Monday, May 21, 2018

To a Norseman

This poem was sent to me by a dear friend who was enduring a lengthy prison sentence. In this poem he communicated to me, something that was in me that needed to be awaken.  He saw in me this need before I did and chose the perfect short verse for his communication.
 
It is a wonderful poem and my friend used it to awaken in me my own Celtic soul and summon the muse.  A poem about the Celt and the Norseman and the Old Ways.

My friend, is sadly gone now.  I still have the copy of the poem he sent me however.  The page it is on is shows its 45 years of age; the paper now discoloured, the ink faded.  It is a treasure.  

But, alas, I do not remember the author's name. Various online searches by title, first line, etc., have not produced the writer.  I do think it was a lady, so, if anyone knows her name, do communicate with me.  



To a Norseman

Surely you have forgotten
that poets are as wild as Norsemen, 
that dancers and players flamboyantly rash
and flutist and pluckers of strings
are full of ungovernable dreams;
surely no tall and silver-mouthed singer 
will leave off
once she has begun to call a tale
our of her harp.

Have you forgotten 
those dragon-boated rievers
shouting over the cold North Sea
and revelling with these island-dwellers
in their pillaging?

Have you forgotten 
those earth-gods of the old world?  Twelve disciples to a coven;
those blonde-haired witch consorters,
drumming in the dusk of tall clearings, 
calling the cloven-footed fairies
out to spin in the moonlight.

Surely you had not thought
that saints had quieted their longings
or holy scholars curbed their willful wantonness. 
Though all the snakes were damned
and driven out of Irlonde -
though the cross was older there
than in the north's flat forest evergreens -
their impregnable hearts
were as brazen and as laced with fire
as any Pagan's near the midnight sun.  

(author unknown)

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Keto and mmol/Ls


I have been in Keto for seven weeks and all going well.  I measure my Ketones using Keto urine strips.  Admittedly, this method is not as precise as using a (fancy) Keto meter and blood sample strips, but I find the method useful.  Keto urine strips are inexpensive and I also find them accurate enough for my purposes.  If I fast, I see a marked increase in my Keto mmol/L level.  My morning readings are typically .5 to 1.5 mmol/Ls.  My afternoon and evening level is normally 1.5 to 4.0 mmol/Ls.  Now, when I do a 24 hour to 36 hour intermittent  fast my test strip will read 4.0 to 8.0 mmol/Ls.  

Keto Urine Strip graphic


I have noticed, or it is my perception, that I have superiour cognition, improved mental function, at the higher level.  I have not chronicled this phenomenon, but intend to do so this week.  I will try to achieve the higher, 4.0 mmol/L level and observe myself.  

BTW... mmol/L is an international standard measure and the abbreviation stands for 'millimoles per litre.'   I find the Keto urine strips a good analysis tool.  I am in Keto, or began doing Keto, primarily for a medical purpose.  I had a brain injury and I am doing a neurogenesis protocl to enhance the healing process.  The protocol is working well and my recovery has improved radically on Keto.  But, like many, I am also enjoying getting back the Old Me, i.e. having my belly flat and dropping several inches off my waist.  The best metric for health is the waist to height ratio.  

One's waist to height ratio is easily calculated by dividing waist size by one's height.  There are also several waist to height calculators which one can access via a net search.  I like to use Bing or Duck Duck Go as a search engine, but Google works also (sort of). 

Take Aways: Keto urine strips are inexpensive and I find them a useful tool.  I also find a Keto mmol/L of 4.0 or above to enhance my mental clarity and cognition.

© 2018 Barry R McCain

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Manx Beard


‘The Old Manx Cooper’.   © Manx National Heritage (PG/12438)


A photograph by George Bellett Cowen (1865-1948), a talented and prolific Manx photograph.  His works include many Manx landscapes, street scenes, day to day life, and portraits, from the Isle of Man.  Here is his work 'The Old Manx Cooper.' 

© 2018 Barry R McCain







Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tio Pepe

Tio Pepe Jarez Palomino Fino © Barry R McCain
A Preamble: I discovered Spanish dry sherry by happenstance.  I was in Galway, Ireland, and attended a reception at which several dignitaries were present.  Up until that point in my life I only knew sherry as a disgusting drink... a sweet, slightly rotten flavoured, liquid offered to me by certain un-named ancient relatives.  I swear to the gods I had no idea there was a real thing called dry Sherry from Spain.  Anyroad, at the said reception, a young lady was making the rounds with a tray full of small wine glasses full of a light yellow liquid.  I had to do my part of course, so I put one in my paw and had a sip.  This was great stuff, Homeric. I asked, what is this?  ... and was told it was Spanish dry sherry.  I was hooked from the start.  Several months ago, I discovered my local spirits shop had a few bottles of Tio Pepe on the shelf.  And, my relationship with dry sherry, Jarez Fino, was renewed.

Tio Pepe Fino Sherry is a pale golden color.  It is an elegant and distinctive fortified wine with a mild almond aroma. The flavour is full bodied, but very crisp and very dry, with a complex, long finish.  With Tio Pepe, you taste Spain. 

Jerez DO lower left in yellow near Cadiz

Tio Pepe vineyards are located in 'Jerez Superior,' area, which is the D.O. Andalusia.  This region is known for its white albariza soil which contains 60% chalk which has a moisture retaining quality.  Tio Pepe is vinified and blended by master winemaker Antonio Flores. 

Think... sunny southern Spain, a glass of Jarez fino with a slice of Manchego cheese.  The perfect healthy snack... an no carbs for you Keto hounds.  Tio Pepe is indeed a very dry wine, less than one carb per serving (and no carbs at all in Manchego). Some like it chilled, but I prefer it room temperature, as to my tastes this unlocks more flavour. 

It is a perfect dry sherry.  Try a bottle, and remember the Crane brothers love the stuff.

Notes: 
D.O.; Denominationes de Origen (designation of origin)
Andalusia; a region is southern Spain.
Jerez DO; the wine area in Andalusia noted for their fine sherries.  

© 2018 Barry R McCain

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White Beard Speaks

This is my new blog.  It is my alternative blog.  Usually, my writing is about Celtic history, folklore, with an emphasis on Irish and Scottish history and people, on the Scots-Irish, the Old Faith (the pre Christian spiritual beliefs of the Atlantic Zone Celts, etc.  This topics I will continue to post on my sister blog 'McCain's Corner.'  

I wanted to have a platform for post on other topics; some of these will include ... the Ketosis diet, Neurogenesis, A1 Casein Sensitivity, Reviews of Food and Drink, Language Learning,  Hiking and Hill Walking, Music, the Ouachita Mountains, and Life Style in general from a traditional perspective.  I will also include Beard tips and care.

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© 2018 Barry R McCain

To a Norseman

This poem was sent to me by a dear friend who was enduring a lengthy prison sentence. In this poem he communicated to me, something that ...