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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Come see the trains! - Slim Gauge Guild Model Railroad Club

Slim Gauge Guild Model RailroadThe Slim Gauge Guild Model Railroad Club in Pasadena is having its semi-annual Open House this Sunday, June 3, 2007 (10am-7pm) and Tuesday, June 5, 2007 (6pm-10pm). Admission is FREE!

Click the photo for a picture gallery from a previous visit.

We have attended this event several times over the years and always find it fun. Even better, you can use the Metro Rail lines to take you right to the event. The Del Mar station of the Metro Gold Line is right across the street.

For example, from here in Van Nuys, we can take the Orange Line busway to the Red Line station in North Hollywood, the Red Line to Union Station and the Gold Line to Pasadena. Talk about a railroad adventure! (SMILE) A Metro Day Pass is only $3, going up to $5 on July 1st, so use this chance to enjoy a cheap ride on the train.

This detailed Google Map should give you all the info you need!

Google Map with Slim Gauge Guild Marked

Click for an interactive version of the map

If you go one more stop on the Gold Line, you are 1 block away from Old Town Pasadena, where you can explore, shop and eat. We usually have lunch at the Crown City Brewery, which is in the same building as the club.

We plan on arriving around 10 AM, as we have another commitment in the late afternoon. Join us for trains, and lunch, if you like or explore more of Pasadena before heading home.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Breakfast? - PaD 05/27/07

Breakfast? - PaD 05/27/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch
I really do try to not eat fast food too often, but as you can see from this picture, it does happen sometimes. this still life at the end of the "meal" caught my eye.

At least I had orange juice with the meal. That gets me some credit, right?...Right? Oh well. (SMILE)

Event: Monday Morning Concerts - Madrid Theatre

Monday Morning Concerts at the Madrid Theatre provide an intimate educational setting for children, ages five through eleven, consisting of a performance, a brief history lesson on the musical and cultural style being presented, followed by a question-and-answer session with the performers.

WHEN: June 4, 11, 18, 25, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

SITE: Madrid Theatre, 21622 Sherman Wy., Canoga Park

COST: Free

SPONSOR: Valley Cultural Center

INFO: 818-347-9419, www.madridtheatre.org

* For more events like this, join the WelchEvents Mailing List

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New Podcast Project: Mortgages Made Simple with Rick Gundzik

Douglas E. Welch and Rick Gundzik

Podcasting projects are moving forward here at WelchWrite and this weekend I helped launch a new podcast for my close friend, Rick Gundzik.

On Sunday, we posted the first episode of Mortgages Made Simple, Rick's blog and podcast that is designed to help everyone get the best mortgage possible when buying their home or refinancing.

Rick has been instrumental in my own homebuying over the years, leading my wife and I through this somewhat tortuous process and helping me to avoid garbage fees, bad loans and unscrupulous tactics. I have always thought he had a lot of great information to share, so I am very happy to help him share it with others.

I am acting as Rick's producer and sometimes co-host on this project. We are planning weekly shows on a wide variety of topics, including some LIVE shows via Talkshoe.com where callers and chatters can get their questions answered "on the air."

If you need help with your home search and mortgage, check out Mortgages Made Simple with Rick Gundzik. I know from personal experience how helpful it can be.

Link: Mortgages Made Simple with Rick Gundzik - Subscribe

Listen: OptionARMS: Did you get a bad loan?

* You can hear my earlier interview with Rick Gundzik on Career Opportunities

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Event: REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival

REDCAT LogoREDCAT invites film lovers of all ages to discover a world of cinematic surprises from beyond the cineplex. We host an international summer showcase of the best animated and live-action films for children in our state-of-the-art theater in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Join us for a whirlwind world tour.

WHEN: June, call for times

SITE: REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles

COST: To Be Announced


INFO: 213-237-2800, www.redcat.org

Courtesy of the LA Department of Cultural Affairs Festival Calendar

* For more events like this, join the WelchEvents Mailing List

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Podcasting: The New Radio, The New Television, The New World

(From TechnologyIQ, another WelchWrite.com podcast)

TechnologyIQ LogoLearn how to find, play and subscribe to podcasts in this program for those new to podcasting, recorded live on May 26, 2007

Listen to Podcasting: The New Radio, The New Television, The New World
(Listen Backup)

Podtrac Player

Support TechnologyIQ:

iTunes Review | Digg.com | Podcast Alley | Reader/Listener Line @ 206-338-5832

$2 per month donation
One Time Donation

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Podcasting: The New Radio, The New Television, The New World

Podcasting: The New Radio, The New Television, The New World
Learn all about podasting with founding podcaster, Douglas E. Welch

Saturday, May 26, 2007 @ 3 PM

Sherman Oaks Branch, Los Angeles Public Library
14245 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 - (818) 205-9716


Learn about the thousands of shows available for your entertainment and education, all of them delivered right to your own computer...for FREE.

Enjoy shows by major media producers such as NPR, BBC, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal and CNN.

Discover great new shows produced by people just like you! Your neighbor might just be a podcast star!

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Now that's a DOG! - PaD 5/25/07

Now that's a DOG! - PaD 5/25/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Our friends, Keri and Michael, have often told us that "any dog you can pick up isn't really a dog." Well, if that is true than Prozac, the wolfhound of my client, John, certainly IS a dog. Well in excess of 150 lbs, Prozac looks me in the face when I am sitting on John's computer doing my work.

That said, this dog is the sweetest animal on the planet. He acts like an overgrown puppy and hasn't so much as barked at me when I visit. I was amazed the first time I visited John and met Prozac. I have never seen another dog this large in my life. I have been meaning to share some pictures with you all, but today all the planets aligned. I had my camera with me, with an empty memory card and charged batteries, so here I present my, certainly, Picture-A-Day and perhaps the picture of the year. (SMILE)

Here are a few more photos:

Now that's a DOG! Now that's a DOG! Now that's a DOG!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Event: $$- The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd - LIVE! - This Sunday

A little late notice on this, but the folks over at The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd, are putting on a LIVE show this Sunday, May 27, 2007 @ 3 PM PDT.

Doctor Floyd LIVE Banner

Sunday, May 27th, 2007 3:00 PM PDT
The Colony Theater
555 North Third Street
Burbank, CA 91502
Price: Youth - $10 - Adult $15

Please join us for an afternoon of fun at a live recording of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd! Laughs, Music and MORE! Starring FRANK CONNIFF - MOIRA QUIRK - MICHAEL RAYNER & YOU!!

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Spinning, flashing Dr Who cellphone charms

Ok, ok, call me a Doctor Who freak, if you must, but my technolust is peaked by these cell phone charms. When your GSM phone rings, even when on silent, the TARDIS spins and lights up. How cool is that?

Don't even know what Doctor Who is? It's time for a trip to Wikipedia!

Spinning, flashing Dr Who cellphone charms Cory Doctorow:

These Dr Who mobile-phone charms blink and spin around when your phone rings. Comes in Dalek or Tardis models. A great way to silence your ringer and still get your calls.


(via Red Ferret)

(Via Boing Boing.)

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What I'm Reading...PaD 5/23/07

What I'm Reading...PaD 5/23/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
When you can you will by Lynne Bernfield

Who are you? - 101 Ways of Seeing Yourself by Malcolm Godwin

Midset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas by Jordan Ayan

Art & Fear: Observations on The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland

Chrysalis: Maria Subylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd

Food Men Love by Margie Lapanja

You can find more of my favorite books in The WelchWrite Bookstore

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Event: Live from the Library - May 24, 2007

Join us LIVE Thursday, May 24, 2007 for our next Internet Seminar at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Join us LIVE!

Need more information on joining out LIVE shows?

You can listen to past sessions and other TechnologyIQ audio by clicking below

Podtrac Player

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Photo-A-Day Slideshow

Here is a slideshow of the last 90 or so Photo-A-Day entries.

Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.

Name these connectors - PaD 5/21/07

Too many wires on my desktop.

The geeks among you should be able to identify all of these. Maybe I should turn this into a regular trivia contest -- Guess the Connector! (SMILE)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Place of Your Own - MyMinilife

Build a little place of your own and then embed it in your web site, just like this.

Add furniture, walls, pools, link items to web sites and videos.

Have Fun!

Friday, May 18, 2007

We get books! - PaD 5/18/07

We get books! - PaD 5/18/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
Author, Anthony Eglin, writer of "An English Garden Mystery" series of books, was so kind to send me signed copies of his books.

If you read the reviews, you can tell that I have really enjoyed all 3 books immensely, so the books are greatly appreciated and will be exhibited on our shelf of books from authors we really like.

You can read my review here:

The Blue Rose
The Lost Gardens
The Water Lily Cross

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Event: May 19th Clean-Up Event in Sherman Oaks

Passing this on from From Sherman Oaks (1927- ) blog. -- Douglas

May 19th Clean-Up Event in Sherman Oaks. This just in:

...cleanup at Riverside Drive Elementary School this Saturday morning, May 19, from 9 am 'til 11 am.

There will be extraordinarily delicious coffee from the Coffee Roaster, yummy bagels from Western Bagel, water, and possibly some other refreshments.

Please bring work gloves and, if you can, work tools with your names on them.

We will have fun, get some exercise, and do something nice for our community.

Please meet in front of the school at 13061 Riverside Drive (click for directions). Hope to see you all there!



(Via From Sherman Oaks (1927- ).)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Event: Los Encinos Living History Day - May 20

Los Encinos Living History Day

Sunday, May 20, 20071:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Music, blacksmith, children's activities from 1870s Southern California.

Location: Los Encinos State Historic Park [Map]

From the web site...

Los Encinos State Historic Park, at the corner of Balboa and Ventura Blvd., in Encino California, was, until the late 19th Century, the hub of human habitation in the Southern San Fernando Valley.

This five acre park is blessed with a natural spring, the water of which was reputed to be so sweet that animals would come for miles to drink from it. Because of the ready source of water, Indians of the tribe now called the "Gabrielino", "Fernandeno" or "Tongva" lived at the site of the park for hundreds, and perhaps thousands of years.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

What I'm Reading...

Several of today's books come from JoAnn Braheny's Creativity Book List, mentioned earlier in Career Opportunities

Find more featured books in the WelchWrite bookstore!

This is a book from 1997, but its advice and exercises remain evergreen and useful still today.

This relatively thin volume is subtitled, "Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

This book is out of print but available from used booksellers.

101 of Seeing Yourself

Traffic change on Moorpark Street near the Sherman Oaks Library

Moorpark Street Lane ChangeIf you frequent the Sherman Oaks Branch of the LA Public Library, like I do, you will want to be aware of some traffic changes on Moorpark Street at Tyrone, especially as you approach the library eastbound on Moorpark.

Up until a few days ago, there was a turn lane the middle of Moorpark Street, which allowed you make a left turn into the library parking lot. Today, I was very surprised to note that what had been a bi-directional turn lane is now an extended left turn lane for westbound traffic onto Tyrone.

Google Map showing change

Google MyMap of Lane Changes

This now makes it unsafe to attempt a left turn into the library parking lot. I noticed a lot of folks doing what I did, which was to go up one block to Katherine and either make a U-Turn at the intersection or find a place to turn around on Katherine.

I think this change has made entering the library much more dangerous, even if it has eased westboound traffic on Moorpark. I can imagine that the neighbors are going to be upset with all the new turnaround traffic, as well. The only entrance to the main library parking lot is from Moorpark and I am going to going to guess that at some point there will be a major accident as someone attempts to make their usual left turn from the single easybound lane or, even worse, goes the wrong way up the new left turn lane without thinking about it.

The picture above is pretty low-quality as it is from my cell phone, but if you can see the long white line in the middle the street, that used to be a yellow line denoting the north side of the bi-directional turn lane. Click the photo for a larger version.

I was pretty surprised by this change when I hit it today, so be aware and stay safe.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

An issue with GoDaddy Email Support

While my web site uptime has been fairly good, I have had a variety of issues with GoDaddy's service in the year or so I have been with them. This isn't necesarily odd, though. Look up an ISP or web host on the net, and you will find someone who has has a bad experience with them.

That said, there is one issue that always rubs me the wrong way when dealing with GoDaddy email tech support. The responses I receive are often unhelpful, or just plain wrong, as in the case with the response below. Even worse, although they always claim there is "no problem", the issue I am experiences usually clears up soon after my email support request.

Here was my initial email to them this morning...

ftp access to site welchwrite.com appears slow. Transfers are slow to begin and complete. Ftp updates from Blogger.com also appear to be having issues as my (b)logs are not updating when posting a new entry.

...and here is their response...

Thank you for contacting online support. It sounds like you may have a connection issue as we are not having any of these issue occur on our end. I suggest to check your fire wall settings and run a trace route. Unfortunately the Mac based computers do not come with a built in Traceroute tool so you will need to download one to perform a Traceroute. You can go to http://www.whatroute.net to download a small software application known as WhatRoute which will allow you to perform this action.

Now, I admit, I could and should have told them that I had done some testing and could access other FTP servers correctly, but in my own defense, I didn't mention it because I would assume that someone has tried other servers before sending in the trouble ticket. I guess this is the curse of being a troubleshooting tech somtimes.

Once again, though, this is the typical response. "Problem, what problem? We don't see a problem?" There always seems to be an assumption that the user knows nothing and must obviously be mistaken, despite the fact that they have experienced some sort of problem, or they wouldn't have taken the time to send the trouble ticket.

It is the second part of the message that bother me most, though. I know Macs are not the dominant computer in the marketplace, but I do expect GoDaddy support techs to know that there is a built-in traceroute command on every Mac sold today. In fact, there are at least 2 ways to do a traceroute, that I know of.

First, the geek method is to run the Terminal application and type traceroute domain.com. Second, there is the GUI-based Network Utility available in the Applications/Utilities folder that also includes the ability to do a traceroute.

I think support issues like this bother me more than the average person since I spend my day supporting my computer consulting clients and I have worked in help desk environments in the past. I have been on the other end of the phone and I know it is difficult work, but that doesn't mean you can simply brush off people to clear the ticket, nor assume that everyone writing you is a technology-impaired idiot. We wouldn't be writing if we didn't, at least, think we had a problem. One that we had tried to solve...and couldn't.

** Previous mentions of GoDaddy

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Writing at the ball field - PaD 5/5/07

Not much of a baseball fan, even when my son is playing. Plus, Little League games aren't exactly the most action packed to begin with. So, in an effort to keep ahead of things, I usually end up writing something during my 2+ hours at the ball field.

Today, I took out my clipboard and started working up a new Career Opportunities column.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

My day - A Still LIfe - PaD 5/4/07

This picture sort of sums up my day...maps, ipod and FM transmitter in the car. Long day and a, somewhat, long drive home.

Then an evening of catching up on blogging, podcasting and more.

Prefer Email? - Have My Word delivered right to your Inbox

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Internet Television - Joost! - I've got invites!

Joost is the new Internet Television Service, still in beta, that allows you to watch a variety of channels and a variety of shows on demand. The selection of shows is a bit slim at the moment, but I have watched a few documentaries that I know I never would have seen anywhere else.

Joost Promotional Video

Click to watch the What is Joost? video

Joost™ the best of tv and the internet

You need an invite to check it out, but all of us Joost Beta Testers now have around 999 invites to pass out, so all you have to do is ask. Send a blank email to welchwrite+joost@gmail.com and I will send you an invite so you can check it out.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Event: Write that Script! - Join Script Frenzy in June!

(As seen on blogging.la)

Write that Script!

Cybele:You live in LA ... one of these days you're going to get pulled over and someone's going to ask to see your screenplay. No more looking at the floor, ashamed.

Take June and write your script!

I'm again serving as web community hostess for a writing challenge (in November it's National Novel Writing Month).

The Challenge?

Script Frenzy

Write a screeplay (or a stageplay) in June.

It's a contest ... every winner gets a screenplay!

Sign up online. Join the web community. Take over your local coffee house. Hold you head up high at summer barbecues.

(Via Blogging.LA.)

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The Bayeux Tapestry - Animated

An excellent, animated version of the famous Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Norman Invasion of England in 1066.

Watch the background for descriptions of what is happening in each scene.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

LAPL: Wi-Fi now in all branches

Los Angeles Public LibraryYep, its true, at least according to this press release (PDF) from the LA Public Library web site. Great news and a big step toward getting wireless access to all who can take advantage of it.

Of course, remember, the LAPL also offers computers for Internet browsing and other tasks at all its branches, too!

LAPL: Wi-Fi now in all branches The L.A. Public Library just put out a release saying that free wireless is now available to laptop users in all 71 branches as well as the Central Library downtown....

(Via L.A. Observed.)

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Flowers on my walk - PaD 5/2/07

Flowers on my walk
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
Another walk through the neighborhood this afternoon and a few more cameraphone shots of what is in bloom today.

Flowers on my walk Flowers on my walk

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Douglas E. Welch Events, Speaking and Appearances Calendar

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Learn how to subscribe to a podcast

Learn How To Subscribe LogoEven if you listen to my podcasts directly from the web site, or see the Subscribe links on this page, you still may be wondering what this "subscription" thing is all about.

Well, here is a video that shows you exactly how to subscribe to podcast using iTunes or the Juice podcatching client.

Watch How to Subscribe to a Podcast

After you watch the video, you can use the links below to subscribe to My Word and and receive each new episode automatically.

Subscribe with iTunes

Copy this link to Subscribe using other podcatching clients or RSS feed readers

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Music Unwrapped - May 19 - Long Beach

The Music Unwrapped series is the ideal way for the family to spend a
Saturday morning learning about a wide variety of great music. The
Grammy Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music presents an enter-
taining and enjoyable learning experience, including interaction with the
audience suitable for all ages. Experience three intriguing programs
while traveling to wonderful venues around Southern California. The
event will feature Mexican composer Carlos Chávez.

WHEN: May 19, 10:00 a.m.

SITE: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach

COST: Free

SPONSOR: Southwest Chamber Music

INFO: 1-800-726-7147, www.swmusic.org

From the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs

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