30 September 2011

How Much is That Doggy in the Window

Some people are cat people, some are dog people.  I am a dog person.
  
What I wanted to talk about today was how we acquire our pets.  Puppy farming is widespread in the UK, for more, and better informed information on this check out The Dogs Trust.

We all see gorgeous puppies of all breeds in the newspaper, but, if you were like me when I bought my dogs, you don’t think too much about how they are raised and the puppy breeding process.

The first dog I bought, a gorgeous teddy bear looking Yorkshire Terrier called Rosie, was from a newspaper ad.  The ad stated at the time that the owners were moving overseas and needed to rehome her.  Upon visiting the home it became apparent that this was not the case.  She was just unwanted.

The water bowl was paint splattered and empty, no food for her in the house and they called her “it”.  The Rosie I know now is happy, barks quite a bit and jumps up excitedly to see any visitors coming to the house.  The Rosie I first met didn’t even look up from her box, in fact barely moved, even when I picked her up to take her home with me.

We took her to the vets and she was physically ok , but it was clear that she had been unwanted and unloved.  After a few weeks she turned into the dog I love and adore now.

Now the second dog, Ellie.  Ellie has the most personality I have ever seen in a dog.  She knows full well that she is adored and takes advantage of that, she  is the undisputed Queen of the house, despite her size.

You can have a cuddle with her, but only when she wants and she will look at you with such disdain sometimes if you want to play with her and she just wants to be comfortable.  For some reason though, first thing in the morning, you have never seen a dog so excited and happy to see me.  For the rest of the day, she isn’t that bothered!

My mum bought Ellie.  From what she tells me, I am sure that she came from either a puppy farm or somewhere that had no idea how to look after puppies.  She was 4 months old when we got her, from living in a dirty, straw filled shed which had several other breeds there.

After five years, even considering she knows full well how much she is loved, if you lean down to stroke her she will cower and run away.  Once you have stroked her or picked her up she is fine, but you can see in the seconds beforehand that she is scared of what is going to happen, and that is five years on.

What happens to a puppy in the first weeks/months of it’s life I believe will effect the way it is for the rest of it’s life.

Who could hurt something as cute as this?

ellie

27 September 2011

To Degree or not to Degree

To have a degree is a good thing.  I will say that at the start because I am not suggesting that having a degree does not help your career, it educates you in the field you wish and indeed can be a necessity when you come to pursue that career.

If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, whatever, a degree is a necessary in the path you have chosen to take.




What I don’t like is the mentality that some people have, to those of us that don’t have a degree.  That we are automatically considered stupid, or not as good as the people who have one.  I am not sweeping tar brush over all people with degrees, but there is a percentage of people that do think that way.  I come across them regularly.

I chose not to go to university.  I got decent grades at school and after leaving, the pull of a wage was too much for me and I got a job instead.  I became an office junior, the lowliest office position as has to be said.

I know myself well enough and the choice I made for myself then, I don’t regret now.  I have never aspired to be a doctor, teacher etc and I have always valued being happy in my personal life over any career aspirations. 

I worked my way up through the ranks over the years and now I work for a partner in a large well respected firm.  I am happy in what I do and am happy that I got there on my own.  I’m not in a job with a massive wage, my career doesn’t contribute to society like a doctor or a teacher, but it's what I want and enjoy.

I’ve had people say to me “Ah but if you have gone to university, you would have a degree and think where you could have been now” or on a more condescending note “Oh you’re more little intelligent than I gave you credit for, having no degree and that”.

From someone who is actively using their degree in a career that they have worked towards, I can take that to a certain extent.  What really gets on my wick however are the people that went to university, got a degree, good one or bad one, and then don’t use it.

I have met people, and know people who went to university, got a degree and now work in a job, unrelated to the degree in any way, shape or form.  Most of the time this is in a job which is lower down the payscale and position of my own. 

Now of course in this day and age, any job you have is better than having none.  If that is the job you can get, then all well and good.  But don’t then turn around to me, who has a better job than you and look down your nose at me because you have a degree and I don’t.



25 September 2011

Funny Team Radios

This isn't a blog today as such, rather instead I have compiled a collection of amusing Team radios over the years, from the funny to the more controversial.  I do not own the rights to or any of the material in any of these videos, am just collating together for amusement!

1.  Before Webber had to be a little more polite about Vettel.

2.  Felipe Baby - Now a famous clip, perhaps a pre cursor of tantrums to come given the events that happened today.


3.  Jenson in a rare stressing out moment on team radio.  I DON'T KNOW!!!


4.  Robert Kubica - Ring Ring!!


5. Lastly, a compilation of funny Team Radios.  My favourites, Oh Deer and a shitty little bastard ;)


21 September 2011

The Death Penalty Itself Should be Executed

When it comes to the rights and wrongs of the death penalty, everyone has their own opinion. I’m against it.

At this point in the conversation those who are “pro” death penalty would bring up one of the most famous cases (in England that is), of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley who were found guilty on the 6th May 1966 and as such, escaped the death penalty by a mere matter of months.

Their guilt was irrefutable and given the horror of their crimes, they were the perfect candidates for the death penalty.

The thing that sticks in the back of my mind, no matter what the perpetrator has done is this. The taking of another’s life cannot be justified, even in a Court of Law. I don’t believe we should have such power over each other, even when governed by Law.

The last public hanging in England was on the 26th May 1868, the convicted being a Michael Barratt for bombing. The final hanging in England took place on the 13th August 1964 with Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans for the murder of John Alan West.  The last woman to be executed was of course Ruth Ellis on the 13th July 1955.

The death penalty was actually still in force until 1998, but only in terms of treason, piracy with violence and certain military offences (mutiny for example).

Since the abolition of the death penalty, instances of cases have arisen where the person in question was found not to have committed the crime and was given a posthumous pardon. Doesn’t do them much good now though, aside from their families getting their respect back.

I won’t start bringing up name after name but one that springs to mind is Timothy Evans who was convicted of murdering his daughter, only for it later to be found after his death that the crime had been carried out by John Christie.

I read about this particular case in a copy of “The Hangman’s Tale” by Syd Dernley who was an assistant executioner who had assisted with the famous Albert Pierrepoint with carried out the execution of Timothy Evans.

Others to mention would be Derek Bentley, who was wrongly convicted of the murder of a police officer and Mahmood Mattan, again wrongly convicted and was in fact the last person ever to be hanged at Cardiff 
Prison on the 3rd September 1952.

Some people will say that the lives of a few innocent people lost does not outweigh the benefit and deterrent that the death penalty was. The death penalty was indeed a strong deterrent in it’s day, but then you can look at America now, where several States have the death penalty and you could argue quite well that the death penalty there is now little or no deterrent.

Which brings me to the inspiration of my blog today. Troy Davis.  He is due to be executed at 7.00pm (Georgia time).  There is so much doubt as to what actually happened the night that the police officer was killed.  No forensic evidence, witnesses who have retracted their statements and others who have implicated another for the killing.

All of this leads to reasonable doubt.  You cannot kill a man when there is a reasonable doubt that he didn't do it.  Yet that is exactly what is going to happen tonight.  

Troy Davis has been on death row for twenty years and has been subjected to more than one last minute cancellations of executions.  He has offered to do a polygraph test but this has been denied too.  In the UK if he had committed this crime, he would either be out by now or would be nearing the end of his sentence.

This man should not be executed.




First, a Little Rant

I do have a blog post I want to put on here tonight but first, a little rant.



Sometimes I feel that being on Twitter is setting yourself up to be discriminated against.  We, as a Twitter collective are all lumped together, by people who have never been on Twitter and therefore don't know what it's about, as being people who do nothing but tweet what they had for breakfast, who follow millions of celebrities and are generally brainless.

I have had this argument with various people, all of which have never been on Twitter.

I have come up with this "conversation" as an alternative example which either proves my point, baffles or alternatively I am told I am a little bit mad.  The last one is probable.

Person One: I don't like apples.
Person Two: Have you ever had one?
Person One: No, they taste of sardines.
Person Two: What are you talking about?  They are juicy and delicious!
Person One: Well that's not what everyone else says so I am not trying one.

Twitter by the way, does not taste like sardines.

20 September 2011

Horror - Books v Movies

If, like me, you love a good horror, you will undoubtedly have been disappointed by the horror movies over the recent years.

I look back to my childhood and remember watching the horror movies of the day, Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, to name but a few. Watching them back now though in later years, they have all made me laugh rather than scream.



When I read a book I put myself into the character’s perspective. I immerse myself in the story line and imagine the places, characters, scenes etc. I think that therein is the problem you have with horror movies.

Because nothing on screen can be as scary as the things you imagine in your head.

Reading a horror book and imagining what is happening I compare to when you were a child. When you knew for certain that the monsters under your bed were real. That the shadows in your room really were moving and coming to get you.

Now as adults we know that there is nothing under the bed, no monsters coming to get you, that there is nothing evil in the dark. But reading a horror book opens your mind back to that time when anything was possible.

Horror movies, in general, just don’t cut it for me. The characters don’t seem real enough, the monsters/demons/ghosts will never match up to the monsters I have imagined in my head when reading something. Is everyone like this or just me?

The one movie that sent me running for the light switch in the middle of the night and, in fact, made me weigh down the end of my bed was The Grudge. That is the only film I have seen where the scary things on the screen have matched what I would have envisaged. Even writing about it now sends a shiver done my spine.

 

If you are not a horror fan, I may have scared you with this post, but to be fair, the title should have warned you :)

12 September 2011

Trophy Hunting - Are we Really Still Neanderthals?

Millionaire banker Sir David Schoey, a so called "nice guy" according to the Guardian has been pictured recent, after one of his many trophy hunting holidays, posing over the corpse of a lion he killed, for sport.



He is quoted saying:
“I have been hunting all over the world for many, many years and I have always hunted within the legal arrangements of the country concerned.  
“All the animals I hunt are wild beasts and even I have felt threatened by them at times.  The lion I killed certainly wasn’t an endangered species where I was hunting it."
Trophy hunting and Canned Hunting is taking place in South Africa, Nambia, Botswana, Mozambique where people essentially can pay to shoot animals, either by trophy hunting in a large area or by canned hunting, as described in the link.

The amount of animals available to these trophy hunters are vast, but include elephants, lions and leopards.  Interestingly and also more telling are a number of websites I have researched, all readily accessible and a click away, which I won't name, giving a link with a Rhinosaurus on the front, an endangered species, as a link to their brochure.

I asked in the the title, are we still Neanderthals?  But really, that title does not apply to these trophy hunters.  The Neanderthals killed to eat, used the furs to keep warm, in essence, to survive.  The trophy hunters do it for the blood lust, the thrill (apparently) of killing an animal greater and stronger than yourself.  The cowards way, with a bullet, with no hope of the animal fighting back.


Going back to what (Sir) David Scholey, said, he claimed that the animal he killed wasn't on the endangered list.  With trophy killers, poachers and an ever decreasing availability of land for the lions to use, how long will it be before lions are on the endangered list?  That day is edging closer every day.


Humans are the most dangerous animal on the planet.  If we are not careful, we are going to lose all these amazing animals which will end up as nothing more as a head mounted on a someone's wall or an exhibit in a museum.  It is time for people to be proactive if we want to help conserve the wild animals on this planet.

Join the causes, donate to the charities, speak your mind rather than going "It's not my problem, why should I care".  These animals have just as much a right to the planet as we do.  Do we really want to be left in a position where nothing wild is left in the world?

7 September 2011

Places I want to go - Part One

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller 
A little bored tonight, so decided to write down some of the the places I want to visit.  No particular order.


Thailand
One of the places I have wanted to go to ever since I heard about it is the Tiger Temple in Thailand.  


The story as I have heard is that a baby tiger was first taken to the temple when poachers killed it's mother.  From there the temple has taken more and more tigers in, showing them to the public now in order to expand their area and in time, being able to improve conservation by releasing tigers back into the wide.


Seeing such good work, being in Thailand, see tigers which are by far my favourite animal, I can' think of anything better.




 The Louvre
I have visited France several times, but have never managed to make it there.  The beauty of the architecture alone, the famous pyramid is enough for you to walk to visit, let alone all the amazing paintings, objects and exhibits you can get it to see.


I don't imagine that this is a place that you could visit and properly appreciate and explore everything in one day, you would need at least a week!


That is two for now.  Will use this as a continuing theme.  Good for when you have nothing to do and no subject in particular you want to talk about!