Grocery Shopping Online

I know that I’ve talked about Amazon Grocery before, last year in fact, but I got an email this morning from them basically trying to drum up interest in it again, and so I had another look.

They have really expanded their product line. Plus, with the addition of their “Subscribe and Save” thing, the prices are basically the same as you’d find at the store. It’s a neat idea, to have a regular order of the crap you always have to remember to buy anyway on an automatic order basis. Simple stuff like laundry detergent, toothpaste, cereal, and yes, even toilet paper. :)

So I set up a few automatic orders for various items. The automatic orders get 20% off their normal price, and they’re all free shipping, so it’s a pretty good deal. Definitely worth checking out.

I also found that somebody had made a Bonnaroo Wish List while I was browsing around over there. I thought that was quite clever.

Beer is the basis of modern static civilization

Not my title. It’s a quote from Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California (which is possibly the greatest professorial title ever).

More on the subject at Scientific American.

Some good quotes here:

Because before beer was discovered, people used to wander around and follow goats from place to place. And then they realized that this grain [barley] could be grown and sprouted and made into a bread and crumbled and converted into a liquid which gave a nice, warm, cozy feeling. So gone were the days that they followed goats around. They stayed put while the grain grew and while the beer was brewed. And they made villages out of their tents. And those villages became towns, and those towns became cities. And so here we are in New York, thanks to beer.

And this one explains my theory of Sunday morning brunch:

He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. The logic is impeccable.

Good stuff.

Birthday fun and a Celebrity Sighting…

Yesterday was my birthday. Yay me!

So I go over to Sleep Out Louie’s last night to meet up with whatever people feel like showing up. I hang out there for about 4 hours before getting hungry. Rebecca was kind enough to bring me a bunch of cookies, which I totally was not expecting, but nevertheless, food was calling me. I suggested Sushi, Rebecca and Chad agreed, so we went over to Bluefin.

I like Bluefin. It’s a really neat place, what with that weird electric fusion type atmosphere. I kinda wish we’d snagged one of the couch areas, because those are cool IMO, but we sat up front, close to the sushi. We ordered a crapton of sushi and Frank got a flatbread pizza of some kind.

All of a sudden, Chuck comes over to us and says “dude, that’s Tommy Lee Jones”. I have to have him repeat it, because at this point I’m thinking that I misheard him, being quite drunk like I am. And he says to me, “Tommy Lee Jones is at the back table having dinner.” So I get up and walk to the bathroom, which involves passing within about 5 feet of that far back table, and sure enough, Tommy Lee Jones is sitting there with a couple of other people browsing the menu and having drinks.

I’m not the kind of jerk who bothers people having dinner, so I wander back to my table and finish my meal. We wonder why he’d be in Memphis and such, but can’t think of a reason. Later I hit the internet to discover that he’s in town to film “In the Valley of Elah“, but at the time, I just thought it was kinda neat.

So we have a hell of a meal, I eat 2 rolls and a bunch of Nigiri, Chad ends up paying for it despite my protests (well, it was my birthday), and then we head over to the Peabody lounge for some end of evening drinks. On our way out of Bluefin I notice Tommy Lee Jones still sitting back there, annihilating what appeared to be a giant plate of sushi, although I might be mistaken on that. It was some distance away from me at the time, plus I had added Sapporo and some sake to my libations at this point. Anyway, we walk over to the Peabody, picking up Paul along the way.

They make some really good coffees at the Peabody, which is why I like it as an evening ending place. Very laid back, some guy playing piano, sitting on the couches and enjoying an Irish Coffee. Nice.

All in all, a good night, I’d say. Not the strangest birthday I’ve had, but one of the more laid back and entertaining ones.

Manny the Manatee

The news over the last week has been somewhat entertaining around downtown Memphis…

It started out with a couple of fishermen seeing something on Monday in the Wolf River Harbor (slackwater harbor that’s connected to the Mississippi river here downtown). Turned out that it was a manatee.

The TV stations even got it live on video.

So officals cut off boat access to the harbor and called people in Florida to try to figure out WTF to do about it.

On Tuesday, they became concerned about it being too cold for the manatee to survive. Activists got involved and got people from Sea World to come up and check it out.

They got here Wednesday, and became concerned as well. So they decided to attempt a rescue on Thursday morning.

Somewhere along the way, it picked up the rather lame name of “Manny”.

But on Wednesday, the manatee became trapped between a couple of barges, and there was naturally concern all around. They ended up deciding to wait until Thursday anyway.

Then Thursday rolls around, and they can’t find the damn thing.

They tried again this morning, with no luck. Now here it is this afternoon, and they are searching lakes and such nearby, with no success. For four days this giant sucker has been rolling around the harbor, then gives them the slip right when they actually want to find him.

Many of the above links have video links on the bottom left, if you want to watch the news reports.

Word from the scene

Okay, so I go out tonight mainly to fuel my hunger and thirst. While I have plenty of stash packed away to fuel the thirst, I’m sadly low on foodstuffs. It’s been an interesting couple hours.

First, I head over to Wang’s. I’d just like to state, for the record, that this is the best named Chinese place, ever. Forget the play on word places, Wang’s doesn’t mess around when it comes to suggestive names. Wang’s.

Wang’s is right up the street, less than a block away. They used to be over at #1 Beale, but that old building got demolished (nobody seems to really know why), and now they’re over at the corner of Main and Gayoso. They’ve been there for a few months, I’ve just been too lazy to stop by. And I must say, their new digs? NICE. They have possibly the best stage I’ve ever seen in a restaurant. I may drop back over in an hour or so to hear whatever band is playing, because they did not skimp one bit on the sound system, or the stage. It’s huge, takes up like a quarter of the place, and looks like they could put on one hell of a show.

Anyway, I get some chinese food and a couple of chinese beers, and notice that the place is practically empty. This naturally concerns me, because I like the places around here to do well. Doing well means they stick around which means more fun for me, because I ain’t leaving anytime soon.

So I finish my meal, pay the extremely reasonable tab, and head over to Sleep Out Louie’s, or as Paul calls it, the Union Avenue Branch Office. They have a couple playing in there that I had not heard before. Pam and Terry or some such thing. I cannot recall. In any case, they’re pretty good. I listen to them a while, while playing some NTN Trivia and drinking mixed drinks, since I’m not quite trusting their beer dispenser system yet. Seriously, I love Louie’s, and I make it a point to go every Sunday morning if possible, but the beer taps need a major overhaul. First they had to clean the lines, then the fridges went out so it was warm. And IMO, it was never really cold to begin with. Still, they have very cheap liqour, so I tend to stick to the mixed drinks and we get along just fine.

In any case, Louie’s is dead too. There’s like three tables full, and nobody at the bar, and this is unusual for 7:30 on a Saturday. So I pay my cheap tab, and head to the Flying Saucer, (aka Paul’s Second Avenue Branch Office). And they’re practically empty too!

I have one beer, then ask around, and appearantly there’s not only a baseball game going on tonight, but some kind of concert. Looking around the intarweb, appearanly Widespread Panic played last night and is playing again tonight. I had no idea. That’s what I get for working hard all week and not paying attention. Not that I’d go and see them, but still, I like to be in the loop on this sort of thing.

So here I am at home, enjoying a Red Bull and Ketel, and typing this worthless drivel. Oh well. With any luck, Mandy will stop by later in the week on her way to NC, although I am doubtful at this stage. It’s kinda out of her way and all. Yes, this is a blatent attempt to guilt Mandy into showing up anyway. )

Enjoy the links.

New Photo Album

I just got access to the PicasaWeb test, and uploaded a bunch of pictures. Gotta say, this thing is great! Picasa is an excellent photo organizer, which now has a bunch of new features.

  • Geotagging of pictures, integrated with Google Earth.
  • Upload photos to your own online photo album.
  • Online albums have RSS feeds.
  • Choose the quality of your online pictures.
  • 250 meg of free album space (6 gig if you pay for it).

It’s good stuff, I recommend signing up if you haven’t already.

You can check out my public photo albums here.