Thursday update

The September meeting of the South Main Association has been announced for Tuesday, September 12, at 409 South Main. Featured speakers will be Rebecca and Justin Dyer, operators of the building, talking about the future of this event hall and the impact it can have on South Main. There will be a Q&A as well. 6 PM social, 6:30 presentation. The event is free for members and $10 for guests.

From the Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog: The Second Slider Inn, to open in the South Main district at 365 Mulberry, has a working title of Slider Out.

Southern Heritage Classic festivities kick off today in advance of the Tennessee State-Jackson State game Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.

Have you ever been in the Flying Fish and wondered about the origins of the Billy Bass Adoption Wall? The way it works is, you bring them a Billy Bass singing fish wall piece to hang on the wall with your name, and they give you a free catfish dinner. Shannon Wynne, founder of the Flying Saucer/Flying Fish concept, talks about how the wall got its start at the original Flying Fish location. My fish was one of the first to be adopted at the Memphis Fish and hangs on the bottom row on the left wall. Back in those days I was only several years removed from my teaching gig at the U of M, so my fish is tagged Prof. Paul Ryburn.

Hmmm. Just realized my troll has never met my fish. I need to take the troll in and make introductions soon.

Lifehacker has the easiest, fastest ways to load up on protein including chickpeas, two ways. I’ll add a third way that you can get Downtown at a bargain: A big bowl of fried chickpeas at the Silly Goose for only $5.

I mentioned that there was a team rumored to be entering Best Memphis Burger Fest this year that would be an immediate heavy hitter, but I could not yet say who. Now I can: The recently-renovated Memphis Flying Saucer. As you probably know, along with the new renovation came a menu of gourmet burgers inspired by the Saucer’s sister chain Rodeo Goat. I had a beer with one of the managers a few weeks ago and he told me they are going to try to get the Rodeo Goat head chef/menu planner to come up and be on the cook team. They have won burger festivals down in Texas.

A second new team entered the competition as well: Sushi Jimmi. Man, the level of competition keeps going up at Burger Fest!

Great place to work:

In the news: Facebook told Congressional investigators a Russian troll farm spent $100,000 on fake news ads on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook found that 470 “inauthentic” accounts were found to have spent the money between June 2015 and May 2017. The accounts all seemed to be affiliated with each other and seemed to be run out of Russia.

Off to work. Possibly a second post at lunchtime.

Wednesday update

The official announcement has been made: Due to the threat of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm on track to hit Florida late this weekend, the Memphis Tigers-University of Central Florida football game has been moved up to Friday evening at 6:30 Eastern/5:30 Central. Due to first responders needing to prepare for Irma, they do not have the manpower to support tailgating and therefore there will be none prior to the game. The game will be televised on ESPNU, according to the @UCF_Football Twitter account.

Also, 92.9 ESPN is reporting that the Miami game at Arkansas State this weekend has been canceled, due to return travel issues and to allow players and staff to be with their families.

The latest Irma track has it pushing slightly to the east, with the eye near Miami 8 AM Sunday and Daytona Beach 8 AM Monday.

Update on the carriage horse who died Friday on the Main Street Mall: The horse, who was named Junior and was eight years old, was found to have a rare medical condition that caused him to suffer sudden paralysis. So it was not a trip on the trolley tracks or overwork that caused the fall. WMC has more.

The Redbirds team taking the field for the playoffs tonight won’t be the same team that won 91 games and their division this year. Major League rosters expanded September 1, allowing the Cardinals to call up several key Redbirds players. Those players have to be replaced, often by players who spent much of this season playing at a lower level than Triple-A.

A new pedestrian tunnel under the Central Station project will connect South Main to the Farmers Market on Front.

The Flying Saucer has several ways you can help Hurricane Harvey victims. Through September 17, instead of having a Fire Sale beer, they will have a Harvey beer, of which $2 of the purchase price will be donated. Throughout September, cash donations will be accepted. Every Wednesday, 100% of the proceeds from a selected keg tapping will be donated. There will be a raffle (drawing October 1) where guests can buy $10 tickets to try and win the grand prize of a $200 Flying Saucer gift card.

Wiseacre has announced a dinner and party on Saturday, October 28 from 6 to 10 at its taproom. The party will celebrate this year’s release of Symphonic, a wild bock made with Michigan tart cherries. Pre-party from 6 to 6:30, with dinner consisting of four pairings by chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman from 6:30 to 9. Post-party at 10. The four courses will be paired a cider from local cidery Long Road, a cocktail from Old Dominick, rosé wine, and Symphonic. Live music by Iris Orchestra. The post-party will have an open beer bar featuring Wiseacre beers. Early Bird tickets are on sale for $110 through September 17, with ticket price increasing to $130 after that. If you purchase a ticket and then can’t make it, refunds will be given up to 7 days before the event.

Be sure to come dressed prepared for Oktoberfest. Adidas is selling new Oktoberfest shoes that repel beer and vomit.

Attention poker players: The River Rat Rounders poker league have added a new venue in Downtown. The Green Beetle on South Main will run River Rat games Tuesday nights at 6 and 8. The neat thing about this city-wide poker league, whose games are free to play, is that they have connections with the casinos and sometimes the prize for winning a River Rat game will be a cash voucher to a poker room down in Tunica.

As sports writer Dan Wolken pointed out, no one else has a trash can.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at Silly Goose happy hour after work, and given the nice weather, I may even join the smokers on the patio. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update: Historic Redbirds season, Butch Jones’ trash can and more

The Redbirds wrapped up the regular season with a team record 91 wins. Congratulations to them, and to manager Stubby Clapp for keeping the W’s coming as so many players got called up to the Cardinals. Playoffs come to AutoZone Park tomorrow.

I stayed up and watched the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game last night. For those of you who missed it, Tennessee had a Tennessee-themed trash can into which they would dunk the ball after forcing a turnover. According to Dan Wolken of USA Today, staffers would hoist it over their heads like it was the Stanley Cup. That is SO Butch Jones. As Wolken wrote, the trash can “simply does not project the kind of seriousness and confidence that a blueblood program should have.” Yup. Tennessee football is a joke.

Wait a minute, maybe the trash can is the 2016 Championship of Life trophy!

Follow the trash can on Twitter at @TrashCanTeam121.

Bedrock Eats and Sweets has a new Macro Blocks program for those who need to balance proper nutrient timing with a busy life. They are offering seven small-portion 4-ounce protein that you can combine with your choice of nine 8-ounce sides.

There’s a new world’s hottest pepper, measuring 2.48 million on the Scoville scale. It’s 300 times hotter than a jalapeno. Eating one could literally kill you.

Songwriter Night #65 comes to South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, this Friday from 7 to 9 PM. Ryan Rooster Lee, Sydney Carty, Jessica Joyner, and Mike Mielenhausen will perform.

Classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, with a rock and roll score, comes to the Orpheum Tuesday, September 26.

There was bug eating feswtival in New York this past weekend.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

A few Oshi pictures

Yesterday I was at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival watching my neighbor’s band when I heard “Hey, Paul!” It was my friends Rahul and Tony. “We’re going to Oshi. Come join us.” I wasn’t hungry but they offered to buy me a beer so I went in.

I sipped on a Memphis Made Lucid Kolsch while they ordered food. I wasn’t hungry but I got a couple of photos of the sushi they ordered.

Nice looking sushi and apparently pretty reasonably priced too. I will have to go back when I am hungry, although the pho is probably first on my list to try since you can’t get that elsewhere Downtown.

I didn’t know that trolls like sake until yesterday.

Later in the day, I went down to South Main for a friend’s birthday party. After the party I stopped by Max’s Sports Bar. My friends Joe and Angela were there and I took a photo of their Wings of Jubilee poster. Wings of Jubilee is a hot wing contest happening next Saturday at Memphis Catholic High in Midtown.

Max’s has added even more TVs for your football watching pleasure. And although I enjoyed watching Virginia Tech secure a fine victory last night, my attention was more focused on Spike TV, where they were showing a Bar Rescue marathon. They had two episodes and then a reunion show to give an update on how the rescued bars were doing. One of the rescues was a Houston bar and Taffer bought them a billboard for one year to attract business. I wonder if the bar is still open post-Harvey.

YIKES! Bardog opened at 8 AM this morning at it’s 9:27 and I’m not there yet. I better get on this. Back tomorrow with more news.

I’m going to eat some Pronto Pups this weekend

The time has come for great music on the Main Street Mall. The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival happens between Union and Peabody Place today and tomorrow. Over 100 performances on five stages, two of them air-conditioned indoors. Here’s the lineup and here’s the vendor list. There will be food trucks and carnival food as well. I’m going to be all about some Pronto Pups this weekend, but if you want some true Southern food to go along with the music, check out the greens and hot water cornbread served by the Folklore Store’s kitchen.

Going to be weird seeing The Legendary Pacers perform without Sonny Burgess. :(

Oktoberfest comes to Wiseacre Brewing Co. Saturday, September 30. It’s perfectly timed to match up with the real Germans doing the real Oktoberfest in Bavaria. There will be polka by the Mighty Souls Brass Band. Discounts if you dress up, with German attire encouraged but being goofy counts too. Bring your own clean stein and they will do a stein fill for you. Pretzels by Dave’s Bagels.

Nikki’s Hot Ass Products posted that Nikki’s Hot Nuts will be coming soon. Sounds yummy.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is hosting the popular beginner sushi class again in its taproom on Sunday, September 24.

I’ve been asked to weigh in on the Gone with the Wind controversy. For those not familiar, the Orpheum received complaints that the 1939 movie is racially insensitive, and as a result has decided to remove it from the 2018 Summer Movie Series lineup. A lot of people are upset. One season ticket holder wrote “return to sender” on his 2017-18 renewal letter and posted a photo to Facebook.

Here’s the thing: I can’t relate to Gone with the Wind. I watched it with my mom – who was a big fan of that movie – when I was a kid, and thought it was the most God-awful boring movie ever. Short of needing a cure for insomnia, I never had any desire to go see that movie at the Orpheum.

What I can relate to, however, is a historically significant sitcom that ran on TV from 1970 to 1979: All in the Family. It was my favorite show when I was a kid. To this day I consider it the greatest TV show of all time, and the Archie Bunker character the greatest TV character of all time.

However, my mom and grandmother used the show as a teaching tool. They helped me to understand that I didn’t want to grow up to be a closed-minded bigot like Archie, but that I would encounter people like him and needed to be equipped to deal with them. I grew up understanding that I shouldn’t see people of other skin colors or religions as different than me, and that I shouldn’t go around using derogatory terms like “kike” and “chink” and “hebe.” I understood that when I grew up and got married (neither of which I’ve done yet), “dingbat” was not an appropriate term of endearment for my wife.

If Antenna TV announced that it would no longer show All in the Family because of complaints received about it being racially insensitive, I’d be pissed. The show is a significant piece of Americana. It tackled social issues while at the same time being damn funny. I would want kids to watch it to learn the lessons I did.

Although I can’t relate to Gone with the Wind, I recognize that it is a significant piece of Americana too. People need to see that movie at least once. But it needs to be used as a teaching tool, just as TV was used as a teaching tool for me. Kids need to be made to understand that it’s a movie almost 80 years old, set in a time 75 years before that. They need to understand that these are different times, and normal, reasonable people don’t think the way people did back then. They need to understand that we as a society made mistakes in the past. If I ran the Orpheum, I’d be inclined to show the movie then hold a discussion, letting people offended by the movie explain to the audience how it makes them feel and why.

The thing is, though, how do you do that? The movie is already three and a half hours long. If you show it at 7, the discussion wouldn’t even begin until 10:30, well past kids’ bedtimes. You could run it as a Sunday matinee, but still, after three and a half hours, who would be interested in more time sitting in a theater chair? I really feel for Orpheum president Brett Batterson. He was put in a position where there really was no right answer, no correct solution.

If I must take a side, I’d say I am in favor of keeping the movie as part of the summer series, but only slightly. As a poker player, I like percentages, so I would say I’m 60/40 in favor of keeping it. Whereas, on the issue of the Confederate statues, I am 100% in favor of tearing down those monuments of hate as quickly as possible.

Going to lead off at Bardog then over to the festival (with visits to Blind Bear, Silly Goose, and Flying Saucer when I am ready for a break). Back tomorrow with more news.

Carriage horse near death on Main Street Mall after falling; MPD shoos passersby away

About 8:45 PM Friday night I got some Aldo’s pizza and headed home. As I crossed Union I saw MPD blocking the street off. A horse, which I assume was from one of the carriage companies, had collapsed. I tried to take a photo but an MPD officer told me, “Sir, you need to move on.” I posted on Facebook and got permission to post this photo taken by a friend of a friend.

When I first visited Memphis, I rode a horse carriage, so I have a sentimental attachment. As recently as 8 years ago, I rode in one. But now I realize how inhumane these things are. It’s time to get them off our streets.