Category Archives: Family

Custer State Park Vol. 2

Today is as good as any to check into the back log and post some more pictures from my trip to Custer State Park with my Mom.

I wouldn’t say that Custer State Park was a disappointment, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype. I do feel however that I had more time to visit Custer State Park, I would be way more impressed with it. I hope I do get to do that again at some point. Maybe do some hiking. Maybe find these buffalo that are allegedly all over the place.

But like I wrote earlier. The lack of buffalo was made up for by the awesome feral donkeys.
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Here are more pictures from Custer State Park:


Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

I felt really bad for the donkey that stood facing the sign. I did talk to him and give him food. He eventually came out and joined the other donkeys.

There are a few more Custer State Park pictures in the hopper.

Custer State Park Vol. 1

Custer State Park was one of the most hyped up Black Hills location that my Mom and I were told to visit.

Some people even indicated that it might be the best part of the trip. The reason:

Buffalo!

Repeatedly, I was told that when we went to Custer State Park, we would see more buffalo than we could imagine. Throw a rock, we would hit 3 buffalo. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting 4 buffalo.*

Custer State Park was indeed awesome, but it had nothing to do with buffaloes. It was all about the feral donkeys!!

Here are a few photos from our trip through Custer State Park:


Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

I have more pictures from Custer State Park coming in the near future!

*This is not an endorsement of swinging dead cats.

You Know I’ll Leave ‘Em Changing; ‘Cause You Know I’m Real with It; Don’t Care if You Feeling It!

The world wasn’t ready for these alternate TOY images on Monday. Most of these pictures are taken in the Photography 139 Backyard Studio where photography was often disturbed by 2 raucous dogs that had a whole yard to play in, but seemed to want to only play right on top of my rubber dinosaurs.

The flower image is from one of my Mom’s flower pots. It was taken with the TOY special effects setting on the trusty old Alpha 77ii.

However, the images that really might make you stand up and go “Huh?” are of the ginorumous smoker.

The smoker is the new smoker for Baby Got Rack. It was purchased in Louisville from another award winning barbecue man and shipped all the way up to Iowa. Many people have asked when will be their next opportunity to try some award winning Baby Got Rack barbecue.

You could try crashing a Catholic anniversary party in a few weeks.

Otherwise, the only competition that Baby Got Rack is currently eyeing is the Farm Bureau contest at the Boone County Fair.

Other than that, you’ll have to wait for my birthday extravaganza in 2019. I’m guaranteeing that it will happen again in 2019. I just have to settle on a theme. I’m thinking the theme might be “Jorts & Cargo Shorts”. That way the invitations will be easy to make.

Next year my birthday is on a Saturday, so I can actually hold the shindig on my birthday. It would be perfect timing. You can go to your favorite graduate’s open house and then come sit around to the fire tub and listen to KNMA Radio – The Power Retriever.

We’ll see.

Okay, I can’t hold the TOY alternates back any longer:


Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

You’re welcome world!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 140 – TOY

Several people decided to play around with the TOY theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

However, you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came here to see the submissions:


WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY -  TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 141 - STORE
STORE


STORE! What a great theme! But what is a STORE photograph. It can be anything related to a place where you buy things. Wal-Mart is a STORE. Red Wal-Mart is a STORE. The Farmer’s Market is a STORE. A garage sale is a STORE.

Of course, the word STORE has more than one meaning.

As always, I look forward to your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 WEBMASTER

2 out of the last 3 days and 3 times in the last 30, the publishing of the blog has caused the website to crash. I’m currently working on the matter. Hopefully this post didn’t crash the website. This will possibly lead to a new page being added to the website. We will see.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very stored Monday!

Badlands Vol. 5

The final set of pictures from my brief sojourn through the Badlands with my Mom:


The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

That is it. That is the last of the Badlands pictures. Still have plenty of pictures from my trip to South Dakota to publish though. I’ll get through them all, some day.

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Actually that isn’t it. I’d like to thank everybody that wished me a happy birthday on Friday.

I believe this to be the entire list:

-Mom
-Jesse
-Michelle
-Teresa
-Dawn
-Nate
-Bethany
-Logan
-Shannon
-Becca
-Sara Lockner
-Stephanie
-Sarah Karber
-Colleen
-Micky
-Laura
-Aunt Linda
-Jay
-Faust
-Monica
-Andree
-Becky

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. It was a perfectly adequate birthday. I didn’t go to work. I got to do some tenderloining. I took some pictures. I hung out with my favorite dog in the world and one of my other favorite dogs in the world. I also watched ROAD HOUSE.

The movie that perfected throat ripping and had so many great lines like:

You know, I heard you had balls big enough to come in a dump truck, but you don’t look like much to me.

You’re too stupid to have a good time.

Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he’ll drop like a stone.

I got married to an ugly woman. Don’t ever do that. It just takes the energy right out of you. She left me, though. Found somebody even uglier than she was. That’s life. Who can explain it?

Calling me sir is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don’t belong.

That gal’s got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.

This place has a sign hangin’ over the urinal that says, “Don’t eat the big white mint”.

And of course

Pain don’t hurt.

If you missed your chance to celebrate my birth, you have one more chance. Next Sunday night is the Union Street Theater’s monthly movie night. Here are the movies for the double feature:


Movie Night

I chose the movies this month (instead of the usual committee that picks the movies) since it is my birth month. If you are wondering why I picked KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, then do you really know me at all.

I picked REAR WINDOW because I love that movie, it is directed by Hitchcock, it is about a photographer, the photographer is dating Grace Kelly, and it is is the best movie ever made about a photographer.

A close second is BLOW-UP. Right Jay and Jesse?

Projector rolls at 6 PM. I’m not sure if there will be any special treats for that night. We’ll see.

05-03-08

The images in this blog are from the folder 05-03-08:


05-03-08

05-03-08

05-03-08

05-03-08

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By adding these images to the Photography 139 Photo Gallery, I was able to restore the following historical An Artist’s Notebook entry to its original glory:

CARDINAL GYMNASTICS ACADEMY

The pictures of Alexis doing gymnastics was at her gymnastics recital, which is a lot less painful to sit through than a dance recital. Every day of the week and three times on a Sunday.

I don’t believe that those Little White Lye Soap pictures were ever published, but of course, I could be wrong.

Remember you can buy Little White Lye Soap here:

Little White Lye Soap Store

Little White Lye Soap is the only current Christopher D. Bennett endorsed product of any kind on the market. However, I have always meant to formally endorse Franklin Broomworks brooms and this book:

I Cannot, Yet I Must: The True Story of the Best Bad Monster Movie of All Time: Robot Monster

Consider this an endorsement, but not a formal endorsement of both. When I get back to the formal endorsement game, I will formally endorse both.

Next time we take a walk down the lane of memories it will involve worms, flowers, painting, and old cohorts from my time with the Evil Clown Empire.

Mr. 3000

So here is the first journal entry. I felt like having as pretentious sounding name as possible for my journal. I have a few goals about this journal. My main goal is just to actually write in it. My second goal is to be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings. I have another journal on another website, but it is really just a collection of sarcastic statements and cheap jabs at open faced sandwiches. This journal is meant to be about what my achievements and failures are in the world of art. What projects I am working on and what I have accomplished and what I have failed to accomplish. What I am photographing and what I am thinking about entering in photo contests. What I am thinking about. It might not always make sense. It might just be things I need to write down because they strike me as poignant or inspirational. This is in a small way an online “idea box”.

I do also have a goal of producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

With those words on August 9, 2006 this blog burst into the world with the blog entry titled:

FIRST JOURNAL ENTRY

Now here we are 4294 days later and I’m posting journal entry number 3,000.

The blog has changed quite a bit over the years. It started out as a blog that I physically coded and added to a website that I physically coded back when my website was hosted on Frank’s basement server. Then, I moved it to a third party company called Blogger. If you visit this URL, you can still see its pathetic remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Blogger Version

After that, I still used Blogger, but I published An Artist’s Notebook to the server that currently hosts my website. The content was the same, but the URL changed. If you click on the link below, you can still see it’s pathetic remains, that are identical to the Blogger URL remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Photography 139 Hosted Version

Well before this, I had changed my website over to WordPress. Even though WordPress has very powerful blogging tools, it wasn’t until March of 2010 that I started using WordPress and An Artist’s Notebook moved to (hopefully) its final URL:

An Artist’s Notebook – Current Incarnation

Last time I posted that An Artist’s Notebook had reached a milestone number of posts, I received a bunch of congratulations. I was confused by this because I didn’t feel it was necessarily an accomplishment. After all, I basically was just too stupid to quit. Just plugging along in relative obscurity, with a few loyal subscribers that send me emails or leave comments on the blogs scattered across the globe earth. A smarter person would have just stopped by now.

But instead, other than a slight walking away from An Artist’s Notebook back in the spring of 2015, nevertheless he persisted.*

I don’t know if just persisting is an accomplishment, but looking at the earlier formats for An Artist’s Notebook, I see that I used to link to several other blogs, that have either stopped updating or are just simply gone with the wind.

  • The original Little White Lye Soap website is gone, but it has been replaced by the Franklin Broomworks website.
  • Act of Gravity – BrogFrog’s band at one time is gone. True I don’t think Act of Gravity every played a show, but you could pretend.
  • Waxen Media – Vest’s website is still up, but hasn’t been updated since 2015. Although I’ve heard rumors that a comeback might be on the horizon.
  • Lesser Known Saint – My friend Mike’s old band website is still up, but they broke up in 2012.
  • Impassioned Versifier – Dawn’s poetry blog is still up, but she hasn’t versified, impassioned or otherwise since 2011. Get it together Dawn!
  • Mayor Goldie’s Website – Jesse’s website is frozen. He must have done something bad. Like giving up his dream of being mayor of Hill Valley.
  • LowellDavis.net – Still up, but the last post was in 2015.
  • Carla’s Blog, Teresa’s Blog, and J- The Online Magazine are all victims to Windows Live Spaces no longer being a thing. I miss knowing what was in Jay’s fridge.
  • Live Like A Champion Today – Mark’s blog on his Missionary Work is still up, but he no longer posts. He isn’t a missionary any longer, but he could make stuff up.
  • Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century – Died on October 1, 2010. Sad. I think we all remember where we were when we heard the blog about 19th century mustaches stopped production. I was grooming my beard.
  • True Wife Confessions – Died on October 28, 2012
  • I Found Your Camera – Date of death, lost.

I have to give props to the other people who are also too dumb to quit:

  • Horror Movie A Day – Sure he isn’t cranking them out like he used to, but he hasn’t given up the ghost.
  • A Novel Blog – The writing blog of a person I actually knew in the real world once. A very talented writer named S.E. White.

I’m still here. Let’s not make a big deal of it.

Even though An Artist’s Notebook is meant to complement the rest of the Photography 139 website and universe, I actually didn’t post a photo in the blog until a good 3 months after I started it. On October 20, 2006 history was made with the blog post:

A GOOD DAY AT WORK

This was the first picture ever posted to An Artist’s Notebook:


Groundhog Steve

A picture of a groundhog that lived behind the computer mine.

Although the seal was broken the floodgates didn’t exactly open. I didn’t post an image again until December 31, 2006. That picture was the back page of the the 2007 Photography 139 calendar.


2007 Back Page
Back from when I printed the calendars myself.

The picture flood gates really opened on January 5, 2007 with this post:

FAILED BEGINNING

And these 2 photos:


Chocolate Milk Endorsement

Thinker Recreation

The rest, has been photographic history.

An observant reader of An Artist’s Notebook would have notice that my Saturday post walking down memory lane are partially done so that I can have a look at my old images and partially done so I can restore my old blog posts to their original glory. The reason why this is necessary is because in addition to having gone through several ways to post a blog, I also went through several hosting options for my photos.

The first one was a company known as Photobucket. Photobucket was a good free option. I used it from October 2006 up until October 2008.


Photobucket

I abandoned Photobucket because eventually I was going to outgrow their limits. Recently they stopped allowing people to embed images stored with them, so if you were to click on a journal entry from May 2008 to October 2008, you’d see something like this:


Photobucket

After Photobucket, I decided to host my pictures with a MySQL-PHP photo gallery called Coppermine. I ran with Coppermine from November 2008 until July 2011. I left those galleries up for several years, even though you couldn’t access them unless you had a direct URL. Also by leaving them up, pictures would still show up on the website. Unfortunately, those galleries were used to hack my website and take it down a few years back. As a result, I had to completely delete the galleries to close the security loophole in my website. So until I get the journal entries from November 2008 until July 2011 restored to their original glory, they will look something like this:




Then in April of 2011 I was hired to be the photographer for the American Red Cross Young Heroes event. They wanted to have a way that people could go to my website and buy pictures. I didn’t actually have a way to do that, so I needed to find one. I ended up with Smugmug. It was a service that a professional photographer I knew used and recommended. You can store unlimited photos there and people can buy them directly from your website.


American Red Cross Young Heroes

It took me a few months to realize that the Smugmug was the future of my photo hosting. It has unlimited data storage and it stores full resolution images.

That unlimited full resolution pictures is a pretty big deal because I have currently uploaded 45,005 images/videos that take up 395.59 GB of hard drive space. Probably not going to be slowing down any time soon on that front, either.

Also, if anybody every wanted to buy a print or a coffee mug or a puzzle or a mouse pad or a ceramic tile or a mahogany desk organizer or playing cards or photo key tag or coasters or a phone case with one of my pictures on it, they can do it straight from the website. Don’t worry people who submit photos for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Those photos are not for sale on the website. Either are pictures from Graceland or of Iowa State athletic events. I can’t sell those for legal reasons.

While people can go to the gallery and leave comments on pictures and rate them up to 5 stars (hint: this will be how Pufferbilly Day Photo Contest and possibly Boone County Fair entries will be determined this year), the way I determine the most popular images is by views. Views statistics go back one year.

These are the 10 most popular Photography 139 Images (by views) of the last 10 Months:


WEEK 61 - STILL LIFE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#10 – Sidewalk Chalk – 1,223 Views – Picture taken for STILL LIFE in the WPC. Taken outside of the Ericson Public Library

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#9 – Johnathan Stensland – 1,261 Views – Taken for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT in the Photography 139 Studio


Iowa State vs. Kent State>
#8 – Brett Meyer – 1,403 Views – Taken at the Iowa State vs. Kent State football game in 2007

Falls Park - Sioux Falls
#7 – Sioux Falls – 1,428 Views – Taken on my South Dakota Road Trip with my Mom

Saint Paul - Irish Fair
#6 – Nora – 1,493 Views – Taken at the Irish Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota

ART - ALTERNATE
#5 – Graffiti – 1,707 Views – Taken in downtown Ames for ART for the WPC

WEEK 110 - REFLECTION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#4 – Reflection – 1,762 Views – Taken in Ledges for REFLECTION for the WPC


01-01-08
#3 – Angel Ornament – 3,197 Views – Willow Angel Ornament taken in my Mom’s house

07-01-07
#2 – Ground Squirrel – 3,732 Views – Ground squirrel on top of a shepherd’s hook at my Mom’s house

Selfie Project - January 27
#1 – With Alisa – 9,541 Views – Taken at Winter Jam in 2017 for THE SELFIE PROJECT


The following are links to the 5 Most Popular Photography 139 Photo Galleries:

Original 9 - Fear Composite
#5 – 9 Emotions Project – 23,417 Views

FRAMED - ALTERNATE
#4 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 – Alternates

WEEK 113 - PARTY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#3 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 (34,203 Views)


LOSER - CHILDREN
#2 – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 4 (52,673 Views)

December 30, 2017
#1 – THE SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 (62,509 VIEWS)

I also use a category system to organize my posts so that a person could find all the posts on a certain topic or a certain person. This is far from a scientific system and it is a moving target as I am re-categorizing old entries as I restore them. I’m trying to get rid of some of the more generic categories like “Photography” or “Life” or “Family” or “Friends” or “Religion”. But this is an ongoing process.

These are the 10 most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”:

#10 – Jay – 262 Posts

#9 – Life – 274 Posts

#8 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#7 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#6 – Animals – 301 Posts

#5 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#4 – Jesse – 328 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

10 Most Popular Not People Categories

#10 – Slice of Life – 189 Posts

#9 – Religion – 191 Posts

#8 – Road Trip – 217 Posts

#7 – Personal Photo Project – 259 Posts

#6 – Life – 274 Posts

#5 – Animals – 301 Posts

#4 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

If you are relatively new and are wondering what the heck a “Personal Photo Project” is, it came about at a time where I seemed to be working on a ton of other photo projects (for various entities) and seemed to be getting pulled a way from the pure joy of photography. At that time I decided to work on a Personal Photo Project once a week to keep photography from becoming a grind.

10 Most Popular People Categories

#10 – Vest 204 Posts

#9 – Jen – 205 Posts

#8 – Willy – 209 Posts

#7 – Derrick – 241 Posts

#6 – Mom – 247 Posts

#5 – Carla – 261 Posts

#4 – Jay – 262 Posts

#3 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#2 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#1 – Jesse – 328 Posts

You may be looking at the list and wondering, “what can I do to improve my Photography 139 Q Score?”

First, I should point out that these aren’t necessarily the people that have influenced by photography the most. That would be my Dad by having photography in the house. My Mom for buying me my first camera. Olivia for loving flower photography. The favicon on this website was her favorite flower picture. Carla and Teresa for doing photography with our Dad. The list could continue, but you get the idea.

However, these are the people that most influence this blog.

But about that Q-Score thing…

Obviously, the easiest way is to submit photos to the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You could also volunteer to be a photo assistant on photo projects. Pose for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. Head out on the open road with me. Join an organization that I am in. Commission me to do work for you (i.e. photograph your baby, wedding, family, senior picture, work holiday card, church directory, soap, leather goods).

Follow those simple suggestions and someday, when we hit blog post number 3,500, you could see yourself in the Photography 139 Top 10. After all, Sara, you are knocking right on the door!

I also decided to update my profile pictures for Twitter and Instagram and Smugmug. Here is the new one below:


Social Media Profile Picture

That should work for another year or so!

I think that more than covers where the Photography 139 community currently sits. Until next time!

*I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mind my appropriating this phrase. I guess it was accidentally created by a half man-half turtle creature and I am at least half a man. No turtle. I’ve had a grudge against turtles since The Great Turtle Race was fixed back in 2016. Sorry Mitch.