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Don raises a question concerning the interests of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art that I pass on to the Committee with this cover note:

Gentlemen, if we don’t, we certainly ought to.

gollum Last evening the eldest gel and I went right the way through “The Taming of Smeagol” from The Two Towers.

I have chronicled here before some of the perils and pitfalls of trying to voice the characters from The Lord of the Ring.  Let me here note one of the high points:  Doing the part of Gollum aloud is a damn lot of  fun.

First off, for those of you keeping track of this sort of thing,  my base voice for him is somewhere between Peter Lorre and a sort of  Bearded-Spock Universe Grover. To this, I add a dash of Charles McKeown’s aged Adolphus from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to get some raspiness.

Second, the variations on this baseline are legion: I, of course, am well aware of the shifts, eddies, and rip-tides of Gollum’s mood and character generated by the different currents flowing through his mind, but as I went along, I marveled at just how much more wonderfully they come across when his words are spoken aloud instead of just read.

Third, the topping of snarls, hisses and shrieks one may liberally sprinkled on this mishmash provides pure entertainment value for one’s audience.  At first, I believe the gel thought I had lost my mind.  Once she got used to it, though, she gobbled it up.

The only drawback is that it’s all rayther hard on the old pipes.  So if and when you get the opportunity to try it out yourself, I recommend having a glass of sherry with an egg beat up into it standing by.  Get through a large chunk of Gollum’s dialogue and you will have earned it.

full-moonInteresting Times article today about tonight’s full moon which, because of its orbital path, should appear bigger and brighter than it has for a long time.

Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km closer than average.

The unusual feature of tonight is that the perigee also coincides with a full moon, which will make it appear 14 per cent bigger and some 30 per cent brighter than most full moons this year – so long as the clouds hold off from blocking the view.

The next closest encounter with a full moon this large will not be until November 14, 2016.

The tides also will be up.

The largest moon I ever saw was during my days of fishing along the Texas Gulf Coast.   I still recall watching him¹ set early one morning across the marshes to the west of us in Matagorda Bay.  He had the most incredible copper hue and seemed perfectly enormous.  Also, it was so very still that morning that you could almost fancy hearing the moon slide down the sky and dip beneath the horizon.

I couldn’t have been more than about fifteen or sixteen at the time.  That’s a while back now, but I still haven’t forgotten the awe it inspired.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get a view tonight.

¹Tolkienish pronoun used just for the hell of it.

Is it just my imagination or are the Christmas commercials on tee vee getting more and more shallow, shrill and obnoxious?

For a long time now I have been annoyed annually by the rank materialism and the gimme-gimme-gimme themes, but this year I am finding myself positively revolted.

Conversation between myself and the six year old this evening as she showered:

Self: Come on… If you’re done, turn off the water and get out.

6 Y.O.:  Why?

Self:  Because you’re just wasting water – AND it costs money.

6 Y.O. (turning off the faucet): What? No it doesn’t! It just comes out of the wall!

Self: Yes, but we have to pay for that.

6 Y.O.: What? You mean every time we turn on the shower, we have to pay?

Self: Yep.  The lights, too.

6 Y.O.: WHAT! You mean every time we turn on the lights, we have to pay?

Self: Yep.

6 Y.O.:  Daddy! So if you own a house you just have to pay, pay, pay!

Self: Got that one right, kiddo.


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