August 20, 2004


Just a few quick notes before I go wandering around Memphis:

• Oklahoma City is cool.

• When in Oklahoma City, I advise seeking out the company of Frank Hill, Will Scovill, Kent Post and Meredith Milligan, who are fun company.

• Frank Hill, who appears to be only in his early-mid '50s, alarmed the entire group when he said: "Retirement sucks."

• Much thanks to Kent Post and his six-year-old daughter Sophie, who yesterday morning took me to the Murrah Building bombing memorial. It's an impressive, thoughtful design; as we walked into one of the final rooms, which contained photographs and tributes to all the victims, Kent turned to me and said: "This is the hardest part."

• Kent was right.

• Many apologies to the gang at the BBQ Shop in Memphis, gathered together last night by reader Mike Hollihan. A one-hour traffic delay outside of Little Rock (damn you, Clinton!) and other problems meant I missed a BBQ feast.

• Beale Street has the finest police station in the United States. It's a museum that doubles as a functioning police zone. Some of the photographs, of police and criminals from the 1920s-1950s, are screaming to be used as book covers.

After Memphis stroll ends, on to Knoxville.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 20, 2004 01:44 AM

Straight into the purview of the Puppy Blender...

TV (Harry)

Posted by: Inspector Callahan at August 20, 2004 at 02:16 AM

Knoxville the home of the best on line country music station!

Posted by: The Meatriarchy at August 20, 2004 at 02:26 AM

Hmmm, I've been away for a few days, so I didn't get to comment on an earlier post you made. I'm just going to butt in here and give my two dimes worth:"• Saturday August 21: Richmond, Virginia.
Practically on the shore of the Mekong!"

WooHoo! Tim, if you need a place to stay, I have an extra bed. And my best recommendation for the bar? Cabo's on Broad. That Saturday one of my all time favorite local jazz bands will be playing: First Impressions. I -strongly- recommend it. Hey, if you show up, I'll buy you the drink of your choice! I'm the babe in the glasses. :)

Posted by: Vicki at August 20, 2004 at 02:27 AM

But its nowhere near Christmas.

Posted by: Larado at August 20, 2004 at 02:28 AM

Are you coming through Tulsa? You should stop by and have lunch!

Posted by: bitweever at August 20, 2004 at 03:20 AM

Tim, I hate it that we missed you. Our waitress turned out to be one interesting young woman. (Live action werewolf roleplay, anyone?) Glad you at least got to see some of the city, though. Drive safely and have fun, OK?

Posted by: mike hollihan at August 20, 2004 at 04:07 AM

Drive faster! You'll miss the World's Series!

Posted by: Lileks at August 20, 2004 at 04:59 AM

Lileks, Do you want him to miss it? How fast should
he drive? When should he speed up? When can he slow
down? Are there any alternate routes he can take?
Can he get a police escort around it? Does it have
any thing to do with football(US)?

Posted by: Mike H. at August 20, 2004 at 06:15 AM

TIM and everyone,
its almost done(film)


Posted by: andrea/minnesota at August 20, 2004 at 09:34 AM

Dredging up a hoary old chestnut: Why the hell is it called the "World's" Series? How much of the world is involved? Is this another example of the newer new imperialism? No blood for baseball!

Posted by: fidens at August 20, 2004 at 10:03 AM

When in Memphis, be aware that the downtown area near Beale St. has some crime problems. I was there earlier this year, and my car was broken into during the night. Beale St. is very cool, but much of the rest of Memphis is pretty depressing.

Posted by: Peter S. Chicago, IL at August 20, 2004 at 10:15 AM

Meatriarchy: We don't want to confuse Tim on all the South's various twangy delights. WIVK is supposedly the best country-country station, if you're into that. WDVX is the kick-ass station for bluegrass and Americana, if you're into that (which I am). 89.9, Tim.

Posted by: Les Jones at August 20, 2004 at 11:49 AM

When in Memphis you should forget about Graceland and seek out what should be a place of pilgrimage for many Australians - the Admiral Benbow Motel. If you can find a pair of trousers there that might fit a former Australian Prime Minister that would be a real bonus.

In an Olympic theme, check out the Memphis Parthenon - a friend told me of a Memphis taxi driver who explained that there are only two such buildings in the whole world; the other one being someplace in Greece, but that one is in ruins!

Re: World Series, I have explained to Americans visiting Australia that the Australian Football League competition is in fact the World Series of the sport.

Posted by: 9C at August 20, 2004 at 12:39 PM

Andrea in Minnesota: if you don't stop putting off-topic comments in here I will delete all your comments and ban your IP. I can't very well go off on leftist trolls and then let you run roughshod over everyone. For the last time:


Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 20, 2004 at 12:57 PM

Sad news: Admiral Benbow met a wrecking ball earlier this year.

Memphis has the Great American Pyramid. The Parthenon is in Nashville.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wheeler at August 20, 2004 at 01:08 PM

Fidens - I realize you're probably not serious, but just in case anyone has ever wondered - it's called that because the first Series was sponsored by the now-defunct New York World. If some other paper had had the idea it might as well have been the Sun Series or the Tribune Series or the Post-Intelligencer Series. World Series does have a certain ring to it, though.

Posted by: Sonetka at August 20, 2004 at 03:28 PM

When you go to Oklahoma City, don't forget the Morrow (sp?) Building memorial. Pay the money and go to the museum next door to the park,, it was one of the most wonderful places I have been like that... .even better than where they take you in Israel to the place where they have those lamps and book covers made from jewish skins from the camps. It's an amazing place of hope...

Posted by: dean at August 20, 2004 at 04:08 PM

Nice picture with Glenn Reynolds, Tim.

Posted by: taspundit at August 20, 2004 at 05:43 PM

I have to ask - how many Americans have asked you to say "A dingo ate my baby!" yet?

Posted by: taspundit at August 20, 2004 at 05:49 PM

In the pic with Glen Reynolds, you're the guy in black right, Tim?

Handsome devil.

Posted by: Om at August 20, 2004 at 08:44 PM

By the time Tim has completed his US visit, he'll have seen (if only by driving through) more states than I have. Sounds like quite a tour.

Re: World Series
I never knew why it was called the WORLD series, since only two countries (US and Canada) are involved. Thanks to Sonetka for the info..

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 20, 2004 at 08:55 PM

If you're travelling past it, stop in Lynchburg - home of Jack Daniels. It's a dry county (true), but you can buy jack Daniels Tipsy Cake in one of the town stores. Recommended. A very pretty part of the world.

The distillery itself is a hoot. Just like the ads, except there are computers everywhere doing the real work.

Posted by: Craig Mc at August 20, 2004 at 11:02 PM

Saw the picture of you on Instapundit. What's the deal with the racist t-shirts you guys are wearing?

(That's a joke. And the World Series wasn't named after the New York World.)

Posted by: dorkafork at August 21, 2004 at 12:22 AM

Anyone else notice that Glenn appears to be nothing more than a floating head and neck? Or that Tim seems to have a fist growing out of his left shoulder?

Posted by: Slartibartfast at August 21, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Glenn is really Zardoz! Suddenly, everything becomes clear...

Posted by: John Nowak at August 21, 2004 at 01:05 AM

Tim, what sort of transport you using and what sort of hardware you carrying ?

Posted by: jafa at August 21, 2004 at 01:06 AM

I just have to post this link somewhere. Somewhere, I tell you!


Posted by: Don at August 21, 2004 at 01:24 AM

Tim — Either one of Jafa's questions can get you in trouble depending on which state line you cross. Shtum.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 21, 2004 at 02:12 AM

So how did the Collingwood/Essendon game turn out? When I fell asleep, Essendon was whippin' the Magpies.

Posted by: Polly at August 21, 2004 at 04:13 AM

Re: World Series

Once there was a newspaper called the New York World, and they sponsored a championship series between the American League and the National League....

Then before posting this, I thought I'd check it out with the aid of Google. According to, the New York World story is an urban legend. Oh, well.

Posted by: Ernie G at August 21, 2004 at 07:30 AM

I remember well a CIA agent tossing me a BBQ rib from the Memphis BBQ Shop as I delivered him deep inside Cambodia on Christmas eve. That memory is seared - seared into my brain! Or was it late January or early February? Hard to say. But I still have that BBQ rib here in a secret compartment in my briefcase that I will never show to anyone unless a reporter asks me about it. Of course the meat long ago rotted off the bone but it's still a precious souvenir that reminds me of how President Nixon illegally ordered us to charge up San Juan Hill contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and then lied to the American public about us being in Cuba. Or was that Teddy Roosevelt?

Pay no attention to those Swift Boat veterans behind the curtain. PAY NO ATTENTION!

Posted by: John Kerry at August 21, 2004 at 08:19 AM

Sartorial advice: In the States, guys wear polo shirts. Three buttons, with bottom one buttoned up. Okay, let it out - all unbuttoned. Splurge a little

Shirt hangs out over the pants. Don't tuck it in.

Pants: jeans, Dockers. Boot jeans, too and NEVER bellbottoms. Never, never, never.

Bellybutton ring optional.


Posted by: SteveMG at August 21, 2004 at 08:54 AM

Re: The World Series

Several years ago (Clinton Era), John Cleese of Monty Pyhon told a US talk show host why Britain was superior to the USA.

1.) Brits speak English better!

2.) When the Brits host a World Championship, they actually invite other nations to participate!

3.) When you meet the British head of state, you only have to get down on one knee!

Well, I thought it was funny.

Posted by: JDB at August 21, 2004 at 09:40 AM

Man, Blair, Ken Layne is kicking your ass all over town and you're not even aware of it:

Posted by: kissing crows at August 21, 2004 at 11:30 AM

Hell, I’d have led the charge up San Juan Hill if some SOB agent hadn’t knocked me down.

Posted by: John Kerry at August 21, 2004 at 11:53 AM

The God's have united! (don't crack wise!). Mention of the Knoxville meeting of Tim the Blair of Spleenville and Glenn the Indepundit of Reynolds. No mention of 'LUNCH', but some of adult beverages.
Hilarious! Yes! It's all over (with photo) at Instapundit, right now! Yes!

Posted by: G at August 21, 2004 at 12:05 PM

Hey, "kissingcrows," Tim Blair is a friend of Ken Layne's and stayed at his house recently. Do you think he doesn't know what Layne thinks? Dumbass.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 21, 2004 at 12:31 PM

I wish I could be back in Memphis and Knoxville. Tennessee may be geographically pretty far North, but you still get Southern hospitality and food.

Memphis barbecue is unique to the place. That is another feature of the South, is that you get these regional differences in barbecue. In Memphis, the preferred barbecue is pork, while in Texas, its beef brisket.


Jim Bender

Posted by: Jim Bender at August 21, 2004 at 12:44 PM

Oh, Tim is deeply aware of my shenanigans. I expect to be savagely demolished once he settles in NYC.

As his most lovely fiancee told me, "Of course, it's all lies. Fueled no doubt by that $2.99 Spanish plonk you folks do love to hoover down of an evening. The very idea of Tim Robert Blair ever taking a step back - and into the shadows, if you don't mind - is well beyond even magical, medieval, sciencey fiction."

Luckily, he will spend much of the convention week surrounded by people equally dedicated to ruining his Critical Thinking Abilities.

Anyway, Tim is one of my greatest friends on the planet. We savor nine-hour political arguments -- even if they quickly descend into discussions of new automobiles, magazines & Achewood strips -- like others savor the love of the Lord Jeebus. This probably explains why we're not Wealthy.

Also, if Blair-ites wish to own some of his belongings, I have a number of freshly laundered (and machine-dried) t-shirts and socks up for auction.

Posted by: Ken Layne at August 21, 2004 at 01:11 PM

Hey Andrea, do you think I don't know that Tim Blair stayed at Ken Layne's house recently? Did you read the Layne post? Dumb harpy.

Posted by: kissing crows at August 21, 2004 at 01:29 PM

Okay, kissy, you're outta here. And no -- just so you know -- it was not apparent from your post that you knew fuckall about anything, including how to find your ass with both hands. Buh-bye!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 21, 2004 at 01:41 PM

Dude, I can recommend a great gay bar in Knoxville, the Old Jism Trail. Check it out! (If you meet a guy named Trash, tell him I'm sorry.)

Posted by: jeff at August 21, 2004 at 01:53 PM


Why not put Tim's belongings up for auction on eBay, and donate the proceeds to charity? Or buy cheap booze. Either way, I would drop a couple of bucks for that noble purpose.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 21, 2004 at 01:55 PM

I couldn't possibly afford any of Tim's precious socks for I am saving all my money to get a full-body Achewood tattoo.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 21, 2004 at 02:15 PM

Tim Robert Blair? Tim Robert Blair? Tim Robert Blair?

No wonder he's kept it a secret this long.

OTOH, "Tim-Bob" might actually "grease the grits," as they say in the South.

Posted by: gnotalex at August 21, 2004 at 03:22 PM

Oh, come on, Sortelli! You could buy a pair of socks and a t-shirt. Stuff the t-shirt into the socks, sew them together with a bell, and you have a wonderful little doggie chew.

What's not to want?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 21, 2004 at 04:13 PM

Maybe sometimes "urban legends" are correct. The story is recounted at and They seem to have taken the story from a book called "Total Baseball", Frederick Ivor-Campbell. It started in the 1884 championship series between the Provence Grays and Metropolitan Club of NY. The series was dubbed "Championship of the United States" The papers used the term "champions of the world". It seems to just carry forward when the present day "World Series" started in 1903. Take it for what it is worth.

Posted by: YoJimbo at August 22, 2004 at 04:33 AM

Sort of semi-on-topic reference to Cambodia: I love Al Maviva's new lyrics for the Dead Kennedys' punk classic, and I've been hearing Jello Biafra singing the words in my head all day.

Posted by: EvilPundit at August 22, 2004 at 10:48 AM

slatibartfast — That's not a fist. Tim is actually The Manster!

Damn, with Tim out of town, does that mean we have to read the Age and the SMH by ourselves again? Ew.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 22, 2004 at 12:04 PM

deleted by Andrea for eating my own poo.

Posted by: From Darp Hau's IP Address at August 22, 2004 at 01:36 PM

Hey, where is everybody?

Posted by: dickweed mccall at August 23, 2004 at 05:29 AM

can't somebody ban andrea harris? What a village idiot.

Posted by: Mike at August 23, 2004 at 05:42 AM

Can we bid for Tim's tee shirt with Aussie money or do we have to use real moola?

Being freshly laundered, the "fan value" (yeuuu!) is out...

Could we do a "trolls fer t-shirt" swap*?
E.g., "I'll give you a Kissing Crow and a Miranda Divide for one of Tim's left socks." You get the trolls, I get the sock. But it's gotta be his left sock. (Just one of those things)

He didn't happen to leave his Che' Guevara tee with you, did he? I'd trade all my Rail Roads and a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for that. If it's sweaty, I'll throw in Broadway.

*Sure, t-shirts ain't socks, but "trolls fer misc. left-over laundry" don't quite cut it.

Posted by: Timothy Lang at August 23, 2004 at 05:44 AM

Wow, Mike, I'm such a village idiot that I run this site. So no, Einstein, no one can ban me.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 23, 2004 at 06:08 AM

But -- I can ban you: And Darp Hau or one of his butt-buddies has been banned as well --

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 23, 2004 at 06:15 AM

no, ken, put tim's belongings up for sale on ebay, and buy french wine with the proceeds!


Posted by: Mr. Bingley at August 23, 2004 at 06:18 AM

Hmm, Tim, I'm not sure how would use me as currency, but it's an interesting concept.

Andrea, perhaps you should ban yourself - not from running the site, which I'm sure you're very good at, but from the comments section, where you're obnoxious and annoying.

Posted by: kissing crow at August 23, 2004 at 06:49 AM

Oooo. BURN. How have you avoided embarassing yourself to death thus far, crow?

Posted by: Sortelli at August 23, 2004 at 09:18 AM

JeffS - I will have no time for sock toys once my body becomes a temple to Ray Smuckles!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 23, 2004 at 10:39 AM

Ah, well, Sortelli, one must have his priorities in life!


Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 23, 2004 at 11:15 AM

Yeah, I'm like heartbroken that some pathetic retard thinks I'm "annoying" because I didn't express a desire to wash his penis.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 23, 2004 at 11:45 AM

My advice to all and sundry is don't piss Andrea off. She WILL use the ban-stick at the least provocation. She likes to use it. She's even been known to embed rusty nails and chunks of broken bottles in it on occasion...

Seriously, she's vicious. A word to the wise, eh?


Posted by: mojo at August 23, 2004 at 12:00 PM

mojo, the problem is, they who you address ain't wise. So they need to wise up, eh?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 23, 2004 at 12:54 PM

Hey! I'm certainly broken hearted. I'd even settle for the rusty nail ban-stick! It sure beats Tim's socks!

Posted by: YoJimbo at August 23, 2004 at 01:50 PM

My advice to all and sundry is don't piss Andrea off. She WILL use the ban-stick at the least provocation. She likes to use it. She's even been known to embed rusty nails and chunks of broken bottles in it on occasion...

I admire a woman who knows how to use tools. Go, Andrea!

Posted by: Rebecca at August 24, 2004 at 01:45 AM

I don't mind if Andrea bans me. I just wish she'd stop insisting on washing my penis!

Posted by: pathetic retard at August 24, 2004 at 03:18 AM

I see you can't read either. Of course, you don't actually have a penis to wash, but thanks for attempting to play.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 24, 2004 at 03:23 AM