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By Pete Moore On June 20th, 2013


So if anyone ever needs to know, black bears can climb trees better than we can. File this one under “change of underwear required”.

Seeing that took me back years, to when a Greek girlfriend and I hiked through the Pindus Mountains in northern Greece for a few days. We set up camp at the end of the first day, had something to eat, and then she walked off with the food in a sealed bag and a coil of paracord. Up went the paracord over a high branch, she tied the food bag to one end, hauled it up by pulling on the other end and then tied it off, leaving the food dangling up high.

The conversation when she strolled back went something like this:

Me: Erm … people haul food up like that when there are predators around.

Her: Yes.

Me: Erm … so why did you do it?

Her: Because there are brown bears around.

Me: *splutter* did you say brown bears?

Her: Yes.

Me (suddenly looking left and right): That’s interesting …

Her: Yes it is

Me:  … because I’d have quite liked to have known that before walking off into a mountain wilderness where there a huge bears strolling around.

Her (smiling, the demented cow): Are you scared?

Me: What, me? No, no no, absolutely not. But where’s my gun?

Her: What gun?

Me: The anti-bear gun I’d have insisted on packing if I’d known what I was letting myself in for.

Her: Oh don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe.

Me: So what do I- err, I mean we do if a bear appears.

Her: Best not worry about it for now.

So there was bugger all I could do about it, now that I was already there. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much for the next few nights. Nope, we didn’t come across any bears while we were there, and I don’t think I missed out on anything.

25 Responses to “GETTING TO KNOW YOU”

  1. Hahaha–>Pete: So what do I- err, I mean we do if a bear appears.

    The answer to that question is always: run faster than the person/people you’re with!

  2. Bears schmears, they are a dime a dozen

  3. Good Story. There are still quite a lot of bears in the forests in the Balkans. I would have imagined they leave you alone as long as you keep away from their young.

  4. Pennsylvania has an estimated black bear population of 15,000-17,000 they wander through peoples yards, have no fear of people, and the only hope you have of outrunning one is if you run down a steep hill.

    Here is an example


  5. Pete,

    How rightly you posted this thread under the ‘You call this news?’ category.

    Meanwhile the NHS is roundly under fire on all fronts, from careless nursing, inept surgeons, fiddling pharmacists and a general overall corrupution of principle. It seems that few who are employed in the service are immune from their overall over-regard for ‘the system’ rather than for the patient.

    That it is the most vulnerable, i.e the new born and the infirm elderly, that suffer the most deadly effects, does not cause any surprise, – the public service sector provides the ideal cover for the cowardly and the inept to hide their general indolence, and for our politicians to likewise be reluctant to ‘rock-the-boat’.

    How mmany times have we heard or read the phrase, – ‘We must protect the system!’ – the general excuse for those who have yet to understand the meaning of indivual acumen and responsibility.

    However, enough of this trivia – any more stories of bears or aliens, or other such important stuff? I assume that the ‘dissenting view’ mentioned in the title really means ‘anything but’ politics, – or is it simply a case of ‘when the cat’s away, the mice can play’?

  6. or is it that the reality of the world has pushed us into writing about such nonsense ?

  7. Ernest Young –

    Everything you say about the NHS is true. If it’s the envy of the world then the world hasn’t a clue.

    Yes, the impulse in a bureaucracy is to protect the system. Look, I said that here, just two days ago in a post about the NHS under which you didn’t comment.

    No-one is interested in the NHS. No-one wants to discuss healthcare. I was upbraided for describing it as communist (though that’s what it is), and that comment wasn’t even on the NHS thread.

    No-one wants to discuss ideas and actions. They want fluff, gossip, celebrities and a picture of Sarah Palin. You want to discuss the NHS? I posted about it two days ago.

  8. There have been hundreds of discussions on the NHS, American health care, health care of any kind.

    Positions are well entrenched, nearly every participant hear shouts past the others, endlessly. If there is an ATW in the year 2025, the discussion will continue on the same basis.

  9. Matt McCarthy, an MD who actually knows something about the subject, has not commented at all on it.

    The extreme critics of the NHS fall into two camps

    Those who would shut down the NHS, throw existing patients into the gutter, and not have any British government funding or oversight role going forward


    Those who bitch and moan about the NHS while not providing any alternate suggestions at all.

    I hope to Jesus that this isn’t typical of how the matter is discussed generally over there.

  10. “Those who would shut down the NHS, throw existing patients into the gutter, and not have any British government funding or oversight role going forward”

    Straw Man Alert!

  11. I didn’t comment yesterday, Pete, but I quite enjoyed this story. Seriously.

    I even looked to see if it had a back story – who is this guy? It looks like he’s a wood chopper in Northern Canada?

    and in addition to being interesting, the story contained News We Can Use:

    1.bears are faster than we think

    2. you are a bad camper but like outdoorsy women 🙂

  12. Straw Man Alert!

    No it’s not.

    Pete has not minced words. He wants the NHS shut down, not merely reformed and for there to be NO government role in funding or organizing any health care for any body at any time in any place.

    Please explain how that can ever be done without throwing the patients into the gutter.

    This should be fun.

  13. He is a tree stand hunter possibly hunting for bears. I have a tag for a bear but have to wait till fall

  14. The way a post is written and presented, and the author’s style does make a big difference to the number and quality of the comments, whatever the topic.

    When presented as just another rant, – the author is obviously not interested in any other pov or alternatives. As has been said repetition of topics and slogans such as ‘communist healthcare’, or ‘sky god’, etc.. are childish and very boring, let alone undeserving and offputting.

    Surely the authors role is to promote discussion and alternative points of view on current news topics, – a post is not a challenge to a duel or fisticuffs at dawn, which so often seems to be the case.

    This is supposed to be a site for adult debate, that it sometimes descends to little more than schoolyard wrangling, complete with finger pointing and name calling, is acceptable in small doses, – but if that is your idea of ‘debate’, then I would suggest that Facebook is more your scene.

  15. So says Ernest Young, the king of just another rant.

    “Communist healthcare” is more technically correct than “National Health Service”, which is euphemism and propaganda. How would you present the topic, Ernest –

    “Rampant NHS corruption: good or bad?”

    “Mega NHS scandals: how envious is the world of the NHS today”

    If you bothered to comment much on NHS threads I’d be more inclined to take your “rant” more seriously. In fact you’re more in the habit of popping in to have a dig at someone. Try giving your opinion occasionally.

  16. Pete,

    For goodness sake grow up!.

    I comment frequently enough to avoid the feeling of ‘banging my head against a wall’, and when I do, it is something more than one sentence or paragraph. I try to add something to the debate.

    As for always commenting on various topics, if I have nothing new to add, then I dont comment. As a ‘poster’ I realise you have an obligation to come up with fresh topics of interest, and that cannot always be easy, as a commenter I have no such pressure and any comment I might make is usually on something I know something about, or have experience of. Why waste time and space with pitiful one-liners, or on topics of litle or no interest.

    Surely a blog such as this is an example of freedom of expression, – you post – and we, as readers (i.e. customers), may or may not respond with a comment. It’s simple, post good stuff and you may get good comments, – although that is in no way guaranteed.

    All this ‘I posted and you didn’t comment, – boo-hoo!’ stuff really is very childish. As every writer in the public domain appreciates, sometimes the results are not what were expected, – and that’s where belief and perseverance come in!

  17. Ernest Young –

    No, it’s not always easy to come up with something to say, or even find the time to think about it, let alone type it up.

    Listen, I don’t mind being criticised for not posting about something, but if you think I’m going to put up with that when I posted on that very topic two days ago and you didn’t even comment, then you can take a running jump, you miserable git.

    I’m looking forward to posting less in future. As soon as others get their lazy backsides into gear you’ll see less of me. You’ve long had an invite to post something, so get to it.

    Come on Dickens, take a couple of hours of your own time and show us how it’s done.

  18. Let’s lower the temperature if we can.


    ” Communist ” is a highly inflammatory term. I’d use it for effect once in a rare while, but if you use it always, it loses all its force.

    ” National Health Service ” is the actual title of the organization, and it’s not wrong in any way.

    You can criticize them much more effectively if you don’t call them communist or killing fields, or whatever.

  19. If every state funded service is Communist, then every country in the world is Communist. Because they all have some state-funded services I would imagine.

  20. Pete,

    You didn’t ‘post’ anything on that very topic – you ranted about it, and as we all know discussion with you when in that frame of mind is rather like trying to nail a jelly to a fence post.

    That you and Mike are the only two British editors on this site, – apart from David, of course, may have something to do with the endless repetition of topic.

    As the man said :- “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”, – which also surely sums up the current time. So much is happening and yet so little is changing, – and we get bears!

    I did have an invitation to submit the occasional item for discussion, rather in the fashion that Seimi recently had, but I never wished, or asked for anything more, the editors ‘back then’ were being far more ‘in touch’ with current affairs in the UK than I was. I bowed, to, and admired their superior skills and knowledge and showed my appreciation of that by commenting more regularly than of late.

    Rather than denigrating complaints of the paucity of posts, you should feel pleased of the demand for quality that ATW readers expect, and realise that you have played a part in that expectation.

    Never mind, I will in future hold my peace, I have had my little say on this matter, and will reserve my pov to topics posted, – if I have anything new to say, that is!!

    Have a good week-end!

  21. Nice post Pete.

  22. Pete,
    I appreciate your efforts on behalf of ATW. I may not agree with your political views, but I think you’re a decent bloke and it can’t be easy to find stuff to post about.
    Mind you I ain’t sayin’ I’m a fan… but I do appreciate your efforts on our behalf.
    Big hugs, group hugs and pep talks all around 😉

  23. Thank you Agit8ed, much appreciated.

  24. Ernest your name has been suggested to be a poster, I personally hope that David asks you to, and you accept.

    Even though I disagree with a large variety of your points of view, I think you would make an excellent poster. For the reasons that you yourself state. You write well and flesh out your position.

    Who knows you might even add some new topics or points of view, if you have the guts to be honest.

  25. you kidding Pete writes some of the best comedy I’ve read… 🙂