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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.

cover 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 experience.

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 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.