World’s Fastest Indian

I just went to see “World’s fastest Indian” with Anthony Hopkins, and highly recommend it. Besides triumph of the human spirit- it also reminds us that bureaucrats don’t make this world a better place.

Hopkins quotes Teddy Roosevelt in the movie-
the same quote that was given to me by one of my mentors in life- then USMC Major Jonathan C. Chase, just before I went into the Army:

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actuallyin the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

The movie is an call to those of us who like to think big- and make things happen.


“Aviation Theme Park” another fiasco in the making

Today’s Dayton Daily News had two related articles on the front-page today-

“Theme Park on Aviation Centerpiece of Area Plan” and “Fountain Blasts into Courtroom.”

Both should go in the feeble ideas category.

If there is one thing that “inventing flight” should have proved back in 2003- it’s that marveling about the Wright brothers is only something about .00001 of the population cares about- unfortunately, they are amount to a very squeaky wheel in Dayton and get far more face time than they deserve.

People barely notice when a Space Shuttle launches these days- this isn’t 1969 when the world stopped to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. This idea needs to go away fast- before we have another expensive fiasco on our hands.

Expensive fiasco is what the RiverScape fountains have become. Besides the insanity of throwing quality well water in the air in huge quantities- which then mists and coats everything with lime, the fountains don’t fire often enough to be any kind of attraction at all. If we had spent the fountain money on a white water park- we would have had people flocking down to INTERACT with the river- instead of be irritated by it.

The lawsuit against the fountain designer, EAW, is just another example of why we need to institute IQ tests for our local elected leaders. I think I was one of the few dissenters on this plan- the other was the now exiled, Leigh Allan of the Dayton Daily News.

Aviation tourism as an economic development tool is a long shot gamble. We’ve had the Air Force Museum here and failed to support it for years- if we are dead set on doing something along the lines of an Aviation theme park- it better be right on the grounds of the museum.

Should we worry yet?


I’m not going to go on a rant about how I believe our country is in peril- watch the flash link above- and feel free to comment.

When I look at the CEO of DP&L making a million dollar bonus, while his customers are unable to keep their heat on- I think we have a problem. After all- how hard can it really be to sell electricity? Do you have to have brilliant marketing strategy? Worry about the competition? You get the point. Business 101: Profit is a return for a risk- yet to be the CEO of DP&L you assume zero risk.

When I look at banks and credit card companies charging people up to 30% interest on credit card debt- while allowing people to continue to charge- I once again wonder- is anybody thinking?

Look at the record number of foreclosures in the State of Ohio- from “legal” yet- predatory lending- and I wonder- if there is no one left to pay property taxes- how will government survive?

When the country worries more about being attacked from overseas- while our own people are being robbed of decent jobs, affordable education, healthcare and even our Constitutional rights- what kind of country are we protecting?

I’m not saying that voting Democrat is the answer either- until we take the lobbyists out and shoot them, we will continue to have the best politicians money can buy.

Basketball Dreams?

Trotwood and Dunbar Boys Basketball going to the State finals- starts me thinking, again…

In Dayton we take basketball seriously. Well, almost seriously. Blasphemy you say? Hear me out on this.
We’re as provincial with our basketball training programs as we are with our “economic development” competition between municipalities. We don’t have a city wide, organized basketball development program- with a full time staff, scheduling services, training programs for coaches and officials etc. This is similar to the many uncoordinated youth hockey programs in Cleveland that don’t produce many NHL players- even though Cleveland has one of the highest densities of indoor ice rinks per capita in the world (according to former Miami University Hockey boss Jack Vivian 20 years ago).
Vivian was recruited to go up to Detroit and organize all the rinks to work together to “tier” players- and build a true developmental system for the Detroit Hockey community. This could be how Dayton puts itself on the map as a great place to live and raise future NBA players.
Not to take anything away from Trotwood and Dunbar, and the powerhouse women’s teams we’ve produced at CJ, Beavercreek and Fairborn, but a coordinated program could elevate both our basketball talent production- and our city pride.
Note- through all of this- I’m talking City as in all of Montgomery County- not just the city proper (the view we HAVE to take to move forward).
When The Next Wave (my ad agency) works with companies to build successful strategies to market themselves- I always look to build on strengths- what do you do best, what is most profitable, what is the low hanging fruit- so that we can make significant progress quickly. This is the opposite of typical behavior in Dayton – where we throw extra effort to fix the broken things, instead of driving the natural successes (witness the “Downtown Dayton Partnership” being funded by taxes, while the Oregon District Business Association has to hit its members up for funding- to fight city hall).
With the coming Kroc center, with the new city rec  center or centers, and with so many people running around focusing on what to bring to town- why don’t we focus on what we have, make it great, and see what happens.
So- Go Trotwood, Go Dunbar- and let’s go Dayton- start turning us into Hoopsville USA- home of the best youth basketball programs in the county- instead of chasing the idea of the grass is greener plans of tech-town, composites or RFID.

Do you think we should “Just do it” for an Regional integrated basketball developmental program?

Biancardi payment criminal- NCAA just as guilty

This has been driving me nuts since last week when Dr. Mike Cusak, Athletic Director for Wright State University, decided to hand $168,000 to former basketball coach Paul Biancardi to go away. Biancardi was banned from participating in recruiting because of his involvement with paying a recruit $6,000 while he was at Ohio State.
No matter what the NCAA decided as a punishment, Biancardi has had a job for almost 2 years while the investigation took place. He continued to say he had done nothing wrong, the NCAA verdict proves he was lying. Liars shouldn’t be paid- not when they are supposed to be moral guideposts for young men whom they coach and mentor.
Cusak had no problem firing former WSU coach Ralph Underhill for shoplifting $39 worth of vitamins- yet here; the bagman gets rewarded with a year’s salary.
Here are two things that bother me most:

  • Who gives Cusak the right to decide to spend $168,000 of State money for services not performed? Biancardi’s actions made him ineligible to complete his duties.
  • Where is the outrage from other members of the WSU community? That kind of money could fund a club, research, and a bunch of scholarships. I founded the Raider hockey club when I was a freshman in 1983- if Cusak had given me $168,000 the hockey club would have survived longer than 2 partial seasons.

The last thing that bothers me isn’t just specific to Wright State- it’s college sports in general- slavery and indentured servitude still exist in this county- it’s called NCAA sports- where coaches and schools make millions of dollars off the labor provided for a measly college scholarship. Where players are expected to give up their lives, risk permanent injury to their bodies, perform to their peak and maintain a 2.0 gpa- all so people like Cusak can hand out their hard earned money- to a coach who broke the “rules” of this athletic cartel.
If there is any profession more in need of a union today than college athletics, I don’t know what it is. In the mean time- Biancardi should have to return the money and earn an honest living until his kangaroo court penalty expires and he can return to the fold of slave owners now known as Division 1 coaches.

What do you think?

Smoke free Dayton? Long overdue.

Last night I went to Cincinnati to see Matisyahu at Bogart’s in Clifton. Rode the BMW down in 28-degree weather- (thank you Gerbing’s heated gear!) and didn’t even mind paying (well, I sort of minded) $60 to a scalper for a ticket.

The show was worth it- but it would have been so much better if it were in Columbus where it is smoke free. My sinuses were still bleeding this morning.

Less than 27% of Ohioan’s smoke- except when they go out and have to endure this vile habit, forced upon them by the idiots’s who are trying to kill themselves. If Ohio wants to compete as a location to relocate your high tech workforce- it’s time we stop forcing people with brains to submit to those low-tech fools who smoke.

Here is a link to my pictures from the show– plus a little quicktime video of his solo rap.


What to do in Dayton if you are here for the NCAA tournament.

My advice- my opinions. Mostly Downtown.

Eat at some of the great amazing independent restaurants. Skip the chains- you can eat there when you are at home. Friday’s is Friday’s anywhere in the country.

Personal favorites: The Blue Moon– great steaks, a $15 hamburger, nice place to take a date- amazing sea food- you don’t have to dress to match the decor- has parking- but you have to know how to get to it.

Pine Club– great steaks. BRING CASH or CHECK- no credit cards. Easy parking. Garlic dressing on salad rocks. The best $7 burger you will ever eat. Lines can be long- they won’t seat a party till everyone is there.

Dublin Pub– St. Paddy’s day madness- great sandwiches, Irish food. Used to be a Shell station- but you’d never know it. Easy parking.

Pizza- I have 2 favorites- Flying Pizza has great thick, Sicilian slices- with garlic. The downtown location is only open till 7pm- but worth it. Parking is a pain- unless you can walk 150 feet from a meter.

Pizza Factory– they will deliver to the Marriott, Crowne Plaza and the Doubletree downtown- amazing funky pizzas for the bold- personal favorites- the Reuben, the Pesto Pizzaz, Chicken Cordon Bleu- and then they have the tamer- Classic Italian- a white pizza that rocks (get it without the Italian Sausage for a great veggie option). They have a dine in- with beer- that is open till 11 on Fri and Sat- easy parking at 1301 Wayne- watch out- the carry out is 2 blocks from the dine in. Easy to get confused.

Thai 9 in the Oregon District is the coolest place for Sushi and Thai. Parking is easy- if you find the lot off E. 5th street.

Drinking- I like the 3 downtown non-smoking places- Gillys, Pacchia Jazz Room and the Therapy Cafe. (everyplace is now non-smoking)

Dancing: Either Pearl or the Foundry. I’ve heard good things about Masque but haven’t been there. The smoke takes the fun out of them for me. Dayton is still backwards- and can’t pass a smoke free ordinance.

Museums: The Dayton Art Institute is one of my favorite museums- anywhere in the world. I’ve been to some of the best- and other than the Guggenheim in NYC- I don’t think I’ve ever felt more connected with art than at the DAI. The museum is free- but the Princess Dianna exhibit that is there now costs extra.
There is also the Air Force Museum. You’ll never make it through in a day- but it’s super cool- and free! They have an iMax there- and it’s only like $5 a seat- mostly aviation films.

Want to go somewhere quiet? Go to Woodland Cemetery– see the Wright Brothers plot (boring) or marvel at some of the most pretentious tombstones you’ll ever see- some rich people from Dayton thought they were REALLY important.
Carillon Park is also a nice place to unwind- and you can see a full size version of the Wright B flyer. It’s close to UD Arena.

Saturday night- and no ticket- go see the Dayton Bombers play at the Nutter Center. They’ll get their butts kicked- but you might see some good fights. Tickets are cheap- and the hockey action is the fast thanks to the new rules.

This isn’t a comprehensive list- but if you are here watching Basketball- you still gotta eat. Enjoy! Welcome to Dayton, Basketball fans.


20 Nov 2013 someone told me about a dead link in this post- so I came to update it. Ohio is now smoke free. Some of the places have closed. I’d add Olive, an Urban Dive Serendipity Bistro, Fusian, Blind Bobs, to the list of where to eat. The Dayton Bombers are history- the Dayton Demonz play a Hara Arena.

The next Mayor of Dayton?

Hey, it’s never too early to start campaigning!

This is a direct link to a wmv file- that, well, has some interesting ideas. 

David Sparks for Mayor of Dayton in 2009? Why not?

His proposal for allowing returning vets to homestead isn’t that far out. Many military retiree’s fixed income would go farther here than in other cities.

Reviewers in fantasyland

Terry Morris is the dance reviewer for the Dayton Daily News. I’m wondering why. Imagine a movie reviewer who would say things like- “Brokeback Mountain” would be better if it had John Wayne in it.
That’s sort of how his last review (not available online) of local dance troupe Rhythm in Shoes went. He spent more time about how their “best dancer” was missing that actually reviewing the performance. Last I checked, Nate Cooper has been out of Rhythm in Shoes for at least a year- and has made guest appearances. That’s the sort of thing you do when your Mom runs the company. Granted Nate is an incredible talent- but his absence isn’t relevant to the review of the performance.
“Dayton would be great if” disease strikes the Dayton Daily News again. Instead of focusing on the positive- Rhythm in Shoes gives this community an amazing, entertaining show every time! We have people employed in the media that focus on the negative- even if they have to work hard to make one up.
How does the Dayton Daily News find so many bitter, miserable people? And what makes them think we want to read this drivel?
What do you think?