Category Archives: Joe

And What You Gon’ Be When You Grow up Chris? I Doubt They Will Get It!

Those of you that know me well or are paying attention to this here blog know that tomorrow at 7 AM I hit the road for a Mission Trip to Houston. We will leave Saturday morning. Stay a night at a church near Fort Worth on Saturday night and then carry on to a town near Houston on Sunday.

We will work it to the bone for 4 days and then start the return trip home on Friday morning. We will spend Friday night in a Tulsa hotel and then be home at some point on Saturday.


Mission Trip  - Day 0
Last Year’s Mission Trip Group

If you wish to follow along and see sporadic updates of our adventures in Houston, the best path is to follow us on Instagram:

@boonefumcyg

If you are too old for Instagram, then you will have to wait for my inevitable blogs.

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Here is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is SELF-PORTRAIT.

A SELF-PORTRAIT is a picture where the photographer is also the subject.

But don’t be afraid to be creative. Take a picture of yourself in a reflection that morphs your appearance. Take a picture of something that defines you. Take a picture of something that reflects your influence in the world.

Or take a picture of yourself in the gym mirror. It is all good.


Week 144 -  Self-Portrait
SELF-PORTRAIT

Happy photo harvesting!

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The world wasn’t ready for these WORK pictures on Monday. The world might not be ready for them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


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You’re welcome world!!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 142 – RELIGION

Before I get into the participation and the tommyrot and the PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE quoting, I want to point out the historical significance of today. Today is the 2 year anniversary of The Great Turtle Race Robbery of 2016!

If you don’t know about The Great Turtle Race Robbery of 2016, let me give you the short, short, short version.

During the football season, me and few fellow computer miners engage in a spirited bit of gambling. The winner each week gets to claim a red solo cup filled with change. Well, maybe not exactly filled, but there is some change in it.

At the end of the season, the person with the most red cups is proclaimed The Witch and they get the travelling trophy. A Franklin Broomworks Children’s Broom.(Incidentally, I agree with Franklin Broomworks and their hardcore child labor policies.) In the event of a tie, the title of Witch gets conferred in a tie-breaking competition that is determined by the people that are not involved in the tie.

In 2016, the tie-breaker was a turtle race.

The 4 people tied for first place were Joe (AKA Flat Earth Joe), Michelle, Cathie, and Humble Narrator. Before our traditional year end banquet at Zeno’s in Marshalltown we congregated at the Colo Outpost of AMOutdoors. What happened next is something conspiracy theorists have been discussing for 2 years now.

But don’t take my word for it, roll this conspiracy’s Zapruder film.

NOTE: If you are an email subscriber to “An Artist’s Notebook and are in the Outlook list, you will have to go to the website to view this atrocity. If you are in the regular distribution list, you already had to come to the website, so this message isn’t for you:




As you can see, the Red Turtle (MY TURTLE), clearly wins this race! Yet inexplicably, the Orange loser turtle is somehow declared the winner. Rigged! I can only speculate at what level the Russians were involved.

That being said, if you are into hunting and fishing, you could do worse than checking out Micky’s hunting and fishing website by clicking on the link below:

AMOUTDOORS

Just don’t trust the guy to run a turtle race. He is as crooked as dog’s hind leg. Depending on the dog, crookeder.

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Participation rates!

Tommyrot!

Here are the submissions for RELIGION:


WEEK 142 - RELIGION - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - SHANNON BARDOLE
Shannon Bardole

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

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 143 - WORK
WORK!


WORK! What a great theme! But what is WORK photography? WORK photography would be a photo of somebody doing their job, at their job, the tools for their job. But WORK doesn’t just happen at a job. WORK can also be done for fun. Like gardening. Or landscaping. Or mowing. Wait, mowing isn’t fun, but it still counts as WORK. Along with doing dishes and dusting.

As always, I look forward 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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 COMMENTARY DIVISION

In recent weeks, 3 people have earned their very own Photography 139 avatars by leaving comments on “An Artist’s Notebook” entries.

Welcome to the Photography 139 commentary world:

Joe Duff
Linda Bennett
Tamara Peterson

Do you want your very own Photography 139 like giants in the blog post commentary industry like:

Angie DeWaard
Andy Sharp
Jesse Howard

All you have to do is leave a comment on an “An Artist’s Notebook” entry and I will gladly create you your very own Photography 139 avatar!

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 POST NOTIFICATION

I’m currently using a post notification plugin called MailPoet. I’m not 100% satisfied with it, but it will stay status quo until I get back from my mission trip to Houston at the end of June. At that time, I will (hopefully) have the free time to play with a couple of different plug-ins.

If you use Outlook to view the post notification emails, let me know and I’ll switch you over to the Outlook subscription group.

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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 labored Monday!

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Oh wait, that isn’t all I have for today. If you are out and about from 4-7 today, I will be hanging out with the Boone Area Humane Society taking pictures for their booth and mascot at Ericson Public Library’s Summer Reading Kickoff.

If you don’t want to come see me, come to see Hope:


Summer Reading Kickoff

Just to make it clear, I will not be in the dog costume. I am about a foot too tall for the costume.

I’m a Mean Photog, Better Feed Me Fauxtogs or Feed Me Picts, Ah, Feed Me Both of ‘Em

As you may have guessed, I have a ton of alternative BLACK & WHITE images for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. The world wasn’t ready for them on Monday. I’m not sure the world can handle them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


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Some of these pictures were taken on the north side of Boone. Some in my coop in the cube farm at the Computer Mine. Some on the way to Dickcissel Park. Some at the sculpture garden down in Des Moines. The picture of me blocking Jesse’s shot was originally taken by Bill. Shortly afterwards, a defeated and downtrodden Jesse retired from basketball.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I have added an additional photo from Linda Bennett to the original post on the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE on Monday. It somehow ended up in my spam folder. You can see the additional photo by clicking on the link below:

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 133 – BLACK & WHITE

There are plenty more BLACK & WHITE alternates coming your way in the coming days.

But, don’t forget to come out to the Boone Pizza Ranch tomorrow night between 5-9 to support the Boone First United Methodist Youth Group. Just bring one of these flyers:




For everyone of these we get with a paid meal, Pizza Ranch gives us $2. American. There will also be tip jars available for you to throw some additional scratch in.

I hope you’re as excited to see me there and I am excited to see you there!

Algona is an Anagram for Analog

Still hammering away at that back log. Here are a few pictures from my trip to Algona with Joe.


Algona, Iowa

Algona, Iowa

Algona, Iowa

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Algona, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

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West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

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West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

West Bend, Iowa

We went to Algona so Joe could pick up a van to server as a distribution center for his cannabis oil business. The trip didn’t work out. We didn’t come home with the van. However, I got to meet Joe’s dad, which was a fascinating experience. Plus we swung through West Bend to see the Grotto of the Redemption. Then to cap it off, we supped at Tom Thumb’s in Fort Dodge.

All in all, it was a great day at sea!

Strap a Grenade to my Head, Pull Out the Pin, My Photography is Mind Blowing, Ain’t Nobody Do It Like I Do It

The world wasn’t ready for these PORTRAIT images on Monday. I’m not sure the world is ready for them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


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Most of these PORTRAITs were taken around the computer mine. Some were taken during communion at my church. Others were taken in my back yard.

You’re welcome world!

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.

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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.

Iowa State Cyclones 14 Texas Christian Horny Toads 7

Saturday was a magical day at Jack Trice Stadium. Not only were the tacos at Taco Tailgate great as always. The #25 Iowa State Cyclones defense manhandled #4 TCU.

Since the weather was supposed to be extremely cold and there was a chance of precipitation, I once again brought the Canon point and shoot. Here are a few pictures from the day:


Iowa State 14 TCU 7

Iowa State 14 TCU 7

Iowa State 14 TCU 7

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Iowa State 14 TCU 7

Iowa State 14 TCU 7

Iowa State 14 TCU 7

Iowa State 14 TCU 7

Iowa State 14 TCU 7

I hope everybody had as a happy of Tacoween as we did here in Cyclone Country! Dilly dilly!

PSA: The University of Kansas has a Football Team

This is a public service announcement that the University of Kansas does indeed have a football team. They aren’t only represented by a basketball program that is under investigation by the FBI for being a front for Adidas. A men’s basketball program that let’s it’s players assault a member of the women’s basketball program and responds by trying to silence her. A men’s basketball program that has a player get arrested every couple of weeks, but yet somehow never gets suspended. A men’s basketball program that is complicit in college rape culture by helping cover up a rape that occurred in their basketball programs virtually private dormitory. A men’s basketball program that recruits classy people like K.J. Lawson who posted on his Snapchat him shouting “f— Tubby” and posted him giving Memphis two middle finger as he transferred from the University of Memphis.

In case you are shamed by the completely out of control Kansas basketball program and you are a Kansas grad, I have good news for you. The University of Kansas also has a football program that you can support. Currently not under investigation by any federal law enforcement agencies!

A couple Saturdays back they came to Jack Trice Stadium to play the Iowa State Cyclones in a football match. Because it was a pouring rain, I didn’t take any good cameras to the game. However, I did take my Canon point & shoot to capture a few photos. Here are a few of those few photos:


Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

Iowa State 45 Kansas 0

The Cyclones bested the Jayhawks on this soggy day 45-0. It wasn’t all bad for Kansas though, they managed to get into triple digit for yardage on the second to last play of the game!

Iowa State followed this win up by going on the road to Lubbock and besting the Red Raiders 31-13, thanks in large part to Marcel Spears 61 yard pick six that saved our bacon. That victory sets up a showdown this Saturday against the #4 Horny Toads of Texas Christian for first place in the Big XII. It might be snowing on Saturday, but if you are in the Ames area, you should head to The Jack to support the feel good story of college football and support the Cyclones. If you make it to the game, drop by G6 for our annual Taco Tailgate. The tacos are on me (well and Jorge and Joe and whomever else contributes to bearing the expenses of Taco Tailgate)!!

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.

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
Go home corn. You’re drunk.

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER in corn. Well, I can’t hate that.

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

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!


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
I don’t care what anybody says. I love the new Bugle Cyclone secondary logo.

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

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.


Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
Derrick’s dad made an impromptu speech praising military spouses.

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17
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.