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[community profile] hooked_on_heroines posted: Lobelia Sackville-Baggins

Lobelia is a very convenient hobbit-level villain, but inappropriately aged for the Hobbit.. although, considering they mucked with the book time-line for the movies, who knows? I do like the rare hobbit fanfic that ... not redeems her, but treats her well.
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Archive of Our Own posted: Upcoming changes to work downloads

This is going to be so great! I mean, I'm going to have to re-download quite a bit of fic that's in my re-read pile, but it'll all be nicer to read!
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I've managed super-hero level creds for making it in to work for 4 days last week. Go me! )
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I refuse to comment on my job status because they're calling references as of yesterday and I might jinx it.

But a few weeks back, my one coworker who is In The Know for the job situation, said that he was going to buy something as a treat for himself should he get his Shiny New Job, and suggested I do the same. I didn't think I would, I responded, and well, Murphy took that as a suggestion to fuck with me.

This morning as I was brushing my teeth, the power went out. Just for a moment, but long enough apparently to kill something on my PC motherboard. It's at least 7 years old, going on 8, which is practically geriatric in computer terms, so I spent the day pondering upgrades, researching various technologies and hunting down good recommendation and build sites. There are some decent pre-built gaming computers out there, but if I scavenge components off the old one, I can get better bang for my buck overall.

One of my favorite finds was the system builder at PC Part Picker. I could look things up on rec sites and put it all together with a compatibility turned on. Glee!
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[personal profile] astolat posted: SignalBoost bookmarklet

Okay, here is the little bookmarklet

Posting for my own reference in addition to the signalboost. I love how astolat has found an answer for tumblr folks to retain some of their reblogging without wholesale appropriation.


Dec. 5th, 2018 02:12 pm
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It's funny - seeing the notifications hit my email from LJ for fen returning, and seeing the crosspost on DW (or is it vice-versa)? DW isn't hollering at my email, but it's good to see returning icons (as opposed to faces, hah!)

Despite my grandfathered permanent account on LJ, I won't be crossposting much there, and checking it even more rarely. Too much fuckery to go back.

I have a pillowfort.io account as MishaDay, but we'll see how the migration shakes out.
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In May, I got re-orged into the Networks team, despite my complete and utter lack of any background in actual networks. This was more due to my Gold Star in Works Well with Others, and the certainty of any other team member immediately quitting, should they be moved into said Networks team, than any actual skill in the team specialty. Yay?

In late May, two weeks before I made my usual trip to Chicago and thence to Missouri for the gaming guild camping trip, Laurier stopped eating. I immediately gave up any pretense of paying attention at work.

He was 19. He lasted another week of ups and downs before I finally bowed to the inevitable and took him for his last trip to the vet. I still miss him, and more, I miss the presence of a furry body looking for pets or food or pointedly ignoring his human servant.

I visit Petfinder on a disturbingly regular basis, but I'm trying to get my condo renovated (new floors yay) and go to London in September for a week, so I have a summer free (free, try bereft) of felines.

And the work situation is. Well. Fodder for another bitch session, entirely.
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There's a funny scene in the first Hobbit movie where Ori complains "I don't like green food." while he's at Elrond's table in Rivendell. (It's a bit throwaway in that he's seen eating salad at Bilbo's house. But elven lettuce is different from hobbit lettuce, natch.) Dwalin asks where the meat is, and then we get onto Kili flirting with elves, naming the swords and Bofur jumping on the table to liven up the feast.

Some have taken that as an indication of elvish vegetarianism and assertion of dwarven meat preferences. There's also a few writers who don't believe that elves are strict vegetarians, but were succumbing to prejudice and playing a trick on the dwarves by only serving vegetable dishes. I haven't gotten a good look at the dishes served, but the food flung at Bofur on the top of the table seemed to be vegetable matter or bread, including the splat of mashed potatoes at one point.

I certainly think that a set of dwarves who just faced down three trolls and then raced a pack of orcs and wargs after over a month on the road (10 days to Bree and another 30 to Rivendell) would be much more appreciative of some protein and fresh bread than any amount of greenery. They'll have had enough of that along the way.

But in the long term, what would dwarves eat? What can they cultivate in their mountain strongholds?

Erebor of old traded much with Dale and possibly the Greenwood. But Erebor, in the grand scheme of things, was a fairly short-lived stop in travels of Durin's folk. Khazad-Dum closed its doors to the outside when Eregion fell in the middle of the Second Age, and really didn't emerge (though they fought in the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age) until the balrog Durin's Bane chased out all the dwarves about 3 millenia later (1980 of the Third Age).

So dwarves had to have developed some sort of cavern-based agriculture. (Tolkien also stated that dwarves didn't really keep livestock. I expect he thought they ate rocks.) My thoughts center on two things: fungi are AMAZING, and aquaculture likewise doesn't require sunlight. Erebor in specific had the River Running coming down the side of the mountain, or out the main gate, depending on your artist, and at the very least is a tall (11,000 foot volcanic mountain) enough peak to have permanent glaciers on top, with small streams coming down through most of the year.

So, barring some high-altitude mountain-side terrace farms (which I really shouldn't discount, but access from the interior would be a problem), the dwarves probably cultivated fish in underground streams and ponds, and caves and caves full of fungus. It would also solve the waste problem. Though, as good engineers as dwarves must be, I'm sure several of them have addressed plumbing, waste removal, waste sterilization (excess heat from the forges, perhaps) and all the attendant issues long ago. Getting all of that infrastructure up and running after a dragon destroyed it all would have been a task beyond thirteen dwarves and a hobbit in the immediate aftermath of the dragon's death. (Nevermind getting side-tracked by the Search for the Shiny... I mean, Arkenstone.)

The other option would have been simulated sunlight in farming caverns. The Valar had certainly paved the way: Aule, the Maker of the dwarves himself had crafted the first lamps of the world, and while your everydwarf might not have that sort of skill, dwarven magic and runecrafting might lend itself to artificial light sources, some of which might be used in interior agriculture. Which would open up the possible food sources endlessly... at least plantwards (More greens for dear Ori.)

There's a few writers who explore hobbits love of mushrooms: one of my favorites of those is A Passion for Mushrooms by Chrononautical, wherein Bilbo finds an entire cavern full of a rare mushroom within Erebor, and happily cultivates them. It also has a scene of Fili imbuing a crystal with light to be used as a light source. I've seen a couple of fics that refer to fish in an underground stream or river, and even one that refers to the pink river dolphins as guardians of one underground river. (The dwarves don't eat the dolphins, but the dolphins sure do eat intruders!)

It's one of the points of contention that authors sometimes explore in the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies: the fight to feed a growing population of dwarves, but its certainly within the realm of possibility, at least once the dwarves settle in and stop getting attacked by ever goblin or orc from there to Mordor.
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I finally realized why my brain latched onto the dwarves of the Hobbit so damn hard.

Middle Earth is basically full of post-apocalyptic wastelands, with small pockets of prosperity. The Shire fools you with its sweet innocence, but it stands on the bones of an older human kingdom, surrounded by tombs/barrows, a VERY hostile forest, and beneath it all is older elven kingdoms, fallen to the Enemy. No, not that one, the one before.

Which is TOTALLY my jam. I'm not so much about the apocalypse as rebuilding afterwards. I loved Robert Adams Horseclans series because of that (before I realized: hey, this fave is WAY problematic.) Flint's 1632 series and both of SM Stirling's series: Island in the Sea of Time and The Change are in that vein. 1632 moreso: Germany during the Hundred Years war has the same feel, and Tolkien would be more familiar with that sense of building on top of old bones.

It's not something we're used to in America: the bones over which our civilization was built are more ephemeral: the North American natives built in earth and wood, and their history is not lauded the way the Roman empire was, but erased in silence: victors get to write history... and that's another rabbit hold to noodle down sometime re: Middle Earth.

Anyway: the idea of reclaiming a stolen kingdom and rebuilding both the kingdom and the relationships around it are really what I'm most after. Add in bonus cultural fun (I've read my way through the entirety of the Dwarven Culture tag) and that's where I'm having the most fun.

... and I was going to start talking about food.
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I'm sitting on the first chapter finished in my wee dwarven epic, and boggling over the thought of regularly posting. I will probably sit on it until it's all finished, but the thought that authors post regularly while still in the composition process? Mind. Blown.

I'm having so much fun with this: Tolkien was just a wee bit elven-centric, and just a wee bit western-centric Can we say white-ass anglo-catholic? it's part of what made me 'eh' the most when I first encountered him, that and the songs. (ohgod, all the songs. Get that shit outta my prose.) But the great things about creating a world where everything is concentrated in one small area (and then you sink it, buh-bye Beleriand and Numenor), there is SO MUCH left over. I have four dwarven clans in the Orocarni to play with, the six elven kindred of the Avari, and let's thrown some eastern Men in there that *aren't* minions of Sauron. These are the folks who *haven't* been through a half-dozen apocalypses (apocoli? Buffy fans would know) - Tolkien was *rough* on his creations.

And then I have to filter that through my dwarves, so there will be very little at first of the Avari (who really don't like that name: the rest of the elves who fucked off after the Valar are the deserters, who are they calling 'Unwilling'.... aaaanyway) and I don't want to ignore or sideline my canon characters, well... Bilbo is going to get the short end of the stick, to pun only slightly, since he's going from main POV character to... mostly not. I need to give my dwarves some love.

I mean, I'm specifically giving each of the dwarves some attention, because the one thing the Hobbit movies did right was give each of them very unique looks (none of the completely interchangeable Rankin/Bass dwarves from my childhood) and fandom has taken that so much further, I want to live up to that standard of characterization and use it to further the story and the world depth.

But aaaanyway, I have a full-time job and a volunteer job and a cat who won't let me type when he's in my lap! (He's too big. I can barely reach the mouse around one end or another: thank goodness for being bi-mouserous.) It'll be finished when it's finished. I hope.
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Well, I'm healthy, housed and employed.

2017 was stressful for me on the personal and professional fronts as well as the political, so that was fun.

I've been president of our condo association board for 3 years now, and it's taken about that long to get our current construction project underway: we're stripping off the 50-year old stucco siding from our three 70-s era apartment buildings, taking out all the windows, and replacing the siding with fiber cement, and the old single-pane aluminum windows with new double-pane vinyl windows. It's been a teeth-gritting slog to get all the pieces in place: convincing the ownership that no, really, we NEED to do this, figuring out how to pay for it (special assessment, yay?), choosing a contractor, making it through four months of contract negotiation, and finally starting construction just as the rains did.

It's not fun work, but it's necessary, and at least my fellow board members are competent in their roles, and it's a joy to work with them. Some of the homeowners make me want to yell and spit nails, but I mark it as personal growth that I haven't stabbed any of those special snowflakes yet.

I think getting yelled at by stressed homeowners has helped on the professional front as well. My coworker and I had developed a talk in late 2016, and kept updating it for new audiences. We gave it three times in 2017, the last down at a large conference in Las Vegas. I used to be very nervous about speaking to large groups of people: I hated hearing the quake in my voice and feeling my hands shake. I had managed small groups of about a dozen people that I knew years ago when I taught small tech classes, but I was worried about larger groups of unknowns. After the condo shenanigans, though, I was unphased by the 250-ish hall full of people.

So after my recent annual review at work (wherein I got to listen to my new boss (of all of 6 months - there's another story there, but this one looks like he'll stick around) sing my praises for an hour, which did rock ) I volunteered to do it again. Multiple times, with new topics. It'll be a nice change from the daily routine.

And somewhere in there I need to pry back my fannish and creative time. I was trying to teach my niece to knit this Christmas, and I realized I hadn't picked up needles in months. Similar lengthy gap in writing, though that logjam broke last month, but it's something I need to keep putting spoons into when I have them.

Wild Ride

Oct. 23rd, 2015 06:14 am
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When last I posted, I talked about my application for a position on our organization's Security team. And the suspense may be ended. )
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So here I am with enough breathing space and brain cells all lined up for an update. *peeks* Two years? Eesh.

Still in MCU fandom, but I have trouble keeping up with the TV parts - I've seen scattered eps now of AoS, Agent Carter and Daredevil, but sitting down for TV at home rarely happens for me. The last stint of tv watching for me that lasted longer than a single episode at a time was the White Queen, and that simply because I had my iPad tuned to Wikipedia and I was happily soaking in all the history. I have a feeling should I ever watch Game of Thrones, I'll do the same thing with their wiki.

Second verse, same as the first )
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Happy 12th LJ anniversary to me.
Well, I’m a few days late (March 28th! And I refused to post on April 1st), but this is as good a time as any to give a State of the Misha Report:

Herein lies a tale of derring do... well, not really )


AO3 Kudos

Apr. 1st, 2013 08:36 pm
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I think I need a different set of Kudos buttons.
Like: "Good fic, could use a little editing, but a good read"
or: "I think I might be combusting from Teh Hawt(tm). Pardon me while I go have a little alone time."
and finally: "I just scared my cat/coworker by making something resembling dolphin noises."

Because right now they're all interchangeably Kudos and a good excuse not to take the time to comment!
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Avengers Movie Universe has swallowed my soul. I'm wallowing all over AO3 and rubbing those dirty, dirty bits all over my pristine electronic consciousness. Or something.

It's a fandom that STARTS OUT with magical horsebabies from Loki (though I think Sleipnir and the gang are technically not assbabies, what with the shapeshifting and convenience of an actual womb. It is however, a fandom that seems to have recently discovered alpha/omega fic from SPN, and the prevalence of assbabies is invading.

What I'd really like to see though, is if Tony Stark *does* get pregnant (or one of the other boys, I'm not picky. REALLY. (Or hell, even Pepper or *NATASHA* and have them run into a problem where they can't carry to term) is for Tony to engineer up a mechanical womb ala Lois McMaster Bujold's vorkosiganverse tech and transfer to the baby (again, technically not an assbaby yet w/o the assbirth... ick) to the gadget.

It's an opportunity FOR SCIENCE! GADGETBABIES!
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So I saw me some Harry Potter part the umpteenth tonight. And now I cut for verbosity )
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While I was composing my post on Friday, I wasn't checking my email: wherein I was being asked if I could start that temp job on the 18th. As my last day at the current job is the 15th, I replied: no rest for the wicked: of course! I managed to fire this off just before 5 so the details waited for me all weekend, but this is just awesome with a side of awesomesauce.

My new boss replied: Glad you are wicked... job requirement! )


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