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~ Saturday, August 09, 2003

Sherman Oaks Artwalk

Despite the near-100 degree temperatures, I headed down to the first Sherman Oaks Art Walk this afternoon. Although the artists were a bit wilted in the heat, they were happy to chat about their work. I counted 15 artists in all and they said that there should be at least 25 in the coming months. Music was provided at 4 different locations along the way. The art walk included not only Ventura Boulevard, but also a 2 block section of Van Nuys Boulevard.

Click for a larger version of this map.

The artists involved included the following:

Jaye Alison Moscariello
Carlos Cedillo
Laura Rae Yates
Tim Timmermans Fine Art Photography
Jodi Fuchs
Pawtraits - Robyn Feeley
Paul Whitehead
Evelyene Bly
Vincent Nicastro
Lou Sandoval

~ Friday, August 08, 2003

Career Column

Career-Op: The Grand Tour
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

It is a simple truth that people in high-tech careers often spend entirely too much time staring at their computer screens, when, in fact, they should be dealing with the people using computers. It is all too easy to lose yourself in the minutiae of programming, debugging the Excel spreadsheet or tweaking that PowerPoint presentation. If you really want to make a difference in your company and your career, you need to take the Grand Tour on a regular basis.

~ Thursday, August 07, 2003


A discussion on another forum led me to think back on some of my favorite creativity tools and web sites.

Creative Whack Pack

This is one of my favorite tools to let me free associate over whatever I am working on. It has been years since I found it, so I have no idea where I first saw it, but it sits on my shelf with a few others to be called upon whenever I am in need.

There are also a couple of books on which this deck of cards is based:

A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock Your Mind for Innovation

A Kick in the Seat of the Pants

I recently came across Creativity Web in my search for new creativity tools. This version of Oblique Strategies can also offer a jolt when y ou are trying to come up with new ideas.

~ Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Photos for Sale!

I am testing out a new feature on the web site today. As I post pictures from our travels, I am including some of them in DotPhoto. This allows you to browse and then purchase prints of the photos directly from DotPhoto.

You can click on the photo above to see two pictures I am using as a test.

If this system works out, I will be including photos from various WelchEvents and school events so that friends and parents can get real, photographic prints instead of printing them out themselves.


Sherman Oaks Arts Walk - 2nd Saturday

Sherman Oaks is now hosting an Art Walk on the second Saturday of each month from 3pm-7pm.

Artists, along with the regularly appearing musicians, will show their art on Ventura Boulevard between Van Nuys and Cedros.

It is just starting this month, so I am unsure how many artists there will be, but it should expand the year continues.

~ Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Techology in the Schools

More and more, there are computers in our children's classrooms, but many teachers don't have the training or the time to integrate them into the learning process. (See Those Who Can't : Few are trained to use PCs as creative tools in teaching., Seattle Weekly, August 6-12).

To me, this is an absurd situation. As high-tech workers, we have the knowledge, surely we can find some time to help these teacher help our children and those of our friends and neighbors.

If you can find any time at all in your schedule, talk to your children's teachers about what they need to use their computer effectively in their classroom. Do they need training? Set up a class or series of classes. Do they need additional equipment? We all have something in the back room which could be put to better use. Do they need information on how to use the computer in the classroom? Spend some time searching and pass on the good web sites, blogs and discussion groups you find. Surely, we can fit a few minutes into our day.

We, as people who understand technology, can do a lot more to insure that our teachers have the tools and the training they need to help our children excel.


Career-Op Updates

This evening I updated several interesting pages related to my weekly Career Opportunities column. You can check out the updates using the links below.


I went back through al my columns from 1997-2001 and pulled out those that fit 2 particular themes. I then set up one page for each which you could use as a mini-seminar, reading through everything I had written regarding a particular topic. The links are in chronological order, so the new material is at the bottom of the listing.

Mini-seminar on Getting Started in a High-Tech Career

Mini-Seminar on Professional Development in Your HIgh-Tech Career

I will be processing my 2002 and 2003 columns into these series over the next couple of months.

Career-Op Suggested Reading

I have also updated this page, which contains links to books that I have found interesting whether they are about your career, your life or your well-being.

As I come across new books, they will appear on the Career-Op page, here in my blog, My Word, and on my Douglas Recommends... page.


Job Opening - Disney Internet Group

Software Engineer

The software engineer works under the technical direction of Engineering Managers, Technical Leads and Project Managers/Producers in the development, deployment and testing of Java applications. Designs and develops tools to support the template development team. Designs and develops tools to facilitate deployment and maintenance of production systems. This person will also provide technical direction to a junior engineer during project work, as well as technical mentoring.

Responsibilities also include the design, development and unit testing of WebSphere MQ integration with external systems. Will also work with the QA team in support of integration and acceptance testing. Identifies and resolves root causes of operational issues.


* BS/BA in computer science or equivalent
* 3-5 years of Java development and other internet technologies.
* 1-2 years experience with messaging systems

Specific Skills Required:
* Java, HTTP, HTML, XML, JSP, Windows NT/2K, Microsoft IIS.
* Source code versioning and management tools such as SourceSafe, CVS, Clearcase.
* Websphere MQ/MQSeries 5.2+
*Scripting languages - PERL, ANT, and shell.
*Database experience - MS SQL server and Oracle.
* Model language such as UML

To apply please send resume and cover letter to dig.resumes@dig.com

Please include reference: SWEPMWS405

We regret that we will only be able to respond to those applicants whose qualifications meet our interest. EOE

Via Web405


Technical Self-Employment Is A Fat Paycheck Waiting to Be Pocketed

With unemployment at an all-time high, working as a high-tech freelancer might be the way to keep your head above water, or even the path to a great career. These two articles by Grant Barrett explore the issues involved.

Technical Self-Employment Is A Fat Paycheck Waiting to Be Pocketed

With A Fat Paycheck Comes Fat Responsibility.

~ Monday, August 04, 2003

Law of Unintended Consequences - Recall Version

My biggest fear in the entire California Gubernatorial Recall fiasco was the Law of Unintended Consequences. This article from ABC News -- "Recall the Recaller?: Calif. Democrat Raises Possibility of a Retaliatory Recall Bid" -- points out just how bad things could get.

Imagine a constant state of campaigning throughout every single state, county and local government. So little gets done in government today, such a state of affairs would be utterly catastrophic. Using the recall to oust a legally elected governor, with no civil or criminal charges, is the beginning of what could prove to be a quick slide into chaos. That said, this tit-for-tat threat by Willy Brown, Mayor of San Francisco, proves that there are people more willing to be part of the problem than the solution.


Local Harvest - Farmer's Markets/Family Farms/Organic Food

Local Harvest is a web site dedicated to helping you find the best in locally produced food products. You can put in your zip code and find farms, farmer's markets and restaurants near you.

Via MetaFilter


Becoming Human

Becoming Human is a great example of what the Internet can do for education. A light year beyond the typical "film strips" of my school days. Learn about the origins of man in a fun, interactive environment.

The best recommendation I can give is this -- when I started playing the documentary, my son, Joseph, was drawn from the next room. That is the power of the Internet.

~ Sunday, August 03, 2003

Thomas Play Day at Travel Town Museum

We made one of our regular visits to Travel Town in Griffith Park today.

This was the monthly Thomas Play Day, held the first Sunday of each month. Dozens of crates of Brio trains, track and accessories are opened on the patio in front of the store and the kids are allowed to build to their hearts content. The area is shaded by large trees and stays cool even on a hot day like today.

Joe spent a fair amount of time playing with the trains and then we wandered off to inspect the large model train layout by the East Valley Line railroad club. This N-scale layout, while one of the smallest scales, is one of the largest layouts in the world. Club members are on-hand to run a variety of trains through their paces. Although Travel Town is open every day, the model layout is only accessible on the weekends.

Next on the agenda was the inspection of all the large engines and coaches that comprise the museum. Joe has a great time climbing and pretending, especially on the old steam engines. Recently, informative signs were attached to many of the trains, giving detailed information on their past lives and technical specifications. This is a welcome addition.

The former snack bar at the museum has now become a museum gallery filled with railroad artifacts and information. It is a pleasant way to cool off and learn more about the history of railroading in America.

There is no permanent food service at the museum, although a hot dog cart with a variety of snacks is available. There are also soda and snack machines. I recommend you pack a picnic lunch or pick up food on the way. There are plenty of tables available to enjoy your meal.

http://www.lals.org/ If you visit on a Sunday, allow yourself some time to visit the LA Live Steamers next door. Here you can ride a miniature steam train around a wonderful layout.

Find out about more events in the LA Area -- Subscribe to the WelchEvents Mailing List


Stupid Security - the web site

If you are as fed up with stupid and ineffectual security measures as I am, Stupid Security is a place to collect your experiences. Perhaps if enough of these stupid security measures are held up to scorn something will change. Then again, maybe we will all just get some good exercise from shaking our heads in disbelief.


Artist - Dan Roe

When I started my search for robot information, I came across this link to Dan Roe, an artist who has taken some of the BEAM robot technologies and developed art pieces that move. They are quote wonderful.

Click on the portfolio link on his web site and you will find both photos and video of his sculptures in operation.

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