dawn_felagund: (art lives)
2017-08-11 07:22 pm

OMFG! I Actually Posted an SWG Challenge Story ON TIME!

This thing, which is technically a response to the SWG's "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" challenge (using the Smashing Pumpkins' song "Thirty-Three" that was in fact an Important Song to the nascent love story of Dawn and Bobby Felagund), got out of control because it was also inspired in myriad ways by the Mereth Aderthad, most obviously [personal profile] grundyscribbling's idea of the Feanorian Family Vacation and [personal profile] hrymfaxe's request for fail!sex. It ended up *gulp* 15,000 words, which probably means that just my hardcore readers will bother with it, but at least it was fun (if long!) to write. Here is the Official SummaryTM from the SWG archive:

Against Maedhros's wishes, Fingon is off to a summer retreat in the mountains, a retreat designed by the Valar for newly reembodied Elves. Amid games of kickball and group therapy, Fingon makes a friend, discovers the Noldor haven't actually invented everything, and begins to grasp the complexities of his post-reembodiment relationship with Maedhros. Maedhros/Fingon, set in my Republic of Tirion verse.


I am just posting it to the SWG for now: Swans. I will likely cross-post it later this weekend; preparing a 15K-word story for posting is tedious and I'm ready to be done with it for tonight!

I also finally created a series for these Fifth-Age stories I've been writing lately--Republic of Tirion--so they're all in one place and in order.
dawn_felagund: (sally and jack)
2017-06-01 08:55 pm
Entry tags:

Our Relationship Can Buy Beer

Yesterday, Bobby and I celebrated twenty-one years together. We celebrate the anniversary of when we started dating, not when we married. We were young nerds in love, at the end of our 9th-grade year. I was 14, and he'd recently turned 15. We had been friends for the entire year at our magnet school for math, science, and computer science. (Neither of us went to our home high schools, so we often marvel at how precarious our even meeting was: We both applied, were accepted, and decided to go; we ended up in the same homeroom with identical schedules except that he took PE when I was in band.)

He was the social superior: very liked by everyone and popular in our isolated nerdy class. ("Magnet kids," as we were known, mostly took classes together, since we also tended to be in "gifted and talented" classes in our other academics as well.) I was middling, the kind of girl who doesn't really get noticed but starting to forge my own identity and express myself more freely. Going to a magnet school was a big deal for me in that I wasn't stuck forever with peers who had known me mostly as an awkward nerd who was despised by most other kids and had a slew of humiliating baggage associated with her. It gave me a chance to start over again.

Anyway, in May of 1996, I realized that I had a crush on Bobby--actually, my best friend pointed it out to me, in a note she wrote to me on her graphing calculator, of course, because we were blithely naive of how stereotypical we "magnet kids" could be--but even though we were friends, he was a social class above me, and I didn't think there was any hope of reciprocation. In retrospect, it says something about my self-esteem at the time that I assumed that this person who was my friend, who was never anything but kind to me, would never entertain the possibility of dating me.

So, long story short, said best friend and one of Bobby's friends who found out about my crush orchestrated the two of us dancing together at the last dance of the school year. And we haven't looked back since.

We never actually asked each other out, but one never asked the other to get married either. We just fell into stride with each other, and that's where we've stayed. (On this theme, we've never had "a song"--the thing to have when we were first together--but we do have a poem.) I sometimes tell him that being with him is the same as being alone ... and for an introvert, of course, that is a high compliment.

We're long past the point where I'm supposed to wonder and want other people, right? I truly don't. I told him the other day that if he ever finds someone he prefers to me (he insists he won't), then I'll just live alone, with maybe some animals and a lot of houseplants.

"And a lot of spiders," he added.

Indeed, he knows me. (He asked me to remove a largish jumping spider from the ceiling the other day that I would have totally just kept around and loved like people love cats. I much prefer spiders to cats!)

So yesterday I buzzed out of work pretty early for me and popped into my email just long enough to make sure that the SWG hadn't crashed into the Sun or anything dramatic like that, and then took the evening off from everything. We went to Parker Pie for dinner and shared hot Buffalo wings and a pizza with hot Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and ricotta cheese. I had a Citizen, and he had two Hill Farmstead beers, so I drove him home (the lush ... I always drive him home! my beer allergy works out really well for him!). We took the Goldens for a walk down River Road--Guinevere is in training as a therapy dog and has homework five nights a week, so Bobby spent half of the walk working with her while Lancelot and I were the distraction--under a watercolor evening sky that was doubled in the river. We returned right as the sun set to sit out on the deck and read until it got too chilly for me to bear. (It is still unseasonably cool.) Then we warmed up in the hillbilly hot tub, saw the first fireflies of the season, and I saw seven satellites (as well as Jupiter being insanely bright right now).

It was a great evening. It's been a great twenty-one years.
dawn_felagund: (death of an idea)
2017-05-29 03:10 pm
Entry tags:

More on the LiveJournal Deletions

Since I kicked the hornet's nest on that one, I think it's only fair to update with what I've learned/done since.

  • There is still no information on what has triggered the deletions. A commenter on the original post by [livejournal.com profile] yiudirnt suggests that people who have had their journals/communities deleted have asked for more information and received none, which isn't terribly surprising, since new!LJ doesn't seem particularly able to handle its English-speaking userbase.

    However, there is also no evidence that any outside links will get you deleted. Frankly, that'd be most of us. I feel badly because my post yesterday about this gave some people that impression. Generally, spam algorithms go beyond "OMG link!!" and take into account things like the number of links, destination of the link (is it a site where spam is likely?), the IP address (is it from a country that produces a lot of spam? is the IP blacklisted?), and other keywords in the post (are there words like fake, cheap, drug, rolex, nfl, or anything porny that tend to make frequent appearances in spam?). But I say that even as I admit that LJ doesn't seem to be particularly sophisticated in, like, anything lately, so I might be using my brain too hard on this one.


  • Case in point: [personal profile] hhimring has posted that she had a cross-post from Dreamwidth rejected by LiveJournal because it contained a link to an outside site and was therefore "spam." The link went to either the SWG or Faerie. (AO3 links were not a problem. *eyeroll*) Anyway, this is not exactly the same thing as deleting an entire journal/community, and it's possible that different algorithms are being used here, but it does suggest a low level of sophistication that honestly makes my brain hurt, like OMG!link = spam.


  • Likewise, per comments in the original post, journals with links behind friends-lock were just as subject to being deleted as a spambot as those where the links were in public entries. Which makes zero sense since the whole point of spambots is to litter the Internet with links like Canada goose droppings on a golf course. Again, this suggests that LJ ain't really thunk things through.


  • Per comments in the original post, some people who were deleted contacted support and got their journals back. Others did not.


  • I asked [livejournal.com profile] yiudirnt if they minded sharing the evidence they'd gathered, but it seems to be a list of journals/communities only (whereas I was really hoping to find out what links, link volume, etc. were in the deleted journals), and they are in a fandom where privacy is a serious and legitimate concern. So unfortunately no new information came from that inquiry.


  • I was chatting with [personal profile] makamu about preserving fan history through all this. I emailed the OTW just a little while ago to see if 1) all of this is one their radar and 2) if Open Doors (or someone else in their organization) would consider getting involved in preserving fandom history. When I hear back from OTW, I'll update here with whatever I learn. It's touchy because, of course, these are journals; the personal and the fannish are often intertwined in a way that they aren't in other fandom spaces, content wasn't necessarily created with a broad audience in mind (even if publicly available), and much content is locked. The best solution I've come up with is to maintain a list on a shared Google Doc and just contact people and ask them to migrate their content to Dreamwidth or set their accounts so a volunteer can do so.

    ETA: I heard back from OTW's Open Doors. Essentially, they can import communities with consent of the moderators. This isn't much different from importing to DW, however. It does present another option but doesn't solve the bigger problem of "rescuing" content that has been abandoned on LJ and may be deleted. So that leaves me thinking that the next item on my list remains the best option. I'm open to other ideas.

    (Wait, didn't I say I wasn't getting involved in this?! Nrgh.)


  • I'll be contacting almost seventy of them as part of letting them know about the [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild export to [community profile] silwritersguild and will include that information. (Which, if you know about and haven't told me that you know about it ... please do. Because I will be contacting everyone who's not a mod and hasn't acknowledged the export! Seventy. Sheesh! Please help me out; it literally takes ten seconds! Thanks a million to those of you who already have!)
dawn_felagund: (morgoth)
2017-05-28 11:29 am
Entry tags:

It Has Begun ...

... LiveJournal has begun suspending journals.

Currently, the suspensions are under the pretense of catching journals/communities set up by spambots, but this post reports legitimate journals/comms being summarily deleted with little recourse by the owner. The triggering factor seems to be that the post contains links to sites outside LJ.

This is worrisome because it's troubling that years' worth of posts are being deleted based on a script without apparent review by a human. It's also troubling because it signals that the administration, under the new ToS, is indeed willing to utilize item 2.5 in the non-legally-binding-English-kinda-sorta-ToS: "Users breach hereunder may cause termination of his/her access to his/her Account or deletion of such an Account as well as full or partial deletion of the Content or suspension thereto without prior notice" (emphasis mine).

At the risk of succumbing to a slippery slope here, my main worry concerns item 6.1.1: "The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than six months due to a breach hereof." There is a lot of fandom history on LJ on journals owned by people no longer active in the fandom, and possibly no longer even reachable. Now spambots are obviously less desirable on a site than old journals that haven't been updated since the Second Age, but content = server space = money, and an unused journal isn't holding its weight in terms of ad views either. It's digital dead weight.

I don't know what should be done, or even if I want to do it. The HASA Rescue Project was a months-long drain on my life that I'm not eager to undertake again anytime soon or ever. I set aside projects (like the B2MeM ebook!) that I've never been able to pick up again. Perhaps when I reach out to people who posted to [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild about the migration of content to Dreamwidth, I ought to include a note about migrating one's journal and communities to DW. I'm happy to help people do this, but I can't even fathom how to save content from LiveJournal other than accepting that it's every person for themselves this time.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] acciochocolate for the tip on this!)
dawn_felagund: Keep Vermont Weird (keep vermont weird)
2017-05-20 10:12 am

Least and Most Favoritest Things about Living in Vermont! (Part of the Ramble Thing)

I'm officially behind in the ramble thing! BUT all of the SWG stamp stuff is up-to-date, so I should have a little more freedom this weekend to catch up.

[personal profile] independence1776 asked what are my least and most favorite things about living in Vermont. I was not allowed to count distance from family and friends as my least favorite thing. (She knows me and wasn't letting me off that easily! :)

I've been living in Vermont for eleven months now, and the Green Mountain State and I are very much still in the honeymoon phase. Most of the things I miss living here are pretty petty. Tops would have been that there is nowhere to get Indian food short of going to Burlington ... but then one of my colleagues connected with a local caterer who does Pakistani cuisine--very similar to northern Indian cuisine--and we had our first lunch day at work yesterday, and I had a most delicious cauliflower in butter sauce. We're hoping the caterer will have been as happy with business from our school as we were with her food and will be willing to deliver to us on Fridays going forward.

So I can hopefully no longer complain about the lack of Indian food.

We don't have--or at least we haven't found--what I consider a truly good Mexican restaurant in the area. Not on par with some of the places we had in Maryland. America's Taco Shop is good for lunch, and Aguilera's in St. J's is decent, but I miss Cinco de Mayo and El Rodeo from Maryland.

(However, we have the best Thai food I've ever had right in Newport, and good sushi as well.)

Also, very few people know how to make good iced tea up here. Most places--if they even have it--get it from a soda machine. Blech. Very few places brew it fresh, and fresh-brewed iced tea is my absolute favorite drink, and I do miss that being an assumed beverage at any restaurant. We went to dinner at Cajun's on Wednesday, and they did have fresh-brewed iced tea, and ohmymy was it a treat.

(However, Vermont has amazing hard cider. I'm not sure that drinking hard cider instead of tea is a step in the right direction, but it is something that Maryland doesn't have the same quality of.)

Most of the things that people complain about here don't really bother me. When we first moved up here, people warned us, "There's no place to go shopping!" Since I don't like shopping, I don't care. People complain about the snow--there is still snow visible of Jay Peak!--but having lived all but this year in a place that was cold with little snow, I'd rather have the deeper cold and snow: just-above-freezing and damp weather is far worse, in my opinion! It's more miserably, and all winter is the stick season that Vermonter's lament between the melting of the snow and the sudden burst of spring. Then we were warned about mud season, but the Coventry road guy is exemplary, and we're not clean-car people anyway, so we don't mind that our car is brown either from mud or dust for most of the year. (It's cleanest in the winter because of the snow!)

Now the easier list: the things I love about living here! Things I Love about Vermont )
dawn_felagund: (finrod crest)
2017-05-15 09:31 pm
Entry tags:

Ramble Thing: Finrod, Bilbo, & Frodo

Ohmyword. I am so far behind in this ramble thing. This has been the weekend of challenges ... meaning fandom challenges! (Also it's spring, which means more outside chores than usual.) The SWG's Woman's Sceptre challenge was due at the end of last week, the new Hero's Journey challenge went up today, and MPTT's "Back Garden of a Dream" challenge was revealed today. So I have a lot of balls in the air at the moment, and I kinda forgot about the rambling m-thing I'm doing this month.

Anyway. Thankfully no one likes hearing me talk enough to have requested a topic for each day, else I'd be screwed! As it is, I'm two days behind, both from [personal profile] dreamflower, so I'll tackle one today and one tomorrow. [personal profile] dreamflower asked:

Do you think Finrod Felagund ever got to meet Bilbo and Frodo?


In short, yes, assuming that he was reembodied by the time they arrived in Tol Eressëa. (I think he would have been. After all, if the Glorfindels are the same, then Glorfindel was reembodied by the end of the Third Age, and for all his awesomeness, I don't think Glorfindel eclipses Finrod.)

I really don't see how Finrod could have resisted. Throughout The Silmarillion, we see him interacting joyfully with people from other cultures. He worked with the Dwarves to build Nargothrond, managing not to get into any battles over jewelry/murdered in the process. They even gave him a name, Felak-gundu, which was Sindarinized into Felagund. (I bet they gave Thingol a name too, but it was probably of the four-letter variety.) The Dwarves are notoriously stingy with sharing their language ("Of the Sindar"), so I've often taken their giving him a Dwarvish name as a mark of honor and respect.

Likewise, he was the first to welcome the Edain to Beleriand. None of this is particularly surprising: His family is quite cosmopolitan, and Finrod had Telerin, Noldorin, and Vanyarin blood. Even within those groups, he moves with ease, befriending Maedhros and Maglor even as he is Turgon's BFF, a guest of Thingol, and the eventual companion of Beren. Only Finrod could manage those treacherous relationships with ease. He seems more comfortable than many of his kinsmen in crossing the ethnic lines that the people of Arda draw around themselves and seems to enjoy doing so.

I don't see how he could resist the Hobbits, given that tendency. I imagine that when word came to him of the arrival of a new people, a people he'd never met, who drew back from the brink of destruction the world he'd once loved and suffered exile to inhabit, then he would have been on the first ship to Tol Eressëa to meet them. And pompous-ass-Finrod of the Athrabeth aside, I prefer to imagine that meeting as him listening hungrily to Bilbo's stories (though I imagine Bilbo would have picked his brain a bit for old lore) and showing the same tender care and grace to Frodo as his sister Galadriel did when the Fellowship passed through Lothlórien.
dawn_felagund: Give Bees a Chance (give bees a chance)
2017-05-14 03:52 pm
Entry tags:
dawn_felagund: (accordion)
2017-05-10 07:07 pm

Rambling Five Years Down the Road

So in the ramble meme, [profile] engarian asked for:

I'm curious about what you (and Bobby) see as your goals for the next few years of your life, looking ahead from the perspective of your youth. Do you (and Bobby) think you'll stand firm on those goals for yourself(ves) or do you see yourself(ves) being more malleable and able to move as circumstances arise?


This afternoon, I interviewed Bobby in the kitchen, who originally thought I was pretty weird when I asked him where he saw himself in five years and made him talk into a pretend microphone. But he caught on pretty quickly!

If I synthesize what he said and what I've been thinking about (knowing this post was coming up) ... Read more... )
dawn_felagund: (yavanna earth)
2017-05-09 08:21 pm
Entry tags:

On Druidry

[personal profile] shirebound asked me one of my favorite questions for the ramble meme:

What's it like being an initiated Druid in the 21st century? Is it a blend of ancient/modern beliefs?


I will start by saying that "druid" is about as accurate as "Christian" as far as pinning down precise beliefs and practices. There are many flavors of druidry, and what the term means for me won't mean the same to all people who identify as "druid." Bobby and I are initiated into the Ancient Order of Druids in America. Its then-leader John Michael Greer was giving a talk at the Spoutwood Farm Fairy Festival that we attended annually. Of course, his organizational affiliation caught our eye, and when we looked into it, we discovered that the group's purpose aligned quite well with our beliefs and goals.

Read more... )
dawn_felagund: Mereth Aderthad 2017 icon with a golden tree (mereth-aderthad1)
2017-05-09 08:03 pm
Entry tags:

Mereth Aderthad

The Mereth Aderthad is indeed happening! The general chaos of my life lately made it so that the website was severely delayed: mostly built but needing just enough essentials to make it impossible to finish in the time I had for it. But ... it's done! Finally!

http://mereth-aderthad.com/

Absolutely anyone can register for a membership. There's also an email newsletter to sign up for to get updates. There's also an LJ comm: [livejournal.com profile] mereth_aderthad. More social media will follow, but these are the ways to get updates for now.

If you're attending, there's an additional RSVP form I'm asking people to fill out. One, because it will help us to know how many people will actually be here! :) Also because there are sections of the site for doing things like planning carpools that don't need to be open to all and sundry, and sending in an RSVP gets you access to those.

In case you're not sure what the heck I'm talking about: Mereth Aderthad is a gathering of Tolkien fans in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. It's going to be part fan convention, part holiday. We'll have a kickoff event that first Saturday (more information on this is forthcoming). The week after will be more informal and we're really open to doing whatever our attendees want to do. (Hike mountains? Sit around a bonfire and drink VT beer? Hang out on the beach and watch the lake?) All Tolkien fans are welcome. My only stipulation is that they should be open-minded about fanworks.
dawn_felagund: (alex awww)
2017-05-05 08:48 pm

All the Critters I Have Known

[personal profile] lindahoyland asked me to talk about my pets. I've had some pretty special animals in my life (but anyone with pet dogs and cats feels that way, no? :) so this will be a little bit on the memoirish side.

All the Critters I Have Known )
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
2017-05-04 08:48 pm

Ramble Meme! Thoughts on the New "Handmaid's Tale" Series

[personal profile] jenni_blog asked: "Did you watch the premier of A Handmaid's Tale and what did you think about it?"

Indeed I have! I have watched through Episode 4. I'll put my thoughts below the cut because I'm going to make no attempt to resist spoilers.

Thoughts on 'A Handmaid's Tale' [SPOILERS] )
dawn_felagund: (silmarils)
2017-05-01 09:44 pm

"What if Celegorm had managed to kill Luthien when he shot at her?" (First Ramble Meme Post!)

So Urloth on Tumblr asked, "What if Celegorm had managed to kill Luthien when he shot at her?" and requested the first of May, so here I am.

Two ways come to my mind as approaches to this question. First is to think about how such a narrative choice by Tolkien would have affected the overall theme of the Legendarium. Such a decision would have profoundly altered the larger theme, to say the least. Just tonight, I posted to the SWG [personal profile] heartofoshun's biography of Barahir. The whole essay is worth a read, but the final paragraph is particularly lovely and salient to my point here as well:

This sense of devastating loss, which also echoes the dark fatalism of the Norse epics of which Tolkien was so fond, is certainly central to The Silmarillion and most particularly evident in its Chapter 18, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin."25 We move from a world wherein the shaky balance between the forces of light and darkness is directly threatened and, to steal the words from the poet W. B. Yeats, "[t]hings fall apart; the centre cannot hold; [m]ere anarchy is loosed upon the world, [t]he blood-dimmed tide is loosed. . . ."26 And yet within that smoke-blackened and terrifying world, where the center no longer holds, there remain unwavering heroes like Barahir, with his determination and his hard-won family heirloom, who project hope down through the Ages and into the eucatastrophe of The Lord of the Rings.


As I put it, more or less, in a comment to Oshun on this subject, Barahir is a cog in the larger eucatastrophic machinery: His story is unrelentingly tragic, but we are to understand that his existence ensures defeat of Darkness in the far future. Therefore, the tragedy is acceptable. If he's a cog, Lúthien is a whole clockwork unto herself. If ever there is an emblem of literal and figurative light in the midst of darkness, here you have her, and destroying her in such an ignoble way by a character depicted as all but incorrigible would hamstring the theme of eucatastrophe.

The second approach is to think about how the story would change in an AU scenario where Lúthien dies at this crucial point, prior to recovering the Silmaril. (Because I don't care who was holding the knife: Lúthien totally scored the goal on that one and Beren had the assist.) Most obviously, the Silmaril would not have been recovered, and the existence of key characters like Elwing, Elrond, and Elros would have been rubbed out. If ever you needed to see a scary albeit fictional example of how a single action can completely rearrange history, here you have it in imagining the Second and Third Ages without the peredhil.

Before I get ahead of myself, without Elwing, there is no delivery of the Silmaril to Aman, no war against Morgoth, and Beleriand is not destroyed.

But it's perhaps more interesting to imagine the more immediate consequences of such an act.

I imagine Thingol--already no fan of the Fëanorians and crushed by his daughter's death--waging all-out war against them. This is not a crisis that even the most skilled diplomacy and brother-wrangling of Maedhros could avert.

What of Beren? Unlike Thingol, we get no suggestion that he is a vengeful character. I mean, he's a vegetarian for Pete's sake. It could be that Tolkien, to preserve that innocence and goodness, would have kept Beren's hands unbloodied and allowed him a death of grief.

But in a world (use your movie trailer voice if you want) where eucatastrophe has been essentially erased as a driving principle, what need is there to preserve Beren's goodness? Perhaps he would have become vengeful, ironically healing the rift between himself and Thingol in the interest of pursuit of a common enemy.

Because we also would not have had the second and third kinslayings--no Silmarils to slay over, remember?--I think Lúthien's death would have shifted the focus from the war on Morgoth to a civil war among the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. Now that is a scenario with modern relevance: the inability to unite against a common enemy because of infighting among one's own kind. (We do see hints of this in the refusal of Thingol and Orodreth to send forces to fight alongside the Fëanorians against Morgoth but nothing so overt as actual civil war.)

It may be that there is no line to continue into the Second and Third Ages. It may be that the Fëanorians prevail and become the heroes of those ages. Or it may be that eucatastrophe reasserts itself, and from the grievous loss of Lúthien, a new and unseen source of hope arises.




If there's a topic you want me to ramble about, there's still plenty of slots open in the ramble meme!
dawn_felagund: (accordion)
2017-04-30 05:33 pm
Entry tags:

The "Topic Rambling" M-Type Thing!

Shamelessly stolen from [personal profile] independence1776 because this seems fun as all get-out ...

Pick a day and ask me a question, propose a topic, etc, and I will write about it on that day. This can be fandom meta, real life stuff, whatever you want to hear me ramble about! (No fic prompts, please.)

Comment with what you want me to talk about and the date you'd like me to post it.


I will put the schedule behind the cut and update it as regularly as I can.

Schedule )
dawn_felagund: (yavanna earth)
2017-04-29 10:59 pm

People's Climate Rally in Montpelier

Bobby and I went to the climate rally today that was held in Vermont's capital city of Montpelier. Oh, it was tempting to try to go to DC again! But I decided against it. I have a lot going on right now, and I always try to remember the advice I read when reigniting my political activism that one has to take care of oneself ... so I kept it local this time.

Pictures below the Cut )
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
2017-04-22 05:40 pm

On LJ and DW ...

I've avoided talking much about LJ's latest shenanigans. Part of this is just sheer exhaustion with the regular cycle on LJ-induced outrage that has been going on since SixApart bought LiveJournal twelve years ago. Twelve years, y'all.

I've also been posting to Dreamwidth with automatic crossposts to LiveJournal for seven years now. (Yeesh. All this looking back makes me feel old.) I would have gladly conducted most of my activity on DW--ymmv but the site is far more user-friendly and the administration actually gives a flying fig about its users and isn't evil--but most of my friends didn't move, or if they did, commented on my posts on LJ, which made me feel somewhat like the person who chooses to move out of their bass-ackwards hometown but everyone they know still lives there, and they love those people, so they spend a lot of time there nonetheless.

Anyway, not much is changing for me.

  1. I will continue to post to DW as my primary journal site with automatic crossposts to LJ. I totally get why the new skeevy-as-fuck ToS has encouraged people to close their accounts (just as I got why people left when U.S.-owned SixApart pulled their multiple bouts of fundagelical-induced stupidity) but ...


  2. I plan to ignore that anyway and continue to leave up the "gay propaganda" and the slash and all the cussing I've dabbled in over the years and to continue posting these things when I want to. I'm not even clear if the ToS applies to me, as a paid account holder (and apparently the paid accounts are still U.S.-owned?), since I don't read Russian and the person LJ chosen to answer English-language questions on their news post could barely speak English ... but whatevs. I really don't give a fuck if LJ wants to shut down my account, so I'm going to continue to post what I want without special warnings or filters or whatever.


All that said, I AM diverting much of my reading to DW rather than LJ. In reading regularly on both sites over Spring Break, I've found that most people who are still posting are crossposting, and I'd rather read and comment on DW. I do get post notifications from a few close friends on LJ, and I'll keep replying to those, but I'm not foreseeing picking up reading on LJ anytime in the near future. Because honestly? I'd love to see what remains of journaling activity move to DW, so be the change, right?

I'm also trying to track down Tolkien fandom people that I'm not following yet. If you're over there under a name other than your LJ handle, can you let me know, please?

There is one thing, brought up in a discussion by the B2MeM mods, that disturbs me: LJ accounts are now liable to be shut down after six months of inactivity? Does anyone know if that is in fact true? And does it retroactively apply, even if someone has not accepted the new ToS (as in they are not longer around to accept said ToS)? I don't see why it wouldn't ... or couldn't. If so, I foresee a massive loss of fan history, not just in Tolkien fandom but everywhere, from both personal LJs and communities.

Here is what the non-legally-binding (so take with a grain of salt) English ToS says: "6.1.1. The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than six months due to a breach hereof."

But I haven't seen discussion of this aside from the conversation among the B2MeM mods. Has anyone heard anything about this? I found a post on the OTW that talks about some of the other implications of the ToS, but this is not mentioned.
dawn_felagund: (natural peace)
2017-04-21 06:11 pm
Entry tags:

First Vermont Moose!

When we were driving home from Maine on Wednesday, Bobby told me that he'd read a notice from Fish and Wildlife about how moose were moving through the Northeast Kingdom at higher-than-usual rates because of the season and to use extra vigilance when driving. That got me thinking about moose. Namely how I've never seen a moose in Vermont. I saw a moose in Colorado, but never in Vermont. And I had hoped that, during my first year living here, I'd see one. And I felt really disappointed that I had not.

Well! The moose heard me, yo! I went into my school today for about four hours, then Bobby picked me up and we went to the feed store and stopped for Thai on the way home. I was in a semi-food coma as we drove home, when I noticed a woman pulled off to the side of the road, taking a picture of the Barton River with her phone. Now I've taken my share of pictures of the Barton, but it's not particularly picturesque right now: the drama of the near-flood-level waters is over and everything is still mostly brown and dead-looking, and it was a drab, rainy day to boot. But as I looked closer, I realized she was taking a picture of a moose that was browsing through the tall grass growing along the river!

First Vermont Moose

So I have indeed seen a Vermont moose within my first year of living here! Score!
dawn_felagund: (tiki hut)
2017-04-12 09:19 pm

Lord Willin and the Crick Don't Rise

The crick done rose.

When we had the February thaw, the Barton rose to the level of River Road. I wanted to take pictures then, but by the time I got the chance, the water level had dropped.

It's been very warm this week, and most of the lingering snow and ice have melted, so that Barton has risen steadily every day all week. We went kayaking on it on Monday and there was still ice on the water in places, but we would not be kayaking on it now unless we parked a car at either end because the current is strong enough now that we could never paddle back. The water's right below the road again, and this time, I got out to get some pictures.

Crick Done Rose )
dawn_felagund: (yavanna earth)
2017-04-10 07:22 pm
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Stick & Mud Season. (Also My Tolkien at UVM Talk.)

Before I say ANYTHING about my video or stick and mud season, I want to wish a happy birthday to my friend and fandom partner in crime [personal profile] heartofoshun. I love you as an author and a scholar but most of all as a friend. I appreciate so much all you do for our little corner of the Interwebz and for me personally. Few people in my life have been so unconditionally supportive of me, and I can't express how much it means. I hope your day is as wonderful as you deserve!

Next things next: My video has creaked through the YouTube upload process on my satellite Internet. It's just the audio of me reading my paper with the slides. So this one is not 45 minutes of watching me sit and read! It's also only 20 minutes. I haven't watched it, so if there is anything egregious in the images or audio, it's a mistake--please let me know! The images are pretty crappy on my computer, but YouTube videos are usually pretty crappy on my computer--to the point that I can't always do my Drupal tutorials if it's rainy or snowy or windy because I can't see the image well enough to get anything out of it!--so I hope they're not actually that bad for people with normal Internet. If they are ... it's doubtful I'm going to have time to do anything about it, since it is basically redoing the video. But it can be used as a last resort as a sleep aid, presuming my accent isn't terribly annoying.



And! It was amazingly effing beautiful weather today. It was like Vermont said, "Fuck! It's spring!" and decided to do something about it. It was 77F/25C driving home from work this afternoon and brilliantly sunny. Most of the snow is now gone. And the river is thawed so ...

What else to do but go kayaking, right?? Bobby texted me when he got home--I was still working, of course!--and I pretty much packed up and left immediately, and he had the kayaks on the car already by the time I arrived home. We launched just a couple hundred yards/meters from our house because the river is so high that places that are normally an impossibly steep bank are only about a foot above the water now.

The Barton River flows near our house. Well, normally, it lazes past our house. It's a very calm river. In February, we had a few very warm days and a thaw, and the river rose to where River Road was, in places, just a car-wide track with water on either side. It wasn't so dramatic this time, but the river did rise to about a foot below the road on Friday. It's much lower now, but it actually has a current to it.

So going down the river was easy and fun. At one point, there was a tree fallen across the river except for a two-foot wide passage. I knew as soon as I went into it that I was going to regret it going back: With the current funneling into that tiny outlet, my kayak shot through like I was on the log flume at a theme park. It was hella fun! We rowed down to the bridge where Coventry Station Road crosses the river mostly because it was a logical turn-around point and I wanted to go under the bridge. This is our usual launch point on the Barton because it has a public access with a path down to the water. Looking at Google Maps, we paddled about 1.5 miles/2.5 km round-trip.

The row back was definitely tough, not helped by the fact that the only arm workout I've gotten since packing up the kayaks last fall is occasionally hauling wood pellets up from the barn--and Bobby does that most of the time! I almost didn't make it back through the log flume. It took two tries. It didn't help that the first time, Bobby essentially piled his kayak onto mine from behind! I let him through and tried again, and made it.

River Road runs parallel with a set of train tracks (a train came through while we were paddling, which was cool), and beyond the railroad bridge, the water was still solid ice. It was like looking through a portal into the North Pole.

We saw quite a few critters: two beavers, a great blue heron, what appeared to be a red-tailed hawk, umpteen redwing blackbirds, lots of different waterfowl. We're officially in mud season. One day last week, I stepped out of the car and sank about an inch into the driveway. But all in all, it hasn't been too bad. People always warn us first about the long winters--and we survived our first of those--and then mud season, and we're surviving that too. (It helps that we have an amazing road guy who has raked the road about weekly since the snow melted off of it. Our road is pretty scary when the traction isn't good, so I think I'd feel differently about mud season if not for our road guy. <3 to the Coventry road guy!)

It's also stick season since our trees are far from blooming or leafing out up here ... but some have buds! And I'm starting to sneeze more, which tells me they're doing their thing. And there is some green among the grass: faint and brave but there.

Right now? I'm tired. I want to stretch out somewhere and read. I wonder if my arms will be sore tomorrow.
dawn_felagund: Ainulindale--star photo from hubblesite.org. (ainulindale)
2017-03-19 11:26 am
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Fan History Question about Tumblr for All the Smarty-Pants on My Flist

So I'm doing some preliminary data-crunching to see if I have anything worthwhile to contribute to this on the subject of Tolkien fandom and Tumblr. I'm on Tumblr but am not a heavy user, so I have the numbers but not the years of deep personal investment in the site that a lot of fanpeople have.

Essentially, I'm looking for the time when Tolkien fandom began to really shift to Tumblr. I joined Tumblr in May 2013, and there was already a huge Tolkien fandom presence there (being as this was in the midst of fandom activity for the Hobbit films).

The Tumblr article on Fanlore is surprisingly unhelpful. It does begin collecting quotes from fans in 2012, which is the date around which I've seen consensus for the big fandom shift to Tumblr. There is also this well-known post about Tumblr and fandom and this Slashcast episode, both of which would suggest 2012ish as the big year. But this is for fandom in general (although, given the fan activity surrounding the Hobbit trilogy, I'm feeling like this is a rare occasion when Fandom and Tolkien Fandom actually moved pretty lockstep with each other).

Does this seem right to you all? That 2012 was the year where Tolkien fandom as well began to have a presence on Tumblr? Any suggestions on sources or documentation for that?