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January 03, 2005

It's JRR Tolkein's Eleventy-Third Birthday

Born January 3rd, 1892.

Was there anything cooler than getting that four-volume boxed set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that Christmas way back in nineteen-eighty-mumblemumble? I don't think so. Ripped through all four books in a week and a half.

True enough, I had to skip all the poetry and skim massive amounts of the book -- certain parts of The Two Towers and Return of the King remain a mystery to me; if I hadn't seen the movies, I don't think I'd know what "Osgiliath" or "Cirith Ungol" were -- but I did get the basics of it, i.e., they win the war and Gollum falls into the fire.

And also, that Tom Bombadil was very proud of his bright yellow boots.

My comprehension of the last two books of the trilogy was much like Woody Allen's comprehension of War and Peace, which he read via the speed-reading technique. His summary: "It's about Russia."

And for me, the last two books were about the Elf and the Dwarf comparing bodycounts, Sam kissing Frodo's brow (and cheek, and...), and Frodo complaining every three minutes how heavy the ring weighed upon his neck, which, frankly, I think he just said to get in some more kissing-time with Sam.

Via The Corner.

Correction: It's his eleventy-third birthday, apparently, as Bruce informs me.

Geek Smackdown: Correction to the Correction! Bithead will have none of that, as he apparently is consulting an Elvish calendar:

Not really, Bruce.

The Hobbit cal had30 days for every month. Over the 100 years, that makes a third of a year difference.

Girls buy shoes. This, on the other hand, is what guys do, whether it's sports or Star Trek.


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