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Posts Tagged ‘monkeys’

“The Monkeys! They Are Coming!”

Food for thought? Nope, lice for dinner.

No, not Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike. That’s the ♫Hey, hey we’re the Monkees♫ and a 50-year old reference to boot. The monkeys I’m referring to are the macaque monkeys whose habitat includes Snow Monkey Park in the thermal springs resort area of the Japanese Alps where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held. One doesn’t usually associate monkeys with Japan – especially Snow Monkeys luxuriating in hot tubs – but having heard tale of these Asiatic monkeys (a prehensile tail one presumes), my inquisitive nature drew me to their habitat. I guess in some sense I was Curious David.


The Journey to Snow Monkey Park 

“So what if they say I look like Nick Offerman.”

My lovely wife Karin (who I’m very grateful to call a willing cohabitant) and I decided we’d visit Japan. At least partially, because at 6’4”, I wanted to go someplace where I’d feel even taller. This may seem a peculiar criterion to some, but I’ve always enjoyed looming and/or towering and it’s much easier to tower in the Land of the Not Quite Risen People than it is here in the States.

In researching our journey I discovered we’d have to fly to Japan because the land bridge I’d planned on using to walk across the Bering Isthmus had vanished into the sea some 15,000 years ago. I have got to keep up on geologic events – even though many of them move at a glacial pace. Still, how did I miss that? So although this discovery was a setback, at least I now had my Berings Strait. As tour director and planning engine, Karin already knew this, but was wise enough to give me a long enough leash whereby I’d exhaust myself in frivolous research and then happily surrender to her well-planned itinerary. We flew non-stop from KLAX to RJAA (Tokyo) in only 11 hours. But with feedings, movies and pee breaks, it went by like 38 hours. Read the rest of this entry »

To Dream, Perchance to Panic


Stop everything and consider the chances that the Moon and the Sun are the same diameter relative to their distance from Earth. Am I dreaming this?

Ponder, if you will, the sublimity of the Moon and the Sun having the same diameter relative to their distance from Earth. Another cosmic prank?

Preamble:     There are things in the realm of experience that are astonishing yet understandable. For example the diameter of the moon is the exact diameter of the sun relative to its distance from the earth so that during a solar eclipse the moon perfectly covers the sun leaving only its fiery corona blazing at the circumference. As the kids say; “How cool is that?” Then there are things that are astonishing and not understandable. Like dreams. I suppose there are different kinds of dreams just like there are different kinds of Campbell Soups. I mean they’re all called soups, but the difference between Bean with Bacon and Cream of Celery is fairly significant. Similarly, they’re all called dreams, but the difference between a dream where you’re an Otter Pop being slurped on by Anne Hathaway and a dream where you’re an alligator floating in a glade with other alligators, is fairly significant. It’s like my daddy once told me, he said, “Son, the difference between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. is like night and day.” Read the rest of this entry »