Female Martial Artists, Not to Be Trifled With

Last night, I ended the blogging extravaganza with the story of a Karate champ who came home from a chop-suey tournament to find an intruder in her home. Let’s continue with the theme of females in the martial arts. (Not to be confused with females in the marital arts. They usually are black belts at that particular discipline, guys.) Mariko Haugen, a taekwando black belt, was swimming in Maui when a shark got all up in her grill:

Mariko Haugen, Don Haugen

A 12-foot-long tiger shark messed with the wrong person.

Mariko Haugen, a taekwando black belt, was enjoying a swim in Maui, Hawaii, when she was confronted by the creature.

“She saw it a few seconds before it hit – and she gave it her best Tae Kwon Do black belt punch in the nose,” Don Haugen, Mariko’s husband, wrote on Facebook.

Haugen’s husband and another man saw the attack and helped carry her to safety.

She received more than 100 stitches to close wounds on her right hand and thigh.

Now back home in Folsom, Calif., Don Haugen told ABC News affiliate KXTV that he’s trying to put his wife’s misfortune, or fortune, depending on how one looks at it, into perspective.

I wonder what color Don’s chop-chop belt is. (I’ll bet I can guess the color of Don’s bathing suit, considering he was swimming near Mariko when the attack occurred.)

Rupert Schmid Wrestles with Viola Frey

Pink Lady, Viola Frey

So, a blogger visits the Oakland Museum and is struck by a sculpture titled Pink Lady. The piece, by artist Viola Frey, is then compared to one by sculptor Rupert Schmid, titled California Venus. A neoclassical work of marbled beauty, 1965 versus 1895. I am afraid the modern era does not fare well.

A commenter sums up the subtraction of talent with this apt quote from the playwright Tom Stoppard: Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

Wasp, San Antonio, and Carter Hall Headed to New York and New Jersey

The Navy is moving three ships into pre-support positions where they can help assist in the the storm clean-up. (Meanwhile over here in California, I just turned some kids away from more Halloween candy after I recognized them from a prior visit. Yes kiddies, I am paying attention. One trip, two candies, per kid. No more. Haha!) The lurid Navy details:

The U.S. Navy moved three ships toward New York and New Jersey in case the storm-struck states ask for help, officials said on Wednesday

Navy spokesman Lt. Commander Chris Servello said there has been no official request for assistance from the amphibious landing ships that can launch helicopters, make fresh water and haul critical supplies and other aid.

Disasters were declared for New Jersey and New York following Superstorm Sandy. The New Jersey shore area and New York City, especially, dealt with severe flooding and power outages. Fallen trees and power lines blocked roads and ravaged homes and other buildings. Transit systems were idle.

USS Wasp in the Atlantic June 2012

The USS Wasp is a landing helicopter assault ship that resembles a small aircraft carrier and is capable of handling numerous helicopters. Already in the area, the Wasp moved out to sea to ride out Sandy.

The Navy on Wednesday decided to move two other ships out of the port in Norfolk, Virginia toward the coast a few days ahead of a training mission in the Northern Atlantic. Those are the USS San Antonio and the USS Carter Hall and are expected off the storm-stricken coast in one to two days.

It is interesting, the article says the states must ask for help before the Navy ships assist.

Operation Rhino

The FBI is particularly adept at trapping militant, home-grown terrorists. And their ongoing Operation Rhino has helped highlight the problem of Somalis leaving the country to go fight for al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the enemy as: foreign fighter cadre that includes U.S. passport holders… [who] may have aspirations to attack inside the United States.

Sleeping in a Cat Carrier

You wanna know what it is like sleeping in the enlisted berthing compartment on an aircraft carrier? Check out the Capsule & Sauna Century Shibuya in Tokyo:

Manager Akiyoshi Kaneko stands by the rooms at the Capsule & Sauna Century Shibuya in Tokyo. The capsule concept has been around for at least 30 years, starting out as lodging for businessmen working or partying late who missed the last train home and needed a cheap place to crash. But budget travelers and other folks curious about a unique lodging experience use them too.

Although I doubt the Capsule & Sauna Century Shibuya smells like socks.

Avoid Snake Bites

I’ve seen my share of snakes on the local running trails. And, Lord knows, I’ve met one or two in uniform. Please (with cream and sugar) trust me and do not do try this on your own: Surviving a cobra bite in Nepal is simple, some natives believe. If the victim bites the snake right back, to its death, the venom is rendered harmless. 

Happy Halloween Reading!

While you sit around your kitchen table, reveling in your Halloween loot, remember to read a couple, a couple of couples, or all of the below:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Jannine Ramirez Relaxes

I probably should add Fresno’s Jannine Ramirez to my growing list of heroes. The twenty year old toughie delivered the beatdown of her lifetime to an intruder. One tiny fact the miscreant was not aware of: Janine had just won a karate competition and was returning home to relax. She may have a different definition of relaxin’ than most. . .

John Wayne, the Green Berets, and Generation Z

The Military Channel has a special called An Officer and a Movie. And I just watched one of the current features, The Green Berets, starring John Wayne. Guess what car popped up? You bet, the world’s most beautiful car, none other than the Citroen DS:

The movie “Green Berets” with John Wayne and a Citroen DS

Joining Lou Diamond Phillips, the host, was Green Beret Major Rusty Bradley, a veteran of 5 tours in Afghanistan. He speaks of his admiration for current and past Green Berets. 

As for the movie, I’d never seen it. And the fact that it was put out in 1968 speaks volumes about John Wayne. Of course, the other actors pale in comparison to the Duke, but Bruce Cabot’s Colonel tricked me. I just imagined the casting director grabbed some grizzled Colonel to cameo the role.

Aldo Ray was good as Sergeant Muldoon. Bet you did not know Mr. Ray was both a frogman (SEAL) and a Berkeley grad: Aldo DaRe was born in the borough of Pen Argyl, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on 25 September 1926. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, served as a US Navy frogman during WWII and saw action on Iwo Jima. You know what this means, right? Jokes about Berkeley grads will no longer be tolerated.

I work with a Senior Chief and she mentioned that her son, all of nine years old, is a John Wayne fan. Yes, Senior is married to a Master Chief, but has done nothing to encourage the young American to pursue his cinematic hero. This fact alone has given me faith in the world. Carry on, Generation Z. . .

From Here to Timbuktu

If you wondering how garden-variety jihadis behave when they take over a region, this section on Gao in Mali is quite telling, especially the part on the economics:

Gao, a city of 100,000 people, has become a lifeless place since the Islamists took over. It was once a stopping point for tourists traveling to Timbuktu, but now the roadside stands have disappeared, bars and restaurants are boarded up and music is banned. The new strongmen proclaim their creed on signs posted at street corners, written in white Arabic lettering on a black background, that read: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”

To make matters worse, garbage collection has been suspended, leaving waste to rot in the streets at temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Around 400,000 people have already fled the Islamists. Most who have left represent the better-educated parts of the work force, like the engineers who kept the power plant and waterworks in operation. Foreign aid organizations are gone, as are government officials who were in the process of implementing a new road construction program.

“Gao is a dead city,” says Allassane Amadou Touré, a mechanic, as he drinks tea in the shade. He is unemployed, like many in the city, and says that Gao’s economic output has “declined by 85 percent” since the spring.

The Islamic police have become the city’s biggest employers. Ironically, their headquarters are on Washington Street in downtown Gao. From there, the armed police officers, most of them young men who are little more than children, are sent out into the neighborhoods to drum into residents what is considered “haram” and “halal,” or pure.

The jihadis have a headquarters on Washington Street in downtown Gao?