Snowing in Memphis

It rarely snows in downtown Memphis, but it’s doing a pretty good job of it right now.

I left work a bit early to avoid the insanity on the streets, and my car was fairly covered by that point. So I quickly came home and took some shots out of my window and on the rooftop.

Looks like it's sticking alright

Unfortunately, the rooftop shots show that there is basically zero visibility. I can’t even see the downtown core from here.

Can't even see downtown because of the thickness of it

Ah well. Still, I expect some snowballs to be thrown tonight. :)

Have fun in Phoenix, Mandy!

Status update

You know, I really need to get in the habit of posting here at least once a week. I guess I’m just busy or lazy or something like that. Anyway, I figured a status update is in order, so I’ll run over a few quick one-liners to let people know what’s up.

First, for all the people in town this weekend, I won’t be here. Sorry, heading to a wedding on Friday. Be back late Sunday. This means I’ll miss Sunday Funday yet again, which I do hate to do. I do plan on going to the Saucer this afternoon though, for a little while.

Last weekend was a blast. The South Main Arts Festival was a heck of a good time. Although the art itself was rather expensive, the various food shops were spectacular. Had a good time at the various costume parties as well. Didn’t get any pictures, but Paul did, so that’ll do, for now. I’ve got some stashed somewhere, I’ll post them eventually.

The weekend before that I was in Atlanta, doing a combination beer festival and bachelor party. This event told me two things: a) I’m getting old and creaky, b) I can still hold my liquor with the best of them. While the pain was for lack of a better term, immense, at least I was still able to drink for 13 hours straight and remain mostly upright, with only the occasional stumbling. Pictures of some parts of this will be posted soon.

The weekend before that, my dad was in town for our local block party, or as I want to call it, the bi-ann-sou-mai-con. He had a good time, and got nicely wasted. Went to the Metal Museum the next day, for their annual Repair Days thing. Got some iron work he brought repaired, and then he left early, but not before picking up many pieces of Gus’ chicken to take back to mom.

The weeks before that I probably did some things too. Just not particularly important ones.

I will resolve to update more often in the future, I swear.

Minor highlights of the life of Otto…

Let’s see, haven’t posted here in a while… what to say…

Lorelle invited me to make some guest posts this month on her blog. I wrote a short little technical ditty about how to integrate Microformats and WordPress Themes. If you’re into WordPress, or CMS’s in general, it’s worth a look. Since I use this site as a sort of test bed, I might also mention that it’s currently showing nine, count ’em, nine different microformats. And a few other things that aren’t microformats as well.

Went to the Art on Tap beer festival this last weekend. Had a hell of a good time, but was rather disappointed in the food selection. Also, it was one of the only beer festivals I’ve ever seen where all the beer was poured out of bottles. The exception was the homebrews poured by The Bluff City Brewers, which were all really good. I recall getting back to the Saucer, I don’t quite recall going home. So clearly, I had a good time. Paul posted some shots of the fest, some of which include yours truly.

The Rapscallions won at Trivia tonight, amazingly enough. Pete has clearly been making the questions harder, as we only scored 79 out of a possible 160-something. Still, that was enough for a tie, and we won the tie-breaker. $50 in the pot for the next party!

I received an invitation to the wedding of Chris, a friend of mine currently living in Atlanta. I kinda wonder about it, the wedding reception is at a beach resort in Alabama, but it’s in November. Anybody know what the weather is like at Gulf Shores in November?

Along with the invite, I received a summons from Zach for the Bachelor Party in October. Unfortunately, I’m told that it’s the same day as the Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival. That’s just poor planning, man. Although, a beer tasting in the afternoon, followed by a Bachelor Party all evening… I’m not sure I’m capable of that anymore. I’m not as young as I used to be. Still, it’s doable, and damnit, I think I’m going to have to try. And then this weekend, I have the Cooper-Young festival to cope with. Along with a keg party a block away from the festivities.

Oh yeah, and Raiford’s is reopening, with Raiford back at the turntables. Now that I live about 2 blocks away from that point, I can see many 40’s in my future.

So, the fall is looking busy.

Great Amazon Deals

Found a neat post a while back that described how to mess with Amazon’s URLs to find the best deals, like everything in a category that was 90% off and such. Then this morning I found a post with all the URLs pre-made for you. Very neat.

So, here you go:

Apparel & Accessories : 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Beauty: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Bed & Bath: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Books: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Camera & Photo: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Cell Phones & Service: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Computers & PC Hardware: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Computers & Video Games: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

DVD: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Electronics: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Furniture & Decor: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Gourmet Food: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

GPS and Navigation: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Grocery: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Health & Personal Care: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Home & Garden: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Jewelry & Watches: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Kitchen & Housewares: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Magazines & Newspapers: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Musical Instruments: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Office Products: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Outdoor Living: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Pet Supplies: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Shoes: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Software: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Sports & Outdoors: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Tools & Hardware: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Toys & Games : 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Busy, busy…

There was a Nike Liquidation Sale here in town, over at the convention center. Imagine if you took a football field and filled it with Nike gear. Shoes, shirts, socks, caps, jackets, pants… anything they can stick a logo on, basically. Then imagine they were selling all of it for 85% off the normal price. Yeah, it was a bit crazy over there. Still, I got some nice sandals out of it.

After that and a few drinks, I went over to see the condo. I’m both happy and disappointed about it. Happy because it’s basically done and practically ready to move in. Disappointed because they have not started replacing the carpet yet, the exterior door is still messed up, and there are some nasty scratches on the hardwood floor in one place. So that’s something I’m going to have to deal with in the next couple weeks that I really just want them to do without me having to pester anybody about it.

Still, I can’t wait to get the purchase done and move in already. Gotta find and talk to some movers, gotta find some new furniture for the living room, etc. Too much to do.

Also, last night I discovered that I’m pretty good at darts again. It’s been a few years since I really played, so it’s good to know the skills ain’t gone.

Spending money like it's going out of style…

So, it looks like I’m buying a condo.

I’ve been looking at the market downtown for the last several months now, going to friends places in various buildings, tooling around town on my own and walking through various places, and just generally getting a feel for the area and its pricing. So last week, when Clay told me about some new construction going on near the South Main area, I had to check it out.

The place is impressive.

What’s more is that it was impressively priced. With new construction, there’s generally very little haggling over price. The price that is given is the price that it is. When it goes on the market, realtors tend to buy up the properties and then sit on them to make a profit and raise the prices up. Then you can haggle. But when you find a place that’s not on the market yet, the prices are what they are. And these were pretty good for downtown.

So I toured the place, went home and did the math, called a mortgage guy or three, and will be buying it here in the next 30 days. I went in and started the paperwork and have the place waiting for me, more or less.

Since they are still constructing the building, I won’t really be able to move in until sometime next month, and even then, the lower floors will still be under construction. But I got a place on the upper floor that was almost complete anyway. All that’s really left for them to do in my place is to put in the rest of the hardwood flooring (I’m making them remove the hideous carpeting in the bedroom area in favor of hardwood), and clean the place up.

For those of you who have been to my apartment, know that the new place is smaller than my current apartment, in terms of actual floor space. However, it is larger in terms of feel, because it’s basically one/two big open rooms. The pictures don’t really do it justice. But here they are anyway. :)

Post-vacation weariness

I’ve been unable to think properly for the last week and a half since coming back from St. Pats. Because of this, I’ve sorta slacked off on posting pictures and such. Also, I didn’t take my camera to St. Pats (because I’m an idiot), so I’m just really waiting for everybody else to send me their pictures and thus I can create a compilation.

Still, I have some newer pictures, so I may as well post those instead.

Last week, Mike and Paola had a beer tasting party. It was a hell of a good time, and I’d like to thank them for having it. I look forward to brewing a bunch of new beers up for the next one. They posted some pictures, which I shamelessly stole and stuck into my own web album because this lets me keep things in one place.

On Sunday, we were having brunch at the Majestic, when Mikey gets a call, walks outside, and comes back with a plastic light-up Spuds MacKensie. Naturally, we had to take him on a tour of the town before returning him to his rightful owners. Mikey has more pictures than I do, these were taken using my cell phone, which I’m getting better at using nowadays.

So that was last weekend. I missed Trivia night at the Saucer last night, because a) I was really tired, but mainly because b) I was actually unconscious on the couch at the time. I’ll be there next week though. :)

On the plus side, I received my cell phone gear from Cingular, including a data cable (pictured to the right), which I used to modify my phone. See, the LG CU500 I have now is a 3G phone, and thus capable of good data reception. Google Maps Mobile is extremely cool, for example.

However, Cingular annoyingly broke this functionality when they released the phone. After installing any “unapproved” Java application onto the thing, it asks for approval every single time it connects to the damn network, while you’re using that application. With Google Maps, this makes it damn near unusable.

But those clever people over at howardforums.com figured out a way to bypass this. So with the cable and a piece of software called BitPim, I was able to modify the phone to stop asking me those stupid questions. Suddenly Google Maps Mobile and GMail Mobile are the greatest things ever. :)

St. Pats pics up soon. :)

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.

New Years 2007

Well, I have discovered that my camera phone is not good at night shots. Check the photo album below for evidence.

On a plus note, I had a really good time and got really drunk. Started out the evening meeting everybody at Sleep Out Louie’s, made it over to the Majestic for dinner, then made it back to SOL’s for the final nightcap. You can get the complete story and better pictures over on Paul’s blog.

Quite a good evening all around.

LibertyBowl Parade

So I dropped by the Saucer yesterday, and ran into Mikey and Paul, who were having drinks and going off to the LibertyBowl parade on Beale. Now, I’m not one for sport much, but a parade should be worth seeing, I figured.

Unfortunately, it was one of the more redneck parades I’ve ever seen.

Okay, so there were a lot of fans cheering and shouting things like “game” and “cocks”, but the parade itself was extremely weak. There were the required high school marching bands, and there were people on firetrucks and such, and A. C. Wharton riding around, and that was all cool, but the “floats” were just weak. AutoZone just stuck three big semi’s with the logo on the side in the middle of the parade. FedEx tried even less and just had a standard delivery truck all by itself. Most of the “floats” were basically existing rides or very hastily decorated. It was about what I would expect a parade to look like if it was thrown together in, say, a week. Rather disappointing.

However, I did see Semi-Charmed Kat on the Ride The Ducks truck, throwing out beads and moon pies. Unfortunately, I believe she was deaf at the time and so did not notice me and Paul screaming out “Kat” to get her attention.

I got a couple of rather poor pictures from the parade on my new phone, so I’ll post them later when I get near a Bluetooth enabled PC.

Here’s the shots I took using my new phone: