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     Welcome everyone to the site's SIXTEENTH year, and a warm "thank you" to all who keep visiting the site on an ongoing basis! For those of you who have been with the site for a while, you know that there are two phases to the site: the Summer version, posted from June through September, and the Fall/Winter/Spring version which is here now. Things change a little bit each year, but you can always click the links on the calendar on the home page to reach the concert listings. Each summer the site has a new theme, and the 2018 theme was "O-Gan and the Herons." It is explained a bit more below. Also, one feature has been added to the site in conjunction with the website book. All past summer sites from 2003 to 2013 which were covered in the book were recoded and reposted. They can be accessed from the Book Preview page. The links for the 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 summer versions of the site (there was no summer site in 2016) also can be found on that page. Those willing to help keep the site going can always help by making a purchase at the Cafe Press online storefront, "dorothyswebshop". Your purchases are much appreciated! If you'd like to know more about the www.dorothyswebsite.org, you can find information here on the site's history and features. You can reach any of the four sections below by clicking the links, or continue scrolling down the page.


2018 THEME: "O-GAN AND THE HERONS"
INTRODUCTION/HISTORY
SITE STRUCTURE/CONTENTS
ABOUT DOROTHY

2018 THEME: "O-GAN AND THE HERONS"

     This summer the site was a tribute to the world of manga, graphic novels, anime and comics with the tale of O-Gan and the Herons. The tale begins far away in a deeply-divided land increasingly subject to the whims of powerful warlords. The warlords have taken to eliminating entire families who fall subject to their ire. Such was the fate of O-Gan, a young woman who had lost most of her family to the very uncivil wars. Long thought to be gifted with special powers, O-Gan had left the realm to be trained in their use. While away, her father, the last of her family, was killed by the warlord who had ruthlessly come to dominate the area. While she was grieving, the warlord - who didn't really want O-Gan as much as the powers she possessed - lured her under false pretenses to the sprawling grounds of his castle. Once she'd passed through the gates, his sorcerer cast a spell on her, trapping her "ki," or life force and energy, in a container in a special chamber no one could enter.

     As long as she stayed on the grounds she would survive. If she left the grounds for more than a few hours, the connection to her "ki" would dissipate, and she would weaken and die. She spent most of her days by the castle's lake with no one to keep her company except the koi fish and a large blue heron who made the lake his home. Not much from the outside world made its way onto the grounds except for the faint sounds of music from far in the distance. Sometimes O-Gan would sit quietly and listen, longing to leave and wishing she could at least be closer to the music, if not home. Visitors can learn more of the tale of O-Gan and the Herons by going through the main pages of the site in the order listed in the navigation links at the side or top of the pages. It is a story that is barely beginning here and will be continued . . .

INTRODUCTION TO WWW.DOROTHYSWEBSITE.ORG/SITE HISTORY

     The site has its roots in the Cypress College Extended Education computer labs. In 2003, while working on a series of computer-based tutorials (covering everything from data warehousing to Linux), I came across tutorials for HTML computer code and the Front Page website design program. As a practice exercise I designed a basic website with the Front Page program and posted it to the internet for about six weeks. Since it contained primarily my works (and a page of concert schedules), I called it www.dorothyswebsite.org. Little did I know then that the six-week exercise would ever have a first, let alone a fifteenth, anniversary! Had I known, perhaps I would have come up with a more "catchy" name. You know what they say about hindsight, though . . .

     Over the next couple of years I taught myself a bit more of HTML code and website design -- not enough to have a lot of flashy bells and whistles, but enough so that now I do everything for the site. I design it, write the code, research and write the articles and content, take the pictures (and incorporate many from my personal photo archives), compile the listings, manage it, and let you all know that it exists. For those music fans who have found the listings and are new to the site, you will need to know that there are two distinct phases to the site each year. The fall/winter/spring site is usually in a much more succinct format. In the summer, generally from June to September, the site expands and takes on the format which you see now.

SITE STRUCTURE AND CONTENTS

     The main pages of the site have evolved somewhat since 2003, and they are:

  • Poetry: In 1998 I wrote a short volume of poetry based on photographs which I had taken while travelling and living overseas. The volume was reworked in 2004 and new poems were added. Each year a few poems from the volume have been posted to the site, and in 2005 the works of a Guest Poet were also included for the first time. When possible, new poems are added to the site each year in conjunction with the year's theme.

  • Essays: Each summer there is a new series of three or four essays on a topic of technology-related current/consumer interest. The Essay Archives contain all the previous works which have appeared on the site from 2003 - 2014 (plus the special 2014 - 2015 special edition Expo essays). In addition, the current year's essays are placed in the essay archives the month after they appear in the "This Month's Essay" section. Since there was no summer version of the site in 2016, no essays were completed for that year.

  • Free Concerts: This is the most visited section of the site. The listings are for free concerts and music-related events in Orange County, parts of Los Angeles County, and parts of the Inland Empire. Events in clubs, cafes, bars and similar venues covered elsewhere generally are not included. In the summer, concerts are listed both by date and by city for the three areas and in total in order to make it easier to find relevant information more quickly. Each year a few more cities and/or venues usually are added, and the cities currently covered for the summer concert programs are listed on the "Concerts By City" main page. You also will find the main concert calendar on the "Concerts By Date" main page. In 2010, a new section was added to the concert pages - Concerts by Type of Music - and it is now a permanent section of the site.

  • Links: This page was added primarily due to requests for more information about the musicians/bands appearing at the concerts. It includes both links to the cities and venues in which the concerts are held, and to the websites of bands/musicians appearing during the summer (when available). A small section of art and poetry links is included as well. Over the years, the page became one of the longest on the site, so it was split into three sections to avoid the page loading too slowly. The three links pages are City and Art/Poetry Links, Band Links A-L and Band Links M-Z.

  • Extras: The extras page was added in 2005 and offers a few other ideas for things to do or see for free during the summer months. The page is dynamic and continually being updated, and suggestions for items to be included are appreciated. The page also incorporates the type of information which appears on the site's Twitter and Facebook pages during the rest of the year.

  • About the Site: You're here now!

     Two other sections have been added since 2003. The Featured Artists page (2004) and Show of the Week section (2005), which has been found on the "Concerts By Date" main calendar page. Both were added in response to requests for more information about the summer entertainers. "Featured Artists" have a large number of performances over the summer in two or three counties, or, as in the case of a group such as the Long Beach Municipal Band, a number of performances in a particular venue or venues. As a general rule of thumb, and in order to give a wide number of groups the opportunity to appear as "Featured Artists," groups will be included in the section no more than once in a three-year period. Also, due to the tremendous increase over the years in the number of tribute bands on the summer concert stages, any tribute band will be included only once in the section. The "Show of the Week" section included acknowledgements of a wide variety of summer artists, special events, and whenever possible, the individuals, organizations and others who so generously make the shows possible. Due to changes in the summer concert schedules and other factors beyond site control, it has since been cancelled and the information no longer appears on the site.

     Website Guests: The works of a guest photographer were included in the site for the first time in 2004. In 2005, the site exhibited works of a guest photographer, guest painter and guest poet. These special guests are invited to exhibit works on the site which, as of 2006, either express or in some way interpret the summer theme. The site is called "www.dorothyswebsite.org," and if you understand a bit about how it has evolved, you'd know why the works on it have been mine. If the site stays in existence, however, my hope is that it will become much less about my materials and much more of a summer exhibition space for the works of other poets, painters, photographers and artists. Eventually this may also include a guest website designer/programmer, but only time will tell . . .

Photograph "Australian Protea" © 1985 Dorothy A. Birsic

     There is no logo for the site, but if there was, it might include a protea flower like the one shown in the picture above. The word "protean" has its roots in mythology in the god Proteus, a legendary sea god who had the power of assuming different shapes. In its more modern use it describes something capable of great change or readily assuming different shapes or forms. Hopefully this will continue to be a "protean" site in the sense that it can readily adapt to the changing circumstances in which it exists and become an ever more interesting stop for those who take the time to visit.

ABOUT DOROTHY

     Dorothy holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California.  She also designed and completed a graduate program combining an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School with an M.A.L.D. (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  She has taken additional coursework in Human and Plant Biology, Genetics and Neuroscience.

     Dorothy's professional background includes work in public relations and management consulting.  She has been a Fulbright Scholar in the former Yugoslavia, a Rotary International Scholar/Ambassador in Sydney, Australia, and lived and worked in Japan.  She speaks Croatian, has passed oral and written translation exams in Japanese, and is currently teaching herself Spanish. In previous years, there also has been a section on the site featuring excerpts from a variety of Dorothy's personal and professional writings. Please click here to view those excerpts on a new page (this page will be available soon).

"Dorothy With Kangaroos"

     Miss Birsic is an avid sports and music fan.  She plays tennis, basketball, runs (well, used to, at least), is a certified PADI diver, bikes, and enjoys photography and playing the piano. She spends a bit of time in the garden, too, tending to everything from lemons and roses to passion flower vines and dahlias.

     If you have any questions or comments about the website, please send e-mail to moremusic@dorothyswebsite.org.

     

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