Wednesday, December 31, 2014


T.R.A.C.S at the Shire on River Island

The Shire (Middle-earth)

The Shire is a region of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth, described in The Lord of the Rings and other works. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place entirely in Middle-earth, as does much of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. The Shire refers to an area settled exclusively by Hobbits and largely removed from the goings-on in the rest of Middle-earth. It is located in the northwest of the continent, in the large region of Eriador and the Kingdom of Arnor. Its name in Westron was Sûza "Shire" or Sûzat "The Shire". Its name in Sindarin was i Drann.

According to Tolkien, the Shire measured 40 leagues (193 km, 120 miles from the Far Downs in the west to the Brandywine Bridge in the east, and 50 leagues (241 km, 150 miles) from the northern moors to the marshes in the south. This is confirmed in an essay by Tolkien on translating The Lord of the Rings, where he describes the Shire as having an area of 18,000 square miles (47,000 km2).
The original territory of the Shire was bounded on the east by the Baranduin River, on the north by uplands rising to the old centre of Arnor, on the west by the White Downs, and on the south by marshland south of the River Shirebourn. After the original settlement, hobbits also expanded to the east into Buckland between the Baranduin and the Old Forest, and (much later) to the west into the Westmarch between the White Downs and the Tower Hills.
The Shire was originally divided into four Farthings. The outlying lands of Buckland and the Westmarch were formally added after the War of the Ring. Within the Farthings there are some smaller unofficial clan homelands: the Tooks nearly all live in or near Tuckborough in Tookland, for instance. A Hobbit surname often indicates where the family came from: Samwise Gamgee's last name derives from Gamwich, where the family originated. Buckland was named for the Oldbucks (later called the Brandybucks).

The Shire is described as a small but beautiful, idyllic and fruitful land, beloved by its inhabitants. The Hobbits had an extensive agricultural system in the Shire but were not industrialised. The landscape included small pockets of forest (again similar to the English countryside). Various supplies were produced in the Shire, including cereals, fruit, wood and pipe-weed.

The Hobbit (song)

The Last Goodbye
Billy Boyd (born 28 August 1968) is a Scottish actor and musician most widely known for playing the characters Peregrin "Pippin" Took in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (2001–03), Barret Bonden in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), and Glen in Seed of Chucky (2004).
In 2014, Boyd wrote and performed the song "The Last Goodbye", which will be played over the ending credits of the movie The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which was released on 12 December 2014.
The soundtrack, which includes Boyd's song, was released 8 December 2014.
   The Last Goodbye lyrics
I saw the light fade from the sky
On the wind I heard a sigh
As the snowflakes cover my fallen brothers
I will say this last goodbye

Night is now falling
So ends this day
The road is now calling
And I must away
Over hill and under trees
Through lands where never light has shone
By silver streams that run down to the Sea

Under clouds, beneath the stars
Over snow one winter’s morn
I turned at last to paths that lead home
And though where the road then takes me
I cannot tell
We came all this way
But now comes the day
To bid you farewell
Many places I have been
Many sorrows I have seen
But I don’t regret
Nor will I forget
All who took that road with me

Night is now falling
So ends this day
The road is now calling
And I must away
Over hill and under tree
Through lands where never light has shined
By silver streams that run down to the Sea

To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home
And though where the road then takes me
I cannot tell
We came all this way
But now comes the day
To bid you farewell

I bid you all a very fond farewell.

The Hobbit (film triology)

The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Portions of the trilogy are also adapted from the appendices to The Return of the King, which expand on the story told in The Hobbit. The films are subtitled An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

The screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct before his departure from the project. The films take place in the fictional world of Middle-earth sixty years before the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, and follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is convinced by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The films also expand upon certain elements from the novel and other source material, such as Gandalf's investigation at Dol Guldur, and the pursuit of Azog and Bolg, who seek vengeance against Thorin and his ancestors.

The films feature an ensemble cast that also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace and Luke Evans, with several actors reprising their roles from The Lord of the Rings, including Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis. The films also feature Manu Bennett, Sylvester McCoy, Stephen Fry, Mikael Persbrandt, Barry Humphries, and Lawrence Makoare. Also returning for production, among others, were illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, art director Dan Hennah, cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, and composer Howard Shore, while props were again crafted by Weta Workshop, with visual effects managed by Weta Digital.

The first film in the series premiered at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand on 28 November 2012. One hundred thousand people lined the red carpet on Courtenay Place, and the entire event was broadcast live on television in New Zealand and streamed over the Internet. The second film of the series premiered at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California on 2 December 2013. The third and final film premiered at Leicester Square in London on 1 December 2014.

Although The Hobbit was originally made as a two-part film, on 30 July 2012, Jackson confirmed plans for a third film, turning his adaptation of The Hobbit into a trilogy. According to Jackson, the third film would make extensive use of the appendices that Tolkien wrote to expand the story of Middle-Earth (published in the back of The Return of the King). While the third film will largely make use of footage originally shot for the first and second films, it will require additional filming as well. The Battle of the Five Armies will take place in the third film. The second film was retitled The Desolation of Smaug and the third film was titled There and Back Again in August 2012. On April 24, 2014, the third film was renamed The Battle of the Five Armies. On the title change, Jackson said, "There and Back Again felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo's arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived "there" in the Desolation of Smaug". Shaun Gunner, the chairman of The Tolkien Society, supported the decision: "‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ much better captures the focus of the film but also more accurately channels the essence of the story."

The Hobbit (book)

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.

Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien's Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of the Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters
re-emerge to engage in conflict.
Personal growth and forms of heroism are central themes of the story. Along with motifs of warfare, these themes have led critics to view Tolkien's own experiences during World War I as instrumental in shaping the story. The author's scholarly knowledge of Germanic philology and interest in fairy tales are often noted as influences.

Encouraged by the book's critical and financial success, the publisher requested a sequel. As Tolkien's work on the successor The Lord of the Rings progressed, he made retrospective accommodations for it in The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed with minor emendations, including those reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled. The work has never been out of print. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, board games and video games. Several of these adaptations have received critical recognition on their own merits.

Gandalf tricks Bilbo into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of dwarves, who sing of reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug. When the music ends, Gandalf unveils a map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.
The group travels into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell, where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. Passing over the Misty Mountains, they are caught by goblins and driven deep underground. Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblins. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across a mysterious ring and then encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles. As a reward for solving all riddles Gollum will show him the path out of the tunnels, but if Bilbo fails, his life will be forfeit. With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them. The goblins and Wargs give chase but the company are saved by eagles before resting in the house of Beorn.

The company enters the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf. In Mirkwood, Bilbo first saves the dwarves from giant spiders and then from the dungeons of the Wood-elves. Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of Lake-town, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition travels to the Lonely Mountain and finds the secret door; Bilbo scouts the dragon's lair, stealing a great cup and learning of a weakness in Smaug's armour. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town has aided the intruder, sets out to destroy the town. A noble thrush had overheard Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability and reports it to the Lake-town defender, Bard, who slays the dragon.
When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, an heirloom of Thorin's dynasty, and hides it away. The Wood-elves and Lake-men besiege the mountain and request compensation for their aid, reparations for Lake-town's destruction, and settlement of old claims on the treasure. Thorin refuses and, having summoned his kin from the mountains of the North, reinforces his position. Bilbo tries to ransom the Arkenstone to head off a war, but Thorin is intransigent. He banishes Bilbo, and battle seems inevitable.

Gandalf reappears to warn all of an approaching army of goblins and Wargs. The dwarves, men and elves band together, but only with the timely arrival of the eagles and Beorn do they win the climactic Battle of Five Armies. Thorin is fatally wounded and reconciles with Bilbo before he dies. Bilbo accepts only a small portion of his share of the treasure, having no want or need for more, but still returns home a very wealthy hobbit.

Monday, December 29, 2014


I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I get............
Aita & Gay
Bock & Tomais
Diva & Tadd
Fio & Racker

Titus & Greg

Jenna (cheese)

Levi & Kit
Rez & Jay
Rik & Luka
Tim & Christo
Waffles & family
Zee & JR

Theatre on the Hill (TotH) Christmas Show

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas party in Sweetgrass

Group Notice From: Sweetgrass Sim Group by Ganymede Gynoid
'Sexy dressed Santa’s with some of their bodyparts wrapped as precious gifts danced in the Sweetgrass Christmas Disco,' Norbie wrote on the website with the pics of the party at "".
DJ Racker did a magnificent set with many, many Christmas songs, so all came in the right mood! The contest is won by Honzo, Luca, Christo, Fiorino, Jhami, Joeh, and Lysander, congrats boys! Next Sunday we have a Bye bye 2014 Party with DJ Ginger!

Pictures made by Ganymedes

Status Quo Party at T.R.A.C.S

With DJ Anj on Saturday December 20th.
The theme was: Whatever you want. Whatever you like!
Here are the snapshots I made.

Next week we have a winter break.
We will be back on January 3rd 2015

Tim and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and great 2015.