Women on 20s and more Saturday news

One of my Facebook friends (who I only knew for a few brief weeks in real life) posted a rather interesting link yesterday: Women on 20s. The idea is that it’s time to put a woman on the 20 dollar bill. Nothing against Andrew Jackson, the current face on the 20. It’s just that it’s somewhat ironic that he is on money at all – he was against creation of a national bank. The site is petitioning President Obama to put a woman on the 20, and asks visitors to vote for one of 15 women. Personally, I’d like to see Harriet Tubman on the 20, but there are a lot of good choices.

I discovered something I did not know yesterday: Arkansas star forward Bobby Portis went to the same high school I did. He won championships for Little Rock Hall High earlier in the decade. We had a pretty strong team when I went there too, but our two star players were 5’7″ and 5’9″ and therefore had limited opportunities to play college ball.

Random fact I learned this week: Cincinnati was known as Porkopolis in the 19th century. It was the country’s chief hog-packing center at the time, and pigs wandered the streets.  If BBQ Fest had existed back then, it might have been in Cincinnati rather than Memphis.

Interesting MakeUseOf article: Introverts love Facebook more than extroverts. Yeah I can see that being the case.

Happy birthday to one of the sexiest women in Memphis, the fabulous Paula Raiford.

The Grizzlies host Portland tonight at FedExForum at 7.

The Center for Southern Folklore is holding a Blues Legends Birthday Bash tonight. Details here.

Panda’s bar at 11, librarian glasses later in the day, BBQ meeting at 6, Hogs at 7:40. Should be a good day.

Seeing the Potential in the Pig: An inspirational message to my BBQ teammates from “Mr. Load-in”

"Mr. Load-in" at BBQ Fest 2014
“Mr. Load-in” at BBQ Fest 2014

My BBQ team the Moody Ques has a meeting tomorrow evening at 6. Part of my job as “Mr. Load-in,” the Moody Ques workhorse, is to inspire the team. Therefore, I would like to offer the following message.

Every year I post photos of the food that my BBQ team puts out. One of the side effects of posting those pics on a well-known blog is that occasionally I get feedback from animal-rights activists. “Pigs are highly intelligent animals with unique personalities,” they tell me. “You need to appreciate the pig. Each pig is an individual.”

That is 100% correct. Each pig IS an individual, with individual dreams and aspirations.

Some pigs dream of lying comfortably on a bed of nacho chips, covered in cheese sauce, dry rub, and jalapenos.

Some pigs dream of having an apple in their mouth as they are lowered into an underground pit by men wearing Hawaiian shirts and leis.

Some pigs dream of sitting on a plate next to baked beans and coleslaw, covered in a tangy sauce.

Some pigs dream of vacationing in a place that is nice and warm, like a smoker, in temperatures between 225 and 250 degrees.

Yes, every pig is an intelligent individual with its own unique dreams and aspirations. And as the most intelligent species on Earth, it is the job of the human race to help every pig realize its potential. In fact, it is more than that: It is our job to see the potential in the pig that perhaps the pig does not even see in itself.

For those of you who follow the Christian religion: Is that not what Jesus was said to have done? To see potential in others that they did not see in themselves? When we see the potential in the pig, we are truly walking a mile with Jesus.

Or, for those of you who follow Eastern schools of thought: Is “I see the divine in you” not a commonly used greeting? Let us look at the pig, and imagine how divine it will taste after it comes off the Moody Ques smoker and is pulled apart and topped with Moody Ques sauce.

Or, for those of you who are atheists: It’s a dead pig on a plate and it tastes good.

You see, BBQ Fest is more than a Memphis in May event. It is a religious feast, no matter which religion you follow, as I have proved above. You shouldn’t really even have to use vacation to take off work for BBQ Fest. You’re just observing your religious practices. Feel free to print this out and show it to your company’s HR department if you think it will help.

Let us come together for an evening of prayer and meditation and gluttony and beer tomorrow night at the team meeting. May this message remain in your heart and inspire you all the way to BBQ Fest. Amen.

Let’s Stay Together, Memphis and a ton of Friday news, plus a BBQ post to come next

I made an excellent decision last night to wander down to Max’s Sports Bar to watch the Arkansas-Wofford game. The place was full but not too full, and they had the sound on for the Hogs. Sitting at the table next to me was famous Twitter cat lady @StephMEM, and our friend Otto commented that it was something like a 1 in 200,000 chance of us both being in Max’s at the same time. Arkansas survived the curse of the 5 seed, holding Wofford off 56-53. Michael Qualls led the scoring with 20. I have a prediction: Bobby Portis is the bigger college star, but I think Qualls will have the longer, more accomplished NBA career, although it will take him a year longer to get there and it will be the 2020s before he out-earns Portis.

Next up: #5 Arkansas vs. #4 North Carolina at 7:40 Saturday, once again on TNT. CRAP! I have a BBQ team meeting at 6. I’m going to have to figure that one out. I hope Brent has cable.

Suggestion for bar owners/managers: Have a list of the channel numbers for TV stations that carry sports by the cash register as a handy reference for bartenders. That way they won’t have to spend minutes surfing the directory to find the channel. TNT HD is 826 on Comcast, by the way.

So, all five schools from Texas were eliminated, and Arkansas advanced. I guess that settles who was the class act of the old Southwest Conference.

Right as the game ended, my Facebook Messenger app went “ding.” It was my neighbor Phil, just getting off his job as an Amtrak engineer at Central Station. “Do you want a ride home?” he asked. I sure did! Thanks Phil.

Speaking of Central Station, “Let’s Stay Together, Memphis,” a community-wide visioning session, will take place there tomorrow from 11 to 4. From 11 to 1 there will be an open house/meet and greet type of session, and you can write “tough love” letters to your city, explaining why you love it and what needs to change. From 2 to 4 there will be “sticky issues” conversations about getting around, public investment, the relationship between public surroundings and quality of life, and what makes a place special. Come to one session or both, lunch provided between sessions, free parking. The event is hosted by the University of Memphis Design Collaborative. If the Nuh-Uh Girl were still in town, she’d show up for this at 12:59 and leave at 1:59.

The Commercial Appeal has named the spaghetti at the Calvary Lenten Waffle Shop a dining best bet.

Rumors are floating around on Twitter that a popular Memphis restaurant will announce a new location inside the Hotel Chisca in the coming weeks.

Do these women look familiar? A tourist wanted to have some fun in Memphis, and he met two women on Beale Street and took them back to his room at the Residence Inn. They stole his cash, credit cards and phone. They introduced themselves as Stacy and Morgan and have been going on a shopping spree in the greater Memphis area.

From the NY Post: Root for Kentucky, where they don’t pretend school matters

This brings back memories: the 1982 JCPenney Christmas catalog

Interesting article: The makers of WordPress learned years ago that the ultimate office perk is not having an office.

I have inspirational words for my BBQ teammates, so a second post will be up shortly.

14 is the new 12: Second Thursday update

That is what one of my Facebook friends posted after two 3 seeds, Iowa State and Baylor, exited the NCAA tournament at the hands of 14 seeds this afternoon. Considering Arkansas is a 5 seed, I hope the old 12 is not the new 12 tonight.

From the @FantasyShirley (Raines) Twitter account: “It is clear that the @Big12Conference doesn’t need us to make it a disappointment.” Ha.

A Facebook event has been created for April 11’s MEMfix event in the Pinch. Sounds like fun. Food trucks, new retail pop-up shops in vacant storefronts, art, live music, kids’ activities, community resource stations.

Dogs missing just south of Downtown, stolen from a yard near the Metal Museum:

This does not surprise me. From the MBJ: Want to hire better employees? See which browser they use to surf the web. Those who use Chrome and Firefox have been found to stay at their jobs longer and perform better than those who use the system defaults, IE on Windows and Safari on Mac. I would have to agree with this. Great people use Chrome and Firefox. Average people use IE and Safari. Clueless people use the default browser that comes with an AOL subscription.

College juniors/seniors: The Redbirds have a marketing internship available.

Barack Obama would like to see changes to college basketball, including a 30-second shot clock (down from 35 today), a 3-point line closer to the NBA’s, and a wider lane like the NBA has. Republicans did not previously have a position on the shot clock but I’m sure they’ll issue a statement soon lobbying for the restoration of the old 45-second shot clock, pointing out that the 30-second clock is one more step in Obama’s plan to bring communism to the United States.

Cool news for Downtown Memphis: The Cook Convention Center will host the U.S. Women’s boxing team trials October 25-31. Those selected will go on to represent the U.S. in Rio in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

If Romania is looking for a venue to host its women’s gymnastics team trials, I would like to offer my bedroom free of charge.

Outta here for happy hour drinks. Silly Goose for a bit then south to Max’s to watch the Hogs.

Thursday update

Last night Jamie from the Blind Bear posted on Facebook that they had $1 green PBR on sale. To me, that’s as good as a hand-engraved invitation, so I went over there. Charles was short on trivia teams to play, and given my past history as a trivia player, he drafted me to be a team of one. Each round’s bonus question is a Family Feud style question: 100 people surveyed, write down the top 5 answers. Being a guy who basically has girl hair was an advantage for the first bonus question: Name five things women put in their hair.

Charles told me I got four of the five right: Shampoo, bows, hairspray, and color/dye. The fifth one that I missed was hair clips/ponytail holders. I showed Charles an answer I had put down and then crossed out. “That’s not really something women put in their hair,” I said with a smile. “But sometimes it gets in their hair if things get kinky.”

That’s what I love about being an independent blogger. I can be as inappropriate as I want.

The NCAA Tournament (the real tournament, not that stupid “First Four” crap) is underway. My team, #5 Arkansas, plays #12 Wofford tonight at 8:50 on TNT. I’m also interested in the game that comes on TNT right before, #4 North Carolina vs. #13 Harvard. The winner of that game will be the Hogs’ opponent on Saturday, assuming they take care of Wofford. I hope Bobby Portis is in beast mode tonight and Michael Qualls gets some of those highlight-reel putback dunks. It’s time to CALL THOSE HOGS!!!

There will be a “Live Happy” Happiness Wall tomorrow at Court Square beginning at 8 AM. Fill out a happiness card and get a free happiness bracelet. It’s brought to you by the #HappyActs Challenge. Tomorrow is International Happiness Day and the challenge is to do as many little things as possible to make other people’s day brighter.

Grawemeyer’s is hosting a benefit for the Mid-South Food Bank tonight with the music of Tori Tollison. Bring non-perishable items for the food bank and you get $3 off your entree and half off wine.

The Alcoholic Beverage Commission and cops have really been cracking down on Memphis bartenders and servers about IDs lately. First they sent minors in with fake IDs. Then they sent people in with expired IDs (you aren’t supposed to be allowed to drink in Tennessee without a valid ID on you, regardless of age). Their latest trick is to send someone in who is over 21 and has a real ID, but the birthdays don’t match on the two dates in red, the DOB: and EXP: fields on the ID. I understand the need to keep minors from drinking but what they are doing to bartenders is reaching the point of harassment. Does anyone know why there has been such a severe crackdown the past 6-8 months or so and particularly the last 1 month?

Single-day BBQ Fest tickets are now on sale. New Moody Ques members: You will not need to buy tickets, because your team wristband gets you in. Guests you invite will need to buy a ticket to get in the park.

Cheesecake Factory is coming to Memphis. Well, suburban Memphis. 2760 N. Germantown Parkway to be exact. I haven’t been to a Cheesecake Factory since 1999, when I was in Cambridge, MA training on Lotus Notes. Man I miss my traveling corporate training job. Well, I miss the part of the job where I would visit new places and eat and drink on the company expense account. There are some things I don’t miss, like pretending Lotus Notes was anything other than a hulking piece of shit, and Atlanta Hartsfield airport.

Max’s Sports Bar opened at 11 today and will be open at 11 all weekend for NCAA tournament watching.

WordPress just told me that “people eating seafood” is one of the top search terms sending traffic to my blog. WTF?

Time to eat and run errands. Out at the usual places after work.

Second Wednesday update

Before I get to the local news in this post, I have to file this one under the “people never cease to amaze me” department: Man creates GoFundMe account to pay to travel go on spring break with his girlfriend, to make sure that she doesn’t cheat on him while she is away. Why would he even bother being with someone who he is so sure would cheat? And why would the girl stay with a man who thinks so little of her that he assumes she cheats? I don’t get people. If I didn’t trust someone, I wouldn’t be in a relationship with her, no matter how hot she is.

This Saturday, the Metal Museum will have a Cosmic Trunk show from 10 to 5. The artisan market will feature an array of jewelry, housewares and sculpture by artists affiliated with Tennessee Craft-Southwest. The Stick’em food truck will be on hand, and there will be a cash bar. Free to attend.

Bikes and Beers, a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis, will depart from the Flying Saucer Sunday, April 12. For $10 you can join a bicycle ride along the Mississippi River and Main Street. There will be a poker run with great prizes, and afterward you can have a pint at the Saucer. Registration at 11, departure at 12. The event is sponsored by Yazoo Brewery.

Another meeting has been set to discuss the future of Riverside Drive. None of the options to be discussed include a return to four lanes.

There’s a job opportunity at Youth Villages for a Family Intervention Specialist.

High Ground News reports that four of the University of Memphis’ graduate programs rank among the best in the nation.

I found an article about the tech support scam I told you to warn elderly relatives about. Someone from India calls, claiming to be a Microsoft employee. They say they will “fix” (actually, install malware) on your computer if you will Western Union them $99 (actually rings up as $207). Don’t fall for this.

Related, here’s another good anti-scam article: Five things banks will never ask online

Home after work. Just ran into my former leasing manager on the elevator, and she told me I haven’t been very active on Facebook lately. I haven’t???? I’ll try to do better. Maybe I’m more active in the summer months, when it’s tube top weather. Anyway, I’m out, heading to the Goose for some happy hour PBR.

Wednesday update

I came home to a nice surprise yesterday. Someone had left a green shamrock PBR headband and wristband on my front door. THANK YOU! I wore them last night.

I was quickly reminded why St. Pat’s is not exactly my favorite holiday: The bars get way too crowded. I led off at Bardog, where Panda had apparently taken an old Flying Saucer schoolgirl skirt and washed it in scalding hot water to shrink it. I had a couple of green PBRs.

From there I walked over to the Silly Goose. It was almost 7 by this point and the bar, while I would not yet call it packed, was too busy for one bartender. They probably should have had their 7:30 person come in at 6. Besides, all the seats at the bar were taken. Never knew Bob had a human bobblehead for a twin. I moved on to Blind Bear, where Hanin and my favorite pair of librarian glasses were dressed up in green outfits. The librarian glasses put a Jameson necklace on me, but I felt it diluted my PBR brand so I took it off after a while. They moved poker back to 6:30 so it could get done before the live music started. It was hard for the poker players to get to the restroom quickly after folding an unwanted hand because Bob’s twin kept getting in the way in the aisle. I left before the live music started because it got too crowded. Early night and I’m fine with that.

On to the news. The Rolling Stones are said to be coming to Tennessee this year, although not Memphis. They will play LP Field in Nashville.

Redbirds single-game tickets for 2015 will go on sale beginning this Saturday. Box office hours are 10-6 weekdays, 10-3 Saturday, closed Sunday. Tickets for all regular-season games will be on sale, as well as for the April 3 exhibition against the St. Louis Cardinals. Tickets for that game are $40 for Club Level seats, $35 for Dugout, $25 for Field Box, and $15 for Bluff seating. First pitch at 6:05.

The Weather Channel published a list of cities to avoid if you have bad allergies. Memphis is number 2. Number 1 was Louisville. I have never been to Louisville, but I went to Lexington frequently when I had my traveling corporate trainer job, and let me tell you, my allergies have never been worse than when I was there.

Spot, the most famous and adored dog in kids’ literature, is coming to the Orpheum Friday, April 10 at 6:30. Come early for Spot-inspired pre-show activities. Recommended for kids 3 and up.

Usual spots after work. Undecided whether I will play Bardog poker this evening.

From FiveThirtyEight: Why 5 seeds are jinxed. Not good news for my Razorbacks. I have seen a lot of brackets that have Wofford picked to upset the Hogs tomorrow night. I really hope there is no upset, because I really feel like Arkansas can beat the winner of North Carolina/Harvard.

St. Pat’s Day update

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and the weather should be beautiful for celebrating this evening. The biggest celebration Downtown happens on Beale outside of Silky’s, with The Raising of the Goat at 5, the Blessing of the Kegs at 5:30, and the Beale Street Pub Crawl at 6. Not sure if they are still operating on “Silky time” now that Silky is no longer with us; if they are, expect these events to actually begin 40-50 minutes after the posted start time.

If you’re looking for other events going on, here are a few. Bardog will have its annual Erin Go Braghless celebration with drink specials and giveaways. Last Saturday Panda described the outfits she and Maddison will have on for happy hour, and it doesn’t sound like there’s much to them.

Kooky Canuck will have $3 34 oz. green beer all day.

Local will have Jameson drink specials.

Flying Saucer will have an Irish menu and drink specials. The Real McCoys and the Memphis Bagpipers will perform.

I don’t have a list of specials, but Irish pub The Brass Door on Madison would be a good place to celebrate St. Pat’s.

Blind Bear is in day 3 of its St. Pat’s Speakeasy Style celebration, with specials on green beer (actually regular beer in a green bottle) and Jameson specials. One of the servers just messaged me that they will be dressed up.

Pam & Terry play Double J tonight from 5 to 7:45.

Out in the Edge, Kuzdu’s will have an Irish sing-a-long starting at 9 PM.

On to the other news. If you like documentaries, you can watch thousands of them for free.

Meet the Internet’s hottest new domain: .sucks.

Behind the Headlines: Paul Morris who runs DMC on the state of Downtown Memphis.

Have you seen this man? He has been caught on camera burglarizing cars in Downtown Memphis.

I’ll be out for St. Pat’s after work. No planned schedule tonight, just going to go with the flow.

Monday update

The last words of my post yesterday were “No Fireball today.”

Famous last words.

I got to the Blind Bear a few minutes after 11, and B-RAD and Jamie were there. Before 11:20 I found myself doing a shot of Grand Marnier. Then Jason and Joeybagadonuts showed up and ordered breakfast shots. “And get Paul a shot of Fireball.” Geez. Then Rahul and Tony showed up. Rahul asked me to rub his shoulders. I said no. Then he asked me to dance and asked if I wanted to make out. I needed another shot of Fireball to put that conversation out of my mind. Rahul, I’m not easy. You have to at least take me out to dinner first. And if you take me to someplace like Chili’s, forget about it. Put some thought into it.

Selection Sunday came on at 5, and my Hogs were rewarded with a 5 seed in the NCAA tournament in what looks like a rather soft region. Overrated North Carolina is the 4 seed the Razorbacks could potentially play on Saturday. The Hogs are having their best season since the Nolan Richardson/Corliss Williamson/Scotty Thurman years, and I think they could take down the Tar Heels. Then again, North Carolina may not even make it to Saturday: They have to play Harvard in a game many are seeing as a potential upset.

The only school in the West bracket with Arkansas that truly scares me is ‘Zona, although I have to admit I am not much familiar with Wisconsin.

Heh. Ole Miss has to play in the “First Four” play-in game. They play BYU tomorrow at 8:10. I will be rooting for the Cougars in this one.

For those schools in the same bracket as Kentucky: I truly feel sorry for you. Kentucky manhandled the Razorbacks in the SEC tournament finals yesterday.The NCAA tournament is really about seeing who the second-best team in the country is, because it looks like a foregone conclusion that Kentucky will win. In that region, Valpo over Maryland is an upset I expect to happen.

As for the Memphis Tigers, they didn’t even make the NIT.

FiveThirtyEight has posted their statistical predictions for the NCAA tournament bracket, giving Kentucky a 41% chance to win it all.

Here’s a US map of where you can legally drink alcohol on the streets. I will file this map under “Places I want to visit one day.”

After saying the trolleys wouldn’t be back anytime soon, MATA is once again shooting for a May deadline to have some kind of trolley service up and running.

Memphis was named as one of tour cities offering one of four cities offering the best work/live/play environment for millenials by the Wall Street Journal. The others were Nashville, Brooklyn, and Portland.

If you missed the Beale Street St. Pat’s parade, the Memphis Flyer has pictures.

Sometimes you have to listen to what’s not being said. That’s the lesson I learned this weekend. I just wished I’d learned it Saturday afternoon rather than Monday morning. I have a feeling that although I meant well, I made life more difficult for a friend than I meant to. Friend, if you’re reading this check your Facebook messages. The last one I sent (meaning, the one where I wasn’t drunk or hung over) is radically different from the others.

I’ll be out after work. Not sure if I will do Melissa Monday at Bardog or shake up the schedule a bit.

So yeah, you remember how I said I was going to the parade for sure? Yeah guess what.

How many times in this blog have I said I am definitely, positively going to go to an event and then not gone? Quite a few, I think. Add one to the list as of yesterday.

I said I was going to go to the Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day parade. However, the Arkansas-Georgia game started at 2:25, 35 minutes before the parade. I was at the Blind Bear and dammit, Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls are just so much fun to watch. I decided I would watch until halftime, then walk down to the parade. So I ordered another PBR from my favorite pair of librarian glasses, who talked me into a couple of Fireball shots as well. And then my fangirl showed up. I haven’t seen my fangirl since January 3, but we’re Facebook friends and she is one of the coolest, most interesting people I know. And she’s beautiful. And single, although she wouldn’t be if I had anything to say about it. ;-) Once my fangirl showed up, I had little interest in the parade. I hope it went well and I hope Bones didn’t get hit in the head with a cabbage this year.

Arkansas beat Georgia to advance to the SEC tournament finals. The Hogs play Kentucky at noon today, and that is going to force a change in my schedule. Blind Bear is my preferred place to watch sports in the Downtown core, so I am going to lead off with D-RANKS with B-RAD at 11. I don’t think Colin, Jeannette, and Jamie intended to own one of the best sports bars in the city when they opened their speakeasy, but that’s what happened. By the way, 3 days of St. Pat’s drink specials begin today at the Bear at 11.

There’s a restaurant called Twisted RAnCh opening in St. Louis in which every menu item is either served with ranch dressing on the side, tossed in ranch dressing, or spread with ranch. Menu items are as diverse as lasagna, mac & cheese, and flatbread. Also, the restaurant has 18 different varieties of homemade ranch.

There’s a Groupon for custom bobbleheads going on right now. If you are a Silly Goose regular, go up there and ask to see the bobbleheads made of Daniel, Backey, and Jeff. The Backey one is particularly on point, even the hat.

Last night I had a BBQ teammate hand me dues for the team, and I didn’t want to be carrying it around all night so I walked home. I had the pleasure of riding up the elevator with two awesome Downtowners who got engaged minutes before I ran into them. He showed me her left hand. “I like it, so I put a ring on it,” he said. Good job, and congratulations to both of you.

Reading a bio of Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and am so incredibly embarrassed for my home state. When I was growing up, we elected statesmen like Dale Bumpers and David Pryor, and of course a guy who went on to spend 8 years in the White House. Now Arkansas his this fool representing them. What the hell happened?

Time to get started on those D-RANKS. No Fireball today.