Sunday update

Jennifer Biggs of the DM reports that rumors of Molly’s La Casita’s demise are premature. Molly’s closed on January 6 as a money-saving measure, but the closure is not permanent. They’re just waiting out COVID, and they’re understandably tired.

From CNN: Pence has not ruled out 25th Amendment, source says. DO IT MIKE! DO IT DO IT! “Former Acting President” would look awfully strong on the resume should you decide to run in 2024. Also, how cool would it be to have “Mother” as First Lady for a week? Trump and Pence have not spoken since Wednesday’s breach of the Capitol and insiders say “Pence is finally getting a glimpse of Trump’s vindictiveness.”

Here’s a link to James Aycock COVID week-in-review summary. The main point is that there is not near enough testing and that those who are around other people frequently should get tested once a week. I would be happy to do that if it was free and I did not have to cross A.W. Willis, B.B. King, or G.E. Patterson to do so. Given the concentration of people who live (and work) down here, I think that is a totally reasonable request.

The Shelby County Health Department has announced that all vaccine appointments for January have been filled. You snooze, you lose.

There is a 20% chance of snow flurries Monday morning OMG OMG OMG MUST GET TO KROGER MILK AND BREAD BREAD AND MILK MILK AND BREAD

Momma’s at Crump and Kentucky hosts Ballistic Bingo this afternoon at 2. What’s Ballistic Bingo? Let’s check their Facebook description.

This isn’t the nursing home game you’re used to –

Well, damn, the people who sit at the corner table at Max’s Sports Bar were going to walk down, but you just lost them –

think fun twists like trash-can basketball, picture drawing, trivia questions, and more! Details at the official site below. Tag your friends to join!…/ballistic-bingo/

From WMC: Homeless fear shelters because of COVID-19

Saw this on Twitter yesterday:

(Insert Red Forman “DUMBASS” graphic here)

Since it’s a slow day news-wise, I thought I’d share with you how I’ve been doing writing professionally on Medium. This is a chart of my activity in the past 30 days:

The dots represent the days on which I posted. Last Saturday (January 2) I had ideas to do one post a day through Wednesday, January 6. Yesterday (January 9) I did another count and found I had ideas to do one post a day through Thursday, January 21. I am turning into an idea machine on there and am starting to get rewarded in terms of views, reads, and claps. I’m pretty excited!

Time to hit Publish on here and go work on some of those Medium posts. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update: Twitter bans the Trumpster permanently

You know how I usually wait until the end of a post to discuss politics? Yeah, we’re waiving that rule today. As a matter of fact, let’s go ahead and waive it for the rest of this month.

On Wednesday, Twitter suspended President Trump’s account for 12 hours, and made it clear that any further tweets inciting additional violence and/or violating Twitter’s rules would result in the account’s permanent suspension. Friday, Trump did just that in two tweets that in a broad context, could be interpreted as rallying his supporters to commit violence at an event where Trump himself would not be (Biden’s inauguration). Twitter pulled the plug on Trump not long after.

So Trump’s direct line to his base is now gone. White supremacists, gun nuts, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and “Christian” evangelicals who support a man who grabs ’em by the pussy will no longer have a direct line to their thought leader.

I doubt Parler is a publicly-traded company, but if it is, I bet its stock price will double.

We’ll come back to Trump at the end of this post. But for now, let’s get to the news.

Yep, Code Enforcement inspectors have been downright harassing restaurants for weeks now,  and the Health Department has been smothering them with restrictions that have run a few restaurants completely out of business and have driven many others to the brink. On the other hand, hardly any attention has been paid to warehouses, where workers have crowded around each other, without masks, for 8-10 hour shifts. Where symptomatic employees have come to work and created COVID-19 clusters.

Dr. Randolph, I applaud you for shifting more of your enforcement staff to warehouses. However, I would encourage you to do one other thing – drop the 25% capacity requirement on restaurants so these people can make a decent living. In other words, Dr. Randolph, I’m asking you to do right, so that we can do more.

In other COVID news, more vaccine has arrived in Shelby County, and it will be administered at the Pipkin Building starting Tuesday. They’re going to use the SignupGenius app to schedule appointments. That’s an app I’m well-familiar with – it’s what our BBQ team uses to get members to sign up for tasks. It works really well!

Just City is a Memphis organization pursuing a more humane criminal justice system. They walk people convicted of crimes through expungement, so they can start over with a clean slate. They also have a community bail fund so that low-risk individuals do not have to spend pointless nights in jail awaiting trial (at a cost of $100+ a day to taxpayers). They have a Court Watch program encouraging transparency and accountability.

… and now, they have additional funding. Like, $200,000 in additional funding. You might have heard of the organization that provided the funding too – just a lil’ ole governing body that calls itself the NFL. The grant came from the league’s Inspire Change program, and represents one-third of Just City’s annual budget. It’s a credit to executive director Josh Spickler to land a grant in a city that doesn’t even have an NFL team.

This would be a good weekend for the Cookie Monster to visit Beale Street.

From the Memphis Flyer: Former Memphian adds Ambassador Hotel/SOB mural to South Main art scene

There is a new Downtown volunteer cleanup group on Facebook. The group will focus mainly on social distanced opportunities to clean up the area along the Mississippi River as well as Downtown.

The Grizzlies got a 115-110 win over the Brooklyn Nets last night. Brooklyn didn;t have KD or Kyrie and Memphis didn’t have Ja or JJJ.

Trump won’t attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, and Biden said he’s just fine with that. “He’s exceeded even my worst notions about him,” said Biden of Trump. “He is one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America.” Tell us how you really feel, Uncle Joe! Also, ONE OF? I mean, I know none of us were around during James Buchanan’s administration, but he surely wasn’t worse at his job than the orange shitgibbon.

That’s it for today’s post. Ideally I’ll be back this afternoon with “Saturday update #2: Trump resigns,” but if not I’ll be back tomorrow.

Friday update

A Memphis institution may have fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. A customer posted to Nextdoor that they called Molly’s La Casita in Midtown this week. They were told Molly’s was permanently closed unless their COVID-19 loan could be forgiven. They also told the customer if anyone was interested in buying the restaurant, let them know. Hopefully, someone can step up and preserve this legendary Mexican restaurant.

Yesterday David Sweat, Deputy Director of the Shelby County Health Department, announced that there is now an eligibility tool you can use to estimate when you will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccination. You can input your email address and phone number to receive notifications when we reach new phases of the vaccine process. I signed up!

In the task force press conference yesterday, Dr. Bruce Randolph, county health officer, reminded us that there are only 15 (now 14) days left in the Safer at Home order, and encouraged everyone to stay in as much as possible to make the Safer at Home period as effective as possible. He was asked if the Safer at Home order could be extended past January 22, and he said that was a possibility. However, his tone indicated Safer at Home was not likely to be extended. He said we’ve reached the point in the pandemic when individual responsibility will determine the number of cases and deaths.

The man seen with his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk is a former Memphian. Richard Barnett, a former EMT with multiple DUI charges, lived here until the late 1990s. He now resides in northwest Arkansas.

The DM has information for help for those in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The County Commission votes Monday on a fund that would provide $1000 grants to hosts, servers, bartenders, barbacks, cooks, dishwashers, and other restaurant staff.

The National Civil Rights Museum has issued a statement about the riots at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

The Grizzlies host the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 7 PM, with game broadcast on Fox Sports Southeast.

Memo to webmasters of sports websites: If there is no other language to indicate who is the home team (e.g. “will host” in the paragraph above), you should use the format away team vs. home team. Some websites (including a local website) don’t do this and it has caused me to report the wrong team as the home team a couple of times this season.

Elon Musk surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world yesterday.

CNN had its most-watched day in the 40-year history of the network Wednesday.

Watch the last new episode of Jeopardy! featuring the late Alex Trebek this afternoon on WREG News Channel 3 at 3:30 PM.

Forecast: 39 today, 29 tonight, north wind, flurries possible tonight. Good day to stay at home and make Dr. Bruce Randolph happy. “Do right, so that we can do more.”

Volunteer signups are now being accepted for MLK Days of Service January 14-18. There are a variety of activities from which to choose.

Looks like Scoop Memphis is no longer updating their website. That is a shame because that site was about as real as it gets in Memphis.

It’s My Pie Friday at Makeda’s Cookies. You can get a pecan pie made with their butter cookie crust. 488 S. Second.

Rep. Steve Cohen believes it unlikely the 25th Amendment will be invoked to declare Donald Trump unfit for office and make Mike Pence acting president. Cohen supports the removal but admits the presence of “second-rate lackeys” in Trump’s cabinet, the majority of whom would have to support the decision, makes such a move improbable.

The Trumpster will not be allowed to post on Facebook or Instagram for the remainder of his presidency, due to the false statements he has made and the conspiracy theories he has promoted on those platforms. His Twitch account has also been disabled.

Let’s all stay in as much as possible, wear our masks, and keep our 6 feet of distance so The Golden Girls Puppet Show can happen next month as planned. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Yesterday we got a first-hand look at what can happen when you believe a narcissist and go along with what they want you to do because it’s expeditious to do so.

People stormed the building in which the business of our nation is conducted. A Confederate flag was flown inside the Capitol building. Not even during 1860-1865, when the Confederacy was actually a thing, did that happen. And it happened on a day when the first elected Black senator from the South was declared the victor in his race.

The United States looked like a banana republic, a third-world country, in the eyes of the world yesterday. Vladimir Putin’s sides must hurt this morning from laughing so hard.

And the leader of the free world could not even get on TV and command the chaos to stop without first calling the election stolen and fraudulent.

The Trump era is over. All but his base are abandoning him.

The 25th Amendment is being seriously discussed in the halls of the White House. If Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet agreed, Trump could be declared unfit for office and Pence would become acting president. This would strip Trump of his pardon power and the nuclear football for 13 remaining dangerous days.

There is also talk of impeaching Trump a second time. That wouldn’t happen quick enough to oust him from office in 2021, most likely. However, a conviction would preclude him from ever running for office again.

We are witnessing Trump’s narcissistic collapse. Narcissists who read my blog: Something like this will happen to you one day (although perhaps not on such a grand scale) if you don’t change your ways. Check yourself into therapy, and do it for yourself, not to show others “look, I’m in therapy.” Your entire life is a show you put on in exchange for validation from others. We see through you. Game over.

Today is I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore Day. What a timely holiday. Today is also National Pass Gas Day.

On to the news.

An extra $5000 grant is available for restaurants and groceries whose bottom line was impacted by COVID. $5000. That’s less than half of what popular Downtown Memphis nightspots would make in revenue in one night (New Year’s Eve). It’s better than no money at all, but in no way does it make up for the effect of cutting restaurants to 25% capacity and making them close up to 5 hours early.

The Ditty Crow Inn has posted the menu for this Sunday’s pop-up restaurant at the 40 et 8 on Legion Rd. in West Memphis: (Click image to enlarge)

There will be a few additions to the menu: Chan’s Lemon Pepper wings, soy ginger wings, and Pancho’s cheese dip fries with crumbled bacon on top.

Downtown Huey’s is hiring a host/hostess. $11 an hour, plus the option to train to be a server after 3 to 6 months.

Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s shared cooking tips on Local 24’s The Shortcut this week.

The Shelby County Health Department has closed down 8 restaurants in violation of Health Directive 16. None of the restaurants are Downtown. Several are hookah and cigar lounges.

Popular Midtown bar Printer’s Alley has been closed, but not for COVID violations. It was found in violation of a 2019 consent agreement. There had been a pattern of drug dealing and unlicensed liquor sales, and the owner had to submit a plan to curb that activity. Part of the plan was no more super-late-night hours, which police observed the bar violate on New Year’s Eve.

$50,000 of artifacts were stolen from the Memphis River Museum on Mud Island while it was closed during the pandemic.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s mid-week COVID report.

Three days of celebration for Elvis’ 86th birthday kick off today.

Congratulations to Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, new Senators-elect from the Peach State. This will give the Democrats a 50+VP to 50 majority in the Senate, giving them the presidency and both houses of Congress. I notice the 2016 “You lost. Get over it” people don’t have much to say right now.

Let’s all take a minute to thank Black women for the results of the 2020 election.

I’ll have my headphones in for the Shelby County COVID-19 task force press conference at noon, and will have highlights tomorrow morning. If anything really big gets announced (which I don’t think will happen) I’ll be back this afternoon.

Tuesday update

Yesterday I watched a video by activist Hunter Demster of an attempt to illegally evict a tenant from her home. The landlord did not have proper eviction papers, and the people attempting to do the eviction were not Shelby County’s sheriff’s deputies, but rather hired private security. They attempted to intimidate with assault weapons and even moved a car out of the driveway, but the tenant stood her ground. Eventually, Memphis Police made the scene and told the private security people to go away. If you want to help the tenant get current on her rent, here’s her Cashapp link.

The Health Department will provide daily updates on where the COVID vaccine is being administered. Follow @ShelbyTNHealth on Twitter and look for the updates about 10 every morning. The Daily Memphian has an updated vaccination plan you can check to determine when you’ll be eligible.

Classic works from 1925 have entered the public domain, including The Great Gatsby. You’re now free to adapt the work any way you wish without paying a fee or asking permission. Give the classic Roaring ’20s tale a read.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, I am sad to inform you that small business incubator Boxlot, which housed businesses in shipping containers, is closing up shop. No reason was given, but Boxlot was never intended to be a long-term venture. I wonder if this means someone is getting ready to renovate the old Kudzu’s building next door and needs the parking lot?

Cocozza Italian American Kitchen is back open today for takeout, curbside, and DoorDash delivery. Take a look at their menu. Their hours are 4-9 PM Tuesday-Saturday for the time being. They’ll also keep the grab & gos well stocked at Cordelia’s Market and High Point Grocery.

Memphis Police are investigating the videos of drag racing taken this past weekend on I-240 near Walnut Grove.

Jennifer Westwood and Dylan Dunbar will do a live online show tonight from South Main Sounds tonight at 8.

The Grizzlies host the L.A. Lakers tonight at 7. Broadcast will be on Fox Sports Southeast.

Meanwhile, the Memphis Tigers hit the road for an 8 PM game at UCF. Catch it on ESPNU.

CNN has a transcript of the Trumpster’s Saturday call to Georgia’s secretary of state. Only 15 more days until this raving kook is out of office.

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


Monday update

I was so INCREDIBLY BORED at home yesterday. 18 more days of this garbage… or even longer if the health department extends Safer at Home. It’s time to post the theme song again.

Arkansas Online reports that the Sultana Disaster Museum, 11 miles from Downtown Memphis, is expanding. The Sultana (capacity 367) was carrying 2200(!) soldiers home following the end of the Civil War. A boiler explosion caused the ship to sink, claiming the lives of 1400. The Sultana was one-fourteenth the size of the Titanic but the number of casualties was about the same. The museum will move into a high school gym that is being replaced.

WREG was sent video of traffic stopped on I-240N near the Walnut Grove exit while idiots did doughnuts. This kind of thing happens all the time in our ghettofabulous city. This just happens to be the one time it was recorded.

The Memphis Redbirds are still around in 2021, but 40 other Minor League Baseball teams that were playing in 2019 won’t survive to see this year. Some parts of the country were hit harder than others; all four teams in good ole West Virginny got wiped out. No more baseball on Staten Island either, possibly the MiLB park with the most scenic view.

From Lifehacker: How to watch the last new episodes of Jeopardy! featuring Alex Trebek

Downtown business Makeda’s Cookies is doing a fundraiser to be able to expand.

Marc Gasol returned to town as the L.A. Lakers beat Memphis 108-94 last night at FedExForum. The Lakers will stick around for a rematch Tuesday.

It’s National Spaghetti Day. Good day to stop by Bardog Tavern and get spaghetti and Grandma’s meatballs.

From Action News 5: Drone video shows the damage done by the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville

In case you missed it in the news: The Trumpster spent an hour on the phone with Georgia’s Secretary of State Saturday, trying to get him to throw out enough ballots to swing the state’s electoral votes. The problem with that? Biden would still have 290 votes, 20 more than the minimum needed to win. Trump implied there could be a criminal investigation if the state official did not comply, which could be considered blackmail. Today’s POLITICO Playbook has the backstory of the call.

Keep an eye on the news Wednesday. Trump is encouraging the Proud Boys and right-wing militias to be in D.C. to protest the certification of the electoral vote.

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

Sunday update

If you’re 75 or older and live in Shelby County, you are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Although people in that age range and funeral/mortuary workers are technically considered 1a2, they can go ahead and schedule vaccination appointments alongside those in the 1a1 category.

The Memphis Grizzlies host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight at 5. Let’s shut down LeBron at the Grindhouse! It’s weird not having to consult the Grizzlies promotional schedule to see what item they’re giving away at the door. I guess COVID-19 would be the free giveaway if they let fans in right now.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID-19 week in review. We had 1020 newly reported cases in Shelby County yesterday, although that was to be expected due to several days of artificially low case numbers in the 300s.

Timely post from Lifehacker: A slideshow of holiday hangover cures

Despite COVID and cold weather, Mid-Southerners did the ski freeze at the Mud Island boat ramp this weekend to raise money for the Dream Factory.

87-year-old Larry King is hospitalized with COVID.

Conspiracy theories attributable to the Nashville bomber have been found. According to the bomber, aliens have been attacking the Earth for 9 years now, and our planet is controlled by a race of lizard people.

South Main Sushi is back from vacation. They are open during the hours of 4:00-8:30. However, right now they are only doing takeout, so Squeal Street BBQ won’t be able to have a team dinner there tonight after they all go get their COVID vaccinations.

That’s it for this final day of the New Year’s weekend. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

I barely got 8 hours into the New Year – not even one-one thousandth of the way in – before I got reminded that I have an abundance of wonderful friends. Yesterday I put on the blog that I hadn’t planned to go out all weekend, but might be coaxed out for some blackeyed peas and greens. About 8 I got a text from my friends Dennis and MaryPat: “We just cooked some! Would you like to meet us outside our condo and we’ll bring you some?”

Look at Perjorie T. Roll eyeing those greens! For those not from the region, blackeyed peas and greens are a Southern tradition, said to bring you good luck in the New Year. The peas represent coins, and you’re supposed to eat 365 of them, one for each day of the year. The greens represent paper money.

The main abundance this brought me, though, was not financial prosperity, but an abundance of time to get back into my writing on Medium. I published a short form story (150 words or fewer, about the peas and greens), finished a 10-minute-read story I scheduled for the middle of next week when more people will be reading, and got three other stories started. I plan to do more writing on Medium this weekend and may not leave the house until work Monday morning.

Here’s a piece of good news from COVID Act Now – R-nought, the replication rate of the virus, is down to 0.90 in Shelby County, where we need it to be for the virus to start dying out. I am not sure how that measurement is affected by the shortage of testing over the Christmas holiday, though, so in actuality, the reading may be higher. Better than pulling up the site and seeing 1.25 though.

From Food & Wine: The customer is not always right. For some reason the pandemic has caused restaurant customers to take on a sense of entitlement like you wouldn’t believe. Nothing like 25% capacity and 150% attitude from those who are filling your tables.

Fun presidential fact: Assuming Jimmy Carter lives another 18 days, he’ll become the first president to be alive 40 years after leaving office. Knowing Carter, he’ll probably go on a build for Habitat for Humanity to celebrate.

Another fun presidential fact: Joe Biden will be 78 when he’s inaugurated. On that day he’ll be 78 days older than the age of the oldest president at the time he left office (Ronald Reagan, 1989).

I had a good dream last night: It was late in 2021, although not so late that the weather had turned cold. I walked up to the newly-opened (by then; it’s not open yet) Memphis Made brewery at, um, the edge of The Edge District at Madison and Lauderdale. The stupid health restrictions were over and I sat at the bar with good friends. After a couple of beers, we walked down The Ravine, the railroad-spur park bisecting The Edge, to get pizza at Slim & Husky’s and see the Ja Morant mural up close.

I hope that dream becomes a reality! I wonder how tall Ja Raffe will be by the time that happens?

Here’s a great story: In 1996, pro wrestling manager Downtown Bruno, working the Memphis territory, bought third-generation rookie Flex Kavana a vehicle. Kavana, who’d been sent to Memphis by WWF talent developer Pat Patterson, was only making $50 a show and needed reliable transportation to make it to his appearances. The following year, Kavana was promoted to the main roster, where he changed his name to Rocky Maivia. Later he shortened the name to The Rock. Recently The Rock paid the favor by buying Downtown Bruno (who went by Harvey Wippleman in the WWF) a new Ford F-150.

With my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I’m currently reading The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence by security consultant Gavin de Becker. de Becker has protected celebrities, presidents, Congresspeople, and Supreme Court justices. The book is mainly aimed at women to get them to pay attention to fear signals. Since intuition is a frequent topic of mine when I write on Medium, I thought it would be a good book for me to read.

So, anyway, I read a section about 16 indicators that indicate a man may engage in spousal abuse. As I read through them, I thought, wow, I know men who do some of these! And I don’t mean deviants; I mean, men who are considered fine, upstanding pillars of society.

Anyway, if you’re a woman, and you’ve ever been in fear of your life, whether it’s due to a relationship partner, a casual date, or a stranger, you might want to give this book a read. You won’t get bored; de Becker is almost as good at telling stories as he is protecting clients.

Action News 5 interviewed Westy’s owner Jake Schorr on how impossible it is to make a living thanks to the stupid 25% capacity put on restaurant indoor dining in Health Directive 16.

The health department did not find any violations as it made the rounds New Year’s Eve. No businesses were closed.

Char Magnifico and Vintage rock the heated and wrapped stage at Momma’s tonight, 6:30.

The Grizzlies got a W over the Charlotte Hornets last night, 108-93. Memphis is now 2-3 on the season.

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

Friday update

Happy New Year!

Good ole West Virginny came from behind yesterday to beat Army in the Liberty Bowl, 24-21.

Mississippi State beat Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl 28-26. Following the game there was a wild brawl between the two teams (fast-forward to about 1:30 in the video below):

2020 had one last surprise for Memphis last night: Grayson Allen left the game with an ankle sprain last night as the Grizzlies lost to Boston 128-107.

The Memphis Tigers’ basketball game at Temple scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed due to COVID cases at Temple.

Local 24 recently talked to South Main Sounds’ Mark Parsell about what 2020 has been like for musicians.

The New York Times has a COVID vaccine calculator that will predict where you are in line to get the vaccine.

I didn’t hear too many gunshots at midnight where I live but I hear that the area around Front and MLK sounded like “a war zone” at midnight.

Looks like I didn’t miss much by not tuning in to the COVID-19 press conference yesterday. @Local24Brad reports that they will look at the COVID numbers in Shelby County two weeks into Health Directive 16 and the Safer at Home order, but don’t expect any big changes. Two weeks would be approximately next Friday, which should be around the time we begin to see a Christmas surge.

That’s it for now. Probably staying home for today, although if any Downtown restaurants post a blackeyed peas special for today I might venture out.