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Friday, May 31, 2002

Career-Op: A Better Place

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

A few weeks ago I wondered aloud how some of our high-tech peers could allow themselves to become involved in annoying, abusive and even illegal behavior based around their high-tech careers. Keeping with this weekâ??s theme I want to focus on some of the ways high-tech careerists can help make the world a better place.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

DiddleBug for Palm OS

Diddlebug is an extremely useful program for your Palm OS handheld computer. You can use it as a digital sketchpad or simply a way to jot quick notes to yourself. Even better, you can use these notes to remind you of important things...like your parking meter is about to expire!

Highly Recommended

Monday, May 27, 2002

GEOCACHING - (GC5CF1) Los Encinos by dewelch

My latest GeoCache. This treasure hunt game using a GPS is one way I get my butt out of my computer chair and into the world.

This cache introduces treasure hunters to a wonderful historic park right here in the San Fernando Valley. In fact, you don't even need a GPS to locate this one, just follow the maps on the information page. If you would like to give GeoCaching a try, drop me a line. I would be happy to get you started on the right foot.

My personal GeoCache page offers a few pictures and some words on my previous Geocaching adventures.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival

Santa Barbara, California

This festival is one of our favorite Memorial Day Weekend events. We have attended several times in past years, whenever we can arrange to spend at least on day of the holiday in Santa Barbara.

The festival is held on the grounds of the historic Santa Barbara Mission, called the "Queen of the Missions" for its beautiful architecture.

Street painting festivals are a ancient tradition in Italy where they are sponsored by cities or churches. Traditionally, most of the chalk drawings are based on religious themes, but in modern day festivals nearly anything goes.

From History of Street Painting web site...

Until recently Madonnari were true folk artists, reproducing simple images with crude materials. Tragically, the Second World War brought hardship and suffering to many, greatly reducing the number of these itinerant artists. The past twenty years has not only brought a revival, but a virtual explosion of this art form.

Picture Gallery

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Career-Op: Benign Neglect

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Visitors to my home often make note of the gardens, which replace lawns on my property. While I can take some credit for the gardens, I must confess that my theory of gardening mainly consists of benign neglect. If a plant can't survive on its own then it doesn't belong in my garden. I provide regular water and a little fertilizer, but I only address issues as they arise and sometimes, even that is long delayed. Unfortunately, I have seen that many high-tech workers apply the same benign neglect to their career. They only worry about their career when in the middle of a crisis. If you want to develop a career you love, you need to actively engage your career and your life.

The Jacaranda's are in bloom!

(Jacaranda mimosaefolia)

If you are in the Los Angeles area at this time of year you will see these large, purple-flowering trees almost everywhere. They are quite striking against a bright blue sky. There are even entire streets lined with these trees, the organic quivalent of summer fireworks..

Lots of jelly, but no peanut butter

On Thursday (May23) we all headed down to Malibu for a work/play session at Joe's favorite playground. He can always seem to entertain himself for a few hours while Rosanne and I work on our writing. After a while we headed over to Zuma Beach for a quick walk in the waves. What greeted us was quite interesting.

Scattered along the beach were dozens, if not hundreds, of small blue forms. Each had a rigid fin rising up and I immediately assumed they were jellyfish. To my amazement, no one seemed to be paying them much attention. Having never seen a jellyfish "up-close-and-personal" I wondered if I was correct in my assumption.

Click Photo For More Info and Quicktime VR Movie

More Pictures from Image Quest 3-d

A fellow beach-goer, more knowledgeable than myself, informed me that they were indeed jellyfish, but they were relatively harmless unless you touched their underside. It seems they lose most of their tentacles as they wash ashore. It still made for an interesting walk as we made great pains not to step on any of them.

Today I took a few minutes to find a little more information on our little, blue beachcombers. A search on Google directed me to the this Monterey Herald article about a similar incursion up north. According to this article, these "By-the-wind-sailors" (Velella velella) are not true jellyfish, but related to them. They are similar to the much larger and more dangerous Portuguese Man-o-War and both use a rigid fin on top of their bodies like a sail, catching the wind to help them move about.

It seems that even after living in California for nearly 16 years we are still learning new things. Yet another entry for Joe's childhood journal.

Friday, May 24, 2002

Condo unit explosion and fire - No Local TV coverage

I get an email alert that a condo complex in Encino, CA, about 3 miles away, has suffered and explosion and fire. Quickly tuning to my local news stations, I find NO NEW COVERAGE of the event. As I am flipping by MSNBC, I see live coverage, though. In fact, all the major cable news outlets are covering the fire. Even more, MSNBC is using a feed from the helicopter of the local affiliate, but the local station isn't airing the footage.

What happens to someone who doesn't have cable or email access? I am stunned that local news, which covers EVERY high-speed chase that occurs, can't cover a truly important story.

Local news outlets have the ability to report exact locations of the event and information regarding anyone who was injured. They are the most knowledgeable people to report on a story such as this.

Does DCMA quash freedom of speech?

It seems that even talking about how Sony's copy-protected CDs can be defeated may be a violation of the DCMA (Digital Copyright Millennium Act).

Only the courts will tell if news organizations and individuals can be held liable for linking to information on how to defeat the copy protection system. The absurdity of the DCMA is such that it amazes me it was ever passed into law. it seems ripe for a court challenge that should consign it to the trash can it so richly deserves.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Copy-protected CDs can crash your Mac

As mentioned a few weeks ago, certain copy-protected music CDs can crash your Mac and prevent you from restarting it. The disks do no lasting damage, but difficulty in ejecting the disks can lead you to some frustration in restarting your computer.

AppleCare Knowledge Base document 106882 offers several procedures to remove the disk. Although, if none of these procedures work, you may end up making a trip to your local Apple Service Center in order to have the disk extracted.

This is an interesting example of how copy-protection can prevent even legitimate uses of the software and music you buy. Of course, with a little tape and some markers it seems you can defeat the copy protection entirely. (Translated from German using Google.com), Oh well!

Via Sam at nightsnweekends.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Now online - myword.blog.us

Thanks to some very kind people at blog.us, there is now a shorter URL for My Word. You can use this interchangeably with the welchwrite.com/blog address as they both point to the same page.This should save you a few keystrokes the next time you visit.

Getty Family Festival

June 1, 2002, 10a-6p

We have attended a Getty Family Festival in past and it is quite fun. There is entertainment, special events and many craft tables for the little ones to create their masterpieces. This one sounds especially interesting due to its railroad theme.

From the Getty Calendar...

All Aboard! Join the fun on Saturday, June 1 as the Getty's popular Family
Festival hops the Railroad Vision train. Inspired by the Museum's current
exhibition, this month's festival celebrates the rails through song, stories
and hands-on art activities.

Hear American railroad songs as the band Hollow Log performs its spicy blend
of acoustic hillbilly energy seasoned with Cajun, Gypsy and Celtic
traditional music. Listen to tales of courage along the Underground Railroad
with award-winning storyteller Diane Ferlatte.

After browsing through the model railroad train demonstrations, celebrate
the culture of other lands with Indian music and dance group Rangoli, native
American Elk Whistle Ensemble, and Brazilian music and dance company Viver
Brazil. The Family Festival runs from 10 am - 6pm in the Museum Courtyard.

BookCrossing.com - Share books with others

BookCrossing is a unique idea that allows you to share your love of books with others, while tracing the route of a book from reader to reader.

First, you take a book you like, register it with Bookcrossing.com, then release it into the wild along with information on how others can register their reading of the book. Many books are left at a favorite coffee house, bus bench, park or nearly any other place you can imagine. This is somewhat similar to WheresGeorge.com, where you track the travels of paper money.

I like the literary component of BookCrossing and also the community that has grown up around it. Check it out. You never know where that next good book may be found. Maybe it waiting at a bus bench right now.

From the site...

You've come to a friendly place, and we welcome you to our community. You know the feeling you get after reading a book that speaks to you, that touches your life, a feeling that you want to share it with someone else? BookCrossing.com gives you a simple way to share your books with the world, and follow their paths forever more!

The "3 Rs" of BookCrossing...

* Read a good book (you already know how to do that)

* Register it here (along with your journal comments), get a unique BCID (BookCrossing ID number), and label the book

* Release it for someone else to read (give it to a friend, leave it on a park bench, donate it to charity, "forget" it in an airliner seatback pocket, etc.), and get notified by email each time someone comes here and records journal entries for that book. And if you make Release Notes on the book, others can Go Hunting for it and try to find it!

Sounds easy, right? Well it is. It's also a fascinating exercise in fate, karma, or whatever you want to call the chain of events that can occur between two or more lives and one piece of literature. Oh, and we should mention, it's absolutely free and absolutely private, too.

Via MetaFilter

Apple Stores offer free Mac classes

Apple's retail stores are offering a series of free classes throughout the country. If you ever wanted to build your Mac skills, or find out what the Mac is all about, this is the place.

A full class schedule for each store is available from the link above.

Monday, May 20, 2002

The only thing that is inevitable is this FBI Director's resignation

Let me be among the first to call for the resignation of FBI Director Robert Mueller.

His comments during a speech yesterday that suicide bombings in the US are "inevitable" shows the highest disregard for public safety and throws into question his ability to perform his job. By calling the bombings inevitable, he has capitulated to anyone who decides that they want to terrorize the US, whether that is through deeds or words. He has abdicated his role as protector of the citizens of the United States. If he believes that such attacks are inevitable, then he needs to step aside and allow someone else, someone more willing to go the distance, to prevent such attacks. Throwing up his hands and declaring that nothing can be done promotes panic in the public and offers support and comfort to terrorists, who now believe that law enforcement has given up even trying to stop them.

Mueller's comments, and those of the White House, only seek to provide some protection for their reputation should another attack occur. This "cover-your-ass" method of law enforcement and government must come to an end...quickly. What would have happened if we believed that Hitler's domination of Europe was inevitable...Japan's domination of the Pacific...or Britain's refusal to recognize our infant country? America has never stood by while evil stalked the world. America should not stand by when evil comes to its doorstep. We need leaders in Washington, DC, not bureaucrats and politicians worried about keeping their jobs.

Nothing is "inevitable", except, perhaps, the resignation of this bureaucrat who has found himself in a position far above his competency. Let us prepare ourselves for battle instead of surrendering before the next battle begins.

Gnocchi alla Ciociaria (Ciociaria-Style Gnocchi)

One of my favorite recipes, this traditional gnocchi was featured on Mario Batali's television show, Molto Mario. It seems to garner great praise whenever I make it for friends. One time I even took my act on the road and put it together at a relative's house for a family get-together. The only equipment you really need is a big, high-sided skillet.

Gnocchi (an Italian-style potato dumpling) is one of the easiest pasta to make, as it doesn't require strong arms for kneading, or a pasta maker to roll it out. If you want to try your hand a homemade pasta-making, this is definitely the place to start.

The sauce the Batali pairs with these gnocchi is phenomenal. It is one of the most flavorful pasta sauces I have ever found. I usually cut way back on the red pepper flakes so that it doesn't burn your mouth, so much as make it tingle. You can use just about any sauce with the gnocchi including a simple butter, sage and parmaggiano. The secret is to make sure you cook the gnocchi in the sauce for a couple of minutes after they have boiled. This helps the sauce to really hold onto the gnocchi for full flavor with every bite.

Latest Virus Hoax - Java Debugger Manager

Here is just one more reason to cast a wary eye on every virus report you receive. This hoax, and others, don't need a virus to inflict their damage. They just let you do the damage yourself.

The latest hoax tells you to delete a file called jdbgmgr.exe. This is the Java Debugger Manager, an important part of the Java support for your web browser and could cause Windows and Internet Explorer to fail.

Don't do damage to yourself. Always check out any virus notice by visiting the sites below. More importantly, never pass on a virus notice until you have confirmed it is legitimate. Make the cycle of virus hoaxes stop with you.

vMyths - Virus Myths

Symantec Anti-Virus Web Site

McAfee Web Site

Via Network World

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Free boat tour of the Port of Los Angeles on World Trade Day

Our other event this weekend involved a quick trip down to Ports o' Call Village in San Pedro, California to partake of the free boat tours of the Port of Los Angeles. Sponsored by the City of LA, three tour boat operations halted their usual charter operations to help give Angelenos a feel for the important part that the port plays in the LA economy.

We took one of the smaller boats available so this made the tour a bit more intimate. Joe had a blast hanging out on the bow of the boat and we got several short pieces of information over the PA system. We saw the marina around Ports O' Call Village, a collection of restaurants, fish markets and shops where you can sit and watch the tugboats, large container ships and Catalina ferries come in and out. A helicopter shuttle to Catalina Island passes overhead, as well.

Sea lions held their usual position on the buoys out in the main harbor entrance, One even swam by the boat. Dry docks, in use since World War II, sit empty today, waiting for the next ship to be cleaned and repaired. We passed under the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the 3rd largest suspension bridge in California.

The SS Lane Victory, the last surviving Victory ship, is a floating museum that offers tours that explain the original purpose of the ship and life onboard. The Lane Victory lies anchored next to the ultra-modern cruise ship terminal where countless "Love Boat" cruises embarked.

Just a few slips up the dock sits the modern LAFD firehouse which protects an old, yet still highly useful fireboat used to protect boats and structures around the harbor. Next door stands the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. It occupies the old Ferry Building where commuters would gather before the Vincent Thomas Bridge was created.

Once back at the dock, we had lunch...seafood, of course...and then headed out to visit with some family members in Orange County. Joe was particularly fascinated with the live crabs and lobsters seen throughout the village.

Though Ports O' Call Village has seen better days, I thought our visit there was a total success. There is a lot more to see in the San Pedro area, too. You can check out these sites to find more information.

San Pedro Chamber of Commerce Europa Festival

Port of Los Angeles

Picture Gallery of our visit

*** As of the posting of this entry, the Port of LA web site was not responding. Please try again later if the links do not connect you.

NoHo Arts and Theater Festival Re-cap

A busy weekend with so many possible events happening. Our first event was this annual festival in our old neighborhood, North Hollywood, California.

NoHo, as it has come to be called, has struggled for years to establish itself as an arts and theater district. Each year, they seem to come closer and closer to that goal.

There was plenty of food, fun and frolic at this years festival. 20-30 local theaters were offering performances for free to introduce new audiences. We almost caught a free children's show of Peter Pan, but Joe (4) had had enough excitement and needed a nap.

The streets were lined with many different artists displaying everything from fine art to craft items. There were at least 4 stages set aside for entertainment this year; an International Stage, a Kid's Stage, and more.

You may want to add this festival to next year's schedule right now. It is sure to offer even more in 2003.

Picture gallery

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Los Angeles Foothills Soap Box Derby - May 27, 2002

Coming from Ohio, I always heard about the Soap Box Derby, but never made the trip to Akron, Ohio to see the national event. It seems, though, that there is a major event happening right here in my own backyard.

From the site...

Los Angeles Foothills Soap Box Derby is held today at Michigan Hill. in La Canada Flintridge. The winner of this race goes to the All-American Soap Box Derby in July. For information about soap box kits and registration, call 818-790-9901.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Career-Op: Rise above it all

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Fraud is everywhere, from the city streets to the corporate boardroom. Lately we seem to be swimming in an ocean of fraud. Worse yet, some of us in the high-tech world are aiding and abetting it, if not committing fraud outright ourselves. Any career is built on developing a level of trust with your clients. Any connection to any business with even the appearance of being fraudulent will eventually bring your career to an end. Sure, it might have short term benefits; expensive houses, flashy cars, etc., but you will find it hard even remembering these items when the whole thing goes bust. Steer clear of participating in anything that smells of a scam, whether perpetrated by an individual or a large company. You owe it to yourself, your career and your family to stick to the straight and narrow.

NPR on Blogging -- RealAudio Link

My friend, Jo Ann, emailed this interesting NPR link about blogging. I will let her describe it in her own words.

(Warning: This is RealAudio link. You will need RealPlayer to listen.)

Jo Ann says...

I heard a cool 5-minute segment on NPR this morning about the phenomena of
"the blog."

This link will take you there.

If not, look at NPR, Search on the word "Blog." The segment title is Linguist Geoff Nunberg

It's a 5-minute real-audio clip on "Fresh Air" -- he talks about the history
of journaling and how, because of blogs, it suddenly has become 'democratic'
in that we all can peak inside each other's daily diaries/thoughts, etc.

I do love the new term "over-sharing" for those people who can't resist
telling you every single detail of their life, i.e., "My coffee is too
strong, I can't find my hairbrush, etc."

The Right Way to Resign

This Career-Op column from November 1998 is the most popular page on my web site. Since it is so popular, I figured it could use another mention here in My Word.

Even in this slow job market, many people are looking for answers on how to resign a from a job without burning all their bridges behind them.

From the column...

Even in the worse case, you can ensure that your resignation goes as smoothly as possible by following a few simple rules. The first of these is to be professional, regardless of the situation. If a company has already shown itself to be less than ideal you will be wise to not add any fuel to the fire.

The Making of a Chef : Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America

I just got this book out of the library and I have been very impressed
with it. It is the story of a writer who enrolled at the famous
CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in order to write about the

If you have any interest in how a professional kitchen operates
or just want to see how chefs are made, this is an interesting
read. Along with that, though, there are lessons that can be taken
away from this book that apply to life and work in general.

See other cooking picks in The WelchWrite Bookstore

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

CD Sesson Burner Beta - Providing a missing piece for Macintosh CD Burning

Apple's OS X provides built-in support for burning CD-R media, but they left out support for burning multiple sessions to one disk. I need this features so that I can back up digital photos to a single CD as I take them, rather than waiting until I fill the entire disk. James Sentman has provided this "missing link" with his CD Session Burner. I just downloaded the product and my first tests were successful. This provides a less expensive alternative to Toast Titanium and other CD burning software.

From the site...

Although Mac OS X has built in disk burning software, it burns the whole disk whether you have used all the available space or not. CD Session Burner can burn multiple sessions to the same disk until all the space is used up. This makes it terrific for making incremental backups. When you use a multi-session CD each session is mounted as a separate volume.

Via VersionTracker.com

A Gardener's Notebook - Sudden interest

An occasional series
After months with little to no interest in my garden, the last few weeks have brought on a veritable frenzy of activity.

After years of staring at the south fence border in disgust I finally attacked all the Morea (Dietes) (also known as the Fortnight Lily) and chopped them off at the roots. They had taken over the bed, forcing the hibiscus and gardenias for grow upwards out of the way. I knew there were Amaryllis bulbs in the bed somewhere but now they can flower fully instead of expending all their energy just getting to the sunlight. I have already planted one more hibiscus plant to fill in a blank spot and plan on adding another gardenia when I can locate a healthy one at a local nursery.

I have been fighting major problems with Giant White Fly (Bemisia argentifoli)nn this same bed for almost 2 years now. They seem to love the hibiscus. I tend not to use pesticides in the garden, but these devils have but my will sorely to the test. The next best way to control them seems to be simply washing them off. The larvae cannot crawl back up the plant, although the surviving adults can lay new eggs. A regular schedule of washing seems to keep the population suppressed, though. I am hoping that opening up this bed will assist me in getting rid of the bugs, too. Plants seem to be more susceptible to disease and pest attacks when they are stressed. Now they can receive plenty of water and plenty of sun so I hope to make a little headway.

The 2 rose beds in our back garden are getting a summer refurbishment. I have checked all the drip irrigation lines and my wife, Rosanne and son, Joe, are removing all the old mulch and leaf mold. I plan on top dressing both these beds with a nice layer of topsoil. Not only will it help neaten the bed visually, I think it will be less likely to promote rot around the base of the roses.

Finally, I have been on a propagation kick lately. I have potted up azaleas that have "layered" new roots, rosemary, for creating "ball and stick" topiaries, iceplant, donated from a friends garden, and 4 sun-starved shrub roses that will get a second life as porch plants on the sunny west entry.

I am hoping my new-found gardening kick survives the summer heat. It can be very difficult to motivate yourself when the temperatures rise into the 90's and above.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Apple - Xserve

Apple takes a second shot at the network server market with the new, rack-mountable, XServe. Most of you won't remember the short lived Apple Network Servers, R2-D2-sized AIX-based servers, but I do. Hopefully this might bring us into the real world of Apple servers instead of relying on standard Macs outfitted as servers.

The feature set looks pretty full, with hot-swappable equipment and a half terabyte of storage in a 1U rackmount space. This is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

From Apple.com...

You wanted purpose-built server hardware that could harness the tremendous underlying capabilities of Mac OS X Server software. That.s why Xserve features prodigiously powerful PowerPC G4 processors, massive amounts of storage, hot-plug drives, RAID solutions, remote management tools, and the ability to boot up and run without a monitor.

Monday, May 13, 2002

Another MS Security Hole

"Fixing a hole where the bugs get in, and stops my web from wandering..." --- apologies to The Beatles.

Let me see, this must be #8756 on the Microsoft Security Bug hit parade. Yet another exploit for Office 98 and Internet Explorer that can leave your computer vulnerable. The details are laid out in Microsoft Tech Note # MS02-019.

You can download the patch for OS 8/9/OS X from Microsoft.com.

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Annual Van Nuys Community Safety and Information Fair re-cap

Quite a busy day today as we walked up to the Civic Center in Van Nuys today for this annual event. We have been in previous years, but this time it seemed bigger. There were many more organizations than usual offering information on a variety of topics.

The DWP had a neat miniature display which they used to explain the dangers of electrical systems in your neighborhood. The LAPD Racing Team had their vehicle on display. They work to move illegal street racers over to a legal and safe environment on local drag strips. Joe had a great time and got a free bicycle helmet after he attended a safety town walk-through with Safety Bill. It was quite informative and will help him to remember the safety rules as we continue to bike around the neighborhood. The LAPD K-9 officers were there as were a host of LAPD Explorers, a scout troupe focused on police work and community service. The LAPD Band also regaled us with march tunes. Local dance groups and Tae-Kwon-Do schools were also offering demonstrations.

I think that events like this are a great way to stay informed about your community. I found out about several new events and improvement programs. Joe also gets a chance to interact with fire fighters and police officers in a friendly, non-threatening environment.

Get out into your community whenever you get a chance. You might be surprised at what you find.

A few pictures...

Credit Info Opt-Out Email

I recently received the message below from my CPA. While this is NOT A SCAM, the phone number listed below does have a very limited use. The link above takes you to a web page that explains the confusing situation. As with all email notices like this, check them out before you reply. This email could have been a scam to harvest Social Security numbers from unsuspecting people.

Here is a quick bit of info from the web site...

"It's important to note that this toll-free number has a limited purpose,. It is simply to enable consumers to opt-out of receiving pre-approved offers of credit. Nothing more."

The original email...

Just wanted to let everyone know who hasn't already heard,
the four major credit bureaus in the US will be allowed, starting July 1,
to release your credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers
..... to anyone who requests it.

If you would like to 'opt out' of this release of info, you can call
1-888-567-8688. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, and you can
take care of anyone else in the household while making only one call,
you'll just need to know their social security number.

Be sure to listen closely, the first opt out is only for two years, make sure
you wait until they prompt you to press '3' on your keypad to opt out for

Even more information is available from this Google Search.

Perfect for a Saturday Morning

This site features an amazing collection of Flash games. What makes them so different from other games you may have encountered is their beautiful artwork, soothing music and gentle ideas.

Help a little girl jump to collection stars, catch bumblebees inside of soap bubbles or help a kitten and puppy collect treats using a see-saw. There are a few fighting games among these, so you may want to reserve those for your own game-playing time. I am still discovering all the games that are available. I found the Pirate Ship game to be especially fascinating.

This is such a pleasant change from the "shoot-em-up" games you usually find. Most of these are games you won't mind watching your children play.

The Homestead Museum - Ticket to the 20's


I always love it when I find out about a place I have never heard of before. The Homestead Museum sounds like a neat place to visit at any time of the year, but this month brings a "Ticket to the 20's."

From the site...

The Homestead Museum transports visitors to the roaring 1920s during a fair, featuring music, dancing, historic tours, living history actors, crafts, contests and food. For all ages. 1 to 5 p.m. Free. 15415 E. Don Julian Road, City of Industry. 626-968-8492.

Museums of the Arroyo Day

May 19, 2002

Pasadena, CA

This sounds like a "way cool" day and a great way to check out 5 of the San Gabriel Valley's best museums. It looks like we may have to miss it for other commitment, but I want to be there if at all possible.

From the site...

"Experience life in the past lane during Museums of the Arroyo Day, offering a peek into five local museums: The Gamble House, Heritage Square Museum, the Lummis Home and Garden, the Pasadena Historical Museum and the Southwest Museum. Activities include music, turn-of-the-century fashions, games and crafts for all ages. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission and transportation to the museums. 213-740-8687."

Celebrate World Trade Week - San Pedro/Port of Los Angeles

May 18, 2002

Celebrate World Trade Week with a boat tour of the Port of Los Angeles. All ages are invited to view the 7,500-acre port. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and May 19. Free. Boats depart from Berths 77, 78 and 79 in Port O' Call, San Pedro. Call for locations. 800-831-7678.

Europa Festival 2002 is also happening this same weekend.

Friday, May 10, 2002

Career-Op: Lessons

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As I write I am listening to the news. Arthur Andersen, mired in its relationship with Enron, has just announced that it will lay off around 7,000 employees. While the case against Andersen, Enron and others will take years to sort out, the effect on employees at the companies is quick, painful and, I hope, instructive. Sometimes, the best thing you can do with a bad situation is learn all you can from it.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Sunset over Mount San Jacinto, California

Click for larger version - (388k)

Taken November 22, 2001, Palm Desert, California

My sister lives in Palm Desert and this shot was taken from her back yard. We traditionally spend Thanksgiving in the desert. Sometimes it rains in the valley and snows on the mountain, but last year the weather was nearly perfect. We had our turkey and stuffing on the patio and then were treated to this amazing sunset.

Yet another MS security hole!

Is everyone as sick and tired of Microsoft generated security holes as I am. Like the Flash security problem mentioned earlier this week, the flaw is ActiveX, Microsoft's attempt to circumvent Java.

I admit it is a pipe dream, but I would love to start sending a bill to Microsoft every time I have to install a security update, work around a bug or help one of my customers do their work in spite of their Microsoft software. Something has got to change. Companies, both large and small, are being eaten alive by the support costs associated with MS software.

From Infoworld.com...

A SECURITY HOLE deemed "critical" by Microsoft could allow an attacker to run code of their choice on a vulnerable PC by exploiting a problem in Microsoft's MSN Chat, MSN Messenger and Exchange Instant Messenger products, Microsoft said in a security alert Wednesday. The company has patched the vulnerability.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Symantec offers W32.Klez Removal Tool

If you have been infected by the nasty W32. Klez Virus/Worm, it can be a big pain to clean it up. Symantec has offered a tool to automate the cleanup, though. There are several steps you need to follow to insure that you are free from infection, but everything is explained in the documents on Symantec's site.

Above all, this a great reminder to make sure you purchase, install and UPDATE your virus software on a regular basis. This is one of the most important maintenance tasks to perform on your computer.

Here is the info direct from Symantec...

Symantec has provided a tool to remove infections of W32.Klez.E@mm, W32.Klez.H@mm, W32.ElKern.3587, and W32.ElKern.4926.

An online demonstration on how to download and run the tool is available with audio and without audio.

Note on W32.Klez.gen@mm detections:

W32.Klez.gen@mm is a generic detection that detects variants of W32.Klez. Computers that are infected with W32.Klez.gen@mm have most likely been exposed to either W32.Klez.E@mm or W32.Klez.H@mm. If your computer is detected as infected with W32.Klez.gen@mm, download and run the tool. In most case, the tool will be able to remove the infection.

What the tool does

The W32.Klez Removal Tool does the following:
  • It terminates all processes that are associated with W32.Klez.E@mm, W32.Klez.H@mm, W32.ElKern.3587, and W32.ElKern.4926.
  • It deletes the W32.Klez.E@mm and W32.Klez.H@mm service(s).
  • It removes the registry entries that were created by W32.Klez.E@mm and W32.Klez.H@mm.
  • It detects all types of W32.Klez.E@mm, W32.Klez.H@mm, W32.ElKern.3587, and W32.ElKern.4926 infections, and repairs files that can be repaired.

    NOTE: A file that is infected with W32.Klez.E@mm or W32.Klez.H@mm includes a link to the encrypted host file. If the encrypted file does not exist at that link, the tool deletes the infected file because it is not repairable, and the encrypted file will not be restored.

    The W32.ElKern.3587 and W32.ElKern.4926 repair removes the viral code from the file. It does not ensure that a file that is repaired from W32.ElKern will run because this virus often corrupts files.

Apple iPhoto 1.1.1 Released

After a little hiccup with the 1.1 release, which was offered and then withdrawn, here is the latest version of Apple's iPhoto software.

iPhoto offers you an easy way to download, store, search and manipulate your digital photos. In fact, I just used it to create a Mother's Day book with my son and it turned out very well. We were able to look back through hundreds of photos, choose the ones we wanted, lay them out in a Storybook template and print them on glossy photo paper. The end result looked very nice.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Print Center Repair

Mac OS X is still getting some of the kinks worked out. Here is a great utility for solving a variety of issues with the OS X Print Center.

From the author...

Print Center Repair is designed to fix situations where Print Center will not open, and a majority of -108 errors. The Print Center Repair application closely follows some of the procedures outlined by Apple Computer Inc. in the AppleCare Knowledge Base and was designed to make the process easier for novice and expert users alike.

Via VersionTracker

Country Garden Fair


Sepulveda Garden Center

16633 Magnolia Bl

Encino, CA

Phone Number

(818) 784-5180


May 18, 2002 to May 19, 2002

Additional Information

A wide variety of plants and seeds for sale, display gardens, gardening information, access to local garden clubs and plant societies, bonsai show, country craft sales, children's activities petting zo, live country music, clog dancing, food and more.

This excellent resource for Palm OS PDA users is available in a number of formats. I get it via email, but you can also access it via the web or in Palm DOC format.

Monday, May 06, 2002

MacCentral's got the skinny on new features to be included in Mac OS X 10.2, coming later this summer. It sounds pretty neat.

Wired has some info, too.

Via ChrisRuzin.net

Natural History of the @ Sign

When we were in Italy, one point of education was the names Italian speakers use for Internet terms. i.e. Dot (.) = punto. I could never remember what they called the @ sign, though. This site came to my aid.

(It is "chiocciola" pronounced "kee-AH-cho-la" , BTW)

Find out how non-English speakers across the globe have included Internet-speak into their native tongues.

Via MetaFilter

New AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for OS X

Finally, an update for the OS X version. I have been missing my smilies!

New/updated features...

* New Dock Menu
* New AIM Contextual Menu (CM) plugin
* New Bot Artwork
* New Smart Connection Prefs
* Application Icon Bouncing Preference
* Direct IM Support
* New Artwork
* New Away Options
* Smileys!
* New Font Prefs for incoming IMs and Chats

Sunday, May 05, 2002

Hart Park Animal Fair

We attended this event last year with our friends, Mitch and Linda. All of us had a grand time. Joe was able to pet a 12 foot long snake, slide down a huge (for him) inflatable slide and meet animal actors of all types.

Hart Park is also a great place to visit any day of the year.


Sunday May 19th, 2002

Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Contact: Norman Phillips

Phone: (661) 222-7657


William S. Hart Park

24151 San Fernando Rd

Newhall, CA 91321



Be sure to show up at this exciting event! Come see Movie & TV Animal Actors, Wild & Exotic Animals and other free entertainment. The events will include the Frisbee Dog Challenge, pony rides and more. Food and Drinks will
be available.

Saturday, May 04, 2002

GoogleGazing, a Cultural Cross-section with the help of digital cameras

An interesting social experiment struck me today when I noticed that someone had been referred to my web site after searching on "DCP_0747.jpg." As some of you might recognize, this a is standard filename spit out by many Kodak digital cameras. In fact, you can replace the number with anything from 0001-9999. Other digital cameras use similar serial number schemes when storing their photos.

I then realized that, using Google's Image search, it would be possible to view a collection of these photos for each number. Using this rather random method, you can get a small cross-section of Internet culture. I call it a GoogleGazing.

The more adventurous among you could turn off Google's SafeSearch feature.

Here are a few Google links to get you started...

DCP_0747 | DCP_1234 | DCP_4321

LAPD Information Available Online

If you live in the City of Los Angeles, you can find out what is happening with the LAPD in your neighborhood. The most useful information I found were small newsletters dealing with police activity in each Basic Car area.

For example, I live in Basic Car Area 9A59. Looking at the newsletter, it seems that car break-ins and car theft are some of our biggest problems. They area is also looking to start a Neighborhood Watch in our area.

If you don't live in the LA proper, you might find these links useful.

LA Sheriff's Department

California Highway Patrol

Friday, May 03, 2002

Topanga Canyon Wildflower Pictures

A gentle reminder to go visit nature this weekend.

Click for larger images

This photos were taken on a Geocaching hike in Topanga Canyon, California on March 16, 2002.


Career-Op: On the inside

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Working as an independent consultant for small companies has many benefits. The work is varied and you get to deal with a large variety of people. One downside, though, is that the company may not have anyone on their staff that can monitor and manage systems between your visits. This can often lead to confusion and crises when systems don't work as planned. If you want to keep your client relationships on a good footing you need to have someone on the inside who can be your eyes and ears, even when you are far away.

Security hole found in Macromedia's Flash

If you regularly access sites that use Macromedia Flash on Windows, you will want to download a new player as soon as possible. It seems there is a flaw that can allow hackers access to your files. Full information is available in the article.

From the story...

A SECURITY HOLE in the way Macromedia's Flash player handles ActiveX content could allow an attacker to run the code of their choice on vulnerable systems, according to a security advisory published by eEye Digital Security late Thursday. Macromedia is offering a new download of the player which fixes the flaw.

Via Infoworld

Small bugs can lead to large disasters

Thank goodness most of the computer bugs we face never will never have the disastrous consequences ofthose detailed here. It seems that computer errors (more correctly, human errors in telling the computer what to do) have lead to the explosion of rockets, the disabling of warships, the failure of telephone service, the loss of space exploration vehicles and even the near failure of London's Millennium Bridge.

This site brings home the necessity of heavily testing any computer file you design, whether it is a program, an Excel file with calculations or the simplest database. It seems that the old joke is still true, "To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer!"

Thursday, May 02, 2002

A Tornado's Path

This satellite photo demonstrates the awesome power of a F5 tornado. The path of the twister can be clearly seen, even from this great distance. I have been near tornados in my Ohio childhood, but I can't imagine the feeling you must have seeing something this large headed for you.

Via Fark

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

The Art of Innovation : Lessons in Creativity from Ideo, America's Leading Design Firm


An excellent insight on how one company practices innovation in attacking all sorts of business-related problems. IDEO, the focus of the book, was involved in creating the Palm V, the original Apple Mouse and hundreds of other products. Here they share their philosophy of innovation and help you apply it, no matter what your work.

Mac-to-Mac file transfer using Firewire

Using only a Firewire cable you can connect Macs together to allow you to copy files from one computer to another. Firewire target disk mode is much like the old system that allowed you to connect a Powerbook to a desktop Mac using the SCSI port. It is nice to see something this useful being upgraded to use the latest and greatest technologies. This technique can be very useful in those situations when they Macs aren't connected to a network. This Apple tech note tells you exactly how to do it and which Macs can do it.

Via Macintouch