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Monday, March 24, 2008

New Project: LA Book Readings on audio and video

Last week I wrote an essay on how booksellers and authors could make great use of new media to help get their message out. The first step in the process is to simply capture the content they are already creating each time they host a book reading in their store. In that regard, I am looking for booksellers who might be interested in having me in to record their readings so that I can share them via a dedicated web site.

In that regard, I am looking for booksellers who might be interested in having me in to record their readings so that I can share them via a dedicated web site.



I would start here in Los Angeles, but I can foresee accepting media from all over the country (and the world) into a larger system broken down by location, genre, etc.

So, now I am looking for my first partner in this endeavor. Are you a bookseller who regularly hosts author readings in your store? Are you an author has an upcoming reading in the Los Angeles area? Do you already have audio or video content of a reading that you would like to share? If so, drop me a line in the comments below or send an email to douglas@welchwrite.com.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tomato Mania is coming to Encino - April 4-6



One of Los Angeles' oldest garden traditions meets one of its newest sensations as Tapia Brothers Farm Stand again hosts the largest of the TOMATOMANIA! seedling sales.

Driving south on the 101 exit Balboa, turn left at the light and turn right on BURBANK BLVD, then right on Hayvenhurst.

We'll be open from 9am to 5pm all three days and there's plenty of parking available.

How many seedlings do you need? We'll have almost 300 varieties waiting for you!
Get everything you'll need to have the most successful tomato season ever!

April 4 - 6
9:00 5:00 both days

Tapia Brothers Farm Stand
5251 Hayvenhurst Ave.
Encino, CA
818.905.6155

See http://www.tomatomania.com/ for more info

Places LA - Full Moon Hike in Franklin Canyon



iPod Ready Video


In this edition of Places LA, we visit Franklin Canyon Ranch, located between Beverly Hills and Mullholland Drive. Docent Michael Ostman, leads us on a Full Moon Hike, held each month.

For more information on Franklin Canyon, and other parklands in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and a free, online activity calendar, visit the National Park Service Web Site at http://www.nps.gov/samo/

Google Map of Franklin Canyon


View Larger Map

Route of Full Moon Hike from Gmap-Pedometer

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cherry Trees at Lake Balboa 2008

Cherry Blossoms at Lake BalboaWe finally made it back to Lake Balboa today, since the boy was off for Spring Break and neither Rosanne or I had any appointments scheduled. Unfortunately, the cherry trees were well beyond their peak bloom. I had simply waited too long to get back to the lake. I knew this was a possibility, but figured I would try to shoot some photos anyway, capturing whatever remained.

That said, if you click on the photo, you will find a gallery of 16 photos I was able to shoot, even if I did miss the height of the bloom.

As we walked around the lake I noticed that many trees were lost over the last year. I am guessing the same frosts that damaged my garden also hit them fairly hard. It appears that most of the damage occurred on the north slope above the lake itself. Perhaps these trees were simply more exposed and didn't get the benefit of the lakes moderating influence. I hope they decide to replant some more trees to keep the bloom going. This is one of the highlights of my Spring here in LA.

Link: Cherry Trees at Lake Balboa 2008 - Gallery

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Elsewhere Online: Auguri per San Giuseppe!

With a Sicilian wife and a son named Joseph (Giuseppe), St. Joseph's Day (march 19) is a holiday we celebrate around here that probably few people know about. In Sicily, it is celebrated as their Father's Day. Food is a big part of any Italian celebration, so here are 3 traditional foods to celebrate the day.

On place we have found to buy Zeppolli di San Giuseppe, is Nicolosi's Patisseries in Tarzana. 17540 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316-3835, (818) 789-0922

Auguri per San Giuseppe! San Giuseppe, Saint Joseph's Day, is March 19 -- tomorrow. Since he was Jesus's father, in Italy San Giuseppe is Father's Day; because he was a resourceful type, he's also...

(Via Italian Cuisine.)

Today's Walk - Downtown Van Nuys

I am trying to walk between 1 1/2 to 2 miles each day in an effort to lose some weight. I find that I get bored if I walk the same route again and again, so I am trying out various loops through the neighborhood to keep things fresh. Today, Rosanne and I walked around downtown Van Nuys. This gave us a chance to check out the, now completed, Civic Center remodel and the completed Braude Center building.

On a side note, we also discovered that the Van Nuys Branch of the LA Public Library will be closed for remodeling from March 24 through April 26, so plan to visit another of the area branches for your library needs during that time.

The map above was created with GMAP Pedometer, a Google Maps mashup site that allows you to mark routes on a Google Map and then provides you with distance information and more. I use this whenever I try out a new route where I haven't had a chance to walk with my Garmin eTrex GPS.

More pictures from our walk:

Mural at Van Nuys Children's Development Center Van Nuys Civic Center

Monday, March 17, 2008

Starbucks Remodel Van Nuys


Starbucks Remodel Van Nuys
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Hot on the heels of their one evening shutdown for training, the local Starbucks in Van Nuys is taking 3 evenings to remodel the location. Today, there was much evidence of work last night with some walls stripped of art and wallpaper.

I can hope that they make the location a bit larger, but it doesn't seem too likely. The patio is large, but since smokers have been pushed outside, patio dining, or coffee, is almost an impossibility in town. Cigarette smoke still stinks, even outside.

Picture of the interior (taken with cameraphone):

Starbucks Remodel Van Nuys

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Wine Tasting

A special wine tasting

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Event: California Poppies are coming!

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve 2003Every year, around this time, I start to check out the status reports from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. When we have a good rainy season, as we have had this year, things can really be amazing with hillsides covered in poppies and a host of other native wildflowers.

Noting that March had arrived, I just checked the park's web site and found the following report...

Wildflower status: 03-05-08

It looks like it might be a great year! We've now received over 9 inches of rain, compared to only 1 inch at this time last year. Watch our rain gauge and compare to past years' data at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryFx?s=POP. There are several tiny poppy plants germinating, and our first poppy flower has been spotted! A few other species such as loco weed and lupine are beginning to bloom, as is the Joshua Tree by the visitor center, with white, artichoke-shaped flower buds on several branches. Looking across the fields, there's a green tinge to the tan hills of last year's grasses.

The wildlife is returning- gliding hawks, singing meadow larks, and lizards zipping across the trail. Lizards coming out also means rattlesnakes are coming out, so stay on the trail! The natural spring on the North Poppy Trail is running again with rabbit brush coming back around it, which makes it a good place to sit quiety and watch for wildlife.


Cool! I think we will definitely be planning a trip out this year, from the sound of it. Interested? Drop me a comment below or send an email to agn@welchwrite.com to get a notice of when we plan on going.



Link: Info and pictures from our 2003 trip

Latte Art @ M Street Cafe, Studio City, CA

Here is some lovely latte art (on top of a damn fine cup of coffee (SMILE) which Andrea at the M Street Cafe in Studio City made for me the other day.

I had a cafe Cubano, in which Muscovado sugar is added to the portafilter along with the ground coffee and then the shot is pulled. Quite nice and it was my first. Now I have made one at home,too, albeit with brown sugar instead.

If you get a chance, stop by this new and excellent place and try out a drink. I think I can guarantee that you will love it.

M Street Cafe, 13251 Moorpark St Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Link: M Street in the "In Sherman Oaks..." Blog
Link: M Street Cafe on Yelp

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Event: Mar 12, 2008: KERNSPIRACY: A Place for Designers to Share Secrets at Barbara's at the Brewery

I have been thinking of checking out this event the last few times I have seen it. While I am not a designer per se, I think there might be some great info to be had about how to work with designers and what the state of the art is, at the moment -- Douglas




Mar 12, 2008: KERNSPIRACY A Place for Designers to Share Secrets at Barbara's at the Brewery

Can you belive we're already 17.76% through 2008? That means it's time for the second KERNSPIRACY of the year. No fancy theme this time around besides our normal creative hobnobbing. In other words, making fun of each other for not switching to InDesign from Quark, and sharing horror stories about clients who use their 15-year-old nephew's offer to design their website as a bargaining tool. As usual, feel free to bring a business card, a portfolio or work you want feedback on. A good time will be had by all or my name isn't "Rutherford J Tackleberry."



KERNSPIRACY is a community building and peer support project for designers and creative professionals. Los Angeles is a tough place to be a designer, and it's often easy to feel like you're out there all on your own. KERNSPIRACY is intended to address this issue by creating forums for people to ask for advice, feedback and support from their creative peers.

(More info on the web site)

(Via Upcoming: Event search in Los Angeles County in Performing/Visual Arts Events.)

Los Angeles Graffiti Removal Requests

There has been an obvious increase in tagging and graffiti in our neighborhood lately, so I went looking for an online method of requesting a graffiti cleanup. A quick Google Search turned up this form at the LA Public Works web site.

Link: Graffiti Removal Request System

If you spot graffiti while driving around, you can also call their hotline at 800 / 611- 2489 to get the cleanup process rolling.

I plan on submitting about 5-10 more requests for graffiti spotted during my regular neighborhood walks and see if we can make some headway into the current surge.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Douglas E. Welch @ BarCampLA-5


Douglas E. Welch
Originally uploaded by eecue
eecue (Dave Bullock) always takes good pictures...even of me! (SMILE) I look so studious. Maybe I was reading email. (LAUGH)

Sunday, March 02, 2008



Mobile post sent by douglaswelch using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Music Jam at BarCampLA5

Music Jam at BarCampLA5