On my way to Apple Pay, plus Thursday news including DNA, ICB, jobs and a lot more

I learned something this week that I thought I’d share: If you’re a First Tennessee customer and you need a new debit card, if you go to the main branch at Madison and Third they can print you one there on the spot. No more waiting 10 business days for the card to show up in the mail, and then calling a hotline to activate it. All they did was ask for my Social Security number and to see my ID, and three minutes later I had my new card.

I hadn’t carried a bank debit card since my old one expired in mid-2012. Around that time, many of my friends who hung out in the same places I did became victims of credit card skimming. To protect my identity, I never activated the replacement card the bank sent me, instead using a reloadable card linked to my PayPal account so I could control how much money could be accessed by the card. It worked too – in December 2013 I got hit by the Target identity theft scam, and the thieves didn’t get a card number tied to my bank account. However, recently, I haven’t heard about any Downtowners being victims of skimming, and there were two new reasons I wanted to have a bank debit card again:

Apple Pay – More and more retailers are accepting this method of payment, and now that I have an iPhone 6 I want to start using it. First Tennessee is on the list of banks who have partnered with Apple, and I can connect my iPhone to my First Tennessee debit card.

Lyft – I have shared Lyft rides with people who use this service. Lyfts are less expensive than taxi cabs, more reliable, and more convenient. However, they require a bank debit card to use. Three business days from now (the card doesn’t function as a credit card until then, only debit) I will register it with Lyft. After that, field trips to South Main, The Edge, The Pinch, and Midtown will become more common.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s monthly happy hour is tonight at Double J on G.E. Patterson. This is a causal event in which no association business will be discussed – just a way to get to know your neighbors – and you don’t need to be a DNA member to attend. Specials for the event include $2 PBR, $2.50 domestic bottles, and $3 well drinks, Fireball shots, and drafts. For $10 you can get a dozen wings any way you like them.

This is the second day of the International Blues Challenge, and once again there is a $10 wristband that will get you in all the participating spots on Beale and nearby this evening. I didn’t get by the Flying Saucer last night but a friend of mine did. They were hosting bands for the quarterfinals and he posted that there was a great vibe in the Saucer, great music and fascinating people. Check it out if you want to get away from Beale but still hear the blues. Second and Peabody, 75 beers on tap, 125 more in bottles.

Bass Pro’s job fair will happen Monday-Wednesday, February 2-4. 600 people will be hired, not only to work in the store itself, but to work in the two restaurants and the hotel that will be opening in the Pyramid. “Excellent wage potential,” benefits, and store discounts for employees.

If you’re into re-thinking the future of cities and urban areas, here’s a free e-book on the future of transportation that may be of interest to you.

This is very cool: electronic glasses that allow the legally blind to see

If you’re looking for a place to order chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day, I saw a sign outside Maggie Moo’s last night that says they are accepting orders.

MemphisWeather.net has an update on snow chances for tomorrow. It’s not looking promising if you want snow. The post is worth reading if for no other reason than the animated Florida Evans GIF.

I’ll be at the Silly Goose 6th anniversary party for a couple of hours tonight. Possibly stops at the Saucer (to check out IBC) and the Blind Bear (to see my favorite pair of librarian glasses) too. It looks to be an unusually fun January evening in Downtown Memphis tonight.