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Saturday, June 01, 2002

Free Sunday Concerts In The Park at Peter Strauss Ranch

June 9, 2pm - 4pm

Blues in The Parks

Join us for an afternoon of blues.


Southern California Blues Society in cooperation with National Park Service

No vacation for many workers...even if they leave the office

This USA Today article gives some disturbing statistics regarding workers and their vacations. It seems that over 60% of workers will be checking in with the office at least once each week while they are gone. 25% say they will check in daily.

As a writer on career issues, I have seen the effects of overwork and pressure on the average worker. My only advice is to forget your office even exists while on vacation. You take a vacation to relieve the pressure of your day-to-day work, commune with your family (maybe for the first time all year), and recover enough energy to face the post-vacation landslide of email. Do not let the pressure of hyperactive companies prevent you from enjoying what little vacation time you have.

Checking in with your office on a daily basis almost guarantees that you will have a lousy vacation and feel even worse when you return to work. Any company that cannot function when staff members take a vacation has major problems. Staffing is not at appropriate levels, managers have become micro-managers and the company has lost respect for its workers, except in its ability to exploit them for every last minute of their waking hours. Remember, your company has a vested interest in preventing you from taking vacation time. It is up to you to protect your own needs.

Maybe you have convinced yourself that you don't have the time to take a vacation. This is a sure sign that you are in dire need of one. Even more, you might be better off to find a new job than stay at one that offers no hope of relief, even for 2 weeks out of 52.

If you are struggling with vacation decisions, check out this article. How to take a vacation is a Career Opportunities column I wrote back in May of 1999. It offers several hints on how to take a vacation that won't have you thinking more about work than fun.

Any company for which it is worth working will understand the importance of vacation time. They know that they may lose a few hours of your time, but they also know you will come back with a new attitude and perhaps, even more, great ideas to help them build their business.

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