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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, January 18, 2019

So long Orng. You were a good cat.


Monday, January 07, 2019

There is talk that the Republican Party may not hold primaries for the 2020 race, and after all, why should they? I cannot think of a potential Republican candidate that would make the run, and even if there was one, what would that person* run on? Mittens got slapped down pretty hard for suggesting that Trump is uncouth, so  that won't work. In years past there were Republicans that said they wanted to make the party more inclusive, but that's a laugh- the racism is so baked in now that Trump's bigotry is clearly a feature, not a bug. Is there a single policy that Trump stands for that isn't straight up standard Republican stuff? The only thing I can come up with is trade, and I don't see trade policy carrying the day with the rubes Donald "I love the poorly educated" Trump appeals to. He's all yours, Republicans.You got what you wished for.

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* By which I mean, old white man.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Gout is hip now. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Hip, I guess.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

My CD player conked out a few months ago. I eventually got around to pulling it out of the system and taking it to a shop to be repaired right after Thanksgiving. It was sort of a silly thing to do-- I could have bought a perfectly adequate new machine -- actually, probably an upgrade-- but that didn't seem very green. Then came the re-install, a two day job that required two hardware store trips.

The set-up is housed in a massive piece of furniture which was once a cabinet in a classroom. It's about ten feet tall, with glass doors, and in addition to the turntable, CD changer, tape deck and receiver it holds a substantial part of Big Pink's vinyl and CD collection. When the repaired CD changer returned it became clear that everything was going to have to come off the shelves, and the wiring was going to have to be re-channeled. Seeing as I was doing it anyway, I also installed a preamp for my turntable.

Was it worth it? Holy crow, yes. The sound quality is like the difference between a car radio and a live band, particularly on the now stepped up turntable. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

To a friend's citizenship induction today, presided over with his usual joie de vivre  by another friend, the Honorable Leslie Foschio. As I often do when in court I found myself considering what is good and important about the United States, a useful exercise in these sometimes dark times. I think, for example, that it is good and appropriate that this ceremony is conducted in open court, by the judiciary, instead of in some office somewhere by an officer of the Executive Branch. For me, as someone whose job it is to interact with the government for others, I was struck by how this amounts to a demonstration of the way the law operates- not merely as a system for adversarial dispute resolution, but also as what is perhaps the most important thing that unites us all. Notably, photographs were permitted, a rarity in federal court, but a fine gesture, symbolic of the transparency that is fundamental to democracy. Each person's name was called individually, with the addendum, "formerly of_______", an acknowledgment of what these people came through to become Americans. Knowing what my friend had been through, and hearing the names of the places the others had come from filled me with pride for being a part of a country that they are all now a part of as well.



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Notes on Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour. I had a chance to see him in Rochester last month and passed on it. I won't do that again

Monday, December 10, 2018

To Ann Arbor over the weekend to see Charles Lloyd and the Marvels, the capstone of a pretty great year of live music. Lloyd's Marvels consist of Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers on bass, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar and dobro, and drummer Eric Harland. Oh yeah, and also Lucinda Williams. We knew the show would be great, and it was all that- the presence of pedal steel let Frisell swing, Lucinda was in fine voice, and the rhythm section was terrific. Until Sonny Rollins leaves us he will be the greatest living tenor player, but Wayne Shorter notwithstanding when that day arrives Lloyd will have a legitimate claim to the title. One of the things that this performance highlighted is his versatility: the cat can blow, man. A delightful moment came with Lucinda belting "Joy", on which everyone reached into the blues and rocked out.

Also of note: last time I visited the Athens of the Mitten I reported on Zingerman's Deli. We had a fine lunch there, but if you happen to be in Ann Arbor do not miss Zingerman's Roadhouse. A's Carolina pulled pork was as good as I've has anywhere, my buttermilk fried chicken was perfection, and the collards were so good each mouthful made me want to laugh aloud. When we exclaimed over the greens to our server he brought us each a shot of pot likker that was - there really is no other word for it- sublime. 

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