In Search of Hobbies

I’m thinking of building a trebuchet.

I loved playing Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings and pulling out the trebuchet, usually four or five trebuchets, in the Imperial Age and razing cities to the ground from long distances. I loved seeing the trebuchet deployed in the defense of Minas Tirith in The Return of the King (though I don’t quite see how Gondor’s trebuchets worked–they had no obvious counterweights). So when I saw William Gurstelle’s book, The Art of the Catapult, advertised in the Science Fiction Book Club flyer my interest in medieval warfare virtually mandated that I order the book.

(In that shipment I ordered another book, which I won’t name here, as someone’s Christmas present, but for the life of me I can’t remember for whom I ordered it.)

I’ve spent part of the afternoon studying the diagrams of ballistae, onagers, and trebuchets. There’s that big empty field next to my house, and wouldn’t that be ideal for setting up a medieval siege weapon?

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

3 thoughts on “In Search of Hobbies

  1. Ok..once more, we’ll try to comment…then it’s back to live journal where you can not see us talking about you:-)

    You can get one for your desk made from paper:

    You can get plans for your back yard:

    You can get kits:

    You can get a computer simulator:

    As for the mystery book..I believe that’s for me…or is it the “misplaced” ps2 lying over there:-D

  2. Todd, the comments were fine. They just needed hand-moderation because of the hyperlinks. I really should make a top-level posting about this.

    The short of it is, this website gets flooded every day with comment spam. Thirty or forty comments advertising online poker, dating services, performance-enhancing drugs, etc. I have two levels of attack in dealing with them. The first is a blacklist of flagged words (indeed, this comment will be flagged just because I used the word “poker”). The second is the use of HTML coding, specifically hyperlink coding. If a comment contains either it goes into a moderation queue until I approve it or delete it. It may mean a turnaround time of a few minutes if I’m online at that particular moment, or a turnaround time of several hours if I’m out or away.

    Suffice to say, Todd, your comments were fine. I just had to clear them for approval. 🙂

    At the same time, twenty-eight comments went into the dumpster.

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