Be an expert

This morning I was reading Seth Godin’s blog, and he had a link to a free service called Help a Reporter that may be of interest to some of you, particularly entrepreneurs and those of you in the PR and marketing business.

Help a Reporter is a service run by a guy named Peter Shankman who has a lot of contacts in the journalism biz.  Every day he gets dozens of requests for reporters, looking for experts to quote on a variety of topics.  If you sign up for his free e-mail list, he’ll forward those requests to you.  If you see a request related to the business you’re in, you can contact that reporter and be quoted as an expert.

Needless to say, this is a great way to get some free publicity for your business.  Of course, you’d only want to respond to requests relating to fields in which you actually are an expert.

Think I’m gonna sign up.  Tube tops, beer, panhandlers… there are numerous topics on which I could speak as an expert.

Red Cross still needs volunteers to help evacuees

Tonight I received a plea for help from a Red Cross intern. There are still tons of Louisiana evacuees housed here, even though buses and trains have started taking them home yesterday and today. The Red Cross badly needs volunteers to help them. They had plenty of volunteers the first couple of days because it was a holiday weekend, but people have gone back to work and now the public is starting to perceive that the crisis is over. It’s not yet. They still need help. Anyone who wants to volunteer can call 901-726-1690 x1153.

Get a real browser: More proof that IE sucks

LifeHacker recently ran a series of speed tests, comparing Google’s new Chrome browser to industry leaders Firefox and Internet Explorer.  The results:  Chrome won some tests, Firefox won some tests, and IE didn’t win anything.  IE sucks.  If you’re using IE for any other reason than being forced to (for example, at work), it’s time to upgrade to something better.

Download Firefox
Download Chrome

If you already have Firefox, here’s another LifeHacker article that shows how to tweak Firefox to add most of Chrome’s best features.

I don’t like Ike

Take a look at this storm track of Hurricane Ike, one of three named storms in the Atlantic right now.  Notice where it is projected to be Tuesday morning.  Then note that Tuesday is only four days before the annual Cooper-Young Festival, my favorite fest of the year.  If it actually moves along that track, it could be in position to dump a lot of rain on Memphis right around Cooper-Young time on the 13th.

That’s the problem with Cooper-Young… it happens right during the peak of hurricane season, and heavy rain is always a threat.  I’m not going to be happy if the storm puts a damper on my big day of wandering around, eating gyros and nachos, drinking beer, and listening to music.  I’d thought about riding my bike down there this year.  Would have to reconsider if there’s much of a chance of rain at all.

Yeah I know Sunday the 14th is the rain date, but it took Gustav more than a day to get out of here.

Hope it all works out for the best.

Stuff people asked me to post

Got a bunch of “will you mention this on your blog?” stuff in my Inbox.  Let’s clean it out:

The South Main Association will hold its next meeting Tuesday, September 9 at the Westin on Lt. Lee Avenue one block south of Beale.  Meeting starts at 6 PM and there will be complimentary food and booze for members ($5 non-members).  Pat Kerr Tigrett will speak on the upcoming 15th anniversary Blues Ball and what this charitable event means to the city.  There will also be info about an Oktoberfest event for SMA members, to be held Sept. 21.

AIGA will have their Thursty Happy Hour at the Majestic Grille next Thursday, September 11.  AIGA provides a chance to meet, greet, and collaborate with creative professionals from across the Mid-South.  Thursty Thursdays are a monthly networking event to bring in-house, boutique, agency, entrepreneurs, and students together.  Though geared to the design community, the public is welcome.  They’ll be on the mezzanine of the Majestic at 5:30 PM and will be displaying the Graphis 2007 Annual Reports show.  Complimentary appetizers provided by Patterson Graham Design Group.

Amazon unveiled their new Emmy Central site this morning.  Check it out if you’re a TV fan.

Argh… more stuff to post but it’s time to get some work done.  Back with more later.

Jillian’s new specials

Monday night I found myself sitting at the window at the Saucer next to some of the top managers from Jillian’s.  I got to talking to them about how they are going to reconfigure their space; I reported on their plans Monday night.  They’ve now sent me their list of upcoming specials, and it’s worth a post of its own.  It looks like they’re really going all out to get Downtowners and other locals in there more often.

The big news is what they are doing for NFL Sundays.  They’ll have $2 Bud and Bud Light drafts, and $3.99 wings during the games.  Furthermore, if you go you’ll have a chance to win $5,000 every week.  To enter, you’ll fill out an entry form when you get there, and then when the second half of the Titans game starts, a name is drawn.  If the opening kickoff of the second half is run back for a touchdown, that person wins the 5 grand.

Here are their other promotions:

– Monday: $10 for unlimited bowling

– Tuesday:  Pitchers and Pins.  Buy a pitcher of beer ($8.99 domestic/$9.99 import) and get 2 free games of bowling, including shoe rental.  If a colored pin comes up and you bowl a strike, you’ll get a ticket for a $2 pitcher of your choice.

– Wednesday:  SIN night bowling league… see the link above to my previous post, I talked about it there.

– Friday:  This is still in the works, but they’re thinking about doing a trivia night from 8 to 10 PM.

– Saturday:  NCAA all day.

Also, this Saturday, they will show the UFC fight for free, and will offer $2 Bud/Bud Lights until the fights are over. 

And at some point in the future, they’re going to do a Jillian’s pool party on a Tuesday with free pool all day.

I have to give them credit, they’ve come up with some good incentives to get people in the door.  Maybe a year from now, I’ll be sitting in Jillian’s window staring at the Saucer, instead of sitting in the Saucer window staring at Jillian’s.

Pic of fake St. Jude donation guy

Memphis Limelight has a new pic of the panhandler who goes around Downtown trying to sell free publications, asking for a dollar “donation for St. Jude.” Here’s a link to the pic and to a post about the Memphis Limelight blogger’s encounter with St. Jude bum this past weekend.  Going around using the ruse of a children’s charity to panhandle is about as low as you can go.

Oh, speaking of St. Jude… the team of St. Jude scientists and researchers showed up at the Saucer for trivia again last night, and for a second week got their ass handed to them by the legendary Rapscallions.  Another first place, bringing our gift certificate total for the next party to $100.  I heard that some of the St. Jude team members were afraid to come back and get beaten and then blogged about again.  Waaaaah!

We barely squeaked past the Weiss Asses to take first.  I was surprised we did, because the final 30-point bonus was to name the 3 men who formed the First Triumvirate in Rome in 60 BC.  Most of the Weiss Asses were in high school around that time, but maybe they weren’t paying attention to current events.  By the way, the correct answer was Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassius.  I was told that no one got Crassius (we got the other two).  A lot of teams guessed Antony, Lepidius, and Octavian (Augustus Caesar), but that was the Second Triumvirate that formed in 44 BC after Julius Caesar’s murder.

Article from The Onion that must have been written by a Memphian:  Inconveniencing others makes me feel alive

Coming later today:  Info on upcoming specials at Jillian’s – so many of them that they’ll take up an entire post.

Links: Dunkin’ Donuts, new browser, politics, how to open wine without a corkscrew

Just got a text that the Saucer now has New Belgium beer on draft.  They’ve had it in bottles for about a month now.

This morning’s CA had an article about Dunkin’ Donuts move into Memphis, and into Downtown. Says they still plan to grab the 2800 SF ground floor location at the corner of Union and Main (Radio Center Flats) to use as their flagship location for Memphis. Says the new store should be open this year, which is earlier than I had previously heard (January 2009). The article also said that the store will sell breakfast and lunch sandwiches as well as donuts.

Google plans to release its own Web browser, called Chrome, this week. More info available on Google’s blog. Did the world really need another web browser? If people realize how much IE sucks, they can already download and install Firefox. And now web programmers have one more browser to test for compatibility with their sites… groan. I’ve been dealing with CSS and its stupid “clear:both” tag for a good part of the day at work.

Political links of the day: A Times Online writer from London offers her opinion on why America needs a post-Bush makeover, how we can restore some of the stature and respect our nation has lost around the world in the past 8 years. Also, Time has a good article on Sarah Palin and her rise to power in Alaska.

And finally, if you ever need to open a bottle of wine but can’t find your corkscrew, Dr. Booze has an article on using common household tools to open a wine bottle.

Off to trivia.  I’ll probably get soaked with rain walking home, but it’s worth it if the Rapscallions pick up another $50 first prize like last week.

Jillian’s to transform itself into bar that doesn’t suck

I spent a good amount of time in the window at the Saucer tonight talking to some of the managers of Jillian’s, and they gave me some information on major changes that are going to happen to the place:

– First: The short-term news. They’re starting a bowling league Wed 9/3 to 10/22 (8 weeks). Starts at 10 PM. $100 fee per team. Cash prize for the champs. $2 shooters and drafts, $3 bombs during league play. If you want to sign up get by Jillian’s IMMEDIATELY, as league play starts Wednesday. If you can’t do it by then, they tell me it’s no big deal if you miss one week.

– Now, on to the renovations. First, the best news of all… Club Atlas will soon be GONE. They’re moving the dining area where Atlas is, and opening up the windows to make an open-air patio similar to the Garden at the Saucer. WOOOHOOO! I’m sure the nightclub poser crowd will mourn the loss of Atlas.

– The pool tables will remain but will move to the current dining area.

– The current dining area will become a banquet hall.

– Unfortunately the 2nd floor game room will go away, as the 2nd floor of the mall is turned into Peabody suites.

– The bowling alley will remain intact.

– They want very much to get the type of crowd that the Saucer gets, which is a good sign since the Saucer has turned into more of a locals’ bar the past few years.

That’s the quick summary of what I was told. Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend, but I was drunk.

(Edit:  I forgot to mention, UCLA 27, Tennessee 24 in overtime.  FRANK?  NUH-UH GIRL?  CARMEL?  YOU HAVE COMMENTS?  Didn’t think so.)