Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Happy 6th+ Year Anniversary to Geauga Lake Being Closed – NOT! – A Revitalization Idea!

I just saw that it has been 6+ years since Geauga Lake in Northeast Ohio closed out of nowhere on the last day of the season!   Like everyone else that grew up in Northeast Ohio, this was devastating to me. This is part of where we grew up, we had season tickets, we went there every weekend as teenagers.  Hundreds if not thousands of memories were made.  In reality, I always knew growing up that this could happen to an amusement park, just never though it would be my amusement park!  I always had a fascination for Euclid Beach Park and it’s closure.  I read many books, but still could never understand why a park would close.  The fun, the memories, the screams, the laughter, why, how, could it happen?  As I became older and wiser, I realized, it all comes down to MONEY.

Money is probably what has caused the land to sit empty for 6 years.  Money is why no one wants to buy the land.  Money is why no one can figure out what to do with The Big Dipper.  Honestly, it’s been a recession, who wants it?  I’m not here to disrespect Cedar Fair or talk about what happened.  I’m here to present my proposal for the land.  I heard today that a trustee thought a medical campus would be a good idea for the land.  I laughed.  Why does the Cleveland area need another hospital complex?

The best thing moving forward is to create an 1887 Geauga Lake “Pre-amusement park era” mixed with a modern use mixed residential and commercial property.  I present to you the new Geauga Lake:

Screen shot of my design for Geauga Lake.

Screen shot of my design for Geauga Lake.

 

This Google Maps page, “An Idea for the Geauga Lake Property” , pretty much explains all of my ideas if you hover over all of them, but I will go over the basics in a list here:

  • The Yellow Areas are public spaces that provide entertainment for anyone entering the park, these include rides and the beach.  The whole park would be open to the public, with pay for use on the rides and attractions. The beach would be free, with revenue coming in from concessions, drinks, non power boat rental and umbrella/chair rental!  The new attractions would be on the smaller scale and could include go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages and kids rides.  All of the attractions would use a smartphone app for payment and services.
  • The Orange Area is designated to The Big Dipper, the main attraction and saving it!
  • The Green Areas are all green space that divide commercial areas from residential areas or just provide a nice area for park space.
  • The Blue Areas are all commercial areas for restaurants, shopping and nightlife.  They also include a marina, event center and hotel!
  • The Maroon areas are all for upscale condos, apartments, town homes and possibly single family housing.  The idea is they will be close enough to walk to all of the entertainment options (and possibly work) in the blue areas, but far enough away that noise will not be a huge concern.  A shuttle/trolley service could be designed to easily move people around the new Geauga Lake.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • I don’t know anything.  I have not done any cost analysis, acre analysis, city/township border analysis, etc.  I assume it’s in the billions of dollars to complete.   It sounds like a fun place to live; if it gets built, I will live there.
  • This is just an idea I came up with in my spare time.  I don’t have any affiliation with Aurora, OH or Bainbridge Township, OH.  I just think it’s the best idea I have heard.  Let’s be honest, the park is not going to ever go back to it’s former glory days and this seems like a good plan to make it a fun place to live and/or visit.  Let’s bring back the 1887 days?
  • I currently live out of state and have no idea if this kind of mixed use development would work where Geauga Lake it located.  I don’t even really know or understand what all that big box shopping is around it.
  • This design is conceptual and is created by Dan Murry – http://dmurry.com  – It may not be used or reproduced without written permission from author.

 

 

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31

05 2014

Upcoming Site Tasks

I’ve been ignoring my site lately.  I keep thinking about all the plans I have to improve and at least make it moderately useful.  I need to really figure out what my goals are with it and work towards them. The tag line “Technology, News, Photography, Life” really explains what my interests are and what this site is supposed to be about.  I do realize that these topics are pretty broad, but in the end this allows me to write about more of my interests.

Goals

  • Design or implement a new theme
  • Create new header/logo
  • Integrate Gallery 2 with WordPress
  • Integrate Google Adsense Search – (do i still want to do this?)
  • Add photography
  • Setup my About page
  • Finish my woot! page – (no longer going to complete)
  • Post some woot! reviews and projects
  • Earn first $100 with Adsense
  • Earn enough to purchase DSLR to replace past stolen camera and continue on with my photography hobby  (received as Christmas present)
  • Post once a week
  • Implement and try out Google Analytics
  • Change to dmurry.com instead of www.dmurry.com
  • Try new permalink structure /category/post-name
  • Add social media links
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22

04 2009

Circuit City from Good to Great to Gone

Circuit City Closed

Circuit City Closed

It is a sad day to see Circuit City finally close their doors.  There was a small hope that they could close a few stores, make well with their creditors, and continue doing business after filing Chapter 11 last year.  The problem is the chances of this happening are next to none.  In fact, this has never happened with a big box electronics retailer.

After all, who would loan money to a failing business?  Who would allow products to be sold on credit and hope that the company would be able to pay their bills next month?  A company with a great status and credit rating is able to have all of this.  In fact, they were proclaimed in 2001as a great company by Jim Collins in his book, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.” They apparently could not be great forever.

“The study began with a field of 1,435 companies and emerged with a list of 11 good-to-great companies: Abbott Laboratories, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., the Kroger Co., Nucor Corp., Philip Morris Cos. Inc., Pitney Bowes Inc., Walgreens, and Wells Fargo.”  The book stresses the need for great companies to have great people to propel it forward and all of the previous companies had this at the time of publishing.  It is deemed the flywheel effect – as long as great people are continuously propelling the wheel forward it will not completely stall.  The momentum from the wheel moving forward drives innovation, development, sales and eventually profit.

Most people would agree that the majority of the problems started occurring when Phil Schoonover took over as CEO on March 1st, 2006.  Exactly a year later, in March 2007 he decided to layoff 3,400 of its highest paid sales people.  The exact thing that Jim Collins said makes a great company he just got rid of because they were “too expensive”. The good sales people were at the front of the wheel, pushing the product out the door and when that slowed so did everything else behind it. This effectively slowed the motion of the flywheel and less than a two years later it came to a complete stop.   Did Phil Schoonover not read this book or even hear about it?  Did he not realize that people mainly shopped at Circuit City for the customer service and knowledgeable sales staff?

Probably not.  After all, what is personal in your face customer service in a big box retailer anymore?  It is one of the only things that they have above online retailers.  The other thing that they have is the physical product on display.  They have the ability for the consumer to inspect, hold, try out and instantly take home the product.  They need to exaggerate this, have their best salesmen trying to convince you to purchase and make the shopping experience phenomenal.  If not, why not go home, purchase the product for cheaper online and wait 3-5 days for it to arrive?

Even with the the liquidation sales at the remaining Circuit City stores, do not expect to find an amazing deal.  This was noticed at their first round of closing during the end of last year.  It was typical to find an item marked up to Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) or higher and then the discount taken from that.  This means that the same item whether laptop, flat panel TV, or speakers could usually be found at a competing big box retailer for significantly cheaper.  It was always cheaper through an online retailer. The only time that a deal might be found is in the last week or two of the liquidation sale when the percentages are 40-50% off, but by then not much worthwhile could be had.

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02

02 2009

XOHM WiMax in Baltimore

Sprint’s next generation (4G) network XOHM WiMax Broadband network claims they are set out to revolutionize the way we connect by allowing the same kind of connection at home and on the go.  I don’t believe they are too far off from this claim.  However, I would hold out on the mobile devices until the 3G and 4G devices are available so it will be possible to connect in other cities where XOHM is not available yet, from the Press Release:

Sprint will be the first and only wireless carrier to launch a dual-mode 3G – 4G access device expected later in the fourth quarter. This device will extend Sprint’s mobile broadband leadership by offering the power of the NOW network — the largest 3G data network in the U.S. — with the fastest data speeds among all national carriers available on this new 4G network in Baltimore and in future markets.

I recently saw the XOHM kiosk’s at the Fells Point Fun Festival in Baltimore and briefly played with the Nokia 810 connected to the WiMax network.  It worked as expected and browsed to all the pages I went to with out delay.  I wish I could justify the cost for one of the Nokia 810s.  I overheard one of the guys working the stand talking about the speed tests they had been trying on the laptops all day.  From what I heard he said some have been slower than advertised and some have been decently faster than the stated, “We define High Performance level as average 2 – 4 Mbps download speed and 0.5 – 1.5 Mbps upload speed.”

I did not really think about it being a possibility of using this service until I received my recent cable bill and saw my promotional offer of $33/month for a year from Comcast has expired.  It has been raised to $42.95/month.  This is on the border of being too much to pay for internet, even with an advertised 6Mbps+ down.  (I’ve actually been averaging 10Mbps with DSL Reports speed tests.)  XOHM is offering a special until 12/31/2008 for $50/month for 2 devices for the lifetime of the account.  Baltimore, MD XOHM CoverageThis means that it is possible to get a wireless modem to plug into an existing wireless network and an express or usb card for a laptop connection for $50/month!  The individual options are not as good of a deal at $25/month for 6 months and $35/month thereafter for the Home connection.  While, the mobile option by itself is $30/month for 6 months and then $45/month afterward.

I could justify the $7.05 more a month to have a mobile broadband card to use in Baltimore (soon to be in more cities and eventually with 3G networks). The coverage area is currently strong where I live, but does not exist where I work.  I would imagine I could use the mobile broadband card at home and get 2 – 4 Mbps down and 0.5 – 1.5 Mbps up on the laptop  and on the modem connected to the network.  Definitely an intriguing offer to think about.

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08

10 2008

Google Does it Again

Google announced today on CNN that they will be giving away $10 million to an idea that will change the world to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  The project is called Project10 to the 100, another play on numbers as Google’s name is.

The project’s slogan is “May Those Who Help The Most Win” and the basic idea is to come up with a new innovative idea that will change the world for the better.  They referenced Google News being created by a Google engineer after the September 11th attacks and the Hippo Water Roller, which has improved water transportation in countries like Africa that do not have a running water supply.  Their opening video explains it all.

I’m turning the wheels in my brain trying to think of an idea.  Anyone want to work together?  Good luck to all!

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24

09 2008

Honda Removes Alpaca from Fit

I always thought this was a good marketing choice.  I would love to haul an alpaca around in a Honda Fit.

From the 2008 Honda Fit site:

Alpaca in Honda Fit

However, the 2009 Honda Fit site no longer shows the alpaca in the fit.  What happened here?  Animal rights activists?  Too much attention?  Post if you know the answer.

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10

09 2008

I would prefer to ride the train…

In response to the article on newsweek.com, which can be found at http://www.newsweek.com/id/147648

I would prefer to ride a train to travel short distances if it was faster than driving and financially beneficial. I agree with the article and am glad that train ridership is on the rise, but for me to make the switch from driving a car it needs to be more reasonably priced. Let’s take an example using a popular travel destination for my area.

A train trip from Baltimore, Maryland to Atlantic City, New Jersey would cost me $305 for 2 people round trip. The times specified are fine and I would only have to change trains one time each way. The travel times for this trip are about 3 hours each way for either riding a train or driving a car. The problem is it will not cost me anywhere near $305 to drive. It’s about 300 miles round trip, and at the government mileage rate of 58.5 cents a mile (which I feel is high for a car that gets good MPG) would come out to $175.50. This rate accounts for mileage, fuel, depreciation on the car, etc. If I’d want to look at my immediate out of pocket expenses then it would be even less to drive! Think 306miles/30MPG = 10.2 gallons * $4/gallon = $40.80! The only way it might make sense to take a train if I was traveling alone. The price just about needs to be cut in half to $150 for two round trip ($75/person) from Baltimore to Atlantic City to really attract my attention and change my method of travel for this weekend getaway.

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23

07 2008