2006 Christmas Card
December 10th, 2006 | View Post

I was just sitting around the other day and thought, what better way to spend my time than to create a little holiday card for my friends and family. I didn't really have any ideas going into it, but after playing around with some colors and concepts for awhile, this is what ultimately came up.

My 2006 Christmas card complete with Tux

The perimeter of the card were supposed to be things of particular interest to me. Starting with the top left corner and working clockwise they are: Mountain Biking, Photography, Soccer, SCUBA Diving, Sushi, Irish, Acoustic Guitar, NASA, Motorcycles, Singing, Apple Laptop, Construction, Scrabble, New Zealand, Nintendo (Mario in this case), and Computers (AMD)

First YouTube Submission
October 29th, 2006 | View Post

Since YouTube has now taken the web by storm, I wanted to play around with it a little bit. This is the first video that I uploaded to it after coming back from Ft. Stockton for a little mancation.

I titled it "Barham Knocks Out Baby Bluey".

And to those people that think it's wrong to pretend fight with a doll because it somehow symbolizes that I advocate hitting babies. You're right, it does. And go fuck yourself.

Preston's Addition Panorama
October 29th, 2006 | View Post

When we got back from our Ft. Stockton Mancation I did some exploring of Preston's new home addition. He's been pretty excited to get this thing going for awhile so it was great to see so much progress on it.

I shot dozens of pictures of it and used some new panorama software to stitch all of them together.

A view from the top of the structure

The front view of the new structure

Fractured Hand
October 23rd, 2006 | View Post

A little part of my bone that evidently chipped away from the main thumb.
While playing an indoor soccer game, I had the pleasure of playing goal. If you've never seen an indoor game before, it's tremendously faster than outdoor soccer. The field is about the same size as a hockey rink and the out-of-bounds rules are similar; the ball can be played off of the walls. While the net is a little smaller to defend, the shots tend to come from much closer in.

It all happened so quickly that I'm not positive of the specific details, but I essentially charged for a ball in the box and right as I grabbed it, had the pleasure of having my hand kicked by the offensive player. After the swelling remained for a few days, I headed over to the urgent care facility to have it checked out.

It turned out that I had a small chip in the bone, though it wasn't a huge deal. After a couple of days of keeping it compressed and icing it, the swelling was gone. It only took a couple of weeks to resume full use of the hand.

I was particularly impressed how the urgent care facility provided me with a digital copy of the x-rays and a program from which to view them (albeit Photoshop works too).

The Subway Worker
Story circa July 6th, 2006 | View Post

A yellow New York Transit work train
When I was visiting Eric and Amy in New York City (as I tended to do each summer), I often spend some time filming subways. I don't know what my fascination is with subways, but I find them very enjoyable to photograph and film.

On this one very late Wednesday night (technically Thursday morning) I was waiting at the 42nd street subway station to catch the uptown 'A' train. On the tracks behind me was one of the work trains. Having never seen one of these before, I snapped a few photos of it. After getting a few pictures of it, I started shooting some film of it as well. I wasn't even looking into the screen to see what I was filming at the time and so had no idea what I had accidentally picked up.

Laying down in the driver's seat of the train was a transit worker. When another worker walked past him on the outer part of the train, he glanced back to see who had walked by and evidently caught a glimpse of my camera. What happened next was frustrating.

He walked off of the train and approached me with quite the mouth on him. He was yelling at me how it was illegal to film subways, that I was going to go to jail, and that I needed to give him my camera. I told him this was not true and I would not give him my camera. The truth of the matter was that I didn't know if New York had passed some insane measure barring trains from being filmed and so after about 30 seconds of arguing, I showed him one of the pictures in the camera and told him that was all I had. He seemed to be okay with this and walked away, all the while reminding me not to take more photos.

It wasn't until I walked away and actually looked at the film that I had any idea what he was concerned about. As it turns out, he had been sleeping on the job. When he caught the glimpse of my camera, he assumed that I had been filming him asleep on the job, jumped to feet, and then proceeded towards me (albeit he never left the edge of the train).

Here is the actual film:

I filed a report with the New York Transit Authority as soon as I got back to Eric and Amy's apartment. Here was my email to them:

Customer (Kevin Ludlow) - 07/06/2006 02:17 AM
To whom it may concern,

My name is Kevin Ludlow and I am currently on vacation visiting some local residents and otherwise enjoying this lovely city.

At about 12:40am on July 6th (just about 1.5 hours ago), a yellow work train (engine #67) pulled up into the 42nd Street / Port Authority stop on the Uptown 'A' track.

As I had not seen one of these large yellow work trains, I took a picture of it with my camera and actually wound up filming a bit. Though I had not thought of it, the 'working' MTA passenger in the train was asleep, his feet up upon the window. The conductor exited the train walking right past me as I continued to film. The MTA passenger eventually woke up, looked towards me, did a double take, and finally jumped up from his lying down position - apparently startled by me.

Normally I would not mention such a thing, but what happened next appalled me. He signaled for me to come near him and asked me what I was taking a picture of. I explained the train. He said (rather unpleasantly) that it was illegal to take pictures and that he needed to see what I had taken a picture of. I told him I did not know that and that I would not show him my camera and then proceeded to ask a person next to me if this was true [that I couldn't take pictures]. The nearby person didn't know and the MTA worker proceeded to tell me he would go and get the police and let them deal with me. Not wanting to cause a scene, I showed him a picture of train - naturally not the video of him asleep which I am almost certain is why he was so angry with me.

Truth be told I actually thought he was going to exit the train and attempt to 'stop' me. Is this a common thing a city tourist should expect from the MTA staff and if so, why?

I have provided the video I described above for you in both AVI and MOV formats. Please feel free to view them from my website for reference to my story.

Thank you very much,
Kevin Ludlow

The next after noon I received the following email from the New York Transit Authority people:

Response (Melissa Glasgow) - 07/06/2006 01:49 PM
This is in response to your recent e-mail to MTA New York City Transit reporting an employee at the 42nd Street-Port Authority station.

We sincerely regret the incident you describe as having occurred at the 42nd Street-Port Authority station. Please be assured that the type of behavior you described is not indicative of the high standards of professionalism set forth in our guidelines. In response to your complaint, we have referred your e-mail to supervision in the appropriate operating department for review and investigation. Based on the information you provided, we hope to identify the employee you encountered for questioning and appropriate further action. Supervision will also closely monitor our employees at this location and take the appropriate measures to prevent any recurrence of this incident.

If you have any further transit-related questions, concerns or problems, please contact Customer Services at (718) 330-3322, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or write to Customer Services at 2 Broadway, Room A11.146, New York, NY 10004. In order to investigate the situation properly and take the appropriate further action, we may need to contact you by phone or mail. Please provide your phone number and address to us for forwarding to the Department of Subways.

Homemade Pedalboard
May 15th, 2006 | View Post

My parents have been in town helping my brother fix up his new house and so there have been all sorts of construction and arts and crafts projects happening. I've been wanting to make a pedalboard for some time now and felt inspired.

The bottom frame of the board is cut out of poplar and the top is covered in diamond board. I fastened a hearty power strip with an 8 foot cord to the top. All of the pedals are given power from a standard DC brick. There are holes drilled next to each device so that all of the wiring could be done on the bottom side. Finally the handles are just standard cabinet mounts turned the wrong way.

It was actually very difficult to find the short 1/4" cables to go between each of the pedals.

The pedalboard shown under normal lighting

The pedalboard shown in the dark

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