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Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD

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  • pa2rick <pwynne@gvtel.com>
    ... Actually, it s the charming condescension of a forty-something, 47 to be exact, which certainly qualifies as substantially older than you, though that does
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 15, 2003
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      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Ernest Tomlinson" <thiophene@f...>
      wrote:

      > > Ah, the charming smugness of twenty-somethings.
      >
      > Ah, the charming condescension of thirty-somethings (I'm guessing;
      > my experience has shown me that those who are most eager to
      > exalt their superior years and wisdom over a youngster like me
      > are those who aren't that much older.)

      Actually, it's the charming condescension of a forty-something, 47 to
      be exact, which certainly qualifies as substantially older than you,
      though that does not automatically mean I'm wiser. In general,
      probably far from it. However, when it comes to _Tolkien scholarship_,
      I'm certainly more experienced than you; see below.

      > Ironically, I took just your position some years ago. Perhaps if I
      > were a writer myself, I would have stuck to it. But I have come
      > to believe that there is something slightly unhealthy in dwelling
      > on what went _behind_ the composition of a work of art like a
      > great novel or film, instead of contenting oneself with what
      > actually made it to the page or screen. I don't think much, for
      > example, of those DVD movie releases loaded with
      > "making of" featurettes, pages scanned in from rough drafts of the
      > screenplay and storyboards and so forth, and the inevitable
      > "director's commentary" where he spends two hours explaining
      > the brilliance behind this scene or that. Does all of this
      > ancillary material enhance appreciation of the film, or
      > distort it?

      This is certainly a valid viewpoint, and nobody is compelled to watch
      the "making of" featurettes or director's commentaries on DVDs
      (I tend to skip them myself), any more than one is compelled to
      read the "History of Middle-earth". But if one were writing, say, a
      dissertation on a certain movie director's style and techniques,
      then the director's commentaries and "making of" featurettes on
      their DVDs would be gold. And so it is with Tolkien and
      the "HoMe" series. My own realm of expertise is Tolkien's
      languages, which I've been studying for over 20 years and seriously
      writing and publishing on for something like 15 years. And to any
      serious researcher in Tolkienian linguistics, the "HoMe" is an
      indispensable resource. This is why I responded to your post with
      such vexation -- to blithely dismiss such valuable material as mere
      "napkin-jottings" is the sort of dilettantish comment that could only
      be made by someone who has never done any serious research on an
      aspect of Tolkien's writing (be it linguistic, mythological,
      theological, stylistic, poetic, whatever).

      > Similarly, does knowing that Strider the Ranger
      > used to be a hobbit named Trotter _really_ do anything for one's
      > appreciation of LOTR itself (other than elicit a sigh of relief
      > that Tolkien made the change?)

      On the shallowest of levels, that of someone reading LOTR purely for
      fun (which I still do every few years), the answer is probably "no".
      But from a scholar's viewpoint, the answer must be "yes". To cite
      a linguistic example -- it is because Strider the Ranger began his
      conceptual life as a Hobbit named "Trotter" that in an early draft
      of the King's Letter to Samwise (from the Epilogue to LOTR) the
      King's Quenya surname is _Tarantar_ 'Trotter' (_Sauron Defeated_,
      p. 121), a word that (to my knowledge) occurs nowhere else in
      Tolkien's writings and thus provides yet another small but vital piece
      of information about Quenya. Much could be written about this
      form that, coupled with other published Q. words, could shed
      further light on Tolkien's thoughts on Quenya agentives, including
      those that appear in the published text of LOTR, e.g. _Telcontar_
      'Strider', the name that replaced _Tarantar_.

      > See, I have thought about this far more than you gave (or likely
      > give) me credit for.

      Perhaps. And vice versa, I'd say.

      -- Patrick Wynne
    • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
      ... From: Ernest Tomlinson To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2003 8:27 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD Does all of
      Message 2 of 20 , Feb 15, 2003
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Ernest Tomlinson
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2003 8:27 AM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD


        " Does all of this ancillary material enhance appreciation of
        the film, or distort it? Similarly, does knowing that Strider the Ranger
        used to be a hobbit named Trotter _really_ do anything for one's
        appreciation of LOTR itself (other than elicit a sigh of relief that Tolkien
        made the change?)

        See, I have thought about this far more than you gave (or likely give) me
        credit for."

        Ernest.

        I believe that the History of Middle Earth, Is of great value not only to those of us who wish to understand the writting process better, but of historical value as well. I don't believe anyone would suggest that the study of the early drafts of Emily Dickenson's poems wouldn't enhance the apreciation of the finished works. This is because you begin to understand how the writer's mind worked.
        The first few times I read the Lord of the Rings I woondered why it took them so long to get to Bree, and hence on with the story. It wasn't until I read the Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (not part of the history, but difinetely in the same vain) that I found out that he liked the hobbit dialouge and adventures so much he didn't want to leave that section. So it clarified the point for me. Understanding the writers, or screen writers, intentions can be grealy facilitated by such things as THe History of Middle Earth, or director commentaries (weather or not their insightful depends largely on the director).
        DCG

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • tghsaw
        ... As someone who s done a lot of critiquing and a lesser amount of editing (for a *very* small publisher who somehow keeps forgetting to pay me...) of
        Message 3 of 20 , Feb 16, 2003
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          > Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 18:51:56 -0000
          > From: "pa2rick <pwynne@...>" <pwynne@...>
          > Subject: Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD
          >
          > This is certainly a valid viewpoint, and nobody is compelled to watch
          > the "making of" featurettes or director's commentaries on DVDs
          > (I tend to skip them myself), any more than one is compelled to
          > read the "History of Middle-earth". But if one were writing, say, a
          > dissertation on a certain movie director's style and techniques,
          > then the director's commentaries and "making of" featurettes on
          > their DVDs would be gold. And so it is with Tolkien and
          > the "HoMe" series.
          >
          > -- Patrick Wynne
          >
          >


          As someone who's done a lot of critiquing and a lesser amount of editing
          (for a *very* small publisher who somehow keeps forgetting to pay me...) of
          fantasy and other fiction, IMHO the HoMe books and Tolkien's letters are
          also wonderful reading for beginning fantasy writers. Too many think they
          can just "whip something off" and it will be greeted with open arms by
          publishers and readers (and, IMVVHO, too many of those works *do* get
          published). A look at the thought, research, and rewriting Tolkien went
          through to create a *real* work of art is a big eyeopener to some of them.

          OTOH, as someone who possibly has more contact with Tolkien "newbies" than
          some others on this list, I've often found it necessary to make clear to
          them what the HoMe books are--and aren't. In their enthusiasm, they
          sometimes jump into them expecting to find completed stories and, of course,
          are very disappointed. (Some come up with amazing conclusions: One said he
          didn't think Christopher's stories were as well written as his father's!)
          It's nice, but not always possible, to catch them before they get to that
          point--for example, at the "I'vereadTheLordof
          theRings,TheHobbitandtheSilmarillionWhat's next?" stage. For ones who've
          really caught the fever (ah, remember those days?--but we didn't *have*
          anywhere to go after LotR and The Hobbit), just discovering the existence of
          this multi-volume series of books can start the saliva flowing. I try to
          encourage a look at the Letters before getting into HoMe. God luv 'em,
          though--it warms my heart to see another generation wanting to travel as far
          into Middle-earth as possible.

          (And as someone who will certainly never be getting deeply into the
          linguistic side of things--thanks, Patrick, for the fascinating glimpses
          into research in that area.)

          -- Trudy
        • lizziewriter@earthlink.net
          (Sorry for the attachment, I am checking mail remotely and don t quite know how to work the thingummy) Now... I cannot possibly be the only person here who has
          Message 4 of 20 , Feb 16, 2003
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            (Sorry for the attachment, I am checking mail remotely and don't quite know how to work the thingummy)

            Now... I cannot possibly be the only person here who has dreamed of someday being such a famous writer that I could go to restaurants and not only get away with writing on the tablecloth, but even have them want to keep it!?

            Lizzie
          • Michael Martinez <michael@xenite.org>
            ... only ... Greg Allman, many years ago, confessed in a radio show interview that he had written the words to the classic Allman Brothers Band song Whipping
            Message 5 of 20 , Feb 16, 2003
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              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "pa2rick <pwynne@g...>" <pwynne@g...>
              wrote:
              > [HUGE snip] This is why I responded to your post with
              > such vexation -- to blithely dismiss such valuable material as mere
              > "napkin-jottings" is the sort of dilettantish comment that could
              only
              > be made by someone who has never done any serious research on an
              > aspect of Tolkien's writing (be it linguistic, mythological,
              > theological, stylistic, poetic, whatever).

              Greg Allman, many years ago, confessed in a radio show interview that
              he had written the words to the classic Allman Brothers Band
              song "Whipping Post" on an ironing board cover with (I think) a piece
              of charcoal. He did not know what had become of that ironing board
              cover by the time he was interviewed, but he admitted he wished he
              had it back.

              Tolkien did, occasionally, scribble on napkins, newspapers, and the
              backs of empty test papers. Such scribblings have indeed been placed
              under the microscope of scholarship and studied with a grave and
              respectful care. To most people, the study of napkin-scribblings
              must indeed, on first impression, seem rather Mad Hatterish.

              Nonetheless, any insult, fitted with an appropriate context, can be
              worn as a badge of honor. Many a scoundrel has learned that lesson
              well. So has many a hero.

              > > Similarly, does knowing that Strider the Ranger
              > > used to be a hobbit named Trotter _really_ do anything for one's
              > > appreciation of LOTR itself (other than elicit a sigh of relief
              > > that Tolkien made the change?)
              >
              > On the shallowest of levels, that of someone reading LOTR purely for
              > fun (which I still do every few years), the answer is probably "no".

              Well, I have seen many non-researchers disagree with that point of
              view on dozens of Tolkien forums through the years. Quite a few
              people enjoy reading the earlier versions of the story. They are
              quite fascinated and don't really expect to learn anything from doing
              so.

              It's a matter of personal taste, preference, and/or goal.
            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/16/2003 6:45:29 PM Central Standard Time, ... Strider, itself, was not exactly an insult, but was a nickname that could be thought a
              Message 6 of 20 , Feb 17, 2003
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                In a message dated 2/16/2003 6:45:29 PM Central Standard Time,
                michael@... writes:


                > Nonetheless, any insult, fitted with an appropriate context, can be
                > worn as a badge of honor.

                "Strider," itself, was not exactly an insult, but was a nickname that could
                be thought a slight. See the passage in RETURN OF THE KING, Ch. 8 "The
                Houses of Healing," where Imrahil is shocked to hear the hobbits calling him
                Strider - Aragorn says "But Strider shall be the name of my house, if that be
                ever established. In the high tongue it will not sound so ill, and
                =Telcontar= I will be, and all the heirs of my body."

                As a side comment on this topic of "jottings", I've seen plaints that in the
                age of word processors, scholars are just not going to =have= the first and
                second and third draft, the words-scratched-out-and-rejected, all the stuff
                they would like to know about many future literary productions.

                Diamond Proudbrook


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • lizziewriter@earthlink.net
                Isn t there a book or two out now on the subject of digital data frailty? I saw one go by in an ad a couple months ago. Should we worry? Lizzie
                Message 7 of 20 , Feb 18, 2003
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                  Isn't there a book or two out now on the subject of digital data frailty? I saw one "go by" in an ad a couple months ago. Should we worry?

                  Lizzie
                • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                  ... From: Stolzi@aol.com Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 18:40:44 EST To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re: TREASON OF
                  Message 8 of 20 , Feb 18, 2003
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                    Original Message:
                    -----------------
                    From: Stolzi@...
                    Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 18:40:44 EST
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD)



                    Diamond Proudbrook:

                    As a side comment on this topic of "jottings", I've seen plaints that in
                    the
                    age of word processors, scholars are just not going to =have= the first and
                    second and third draft, the words-scratched-out-and-rejected, all the stuff
                    they would like to know about many future literary productions.

                    Diane:

                    Much of that depends on how authors keep their materials on computer, which
                    will be very much an individual choice. There might be backups of older
                    mss. on disk, or Ms. Writer may save different versions for various reasons
                    on different computers. Scholars will just have to look for them in
                    different ways. I know when I'm working on a piece, esp. a long one, I have
                    more than one version. I save repeatedly, and back it up---those backups
                    then go to another disk when I run out of room. So several versions have
                    been saved along the way. Plus, I don't think any author would want to
                    risk having just one copy of a doccument on a hard disk that might crash,
                    so Mr. Author might print out a copy, or portions of a copy, just to be
                    sure that he has the ultimate back-up---a hard copy. It might be true that
                    scholars will have the luxury of multiple versions, if they know how to
                    retrieve the data. ---djb


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                  • Ernest S. Tomlinson
                    On Tue, 18 Feb 2003 07:36:23 -0500 (EST), lizziewriter@earthlink.net ... Most certainly we should worry. Whatever snide comments deserve to be made about the
                    Message 9 of 20 , Feb 18, 2003
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                      On Tue, 18 Feb 2003 07:36:23 -0500 (EST), lizziewriter@...
                      said:

                      > Isn't there a book or two out now on the subject of digital data frailty?
                      > I saw one "go by" in an ad a couple months ago. Should we worry?

                      Most certainly we should worry. Whatever snide comments deserve to be
                      made about the practice of printing documents on paper (or "dead trees",
                      as the digital illiterati love to say), it can't be said that paper
                      doesn't last. Papers buried in rubbish heaps a hundred years ago can
                      still be unearthed and read. Yet that supposedly indestructible book in
                      PDF format on a polycarbonate CD-ROM will likely be unreadable half a
                      decade hence, because Adobe will long have ceased supporting the old file
                      format and the medium itself may have been abandoned by all except a few
                      junk-shop denizens of the sort who collect manual typewriters and slide
                      rules today.

                      Cheers,

                      Ernest.
                      --
                      Ernest S. Tomlinson
                      thiophene@...
                    • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
                      Speak for yourself. We still have 8 inch floppies and a computer that could run them if we want to! And yes, the last time we powered it up, It Worked! And
                      Message 10 of 20 , Feb 18, 2003
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                        Speak for yourself. We still have 8 inch floppies and a computer that
                        could run them if we want to! And yes, the last time we powered it up,
                        It Worked! And that was CPM. And although we no longer have the old
                        MS-Dos programs that I wrote a lot of stuff on, I've got more modern
                        programs that can read the files. The trick is to save everything in the
                        simplest, least formated style (.txt is great), then reading the
                        information later is possible.

                        That said, I've done print outs of everything important anyway. It's
                        easier to lug a bunch of sheets of paper to the IRS audit than a
                        computer any day. And it is usually the safest method of long term
                        storage. But keep in mind, it must be stored correctly or cheap modern
                        paper will start to go bad after only a few years. Get the higher
                        quality stuff for anything you may want to archieve (look for acid free
                        if possible).

                        But I've also recycled my bunch of trees as well. I used to make monthly
                        paper back ups of the Mythprint mailing list (just in case the computer
                        crashed). With the more modern systems and multiple networked computers
                        in the house, I probably would not do those anymore. Just make sure the
                        data was back-uped on disk somewhere.

                        I've heard that several writers make extensive back ups of all their
                        writings on various drive systems. They never copy over the old data,
                        just save latest revisions as a new file. That way, if they decide they
                        liked the version they had three days ago, they can just go back to
                        that. I guess that takes the place of all the napkin scribbles. Though
                        I've noticed that a number of them, when brainstorming, scribble on
                        napkins too. Except for Larry Niven, who has had laptops since the
                        TRS-80. He says he types much faster than he writes.

                        Mythically yours,
                        Lisa
                      • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
                        ... From: Ernest S. Tomlinson To: Mythopoeic Society Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 10:51 AM Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re: TREASON
                        Message 11 of 20 , Feb 18, 2003
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Ernest S. Tomlinson
                          To: Mythopoeic Society
                          Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 10:51 AM
                          Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD)


                          On Tue, 18 Feb 2003 07:36:23 -0500 (EST), lizziewriter@...
                          said:

                          > Isn't there a book or two out now on the subject of digital data frailty?
                          > I saw one "go by" in an ad a couple months ago. Should we worry?

                          "Most certainly we should worry. Whatever snide comments deserve to be
                          made about the practice of printing documents on paper (or "dead trees",
                          as the digital illiterati love to say), it can't be said that paper
                          doesn't last. Papers buried in rubbish heaps a hundred years ago can
                          still be unearthed and read. Yet that supposedly indestructible book in
                          PDF format on a polycarbonate CD-ROM will likely be unreadable half a
                          decade hence, because Adobe will long have ceased supporting the old file
                          format and the medium itself may have been abandoned by all except a few
                          junk-shop denizens of the sort who collect manual typewriters and slide
                          rules today."

                          Cheers,

                          Ernest.

                          In regards to this, I would just like to mention that there are several programs that I have heard about, though I've never investigated, that are archiving older prgrams such as word, and acrobate so that archived materials may be retrived at a later date. I agree with you though that the longevity of paper is vastly superior

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Ernest S. Tomlinson
                          ... I know a little about this sort of thing with respect to old Macintosh software; I own an old Mac Classic and have fond memories of some of the old games I
                          Message 12 of 20 , Feb 19, 2003
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                            On Tue, 18 Feb 2003 14:50:34 -0800, darancgrissom@... said:

                            > In regards to this, I would just like to mention that there are several
                            > programs that I have heard about, though I've never investigated, that
                            > are archiving older prgrams such as word, and acrobate so that archived
                            > materials may be retrived at a later date.

                            I know a little about this sort of thing with respect to old Macintosh
                            software; I own an old Mac Classic and have fond memories of some of the
                            old games I played on it. I vaguely remember that someone coined the
                            term "abandonware" for these old applications that have long been
                            forgotten and unsupported. But Apple is (surprise, surprise!) being a
                            real jerk about this sort of thing, and has cracked down on web sites
                            archiving old versions of Macintosh system software (which used to be
                            free, by the way.) Since Jobs came back, programmed obsolescence,
                            charging up the wazoo for every version change of system software, and
                            forcing everyone to buy the latest Mac with translucent plastics and a
                            ridiculously twee code name just to run that software is fundamental
                            company policy--but I'm typing this on my iBook...

                            > I agree with you though
                            > that the longevity of paper is vastly superior.

                            It isn't just paper. The tech-savvy laugh at the idea of playing music
                            off LPs (you mean you actually stored music in _analogue_? With
                            _scratches_ on a plastic disk? Bwah hah hah!) But my LP collection is
                            bigger than my CD collection, largely because a used LP is much more
                            likely to be playable, aside from some pops and crackles, than a used CD.
                            An LP can survive physical damage that would destroy a CD; I even once
                            owned and played regularly an LP that had a crack in it. (Eventually I
                            found a better copy.) Scratch the bottom surface of a CD and you're
                            likely to make it unplayable without costly refurbishing; scratch the top
                            surface and that's all she wrote.

                            Digital media has this great advantage: they are easy to duplicate. But
                            of course the "content providers" (when did music and text become
                            "content"?) want to stop that. This is one reason I mistrust the rush
                            towards electronic texts profoundly. A paper copy of a book or journal
                            in a library can be read by anyone; an electronic copy can be restricted
                            to those willing to register and pay hefty access fees.

                            Ernest.
                            --
                            Ernest S. Tomlinson
                            thiophene@...
                          • David S. Bratman
                            My contribution to the conversation about libraries, paper, computers, and the preservation of same may be found here:
                            Message 13 of 20 , Feb 19, 2003
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                              My contribution to the conversation about libraries, paper, computers, and
                              the preservation of same may be found here:

                              http://www.stanford.edu/~dbratman/pagerunner.html

                              - David Bratman
                            • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
                              ... From: Ernest S. Tomlinson To: Mythopoeic Society Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 3:42 PM Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re:
                              Message 14 of 20 , Feb 19, 2003
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                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Ernest S. Tomlinson
                                To: Mythopoeic Society
                                Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 3:42 PM
                                Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re: TREASON OF ISENGARD)


                                "It isn't just paper. The tech-savvy laugh at the idea of playing music
                                off LPs (you mean you actually stored music in _analogue_? With
                                _scratches_ on a plastic disk? Bwah hah hah!) But my LP collection is
                                bigger than my CD collection, largely because a used LP is much more
                                likely to be playable, aside from some pops and crackles, than a used CD.
                                An LP can survive physical damage that would destroy a CD; I even once
                                owned and played regularly an LP that had a crack in it. (Eventually I
                                found a better copy.) Scratch the bottom surface of a CD and you're
                                likely to make it unplayable without costly refurbishing; scratch the top
                                surface and that's all she wrote."


                                I know what you mean about LP's. I inhertited several of them from my mother when I showed an interest in classical music a few years ago. They were not all classical several were some very obscure mo town and jazz recordings in the bunch. WHen I bought a new stereo, I got one that played records as well as CD's and tapes. I still get people who look at it funny when they come over. Ofcourse I also just recently got a CD Doctor for Christmas. It repairs any scratches in DVD's, CD's, or CD ROM's. It also seems to protect them to some degree. IT only costs about $50.00 total, I think it's a good deal.
                                DCG



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Ernest Tomlinson
                                ... From: To: Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 11:21 PM Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Mere
                                Message 15 of 20 , Feb 20, 2003
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                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: <darancgrissom@...>
                                  To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 11:21 PM
                                  Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Mere napkin-jottings (was Re: TREASON OF
                                  ISENGARD)


                                  > WHen I bought a new stereo, I got one that played records as well as CD's
                                  and tapes

                                  It's not terribly uncommon these days to find turntables and even
                                  vacuum-tube amplifiers and tuners at high-end audio shops; some believe that
                                  vinyl sounds better. Also, there is the regrettable practice in some
                                  contemporary music of mixing in the sound of a needle being scratched in
                                  various ways over the surface of a record, a practice that makes me quiver
                                  with revulsion and cringe at the thought of a good record and expensive
                                  diamond needle going to waste.

                                  > I still get people who look at it funny when they come over. Ofcourse I
                                  also just recently got a CD Doctor for Christmas. It repairs any scratches
                                  in DVD's, CD's, or CD ROM's. It also seems to protect them to some degree.
                                  IT only costs about $50.00 total, I think it's a good deal.

                                  I need to look into that. My friend and housemate-to-be has a multiple-disc
                                  set with one damaged disc--always annoying, because you can't just go out
                                  and replace the one disc. (I had to do this once when I borrowed a David
                                  Bowie four-disc set, scratched one disc, and ended up searching high and low
                                  for a replacement set.)

                                  Ernest.
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