Mild as it’s been, enjoying late autumn


Louis the boy dog at Lake Starnberg in Upper Bavaria

It’s been mild, we get it. November was rather warm here in Munich, and there hasn’t been much sunlight. It’s a good time to hole up and read. Or write.

However, when you’ve got dogs, there’s only so long you can stay inside. I’ve tried to convince the hounds to take themselves out, but they seem to appreciate my company. So outside we go.

The above photo was taken at Lake Starnberg a few weeks ago, and what a gorgeous day that was. There’ve been plenty of those lately.

Why am I throwing in a photo of Louis and not much else? Well, a little while ago, I wrote Once you get a taste of The Daily Argus, you can’t get enough. It got plenty of attention, and I even got a nice comment from the people over at The Daily Argus.

Here’s exactly what was said:

Hi Ken! Thanks so much for your kind words about Argus. We’d LOVE to see posts about Ella & Louis. Let us know if you ever come to Austin and we can get the pups together. I’d love to hear about living in Munich, also. We’ve traveled extensively but haven’t been anywhere in Germany yet – Munich is high on our list. Cheers!

Looks like we’ve got new Vizsla friends. If you’ve not yet been there, take a look at The Daily Argus. Good stuff.

I’ll leave you with a nice shot of a snail I got the other day:



Once you get a taste of The Daily Argus, you can’t get enough

This YouTube video made my day, and I was already having a rather good one to begin with. A good day, that is. It’s a Vizsla trying to get a Tater Tot…the YouTube blurb says that after the taping, Argus eventually got the object of his desire. Heart warming, eh?

You know this is my favourite breed, right? I haven’t blogged about them in a good long while, but I’ve got sister and brother Hungarian Vizslas called Ella and Louis.

They are the centre of my world. It’s hard to describe how much joy they bring me daily. I had a friend in college, whose mother was Hungarian, and the family had a Vizsla boy dog. He was such a sweet and intelligent hound.

My family growing up always rescued dogs from animal shelters, and I continue to think that adoption is normally the best option for house pets. However, when I met that first Vizsla more than 20 years ago, I vowed that one day I’d have one of these dogs.

And what a joy it’s been.

So, after seeing the above video with dear Argus, I was thrilled to learn he’s even got his one blog. Can you believe it? Look, here it is:

The Daily Argus

Isn’t that delightful. And they’re even in Austin, which is one of my old stomping grounds. Wonder if I’ll run into Argus when I’m back over there visiting family at some point.

This reminds me: For years, I’ve considered writing some sort of fiction (or nonfiction even) with Ella and Louis as either the subjects or the main characters. I’ve got so many photos of them from when they were puppies, as well as throughout their lives, and even up to just last week. Endless photos, I’m telling you. Doesn’t matter how many I’ve taken of them wrestling and posing and panting, I can’t seem to get enough.

Is that something you think people would be interested in? Stories of Ella and her slightly slower brother Louis? Would you read that?

There have always been some people who follow me online just to see more photos of these gorgeous dogs. Well, here’s one for the likes of you:

Much younger Ella and Louis basking in the sunlight

Oh, by the way. Thanks again to Argus for giving me a reason to blog about my favourite dogs. That video with the Tater Tot showed perseverance, didn’t it?

Welcome to the club

I’m mailing it in a bit this time around. There are so many things on my mind that I’m excited to blog about, but I really need a bit more time to develop the ideas. So instead, I’ve decided to include a video that the The Guardian put together. It’s on their open journalism page, and it’s really worth watching. You don’t even have to click over to it. I’ve embedded the video into the post. Have a look:

There’s so much to think about, right?

There’s so much visual stimuli, but the things that jumped out at me were:

‘keep your chinny chin chins up fellas’

‘I knew the wolf. There’s no way he could’ve blown down those houses. He had asthma’

‘”Huff and Puff” simulation’

and my favorite was one of the signs at the demonstration that said:Wake up and smell the bacon

Although, when I saw this the first time there was plenty  of both positive and even negative feedback on the whole idea. The future of media seems to be one of those darling topics of both serious and not-so-serious thinkers. Last week at South by Southwest in Austin, the editor-in-chief of the New York TimesJill Abramson, spoke at length about this very thing. Oh wait, here’s Jill Abramson Plays the Tech Neophyte at SXSW over at The New York Observer.

But I’m not going to rehash any of the things that were said about The Guardian‘s foray into all of this. You came here for my take.

For me, there’s no question that modern organisations have to grapple with how to deal with new media. Specifically with the way that the reader/viewer has grown accustomed to being a participant. I must admit that when I see a cable news show letting their programming be steered by the idiocy of their viewers, I get irritable. It’s one of those things that really makes me worry about our future collective intelligence.

Yet if I’m honest, I must admit that you take the good with the bad. If we’re going to open media up to the masses, and the genie has been let out of the bottle on this one, then we’re going to sometimes see the dark underbelly of humanity.

In a very critical way, it makes us responsible in a way that we’ve never seen. Even though there will likely always be more trusted news sources than others, we have to be more particular about what/who we believe than any other time in history. We joke about it. We say, ‘I saw it on the internet – it must be true,‘ while knowingly winking at the utter ridiculousness of such a statement.

One of my closest friends tells a story about Sunday mornings at his grandfather’s house. His eyes light up when he tells it. My heart warms a bit just thinking of it, as well. Are you ready? You’re going to love this.

Early in the morning, before everyone was awake, grandfather would amble down to the store and buy a selection of various newspapers. He’d come home with freshly-baked bread from the panadería, and spread all those papers out on the floor. They’d spend hours reading the same stories from different perspectives. As a result, my friend is one of the most balanced and curious people I’ve ever known.

What do I want? 

Glad you asked. Don’t read the same old newspapers you’ve always read. Don’t go to the same websites and assume that the information is good enough. It’s not. Read something that challenges you – something you are sure you disagree with. It’s worth it. It really is.

What’re you scared of? 

Being wrong.

Welcome to the club.

the smart pigs who're sometimes wrong club