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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

haycraftd

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About haycraftd

  • Birthday 06/13/1987

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  1. @Ryrin A pleasure! Now, @Elgee: The virus isn't affecting my "world" all that much--I haven't been paying all that much attention, really. I've got my flat and am becoming friends with the receptionists, Sainsbury's/Tesco isn't far away, and almost everything I usually go to has moved online, so I'm coping. Paying too much attention would just make me unhappy. I don't really need to visit the library anymore, so my work itself hasn't been too affected. Finding out how I can work has been a task, though, and I haven't figured it all out yet.
  2. Thanks! There are many advantages to cynicism, lol. It's hard not to fall into academic groupthink, and so this time 6 years ago I was one of Alan's classes for my Masters writing an essay claiming exactly the opposite. I've never been an academic, though, always been an Einzelgänger, and so thought for myself throughout this PhD. I often wonder whether Napoleon or other major military leaders would agree with me if I was discussing this with them and showing them these maps.
  3. I keep on wondering when people are going to wake up to the fact we're committing suicide. And that the coronavirus isn't all that scary to most of us if you ignore the headlines and look at the information behind it. You've got to keep in mind that just about everything is propaganda. The world actually begins to make sense once you finally realize that. Yesterday, "The Coronavirus killed the youngest person yet in the UK." But, when you read the article--(you can't skim it)--it gets a lot murkier. You find out the guy was in his forties, and that he had "MND." So, you look further in the article to find out what MND actually is, and it takes some work, because it's very carefully hid between several facts that at first look more important. It's called "Motor-Neural Disease." Hmmm. So, then you Google "Motor-Neural Disease" to find out what Motor-Neural Disease actually is, and find out that it would have actually put him at a very high risk. Hmm. So, you turn back to the article, and, finally, you find out that he wasn't expected to live all that much longer anyway. So, while the guy was the "youngest ever," you can safely conclude that his age was probably irrelevant. That's not fueling panic at all? And don't you wonder why those important facts are so well-hid? Yes, there are plenty of vulnerable people and we need to be cautious, but there's careful and then there's panic. We need to be realistic: (I'm sorry to everyone who is vulnerable, here, since I'm speaking when I'm not): those most at risk are ALREADY most at risk for other diseases, too. Mine would probably just be a severe cold. And I think that goes for most of us. Quarantines might be good for a couple of weeks while you take a breath and assess everything, but when you kill the economy, you have even a lesser chance of helping the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
  4. I haven't posted here lately, I know. It's been hard working these past few months, getting it all together, and there were three weeks of teachers' strikes before the quarantine. And, I just wrote to my supervisor yesterday to say I don't think I can finish it in these next few months. I make my own rules on every aspect of my job, and that's hard enough to do anyway, but with everything else going on, lately--well, you can see the problem. He's asked me to wait on it. But, to update you all on the rabbit hole I'm involved in: here's a veeery long email I wrote Alan and Bill on and off over the teachers' strike that I turned into an essay and sent them yesterday. I'm not sure how much if any of this I'll put in the dissertation itself: more and more I just want to make my point then leave, (whenever I finally become able, lol), but I still want to make my point. I can't seem to rotate the images all that well, sorry--when I cut/copied the essay, the images didn't come with it, but I titled this email/essay "The Vikings Won." And yes, I'm serious about it. Don't go crazy about this, though--you heard it from me, but I doubt I'll make much if any headway and I have no desire to keep going with this afterwards. "Won" is also an extremely relative word. If I'm right, though, (and I might not be), that turns how we've interpreted everything that happened in Northwest Europe during the ninth and early tenth century over the past millennium--and therefore quite a bit of the story behind the foundation for the rest of the Middle Ages--upside down. ______________________________________________________________ This is one of the rare situations where the winners didn’t write history and the Vikings won. These Carolingian territories and the major control over the empire they would have given Viking leaders might have been their first major victories, really, once Louis the Pious decided he could pay a Dane to "guard" Frisia just after treating them like scum. The guy was an arrogant fool. It's always surprised me how many empires have fallen apart because their leaders became too big for their britches, and it's the same here. I very much doubt that you and us together could have conquered Russia, but Hitler and Napoleon had to learn that the hard way. People lie, maps don't. I began to see this pattern in May when I noticed the distance disparities between the first targeted regions/cities, then a very clear strategy in late September/early October as I was rewriting Chapter 7, but it all fell into place when I was watching a documentary on Napoleon the first week of the strike. And I'm just getting more sure of it as I've been writing this. Being a nerd familiar with military theory as a kid has had surprising benefits. Bill, I'm not sure you've seen this, but in October, when I rewrote Chapter 7, I added another major section laden with quotes by the no. 1 military theorist of all time, Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz—his book On War was published in 1832, but it is still the centrepiece of anything military theory/strategy to this day. I put in a series of maps of the targets in the first few raids and explained how the maps and events afterwards prove the Vikings were targeting the rivers, not the cities. (Maps 1-5). I explained how important rivers are in war, why, and that controlling a river delta means controlling the river overall. I finally put in the series of maps that shows every single one of the Viking bases that was established would have been a nearly unassailable fortress and explained why. (Maps 6-8) Map 1: Ribe to Dorestad Distances Map 2 And now to Antwerp Map 3: Let's see Rouen, now Map 4: And WOW, Nantes Map 5: They're all on major rivers’ deltas! Map 6: Harald's by AD 841 Map 7: Base already being set up in AD 841, finished in AD 853 Map 8: Charles the Bald had to begin surrendering the Seine by at least AD 853, when his blockade failed I'm working on all of the maps above to make them look better atm, but I made these in September/October to illustrate it all. I claimed each of these raids was actually the beginning of an invasion and backed it up. I had to couch it all to extreme levels, of course, but I could. The second attempt you guys tried to fight Napoleon was the Walcheren Expedition—an island on the Scheldt right outside Antwerp first attacked in AD 837 and given by Louis to a Viking bloke named Harald by AD 841, so very early on. And, we find out later this Harald controlled much more than Walcheren—from this little island to at least Dorestad on the Rhine. That’s some amount of territory. Roric took over in AD 850. Now every single one of the arrows I've drawn on Map 9 looks like a very nice pathway into Western Europe, doesn't it? Especially for a nimble Viking longship that can sail on both seas and rivers? And at least one of these paths was used again for an(other) invasion? Map 9: Pathways into Europe Now, Map 10 is of Roman roads. I found it a long time ago, but didn't like the website or the place names on it, so I've never tried to use it. Each Roman road headed to a port went straight to a firmly controlled Viking base—each of which began to be established fairly early on, too. Convenient, eh? Vikings liked ships, sure, but they also liked horses. They were already in control of these river deltas and had excellent ships, which would have given them exceptional power over the empire already, but they'd have been in full control of quite a lot of those roads, too—especially when they neared a port. Basically, everyone travelling on one of the roads going north who tried to go overseas would have to go through them—which means they had a lot of control over trade, sure, but also, everything communications, including diplomats. According to the annals—which would whitewash a losing war as best they could, that's what people losing wars do—these powerful resourceful Carolingian kings never quite figure out how to fight these Vikings, either, do they? You're never quite sure how they do it. (But, obviously they won—obviously). Their victories are few and far between, with few if any battles of Eddington. Instead, these powerful kings resort to ransoms or swear in a Viking as a "mercenary" (haha) to guard their territory. But when a Viking demands an extraordinary ransom, that ransom is dutifully paid, and the only demands Carolingian kings ever seem to make of a "mercenary" is that he nominally swear allegiance to them, (when many ignore it afterwards), and be baptized. Those aren't demands—especially when we're talking about real power. According to these annals, these loyal "mercenaries" must have assimilated or died out, too, and the rest of the Vikings must have disappeared after Brittany. When we know that, up north in the islands, that never happened. The last battle reported in Fulda is in AD 891, which was apparently a major Frankish victory about 20 km southwest of Antwerp, when the "Danes," who the AF say are the most formidable group of Northmen, lose a fortification—a fortified ditch—for the first time ever. Doesn't "first time ever" seem just a bit odd? The Danes were probably the first raiders, ransoms have been paid, "mercenaries" hired, Charles the Bald even tried out a bridge or two, and it's been a few years! The wars don't end after this fortification falls, either, and Charles the Simple "swears in" Rollo 20 years later in the west to “guard” the Seine. And I know the last time I'd stop fighting an empire was when it had just fallen apart—whether or not I lost one battle. Especially if this is the first "fortification" I've ever lost. (And, btw, St Vaast says that, in AD 892, the Vikings saw the Carolingian empire was devastated from a famine and so took a holiday overseas, but then they came back in AD 896. If this is true, the fact that they were confident enough that they could just leave the empire then come back a few years later is astonishing.) And, coincidentally, in many of the major battles the Carolingians "win" throughout, these Northmen almost always get away with a very sweet deal anyway, don't they? Charles the Fat "wins" at Asselt, but just pays Godafrid to look over Roric's territory; the Rhine delta. Which, I explain in Chapter 7, would have been one of if not the most powerful territories in the land. And when Charles meets them at the siege of Paris in AD 886, he just pays them to go harass Burgundy instead. Contempt oozes out of the pages of the AF when it reports this "cowardice." I beg to differ. It was "canniness." Charles the Fat knew it was now or never, and he wanted Vikings he might have at least some control over. He was wrong—Godafrid got restless, sailed up the Rhine in AD 885, and was killed as a traitor—but Charles did his best. And, of course, in the biggest assimilation ever, by AD 911, Rollo was handed the Seine delta and may or may not have left the rest of West Francia alone in return. Too bad we have very little information on those years. But, again, Raoul is quite kind to William Longsword twenty years later. The civil war might have had something to do with that, too—but, Bill—I seem to remember from your class six years ago that the Normans kept on using Viking tactics in France for many years after Rollo, and no one’s quite sure when they finally became “French.” I might be misremembering, though. So—Vikings had control of the major rivers, a lot of control over the roads, and both of these together gave them control of all communications and everything going overseas, the Carolingians never come up with anything that lasts, really, and all these Vikings mysteriously disappear from the annals as time goes by—even though Alfred, who has to hide out in a swamp for a little bit and so had far fewer resources, came out of his swamp and drove the Vikings out up there in Wessex? The Anglo-Saxons and Irish keep on fighting for more than 150 years, but everything becomes quiet fairly quickly down south in Europe. Hmmm. Yup. Doesn't sound so radical anymore, does it? The Vikings won. They have a lighter footprint down south, but there are reasons for this. Examples like the American west show that place names and loan words don't always work near as much as they should, and the Vikings assimilated, too. But another factor might be that they began winning quickly. The harassment had become at least one real conquest by at latest AD 850, when Lothar was forced to surrender the Rhine delta to Roric. It's been hidden remarkably well, though—the annals don't say, sure, but no one else in the know would have wanted to admit it, either. The shame a proud Christian empire would have felt at being walloped by people they considered a bunch of heathen barbarians after they themselves had just conquered most of Europe would be well-nigh unbearable, but the Vikings were content to let them whitewash it away. Each Viking "mercenary" was given A LOT of territory, and Halfdan was content with Northumbria, too. These "mercenaries" were willing to be nice by swearing loyalty and finding Christian names. Rollo became "Robert," we don't know William Longsword's real name, and, up in England, Guthrum became Aethelstan. They didn't look like nasty pagans or have pagan names anymore, and so the Carolingians were able to let them—and their shame— vanish. ___________________________________________________ Yup.
  5. The documentary. It's intriguing. The Law of Attraction is a rabbit hole within a rabbit whole, but, in my experience, it can work. I've written one song--(that, since I'm bored and want to show off, I've recorded and posted here). I named it "The Bullet Had Missed." I heard that from a reporter a day or two after Katrina, when everyone was still trying to figure out what had happened. I haven't written more, though. Maybe that's a project for the next few months? The Bullet Had Missed.wav
  6. I watched "The Secret" last night, and got a free coffee this morning because of it. I've picked up the guitar again in the last few weeks and am fairly good so far. Played more than an hour last night, an hour tonight, and have recorded a few songs--putting them up on Facebook or sending them to friends. I'm planning on getting to know my guitar A LOT BETTER in these next few months.
  7. I figure it will be an interesting few months. Over here at UofE, after 3 weeks of teachers' strikes end Monday, classes are going online, and plenty of international students are fleeing home. I'm not. I've been trying to work and continuing to heal. I'm not sure how well I'm doing on the "Work" side of things--editing is difficult to evaluate, but the healing's good.
  8. @LiithaYup, I'm a Manshima. I haven't risen completely to the top yet, but I am that. Lava-- Thanks! I don't remember learning my left--I was too young--but apparently I was a rightie. I'm not an athlete at first sight. It's health. But my view on the whole situation is: "Doubt all you wish, but do not dismiss." And yes, I've been insanely cruel to myself in that way, too. It can be hard to accept you're not perfect.
  9. Thanks! Yup, I'm a Ren'shai. I'm almost straight and flexible enough now that I might be able to begin forgetting I've ever limped--almost. Then, she'll be able to work more on my right arm/hand, and once they're flexible enough I can start learning to use them again. Who knows--they say I was right handed before it all happened, so my catching capabilities might come back with my right hand. I've been the "athlete no one'd guess" most my life, maybe soon I can just be an athlete. Stay healthy, Lava--it can be hard, sometimes! But try to stay healthy, accept and forgive yourself when you can't always keep it up and show yourself mercy, we're human--but then get up and try again. Small gradual changes and replacing old habits usually works better than huge changes and quitting habits. And be grateful for what you have. It's hard, sometimes, I know! But, you can be grateful for the hardest cruelest events in your life if you decide they are lessons. It's all a matter of perspective.
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