Category Archives: Lowell

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.

Roundball Oracles – Year 14

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liars chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

It is done. College basketball is over for another season.

In 11 days Iowa State football will hold their Spring Game. After that, the only sports worth watching until college football kicks off in 5 months is the NBA Playoffs. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my spare time. Maybe I’ll clean my house. Now I’m really depressed.

Who isn’t depressed?

Paul Golden, that is who! For the second straight year, he is cutting down the nets for the Roundball Oracles. His name had been added to the List of Immortals:

The List of Immortals

2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

One more trophy and he will tie Willy and Mark for the most crowns ever!

I held onto Paul’s trophy from last year, when in became apparent he might win again, so I don’t have a picture of Paul with his trophy yet. But when I do, I’ll share it here.

I do however have a picture of last year’s The Sara winner:


Shannon with her
Shannon with The Sara

However, Shannon did not have the guts to come back and defend her The Sara Title. Therefore, there is a new The Sara “Winner” this year.

“Congrats” to Robert Henning for being the last place adult, that tried to win. I have went over his bracket with a fine tooth comb and even though he picked Kansas to win it all, it would seem he was trying to win in good faith. He joins the List of Mortals:

The List of Mortals

2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2015 – Sara Lockner

There were 35 entrants this year. A slight dip from past years, but that was to be expected with the lack of any local teams in the tournament. Most of us adopted Loyola as our team, since they were powered by former Cyclone Clayton Custer.

However, it was a clean, close competition. Michigan’s defeat of Loyola in the Final Four left it down to just Rachel and Paul battling it out for the trophy. Villanova’s complete shellacking of Kansas gave Paul the repeat.

But you didn’t come here to listen to any of that tommyrot. You want to see the final standings:

1 Paul Golden 248
2 Dawn Krause 243
3 Yours Truly 243
4 tim peterson 232
5 Michelle Haupt 232
6 Nate Miller 230
7 Jordan Toot 224
8 Corey Faust 223
9 Angie DeWaard 221
10 Rachel Johnson 219
11 Lowell Davis 215
12 Benjamin Baier 213
13 Derek Dohrman 205
14 Cathie Raley 204
15 Bill Wentworth 200
16 Sean G. 198
17 Linda Bennett 195
18 Jesse Howard 195
19 Olivia Baier 188
20 Toby Sebring 185
21 Russ Kennerly 184
22 Jackson Faust 182
23 Sean Clubine 173
24 Jason Baier 173
25 Micky Augustin 167
26 Brandon Kahler 166
27 Nader Parsaei 166
28 Andree Jauhari 165
29 Liz Nordeen 165
30 Carrie Baier 162
31 Laura Priest 158
32 FHMeiners 156
33 Becky Perky 152
34 Will Baier 148
35 Robert Henning 141

The good news is that next year is that the state of Iowa won’t be shutout of the NCAA Tournament. If nothing else, the first two “real” rounds will be held in Des Moines. Plus Iowa has a lot of young talent that will be back next year. Admittedly, they still have the same sub-par coach, but they should be good enough to go dancing for a short while.

Iowa State on the other hand will be one of the most interesting teams in the country. This year’s team was very young and was decimated by injuries. The only major loss from last year’s team is Donovan Jackson, which Kansas fans know, is a major loss. However, assuming Lindell Wigginton comes back (and almost everybody assumes he will), they return a future first round pick in Wigginton and fellow freshman stud Cam Lard. Plus you bring Babb and Solomon back from injuries. Bring back a big time contributor down the stretch in Zoran Talley. A much improved Terrence Lewis will fight for playing time with super impact transfer Marial Shayok and impact transfer Michael Jacobson. Then add stud freshman Talen Horton-Tucker to the mix. One guy you don’t want to sleep on is Zion Griffin. Plus they are adding Tyrese Halliburton and George Conditt. I don’t expect those 2 to contribute next year, but they will be huge in the coming years.

This will be the most talented roster since Iowa State had 5 NBA players on the roster a few years back. That team lost in the first round of the tourney. I expect much bigger things from the Cyclones next year. The future is bright in the Cyclone State!

Roundball Oracles – Year 14

It is once again time for the Roundball Oracles NCAA Tournament Pool.

I want to start by saying that Paul and Shannon, your trophies for last years accomplishment and “accomplishment” are on order. They will be in your possession by the end of next week.

Here is the proof that I ordered the trophies:




The pool is your pretty standard pool. Pick the games. Pick the final score of the championship game. Win a trophy. This year, I’ll deliver on the trophy much earlier.

The pool doesn’t cost anything, but pride, but the winner gets a trophy and the last place adult (that tried) gets The Sara Trophy.

Here is a list of past champions.

The List of Immortals:

2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

Last year 38 people took their shot at mortality. Paul Golden came home the winner. Shannon Bardole came home with The Sara.

Last Year’s Standings:

RANK TEAM NAME SCORE
1 Paul Golden 260
2 Frank Meiners 252
3 Angie DeWaard 247
4 Michelle Haupt 242
5 shawn lockner 238
6 Jen Ensley-Gorshe 231
7 Jorge Rios 231
8 Andree Jauhari 226
9 tim peterson 226
10 Jordan Toot 225
11 Carrie Baier 225
12 Toby Sebring 224
13 Lowell Davis 222
14 JJ Baier 221
15 Logan Kahler 220
16 Jason Baier 218
17 Dae Hee Yoon 213
18 Jackson Faust 211
19 Dawn Krause 209
20 Jon DeWaard 208
21 Nader Parsaei 204
22 Derek Dohrman 203
23 William Baier 202
24 Robert Henning 194
25 Christopher Bennett
26 Bill Wentworth 193
27 Rachel Johnson 192 36
28 Russell Kennerly 190
29 Nate Miller 189
30 Michael Augustin
31 Derrick Gorshe 181
32 Elizabeth Nordeen 164
33 Laura Priest 162
34 Corey Faust 160
35 Jill Gorshe 152
36 Shannon Bardole 149
37 Olivia Baier 143
38 Benjamin Baier 121

If you are interested in participating this year, drop me an email and I’ll get you hooked up.

If this post seems kind of low energy, don’t worry, Iowa State and my passion for the tournament will be back again next year!

ROUNDBALL ORACLES – YEAR 12

I recently presented The Trophy for winning the 12th year of the Roundball Oracles to this year’s champion… Michelle Haupt

It was an exciting NCAA Tournament and an equally exciting Roundball Oracles NCAA Tournament Pool. If North Carolina would’ve won the NCAA Championship Game, Sara Lockner would’ve come home with the trophy this year. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Congratulations Michelle! May your reign be short.


Roundball Oracles - Year 12 Champion - Michelle Haupt
Michelle Haupt – Newest Immortal (Pictured with Lily)
Past Roundball Oracles Champions (The List of Immortals)

2005 – William McAlpine
2006 – William McAlpine
2007 – Tim Peterson
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2011 – Carrie Baier
2012 – Lowell Davis
2013 – William McAlpine
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2016 – Michelle Haupt

Here be the final standings.
1.  Michelle Haupt –  275
2.  Sean Clubine –  270
3.  sara lockner – 259
4. Yours Truly 255
5. Micky Augustin 245
6.  Angie DeWaard 241
7.  Jackson Faust 241
8.  Derek Dohrman 237
9.  Frank Meiners 233
10.  Toby Sebring 230
11,  Lowell Davis 230
12,  Mark Wolfram 228
13.  Jason Baier 227
14,  Corey Faust 221
15,  Paul Golden 220
16,  Wily McAlpine 218
17, Jordan Toot 217
18.  Jesse Howard 216
19.  Shannon Bardole 215
20.  Benjamin Baier 214
21.  Liz Nordeen 214
21. Jill Gorshe 214
23 . Jon DeWaard 207
24. JJ Baier 204
25.  Dawn Krause 203
26.  Nader Parsaei 202
27,  Brandon Kahler 201
28.  Carrie Baier 197
29.  Jorge Rios 197
30.  shawn lockner 194
31.  Jen Gorshe 193
32.  Derrick Gorshe 193
33.  Andree Jauhari 193
34.  tim peterson 192
35.  Bill Wentworth 183
36.  Olivia Baier 180
37.  Russ Kennerly 180
38.  Carla Stensland 175
39.  William Baier 170
40.  Rachel Johnson 167
41.  Robert Henning 162
42.  Joe Lynch 156
43.  Laura Priest 152

Laura (Miller) Priest won the 3rd Annual “The Sara” for last place adult that tried. Joining the trophy’s namesake Sara Lockner and Derrick Gorshe as past winners. I don’t have a picture of Laura with her new trophy yet, but I will as soon as I get “The Sara” in the mail, it arrives in Manhattan, and she sends me a picture with her new pride and joy.

Rust Bucket – Strong City Kansas

Another automobile I found fascinating in the car graveyard that is Strong City, Kansas.




I have maybe a couple more pictures left to share from beautiful (cough, cough) to me Strong City, Kansas.

Added a new category in PARTICULARS since I love minutia.

PARTICULARS

CAMERA: SONY SLT-A65V
ISO: 100
FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm
APERTURE: f/6.3
EXPOSURE: 1/160
DATE: 04/03/2016 – 10:46
LATITUDE: 38.39543°
LONGITUDE: -96.53934°
PHOTO ASSISTANT: Nate Miller
PHOTO EDITING SOUNDTRACK: “Straight, No Chaser” – Thelonious Monk from the album STRAIGHT, NO CHASER


THE CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT TRIVIA QUIZ

QUESTION 13

I was born with limited musical skills. What instrument did I play poorly in the Boone High School Band?

ANSWER: TROMBONE

BONUS

Who was my high school locker partner?

ANSWER: Lowell Davis

ROUNDBALL ORACLES – YEAR 12

Once again, the Madness is upon us. It is time to put your basketball knowledge to the test and try to take your place upon the list of immortals.

If you are interested in joining this year’s pool. Contact me via email at bennett@photography139.com.

Once again this year, there is no fee.

The champion will win The Roundball Oracles Trophy.

The last place adult (that gave full effort) will receive the Sara Lockner Good Effort Trophy.

League rules, how to get in, past champs below.

Rules

First Round: The weight for each correct pick is 1. The seed of the winning team is added to the correct pick total.
Second Round: The weight for each correct pick is 2. The seed of the winning team is added to the correct pick total.
Sweet 16: The weight for each correct pick is 4. The seed of the winning team is added to the correct pick total.
Elite : The weight for each correct pick is 8. The seed of the winning team is added to the correct pick total.
Final Four: The weight for each correct pick is 16. There is no bonus applied.
Championship: The weight for each correct pick is 32. There is no bonus applied.

Tiebreaker: The total score of the Championship game. Constitution:

Past Roundball Oracle Champions:

2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

Past Sara Lockner Good Effort Recipients:

2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

Website Update

So earlier in the month I alluded to the fact that I have been updating the look and feel of the website.

I thought I would explain what has happened, without making you go blind with looking at things like this:



  • Perhaps the most obvious difference is that the website should have a different look. Gone is the old gray background for pages and blog entries. The background is now white. This should make it way easier to read text. Which will be a benefit if I ever get back on the short story horse.
  • Another change is that now all posts include a featured image. This is the image at the top of the blog post.
  • I have added a slideshow of “Favorites” in the upper left hand corner of every page. Currently there are only pictures of peoples in that slideshow, but its content will expand over time. From the slideshow, you can click on an image and then go buy it. (Last sentence provided by the Shameless Commerce Division of Photography 139).
  • Also on the sidebar of every webpage, I’ve gotten rid of the drop down list of Categories. This has been replaced with a more aesthetically pleasing Cloud of the most popular Categories. The size of the Category in the cloud is based on the amount of times it has been used for a post.   It is an easy way to find all the posts that have been categorized under let’s say “Jesse”.
  • Gone is the old “Social Media” page. Instead I have added social media icons to the menu that link to the social mediums that I frequent.
  • A skilled observer will notice that in the menu there is an icon for Snapchat. Clicking on that will take you to a page where you can scan my Snapcode and follow me on Snapchat. I use Snapchat mostly for contacting co-workers, hiding from the Sweet & Sour Mafia, and checking the haters.
  • There are now images for people that leave comments. These used to pull from Gravatar, but I’m pretty sure the only person to ever leave a comment that uses Gravatar is Lowell. Now, there is a default daisy image (because cool people like daisies) for commenters that I haven’t created an account. I have created Avatars for frequent commenters. The one of you and for my beta tester (Shannon). However, anybody that becomes a commenter in the future, I will create an avatar for you as well. If you want an avatar, the best way to do that is to leave a comment. If you use Gravatar, the website should still pull your Gravatar image.
  • There are new headers and a new logo. There are only 5 headers currently, but I will be added to that in the future. The new logo might not be permanent, but if it isn’t permanent, some variation of it will be. At this time, I’m leaving the old logo as the watermark for images in the Gallery.
  • 3 blogs are featured on the home page. The 3 featured entries will change as new blog are published.
  • There is a search function now on the far right end of the menu bar. In case you want to find all blog posts where I use the word Proust for example. Suddenly thinking about bringing back the Proust Questionnaire.  Hmmmm… I’ll see if anybody responds to this little outburst.
  • Added a new complementary color to the website. It is a shade of green.

I’ll probably make a few more changes in the coming months, so I’ll keep you updated on those as they occur.

Also, thanks to Vest for aiding in much of this transition!

ROUNDBALL ORACLES YEAR 11

Wow! What an amazing season of College Basketball. Especially in the state of Iowa. Almost everybody has something to cheer about:

The Iowa State Cyclones won the Big 12 for the second straight year. They are looking to make good on Hoiberg’s promise of a national championship.
The UNI Panthers won whatever backwaters conference they are in.
Iowa returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. They have a chance at their first tournament win since 2001. Gold star for Iowa!

There are all sorts of great potential matchups all over the place:

Fred Hoiberg could coach against one of his NBA coaches in the second round.
Iowa State and Iowa could play each other in the Sweet Sixteen.
Another possibility would be a dream point guard matchup between the best 2 point guards in the country in Monte Morris and Kevin Pangos.
The Elite Eight could feature a rematch of the 1944 Final Four game between Iowa State and Utah.

However, if you want to place your name on the List of Immortals like these people:

Roundball Oracles Champions

2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

All you need to do is contact me and I’ll get you the information posthaste.

The only “buy in” is pride. First place does win a trophy. The last place trying adult, also wins a trophy. Small chance there will be a traveling trophy this year, but I’m not made of money. Maybe some of the rest of you need to start kicking in on the bills around here. I’m looking at you Naima.

In case you need a refresher on how last year’s Oracles did, look below.

Rank    Oracle Score    Correct    Champion Last Year
1. Brandon Kahler 255 40 Florida 18th
2. Michael Augustin 241 42 Florida 31st
3. Paul Golden 235 41 Michigan State DNP
4. Jordan Toot 228 39 Florida 9th
5. Jon DeWaard 224 39 Florida 5th
6. Mark Wolfram 222 38 Florida 8th
7. Lowell Davis 216 40 Florida DNP
8. Andree Jauhari 210 38 Iowa State 28th
9. Derrick Gorshe 208 38 Iowa State 14th
10. Carrie Baier 205 37 Michigan State 19th
11. Robert Henning 205 36 Florida 10th
12. Bill Wentworth 204 38 Florida 15th
13. Nate Miller 203 36 Iowa State DNP
14. Frank Meiners 201 38 Michigan State 11th
14. Jesse Howard 201 37 Kansas 3rd
16. Corey Faust 200 36 Iowa State 7th
17. Humble Narrator 196 36 Iowa State 33rd
18. William Mcalpine 196 38 Florida 1st
19. Angie DeWaard 191 35 Arizona 6th
20. Sean Clubine 189 36 Syracuse 13th
21. Carla Stensland 189 35 Iowa State DNP
22. Ben Baier 188 35 Arizona 32nd
23. Jackson Faust 185 36 Florida 16th
24. Michelle Haupt 181 35 Arizona 26th
25. Elizabeth Nordeen 181 35 Iowa State 21st
26. Russell Kennerly 180 34 Florida 24th
27. Olivia Baier 178 34 Arizona DNP
28. Jason Baier 175 35 Florida 24th
29. Tim Peterson 175 34 Iowa State 22nd
30. Becky Perkovich 175 35 Iowa State 27th
31. Shawn Lockner 173 33 Wisconsin 4th
32. J.J. Baier 164 24 Michigan 29th
33. Ryan Halvorson 163 33 Arizona 18th
34. Dawn Krause 149 32 Arizona 23rd
35. Will Baier 147 23 Iowa State 34th
36. Sara Lockner 143 28 Florida DNP

Like I said, if you want in and have some extra pride to spare, you know where to find me.

Photo(s) of the Day 0007


Brandon with his Championship Trophy.
Brandon Kahler – 2014 Roundball Oracles Champion
I apologize for taking so long to reveal the champion of Year 10 of the Roundball Oracles. But I think my post college basketball season depression (or PCBSD as mental health professionals call it) was even greater this year than in years past. You know, something to do with having to play the “What If” game over and over and over again. Cyclone fans know what I’m talking about.

That being said, I’m proud that this is the first time in the storied 10 year history of the Roundball Oracles that somebody that shares my DNA has been able to hoist the unnamed championship trophy.

Past winners have included co-workers, high school locker partners, former roomies, father-in-laws, and once… even a woman!

So I’m excited this year that somebody with Bennett DNA coursing through their veins will be the reigning Roundball Oracles Champ! All is right in the world.

I know that there is a fair chance that you are wondering: “That is great, but I’d really like to know how some of my other favorite Oracles fared this year. I really root for Russell Kennerly. I like underdogs. He is like the Mid-Major of the Roundball Oracles.”*

So without further adieu, I present to you the final ranking of Year 10 of the Roundball Oracles!

Rank    Oracle Score    Correct    Champion Last Year
1. Brandon Kahler 255 40 Florida 18th
2. Michael Augustin 241 42 Florida 31st
3. Paul Golden 235 41 Michigan State DNP
4. Jordan Toot 228 39 Florida 9th
5. Jon DeWaard 224 39 Florida 5th
6. Mark Wolfram 222 38 Florida 8th
7. Lowell Davis 216 40 Florida DNP
8. Andree Jauhari 210 38 Iowa State 28th
9. Derrick Gorshe 208 38 Iowa State 14th
10. Carrie Baier 205 37 Michigan State 19th
11. Robert Henning 205 36 Florida 10th
12. Bill Wentworth 204 38 Florida 15th
13. Nate Miller 203 36 Iowa State DNP
14. Frank Meiners 201 38 Michigan State 11th
14. Jesse Howard 201 37 Kansas 3rd
16. Corey Faust 200 36 Iowa State 7th
17. Humble Narrator 196 36 Iowa State 33rd
18. William Mcalpine 196 38 Florida 1st
19. Angie DeWaard 191 35 Arizona 6th
20. Sean Clubine 189 36 Syracuse 13th
21. Carla Stensland 189 35 Iowa State DNP
22. Ben Baier 188 35 Arizona 32nd
23. Jackson Faust 185 36 Florida 16th
24. Michelle Haupt 181 35 Arizona 26th
25. Elizabeth Nordeen 181 35 Iowa State 21st
26. Russell Kennerly 180 34 Florida 24th
27. Olivia Baier 178 34 Arizona DNP
28. Jason Baier 175 35 Florida 24th
29. Tim Peterson 175 34 Iowa State 22nd
30. Becky Perkovich 175 35 Iowa State 27th
31. Shawn Lockner 173 33 Wisconsin 4th
32. J.J. Baier 164 24 Michigan 29th
33. Ryan Halvorson 163 33 Arizona 18th
34. Dawn Krause 149 32 Arizona 23rd
35. Will Baier 147 23 Iowa State 34th
36. Sara Lockner 143 28 Florida DNP

 

This year might have been the closest year ever. It literally came down to Wisconsin’s last second shot rimming in and out, giving Kentucky the victory in the Final Four. If that shot drops, Micky wins.

But the shot didn’t fall and Micky waits another year, while Brandon’s name is carved onto the List of Immortals!

Roundball Oracles Champions

2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

However, there is 1 more bit of business before I let you go about your merry business. In the pre-tournament post I indicated that I might create a travelling trophy. I am not doing that… at least not yet. I did award a trophy for last place this year. It is an experimental tradition. But I may in the future present a last place trophy to the lowest placing adult that gave full effort to win.

This year’s winner…


Sara with her last place trophy.
Sara Lockner… the Best Loser
I am already pumped for next season. I think the Cyclones will be even better next year and if they can make it through the tourney without an injury, I expect to see them in the Final Four next year. So I’ll be seeing you next year in Indianapolis!

*Inside joke that 3 people will get and 1 of them doesn’t even subscribe to this blog!