Friday update

Yesterday I saw something I’ve never seen before. I was driving back from a grocery run at the Poplar-Cleveland Kroger. Just west of Manassas, there were UT Health Science Center police with radar guns, clocking eastbound traffic on Poplar. Can they really pull people over and write tickets for speeding on a public street that is not a part of their campus?

Oh dear Lord… the Bird scooters are back in the news, and not in a good way. Every night, people who want to make a little extra money can pick the Birds up and take them home to charge overnight, then put them back out on the streets. They make a small fee for each scooter charged. So Monday night, three people were collecting scooters near B.B. King and Madison, when a woman pulled up next to them, blocking their vehicle with hers. She pulled a gun and demanded they let her have the scooters. She was ID’d in a lineup and charged with two counts of aggravated assault.

Tonight is Toast the 901 at Old Dominick Distillery. It’s close enough to South Main Trolley Night where you could easily do both if you choose.

New Wing Order has created a Facebook event for their Downtown grand opening. The food truck will be at Ghost River from 4 to 8 on Saturday, September 8. View the food truck menu

Sunrise Memphis, with the help of Central BBQ, is celebrating 9/01 Day tomorrow with some special menu items. They’ll have a combo of a Central BBQ biscuit, hash browns, and coffee for $9.01. They’ll also have a Central BBQ burrito and Central BBQ avocado toast.

The Redbirds playoff game next Friday, September 7, will be a Bark in the Park game. $15 gets you and your dog in, and you also get a free hot dog, soda, Redbirds hat, and a Hollywood Feed goodie bag.

Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. has signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. recently bought some Zuper Saaz hops, and decided to get an extra 30 pounds in case any home brewers want to give the hops a try. $7 a pound, on sale starting at 1 PM today until they run out. It’s BYOB (bring your own bag).

Phillip Ashley Chocolates and Whiskey Church Productions LLC are hosting The United States of Whiskey: A Chocolate Tasting on Saturday, November 17. You’ll be guided through 9 whiskeys paired with 9 chocolates. You’ll also get a cocktail hour with hors d’oeurves, a tour of the distillery, plus a bottle of whiskey and a chocolate gift to take home.

Ghost River’s Get Lit Book Club book of the month for September is Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. The book will be discussed Thursday, September 20 at Ghost River’s taproom. Nice to see one of our local breweries having success with a book club!

Did you notice a blimp flying over Downtown this week? It’s a Carnival Cruise promotion, but it’s also a fundraiser for St. Jude. Use the hashtag #ChooseFun on Facebook, Instragram, or Twitter, and Carnival will make a donation to St. Jude.

Sooner or later, one of the local breweries had to make a beer called Malfunction Junction. Crosstown Brewing Co. did. Bardog Tavern currently has it on tap.

You can buy right-field bluff tickets for tomorrow’s soccer exhibition at AutoZone Park for $9.01.

This is your brain on PBR and Jameson: Last night I posted to Facebook that more bars and restaurants need to carry green bean casserole as a side. If a lot of people don’t eat the green bean casserole, that’s fine, they can give it to me to take home at the end of the night.

Anyone else read the Daily Beast on your phone, and it drains your battery? I watch a percent tick off about every 10 seconds. It’s getting to the point where I have to make a “read later” note in Evernote and throw the URL to the article in there. Daily Beast mobile is just so overloaded with ads ‘n crap that it’s not worth the loss of battery life to read. Too bad because they write some really good stuff.

KFC will pay you $11,000 if you name your baby Harland after founder Colonel Sanders.

Visit us, just for the grill of it is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. The market is the place to pick up meats, seafood, and veggies to throw on the grill for Labor Day. UTC College of Pharmacy students will be there dispelling “are they safe” questions about over-the-counter drugs. They will have interactive games to make the experience fun. The kids’ crafts corral (8 AM-noon) will be the place where kids learn which farm animals labor to provide us with nutritious food. Miss Sue with the Cossitt Library will be there with Labor Day reading recommendations for the kids. Want to volunteer for the Market’s fundraiser, Farm Fest, at 409 S. Main on Sunday, September 30? Stop by the information booth at the Market tomorrow and sign up.

Okay, if you don’t want to read what I have to say about politics, you can leave now… but I hope you’ll stick around.

Yesterday President Trump, with the support of House Republicans, announced the cancellation of a 2.1% cost of living raise for nearly 2 million federal workers. Trump cited budgetary concerns. Wait a minute… there was room in the budget for $1.5 trillion for tax cuts to the very wealthy, but there wasn’t room for a small increase for the average Joes and Janes who go to work every day to keep our government running?

Not to mention that those tax cuts for the wealthy are massively ballooning our deficit, although Trump lies and says they are not. Not that it matters to Trump… the next generation will be the one that has to deal with the deficit problem. By then he will have died of causes related to dementia, or he will have been whacked by the Russian mob because he couldn’t accomplish what they told him to do as President, or he will be imprisoned for life thanks to Mueller.

“With the support of House Republicans”… you all should remember that Marsha Blackburn is currently a House Republican. If it makes you mad that she’ll vote to make the rich richer but take money away from common folks like you and me, you need to get to the polls in November (or October if you early vote) and pull the lever for Phil Bredesen. Marsha is a lot like the Grinch who stole Christmas in that her heart is three sizes too small.

I remember a federal worker, on the day after Trump “won” the election (with Russia tallying up more assists than Mike Conley that night), was going on and on about how “when Trump gets in office, we’re going to start seeing the de-wussification of America.” Is this pay raise cancellation the kind of thing you were talking about?

Mad Dog Pac is selling Traitor Tot balloons for $20. Traitor Tot… that’s the best nickname for Trump I’ve seen yet.

Great Twitter account to follow: @LincolnsBible. Lincoln’s Bible has an excellent view on the Trump family’s ties to the mob. I have read that if you do construction in Manhattan worth more than $2 million, you pretty much have to do business with the mob. You have no choice. You do it or your building somehow doesn’t get built.

Lincoln’s Bible claims that the Trump family company has been mobbed up since the 1950s when The Prime Minister of the Underworld, Frank Costello, was the acting boss of the then-Luciano crime family. When Costello retired in 1957, it became the Genovese crime family. In a sense you could say Donald Trump was born into the mob lifestyle… and so were Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. (Thankfully Marla Maples has done a good job keeping Tiffany away,) When Trump became president of his father’s company in 1971, it was so mobbed up that he couldn’t change if he wanted to (and he didn’t want to – he wanted to get rich).

The Genoveses suffered a major blow in the 1990s when family boss Vincent “Chin” Gigante was convicted on RICO charges and sent to prison along with the other La Cosa Nostra bosses. At that point the Russian mob swooped in and took over, and the Trump Org has been tied to the Russian mob ever since. That’s how Trump came back from bankruptcy, using Russian money to crawl his way back at a time when no principled banker would loan him a dime. Trump was attractive to Russians because he’s a developer of real estate and casinos, both great places to launder  money.

Just some stuff to think about. Okay, if I were working, I would knock off early to start the Labor Day weekend. So I think I will knock off early today. There’s a seat at Bardog calling my name. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

The 2019 Battle of the Birds has been announced. The St. Louis Cardinals will travel to Memphis to play the Redbirds in an exhibition game on March 25, 2019. Ticket information is coming soon.

The new Lowes convention center hotel, proposed to be built on Civic Center Plaza a block from the Cook Convention Center, will look like a sleek and modern glass tower that will be a nice addition to the Downtown Memphis skyline.

Don’t forget that tonight is Exposure Memphis at AutoZone Park, 6 to 8 PM. Learn about 150 Memphis organizations and watch some celebrity kickball.

Memphis Entrepreneur Club will host a Memphis Entrepreneur Mastermind at Stock & Belle, 387 S. Main, on October 1.

Southwest Airlines is adding new daily nonstop flights from Memphis to Denver. Start date is October 3.

There will be free wrestling in Handy Park a week from today, Thursday, September 6. Dustin “Five” Starr vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler will be the main event.

FiveThirtyEight now has statistical forecasts for every House race. Rep. Steve Cohen is projected at greater than 99% to retain his seat.

I made a second post yesterday, so if you haven’t read it keep scrolling. It’s about how helpful the Tennessee Department of Labor website is for job seekers, even those with graduate degrees and years of professional experience. I’ve been told it’s already helped one person. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wed update #2 – tip for job hunters

Six weeks ago, my position got eliminated, and since then I have been job hunting – I have to admit, half-heartedly at times. Recently a friend of mine who is a manager at the Tennessee Department of Labor said, “Hey Pauly, shoot me a resume when you get a chance. I’ll get it in the hands of my specialist and we’ll see if we can find you something.”

I never thought about going through the Tennessee Department of Labor to look for a job, but my friend knows what he’s talking about, so I emailed him a resume.

Two days later, a specialist from the department contacted me and introduced himself. He asked me to create a profile on because that was where employers would contact me. I did, although it took me a little while, because for some reason I had the “tn” and “jobs” part of the website address transposed in my head.  The specialist also asked me to specify the minimum salary I was looking for, so he could weed out any positions that did not meet my requirements. He was real friendly and told me he looked forward to working with me.

I replied back that I was looking for a minimum of $_____, although I might be willing to come down off that number a bit if there were unusual perks like the ability to work remotely part of the time. “Gotcha!” he replied.

A couple of days passed by, and he emailed to ask if I’d ever worked with Azure. I told him I had not, although I knew it was a cloud computing platform and I had worked with Amazon’s AWS before.  “Argh,” I thought. “Looks like he only had one job I might be qualified for, and now I have to tell him I don’t have the skill set for even that one.”

Then about a half hour later, I had another email come in. “Notice of Job Referral(s) Made.” Maybe he referred me for that one job, I thought, and told them I have cloud experience, not just Azure.

I logged into and found the Message Center – which took me a minute to find. They offer a lot of services! They can help you with resume writing, a career plan, all kinds of stuff. I was very impressed.

I clicked the Message Center link and found that my resume had been referred to TEN companies! The positions for which those companies were looking to fill were good positions too. In addition, my specialist when looking over my resume picked up on the fact that I had experience in marketing in addition to IT, and referred my resume to several hiring managers looking for skills that cross over between the two fields.

I have to admit, when I’ve been looking before, I never thought of going to the Tennessee Department of Labor. I thought, that’s where people with GEDs go to find a job bagging groceries or paving streets. I was wrong! Well, I’m sure those kinds of jobs are there, but there are jobs for people like me with a Master’s and 10+ years of experience too. I got more leads from working with them than I have the entire 6 weeks I have been looking. If you ever find yourself hunting for a job, don’t hesitate to go to and fill out a profile and upload a resume. They really look out for you there and are serious about wanting to help Tennesseans find work.

I can’t resist a side note before I go, an idea I had as I was typing about “unusual perks” above. There needs to be a job hunting website where employers post photos of the workspace in which the person hired will be working. To me, and I know to many others, it matters a lot. Show me a photo of a cubicle with walls at least 6 feet high on all sides (glass panes and other transparent materials don’t count toward the height) and that’s a plus. Show me a photo of a private office and that’s a plus-plus. Tell me my office is my home, a coffee shop or wherever I choose and that’s a plus-plus-plus.

Show me something that looks like the recent GEICO commercial where the meerkats are all popping their heads up in their cubicles – I’ll still apply, because that’s how most offices are these days, but I’ll be a little less enthusiastic.

I know some Start Co. people read this blog – if any of you entrepreneurs want to take up this job hunting site idea and run with it, feel free.

Anyway, just wanted to pass this info along. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

My apologies for the lack of a post yesterday! My air conditioner wasn’t running well. I don’t really like being in my apartment when maintenance people are in there, so I took a shower, reported the problem, and then got out of the apartment for the day as quickly as I could.

The conversion at AutoZone Park has begun, transforming the park from a baseball field into a soccer pitch for Saturday’s exhibition game between Tim Howard’s Colorado Rapids and the USL’s Tulsa Roughnecks FC this Saturday. If they are going to have baseball and soccer games in the same time frame next year, I wonder what the turnaround time will be on the conversion? I imagine it’s not as simple as pulling up the Tigers floor and putting down the Grizzlies floor at FedExForum.

Buy tickets to Saturday’s game here. Start time is 7 PM. Memphis USL supporters the Bluff City Mafia are having a prematch party at the Brass Door at 2 Saturday.

In other Memphis sports news, G-League team the Memphis Hustle has announced their regular season schedule.

King Jerry Lawler’s Bar and Grill on Beale will be closed today and will reopen tomorrow, August 30. I don’t know the reason for the closure but I saw a tweet from Randy Hales saying he is no longer the GM of the restaurant. I hope they find somebody who can replace Randy’s deep knowledge of Memphis wrestling. Too bad I don’t know how to run a restaurant, or I would apply!

Yesterday the City Council voted to approve a variance that will allow a surface parking lot at Main and Beale, where the Tri-State Bank used to be. Belz owns that property and originally planned to put a hotel there, but with the recent spurt of hotel construction in the Downtown core they don’t feel the timing is ideal. The variance is for 10 years and can be extended another 5, giving Belz time to figure out the best use of the property. The Orpheum was a supporter, citing the need for more parking, although the Downtown Memphis Commission opposed, saying a surface lot in that location did not fit the master plan for Downtown.

Skate night is back at Tom Lee Park this Friday at 7:30 PM for River Glow Night. Skate rental is free.

The Memphis Union Mission has some rare opportunities for teams of people to volunteer to provide and prepare meals in the Men’s Emergency Shelter on various dates in 2019.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Live on Stage will come to the Orpheum on December 15. Tickets will go on sale this Friday.

Congratulations to Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp on being named the Pacific Coast League’s Manager of the Year for the second year in a row. It’s great for Memphis, but also possibly dangerous… Major League Baseball teams are paying attention to his success here and one of them may poach him away to manage their team. Then again, the Redbirds have a great record of grooming managers, as former ‘birds manager Mike Shildt had “interim” title removed and was named manager of the Cardinals yesterday.

The Flyer’s Michael Donahue has photos from Monroe Avenue Fest including the meatball eating contest.

From the Memphis Daily News: Bike share coincides with city’s 901 identity

The Broom Closet at 546 S. Main has announced that it has tarot readers on site every Friday and Saturday from noon to 6, and readings can be arranged on other days by appointment.

The world’s first beer hotel opened this week in Columbus, Ohio.

For those of you who have been missing beer on draft at the Blind Bear, it’s back. They got a new kegerator installed and are now pouring beers, including some locally made beers, from 5 taps. They are also making some other upgrades. The poker tables have been re-felted with some snazzy new purple felt. Next week they are getting a new pool table which will also have purple felt.

I had a very happy troll last night when her favorite candy showed up at the Blind Bear.

A quick poker story

I haven’t played bar poker in about a year, but Monday I decided to play the Silly Goose’s weekly 8:30 Texas hold’em game. I won a hand early on, bumping my initial 5000 stack up to 7200. Later, at blinds of 400/800, I was second to act, with my right-hand opponent folding to me. I looked at my cards.

My hand: Queen-Queen

With the third best starting hand in Texas Hold’em, I was quite happy to play. I bet 2500, slightly more than a third of my stack. By betting that amount I was more or less committing to go all the way with the hand.

Three people called. ARGH! Pocket pairs do not play well in multi-way pots. I was hoping with my strong bet of more than 3 times the big blind, combined with early position, people would believe I had something and I would get only one call. Even zero calls, picking up the 1200 in the pot, would have been acceptable. But this is bar poker and people call with a wide array of hands.

The flop: Ace-King-Ten (two spades, one club)

ARGH again! This is just about the worst flop possible for my hand. Two overcards, a flush draw, and if QJ is out it already has a very strong made hand.

I decided my best option was to represent that I liked the flop. Representing strength in early position before the flop, AA, KK and AK would all be within my range of hands, giving me a set or two pair. All the poker players at the table were regulars and skilled enough to know I didn’t have QJ.

I decided to take my chances and went all in for 4700.

My left-hand opponent called – I would not be surprised if I had a tell when I saw the flop, having been out of practice playing for a year. She had AJ for top pair. Turn and river were no help and I was out. Stupid overcards!

Now I’m looking back wondering if I played the hand right. I could have check-folded that bad flop, but it would have left me with less than 6 big blinds, putting me in a pretty desperate position. I think, given my pre-flop bet, I had no choice but to go all the way.

The trouble with the way I played the hand was, I was forcing my opponents to bet 4700 for a chance to win 15,900 (2500 times four plus my post-flop bet plus the blinds). That gives them more than 3-to-1 odds, and if they have anything they should probably call.

I think what I should have done was shoved the entire 7200 pre-flop. Shoving 9 big blinds is not ridiculous, and it would have communicated strength in a way a 3 big blind bet does not in bar poker.

Okay, that’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update: Beale street fight, Adam Wainwright pitching tonight, more

I love to use this blog to promote all that is good about Downtown Memphis, to get people from other parts of the city and people from other places to come down here and experience my neighborhood. Occasionally, though, I have to go negative. I regret that this is one of those days.

About 2:45 AM Saturday night/Sunday morning, a large brawl broke out on Beale Street between Rum Boogie and Silky’s. It resulted in a man being stabbed.

Think of all the tourists on the street who witnessed the fight and got the impression that, this is Memphis.

Go to YouTube and search for “Beale Street Fight.” You’ll find plenty to watch, and I don’t mean just this past weekend’s fight.

I hope this serves as an impetus for the City Council to implement the security recommendations for Beale in a recent consultant’s study. Reinstating Beale Street Bucks won’t eliminate all fights on the street, but it would decrease their likelihood. Former DMC president Paul Morris:

Also, we need more police officers on Beale. I don’t mean officers sitting in the comfort of their air-conditioned squad cars at the intersection of Beale and B.B. King. I mean officers on foot, visible, actively deterring crime. I know the force has been stretched thin lately, but with Mayor Strickland turning the numbers around and more graduating from the police academy, I hope this can be addressed in the coming years.

On to better news: St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has been sent to the Redbirds on a rehab assignment. He will pitch for Memphis in tonight’s final regular season home game at AutoZone Park. First pitch is 6:35. Get a ticket to the game that includes a Waino bobblehead here. 

Over the weekend, the Redbirds clinched their division title, the second in two years.

Grizzlies announcer Pete Pranica announced a change of plans. Instead of being sent to India to train local basketball announcers, he will be sent to Japan.

Sources I follow in the intelligence community suggest that Donald Trump’s eldest spawn Don Jr. might get indicted this week.

From what I’ve read, Ivanka and Eric will eventually be indicted too, but not before the midterm elections.

Usually, when a statesman with the stature of John McCain passes away, the flags at the White House are ordered to be flown at half staff. However, because Trump is a bitter, petty man who hated McCain, the flags remain at full staff today. Tea Pain had this to say about Trump’s decision:

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more

Goodbye to a true patriot / Sunday news

America lost a true hero, a man of service and principles yesterday, as Senator John McCain succumbed to brain cancer. McCain was a man who always put America’s best interests ahead of his own, in an era where too many politicians do the opposite. The Daily Beast has an excellent tribute to McCain’s life of service.

So now the Republican governor of Arizona will appoint someone to fill the seat until the next election cycle. Seems to me that the perfect way to honor The Maverick would be to appoint his daughter, Meghan McCain. Only thing is, I’m not sure she’s a resident of the state of Arizona.

Minh Nguyen has been named the new chef at Bleu, the restaurant in the Westin Hotel. Minh has some exciting ideas for “new sushi,” rolled with African couscous rather than traditional white rice. He also has ideas for cooking fish sous vide.

901 Day will be celebrated a day early at South Main Trolley Night this Friday. Come out and hang with your neighbors as most of the shops stay open until 9 or later.

The DNA is having a party on the Mississippi Sunday, September 16. From 3 to 5 there will be a day party on Beale Street Landing with a DJ, a drumline, four food trucks and a mobile bar truck, and a silent auction. At 5:30 there will be a riverboat cruise. $25 in advance until September 15, $30 at the dock.

There will be a Double J reunion Sunday, October 6 at The Vault. The Facebook post linked here is public, so please share with anyone who worked at, or was a regular of, the Double J.

After a year off, it’s back – the Memphis Grilled Cheese Fest will happen at the Hi-Tone starting at noon Sunday, November 4. Teams will compete to see who cooks the best grilled cheese sandwich in Memphis. In a year in which several food festivals have fallen by the wayside, I’m glad to see this one back on the calendar.

Definitely not a trend in which I will take a part, but there’s a company that makes lingerie for men. I remember how excited my friend Mary got when I told her about the upcoming Memphis Yoga Fest a couple of days ago. I bet my friends Rahul and Tony get equally excited about this piece of news.

I was surfing Kooky Canuck’s menu online yesterday and noticed that you can get beef stroganoff as a side. Not too often do you see a dish with meat in it offered as a side at restaurants.

That’s it for now. Going to work on my non-blog writing project for a bit then head out to brunch at 11. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

As a fan of spicy foods and drinks, I was intrigued by a cocktail my friend Jennifer ordered at the Silly Goose yesterday.

This is the Paloma, made with tequila, grapefruit juice, syrup, and jalapeno. No kidding, the bartender used an entire jalapeno in the making of this drink.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog checked out The Pocket, the speakeasy at 115 Union which will become a members-only establishment on September 14. She got great photos of the upstairs, downstairs, cocktails, and food, and her post will help you decide if you want to become a member. Right now it is open to the public, and it opens today at 4.

The annual Beale Street Cigar Festival is coming up one week from today. This year’s festival will feature a performance by Biz Markie.

Tonight is the final regular-season post-game fireworks display at AutoZone Park as the Redbirds host Nashville (first pitch 6:35, gates open 5:00). All fans will receive a voucher for a Field Box ticket to a 2019 Redbirds game, excluding fireworks games and other select games. $2 beers in the Plaza prior to the game.

Spincult, the new gym/physical fitness center/spin cycling center at 700 Madison next to Trolley Stop Market, has its grand opening today 10 to 3. Take a class today on a pay-what-you-want basis, with money raised being donated to LeBonheur.

The Orpheum is hosting a haunted dinner on stage Wednesday, October 24. Learn about the Orpheum’s paranormal activity over a three-course dinner, a tour, wine, haunted trivia, and more.

Memphis Made has its posters ready for the Cooper-York Festival.

Memphis Made’s Cooper-York Fest runs concurrently with the giant Cooper-Young Fest. If Cooper-Young fest is too much for you, check out the much more intimate Cooper-York Fest in Memphis Made’s taproom and parking lot, with live music, food trucks, and of course, great beer.

One last reminder – the Kooky Canuck Double Your Dollars gift card sale is coming up this Wednesday at both locations. Twice the poutine, twice the maple flank steak, twice the Yonge Street Burgers (my personal favorite).

I mentioned the other day that there’s a new restaurant, Global Cafe, in Crosstown Concourse serving Nepalese, Sudanese, and Syrian food. They have a website where you can see photos of their food and their menu. Search “global cafe memphis” and it will come up. Why am I not linking to the menu here? Because I can’t. Their URL contains a special character (the e with the accent mark over it) and it won’t copy and paste correctly. Business owners: Avoid special characters in your domain name. Anyway, the menu has a diverse array of food, about 7-8 dishes from each country, and it’s all very reasonably priced.

I saw another very interesting political “what if” on Twitter yesterday. Article I, section 5 of the Constitution requires a majority (51 members) be present for the Senate to conduct business. With American hero Sen. John McCain stopping brain cancer treatment and likely not returning to the Senate, Republicans only have 50 members. Democrats might be able to block the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh by simply not showing up. And this would not be a case where the Republicans could just vote to make a rule change to get around it – it’s in the Constitution.

That’s all for now. Time to go spread a little sunshine. Back tomorrow.

Friday update: Yoga, Rocky Horror, and lots more including a “what if” scenario

A new festival is coming to Memphis next month, and this one is not a live music festival, or a festival that celebrates a particular culture. This will be something entirely different.


The Memphis Yoga Festival will happen at my alma mater, Rhodes College, Saturday, September 22 from 7:30 AM to 8 PM. There will be over 30 different yoga classes throughout the day, as well as a kids’ zone, a tea garden, food trucks, walking meditation, vendors, and more. Have a look at the schedule to see the vast array of activities the festival is offering. $35 in advance, $45 at the door. For those of you who have never been to Rhodes’ campus, it is beautiful and serene and an ideal place to do yoga and meditate.

Time to do the Time Warp tonight as The Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to the Orpheum. Audience participation is encouraged and you can bring your own props or buy a bag of props from Orpheum concessions. Doors open at 7 PM for an on-stage costume contest, with the movie starting at 8. I have been to this and it is a lot of fun.

There’s a fundraiser going on for a member of the Bardog Tavern family. While helping to raise money for the kids of St. Jude last Sunday, server London Wood fell off a curb, breaking her ankle and tibia. Not only will she have medical bills related to her injury, but, of course, since servers have to be on their feet all day, she will not be able to work for 4 months. Anything you can spare for medical and living expenses will be much appreciated by the staff at Bardog.

Have you heard about the Downtown Parking Study? Learn about it here.

The Redbirds return to Memphis tonight to play the Nashville Sounds, and although first pitch is 7:05, you’ll want to get there right at 6 when the gates open. The first 1500 fans in the gate get a replica of the Redbirds’ 2017 PCL Championship rings. There will be live entertainment and $2 beers in the Plaza before game time, and giveaways every inning with one fan rolling the dice for a chance to win $100,000.

Baked to Perfection is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. No, that’s not a weed reference. There are many baked goods you can buy at the Market, including breads, cookies, and dog treats. UT pharmacy students will be on site 8 to noon to share information about the silent killer, high blood pressure. Also from 8 to noon, kids can make watermelon suncatchers in the crafts corral. Master Gardeners will be there from 8 to noon to answer any gardening questions you may have. The Market runs from 8 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson.

Listen to radio host Gary Parrish on the way home from work? Help put him in a dunk tank at Just City’s Plunge to Expunge at Memphis Made Brewing Co. next Thursday.

Burlesque show JustLarry’s Return to Paradise comes to the Evergreen Theater August 31-September 2.

A blogger who writes a blog called Vida Fashionista recently stayed at Hotel Napoleon. If you’re not familiar with the hotel, she does a great job covering the hotel’s feel and its amenities. Read her review here.

Daniel from Silly Goose posted a photo of a dish he and Wok’n in Memphis are thinking of doing for their collaboration pop-up brunch this Sunday. Kung pao chicken and waffles:

Trolley Stop Market posted to Facebook that they are looking to hire a cashier.

South Main Sushi is hosting a fundraiser next Friday on South Main Trolley Night, August 31, from 5 PM to midnight. DJ Dre will perform and Wiseacre will roll out its new Japanese-themed beer. The party will raise funds to help a student nurse anesthetist make a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

Want to learn how to solder? HACKmemphis and Midsouth Makers are offering a class.

A group called Friends of WEVL wants change at the radio station. They claim that the amount of locally-sourced programming has decreased at WEVL in favor of more syndicated shows. They also note that of the local programmers the station does have, there is a lack of diversity, with only one of 42 being African-American.

ESPN Front Row has an interview with Marc Gasol about his time spent last month on the Mediterranean helping rescue immigrants fleeing from war and famine.

There’s a new Citizens’ Police Academy class beginning September 4.

Purple Haze has won a court battle allowing the nightclub a block south of Beale to continue serving alcohol until 5 AM, just as its neighbors on Beale are allowed to do.

This is very cool: Lyft to offer 50% off rides on Election Day

I’ve been thinking about something this morning: Trump is now implicated in a crime involving the Michael Cohen payoff to Stormy Daniels. Now that’s pretty bad, but it alone is not enough to be an impeachable offense. However, let’s assume that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s suppose that the rumors I’ve heard for over a year are true, and it is discovered, say, 5 months from now, that the NRA did indeed launder $30 million in Russian money and funnel it to the RNC and the Trump campaign.  Furthermore, let’s suppose there is conclusive evidence that both Trump and Pence knew about the Russian money and approved it.

So let’s say that, in January 2019, a group of Congressional leaders come to Trump and Pence, just as Congressional leaders did with Nixon in August 1974. They tell Trump and Pence, we can no longer do anything to save you. If you don’t resign, you are going to be impeached and you are going to be found guilty and removed from office. So, Trump and Pence both resign, or they both go to impeachment hearings and are removed by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

With the two top offices vacant, the third in line to the presidency moves up. That’s the speaker of the House.

President Paul Ryan? No. Not so fast. We’ll be past the midterm elections at that point. Ryan has said he’s stepping down as speaker. More important than that, though, is that the Democrats are rated at about 75% (according to a recent estimate by FiveThirtyEight) to take back the House. So the speaker of the House could very well be a Democrat.

No kidding, folks, we could have a Democrat in the Oval Office in 2019.

For that reason, Democrats need to be extra careful to get the Speaker election right, if they take the majority in the House in November.

President Nancy Pelosi? I have to admit it would be sweet, sweet revenge on the Republicans for enabling the orange baboon’s corruption for as long as they did. She’s not the right choice, though. She is a polarizing figure. She’d cause more years of partisan bickering, and we as a society would fail to remember that we are Americans first, before we are Republicans and Democrats.

We need someone who will be a calming influence, the way Ronald Reagan was in the ’80s. I didn’t agree with a lot of his political views, but there was no doubt he was the Great Communicator, and he had the ability to make people believe that everything was going to be all right. We need a Democrat with that kind of communication ability in the speaker seat, in case the move up to the presidency does indeed happen.

Just something to think about.

By the way, if that scenario did play out, that would really suck for anyone with presidential aspirations not serving in the House of Representatives. They would face the tough choice of contesting a primary against an incumbent of their own party, or possibly having to wait as late as 2028 to run.

Whew! That’s the end of this very long post. Back tomorrow with more.

Thursday update

Memphis Madness is coming back. The open practice and celebration of the Memphis Tigers basketball team will happen October 4 at FedExForum. Ticket prices (that’s right, they’re actually charging this year) will be $10 plaza and club, $5 terrace. The event is important not only to fire up the Tiger fan base, but to impress class of 2019 and 2020 recruits who will be visiting. The event was discontinued when Tubby Smith was head coach. Great move by Coach Penny to bring it back.

Interested in being part of the Bluff City Mafia, the loud and strong supporters of the new Memphis USL soccer team? Check out this interview. Until now, I have never been a huge soccer fan, but I have to admit I kind of want to be part of the Bluff City Mafia.

Downtown Memphis Commission is calling for proposals for art installations for The Artery, an alley in the Downtown core. The Artery starts at Second north of Madison, bends onto Maggie H. Isabel St./Rendezvous Alley for 2 blocks, then turns back toward Main at Gen. Washburn’s Escape Alley.

The National Civil Rights Museum has announced its 2018 Freedom Award recipients, and what a list it is. Former vice-president Joe Biden, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Pitt Hyde will receive the award Wednesday, October 17 at the Orpheum. Please run for president in 2020, Uncle Joe!

Our team name of “Stormy Scandals” wasn’t a winner, but we snuck into a first-place victory at trivia at Blind Bear by 2 points last night.

Thanks to my teammates on a great collaboration: award-winning bartender Cady, French teacher Mr. Davenport, and Moody Ques deputy director of public relations Perjorie T. Roll.

Brad Jones has been named the second coach of the Grizzlies’ developmental league team the Memphis Hustle. Jones has previously been both head coach and GM of G-League teams.

A new festival is coming to Fourth Bluff October 13.

Check out to learn more.

Cornhole tournaments at Loflin Yard start today.

Ballet Memphis will host a free beginner Pilates class at Wiseacre’s outdoor pavilion next Wednesday at 7 PM.

New York State has issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen in the state’s ongoing investigation of the Trump crime family. You know, I have Republican friends who claim that despite all the bad news for Trump this week, he’s still going to get 8 years. I disagree. I think his prison sentence will be way longer than 8 years.

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

Wed update: Bocce ball court, big DNA meeting, #MuellerTime and more

The bocce ball court at South Main and Talbot is no more.

Weep not for the bocce ball court, however; it’s being dug up for the best of reasons. The building you see in the background will become Slider Out, the second Slider Inn location. Like the original, Slider Out will have a huge patio area that will seat 100.

The bocce ball court was never meant to be permanent. It was an improvement to South Main, transforming a blighted vacant lot into something that looked nice and that area residents and visitors could enjoy, until the time came when someone purchased the lot to build something permanent there.

I passed by the lot last night on the way to Max’s Sports Bar to watch the second week of their cornhole tournament.

Prior to the start of the matches, Max went over the rules and announced which teams were playing on which boards.

My troll wanted us to enter the cornhole tournament as a team. I had to point out to her that 1) we missed the entry deadline and 2) her arms don’t move, so she can’t throw.

On to the news. This month’s Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting, set for Tuesday, August 28 at the Redbirds Club at AutoZone Park, is going to be a huge one. It will feature a panel of experts on Memphis sports. Master of Ceremonies will be Geoff Calkins of The Daily Memphian. Other panelists will include Eli Savoie of Real Sports Talk WHBQ; Chris Vernon of Grind City Media, host of the Chris Vernon Show; Gary Unger, president and CEO of the Memphis Redbirds; and Mike Miller, assistant coach of the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team. There will be a cash bar and light snacks will be provided. 6:00 social, 6:30 presentation. This event is free for DNA members and $10 for visitors.

The New Daisy will host a free concert put on by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development on September 15. The Six Degrees to Tennessee Roots Jam will feature Grammy-winners The Roots along with Elle King, Dustin Lynch, Estelle, JJ Julius Son from Kaleo, and The Isley Brothers. The concert will coincide with a new Rolling Stone search engine, that when you search for an artist, it reveals how many degrees of separation they are from Tennessee.

The Redbirds will offer a specialty ticket in conjunction with Aldo’s Pizza Pies on Saturday. With the ticket, you get a 22-ounce Redbirds logo mug. You can get it filled up with bottomless soft drinks at the game. You also get a coupon for a slice of Aldo’s pizza, redeemable at the Downtown or Midtown location. Also, through September 3 you can bring the mug to Aldo’s for $3 draft beers, $3 ice cream floats, or $1 sodas.

The Memphis International Auto Show will return to the Cook Convention Center September 21-23.

This isn’t Downtown news, but for those of you who like international food, head over to Crosstown Concourse. A new restaurant called Global Cafe is serving food from Nepal, Syria, and Sudan.

There will be a Leaf Dish Class by Erica Bodine Pottery at the Memphis Made taproom this Sunday at 2:30. Each student will impress a leaf into clay. $35 per person. The leaf dishes will be made Sunday, glazed September 2, and picked up September 9.

That’s the news for today. Now let’s get on to the good stuff.

Paul Manafort had been on trial for 18 criminal charges. The jury returned a guilty verdict on 8 of the charges, related to tax fraud and bank fraud, and a mistrial was declared on the other 10. The mistrial most likely doesn’t matter. The 8 convictions are likely to be enough to put Paulie Walnuts in prison for the rest of his miserable life. Remember also that he still has another trial coming in September, facing even more charges.

If this were the only news item of the day, it would be a pretty terrible day for President Trump. True, the crimes weren’t related to Russia, and they occurred before Manafort worked on Trump’s campaign. However, Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager for three months, showing that Trump does not hire “the best people” as he claims. It also is further proof that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is not a “witch hunt.”

The really bad news for Trump is the other shoe that dropped yesterday. Michael Cohen, for years Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer,” entered a plea deal, admitting guilt to 8 criminal charges. Two of the charges were related to illegal campaign contributions. The judge asked Cohen to describe each crime he committed. For the campaign finance violations, he could have simply said he “conspired with one or more members of the campaign.” But he didn’t. He said he made the illegal contributions “in coordination with, and at the direction of” a candidate for federal office. Cohen only has three clients, and the other two weren’t running for federal office. BAM. For the first time, Donald Trump has been directly implicated in crimes.

Plus, Cohen has said he will not accept a pardon if offered one, and he is willing to talk to Mueller. He has also indicated that he has information related to whether Trump knew about, and actively encouraged, hacking in the 2016 election.

I’m excited. I truly believe we are seeing the beginning of the end of this corrupt administration.

All right. I’m tired of writing. Back tomorrow with more news.