puppet: /ˈpʌpɪt/noun: a movable model of a person or animal that is typically moved either by strings controlled from above or by a hand inside it ~ Oxford English Dictionary

It has come to my attention, both directly and through the Chinese Whisper Game style of communication, that people in some quarters think I am a puppet. The people in those quarters don’t know me very well. I am not, and never have been, a person that parrots what other people tell me without asking questions. I was the kid in the schoolyard who called other kids names in the full knowledge that they were going to beat the crap out of me, but I couldn’t help myself. I seem to lack the ability to filter what is inside my head before it exits my cake hole. I have never, and will never, be bought. By anyone. Am I paid to write articles and press releases? Yes, of course. That is one of the ways I pay the bills. The last check I received from PMG was immediately following the 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, for which I wrote the press releases. The pompously self-named Dressage Diva made some very snarky remarks a few weeks ago on one of my posts . In addition to calling me Mason Phelps’ lackey, she slagged on the WDM, which punches a rather large hole in her holier-than -thou attitude that she, and not I, support the beautiful horse sport.

If anyone thinks I have something to gain by criticizing the FEI, or WEP, or any other force in the equestrian world, let me disabuse you of that notion. At best I have nothing to gain, and at worst I have plenty to lose.  When I decide to say something that might be deemed controversial, I say it because I think it’s a topic that needs some air – and some debate. I was greatly heartened to see a comment from the ‘other side’ on last week’s post. Sure, it was written by someone who hid behind another fake name, but at least Amanpuri isn’t as offensive as Dressage Diva. And to Amanpuri I would like to say that the reason I made no mention of Deeridge’s water permit violations was because until you wrote about them I was unaware of them.  And dear Amanpuri (are you really a luxury resort in Thailand or did you just stay there once?), because you don’t have the balls to identify yourself, and because you offer no official documentation to support your claim, I can do no more than let your comment remain on this blog for people to read and come to their own conclusions. You may think I am a baby bird being fed regurgitated worms by Big Bad Daddy Bird, but I am not. My opinions are my own, and I form them based on facts, not hearsay.
Baby Bird 08                    (Your photostream    1,226 items / 60,000 views )  Thank you all!

And speaking of facts, I have witnessed with my own eyes a copy of a letter from Signor B. to Welly World Planning and Zoning Director David Flinchum, in which the application for the hotel from hell has been voluntarily withdrawn.  I’m pretty sure I read on a certain six time Olympian’s blog a few weeks back that he was looking forward to seeing the hotel get built on the vacant lot on the other side of Southshore,  so the withdrawal letter doesn’t come as a complete surprise to me.  The letter was dated May 14th, which was Monday. It was also my birthday. Which brings me, finally, back to the subject line of today’s post.

Do puppets have birthdays? I suppose they do, if the puppeteer who created or owns them decides to bestow birthdays upon them. But my birthday is not dependent on the whim of anyone, at least not since my parents Liz and Pete, some 46 years and nine months ago, had a whim that resulted in my birth in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (yes, really).  And, if after reading today’s post you still think I am a puppet or a lackey, I’d be happy to give you my parents’  phone numbers so that they can tell you how little control they had over my thoughts and actions even when I was just a wee little Santa denier.