…In the land of cruciferea

Over the holidays, I tried so many yummylicious dishes but one that made an immediate and lasting impression on my mind and palette is the massaged (with extra virgin olive oil) kale salad.  This salad of fresh, crisp greens with the right touch of salt was or is heavenly.

That meshing of textures and flavors was all the inspiration I needed to embark on my next kitchen mission, to replicate that salad but this time with a twist of my own.

The best part is the preparation time is under an hour!

Kale is in the cabbage family which falls in the cruciferea classification.   Cruciferea means cross bearing because of the shape of its flowers whose petals resemble a cross.  Kale has green and sometimes purple leaves.  It is high in soluble fiber, vitamins A and C.  Per calorie cooked kale has more iron than beef.

Although a winter crop, it is available all year round.  The winter makes it sweeter.  A staple in most vegetable smoothies, Continue reading

The Writer’s tool kit

Learning about a device that is portable enough to allow for easy writing on the go, got me thinking of the many other  ways to make the best of my ideas and observations even in my sleep.

“What’s in your wallet? (in my best Samuel L Jackson impersonation) Not exactly.  How about, what’s in your Writer’s tool kit?

Here are a few that come to mind:

  1. Speed Writing Devices – Michelle Stimpson talks about the Alphasmart, for  speed writing.  It is a word processing device that has a full size QWERTY keyboard and display screen and saves your typing as you go.  It is good for writers on the go because it is portable, offers distraction-free writing (no internet connection needed) and uses batteries.  Following attempts to successfully recreate or transfer from mind to paper some ideas that came to me smack in middle of my subconscious sleeping moments, I realized with a quickness that waiting is not an option.  Before then, I had grappled with the frustrations of coming up empty, because I waited until I was fully awake to write down the “light bulb” bright idea which by then had gone POOF!!.

 2) Journals, Notepads, Pieces of Paper — Putting pen to paper.   Having something to write on by my night stand or in my handbag rather than having to wait until I am at my desk helps in capturing my fleeting thoughts and observations on the spot.

3) Phone Applications –  My phone is one item I carry along with me most of the time.  I have several applications on it, one of them is Color Notes, a virtual form of the sticky notes.  It has been a tremendous help even during my “in between” full consciousness and sleep moments. It has the option of text or creating a check list and comes in a variety of colors.   The best part is that you can share those notes as an attachment or even in the body of the email and transfer that into a word document.

4. Reading List – Signing up wit a a writer’s group or workshop and in addition to the classics, reading a lot of other books within and outside the particular genre are good choices, a few of which may be available for free.  One advantage of expanding one’s reading list is that it exposes the reader to different writing styles, vocabulary and in itself may offer valuable tips on character development and description.  One book on my reading list is a guide that somewhat reinforces some of the time-tested practices of a lot of writers, The Observation Deck.

             The Observation Deck – A Tool kit for Writers – It offers tips on the different stages of the creative process from conception to completion with the aid of a deck of cards.  “It gives you the opportunity to experiment with different ways of working and relieves you of the anxiety of having to constantly decide what to do next” (Introduction).

The card “watch for Gesture” reminded me of the lady in the window seat as she glanced away from the white tablet, stretching her free hand to receive the Irish cream and cup of coffee” from the flight attendant.  The guide also talked about looking through photographs including old picture books for inspiration for character development.

20151202_055354-2If you are well acquainted with the public transportation like myself, this is spot on, the Eavesdrop card.  Some of those discussions can be quite interesting.  The suggestion is to eavesdrop for about 15 minutes, writing down every word or tape record the discussion and type it up word for word and read the transcription.  This reveals the disjointed nature of real conversations and gives the writer, the opportunity to edit the transcript.  The Rearrange card highlights the fact that moving chapters or events or parts around or even beginning with writing the end or just starting anywhere may be the most logical next step towards creating of a polished product.

What tools do you use to craft your art; your masterpiece(s)?

Abandoned…now what?

In the Recipe for Protection post series, we identified the different types of Intellectual Property: Patents (inventions);  Trademarks (symbols, names and images) and Copyrights (literary and artistic works).   In What you should know before you Reverse Engineer Grandma’s Mouth-Watering Oatmeal cookies we compared different kinds of IP.

These protections are an incentive to innovators or and inventors to share their works with the general public thereby fostering a healthy environment for creativity.

Creativity, Innovation, Invention, Experimentation

This *post will focus Continue reading

Five tips for creating great memories

For the right price, a complimentary hotel stay was all the motivation I needed to click on the “purchase” button.

Was I in for a surprise!  I read the fine print a second too late.

Here are 5 out of the ordinary tips for your next trip.

  1. Complimentary hotel stay – I would soon discover after the fact that, narrowing down my choice based on airlines that offer a complimentary hotel stay for long layovers is not enough.  Other conditions may apply.  For example, some airlines require there be no connecting flights within a certain number of hours available to the customer in addition to the base fare before taxes exceeding a certain monetary threshold.
  2. Special Needs – As part of the narrowing down process, carefully reviewing the airline’s animal friendly or not policy may be necessary for those traveling with pets and even for those who have allergies.  Some limit the type of animals allowed to travel as well as if they are allowed to be checked in with the luggage or allowed into the  aircraft cabin.

Continue reading

The Rewards of Dinner

With the upcoming benefit dinner a few months away, time! place! venue! and even a theme all squared away, Ama a member of the dozen member planning committee asks the question

How much are the dinner tickets going to go for?”

The room goes quiet for a quick second as they scan the budget document in front of them and just then Tonye asks

What is our biggest expense?”   Continue reading

My Trademark and Your Domain? – The Benefits of Prior Existing Rights

Trademarks in the land of Domain Names.

In an earlier series of Recipe for Protection, Anyone? posts, the different types of Intellectual property were identified.  Here we zero in on certain issues peculiar to one form of IP, trademarks and in particular its relationship to domain name registration.

With the advent of the internet, electronic commerce knows no geographical boundaries and therefore there is the need to also protect domain names. These can also be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office but must be used as a trademark.

The domain name must identify the “what” as in, the source of the goods or services and not limited to identifying the website of the business. The domain name being trademarked must be the same or similar for trademark rights to apply. For example, is a trademark because the company sells products under the name  Trademarks trump domain registrations such that the owner of a trademark may be able to force the domain name owner to transfer or stop using the domain name.

As a precautionary measure it is advisable to register similar variations of the name as well so as to avoid the cost and time required in fighting with an unscrupulous Internet scammer. See Jacobson, Domain Names, Trade Names, and Trademarks.

A registered trademark used outside of the U.S. (e.g., Internet sales) allows for filing of applications for foreign registration based on the U.S. registration. This helps prevent the importation of goods using a mark that is confusingly similar to your mark by registration with U.S. Customs.

Prior existing trademarks and Domain name Registrations



AntiCybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA)


Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

AntiCybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA) provides remedies to a trademark owner against defendants who obtain domain names “in bad faith” that are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark.  It prohibits the registration and use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to an existing TM.

This would suggest not only is it an existing trademark but that it existed before the registration of the “alleged infringing” domain name.

A trade mark owner may bring an “in rem” action against a domain name, where the defendant cannot be located if Continue reading

Photo Challenge – Connected

Photo Challenge: Connected – This week, show us how two (or more) things — people, objects, places — come together.

Connected – What comes to mind is the phrase “connect the dots” which connotes making connections or associations between ideas or objects and even the hues.


Connected: “To draw logical inferences connecting items of information to reveal something previously hidden or unknown” (Free Dictionary)

This suggests a progression or and association of sorts. Continue reading

Four steps to making your charitable donation eligible for a deduction

 “Not all Contributions are Equal”

Basking in the excitement of your upcoming benefit event in a few weeks, you are suddenly jolted out of your reverie as your assistant places her hand over the mouthpiece of the receiver of her finger wheel desk phone.  She pauses and says

“How much of the benefit dinner ticket payment is tax deductible?

Tilting your head towards the ceiling for a moment, you turn to her “That is an excellent question, can I get back to you on that because I do not have an answer right off the top of my head?”

Continue reading