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 Five tips for creating great memories

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 The Rewards of Dinner

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

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 Photo Challenge – Connected

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

Receipt -
Receipt –

“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 Four steps to making your charitable donation eligible for a deduction

Included or Ignored? – 10 ways to treat your guests right

Which best describes you? The life of the party or the one in the corner cringing at the thought of having to approach total strangers at your colleague’s daughter’s graduation party? The kicker…you came all by yourself because your social butterfly of a cousin cancelled on you last minute.


What to do?  Simple.  Make me… the guest, your number one priority – cater to my every whim. Just kidding!!

How about I walk away from that experience with a warm feeling, convinced my host(ess) really put some thought into planning the get together? and more importantly, that it was clear her guests were her top priority?

Here are a few suggestions on what my host(ess) can possibly include in making for a low on stress but high on memorable experience occasion; one in which the guests walk away with no doubt in their minds they were included and not ignored. Continue reading Included or Ignored? – 10 ways to treat your guests right

Collage: a collection


Collage: a combination or collection of various things.

Collage derives its name from the French verb coller, to glue. The work of art is made by gluing things to the surface.  Collage became an art form during the Synthetic Cubist period of Collage, Picasso and Braque.

The exclusive use of photos in a collage is called photomontage.


Collage of Mini Cooper Facts


The first mini cooper was built in 1961.  Originally called the Austin 850 in North America and the Morris 850 in France;

 in Denmark, the Austin Partner (until 1964) and Morris Mascot (until 1981);

in the U.K. and Australia – the Morris Mini Minor and the Austin Seven.

After 1961 the car’s name was finally changed to Morris Mini and Austin Mini.  Continue reading Collage: a collection

Unearth your Spirit of Altruism

Give a little and Gain So Much More

Are you the one jumping in to help with tasks beyond your normal scope of duties because of a fast approaching deadline or the parent teachers appreciate, because even on last minute notice, you take the day off to chaperon the school day trip?

How about where there is no direct or indirect, tangible or otherwise benefit to the giver; that is, service essentially done out of sheer altruism, will you still be so quick to jump in?

Research shows that one of the advantages of volunteering is that it shifts the focus from the individual to others.  Although the focus of this article is on traditional face to face volunteering, there are a plethora of remote volunteering opportunities.  They offer the added convenience of making that difference sometimes from the comfort of wherever you have internet access.

Continue reading Unearth your Spirit of Altruism

Flash Fiction – Forever Hold your Peace or Pace or Pain

“Tiffany, I am confused or is this some sort of twisted joke?”

“Blaine it is in both our interests to end this thing between us.  I have accepted Roy’s proposal.  We get married a week from today, next Saturday.  I cannot do this anymore… not knowing for certain how much longer you will be away is emotionally draining…”

Only a few hours earlier he had gone over how he was going to surprise Tiffany with the good news of his early release from deployment.  His assignment was officially over on Sunday.

“I guess the surprise is on me”

There was silence and then continued.

“Tiffany, hold off on the wedding plans.  I will be back in about three days”

Even though it all seemed to be working against him, beginning with the cancellation of his connecting flight after a two hour delay due to inclement weather, Blaine arrived town in the wee hours of Saturday; just enough time to make it to the combined wedding ceremony and reception venue.

“Tiffany don’t do this to us”.  As Tiffany recognized the voice, rushing towards the sudden commotion in the back, the officiant stopped reading and looked up from his script. On the concrete floor, Blaine lay in a fetal position clutching onto the ipecac bottle, shivering.

A few minutes before, Blaine had helped himself to some of the punch at the beverage table.  The timing had to be executed with laser precision.

In that moment, bent over while clutching onto his midsection, managing to whisper a few words in between shivers he said ” i was left with no other choice” and immediately the retching began.

The original response to a Flash Fiction writing prompt has been modified.