Wed update: Best of Memphis issue, pigeon news, Tennessee Brew Works beer, stupid storm names, Groupon has been sucking, and more

The annual Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis issue hits the stands today. This is Memphis’ most credible “best of” poll and the issue is eagerly anticipated. Be sure to grab one. If you can’t get to one, the first-place winners are being tweeted by @MemphisFlyer and the issue will be available on the Flyer’s website tomorrow.

The Flyer sent me tickets to their annual Best of Memphis winners’ party which is tonight. I assume that means I made the top three in Best Blog voting. Flyers are hard to come by down in Horn Lake where I work, so I won’t know for sure until I get back Downtown around 5:00.

Whether I made the winners’ list or not, THANK YOU to all who voted for my blog. I’m glad you enjoy it and find it useful. It’s nice to win an award and get invited to a very cool party, but for me, the real reward comes when people tell me “I moved Downtown because of your blog.” Or, “thanks for writing about _______, I never would have known about that place otherwise.”

The awesome thing about the winners’ party is that a lot of the bars and restaurants that won are owned by friends of mine, so I won’t be going to a party with a bunch of strangers I don’t know. I’ll get to hang out with my friends. I’ll probably see Daniel from the Silly Goose. And Jamie, Jeannette and Colin from the Blind Bear. And Patrick and Deni from the Majestic. And Paula Raiford. When I went to Bloom’s bar at Bardog on Sunday, she showed me her Best of Memphis party tickets, so I guess she made top three in Best Bartender.

We’ll start off today’s news with some pigeon news: China thoroughly inspected 10,000 pigeons participating in its National Day. By “thoroughly” I mean they were given anal exams, to make sure the pigeons weren’t concealing explosives that might bring down the Communist Party. Thank goodness we live in a free country where our pigeons are not violated.

Tennessee Brew Works beers arrive in Memphis this week.

The Weather Channel has released its list of 2014 winter storm names and believe it or not, they’re even stupider than last year’s. There’s a storm named after Linus, the kid on Peanuts who carries a blanket and sucks his thumb. I guess Snoopy will have to wait for the 2015-16 season for his storm.

Anyone else notice that Groupon has been sucking lately? I follow Groupon’s Memphis RSS feed to try and keep you informed of any Downtown Groupon deals. Lately, though, there haven’t been any, and hardly any for the city of Memphis as a whole. It’s been junk like IT certifications and real estate certifications. Have Memphis businesses given up on Groupon?

Weird night at Blind Bear poker last night. Usually between 30 and 40 people show up on Tuesday. Last night only about 13 did, and we had two short-handed tables in play. People at my table were going all-in early on when people still had 50-100 big blinds left. I hate that because it takes all the skill out of the game. I played for an hour and 15 minutes, so I probably saw about 35 hands. During that time I got Ace-Jack six times! Ace-Jack is tough to play because if Ace-King or Ace-Queen are out, you’re in a world of pain. However, against loose players who are pushing all their chips in with all kinds of hot garbage, it’s a hand that’s way too strong to fold. You just have to call and hope for the best. The best didn’t happen and I didn’t make the final table. I’ll try my hand at poker again when I play Winn’s new Texas hold’em game Thursday night at Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe at 8:30. It’s free to play and the deals for poker players on food & drink are among the best you’ll find, so come give it a whirl.

Congratulations to all the Best of Memphis winners. I’ll see you at the party tonight.