Saturday update

Yep. Took a day off from blogging yesterday, as I expected I would. Yesterday I got up, showered, dressed, and was in my usual seat at Bardog at 8:30. I was happy to be there early on a weekday morning again, although I’m also happy I have a reason to not be at Bardog early most weekdays.

Memphis 83, NC State 78: I had to admit I had a fear going into this game that Memphis (especially without James Wiseman) would be exposed as not as good a team as people thought. However, they took care of business against the a caliber of team that the Tigers will see in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. They got a bit sloppy at the end, their inexperience showing as they allowed NC State to cut a 19-point deficit down to 5, but they got the W and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

No one wants to see a teammate get suspended, but I’m sure Precious Achiuwa realizes Lady Luck dropped opportunity in his lap when the NCAA ruled Wiseman can’t play until January 12. Latest projections I have seen have Achiuwa going as the final lottery pick – 14th – in the 2020 NBA draft. NBA scouts are going to be watching to see if Achiuwa steps up between now and January 12. If he steps up, Precious might improve his position to, say, 9th. The difference between 9th and 14th in NBA rookie scale salary is about a million dollars a year. That’s a pretty nice incentive to give the Tigers his very best.

Memphis football controls its own destiny now: Yesterday, the announcers said several times that Memphis will advance to the AAC championship game with a win, or with a loss and a Navy loss. In next week’s game, there is no “or” scenario. If the Tigers win, they are without a doubt the best team in the Group of 5 conferences and will be invited to play in the Cotton Bowl. All the Tigers have to do is beat a team they already beat on their home field.

Do the Tigers still have a chance to get to the Cotton Bowl if they lose Saturday? I don’t think so. Both Memphis and Cincy would be 11-2 in that case and 1-1 against each other, but Cincy would hold the conference championship and that supposedly matters to the CFP rankings committee. Memphis would also have to worry about Boise State jumping both the Tigers and Cincinnati in the final poll.

I’ve been keeping up with bowl projections, and some analysts predict a Memphis-Florida matchup in the Cotton Bowl. That would be a hell of a game. Defeating a marquee SEC opponent would make the statement “WE BELONG HERE,” in a Big Six bowl, able to hang with a Power 5 conference opponent that, at least for a while, was in the conversation for a CFP slot.

I continue to hear that Arkansas has some interest in Mike Norvell as a head coach. As much as I love my Hogs, I hope that doesn’t happen. Norvell has built up too good a thing here at Memphis to leave now. I think he knows that too. Eventually a program will come along that makes Norvell an offer he can’t refuse, but Arkansas is currently too much of a shitshow for him to have a chance at building the program into a winner. I see Norvell eventually going to a program with a storied history in college football, but that just has not found a way to get past 7-6, 8-4 types of records in recent years. Maybe a school like Texas A&M or Oklahoma State.

As for Arkansas, I think they need to reach out to Bobby Petrino about coming back. If I were the AD I’d lay down the law with Petrino, and tell him he will be closely monitored to make sure he is not having affairs with any staff members. Add a clause in his contract that he can’t ride any motorcycles as long as he is head coach. But realistically, I think Bobby is the only one who can return Arkansas to its winning ways.

Another thing Arkansas needs to do is put out feelers about jumping to the Big 12 if they have any thoughts of expansion. As a former member of the Southwest Conference, the Hogs already have history with Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU. Their basketball program has a lot of shared history with Oklahoma State via Eddie Sutton. Oklahoma and Arkansas have a couple of wild Orange Bowl battles under their belt. And besides, it’s not like strong ties to the other schools are even necessary to be admitted to the Big 12 (West Virginia got in somehow).

All right, enough rambling about sports… let’s get on to what little Downtown news I do have. Loflin Yard will have a Bluegrass Brunch Buffet every Sunday beginning tomorrow, from 11 AM to 3 PM. $22 adults and $12 for kids.

There’s a Black Friday deal on Across the Board gift cards through Christmas Eve: Buy a $100 gift card and get a free $20 one, or buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 card for free. These cars can be purchased in store and can be used at Sunrise Memphis, 117 Prime, Belle Tavern, or Sweetgrass Next Door.

If you still send Christmas cards, consider supporting a great nonprofit b buying Church Health Christmas cards this year. Donations help provide health care services for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.

There will be performances of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert today at the Orpheum at 2 PM and 8 PM. Tickets are $39.50-$77.50.

Deal Cancer Out happens today at 2 at Central BBQ Downtown. Play some tournament Texas Hold’em, eat from a BBQ buffet, and have a chance at winning some fabulous prizes. River Rat Rounders staff will be tournament directors ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Nick Jr. Live Move to the Music is at the Cannon Center today at 2, if you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos.

All right, I’ve still got a little time to kill before Bardog opens… y’all want to see some photos of a troll standing next to food?

My friends Staci and Darin kindly invited me over to their place for Thanksgiving dinner and an afternoon of fun watching the Tigers. Of course the troll wanted to stand by the Brussels sprouts and the green beans because she likes foods that are the same color as her hair.

The troll with a piece of chocolate pie that we had for dessert

The troll after discovering there was whipped cream to go on the pie

One photo without a troll or food in it. Bardog now has their own branded coasters. It is a pleasure to place my PBR on such a beautiful work of art!

Bardog always has a turkey plate as its special on Thanksgiving Day… which makes the Friday after Thanksgiving one of the best days of the year, because every year they make too much food and end up fire-saling the turkey plate for Friday lunch. Can you believe I got this massive amount of food for only $15? I guess I could’ve rotated the plate around so the troll could stand next to the green bean casserole.

All right, time to get in the shower and get dressed and head to Bardog. My Bardog schedule will be interrupted the first two Saturdays in December – I don’t plan to be there at all on the 7th and only for a short time on the 14th. Today, though, I plan to stay a while. It’s Small Business Saturday and I plan to give myself the gift of PBR. Back tomorrow or Monday with more news.

Thanksgiving update

Team “Yes, dear a.k.a. OK Bitch” won best team name and second place in trivia last night. No I did not come up with that name. It was a good one though.

Nonprofits: If you want people to read your November e-newsletter, don’t send it out at 2:30 PM the day before Thanksgiving. People are not checking their email at that time, unless they’re waiting for the “office closing early, you can go home” email.

Speaking of which: As I got dressed for work yesterday, I thought to myself, as soon as I get there, I need to ask the office manager if the office is open on Friday. I never got the chance! I got to work to find an “office closed Wednesday-Friday, happy Thanksgiving” sign on the door. I came home and changed clothes and Early Morning Bardog Paul made a temporary return.

Max’s Sports Bar will open at 1 PM tomorrow for the Memphis-Cincinnati game and all the other football action.

For those going to the Memphis-Cincy game at the Liberty Bowl, there will be $2 hot dogs all day.

On Saturday, Loflin Yard is hosting an Alabama-Auburn watch party at 2:30.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to link you to this MBJ article about the apartment building part of the Wonder Bread bakery renovation. It is scheduled to go before the Design Review Board December 4 and will be called The Rise (get it? bread rises when baked). There will be 199 apartments and a parking garage. I wonder if Memphis Made will finish its taproom around the time the apartments start renting? If so, the Edge’s new residents will have a short walk for some great craft beer.

The same article linked above has more beer news. The Design Review Board will also hear plans for Upourium Social & Tap Room at 399 S. Second. It will serve craft beer as well as wine and cider, and will have games, live music, and karaoke. It will be a short walk from Central BBQ, the new Slider Inn, the Civil Rights Museum, and (when it opens) the second Wiseacre taproom. Once again, the South Main District just keeps getting better.

Loflin Yard will host an Ugly Sweater Silent Disco tomorrow from 9 to midnight. $10 gets you live DJs on three different channels.

The best Downtown Big Wheel relay race of the year happens this Saturday, November 30, on Beale Street at 1 PM. Big Wheels will be provided. Put together a team and show Beale Street what you’ve got.

Trolley Stop Market will host Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus Saturday from 9 to noon. In addition to getting to visit with the Clauses, the experience includes an ornament station and a buffet of eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, pancakes, biscuits and gravy.

The South Main Association will host a Holiday Arts Market at Artspace Lofts as part of its monthly Trolley Night tomorrow night. Why spend Black Friday fighting some redneck for the last discount TV at Walmart when you could spend it in South Main instead?

The same evening, Stock & Belle at 387 S. Main will host the 3rd annual Made in Memphis Holiday Market.  10 local artists will have items for sale. Can’t make it tomorrow? No problem, they will have the market Saturday as well.

Blind Bear brings back its Repeal Day Party next Thursday, December 5. Celebrate the 86th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with drink specials. $6 Old Fashioneds, Dark & Stormy, American Mules, and Manhattans; $3 flavored whiskey; and $5 Bear Balls and beef tacos. Seven-piece Early Blues band The Handy Band will provide the live music.

For those who like to watch sports at the Bear, good news: They have installed an additional TV above the main poker table. That will be nice to have during college football conference championship and bowl season.

There will be a dessert festival called Delectable Festival Sunday at Beale Street Landing. 14 vendors will serve a variety of desserts and craft cocktails. This event will benefit Friends for Life.

That’s it for now. It’s almost time for Thanksgiving dinner! There’s about an 80% chance I will take tomorrow off from blogging. I plan for this to be a late night and for tomorrow to be an early Bardog morning. Back Saturday with more news, or tomorrow if there’s something that’s time sensitive.


Billion dollar idea, new spring events, Dave Chapelle and more Wednesday news

Last night I decided to call it an early night. This was partly because I wanted to get a good night’s rest so I’d be ready for a big weekend, and partly because I wanted to avoid the worst of the rain. So, shortly before Subway closed at 8, I stopped in there, took in a foot-long tuna salad sandwich with all the fixins, ate half of it and went to bed.

I got in a few hours of deep sleep, then after the patter of the rain beating my window woke me up around midnight, I fell back to sleep and started having intense dreams. In one of them I dreamed that I wrote a debugger. For cats.

A debugger is something computer programmers use when they write programs. It lets you step through each line or each block of your code as it runs, stopping whenever you wish to examine the state of the program as of that line of code – what values variables hold, that kind of thing. Without debuggers a lot of the software running on the computer/device you’re using to read this post never would have made it to market.

It makes sense that I would dream up a debugger for cats. Lately I’ve been working on a program that is sorta doing what I want and sorta not, and I’m trying to eliminate the sorta not part. Tomorrow I’m going to a Friendsgiving party where there will be five cats. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to take a snapshot of them at any given moment, and examine their current state – what is on their mind? (examples: feed me, I want to knock this off the shelf, feed me, ooh there’s a bug, feed me, I want to look out the window, feed me)

I woke up, and while a debugger for cats would certainly be entertaining, I thought, it wouldn’t be very useful. But then I had a million dollar idea: What if there were a debugger for HUMANS???

I was recently involved in a conversation that turned into an argument I couldn’t win, not because the facts weren’t on my side, but because the other party managed to artfully dodge the facts. What if there were a way to attach a debugger to a person and have it tell you when they are using manipulative tactics such as

  • Deflection (giving a BS cop-out answer to a question to which they know the real answer would cast them in a bad light)
  • Projection (assigning their own bad qualities to you)
  • Triangulation (pitting you against a third party, manipulating both of you for their benefit)
  • Saying things they hope will provoke an emotional response from you, so that they can use that response against you later
  • Building a web of lies so deep that others (and possibly you) don’t know what the truth is anymore
  • Exaggeration (taking a molehill of truth and blowing it up into a mountain of mostly lies)

So let’s use a hypothetical example: Let’s say that I know someone got caught stealing food from the Farmers Market and is no longer allowed there. Suppose I asked that person, “Why don’t you go to the Farmers Market anymore?”, and they responded, “It doesn’t matter because the food they sell is crappy,” and a window popped up on the computer screen with DEFLECTION in big red letters.

Or, let’s say someone has stopped speaking to you, and you use the fact that you’re friends with their boss to try to get their boss to force them to talk to you. A box pops up with TRIANGULATION in red letters.

It would be GAME OVER for manipulators if such a human debugger existed. All their tactics would be out in the open. Years ago I posted a video of a leopard who walked by a bush and saw a python lying underneath in the dark. She grabbed it by the neck and dragged it out into the sunlight for all the animals to see. That’s what the debugger would do to manipulative people.

Is such a program possible? Maybe. There’s a program called ELIZA that allows a computer to carry on a reasonably intelligent conversation with humans, and you know when it was first written? 46 years ago. With the advances in artificial intelligence over the past few decades, I believe a human debugger may indeed be a possibility. If I could craft a human debugger, I bet it would make me a billion dollars. Plus it would save so many people so much grief. Heck, for that reason alone I’d consider doing it pro bono.

And now, let’s get on with the news…

Dave Chapelle has been announced for the Orpheum the night of Thursday, December 5. Tickets go on sale today at 10 AM and are $69.50-$89.50.

An exciting new festival will be added to the spring calendar! Bluff City Brunch Festival will happen Saturday, May 30 from 11 AM to 3 PM at Fourth Bluff Park overlooking the Mississippi River. Food vendors will have individual takes on brunch available for sale in the $3-5 range, so you can pick and choose what you want to eat. You can also leave your vote for People’s Choice for best brunch dish. There will be DJs, the Grizzline drum line, giant yard games including Jenga, Connect Four, and beer pong, as well as a photo booth.

So, what does it cost and what do you get? A general admission ticket costs $35 and gets you 12 drink tickets. 1 ticket gets you 4 ounces of craft beer or cider, or a mimosa. 3 tickets gets you a Bloody Mary, screwdriver, or Irish coffee. 5 tickets will get you a journey down the 30-foot Old Dominick Bloody Mary bar. You get a souvenir cup that you can take home.

Or, you can go VIP for $50, getting everything included in the general admission ticket, as well as access to a VIP tent with exclusive bites from Phillip Dewayne of Park+Cherry restaurant.

A list of restaurant vendors will come soon. Sounds like a fantastic addition to our Downtown spring season! 12 mimosas for $35… even if they’re on the smallish side, that is not a bad value at all!

The brunch fest won’t be the only welcome foodie addition to the spring calendar, either. The week of April 6-11 will be Charc Week, a celebration of charcuterie plates, organized by City Tasting Events. Come enjoy hand-made and locally-sourced meats on charcuterie plates for only $15 all week long (dinner only) at participating restaurants, which include Alchemy, Bari, knifebird, Pontotoc Lounge, Silly Goose, and Strano by Chef Josh, with more to be added. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Church Health.

Comeback Coffee in The Pinch District is hosting an Art Night this Saturday, November 30 from 6 to 8. Let me jump right to the two words of the Facebook event description that are the most important: FREE BEER. Artists Reid Mitchell and Kyle Taylor will have their work on display. You can talk with them about their work while supporting Small Business Saturday. The El Mero Taco food truck will be parked out front.

The Grizzlies host Kawhi Leonard (if the Clips don’t “rest” him), Paul George and the L.A. Clippers tonight at FedExForum at 7. Don’t forget to get there early, to score a pair of those Jonas Valanciunas oven mitts (free to the first 5000) just in time for Thanksgiving.

The MBJ has a look at the sneak peek inside the Moxy Hotel to open in Court Square in December. (The article is subscriber only but the photo gallery is not.) They have foosball, pinball, and shuffleboard for guests, as well as a retro phone that allows their guests to hear bedtime stories. Out back they will have a bocce ball court.

The Halloran Centre will host A Visible Christmas next Tuesday 4:30-6 PM. Visible Music College students, faculty, and alumni will perform Christmas music. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the college at 200 Madison.

Loflin Yard hosts its annual Sippin’ with Santa Paws fundraiser benefiting Streetdog Foundation the afternoon of Sunday, December 6. The event will be in the Coach House which is heated, and for those who prefer to be outside there will be fire pits. $20 gets you and your dog (or your kids) a photo with Santa Paws, a limited-edition pint glass, and a drink ticket. Sangria, Memphis Made beer, Old Dominick cocktails, silent auction and raffle, and adoptable dogs as well as Streetdog Foundation alumni.

While we’re on the subject of dogs, check out this TODAY Show story on how therapy dogs give St. Jude patients a reason to smile.

The Daily Memphian has a good article on Soles4Souls, providing foot care, shoes, and socks for those in need in Memphis.

Tonight is one of the biggest party nights of the year, and I am planning to stay out late at the usual spots. Thanks to two very kind-hearted friends of mine who knew that I have no family left and invited me to their place for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow afternoon. They are amazing cooks so I know I will be full of delicious food. Tomorrow evening I am co-hosting a Friendsgiving with Mark, Nappin’ Ass Nate, and Mark’s five cats at Mark’s place, then out to the Blind Bear after that.

Not sure there will be a post tomorrow, but maybe. Check back and see.



Tuesday update 2: Watch out for “lost” USB drives

Yesterday I got dressed, put my jacket on, grabbed my keys and opened my front door about 8:50, ready for my short walk to work. On the floor in the hallway, in front of my door, I saw a small USB drive. I picked it up and put in my pocket. When the elevator reached the first floor, I went to the main office and turned it into Lesley, our property manager. I figured one of my neighbors dropped it on their way to or from the elevator. Perhaps it fell out as they were reaching for their keys.

However, after I got to work, it started to occur to me that it was very suspicious that the USB drive was lying right outside MY door. USB drops are a common tool for those who want to hack a particular person’s accounts but don’t know any of their login information. They drop a USB drive where they hope the target will find it, and curious to find out who it belongs to, will put it in their computer. There the target might see a file named something like “Tom_resume” which would possibly contain clues as to the owner of the USB drive and address to return it. However, the Tom_resume file would actually contain malware that would install itself on the target’s computer, able to take screenshots and record keystrokes and send them back to an IP address specified by the hacker.

I am aware of that trick and didn’t fall for it, if indeed I was being targeted. But, imagine if I’d put that in my home computer – someone could have gained control of my email, my blog, and who knows what else. Or worse, what if I’d taken the USB drive to work and plugged it in to my computer there: I could have compromised our entire network.

Just want to make my readers aware this scam is out there. If you find a USB drive, best bet is to take it to your computer network administrator at work and let them determine what is on it.

Read on for today’s news.

Tuesday update

When I got out yesterday, people were asking me, “Why no post today?” There was a very simple reason: I got up too late yesterday! It was almost 8 when I got out of bed and I have to be at work at 9.

Let’s start off with a few photos. First of all, thanks to Facebook for the not-so-subtle reminder that I turned 50 last week:

I finally got into the screaming women/dinner cat meme. This is in memory of my late grandfather who lived in Trimble, Tennessee, who would definitely side with the cat on this issue.

And finally for the pictures, here’s look at the latest pizza experiment by the chefs at the Silly Goose:

This is artichoke dip pizza. It had chicken on it so it’s not vegetarian. I thought it was good. Perjorie T. Roll liked it because it was the same color as her hair.

On to the news: The Memphis Sandwich Clique has started doing Sandwichtons on Sundays, where they meet up at one of their favorite sandwich restaurants and get 10% off. There will be merchandise giveaways and secret sandwiches as well. Mark your calendars for the Downtown sandwichthon Sunday, January 19. They will come to Puck Food Hall at 409 S. Main, where City Block Salumeria has some delicious sandwiches. See their Facebook page for a full listing of stops on the sandwich tour.

Due to the forecast of rain, the Downtown Memphis tree lighting has been moved to Sunday, December 1 from 4 to 6 PM.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen is hosting their annual Naughty or Nice Pajama Party Thursday, December 19 at 7 PM.

Yeah, not a very newsy post today either. That’s partly because it’s Thanksgiving week and there just isn’t much news, and partly because I’ve had other stuff on my mind lately. Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow (probably) with more news.


Sunday update

Yesterday the Blind Bear announced that there’s a new dog in the fight for Hung Over Like a Bear brunch. On Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM they will have 12 different flavors of Bird Dog Whiskey for $3 a shot. They will also continue to have $3 Bloody Marys and mimosas and $4 moonshine shots, as well as a full brunch menu during those hours.

River Time Market & Deli is cutting back on its Saturday hours during the slow fall/winter season to 8 AM until noon. Get in there early and get you one of those good cornbread breakfast sandwiches!

I don’t normally talk about chain restaurants on this blog, but those chili cheese bites at Sonic sound amazing.

Rob Thomas comes to the Orpheum December 6 for FM100’s Deck the Hall Ball. Man… I bet those people who always ask for the Pandora station to be changed to Matchbox 20 when they come in the Silly Goose are in hog heaven right now.

If you’re looking for something to do today, come to the Silly Goose at 5, where they will host a “Quick Draw” competition. Find out which of eight bartenders can make craft cocktails the fastest.

The competition starts at 5, but I’m going to get there about 6 hours early to make sure I get a good seat. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.

Saturday update

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live comes to the Orpheum tonight. This is a live version of the 1990s TV show. The premise of the show is that Joel Hogdson, the series’ star, was kidnapped by mad scientists and was forced to watch bad sci-fi movies. To keep him company, Joel built robots, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, to watch the movies with him and provide commentary throughout. Joel’s final tour, The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour, is underway and stops in Memphis this evening.

Southern Avenue performs on stage at the Halloran Centre tonight. They are the first Memphis band signed to the STAX label in 40 years.

The Grizzlies will wear their throwback Vancouver Grizzlies 25th anniversary uniforms and play on a throwback court tonight as they host LeBron, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers at FedExForum. L.A.’s other team, the Clippers, will be here on Wednesday for a Thanksgiving game at which Jonas Valanciunas oven mitts will be handed out to the first 5000 fans.

Today is a basketball doubleheader at FedExForum. The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Ole Miss at noon.

The football Tigers have a road game vs. South Florida today at 3. That game will be on ESPNU.

The Flying Saucer has its annual Turkey of the Year glass night at 7 this coming Wednesday. Come out and see who this year’s Turkey is.

The Daily Memphian has coverage of Memphis 901 FC’s fan forum that happened at The Brass Door Thursday night.

The DM’s Extra podcast this week features the Brooks Museum’s Emily Neff, talking about the Brooks’ planned move to Downtown.

Sydney Carty and Friends will play South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, on Thursday, December 5 6-9 PM.

I see that the guy who randomly blocks me and unblocks me on Facebook has unblocked me again. In other, possibly related news, I sure have enjoyed happy hour at the Silly Goose these past three months.

That’s it for now. I slept late so I’m not going to make it to the Turkey Market today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Yesterday my umbrella, my troll and I braved the rain to make a trip south to Longshot, the new shuffleboard bar in the basement of the Arrive Hotel at Main and Butler. I wanted to try something else on the menu, and this time I strayed away from their signature house-made sausages. My choice was the chili con queso, with brisket chili, cheese sauce, and pico de gallo.

This was SO good! The chips seem to be house-made, fresh and thin, but not so thin that they break in the cheese dip. As for the cheese dip – wow! Even without the brisket chili, this would be a huge hit. With the brisket chili, though, the flavor is outstanding. Although listed under the “Shareables” section of the menu, I had the queso all to myself, and it was just the right amount of food. This may become my go-to when I order food at Longshot.

I was there from about 5 to 8:15, and let me tell you, every time I have gone to Longshot, except the day of Arrive Hotel’s grand opening, I have thought, “Surely the place won’t be busy.” I mean, think about it – last night was a rainy weeknight in mid-late November – who would want to get out, to go to a relatively unknown bar with an entrance on a side street that’s easy to miss?

Well, a lot of people wanted to! By 6:30 or so the place was full! Nearly every bar seat was occupied, nearly every booth was occupied, and four of the five shuffleboard tables were in play. A handful of people there were South Main locals, but the vast majority of the crowd were people I had not seen before.

My next stop was Slider Inn Downtown. Another packed bar, every seat at the bar taken, nearly every booth and table full. That was fine, though, because there was room at the community table in the middle. I grabbed a spot and ordered from the server. I was happy to hear that they now have PBR 16 ounce cans, reasonably priced at $3.50.

Funny thing about the community table – Bardog regulars took it over! If you looked at that table, you might think you were in Bardog at 4 on a Friday or Saturday afternoon.

Looking around the crowded room, guess how many people I recognized who live in Slider Inn Downtown’s South Main neighborhood: one. Now, I’m sure there were more South Mainers there than that, but I feel fairly confident in saying that the majority of the people there were from an area other than South Main. It’s happened – South Main has become a destination. Very good to see.

Panda is in town, bartending the late shift at Slider Inn through Saturday. Before I left we got a picture together.

On to the news… Downtown may soon get another place to have a beer. A notice of beer permit application has appeared in the window of 51 S. Main. That’s the former site of DejaVu, Krispy Krunchy Chicken, and other restaurants that didn’t work out. Let’s home this next one, whatever it is, makes it.

Tomorrow is the Turkey Day Market at Memphis Farmers Market, the annual holiday market where you can buy fixings for Thanksgiving dinner as well as decor for your home and holiday gifts. Live music by Charlotte Taylor, food trucks, hot cocoa. Cossitt Library will have a table there where you can do arts and crafts or sign up for a library card. The Market runs 9-1 under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, behind the Malco Powerhouse. I’m going to try and make it down there before my usual Saturday Bardog stop.

Great news: MIFA receives $5 million grant to fight homelessness in Memphis

Yesterday I mentioned that a onesie holiday brunch will happen next month at Tin Roof. Get this bean bag onesie and be guaranteed a seat!

That’s it for now. I know this post is a bit short on news today but there’s a reason for that… Comcast was out in the Downtown core much of yesterday, so I didn’t have an Internet connection for parts of the day. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update: Help spread the word about Uncle Ray and more news

A member of our Downtown community has suffered a setback. On Friday, October 18, Ray Werfelmann, known to many of us as Uncle Ray, was hospitalized with what doctors believed to be pneumonia. However, the following Tuesday they ran an MRI on Ray and found that he had a massive stroke. Ray fully understands everything that is going on around him, but he cannot talk and he is paralyzed from the neck down. He’s said to be a prisoner in his own body, suffering from a condition called “Locked-In Syndrome” similar to what Stephen Hawking had.

It’s said to be unclear whether Ray will ever come home, although knowing Ray to be a fighter, I predict he will. However, even in the best case he will need a nurse around the clock. He and his wife Ruth have insurance, but insurance has lifetime caps and Ray will reach that cap. His friends have set up a GoFundMe to help cover expenses that insurance won’t pay. If you are a friend of Ray’s, please share this link to social media, and if you feel so inclined, a donation would be very appreciated.

One more thing… please keep Ray’s wife Ruth in your prayers. Ray handled all the finances for many years, and now she’s having to figure everything out.

Keep fighting, Ray. We need your reports on the benches and street preachers in Court Square. I believe it is possible we will one day get those reports again. Last night I predicted that I’d be taking photos of you in our booth at BBQ Fest 2021.

The NCAA finally issued a ruling about James Wiseman’s eligibility. The Tigers do not have to vacate the two games in which he played, but he has to sit out 11 more games, making him eligible January 12. That means Big Ticket will miss games against Ole Miss (Saturday, noon, FedExForum), NC State, Tennessee, and Georgia. He’ll also miss conference games against Tulane and Wichita State.

Wiseman also has to donate $11,500 to the charity of his choice, approximating the amount Penny Hardaway gave his family to move to Memphis. How does a kid like Wiseman come up with $11,500, without borrowing it from somebody, which would be another NCAA violation? Is the NCAA willing to let the donation slide until after he signs his first NBA contract?

If you’re a soccer fan, The Brass Door is the place to be tonight at 7:30. They will host a Memphis 901 FC Fan Forum, with Tim Howard, President Craig Unger, and Coach Tim Mulqueen. Come hear what plans are for the 2020 season and there will be a Q&A session.

Check out this beautiful charcuterie plate from my friends at Feast & Graze.

They make custom charcuterie boards and deliver them to your door. Keep them in mind for upcoming holiday parties. You’ll be supporting an awesome local business that makes the Memphis food scene richer.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ G-League team, the Memphis Hustle based in Southaven’s Landers Center, is looking for people to sing the National Anthem at home games.

If you’re a Daily Memphian subscriber, Otis Sanford has a good op-ed piece on why Berlin Boyd lost his city council seat in a runoff. “Council members had their own agendas and were not interested in what the community wanted.” That sentence says it all.

You can own a model replica of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation‘s Christmas village, complete with Christmas lights on the Griswold house that actually work.

The kitchen at the Silly Goose did some experimenting yesterday, and my troll and I got a sample:

This was The Mighty Muff, a muffaletta on a pizza. I didn’t get the complete list of ingredients, but I heard the chef say it had several types of olives, Fontina, Sopressata, mustard, and more. This is being considered for a place on the regular menu and I hope it makes it.

Convicted felon John Ford, barred running from public office, is trying to run for general sessions court clerk anyway. GO AWAY dude! The city can do better than you. If you want to work in government, ask the Trump administration for an appointment. You’d fit right in! published results of a study that found you’re likely to be happier if you live near a pub.

Cedric the Entertainer and Friends have a show at the Orpheum tonight. Tickets are $60.50 to $90.50.

That’s it for this post. Please don’t forget to share the link about Ray. I’ll be back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Green Beetle will host the official watch party for the Grizzlies’ away game next Monday, November 25, at 6 PM at the Indiana Pacers. These parties are a lot of fun, with giveaways, Grizzlies trivia, and Budweiser beer specials. Grizz and the Grizz Girls often show up to these parties. If you go, take photos of the party and post them to Twitter or Instagram and tag them #GrizzWatchParty for the chance to win even bigger prizes.

Post Malone has announced a March 6 date at FedExForum. Tickets go on sale Friday.

The Memphis International Jazz Festival comes to South Main November 21-24. There will be performances all weekend long, some of which will be free and open to the public.

The Downtown Christmas tree is up at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, and the official lighting is set for Saturday, November 30 5 to 7 PM. There will be Makeda’s cookies, Kooky Canuck s’mores, and hot cocoa. Santa will make an appearance and kids can write letters to Santa (they have a mailbox next to the tree). There will be arts & crafts and Christmas carols. The lights go on at 5:30.

Check out The Daily Memphian’s Destination Delicious podcast, because this week’s guest is the one and only Aldo. He has had his hands full lately, with the re-branding of the 855 Kentucky building as Momma’s Roadhouse, the opening of Slider Inn Downtown, and trying to keep Bardog open amid the city’s sewer repairs in the alley outside.

Yesterday was a good day for Downtown business news. Cargill Cotton announced that it’s moving back Downtown after 20+ years in Cordova. The MBJ article was behind a portal so I didn’t get the full story, but there’s a photo of the One Commerce Square building at Main and Monroe. Also yesterday, Varsity Spirit announced it is moving its headquarters to the Snuff District redevelopment in Uptown. The company will occupy 80,000 square feet of office space, giving them plenty of room to grow.

I knew this would happen: Vegans are suing Burger King, claiming that Impossible Whoppers are not truly vegan because the Impossible patties are cooked on the same surface as the regular Whoppers’ meat patties. Burger King should’ve seen that coming a mile away.

Cordelia’s Market is hosting cookie decorating the evening of Thursday, December 12. For $10 you get a cup of chili, half a grilled cheese sandwich, and two large sugar cookies to decorate to your liking and take home. All supplies needed to decorate (icing, sprinkles, etc.) will be provided. Space is limited, so reserve your spot early.

Central Station Hotel is hiring front office positions, specifically Guest Services Agent and Guest Service Supervisor. If interested send a resume to Kimberly at

Tin Roof on Beale will host a Christmas Onesie Motown Brunch Sunday, December 15 from noon to 4. Savannah Brister who was on Season 16 of The Voice will sing Motown tunes. Full brunch menu. Unlimited mimosas for $15.

Very cool: Memphis libraries are eliminating overdue fines. It is excellent that the city is taking the opinion that a few dollars shouldn’t stand in the way of people’s access to information.

Yup that exists: Chainsaw turkey carving knife

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Little Rock tonight. Game time is 7 and it will be carried on ESPN3.

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