August 2009


Status, Civilisation, and Mildly Boozy Thoughts

Right now I’m working on 4 projects simultaneously:

  1. Massive Project is the one without an immediate deadline. It needs to be done before Christmas, but not all the components are yet in place. I have pieces that need attention, but there are three other things needing attention
  2. Annoying Project is one that should have been done a week ago. Unfortunately I can only work on it for about 30 minutes before I want to scream. I made a lot of progress on it at the Real Office today, but I annoyed a lot of colleagues as I wandered the halls in work avoidance mode.
  3. Easy Project is one that I need to get done relatively soon—I’ve had it awhile and I know much of it already, so it is easy. However I’m using it as relief from the Annoying Project at the Weimar Office. Once the Annoying Project is complete this will become the dominant immediate project.
  4. Unknown Project is one that I got last Friday. I haven’t done much with it, other than download it and make sure that it opens. Amusingly I spotted a problem almost immediately that needed clarification, much to the originator’s embarrassment. I have two weeks before it needs to be done. This should not be a problem.

I stepped away from home this evening to the Weimar Office where I spent some time quality time with the Annoying Project—and a glass of wine.

When I felt the pleasant mild buzz coming on, I switched to blogging.

Actually it’s really rather civilised: I’m drinking a glass of wine at a coffee shop.

Could you imagine a coffee shop in the States that also served wine and spirits?

Back in my family’s neighbourhood, there’s a block of little shops about a mile away, including a very nice family sit-down pizzeria named Oblio’s. The pizza, at least the last time I had it, was excellent. When I lived in Denver, the “Berkeley Blues” was easily my favourite:

After yoga loosen the love beads and try this vegetarian delight: fresh mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, tomato, onion and don’t forget the spinach!

After they’d been open for a year or two, Oblio’s applied for a liquor license in order to serve wine and beer with meals.

The uproar from the neighbourhood was astounding: people seemed to think that a restaurant serving wine and beer with pizza would quickly degrade into a den of inequity serving until the wee hours, resulting in loud obnoxious drunks stumbling home well after midnight.

I think one of the greatest problems in the States is that it is assumed that even drinking one glass of wine is indicates alcoholism.

Perhaps what the US needs is to lower the drinking age to European standards and treat it like the way sex should be treated: Abstaining is great, but if you do ‘do it’, then here’s how you do it safely.

If any country should know that prohibition doesn’t work, it’s the United States.

4 comments to Status, Civilisation, and Mildly Boozy Thoughts

  • shadowboxer

    Having been part of 2 failed enterprises that sought liquor licenses, I can offer a little insight. The uproar is usually generated from existing liquor license holders. They will fight fiercely to keep another business from obtaining a license. The interesting piece is that to take a liquor license from an existing holder is a difficult thing to do. The holder is entitled to full due process protection even if they are subject to violations (repeatedly selling to underage customers). So basically there is no backlash from causing an uproar as to the evils of alcohol. This may not be the case in this instance, but I would be surprised if somehow a nearby liquor store, restaurant, etc… didn’t have some part with the uproar. My enterpreise #3 obtained a liquor license by purchasing a failing redneck bar. A $500 transfer fee and now we are rolling in cash….and yes, I will fight anyone seeking a license in a 20 mile radius.

    • Liquor laws are so specific to states, and even to counties in the US, that I have a hard time explaining them to people in Germany.

      I know that in Colorado an individual can only have one liquor license for one location, which is why there aren’t chain liquor stores in Colorado–save for supermarkets, but supermarkets are limited to 3.2% or less beer. (At least when I lived there; I think the rules are pretty much unchanged at this point.)

      When I lived in Wyoming, liquor licenses were a county issue–with some counties issuing more than other counties–which meant that in some counties the licenses were expensive, while in others they were, so-to-speak, a dime a dozen.

      I actually have no idea how it works in Indiana (despite having lived there for 6 years), and I assume that the concept of a liquor license is unknown in Germany–but I would have to consult an expert to find out for sure.

      • shadowboxer

        What is interesting about Wyoming is that the alcohol establishment can order beer directly from the distributor. If they want to order hard alcohol, then you go to the state liquor warehouse. If the state liquor store doesn’t carry it, then the establishment can purchase directly from the manufacturer/distributor.

        In Utah, beer (albeit watered down) can be purchased in almost any convenience store, grocery store, etc… If you want wine or hard alcohol, then you have to go to a state run liquor store. If you want specialty wines, then you have to go to the state run wine store in downtown Salt Lake. If you hear friends talking about a wonderful wine they found at Trader Joes, cost plus, Costco, etc…. Forget about getting it in Utah.

        I found a wine that I liked in Oregon. It was a family run winery. They mixed grapes and cranberries together. It was surprisingly good. I called them about a year ago asking where they sold out of state. They took my order over the phone and 2 weeks later I received a box labeled “boy scout materials.” Awesome!!

  • Relaxing licquor laws hasn’t really helped in Italy; apparently there is a very serious problem with kids abusing alcohol at young ages. Not to say that Oblio’s shouldn’t have gotten their license — one has to consider the context, and take things on a case-by-case basis.