Blogs

Nature's last big show

  1. Greetings my fellow Memphians! This has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves on the trees are giving us a vibrant display of colors before they fall away for the long cold winter and we can enjoy the last of the warm weather. The Banns are taking the autumn in at one of the most beautiful places to witness natures artwork, Gatlinburg Tennessee. It's morning here and we're taking in the breathtaking scenery from our deck overlooking the mountains with a hot cup of coffee. We'll be back home this weekend, but for now time seems to have slowed down just a bit for our family vacation. Here's a picture of the view from our eyes. Have a great week, and I'll see you next week. :-) Bill
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Memphis pride!

Greetings my fellow Memphians! These days when you pick up the paper or turn on the news it’s not uncommon to hear that another American company has shipped local jobs overseas creating more pain in an already painful economic enviornment. That’s why I’m proud to live in a city where there’s at least one company who bucks that trend by hiring local and thereby doing their part to keep folks at work here at home. That company is the Gibson Guitar Company. John Lennon, Chuck Berry, Dickie Betts, Duane Allman, Robbie Robertson, Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Chet Atkins, and the legendary Les Paul wouldn’t think of going onstage or into the studio without their Gibson Guitars. Orville Gibson first began selling his fine instruments back in 1894 in Kalamazoo Michigan. Today musicians from around the world recognize Gibson as the standard in fine guitars. Next time you’re downtown take some time to visit the Gibson Guitar Factory and Museum and watch how these unique and cherished guitars are made. The experience of living in the birthplace of Rock and Roll just isn’t complete without a trip to Gibson Guitars, a genuine source of Memphis pride!
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Greek for a day!

Greetings friends! Wow! Is it just me, or did this week go by in the blink of an eye? One thing's for sure, we are experiencing some of the most amazingly wonderful weather I can remember. Things in October in Memphis can go either way, so we are blessed to have these sunny pleasant days and cool dry nights, and this weekend promises to deliver more of the same. If you spend this weekend shut up indoors watching TV, well shame on you! One of the most fun family events of the year takes place Saturday at St. George  Greek Orthodox Church, 6984 Highway 70 in Bartlett. The Bannisters never miss this one. It's a great opportunity to enjoy authentic, homemade Greek food and the beauty and jubilant spirit of Greek music and culture. A true family festival! Tickets can  be purchased at the door. Adults: $14 Children: 10 & under $7. There's a pavilion available for dining and enjoying the live music and Greek Dancing. And oh my goodness the food! A Greek Feast is served for lunch and dinner, which includes Souvlaki (Marinated and charcoal broiled authentic Greek Style shish kebab) and Kota Riganato (Grecian-style baked chicken with Greek Seasonings) along with Spanakopeta (spinach pie), rice pilaf, Tossed Greek Salad, homemade Greek bread, and Greek Dessert. You can dine while you enjoy the entertainment stage featuring live Greek music and dance. A live Greek Band will be performing throughout the festival as well as The Athenian Dance Troupe (a group of young children) will perform at 1:00 & 3:00 pm in authentic Greek Costumes and will win your hearts with their energy and talent. All this plus sanctuary tours, during which you get to  see the beautiful icons and learn the rich history of the 2000-year-old Greek Orthodox faith. Father Antonio Kotis will be there to share his love of the Orthodox faith. So put this on your calendar this weekend. You won't regret it friends.

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Bartlett Festival!

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Greetings my fellow Memphians! My, how this year is flying by! Seems like just yesterday I was flipping burgers on my backyard grill at 8:30pm listening to our A/C unit humming overtime to compensate for the stifling dog day Memphis heat with plenty of daylight to spare. Now we're into October, and the days are getting shorter, the temperatures a little more brisk. Fall has always been one of my favorite times of the year. It's great to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and blue skies without sweating. And that's just what we plan to do this weekend! Check out the 2011 Bartlett Festival and car show  at W. J. Freeman Park located at 2629 Bartlett Blvd. Food, Fun, Rides, Music and more for the whole family! Saturday's events  will include an amateur BBQ  cooking contests, musical stages, arts & crafts, a car show, children's activities,  and much more. The perfect place to spend an autumn weekend!
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Taylor, Speak Now CD & DVD!

The Speak Now World Tour CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray sets of the show will be available in stores and at online retailers on November 21st, the day before the U.S. tour wraps with the second of two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City The DVD/Blu-ray will give fans the complete Taylor Swift Speak Now concert experience, showcasing performances of all 17 songs from Taylor's Speak Now show ("Sparks Fly," "Mine," "Story of Us," "Our Song," "Mean," Back To December," "Better Than Revenge," "Speak Now," "Fearless," "Last Kiss," "You Belong With Me," "Dear John," Enchanted," "Haunted, "Long Live," "Fifteen," and "Love Story"), plus additional bonus content. The CD will contain over 75 minutes of music, including live versions of favorites from the Speak Now album.
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Zoo Rendezvous 2011

Greetings friends and neighbors! You know Memphis has a lot to be proud of. From the rich and diverse culture from which modern music was born more than a hundred years ago down on Beale Street, to our beautiful parks and eclectic neighborhoods which reflect our unique southern heritage. In my 30 plus years as a Memphian I have watched our city grow from a sleepy river town into a  sleek modern icon of progress. A city that offers visitors from around the world something to write home about and remember for a lifetime. There are many examples of what sets us apart from other destinations, but the one shining  jewel of which I am most excited about and proud of is our Memphis Zoo and Aquarium. It all began in 1906 with a black bear named Natch, a retired baseball mascot. Today, the Memphis Zoo spans 70 acres and is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species.         In 2008, the Memphis Zoo was ranked America’s number one zoo by TripAdvisor.com. In 2009, the Memphis Zoo was rated the top zoo in the country in a national survey by Morey Associates.The Memphis Zoo has completed more than $77 million in renovation and expansion since the early 1990s. The Zoo's animal inhabitants reside in one-of-a-kind exhibitry, such as Once Upon A Farm, Commercial Appeal Cat Country, Primate Canyon, Animals of the Night, Northwest Passage and CHINA.     In April 2003, the Memphis Zoo became one of only four zoos in the United States to exhibit giant pandas. Giant pandas Ya Ya and Le Le reside the Zoo’s exhibit, CHINA – a brand new, three-acre facility that features animals indigenous to China and authentic Chinese architecture and gardens. The Memphis Zoo is home to the world’s longest living hippopotamus, “Adonis”, who died in 1965 at the age of 54. The male hippo sired approximately 25 offspring in his lifetime giving the Zoo claim to being the “hippo capital of the world.”         A Zoo membership offers families from the mid south countless hours of fun, entertainment and education for just pennies on the dollar. There is one annual event which allows us as Memphians to give back to this wonderful place and have one heck of a good time doing it. I'm talking about the annual ZOO RENDEZVOUS. It's a celebration of epic proportions featuring food from some of Memphis'  best restaurants, such as B.B Kings, Bonefish Grill, Huey's, Itta Bena, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Houston's, Automatic Slim's, and Folk's Folly to name just a few. Also copius libations and the opportunity to dance to the best music Memphis has to offer. This years musical lineup included The Plaintiffs, Party Planet, Brian "Breeze" Cayolle, Keith and the 145's and more. Amanda and I took part in this years ZOO RENDEZVOUS  Saturday night. Friends, I have attended parties all over Memphis for the last 30 or so years and I can tell you without the slightest trepidation, this is the biggest and most awesome event I have EVER been witness to! The food was provided by only the best Memphis restaurants, The wine selection rivaled anything I have ever seen, and the entertainment was strictly top tier! It was simply one of the biggest and most exciting parties in Memphis history, and as an annual happening, it just seems to get bigger and better every year. If you missed this year's ZOO RENDEZVOUS, be sure and make your plans to attend next year. I guarantee it will be one of the best times of your life! Click the link below to see pictures from Zoo Rendezvous 2011!    www.photobucket.com/zoorendezvous
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Let's Party!

Greetings friends and neighbors! You know Memphis has a lot to be proud of. From the rich and diverse culture from which modern music was born more than a hundred years ago down on Beale Street, to our beautiful parks and eclectic neighborhoods which reflect our unique southern heritage. In my 30 plus years as a Memphian I have watched our city grow from a sleepy river town into a  sleek modern icon of progress. A city that offers visitors from around the world something to write home about and remember for a lifetime. There are many examples of what sets us apart from other destinations, but the one shining jewel of which I am most excited about and proud of is our Memphis Zoo and Aquarium. It all began in 1906 with a black bear named Natch, a retired baseball mascot. Today, the Memphis Zoo spans 70 acres and is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species.         In 2008, the Memphis Zoo was ranked America’s number one zoo by TripAdvisor.com. In 2009, the Memphis Zoo was rated the top zoo in the country in a national survey by Morey Associates.The Memphis Zoo has completed more than $77 million in renovation and expansion since the early 1990s. The Zoo's animal inhabitants reside in one-of-a-kind exhibitry, such as Once Upon A Farm, Commercial Appeal Cat Country, Primate Canyon, Animals of the Night, Northwest Passage and CHINA.    In April 2003, the Memphis Zoo became one of only four zoos in the United States to exhibit giant pandas. Giant pandas Ya Ya and Le Le reside the Zoo’s exhibit, CHINA – a brand new, three-acre facility that features animals indigenous to China and authentic Chinese architecture and gardens. The Memphis Zoo is home to the world’s longest living hippopotamus, “Adonis”, who died in 1965 at the age of 54. The male hippo sired approximately 25 offspring in his lifetime giving the Zoo claim to being the “hippo capital of the world.”        A Zoo membership offers families from the mid south countless hours of fun, entertainment and education for just pennies on the dollar. There is one annual event which allows us as Memphians to give back to this wonderful place and have one heck of a good time doing it. I'm talking about the annual Zoo Rendezvous. It's a celebration of epic proportions featuring food from some of Memphis' best restaurants, such as B.B Kings, Bonefish Grill, Huey's, Itta Bena, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Houston's, Automatic Slim's, and Folk's Folly to name just a few. Also copius libations and the opportunity to dance to the best music Memphis has to offer. This years musical lineup includes The Plaintiffs, Party Planet, Brian "Breeze" Cayolle, Keith and the 145's and more. Zoo Rendezvous 2011 will be one of the biggest and most exciting parties in Memphis history, and it's a place where us grown-ups can kick up our heels and have some wild fun! This year's Zoo Rendezvous is themed "Shake, Rattle and Roar", and I guarantee it'll be an unforgettable event. Tickets for Zoo members are $200 and You can get yours by calling (901) 333-6757. I'm looking forward to seeing you there for all the festivities! Let's Shake, Rattle, and Roar for our Memphis Zoo! :-) Bill
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Delta Fair!

Greetings my fellow Memphians!
Wow! This summer has flown by hasn't it? Hard to believe we're staring at the first of September already. One of the best family fun events is coming back to The Agricenter September 2-11. It's the Delta Fair and music Festival, and I can't WAIT to chow down of a foot long Pronto Pup all slathered with mustard and wash it down with some fresh squeezed lemonade! Of course Amanda and I are both excited about our ritual ride on the Crazy Mouse, a family tradition since 2008. There's great music too, like Hanson (I confess to occasionally cranking up Mmmm Bop in my car and singing along) And the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Plus this year features Sumo Wrestling, the Lions and tigers show and some insane guy walking the ferris wheel! Be sure to go to our website at WRVR.com and sign up for a family 4 pack of tickets. We'll look forward to seeing you there!
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Pico!

Greetings my fellow Memphians!  Driving in to work today I noticed that the thermometer on my dashboard read 106. The dog days of Memphis are here with a vengeance and it's enough to literally take your breath away. I thought I'd share one of my favorite summer recipes with you. It's the most refreshing natural snack I know of, and you can eat it all by itself, with chips, or you can do what I do and put it on darn near everything from eggs to steak to seafood!  Here is my recipe for knock your socks off Pico de Gallo....... 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped 1 small white onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup cilantro leaf, chopped (more to taste!) 2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped 1 tablespoon lime juice salt (to taste) Allow the combination of above ingredients to soak overnight in lime juice and get ready to give your tastebuds a fiesta!  :-) Bill
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Life is like a box of chocolates!

Well, not really. Here are the top 10 Most Popular Chocolate Candy in the US...(CNBC) Where did your fav land?, take a look.. 10. Almond Joy Revenue Generated: $60.8 million Unit Sales: 62.2 million Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing, which was established in 1919, didn't invent the Almond Joy bar until 1946. Designed as the nuttier sibling to Mounds, it's made of sweetened coconut, topped with two almonds and covered in dark chocolate. Cadbury purchased Peter Paul in 1978 and Hershey bought the company's U.S. operations in 1988. 9. Milky Way Revenue Generated: $70.2 million Unit Sales: 84 million Created in 1923, this chocolate bar was named after the popular malted milk shake, not the Milky Way galaxy. It was designed to capture the taste of the malted drink and is made of chocolate malt-flavored nougat and caramel-covered milk chocolate. Milky Way also has the distinction of being Mars, Incorporated's first candy bar, created in Frank Mars' kitchen. At the time, it sold for just a nickel. 8. Hershey's Cookies N' Creme Revenue Generated: $80.4 million Unit Sales: 80.1 million This is the newest candy on our list. Hershey's Cookies 'N' Cream first hit the candy stands in 1994, and was billed as a unique twist on the classic Hershey Chocolate Bar. It's made of white chocolate and promises cookies in every bite. 7. 3 Musketeers Revenue Generated: $100.7 million Unit Sales: 102.5 million When it was first introduced in 1932, 3 Musketeers was three pieces and three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. The candy bar is now a single piece made of fluffy chocolate-flavored nougat covered with milk chocolate. The 3 Musketeers family recently expanded to include a Mint bar and Truffle Crisp. 6. Twix Revenue Generated: $169.9 million Unit Sales: 153.4 million Bringing in just under $170 million in sales, Mars' Twix sits right in the middle of our top ten list. The crunchy cookie, caramel and chocolate bar is a relative newcomer to the American marketplace compared other top sellers. It was introduced in the U.S. in 1979. 5. Kit Kat Revenue Generated: $201.8 million Unit Sales: 202.5 million This British creation was launched in 1935 by Rowntree Limited of York and was originally called Chocolate Crisp. It was later renamed Kit Kat, allegedly after the Kit Kat club, an 18th century Whig literacy club in England. Nestle acquired Rowntree in 1988 and now produces Kit Kat for over 70 countries. In the US, however, you'll see a different name on the label. Hershey has been the licensed US manufacturer of the chocolate bar since 1969. 4. Hershey's Revenue Generated: $249 million Unit Sales: 264.6 million The oldest candy bar on our list, Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar was developed in 1900 by Milton S. Hershey. Hershey wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the great taste of milk chocolate, which was a privilege only the wealth enjoyed at the time. So he started his chocolate operation right in the heart of the Pennsylvania's dairy county and charged just a nickel for his candy bar. From 1941 to 1945, The Hershey Company produced more than a billion rations bars for troops serving in World War II. These days, Hershey makes more than 373 million of its signature candy bar every year. 3. Snickers Revenue Generated: $386.2 million Unit Sales: 405.3 million Mars calls Snickers the world's most popular chocolate bar, although it is third on our list of U.S. chocolate candy sales. Introduced in 1930, the bar was named after one of the Mars family's favorite horses. More than 99 tons of peanuts go into making over 15 million Snickers bars each day, and each bar contains around 16 peanuts. 2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Revenue Generated: $398.9 million Unit Sales: 366.2 million The inventor of these tasty treats, Harry Burnett Reese, was a former dairy employee of Milton S. Hershey who decided to strike out on his own and make a living in the candy business. Reese began selling his peanut butter cups in five-pound boxes for candy assortments in the 1920s, and the candy soon surged in popularity. In 1963, things came full circle when Hershey bought the company for $23.5 million. Several decades later, the candy is still a hit. The company claims if you were to line up the Reese's sold annually, it would wrap around the earth several times. 1. M&Ms Revenue Generated: $406.7 million Unit Sales: 417.7 million The best-selling chocolate treat on our list has been around since 1941 and was designed by Forrest Mars Sr. so consumers could enjoy their chocolate without having it melt in their hands. M&Ms, which was named after its inventors Forrest Mars and R. Bruce Murrie, were served to GIs serving in World War II and went on its first space mission in 1982. M&Ms are red, yellow, blue, orange and green, but it's red that gets top billing -- it has been the official "spokescandy" since 1952. There are now eight permanent varieties of M&Ms candies, as well as seasonal offerings.
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