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     Welcome everyone to the site's 21st 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. The 2023 summer's theme was "It's a Small World." It is explained a bit more below. Also, one feature is included on the site, initially 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 Website Book page. The links for the 2014 through 2023 summer versions of the site (the site was Facebook only in 2016, and there were no expanded editions of the site in 2020/21 due to Covid) 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" or donate using the PayPal link on the News page. Your purchases and donations are much appreciated! If you'd like to know more about, you can find information here on the site's history and features here. You can reach any of the four sections below by clicking the links, or continue scrolling down the page.



     It's not every day that one stumbles upon a miniature world that both surprises and delights, but that's just what happened at the LA County Fair this year. I'd been to the fair many times and had passed the small area called the Fairplex Garden Railroad, but I had never gone inside. This year I decided to take a look. There was sooo much to see . . . so many model trains and trolleys moving past often humorous and detailed scenes with scaled structures and figures not more than a few inches high.

     What is the Fairplex Garden Railroad? The full description can be found on the railroad's website at, but here is a brief bit of information drawn from the "About" page on that site. The model railroad "world" was first established in 1924 but moved to its current location in 1935. Though there have been changes over the years, today the system has over 10,000 feet of track and over thirty sections with a variety of equipment and trains operating at any time. The various trains and trolleys pass several miniature scenes depicting California history from the 1850s to today. The trains also wander through mountains, over lakes and streams and through the gardens. The railroad has operated for each of the LA County Fairs since 1935, with the exception of the years during World War II. Volunteers maintain the Garden Railroad throughout the year and operate the trains for several shows in addition to the open hours during the fair.

     There was one miniature scene in the Garden Railroad with a figure of Goofy waving "hello." It reminded me of the words from another "Small World." So, time permitting, the theme also will be used to look not only at things large and small, but also at things which can be universal in nature (like music) or make our world a small - or smaller - one, after all.


     The site has its roots in the Cypress College Extended Education computer labs. In 2003, while I was 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 Little did I know then that the six-week exercise would ever have a first, let alone a twelfth, 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 mostly text and in a much more succinct three-page format (Concerts By City, Concerts By Date, and an Arts/Special Events page). In the summer, generally from June to September, the site expands and takes on the format which you see now.


     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 has been a new series of 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 - 2019. 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, and there were no essays in 2020-21 since there was no expanded site due to Covid. Also, recoding the entire Essay Archives section to accompany the summer theme has become a very time-consuming proces. A more permanent format for the Essay Archives was established in 2023. Each essay in the Archives now (unless otherwise noted) is presented in the original format of the summer site as it appeared the year it was first posted. Click here to go to the Essay Archives page.

  • 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 SUMMER 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). 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/Venue 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 Facebook page during 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). 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," a group or artist will be included in the section NO MORE THAN ONCE IN ANY THREE-YEAR PERIOD. 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 "," 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.


     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.

"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 vines and roses to fruit trees and dahlias.

     If you have any questions or comments about the website, please send e-mail to


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