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16 CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 21st, 2017 No comments

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16 CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

For the technology lovers in your life — whether young or old — give them the power of exploring programming and computers in many forms. This kit gives you everything you need to get started with your Raspberry Pi today! Want to create your own interactive Internet of Things devices? Add-on the SunFounder 37 Modules Sensor Kit V2.0 to give you temperature/humidity sensors, LEDs, components and detectors of all types.

Raspi kit

  • Includes Made in UK Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) Model B Quad-Core 1.2 GHz 1 GB RAM
  • On-board WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 32 GB Micro SD Card (Class 10) – Raspberry Pi Recommended Micro SD Card pre-loaded with NOOBS, USB MicroSD Card Reader
  • CanaKit 2.5A USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable and Noise Filter – Specially designed for the Raspberry Pi 3 (UL Listed)
  • High Quality Raspberry Pi 3 Case, Premium Quality HDMI Cable, 2 x Heat Sinks, GPIO Quick Reference Card, CanaKit Full Color Quick-Start Guide

Add on these products to give you even more options

 
SunFounder 37 Modules Sensor Kit V2.0 Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 No comments

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12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

08 The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 13th, 2017 No comments

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08 The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden by Johanna Silver (Author), Marion Brenner (Photographer)

If you truly want to know and understand a garden, you need to walk the garden with the owner, the creator, the designer or the head gardener. They can show and tell you small things that you might not notice on your own or explain grand themes and plans which are only subtly visible in the garden but underpin everything. Books like The Bold Dry Garden are the next best thing to walking the paths with the owners and hearing the stories of how the garden was created, how this plant or the other was acquired, the grand successes and dismal failures. You get a sense for all these in The Bold Dry Garden. The author and photographer seek to make the garden accessible to anyone no matter where they might be in the world. Even though I only live 5-6 hours drive from the Ruth Bancroft Garden I had not heard of it and, of course, have never visited. This book has changed that th0ugh. Now I am intimately familiar with creator Ruth Bancroft’s history, the evolving garden design and even particular specimen plants included in the garden.

The Bold Dry Garden begins with “Meet Ruth”. This recounts Ruth’s early history from her childhood to the point where, at age 63, after most of the surrounding farmland had been sold off for subdivisions, she started to build the garden. From this start in 1971, the garden grew and changed until it became part of the Garden Conservancy in 1991. This addition helped to preserve and maintain the gardens for generations to come. The bulk of The Bold Dry Garden is the section entitled “Signature Plants of the Dry Garden.” Here you find detailed accounts and photos of many of the plants in the garden including agaves and aloes, echeveria and sempervivum, euphorbium and crassula. This is a veritable encyclopedia for succulents lovers and an excellent reference book, as well as one to simply read from cover to cover as if you were walking through the garden itself. The descriptions and photographs can give you both interesting ideas and detailed information for seeing how these plants might fit into your own garden.

Now that I have read The Bold Dry Garden, I plan on visiting the next time I am in Northern California. In fact, I will probably go out of my way to visit, even if I am just passing through. A garden like The Ruth Bancroft Garden is always a treat to visit and my appetite has been whet with this amazing, written and photographed, introduction.


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† This book is available at the LA Public LIbrary

07 Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch and Hook Automation Hub | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 12th, 2017 No comments

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07 Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch and Hook Automation Hubhook-hub

I added these RF remote-control switches to our house a few months ago and been very happy with my choice. They install easily, work well even between rooms with many walls separating them and helped me clean up a lot of clutter that had sort of grown organically in the family room. We had several light switches that were connected, replaced, moved, and hard to access, but these outlets provide a handy remote interface to everything now. You can even connect these outlets to your network and use your phone or Amazon Echo to control them, if you add a wifi-to-rf bridge to the network. That might just be the next step for me.

In fact, using the Hook device below, I can now control any of these outlets via my voice through my Echo Dot, via my iPhone using the Hook app, programmatically via IFTTT or programs I have written myself. Very cool and very useful — Douglas

Etekcity switchesHook hub

 

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

04 Garden Cloches | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 9th, 2017 Comments off

Since so many people order their gifts online and ahead of time, I’ve decided to start my annual Gift Guide fairly early this year. This should allow you to find your favorite gifts — and perhaps recommend a few of your own wish list items to your friends and family — with enough lead time to assure they arrive in time for your holiday celebration, whichever holiday it might be!

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See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


Garden Cloches

Protect your tender garden plants from both cold temperature and pests (like my raccoons and squirrels who want to dig in any freshly planted patch) Choose wire cloches like this for pest protection, plastic cloches for transplant protection or elegant glass cloches for a touch of beauty along with the protection they provide.— Douglas

04 Garden Cloches | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

In the garden, this chicken wire cloche protects prized seedlings, lettuce plants and ripening strawberries from nibbling wildlife and curious cats. Indoors, place it over an arrangement of houseplants, candles or curios to transform them from ordinary to delightful. May also be used as a trellis for small ivies and other vining houseplants. — Amazon


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Tempura Udon Noodles via Jun’s Kitchen [Video]

October 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Jun’s Kitchen is a great cooking show out of Japan, the food is amazing and his – oh, so well behaved kitties — are a joy to watch. I have been subscribed for a few months and love seeing his shows pop up in my daily viewing list.

This udon noodle recipe caught my eye as we love udon here and I think it would be great to have a supply of fresh noodles for soup whenever we want. It’s not exactly easy, but seems doable.

Tempura Udon Noodles via Jun’s Kitchen

Tempura Udon Noodles via Jun's Kitchen [Video]

Subscribe to Jun’s Kitchen

【Ingredients serves 3】
-Udon Noodles-
300g flour
140ml water
15g salt

-Tempura (batter)-
110g flour
200ml (1 egg + water combined)
+ Any ingredients you want
I used shredded carrots, eggplants, okra, and shrimp.

-Soup-
900ml water
10g kombu
20g dried Sardines
20g thick bonito flakes
5g thin bonito flakes


Learn more about udon noodles with this book

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Tempura Udon Noodles via Jun's Kitchen [Video]

Categories: Cooking, DIY, Food, Shared Items, Subscribed, Video, youtube Tags:

Naturally colored wool as it comes off the sheep via Instagram

September 20th, 2017 Comments off

Naturally colored wool as it comes off the sheep

Naturally colored wool as it comes off the sheep

Stansborough LTD Woolen Mill, Petone, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

This small and unique mill produced fabric for costume for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Narnia and more. They raise their own unique sheep herd that produces naturally colored wool in a a variety of shades from black to gray to white.

You can get an overview of what they do and see their turn of the century looms working on their factory tour.

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You can get an overview of what they do and see their turn of the century looms working on their factory tour.

Stansborough ltd


Learn more about New Zealand with these books

  

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

New Zealand Trip – August 31, 2017 (Day 8) – Tinker School, Dunedin Botanic Garden and Spotting the Royal Albatross (146 Photos)

September 10th, 2017 Comments off

New Zealand Trip – August 31, 2017 (Day 8)

Photos from our recent (August 2017) vacation to New Zealand with stops in Wellington and Dunedin.

A visit to Tinker School. a stroll through the Dunedin Botanic Garden and a cruise through Otago Harbor to the ocean to see the Royal Albatross and more.

Click to view entire album

Tinker School Dunedin New Zealand  3

Rhododendron with raindrops Dunedin Botanic Garden Dunedin New Zealand

Albatoss Royal Albatross Centre Dunedin New Zealand  1

Click to view entire album



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Do It 2017 #11: Eat the frog and other productive advice

July 27th, 2017 Comments off

Frog Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Jack Hamilton

Eat the frog!

It has been said — in variety of forms throughout history, that…

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

A thoroughly disgusting thought, but a good one for my productivity of late. I am as fond — if not fonder— of procrastination of specific tasks that most people. Tasks like balancing the checkbook to doing my daily blog posting to sweeping the patio. Many of these tasks are extremely important, but most also come with an unpleasant side. Sure, it isn’t like mucking out the horse stalls of my youth, but we all face them with a certain amount of distaste.

So, in an effort to keep things moving forward in all aspects of my life, I have taken to “eating the frog” whenever possible. I’ll get up, make my coffee and then face the most procrastination-causing task on my to do list. Once that’s done, I can move on to other, more enjoyable tasks without feeling guilty about avoiding them and knowing that that is probably the worse thing I will have to do today. It doesn’t always work, but I have used it to recently move a couple of projects forward that have been languishing for a while now. Can it help you? It might. Then again, you might be someone who is blessed to never procrastinate on anything. I envy you, but we all have to find out own way through the swamp that is any given day.

Bird by Bird

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table, close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’” — Anne Lamott

This phrase crops up in our household on a daily basis. There are times we all need a reminder that every big project is made out of many smaller steps — and sometimes even smaller ones. The only way to complete a big project is to take it “bird by bird.” In my case, this means making a daily to do list — separate from my overall to do list. This list contains all my typical daily tasks as well as those weekly items that occur on the same day each week. Partially this list is to help me remember all the little things, but they are also a “bird by bird” breakdown of tasks that move each project forward. Typical entries include my daily posts to Instagram, a blog post on Garden Decor, video clips from my talks, reading time-related documents and articles, feeding the birds (the real one’s outside my window), phone calls, emails and more. Breaking my larger tasks in these small, even tiny, steps, helps to keep me progressing even when I might not be able to complete the entire project today.

To some, such a detailed to do list can make projects seem overwhelming, but for me, I find great joy in progress, even the smallest progress. If I keep on doing the small steps each day the overall project will eventually get done. If I never start on the big project because it is too big then it will, guaranteed, never get done.

Work on a variety of tasks throughout your day

I don’t have any pithy quote to accompany this advice, but for me, it is probably the most important. If I focus on any one task for too long, the quality and speed of my work quickly diminish. I start making silly mistakes, misspelled words, fuzzy thoughts and more. I have to switch up my work throughout the day to prevent this from happening while still getting work done. This means I might do something like writing this post and then switch over to some video editing for a while. Sometimes it means culling a bunch of photos and then working on an Arduino program I have been trying to get running. Finally, sometimes it means I set an alarm for 20 minutes, lie down on the couch, allow the cat to sit on my lap and dose. Never underestimate the power of a short nap to reenergize your day!

Douglas E. Welch To Do List

I have learned over time that I am a variety junky in all aspects of my life. My way of working may seem scattered to some, but it works for my and my overall productivity seems to prove it. In many cases, some of my best ideas about a project come from when I am thinking or working on an entirely different project. You can never tell how moments in your life are going to interact, so it’s important to experience as much as possible and see what happens.

What are your favorite pieces of advice that keep you productive in life and work? Share them in the comments!

7 Cheap Photo Hacks Using Common Household Items That Will Improve Your Photography (VIDEO) via Shutterbug

May 31st, 2017 Comments off
Some more cheap tricks to kick your photography up a notch. My favorites are using a beer cozy to protect an unused lens and using the cheap circular fluorescent to create a large ring light. — Douglas
 
7 Cheap Photo Hacks Using Common Household Items That Will Improve Your Photography (VIDEO) via Shutterbug
 
 


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

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