Dr. Watson

Elementary is one of the best shows going, in my opinion.

Sherlock Holmes has been done so many times – with many being very good – that I thought trying it again was ill-advised.  I’m delighted that the talented people at CBS proved me wrong.

Most TV shows I don’t like in the first place.  I didn’t plan to give Elementary a try. However, my wife started watching the show, so I couldn’t help but overhear it.

When Elementary started to get interesting, I’d search for reasons not to like it.  Why? As I’ve earlier mentioned, I get attached to the characters in shows I like.  When I find myself starting to like a show (which rarely happens), I try to remain aloof.  The last thing I need is someone else to worry about.

The character in Elementary that compelled me to give it a chance wasn’t Watson or Sherlock; rather, it was Captain Tobias (played by Aidan Quinn).  His cool, “old-school” persona, I reasoned, would give ballast to a very new way of seeing Holmes and Watson. That’s why I thought the show deserved a chance.

Like so many good shows, it’s gotten better as it’s progressed.  The Watson-Sherlock dynamic has matured, with Doctor Watson becoming Detective Watson.

Doctor Watson – played by the beautiful, but very understated Lucy Liu – starts out skeptical of Holmes.  After all, she is the Doctor assigned to oversee his recovery from addiction.  Gradually Holmes wins Watson over to his way of thinking.  He has her questioning the world as she knew it before.  Eventually she rejects her old world to join him.  However, she alone is seen as being sane; Holmes, though admittedly brilliant, is agreed by all their colleagues to have a loose grasp on reality.  Therefore, Watson and Holmes have a “Scully and Mulder” dimension.

My advice?  If you haven’t seen Elementary yet, watch it – and love it.  Here’s Dr. Watson.


Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

Tommy Hilfiger

I discovered Tommy Hilfiger after most people – but I remain a fan.

In my business, I work with many teens.  In ’96, the affluent ones wore Calvin Klein.  By ’97 or ’98, though, many wore Tommy.  His red, white and blue logo was small, yet prominent, on many items.

One theme of this blog is how I’m habitually a latecomer to many scenes.  I didn’t actually own any Tommy until sometime in the mid 00s – long after my students had mostly switched to other brands.  I’m sure I remember buying my Tommy pants off a wide table at Costco.  I have some of his socks as well.

In my world, Tommy was the last “solo” designer I saw people wear.  For years now, the teens have worn companies’ labels, but not peoples’ names.  It’s another example of how solo efforts are getting rare nowadays.

Hilfiger had a reality show – centered on designing clothes, of course – in 2005 called The Cut.  It was similar in format to Trump’s Apprentice – which I like very much.  However, Hilfiger’s might have been even better.  As I recall, Tommy put in less air time each episode than Donald does.  Tommy, like Donald, eliminated a contestant each week. Tommy’s cut line was “You’re out of style:  Take the catwalk.”  He had a grittier style than Donald, and talked less.  The Cut was, I think, a summer show.  I always hoped it would return.  To my knowledge, it never did – I’ve always wondered why not.

Tommy, you had your part in defining the late 90s for me.  I still see your clothes.  Will we be seeing you front and centre again?

Tommy Hilfiger


Wikipedia was a source for this article.

Update feat. Teddy Atlas

I was in a boxing club for about 6 years.  While I was, I followed professional boxing. Teddy Atlas is a prominent commentator and trainer.

Hello.  Much has been happening lately.  Let me begin with what isn’t:  the weather isn’t changing.  We’ve been in summer temperatures (daily highs over 21°C) for over a week. Everyone is living like it’s summer.  Some kids are finding it pretty hard to concentrate at school.

I’ve weeded the lawn three times in as many weeks.  The last time there weren’t many left; the first two I took out hundreds. However, dandelions and similar weeds like the rain. They don’t need it as much as grass does, but they really slow down after a week without it.

My kids will rejoin judo in the fall, but for the summer they’re in swimming.  I see them less now, because swimming is more frequent.  However, they seem to be having a great time.

To today’s portrait:  Teddy Atlas.  Back in the late 90s and early 00s, I was in a boxing club. I watched professional boxing then. My favourite commentator was Teddy, who often worked alongside Joe Tessitore.

Teddy was usually more entertaining than the fight itself.  His charming New York inflection, his boxing gems, and his unquestionable love of the sport were all infectious. Now and then, he knew one of the fighters personally. When he liked them, he might give them tough questions:

“How come you’re so heavy?”

“Why didn’t you end it sooner?”

I think he is harder on fighters he likes.  That’s an old-world trait; I’m the same:)

Teddy Atlas helped me realize New York isn’t just a place; it’s also an ethnicity.  So many ethnicities have squared off in the street and rings of New York – as often for no money at all – that for many people, the New York accent is part of the sport.

Here’s Teddy Atlas.  If you’re a fighter, don’t let him catch you going back for seconds at dinner:)
Teddy Atlas
Wikipedia was a source for this article.

Another Judo Tournament

My kids participated in a judo tournament in Mill Bay last weekend.

The more judo tournaments I attend, the more I like.  We’ve been to a couple in Nanaimo, we’ve hosted two at our club, and we even went to one in Victoria last year.

The Mill Bay tournament, though, seemed a different premise right from the start.  As a kid I hung around Mill Bay, though it was very small then.  I wondered, therefore, where the judo club might be?  We were told there would be only one mat.  We were also given the impression that everyone really liked going to the Mill Bay Tournament.

Two hours south of home, we pulled off the busy highway onto a country lane less than a kilometre long.  We parked on the side, then walked back to a building reminiscent of a small barn.  We approached the open door that led in from the south end.

Reaching the stairs, I was immediately impressed.  Looking up from a clipboard, a kid in his late teens asked us who we were and from what club.  We answered, then entered.  A man behind a desk asked us again who we were and from what club.  “Just double checking,” he smiled.

We noticed that our kids’ matches had already been planned and posted on the bulletin board.

When you come from out of town to attend a tournament, reassurance that you are in the right place – and that you are expected – is key.  Now, we could find seats and relax.

The surprises didn’t stop coming, however.  We walked up a few steps into a club unlike any I’d seen.  The place was made entirely of wood.  Although it had only one mat, it was spacious and comfortable.  The spectators sat in dim light so familiar if you’ve been in a barn in daytime.

The matches got underway.  During breaks in the action, you could look out the far window at a flowering maple tree.

My kids did alright:  one silver and one bronze.  This time, my younger got the silver.  My older son fought four times – the most he’s ever done in a tournament.  He lost two split decisions.  He took them hard, but you’ve got to learn to lose. Of course, it’s easy for me to be philosophical: I wasn’t competing.

Overall, even my older son could tell he’d done pretty well.  He’d earned his bronze medal and some valuable experience against more seasoned opponents.

The trip itself showcased some differences between the North Island (where I live now) and the South Island (where I lived from the mid-80s until the mid-90s).  The Mill Bay judo club – all-wood, set beside a rich pasture of lush grass just off a major highway – echoes qualities typical of the South Island.  The relaxed, comfortable wealth, set right beside bustle – it’s what I remember.  Though it has its spots, the North Island’s more rugged.

Here’s a sensei from that club.  He’s drawn from memory, like all my drawings from judo tournaments.  Thanks, Mill Bay, for putting on a great tourney and having us all come.