Spanish Journal Assignment
October 18th, 1999 | View Post
Para mi entre de journal este semana, quiero hablar de la pais, Mexico, porque fui en Mexico la fin de semana pasada. Mis amigos y yo fuimos a Laredo, Tejas y yo llame un taxi manejar nosotros a Mexico. Cuestan veintecinco dólares pero no hay problema porque hubo tres otros personas conmigo. Manejamos por diez minutos en el taxi, y entonces eramos en “Boys Town”.

Es muy interasante allí porque es incrediblamente pobre. Las cervezas cuestan un dólar en muchos de los clubs allí, pero en un pocos cuestan dos. Porque de este, mis amigos y yo bebímos muchos cervezas. Las cervezas no son un problema allí, que es una problema en Mexico son las prostitutes. Tengo no problemas con prostitución, porque sí una mujer quiere venderse a muchos hombres por dinero ella debe poder. Al meons, que es muy triste sobre prostitución allí, es las mujeres se vende por un a tres dólares. Ellas problamente duerman con díez hombres en un hora. Yo no compré una prostitue por la noche pero es muy triste porque habría podido comprar veinte con mi dinero.

Es definatamente una ciudad muy interasante y tenía diversión allí. Había muchas mas Mexicanos en “Boys Town” pensé que habría. Pensé hay muchos mas Americanos pero era incorrecto sobre ése.

The Super Sperm
Story circa October 5th, 1999 | View Post

The MicroFilm machine at the University of Texas PCL. I needed this little device to grab all of the old stills.
In the summer of 2000 I was living in a SCUBA diving town in Mexico called Akumal. It translates to "Place of the Turtle" in Mayan. I was working as a research dive assistant for a Ph.D student at the University of Texas. A few months before moving there, I had started sketching out a silly comic hero named SuperSperm. Much like Superman, SuperSperm would try to bring peace and harmony to the world. The only difference was that it was a world full of sperm and sperm cities. The sperm world had all of the same basic characteristics that our own world had, only instead of humans, there were sperm.

There was an outdoor whiteboard at the dive shop in Akumal. The instructors would often use it for teaching their day classes. One morning before anyone else had showed up, I took the whiteboard markers and drew a SuperSperm comic on it. I cannot for the life of me remember what the comic was about, but a couple of people chuckled at it and I was hooked. From that day on, any time that I could come up with something relevant to what was going on at the shop, I'd draw a SuperSperm comic strip representing it.

This went on for a few weeks until one day I was told to stop. Mexico is a pretty conservative Catholic destination and evidently not everyone was amused with the content of my drawings. Evidently it was not proper to satirize Superman with a caped-sperm. I drew a few more on the whiteboard after that, but always made sure to erase them before paying customers would arrive (I was part of a non-paying research team).

When I returned back to Austin after the summer expedition, I decided I would try to have the comic published in our school newspaper, The Daily Texan. I contacted the editor and he said that they were always happy to receive more student content. He also said that it would be published if they liked it. Of course I immediately jumped on the chance to have my work published. Despite having absolutely no artistic talent (at least with respect to drawing), it didn't take me long to come up with a sperm-themed joke and sketch it out. I even ran it down to the editor's office that very night. And so on Thursday October 5th, 2000, my first SuperSperm comic strip was published in The Daily Texan. I have no idea how many people actually saw the comic, but I know it was in the hands of about 30,000.

Over the course of about two weeks there were six published. Unfortunately due to some bad luck, this would end the comic series. (continued below)


SuperSperm Thursday October 5th, 2000: The EarthQuake
"With 200 million missing and feared dead, SuperSperm has been dispatched"



SuperSperm Monday October 9th, 2000: Washington
"SuperSperm addresses the nation.



SuperSperm Tuesday October 10th, 2000: Fame
"SuperSperm stares at his first endorsement" (Sperm Lights - Genuine Taste)



SuperSperm Thursday October 12th, 2000: The Museum
"SuperSperm admires the Hall of Swimmers"



SuperSperm Friday October 13th, 2000: The Natives
"Totonka" "Buffalo"



SuperSperm Monday October 16th, 2000: Explorer
"SuperSperm finds himself in a mysteriously moist cave."



In the fall semester of 2000 I was in between apartments. My girlfriend at the time, Dayna, allowed me to stay with her pretty frequently, and so naturally I did. It was a great arrangement for me every night I was there except for one, the night that my truck got broken into.

The truck was parked immediately outside of her apartment. Presumably anybody who was outside would have witnessed the break-in, but unfortunately there were no such witnesses. Somewhat ironically, the burglars used lead SCUBA weights from the bed of the truck to break one of the windows and unlock the doors; I found it on the floor in a puddle of glass. Those Catholics in Mexico had finally taken their revenge.

In addition to having my speakers ripped out, my CD collection stolen, and everything else that comes with a vehicle break-in, my school backpack containing weeks worth of SuperSperm drawings was also stolen. I was definitely pissed about the truck, but I was genuinely upset about having lost all of my comic material.

Since it was never really my dream to become a comic artist, I decided that I wouldn't try to overcome losing all of my work. It would have taken far too long to recreate everything and my morale was too low to try. That was pretty much the end of SuperSperm.
The Blue Softee
Story circa September 10th, 1999 | View Post
Some time during our Junior year in college, while living as roommates, Klaus and I got the idea that our dear friend Sunni needed a present.  She had broken up with her boyfriend of many years just months before, and was clearly upset over this event (as one would expect most anyone to be).  There was discussion of trying to find her someone, but unfortunately neither Klaus nor I were going to be of any help in this department.

One late evening in our cozy 41st street apartment, Klaus and I took to the pipe as we did on so many other nights there.  It probably wasn't too long before we were stoned out of our minds reminiscing on memories past.

I'll never be sure if it was Klaus or myself who suggested it (in all likeliness it was me), but we somehow decided that it would be comical to purchase Sunni a vibrator.  After some initial laughter, we somehow figured that it would be a nice gesture.

Within moments, we were huddled around my smoke-stained monitor trying to find Sunni the perfect 'fulfillment' when alas, the Blue Softee presented itself.  I filled out the order form with my information, and we sent it (and a bottle of cleaning solution) anonymously to Sunni and Laura's cottage duplex on 33rd street.  There was a note attached with some sort of innuendo, though I can't recall it.
Film Students Suck Cock
August 20th, 1999 | View Post
After becoming increasingly disillusioned with what it means to be a film student at the University of Texas, I sat down and wrote this script. I have unfortunately not filmed it.

Script

GUY
Where are we?

GUY2
Well to be honest with you, we're just in a patch of woods somewhere in Texas. But you'd probably be better off telling your audience that we’re in some remote county in Maryland. Just for a thrill.

GUY NODS WITH A SMILE.

GUY
What are we doing here?

GUY2 LOOKS AT HIS WATCH. HE PUSHES GUY OUT OF THE WAY. A MOMENT LATER A RIFLE DROPS FROM THE SKY ONTO THE GROUND.

GUY2
Right on time.

GUY GETS BUG-EYED

GUY
I don’t know about this. I think they told us specifically NOT to use any guns.

GUY2
Yes - they did - didn't they? Hmmmm. Well maybe you should mention to those dumb fucks that filming your dick in a bed of flowers just doesn't sell these days - guns do. And when you're a famous filmmaker, you can stick the lens up your ass and pull out some artsy shit - until then - stand over there.

GUY2 PICKS UP THE GUN. GUYS WALKS OVER NEXT TO A TREE. GUY2 TOSSES HIM A GLASS BEER BOTTLE.

GUY2
Put in on your head.

GUY PLACES THE BOTTLE ON HIS HEAD. AND SMILES.

GUY
You sure this is a good idea?

GUY2
Trust me.

GUY2 SHOOTS THE BOTTLE. IT SHATTERS. GUY TAKES A FAKE SIGH OF RELIEF.

THE TWO GUYS ARE WALKING DOWN A ROAD.

GUY2
So ya see guy, people that study film are really nothing but a bunch of pretentious losers that think they can do what ever the fuck they want, whenever they fuck they want to. (beat) Watching a bunch of popular movies, making As on tests, and suckin on teachers cock won't make you any better at filmmaking – ya just have to love doing it – over and over and over.

THE TWO OF THEM WALK IN FRONT OF A CAR THAT IS SPEEDING DOWN THE ROAD. THEY FADE OUT A BIT AND THE CAR DRIVES RIGHT THROUGH THEM.

GUY
It's still amazing that we can do shit like this.

GUY2
Yea – tell me about it.

IN THE BACKGROUND A PERSON WALKS INTO THE STREET WHILE A SPEEDING CAR COMES DOWN THE ROAD HONKING IT’S HORN. THE TWO GUYS TURN BACK TO LOOK. THE PERSON GETS HIT BY THE CAR AND SPRAWLS OUT ON THE ROAD. THE GUYS SHAKE THEIR HEADS.

GUY2
What a fucking moron.

GUY
Film student?

GUY2
You're a quick learner guy.

THE SCENE FADES.

THE END
The Belicean Border Incident
Story circa July 30th, 1999 | View Post
When Dayna came to visit me in Akumal, Mexico, we thought it would be fun to take a weekend trip to Belize. Akumal sits about 180 miles north of the Belician border and is a pretty comfortable ride on any of their major bus services. In fact the problem isn't so much getting to the southern border of Mexico, it's getting onto another bus service that will take you across.

Keep in mind that when I was living in Mexico in 1999, it wasn't necessary to travel with a passport. In fact, I had traveled to Mexico many times with just my driver's license and birth certificate, and this summer's trip was no exception.

Anyway, we arrived at the border and crossed the bridge into the border checkpoint. The first step of this process is to give up your Mexican visa. We did this. In a legal sense you're now no longer visiting Mexico, but you also haven't technically been granted access to visit Belize yet either. We crossed into the country and walked through a very low-tech border agency. They asked to see our passports and of course we presented them with our driver's license and birth certificates. To make this part of the story short, they effectively just laughed at us and said they weren't going to let us in. I spent some time discussing and eventually arguing with them, but they said we would have to go back. It didn't look like we'd make it past the armed guards either.

This was obviously very disappointing for us, but we headed back towards Mexico to get back into the country. Unfortunately, and as you may recall reading from above, we no longer had Mexican tourist visas. Normally this isn't a problem when coming from Belize because you just show your Belicean visa. Except we were never issued one due to the whole passport / birth certificate misunderstanding.

So here we were, essentially standing on the little Rand-McNally line that graces the map's borders of Mexico and Belize and I'm now having to discuss with armed Mexican soldiers why I don't have a visa either from Belize or from Mexico. Fortunately my Spanish had improved pretty drastically that summer and so after just as few minutes, I was able to speak with the person who had taken our visas not twenty minutes earlier. He reluctantly shuffled through them and found ours in the mix. I honestly can't recall if they issued us new visas or if they just un-cancelled our previous one, but we were allowed back into Mexico shortly thereafter.

Of course this is all a moot point these days since you can't get to Mexico any longer without a passport, but this is what happened when I tried to go without one.
Logic Puzzle: 12 Balls, 3 Weighings
July 25th, 1999 | View Post

The traditional type of scale allowed for the weighings
While living in Manhattan I met a wonderfully brilliant scientist named Colleen Noviello. Besides being my own personal tour guide to the city and even up into New York, she was always interested in challenging me with puzzles and games of strategy (chess for example).

One afternoon she presented me with what she claimed to be one of the most difficult logic puzzles she had ever attempted. Evidently her father had given her this at one point. I honestly can't remember if she ever managed to solve it or not, but I spent the next couple of days playing with it and much to my joy, eventually solving it.

The puzzle and my solution are below.

Puzzle:
There are 12 balls.  One of them is either heavier or lighter then the other 11.  Assume that you have access to a traditional balance scale (one side is weighed against the other). Using only three weighing, determine which ball is off weight AND if it is heavier or lighter than the rest of the balls.

Solution for a 4x4x4 grouping:

Start by numbering the balls 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. Because they can be re-arranged in any order without losing our principle, we can defer to the standard mathematical concept of WLOG (without loss of generality).

Step One

First Possibility: 1 2 3 4 > 5 6 7 8
1,2,3,4 are greater or 5,6,7,8 are lighter (9,10,11,12 are equal)

Second Possibility: 1 2 3 4 < 5 6 7 8
1,2,3,4 are lighter or 5,6,7,8 are heavier (9,10,11,12 are equal)

Third Possibility: 1 2 3 4 = 5 6 7 8
9,10,11,12 are either heavier or lighter (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 are equal)


Step Two of First Possibility

First Possibility: 1 2 5 11 > 3 4 6 12
1,2 are heavier or 6 is lighter

Second Possibility: 1 2 5 11 < 3 4 6 12
5 is lighter or 3,4 are greater

Third Possibility: 1 2 5 11 = 3 4 6 12
7,8 are lighter

Step Two of Second Possibility

First Possibility: 5 6 1 11 > 7 8 2 12
5,6 are greater or 2 is lighter

Second Possibility: 5 6 1 11 < 7 8 2 12
1 is lighter or 7,8 are greater

Third Possibility: 5 6 1 11 = 7 8 2 12
3,4 are lighter

Step Two of Third Possibility

First Possibility: 9 10 1 > 11 2 3
9,10 are greater or 11 is lighter

Second Possibility: 9 10 1 < 11 2 3
9,10 are lighter or 11 is greater

Third Possibility: 9 10 1 = 11 2 3
12 is either lighter or heavier

Step Three of First Possibility of First Possibility

First Possibility: 1 6 > 11 12
1 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 1 6 < 11 12
6 is the lighter ball

Third Possibility: 1 6 = 11 12
2 is the heavier ball

Step Three of Second Possibility of First Possibility

First Possibility: 3 5 > 11 12
3 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 3 5 < 11 12
5 is the lighter ball

Third Possibility: 3 5 = 11 12
4 is the heavier ball

Step Three of Third Possibility of First Possibility

First Possibility: 7 < 12
7 is the lighter ball

Second Possibility: 7 = 12
8 is the lighter ball

Step Three of First Possibility of Second Possibility

First Possibility: 5 2 > 11 12
5 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 5 2 < 11 12
2 is the lighter ball

Third Possibility: 5 2 = 11 12
6 is the heavier ball

Step Three of Second Possibility of Second Possibility

First Possibility: 1 7 > 11 12
7 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 1 7 < 11 12
1 is the lighter ball

Third Possibility: 1 7 = 11 12
8 is the heavier ball

Step Three of Third Possibility of Second Possibility

First Possibility: 3 < 12
3 is the lighter ball

Second Possibility: 3 = 12
4 is the lighter ball

Step Three of First Possibility of Third Possibility

First Possibility: 9 11 > 1 2
9 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 9 11 < 1 2
11 is the lighter ball

Third Possibility: 9 11 = 1 2
10 is the heavier ball

Step Three of Second Possibility of Third Possibility

First Possibility: 9 11 > 1 2
11 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 9 11 < 1 2
9 is the lighter ball

Third Possibility: 9 11 = 1 2
10 is the lighter ball

Step Three of Third Possibility of Third Possibility

First Possibility: 12 > 1
12 is the heavier ball

Second Possibility: 12 < 1
12 is the lighter ball

Solution started on Thursday July 22, 1999 @ approximately 12:00 AM EST

Solution completed on Sunday July 25, 1999 @ 7:44PM EST

Time of solution was approximately 3 days 19 hours and 44 minutes

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