Thursday update

Well, I found out why it’s so cold in my apartment. It’s related to the water main break MLGW is repairing at Main and Union. Didn’t know that kind of thing could affect heating in an apartment a couple of blocks away, but take my word for it, it can and it has. It’s 56 in here right now. My building’s management has generously offered to reimburse residents for a hotel stay, and I may take them up on that tonight.

Hey, we made the news!

Health Directive No. 18 dropped yesterday and goes into effect at 12:01 AM Saturday, February 20. The major changes with respect to restaurants and bars are:

  • Seating at bar areas is allowed for the first time in about 7 months. However, a maximum of two people per group is allowed to sit together at the bar, and groups must be spaced 6 feet apart from each other.
  • The 50% capacity limit has been eliminated.
  • Closing time has been pushed back from 10 PM to 12 AM.
  • The directive states that restaurants and bars “should” prohibit smoking but then goes on to say that any smoking that is allowed must comply with Tennessee law.
  • Bartenders and servers working at the bar must wear a face shield as well as a mask.

These are some steps in the right direction, although I think the 2-max per group at a bar is really stupid. I guess it’s a way to limit people standing at the bar and ordering. I hope bars that permitted smoking prior to Health Directive 15 don’t bring it back.

Once South of Beale moves into its new digs in the former Ambassador Hotel, its former space at 381 S. Main will become home to Good Fortune Company, an Asian restaurant. Check out the restaurant’s website. Well, this news will make one of the old poots who sits at the corner table at Max’s Sports Bar very happy.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. has brewed some dark beers to help get us through these snowy times. Look for Drew’s Day Off and Memphis as Truck in the taproom and in cans on grocery shelves.

StyleBlueprint has a list of 20 heated patios in Memphis. Among the Downtown patios featured: Blind Bear, Felicia Suzanne’s, Loflin Yard, Momma’s, Sage, and Silky’s.

The DM has photos of winter sports Downtown – sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and more. It’s the Downtown version of the Winter Oly… oops, don’t want to complete that thought and violate a trademark.

From today’s Morning Brew newsletter: Pigs can play video games with their snouts, scientists find. Perhaps we can get an interactive demonstration at BBQ Fest ’22?

Today is National Drink Wine Day, a holiday that will be widely celebrated Downtown. Go see my friend Carl at Downtown Liquors and Wines at Main and Madison.

The 2021 Memphis Tigers football schedule has been released. The nonconference portion of the schedule contains a nonconference game against nearby rival Arkansas State, as well as an SEC opponent in Mississippi State.

That’s it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news, unless it’s too cold for me to feel like writing.

Wed update

It is down to 59 in my apartment this morning. Not sure if it’s an MLGW problem or just the fact that 20-year-old HVAC systems in this region are not equipped to handle a week of sub-20 temperatures. The building is getting contractors out to look at it today. I’m not mad at management about it. This is a once-in-a-generation cold snap.

The blog has the latest on the winter storm moving through Memphis today and tomorrow. 4-5 inches of snow and a hint of ice is the prevailing prediction, although at one end of the spectrum 6-8 inches of snow is possible, and on the other end 2-3 inches of snow and a quarter inch of ice.

Some good news: The extended forecast map for February 24-March 2 shows above-normal temperatures. Normal for the last week of February is 58, so we could see some 60s next week hopefully.

We now have a grand opening date for Craft Axe Throwing at 344 Floyd Alley in The Edge District: Friday, February 26. Floyd Alley is the alley parallel to Madison and Monroe, from Fourth (next to the Fielder Square parking garage) to Danny Thomas Blvd. Arnold’s BBQ is also in that alley. They’ll have 14 throwing lanes, a stocked bar with local beers (wonder if they’ll have PBR), and plenty of TVs. They’re accepting reservations for a lane at $20 an hour with 2-4 people per lane and discounts for large groups.

Let’s hear it for the good guys: Memphis Jeep Club shuttles healthcare workers to work during the winter storm

The DM’s Jennifer Biggs and the Flyer’s Michael Donahue talk this year’s Calvary Waffle Shop, which is a little different because of COVID. It’s all to-go but they’ll still have Waffle Shop faves including fish pudding, spaghetti, and Boston cream pie. The tomato aspic will be back as part of the Calvary salad plate. They’ll serve lunch 11-1 Wednesdays and Fridays and dinner 5:15-6:15 Wednesdays.

After I went and made such a nice drinking game, the Shelby County Health Department canceled its noon press conference yesterday. So we still don’t know what’s in Health Directive No. 18, although I have heard from multiple sources 75% capacity and a 12 AM closing time for restaurants are in the mix.

My neighbor Brent McAfee, owner of Black Sheep Meats that supplies many of Downtown’s fine restaurants, is competing for a grant to expand his business. Please take a moment to vote for Brent here.

The next round of stimulus checks will be based on your 2019 or 2020 income, depending on the latest record the IRS has on file at the time checks are cut. So, if you made less money in 2020 than 2019, you’ll want to hurry up and file your tax return to make sure you get the full amount of your stimulus check.

Penny Hardaway’s Tigers have had to postpone another game, this time Sunday’s game vs. Temple.

Today is Ash Wednesday AKA post on Facebook what you’re giving up for Lent Day. Today is also My Way Day. Here’s a video of Sid Vicious (not the wrestler who lives in Marion, Arkansas) covering Sinatra’s “My Way”:

MLGW asks customers to conserve water this week. I gotcha there, MLGW! It’s way too cold in this apartment to contemplate stepping out of the shower dripping wet. Probably gonna go the entire week without taking a shower. The natural oil will be good for my hair. As for my body, I’ll have so many layers on that no one will be able to smell me anyway.

The Grizz host the OKC Thunder tonight at 8. TV is Fox Sports Southeast.

PRO TIP: If you’re going to creep on someone’s social media, don’t do it on a touch-screen device where you might accidentally “Like” one of their posts and then have to quickly delete it to avoid being detected. Someone did that to my Twitter feed for the second time in a month. This time I got a screen capture of the notification on my phone. That’ll give me even further proof that this person really is who I’ve been saying he is for several years now. Just in case there’s any confusion to whom I’m referring: married white male.

Office is closed today, but I’m not too keen on staying in this 59-degree apartment for much longer than I have to. I’ll keep an eye on Bardog’s social media this morning, and if they get the doors open at 8 I will walk over there. It’ll likely be 59 in there too – the health department says they have to run their ceiling fans at all times to improve air flow – but at least there’s PBR.

Back tomorrow with more news, if I haven’t completely frozen by then.

The Unofficial Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force Press Conference Drinking Game

Press conferences are normally held at noon Tuesdays and Thursdays and are broadcast on Facebook Live via the City of Memphis account.

Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph says “Greetings, fellow citizens of Shelby County” – 1 drink

Reminder to wear your masks or facial coverings – 1 drink

Reminder to keep your 6 feet of distance – 1 drink

Reminder to practice good hand washing – 1 drink

Rolling new case average (7-day, 14-day, 28-day) mentioned – 1 drink

Positivity rate mentioned – 1 drink

Reproduction rate (“R-nought”) mentioned – 1 drink

Duplication rate mentioned – 1 drink

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris appears to announce a new program that in some way provides relief – 1 drink

Mayor Harris appears at the press conference for a reason other than public relations – 5 drinks

Enforcement mentioned – 1 drink

Reminder that testing is widely available – 1 drink

“Quarantine” – 1 drink

“Isolation” – 1 drink

“Contact tracing” – 1 drink

Health official explains the difference between quarantine and isolation – 3 drinks

Reminder that only health officials or their representatives are legally permitted to quarantine or isolate people or do contact tracing – 5 drinks

“We prefer education to enforcement” or similar – 2 drinks

Vaccines mentioned – 1 drink

New health directive alluded to – 1 drink

New health directive announced – 3 drinks

Good news about the pandemic in Shelby County presented, followed by “BUT…” or “HOWEVER…” – 3 drinks

“Cautious optimism” – 3 drinks

“New normal” – 3 drinks

Schools mentioned – 1 drink

Overflow facility at 495 Union mentioned – 3 drinks

Pipkin Building mentioned as a vaccine site – 3 drinks

Reporter can’t ask question because their mic is muted – 1 drink

Virus other than COVID mentioned (flu, common cold, etc.) – 1 drink

Presenter speaks in a language other than English – 3 drinks

Website URL displayed on screen – 2 drinks

Line graph, bar graph, or pie chart – 2 drinks

Color coded map of regions of Shelby County – 2 drinks

“Stay the course” – 2 drinks

“Remain vigilant” – 2 drinks

“Not out of the woods yet” – 2 drinks

Press conference lasts more than 35 minutes – 5 drinks, 40 minutes – 10 drinks, 45 minutes – CHUG

It’s just too cold

Happy Presidents Day. Happy Snow Day.

Bar owners/managers: Please post to social media what time you will open, even if you’re opening today at your normally scheduled time. Or if you’re going to stay closed today (couldn’t blame ya a bit if you do), post that. It’s a snow day and INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW.

Otherwise, no post today. It’s 64 in this apartment and I have on my Arkansas Razorbacks sweatshirt and my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama pants and I’m still cold.

Back tomorrow or whenever there’s news and heat.

Sunday update #2

A few quick extra news items that have come out this morning:

Feelin’ Memphis at 509 S. Main is having a snow day sale this Sunday. Get by there and see what Memphis-themed items you can pick up at a discount.

Max’s Sports Bar at 115 G.E. Patterson will open early at 2 PM for the Daytona 500 and snow day drinking.

The National Weather Service has updated their Winter Storm Warning. It no longer starts this afternoon and is already in effect.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Brrrrr… my heater has been running nonstop since Wednesday. I have it set on 75 in my apartment and the thermometer reads 66. Heaters in Memphis simply are not built for long periods of under-20-degree weather.

Keep an eye on the Super-Regional Radar on as the frozen precip approaches today. As I write this (6:25 AM Sunday). Tulsa is getting pounded with snow. Springfield, MO is about to. Sleet in Nacogdoches in East Texas. I don’t see how this possibly misses us. The MWN forecast has the sleet getting here after 3 this afternoon. That could mess up some Valentine’s Day dates.

The Memphis Tigers’ February 18 game vs. Wichita State has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases in the Memphis basketball program. This stems from a February 10 positive test. With a recommended 14-day quarantine by the NCAA, more games could be in jeopardy.

The Daily Memphian has a look at new Downtown shuttle service Groove on Demand as it asks if on-demand transportation is the wave of the future.

The Grizzlies play the Sacramento Kings tonight at 9.

Since this is kind of a short post today, I’ll throw in a bonus. Here’s a link to one of my most popular articles on Medium, How to Stare Down Uncertainty and Win. In this week of cold and COVID, it might help. Normally you have to pay to read Medium articles but this is a “friend link” that’ll get you around the paywall. I published it on February 4, and a few days later it got picked up by Curious, an online magazine that uses Medium as its publishing platform.

If you’re on Twitter, follow @memphisweather1 if you don’t already. They’ll keep you informed with the latest on the approaching winter storm…

… Just because I like to torture myself, does the Weather Channel still give these things names?

Yep. Uri. Stupid name, but appropriate, since naming winter storms is a stupid idea.

Back tomorrow with more news. Or maybe later today, because, what else do I have to do?

Saturday update

Today may be Galentine’s Day and I wish everybody a happy one, but Saturdays are for the boys so I’m going to start off the blog with a link for us. Lansky Bros. is having a Mystery Sport Shirt Sale. You’ve seen those awesome, intricately detailed shirts as you walk through the Peabody lobby.  How would you like to have one of those shirts (retail up to $125) for only $39.99?

Here’s the deal though… you tell them your size and how many you want, and then they pick the shirts. So you have to trust them. But really, what’s the last time you ever saw a shirt at Lansky Bros. you wouldn’t be proud to own? This is a pretty amazing deal, so you better jump on it while it lasts.

Ladies, if you’re looking for something fun to do with your gal pals today, the Mallory-Neely House in Victorian Village is hosting a Victorian Galentine’s Day tonight at 6. You’ll get to make a succulent arrangement, sip champagne, learn about the language of flowers, and take home a chocolate covered strawberry kit. There are only 20 seats available and the cost is $50 per person.

Chef Tam is doing a private brunch & paint today and tomorrow at her Underground  Cafe. $199 couples, $99 singles.

Seen on social media yesterday: Buster’s liquor store at Poplar and Highland now delivers to the 38103 zip code.

From the CA: The DMC is considering buying the 100 N. Main building and is soliciting ideas what to do with it. I have three words:

“Let’s ask Mongo”

I’m sure Prince Mongo would have many creative uses for the building – plus, it would give him a chance to show what he can do in advance of the 2022 mayoral election.

The blog has a first take on the winter storm set to arrive Sunday night into Monday. With temperatures struggling to break 20 and precipitation most definitely heading our way, it looks like even those who don’t have Presidents Day off as a holiday will have it off as a snow day. In fact, it’s possible that Tuesday and Friday will be the only days this coming week that aren’t snow days.

The Redbirds will find themselves in a reorganized league this year designed to reduce travel between teams. They’ll play teams in the southeast including Nashville, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Charlotte, Durham, and Gwinnett. “Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp” has got to be one of the worst team names in professional sports.

Post Malone and former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette are shopping an idea for a Memphis TV series entitled High Heel. The show is described as a strong woman’s version of Breaking Bad.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, here’s a look at what’s happening at the Edge Motor Museum today:

We will be open as usual tomorrow from 11-3:00. After that we have a LIVE Unveiling Event: Saturday, February 13th at 3:00 PM CDT. Members only at the museum, but available to everyone right here on instagram live.

Want to become a Member? Come by to sign up or visit us at and click “membership”. Membership packages begin at $25!

A developer plans to convert a dilapidated building at Fourth and Vance into retail spaces and 4 apartments.

The Dirty Crow Inn folks have announced they’re taking a week off from their Sunday residency at West Memphis’ 40et8 to celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow. They’ll be back with the wings and the Dirty Mac burger on the 21st, though.

There’s a Guest Service Representative position open at the Sheraton.

The Orpheum is holding a spring camp for children who stutter. President Biden is proof that a stutter does not limit your opportunity in any way.

That’s the news. I’m going to stay home and avoid the cold and get several days worth of writing done on Medium, leaving me free to go out on whatever snow days fall next week. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

The Daily Memphian had some GREAT NEWS this morning. Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris had their monthly meeting with members of the Memphis Restaurant Association. They indicated that in Health Directive 18, set to go into effect sometime around February 20, the stupid COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants that have been in place for months will be loosened. Some of the items under consideration include

  • The return of seating at bar areas
  • Increasing capacity from 50% to 75% where social distancing permits
  • Allowing restaurants to stay open for dine-in until 12 AM (currently 10 PM)

These are all fantastic proposals and long overdue. I can’t wait to sit at a bar again, and I would love to see my friends who work at the late-night bars Downtown have an opportunity to make 2 additional hours of money.

There’s all this talk of two masks being more effective than one. I would gladly double-mask if I could have my bar stool back.

Bardog Tavern is doing a Valentine’s Day dinner starting at 5 PM Sunday. It includes

  • Bottle of Bardog Cabernet OR Coppola Pinot Grigio
  • Soup or Side Salad
  • Ribeye or Cheese Tortellini w/ lobster cream sauce
  • Mashed Potatoes & Sautéed Spinach
  • Red Velvet Cake

Friday vaccinations by the Health Department have been postponed due to icy spots on roads.

Peoples on Beale hosts an All Blues and Motown Affair with Yubu and the Ancient Youth Band tonight at 7.

Randstad has a job opening for an Assembler at a company near Downtown Memphis. Hours are 6 AM to 2:30 PM and pay is $13 an hour.

From WREG: Fauci predicts “open season” on vaccines by April, herd immunity to COVID by late summer

Weatherbug’s forecast for Monday: 70% chance of snow with a high of 15; Monday night, 40% chance of snow with a low of 3. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week all have the potential to be snow days.

Grizzlies on national TV alert: They play the Los Angeles Lakers at 9 on ESPN.

Crosstown Brewing Co. celebrates WYXR’s Raised by Sound beer release today noon to 4. There will be a live on-air broadcast and DJ Alpha Whiskey will supply the music. You might score a free koozie whose design was a collaboration with Mempho Music Festival. Downtowners, don’t forget that Groove on Demand can take you there.

If you’re a fan of comedy, the Trumpster’s team will offer a defense in his second impeachment hearing today. The fun starts at 11 AM Central time.

Getting about time to make that long commute across Main Street to work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

I woke up at 3:31 to the sound of thundersleet. Or thunderhail? Who knows. I woke up and opened the blinds and watched torrential freezing rain drop on the Main Street Mall. Today has the potential to be a major shitstorm. I am sick and tired of the #stayhome hashtag but today it’s worth heeding.

The A.W. Willis bridge has already on the island. If you live on the island and have the misfortune of having to go to work today, you’ll need to use the back (Second St.) exit.

The poor kids… this’d normally be a snow day. Now it’s just another virtual learning day.

COVID will postpone what would have been the University of Memphis vs. Cincinnati game tonight.

The Memphis Flyer has a feature called Your Heart’s Desire featuring Valentine’s Day takeout from local restaurants. Downtown restaurants covered include Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe, Catherine & Mary’s, The Gray Canary, Sunrise Memphis, and Cocozza American Italian.

Watching Channel 3… a reporter says there are sounds of tree limbs cracking. Look out for falling limbs if you have to get out.

I watched an episode of Gomer Pyle USMC last night. For those not familiar, that’s a spinoff of The Andy Griffith Show where good ol’ boy gas station attendant Gomer joins the Marines. On last night’s episode, Sergeant Carter shouted at Gomer for having non-regulation items in his foot locker. Among those items: A plastic troll for good luck. Yep, trolls were a thing even in 1965. It’s important for trolls to appreciate their ancestry so I moved Perjorie and Mendatius in front of the TV.

Since I work across the street, I have no excuse for not going to work. I’ll be out at Blind Bear a little after 1. Going to go ahead and get this posted, in case this is the only source of news some of my readers check. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Promising news in the Shelby County COVID-19 press conference yesterday. Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph noted that we continue to see improvements in COVID case numbers and other metrics. A new health directive will be drawn up approximately a week from now in response to those improvements.

From Gizmodo: Mortified lawyer appears in court as a cat, blames Zoom filter

Local 24 says a significant ice storm may be brewing today and tonight. Check out those ice accumulation totals! Their model shows two-thirds of an inch of ice in Memphis. One-quarter of an inch is considered the threshold to call such an event an ice storm.

The Memphis Flyer profiles Papi Joe who sells his sauces at the Memphis Farmers Market. They’re also in 40 markets in 8 states, including Whole Foods.

Giant river otter sculptures are coming to Tom Lee Park. They’ll be in the north part of the park near the cobblestones, and kids will be able to climb through them.

Found to be beyond repair, the demolition of the Nylon Net building at 7 Vance could happen within weeks, making way for an apartment building.

If I have any readers in Kentucky, New Jersey, Colorado, South Carolina, and North Carolina, Downtown Memphis Wiseacre beer is heading your way. Wiseacre also announced the release of Bow Echo Hazy IPA as a beer that will be produced year-round.

A COVID-19 case in Shelby County may be the Brazilian variant.

The Grizzlies host the Charlotte Hornets tonight at 7.

Y’all keep a close eye on weather and traffic conditions today at the office. If it looks like roads are going to ice over before evening rush hour, get out early and get home. Back tomorrow with more news.