Sat update: Famous Chicken, dragon boat race demo, Double J cooking for July 4, Daddy Mack Blues Band, Wayne’s Candy and more

The Famous Chicken (often known as “The San Diego Chicken”) will make an appearance at the Redbirds game Friday at AutoZone Park. Game will be versus the Albuquerque Isotopes and first pitch is at 7:05. Gates will open 2 hours early for an end-of-the-week block party in the plaza with $2 16 ounce Coors Light. Click here to buy tickets.

By the way, I heard an interesting fact last night: In all of professional baseball – major and minor leagues – there is only one park where the number 1 item in food sales is not the hot dog. Can you guess which city this park is located in? Answer at the end of this post.

On Tuesday there will be a Dragon Boat Race Demo at Mud Island River Park from 2 to 5. This is a chance for you to see what the annual Dragon Boat Race, scheduled for September 22, will be like. Teams of 20 will race around the harbor in authentic Hong Kong-style dragon boats. It’s very much a team sport because all 20 members have to work in sync. The race benefits the Tennessee Clean Water Network. If you like what you see at the demo, you have until September 9 to submit your team application, although you’ll probably want to attend the August 27 team captain’s meeting as well.

Want to have a July 4 cookout, but don’t really feel like cooking? Talk to the folks at Double J Smokehouse and Saloon. They’ll have Boston butts available for $30, and full slabs of Double J baby back ribs for $20. Sides will be available too. Putting your order in as far in advance as possible would probably be a good idea.

The Daddy Mack Blues Band has their CD release party at the Center for Southern Folklore tonight at 8. Special guest Billy Gibson and the Ghost River Blues Band will perform as well.

Kerry from the I Love Memphis Blog visited one of Downtown’s hidden secrets this week: Wayne’s Candy on East Carolina.

And now, the answer to the ballpark question: The only city in which hot dog sales are not number 1 is Memphis. BBQ nachos are the top seller here.

On my way to Mud Island with the Tube Top Cam to check out the LuvMud festivities. I’m really not excited about being outside in 95 degree heat, having to put on sunscreen, and missing my regular noon stop at Panda Manda’s bar at Bardog. However, this event seems too good to miss. Also, my friend Bob is cooking BBQ sliders at his house, and when a member of Squeal Street BBQ is cooking, it’s a wise move to show up. Panda will be at Bardog until 8 so I have plenty of time to get back to the core and have some PBR at her bar. Come on down to LuvMud Island and let’s see those TUBE TOPS!

The content my readers want to see

If you run a website, it’s important to be aware of what kinds of content are the most popular among your site’s viewers. With that in mind, I pulled up my site stats this morning.

For a couple of years I didn’t even have a tracker on this site, but recently I installed WordPress’s Jetpack plugin which does stats along with a number of other things. From Jetpack I have learned that I average about 1150 hits on weekdays, plus or minus 100. On weekends it tapers off to 700-1000 per day, depending on how active I am.

Tuesday of this week, however, was an exception. That day I had 1689 hits, my biggest day since putting tracking on my blog. The good thing about Jetpack is that it presents this data as a bar graph, and all you have to do is mouse over that day’s bar and it will tell you what content you posted.

So, what did I post Tuesday that was so popular? Drunk tube top pics.

Fri update: LuvMudIsland tomorrow, Norah Jones, Orpheum movie/bluegrass, Farmers Market, Mongo to host radio show, Belgium trip giveaway, and more

We are one day away from LuvMudIsland. This is a 5K obstacle race, where the final obstacle is a 50-foot mud pit. More than that, though, LuvMud is an all-day festival (11-6 PM) with local bands, vendors, food trucks, and a kids’ area. LuvMud is a fundraising event for Habitat for Hope, a non-profit organization that supports, serves and cares for families that have a child that is critically or chronically ill. Race time is 11 AM, kids’ race at 1 PM, dog lover’s race at 2 PM.

What to wear? Well, it seems to me that LuvMud and Tube Top Month go together like toast and jam.

As for happenings tonight, Norah Jones plays the Mud Island Ampitheater at 8 PM. Tickets can be purchased here.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is tonight’s Summer Movie Series movie at the Orpheum. It starts at 7:15, but if you arrive early at 6:30 you’ll be treated to some bluegrass music by local band Blue Day.

Gone Fishin’ will be the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow. Kids will be invited to make a catfish collage from 9 to 11, and from 9:30 to 1 the Wolf River Conservancy will give kids rowing lessons. In addition, Felicia Willett from Felicia Suzanne’s will give a chef demo. (Chef demos usually result in free food for the audience. Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up?) Music by Ron McDonald (7:00), Jeff Dillard (8:00), and Buck Hutcheson (11:00).

Prince Mongo will co-host MemphiSport Live tomorrow. Tune into AM 560 from 11 AM-1 PM to hear what the spirit from the planet Zambodia has to say.

Last night I got more info on this trip to Belgium that the Flying Saucer is giving away. Click the image below for details.

The Belgium trip is being organized by They are professionals who help beer lovers discover the best beer destinations. The Belgium trip has stops in Brussels, Brugge, and Gent. It’s an 8-day, 7-night trip with a total prize value of $6500. To enter, you can purchase raffle tickets at the Saucer. Proceeds from the raffle tickets go to Pints for Prostates, an organization that helps men fight prostate cancer through the universal taste of beer.

I had a fun time at the Shelton Clothiers fundraiser for Wounded Warriors. “I knew I’d see you here,” commented Tom Shelton after a pic was posted to Facebook of Saucer girls Danielle and Christina serving BBQ. Good chatting with Tamara from Shop Girl New York, a trendy women’s fashion boutique in the South Main district.

Arkansas plays South Carolina at 8 PM tonight in college baseball. Winner will advance to meet Arizona in the finals of the College World Series. The game will be on ESPN. Therefore, my plans for tonight involve watching the Hogs with a tasty cold beverage in front of me.

Thur update: New trivia night at Green Beetle, Thursday night parties, Stella Artois on Fire Sale ($3) today at Saucer, how to define success, and top sources of malware

Once again, no lunchtime post today because I didn’t have time. Yesterday I ran the car through the inspection. Today I went to the clerk’s office and got the tags renewed. No line at the 150 Washington office about 11:15 AM. Nice! Before heading back to Horn Lake I stopped by Court House Deli for their red beans and rice topped with jalapenos, onions, and cheese. This should be the last lunchtime field trip for a while, so posts will hopefully be back on schedule.

The Green Beetle announced some exciting news last night. Beginning Thursday, July 12, the Beetle will run a new weekly sports trivia tournament hosted by Kevin Cerrito. There will be weekly prizes donated by Miller Lite and Coors Lite, and teams will compete toward a grand prize of 6 tickets to the Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans game on October 28. There will be food and drink specials from 8-10 PM during trivia. Kevin already hosts the very popular Tuesday night trivia at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub, and it’s one of the best trivia nights in the city, so I expect good things at the Beetle.

Here’s a quick look at tonight’s Thursday night outdoor parties. Andy Childs will play the Peabody rooftop. $10 to get in but it includes your first drink and a food buffet. 6-11 PM, ladies free before 7.

Rhythm and blues by Elmo and the Shades will be the featured entertainment on the Madison rooftop. $7 cover, 7-11 PM, small plates and cash bar.

Tonight is the first night for The Rebel on Beale concert series, six free Thursday night concerts presented by The Rebel 95.3. Jaida Dreyer will perform tonight at 7:30. Even if you’re not into country music, these concerts are excellent tube top watching opportunities.

Also, don’t forget that there’s a party going on at Shelton Clothiers right now. A $5 donation to Wounded Warriors gets you BBQ and Ghost River beer. Wear your Pink Pig shirt for entry into a drawing for prizes.

Around the corner from Shelton, the Flying Saucer has one of the best Fire Sales ever: Stella Artois. You can get pints of it until closing time tonight for $3. I have never seen them Fire Sale Stella in the 9 years I have been coming to the Saucer.

Lifehacker linked to a really good post this morning: Do you know what success means for you? High points: Don’t just follow the crowd, define success step-by-step, and keep a success journal. Good stuff.

I have friends who tell me that Facebook is blocked at their job – not so much because the company is worried it will make them unproductive, but because their IT admins are afraid they’ll get malware on their computer from clicking on links on Facebook. Well, here’s an interesting fact: This study indicates that poisoned search results are more than six times more likely to lead to malware than links on social media. For 2011, search results were responsible for 40% of all installed malware; social media, only 6.5%. How do you block results from Google and Bing? You can’t. People have to have it to do their jobs. The study contains a number of good tips for detecting malware links in search results before you click on them. In particular, use Google’s Preview feature, and beware of domains like .ru and .in.

Time for beer. With Stella as Fire Sale, there’s no doubt where my first stop will be. I’ll probably hit the Wounded Warrior BBQ at Shelton at some point. Then, I have to decide where to watch the Arkansas-South Carolina game. With the NBA Finals on tonight too, I may have trouble finding a bar showing the Hogs on TV. Max’s Sports Bar will have it on for sure; I’ll walk down there if I can’t find it in the core.

Yonge Street Burger @ Kooky Canuck

So, Lana and Shawn from Kooky Canuck have this ongoing debate as to which is the best new menu item: The Donair (Lana’s choice) or the Yonge Street Burger (Shawn’s choice).

I hate to disagree with Lana (never a good idea) but, having had the Yonge Street Burger tonight, it gets my vote.

It’s two quarter pound patties of burger topped with American cheese as well as onions, mushrooms, and bacon. If you want the traditional burger toppings of pickles, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce, they are there on the side waiting for you to add. I was too tired to dine in, so I brought it home, and found packets of mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup as more potential toppings. I chose a little mustard and pickles, leaving the rest on the side. Simply awesome. One of the best burgers I’ve had Downtown. I’d put this one on the same plane as Kooky’s Four Cheese Burger, which has been named one of the best burgers in the city.

It’s 11:36 and I have no doubt I’m about to get some fantastic sleep. I hope to dream of a remote controlled device that makes tube tops come down.

Wed update: Pau Gasol to the Grizzlies? (PLEASE NO), help win swimming lessons for locals, Harahan Bridge project, City Market, Fireball, and more

I didn’t have time to do a post at lunchtime. It was time for my annual visit to the Memphis vehicle inspection station.

The latest NBA trade rumor has Pau Gasol coming to Memphis. NO NO NO NO NO. This is a terrible idea, and this CBS Sports NBA blog post nails the reason why. “Memphis’ identity has been forged in toughness, grit, and defensive attitude, three things that the elder Gasol is, shall we say, not known for.” EXACTLY. It’s nothing against Pau; he just isn’t a good fit for the Grizzlies as they exist now. We need a player who will contribute the kind of grit and grind that Tony Allen and Marc Gasol are known for, and that Zach Randolph is known for when he’s 100% healthy.

Memphis is competing against 4 other cities to win $5,000 for swimming lessons for local kids. Vote here.

Nice tweet this morning from Paul Morris, who runs DMC. He linked to a March 2012 Memphis Flyer article, in which John Branston predicted that the bike and pedestrian path over the Harahan Bridge would not happen anytime soon. Looks like Branston got that one wrong.

City Market has a new flavor of Lay’s potato chips: Indian Magic Masala. I bet my friend Sarah will be stopping by City Market soon after she sees this post. Also, check out their hard to find products photo album. People wanting to cook gourmet or ethnic dishes will find a lot to like at this Downtown grocery.

I stopped by Blind Bear last night, where I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie’s parents. Here’s a pic of Jamie’s mom, with Elizabeth.

(Edit: Well crap. I completely I forgot I already posted that pic. I’m leaving it in though, to satisfy Tube Top Month requirements.)

After the Bear I went to Bardog, where I got to meet the people from Fireball Whisky and have a beer (and of course, a shot of Fireball) with them. Really nice guys. Too bad they can’t meet us for Saturday brunch at Bardog, where their product gets consumed in huge quantities.

Now that I’m done with the news, I’d like to take a moment to brag about my car. Every year I worry that because of its age, my car will fail inspection, leaving me with an expensive trip to the repair shop followed by a second visit to the inspection station. Today’s results? My 17-year-old Saturn SC2 passed with hydrocarbons of 64 ppm (220 ppm is passing), and carbon dioxide emissions of only 0.09% (1.20% is passing). I guess I should get a new car at some point, but why, when this one is still doing so well?

Time to grab a beer at the Saucer. Should be a good crowd there pre-gaming for the Michael Jackson/Cirque de Soleil event at the FedExForum. Not 100% sure I’ll do trivia at the Blind Bear at 8 but am leaning in that direction.

Tue update: Kurtis Blow in Memphis this weekend, BBQ and beer at Shelton, Beale Street news, Memphis Pipe Kitty gets adopted, bridge project receives $15 million

Today’s top story is not about an event happening Downtown, but rather about an upcoming concert at the Levitt Shell.

When you think of classic, old-school rap, perhaps you think of Run DMC. The Beastie Boys. L.L. Cool J. Public Enemy.

But before there were any of those groups, there was Kurtis Blow.

1983 was the first full year the Ryburn household had cable. I’d tune in to MTV and watch videos from time to time. But in my opinion the coolest music videos were on another channel – BET. I’d watch most every night.

So, one day I turned on BET and this guy named Kurtis Blow was rapping.

Basketball is my favorite sport!
I like the way they dribble up and down the court!
Just like I’m the king of the microphone
So is Dr. J and Moses Malone

I like slam dunks that take it to the hoop
My favorite play is the alley oop!
I like the pick ‘n’ roll! I like the give ‘n’ go!
‘Cause it’s basketball for Mr. Kurtis Blow!

I liked the song so much that I went to the mall and bought The Best of Kurtis Blow cassette tape. (A CD player was too much of a luxury for me to own in 1983.) There I discovered other gems, including “Christmas Rap,” “These Are the Breaks,” and “Eight Million Stories.”

Anyway, if you want to see one of the true godfathers of rap, Kurtis Blow is performing at the Levitt Shell this Saturday, June 23. It’s part of an all-day free event presented by Soul Classics 103.5. It starts at 3 PM and some of Memphis’ best food vendors will be there. More info here.

In other news: The project to build a bike and pedestrian path across the Harahan railroad bridge has received a $15 million grant. The path will connect Memphis’ Main Street to West Memphis’ Broadway Avenue. This is a HUGE WIN for both cities. I know that Steve Cohen had a lot to do with making this grant happen. If you’re on Twitter you can thank him at @RepCohen.

Shelton Clothiers has invited everyone to their store Thursday evening for music, BBQ, and Ghost River beer for just a $5 donation. The money will go to support Wounded Warriors. This is a project that provides transportation for veterans who have free health care at the VA – but can’t afford gas to get there. You may remember a guy running down Main Street in a tiger head and Speedo earlier this year. That was also a Wounded Warriors fundraiser. Thank goodness Shelton doesn’t sell Speedos.

ABC 24 reports that police have found a way to keep crowds calm on Beale Street on the weekends. They simply stopped sweeping everyone off the streets, which in the past had led to confrontations. As one club owner pointed out, most of the people on the street were within an hour of leaving anyway when the sweeps were conducted.

ABC 24 also reports that the city is looking into buying Club Crave (a.k.a The Plush Club), tearing it down, and building a parking lot in its place. Yes yes yes yes YES!!!! That would be the best parking lot ever.

Memphis Pipe Kitty gets to go home with his new owners today, after spending a week and a half at the Humane Society. The kitty was dug out of a drain pipe a week ago Friday after having been stuck in there for days. Ladies, why not celebrate Memphis Pipe Kitty’s rescue by wearing a tube top today? After all, a pipe is kind of like a tube.

Lunch, meeting, more fun trying to get a CMS to publish to a static page. I’ll be out somewhere tonight. Still sticking with my plan to take a couple of weeks off from poker.