The Mouth of Sauron
Diary of a Tolkien Fiend
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
  Gifts I got...
Okay, here's what I got for Christmas/Yule:

DVDs:

Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries)
Dark Shadows - The Revival
War of the Worlds (2005)

Games:

The Matrix: Path of Neo
Star Wars Battlefront II

Miscellaneous:

2006 LotR movie calendar

And I also got this for myself:

Ralph Bakshi's Fire & Ice Limited Edition DVD

Been waiting for it to be re-released on DVD for years. Thank you, Blue Underground!
 
Saturday, December 24, 2005
  Yuletide Carols
These are my favourite CDs for the holiday season.

Album CoverLoreena McKennitt - To Drive the Cold Winter Away

I am a huge Loreena McKennitt fan, so of course I have put this at the top of my list. If you've never heard her music, I also strongly recommend what I consider to be her two best albums: The Mask and the Mirror, and The Book of Secrets.

Album CoverAnonymous 4 - Wolcum Yule

Celtic and British Songs and Carols. A nice gift for any fan of Medieval/Renaissance/Early Music.

Album CoverThe Cambridge Singers Christmas Album

Excellent. Another good gift for that Early Music fan. I highly recommend it, even if like me you are not a Christian - unless of course you hate anything that has to do with Christ.

Album CoverHélène Dallaire - Noël Renaissance

This charming collection of Christmas carols, some of which you will find familiar, others probably not, is entirely in French, except for one fairly decent rendering of "Greensleeves" which is sung in English.

Album CoverSunita and Ensemble - Boughs of Holly

This CD features instrumental versions of many familiar carols as well as a few lesser-known ones. I don't usually like instrumental folk music collections because they usually sound like elevator music. This is an exception. It's almost like having a group of minstrels playing in your living room. Very evocative of an old-fashioned Christmas... you know, the kind Shakespeare might have known.

Album CoverShira Kammen - The Castle of the Holly King

I bought this CD used for $5 at Housing Works Book Cafe in Manhattan. It purports to contain "Secular Songs for the Yuletide" but there are a few references to Jesus in a couple of the songs. I didn't like most of the songs on this CD, because they sounded too much like this cheap-ass CD of Irish drinking songs I bought once. But it was worth the five bucks for the following songs: "The Holly Bears a Berry" (in Cornish!) "Gower Wassail," "Nou is Yole Comen" and "Bring Us in Good Ale."

Was hail/waes hael/ves heill... and (shudder) Cuio mae!
 
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
  Good Yule
It's crazy here in New York City right now, because of the transit strike. We have to car-pool to work, so I've been having to get up at the butt-crack of dawn every morning. But otherwise it's been fun; I hate taking the train anyway, and it's nice to have some company during the ride to work.

However, having to get up so early means I have to go to bed earlier than usual, so I haven't had any time to post.
 
Monday, December 19, 2005
  Mouth of Sauron site quotes me...
Just did a Google search for "Mouth of Sauron" as I often do, and found this site:

The Mouth of Sauron

The webmaster quoted me on the About page of the site:
The Mouth of Sauron's part in The Lord of the Rings is quite small. In fact, Tolkien devotes little more than three pages to him. Yet with masterful strokes he paints the Mouth of Sauron in such a way as to make his character plain, telling us more about him in a few paragraphs than a lesser writer could in a whole chapter. For example, there is the passage wherein we learn of his hopes for the future, once Sauron the Great has triumphed and made himself Lord of all Middle-earth: "West of the Anduin as far as the Misty Mountains and the Gap of Rohan shall be tributary to Mordor, and men there shall bear no weapons, but shall have leave to govern their own affairs. But they shall help to rebuild Isengard which they have wantonly destroyed, and that shall be Sauron's, and there his lieutenant shall dwell: not Saruman, but one more worthy of trust." The lieutenant he alludes to is of course himself, as Tolkien makes clear in the next couple of lines, revealing Mouth's ambition and lust for power.
Unfortunately, the quote is unattributed. Nevertheless, I am flattered.
 
Sunday, December 18, 2005
  Blog Search
Time to introduce a new regular feature I plan to... well, include regularly: Blog Search! Yes, when I'm bored and have nothing better to do I sometimes use Blogger's search engine to look for posts on other blogs about stuff I'm interested in. So here's what I found today:

LOTR Flash Videos from Albinoblacksheep.com

Eye of Sauron found in deep space

Alan Lee, and a rewrite of "The Mouth of Sauron"

Political Correctness further permeates the mainstream....

How the Witch Came to New England: Intro. to The Three Sisters, in progress, Notes from The Land of The Dead
 
  My LotR stuff
I think I must have posted these pictures on my board not too long ago, but the attack against ezboard probably wiped those posts out. Click on the thumbnails to see the full-size images.
Computer ArmoireComputer Armoire Top Shelf
The top of my computer armoire. From l. to r., top: Nazgul with steed; limited edition polystone statue of Gollum; Treebeard; GandalfClose-up of top shelf. From bottom left: Miniature Man of Rohan, Eowynn & Eomer; Saruman; Mouth of Sauron Sideshow-Weta bust; Newborn Lurtz; Miniature orcs with battering-ram.
Mouth of Sauron Sideshow-Weta BustOrcs with Battering-ram
Close-up of Mouth of Sauron Sideshow-Weta Bust.Close-up of Orcs with battering-ram.
Mouth of Sauron on steedComputer armoire, side view
Here's the Mouth of Sauron riding across the ashen plain of Gorgoroth... i.e., the thick layer of dust that has accumulated on the top of my computer monitor.Here's a side-view of the top of my computer armoire. From l. to r.: Nazgul snowglobe with cowering hobbits; Witch-king votary candle-holder.
 
Saturday, December 17, 2005
  Lawsuit against New Line settled
Thought I'd post an update to my previous post, Saul Zaentz sues New Line Cinema, even though it's old news now. From Rotten Tomatoes:

According to Variety, Producer Saul Zaentz will receive about $20 million from New Line Cinema (on top of the $168 million he earned from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy), thereby ending a lawsuit before it goes to trial. So that's nearly $190 million bucks for the 84-year-old Mr. Zaentz; not too shabby considering he didn't actually produce the "Lord of the Rings" movies.
Read more: New Line and Producer Zaentz "Ring" Out a Settlement
 
  Finally, something to complain about...
Recently I said that since my promotion I haven't had anything to bitch about for a while. Well, I spoke too soon.

A while ago one of the managers asked me to put in a ticket to have some computers moved from the north side of our office to the south side. You have to put two tickets in, actually... one to Corporate Real Estate, and one to the Help Desk, or as I like to call it, the Helpless Desk. There were three computers not in use on the north side, and they were to be set up in a group of cubicles in the area where I sit, for the use of associate employees, so they could go online during their breaks. Associates, unlike managers (and acting managers, like myself) do not have internet access at their workstations, because that's the way the company wants it. But at our old office we had a computer lounge, so that's what this was meant to become.

Anyway, I put those tickets in, and a month later it still wasn't done, so I called the Helpless Desk and they told me someone would be up that following Monday. Surprisingly enough, someone actually did come on Monday, and I showed her where the computers were to be moved. But before we moved them, I decided to check with the CCM (Call Center Manager, a manager on a higher tier than the one who requested I have the computers moved), because the area the computers were being moved to is very close to her office and I was sure she would have a problem with that. She acted like she knew exactly what was going on, but I made damn sure I explained it anyway; that the computers were for the reps to have internet access on their breaks. And she seemed perfectly OK with that.

Now it's a week or so later & no one seems to have told any of the reps that they can use these computers for internet access. The computers are just sitting there, after I went through all that trouble, and no one is using them. So yesterday I decided I would take it upon myself to send an email out to our entire office in order to inform the reps that we now have some off-network computers set up so they can go online. But coward that I am, I figured I'd better check with the CCM before I did this.

I should've just sent the damn email out, because now she tells me, "Well, I don't know if I want all these people coming back here..." So what the fuck did she think was going to happen when I explained what we were doing a week ago? Did she expect us to move these computers and then not tell anyone they could use them, or only tell a select few? Or maybe, as Witchking suggested when I told him this story, she just hadn't been listening to me before.

Anyway, we ended up using a training room for this purpose, which already had working computers in it, so there was really no need to move any computers at all. In fact, we ended up using the very room that I and several other people had suggested we use in the first place, back when our office had first moved to its new home.

That's Corporate America for you.

Gary Cole as Bill Lumbergh in 'Office Space'
 
Friday, December 16, 2005
  Cool Matrix screensaver
I found this free Matrix screensaver at Kelly Software. It's the best I've seen so far.

Matrix Screensaver Thumbnail

I installed it on my computer at work, and then went searching for a cool desktop background to go with it. Imagine my delight when I found this LotR/Matrix wallpaper at desktopia.com...

Desktopia Wallpaper Thumbnail

By the way, if you like this desktop background, why not take a second or two to rate it? In my opinion, it currently has a much lower rating than it deserves, despite my having given it a 9 (I deducted one point because it's only available in 800x600... but now I regret not having given it a 10 anyway, because it's just so fuckin' cool).
 
Thursday, December 15, 2005
  I've always wanted a job title with the word "Master" in it...
As promised, here is my tale of how I officially attained Webmasterdom (unfortunately, I lied about it being an exciting tale; I hope you can forgive me).

Several months ago the company I work for let it be known that they were looking for a Webmaster to re-design our district's website on the corporate intranet. I applied for the position, and as an example of my work I submitted Lugburz.com. I thought for sure they would hate it, but they actually liked the site and called me in for an interview. I later learned that they had narrowed it down to two people, but I had more experience working with Macromedia Dreamweaver and Flash, so I was offered the position several weeks later. Of course, I accepted.

As District Webmaster, I not only designed the new site, but I also get to maintain it perpetually... well, "indefinitely" might be a better word. You never know what might happen in the future. But so far the site seems to be a success, so I'll probably have this position for a while. Also, I am increasingly becoming viewed as something of a computer "expert" so even if this position isn't permanent, there may be opportunities for me in the IT department later on.

After five and a half years as a Customer Service Representative... think five and a half years of PURE HELL... I almost feel a little bit guilty, because now my job is actually fun. Oh, of course, there are a few tasks that can get a bit tedious, but overall it's been great. That's another reason I haven't posted in so long... I've kind of run out of things to bitch about for the time being.
 
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
  Life After "The Lord of the Rings"
... does not exist. Because I don't consider there to be any "after" Lord of the Rings. Yes, the extended versions of all three movies have been released on DVD. But does this spell the end? Of course not! There are still the books, and I for one still have hope that there will be a movie version of The Hobbit someday. In any case, Lugburz.com will go on, its message board will go on... limping, perhaps, but on nonetheless... and this blog will go on.

That said, I must apologize for not posting here for more than a year. I had started another blog, which I thought to keep more up to date than this one... but alas, that one fell by the wayside as well. Now, however, I have decided that this will be my ONE AND ONLY BLOG, NOW AND FOREVER!!! Yeah, right. Anyway, for the time being, this is my only blog. Which means I'll be veering off topic a lot more... I mean, as much as I love The Lord of the Rings, I can't talk about it all the time.

Also, to break up the monotony of words, words, words, I will try to take the time to post more pictures once in a while.

Up next: The exciting tale of how I recently landed a job as a Webmaster.

'Till then... hopefully it will be soon.
 
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dur he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said: 'I am the Mouth of Sauron.' J.R.R. Tolkien

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