Sunday, July 29, 2012

As Bright as the Sun: A dog's life AFTER dog fighting

I never knew much about the dog-fighting world until I read Cynthia Schlichting’s As Bright as the Sun. If you think you know something about it, click on the link I provided, go to Amazon, and buy it. I doubt you know enough.

Cindy and her husband, Brian, are the proud parents of (currently) three “fur kids.” They have Foster, Jane, and Bella. Foster, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, was their first adoption, and he was soon followed by Jane, a Rottweiler herself. Cindy and Brian love their kids the way parents of two-legged, non-fur-covered children love theirs. As Bright as the Sun is as much an homage to these kinds of families as it is the story of Bella, the former bait dog.

In the book, Cindy opens the door to her and Brian’s life and invites the reader in with a genuineness that makes you feel right at home. You get to know Cindy as a single girl with two cats, and then Cindy and Brian with two cats, and then you get to meet the dogs. She shares their love for each other and for the animals who share their home, and she describes the thoughts she and Brian had before each adoption as well as how those adoptions progressed. If you’re an animal lover, you’ll love these stories.

But when Cindy discovers Bella, a rescued Pit Bull-mix who had been used as a bait dog in a dog-fighting ring for years, her and Brian’s life changes forever. Cindy uses some creative license to reconstruct Bella’s life for the reader, and she does a wonderful job of this. Through Cindy’s eyes, we get to see where Bella was born, where she grew up, and how she was stolen by the dog fighters. We suffer with Bella as she is tortured and starved. And we rejoice with Bella when she is rescued and given her “forever home” with Cindy and Brian.

Cindy wrote this book because she wanted to shed more awareness on the world of dog fighting. She wanted people to understand how prevalent it is, how incredibly horrible it is, and how we all can do something to help the innocent victims of those dog-fighting rings. She is donating 40 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the book to Eagle’s Den Animal Haven and Rescue, Inc. (where she and Brian found Bella) and to Where Hope Lives Humane Society, so you can help right away just by purchasing her book!

Cindy and Brian are proud parents to Foster, Jane, and Bella. You’ll see their love shines As Bright as the Sun when you read the book. You’ll be touched by the story as I was.

I’m proud to call Cindy and Brian my friends—and Foster, Jane, and Bella too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Obama and his idea of "work"

Guess what Obama’s up to now. We’ve already established that he really likes big government and wants to keep growing it, right? He wants people dependent on the government so that they will continue to support the big government that supports them. We’ve got that straight, right? Well, listen to what he wants to do with “welfare reform.” It’s another end-run around Congress.

In 1996 President Clinton signed into law The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. This was truly welfare reform. The 1996 act required people who were receiving time-limited assistance to work or to participate in job-training programs, and the federal government rewarded states that had high percentages of people moving from welfare to work.

Under the 1996 law—passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, remember—after two years of assistance, recipients had to go to work. If families had been receiving assistance for five cumulative years, they were no longer eligible for cash aid from the government.

So what does Obama want to do, you ask? He wants the White House—not the federal government because that would mean he’d have to change the law LEGALLY and go through Congress—he wants the White House to issue waivers to people changing the definition of what it means to “work.” Are you ready to hear what he considers “work”? I don’t think you are, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Obama wants to grant people “work” waivers if they:

• Are on bed rest
• Engage in motivational reading
• Get massages
• Exercise
• Engage in journaling
• Engage in personal care activities
• Stop smoking
• Engage in weight loss promotion
• Participate in parent-teacher meetings
• Help a friend/relative with chores

How can people support this man? He wants as many people in this country dependent on the government as he can possibly make happen. Look what he’s done so far. Think about what could happen in another four years.

Please, vote to save our United States of America in November.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Breaking Bad: Magnets, anyone?

The Season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad started off as most of the seasons have—flashing us forward and then sending us back to right where we left off with Season 4. So how much of a glimpse did we get of the final episode of the series when we saw Walt open that trunk and stare at that machine gun? Where will the 14 episodes in between last night’s and the final one take us? Who will die? And will Hank finally figure out who Heisenberg is?

I regretted not re-watching Season 4 as soon as the episode started. With hubby’s help, though, I soon got caught up: Gus is truly dead (I wasn’t sure, right at first). Jesse’s still got Walt’s back. (It cracks me up that Jesse still calls him “Mr. White.”) Hank’s still hot on the trail. Skyler is still a force to be reckoned with—even though Walt scares her now that she knows he’s responsible for Gus’s violent death. (Ask Ted Beneke how much Skyler scares him!) Okay…You’re caught up pretty well now too.

When Mike found out that Gus was dead, I couldn’t figure out where he was going so fast until he almost (literally) ran into Walt. Never underestimate the loyalty an injured underling feels for his crime boss. I loved Jesse when he jumped in front of Walt to stop Mike from killing him right there in the middle of the desert. And I loved it that Jesse could stop him—Mike really grew to like and respect Jesse last season.

The trio’s mad dash for Gus’s laptop was all for naught, though, and Mike was ready to run while Walt was bent on fixing the problem—the problem being the cops had the laptop with all of the video footage of the basement lab implicating all three of them. Jesse’s next-best scene came when he sat there in the background saying, “Or a magnet.” A little louder. “Or a MAGNET!” And then, “OR A MAGNET!” I was laughing out loud as he finally got their attention and the light bulb went on over Walt’s head.

As is usually the case, the show made me laugh as Jesse, Walt, and Mike committed a major crime. The magnet in the truck, the truck on its side, the evidence sticking to the wall in the evidence room—that’s some good stuff—and it was their ticket (they hope) to escaping detection for their part in the making of the meth.

I was also glad to see smarmy, slimy Saul back in action. The look on his face when Walt told him, “We’re done when I say we’re done,” was great. I’m not worried about him. I’m sure he’ll make out fine in the deal. Even if he did help Skyler hand more than $600,000 of Walt’s money to a man who was sleeping with Skyler. As Saul said, Walt was “kinda busy with other things.”

I’m so glad Breaking Bad is back, and I’m glad it doesn’t seem to have slowed down one iota. I’ll miss Walt, Jesse, and company when the season (and the series) is done, but I can’t wait to see where they take me before the end.

Buckle up. Breaking Bad is back and Heisenberg’s driving.