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Archive for August, 2014

Photo: Morning Window

August 29th, 2014 Comments off
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Turn it up to 11 or down to 1? – End of the Day for August 27, 2014

August 27th, 2014 Comments off

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You know I’m having one of “those” days when I get quiet. I run the range from extreme introvert to extreme extrovert in any given month or year, but when I am introverted I get very, very quiet. It’s not just that I don’t say a lot, I also don’t speak very loudly. My voice, usually quite presentational — especially when I am speaking in front of an audience — turns soft and slow. You might even hear my old rural Ohio accent start to creep back in. It does that when I am tired, too — or when I talk to relatives back home. It is amazing what sticks with you after so many years away.

Now, being quiet doesn’t necessary mean I am depressed. I could just be tired a bit world weary or perhaps just on the deep side of one of my introverted states. Even more importantly, it doesn’t mean I am trying to avoid conversation. In fact, I have some of my best thoughts and best conversations in this state. I think the quietness forces me to slow down and think through things before talking instead of just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. That said, I can have some great ideas in that way, too. Yet another example of my swings from one extreme to another.

Electric Guitar - PaD 1/21/07

Today seems a day when the quiet is brought on by being deep in thought. I’ve had quiet a few of those moments lately, as my life is requiring a lot of thinking and deciding. This not only turns me thoughtful, but can also tired me out both mentally and physical — which, of course, reinforces the quiet.

So, I’ll see where tomorrow takes me on the scale form 0 to 11 (SMILE). Thankfully, it usually falls somewhere in the middle, but it can be difficult to know until the day begins. For all it can bring to you, I wish you a bit of quiet time, followed by a bit of loud and then a bit of the middle ground. I know it can help me do some thinking and might help you, too.

Previously on End of the Day:

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Just another day — End of the Day for August 26, 2014

August 26th, 2014 Comments off

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 There are good days and there are bad days. Today was a bad day — but that is leavened with the knowledge that all days pass away and a new one takes its place. There are always days like this when you are struggling for reinvention, rejuvenation and (perhaps due to watching a bit too much Doctor Who), regeneration. If only we were able to change into someone new, yet still retain all our memories, so we could make better decisions and choices in the next life. Ah, science fiction teases us so much with its ideas.

Still, making it through a rough day can take its toll on your mind and body. It is the struggle between knowing how you should react and the way you do react that, I think, does the most damage. I know that I can actively dislike, if not hate how I react to troubles and this simply compounds a day that has already gone awry. Better to simple muddle through the day, accept it as it is and vow to make the next day a bit better than fight and rail against is all. If only I could find that peace of mind myself.

So at the end of this day I sit and try to forget and, perhaps, forgive myself a bit for my own failings. We are who we are — our experiences, our history, our wants, needs and desires — and can be no more and no less than that. Acceptance of who we are goes a long way towards salving a troubled mind and gives us a place to stand to make the next day — and the next — better than the one before.

Previously on End of the Day:

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Noted: Top 10 Ways to Make This School Year Your Most Productive Yet via Lifehacker

August 26th, 2014 Comments off

Everything is connected – End of the Day for August 25, 2014

August 25th, 2014 Comments off

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 When you look at my home page at DouglasEWelch.com, you might first think that it is a miss-mash of so many different topics, concepts and ideas. It doesn’t seem to have any focus — until you look a bit deeper. Everything that I do — from Careers to Gardening to New Media to Technology has an underpinning of education. I am at my best when I am helping and teaching others and all of those subject areas benefit from that underlying, if hidden, agenda. What’s more, as time has gone on, I have seen merging and crossover between many of these individual elements.

While my interest in gardening stands alone for the most part, each day I find that my work in careers, technology and new media blend together more and more. One of my keep precepts in my career writing is that you need to be telling people “what you do and how well you do it” as an integral part of your career buildings and work life. For me, new media seems to be one of the best ways to constantly and consistently deliver this message to those around you, both literally and figuratively. Then, of course, if you are going to be using New Media to accomplish this, you will need to know at least a little about technology and how technology tools can facilitate both your career and your sharing.

I gave a talk last Friday on “Smartphones, Technology and Your Career” last Friday and I think it illustrates this crossover in a major way. I showed off a series of apps for the smartphones that nearly everyone in the audience carried. These apps not only help them accomplish their work in better and faster ways, but could also be used to share the message about their work. In this one talk, I was able to talk about 3 of the topics I cared most about (and I snuck in a littler gardening talk, too.) 

Everything is connected - End of the Day for August 25, 2014

I never really expected to see such crossover in my work. I was simply following those things that interested me most. That said, I enjoy this natural combination of topics. It allows me to have more effect, in a wider area, with a wider group of people, than I might have otherwise. I also think each one helps to better illustrate and convey the message of the others with the sum total being much more than simply a combination of the individual parts.

What connections can you find between the seemingly disparate parts of your life and work? Look for ways in which you can combine, as I have. I think you will pleasantly surprised at what you find at the point where they all intersect.

Previously on End of the Day:

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Nature shows Summer’s End – End of the Day for August 24, 2014

August 24th, 2014 Comments off

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The high temperatures here in the San Fernando Valley don’t seem to indicate it, but Summer is on the wane. The Autumnal Equinox that marks the beginning of Fall is less than a month away on September 22, 2014. Of course, our Mediterranean climate doesn’t reflect the typical seasons I grew up with in Ohio, but I do look forward to the change in seasons all the same. After 28 years here I often joke that we do have 4 seasons in Los Angeles, but both Spring and Fall are about 2 weeks long. Spring jumps into Summer and Fall quickly to Winter, once the rains arrive.

Nature shows Summer's End - End of the Day for August 24, 2014

Even if we amy not feel it, though, nature feels the changing of the seasons and displays the indicators clearly. Walking home from an errant today I noticed our neighbor’s tree was bursting with pomegranates that were both ripe and near ripe. This is a sure sign of Fall — trees and plants setting and spreading seed. I posted a short video of liquidambar seed pods I collected here in the neighborhood a few days ago. After only 4 days on my desktop they went from green and tightly closed to dry, brown and literally bursting with seeds. As the pods dry, they pop open and spread their seeds over large areas. I’ll take these seeds I collected, stash them in the fridge to “stratify” them i.e. make them think they have passed through Winter, and then plant them in pots to create some new trees.

I gathered many more seeds on my walk yesterday. There were more liquidambar seed pods, similar looking sycamore pods, mimosa tree seeds, a few crape myrtle seeds and some pine cones. I plan on processing all these seeds and seeing what I can grow here in the garden. Propagating seeds, cuttings and making new plants is one of my favorite things to do in the garden, so this time of year is always a great time. There is so much to be gathered as most plants start to finish up their growing year before going dormant, or, at least, slowing down. I think I already have the reputation of being the odd gardening guy who’s always taking photographs of flowers and plants, but at this time of year they also see me hunting and gathering, which probably seems very odd in this highly urban area. Still, it is a fun, cheap way to entertain myself and grow some new additions to the garden.

Previously on End of the Day:

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Noted: It’s like pecan pie, but in cookie form… via LA Times

August 24th, 2014 Comments off

It’s like pecan pie, but in cookie form… via LA Times

It's like pecan pie, but in cookie form… via LA Times

Daily Dish

Linda e-mailed me yesterday evening looking for a recipe from our archives:

“I was looking … for a cookie recipe from Harris Ranch Restaurant, but did not locate it. Could you help me find the recipe for Pecan Thumb Print Cookies? Thank you, Linda”

We tracked down the recipe, which originally ran as a Culinary SOS on Jan. 11, 2006.

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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

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Noted: Ginger Mint Limeade via The Best Remedy

August 24th, 2014 Comments off

Ginger Mint Limeade via The Best Remedy

Ginger Mint Limeade via The Best Remedy

One of the things that has dramatically changed since I became a mom is the lack of booze in my life. Not that I was drinking all the time before, but I certainly enjoyed a good drink after a long day. Or a lazy day. Ahh, one day, but for now I have to live without it because lack of sleep and general exhaustion has me loopy enough. But a girl needs a little excitement, so lately I’ve been treating myself to one of these lovely bevies at lunchtime. It’s just the right amount of zesty refreshment to perk up my afternoon. Plus, I have an hunch that a little bit of gin in this would make one heck of a summer cocktail.

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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: Drinks, Food, Recipe, Shared Items Tags:

Photo: Limoncello Production for 2014

August 24th, 2014 Comments off

Here is the 2014 batch bottled and ready for a little imbibing. It will continue to get better as it sits in the bottle, so no need to drink it all up quickly. (SMILE) Place a bottle, and glass, if possible, in the freezer and serve it ice cold after a good meal. Limoncello is meant to be sipped slowly, with friends, as the closer to any great evening.

Photo: Limoncello Production for 2014

Click here for more posts about my Limoncello making

The recipe I used comes from Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar and is also found in their new cookbook, Extra Virgin.

Here is a direct link from their web site, where I first found it.

Categories: Drinks, Food, Photos-Photography Tags:

Cash in and check out – End of the Day for August 23, 2014

August 23rd, 2014 Comments off

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Everyone knows that life gets more complicated as you get old, but there is now way of understanding just how complicated until you reach “a certain age.” Life challenges mount. Family responsibilities increase. Careers get shaky. Age starts to take its toll on your own body. All of these combine — and more — and it can make getting up in huge morning a large exercise in self-motivation. Who wants to awake each morning to face more and more challenges, issues and problems? Certainly not me and certainly no one I know.

There are more and more times these days when I start to think about a small cabin in some rural area where I can live lightly — and cheaply — and stop fighting the world so much. You can’t simply leave the world and ignore it, but you can find ways to interact less with the more troublesome parts. Reduce your encumbrances and you reduce your problems. It is a direct one-to-one relationship. In fact, the relationship of encumbrances to troubles can even be non-linear, exponential or geometrical.

Places Ohio: Tiny Painted Lady

Owning 1 house bring certain problems by it’s very nature. Owning 2 or 3 hours doesn’t just cause 2x problems. I would say it can easily cause 4x or even 5x the number of problems when you consider all the duplication of responsibilities and encumbrances. Own 3 hours and you are complicating your life by 10x or more. I am feeling lately that more of anything is not necessarily better and the amount of issues surrounding that more can start to outweigh the benefits.

Over the last 2 years we have been working hard to simplify our lives. We still have a complex array of responsibilities and costs, but as Joseph gets older I find that some of these are starting to drop away, while other, new responsibilities are becoming more troublesome.

I can see 10 years into the future when I will be ready to “cash in and check out” of the crazy life we are leading. This doesn’t mean I will stop pursuing those things I love, but I will whittle back my responsibilities to others to a fine a point as possible. Some of the responsibilities are mine to shoulder until I die, but others I plan to slough off, scale by scale, until only the necessities remain. There will come a time when I will only do what I WANT to do and what I absolutely MUST do. All other encumbrances will find no place in my life. They have troubled me for too long already and not returned enough value for all the bother they have caused. It’s time for me — and probably you, too — to dance to your own music, not the music the world has played in our ears.

Previously on End of the Day:

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