The Curious Misadventures of King Quincey

This is story my brother wrote a couple of years ago. I came across it in my email and decided to should put it up for the world to enjoy.

The Curious Misadventures of King Quincey
by Greg Hughes

King Quincey stood up from his noble seat and, with a wave of his royal fingers – each sporting kingly rings of authority featuring all colors of the rainbow – had one of his slaves hobble closer.

“I will see this bizarrely emaciated peasant now.”

The slave obeyed and the great doors to Quincey’s throne room creaked open, and from them came a hobbling man of undesirable attire. Quincey could tell a beggar from a mile away as soon as they got up close; they always smelled of manure and had an unsightly look about them. They were always asking for things, too. This older peasant was no different.

Quincey looked down at the man. “You have requested an audience, and I now grant one to you peasant. Speak quickly and with purpose.”

At first, the older man struggled to begin, but did so upon the slanting of His Highness’ curled brow. “Your eminence,” began the man, “my family is starving and no work can be had. We have tried everything, but I appeal to your glory and kindness to help your followers this one time. We desire no more than two loaves of bread.”

King Quincey looked hard into the man’s eyes and then, with an angry voice: “Two loaves of bread. Two!? Do you believe bread simply comes forth from ground? You make a mockery of this throne old man and I will see it dealt with. Guards!”

Four armed guardsmen immediately rushed to the scene.

“I will have this old coot stay here – fetch wife and children so that he may see spirit separated from body by means of quarter as warning for such unreasonable demand.”

The guards turned and left, and the old beggar took the ground in tears, screaming at the height of lung. Finally, when he could scream no more, Quincy began to laugh through his own tears.

“I got you!” Quincy laughed.

“What?” replied the beggar through tears.

“I totally had you going. Man, you should… oh man, had you seen the look on your face. I can’t even – did you think I was serious?! Everyone needs to have a sense of humor about these things. So, uh… what should I put you down for? Three loaves?”

Porsche Purge Preparation

Ah, the 911. We’ve had some good times and we’ve had some bad times. It’s kind of a love / hate relationship for me. In the end I think it’s time to move onto something else though, especially since the Vette is just about ready (post coming next week). In order to get the car ready to sell I’ve had to sort through quite a few issues but I think she’s ready to go.

The biggest issue, of course, I’ve already mentioned in a previous post. The tune was rewritten and solved pretty much every one of the aggravating issues I was grappling with (emissions, long term fuel trims, air leak codes, etc). And I think I’ve finally got almost all the other bugs worked out now too.


The TPMS system in this car periodically acted up informing me that I had a flat tire. Sometimes the warning went away, sometimes it persisted. Resetting the car’s TMPS system occasionally helped but just as often it didn’t. I had new sensors installed when the car was in Arizona so everything was troubleshot remotely.


At one point I had them mail me a new sensor and that’s when I discovered that I had aftermarket ITM sensors and not OEM. Nevertheless I installed the replacement sensor but the problems persisted. I was sent OEM sensors that turned out to the wrong ones (after they were installed). In the end I went to my local dealer (Ken Garff Porsche) and they were extremely helpful and got me the correct sensors (997 606 021 01). After having these installed all the issues have cleared up.


The Interstate battery in the car wasn’t holding a charge correctly (as indicated by my CTEK). I also noticed that the vent faced the strut brace and there was acid covering the battery pan (I don’t know if it was from this battery though). I neutralized the acid and carefully cleaned everything and then replaced the old battery with a Duralast Gold 94R-DL.  The 94R-DL has the correct oriented vent and more cold cranking amps (765 vs 700 – the more the better). I was hoping this would help overcome the crank sensor gaping issue and I think it actually has done a lot to improve it.


After changing the battery I immediately got a P0154 code which indicated that an 02 sensor had failed. Quick info: the 997 has two 02 sensors on each bank, one before the catalytic converter (sensor 1) and one after (sensor 2). As you stand behind the car bank 1 is the driver side and bank 2 is the passenger side. Anyway, looking at real time data the 02 sensor seemed to be “stuck” (02 sensors should fluctuate as their reported voltage shows lean or rich conditions). When I unplugged the sensor and plugged it back in it seemed to work for a few minutes. I picked up a set of 02 sensors from Ken Garff and scheduled an install.


As a quick aside- if you don’t have a handheld scanner of some kind I’d recommend one. I recently picked up this excellent Actron CP9575 (you can get it for less than $100) to keep permanently in the 911 and it’s come in very handy. Keep in mind if you want access to real time data (i.e. 02 sensor voltages) that not all scanners have this feature.

Anyway! Down to RaceCo I went to have the 02 sensors swapped out. I always have a good time there- great guys. Unfortunately on my trip home it became apparent that the swap hadn’t solved the problem (and it’s not easy to get to those sensors!). To add injury to insult the long term fuel trims started to max out again. As I mentioned this issue cropped up right after putting in the new battery and I began to suspect that the real problem was electrical.

I checked continuity on the new sensor and it was fine. I worked my way through all the wiring back to the DME and decided that must the problem. I unplugged everything, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then plugged it back in. I fired up the car and noticed the 02 sensor in question was cycling a lot faster. I test drove the car and everything seemed to be working correctly. Even after about sixty miles the issue seems to be completely resolved – no codes, long term fuel trims are stable and there’s no hint of anything out of whack.

Here’s the current theory: The car has an aftermarket stereo and part of the system is a capacitor. Even with the battery totally disconnected the trunk light will stay on for a bit. It’s possible the DME is still getting power even w/ the battery out and as the voltage to the DME drops (as the capacitor discharges) is starts messing with the computer. Since the computer never fully loses power any problems the lower voltage causes are retained unless the computer is physically disconnected from it’s power source. I think it’s crazy that and electrical glitch can imitate a faulty 02 sensor, but there ya go!


And I replaced the floor mats in the car with new Lloyd’s mats. I’m not sure what was in there before (pic to the left) but it didn’t fit well. There are clips that are designed to hold the mat in place but the ones on the old mat were too big and the mat would slip under the accelerator pedal. New mats, right size clips, better fit and I like the Porsche logo running across them better.

The car and I went for a drive and I busted out “Must Have Been Love” by Roxette

It must have been love but it’s over now.
It must have been good but I lost it somehow.
It must have been love but it’s over now.
From the moment we touched, ’til the time had run out.

And some “Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson.

I want you to know
That it doesn’t matter
Where we take this road
But someone’s gotta go
And I want you to know
You couldn’t have loved me better
But I want you to move on
So I’m already gone

Looking at you makes it harder
But I know that you’ll find another

I’m ready to let  it go (of course a part of me doesn’t want to). I think I might have a buyer for the car. I sure hope he appreciates all the hassle I went through to get it ready for him.

Hughes Family: August 21, 2013 – September 10, 2013

Behold the mundane activities that make up our lives. Will my kids ever look back and read these posts to see that, all things considered, their lives weren’t as bad or unpleasant as they remembered?


Fran bought some kind of super dooper orange press. The kids have been drinking a ton of fresh pressed orange juice. Lucky kids. I’m still waiting for someone to hand me a glass.


Next Fran bought a giant box of bananas. We cut them up and she popped them in a dehydrator so we could have banana chips. Yum (not really). Lots of fruity stuff going on over here. But whatever makes her happy is fine with me.


We decided to thin out our movie collection. We ended up with a pretty good sized pile of movies we were never going to watch again (a lot of them were duplicates from our Blu-ray migration). We sent the kids outside to sell them and told them they could keep whever they made. Lemonade stands eat your heart out. They made a few bucks and we were happy for them but mostly I was glad the Lehi Flasher didn’t show up.
Gabe was upset that he didn’t get any of the money (he opted not to help with the movie stand) so Fran put him to work cleaning. All the money earned was quickly wasted on junk. Long live American consumerism.


Fran and I hit up a movie (Paranoia- only so so) and decided to sneak in some tacos. I don’t know if you have to sneak food into the Megaplex Theaters (there’s not actually any sign prohibiting outside food), but my gosh it was exciting when those tacos emerged from the recesses of Fran’s giant food smuggling sized purse. Yum.
In other news Chloe has started potty training! She’s not quite two and that may be why she’s not quite getting it.  Number one is going pretty well, but number two is always an exciting adventure. Fran has more patience than I do. If I had my way my kids would wear diapers until they went off to college.


The other night I decided the kids and I should make robots to beat up (this was one of my favorite things when I was younger… lots of undiagnosed issues, I’m sure). All the kids got a robot and some punching lessons (Mike demonstrates here). I had roles of duct tape on hand to repair holes, tears and instances of dismemberment. Later I made the kiddos some cardboard weapons to use on the robots (and each other). A hammer, an ax, a dagger and sword all meted out massive amounts of damage and destruction and good time was had by all.


I confess that I’m not a huge fan of most games to begin with… but playing against kids can be mind numbing. I don’t find my kids numb my mind too much if we play the right games though. I’m always down for some memory, chess or Jenga (I think we’ll be ready to try Monopoly soon). I can also withstand about ten minutes of making towers for Chloe to knock over.


I took the kids to see Percy Jackson (pretty good!) because they were super excited about it (in fact I can’t think of anything they’ve been more excited about this year).


It’s been quite awhile since I’ve been pulled over (surprise!). On Labor Day we had a small window of time in the early morning and decided to head up to American Fork canyon for a quick hike. About two minutes into our journey we got pulled over. The reason? No insurance. I didn’t realize the police could tell if you had insurance or not by scanning your plate. But no worries- it was a simple misunderstanding. Right? Nope. We didn’t actually have an insurance card in our Yukon and the policeman wasn’t able to confirm through Allstate that we had insurance. Long story short: It turns out we didn’t have insurance. As soon as we bought the Yukon Fran had called to add it (and remove the vehicles we sold) but our local Allstate company dropped the ball and didn’t make any of the changes we requested (hopefully we’ll be able to get that all sorted out). Unfortunately this stop took so long that we had to turn around and go home.  Perhaps fate intervened and stopped us from taking a fateful trip into the canyon that day? Who knows.


Fran and the kids temped fate later by actually making it to AF canyon and taking a hike (everyone survived). I can’t remember what I was doing- handling some problem, probably.


Mike has football games every Saturday now. Fran usually goes up at the start and I try to hit them toward the end. I’m not a big fan of football and I have to say that watching Mike’s team play doesn’t help. I’m glad Mike seems to like it though.
For our date Fran and I went to the new warehouse and took some time to organize our junk. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I love those Costco shelves.


Erin and her clan rolled into town for the SLC Comic Con. On Sunday we all went and ate with my parents. Doug brought out his impressive R2D2 (it pretty much does everything the one one in the movie did sans flying) much to the delight of my kids (particularly Chloe).


Ah kids… who else covers their faces (and bodies) with tiny stickers? Who else wants to race a box down the stairs? Who else eats hazelnut peanut butter in the bathroom and then hides the evidence under the sink? I love these little people.

Website Evolution

We launched Blade HQ back in March of 2004. The design was simple, but so were the times.


Screen Shot from 2004

They say that the only constant is change. I think most people fear change to one degree or another- I know I do. When we change something important and we change it in a dramatic way it can be frightening. Back in 2007 we redesigned our Blade HQ website (maintaining many of the original elements) and have used that design for nearly the last six years.


Screen Shot from 2007

Over time the 2007 template evolved but, again, the change has been minimal.


Screen Shot from 2013

At the beginning of this year we undertook a massive website redesign. We wanted something that could accommodate all of the planned feature additions, something that would allow us to diversity our product offerings more effectively and something that would carry us for another six years. It was time to move away from our roots and we strove for a more elevated and contemporary design.

Last week we launched our new Blade HQ website. I think it’s safe to say that everyone at Blade HQ was a little nervous but overall customer reaction has been very positive. There are still adjustments to make, tweaks to implement and problems to address but overall I’m incredibly pleased with how things turned out. I’m very proud of of everyone here at the HQ who helped make this vision a reality.

Screen Shot from Sept 11, 2013

Screen Shot from Sept 10, 2013

If you get a chance please browse the website and let me know what you think! I’d be curious to hear any constructive feedback, positive or negative. We are currently in an A/B test period so if you don’t get the newest version you can simply erase your cookies and try again.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

– George Bernard Shaw

January 1, 2014 Update:

Even our redesign has evolved. After reviewing data and customer feedback we decided our homepage as was too large and wasn’t driving traffic to the correct destinations. We modified the homepage to bring the fold higher and give customers more direct access to popular categories. I’ve posted the result below.

Screen shot from the end of 2013

Screen Shot from the end of 2013