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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Books hippies owned. Checks out. Somebody stole my copy of the Abby Hoffman book. Check out the video of the Acid Test: it tells us something about Tom Wolfe's writing that the people shown are pretty much all identifiable from his descriptions

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

In the original design of Outside Counsel I thought I'd structure the site in three or four columns, with each devoted to a particular topic area. One of the topics was Privacy. It was a horrible design, and as it turned out although the topic still interests me it turned out that the horse was long out of the barn. How far out of the barn has the horse gotten? JetBlue is using facial recognition instead of traditional boarding passes on international flights, using biometric data captured by the TSA. Who gave the TSA permission to capture my face? Good question.More here.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Remo Acito always told me to stay out of politics, and that was solid advice, but now I find that I have become involved in the campaign of a talented, intelligent candidate for Buffalo Common Council. This comes at some cost: the incumbent is the son of  of two old friends, one of whom is the Chief Administrative Judge for my district, but it seemed to me that it had to be done. It's been interesting so far- walking petitions is no small chore. I am proud that we have such a strong candidate, and relieved that I didn't do a Norman Mailer thing and run a quixotic campaign of my own

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Further adventures in charcuterie. I wanted to make duck confit. I couldn't find duck legs, so I bought two whole ducks, then broke them down. I seasoned the breasts with salt and pepper and put them on a paper towel on a plate in the refrigerator, uncovered. I roasted the bones and the wings, saved the rendered fat, and made stock. I used the sous vide for the legs- it's a 42 hour proposition, but is is also just set it and forget it, so that was easy. We had the duck breasts a day or two latter- they also got the sous vide treatment, followed by a quick sear. The sous vide duck breasts also gave off  a fair amount of fat, so that was nice-- I purified it all using the gelatin method and now have a generous reserve of snowy white duck fat. Lovely. Saturday I assembled the works, and added some chicken thighs to stretch it a little. All told it amounted to a week and a half of shopping, fussing and actual cooking time, which kind of suggests that maybe this is one of those meals that perhaps I could have just had at a restaurant, but it was mighty good all the same. All told, two meals for six and eight respectively, with some left over for supper later this week, so in a sense it was economical.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

At dinner with friends over the weekend I was asked why I don't listen to classical music. The chief reason is that I don't understand enough about it to really grasp what's happening when I'm listening to it. Truthfully, I really don't know what is even meant by the term "classical music" which is frequently applied  to orchestral music, probably composed within a particular historical period, but is also applied to string quartets, and things like opera and, the subject of this video, baroque music. As it happens I have a friend who plays viola de gamba, so I've heard some of this sort of music, and even seen a Theorbo being played before. I've enjoyed the music, but it seems to me that a better knowledge of the history of this music, the theory of its structure, and the technology of the instruments is called for in order to  understand what's happening. When I listen to jazz, or the blues, or rock and roll-- or even the music that derives from the English folk traditions, like bluegrass or country & western-- I have that context for the most part.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

To the University at Buffalo Men's Basketball game last night, an entertaining outing. The Bulls are really good this year, ranked 25th in the nation going into the game, and having been ranked as high as 11th (I think) earlier in the season. I can't think of the last time I was at a college hoops game, but odds are it wasn't to see a team that good. How good are the Bulls? Hard to say. Ohio University (the Wildcats, not the Buckeyes) are not very good, and it was obvious just looking at the players during team introductions that they were in for a long night. The UB men are big and athletic looking, and the 'Cats were mainly tall and thin. They could occasionally work the ball in and sink a bucket, but the UB men would respond by sinking a quick trey, and then, usually, strip the ball, or rebound, or steal it back. 67-114, and it was never that close.

I remain of  the mind that WNY doesn't really care about college sports. This was a sold out game, but it seemed to me that  the band, the cheerleaders and the pep squad constituted the major student presence, and the remaining people in the stands consisted of parents who'd brought their kids to an affordable sports night out. Jim Kelly was there, though, so that was cool. I'd go again, but it was hardly the sort of electric scene I imagine when I think of high level college b-ball.

Monday, January 28, 2019

To Joe Lovano with Trio Tapestry at Bruce Eaton's Hunt Real Estate Art of Jazz at the Albright-Knox yesterday, as fine an afternoon of jazz as you'll find, and the opening gig for this group. As Bruce put it in his introduction, for an hour or so we were at the center of the jazz universe.

The secret weapon in this group is pianist Marilyn Crispel. Listening to this music you could hear why Lovano wants to play with her- she is a terrific complement to his somewhat angular lines,  and seems to breath along with him.

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