Category Archives: Shorty

Boone County Fair Photo Contest Entry Selection Process

It is time to select my photos for the Boone County Fair Photo Contest and you get to help select the pictures that go.

I have placed 50 images in a SmugMug Photo Gallery. I would like you to go to that Photo Gallery and vote for up to 5 images in the gallery. You can also rate the images on a 5 star scale.

I will enter the 5 pictures with the most votes. The tie-breaker will be image with the highest star rating.

You will vote for an image by leaving a comment on the image you want to vote for.

Once you are at the gallery, look for something that looks like this:



The one caveat is that you need to have either a Facebook or a Google+ account to leave a comment.

Click on the link below to go to the gallery to vote:

BOONE COUNTY FAIR PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY SELECTION

The deadline to vote is next Tuesday at midnight.

Here are the nominees:


No. 1

No. 2

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No. 5

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No. 50

Thanks for helping pick the Boone County Fair Photo Contest Entries!

Relationship Goals

I hope all of you had a marvelous Thanksgiving weekend! I had a particularly great Thanksgiving weekend myself.

On Thursday morning I got up and went down to the church (Boone First United Methodist represent!) to take photos of our annual Thanksgiving. This is the second year in a row I’ve photographed the event. From the initial looks, I’d say that we served more than double what we served the previous year.

After hanging with the church family, I went to my Mom’s house for my family Thanksgiving. As usual, it was great. As usual Mom’s cooking was on point. Teresa’s French Silk Pie was delicious as usual. We watched SING and Alexis put up the Christmas tree.

Friday I got up and did some G33 classified business, but it was lots of fun. Even though the cheating was even more rampant than usual.

At noon I went to the Wal-Mart and rang the bell for the Salvation Army. One of my favorite things to do every year. For the people watching aspect alone.

Friday night I went to Boxholm and had a supper prepared by Becca and Bethany. It was kind of a surreal experience because we had the meal in Shorty and Doris’ home. All their stuff is still there, but now their stuff is accented with Tim’s style. Which isn’t bad, but it is weird. However, Bethany and Becca rocked the meal. Turkey and duck?!? Insane!

Saturday morning Dae Hee and I hit the road for Manhattan to see Nate and Laura, plus watch the Iowa State Cyclones battle the Kansas State Wildcats in football. On the way down there we stopped at a Waffle House in St. Joe’s because we were hungry and I love me some Waffle House. However, the Waffle House experience was marred with tragedy. I was mistaken for an Iowa Hawkeye fan by a group of Nebraska fans. It took me awhile to figure out that they had mistaken me for such a low beast as a Hawkeye fan because I was blatantly dressed like a Cyclone fan. It just put a pall on the entire experience. I couldn’t even properly enjoy the road waffle that Waffle House generously gifted us.

The rest of the trip to Manhattan went without incident. Mostly Dae Hee sleeping and me explaining every song of HAMILTON to a sleeping Dae Hee.

We lunched at a place called Bourbon & Baker. It is a small plate restaurant and I would recommend it. I’d highly recommend their chicken and waffles and that isn’t just my love for waffles speaking. #wafflelife

After lunch Nate and Laura dropped us off at Vampire Stadium. Nate scored us great free seats from some old retired professor dude. We sat on the 40 yard line in actual seats. Other than them being in literally the smallest rows in the history of rows and being surrounded by Purple Kansans, it was a great experience. Until the 4th quarter. When all of a sudden it was as if the Vampire had called up Bill Self and asked to borrow his personal refs.

I’m not blaming the loss on the refs. Iowa State certainly aided Purple Kansas with horrible play calling, but I can say with 100% certainty, I’ve NEVER seen a time where the referees threw 3 flags on one team and picked them all up. Not in an entire season. Not in an entire game. Not in an entire half. Not in an entire quarter. Definitely not in a 5 minute period.

What particularly hurt is when Kansas State blatantly interfered with Iowa State’s all-world receiver Allen Lazard. The refs threw the flag, because it was pretty blatant. Then got together. Picked up the flag and then tried to pretend that they were decent human beings, which they obviously are not. If they make the correct call there, the game is over and Iowa State leaves Manhattan with a victory and all is right in the world.

But I think this tweet by Lazard really puts a comedic spin on the deal:


Relationship Goals

What made the loss almost worse is the fact that Purple Kansans are so incredibly nice. At least 15 of them came up to me or Dae Hee to thank us for coming to their stadium. To tell us that we have a great team. It was a great game. In my state of mind at the time, I almost would’ve preferred an obnoxious Hawkeye or Husker or Jayhawk fan.

I’m pissed. Don’t be nice to me.

After the wave of Purple Kansas Nice finally finished washing over us, Nate and Laura picked us up and Road Rage Laura took us to dinner at the Taphouse. Another Manhattan eatery I would recommend. Their Korean Wings are delicious. Their house brewed root beer was good, but not great. Very strangely they served it on ice. Must be a Purple Kansas thing.

Then the final twist of the knife came when I got a snap from somebody that was eating pizza from The Adobe. I’ve been badly hankering for some pizza from The Adobe for quite some time now. I guess that is my own fault for not just going myself.

After dinner I cashed in my chips and called it a night. I was physically and emotionally drained.

Nate got a text in the morning from Bethany that Nora was sick. We decided to skip breakfast and hit the road.

On the way out of town we stopped at Manhattan Hill. 8 AM. The only people there were Cyclone fans. It was universally agreed upon that we were all still pissed. We hopped in the car and headed home. That little Manhattan Hill therapy session definitely helped my mood a bit.

But I really brought you here to share some photos from church’s Thanksgiving meal:






































































































The church server 521 meals on Thanksgiving! What an incredible blessing!

Won’t Take that Credit; I know Where We Get It; Them Blessings Be Comin’ from God Above

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Rather than my standard picture of an inflatable turkey, thought (with apologies to Lecrae, I’d give thanks for some of the many blessings in my life.

Count it up, count it up, count it up.
Line ’em up, line ’em up, line ’em up.


Bennett 2017 Family Photo
Blessed with a tremendous biological family. Blessed to share DNA and a life with these people.


Blessed to be a part of Olivia’s family. Blessed to learn a new definition of the word “family” from Shorty and Doris.

Mission Trip  - Day 0
Blessed to be a part of an incredible church family. From Youth Group to Methodist Men to the people I see in the pews on Sundays.

Thanksgiving - 2017
Blessed to have a job and double blessed to have a great work family. 7 AM comes pretty early, but so many of the people I work with make the struggle worth the effort.


Blessed to share a life with this band of brothers. Not one of us has any fashion sense, but I’d still take a bullet for any of them.


Blessed to fit in with this band of sisters as well.

Movie Club
Blessed to be able to share my love of weird cinema with like minded individuals once a month.

October 28, 2017
Blessed to be a Cyclone and double blessed to have somebody to share so many trips to Jack Trice (a spiritual place for me) with.


Blessed to have a roof over my head that belongs to me. Blessed that I can extend that roof over friends and family when their life needs it. Blessed that when I say, “Want to help paint by house?” 20+ people show up.


Blessed that friends from past jobs are still important pillars of my current life.

The Howard Children
Blessed that people that aren’t related to me consider me an uncle to them.

August 15, 2017
Blessed to have a car that I can drive out of town and not worry about the tire falling off.


Blessed to have so many people in my life that when I say, “I’m coming to your city”, they say, “You’re staying with us right?”

Tenderloining at Nick's
Blessed to have so many people in my life that fill gaps.

Selfie Project - March 5
Blessed that even though I’m aged, I still healthy enough to still ball. Although pretty poorly these days.

Selfie Project - January 27
Blessed that even though I’m aged, I still have people in my life that keep me young.

Selfie Project - January 21
Blessed to have people in my life that want to change the world for the better, when I get cynical.

Selfie Project -January 14
Blessed to have art in my life.

May 25, 2017
Blessed to have a beautiful beard. Even if the old guys at my church hate it.


Blessed to have people who will help with projects like this, no questions asked.

Photo of the Day 0003 - May 5, 2014
Blessed to share a life and a domicile with this crazy beast. Teaches me about selfless love every single day.

June 28, 2017
Blessed to have a chance to spread my blessings to others, sometimes, with some of my favorite people.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my blessings. But I don’t want it to start to sound like I’m bragging.

Remembered with Nostalgia

Now that I’ve been back to reality for 7 days, probably a good time to go over my vacation.

FRIDAY

Left work at 4 PM or so. Vacation starts.
Had FNSC with Willy. Ate at Colorado Grill.
After Colorado Grill. Started watching a new show, NARCOS.

SATURDAY

Breakfast at Legal Limit with Mom.
Photography for Amber and Steve’s Wedding.


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Not Steve pictured.

SUNDAY

Went to the Lutheran Church in Gilbert with Jesse and Nader to celebrate Nader’s 30th year in the United States.
Ate lunch at the church with some of the people that helped Nader when he got to the country.
Went to Gene’s farm to admire his car collection.


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Sent this picture to Russell of Youth Nazis harassing this old woman.

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Sent this picture to Logan because he sent me a picture trying to make me jealous of his lunch.

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A Studebaker with an El Camino back.

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Naima getting her pills.

Went to the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and Shorty was there working it.


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While this food stand looks awesome, the ice cream isn’t that great.

MONDAY

Loaded up Mom’s car and headed for Mount Rushmore.
Stopped in Sioux Falls for gas, human fuel, and Falls Park. It rained all the way to Sioux Falls.


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Sent this picture to Jorge and Joe to remind them that I wasn’t at work.

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Falls Park

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Mom struggles with the selfie concept.

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Confused by the bridge they built to seemingly just to wreck the view.

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I wonder what this picture would look like with me in it.

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Oh. Like that.

I give Falls Park the thumbs up. I’ll have to go back when I have more time at some point.

Stopped for gas again next to 1880 town.


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Stopped at Wall Drug right before it closed.


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Still don’t have the selfie thing down.

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Free Water.

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Pretty horrible restaurant across the street from Wall Drug.

I’d give Wall Drug the bird. Don’t waste your time. A bunch of touristy garbage with ridiculous hours.

Got to Rapid City and checked into a hotel with free WI-FI and continental breakfast.

TUESDAY

Got up in the morning and ate continental breakfast at the hotel. Had a lengthy conversation with two women from Arizona that came up there for the Buffalo Roundup.
Left for Mount Rushmore.


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Posted on Instagram. #wafflelife

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First view of Mount Rushmore

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View from the parking lot.

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One armed woman took this picture for us.

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Getting better at the selfie game.

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What Mount Rushmore was supposed to look like, but they had to stop because of WWII. Another thing we can blame on Hitler.

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I give Mount Rushmore the thumbs up.

At the base of Mount Rushmore we ran into Brad Dighton. The cousin of a member of my church. He gave us several pro tips for the area. We weren’t able to get to all of them, but maybe next time.

One of his pro tips was take the Iron Mountain Road to Custer State Park.


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All of these tunnels point back to Mount Rushmore. You can’t tell in the picture, but trust me.

I give the Iron Mountain Road the thumbs up.

Custer State Park is a great example of white privilege. I have no clue why a park is named after Custer. His 2 claims to fame are graduating last in his class at West Point and then getting his buttocks handed to him at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Custer Park (like the man) was more hype than pay off. We were told we would see hundreds of buffalo. We saw one. That being said, the feral donkeys and the prairie dogs made up for the lack of buffaloes.


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I give Custer Park a thumbs up, but it didn’t live up to the hype.

After we left Custer, we went to Needles Highway.


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Still working on the selfie game.

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We’re starting to get there.

Needles Highway is a road about the width of McHose Park road, but with a 400 foot drop to your death on one side. It is amazing!

I give Needles Highway a big thumbs up!

After that we went to Hill City to eat lunch/dinner at a place recommended to us by Brad Dighton. That place was closed, so instead we dined at the Hill City Cafe.


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We bought fudge there.

Hill City Cafe wasn’t terrible, but it certainly was not great. Thumb sideways.

After that, we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial.


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Almost there!

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We might’ve regressed on our selfie game.

I’d give Crazy Horse another big thumbs up! My only complaint is that all the information seems to be on the family carving the memorial and hardly anything on Crazy Horse himself. You know, the guy that ripped Custer’s buttocks off and handed them back to him. He took out Custer’s brothers while he was ate it. Crazy Horse was an OG.

Pro Tip: Pay for the $4 bus ride.

After leaving Crazy Horse, went back to Mount Rushmore for the lighting ceremony.


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Sent this picture of Thomas Jefferson ice cream to Russell since Russell hate Thomas Jefferson for being a slave owner and a rapist. True, but he also made a mean ice cream.

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Paid and extra dollar for the Thomas Jefferson ice cream.

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The lighting ceremony kind of drags on for awhile, but the part where they bring veterans on stage and take the flag down is powerful. While waiting (forever) for them to light up the mountain we became single serving friends with Lance Young. A former Iowa State wide receiver that played in the Dan MacCarney era.

After the lighting we went back to Rapid City and crashed.

WEDNESDAY

Got up in the morning and hit the continental breakfast. Hard. Going home day. No time for single serving friends. Ate and hit the road.

Stopped at Badlands National Park.


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This sign was all hype. No snake.

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Still working on it.

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I think we have it. At least we’re in striking distance.

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Taken by a woman who was friendly, but strangely afraid of falling down the side to her death. She has no future as a Photography 139 Assistant!

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“I’ll take one to the side and one of you in the middle.”

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Not afraid of the edge. Pimp.

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Badlands. 2 big thumbs up. They just need to work on their rattlesnake game.

Next stop on the way home was to see the Dignity Sculpture. It looks like the Big Jesus in Sioux City, only less creepy. I don’t have a picture with the cell phone, but when I unleash the camera pictures, there is one there.

The next stop was Mitchell. I was going to avoid the Corn Palace but it just lined up with when we needed gas and human fuel.


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Go home corn. You’re drunk.

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SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER in corn. Well, I can’t hate that.

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Mic Drop! I think we finally nailed it!

Last time I went to the Corn Palace, I gave it the bird. I’m going to upgrade it to just a thumbs down. It is worth seeing, if you don’t waste time going inside.

We stopped at a place called The Hungry Dog for lunch.


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The Hungry Dog was by far the best eating experience of the trip. 6 out of 5 Stars!!! It only seats about 5 people on the inside and after the only employee took our order, made our food, and delivered it; she locked the door and told us she’d be right back. She had to go pick up her kids from school.

I loved every second of my experience!


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On the way out of town we saw this Albert the Bull wannabe. Jason Baier will get that joke.

The last stop of the evening was in Jefferson for gas and human fuel.


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I wish so badly we had this sign when I worked for the evil clown empire. I can’t even count all the times some dirty white trash blew cigarette smoke in my face as soon as I opened the drive-thru window.

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1424.3 miles in 3 days.

Then home for sleep.

THURSDAY

Did not much in the day. Hung up a bunch of pictures in my bedroom. Cleaned out the guest bedroom now that Alexis has moved out.
Picked Derrick up for the Iowa State game.


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I don’t care what anybody says. I love the new Bugle Cyclone secondary logo.

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Well almost everything about that game sucked, except the company.

FRIDAY

I can’t remember next to anything that happened on Friday.
I visited Scottie D. to get a yard sign. He is running for City Council for Ward 5.


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Also had FNSC with Willy. Think it was at Jimmy’s Barbecue.

SATURDAY

Don’t remember much about Saturday either.

Went uptown during YesterBoone to complete another page of the Photo Journal Project.


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Sent this to Micky and offered to buy it in case he got shutout on his hunting trip in Wyoming.

Went out to McHose Park and with Jesse’s assistance completed yet another page of the Photo Journal Project.


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After that, we went to a Gender Reveal Party for one of the members of the Youth Group. It’s a Girl!!
Headed up to Jay’s for Chili Lab. Both Jay and Wily made great chilis and we enjoyed a viewing of KONG ISLAND.

SUNDAY

Got up and went to church at Boone First United Methodist Church.
Then lunch with the family.
Meeting for the Council to Elect Degeneffe.
Then I went to the Freedom Flight Send-off to see Jesse’s Dad.


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Derrick’s dad made an impromptu speech praising military spouses.

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Monica’s mom made a bouquet that they took with them to place on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Then I went home. Sat on my couch and soaked up the last few hours of vacation, before being back at the grind on Monday.

I’ve been back to work one week. Already fantasizing about the next time I dip my toes into the PTO pool.

Ridin’ the Rails with Shorty Backlog – Vol. 3

This concludes the photos of the few hours I spent with Shorty on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad back in July.


Riding the Rails with Shorty

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I have many influences on my photography. It ranges from other artists to movies to television shows to friends to family. However, one of the most obscure influences on my photography is a book I was given as a child called simply TRAINS. I still have that book. It is a little worse for the wear and Karma chewed up the binding 15 years ago or so. I still crack it out and look through it now and again.

That is a little peek into my methodology.

My Happy Easter

I feel like posting some pictures from Easter.


03-25-08
Alexis

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Carla & Mom Watching Egg Hunt

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Egg Hunt

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Neighbor’s Dog that Doesn’t Shut Up

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Mom

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Alexis Sorting Eggs

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Teresa Displaying the Maturity of her Years

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Brandon

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Johnathan

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Jason, Carla & Brandon

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Elainie

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Logan

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Teresa Crocheting

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Vacation Pictures

I also had supper with Shorty, Doris, Tim, Rebecca and Nate. Doris told us the joke that their Pastor (Pastor Rod) had told the congregation on that day. I thought it was kind of funny.

“The elders of the church decided that since Easter was coming up they wanted to have a really special speaker for the Service. They thought about it for a bit and they decided that they wanted the most knowledgeable Pastor they could find to give the sermon.
So they went to him and he turned them down.
They thought about it some more and decided they should get the most eloquent Pastor to give the sermon.
So they found the most eloquent Pastor and asked him, but he turned them down.
They went back to the church and thought about it some more. They decided that they should get the best looking Pastor they could find to give the sermon.
So they found the best looking Pastor and asked him, but he turned them down.
They went back to the church and thought about it some more.
Then one of them said: “Well we can still get Pastor Rod.”
They all decided that was a good idea and they came to me and asked me to give the sermon on Easter Sunday.
I told them, “Yes.”
After all, I had already turned them down three times.”

I hope you had a Happy Easter.