Yeah… World Cupcake…, the new online baking course…

June 24, 2018

Finally I could reach Laszlo Thursday night. He is off the grid, so to speak.  He said that he signed up for a live streaming baking course, called “World Cupcake,” or something like that, if I remembered correctly. Supposedly,  he is really busy  to watch it to be able to keep up with the demanding curriculum.  So I did not bother him too much. He’s sent a few pictures that everything is ok at home…

Laszlo watching his baking course...

Laszlo is watching his online baking course…

Laszlo's online classmates...it is an interactive course

Laszlo’s online classmates…it is an interactive course

he told me that he feeds the dogs and they are ok

The dogs seem ok, so Laszlo has not forgotten to feed them – hopefully…

can you see the plants from the puppy? Scarlett has staying with us until July 2, when she can move in with her new owner to their newly restored home.

can you see the plants from the puppy? Scarlett is staying with us until July 2, when she’ll move in with her new owner to their newly restored home.

Even the newly planted veggies are green, unless he photoshopped them...

Even the newly planted veggies are green, unless Laszlo photoshopped the picture…

The Schengen Terrier….

June 20, 2018

The Schengen Terrier

A composite picture of the mythical Schengen Terrier…No one has ever really seen it and no one has ever cleaned up after him…

I have a bad news for U.S. puppy millers, there is no such a breed as the Schengen Terrier on the AKC’s FSS list.  Also, the Schengen Terrier is not an umbrella term for liberal European dog laws allowing dogs pretty much do anything on the continent.

Countries covered by the Schengen Agreement

Countries covered by the Schengen Agreement

Well, yes, it is true, dog laws are pretty relaxed across the pond, comparing to the United States.  Some of the crazy stories what you’ve heard that pooches are allowed in restaurants, on public transportation and beaches are partially also true, however, they are controlled by no-nonsense animal  laws.

So than what is this Schengen thing anyway? Actually, it has nothing to do with dogs, however, by now, I think you are curious enough to read about it. http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/european-union-schengen-area-and-re-introduction-of-border-controls/

The point is that the  Schengen Agreement is like an European dog law.  It spells out where you and your dog are permitted to go under the laws of the Union, however, it might be too generous and generates more mess than expected…

It is really upto the store owner what pet is allowed in the store

It is really upto the store owner what pet is allowed in the store or restaurant.

So I am back at the original crime scene with Anka for over a week now. Have checked in with some friends and family, visited government offices and other public places always taking Anka along.

Anka in the restaurant evidently she is covered under the Schengen Terrier Agreement

Anka in the restaurant. Evidently she is covered under the Schengen Terrier Agreement

 

Did you know that…

…in Hungary, a three months old pup needs to be registered whithin its local jurisdiction? Vets have to report each dog’s microchip and vaccinations to a central  national database. TO complicate matters however, local governments can have their own additional “dog laws.”

Dogs are allowed free in back yards, only, if it is fenced in.

Dogs must be leashed in public, dogs cannot enter to play grounds, untrained and vicious dogs must be muzzled in public.

Doggy Esperanto

Doggy Esperanto

Dogs can run free in designated areas, however, untrained, vicious dogs must have their muzzle kept on while off leash.

Every dogs must be leashed and muzzled(!)  on public transportations. (They can take public transportation)

Dogs cannot bother neighbors, (good luck with your Pumi that is kept outside) and one’s property must be fenced in if dogs kept outside. Small dogs have to have a minimum 10m2 area and no shorter than 6 meters chain  and a dog house. Larger dogs have to be kept within a minimum 15m2 area. with no shorter than an 8 meters chain and a dry shelter.

If  one owns a “mean breed,” a clearly visible sign must be posted at the entrance of the property that there are guard dogs on the premises.

To recover lost dogs from shelters, the owners must present proof of vaccinations and microchip.  Dogs are allowed to put down by law if no one claims or adopts them after two weeks.

Breeders need the local major’s office permission to start a kennel.

Sandboxes at playgrounds are regularly checked for toxicity... One of the most frequent complaint is dog poop in the sand box

Sandboxes at playgrounds are regularly checked for toxicity… According to official surveys, one of the most frequent complaints is dog poop in sand boxes.

Dogs are strictly prohibited to enter…  schools, daycare centers, social and cultural facilities,  government offices that are open for the public (e.g. DMV)

In the same time, dogs cannot be tied up outside (in front of stores, government offices etc. (while the owner takes care of business) without supervision.

If you are planning to buy a coop in Hungary, the good news is that the  coop board cannot oppose keeping dogs in your apartment.

…and do not forget to pick up after your dog!

Penalties: No registration 165 Euro, no leash 35 Euro Your dog kills another dog and you are a no show at the court, your penalty is 350 Euro. Beyond that, no-one really cares and you cannot be put to jail.

Why do I bother to tell you all about these things? Because I’ve been visiting a bunch of government offices, banks and other public places in Budapest and I’ve been taking Anka along. The good thing is that no one really cares about pet laws and restriction as long as you have such a cute and well behaving dog as Anka.

farm dog visiting big city dwelling...

farm dog visiting big city dwelling…

I’ve also taken her to stores and restaurants, (where she was even fed,) The waiters and clerks at all locations have given in to the Anka pressure and let her to come in. Of course Anka’s behavior has always been exemplary at every establishment.

After we’ve finished all the official stuff I had to take care of, we had some serious dog fun in the City. We also had some quiet… agility time at the  “Pilisi Kutya Iskola” training facility. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yswtxyX8kl0

To be continued…

 

What a small world. It was funny to read about St Elisabeth, a Hungarian Saint. I was commissioned to build a mural for the Chicago St Elisabeth Church back in the early 1990's

Went to see an outdoor exhibition in Budapest. What a small world… It was funny to read about St Elisabeth, the Hungarian Saint.  I was commissioned to build a ceramics mural for the Chicago St Elisabeth Church back in 1991

It can happen only in America

It can happen only in America…a Hungarian ethnic German former Catholic nun’s daughter originally from Transylvania is commissioned to design and build an exterior mural for a black Catholic church in Chicago,  named after a Hungarian Saint, Saint Elizabeth

 

 

Fun with the dogs...went for a hike to the popular "Harmashaterhegy" hiking area on the outskirt of Budapest. It is actually part of Budapest with Metro Area transportation to and from the City

Fun with the dogs…went for a hike to the popular “Harmashaterhegy” hiking area on the outskirt of Budapest. It is actually part of Budapest’s 2nd and 3rd bezirk  with Metro Area transportation to and from the City

The mobile and police communication tower at "Harmashatar-hegy"

The major transmission tower for mobile carriers and police communication at “Harmashatar-hegy”

Cannot remember the leash laws...

Cannot remember the leash laws…

Andrea teaching geology and rock formation to the dogs.

Andrea teaches geology and rock formation to the dogs.

"Harmashater-hegy is home of the "glider plane's airport for many decades

“Harmashater-hegy is home of the “glider plane’s airport for 50-60 years

the popular cogwheel train taking tourists and their dogs up to the popular hiking area.

the popular cogwheel train taking tourists and their dogs up to the popular hiking area, the “Harmashatar Hegy.”

Andrea Csilla Szabo and her dog Sio at the

Andrea Csilla Szabo and her dog Sio at the “Pilisi Kutya Iskola”

 

 

 

 

 

An der schönen blauen Donau (Blue Danube)

June 16, 2018

As I was driving in the afternoon Budapest traffic jam along the riverbank of the Danube River, an old pleasant memory popped into my head.  https://youtu.be/9dYLEI3lrUg

The cover of Johann Strauss II's

The cover of Johann Strauss II’s “An der schönen blauen Donau

When I was a kid and even later in life, it has been a family tradition to watch the Vienese Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance on television in the  morning of January 1 each year. Many people whom I know, have got up in the morning and  watched the concert regardless of how sleepy or hangover they were after their new year parties.

As a kid, the “Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II was the highlight of the televised new year’s day concert.  I guess, for no particular reason. Of course it has catchy  tunes that has turned  into a lifetime jingle (especially when driving along the Danube in Budapest in an afternoon traffic jam…), because my mother always talked about it during the concert  and overtime this has built up my expectations. Also, because of the waltz’s dreamy title, “The Blue Danube…” and the awesome superimposed photos of the cities along the Danube’s banks, Ulm, Linz, Vienna, Bratislava Budapest, Novi Sad… as they slowly floated across the black and white television monitor to the tunes of the music.  It has made me dreaming of distant lands along the river.

The ultimate Kodak moment of the Blue Danube.

The ultimate Kodak moment of the Blue Danube.

There is one memorable photo, easily the  signature picture of  Budapest split by the river, taken high up from the great distance of the Castle hill.  The picture shows the Parliament, the famous Chain Bridge, and the calm mirror like magnificent river below.  It is the perfect and sanitized Kodak moment of the “Blue Danube.”

But how blue, and how calm and how perfect is the Danube anyway?  It is the second longest river in Europe about 1770 miles long. Its headwater in the Black Forest in Germany and it enters into the Black Sea somewhere near the Romanian Bulgarian border after rolling through 10 different countries.

The Danube's River monster, the Huchen or Danube Salmon it can go about four feet long and weight 110lbs.

The Danube’s River monster, the Huchen or Danube Salmon it can grow to four feet long and weight 110lbs.

It is one of the most important major transportation water-highways on the continent, has its own different unique fauna and flora, including its own river monster, the Danube Salmone or Huchen, that can grow as big as 4 feet and weight 110 lbs.  Last, but not the least, the Danube is also a much feared and respected river in large parts of Europe. People along its river valley has a personal, relationship with the river.  On the one hand, the Danube has  provided jobs, irreplaceable drinking water, food, helped in building wealth, contributed to prosperity and inspired arts and cultures. On the other hand, its floods have also been one of the most destructive events that have taken thousands of lives, destroyed crops and wiped out communities over the centuries.

As the results of the repeated devastating floods, Budapest's Danube river bank infrastructure has been rebuilt and improved over the last 200 years.

As the results of the repeated devastating floods, the river banks of the Danube in Budapest  has been repeatedly rebuilt, expanded and improved over the last 200 years.

Uniquely, there has been no major superstitions and biblical prophecies applied to the Danube over hundreds of years, as Christian Rohr explains in his study of meteorological history, “The Danube Floods and The Human Response and Perception (14th to 17th Century) “. In fact, there has been a very sober and rational relationship between the river and its human inhabitants as Rohr describes it. People have learned to ignore god and his alleged doings during major devastations and instead of  trying to appease God,  they have focused on rebuilding and developing more effective flood prevention technics and river control methods . Oddly, the church has shared this approach and has provided generous financial support after each flood to help rebuilding  the destroyed lives and communities.

the old riverbank of Budapest around the turn of the 20th century. It had failed to protect the city from floods over and over again.

the old unenforced riverbanks of Budapest around the turn of the 20th century.They had failed to protect the city from floods over and over again.

It’s been a constant armwrestling between the river and its people throughout history. Budapest has also experienced its fair share of devastating floods during its existence. In the 1800’s, 23 major floods ravaged the City (not counting smaller ones) that have generated repeated severe humanitarian disasters.  If you think about it, it is a very disturbing number. It means that people have experienced a devastating flood every four years in one century. Countless iives have been lost,  tens of thousands of people have been displaced, properties destroyed and food supplies wiped out when major floods hit Budapest 23 times in a hundred year time period. For instance, during the flood of 1838, 150 people had lost their lives, 50,000(!) had become homeless. That number was about 1/3 of the entire population of Buda and Pest in the 1830-40s.  (the two cities, Buda and Pest was not integrated that time.)  The Danube effected real estate fortunes, impacted infrastructure over the centuries and  the City kept  defending itself from the destructive power of the river. People have not moved…

However, the mighty river cannot be blamed as the single culprit for all the pains and sufferings of its inhabitants. The river is also a long time witness and a passive conduit of its people’s lifestyle, biases, cultural, religious differences, and hubris, especially in the 20th Century.

Military personnel in protective gear searching for survivals at the Ajka Aluminum chemical waste product escape disaster. The toxic sludge ultimately ended up in the Danube.

Military personnel in protective gear searches for survivals of  the Ajka Aluminum chemical waste product disaster. The toxic sludge ultimately ended up in the Danube.

contaminated creek carrying chemical waste toward the Danube after the Ajka disaster

contaminated creek carrying chemical waste toward the Danube after the Ajka disaster

The Danube has often been used  as industrial  waste dump, harnessed for its energy in harmful and devastating ways, and used to hide humanity’s sinister acts as a mass grave for people and war machines. It has also swallowed up cultures that were nihilated in the name of progress.

The Ada Kaleh, the tiny Turkish island on the Romanian section of the Danube River was sank to give way to the hydroelectric power plant on the Danube. a 300 year old thriving ethnic culture was eliminated in the name of progress

Ada Kaleh, the tiny Turkish island on the Romanian section of the Danube River was flooded to give way to the hydroelectric power plant on the Danube. A 300 year-old thriving ethnic community was uprooted in the name of progress

the island under water on a satellite photo

the island fo Ade Kaleh under water on a satellite photo

The tragic fate of the frequently romanticized “Turkish island,” Ada Kaleh,  or the “Ottoman Atlantis,” as historians named it, on the Danube’s Romanian section has been a longtime Austrian outpost for the Habsburg Empire until  it was seceded to the Turks, in the 1600’s.  The Ottoman inhabitants of the tiny island, have established a thriving economic and cultural life during their close to 300 years of existence, until the Romanian communist government decided to built the infamous Iron Gate  hydro-electric power plant on the Danube in the 1970’s.  The newly built  dam flooded the island that simply disappeared under water like the city of Atlantis with its buildings and entire unique muslim history and culture.

The infamous Iron Gate hydroelectric power plant. Its dam system flooded the island of Ada Kaleh.

The infamous Iron Gate hydroelectric power plant. Its dam system flooded the island of Ada Kaleh.

When Central Europe’s multicultural melting pot have over boiled time to time, it has brought violence, destruction, ethnic cleansing and suffering for the area along the Danube’s river valley. Two world wars have been started in the region, in which the river has always played an important strategic role.  Near the end of WWII hundreds of Nazi river warships were sunken by the Germans to avoid the Soviets to seize and use them against the retreating forces of the Third Reich. These boats have never been lifted from the bottom of the river and during excessive droughts, the gost ships break  though the surface of the water and can be seen from passing boats and from the shores.

During the 2003 drought the water level has lowered so much that sunken german warships broke the surface of the river. this event has opened a new research projects for historians

During the 2003 drought the water level has lowered so much that sunken german warships broke the surface of the river. this event has opened a new research projects for historians

The monument on the waterfront of the Danube remembering the jewish victims of the holocaust

The monument on the waterfront of the Danube remembering the jewish victims of the holocaust

One of the most shameful WWII atrocities along the Danube is memorialized by the abandoned shoes memorial on the river bank of the Danube in the center of Budapest. Between 1944-1945 the Naci sympatizer Hungarian government’s henchmen, executed twenty thousand  Jews on the river front of the Danube. The memorial is a bone chilling testament about one of the darkest sides of humanity.

Disasters and tragedies in more recent memories were the cyanid pollution of the Danube from the Romanian gold mines in 2000 and the infamous toxic sludge river pollution from the caustic byproducts of aluminum production from Ajka, Hungary. The heavy sludge  broke the levees of the giant storage pools and polluted over 15 sq miles of lands, creeks, displacing and killing wildlife, and livestock.  More than 10 people have died and hundreds were seriously injured. Towns and villages in the area have been abandoned and never rebuilt. The chemical sludge ended up in the Danube that has carried the devastating chemical pollution further downriver to other communities.

What is the takeaway of these stories?  I do not know. Perhaps that the “Blue Danube Syndrome” is really not an isolated chain of events specific to a certain geographic area or its people.  While we tend to dismiss our hubris and the plentiful cautionary biblical prophecies, we cannot escape to be repeatedly reminded of our not too bright future.  In a twisted way, the entertainment industry and cinema have taken charge of the delivery of prophetic messages by way of rolling out apocalyptic action movies and stories that depicts mankind’s potential gloomy fate in response to our arrogance.

Has the cinema industry replaced the role of religion or it has become "the religion? Do movies take over the role of scripture and the diminished impact of prophecies?

Has the cinema industry replaced the role of institutionalized religion or it has become “a religion?” Do movies become the ultimate delivery platforms  of biblical prophecies?

Budapest and the Danube also have their very own apocalyptic film now, produced in 2017. It is titled, “DVNA” (Danube). Tamas Yvan Topolanszky, the young Hungarian director in his nightmarish movie,  depicts life in Budapest, immediately after  the Danube disappears from its river bed overnight.

What is the outcome of the movie? I won’t be able to tell you because the traffic has finally started moving along the river bank and I am not supposed to write on my phone while driving the car.

Instead, I start doodling the “Blue Danube” again.

To be continued…

 

.

Jet Lag and the Urban Folklore Green Project

June 14, 2018

you are the bartender of your body's Circadian Rhythm and Blues bar.

you are the bartender of your own body’s Circadian Rhythm and Blues bar so use your mixology expertise wisely.(image credit: Catherine Streeter)

According to The National Sleep Foundation, traveling to distant locations across several time zones, “you are likely to experience the phenomenon of jet lag which can have profound effects on your sleep and alertness.” What was believed as a state of mind for a long time (jet lag), today is a scientifically proven imbalance in the body’s “biological clock”  the foundation explains.

bang...! you might be able to say no to drugs but you would miserably fail when trying to say no for an echte Hungarian "csiken paprikas..."

bang…! you might be able to say no to drugs but you would miserably fail when trying to say no to an echte Hungarian “chicken paprikas…”

As it turns out, studies by Northwestern University and Harvard’s Medical Chronobiology Program, have also proven that messing too much and especially long term with one’s Circadian Rhythm and Blues, one might encounter complications of high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain and other health problems due to excessive eating in response to the mixed signals of one’s body.

My sister, Zsuzsanna, the Csiken Paprikas Lady with Anka. Anka is wearing her cooler because of the unusual heat (at least for us upstate NY farmers

My sister, Zsuzsanna, the “Chicken Paprikas Lady” with Anka. Anka is wearing her cooler because of the unusual hot weather in Budapest (at least for us, upstate NY farmers)

To avoid a potential jet lag nightmare after my arrival to Budapest, I’ve decided to decline to eat all the delicious greasy, salty, sweet and fattening Hungarian culinary wonders that I was offered at my sister’s home. But than I realized that good manners are essential and it would be absolutely pointless to hurt my family by refusing to eat. I’ve decided to compromise, (basically sacrificed myself)  and did eat all the goodies they served and more…

To get rid of my guilt, the extra weight and also to give Anka a break, we took her to a nearby park with my sister Zsuzsanna, where she has shown me an interesting green project.  In the park, all the different newly planted trees are accompanied with large signs explaining not only the particular tree’s botanical description, but also its potential industrial use and function in folklore.

if you suffer of ophiophobia, than you want to sit and rest under the shades of ash trees as Slavic legends say

if you suffer of ophiophobia, than you want to sit and rest under the shades of ash trees to avoid snakes as Slavic legends say

Did you know for instance that Ash is used in the furniture and sport  industry? Also, according to Slavic folklore, it is safe to sit under ash trees, because snakes avoid the shadows of ash reflected on the ground.

Or, have you ever heard that in Pomerania and Mecklenburg, (German principalities) wooden pegs made of maple and sycamore trees were used by the medieval building industry to reenforce doors, door frames and thresholds to keep witches out from the homes?

Sycamore, the anti witch tree according to german folklore.

Sycamore, the anti witch tree according to german folklore.

After reading the signs, I was not entirely sure that what was such a big deal about witches? But than the more I was thinking about it and tried to rationalizing it,  I realized that I shouldn’t  rush to judgment, because what would I know about superstitions and supernatural creatures? After all I am not from some North-eastern German province, I am just a Transylvanian.

To be continued…

 

CCCC or the Catskill Climate Change Chronicle…

June 13, 2018

blogdry

Bad planning or bad execution?

Man plans, God executes … (or corrects what man keeps screwing up…) I am back in Hungary again, at this time with Anka.  Even though, this trip has been planned in advance, our departure date has been seriously circumvented by climate change.  As it turns out, climate change manifests not only in rising sea levels, more frequent and more intense weather events or dying coral reefs, it also effects my dogs’ physiology.  To be precise, my bitches’ heat cycle have turned on like clock work in the past, however, this year, because of the unusual long winter (I believe…), everyone has been late. 

When the tension is high enough, we are ready to travel,

When the tension is high enough, we are ready to travel,

Ironically, it was a relief to see the sudden growing tension between my girls, as their hormones finally started kicking in. It was the long awaited signal to set preparations in motion for my trip. Veterinary certificate, USDA papers and most importantly the airplane ticket with two dogs in the cargo hold.  ( FYI I also planned to take  Agyag along to give her a chance to finish her Hungarian Championship at the Budapest Grand Prix.) 

Well, instead of " yes," I've got a middle finger from Luftwaffe - the second time...

Well, instead of saying ” yes,” and correcting the botched booking, I’ve got a middle finger from Luftwaffe – the second time…

I am not lucky with Lufthansa – to say the least. Back in 2013, Lufthansa have lost Fruska and Agyag for close to a full day that has created some major complications to reach the Budapest WDS,  my destination at the time.  Booking my ticket and two dogs in the cargo hold with the airline, has seemed unusually easy at this time. Once ticket purchase was out of the way (or so I thought), based on my flight schedule, I went ahead to plan my entire itinerary. However, as it has turned out, Luftwaffe not only friendly fired my plans and screwed up my ticket with the two dogs in the busiest traveling season, they also refused to honor my original reservation.

 

Since my trip has been time sensitive, I had no time to run after my loss. I had to look for a another airline that could accommodate two dogs and flew me to Hungary for a reasonable price. While I’ve managed to secure a ticket, unfortunately, they could accommodate only one dog.  Obviously I took Anka.

My least favorite Hungarian road sign

My least favorite Hungarian traffic sign

So we made it to Budapest where I am staying with my sister and planning to see many friends and acquaintances while managing Anka’s dating schedule. 

To be continued…

Catskill Pumis Behind the Case of Southern Discomfort

August 2, 2017

Csinszka's new grand champion ribbon

Csinszka’s new grand champion ribbon

I had a busy six days last week.  I have traveled with the small contingent of three Catskill Pumis, Anka, Csinszka and Otter,  to Greenville South Carolina, to participate at the Carolina Foothills Cluster, sponsored by Purina Proplan.

It was a relatively large entry for the breed, 14 Pumis have been present including us,  to showcase  a cross segment of the breed in the US. I also had a chance to meet some of the new Pumi owners and reconnect with old ones.

Jan and Anka

Jan and Anka

The venue, the TD Convention Center was a comfortable place to exhibit and seek shelter from the scorching southern heat. The heat and humidity south of the Mason Dixon line is  drastically different  than our mild summer temperature  Upstate NY.

I was pleased with the strong performance of my Pumis. Anka is gradually regaining her pre pregnancy condition. Her hair is also coming back without complications. Seeing her rebounding so fast after her first litter reassures me that my dogs’ BARF diet is working well and that her body has  handled the burdens and challenges of pregnancy beautifully.

our weekend result

our weekend result

Jan and Csinszka in the Ring

Me and Csinszka in the Ring

Csinszka is maturing by the day and she is turning into a beautiful proportional bitch with well balanced movements. She is one of the lightest movers, barely touching the ground.

Otter, the well kept Catskill Pumi secret is out now in the open and keeps winning hearts and minds of those who are looking for quality males.  He needs to be traveling and shown more to gain confidence and to become more comfortable in the ring.

Overall, my Catskill Pumis have delivered a steady and successful performance.

 

Catskill Apacatancos Anka got one “Select,” two BOS and one BOB placements.

Catskill Csucsai Csinszka has earned three “Selects” and one BOS.  Csinszka also finished her Grand Championship over the weekend!

Catskill Otter has received two “Select” placements.

This successful week could not have been possible without Jan Kolnik, Anka’s handler, Eryn Glenn who showed Otter, and Marilyn Funke who has shown her group of Pumis and we shared the hotel room and an enormous amount of gossips for four days.

Otter

Otter

Godspeed F Pups

May 28, 2017

 

A last good bye before Fatyol Felho leaves his Catskill family

A last goodbye photo with the Larkins before Fatyol Felho leaves his Catskill family and heads to Florida to join his half brother, Catskill Csaszar aka ZEKE

Another memorable milestone has been reached during our long Pumi journey. GCHB CH Catskill Apacatancos Anka, PT, JHD, CA, after two AKC National BOB, and the first ever Pumi BOB at Westminster has said goodbye to the pups of her first litter. She’s been an exemplary mom

three generations... Mama Fruska has been one of the main actors to be responsible for the international Pumi addiction.

three generations… Mama Fruska (left) has been one of the main actors to be responsible for the international Pumi addiction.

So this weekend, the pups of our F-litter have moved to their new homes this weekend, to destinations in Florida New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. The last day  went fast while playing with the pups, sharing food and stories. Luckily, the weather was collaborating.

We are thankful for Marika and Paul Foreman and Martha and Bob Fisher to stop by and help this joyous event to roll smoothly.

Destination NYS

JoAnn and Maria with their new pups Rubik and Frankie

Nanci and Ficko with one of the incredible designer name tags given by Maria Barnum to each puppy

Nanci and Ficko with one of the incredible designer name tags given by Maria Barnum to each puppy

what's cookin' Laszlo

What’s cooking’ Laszlo?

The Wright sister Cathrine with Füzfa

The Wright sister Cathrine with Füzfa

Marika's sixth "Catskill Pumi Farewell"

Marika’s sixth “Catskill Pumi Farewell”

 the class of FW-2017

the class of FW-2017

 

Mark, Jane and Odie posing with Ildiko before heading back home

Mark, Jane and Odie posing with Ildiko before heading back home

there is never a dull moment up in the Catskills. Martha Fisher guarding the ingredients of our lunch during the outdoor cooking from the Pumis from the Pumis

there is never a dull moment up in the Catskills. Martha Fisher guarding the ingredients of our lunch during the outdoor cooking from the Pumis.

As the pups move to their new homes they pave the road to build new friendships and Pumi camaraderie. Our Catskill family has grown bigger and stronger. When we search for the best homes for our puppies, we also build relationships that offers reciprocal growth and learning opportunities for the new owners and us, the breeders. Once the pups leave us, the proverbial umbilical cord is not cut, rather our connection gets stronger.

Maria, JoAnn, Nanci,  Cathrine and Dana, Jane and Mark, Lisa and Barry, thank you for opening your homes for our pups raising them to be examples of the breed that we can be proud of and happy members of your family. We hope to hear from each of you often!

remember the weaving?

remember the weaving?

Tha mandatory "will be back" hand wave

The mandatory “will be back” hand wave

Don't forget the weave!

Don’t forget to weave!

Did you weave?

Did you weave?

The last weave to leave

The last weave to leave

Paul Foreman is home away from home.

Paul Foreman is home away from home.

Bob Fisher and Barsony feeling' the Catskill Pumi Groove.

Bob Fisher and Barsony feeling’ the Catskill Pumi Groove.

 


Laszlo’s Secui (sp?) Cabbage Scud Missle is ready for launch – The Catskill way to promote world peace…

 

Farewell Warrior Princes

March 7, 2017

Bubbles farewell girl you've made me to realize that I was a closeted small dog guy Go terriers and types!

Bubbles, farewell my girl. You’ve made me to realize that I was a closeted small dog guy Go terriers and  terrier types!

Bubbles got to us about twelve years ago from the Manhattan ASPCA where she was facing euthanasia.  She was already five years old. When I picked her up I thought I’ve seen it all.  Bubbles thought otherwise. It took us months to build a relationship. When we moved to the farm, Bubbles has gone through a cathartic change. From an urban menace she turned into a hard working farm dog. She has never left our side while doing the chores and she has faithfully patrolled the chicken and duck coop where she has decimated the annoying rat population daily.  She killed  martins, several weasels, even one fox with the assistance of Schatze, the other JRT. Bubbles had an unsavory relationship with skunks. She has always lost those battles. One day after a major loss, she could not open her eyes for three days.

Bubbles enjoying the sun

Bubbles meditating before the next kill

She’s always terrorized the UPS guy and learned how to extort  at least three “Large” biscuits out of him at delivery times. In my estimation poor guy left at least $100 worth of dog biscuits here over the years.

Bubbles was a tough cookie, she growled and fought most of the Pumis and got into trouble with Fruska all the time.

Bubble also has a gentle side. when one of the goat kids got sick, she has guarded her from the Pumis.

Bubbles also had a gentle side. when one of the goat kids got sick, she has fiercely guarded her from the Pumis. She had an uncanny ability to understand the difference btw farm animals and wild creatures.

Bub the beast. She was the greatest protector of our chicken and ducks. This fox had taken seven chickens in three weeks until one night ran into Bub in the barn.

Bub the beast. She was the greatest protector of our chicken and ducks. This fox had taken seven chickens in three weeks until one night ran into Bub in the barn.

We will always fondly remember you  Bub. Rest in Peace.

Norway, A Little Bundle Of Paradoxes

February 6, 2017

The Norwegian flag. It is clear of Eiric Magnusson's golden lion, ex and crown.

The Norwegian flag. It is clear of Eiric Magnusson’s golden lion, ax and crown.

Actually, there is such a thing as alternative reality and in fact we live in it.

The magic wand, or the alternative time piece in an alternative Pumi universe

The magic wand, or the alternative time piece in an alternative Pumi universe

Pumis rule our life and clocks have been replaced by animal ovulation detectors to measure time.  So no surprise,  I am on the road again. At this time, traveling with Anka to Lora, Norway. Our host is Lisbeth Åvangen, the owner of Ares, a beautiful black male Pumi. I also have a chance to meet with my friends, Jacky Neeras and Berit Thyra Meland Pedersen, who are the owners of two of my Catskill Pumis, Cherry and Erös. W e had a short, however, busy and fulfilled week in Lora,  Norway. My Norwegian blog is to be continued at a later time.

my flight

my flight

My wonderful hosts, Lisbeth Åvangen and her dad, Oddbjørn, owner of Ares in Lora, Norway. THe woodwork in the background is Oddbjørn's master craft work.

My wonderful hosts, Lisbeth Åvangen and her dad, Oddbjørn,  in Lora, Norway. Lisbeth is the owner of Ares, the black Pumi. The  house and cabinet woodwork is Oddbjørn’s master craft work.

Ares... head, ears, neck, body, tail color and disposition you've never dreamed of...

Ares… head, ears, neck, body, tail color and disposition you’ve never dreamed of…

Traditional dinner, including rakfisk, a fermented aged raw fish with Lisbeth and Oddbjørn.

Traditional dinner, including rakfisk, a fermented aged raw fish with Lisbeth and Oddbjørn.

I always love to read about the places where I go to before departing to my destinations. So I’ve looked into the history of Norway where we are traveling to at this time and I hope that I can entertain you with some information that you’ve not been familiar with.

Catskill Pumi summit in Lora, Norway. Catskill Anka, with Ildiko Repasi, Catskill Cherry with Jacky Neeras and Erös with Berit Thyra Meland Pedersen.

Catskill Pumi summit in Lora, Norway. Catskill Anka, with Ildiko Repasi, Catskill Cherry with Jacky Neeras and Erös with Berit Thyra Meland Pedersen.

The genealogy of Lisbeth's family. Scandinavian countries has a very precise records of their family trees.

The genealogy of Lisbeth’s family. Scandinavian countries has a very precise records of their family trees.

While settlements along the Norwegian coastlines have been present as early as 10000BC,  the  nation’s history as a lose tribal system  reaching back to the more recent and truly chaotic period, of the Völkerwanderung, or migration period of Europe. It was around the second part of the first millennium, when Viking tribes along many other migrants pressing from the east invaded and either nihilated or pushed out earlier migrants further west. The stories of seafaring fearless Vikings are widely known, however some historians from the prospective of nation building characterize this period as nothing more than “plundering, fish and potatoes.”  Vikings had sailed, pillaged looted and traded as far as Iceland, and  North America. Finally, a couple of hundred years later, Christianity, under King Olav transformed the Vikings into a nation of the Kingdom of Norway in 995.

Local ski resort

Local ski resort

.

Overtime, the country had periodically fallen under Danish and Swedish rules or entered into unions, until its final independence in 1905. Interestingly, the 1905 referendum concluded that Norwegians had chosen monarchy over a republic.  Since no Norwegians could trace their ancestry back to any medieval royalty, the government invited Carl of Denmark to the Norwegian throne. (in Europe, traditionally without “blue blood” no citizen could claim the right to a monarchy). Norway is a constitutional monarchy today.

Lesja Church, the place of the first election in Norway

Lesja Church, the place of the first election in Norway

Norway has a harsh climate and unforgiven terrain. Isolation has been a given until the advent of broadband internet in the 1990's.

Norway has a harsh climate and  an unforgiven terrain. Isolation has been a given for centuries until the advent of broadband internet in the 1990’s. However, broadband internet has also shown its sinister dark side, via the availability of free internet porn.  As a result, sex crime has increased an approximately 20%  in Norway . based on the study, “Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?”  by Manudeep Bhuller, Tarjei Havnes, Edwin Leuven and Magne Mogstad  in July 7, 2011.

Rattus Norvegicus villain or victim of the Black Death?

Rattus Norvegicus villain or victim of the Black Death?

The country has had its fair share of epic catastrophes. In 1349, the black death has killed over 50% of the country’s population while during the 1695-96 famine about 10% of Norwegians perished. The experience of centuries of wars, occupations, upheavals and religious wars pushed Norway to chose neutrality during the two world wars. Unfortunately, this noble idea  did not work in practice. During the Great War, the British pressured the Norwegian government to use its merchant marine fleet to support the British war effort with great sacrifice and heavy losses.

Norway’s link to the Great War, however, has a far more significant link. The war ended in the fall of 1918 and it was immediately followed by the worldwide outbreak of the Spanish flu that killed 20-40 million people around the world. This deadly flu virus has never been isolated and because of the reoccurring deadly influenza outbreaks in the last few hundred years, scientist welcomed a rare discovery in the small Norwegian mining town of Longyearbyen above the arctic circle. This tiny town’s church grave yard has provided final resting place to seven Norwegian miners who died of the Spanish flu between October 2 and October 7, 1918. These seven bodies have a great  significance in epidemiological history because given the location of Longyearbyen, just above the arctic circle, the bodies were buried under the permafrost and therefore, they could potentially preserve the lethal virus of the devastating Spanish flu. Malcolm Gladwell’s 1997 article, “The Dead Zone” is a fascinating read about the scientific and moral meaning of this medical expedition.

Ares, Lisbeth and Anka posing for a picture

Ares, Lisbeth and Anka posing for a picture

Lora might be a small place, however, has a pretty decent beer selection

Lora might be a small place, however, has a pretty decent beer selection

Twenty two years after the Great War, Neutrality has failed again In 1940 when Germany occupied Norway for its  unique ice free harbors as a strategic location for its Navy fleet and to exploit Norway’s iron ore mines for the war effort.  The post-war years have brought state sponsored and strictly regulated industrialization in Norway.  Price control and rationing of housing or automobile purchase were still in practice as late as 1960.

NO hopes lost. There is always a place to shop, even close to the arctic circle. Lisbeth and I in front of the local food store in Lora

No hope is lost. There is always a place to shop, even close to the arctic circle. Lisbeth and I in front of the local food store in Lora

In 1968, an unlikely figure from Iraq, Farouk Al-Kasim has confirmed that Norway has enormous off shore oil reserves. When Phillips Petroleum Company from Oklahoma has started drilling following Al-Kasim’s instruction, they hit the jack pot and oil has changed the projectile of the country and the life of its citizens forever.  However, Al-Kasim’s more significant contribution to Norway’s economy was the proposal of a government run Petroleum Directorate that aimed to avoid the so called “resource curse” that keeps many oil rich nations’ citizens in poverty due to  government corruption, the abuse of local environmental laws by multinational petroleum corporations and also the “killing off” of most domestic industries by the over extension and domination of oil related businesses in the host country.   With the help of economists, Norway established a “Sovereign Wealth Fund.” By using only the interest of its oil revenues, the fund has a close to a One Trillion(!) US Dollar from various investments (that is close to $200,000 per Norwegian citizen – not per household….!) – today. This wealth enables the country to maintain a high quality democratic welfare system, during “rainy days.”  Norway in general  provides excellent education, healthcare, safe social security among many other things. Government investments are consciously selective. Retirement funds do not support “dirty” or unethical businesses and industries (i.e. coal mines, tobacco, guns, etc.) of the stock market. For the records, Norway is not alone with its Wealth Fund. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and even China have their citizens’ current and future welfare in mind. (Hey US politicians is  anyone planning to travel to Norway anytime soon…?)

warming up in the local cafe house with Ingeborg Noren and Lisbeth. Sitting in front of all these ceramics, I had a sudden flashback when I was working ceramics including porcelain many years ago

warming up in the local cafe house with Ingeborg Noren and Lisbeth. Sitting in front of all these ceramics, I had a sudden flashback when I was working ceramics including porcelain many years ago

Trolls, the mythical creatures that live in the forests are a serious business in Norway. Trolls have their own stores. Honestly, they look more fun than Batman and probably has a much more colorful storyline.

Trolls, are mythical creatures that live in the forests.  Norwegians are serious about their Trolls. Trolls also have their own stores. Honestly, they look more fun than Batman and probably have a much more colorful storyline.

Norway is an affluent (No. 4 GDP in the world) and…a  “green” country with extensive network of hydroelectric power plants strong wind energy development, and a diverse and flexible economy supported by a highly educated work force that gets an inexpensive, however, high quality university education. An interesting fact; Norway has the most Tesla automobiles per capita in the world. One out of ten cars is a Tesla in Norway. Tesla runs for about $100.000 in Norway. However, government incentives makes expensive electric cars affordable. (No sales tax, income tax reduction, free parking, no registration fee, free toll route use, free use of bus lanes in rush hours etc.)

Will trolls make Norway great again? perhaps not, however, they will put a smile on your face.

Will trolls make Norway great again? perhaps not, however, they will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Surprisingly, this perfectly oiled economic gearbox of Norway, has almost  gotten to a screeching halt by the “smør-panik” or “Butter Panic.” In 2011, the unusually wet summer  destroyed many dairy pastures and dairy production, especially butter production has dramatically declined. Major dairy producers ignored the growing domestic butter shortage and kept up their export volume. Since dairy import has been limited by very high protective tariffs in order to shelter local daily farmers, a  perfect storm ensued and created a severe butter shortage, especially around Christmas time. (Norwegians have a low carb high fat diet and consume lots of butter especially during the holidays. ) Prices skyrocketed.   8oz butter suddenly did cost $50 (!). To further complicate things, shoppers refused to buy and use margarin as a substitute. People were arrested for smuggling butter from neighboring countries in o Norway and butter was also auctioned off on the internet.  The government was forced to reduce import butter tariffs over 80% to temporarily remedy the situation.

Norwegian butter served on Constitutional Day. Norwegians take their butter seriously.

Norwegian butter served on Constitutional Day. Norwegians take their butter seriously.

While the overall economic picture of Norway is appealing, skeptics find it hypocritical and simply call the Norwegian miracle carbon laundering.  The country is frequently criticized for  building a picture perfect eco friendly green country, from its main source of wealth, oil and gas and accused of indirect environmental pollution and contributing to global warming by selling its fossil fuel.

A furry troll to hug in a cold day.

A furry troll for you to hug on a cold day.

The past few years, declining oil prices concerns the fund’s director, Mr. Slyngstad.  With lower revenues, the fund’s growth has slowed. Also, missed investments in emerging markets has caused significant share losses in developing economies.  The relatively large refugee influx   has also jeopardized the highly prized relative homogeneity of the country’s population within the last decade. The fear is that a more diverse society with naturally more diverse opinions might negatively impact the investment trends established for the fund.

Suddenly a new unavoidable question emerges, can the descendants of the  heroic Vikings keep sailing, trading and exporting Norwegian values without returning to “looting” and ethnocentrism in this new era of Völkerwanderung? http://mackenzieinstitute.com/worth-repeating-volkerwanderung-the-next-40-year-crisis. (The Canadian Big MacK… might not be my favorite conservative right-wing think tank but as the “Comment 20 years on” says, they are half-right half-wrong.)

My advice is that get a Pumi and stop worrying.

Sources: Freakonomics, Wiipedia, www.psmag.com, “The Dead Zone” by Malcolm Gladwell (New Yorker Archive), The Telegraph, “Why Nations Fail” Acimoglu and Robinson, Mackenzieinstitute.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things And Places I Keep Remembering For Some Reason

Inside

Inside the Central Market

Ice bar

Entrance to the Ice bar – today’s special is Global Warming

IMG_1798

Food insecure Manequin Pis in Budapest…

...and the original in Bruxelles fed on Belgian chocolate...

…and the original in Bruxelles, Belgium he was fed on Belgian chocolate…

View of the Pest side

View of the Pest side

Selfish...? shellfish..? selfies...? all on the Chain Bridge over the Danube River

Selfish…? shellfish..? selfies…? tourists on the Chain Bridge over the Danube River

Volkswagen nostalgia

Volkswagen nostalgia…

VW the only not negative thing Hitler ever made

Volkswagen… when you know that this vehicle  is basically Hitler’s original idea, “Fahrvergnügen” gets a completely different meaning…what is your destination?

"Abandon all hope ye who enter here"... especially if you are on diet.. this is what happen when you mix Dante Allegheny with fine pastry

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here”… especially if you are on a diet. This is what happen when you mix up Dante Allegheny with a pastry chef and one of the  finest Central European patisserie

Entrance of the British Embassy...

Entrance to the British Embassy…why would you want to enter anyway? Dianna is dead, the pudding has been tested… unless you are from Syria and looking for Asylum..or if you are one of the band members of the Rolling Stones, I just want to warn you that there is no wheelchair ramp…or if you are looking for an off shore investment, I am sure you can leave a message to Mr. Cameron.

two hundred years old coal fired espresso machine - do not believe everything I write...

two hundred years old coal fired espresso machine…haha

Catalan Hampel's Vaci utca 8th Clothing store high quality Hungarian period dresses http://www.Hampelkati.com

Katalin Hampel’s Vaci utca 8th Clothing store high quality custom-made Hungarian period dresses http://www.Hampelkati.com

the entrance of the restored Varkert Bazaar...

the entrance of the restored Varkert Bazaar…

Guard tower in the Castle

Guard tower in the Castle

The imposing Gate Tower

The imposing Gate Tower

 

 

 

 

IMG_1829