Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

One of the saddest phrases in English is "some assembly required". That's why the gloomy Swedes spell it "En viss montering krävs"

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Harvard is moving to ban frats and sororities. Good. My undergraduate college did not allow national Greek organizations, but there were local frats and sororities. For the most part these were off-campus housing options with different sorts of partying preferences. I was gently recruited to one my junior year because, mostly, it got around that I had a bank of pretty good research papers that they wanted to use as a foundation for their own fledgling term paper bank. I politely declined, but would occasionally socialize with them. I wasn't much of a joiner, I guess, and I was uncomfortable with losing control of my intellectual property. I still have the work, and will donate it to Geneseo upon my demise. Sorry, Geneseo. I know you'd rather have money.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I've been wanting to go to Zingerman's Deli for years, and fate finally sent me a deposition in Ann Arbor. Classic delicatessen is rare anywhere, and Zingerman's is said to be one of the best in the country. All the way across Ontario (and actually for a day or two before) I pondered what I would order, finally settling on a Reuben. In fact, this Reuben, pictured on the right.

It was pretty good. I think part of what gets people worked up about Zingerman's is the bread, which is certainly better than the bread one typically finds in a lot of sandwich joints, but for me the bread was an issue. Grilled, as a proper Reuben must be, the flavor profile of the bread overwhelmed the other ingredients. Good corned beef, but machine sliced. Sauerkraut was mild, as was the cheese. The Russian dressing added umami, but could have been more piquant. No beer (!?!) but you can't go wrong with a Cel-Ray soda. The next day, after my EBT, I went back and got a corned beef and pastrami combo to go. I was concerned that the sons-of-bitches at the Peace Bridge might confiscate my sandwich, so I drove back through Ohio to keep it out of the hands of the US Government. It arrived at Big Pink none the worse for the journey (along with a terrific coffee cake and some other things). That's what I'll order next time.

On the whole Zingerman's lived up to its reputation, I'd say. I didn't really see anything there that I couldn't get a Premier, or Gurcios-- except for the corned beef and pastrami, and I'd put the corned beef sandwich at Risa's right there with the pride of Ann Arbor.

I think for my next sandwich research project I will try Phillipe the Original for a French Dip, or maybe Ben's Chili Bowl, for a half-smoke

Monday, July 03, 2017

Good thought for Independence Day weekend from Archibald MacLeish: "Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing."

Friday, June 30, 2017

As work on the porch at Big Pink progresses we find that we are walking around looking for details that were previously exactly the sort of thing I never bothered to think about. McMansion Hell is a good place to train one's eye.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

"To stay still would be a lie, and Bob Dylan on stage does not lie."

True enough. Of course, in interviews Bob Dylan lies like ringing a bell, but that's because he doesn't want to explain-- he wants us to listen.
Bob Dylan recognized, relatively early on in his career, that unless an artist takes an active stance to defend his or her right to evolve, investigate, and make music true to their own heart and memories, an artist becomes a reflection of their audience—not a reflection of themselves. Bob Dylan has never been interested in your idea of Bob Dylan; he is interested in his idea of Bob Dylan.
Exactly. Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan's greatest invention, and he knows it. He is fine with letting us in on this, but his lived reality is never going to be the same as the reality we may try to project on him.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The decline and fall of diner culture. When I was last in my hometown for the funeral of a classmate we gathered at the Peter Pan Diner, which is still where it has always been, and still has great fries. Even though Eddy and I had never had so much as a cup of coffee there, it seemed like a fitting remembrance for a lawyer who'd driven a cab for a while. The other Bay Shore diner of note was the Forum, on Montauk Highway. The Forum was fancier, and more expensive, an after Prom hangout. A little further east was the O-co-nee Diner, in East Islip, which was also kinda upscale, for a diner.

Luncheonettes were a different deal. I can't think of one that I've even seen in the last thirty years or so. In Bay Shore there was Hamburger Junction, and there were versions all over the City. I don't know if Chock-Full-O-Nuts qualify-- I think Chock-Full-O-Nuts was just Chock-Full-O-Nuts. You could get a nice slice of datenut bread at Chocks, with a schmeer of cream cheese.

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