I finished reading the excellent Frederick Rebsamen translation of BEOWULF during the third quarter of the college championship game Monday night. I muted the volume at half time to resume reading. Because I was almost finished with the book I left the sound off on the TV and read between plays. With on average only about 12 or 13 minutes of action in a 60 minute game that takes three hours to complete, there is ample reading time. In order to remain awake for the entire game, I had a dry night, drinking only club soda. I was successful and saw the game to its conclusion at 11:15 PM Central time, although the outcome was not in doubt after LSU went three scores up in the fourth quarter.
Here is a passage describing Beowulf’s return voyage home to Gotland after slaying Grendel and Grendel’s mother who is never given a name in the poem.
The sail grew taut tugged by ocean winds
Mast-ropes trembled tight sail-anchors—
Piling seaswells pounded clinker-boards
Bound for Gotland—the good wave-cutter
Plunged into the foam flew with sail-wing
Followed the swan-road
Skimmed across the sea
Till headlands of home
Hovered above them
The known sea cliffs—nudged by the wind
The keel carried them to calm shore-sand.
The first letters of the lines except for the first one should not be capitalized, but the system will not let me do otherwise.
Beowulf was not a Viking, although I am, but after finishing the poem I begin reading a history of the Vikings titled THE SEA WOLVES. My claim to Vikinghood is that I have a mild to moderate case of Dupuytren’s Contracture, also known as the Viking disease. While my ancestry is mostly English, there was a pillager somewhere back there a thousand years ago.
So far I have found in the book two quotes I like:
Wake early if you want another man’s life or land. No land for the lazy wolf. No battle won in bed.
—Edda of Saemund the Wise, a collection of the sayings of Oden
Braver are many in word than in deed.
—The Saga of Grettir the Strong
From Kent who maintains and is sometimes permitted to steer some of Audrey’s Armada comes a quote attributed to Pete Culler: Boat Building is simply correcting one mistake after another, with the first mistake being to have begun in the first place.
Correcting one mistake after another is the essence of life. Hopefully the number of mistakes gradually is reduced and hopefully one does not spent a lifetime correcting the same mistakes. Of not beginning in the first place, I don’t think he meant it and I don’t think we have a choice.
I downloaded a calorie counting app yesterday. Actually I downloaded several and kept Calorie Counter + by Nutra Check. No I am not getting fat. A fat Webb Chiles is a logical impossibility and an abomination not to be imagined much less seen. I am 6’1” and weighed 155.4 pounds this morning. But I was curious about my intake, particularly calories in alcohol which I have been known to drink.
I have learned several things. There are more calories in beer than whiskey and gin. Good. I don’t drink much beer. This of course depends on how much you consume. A bottle of wine has about 600 calories in it, which is about 60 more calories than in two martinis as I make them.
However the revelation is the amount of calories and protein I eat in my normal breakfast of grapefruit juice, uncooked oatmeal with protein powder, trail mix, and fruit, and two cups of black coffee.
Here is a screen shot of the details:
764 calories and 40 grams of protein are both twice what I would have guessed. All good and I have no desire to change.
Yesterday I took in about 1800 calories including 4 ounces of Plymouth gin. This is well below the 2100 a day Nutra Check says I am permitted. I may have to drink more gin.
The photo of the eponymous bird was taken years ago one evening from the deck of THE HAWKE OF TUONELA on her morning in the Bay of Islands.