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John Tobias
“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” ― William Wordsworth
“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” ― William Wordsworth


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I know this isn't really all that Tolkien related, but it sort of is.
A couple weeks ago I posted that the Return of the King Complete Recordings soundtrack was delivered and posted photos of it. If you look closely you will see that a couple of the corners of the book like case for the CD/Blu-ray are damaged (torn) Since that packaging is a good part of why you would order this particular set, I opened a return auth with to order another.

The first two editions (FotR and TT) arrived in perfect condition but were shipped differently. put them in their own box (a small shoe-box sized thing with air pillows) RotK however was in a slightly padded envelope (SPE) which of course was crushed in shipping. (see photos) The replacement for that order also arrived in a SPE and was crushed almost flat with all four corners torn open. This prompted a call to support instead of just RMA'ing again because I needed to request it be shipped in a box. Which they were glad to authorize and put in the notes.
Needless to say (I suppose or I wouldn't be writing this) it again arrived in a SPE and was crushed to a point somewhere between the other two. This prompted another call to support. who couldn't at first understand the problem, yes, the package arrived, no that isn't the problem, the problem is it is crushed because your shipping department keeps putting it in a SPE and not a box like the other two editions. 45 minutes of transfers, retelling the story, and begging for it to be shipped in a box they agreed and made a note to ship it in a box.

Well, long story longer, they did in fact ship it in a box. They shipped it in the HUGE box containing all of my Subscribe and Save items for the month. Which included a case of Raisin Bran cereal, a case of Pringles, a package of batteries, and other items. It was crushed by these items and I now have 4 of these CD sets (well, 3 since I sent the original one back to them already) and NONE of them are in a condition that would be considered good.

I swear to you, I am going to just give up at this point. I can't bring myself to fight with about this anymore. I can tell you this though, after 15+ years of purchasing from, with Subscribe and Save, Prime, Kindles (so many kindles) and (after checking the total purchases from them which they let you do) WAY too much money. I will no longer purchase anything from This one experience has proven to me that does not care enough about the products they sell (This was an Amazon purchase and not a third party seller) or their customers for me to spend money with them anymore. I will start untangling myself from their ecosphere and look for somewhere else, probably multiple somewhere else's to get my products and entertainment from.
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And I guess I just added another Tolkien related group to MeWe, because why not...

There is a Tolkien related group already on MeWe if anyone is looking for a new home for discussion when G+ finally breathes it's last.

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So, with the destruction of G+ as a platform this community is one of the things I am going to miss the most. Since I have not needed to look anywhere else for Tolkien related information, essays, community, and conversation in a very long time I have no idea where to go from here. Anyone have any suggestions?

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You know those times when you are really busy (say packing an entire house to move) and you see something that should be done, but you then say to yourself, I don't really have time for that now, I will do it when we unpack." and then you move, and never really unpack most of the stuff, and certainly not the box with the thing you were supposed to do. Then a few years later your watching a YouTube video that happens to remind you about the thing you were supposed to do, but never did and you stop and think, "Shoot, I forgot to do that thing and holy smokes it's been like 6 years now and that's really really bad..." (language cleaned up for posting) and you rush downstairs to find that box and open it and pull out the thing and plug it in and turn it on and of course it doesn't work and you know exactly why and all that is left is to see how bad it actually is? Well, this is one of those times.

For the uninitiated, you are really not supposed to leave the battery on the motherboard of a Macintosh SE when it is in storage, and for that matter you should just replace them every few years as they have a tendency to leak. When they do you need to clean them very quickly and not, for example, leave them stewing in acid for years. This is going to be a complicated repair. First step, get the board as clean as possible and see what is damaged. Where did I put my multi-meter and oscilloscope? Probably in another box. ;)

At least the analog board seems unaffected and the Hard drive still works.
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Take a look at this!
1977’s The Hobbit Showed Us the Future of Pop Culture

Austin Gilkeson revisits the most excellent animated version of The Hobbit, which first aired on tv in the 1970s.

Check out the full piece on!

But in 1977, all of that is yet to come. The animated Hobbit is merely the first step out the door. The movie is certainly aware of its larger context. It opens with a skyward-dive toward a map of Middle-earth entire, almost like the opening credits of Game of Thrones, and ends with an ominous shot of the One Ring. But despite the gestures towards The Lord of the Rings, the film largely seems content to be an adaptation of Tolkien’s children’s adventure. It even includes the songs. All of the songs.

The film opens with the sort of “someone reading a storybook” conceit common to many Disney cartoons. We then dive down to Bag-End, which is lovingly animated, but seems to exist by itself—we see nothing of the rest of Hobbiton or the Shire. Bilbo Baggins walks outside to smoke and suddenly, the wandering wizard Gandalf appears literally out of thin air. He accosts poor Bilbo, looming over the little hobbit, more or less shrieking at him, and summoning lightning and thunder. It’s a strange greeting, and a marked departure from the banter the hobbit and wizard exchange in the book.

Read more

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Last Blu-ray/CD set finally released! They are all great sounding with extras that make them even better. If you missed the original limited editions you should give these a look...
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Found these two (of 3) tonight for 2$ each. They are in perfect condition and appear to have never been read. Which is amazing considering they were published in the late 1980's.
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