Preconceived notions about the weapons that heroes carry

Iron – Utility or Rarity?

Golden dagger & sheath of Pharoah Tutenkhamun (d. 1327 BC)

Golden dagger of Pharoah Tutenkhamun (d. 1327 BC)

Ceremonial weapons are all very well. They look splendid when you ascend the throne. The goldsmith was probably the best in the land — look at all those animals on the sheath (click on the image to enlarge it).

What insights can we draw from this dagger from Tut’s tomb? The blade is gold alloyed with copper to harden it, but it can’t have been a practical weapon. So the boy Pharoah who carried this never had to defend himself (or didn’t expect to need to after death) — that’s what he had guards for.  Judging from his physical remains, he may have been unfit and walked with a cane. The cause of his death at 19 is disputed.

So, this dagger defended his reign, the right of his dynasty to rule (but he had no issue, so the 18th Dynasty ended with him). It was a beautiful, treasured, symbolic weapon.

The pair of daggers from Tut's tomb - gold and iron.

The pair of daggers from Tut’s tomb – gold and iron.

But before we jump to conclusions, there was a second dagger found in his tomb, this one with a meteoric iron blade. (Notice that the haft for the iron blade can’t be the original, since it’s shorter than the tang of the blade requires.) Given the similar haft and sheath treatment in gold, there is speculation that the iron blade was valued as highly as the gold one.  Certainly it’s more practical as a weapon, being able to take an edge. Read More →

A nice big house, um, library

Trinity College Library, Dublin

Trinity College Library, Dublin

A Dutch fondness for books

 

 

As close as we can get to dragons

eagle3

The Eagle: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1851)

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

—————————————————–

Just as exciting when “domesticated”.

The motivations of alien beings

Goat-Red-Surprise
Ever wonder what an alien thinks? Well, aliens may be in short supply in our daily experience, but life in the country recognizes alien beings all the time.  It’s just that they typically have four legs.

So, today we’re driving along the road on top of the holler and we see a good-sized goat trotting diligently down the middle of the (deserted) pavement. We pull alongside and ask it what it’s doing, and it pauses to consider the question, but continues on its determined way.

The next driveway belongs to a neighbor, and we think he may keep goats, so we pull in and, sure enough, the goat (following us) turns in, too. So we head to the house to let the neighbor know he’s got a goat loose, but no one’s home. Meanwhile the goat trots into the one-stall barn, and takes up his post next to the horse there, good buddies that they clearly are.

It's those horizontal slit pupils that betray their alien heritage

It’s those horizontal slit pupils that betray their alien heritage

We shrug, head on home, and later give the neighbor a call to tell him about his goat’s travels. Only it turns out, it’s not his goat. It belongs to one of his neighbors and is in the habit of paying his horse a visit from time to time.

That goat had places to go and people to see.  Wasn’t lacking for motivation at all.  Wonder if it borrowed a cup of oats while it was there?
 
 
 
 

Novel considerations

facesofthenovel-webOnce again, the humor of Grant Snider.  There’s my work, down at the bottom, next to the end.

Too many distractions

Oatmeal_procrastination

Word Crimes

WordCrimes
I’ve become a recent Weird Al Yankovic fan.

Here’s one that has the writing community in stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

Of brownies & of bogles full is this book

Tam o'Shanter 1

Tam o’Shanter (Abraham Cooper)

Online Scots Dialect Dictionary

Tam o’Shanter: A Tale by Robert Burns (1790)

Where sits our sulky, sullen dame

Where sits our sulky, sullen dame

WHEN chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet;
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to tak the gate,
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An’ getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest TAM O’ SHANTER,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:
(Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses).

O Tam! had’st thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate’s advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was na sober;
That ilka melder wi’ the Miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev’ry naig was ca’d a shoe on
The Smith and thee gat roarin’ fou on;
That at the L — d’s house, ev’n on Sunday,
Thou drank wi’ Kirkton Jean till Monday,
She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou wad be found, deep drown’d in Doon,
Or catch’d wi’ warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway’s auld, haunted kirk. Read More →

Where I spend my time

WritersRetreat-GrantSnider

Who can resist Grant Snider?