duanekeys. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr

Sunday, May 28, 2006

front yard acrobatics

front yard acrobatics
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
My cousin Blakely wanted to show us he could do a back flip... He had to wait until I grabbed the camera!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wilder Photography

I created another blog for a friend of mine, Jim Wilder, the man behind Wilder Photography. Here I'm using all free stuff (blogger and flickr) to showcase some of the photos Jim and I took and are trying to sell at the High Plains Paso Fino Horse Show.


I hosed my layout, and my backup is at home. Let this be a lesson, don't make drastic changes to your blog while eating lunch.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Waterfront Skyline

Waterfront Skyline
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
This was also taken outside the convention center. You can see some famous landmarks such as the Sears Tower and Soldier Field.


Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Obligatory Chicago Seagull shot. I think it's a Seagull, I'm not sure if the great lakes count as the sea... Anyhow, during a break from sessions I wandered out of the McCormick center and down to the water front and this guy buzzed me.

city time

city time
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
We made sure to build in plenty of time to catch the shuttle from the hotel to the airport, almost a little too much. We stopped at a little park on the way back from lunch to kill some time and that's where I took this shot.

We ate at the Weber Grill Restaurant. Instead of another $10 ham and cheese sandwhich at the expo center we opted to find some local flavor and got $10 burgers instead. It honestly was one of the best burgers I've had in a while leading me to think I'm going to have to invest in a new charcoal grill this summer.

Hotel View

Hotel View
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Here's the view from 42nd floor of the Marriott Downtown in Chicago, IL. The hotel was quite nice however our room was directly behind the elevator shafts. The high-speed elevators sound like a frieght train coming directly for you. They can make the beds as comfy as any but waking every 15 minutes to an elevator flying past your head kind of takes away from any rest you might get.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Windy City and the Retail Systems Show

I just got home from the Retail Systems Show in Chicago. More detailed blog posts to follow as soon as I get some good sleep and catch up on some things. In the mean time the following quick posts will show some of the photos I took while there.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Truck Upgrades

My truck will be in the shop next week getting the previously mentioned damage taken care of. Since we moved out away from the city I've been burning through a lot more gas. But at least now I can attest to the need for a truck... I'm sorry, but a Honda Civic Hybrid isn't going to be able to pull a load of fence posts, etc.

I've been pleased that I've been able to get better mileage since most of my driving is on the highway using the cruise control. After I year of driving and tallying mileage for the truck in the city I reported my mileage in a post where my running average was 13.7 miles per gallon. Since moving to the farm and driving the 42 mile round trip drive every day my mileage has increase to 16.5 mpg.

Another guy at work has a similar truck and had done a few upgrades. He told me he's getting more power and about 2 mpg more with a few inexpensive additions to his truck. The first was a Flo-Pro muffler installed by Best Discount Muffler on South Campbell. The staff at Best Discount Muffler was very friendly, and they guarantee the work for life. I was able to get the muffler purchased and installed over my lunch hour one day, for less than $110 bucks. The exhaust tone is noticeably deeper, but not annoying. I despise the loud and obnoxious exhaust that some people have installed, I wanted to make sure I didn't become one of those people. I had the muffler installed last week and have since run through one tank of gas, aggressively I might add as I was still trying to determine if I felt any more power (which I think I do). With semi-aggressive driving I dropped to 16.4. I filled up and planned on driving conservatively again, to see if I saw any gains.

The second upgrade I installed last night and is pictured above. It's an Air Raid intake system. I replaces the stock intake tube which is full of baffles and accordian-type corners. Air Raid advertises a 2 horsepower gain and "better fuel economy." I of course, will be reporting back on how it actually does. I took it for a test drive and I can't tell if it's all in my head, but the lower end does seem to be more responsive. Unfortunately during the installation I removed the negative battery cable and lost my trip counter for the second tank of fuel to measure the effectiveness of the muffler. So the next tank will be after having the muffler and the intake system installed.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sunrise on Geek Acres

Sunrise on Geek Acres
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I took this photo several weeks ago from the deck of our new home (what I like to call Geek Acres). Life has been busy lately with farm work, work work, moving, and being sick. I was dissappointed to see I missed another Springfield Bloggers meeting but have marked my calendar for the next one.

Speaking of which if you haven't tried Google Calendar yet, do so. I believe it requires a gmail account, so if you don't have a gmail account contact me and I'll send you an invite. Google Calendar has some great features, you can enter events and meetings in plain english and it automagically places it on the correct date, time and location on the calendar. Nifty.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Breaking news, Government Spying on our traffic patterns!

This just in, government agencies are "gathering data on US citizens," however, we here at Minutia prefer a more alarmist word to describe this activity, "SPYING!". Across America high-tech devices are placed across roads and intersections gathering data on traffic patterns. According to a government spokesman, "we using this data to find patterns in traffic to make decisions on how to make roads safer."

But according to one watch-dog group this is yet another example of how the Bush administration is invading privacy and overstepping the law.

"The government has no right to track our movements through the country with out a warrant," said one concerned citizen.

The debate continues at local and federal levels. Administration officials contend this data is useful in making our roads safer and that no laws have been broken. Administration critics however worry that civil liberties are being taken away under the guise of safety.

Monday, May 08, 2006

If it's not one thing

It's another. Some of you might remember when I had to have my driver's side door fixed due to being keyed. Of course I never did find the culprit, the crack team of investigators for my case at the Springfield Police Department was never formed.

This weekend, a little old man, in a little pickup with a huge load of lumber backed into the other door.

If it weren't for unexpected events in life, what would I do? :)

The older gentleman that accidentally left the lumber-shaped impression on my truck was a little hard of hearing but he completely owned up to the accident.

I copied his insurance and a friend that was with the old guy told me to call his son on Monday as that's who the older man lives with and that his son would take care of it. I did go ahead and get a copy of his insurance. I guess it all could have been worse.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

First sketchup use

Check out my design for a roundpen, and chime in on whether it'll work or not.

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