Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stupid Hobgoblin Jokes

For the record, I absolutely do NOT endorse jokes targeting an individual’s race or ethnicity or any such thing, so don’t interpret today’s post as some subtle offhanded slight to whatever group you feel inclined to include. It is meant to be a completely silly post. Nothing more. But the fact remains, due to increased sensitivities of the public at large, we (all of us) can no longer poke fun at anyone without being branded insensitive or worse. So, to rectify that problem I give you ten Stupid Hobgoblin Jokes (be warned, I am not a particularly skilled joke crafter. These jokes are really awful, and I mean really awful), because hobgoblins don’t exist, and even if they did, they’d be too stupid to recognize that they were being made fun of.

 

1. What do you call 1000 hobgoblins at the bottom of the ocean?
–A good start.

2. What do you call 999 hobgoblins at the bottom of the ocean?
–One short of a thousand.

3. An orc, a troglodyte, and a hobgoblin walk into a restaurant. The waiter asks: What will you have?
–The orc says, “An elf.” The troglodyte says, “A human.” The hobgoblin says, “I already ate.”

4. An orc, a troglodyte, and a hobgoblin walk into a bar. The bartender asks: What will you have?
–The orc says, “Elf juice.” The troglodyte says, “A Bloody Mary.” The hobgoblin says, “I’ll have what they’re having.” Then, he steals the drinks and runs away.

5. An orc, a troglodyte, and a hobgoblin step onto a train. The conductor says to the orc, “You have to pay ten dollars.” The orc says, “What? Ten dollars? Never.” And he steps off the train. The conductor says to the troglodyte, “You have to pay thirty dollars.” The troglodyte says, “What? Thirty dollars? Ridiculous.” Grumbling, he fishes in his pocket for the money, hands it to the conductor, and takes his seat. The conductor says to the hobgoblin, “You have to pay twenty dollars.” The hobgoblin says, “What? Pay?”

6. How many hobgoblins does it take to screw in a light bulb?
–Two. One to screw it in, and one to bash it to bits when the light comes on.

7. How many hobgoblins does it take to screw in a light bulb?
–Silly question. Light bulbs weren’t around when hobgoblins lived.

8. What’s a hobgoblin’s favorite dessert?
–Blood Pudding.

9. Why did the hobgoblin get arrested after visiting the graveyard?
–He ripped apart all the gravestones.

10. Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
A hobgoblin.
A hobgoblin who?
Who? Me?

If you have any Stupid Hobgoblin Jokes you’d like to share, just tack ‘em on in the comments. Finally, I’ve set up a poll so you can give me feedback on the quality of these jokes: Stupid Hobgoblin Jokes Poll. The poll will stay active until 8/29/2013.

Fantasy Literature: Mail and Armor

Did you know that ring mail never existed (according to Wikipedia)? It’s a myth fabricated by gamers or someone. Actually, I think I read once that it was a result of misinterpretation of artists’ renderings of chain mail from the Middle Ages. Actually, to be very precise, I’ve also heard it said that chain mail really shouldn’t be called chain mail, just mail, because that’s all there was. Of course, us AD&D players of yesteryear all “know” that armor comes in many varieties: There’s leather, studded leather, ring mail, scale mail, chain mail, splint mail, banded mail, and plate mail, not to mention field plate and full plate. Apparently, a good number of those never really existed: ring mail and possibly banded mail … or are just names for the same basic thing: splint mail and plate mail. For myself, I never quite understood the difference between field plate and full plate … I mean, aren’t they both basically a full suit of armor? I was also kind of unclear on splint mail and banded mail. Fortunately, since banded mail might not even really exist (Wikipedia) and splint mail is the same as plate mail, I don’t have much to worry about.

 

But is that true? Why shouldn’t I worry? All those armors listed above are common fare in most roleplaying games and many fantasy stories. I could write a story in which most everyone was decked out in chain mail or plate, but, at a certain point, wouldn’t that be kind of boring. Ring mail never existed. So what? I’m a writer of fantasy literature, high fantasy if you will. My story world is richer because I opt to include ring mail and all the other types of armor listed. I also read somewhere that the weight of armor is reasonably well-distributed across the body so it’s not as heavy as many people make it out to be. A knight really doesn’t need a winch or whatever to mount his horse. He probably can’t go swimming in it still, but he can move around a battlefield with relative ease. He can even run in it. I think that bit of detail I will keep for the armor in my worlds. It’s good to remember and know. But I feel I have free license to add in ring mail and banded mail and even, if I desire, to create some entirely original armor of my own design. That could be cool. It’s fantasy, after all. There are no limits except the ones you impose.

 

So, what do you think? Should a writer limit him/herself to just the types of armor that actually existed? Or should he/she exercise some poetic license?

Old Movie Review: The Monk (2011)

My friend and I rented “The Monk” (rated R) because it sounded kind of intriguing: A mix of medieval monks, mystery, and sin. The basic plot is that the main character, Ambrosio, is abandoned at the doorstep of a monastery as a child and raised as a strict Capuchin monk. He grows up into a fervent disciple of Christ, renowned for his splendid, inspiring sermons and his great faith. Then, he gets involved with a woman and everything goes to pot (That’s putting it mildly). It is quite a spectacular fall from grace. The most holy monk of his order goes on to commit a whole litany of sins: fornication, incest, and finally murder.

 

Overall, the movie was interesting; it kept me engaged even though it was a foreign film and all in subtitles. I’m not sure if I should be annoyed at the portrayal of the religious here (I was raised Catholic). It’s set in the 17th century and the church did do some nasty things (like the Inquisition) in medieval times. Still, I don’t know if they would have starved a nun to death for getting pregnant. Maybe they would have. I don’t know (They certainly wouldn’t do that today!). Anyway, they are portrayed as very strict and sometimes, as in the above example, cruel and heartless. That was the backdrop of the movie, and it makes Ambrosio’s ultimate hypocrisy all the more profound. Satan makes a couple of appearances in the film. There’s dark magic, ghostly apparitions, and profound vice. All the elements of a twisted tale, and a twisted tale it was.

 

Strengths: the acting was good, the script, although twisted, was coherent and logically sound (assuming you accept the premise of Satan, Satanic witches, and what have you). The downfall of the Monk was portrayed quite well. Weaknesses: I think I saw every one of the twists in the movie coming. I mean, they were good twists, it’s just that they were kind of predictable. Again, I remain ambivalent about the portrayal of the church, but since I’m really not up on the history, I can’t really formalize a complaint. Also, the special effects were kind of lacking. I’ve said it before, special effects alone will not make a movie, but they can add to it. Here, they were obviously low budget and not very impressive. Finally, the ending was a little unclear to me. Part of me (most of me) is convinced that Satan wins, but there is a last fleeting image before the credits that made me wonder.

 

Anyway, I’ll give “The Monk” three and a half, or maybe four, out of five stars.

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Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #20

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, comes to an end today. It is  July 19th, the last day of the tour.  Today

we have: Andi’s Book Reviews (http://andisbookreviews.blogspot.com/) Please check them out and show them your support.

 

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

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Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #19

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until July 19th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today

we have: Straight from the Library (http://straightfromlibrary.blogspot.com/) Please check them out and show them your support.

 

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

Movie Review: The Heat

“The Heat” is the latest movie featuring Sandra Bullock. In it, she plays a somewhat arrogant, uptight FBI agent named Ashburn. She’s due for a promotion, but all the other agents don’t like her. She’s a smug know-it-all, and her captain knows it. So, instead of promoting her right away, he gives her a mission to prove her worth; he sends her to Boston to find a drug lord. There she partners up with Detective Mullins (played by Melissa McCarthy), a foul-mouthed, street-fighting, rough and tumble cop.

 

In the beginning, the two do not get along very well. Ashburn steals Mullins’ parking space, and then her case. But Mullins will have none of that. She tries to threaten her way back onto the case—which was originally hers—steals an FBI file, and generally goes about driving Ashburn nuts. Eventually, their superiors pair them together whether they like it or not and they go about looking for the drug lord, fighting all the way. Eventually, though, things smooth out and they become friends. The plot revolves around the ruthless drug lord, a mole in one of the various law enforcement departments, and the developing friendship between Ashburn and Mullins. There’s a few explosions, a few people being shot, and other typical cop-movie activities.

 

Strengths: the acting was good. The characterization was good. The storyline flowed together well; there were no obvious logical flaws that I saw; and there was plenty of humor. Weaknesses: I’m of mixed minds about the profanity. I just get tired of every other word being an f-bomb. That said, the profanity did serve to characterize Mullins quite well, so perhaps it was necessary. There was also a brief spat where Ashburn swore up a storm, which was kind of humorous. And, again, served the needs of the story. Still, it seemed to be overdone some. Also, the character Sandra Bullock played (Ashburn) was unfortunately similar to the character she played in Miss Congeniality years ago. I’m not sure if that’s a weakness or not. There was also a twist in the movie—not one that was too shocking—actually, it was more an evolution of the plot than an actual twist. You knew there was a mole, revealing who it was wasn’t really too shocking. Anyway, although there were no major flaws in the movie, it never gripped me.

 

Ultimately, I will give “The Heat” a rating of three and a half stars out of five.

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Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #18

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until July 19th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today

we have: Melissa MacKinnon | Author (http://melissamackinnon.wordpress.com/) Please check them out and show them your support.

 

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

BBT Drasmyr Banner

Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #17

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until July 19th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today

we have: All in One Place (http://www.kvlovesbooks.blogspot.co.uk/) Please check them out and show them your support.

 

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

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Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #16–(5* Review)

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until July 19th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today

we have: Dalene’s Book Reviews (http://dalenesbookreviews.blogspot.com/) Please check them out and show them your support. (I got a five star review today!)

 

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

I saw the original “Despicable Me” a number of years ago as a rental at a friend’s house. I remember that I enjoyed the movie, but I don’t remember many of the details: only that the main character, the arch-villain, Gru, had a grand scheme to steal the moon. That, and he turned out to be a decent guy because he started to raise three young girls. “Despicable Me 2” takes up where “Despicable Me” left off. Gru (Steve Carell) is now raising the young girls and has given up his life of crime to try his hand at business (he makes really bad jams and jellies). But he is neither fit for nor destined for the life of a common businessman. It is not long before he encounter Lucy (Kristen Wiig) from the AVL (Anti-Villain League). She captures him and drags him off to a meeting with the AVL. They want to recruit him to help them recapture a powerful chemical that transforms living creatures into horrible monsters. At first, he says no, but eventually he comes around and agrees to the mission.

 

The story is pretty basic from there: Gru and Lucy are assigned to work together to reclaim the secret chemical compound. They investigate a mall. After a few misadventures, Gru identifies the culprit. Unfortunately, this evil super-villain takes Lucy hostage and Gru is forced to brave his fortress where he has assembled a virtual army of indestructible monsters harvested from Gru’s own vast collection of minions. I’ll leave the rest to surprise the reader.

 

Strengths: I always enjoy a good kid’s movie. The animation was good. The characters were cute, humorous, and likeable. The storyline held together; there were no logical flaws that I saw on a first viewing, and things were wrapped up nicely. Weaknesses: My biggest complaint with the movie was some of the crude humor. For example, there was a fart gun. It’s hardly a big issue, but, really, I’ve noticed in a number of kid’s movies that we have been reduced to entertaining our children with references to noisome bodily functions. Can’t they come up with something a little more … I don’t know, wholesome, maybe. Must we act like kids to entertain our kids? There were also a couple of veiled sexual references that kids wouldn’t get, but adults would. I suppose it’s supposed to be adult humor, but to me it strikes me more like adolescent humor. Again, can’t we do better? Can’t we do something that is actually clever? That said, those were minor weaknesses. Another weakness was that for some reason or other, the story just didn’t grip me too much. I usually enjoy kid’s movies, but this one was lacking something, I just don’t know what.

 

Overall, I’ll give it three, maybe three and a half, stars out of five.