Tuesday, May 30, 2006

P.U.T.S

Caught People Under The Stairs last night at the Emo’s. It was so hard to stay up till midnight, but it was worth it. So good the hip hop!!!

Photos courtesy of mlovitt

5 30 Taggart 30!

Happy 3 Oh Taggart!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Commencement


Commencment
Originally uploaded by TaggartCojanSorensen.
Three Weeks. Wow. ZIPPP. in three weeks I have bounced around the Northern Hemisphere and was lucky enough to watch and listen to Liz's commencement speech.
More than achieving any of my own goals I was happiest watching Liz spreading her own kind of love. She continues to be the sweetest thing in my life while taking charge of her own life and future without displacing and shoving those around her. She just breezes by (as in lightly, because she does exert effort) others and gracefully passes them without drawing the envy, jealousy, or maliciousness of others.

ConsumerLab

I just heard a story on NPR about this company, ConsumerLab. They independently test nutritional supplements. A couple years ago this was a big deal and there was lots of talk about having the FDA oversee the nutritional supplement industry. Whenever I hear calls for the government to oversee new areas I cringe. I tend to think of the government, Federal, state or local, as being the least competent entity to accomplish any task. Think of time spent at the DMV or the "response" to Hurricane Katrina.

ConsumerLab makes their money by selling a subscription for the results of their studies. I don't know how successful they are, but I think people who use a lot of supplements will likely sign up. People, like me, who use very few supplements probably don't need this service. That's the beauty of it. Since my risk of consuming a contaminated substance is low I can spend that money on something else. Another nice thing is that, unlike the FDA, if ConsumerLab turns out to be incompetent at its job people will cancel their subscriptions and they will go out of business.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Okapi

[The okapi] have very long (apx. 30 cm or 12 inch), flexible, blue tongues that they use to strip leaves and buds from trees. The tongue of an okapi is long enough for the animal to wash its eyelids and clean its ears: it is one of the few mammals that can lick its own ears

Monday, May 22, 2006

Blogs, podcasts, videos, Internet whiz kids help politicians brave new world

USATODAY.com - Blogs, podcasts, videos, Internet whiz kids help politicians brave new world:
Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who is considering a presidential run, recently added a professional blogger to his staff. Warner likes to use video podcasts.

We'll have to start a Pablo clipping tag in del.icio.us.

Traintacular!


Traintacular!
Originally uploaded by Pablo Mercado.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Coffee Shop Cuckoo

European Common Cuckoo: is a brood parasite. The Cuckoo chick hatches from an egg laid in another species’ nest and evicts its nest-mates.

Today I felt like a Coffee Shop Cuckoo because as soon as I saw some people leave their table, I occupied it, making sure not clean up their plates so it would appear that I was the original occupant, to better disguise the fact that I had been sitting for hours and had only consumed one cup of coffee…

Friday, May 19, 2006

A little bit Freaked.

I know ya'll don't wanna be brought down on a Friday, but I got word from my sister. Apparently, a guy that we went to school with was killed in Iraq this past week.
Normally, this sort of thing would send me into an introspective dizzying funk. It was a helicopter crash by the way. Anyway, this morning as it was fresh on my mind and I was showering and listening to NPR, as I do. I hear the President down in Yuma Arizona talking about the border but how he was really just down there dick around on a doon buggie.

This doesn't make me introsepctive. This makes me angry. He's yuckin it up while folks are either dying in the attempt to get in this country or dying in Iraq for a cause that no one seems quite clear on anymore.
I mean this guy I went to school with was HOT!
Anyway... Fresh on my mind is all. Just wanted to drop a line and bring everybody down...

The loss of one more hot American fighter for freedom fries.
and a Comander-In-Cheif who's blaring some skynard and whoop'in it up on the dunes.

What happened?

Bike To Work Day In Austin

So today is Bike To Work Day in Austin, sponsored by the Austin Cycling Association. They set up “breakfast stations” throughout the city, including one right next door at Little City. It was neat see more cyclists on the road.

I guess I have been riding to work for the last two years now. My little Fuji has served me well. I hope that I will be able to bike to work in D.C too…

Earth Sandwich

zefrank.com :: if the earth were a sandwich : status page
If someone in Spain can take a picture of a piece of bread, the Earth Sandwich will be complete!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Neat!

http://interact10ways.com/usa/information_interactive.htm

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cab Driver Interviewed by Mistake

Has anyone seen this yet? Make sure you watch the video: it's absolutely hilarious!

Ok, it is official, I am moving to Washington D.C.

At the end of june. To work in politics. For former Governor of Virginia Mark Warner. Who is often mentioned as a leading Democratic candidate from President in 2008.

This was a difficult decision, for many reasons:

  • I like Austin and am very happy in my apartment with the sweet screen-door (thanks Todd for the refactoring help) that is 1 mile from work and 1 mile from soccer.
  • I was just made partner at Handwire, (which I won’t technically be giving up but who knows what will happen in the next year or so) and I love working with the people there.
  • I really enjoy being close to my friends here, both old and new.
  • I loathe the Washington D.C area and the entire East Coast in general

But I have decided to do it anyways because:

  • It will be an adventure
  • I want to see a Democrat in the White House in 2008
  • My sister Susan lives in Richmond, VA. She had a boy a year-and-a-half ago and is pregnant with another. My nephews need me, rumor has it their father wants them to grow up playing Lacrosse. Lacrosse!!!
  • My other sister Sara (and my nephew Preston) is fixin to move to Charlotte, N.C., which is a short 5 hour or so drive away (5 hours is nothing for a Texan!).
  • I loathe the East Coast but have not ever really explored it (as an adult) and am excited about taking the train to NY City, for example (where I have never been) or driving out to Boston and snickering at people
  • The thought of drastically reducing my income and drastically increasing my cost-of-living is too enticing.

ACL - Gnarls Barkley

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Flickr Updates

The update to the flickr Organizr tool is fantastic. Flash is adios, replaced by DHTML sweetness. So fast it is!

OH!

Go to the itunes website and download the album from JAYMAY.

SO SO SO SO sweet.

Okay, Okay, ....check this out!

About a month ago I was speaking to Laura on the phone and she said she had received a notice in the mail from RACC, Regional Arts and Culture Council, about a call for proposals for public art at a new skate park being built up in the part of town we are living in. Well normally I don't really do much with ideas that I have. All my life I have had fully realized paintings and sculptures come into my head, and I would never do anything about them......sure enough a few months later I would see it somewhere else, causing me to realize that art is an expression of the human soul as a collective, if I didn't express it, someone else would.
Well as some of you know I have been going through a lot of changes recently in my personal life and it has caused me to examine my way of living in detail. One of the things is how I relate to my expression, my art, and how I have always had little faith in its strength. I have always had a difficult time taking my hands off its throat. Well as I have had to examine all things, one of the main thoughts/feelings I am dealing with, is GOD. What, where, how, why, when.

A little while back I had mentioned I was doing some water colors of rocks, well this was right around the time Laura mentioned to me this proposal she had received. Well, the idea walked into my head and looked at me, and I had the familiar feeling of shying away from the challenge. A couple hours later, with encouragement from Laura and a decision that maybe the idea was not mine to dismiss, I started work on a proposal.

The basic idea was to take large boulders and cut them at various angles and make them skateable. Then place them in a way that creates a skateable zen garden, blending the skatepark into the surrounding enviroment, and providing a place of beauty not only to the skaters but the community as a whole.

Well I got back to my desk today, and the red light on my phone said I had a message.

It was RACC,
They want to interview me next Tues.
I am one of four.

I'll keep you posted.

Man, my iBook is running really, really slowly today.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Day ONE

Okay, Day One of the most important day of my professional career is over.
I am dog ass tired.
Everybody smarter than me is working with me in my favor.
Having an older assistant named Carl Deal is AWESOME.

He comes equiped with tactical driving experience needed for driving in S.F.
His experience is everything I need when I forget to tell him what I need.
He just starts thinking about what he would need, and he listens.
I am gratefull.

Everyone is honest and nobody is flipping freaking out (except me and I only turn it at myself at this point).
It's over and I have not let anybody down. Have I pleased anyone? (please no jokes) We will find out tomorrow.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A few notes

1. I am so excited that there will be a new, mega-Whole Foods in Houston. This means I will never have to visit you losers in Austin again.

Except for Book People and hills and Toy Joy and Kerbey Lane and, well, Amber.

Ok, I'll be back, but should the hills ever decide to migrate to Houston (and what an event that would be!), I definitely will never visit Austin again. Because I probably wouldn't survive the Great Migration of the Hills.

2. Mosquitoes in the backyard: how do I get rid of them? Because they are putting a crimp in my plans to turn the backyard into a swinging bachelorette hang.

3. Killy and Carol: I'm sorry I missed you yesterday and thank you for the aloe and the gnome. I named him Gifty the Free Gnome and his Basket of Ham. I will return the favor with a lovely basil plant asap.

4. Diatomaceous earth really does get rid of critters, it just takes about three months to work.

5. I held the door open at the Galleria Starbucks Palace for a girl who was about six feet tall, dark tan, with camo gauchos, impeccable makeup and very expensive sunglasses. I stared at her down as she walked through, expecting a smile or something. She walked through without looking at me, much less saying thank you. It was as if I was meant to hold the door open for her and it should be a true honor for me to get to do so. My question: What is the appropriate response to this?

6. I mean, I know I'm not pretty like Queen Starbucks, but at what point did that mean I wasn't worthy of her glance?

7. Bitch.

8. I saw Akeelah and the Bee last night with my mom. It was a pretty good movie, except it was geared toward kids and had one, completely unnecessary instance of the word "shit" in it, uttered by an 11-year-old. I was scandalized and I'm 28. I have no doubt that one word garnered the movie the coveted PG rating, rather than the horrid G, but I would have been mighty angry had I had a kid there.

9. Got home and watched The Squid and the Whale. Anyone else seen this? I don't think it could have been bleaker had it tried, but it was very satisfying.

10. Anyone interested in seeing this? I know Brian won't go with me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Google Challenge

Among other things, Brad and I were talking about our respective days at work this evening. He mentioned something interesting that happened today, a particular Google search he made turned up only one result. More interesting was that it was only two words long. Is this odd? This challenge comes from Brad Young of Mangum Manor Civic Club: "What is the shortest input string that produces a single search result from a Google query" Post your results.

Friday, May 12, 2006

It is called oversight, asshole

Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee comments on the recent disclosure of NSA activities…

Rather than allow our intelligence professionals to maintain a laser focus on the terrorists, we are once again mired in a debate about what our intelligence community may or may not be doing

link

also, this is a funny quote:

“terrorism” is the root password to the Constitution

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Black Heart Procession

My little brother, Scott is on tour in Europe with the Black Heart Procession. He is getting paid to play music and travel in France and Italy and such!

I am so proud of him!!!!

Here is a Black Heart video! My brother is in it playing the acoustic type guitar!!!!!

Teh Radness!

Volkswagon Storage Facility

It’s like the matrix for the cars

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls

Reading this article from today’s USA Today, I came across this gem-

Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest’s lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused.

The NSA’s explanation did little to satisfy Qwest’s lawyers. “They told (Qwest) they didn’t want to do that because FISA might not agree with them,” one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest’s suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general’s office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Things Taggart is listening too......

1. John Fahey-The Best of John Jahey.

This seems to be what I have been trying to get to for a long long time.
What I Love about music. What kind of music Taggart likes all boiled down
some sort of Folky Reduction Sauce.

2. Gomez-How We Operate

I like Gomez. I like how they have two singers and a assemble that can play any and every instrument, including the saw.
I love how they have two singers that hold there own and that they sound incredible live. They even named a whole album
"Abandoned Trolley Hotline" and had a great line drawing of a upturned shopping basket.

3. The Roadcase Broadcast of Jeff Tweedy's solo performance in Chicago.

I am going to be sad when this disappears. Really Sad. Depressed Even.
You can listen too. Just go to WilcoWolrd.net, hang a right at the Roadcase Link at
the Bottom and Voila. I am listening to it right now even though it's 6 past midnight and
I gotta wake up soon even though I havnt gone to bed. It's just to good.

I Knew It!

Wonderful News! Good Work Los Chavez!

Also, my sister Susan found out the other day that she is having another bouncing baby boy!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

ok the doughnut didn't have anything to do with it but i had one this morning for good measure probably because i knew i was going to talk to a diabetes specialist today about my high glucose test results in any case i haven't been "hungry" and i haven't been eating REALLY bad really so i didn't think the doughnut would have any terrible effects and it didn't except for the baby enjoyed the doughnut too and about 80 times more than i did so when the nurse was doing the ultra-sound the baby kept moving and moving and rolling and flipping and kept saying nonono with the head motion but evenutally the nurse got the picture she wanted and confirmed that the next little chavez is a girl yessirreeee a little daddy's girl

Airline Pilot Central - FedEx arrivals during Thunderstorms

Airline Pilot Central - FedEx arrivals during Thunderstorms

iPhoto pretty much rocks now


iPhoto pretty much rocks now
Originally uploaded by tcserpa.
despite my spiffy new camera i have not been spending much time in iPhoto lately. while attempting to avoid working on a project that is stressing me the hell out i decided to play with the full screen editing mode. all i can say is sweet. and for some reason i got to wondering where is the iPhoto database and what can i do with it? but i got back to work before i went too far down that path.

Hey amber your site looks great! sorry i could not get my act together enough to help. gee, if i only knew some gifted PHP types who would help me frankenstein together wordpress and zenphoto...

listening to NPR this morn...

They were saying that Zacarias Moussaoui has said he want a re-trial after having lied about his involvement in the 911 plots. He said that he did not believe that he would be able to get a fair trial and was supprised, after reading his sentencing, that jurrors were able to set aside their emotions and deliver a even handed verdict.

I don't know about you, but I think this sounds like a PR BullShizzle line.

How much can we believe in what we hear from the news?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Houston Chronicle

I love these lines from the Loren Steffy’s recent article in the Houston Chronicle.

He discusses Rex Tillerson’s (Exxon/Mobil’s new CEO) message that in response to the record gas prices at the pump (and record profits for Exxon/Mobil) folks should use energy more wisely. Sounds pretty good to me.

Anyhow, Loren goes on to produce this gem:

Making it worse

Last year, Congress passed what it called an energy bill, but it did nothing to head off our looming crisis. In fact, it compounded the problem. Last year, lawmakers refused to protect refiners from water contamination lawsuits involving the gasoline additive MTBE.

As a result, refiners are switching from MTBE to ethanol in an already tight market, creating bottlenecks in supplies. That’s exacerbating the recent surge in crude prices, driving pump prices higher.

Real creative analysis of how Congress has “compounded the problem”. Read the Houston Chronicle, it’s worth it!.

Question:

Is there a word that means something like “a word that was once an acronym”.

Radar, laser etc are [insert the word] , in other words, they are words that were once acronyms: Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging), Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

I am always a wondering on the what words are “forgotten acronyms”.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Website

I really love my new web design! Check it out:

www.amberfreda.com

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Little Duckies!

Adolph got me hooked on The Show.

I had always been skeptical of video blogs (vblogs? vlogs?). But I really like these 1-2 minute sketches. They are funny and just the right the amount of info burst for my short attention span.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Google calendar

What am I doing wrong? I add an event, then want to edit it and the save button just doesn't work. The cancel button works fine, but I can't save any changes. Anyone?

Also, Katamari Damacy is only the best game ever in the whole wide world.

Monday, May 01, 2006

lemmmonheads


lemmmonheads
Originally uploaded by tcserpa.
every once in a while i like to eat lemonheads brand candies. they are sweet AND sour and when you eat them they go from hard and glossy to soft and scratchy back to hard and glossy.

good stuff.

Maybe the French Lege will open up teh fTunes Music Store?

In iTunes War, France Has Met the Enemy. Perhaps It Is France. - New York Times
Further, iTunes keeps getting better. Apple has added video capability, celebrity play lists, exclusive music, the ability to convert home movies into iPod format, and many other features %u2014 all free.
What is amazing is that iTunes is successful and all that without changing very much—are “celebrity play lists” an innovation? I opened up iTunes on the work computer today because I left the iPod in the car. The iTunes Music Store is clunky, combining the worst of the two worlds of web browser and custom interface widgets. It is just useable enough but amazingly non-powerful with lots of useless eye-candy and extra slowness. Are Podcasts a genre of music? Are they a category of ITMS offerings? Fortunately, it isn’t as clunky as the NYT article, which makes it sound like you have to drag music to the iPod every time you want to update it.

On the plus side, Stongbad email via video Podcast is very much handier than returning and navigating through the Home Star Runner website.

In terms of the substance of the article, I think the French iPod legislation firmly places France in banana republic status. Sure it is probably technically feasible for FairPlay digital rights management to be supported by players made by other manufacturers. However, the action essentially establishes a proprietary system as a de-facto standard. This could do two things: 1. Make Apple Computer a quasi-public utility that governs the standard, makes money on every sale of music or player and has the Microsoft-like unenviable task of making it work with every funky Chinese iPod knock-off. 2. Takes the system from Apple and France gets a goose that won’t lay any more golden eggs. I have a feeling it is one of those “Freedom Fries” moments where you feel embarrassed for your elected officials’ idiocy.

sQuiD!

Back in march I linked my self portrait with squid on the head and to squid.us, the site that inspired the drawing. I emailed the squid overlord and he posted my drawing!!! woo hoo!

Check it out!

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

Some of my prime random thinking time is during my walk down to the bathroom from my office. We are in one of those offices that doesn’t have built-in facilities—you have to walk out and cross about half the building. The walk is a great peak out of the cocoon/cave I spend the best parts of the day in. This afternoon’s thought was spurred by seeing a bit of debris on the floor in the hall. The building management keeps the place spotless, so it was notable. It seems like they have a small army of people that keeps the entire place polished at all times. On rainy days when everyone walks in with muddy feet you can see exactly how much work is involved in the cleaning enterprise—lots. So I see this little bit of whatnot on the floor in the hall and I look down on it as I walk past and it kind of looks like a fake fingernail. It can’t be because it is white on the big end and clear on the narrow end. Never the less, it is enough to start thinking: “Why are they called fingernails?” Why not fingertip coverings? What weird twist of evolution or divine fiat put them on fingers? I accidentally scratched Taggart last night after dinner at Home Slice passing him his front passenger seat-belt from my vantage point in the back seat. Why is it that I can only be bothered with the minimal clipping of my fingernails instead of de-burring them too? I’m so appreciative of the clipper with a plastic housing around it that I think Killy and Carol gave me, although if it was someone else—my apologies, I deeply enjoy that tool every week or two. Life before it was a miserable state of torquing my fingers in the right direction so a magazine or something could catch the clippings. Even though I stopped saving the clippings, I love not making a mess.

Blanton Museum Of Art

Uploaded by waepoint on 30 Apr ‘06, 12.00am CDT.

Austin has a fancy new art museum. The opening was saturday night and it was billed as a “super grand opening” and indeed it was. What made the opening “super grand”, you ask? Well, it was a 24 hour opening. Thats right! There were events from 9:00 p.m Saturday night until 9:00 p.m Sunday night! Amazing? Amazing!

I showed up around 10 on Saturday and there was a line around the building to get in. I decided to try my luck on sunday morning instead. Here is some footage: quicktime

On sunday morning the museum served coffee and donuts. So tasty! There was no line to get in and so I got in and checked out the space. Nice space! The collection is pretty interesting too. Alot of the pieces will be familiar to anyone who has spent any time at the Harry Ransom center…