July 14th, 2009


From Twitter 07-13-2009

  • 12:37:18: Had a dream about surrogate mothers, except there was some way that the surrogate could take over at the last minute.
  • 12:38:30: Another dream involved having to crawl into my house, because of some problem with the doorway.
  • 14:18:38: @jfruh The commercial with guys singing about Viagra is pretty damned bad.
  • 18:43:22: Ireland passed a law against blasphemy? I'd like to know who's in charge of defining that. http://tinyurl.com/ntrevl
  • 18:47:11: Armor of God Pajamas http://bit.ly/eQoIl
  • 20:15:11: The Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Cereal Mascots http://bit.ly/raQ5t
  • 20:15:38: Does Froot Loops even have that much of an odor, or is Toucan Sam's nose just THAT good?
  • 20:57:47: Why can I not find a way to tell whether anyone has added my tweets as favorites? Is it to keep me humble?
  • 21:12:40: @3x1minus1 Thanks! I don't think it's complete, though, because I've seen other tweets of mine on people's favorite pages.
  • 21:24:00: @JaredofMo Maybe they should just combine the two. How do you think Mario would fare against the Cowardly Lion?
  • 21:24:22: @JaredofMo The Scarecrow obviously wouldn't be a challenge at all, since Mario has fireballs.
  • 21:53:31: I think my wife's level of anger at puns is too high.

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The Knight and the Mud-Turtle

My original plan was to write a post on Ploppa, the giant mud-turtle from The Yellow Knight of Oz, a minor character but a quite likable one. But since his role in the book involves a friendship with Sir Hokus of Pokes, I might as well include the knight himself in this post. Yeah, I know I was primarily going for somewhat less prominent characters with these posts, and Hokus is a major player in the early Thompson Oz books, but I've already kind of broken that rule a few times. Actually, I'm planning on eventually going back through the series and profiling more significant characters. But for now, here's Sir Hokus.

This knight known as Sir Hokus of Pokes due to his spending several centuries imprisoned in the dull, sleepy city of Pokes. It's there that Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion find him during the events of The Royal Book of Oz, and help him to escape at long last. He's an impulsive old man, always wanting to go on a quest or slay a monster, and often looking at things through the lens of medieval romance. Sort of like Don Quixote, actually. Unlike seventeenth-century Spain, however, Oz actually has giants and dragons. They're just not quite what the good knight expects.

Sir Hokus is quickly accepted as part of Ozma's court, and makes at least token appearances in most of the first few Thompson Oz books. There are several references to his being seven centuries old, and strong hints that he originated in King Arthur's England. Arthur is generally thought to have lived in the sixth century or so if he existed at all, but this was some time prior to the era of knights in armor. Over the years, the Arthurian legend came to incorporate a lot of anachronistic material, and the castle with the Round Table and all that is probably much closer to the thirteenth century or so, which would make it about right for Hokus' seven centuries. It doesn't really matter in the end, however, as Yellow Knight reveals that the knight isn't from Merrie Olde England after all, but rather from...well, I don't want to spoil the ending. If you want to know, read the book. Or look up spoilers elsewhere online. Whatever.

During the course of his adventure in this book, the knight comes across the dreary kingdom of Marshland (which, despite its name, is technically a swamp, as it has trees), where the hideous Queen Marcia tries to force him into marriage. The giant turtle Ploppa initially takes Hokus to see the queen, then helps him to escape when she locks him up. Like a lot of Thompson's Ozian animals, Ploppa is very friendly and devoted, and is upset that he can't continue to travel with the good knight. As the turtle himself puts it, "I must have mud and you must have adventure. Oh, why cannot people who like each other like the same things?"

Oh, and happy birthday to fellow Oz fan ozma914!

Leaving LiveJournal

No, I'M not leaving LiveJournal, but I thought I'd provide some links for non-LJ blogs that I'm following through RSS feeds, just in case anyone was curious about what else I read:

1UP's Retro Gaming Blog - A video game blog
A Is for Atheist - I started following him by way of another blog, primarily because he was going to write his own commentary on the Bible. He hasn't gotten too far along so far, but his posts are worth reading.
Alea Iacta Est - Another guy I don't know personally, but who had a series of posts that I found interesting and entertaining enough to merit following him anyway. In this case, it's a series of flippant but factual entries on the history of monotheism.
Amanda Fucking Palmer - I don't follow that many celebrity blogs, but I appreciate the friendliness and candor of the female half of the Dresden Dolls.
Back of the Cereal Box - Drew Mackie, a fellow Super Mario fan, word nerd, and pop song analyst
Captain SNES - A sprite comic that's essentially a follow-up to the Captain N cartoon show. It's not only funny, but also has hints of a deeper story behind it all. I wish there weren't such long waits in between strips, but I guess the authors of such strips DO have other things going on in their lives.
Cinemassacre Productions - Site of James Rolfe, best known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, but he reviews other things as well.
The Comics Curmudgeon - Josh Fruhlinger's snarky commentary on newspaper comics. This site has become so popular that it's pretty much impossible to keep up with the user comments, unless you have an entire day to devote to each post. Fortunately, the funniest ones are immortalized in the Comment of the Week posts.
Comics I Don't Understand - Another comics blog, focusing on confusing comics, plus some others that are gross, unusually sexually explicit for a family newspaper, or actually funny.
Dwindling in Unbelief - The blog of the guy who maintains the Skeptics' Annotated Bible, it covers topics similar to those on the website.
Electronic Cerebrectomy - I discovered Aaron/SamuraiFrog's blog through his amusing Bible Summarized by a Smartass series of posts, and found that he had some interesting takes on other subjects as well. Check out his current Twilight Summarized by a Smartass posts, and his series of G.I. Joe episode reviews. Probably not safe for work, due to occasional nudity (I'm not sure whether to thank or blame him for indirectly introducing me to the world of busty British models), but certainly worth a look.
Francesco Explains It All - The blog of the guy responsible for Sally Forth and Medium Large (more on the latter later on)
Greta Christina - I found her blog through a link in vee_ecks's comments, and found that she had interesting atheistic takes on religion. She also wrote about attending an orgy, which was pretty interesting for someone as generally sexually naive as I am.
Jesus and Mo - A comic featuring Jesus and Mohammed living together in the modern world, with some quite funny jokes on religion.
KafirGirl - I wish she would get back to blogging. I miss her sarcastic commentary on the Quran.
Kim Boekbinder Vermillion - One of the sisters from Vermillion Lies
Medium Large - A comic by the guy who also draws Sally Forth, full of entertaining pop culture references and such.
No Smoking in the Skullcave - Pop culture, pin-ups, and art, maintained by SamuraiFrog's wife Becca
Oz and Ends - John Bell, Oz and children's book aficionado
The Oz Enthusiast - Bill Campbell, Oz collector and co-author of Masquerade in Oz and The Lavender Bear of Oz
Press the Buttons - Another video game blog
The Royal Blog of Oz - Jared Davis, another Oz fan
S.P. Maldonado's Oz Art - Yeah, more Oz, this time from an illustrator's point of view
Slacktivist - Hey, an evangelical Christian who actually thinks about things! I especially appreciate his commentary on the Left Behind series and its terrible theology.
Small Victories - not_glimmer's Tumblr account
Tavie - The actual journal of therealtavie, a friend of mine famed in song and story for her long locks and promotion of the Kids in the Hall. (Okay, I guess it was actually Erin who had a song written about her, wasn't it?)
That Guy with the Glasses - Home of the Nostalgia Critic and other amusing reviewers
There's More to Oz Than the Yellow Brick Road - F. Douglas Wall, who's putting together an Oz role-playing game, talks about...well, mostly Oz and role-playing, oddly enough. {g}
TumblFrog - SamuraiFrog's Tumblr account
Unreasonable Faith - A frequently updated atheist blog
Vermillion Stories - This is the blog of the band Vermillion Lies, but it hasn't been updated all that recently.
Welcome 2 My Life - Jared Davis' non-Oz journal
The Wonderful Blog of Oz - Eric Gjovaag, possibly the first person to have a blog dedicated to Oz

I'm always up to following other blogs as well, so let me know if there's anything else that should be on my list.

In other news, happy Bastille Day! It's too bad I don't like the French, because they're all a bunch of craven cowards who surrender instantly to anything, and they wouldn't join the United States in the Iraq war! Wait, if they're cowards, why would we WANT them on our side? Wow, I didn't realize that the arguments on Fox News aren't always internally consistent! Next thing you know, I'll find a flaw in the argument that Obama is both a socialist and a fascist! :P