Thursday, March 29, 2012

This weekend it's Party Time

Oh yeah. It's the LMB fourth year anniversary. Something like a third year anniversary, but a bit longer. Or possibly a bit shorter, depending on which universe you live in.

Actually, talking about that, expert opinion states officially that if you live in Aegthil's universe, you need therapy. I think this is unfair, although not necessarily untrue.

Anyway, as I was saying, it's party time. Party at the kinhouse, party along the road, party at ... er... well, other places too. In particular, party at the Huge Mega Concert, with the perfect name: CWNFANFTMCWNELBWAABOSMHU, which stands for Carica's Wonderful Name For The Mega Concert Which Everybody Likes Because If We Didn't She'd Thump Us And We Don't Want To Be Thumped.

Three bands. Three sets of songs. Three groups of kinnies. 3 screaming and adoring fans. Oh no, wait, that's 3000 screaming adoring fans.

One Rose Rockstar.

Woo Hoo.

In other words, the usual BBB concert time (the new Sunday Afternoon Geriatric Extravaganza, or SAGE) is being invaded by Old Winyards and The Andune Ensemble. And we are going to rock on out like there's no tomorrow. Be there, or be square. Or both, in some cases. Like if you're a dorf for instance, or a bobbit. They are naturally square because of their genetic deficiencies and thus if they are there at all they are necessarily there and square. Ahem.

Just saying.

Of course, this is all payback for BBB's appearance at Ales and Tales. We all thought that Lennidhren needed a good heart flushthrough, clear out the arteries a bit, so we turned up on horseback and 'helped' Old Winyards. Noisily. With considerable enthusiasm.

I'm not sure that Lenni has recovered yet from the shock. Sources tell me she is still in bed, with the sheets pulled up over her head, muttering to herself  "pipes... pink... pipes... pink... pipes... pink...". Poor Lenni.

Still, she'll get her revenge on Sunday. I'm reliably informed that Lenni is planning to appear as did Lady Godiva, well dressed in hair, riding a white horse at speed right through the middle of BBB, tromping on the pipes player.

Quite frankly, I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The afternoon concerts

For some reason I don't know, and probably don't want to know, the nasty Beorbrand has changed the BBB concert time. What was a perfectly good concert time of midnight, has now been changed to a very foolish 3 pm. On Sunday, no less.

Oh dear.

What respectable rockstar is out of bed at 3 pm on Sunday? Hullo? Excuse me, Mr. Piper Man? Don't you know anything? I guess you just have no idea what being a rockstar is like. Well, of course you don't. You aren't one. Pfft.

Now, midnight is a good time to start a gig. The old people and the young people are all safely tucked up in bed, and the bar is packed with CECs, all ready to party, and mostly half-drunk already. Oh yeah. What more could a rockstar ask for?

And as it gets later and later, the drinks keep on coming and the inhibitions keep disappearing, so that by the time you get to 2 am, even a bagpipe player might get lucky. Well, maybe not a bagpipe player, but certainly a drummer. By the time those CECs have felt that pounding beat for 2 solid hours they're ready for almost anything. (Except pipes.)

But instead of this we get the 3 pm crowd. Family groups. Geriatrics. Prayer groups just out of Temple. All stuffed full of righteous inhibition, and no dance moves. They stand there grumpily, wondering what on earth to do when the beat starts, when the rhythm starts to move their feet. Should they get up and boogie? Should they leave? Should they complain about the noise?

What about if their children hear a rude word? How can they cope with the typical BBB degeneracy? What on earth will they make of Sarasti? Actually, that's a good question. What can anyone make of Sarasti? Well, maybe let's not go there now. And there's Carica, the Drunken Bobbit. Hardly your typical familial role model there, wouldn't you say?

So when BBB gets up on stage, and Beor starts making his obscene hip gestures, Carica stumbles around in a drunken haze, Sarasti ogles anything with testosterone with her tongue hanging out, I stand there looking sexy, and all the other BBB rapscallians spout their usual innuendo, we look out at the sea of kiddie faces, at all the walking sticks and family picnic baskets, at all the earnest grandparents and icecreams, and we think to ourselves... what has BBB come to?

Next it'll be the lunchtime concerts at the Shire Music Golden Guitar Awards.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Slavery is alive and well

I am thinking of filing an official complaint at the Bree Mayoral Office. My Fool, with no regard for my wishes or personal development, is making me traipse up hill and down dale, from east to west, from north to south, looking for places to make a moving picture of the nasty LMB theme song.

Quite frankly, I have better things to do than climb every single cold and frosty peak in the Misty Mountains, run to every corner of the Trollshaws, or climb every tree in Lothlorien. Although, actually, climbing trees in Lothlorien can be OK, as sometimes you get to climb behind a CEC, and then the view can be spectacular.... but I digress. Ahem. Moving right along.

I would rather be at Madame Celestine's. Go figure.

In other news, my Fool has informed me that there have been complaints that I make comments that are hurtful to women. I just cannot believe this. (My Fool has been heard to say that the mere fact I'm breathing is, in and of itself, hurtful to women, but this is arrant nonsense also.)

I know, from extensive surveys conducted at Madame Celestine's* that 97% of women (excluding bobbits and dorfs) find me devilishly handsome and attractive, and that when I call out to them "Hey Gorgeous, I'm the famous Aegthil" it makes their little hearts go pitter patter pitter patter, and brings them out in hot flushes.

87% of respondents (including bobbits and dorfs) agree that Rose is a Sexy Colour.

This is all true. I have the evidence.

In other news, my Fool is (to be honest) rather saddened by what he considers to be a ridiculous argument that recently occurred in the Landroval Forum. A vibrant and enthusiastic community can so easily be fractured by such trivial and unnecessary things; it only takes one pathological nutcase (and in this case there is just one) to sour the entire barrel, if I may mix my metaphors.

Of course, my Fool insists I mention that I also am a pathological nutcase, just not the one under consideration here.

He is a Fool. Don't listen to him.

*These surveys are conducted by an independent polling agency and have a margin of error of plus or minus 2%

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Musical difficulties, by the Fool

The instruction (from Beorbrand, bless his little cotton socks) was to write a Joe Cocker version of an Irish jig. Hmmm, said I, OK. Sure. Sounds intriguing.

Well, it was intriguing all right, but it certainly wasn't successful. First, here's the finished product, as an abc file and as a wav file. Well, it's not really finished, as there is a whole lot more could be done to it, but not now. That will be a project for another day.

Clearly, it's not a jig. And it doesn't sound Irish. And it doesn't sound like Joe Cocker, either, which is the worst thing of all. I'm not saying it sounds bad. It doesn't. Especially the second half, where the drum beat changes, it has a nice groove. But it's not what I was trying for.

Now, I'm really interested in how music works, or how it doesn't, so it's intriguing to me why this piece doesn't sound like I wanted. Joe Cocker aficionados will recognise many of the note patterns, as some of them are taken straight from Cocker songs. Some will recognise the chord structure, which again is typical Cocker. The lute is playing a straight Cocker guitar line.

So you put all this together, it should work, right? Heh, well, it doesn't. One obvious response is that I didn't even try to do a jig, but that's not really helpful. Early on I converted to a reel rhythm, rather than a jig rhythm, so that was intentional.

I think that the real problem is the rhythm section. The horns, particularly in their lower register, can sound very grunty, and do good brass lines, but the bass and guitars... well, they are killed by lack of punch and too much sustain. I've complained about this before, I seem to recall, but it never hurts to complain again, I suppose. And the drums are, well, wimpy. I just cannot get that funky punch, that... that... whatever it is that makes Cocker Cocker.

Mind you, maybe it's just me. I don't believe it is, but if someone can come up with a better Cocker sound, I'd love to know how they did it. This isn't false modesty. I'm not modest. But I'm genuinely interested in learning, and if someone can do it better, I want to analyse what they've done. (I've learned a lot about Lotro Latin music by looking carefully at Anarwald's pieces, and talking to him about them, for example.)

Some things work well in Lotro. Gentle harp music. Renaissance airs. Baroque counterpoints. I'm quite sure that is the intended music for Lotro, and that my style is not what is desired. So in that sense the designers have succeeded.

But it is frustrating.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aegthil's Guide to Meeting Cute Elf Chicks

The Great River. The beginning quests. A sad, sad story that tears your heartstrings.

That poor Smelly Horse-Rider Man Person. He's gone and fallen in love with a nasty elf chick, and she just told him to get lost as she's way too busy whirling numchucks around her head and throwing little pointy star things.

Now, Mr. Smelly Horse-Rider Man Person, you're doing it all wrong. You need advice from an expert. You need advice from the famous Aegthil of Gondor. That's me*.  So listen up, boyo.

Location, location, location

It's all in the location. If you want to meet Cute Elf Chicks, don't go to the Great River. That part of the world is full of dirty barbarous peoples (well, much like yourself. Go figure.) who smell of horse turds and eat hay, and any decent elf chick worth her salt is going to be somewhere else. Anywhere else, I imagine.

The only elf chicks you're ever going to find in the Great River are ones with numchucks and pointy star things. Dressed all in black and looking vicious. The only thing they look at you for is to determine the best kill point.

So, where do you go? That's easy. You go to CEC parties. Mostly in Rivendell, although there are often significant CEC parties in Bree also, in the back rooms of the Dancing Goat. (The legality of the Dancing Goat back room parties is still a somewhat thorny issue, but if you keep an exit free at all times you should be reasonably safe.)

CEC parties

To get to CEC parties you need to be invited. You need to be part of the cool crowd. You need to be hip. You need to be sexy. This is easy to achieve.

Step 1. Shave your head.
Step 2. Play the theorbo.
Step 3.   ...oh no... wait. That's all you need. Forget about step 3.

Third Base

Meeting a CEC at a CEC party is essentially equivalent to getting to first base (using the common parlance). To get right to third base (CECs have no second base in general) follow these simple Do's and Don'ts.


  • Use small words and simple concepts. 
  • Be direct. 
  • Be honest. (Or not. Whichever works best. Experiment.) 
  • Play the theorbo. I may have mentioned this already.

  • Chew garlic
  • Play the bagpipes
  • Work out in the gym first and then go without a shower, whilst wearing yesterday's underwear.
  • Approach the one wearing trousers, even if he does look like a girl.

Well, that's all from the CEC expert. Good luck, Mr. Smelly Horse-Rider Man Person. Follow my rules, you won't go wrong. Invite me to your wedding.

* The author of this article is well-known internationally for his extensive experience with CECs. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in this area, with a citation rate of 15.8 index points, and a p-index of 324, and has been an invited speaker at every major international CEC conference. His latest book (Cute Elf Chicks and You: The Bat Fur Scandals, Goblin-Town Publishing) is considered now to be the classic work on this subject, and a must-read for any interested student of CEC behaviour and physiology.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Great River

Nice scenery. Nasty monsters. The usual story. But it's all a bit depressing. Here I am, busting my gut to try and make the the people of Enedwaith like me (after all, I just have to get that cool dance move) and along comes another bunch of losers, the Twits of Anduin or something like that, and demand attention.

Look, you sorry bunch of sods, I haven't got any time for you, I haven't got any attention for you. I'm busy. Go away. Leave me alone. I don't want to do your menial jobs, I've already got a full-time gig doing menial chores for the barbarians in Enedwaith. And that's bad enough.

And to make things worse, my Fool is insisting that we change the time of the BBB concert. He's muttering something like ... oh hell, who cares what he's muttering? Not me, not you. But he's being very difficult. I think he's just grumpy because his gigs are going through a dry spell at the minute. Serves him right, if you ask me. If he wasn't such a twit, and combed his hair more, and didn't wear odd socks, and didn't say rude things to people, maybe he'd get more work. You never know.

Anyway, with luck we'll find another time to play, but a new time is unlikely to suit all the BBB players. And this saddens me, to be honest. I will miss the BBB regulars who can't make a new time. Well, I won't of course, but my Fool will. I am far too manly manly to get all girly girly emotional over a silly thing like that.

Oh yeah. Not me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time wasting ...

... is something my Fool is very good at. And his latest time-wasting effort can be listened to here. It's called Swinging with the Tea Lady, because he promised to write her a song, something "lively and mischievous". So that's what she got.

He actually tried to write a manouche piece, as that is what he particularly loves to play himself, but no go. Not even close. Nope. He just wasn't good enough to get the Lotro instruments to sound right. So it ended up a simple swing. Ah well. I don't call him a Fool for no reason, you know.

Sing along with me in the chorus:

Just like ladies oughtta
She's heating up my water
She's brewing up a cup of gumboot tea

It's really not surprising
That the steam has started rising
'Cause she's brewing up a cuppa, just for me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Aegthil's guide to Northcotton Farms: bobbit flatulence gone wild

I had a very interesting and educational experience the other night, when a group of servants (Erakleon the butler, Shadewick the gardener, and Anarwald the ladies' maid) volunteered to take me around a place called Northcotton Farms, more commonly known as NorthStinky Farms, or NSF.

NSF is located north of the Brandywine River, approximately 15 miles due East of Michael Delving, and is best accessed by riding along the main south road, before turning right at Stock. It is easily found by anyone with a sense of smell, for reasons that will become clear.

First, some background information. As we all know, bobbits love to eat, and they do so indiscriminately, in great quantitites. This has some easily anticipated, but unpleasant, side effects.

  • Firstly, they are fat. This is obviously because they eat too much and don't run around enough chasing after monsters and killing them. In fact, it is very rare to see a bobbit running anywhere. Mostly they just waddle.
  • Secondly, they are short, because of the gravitational attraction to their stomach (varying, as all good scientists know, in inverse proportion to the density squared).
  • Thirdly, their internal digestive systems are designed to handle very large amounts of food with high fat content. This is most obvious in the physiological adaptations to be seen in their lower intestine and colon (discussed in more detail below). 
In normal humans (although not, of course, in rockstars such as myself) the normal digestive process results in the production of excess gases of an odorous nature that can be expelled at regular intervals from the human's ... er.... well... the human's ..... um...... the..... er... well, never mind about exactly where. These gases are mostly sulfites and nitrogenous derivatives, almost entirely non-toxic. There are some rare  exceptions to this, of course. Beorbrand is well known in BBB circles as producing a bowel gas that is derived from dragon plasma, with a virulence and toxicity to match, but this is pretty much the exception rather than the rule. Well, of course Sarasti has problems too, and Anarwald is hardly an angel in the matter of bowel gas, but.... well.... most people who don't play for BBB and who aren't rockstars like myself, will experience only temporary discomfort or embarrassment. Just don't stand in the front row during a BBB concert, you'll be OK.

However, due to the indiscriminate nature of their diet, bobbits' large intestines and colons have developed a Peristaltic Gorge, an organ which lies just underneath their bladder, in close proximity to their  hypothalamic cortex. This Peristaltic Gorge is lined with Virulent Crypt Cells (VCC's) which are adapted to the production of Differentiated Xenite and Hypertrophic gas products, producing a bowel gas that is not only lethally toxic, but also a bright green colour.

Now, this is not necessarily a major problem.  Mostly bobbit flatulence can be avoided. (Just don't stand behind Carica. Ever.)

However, in NSF, it's not so simple. That place is full of virulently endowed bobbits, each surrounded by this nasty green glow of noxious gas, and all out to get you. It's not a nice place at all. You can't avoid it, and you can't survive it. A philosophical conundrum, indeed.

The only known method of survival in NSF is to hold your breath for the entire job. Just don't breath. At all. Run in, kill everything, especially the bobbits, but whatever you do.. DON'T BREATH.

Follow this one simple rule and you'll be fine.