Some beauty in celebration of the day of liberation.
Glory to the Lamb of God!
Blessings upon us all.
Some beauty in celebration of the day of liberation.
Glory to the Lamb of God!
Blessings upon us all.
Sometimes, it is good to review the statistics. These numbers come from the American Temperament Test Society, Inc.
Their methods can be found Here. They test a dog’s “ability to interact with humans, human situations and the environment.”
Their statistics are Here. The test is pass-fail, with the percentage being the number that pass. Pay close attention to the number of animals tested in comparison with their score. Anything over 90% usually indicates a small testing pool. Exceptions to this are the Labrador Retriever, and two of the “pitbull” breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier and and the Bull Terrier.
Let’s take a quick look at some popular breeds and their attendant scores as compared to the popularly maligned “pit-bull” breeds. Not many people read this blog, and maybe the ones who do already know the mantra “punish the deed, not the breed.” Then again, I’ve been surprised before at how many educated and intelligent friends of mine have simply never been exposed to the truth about “pitbulls.”
Australian Shepard: 82.2%
Border Collie: 81.5%
Cocker Spaniel: 82.1%
Dachsund (Standard Smooth): 68.8%
German Shepherd: 84.8%
Golden Retriever: 85.2%
Jack Russell Terrier: 84.1%
Labrador Retriever: 92.0%
Mixed Breed: 86.6%
Rhodesian Ridgeback: 84.3%
Saint Bernard: 84.6%
Siberian Husky: 87%
Standard Poodle: 86.6%
Common “Pitbull” breeds:
American Pit Bull Terrier: 86.8%
American Staffordshire Terrier: 84.5%
Bull Terrier: 90.1%
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: 90.7%
Now, I’m not here to condemn any breed. Dogs are dogs, and every time humans are in contact with an animal, there are risks. For that matter, any time we interact with each-other there are risks. Personally, I’ve been bitten by one dog, a Dachshund, and almost attacked (a chain was all that saved me) by a Rhodesian Ridgeback. The first was a case of small child and small dog not mixing well. The second was a case of a dog that had been chained up all her life, which would make me crazy angry too.
I’ve been around pitbulls all my life, including one that was half-lab and very protective of his family. I have never felt threatened by any of them. Not once.
I hear stories from people I know, people I trust, about how dangerous pitbulls are. What seems to escape most people is the fact that there are extenuating circumstances. First off, even the experts cannot seem to identify a “pitbull” by sight. What makes us think we can? Any stocky, broad-headed, short-haired dog is assumed to be a “pit” and the media has been known to ignore little details like the fact that a dog involved in an attack is, say, a golden retriever, in favor of the more dramatic lie that it is a “pitbull.”
If you are curious, try your hand at “pit identification.”
Then there is the self-perpetuating problem. Pits are thought to be vicious. They are, therefore, sought out by people who want vicious dogs. People who want vicious dogs, make their dogs vicious, either intentionally or through neglect.
That Rhodesian Ridgeback who attacked me? If she had not been chained up alone outside for years, the chances of her charging me would have been slim.
I am ranting on this because some legislators in my state are trying to pass an amendment to an otherwise acceptable bill, to push through breed-specific legislation against pitbulls (by which they mean any dog someone thinks looks like a pitbull). Legislation of this sort has been proven, time and again, to be as ineffectual as it is blind. Most of my readers aren’t, I think, from Tennessee, but if you are, please make yourself heard: http://www.capwiz.com/bestfriends/issues/alert/?alertid=62506026#.UUMnGhSzRhM.twitter
No dog is 100% safe, but as the facts go, the maligned “pitbull” breeds are no more dangerous than any other dog their size. In fact, I would trust all the “pits” I know over my own dear Jack-Rat.
The website linked in my sidebar, A Boy and His Dog, is very biased, but raises a lot of good points, like the fact that for most of U.S. history, “pitbulls” were our darlings, known for their loving nature and loyalty. If you are curious, please check it out.
It seems that Raewyn Hewitt was tagged in a meme, but as she is sensitive to the fact that some folks don’t like being tagged (I don’t like being tagged for memes, for the record) she left it up to volunteers. The questions amuse me, and I have nothing else in line for this week, so here you have it! If you want to check out Raewyn’s answers, they are here.
1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten in public?
Um… this is a harder question than one might think. I ate a penny, once, but that was an accident. If only things eaten intentionally count, it depends on what one considers strange. I’ll leave it up for a vote. The candidates are:
Syrup made from hickory bark
2. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why?
Most of you might expect this to be a no-brainer for me. In truth, though, it’s not as easy as it might be.
Despite the fact that “Thyme” is in the title of this blog, elves (even my own elves) would be my last choice. Even in the best of circumstances, I would feel isolated.
Dwarves would be my second choice because, as much as I have in common with them, I am not a Dwarf, and they can be insular. I hope I would be able to break into their good-graces eventually, but that cannot compete with Hobbits.
Hobbits, though not usually adventurous, have a good track-record for not giving up and for rising to the occasion. I have not seen many reckless hobbits, and they share my love of sleep, food, and natural beauty. Also, on the whole, they are more personable and accepting than the other races.
Ideally, of course, it would be nice to have a mix of traveling companions. Can you get a nerdier answer than that?
3. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next?
I think my first reaction would be to ask why…
4. If you were given biscotti, would you prefer it with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
It depends… is it a good biscotti or a cardboard-like one? If the former? Tea. If the latter, then coffee.
5. In your opinion, who is the funniest man or woman alive today (comedian)?
Tough one. I don’t watch a lot of comedians, but I really like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.
6. If you were given thirty seconds on television to say something, what would it be?
I’d probably either ignore the camera or attack its operator…
7. What is your idea of the most romantic date setting ever?
8. If you could go on one date with a movie or television star, who would it be and why?
I hate questions like this. The thought of going on a date with any film or television star on whom I actually have a crush is horrifying, so that’s out. Once my brain stopped reeling from that unpleasantness, the first thing that came to mind was Hugh Laurie because he seems to have a high regard for one of my favorite authors of all time (P. G. Wodehouse) which would give us something fun to talk about. Also, I grew up on his Bertie Wooster, and I’d like to thank him for that. Obviously, for multiple reasons, this would be a purely platonic date.
9. What is the worst song you have ever heard?
There are a lot of contenders, but my brain collapses in abject horror every time I encounter this one: Friday .
10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?
Three or four hours’ drive east of where I live now. If I ever find a place that sinks into my bones the way the Appalachian Mountains do, I will be very surprised. I’ve seen some lovely places across the world. Nothing has come close.
11. Who – in your opinion – was the greatest person to ever live?
Jesus, but he is a given, considering my faith. Other than him? Hm… there are too many contenders. I would really love to meet George MacDonald, though. ;)
As Raewyn, before me, I am not going to tag folks, but if any of you want to join in, please do!
I am not good at record-keeping. That statement will make family and friends laugh because it is a huge understatement. Because of this, I am not sure what year the following image was taken. I know I was in college, and it was before my senior year, which means I was between 20 and 23. I will make a wild guess and say 21.
I loathe pictures of myself. For every one that looks like me, there are fifty in which I look like someone else or like a marshmallow with hair. No one in my immediate family is photogenic, though my father is better than the rest of us. The only reason this picture exists is because a professor required it. I was taking a basic photography class, and in his wisdom our prof required us to have at least one self-portrait per roll of film.
Yes. Film. That camera in my hands? That’s my baby. I haven’t used it in too long, something I intend to remedy, but it gives me a feeling of control I have never felt from using a digital camera. The image was taken with silver film, developed and printed by me.
So, why am I posting this? I turned 31 in February, marking around a decade since this picture was taken. This got me to thinking about the passage of time and what that means, and made me want to take another picture of myself now. And so I did. This time I used my father’s digital Nikon. I dressed, as closely as I could, in the same way. Here is the image in black and white, for comparison, and in color as it was originally.
The shirt in the first picture has gone through a metamorphosis. It is now part of a quilted prayer-rug a good friend made for me.
The moonstone necklace around my neck now has a crack from side to side. Why? It was run over by a car on a gravel road in the Smoky Mountains.
The coat. Ah, the coat. That is my magic coat. It belonged to my father, and he gave it to me when I was in high-school. It is never too warm, but always warm enough, even when I was in Salzburg, Austria, on a snowy New Years Eve and someone poured vodka all over me. All that has changed about it, since the first picture, is that my cat, Geoffrey, managed to bite all the way through one sleeve. It’s thick leather, too, which makes me wonder about the strength of Geoffrey’s jaw.
The ring on my finger in the first image, though identical to the one in the other two, is not the same ring. The one I currently have is, if I am counting right, number 3. The first one was lost whilst gardening, and has never been found. The second one split, my active hands being tough on silver. The third, though scratched, is in good shape.
And then, of course, there is me. The creases between my eyes are deeper, but I had that long before I turned 21. The eyebrows drawn together in thought is an expression everyone who has met me will recognize. We even have pictures of baby-me with that expression.
I had glasses at 21, too, but I must have been experimenting with contacts when I took the first image. Contacts and I don’t get along. The rings, evident in all the pictures, have left a good callous on my hand. I worry, with the surgery ahead of me, that I will no longer be allowed to wear the ring on my right.
There is silver in my hair now! Just a few strands, so far. I like them.
I am a happier person now, than I was then. Depression has been my shadow for a long, long time, but it used to jerk me around a lot more. Time has softened that cycle, at least for now. I’ve grown and changed in thoughts, in faith, in experience. I still have respect for that 21-year-old who was me. She had come a long way from the 11-year-old me. Though I have changed a lot, she and I still have the same foundation, and pretty much the same orientation in the world. The biggest difference is what I have learned about myself and about the world that she did not know.
Most of all, I am struck by the complete strangeness and unpredictability of life. I mean, shirt-to-prayer-rug? Necklace run over by a car? And finding myself fighting cancer is far from the strangest thing that has happened between then and now.
My strongest feeling as I look at these images and think about the time in between?
It’s not nostalgia, or regret, or triumph. It’s simply awe. Awe that I have been alive for ten years since that time, and that so much has happened and not happened.
Sharon addresses an issue I have struggled with, off and on, my whole life. She does it very effectively, too!
Most of the spam I have gotten of late (over twice as much as I used to get) has been mind-numbingly boring. This one, however, impressed me with its level of vagueness and not-saying-anythingness. Behold:
Vague Bot: Most of whatever you mention happens to be astonishingly appropriate and it makes me wonder why I hadn’t looked at this with this light before. This piece really did turn the light on for me as far as this particular subject matter goes. Nevertheless there is actually just one issue I am not really too cozy with so while I try to reconcile that with the core theme of the point, let me observe just what the rest of the readers have to point out.Well done.
Try as I might, I will never achieve such perfect vagueness in so many words!