Category Archives: History

05-31-08

The photos in the folder 05-31-08 are quite unique. They include photos of Duff flooding. There are also photos of the first Ames on the Half Shell event I ever worked. There are also a couple of bonus images of some groundhogs that used to live behind the Computer Mine.

The flood and the Ames on the Half Shell both happened on the same day. The band that played that night was Redzband. They were kind of a generic classic rock cover band. This is basically the template for bands that played Ames on the Half Shell, at least back in the day.

Here is the funny thing (and don’t tell Shannon because she will think that I’m getting soft) looking at the Ames on the Half Shell pictures actually made me kind of nostalgic. I definitely wasn’t expecting that, but I think I’ll survive.

Here are the pictures:


Groundhog

Groundhog

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

Squaw Creek Flood - 2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

RedzBand - 05-30-2008

There are more pictures from Ames on the Half Shell out there. If you want to check them out, click on the link below:


Ames on the Half Shell – 2018

By adding these images to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” blogs to their original glory:

Redzband

More from Friday

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Nader. Lots of Nader. Also some real cheeseball Photoshop. Exactly how I like it!

+++++++

Reminder, you have until next Tuesday at midnight to vote on what pictures I enter at the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. Click on the link below to vote:

BOONE COUNTY FAIR PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY SELECTION

You must have a Facebook account or a Google+ account to vote.

As of this writing, about 20 votes have been cast.

The Mount Rushmore of Presidents Vol. 3

This is the final collection of photos from my trip to Mount Rushmore with my Mom.

Here are a few final facts about Mount Rushmore from the Wikipedia:

The Sculptor’s Studio – a display of unique plaster models and tools related to the sculpting – was built in 1939 under the direction of Borglum. Borglum had planned to make a secret room behind the hairline of Abraham Lincoln which was supposed to be a doorway to a chamber originally intended to hold some of America’s most treasured documents but was left unfinished due to his death. Borglum died from an embolism in March 1941. His son, Lincoln Borglum, continued the project. Originally, it was planned that the figures would be carved from head to waist, but insufficient funding forced the carving to end. Borglum had also planned a massive panel in the shape of the Louisiana Purchase commemorating in eight-foot-tall gilded letters the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Louisiana Purchase, and seven other territorial acquisitions from Alaska to Texas to the Panama Canal Zone. In total, the entire project cost US$989,992.32. Unusual for a project of such size, no workers died during the carving.

In a canyon behind the carved faces is a chamber, cut only 70 feet (21 m) into the rock, containing a vault with sixteen porcelain enamel panels. The panels include the text of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, biographies of the four presidents and Borglum, and the history of the U.S. The chamber was created as the entrance-way to a planned “Hall of Records”; the vault was installed in 1998.

Here are the balance of pictures:


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Mount Rushmore

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Now that the South Dakota trip is all published, might be time to get into the Independence Bowl Road Trip or finish up with the Caves Road Trip.

The Mount Rushmore of Presidents Vol. 2

Time to check in on more pictures from my trip to Mount Rushmore with my Mom.

One of the debate topics that occasionally rises is who is the next President to go on Mount Rushmore. Say that Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln were the 4 greatest Presidents of the United States before construction was started on Mount Rushmore in 1927, won’t there some day be a President as great as them, that should also be placed alongside them.

To be honest, I don’t think that they will ever add another President to Mount Rushmore. Our country doesn’t spend money on projects like this any longer.

But say that they would, the choice for the 5th President according to the Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey is pretty obvious. Next to nobody else even got any votes:

1. Franklin Roosevelt – 108 votes
2. Barack Obama – 12 votes
3. Ronald Reagan – 8 votes
4. Dwight Eisenhower – 6 votes
4. James Madison – 6 votes

It would be hard to argue that FDR wouldn’t be the next President to go up. He steered the country through its greatest economic collapse and then most of the way through WWII.

Let us say that some day another face was added to Mount Rushmore, the truth is that it might not even be a President. In 1937, a bill was proposed to Congress to add Susan B. Anthony to the mountain. I’d imagine there would be a pretty strong movement to add Martin Luther King Jr. to the mountain today.

Although it would be hard to imagine putting a Civil Rights Leader on the mountain after the mountain was stolen from the Lakota in 1876 in violation of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie.

But I digress…


Mount Rushmore

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There are still more Mount Rushmore pictures coming!

The Mount Rushmore of Presidents Vol. 1

It is time to crack into the final spot I hit in South Dakota with my Mom last year. Mount Rushmore.

People (particularly bored sports talk show hosts) are always trying to make comparisons in the sports world to Mount Rushmore. Who would be on the Mount Rushmore of Iowa State athletics? (Dan Gable, Fred Hoiberg, Troy Davis, Jack Trice) Who would be on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore? (Lebron, Magic, Jordan, Wilt) Who would be on Cyclone basketball’s Mount Rushmore? (Hoiberg, Niang, Tinsley, Grayer) Who would be on Cyclone football’s Mount Rushmore? (Troy Davis, Jack Trice, Seneca, Matt Blair)

That type of thing?

But does the Mount Rushmore of Presidents have the 4 best Presidents on it?

According to the official results of the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey, they did a pretty good job.

A little about the survey:

The 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey was conducted online via Qualtrics from December 22, 2017 to January 16, 2018. Respondents were current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, which is the foremost organization of social science experts in presidential politics.

Here is their Top 10 Greatest Presidents

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington
3. Franklin Roosevelt
4. Teddy Roosevelt
5. Thomas Jefferson
6. Harry Truman
7. Dwight D. Eisenhower
8. Barack Obama
9. Ronald Reagan
10. Lyndon Johnson

Therefore, the creators of Mount Rushmore did manage to pick the 4 top Presidents that were available to them. FDR hadn’t been President when Mount Rushmore began. He was President when it was abandoned however. During WWII, the United States couldn’t afford to spend any more on the project. At this point, it is safe to assume it will never be finished.

Here some pictures from the trip to Mount Rushmore:


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Mount Rushmore

A few more pictures of Mount Rushmore are still stretching their legs, waiting for the call to get into the game.

05-10-08 – A Tale of Gypsum Junk

The pictures in today’s collection come from the folder 05-10-08.

These pictures came from a road trip to Fort Dodge I went on with Jason Baier. A road trip that ended with us coming face to face with a gypsum penis. What is more, that was the ultimate goal of the road trip.

This journey started when I was reading a magazine on the greatest hoaxes in history. One of the hoaxes was the Cardiff Giant. I’m not going to go into an incredible amount of detail, but what is important to know is that the gypsum that made up the Cardiff Giant came from Fort Dodge. It was purchased in Fort Dodge. Loaded on a train in Boone. Shipped to Chicago. Carved in Chicago. Then buried and dug up in a farm near Cardiff, New York.

The original Cardiff Giant is in a museum in Cooperstown, New York. A replica is in Fort Dodge. A pale and pathetic copy is housed at Living History Farms. The Living History Farms Giant is more modest than the original Giant. He covers his gypsum junk with his hands. The Fort Dodge Giant and the original just leaves it out there, blowing in the wind.

Some of the pictures below have never been made public before because Baier and I very flagrantly broke some museum rules. I hesitate to publish these photos because he is now a big time white collar criminal with infinite PTO and numerous minions. I would hate for our youthful indiscretions come back to haunt a man of his stature. However, I’ve done no research to back this up, I think the statue of limitations on our museum crimes has passed. I think he will be safe.

Here are some pictures of our trip to Fort Dodge to meet the Cardiff Giant and his gypsum junk:


Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant Road Trip

Cardiff Giant Road Trip

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant Road Trip

Cardiff Giant Road Trip

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

I learned the hard way that not all people consider glorious pictures of gypsum junk to be appropriate. Back when I was using Photobucket to store my blog images, pictures of The Cardiff Giant that showed him in his full glory were flagged and then taken down. I can feel only pity for people that can’t appreciate great art.

I replaced the images that showed images with his anatomy with pictures like this:


Cardiff Giant Road Trip

Yeah. Lame.

What isn’t lame is that by adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Photo Gallery I was able to restore the following historical “An Artist’s Notebook” posts to their original glory:

LESSONS LEARNED IN A GIANT’S TOWN


TOO HOT FOR PHOTOBUCKET

There are more pictures from the Cardiff Giant Road Trip that I didn’t share here. You can see them by clicking on the link below:

THE CARDIFF GIANT ROAD TRIP

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Little White Lye Soap… I know… but this time action photos… and Mother’s Day.

05-03-08

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


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

CARDINAL GYMNASTICS ACADEMY

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

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

Remember you can buy Little White Lye Soap here:

Little White Lye Soap Store

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

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

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

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

Mr. 3000

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

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

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

FIRST JOURNAL ENTRY

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

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

An Artist’s Notebook – Blogger Version

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

An Artist’s Notebook – Photography 139 Hosted Version

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

An Artist’s Notebook – Current Incarnation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A GOOD DAY AT WORK

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


Groundhog Steve

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

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


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

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

FAILED BEGINNING

And these 2 photos:


Chocolate Milk Endorsement

Thinker Recreation

The rest, has been photographic history.

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

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


Photobucket

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


Photobucket

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




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


American Red Cross Young Heroes

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

#10 – Jay – 262 Posts

#9 – Life – 274 Posts

#8 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#7 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#6 – Animals – 301 Posts

#5 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#4 – Jesse – 328 Posts

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

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

10 Most Popular Not People Categories

#10 – Slice of Life – 189 Posts

#9 – Religion – 191 Posts

#8 – Road Trip – 217 Posts

#7 – Personal Photo Project – 259 Posts

#6 – Life – 274 Posts

#5 – Animals – 301 Posts

#4 – Portrait – 313 Posts

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

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

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

10 Most Popular People Categories

#10 – Vest 204 Posts

#9 – Jen – 205 Posts

#8 – Willy – 209 Posts

#7 – Derrick – 241 Posts

#6 – Mom – 247 Posts

#5 – Carla – 261 Posts

#4 – Jay – 262 Posts

#3 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#2 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#1 – Jesse – 328 Posts

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

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

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

But about that Q-Score thing…

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

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

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


Social Media Profile Picture

That should work for another year or so!

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

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

04-30-08

The following images (and this collection is all over the place) came from the folder 04-30-08:


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One of the bitter parts of this collection is that Karen has passed away since this picture was taken. Many of these pictures were taken during Olivia’s Stitching Time. A sewing circle that Teresa started and ran for a year or so.

I don’t believe I used the Little White Lye Soap pictures for anything, but I did take them. The tulips are in my Mom’s yard.

By adding these photos to the Photography 139 Photography Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic An Artist’s Notebook blog entries to their original glory:

Cheese Subscription


SCSI 29160


Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser


Olivia’s Stitching Time

By restoring those entries I have now restored every blog entry from April of 2008:

APRIL – 2008

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve more Little White Lye Soap and gymnastics,

The Town Sign Project Vol. 6

On Saturday I decided to look for Town Signs for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT in the Story County area. Here is what I was able to track down:


Roland, Iowa
Roland, Iowa

McCallsburg, Iowa
McCallsburg, Iowa

Zearing, Iowa
Zearing, Iowa

St. Anthony, Iowa
St. Anthony, Iowa

Bangor, Iowa
Bangor, Iowa

Clemons, Iowa
Clemons, Iowa

State Center, Iowa
State Center, Iowa

Colo, Iowa
Colo, Iowa

Collins, Iowa
Collins, Iowa

Maxwell, Iowa
Maxwell, Iowa

Cambridge, Iowa
Cambridge, Iowa

Zook Spur, Iowa
Zook Spur, Iowa

Xenia, Iowa
Xenia, Iowa

A few things of note from this collection:

Roland has a “nicer sign” than the Roland Rocket sign, but if you think I’m going to choose a nice sign over a sign that celebrates one of the greatest Cyclones of all-time, you don’t know where you are.


Roland Town Sign
Velkommen to Not Making the Cut Sign!

Zearing used to have a sweet sign:


Zearing, Iowa

Then they replaced it with the lameness that is their current sign. This is the worst sequel since GREASE 2.

Bangor isn’t a town. I’d say it is a place where an agriculture company stores trucks and a park with a creepy swing set.


Abandoned

I literally couldn’t find anything that said Bangor. There were the remains of a sign post that may have held a sign at one time in the park. There is a Bangor church and cemetery just outside of what I would consider Bangor.


Bangor Friends Cemetery

I just can’t figure out why there are several signs directing people to Bangor, but nothing telling you that you are in Bangor. I don’t know another unincorporated town that gets that much love!

Zook Spur and Xenia are both ghost towns. The best way to describe them is that there are maybe 3 or 4 houses that are closer together than is normally the case in the country. Zook Spur is just south of Madrid. Xenia is just east of Woodward. I wish somebody cared about Jordan enough to put a sign up around there. Unfortunately, Jordan wasn’t too tough to not die.

I don’t know that I’ll have time to go sign hunting again this weekend. I start a bunch of consecutive weekends of graduations and birthday parties and more graduations and Mother’s Days this weekend. But we’ll see. We will see.

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When I road trip on SaturdayS I listen to NPR. If you’ve spent time in a car with me on a Saturday morning, you already know this fact.

If you know that fact, you also know that one of the purposes of this here blog is for me to store things that inspire me, so that I can reference them again at a later date. Sort of an online idea box.

While I was cruising around the back roads of Story County (I was desperately looking for a Bangor sign) I was listening to the conclusion of THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The episode began with the story of a group of students of color, mostly black, that were painted as anti-Semitic by the media after a field trip to see SCHINDLER’S LIST went awry.

While this story was fascinating and scary, it isn’t the story that hit home hardest with me. That was the last story of the show.

The last story of the show was about the experience of a man, who’s sister was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11, visiting the 9/11 Memorial a few days before it opened to the general public.

Part of it I found really poignant and I think it will strike a chord with anybody that he been through tragedy, which means pretty much everybody.

I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion. And maybe I learned something, but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark– annotated divorce papers blown up and mounted, interactive exhibits detailing how your mom’s last round of chemo didn’t take, souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with your best friend’s last words before the car crash. And you should have to see for yourself how little your pain matters to a family of five who just need to get some food before the kids melt down. Or maybe worse, watch that pain be co-opted by people who want, for whatever reason, to feel that connection so acutely.

There are three recording booths for people to tell their own stories of the day or remembrances of loved ones who were lost. A man exits one of the confessionals, sees me, shakes his head and says, “Amazing idea.” I enter, sit down, and stare at the screen and say Shari’s name and how I was 3,000 miles away that morning and didn’t even know she was working there until I got the call at 6:00 AM, and that I wish I had seen her more in those last years and remembered more about her and had something better prepared to say, and that I wished my kids would have known her, and that she’d think it’s pretty f*cking weird that I’m here talking about her to an invisible camera in the bowels of a museum dedicated to the fact that she was killed by an airplane while sitting at her desk. And at some point, the timer is up.

When this story was over, I just sat in my car. In Bangor, Iowa. Realizing that the way I look at certain museums has been changed forever.

Graceland

Time to hit up the back log. These pictures are from Russell, Jesse, and I’s trip to Memphis to watch Iowa State stomp the Memphis Tigers in the Liberty Bowl.

I am a fan of Elvis. I get that from my Mom. From her I grew up listening to Elvis and Kenny Rogers. I love them both. I never quite inherited her love of The Beach Boys, but I do also enjoy them. From my Dad I got my love of old country. Johnny Paycheck and Tom T. Hall in particular. If you don’t love Tom T. Hall, you’re doing something wrong.

Before we left for Memphis I had done some research on places to visit. Graceland was number two on my list behind Beale Street. My research showed that an actual tour of Graceland can take over 3 hours. While I was willing to spend the small fortune it costs to tour Graceland, we just didn’t have that time.

However, I read that they open up the grounds of Graceland from 7:30 – 8:30 for people to pay their respects to Elvis’ grave, for free.

I convinced Jesse to wake up early and check this out with me. Russell wasn’t buying waking up early on his vacation. He stayed at his hotel.

Here are pictures from Graceland:


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When I was trying to figure out where in the back log to hit up, I was considering the trip to Mount Rushmore, March for Our Lives, or the flowers of Donna Jones. However, recently HBO has been playing a 4 hour documentary on Elvis called ELVIS PRESLEY: THE SEARCHER. I knew it was time to reveal my photos from Graceland

If you are a fan of Elvis, music, or history and have access to HBO or HBO GO, I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve learned quite a bit about Elvis and his musical influence. I think it is unfortunate that because of the way he dressed, the antics, the way he died, and the horrible movies, I think sometimes it gets lost what an extremely talented musician he was. Also, what a completely unique voice he had as an artist. I don’t mean that in the way that his physical voice was unique. I mean the way he expressed himself as an artist.

Can you imagine an artist in modern times that would record entire gospel albums at the height of this popularity? Some Christian artists will crossover, but they certainly never come back. I don’t know of an artist in modern times that could weave so many musical influences in to their own unique sound.

Could you imagine going to a modern rock concert and then BOOM! here is one from the hymnals!

Elvis Presley is the only royalty that I will ever recognize!

Any other Elvis fans out there? Let me know what your favorite Elvis song is in the comments section of this here blog!

I’ve decided when I start working on the party soundtrack for my birthday party in 2019, there will be a full hour of Elvis music.