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Saturday, April 27, 2002

Los Encinos State Historic Park Re-opening

Today we headed over to the grand re-opening of this park. The historical buildings here were almost destroyed in the Northridge Earthquake. Finally, funding for reconstruction was found and after 18 months of work, the park is better than it was before the quake.

There was music and storytelling and the park docents engaged in a bit of "living history." They introduced the kids to games and activities that would have been prevalent during the 1870's, such as tug-o-war, sack races, and more. The also showed how laundry would have been done and how cowboys would use their lassos to collect the cattle. The house and adobe contained exhibits about the history of the property and the people that lived here.

If you have ever driven down Ventura Boulevard, between Hayvenhurst and Balboa, you have driven right by this park, probably without even noticing. Parking and another entrance is available off of Moorpark Street. Stop by the next time you are in the neighborhood and engage California State History, right in your own back yard.

More pictures are available in the gallery.

Fullerton Railroad Days

May 4, 2002 to May 5, 2002

Fullerton Train Station, 124 E. Santa Fe St., Fullerton, CA, (714) 278-0648

Displays of locomotives, vintage railcars and artifacts, food and entertainment. Free admission.

Calabasas Arts and Crafts Festival

May 4, 2002 to May 5, 2002

Calabasas Commons Shopping Center, Calabasas, CA, (818) 878-4242 x2270

101 Freeway off at Parkway Calabasas

Over 200 artists and crafters, live bands, international food, beer garden, children's art activities. 10am-6pm.

Friday, April 26, 2002

The Gigs Handbook: A Beginner's Guide to Playing Professionally

While it might seem an odd choice to recommend for high-tech careerists, "The Gigs Handbook" contains some excellent advice for anyone acting as an independent contractor, both in the music industry or high-tech.

As both an amateur musician and high-tech worker, this book works on all levels. I have learned a lot about how to arrange bookings and set up my repertoire, but I also see many parallels between life as a gigging musician and working as an independent high-tech contractor. The rules about building your business, how to follow-up and how to use contracts will benefit everyone.

Black uses 4 different prototype musicians so that she can offer suggestions depending on your current level of skills and what goals you are trying to accomplish. One musician is just beginning their music career while others are more established. Black then works through some of the more common problems and how to avoid them, or, at least, reduce their impact.

Career-Op: Write your own book
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

"As a writer on career issues I read a lot of books about job searching, management, creativity and other career issues. As I am sure you have found, these books can range from the good to the bad right down to the ugly. Yet, hundreds of thousands of these books are sold every year. There is a great desire from workers, especially high-tech careerists, to gain an understanding of their careers and their lives. Unfortunately, it is a rare book that provides more than a few good ideas within its covers. In fact, I consider a book a success if I can take away one important concept that can help me in my day-to-day life. While this is an extremely low bar for a book to jump, few do it."

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Replacement Remote Controls

After years of being dropped, kicked, sat and stepped upon, our TV remote had nearly stopped functioning. While multifunction remotes are a lot cheaper, they sometimes don't perform all the functions of the original. After a bit of searching on the web, I was able to find this company. They have thousands of original equipment remotes. Ordering was a breeze and the remote arrived in about 3 days.

coverCrossing the Unknown Sea : Work As a a Pilgrimage of Identity

I came across this book in the New Books section of my local library and the title intrigued me enough to take it home. I am always looking for books on work as I write a weekly high-tech careers column.

Whyte's style can be a bit "grand" at times, one of the hazards of a poet writing prose, but there are some very important ideas to be found here. Several times I found myself pausing suddenly to contemplate a line that effected me deeply. This book needs to be taken in small doses, allowing time to ruminate and absorb what you have just read.

If you are looking for a book with a unique take on the nature of work in the 21st Century, you would be well-served to pick this one.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Celebrate the Bard's birthday with this online collection!

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Toaster Central

It seems there are collectors of almost anything and this site proves it. Not only that, you can buy nearly all the items in working order. Need a 1950's manual toaster for your retro kitchen. Here it is!

CNN pays for Bakley travel to Van Nuys

So, the first real day of news coverage of the Blake trial and we already have CNN using some (I think) dubious tactics to ensure that they have something to cover. It seems odd the CNN would need to manufacture news, with so much going on in the world. Personally, I don't think witnesses in any trial should be turned into celebrities, just another property to be pimped on the airwaves. We certainly don't need a further reduction in news ethics. They are much too low already.

"CNN had locked Margerry Bakley up as its exclusive "get" for the day; in return, the cable news network paid her airfare from Knoxville, Tenn., to Los Angeles, put her up in a hotel and ferried her around in a limousine."

Via Fark

Monday, April 22, 2002


My wife, Rosanne, has 2 essays in the latest editon of ZinkZine, an online publication by ZinkVille: A Brave New World of Words.

Check it out!

JDBGMGR.EXE virus hysteria

Yet another warning to check out the veracity of any "virus warning" email you get before you start deleting files or otherwise modify your computer?

From vMyths.com...

Remember the Honor System virus? "Please delete all your files and forward this email to your friends." Well, we've got another example of the honor system virus in action. An urgent email tells you to delete JDBGMGR.EXE (a legit Windows file), then forward the warning to your friends. How many more OS files can people delete before they SELF-CRASH their own PCs? Read http://Vmyths.com/hoax.cfm?id=275&page=3 for details about the JDBGMGR.EXE hysteria...

afterDinner: for Readers and Writers

An interesting idea. The writer's side allows you to publicly or privately workshop your writing, gathering comments from other writers. Once you have workshopped your piece, you can have it posted on the "readers" side.

From the site...

afterDinner: for Readers still offers new work from a wide range of authors, but now has more tools to help you locate and identify specific pieces or authors from the large body of work housed here. "Author Alerts" notify you when your favorite authors have published something new on the site. No longer limited to personal narrative, authors may publish works in a variety of genres and subgenres, leading to a wider selection of literary styles. In the future, I hope to expand the choice of formats, offering author-designed PDF downloads, eBooks, and perhaps even printed selections. Everything currently on the site is free for you to read. Down the road, some works may be purchasable, with proceeds going directly to the author.

afterDinner: for Writers contains the workshop system. It gives authors and readers the opportunity to solicit and submit critiques on unpublished work. Authors have complete control over the system. They can choose to create a public workshop for a diverse set of readers, or a private workshop whose participants are admitted by invitation only. Participants can comment on the work as a whole, but they may also comment on specific paragraphs, which will be displayed to the author in context. Registration is required to participate in the workshop system. Each registered member has a profile associated with them that can tell you that person's favorite books, whether other authors have found their critiques helpful, and if they have a web site of their own. Members can also adjust their preferences to control what email notifications they receive, including "Genre Alerts" which notify them when a new workshop in their selected genre has been added to the site.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Infocom Adventure

If you ever played this game on an old Apple II or Mac Plus you quickly realized the addictive quality. A quality all the more amazing considering its bare-boned, text-only structure.

A definite "blast from the past!"

Brewery Art Walk 2002 Report

Rosanne and I got some time away to attend the Brewery Art Walk today on our own. This allowed for a little more exploration and attention this year. The collection of artists is eclectic, as always, with a wide variety of media represented. A few of the regulars from past years were not open this year, but a few new faces offered interesting finds.

The Brewery Art Lofts are located at 2100 Main Street, Los Angeles, not too far from downtown itself. The lofts were originally a Pabst Brewery, hence the name. There are several buildings on the property, all with different loft layouts. Some units are at ground level, with large main floors and an upper mezzanine. Other lofts are literally carved out of the old brewery fermentation cooler and store rooms. Dark and winding passages lead this way and that and you suddenly find yourself in someone's kitchen, with their art displayed throughout their home.

Some lofts are complete residences, while others are strictly work or office space. Despite the size of the Brewery site and the lofts themselves, this is a very intimate pace to view art, in some cases, stepping into the owner 's bedroom.

The lofts

Linda Lundell - Extraordinary nature paintings

Lundell paintings made an immediate impact when we walked into her loft. She has several large scale paintings of forest scenes that Rosanne and I would LOVE to have. Pictures are available on the web site.

Claudia Endler Designs - Jewelry

This jewelry is simple and yet quite elegant. You can view a number of her designs on her web site. Her motto is "A Simple Line can define space, give shape and form and indicate movement. A simple line can even change the expression on someone's face."

Alex in Welderland - sculpture-furniture small-oddities

NeoAmish Seating - from superhappybunny.com

Friction-fit seating you put together yourself.

MLA Gallery - Masters of Latin America

Sorry, no web link for this gallery, but it contains a wonderful collection of Latin American art. There was some wonderful work by artists you might, or might not, be familiar with.

2020 North Main Street #239, Los Angeles, California 90031 -- 323-222-3400

BookFinger at the Brewery

A nice edition to the Brewery complex. Bookfinger has a mid-sized collection of out of print books. I had to drag Rosanne out of here so we could see more lofts. (SMILE)

Barbara's at the Brewery

Finally, a great place to have lunch. Barbara's is an eclectic bistro in the heart of the Brewery complex. They were also serving a variety of catered found in the main plaza during the art walk, but we opted for a sit down dinner. I had the fish and chips and found them delightful. Rosanne had the tri-tip sandwich. Barbara's offers a host of other dishes, including pasta, salads and sandwiches.

There were several other lofts worth mentioning, but they don't have web sites, yet. You will just have to visit during the next art walk and see them for yourself.