Category: Whimsy

What D&D Character Are You?

Me, well…if the shoe fits. I’m a little hefty to be an elf, though.

I Am A: Lawful Good Elf Cleric (6th Level)

Ability Scores:

Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Attack of the Straw Daleks

So an ice cream shop in England decided to make a 35-foot tall dalek out of straw, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who. Apparently Snugbury’s has been making these sculptures for years; and the kicker is that if they hadn’t done a dalek this year, they were going to do the newly born royal prince.

As one of the headlines I saw says, “ExSTRAWminate!”

(Hat tip to my lovely sister-in-law, who pointed me at this.)

Santa Dalek

Courtesy of my son James.

Santa dalek

A Treasure, I Say!

Dr. Boli is a treasure.

Oh! I feel as if I have seen heaven opened, and heard the song the janitor whistles as he scrubs the gates of pearl to a more than lustrous shine!


Christmas with a Dalek

Because you’ve all been very naughty, here’s a song from the 1960’s: Christmas with a Dalek.

The Can-Opener

When I was in college, I got a degree in Economics, much to my lasting surprise. Here is the deepest, truest thing I learned about economics in four years of study—not the only thing, but the essential point, not to be forgotten.

Once an engineer, a physicist, and an economist were stranded on a desert island with only a cigarette lighter and a can of tuna fish. The engineer quickly gathered driftwood and built a fire, but the can of tuna fish presented a problem. They sat around the fire and discussed strategies for opening it as they got hungrier and hungrier.

The engineer said, “I know! There are some sharp rocks over there. I’ll go grab one, and bash at the can until it breaks open.”

The physicist said, “No, no, no, you’re working too hard. Just put the can in the fire. The heat will make the contents expand, and eventually the can will burst open.”

The economist just chuckled and shook his head, and said, “You’re both working too hard. First, you assume a can-opener!”

Those who might contest this can go look at Exhibit A, in which a finanical analyst discusses the problem of trusting financial models with shaky foundations.

A New Epic Trilogy

This morning Jane was washing her hair and asked me to hand her the two towels over there. As I did so, it occurred to me that there was the matter for an epic trilogy here:

  • The Bathtub of the Ring
  • The Two Towels
  • The Return of the Sink

Speaking of which, on Monday they start doing the prep work for installing the cabinets in our kitchen.

Knee-Deep in the Zeitgeist

It occurred to me the other day that Knee-Deep in the Zeitgeist would be a great name (or subtitle) for a Catholic blog that tries to engage the culture. It appears (following a quick Google search) that no one is using it.


Overheard in the car on the way home from Mother’s Day dinner:

No one expects the princess inquisition!

The Old Man in the Hat Comes Back

Quite a few years ago now, when I was reading Dr. Suess to my kids on a regular basis, I was also reading The Lord of the Rings, and somehow I begin work on a little bit of epic poetry, to wit, The Old Man in the Hat Comes Back. I hadn’t thought about it in years, when something brought it to mind yesterday; and honestly, it’s better than I remembered. The scansion is a little forced here and there, and stumbles completely in one or two places, but on the whole I’m rather pleased.

The poem runs from just after the Unexpected Party until the hobbits reach Rivendell. And here you go!

We had no time for adventures
We had smoke-rings to tend.
It was time for some pipeweed
At the door of Bag End.

When old Bilbo left town
With a bang for a joke,
He said we should always
Think of him and smoke.
“Somebody, SOMEBODY
Has to, you see.”
Then he picked out two somebodies,
Samwise and me.

There we were,
We were smoking like that
And then who should come up
But the old MAN IN THE HAT!

“Oh, no,” Samwise said,
“Don’t stay here on the mat.
That old man is a bad one,
That man in the hat.
He’s lost lots of young hobbits.
Don’t you let him come near.
You know who he took
The last time he was here.”

“Taking hobbits?” the man laughed,
“Oh, my, my! No, no, no.
There are just one or two facts
That I’d like to know.
So sit there and smoke
While we talk about things
Like your good uncle Bilbo
And the location of Rings.”

“I’m sorry,” I said,
“That we can’t stay and chat.”
And a smile crossed the lips
Of the Old Man in the Hat.
Came a bang and a flash
And I knew nothing more
Till we woke up in Bree
With Black Wraiths at the door.

Awakened we were
By a long-legged bloke
With a weather-creased face
And a funny green cloak.
“You’ll have to move quickly,”
The weathered bloke said,
“If you don’t want to wind up
Beheaded in bed.

“The hat man just couldn’t
Be with you today.
But I’ll help you out,
I am Ranger Man A.
I dwell in the wilds,
In forest and fen,
But I come back to Bree
For a wash now and then.”

Sam didn’t like him,
But what could we do?
Of pipes we had plenty,
But of weapons, too few.
Pipeweed is potent,
It’s powerful stuff
But it isn’t much use
Against wraiths playing rough.

The Ranger Man told us
Just how to proceed
As we got our belongings
And our pouches of weed.
“You can’t ignore Wraiths,
It’s not good for your health.
The way you get Wraiths
Off your tail is by stealth!”

So we tried to be secret.
We tried to be stealthy.
We wandered through swamps
That I’m sure were not healthy.
And the wet! O the wet!
I felt just like a newt!
Sam had moss in his hair,
And mildew on each foot.

Just when Sam and I thought
We would never get dry,
Our ranger man said,
“The Great Road is close by.
The Black Wraiths will be near,”
Said the A man to me,
“This is where is we must cross,
And I hope they won’t see.”

But although we used stealth
The Black Wraiths were not slowed.
There were five of the things
Keeping watch on the Road.
We jogged on with great care,
We climbed out of the damp,
And the wraiths were upon
Us before we made camp.

“Escaping these wraiths
Will be hard,” said our guide.
“I can’t do it alone,
I must swallow my pride.
At least I have someone
To help me,” he said,
“Right here in my hat
On the top of my head.

“This is Elven-lord G,
And I keep him about,
And when I need help,
Then I let him come out.”
And there on the top
Of his head stood an elf.
It’s hard to believe,
Though I say so myself.

The elf looked around
From his spot on A’s head.
“You’ve got a bad case
of the Wraiths,” the elf said.
“These Wraiths are a problem.
They stick to you like glue.
And you can’t knock ’em loose
Once they have you in view.

“So if you’ve got Wraiths,
The best thing’s a fast steed.
The way to get Wraiths
Off your tail is by speed!
Now be off,” said the elf,
“You’ve no reason to stay.”
He swept off his hat,
“This is Elven-horse A.”

“Not A!” cried out Sam,
“That’s the Ranger Man’s name.
We can’t have two As!
They can’t both be the same.”
“We’ve no time for your quibbles!”
The Ranger Man yelled.
“It’s his fleetness that matters,
Not how his name’s spelled!”

I don’t know just how,
But A got the horse down,
And he put us on top,
And he said with a frown,
“Now ride for the fords,
Ride fast and don’t stop it,
Or the wraiths they will catch you
And dine on smoked hobbit!”

Then Elven-horse A
Shot away like an arrow,
And we raced through the trees
But our lead was too narrow.
Sam held on with both hands,
And I cried for more speed,
And I wished I was home
With a pipe full of weed.

We crossed over the fords
And we both held on tight,
And when we touched shore
The whole river ran white!

The Wraiths were swept under,
Their horses were gone!
“They won’t be back soon,”
Said a voice, with a yawn.
“Black wraiths are no problem,
They can’t abide mud.
The way to get wraiths
Off your tail’s with a flood!”

The voice was attached
To an elf on the bank.
He lowered his hands
As the floodwaters shrank.
“You don’t know who I am
(And there’s so much to tell!);
I am Elrond Half-Elven.
–My friends call me L.”

“But he cannot be L,”
Sam said, “That cannot be.
If this horse here is A,
Then he ought to be E!”

“That is true,” said the Elf,
“You are wise, for a Sam.
But E was my sire,
And also my dam.
There already were two
In my family named E,
So my parents chose L
For my brother and me.”

That’s it. Sigh.

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