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Wednesday, July 31, 2002


Web Album Generator

I have been using the Mac OS X program WebPics to create web photo albums from my digital camera. My friend, Sam, over at NightsNWeekends.com let me know about this Windows program to performs the same task. The examples look very nice with captions, navigations buttons and more.

Web Sites

America As It Was- A Tour of the USA in Vintage Postcards

My friend, Jo Ann, passed on this wonderful directory of sites displaying historic postcards. The sites are cataloged by state and location.

From the site...

This is a special project for the USGenWeb Project and history and vintage postcard buffs everywhere. It's a directory of vintage postcard collections of the American Local History Network and USGenWeb Project, Historical and Genealogical Societies, Private Libraries and Museums, Universities, Towns, Parks and Private Collectors. It does not include any commercial listings (unless they contain significant galleries for public viewing), auctions, electronic greeting cards or modern postcards.

Monday, July 29, 2002


Six Degrees - timefreeing technology

This weeks mailing from Tidbits had a link to an interesting piece of software. Basically, Six Degrees watches your email activity and then builds a database of links between conversations, project and people. This database then allows you to more easily find information based on these relations.

I get a sizable amount of email, so I am installing the 30-day demo to see if it can make my online life any earlier. You might want to check it out for yourself.


Keeping with the ongoing Astronomy theme that seems to have arisen, here are 2 interesting little programs. Enjoy!

EarthGlobe 0.9

Realtime 3D view of Earth day-light/seasonal cycles


Displays the Moon phase in the Dock or on the Desktop

Via Versiontracker



This is a nice little slide show program for OS X. It works as advertised and a bit more quickly than than the slideshow program I had been using.

From their site...

JPEGDeux 1.5, released on 7/28/02, adds many many new features. Among them are moving or copying images to arbitrary folders, precacheing images for greater speed, the ability to rotate or flip images, a preview drawer, and lots more.

JPEGDeux is a program that displays slideshows of image files. The shows can be displayed in a window, full screen, or in the Dock (!), and there are several customization options.

The name comes from the program JPEGView, which I admire as a specialized tool that works intuitively and is done right (it still runs great in the Classic environment despite being written in 1995). JPEGDeux is open-sourced under the BSD license. The code demonstrates some interesting Cocoa techniques, such as short-circuiting the main run loop and a customized image view.

Download now

Via Macintouch

Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United States, Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Douglas, Male, 36-40!

Sunday, July 28, 2002


Artful Minds and Stagecoaches: a family art class featuring artist, Julie Brown, and artists from the Artful Minds School (all ages)

The General Phineas Banning Residence Museum

Wilmington, CA

Sunday, August 11, 2002

2:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 27, 2002


How...Design Ideas at Work - Creative Workout

This article, from How's June 2002 issue, (not available on the web) is a great way to stoke up your creativity if you are feeling a little burnt out. While How focuses on print and interactive design, there are lessons to be learned for everyone involved in thinking up new ideas.

The article contains a list of additional resources, which I have linked to Amazon.com* below. You might also find some of them at your local library.

Enjoy! - -Douglas

The Big Book of Creativity Games: Quick,...

Idea Index: Graphic Effects and...

Layout Index

Color Index: Over 11000 Color...

Creative Jolt

Creative Jolt Inspirations

Creativity Games for Trainers: A...

Five Star Mind: Games and Exercises to...

Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking...

Thinking Creatively: New Ways to Unlock...

Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck

* In association with Amazon.com. WelchWrite receives 5-15% commission on books purchased using these links.


The Los Angeles Audubon Society

Here is another LA organization that might interest you. The LA Audubon Society sponsors bird walks and field trips throughout the area. A complete calendar is available on their site.

From their web site...

The Los Angeles Audubon Society is people dedicated to the enjoyment and preservation of the natural world. Through birding, education and conservation activities in our community, we raise awareness and promote the cause of global environmental protection.

The headquarters, library and bookstore are in Great Hall at the center of Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046-6694 (on the north side of the street, between Fuller and Vista, six blocks west of La Brea). Parking is free in the large lots at the south and north ends of the park. Or park on Vista.


* Tuesday through Saturday

* 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.


LA Astronomical Society

If you have any interest in astronomy, you would be well advised to check out the LA Astronomical Society. They have a host of regular and special events throughout the year, even gaining access to the 60-inch telescope on Mount Wilson. Full information is available on their site.

The LAAS also hosts several public star parties each year. Even though Griffith Park Observatory is closed for remodeling, they will be hosting a party there on August 17.

From the site...

Membership in the Los Angeles Astronomical Society is not restricted. You don't need to have a telescope to get in. In fact, it's better that you join first, so you can find out what kind of telescope you really need, depending on what you want to do. There are no requirements for membership other than paying your dues. If you want to join right away, just read the dues required below, and send them to the mailing address at the bottom of the page. If you are not sure about joining, I suggest you drop by the Garvey Ranch Observatory, in Monterey Park, on any Wednesday night (we are there even in non-astronomical weather), or come and visit one of our regular membership meetings, on the 2nd Monday of the month, at Griffith Observatory (Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov, & Dec - no regular meeting for Jan, Jul or Aug), or drop by one of our public star parties. Meet the astronomers, look around, talk up a storm, ask questions, be nosy, and find out who and what we really are. If you decide to join, you can in any case do so right there, or mail in your dues, as you wish.

We encourage our members to be as active as they can in the many different activities we offer. You can be a Garvey Ranch Regular, you can make the dark sky star parties your second home, you can show off your knowledge and/or enthusiasm at the public star parties at Griffith Observatory, you can volunteer to speak at the membership meetings, you can make telescopes, or anything else that catches your astronomical fancy. whatever it is about astronomy that interests you, we either already have other members doing it, or you can start the ball rolling yourself.


Saturday, August 17, weather permitting

At Griffith Observatory.

Latitude = 34° 06' 46.8" N.

Longitude = 118° 18' 5.5" W.

Elevation = 1134 feet.

Griffith Observatory is now closed to the public for the beginning of renovation. The grounds remain open for a limited time. Grounds will close to the public at 10:00 PM PDT.

Sunset 7:38 PM PDT

End civil twilight 8:05 PM PDT

Moon Transit 9:05 PM PDT

Moonset 2:03 AM PDT on August 18

Moon waxing gibbous 75% illuminated; 1st Quarter Moon on August 15 at 3:12 AM PDT


Leaping off the page - Building Pop-Up Books

Aug. 3, 2002 - Jan. 12, 2003


First Floor Galleries, Fifth & Flower Streets, Downtown Los Angeles

A step-by-step look at how pop-up books are designed, engineered and
printed,using samples of best-selling works by four popular children's book

Sponsored by Farmer's Insurance

Organized in partnership by the Los Angeles Public Library, Waldo Hunt
Children's Museum,and Intervisual Books,Inc. Presented by the Library
Foundation of Los Angeles.

Friday, July 26, 2002


Career-Op: Web stars

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Finding neat, new web sites is a large part of the fun of surfing the web. That said, many of the sites that I find most useful are those that have been around the longest. This doesn't mean you can't have fun locating new sites, only that you shouldn't forget the old standards. For a high-tech careerist, the web is probably the best source of information to keep your work, your life and your career on track.

Thursday, July 25, 2002



Just opened June 1!

490 E. Union St. Open Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; $5, $3 seniors & students, children under 12 free, free to all first Friday of the month 5-8 p.m. (626) 568-3665.

On-Ramps: Transitional Moments in California Art Painting, sculpture, video and other works divided into four California art movements of the past century: Impressionism/Postimpressionism, Post Surrealism, Hard Edge Abstraction to Finish Fetish, and Bay Area Conceptualism; thru Sept. 1.

Pushale! An expression meaning "Push it!" in Spanglish, this collection of Tijuana art, including clothing and video, features the work of Sergio Brown, Sal Vazquez, Raul Cardenas, DJ Hiperboreal of the Nortec Collective, and Torolab; thru Sept. 1.


SAT 8/4, 9pm

Charmlee Natural Area

Full Moon Hike

Hike to the bluffs, view the ocean and end at our nature
center. Reservations recommended 310-317-1364. 1.5hrs CNA

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Computers - Opinion

Could Hollywood Hack Your PC?

This is so wrong in so many ways that I barely know where to start.

1. Corporations acting as their own vigilante law enforcement

2. Little governmental oversight or control

3. Difficult appeals basically say "too bad" to innocents who might wrongly have their data destroyed

4. Destruction of both physical and intellectual property

5. Interactions between Federal DA and corporations performed in secret

A law such as the one purposed would be like allowing the power company to systematically destroy your home appliances because they were not on some approved list, decided by them, of course.

Once again, instead of attempting to create the next generation of copyright law, corporations and bureaucrats are simply attempting to quash digital technology. The focus needs to be on creating a fair system for compensation and protection of copyright, not burying their head in the sand and pretending that bills such as this one will make the problem go away.


Have you hugged a geek today?

I have to admit, I wouldn't mind a little recognition, but I don't think this has the charm of Administrative Assistants Day. (SMILE) Perhaps it is just a ploy by the computer hardware lobby to sell more product.

From the site...

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Friday - July 26th, 2002

A special day, once a year, to acknowledge the worthiness and appreciation of the person occupying the role, especially as it is often this person who really keeps the wheels of your company turning.


Old Spanish Days Fiesta Santa Barbara

August 1-4

A parade and host of other free and admission events make up this festival.
See the web site for complete schedule and information.

** Subscribe to the WelchEvents mailing list.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Computers - Apple

Apple Xserve Update

If you are one of the lucky people to have received a new Apple Xserve server, here is the first update for the system.

From the site...

Xserve Update 1.0 provides updates and enhancements to the serial port, ATA hard disk drivers, server assistant, and server monitoring functions of Xserve. Xserve Update 1.0 includes a new version of the Server Monitor and Server Assistant applications. These updated applications are installed by the update in the /Applications/Utilities folder. It is recommended that client computers running these administrative tools update to the new versions by copying the application from an updated Xserve. After installing the Xserve Update 1.0, you can update your Mac OS X Server administration clients by copying the new applications to them.

Via Versiontracker


Watch the skies for August asteroid

While most asteroid warnings are filled with doom and gloom, this trip could prove to be very interesting. On the morning of August 18 Asteroid 2002 NY40 will be visible in the sky between midnight and 4 AM. Break out the binoculars or that telescope that has been gathering dust in the closet.

The article contains a good map that should allow you to easily locate the asteroid using the star Vega.

Via Fark.com


Another nice letter from a reader regarding my column, Worker's Beware.

I enjoyed your article in CE about employee/employer relations. As a retired aerospace engineer, I can appreciate a lot of the concepts but I'm not so sure that the younger workers of today will appreciate the overall impact of your article. Keep up the good work. --Tom Tindel

Monday, July 22, 2002


The 7th Annual Palm Springs International Short Film Festival

Aug. 7-13, 2001 Festival of Arts Theater, Palm Springs

From the site...

"This year's festival runs from August 7-13, with a big Opening Night celebration at 6:30 p.m. on August 7th. The evening begins with a film program of award winning short films, followed by a reception sponsored by Las Casuelas Terraza. It will be a night of fun, films, music, food, and dancing all for just $25! Tickets are selling quickly; reserve yours now!"

Subscribe to the WelchEvents mailing list


African-American Firefighter Museum

The Los Angeles Fire Department proudly celebrates more than a century of African-American Firefighters in Los Angeles. We extend an invitation for you and your family to learn more about the courage and dedication of these proud men and women by visiting the African-American Firefighter Museum. Built in a Fire Station that once housed LAFD's Engine Company 30 and Truck Company 11, the Museum offers rich cultural displays and knowledgeable docents. There is no charge for admission, but donations are gratefully accepted.

LAFD Museum and Memorial

1355 North Cahuenga Boulevard

Hollywood, CA

You've seen the Los Angeles Fire Department's Historic Station 27 (1930-1992) in countless films and television shows. Now, on a limited basis, you can visit this renowned former firehouse, which is being transformed into the LAFD Museum. Also under development is a Memorial to Los Angeles Firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thanks to the generous support of concerned citizens and dedicated members of the LAFD Historical Society, this vibrant and inspirational community asset will soon be open full-time in the heart of Hollywood. While development continues, the Museum will be open most Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Please call (323) 464-2727 for more information, or visit the LAFD Historical Society website for details and to see photos of Museum development in progress.

Admission is Free!

Los Angeles City Fire Department Historical Archive Web Site

Sunday, July 21, 2002


Handheld Synchronization for Entourage X

It seems there were significant problems with this software, so Microsoft has withdrawn the update entirely. Hopefully, they will be able to fix the problems quickly.

From the site...

Microsoft Handheld Synchronization for Entourage X is temporarily unavailable as we investigate some technical issues that have been reported to us by customers. We are working hard to identify and correct these issues. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience. Please check back here for more information as it becomes available.


Museum and Garden Free Days

Museum Free Days are available at many of our local museums and gardens. They are usually the same day each month.

Below are the dates for August 2002.

August 1

Huntington Gardens and Library

August 6

Natural History Museum/Page Museum at the La Brea Tarpits

August 13

LA County Museum of Art/Autry Museum of Western Heritage

If you know of any other Free Days, let me know and I will include in future mailings.


Fort Tejon Historical Association - Civil War Events

This State Historic Park hosts regular Civil Ware reenactments throughout the summer. Rosanne and I visited with a friend a few years ago when they where working on a book that was set in and around Andersonville prison. The battles were quite amazing to watch and strolling through the camps afterwards truly felt like we were going back in time. The participants are a wealth of historical information and love talking about the period.

If you or your children are interested in this period of American History, I highly recommend a visit to Fort Tejon, The fort is open most days and provides lessons in California History when not hosting a reenactment.

Admission to the reenactment is $3-$5.

From the site...

Watch volunteers present skirmishes and demonstrate the tactics used in the eastern United States during the American Civil War. See troops of the Union and Confederate Armies, all authentically uniformed and equipped. Meet the soldiers & civilians. Tour their camps and see how they lived. There is one small Saturday skirmish at 4:00 PM. Sunday battles are at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM (Approximately 30-45 minutes each.) Guided tours of the camps are offered between the battles on Sunday (only). Living History presentations include Manual of Arms, Artillery and Field Hospital demonstrations.


Santa Barbara Surf Museum

Today's LA Times Magazine (7/21/02) had a small article on this museum. If you have any interest in surfing history, or maybe just want to relive the days of surfing past, this could be the place for you. I plan on checking it out the next time I make it up the coast.

The museum is located within easy walking distance of Stearn's Wharf and Chase Palm Park.


I couldn't find an online presence for the museum, but here are the specifics:

Santa Barbara Surf Museum

16 1/2 Helena Street

Santa Barbara, CAL


Free Admission

Saturday, July 20, 2002


Origami Festival - Pacific Asia Museum - Recap

Another wonderful day enjoying the bounty that is Los Angeles! Today we visited the Pacific Asia Museum for the first time. This was a special day, an Origami Festival, and we all had a good time. Admission was free (usually $5/person) and there were activities set up in the courtyard of this historic building in Pasadena.

Joe fell asleep as we arrived at the museum, so the adults had a bit of time to inspect the small collection in the museum proper. The museum collects artifacts from all areas of Asia and presents them in a well organized and intelligent manner. There are plenty of interpretive guides for both adults and children. The ceramics and clothing displays were quite beautiful. Even after that Joe continued to sleep, so we headed a few blocks away to a very nice bookstore, Vroman's. After a bit of browsing, and a little nosh in their well-designed cafe, we headed back to the museum.

Several activity areas were set up in the courtyard, all related to origami. The courtyard itself has many mature trees and a lovely koi pond with huge fish. Flute music provided entertainment throughout the day.

At one table you could make traditional cicada and ladybug origami, another group focused on all manner of folded hats, still another was creating cranes and other assorted animals. After checking them all out, Joe wanted to make a paper boat to float in the kiddie pool specifically provided for racing. We went through several boats in testing and finally created one last boat for the race itself. Joe was the last one to be called for the race (we were on a standby list) and only got to race because someone else didn't show up. Wouldn't you know it, he won! He blew and blew on the boat and pushed it to far end of the pool just ahead of the others. He was quite the gentleman as he ascended the steps to receive his prize of an origami kit and a first place ribbon, made using origami, as well.

Visiting the Pacific Asia Museum would be an enjoyable few hours on any day, but their Family Days add even more fun. You can find information on future events at their web site.

Pictures of our day are available in this gallery.


AppleCare Tech Info Library -Security Update 7-18-02

From the site...

Security Update 7-18-02 delivers a more secure Software Update service, as well as an updated Software Update command line tool, to verify that future updates originate from Apple.


Another America Online (AOL) OS X Beta

Yet another Beta (YAB) of America Online. It looks as if they are getting a lot of bugs out.

From the site...

New to build 14D

* The WWW Preferences have an improved look and new functionality

* The AOL for Mac OS X software no longer places an alias on the desktop

* The AOL for Mac OS X installer will open the Applications folder automatically after launching software for the first time (similar to AOL 5.0 behavior in Classic)

Fixed Issues for AOL for Mac OS X build 14D

* Long HTML e-mails should now show the entire text

* Access numbers no longer disappear when highlighted in the AOL Setup

* The Mail Center icon on the Welcome Screen now shows the correct state of the Online Mailbox

* The Local information on the Welcome Screen should now appear properly

* Embedded images sent from Beta software can now be seen by Internet e-mail addresses

* Empty Cache Now button now works

* Find in Top Window now enabled for browser windows


GERRY QUOTSKUYVA: Hopi Katsina Carver

Saturday, August 3, 2002

Sprague Auditorium, Southwest Museum

Sponsored by the Southwest Museum's Collectors' Club, katsina carver Gerry Quotskuyva will discuss his work. Free to members and guests and with paid Museum admission Call 323-221-2164, ext. 221 for information.

My wife and I visited this artist's studio the last few times we were in Sedona, Arizona and were quite impressed with his work. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he will be bringing his work here to Los Angeles at the Southwest Museum. It provides a good reason to go check out the Southwest Museum if you haven't already.

Subscribe to the WelchEvents Mailing List

Friday, July 19, 2002

What I'm Reading...

Poems to Read by Robert Pinsky

A new favorite poem Project Anthology. Favorite poems recommended by others. A book to open in random places and ride on the back of poetic synchronicity.

San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb by Kevin Roderick

An excellent history of the San Fernando Valley. I learned more about "The Valley" reading this book than in my entire 16+ years living here. Warning: Even though I am not a Valley native, I found a certain sense of loss as I read the text and examined the pictures.

Horse sense for people by Monty Roberts

Robert's applies his philosophy of horse training to humans...and there are some startling comparisons.

Winterdance: The fine madness of running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen

Unexpectedly, Paulsen had me both laughing myself to tears and cowering in fear over his stories of training for and running this amazing dogsled race.

365 things to do with your kids -- before they are too old to enjoy them by Bill Adler, Jr.

A great source of ideas for time with Joe and a sense of pride in having already done many of the suggestions.

Brush up your Shakespeare by Michael Macrone.

Delve into the wealth of words and sayings that Shakespeare brought to the English language for the first time. You might be surprised at the original meaning of many phrases we now take for granted.

Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman

Hillerman's latest Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn mystery continues a fine series.

Repacking your bags: Lighten your load for the rest of your life by Richard J. Leider & David A. Shapiro

An interesting book and eay read that just might help you make your next 30 years even better.

Career Opportunities Column

Career-Op: Waiting

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As odd as it might sound, you will find times in your career, and your life, when waiting will be the best action you can take. Let me be clear, though, that I am not talking about being inactive, only that you might find yourself waiting for the best combination of events and effort so that you can move to the next level. In many cases, waiting can end up being very productive.

Thursday, July 18, 2002


Great Paper Airplane Contest - Overview

Palm Springs Air Museum , 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262, 760-778-6262

From Digital City...

Kids create winning wings and things at the annual Great Paper Airplane contest. The competition is sponsored by the Palm Springs Air Museum where kids can draw inspiration from its collection of World War II aircraft.


Stop Policeware - FIGHT THE CBDTPA

Copyright law is on the ropes. No one seems to know how to bring it into the 21st Century. Is the crippling of all new technology an answer? I don't think so.

Instead of trying to protect the dead horse that is Copyright Law, our representatives would be better advised to find a replacement. Otherwise, it seems that nearly everyone will be a copyright criminal.

Bills such as this one remind me of some laws from the turn of the last century. In order to avoid scaring horses, automobiles were required to be led by a walking man waving a red flag. That law didn't last long and neither will this. You cannot use the law to halt technology in its tracks, no matter how much you might want to try. The law must adapt to new technology and develop ways to integrate new technology into society.

From the site...

You, if you're one of the millions of Americans who uses your computers to burn music CD's, listen to MP3's, share video files, etc. You'd face up to five years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.

Think you'd be able to get around the law by removing the policeware from your personal computer? Think again -- anyone who defies the government by disabling or tampering with the policeware on their own computer, in the privacy of their own home or business, would also face five years in the slammer.

Since alternative operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD would most likely refuse to incorporate government policeware into their code, users of these open-source systems would also be eligible for hard time.


A Gardener's Notebook - Weeping Willow - October 1996

For whatever reason, this is one of the most popular files on my site. I would guess that there are 5-10 people a day who are looking for information on weeping willows and Google is more than happy to send them my way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002


A bigger picture of a big sunspot

This link gives you a clearer picture of the sunspot group described in Tuesday's post.

Via Astronomy Picture of the Day



Another neat site from Kokogiak Media showcases some very interesting prehistoric mammels. Would you know what to do if you ran into a Giant Beaver (Castoroides ohioensis), a Beautiful Armadillo (Dasypus bellus), or a Bone-crushing Dog (Osteoborus cynoides)?


The MegaPenny Project

Visualizing large numbers can be troublesome to most human beings. When you get above a couple of hundred, most of us just can't mentally grasp it.

The MegaPenny Project is an online version of projects we were all probably familiar with during our elementary school years. You would try to collect a million of any object so you could get a feeling for this very large number. This project goes to 1 million....and beyond!


Apple - iTunes - Download iTunes 3

Another anouncement from Macworld. This latest version of iTunes is only available for Mac OS X.

From the site...

iTunes lets you create your own personal digital music library, allowing you to manage and play your collection of high-quality MP3s with drag-and-drop simplicity. iTunes 3 adds the ability to create Smart Playlists, plays audiobooks from audible.com and includes many new MP3 tags for greater customization. iTunes 3 is available for Mac OS X only.


Page Museum - 25th Anniversary

Last Sunday we loaded up the car and headed down to museum row along Wilshire Boulevard. The Page Museum, was celebrating its 25th year of collecting and studying the artifacts of the La Brea Tarpits.

Although we didn't visit the museum itself on this trip, there was plenty to see and do in the (recently refurbished) park that surrounds the Page Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (LACMA). Several booths offered kid-related activities, such as touching a reproduction of a complete saber-tooth cat skeleton, rubbing and rubber stamping crafts, a kid-sized, walk-though board game and even giveaways and a limbo contest care of Radio Disney.

There were speeches from local council people, a steel drum band and a short talk, with Discovery Channel host Nigel Marven of Nigel's Wild Wild World. He brought along 3 ancestors of the animals that once prowled the area of the ta rpits including a timber wolf, red-tailed hawk and an adult mountain lion.

Pit 91, the main excavation site at the tar pits was open and you could watch workers dislodging bones from the tar while volunteers answered questions in the observation gallery.

Even though the day was quite hot, we had a grand time exploring all the activities and stepping back in time thousands of years.


Real.com - RealOne Player for OS X

This must be the week for long lost OS X upgrades. This software is still Beta, so use at your own risk. Still, it will be nice to be able to listen to The Splendid Table and Prarie Home Companion on my Mac again.

Via Web405

Tuesday, July 16, 2002


The Risks Digest -- Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems

This mailing list has been around for years and is one of the best sources for information and discussion about how, when and why technology fails.


Remarkable Sunspot is Crossing the Sun

Cosmiverse has some great pictures and animations showing this event currently underway on the Sun. The site is a great source of astronomy information and photos.

From the site...

A remarkable sunspot is crossing the face of the Sun. The large active region stretches 15 Earth-diameters from end-to-end and poses a threat for powerful flares.

Via Fark.com


Macromedia Flash player X

This is the latest player for those of you using Mac OS X. It doesn't solve the problems with slow playing animations, though. Macromedia seems to be blaming that problem on Apple. although it might be solved in the upcoming Mac OS X 10.2.

Via Versiontracker.com

Entourage X Palm Sync Problems

Macintouch has a user letter regarding data loss on a Palm 705i when used with this conduit. It appears that there are still some bugs to work out when using this software with certain Palm configurations.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Microsoft Handheld Synchronization for Entourage X

Finally! Now you can sync your Palm to Entourage for OS X. What more is there to say?

From the site...

If you own a Palm handheld, you can synchronize, or transfer, items between Microsoft Entourage? and your handheld. When you synchronize, Entourage copies the contacts, tasks, notes, and calendar events to and from your handheld. For information about using Microsoft Handheld Synchronization, see Synchronizing Entourage data with Palm handheld data.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

The Northridge Farmers Market & Family Festival


The Farmers Market & Family Festival at the Northridge Fashion Center offers fresh, seasonal produce, flowers, live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo and local crafters. For all ages.

5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 23.

9301 Tampa Ave., Northridge. 310-899-2900.

Click here to join the WelchEvents Mailing List

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Apple Security Fix

This fix corrects a problem with Apple's Software Update that could be used by crackers to break the security on your OS X computer.

You can either download the fix here or use Software Update to download and install.

It is good to see Apple staying on top of security problems as they arise.


The weekend calls for some silly web fun and this site is sure to provide it. Become a sumo master in just a few minutes.

Via Blogdex

Meet Smokey the Bear and Friends


Meet Smokey the Bear and Friends at Soka University during the "Team Smokey: Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" Smokey the Bear Poster contest kick-off event sponsored by the SUA Calabasas botanical Research Center and Nursery.

Participants will learn the rules for fire safety and prevention and can become a member of Smokey's team.

For all ages.

1 to 3 p.m.


26800 West Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. 818-878-3741.

American Heroes Airshow


American Heroes Airshow at the Hansen Dam Recreation Area features an all-helicopter airshow profiling their use in law enforcement, fire service, national defense and search and rescue.

Other event features include the "ABC's of Summer Safety" presented by the American Red Cross and ABC-7, the Code 3 Career Fair offering the latest career opportunities in public safety and the military and "Rollin to the Rescue," a presentation of vintage fire, police and rescue vehicles.

Public agencies and private vendors will offer information and resources for emergency preparedness, in addition to concessions, refreshments and safety-themed entertainment for the whole family

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 27.

Free admission.

11800 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace. 818-347-4577.

Friday, July 12, 2002


It may take you a bit of time to answer the questions, but you can get information on what the average pay would be for your job in different areas of the country. Proceed at your own risk.

Via Fark.com

Career-Op: Keeping Track

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As a freelance computer consultant it is very important that I keep a complete record of my work. I need to be able to present a detailed and accurate bill to my client if I expect to get paid in a timely manner. When you are working as a high-tech employee, though, it is too easy to become lax about keeping track of your time and actions. Even if you are required to prepare regular status reports, these are often general in nature. In today's business climate, you will find that manager's are requesting more and more detail about "what you do for us." While sometimes it can appear to be an added and unnecessary burden, tracking your work can help you to protect and build your high-tech career.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Logophilia - Home of the Word Spy

This is a great site for those who work with words, or even those who are just interested in how language evolves. Each day there is a new word or phrase and a citation showing its use. Neat!

From the site...

Welcome to Logophilia, home of the Word Spy. This Web site and its associated mailing list are devoted to recently coined words, existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance, and older words that are being used in new ways.

From DayPop Top 40

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

American Panorama

An interesting slice of the American countryside is captured by this artist. An interesting combination of travel, photography, art and nature.

From the site...

Matt Frondonf mounted a digital camera in his car and rigged it to take a photo once each mile. He ended up with 3,304 photos as he drove from the Statue of Liberty to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Via Wander-Lust

TidBITS: Email Filtering: Killing the Killer App

Are you not getting the email that you want? Are subscriptions going missing? You could be suffering from an overly agressive email filter. Worse yet, such filters could be harming email services more than helping.

From DayPop Top 40

Tuesday, July 09, 2002


I received this nice letter from a Career-Op reader in regards to last weeks column, Worker's Beware and wanted to share it with all of you. -- Douglas

THANK YOU!!!! For your recent Career column titled "Workers Beware".

FINALLY, someone (other than me) is speaking out about not working one's
self to death. Since the untimely illness and ultimate death of my husband
four years ago, I have been touting the "know what your priorities are"
line. I had worked for a company who brow beat me for any personal time I
needed to take off for the care and treatment of my husband during his
illness or any time off I needed just for my family.

When I came to work for the company I now work for, I pointedly told the guy
interviewing me that if they wanted someone to work 10 to 12 hours a day,
then I was not the person for them because my family came first. I have
stuck to that policy for the past 4 years and will continue to do so. Sure
there may be times when one needs to work long hours to get a project
completed by a deadline but not consistenly.

Anyway, thanks for publishing your article. If all workers everywhere would
just put their foot down and refuse to let their employer work them to
death, then we can get back to what really matters in our lives. And it's
not the money!

Patty Loy

Programmer Analyst III

Unpacking an Xserve

If you are thinking of getting an Apple Xserve this is a great place to visit. These pages, and associated blog, will detail setup and operation.

It is always nice to have some fellow travelers when you are setting up a new piece of computer hardware.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Trust me, I speak from the experience of spending 2+ hours in the pool with Joe yesterday, Sunburns HURT!!!!

It seems that the sunscreen worked for Joe but not for me. If you find yourself in the same boat, here is a Google Search to help you cool things down.

DiddleBug 2.50.rc.3 - Palm-based drawing program

AmericasSuburb.com: San Fernando Valley history

I recently posted a link to The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb, by Kevin Roderick and today I find that the author also has an excellent web site on San Fernando Valley history.

The author also added some info to my post over at LABlogs.com.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Living History Day -- Los Encinos State Historic Park

Sunday, July 21st

1 PM to 3 PM

Traditional music, children's games and domestic skills are demonstrated by costumed docents.

San Clemente Ocean Festival

San Clemente Pier, San Clemente, CA

(949) 440-6141

July 20, 2002 to July 21, 2002

The California Waterman & Waterwoman Championships (open to all), children's pavilion, rubber duck race, art show, classic woody car show, fishing derby, sand sculpture competition, surfing clinics, family fun, live entertainement, longboard surfing competition.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Willing To Try

This is a neat little interactive animation (using Macromedia Director) that was created by an advertising group to showcase their skills. Fun for young and old alike.

What I'm Reading...


San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb


Sins of the City


Wild L.A.


Upcoming Events

Shakespeare by the Sea

From their web site...

"Our upcoming Fifth Anniversary Season includes two fabulous productions, Much Ado About Nothing (opens Thursday, June 20th at 8pm) and Macbeth (opens one week later on Thursday, June 27 at 8om). We'll be performing in San Pedro for 5 weeks before going on tour for 4 weeks throughout the beach cities until August 24 [see a complete list of locations]. We've begun a Volunteer program for those of you who like to get involved - just send us an e-mail and we'll get you on the "Volunteer List" so you'll be informed about the upcoming Volunteer Meetings and other Volunteer Opportunities. If you'd like to support Shakespeare by the Sea in other ways check out our Get Hooked on Shakespeare by the Sea opportunities."


The Little Fish Theatre Co. - Shakespeare by the Sea's contemporary theater wing is off to a great start with a variety of programming. We've got Staged Readings every last Tuesday of the month and Little Fish Co. fully produced productions. All these events take place at the Brown Bros. Bldg. - 455 6th Street (directly across from the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro)

2002 Lotus Festival

WHAT: 2002 Lotus Festival sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

WHEN: Saturday, July 13, 2002 - 12:00 Noon to 9:00 pm -- Sunday, July 14, 2002 - 12:00 Noon to 8:30 pm
(The dates coincides with the blooming of the Lotus Flower)

To develop, promote and create an atmosphere of understanding in which the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Southern California are brought together for two (2) days of cultural sharing. To preserve and enlighten the public with a sampling of distinctly different and unique Asian and Pacific Islander customs and traditions in the arts, music, dance, drama and food....And provide a fun and enjoyable festival for the whole family.

Montrose Artwalk 2002

Come to Honolulu avenue to see artists demonstrate and sell their fine art. Kids can check out Kids' Corner where that can paint the sidewalk with chalk. From 10a-4p. The cost is free. Between 2300 and 240 block of Honolulu Avenue (818)-249-7171

UCLA Ocean Discovery Center

Be there for feeding time, every Saturday at 3pm.

$3 admission

Malibu Arts Festival

July 27 & 28, 2002

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

23555 Civic Center Way


$5 parking/Free Admission

Today in History - from the Library of Congress

This is just one of the great features to be found at the Library of Congress web site. Today in History offers you a quick peak into American History, including text and photos from the LOC collections.

I also highly recommend a visit to the American Memory section of the web site.

BTW...when you see acronyms with dotted underlines, like the LOC above, point your mouse at them, and a definition will pop up.

Mactopia: Download: Internet Explorer 5.2.1 for Mac OS X

Yet another Internet Explorer upgrade for OS X. This update is NOT available via Software Update. You must download and install the file seperately. The update installed with no problems on my system. The usual caveats regarding current backups, etc. still apply, though.

From the site...

This latest version version (5.2.1) provides all the latest security and performance enhancements for Internet Explorer'5 for Mac OS X. It also provides support for the new Quartz text smoothing feature provided in MacOS X version 10.1.5 and later, so text on your screen is easier to read.

Pacific Asia Museum

Origami Festival

Saturday July 20, 1-4pm

From the site...

The event will feature origami workshops demonstrating the art of folding children's hats, animals, paper dolls in kimonos and mobiles. The workshops will be taught by veteran origami instructor Peggy Hasegawa. The afternoon will be accompanied by George Abe, playing the shakuhachi [Japanese flute]. Tea tasting stations will be available. This is event is free.

Friday, July 05, 2002

The Friday Five

1. Where are you right now?

As you might imagine, I am sitting at my computer. I am proud to say, though, that I didn't touch a computer for the last 2 days since we we visiting Idyllwild, our favorite place inthe mountains, over the holiday. We met friends up there for their first visit and took in the 4th of July Parade. Much fun was had by all.

2. What have you lost recently?

The only thing I feel I have lost recently is time. There never appears to be enough of it to do everything you want to do. I work really hard at not losing other things, as it aggravates me so much when I do.

3. What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now?

I can't even imagine what my first CD was! Needless to say that while other people might be agast at my choices in music I don't feel emabarassed about them.

4. What is your favorite kind of writing pen?

This is an easy one. I love fountain pens. I have several, but none are the horribly expensive kind. I buy them to use, not look at. That said, I haven't used them in a while since I have been writing almost exlusively on the computer lately. Hmmm....maybe I should take them out today? (SMILE)

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

I love the Stracciatella gelato at our neighborhood gelato shop. For the unintiated, gelato is Italian ice cream and bears little relationship to American ice cream. This is not a slam, they just come from different philosophies of ice cream making. Stracciatella is basically a vanilla gelato into which you stir ribbons of chocalate. The chocalate solidifies and leaves these wonderful slivers throughout the gelato. Yummy!

If you are in the LA area, you can stop by Aromi Cafe, in Sherman Oaks, 14531 Van Nuys Blvd. 818-905-5542. Alfredo will be happy to give you a sample of real Italian gelato. He also serves up great panini (italian sandwichs), salads. and espresso. A little touch of Italy in LA.

Career-Op: Workers Beware

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As if there werent enough problems facing high-tech careerists today, some companies have taken it upon themselves to create several new pitfalls. Each of these policies shows a consistent disregard for employees, their careers and their lives outside of the workplace. Despite recent gains in developing a balance between profits and employee well-being, all workers are facing a new set of challenges.

Online SpiroGraph(tm)

All of you "of a certain age" will probably remember this toy. Now, you can use the SpiroGraph as the geometry learning tool it was designed to be.

This site not only lets you creates neat geometric designs, it also gives you the science behind those designs. A fun toy for a holiday weekend.

The scientific flash behind the fireworks

There seems to be a lot of interest in fireworks this year. I have seen 3 television specials in the last week dedicated to the science, fun and families involved in fireworks creation. Here is MSBC's take on fireworks, complete with a small, interactive fireworks primer.

Via Fark.com

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Write Like an Egyptian

A bit of fun for a Wednesday morning. This site creates your name in hieroglyphs, much like an Egyptian scribe might have done.

There are further links to information on Egypt in the museum's exhibit, The Egyptian Mummy: Secrets and Science

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

30 days to a better web site -- from dive into mark

I have been following this "class" for the last few days and have found it to be quite useful. You may not use every tip, but the addition of just a few could greatly improve the readability of your web site.

Recipe - Bacon and Egg Pasta

Pasta Carbonara is one of my favorite dishes, but it is anything but healthful. Martha Stewart Living offered up this alternative and we have found it to be quite tasty, as well as easy to prepare.

Via MarthaStewart.com

Monday, July 01, 2002

Shameless Self-Promotion

What good is a blog if you can't engage in a little self-promotion every now and then? As the Summer heats up, I am trying to add a little fuel to my career fire, both in my writing and my computer coaching. I thought that one of you might be able to assist me in placing my writing in some new places (both online and offline) or spreading the word about my computer coaching services. Below are descriptions of the services I can provide.

Thanks for reading this message from our sponsor! (SMILE)

Computer Coaching

I use the tagline "I make computing clear!" and all the work I do revolves around that idea. I want computer users to have a great experience with their computer, whether this involves writing letters or a novel, sending email or building a web site, using Windows or a Macintosh.

I have been providing on-site computer training and troubleshooting for over 16 years in all sorts of envirnonemnts (Home office, small business, large corporations). I have worked with users who have never touched a computer before and others who are using them to run their entire business.

If you need computer assistance in the Los Angeles area, or know someone who does, please pass along my email or web site address.


Training $70/hour

Technical $90/hour

(i.e. network/hardware intall)

6 hour series $390


Career Opportunities

This month marks my 6th year of writing this weekly column for ComputorEdge in San Digeo and Colorado Springs, CO and ComputerScene in New Mexico.

I am interested in finding other publications that might be interested in re-printing these columns or developing new columns specifically for their publication. You can find a complete archive of all my Career Opportunities columns at this site by clicking on the link above.

A Gardener's Notebook

A few years ago I wrote nearly 40 of these columns for an online service in Florida. They are some of the most popular articles on my site and still generate email years after they were originally written. AGN was the story of me and my garden. As I learned more about my garden, I would pass on my experiences to my readers. I wrote about revitalizing an older garden, the issues with having opossum in your garden (yes, even here in Van Nuys) and how to ready your garden when you leave on vacation. I believe that AGN would fit in either a general purpose publication or a gardening magazine.

Technology IQ

This series of nearly 40 columns was also created for the same online service as AGN. TechnologyIQ addresses technology issues that might be faced by the average technology user, including how to deal with computer frustration, learning by playing around, upgrading computers and the importance of backing up your data. This column would be a good addition to any general purpose publication that wanted to touch on technoloy issues without confusing its readers.

Et al

I am always looking for opportunities to develop more columns and writing assignments. If you know of anyone who could use content for their web site or articles for their newspaper or magazine, please pass on my information and direct them to the articles on my web site. The links above take you directly to the archive for each column.

Additional information:

Writing Credits


MyWord, A Daily Web Log

Berlitz Kids Language Lessons @ Borders

As part of Summer Explorer Camps, Borders Sherman Oaks and Berlitz Kids invite you to join us every Saturday morning at 11:00 am for an entertaining 45-minute language lesson, complete with songs, games and a whole lot of fun!

Saturday, July 6 - French

Saturday, July 13 - French

Saturday, July 20 - Spanish

Saturday, July 27 - Spanish

Borders Sherman Oaks is located at:

14651 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks , CA 91403


Back to the Ice Age

It's the Page Museum's 25th Anniversary Family Celebration!

Sunday, July 14 at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits

Hancock Park activities are free; cost of food minimal

From the web site...

You'll dig the Page Museum's 25th anniversary. Meet Nigel Marven of the
Discovery Channel's Nigel's Wild Wild World and see his exciting
presentation. Reconstruct an Ice Age animal, have your face painted as an
Ice Age predator, play games and watch scientists as they unearth new Ice
Age fossils in our famous Pit 91! Enjoy an Ice Age day filled with music,
food and fun!

Also an on-going event...

Pit 91 Excavation! From July 14 through September 8, see scientists
unearthing fossils Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Page

Santa Barbara French Festival

Oak Park

Santa Barbara, CAtake the Pueblo or Mission exit from US 101 and follow signs to Oak Park

(805) 564-7274

July 13, 2002 to July 14, 2002

Continuous free entertainment including cancan, folk music and dancing,b classical recitals, accordion players, cajun, jazz, and more. Roving jugglers and mimes. Outdoor vendors and sidewalk cafes. Fresh baked breads and pastries, crepes, onion soup, quiche, pates, cheeses, beer, wine and cafe au lait. Arts and crafts. Outdoor market and flower stand. Classic cars. For the kids, puppet shows, storytellers, bouncer, wading pool. 11am-7pm.

LA Music Center - Free Family Day


Free Family Day at the Music Center Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles celebrates the presentation of American Ballet Theatre??s acclaimed production of Le Corsaire (The Pirate).

The Music Center??s Plaza becomes a showcase for the magic of classical dance with performance demonstrations by professional and student dancers, workshops about the basic elements of ballet, storytelling and hands-on art projects.

Kid-friendly meals are offered at kid-friendly prices.

Families are then encouraged to attend the 2 p.m. matinee of Le Corsaire in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Le Corsaire also plays the same night at 8 p.m. and Sun. July 14 at 2 p.m. $29 to $90. 135 North Grand Ave., L.A. 213-365-3500.