Thursday, August 25, 2016

All About Dallas – And Some Things To Do When You Get There

Dallas is the third largest city in Texas, after Houston and San Antonio, and the ninth largest in the US, with a population of 1.3 million. In 2013, the latest figures available, Dallas was 14th in the world rankings of cities’ GDP by the OECD.

Long claimed by the Spanish, Texas became a republic in 1836 with the majority of the population being Anglo-American settlers. Dallas County was established in 1846 and the city of Dallas was incorporated on February 2nd 1856. The city became a major industrial and trading center and was booming by the end of the 19th century.

On November 22nd 1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street and the top two floors of the building from where the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot him are now a museum dedicated to Kennedy.

During a peaceful protest on July 7th 2016 against the police killing of two black men in other states, Micah Johnson began shooting at police and killed five officers in protest, saying that he wanted to kill white people, especially police. Johnson was eventually killed by a robot bomb.

Dallas was founded along the Trinity River and the land around the city is mainly flat. The river now has 50’ high earthen levees on each side to protect the city from frequent flooding.

White Rock Lake is a popular place in the city for boating, joggers, and bikers, and on its’ Eastern shore is the 66 acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Water Lily

The climate in Dallas is humid sub-tropical with temperatures easily reaching 100º and sometimes 110º in August.

Things To Do In Dallas

Apart from the Arboretum, which is well worth visiting, especially during August Dollar Days - $1 admission and $5 parking – there is the Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium which is home to more than 5,000 creatures and includes a turtle rescue center.

The kids will love a visit to the Legoland Discovery Center, while some of the most fascinating modern and contemporary sculpture are to be found at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Then there is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, with displays of strange artefacts from around the world covering 7,000 square feet. Or you might like to try indoor skydiving at the Indoor Skydiving Experience where you can float and enjoy the thrill of skydiving in a vertical wind chamber.

There is also the Lake Carolyn Lear Boat Cruise. It is on a spacious electric boat designed by the Lear Jet Company and takes you down the Mandalay Canal which is like a corner of old world Italy.

You can also hire a Segway and ride down the streets of Dallas on two wheels.

Yes, there is a whole ton of things to do in Dallas, and you can be certain that a two week holiday won’t be enough.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Brief History Of Kansas

 Kansas became the 34th state in the US on January 29th 1861. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 had opened both areas to settlement and allowed settlers to decide whether the two states would be “free” or “slave” causing both North and South to go into competition with each other to send the most settlers.

As may be imagined, this soon led to violence, to the extent that Kansas became known as “Bleeding Kansas”. Today, nicknames for Kansas are Sunflower State, Jayhawk State, and Wheat State, the latter a result of the huge tracts of the state devoted to wheat growing. Sumner County produced 9 million bushels of wheat in 2009. Corn, sorghum and soy beans are also grown. The name “Jayhawk” was originally given to looters during the unrest when North and South were both sending settlers in the 1850’s, although some think it was the name given to anti-slavery fighters in the Civil War.

The Most Fatal Casualties

During the American Civil War, from 1861 – 1865, Kansas had more fatal casualties than any other State in the Union. In 1866 the 7th Cavalry was established at Fort Riley under General Custer, who in June 1876 led the regiment at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The fort had been established in 1853 near the Kansas river to protect trade and settlers along the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails.

The motto on the State flag – Ad Astra Per Aspera – means “to the stars through difficulties”.

Kansas is also known for the major military installation at Fort Leavenworth, for jazz, and as the setting for The Wizard of Oz. The State covers some 82,000 square miles and has a total population of approximately 2.9 million. In the last twelve months, Kansas has had a total of 1,744 earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 or more, mostly at depths between 4 km and 6 km.

The largest city in Kansas is Wichita, with a population of 600,000, and is a major aircraft manufacturing center. Up-river from Wichita is the city of Hutchinson which is home to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Prairie Dunes Country Club, and the Kansas State Fair.

Summers Are Very Hot

Summers in Kansas are often very hot indeed with some areas having temperatures of over 100º during June, July, and August, but in the eastern two thirds of the State the winters can be cold. However, the western part of the state receives Chinook winds in the winter which can keep the temperature up to 80º.

The legal age for drinking in Kansas is 21, but the state still has 29 dry counties, while only 17 counties have enacted liquor-by-the-drink laws which enable alcoholic drinks to be sold with no food purchase requirement.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Wichita

Wichita in Kansas began life as a trading post in the 1860’s and was incorporated as far back as 1870. It became a key stopping-off point for cowboys driving cattle from Texas to railroads further north which is why its’ nickname is Cowtown.

Across the Arkansas river in Delano there were many saloons and brothels to keep the cowboys entertained and the town earned a name for fights and lawlessness until local lawmen – including Wyatt Earp – put a stop to them.

The name Wichita is that of native Indians first discovered by a Spanish explorer in 1541: they were also known as the Quivira people.

In 1914 and 1915 oil and gas deposits were found in Butler County close by, and by the 1920’s there were twelve refineries operating in the area

Aircraft Manufacturing

Wichita also became known for its aircraft manufacturing, with Clyde Cessna building the first Cessna Comet in 1917. The Swallow Airplane Company was formed in 1917 and two of its’ early employees, Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech both went on to found their own aircraft manufacturing businesses. In 1929 Wichita was named “aircraft capital of the world” by the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce. Boeing
( also established a major plant there where it manufactured the Boeing B-29 bomber during the Second World War.

As a result of all the aircraft manufacturing, the local airport, now named Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, became the largest in Kansas.

Pizza Hut

In 1889 A. A. Hyde founded Mentholatum and sports goods manufacturer Coleman began in the early 1900’s. Wichita is also home to Pizza Hut which began in 1958.

The Wichita Art Museum is the largest in Kansas and contains no less than 7,000 works of art of varying descriptions. Many other smaller art galleries are to be found in Old Town, Delano, and South Commerce Street, and it was these that started the Final Friday Gallery Crawl which enables visitors to tour them for free on the last Friday of the month.

Wichita has suffered from many floods, including during 1944 when it was flooded three times in 11 days. This was when the Wichita-Valley Center Floodway was conceived and it is known locally as “The Big Ditch”.

Among famous people who were born or lived in Wichita are Rick Mears who won the Indianapolis 500 on four occasions, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, Bill Lear of Lear Jet, Walter Beech and Olive Beech (Beech Aircraft Company), and Dan and Frank Carney (Pizza Hut).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Best SEO Books 2015 - a List of Lists of the Best Books on Search Engine Optimization 2015

As one of the pre-eminent bloggers in Wichita, and throughout Kansas, I get a lot of requests from my small business friends for the best books on this, or on that.  Among the most common topics is 'search engine optimization' or SEO. If you're not familiar with that, it's the art and science of getting your company to the top of Google.

SBest SEO Books, 2015o in that spirit, here is my lists of lists - lists of good SEO books for 2015.  If you know of a good list, email me.

Best SEO Books: a List of Lists

So there you have it, a list of lists of the best SEO books for my Wichita friends.  One 'book' that didn't make any of these lists, but should have: Google's own Search Engine Starter guide, available (for free) in PDF.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stamford Linen - to the Rescue

Recently I was in Stamford, CT, for a wedding.  While I was there my Tux got ruined and fortunately Stamford Linen fixed it.  (More on this later).

Monday, December 16, 2013

Wichita Business Blog Workshops

Hey guys...Wichita is so lucky that we have the Wichita State University Small Business Development Center. These folks produce a lot of great workshops that can help you get your business promoted. For instance -

Meeting the 3 Ms: Learning the Basics of Marketing, Management and Money

If you want to start a new business, the three Ms are critical. This free workshop offers essential information about Marketing, Management and Money that will help you assess the feasibility of your business idea and start writing your business plan. Learn where to get required licenses and permits, how to finance your business, business plan development and more.

Wichita Business Workshops
WSU Hughes Metro Complex, Oliver and 29th, Wichita
Cost: Free

Choose from these dates:
Tuesday, December 3, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday, December 11, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Thursday, December 19, 3:00 pm - 5:00 PM
Thursday, January 9, 3:00 pm - 5:00 PM
Friday, January 17, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Monday, January 27, 3:00 PM -5:00 PM
Wednesday, February 5, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Thursday, February 13, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Monday, February 24, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday, March 4, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM

Learn More Here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Social Media Training - Beyond Just Wichita

Hello Wichita!  It's been a while.. I know, I know.  It's hard being a volunteer blogger and blogging on how to get your business online, do better as a Wichita business.

Believe me!  I am just a poor lowly student in marketing, surviving out here on the prairie and Winter's a comin'.

But I digress.

Social Media Marketing Training

Social Media Marketing Training
What I want to share today is a new program I found that might be useful to Wichita-based businesses.  It is an online social media training program by the JM Internet Group.

They even have a free introductory webinar on the Top Ten Free Tools for Social Media, here.

From their class description on Social Media:

Social Media, they say, is all about the conversation. But for businesses and organizations like non-profits or government entities, social media can be a confusing marketing challenge. The big social media are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter but don't forget blogging, YouTubing, social bookmarks, and many, many more. What are the best ways to engage customers using social media? What is local search, like Google or Yelp and how are these media social? In this in-depth three online Social Media class, learn the best practices for social media. Listen to your customers, as well as participate in a conversation with your customers. Master the in's and out's of social media as part of your larger Internet media strategy. Learn Facebook Marketing, Local Search / Google Places Marketing, Yelp Marketing, Twitter Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing, YouTube Marketing and more!

It looks pretty good.  So if you are into Social Media Marketing - of which I can't find ANY classes in Wichita, KS.  This might be a good option.