidingsfield, president/CEO of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, speak at a luncheon today. Afterward I talked with him for a while and we agreed to arrange a meeting to talk about ways his organization and Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis can work together. In the near future I’ll write a news update on the RSDM website hitting the high points of his talk.

Tonight I’ll be at the Saucer once again, leading my trivia team the Rapscallions to victory. I’m actually considering sticking to Abita Root Beer tonight, because I’m feeling exhausted and I want a night to detox and get a good night’s sleep. Have a good evening everyone…

First decent pic of me in over 2 years

One of the things Mike King and I want to do on the Who We Are page of the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis site is include pictures of ourselves. This isn’t an ego trip; it’s just that a lot of people have seen my picture on the blog, and saw Mike’s picture back when I did the crime post, and have approached us to offer support and ideas. We want to encourage people to do that when they see us downtown. So, that’s why we decided to post pics – so people would recognize us.

Mike already had several pics ready to go. However, I didn’t have a usable pic. For the RSDM site, we want to project a professional image, and my blog profile pic of me wearing sunglasses and leaning against a bar just doesn’t cut it. Any existing pic I have which would qualify is over 3 years old. So, I realized I needed to take new pictures.

Now, I have no problem posting a professional looking pic of me, but I absolutely refuse to put on a suit and tie. That’s not who I am. I hate ties. I never wear them. They serve absolutely no purpose other than to make the wearer uncomfortable. If at some point we get invited to meet with the mayor I’ll dress very nicely, but no tie. Even if I got invited to the White House to meet the President, I doubt I’d put on a tie.

(Actually, given the White House’s current occupant, I’d probably wear an I’M WITH STUPID T-shirt.)

So anyway, I got home from work today, and I thought, hey, now would be a good time to snap a pic. I had on a dressy-casual shirt with a collar, my hair was neatly combed (which almost never happens), and I didn’t have a drink in my hand (which almost never happens). So I got out the digicam, turned on the timer feature, and posed against a wall.

Trouble is, I’m not very photogenic. First pic – snapped it, switched the viewer on… no, I’m not smiling. Try it again – click… no, still not smiling. Try again – click… okay, this time I’m smiling, but I look like a doofus. Take four – click… no, I look like I’m on crystal meth in that one. Take five – click… and lo and behold, for the first time in 2 years I actually got a decent looking picture of myself. Here it is…


I doubt anyone is going to look at that and get on my MySpace page and start sending me “wow ur a hottie” messages or anything, but it’s the best I could do given the subject matter.

Personally, I still prefer my pic from last Halloween…


… but I suppose this couldn’t really be considered a “professional” look. Then again, it is a work uniform, so it is professional in a sense.

All right, enough ugly pictures. For a much more attractive subject I recommend scrolling down to the previous post and looking at Meredith’s tube top pic.

And now it’s time for Pint Nite…

Lunchtime post

Today’s lunchtime post is happening thanks to the free Wi-Fi at High Point Coffee at Union and Belvedere. They have this incredible looking cheesecake called Raspberry Eruption. I didn’t get a piece today because I haven’t rbeen to an ATM in a while, but next time I will. They tell me it’s regular cheesecake mixed with raspberry and white chocolate and topped with raspberry sauce. I wish I had the camera with me to take a pic.

(Right about now, The Nuh-Uh Girl is texting Chad: “we need to go to high point coffee for cheesecake”)

I am pleased to announce a recipient of the brand new PaulRyburn.com Outstanding Citizen Award. This award is given to someone who takes steps to make her community a better place. The very first recipient of the award is frequent blog reader Meredith, who not only wore a tube top to Big Foot Lodge, but had a picture taken and posted it as her MySpace profile picture. I’ve received permission to re-post the pic here:


There ya go. That’s Meredith. In this picture she has exemplified what Tube Top Month is all about, and for that reason I’m happy to present her with the Outstanding Citizen Award. There isn’t a trophy or anything that goes with it; maybe I should fire up Paint Shop Pro and create a gold seal or something. But this is a lunchtime post and I have a limited amount of time to get it done, so it will have to wait until later.

In other Big Foot news, last night I captured a 3-minute video of a fight that broke out in the lobster tank. I have yet to get it properly uploaded to the server, so it’s not ready for viewing yet.

I’m going to two Mpact events this week, which are more than I’ve attended in the past 6 months. Tomorrow I’ll be attending a Leadership Luncheon with Mike Heidingsfield, president of the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission. Seems like there’s an opportunity for Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis to partner with the commission, and I hope to get a few minutes with Mr.Heidingsfield after his talk. And then Wednesday evening I will be attending the After Hours at the Lofts which I mentioned in a previous post. Mpact’s event detail page for the After Hours says, “Complimentary beer, wine, and hors d’ouevres from Miss Cordelia’s will be provided.” That’s what I wanted to hear! There will also be music by The Glass and tours of The Lofts.

And of course, tonight is Pint Night, so it goes without saying that I’ll be at the Saucer.

I’ll be posting a major announcement to the blog this Friday. I don’t want to give away exactly what the announcement concerns, but it could be said that points east of my home in downtown Memphis are involved. Far to the east. You could say it will have something to do with a visa. And travel. And I will say that I’m very, very happy to make this announcement.

But right now, I’m not nearly as happy to announce that I have to go sit in a damn cubicle for 4 more hours. I’d wish you a happy Monday, but really, is anyone happy on Monday?

Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis site redesigned

I’ve been sitting here at Sleep Out’s for the past two hours, banging away on the laptop. Pam is sitting here with me. Pam has a tube top on. Anyway, I’ve spent most of yesterday and today working on a redesign for the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis site – go check it out, it’s a lot better than the original created-in-a-lunch-hour design. Our core objectives now have a link from the main page, and there’s also links to information about who we are, accomplishments so far, and police contact numbers. We now have a site that can grow with us.

What I did last night: Hung out on the rooftop of my apartment building with neighbors and friends. Went to the Saucer. Went to Pat O’s. Went to Raiford’s. I didn’t have my usual Raiford’s attire – had a black polo shirt and shorts and sandals on – but I discovered that I could still dance. Today I discovered that I had a hole in my sandal – good thing I didn’t dance on any broken bottles. I’m going to have to find out where there’s another Payless Shoe Store now that the downtown one has closed.

Plans for today: Sit at Sleep Out’s. Drink champagne. Play NTN Trivia. At some point later in the day there will probably be visits to the Saucer and Big Foot as well.

Memories of my childhood: the air-conditioning wars

I was reading Charly’s blog this morning and she was complaining that her roommate is running up the electric bill by keeping the thermostat at 67 degrees. Heh. That’s exactly where my thermostat been set for most of the past month.

It reminded me of the battles I used to have with my grandmother, growing up in Little Rock in the late 1970s, back in the era when tube tops were “in” the first time. (The fact that they went “out” in the ’80s makes me think the ’80s weren’t as great as everyone believes they were.) Every March and April it would happen. We’d have a warm spell and the temps outside would kick up into the low to mid 80s, and it would begin to get uncomfortably hot inside the house. And the arguments would begin.

“Grandmama, I’m hot. Let’s turn on the air.”

“Paul, we don’t need the air on. It isn’t that warm in here.”

“I’m looking at a thermometer. It’s 80 degrees inside.”

“Well, 80 isn’t that bad.”

“It is to me. Especially when all we have to do is flip a switch and it’ll be comfortable.”

“Why don’t you open a door, or a window? That’ll cool you off.”

“Grandmama, it’s 84 outside. Opening a window and letting 84-degree air into an 80-degree house won’t cool it down, it’ll make it even hotter.”

“The wind is blowing. The breeze will blow in through the window.”

“That doesn’t matter! It’s still going to be blowing in 84-degree air! It’s simple physics! You can’t cool down a house by opening a window and letting in warmer air.”

“Paul, it’s March. It’s too early to think about turning on the air. Besides, you never know, it could be snowing next week.”

“Who cares what month it is? It’s HOT in here! If it gets cold next week, we’ll turn the heat back on. It’s not like we’re making a lifelong commitment to air conditioning. We can flip the switch back and forth from air to heat whenever we feel like it.”

“You know, back when I was your age we didn’t have air conditioning at all. Not in March, not even in August. But we were able to make do.” (“Make do” was a phrase my grandmother used frequently.)

“But it’s not ‘back then’ anymore – things are BETTER now! We have access to a tool that can keep us comfortable year ’round. It’s silly to have that capability and not use it.”

“Oh, Paul. Think about what President Carter has been saying. He’s been asking the country to conserve energy by setting their air conditioners to 78.”

“Okay… it’s 80 in here now. Let’s at least turn the air on and set it to 78. Although, even that’s not my idea at all of a comfortable indoor temperature. And when did you become an environmentalist anyway? You certainly weren’t a couple of weeks ago when it was cold outside, and you cranked up the heat. Didn’t President Carter say we should set the thermostat to 65 when heating?”

“Paul, air conditioning is expensive. Think of what we’ll be doing to the electric bill.”

“Turning on the air in March to cool this place down a couple of degrees surely wouldn’t add more than 50 cents. It’s not like we need to leave it on all day. Isn’t it worth 50 cents to be comfortable?”

“Oh, Paul.”

That was her answer to everything. “Oh, Paul.” And the air stayed off.

A few hours later my mother would come home from work. I’d try to recruit her as an ally in the air conditioning war.

“Mama, let’s turn the air on. It’s hot. Grandmama won’t turn it on.”

“Oh, Paul.” (Here we go again.) “Why don’t you open a door, or window?”

“It’s hotter outside than it is in here. That won’t help.”

“Well, why don’t you go get a cold rag and put it around your neck to cool off. Or pour yourself a nice, refreshing glass of ice water.”

“Why can’t we just turn the air on?”

“Paul, please. Be considerate.”

“Be considerate? Why can’t she be considerate? It’s 80 degrees in here… no, wait, it’s gone up to 82. You can’t tell me you’re not hot. Find me one normal person who thinks 82 degrees is a comfortable indoor temperature. Surely your office doesn’t keep the thermostat set that high.”

“Paul, you have to learn to compromise.”

“How is doing things 100% her way a compromise? I did try to compromise. I suggested we turn the air on and set it to 78, like President Carter suggests. Whereas, if I had it my way I’d turn on the air and set it to 72. I was willing to meet her more than halfway.”

“Paul, you’re not being fair.”

This kind of stuff went on for years. I almost never won the battles to get the air turned on, simply because I was a kid and had to mind the adults who supposedly knew better than I did.

The next week, it once again got uncomfortably hot in the house. But the temperatures outside had returned to normal for March in Little Rock, mid to upper 60s. I opened a door and a window to cool off.

A few minutes later, my grandmother walked into the living room. “Paul, what are you doing? It’s freezing outside! Shut that door! And the window!”

“Grandmama, it’s not freezing. The weatherman on TV just said it was 68 outside. It’s 80 in here. Today is a day when it makes sense to open the doors and windows – cooler air will come in and cool the place off, and we won’t have to spend any money on air conditioning.”

“68 is way too cold to be opening doors and windows.”

“Why do you think they call 68 ‘room temperature?'”

“Paul, you can’t tell me that most people keep their house at 68 degrees.”

“Maybe not all do. But no normal people think 80 is comfortable!”

“I’m sick and tired of hearing about ‘normal’ people. Now close that door and that window!”

The next day: Once again, 68 degrees outside, and getting hot inside. I was in the living room, and my grandmother was back in her room. I walked to the thermostat and turned on the air.

“PAUL!!! Did you just turn the air on?”

“No, Grandmama, that’s the heat. I was getting cold.”

“Oh… well, that’s okay, I guess.”

Twenty minutes passed. “Paul, are you sure that’s the heat? It feels like it’s getting colder in here.”

“Hold on, I’ll check… Whoops, you know what, you were right. I accidentally flipped the switch the wrong way and turned the air on.”

“Well, turn it off.”

So I turned it off. But in those 20 minutes I had managed to cool the place down from an unpleasant 80 to a much more livable 75. So I won that round.

Now I’m an adult, I live by myself, and I don’t have to argue with people every time I adjust the thermostat. My summer electric bills run about $65 a month. I could probably cut them to $45 if I left the air on 77 rather than 67. And if I turned the air off during the day while I’m at work. And if I didn’t turn the air on at the beginning of March and leave it running until well into November.

But you know what? It’s worth that twenty bucks a month to be comfortable. I sleep better. I get more done when I’m home. After being imprisoned in a damn cubicle all day, I at least get the reward of coming home to a cool apartment. In my mind, that’s money well spent.

All right… got a busy day ahead of me… gotta rebuild the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website so that it doesn’t look like it was built in a lunch hour. But before I do that, I’m going to sit in my 67-degree apartment for a while and watch some TV.

The lunchtime post I didn’t think would happen: car inspection, tube tops, and Krystal

– My car passed inspection!!!! I was really wondering whether it would – last year it barely came in under the standard for hydrocarbons. And it’s 12 years old. And I’m about 1,000 miles past when I should have had an oil change. But, surprisingly, it performed even better than last year, with the hydrocarbon emissions at less than half the standard. Glad to have that out of the way for another year. And I got in and out in only 30 minutes, so I have enough time left over to do a lunchtime post.

– Now. Let’s get down to business. I have a problem with Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that’s generally a very good source of information. I spend quite a bit of time on the site reading biographies and history. A lot of the trivia questions I get right are the results of having read Wikipedia. But this morning I pulled up a Wikipedia article and it’s just plain wrong. Very, very wrong, and the kind of false information this entry spreads is distressing.

Wikipedia writes, “A tube top is a shoulderless, strapless ‘tube’ that wraps the torso, not reaching higher than the armpits.” Okay, that all sounds good so far. But then it continues, “It is kept in place by elasticity or by a single strap that passes round the back of the neck and has both ends attached to the front of the tube.”

No. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!! If it has any straps at all, it’s NOT a tube top. The entire point of the tube top is that there are no straps holding it up, and therefore there’s always the chance that it might not stay up. Add a strap and you take away the hopes and dreams of everyone who appreciates tube tops as much as I do.

I’m disappointed in Wikipedia. They need to do a little more fact checking.

– As I was sitting in the inspection line, I thought to myself, now that I live downtown and am able to walk to bars and clubs, there’s one thing that has been missing in my life. And that thing is the run to Krystal on the drive home after a night out on the town. Now, Krystal’s little square mini-burgers are pretty gross, I’ll grant you that. But Chili Cheese Pups… YUMMMMMMM. I can eat some Chili Cheese Pups. Those things are goooooood at 3 in the morning.

And while their little burgers are nasty, they used to have a full-sized burger on their menu which was not only topped with bacon, but a slice of ham as well. Now that’s some good eatin’ right there. I think it was called the Big K. But I just checked their website and it looks like it has been replaced by something called the B.A. Burger, which can be ordered with bacon but not ham.

I haven’t been to Krystal in over 5 years. I’ll have to drive through there sometime and check out the new B.A. Burger, and maybe a Chili Cheese Pup as well.

– Now I’m hungry. And I don’t have time to go back out. Maybe I’ll hit the cafeteria here at the School Board. I stayed away from it for a long time, but finally I broke down and tried it, and it’s not half bad. And reasonable. One day for breakfast I ordered a salmon croquette, some hash browned potatoes, and a biscuit. The cost? A mere buck ninety-five. Another day I got a huge hunk of lasagna for lunch, along with green beans and a roll, for $3.05.

I think they’re serving fried chicken today though. They had it yesterday too. Why do people in the South think fried chicken is, like, the greatest thing ever? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll drive through KFC or hit Gus’s once in a while. But I don’t want to eat it every day. Even once a week is a bit much. I’m surprised the people who work here don’t walk down the hall clucking, as much chicken as they eat in the cafeteria.

– Anyway… lunch break is over. Back to work. Maybe I’ll post a “what’s going on this weekend” post later in the day if I have time.