Managing Your Tubes

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens several years ago explained the mysterious workings of the internet calling it “a series of tubes” demonstrating how the state of Alaska has given us in recent history some of our most brilliant political minds. For my own purposes it seems like I’m always about ten years behind current technology. And some of it I’ll probably never be up with because my mind resists.

Kurt & Saavik – about a dozen years ago
a pen & ink I drew for an early cover of the Clean Run


Though slow on the uptake, the precise nature configuration and capabilities of the tubes is finally seeping into my brain. I’ve had my own website for a number of years; but it is amateurishly coded and hardly maintained with the zeal I should have approached the project. Almost everything I do is based on technology from about ten years ago. Ten years in the current pace of technology makes me a walking anachronism …

Okay, so there are couple notions that have been baking my noodle recently. From my electronic documents, I could be making calls to YouTube videos. People read electronic books on their computers and disdain the printing of pages, unless they want one or two. Why not make video snippets available? Also, rather than maintaining coded pages on my website which spawn into a new window on a click, redirect the inquiry to a static page in blog-space. There are a couple of huge advantages to this.

We’ll see how it goes.

Euro Course Design

I’ve been cooped up in my cave for a couple days doing the finishing touches on a suite of courses for a USDAA trial I’m judging in Indianapolis next month. This is going to be one of those one-judge marathons; and if the local club isn’t pretty sharp will have me going about twelve hours a day.

You know, I really can’t share any of the sequencing that I’m planning for Indy. That just wouldn’t be right. But since I haven’t written to my blog in a couple days I really need to put something in this space.

I confess to being a student of course design trends around the world. I hate putting up courses that I’ve run before though I will do so if I’m really pinched for time. Looking at trends outside of our own country allows Hemingwayesque inspiration for novel challenges in my own courses.


To tell you the darned truth I rather like course design conventions outside of the United States. Mostly they are unusable in American venues without considerable mitigation to conform to the respective course design guidelines. One of the chief requirements of most US venues is the safe distance between obstacles. We have this funny notion in this country that it can’t be safe if it’s less than 20′ between obstacles. As a consequence, btw, American handlers have little concept of acceleration or gearing down.

The TDAA has no such prohibition about the distance between obstacles. From time to time somebody will inform me that the TDAA isn’t safe for dogs and so they won’t show in that venue. Frankly I don’t even argue because if somebody already has that silly notion rattling around in his head I’m not going to be able to change his mind. Though to tell you the truth the TDAA would sharpen up a lot of handlers made dull by the dreamy persistence of real estate between obstacles in the big dog venues.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at


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