Make sure your elderly relatives are protected from scams

Special post today. If you have an elderly parent or relative, please show them the three links below (or, if they’re not online, print these pages out and show them to them.

Scams targeting the elderly

Fraud: 5 scams aimed at the elderly

Top 10 scams targeting seniors

Yesterday I became aware of a situation where an elderly person was called by “Publishers Clearing House” and was told she had won $1.5 million. She was told to go to the nearest Kroger and Western Union a “processing fee” of $400 for the prize. When she replied she didn’t have $400, the caller knocked the fee down to $200. The elderly person called me from Kroger, not knowing what to do when the clerk at Kroger refused to process the transaction and told her it was a scam. “Thank the clerk, get in the taxi, go home, and be glad you only lost the cost of the cab ride,” I said.

People who prey on seniors like this are the scum of the earth.

When you receive calls from unknown numbers, don’t answer them and instead Google the number to see if it’s been reported as a scam number.

Be aware that once a person falls for one of these scams, they get added to a list of suckers that scammers sell to each other. Therefore, they are more likely to be preyed on again and need to be extra careful.

Never give out your debit card number or checking account information to a person who calls you that you did not previously have a business relationship with. If you did give it out, cancel the card or account immediately.

I am calling Kroger Corporate this afternoon and make sure that clerk gets recognized for protecting one of her customers. If one of my Little Rock readers can get by the Kroger at Markham and Rodney Parham and thank the clerk in person, I would really appreciate it.

Restaurant idea + Tuesday news

OK. I have had the greatest idea ever for Downtown. What I want to do is buy the building that is currently The Happy Mexican where Second splits off from St. Martin. I am going to tear the building down and build a 38-story tower in its place. It will become the Times Square of Memphis. The lower 37 floors will be apartments. The top floor will be a restaurant specializing in an item I have never seen anywhere.

Are you ready for this?

Round Salisbury steak.

I mean, think about it. It’s always rectangular. My restaurant will be known as the one place in the world where you can get a round Salisbury steak. It’ll become a category in BBQ Fest. In 2019 there will be 258 round Salisbury steak teams and 8 rib teams. Shoulder and whole hog won’t even exist anymore. The patio porker teams won’t be allowed to compete with more than a 700 watt microwave.

This all started yesterday at Bardog, when I was asked if I was a chef who works with Michael Patrick at Rizzo’s. My culinary skills consist of cutting a slit in the film cover, hitting TIME COOK 4:00 on the key pad, and rotating the Salisbury steak a quarter turn. If Mike has a short list of people he would love to hire, I doubt I am on it. But anyway, I was thinking about my culinary skillz, and I thought, if the Salisbury steak was round, would you really have to rotate it?

Manna House has announced it is in desperate need of waist 32, length 32 gently used jeans or khakis. They will take other sizes too, but 32/32 is their most immediate need.

Memphis Made has scheduled the next beginner sushi class for Sunday, October 2 from 2 to 4 PM in its taproom. $40 includes all the supplies you need. The class is taught by Birmingham Sushi. These consistently sell out.

On Saturday, September 24, High Cotton will have a fundraiser for dog rescue organization Tails of Hope. A $10 donation gets you a goodie bag from Hollywood Feed, a logo pint glass, and local Memphis music. Food truck, silent auction. First 75 people get a free beer as well as a free Pooch Hooch for their dog.

I got a little jukebox action in at Bardog yesterday. In case you were wondering what I play, here’s the list:

Crazy on You by Heart
Little Red Corvette by Prince
Modern Love by David Bowie
Under the Milky Way by The Church
Lovely Day by Bill Withers
Burning Love by Elvis

Shelby the bartender approved of my choices and handed me two dollars to play more songs. The second round:

Angie by The Rolling Stones
Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones
Who’ll Stop the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Heart of Rock & Roll by Huey Lewis and the News
Never Gonna Give You Up by Barry White
Da Doo Ron Ron by The Shirrelles
Paint it, Black by The Rolling Stones

After my songs ended, Elizabeth from The Dirty Crow put money in the jukebox and absolutely blew the roof off the place with her choices. She has excellent taste in music. “Damn, I like her songs better than I like my own songs,” I thought.

The South Main Association has its monthly meeting at 409 S. Main a week from today, Tuesday, September 13. Justin Dyer will talk about how he has transformed the building into a food hall, a place where entrepreneurial chefs can sell their goods. Free for SMA members, $10 for non-members. Social time starts at 6 with the presentation beginning at 6:30. Here’s a page about the history of 409 S. Main.

The Civil Pour returns to Loflin Yard Thursday night. Come practice the art of civil discourse about the topics in the news this week. It’s a place to have a discussion, not a debate or an argument.

That’s it for now. Back at work for a 3 day weekend. I’ll be out at happy hour this evening, destination to be determined.

Quick Memphis Music & Heritage Fest note

There is a Cajun food vendor set up near Main and Union. The gumbo is excellent and the blackened alligator tail on a stick is too. If you come down there today and you like spicy food, that is my pick for lunch or dinner. I will say that the alligator tail is a bit on the salty side, but worth it.

I will be down there today… if you don’t see me, come in the Blind Bear for D-RANKS with B-RAD.

Brown baggin’ it + Saturday news

Thinking about the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival today and thinking that maybe I should bring along my PBR koozie that looks like a brown paper bag. I will probably spend half my time inside the Blind Bear and the other half outdoors listening to music. When I’m in the Bear, the koozie will keep my PBR cold. When I’m outside, if the Miller Lite or Coors Lite I buy from vendors comes in cans, the koozie will cover up the fact that I’m drinking shitty beer.


Feel free to ask me about the koozie if you see me out at the festival… I just might have a story to tell about it.

Every college football season I have to listen to idiot Tennessee fans go on and on about how this year is going to be special, how all the right pieces are in place and this is finally going to be their year. The year when they sit atop the SEC as teams like Bama and Florida look on in envy. As Bleacher Report put it, the hype train got derailed Thursday night. At least they didn’t lose, but seriously, they had to go to overtime with Appalachian State? Typical UT performance. Time for UT fans to STFU until they get a convincing win. Hey, they’ve got Tennessee Tech on November 5, maybe then…


Damn, two in one post, that rarely happens outside BBQ season.

The MBJ has a list of college football’s biggest spenders. The U of M, although not considered a huge spender at $13 million, has equivalent revenue for a balanced budget. My Arkansas Razorbacks are 11th in spending overall, but turn a $36 million profit.

The Memphis Flyer posted a first look at Zaka Bowl’s menu. Zaka Bowl is the vegan restaurant that is going to open in East Memphis by Ed Cabigao, co-owner of South of Beale. You can build your own healthy bowl for $10.

To all my readers who were fans of the Chris Vernon Show, if you’re on Twitter I would like to encourage you to tag @929espn and let them know that you’re unhappy with the decision not to keep him on board. Ideally, start the tweet with a period rather than 92.9’s handle – that way all your followers will see it, not just mutual followers you have with the radio station.

Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em: The Beale Street Cigar Festival happens today in Handy Park from 1 to 5. If you go VIP, you have a bonus party from 6 to midnight.

Bookmark-worthy: Open a beer bottle with 17 random things around the house

You just can’t make this stuff up: Donald Trump had an idea for a dating show where men would compete for Omarosa’s heart. Half the men would be rich, and half poor, but Omarosa would not know who was who. This is what goes on in the mind of our possible future president, ladies and gentlemen.

2016-03-14 21.57.05YOGA! Downtown Yoga has announced a new Beginner’s Series. It starts Tuesday, September 13 and runs for six weeks, with classes at 6:45 in the evening. If you’ve never done yoga before, or if you did iet years ago and want to renew your practice, this series ($60) is for you. The series focuses on foundational Asanas (poses) such as the Warrior pose seen here. It also focuses on flowing sequences and meditational practices. You should take this series to learn how to better unite your mind and body. Downtown Yoga is in the South Main arts district between Butler and G.E. Patterson.

Choose901 has a post about the Cooper-Young Beerfest. If you go to only one beer festival a year, make it that one. There’s the opportunity to really learn about beer, with an education tent and chances to speak directly to the brewers in their booths. I also like it because it is not an event on the fall social schedule; it isn’t an event where you have to carefully plan your outfit because you might end up in the pages of RSVP Magazine. In fact, one year I wore my PBR hoodie, causing the co-owner of Memphis Made to go, “Really, Paul? To a craft beer festival?” The date is October 22 from 1 to 5 PM. Want to keep going after 5? There are two excellent places right by the festival space – Aldo’s Pizza Pies Midtown and the Memphis Made taproom.

I’ll be at Memphis Music & Heritage Festival most of the day, but to start of the day it’s time for some FOOTBALL! I’m rooting for Arkansas and Memphis of course, but also for Oklahoma and Missouri in the early games. It’s kickoff time for a glorious Labor Day weekend!

Friday update

The lineup for Memphis Music & Heritage Festival has been posted. This festival is presented by the Center for Southern Folklore and is free to attend. It is on the Main Street Mall between Main and Peabody Place, with five stages, two of them indoors at the Center and the Center’s Folklore Hall. There is music representative of the region, as well as crafts and food. I go every year and it is a lot of fun. Put it on your calendar if you are in town this weekend and don’t have plans.

Inside tip: If you go to the festival during the day Sunday, come in the Blind Bear and see why I haven’t missed Hung Over Like a Bear Sunday brunch (known colloquially as D-RANKS with B-RAD) in 88 weeks. (I found a way to not miss D-RANKS with B-RAD last Sunday even though I went to Burger Fest at Tiger Lane. I cut out of Burger Fest early.)

High Cotton Brewing Co. has announced its annual Oktoberfest celebration for Saturday, October 8 from noon to 5 PM. A $40 ticket is all-inclusive and includes free-flowing beer from High Cotton taproom taps as well as limited releases including Oktoberfest Lager, Pilsner, and Barrel Aged Gose. Attendees also get a plate of traditional Bavarian fare and live music by Hiway Hi-Fi and other bands. Are you the responsible person in your group who volunteers to be the designated driver? There’s a $10 ticket for you (entry only).

Hmmm… who is the responsible person in my group?

(looks around)

Guess I’ll be taking an Uber then.

In other High Cotton news, the brewery is having a photo contest this month. Take a photo in their tap room with you and your friends enjoying your beers. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing in the photo, as long as it is taken in the taproom. After taking your photo, tell a story, using a maximum of 140 characters. Then email your photo, story and contact info for everyone photographed to At the end of the month, the top 5 photos will be selected to win prizes. First place will get a gift basket valued at $100. Second will get a 1/6 barrel keg of their ESB or Scottish Ale. Third gets a case of ESB or Scottish Ale, fourth gets a High Cotton glass set for 6, fifth gets a glass set for 4.

Sports radio talk show host Chris Vernon tweeted this morning that it appears he no longer works for 92.9 ESPN. Horrible decision by the radio station. Verno, a guy as talented as you is sure to land on your feet soon. When you get your next gig I will make sure my readers know where to go to listen.

This is National Date Night Week and Kooky Canuck has a deal if you want to take your date there – order two entrees this week and get a free skillet dessert. Their skillet cookie a la mode is really good!

Vice-President Joe Biden had a great quote about the Republican presidential nominee: “[Trump] was born with a silver spoon in his mouth that he’s now choking on because his foot’s in his mouth along with the spoon.” Okay. I have a prediction here. You know how certain people attain celebrity living legend status late in life, for example the way Betty White and George Takei have? I predict Biden will be viewed in a similar light in 5 years or less.

Looking for a way to stay fit? Check out cardio disco at Paula & Raiford’s Disco the third Thursday of every month. Fitness instructor Deontario James leads the exercise and you feel the beat of disco as you dance and sweat. Paula herself participates in the classes.

Good stuff from author Neale Donald Walsch on Twitter this morning:

Labor Day weekend is almost here! I’ll hit my usual stops in the core then maybe a trip to my “home away from home on the south side” Max’s Sports Bar. I’ll be all over Memphis Music & Heritage Fest this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Big event tonight: Exposure at 901 Day, plus more Thursday news

Happy September everyone! Today is what is known in the region as 9/01 Day, and there are several events going on to celebrate. The one I will be going to is Exposure at 901 Day at AutoZone Park. There is absolutely no way I can sum it up in one paragraph, and I encourage you to click the link to learn more. It’s free to attend and you will be exposed to over 150 organizations: everything from ballet to street ministries to yoga to escape rooms to sports teams to LGBT organizations to local breweries (samples!) and so, so, so much more. There will be free donuts, live music, a celebrity kickball game, and fireworks. This is a must-attend event! By the way I was invited to participate in the celebrity kickball game, but declined because I want to spend the entire three hours walking the park gathering information for my blog on all the fantastic things to do in Memphis. If you’re working a booth and see me walk by, don’t be shy about yelling “Hey Paul!” to get me to come talk.

While we’re talking about AutoZone Park, I will mention that a special ticket has been added to the Triple-A National Championship game to be played there September 20. $20 gets you a field box seat in right field plus a hog roast with sides and drinks.

Just for the Grill of it is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. Having a Labor Day cookout? Buy top-quality meats from local farms at the Market, along with veggies to put on the grill too. If any of my readers are inviting vegetarians to their cookout, you can buy smoked tofu from Pigasus. Opera Memphis will bring “30 Days of Opera” to the Market at 10, with a performance that may change your mind about exactly what opera is. Kids can learn about bumblebees at the craft table from 9 to 11:30. Market sponsor Subaru will have demo vehicles on hand, and Dogs 2nd Chance will be there doing adoptions. The Market happens every Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson under the pavilion.

Disappointed to hear that my friend Eric Hughes had his guitars stolen out of the back of his van. They didn’t have a lot of sentimental value but they were the tools of his trade, like a handyman having his hammer and saw stolen. Don’t worry though; Eric won’t be missing his gigs and said he would play a cucumber with strings if he had to.

Great account to follow on Facebook in preparation for tonight’s Appalachian State-Tennessee game: Vol Hater. They recently posted a picture of a roll of toilet paper with the orange “T” logo printed with the comment “I didn’t know you could buy toilet paper with shit already on it.”

Memphis in May reported that its month-long series of events had an $88 million impact on the Memphis economy this year.

Live Downtown and plan to go to the Southern Heritage Classic game at the Liberty Bowl on September 10? There’s a shuttle that will take you there. It will pick people up at Downtown and Poplar corridor hotels.

Our city government now has a Twitter account. Follow @CityOfMemphis.

Yoga is coming to another Memphis craft brewery. Bendy Brewski Yoga starts up at Memphis Made Brewing Co.’s taproom Saturday, September 10 at 12 noon. For those not familiar, there’s a 45-minute all-levels yoga class, followed by a chance to socialize with fellow yogis over great craft beer.

Job seekers: Who’s Hiring Memphis is holding a job fair September 13 at Memphis Botanic Garden from 10 AM to 3 PM.

There’s a Memphis Union Mission men’s underwear and socks wish list on Amazon.

Flying Saucer is experimenting with cocktails on tap. One of their bartenders posted that they are “thinking out of the box” and had a pic of Cosmos, Old Fashioneds, and Gin Fizzes on tap.

Memphis has fallen out of the Top 50 television markets, New Orleans having slipped past us, dropping Memphis to 51. I hope that piece of news doesn’t negatively impact the U of M’s effort to get into the Big 12. By the way, big game at 11 AM Saturday – #3 Oklahoma vs. #15 Houston. Houston is another team knocking on the door of the Big 12, so perhaps we should all root for them to get stomped by the Sooners on Saturday. Where to watch, where to watch? Max’s Sports Bar will be open early, with PBjaRni behind the bar… perhaps I will take a week off from my usual Bardog visit. Heck, I usually do the Farmers Market around 10 anyway, and Max’s will be a much shorter walk.

The Josh Abbott Band plays KIX on Beale tonight at Handy Park. Free to attend, all-ages show. 7:30 PM.

Too much news and not enough time, so check back for a possible second post later. I will do a quick happy hour beer at Silly Goose after work, then over to the Exposure celebration at the ballpark.