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Thursday, October 31, 2002


Paint Outdoors

WED 11/6 9a-2p

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Join fellow artists to paint, sketch or just watch. Bring art materials, lunch. TOPAW


Foxtrot by Bill Amend

This definitely qualifies as one of my biggest Halloween nightmares. BOO!

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Web/OS X

You can use these pre-built icons to add web sites directly to IE's button bar. Just one more way to get one-click access to your favorite sites.

Better still, there is no software required. Simply drag the buttons from the web page directly onto your button bar. It is that simple!

Monday, October 28, 2002


Teddy Bear Turns 100

Did you know that it has been 100 years since the invention of the first "Teddy" Bear?

Based on a story about President Theodore Roosevelt and a bear hunt, Teddy's Bears quickly became popular all over the US. If you are looking for ways to celebrate the Teddy Bear Birthday, here are 100 ideas.


Macintouch.com is reporting the release of new drivers for HP Inkjet Printers. In some cases, you may need to also download and install and updater before installing the new drivers.

These new drivers are supposed to increase printing speed and stability along with other improvements.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Our jack-o-lanterns shine out for Halloween!


International Children's Television Festival

I received this really nice flyer in the mail detailing all the specifics for this event. It looks like a wonderful way of exploring children's television from all over the world.

From the web site...

November 2 to 24, 2002 in New York and Los Angeles

See great children's television from around the world

-- Enjoy dance, music, and storytelling performances celebrating the customs and traditions of other cultures

-- Participate in arts and crafts activities in the Museum's main galleries

-- Meet popular costume characters

Friday, October 25, 2002


Beware FriendGreetings.com

If you get an email telling you that you have a free e-greeting card waiting for your a FriendGreetings.com, I highly recommend that you delete it.

In an audacious move, FriendGreetings will ask to install a program on your computer. In the End-User License Agreement (EULA) included in the installer, you give FriendGreetings the right to send a SPAM to everyone in your email address book!

I personally think this is a rotten way to do business as it will catch many people unaware. It does reinforce the point, though, that you shouldn't install anything on your computer unless you are completely clear on what it does.

Career Column

Career-Op: Scary Things

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As we approach Halloween, it might pay to reflect on some of the scary things you might be facing in your career in the coming months. Although some of these thoughts might make you more scared than a 3-year-old on All Hallows Eve, you should always remember that with a little planning and preparation you won’t suffer any more than the usual post “Trick or Treat” sugar hangover.


A Walk in the Garden?

Here is a perfect activity to get ready for All Hallow's Eve and All Souls Day...cemetery tours.

Via Digital City

Thursday, October 24, 2002


Top Ten Digital Photography Tips

Taking digital photos should mean more than just point and shoot. Even the simplest units have some custom features of which you can (and should) take advantage.

This excellent article from MacDevCenter.com gives you 10 well-explained tips on how to get the most out of your digital camera, whether you are a novice or a near-pro.

Via Blogdex


Boo at the Zoo

Los Angeles Zoo

October 26-27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The LA Zoo is always a wonderful place to take the kids for a little outdoor time. There is a lot of construction going on right now for a major expansion, but all the usual exhibits are open. -- Douglas

From their web site...

Parents, bring your kids to the L.A. Zoo for a safe weekend of trick-or-treating fun. Kids, have a ghoulish good time as you enjoy face-painting activities, mask-making, and other spooky crafts. A Pumpkin "Stomp 'n' Chomp" is scheduled for several Zoo animals, and Creepy Creature Encounters will feature giant hissing cockroaches and other creepy crawlers. There's even a special Halloween-themed Imagination Adventure taking place in Adventure Theater . . . come if you dare! Spook-tacular strolling entertainers will also provide lots of fun and music. Anyone wearing a Halloween costume receives $1 off admission, and all activities are free with paid Zoo admission. Don't miss out on a spooky good time!

October 26-27 (Saturday and Sunday) -- 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pumpkin "Stomp N Chomp" and special feedings

(times are subject to change)

Meerkats: 10:30 a.m.

Chimpanzees: 11 a.m.

Sea lions (Aquatics area): 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Sea lions (Winnick Family Children's Zoo): 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Elephants: 1 p.m.

Black bears: 1:30 p.m.

Hippopotamuses: 2 p.m.

For additional information, call 323/644-6400.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


Devils Tramping Ground

This wonderful collection of spooky Flash animations appeared a few years ago, but they are always a good place to visit for scary Halloween thrill.

Artist, Ed Bain, is a true master of animation.


iChat Hack expand input line

While iChat, Apple's built-in instant messaging client, is quite nice, you aren't allowed to expand the one-line input field at the bottom of the window. This was quite a mistake on Apple's part, but someone has provided us with a fix. Note: it might be clear in the documentation, but you do need to Logout/Restart in order for the fix to go into effect.

Via VersionTracker.com


Latest Version of MS Office in testing

News.com has an article on the test release of the new MS Office. This new version will incorporate Extensible Markup Language (XML), which Microsoft says will help facilitate data sharing across large enterprises.

One thing is for sure, though. A new version of Office, especially one with new file formats, will be sure to cause a great deal of havoc in most offices, small and large. Anyone who works with computers, like I do, would be well-advised to keep a close on eye on the development of this software.

Via Macintouch.com

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Career Column

Career-Op: Prying Eyes

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

The longer I work in high-tech, the more distressing I find the environment in which we are all forced to work. In this case, though, I am not talking about a bad work environment and bad managers. I am talking about a high-tech environment where all computer systems, large and small, are under constant attack from both inside and outside. Instead of spending your time developing new ways to increase productivity and profits, you are engaged in a running battle against viruses, crackers, worms and a host of other problems. It seems certain that if you decide to continue to work in high-tech you will be spending even more of your time on these issues.


Getty Family Festival

A busy weekend for the Welch Family. Today we headed "up the hill" to the Getty Center for a Family Festival. There were several craft stations, free give-a-ways, music and storytelling.


The Elements

A Flash animation for all you fellow science geeks out there.

Saturday, October 19, 2002


Charmlee Moonlight Hike

Several WelchEvent members headed out to Charmlee Regional Park this evening for their regular moonlight hike. There were lots of kids and we had a great time. The sunsets were beautiful and the full moon was so bright you didn't even need a flashlight on the trail.

Afterwards, we all gathered for a marshmallow roast. Several people were generous enough to bring S'more fixings, so we all had our sweet tooth satisfied.

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Faulkner Farm

Photos are now online from our WelchEvents trip to Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula, California.

We had a grand time searching through the pumpkin patch, wandering through the sunflower maze, checking out the neat antique gasoline engines and tractors and listening to some old-time bluegrass music.

They are open until the end of October and then I believe they also do Christmas tree sales in December.

Thursday, October 17, 2002


Autumn Sea Fair

Cabrillo Marine Museum

From the web site...

Celebrate the Sea! This fun-filled event takes place Sunday, October 20, from 10 am to 4:30 pm. It's a day filled with activities, organizations and fun for all.

Games, contests, music, exhibits, demonstrations, arts and crafts, film and videos. Enter our sand sculpture contest. Hunt for buried pirate treasure. Help in the selection of the year 2002 Queen of the Sea.

Pack a picnic or purchase food and drinks from one of our vendors. There is limited beach parking, so we encourage you to use our FREE park and ride provided at 22nd and Miner Streets here in San Pedro.

For further information or to enter the Queen of the Sea Contest, call Larry Fukuhara at 310-548-7562, x5011.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Glass, Steel and Stone is a "must see" for anyone interested in architecture.

Quite simply, GS and S is a photo archive of between 12,000-15,000 pieces of architecture throughout the world. It is also searchable. I have lost several good hours of productive time engaging my own architectural interests.

Via Jo Ann Braheny

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


SAT 10/26 5:30pm

Star Gazing + Astromony Lecture

Charmlee Wilderness Park

We will look at the stars through telescopes, after listening to a lecture. Reservations required 3 1 0 - 3 1 7 - 1 3 6 4. 3hrs CWP

Monday, October 14, 2002


SUN 10/20 4:30pm

Moonrise and Sunset - Cold Creek Canyon Preserve

Topanga Skyline Ridge Trail commands views of distant mountains. Bring supper, water and a â??goodieâ?? to share. Top of Stunt Road. 3hrs MRT

SUN 10/20 6:30pm

Nearly Full Moon Hike - Franklin Canyon Ranch

Explore by moonlight on a moderately strenuous hike. Look and listen for
nocturnal wildlife and view the city from atop the canyon. 2hrs WODOC

MON 10/21 7pm

Full Moon Hike - Charmlee Wilderness Park

An evening hike under the full moon. All ages are welcome. Reservations required 3 1 0 - 3 1 7 - 1 3 6 4. 2hrs CWP

MON 10/21 7:30pm

Full Moon Hike - Coldwater Canyon Park

Howl at the moon during this guided hike. After the hike, enjoy live music. Reservations required 818-623-4866. 1.5hrs TP

What I'm Reading...


The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream

Also available as an Audio Book

I came across this book while watching a recent History on BookTV show on CSPAN. The author was an excellent speaker and he shared stories of the California Gold Rush that I have never hear before. He also has some interesting ideas regarding the Gold Rush and its effects on California, the Nation and the World. You can watch the entire show at BookTV.org using RealPlayer.

Highly Recommended.

The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island

I highly recommend Linda Greenlaw's first book, The Hungry Ocean, her recounting of a typical month in the life of a swordfishing boat and her crew.

Her second book is a deeply personal recounting of her return to her hometown of Isle au Haut, Maine to begin a new life as a lobster fisherman. Greenlaw has the ability to bring you into her world, no matter how foreign it might seem when you begin. As someone who grew up in a small town, I can relate to the personal and public issues she faces trying to find a balance between her personal, professional and public lives.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, October 12, 2002



Saturday, 10/26, 1:30pm

National Park Service Visitor Center, Thousand Oaks

Just in time for Halloween -- become an eagle, bobcat or coyote. Join us for an afternoon of paper mask making. All materials will be provided. A parent must be with children 8 years old and under. 2 hours NPS

Friday, October 11, 2002

Career-Op Column

Career-Op: That's a FAQ

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

People who are good at their high-tech career, like all of you, know that sooner or later your clients come to think of you as the font of all (or most) high-tech knowledge. They bring you their most intractable problems and pepper you with countless questions. Thankfully, you usually have the answers to their questions -- or you know exactly where to look. In today's world, though, it is just as important that you share the information you have gathered before they ask for it. In the spirit of this week's theme, below are a few ways to "share the wealth" while helping both you and your clients.


Paint Outdoors

WED 10/16 9a-2p

Paramount Ranch

Join fellow artists to paint, sketch or just watch. Bring art materials, lunch. TOPAW

Thursday, October 10, 2002


Every day I work with people who are extremely frustrated with their computers. In an effort to help alleviate any computer stress you might be feeling, here is a reprint of a past column that might help you better cope with computer troubles. -- Douglas

Tech IQ: Frustration

Originally published January 25, 2000

As you all have probably learned already, working with computers can sometimes be an amazingly frustrating experience. Computers can do so much for us but problems can and do crop up on a regular basis. Worse yet, these problems usually occur at the worst possible moment. In an effort to make your computing life a little easier, though, here are a few guidelines to help you avoid frustration and get on with your work.

Chronic Problems

Too often the problems that drive you crazy have nothing to do with your lack of skills or knowledge about the computer. Most are too quick to blame themselves when things go wrong. In reality, it is often a flaw in the computer or software you are using rather than some mistake on your part. As a general rule, if your computer is crashing more than once or twice a day, or if it crashes whenever you try to perform a certain operation, you are probably dealing with a chronic problem.

Chronic problems can be the most difficult to solve. Once you believe you are facing one you should seek out assistance from a knowledgeable computer professional or friend. Usually these problems can be solved by re-installing your operating system (i.e. Windows 98), or whichever program is crashing. Sometimes it might take more work, but at least you know during this process that it isnâ??t your fault. You may be frustrated at the work it requires to repair the problem, but you wonâ??t be frustrated with yourself.

Working it out

Even if your computer is working well, you probably still have questions about using it. For example, you might be interested in anything from changing margins to creating automated templates. These situations can be frustrating as well unless you keep a few things in mind.

First, when you are confronted with a problem allow yourself 10-15 minutes of concentrated effort. Some of you may even be able to spend a bit more time, but the moment you feel that familiar feeling of frustration, take a break. You will be surprised how many questions you can answer for yourself by taking these few minutes. If you need further help you can turn to those around you, printed manuals, third party books or even the Internet for further information. Donâ??t feel you are alone and donâ??t allow yourself to get so frustrated you throw up your hands. Once you reach that point it will take even longer to find an answer. No one works well when they are frustrated, as I am sure you know.

Asking for help, from books or friends should never make you feel stupid. Like the stereotypical male who wonâ??t ask for directions, you only get yourself into deeper trouble by going it alone. We all have our expertise. Just because you are struggling with your computer is not a sign that you are dumb, despite book publishers who insist on calling you "Dummies" or "Idiots." It just means that you have placed your attention elsewhere. It is important to remember that even after 18 years of working with computers, one of the first things I do when I encounter a new piece of software or hardware, is look at the manual. Even those things that look familiar, like an upgrade to software you have been using for years, can contain differences that can trip you up.

Taking a few minutes to solve small problems allows you to build your skills without making you hate your computer. Knowing when to reach out for help, especially for the tough problems, can help you solve your computer problems without driving yourself to distraction.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002


Apple OS X Modem Updater

This sounds like a very unusual problem, but if you have it, this just might be the thing that saves you from tearing your hair out.

If you have an Apple laptop and can't seem to get it to dial the phone, check here.

From Apple.com...

Resolves a rare issue in which a built-in modem cannot dial up. You may see the message "Internet Connect could not open the communications device."

Via Versiontracker.com

Monday, October 07, 2002

Career Column

Career-Op: Helping Hands (and mice)

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Much of the work I do can best be described as "computer coaching." I am often called in to assist someone in learning a particular program or task, whether this is word processing, spreadsheets or dealing with digital pictures for the first time. Over the years I have discovered that one of the best ways to place clients on the right track is to engage them in some form of pleasant activity that can be used to teach basic computer skills. Such activities reduce the level of stress and allow users to gain a confidence with their computer that they may never have otherwise experienced. Finding a way to combine computers and play can be a way to keep your clients coming back for more while also building your client list from referrals.

Sunday, October 06, 2002


Here are 3 activities coming up this week. As the weather gets cooler I am doing my best to get back out into the great outdoors. Both my body and psyche need the effects. -- Douglas

SUN 10/13 10am

Rocky Oaks

Nature Walk

A slow-paced walk along paths bordered by wild rose and blackberry bushes, red-hued rocks, native trees, shrubs and wildflowers. 2hrs TCD

SUN 10/13 10a-5p

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Satwiwa Sundays

Visit the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center. A Native American Indian guest host or NPS ranger answers questions. FOS/NPS

SAT 10/12 5:30pm

Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

Evening Birds

Birds are very active in the evening. Beginning birders are welcome on this casual sunset stroll. Bring binoculars. 2hrs WODOC

Friday, October 04, 2002

What I'm Reading and Watching...

Palm Springs Weekend: The Architecture and Design of a Midcentury Oasis

This book was a major source for me when I was originally researching our Palm Springs walking tours. I am revisiting it to see if there are any additional stories I can use or architecture that deserves more focus. Both photos and text are wonderful and really give you a feel of Palm Springs, using the architecture as a touchstone.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I had meant to see this movie, staring Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline, Calista Flockheart and others when it was in the theater, but its run was quite short. I happened upon in the library a few days ago and thought I would take it home. I was greatly impressed with all aspects of the movie. The acting is wonderful, the adaptation is faithful to the original and the photography is gorgeous. I don't often buy movies, but I think that I will be adding this one to my small collection quite soon.

Dirt Under My Nails: An American Farmer and her Changing Land

Thursday, October 03, 2002


Brewery Art Walk

October 12-13, 2002 -- 11am to 6pm

This is one of our favorite places to visit each year. We made it in April and are going to try again this month. Check it out if you get a chance! -- Douglas

From the web site...

Resident artists of the Brewery complex, the world's largest live and work artists colonyâ??and invited guest exhibitors, museums and arts organizationsâ??throw open the doors of over 170 Brewery studios to the public at this biannual arts event. The event is free of charge.

The Brewery Artwalk was started in 1982 by resident volunteers. In 1997 the Brewery Art Association took over administrative responsibilities for organizing and expanding the event.

The last ArtWalk, which was in mid-April of 2002, hosted over 15,000 visitors. The October 12-13 event promises to be even bigger.


Pumpkin Patch Storytimes


Pumpkin Patch Storytimes at the Calabasas Library include lively readings with music, movement, and a craft. Ages 2 to 3 at 10:30 a.m.; ages 3-1/2 to 4 at 11:30 a.m. Free. 23975 Park Sorrento Street (behind the Edwards Cinema in the Commons), Calabasas. 818-225-7616 (SFV)

Wednesday, October 02, 2002


Palm Springs Desert Museum and Albert Frey

The museum as information on Albert Frey and his contributions to architecture in the Coachella Valley. They even have a web cam giving you a live view of the desert from Frey's House #2.

From the web site...

Palm Springs, CA (April 8, 2000) - The Palm Springs Desert Museum has announced that it has received a bequest from the late renowned Modernist architect, Albert Frey. The bequest, as announced by Janice Lyle, Ph.D, executive director, transfers ownership of Frey's residence, an architectural gem, to the Museum with an endowment to preserve and maintain his home in perpetuity.

Frey, whose home is a local landmark, died in November 1998 at age 95 and had been a long-time supporter of the Museum. "We're delighted that Mr. Frey thought so highly of the Museum to entrust his prized possession to us. His bequest stipulates that we maintain his home in its original state and we are very pleased to do so. We will ensure that the integrity of this architectural landmark will be preserved for future generations," said executive director Janice Lyle, Ph.D. "The Museum was privileged to call Albert our friend and we will carry out his wishes while maintaining his legacy as a true architectural visionary."

Tuesday, October 01, 2002


MIT OpenCourseWare

Have you always wanted to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), or maybe just audit a class? This might be your chance.

MIT has opened its electronic doors by placing the materials for entire courses online for FREE. With a PDF viewer you can start reading the lecture notes today. I plan on checking out a few of the courses in the near future.

From the web site...

MIT and the OpenCourseWare team are excited to share with you a first sampling of course materials from MIT's Faculty. We invite educators around the world to draw upon the materials for their own curricula, and we encourage all learners to use the materials for self-study.


The Lavender Fields

I found out about this place last year, but was unable to make it to their open days over the summer. Maybe we will make it sometime in November. The have just announced their U-Pick dates for the Fall.

They are located in eastern San Diego County, off of I-15. You can get a map and directions from their web site.

October 5-6

November 2-3

November 16-17

November 23-24

December 14-15

11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Head on out and have some fun. There are great Christmas shopping ideas in their General Store for those on your list who 'have everything'.

From their web site...

Welcome to The Lavender Fields, an organic lavender farm in the foothills of the Palomar mountains in northern San Diego county California, where we grow Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence', commonly referred to as 'French Lavender', known for its powerful, sweet fragrance and abundant display.

Our Mediterranean climate provides just the right environment for our fields. Every evening the Pacific Ocean marine layer moves slowly inland, blanketing our fields with a protective dew. The evening air comes alive with natural perfume. At daybreak the fog begins to move out, opening the fields up to another day of nurturing sunshine.