Hello Everyone, and First of all, Thank you one and all for the wonderful support you have provided me through the months and years since I lost Kathy. As you know, she was the light of my life and I still miss her every second of every day. So may things have happened over this period of my life, I really do not know where to begin. Although I have been very remiss in making any posts to it, I would like to thank Jeff and Peter for providing me the opportunity to use this space in Skyhoundz for this blog. I love to tell stories, and I am a fair writer, but for me to sit and do this has just been very hard up to this point. However, I now have so very positive and happy news which I can present for you reading pleasure. (if you want to read about me that is) LOL….
Just prior to Kathy’s parting, Four wonderful people in Europe (Belgium to be exact) decide to start a European contest in Kathy’s honor to promote the Fun side of the sport, rather than the competitive side. Bring the family, the dog, the disc and enjoy a day of fun in the sun (for the most part) and see who comes out on top with the very loose but very fair and fun contest involved in the KMARCh. (Kathy Miller And Ruckus Challenge) Although Freeflight is involved in some legs of the contest, it is not the focus of the contest, it is just one of the fun parts. The bigger part is games played by everyone from all age brackets, and the fun and joy of just having a good time with your pup and a disc. The first year, 2008, three contest were held in three consecutive weekends in the same location. The first was attended by 14 teams, and the word started to spread that it was fun. They played games, and at the end of the day they awarded prizes and had food and drink for everyone. By the third weekend, the four people running the contest were exhausted, but had some great memories and lots of new friend and teams in the sport. The number had grown to around 30 teams, and plans were already in form for 2009.
Kathy was advised prior to her death January 3rd 2009 that the contest had such a great reception and caused lots of joy and fun, and she was very pleased about this. In 2009 there were 4 countries which hosted KMARCh contests, and many others were starting to request hosting for the next seasons. Sad to say, the four who started this whole event, had a separation in which one couple moved to another continent, and since I have only seen them at the Skyhoundz world contest in Chattanooga. However Two of the four have done a world of work continuing this event, and hope to do so for may years to come. These two along with many others from many countries have done a wonderful job promoting the sport of K9 Frisbee (sorry Skyhoundz, I’ll put a dollar in the jar) and disc dogin all over Europe. In 2010, the contest were limited to two (Hungary and Belgium) because of wanting to review and start to prepare for 2011 and making it a strong international event. In Budapest 2010, the largest ever contest in Europe was held with 152 teams showing their skills in several games as well as freeflight. This year, 2011 I have just returned from a one month stay in Europe and traveled to the Netherlands, Austria and Italy for the first three legs of the KMARCh, and I will return for three weeks in August for Rumania, Hungary and the finals in Belgium. Next year is looking like France and Germany will become members of this wonderful event as well, and more keep asking all the time.
I don’t know how Sven and Katrine handle all of this, especially considering that they are now the proud parents of Maxim, the first of what they hope will be two children. Got the boy, want a girl. OH, and Masim is my God Son.
So, beyond these great happenings, when I was in Hungary 2009, I met a beautiful, wonderful young girl, Szilvia Toth, who unknowingly helped me move past the loss of Kathy. Had she been interested, I think I would have married her is a hot second, but she was only 23, and I seriously do not think I could have handled that….
We talk on a more or less regular basis, and I credit her with making me realize life is there for the living, so take hold of it and do not let go. After returning home from my country wide venture along with the trip to Europe, I decided to start looking for someone to spend the rest of my earthly life with, because I love my pups, but they can not talk back when I talk to them, and sex is out of the question…. (yes, that is a joke, no smart comments or thoughts please) LOL
Through a turn of events (ask me in person and I will tell you the whole story) I became involved with online dating, and through a period of almost two years I have been involved with multiple sites, and more women than I care to admit. However it has given me a real view of life in other countries, attitudes of different nationalities, and intent for either true love or just looking for a way into the USA for citizenship. Oh, and then there are the scams for money, (the stories I can tell about that………). Anyway, 2010 was good to me in many ways, because I met a wonderful young man from China who plays disc with his BC there and actually arranged for me to make a trip to China to judge the first AWI Qualifier,
Meeting Sandy Gin was interesting to say the least, (again, ask me for some stories) but sad to say, she was not the one. However, meeting all the disc dog teams and spending some time with them was just super.
Carrying forward, I did not give up on the idea of finding a lady from China, and my patients has been rewarded. This year, I have become very involved in coordination for the China DiscDogs and AWI, and although sponsorship funding was lost for this year, next year looks very promising to build the sport in China. Last year there was not sufficient time to get visa’s for winners to travel to the USA, but this year they had started proceedings well before contest time to try to bring winners to compete in the World Finals. As of this week, there are 5 teams and three companions which are working on visas to come to the USA for Disc Doging….
Anyway, back to me……. I was looking at an email which was a standard “women who you may match with” from one of the many dating sites I had become a member of, and decided to attempt contact with one lady who caught my fancy. She was looking for someone a bit younger than I, but I composed an introduction hoping she may check out my profile before looking at my age. I guess it worked, because we will be married July 3rd in ChengDu China and she will follow me to the USA within a few months.
Our government must be convinced that she is not a terrorist, nor just trying to gain entry to the USA. And yes, I have been through all of that with many friends and relatives, but this lady loves me, and I have no worries of this kind. She actually has a beautiful life in China which she is going to leave behind to start our life together.
On April 13th, I made a trip to Brussels to hook up with Sven for a one month stay and the first 3 legs of the KMARCh and having one weekend free there, I jumped on a KLM flight and 22 hours later I met (Hua Han) Kelly, pronounced kay lee in person. We spent a beautiful 6 days together and shortly after returning back to the USA, I went ahead and asked her to spend her life with me. After she stopped crying, she did say yes, and yesterday I bought my Tux for the wedding.
Now let me tell you the best part of this story. While in ChengDu, Kelly and I had occasion to visit a playday for the ChengDu Discdog community.
It was pure havoc, and after spending 3+hours teaching and working with them, I suggested they change how the playdays are done. When I got there, about 18-20 border collies were running loose on the field all after the same disc, ball, other dog, or anything moving. I tried to have one or two show me what they were doing with their own pup, and it was futile. It was funny, because before I departed I suggested that in the future they keep all but one or two crated or tied while working with working with that one or two so some progress could be made. It was like the light bulb turned on. LOL “Oh, that sounds like a good idea……. ” Ya think………..
So Kelly is sitting on the side the whole three hours watching and taking photos. Fights broke out right next to her, dogs almost knocked her down chasing stray disc, but she never flinched one time. Then, the day I leave for home we go out on the courtyard in front of the 19th floor flat she owns and I give her a disc. I turn and walk away about 18 yards, turn to her and say throw it. She did, and it hit me right in the chest like she had thrown them all her life. And, I taught her 5 or 6 other throws in 20 minutes…. Can you see my smile….. I am sure it will take some time, but we are going to have fun with this.
After returning home, I have been trying to do things around the house, but there seems to always be something happening to slow this down. There was the Skyhoundz Regional weekend again, held in Kathy’s honor, and it was a big success this year. Saturday produced some amazing freestyles, and at the end of the day we had some great teams talking about the trip to Chattanooga. I will be there again this year as Field Manager again, and hopefully able to qualify in the D/A with one of my boys.
So, the rest of my year will be busy busy busy. Working on the house as much as possible, July to China to marry, August to Europe for the last 3 KMARCh games and then September/October off across the country for a week in Chattanooga, two in Florida and then to Missouri for my last contest before going home for the year. I look forward to seeing many of you on the road at some point, and there is always beer in my tent….. Come see me.
So after almost 3000 miles across the country, and 8000 since I left home two months earlier, I come to the Victorville area entering the mountains going down to San Bernardino and on to home, I come across major wind, 60-80 MPH, and just as I clear that I find this…… The San Bernardino Mountain range is on fire for three to four days, and has reached the pass. I was very lucky it was open to traffic, but saw lots of live fires as I went down.
. . The year kind of just slipped away from this point, but on it’s way out I lost out on several very good deals which I was very upset over. However, due to a quirk of phat I wound up very happy. I had decided that the travel trailer was just way to much trouble being by myself with three Mal’s, so I started looking for a Class A Motor Home for my travels and to live in when I sell in California. I will then be looking for property to build on in more than one state. Something small, but comfortable so I don’t need to live in the Coach all year round, and can be either east or west to enjoy all the winter disc in the south. I mortgaged myself up to my eyeballs, but had a real sweet deal and just could not walk away from it. So when you see me on the road now, it will look like this……
The dogs love it, and found the bed in a matter of minutes, and it is just way to easy for me,,,,,, but I love it…… Roll up, open up, shut it off, hook up if I need, and I am done… Minutes, rather than and hour or more.
I have been to a few contests with it, and it is just a real dream….. It was like moving from a volkswagen to a Cadillac. And I like it….. or a motel 6 to a Hilton. My plan, now that I am retired, is to travel the country during the summer, and hit all the contest I can to help, watch, play, what ever seems right at the time. Then in the winter months, (I don’t like snow unless I have boards on my feet) I will got east or west for a portion of time and have an actual home to stay in. Hopefully Florida and California, with small parcels able to handle the motor home in several states across the country where I, or anyone from or sport with a travel lust can spend time.
Anyway, 2009 finally ended, and 2010 started with the purchase, and that was the start to what I hope is a much much better year……
Then, after the Coach, I decided to go back to Motorcycles and enjoy them again. Kathy and I had a 650 Triumph Bonneville, Harley Davidson Hog, 175 Yamaha Enduro, 49cc Yamaha Mini Enduro (the first year out still in storage) and now I have a 650 Yamaha V-Star Custom which I just love. I also purchased a used Chevy Avarea for a contest, or anything else.alanche which will be used to transport me/tent/discs/dogs and anything else when we settle in an
. . So,when you see me on the road, it will be the bike on a rack and towing the truck…. I Can’t Wait…..
Well, I guess it’s been a very long time since I got back here to update my blog, and for that I am sorry, but now that I am stranded here in Belgium for a few days, I seem to have time to add some…. Thanx to a Volcano in Iceland that had a cough like I do just now, there is this ash cloud hoovering over Europe and the United Kingdom and I seem to have time to kill…. So, back to 2009 and Florida…… I was touring both east and west Florida looking at Property, (yes, I may well buy land and build there) and while in Bradenton disaster struck me and started a strong end to a very bad year.
The trip to Europe was the highlight of my year, but the rest, starting with the loss of Kathy, was not so good. After Napperville, and my only carer 10 in execution (a drop-less routine) I headed to Atlanta where after seeing fluid flow out of the transmission I was told they would replace parts to ensure no more problems. Right……. It was not put back together correct, and by the time I continued on to Florida there were more problems with my Ford truck. To make a very long story short, I wound up in Bradenton heading to yet another Ford dealership hoping to get the problems resolved.
While driving along Manatee Blvd, coming to an open left turn lane which I was going to use, with my foot already on the brake I looked away from the road for 2 seconds to pick up my sun glasses and during this period a pickup jumped in front of me and came to a stop blocking my entry to this left turn lane. Traffic was stopped in front of him, and ofcourse I had no place to go with my 12-14,000 lbs. of truck and trailer. Another 8-10 inches and I would have stopped before striking him, but……… I did not realize at the time, but he then accelerated into the car in front of him, which I used to show my insurance company it had to be a setup.. When they checked his record, (although there is no actual way to prove this) it was done for insurance fraud. You see, this driver had had this same exact accident 7 times in the last 8 years….. Ya think they would give me a brake, but that did not happen… See what you thing from the photos. My truck first ( I replaced my bumper and that was all). Second his truck rear and front, and then the auto he struck…. Go figure……
I did get the truck fixed from the first problem, but that cost me a bunch in the whole picture…..
Now I was off to Chattanooga and Skyhoundz World Finals. Had a real blast at that, but the rain just really caused heck for all of us. I could just kill myself over one event which happened. Mid day on Saturday, the clouds unzipped and it was more like standing in a water fall than just rain. So, the contest came to a screeching halt and everyone ran for cover in the stands and dug-outs because of thunder and lightning. However, there was this one nut case who wanted his turn at bat, rain or no rain. And I didn’t have the foresight to get out my video. Rain pouring down on the field below, there is Todd Murnan and Bella doing his whole routine from start to finish….. And he didn’t miss a lick. She caught ever disc he threw but one, and made all the vaults with ease, and what a sight it was to see his trademark (spin the dog over his head) move in the storm…… All I, and the other 3-4 people who saw it could say was WOW….. Are that crazy, or what…….. LOL
I almost hope if Todd comes again this year that it rains again,,,,,, cuz I’ll be ready this time………..
Mid afternoon the evening the night Peter and Jeff (came out)…. They had gone to the river area down town Pest (pronounced Pesh) this is the West area of Budapest. Before the merge there were two cities, Buda and Pest which in the late 19th century became what is now Budapest. The danube river area has some incredible architecture and amazing history.
We had planned to meet them, but with over 2.5 milion people, airplane races and all the other celibration for the Hungarian 4th of July, it just did not work out. After some events we will not talk about, we finally wound up just off the river in front of the aprox. 1 mile long show area, the fireworks started….. I have never, and I mean never seen anything like it.
Pictures will come later, because Barb (wife of Jozsi) had her camera going through the whole 22 min of fireworkss at the river.
So the week went very well. The Kathy Miller and Ruckus Trophy (KMRT) was held Sunday, and everyone had just a blast. Gave out many awards, got hugs, kisses, ( I like the kiss the cheek tradition, especially for the cute ones) awh, they are all cute here……..
Then, Monday rolled around. Seminar time…… Sven and I gave an all day training seminar to 20+ people. No dogs, except the few wandering looking for someone to play with. They caught me by surprise, and I had no idea it would be as many, or detailed. I was expecting Q and A for help, and spent a lot of time improvising, but It was well worth the effort for the students, Sven and myself. We covered How to teach, through complex disc mgmt and routine setup, tricks and music. Pre routine, correction for errors or interruptions and even more. All these things I can teach, but can not do….. Go figure…..
At the end of the day, they brought out food, treats, fun and “Palinka”…… This is a local drink with fruit in it. They pour out the drink, then the fruit, and feed it to you in any order. Only one word for it….. GOOOOOOOOOOOD……………… The meals, the friends the whole nine yards were just off the hook. We ended the day viewing the Freeflight from the KMRT and critiquing it. Then Tuesday we were going to go to a park near where the Skyhoundz European Qualifier was to be held and do some one on one with the teams……. I just love this, this is what I do best…..
Next day we head off, and saw some unbelievable sights as we travel. Budapest is a must do if you come to Europe. And a local Guide (not a pro) is just off the scale. Oh, and I had 6 at one time or another……. We get to the park, and I will not schare you with the parking and moving from the cars to the field. Your hearts may not be able to handle it….. It is a great area, (except for the sprinkler ((moved by hand)) keeps getting closer and closer to where we are working) and all the teams go hide under the shade trees. One by one we take out 12 or 14 teams and ask ” so what can we do for you”. We had some very interesting requests, but I think the very best was Richard, (who is in a wheel chair) asked for help with a freeflight routine. Now Richard can throw the disc, but has no idea of how to develop an idea for he and his pup…… So, in 15-20 min, we put together something which I very much think you will all see in 2010 at world….. Enough said, but……
His last question (left front hand on his knee) was “have you ever had a wheel chair Pairs team………………….” He has three friends who want to get in on our fun…….. I can’t wait till 2010, and I will have a first hand view because I have been asked back to do it again next year already.
Wednesday was our day of rest. Only rest entailed sight seeing……. something I will never forget. It was late, but with my (local guide) Jozsi, (yosee) Oh, and that’s Szisz with him.we made our final stop at the Hero’s Square which is an area about the size of a large football field. The surface is not concrete, not marble, but called arduin which is a natural mineral hard stone. At the center and one end are large stands of statues. In the middle, the two dogs with us spot a frisbee being thrown around…… Game On…… We wound up spending over two hours teaching two complete strangers (boys) how to throw, skip catch, and other moves with two flying disc thay had which were close, but not frisbee’s. WHAT A BLAST……..
So, now Thursday rolls around, and we start to talk of the arrival of Peter B and Jeff P (of Skyhoundz fame)……The question is, where do you think they will stay.
Ok, The first words out of every mouth, and I mean Every Mouth, was (NoT HERE)…. Somehow no one saw them as the camping kind. Yup, we were right. But………. They did show for drinks and conversation….. Well, Drinks anyway…….. No, we did talk,,,,,,, Well, Peter did anyway…… We moved to the fire pit after I had shown both where the beer was. It seems that when the arrived, they were only offered Palinka, and unlike me did not ask where the heck the beer was…….. Can you spell mistake….. Bantering started between the two of them, and I was sitting with Szisz and Sophi listing to Peter try to tell his story around Jeff baiting him into why it was wrong.. Can you guess who was the brunt of the story….. Ok, I am watching what is going on, and make a commeth in jest to Szisz and Sophi. “This is normal for them (Peter and Jeff) they do this so much, they are like an old married couple arguing”. Szisz got the joke and asked which was the female side of the team, but Sophi thought I was serious and asked, ” so does that make them gay”. I will let you imagine the rest of the evening…….. All I will say is if you ever have the choice of Palinka or beer TAKE THE BEER…………………….. Sorry, no pic’s yet. But, I am waithing to hear from others who were there.
Ok, I started this one night after I got in, but the keyboard I had to use was a europan version and they are not like the us. keys are not the same location, so I saved it to edit later…… Later is now…….
Well, here I am in Budapest in a campground with a great group of people from several countries. I am tying to type on a european key board (which is no where near like an american one) waiting for dinner to be done. There are two teams here from Rumania (spelling) which are first time in the sport. Yesterday was the 3rd leg of KMRT and had 53 teams enter. It was an off the hook day, and there is way more to come. Sven V and I held a seminar day and will be going to a park in down town Budapest in the morning to watch and talk about freestyle routiens of the teams or help with things they want.
The camp is very third world, but just the best. I received VIP treatment in that I was given the garden area to put up my tent instead of out on the dirt lot for everyone else.
The showers are a cargo container which had been set up to handle a basin, two showers and what would be a changing room. When I finally was able to take time to get a show, I found that the watter was driven by a pump….. So, when you would turn it on, it would pump for maybe 45- 90 seconds and then shut down for 15. Ok, when it is on, the temp and pressure is fine, but when it shuts down, it then builds up hot watter in the pipe and as it starts the next time it will scald you….. Sooooo, it goes like this. Turn on the watter, wait for the correct temp, wait for it to shut down the first time, hold it away from you for 3 seconds when it comes on, now put watter on your body/hair/what ever….. When it stops, hold it away till it starts again and after 3-5 sec you can stand the temp. You wet down, shut off the watter. lather up, turn on the watter, scrub, watter on, watter off, watter on, watter off…… once you are rinsed, turn off and dry. Now that is camping….
There were Geese, Sheep, dogs and people at the camp. It was to be a Frisbee camp, but as it stood, it was more like a summer camp for dogs…… At any given time, there were at minimum 3-5 Bc’s, Austie’s, Mal’s, Kelpie’s and a mix of other great breads running around having a blast. And then the fun really started when it got up to 10-15 or more.
Sleeping was a problem at times, as in one night a fox got into the Geese, and from what we know, one of the unbelivabley good pot meals cooked for the whole camp had Goose in it……… Ya think…..It was two weeks of great people, great fun, great food, lots of discin, and two to the most beautiful helpers I could imagine. The night I came in, there is a gate at the front of the complex. As Kata and I walk up to it, the gate is pushed open by this vision of a dream who announces In English, Hi, my name is Szilvia Toth. After I stumbled on it, she tells me to just call her Szizs (pronounced Sis, or very close to that). Now this is one beautiful vision, and then we get to the main camp area and I am then introduced to Sophie, Szisz’s sister. We will go into who they are much late, but let me tell you this, My heart almost stopped, and the week could not have started in a finer way. Siz in front, and Sophie in shorts. BTW, thats Ann Geets from Holland with the cool paw tats on her arm.
Leaving the usa was easy, but getting through London/Heathrow was interesting. I made it through customs and getting from one terminal to the other, but my luggage didn’t….. When I arrived in Budapest, I was to contact Kata Kerenyi by phone to pick me up, and had to make her wait way to long. I stood at the baggage ramp until all bags were gone, and then found my way to the Lost/Found desk. It was lucky the attendant spoke english (sort of)… After making a report on paper as to my address (USA because I had no idea for Budapest) and phone numbers to reach me, I was then told to go to the next counter to file this re port of lost luggage and when it came in it would be sent to me……. NOT…. I made it very clear that it was not to be sent to me, but I would pick it up. Now, I had told the first agent this to start with, but he insisted I make the report and file it. I get to the second desk and of course the agent does not speak english, so, back to the first for translation of my problem. When she hears that I want to return and pickup the bags, her response is, (are you ready for this) I don’t need a report filed, just have the bags brought here and he can have them.
Ah, wasn’t that what I asked for in the first place…. And Kata had to spend the time and money waiting for me. And parking, like LAX is not cheap. We came back two hours later and even though I had phone numbers to see if the bags were in, there was no answer. So, we decided to just go check because I had been told as I left that the bags were in the air at that time. 5 min from the airport, my phone rings and the agent says he has them. I said bring them to baggage and I will be there in a matter of minutes. He said meet me at the Info desk and you will need to sigh for them. OK……
I get to the info desk and sign, and the bags are on a cart (which by the way are free in every airport outside the usa), and I ask where to get back up to the level above which is were Kata is waiting in the car for me. I am told to go to the “lift” and pointed in the right direction. As I start around the corner to the life, a guard stops me and indicates I must stand there and brings up a tape to block access to part of the terminal. He said “Police action” and pointed at a post about the size of a trash can for trash day outside. All I can see is thee post, and have no idea. After a few minutes 10 maybe, I call Kata and she drives down to the level I am on. As I leave to go out to meet her I can now see behind the post. There was a bag which had been left unattended. Now I realize it may have been a bomb, and I’m thinking Damn, he stopped me, but hell, I was less than 20 ft. from it. What the heck kind of security for the customers is that. LOL,,, Oh well.
So I had a great time in Budapest, and have a bunch to say, but tonight I am tired and will be back tomorrow.
Just thought I would stop by and leave a short update. Denver was just great…. Didn’t get anything hardware wise, except Sam Farrens and Ruckus got 3rd at the UFO Saturday Toss n Catch. Sams First time out at an actual contest, and we got him hooked…… Sunday he was trying the Quad for the first time as well, and I think nerves got to him. He actually threw very well, but will still need some time to work on playing with a pup in the moment…… Remembering to watch the pup, place the disc, well, you all know what I am talking about….. He will learn, and I truly expect to see him with a family disc dog soon….. I had a good day with RT, but not long enough to stay in the game.
My trip to Minnesota, was un-eventfull, well, sort of…. Stopped in Mason City Iowa Monday night at a Walmart, but was notified by another driver of a tire problem with the trailer. Seems a belt broke and it caused very uneven wear, which led to the tire loosing air. By the time I limped into the Walmart lot, it was flat…. Put the spare on, and replaced it with a new one from Walmart, and will talk with the place I buy from back in LA later.
Got the yard ready for my sister to care for BigBoy and RT, and as it turns out, my Niece is real pleased to watch Ruckus (who she knows from past trips here) cuz her husband is going out of town for a week. She had her purse stolen from her house over the 4th of July, and is happy to have the protection with hubby being gone….
Packin my bags today and tomorrow to board the plane for Budapest and then Brussels. Really looking forward to the next two weeks of Friends Fun and Disc Dogs….. Peter and Jeff will be in Budapest next weekend for the Hyperflite Skyhoundz European Qualifier. I will have the pleasure and Honor of Judging with them, and I am sure I will learn from them as well. If the internet access is anywhere close to good, I will update while in Europe…..
Have Fun, and be safe out there.
Well, it was a interesting trip getting here, wind, minor rain, LATE START, but, got in last night around 6 pm. Found the space in the campground and set in for the stay. Today is practice, check out the field, lunch with a group here early, and getting everything right in the trailer that just got shoved in to leave. I m really looking forward to the weekend, and hope to do well. More later.