YOU GUYS! It seems as though my plan to input Animal Control as a saved contact on my phone was utterly prescient. As everyone on the planet now knows, there were wild animals (including, yes, lions and tigers and bears) on the loose in central Ohio the very week after I wrote that, some miles west of my house.
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/20/us/ohio-animals-on-loose/?hpt=us_c2 [Please ignore all the idiots posting in the comments section. This event ended up as a tragedy, but it is pretty obvious to any rational observer that it would have ended as a tragedy no matter what the outcome, because it was tragic to begin with.]
I was in California during the time when this whole thing went down, which is probably good, all things considered. I just wanted to post this to remind everyone that it's okay to be wary and alert, and bears (even black bears) DO get aggressive and try to attack people.