duanekeys. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ummm, yeah...I like transparency in management and it doesn't get any more transparent than this. Recently my boss sent out a survey to my team asking them to take a leadership survey with me in mind. The raw results are below. I took the results and tried to come up with some conclusions. The column labeled "self" is what I rated myself on the exact same survey. Overall the results show that I'm fairly in-tune with my leadership abilities.

The questions were to be answered 1 to 5, 1 = weak, 3 = adequate, 5 = Strong. I did some color coding to help me analyze the numbers. An average of less than 3.5 I placed a yellow background to draw attention as I believe I should be striving for 4 and above on average in all categories. A standard deviation nearing 1 tells me I'm not being consistent across all my team members (or that they have different perceptions for whatever reason). I also took the average score minus what I rated myself and any difference of 1 or greater I colorized; red means I think I'm doing better than I really am and blue means I'm beating my self up more than I should. My conclusions follow the data.
survey results
I'm a better coach than I believe.
I'm tougher than I think I am, but I need to be even tougher and more consistently tough with everyone.
I need to more consistently challenge people to a higher standard.
My energy level is higher than I think it is.
I need to do better at giving regular feedback.
I'm not as good at adjusting my leadership style as I think I am and I need to do better.
I'm more decisive than I think I am, but I need to be even more decisive and more consistent about it with each person.
I'm better at setting priorities than I think.
I'm a better problem solver than I give myself credit for.
I think I'll do the right thing more often than my subordinates think I will.
I need to be more consistent when going to bat for people.
I'm more accessible than I think but I need to be more consistently available to everyone.
I'm a better team builder than I think.
I don't reward risk-taking as well as I think and I need to improve.
I at least appear more dependable than I think I am.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I really connected with Hal's recent blog post Untitled Document: 23-8-67 (based on a true story). Here's a little snippet that made me laugh out loud:

After the...I don't know, billionth try, he paused and closely examined the paper again. “Maybe if I wrote down what I need to do...” he began, reaching over for a pen.
I winced. “But the instructions are right there on that paper.”
“Yeah, but I can add some things to make it easier.”
“Well...okay,” I said skeptically.
My grandpa proceeded to underline phrases such as “three times,” “turn,” and “ght, then stop at.”
Whatever works, I thought.

The News-Leader reported a more in-depth version of the story on the Monett, Mo Fire, that I ranted about here, here, and here. Ryan Slight reported that the paper has filed under the Sunshine Law to have access to the Monett Rural Fire Association's [corrected] records. It'll be interesting to see the results.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Jennifer in her natural habitatI posted a little narrative about our trip to Ash Grove this weekend, but it seemed more appropriate on Jennifer's blog. Check it out.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jennifer, my wife and flower addict, didn't realize people were actually reading her blog, and even commenting. She had comment moderation turned on but didn't ever go and approve any comments. So if you've been there recently and decided she wasn't very responsive, go back, she's excited to realize she has readers!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

the bike side viewAs promised here's a quick overview of geek-bike. What started as a stock Raleigh SC30 now includes a rear rack, a pannier, and a custom 12V 20W halogen lighting system.

The lighting is based around a 12 volt yard light. I removed the stake and created a mounting bracket using an aluminum strip. The light is wired up to a two-way automotive switch and powered by a 12 volt battery made to power emergency lights.
the light up close

The battery is housed in a custom home-made pannier. The pannier started life as a $5 Wal-Mart fanny-pack. I cut the straps from the sides of the pack and inserted a piece of sheet-metal cut to the shape of the back. I riveted this to the fabric to help it keep the shape.

I also riveted to it two more pieces of the aluminum and bent them into hooks. The original straps were then riveted to the back of the pack. The hooks go over the rack and the strap allows me to secure it with some downward tension, keeping the battery from bouncing off the rack.
the custom battery pannierI used a grommet kit to put a hole where the wiring comes out and goes to the switch box.

the hooks

the battery

the metal backing

the switch

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Another Springfield Bloggers' meeting is in the books. There were quite a set of new faces to the group and I was glad to meet them all. We had some very interesting conversations and I'm looking forward to getting the know everyone and seeing them again. Check out the podcast over at Rhetorica for a glimpse into the fun.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

I've been tagged with the Four Things Meme by Granny Geek... here goes nothin!

1. Four Jobs I've had
My first job was as a grocery bagger at Price Cutter #7 in Seymour, MO. I was a damn fast bagger.
I did a stint as a work-study for the Career Opportunities Center at UMR while in school.
Then I got a job working for computing services at UMR, working as a PC support tech. I had a screwdriver and I wasn't afraid to use it.
And finally I've worked in the Information System Department at O'Reilly Auto Parts... and still do! :)

2. Four movies I could watch over and over
The Matrix
Office Space
The Shawshank Redemption
Big Lebowski

3. Four places I've lived
Angeles City, Philippines, my birthplace (well technically it was Clark AFB within Angeles City)
Mabank, Texas, where I spent most elementary and part of junior high
Mansfield, Missouri, where I graduated high school
Springfield, Missouri, where I live now

4. Four TV Shows I love
Battlestar Galactica, best show on TV... give it a try
House, he's funny
Mythbusters, I get paid to be a geek, but not that geeky
The Simpsons, classic

5. Four places I've vacationed
Eureka Springs
Las Vegas
New York

6. Four of my favorite dishes
Jennifer's fall harvest soup (or anything else by her, really!)
Bangkok crispy duck, at Tong's

7. Four sites I visit daily
HD Beat

8. Four places I’d rather be right now
In our permanent dream home
... that'd be about it

9. Four books I love (a tough one, not sure if I've read four books)
Da Vinci Code
Angels and Demons
Rainbow Six
Stranger in a Strange Land

10. Four video games I could play over and over
Halo 2
Battlefield 1942

Four people I'm tagging:
Jennifer, my lovely wife
Rev. Vapor, my good friend
Shane, let's force hime to get some new content
And Ben, since Betsy already got tagged my Meghann.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The story I mentioned before about the Monett Rural Fire Department is still under my skin. The picture at left isn't of the actual incident (I took this one from a flickr photostream) but gives me a good visual as what the firefighters might have been doing while a man fought a fire to save his property by himself. I imagine though the Monett fire fighters would have been eating popcorn and junior mints.

What's more irritating is while there are now 65 Google News Stories regarding the incident, they're all a rehashing of the same original news release. I want to hear more from Mr. Bibaldo. I want to know how often the Monett Rural Fire Department responds to fires and what percentage of those are fires are to "members" and "non-members." I'm curious how many times they've opted to break the policy (if ever), which they're staunchly defending, to not help non-members.

According to the original story in the News-Leader, Ryan Slight contributed. I'll be e-mailing him my thoughts, asking him to look into it further, as I'm sure any good reporter is already doing.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Searching the blogosphere for more on the Monett, MO rural fire department turns up some pretty embarrasing stuff. Take this one, Proud to live in Ozarkia... Not. She's got a loose translation for Normal-Civilized-Non-KKK-People-Who-Live-Outside-The-Redneck-Metro-Area."

"We don't like them Messcans, so we forget to bill 'em for their service. Then if they don't pay, we just let their house burn, because, hey, fewer Messcans. Oh, sure, we COULD print out a piece of paper and get the Messcans to sign it on the spot, but how'd we know they gonna pay? After all, they's Messcans, and those Messcans, they don't pay nothin'. Wat you mean he own the land? He ain't got no business ownin' land when perfectly good white folks ain't own they own land."

She ends with an appropriate analogy, "If i were a local attorney, i'd be on this like a mullet on a redneck."

Fire crew sits idly by as resident faces blaze is the headline of a News-Leader story. That's right, the fire crew watched the guy try to put out a fire which burned down his garage and destroyed a vehicle because he didn't pay membership dues.

The Monett Rural Fire Department responded to the scene but did not fight the fire. Firefighters stood by as the fire burned itself out, watching in case the flames spread to neighboring properties owned by members.

"People need to realize you've got to become a member. If you live outside the city limits, you need to join one of the rural fire departments," Myers said.

Rueda offered to pay, Evenson said, but the Monett department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing.

Randy Cole, assistant state fire marshal, said there was no state law requiring membership-supported fire districts to help nonmembers in any situation.

However, state law says those departments may perform services for a nonmember if they choose, and then charge the nonmember based on a set amount outlined in statute, Cole said.

It's unfortunate that Mr. Cole and the Monett Rural Fire Department require a law to enforce what common courtesy would call for.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Someone asked why I never have any shots of my wife on my blog. Jennifer hates it when I take pictures of her but I do it anyway. So here's one of my lovely wife feeding her flower addiction in the gardening section of Barnes and Noble.

Take the political compass quiz to see where you land. Here's my chart:

Economic Left/Right: 0.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.41

Duane's Political Leanings

Compared with the reference chart:

Reference political leanings

Where do you land?

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Some of us at work are trying out Google Desktop and I have to say that it's a pretty neat little application and has already saved me some time searching for documentation.

Also, don't forget the next Springfield Bloggers' Meeting is coming up, Feb 21, 2005 at 7:00 PM in the Patton Alley pub!

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Muslim Outrage, picture from usatoday.comRadio personality Neal Boortz had a piece up on his site talking about the Muslim outrage over the political cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed. I guess it's causing quite a stir among his listeners and others on the ineterweb, mostly because of his "lowlights" list of things that can be attributed to Muslims that didn't cause Muslim outrage (such as the rioting and demonstrations that are currently going on). Here's a few off that list:

...Muslims fly commercial airliners into buildings in New York City. No Muslim outrage.
Muslim officials block the exit where school girls are trying to escape a burning building because their faces were exposed. No Muslim outrage.
Muslims cut off the heads of three teenaged girls on their way to school in Indonesia. A Christian school. No Muslim outrage.
Muslims murder teachers trying to teach Muslim children in Iraq. No Muslim outrage.
Muslims murder over 80 tourists with car bombs outside cafes and hotels in Egypt. No Muslim outrage...
...Newspapers in Denmark and Norway publish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Muslims are outraged...

One could correclty point out though that one could make a simliar list for Christians and Jewish people, as one of his listeners, Catherine, does:

...Jewish terroists blow up buses containing Christians, Jews, and Muslims. No Jewish outrage.
Christians murder other Christians inside churches all over Rwanda during a large scale genocide. No Christian outrage.
Christians blow up abortion clinics in an effort to stop the murder of innocents, killing doctors and nurses in the process. No Christian outrage.
Pre-911 Christians hijack planes, media calls them hijackers, not Christian terroists. No Christian outrage...
...Danish newspaper publish anti-Muslim cartoons. Christian outrage and indignation at Muslim riots in response to an attack on their religion...

So the question is, how should a group properly express outrage? I'm afraid rioting against rioting probably won't get the point across.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006


Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Took this on a Sunday drive, west of Springfield, south of Strafford.

I'm getting alot of traffic for people searching for information on the Superbowl in high-definition (HD) in Springfield, MO. So here's the definitive answer: it's not going to happen. You can't get the Superbowl in Springfield, MO. While the folks at KSPR have been friendly and open with the information, it just doesn't look like they're going to make it in time this year to watch the Superbowl in HD glory. See this previous post where I ask the local stations about their plans for HD.

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