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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Going "home" again with Ken Burn's National Parks series

A tree clings to the rim at one of the Bryce C...Image via Wikipedia

I am enjoying Ken Burn's National Parks: America's Best Idea this week. On Twitter I find myself describing it as "visiting old friends again." This is so true. While I have visited only a fraction of the National Parks I hold great memories of each visit. My wife is "done" with Grand Canyon, but each time I sit on the porch of Hermit's Rest and look out over the canyon, I feel as if I am home, Not home in some sense of a roof over my head, but "home" in the sense of a primordial feeling of belonging. Something in the canyon speaks to a very deep part of our psyche, the "lizard brain" that remains at the deep center of our evolved human minds. We all come from the earth and to the earth we shall return and the Grand Canyon reminds of the tie with great force.

Over the years we have visited many parks, including the large one in are own backyard, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. We have also been to Yosemite multiple times, including an amazing trip with some Italian relatives who braved the 6 hour drive for one night and two days in the park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Timpanagos Cave in Utah, along with all too short trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon. We made a special trip to Dinosaur National Monument, braving sub-zero temperatures to get there. Our latest National Park was the newly formed Cuyahoga Valley National Park on our recent trip back to our hometowns in Ohio.

One of the most interesting aspects of visiting US National Parks is how many international citizens visit. On a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California we spent several hours hiking along the trial to Bumpass Hell without hearing a word of English. If only we could appreciate our own National Parks as much as people from other countries.

As my son, Joseph, grows, I sense it is time to return to our National Parks and other state and local parks, National Forests, National Moments and more. He has been added to our more recent visits and I am mapping out a whole new series of trips with him in mind. I have always wanted to visit to Yellowstone National Park and as I grow older it become more imperative that I make that trip regardless of the cost of time involved.

This Saturday, as the summer heat begins to ebb, I will get back out into the mountains by visiting Charmlee Regional Park near Malibu for a Full Moon Hike. We have visited there often to hike, hunt the St. Patrick's Day butterflies, see how fire and man have effected the property and look out into the Pacific from its high bluffs. You can join this hike, too. You'll find complete information on the web site at http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/events.htm.

As the Fall begins, take some time to get out into nature -- out into the woods, the mountains and streams and re-engage with the world that surrounds you. I can guarantee that you will find your life lightened, your mood elevated and your world just a little more beautiful.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

PodCampAZ is rapidly approaching and I am speaking again this year!

podcampazOnWhite286x100For the 3rd year in a row, I will be speaking at PodCampAZ, (November 14 & 15, 2009) which I consider to be the premiere New Media event for the Southwest. Even better, it's FREE!

I will presenting on 2 topics this year:

My Podcasting Workflow – Audio and Video – A Real World Example

Need some help getting your podcast started. Join veteran podcaster Douglas E. Welch as he takes you through his audio and video podcast process, including discussion on recording, editing, hosting, RSS and more. This is a “Real World Example” showing you the process Douglas has developed over years of podcasting and offering you lessons learned in the trenches.

Stay in control of your RSS feed

In order to maintain complete control over your podcast you need to guard access to your RSS feeds religiously. While services such as Feedburner and others can greatly enhance your podcasting RSS feeds, you need to take some basic steps to maintain control in case your RSS service disappears or tries to control your RSS feed. Learn how web site re-directs, Wordpress press plugins and more can help you maintain control over your RSS feeds and keep your podcast in your hands.

As you can see, I am concentrating on some of the nuts and bolts aspects of getting your podcast going. After doing this for 5 years, I understand how fun, important, enlightening, podcasting can be and I want to share that power with everyone.

About PodCampAZ...

It’s that time of year again – PodCamp AZ is coming to the University of Advancing Technology November 14th and 15th! PodCampAZ is a FREE networking media unconference, dedicated to blogging, video blogging, podcasting, social networking, and all other relevant media. At the heart of the unconference is the opportunity to have a conversation at large with those innovators which have created a successful blend of relevant media and put it to work for them. Speakers will address emerging trends and best practices on everything from print and radio to mobile, interactive web, and in real life information exchange. During PodCamp sessions, attendees are free to drop in, listen and learn about what is relevant to their needs, and if they choose to, move on to other sessions. You can also become an interactive part of the experience by sharing your knowledge as a speaker or stimulating ideas and asking questions as an active attendee.

If you are an established or aspiring blogger, podcaster, video blogger, or social media advocote and want to meet hundreds of people with the same interests, head over to podcampaz.org to get more information about this exciting event. And above all else, register to attend PodCamp AZ!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I am eReading...Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

LA Friday Coffee - Alex Bellanger - 27Image by dewelch via Flickr

Eat, Drink and Be Merry is a Los Angeles-based blog with an eclectic mix of foody posts. Everything from "The World's Largest Bowl of Pho" to the food places of Figueroa in Highland Park. This isn't necessarily a high volume blog, but an excellent addition to the other food blogs in my Google Reader stream.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

What I'm Reading...Tribes by Seth Godin

Seth Godin's newest book, Tribes, touches a concept near and dear to me...organizing groups, or Tribes, and helping them get things done. This is not to say I have been terribly successful at this activity, but I love helping people achieve things and doing it any way I can.

I was interested in Tribes for exactly this reason. I wanted to see what Godin had to say about organizing people and creating "movement" to see if there was anything I could be doing better. Of course, there is always something more you can be doing, so I took away a few good ideas from the book. He does admit, though, that there aren't any hard and fast rubrics for he can give you for working with Tribes. You need passion and a vision and an ability to understand and care about people, but you can't break it down into 5 easy steps that anyone can do.

Tribes by Seth Godin Hardback (Amazon.com)

Tribes by Seth Godin Audio CD (Amazon.com)

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Geocaching in Franklin Canyon

Joe and I spent a few hours this morning finding 6 caches in Franklin Canyon Park. I have been visiting this park since the late 80's and always enjoy a few moments there. There is a nice collection of geocaches in the park and you can easily walk from one to the other in a circular route. We had trouble finding one of the caches at the beginning of our walk, but we spent a little more time as we were leaving and that ended up making a perfect 6 for 6 day.

If you are interested in Geocaching, or just want to know what I am talking about, visit http://geocaching.com and find out. Geocaching is a GPS-based treasure hunting game where you locate hidden stashes which may include just a paper log for signing in or an opportunity to trade some small trinkets with out Geocachers.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tasty broccolli salad at Blue Dog Tavern

Those who know me know that I don't really like veggies but this broccolli salad was pretty tasty. We are checking out the Blue Dog Tavern, which just opened on Tuesday. They have a wide variety of pub food and a wide selection of unique beers on tap and in the bottle.

Posted by ShoZu

Monday, September 07, 2009

What I'm Reading...Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell

Another in a series of leadership books I am reading. I have several areas, like
leadership, where I pick up nearly book I find on the topic.

I have read other books by John C. Maxwell over the years and typically find them very useful and engaging. I especially enjoyed Thinking for a Change from several years ago.

Developing the Leader Within has some excellent sections on change, change management and why it can be so difficult to change. While I struggle with change in my own life, like many people, I also often face extreme resistance to change in others bordering on the self-destructive. I am always amazed when faced with such vehement reactions to change, so any guidance I can find of the issue is very welcome.

You can find more books and products I have previously highlighted in my blogs and podcasts by visiting The WelchWrite Bookstore.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Spirit of the Mountains Photo Contest - October 2009

Start gathering your photos for the Spirit of the Mountains Photo Contest! Submissions accepted from October 1 through October 31. Check website for 2009 category information.

Help celebrate 30 years of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This year’s challenge category is Memories of the Mountains–share special memories of the Santa Monica Mountains in family or historic photos.

Info: National Park Service at 805-370-2301 or www.researchlearningcenter.org/samo/photo

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

CareerCamp Fall 2009 Planning - Getting Started!

Join this discussion on the Career Opportunities Community Site

After we completed CareerCamp Online 2009, I knew I wanted to do it again in about 6 months. While it has been a bit longer than that, I am feeling the itch once again. This time I am undecided whether this will be an online CareerCamp, a face-to-face conference here in Los Angeles or, more likely a combination of both.

This is where you come in. I am looking for your advice and comments on what CareerCamp Fall 2009 should be. What talk would you like to present? What would you most like to see? Who should we invite to speak or should it be entirely an unconference? Where should we hold the event? When?

Let's use this discussion to get started. If we need/want to move to a wiki or some other planning tool, we can do that as we start to gain momentum.

Add your comments, questions, advice, recommendations as part of this discussion.

Let's get started!


Join this discussion on the Career Opportunities Community Site

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What I'm Reading...Delano by John Gregory Dunne

After visiting the Cesar Chavez Center during our visit to Tehachapi, California last month, both my wife and I wanted to read more about the Delano Grape Boycott and the founding of United Farm Workers of America. This is an important part of the history of both California and the Labor movement.

Office of Cesar Chavez, Cesar Chavez Center, K...Office of Cesar Chavez, Chavez Center, Keene, CA by dewelch via Flickr

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