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Friday, October 29, 2004

Career-Op: Off the edge - w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Off the edge

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Anyone, no matter what their age, can find themselves in the depths of a rut. It can start out slowly. Going to the same restaurants, using the same software, listening to the same music. The next thing you know, there you are, in a rut. As I’m finding, getting older can make it even easier to get into a rut. There are days when I simply don’t want to face the trials and tribulations of daily life. I just want to do something familiar. Of course, a few days later, I wake up feeling bored…and boring…and not really knowing why. Even though I know the importance of finding new challenges, new passions and new input, I have to actively reach out and engage the world in order to find them.

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Carve and light your on-screen pumpkin

Pumpkin Carving

If you don't have a real pumpkin handy, or can't afford to carve as many as you want, try out this neat Flash animation that allows you to carve and light a pumpkin of your design.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Career-Op: Career Choices...from the archives w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Career Choices

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Throughout my years writing this column I have often heard from readers who were contemplating changing to a high-tech career. The fast growth of Internet-related companies led some to believe that high-tech was the career “promised land.” As we have all seen, though, high-tech jobs are no guarantee of future career success. In fact, so many people have sought out work in high-tech that we are now experiencing a glut of workers in some areas while jobs requiring specialized knowledge remain open for months. If you are looking to work in high-tech, either as a first career or a career change, you would be wise to consider the reality of the market and where you might find a fit.

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Event: Twilight Marshmallow Hike

Twilight Marshmallow Hike

SAT 10/30 5:15pm

Charmlee Wilderness Park

Join us on an evening hike that ends with roasted marshmallows. All ages, bring your own marshmallows and skewers. Limited space;

Reservations required: 3 1 0-3 1 7-1 3 6 4. 3hrs CWP

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Book: QBQ! The Question Behind The Question by John G. Miller

A new book came across my desk this week, QBQ! The Question Behind The Question by John G. Miller. It is subtitled, “What to Really Ask Yourself to Eliminate Blame, Complaining and Procrastination.”

This thin volume (115 pages) seeks to help people move beyond the typical “blame game” that occurs in business and life in general. Too often, we concentrate on getting the other person to change, instead of concentrating our attentions where they really matter, on ourselves.

Instead of asking Why? and Who?, Miller consels us to ask What and How? “What can I do to contribute? How can I help solve the problem?” Even the best of us can fall into blaming others for our problems, but it is more important to ask the QBQ to help us move beyond the problems in productivity.

It is unfortunate that many people who could really use this book may never pick it up. It is a difficult task to accept our own battles with blame and for many people, it never happens. Simply reading this book can take a large dose of courage.

If you want to challenge yourself and your thinking, even just a little, pick up a copy of QBQ! And start asking the Question Behind the Question yourself.

Event: 4th Annual Cider at Circle X

4th Annual Cider at Circle X

SAT 10/30 10am - 4pm

Circle X Ranch

Come to a park site high in the Santa Monica Mountains. We’ll have cider, cookies and candy at the Circle X Contact Station. National Park Service staff will be available to provide trail information for self-guided exploration. Contact station is 5.4 miles north on Yerba Buena Rd from Pacific Coast Highway.

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Career-Op: Getting Serious Part 3 - w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Getting Serious Part 3

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
Over the past two weeks I have talked about the thinking that goes into maintaining client relationships. This week I turn to the practical ideas that I use to maintain my client relationships and build my career. These methods can be used as they are or adapted for your own use. The biggest benefit you will gain, though, is in the thinking they provoke and the action that comes from that thinking.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Book: All Fisherman are Liars by Linda Greenlaw

I just finished All Fisherman are Liars: True Tales from the Dry Dock Bar by Linda Greenlaw, a wonderful, small book of fishing stories, told by real. commercial fishermen, including herself. Greenlaw has a lovely touch for telling stories full of life, and sometimes, death. While her life as a fisherman seems to have suited her well, she has discovered an entirely new career as a writer.

The author's first book arose out of her personal involvement in the the tragic story that was re-counted in the the book The Perfect Storm. Greenlaw was caught out in the same storm, but lived to tell the tale. The Hungry Ocean, takes that story as a starting point, but goes well beyond into previously unknown territory, especially for a landlubber like me. The Lobster Chronicles, recounts her return to the nominally safer work of "lobstering" and gives her an opportunity to tell more stories about the sea and the lives that surround it.

This book easily qualifies as one of my "One Day Reads". Within a few hours, over lunch, over dinner and before bedtime, I joined the crew at the Dry Dock Bar and followed their stories out to sea. I love reading stories about people and lives I might not otherwise encounter and Greenlaw's books are a perfect example.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Event: Star gazing and Lunar Eclipse viewing - Oct 27

Star Gazing

WED 10/27 10pm

Charmlee Wilderness Park

View the lunar eclipse set to happen at 11:12pm.

Please call 3 1 0-3 1 7-1 3 6 4 to verify viewing.

All ages welcome. 1hr CWP

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Career-Op: A little crazy ...from the archives

Career-Op: A little crazy

I hear it all the time; “You must be crazy to turn down that job.” “Take a month’s vacation, are you crazy?” “You would be crazy to quit your job now!” The truth is, a little craziness is something to be cultivated, not quashed. If you don’t have a little craziness in you, you are in danger of locking yourself into a life and career of staid boredom. Is that what you really want? [Continued]

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Event: Farther Afield - Candlelight tours of Fort Point, San Francisco

My copy of Sunset arrived today (November 2004) and right up front I noticed a great activity.

Monthly candlelight tours are offered of this fort, "the only brick fortress ont he West Coast." The fort is located almost directly beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

The tours are free, but reservations are required. The next tour is November 27.

For more information about Fort Point, see:

Web: Sharpening Digital Images

Sharpening Digital Images is an excellent page dedicated to the issue of "sharpening" your digital images.

If you are trying to get the best quality possible out of your digital pictures, this is one method to try.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Quote: Emergence by Steven Johnson

This quote had me laughing out loud earlier today...

"...once you've absorbed enough DNA [in the game], you can pop over to the "mutation" screen and tinker with your genetic makeup -- adding new genes and mutating your existing ones, expanding your character's skills in the process. It's like suddenly learning how to program in C++, only you have to eat the guy from tech support to see the benefits."

-- Emergence: the connected lives of ants, brains, cities, and software by Steven Johnson

I've worked in some rough companies, but, thankfully, never anything quite that bad! (SMILE)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Career-Op is a "Podcast Pick"!

Bruce "Radar" Chandley, over at the Podcast Bunker has selected my Podcast, Career Opportunities as one of his "Podcast Picks"

Many thanks! The recognition is always welcome.

Career-Op: Getting Serious Part 2 - w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Getting Serious Part 2

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Last week I started a discussion of “getting serious” in your relationships with clients. Today, I will talk about maintaining these relationships for the benefit of both you and your clients. If there is any secret to high-tech career success, this might be it.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Web/Audio: Whole Wheat Radio

If you are looking for a source of great independent music, you need look no farther than Whole Wheat Radio.

This Internet "web-cast" features thousands of songs by independent musicians in all genres, styles and moods. Throughout the day "EJ's" (electronic DJ's) program the music according to a preset schedule. At any time, however, listeners can request songs that fit the current show's genre or guidelines, over-riding the EJ's and programming the show for themselves.

The EJ's announce various songs, horoscopes, updated blog entries and more throughout the show, but between the songs. Additionally, the interactive chat room allows listeners to comment and talk amongst themselves while listening to the music.

Years ago, Rosanne and I had a neighborhood hangout called the Iguana Cafe in North Hollywood. Since we moved out of NoHo years ago, and the sad passing of the club, we have been looking for a similar hangout. Whole Wheat Radio has helped to fill some of that void.

It's funky. It's Odd. It's Music. It's Fun!

Event: Photo Fun in Franklin Canyon

Photo Fun in Franklin Canyon

SUN 10/17 3pm

Franklin Canyon Ranch

Capture the moment with an experienced photographer who will guide you to finding unique views and photo opportunities in nature.

Event: Photo Fun in Franklin Canyon

Photo Fun in Franklin Canyon

SUN 10/17 3pm

Franklin Canyon Ranch

Capture the moment with an experienced photographer who will guide you to finding unique views and photo opportunities in nature.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Event: Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling

SUN 10/17 11am

Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

Enhance the way you look at the natural world around you. Bring a sketchbook or pad, pencil, pen, and a small folding stool or chair. 2hrs WODOC

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Career-Op: In the mood - w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: In the mood

Originally published September 29, 200

There comes a time in every high-tech career when important decisions need to be made. Unfortunately, you are often forced to make these decisions at exactly the wrong time. When you are looking for work, unexpectedly downsized or just unhappy with your current job you aren’t in the right place to make decisions that might effect the rest of your career, if not the rest of your life. [Continued]

** Listen on your computer, iPod or other audio player **

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Update for MS Office 2004 for Mac

MacDailyNews has a notice that Microsoft has released a new, major upgrade for MS Office 2004 for Mac.

You can use the new Auto Update function of Office 2004 to download and install the upgrades.

From any Office Application (i.e. Word, Excel, Entourage, PowerPoint):

Select the Help Menu

Select Check for Updates

Follow the instructions to download and install.

The update is a substantial 22.8 MBs and can take a long time to download, especially on slower Internet connections.

You can also download the update directly by visiting Microsoft's Web Site.

Event: Wolf Awareness Week

Wolf Awareness Week

October 18 - 23 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join us for a howling good time October 18 -23 as we celebrate Wolf Awareness Week. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is one of the few places in Los Angeles where you can experience a live gray wolf and watch the long-legged gait of the South American maned wolf. Come touch wolf fur, compare wolf and coyote teeth, and take the Wolf Quiz to see if you would make a good wolf. We'll finish off the week's event on Saturday, October 23, with a special wolf presentation in the Adventure Theater and a Group Howl.

All Wolf Awareness Week activities are free to members and with paid Zoo admission.

Monday, October 11, 2004

What is RSS?

Last night I sent out a WelchWrite Note with an explanation and examples of RSS Feeds. If you have been wondering what it means to "Syndicate this site" or what those little icons mean, check it out a the link below.

You can subscribe to the monthly WelchWrite Newsletter, which also gets you these regular WelchWrite Notes by sending a blank email to: subscribe@welchwrite.com.

Read the WelchWrite Notes, RSS feeds bring the web to you

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Welchwrite Alert: Dell recalls 990k laptop power adapters

I just sent a WelchWrite Alert to all my clients regarding this recall. My Dell Inspiron 8000 has one of the effected adapters and I have already requested a replacment.

Further information, and links to the Dell Adapter Recall page are available in this WelchWrite Alert.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Event: Pumpkin Round-Up - Descanso Gardens

Pumpkin Round-Up - Descanso Gardens

October 23-24

Lasso your little ones for a Country Fair Celebration. There’ll be hayrides, country fair animals, scarecrows, and of course, a plethora of PUMPKINS. Descanso Gardens is the place where city folks get a charming taste of an old-fashioned, quaint country fair.

Pumpkin Parade

Saturday and Sunday

10 and 11 a.m., Meet at the Center Circle

Banjo Dave will be a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’ on the banjo for a costume parade through the Gardens. He will lead parades of children in their Halloween costumes to a Country Fair photo opportunity. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Pumpkin Round-Up Country Fair

Saturday and Sunday

 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Van de Kamp Hall

Amble about a country fair. You’ll recall a simpler, gentler time for the whole family as you visit nostalgic stations for discovery, activity and vending – a “down-home” experience.

Farm Animal Fun

Saturday and Sunday

 1 to 4 p.m., Upper Rose Garden

No country fair is complete without farm animals. Goats, pigs, calves and more are part of the fun. Come pet and take pictures with these useful and friendly creatures. Appropriate for children ages 1 and older.

Pumpkin Decoratin’

Saturday and Sunday

 2 to 4 p.m., Van de Kamp Hall

 $2 per pumpkin, while supplies last

Miss Cate has dozens of ideas for pumpkin faces–fun, cute, silly, or a unique expression of your own creation. Purchase a mini pumpkin to decorate and take home. This activity is appropriate for ages 3 and older. First come, first served. Space is limited.

Descanso Hay Rides

Saturday and Sunday

 1 to 4 p.m., departs from the Rose Pavilion

 $3 per person per ride

Horses Fred and Barney are “chompin’ at the bit” to take your family on a leisurely hayride through Descanso’s shady oak and camellia forest. This horse-drawn wagon experience gives you and your child the fun and excitement of an old-fashioned trek in the country.

All events unless noted are free with Garden admission

Friday, October 08, 2004

Career-Op:Getting Started Part 1

Career-Op:Getting Started Part 1

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Over the past several months I have had both a desire and a need to focus intently on my freelance consulting business. Lately, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the nature of my work. What am I trying to accomplish, both for my clients and myself? How am I going to go about accomplishing those goals? Like everyone, I can get caught up in the rush of daily life, jumping from task to task without focusing on the big picture. Sometimes I need to be reminded to take a few minutes to think about what I am doing to insure that I am still headed in the right direction. It is time to “get serious” about your work and your career.

Podcast - Listen to this column on your computer, iPod or other MP3 player

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Event: Getty Drawing Hour

Getty Drawing Hour

Date: Friday October 1 & 15, 2004, 7 pm

Location: Museum Galleries

Admission: Free

Enjoy the tradition of sketching from original works of art during the Getty Drawing Hour. An instructor will be on hand to answer questions and provide general guidance. All you need to bring are drawing pads and pencils (no other materials are permitted in the galleries). All experience levels welcome. Limited to 25 participants. Sign up at the Information Desk in the Museum Entrance Hall beginning at 6:00 PM the day of the program.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Steve Wozniak at Gnomedex

IT Conversations has a great talk and interview with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc and inventor of the Apple I computer.

You can download the MP3 files and listen on your computer, burn a CD for listening in your car or move it to your iPod.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Career-Op gets mention and play on Daily Source Code

Listening to today's editon (10-6-2004) of Adam Curry's Daily Source Code (MP3 here), Career Opportunities: The High-Tech Career Handbook and I got a good mention. He even played a clip from the latest column.

You can find the mention at about 21 minutes into the show.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Career-Op: Keep it to yourself - MP3 audio Podcast

Career-Op: Keep it to yourself

Originally published February 23, 2001

Despite the fact that companies are trying to become more like a family and less like a cold corporation, it is always best to remember that there are certain aspects of your life that you shouldn’t share with your co-workers or your managers. The stories you tell now may come back to haunt your career in the future. [Continued]

** Listen on your computer, iPod or other audio player **

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Watch Mount St. Helens Live -- via CBSNews.com

I saw this come through the "science" feed on delicious today and it is now running on the laptop at my left shoulder.

There is no audio on the feed for the moment, but I suspect that there will be if something happens.

As of 320 PM PDT, showing only CBS Live.com slide. The feed will probably go to the debate coverage tonight.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Food: Chai-spiced Honey Bundt Cakes w/spiced syrup

I came across the recipe in the Sepetember 2004 issue of Bon Appetit magazine and think it will be a wonderful addition for the Fall table. I plan on making a couple for our monthly bake sale at school. I have developed a bit of a reputation there for having tasty treats. So much so, my tarts and cookies often don't make it to the bake sale table at all. Instead they are poached by the principal, teachers or office staff before the sale ever begins. Recipes like this should help to keep my repuation intact and flourishing (SMILE)