Work on second plate begins today

I’ve decided to go ahead with my plan to get a second plate at the Flying Saucer.  Tonight I’ll start on the list of 200 different beers.  If I do 3 a day until I’m done, that would put me on track to finish Thursday, April 10.

Since it’s Pint Nite, my strategy for tonight will be “draft beers that do qualify for Pint Nite but never appear as Fire Sales during the rest of the week.”  That means I’ll have to resist the temptation to make Dos Equis Special Lager my first beer, as it very occasionally shows up as the Fire Sale.  Hmmm… IPAs seem to never be Fire Sales… maybe I’ll order Bridgeport IPA and Avery IPA at the same time, and taste-test them and figure out which one I like better.  Bridgeport has always been my IPA of choice, but I have friends who are big Avery fans, so I’ll give it a chance.

One question my friends and I have long asked is, “how much does it cost to get a plate?”  I’m going to attempt to answer that question by keeping a running tally the next 67 days.  Here’s how I’m going to count it:  The cost of the three beers plus the tip on those three beers, using my regular tipping strategy of 30% or a dollar a beer, whichever is more.  I’m not going to count the cost of food or additional beers ordered beyond the three that count.  If someone buys me a beer I’ll make note of it, but the amount I would have paid and tipped will still count toward the running total.  Needless to say I’m going to try to get the plate as cheaply as possible, avoiding the two $30 beers and some of the other pricey ones if I can.

Looking forward to learning about some new beers… a lot of the current ones were not around when I completed my first plate.  Not looking forward to having to deal with Turbo Dog and some of the other really disgusting beers.

Will be up there about 5.  Hmmm… forecast is high 72, low 62, bet the windows will be open today.  I may have to play the Window Game this evening.

Super Bowl: Either way, I win!

People have been asking all week who I’ll be rooting for in the Super Bowl.  Really, I don’t have a favorite team in this one.  I’ll be happy to see either team win.

Really, I don’t have much of a favorite team in the entire NFL.  I guess if I had to pick one it’d be the Titans since they’re nearby and they played here for a season.  Mainly though, when I watched the NFL this season I rooted for one thing:  The complete and total defeat and destruction of overrated, overhyped, overexposed Peyton Manning.  I wanted a season that would prove he’s not the football god that the media, Colts fans, companies whose products he endorses, and my favorite blogger/MILF make him out to be.  I’m sick of “Priceless Pep Talks.”  I’m sick of that commercial where he’s running down the hall.  I’m sick of his presence on my TV.
And that’s why I win either way today in the Super Bowl.  If the Giants win, little brother Eli did what Peyton was supposed to do this year.  That means companies who want commercials made will be talking to a different Manning next year.  I don’t have a problem with Eli.  If the Patriots win, then Tom Brady led his team to a perfect season.  That means there won’t be any question whatsoever that Brady is the best quarterback in the league, not Peyton.

If you agree with my opinion of Peyton and are on Facebook, there’s an “I hate Peyton Manning” group you can join.

(Edit:  A couple of people corrected me on this paragraph, he didn’t grow up in TN, he just went to school here.  Doesn’t matter.  He still sucks.  Wasn’t it great to see him sitting in a box watching the Super Bowl yesterday, instead of on the field?)  Yeah I understand that the guy grew up in Tennessee.  I still don’t understand why that means I should like him.  I can name many people who grew up in Tennessee and nonetheless suck.

Another reason I’ll win either way:  My friend Chuck is making his Italian roast beef for the Super Bowl party today.  But before I go to the party, I’ll hit McGuinness for this morning’s brunch, then the Saucer to see if Pete wants his Sunday ass-whipping on the pool table, then to Second Street Shoppers to pick up beer.  I’m so glad that little convenience store/deli is there.  Yesterday I was told they have wings at the deli now and that they’re really good.

Random stuff people asked me to put in the blog:  From Fancher: Canada you had a hell of a Saturday you punk.

Recap of yesterday:  Watched the game at the Saucer.  Hung out there until 5:00.  Got a bum thrown out who tried to panhandle me for a dollar in the restroom.  Got really wasted.  Watched the dart board fall off the wall.  That was weird.  Got a pic of it but I don’t have the camera right now.  Went to Rio Loco, thinking Mexican food would sober me up a little.  It would have, had I not ordered that jumbo margarita with dinner.  They gave me a T-shirt from their 2nd birthday party.  I’m  wearing it today.  After Rio Loco, it was time to go back to the Saucer.  Then to Hoop’s Bar, but only for a little while as I threw in the towel after only one beer.  I didn’t want last night to be a late night – wanted a full night’s sleep so I’d be ready for today’s Super Bowl party.

Time to get the day started… everyone have fun watching the game today.

Field trip: The Cove

Last night I went with the gang to The Cove, a chic dive bar on Broad Avenue in the spot that used to be The Beer Joint.  I was completely impressed with this place for a number of reasons I’ll get into later in this post.  Very rarely do I deem a bar worthy of a car ride away from Downtown, but this one deserves it.  Let’s start with a few pics of the decor, featuring a nautical/sailing/pirate theme.








The nautical theme even extends to the cocktail napkins.  In the next picture we see Skippy holding one of the napkins:


Next, let’s talk about the drinks.  They have a very, very extensive drink menu.  All of their drinks are made from scratch – there are absolutely no mixes in use anywhere.  This means that the bartenders may spend several minutes making your drink – but it’s made the RIGHT way.  I ordered a mint julep and the bartender carefully crushed the mint, spooned out sugar, and then poured in carefully-measured ingredients.  A friend of mine ordered an old fashioned and was very happy.  Another friend told a story of an earlier time when he had been in, and detected a hint of licorice – but just a hint – in his drink.  “That’s because, for that particular drink, we rinse the glass in licorice before we pour,” the bartender told him.  Elegant little touches like that tell you that, although it appears to be a dive bar at first glance, the people at The Cove really know what they’re doing.  Drinks are reasonable too.  My mint julep was $6.50.  The PBR bottle I drank was $2.25 (but you really should skip beer and try the mixed drinks there).

Oh, and John D was extremely impressed with the Bud Light bottles he had at The Cove.

While I was at the bar, the bartender showed me a bottle.  “Absinthe?” he asked.  He explained to me that absinthe – REAL absinthe, not the fake stuff – became legal in the US only five weeks ago.  He then told me The Cove was the first place in Memphis to have it.  So I ordered a drink, which he mixed with a sugar cube and water (they don’t have the spoons yet though).  Damn.  That is definitely not a drink you want to chug.  Just smelling it from four feet away got me drunk.  Here’s a pic of my glass of “the green fairy” and also a ginger beer that The Cove carries.


I’ve been told that absinthe gives people all kinds of weird hallucinations, but I didn’t drink it fast enough, or I didn’t drink enough of it, to experience anything like that.

Let’s move on to the food.  They have a small menu but it works.  Apps like hummus and pita bread; several sandwiches including vegetarian options; pita pizzas; shrimp cocktails; oysters on the half shell.  Here’s a pic of my friend Robin having the oysters, which she said were some of the best she’s ever had.  The oysters are expertly shucked by an alumnus of the late, great Anderton’s restaurant.


And now we come to the part of the post that everyone’s been looking forward to, the “random pics of us drinking” section:


Me with our BBQ team captain Chuck.  One of the bartenders had tattoos of sailing ships and a pig on his arm.  Chuck, who likes to go sailing on Lake Michigan in the summer: “Now that’s a man after my own heart!”



The Nuh-Uh Girl and Chuck pose for a picture.



The gang at the bar (front view).  Note the Bud Light bottle in front of John D.



The gang and random people in suits at the bar (back view).  Note the ’50s movie being shown on the plasma HDTV.  They also showed a British zombie movie and The Big Lebowski while we were there.  It’s refreshing to walk into a bar and not see ESPN Sportscenter on TV.



Skippy tries to convince the Nuh-Uh Sister to take him to Maui on the trip she won on Wheel of Fortune.


I once again have to say how much Picasa rules.  Its auto-contrast feature rescued about half the images shown above.  They were practically unusable before I imported them into Picasa because digital cameras have so much trouble with dim light.

By 10 the bar started to get crowded, and we headed back home.  A very good time was had by all.  Looks like we aren’t the only Downtown barflies to find out about this place – I saw several people I recognized from my usual haunts.  Good to be back home Downtown, but The Cove will see me again.

Should I go for a second plate?


In November 2005 I completed my 200th different beer and got my plate on the wall at the Flying Saucer.  It took me two and a half years to do it.  People have asked if I plan on going for a second plate, and I’ve always said no.  I figure, I’ve tried them all once and have earned the right to drink only beers I like and discounted beers on Fire Sale.

However, a few months ago I changed my tune:  I would be willing to go for a second plate on one condition.  That condition is, if I could complete the 200 beers in exactly 67 days.  They only count three per day to avoid people getting wasted and driving home.  200 divided by 3 is 67 when you round.

Now, when I first thought about doing the plate in 67 days, it wasn’t possible, because I had upcoming out-of-town trips for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I was also considering moving my base of operations to the Downtown Blue Monkey once it opened.  However, now I’m in a position to do it… I don’t see any trips away from Memphis on the radar between now and May, and I’ve reversed my earlier decision about the Monkey and decided the Saucer will remain my base.  Also, if I start soon I can have the 200 done in time to throw my $100 plate party money in with Rapscallion Party VII, which will likely happen in late April.

Going to think about it over the weekend… don’t want to go ahead and start because tonight’s field trip to The Cove and Sunday’s Super Bowl party will prevent me from being at the Saucer long enough to drink 3 beers those days.  If I do it, Monday will be the start date.

Day off from work… but not from blogging

BREAKING NEWS:  Pau Gasol just got traded to the Lakers.

Got a project that’s stalled at work… I’m working with a guy from our New York office on an XML project, but he became a new father this week and is out on paternity leave.  I’m too new to have the understanding of the system to get very far by myself, so this morning when I got home I thought, might as well burn one of my days off.  So I e-mailed my lead developer, went to bed, and woke up at noon.  At my company there’s no distinction between sick and personal days, just “days.”  I like that.  It means people don’t have to pretend to be sick when they need a day off.

Calhoun’s Sports Bar & Grill e-mailed to notify me that they WILL carry the Tiger game tomorrow.  This was one of the three games they thought they were not going to be able to show, but they arranged an Internet feed.  They say that the picture quality may not be up to HD standards through the feed, but the game will be on and the beer will be flowing.

Women for Obama are hosting an event tomorrow night, Saturday, February 2, in the downstairs of Pearl’s Oyster House at 7:30 PM.  They want to rally Obama’s female supporters but men are welcome too.  You can network with other Obama supporters, meet local staffers, and join a “Letter to the Editor” campaign to make the community aware of the presence of Obama supporters.  Hmmm… I don’t have plans tomorrow… and I like Pearl’s… and haven’t been there since Yoko’s birthday in November… and the crowd will be mostly women… and if they’re Obama supporters, that means they’ll be intelligent women.  Good chance I’ll show up.

Expect an update on The Red Rooster, the new club next to the Westin, very soon in this blog.  They’re looking at February 21 as a projected opening date.

Onix, the new chicken & waffles restaurant on South Main at Huling in the old Zanibar space, opens Monday.

Did you realize that this coming Tuesday is Fat Tuesday?  It really snuck up on us this year.  Easter is March 23, one of the earliest possible days.

The Dempseys were excellent last night at the Saucer.  First time I’ve heard them in over two months and they’ve added a lot of new songs to their set.  They’ll be at Blues City tonight and Saturday.  They’ll be back at the Saucer on the 28th, and out at the East Bumblefuck Saucer on the 29th.

Also last night, I finally turned the tables on the food-stealing situation at the Saucer.  In 2006 I inadvertently donated to the Feed Romania project, as the Romanian Sensation snuck fries off my plate.  In 2007 Feed the Zebras was the cause of choice – every time I ordered Rocket Tots, the little zebra-haired waitress would show up and start eating them.  But 2008 is the beginning of the Feed The Blogger movement.  As I was listening to the band, one of the waitresses took her meal break at the table next to me, but she had to leave her food to go get beer for her customers.  I managed to steal about a third of her fries before she caught me.

Field trip to The Cove as soon as everyone gets off work.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll report to the Second Street Branch Office for the afternoon shift.