The real death of the Dayton Daily News

For those of you who may not know, I was with the Dayton Daily News from 1998-2002. It was perhaps the most meaningful period of my life, in which I learned how to write objectively, think independently, treasure really, really talented people around me, learned how to change the world with little more than a thought and a pen, to learn patience, compassion and humility from greater human beings and learned how to find meaning in a job where I was paid almost nothing and expected to accomplish almost everything. I loved every heartache of the 4 1/2 years I spent there.

Yesterday, I visited the DDN building on Ludlow Ave in downtown Dayton. They were having a public sale where furniture, computer equipment, etc was being sold for whatever they could get. I went to walk the halls for one last time, to hear my friends, colleagues and mentors in my head one last time, to reclaim the same excitement I felt coming into the old newspaper building every morning. I was not disappointed.

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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.

What I think about the writers’ strike

I was going to stay silent on this, but one too many people used the term “their fair share” and that just sent me over the edge.

Writers should get compensated for their skills. God knows, there are very few talented, MARKETABLE writers out there who can actually deliver a product within specification and deadline. These writers should get very well paid for their work. Here’s where I have a problem with the writers.

They get paid when they write and deliver the script. They get paid for rewrites. They get paid throughout the whole process. Yet, the studio owners, producers, etc DO NOT. They only get paid AFTER the work is in the can, out in theatres and, in the case of the Bee Movie well after the 200th million DVD is sold 🙂

But, if the work flops, the writers don’t have to give the money they got paid back. That is just a loss to the studio and the investors. And, far more works flop than make money. Yet, the writers STILL get paid.

So, let the writer share in the profit of DVD sales and Internet advertising. But, let them also share in the risk by not getting paid unless and until their work makes money. No? Only want the upside of things? Um. Most people do. They are called employees.

Saying hi

A whole month goes by, 92 walks later and Rufus has not posted up anything on his blog… that is not to say lots isn’t happening, but no time to write it down… argh..

It is raining today. Rained yesterday night and Rufus is pouting. He is sleeping on the carpet piece on the kitchen floor because Christian stole his futon mattress for his student housing…. not liking the rain…

If you have a Facebook account, be sure to join the group Rufus.

My fifteen minutes of fame

My fifteen minutes of fame
Thursday, February 1st, 2007 07:01:27 AM

Well, it finally happened! I’m famous, at least for the next fifteen minutes. So, I thought I would take this space to shout out to the various places and folks that got a mention in my article! (Dayton Daily News, Neighbors Northwest, page 1.) Tim Hortons, Rivershark, Inc., TourneyCental, and our very, very Special Olympics Polar Plunge that you should pledge, even if it is only a buck. Please folks, this is a really, really important and fun event. So pledge!! And if you want to come out and plunge, give Rufus a call at 937-836-6255.

And of course, a link back to the DDN at www.daytondailynews.com (or at our soccer page here.)

Well, that is about all of my fifteen minutes, so go back to your lives, read some more articles and get yourself addicted to blogs. They’re fun to read; fun to write.. (except for that space bar.. I don’t have thumbs and it is hard to hit…)

Where have we been?

It has been AGES since we blogged, so our loyal fans are probably wondering where we have been. We are still here, doing three walks a day.

It has been a couple of high-travel months for me, and the January panic set in rather deeply this year, so there has not been that much time to writing.. well, the time has been there, but the mental exhaustion that comes with long days, has also been here. I promise to write more often.

Rufus has converted the entire Tim Horton’s morning crew. We pull up almost every day and order a large decaf, with a heat sleeve, a two Homey-dipped Tim Bits. Most of the time, they give them to Rufus for free. We’re going to induct them in the Rufus Fan Club once we get that off the ground (hopefully by summer!)

Well. not much else to say and it is once again time to walk the puppy!

In the third person

Well, a funny thing happened when I decided to write a blog about my walks with Rufus.. I find myself writing the blog entry in the third person as I am walking, complete with sentence deletes and re-writes… I’m not sure if it a good thing, but it is a thing.. I’ll have to keep thinking about that.

Nothing special today.. walked on the Palace side of the street to Union.. crossed there and went to Java Spot.. had a cup of decaf and Rufus had a coffee cake muffin…. walked back behind Kmart, chased a rabbit.. (didn’t catch it, but made a really good effort…)