October 30, 1992
Newsletter Volume 1, Number 1
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For some time we at MB-F have entertained the idea of a NEWSLETTER to be sent to all those clubs whose shows we superintend. The idea being to keep clubs abreast of what's happening within MB-F and also within the world of Dog Shows. We intend to try to keep clubs informed of the latest rule changes, how to cope with them etc. We will be putting forth new ideas about shows and how they may be made to run more efficiently and to be more attractive to exhibitors and spectators. We will be soliciting stories and ideas from clubs which we will share with all our clubs. We have a wealth of background and experience we want to share to help, in some way, make the whole sport of showing dogs more fun and a pleasurable experience. It is now and has always been our belief that people come to dog shows to have fun and enjoy themselves. We also believe if they are not having fun and not enjoying themselves that we (the Superintendent, the Club, the AKC) are doing something wrong.
One of the recent things MB-F has done is supply each Club with a set of graphs depicting what the ravages of insidious inflation have done to incomes. Over the last five years prices on everything we buy or do have risen a staggering 23%. It is amazing how well the dog business has been able to cope with this problem. MB-F, in that period of time, has increased prices by less than 10%. Clubs as a rule have only increased their entry fees by a modest 19% during that same period. With those figures one might ask, how can such a business survive with increased show site costs, rising judges costs, etc.? The answer is simpler than one might expect. It's NUMBERS. Over the last five-year period the number of dogs being shown has increased enough to offset, to some extent, the rising cost of inflation. It is questionable, however, as to how long this trend can continue. The recent state of the economy may have a large bearing on our future. Our experience, however, has always been that in recessions entries go up and in good times they go down or remain level. As Max Riddle titled one of his books DOG PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.
There is a lot of talk about too many dog shows and poor quality of exhibits. Rubbish! We say exhibitors want more shows. How can we accommodate people who cannot travel long distances on weekends because of their jobs? How do we accommodate the many local areas where spectators want to see show dogs? How do we take care of areas where local people have a lot of interest and want to form a club in their own area? Why in Heaven's name would anyone want to stifle our life's blood, the new exhibitor, the interested spectator and potential puppy purchaser? It's beyond comprehension that anyone truly interested in our sport would want to put a cap on it. There is a group that proposes this and some of them have influence. Their argument is that fewer shows are the direct result of better clubs and better dogs come from better breeders. If we cut down on the number of shows and we still have the same breeders where are the better dogs going to come from? This same group tells us there are too many cheap champions being made as a result of too many shows. How can they come up with such nonsensical logic? Judges make champions. Good judges make good champions. Bad judges make poor or cheap champions. good judges withhold ribbons on poor quality. Bad judges are afraid to offend friends, handlers, club presidents, etc. by withholding ribbons. Certainly not fewer shows, but rather, good breeders and good judges.
AN UP-TO-DATE HISTORY OF COMPUTING AT MB-F
From Bob Christiansen, President Computer technology plays a key role at MB-F. We constantly strive to update and enhance the systems used for mailing premium lists, processing entries, and printing catalogs. MB-F has seen the evolution of computers from the days of punched cards, magnetic and paper tape, to CRT screens and voice synthesis.
In the late 1970s we purchased our first true multi-user system. It was a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP 1170. It came complete with 128K of memory, 100 megabytes of disk, 12 serial terminals, and 2 line printers. All this great hardware cost a mere $200,000. What a bargain for a computer that could do what large expensive IBM machines could do. All software as written in house using the DEC BASIC PLUS language coupled with a data base manager. This system was interfaced to computer typesetting equipment through the use of paper tape.
During the early 1980s the typesetting equipment was upgraded and connected online with the PDP 1170. It was also during this time that we saw the introduction of the first personal computers. During the 1980s we also saw the development of a computer link between MB-F and the American Kennel Club. This link has enabled us to provide accurate dog information by cross referencing the AKC numbers on entry forms with the official registration records at AKC.
In 1983 we were chosen by Digital Equipment Corporation as a "beta" test site for their DECTALK voice synthesis project. This technology enabled us to provide "ROLF" as a means of making entries and inquiries. "ROLF" knows the phonetics of the English language and reads text normally displayed on CRT screens and allows callers with touch tone phones to use their phone keypads much like a computer keyboard. The 1170 served us until 1988 when it was replaced with a more powerful PDP 1184. the 1184 still ran the BASIC PLUS software but provided a faster processor and 1.2 billion bytes of disk storage.
The 1990s have now seen the introduction of powerful computer networking and fourth generation database languages. We have been instrumental in the development of a new language and network technology that allows multiple computer processors to do the work of a large mainframe computer.
The computer network consists of 4 486/50 mhz file servers with 64 megabytes of mirrored disk capacity. The disk mirroring provides total redundancy in the event of a disk "crash". We are always backed up with every byte of information written to two disks simultaneously. Each file server also serves as a terminal driver for up to 32 different CRTs or line printer devices.
All premium list copy and entry processing takes place in the network. Once entries are closed they are downloaded to the PDP 1184 for sorting, reporting, typesetting and final processing. Eventually the 1184 will be phased out and all processing will take place in the network. The network will provide advanced capabilities for clubs, members, and exhibitors with personal computers.
The future will allow protected but direct access to our systems where the public can make their own entries and inquiries. The future of dog show computing is exciting and will continue to help us cut costs and provide better service to the dog show world.
MB-F WEST COAST CONNECTION
From Fred Lyman, Executive Vice President
A big welcome to our newest clubs, Santa Cruz Kennel Club, Combined Specialty Clubs of Northern California, Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club and Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers.
Dino and Barbara Marrazi have signed contacts for their April 1993 and August 1993 shows. We are happy to welcome them back and look forward to two great shows next year.
February 1993 will mark the first show produced by MB-F for the Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club and the Associated Specialties' of Santa Clara. We look forward to this new venture and helping them have the best shows they have had.
MB-F is proud to be selected as the superintendent for Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers' first licensed show to be held on Sunday, October 25, 1992. We wish the club every success and plan to help the club have a top-notch MB-F quality show their first time out.
We are very pleased to be superintending 32 dog shows on the West Coast and look forward to increasing the number of events that we are involved in, in the the near future.
DIVISION OF MB-F, INC.
Our Michigan office has had a very successful year to date and is currently doing more shows than ever in our history. We do all MB-F, Inc. shows in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Western Pennsylvania, Western Ney York, Kentucky, most of Illinois and some in Tennessee. By the end of this year we will have Superintended 163 All-Breed and/or Obedience Shows and 124 individual Specialty Shows (some of which are in a Combined Format, but each requiring a separate settlement) from this office. Additionally, we will have done 20 Package shows.
We have had several new Cluster Shows this year and some re-alignments of shows which were quite successful. We are eagerly looking forward to even more of the same next year.
The Michigan office has had many compliments on its new Group and Photographer Ramps and Signs which are brought to every single show. We also have our own garden gating for Group Rings and Special Events Rings which is available, where feasible by reservation and at an additonal fee.
As the Greensboro headquarters does, so have we taken a very active role in helping new and old Clubs plan their show site arrangements. We regularly inspect show sites, draw scale layouts, plan and order tenting, if requested by the Clubs. This benefits all concerned by allowing us to place dogs in appropriately sized rings and have an organized numbering sequence. Our office can subcontract any number or size of tents and often we are able to have all tents match in special Club colors.
A number of Clubs have complained they are losing money. We have informed them their Entry Fees are too low and they have not progressed with the inflation rate. We have assured them they need not be afraid of making increases. The Clubs that did raise their fees have been amazed that their entry totals were not affected and in fact, in many cases, there was an increase. We have explained the entry fees are the cheapest part of the Dog Show and if the exhibitors and handlers like the judges selected on the panel, the entry fee raise will not keep them home.
Ever lock yourself out of your room while getting a bucket of ice?
SOLUTION: Before leaving your room, put your dead bolt on after opening the door OR pull the chain outside the doore and close the door on it.
DID YOU KNOW? Holiday Inns, as of January 1992, are required to have feather pillows available on request?
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