Lions, tigers, and bears…

Okay, maybe not.

But I did run into a spotted leopard, a funny looking bear, and a cheeky koi while on vacation recently.

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Man vs. Beast IX

Egads!  I thought they were supposed to be asleep by now!

Run!  No wait!  Don’t run.

Play dead!

Now!

Man vs. Beast VIII

I’ll be completely honest, I was going to pass on a Man vs. Beast blog this week.  That is until the spider monkey escaped its enclosure at the Dallas Zoo (my local zoo).  It’s the second escape in as many weeks. Talk about instant inspiration!

So…let’s get to it, shall we?

Remember the rash of bee attacks a couple of months ago?  Well, they have struck again.  This time in the Sunshine State.  A man renovating his house was found dead by his family in an upstairs bedroom, surrounded by swarming bees.  60,000 swarming bees, to be exact.  It appears the man was in the process of trying to rid the bedroom of the bees himself using store-bought bug bombs.  Experts do not believe the bees contributed in any way to the man’s death.  They believe he died after falling off a chair that was found near his body.  How is it that experts are always so stupid? This man was clearly pushed.  By the bees.  Duh.  [Click here for more].

A couple of weeks ago, at the Dallas Zoo, a female chimpanzee escaped her enclosure and had to be tranquilized.  Yesterday it happened again, only this time it was a spider monkey who escaped its habitat. Neither animal made it very far, and it did not appear that they had any specific destination in mind – just out for a stroll.  Or were they?  This zoo is not new to animal jailbreaks.  Last year, a female gorilla made it out of her enclosure and in 2004, a male gorilla actually scaled the outer wall of the outdoor exhibit, getting a brief whiff of sweet freedom before being unceremoniously shot dead by police.  Human error at play here?  You bet.  But these are primates we are talking about here.  It is obvious to me that for the past several years, the apes of the Dallas Zoo have been formulating a plan of action – their great escape.  [Click here for more].

In Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, an elk hunter survived a grizzly bear attack by dropping to the ground, covering his head, and playing dead.  Glad to see there is at least one hunter out there who reads my blog.  Right?  [Click here to read more].

Turtles are slow, non-threatening, and unassuming.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t in on this whole animal revolt.  In Jack County, Texas, near the town of – wait for it – Antelope, a young woman rolled her vehicle when she swerved to dodge a turtle crossing the road.  I wonder how many drunk turtles were hiding in the bushes, laughing their asses off at the calamity their buddy caused.

It’s official.  The ninja shark assassins have laid siege to the west coast.  Of course, they have not been as successful as their Australian brethren.  Or perhaps they just mean to intimidate us with their menacing presence.  In Leucadia, California, at Beacon’s Beach a surfer reported that a ten foot long Great White shark circled him before disappearing into the surf.  The surfer credits his close proximity to the shore with saving him from what could have been a fatal attack.  I doubt that had anything to do with it.  If that shark meant to kill him, he would be dead – or missing a limb. [Click here to read more].

At a surfing competition at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, a competitor was scared out of the water after he spotted a shark barreling down on him.  He described it as measuring at least fifteen feet in length and most definitely not a dolphin.  Unlike in other recent attacks and sightings, officials did not close the beach and the competition went on as scheduled.  Obviously, these surfers have not been properly intimidated.  Metaphorically flipping the bird at a Great White shark while dressed up like their favorite food – well, that just plain stupidity.  [Click here to read more].

So, I took a step out of my comfort zone and went whale watching in Mexico this year.  It scared the crap out of me, but not for the reason you would think.  My mind was preoccupied with the horrors of drowning in the very deep, very cold Pacific ocean.  Not once did I think about what could happen if one of those whales our guide was so vehemently pursuing actually breached in close proximity to the raft I was riding in.  After seeing the video linked below, I think it is safe to say that I will never, ever, ever, ever, go whale watching again.  Ever.

Man vs. Beast VII

Are you ready to find out how far the animals have progressed in their endeavor to take over the world?

I am.

Here we go…

A Texas man, diving off the southwest coast of Australia died over the weekend in an apparent shark attack.  Officials are taking this latest attack, the third in just two months, very serious.  They have organized an aggressive hunt for the shark with orders that it be destroyed on sight.   Rumors are flying.  Locals believe that they are dealing with a “rogue” shark who has developed a taste for human flesh.  Um…duh.  Of course, experts scoff at this idea and warn that killing the shark goes against conservation efforts to protect the endangered species.  As usual, the experts don’t know shit.   To me, it looks like the animals have deployed the big guns Down Under.  They have called in the ninja shark assassins.  No one is safe now.  My advice – stay the hell out of the water!  [Click for story]

Near Vancouver Island, a man mistakenly shot his friend when he mistook him for a bear.  The two men were camping near the Nitinat River.  During the night, one man was awoken by what he thought were the sounds of a bear trying to break into the tent.  Instead of trying to first identify the source of the ruckus, he pulled out his gun and began firing randomly, in the direction of the sounds.  He hit his camping buddy, who was still asleep, in the face and arms.  The man will recover, however, there is a valuable lesson to be learned here  – tents are for stupid people; be smart, spring for the hotel room.  [Click for story]

A Minnesota man was enjoying some peace and quiet on the porch of his cabin last month, when he felt what he thought was a mosquito brush the back of his neck.  Imagine his surprise when he reached back to swat it, only to come in contact with a wet, furry nose.  He  turned around and found himself face to face with a bear.  Having obviously read the manual on how to survive a bear attack, the man did not move a muscle.  He sat motionless as he bear stared at him for several seconds before becoming interested in a nearby bird feeder.  Still, the man didn’t dare move from his spot.  It was a good thing, too.  A few minutes later the bear returned to the porch and proceeded to thoroughly sniff his face.  Eventually, the bear lost interest and wondered off for good.   I think this animal might be one of the few that has not turned against the humans, though, I’m sure that is of little consequence to this man who likely had to change to soiled undies immediately following this encounter.  [Click here]

Last week in Newport, Oregon, a surfer was lucky enough to survive what could have been a deadly attack by a Great White.  In classic Great White style, the animal attacked from below, lifting the surfer up into the air.  Fortunately, the only thing the shark got its teeth into was the man’s board.  Beaches were closed as officials kept an eye out for the shark.  It seems that Australia’s ninja shark assassins are infiltrating our western coast, as well.  Though, this one does not seem as skilled as it’s Aussie friends.  The victim, who was understandably shaken by the incident, says he is done with surfing.  Finally, a surfer with common sense.  [Click here]

Just in case you were not aware of what a classic Great White attack involves:

And lastly, we have the Utah hiker who came across two moose – a male and a female – and decided the only logical thing to was approach them and capture them on film.  Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I can bring this man’s stupidity to you.  It’s okay to laugh out loud.  I did.

Man vs. Beast VI

I’m going to have to be completely honest here and say that I was prepared to skip this week’s Man vs. Beast entry for lack of any good animal mischief.

Boy, was I mistaken.

I would also like to say before I begin, that when you take this story in its true context, without creative license, it is incredibly heartbreaking both for the man who took his own life and the innocent animals who were gunned down by authorities.  I understand that these animals were dangerous to the public at large, however, I really wish there had been a better way to handle the situation.   This is a truly tragic story.

Having said that – let the fun begin:

In Zanesville, Ohio, the owner of an animal sanctuary was found dead on Wednesday.  Police say that the man committed suicide, but not before releasing all of the animals housed at the sanctuary.   Animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys.  The logical question that comes to mind here is:  Why?  Why would a man who would care enough about these animals to provide them with a secure habitat to live out their days, suddenly release them and kill himself?  Things don’t really add up, do they?  Well, of course they don’t.  This man didn’t kill himself.  He was murdered in a sophisticated jail break orchestrated by the animal revolution’s masterminds.

Who are these evil masterminds?

The penguins.

I think you would have to be incredibly naive not to see that this situation has the penguins’ stench all over it.  They have been mobilizing for quite some time, recruiting animals where they can, and trying to get their convoluted message of world domination out to the masses.  Their mission: to unite the animal kingdom, overthrow mankind, and take over the world.   In an effort to increase their numbers, they seized on an opportunity to recruit animals who were already living within the vein of human society.  Think of it as a sleeper cell of sorts.  They broke into the sanctuary, killed the owner, and released their comrades.  Unfortunately, these animals have lived most of their lives in captivity and, although they supported the penguins’ cause, were ill-equipped to handle the severity of the situation.  Their lack of training was obvious.  Instead of moving stealthily though the brush, the animals frolicked through the fields and out into traffic on a collision course with the gun-toting American public.  A drastic and costly miscalculation by the penguins for it was a suicide mission from its inception.

Yes, I know what you are thinking – there were no penguins found at the Ohio animal sanctuary.  Of course, there weren’t.  From the moment it was evident that the mission was a failure, the penguins were on the move.  Where they have gone, is anyone’s guess.  But rest assured that this will not be last we hear from them.  If nothing else, this incident will only serve to strengthen their resolve to obliterate the human race.

Man vs. Beast V

Academic overload.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

What does it matter, anyway?  It’s Tuesday and I’m giving you what you want a day early.  Surely, that earns me some forgiveness.  Yes?

What?

You say, you didn’t notice my lack of post last week?  I’m crushed.

Well, for those of you who do care, here are what the animals have been up to since we last met.  Enjoy.

**edit** Special thanks to my brother, Rob, for providing me with leads on more than a couple stories used in this weeks blog.

In Newport, Pennsylvania, a bear followed the family dog home and attacked its owners, landing them both in the emergency room with gashes and bite marks.  Wardens believe that the bear, likely a female, felt somehow threatened by the dog.  Bullshit.  That dog is a traitor, a turncoat, the Benedict Arnold of the canine world.  As I’ve said for sometime now, there is a conspiracy afoot.  This dog is in on it.  Remember the biblical story of Jericho?  The prostitute Rahab?  She let two of Joshua’s spies into the city and protected them until the onslaught of the siege that destroyed everyone but her.  Do you see the correlation here?  I do.  You can read more about this story [here].

If you are an unlucky golfer whose ball ends up in a hazard lake after a shot gone awry, you might want to reconsider going in after it.  Why, you ask?  Because you just might get eaten by a killer bull shark.  Ridiculous?  Nope.  Just ask the folks at Carbrook Golf Club in Brisbane, Australia.  That’s right.  After recent floods in the area, the lakes on the golf course have become shark infested water.  Seems the shark population in Australia is taking this war on humans very serious.  They are expanding the scope of their killing spree to include golfers.  You can read more about this story [here].

A woman was attacked by a mule deer near her home in a rural area of Idaho last week.  The deer also injured the man who came to her rescue.  The article [read here] states the woman tried to play dead in order to discourage the attack.  Silly, misguided woman.  Everyone knows that playing dead only works in event of a black bear attack.  See the photo below:

In New Hampshire, it took nine of Manchester’s finest to pull a stubborn moose from a backyard swimming pool.  Not really an attack, I know, but what struck me about this story is the assumption by the everyone involved that the animal was in distress.  I don’t think that at all.  I think he saw an opportunity to kick back and relax.  The swimming pool wasn’t in use.  Who was he hurting?  No one.  Listen up, guys.  The next time you see a moose your backyard swimming pool, leave it alone.  It’s just looking for some quiet time.  Mating season is hard on a fellow.  You can see the video and read a bit more [here].

And last but not least…

A bicyclist was picked off by an antelope during a cross-country race in South Africa.  This was a strategic attack, well planned, and brilliantly executed on the part of the antelope.  This animal is surely the species’ most competent assassin, likely trained by elite fighters determined to take down the humans one biker at a time.  I applaud this animal on its accuracy and have now crossed mountain biking across Africa off my bucket lists.  Take a minute and watch for yourself.

Man vs. Beast Part IV

My perfectionist troll will be happy to see that I took special care in the typing of my title.  No embarrassing Freudian faux pas for me this week.

So, let’s delve right in and find out what the animals have been up to since we last checked in on them.

Champion surfer Mathieu Schiller was attacked and killed by an aggressive tiger shark just off the shore of the French island of la Reunion.  I had to do a quick Google search on this place because I still haven’t had time to take that geography class.  It’s located in the Indian Ocean just east of Madagascar.  Good to know – I plan to avoid this area like the plague.  Contrary to what the local shark experts says, there seems to be an upswing in attacks in this area of late.  A coincidence?  I think not.  In my opinion, this was not a case of mistaken identity – a shark looking for a tasty seal and mistook the wetsuit clad surfer for prey – but a sanctioned hit.  The shark struck suddenly in an attack that lasted nearly 30 seconds and then swiftly fled the scene, the body of the surfer was never recovered.  Yea, this has shark mob written all over it.  You can read the story for yourself [here].

Last week a 12-year-old girl in Forest Falls, California scared off a bear that had made its way into her kitchen.  This is not the first time this particular bear has made an appearance at the girl’s home, nor even the first time he’s tried to get into the kitchen.   In the weeks prior, the girl’s father scared it away as it tried to climb in through a screened door.  This bear is obviously looking for something, though I suspect, whoever tasked him with this assignment did not take into consideration his lack of subtlety – or immense stupidity.  Perhaps they will send a grizzly next time.  On a side note, I surely hope the condition of the kitchen as shown in the [this video] is as a result of the bear.  If not, perhaps the bear was simply trying to tidy up.  Good grief.  How do people live like that?  ***Thank you very much to my brother, Rob, for sending this one to me.***

An 80-year-old Ohio man is recovering from a lengthy attack by a 6ft tall male kangaroo.   It appears this man did not adhere to the rules of Kangaroo Fight Club.

Kangaroo Fight Club

In Idaho, a bow hunter was seriously injured when he and his companion startled a grizzly bear while stalking elk.  The man’s hunting buddy doused the bear with “bear pepper spray” and managed to scare it away, likely saving his friend’s life.  Okay.  So you mean to tell me these dumbasses experienced hunters trekked out very close to Yellowstone National Park, in an area known to have a substantial bear population, armed only with a bow and arrow and pepper spray?  Seriously? Maybe I should send them a link to my Man vs. Beast blogs.  They seem to be in desperate need of a refresher course in the dangers of venturing into bear country without proper preparation.  You can read about this latest attack [here].

I would like to bring you an update on one of the items I included in last week’s Man vs. Beast entry.   It was reported that two men in Montana shot and wounded a grizzly bear, who in turn fled.  When the men tracked it down, the bear attacked, killing one man before being killed by the other.  As it turns out, the man who died was not killed by the bear at all.  He was shot and killed by his friend.  Police do not believe this to be anything other than an accident – though, I think I saw this play out differently on an episode of Bones once.  You can read the updated story [here].

A man in Roselle, Illinois, died after he was discovered unconscious outside his home this week.  The medical examiner has determined that his death was caused by multiple – and when I say multiple, I mean hundreds – of bee stings.  This is not the first time this has happened in Roselle.  In 2003, a man died after disturbing a hive of yellow jackets while mowing his lawn.  No word yet on the species of bees guilty of this attack or if it is connected to the recent attacks on the West Coast and in the Southwest.  Could be that we have a rogue colony of bees on a killing spree.  I will keep you posted.  You can read about this story [here].

Things I Learned This Week (September 10 – September 16)

I learned this week:

…that my daughter has kicked “Georgie” to the curb.  She took exception to his giving out her phone number without her permission.  “I gave him two chances, Mom.  He’s not getting a third.”  Good girl.  Of course, it came out during casual dinner conversation that his offenses were far greater than just mishandling her private telephone number.  He was two timing her with a 13-year-old.  “I saw them together, Mom.”  Little bastard.  Good riddance.

…that I am getting the hang of this whole elliptical thing.  45 minutes/4.8 miles total.  Lots of calories burned.  I love it when I burn calories and sweat – a lot.  I think my loyalties are waning.

Suzy Allman for the New York Times

…that speaking of loyalties – I have been a Roger Federer fan for years.  Seriously, since he burst onto the scene and became a nagging thorn in Pete Sampras’ side.  However, during the last couple of tennis seasons, I’ve watched while my champion has slowly lost his mojo.  I am disturbed by this because, if he is on his way out, who will be worth of my unwavering devotion?  Nadal?  Egads, no.  There is just something about him that makes me want to box his ears and tell him to stop digging his undies out of his butt crack before every serve.  It’s so….ew.  I didn’t get to watch much of the US Open this year, but I did catch the semis and of course, both the men’s and women’s finals.  I watched the men’s final – well, in two parts.  I was glued to the first two sets, but was forced to drag myself away from it to take Megan to gymnastics.  When I returned an hour or so later, they were still battling it out.  It was a fierce game  – almost as exciting as the 2009 Federer/Roddick  epic Wimbledon final.  Almost.  In the end, Djorkovic dominated Nadal.  I think I may have found my new champion.

…that I was right about Mother Nature’s vindictive side.  Just when we thought we were making a clean break into fall, she zapped us with a few more days of scorching temperature.  I think we’ve been properly chastised, don’t you?  I mean, who are we to think that we are anything more than mere pawns on the board of whatever sick game she is playing?   Let’s hope that the 107* record high on Tuesday was her last little jab at us.  I think it’s time for her to move on and torture someone else for a while.  Perhaps our neighbors to the far north?  I think they are due for a little snow right about now.

…that two people died as the result of a fire on board a cruise ship off the coast of Norway.  First, let me say:  What the heck is going on in Norway?  They seem to be in the headlines a lot lately, and not in a good way.  Second:  This is one of those “I told you so” moments.  I have come a long way in conquering my fear of boats, but I have steadfastly maintained that nothing – and I mean nothing – would ever possess me to step one foot on board a cruise ship.  Ever.  Not even in the pursuit of personal growth.  I have to draw the line in the sand somewhere.  If you would like to read more about this story, you can do so [here].

Justin Lane/Pool via EPA

…that even after ten years and numerous remembrance ceremonies, the footage of 9/11 still breaks my heart and makes me cry.  In a very unpatriotic move, I didn’t watch anything but tennis this past weekend.  I just couldn’t do it.  I feel selfish. 

…that the Iliad was not as difficult or as boring as I remember.   Who knew?  Oedipus Rex is wonderfully tragic and chock full of irony.  I love irony. 

…that caterpillars possess a gene that makes them vulnerable to a certain virus.  What makes this interesting enough for the old Friday blog, you ask?  This virus takes over of the caterpillar’s brain and turns it into a freaking zombie!  Under the control of this virus, the caterpillar climbs to the top branches of a tree, where it is then liquified.  As the oozy remains of the caterpillar rain down from the tree tops, the virus is spread, thereby ensuring its longevity.  Ingenius…but what I want to know is, if it is this evolved now, how long before it mutates and we find ourselves with a real life zombie crisis on our hands?  Quick!  Somebody send me the rules for surviving a zombie attack.  You can read about these caterpillars [here].

…that there are people out there who think Do-it-Yourself botox is a good deal.  And a good idea.  Okay, I can’t even wax my upper lip without taking off my chunks of skin and breaking out in a nasty rash.  Why would anyone attempt to paralyze the muscles of their face with an injectable toxin all by themselves.  Is this stupidity at work or the desperation of a society dying to be what the media and Hollywood have defined as youthful and beautiful.

…and this weeks awww moment:

Anatoly Strakhov/Caters News Agency

Tell me, how on earth could any mother walk away from that face? 

Man vs. Beast Part II

Well, it’s Wednesday.  I wasn’t very optimistic about getting enough material to post a second “Man vs. Beast” blog entry.  I was wrong.  Granted there have not been that many attacks since last week, and I was forced to broaden my search, but I do think I found some interesting ones.  Ones that give credence to the notion that the animals of the world are coming together, in some sort of organized uprising.  Their motives are still unclear to me, for I know not what they hope to accomplish. 

I guess time will tell.

Here’s what I found: 

In Tulla, County Clare, Ireland, a farmer was attacked by an otter.  Yes, you heard me right.  An otter.  You know, those furry little river rat looking things we see at the zoo.  In a small Irish village, a farmer filling his vehicle with diesel spotted the creature struggling to remove a “crisp bag” from its head.  Being the good Samaritan that his mother raised him to be, he came to the animal’s rescue only to be bitten for his trouble.  In addition, the ungrateful otter took his bad attitude out on the poor man’s truck.  And if that weren’t enough, once the farmer was able to release the “fanged fish-gobbler” onto the shores of a nearby river, it had to be rescued, yet again, because it nearly drown from exhaustion.  I was unable repost all of the photographs as they are copyright protected, so please take a minute, and click [here] to view the calamity for yourself.  It is well worth it.  I got quite the laugh out of it.  On an a side note, “fanged fish-gobbler” is now my new favorite animal description.

In Lincoln County, Wisconsin, a man out hunting with his buddies shot and wounded a bear.  The bear then attacked the man, injuring him.  Of course, the bear lost in the end when he was hunted down and killed by the man’s buddies, in what can only be described as a revenge killing.   Again, I’m no bear advocate, but I think this is a clear-cut case of what’s good for the goose…

A kite-surfer (yeah, I don’t know the heck this is) in Papua, New Guinea was attacked by a tiger shark on Sunday.  While wave-running (again…no idea), the man was bitten and knocked off his board by the shark.  This was a strategic attack on the part of the shark, for the man states that it catapulted out of the water and aimed right for his leg.  When I read this story, I couldn’t help but think of that video they play over and over again on America’s Funniest Home Videos – the one where the toddler is just walking along, minding  his own business, and along comes a frisky kitty who launches himself at the boy, knocking him to the ground (looked – could not find it for the life of me).  I wonder in this case, if the shark had ill intentions or if this was simply a case of “I have an uncontrollable urge…”.  You can read more about this story [here].

I may not be a bear advocate, but I am a big cat lover.  Of course, I’m not going to go around camping where they make their home.  That would be stupid, but I do enjoy looking at them and have a healthy respect for their prowess.  Sadly, in a case of guilt by association, on Vancouver Island, two cougars were killed when they were spotted near popular campgrounds.  These killings were in response to an attack on an 18 month old boy by a different cougar at a different campground.  This one sorta pisses me off and I have nothing real snarky to say about it.  If you would like to read more about this one, you can do so [here].

At the El Paso Zoo, a Malaysian tiger on loan from the San Diego Zoo, killed her mate over the weekend in an apparent love triangle gone bad.   To quote Chicago’s Velma Kelly and the other ladies of murderess’ row, “he had it coming”.  The male showered an older female with attention.  This, in any relationship – man or beast, is not to be borne.  She did what any self-respecting female would have done in her position.  She took him by the neck and squeezed until he was dead. 

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, No hell a fury like a woman scorned.”  William Congreve, The Mourning Bride

 

Photograph by Michael Nichols

      

Things I learned this week (September 3- September 9)

Mother Nature

I learned this week:

…that someone was kind enough to satisfy Mother Nature’s chocolate craving.  Why else would we suddenly be allowed to enjoy some fall-like weather?  Surely, it wasn’t because she felt sorry for us.

…that after living three months or more in an oven, it’s funny what we consider fall-like temperatures.  When I was a kid living in Germany, fall was decidedly cooler, more refreshing, and the landscape was as colorful as an impressionist’s canvas.  I miss that place more than ever, during this time of year.

…that I really am not a fan of young people.  Their parents should be held legally liable for unleashing their inconsiderate, rude asses on the rest of society.  I find it astounding, and frankly, down right disturbing, that they are our nation’s future.  I’m telling you, we are so screwed.  Screwed.

…that sometimes I have trouble acclimating.  I’ve always thought I was the queen of adaptability.  Perhaps it is my advancing age and a certain resistance to change that comes with that.  This semester brought a lot of changes.  Megan is now in middle school.  She goes to school later in the morning and gets out later in the afternoon.  I’ve had to alter my work schedule to accommodate this change.  In addition, my own school schedule was made around her schedule.  When I did all this initial planning, I failed to allot myself sufficient time for lunch and a daily workout at the gym.  For the last three weeks, I’ve struggled with finding a balance.  As a result, I’ve allowed myself to eat fast food, on the run, for lunch and to skip the gym altogether.  I will tell you, it’s not been a pretty couple of weeks.  I find exercise to be an essential part of maintaining good mental health and boosting my immune system.  Not working out has made me feel disjointed, grumpy, rundown and fat.  Not a good combination for me or the people who must endure my general pissiness on a daily basis. This week, I was determined to get into the groove.  I brown bagged my lunch with healthy but filling foods, found a better parking spot that allows me to avoid the 2:15 pm mass exodus from campus, and am at the gym, changed and ready for 45 minutes of a good, old-fashioned calorie burning sweat-fest by 2:35 pm.  I have found my rhythm and it feels good.

…that my daughter is growing up and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  This week, a certain little boy has finally discovered where we live.  At 4:45 pm everyday, we are now treated to a very loud knock at the door.  When I open it, there stands little – let’s call him Georgie to protect his identity.  “Is Megan home?”  “She’s doing homework.  She can’t have visitors until she’s done.” “Okay, I’ll just wait right here until she’s done.”  Um…okay.

…that, in relation to the above, my daughter was asked by three boys to the sixth grade dance.  Three!  Seriously?  Nolan is going to have a stroke.

…that even though I’ve never really been a Rolling Stones or a Maroon 5 fan, I love the song “Move Like Jagger”.  It defies reason, but that song makes me wanna shake my money-maker.  You can get your own groove on [here].

…that nothing gets people’s attention like putting the word “porn” in the title of your blog entry.  Wonder how many readers were disappointed that it was actually pictures of books and not real porn?  If you don’t know what I’m talking about and would like to check it out for your self you can do so [here].

…that it is possible to be mauled by a polar bear and walk away, albeit minus your pants.  Just ask the poor woman who was attacked by one in the middle of town, in northern Russia.  Conveniently, someone had their handy-dandy cellphone at the ready and caught the whole thing on tape.  Good thing someone else had the presence of mind to put down their electronic recording device and come to the woman’s aid.  You can see the video of the attack [here].

…that some people are brilliant storytellers.  Unfortunately, their fabricated tales are not the kind you find between the pages of a book, lack entertainment value, and do irrevocable damage.

…that there are three C’s in life:  choice, chance, and change.  You must make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.  This little piece of brilliance was stolen from my good friend Cyril.  I have a lot to say about this.  Maybe I will ponder it and write something on it in the future. 

…and last but not least…our weekly awwww moment:

L'Hoest's Monkey

Stay tuned for another exciting episode next week.  Same time.  Same channel.

Man vs. Beast

I’m not big on wildlife.  That’s not say that I don’t appreciate the importance of nature.  I do.  I even marvel in the majesty of it.  I just don’t want to be out in it for too long.  I have a deep fear of being devoured by the predators that roam freely upon this vast planet of ours and as such, choose to avoid activities that put me on a collision course with these animals.

Being the sick, demented person that I am, I find myself drawn to news stories about the lesser intelligent ones those among us that fall victim to these predators.  I don’t wish to diminish the significance of their deaths.  Any loss of life, no matter the circumstance, is tragic and I have great sympathy for their loved ones.  However, I will readily admit that these kinds of stories give me a feeling of vindication, a sort of “I told you so”, aimed at all those who made fun of me for my irrationality.

Every Friday for the last couple of months, I’ve posted a little blog entry about the things I learned in the preceding days.  I reflect on this and that, things that happen to me, an inspirational quote or two, news stories that make me laugh or shock me, etc.  One of the recurring themes that has emerged with these entries has been the frequency of animal attacks on humans.

Nature kills.

A lot.

Seriously.

At the suggestion of my fellow WC-er, Kelly, I am going to do a little experiment.  I am going to attempt to construct a blog every Wednesday devoted entirely to animal attacks and sightings that make the news.  Just a few, don’t want to overload the senses and it might very well be a short-lived thing.

Here are a few that I’ve come across or have been provided in recent days:

  • Knut Haavard Solberg / Varingen - Scanpix via Reuters

    On September 4th, in Bunker Bay, Australia, near a surfing spot called the Boneyard (really?), a 21-year-old man was bitten in half while bodyboarding.  The suspect?  A Great White.  It is, after all, Australia.  No one saw the attack or the alleged attacker, but the presence of copious amounts of blood in the water was a sure indicator that something was amiss.  You can read this truly gruesome story [here].

  • On September 5th, outside of Oslo, Norway, an uphill race competitor was attacked and injured by a moose.  As you can see from the picture, the moose seems quite irritated.  I guess he had enough of those silly uphill racers trespassing through his territory.  Can’t say that I blame him.
  • Last week, a 90-year-old woman out for a stroll was viciously attacked by an alligator in Copeland, Florida.  She lost her leg but thankfully, she survived.  You can read her story [here]. I really have nothing snarky to say about this one.  This woman wasn’t doing anything stupid – just found herself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with a hungry alligator on the hunt.  Could happen to the best of us.  Well, except me, of course.  You will never find me meandering by a drainage ditch in Florida.
  • On September 2nd, in Birmingham, England, a woman awoke to find a fox standing on her chest, clawing at her face.  It appears fox attacks are becoming a big problem in the UK.  Who knew?   You can read this woman’s harrowing story [here].
  • In late August, a woman in Freeport, Maine rolled her jeep several times and then struck a tree.  Her reason for the crash?  A spider.  It apparently appeared in front of her face, out of the blue, while she was driving.  In her attempt to swat it away, she lost control of her vehicle.  Now, I know this is not really an animal attack, but it made me laugh – and think of my friend Bobbi’s husband, Gabe, who squeals like a girl whenever he sees a spider.

And last, but not least:

  • In Sweden, an elk had to be rescued after becoming entangled in a tree.  It appears the wayward elk went on a fermented apple bender and in his attempt to indulge further, got himself good and stuck.   Sweden is a socialist country, perhaps they have state funded elk rehab.  He obviously needs an intervention.  You can read more about this [here].
Drunken Swedish Elk

See?  I told you so.   Mother Nature is a nasty bitch and so are her minions.  I think they are mobilizing for something.  Something big.  Perhaps a full on assault against the human race.   A campaign to take back their land.  I think it is only the beginning.  The worst is yet to come.

***Special thanks to everyone who sent me animal attack articles.