Author Archive

Beautiful words and insight from Jake Powning, swordsmith.

Here is another video from swordsmith, Jake Powning. In the video Jake carves a gripping beast into a wooden scabbard and talks a little bit about the techniques he’s using and the folklore that inspires him. At one point in the video (47:07-49:22), a question is asked about the difference between a piece being historically accurate or historically inspired. Jake gives an excellent reply which deals with the philosphy of history and anthropology. It touches on a subject that Erin and I have talked about a lot in our discussions about the past. Namely, that the past doesn’t exist. We can’t access it. All we can deal with are these objects and texts from the past but in the present. We make up stories about them that are internally consistent but might not neccessarily be accurate to how things were.

The stories we make up about these objects all fit together, make sense, and don’t contradict eachother, but that doesn’t mean that’s the way it was. It’s likely we’re right about a lot; but there is so much we’ll never know and probably a lot that we’ve gotten wrong. Watch the video above, but especially the part at 47:07-49:22.


My favorite swordsmith giving a presentation on viking/celtic ornamentation on swords

Jake Powning is an extraordinary swordsmith and wood carver. Here is an hour long lecture/presentation on swordsmithing, word carving, and viking/celtic ornamentation. Very beautiful and very informative!


We’re home! And we’re selling a ton of our books on Amazon!

Erin and I got home safely from Sweden and just decided to sell a bunch of our extra stuff. Less clutter is always good. So we’re selling almost half of our giant collection of books on Amazon! Erin went through and matched the lowest prices for almost all of these books so come check it out and get a deal! We have Art books, Comics, Christian books, Scifi, Classic Literature, Nonfiction, History, Anthropology/Archaeology, Textbooks, etc!  Click on the “Book Sale!” link in the top right corner or just Click Here if you’re lazy. We’ll be updating the page frequently so check back often if you’re interested.


New Year Celebration in Malmö

We didn’t plan to do anything for New Years except stay up in our apartment watching movies. It turns out we were treated to to quite a show anyway. Let me back up. Fireworks are legal in Sweden (unlike in Southern California). Starting the day after Christmas, we were treated to a constant barrage of the whistle and pop of small firecrackers and bottle rockets every few minutes, 24 hours a day. At first I thought maybe it was a Christmas tradition and it would die down. But the frequency of the bangs only increased as the days went on. As we got closer to New Years Eve I realized that the Swedes probably had a stash of fire crackers saved up for New Year. But why were they wasting them? They were going to run out. At 11:59pm Dec 31st, I thought we were going to be treated to the whiz bang little bottle rockets and people hitting pots and pans together like in California. HA! Did I ever underestimate them! At around 10 minutes to midnight, I began to hear louder bangs and much more frequently. So I grabbed my camera phone and when to the window to see this.


(Sorry for filming it sideways. You may want to watch it in full screen mode.)

As you can see, Swedes apparently stockpile a huge number of full-sized fireworks for New Years. I’ve never seen such an amazing display, and that includes the time I spent 4th of July on the deck of an aircraft carrier. During the first few minutes of the video you can see people launching full sized fireworks from the lawn literally just outside our window. That is, until they had 3 ground explosions in a row and decided to call it a night. At about 7:50, the display really picks up. And then a few minutes later, someone launches 3 red signal flares. It felt like being in a warzone. It was quite an impressive display.

Happy New Years!


God jul och gott nytt år!

That’s Swedish for “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”


New Pic of the Week: Ancient Curse Tablet

[ARTICLE]

I just put up a new Pic of the Week on the sidebar on the right. It is an ancient lead curse tablet like the kind I wrote about a few months ago [here]. If you click the picture you can see the whole story and the translation. It’s interesting stuff.


It’s our 10 year anniversary!

Ok it’s obviously not our 10 year wedding anniversary, but it is the anniversary of when we started dating back in high school. Hmm, so that’s what a decade feels like. I’m looking forward to many many more!

Erin’s edit:
Yes! It has been a wonderful decade of an amazing relationship! We have spent almost half of our entire lives as devoted partners and I am so thankful for you, my love! You have taught me so much and I’ve grown wiser with you as my partner and guide. Here’s to many more decades! ❤