Live the SCA dream
Say you’re a huge nerd who makes a good amount of money. Say you live in Oregon, or want to. Then you too can buy a “cottage” in The Shire in Bend, Oregon. The Shire is a community being built of houses made to look like 18th century English country cottages.
Now, “shire” is a word that definitely pre-dates Tolkein and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Our word Sherriff is a mutation of the original English title, Shire Reeve. But come on…I would say it is obvious that this little development in Bend is trying to capitalize on the association so many nerds have between the name “The Shire” and hobbits. That is certainly what happened with the author of the post on metafilter that I horked this from.