Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Weekend

So - I started off my weekend on Thursday by finally successfully commuting both ways to work without any rides, etc. I biked 25 miles in one day. WOW. I also learned a few other lessons.

1. No matter how peeved I am when I set out biking, it usually melts away with the burning in my legs as I pedal 12 miles.

2. That people can be amazing. About 7 miles into my commute home, my bike chain came off (I stupidly shifted gears while going a high speed) and tangled around my right pedal and the area the chain goes on. I still had almost 5 miles to go and there was no way I would be able to walk it in a decent amount of time. I pulled off to the side, and felt compelled to turn around, and ask these two men coming out of a Burger King if they knew anything about bikes - sure enough, they knew how to repair my chain. God amazes me sometimes - it's the little things that touch the heart.

3. That people can be absolutly crazy. We had some local police officers at the store the other day, so I took a short break and picked their brains on biking and the laws. Could I ride the sidewalk? What are the laws when I ride the street? Etc. As a biker on the street, I am under the same rules that all the other drivers in cars are. I also find out that it is perfectly legal to bike on the sidewalk (I need in 50% of my commute) so long as I yield to pedestrians and I have some sort of device that alerts them to my prescence (horn, bell, etc). Of course, a lot of this I did remember from my written DMV test (yes I'm a nerd) but wanted to be sure of. So, at the last leg of my commute, I came to a four way stop where I needed to turn left. I waited my turn, made my hand signal, and proceeded through the intersection. While, a huge SUV blew the stop sign (more accurately did a CA rolling stop) and then almost ran me over. When I confronted them about it, they told me to stay on the sidewalk and the "fuck" out of their way.

4. That when I bike that much - resisting yummy food, but high in fat or empty calories like soda, becomes very easy. I just think back to trudging up those hills, and think, "I did not work my bum off for this!"

I have started doing some push ups each day. So far, I can 10 per set. I try to do three sets - but space them out throughout the day. I do not need more sore muscles than I already have. At this point, I think I'm starting to put on muscle and so my pound loss is not nearly as exciting. Although, Steve's clothes on me are getting loose. Even though I cannot see the pounds dropping off as I wish they were, the fact that I feel more lean and that clothes are fitting me nicer, is enough - for now.

After I got home, and took an ice cold shower to cool off, we set about packing and last minute cleaning before heading out of town. I've got so much I want to share. Of course, my camera DIED the first day out there. So mostly, I got pictures for me. I took pics of the gauntlet and the dogs that I used to be terrified of so I could bring them back home and observe their body language as they barked at Maya and me. During this walk, I think I saw a Mountain Lion! I couldn't believe it, but when I described it to Steve and his mom they were like, "Actually, those are pretty common here because we are in the middle of nowhere and people are pretty careless with their food (trash). There's been mountain lion attacks before. Good thing it didn't come around to you." Wish I had caught it on camera.

We went to the town's Fall Festival (formerly the Harvest Festival) which was a ton of fun. On Friday, we visited booths - I was on the lookout for something special for my Ravelry DAR Swap Partner. But alas, no homemade licorice or sweet coffee or even yarn and sewing supplies were being sold. I was very disappointed. Paul got to ride down a giant slide with a pool at the bottom - which he loved. When he realized there was water involved, he started stripping down to nada until Steve and I caught him and told him to keep his cloths on. :P

Did a lot of swimming with Maya and the kids. She's getting a lot better with her pool manners. And we even accomplished "sit" at a great distance. Me at one end of the pool, and her at the complete opposite waiting for the toy to be tossed in. It was awesome. I took the time to alter my approach to teaching her, "bring it" and "give". I also noticed, that as soon as something even small changed about the training, she had to really think about it to grasp what was being asked - even though she had done this several times over, one small thing being different totally threw her. At one point, she was so confused, she simply sat and waited.

On Saturday, we used our POP Carnival tickets. We spent hours there with the kids letting them go on all the rides they wanted. We felt so badly later when we returned for Mommy and Daddy rides to find more kiddie rides on the other end mixed in with the adult rides (you know like the Zipper or the Sea Ray). There's always next year. They had a blast. And of course got to spend plenty of time with Grandma and Grandpa.

We returned Saturday night to go on adult rides and had a ton of fun. I loved the weightless feeling so many of these rides offer. It's incredible and the thrill is awesome. I'm also really glad that I took off so much weight before going - because I might not have fit into some of these rides otherwise. How embarrassing. :(

One of the highlights was that I rode the mechanical bull - twice! The second time I stayed on for over 20 seconds. Steve says they cranked it up to knock me off because I stayed on too long, I told him his flattery was appreciated. It was very addicting and I cannot wait to go next year and do it again. I'll be in better shape and I'll make sure to take some pain killers and wrap my wrists beforehand. That's the main reason I let go, my wrist hurt so badly from the odd position I was in.

Steve and I have a new deal. If I can get down to college size (or look like college size) by a date yet to be set, then he will allow me to go repelling. We found out that one of his dad's buddy's takes groups out for rock climbing and repelling. I am terrified of heights - but I cannot put into words how amazing it is to overcome a fear. Walking that gauntlet and not being afraid of those dogs was incredibly amazing. I even walked past a gate that was open with a Rottie inside, barking away. But by standing sideways and watching his language (what little I know that is) I felt incredibly safe that he wasn't HA.

Now, I've got a mountain of laundry, have to find my camera charger, and now it appears Steve's wallet. Whew! Off to get stuff done! Have a great Sunday everyone. I'll share pictures later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I (almost) DID IT!

So, I am never known for testing the waters. But simply diving right in. I find testing the waters way too boring and once I make up my mind on something - cannot wait to do it. I drive myself nuts, "preparing" to do it.

Today, I (almost) commuted to work. I say almost because I (unknowingly) left the house too late this morning, and after 6 miles into my ride, had to call Steve to come get me and drive me the rest of the way to work. In my morning ride (because I did bike home to meet him as close to home as possible) I biked 11.8 miles - just a little shy of my 12.05 miles to work. What I failed to consider in planning for the commute what the 90% of the ride there is uphill. Which greatly slowed me down. Had I had another hour, I would have had it no problem. But I didn't - so I needed Steve to pick me up. I biked home in 1 hour 6 minutes, not bad for my first time. I kept a relatively steady pace. Which was awesome considering I was riding on the road (something I had not planned on) and tend to (stupidly) want to keep pace with those alongside me. IE - the cars. Which obviously, I cannot keep pace with. I learned a few lessons - lesson one: I need to repair my brakes. Anyone out there in my readers know how to repair bike brakes? My helmet was not as bad as I thought it would be, and that the sense of accomplishment after biking a total of 23.85 MILES today, was and IS amazing. This could be addicting. Steve says, he wants me to limit this to two days a week - I dunno. Feels pretty great to know I biked home from work all on my own.

When I passed by the place where I "gave up", called Steve, and turned back towards home this morning - I started cheering and screaming - it was so rewarding to see that spot again coming home. People looked at me funny, so I stopped screaming on the outside and started screaming on the inside. I'm SO incredibly excited about this. :)

So, there it is. Debating on whether or not I'll try it again tomorrow - simply because of the brakes issue. Outside of that, I'm hooked. Now I need some audio books.... Who wants to share? ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Big News!

Drum Roll Please.....

I am officially an undergrad again. Talk about feeling intimidated. I am working, a mom, fostering a dog.

Hello Tye baby!

School starts October 6th. I'll be taking two classes at a time every nine weeks. The class load is supposed to gradually increase and I should graduate in three years with a Psychology degree. (I did finish my Freshman year at UNLV, so I do have atleast those credits under my belt thankfully.) I'm currently going for a Psychology degree and then I'll have to evaluate if I still want to consider seminary - which I'm still utterly fascinated by or something I am passionate about and have more realistic career options with - ethology. Animal behavior, which can range from zoos, rescue groups, lab studies, and so on. Now, how much it pays and where I would have the career options is another story. But the same would be said of ministry. And of course, there are my personal feelings of women in the ministry anyways. I could always return to seminary later as a personal hobby of interest in theology - this is all three years down the road. Whereas actual undergrad classes are merely days down the road.

Meanwhile, I've had my Halloween decorations up for over a week now. Cannot put any of the outside ones out until October 1st - due to HOA restrictions. It's literally, KILLING me. But it is also restricting me from shopping any of the Halloween aisles at any of the stores. Which is probably good since now that the weather is cooling, I am noticing how behind I am on my knitting and have been knitting up a storm again. I am also going to be a test knitter for the October dish cloth LAL. We'll see how my moderate skills do.

Have I mentioned that I have officially dropped 33 lbs? I am so excited and proud of myself. I am now biking 11 miles a day. Currently, I have to take the dogs on seperate runs because they cannot handle two runs anymore. When it was 8 miles, I think they were fine with it. Also, the runs were at 3:30 am and 8 pm - so they were separated enough that they had time to recover from the exercise. Now, even though the runs are still at morning and night - by the end of the runs, I am almost pulling them along, coasting on the bike, encouraging the heck out of them, "C'mon Maya, you can do it. You can do it girl. Good girl. That's my girl." They are so exhausted by the end of the runs that I've simply started only taking them on one run each. I am hoping that by the end of October I can bike to work - which according to Mapquest is only 12.05 miles away. (Of course that would be 24.10 miles a day.) Steve says it is probably closer to 16 miles. But we'll see. It wouldn't be hard biking there - just home (in the heat).

We'll be heading out to Pahrump's Fall Fesitival this weekend. I am so super excited. Since I've got Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday off. We'll be able to head out Thursday after work, hang with the in-laws (maybe even make a make-shift Spring Pole for Maya in their backyard with their matured trees) for the weekend and head back in time to hear GP's Ain't Your Mama's Jesus series. Or head to a block meeting. Not sure what the game plan is yet...

Either way - I am totally prepared for this weekend. I am greatly encouraged that I will get a chance to walk that gauntlet of dogs that used to terrify me and perhaps observe their behavior with a different mindset.

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Truth is Still Truth

I have so many things I want to blog about. I took Maya out for an early morning run the other morning and for once, tuned my mp3 player into the radio instead of listening to a downloaded podcast or music. I was listening to the middle half of Chuck Swindoll's series, Practical Christian Living. I really could not tell you what the whole particular sermon was supposed to be about - but I will tell you about the message I took from it. At one point, he began talking about unity within the church. Something I have been feeling really convicted of. Really early on, I am going to paraphrase my Pastor when I say this (as I do not remember exactly how he stated it) he said to me - that Truth is Truth regardless if I still feel like it is Truth. (I do not recall correctly if he meant me in particular OR if he meant in general - but I took this teaching for personal growth, so for this blog - let's say that this was directed in general but applied personally.)

This is a great teaching which I have consistently tried to remember. Even through my current ups and downs and frustrations with the Protestant movement (I'm sure you cannot tell it from my blogs) and have even often reflected about later. Chuck Swindoll began talking about unity within the church and how when he became a pastor, he often felt compelled to correct people who did not see things the way he saw things - but later, he grew out of this. I am trying my best to recall the exact wording of Mr. Swindoll so as not to misquote him - so instead I am going to simply share with you what I took from him at this point. So simply, instead of correcting others as to where we disagree (and he did share that he would have previously viewed this are heretical and was met with laughs) - to simply think of some things as personal, individual experiences we have had with God and cherish those. And allow others to have their personal, individual experiences with God and cherish those as well (for this blog - please let me clarify that I am not making any assumptions by what Mr. Swindoll means or thinks of when he says "heretical" or who he thinks of when he says "unity of the body". I am not making inclusions or exclusions FOR Mr. Swindoll. I am only personally responsible for making for those my own daily walk). And be united as a body. I took this - as a specific encouragement on a one on one level. Which is my responsibility that I feel I have utterly failed at.

I promise to return to this. But allow me to illustrate with a living breathing example. A few days ago, a man came into the store with his little nina - wanting to purchase a gallon of milk. He was short by $2. I don't know why I did it - but I pulled out a $5 bill and paid for it for him. He stuffed the $3 into my hand. And pretty much wrote off those two dollars - never to see them again.

Today, at the end of my shift as I awaited my relief, a young man came in and paid $20 on his pump and then put $2 in my hand. I looked at him, confused. Huh? "Do you remember me? You gave me two dollars for milk for my daughter. Here it is. Thank you." Whoa, really? He came back? And brought the money? Wow. I was so touched. At the end of a pretty stressful, rotten day when I have a co-worker who just rides me all day long, this was so touching I just wanted to cry a little. Really? I couldn't take it and put it on his pump after he left the store. As I drove home - I realized I had so generalized people as scammers and bad people who were always looking to short the till and the store, that when someone brought back the money, I just didn't know what to do.

I felt (I hate using this word) that the Lord was showing me, just as I have over-generalized my customers, I had also done this with Christians in general. I felt like all Protestants hated Mormons, all Mormons were perfect innocent victims (all anyone need do is visit MAD boards or read a few select LDS apologetic books, ahem DHP, to know that isn't true...), and so on. I realized that when comments that I was overly critical of Protestants came to me - that they feel on deaf ears. Sure, I'm critical of Mormons, etc also - but not half as much as I am of other faith based religions as I am on Protestants. And I honestly wonder, why I am so harsh with Protestants. I really wonder if it is because all the (ehhh) fundie weirdos came from Protestant lines OR if it's because the bad experiences I've personally had come from Protestant Christians? I wonder if this has tainted my vision and if I have disallowed myself to allow others to have various, individual experiences with the Lord. I want to move to unity within the body - but then am critical of how others do things. It is very contradicting. I need to further pursue this in prayer and study and find where the Lord wants me and not be so emotionally driven.

Truth is still Truth regardless of feelings - however, what is Truth? That Jesus is Lord and Savior. This has always been my foundation and something I've always clung to. But the rest, it swirls around me giving me headaches. It's not really something I want to confront right now. So, I'm throwing myself into some dog behavior studies (so sue me - I'm not the first person to practice avoidance) and reading the Bible. Currently, I am in Samuel and reading about King David. Is that ever eye opening. I hope to blog about this once I have finished.

I also hope to abstain from criticism in the coming weeks. I feel very moved to this challenge and "cough it up" for the Lord.

That's all for now. I'll leave you with an amazing shot (for me anyways) of Maya that I worked very hard to get.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"What's God doing in your life?"

The vicious pit bull and her kiddos

I was having my daily debrief with my best friend and we were discussing my blog. I shared a recent comment that a fellow ex-Mormon left for me about loosing sight of why I left the LDS church in the first place. She shared with me that my blog used to be about what God was doing in my life, how He was shaping and changing me, and now it was more about the things going on in my life.

She might very well understand why I have been more and more hesitant to blog about religion lately (unless pissed off as of recent), what God is specifically doing, what I feel moved in, etc etc - but others might not because they are not my daily confidants like she is. So I thought, without going to an uncomfortable place - I would share what God has been doing in my life as of late.

God has been providing for us. I was totally fed up with being overweight and unhealthy - and then we went and Steve picked out a dog (yes Steve) that was high energy that needed to be run, not walked twice a day. Guess who got stuck with that responsibility? Me. That was such a blessing. It gave me time with God every morning and evening. Three months later - I am 30 lbs less. I am healthier (even though I'm sick right now). And I've been able to work through a fear of large breed dogs that I've carried around for years. God provided.

I was ready to go back to work, but with one car and the economy what it is - it looked like I'd be stuck working one day a week at my parents' store forever. Then, we were given a minivan (wow) totally and completly free the weekend before I started working full time - 40 hours - at their store. I get to work early enough that I come home early afternoons and have the entire afternoon and evenings with the kids. It's awesome. God provided.

I am entering a period in my life when I am fed up with all talk and study of religion (a rare for me considering how much I LOVE it). But just honestly want and need to distance myself and focus less on doctrine and more on just one on one time with God. I frankly and honestly do not give a rat's behind on if the Godhead or Trinity are correct. I do not give a rat's behind if it's right to be monotheistic or polytheistic. Want to know where I am with God? I'm not into semantics which is where I think so many religions are. If Jesus lead by spirit and heart of the Law and not by letter of the Law, what the heck are we doing? If the spirit behind His teachings are to follow Him and not be wishy washy or to deny Him in front of others - then I think we are taking the letter of the Law and not the Spirit of the teaching when we condemn others for not reading into the Bible what we are reading into the Bible. I am reaching a place of longing for unity and peace within the Christian body - meaning all Christians - all who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Does that mean He will look the same to all Christians? No. And that's okay by me because I am not their Lord and Savior. And I am okay with this.

I am conservative in my own understanding of the scriptures but liberal in my application because in the end, I am no one's White Throne Judge. My friend reminds me that the Catholic church may say who is in heaven - but they never say who is in hell. Many Protestants could take a lesson in this wisdom.What is God doing in my life? He is leading me to an intense desire for unity and not dissention which is why my dealbreakers are what they are. He is leading me to a place of longing for peace - peace that I felt in the extreme as a Latter Day Saint and He is leading me to a place of not wanting labels (polytheism, monotheism, Godhead, Trinity, etc etc) but just initimacy with Him and His presence. All else falls away and nothing else matters. He provides because His grace is endless and I am forever grateful.Much like Maya learns the command, "leave it" - I too must learn humilty and to simply leave those things that are not unifying.
Leave it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Blame the Deed - Not the Breed

While checking my emails today, I was notified that two pit bulls had killed a four month old baby. You can read the article here. Now, as an advocate - someone who STRONGLY states, "BLAME THE DEED NOT THE BREED" - there are things that really stand out to me. First, we do not have the entire story here. But there are some red flags in this story for me.

And to be clear here - had the officers NOT shot and killed the dogs, I most CERTAINLY would have advocated for these dogs to be put to sleep (PTS). Any pit bull who is Human Aggressive (HA) goes against breed standard and makes life harder for stable pit bulls out there, and should be PTS. What these dogs did was terrible - but ultimately, dogs do what they are trained to do or are pushed into doing, so therefor, a lot of attention does need to be focused in on the owners here as well.

1. First and foremost - dogs have no sense of morality and no sense of right and wrong. We have to remember this.

2. Shortly before the attack - the pit bulls were in the back yard. How long were they in the back yard? Pit bulls are NOT outside dogs. They are inside dogs, they are very social animals and need interaction with their owners. They cannot just be dumped outside all the time and then be expected to behave. Nonsense.

3. The grandmother stated that they (the dogs) went right in for the little girl - of course they did. Pit bulls (and dogs in general) have a prey drive. Pit bulls, just like any other dog, have various levels of prey drives. Some pitties have no prey drive, some high levels of prey drive. If they have a high level of prey drive - then they will go after anything smaller than them - including a baby. And this is why obediance training is SO incredibly important. It's not just something nice to do - but with pit bulls (because they are POWER dogs) HUGELY important. Because they have to be taught what is and is not okay (back to the lack of morality). Pit bulls aim to please their owners, once they know what is and is not okay - like that a baby is someone they are to please, someone to protect, someone to love, a member of their pack, then they will aim to please that baby. Not harm it.

4. The grandmother went on the describe the attack, "She tried to close the door behind her, but one of the dogs forced its way into the room, Forti said, followed by the other." Dogs are pack animals and pit bulls are determined animals. Once they are set on something - they WILL accomplish it. Period. Sadly, because the grandmother could not control these dogs, it shows that she was not a member of their pack - she had no control over them because there was no obediance training in place. Another reason this is HUGELY important, again with ANY dog but especially with pit bulls again because they are power dogs and because their drive to please their owners is so strong they excel in obediance training.

5. The article went on to list other dog attacks in the LV area - including dog attacks by Boxers (not a member of the "pit bull" family - which is not a breed, but rather a common name given to dogs that share the same traits). Which only goes to show that ANY dog can attack a child. Dogs are living, breathing, creatures with their own temperaments and can decide whether or not if they are fed up with children. Obviously this four month old did nothing to provoke the attack, but children sadly are more often the victims of attacks by dogs.

6. One neighbor said, that you just don't have pit bulls around children "period". Hogwash. In fact - pit bulls used to be the "nanny dog". They have high ranking temperament test scores - right up there with the Labs (Goldens and Black Labs). Maya gets put through the wringer with Paul and Anya and she takes it gladly from them, returning their pulling, tugging, and rolling on top of her with kisses and licks. However, we would be utter fools to ever leave our dog completly unsupervised with our children. I would like to state you should never leave ANY dog unsupervised with ANY child.

7. These dogs were also often found wandering the neighborhood. These owners appear from the story to be at best - negligent. Should not have been owners of a power breed that NEEDED to be indoors, with it's owners, exercised regularly, obediance training, played with, etc etc.

Pit bulls (American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier) are a very interactive breed. You have to train with them, you have to exercise with them, they need to be with you. They are WORK. But they are worth it. They are determined, stubborn, and they are WORK. People will judge you for having one. Whenever I mention that I have a pit bull AND two small children the usual comments I recieve are:

"What are you stupid?"

"Are your kids still alive?"

"Someone should turn you into CPS"

"Do your kids have both their hands?"

"That's the most stupid thing I've ever heard."

And more. If you cannot handle things like this - do not own a pit bull. What happened to these dogs is incredibly tragic. What happened to this baby - oh my God, was horrific and even more tragic. Please do not think because I blogged in defense of the BREED that I ignore what occurred to this innocent victim. What happened to the baby was just horrible. I am so sorry for the family's loss and especially for this baby. Again, I stress - I am incredibly sorry for this innocent little baby who suffered such a horrible death. Do not think for a moment I ignore the death. I do think the parents should be investigated and upon investigation prevented from EVER owning an animal - or at the very least a power breed EVER again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pit Bulls, Nail Polish, La Femme

I'm totally excited to see that one of our local Pit Bull Rescue Group's is doing something for Pit Bull Awareness Day. Of course, I've never been to a candlelight vigil - so I haven't a clue what to expect and I really hope it draws in a crowd outside of the pit bull world. Which for me, as someone who wants to educate non-pit bull owners about pit bulls - is something I really want to do. But, as someone who is not a professional rescue, then this will be excellent hands on experience to go and observe.

So, if you're in the Vegas area - wanna come check it out with me? The other local pit bull rescue group is doing something as well, on the actual pit bull awareness day (Saturday October 25th) - a meet and greet. I don't have any more information yet, but I'm hoping I'll get to bring Maya. :)

Today at work, I coveted all the ladies around me who had nice nails. I used to waste a ton of time and money of getting my nails done. It's so relaxing (I gotta say, I still cannot think of ANYTHING as relaxing as knitting AND getting a spa pedicure - oh now that is heaven) and it makes me feel so feminine. My kids are very young - so when I stay at home, I'm lucky to get a shower in everyday - let alone put on makeup or pluck, shape my eyebrows. It's hard to feel feminine and sexy, and beautiful for my husband. So, when I go through spurts when I am able to get my nails done - it makes me so pretty. BUT at the same time, it's a very unwise financial investment - if I get acrylics then I have to continue getting them done over and over and over again every 2-3 weeks so they continue to look nice (which of course I want) and of course I want acrylics because I'm rough and tough on my nails and a wimpy little manicure isn't going to hold up to the beating I'm going to put it through in the first five minutes let alone two weeks. But the acyrlics - fills and and complete sets are very expensive and costly with my time. Manicures, while less expensive both during the initial visit and each upkeep visit - take more upkeeps because the manicure chips away faster.

Therefor, a girl needs to know how to do her own nails. However, this is a skill I never took the time to learn as a young lady. I learned how to ride in a Western saddle and bareback - but never to paint my own nails. I used to spend hours reading with my Mamau - but never learned to paint my own nails. I learned how to read music (eh - I manage, but don't ask me to write anything fancy ;) ) but never to paint my own nails. About as far as I got was that I needed a base, color, then a top coat. Huh. And whenever I paint my own nails - I somehow wager that Paul and Anya could have done a better job. And after all the time, effort, and paint I use - I wonder if it still would be a better investment of time and money to just go get it done rather than spend three hours trying to do it myself. After several tries and corrections and I FINALLY had decent looking nails, I decided even though I was coughing up my own lungs, I'd take Maya for a walk. So, stupidly I changed tops - and damaged every nail on my freshly painted left hand.

Fuming I took Maya for a walk where I encountered these kids I try to serve every Wednesday night, but because I've been feeling so cruddy for awhile now, have missed for a couple of weeks now. They asked where I had been and I explained I hadn't been feeling well but would bring them cookies and drinks again once I was well. Some new kids were there and they were much younger, but had no fear at all of Maya - which made me so happy. So many kids seem scared of her. I put her in a sit/stay position and she allowed all the little ones to pet her and make smoochy faces at her. She was in heaven, eagerly licking their faces and so excited but being such a good girl - staying in her sit/stay position - the only give away being that her tail and entire butt was waging so excitedly in the dirt. With her training she is becoming an amazing ambassador for her breed.

So I guess tomorrow I'll have to clean off my destroyed left hand and try again. Grrr.... I guess this is what I get for trying to be girly. :P If only it were easier. I have three days off! Yay! Our foster Tye will be returning on Sunday and we're considering fostering a Staffy/Bull Terrier mix named Zesus Blue - who looks very handsome indeed. Did you know Bull Terriers get 91.5% on their temperament tests? WOW. Amazing dogs. All for now! I am so glad the weekend is here. Time for lots of green tea, podcasts, and medicine and hopefully this cruddy sickness will pass soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Yes Barbie, this blog is what you think it's about - so if you're reading this and you still have not slept - I will catch a flight there and KYO. GO TO SLEEP.

For the rest of you who do responsibly sleep.... I do not understand why employees or customers think that a store owes them a penny. Money is money and a debt is a debt. I do not go to the local grocery and demand the cashier cover my bill if I'm short - even by a penny. If I'm late on any of my bills - cable, power, water, phone, etc - even by a penny, they can, will, and do disconnect/discontinue/and disrupt service. Because, even by a penny - you are a negligent, past due on your bill. I do not call them up and say, "It's just a penny, you pay it!" or "Short the company!" I know that it's my bill, even that one, small penny.

Why then, do people when they come to a convenience store, expect me the cashier to either dig in my own pockets or short the drawer to cover their bill? Worse, why do employees think this is acceptable behavior?

Since becoming a full time employee, there has been a battle of wills on going between a co-worker and myself - one of the things we've been battling is shorting the drawer over pennies (sometimes as much as ten cents, sometimes as little as a penny). I will admit, there are a few customers, that on occasion I do not mind digging in my own pockets and putting in for their purchases - but that is my own choice and between me and them. Not something I am committed to do for each and every single customer regardless if I know them or not.

So today, when a customer was coming in to purchase 3 quarts (32 oz) beers and some crackers and was short - yes, by just a penny, and I nicely said, "Well, if you don't have it, you don't have it. You can put back one of the beers, or you can put back the crackers. Or you can go out to your car and see if you have a penny." Then the guy turns around to solicit from a customer, "No, you cannot solicit from our customers. I'm sorry."

The customer behind him, "It's just a penny! Come ON! Just short the drawer!"


My co-worker behind me. "Geeezz! It's just a penny! Just give it to him!"

Me. "Do you want to put back one of the beers or the crackers? What would you like to do sir?"

The customer behind them huffs and says grouchily, "I'll go to my car and get a penny. Man, what a crock."

My co-worker behind me, "I cannot believe this, I'll go get a penny. Wow."

Me, "I'm sorry. It's not my money to give. You know, I didn't buy the merchandise in this store. I'm sure you're understand."

They said they did - even though they too just wanted me to let them slide on the penny.

The customer behind them came back and slammed his penny down (as did my co-worker a few minutes later), "Here!"

My co-worker slammed down the penny and a few extras in the Mentos area for anyone else who might be short. She then stormed into the manager's office, shreking for all to hear as she went, "Patttyyyyy you HAVE to talk to her about this pennnyyyy thiinnngggg!!!!!" And then SLAM goes the door.

Wow. I mean WOW. All this over a flippin' penny. So she's tellin' me that this guy really needed his three quarts of beer and crackers that badly? He just couldn't put one back and wait until he had the money? Did we, the store owe it to him?

When we go someplace, it is our responsibility as the consumers to make sure we have the means for what we plan on buying. That means EVERYTHING. If you plan on buying BEER - then you bring you ID, unless you've got gray hair and a cane. If you plan on buying tobacco, then you bring ID. If you plan on buying anything - you bring money (debit, credit, cash). And if you plan on paying with plastic (debit and/or credit) bring a readable ID - just in case you're asked for it. You cannot logically and sanely get p/o'd at the cashier for simply following the rules. They are not on an authority kick, they are not bitches, they are not being mean - they are simply - following the rules. They are consequences for NOT following the rules which can include fines, loss of job, being written up, etc.

The cashier does not owe you a penny - YOU are the consumer and as such, you have to have your act together before the cashier can act in the first place, not the other way around.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bakin' Shakin' Pit Bulls

We <3>

While reading up on PBRC last night, I also discovered that there is an Annual Pit Bull Awareness Day - if you know me in real life, prepare to hear day and night about this awareness day. I have already emailed the heads of the two bully rescue groups here in Vegas. I want Vegas to be involved in education and making sure that BSL does NOT hit here. We've been very fortunate about this so far, but only through educating the public can we continue with this.

I am VERY excited about this and cannot wait to learn more about this and what other groups and states are doing. Especially places with BSL currently in place.

PBRC also has a little store and for 2009, they have "Happy Endings" calendar which I am all too excited about. (Not to mention way too many t-shirts for me to choose only 1 to show my support and make a donation to the cause of rescue, rehab, and rehoming.)

This past weekend, we ran into a real chance to rescue a stray - alas he got away from us, but is has given us the chance to really evaluate what we think we know about pit bulls and then the real life application. Like, what is body language conveying to us? How do we really entice a pit bull to come to us when it doesn't trust us? And of course - giving us more and more chances to educate, educate, educate. During our my bike ride last night, I ran into two police officers. I mentioned that I was looking for a male, unaltered, cinnamon colored American Pit Bull Terrier. That he was not, HA (Human Aggressive) and from my limited interaction with him, did not seem to be DA (Dog Aggressive) as he passed by not one, but two leashed small dogs. Steve pointed out that police officers, more than any one else, has reason to see the negative in pitties since they probably see more ill treated and trained pitties than good ones. So of course, I shouldn't have been shocked when the officers began to lecture me on those "dangerous animals" - even though I had just told them the reason I was looking for this dog was because Steve and I foster pitties.

So I took this moment to educate these officers - who by the way, were making kissy noises at Maya (an APBT mix) and petting her and might I add proudly, was sitting very nicely. Great breed amabassador moment. When I informed them that the dog they were currently loving on was a pit, they came back with, "Well you don't train your dog to be an asshole do you?"

I think most often people forget that dogs are without a sense of morality. They do not know innately what is right and wrong. They are not human beings. And as such, they are in every sense a victim when say dog fighters then make them into dog fighters. They do not know it is wrong to kill another being. They are simply doing what they are trained and exploited to do. The characteristic of the APBT/AST/ST are that they aim to please their masters. That's who they are. And dog fighters often abuse this. But especially after the Michael Vick's case, we are learning that the dogs themselves are not mean, vicious dogs wanting to kill kill kill other dogs - they lack trust in human beings, but overall are just plain and simple victims who need time and love to heal. And once they heal, they are fine - they are not ticking time bombs as so many believe them to be.

However, if a "pit bull" is HA - then I 100% believe they deserve nothing less than a one way trip to the vet. This isn't their fault, and I am really heartbroken for them, but it goes against the breed standard and nature, there is something wrong with them, AND every case of HA pit bulls makes life harder for stable, non-HA, loving, wonderful, well behaved pit bulls out there. For every case of HA pit bulls out there, more and more breedism and BSL will be passed. And this HAS to stop. We do not need another Denver incident - which I still cannot believe occurred within the US. Utterly frightening.

Time to go to bed and make my playlists for the morning. Have a Shakin' Bakin' Night! :)