Thur update: Indian cafe, Razz, beer at Walgreens, iPhone apps, Mayor Wharton, and Harp tastes just like PBR

(Edit:  Just found out that Harp, the PBR of Ireland, is not the Fire Sale today – it’s Ghost River Hefe.  Still very acceptable.  Will be there after work.)

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday. On my lunch break I was busy actually eating lunch for a change. After work I fired up the netbook and started playing poker, and next thing I knew it was 12:30 AM and time for bed. Not only did I not post yesterday, I never made it out to any of the neighborhood bars for the first time in memory.

Speaking of lunch… got a tip for those who work in the airport area like I do. On American Way east of Getwell, across from the Waffle House, there’s a strip mall with a store called “Regal USA” Indian market. Inside there’s a cafe called Maharaja Cafe (not sure about the spelling there) that has really good Indian dishes, both vegetarian and with meat. They’re all well under $10 and you can get them for there or to go. While your food is cooking, you might want to do some shopping in the market – I brought back something called “Halditam’s Crispy & Spicy Super Mixture” which I’ve been munching on all morning at work. Better than a bag of Ruffles out of the vending machine, that’s for sure.

I’ve found a new poker game that has been keeping me busy. It’s called Razz and it’s 7-card stud, low-ball. Your low 5 cards out of 7 make a hand, and straights and flushes don’t count, but pairs, trips, and quads do. Aces are low, so the best hand would be the “wheel” straight of A-2-3-4-5.

I’m finding Razz to be a profitable game. Basically, it boils down to two rules:

1) Don’t play crap starting hands
2) Sit down at tables with players who do.

Do this, and opponents will be playing catch-up, so in the long run you’ll make money. Also, because it’s a limit game, I’m comfortable playing much higher stakes than Texas Hold’em. At Hold’em, my current bankroll only allows me to sit at 10 cent small blind/25 cent big blind tables, but at limit Razz, I’ll go all the way up to $2 small bet/$4 big bet tables where I buy in for $80.

The next game I want to learn is Omaha Hi-Lo. My friend Air Traffic Mike has been playing it on Full Tilt recently, and he told me he thinks it’s a game I where I could really do well. I’ve bought a book on Omaha that I’m reading in my spare time… when I get home I’ll try to remember to post the name. I’ll probably play Razz for the rest of December in order to pile up Frequent Player Points as quickly as possible on PokerStars, then switch to Omaha in January.

PokerStars or Full Tilt? All signs point to Full Tilt having better games, and I hear the Razz tables are even looser than Stars. I just hate Tilt’s cartoonish interface.

The worst 3-card starting hand in Razz, since Aces are low, would be KKK. I’ve nicknamed this hand the “Ole Miss.”

In the news… Walgreens has filed a petition to sell beer in its Memphis stores. I’d worry that this would be a problem Downtown, since the bums already congregate outside of Walgreens, but with the new panhandling and single-serve beer ordinances about to go to the City Council, I don’t think it will be a problem.

Channel 5 now has a free iPhone app available where you can get news, sports, weather, and more. Search for “ mobile” in the app store.

Also, I saw on LifeHacker that the Louvre has an iPhone app that is so good that it feels like you’re getting your own private tour of the museum.

Kudos to Mayor AC Wharton for taking positive, proactive steps to help our homeless get the warm beds and the services they need. Yes, we do need a free homeless shelter in Memphis, but we can’t just pluck $500,000 off the money tree and erect one by tomorrow. First steps have to be taken. The mayor did the smart thing… he went to the people who know the most about the situation, the service providers, and he engaged them and listened to them, in order to come up with a plan to get where we need to be. Thank you Mr. Mayor. It’s good to have someone in office who cares about all the citizens of Memphis.

I can’t resist making a comment here… most readers of this blog know I was not a fan of former President Bush. It’s not so much that I disagreed with his policies (although I almost always did), it was his attitude of, “I’m right, you’re wrong, it’s my way or the highway, I don’t have to listen to or respect opposing views.” This is the same reason I was not a fan of the rightward-leaning leadership of the DNA from 2007 to early 2009, because they tried to steamroll their agenda through without listening to others or treating their opinions with respect.

But you know what? People on the left who take this attitude are just as bad. The MSPJC dismisses what Wharton is doing as “harassing the homeless” without even listening, because Wharton is not doing EXACTLY what they believe should be done. They’re right, Wharton is wrong, period, end of discussion. I wish the media would stop giving the MSPJC so much coverage. Why not interview the people at Calvary Outreach instead and get their opinion? Or Door of Hope?  Those would be more objective sources to quote on what the homeless need. The people at MSPJC get an A for having their hearts in the right place, but they get an F minus for communication, strategy and tactics. They don’t take any positive, proactive steps of their own; they just complain about what everyone else is doing.

More apartments on the Main Street Mall opening soon

Yesterday I was walking to the bar and I noticed this sign on the Main Street Mall:


The Washburn, located in between One Commerce Square and Radio Center Flats near Union Avenue, will open next month.  That building has taken forever to renovate, but the facade is beautiful and I’m sure they’ll make the inside equally beautiful.

Getting ready to have a few Dos Equis Lagers at the Saucer, then at 7:30 I’ll head to the Majestic to judge their movie character and sweater contests.

Tue update: Woot-off, jazz and other stuff

Not much news to report today.  I’ll make this one quick.

Woot-offs today on and

One thing I haven’t blogged about is that Tuesdays are now jazz nights at the Silly Goose.  Check it out of you’re looking for someplace mellow where you can chill out this evening.

Trivia at the Saucer, 7 PM.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at the Majestic, dinner 7:30, movie 8:00.  See yesterday’s post for menu and details on contests.  If interested in going, you better call immediately and make reservations, if they’re not already sold out.

Mon update: Christmas Vacation/tacky sweater contest, PR class, social media, and more

YAY!!! I’ve been asked to be a “celebrity judge” for 2nd annual Clark’s Christmas Dinner and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Viewing Party tomorrow night at the Majestic Grille. There will be prizes awarded for the best character from the movie, and the best Christmas sweater. I did this last year and it was a fun time… people really went all out on their costumes and sweaters. Here’s the menu:

Mixed Greens Salad
Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Ham
Green Bean Casserole
Baby Parsley Potatoes
Warm Biscuits
Sherry Trifle

Dinner is $24.95 per person. This event sold out last year, so if you want to attend you better call 901-522-8555 as soon as possible to make reservations. Online reservations are not accepted for this event. Dinner at 7:30 (regular menu available too in addition to the holiday dinner), movie at 8:00. Contest winners will be announced after the movie.

Reminds me, I’ve been meaning to do a link to my friend Buck Daddy’s site – he runs a Tacky Christmas Sweater Store which is real popular this time of the year. As with my stores, Amazon handles the payment and shipping, so you’re dealing with one of the best, most secure checkout processes you can find online.

Here’s a link to a CA article about Marvin Stockwell’s PR class for nonprofits and civic and congregational groups. If you belong to such a group, Marvin has lots of good tips to help you get the word out.

Here’s an article on this past weekend’s Downtown holiday parade. Congrats to the winners of the storefront decorating contest… I’m really surprised Calhoun’s didn’t take first though.

The recently established Memphis chapter of the national Social Media Club will host a TweetUp from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at South of Beale, 361 S. Main. The event is open to all those interested in learning more about social-media strategies and will feature plenty of social and networking opportunities. Attendees will receive a 20 percent discount off their tabs. For details, call 521-1453.

Congratulations to my friends Dennis and Mary Pat on getting their second plates at the Saucer this weekend. There aren’t actually two plates, for those not familiar with the UFO Club… they simply change the plate’s color from black to yellow. Hmmm… looking at the plates on the wall above the stage, it’s pretty boring… ALL black and yellow… I think we need a green plate up there, right in the middle of the top row. We’ll see if something can be done about that Saturday after next.

All right, lunch break over, back to work. We just completed a big national bridge tournament so I’ve got about a zillion photos to crop and resize. Fun. After work: It’s Monday, what else but Pint Nite? Not really in the mood for poker tonight at the Goose, but I may change my mind by 7:30. Need to accumulate points for the final table.

I got to see Rehab Disco today

Rehab Disco, the new bar/club opening in 94 S. Front in the old Orleans on Front/Voodoo Room location, had a free food buffet and $1 longnecks today for their fans on Facebook. (Search for “Rehab Disco” in Memphis.)  Got my first look at the place.  The upstairs looks like a disco (think Paula & Raiford’s kind of, but very very orange and no handprints).  The downstairs, the former Voodoo Room, I’m told will be open too, and will be more of a locals bar with a draft wall with 20 taps.

Good news is, this place will open at a reasonable hour, 4 or 5 PM they tell me, so they can get the locals’ happy hour crowd.  That was a complaint I had about Voodoo, that it didn’t open until 8.  Also, where a lot of businesses didn’t make it in that location, the owners of Rehab know a ton of people and should draw people from night one, which I’m told will be the day after Christmas.

I didn’t take pics because the interior isn’t finished yet, but I liked what I saw.  This is a place with a lot of potential.  Can’t wait to see it open to the public.

Pics: Stumbling Santa

I didn’t take a zillion pics of Stumbling Santa last night as I had planned… it was so crowded that I just decided to stake a spot where there was breathing room wherever I could find it.  I did get some pics though.  Here are a few of the best ones.


First stop was the Saucer, which quickly filled up with Santas. The Saucer was also the drop-off point for toy donations for Ronald McDonald House. I saw bags and bags of toys being loaded into a van about 8 PM – great job everyone. People found out that the Saucer was matching donations toy for toy, and many people brought more than one.


The Garden/patio area of the Saucer, where a silent auction took place.


BB King’s.  BB’s was WAY crowded full of tourists even before we got there.  Shawn, Joe, Zane, Steve G and I found a spot on the stage and hardly moved for the next 45 minutes.  This pic was taken about 20 minutes after I got there.  Note that there are still a long line of Santas outside waiting to get in.


By 9:15 BB’s was so crowded that we couldn’t take it anymore, and went outside.  Stevie G and Joe helped keep BB’s outdoor bartender warm.

Next up was Alfred’s, where I forgot altogether to take pics.  That was probably because the Texas vs. Nebraska game was on.  Everyone except Chad HATED Texas and were cheering for the Huskers.  At the end of the day though Chad was the one who went home happy.

Alfred’s went all out for the Santas, opening the outdoor bar to ensure quick service.  Great job.


Next up was the FedExForum.  Here’s a pic of me with all the other Santas in the background.  Unlike the other stops, there was plenty of breathing room.  I complained about the beer prices at first ($8.25 for a 24 ounce domestic), but my friend Mikey pointed out, “Look, they opened their doors just for us, because they wanted to support the Ronald McDonald house. How cool is that? They deserve our support in return.” I decided he was right and bought a beer.






… gone.

The final stop was Club 152, but there were at least 70 people in line by the time we got there, so we decided to end the night back where we started, at the Saucer, which by that point was packed even without the Santas.

My huge compliments to the organizers and to the participating bars on a fantastic event.  It’s near impossible to herd that many people from place to place, but they did it very well.  They announced that the pics they took will be up soon.  I’ll link to the site once the pics are posted.

‘Tis the season


Christmas party season kicks into high gear today.  At 3 I’m heading to the Saucer for a friend’s plate party, then about 4 I’ll wander down to South Main to stake my spot for the holiday parade.  They’ll announce the winner of the Downtown storefront decorating contest at 4:45 at 387 S. Main (next to Spindini), so I’ll try to be there for that.  I’ll watch the parade, then head north to put on my Santa suit for the Stumbling Santa pub crawl, which kicks off at the Flying Saucer at 7.

Don’t forget, if you’re attending the pub crawl, you MUST wear a Santa suit and you MUST bring a toy for Ronald McDonald House (no stuffed animals) in order to receive a lanyard that gets you in the clubs with no cover and drink specials.

Charging up all 3 batteries for the camera… I have a feeling a LOT of pictures will be taken.

One football note:  I don’t have a favorite in the SEC championship game, but GO NEBRASKA in the Big 12 game.  I’d love to see Texas knocked out of the BCS championship.

Pics: Clay’s birthday

He didn’t say anything, but I’m sure my buddy Clay was fuming when I posted that Mrs. Pat’s birthday was December 4.  “Really?” I’m sure he was thinking, “You post about Mrs. Pat, but you forget to post about one of your good friends’ birthdays, who you hang out with several times a week?  ‘ppreciate it dude.”

Of course, my “happy birthdays” tend to be a day late, so I can publish them with pictures.  Messages were sent out on Facebook to gather at the Saucer at 6 PM.  All our friends were there and it was a great time.  Here are some pics.


The birthday boy


The Nuh-Uh Girl being force fed a Rice Krispie treat


The Nuh-Uh Sister, Joe, and Katie


The return of Air Traffic Mike


Christy chowing down on cheese fries


What was the deal with all the sideways turned head poses last night?


Hell if I know what was going on here.


After the Saucer, we had dinner at Blues City Cafe.  Mmmm ribs.


Here’s a pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating.

More pics here.  Fun times and good to have all our friends together.  Happy birthday Clay.

Fri update: Marathon, disco, parade, poker and Memphis, etc.

No responses to my query about whether bars will be open early for the marathon, but at least a clothing store will be open. Lansky 126 will open early tomorrow, and they invite spectators to come in and take a break from the cold.

Speaking of the marathon, tonight is “carb-up” night, when many restaurants Downtown and in other parts of the city offer discounts on pasta and other high-carb dishes. Here’s a list of restaurants. Most of them require you to show your official marathon number to get the discount, but I know of at least one (Bardog) that is offering the deal to everyone. Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl is trying to print a fake marathon number on her office printer this afternoon.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s a link to more information about the St. Jude marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Good luck to my friends Mary Pat, Gina, Glo, Lee’s mom, and anyone else I know who is running tomorrow. If you plan on driving anywhere Downtown tomorrow morning, expect delays as the streets are clogged with runners.

In other news: Rehab Disco will open in the old Orleans on Front space after Christmas. So far I don’t have a whole lot of details about the place. I need to get by and take a look… Carlos who used to manage Circa is one of the people opening the new disco. Three discos in one neighborhood… no wonder Downtown is the best part of Memphis.

I saw on Facebook last night that the Memphis Grizzlies Grandmas and Grandpas dance team will be part of the holiday parade tomorrow at 5 PM on South Main. They are a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing them. Don’t forget to become a fan of theirs if you’re on Facebook.

Not Downtown news, but an item of interest to my fellow poker fans: Christy Moneymaker will open a high-end store for babies, children and tweens in Sanderlin Place. The store will sell clothes, custom bedding, furniture, toys and gifts. Christy is the wife of poker pro Chris Moneymaker, and his poker sponsor is supporting the opening of the store financially. Chris Moneymaker won the World Series main event in 2003, coming out of nowhere and gaining entry into the tournament through a PokerStars satellite. His victory marked the beginning of the Internet poker craze.

I’ve heard a lot of complaints that there’s “too much going on” tomorrow. Kinda true… the marathon, the parade, Stumbling Santa, the Blues Ball, a Tiger home game, the SEC championship game on TV. I’ve heard numerous people wish out loud that some of that stuff would be moved back to the second week in December next year, although I guess that’s hard to do too because then you’re into office and private Christmas party season.

No big plans for me tonight… I’ll probably hit happy hour at the Saucer, and after that, who knows… maybe I’ll chat with some of the 15,000 people in town for the marathon.

Still working on my rant in support of the new panhandling ordinance… it’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Monday.