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Archive for December, 2010

Quora Questions: What are some tips for getting the most relevant insights of a good book?

December 29th, 2010 Comments off

What are some tips for getting the most relevant insights of a good book?

Click the link above to read all answers. Here is mine…

"My favorite method is to make sure my journal is close at hand when reading so that I can immediately note ideas that come to mind while I am reading. You can do this digitally or on paper as long as you can easily find the info when you want it. The simple act of taking note of ideas and thoughts as you are reading almost guarantee that you will remember the relevant insights.

My paper journals are used from both directions, from front to back they are a chronological journal. From back to front they are a series of pages dedicated to various blogs, organization and topics. This allows me to make full use of a given paper journal without wasting pages.

As I am reading a book I might come up with an idea that would make a good topic for my Career Opportunities blod and podcast. That idea would go on the topic page for the blog. If an idea doesn't seem to apply to a particular topic, I note it in the chronological journal along with any other ideas or thoughts that might occur to me. In this way I can capture general information and also specific ideas I can immediately put to use."

Categories: Books, Question, Uncategorized Tags:

I Like This – December 29, 2010

December 29th, 2010 Comments off

A collection of interesting items I found in my daily reading.

Categories: Shared Items Tags:

Christmas Tree in cul de sac

December 28th, 2010 Comments off

Christmas Tree in cul de sac, originally uploaded by dewelch.

One last Christmas Tree photo for the season using Instagram. I really like the way that this one came out. It has “Christmas Card” written all over it. (SMILE)

Categories: Photos-Photography Tags:

Quora: What are some easy tricks to fall asleep fast?

December 28th, 2010 Comments off

Question from What are some easy tricks to fall asleep fast?

(Click to read all answers)

My Answer…

When I am having particular trouble falling asleep I start to do something repetitive to keep my mind from running away.

This can include repeating one word over and over, focusing on my breathing or, in particularly bad cases, opening my eyes and focusing on some point of light in the room.

When in college, there used to be a radio tower visible from my window while I was lying in bed. I would watch the slowly pulsing red aircraft warning light throw half-open eyes and would often find myself drifting of to sleep without really noticing it.

I think the most important thing is to distract your running mind, if this the main cause of sleeplessness, as it can take you down dark and anxiety filled roads if allowed.

Categories: Question, Uncategorized Tags:

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve Panoramas

December 27th, 2010 Comments off

It was a lovely day today here in Los Angeles so I made a point to stop by the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve this afternoon to try out the 360 Panorama iPhone App I purchased a couple of weeks ago This 99 cent app makes it very easy to capture panoramas without taking individual pictures and stitching them together. Sure, I can probably get higher quality using my digital camera, but the camera on the iPhone 4 is very capable and the convenience cannot be beat.

Below are a series of panoramas I shot over the course of about 30 minutes. I have cropped them to remove edge artifacts from the panorama creation, but left the exposure unaltered.

Click each small thumbnail to see the full-size panorama

Categories: Photos-Photography, Places LA Tags:

Food: Texas BBQ from Smoke City Market in Sherman Oaks

December 22nd, 2010 Comments off

First, let me say, “YUM!” Our previous regular BBQ place closed over 6 month ago and we have been looking for a new place ever since. Our friends live near a great place in Woodland Hills, (My Brother’s BBQ) but that is a little too far away for anything but the occasional visit.

Smoke City Market is probably about a mile away from the house and walkable in better weather. We were out in the wet today and just as the sun broke through we were driving by and there was a parking space, several in fact, right in front. We took this as a sign, as parking for the restaurant can be a bit hard to find, pulled in and made an early dinner of some great BBQ. I had meaning to stop by since I saw a blog post about their recent opening.

This is Texas-style BBQ, so there are no combo plates. It is more like a meat market that happens to sell meals. (You can read more about the history of Texas BBQ on their web site) All the meat is ordered by the fraction of a pound and served up on butcher paper along with a stack of white bread. A variety of sides are offered, including my favorite, mac and cheese, two different potato salads, corn on the cob and more. For our early dinner we ordered 1/3 lb of brisket (the Cutter’s special includes half and half their moist and lean brisket), 1/3 lb pork ribs (about 6 bones), smoked sausage, mac and cheese and creamy potato salad.

Texas BBQ from Smoke City Market

Everything was top quality. I had originally ordered a jalapeño and cheese sausage but they were out, so I got the standard smoked sausage. A few minutes later, though, the chef brought me out a jalapeño and cheese link to try. He was still working on the recipe and didn’t have a full order at hand. This is was nice touch. They also comped us some of their banana pudding at the end of the meal. Great banana flavor and chunky bananas.

As with any BBQ place, it can run a little more expensive that your typical restaurant, but ordering judiciously, based on your appetite and avoiding the more expensive side dishes can provide a lot of value for the buck. We ended up taking quite a few leftovers home and they will make a sizable lunch sometime this week.

Wine and beer are for sale, including Shiner for those who want to get the full-on Texas BBQ experience.


Smoke City Market
5242 Van Nuys Bl
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
(818) 855-1280

Categories: California, Food, LA, Places LA Tags:

I Like This – December 22, 2010

December 22nd, 2010 Comments off

A collection of interesting items I found in my daily reading.

Categories: Shared Items Tags:

Food: Christmas Oatmeal Recipe and Video

December 20th, 2010 Comments off

It’s the holidays again and this year I am remembering to post about my Christmas Morning Oatmeal early, so more of you can take advantage of it. The fact is, I put a reminder in my calendar last Christmas Eve so I didn’t forget.

I make up this batch of overnight oatmeal as the last thing I do on Christmas Eve. Most everyone is long asleep as I add the ingredients to the slow cooker, including left over cream, half-n-half, dried fruit and whatever other tasty treats have come into the house over the holidays. This makes it a little different each year, bit always good and always special.

With a kid in the house, having to wait until breakfast is made could make them burst with excitement and anticipation, so this oatmeal allows us to get up, grab a bowl and some coffee and move right on to opening presents. I think this is a perfect compromise — we get some food and the boy gets to move on with the festivities. As hard as it is for me to believe it, the boy is now 12, but he inherited his morning personality from his mother, so while it might be a little later start, wakeup will still be pretty early.

This short video was shot by aforementioned “boy”, so it is a little rocky at times, but it gives you all the information your need and a little glimpse of our holiday in progress.

You can find a complete and printable recipe on – Christmas Morning Oatmeal

Categories: Food, Make, Video Tags:

Audio: 5th Annual Live Reading of A Christmas Carol

December 19th, 2010 Comments off

Tonight marked our 5th Annual LIVE Reading of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. We had some new voices this year and had a great time as usual. You can listen to the entire show using the link below.

Consider having your own reading of A Christmas Carol, or other favorite story, as a way to gather friends together and share a unique experience. You don’t have to broadcast it like we do, but why not share it with the world!

This year’s show was sponsored by, Eclipse-1 Media and New Media Interchange.

Listen to 5th Annual Live Reading of A Christmas Carol

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Enjoy more Christmas Carol in your own home!

Free download of “A Christmas Carol” – Text/ePub/HTML/Kindle versions available

Free download of our reading script of “A Christmas Carol” – PDF format

The audio CD of Patrick Stewart’s one man version of A Christmas Carol is absolutely amazing. We saw the show several times here in LA and met Patrick one evening. His version of “A Christmas Carol” was the driving factor in starting our own yearly reading of the story.

More “A Christmas Carol” on

Categories: Audio, New Media, Podcast, Special Tags:

My Word Gift Guide #15: Measuring cup and spoons

December 16th, 2010 Comments off

#15 Measuring cups and spoons

After all the cooking baking of the last few weeks, it became very clear that I need a new set of measuring cups and spoons. Things are starting to look a little worn around here. I prefer stainless steel tools and the Oxo Good Grips listed above would be a good choice. Click the link to see a host of other options from

All Gift Guide Recommendations:

Categories: Special Tags: