Category Archives: Life

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I think that is as apropos a time as any to share some pictures from my recent trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis:


Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

I have a well known love of history, but at the same time, I’m not really a museum person. I love to go to places where history has happened, but museums usually don’t hold my attention for extremely long time. That being said, if you’re ever in Memphis, the Civil Rights Museum is a hard recommend.

The front of the museum is the hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Across the street is the boarding house where the shot was fired that killed him. I’m not sure why they’ve decided to make that part of the museum. I would burn that building to the ground.

Actually I’d put every BS racist traitor confederate statue I could in that building and then burn it to the ground. With that being said, the exhibits in that building are definitely weaker than in the hotel part of the museum.

The museum is a powerful reminder of how far we’ve come in this country from slavery to the Civil War to reconstruction to Jim Crow to Freedom Writers to Selma to the Voting Rights Act. It is a reminder that basic human rights are still under fire to this day and we have to stay vigilant before we start marching backwards in the country.

In the last speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave before he was assassinated he preached on the Good Samaritan. His words still ring true to this day and seem the right way to end this blog:

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus; and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters in life. At points, he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew, and through this, throw him off base. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But with him, administering first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother. Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to church meetings—an ecclesiastical gathering—and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem, or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.” That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effort.

But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that these men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as a setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles, or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.” And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” That’s the question.

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.

2-10-08

The following pictures were in the folder 2-10-08:


2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

2-10-08

The tin was made by Sara. It was product from her Etsy store. You may have noticed some of her tins around my house as decorations.

The painted fish bowl was a Christmas present from Becca. It was one of my favorite Christmas Presents I’ve ever received. Her design was based off of my 4 FLOWERS image.

The tragic part of this story is that I used the bowl as my loose change jar. When it was full I took it to the bank and it got broke. I don’t know that I’ve ever fully recovered. Hopefully some day I will get a replacement for it. Perhaps it will come the same day I get my replacement for my Monica Henning painting that was also tragically destroyed in a freak dog toy accident.

The last image is something I won at a Christmas Work Party. I sold it to a co-worker for $20.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I did put my car in the ditch on Wednesday. It was the first time in my life I’ve put my car in the ditch… well during winter. (I’m sure many of you remember the skunk family story that lead to my relenting and agreeing to get cell phones.)

I need to point out (because of people like Amber of Youth Group fame) that I was not taking pictures (like I was in 2 of the pictures above) while I was driving. It just happened. Not by best moment.

One of my best moments was being able to restore 3 old timey blogs by adding these old timey photos to the Photograpy 139 Gallery:

EVEN WHEN YOU WIN
PRETTIEST PRESENT
ANGRY BRAD’S DESIGNS

On next Saturday’s walk down memory lane, we will have another look at some Little White Lye Soap pictures.

The Selfie Project – Denouement

It is over! The Selfie Project is over! But we should have a couple last looks at all that was “accomplished”!

Here are my favorite pictures from December:


December 2, 2017
December 2

December 4, 2017
December 4

December 6, 2017
December 6

December 7, 2017
December 7

December 9, 2017
December 9

December 11, 2017
December 11

December 12, 2017
December 12

December 13, 2017
December 13

December 16, 2017
December 16

December 17, 2017
December 17

December 18, 2017
December 18

December 20, 2017
December 20

December 21, 2017
December 21

December 22, 2017
December 22

December 23, 2017
December 23

December 24, 2017
December 24

December 28, 2017
December 28

December 29, 2017
December 29

December 30, 2017
December 30

January 1, 2018
January 1

Here is a photomosaic of the December 31 selfie:


Selfie Project - Mosaic

This photomosaic consists of 3000 tiles. 1 images is used a maximum of 10 times. If you would like to see the image at full resolution, click on the link below to download:

FULL RESOLUTION PHOTO MOSAIC


I also made a video featuring all 367 images. You can watch it below:



Of course, if you subscribe to this blog via email or RSS Feed, you will have to physically go to this blog entry to view the video!

It was a good project and while at least Michelle is sad to see it go, it is time to put it to bed. Maybe I’ll bring it back in 2019.

Refreshed from Time to Time with the Blood of Patriots and Tyrants

Thought I would share a few cruddy cell phone pictures from my recent trip to Memphis with Russell and Jesse to watch Iowa State’s 21-20 beatdown of Memphis in the Liberty Bowl:


Liberty Bowl Road Trip
You know you’re in Memphis when you walk into a hotel lobby and there is a musician setting up shop.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Beale Street

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Greetings from Memphis!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Beale Street

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Supper!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Delicious Chicken and Waffles #wafflelife

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
I want this Sam Cooke table.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
The King

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
The King’s Final Resting Place

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
In front of the gates at Graceland

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
First time in Mississippi.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Amazing Waffle House Experience. Waitress told us that she loved our “Northern Accents”. #wafflelife

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
We will be sending a very nice letter to Waffle House about this amazing waitress!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Back to Tennessee.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
This many people gathered to watch ducks walk from an elevator to a fountain. To John Philip Sousa.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Some college football fanbases don’t have any problems filling a baseball stadium.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
The Memphis Redbirds play in a beautiful stadium.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Post pep rally fireworks.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Selfie Time!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Cozy Corner is a big recommend. Their barbecue spaghetti, not so much.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Delicious, delicious ribs!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
With the owner. Teenage Cyclone fan for the photobomb!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
The National Civil Rights Museum located where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Watched the Iowa State basketball debacle here. These musicians were solid, but made the night slightly uncomfortable.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
More Beale Street.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Apparently Iowa State fans like their Busch Light.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Even More Beale Street.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Admittedly, not my best work. #wafflelife

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
ISUCFVMB

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Sea of Cardinal and Gold

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Cyclones!!!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Dig those sweet chrome helmets!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
This flyover by a FedEx 747 was both slow and scary.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Weirdest halftime show ever? The Isley Brothers and other stuff.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Victory Formation!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Sing the alma mater!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Victory Selfie!

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Jumbotron? Try minitron.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
I’ll be strolling into church some Sunday with this jacket.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
21-20* Should’ve been 28-20, but refs aren’t perfect.

Liberty Bowl Road Trip
Leave these guys alone for a moment and they are staring at their phones.

There are plenty of real camera pictures that will be released eventually, but thought I’d get these out early. I didn’t take the real camera into the Liberty Bowl. A myriad of reasons, but in the end, you just need to know that it didn’t work out.

Memphis’ stadium is a little dumpy. It isn’t a complete dump, like where Kansas and Missouri play. But it isn’t nice like where Kansas State or Iowa or of course like Jack Trice.

I have to commend Russell. He survived almost 3 full days with me and Jesse. That isn’t an easy feat for most people. He is horrified that I photograph my food, but he is going to have to learn. That is how Bennetts roll. It is genetic. I swear it!

To surmise, it was a great trip that ended with a Cyclone victory! I’m already making plans for next year’s bowl game trip. Who wants in?

That Last Album Was Heavy, That Last Album Was Gritty, How You Gon’ Match That?

The world wasn’t ready for these LOW PERSPECTIVE pictures on Monday. I’m not sure the world is ready for them now. But I can’t hold them back any longer:


LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

LOW PERSPECTIVE - ALTERNATE

Most of these pictures were taken in Memphis. Others were taken in my backyard. One was taken in my kitchen.

You’re welcome world.

2017 – Year in Review

Time for a look back at 2017. While it was a disaster for our country and for the world, it wasn’t so bad for me personally.

Here are the 5 Most popular Photo Galleries on my website:

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 4 (96932 VIEWS)


SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 (58566 VIEWS)


2007 – JULY-DECEMBER (30046 VIEWS)


2007 – JANUARY-JUNE (21923 VIEWS)


9 EMOTIONS PROJECT (21752 VIEWS)




The 5 Most Popular Blog Entries (BASED ON COMMENTS):



YOU CAN CALL IT A COMEBACK (15 COMMENTS).


YOU, YA JUST GET IN THAT HEAD SPACE, YA KNOW (15 COMMENTS)


WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 76 – GOVERNMENT (14 COMMENTS)


I LOST MY NERVE (11 COMMENTS)


“THE WRONG GUY GOT ELECTED” (11 COMMENTS)


The 5 Most Popular Photos on my Website (BASED ON VIEWS):


Selfie Project - January 27
Alisa & I at Winter Jam – 9565 VIEWS


07-01-07
Ground Squirrel – 4349 VIEWS


Me and Naima – 2619 VIEWS


WEEK 61 - STILL LIFE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Sidewalk Chalk – 1862 VIEWS


2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship
Jesse and I at the Pep Rally Before the Big Men’s Basketball Championship Game – 1800 VIEWS

There were 400 blog posts in 2017. Pretty sure that is a record.

In 2017, I got to see Beale Street, Mount Rushmore, The Civil Rights Museum, and the Badlands. All places I’ve wanted to see for years.

In 2017, I got see Iowa State win a Big 12 Championship in Men’s Basketball and win a bowl game and watch Iowa State beat the #5 team in the country.

In 2017, I got to be President of the Methodist Men, serve on the Administrative Council for my Church and go on a Mission Trip with the Youth Group to Saint Paul.

In 2017, I attended birthday parties, birthday dinners, 4 weddings (I think), and too many funerals. Even though, there weren’t many.

In 2017, I went on vacations to Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

In 2017, I established a new tradition of The Union Street Movie Theater Movie Night.

In 2017, I didn’t spend enough time with friends and family.

In 2017, I watched too much television and read too few books.

This brings me to my goals for 2017:

1. I’m gonna step my game up and get what’s coming to me. (My standard goal.)
2. I’m going to read at least 20 books in 2018.

I don’t have any new photo projects for 2018. I’m not continuing the Selfie Project. My Instagram account is going to go 100% black and white in 2018. I will finish the Photo Journal Project.

These are the things that I will do in 2018.

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Webster City Field Work

On Saturday, the Tenderloin Appreciation Society hopped in one of Scottie D.’s many vehicles and headed north on 17 to Webster City. Home of the Grid Iron Grill and Sports Lounge. The current reigning Best Tenderloin in Iowa according to the Iowa Pork Producer’s Association.


Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Scott and Porter had their game faces on. Although Porter actually ordered chicken strips. He is still in training.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
They have one of those pin your location maps.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Boone! Represent!

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
They also have coloring contests.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
The official plaque!

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Our waittress delivering our tenderloins.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
The tenderloin.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Austin. About to become a man.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Scottie D.’s first bite.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Austin with a “tenderloin bomb”.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Austin makes it official.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Side view.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Are you taking the picture?

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
My first bite.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
The aftermath.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Christopher D. Bennett was here.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
His work done. He retired for the day.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
They have a mailbox for Santa.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
They’ve won some awards. Dilly dilly!

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
Their nightly specials.

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill

Tenderloining at Grid Iron Grill
The Tenderloin Appreciation Society

THE VERDICT

THE GOOD

  • The meat to bun ration was nearly dead on. Could have used a touch more meat, but awful close to the golden ratio.
  • A good thick cut of meat. Not one of those flat pork fritters masquerading as a tenderloin.
  • A light breading, which worried me, but the breading had a good flavor.
  • The bun was toasted.
  • It is a clean restaurant with good service.
  • They serve Pepsi products.

THE BAD

  • Red onions. Not a complete miss, but not the preferred tenderloin onion.
  • Kaiser bun. Seemed to distract from the tenderloin. But at least it wasn’t as terrible as a panini bun.
  • Standard tenderloin came with onion, pickles, lettuce, and tomato. The standard tenderloin SHOULD come with onion and pickles. You should put the mustard and ketchup on yourself.  Get rid of the lettuce and tomato.

THE UGLY

  • Sweet pickles. This was the biggest miss by far. Sweet pickles don’t belong on a tenderloin.
  • Very greasy.  I know. A tenderloin. But so greasy that the bottom bun was very soggy and made it a challenge to finish the sandwich and keep my glorious beard relatively clean. I’m not sure if this sogginess was a result of the kaiser bun OR because the tenderloin wasn’t properly drained after it was pulled from the fryer. My gut reaction is that it is a conglomeration of both.

THE FINAL WORD

The Grid Iron Grill serves a good, but not great tenderloin. I would gladly eat it again, but I would not pursue it. It is does not belong in the Pantheon with Nick’s or Cole’s or The Legal Limit (may she rest in peace), but it is certainly several notches above garbage tenderloins like you see at The Lucky Pig or Gramma’s Kitchen or Thunderhead Sports Bar & Grill.

Next Up

Sometime in January the Tenderloin Appreciation Society will be visiting the 2017 runner-up in Winterset. If you would like to apply for a spot on our next field work trip, you know how to contact me.

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish all my friends, family, and subscribers a very Merry Christmas!


Christmas - 2017

To quote Linus:

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men. I hope your Christmas and Christmas season had all 3 of these things!

The Burned Bridge of Madison County

Hitting the back log again. These are images I took the day after some young hooligans set fire to the Cedar Bridge near Winterset.


Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

Cedar Bridge

I’m not really sure what possessed people to burn down this bridge. While I do agree that the efforts of Robert James Waller are an affront to literature, I’m not tempted to set any of these bridges on fire.

If Nicholas Sparks had written about these bridges, that is another story!

Lost in a Roman Wilderness of Pain

Here are some photos from the last 2 Iowa State football games I attended. Both ended in controversial defeats for Iowa State. The game against Oklahoma State, the bad call took the tying touchdown away from Iowa State, but I can understand why the bad call was made.

There were too many bad calls made in the Kansas State game to even talk about. At least these terrible calls didn’t keep Iowa State from going bowling!

These pictures taken with a point & shoot.


Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42

Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42
2 GOATS!


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


KANSAS STATE 20 IOWA STATE 19


Thanks to Nate for scoring Dae Hee and I free tickets to the Kansas State debacle!

A week from now me, Jesse, and Russell should be well on our way to Memphis for one last Cyclone football game! I’m already excited for next season!