Friday, July 30, 2004

Moving and Writing

Hey all, I'm on my way to school for a calculus test and then it's moving time. Yay! Or not yay! Really, booo!

My article is nearly ready to go and after it is finished I'll start a new post for Tazmy's Pensieve. HBP II and Snape and the Order II are my top priorities after In a way I'm glad that I didn't write HBP II yet so I could get all the juicy information that Rowling has supplied us with. Mainly, that I was right about Tom not being the HBP. Hurray!

In the meantime, you should all check out a recent editorial on Mugglenet called A father's perspective JoEllen sent it to me. It's a bit corny in the sense that if someone actually talked like, the chances of the kid listening is not terribly high. However, it's got some nice insights on lessons to be learned.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Bush vs. Kerry

Seeing as how the Democratic Convention is taking place this week, I thought I would share a few political thoughts. I know many of you don't live in the US, and that most of you probably could careless what I have to say, but I feel better when I share my opinion. That's right, I'm just being selfish.

So I'm all for Kerry and completely against Bush. Actually, I'm for neither party when it comes to their abortion politics because I think that both movements are completely missing the point. However, I think abortion is used to polarize the cadidates and that it shouldn't be as politicized as it is. People are voting for Bush because he is anti-abortion even though they disagree with everything else that he does. That's drives me nuts. This one leader has been responsible for so much pain and death, how can anyone vote for him?

I'm not even talking about the overseas stuff; I am talking about all of the stuff here in the US. His "Leave No Child Behind Act" serves only to leave behind children in the lower socio-economic strata. His health care changes have made it so insurance companies get to keep large amounts of money while lower to middle income families struggle to pay new bills. Many types of ailments and surgeries are no longer "in-patient" care covered at a 90 to 100% coverage but are now "out-patient" care covered at a much lower percentage. I know. My parents both had surgeries that were once "in-patient" and got turned to "out-patient" and they are still struggling to pay the new bills. To make matters worse, the insurance companies are now charging such a large rate that my dad can barely pay the premiums. He is a teacher and the budget cuts have forced him to pay larger amounts of his health care as well.

Oh yes, let us not forget about the whole blocking people from getting to the polls thing. How the hey did he not get forced out of office for that??? I saw only a few clips on the news, so it's hard for me to link you to the information. Quick summary from what I understand: the National Guard in Florida was used to stop people from getting to the polls. They told them they had to go across the way to another district and then when they reached the other district, the other district sent them back. The long and short, people in lower socio-economic areas that were highly democratic and "non-white" were not allowed to vote in the 2000 election. Last I heard the NAACP sued over this, but I don't know how it turned out. How was this allowed to go on? Why did the news have so few clips about it? I know I saw those clips and I assume they are accurate, anyone else heard anything about this? I'm scoping old archives right now to see how vaild all of this is. (edit--can only see beginning of articles. Many seem to back me up, but I can't tell. here's a link to one... )

What's more, here are three frightening words for you: The Patriot Act. Can anyone else scream. Now here I get to bash Kerry for a while. What the hell? He is for continuing the Patriot Act with some changes? That sounds scary. We don't want to vote Kerry in to continue Bush's legacy, we want him to end it!

However, I must still say Kerry is the better candidate. I believe he will improve the current education system (which is quickly plunging into a dark void) and I believe that he will do more for health care. At least he's never been accused of going AWOL and he did serve his time in Vietnam while still coming back and saying something like "I did what I was ordered to, but it wasn't right." I can honor that!

As for everyone saying he goes back and forth on all his decisions, everything I've read up on shows that he says a preliminary "I will vote for that but only if..." and then when no one agrees to the terms he does exactly what he said he would do under such circumstances and votes against it.

As for my other reason for voting for Kerry, well that is simple. Our reputation is tarnished and our national debt is substantial. We need a new face to replenish our image and our resources. There is more to life and community than business.

Okay, I've said my peace. Don't bash me too much.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Not Tom Riddle, thank heavens!

Well the news is out, Tom Riddle is NOT the Half Blood Prince. Hooray! This is according to the FAQ site on Rowlings site. That's one of my theories proven true! I was so hoping that Rowling would not go this route. So now the questions continue, who oh who could it be?

I was re-reading Book One this last week for my article. (Yay!) I discovered no less than three points that can lead to Dumbledore being a Half Blood. I'm not saying that he is (in fact I don't think he is the HBP, however) Most of the hints come from Dumbledore's knowledge/interest in the muggleworld. He's always understood both sides of the fence as it were. When he lists his favorite things on his wizard card, the items sound rather muggle-ish. Just like his taste for lemon drops. It's not much to go on, and hardly proof, but it does open some possibilities.

As for the identity of the HBP, I finally made it on to Rowling's site this morning to check out the article for myslef. It sounds as if noone in Book Two is the HBP. The most likely possibility is that it is someone we have not met yet. So much for all those Burrow articles?

I am still working on my article, while moving, so I can't write down anymore on this now. I'll have something up on Sunday for sure (if not before).

In other news, I have just signed on as Volunteer Coordinator for an anime convention (Anonymouse is heading it up and I want to help out). Kumoricon is a Pacific NW convention held in Portland, Oregon this September (Labor Day weekend). Check out the site if you live anywhere near the area. We could use some more preregistrations and some more volunteers! :) (Go shameless plugs!)

In other news, Wierd Al is coming to Eugene, Oregon this Wednesday. I am excited!

Well I guess that's it. Unless anyone wants to randomly give me $600? *Shrugs* Didn't think so.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Debunking Another Snape Theory and
A Whole Lot of Other Dribble

Wow, blogger changed it's format! This is nice. Okay, okay...Not what I am here to talk about.

First of all, THANK YOU to Mugglenet for publishing my "What is Snape Doing for the Order of the Phoenix" article. Regulars on this site probably realized that this is an old article I wrote nearly one year ago. That's right, it was written quite a bit ago and Book Five was fresh in my memory. I'm not sure why Mugglenet took over nine months to publish it, I'm just glad they did. The problem is that this article failed to take into account one possibility. (I actually had many ideas to add but an article can only be so long!)

Many have written in to ask if Snape could have been in the circle of Death Eaters. I'm not going to outright say no, but I am going to say "unlikely". To leave everyone there would be unfair so I plan to write a part II to this essay. I will write down the reasons why it could be and then follow with the reasons on why I don't buy it.

When will this post and the many others I have promised come out? I'm hoping for one every two weeks as I'm back in HP mode and excited. However, I have been approached by to write some Harry Potter reviews for them! If it all goes well, you should see them up on their site soon. The thing is (the reason for the however) that this is a great opportunity so it will be getting my highest priority right now.

On another note, THANK YOU to Greg for once again mentioning my site and my Snape article. I don't know if I have a gig with Mugglenet, but I did get my article posted nine months after sending it in. (I take it they have no shortage of articles...)

For those of you wondering why I haven't written anything for The Burrow lately, I haven't really received any assignments. I don't know what is happening. It's probably for the best since I have lots that I want to write here and other places. Maybe I will still get some guest editorials up?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Discovering The Half Blood Prince:
Part I

Those of you who have visited the forum probably know that I haven't read anyone's articles on the Half Blood Prince. Half of this is because I wanted to make sure that whatever I wrote down was something I came up with, and the other part was that I wanted a clear head in thinking about who it is. I do, however, give credit to those who were on the boards, as I could not help but read their ideas. Now, at last, I have finally forced myself to sit down and write my own predictions on who this mysterious character, entity, or persona could be.

I have decided not to write an article about a particular person as there are plenty of articles out there who have done much more research than I myself am going to do for this post. Instead, I am going to sum up the whole of my thoughts in this area. Part I will deal with debunking the Tom Riddle theory (even if it is Rowling's route) and lining up suspects. Part II will begin more generalizations and redefinitions.

First, let's start by examining what I think is the most likely reference that the Half Blood Prince refers to, that being the person Tom Riddle versus the persona of Voldemort. The reasons that I give this the most likely emphasis is because Book Two was all about Tom Riddle and his role as the heir of Slytherin. I know that Rowling has said that it is neither Voldemort nor Harry, but it can be argued that Tom Riddle is one of Voldemort's personas and therefore not Tom Riddle himself. In the books we are even given an example of this when Dobby comes to visit Harry in Little Whinging.

”Hang on—this hasn't got anything to do with Vol---sorry--with You-Know-Who, has it? You could just shake or nod,” he added hastily as Dobby's head tilted worryingly close to the wall again.
Slowly, Dobby shook his head.
”Not—not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, sir--”
Book Two, Page 17, US Edition

As we know, the plot did have something to do with Tom Riddle in the end, but supposedly Dobby said no because Tom had yet to become He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. However, I must point out that this is shabby evidence at best for it to be Tom Riddle. Why? I think Dobby was only able to shake his head no because of the way in which Harry had refered to him. If Harry had kept on with just naming Voldemort, than Dobby could not have shook his head no. As we see at the end of Book Two, Tom Riddle has already taken the name of Voldemort upon himself and the two are now indistinguishable if ever there was a time that they were distinguished.

So I started this part out by saying that Tom Riddle was the most likely choice for Rowling to name the Half Blood Prince after. I really don't intend to waste your time by naming each piece of evidence that supports this. Let it suffice to say that Riddle is a Half Blood leading Pure Bloods and the subject of Book Two. Rowling has said that Book Two carries many hints towards Book Six and that Book Six contains a lot of which she would have put in Book Two, but it didn't fit. However, keep in mind that this does not mean that Book Two must show us the Half Blood Prince, for a hint may be a hint but she may have taken out a whole character if they were better suited to enter later.

While the chances of it being Tom Riddle are high, I must now plead with Rowling not to go with this (dare I say corny?) route. If she does, she will have to convince me that this was a feasible plan, and that won't be easy.
So without to much ado, let us now talk about why Voldemort and Tom Riddle are indeed the same person and not likely to part company anytime soon. First, Tom Riddle chose to be Voldemort like from an early age. Already in Book Two he had fashioned himself a new name, and for all we know he may have fashioned it long before he was was a teenager. His choices were clear, and nothing, absolutely nothing about him tells us that he would wish to be anything else.

I do not believe that Tom became Voldemort but rather Tom embraced the part of him that was Voldemort. Anything left that was not Voldemort I believed has already died by now. For even Hagrid tells us in Book One that he believes there wasn't enough human left in Voldemort to die. What's more he fed off unicorns and entered a cursed life. No, if Tom Riddle was ever separate from Voldemort, that part is dead. There is no way it could live among such evil. I've always said there is always hope for someone, but it stands to reason that Voldemort is no longer truly a someone.

(Note: Where Book Two would have us believe that Harry Potter and Tom Riddle were similar characters, separated by their choices, I maintain that Harry and Tom were very different before they ever made their choices. For Harry could always look back at his parents and think of love; Tom may have looked back at his mother with love but was always haunted by his father's abandonment. A very different starting place.)

A last note on the Tom Riddle issue is that the fall of Grindelwald is close to when Tom would have been in the process of becoming Voldemort. In this sense, to think of Tom as a prince might not only coming from his heir of Slytherin position, but also from his position as Grindelwald's successor. One has to wonder if maybe Grindelwald was the Half Blood Prince? Okay that's just an offhand thought. Never-the-less it does add dimension to Voldemort's position.

Before I continue going through possible characters, I would like to point out how the title seems to work. First, there is a prince of one type or another that we can assume with enter the books. Second, this prince is Half Blood. This emphasis on the princes genealogy can have either a bad or good taste about it, but we can be assured the fact that the person is a Half Blood is important. Is it a Half Blood among Pure Bloods, as is Tom Riddle, or is it a Half Blood to lead other Half Bloods. If the latter, why the emphasis on the leader being a Half Blood rather than the community. Wouldn't a better title be “The Prince of the Half Bloods” or “The Half Blood's Prince”. I'm going to go with the prior as the more likely choice. That the title is referring to a Half Blood out of place.

Okay, time to line up a list of whom it may be dealing with. For this post, I'm going to only deal with those that fit in the prior category. Maybe later I'll deal with those in the latter. Those in the list may not be known Half Bloods, but their pure blood has yet to be proven to me or others. Other's may have a different definition of what it means to be a Half Blood.

Some Suspects: Anyone of the Dursleys (I know it's not likely, but something is definitely going on with them!); Pettigrew; Hagrid; Justin Finch-Fletchey; Seamus; Filch; Snape... eegads the list goes on and on. Forget a full list... I can't name the entire wizarding community! I'll get back to you all when my head is clear!

So to sum up: There is a Half Blood Prince and it could be bad or good and could really be anyone. I could seriously make a case for almost any male wizard!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Treasure Island and more

I started reading Treasure Island a couple days ago. So far it's been pretty good. I'm suprised at how short it is.

I'm still working on my Half Blood Prince article. It is probably too late to get it on Mugglenet, but I'm going to try anyways.

Thanks for visiting the forum. We are up to 7 members. (It says nine but I take up two and so does one other).

Monday, July 05, 2004

Random Story
not related to anything really

Below are ramblings. read them if you wish. If not, or if so, remember to visit the new forum!


Whenever I show my mother this site, I often get the same reaction.

"Is it a story?" she asks, the excitement shining in her eyes.

Every time I end up having to disappoint her and say, "No, mom, it's just a post. But it's something I love to write."

Disappointment apparent on her face, she smiles and tells me good job. She reads everything I post here. I don't even have to prod her anymore. I think she enjoys everything I write, but what she really wants to see from me are my stories.

Since I haven't offered you any interesting Harry Potter theories lately, I thought I would offer you this little story of my life. Anyone interested to know the person behind the theories?

My stories have always has a special place in my family's heart, and for a good reason. When I was young I had a hard time understanding the world. I saw everything through my own eyes. Everything was a distorted picture to me, and I had a hard time understanding basic concepts that people tried to share with me. For example, I didn't learn to tie my shoes until about fifth grade. I didn't learn which foot the shoe should fit on until just prior to my shoe tying revelation. People would tell me about the point on the shoes that let one know whether it fit on the right or left, but I just could not see the point.

As you may guess, this disability followed me throughout my early education. I couldn't write without meshing all the letters together and paragraphs were foreign concepts beyond my world's comprehension. I wrote in circles, I wrote in the middle of the page and on the sides, I wrote everywhere but in a straight, coherent fashion. Geography was by far the most terrifying subject my school had to offer, but for some reason I did understand math. It was one of the few subjects I ever loved. One should not, however, gather from all of this that I was stupid. I had my own wisdom, I just lacked most forms of conventional intelligence. I could march through my Kindergarten class shouting, "I refuse to conform to this society," but I couldn't tell you the first thing about commas. (Perhaps not learning grammar then is part of why I'm so bad at it now?)

Well, when I was in sixth grade my teacher decided that this disability did mean that I was stupid. She called my parents in for a private conference where she told them that I was mentally slow and unable to learn from classroom instruction. Mentally slow was not necessarily the words she used, by the way. She wanted to put me in special classes where I would learn to take care of myself, for she felt I could never learn anything beyond cooking and cleaning.

My parents, bless their hearts, refused to listen. My dad was a teacher for the blind and my mom had had her share of teaching experiences. They weren't about to let one teachers' opinion decide my entire future. And here is where the tale of the stories begins. My mom sat me down and got me to copy down books. She paid me per line. Soon she was teaching me to write my own lines. It turned out to be a brilliant plan. I couldn't learn from the teachers lecture, but I did learn by copying information. Slowly I came to see the patterns that made a paragraph and the different ways that people looked at the world. I came to love story writing even more (I had started doing stories that made sense to me as early as Kindergarten).

My parents loved my stories. My grades raised above expectations and for once in my life I was excellent at something. By the time I was 15, my parents were convinced I would be a published author by 18. Unfortunately, this dream never came true. Yet the writing did stick with me and I love it to this day.

This story is particularly relevant right now. I just graduated college cum laude no more than a few weeks ago. That means I graduated in the top ten percent of my class at the University of Oregon. I did it because my parents weren't willing to give up on me. For that I thank them!

So let this random post be a lesson in perseverance. If all are to succeed than we must believe that all can succeed. Never give up on yourself and always look for new ways to help others. Sometimes the littlest things can make a world of difference.

Expect more random posts in the future. Maybe even a story one day? Though most of those I'm waiting to see if I can't just get published. I think I owe that much to my mom and myself.

Don't forget to check out the forum.

Ramblings and stuff

So you all may be wondering whatever happened to that centaur post I promised. Well, I've decided that it is time to do a post on the Half Blood Prince first. I'll return to the centaurs afterwards as this topic can be approached at any time.

Hope you all have made your ways to the forum. I worked hard getting them set up. The colors are still messed up, but it's good enough for now.

I've decided I need to give myself a deadline. (cue laughter of those who know how well I follow such things) New goal: 1 post every week up by Monday at midnight. Most will be full out posts but I reserve the right to use "filler".

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Tazmy's Forum

Hey! The forum is up. Hope to see you all there!