Archive for May, 2020

Putin’s Plan for America

May 27, 2020

In 2016 Putin and Russia launched a massive assault on America using social media platforms, like Facebook.

If we ever return to normal (and we haven’t been turned into a white supremacist dictatorship) the efficacy of changing political fortunes using social media will require a very thoughtful study.

One thing is certain, every Trump supporter plugged into social media spent 2016 sharing dozens, if not hundreds, of propaganda posts that were authored by hacker agents in the Ukraine, and Romania, and Moscow. Putin had an army of propagandists turning out stuff that was gleefully accepted by Trump Nation… no matter how lame and ridiculous and incendiary.

What Putin wants for America, is for us to collapse, to suffer, to die. He wants us to hate on each other, to be divided and suspicious. He must really be pleased with himself.

But now, his new attack on us is dangerous, and is likely to kill quite a few Americans. Putin’s propagandists have seized on the Conronavirus pandemic and are keen to politicize it, to make it an “us vs them” proposition.

I want to share some of the constant torrent of new propaganda that comes across my computer. This stuff is really dangerous.

The idea that COVID19 is a hoax… and just a flu is only rational to the kind of individuals without much intellectual curiosity (don’t like science, history, reading). You guessed it… this is the kind of stuff that would appeal to Donald Trump.


A Federal supported program to vote by mail will likely save tens of thousands of lives in the year of the pandemic. People who are opposed to vote by mail will spout the argument that voting by mail makes our election subject to fraud and abuse; though there are no facts to support such a stupid idea.


Like a lot of propaganda for stupid people, we should respond as though we are explaining to a 10-year-old. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. COVID-19 spreads from person to person, and can be spread by those who are infected but don’t display symptoms. A mask does NOT completely protect the wearer; nor does it completely protect people around the wearer. It’s a matter of simple mitigation, reducing the severity of risk.


Aside from the fact that the death-rate from COVID19 is 200 times higher than this piece of propaganda purports, I’m fascinated by the introduction of a plot stemming from “Political CORRUPTION”. I believe Putin has fooled about a million Americans with this piece of shit. I’d almost admire his brilliant gambit… if he weren’t trying to kill us.


Just to show what we are up against, in the list are the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control… two very important sources for science that will give us guidance to survive the pandemic. And Dr. Faucci is a very capable scientist who served for three decades on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, before joining Trumps Coronavirus Task Force. But this administration is bothered and petulant about the intrusion of science into Donald Trumps make-believe world.

And, I’m fascinated with Bill Gates being on this list. How was he thrust into the middle of conspiracy theory? Over 40% of Republicans wrongly believe Bill Gates will use COVID-19 vaccines to implant microchips in them.


Back in 2015 Bill Gates suggested “The next outbreak? We’re not ready.” And today Bill and Melinda Gates are actively involved in support and sponsorship for research to find a vaccine.


I’m a life-long Democrat. I believe that we have a right to affordable health care; and I believe that when we work, we should earn a living wage. I suppose I’m socially moderate and fiscally conservative. There’s a lot of HATE for Democrats out there on Trumpers social media. After all, wasn’t that Putin’s objective? To FOOL America? To make us HATE and DISTRUST?

Looks like it’s working. Eh?

My question then, if I am the one who’ll be joining the enemy, then why are YOU the one doing the enemy’s work?

[I apologize. Since Republicans don’t read, the only ones who’ll make it down this far in this writing are Democrats. I did not mean to say that YOU are Putin’s fool.]


Ukrainian hackers used quizzes to access private Facebook data



Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Visit our web store: You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, a comprehensive reference to all manner of agility games played for competition and fun around the world.

Writing a Lesson Plan for Agility Classes

May 22, 2020

Our floor is always set for the current NDAL league course. Consequently, it’s natural that we will develop the lesson plan using the set of equipment on the floor.

A lesson plan should be appropriate for the skill level of the handlers and dogs for whom it is intended. So the exercises that we would present to a Masters class is going to be dramatically different from what we present to a Novice class.

This is the course that we will be running this week:


Sketching Out a Plan

A “break-down” format is a lesson plan that is based literally on the sequencing from the NDAL game of the week. The curriculum probably should include “freestyle” exercises, which have the dog running sequences that have no relationship to the game of the week.



Red Numbers

We’re working on a “Lead Out” in this exercise. The slight slant to jump #1 will beguile the novice handler into squaring the dog up for the jump, rather than squaring the dog for the sequence ahead.

White Numbers

Again, we’re working on a lead-out. In the previous exercise there wasn’t much incentive to get a very long lead out. In this sequence, however, the handler is obligated to be comfortably forward of the dog as the dog commits over jump #2 in order to be in position to Front Cross. Of course, some novice handlers won’t spot the need for a change of sides here.


Red Numbers

The focus of this exercise might very well turn out to be the performance of the teeter. For some dogs it takes awhile for the dog to muster up enough confidence to do the teeter. For novice dogs you must insist that the handler reward the dog on the tip of the teeter.

The sequence calls a change of sides on the approach to jump #4. If you want to have a bit of fun with the exercise, you can ask for another change of sides from jump #4 to jump #5.

White numbers

This is a simple dog-on-right sequence. The exercise will certainly be about the weave poles. Note that the weave poles are wired. More advanced dogs might need only the entry and exit wired; some might not need wires at all. But you should be prepared to provide for the lowest-common-denominator.



Red Numbers

This sequence begs for two Front Crosses. In the transition from the weave poles to jump #3 the handler might start the cross too early and pull the dog out of the weave poles prematurely; giving the instructor an opportunity for a “timing” lecture.

The next cross is a simple Front Cross wrapping the dog after jump #5.

The Post Turn from jump #3 to jump #4 might emerge as a subtle challenge. In the Post the handler is obligated to create an approach to jump #4.

White Numbers

The interesting bit in this sequence is surely the transition from jump #3 to the counter-side tunnel at #4. This is surely the work of a Front Cross; [of the eight different kinds of Front Crosses, this is a serpentine Front Cross which delivers an “S” shaped dog’s path. Truly, it is a combination movement, Front Cross to Post Turn.]

A modest lead-out would probably be a good idea.


Black Numbers

For the most part, this sequence could be taken as a fun romp. But I put a twist in the exercise in the #6 to #8 bit. I would love to use this bit to teach a “Tandem Turn” (crossing behind the dog on the dismount of jump #6)… which means the handler should approach jump #6 with dog-on-left.

The harder concept to teach is how to set the approach for jumps #8 and #9. I’ve drawn an “x” on this course to demonstrate where the dog should turn to set a square approach through those jumps.

Red Numbers

The central challenge in this sequence is the threadle from jump #5 to jump #6. The movement is complicated by the notion that the handler probably wants dog-on-right on the approach to jump #6. What to do?

A “Flip” (Ketchker) might be a good answer to solving the threadle. Have the first aid kit handy for the handler who isn’t exercising enough awareness of the teeter on his left… while giving attention to the dog, on his right.

Instructor Notes

  • Most of the sequences in the lesson plan have the dog starting a sequence in roughly the same place/area where they END the sequence. This allows the handler to toss down the dog’s leash and doesn’t use up a lot of class time with the handler trudging across the floor to capture his leash while the dog runs wild about the building.
  • You should show a sequence to students without suggesting the handling solution. The handler’s first round is the “entertainment round”. This allows the instructor to assess what his students have learned. On subsequent attempts at the sequence, the instructor can make handling suggestions, give long lectures, and tell jokes.

    By the way, it is possible that when your students run a sequence, they will teach you (the instructor) something you didn’t know or should, at the very least, study.

  • You should give much thought to where students will stand while awaiting their turn in an exercise.

    In the interest of providing plenty of social distancing in a group class, handlers should queue for an exercise with 10′ or 12′ of separation.

  • While it’s good to have the Clean Run Course Designer, and Word, and Acrobat and Photoshop; computers and devices high tech…

    NONE of this is required to have a lesson plan. Sketch out your sequence, make a few notes about what you want to accomplish. The important thing is that you don’t get stuck in a “Gee! What should we do now?” moment.

    With that in mind… I’ll include a page or two for the complete “Barbarian’s Lesson Plan”.


The Barbarian’s Lesson Plan




Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Visit our web store: You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, a comprehensive reference to all manner of agility games played for competition and fun around the world.

Science Fiction Script Scenario

May 9, 2020

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call … The Twilight Zone. ~ Rod Serling

Have you ever though that it might be kind of fun to write a science fiction story at the same time you are living it? An unreal science fiction is what our world feels like these days. We live in a world beyond the outer limits of imagination.

I need some help with the script. Right now, the script is little more than a timeline. It needs character and plot.

Send your writing to me. We’ll do this together (  What else do you have to do… after all? This document has been and will be updated as we go along.


Character Plotting

The Barnaby Hospital Psychiatric Support Center (St Louis) ~ Amid considerable sickness and death in the facility; They have been locked up together, forced interaction. They already had every altered perception of reality you can conceive of, or were suicidal, and that’s *before* the pandemic. Until the hospital is abandoned by staff (who were state employees). Where’s nurse Ratchet when your really need her?

The Ghunters ~ A small group of fired and “deep state” national security career professionals teamed up with some rogue hackers; working to secretly recruit similarly dissatisfied scientists, military, transportation etc and building a resistance. An underground with brains. Diverse geography, St Louis (where Fed scientists were forced to move); Denver and DC metro area).

The Michigan Patriot Militia ~ an organized but unregulated vigilante organization confront the National Guard surrounding the Michigan State capitol building.  The MPM made an impressive show of armed force. While the encounter was intense and dangerous, the Militia withdrew without incident. The Governor made an impassioned plea for restraint and understanding.

The Harmar Hill Committee ~ near Marietta, Ohio has organized for gardening, animal husbandry and food distribution, medical services, policing and neighborhood watch, technology, and armed conflict. The Committee has a careful plan to control access to a predefined region, called the “676,” between Watertown and Lane’s Farm.



Tuesday June 9

The opening of businesses and public facilities in a dozen states has been a considerable disaster. New COVID-19 cases are spiraling to unprecedented numbers throughout Americas heartland. The capabilities of rural health facilities have been overwhelmed. States and municipalities have exhausted their rainy-day funds and are in desperate need for Federal assistance.

The disposition of the bodies of victims of the COVID-19 virus has become an urgent problem.

A Florida man has been arrested for burning nearly 100 bodies in a bon-fire. President Bonespur decried the arrest in an interview on Faux News, calling the man’s action to be heroic and resourceful, while calling the arresting-officers scum.


Friday June 19

The House of Representatives has passed new legislation to protect American homeowners from mortgage defaults and to protect renters from eviction.  Moscow Mitch refused to allow the bill on the Senate floor, consequently killing the bill and denying any protection to home-owners and renters.


Monday June 22

World-wide the pandemic had done great damage to the production of food and other essential products. Grocery stores empty shelves are more and more a feature. Coffee has become a product for rich people only and does not appear on store-shelves. Meat of any kind, eggs and milk are in limited supply and are priced as much as 10 times what they were priced 90 days earlier. This is an especially grim development for families out of work for three months and crushed with unpaid bills and faced with eviction.


Friday July 3

Governors in New York, Illinois, Colorado, and Michigan address the nation in a joint statement, pleading for immediate aid from the U.S. Government. Joining a dozen other states, these governors announce the firing of all public employees including public education, emergency services, and public health employees. President Bonespur goes on a tweet tirade blaming these governors for their mishandling of the pandemic and promises not to bankrupt the country for a Blue State bail out.


Friday July 10

The Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Health Care Act in a 5 to 4 vote. The Bonespur administration celebrates a long-desired victory. This ruling effectively ends healthcare coverage for 30 million Americans at the height of an out-of-control health epidemic.

30 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19; a bitter coincidence of numbers given the Supreme Court set-back to American heath care.

The American death toll is now at 248,000. President Bonespur signs an Executive Order denying access to CDC datasets related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently reporting of real numbers will largely be “best guess”; and the Federal government intends to retaliate against any such reporting.


Friday July 17

Home invasions, hate crimes, insurgencies by unregulated militias are on an alarming rise across the country.  President Bonespur signs an Executive Order suspending habeas corpus and ordered the mobilization of the U.S. military within the continental United States. The President’s directive to the military appears haphazard and nearly random. The Speaker of the House accused the President of violating the Posse Comitatus Act.

The mobilization of armed forces has been apparently aimed primarily at so-called “Blue” States.


Saturday October, 31

All Hallows Eve … Russia having been invited to again attack our elections by President Bonespur and in the wake of Moscow Mitch killing in the Senate any bills passed by the House to protect American elections from Russian meddling… Putin takes it to a new level; launching a cyber attack that shuts down the electric grid. America is in the dark.


Monday November 2

Armed vigilante militias are on the move in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We have this news from “ham” amateur radio operators, as the internet is basically non-existent. These groups roam unmolested by the U.S. military. In Michigan we have minority populations.

President Bonespur has declared Martial Law and has postponed the Presidential Election indefinitely.



Bud Houston ~ Cinnie Jones ~ Susan Fraser


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