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Archive for the 'Memphis' Category

Grab the right lens

Monday, June 21st, 2010

It should go without saying — grab the right lens. We went to the Memphis Exotic Italian Car Show today and I just grabbed my camera on the way out. I only have 2 lenses and I figured that the one already installed would be “good enough”. Well, that was a big mistake. It wound up being my 50 – 200 lens, which is fine, but a bit too much zoom on an APS-C sized sensor like I’ve got. I kept finding myself trying to step back in places I couldn’t. It was really frustrating. Neat cars, nice show, a little small, especially for $10/person, but nice place to take Grandpa on Father’s Day. There are truely some cool cars in town.

Got my H1N1 vaccine

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

We got our H1N1 vaccinations today.  I’m particularly concerned about this strain because I have several of the risk factors the CDC has listed as contributors to H1N1 deaths.  I started looking a while back and it seemed no one in Memphis had the injectable version.  I found a company called “The Shot Nurse” that said they were trying to get a supply and had a notification list, so I signed up.  I got an e-mail this week and hoped they wouldn’t run out before I could get over there.  We were in an out in under 10 minutes, so things are good.  My arm is a little sore, but it was to be expected.

Tires Really Make a Difference

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I knew it, but I guess I didn’t really know it. I do now — tires really make a difference. A week ago, I bought a new set of Michelin Primacy MXV4′s for my car. If I recall, this is the 3rd set of tires I’ve put on in the 100,000 miles I’ve put on it (in 10 years). I’ve needed them for a while, but I kept putting it off, because I knew they’d be a special order. Nobody stocks the size tires I need. As this October was the wettest October in Memphis history (at least since they started record keeping in the 1800′s), I finally got sick of slipping and sliding like I was on ice and called Sears up to get them to order the tires. They came in after a few days and I got them put on over lunch on Friday a week ago. The difference is dramatically different. The road noise, ride, and grip have all improved more than I expected. The most impressive change is in road noise. I knew my car was loud, but I just assumed it was because I’d pulled out the headliner and that it’s 20 or 21 years old. Sure, I realized there was some tire noise, but I didn’t think it was such a large contributor. Now, it’s like I’m driving a new car.

11/8/2009 – Slight update: Gas mileage increased as well. With one tank behind me I’d say 5%.

11/11/2009 – Further update, I would have been in an accident yesterday if it weren’t for the new tires.  Cruising home from work and suddenly everything stopped.  Lots of cars sliding and pulling onto the shoulder.  I absolutely know the old tires would have let go, but I didn’t even get a chirp with these.

July 4th Celebrations, well, sort of

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

We went to Memphis’ big July 4th celebrations on Saturday (June 30). This year they combined the two big celebrations on each side of the city into one big one over the Mississippi. I say that like I have some authority. We didn’t go to either last year, so it’s all new to me. When we went to the Sunset Symphony I noticed a couple wheel boats go out on the river and come back to watch the fireworks. A little light went off in my head saying we should try that. So, when I heard about the fireworks over the river I knew I had to look into seeing if the boat company would be doing it again. They did. We went. We went with some friends from work. I thought it was nice. The fireworks turned out pretty well. They certainly spent a bunch on the show. I think they could have done a much better job of choreographing the way the fireworks went off, much of it seemed like they were just randomly hit “fire” buttons. They had a huge volume of them, though. It went on for 10 minutes or so. The important measure of what I thought is that I think we’ll go again some time.

Another Day, another shooting

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Well, another day, another shooting.  I didn’t even see mention of this on the local news tonight.  Maybe I just didn’t hear it as I wasn’t watching/listening too closely.  This time maybe it was self-defense, but the alleged attacker certainly didn’t seem to have benign intentions and if he hadn’t been shot, what might he have done with the gun he brought while trying to break-in to the residence.  The scary part, all 3 involved are police officers.

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6610489

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,277480,00.html

Urban Living

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

We tried something new today.  We took the trolley downtown for dinner.  It’s kind of surprising, but we’d never done that before (we’ve been on the trolley once).  It was really convenient to walk to the closest stop and just take that down.  We tried a place I’ve been thinking of going — Wang’s Chinese Bistro.  Good food.  It was a little pricey, but we’ll probably be going back.  Turns out there’s a Quiznos that way too, so I see myself going that way quite a few times before we move.

59 Murders in 2007

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Well, I ran across this morbid article yesterday:

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6574288

The good news is that we’re down 10 murders relative to this time in 2006, but the bad (and really scary) news is that there were 5 murders on this past Friday and Saturday alone. Pretty scary stuff.

Update 5/30/2007:

Just saw on the nightly local news that the murder count is now up to 62.  One of the homicide detectives they interviewed said 8 were from this past weekend.  One murder would have made it 63 when a pregnant mother was shot (woman is still alive, baby died), but because she was only 2 months pregnant they have to consider it an aggravated assault (baby wouldn’t have survived outside of the womb as the deciding factor).  Sad sad sad…

Memphis in May 2007: Sunset Symphony

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

We went to see the Memphis in May 2007: Sunset Symphony on Saturday evening.  We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I had heard about a mini airshow going to be going on.  That really drew me in.  Neat event.  The mini airshow was quite small, but topped off with a wonderful performance by Skip Stewart.  I’ve seen him perform before and, honestly, the dude is nuts.  There is a fine fine line between someone that is really really good and someone that is insane.  I think he tips toward the insane side.  I’ve read that he lost his FAA performance waiver for a while over a particular maneuver, so I’m not the only one.  They reinstated him, though, so maybe I’m just too conservative.  After the airshow was the Memphis Symphony performing many general public friendly pieces.  We didn’t really see that from where we camped out.  We could hear it, though.  This was followed by the Temptations, which was certainly a crowd pleaser.  Then for the closing act, the Memphis Symphony played the 1812 Overture with fireworks in place of the cannons.  Then after that was a beautiful fireworks display.  It started off kind of slow, but was really well done overall.  It was huge.   I’d say it’s the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen.  Very cool.

The fireworks display at Memphis in May 2007 Sunset Symphony

Educational quality and spin

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Yesterday, I was searching around for the results from the BBQ competition last weekend when I happened across this article about Tennessee students:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/education/article/0,2673,MCA_22897_5547147,00.html

I was surprised and dismayed that my newly adopted state performed so poorly with regard to education (not that Oklahoma was particularly great). I thought “at least they are being honest about it.” A local paper actually covering such news is important.

Well, today, I’m searching around for other local news to find out where a rather scary “random” park shooting was, and I came across this article:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/article/0,2845,MCA_25340_5549461,00.html

I thought that those articles were somewhat contradictory.  It’s certainly possible for, say, the best school in the nation to be located in the worst district in the nation, it’s just not likely.  So, I decided to find out a big more about the study mentioned in the article and I found the results posted here:

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/challengeindex/

It was good to see exactly what the study was supposed to show.  Well, for one, it’s a “challenge” index and they state pretty clearly that they don’t include magnet schools, or charter schools with high (I’m paraphrasing here) composite ACT and/or SAT scores.  I have plenty authority on the matter to tell you that magnet schools can certainly challenge their pupils.  The mini Commercial Appeal article doesn’t mention this.  They also include a nice disclaimer at the end, so maybe they expect more astute readers to catch them, but I’m sure the schools they mentioned will be touting this as “proof” of the quality education they provide, just as the article implies.

Well, I decided to take a look at the list a bit and see who is where, etc.  Didn’t I just read that they leave out magnet and charter schools?  Then why is the #1 school on the list named Talented and Gifted?  Why is the #2 school named Science/Engineering Magnet?  I start scrolling down the list and find a school I’m a bit more familiar with — Classen School of Advanced Studies.  I know that’s a magnet/charter school.  There are a bunch more just like that.  Something seems a bit fishy to me.  At the minimum, there needs to be some clarification, but I’m wondering if there was some funny business going on here to make somebody look good.

Memphis In May 2007: BBQ Festival

Monday, May 21st, 2007

We went to the Memphis In May BBQ Festival/Competition on Saturday. It was neat to walk around and see what’s up. After seeing the special on Food Network last year I just had to go. We walked down to the trolley and took the trolley down to Beale Street. It’s kinda cool to be able to do that. It’s also kinda sad that we haven’t done it before considering how long we’ve been here. The down side is that there was a lot more “college party” atmosphere than I expected. A bit more wild than I like. We’ll see if we ever attend another one.Memphis In May Tom Lee Park North Entrance Gate.