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Monday, August 31, 2009

What I'm eReading...Down on the Allotment

Down on the Allotment

Another UK-based garden blog that is regularly updated with great information and wonderful pictures.
"I was born 20 yards from our allotment. My parents used to 'dig for victory' and never got out of the habit. I grew up on an allotment, so growing veggies is a way of life. I am currently studying to become a dog behaviourist and eventually set up my own business."
Recent posts include:
  • Tomato Glut
  • Giant Courgettes
  • Sweet Sweet Corn

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LA Wildfire Timelapse: Station & Hollywood Hills

My friend, Liam (@underseen) took this great timelapse of today's action on the Station fire.

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Calfornia Wildfire TV Coverage Mapping Test

As an experiment, I have been trying to map the location of various live shots as they appear on the local Los Angeles television stations. It isn't easy, as they rarely give anything but the most vague indications of where they are located. That said, I was able to locate 3 areas fairly quickly as they were presented.

View California Wildfire Coverage in a larger map

This is a test on my part to try and give an example of what I would like to see in California Wildfire Coverage (What is needed in California wildfire news coverage...more information!)

I would love to see info like this overlaid on live TV shots so we could all have a better idea of the location of the fires and proximity to homes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What I'm eReading...Eating LA

Tweedy's Family RestaurantImage by dewelch via Flickr

I am a bit of a foodie, even with my fussy eating habits, so I monitor a variety of food blogs for the LA area. Eating L.A. is a great one, offering coverage of everything from Food Trucks (which are multiplying by leas and bounds) to full restaurants.

Recent posts included:

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What is needed in California wildfire news coverage...more information!

Watching tonight's coverage of the Palos Verde fire and coverage of the Station and Morris fires over the last several days and I am having my usual thoughts about televison fire coverage. We get a little info from the reporters on location, weather, some street info, etc, but as a viewer I want, and in some cases NEED, a lot more information. The silly thing is, this information could be easily gathered and replace the almost information worthless shots (though quite dramatic) of flames reaching into the sky.

What do I want? Here are some pieces of info I would love to see overlaid, or in replacement of, the typical helicopter and ground shots:
  1. Google-style maps showing as much info as possible on perimeters of the fire as well as locations of spot fires
  2. Maps of evacuation routes and centers, real-time traffic on surrounding roads and streets
  3. In every live shot, an overlay map showing location of camera and a cone indicating the field of view of the camera. (video without some sense of direction and view is worthless) As an example, think of the little indicator in Google Street View.
  4. High-angle helicopter shots with overlay maps indicating major streets and landmarks
  5. A dedicated "Fire Channel" (think a very specialized Weather Channel) that doesn't have to cut away for Jimmy Kimbel or The Tonight Show even as the fires continue to burn out of control.The need for fire information doesn't suddenly stop at 11:35pm.
I think this type of information would also help to dispel some the repetitve and increasingly useless chatter of the anchors trying to fill time hour after hour.

How to do it
  • It seems that there are a host of technology tools that could be used to provide some of this info. If reporters carried GPS enabled smart phones, something as relatively simple as Google Latitude could be used to monitor their location in near-realtime. Staff back at the station wouldn't have to ask their location, they could quickly confirm it and then update their maps.
  • Locations of helicopter could also be gathered automatically and then used to orient overlay maps on live video shots.
  • The use of alternative video gathering equipment can make reporters more mobile and more able to cover the story closely. Large microwave vans are difficult to manuveur and often have to seek out locations far from the fire in order to establish a connection back to their station, Microwave is line-of-sight communication and suffers greatly in mountainous terrain. Cell phone coverage can be spotty as well, but in locations live Palos Verdes, converage is probably better than the microwave opportunities.
  • Encourage reporters to "text/twitter/live stream, etc" info back to the station for a live crawl showing the most up-to-date information.
We are still covering fires much like we did in the 70's even though the world, and technology, has changed dramatically over the intervening decades. Instead of showing shot after shot of dramatic flames, let's focus on delivering the information that people need to make better decisions about their homes and their lives.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What I'm eReading...My Tiny Plot

My Tiny Plot is one of the many gardening blogs I have in my Google Reader subscriptions. I have now idea how I first discovered it, but I love the garden diary and excellent pictures. This is also one of the many UK blogs I follow. I am a bit of an Anglophile and the Brits just seem to be so passionate about their gardening it is hard not to like them.
"My Tiny Plot is the diary of a small vegetable patch in Bath, England. I’m all about growing vegetables and eating fresh produce. And more recently turning that produce into yummy and exciting baby meals!"

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Douglas' Poem included in Wine and Kissing Anthology

A poem I originally wrote for a contest at Gundlach Bunschu winery has been selected for inclusion in a blog, and possible book, entitled Wine and Kissing by Paul Wagner and "Elisabet Alhambra". The Wine and Kissing web site is nearing completion, but the editors recently gave an interview to a blog hosted by Sacre Bleu Winery and included my poem, "Pass the bottle and kiss me" as part of their interview.

Pass the Bottle and Kiss Me
By Douglas E. Welch

"I love you as much as I love this red,” she said.

I took that as the greatest compliment.
To be compared to a fine wine,
and all the history that comes before it,
is high praise indeed.

From wine’s discovery to today
it has stirred thoughts, dreams, love and lust.
Given us solace
and accompanied our joyful celebrations.
Man and wine move side-by-side through history.

Yes, I like to think I am a fine wine.
Tart, brash, smooth, spirited…ageless.
Life without wine would be like life without love.

“Pass the bottle,” I said,

“and kiss me.”

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What I'm (e)Reading...Voicebank.net's VoiceRegistry Blog

This is the first post in a new on-going series highlighting the blogs I read on a regular basis, using Google Reader. I have found over the last several years that I no longer read rint magazines very often. Most of my "magazin reading" is now done using Google Reader and a large collection of blog and websites I subscribe to there. Each edition of What I'm (e)Reading... will highlight one of my favorite blogs. Check it out and subscribe if it is interesting to you.

Voicebank.net's VoiceRegistry Blog with Tracy Pattin

My friend, Tracy, does this great blog on the voice over industry. I have often thought about doing voice over work, but the industry is highly professional and difficult to break into. Listening to Tracy's interviews with voice over artists has helped me develop a new understanding of the industry, though.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Noted: Foccacia

(Noted items are from my daily reading of blogs and web sites -- Douglas)

foccacia: "

Between my third and fourth year of college (I was one of those five-year plan students) I studied abroad in Italy. To say that I had an amazing time would be an understatement. Among the many things that I fell in love with, foccacia bread is high on the list. Words cannot describe how perfectly this bread is with it’s crispy, olive oily crust, soft center and pockets soft with oil. I had more than my fair share, at least a slice a day. That was a few years back now and believe it or not I’ve never attempted to make it at home. It just seems intimidating… especially to live up to those memories. I saw this recipe over on Lottie and Doof and decided it was time to try my hand at it. Let me tell you, I have fallen in love all over again.

Read the entire article

Douglas to present at Social Media Marketing Workshop:Generating Revenue from Social Media – Sept 12, 2009

I will be presenting at Social Media Marketing Workshop:Generating Revenue from Social Media being held September 12, 2009 at Blankspaces here in Los Angeles. My topic will be Twitter, but there are several other speakers and topics on the agenda for the day.
With the US in a recession most companies are indiscriminately slashing budgets of their marketing and sales generating programs. Despite slow spending, some business owners are using the social Web to find new ways to be tap into social media and find new revenue generating opportunities.  Whether you are a tech company, consumer product, entrepreneur, service provider, or major brand, you need to know how to use social media to get ahead of your competition.

We bring savvy experts to demonstrate how to use social media networks for new business development, retain customers, and drive sales.   Use the economic crisis to position yourself to develop low cost marketing and sales strategies to dominate your market share.

You can find complete information and buy tickets on the web site for Social Media Marketing Workshop:Generating Revenue from Social Media

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What I 'm Reading...: The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam

I tend to think and teach visually in most cases already, but when I saw this book I knew I needed to pick it up. I wanted to see if there were some new and interesting ways I might improve my visual thinking.

Dan Roam lays out the basics of visual problem solving and provides a framework to help make your work more useful and more importantly, presents a clearer communication of your vision to others.

Find more book mentioned in Career Opportunities and check out the WelchWrite Bookstore for links to books and more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Dinnertime Companions

Reading and thinking during my solo dinner tonight. I have too many ideas and too much to do, but still try to take things one at a time. Forward momentum is the key. As long as you keep moving forward, you are ahead of the
game and most other people.

So, I took my books and my appetite to my favorite pizza place and fed both mind and body.

Where is my favorite pizza place? Check my Twitter feed and you will see.


Posted by ShoZu

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Neat New Place: Cycleway Coffee, Hermon, CA

I had a new media consult in Montecito Heights today, so Rosanne rode along and we found her this great place to hang out in Hermon, a neighborhood just east of Eagle Rock, called Cycleway Coffee. Nice place with easy parking, comfy chairs and great coffee.

It is nice to see a bit of a resurgence in the independent coffee house scene in LA. While I must admit I visit Starbucks a lot, due to their ubiquity, a nice independent is definitely my first choice.

Cycleway Coffee
5526 Monterey Road, Los Angeles, CA

Cycleway Coffee

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

When TVs Attack!

When TVs Attack!
Originally uploaded by dewelch
It really says something about the world when your TV is larger than your car. Joe and I saw this in Van Nuys on our way back from a morning Geocaching jaunt.

FREE CLASS! TPF Kids: Art & Science of Native Plants, with Pamela Burgess and Lisa Novick

Anna Atkins algaeImage via Wikipedia

This looks like a great free class at the Theodore Payne Native Plant Foundation. You can find complete information on the calendar at TPF Web Site.

FREE CLASS! TPF Kids: Art & Science of Native Plants, with Pamela Burgess and Lisa Novick

Saturday, August 22, 9 - 11 a.m.

Join Pamela, TPF's first artist-in-residence, and Lisa, TPF Outreach Coordinator, for two hours of solar-powered fun! We'll make shadow drawings and experiment with leaf adaptations while learning about plant-animal connections and, of course, the Sun! Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a hat and water. TPF will supply the rest. FREE. Each sign-up admits one adult and one child (age 5 through 12). PLEASE CALL THE FOUNDATION TO PREREGISTER. THANK YOU!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Souza Family Vineyard Wine Tastng

Enjoying our day off before the performance tonight. We are finding all these neat places around Tehachapi

Posted by ShoZu

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beekay Theater in Tehachapi, CA

Here in Tehachapi, CA for my last weekend in Spider Baby The Musical. The Tehachapi Mountain Festival is also this weekend, so there is a lot to do in town. We are here until Saturday night.

Posted by ShoZu

Thursday, August 13, 2009

At the Hollywood Bowl

Posted by ShoZu

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Noted: SleekStor Measuring Cups

SleekStor Measuring Cups: "


Joshua Stewart had a great idea to design measuring cups that actually pop out into their full shape so they can lay flat in your drawer.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Shed is gone

Our job is complete, mostly. We are heading to the dump soon and then a little gardening cleanup remains.

I never would have believed we could dismantle the entire thin on about 6 hours, but we did.

Many hands make light work. Big thanks to our friend Duke, his daughter Phoebe and my wife and son. Everybody really worked hard.

Posted by ShoZu

Tearing down the garden shed

Out friend, Duke, helps us to tear down our garden shed.

Posted by ShoZu

Monday, August 03, 2009

Event: Picnics for Parks - Aug 8 & 9

California’s State Parks are threatened with closure. Demonstrate your support for preserving our heritage by putting on a historical costume and joining other park supporters for picnics in our local parks.

Download PDF Flyer

Saturday, August 8th (Noon to 4 PM)

Victorian Picnic
(1870s-80s attire suggested)
Los Encinos State Historic Park
16756 Moorpark St. in Encino

Sunday, August 9th (Noon to 4 PM)

Jazz Age Picnic
(1920s-30s attire suggested)
Will Rogers State Historic Park
1501 Will Rogers Park Road in Pacific Palisades

Note: this is not an “event” with structured activities etc. You will just be individual citizens enjoying your State Parks and speaking up for their preservation. All regular park fees and restrictions will apply.

Bring more-or-less period food, utensils and accessories. No tents & no weapons. Period games (no baseball) and non-amplified musical instruments encouraged. A barbecue is available to costumed guests at Los Encinos, but not at Will Rogers.

For more information, and to RSVP via Facebook, go to http://walternelson.com and click on “Activist Picnicking” or email walter@walternelson.com or call Walter Nelson at 818-585-6182 (email is the best way to reach him)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

An afternoon of Geocaching

Spent the entire afternoon geocaching with friends. We found at least 7 caches which I will have to log on the web site once I get home.

Find out more about Geocaching at http://geocaching.com

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, August 01, 2009

At Venice Beach #badassbbq3

Posted by ShoZu