Category Archives: lord of the rings

Come on – you knew it would happen at some point…

Can I experiencing anything in life and not draw parallels from Lord of the Rings? Probably not.

I was thinking about going with a Mt. Rainier climbing expedition as my example, but before prattling on about different base-camps, distances, and such, I would have needed to do research.  For me – no additional research needed for LOTR.

So, lets face it, the first 4 months were phenomenal.  In January, we had some 2011 carryover money that produced momentum. February through April, we had extra funds come in from big jobs, we had off the charts Craigslist sales, and we scratched out what felt like a multitude of small little orcs that were nipping at our heals. After that we had a hefty HVAC that took longer than we expected, but still – somewhat manageable on momentum and hope alone.

NOW, we get to the difficult part.  Similar to Frodo and the Fellowship which soon became just Frodo and Sam – it was a difficult journey, but doable.  With friendship and supplies, energy and hope, they managed.  But at some point, they got through the walls of Mordor and stared out at the wasteland in front of them, and up at the looming Mt. Doom.

It’s at this point in the story that I feel we find ourselves.  We are staring out at the wasteland called “My Graduate School Loan.”  It’s the biggest amount we owe.  It has the highest interest rate.  When we pay – it feels like most money goes toward interest, and just a little leftover drivel hits the principle.

Added to this we are in May, 30 days from June. From past history, this is the ‘slow time of year’ for my husband.

What will be our lembus bread and memories of the taste of strawberries?  What will keep us going? Probably the Dave Ramsey Show, seeing the eventual tipping of the scales on principle to interest, as well as encouraging words from friends.

This little hobbit is ready to be off riding on the back of an Eagle, seeing Mt. Doom fade in the distance.  But that my friends is still months off.



Filed under debt, grad school, lord of the rings, tolkien

Good, Evil, and In between?

I was spending some time thinking about the types of stories and tales I like. If you have known me for any length of time (or don’t know me buy regularly read this blog) its pretty obvious. I like stories with epic history. Stories of fantasy. Stories of the unbelievable. Stories of mystery.

Here is a short list of the stories I have been into:

The Chronicles of Narnia
Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Lord of the Rings

I have also been known to enjoy StarTrek (specifically TNG) and a little Stargate SG-9 (come on! It has “Macgyver”)

Anyway, I digress. Something I have been thinking about it how good and evil is portrayed in these stories. Some have very distinct Good and Evil. Characters are on one side or the other. The “moral compass” of the story is very defined and unmovable. Others lean towards clear definition, but make use of the gray. Others have characters running around making “in between” decisions based on what ever seems right in that moment. There is some type of vague moral compass, but it is extremely hard to define. And still others are almost purposely completely undefined (or perhaps upside down) with all characters moving to the center, none completely good or innocent, none completely evil.

Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia fall into the first category. Good/Evil exist and each character is on one side or the other.

I think Harry Potter falls into the second group. There is a clear defined evil, but the “clear defined good” is less evident. Good characters are allowed to make sketchy moral choices for the “greater good.”

I would put LOST and Alias in the third category. We want to believe that there is definite good and evil, but when good characters make evil choices or evil characters make choices to help others, it is hard to hold firm to the idea that there is definition. In the end, there may be good and evil in these stories, but both sides are making decisions that not in line with the side each character is “committed” to.

Finally, I would put Pirates of the Caribbean in the last category. The premise of the story (Pirates – come on PIRATES – are “good”?) wants us to believe that questionable characters are the heroes. Throughout the three movies good characters become bad, bad characters become good, and then they don’t stay there, they switch again. This is done so often, all characters have moved to the same grey moral center where there is no longer definition. Can Davy Jones even be “evil?” He is simply a heartbroken man…and the excuses roll on.

So yeah, Its interesting that the two mythic stories by Christian authors are the two in the above example where good and evil are clearly defined. And in addition to that, in myth, if there is clear good and clear evil, is it not typical that the good will prevail? Arguably, they are two opposites, but not equal in strength. Good verses Evil, but in stories Good wins. Good is stronger. Yet, as clearly seen in LotR & CoN humanity is NOT the source of Good.

Anyway, I was just thinking about the similarities and differences in the stories I like. I am greatly encouraged that of all the stories, it is the clearly defined good that defeats the clearly defined and weaker evil that I like the best.
Don’t we all?

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Filed under good vs. evil, harry potter, literature, lord of the rings, lost, movie, narnia, tv

I could be spending my time better

but it would not be as fun.


Filed under lord of the rings, movie

Happy Birthday!

to the Baggins


Filed under lord of the rings, movie

More pictures

This at dinner on the first night in London. I ordered Fish and Chips with a side of mushy peas. It was very good. I honestly wish I could have fish and chips for lunch today.

This is one of my favorite photos. It was taken from our trip to Westminster. I am not sure if these guys are washing the windows of the Parliament building or not. If it is parliament, then I think I pointed out the wrong building in a perivious post. I just thought it looked cool.

This photo has an entire story attached. We were in Cambridge looking at, I believe Trinity College. I guess Eric Little (from the chariots of fire story) ran around the quad at Trinity College. So we made someone from our group run around it. He was a little over halfway when the security guys stopped him. It a pretty funny sight to see. As we were watching him run, we could see the little guys across the way starting to head him off and talking into their radios. I guess as he got closer to them he yelled “I am doing Chariots of Fire” the guys yelled back “we don’t care!” They took him into their office and made him say “I am sorry, I will never do it again.” then they let him go. This photo is right before he started running. I have one of the guys heading him off, but it is really far away and the people are so small.

This was at Warwick castle. The little British kids were so cute!

This is another favorite picture. Conwy castle is the “the castle by the sea” I like to call it Cair Paravel.

At Conwy, we got to climb many of the towers.

This is a picture from our hike in the mountains of Wales. It really did feel like being in Lord of the Rings.


Filed under friends, funny, lord of the rings, pictures, travel, uk & ireland


we are now in dublin. went to st. patricks cathedral this morning and are heading out to a pub to see some irish dancing tonight.

the trip has been amazing and it has been a wonderful suprize sharing it with such good new friends.

to top it all off, only on a trip like this do you find time to watch the first to parts of Lord of the Rings after spending two days hiking in the welsh mountians scrambling up hills like the fellowship.

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Filed under friends, lord of the rings, uk & ireland

Go Mariners!

Yes, I realize in a week or so, the M’s will not be playing anymore, but this evening, I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to the mariners game. Right now, it is 2 outs bottom of the 8th and the M’s are beating the Chicago White Soxs 10-6.

I love studying while listening to a baseball game on the radio. If I did not have too much homework, had more money, and if the weather was better, I may have even tried to go to one of the games tomorrow or Sunday afternoon. Some of my friends are going down town tomorrow, but I have a paper to be writing.

Thanks to those who have been praying for my head. It was considerably better today.

Only 8 more days until the Hawks play here. I wanted to go, but its too expensive.
AND only 12 Days until the NHL season begins. GO OILERS!

Finally, Happy Hobbit Day! Yes today is Bilbo & Frodo Baggins’ birthdays.


Filed under baseball, hockey, lord of the rings, sports, tolkien

There is Still Hope

As I was just shutting down a word program, my computer played the sound clip it always plays.

From Lord of the Rings, I believe the speaker is Arwen. She says “There is still hope!”

This evening it reminded me that in reference to the previous post, all is not lost.

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Filed under hope, lord of the rings

More pictures

Here are a couple of other things I made that I have hanging in my bathroom. They are from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

The first is a calligraphy piece of some of the most famous lines from the book. His words, my attempt at “artistic” representation of them.

The second is map of Middle Earth. This map is a copy of the official map that was created for the movie. I drew it, but I simply re-drew the picture to the best of my ability. Neither the layout of the land, nor the artistry of it are my ideas. Those belong to Mr. Tolkien & Daniel Reeve (the official The Lord of the Rings movie calligrapher & cartographer)

Finally, Go Seahawks!!!!!


Filed under art, lord of the rings, pictures

Middle Earth

Thought this quiz was fun.


Find out what Middle Earth race you are by clicking here.


Filed under lord of the rings