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?