Category Archives: Life

The Ultimate Triumph

I took a few pictures on Easter of last year that seems like a good time to share.

I think the pictures of the Easter Egg Hunt were taken by Jaxon. In fact I’m positive they were taken by Jaxon.


Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter - 2019

Easter Sky - 2019

Easter Sky - 2019

Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Easter 2019

We are a little more than a month away from Lent now and I’ve been thinking on what I’m going to do for Lent. I would say that traditionally Methodists don’t really give up something for Lent. Instead they add something for Lent.

I’ve been playing with the idea of going pescatarian for Lent.

Why pescatarian?

#1. Eating less meat is the best thing you can do to help the planet:

Industrialized agriculture and the onset of the worst species extinction crisis since the demise of the dinosaurs means that livestock and humans now make up 96% of all mammals. But despite consuming the vast majority of farmland, meat and dairy accounts for just 18% of all food calories and around a third of protein.

The mighty hoofprint of farmed meat isn’t just inefficient. Deforestation to make way for livestock, along with methane emissions from cows and fertilizer use, creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and airplanes. Meat rearing practices risk mass extinctions of other animals, as well as spawn significant pollution of streams, rivers and, ultimately, the ocean.

#2. Goals should be realistic and attainable. While going pescatarian will vastly reduce the amount of meat I eat, it is a realistic goal, because I know there is no way I could pull off going full vegetarian and let’s not talk about going vegan.

#3. A pescatarian diet is healthier. It is healthy for the heart, reduces the risks of some cancer, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

#4. The prophet Kurt Cobain taught us that “it’s okay to eat fish, ’cause they don’t have any feelings.”

This means that I need to get that road trip to Corning with Shannon to tenderloin it up on the books before February 26.

WPC – WEEK 227 – TEXTURE

I would be remiss if I didn’t open today without wishing everybody a Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today, I want to share some of his words following the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Often our movement has been referred to as a boycott movement. The word boycott, however, does not adequately describe the true spirit of our movement. The word boycott is suggestive of merely an economic squeeze devoid of any positive value. We have never allowed ourselves to get bogged in the negative; we have always sought to accentuate the positive. Our aim has never been to put the bus company out of business, but rather to put justice in business.

These twelve months have not at all been easy. Our feet have often been tired. We have struggle against tremendous odds to maintain alternative transportation. There have been moments when roaring waters of disappointment poured upon us in staggering torrents. We can remember days when unfavorable court decisions came upon us like tidal waves, leaving us treading in the deep and confused waters of despair. But amid all of this we have kept going with the faith that as we struggle, God struggles with us, and that the arc of the moral universe, although long, is bending toward justice.5 We have lived under the agony and darkness of Good Friday with the conviction that one day the heightening glow of Easter would emerge on the horizon. We have seen truth crucified and goodness buried, but we have kept going with the conviction that truth crushed to earth will rise again.6

(later)

This is the time that we must evince calm dignity and wise restraint. Emotions must not run wild. Violence must not come from any of us, for if we become victimized with violent intents, we will have walked in vain, and our twelve months of glorious dignity will be transformed into an eve of gloomy catastrophy. As we go back to the busses let us be loving enough to turn an enemy into a friend. We must now move from protest to reconciliation. It is my firm conviction that God is working in Montgomery. Let all men of goodwill, both Negro and white, continue to work with Him. With this dedication we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.

If you are ever in Memphis, I can’t urge you to visit the Civil Rights Museum strongly enough.


Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

It is an extremely powerful and rage inducing experience.

As white supremacy continues to be emboldened in this country and has made an ugly resurgence in the last couple of years, I pray that after this current shameful chapter in American history closes, that there is some real healing in this country.

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WooHoo! TEXTURE makes is 17 straight weeks of double digit submissions! I was a little worried about this week because TEXTURE is one of the more abstract themes. Not technically difficult, but a little on the obtuse side. Plus, at least in central Iowa the temperature barely climbed into positive digits all weekend. But, we hit double digits and I barely had to twist any arms this morning!

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates, you came to see the submissions:


WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - SARAH KARBER
Sarah Karber

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 227 - TEXTURE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 228 - COUNTRY
COUNTRY

COUNTRY! What a great theme! But what is a COUNTRY photo? A COUNTRY photo is really just any photo that is taken outside of a town, city, village, or hamlet. This should be easy enough. I know plenty of you (like me) drive through the COUNTRY to get to work. Some of you live in the COUNTRY. But something doesn’t have to be in the COUNTRY to suggest the COUNTRY. Plus, remember that the word COUNTRY has more than one meaning. A quality tip for people who live in the middle of say Brooklyn or Minneapolis.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very country Monday!

2009-08-15 & 2009-08-20 & 2009-08-21

The pictures in the folders 2009-08-15, 2009-08-20, and include pictures from an anniversary dinner for Shorty and Doris and pictures from that time I actually tilled up part of my backyard and planted a garden.


Anniversary

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

2009-08-20

The Car

The Car

The Car

The picture of Jill that is edited in a couple different ways is her with a car that she described as her mid-life crisis. But that can’t be the case. She was only like 30 when she bought that car.

This is the first time that these pictures have been published. Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will definitely involve the Iowa State Fair and Teresa and Ernie. But not in a way that is connected.

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Don Williams Field Work

It is hard to believe, but I haven’t published a tenderloining blog since August 26, 2018 when I recapped Michelle and I’s trip to The Filling Station in Ames. I actually made a few tenderloining trips and I just never got around to telling the world what I experienced. I feel guilty about this because I have a gift. A true gift for evaluating tenderloins. The fact I’m not sharing this with the world is very greedy of me.

The tenderloin I’m going to recap today comes from a trip to the Don Williams Golf Course Clubhouse. It came a few weeks after I ate breakfast there with my Mom and wasn’t overly impressed. A trip that really hammered home my loyalty to The Whistle Stop Cafe for those treasured Saturday morning breakfasts.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t impressed by the breakfast there, I was intrigued by the passion of the new operator of the Clubhouse. He spoke eloquently about his tenderloin and more than one person in the restaurant backed up his bragging.

I decided to organize a trip out there with Scottie D. to give it the test.

Because it is over 6 months since I’ve been there I won’t go into detail about the quality of the tenderloin we experienced. To say it wasn’t very good should be sufficient. I shouldn’t be surprised because people in that area think that The Lucky Pig has a good tenderloin. They are sadly misguided.

Here are a few pictures of our trip:


Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

Tenderloin Quest - Don Williams

I have a couple other tenderloining trips to post about eventually. I promise that any 2020 tenderloin trips will be reported on as quickly as possible. Hopefully with the taste of tenderloin still swirling around my mouth.

I know for sure that at some point I have a trip to Corning with Shannon on the books. I will also be visiting New Hampton for a date with a tenderloin at some point soon. The lucky person to join me on that venture is still to be determined. Could be you. But let’s face it, do you really think you have what it takes? Search your soul for the answer.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is TEXTURE:


WEEK 226 - TEXTURE
TEXTURE

A TEXTURE photo is a photo that concentrates on the feel, appearance, or consistency of the surface of a substance. A reminder that often TEXTURE is more apparent in a black & white image.

Happy photo harvesting!

Who’s a Big Boy – Addendum

This is a collection of images that I took on my way home from following the Big Boy. After letting the train roll past us one last time, Teresa and I headed back to Boone after stopping off in Carroll for a delicious meal at Rancho Grande Mexican.

Then in Glidden we stopped at Dairy Mart for ice cream. Then finally made a brief stop at the Harrier Marsh to take a few photos.


Glidden, Iowa
Glidden, Iowa

Ralston, Iowa
Ralston, Iowa

Harrier Marsh

Harrier Marsh

Harrier Marsh

Harrier Marsh

Harrier Marsh

Harrier Marsh

Harrier Marsh

Dairy Mart

Dairy Mart

I just want to say for the record that flavor burst ice cream is straight trash. I understand it is a way to try to serve several types of ice cream on the cheap, but it is garbage. It is just vanilla ice cream with some weak tasting syrup dribbled around the outside.

That isn’t to say that my experience at Dairy Mart was bad. What I got was delicous. A raspberry shake. I stayed away from that flavor burst garbage.

Who’s a Big Boy – Chapter 3

This is my final collection of images from the day I spent following the Union Pacific Big Boy a little ways across central Iowa.

The Big Boy is 133 feet long and 17 feet tall. A standard diesel locomotive is 74 feet long and 15 foot 7 inches tall. A school bus is 40 feet tall and 10 feet tall. A standard sedan is 16 feet long and 5 feet tall.

These last pictures were taken just west of Carroll, very near a town called Maple River.


Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

Big Boy

In “Who’s A Big Boy – Chapter 2”, I discussed my big gamble and defeat by the high bridge. Well here is a picture that Teresa got of the Big Boy with the RX0 II:


Big Boy

This concludes my Big Boy photos. Means I need to get out there and take some more train photos in the near future. Don’t care who calls me a foamer.

Backbone Road Trip

Rather than naming the folders that include images from the Backbone State Park Road Trip I took with Jay, Derrick, Jen, Sara, and Shannon, I’m just going to call this post Backbone Road Trip.

Here are a look at a few of my favorite images from the road trip:


Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

Backbone State Park Road Trip

It truly was a great trip and one of my favorite road trips of all time. We did have to pack up and leave Backbone State Park really early on Sunday morning to beat a storm, but it was still a weekend filled with treasured memories.

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

Spine

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve potatoes, probably a whole bunch more, but definitely potatoes.

Will You Pardon Me?

I spent a few moments taking pictures of flowers one day back in May. Here are some of my favorites:


Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

Will You Pardon Me?

The tulips belong to my Mom. The rest belong to me.

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One thing I wanted to bring back this year was happy birthdays. Today is Lowell’s birthday, so happy birthday Lowell!


Little League - 2009

I hope it is a good one!

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FOOD:


WEEK 226 - FOOD
FOOD

A FOOD photo is any photo that centers around FOOD. A picture of FOOD. Preparation of FOOD. People eating FOOD. You get the idea!

Happy photo harvesting!

Part Ballroom, Part Baller

Last April I went up to Minneapolis to checkout all the hoopla that surrounds the Final Four. Dae Hee and I went downtown and checked everything out. I snapped a few pictures. Here are some of my favorites:


Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

It appears to be a down season for the Cyclones this year. I can only imagine what this team would look like if THT would’ve come back instead of going to the NBA. That being said, there is still time for the current team to get it figured out, starting tonight against Kansas. Go Cyclones!

2009-08-06

The pictures from the folder 2009-08-06 are taken in my backyard. They are mostly of the products of my garden. The first year I lived in my house, I actually planted a garden. I believe I had some mixed results, but I did manage to grow a few things here and there.

That year Dawn came over and picked the currants. She then took the currants and made me a cheesecake. I think this event closed the chapter in my life where beautiful women would come over and pick things from my garden and then feed me.

I never brought the garden back because, I didn’t really do anything with the stuff I grew. Then I got to the point where I like uninterrupted grass in my yard. I have often thought of doing hay bale gardens, but I have yet to find a good source of hay bales. By that I mean, the one person I asked doesn’t do square hay bales.


Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

Backyard Discoveries

This is the first time these pictures have been published.

The next walk down memory lane will involve a road trip to eastern Iowa.