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Friday, June 30, 2006

The Strobist

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I've been reading a blog, strobist.blogspot.com for a few weeks now. It's a great site. The strobist explains how to use off-camera flash lighting, cheaply, and effectively. There's a flickr group devoted to the strobist effort. The author is conducting a "lighting bootcamp" where he assigns different learning tasks and the particpants share their efforts, tips, and experiences with the group. What a great use of the "Web 2.0" concept.

I didn't get in all my new toys before the first deadline, but I did manage to snap this shot of one of my dogs, Gelleon, using my new off-camera flash, light stand, umbrella, and wireless flash trigger system. More to come on how it all works out. If you read the how-to's and the recommended gear sections, beware the strobist effect on ebay. This site has single-handedly increased the demand for 20 year old Nikon flashes!

team photo

team photo
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Some of our team at work went to lunch together. We ended up at the playground and was able to snap this shot. The faces are a little dark, I need to practice more!

Monday, June 26, 2006

rural sunset

rural sunset
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I had been waiting for a nice sunset to take this shot.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ford F-150 Mileage Improvements

Coolidge Gas
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Sorry, this gas station has been out of commission for some time. I took this photo at the home of President Coolidge in Vermont. With recent high gas prices I took it upon myself to upgrade my Ford F-150 pickup truck with some horsepower and fuel saving products.

I added an Airraid Jr. intake, a K&N filter, and a Flo-pro muffler. Immediately after installing all the additions I was doing some trailer pulling or other load hauling, so I wasn't getting any accurate representation of my mile per gallon compared to my normal commuting routine.

I've been through two tanks of gas now that have allowed me to see the effects of the new accessories. I was able to achieve 18 mpg on one tank and 17.6 on another, a decent improvement over the 16.7 mpg high I had recorded before.

Note: Some people object to to people owning "gas guzzlers" such as my Triton V8 Powered F-150. I'm not a soccer dad with a need to show off and no need to haul things. My truck gets put to work either hauling things for our farm or our rental property.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Free WiFi Hotspot: Frisco Crossing Restaurant

Since moving to the farm and getting satellite internet I've done most of my blogging in my office building. The company bandwidth, is of course, for company use. So I usually use the free wireless internet in the Frisco Crossing Restaurant which is on the first floor of the Frisco Building. The restaurant has a daily special and the normal menu consists of sandwiches, soups, and salads.

If you're hard up for bandwidth like me (surfing on the satellite is ok, but uploading photos for blogs is painful), this is a nice quiet place to grab a bite and blog it up.

It's located at the intersection of Hwy 65 and Chestnut Expressway. Park in the west parking lot and enter the west side of the building. You can see the doors to the restaurant and conference rooms in the picture above. The sandwiches are a little expensive, but the salad's usually cheap (it's by the weight of the salad).

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June 06 Bloggers Meeting

I was able to make another Springfield Bloggers meeting. They still let me attend even though I don't live in Springfield anymore!

It's quite a diverse group of folks from all walks of life. If you haven't had a chance to make it, or are intimidated by the podcasts over at Rhetorica (note: audio quality was too poor last night, Andy scrapped the link), don't be. As Mike of Numb Thumb, noted, some of the conversations are a little lighter than others!

I took the snap above on my way home after the meeting. I don't think the representative was there for *our* meeting anyway (read the plate).

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All things considered

One of the good things about having a little drive home is I get more time to listen to NPR's All Things Considered. I enjoy the show, however I'm getting increasingly more annoyed with the local KSMU DJ. It sounds like his "radio voice" is an attempt to sound like a robot, and it's driving me crazy. No one talks like that in reality. Take a listen on your drive home, tune in to 91.1 and listen to the local spots in the breaks of All Things Considered.

Am I the only one who is completley annoyed by this guy's voice?

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Guy to do list

New Guy to do list
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
A whole new crop of up and coming people have recently started work with us. I recommend they take note of this picture of Hal's board shortly into his career at the O.

Only in America

The headline in my Google News Alert for Autozone said Robber Sues Victims After They Beat Him.

"In some respects, you wonder if a case like this even needs a defense. It speaks for itself," said lawyer Patrick B. Naylon, who represents AutoZone and the employees.

Only in America can this happen.

Google Picasa2

I recently downloaded the Picasa2 photo organizing and editing software by Google. It so amazingly simple and elegant. All the usual photo editing options are their plus the power of Google indexing! Just as the Google search site's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button usually gives you good search results, Picasa has a "I'm Feeling Lucky" button that automatically adjusts brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc and it usually does an excellent job.

If you haven't already done so, download it now, you won't regret (they even have a Linux version!). Click the link on the left side nav to download it.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Classic Vermont
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Jennifer and I returned home from Vermont on Wednesday. Her brother Joe was married to Kim. We photographed the wedding, you can see the slideshow here. Or check out the rest of our Vermont pictures here.

Friday, June 02, 2006

minutia graph

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I stumbled on a cool site that makes a graph out of a website. The images are pleasing and so is the neat little applet that generates them.

On a side note, I'm blogging from the Kansas City airport awaiting my flight to Vermont. Jennifer's brother Joe is getting married this weekend. I've been looking forward to visiting with everyone, taking in the sites, and snapping some good pictures... Hopefully some of the pictures will be good enough to call "photographs."