Third Stop, Plan it.

The Third Stop on the Creative Express Workshop is called, “Plan it.”  

In this class we will learn about planning, and about Life Planning.  We will learn that you can plan for creativity.  (We will cover disaster planning and event planning, and lay the ground work for the class party)  We will learn decision making and problem solving techniques.

"Plan It!

“Plan It!

Be sure to REGISTER for The Creative Express Workshop before September 10th, to get the early-bird rates.  Follow this link to our website, to register for the class — you’ll see the Pay Pal buttons, that is how you register.  You can pay for the whole series at one time, (which is cheaper for you in the long run), or, you may pay for each class on a monthly basis.  If you have questions, contact me, via the contact info in the website.

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Second Stop, Get inspired, Play It.

The Second Stop on The Creative Express Workshop is called, “Get Inspired. Play it!”  In this class, we will dig deeper into the topics of creativity and whimsy, and find out how to use whimsy and play to coax your creative nature out.  We will learn about the brain and brain dominance theories (“Right Brain, Left Brain.”) and, we will learn about inspiration.

The Creative Express Workshop starts Thursday, September 15th.   It’s not too late to sign up!!  Learn more at The Creative Express Workshop on my website.

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First Stop, Are you on the right train?

"All Aboard The Creative Express Workshop!"

“All Aboard The Creative Express Workshop!”

The First Stop on The Creative Express Workshop is called, Are you on the right Train?  In this class, we will cover the creative process, analogies and metaphors, we will review what we will be covering in the rest of the class, and, we will explore the meanings of creativity and whimsy.

Announcing our newly update website

Oh, I’m so very excited to show you the newly created website for my business, Omnibus Innovations Group, Inc., which is where The Creative Express Workshop (and many of my other projects) is housed.  Here is the link to  The Creative Express Workshop page on my website.

I have a wonderful webmaster and I am so pleased with all the work she did for me on my website.  I also learned that her side of making a website is just as creative as my side.

Go have a look!!

The Creative Express Workshop is coming to town

Ah, I can hear the whistle blowing, The Creative Express Workshop is coming to town soon.

What’s The Creative Express Workshop?  It is 7 classes that will change your life!

Why? You will learn about both sides of your brain and whole brained thinking.  You will learn about time management, goal setting, prioritization… AND, you will learn about being more creative.  AND, you will do creative things.  AND, you will learn about relaxation and have FUN !

Who can attend?  Anyone over the age of 16.

Where will it be?  At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers

When does it start?  September 15, 2016.  7:00 PM

What does it cost?  $30 per class, but if you sign up early, you’ll get a discount!

How do I learn more?  Stay Tuned ! Watch this space.

20160607_185008 Stay tuned!

Serious reservations – Making Flight Plans in The Flying Republic

This is the next installment in my stories about my recent trip by air, through The Flying Republic from Fort Myers, Florida [RSW] to Washington, DC, [DCA] by way of Charlotte, North Carolina [CLT] and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [PIT].   I’m using those abbreviations, because that’s what the airlines and airports do, the whole time we are in The Flying Republic.

 I am wondering it some of the things I experienced while I took this five-day trip with an elderly traveling companion, are part of the airline’s business model, or its operations policy.  In other words, are they happy with the service they are delivering to me?  If they are happy with the status quo, I’m going to be disappointed.

 What is happening in real life in The Flying Republic, isn’t conducive to fair treatment of customers or employees.  I’ve been observing some of these practices for several years, but after the trips I made this week I decided to write about it.  Improvements can be made at every step of the trip.

I’VE GOT SERIOUS RESERVATIONS. 

I booked my flights in advance through Expedia.com.  Their website is helpful, and fairly user friendly.   I was able to make arrangements for me and my elderly traveling companion, as well as for trips for 2 other members of  my family.  I also appreciate the ease with which I was able to make changes to my reservations once I realized I had selected the trip through CLT that only gave me 45 minutes to change planes. (I know how big CLT is, and that’s not enough time to get from one concourse to the other!)   What bothers me is, Expedia and other travel planning services are at the mercy of the airlines and airports.  Things that happen to me, the traveler, can sometimes reflect badly upon these companies.

I want the [Airline] to understand that the choices it makes in its business plan, (and how things play out daily in airport and airplane operations) can negatively impact this and other companies that work alongside the Airline company, day after day.   If the Airline won’t modify its  business plan or make modifications to its operations (which means it is choosing to continue to mistreat the flying public,) will it also continue to mistreat these businesses?

It would be really helpful if the Airlines could make arrangements with Expedia, to link my family’s various  frequent flyer memberships to a button or page on Expedia, so I could get credits for all the miles we accumulated for these trips.  (I find the whole experience of Clubs and Frequent Flyer miles overly complicated, and plan to cover it in another post.)

While making my travel plans, I had significant difficulty locating a clear answer to the following question on TSA’s website or [the airline’s] website.  “I have a DSL camera which operates on a lithium battery.  May I take it (the camera with the battery in it)  with me in my carry on bag.”  I ended up leaving my camera at home, because I couldn’t get an answer before my flight, and did not want to have a problem at the TSA lines.   On my first leg of my trip, a TSA person at RSW told me while I was in the TSA line, that I could take the camera with the battery packed in it, in my carry on bags.  Now I know.  A lot of the material I saw or heard while I was researching this question was,  “it depends upon the airline.”   My suggestion:  Given the frequency of changes in flight plans,  TSA rules and regulations should be consistent for all airlines.

I hope that all the people in The Flying Republic who may be reading this tonight, are having a good flight and that they make it to their intended destination safely and on-time and with the same luggage they started their day with.

(c) 2015 – JBD for The Creative Express.  All rights reserved.

Packing my tweezers – thoughts from the Flying Republic

Packing my tweezers drives me insane.  I was packing for a series of airplane trips.  I would be flying from Sunny Southwest Florida, up to very cold Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then flying south to somewhat warmer but still cold, Washington DC.  And then I’d be flying back.  I’d be doing all this flying over the course of 5 days.  I had a formal event to attend in Washington, DC — and it was going to be held outside, so I had to pack a lot of bulky over coats, sweaters, long-johns, hats, scarfs and earmuffs.  But I didn’t want to take that bag with me all 5 days of my trip because I couldn’t risk it getting lost before the big event Friday morning.  So, I arranged to pack that big suitcase with the stuff I needed for Friday, and share the space with my daughter.  And that is the bag where I could have packed my tweezers. For this flight, I took two carry on bags with me.  I have to pack them carefully least the whole thing gets too heavy, because I’ve had rotator cuff surgery.  (People, be good to your shoulders.)  These bags would see me through Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Ordinarily in my every day life (when I am not traveling with  The Flying Republic) my tweezers live in my purse.  That is to say, I keep my tweezers in a little zippered pouch, in my purse.  This is the little pouch in which I also have some lip balm, a pair of earplugs, some dental floss, and a small tube of hand cream.  But when I fly, I have to take those tweezers out of my purse, and put them somewhere, at home.  Then, I put my travel hygiene bag, in my luggage.  It is pink with white polka dots,and is roomy and festive.  And in that bag, is a pair of traveling tweezers.

Normally, that would be that, but this time, I needed the travel hygiene bag with me, so this time, I left my tweezers home. This may seem like a trivial story, except it is illustrative of the level of insanity that the TSA rules generate for hapless travelers. (Hapless travelers are automatically card carrying members of The Flying Republic.)  Because not only am I trying not to bring any sharp, pointy, naughty things with me on my carry on bags, but, I also have to make sure I round up and isolate my liquid items into a quart size bag for proper presentation at the TSA lines. I normally don’t pack my hygiene bag in my carry on bags because of the liquids and the tweezers, but this time I would.  So it meant I had to regroup the contents of my hygiene bag and my purse pouch and get all the liquid things in one place.    But this means, that they are not in their logical locations for when I want to use them while traveling.  I will spare you the examples that make me frustrated. But this is one of the little things that makes normally organized, functioning adults, become so disoriented when we step into an airport:  we can’t find our necessities.

Because of my shoulder problem, I can’t pack big bags to take on the plane with me.  I can only carry stuff with one arm, and I have to treat it with care, so that I don’t end up having rotator cuff surgery on it some day.  (Refrain:  “People, be good to your shoulders!”) I have found a line of luggage that is colorful and lightweight, called, “iT luggage”–  I have the  Second Generation 16-in. Spinner Upright– my suggestion to them is they need to add the 360 degree wheels.  (But keep them big like your present wheels.)

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Unless I fill it with bricks or hardback books, I am able to lift it over my head when it is filled.  This is a key factor in carry on bags.  And, because of the wheels, it serves as my personal luggage cart, for my other bag, while I am in the airport.  That’s where I pack my travel papers, my snacks, my water bottle (* a-hem, more on this later.), and, maybe a camera.  (a-hem, more on the camera in another post.)  Along with my clothes for 4 days, between these two bags is where I put magazines/paperbacks, gloves, hat, scarves, and a sweater. I find it fascinating to watch the size of bags that other members of The Flying Republic attempt to drag onto the airplanes.  For those of you who don’t travel too often, it may help you to remember that if you can’t lift your bag and its contents over your head, you really need to consider down-sizing.  It means, that someone else will have to lift it for you.  They could get injured.  If the bag is too heavy, once it gets over your shoulders (or anyone elses) it becomes harder to control.  And it could throw you off balance.   Be careful. The other thing to remember is that on larger planes, the aisles start out wide and roomy in first class.  And then, the aisle tends to get narrower.  When that shift happens at about rows 5-6-or 7, you will have to shift how you are shlepping your stuff down the aisle.  Be careful.  Practice this manoover at home or in your office.

Now, at the other end of the packing philosophy is my Husband.  (He calls the over-sized and over-packed carry on bags Clydesdales, and the smaller ones Shetland ponies.)  His idea is that we should box up every thing we need for a trip, and ship it to where we will be staying.  You will be surprised to discover that doing this costs about as much as checking a bag ($25)  — depends on the distance and weight that you are shipping.  I’ve resisted this idea up until now, because “it’s one more thing I’ve got to do.”  But I am beginning to see the wisdom in my Husband’s plan.  We live near several efficient pack-and-ship stores and I am capable of planning ahead.

Here is my suggestion to every single airline in America:  Cooperate with the airports to  Invite  pack-and-ship companies to set up kiosks in all airport terminals.  Even if it takes them a day or two to get our boxes to our locations, their costs are similar and, their performance records are better.  This way, the airplanes that are hauling people will have more room for people.  The Flying Republic will quit complaining about how frequently the airlines lose our luggage.

This is one in a series of stories and essays about being a member of The Flying Republic based upon events I experienced or observed in the days leading up to my trip, during my trip, and the time shortly afterwards.

(c) 2015 -JBD- The Creative Express, All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Flying Republic

I’m a member of the Flying Republic, and I bet you are too.  The Flying Republic is that ephemeral space that exists in and around airports.  It is that space you are in when you are packing for a trip, looking up flights on-line, getting to or from the airport, checking in, boarding and flying.  It is when you are in the TSA lines.  It is where you go when you are looking for lost bags.  It is where your friends and loved ones wait when your plane is late.  It is where doges and cats and other beloved animals go, when they are put into the cargo bay.  It is the shops in the airport concourses, and the people who work there.  It is the people in various places who build the planes, make the uniforms that all the airline personnel wear, and who write the cheerful magazines that are tucked into the seat back pockets.  It is the folks who make the airsickness bags.

I recently spent four days flying, from Fort Myers, Florida to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Then from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.  Then I went back the way I came.  I spent a lot more than that immersed in the Flying Republic.  I had many adventures and I made a lot of observations.  I’m going to share them with you.  Come, join me in my adventures.

(c) 2015, JBD for Creative Express.  All Rights Reserved

I’m at a Start-Up Weekend

So, I started a new business this year [edited].  So yeah, I quit my day job in February (I retired, actually,) to launch my consulting business full time.  It’s been wonderful!

My Husband also started a business this year, and this weekend we decided to attend the “Start-Up weekend,” in Tampa Bay.  We are actually in downtown St. Pete, Florida.  I love St. Pete!

At a Start-up weekend, you have the opportunity to “pitch” your small business idea, and ask for help. Over 50 people pitched ideas on Friday night, and we all got the opportunity to “vote” for our top 3 choices.  My idea didn’t win, and neither did my Husband’s.  Friday night when we returned to our hotel, I wasn’t sure I wanted to attend the remainder of the weekend, because I wasn’t sure what I would get out of it.   But we returned  on Saturday and each teamed up with people who’s ideas received more votes than ours.

This has been a wonderful opportunity to network and meet new people.  There have been coaches available:  lawyers, business development specialists, marketing/branding specialists, and all kinds of other helpful people have participated.

Since the idea I pitched didn’t get picked up as one of the “favorites,” I teamed up with a lady who had an idea I liked and I’ve been helping her all weekend.  That’s been interesting, to build a relationship with someone you’ve never met, based on helping them succeed in their dream.  The whole Start Up Weekend has been an exercise in teamwork and trust.

Now I am home and can’t wait to attend my next Start Up Weekend.

Making some changes for the New Year

I am making some changes to my Blog and FaceBook page, in anticipation of some changes I will be making in 2013.  It is all very exciting and should result in more timely posts and updates about The Creative Express and the Creative Express Workshop.  In the meantime, what are your top 3 new things you want to do, or 3 changes you want to make in 2013?

1.________________________.

2.________________________.

3.________________________.

Rather than hitting “like” why not write a response and tell me what your three changes are going to be?

Thanks.