Tuesday update

Got my taters!

Check your snail mail boxes, folks! Idahoan sent a package of mashed potatoes to every valid address in Memphis as a promotion.

I got myself all set up for the new Groove On Demand transportation service that begins Wednesday. It’s really easy. You just download the Groove On Demand app from the App Store or Google Play and put in your personal info and credit/debit card info and create an account. Then you can catch a minibus to take you anywhere in Downtown, Mud Island, New Chicago, or Crosstown for $1.25 a ride, 7 AM-8 PM Monday-Friday. Let’s ride!

Thursday morning won’t be the time to ride, though:

From the Peabody:

From Tug’s Casual Grill on Mud Island:

The CA’s Jennifer Chandler has a look at Valentine’s treats you can enjoy from home. Charcuterie company Feast & Graze has a special box, and Downtown restaurant Sunrise Memphis is offering Red Velvet French toast in bed.

Holly has even more V-Day ideas on the I Love Memphis Blog.

A new MLGW program makes it easier than ever to give a Gift of Comfort and pay someone else’s utility bill. You need only a debit or credit card, their first initial and last name, and the number part of their street address.

Today is both Pizza Pie Day and Chocolate Day. Recommendation for today: Whichever of Aldo’s Pizza Pies or Silly Goose you prefer, then walk over to the Downtown Dinstuhl’s location at 147 S. Main.

From POLITICO: How to watch Trump’s second impeachment trial like a boss. It begins today.

I doubt I’ll watch the COVID-19 task force press conference at noon today since it’ll be another week before they draw up the next health directive. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update: DGX is the best thing to come Downtown since the Grizzlies

Yesterday I made my first official shopping visit to the new DGX store at Main and Gayoso, in the former Yao’s China Bistro space. DGX is a relatively new concept aimed at urban/Downtown areas in large cities. The stores are under the Dollar General umbrella and they claim to offer Dollar General prices along with the quality and selection of much higher-end stores.

Would they live up to their hype? This is the haul I took away:

First of all, let’s talk selection. The Stouffer’s stuffed peppers and Chunky bean & ham soup are two meals that I love (or, should I say, four meals that I love, since I bought two of each) but could not previously find without leaving the Downtown core.

The can of orange Mountain Dew Kickstart was $1.35. Anywhere else Downtown, that thing would be north of two bucks.

The Chips Ahoy were $2.95. At Walgreens they’re $4.29. Now and then they’re on sale for 2 for $6. So DGX’s regular prices are in some cases cheaper than Walgreens’ sale prices. In other cases, DGX’s regular prices are cheaper than Family Dollar’s regular prices, without, you know, the general shittiness of Family Dollar.

Counting tax, everything seen here came in at $16.92. In this neighborhood, where stores are known to charge a premium for convenience, this is a breath of fresh air. DGX is the 5th closest place to my apartment to do basic shopping, but from now on it’s my #1 go-to.

Stuffed bell peppers are a dish that’s universally liked in the Ryburn household. Socially Distant Perjorie likes the peppers themselves and Mendatius likes the stuffing.

Damn, I just read the instructions for those peppers. 7 minutes on high, spoon sauce over them, 9 minutes on 50%, 2 minutes resting after heating has ended. I’m going to starve to death waiting for the peppers to be done.

Life Church is starting a new Downtown campus. They’ll have an Interest Night Sunday, February 28 at 6:30 PM at 409 South Main where you can learn about all of the things that will be happing at the Downtown location.

That feeling when a deadly virus follows you on Medium:

Note to my programmer friends: You have a new reason to pay $5 a month for unlimited reading on Medium. It now includes unlimited reading of the Pragmatic Programmers family of books. There are close to 100 books, going far beyond just languages – you’ll find everything from DevOps to game development to security to Scrum.

The MemphisWeather.net blog says that at this point, it’s a total crapshoot how much wintry weather we’ll get Thursday.

From AdAge: All the Super Bowl ads, reviewed (h/t Morning Brew)

From WREG: Why The Weeknd’s backup dancers wore bandages during the Super Bowl halftime show

That’s it for now. I may get out for a bit this afternoon and enjoy the half of this week that’s not bitter cold. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

If you’re still trying to decide where to go to watch the game today, let me tempt you with a little food porn.

These are Chef Steph’s Loaded BBQ Nachos that the Blind Bear will serve for the game today. They’re topped with smoked pork in Jagermeister BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, smoked cheddar, pepper jack cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. The Bear also has a chili dog today, on a pretzel bun with chili made with Wiseacre beer. You can also get that Wiseacre beer chili atop cheese fries.

Bardog Tavern is also going game-day specials as well. These will be:

  • Loaded chicken nachos $12
  • Chicharones with salsa $8 (got to try an order of these yesterday, very good!)
  • $12 buckets of Bud, Miller, or Coors products (photo showed 4 bottles in bucket)
  • Free Bud Light T-shirt with every bucket
  • $4 16 oz. Mich Ultra drafts

Wow, I just realized something… yesterday was my first visit to Bardog in 7 weeks! I used the Safer at Home order as an opportunity to take some time off for my professional writing, and Saturday, which tends to be my main Bardog day, was one day when I really needed to focus in. I’ll do better about getting up there more as the weather starts to get nice.

While at Bardog, a friend of mine told me the Spanish Octopus at Curfew is really good. I still have not had a chance to check that place out and am grateful for the recommendation.

The Daily Memphian has a really interesting article on the effects of the pandemic on the criminal justice system. Delayed jury trials in particular have been an issue.

The Memphis Tigers are now 1.5 games behind Houston in the American Athletic Conference following yesterday’s victory over ECU. Next up: Cincinnati, Wednesday night at 6 at FedExForum. The game will be on either ESPN2 or ESPNU, according to gotigersgo.com.

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, fell to .500 and 10th place in the Western Conference with a loss to New Orleans on the road last night. That loss is the third straight for Memphis. Next up: home game vs. Toronto tomorrow at 7 PM.

Super Bowl LV drinking games:

Be sure to root for Tank, Cosmo, Vinnie, and Jiffy in today’s Puppy Bowl. They were rescued from Memphis-area shelters.

I have no plans to get out today and watch the game, and plan on staying home and seeing how many Medium articles and ideas for articles I can get done by the end of the day. That’s it for now, back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Memphis in May has delayed its salute to Ghana until the year 2022. With no Music Fest, a BBQ Fest watered down by strict COVID precautions, and trouble flying in foreign dignitaries, it was the right move. We are gonna have a Ghana celebration three years in the making in ’22! Who knows where it’ll be, but we’re gonna have it!

Even if you’re not a football fan, you can enjoy the Super Bowl tomorrow with these prop bets. Bets include the length of the National Anthem, whether Robinhood/GameStop will be mentioned in the broadcast, and how many times Patrick Mahomes will appear in a State Farm commercial.

AutoZone Park has front office internships for college students and recent college graduates. Interns will work on projects in marketing, sales, retail, operations, and game productions. This is a big opportunity because you’ll be able to say you worked with both a professional baseball team and a professional soccer team.

I found a cool automation tool called Zapier yesterday. It’s one of those things that, I haven’t figured out yet how it’s going to be useful in my life, but I know it will be. It connects to over 2000 apps including Outlook, Slack, Facebook, Stripe, Trello, Gmail, Google Calendar, Salesforce, Twitter, and many more. An example of how it might work: You could set up a rule saying, when a new email arrives in Gmail, save the attachment in Dropbox, then send a notification to a Slack channel.

From WREG: A Memphis man is accused of stealing TVs off a train car off E.H. Crump Blvd.

From the CA: An urban townhouse community is in the works for the southwest corner of Main and Carolina.

Alcenia’s will host a talk about Black History Month over hot chocolate Sunday at 1.

Next weekend could get interesting here. Weatherbug’s extended forecast:

  • Thursday: 36/20, 30% frozen mix AM, 40% PM
  • Friday: 27/11
  • Saturday: 28/14
  • Sunday: 26/18

Fox 13 reports that help is on the way for restaurants hurt by the pandemic with the Restaurant Act of 2021 making its way through Congress. I think they meant $10 billion worth of aid not $10 million?

Tigers on national TV alert: Penny’s team hosts ECU at FedExForum today at 1. ESPN will broadcast the game.

The Dirty Crow Inn will have bacon-wrapped shrimp, its signature wings, and the game on TV at its pop-up at the 40et8, 152 Legion Rd. in West Memphis Sunday 3-10.

It’s 6:20 AM and I already have my blog post done as well as my daily Medium post. I guess I get to go out today! Back tomorrow with more news.

Patti LaMelte at Blind Bear and Friday news

As you can see in the image above, Perjorie T. Roll is feeling good from her head to her shoes.

Knows where she’s going and she knows what to do.

She’s tidied up her point of view.

She’s got a Patti LaMelte from Chef Steph at the Blind Bear: smoked Gouda pimiento cheese and caramelized onions on wheatberry toast. I cannot put into words how delicious that pimiento cheese is. The Patti LaMelte is a special at Blind Bear this week, and if you’re a fan of patty melts, you need to try this. They’re open 10 to 10 today, so why not stop by for lunch?

The Shelby County Health Department is now vaccinating people 70 and up for COVID; if you’re a veteran and 65 or up, you can get a shot at the VA. More info

The South Main Association will meet via Zoom next Tuesday. Jimmie Tucker will discuss the South Memphis TIF to incentivize businesses in the area. The TIF includes South Main, South End, French Fort, and South City.

Uvrebu Contemporary opens at Main and Huling tomorrow night, Saturday, February 6 from 5:30 to 9:30, but because of COVID gallery tours are appointment only. Call 901-521-0782 or go online to schedule an appointment.

The speed limit, where not posted, is now 25 MPH in Memphis, a drop from 30. Stupidest non-COVID decision made by local government this year. Traffic engineers say this will primarily affect drivers in the Downtown area as well as residential roads.

The Grizzlies fell to 9-8 and out of the top 8 in the Western Conference with a loss at home to the Houston Rockets last night. Next up for the Grizz: At New Orleans 8 PM tomorrow.

Action News 5 has insight from Shelby County Schools superintendent Dr. Joris Ray on the district’s plan to return to in-person learning.

Memphis is in a blood shortage right now and donors are sought.

From STIX, the Asian restaurant on Second:

Sushi Lunch Club monthly memberships are now available at STIX Downtown! If you’re a frequent visitor, you’re going to want to get in on this deal. Here’s how it works:
Step 1:  Purchase a punch card for $35.
Step 2:  Enjoy four sushi rolls within one month of your purchase date.
Step 3: Calculate your savings!
The average price of our sushi rolls is $10, so purchasing a membership saves you at least $5.

Good news! After a COVID shutdown, the production of Peeps will resume in time for Easter.

Fun site: Who old are you? Put in your date of birth and it will tell you what people were doing when they were your age. I learned that

  • When Leonardo da Vinci was my age, he started work on the Mona Lisa
  • When Angela Merkel was my age, she was elected Chancellor of Germany

By the way, the two stories above came from the Morning Brew newsletter. If two more people click my link and sign up for Morning Brew, I get stickers!

The National Civil Rights Museum has announced a Virtual Book Talk for Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019. It will be online at 6:00 this evening.

Cocozza and Blind Bear have posted their Valentine’s Day menus to their Facebook pages.

That’s the news for today. Whew, barely got this post done before time to head to work! Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

I took a tour through the new DGX store at Main and Gayoso yesterday afternoon, and my verdict is this: PHENOMENAL. They have packed so much inventory into that space. And the prices! Every Sunday I read the Walgreens online circular to find what’s on sale. There’s no need to do that anymore because those are the everyday prices at DGX.

And they have Mountain Dew Icees!

Here’s a Fox 13 story about the store.

The Daily Memphian’s Geoff Calkins has an important read this morning: One recruit went from “bush league” (Tennessee Vols) to “a better place” (University of Memphis). This kid gets it.

StyleBlueprint has an article about the 4 zones for the renovation plan for Tom Lee Park.

New rideshare service Groove On-Demand launches February 10. For $1.25 a passenger, riders will be able to travel anywhere in the Downtown, Mus Island, Medical Center, and New Chicago areas. Some points of note within reach:

  • Crosstown Concourse
  • Kroger at Poplar and Cleveland
  • Grind City Brewing Co.

You use an app to book transportation, and those without a bank account can use a prepaid debit card to book rides. I can see myself using this for field trips! Hours are Monday-Friday 7 AM-8 PM.

117 Prime has released its Valentine’s Day menu.

Shelby County Schools will hold a virtual meeting about a return to in-person learning today at 4. Our county becomes the last holdout as Nashville returns to in-person school today.

The Grizzlies host Houston tonight at 8.

That’s it for this post. Got a lot to do today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Yesterday in the COVID-19 task force press conference, Shelby County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph announced that Health Directive 17 will remain in place for a full four weeks, which would mean until Friday, February 19 at 11:59 PM. He said there were two reasons for not reconsidering restrictions sooner. For one, the numbers are headed in the right direction and the health department wants that trend to continue. Secondly, a “suspicious” case in Shelby County is being studied as possibly the first known case in the county of the super-contagious UK variant of COVID. (Update: Confirmed to be the UK strain)

Sigh… Dr. Randolph and the health department are absolutely making the proper call. I just feel bad for my friends who used to make $500 a night working an 8 PM-3 AM shift, and now they’re making $75 a night working a 6 PM-10 PM shift. It sucks for them. They are being asked to shoulder an unfair amount of financial burden compared to the rest of society.

Blind Bear has announced specials for the football game Sunday:

Loaded Chili Dog.- 1/4 pound Beef Hot Dog on a Dave’s Bagel Pretzel Bun topped with Homemade Chili
Chili Cheese Fries- Seasoned Fries topped with Chili and loaded with Cheese and cheese sauce, Red Onions and tomatoes
Loaded BBQ Nachos! Nachos topped with BBQ Pork, Lettuce, Tomato, shredded cheese, and BBQ sauce!

Sunrise Memphis will have two specials this weekend:

  • Brady Benedict: Two fried crab cakes, arugula salad with capers and onions topped with lemon Hollandaise, poached eggs, on a house-made open-faced buttermilk biscuit
  • Mahomes Hash: Pork belly burnt ends with Kansas City BBQ sauce, two easy eggs, and Tabasco onion straws over a sweet potato hash topped with scallions

From Lifehacker: Why you should never unsubscribe from illicit texts and emails. This advice is on point. When you click “unsubscribe,” you’re telling scammers “this is a valid email/phone number.” That’ll get you more unsolicited crap, not less.

The Daily Memphian has a look at Slim & Husky’s, the new hip-hop pizzeria out in The Edge, in New Eats. Notable: They have $10 pizza specials every Tuesday.

I saw a fabulous post on Medium yesterday, and it’s behind a paywall but you get a few free reads a month: Gaslighting phrases you aren’t paying attention to. Yes yes yes. I know people who use every one of the phrases listed in the article to deflect and dismiss, because they lack the depth to have anything more than superficial conversation. For instance:

  • “You’re the only one who thinks that.”
  • “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • “It’s all in the past.”
  • “I don’t see what I’ve done wrong.”

Sad to say that we lost another member of the Downtown extended family this week. I’ll miss your pizza, I’ll miss your nachos, but most of all I’ll miss your friendship. It warmed my heart when I’d come in and you’d tell me, “Paul, it’s good having you in here. It’s good having my regulars around.”

This month you can vote for what the official beer can of Memphis Tigers athletics will look like. Go by the Grind City Brewing Co. taproom off N. Second anytime this month and vote for the blue, black, or grey Tiger Tail can. I gotta tell you, if I get by there I’ll be voting for the blue!

Midtown news: There’s a report on Nextdoor that the 19th Century Club is now Red Hook and they’re attaching giant plastic lobsters to the outside of the historic building. Mmmm, lobster!

Cruise line American Queen, which makes stops at Beale Street Landing, will require COVID vaccination for passengers effective July 1.

The Memphis Grizzlies dropped to 6rh in the Western Conference (9-6, .563) following last night’s loss to Indiana.

Memphis hosts UCF at FedExForum tonight at 7. The game will be on the ESPN+ premium service.

The new DGX convenience store at Main and Gayoso. I’ll try to get by there today or tomorrow and  bring back a report.

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

Tuesday update

If any Downtown restaurants or bars are doing anything for the Super Bowl they’d like promoted on here, hit me up at paul@paulryburn.com or get in touch with me on Facebook. I’ll be happy to refer to it as The Big Game Party, the Football Championship Party, or the Superb Owl Party if it’ll help keep the NFL’s trademark enforcement people happy.

The Tigers and Grizzlies both won last night. Penny’s team blew away UCF, 96-69, improving to 10-6 and 6-3 in conference play. The Grizzlies also had a big win, beating San Antonio 133-102. With a 9-6 record, Memphis is now tied with 12-8 Denver for fourth place in the West at .600.

If the games missed due to COVID can’t be made up, I wonder if number of games won would be a tiebreaker? Maybe I’ll submit that to Chris Herrington’s mailbag since I’m a DM subscriber.

As your number-one source for news and information about The Edge District, here’s a tidbit about cocktail lounge The Inkwell opening this summer: It won’t have TVs. The owner wants to encourage conversation among the lounge’s patrons.

Cerrito Bingo will host a free virtual bingo game presented by Old Dominick Thursdays at 8:30 beginning this week. Prizes include distillery tours and tastings, Malco movie passes, and Cash Saver and Smoothie King gift cards. The game will be broadcast on Twitch.

WREG reports there was a carjacking on the lot at South Front and Butler Sunday evening around 6:30. This is the third such robbery in the area in the past 11 days.

Shred415 and STIX Asian restaurant are hosting a Valentine’s Weekend workout Friday, February 12 at 6:45 PM. For $25 you get a 45-minute workout class and your choice of Hibachi Shrimp, Steakm, Teriyaki Chicken.

For those of you who believe, as I do, that poker is a metaphor for life, here’s a fantastic article by online poker player Chris Sparks on meta-skills in high-stakes poker. (Note: This is about a 30 minute read) Sparks has a new personal development business based on all he has learned playing poker. I signed up for his free workbook last night.

It’s National Tater Tot Day. In other faux-holiday news, the stupid rodent says there will be six more weeks of winter.

AutoZone Park was offered as a COVID vaccination site, but the City of Memphis and Shelby County Health Department declined.

The Grizzlies are back in action tonight at the Indiana Pacers. Game time is 7 PM.

I hate, hate, hate the direction they’re taking Alexa Bliss’ character the past two weeks of WWE Monday Night RAW. I know we’re supposed to suspend disbelief to an extent, but they’re overdoing it.

I plan on listening to the COVID-19 task force press conference today at noon, when I hope there is a further loosening of restrictions similar to what was seen in Nashville this week. It’s time to shift the mandate to individual responsibility and get back to business. Back tomorrow with more news.