Woody and me greeting patrons at the door

Two Sundays ago, memorial services were held for Woody A. Long at the Silly Goose. Woody was one of the mainstays at the bar, and was considered a beacon of wisdom and light by most everyone who goes there. Unfortunately, Woody was decapitated earlier this month, and we thought we had seen the last of him.

Friday was 12/21/12 and the world was predicted to end. It did not, but something unexpected happened at the Silly Goose’s Doomsday party… Woody rose from the dead. It’s a Festivus miracle! Or something like that.

Silly Goose poker host Muruako was unavailable for comment on this turn of events.

It’s a slow news weekend otherwise. Hence, no post yesterday. The only thing I have is this piece of pigeon news. Any Downtown blogger worth his salt has to do a pigeon post now and then.

Mellow but fun night last night. We had game night at a friend’s condo in Barton Flats. Afterward, my friends wanted to dance and we went to DJ Cody at the Goose, but then I remembered FreeWorld was playing next door at the Flying Saucer and I bounced over there. I arrived in time to catch their second and third sets and it was so good to see them on that stage again. If you missed them at the Saucer, they play Blues City tonight at 9:30, and every Sunday night.

Today is a Sunday Fun Day not followed by a Monday Suck Day, so I just might catch FreeWorld again tonight. Taking a week of from brunch at the Majestic, but I will kick it off at the Blind Bear at noon. Stops after that TBD.

Fri update: Pyramid news, Doomsday party @ Goose tonight, FreeWorld @ Saucer tomorrow, It’s a Wonderful Life @ Majestic Sunday

Very good news on the Memphis Flyer website yesterday: Although Bass Pro’s plans remain fluid, they plan to have the Pyramid open in late 2013. They want to have it open in time for the holiday shopping season. They’re going to install an indoor swamp, so boat buyers can see how the boats feel on the water. There will be a restaurant inside, Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl. VERY EXCITING to know that we’re less than a year away from shopping at Bass Pro, after years and years of stagnation.

How sad is it that I’m already plotting to become “mayor” of Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl? There needs to be a support group for Foursquare addicts.

There’s a Doomsday party tonight at the Silly Goose beginning at 9 PM. Those of you who have been posting “the end of the world didn’t happen” on Facebook, remember that today isn’t over until 11:59 PM. It could still happen. In any event, this looks to be a rather interesting evening at the Goose. Yes, I have a little inside information.

Live music returns to the Flying Saucer tomorrow night, Saturday, December 22. FreeWorld will take the stage at 9:30. I’m happy to see the Saucer bringing back live music on a now-and-then basis, and FreeWorld is an excellent choice. This will surely draw a lot of people who are back in town for the holidays. There is NO COVER, whether you’re a member of the Saucer’s UFO Club or not, so come on down.

The Majestic Grille will wrap up its “Sunday Supper and a Movie” series with It’s a Wonderful Life this Sunday, December 23. Movie will be shown on the big screen at 7. Starting at 6:30, a special menu will be available for $26.95. This week’s menu: Antipasto with stuffed cherry peppers, warm grilled mushrooms, proscuitto & arugula; beef and three cheese lasagna; Caesar salad; rosemary focaccia bread; and apple strudel with cinnamon creme fraiche. If you’ve never had the Majestic’s focaccia bread, let me tell you it is one of the best breads I have ever had Downtown. The regular menu will be available as well if you’d prefer that.

Office closes at 3, which means I’ll be at the Saucer about 4. Plans after that TBD.

Thur update: Blind Bear birthday party tonight (VERY IMPORTANT PBR NEWS), Silly Goose Naughty Santa party, new brewery coming to Memphis, get your gifts wrapped

The Blind Bear’s 1-year anniversary party is tonight. Co-owner Jeannette messaged me the drink and food specials this morning:

$4 bday cake shots (3 olives cake)
$5 flappers
$5 spiffy Rita’s
$4 maestro dobel’s tequila shots
$1 PBR draft!!!!!!!!!
$3 orange whipped shots (pinnacle)
$5 Jameson shots
$3 moonshine
$3 fireball
$2 hamburgers & hot dogs
1/2 off apps

You know what drink I’m glad to not see appear on cocktail menus anymore? The “Flirtini.” What a stupid thing that was. But anyway, back to the Bear’s party. It starts at 9. There will be live music from Bean (with Rodney Phillips), Craig Davis, Back Road Syndicate, and more. There will be gift card giveaways, and photographer Joey Miller will be there. But most importantly, there will be $1 PBR draft!!!!!!!!!

It’s unfortunate that the Blind Bear’s “mayor” will be late to its party, but those are the breaks. I will be down the street at the Majestic Grille judging the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation costume contest and holiday tacky sweater contest. I get dinner and all the PBR I can drink as compensation for being a judge. Free PBR is better than dollar PBR, so I guess I’m not too unhappy about being late to the Bear.

Around the corner will be the Silly Goose’s 4th annual Naughty Santa party. The Dave Cousar Band will play holiday favorites, and Santa will be there.

Beer news: Memphis is getting its third craft brewery. Drew Barton plans to open Memphis Made Brewing Co. at 768 S. Cooper by mid-2013. Barton was formerly the head brewer at French Broad in North Carolina. He’s one of the organizers of the best beer festival in town, Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest, and he bartends part-time Downtown at the Saucer. First products to roll out will be an IPA and a Kolsch. Congrats to Drew, and I agree with him, Memphis can support far more than just three craft breweries.

If you hate wrapping gifts, bring them to Shelton Clothiers between noon and 4 PM Sunday, December 23. They will wrap up to 5 gifts for you, and all they ask is that you donate $3 per gift to the Union Mission to help feed the hungry. You can even leave your gifts with them, go eat brunch at one of several nearby restaurants, and then come back to pick them up.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be at the Bear party as soon as I wrap up judging down the street. Good luck to all the Griswolds and tacky sweaters in the competition tonight.

Wed update: Grizzlies, Bleu NYE menu, Cardinal interview on Twitter, candle shop, new beers coming to Memphis

The Grizzlies will be on national TV tonight. The Grizzlies host the Milwaukee Bucks at the FedExForum at 8:30, and the game will be televised on ESPN. If you’re attending the game live, the arena is advising fans to arrive a bit early because of heightened NBA-mandated security measures.

Bleu has released its New Year’s Eve menu. See it here. There are two options available: A four-course dinner for $65, or a four-course dinner with wine pairings for $80. Live entertainment, complimentary champagne toast, and party favors come with the dinner.

Tomorrow, December 20, at 4 PM the Redbirds will hold an interview via Twitter with St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and former Redbird Joe Kelly. Follow both @memphisredbirds and @Joe_Kelly_Jr to participate. If you have questions, tweet them to @memphisredbirds with the hashtag #twinterview. Topics expected to be discussed include the offseason, 2012 MLB playoffs, coach movement, and the farm system.

A new candle shop will open at 107 G.E. Patterson in the old Delphinium spot. The Memphis Business Journal has info here.

FuzzyBrew reports that beers from Brooklyn Brewery will be sold in Memphis beginning in February.

That’ll do it for now. Trying to decide whether to show up at Double J Loft Bar for poker tonight (8:00) or just stay in the core and find a place to watch the game.

Sorry there wasn’t a lunchtime post today…

I was in bed. I had a bad upset stomach this morning and had to leave work about 10:30 AM. I thought I had food poisoning at first but now I realize what happened. After I left Silly Goose poker last night, I walked up to Huey’s for a Texas Toast Burger to go. That thing is really good but it’s loaded with jalapenos and I hadn’t eaten anything all day except a bag of chips. I guess my body is telling me I need to stop doing that. If I remember reading correctly, it takes about 18 hours to completely digest food, so I think I should be OK now. I tell ya what, today was not a fun day, but I’d take an upset stomach for several hours over the flu for a week.

I really haven’t kept up with email and social media, so I really don’t know what all has been going on today. I’m going to post a few quick “Tuesday update” things from memory. If you emailed me or messaged me about an event, it’ll have to wait until tomorrow if you don’t see it here.

The big news today, and it is NOT good news, is that photo-sharing social network Instagram is changing its privacy policy. Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, have announced that starting January 16 they will claim the right to use any photo you upload to their site in advertising, without your permission. The only way to opt out is to delete your account, which I will absolutely be doing before the 16th if they don’t change their mind. Remember those fun pics you took with friends at Chili’s last month? They could end up in a local Chili’s ad. Even scarier, what if they use photos of your KIDS??? Which they can do as of 1/16.

By the way, how much will you make in royalties every time Instagram uses one of your photos? Zero. They won’t even notify you. There are Instagram alternatives for iOS and Android. I suggest you choose one in the next four weeks. I’ll try a few when I get to feeling better and make recommendations.

The Memphis Flyer has a good article about Thursday’s Clark Griswold Christmas dinner and a movie and costume contest at Majestic Grille. Excited about being a judge again. They are probably sold out but you could try calling 901-522-8555 and seeing if there’s a wait list.

If you like to go to Kevin Cerrito’s trivia nights, he will be doing holiday trivia tonight at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Thursday at the Green Beetle. Start time for both games is 8 PM.

Last night was the final table of this fall’s poker league at the Silly Goose. Players have been earning points for the past 16 weeks, and the top 10 point-earners were invited to the final table to play for a grand prize. I was on the bubble, number 11 or 12 in points, so if people no-showed, it was possible that I would get a seat. Everyone arrived, though, and I was relegated to the side game with $50 and $25 weekly prizes.

I noticed that none of the people who make crazy all-in moves early on were playing the side game, and there were only 7 of us. I decided to care more than usual and slow down the PBR consumption, because I might win something. Sure enough, I hit a few hands and went a run all the way to heads-up. On the second hand, my opponent went all-in on the big blind. Holding pocket 7s, a call was automatic. She showed K-8 and I was ahead all the way to the river when a King fell. I was out and ended up with this:

My opponent got the first place gift certificate for $50 in Goose bucks. By the way, I like her all-in a lot. K-8 is strong enough to call or make a small raise heads-up, but she’d be out of position the rest of the hand. I’d get to see what she did first on the flop, turn, and river before I would have to act. By going all-in she took my position away and I was the one with a difficult decision, not her. Well played. This is the kind of strategy poker pro Annie Duke advocates to people learning the game.

The final table was down to the last players at this point, and host Muruako asked if I would snap a few pics of the players still in the game.

Winner Brian

(I think Clay was still in at this point too but if I took a pic of him I can’t find it.)

Brian got his choice of a $250 Best Buy gift card, $250 toward a buy in toward a WSOP circuit event in Tunica, or Grizzlies-Lakers tickets.

There will be no Silly Goose poker the next two weeks because of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. A new league will start January 7.

Tonight is poker at Blind Bear at 8. One of the owners, Jeannette, told me a couple of days ago that the Bear will hold Tuesday poker Christmas night. Like last night’s side game, that could be easy pickings with a sparse field.

All right, I’ll be back at work tomorrow. Ironically, the one thing I have to eat in the apartment is the thing I’m supposed to eat when I’m sick: Chicken soup. I don’t want it though. Time to get out and go find something.

Saturday/Sunday recap and an upcoming open house at Shop Girl New York

What a fun weekend in Downtown Memphis. I’ve already blogged about Friday and my good experience at Dancin’ Jimmy’s. Saturday I watched the Tiger game at the Saucer, then wandered up to Reindeer Games in Court Square. Reindeer Games was more of a kids’ event than I had thought, and since I’m not a big fan of kids I didn’t stay too long. I did, however, buy a jingle bell necklace which was my admission to the post-Reindeer Games pub crawl.

The four stops on the crawl were Local, Blind Bear, Green Beetle, and Double J, and I made it to all the stops except Local, Green Beetle, and Double J. And at the Bear I drank PBR rather than the discounted beer for crawlers. So I paid $5 to not go on a pub crawl. Oops. It was for a kids’ trip to DC though, so I didn’t mind.

So I was sitting at the bar at the Blind Bear with two guys who play poker there on Tuesday. Down the bar, a guy was arguing with the bartender that his beer had been poured out by mistake. Then this guy slid down to talk to us.

“I saw you earlier,” he said. “You were at one of those bars. I think it may have been Silly Goose. Yeah, you were in there and you had a shot of something.” (It was Fireball.) “Is that what you do, go to bars all day long and do shots and get drunk all day?” The guy was trying to make conversation, but he went about it the wrong way and made a very bad first impression.

Then the guy started talking to my two poker friends about the officiating in the Tiger game. It was clear that no matter their opinion, he was going to disagree. I decided I wanted nothing to do with the conversation and folded my arms and leaned back in my chair, trying to be invisible. The guy asked my opinion a couple of times and I said I had no opinion. “Do you ever smile?” he asked me. “What, are you ‘somebody’ Downtown? All I know is you have long hair.” Then he went back to arguing about the game. The funny thing is, I could tell the guy was just trying to get to know us, but clearly he did not write How to Win Friends and Influence People. Every statement out of his mouth was an accusation, a challenge, or a disagreement.

So anyway, I was about to get up and leave for a friend’s Festivus party down the street when my friend Chad and about 5 other people came in. I had forgot it was Chad’s birthday party. He had the back room reserved and invited me to join.

We had a fun time hanging out in the back room, watching the Grizzlies game. My friend Misty had on a backless top:

One of the other girls asked how Misty handled the fact that the top didn’t allow the wearer to wear a bra. “There are stickers involved,” said Misty.

About an hour later, I got a text from a friend wanting to go to Paula and Raiford’s Disco. That’s the kind of invitation I gladly accept, so I wished Chad a happy birthday and walked over. There was a huge line due to two weddings, but we finally got in.

We danced until about 2:30 AM. An excellent Saturday night. The fog machine riled up my allergies the next day, but it was worth it.

Sunday I went over to River Row, a condo building on Front Street. I had agreed to be the judge of their holiday balcony decorating contest. There were prizes for the top three including Grizzlies tickets, a $25 gift certificate, and a bottle of wine. The people in the condos knew exactly what to do to get me to be a judge:

The judging was supposed to happen at 5:15, but we had to wait 40 minutes for one of the entrants, a suburbanite who technically still holds an address at River Row but is hardly ever there. I was lenient about enforcing the “must be present to win” rule, because it allowed more time for me to drink PBR.

My next stop was the Flying Saucer. Once a year, they have an appreciation party for Beerknurds, members of their UFO Club. They put a buffet out for us.

The ham and potato casserole was particularly good. We also each got a free pint of Shiner Cheer, a Christmassy beer that sort of tastes like plum pudding.

After the Saucer party wrapped up, I made the Blind Bear my final stop of the evening. I found my friend Beth sitting at the bar, along with the suburbanite who had delayed the balcony contest. I snapped their pic.

(Edit: Never mind, suburbanite whined it was a bad pic of her, asked for it to be taken down)

One phenomenon you’ll notice Downtown in December is “guest bartenders and staff,” especially on Sunday. This allows bars to have a Christmas party and let all their staff attend. Last night we found guest bartender Terry (from Purple Haze) behind the bar at the Bear – not a bad substitute at all. Over at the poker table, Muruako who runs the Silly Goose game filled in, allowing usual host Michael Bean to enjoy the party.

A VERY fun weekend that reminded me why I love living Downtown so much.

The only news I have to report is that Shop Girl New York will have an open house Sunday, December 23 from 3 to 5 PM. Select merchandise will be 40% off that day, and there’s always a 50% off rack as well. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Poker league final table at the Silly Goose is tonight, for a $250 prize value. I am on the bubble for the final table, so if one of the people who qualified didn’t make it, I could still get in. If not, there will be a side game for the usual $50/$25 prizes at 8:30.

Chicken liver kabobs @ Dancin’ Jimmy’s upstairs

I’ve written before how I came to love chicken livers at an early age. I grew up about a half a mile from a Kentucky Fried Chicken (they didn’t start calling it “KFC” until years later) and we got take-out all the time. I started with the Colonel’s Original Recipe, then Extra Crispy when they added that to the menu. I noticed that instead of chicken, my grandmother often got fried chicken livers, which were sold as a dinner at KFC back then. One day I asked if I could try one, and I really liked it. I realized chicken livers were sort of old people food but I didn’t care.

Yesterday, in one of those “random stuff that happens Downtown” kind of nights, I hung out with two pilots. We met up at the Blind Bear. One of the pilots told me that we needed to go to Dancin’ Jimmy’s on Beale Street because one of her friends was managing there. So, down to Beale we went. We found seats in the elegant upstairs bar.

We were handed menus, and I noticed chicken liver kabobs atop the appetizer list. “Rumaki marinade, chestnut puree, pickled fennel,” read the description. I’m not a foodie so I had absolutely no idea what any of that meant, but I ordered the kabobs anyway.

Totally different experience from eating fried chicken livers out of a box, but if you are a chicken liver fan, you will love it. The pickled fennel ‘n stuff (pictured above, sitting next to the livers on the stick) complemented the kabobs beautifully. They really enhanced the flavor of the livers in a way I had not experienced before. I was quite pleased with my appetizer, both in terms of taste and the value I got for my money. Also, this dish was not “old people food” in any sense.

Now, having said that, I will warn you that chicken livers are an acquired taste. Not everyone grew up with a grandmother like mine. One of my pilot friends tried a bite and an “ewww” reaction immediately came across her face. If you aren’t sure if you like chicken livers, you might want to order this to share among two or three people to give it a try.

I’m titling this post “@ Dancin’ Jimmy’s upstairs” because I am not sure this is the same menu they serve in Dancin’ Jimmy’s corner bar on the first floor. The corner bar is more of a neighborhood bar, whereas upstairs is swanky. One of my friends commented that the upstairs would be a good place to bring a first date. I agree, to an extent. If I already knew my date well, I’d bring her there, definitely. If I had only just met her and talked briefly, I’d take her someplace more casual for a first date, then to the upstairs at Dancin’ Jimmy’s if the first date went well.

The upstairs had a piano player, and the manager sang classic tunes along with the piano. Probably not in the job description, but an added bonus. After dinner, we got a tour of the venue’s VIP rooms. They took us through a storage area to get there and we saw a poker table! Not a modern poker table, mind you, like the Blind Bear has, but the kind of poker table you might have seen if you’d stowed away on a pirate ship in 1676. It was beautiful! Only thing was, the glass top was broken, so they’d have to get it repaired. The manager asked if we thought if they should do a poker night, and we recommended Thursday as a good day to do it. We’ll see if it happens but I would love to play on that table.

If you don’t like chicken livers, there are plenty of other things to try on the menu. Check this place out when you’re in the mood for something classy. You will not feel like you are on Beale Street, yet you can look out the windows (or, go out on the balconies, even) and take it all in. Dancin’ Jimmy’s is in the old Pat O’Brien’s building, on Beale between Third and Fourth.

Fri update: EverywhereElse conference, New Year’s Service Industry party at Kooky Canuck 12/27, outlets on bars, Christmas with Santa @ Aldo’s Pizza Pies

(Before I start this post: Deepest condolences to those who knew MPD officer Martoiya Lang. She was killed in the line of duty this morning while serving a drug warrant. She was a mother of four and the shooter is said to be only 15 years old.)

Sometimes changed plans lead to good things. Last night I had a 6:30 meeting get canceled, which left me with not much to do until Kooky Canuck’s Christmas party at 9. After Goose and Saucer stops, I found myself at the Blind Bear, sitting a couple of seats down from Eric Mathews of LaunchMemphis. Eric gave me more details about The Startup Conference, to be held at the Peabody February 10-12. It’s being organized by Nibletz, “the voice of startups everywhere else” (than Silicon Valley), which recently relocated to Memphis. Here’s a quick overview of whom and what you will find at the Everywhere Else conference:

Steve Case, founder of AOL
Scott Case, founder of Priceline
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, co-founder of TechStars
Pitt Hyde, founder of AutoZone
MC Hammer
100 startups
400 investors
A Startup Village full of exhibits
1500-2000 tickets sold
At least one huge name I’m not allowed to blog

A 15-minute conversation with Eric convinced me that I absolutely must burn a Sunday Fun Day and two vacation days to attend this. Early bird tickets are $39 until the end of the month. I am not actively involved in any tech startups but I believe what I’ll learn and who I’ll network with offers far more value than the $39 ticket price. I’m in. If you have any interest in the future of business and technology in Memphis, you need to be there.

Eric also told me that EmergeMemphis, the tech incubator on Tennessee Street, is now completely full. When I toured the facility with Eric in November 2011, it was only a little over half full. “We now have a path in place to help a business get from nothing but an idea to over $100,000 in investor funding,” Eric said.

I’m really starting to get a feeling that Memphis could be the next San Jose or Seattle in 5-10 years time. That may sound grandiose but the pieces are falling into place. Those of you who aren’t aware of the startup community in Memphis need to pay attention. It’s an exciting time to be here.

At 9 I walked over to Kooky Canuck’s Christmas party. They did it a little differently this year; they had an invite-only VIP dinner at 7. Due to the 6:30 meeting, I had to RSVP “can’t make it” earlier in the week. I heard the dinner was delicious though, with four courses including choice of beef and chicken. Shawn and Lana really know how to take care of the people who support their restaurant. The VIP dinner replaced the Kooky buffet they’ve had at past Christmas parties. I wonder if those who show up every year to mooch a free meal were disappointed that their food find came up empty this time.

Those of you who are in the service industry: Shawn asked me to blog an upcoming event which is made just for you. Almost all servers and bartenders have to work New Year’s Eve, or as I call it, Amateur Night. As a result, they don’t get to celebrate when the clock strikes 12. Kooky Canuck will accommodate those in the service industry with a party of their own, on Thursday, December 27 from 10 PM to 2 AM. There will be $3 “you call it” until 1 AM, and there will be a ball drop and champagne toast at 1. Party favors, and special guest DJ Mark Anderson.

Tweet I saw this morning: “Thank you @localgastropub for having outlets on your bar.” I assume they’re talking about the Midtown one, but I wanted to post it as a suggestion for other bars. Before I got the external charger, the chance to charge my iPhone right there at the bar would definitely be good to keep me there for a beer or two (and maybe some food) longer. Would make me more likely to bring my laptop and make the place my “branch office” for the day too.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies will have “Pizza with Santa” on Saturday, December 22 from 11 AM to 3 PM. If you bring a toy for Toys for Tots or a $5 donation to the Mid-South Food Bank, you can get your photo taken with Santa. The photo will be immediately emailed to you so you can share with friends and family. There will also be arts & crafts, cookie decorating, goodie bags, and Christmas music.

Lots of Christmas stuff this weekend. Office Christmas party today from 4 until I sneak out, three events tomorrow (two of which have conflicting times, gotta figure that out), two events Sunday. Fun weekend ahead. No definite plans for tonight but I’ll be out.

Thur update: Big East probably dead, restaurant recognition, stupid development proposal DOA, Kooky half-off gift card sale today, South Main Precinct town hall meeting, blues nominees, busy week coming up at FedExForum

The Big East, the conference that the Memphis Tigers were set to join in all sports in mid-2013, appears to be dead. As of right now, there are 10 active members, and according to the bylaws the conference can be dissolved by a two-thirds majority. The seven non-football schools, most of whom are strong in basketball, are unhappy about their conference schedules being watered down by new additions such as Tulane. They’re ready to vote to dissolve. That would leave the Tigers without a conference home next year.

This thing could drag out in court for a while. One issue is what to do with the Big East TV contract. Another is the millions of dollars the remaining members (as of right now) are due in exit fees from members who have already left. There will be lawsuits.

The basketball-only schools are talking about forming a non-football conference with a few other schools that are strong in basketball. Butler, Xavier, and VCU have been mentioned. Memphis would be a perfect fit for that conference… except wait, no we wouldn’t, we play football. There’s absolutely no telling what is going to happen.

So, yeah, thanks for getting us into the Big East, R.C. And now, let’s get on to the news…

Congratulations to Aldo’s Pizza Pies and Double J Smokehouse and Saloon. These two restaurants made UrbanSpoon’s list of 50 best new restaurants for 2012.

A proposal to redevelop the Foote Homes area in the southeast part of Downtown appears dead on arrival to the County Commission. The proposal would provide 20 years of funding to the area by declaring all of Downtown Memphis a slum. Because, you know, when I think of Felicia Suzanne’s, the Madison Hotel, the Peabody Hotel, and 4 million dollar homes on Tennessee Street, I think “slum.” STUPID STUPID STUPID. Glad to hear this idea will die.

Don’t forget that there’s a half-off gift card sale happening today at Kooky Canuck from 11 AM to 7 PM.

There will be a South Main Precinct Town Hall Meeting tonight at the Downtown Memphis Commission office, corner of Main at Adams. You may have heard that the Memphis Police Department is restructuring its nine precincts. South Main precinct commander Col. Knight will discuss the new boundaries of the precinct and what this will mean for Downtown. Meeting is at 6 PM.

The nominees for the 34th annual Blues Music Awards have been posted. The awards ceremony will happen at the Cook Convention Center on May 9. Awards are presented by the Blues Foundation, headquartered Downtown.

Busy week at the FedExForum next week! Grizzlies games Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tigers on Thursday. Carrie Underwood concert on Tuesday. I’ll probably move my happy hour headquarters to the Silly Goose for a week since my normal spot the Saucer gets packed with pre-Forum event crowds. The Grizzlies play at 8:30 Wednesday, which likely indicates a nationally televised game.

Something I’ve discovered, for those of you who care about points on Foursquare. I’m currently at a 168-day streak at the Flying Saucer. If I make someplace else my first stop of the evening, I get bonus points for 168 days at Bars, then more bonus points for 168 days at the same venue when I check in at the Saucer. If the Saucer is my first stop I miss out on the Bars points. Thanks to the holidays the streak will regrettably come to an end soon.

It’s too bad points aren’t redeemable for anything. I’d have a damn 72″ LCD TV by now, given all the times I check in.

Plan for tonight: Quick beer at the Saucer to extend the streak to 169, then over to the Main Street Branch Office AKA the Blind Bear where I have some work to get done.

Wed update 2: A hidden benefit of being on a BBQ team, more Reindeer Games info, this week’s Sunday Supper and a Movie @ Majestic

Last night while hanging out at the Flying Saucer after work, I got to enjoy one of the unheralded benefits of being on a Memphis in May BBQ Fest team: Discussing BBQ Fest with a member of one of the other local teams. We talked about how our teams operate, how we handle things like booth construction, sponsorship, the bar, the front gate, membership, all that good stuff. As he was telling me how his team operates, I started to have ideas that broke down into three categories:

1) “Wow, this is something we do much better than other teams, and I took it for granted until I thought about how other teams do it.”

2) “This is something I thought we were doing wrong, but other teams are doing it the same way successfully, so maybe it isn’t the problem I thought it was.”

3) “This is something other teams do much better than mine.”

If you’re on a BBQ team, it’s really helpful to have these conversations with members of other teams, especially if both you and they have been through several BBQ Fests. Great opportunity to listen and learn.

Back with yet another update about the post-Reindeer Games pub crawl Saturday night. Someone asked what the drink specials would be. If you’re wearing a wristband ($5, which goes toward a 5th grade class trip to DC) you get $2 domestics, $3 Fireball shots, and $5 specialty drinks at participating bars Local, Blind Bear, Green Beetle, and Double J. It’s being rumored that Double J wants to finish with a bang and their specialty drink may or not be a Jager Bomb. :)

Holiday Inn is the movie that will be shown on the big screen at the Majestic Grille’s Sunday Supper and a Movie. Special menu will be available for $26.95 and will be served starting at 6:30. Special menu this week will be warm greens with benton bacon, barbequed walnuts, Gorgonzola, and a balsamic reduction; braised heritage pork leg with roasted apples and onions; roasted carrots, parsnips, and potatoes; and warm apple cake with vanilla whipped cream. They’ll have their regular menu too. Movie starts at 7. Reservations are recommended. Call 901-522-8555 to make them.

Good day at work and now it’s time to hit the bars.