I’ve been a huge fan of the DVR for years. I purchased my first one back in 2000, and TV has been a much better experience ever since. Thanks to my early-adopter savvy, I was already familiar with SnapStream. What they offer is like no one else though – it is the coolest thing ever! Imagine all the power of search combined with a mega-DVR that could record 50 channels at once!

Sure, this may be overkill for your average homeowner use. But SnapStream was forward-thinking enough to develop SnapStream TV Search. Prior to SnapStream, the media would record shows on multiple recording devices all at once. Just think of setting up 10 DVRs to record different shows – and then trying to keep straight what was on each one. Ugh! It would be impossible. Enter SnapStream! Their DVRs record multiple shows, and then index the closed-caption text of the show itself so you can search through it later.

This is excellent for City, State and Federal governments, Higher Education, Education K-12, Television and Film production, TV broadcasting, Media Monitoring / PR, and Radio production. Anyone with a SnapStream Server can search within programs, eliminating the need for them to watch tons of meaningless coverage just to find 30 seconds of relevant footage. When they pinpoint the sought-after content, you can make a video clip, then download it to a PC, burn it to a DVD, or send it to someone else via e-mail.

When I met with Rakesh Agrawal, who founded SnapStream, he asked me to come up with a search term. I suggested one that I knew was in recent news, and he typed the word in. From what they recorded on their servers, up came results for Craig Ferguson, the Daily Show, Sean Hannity, and several others. The results displayed the text we were looking for, along with a queued up clip, ready to play the seconds just before the word itself, right in the middle of a show. It was so cool!

I never really thought about how TV shows used to gather this information otherwise. Some would have banks of 8 DVRs recording things all at once. They would then have to go through them, one at a time, to find the clips that they needed. Now with SnapStream, they can quickly run a search right from their computer and be done.

Short version? As the Houston Chronicle said in this article, “If you’re a politician who just said something foolish on air, it’s now much easier for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to find the clip”. The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert are some of their many clients.

Thank you again to the SnapStream team for showing me around the office and teaching me more about the device and what it can do. What a wonderful team! Interested in learning what is being said on TV? Check out the TV Trends and search what is happening. Be sure to keep up with the latest news at the TV Searcher blog and follow them on Facebook and Twitter @SnapStream.

I spotted this in the server room. I didn’t look inside. I’m sure there was something really cool inside there that they are developing, but I wanted to see my family again!

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Adolf Hoepfl Garage is an institution here in Houston. It has been family owned & operated since 1946! What makes them so special though is that they are just as passionate about the community and the people they work with as they are about their level of service, and it shows by the dedicated clients that are long time loyal customers.

The garage is now owned by Sybren & Kathryn van der Pol. Sybren is an ASE certified Master Technician with L-1 certification. He & Kathryn purchased Adolf Hoepfl Garage in 2004. Kathryn is an ASE certified Service Advisor who is dedicated to serving the Houston community. She is a Rice University graduate and retired classics teacher.

I got a true sense of their dedication to the community on the day that I visited the Garage – it was Kathryn’s birthday, and people kept showing up all day to give her birthday wishes and to have some ice cream and birthday cake! That is something that you just don’t see at a chain store. Such a personal level of service is a rare treat!

I asked Kathryn to share one special thing with me, and her response was immediate. They LOVE what they do. She might not have realized it, but I think everyone that walks in their door knows it, and that is what makes going there for car repairs such a great experience!

Adolf Hoepfl Garage is located at 4610 North Shepherd Drive in Houston, Texas. You can find them on Twitter @1946_auto_shop, on Facebook, and online here.

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I visited the World Headquarters of the Dessert Gallery and got to spend time with the effervescent Sara Brook, the brilliance behind the Dessert Gallery and everything that is awesome about it! Did you know that the Dessert Gallery is 15 years old? Long before the cupcake trend and the concept of dessert specialty shops, the Dessert Gallery was making its mark on the Houston dessert scene with the delicious confections that they make.

Oh goodness, can we just talk for a moment about how delicious they are? As Sara gave Mike, my husband, and I a tour of the kitchens, she completely changed how we will eat cupcakes from now on! Mike doesn’t normally go to shoots with me, but when he heard I was going to the Dessert Gallery, I don’t think there was any hope of me stopping him!

Basically, you pull the bottom off the cupcake, and stick it on top. That way, the cake to frosting ration is perfect in every bite! Yummmmm!

The World Headquarters is the main bakery location for the two Houston storefronts, so we saw cakes and pies being made here as well. Much of the staff here has been with Sara for years – having a solid team like that insures that the products coming out are consistent and perfect!

I think what I found most inspiring about Sara is her business sense – her desire to take her passion for baking and make a career out of it. As a woman business owner who has done the same thing, it is wonderful to see her success! Thank you again to Sara for the tour! It was so great to learn more about what you do and the pride you & your team take in your work.

Now it is time to rally & SLGT! Please help the Dessert Gallery! Sara Brook & the Dessert Gallery are up as finalists in the People’s Platelist Contest – and they need YOUR votes! Go here to watch the video, and then vote there on the site. You can vote once a day, and the voting goes through September 26, 2010! I just watched the video again – and it is so true that everything that comes out of that kitchen tastes like love!

You can find the Dessert Gallery online, on Twitter and on Facebook!

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We had originally planned to do a photo shoot for Houston Habitat for Humanity earlier this summer, but when SLGT and Houston Habitat partnered to build a house this week, we decided to wait – and I’m so glad we did!

I went out to the build site on Monday, September 13, 2010 to check it out. The original plan was that they would be building and raising the walls that day, but due to weather the week before and the wet ground, they were not able to pore the slab for the house yet. The workers got all the walls put together though, ready for the slab to be poured. They worked hard & fast and were done a few hours ahead of schedule!

Since 1987, Houston Habitat for Humanity, along with thousands of sponsors and volunteers, has built more than 825 affordable homes for purchase by hard working, low-income Houstonians. Qualified Houston Habitat homebuyers agree to a no-interest mortgage and contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” in lieu of a down payment. Partner families are also provided with classes on money management and home maintenance. More information about Houston Habitat and the Houston Habitat ReStore, a discounted building supply outlet, is available here or by calling 713-671-9993.

This is the spot where the house will go!

Thanks again to Holly for all of her hard work in putting this together and keeping everything running so smoothly! It isn’t too late to sign up for working on the build!

How You Can SLGT!
BUILD: We need 150 volunteers over six days. That’s a lot of folks, but we know that you’re up to the challenge! Just follow these simple steps:
• Go to www.houstonhabitat.org
• Click on “VOLUNTEER NOW”
• Click on “Access Code”
• Enter Access Code “SLGT”
• Click on “Access Schedule”
• Select date(s) to volunteer
• Click on “Sign Up”
• Fill in the requested info
• Recruit your friends and family! (Note: You must be 16 years old to be on the jobsite)

DONATE
• They need local restaurants, stores or guardian angels to provide lunch for our hard working volunteers. They’ll be sweating up a storm in the September heat, and we will definitely have hungry stomachs to feed.
• Can’t make it out to build? Houston Habitat still needs your support!

Don’t forget! For any sessions signed up for between now and Friday (for any time during the Photo Project) – 15% will be donated to Houston Habitat for Humanity! Be sure to sign up for your day!

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Years ago, before I decided to live my dream and be a professional photographer, I worked for two different web design companies. I loved working in the web design world. In 2007, right as my photography business was taking off, I did a few weeks worth of temporary work to help the Schipul team out, and after the second day there I came home and told Mike that THIS is what a web company should be like.


So everyone brought their favorite stuffed animal for the shoot. And for some reason, I suggested they throw them. The penguin? I couldn’t stop laughing!

Ed Schipul is one of the business owners in Houston that I can’t help but admire. Not just because of him, but more because of how he runs his company. He empowers his employees. He lets them get out and participate in the community. He encourages them to do great things. He supports the team, and by doing so he has built a dynamic company that is active in so many different things throughout Houston. It takes a great leader to know when to step out of the way and to let the team lead itself.

I really can’t say enough great things about Schipul, and everyone involved in the team there. Plus how can you not love a company that allows their employees to decorate their desks & offices with toys?

Schipul developed some of the COOLEST software ever for content management for companies – have a website that you need to maintain easily? Be sure to check Tendenci out! Completely overhauled and rebuilt from the ground up to be as robust as possible, I think it includes every feature your website might ever need! Of course, they do custom design work as well, and they have a staff that can train you on anything you might need to know to grow your business online.

I asked Katie Laird to help me out before this post started to sound like I’m the leader of the Schipul fan club. (I sort of am, but I was trying to not sound too biased.) She sent me this:

- We have an office full of quirky kooks: Happykatie / urbanhoustonian / thisisnotapril / katriname / qcait / eschipul

- Our clients are %&#$*#^ bad ass: Houston zoo / The Orange Show / Children’s Museum / Tony Chachere’s / Houston Red Cross

- We do weird things: Buy hand puppets from famous bloggers (Strange furry thing in group photos) / have cupcake parties / race plasma cars on the parking lot garage / geek out over company book clubs

- We think Houston is really awesome!

Want to have your business featured here? Buy a session! 15% of all sessions purchased by Friday, September 17th, go to the SLGT Habitat for Humanity house build!

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