...

Rikki Tikki Tavi Reflexes

Posted on

Just a quick note about a quick little childhood hero of mine. I remember, as a child, reading the story of Rikki Tikki Tavi, the brave (and very fast) mongoose who defended an English family’s home (in Indian) against deadly cobra snakes. At the young age of four, I only knew mongooses to be rather large rat/weasel/squirrel – looking pests I would occasionally see running into the bushes or across the street. They looked rather furtive and furry like their distant cousins, the cats. In the story, little Rikki was supposed to be able to fight and win his battles with the poisonous and blindingly fast snakes. I thought that Rikki made for a cute and incongruent little hero, kind of like Disney’s Mickey Mouse as a heroic musketeer. The mongoose you might spy in your neighborhood was introduced from Jamaica to Hawaii in the 1880’s to control rodents in the sugar plantations. Anyways, when I was a little older, I found out that Rikki’s battles were based upon fact – mongooses and snakes are mortal enemies and such fights do happen, with the mongoose winning more often than not. The mongoose is somewhat immune to the cobra’s poisonous bite. [...]

...

A Plethora of Lanterns…And Ryu’s

Posted on

Today’s title is based on an “enlightening” conversation I was having with my 8-year-old grandson. At dinner the other night, he was seated next to me and was “talking story” with his old Papa. In between chews of his dinner bun, he began talking about his favorite superheroes. By the time the sampler platter arrived, he had begun to focus on a particularly interesting superhero – the Red Lantern. I shared that as a kid, my favorite superhero happened to be the Green Lantern, but I had never heard of the Red Lantern. Upon discovering that we shared an interest in the powerful lanterns, protectors of the universe, I made a quick inquiry on my smartphone and located his Red Lantern…along with a whole bunch of other lanterns – where had these all come from? It was upsetting my understanding of the DC universe! The Green Lantern Corps was a large group of space law enforcement officers, each one responsible for a sector of the galaxy. They were like marshals or Jedi, patrolling assigned sectors of the galaxy. I liked the lanterns because their power (emanating from their rings that were recharged by a lantern) was only limited by their [...]

...

At Holiday Time, I Must Sound Like a Broken Record (A 78 LP)

Posted on

Last week, as I was trying to do a rare bit of Christmas shopping, I ran into a second cousin that I hadn’t seen in years.  As we chatted, her first question was, “Hey Wes, are you still doing karate?”  I answered in the affirmative and realized that this same inquiry always comes up when I run into old friends and relatives.  I think that it’s what must come to mind when they see me.  Yes, I’m still doing it, although some of you may not know that I briefly “quit” karate three times over the last 48 years.  Aha!, I had found my inspiration for my holiday note to you all.  It was about quitting karate, and about returning to karate (Question: Which do you think is easier?)  Anyways, as the keyboard started tapping out my seasonal ruminations, I began to slow down and realize that this all felt so familiar.  Looking back over old notes, I found that I had actually written (extensively!) on the same subject, at the same time of the year, back in 2010 and back in 2007.  Man, am I a broken record or what? (kids, your parents will tell you what a 33 [...]