Friday update

Well. The Grizzlies certainly made some unexpected selections last night.

They did not move into the single-digit picks via trade, as had been rumored. At #10, two top-notch picks were still on the board: Arkansas shooting guard Moses Moody and UConn shooting guard James Bouknight. Both are considered NBA-ready, perhaps even in starting roles.

The Grizz, however, went with small forward Ziaire Williams at 10. He will provide shooting power on the wing, and let’s face it, that’s been a need since the team traded Rudy Gay a decade ago. The knocks against him are that he had an unimpressive season at Stanford and will be banged around by bruising NBA opponents. Bleacher Report graded the pick a D+. Yet the Memphis front office had their eye on Williams for over a year, reports the DM’s Drew Hill, and intel indicated he would not still be there to pick at 17.

Then the Grizz traded the #40 pick and two second-rounders to Utah for a chance to pick again in the first round at #30. They got Santi Aldama from Loyola (Maryland), a 6’11” power forward/center. Bleacher Report said he hasn’t faced high-level competition, might need to be stashed overseas, and might not have been drafted in the second round. They gave the pick a D. Aldama is from Spain, and the Grizzlies are known to have a great track record with Spanish players.

Mayor Harris said in yesterday’s COVID-19 task force press conference that the next health directive, to be issued Wednesday, August 4, will be updated to reflect the CDC’s latest guidance. The CDC now recommends masking, even among those fully vaccinated people, when you are in an indoor public space and don’t know the vaccination status of those around you. It also recommends masking when you’re around someone with a known immune system condition.

Therefore, the mayor said, the health directive will urge citizens of Shelby County to mask up under those circumstances. However, at this time, there will be no restoration of any mandates, including masking, nor any other form of COVID restrictions. The mayor did say that “nothing is off the table” if the numbers continue to get worse. Read the complete press conference recap on News Break

Personally, I would prefer to see the following two things happen instead of mask mandates:

  1. Employers adopt policies that employees who are not fully vaccinated get negative COVID tests every 72 hours; and
  2. Restaurants, bars, sporting venues, and concert halls require proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test less than 72 hours old.

This would make it more of a pain in the ass to be unvaccinated than to go get vaccinated, which would drive vaccination rates way up. Also, note that the policies would be implemented by the private sector, not government, which is the way it should be.

Memphis Music Initiative hosts a Return to Music Community Block Party this afternoon at the intersection of the two Kings – Dr. MLK Ave. and B.B. Blvd. Live music by artists associated with MMI, kids’ activities, food trucks, and a performance by the Grizzline.

Tonight is South Main Trolley Night. The shops and galleries of the South Main Arts District stay open until 9 or later, and many of them put out appetizers and booze and some offer discounts or specials. This is a fabulous opportunity to get out and mingle with your neighbors. Despite the heat, I have little doubt Trolley Night will be packed tonight. People are eager to get out again!

While in the area for Trolley Night, be sure to check out Grape as they play Earnestine & Hazel’s at 9.

In other post-Trolley Night festivities, Slider Inn Downtown will have house music and dance music all night long for the LEO Birthday Bash. The event will feature The GOODLife DJs DJ Brandon and DJ RAWHOUSE, along with host ShangSilk.

Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day. Show some love to the people who keep your work computer safe from phishing, viruses, malware, and keystroke detectors.

Speaking of which… there’s a “Your mailbox is almost full” email scam making its way around the Internet. If you get a message like this, delete it without opening any attachments or clicking on any links in the email.

There’s a specialty ticket you can buy to tonight’s Redbirds game that gets you an all-you-can-eat buffet of ribs, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, and drinks (2 per person, water or soft drinks). The buffet runs for 2 hours following the opening of the gates at 6 PM. It’ll be on the 3rd Base Cove on the main concourse, near section 108.

Miami Rose hosts Drag Queen Bingo tonight at MOXY Memphis, 40 N. Front, from 7 to 9. Compete for an array of prizes, including a suite at the hotel. PRO TIP: I would venture a guess that your chances of winning a prize are better than normal this week, as many people who might otherwise play bingo are drawn away by South Main Trolley Night.

Artists’ and makers’ market Memphis Modern Market returns to Loflin Yard at 11 tomorrow.

Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage will perform at Carolina Watershed tonight at 7 for a free show.

It’s a Broke Tall Folk double feature this weekend at The Vault – they’ll play both Friday and Saturday evenings. Tonight’s show starts at 8 PM.

Paper & Clay at 525 S. Main is new to the arts district, but they’ll be celebrating their 8th birthday tonight at Trolley Night. They are promising treats, drinks, discounts, and a giveaway.

Richard Wilson plays soulful blues and jazz at the Blues Hall on Beale Street, 4:30 to 7:30 this evening.

I’m going to take it easy and get some writing done this morning and afternoon. Around 4:30 I’ll wander up to Max’s Sports Bar for a couple of beverages, then I’ll hit South Main Trolley Night at 6. Back tomorrow with more news.