Thursday, October 20, 2016

What I Learned From Hurricane Matthew


  • If you can’t find a hotel within a 170 mile radius. you may elect to sleep in your van.  Some people I know drove to Alabama (the nearest Alabama town of any size is 260 miles away) to get a hotel. Us? No thanks.
  • Humility
  • WalMart at 4 a.m...is not much different than WalMart at 4 p.m., but has fewer shoppers.
  • We are a culture of convenience, balking and flailing when without electricity and running water, not to mention technology.
  • Our News4Jax news team is genuinely concerned for us.
  • Governor Rick Scott is a bit scary when a hurricane is coming.
  • The song “Riding the Storm Out” (REO Speedwagon), may get stuck in your head—even though it’s about a winter storm in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Thankfulness - for power, food, internet, news teams, JEA (power company here), having family to weather the storm with, and last but not least, finding a hotel after the storm to wait out the almost 4-day power outage 
  • Hurricane is a silly name for something that does anything but hurry. (I know, “hurry” is not part of the etymology of the word, “hurricane.”)
  • We are not in charge of our world.
  • Most importantly and universally applicable, the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not take life for granted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My Favorite Travel Hacks

TSA Precheck
If you haven’t already done so, get this. I used to occasionally get a complimentary precheck status on my boarding pass and finally decided to apply for the paid version. With TSA precheck I go through that short quick line and do not need to be bothered with removing belt, shoes or – my most dreaded – removing the laptop from my luggage with one hand while moving forward in the line! The paid version is $85 and is good for five years of the Easy Button line. The application process is straightforward, but make an appointment.  The office where I had to go had about 10 people there and I was very glad to have an appointment as some had been waiting two hours. Also, make sure TSA Precheck is accepted by your airline. More info here: TSA Precheck

May I See Your ID?
I pack my wallet in my carry-on, but it’s more convenient to keep my driver’s license in my pants pocket for the check-in and security process. Still, it’s easy for that license to slip out of my pocket and be lost. I now slide it in my pocket-size business card holder and that stays in my pocket securely.  I also keep my bank card in there too, so it's handy for my Starbucks stop or anything that may come up.

Zoom Menu
If you don’t have time for a meal at the airport tote a healthy sandwich, muffin or energy bar. I usually have to zoom from the terminal to baggage claim to the ground transportation to catch a bus with zero time to wait in line for food. I make sure to pack my food securely in a plastic container and a Ziploc bag so the aroma  from the sandwich that may be quite appealing to me does not bother other passengers on the plane!

Sensitive Ears
I have a lot of discomfort while ascending and descending. Sometimes it can last 24 hours or more after flying. So I discovered that if I keep my headphones in my ears during those times, there is hardly any discomfort. Sometimes I also use bubblegum.

Freehand
I have a lot of luggage! A backpack is indispensable and is especially helpful after I grab my baggage and continue my journey on a bus that includes a transfer.

Rushing Water
Bring an empty water bottle in your carry-on so that you can fill it from a water fountain when you arrive at your destination. Again this is for when time is critical and you can’t wait in line.

No Ice, Please
Serve me my juice in that little bitty cup and fill it with ice? No thanks, I would rather have more juice.

Flight Attendants
Make their day and be a happy, smiling passenger. Smile and say “Hi” when you board and “Thank you, have a nice day” when you deplane, especially if there have been delays or other negatives.
They could use some encouragement:  7 Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You

Friday, April 8, 2016

Progress Report - or "What happened to that Goal I Set?"

goals and progress, like a game
What's new since I last decided to make a change for the better?
Possibly I read an article, talked to a friend or watched a program that inspired me. I shove the spade in the ground, determined to get going on this new goal. Maybe it's a personal goal like a diet; maybe a professional goal like more efficient project management. But it is gleaming and sparkly and I am fueled up with the leftover energy from whatever inspired me.  I do some research, may buy a book, may download an app, shop for something related to the goal.  I might even make a list, (sarcasm, I am a compulsive list-maker).
So, weeks go by or days, some increment of time. Where am I now on the goal? What happened to that full head of steam?

How not to get bogged down in setting goals:

Expect nothing and when you get it you won't be disappointed. 
That sounds super negative, but it really makes sense. If I expect too much of myself or my time, family, job, boss, or any other factor or player in this goal, I am setting myself up to be disappointed.
Just Live.
Similar to "Just breathe" as is so often heard in our culture.
I made a goal. I did stuff to make it happen. It's not happening as fast as I wanted it to. Just Live. Go about my business and do what needs to be done. Devote attention to the goal as needed or as able.
Take account.
Measure progress.  This is essential to any goal.  Reward success.  Repeat whatever action caused the success. (Spoken like a true programmer.)
Oh and if there is no progress or it stops dead, give self a kick in the pants.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Where's the art? Where's the poetry?

I remember asking myself that question when I was working at my job, working for someone else. I envisioned a day when I owned my own business and could some how discover a way to weave art and poetry into my business in a tangible workable way Well as most know and experience earning a living, especially if that is a b2b business, there is not a lot of art and poetry flowing. It's the nuts and bolts of producing, marketing, preparing presentations, customer service and all the other hardware that makes a business work. Yet it is a fact that people need art and poetry, at least we need a creative outlet or the therapy the humanities provide.

My fellow LinkedIn group (Connect:Professional Women's Network) member and blogger Danielle Gardner summarizes this need by defining "Avocation".
"it’s not a word that is used much these days so let me share with you my take on what it means. Our avocation is what we do for our own pleasure, enjoyment and relaxation. These are pursuits that call us away from our regular work and that provide us with the fuel we need for everything else in life."
Dani Gardner, "What's Your Avocation?" 
It's worth looking harder at. As they say, though, "The struggle is real". In her blog Dannielle confirms what we all know, we put off doing things that are good for ourselves because our time is dedicated to all the things we NEED to do. Guilty here. The answer is in
  • Commitment. Committing to something takes it off Optional Status and makes it a part of your Task List. Commitment that will enable you to pursue your own art and poetry. Next:
  • Appointment. Schedule time for your avocation(s) like you for your work.
  • Experience. Once you experience and enjoy your avocation, a cycle will begin that will drive you to continue. 

I would love to hear from you about your avocation and how pursuing it makes your life and business better.

My avocation? Scrapbooking.