Richard a/k/a il Padrone della Piazza Pazzo

And so we begin….

What’s that saying? Oh, “You never get a second chance to form a first impression.” An apt notion for my purposes here, even if a bit dusty from having been around since before the invention of identity theft and the notion of reinventing one’s self — but I’ve been around longer than the latter two notions and still agree with the initial one. So, after waiting all this time to start a blog, to ensure that I’d have the proper degree of time on my hands to devote to its care and maintenance, I find the quoted notion just relaxes the bejesus out of me. No pressure! But pressure is good in moderation, isn’t it? Tires need it. Without blood pressure, we’re…well, dead. Pressure on the right numbers on a hot craps table is…well, lucrative. Forget pressure. What can go wrong? You can find me uninteresting, disagreeable, unworthy of reading and ignore me. No problem, I have 5 kids and am used to being ignored…but I digress.

With millions of blogs on the web open for review, why read mine…oops, ours? Mo made her own pitch, this is mine. I am a trial lawyer by avocation, enjoy advocating a position and persuading others to agree with me — but cherish most the sparring with a worthy adversary, the “sting of battle” as General George S. Patton called it. That having been said, this is not a blog about the law or lawyering, although I intend to use my skills as a lawyer to inform, entertain and debate, where invited to, as I find those skills useful in many other aspects of life. I’m also an amateur chef, regarded with a discernable degree of appreciation by those for whom I cook (based on their repeated appearances at our dinner table, requests for my specialties and for seconds of same when I cook them.) When I cook, I like to get to the foundation of the dish I am preparing, to discern what it is in the seasoning scheme that makes it taste the way it does, and how it compares to similar schemes I’ve used in different dishes. If that sounds a bit crazy, well…remember the name of this blog. When I offer my commentary and observations on a notion, I like to separate fact from opinion, look for historical context and probe for weaknesses and strengths in the competing views. If I can find some humor in it along the way, I like to point it out, as good humor foments civility. My hero as a humorist is Mark Twain, and in my less than humble opinion, we’ve been missing one of his caliber for longer than the periodicity of Halley’s Comet, on whose arrival he was born in 1835 and on whose return he departed this life in 1910. I’m no Twain, but I believe I have some literary voice…but we’ll see. In my travels, with spouse, extended family and friends, I am noted for my “seat of the pants” navigation from town to town, ability to drive on foreign roads without getting into altercations with other cars (no matter how much provoked) and conversing with restauranteurs and shop keepers in their native language. Over time, this has led to my adoption of the Sicilian affectation of being il Padrone (the master) to whom one should ascolti! (listen) or ignore at their peril. If you snort at that notion, so does my entourage…until it’s time to drive, find a hotel, buy a present or pay the check, then it’s grazie il Padrone! Humor me. I’m a work in progress.

Here’s what you can expect from me in future postings, in no particular order. Reflective thought on notions of interest in science, politics, philosophy, law and anything else that catches my interest. Your commentary on any and all postings is welcome and I’ll do my best to respond timely and civilly — all I ask is civility from your end. I’ll also share with you some good recipes for a variety of dishes that I have made and tested on devotees of my cooking, which is reputed to be legendary, even though I’m not dead yet. I’ll post some anecdotal depictions of experiences I’ve had over the years while traveling, trying cases and raising a family, with a view towards offering my readers some hints on what to avoid and what to hold dear to your heart. Lastly, I have some essays I’ve constructed over time that are classic “me” in the sense that they start out in a particular direction, then wander into a worm-hole and have a walkabout in a different corner of the universe, before returning to where I started. If you hang in for the ride, I think you’ll find that although the subject matter changed, there is a discernable thread of logic or pattern that actually ties seemingly different notions together. I’ll post them in Essays, to keep things on the blog short and sweet. Tune in again and thanks for stopping bye.