Can't sleep

... so instead of uselessly rolling around, I'm going to write the small post I'd been meaning to sometime this weekend.

During the previous two days, Friday and Saturday, I was concerned for my physical safety more than I typically am. In all, this was a pretty full weekend. But I just want to write down the two safety related stories.

Friday late afternoon, I stood at the top of a steep hill with my mountain bike, peering down the path as it went directly under a fallen tree and back up a similarly steep hill. Subconsciously calculating the angles, like say 80 degrees, it appeared quite certain that if I tried such a thing, I would surely have my first ever experience of a broken bone. But with my pride on the line, and Sean and Jeremy acting like this was no big deal, I took the plunge. Never have I been more certain that what I was about to do would result in bodily harm. Lo and behold, the trust exercise succeeded, and I was rewarded with a small stipend of adrenaline. It was already flowing a bit, as mountain biking with friends on a trail they've been on and you haven't seems to be especially reckless. It just doesn't seem fair that they can fly down the trail, as if they know what turns are coming up, and I must somehow keep pace. It was awesome!

Saturday morning, I peeked my head into the home of some friends and was greeted by a snarling Black Labrador. They weren't home and I was there to feed their two dogs, and take this one in particular on a run. I've actually run with him before, for a few miles, and he was a great running partner. This morning he didn't seem to remember me quite as fondly. I gave him a treat, and he tried to take my hand with it. I've always thought myself good with animals, but when a male dog is protecting himself and his home, and has no reason to believe that you are his superior, I'm not sure there is much you can do productively. I just learned that. He snarled in the corner, baring his teeth, and breathing with a rumble in his chest. It seemed that he could go on the offensive at any moment, and when I came back later in the day, I had my second - in as many days - feeling of certain peril. I had decided to just sit there in the room, and wait on him, without making any advances or retreats. I found that if I acted like he wasn't there, he would calm down a bit. The tension dropped even more when I turned on the stereo system that was preloaded with a few live jazz cd's. Eventually, he forgot who I was long enough to trot out the back door that I held open for him, where he could do his business in the fenced in backyard. Unfortunately we never got our run in. So I went for a run by myself to come back and work on him some more. Jeff Hewitt came by at one point to see if he could help, but he got the same treatment. It was nice to be able to share the danger with a brother though!