Posts Tagged ‘Central Florida’

Upcoming Create Chaos 08 Conference Offers Plenty for Local Creative and Tech Professionals

With the recent slate of tech conferences that have rolled into Orlando, such as IZEAFest and BlogOrlando, one would think O-Town has become the new Silicon Valley. Well, there’s even more just on the horizon as Create Chaos 08 comes to town next week.

create chaos 08 in orlando floridaThe event, which runs October 13th – 17th at the Orlando World Center Marriott, is actually a conglomeration of ten different events, including a web and design conference, a job fair, a track by FreshBooks on billing and invoicing clients, the Annual Create Awards, and the Motion Graphics Festival, aimed at “creative” types ranging from photographers and graphic artists to web designers and more techy types.

There will also be several keynote speeches, including one by Lee Cockerell, the former executive vice president of operations at the Walt Disney World Resort, who has just released a new book titled, Creating Magic, 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney. In it, he draws from his experience with the company to discuss how we all can become better leaders not just in business, but in our personal lives in general. If you want to know more about the book, visit Cockerell’s site and receive a free chapter when you sign up for his mailing list.

Tickets for Create Chaos 08 range from $45 to visit the expo hall, to full week passes for $995. Individual day passes range from $295 to $395.

There are also two free events during the week worth noting – “BarCampChaos,” a Monday-night session that invites participants to control the programming by preparing a 20 minute talk on any creative topic and presenting it to other conference attendees, and doterati’s “Juggling Creativity and Business,” on Wednesday night, where local business leaders Ted Murphy of IZEA, Sterling Raphael of NFi Studios, Scott Allen from and Chuck Southworth of the Southworth Group will all speak on starting creative businesses from the ground up. I highly recommend both of those events to anyone interesting in networking with locally-minded tech and creative minds. As a bonus, pre-register for either event via the above links and you’ll get a free pass to visit the expo hall on the day of the event.

I’ll definitely be there on Wednesday for the FreshBooks track, as I’ve been interested in learning more about their online invoicing and time tracking service (not to mention their Twitters mention something about candy…), and most likely both the BarCampChaos and the doterati sessions. I’m also told that using the codes FRESHBOOKS or BARCAMP when registering for Create Chaos 08 online will offer a hefty discount off passes.

Tropical Storm Fay World Tour To Rock Central Florida Today

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or somewhere else without access to any television or radio media, I’m sure y’all know that tropical storm Fay is due to arrive in the Central Florida area today.

Even though so far it doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as strong as any of the 2004 hurricanes, it is so far packing quite a punch as it hits land in southern Florida, with a tornado already touching down in West Palm Beach. So I thought I’d pop in with some quick tips and links to help everyone get through the worst of the storm.

Basic Storm Information:

  • The Orlando Sentinel maintains a hurricane survival guide on its website, including a list of items you should have on hand to ride out a severe storm, like Fay.
  • The website for WESH has several great links, from live tracking of the storm to being prepared for the storm.
  • If local media isn’t your thing, Mashable has a list of resources in their article “How to Chase Hurricane Fay Online.”
  • Make sure you have bottled water on hand -at least several gallons per person – in case of problems with the tap water
  • Also make sure you are stocked up on batteries for flashlights and other items like radios. Candles and matches couldn’t hurt either. It’s possible for power outages with a storm like this, so be prepared for that.
  • Fully charge any electronics like cellphones and laptop batteries, in case of said power outages
  • If you’re out and about today, fill up your gas tank and grab some cash out of an ATM. If there are any power outages, credit and debit cards may be useless.
  • If you live near any elderly or disabled neighbors, take a moment to check on them before and after the storms pass. It’s the right thing to do.

Closures and Cancellations:

  • Schools – for the most part, every school in Central Florida will be closed today and tomorrow. Check with yours to be sure before you send the young ones off.
  • Port Canaveral is closed to large ships, which means no cruise ships today or tomorrrow. If you were scheduled to take a cruise from here, check with the cruiseline before departing for the port.
  • Many airlines have canceled flights into and out of Central Florida airports, including OIA. Check with your airline if you have travel plans for today, or are expecting loved ones to fly in.
  • Kennedy Space Center is closed for today.
  • So far, Lynx bus service in Orlando is running, but their Access Lynx routes have been heavily scaled back. If you use the service, check with them for any schedule changes.
  • SeaWorld has canceled its evening program at Discovery Cove today, but otherwise reports both parks are staying open.
  • Walt Disney World reports they will open all four parks earlier today, at 8am, to allow park guests more time to enjoy them before the worst of the storm hits Central Florida.
  • Universal Orlando reports both parks will also be open
  • Tolls have been suspended for most roads in central and southern Florida for today. Check here for the complete list.
  • Promoters report tonight’s Stone Temple Pilots show at UCF has been canceled due to the storm. Tickets can be refunded at the point of purchase.

If you have any tips, closure news or links to share with the Metroblogging Orlando readers, please leave them in the comments. Otherwise, please stay safe and don’t go out in the storm if you don’t have to.

Central Florida Represented at Olympics

Beijing Olympics logoI am so excited that the Summer Olympics kick off today in Beijing! I almost never watch sports on TV, but come the Olympics, I am glued to the screen every chance I get.

So I thought it’d be interesting to see if there were any athletes from Orlando and Central Florida participating, and would you believe we have nine people representing us this year?

Here’s a quick run-down of the Central Florida Olympians:

  • Jenny Barringer – Track & Field: 3,000m Steeplechase.
    Barringer, who went to Oviedo High School, looks strong to medal, having set a new U.S. record in the event just three weeks ago.
  • Damu Cherry – Track & Field: 100m Hurdles.
    Cherry was born in Tampa and currently lives in Ocoee.
  • Phil Dalahusser – Beach Volleyball.
    This UCF graduate and his teammate Todd Rogers are the defending FIVB World Champions going into the Olympics, so they look very strong to medal.
  • Dwight Howard – Men’s Basketball.
    Howard is the center of the Orlando Magic when not a part of the Olympic’s Team USA basketball team, which has an excellent chance to medal.
  • Hunter Kemper – Triathlon.
    Born in Longwood, FL, this will be Kemper’s third Olympics. He placed ninth at the 2004 Olympics, and stands a good chance to medal this time.
  • Ryan Lochte – Swimming: 200m Backstroke, 200m and 400m Individual Medley, 4x200m Free Relay.
    Though teammate Michael Phelps gets more media attention, Central Florida’s Lochte still has an excellent chance to medal again in one of his four competitions. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Lochte won the gold medal in the 800m freestyle relay and won the silver in the 200 individual medley (Phelps took gold).
  • DeLisha Milton-Jones – Women’s Basketball.
    Milton-Jones attended the University of Florida in Gainesville before becoming a member of the LA Sparks. She was also a member of the Gold-medal winning US Olympic team in 2000.
  • David Oliver – Track & Field: 110m Hurdles.
    This Orlando resident goes into the Olympics as the 2008 US Indoor champ.
  • Nancy Rios – Sailing: Board (aka windsurfing).
    Cocoa Beach resident Rios came in first at the U.S. Olympic trials and looks strong to medal.

NBC-affiliate WESH has a team, headed by reporter Aixa Diaz, reporting live from Beijing, and you can catch the station’s complete local coverage online.

The Olympics will kick off with the opening ceremonies live on NBC tonight at 7:30pm, and our local athletes will be among the Team USA contingent walking into the stadium. If you miss it then, the network will be re-airing the ceremonies a few hours later at 2:30am tomorrow morning.

Anybody else going to be watching the Olympics? Got any fave sports or athletes you’ll be looking for?

Starbucks to Close 13 Locations in Central Florida

Hold on to your stir sticks, folks…the first round of Starbucks closures has been announced for Orlando and Central Florida.

Starbucks logoThe Orlando Sentinel reports that thirteen area stores are soon to be shuttered as part of the coffee chain’s previously announced plan to close 600 stores across the country. Exact locations have also been confirmed by Starbucks on their own website, and they include stores inside Fashion Square Mall, Altamonte Mall, Sanford’s Seminole Towne Center, Oviedo Marketplace, West Oaks Mall and Winter Park Village. Several more stores may face the chopping block before the end of the year.

I personally am not a fan of Starbucks, but what does that say about our economy when people are no longer willing to shell out $4 for coffee drinks on a daily basis?

Of course, you can still patronize local coffee shops around town and keep the cash flowing in our own financial ecosystem.

So, questions of the day…does it matter to you that Starbucks is closing stores? And while we’re talking coffee, where do you like to get your daily fix of caffeine around Orlando?

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