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Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Noted: Americans rediscovering a taste for hard cider via The Los Angeles Times

August 17th, 2014 Comments off

Americans rediscovering a taste for hard cider via The Los Angeles Times

Americans rediscovering a taste for hard cider via The Los Angeles Times

British transplant Jeffrey House has long believed in the appeal of a pint of fermented apple juice.

But when he landed in California in the 1980s, he found few Americans willing to venture outside the familiar territory of beer and wine.

Fast forward a few decades. Add drinkers who have been groomed by the craft beer movement. Throw in a dollop of gluten avoidance. Now, House’s business is producing 1 million gallons of hard cider a year under the brand Ace Cider, quadruple what he was making in 2008.

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

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Categories: California, Drinks, Food, LA, Los Angeles Tags:

Photo: Recording Dog Days of Podcasting piece at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co via #instagram

August 4th, 2014 Comments off

Recording Dog Days of Podcasting piece at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co via #instagram

Frame grab from podcast shoot at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

See all my photos on Flickr

Categories: California, New Media, Photos, Podcasting Tags:

Lend a helping hand by organizing an unconference – End of the Day for July 11, 2014

July 11th, 2014 Comments off

End of the day Logo

I always make a point to have at least 1 charitable work operating at all times. This has included a variety of volunteer positions, pro bono consulting and, tomorrow, the next CareerCampSCV (Santa Clarita Valley) at College of the Canyons. I think this will be something like our 11th CareerCamp overall and our 4th in Santa Clarita. CareerCamp is an idea I came up with back in 2009 to apply the concepts if an “unconference” to career development. I had been attending a variety of unconferenes on technology and creativity topics and it only made sense to me to use these organizational ideas to create and unconference of my own.

From Wikipedia…

An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. The term “unconference” has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization. For example, in 2006, CNNMoney applied the term to diverse events including Foo Camp, BarCamp, Bloggercon, and Mashup Camp.[1]

Unconferences often use variations on the Open Space Technology format / method developed by Harrison Owen in the mid 1980s. Owen’s 1993 book Open Space Technology: a User’s Guide discussed many of the techniques now associated with unconferences, although his book does not use that term.

The term “unconference” first appeared in an announcement for the annual XML developers conference in 1998.[2]

The term was used by Lenn Pryor when discussing BloggerCon and was popularized by Dave Winer, the organizer of BloggerCon, in an April 2004 writeup. The first BloggerCon was held October 4–5, 2003 at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Sarah Winge, the organizer (with Tim O’Reilly) of Foo Camp, an early unconference, drew on her experience of open space and conversations with Harrison Owen to develop the format.[3] The first Foo Camp happened October 10–12, 2003, in Sebastopol, California. In 2005 some of the attendees from previous years decided to produce their own “Bar” Camp. These three events, BloggerCon, Foo Camp and BarCamp helped to popularize the term “unconference”. Foo and Bar Camp in particular popularized the form where “there is no agenda until .. the attendees made one up.”

CareerCampSCV 2011 - 089

I am always amazed at how successful these CareerCamp events can be. For tomorrow, we have over 200 people registered to attend. We ail have 5 presentation rooms available each hour and even more room for breakout sessions and casual discussions. I am currently planning on 1 presentation and leading one discussion during the day and then attending whatever other sessions interest me most.

One amazing occurrence at CareerCamp is how the event comes together even though it is arranged, ad hoc, on-site, by the attendees. It only makes sense really. When you put the success of the event in the hands of the attendees, they will make it a great unconference because they WANT it to be a great conference. When you put the responsibility in their hands, they will take it and run with it.

I have been trying to spread the word about CareerCamp as much as I can. We have held the in a variety of venues including churches and community colleges, met in plush electronic classrooms and outdoors on picnic benches and even held the first CareerCamp online. I think the idea of CareerCamp (and unconferences in general) can be applied in many different places, subjects and communities. If you want to learn about creating your own CareerCamp, check out the pages on the CareerCamp International web site.

Now its time for me to get some sleep so I can help people “Build the Career That They Deserve” tomorrow morning!

Previously on End of the Day:

California Wildfire Information 2014 – A collection of resources for the 2014 fire season and beyond

July 9th, 2014 Comments off

As is common, we are in a drought again, here in California, and this makes the occurrence of wildfire more likely and also increases the damage that wildfires can do in the landscape and in populated areas. In an effort to stay in touch with the wildfire situation here in California, I have collected a set of resources to keep me informed when fires break out. While I live in the middle of the San Fernando Valley and fairly free from the direct danger of wildfire, fires in the surrounding areas can cause large problems with evacuations, smoke plumes and ash and also directly effect friends and family who live in or near wild lands.

 Cal fire banner

CAL FIRE is a State agency responsible for protecting natural resources from fire on land designated by the State Board of Forestry as State Responsibility Area (SRA). CAL FIRE also manages the State Forest system and has responsibility to enforce the forest practice regulations, which govern forestry practices on private and other non-federal lands. Two major themes are attendant to the CAL FIRE mission. One is the protection of the State’s merchantable timber on all non-federal lands from improper logging activities and the other is the protection of the State’s grass, brush, and tree covered watersheds in SRA from wildland fire. CAL FIRE is a “conservation agency” with origins stemming from the “Conservation Movement” of the last century.”

Cal Fire provides a number of online resources:

Cal Fire Incident Google Map with perimeters

Inciweb Wildfire Information

“InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:

Provide the public a single source of incident related information
Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community
A number of supporting systems automate the delivery of incident information to remote sources. This ensures that the information regarding active incidents is consistent, and the delivery is timely.”

InciWeb Resources:

Enplan wildfire viewer

Enplan Wildfire Viewer

“ENPLAN provides environmental planning and geospatial information services and products to both public and private sectors. We have served over 500 clients since we began in 1980. Throughout our existence, we have remained absolutely committed to leading-edge quality and innovation in the solutions we deliver.”

Enplan Wildfire Viewer Resources:

ESRI Integrated Fire Information Map

ESRI Integrated Fire Information Map

Resources include:

  • Fire Locations
  • Filtered Tweets 
  • Wildfire Perimeters
  • Fire-Related Weather Watches and Warnings

Noted: Above LA Timelapse video by Chris Pritchard

June 23rd, 2014 Comments off

Above LA Timelapse video by Chris Pritchard

Above LA Timelapse Video

Above LA is a love letter to Los Angeles and showcases my favorite way to view the city – from above. Whether on a rooftop, a hill, or a mountain, getting above the grind of the city allows you to appreciate it in a new way. Once you get even slightly above, the views and sounds begin to change dramatically.

Getting above it all has been instrumental in helping me get to know and appreciate Los Angeles. This piece was produced off and on over the course of two years, and the clips selected for this film are only a small percentage of what I captured during my quest to take in the city from different locations and in new ways. Some of the locations featured are popular and easy to access, others require some searching and hiking, and some are heavily restricted. But I encourage everyone – lifelong Angelenos, transplants, visitors – to hit the trails, drive the mountain roads, find a reason to get on top of a high-rise. From the basin to the valley, this city offers so many opportunities to rise above and look down. Never stop exploring.

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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

Check out my Los Angeles Board on Pinterest and more!

June 16th, 2014 Comments off

Pinterest recently added location specific pins on their service, so I have been linking my Los Angeles (and Sicily and UK) pins to their geographic locations.

Looking for something cool to do in LA? Check out this Pinterest board!

Pinterest:DouglasEWelch:Los Angeles, California (and surrounding area)

Pinterest la

Find all my Pinterest Pins on my Pinterest Account

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Noted: The 10 Best Los Angeles Hikes For The Summer from LAist

June 13th, 2014 Comments off

The 10 Best Los Angeles Hikes For The Summer from LAist


They’re close to L.A., they’re free or inexpensive, dogs are usually welcome and they won’t get kids begging for all the latest swag on the ride home. What are they? The hiking trails of Southern California.

L.A. might not be known for nature, but in a year-round climate, with elevations ranging from sea level to 10,000 feet, the great outdoors of SoCal provides many opportunities for exploration.

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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

Food: MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. Opening Soon in Van Nuys!

June 7th, 2014 Comments off

MacLeod Ale Brewing Co., 14741 Calvert Street, Van Nuys, CA 91411

MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. - 3

We were walking around Van Nuys, visiting the Post Office and dropping off a utility bill on Friday, so we decided to take a short detour by MacLeod Ale Brewing Co to see if there was any signs of progress. The door was propped open, so we stuck our nose in to get a quick look and say Hi!.

MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. - 2 

Luckily Alastair, Jesse and Andy were taking a short break and invited us in for look around. They showed us the new tasting area and the brewing area where beers are already fermenting and racking away. They will be having some private, pre-opening meetings, but hope to be open to the public starting Sunday, June 22, 2014.

We are greatly looking forward to having a microbrewery in walking distance from the house. It is a great addition to the neighborhood and is yet one more sign that things are looking up here in our area of Van Nuys. I plan on having an LA Friday Coffee meetup at the brewery once it opens and I foresee other meet ups as the months progress.

MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. - 1

The brewers told us that they are planning for 4 regular brews and 4 seasonal brews each year, ranging from light ales for Summer to heavy porters (my favorite) for the holiday season.

You can follow the progress and events at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. via their regularly updated Facebook page at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co.

Categories: Business, California, Drinks, Food, Fun, LA, Los Angeles, Photos Tags:

Photo: Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) via #instagram

June 5th, 2014 Comments off

Fox Squirrel (Sciurus Niger) 

Previously in my Instagram Photos…


See all my photos on Flickr

Original Photo:

Fox squirrel

Categories: California, outdoors, Photos Tags:

Event: Spend the Summer with the Independent Shakespeare Company in Griffith Park

June 4th, 2014 Comments off

We have been enjoying the free Shakespeare in Griffith Park by The Independent Shakespeare Company  for several years now. We have seen The Winter’s Tale, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. The Independent Shakespeare Company always puts on an excellent and entertaining show, especially on lovely Summer nights under the star (and often with the coyotes calling from the surrounding hills.)

2014 Productions

Taming shrew

Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival returns on Thursday, June 26 with:

  • New productions of Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew
  • Players in the Park/Teatristas en el parque family workshops
  • The Salon Series, discussions at the intersection of Shakespeare and contemporary culture
  • Festival Arts Partners, pre-show performances by a cross section of Los Angeles performing artists
  • An evening of Shakespeare and music produced in association with Symphony In The Glen.

Why not join us in seeing these shows this Summer? No tickets (or money) required (although tips are gratefully accepted to fund the company). Bring your chairs and your dinner. Come early and enjoy the sunset and a great show. I know we’ll be there.


Categories: California, Event, LA, Los Angeles, outdoors, Theater Tags: