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LA Friday Coffee(?) – Raise a pint at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co in Van Nuys – Friday, September 19, 2014 – 6pm-10pm

September 15th, 2014 No comments MacLeod Ale Brewing Co

Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6pm to 10pm

Raise a pint at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co in Van Nuys

RSVP on Facebook 

Join us for a different type of LA Friday Coffee(?) at our new local microbrewery, MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. right here in our neighborhood.

MacLeod’s serves 4 types of traditional English Cask Ale and all are a tasty treat. A food truck of some sort is usually in attendance or you can order in or bring your favorite food treats with you.

Watch their Facebook page for announcements of food trucks and more.

Come and join us for a tasty pint of ale and some great conversation. Bring along a photo for thew weekly photo contest and maybe even win a free growler of beer. Check their Facebook page (linked above) for this week’s theme.

RSVP by clicking “Leave a comment” above or

RSVP on Facebook 

Cask Ale, Games, and  Casual Conversation

Categories: Drinks, Event, Food, Los Angeles Tags:

Douglas’ Neat Friends: Home Sweet Jerome by Diane Rapaport

September 15th, 2014 1 comment

We were first introduced to Jerome and Diane Rapaport in the late 1990’s by our mutual friend, JoAnn. We had heard so much about Jerome and nearby, Sedona, that we simply had to visit. Jerome’s history, both recent and distant intrigued us greatly and we found there a very special world filled with deep history, art of all sorts and interesting, welcoming people, like Diane.

Douglas' Neat Friends: Diane Rapaport's Home Sweet Jerome

Read this entire article online at Flag Live

Read this entire article in PDF format

I remember meeting at Diane’s office — the old music classroom in one of the re-purposed schools in Jerome — where we talking about blogging, social media, podcasting and more while i scribbled my thoughts on the huge blackboards in the room. We ended up visiting Jerome nearly every year for a while until parenthood and other responsibilities reduced the frequency of our trips. It is still one of those places I make a point to visit whenever I am in the area, though. Jerome is s very special place. Life feels just a bit different there – high up on the hillside looking out across the scrubland plains to the Red Rocks of Sedona.

I have been reading excerpts of Home Sweet Jerome on Diane’s web site and have love learning more about the town and especially the people who made it what it is today.

Grab your own copy of the book from your local bookseller or via


Categories: Books, Friends and Family, History Tags:

End of project blues – End of the Day for September 14, 2014

September 14th, 2014 No comments

End of the day Logo

After spending all day out in the heat for the last 3 days — I am burnt to a crisp. No actually sunburn, but I am whipped. In Italian, on would say distrutto. I feel like I need to spend the next week in an ice bath and sleeping. Another couple days of 100º temps coming but then finally a bit of cooling towards the weekend. It will be most welcome.


As is always the case at the end of any project, it is time to reflect and wonder what to do next. Whether it is the end of a run with a play, completing a big business project or, as it was today. wrapping the shooting on a student film there can always be a bit of a let down. We used to call it “The Blue Funks” among my school theater friends, but I am sure there are many names for it. You have spent so much  time and focus on a project, it can a bit hard to readjust and re-enter the day-to-day world. Tomorrow will be that day for me as I struggle to get back on track and into my “normal” life again.

Did I learn anything from this experience? Oh yes. I’ll be using it as the source for some upcoming Career Opportunities columns elsewhere here on the blogs. Anything that pulls you out of your routine is a great source of new ideas, new thoughts and new material for all the other projects in your life. You just have to capture those thoughts and ideas so you can put them to use over time. You’ll never be able to use them all at once, so you need to write them down — either handwritten, electronically or both, so you can return to this well of ideas again and again in the coming weeks.

Now that this post is done, it is time to think about what the next step, the next post, the podcast, the next bit of work will be. I have so many options to chose from!

Night all!

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Doing something different – End of the Day for September 12, 2014

September 12th, 2014 No comments

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“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

And yet, most of use, myself included tend to do the same things, push harder and harder on the same doors, spin our wheels and get progressively more and more — if not clinically — frustrated. As much as we might like to to believe that we”ll do things in our way, with our rules, our methods, etc — sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Instead we just spend each doing the same things — many that haven’t served us very well in the past.

I’ve been doing some quite different things myself lately and I’m finding that these small bits of craziness are helping other parts of my life, too. Playing a different character for one project can help you play different characters in other projects, too. What if you thought a little differently about that new project, that new job, that new date, that new life. Throwing a wrench — purposely — into your life can yield some very interesting results. You don’t want to blow your life up, burn bridges and create havoc, but a little bit of craziness certainly can’t hurt.

What one thing can you do tomorrow that is different than what you did yesterday? Can you take a left turn instead of a right? Order tea instead of coffee? Eat at a new place for lunch? You might surprised at the results it yields. 

Previously on End of the Day:

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Noted: Here’s All The Incredible Wildlife In Britain You’re Missing via Business Insider

September 11th, 2014 No comments

Here’s All The Incredible Wildlife In Britain You’re Missing via Business Insider

Here's All The Incredible Wildlife In Britain You're Missing via Business Insider

The winners of the British Wildlife Photography Awards were revealed on Monday.

“The Awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife,” the organization said on its website.

The winning images in 16 different categories were chosen from thousands of entries.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted/Shared Items here

Categories: outdoors, Photos, Shared Items Tags:

Mechanical Mike: The Story of a Fixer – End of the Day for September 11, 2014

September 11th, 2014 No comments

End of the day Logo

Another story from deep in my past. I hope you don’t mind me sharing these older pieces on those days when my mind and time are a bit used up. I am finding it quite fun to dig back through this old hard drive archive and see what I was creating on my original Mac Plus back at the turn of the Century.

Tool boxes

Mechanical Mike: The Story of a Fixer
By Douglas E. Welch

There once was a man named Mechanical Mike
Who rode around town on a mechanical bike
Gathering damaged and discarded old things
Like wagons and gears and old pocket watch springs
Returning each night to his shop on the hill
He’d create special things with art and with skill
Whizzers and zingers and toys that made sounds
Poppers and plinkers and horns by the pounds
Gathered around him the children would stare
As he whistled and hummed and worked with such care

The children would bring their old broken down toys
With hopes of regaining their once special joys
Parents would bring small mowers and mixers
It seems they lacked what it took to be fixers
All it seems except young Timothy Thomas
He seemed to have skill; he seemed to have promise
Others would come and then disappear
But Timothy Thomas would watch and would hear
While Mechanical Mike told of this tool and that
Timothy learned while together they sat

Mechanical Mike was more than a fixer
He was a magician with tools, he knew every mixture
Of this piece and that, of metal and wood
He didn’t know how, he just knew that he could
He didn’t repair, so much as re-do
He took in the old and returned it as new
Those that would watch him would swear it were true
He could fix anything and everything , too
Something was special and not quite the same
When Mechanical Mike put his hand to the game.

To the children he seemed as young as can be
Adults, they thought him as old as the sea
Everyone found him the closest of friends
But they knew very little of his beginning or end
Despite lots of thought and searching of mind
They only knew Mike had been there a long time
The parents of parents remembered him well
From the time they were children, or so they would tell
Like a family memento, kept year after year
They held Mike in their hearts and incredibly dear

One winter evening, late in the season
Mike shuttered his windows, not stating the reason
A sign was hung on the workshop door
“Do not disturb,” and nothing more
Noises were heard, clashes and clanging
The people heard sawing and bashing and banging
The work lights burned late into the night
But nothing else could be seen, try as they might
They could only just wonder at the movement inside
Wonder and wait for the changing tide

On through the winter it continued this way
Then it suddenly stopped on the first, fine spring day
The doors on the workshop stood open wide
The bright springtime sunshine slanting inside
There in the shop stood a large clock with a note
A hand written message Mechanical Mike wrote
“My time here among you, though happy, has past
This clock is my gift, it will never run fast
Inside is a piece of each one of you
I’ve even included a bit of me too!”

Attached to the note was another small letter
They took it outside where the sunlight was better
To Timothy Thomas the note was addressed
And many a rumor and guess was expressed
He opened the letter and stared with a gaze
That instantly showed him struck dumb and amazed
“To Timothy Thomas my work must now fall
I give him my magic, my workshop, my all
For he has a heart and a mind that is true
He won’t have a problem, he’ll know what to do.”

The clock was removed to the village clock tower
Timothy himself set the chime for the hour
Pomp and circumstance filled the whole day
With Timothy Thomas leading the way
Now each night as the clock chime rings
As the dusk falls and the mockingbird sings
Just outside of town at the shop on the hill
Mechanical Mike sits with them still
There in the doorway as the last chime does strike
Sits Timothy Thomas, the new Mechanical Mike.

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Will someone please turn down the heat?!?! – End of the Day for September 10, 2014

September 10th, 2014 No comments

End of the day LogoThere comes a time every summer when simply want to cry, “Uncle!” Enough with the heat already — dry or otherwise. I am beat from all the heat and just want a nice cool day where I can go outside and not feel I am going to burst into flames. Of course, this weekend is destined to be even hotter and I am supposed to spend 2 days outside filming. This reminds me of those days of the year when we would bale hay back in Ohio. You wanted the hay to be as dry as possible before baling and storing it, so the hottest, driest day was always the best day to gather it. Great for the hay, but absolutely abusive for the workers. There was no cover from the sun. The hay was dusty and prickly and then you had to  load it into the hay mow of the barn once you were done. That is one part of my childhood that I will never, ever, miss — even though I was allowed sips from an ice cold beer when we took our breaks in the field. (SMILE)

Will someone please turn down the heat! - End of the Day for September 10, 2014

Of course, business stops for no man, so our days have been filled with all sorts of errands that drag us out into the heat. Work and school demands we wear something other than shorts and flip-flops. The only thing we can try to do is drink enough water and other cold beverages to keep us hydrated — something I don’t do enough. I get to the end of the day and wonder why I am parched and suffering a headache. Suddenly I chug an entirely large glass of water. My body knows what it needs, if not my mind.

Thankfully, here in the San Fernando Valley the evenings provide us a bit of respite from the heat. We don’t usually need to run our A/C at night, but rather use fans to pull in the cooler evening air, pushing the heat from the house so we don’t have to use so much electricity the next day. This works fine on those days under 90º or so. Once it reaches 100º+ all bets are off though.

Excuse me know while I go grab yet another glass of ice water to cool off before bed and dream of cooler days to come.

Previously on End of the Day:

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The perfect trap and the trap of perfect – End of the Day for September 9, 2014

September 9th, 2014 No comments

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It is a week for practicing the arts, I guess, joe came to me tonight for help in learning how to play guitar for a song he wants to perform a little later in the year. Almost immediately he fell into the perfect trap or, more accurately, the trap of perfect. He was frustrated because he couldn’t immediately pick up the guitar and play the song. He couldn’t stand not being perfect. As anyone in the arts will tell you, though, you have to be able to suck at something first and then power your way through to good. You’ll probably never reach perfect, but it is a goal to keep in mind. You’ll never get anywhere, though, if you can’t stand not being perfect.

Guitar - Photo-A-Day for October 28, 2006

Most people simply stop when faced with the long period of practice required to get good at anything. That’s fine if that task doesn’t mean anything to you, but if you truly want to accomplish something, you have to accept the suck and keep practicing anyway. You have to accept that things are bad now, but will get better, if you keep trying. It can be difficult sometimes, sure, but I was able to show Joe tonight how in just a few hours we were able to go from only the most basic knowledge of some chords to working our way though the song — however rough. When practicing, these small steps, these small rewards are what you are seeking. You can’t jump to perfect immediately, so you have to take the small accomplishments as milestones along the way. Sure, the playing still sounds pretty bad, but he now remembers where to put his fingers for an F chord or a C chord and can move between them most of the time. These small rewards are what keep you trying, what keeps you moving and, most importably, what keeps you learning.

I can relate to Joe’s trouble with this process, as it is something I have had to deal with every day for 45+ years. There is always work involved in improving yourself, your life, your job, your talents and there are no shortcuts. Sometimes taking yourself out behind the woodshed and doing some serious “woodshedding” is the only way. You don’t have to do it in front of other people, but you do have to practice — again and again, over and over. It can be a tough road sometimes, but I always find myself in a better place when I do it.

Previously on End of the Day:

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Noted: Beer Brownies via Joy the Baker

September 9th, 2014 No comments

I can’t wait to make a batch of these with MacLeod Ale Brewing Co’s Jackie Tar Stout — Douglas

Beer Brownies via Joy the Baker

Beer Brownies via Joy the Baker

I have a soft spot for brownies. Well… actually, don’t we all?

Brownies were the first thing I learned how to bake in the kitchen. My parents kept the flour, sugar, and those gnarly bars of unsweetened chocolate in a little cabinet just within reach of my little 8 year-old body. It only took me one nibble of the unsweetened chocolate to figure out that it was not at all suitable for sneak-snacking… but the box of unsweetened chocolate had step-by-step instructions on how to turn the dark blocks into something entirely delicious, aka BROWNIES!

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted/Shared Items here

Categories: Baking, Drinks, Food, Recipe, Shared Items Tags:

Those nights when my mind simply won’t shut off – End of the Day for September 8, 2014

September 8th, 2014 No comments

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Ug. I’m struggling tonight. I only got about 3 hours sleep last night. I could blame on the heat and humidity, but in reality it was my damned mind. It simply wouldn’t stop running. At one moment it was running over the lines of the student film I am working on. The next it was filled with music and lyrics that Joseph wants me to teach him. The next it was spinning off Italian phrases. When that last one happens I know I am truly screwed. For whatever reason, since our visits to Sicily, when my mind is running crazy it seems to trigger the deep recesses of my mind where i think and speak in Italian. This has happened whenever we have visited. After a day of struggling to speak Italian, my mind just switches over entirely. I’m not sure why it decides to do that when I have been thinking in English for months, but it does. Maybe it has something to do with how deeply language sits in our overall brain structure. Perhaps I am just exhibiting the same behaviors as when a baby babbles endlessly as they try to make sense of language.

Image from page 14 of "The sleeping beauty picture book : containing The sleeping beauty, Bluebeard, The baby's own alphabet" (1911)

Regardless of the reason, I was awake until at least 330am or so. Then I was awoken by some large noise in the night around 430am but fell asleep again until about 7am. I tried all my usual tricks. I read a bit. I wrote down everything that was on my mind. I drank some water. I stayed lying down in the dark, but —nothing. Luckily this wasn’t one of those nights when I was frantic for sleep. I didn’t have to be up early, so I knew I would eventually get some sleep, but it still bothered me in some ways. I knew I would pay for it today as I struggled to get my work done. It wasn’t as bad as I feared, but still made life just a little bit more difficult than it needed to be.

The only good things to come from this is I am plenty tired tonight and should be able to get to sleep at a normal time. Almost like a reboot, maybe I just needed to hit Ctri-Alt-Delete to put things back in order. It works for computers, why not for the human brain. So, for now, it’s time to hit Start Menu, Turn off computer and Shutdown until tomorrow.

Previously on End of the Day:

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