duanekeys. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Congrats to Vapor, Ed, and Jayson on their recent business venture and purchase of Geekerz. There's lots of potential there and I wish them the best. Anyone looking to play some video games in a cool downtown venue should check them out.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

So long, Crazy Stick Lady

It's time for us to say good bye to Crazy Stick Lady and the rest of the city. All previously mentioned puzzle pieces have fallen into place.

In her usual style she glared at us as she passed by. I was only able to snap some shots of her as she already passed our property. She had a couple more over the shoulder glances before she was out of sight, until the next evening...

It's a bittersweet moment. Sweet in that it's the realization of a dream, living on a farm. Sad in that we'll have to say goodbye to a middle-aged, stick-wielding, dog-hating psychopath that is the Crazy Stick Lady.

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dog days

dog days
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I'm home sick today with the crud. While checking out the blogosphere I snapped this photo. This is not exactly what I had in mind when I brough thome this leather couch.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My apologies for the lack of content lately; many things on my mind. Well really only one thing but it is comprised of many little things. If the moon, the planets, and the stars align correctly we'll be moving soon.

We've got our eye on a little piece of heaven outside of Springfield. It'll be a 21 mile drive for me to get to work but I'll get to return home to 10 acres and a house that's over twice the size of the one we live in now. There'll be plenty of room for a couple of horses, something Jennifer's had to do without since we've been married. The lot already has a shed style barn, a shop building, and 2 acres of it is a little grove of Walnut trees. The house (which includes a basement) peeks out from the trees on top of the hill.

Only one more piece of the puzzle has to fall into place...

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Some of us at work got to talking after the conference we attended at decided we needed to start a local Java User's Group (JUG). If anyone is interested in helping to get this going please feel free to contact me. We've already brainstormed some ideas for presentations and I think it could be very educational and a good networking resource. We'll be contacting some vendors to see if they'd be interested in sponsoring the group in exchange for presentation time.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
On a recent trip to St. Louis we noticed that there are now not just mile markers lining I-44, there are 2/10 mile markers. That's right, 5 distance markers for every mile of interstate, each direction. At just over 290 miles I-44 travels in Missouri that's 2900 2/10 mile markers.

I found one reference on the web to mile markers costing nearly 20 bucks a piece. That's over $58,000 in 2/10 mile markers. Maybe that doesn't sound like a great waste of money to everyone else but to me it's excessive. At 70 miles per hours you'll be able to count nearly 6 markers a minute, or see a new one every 10 seconds.

If the cost of the signs doesn't get you, think about the man-power required to install those. We ended up passing the truck of guys installing the signs. One guy in the truck, one guy attaching it to a pole, and another guy watching both. Further up the road we caught up with the truck responsbile for setting the poles, same configuration of men "working." Just ahead of them we found the truck that was leaving the poles behind for the set crew. And ahead of them we found the truck of men responsible for marking where to set the poles.

Ah, government efficiecny at it's finest.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

I thought I would add a link to Tim Buchanan's photo blog. I met him via the camera club and besides being a great photographer (see the blog) he's a really nice guy!

Spring again in downtown

Spring again in downtown
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I joined the Southwest Missouri Camera Club on a field trip to take photos downtown today. I took 60 some odd shots but I only liked this one really. I felt a little inadequate with my little Canon Powershot amongst all the digital SLRs and lenses longer than my forearm.

I thought the metaphor of this shot was pretty neat, with the signs of spring (tulips planted in planters on the square) and the Heer's building being remodeled.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

I just won bidding on a new digital camera on ebay. It's a Canon 10D Digital SLR. The auction I won includes two lenses and a camera bag (along with the usual mess of cables and battery charger). I'm looking forward to using it, and use it I better for the amount of money I just spent. Admittedly it's another toy for a big boy, but I fancy I can make some extra money making photographs (not just taking pictures, that's easy).

I signed Jennifer up for a portrait photography class we heard about via the SW MO Camera Club, but some how we got our schedules mixed up and I ended up in the class instead. The first class was very informative, I'm looking forward to learning more from the teacher, Vicki Saewert. After introductions and some chit chat in the class we got down to business and started learning to "really see" people, both their good qualities and their flaws and we've begun learning how to enhance the good and hide the flaws... To show the true beauty in each person as Vicki puts it.

Funny thing about taking a class from Vicki is we both started in Jim Wilder's photography class about 4 years ago. But she's since quit her day job and going full boar at the photography, successfully I might add.

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OMG, tonight's season 2 finale of Battlestar Galactica was about the best TV I've ever seen. Now the waiting until the October premiere begins.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Scratch that last post. I ended up not liking that monitor and took it back to Wal Mart for a full refund.

Though it was a 19" widescreen, the resolution was an odd 1440 by 900. The 900 vertical pixels made it seem excessively short, especially since I'm used to 1024 vertical pixels (in a 1280 x 1024 mode). I could have lived with it if I could get two browsers at full width side by side, but at 1440 horizontal pixels it wasn't wide enough for two web browsers built for 800 x 600 screens.

I ended up going to Office Max which is closing it's doors here in Springfield. I got a AOC LM729. It's a pretty sweet little monitor for just $249. It's a 17" flat panel that even has the rotate to portrait feature. Really great for desktop publishing and graphics.

And a little note about the advertising banners... I read another local blogger had tried it and was making money. I thought why the heck shouldn't I give it a try. So far I'm up to a $1.47! Whoo hoo. Google doesn't write a check until you make a $100 but at this rate it'll take... For freakin' ever! So clickity click click click folks! :)

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I got home for lunch today to find that my flat panel monitor had bit the dust. I went out and got a new wide-screen version. It's taking some getting used to but I think I'm going to like it.

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Team Building

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
The conference this past weekend made a mush of my brain. It was well worth the educational experience and we got some good team building out of it too. The picture at right was taken at the St. Louis City Museum where the team had a little fun. If you've never been there it's really impossible to explain but definately worth a trip.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Blogging, in and of itself, is pretty geeky. Being a programmer is also geeky. Going to programming conferences... You guessed it, geeky. So what is it when you're bloggging from a programmer conference over the weekend? Damn geeky. Anyway we're about to go down and have some breakfast and start day 2 of the Gateway Software Symposium aka the No Fluff Just Stuff Conference.

The first day was packed with some good info. I attended Bruce Tate's talk "Where Agile meets Argyle: New processes in established companies." It was a good little presentation covering the idea of introducing Agile Programming concepts to management in terms that management can understand and agree with.

I followed that up with a Hibernate Basics discussion, also by Bruce. Our team has been developing now for some time using Hibernate and I got a good primer in it as I haven't yet developed a Hibernate based application. I followed that up with an Advanced Hibernate session by the very animatedJustin Gehtland.

The conference ended for the evening over dinner and the keynote speaker, Dave Thomas of the Pragmatic Programmers (not Wendy's). The keynote, Cargo Cults & Angry Monkeys was very entertaining and insightful, as are all Dave's speeches.

More later... time for breakfast.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The News-Leader is reporting on a new plan for regional bus service.

...As traffic in the Ozarks grows, he said it makes sense that the bus system should eventually expand to serve neighboring communities...
...CU bus driver Carolyn Prine said a first step could be a "park-and-ride" system where residents from outlying communities drive to a CU bus pickup point and then ride the bus to work or shopping...

I mentioned something like this a while back. CU can cut me a consulting check if that'd make them feel better! :)

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It's a little overdue but I added the links to the blogs of people I met at the last bloggers meeting. I met fellow UMR grad and the man behind Springfield Soccer, a student of Andy's trying to get in some extra credit and author of The Meaning of Life, and her cousin (and fellow UMR alum) of The Springfield Skinny. Also present was Doc Larry of The Lost Chord who's "cone of reasonable privacy" kept all my photos that night from exposing correctly, the gentleman behind the SWMO Libertarians, and the mind behind Dave's Online Journal.

Some of the regulars were present as well and included Andy of Rhetorica, John of the Curbstone Critic, Amy of Words Fail Me Yet I Plod On, Zach of Zach is here, and Ron of Chatter.

According to the keeper of the official Springfield Blogger's Meeting Date and Time (Rhetorica.net), the next meeting is Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 PM at the Patton Alley Pub.

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