Category Archives: Life

My Minnesota Spirit Animal

Back in August I went up to Minnesota to visit some of my favorite peeps, but I also had an ulterior motive. For years I’ve driven up to the Twin Cities area and just south of Lakeville I would come across a strange collection of sculptures on the east side of I-35. I’ve never been able to figure out how to get there. Or for that matter, what it even was.

This trip to Minnesota I vowed to crack the mystery. Before supper Bethany, Nora, and Dae Hee and I and a sense of wonderment loaded up into a vehicle and tried to solve the mystery… and solve the mystery, we did.

After some wrong turns we finally located the source of the wonderful mystery sculptures. The source was Hot Sam’s Antiques and Foto Park. For $10 your party could take as many cruddy cell phone pictures as you wanted. It was $25 for an actual camera-camera.

We plunked down the Hamilton and wandered and wondered around the Minnesota magical wonderland that is Sam’s Foto Park. Here are some cell phone pictures from this wondrous adventure:


Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
Dino Bustin’

Hot Sam's Foto Park
So this is what happened to the bus from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE


Hot Sam's Foto Park
Dae Hee in Repose

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
Nora LOVED this car!

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
#outhousesofinstagram

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
I both love and am creeped out by old industrial trucks!

Hot Sam's Foto Park
This is a fence of nightmares!

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
Worst Pixar movie ever! Not counting the worse sequels.

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park


Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
Plan 9 from Outer Space?

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park
You know this would look amazing in my yard!

Hot Sam's Foto Park
My birthday is 7 months away… If you start saving now…

Hot Sam's Foto Park

Hot Sam's Foto Park

You can have Disneyland. Give me Hot Sam’s Foto Park. Every day of the week and… wait for it…. thrice on Sundays!!

Remembered with Nostalgia

Now that I’ve been back to reality for 7 days, probably a good time to go over my vacation.

FRIDAY

Left work at 4 PM or so. Vacation starts.
Had FNSC with Willy. Ate at Colorado Grill.
After Colorado Grill. Started watching a new show, NARCOS.

SATURDAY

Breakfast at Legal Limit with Mom.
Photography for Amber and Steve’s Wedding.


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Not Steve pictured.

SUNDAY

Went to the Lutheran Church in Gilbert with Jesse and Nader to celebrate Nader’s 30th year in the United States.
Ate lunch at the church with some of the people that helped Nader when he got to the country.
Went to Gene’s farm to admire his car collection.


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Sent this picture to Russell of Youth Nazis harassing this old woman.

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Sent this picture to Logan because he sent me a picture trying to make me jealous of his lunch.

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A Studebaker with an El Camino back.

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Naima getting her pills.

Went to the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and Shorty was there working it.


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While this food stand looks awesome, the ice cream isn’t that great.

MONDAY

Loaded up Mom’s car and headed for Mount Rushmore.
Stopped in Sioux Falls for gas, human fuel, and Falls Park. It rained all the way to Sioux Falls.


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Sent this picture to Jorge and Joe to remind them that I wasn’t at work.

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Falls Park

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Mom struggles with the selfie concept.

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Confused by the bridge they built to seemingly just to wreck the view.

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I wonder what this picture would look like with me in it.

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Oh. Like that.

I give Falls Park the thumbs up. I’ll have to go back when I have more time at some point.

Stopped for gas again next to 1880 town.


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Stopped at Wall Drug right before it closed.


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Still don’t have the selfie thing down.

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Free Water.

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Pretty horrible restaurant across the street from Wall Drug.

I’d give Wall Drug the bird. Don’t waste your time. A bunch of touristy garbage with ridiculous hours.

Got to Rapid City and checked into a hotel with free WI-FI and continental breakfast.

TUESDAY

Got up in the morning and ate continental breakfast at the hotel. Had a lengthy conversation with two women from Arizona that came up there for the Buffalo Roundup.
Left for Mount Rushmore.


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Posted on Instagram. #wafflelife

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First view of Mount Rushmore

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View from the parking lot.

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One armed woman took this picture for us.

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Getting better at the selfie game.

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What Mount Rushmore was supposed to look like, but they had to stop because of WWII. Another thing we can blame on Hitler.

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I give Mount Rushmore the thumbs up.

At the base of Mount Rushmore we ran into Brad Dighton. The cousin of a member of my church. He gave us several pro tips for the area. We weren’t able to get to all of them, but maybe next time.

One of his pro tips was take the Iron Mountain Road to Custer State Park.


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All of these tunnels point back to Mount Rushmore. You can’t tell in the picture, but trust me.

I give the Iron Mountain Road the thumbs up.

Custer State Park is a great example of white privilege. I have no clue why a park is named after Custer. His 2 claims to fame are graduating last in his class at West Point and then getting his buttocks handed to him at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Custer Park (like the man) was more hype than pay off. We were told we would see hundreds of buffalo. We saw one. That being said, the feral donkeys and the prairie dogs made up for the lack of buffaloes.


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I give Custer Park a thumbs up, but it didn’t live up to the hype.

After we left Custer, we went to Needles Highway.


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Still working on the selfie game.

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We’re starting to get there.

Needles Highway is a road about the width of McHose Park road, but with a 400 foot drop to your death on one side. It is amazing!

I give Needles Highway a big thumbs up!

After that we went to Hill City to eat lunch/dinner at a place recommended to us by Brad Dighton. That place was closed, so instead we dined at the Hill City Cafe.


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We bought fudge there.

Hill City Cafe wasn’t terrible, but it certainly was not great. Thumb sideways.

After that, we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial.


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Almost there!

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We might’ve regressed on our selfie game.

I’d give Crazy Horse another big thumbs up! My only complaint is that all the information seems to be on the family carving the memorial and hardly anything on Crazy Horse himself. You know, the guy that ripped Custer’s buttocks off and handed them back to him. He took out Custer’s brothers while he was ate it. Crazy Horse was an OG.

Pro Tip: Pay for the $4 bus ride.

After leaving Crazy Horse, went back to Mount Rushmore for the lighting ceremony.


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Sent this picture of Thomas Jefferson ice cream to Russell since Russell hate Thomas Jefferson for being a slave owner and a rapist. True, but he also made a mean ice cream.

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Paid and extra dollar for the Thomas Jefferson ice cream.

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The lighting ceremony kind of drags on for awhile, but the part where they bring veterans on stage and take the flag down is powerful. While waiting (forever) for them to light up the mountain we became single serving friends with Lance Young. A former Iowa State wide receiver that played in the Dan MacCarney era.

After the lighting we went back to Rapid City and crashed.

WEDNESDAY

Got up in the morning and hit the continental breakfast. Hard. Going home day. No time for single serving friends. Ate and hit the road.

Stopped at Badlands National Park.


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This sign was all hype. No snake.

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Still working on it.

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I think we have it. At least we’re in striking distance.

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Taken by a woman who was friendly, but strangely afraid of falling down the side to her death. She has no future as a Photography 139 Assistant!

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“I’ll take one to the side and one of you in the middle.”

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Not afraid of the edge. Pimp.

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Badlands. 2 big thumbs up. They just need to work on their rattlesnake game.

Next stop on the way home was to see the Dignity Sculpture. It looks like the Big Jesus in Sioux City, only less creepy. I don’t have a picture with the cell phone, but when I unleash the camera pictures, there is one there.

The next stop was Mitchell. I was going to avoid the Corn Palace but it just lined up with when we needed gas and human fuel.


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Go home corn. You’re drunk.

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SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER in corn. Well, I can’t hate that.

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Mic Drop! I think we finally nailed it!

Last time I went to the Corn Palace, I gave it the bird. I’m going to upgrade it to just a thumbs down. It is worth seeing, if you don’t waste time going inside.

We stopped at a place called The Hungry Dog for lunch.


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The Hungry Dog was by far the best eating experience of the trip. 6 out of 5 Stars!!! It only seats about 5 people on the inside and after the only employee took our order, made our food, and delivered it; she locked the door and told us she’d be right back. She had to go pick up her kids from school.

I loved every second of my experience!


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On the way out of town we saw this Albert the Bull wannabe. Jason Baier will get that joke.

The last stop of the evening was in Jefferson for gas and human fuel.


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I wish so badly we had this sign when I worked for the evil clown empire. I can’t even count all the times some dirty white trash blew cigarette smoke in my face as soon as I opened the drive-thru window.

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1424.3 miles in 3 days.

Then home for sleep.

THURSDAY

Did not much in the day. Hung up a bunch of pictures in my bedroom. Cleaned out the guest bedroom now that Alexis has moved out.
Picked Derrick up for the Iowa State game.


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I don’t care what anybody says. I love the new Bugle Cyclone secondary logo.

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Well almost everything about that game sucked, except the company.

FRIDAY

I can’t remember next to anything that happened on Friday.
I visited Scottie D. to get a yard sign. He is running for City Council for Ward 5.


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Also had FNSC with Willy. Think it was at Jimmy’s Barbecue.

SATURDAY

Don’t remember much about Saturday either.

Went uptown during YesterBoone to complete another page of the Photo Journal Project.


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Sent this to Micky and offered to buy it in case he got shutout on his hunting trip in Wyoming.

Went out to McHose Park and with Jesse’s assistance completed yet another page of the Photo Journal Project.


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After that, we went to a Gender Reveal Party for one of the members of the Youth Group. It’s a Girl!!
Headed up to Jay’s for Chili Lab. Both Jay and Wily made great chilis and we enjoyed a viewing of KONG ISLAND.

SUNDAY

Got up and went to church at Boone First United Methodist Church.
Then lunch with the family.
Meeting for the Council to Elect Degeneffe.
Then I went to the Freedom Flight Send-off to see Jesse’s Dad.


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Derrick’s dad made an impromptu speech praising military spouses.

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Monica’s mom made a bouquet that they took with them to place on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Then I went home. Sat on my couch and soaked up the last few hours of vacation, before being back at the grind on Monday.

I’ve been back to work one week. Already fantasizing about the next time I dip my toes into the PTO pool.

Here’s Scotland. Here’s Ireland. There’s the Bloody Sea!

A few weeks back I spent the weekend up in Minnesota. I went with Bethany, Dae Hee, Nora, Sara Karber, and Shawn Karber to The Irish Fair. Here are a few pictures from the event:




Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

Saint Paul - Irish Fair

You must be wondering, do you recommend The Irish Fair?

The answer is no. Just like everything else Irish, it just isn’t as good as Scottish. I found out that there is a Scottish Fair in the Twin Cities as well, but I had already missed at the time these pictures were taken. I will be going to the Scottish Fair next year! This… I… DO… SWEAR on the grave of Connor MacLeod!!!!

10-31-2017

The pictures in the folder 10-31-07 display both a terrifying display of brute strength and a terrifying display of Halloween costumes.


10-31-07

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By dusting off these pictures and adding them to the current Smugmug Photo Gallery, I was able to restore the following blog posts:

COSTUMES


HP LASERJET 4100


I have now restored all of the October 2007 blog posts to close to their original glory. Now I can’t tell you why I’ve felt motivated to restore decade old blog posts, because I know that nobody is checking them out, but I can tell you that I’ve learned a lot about who I used to be. I used to be somebody that put up photos within minutes after taking them. The current me has photos that he took close to a year ago that he still needs to look at. I probably need to find some middle ground on that.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve more Iowa State Football and some surprising tailgaters!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 110

This was going to be one of the hardest entries in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT for me to accomplish. Mostly because, it is a huge time commitment. Luckily, I recently did the thing that Page 100 asks you to do, sorta. Here is Page 110.


Photo Journal - Page 110
Page 110 – Sit in one spot for five hours. Only take pictures when the light is at its most beautiful.

This picture was taken on the banks of the Missouri River in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Jesse and I left Boone at 4:15 AM and drove down there to see the Total Solar Eclipse. We met my cousin Sarah and her husband Tim and my Uncle Mike and Cousin Adam and his kid Florence there and prepare for one of nature’s rarest and most awesome spectacles.

Unfortunately for us, it poured rain right up to the totality. It stopped raining, but there was still nearly 100% cloud cover during the totality. Despite not being able to physically see the sun pass behind the moon, I wouldn’t have changed anything from that day.

We still got to experience the darkness of the totality. We still got to experience the 10 degree temperature drop of the totality. We still got to experience the effect the totality had on the animals in the area. We got to experience the totality with some awesome people.

The picture that will be physically adhered into THE PHOTO JOURNAL was taken during the totality. Something that wasn’t ever mentioned in my solar eclipse research is the ring of light that goes around the horizon. That was perhaps my favorite part of the eclipse.

There will be more eclipse pictures at some point.

The next time we visit THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will probably hit up Page 119.

The Town Sign Project Vol. 2

I haven’t made much progress on THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT lately. A disturbing amount of towns don’t have signs. That lack of town pride disappoints me. Gets me right in the feels. The negative feels. Here are 7 more town signs that I have reaped in recent weeks:


Bouton, Iowa
Bouton

Woodward, Iowa
Woodward

Leon, Iowa
Leon

Osceola, Iowa
Osceola

Kelly, Iowa
Kelley

Sheldahl, Iowa
Sheldahl

Slater, Iowa
Slater

Obviously Sheldahl has the best sign out of this collection.

Jesse assisted on a couple of these signs.

But That’s Kind of Hard When She’s Ready to Go

“This performance is dedicated to all the playa hating teachers that won’t let a little gangsta shine!”

I normally don’t get too into explaining any of my photography. The thing about art is that once the artist creates it and puts it out into the world, they are powerless to control how people interpret the piece.

However, I thought I would explain a little bit of what my original vision was for the HATE theme. So interpretations don’t got too far askew.

I intended to join in with an anti-social media movement championed by this website:



Pro Personal Communication



I printed off one of their props and even had Michelle cut them out for me (since I’m not that great with the scissors) and I was going to spend my weekend using the prop to be a hater and HATE on the phone zombie phenomenon.

However, I just could get my playa hating game going this week. I’m not sure what was wrong. I hope my invite to the Playa Haters’ Ball doesn’t get pulled. That weekend catching up with Silky Johnson and Mr. Roboto is one of my favorite weekends of the year.

Here are the HATE photos that didn’t make the cut for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


Loser - Hate


Loser - Hate


Loser - Hate


Loser - Hate


The picture that is just of me, isn’t because I HATE myself. No need to send me link’s to Logic videos. I HATE getting ice cream in my beard.

Here is another thing for you to HATE.

Recently, Baby Got Rack had to pull out of the Pufferbilly Days Barbecue Contest. There will be no threepeat as the People’s Champ. Baby Got Rack had to pull out because Scottie D. has a myriad of catering gigs lined up. Including his brother’s wedding. I tried to get him to skip his brother’s wedding. It is a long standing policy of mine that only bad people get married during the fall on Saturdays and furthermore I don’t know why my weekend should be ruined because somebody else “fell in love”. But Scottie D. is a hopeless romantic and tells me I should stop hating.

Maybe I will keep my invite to the Playa Haters’ Ball after all!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 41

When I went to the Iowa State Fair, I had a goal of knocking out 2 or 3 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT images. I managed 2. Here is Page 41:


Photo Journal - Page 41
Page 41 – Shoot one more image for Robert Frank’s “The Americans”.

I actually struggled picking which image to place in the physical copy of THE JOURNAL, but this photo of a mullet competition seems like it would fit into the original collection nicely. Here are the other ones I considered:


Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

Page 41 - Reject

The next time we revisit THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT we’ll look in on page 105.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 7

On my recent trip to the Iowa State Fair with Nader, I was able to knock out a couple more photos for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. Here is Page 7:


Photo Journal - Page 7
Page 7 – Tell a joke with a single picture. (Photo Assistant: Nader Parsaei)

I get it. A bunch of cops hanging around guarding giant donuts. It isn’t that funny. Stop picking on cops for liking donuts. Everybody likes donuts. It isn’t original. I don’t need it in my act. You get it any way.

The next look into THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT will either be Page 65 or Page 105 or Page 41. Who knows? I certainly don’t.