Jason Kujda - Banana Skier
March 3rd, 2009 | View Post
This one pretty much speaks for itself.

25 Random Things About Me
Originally posted on Facebook February 3rd, 2009 | View Post
1. I have seen my own sperm under a high powered NYU-lab microscope. It turns out there are a lot of them.

2. Since it's upon us next week, women enamored with Valentine's Day provide the only reason to repeal the 19th amendment. Men supporting it give reason to repeal the 8th.

3. My office chair is a wheelchair. It's called the Breezy-550.

4. I save only photos and memories, everything else I'm happy to throw away.

5. My website, kevinludlow.com, will someday be the largest personal website in the world. It currently has over 30,000 photos on it and there are 20,000 - 30,000 more I still have to scan.

6. Marriage is a bit like circumcision. It's a silly and antiquated religious philosophy that really has no purpose in modern society, and yet I'm pretty sure I'm shunned for believing this.

7. My dream car is a mini-van with a soccerball on the back containing my name.

8. I've had lots of small business start-ups. They've all failed.

9. I once spent 3 months working underwater as an assistant marine biologist.

10. The only continent I will go through painstaking efforts to visit is Antarctica.

11. I strongly oppose organized religion, but am a self-proclaimed Jew.

12. I drive a Saturn ION, ride a Suzuki SV-650, and fly a Cessna 152.

13. I can pop every joint in my body.

14. The larger the crowd, the more excited I am to speak or perform in front of it.

15. When I was 3 or 4 I told my mom I discovered a third testicle. I was wrong. ...and she just told me to tell my father.

16. I wear a permanent coat of fur on my chest (Pantene Pro-V treated daily). It has been waxed twice. I cursed Kelly Clarkson throughout both of these experiences.

17. I don't listen to a lot of music these days, but I play the guitar and piano daily and have since I was young. My favorite instrument to play is a drumkit. I can usually pickup about anything and play it fairly well.

18. In highschool I was a pole-vaulter. I was only so-so at it, but can assure you that learning to run with a 13' fiberglass pole that flings your body into the air was a frightening undertaking.

19. I think drugs are inherently good. But, I blame people giving them a bad name and fault people for abusing them.

20. I intend to run for President of the US some day. Not necessarily to win, just to officially run for the job.

21. People should be characterized on what they do and how they do it, not for what they wear, how rich they are, or what kind of car they drive.

22. I have been placed in handcuffs at least half a dozen times, and yet have always been able to talk my way out of it.

23. There are no clocks in my house and I don't wear a watch.

24. When I was 17 my dad had the sex talk with me. He pulled the car over and sternly said on the topic, "I know what's going on and shit happens - not in my house buddy. Don't do it." We then drove off. I think this is about the only time in my life I've been accused of something I'm positive I wasn't guilty of.

25. I'm inherently opposed to any sort of chain letter type of thing, but since so many people evidently included me in their notes, I felt compelled to finally respond. I believe this is the end.
The Sprint Password
Story circa December 9th, 2008 | View Post
Towards the end of 2008, I decided it might be time to stop using Spring as my carrier and jump on a network that would offer me a smartphone and a reasonable data plan. I spoke with AT&T regarding the iPhone, but their top tier service was really expensive (upwards of $160 per month - ridiculous). T-Mobile was offering all sorts of deals on the newly released Google G1, a phone that I preferred anyways, and so I was convinced to go with it.

However, the truth of the matter was that I didn't really have any particular problem with Sprint, had a pretty good and grandfathered price plan, and didn't want to go through the hassle of switching providers. Sprint had been offering a hybrid smartphone (not really a smartphone, but it had reasonably good data processing on it) and I thought I could simply negotiate for a better deal with them using AT&T and T-Mobile as my ammunition.

I called their customer service and as expected, they started asking me for all of my personally-identifying information such as my name, address, date of birth, and etc. Once this concluded, they asked me the answer to my "secret question". Evidently that question was "What is your favorite hobby?". This was an awful question to ask me because I have so many hobbies and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. The guy was really cool about it and said to give it a go, so I started listing off hobbies that I thought might be unique to me.

"Playing the guitar? Flying airplanes? Riding motorcycles? Software developing? Singing? Writing?"

It went on for about a minute or so and I probably went through almost twenty hobbies of mine. At this point I really could have been anybody rattling of hobbies. The guy finally stopped me and said he would take a look, but without saying anything else just started laughing somewhat out of control. Mind you, I had absolutely no idea what was going on or why he was doing this. He finally asked me if I wanted to know what the answer was to my "secret question". Of course I did.

He responded: "this question can suck my balls".

We had a pretty good laugh about it for a minute. I just kind of shrugged the whole experience off as humorous and was glad the rep was so friendly about it. Unfortunately it did NOT help me to get any sort of better deal despite my best efforts, and so I just settled on T-Mobile.

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

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