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Do not forget that October 21st is Trafalgar Day!

Ol’ Robbo will most probably far away from TPSAYE over the weekend, as he is going to be dragged kicking and screaming to various school and community fall “fun fairs” and the like.  However, like you all I hope, he fully expects to find at least enough time to toast the day.

Bumpers all round, Ladies and Gentlemen!  Gunn’ls under and no heel taps!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you….Bitchin’ Barbie:

Throughout her 52-year history, Barbie has endured frequent criticism for setting a bad example to young girls with her unrealistic body shape and ditsy character.

But none of her incarnations has caused so much fuss as her latest: a rock chick with dyed pink hair, a chest and neck covered in tattoos and a small dog in a cactus suit called Bastardino.

Mattel, the manufacturer, has described the doll – which is already sold out in the US until next month – as a “funky fashionista” who is “ready for fun in fashion-forward form”.

I’ve never really got on the anti-Barbie bandwagon.  You know, the one which claims that, for our daughters, Barbie’s exaggerated, ah, proportions represent an iron-bound coast of impossibility on which the S.S. Self-Esteem is dashed to pieces with the loss of all hands.

This, however, strikes me as a different matter, embracing as it does so many of the nastier aspects of pop “cultchah”.  And it’s rayther horrifying to think, from what the article suggests, that the damned thing is selling like hotcakes. (And by the bye, just how far down her chest do you suppose the tats run?)

Fortunately, all of the gels long ago gave up any real interest in Barbie (thank you, American Girl, I guess), so it’s largely a moot point at the port-swiller residence.  But still.

The local classickal station, having wrapped up their fall fundraising campaign, are now pulling out all the stops on the warhorse machine, perhaps as a parting act of torture.

At the moment, we’re getting the “Chorale” from Beethoven’s 9th.  My friends, I don’t care what anybody else says, the fact of the matter is that ol’ Ludwig Van couldn’t write for voice.

I’m sorry, but there it is.

Greetings, my fellow port-swillers!

It is a very curious thing (well I think it’s curious), but the fact of the matter is that, apart from these posts that I simply type out on the half-volley, any time I sit down to compose I absolutely have to write out a first draft in long hand.

This is, I suppose, largely a generational thing, since I learned composition long before word processors came along.  It may also be a symptom of a lingering aversion to the pace of technological advancement, with which I have neither the ability nor the desire to keep up.  (As late as 1991, my third year of law school, I was still using an old Smith-Corona electric typewriter, until the Powers That Be made me cut it out.)  When confronted with such things, I usually feel that same sense of dazed bemusement as did Ox Robbins in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  “S’computers…………..San Dimas High School Football RULES!

I know that others (including, I believe, the Mothe) have made the transition successfully, but for whatever reason, I personally have not crossed the frontier.

You might think that my need to start from scratch the old-fashioned way is not terribly efficient, but you would actually be incorrect.  I can, in fact, write a first draft much faster by hand and with many fewer changes than I can trying to use the keyboard as the fons et origo of my creation.


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October 2011