Tenacious Spider

Spider builds a web

Every morning as we step out of the front door to go on our walk, I glance at the mailbox to the left and a spider will have built a web during the night. Sometimes there will be breakfast in it, sometimes not.

Every morning, I take the newspapers and swipe the web away.

Not sure what keeps the spider from building a web day after day after day. Is it because the feeding ground next to our mailbox is so plentiful that the cost of having to build a new web every night is an insignificant one? Is the spider just a “never give up, never surrender” type of spider? Is the spider just plain stupid that he just doesn’t know when he is hearing the word “no?” Does the spider just have no place else to go?

The web was there today. It will be there tomorrow.

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Averaging averages

Spend a weekend watching the news on TV. I did and here is what I conclude.

  • News anchors are really, really stupid and shallow people.
  • No news we like means we’ll just make up news
  • There can only be 3-5 news stories on TV at any one time, REGARDLESS of how many news channels you have in your cable package. Really???
  • Pundits spend their time commenting on comments that were made by people who commented on comments that other people may or may not have said or commented on what somebody else said … isn’t that like averaging averages???

And who the hell needs pundits, anyway. Most of them really have no clue what they are really talking about. They just like being on TV and being called on night or day for their “expertise” because it makes them feel important. For example, Ted Kennedy has a couple of seizures. Who does CNN trot out to fill them in? Dr. Sanjay Gupta. What??? He spends most of his time speculating on what kind of seizure Kennedy might have had and could have had and the prognosis of stuff that may not be true and the long-term effects of stuff that may have happened. Dr. Gupta is an expert at ANYTHING remotely medical. Wow! He must be the smartest man alive!

*HOWWWWWWWLLLL* Is there just not that much news elsewhere??

Read, think, don’t draw conclusions from headlines alone. I’m just a dog and even I know that a headline is just a “hook” to get you into the story, not the story itself. And whatever you do, if you don’t know what you are talking about, keep your mouth shut and your ears open. God made those organs at a 2:1 ratio for a damn good reason.

And don’t be arguing with God. He is the original pundit and the only one who really knows what he is talking about. 🙂 CNN should call him (or her, I don’t really know) on slow news days.

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Appeasing the under-educated white guy


Since Hillary’s win in North Carolina last Tuesday, the “news cycle” has been all about how Barack Obama is going to get the “under-educated, white man” vote. After watching news story after news story on this, a very large question suddenly dawned on me:

When did this country get to the point where the under-educated, white working class decides who gets to be the president of The United States of America in an information-based world-market economy, where the competitive advantage is determined by who has the smartest and most clever on board?

Wow! But the REAL question us dogs are barking about is:

How did we get to the point where the richest country in the world — with the greatest opportunity for individual achievement — produce such a large majority of under-educated people?

Could it be that the public education system is failing us? Could it be the we have become so arrogant and confident in our “place” in the world that we simply quit trying to become better? Could it be that our parents, in their quest to “give us a better life than they had” simply handed us what we needed for two generations instead of making us work for it? Could it be that we value economic contribution more than we value human contribution like art, creativity, knowledge, wisdom, music, love, etc as an end rather than a means? Could be a lot of things. Could be a lot of a lot of things.

I watched an episode of 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock last night where he and his wife tried to live on minimum wage for 30 days. In the richest country in the world, what did them in was a “medical emergency” that cost them $1,200.00 and change. They worked hard, they saved.. but they worked minimum wage jobs. Only their time and labor was valued; their health was something that they could have, if they could afford it. In the richest country in the world. That should anger people everywhere, educated or not. But, it doesn’t seem to. We’re all just living each day, hoping to not get sick or injured.

I suspect that for a lot of under-educated folk in this country, that is their fate. While there are probably many reasons that “white guys in North Carolina” may be under-educated, the argument I’ve been getting around the block is that there is nothing wrong with not having a college degree. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work a blue-collar job.

Except there is EVERYTHING wrong with having a MAJORITY of a population NOT being educated in the richest country in the world, in the middle of a world economy that is fueled by a knowledge workforce. If you want to become a plumber, that is fine, but don’t do it without an education. And don’t allow the media to define “under-educated” as “stupid and provincial”, but that is a whole other argument. Please forgive me if I don’t address that; I can only sniff one topic at a time. I’m a dog.

So, I think we are witnessing the first step in the decline of a great nation, whether we want to or not. There is still time to reverse this trend and make education a top priority; not just for those who can afford it, but by anyone who wants it. Because, if we don’t do that soon, we will soon have a majority of under-educated citizens falling prey to short-term solutions that eventually resolve nothing except our own demise.

We must resolve to become competitive and invest in our human infrastructure. Education for those who want it, regardless of the ability to pay and health care just because we are human beings. That is not socialism as uber-conservatives would like you to believe; that is just plain ol’ common-sense capitalism. Invest in what will make you more. And smart people are now the new machinery and factories.

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About Rufus

Some people have wondered about who Rufus really is and wondered if he is really who he says he is on DogWalkBlog (and elsewhere). So, just so you know.. and you know who you are.. everything on this blog is real. Here are some popular questions.

Is Rufus a real dog?
Yes, Rufus is very real. He was born in June 2000 and “rescued” from Jack’s in Trotwood by a very caring family who lives in Englewood, Ohio. There, he has flourished in the lap of near luxury, enjoying a MINIMUM of three walks a day, chasing rabbits, squirrels and playing with a squeaky toy.

Does Rufus really write this blog?
Well… not really,. He is, after all a dog and he has no thumbs. So, typing is very difficult. But, he is the alter-ego of his owner from time to time. At other times, he is a reflection of the world around him. Everything is this blog is a nakedly honest opinion as there really is no reason for a dog to lie or act a part. Rufus may change his mind from time to time or alter an opinion after some reflection, but the writings are a genuine glimpse into his mind.

What is Rufus’ favorite food?
He is a dog, so he has trouble narrowing down his one favorite. But, in order of preference, honey-dipped Tim Bits (but only from the Englewood store), then a double cheeseburger — without ketchup and onions — from McDonalds, Wendy’s vanilla frosty, a Frosty Paws from Captain Freeze and hot dogs from Englewood Indoor Soccer late at night.

Does Rufus vote? Does he have a political affiliation?
Rufus does not vote, but again, he is a dog. He does not have any political affiliation. He does pee on the Englewood Government Center lawn, but he has not yet shared what he really means by that. He has no political affiliation and his only criteria for being critical of any politician is they are acting stupidly.

How about a religion? Does Rufus believe in God?
People, again Rufus is a dog. But he celebrates all major religious holidays as long as they have some sort of food attached to them. Rufus does believe in God because things are way to complicated and designed to be a happy accident.

How do I become a fan of Rufus?
That one is easy. Just comment on his blog or send an email to rufus@dogwalkblog.com and ask to become a Rufus Fan. If you give him a mailing address and your name, he will send you an autographed photo with a personal message.

Last question. Does Rufus really sign his photos?
Yes, that is Rufus’ real paw print on the photo every fan gets.

Last question, for real, I promise. I want to send you something. Can I have your address?
Sure. If you would like to send a card or a letter or something like that, send it to:
DogWalkBlog, PO Box 6, Englewood, OH 45322

If it is larger, like a big box of sweaty money (extra points for naming that movie reference)
DogWalkBlog, 893 S. Main St, Unit 245, Englewood, OH 45322

Footnote I finally added on Dec 14, 2014: Rufus passed away on Oct 7, 2008. I still him terribly.

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Myths and Rumors about Rufus

Some people have wondered about who Rufus really is and wondered if he is really who he says he is on DogWalkBlog (and elsewhere). So, just so you know.. and you know who you are.. everything on this blog is real. Here are some popular questions.

Is Rufus a real dog?
Yes, Rufus is very real. He was born in June 2000 and “rescued” from Jack’s in Trotwood by a very caring family who lives in Englewood, Ohio. There, he has flourished in the lap of near luxury, enjoying a MINIMUM of three walks a day, chasing rabbits, squirrels and playing with a squeaky toy.

Does Rufus really write this blog?
Well… not really,. He is, after all a dog and he has no thumbs. So, typing is very difficult. But, he is the alter-ego of his owner from time to time. At other times, he is a reflection of the world around him. Everything is this blog is a nakedly honest opinion as there really is no reason for a dog to lie or act a part. Rufus may change his mind from time to time or alter an opinion after some reflection, but the writings are a genuine glimpse into his mind.

What is Rufus’ favorite food?
He is a dog, so he has trouble narrowing down his one favorite. But, in order or preference, honey-dipped Tim Bits (but only from the Englewood store), then a double cheeseburger — without ketchup and onions — from McDonalds, Wendy’s vanilla frosty, a Frosty Paws from Captain Freeze and hot dogs from Englewood Indoor Soccer late at night.

Does Rufus vote? Does he have a political affiliation?
Rufus does not vote, but again, he is a dog. He does not have any political affiliation. He does pee on the Englewood Government Center lawn, but he has not yet shared what he really means by that. He has no political affiliation and his only criteria for being critical of any politician is they are acting stupidly.

How about a religion? Does Rufus believe in God?
People, again Rufus is a dog. But he celebrates all major religious holidays as long as they have some sort of food attached to them. Rufus does believe in God because things are way to complicated and designed to be a happy accident.

How do I become a fan of Rufus?
That one is easy. Just comment on his blog or send an email to rufus@dogwalkblog.com and ask to become a Rufus Fan. If you give him a mailing address and your name, he will send you an autographed photo with a personal message.

Last question. Does Rufus really sign his photos?
Yes, that is Rufus’ real paw print on the photo every fan gets.

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The City of Englewood at it again!

I recently received a mailer from Rumpke regarding the change in our trash removal service. It had a few more details than the official City newsletter had. I called the City of Englewood to clarify the “one bulk item” definition. As I do most of my own home-improvement projects as a hobby and relaxation, I was concerned I would no longer have access to construction debris removal as would be expected from a bathroom remodel.

Matt in the government office confirmed my fear, but he was quick to point out the City was saving a million dollars by switching to Rumpke. I then took out my calculator.

Using a basis of approximately 23,000 residents (could be a few more or less.. not sure how many apartment renters are in that count) I calculated out $36.00/year that Rumpke would be pushing off on us for container rental. That came to $828,000, just shy of a million dollars. But, since our $36.00 is AFTER taxes, the REAL cost of renting a container, given the lowest tax brackets, is $45.99 a year. (Your cost may vary, depending on your tax bracket.) This pushes the real cost to $1,057,00.00. A hair over a million dollars the City is “saving.”

As far as me and my third-grade math are concerned, we are now getting fewer services for just a bit more money than we are now paying. And the City is saving a million dollars on our behalf.

If my calculations are not accurate or I am missing something, I invite the City to call and correct me. I suspect a call will not be forthcoming

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