Join us on Tues Nov 25th at City Hall
November 20th, 2008 | View Post
The result of last month's planning commission hearing was to postpone for another month. The motion passed by the commission was for the zoning department to figure out a way to make this property residential without affecting the setback rights of the vacant property to the east.

In addition to all of this, Misty Lansford has recently appeared on Fox7 trying to get the county to fix the Travis County International Cemetery, something I have been talking about in all of my presentations. If you can make it to planning commission on the 25th to voice your concern either for the industrial use, or for the cemetery, we'd love your support!
Stop Industrial Development in our Neighborhood!
October 14th, 2008 | View Post

Please come to city hall and support downgrading 3617 Axel Lane from industrial to residential.
Let's build houses next to our schools, not industrial factories!

The front side of my campaign postcard.

The back side of my campaign postcard.

Dear Fellow Resident,

We have spent the past 14 months working hard to downgrade property on Axel Lane from Industrial to Single Family Residential and now we need your help.

Despite our neighborhood association, M.E.T.S.A., openly supporting this change, the planning and zoning boards refuse to acknowledge the problem and would prefer that an industrial area remain adjacent to our elementary school.

Please support our neighborhood by showing up to city hall in favor of downgrading Axel Lane. Parking in the city hall garage is free.

Kevin Ludlow
The Engine Failure
Story circa May 8th, 2008 | View Post
The plan was for a solo XC from AUS->AQO->LZZ->BMQ->AUS. Total time planned was 3.5 hrs (including FSTB, gassing up, and eating lunch). I think the flight was about 160nm round robin.

Preflight was completely normal, oil was just a tick below 5qt, gas looked fine, instruments were okay, and the mags checked out. The left one dropped just slightly below normal so I leaned out the plane for about a minute (per our procedure) and rechecked it. It tested within the norm the second time.

I departed Austin at 17:51Z (a bit behind schedule, but I was okay with this). Very smooth departure and climb. I even got routed over my property and then Mueller, so I was really enjoying my views. I probably reached my planned altitude of 6,500 just after the towers on Hwy 360. I leaned the mixture out as always, waited for the brief drop in RPM and then a few ticks back to the right. Around this time I was switched over to Houston Center for flight following on 134.20.

Climbing past 5,000 feet on my way to a planned 6,500

Around 18:35Z, just getting over the intersection of HWY 281 in Marble Falls and still at 6,500 feet, I noticed the engine was starting to lose power. I couldn't hear it or feel it, but I saw it on the tach. It was dropping about 100 RPM for 1-2 second every 15-20 seconds or so. I just began monitoring it, and after a minute or so alerted Houston Center to my finding. They asked if I wanted to declare any emergency and I said no, I just wanted to say it in case the problem got worse and I needed more attention. They asked me to keep them updated and business was as usual. The problem persisted.

About 2-5 minutes later the problem got worse and I started noticing the engine dropping about 300 RPM for 1-2 seconds every 15-20 seconds with the 100 RPM drops interspersed between those. I immediately alerted Houston Center to the problem with something to the effect of "Houston Center, Cessna 67796. My engine is definitely having problems now, probably going to have to land". They quickly started giving me very close attention and asking if I had power and such. I replied yes, but that the engine was suffering power losses. At this time we established that I was a student pilot on a solo XC. I had already located a bunch of fields by this time and (as HC noted) Horseshoe Bay was just a few miles off to my west (about my 10 o'clock according to Houston). Though I tried to remain calm, I'm sure they could sense some panic in my voice by this time. Still, I kept doing things as needed and now treated the situation as an emergency, assuming that the engine would die at any moment. I went through the emergency checklist though it didn't seem to fix the 300 RPM drops.

I was still communicating with Houston, treating the situation as an emergency, and the problem was still persisting. I definitely had Horseshoe Bay in my sights, just a few miles off to the west and was just a little below my previous altitude. I informed them that the problem was still continuing and that I would be heading for Horseshoe Bay. Though I had them handy, I requested the runway configuration, airport elevation, and the CTAF. All three were given to me. Just as I started my left turn, and about 1 second before my heart would momentarily stop, the engine lost almost compete power.

I can't be sure, but it dropped down to about 1000? 1200? RPM -- basically just above idle -- and held there for a moment before jumping back up. At this point I told Houston that I had a more severe problem and that the engine was probably about to die. They passed me over to Horseshoe Bay and those guys started bringing me in. They cleared out all other traffic and told me either runway was mine for the taking. I was still around 5,800 feet at this time (PA is 2,100), about 3 miles west of the field, and more or less on a perfect left line for a left downwind to runway 35 (the preferred runway was for 17 but surface wind was only about 3 kts, so I stuck with 35).

I told Horseshoe Bay that I would be making a long extension of my downwind in order to lose my excess altitude. I probably went about twice as far as normal before turning base (doing the best I could to calculate all of the differences quickly in my head). The engine seemed to be working with me at this point, but I was also making a lot of adjustments to it, so hard to know for sure. I turned base still a bit too high, but plenty far out. On final I quickly got down to a good altitude, slowed enough for flaps and added a notch. The other two notches came in at my discretion as I basically was landing by 'feeling it out'.

I put it down on 35 and it was actually a really nice, smooth, and otherwise uneventful landing. Taxiing didn't seem to be much of an issue either. The guy waved me to a spot and was happy to see me. We called Houston Center immediately to let them know, and also Flight Service to alter and close my flight plan.

N47796 on the ground at Horseshoe Bay after my failed engine

Original DADGAD Song
May 5th, 2008 | View Post
There is a very long history to the full origin of this song. I originally wrote it in 2002, and continued improving it for a few more years. While the melody has always remained the same, it wasn't until early 2006 before I finally had the full sound and subtle intricacies as I wanted them.

I recorded it the other day so I could share with people on YouTube.

About openFace
March 23rd, 2008 | View Post

The first openFace logo
Welcome to openFace! archiving software

It's been over three years since I decided to embark upon my own personal content management system (CMS) specifically for powering my personal archival space on the internet,

My first version of such a software package was designed under the guidelines that database designs were not only unnecessary, but also that they provided gaping security problems to the average user. As a result, my first CMS (which incidentally has powered for the past several years) was designed such that the administrator could use databases for support, but that the resulting website would be 'built' and hence all pages would actually be static. Given the system was driven by pluggable modules, it was titled staticMOD.

Though the staticMOD system worked well, it became more and more clear that in order for a CMS to be truly dynamic, it could not rely upon the administrator to 'build' new database remarks into the static pages. After coming to that sad realization, I discontinued building the finer features of staticMOD

In the summer of 2006, I began working on new concepts for how a true personal archival package should be built, and specifically how it should differ from the typical content management system. The system should avoid more technical features commonly used for allowing administrators to set up slashDot style websites, and should rather focus on the aspects truly desired by users: photo support, video support, personal blog, contact capabilities, and etc. Additionally that all aspects of text should be taggable in a wiki-like style thus allowing visitors to truly learn about the website owner's world.

After over a year of here-and-there planning, the first bits of code were written on the 19th of July, 2007. From then on, the software package has slowly been transformed into the vision I have had for it all along.

Some of the more interesting features, in my opinion, deal specifically with how entities are tagged throughout the openFace system. For example, say you are looking at a scanned photo over 80 years old of relatives, perhaps your grandparents. openFace has the unique ability to not only let you discern who is who in the picture, it will also tell you roughly (or in most cases exactly) how old the individuals are in the photo. Additionally, you have the ability to click on the individual and read more about them and how they pertain to my life. The same profile display will link you to various stories about the individual, any video footage I may have of them, some personal information, and of course will allow you to view all images with said individuals.

As far as the look of openFace goes, it may strike you that the website has a remarkably similar look and feel to Facebook. Though I suppose it is safe to say this is no coincidence, no portion of Facebook was used to design this website. Additionally, no codebases, external or otherwise, were in any way borrowed from Facebook. I simply feel that of the social networking sites available online Facebook is the only one that has done it right as far as a clean interface goes. My imitation of that cleanliness is nothing shy of flattery to the web-layout team over at Facebook.

To expand on the previous statements, all code was written from the ground up in Linux shells using nothing more than VIM. The codebase is primarily written in PHP, though it also relies heavily upon JavaScript, CSS, and of course HTML. To date, the entire codebase (including comments) is in excess of 16,000 lines. The entire API is also documented with the help of Doxygen.

Though there are still many features and functions on the way, some of which are even discussed in the former paragraphs, I hope you'll enjoy the first new version of my content management system personal archival system, openFace!
Advertising for Ron Paul
January 7th, 2008 | View Post
We used to always write on one another's cars in high school with shoe polish and so I figured it would be just as useful for an election.

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