No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Afternoon Slogging

Waiting for my friend to make it through the book-seller tables to go to lunch. He just started the one side, and he's a big book buyer. I'm giving him a few minutes before I just go get lunch myself.

Because at 4 o'clock, Swords. I mean there's also Geoffrey Landis' and Sam Butler's reading, along with a panel on Writers Workshops. But Swords! I mean, sharp things. Have I talked about this before? Swords!

Okay, I promise I'll stop talking about Swords! soon. Really.


Camille Alexa said...

I expect to hear more about swords later, Mr. Buchheit.

Steve Buchheit said...

Well, the swords didn't pan out. Again, there were three different places to be, and I saw them bring in props and it appeared to be a stock, "This is your sword" kind of presentation (instead of, these are different swords, this one was used by these people to solve this problem...). So I went to the Writing Workshops panel.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Remind me next time you come over to our house, and I'll show you my sword.

--I used to have two Civil War swords (one Union, one Confederate), but I'm afraid I gave them to my cousin several years back, since he has children he can pass them along to, and I don't.

Steve Buchheit said...

hey geoffrey, cool. I like bladed weapons, it's a weakness. It's also one of the things I have in common with Bette (my wife).

I once had the opportunity to buy a Korean straight sword (WWII trophy). But the blade was damaged (the dealer said by the appraisal, if it was I would never take another blade to them), the grip was in bad shape, and the scabbard was after market (really bad knockoff). Korean metalsmiths also used the "folded steel" method, but this sword only had 45 foldings (without a maginifyer I would have put it more in the 15-25 range). It also looked like a late 19th early 20th century production (not the 18th century as claimed).

I love them, how they were produced, what they were designed to do (not all swords are the same, or close to it), the tech and skill needed to wield them effectively. When I go to Renaissance Fairs, it usually cracks me up to see the people in costume. Most wear swords (if they have a weapon) and very few people were even allowed to do that (seriously, there were laws), and the swords are indistinguishable from each other (even though costumes portray various cultures and identities) and most times, much too large (never carry or wield a sword larger than you - size and capabilities).

The benefit of this knowledge came to the fore in a Honors Class (social studies). Dr. Leathers (we're not worthy) had a habit of asking tangental and off topic questions. I was giving a paper on the merchantile system and had mentioned the trade in steel. At the end Dr. Leathers asked about how they made steel before the Bessemer Process. I think he was stunned that I had an answer.