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Old 07-01-2009, 03:11 PM   #41
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:41 PM   #42
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I joined the Downs during the movie era: seeing the films made me want to talk to knowledgeable people about the books I loved and remembered, and to discuss why certain things were better/worse for the changes that were made.
After all when I first read Tolkien there was no internet....
I also believe that in the same way that one can love both Blur and Beethoven, one can love Books and Werewolf.
But then, I too have grown tree-ish, while mourning the loss of some of my more illustrious contemporaries.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:24 PM   #43
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Speaking for myself, there're also the matters of Real Life that get in the way. Sometimes it's vacation, or work that needs to be done, or the lousy fibromyalgia/CFS effects that make reading easier than posting. There are some interesting discussions going on, but I for the moment, I just don't have the energy to put together the kind of post that I think is worthy of the Downs. (For someone who used to be able to rap out several thousand words of writing per day without batting an eye, this is depressing). This part of the cycle will pass, and I'm sure other people have their own cyclical RL things that interfere. There are those that just lose interest if all their friends aren't into it, but the Downs doesn't appear to have quite as many members of that type as other boards.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:01 PM   #44
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Perhaps the Barrow Wights who have been members of the 'Downs for an inordinate amount of time eventually become disembodied entities, as the skeletal frames they inhabit have finally decomposed completely.

It's a theory.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:30 AM   #45
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As someone who has never been able to fathom the appeal of Facebook or (gah!) Twitter, it's incomprehensible why anyone would prefer those media to the Downs.
I joined facebook at the suggestion of one of the Downers going to University and after a long spell when I never looked and had but two friends one of whom was a cat (long story) much to the mirth of my young relatives, I have now got to the point where it has largely superseded livejournal as a way of keeping in touch with Downers past and present and through it is good to see that these bright minds are engaged in interesting things. Maybe they will return as their lives settle down ..

The other thing is that Facebook is somewhere where you can chat and anything here off topic gets pounced on so it is natural that friendships may bud here to bloom elsewhere.


I do think it is easy to become a bit jaded and to forget that newcomers need encouragement - I will always be grateful to Fordim and Heren in particular who were welcoming when I was new not sure I do enough to pass kindness on...
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:03 PM   #46
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For me, it's been the lack of spark. Sometimes you get all fired up over an idea or thread and see it go no where, or join in an interesting and somewhat heated discussion to the realize that you were too late. It's like showing up to play and watch everyone walk off the field/court.

I guess that it's a paradox - I don't post because no one's posting much.

That said, I check in all the time, if only to catch a spambot or to see that new thread that gets me going.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:50 PM   #47
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For me, it's been the lack of spark. Sometimes you get all fired up over an idea or thread and see it go no where, or join in an interesting and somewhat heated discussion to the realize that you were too late. It's like showing up to play and watch everyone walk off the field/court.

I guess that it's a paradox - I don't post because no one's posting much.

That said, I check in all the time, if only to catch a spambot or to see that new thread that gets me going.
I see what your saying I check in everyday and there are a few threads I alway check out
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:30 PM   #48
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It may also seem a little thin because it is now summer, and people are spending less time at their computers and more time in the outdoors. I've noticed that a few years running, now. It will probably pick back up some in the fall, 'round September or so.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:44 PM   #49
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As was said before, life goes in cycles.
I've found that the same people who were very active when I died (almost two years ago now) are not so active anymore (Such as SPM, Lal, and Eomer) but there are newer Downers that have come in, or older Downers that have had a sudden spark, and started to post more often (Mnemosyne, Morsul, and Squatter) and then there's people who have been pretty much constanty posting for a long time (Hookbill, Lommy, and E÷nwŰ). I guess that for some, the Barrow-Downs has constantly been a source of amusement and a way to spend their time, but there are others that are genuinely busy...
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:22 AM   #50
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Yeah, the Barrow Downs does run in its own cycles. When I joined the Downs, the forum was a very different place. The FotR film had been recently released and there was a flood of members joining. Some were long time Tolkien fans, some read the books and fell in love after they heard about the movie (like me), some were plain movie fans who hadn't read the books at all, and some were just Leggy-boppers. It was an interesting mix which kept things interesting, but while the forum was very active it did get tiring to have the same questions asked, members who couldn't write in complete sentences, the girls gawing over Legolas, and the RPGs that rarely went anywhere (back when there was a Freestyle RPG forum). A lot of this was due to the movie bringing in a younger generation of members who were perhaps not as mature. I wasn't quite 14 when I joined and a large percentage of BDers were around the same age or somewhere in their teens. I appreciated that at the time since having peers made it more comfortable to be on the forum without the pressure to be excessively intelligent. But now that I'm much older, I can see how a bunch of 13-year-olds taking over the Downs could be a bit of a nuisance for the older and more mature members.

Over the years, the movie hype died out, fewer members joined and many left, and the ones who did join later on were part of a different generation; they joined because they love Tolkien, not the movies. And today it seems the average age of BDers is somewhere in the early 20s'; part of it is because some of us earlier members have grown up to reach that age and also people in this age group tend to frequent the internet much more than other age groups. Also, the BD is much more worldly than it once was; there were always some members from other countries, but there were a lot more Americans around. Now it is more evenly spread out and I love that there's so much more diversity. The Downs is much quieter than it once was, but I prefer having it that way. Because the members here are dedicated and insightful. This forum is more intelligent than other forums I've seen. For one thing, over here our non-native English speakers can write better English than most Americans on the other forums. What I love about the BD is that with fewer members, we are more of a community than I've ever seen on any forum, which has enabled me to make many close friends who have influenced my life for the better.

It's always sad to see members disappear and there are many that I miss. But people move on with life and not everyone can stay attached to a forum forever. And once you disappear, it can be difficult to return after a long period of time. I left the Downs for two years and it took a lot of effort to bring myself back because it wasn't easy to return to a place that was while familiar, completely different that how I remembered. The entire forum had gone through a makeover (new server, I think), most members I knew were gone, and there were many members I never met who had already been around long enough to become quite reputable, plus there was this strange sensation going around called WW which took me an extra year to figure out. This is most likely why some old members who try to return will disappear again; they realise the forum moved on without them and suddenly a place where they were once comfortable feels so foreign. I'm glad I stuck it out since I've become even closer to members than I did before I disappeared, and I do love it when I see old members return to stay awhile. While it is sad to see members that everyone once loved slowly fade from existence, at the same time there are always new members who join and become part of the community. Old inactive members become memories, newbies become the experienced members who welcome in more new members who will in time develop their own reputation. So the torch gets passed on.

I must say that what I love about Facebook is that I'm able to connect with BDers and get to know them better than I ever would on the forum alone. It has allowed me to develop close friendships and also keep in touch with BDers who are no longer active...such as Amanaduial, Encaitare, tgwbs, Roa, Orominuialwen...the list goes on. I am closer to some Downer friends than I am with friends in RL...many of which I have now actually met in person.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:43 AM   #51
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I am fairly new to this site considering I have not even been here for two months. I still can see how the forum has changed somewhat and I have memories of lurking in the past. I do know what it is like when members leave a forum, I have been part of various forums since 2006. I have to say that the small community forums like the way BD is now, is always much nicer than the larger ones. It seems like the majority of members are in their early 20's as Brinniel said, but it seems like a lot of them were about 16 or 17 when they joined. I am one of the younger members now, being only 15.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #52
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I am also one of the younger members, but I think it's wonderful that there are older, more mature members, as they have shown nothing but kindness, quite unlike many my age. They don't seem to know how to treat people, with a few exceptions.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:37 AM   #53
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I am also one of the younger members, but I think it's wonderful that there are older, more mature members, as they have shown nothing but kindness, quite unlike many my age. They don't seem to know how to treat people, with a few exceptions.
I'll tend to agree but I can say Many of us were Youngin's when we joined up I was 15, Fea was at least 16(Based on thread she posted regarding Tolkien classes.) I know Enca was younger as well, Gil-Galad another younger member. Hookbill is definately a younger member...

Wow I just realized knowing all this is kind of creepy....
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:43 AM   #54
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I'll tend to agree but I can say Many of us were Youngin's when we joined up I was 15, Fea was at least 16(Based on thread she posted regarding Tolkien classes.) I know Enca was younger as well, Gil-Galad another younger member. Hookbill is definately a younger member...

Wow I just realized knowing all this is kind of creepy....
Haha, it's not that creepy.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:57 AM   #55
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But now that I'm much older, I can see how a bunch of 13-year-olds taking over the Downs could be a bit of a nuisance for the older and more mature members.


And once you disappear, it can be difficult to return after a long period of time. I left the Downs for two years and it took a lot of effort to bring myself back because it wasn't easy to return to a place that was while familiar, completely different that how I remembered. This is most likely why some old members who try to return will disappear again; they realise the forum moved on without them and suddenly a place where they were once comfortable feels so foreign. I'm glad I stuck it out since I've become even closer to members than I did before I disappeared, and I do love it when I see old members return to stay awhile.
Hi Brinniel! Your post is very thoughtful and insightful. The first paragraph that I quote above, frankly and with all respect, makes me laugh. The second paragraph is, unfortunately, true. Even I am trying to find a comfort zone here. By the time I began my sabbatical a couple of years back, the phenomonon you describe had already begun. Many of my friends were gone and more became treeish and distant. I tried to return about a year ago and found that the place felt almost foreign to me. This time, in part because at least a few old-timers have returned, it's a bit easier but it still takes some effort.

Good to see you're still here, Brinniel! Please give my fond regards to Amanaduial. She is one I miss.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:02 AM   #56
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I just joined today! I remember coming across this forum many years ago. I started to delve into the LOTR series (I have only read them once) and now I am becoming steadily obsessed again.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:06 AM   #57
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I just joined today! I remember coming across this forum many years ago. I started to delve into the LOTR series (I have only read them once) and now I am becoming steadily obsessed again.
Welcome, Tinuviel of Twilight. May you enjoy your stay. The circle of (online) life continues.

And the posts above regarding the purported average age of the Downers makes me feel old all the way to my bones...
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:08 AM   #58
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Quote:
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And the posts above regarding the purported average age of the Downers makes me feel old all the way to my bones...
Well when you have articles of clothing older than me, it's no wonder.

As I always say, you're only as old as the fashion you wear.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:31 AM   #59
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But Fea...what about vintage? I used to wear my the evening dresses my mother and even grandmother saved from even the thirties in Grannie's case... even I am not that old!!! But I think I have a band tshirt about as old as you so maybe I am in the same boat as Alatar...or maybe that should be retirement community
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:56 AM   #60
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Welcome, Tinuviel of Twilight. May you enjoy your stay. The circle of (online) life continues.
Thank you! I am very excited to be here, and look forward to roleplaying.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:06 PM   #61
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But Fea...what about vintage?
I will never turn down a gift of jewelry from my grandma's jewelry box from the days of old. Very Galadriel and Arwen...

I wonder if it's possible to set aside some vintage posts for the elucidation of generations of 'Downers to come...

I know a few members have toyed with the related idea of creating threads containing the best posts of days or weeks...

I have in mind, more specifically, creating an internal canon of all of the Barrowdowner history and literature that one should know to be a truly educated wight.

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Old 07-03-2009, 03:31 PM   #62
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This site is like a goldmine for a book. I mean like someone could write a book about this site. The history of the downs with real quotes or top discussions of the downs transcribed into book form for the first time. I have a few other ideas.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:02 PM   #63
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there's people who have been pretty much constanty posting for a long time (Hookbill, Lommy, and E÷nwŰ).
Let me first say that I am honoured to be put in such a list, especially since I have been on the Downs for less time than you.

Yes, I think it's true that Downsing comes and goes, and it really depends on how busy you are.

Also, I think that though most new "serious" Downers (And by that I mean those that stay for more than just a few posts- not Downers with humour) are adults, but we I think we young 'uns have lately made a comeback- for example, TGEW, Hakon and I are all 15, and I have a feeling that there are more new Downers of a similar age (Ok, maybe TGEW and I aren't exactly new members, but the point is, I think that that the younger generation of Downers is making a comeback).
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:07 PM   #64
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I have in mind, more specifically, creating an internal canon of all of the Barrowdowner history and literature that one should know to be a truly educated wight.
Umm... Fea... An "internal canon"? Are we aiming to get the old members back by restarting the canonical Armageddon?

Let's just push the big, red, button labelled "Canonicity" and watch the huorns march to war. I'll be in my bunker, aiming at can(n)on-fodder.

Quote:
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As I always say, you're only as old as the fashion you wear.
In this case, I am looking to be, at the youngest estimate, about 120 years, with good reason to call myself 1300.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:48 PM   #65
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I wouldn't be worried.

I'm an elder and a relative newbie at the same time.

I joined the 'Downs on January 06 and I will be 42 before this year comes to an end. I joined because my daughter Lommy talked me into it - and it has been a very good decision indeed. I have not only had a good time playing werewolf, writing RPG's and discussing questions of varied nature with interesting and lovely people - but I have actually gained a number of new friends some of which I have been priviledged to meet also in person.

Even with my limited experience (too old a generation) I can agree with the few raising the point already: this feels like a community and the general mood is that of friendship and joviality - unlike on some other forums. The relatively small scale is just a positive factor here! And that I think is also behind the fact that in the end so many former 'Downers do after all come back. So why don't you look at the situation from that angle as well?

We have a host of new 'Downers every year - some of them staying, some of them leaving pretty rapidly. Only time will tell who of them stay and who will not. But I have seen many coming and leaving and many coming and staying - and make no mistake about it, it's the nice people who stay.

Everyone staying is an add on to the 'Downer community. And like in life there has to be renewal. We oldies should help and welcome the newer ones to take their place in here - and then by the time replace us.

Even if I think I'm playing werewolf at least into when I'm 80.. and give me an ethical-theological subject relating to Tolkien and I will sure be in if I just have time to read through the earlier discussion...
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:20 PM   #66
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Are we aiming to get the old members back by restarting the canonical Armageddon?
Yes.

I'm hoping to see who proposes each addition to the Barrowdowns Legendarium: the author, or the audience.

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Old 07-03-2009, 06:22 PM   #67
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What was this canonical Armageddon?
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:36 PM   #68
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My first experience with an on-line community was the 'Downs, long before I knew Facebook existed or I cared about any of those types of sites. It's interesting that when Facebook kind of became the on-line community thing, I switched to that, and de-activated the account I had on myspace (I saw no point in having both of them, I am sorry if anyone on here does ). But through all that, it's been the 'Downs where I've stayed. Despite anything that's happened, sometimes busy sometimes just need a bit of different', the other forums I've gone to, the 'Downs has been the place.

The reasons to not have an off-tolkien forum where we could talk about things considered as 'idle chat' is understandable, but there are advantages and disadvantages. Of course we have the ability to PM whatever we want to, but I don't come here to talk about politics, or the best restaurants, or what's going on in the world. Like others have said, that's probably the advantage of Facebook, not to chat with the people I see regularly, but to chat with people I have met here, or elsewhere.

With that being said the 'Downs was the first, and always will be the first...occassionally I need a break from whatever I'm doing here, but the great thing about this place is it doesn't seem like a chore. Don't really know how else to put it, but I don't ever feel like the 'Downs is a waste of time. I can post in whatever threads, and get involved in whatever I want to here. Even if I get asked to do something it never feels like I'm being "dragged" into something I didn't want to do in the first place.

And Facebook...that just gets oh sooo tedious. I have piles and piles of apps, and games, and requests, gathered up over the months...and all these updates. You can't say "no" without getting 3 or more requests for the same thing, and it is just a pain to go through and delete everything. Not only that but, I made the mistake of having all the notifications sent to my e-mail, and then I'd have to go and delete the plethora of facebook messages just saying "so and so commented on your post." I probably spent about 5 years of my life deleting (and then deleting a second time) all the messages from facebook. Luckily, I finally dropped the lazy and requested nothing get sent to my e-mail. But still, that place just gets tedious, you can't say "no" (if I get another "Join my Mafia" request I will take a bite out of my laptop).

All that above, well I don't have to worry about any of it on the Barrowdowns.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:48 PM   #69
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What was this canonical Armageddon?

"Canonicity': The Book or the Reader?, courtesy of Fordim Hedgethistle.

On a night when insomnia weaves her insistent spell, it would be an interesting experience for the newer members of the Downs to check out the back threads in Books and some of the other fora (The word previously used here for 'forums.' It's an in joke. If you get it, you'll understand some of the past days of the Downs. )
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:00 PM   #70
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I will read through the thread when I get the chance. I think a lot of the older threads are really interesting from what I have seen.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:14 PM   #71
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Seeing as it's summer, I wouldn't exactly rush over there if I were you. But come winter when some cold dark night you are trapped indoors, you might find a ghost or two there, or some horror show that chills your blood.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:45 AM   #72
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I have in mind, more specifically, creating an internal canon of all of the Barrowdowner history and literature that one should know to be a truly educated wight.
Go for it, Fea! That might be a fun way to create interest at a slow time of the year, and I'd definitely like to see what you consider worth rereading.

It's interesting how the questions of age and length of membership seem to come up lately. One of the great advantages of virtual communication is that such barriers are not raised at the outset of communication and may break down completely later. Let me add one related aspect:

Some of you hesitate to tell your age because you fear that being young means you could not be taken seriously. The same fear holds true in the opposite case. There are those of us, like myself, who belong to the older generation of this forum and hesitate to tell their age because they think perhaps young people wouldn't be interested in what they have to say if the teens knew they're as old as (perhaps even older than ) their parents.

We've had few family members of two generations here, though the most known family (Nogrod, Lommy and Greenie) has been a wonderful example of how that can work very well. This is a very rare online community, being open to newcomers and close-knit as internet friends simultaneously. I for one appreciate that atmosphere and hope that it will continue for as long as people want to experience that connection.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #73
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I used to wear the evening dresses my mother and even grandmother saved...
I used to do that as well, but not since the last arrest.

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Some of you hesitate to tell your age because you fear that being young means you could not be taken seriously. The same fear holds true in the opposite case. There are those of us, like myself, who belong to the older generation of this forum and hesitate to tell their age because they think perhaps young people wouldn't be interested in what they have to say if the teens knew they're as old as (perhaps even older than ) their parents.
I have a 24 year-old son, a 15 year-old son and a 9 year-old daughter, so I've had a child once every decade since the 80's whether I've needed them or not. Only the 9 year-old has shown a lengthy affinity to Tolkien, but she esteems Middle-earth about as much as Tinkerbell or Spongebob Squarepants. In any case, I don't think it necessary to admit that I am farting dust, or whether another member still has adolescent acne. The forum is quite diverse in opinion, attitude and age, and that suits this old curmudgeon quite well.

As far as the ebb and flow of the fora (forum) elders, I like the thought that they have grown 'treeish' as Mithadan related. How very appropriate to the subject at hand!
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:49 AM   #74
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Just a quick thought over why posting may stop by some members for months at a time (cough*me*cough) sometime there are external circumstances that can keep people from posting.

I for one have been missing from everywhere for months because of health issues. This tends to occur once a year usually from Jan. or Feb. into the summer months.

Aside from that sometimes you just need to take a break. I will admit to taking my posts a little too seriously and getting burned out. I do this in every part of my life, though, not just LotR stuff, for anybody thinking I need to be locked in the loony bin. (like my mom)
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:17 AM   #75
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:50 AM   #76
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Some are just lurking in the shadows but never really quite gone
Just as I said.
Always nice to see you, HI.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:12 AM   #77
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Some are just lurking in the shadows but never really quite gone
That's good to know... or should I be scared?
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:36 AM   #78
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On a night when insomnia weaves her insistent spell, it would be an interesting experience for the newer members of the Downs to check out the back threads in Books and some of the other fora (The word previously used here for 'forums.'
I actually enjoy digging out old threads (though sometimes the html code makes one's eyes bleed) and bringing them to the present. Not only does one realize that many ideas are already in thread form in the forum, but from the comments within the threads, the community that was present even back then - and from nicks you've never seen before.

Life, even here, didn't start when I showed up.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:55 PM   #79
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I actually enjoy digging out old threads (though sometimes the html code makes one's eyes bleed) and bringing them to the present. Not only does one realize that many ideas are already in thread form in the forum, but from the comments within the threads, the community that was present even back then - and from nicks you've never seen before.

Life, even here, didn't start when I showed up.
It's the same for me. Not just on here but on all the message boards I post on, I love digging up and resurrecting old threads. As forum members come and go, I often find that somebody no longer posting on the boards has a viewpoint that I never would of thought of and haven't seen posted in more recent discussions.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:21 PM   #80
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Life, even here, didn't start when I showed up.
Or, sadly, when I showed up either!

And, presumably, it will continue when we--excluding the Admins who keyed this place into being--are no longer here.
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