One day I was driving to work and I realized there are a lot of businesses that would not exist if everybody was like me. Here are a few of the businesses that I drive by but I almost never go into.

Bars, taverns, pubs, dance clubs—When I was younger and trying to go along with the crowd, I did. Not now.

Safeway, Albertsons, Yokes, Fred Meyer—These are over-priced grocery stores. I don’t care how nice the store is, I will not shop where prices are sky high.

Giant shopping malls—I may go inside to look around, people watch, or eat, but I won’t buy $200 jeans, $75 shirts, or any of the other over-priced stuff these places are famous for.

Any big bank that charges fees to bank there--I bank at my local Credit Union where everything is FREE and they pay me interest on my checking and savings accounts.

Casinos—I used to like to go to casinos and I went often. Now I rarely gamble. When I do gamble, I win a little or lose a little (less than $20). No stress, no regrets, and no worries.

1-Star hotels/motels—Back in the day I would stay at a $30 motel, but no longer. I don’t mind paying a premium for first class accommodations, but I always ask for a discount.

Just an observation I wanted to share with you.

Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out
Duane’s YouTube Channel



This is not my pic, I borrowed it from Google Images :)

When I was in my late 20’s I really wanted a kayak. I don’t remember exactly when or how I got the idea, but I thought about it constantly, especially when I saw a river or a lake. I visualized myself paddling around in the water, exploring and enjoying the exercise. The Internet hadn’t been invented yet, so I looked through magazines, catalogs and newspaper ads every chance I got to see what was available. I decided on an inflatable kayak, reasoning that it wouldn’t take up much space when it wasn’t in use.

I also bought the necessary accessories to go with it: the double-ended paddle, life jacket, some rope, a repair kit for leaks, and an air pump to inflate it.

I ordered it through a catalog and then waited. When it arrived, I was so happy and excited. I practiced inflating it and sitting in it in my living room for a few days before I was able to take it down to the river. Finally, the day arrived. I made sure it was firm and full of air, and then I put the kayak and all my gear in the back of my van and headed for the river.

I put the kayak in the water and tied it off so it didn’t get away from me before I could get in. This day was the culmination of months of dreaming and planning. I had thought of everything and planned every last detail. I put on my life jacket, grabbed my paddle, and carefully climbed in. I sat down, untied the rope and let the current take me away from the riverbank. YES, I was finally in my kayak, in the water! “WOO-HOO!”

My plan was to paddle upstream and then let the current carry me back downstream to my van. I reasoned that if I went downstream first, I would quickly be miles from my van. So I pointed my trusty kayak into the oncoming current and started paddling. “Hmm, this is not as easy as I thought.” I was actually getting carried downstream. No matter how hard or how fast I paddled, I was losing the fight. I was being swept farther and farther downstream. “Dammit!” I had no intention of carrying my kayak a mile or more back to the van, so I started paddling back to shore.

My first time out with my kayak was short, frustrating, and much less enjoyable that I had imagined. I felt angry, confused, exhausted, and discouraged. I honestly didn’t know where I had gone wrong.

Fast-forward about 10 years--
I was having trouble in my relationships and I was in a very stressful job. I often felt angry, frustrated, and confused about life in general. I fantasized about quitting, walking away. Instead, I spent more and more hours at work, trying to get caught up. That actually helped the job situation, but it had the opposite affect on my home life. I didn’t know how I had gotten to this point. Why was life so hard? I was exhausted and discouraged. What was I doing wrong?

One day it hit me. I was at work, thinking about the flow of the work I was doing, when a little voice in my head said to me, “You have to go with the flow, don’t paddle against the current!”

I hadn’t thought about my first adventure with my inflatable kayak in a long time, but that day it all came back to me and I finally realized what I did wrong that day and what I had been doing wrong in other areas of my life. I wasn’t going with the flow, I was fighting the current and the current always wins. You will never out-paddle the current. It will only lead to anger, frustration, and confusion. But if you can get yourself into the flow, the current will carry you along with it, effortlessly. Think about that.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.
Check out Duane’s YouTube Channel



I like to draw. I don’t draw very often, but when the mood strikes me I can spend a few hours drawing. I always have an image in my head of what I want my art to look like. Sometimes it’s close and sometimes it's miles from what I envisioned. Not sure why. Anyways, today I want to share with you my latest collection of very quick sketches I call “Minimalist Art”. Enjoy.

Sports Car





Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day.

Peace, out.

Check out Duane’s YouTube Channel


Moving Toward Minimalism

Yes, Duane has caught the Minimalist bug! :)

Just to be clear, here is my definition of minimalism:
Minimalism means eliminating clutter and excess in both my possessions and in my schedule. It’s a way of simplifying my life and freeing up space and time, rather than filling my house and my time with things that really don’t matter to me.

My goal isn’t to own nothing; my goal is to only own things that I find beautiful and useful. As far as minimizing my schedule, having blocks of free time with nothing scheduled brings me peace and happiness that is hard to describe.

Here are my favorite book and website on minimalism--

THE JOY OF LESS by Francine Jay
(I bought the Kindle version because I don’t buy physical books any more.)

http://www.MissMinimalist.com also by Francine Jay
(Lots of free info and stories of other peoples’ minimalist journeys)

One of my biggest fears about deleting things from my life was, “Will I miss it when it’s gone?” Francine explains how to deal with that in her book. It goes something like this--

Some items will be easy to delete from your life and some will be easy to keep. But some items will be hard to decide on. Put those into an “undecided box”. Date the box and put it away for 6 months or so. If you haven’t missed or needed anything in the box, take it to Goodwill. Easy!

So, how much excess stuff have I deleted from my life? I’ve gone through every closet and every room in my house. I’ve sold a few things. I’ve given away about 30 boxes of stuff to my family and to the neighborhood thrift store. I’ve decluttered my filing cabinet and shredded dozens of old files. I’ve eliminated 5 boxes of kitchen stuff that I never use. Boxes of books and bookshelves are gone. I gave away most of my DVD’s, and will probably give away the rest, since I never watch the same movie twice. I know some people do, but it’s not my thing. I’ve eliminated about 30% of the stuff in my tool shed. There is no clutter in my car.

Some people think I’m crazy or I’m going through a mid-life crisis. Some people think I’m getting ready to move across the country. But honestly, I’m having a blast getting rid of things I don’t want, don’t need, and haven’t used in years. I keep asking myself, “Why was I keeping all this stuff?” LOL As my house gets lighter, I feel a sense of freedom and calm. I’m in awe of all the space I have now.

Your thoughts, ideas, and comments are always welcome.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out
Duane’s YouTube Channel



I’m writing this post because I have realized that many people don’t understand the basics of good communication. To illustrate, I will first tell you what good communication is not.


I know some brilliant people who seem to be incapable of answering a yes or no question with less than 1000 words. I’m not exaggerating. If I ask a simple question, I expect a simple answer. If you ask me, “How you are doing?” I will not ramble on about myself for 20 minutes. That’s not a conversation, it’s just plain rude!

I know people who not only try to finish other people’s sentences for them, but also will interrupt someone in mid-sentence and start talking about themselves. That’s not a conversation, it’s just plain rude!

If you are talking about yourself, your family, your hobby, or whatever, consider whether the person you are talking to is interested. They may just be listening out of politeness, but they really have no interest in your story. Think about it; put yourself in their place.

Keep it fair. Communication should be 50/50. Each person should be given the courtesy to share and contribute to the conversation. Nobody wants to be around someone who hijacks the conversation and makes it all about them.

Now go take on the day, and have great conversations.

Peace out.



I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my space. Not the social networking website, but the space where I spend most of my time when I’m not at work.

Basically, I like things neat, tidy, and clutter-free. I honestly don’t understand hoarders, people who surround themselves with junk that is never used or even seen because it’s not easy to find or get to. Not to be mean, but it’s a fact that compulsive hoarders are mentally ill.

So, back to my space. I’m not a minimalist, but I tend to lean that way. Maybe one day I will reach minimalist status. At least once a year, I will go though drawers, closets, and cupboards and get rid of things I haven’t used in the last 12 months or so. This is my way of keeping life simple and organized. I usually make four piles as I’m going though things:
1) Things to keep.
2) Things to sell.
3) Things to give away.
4) Garbage.
That’s my system. It works for me.

Why have I been thinking about my space so much lately? Well, I’ve been reading stories and how-to’s about people who sell their home, buy an RV, and hit the road with only the things truly necessary to live comfortably in that lifestyle. No excess, no clutter, just what is necessary. For some reason, this idea really appeals to me. I first heard about “Full Time RVers” about 15 years ago, and I was fascinated with the idea. Eventually, I decided it was un-realistic (for me, at that time in my life) and gave up on the idea.

A few months ago, I was thinking about what I would do if I had to grab a few things as quickly as possible and get out of the city. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fully stocked and ready to go RV, Van, or Pickup w/Camper for just such an emergency? Or maybe even to live in, to live a simpler and less expensive lifestyle. How cool would that be?

Anyways, here are three websites where I found tons of info about this sort of thing. Check them out if you’re interested.


Your thoughts, ideas, and comments are always welcome.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out  
Duane’s YouTube Channel


A Story About Marketing

In the United States, we are bombarded with more than 3000 advertisements per day! Some are passive, some are aggressive, some make us want to buy right now, some plant a seed that slowly grows, and we act on it days or weeks later and we don’t even realize it. That’s what happened to me over the past few months, and I just realized it today. Check this out.

I have a satellite dish and DVR so I can easily record my favorite TV shows and watch them later, when I have time. One of the advantages of this is that I can zip through the commercials and watch a 1-hour TV show in about 40 minutes. But sometimes a commercial catches my attention and I watch it. Sometimes I watch it over and over again. That’s what I did with these two commercials.

You can watch them here--



Cool commercials, right? I loved these commercials from the very first time I saw them. But, here is the strange part: On April 1, 2011, my Cadillac was gushing antifreeze all over my driveway, rendering it un-drivable. I had to work the next morning so I needed to find some transportation, fast. I had an appointment that afternoon to meet with my friend, Troy, who is a salesman at a car dealership. I walked the lot with Troy, looked at a few used cars, and settled on a black 2005 Kia Spectra. We did the paperwork, paid for the car, and I drove home happy.

Just today, April 13, 2011, it hit me. Those two TV commercials--the ONLY car commercials I have ever loved, and watched over and over again--were KIA COMMERCIALS! No way! Yes way! I’m still a little in awe over this. Do you think that’s just a weird coincidence, or is it awesome marketing?

If you have a similar story, I’d love to read about it. You can email me here: 

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out Duane’s YouTube Channel


I Bought a Cadillac--Big Mistake!

I bought a Cadillac on January 11, 2011. Not a new Cadillac, but still a very nice 2002 American made luxury car. I have wanted one for a long time so I finally treated myself. I know it’s not a practical car. It’s bigger than it needs to be and it has a much bigger engine than is necessary to get me from point A to point B. The MPG is pathetic, around 16. So why did I buy it? It was part of my experiment to start living my life in a state of wealth and abundance (see my blog post “The Secret” from November 4, 2010). The hit to my savings account made me uncomfortable, but that was just the beginning of my grief.

I enjoyed driving the Cadillac. It was a smooth ride, lots of black leather and polished wood accents inside, with a GPS navigation system and DVD player in the dash. The Northstar V8 engine purred like a kitten but when I pressed down on the accelerator, it roared to life to declare, “I am the king of the road!”

The snowball effect--
It began with a dead battery. The dealership where I bought it happily replaced the dead battery with a brand new one. It was winter, dead batteries are common in cold weather so I didn’t worry about it. Then the heater didn’t work. The dealership was happy to fix that, too. Cool, I was happy.

As I drove home, a text message scrolled across the dash, “Check tire pressure”. Fine, I stopped at a filling station and checked the tires. I added air to 3 of them and filled up the gas tank, $64. Then I was back on the road.

It started to snow and the windshield wipers came on automatically--Cool! I tried to use the windshield washer to clean the glass better. It was empty. Turned on the fog lights, one was burned out.

Next day, the dash text message was back, “Check tire pressure”. I did. One of the tires was over-inflated so I let some air out.

Next day, noticed that passenger side of car always had hot air blowing from the vents. Not a problem in January, but something that needs to be addressed before summer.

Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil”. I pushed “clear” and it went away.

Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil… Check tire pressure… Headlights suggested”.

Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil… Check tire pressure… Headlights suggested... ABS... Check brakes... Service engine”.

Next day, I noticed drops of oil on my driveway. Checked oil, it was a quart low. Added oil.

This harassment continued until April 1, 2011. I drove home after a long day at work. Got out of the Cadillac and walked toward the house. I smelled antifreeze, turned and looked under the car. Antifreeze was coming from the engine compartment and running down my driveway--LOTS of antifreeze!

Evil Cadillac

So what did I learn? The Cadillac had 183,785 miles on it when I bought it. That’s why it seemed like a bargain at $5999. Cadillacs are quality luxury cars, but they don’t last forever. You can buy cheap like I did and spend a lot of money on repairs, or you can pay more up front and get something with a lot less problems. If you figure in the “cost of frustration and inconvenience”, this was a very expensive lesson for me. I hope you learned from it, too.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out Duane’s YouTube Channel


Results from “Where’s Duane?” Survey

Here is what I learned from your replies to my last post, when I asked if you would rather have more frequent posts.

I was a bit surprised by some of you. I think that’s a good thing because I learned some things. The main theme to your responses was that I should write about what’s important to me. After all, that is what you enjoy, and the reason you surf on over to Duane’s World. Thank you all for that.

The second thing I learned from you is that quality is important. You don’t want to waste your time reading pointless nonsense from an uninteresting author, and neither would I.

I will do my best to give you my best. Thank you all for your support. I truly appreciate every one of you.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.
Check out
Duane’s YouTube Channel


Where's Duane?

I know, I know, I haven’t been keeping my promise to post at least once a week on this blog. But here’s the thing-- I want to write factual, thought provoking posts that are both an “Ah-ha!” and a call to action that will help you, my dear reader, make positive changes in your life. So, when I have no such topic on the tips of my typing fingers, I post nothing. I feel that is preferable to posting random rambling tidbits of my everyday thoughts and “Hey guess what happened to me today” or “Did you ever notice…” type of posts.

And how does that make me feel? I feel guilty, as if I’m withholding some precious jewels of wisdom from you, even though I haven’t a clue about what to write.

So, may I ask for your help? I know my readers enjoyed my first 22 posts. Visitor count to this page reads more than 3100, so I must be doing something right. My question to you is this: Would you like to see more frequent posts, even if they are slightly less awesome than you are used to seeing here?

You can leave a comment or send me a private email here: duanemyers2000@yahoo.com. Depending on how many comments and emails I get, I may not reply to every one, but I will read them all. Results to follow…

Thanks for being you! Have an awesome day!

Peace, out.

Check out  Duane’s YouTube Channel


Learning the Hard Way

I’ve always had to learn things the hard way. When I was little my mother told me "Don’t touch the stove, it’s hot." So naturally, I had to touch it to see if she was right. She was.

As I got older, I continued to use this learning method.

When I was in high school, I learned the hard way that a car never wins a fight with a tree.

When I was in my 30’s, I read an investment book that said, "95% of all commodity traders lose money, a lot of money." So I decided to trade commodities. I did well in the beginning. I actually made a few hundred dollars before I crashed and burned. I learned the hard way that the book I had read was right. I lost what was to me, a huge amount of money.

There were many other examples of me learning things the hard way but that’s enough for now. Why am I telling you all of this? I wanted you to know that I’m not perfect and I don’t always do everything right. I have done some really stupid things in the past. The thing is, every lesson I have learned the hard way has stuck with me. I thank God for these lessons. They have made me who I am today. I have learned to take risks, and I have learned that it’s OK to fail once in awhile. It’s all part of growing and learning, and gaining wisdom.

How about you? Do you usually play it safe? Or do you sometimes have to touch the stove to see if it really is hot?

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out Duane’s YouTube Channel



I met with my doctor today to go over my MRI test results. What did they find? Well, first let me tell you what they did not find--

There is no sign of brain tumors, aneurisms, bleeding, water on the brain, or brain swelling.

There was no sign of misalignment, bone marrow changes, disk abnormalities, bone lesions, or pressure on the spinal cord.

So what did they find?

BRAIN: Tiny bit of white matter, potentially related to migraine headaches.
SPINE: Tiny central disk protrusion, which could compromise nerve roots.

I thought it was interesting (and funny, and a relief) that both of these findings were described as TINY. That's a good thing. Maybe one or both of these are causing my headaches. Or maybe it's stress or tension. Or maybe it's an allergy to wheat or dairy or applesauce or pollen or dandelions... You get the idea.

In a nutshell, I'm glad I did the MRI because now I know for certain that I don't have any serious brain or spinal problems. Thank God!

But am I any closer to finding a cure for my headaches?  No.

OK, I won't bore you with any more of this headache stuff, unless I find a cure, then I will definitely share it with everybody who will listen. :)

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out Duane’s YouTube Channel


My First MRI

Today was my first MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Why am I getting an MRI? My goal is to find out why I get headaches and then find the cure for them. I believe nobody should have frequent headaches. I had 89 headaches in 2010. If you have pain anywhere in your body that often, something is definitely wrong!

Anyway, I want to tell you about my experience with the MRI machine. Since I’ve never been subjected to this type of test before, it was a memorable experience.

First, let me tell you what the MRI machine does--
Your body is mostly made up of water. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen atoms respond to a magnet. The MRI machine uses a very powerful magnet to line up the hydrogen atoms in your body in a straight line. About half of the atoms point toward your head and about half point toward your feet, but there are always a few unmatched atoms. Then a radio frequency pulse is added which causes the unmatched atoms to spin the other way. When the pulse is turned off, the unmatched atoms return to their normal position and emit energy. This energy sends a signal to a computer, which converts it into an image.

I felt honored that they were going to use this sterile, spaceship-looking mega-machine on me. I did some research before my appointment and learned that just the machine itself costs more than $3 Million. And that’s not including the highly trained staff that runs it. Impressive.

They had me lie on a narrow table, which is designed to slide your body into the machine. The table was surprisingly comfortable. They added a pillow under my legs to keep my back as flat as possible. Then they added pads under my arms (for comfort, I guess). I also got foam earplugs and headphones, which played music and allowed the technicians to talk to me while the machine was running. Last but not least, I got an emergency squeeze bulb attached to a cord. "If anything happens(!?!), just squeeze this and we will get you out of there." That was both worrisome and comforting at the same time. LOL I never had to squeeze it.

One of the technicians said my job was to hold still. In my head, I told myself, "Hold still, think positive thoughts, and smile". It may not help, but it sure can’t hurt! :)

They slid me in and went behind a glass wall. I wondered if the glass was explosion-proof. They turned on the music and started the machine. I was expecting a loud windy sound. Nope, what I heard was very loud pulses of varying frequencies and degrees. Sometimes it sounded like the bass beat of rock music. Sometimes it was just noise.

A lot of thoughts went through my head as the huge magnets and pulsing frequencies did their work. I remembered when I was a little boy, hiding in my toy box, which seemed oddly similar to where I was now. I also wondered if the lights in the rest of the hospital dimmed when they turned the MRI machine on. That led to thoughts of spinning electric meters, and people running the power plant having to turn a few dials to compensate for the increased power draw at Kadlec Hospital in Richland, Washington… Just for me…

I briefly wondered if this giant hydrogen sucking magnet would cause me to have a headache for the rest of the day. How ironic would that be? I tried to keep my thoughts positive. Feeling good, pushing back any negative thoughts, and smiling. I wondered if the MRI techs could see what I was thinking on their computer screen. His name was Don, he was nice. There was a woman, too, but she didn’t tell me her name. She talked to me through the headphones while I was in the machine. She asked me if I was ok, and gave me periodic updates of how much time was left.

They did two separate scans, one of my brain and one of my neck. Each took 20 minutes. There was about a 2 minute break in between. I can’t say it went fast or slow. I was very much aware of the time as it passed. I knew it was almost done before I heard her voice in my headphones, "only 4 more minutes to go".

When it was over, I wasn’t dizzy or disoriented at all. I felt like I had taken a 40 minute nap but I know I didn’t sleep. And I was very hungry!

I won’t have the results for a few days, but I expect a clear picture with no sign of trouble. I suspect my headaches are caused by some type of allergy. I will get to the bottom of this mystery, because that is my goal. :)

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

Check out
Duane’s YouTube Channel



This is just a fun post. I felt like sharing something fun/interesting/pointless with you.  Enjoy!
Here we go
I’m just sayin’
You’re gonna like this!
Oh yeah!
Check it out
That’s what I’m talking about!
You never know
Watch this
No worries
How do you like that?
I know, right
Now go take on the day!
Peace out.


My Rant -- Corporate Downsizing

I am one of the most positive people I know. Still, there are a few things that really tick me off. I don’t dwell on them but occasionally they come to the surface. This is one of those occasions.

DOWNSIZING is corporate speak for “deleting loyal, hard working employees as if they were last week’s spam.” Many companies do this as a way to trim their budgets, which will (hopefully) make them more profitable in the future. I’ve always maintained that companies don’t make decisions, people do. And this is no exception. The decision of whose life to ruin is made by one or more people farther up the ladder. I don’t believe these people are totally without a heart, but I do believe the decision to downsize has as much to do with protecting their own assets as it has to do with making the company appear more profitable. There are other ways to improve a company’s bottom line. IE: Increase sales, increase customer satisfaction, creative marketing, add new products and services, etc. Of course, these remedies take more time and effort. It’s much easier to tell 30% of your workers to pack their bags and tell the other 70% they will now have to work 30% harder, or they will be next.

I just had to get that out there. My next post will be more positive, I promise. :)

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.
Check out
Duane’s YouTube Channel