Monday update

Got an important note for any of my readers who have reason to drive I-22 southeast into Birmingham. (Lamar Avenue which runs through Memphis becomes I-22 in north Mississippi.) There’s a northwest suburb of Birmingham named Brookside that is gaining national attention as a notorious speed trap. Cops will sit on I-22, even though, according to Google Maps, I-22 does not run through Brookside. Not only will they aggressively ticket violations, but they will also concoct violations out of thin air.

This sounds like an area to avoid. You can do so by taking the U.S. 72 exit about a mile before Brookside and taking that highway into Birmingham. It may add a few minutes to your trip, but it could save you fines and the hassle of court appearances.

There was a trash fire reported on the Main Street Mall this morning around 4 near Margie’s 901 ice cream shop. The fire was quickly put out. Probably a homeless person trying to stay warm.

This’ll be of interest to NBA fans… the Brooklyn Nets have become the first pro sports team to move into the metaverse to provide fans an immersive game experience. A system of 100 high-res cameras will provide a 3D fan experience from any position on the court. Want to be on the free-throw line when Kevin Durant shoots? You can. Want to be in the corner when James Harden attempts a three? You can. With the proper virtual reality hardware, of course. That hardware isn’t cheap, but neither are Nets tickets. The name of the Nets’ metaverse? The Netaverse.

I wonder if the Grizzlies will have their own VR/AR metaverse in the near future. Memphis isn’t as wealthy or as technologically advanced a city as New York, so it probably isn’t the immediate priority (a deep run into the playoffs is the immediate priority). Still, I bet we see something like that in Memphis no later than 2025.

A friend pointed out to me that it looks like the Western Conference semifinals will be going on during BBQ Fest. BBQ teams, you better start figuring out how to get a TV in your booths.

With one-third of the team out for various reasons, the Grizzlies dropped a road game to Dallas last night, 104-91. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Utah lost too, so Memphis still holds 3rd place in the West by a game over the Jazz.

The Memphis Tigers, on the other hand, notched a road W over Tulsa, 83-81. The contest looked out of reach for Memphis in the first half and early second half, then Tyler Harris switched into boss mode and brought us back.

Next up for the Tigers: Thursday vs. East Carolina, 8 PM at FedExForum. There will be a lot going on for that game:

From the DM: Development partners Kevin Woods and Billy Orgel, along with Paul Young who runs DMC, discuss plans for the 100 N. Main project. In particular, check out this drawing illustrating the building’s future components. Young notes that by combining office space with hotel space and apartments, that block of Main Street will be activated 18 hours a day.

Fact I gleaned from today’s Morning Brew newsletter: This will be the first time in 12 years that neither the NFC nor AFC conference title game will feature Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.

Also from the Brew… Bitcoin is down to $35,919. Daaaang it was up in the $64K neighborhood as recently as November.

AI technology is now advising the world’s highest-stakes Texas Hold’em poker players. For example, AI might tell a player who has a suited 7 and 6 with an Ace, Jack, and 2 on the flop that he should check (bet nothing) 39% of the time, bet 30% of the pot 51% of the time, and bet 80% of the pot 10% of the time. That behavior will optimally confuse the other players at the table as to what the player actually holds.

The good news for us causal players is that only the players at the highest levels (like those who buy in for a tournament for $250,000) have both the money to buy the AI software and the time to study its recommendations for all the different hands. You shouldn’t be at a disadvantage if you buy into a $30 tournament or a $1/$2 cash game at Tunica or Southaven.

Today is Beer Can Appreciation Day and I plan on appreciating some Pabst Blue Ribbon cans later this evening.

It’s also National Peanut Butter Day. My recommendation to celebrate would be at the Arcade restaurant with their fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Anyone else getting a “Card Encryption Error” when they try to pay with their chipped debit card at Walgreens today? Never seen that before. It was no big deal, though, my total was only $7 and I had cash.

Weather-wise, no rain expected this week but today is expected to be the only day with above-normal temperatures. It should get close to 60 today, but don’t break out the shorts – it’ll get down to bear freezing tonight.

The Broom Closet on South Main will host a Third Eye Opening event with instructor Matt Petty tonight at 6:30. There will be a variety of sounds from singing bowls, chimes, and gongs. Bring a yoga mat. Space is limited and late entries won’t be accepted.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow.