Monthly Archives: March 2010

Wine Not?

Get it? Catchy, huh? Mind you, I drink a little on occasion, but the occasions seem to get farther and farther apart as I get older. But I do like the occasional glass of beer or wine, and even less often, something combining the higher alcohol spirits with mixers.

Mind you, we’ve got lots of friends who won’t touch alcohol, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to convert them. For the most part, they’re not trying to convert me either. They know me well enough to know I don’t get drunk (or really even tipsy). It’s an occasional pleasure. I opened up a bottle of wine for a glass last night with dinner and it was a nice wine.

But getting wine is a bit of a pill. Sure, Springfield does have several liquor stores and so does Goodlettsville, but none of them have the selection a place like Frugals or Jackson Downs has.  What I’d really like is to be able to roll into my local Krogers  (or other grocery store) to pick up an occasional bottle. But I’d probably go there to get wine I already know. I actually enjoy talking about the different brands and types with people in Frugals. I don’t think it would stop my liquor store purchases. But it would be a lot more convenient.

But it is change, so I can understand how liquor stores would be worried. The laws need to change so liquor stores can sell more items. That would help them some, but it’s time for Tennessee to become the 34th state to allow sales in grocery stores. We’re traditionally 48th or 49th in most lists and we could do better.

Opponents claim more kids would start drinking. I know better – I used to be a kid. I never took my fake ID and went to a grocery store to try to buy beer. You know who works in grocery stores at the cash registers – other kids for the most part. And they’re just as aware of the ways to get around the law as people on the other side of the register. the difference is that they know that they will get fired or their pay will get docked if they sell to someone under age. It’s been a long time since i was a kid. But, when I buy beer in te grocery, those kids behind the registers couldn’t care how many gray hairs I have on my head or how old I look (and they don’t tell me how old I look either, thankfully). They just ask for my ID and enter my birth date in the system. Every time. Every. Time.

Frugals never does. Neither do the people at Jackson Downs or any of the other liquor stores. Admittedly, it’s not necessary. Even the most jaded cop out there can tell I’ve long passed 21 and those young kids behind the registers in the grocery probably think I’m a hundred and forty-seven or something. But my point is that it’s not going to result in more  kids getting wine. The kids in the grocery store depend on keeping their jobs by carding everybody, period. Besides, kids aren’t interested in a nice chardoney or merlot. The kids are after beer for a good but cheap time or they’re after real liquor and they’re out to get drunk. Chillin’ with a bottle of zin isn’t their style. Knowing what wine to drink takes more sophistication than they can handle.

Plus, there’s a huge amount of politics involved in the Tennessee liquor business and the money flows as easily as the spirits. The liquor lobby was always known for throwing great parties for the legislators and the head lobbyist for the industry also has good connections with the state power brokers. He’s Tom Hensley, known as the golden goose, and he’s been a commissioner on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission. Most TWRA commissioners only serve a six-year term and then move on, but not Tom. He served at least 16 years. From ZoomInfo.com:

TWRA commissioner Tom Hensley was originally appointed to a six-year term on this commission in 1987. Then, in 1993, after his appointment ended, he had his friends in the legislature create two new (two-year) seats on the commission so he could be reappointed.

These seats are appointed by the Senate and House speakers. Hensley was appointed to one of these seats, and then when his two years was up, he was reappointed to the other seat.

I love it how regular people can just get the legislature to do special favors for them and unbalance whole commissions just to provide them with jobs. However, Hensley’s still at it, lobbying away.

More on Toyota

ABC bad, Toyota good. This is a screen capture that the Gawker blog made from the ABC News report on Toyota acceleration. It’s the part in the video where, immediately after the professor shorts out the system and the Toyota Avalon accelerates quickly. ABC News shows the tach racing to 6,000 RPM. Notice that the car is in park, the hand brake is set, the seat belts are unfastened and the doors are open. Funny, I don’t recall that part of the video. do you? (ABC News reportedly said that doing the filming of the tach while the car was actually moving would have been an issue with the video being steady. So fake is better than jittery. Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and Eric Sevareid have just turned over in their coffins to cry into the pillow.

Also, there’s this:  In order to recreate that situation where the car accelerates, what would have to happen is that the wires’ insulation would have to be removed (each conductor is insulated and each insulated wire is further insulated from each other, so this itself is unlikely in the extreme) and then a resistor has to be inserted between two wires and, finally, a short created to a third wire. They must all occur in a specific order and the resistance added into the circuit has to be within a pretty tight range that natural objects you might find in a car can’t duplicate. Water shorting things out wouldn’t work, nor would a loose screw or even a direct connection. Without the resistor the detection system built into the circuitry would be triggered, and things shut down in normal circumstances. (Source)