Wednesday update

The CA has an article with 4 things to know about the new Bird scooters. Memphis is getting paid for having them here, helmets are encouraged but not required, Bird is committed to bringing transportation to low-income neighborhoods, and there are rules for parking the scooters. I downloaded the Bird app last night and signed up as far as I could without actually getting on a scooter. It gave me a “How to ride Bird” presentation which included local regulations. One of the regulations was “no riding within 5 feet of the trolley tracks.” In certain parts of South Main and the Pinch that is going to be near impossible to enforce because of the trolley stops.

Last night I talked with a friend who has ridden a Bird. He tried taking it up on a sidewalk and advised, “They don’t handle curbs well. Yeah, don’t do that. Stay on the street.” He also advised me, “If you get the scooter up to full speed (15-20 MPH) and then slam on the brakes, you will flip.” He also told me that the scooters have thick wheels and you don’t have the problem of them getting stuck on trolley tracks as sometimes happens with bikes.

He also advised me of something rather annoying. The first time you ride a Bird, you have to take a photo of the front and back of your driver’s license, as well as manually enter some information and agree to some terms. You can’t do this in advance. You have to do it while you’re standing right there next to the scooter. As my friend said, that is just a bad user experience and it was clearly not fully thought through by the developers. Don’t let this deter you from using the Bird; just make sure the first time you ride a Bird is sometime when you don’t absolutely, positively have to be at your destination in 5 minutes.

By the way – there’s another new form of transportation Downtown, a golf cart called “The Lifter.” You ride for free but tip the driver. The service is said to be on-point by those who have used it and the driver is a friend of mine. Next time I see him I will try to get a phone number to post. But in the meantime, if you see him and he doesn’t already have passengers, wave him down and he’ll take you where you need to go.

The all-you-can-eat specialty ticket returns to AutoZone Park tomorrow night featuring wings. The two-hour buffet also includes hot dogs and sides. The Redbirds tweeted today that only 100 tickets remain to tomorrow’s wings buffet.

Art Village Gallery will have a new summer solo exhibition by Portuguese artist Mario Henrique. Henrique is said to be fascinated by the unpredictability of human behavior and the impermanence of facial expressions. The exhibit will make its public debut on South Main Trolley Night, Friday, June 29. However, there will be a cocktail reception the night before, Thursday, June 28. Email to RSVP to attend the reception and meet the artist.

The next installment of the gallery’s Exhibition Dinner and Dialogue series will be Saturday, June 30. It’s a combination of visual and culinary art along with thought-provoking discussion. Henrique’s art will be showcased with fresh cuisine from the country of Portugal by Chef Ana Gonzalez. Seating is very limited. Register here.

Uh oh, this is really bad news: A PBR shortage may be looming due to a lawsuit with Miller-Coors.

The City Council has approved a 13-year agreement with Memphis River Parks Partnership to manage the riverfront. The partnership is in the beginning stages of a $65 million transformation of the riverfront.

My plans last night fell through. After walking down to Max’s Sports Bar and having PBjaRni put one of the TVs on ESPN for the Arkansas-Texas Tech game in the College World Series, a message scrolled across the screen that bad weather was threatening Omaha and the game had been postponed until this morning. That left me in South Main trying to figure out what to do, but a little later, I caught a lucky break. A different TV was tuned to USA, where WWE Smackdown came on at 7. Yes! YES! YES! YES! YES! I got to watch an outstanding gauntlet match to determine the #1 contender to the WWE World title featuring Daniel Bryan, Big E, Samoa Joe, The Miz, and Rusev. For those who DVR’d it I won’t spoil the outcome.

After Smackdown ended, I stopped by Earnestine & Hazel’s. Last Saturday I decided E&H needed a better mayor on Foursquare/Swarm based on the “you are who you associate with” principle, and last night it got one! Me! I really enjoy that place. Think I’ll stop by Nate’s bar upstairs at E&H Friday night after my usual visit to Max’s. I have reason to be at E&H Saturday as well!

Sad to hear of the passing of 1990s pro wrestler Big Van Vader. He died of the same thing my mom did – pneumonia that lingered for weeks until his heart finally couldn’t take it anymore and gave out. If you have an older relative who has a long bout with pneumonia, don’t make the mistake I made of assuming they will pull through.

No lunch photo for this post. I went to Five Guys yesterday but it was a totally average experience and I’m pretty sure most of you know what a cheeseburger looks like already.

Time for a fun afternoon refactoring C# code then out for happy hour. Back tomorrow with more news.