New members

Welcome to recent new members Kevin & Cora Smith, Mike Irrera, and Dan, Pamela & Ryan Hughes!  We look forward to seeing you at the next club event.

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Photos online!

MIJC_05_14_2016_Badlands_Matt_Brown_039I’ve been trying to catch up with photos from this year over the past week… Now online are new photos from the annual banquet back in January (courtesy of Jeff Fitch and Larry Wilson), Flat Nasty in March (courtesy of Dan Brown, Matt Brown and Daren Cordell), and our most recent trip to the Badlands last weekend (courtesy of Matt Brown).  If we can keep this pace up, we’ll have enough to do a video this year.

I think I’ve identified part of the problem with getting pictures: people work entirely off their smartphones these days.  Don’t get me wrong… phones have pretty nice cameras in them and they’re always with you, so they are particularly convenient.  The problem is that while phones are really good at sending individual pictures via text message or email, or posting them to social media, they do not provide a terribly good way to move a bunch of pictures and videos at once, directly to someone (like me) who needs them.  Take a look at this article for Android or this one for iPhone.  In these articles you’ll find tips and instructions for getting your pictures loaded onto your computer, where you can then burn a disc of them, put them on a USB flash drive, or transfer them to me via FTP (easier than you think… contact me for directions).  Google Drive and Dropbox are also good solutions that are available on both mobile platforms and do not necessarily require a computer.  Share your links for those services to my work email address,

So why can’t I just pull them off Facebook/Flickr/Shutterfly/whatever?  For the following reasons:

  • I need photos at the full resolution at which they were taken.  Sometimes we crop down a bit or add the pan and zoom moves, both of which require extra resolution on the original photo so it won’t end up looking blurry.  Uploading photos to a website downsizes them to a smaller resolution.  Videos also get downsized when they are posted/emailed/texted, and they are difficult to download from viewing sites like Youtube or Facebook.
  • It’s tedious to pull one photo at a time from these types of sites.  These sites are designed for viewing, not downloading.  It’s possible to download them, but I have to individually view and save each picture.  Same goes for email.  On our FTP site, Google Drive, Dropbox, or a physical medium like a CD or USB drive, I can grab all of them at once.
  • We need a LOT of photos to make the video.  Giving me 5 or 6 select images from one event is great, but I’d really rather have everything you shot, even shots that look fairly similar or are multi-burst photos.  You’d be surprised what we can do with the photos and videos you don’t think make the cut.

A few other basics as you’re headed out with your camera/smartphone… horizontal photos work better for us than vertical, and NEVER take videos vertically.  It is difficult to integrate vertical videos into our horizontal presentation, and what’s more, Jeeps are more horizontal than vertical anyway (insert hill climb bragging to contradict that here).  Taking videos horizontally is advice for life, really.  Unless you have your TV mounted vertically on the wall.

Of course, if you have a ton of photos from MIJC events and just can’t figure any of this tech stuff out, please don’t hesitate to contact me for help.

It’s still early in the year… we start collating materials for the video around December 1st.  So take lots of pictures this year and get them to me!

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Washita June trip cancelled

cancelledYou may have already read about this on the forum, but the June trip to Washita has been cancelled.  Washita, as you may remember, closed its gates a few years ago when the property was sold to a company that does private security training.  Since then, a local wheeling club has worked with the company to offer a few special one-day wheeling events at the former park.  We thought there would be one in June, but they have not scheduled anything, so for now we’re removing it from our schedule.  If you’re on Facebook, keep an eye on this page, which seems to be where they are promoting these one-off events.

More as it develops.

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May & June Events

The summer months are when we do all the fun stuff.  Let’s take a look ahead at the next month or so.

Coming up soon is the Louie Louie Parade, a very short parade in downtown Peoria on Friday, May 27 that benefits St. Jude.  Come to the Civic Center Fulton lot (enter at the corner of Fulton and Monroe) and ask where the MIJC should line up.  Get there by 3:30 for a 4:15 start and bring some candy to toss.

Also that same weekend (Memorial Day) the club is headed to Steve Vohs‘ house near Nokomis, Illinois for a trail ride/trail cleanup event.  All MIJC members are welcome, but in order to keep the bad guys away we don’t post the location of Steve’s house online.  Contact us and we’ll get you directions.  The club is picking up the tab for food but it never hurts to bring some goodies to share with the group.  There is also a discussion on what kind of trail work needs to be done that Al started on the forum.

Looking ahead to June, Saturday June 4th is our next cruise-in at Sonic in Pekin starting at 6pm.  Come have a bite to eat, cruise down that weird grassy alley near 14th Street Hardware, then get some ice cream.  Lastly (for now), the Tremont Turkey Festival is on Sunday, June 12th… more details on that in the forum when we get closer.

All of our events for the year can be found on the Schedule, which is viewable as a calendar on that page or there’s also a link to download a PDF file that’s a fridge-friendly list.  Before making travel plans for any MIJC event, it’s best to hop on the forum and see what everyone else’s plans are.  Events are sometimes cancelled or changed due to bad weather or occasionally lack of interest.

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April Meeting

avantis-color-logo-transpOur regular meeting for the month of April is coming up Saturday, April 2nd.  This will be the last “winter meeting” for the season, as next month we begin our Saturday evening cruise-in’s.  So join us at Avanti’s in Pekin at noon for a bite and a conversation.  The Pekin Avanti’s is one of the largest in the area, and they do a great job accommodating our (sometimes unpredictable) large group.  Just tell the hostess you’re with the Jeep Club.  New members considering joining the club are always welcome.

If you’re jonesing for even more MIJC action between meetings and outings, be sure to check out our long-standing “Traveling Tuesday” get-together, which happens on most Tuesdays.  It started around 10 years ago as Taco Tuesday, named after the Tuesday night special at the now-closed Hoppers in Morton.  After trying several other semi-regular spots in the area, it morphed into Traveling Tuesday; the group meets at different restaurants each Tuesday at 7pm.  Check out the forum to find out the next scheduled location or suggest one yourself.

Michelle Danner, Jon Martin liked this post

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Membership List Updated

I updated the list of members on the site yesterday.  Take a look at yours and see if it’s up to date (Frank just can’t believe what he sees on his page).  Got a new vehicle or an additional one?  Need to update a photo or add new specs or special features?  Let me know and I’d be happy to do that for you (you can also use Facebook to message me if that’s easier).  If you don’t see your name listed, most likely it means that you forgot to re-up your membership for 2016.  Contact us and we’ll get that squared away.

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Flat Nasty coming up

MIJC_04-04-2015_Flat_Nasty_Matt_Brown_142The club’s annual Easter Weekend trip to Flat Nasty is coming up later this month, March 24-27.  Good Friday = an extra wheeling day.  There are mobile homes near the park that the group normally books for accommodations; if you are planning on going, you need to pipe up on the forum so we know how many to reserve (cost is spread among the participants).  Meals are also being planned.  Join the conversation and join the trip!

Also coming up is Steinjäger’s Jeep Blitz being held at their headquarters April 15-17 in nearby Bushnell, Illinois, about an hour west of Peoria.  This isn’t an official club event but several of our members are attending.  Pre-registration is encouraged.