Happy “damn near everyone on Facebook is posting ‘Happy Pi Day'” day

Because, you see, it’s 3/14 and the mathematical constant pi is 3.14 when rounded to two digits. People on Facebook are clever.

Prepare yourself for 5/4 and “May the Fourth Be with You”… it’s coming…

Yesterday I went to the Blind Bear to watch Arkansas put a well-deserved beating on the Tennessee Vols, getting off to a 13-0 run. The Vols attempted a comeback near the end of the game, but the Hogs held on to get the win and eliminate the Vols from the SEC tournament. Smell ya later Vols! Have fun watching the NIT on television and wishing you were there!

I went to the Bear because I didn’t think the bar where I led off, Silly Goose, had the SEC Network. Later I learned from Jeff that I was wrong. They do have it, and I will keep that in mind for future SEC games.

Arkansas advances to play Georgia, and damn it I hate the start time… 2:25 PM. The Beale Street parade is at 3. I was really hoping the game would start around 6, so I could walk down to Max’s Sports Bar after the parade. Now I have a decision to make. The parade will probably win out, but I hate missing the Hogs. If Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls play the way they did yesterday, I can see Arkansas making the finals, taking Kentucky to overtime, and moving up to a projected 4 seed.

I was texting a friend of mine who is a fellow Razorback fan during the game, and he gave me a tip. If you visit New York City, there’s an Arkansas bar called Hurley’s Saloon on 48th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue. He texted me a bunch of photos and it looks like a pretty cool place. Nice to see the Razorback logo on the bar’s home page.

Moody Ques: Team meeting at 6 PM next Saturday at Brent’s house in Midtown. We’ll be cooking more shoulders and working on our BBQ sauce. There will be a keg. Those who attend are asked to RSVP to moodyques@gmail.com and bring $10 to help cover the cost of the shoulders. A team email went out yesterday. If you are on the team and didn’t get it, let me know and I will take care of it. Needless to say, your faithful Moody Ques workhorse “Mr. Load-in” will be there to handle the heavy lifting. And by “heavy lifting” I mean I will be lifting a 16 ounce cup of beer.

The Memphis Chamber blog has a very nice article about the birth of the Madison Growler shop inside Cash Saver.

First 5000 people in the FedExForum for the Grizzlies-Bucks game tonight get a free Marc Gasol growth chart.

Well damn. That’s all the news I can find to post. Try not to get hit in the head by a cabbage if you go to the St. Pat’s parade on Beale Street today. It’s Saturday and my first two stops are as usual, Panda time at Bardog at 11, then over to the Blind Bear by 1. I’ll walk down to the parade a little before 3. Not sure what I will do after that. Max’s still sounds like a possible plan, although I have a Flying Saucer certificate that expires today. All right, outta here for now, back tomorrow unless I’m too hung over to post.

Friday the 13th update

I’ve had a few people ask if I am going to the St. Pat’s parade on Beale tomorrow at 3. Yes. I will be there. I’ve missed some years previously but this year I plan on going. I will pre-game at Blind Bear a couple of hours before if anyone wants to meet up. (Also, I’ve fine-tuned my tourist radar so there will be no more false positives, which was a problem when I pre-gamed for a previous parade)

It’s the third crappy Friday the 13th I have had in 16 months. Folks, if you have an elderly parent or grandparent who uses an Internet-connected computer, please make them aware of this scam. If someone calls and tells you your computer has viruses, even if they say they are from a reputable company like Microsoft, do not grant them access to your computer and especially do not give them a credit card number or bank account information. I had this happen to a parent this morning.

Like wine? Want to support an awesome nonprofit? Then put That’s the Spirit, a wine tasting at Jack Robinson Gallery 5:30-7:30 Thursday, April 16, on your calendar. Hospitality HUB is a wonderful organization that helps the homeless get back on their feet. It helps them get legal documents they need in order to obtain employment. It also provides bus passes, shelter vouchers, and counseling finding housing,

Want Amazon pricing without shopping on Amazon? Here’s a list of stores that will price match.

The Grizzlies are the last bastion of bully ball, according to Sports Illustrated.

Authentic Chinese dance show Shen Yun is tonight at the Cannon Center.

Historian Jimmy Ogle is hosting one of his historical tours/bridge walks Sunday at 2. It will cover the Memphis-Arkansas bridge. Meet at Crump Park. Free to participate.

That’ll wrap it up. I’m working from home today so I will be out about 45 minutes earlier than usual this evening.

Second Monday++, er, Thursday update

Today has functioned more like Monday++ than it has Thursday for me. Here’s a post before I go out for a badly-needed PBR.

Former Sleep Out Louie’s regulars, mark your calendars. On Thursday, March 26, Pam & Terry will perform at the Blind Bear Speakeasy from 8 to 11 PM. The duo entertained Sleep Out’s patrons many a weekend night. The 8 PM start time is two hours earlier than usual for the Bear on a Thursday.

The Commercial Appeal reviewed Cafe Pontotoc and described the restaurant as “adorable.”

Cozy Corner will start serving BBQ out of Encore Cafe across the street starting Tuesday. The Cozy Corner location is being rebuilt after a fire. Much of the menu, including ribs and Cornish hens, will be available.

The next in a series of special beer tasting nights happens Saturday at the FedExForum when the Grizzlies play Milwaukee. It will feature the beers of local brewery Wiseacre. You must buy a special ticket for this in advance, which includes the beer tasting and commemorative Grizzlies glass in addition to your seat. Deadline to order the special ticket is tomorrow. You can choose from $85 Club or $40 Terrace IV.

There’s a Change.org petition asking Memphis in May to continue Sunset Symphony. The event is scheduled to end this year and be replaced by a different event in 2016. Let me be clear that I am merely putting the petition out there as news; I myself have not signed it. Several of us had drinks on a patio with a Memphis in May board member last year and the board has some good, outside-the-box ideas to rejuvenate Memphis in May.

That’ll wrap up an unusually frustrating day for me in what has been a frustrating 2015 so far. Now for that PBR…

The number 7000 and Thursday news

I will lead off this post with a couple of trivia facts involving the number 7000.

The first one will get you in the mood for BBQ Fest. FiveThirtyEight’s Significant Digits newsletter reports that the average American will eat 7000 animals in his or her lifetime.

Secondly, if you’re sick of email spam and wonder why spammers do it, here’s why: The average email spambot earns $7000 a day. Saw that on Twitter.

The Peabody has announced the first half of its 2015 Thursday rooftop party schedule. Cover is $10 unless noted below.

April 16: Hollywood with special performance by Shaggy ($15 cover)
April 23: Walrus
April 30: The Brad Birkedahl Band with special performance by Cash Cash ($15 cover)
May 7: Twin Soul with special performance by Andy Grammar ($15 cover)
May 14: Ghost Town Blues Band
May 21: The Molly Ringwalds
May 28: Swingin’ Leroy
June 4: Frankie Hollie & The Noise
June 11: Seeing Red

Felicia Suzanne’s has a few tickets left for its annual Duck Wake on Monday. <href=”http://www.feliciasuzanne.com/ecommerce.php/mode/view/cat/4/product/15″>Info and ticket sales here.

Memphis in May now has tickets and VIP tables for sale for the Sunset Symphony finale.

Prime job opportunity: Copeland Coaching reports that there is a Senior Media Relations position open at St. Jude.

The Silky O’Sullivan’s St. Patrick’s Day Caravan happens today. The caravan travels from Silky’s to the airport to pick up Irish dignitaries coming to town for Saturday’s parade. Meet at 5 at Silky’s, caravan leaves at 6:30. Please have a designated driver if you plan to participate.

There will be a planning meeting for April’s MEMFix Pinch event tomorrow at 3:30 at Westy’s. Topics discussed will include volunteer acquisition, vendor selections, and event scape planning.

The Blind Bear kicks off their three-day St. Patrick’s Day Speakeasy Style celebration Sunday at 11 AM. There will be drink specials and green beer. I will definitely have to stop by for D-RANKS with B-RAD (or whoever fills in for B-RAD if he isn’t back from Florida by then) around 1 that afternoon.

Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, better get it mobile-friendly by April 21 or Google will penalize you in search rankings. If you’re on WordPress, the wp-mobile plugin will do the trick for you. It’s what I use on this blog. There are also many mobile-friendly themes you can choose from.

I had a good time at Bardog poker last night. Just a good group of people with a lot of mutual respect for each other playing some cards. No players who bring a lot of needless emotional drama and who are so rude and insulting and horrible that others ask to be moved to a different table. That kind of player is bad for business. Come play Bardog’s friendly, laid-back style of poker every Wednesday at 7:30 in the Underdog Room. Free to play and you can win some nice prizes including Grizzlies tickets.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at the usual spots after work.

Second Wednesday update: Trolleys not operational anytime soon, and more news

Bad news: MATA’s president says the trolleys will not be operational anytime soon and that they are going to have to start from scratch with the trolley system. They desperately tried to get it operational for Memphis in May but couldn’t.

The Tigers play Temple in the AAC quarterfinal at 1 Friday. Here are game notes.

The excellent High Ground News released a new email issue, with a feature article about innovative organizations in the Mid-South that promote volunteering. From time to time I have people ask me how to get hooked up with volunteering gigs here in town. These are the organizations you want to talk to.

High Ground also has a small gallery of cupcakes and other goodies sold by that new vegan cupcake shop in Crosstown. Probably not something I would ever go to – especially since it would involve driving when I don’t have to – but I know I have readers who might be interested.

You can now play Cards Against Humanity, the card game for horrible people, online for free. It’s browser-based, not an app, so no additional software installation is required.

On my way to the Silly Goose for a PBR. May play poker at Bardog tonight.

RIP Windell, Beale Street parade and more Wednesday news

Windell with Mikey at Max's Sports Bar on his 2011 tour
Windell (right) with Mikey at Max’s Sports Bar on his 2011 tour

Sad to hear of the passing of Windell Middlebrooks yesterday at the young age of 36. Windell was best known as the beer delivery guy in Miller High Life commercials. He and his staff would pull High Life out of places that he did not feel were deserving of carrying the beer. In 2011 Miller sent him on tour and I got to meet him at Max’s Sports Bar. He appeared at several other bars around Memphis as well. In addition to his work for Miller, Windell acted on Body of Proof and Scrubs.

The 42nd annual Silky Sullivan Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day Parade happens this Saturday, March 14, at 3 PM. Floats, marching bands, celebrity guests, beads, candy, the Raising of the Goat, green beer. I’ll give my usual pro tip: If you are not driving home from the parade and are at least 21, go to Wet Willie’s and get a large Call-a-Cab to drink as you watch the parade. Do not get a second large Call-a-Cab unless you want it to be a very rough Saturday night/Sunday morning.

One of my Facebook friends was complaining yesterday that the songs she grew up with are starting to show up on oldies radio stations. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page for Even the Nights Are Better, recorded by Air Supply in 1982.

Congratulations to Memphis Tigers forward Austin Nichols, voted to the All-American Conference first team. Also congratulations to Shaq Goodwin on winning the AAC Sportsmanship Award.

The first shipments for Bass Pro at the Pyramid started arriving this week.

Flying Saucer has their St. Patrick’s Day glass for sale tonight starting at 7 PM. I saw a sneak preview on Facebook and this is a pretty nice looking glass, worth buying if you are a collector.

Tickets are now on sale for Sesame Street Live “Make a New Friend” June 20-21 at FedExForum.

That’s it for now. Out at the usual places after work.

Last year for Sunset Symphony, plus more Tuesday news

The big news of the past 24 hours is that Memphis in May is retiring Sunset Symphony after this year. It will be replaced with a new event for the 40th anniversary of MiM in 2016.

The Memphis Business Journal reports that Sunset Symphony’s demise presents a challenge for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra will have to find a new partner to make up for the revenue and exposure it got from the Memorial Day weekend event.

Tonight is the first $2 local beer night at the Silly Goose, featuring the beers of Wiseacre, High Cotton, and Memphis Made, as well as $5 Memphis Mules made with local Pyramid vodka and the Goose’s hand-made ginger beer. Beers go on sale for $2 at 7:30, and at 8:30 there will be live acoustic music by Jeremy Stanfill, American Fiction, and Pat Fusco Jazz Trio.

The Majestic Grille is doing a “Ten ’til Ten” dinner series to celebrate the run-up to the restaurant’s 10th anniversary. The first of the dinners, prepared by Chef-Owner Patrick Reilly, will be on March 24 and will feature the estate wines of Cliff Creek Cellars. The menu will be

Scallop crudo, crispy greens, hot pepper, kumquat & lime
Rousanne/Marsanne 2012

Warm duck salad, hazelnut, goat cheese
Red Red Wine 2012

Roasted venison, root vegetable cassoulet, truffle reduction
Creek Cabernet 2011

Warm sticky toffee pudding
Claret 2008

Dinner is $65 plus tax and gratuity. Call 901-522-8555 to make reservations. Cliff Creek owner Ruth Garvin will make a special trip to talk about the wines, and Michael Hughes of Joe’s wines and liquors will also be on hand to share his knowledge of Oregon wines.

Bleu Restaurant has announced a new Social Hour every day from 4 to 6 PM, with drink specials and $5 social plates. See a list of the specials here.

The River Series of concerts at the Harbor Town Amphitheater has been announced for the spring. Dates are March 28, April 28, and May 30. Info here.

As an Arkansas fan, I am pleased to learn that Bobby Portis has been named SEC Player of the Year. I’d sure like to see the Hogs make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

For those of you who travel to Little Rock, legendary BBQ restaurant The Shack is reopening in the River Market district. I ate there many times as a kid in the location just north of Cantrell and Mississippi.

Happy birthday to the Nuh-Uh Girl, who I’m sure is enjoying much free food out in California today.

I’ll be at the local beer night at the Silly Goose tonight, and no, I won’t be drinking PBR once the specials start. Time to go diagnose WordPress issues, outta here for now.

Monday update

Before we get started with the news, I want to apologize if I did not seem like myself this past weekend. I’m worried about a friend who has been off the grid for a while. That plus excessive Fireball consumption led to some less-than-perfect behavior from me. Sorry.

You’ve seen Shorty’s pasta bar that the Silly Goose runs during weekday happy hours. They’ve now added a second build-your-own bar: A build-your-own omelet bar run by Dre for Sunday brunch. Same ingredients as the pasta bar, pick whatever you want and then Dre will cook it up for you.

Actually, I guess it’s their third build-your-own since they have the Bloody Mary bar on Sundays as well.

Goldcrest 51, the flagship beer made by the Tennessee Brewing Co. until it shut down in the 1950s, will be making a comeback.

Hungry Memphis has beer news about Ghost River and Memphis Made, as well as the second City Market location.

So You Think You Can Dance live auditions are coming to the Orpheum tomorrow. Tickets are free.

It’s normally Melissa Monday at Bardog but I need to drop off a BBQ team check (welcome to the team, Peter and Mary Ann) so I may have to make Silly Goose my first stop tonight. Later I may wander over to Blind Bear, where Dave who runs British Bingo is having his birthday. This has been a Monday for sure so far, but hopefully it will get better.

First Moody Ques full team meeting of 2015

Yesterday my BBQ team the Moody Ques had our first full meeting of 2015. We did it at the Silly Goose, where one of our cooks Dusty was bartending and was kind enough to give us happy hour prices. We had butt and shoulder for the team to sample.

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Frank and Erik preparing the food

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Team members sit enthralled as the fountain of knowledge known as Otto speaks

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Dusty and Frank

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Shoulder (top) and butt (below). Both were very good but it was a team consensus that the shoulder was better, which is a good thing because we are a shoulder team.

On a side note – I am not usually a big coleslaw person, but Frank! Damn!!! Can we have that slaw every day? That may seriously be the best slaw I have ever had in my life.

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My “DAWG” John D

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Frank going over the menu for each day. I brought a notepad but due to excessive Fireball consumption it completely slipped my mind to take notes.

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More menu discussion

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They’re not our sponsor anymore but we still use WordPress to run the team website

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Moody relaxing now that she’s handed over day-to-day operations to Clay and Frank

This was a great meeting. This year’s team is reminding me a lot of the 2008 team, when we operated on a shoestring budget but probably had the most fun of any year down there and won 3rd in shoulder. We had several really awesome people write us checks yesterday. It never fails to amaze me what a high caliber of people this team attracts.

I wrote in an earlier post that we are cracking down on liquor this year. Don’t take that the wrong way; if you are a team member or a personally invited guest of a team member, we will make sure you have plenty of access to liquor, and it will likely be a higher quality of liquor than we have had in previous years. What we are cracking down on is the 25-30 people who are friends with many of us, who don’t join the team, but who come in every night and set up their own personal BBQ Fest headquarters in our booth. Those people need to join the team unless they want to be drinking Coke and Sprite this year.

We will have off-duty MPD at the door once again this year. It should be easier to get guests in than in previous years, given that we don’t have to hold space for a large presenting sponsor.

We have a plan to three-peat as Best Booth winner. I can’t discuss the design since members of other teams read my blog, but believe me, it is going to be every bit as good as the previous two years if not better.

We’re also perfecting our BBQ sauce. It’s a sweet sauce that is different from most of what you see at BBQ Fest. It received many favorable reviews at the meeting. Earlier this week we had a member of Squeal Street (who, unlike the Moody Ques, didn’t win any trophies in 2014) try it and he thought it was good.

We have more team members who have paid their dues by this point than we have had in any previous year. That’s a very good sign. If you haven’t paid yet and would like to, you can pay on our website. If you don’t want to pay the PayPal fee, you can get a check to Clay. (Or if you see me out, you can give it to me and I will get it to Clay.) We’re going to cap the membership at 35 but are not quite there yet, so there are still a few spots open if you are interested in joining. Talk to me or whichever Moody Ques team member you know best if interested. (Stupid people and crazy people need not apply)

All right. That’s the recap. It’s Sunday Fun Day and I am wearing shorts today no matter how cold it is. IT”S MARCH DAMMIT and I am sick of being all bundled up. We should normally be well into the 60s this time of year and I am going to dress like it is no matter what. Brunch with Brooke at Bardog at 11 (NO BROOKE I AM NOT DOING FIREBALL) then over to Blind Bear for D-RANKS with B-RAD around 1. Undecided whether I will play poker tonight. There are a few poker players I wouldn’t mind recruiting for the BBQ team (already got one of them) so maybe I will play. Time to hit Publish and pop open a PBR. Back tomorrow with a news update.

Saturday news from your Moody Ques workhorse

The annual Phoenix Club Mardi Gras party is tonight at Central Station. (Guys. You need to click on that link. Just trust me. Boobs.) The Phoenix Club is an awesome group that raises money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, and this is one of their biggest fundraisers. Project Pat will perform, and your $45 admission gets you beer and speciality drinks, or you can go VIP for $75 and get food and top shelf liquor. If you’re in the mood to gamble, there will be a charity casino with great prizes.

Ledisi: The Intimate Truth Tour with special guests Raheem DeVaughn and Leela James comes to the Orpheum tonight at 8.

Looking ahead on the Orpheum’s schedule, I see that there’s a Beatles tribute coming next month. That could be fun.

“An Evening with Almost Elton John” happens tomorrow at the Hard Rock at 9 PM.

Mark Cuban thinks we’re in a worse tech bubble than the dotcom days. I have to admit I’m a bit worried about this too. I need to consult with my BBQ teammate who works the financial markets and who is a huge proponent of the Value Drinking Index to get his opinion.

I always meet the most fabulous people at Bardog when I have snow days off work. Thursday I got to talk to Megabus drivers who got caught in town due to the snow. Friday I had a group of 7 lesbians to my left and a guy shopping online for guns to my right. Heading back up there at 11 today for some Panda time, then over to the Blind Bear at 1. Later in the day I have a BBQ team meeting. Time to live up to my reputation as the workhorse of the Moody Ques team.