"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lions & Tigers & Bears - Oh My

The following AP article recently caught my eye:

An ambulance official says a jogger has been taken to hospital after he was attacked by a kangaroo on the outskirts of Australia's second-largest city.

Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokeswoman Christine Paterson says the man, in his 50s, was attacked Monday as he apparently ran between a male and female kangaroo near his home at an outer suburb of Melbourne. She says the victim ran to a nearby house and telephoned for help while the kangaroo hopped away.

Paterson says he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in a stable condition with a gash on his head and minor claw scratches to his chest, arms and hands.

A Royal Melbourne Hospital spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment on the man's condition.

Ok lesson learned: Clearly one should never come between a Roo and his lady.

Encounters between runners and animals are not uncommon however for most of us; it’s limited to the occasional dog who decides to pace us. But as evidenced by the above article, more exotic meetings do sometimes take place. So in the interest of education and safety, I’d like to share a few tips I discovered while researching material for this piece. (I swear I didn’t make any of this stuff up.)


If you see a bear in the distance, respect the bear's need for space.

Remember a crowded bear is an unhappy bear.

It’s a good idea not to wear hair products if you anticipate a bear encounter.

Bears apparently detest mousse, gel and Brylcream.

Identify yourself as human by talking in low tones, with arms outstretched.

In your best Barry White voice say, “Hi Gentle Ben, it’s me Bobby. Give me a hug!”

If a bear actually attacks you should fight back aggressively as this will encourage the bear to "give up" and leave.

However it is deadly to do this with a grizzly so be sure and ask the bear for ID prior to employing this tactic.


If you run into a rattlesnake on your path - stop! Enjoy the encounter - Do not attempt to "shoo" the snake away.

Rattlesnakes are known to be sensitive and may take such action personally.

Some common symptoms of a rattlesnake bite are: Fang marks, Pain, Nausea and Dizziness.

Did we mention death?


Do not approach a lion.

They aren’t interested in anything you have to say.

If confronted, stay calm and face the lion.

Try humming a few bars from The Lion King to build trust.

Do not run.

Like rattlesnakes, lions are also known to be overly sensitive.

Try to appear larger by raising your hands.

This may also serve to confuse the lion as he may think you wish to ask a question or need to use the restroom.

Avoid bending over.

I don’t even want to speculate as to the reason for this tip.

Remember, the animal kingdom was here first so it’s understandable they might feel a tad resentful at man’s usurping their environment. So when running the roads and the trails, be respectful, be careful and be prepared.

At least most of us don’t have to worry about kangaroos!


Too Good

Friday, September 12, 2008

Godspeed Morgan

My sister-in-law Chris received an email this morning from her husband Morgan.

He and his unit have arrived in Iraq.

Please keep him and all of our service personnel in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Kindergarden - Day 1

On Tuesday she began kindergarden.

She was a bit nervous.

I was a bit emotional.

Where has the time gone?