Friday, September 30, 2005

Staying Safe

As part of my new fitness routine, I run in the mornings. At about the same time each morning, I see a gentleman walking the street whom I think to be walking to the nearest RTA bus stop. The first few times I passed him, he glanced my way. The next few times, he gave me a slight wave. This morning, he actually called out to me to say hello.

I am sure he is completely harmless. However, I have changed up my route a bit so I can never be given a reason to think he is anything other than harmless.

I also noticed a woman in a black Ford Taurus that also passes by me at about the same time each morning probably on her way to work. Not that I have not thought about it before, but it made me realize even more that we put ourselves in harms way by maintaining the same schedule, driving the same routes, and being habitual in our behaviors. Wrongdoers consider habitual people easy victims.

  • Do Not Be Predictable. Change up the days you go to the gym, where you park your car in the parking lot at work, the time you take out the garbage at night, and even take the elevator one day and the stairs the next.
  • Understand Your Surroundings. Pay attention to what is happening around you or what could take place. Be prepared to drop your belongings if you need to defend yourself. Be alert to the alleys you pass or trees up ahead that can block you vision or hide perpetrators behind them. Plan one step ahead as you walk along, asking yourself, “What would I do and where would I go if someone attacked me at this very moment?” Understand that just because you have made it to your car or inside it, does not mean you are out of harms way. Did it ever cross your mind that someone who was really out to get you could wait underneath your car and grab or slash your ankle as you tried to put your belongings inside? Or worse yet, have already broken into your car to hide in the backseat?
  • Gut Feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or have a false sense of security, remove yourself from the situation. It is always better to be safe than sorry. As they say, if it is too good to be true then it probably is? If it does not seem right then it probably isn’t.
  • All By Myself. Each one of us cannot afford a personal escort or expect another person to always stay by our side. However, you can make the effort to walk through illuminated areas, walk with colleagues, and take the most direct route to your destination.
  • Confidence as Demotivation. If you look like you know where you are going and are not in the mood to let anyone get in your way, an attacker might fend for an easier, less confident target. Look at your watch as if you are late and someone is expecting you; walk briskly with your shoulders back and do not make eye contact with passers-by. Talk to yourself if you need to but never lose sight of your surroundings.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

If only Zwick had the magnetic fingers in the fourth quarter that AJ Hawk had during last nights game, the Buckeyes may have added to their winning statistics. Zwick shifted the pigskin over to his left hand (something I'm not sure any quarterback should do) and fumbled it to Brian Robison (Texas).

All this even after the cameras declared in the play before, Ginn was down before he released the ball and the Buckeyes were given another shot to win the game, Buckeyes 22, Longhorns 23.

I can't speak for the rest of the Buckeye fans, but what exactly was Tressel thinking when he put Zwick back in the game? Was there something I missed? Did Smith "play enough" for one night and Tressel thought it was time for Zwick to jump back into the light? If it's not broken, don't fix it. Or you might end up with a fumble in the fourth quarter that costs you a game.

A game that has been a hundred plus years in the making.

But are either Zwick or Tressel completely to blame? I'm afraid not. Zwick could have used some help from his teammates yesterday in his second (and hopefully last) start of the season. The first play of the game Ginn dropped a pass and Gonzalez repeated this fancy step with messy hands on the third play. On the Buckeyes' fourth play, Texas' defensive line shift forced Zwick to hesitate and take a delay-of-game penalty.

All I can with sadness in my voice is that Ohio State has never lost a night game in Columbus and hasn't lost at home outside the Big 10 since 1990. Until last night.

We'll see if the rematch tickets for next year's game in Austin, Texas are still selling for $1,500.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

With Vince Young starting for Texas, the Buckeyes face a Heisman trophy candidate with a strong and accurate arm and tremendous foot speed. I'll admit, Young is a machine.

TE David Thomas (Texas) has 12 career touchdown receptions. And freshman or not, RB Jamaal Charles ran with 135 yards in the Texas opener.

Texas has no fear when it comes to large crowds and big stadiums as proven with their track record of victories in 21 of 22 of their last games at opponents' home games.

The Buckeyes have won 22 of their last 23 home games and is 33-4 all time against the Big 12. But does this boost their confidence? Are previous stats enough to crush the motivation of the Longhorns? I'm hoping so, but probably not.

But Tressel has been challenged before and brought home the championship to the masses of Buckeye fans. Regardless if it is just the beginning of the season, the Buckeyes need to win this game.