About Me

My photo
Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

Search This Blog

29 December 2010

Mad LIbs! #1!

As you might have guessed, I recently bought myself more MAD LIBS games, and I will post them periodically until they run out. If you don't know what they are, your bookstore probably sells them. Here goes:

 Once upon a time there was a shoe named Jack who lived with his mother in a tiny dumpster. The only thing they owned was a cow named Joe. Jack's mom told him to sell the cow to buy some garden hoses.On his way to the market, Jack met a stranger who said "I'll trade you these flammable beans for your cow." Jack agreed, but when his mom learned he had disobeyed her, she was angrier than a wild ejection seat and threw the beans out the window. As they slept, the beans grew into a gigantic beanstalk. When Jack awoke, he couldn't believe his spleens. He immediately climbed the sharp beanstalk. At the top he met a comfy giant. "Fee, fi, fo, kablooie!" the angry giant bellowed. Jack quickly escaped, grabbing a hen that laid golden AK-47s, and quickly climbed down the beanstalk. With their newfound wealth, Jack and his mother bought googolplex cows and lived happily ever after.

27 December 2010

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Nothing against Tony, of course...;D

Chapter XXIX

In the week since Michael had perpetrated his escape from the slave ship, he had had the ship poled back down the river, maneuvering it so surprisingly easily that he had the ship back out in the open sea in only three days. Once there he was stuck in an awful predicament. He had no time or way of teaching the Africans how to manage a ship properly, but if he switched them with the crew and sent them down to row again, he would nullify his impulsive attempt to give them freedom. He had thought of this problem before they reached the coast because he had very little need for any propulsion but oars until that point. Finally, after discussing the problem with John Crane, Michael resolved to have the ship turned back toward land, run it aground, and let everyone go their own ways.
Even though they not far from the coast, so close, in fact, that they could still see it, it took the crew of slavers pulling the oars the better part of two days to reach the shore once more. As soon as they had beached the ship, Michael made sure no one remained on board. He had to force most of the crew, those who wanted to float the ship once more and return to their trade, away on the point of a knife. The liberated Africans, though, fled in a body as soon as the ship touched land. Michael and John Crane waited until the last of the reluctantly beached slavers had disappeared into the distance before they finally disembarked themselves.
Once they had finally descended to the shore, Michael asked his fellow traveler “Have you got flint?”
“Here. I nearly always carry some hidden in my bag. The extravagant clothes were really just a cover for the business deals of those despicable men who used to own this ship.” Crane replied, tossing a small bag across to Michael, who dug through it until he had found what he wanted. With the flint in hand, Michael drew one of his knives and begun striking it with the piece of flint.
“Why do you want a fire now, in this heat?” Crane inquired, surprised at the boy’s action.
“Had a feeling some of those slavers would hang around, waiting for us to leave so they could float their ship again without hindrance. This’ll put a stop to that.” Michael replied calmly, reaching out to pull in a large piece of driftwood. His sparks soon caught on the dried out wood. When they were well established, he picked up the torch and heaved it with all his strength toward the vessel in which he had lately honed his muscles, and his desire for revenge against England.
The pair watched silently for several minutes as the fire took hold and began to burn the ship. Finally, John Crane broke the silence, asking Michael “What are you planning to do, now that you have determined to remain on land?”
“My part in defeating England, of course. I may do it easily enough, as I am only a boy, and no man knows who I am. It’s my father they’re after.”
Without another word, Michael turned away from the shore and began to march inland, back toward the cities. He resolved to find the mouth of the Thames, which he had lately brought his ship out of, and follow its course back by foot until he had reached the heart of London. He did not think of what he would do once he had arrived there, as he trusted that by that time his father would have reached England and he, Michael, could, by inquires, eventually find him and come back aboard his father’s ship.
John Crane, finding himself left alone on the shore with no company besides a burning hulk, hurried after the boy, throwing off his coat to save the weight of carrying the nearly useless article. When he had caught up with him nearly two hundred yards later, he said “Your plan seems good enough, in theory, but what shall you do if your father never arrives?”
“He defeated the English last time. He’ll want to do it again, just to prove he can. Which leaves me in no doubt that he will come to London.”
“Why would he? He is a man of the sea. The Thames is not the sea. And in defense of my countrymen, I believe they will be on the watch to catch him this time, which leaves open the possibility that he will come to London; only not in the manner he might wish.”
Michael did not have an answer to this statement, so he held his silence. After walking for nearly an hour, they stopped on the edge of a field, watching the farmhouse they could see about two hundred yards farther inland.
“What do you make of it?” Michael asked John Crane “Is anybody home?”
“Not by any sign that I can make out. I believe it is safe to approach more closely.”
Without another word, they proceeded to approach the cottage, throwing themselves flat upon the ground at intervals of about ten feet. But before they could reach the house, they were spotted by the farmer, who had been away collecting wood for the night’s fire. “You there! Halt! What are you doing, creeping up on my house like a pair of robbers?!”
From his position on the ground, Michael pulled one of his knives out from his belt and asked “Should I?”
“Don’t be stupid, boy.” Crane replied in a frustrated tone. “We aren’t here to kill everyone we meet. I will handle him.” Rising from the ground, Crane strode toward the farmer, who had not moved from his position. “Greetings, man. We did not mean any harm to you or yours. We only meant to inquire the distance to the nearest post station where we could pay for horses.”
“Really? That is hard to believe, seeing as I caught you lurking about instead o’ coming to me front door. But as you mean no harm, I’ll let you go. The town is about two miles farther along the road. The inn you want is the first you come to from this side of the town.”
“Thank you. Come now, boy!”
Michael rose quickly and ran to catch up with Crane, who was already walking away toward the road.
“When we’ve reached the town, what will we do?”
“I will decide that when we have come that far, if you are so good as to restrain your hand from jumping to those knives every time we see someone. I am not doing this out of any regard for anyone; only because you claim your father is an Admiral bound for England and I have the decency not to leave you to wander through the countryside till you die of hunger.” replied Crane in a frustrated tone.
“I decided to go this way! I could fend for myself well enough if you weren’t following me around everywhere!” Michael retorted hotly.
Crane, who had been struggling to keep his temper in check while witnessing Michael’s impulsive, I-can-do-what-I-like- nothing-will-ever go-wrong manner, could no longer hold it in and finally exploded now. “Don’t act that way again! To me! Or your father! Or anybody else! If you ever get home, you can thank me then! I expect you to follow me, and listen to me, and you will not give me any more cheek about how you are so all-fired perfect and could do anything you like without any help! You are not the hero you think you are, you would not get back to your father without any help, as you have no money, and you would surely not survive if you insist as you do that you must draw your blades on everyone you see! Come along!”
Stunned into silence, (no one had ever berated him so loudly before) Michael came, albeit slowly.
Neither of the travelers spoke a word until they reached the edge of the town, nearly two miles off. Once they had arrived, Crane continued walking until they had reached the inn the farmer had named. When they reached the place, they lost no time in entering and seating themselves at the nearest empty table.
Catching the eye of the landlord, Crane called out “Ale and a plate of beef!”
After a short time, the landlord came to their table, bringing the food and drink Crane had called for. Looking at Michael, the man asked “Is not the boy also hungry?”
“He says” Crane replied as he began to carve his meat “he can fend for himself if I let him. I’m letting him.”
“Well then, boy,” said the landlord when he heard this “you’d best come along with me to the kitchen. We’ll find something for you in there.”
When Michael hesitated, Crane exclaimed “Go on! You’re not getting any of this!”
His course determined by Crane’s emphatic refusal, Michael followed the owner into the kitchen, where he was seated at a small table and a plate of leftovers from recent orders was shoved in front of him.
“Eat that. We don’t spare more for people who don’t pay.”
Picking at the diverse jumble on the plate, Michael asked “Do you know how long it would take to reach London?”
“I’ve never gone that far myself, so I can’t tell you. Why?”
“I’ve been separated from my father. I was told he would make for London. When I get there I can find him. What news of the war?”
“The war? You ask about the war? But I thought everyone had heard of the British victory several days ago!” The owner replied in astonishment.
“Victory? Is the war over, then?”
“No, not over. But if you remember the last one, capturing Anthony Mellino may well be counted as an omen of our impending success over America this time.”
Michael did not wait to hear any more. Leaping up, he ran through the building, out the door, and had leaped upon the post horse and ridden off in the direction he had been traveling, before anybody could lay a hand on him.

25 December 2010

A Christmas Highlight Reel

Gingerbread house, side one
Side two

Side three

Side four

A hilariously rotten cookie 'ornament'

Two eccentric snowmen

Another bizarre snowman

Three crazy snowmen

A Tehachapi sunrise

An enormous dart gun

The Emperial shuttle

My favorite candy flavor... Peanut Butter & chocolate

My new hiking stick

Frank... going crazy over the contribution to his latest obsession, coins

Molly with a puzzle (she never smiles)

17 December 2010

0017/17/17!!!!!!! It's My Birthday!

That's right, it's my 17th birthday. And it's pretty cool even though there is no guarantee that anything out of the ordinary is going to occur.Strictly speaking, I will not celebrate until Tuesday, but I will of course eat cake and open one gift which may or may not cost a lot. :D But hey! It's my birthday! What could go wrong? Long live JT! Long live King Valun! :D btw, 0017 refers to 5:00, the hour I will turn 17... Update: 12:45: The sword The Scarlet Pimpernel made for me just arrived less than hour ago. It's only wood, but it's great! Thanks!

12 December 2010


We saw the newest Narnia movie today. Though I there were some parts I was not happy with, the good parts outweighed the bad in my opinion, and by the time it was over I had thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a relief to find that kid cast as Eustace turned out to be an above-average actor. Also, the ten-minute? long battle between Caspian & co. and the slavers (who did practically nothing in the book) was very fun to watch. The mystic swords did make the quest more interesting by the end, but my dad said it smacked a little too hard of LOTR. And: Ben Barnes has improved his acting! he is tolerable, and possibly even good, in this film as compared to the last one. the climactic sequence, that kept flipping between Eustace and the ship until the last instant, was very enjoyable. Just one question: why is Edmund still afraid of the white witch? She's been dead for 1300+ years! The trailer confused us all Because Lucy looks so much like Susan in this movie, but that turned out ok. My favorite small-part performer was Corakin the wizard. The Dufflepuds were still hilarious, but their funny bits were lost on my bad hearing.( I found out what the jokes were later) The parts i had anything against were mostly just in the early dialogue and Lucy's preoccupation with looking like Susan, which was really boring. But hey! the score was awesome! And the movie was for the most part good enough, even though most people don't appear to think so. even showing primarialy in 3D, it has made only 24.5 million dollars in the U.S to date. But the foreign fans are keeping it alive! congratulations! It probably will not surpass PC's total, though.

May you reighn long and well

25 November 2010

Fiddler on the Roof

As I write this, "To Life!" from Fiddler on the Roof is playing on our record player, for the tenth time in four days.. So I thought I'd post the most fun songs...

lol. Listen to the song and then watch the dancing if you've forgotten. rofl.

18 November 2010

Chapter Twenty-Eight

David is one great backwoods tracker...lol

Chapter XXVIII

The date was two days after the events described in the previous chapter. David had called a halt to his party’s march in the early morning. It was now nearly noon and the twins had not yet risen. David, who was keeping watch along with Gabriel, remarked “It appears to me that Joseph’s boys don’t have the long wind needed to keep ahead of our pursuers. But you know we can’t leave them. We’re honor - bound to stay by them, and we’re to die if we have to.”
“We both know that well enough. You’re saying that just to hear yourself talk in this silence.” Gabriel replied, in a tone meant somehow to convey both exasperation and amusement. Then he looked up to see a dust cloud moving quickly down the road towards them. “Look! We’ve been found! We must hurry! We’ll carry the boys if we have to, but we must leave!”
Startled by Gabriel’s sudden excitement, David looked up and spotted the dust cloud in his turn. A moment later, he was up, rushing to Mark’s side. Heaving the boy onto his shoulders, after having attempted to rouse him and discovering that he seemed to be an exceptionally deep sleeper, David began running down the road as hard as he could while carrying the load. When he had gotten a few yards away from their camp, Mark woke up. Stopping to set him on his own feet once more, David heard the voices of the group running after them.
“No, Father! Don’t leave us! We can’t go on much longer!”
David, who was about to start running once more, instead stopped where he was and shouted to Gabriel, who was several yards ahead with Matt. “Gabe! Stop! It’s our boys, and they’re exhausted!”
Gabriel, coming to an abrupt halt when David’s words reached him, nearly fell over under Matt’s weight. Helping him down, he called back to David. “What’s that? Our boys?! How did they manage to find us so quickly? We had better stop where we are, because they’ll need some hot food!”
A moment later, David, Gabriel and the twins had turned back and were returning to the campsite they had left only minutes ago. Once there, they found Luke, John, and Raphael sprawled out on the grass around the remains of the cooking fire David had made that morning. David immediately reached for his water, passing it to his son. “Not too much, or you’ll soon feel worse than you did. When you’ve eaten, you can explain yourselves.” With that, he began attempting to revive his fire.
Nearly half an hour later, after all the boys had eaten as much as they felt they could handle, David began questioning them. “First of all, tell me why you’re here.”
“We were ordered to come after you.”
“Does your Uncle want us to return?”
“Where is he now?”
“We can not know that, but our last sight of was about twenty miles outside a city where we had been captured. The Spaniards were taking us to the capital.”
“You were captured?”
“Yes, but we escaped from the prison, thanks to Raphael. Later they surprised and recaptured us, then took us out of the city.”
“Why did he not come with you?”
“I urged him to several times, father, but he appears to consider it a slight upon his honor to escape this time. He seemed depressed, but also to believe that living to return was not his lot.”
David turned to Gabriel and the boys, who had been standing a few yards away, looking up the road. “Did you hear that? Dameon has given himself up to buy us time to escape, in the hope that having caught him, the Spaniards will disregard the rest of us. Let us make good use of the time. Mark, Matt, do you feel you can carry one of the others?”
Taking long looks at the younger boys seated around the fire, the twins replied “We believe we can.”
“Then do that and let’s go. We can’t waste the time that is costing a good man his life for no other reason.”
As the twins each hoisted one of the others onto their backs, David began to cover the traces of the morning’s camp. After he had extinguished the fire, covered their tracks, and spent nearly half an hour laying a false trail while the others waited silently several feet from the original camp, he returned, taking up the position of rearguard and ordering the rest to start ahead of him.
“Go on! We must move! The Spaniards use dogs, and if they reach this point within the next three days, they’ll find us, false trails or no!” Checking his gun, he began following after the others, walking backwards the whole time.
When they had marched in silence for nearly half an hour, mark was forced to put down his passenger. As he squatted to allow an easier descent from his tall frame, he whispered “I’m afraid I can’t carry you any farther. From here, it’ll be hard enough for me to keep up. My breath is running short.”
Sliding down to the ground, Luke answered “I can carry my own weight.”
The whole party, wary of any noise, continued walking in silence. Matt had fallen back to accompany Mark. Mark was now leaning on Matt’s shoulder, gasping for breath. “I need to stop. I can not continue without a rest.”
“Then I’m stopping with you. I’ll get our Godfather to stay with us as our guard and guide.”
Accordingly, Matt left Mark momentarily to make the request to David. Dropping back to their position, David replied “Of course I will. Wouldn’t be decent if I didn’t.”

13 November 2010

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter XXVII

Dameon woke up slowly. When he was fully awake, he noticed two things: he was alone, and his surroundings were so dark that he could barely make out his own feet. It was then that he noticed that he was sitting, leaning against a cold stone wall. Also, that his arms were numb; so much so that he had barely noticed that he still had arms. He attempted to bring them down from their position above his head. The attempt was met with an ominous clanking noise. Next, he tried to move his feet, one after the other. Both came slowly, as if they had been attached to heavy chains. This was true. When he realized this, Dameon let his face fall down onto one of his shoulders and said quietly “It is your will, Lord. I can not save myself. I thank you for the life I have led. Only keep the boys safe, that is all I ask.” With that, he drifted off to sleep.
It seemed like only minutes later when two Spanish guards opened the door to Dameon’s cell, slamming it loudly. This woke Dameon, startled out of a dream. Knowing that they would not answer his inquires, he remained silent as they unlocked his wrists and, each taking an arm, dragged him out of the cell.
When they finally reached the outside, Dameon looked up for the first time. He noticed that the position of the sun was nine o’clock. It had been at least six hours since he had last been awake. The next thing he noticed was that someone was calling his name. He looked up again. All of the boys were already mounted on horses which were tied to other horses being ridden by more Spanish guards. The two who were carrying Dameon hoisted him onto a waiting steed which was already tied between two others. After securing Dameon, the two guards climbed aboard the final two waiting horses and dug their heels into the mounts’ sides, leading the procession.
As they rode, Dameon could hear snatches of the boys’ conversations drifting forward to his ears. “…wish the Sponslers hadn’t left. If Mark were around, we would’ve captured these guards instead of them capturing us.”
Two other voices replied “Not to mention our fathers, who would’ve also given them more than they asked for.”
“Don’t worry. We can do without them. We’re not that stupid.”
At this point, Dameon heard one of the guards cut in. “You have no need to worry either. We will catch your friends and punish them the same way that we have in mind for you.” This caused the boys to fall silent as they began to think about everything that they had done, and were still hoping to do.
Dameon, who was feeling gloomy enough to welcome the silence of the next hour, was thinking along the same lines. He thought back to his time in America when he had first met each of his friends. He began to sigh in resignation as he remembered the places and faces he would never again see. But a moment later, he arose out of his dejection with the thought “I have lived honorably, and I have given myself up to the Lord. Why should I be miserable?” At this thought, he raised his head and began to look about with an air of expectation, as if he were expecting to meet one of those old friends of whom he had just been thinking on the path.
A short time later, the party arrived at the main gate. As it was still dark, they were stopped by a watchman, who asked “Who goes there?”
One of the boys, who had not fallen asleep yet, quickly retorted “Why do you care if anybody is leaving? They’re more dangerous inside the city!”
Dameon heard the hard slap that accompanied the guard’s reply “We have Dameon Mellino, and most of his family. We are taking them to Madrid.”
“You have who? Dameon Mellino? This is cause for a festival.”
“Later. Now let us pass.”
Passing through the gates, the party rode hard until the sun had risen. Two hours after sunrise, the guards halted and tethered their horses to the nearest trees, allowing the prisoners a short time to eat and stretch their aching legs before continuing the journey toward their doom. As Dameon was standing at the edge of the camp, leaning against a tree and watching the guards, one of the boys moved close enough t him to ask “Sir, do you think we can try to escape later?”
His mind already made up, Dameon firmly answered “No. It is no use. They refuse to hold themselves back any longer, and will shoot to kill if you try to run off. You must accept this as the case, and trust that all is as the Lord wills for you.”
A moment later, the guards rose once more, shouting “Ustedes! Estamos montar los caballos, rapidamente! ( lit: “You (plural) mount the horses, quickly!”) and hustling the boys onto the horses once more. When they came for Dameon, he, who had picked up some Spanish before this time, asked them “Porque estan todos moviendo muy rapidamente? (lit: Why is everyone moving very fast?)”
The Spanish Officers did not answer his question, merely shouting “Montar! (Mount!) repeatedly until he complied. A moment later, the whole party was once again riding hard down the trail.
Nothing more of any consequence occurred for several hours after this respite, until noon, at which time the guards halted once more observe the siesta hour, a time at which no Spaniard would be moving unless his occupation of the moment were of the greatest importance. Accordingly, as their present occupation did not fall under that definition, the Spaniards guarding Dameon and the boys dismounted and tied their horses to convenient trees, and proceeded to lay down under the trees, spread out over a large area to surround their prisoners, whom they had placed in the center of the circle. Observing this, Luke approached his uncle once more.
“Sir! We should make our escape now. We will be far ahead before they are ready to follow us!”
“No! We shall not break away now! Are you insane? We try that and they fire on us!–Where are you going?” This conclusion was prompted by Dameon’s looking up just in time to see Luke’s flaming hair disappear into the trees on the other side of the path. He could just catch the answer Luke threw back in his direction.
“You won’t leave? I can’t take this anymore! I’m following my father! He taught me to follow tracks, and to live for others!”
It was a few moments before Dameon could react, stunned as he was by Luke’s harsh rebuke. When he recovered, he saw that the remaining boys: Raphael, and his own son, John, were staring at him, waiting for orders. Nearly choking on the words, he spat out something he had privately wished that he would never have to say “He’s right. I can tell you that that your uncle did teach him as he said, and he did it well. Leave now. I order you to let me continue on as a prisoner alone. You should not have to witness the fate awaiting me. That’s an order! Leave! Your Uncles will get you home, but you will have to travel hard to catch up with them before they depart with the Sponslers and without you. You are not far off. All of us were traveling close by this place not long ago. Leeeave!”
Dameon could hear the boys retreating, abandoning him, as he fell to his knees choking on emotions he refused to show.
Nearly an hour later, after the Spaniards had dozed through the hour of high noon, and Dameon had been sitting stoically silent for nearly half an hour, the Spanish Captain rose, dusted himself off, shook his head, swept his hat up from the ground, and set about berating his men, most of whom were still sleeping. When he had succeeded in this task, he turned to Dameon, shouting at him in Spanish. “Usted! Mir hacia arriba! Usted esta una mujer! Hombres fuertes no puede estan triste!” After a pause, the Officer looked around and finally noticed that the boys had disappeared. He continued “Donde estan sus ninos? Hablar o usted esta muerte!” (lit: You! Look toward above! You are a woman! Strong men cannot be sad! Where are your boys? Speak or you are dea(d!) )
To this demand, Dameon only answered “Yo no va a hablar. Yo estoy muerte, porque yo no va a hablar que donde estan mi ninos.” (lit: I will not speak. I am dea(d), because I will not speak of where my boys are.)
At this response, the Spanish Officer leaped forward, brandishing a pistol, and exclaimed “Correctemente!” Speaking in English once more, he continued “You were, anyway, for we are taking you to the Capital to hang!”

30 October 2010

Chapter Twenty-Six

It's never been so easy to escape from prison... People would think you were just resting in there... lol

Chapter XXVI

It had been three days since Dameon and the boys he was watching over had been captured by the horse guards outside the city of San Dinola. The reader my remember that the group had been locked up in the prison within an hour of their capture, and were now awaiting the time when they would be transported back to the capital to be “punished”. Another note that may be remembered is that Raphael, unlike the others, had remained quiet until his outburst about not being able to think. Since that time he had been quiet once more, until now.
“Bother everything! There isn’t a way out of this place if you haven’t got something with you when you come in, and they searched us thoroughly!” he paused. When the others heard him again, he was standing on his cot looking through his barred, ground-level window hole. “Aha! Now if I could only reach his belt…” at this point, Raphael, who was very strong in comparison to his size, was dangling from the window bars using only one hand. He was also silent again, which caused the other prisoners to show signs of breaking under the stress.
Suddenly, Dameon and the other three boys heard a loud dull sound issue from Raphael’s cell, which was quickly followed by the occupant’s voice exclaiming “Oh! My everything! Yes! It came with me and it hasn’t killed me! We’ll be out within the day as soon as I get some rest!”
It was several hours later when Dameon was awakened out of his sleep by a loud clang which sounded oddly like a cell door shutting. Opening his eyes, he dug his knuckles into his eyeballs to wake up properly, sat up, and immediately saw that Raphael was standing beside his cot and must have caused the noise.
“I apologize for the noise, sir. As you see, I have just walked out of my own cell and proceeded to release the other prisoners.” Said Raphael in a monotone so solemn he sounded as if he were an especially boring lecture hall speaker who wouldn’t have noticed anything amiss if his audience was snoring. As he spoke he stowed a knife in his belt and rubbed his hands together as if the object was filthy.
“Why are you talking like that? Speak properly!” By this time, Dameon was standing in front of the boy and glaring.
“Very well, sir. I will follow your orders to the letter. Shall I begin releasing prisoners now?”
“Yes. Get started now.”
“Very well. I shall execute your orders beginning with you, sir.” replied Raphael to Dameon’s terse statement, striding over to hold the cell door open for him.
As Raphael attended to the release of the others in their party, Dameon made his way down the hall between the rows of cells. Hardly twenty feet from his own cell, he heard a voice shout out from the door on his immediate right. Kneeling down, he opened the sliding panel used to permit the passage of prisoners’ meals. Putting his face near the opening, he announced himself. “Captain Dameon Mellino, lately of the U.S.S. Quar –Zin. May I inquire into your nationality and object?” When the prisoner moved into view, Dameon recognized the same cropped light hair and brown robe of the man who would have led him to his death, if not for the heroic action of Joseph. At this sight, he had second thoughts. “Why should I talk to you? You nearly killed me!” As he prepared to stand once more, the man called out
“I can explain! And I need to break my friend out!”
“All right, two questions. When a man in prison claims that he ‘can explain’ why he is there in the first place, he is liable to be lying. And in any case, why should I release you, when, as I said, you nearly killed me.”
“I only translated what was said second-hand! You were the first Americans we came across!”
“Exactly! We were the only ones!”
The response to this shout was a loud crash against the door, which sounded as if the prisoner had run against it.
“Why are you doing that?” Dameon shouted through the space.
“If I can’t make you listen to reason, I’ll shock it into you!”
At that moment, two of the boys came running back down the corridor, shouting “Guards! Guards! Guards are coming down on our heels!”
Dameon immediately scrambled up. “I’ll get back to you after this. We are all threatened now.” With that, he slammed the food panel shut and ran.
Unarmed as he was, Dameon did not stop to wonder why he was running toward the guards, and not away from them to save his life, to protect the boys. Yet that was the quandary of his action. He had known instantly that he could protect the boys far better by risking his life in a direct charge, yet if he got himself killed and they escaped, they would die anyway.
With that thought, Dameon realized that he was not being as brave as he had thought. He was acting as a coward would. Or a brave man who had no one else to care for, and believed that no one else cared for him.
Upon realizing how stupid he was really being, Dameon stopped short, looking for a place to hide himself until the guards had passed, and was extremely worried to notice that there was not a space that would offer any kind of cover along the whole stretch of wall. Desperately, Dameon who could hear the stamping of the guards well ahead, but coming closer, began to throw his whole weight against the nearest cell door.
He had attacked the door with all his weight several times without success, when his ears told him that the Spanish guards were just around the bend. Immediately, he cut short his attempts to stave in the cell door and braced himself to meet the oncoming guards.
As the guards came within sight, Dameon noticed one very odd thing about them. They were running toward him with bent knees and were arguing among themselves in awful imitations of Spanish accents. Just as they were about to collide with him, Dameon shouted in his loudest quarter-deck voice “Belay, Midshipmen! Silence, and fall into line! Smartly now!” It was oddly gratifying to see the boys stop in their tracks and fall in a heap at his feet. Then one of the Sponslers scrambled up, came to attention, and gave his report.
“As you may have guessed, sir, this was Mark’s idea. By the way, this is Matt speaking. Anyway, Mark and Raphael convinced us to come down that direction and see what we could find. What we found, sir, was the guardroom. Catching the guards at their meal, we soon had them tied up as well as any good sailor can be expected to tie a knot. That is, quite tightly. We were on our way to find you.”
“A smart report, and you may relax now, Matt. I would only like to know what made you decide to send Luke and John running down the corridor after me.”
“Mark said that would bring you faster, sir.”
“It did, but now we have to retrace our steps, a waste of good time.”
A short time later, they had returned to the cell of the mysterious American personage, broken him out, and caught up with the other boys. When Dameon had collected all of the boys outside of the jail once more, twilight was beginning to fall on the city. As they were about to leave, the other prisoner walked up to Dameon and asked
“Where do you plan to go after you leave this city?”
“I am planning to take these boys in to France, from which, France being neutral, we can pay passage on a ship that will take us back to America.”
“Good luck to you, then. My friend and I will see to your Spanish nemesis.”
“I thank you. So now we may part friends? If ever you return to America, I and my brothers will be easy to find if we are alive.”
At the conclusion of this exchange, Dameon and the American man shook hands and the parties left in opposite directions, fading into the growing darkness.
“Well, dad, how are they going to ‘see to our Spanish nemesis’ as he put it?”
“Do not talk of that. That is the business of brave men, not boys like you. And now, on your life hold silent until we have left the city.”
Accordingly, Dameon and the boys began to leave the prison building as silently as they could. For the most part, their caution was unnecessary, as the streets were nearly empty after dark. They crept along for several minutes before reaching an inn which had remained open to accommodate a celebration. Skirting the light coming from the window, Dameon led the boys to the wall of the building. Soon all of them were standing with their backs flat to the wall and Dameon could hear the speech coming from the meeting room.
“I’ve heard from the best source that that American Captain we have in prison is to be brought to Madrid tomorrow, to be hanged the following day. You may have heard of him. He is the head of the clan from America known as the Mellinos, who have instigated these past two wars against our glorious nation. The boys who were captured with him are to become the servants of His Excellency the Admiral Cristobol Coinhara.”
When he heard this, Dameon said to himself “I’m to be hanged in two days? I’m still in prison, am I? I’ll prove that any Mellino could run circles around a Spanish Admiral at any time. We have waited here for too long. It is time that we were on our way.”
At this, the boys began to inch away from the wall, while Dameon followed slowly. Moments later, he heard a cry from one of the boys, which was quickly choked off, as if a heavy cloak had been thrown over his face. Dameon, knowing from the scant warning that Spanish patrols were aware of his presence, felt for a gun at his belt, then remembered that he was completely unarmed. At this discovery, he decided to step into the light, risking death by shooting rather than endure the long trip to Madrid only to be hanged. “Go on! Shoot me, you cowards! Am I or am I not in prison where you put me? If I’m still there, you can go ahead and shoot the man standing here saying all this, because you won’t be killing the man who is to be kept alive until you reach the capital.”
He had hardly finished this rash challenge before he heard the window behind him open as a hand reached out to grab the collar of his coat. An instant later, he felt a pistol butt come down on his forehead and fell into oblivion.

25 October 2010

The Adventure of the Chicken Legs & other Phobias

It started normally enough. Recently, my parents decided it was time to go through the annual slaughtering of the meat chickens. So they prepped their scalding vat and their plucker (both machines which my dad is extremely proud of, I can't tell why) and rounded up the ones they had selected. After about ten minutes of the procedure, it was time for me to go play soccer (as that has no part in this story, I'll skip over it) In any case, about an hour later, I returned to discover... disembodied chicken legs in the kitchen sink. I promptly (I kid you not) shouted "Dan! There are real chicken legs in the sink!" to which he replied "What, did you think they might be fake?" as if nothing was wrong. (This only makes me wonder where disembodied chicken legs usually wind up. Apparently, in the sink.) I know, lame story. And now for the phobias.
1. Flyballphobia: fear of contact between a sports ball and one's face. I've been fighting this since I was six years old. To this day, I refuse to catch any sort of ball heading for my face.
2. Disemboweledfowlphobia: fear of disembodied parts and/or guts of an animal. Just plain creepiness.
and last and worst, Publicspeechphobia: fear of speaking in public, obviously. I got this one after saying one too many stupid things around certain people. Have been silent in public for  five years, and just last night decided to buck it off. Wish me luck.

21 October 2010


Chapter Five

“Why do you insist that I will not command this ship? You can not command two ships! Or are you afraid of what I might do if you give me a command!”
“William McNeal fears no man, even less what any man does. I choose not give you a ship. That should be enough for you. Unless you wish that your days should end now?”
“Do you whish your days to end now?” Maturin shouted growing angrier by the second.
“Let me put it this way, my friend.” replied McNeal, staring out at the ship in question. “If I were to give you that ship, I have no doubt that you would turn around and sail back where you came from and proceed to tell every brotherhood captain you met of the untold riches of Richontor, causing every brethren vessel in port to promptly come sailing after me. I would not enjoy sinking our fellow captains, Maturin. What is more, you would not get a single piece of the whole trove, even if you survived the venture.”
“You know well enough that I do not have the least part of a hint concerning the location of that island, and also know enough not to send all the brethren out on a wild goose chase and, consequentially, have them all desiring me dead!”
“So it appears that you accept my offer of passage?” McNeal answered, staring out to sea in an attempt to hide the devious expression that had sprung to his face suddenly.
“I have never before met a man, of the brethren or otherwise, who would dare to call inviting an acquaintance aboard and then sailing off, like a coward, while that man’s ship sank behind him, an offer of passage! Your days are numbered, McNeal!”
“Maybe they are, but you, Maturin, are too weak to tell me just how many days I have.” McNeal walked off, calling to his lieutenant “Rouse out the topsails! Smartly now!”
As McNeal’s crew began to rouse out the sails he had ordered, Maturin, from his position on the quarterdeck, stood watching them. “I’ll teach him that no man treats Jack Maturin the way he has done and lives. But how shall I go about doing that? Ah… The brig! Exactly! None better!” Concluding this thought, Maturin promptly left the quarterdeck. Striding across to the nearest hatchway, he had soon disappeared below the deck.

20 October 2010

October Birthday the 2nd

Today is my dad's birthday. He has doubles this year. I don't really know why I'm doing this. It's a little awkward...  Well, anyway, dad, if you read this post, I repeat a happy belated birthday and many happy returns. to borrow from one of my grandma's cards... He's older than he ever has been before, but he's also younger than he'll ever be again! (wierd humor, I know. It's the same for all of us.) You'll never guess what we found... lol.

15 October 2010

A Group Tag

 There aren't a lot of questions in this tag, nor are there the usual ones, due to the awkwardness of asking a Medieval king and a mysterious crime boss questions we would answer today.

What do you use most to communicate?
JT: A landline
King Valun: A good rider.
The Phantom: A sharp blade.

What's your favorite music?
JT: Rohan music from LOTR.
King Valun: The King. (from KoH).
The Phantom: Revenge.

Would you move to another country?
JT: Not willingly. Depends where.
King Valun: Of course not! I'm a king! (mutters.)
The Phantom: If I could dominate the people with fear.

What's your hobby?
JT: Writing 'novels'
King Valun: What is a hobby, my good man?
The Phantom: Terrorizing the countryside! (laughs)

If you could be present anywhere, at any point in history, where would you go?
JT: to Thermopylae to stand with the 300, or the battle of Midway.
King Valun: At my father's side in Brandia.
The Phantom: With Regolas when he attacked Torund.

What's your favorite color?
JT: red.
King Valun: red.
The Phantom: The color of fear! (laughs crazily)

If you had a favorite animal, what would it be?
JT: A Grizzly Bear.
King Valun: A falcon.
The Phantom: A snake.

If you had a motto, what would it be?
JT: Keep it simple.
King Valun: Strength, wisdom, justice.
The Phantom: Fear is the best offense (and defense)

If you suddenly had a million (tax-free) dollars, what would you do?
JT: I hope I would split it, donate half, and pay debts with the rest.
King Valun: Only one million? Donate, of course.
The Phantom: Keep it! What do you expect?

What's your favorite literature?
JT: Anything good.
King Valun: The book of kings
The Phantom: The book of the dead.

Note from JT: Though King Valun and The Phantom are my aliases, their opinons are not necessarily mine.
Another note: To do this tag, you have to answer each question, and then add the answers you think your two favorite historical/fictional characters would say.

I tag TSP, Hannah, Saxon, and Velvin.


10 October 2010

Chapter Twenty-Five

My first tow followers have been waiting for this for two months. To the others, the story opens back on April 29th. Yes, the action is totally random and misinformed.

Chapter XXV

“Are you joking? Our hands are tied!” Mark shouted as he struggled against his bonds.
“Are you insane?! I’t’s run as we are or burn where you stand! In case you haven’t noticed, no-one’s in any position to untie you now!’ David shouted back as he heaved himself up.
At this response, Mark finally got himself up onto his feet, noticing that he was the last to do so. He immediately began running toward the path, the heat of the burning trees scorching his unprotected arms. When he had reached the path, he turned and looked back to see Matt randomly kicking sleeping Spaniards in a desperate attempt to wake them. Mark screamed when he saw this. “Get out of there! They’re drunk! They won’t wake up in time, and it’s their own fault! They were going to kill us, so don’t let them hang on your conscious! Get out now!”
Finally giving up, Matt came running onto the path, closely followed by the two hounds which the Spaniards had brought with them. The dogs were trailing lengths of rope, having broken them in their frantic efforts to get away.
Matt stopped when he reached Mark, panting. “It’s only human decency to try, brother, but since we’ve exhausted other routes, we can make our getaway with a cleaner conscious.”
“You’re telling me? Who was yelling at you to get out of the area before you were roasted, as it was hopeless?” mark retorted, openly exasperated.
“We can argue later, but let’s go now!” Matt screamed as the flames leapt onto the path.
“Are you crazy?! We can’t outrun this!”
“Oh, Mr. Mellino was right then, wasn’t he?! You have been looking for death ever since father left! I should be asking you whether you’re insane! Well then, stay here and get roasted, and then see if it helps you rejoin father! You should have begged to go with him!” With this parting shot, Matt sped off. Mark, who was also still running but had unwittingly slowed his pace, sped up too, barely keeping Matt in sight.
“Is that what I’m trying to do?” He asked himself “Do I really want to die? Am I already convinced that father is gone?” At this thought, he yelled out “I am stronger than that! I will go on!” After this, Mark ran on until he reached a river flowing by the side of the road. At this point, Matt, from inside the water, called out to him to jump in to save himself from the flames. Mark, skidding to a stop, dove in immediately, only stopping to think after he had gotten himself upright in the flow of the current. “Do you realize that this is not helping us at all? In fact, we’re stuck in a worse position than we got out of.”
“If you call jumping from the fire into the boiling pot a bad to worse prospect, I guess you’re right, because if we don’t all start moving we’ll be scalded to death right here.” pronounced Gabriel, gasping for breath. “Lucky for us that they only took the ones they could see. This one was under my cloak.” He continued, replacing a dagger in his belt and tossing Mark’s bonds onto the bank.
“How did you get here?”
“Are you thick enough not to think of submerging?” asked David, who had appeared on Mark’s other side, just where Matt had been positioned. “We’d best get moving while we’re still alive though. Matt’s gone ahead of us.” He concluded, in reply to Mark’s confused expression. This put an end to all speech, and everyone dove under the water and began to swim hard, although they were all apprehensive about surviving for long.
They had been swimming without stopping for half an hour (excluding pauses to breath) when they came to a bend in the river ahead, where they found Matt sitting in the curve, barely above the water. Inexplicably, he was grinning. “Haven’t you three noticed the wind? We’re safe. We can walk on dry land now.”
“Thanks a lot for telling us now, when we haven’t got shoes or shirts on us.” Mark replied sarcastically, struggling to climb out of the river.
“I was hoping you would say that.” Matt continued, with a laugh “You may have noticed that the trip this far was quite a bit easier than you should have expected; meaning of course, that the current was carrying you, which in consequence, means that everything you removed got to this point ahead of you. I’ve been sitting here catching everything that came by for the last ten minutes. It’s all drying off on the bank right now.” He concluded as he scrambled up, followed closely by the others.
“That’s all very fine,” David said when they had reached the top “but the problem you can’t solve is the most important of all. We lost all of our provisions.”
“The dogs stayed with us.” Mark announced sullenly from where he lay stretched out on the grass as one dog licked his face.
“We can’t-” Matt began, but David cut him off.
“Don’t worry, as we’ve got nothing on us to do it with.”
Even with the prospect of starvation ahead of them, Matt cheered up considerably at this announcement. “This one is mine!” he exclaimed, grinning widely “And that one on top of you is yours, Mark! Oh, look at him go!” Matt’s last remark was not directed at anyone in particular, but he was pointing at the dog, which had just begun to roll frantically all over the grass, as if it understood what was going on and had begun to celebrate in its own way. Then, it jumped up and ran to Matt, wagging its tail at double speed and panting hard.
“That is the smartest dog I have ever seen, with no exceptions” David announced “I’m sure it understands everything you said about it.”
“I’ll name it Bear, then. What’s yours, Mark?
“Mine is named Thrasher,” Mark answered, watching as his new dog began to roll even more frantically than Matt’s. “You can tell why, can’t you?”
“Yes, clearly.” Matt answered “Come on, boy, you’re with me now, and you’re going to stay with me.” He continued, pulling Bear behind him by way of the broken rope which was still attached.
“You may want to return my dog to me now. I appreciate your enthusiasm in your object.” Drawled a new voice. The Americans spun around. Standing behind their position, holding a pistol primed to fire, was Miguel Coinhara. “You must not have heard me properly. I said return my dogs now, or face the doom of death upon the first one to move.” He continued, staring suspiciously at the dagger Gabriel was still holding in his hand.
Nobody, not even the dogs, moved or made a sound. Then suddenly, everybody heard the loud clank of metal striking metal. “Whoops, sorry, I must have moved.” Gabriel said, putting strong emphasis on the last word. Finally coming to, Coinhara looked down at the grass at his feet, noticing the dagger lying on top of the pistol. He stooped.
Having anticipated the move, Gabriel immediately sprang up and leaped onto the back of the Spaniard. This caused both men to fall hard to the ground, with Gabriel on the bottom. Moreover, Coinhara now had a hand on the knife, and was making frantic stabs over his shoulder,which were missing Gabriel’s face by fractions of an inch.
After several minutes of struggling, Gabriel succeeded in joining his hands on the back of the larger man’s head, and, with his arms securely locked under Coinhara’s armpits, pushed as hard as he could on the other man’s neck. This position made it increasingly more difficult and dangerous to swing the knife. Gabriel promptly slid one hand up Coinhara’s knife arm and gripped the wrist as tight as he could. Wrapping his legs around the other’s waist, he grabbed the gun lying a foot away, pointed it straight up, and pulled the trigger. As startled as the rest, Coinhara sat up and let the knife drop out of his hand. Jackknifing forward, Gabriel swept up the dagger and propelled the Spaniard face-first into the ground. In his demand for surrender, he put extra emphasis on the yous.
“If you move, you shall die. Now you are my prisoner. You can move now.”
His face still on the ground, Coinhara spoke out angrily, and then proceeded to get up off the ground. Running one hand through his hair and the other over his mustache, he faced the Americans and muttered ‘Despicable low trick that is, jumping on a man with his guard down.”
“Oh, sorry, “David yelled out “We didn’t hear that last bit. Now tell us how you survived that fire when you were drunk!”
“The answer to that is simple,” Coinhara replied loudly “First, I was not there, so I was never drunk, and second, I knew you would attempt to escape, so I hid myself on the other side of the path and saw and heard everything that happened.”
“But” David replied “now you have to admit that it didn’t help you very much, because now you are our prisoner.”
“You seem to forget” Coinhara answered to this statement as he stood up “that you never bothered to tie my hands or my legs, so I can leave whenever I please, which I could even if I were tied. So, I will bid you good day, and exit left. Adios.”
“Wait a second, though” Mark spoke up, tugging on the rope attached to his dog. “You must not have noticed that we have security: two dogs who obviously don’t like you.”
It was only then that Coinhara noticed that the dogs which he had come for were growling loudly and straining at the remnants of rope that they were tied to. He immediately sat down again. “All right, I’ll come quietly if you keep those dogs restrained.”
“Good. Now that that is settled, we can continue on our way back home, because I don’t believe that this conflict will last many more months. Sooner or later your government is going to collapse again and we can all live normal lives once more.” David announced, standing and walking away.

08 October 2010

October Birthday the 1st

Today is my second brother's 11th birthday. He happens to be the one of us four younger Sponslers who has a real plan for his life: his ambition, at last asking, was to be a paleontologist or, believe it or not, a sanitation worker. He also speaks German. Nobody knows what he wants, and nothing will happen out of the ordinary, but please wish him a happy birthday.

05 October 2010


About time I posted this. And yes, I am clueless about technical details.

Chapter Four

It was not until nearly two weeks later that McNeal’s came across a prize he considered worthy to be captured by him. Pointing it out to Maturin after the lookout had informed him of its presence, he said “Now feast your eyes on that little ship, mate. By the stone of Saint Patrick, there ain’t a finer ship on the water, save my own! We shall capture her!” Turning away from the rail on the quarterdeck where he had been standing, he called out “Hard to port! Set the stunsails! We’ll have that ship if we must chase it until up is down!”
Several hours later, they had come no closer to the elusive ship. It was then that the wind changed, and allowed the Centaur the weather-gage. “All sail she’ll bear!” cried McNeal, delighted with this sudden turn. “Before you can say ‘belay’, we shall cross her bows and rake her!”
“Belay.” Said Maturin quietly. He had been silent until now, staring out at the prize he would soon call his own. Hearing what he said, McNeal only laughed again, so exhilarated was he by the speed of his ship.
“Heave the log!” he called. “I have never yet stretched this ship to it’s utmost speed, and this as good a time as any!”
A few moments later, after the log had been heaved, he heard the cry. “Ten knots, and we ain’t set our royals nor is the mizzen completely unfurled!”
“Well then unfurl it, me hearties! We’ve got a prize to catch!” By this time, they were within one thousand yards of the enemy, nearly within the range of true aim.
Looking through his glass again, McNeal was startled. “They’ve hauled their wind and stopped, mate! They mean to fight with us!”
Just then, a ball came whistling over his head. “They must have some chasers, testing their aim. Another hundred yards and I’m sure we’ll smash them! Cowards! They’re turning and running again!”
Now, the chase was tacking, apparently attempting to come up under McNeal’s stern and shoot away his steering. He immediately called out “Leave the Main, Fore, and Mizzen sails, but bring all others down! Unship the larboard guns and bring her about!” Turning to Maturin, he added “If they want close action, they shall have close action! We shall blow them out of the water!”
“You are not to damage it. It shall be my ship.”
“Did I say it would be your ship? I did not. I said I would sink it. You are going on to Richontor, or dying where you stand the next time you dislike my orders!”
When he turned back to the working of the ship, McNeal was startled again. His ship was not in the position he had ordered; the enemy ship had come up so fast that it had cut across the Centaur’s wind from behind. The Centaur had missed it’s stay with the sudden slackening of the sails. A moment later, he heard the thundering broadside of the opposing ship.
But Captain McNeal was not done yet. Even though his steering would no longer answer, he was still dangerous. “Run out all the guns! Give ‘em both decks when they turn to cut across our bow! William McNeal strikes his colors to no man!”
The order had not come a moment to soon. In the next minute, the other ship was tacking, gaining steerage way to come across the centaur’s side and fire once more. But McNeal was ready for them this time. As the enemy began his maneuver, waiting till he was alongside the center of the pirate before firing, McNeal passed the order that the guns were to fire in succession, aiming at masts and spars.
Within moments, the firing had begun. It was over only two mines later. When the smoke had cleared, McNeal could see that his gunners had shot away the jib boom, and the enemy’s fore- and mizzen-masts had sustained heavy damage. The foremast especially. It hung over the side at an odd angle, and the enemy crew was busy chopping it away as fast as they could manage.
“They will not get away.” McNeal remarked to Maturin. “I have all the time I could wish to send my men over their side and finish them.”
“They will yet be manning their guns. They will sink your men before they get halfway there.”
“True. I had not thought of that.” Turning to a man standing nearby, McNeal added “Go below and tell them to load grape this time. Sweep the deck. Full broadside.”
Five minutes later, after three or four broadsides of grape had swept the deck, McNeal spoke again. “We will meet no resistance this time, my friend. We had best go aboard our prize, to see about repairs to both of my vessels.”

29 September 2010

And They Passed Into The West...

Don't get me wrong. The words are a little hard to listen to. But this is the best way to end the week of Lord of the Rings...

26 September 2010

Music & Clips From The Movies

Unfortunately, no-one has ever uploaded the clip of The King Of The Golden Hall scene, so this was the best I could do. BY THE WAY, THE MUSIC IS INSANELY AWESOME!


By the way, go ahead, bawl me out for posting battles! But I couldn't resist posting such awesome scenes!

How did I forget this one!?

I'm done now...

Lord of the rings - Helms deep charge

Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - "Arise riders of Theoden!"

24 September 2010

Some Thoughts on The Two Towers & Memorable Quotes from my Travels

Now, first off, The Two Towers. I read the book again recently, and finished watching the movie again this morning. As twisted as anyone may think the movie is, it is changed in the name of more drama, and definitely could not have been filmed the way it was written. The worst changes were, of course, Gimli becoming comic relief, and Gimli replacing Eomer in the battle of Helm's Deep, causing Theoden to say some of his lines. Also, the omission of the Huorns, which were replaced by Eomer and his men.
Now, second, some quotes.

 "Evidently, we look so much alike that your wish to make an incurable dent in my hat must be excused."- to Gimli, on his similarity to Saruman

"The battle for Helm's Deep is over. The battle for Middle-Earth is about to begin."

23 September 2010

Strange Lists From The Vaults #1

Ten reasons why the Fellowship of the Ring would not fit in the U.S Congress

10. Chain mail and leather (or velvet in Legolas’ case) is not considered the proper attire in Congress.
9. Frodo would look constantly bewildered, every now and then trying to bring up the situation concerning the One Ring.
8. Aragorn would have to be reminded that there is no monarchy in the USA.
7. Sam would brandish his frying pan threateningly if anyone tried to debate anything with Frodo.
6. Boromir would repeatedly rise, crying, “Gondor will see it done!”
5. After many attempts to declare that Gollum had escaped Mirkwood, and that he was most definitely the prettiest, Legolas would get flustered and shoot the Speaker of the House.
4. Congress podiums are not as resilient to Dwarf ax blows as the One Ring.
3. During a heated debate, Gandalf would stand and start bellowing the speech of Mordor.
2. Merry and Pippin would ask many times if a filibuster was a type of ‘shroom’.
1. The Fellowship of the Ring might actually get something done!

Rest assured, I am not witty enough to think of these. I discovered them in the vaults of Minas Tirith, where I get all my information.

22 September 2010

From the Vaults of Minas Tirith

Quick facts: Of the members of the party making the journey in The Hobbit, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Gloin, Dori, Ori, Nori,Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Thorin Oakinshield, and even Gandalf, are names borrowed from an ancient (Norse) saga. The only one missing is Balin.
According to the reckoning of our world, Bilbo is 720 years old today and Frodo is 642.
The World Cup has invaded Middle-Earth!


17 September 2010

Fun with my Dog

I've found them! These are the rest of the pics of my dog that I began posting last month.
Dog: Ah! where's the ball! (he caught it)

"Give me the ball." "No! Never!"
The ball bounced off his nose a second before this shot. he caught it afterwards.
Relaxing with his favorite toy.
"chill out, man!" (not photoshopped, he shook the hat off as soon as I had the pic)

Thrasher: best likes: Tennis balls and people. Worst dislikes: Certain brothers of mine & squeaky dolphin toys.

may you reign long and well,

15 September 2010

Pics from the Vacation

Since I could not find the pics of my dog, which I will post if they ever turn up, I've decided instead to post some of my pics of my vacation in August.
My brothers' actual reaction: "They live there?!"

"One for five and five for- wait, what?"
"I am the Phantom and I have an ax! Fear me!"

The Phantom: There's strange writing on this- TSP: The nerd must die!

08 September 2010

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter XXIV

On returning to Matt and Mark, they can be found to be walking down an isolated road alone. David and Gabriel had caught up with them earlier, but they had dropped back to follow the trail after Mark had shouted at them over what he considered Dameon’s apparent mistrust of his ability to get home.
The men could hear the twins speaking together from their position a few yards back, but could not make out anything of great importance. In fact, this was partly because they were speaking between themselves. “My, the old pal sure did raise a firebrand in that boy, you notice?”
“How could I not, being in front of you?”
“How much do you want to bet on Mark becoming a politician?”
“Stop pulling my leg. Joseph never liked politicians. Doubtless the boys are like that too.”
“Then what will they do?”
“You mean you don’t know? They’ll rise so high that before we leave this Earth we’ll hear them proclaimed the most ingenious navy captains ever to sail the waters.”
“Oh, stow it, now you’re pulling my leg. Mark will, but Matt would surprise me.”
“Surprise you, eh? Well, watch out to be sure that shot doesn’t come back to hit you, because in a few years their attitudes will be the same also.”
The pair terminated their conversation and focused on the trail the two boys were leaving behind them. They could also pick up snatches of the boys’ conversation now.
“The side is beginning to ache. Do you reckon they’re still following us?” The Mellinos noticed that Matt stared back at them as he answered “They’re still there, but they’re keeping their distance. They don’t want you exploding again, but they’ve been charged to keep us alive, and I’m sure they’ll do it.”
After Matt’s remark, all four remained silent for some time, before Mark finally called out “There’s no need to follow us any farther for a while now, Sirs. We’re resting for the night! And I am not going to go off again!” This was obviously meant to be an apology, so the two men sped up until they were even with the boys. Then all four had a cheerful, joke-filled conversation until they were swallowed up by the darkness.
The following morning was hazy, with a light rain. The said rain woke up the group, which was sleeping under the trees. The rain already mentioned also made Mark very irritable immediately. “Bother this rain!” he shouted “Just when everything was beginning to improve, too! Go home!” he concluded, as if the rain were an animal which had come at call, and he now wished to be rid of.
As an experienced campaigner, David soon raised his voice in defense of the weather. “You don’t want to understand, do you? What if enemies have found our trail?! This weather will throw them off miles behind us! Now, tell me, without it, where would we be?”
“In prison, if things had gone the way they were meant to.” said a Spaniard who had just stepped on to the road. “Oh, don’t look so surprised. We knew where you had gone, and were hard on your trail early the next day, thanks to my little helper here and his friend.” It was only then that the Americans took any notice of the silent dog sitting at the man’s side.
“Bloodhounds!” They all shouted “We were warned about your practices!”
“That may be, but you forgot them entirely, at the cost of your freedom. You also seem, if you are a veteran fighter, to have forgotten one of the simplest rules there is. If you are in a foreign country, NEVER raise your voice if you are on a journey and most especially if you are escaping. The second thing is this: Your enemies know the land; you do not. For your information, it would take you more than a week to reach the nearest port on foot from this spot. The third is that you shall NEVER, under any circumstances whatever, attempt to escape from the Coinhara clan, for their vengeance is terrible. This message has been delivered from Cristobol Coinhara to his captives by his brother, Miguel.” When it was evident that Coinhara had finished, several more men stepped out of the trees, surrounding their American captives.
When the hopelessness of the situation became evident, the Americans finally gave up the idea of fighting their way through and escaping. As they were returning their weapons to their places, however, Coinhara cut in. “No! You shall have no arms! I know what will occur if I let you keep them!” Upon his order, ten men stepped forward and confiscated all the weapons the captives were carrying.
At this measure, Mark the hothead returned in full force and grew futilely indignant. “Oh, exactly! You’re afraid of us, so you have to detail twice our number to take our weapons when we’re already surrounded! It makes me wonder exactly who’s in your family tree! But I can tell you a couple of things you might like to know! Your father didn’t defeat us, so of course you won’t either! In fact, don’t be surprised if we escape and humiliate you along the way, like I did to your brother!”
Coinhara reached over and slapped Mark to silence him. “You will learn the hard way, and without much time either, for you shall be hanged immediately upon return. Get out of that, and then you may talk.”
As they were being marched away, with their hands tied behind their backs, Mark managed a whisper to his brother. “I’ve done it again. We’re about to be killed again. I must say, I believed I had died in that sea battle with this man’s father, and so I’m not afraid of dying again, if we didn’t have a family to return to. As things stand, though, we must escape.”
Later that evening, when the march was halted, the prisoners were grouped together in the center of the camp, with no shelter and little food allotted to them. As dusk fell, the Spaniards ignited a large fire in a more open area of the camp, but refused to let any of the prisoners near it. To celebrate their capture of some of the government’s most wanted enemies, the Spaniards soon brought out a barrel of ale they had sent behind them for precisely this purpose. As they began to drink more heavily, David remarked “I hope someone stays sober enough to watch the fire. Anyone could have told them that lighting such a large fire is against the laws of sensibility, no mater where you are; We could have told them that, but of course they wouldn’t listen to us.”
As was sure to happen, though, all of the captors drank so deeply that they were soon nodding off. When the last one had fallen to the ground, David continued “All right, without the use of our hands, we won’t be able to do anything against it if this fire escapes. But be ready to jump and run. For now, just watch it.’
Everyone rolled off of their heels and sat watching the fire intently. Suddenly, about thirty minutes after the captors had fallen asleep, and the fire was just beginning to die out, a spark leaped out and caught on a branch which was hanging over the clearing. In the space of one minute, the whole branch was engulfed in flames. “That tree is gone!” David exclaimed “and soon so is this whole clearing! We have to run for our lives now!”

06 September 2010

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter XXIII

While the various adventures of the other wide- spread heroes continued, Michael was still stuck at the back of a slave ship heading for London. He had now succeeded in retrieving both of his weapons, the lack of which, fortunately, the slave-master never seemed to notice.
It had only been a couple of weeks since Michael had been captured, and already the ship had reached its destination. It was currently poling up the Thames River in London itself. After a lengthy interval of monotonous poling, a halt was called and the slaves rested. A minute later, Scarface and another man, who was evidently the “captain’ of the ship, emerged from the cabin, went over the side, and disappeared into the busy London traffic.
The two slavers made their way to the residence of the “Lord Dampish” they had mentioned in Africa. Upon reaching the highly polished front door, the captain roughly seized the ornate door knocker and swung it hard against the door several times.
Presently, a servant appeared at the door, peeking through the small hole. “My master does not desire acquaintance with uncouth creatures such as you. Good day.” The servant turned to walk away.
“Oh, shut up!” the slave traders answered “he knows us already, and we’ve got urgent business with him today. Let us in before someone notices!”
“Very well, how shall I announce you?”
“As his brothers.”
With a rather scared look on his face, the butler opened the door immediately, allowing the ragged sailors to push him roughly out of the way as they entered the richly furnished house.
The owner of the house evidently had extremely expensive tastes, as was shown by the fine Persian carpet on the floor, the exquisite (and purely ornamental) gold chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, several rich oriental tapestries hanging on the walls, and one or two stained-glass windows.
The three men strode down the long hall for a few minutes, reaching an elaborately carved door. They paused in front of the door while the butler announced their presence.
“My Lord, there are two men outside who desire to speak with you about business matters.”
“Send them in” said a weak voice on the other side of the door.
The butler threw open the double doors and the ragged slavers strode in and immediately seated themselves in the two oversized stuffed armchairs on their side of the desk.
The man who had called them in was wearing, in the fashion of the times, an elaborate powdered wig, a long scarlet overcoat, pristine white knee breeches with gold buttons down the sides, white silk stockings, and leather shoes with gold buckles.
He had his back turned to them as they entered. He was rifling through some documents in his hands, while endeavoring to block any sight of the contents of the safe in front of him as he did so. He was not successful. The two men in the chairs caught a fleeting glimpse of a large pile of gold as the other man, hastily shoving the documents back into the safe, shut and locked it.
He turned swiftly and stared at his visitors, nearly collapsing into the chair behind him.
“Nigel? And Saul?” he gasped “You survived?”
“Aye,” Nigel, the bald one, answered “You thought you had left us for dead when you marooned us in Africa three years back, but, seeing as we’re forgiving fellows, we’ve come to sell you the best of the stock. We have a surprisingly fit specimen to sell you that could probably prove very handy at anything you put him to. What will you pay for him?”
“I can’t do this anymore!” the wigged one shrieked, tearing off his wig, (revealing a large mop of dirty brown hair), and slamming it on the floor, leaping up and down upon the wig as he continued berating the others. “I can not stand to be a fence for your inhumane activities!’
Nigel and Saul watched this sudden burst of emotion without giving any sign that they cared what the other said. When he was done, they casually repeated their offer.
“We tell you, he’s the best of the stock, so what will you pay for him?”
“You don’t understand!” Samuel shouted “I’m in dept! If I don’t have another one hundred pounds by tomorrow afternoon, I’ll have nothing at all! I’ve been selling everything I own!”
“Notwithstanding, you’ll take him anyway, because I know what you’re like” Saul answered. He and Nigel got up and walked out of the room, leaving their de-wigged brother behind to ponder the situation.
Sure enough, before they had gotten very far away from the house, Saul and Nigel turned and saw Samuel running after them, wig in hand.
When he had caught up, Samuel spoke, saying “I’ve got a hundred pounds; that is my limit.”
“That will be ample.” The others answered.
“Tell me” Samuel continued “what does this lad look like?”
“Quite dashing, I can tell you,” Nigel responded “or at least he thought he was: hair all slashed off randomly, ripped and torn clothes, muscles you could see through his shirt, and nice dark skin, but he’s white underneath; oh, and one other thing: he was carrying this handsome little pair of knives. He tried to act as if they belonged to him, but I took them anyway. I’ve got them right here in my belt to show you.”
“What knives? I don’t see any knives.” said Samuel, looking back.
“What? No knives?” Nigel exclaimed, feeling the back of his belt. “Why, that dirty little sneak must have slipped them back out when I wasn’t watching! I’ll get him for that.”
The three men broke and charged back to the boat. By the time they had arrived, Michael had released himself and the rest of the prisoners, by the use of the knives he had taken back from Nigel.
Once he had released himself, and all the other prisoners in the ship, he set about attempting to make them understand what he meant to do.
By the time the three slavers had returned to the ship, Michael was so excited at the prospect of what he would do that he had been shouting at the Africans for the past several minutes. The last thing they heard him saying before they hurried aboard was “we will prevail!” The men stared at each other for a moment, wondering “we will prevail? The prisoners!” The men clambered up the nearest available ropes, readying their weapons on the way. When they reached the top, they were met by Michael, ready to throw, and backed by every prisoner from every deck, all unshackled.
“Treacherous dogs! Come to my aid, my crew!” Saul yelled, raising his sword and preparing to charge.
Without moving a muscle, Michael said, in a low tone everyone could hear “You’ll die if I want you to, because the crew can’t help you now. I can finish you off easily from this distance.”
“You’ve killed my crew!”
“The crew hasn’t got what they deserve, yet, but they will, soon after you three.” At a few words from Michael’s interpreter, the Africans surrounded Saul, Nigel, and Samuel and disarmed them.
“This is mutiny!” Saul screamed.
In the same low tone, Michael answered “There is no mutiny on a slave ship. There is only liberation. Do you consent to become my prisoners, or do you want to walk free? I know the answer you cowards will choose. Jump for it.” There was a slight pause as the three were led to the edge of the stern. Then Samuel gave in.
“I will stay under your guard.” He said “please. I can not swim, and dare not show my face in the city again anyhow.”
“Very well,” his brothers said with smirks on their faces “you can go into hiding with this boy, while we will be toasted by our underworld brethren.”
Suddenly becoming solemn and resolute, Samuel retorted “Very well to you too. You are not my brothers anymore. I will see you hang if it takes my last breath.” He tore off his wig and dropped it in the river. “I have drowned to my creditors. My name is John Crane.”
“You’ll never catch us alive, you’ll see.” With this last mean remark, Saul and Nigel leaped into the river and swam back to shore.
Michael turned and shouted “Release the crew! They shall row for us!” He turned to John Crane and said “I applaud you, sir. You are one of the bravest men I have ever met, even though you did not look that way at first.”