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Saturday, November 30, 2002

Cookies, cookies, everywhere...

Since it is Thanksgiving Weekend, this begins my yearly adventure making 70-80 dozen cookies for my Christmas Open House. This will be my 11th year hosting the party.

As you might imagine, I am always looking for new cookie recipes to expand my repetoire. I do have a few rules, though. The cookies should require little to no "finishing" like icing, etc or the finishing step should be fairly easy to perform, like rolling in powdered sugar. This helps to keep my production line moving. (SMILE)

What are your favorite cookies for the holidays?

Email them to me and I will post my favorites here. -- Douglas

Friday, November 29, 2002

What I'm Reading...

Housebuilding for Children

A wonderful little book with houses that children (with adult help) can actually build. I am looking into doing some of the practice projects and maybe even building on of the example houses with my son.

In Your Space: Personalizing Your Home and your office

Tuesday, November 26, 2002


Sunset in Van Nuys

Did you see the sunset tonight in the San Fernando Valley? I noticed the odd color of the light from my office and went outside, almost missing the entire event. Thank goodness for digital cameras. I was able to be set up and shooting in under 3 minutes. Even so, I am sure I missed some great moments. The photo to the right leads to a series of photos showing the progression of the sunset over about 15 minutes.

Monday, November 25, 2002


Mail.app Conduit

Finally, an easy (and free) way to sync email between you OS X Macintosh and your Palm. It is rare I need to read mail on my Palm, but the ability to create and sent email from my Palm makes it all worthwhile.

Via Versiontracker.com


TidBITS: A Mac User's Guide to the Unix Command Line, Part 1 A Mac User's Guide to the Unix Command Line, Part 1

For all you OS X users who have been wondering just what this whole UNIX thing is and what the devil the terminal does...here are the answers you need. Learn all about cd, mkdir, ls, rm and a host of other commands.

What I'm Reading...

businessThink: Rules for Getting It Right -- Now and No Matter What!

Why Didn't I Think of That? Think the Unthinkable and Achieve Creative Greatness

Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly, and 27 other Saturday Science Projects


Total Information Awareness System

Big Brother could be watching very soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2002


You Are a Suspect

By William Safire

Is this what we can expect from the Homeland Denfense Bill? Are we all now suspects? What does this do to the psyche of your average citizen?

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Career Column

Career-Op: Playing Well With Others

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

With more and more companies reducing high-tech staff, the use of consultants continues to grow. This has led to an interesting, if somewhat disconcerting, reality where you must work closely with other high-tech consultants, almost as if you were all employees of the company. Unfortunately, this can lead to situations where you might find yourself stepping on each other's toes, with few methods of resolving conflicts when they arise.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

What I'm Reading

Yet another week of eclectic books. Now, mind, you, I do not finish all these books in one week. I am a serial reader...one chapter here, another chapter there and repeat. It may take me 3-4 weeks to finish a book if it is dense, or a day, if it draws me through it.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

[Audio Book]

I had been meaning to read this book for a long time when some other book or magazine reminded me. A quick trip to the library and I started it tonight. This one has a definite chance of being a quick read. The first chapter has pulled me in already.

Dirt Under My Nails: An American Farmer and her changing land

I am always attracted to books about farmers, farms and life on the land. I lived the live while growing up and harbor a sentimental longing for it. As with many modern books about farming, though, this one has an undercurrent about the possible loss of the farms and farmland throughout the country and the world.

Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Life Decisions

Don't we all want to make better decisions in our lives. I shall see if this book is any help.

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and....

This book is sure to cure you of any belief that you are addicted to books. The people profiled here are obsessed and down-right criminal in their love, or lust, for books.

Ultimate Lego Book

As my son grows older we get into Lego more and more. This book addresses all things Lego, including the history of the company, the development of the products and the theme parks.

Lego Crazy Action Contraptions: A Lego...

This book, which comes with a small selection of special Lego parts, is a great way to move beyond simple square structures and into the realm of working devices. We have already built the rubberband-powered car, the candy dispenser and the tightwalk-walking vehicle. Even better, there are even more projects to build. Highly Recommended.

How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food

This is more than a collection of recipes, like Nigella Lawson's first book. This is a collection of methods, tools, ideas, hints and recipes.

Handmade Prints

I have always been intrigued with artistic printmaking and this book is an excellent resource. It covers everything from using rubber erasers and potatoes up to wood cuts, lino cuts and more. IF you are similarly inclinde, this book can have you up and working in your studio (wherever and whatever it might be) in moments.

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, one conversation at a time

[CD] [Audio Tape]

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants,...

This book is the reason you can look to the left and see which web sites have linked to my site recently. A unique discussion of how intelligence "emerges" spontaneously.

Sunday, November 17, 2002


Ok, this just sounds cool. A whole exhibit dedicated to showing kids (and adults) some of the "secrets" behind art. I am adding this my calendar. Perhaps we can set a group date to visit. -- Douglas

From the web site...

LACMA announces unprecedented collaboration with major Los Angeles Art schools

Students And Faculty Artists Create Unique Installations For Visitors Of All Ages At LACMA

MAKING Opens November 24, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- An unprecedented collaboration between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and five major art schools in Los Angeles has produced the next LACMALab exhibition in LACMA's Boone Children's Gallery. Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, and School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA have assembled teams of students and faculty artists and designers to create participatory installations that investigate the process of making art. A team of students and faculty from the University of Southern California Museum Studies Program will provide a unique analysis of the "making" of MAKING, which will be presented to the public throughout the exhibition. Internationally noted Los Angeles architecture firm Frederick Fisher and Partners has designed the overall space. Presented free to the public, MAKING will be on view November 24, 2002, through September 1, 2003.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

WelchEvents Re-Cap

What a wonderful WelchEvents trip!

We all had a great time today courtesy of the Thousand Oaks Soaring Society.. The Society hosted a program on the big lawn at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Club members built, and assisted others in building, wonderful balsa wood and paper airplanes powered by rubber bands propellors. Using glue sticks and super glue, we put together our model and then flew it in the big open area. Some of the plans would travel over 100 yards and 30 feet high!

TOSS also gives this program for schools throughout the area and has regular glider fly-ins at their flight field in Thousand Oaks.

Photo Gallery

TOSS Web Site

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Friday, November 15, 2002

Career Column

Career-Op: Moving to Broadband

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

The computer world has come far since I booted my first Apple IIc back in 1985. Floppy discs held around 140K of data and bulletin board systems ran at a whopping 300-baud, allowing only a single user to use them at one time. Today, you and other high-tech careerists, work in the realm of gigabytes, terabytes and bandwidth approaching multi-gigabits per second. The great computing distance between our past and today can sometimes make it difficult to understand when yet another leap is required. Such is the case with broadband today. Your high-tech career requires an understanding of the benefits that broadband -- and any future leaps -- can provide your clients so that they and your career can benefit.

Thursday, November 14, 2002


Here come the holiday events. November and December are always busy months. Enjoy! -- Douglas


Daily November 28 Through Jan. 1, 2003

Los Angeles Zoo

Cute, antlered reindeers will be winging in from the North Pole to visit the Los Angeles Zoo. It's a fine opportunity to teach the little ones about these European cousins of North American caribou, the only members of the deer family where both male and female reindeer grow antlers. There will be lots of fun activities surrounding our furry visitors from the North Pole.

Every weekend through December 30, kids can make and color their own antlers to wear and ride the new Zoo choo-choo train. Also, every weekend prior to Christmas, visitors can enjoy holiday entertainment in the mall area of the Zoo, and have fun holiday photos taken. All events except the train ride and photo are free with paid Zoo admission. The Zoo will be open every day except December 25.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

November 28 through January 1, 2003

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


Microsoft Office v. X 10.1.2 Update

This is the latest update from Microsoft fro those of you using MS Office under Mac OS X. It is always a good idea to stay current with updates like this for both stability and security reasons.

From the web site..

Microsoft Office v. X 10.1.2 Update is a combined updater that includes all previously released updates for Office v.X. Installing this update on any previously released version of Office v.X will bring Office up to date and corrects problems that some users had installing previous updates.


Mervyn's Moving Mission

November 30, 2002

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Autry Museum

Visit this special education program located in a 72-foot tractor-trailer in front of the museum. The Mervyn's Moving Mission truck tours the Los Angeles area to bring the history of the California Missions to fourth-grade students. Explore the truck for free while it is parked at the Autry Museum on the last Saturday of every month. While on board, you can handle reproductions of artifacts to find out what daily life was like on the missions. Learn about Native people who have lived in California for generations through theatre presentations, lectures, storytelling, crafts and games. Autry Museum admission is not included.

Sunday, November 10, 2002


A bit of Fall color in Los Angeles

Saturday, November 09, 2002


Night Crawlers

SAT 11/16 5:30pm

Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

Disappear with your kids into the evening shadows. Hear Franklin Canyon come alive on this adventure night hike. Warm clothes, flashlight recommended. Ages 8+. 2hrs WODOC

Nobody Strolls in LA

SAT 11/16 7pm

Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

A slow evening ramble in the park. Rather than speed past nature, we'll stop and savor it. Bring a flashlight, all your senses and a capacity for stillness. 1.5hrs WODOC

Full information and directions


Peek-a-Boo, I see you and all your personal information, too!

Legitimate anti-terrorist need or overstepping of privacy bounds?

What I'm Reading...

An extremely odd collection of books, this time around. There are some books I specifically requested from the library and others that just caught my eye as I was wandering the aisles.

As usual, I haven't necessarily delved deeply into these books, but for some reason they interested me. Some are merely "flip-through" books. These are the one's that I just quickly scan to see what neat ideas I can glean.

If you can discern any patterns in this selection of books, drop me a line. I sure would like to know what it is. -- Douglas

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Marketing...

Handmade Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart

American Country Building Design


You Won--Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House

The River Reader (The Nature Conservancy...

Easy Country: A New Approach to Country...

The Acrylic Painter's Book of Styles and Techniques

Painting from the Source: Awakening the Artist Soul in Everyone

House Beautiful Art

Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot

Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course

Friday, November 08, 2002


It seems that deep with the text of the "No Child Left Behind Act" recently passed by Congress there is a provision that requires all schools to turn over the personal information of any and every student to military recruiters. If schools refuse, they are faced with the cut-off of all federal aid.

I can imagine that some parents and students do not wish to be contacted, and yet, parents have no ability to prevent it. There is a provision to allow students to "opt-out" of the program, but only if they know that there school administrators haven't already turned over their records.

There is a particularly troubling quote from the article that points up the arrogance and demeaning nature of the provision.

"The only thing that will get us to stop contacting the family is if they call their congressman," says Major Johannes Paraan, head U.S. Army recruiter for Vermont and northeastern New York. "Or maybe if the kid died, we'll take them off our list."

Whether you have problems with the program or not, burying provisions such as this within 670 pages of text is a sure way to shatter trust between government and citizen. It also behooves all of us to be even more watchful of the work that is done in our names.

Via Mother Jones

Book Recommendation

How to Lie With Statistics

by Darrell Huff, Irving Geis (Illustrator)

Like a burglar telling you how to protect your home, Huff exposes
the ways in which statistics can be made to lie...if not dance
on the head of a pin. An excellent book to help everyone understand
how the media, science and business all manipulate statistics
to their own best advantage.

Career Column

Career-Op: Other People's Problems

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

It can be a hard lesson to learn, but when you succeed in your high-tech career, or life in general, there will be those around you who are less than enthusiastic about your success. Call it fair-weather friends or simple jealousy, but it can be difficult when those who supported you in the past suddenly show a different side,. Worse still, these people can cause you to doubt your own actions, even when you think you are doing what is best for you. Pressure from friends and acquaintances should never drive you to make career decisions that arenâ??t in your own best interest.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Software/Mac OS X

Office X Updater 10.1.2

Microsoft released their latest updater for Office X. I combines all previous updates and includes several more enhancements and fixes.

Book Recommendation

Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity

by David Allen

While I realize that no one book is going to solve any particular
problem I am always on the lookout for books from which I can
take away at least one lesson.

I recently checked this book out from my local library and I have
been very impressed with how much it has helped. I am a pretty
well organized person and don't let a lot of things slip through
the cracks but I seem to suffer from "analysis paralysis" when
faced with too many projects and too many steps to accomplish
these projects. I just kind of sit and stew, unable to figure
out what to do next. This book has helped me with that significantly
by helping me identify the "Next Action" in any particular project,
move towards completing that and then move onto the next action.

Allen also breaks down your work into discrete areas so that you
can accomplish tasks in those odd moments between meetings and
phone calls, instead of wondering what to do next. Check out this
book when you get a chance. I think there is more than one good
lesson that can be taken away

Book Recommendation


Digital Photographer's Handbook

I came across this book at my local bookstore yesterday and was quite impressed with both its depth and its clarity. It covers almost all aspects of digital photography, whether you are shooting pictures using a digital camera or scanning in traditional prints, negatives and transparencies. It really helps to clarify some of the more confusing issues such as, resolution and print size, moire patterns on scans and digitally adjusting your photos to get the best results.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002


Family Fun with the Children's Museum of LA

Fashion Square Sherman Oaks

Every Third Friday of the Month: 2:00 - 6:00p.m.

Fashion Square partners with The Children's Museum of Los Angeles on the
third friday of each month to provide Fashion Square families with
educational art activities.

Join us for an afternoon of free Arts and Crafts on dates below:

November 15, 2002:  Cornucopia Creating 

December 20, 2002: Pop-Up Holiday Cards

Each event will be held at Center Court (lower level).


Have you ever wondered who made those cartoons you watched as a kid? I remembered one called "Deputy Dawg", that I enjoyed quite a bit. Now you have a source of information on even the most obscure cartoons, The Big Cartoon Database.

Sunday, November 03, 2002


Slim Gauge Guild

I have uploaded some pictures from today's visit to the Slim Gauge Guild model train club in Pasadena. There is something about model trains that bring out the kid in everyone.



A Word A Day: A Romp Through Some of the most unusual and intriguing words in English

I have been receiving the author's daily email for over a year and have always enjoyed the unique words and themes chosen. AWAD is a great way to expand your vocabulary or just have fun with words.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Career Column

Career-Op: Everyone needs a computer coach

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

When I first saw the theme for this weeks issue, I was taken aback. Who needs computer techs? Everyone needs computer techs, or as I call myself, a computer coach. I know the theme is meant to depict a userâ??s feeling of self-sufficiency in using their computer. In fact, this is something that I try to instill in my clients. That said, there are times when nearly everyone could use a computer coach. The trick is knowing when they need them and what services a coach can provide.

You may have noticed that I added a new feature to the blog page. If you haven't notice, look to the upper-right corner of this page. I have included a randomly rotating selection of photos that updates with each view of the page. As I take more photos, I will include a few select ones in the rotation.

Clicking on the photo will take you to a larger version of the photo. You can then link to the entire gallery from which the photo was taken.


Friday, November 01, 2002


I found myself watching an interesting documentary on the painter, Mary Cassatt, this evening on PBS. I have always appreciated the work of this Impressionist painter and the documentary sent me to the Internet to find out more information and images of her work.

Here are a few interesting links.

Mary Cassatt on the Internet



Google Search


Today I added A Life Uncommon to my list of favorite sites just to your left. This "photoblog" has some wonderful photography. It makes me want to try harder with my own photos. Visit it everyday for a does of photographic goodness.


Two outdoor events coming this month.

Saturday, 11/9 -- 1pm - 5pm -- From trees to music! - Native American Craft Fair -- Sooky Goldman Nature Center

Spend the afternoon making, painting, and playing with Native American-inspired crafts made from natural materials. Elderberry Tree Clappersticks, Walnut Rattles, Yucca Rope, Sandstone Paintings and much more. Families welcome! Small fee for each craft. WODOC -- For more info: 310-858-7272 x131

Saturday, 11/16 -- 11am-1pm -- Airplane Program -- Paramount Ranch

Fly the skies with your own model airplane. Join us for a day of constructing and flying model airplanes. All materials will be provided.


The LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) opens an interesting page of history, using one of the best known portraits in America, the Landsowne Portrait of George Washington.

The official press release follows. -- Douglas


LACMA is the sole venue in U.S. to feature accompanying exhibition of Washington-related art works. Extensive adult and children's education programs and public events are offered. 

George Washington: A National Treasure 

Exhibition Dates: November 8, 2002, through March 9, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The famed "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington will visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of its historic first-ever tour of select cities in the United States organized by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., and sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas, Nevada. The portrait, painted in 1796 by Gilbert Stuart, the most prestigious American portraitist of his day, has been compared in historical and cultural importance to the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence. The painting will be accompanied in Los Angeles by an in-depth exhibition organized by LACMA of Washington-related art works demonstrating the founding father's continuing impact on American life and art.

Click for entire press release