Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Sound and images … The lies of this world … Labels … and a couple or three links …

“Yamanakabushi” performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal & Yuzuko Horigome, from the album “Yamanakabushi: Japanese Melodies”, Vol. 3, (1982)

I tried writing in silence and posting plain text with no sound and no images, Just the facts, ma’am” … and I don’t enjoy writing in silence and I do enjoy trying to pass on the mood to my readers, or at least to offer the opportunity to taste the mood … so I have decided to go back to sound and images as part of this effort … my blog, my rules.

I found this item, like a delightful little breakfast treat left over from the surfeit of Christmas  … David and I seem to be in a similar  frame of mind regarding “The World” …

David Warren

David Warren

… I was, even in those days, a fan of this “Richard Nixton” (the misspelling of his name was a smug convention). I didn’t actually like him, but in the words of a Czech friend, “he gives those liberals heart attacks,” and that seemed a good enough reason to support him.

For those were the days when I was just discovering that a lad with my views is not called a “liberal,” but a “conservative” instead. (I’ve since moved on, to “reactionary.”) It was a question of mere labels, “truth in advertising” as it were. An old-fashioned “liberal” like my father to start, I was already in favour of liberty and small government, against totalitarianism and thus, gung-ho on Vietnam.

But I had also already noticed that most people who thought themselves “liberals,” were otherwise insufferable. …



I am reflecting on references in previous posts (here) regarding the “Chiaroscuro” of silence versus noise revealing the face of God.  And also reflecting on references in previous posts (here) and (here) about the appropriateness of “labels” or metaphorical “figures” standing for icons in respective cultures, icons of evil, and icons of good, and the error of believing that the “label” is the “thing” … the good or the evil “actualized” in the label.

Another post (here) ruminating on the use of metaphorical and mathematical labels to stand for personal opinions, or assertions of theory which we desire to be true, but which remain “unproven” or “not true” and the inherent error of confusing the label for the truth and the truth for the label, as if the truth becomes self evident (obviously) by virtue of the chosen label, and if one just “doesn’t get it” one must be self evidently lacking in some essential aspect.

Spirited Away, Dragon and Girl

Spirited Away, Dragon and Girl

Something about the frequency with which we delude ourselves, how the best plans and ideas of mice and men “gang aft a’glay“, our innate ability to discern truth (what 21st century man identifies as “our BS detector”) seems to have gone wildly astray in the minute by minute noise and distraction of our 21st century society.

We have lost our affinity for silence, that peace which man was originally born with and experienced daily, so many thousands of years ago.

Man has lost the simplicity, the natural innocence, of childhood. That is why silence is so difficult for him. And man rejects silence even more because he wants to become God himself, and has done so for all time, since Adam first sought to “become god”. That is why Christ admonished us to “become as little children”. In silence man cannot be a false god, cannot pretend to “be” god, but can merely stand in a luminous face-to-face encounter with God.

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine

In “The Confessions”, Saint Augustine exposes his own experience with these beautiful lines: “Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved Thee! For behold Thou wert within me, and I outside; and I sought Thee outside and in my unloveliness fell upon those lovely things that Thou hast made.

Thou wert with me and I was not with Thee. I was kept from Thee by those things, yet had they not been in Thee, they would not have been at all. Thou didst call and cry to me and break open my deafness: and Thou didst send forth Thy beams and shine upon me and chase away my blindness: Thou didst breathe fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and do now pant for Thee: I tasted Thee, and now hunger and thirst for Thee: Thou didst touch me, and I have burned for Thy peace.

Where are the dwelling places of solitude and silence? Where are those places where we escape the noise and distractions of modern life, the disruptions which continually prevent us from finding God? Only a fortunate few can find the solitude and silence of the sea, or of the desert, or the mountain hermitage. Where do we find this silence in our busy daily run?

  早春賦, William W. Spearman IV, from the album “Beautiful Japanese Songs” (2006)

For joy … I find myself not so alone in my observations of the irrational illogicality of life on this tiny planet of mostly blue water. I give you a couple of tidbits worth visiting just in time to save us from giving way to despair and desperation.

“… “A lie gets halfway round the world before the truth even gets its pants on,” or something like that, as Mark Twain is supposed to have said, though if he did, it was hardly original.” courtesy of David Warren.”


” … “Bombogenesis” is my favorite word this week. It is meteorologist’s jargon for what is happening off America’s Eastern Seaboard. It was last popularized, if I recall aright, four years ago, when we had about twenty of them in the North Atlantic, within a January and February.

These storms result from a form of collision between high and low-pressure cells. The air pressure suddenly drops, and sailors are in for quite a blow. A lot of snow is dumped along coasts. But it is not the end of the world; not yet.

The fish in the sea are probably exempt, but I’ve noticed that animals on land often react to these pressure drops: even cats and dogs. They know to seek shelter. Humans, not so much, till they have heard a weather report; but as the keeper of a municipal weather station when I was a high-school kid, I found that I could tell, too. This was because I was “open to the experience.”

Many things that humans can do are not apparent to most humans.” … Also courtesy of the same David Warren writing on a different blog site.”

C.S. Lewis, at his desk writing

C.S. Lewis, at his desk writing

It is well to remember the words of Aslan (the Lion icon) “… He answered, “Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. …  I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. … Dost thou understand, Child?”  

I said, “Lord, thou knowest how much I understand”. But I also said (for the truth constrained me), “Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days”.  “Beloved”, said the Glorious One, “unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek”. C.S. Lewis, “The Last Battle”



Perhaps the “Brights” do have the answer … do tiny minorities inherently have the truth by virtue of their minuscule numbers, their sample size?  But what about the rest? Well, they are also beloved of God, or so I am told …

Life in a small town

Fasting … another progress report …

“The Wind Of Liudao”, Jia Peng Fang, from the album “Faraway”, (2002)

flowing brook animatedSo, fasting, how are things going? I seem to be still stuck at some kind of plateau with my weight holding steady at approximately 230 pounds. As mentioned, that is a long way (on the good side of the scale) from 268 pounds but also a long way from my arbitrary weight target of 200 pounds.

I say arbitrary because while I have some doubts about ever getting back to my combat weight of 180 pounds where I was in my early 20’s, I don’t think 200 pounds is unreasonable for a  65 year old, 6 foot male of medium build in reasonable physical shape.

I am currently still using the weekends, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as eating days and eating everything I like or want to eat, although I must admit that I just don’t feel like eating anything near as much as I once ate “normally”. I am probably eating about half the calories I was eating 7 months ago and not missing anything.

Guide to FastingI had intended to switch to total fast during the busy time of the week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday until suppertime on Friday but I have been consistently NOT feeling like doing that when suppertime roles around.

I could call this a failure of self discipline or I could just say “What the hey, that’s how things role right now”. I think I prefer “What the hey …”.

Anyway, Joe’s Fasting Chronicles …  (part 7?). I just recently (26th of July) had my 65 year old, 10,000 mile, warranty check up with my Doc in order to establish a health baseline going forward. I have been feeling great and as far as I could tell I was and am healthy but I wanted to get a full panel of lab tests to verify that the deep blood work substantiated how I was feeling.

I arrived at the appointment expecting to have to do a hard sell on my “new” fasting lifestyle and the health benefits because generally speaking the medical profession, by and large, in Alberta, Canada tend to feel that they better stick to the guidelines currently established by the medical associations and by the teaching universities, and in a kind of “ME TOO” way, by the Provincial Department of Health.

I was completely and pleasantly surprised to be told that not only was my Doc quite OK with my fasting regime but that he had been doing it himself for several months now and had lost 45 pounds, and was using the method to treat some of his diabetic patients for their Type II Diabetes.

Obesity CodeSo instead of a difficult sales job we spent the better part of 45 minutes exchanging observations, and titles of articles and books and recipes and just generally having a good chinwag, and then spent about ten minutes taking my vitals and lining up a full panel of lab tests. Just the best doctor’s appointment I can ever remember having and no problems at all.

So how did my tests turn out? First, blood sugars are now routinely testing and holding at 5.0 to 6.5 international. Dawn values are often in the 7’s but drop rapidly over the first two or three hours of the day.  The conversion factor is 18 for those who want to see that in American units , eg. 7×18=126, at least that is how I think it converts, and I am told that that is normal.

My lab results show Blood Insulin level as 40.8 pmo/L and the reference range is <120.0 pmo/L. That is excellent. Negative urine glucose, urine keytones +1 and the lab notes that as high but it is what I am targeting to be in moderate keytosis. Protein, nitrite, and leukocytes all negative, hemoglobin A1C was 6.3 (should be less than 7.0) and Glucose fasting 6.4 which is slightly high but consistent with what I have been getting for dawn values with my meter daily.

So everything is looking very good and trending in the right direction. I have another appointment lined up in a few days to go over the results and get my Doc’s advice but I think we will be just agreeing that this is very good and I want to get come contacts regarding grass fed beef and where to get it around here. I am “officially” officially declaring my Type II diabetes “cured” for sure now.  Resting blood pressure is around 110/60 these days and weight is 230 Lbs. (or about 100 Kg). I am in keytosis, testing using “Ketostix”, and I truly feel great.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on this topic here, and  here, and hereand here, and here, and here, and here, then let it be known that when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 7 years ago I was 270 Lbs., blood sugars were in the high teens, and blood pressure was in the 140 over 90 range. I felt like crap!  In January of this year I was testing blood sugars of 16.0 to 17.0 while taking 4 Metformin and a Gliclazide daily. We were talking about starting on Insulin injections.

What else have I found in addition to getting these great results in my official lab blood tests?

Well there is this website , Confronting The Confusing World Of Nutrition, another WordPress blog site where I have found just about every book ever written about my current lifestyle choices.

This has become my go-to site for all things diet and health in terms of finding resources and information.

I agree with this blogger, that I still feel that were you to choose only one, my personal favorite is The Obesity Code written by Canadian Nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung.

As the proprietor of Intensive Dietary Management in Toronto, Dr. Fung is a clinician that has real-world experience and an uncanny talent for cutting through the BS.

He “tells it like it is” in an entertaining way that makes it easy for non-scientific minded laymen to really grasp an understanding. This book is perfect for sharing and provides an excellent introduction to the LCHF/Ketogenic lifestyle.

The other book I like is : Principia Ketogenica: Low Carbohydrate And Ketogenic Diets – Compendium Of Science Literature On The Benefits by A Simmonds. This book contains 319 pages of important science and studies related to low-carb, high-fat diets, with hundreds of research papers and scholarly journal articles from over the past century, summarized and fully referenced.

Though available in hardcover, the e-book provides active links to pertinent studies and abstracts. There are no recipes, testimonials, or popular articles.

This book is current up to 2014, perhaps the greatest collection of relevant nutrition science available to date.

The Principia is available as a Kindle eBook for a couple of bucks and truly worth the price.



So, to the “Medical Establishment” and “Professional” Nutritionists everywhere … Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.