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The Indefinite Article.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Fontaholics Anonymous? - Dripping Springs

I think that a certain someone we know might be in danger of becoming a Fontaholic.

In other news, I spent most of the night in a field out in quiet and lovely Dripping Springs. Fell asleep beside a campfire to the sounds of wild turkeys gobble-gobble-ing, crickets cricketing and javelinas javelinaing . Dreamt that an evil kung-fu master had captured me and was torturing me in a chinese watery way with the object of forcing me to reveal the location of a secret rebel base. Woke up to find that it was sprinking, then thundering, and then pouring down rain. I ran to the ranch house and spent the rest of the night a-slumbering on the floor. A great night. Makes me hanker for some camping.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Good Screwdriver

Craftsman 7 pc. Screwdriver Set, Ratcheting Magnetic Grip Driver II� at sears.com: "Handle pivots 45 deg. for added turning ease and generates 350 lbs. of torque. Ergonomic handle grip ensures user comfort. 3 position ratcheting mechanism with forward/reverse and fixed screwdriving modes. Powerful neodymium magnet holds hex shank bits securely. Also makes a great imaginary space-gun.


Pictures of my brother Fidel's kiddies!

Our new home address is

Chavez Residence
Kickin' K Ranch
4126 Donna Lynn Drive
Houston, TX 77092

No home phone yet.


Paul, a job!

Amber, a baby!

So much good news today. Fantastic.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


It's a boy!!� We are at 20 weeks and the sonogram was done on my birthday, which was a wonderful present to be able to look at pictures of the baby
and see him moving around in there ... so everyone, please look forward to the
arrival of Antonio Scott Freda, expected arrival date:� September 21.
We are ecstatic!!!

Congrats on the new home, Carol and Killy -- looks like lots of fun!

What is killy's address?



So Adolph came over to help paint walls last night
the little familia spent the night on the floor
the bedroom is painted thanks to my beautiful husband and Adolph
and my house is really coming together

i can't wait to be living in it
with all my stuff
and my stuff

i can't wait to throw a HUGE housewarming party

You will all receive invitations in the mail

for real!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Ok, so I have officially accepted a full-time position (���benefits!!!) with Handwire, the small software company that I have been doing contract-work for these last couple of months. Alas, this means big changes in my life-style. Among these changes is the fact that I must now find some kind more-or-less permanent type living space arrangment. Liz and Taggart have clued me into a space out near them, and if anyone else has any leads on a 1 or 2 bedroom space in south or central Austin, please let me know. I refuse to purchase an auto, so bikeability is a key factor. The other desirables are: hardwood floors, floors made of hard wood, and uncarpeted floors and/or tiled floors/floors made of tile.

Also, looks like I might be making some trips out to Houston soon, since we just landed a big ass project with MD Anderson- something about automating the Imaging and Poster Production process...

Also, I demand that Killy and Carol throw a House Warming Party.

Monday, April 26, 2004


Been busy as a bee at the house since Thursday after closing. Carol spent the end of last week cleaning most of the house. She resurrected the fridge and made the oven look like new. She sanitzed both bathrooms and cleared all the residual garbage left behind by the sellers.

Saturday was spent doing more cleaning, and prep work for painting. Adolph, Amber, Mike, Maru and Ezra came over to lend us a hand. We got so much done that day! The ceiling fans were cleaned, the dust bunnies were cleared out, the tops of the doors were wiped, tape was laid all across the floor boards and trim, the windows were wiped clear, the screens on the windows were cleaned, the cabinets in the kitchen were wiped down, the floor was swept, and the carpet was vacuumed!

Once everyone was gone, i started stripping the wallpaper from the kitchen walls. I did that till about 11:30. I started again at about 8 the next morning.

What a day! but that was only the beginning...

Sunday, Adolph stopped by and helped me to finish up putting primer on the living room walls. Then, my stepdad stopped by with some housewarming gifts and a whirlwind job on some electricity issues i've been having. Right off the truck he pulled out a mitre saw and table and a fifteen-year old jigsaw (i remember him using it when i was growing up). Then, he presented me with a Craftsman drill and flashlight along with a 101 drill bit set. What a score!

After his grand tour i started pointing out the problems i'd noticed with the electricity. He went to his truck and pulled out a new switch for the master bedrooma and replaced that in a matter of minutes. Then, he pulled out the pull chain mechanism in the third bedroom and instruced me on how to replace that.

That evening we retired to Sugarland to prepare for this upcoming week.

Monday: Solo. I dropped Carol at work and Adolfo iv at montessori, and went directly to the house. I finished putting primer in the living room and started sanding the kitchen walls to prep them for primer as well. Finished breakfast area and put a coat of primer on only a portion of the kitchen to see how many coats it was going to take to cover up the flaws in the wall....

I started priming the hallway and the bedroom. Put another coat of primer on in the kitchen after about an hour. Continued from the hallway to the bedroom.

Lunch at the Galleria with Carol.

Came back and put more primer in the kitchen. (About three coats....) and continued with the bedroom. Finished the bedroom and moved on to the half-bath...finished the bath....

Cleaned up and headed for adolfo iv. Picked up Carol and hit the freeway. Came home and had dinner.....

Here's a pan of the backyard.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

San Diego

I write from San Diego. I came out to see my brother play at his first solo show. I and many others had been encouraging him for years to get out and play his music, and finally last night he did. And it was wonderful. There was a good crowd, and despite some initial technical difficulties he and his back up band put on a good set. I was so darn proud! He calls his solo project Manuok; You can check more info here.

I also saw a couple of other good bands this weekend, including Goodbye Blue Monday and Waterline Drift. The highlight was definitately Goodbye Blue Monday. They build up so much energy that I thought the room would pop.

Also, I have eaten a shit load of mexican food out here (California style mexican food being different than Tex-Mex), and I think that I have concluded that in general, California Mexican Food is better than Texas Mexican Food. Except for the breakfast tacos.

So, all in all it has been a great weekend. I think the key has been spending inordinate amounts of time on the beach. Not bringing my computer along has helped a lot too. Also, I am reading an Evelyn Waugh novel ('Vile Bodies') that is quite laugh-making.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Hyatt Regency Atlanta built 1967.
A little Hotel History for yous guys.
The Pritzger (of Pritzger and Pritzger the largest lawfirm in North America) family bought the Hyatt House, a hotel next to
the Los Angeles Airpot (LAX) in the 40's. Thus began the "Hyatt" hotel brand. In the sixties Hyatt Corp. started building
Atrium Hotels which the Hyatt Brand would become synonimous with. Those atrium hotels would be branded the Hyatt Regency's . The Hyatt Regency Atlanta was the FIRST one to be built in 1967. The fact that Mark and I shot this hotel, we have been told, means something pretty significant. It is THE single most important hotel in the Company, again so we were told. Who KNOWS? The whole hotel is pretty HO-hum. So what could be the big deal? right?
Well the Director of sales put it like thus.
D.O.S. "How long is the average home mortgage?"
T "20 years?"
D.O.S. "Maybe 30."
T "oh?"
D.O.S. "So if this hotel was built in 1967 and if it was a house, that would mean?"
T "That would mean Hyatt Corp owns a whole city block of Downtown Atlanta."
D.O.S. "Exactly plus the Corp History of the whole thing."


Such a fitting term for the end of this.

I couldn't sleep last night. My stomach was turning thinking of every possible thing that could go wrong. I was petrified. I thought a lot about bug infestation. I thought, "what if this place is crawling with roaches?" Mind you, i looked for evidence of this during the inspection and found none. I thought a lot about rodents too, but of course, i never found evidence of this; no droppings in dark corners...etc.

I thought a lot about the money: the mortgage combined wtih our mound of debt neatly wrapped up with montessori school tuition. How much paint does it take to paint a house? I mean, how many actual gallons will i have to buy? Dropcloths? Brushes?...etc...ugh....

I worried myself to sleep. I woke up at 5:55 a.m.

I took a quick shower and chose just the right boxer shorts for our closing. We left the house right at seven o'clock and hit the HOV lane about 9 minutes later. We got Adolfo iv's school right before eight. We dropped him off with little more than a thrash as he was transferred from Carol's arms to Bernie's (his morning teacher).

We picked up some breakfast and headed to First Educators Credit Union to pick up our cashier's check that we would eventually present to the Title Company to settle our closing costs.

We arrived at closing right on time (9:30 a.m. sharp) and went straight back to a conference room and were instructed to sit on the right side.

"Buyers to the right and sellers to the left, please, so i can keep it straight," said our title officer, Gary Stokes.

We were in a first floor corner office in Greenway Plaza, with windows all around facing Richmond. There was a long, shiny table that was set diagnolly in the room topped with cookies (!?), a large bowl of miscellaneous candy (the big mixed bag kind you buy for Halloween), and pens at every chair.

The British accented secretary asked us if we cared for drinks. We both asked for water.

The chairs were so comfortable i hardly noticed them behind me. Once we sat down and water was set down we got straight to business. Signing, initialing, signing and dating, sign but don't date this page, can you initial at the bottom of this page...

"Could you please sign with the 'third'?"

"Well, i don't normally sign that way..."

"Well, it's printed with a third on it, and it has to look exactly as it's printed."

"um, allright, sure... (if it has to look exactly as it printed, then why are you asking for a signature? - can't i just look at the print and give you a 'thumbs-up?')"

Everything in my experience was wholly unlike all the horror stories carol and i heard from co-workers. We weren't in there for four hours. Our hands didn't cramp up. The money didn't mysteriously NOT come through. The loan officer wasn't some slacker who waited till the last minute to process my loan. The real estate agent didn't over look this or that fax. The title officer didn't have a car accident on the way into work.

If i filtered all the waiting for copies to be made and for the wire transfer to happen, for all the explanations and the few questions we had, i would say that we probably signed, initialed and dated for a grand total of 20 minutes.

We walked (floated) out of there in 1 hour and 15 mins. We went directly to the house. Stanley Dessen, the previous owner, had just locked up the house and was leaving for his new home about 15 miles further north on 290.

Once they turned the corner I carried Carol across the threshold for the second time. This is what we saw (minus the broom, mop, vacuum, and chair):

There is a lot of work to be done, but we've got plenty of time to do it. Carol and I are happier than we've been in a long time.


Yes, I believe that Pasargadae is the garden of which I had been thinking. Thanks for finding the reference! As soon as shit settles down in the Middle East I am going make a trip out there and visit those Persian Gardens...


Todd, man those drawings look good. I am glad that you are putting the additional 30 minutes it takes me to finish the crossword puzzle to good use....


lets see some more photos, drawings, etc folks!

Pasargadae. perhaps?

From "Gardens of Persia," a book by Penelope Hobhouse listed on amazon.com:

Buildings, water, and plants combine to give the gardens of Persia a beautiful spiritual quality that has served to inspire garden design across time and diverse cultures. Indeed, Ms. Hobhouse begins with the oldest living garden, Pasargadae, created by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. It represented paradise on earth and spawned other gardens to be seen as settings for sacred contemplation and spiritual nourishment. In later centuries, these gardens evolved further around the world as representations for romance, power, prestige, and symbols of the afterlife.

i will cut you

wow, been a while since i have done this.

first off, congrats to everybody on everything; jobs, homes, websites, et al. it's nice how everyone is 'moving on up'.

something else i have not done in some time is draw. this happy fellow and other drawings await you at my new LoContrast gallery.

he will cut you, by the way. for real.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Re: Name Changes

Name Changes

Inspired by this, i've instituted the following name changes for the group. These are effective immediately.

Dr. Ed will now be know as Bishop Don Ed Shizzle
Dave will now be known as Big Playah D. Rockefeller
Colin will now be known as Tricktickler G. Glide
Ryan will now be known as Master Pimp Kane Valentine
Paul will now be known as Stealth Maestro Love
Todd will now be known as Fadeproof T. Rock
Adolph will now be known as Diamondtrim Adolph Jazz
Amber will now be known as Sheik Amber Silk
Diana will now be known as Treacherous D. Trump
Taggart will now be known as Silicon Slick T. Large
Liz will now be known as Funk Master Elizabeth Loco
Killy will now be known as Mr. White Chocolate Chavez
Carol will now be known as Magic Tickle

I know it will be hard to remember at first, but i think we'll all get used to our new names pretty quickly.


Also, Negroponte ? !!!!

Dark Chocolate is Better

Carol, don't worry -- Killy's metabolism will catch up with him in a few years!! ;> Anthony's getting the cutest little pot belly, but he was thin as a rail until he turned 40 and started eating my home cookin' ...

Paul, I love your description of that garden -- do you remember where you read that article?

Some of the best garden magazines, like Horticulture and Fine Gardening, have pages of garden travel itineraries listed in the back with gorgeous photographs taken from all over the world (gardens of the Mediterranean, gardens of the Himalayas, gardens of Ireland, etc.) ... definitely my idea of a great vacation as well ... I actually would have liked to have gone to Costa Rica on our honeymoon to see the Cloud Forest, but Jamaica was cheaper and closer ...

Gardens, etc

Amber's most recent post made me think of an article I read the other month about what is claimed to be the world's oldest continously maintained garden.. I think it was located in Asia Minor, or maybe present day Iran. I suppose any such claim is widely debated depending on what one considers to be a garden, and what one means by 'continously maintained' but at any rate I really want to go visit this place (assuming I can ever remember where it is) because I think it would be a tremendous experience to walk in any place that has been been cared for by so many hands.

I think a neat 'round the world trip would be one that includes visits to ancient and notable gardens and parks.


How did the ms150 go, Adolph?

Friday, April 16, 2004


Hey everyone -- check out my new website: www.plantladyland.com
I'm enjoying the landscape design history class I'm taking right now -- it's all about how different cultures have interpreted their gardens ... it's amazing the extraordinary lengths middle eastern cultures would go to to create garden oases in the desert and how the garden of eden and the idea of paradise as a garden developed out of this barren landscape ...

And then there's the perplexing and intriguing world of asian landscape design -- where gardens were created to entice and confuse the senses -- nothing is out in the open .. all the paths are winding and multi-tiered through grottos, by ponds, and up hills and into moon viewing pagodas -- where false endings seemed to signify a closure but really, should you look more closely, actually might lead to a whole new pathway.

It's refreshing to see the way gardens have not always been simple cookie-cutter, sanitized versions of the American grass lawn and meatball hedges ... where differences were celebrated more and character was often prized over attempts at aesthetic perfection.

Name Changes

Inspired by Belin... *ahem* .. Claire's name change, i've instituted the following name changes for the group. These are effective immediately.

Colin will now be known as Morton

Paul will now be known as Vicente (pronounced, vee-sen-teh)

Todd will now be known as Sam

Adolph will now be known as Zippy

Amber will now be known as Peaches (blong wig optional)

Diana will now be known as Fontana

Taggart will now be known as John

Liz will now be known as Slugger

Killy will now be known as Dirk

Carol will now be known as Ambrosia

I know it will be hard to remember at first, but i think we'll all get used to our new names pretty quickly.


Tax Season Closed

Well, not quite. Tax season for the Tax Department at Hines is open all year as we work with extensions and annual reports as well as quarterly estimation payments and all sorts of stuff. Good thing is, I will always stay busy. Of course, never as busy as April 15th, which by the way, I learned was an extension for individuals as originally, tax deadline was the Ides of March. Although I never learned why it was originally March 15...

In any case, first off, CONGRATULATIONS COLIN!
Welcome to the corporate world... Is that what it is for you creative types?? I don't know, all I know is what is the best stapler to order for your cubicle (Swingline, mid price), which plants grow best under the various office lamp types, how to password protect your pc word docs and what neato office supplies you can make off with, in the darkest minutes of the most treacherous days...

Thank you for your kind words, but we all know how difficult it is to be the object of affection for Killy as he is always calling me fat and big-butt. So, as far as being thin goes, convince my husband.

Anyway, trudging away for my regular pay has kept me off the blog for a while, but I hope to be able to update more often when I (keeping my fingers crossed) have a little house.

Later all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Check this out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Quick Blog Notes

Congrats Colin! You know, benefits are over-rated, for the passably healthy at least. I still haven't made it around to making it to the dentist yet.

Hi Amber, the guy next to Jett is Liosuke (my spelling is probably wildly off), Madeline's boyfriend. He just got accepted to film school at the Univerisity of Ohio and he and Madeline will be moving to Athens at some point soon.

Also, not pictured is baby Adolfo and Chloe, Amber McCarthy's dog, and Asher, Ann's dog.

Sample size?

I'll see what I can do.

Killy you wrote "size 10? how about 11?" is one of your feet a different size then the other?

Nike News

So will you be working in the mailroom? sanitation department? the cafeteria?

...but seriously,

congrats on the job colin. your newfound wealth won't tempt you guys into having another kid will it? maybe a boy this time? i wonder if nike's benefits would cover a home water birth?

size 10? how about 11?

Nike = Victory

Congratulations, Colin, this is truly great news! It must be such a tremendous relief to finally be able to get the good Health and Dental coverage. Lord knows how important those things are- especially these days. Also, it is nice that the Lord Ego Nike has finally recognized your skillz and rewarded them with the steady pay...

Also, does not your brother still work there? I think that you guys should combine your rapidly accruing power and influence and get Nike to change the "sample size" on Nike Soccer cleats to a size 10.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Hello to all the Blog-a-mites

Cough Cough...wheeze.....alot of dust on this thing on my end. Haven't used this tool for communication in a while. Not sure if it still works, well, we'll see.

Folks, after a grand life change, which so many of you were there to witness, my moving way out here and starting my family, I have scratched and scrounged for five years to make the ends meet for my crew. I have worked here and there, sometimes awash with enough and at others at the humbling back of the line at the unemployment dept. This whole time I have managed to never land a full time job with those mythical benefits and regular paycheck. I have gone, as stated before, from one industry to another trying to find a home that would take some of the pressure of providing off the forefront of my mind.

I have become quite proficcient at being a freelance designer/illustrator, But as of today, I will no longer, for a time, have to seek out the source of my income. I finally got a full time job. I will start on the 3rd of next month. Yes it is at Nike, the bohemoth of sport ego corporate culture.

For a time my family and I shall go to the doctor and dentist just for the hell of it. After not seeing the dentist since I left college I am afraid what he will say, something akin to, "Were you wanting to keep all thoses black rotting stumps, or should we discuss some plan of action."

Blagh, blagh blah....................Basically I wanted to share with ya'll the excitement that the girls and are are feeling at this new turn of events.

miss all of you

piss piss poop pee shit bang fuck.

love colin.

Easter Goodies

Adolph, what a sweet family photo!! Carol is looking mighty thin and sexy, I must say -- it's so cool to see your dad and Talbot and Mad and Annabelle -- everyone looks great. And is that little Jet at the bottom? It must be -- he has Talbot's smile but he's such a big boy now!! Who is that with Jet, sitting just to his left?

The Ladykillers

I was planning on writing a review of The Ladykillers but now that I sit down to write I cannot think of anything to say other than that I did not enjoy the movie too terribly much. I don't think that it was not horribly un-awful. But I do think that it was not anything special neither. The music was good.

Anyhow, I did hear the other day that someone was working on a movie version of A Confederacy of Dunces.

Also, if you like Crossword Puzzles check this one out. It was created by the wife of a co-office-sit-in-and-worker of mine.

atom test

Update: Testing the Atom API

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Easter Weekend

Friday, April 09, 2004

Trojan Horses Attacks Mac OS X

info here and here

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Spider Man Can!

Notworking Administrator

The website is on the frizt over the past day or so. Normally about a thousand people come and donate, yesterday 125 people did. So this morning, while on hold, I think of a typo-truism, one os those things that are a typo but are truer to life than the intended letters: Notworking Administrator instead of Networking Administrator.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The Last Couple of Weeks

carol, adolfo iv, and i have been to austin twice in two weekends. The first was to see Paul for his 30th birthday. Onion Rings and chocolate shakes at Hut's. Mmmmmm. We were also supposed to get some family pictures taken, but the timing was all wrong.

The next weekend, we went up for Meagan's Baby Shower. Luckily, she gave us her hotel room at the Holiday Inn Express saturday evening. Todd had dinner with us when we showed up at the Bennigan's next door. Then, we gave adolfo iv the some running around time before we piled in the car and headed to Barne's & Noble in the arboretum ... you only appreciate the accoustics in a place like that when you child throws two screaming fits.

Todd kept setting off alarms in all the stores we would go into, because he kept an inventory control device in his wallet. (I assume he just thought they looked really cool) We got stopped by the girl in B&N and was forced to prove we didn't have any unpaid books.

Once we dropped mom and boy off at the hotel we grabbed our things and headed to Mojo's for some (more) coffee and some 'peace'. It was nice to sit and chat with todd again....

Early Sunday Morning - We dash off to breakfast with Meagan and family at a 1st street mexican restaurant. Delicious huevos rancheros and coffee, and with meagan. it was great. carlene was so happy and adolfo iv behaved so well.

Taggart showed up and i split with him to assist him on a shoot. We showed up at what used to be the showpalace. Taggart got a hand me down job from Mark: shooting strip club furniture! We spent an hour and a half setting up lights and moving stuff around.

I met up with Paul and Todd at Flips and got a great Illustrator lesson from todd. We worked on the 'Cakery Bakery' logo for Rocio & Mikes start-up bakery in Lockport. I think we're making pretty good progress.

Once i got back, i was immersed yet again in our potential home. The insurance company underwriters came back with their decision: i am insurable! so i had to get them in touch with my lender so they could fax the proper documents over. One step closer.

The next things are: Get the utilities hooked up, or switched over to my name, rather; and choose a home warranty company i want to use. (The sellers are purchasing a home warranty plan for us for the first year.

I spent 1 hour last night trolling Home Depot for the items i'll be needing for the first week of home ownership: paint, dropcloths, brushes, cleaners, rake, shovel, wet/dry vacuum....

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The cloud that eats the summer rain won't leave the shoe alone
the house that in the monkey wrench won't smile or parse the bone
the fool who keeps his hamster warm won't clean his brand new phone
but he who walks with red feet down can manage on his own

Friday, April 02, 2004

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I know you have already seen this

But watch it again for fun!

and Here This

The Appraisal is In....

Appraised Value: