Category Archives: Nora

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 55

A few weeks back Jay sent me an enigmatic message about archaeological photography. After drilling down, I figure out he was talking about taking pictures of a recently abandoned apartment in his building. An apartment that the former occupants left in less than stellar conditions.

One Sunday after a post church meal with the family I grabbed a camera and went over to Jay’s apartment building for a tour of Apartment 4. After a quick look around, I knew that somewhere in this mess was a perfect subject for Page 55 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 55
Page 55 – ‘I am at war with the obvious.’ William Eggleston. Join Eggleston’s war.

Here is the idea for this page in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT from the tips in the back.

Sunsets, pretty flowers, and beaches. These are ‘obvious’ subjects offering a conventional idea of beauty. Instead, hunt down more unusual, surprising subjects-the sort that only come alive when they are photographed.

Only one picture can physically be adhered into the physical manifestation of THE PHOTO JOURNAL, however I did take several other pictures in Apartment 4. Here are the pictures that I like, but won’t be place in THE PHOTO JOURNAL.


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Page 55 - Reject


Next time we check in with THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will probably check in with Page 40 or Page 47 or Page 111.

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Here is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is PERSPECTIVE.

A PERSPECTIVE photo is any photo that involves a different perspective from the way you normally see the world. Above where you normally see the world. Below where you normally see the world. Another example of perspective is making something small look big by putting it in the foreground and something large in the background. This is called forced perspective.


WEEK 157 - PERSPECTIVE
PERSPECTIVE!


Happy photo harvesting!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 156 – HOBBIES

This ends year 3 of the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE reboot. It still seems popular enough to head onto year 4. I’ve decided not divulge the 52 themes for year 4. You’ll just have to react as the come your way.

There was a good amount of submissions for HOBBIES, but you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about submission rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley


WEEK 156 - HOBBIES - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

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 157 - PERSPECTIVE
PERSPECTIVE!


PERSPECTIVE! What a great theme! But what is a PERSPECTIVE photograph. A PERSPECTIVE photo is an photo take that isn’t at the normal straight on view of a human. Humans certainly have varying heights, but the idea is either to get a low PERSPECTIVE by getting down lower than your normal perspective. Or getting up higher for a HIGH perspective than you would normally view. Or to look at your subject from a different PERSPECTIVE than normal. Another type of PERSPECTIVE photo is a fixed PERSPECTIVE photo. You take an object that is small and put it close to the camera and a large object in the background and make them appear to be the same size. A common example of this picture is when you see people touch tall building in the pictures.

As always, I look forwarding to seeing 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.

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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 in perspective Monday.

Franconia: Part III

Today I bring you the final collection of images from my trip to the Franconia Sculpture Garden with Bethany, Dae Hee, and Nora.

Don’t be sad. I’m sure I will return there again in the future. I’ve even been in contact with Bethany about it already.

I also think that I will plan on visiting the Minnesota State Fair next year as well.

Here is the balance of the Franconia images:


Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

I didn’t get many pictures of the sculptures at the end of our tour because I planned poorly and ran out of battery power. My bad for underestimating the sheer awesomeness of Franconia!

Franconia: Part II

One photo from last week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE came in late, but I thought I would share it anyways.

The picture below was submitted by Logan. It was taken at Vinton’s fireworks competition.


WEEK 154 - COMPETITION - LOGAN KAHLER

I didn’t know such a thing existed, but it does. I might have to check it out next year.

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Time to answer the question I left you with in last Tuesday’s blog.

Going back to my trip to the Franconia Sculpture Garden with Bethany, Dae Hee, and Nora from back in August of 2017:


Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

I only have 3 car payments left. While it isn’t a ton of money that I will be not have to lay out every month, I have spent it over and over and over in my head. One of those things i think about buying is a piece of art for the yard. I think that lizard would like great in my yard.

There is one more collection of photos from Franconia next Tuesday.

Franconia: Part 1

In what feels like forever ago, but was actually only a year ago I went up to the “bold” North to visit Bethany, Dae Hee and Nora. One of those days we headed towards the Wisconsin border and visited a sculpture park called Franconia.

It was about an hour drive from Burnsville, but it was 100% worth it. I think it is my favorite sculpture park that I have ever visited.

Here are some pictures:


Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia
I love this sign on many levels.

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

Franconia

I know what you’re thinking:

“In that last picture, is that a penis sculpture?”

I guess you’ll have to wait until the next time we visit Franconia to find out!

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.

Brunswick-Balke Collender Cup Experience

The last collection of photos from my last trip to Minnesota are of my trip to the Super Bowl Experience with Dae Hee, Bethany, and Nora.


Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience
Paul Bunyan!

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience
Eagle fans are the worst!

Super Bowl Experience
America’s Team – I guess when I force myself to care about the NFL, they are my favorite. But I’m embarrassed by that.

Super Bowl Experience
Best helmet in the NFL.

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience
I don’t actually know who these people are.

Super Bowl Experience
Lindsey Czarniak!

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Experience
Strangely, never a line for the Packers photo op.

It was 35 large to go to the Super Bowl Experience. Probably wasn’t worth it, but it was cool. Would’ve been cool if it wasn’t so busy and if Nora was older. But I’m sure the Super Bowl will never come to Kansas City or Green Bay or Chicago or Minnesota again for at least 40 more years. C’est la vie!

By What My Eyes Have Seen

On Super Bowl Sunday, DaeHee and I checked out part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. It was -2 degrees. Bethany and Nora just circled the block in the car. Here are a few photos:


Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

There were two big disappointments with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

#1. You weren’t allowed to go inside the ice castle. It was for external viewing only.
#2. The fried cheese curd stand wasn’t open. Apparently -2 degrees is too cold for them. Lame. Take some pride in the craft.

But other than that I’d almost recommend going to part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

I Left You by the House of Fun

I went up to Minnesota for the Super Bowl. Well, not really for the Super Bowl, but more for the activities surrounding the Super Bowl. I can’t afford a ticket to the Super Bowl. I work at the Computer Mine, not Goldman Sachs or some other place populated by white collar criminals.

I thought I’d share a few pictures of Nora from the weekend:


Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

Nora - Super Bowl Weekend - 2018

She has the strange quality of getting cuter every time I see her.

I did experience a strange bit of luck on the way back from Minnesota on Monday morning. But the story starts several weeks back.

In early January I put my car in the ditch for the first time in my life. I was running late for my shift at the Computer Mine and was driving a little too fast and hit a slippery spot of road and that was all she wrote. At the time, I thought this was karma catching up to me for years of driving by cars in the ditch and pointing and laughing, but maybe that wasn’t it.

Maybe, just maybe, rather than being punished, I was being warned.

You see, ever since I put my car in the ditch, I’ve been driving slower in wintry conditions. Monday morning, I-35 was just such a set of conditions.

I left Burnsville and heading back to the Cyclone State at about 8:30 or 9 AM or so. The first hour or so out of the Twin Cities the roads weren’t bad and there wasn’t any weather to talk about. I was making good time and I figured that I’d make it back to Ames to starting swinging my pick by about 11:30 or so.

Then when I hit Iowa, the weather started to get a little sketch. The road was still in decent shape, but white out conditions would hit every few minutes. I stopped at the rest area in Dows to drain my bladder and grab a road trippers lunch. Gas station pizza.

I hit the road and the conditions got worse and worse. Due to the white out conditions I slowed way down. Soon I became the slowest car on the road.

When I hit the Story City area the roads got way worse. I was actually beginning to fantasize about not going to the mine at all. Just blowing by and going home. Calling it a day before my day even started.

Then I got to the 13th street exit in Ames. The roads got way worse. Then there was a complete white out. I slowed down to about 15 miles per hour. When I came out of the white out, I saw a scene that looked like the zombie apocalypse. There was about 20 cars in the ditches or the shoulder or facing the wrong way or clearly damaged and driving backwards on the shoulder. There was enough of an opening in the carnage that I was able to skate through and continue on to work.

Once there I saw news stories that the area I had skated through had went from 20 cars to a massive 70 car pile up.

Here is a screen capture from the DOT Camera:




Here is the video (you have to be on the website to watch the video):




The video starts about 5 minutes after I went through this area. You can’t quite make out where the beginning of this pileup starts.

I take from this, that I was very glad that put my car in the ditch a few weeks ago, because my Monday could have ended up being really bad.