Category Archives: Baby Got Rack

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: The Tall Chief

Jesse and I left for the Alamo Bowl at about 7 AM on Thursday, December 27.

Our first stop was at a Casey’s in Peculiar, Missouri. It was noteworthy mostly because gas there was $1.75 a gallon. A good 20 cents cheaper than in the Cyclone State:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Our second stop was at Red Hot & Blue a blues themed barbecue in Joplin, Missouri. Every time I get just a little bit south into the Civil War participant ribbon part of the country I try to drink almost exclusively sweet tea.

There is a thing about southerners where they don’t think us yankees know anything about sweet tea. A point that was hammered home by a Waffle House waitress in Mississippi during the Liberty Bowl Road Trip.


Liberty Bowl Road Trip

It is a myth that all yankees don’t know about sweet tea. I am somewhat of an expert on sweet tea. I design and make Thick Soul Sweet Tea for Baby Got Rack Barbecue, an award winning competitive barbecue team of some note.

When we posted up in Red Hot & Blue I ordered up a sweet tea. This became a story in 3 acts.

Sweet Tea: Act 1

The first glass of sweet tea hit the spot. It had almost the perfect amount of sweetness. Almost.

Sweet Tea: Act 2

The refill was decidedly less sweet. Maybe about 45% as sweet as the first glass of goodness.

Sweet Tea: Act 3

They gave us a glass of sweet tea for the road. This final insult to sweet tea was an insult to sweet tea. It was little more than brown water. Did you have an aunt growing up that put so little sugar in Kool-Aid that it was little more than colored water? That wasn’t just me? It was an abomination.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Our next stop was at the Conoco One Stop Food Mart in Big Cabin, Oklahoma. The thing that stands out about the Conoco One Stop Food Mart is that in the front of its parking lot is a 46 foot tall statue called The Tall Chief.

It might be the best art in Oklahoma, if this gas station clock of Taylor Swift is any indication:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

I pulled out the real camera and took some photos of “The Tall Chief”:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

After paying our respects to “The Tall Chief” we hit the open road heading towards San Antonio, but uncertain what we would see between there and there.

To be continued…

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Reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ART:


WEEK 174 - ART
ART

An ART photo is any photo of a piece of ART or of somebody engaging in making a piece of ART. A truly confident person could argue that any photo they take is a piece of ART.

Happy photo harvesting!

Post #3252 – 2018 Year in Review

Happy New Year to people who celebrate such things.

I like to look at some meaningless statistics every 250 posts and I also look at fairly meaningless year end statistics.

Just so happens that I get to combine them today!!

Here is both a year in review and a celebration that I have made it to 3252 blog posts. I was on the Alamo Bowl Road Trip visiting submarines, cults, and reality television stars when post #3250 came around, so I hope you can excuse the tardiness.

The first thing I want to look at are the most popular CATEGORIES in the history of “An Artist’s Notebook”.

Top 10 Journal Entry Categories

1. Portrait – 527
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – 504
3. Flowers – 497
4. Animals – 405
5. Jesse – 361
6. Photography – 355
7. Shannon – 320
8. Teresa – 296
9. Black & White – 291
10. Carla – 280

Top 10 People Categories

1. Jesse – 361
2. Shannon – 320
3. Teresa – 296
4. Carla – 280
5. Jay – 279
6. Mom – 277
7. Derrick – 256
8. Willy – 227
9. Vest – 221
10. Jen – 209

Top 10 Not-People Categories

1. Portrait – 527
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – 504
3. Flowers – 497
4. Animals – 405
5. Photography – 355
6. Black & White – 291
7. Road Trip – 262
8. Personal Photo Project – 261
9. Life – 234
10. Nature – 215

“Photography” and “Life” are general categories that I have been working on eliminating as I go back and restore historical “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory. Hopefully they will have both dropped off the Top 10 Lists by journal entry #3500.

If you are wondering how to become a Top 10 person on this list. The easiest way is to submit to the Weekly Photo Challenge. After that, the best way is to volunteer to model and photo assist for photography projects. Then after that, I would suggest going on road trips with me or attending Iowa State athletic events with me or going on road trips to Iowa State athletic events with me.

The people that are right outside of the Top 10 are:: Sara, Kim, Dawn, Becky, and Nader.

If you are looking for a goal for 2019, you could do worse than trying to crack the Photography 139 Top Ten People Category List. You obviously could do way, way, way, way, way, way, way better too.

Now we will turn out eye towards 2018.

Top 10 Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries of 2018 by Views

1. 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT – 48,722
2. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE YEAR 5 – 37,614
3. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE YEAR 5 – ALTERNATES – 33,622
4. 2008 – JANUARY – JUNE – 26,032
5. SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 – 23,141
6. HOUSTON MISSION TRIP – 2018 – 22,046
7. SOUTH DAKOTA TRIP – 2017 – 21,868
8. BOONE COUNTY FAIR CONTEST NOMINEES – 2018 – 17,211
9. SAYDIE HOWARD – CLASS OF 2017 – 14,808
10. IOWA STATE CYCLONES FOOTBALL – 2018

The 10 Most Popular Photography 139 Images by Views


Selfie Project - January 27
1. 2524

01-01-08
2. 2386


3. 2327

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
4. 1958

No. 45
5. 1621

No. 43
6. 1456

No. 12
7. 1445

July 15, 2017
8. 1321

WEEK 110 - REFLECTION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
9. 1293

No. 38
10. 1241

On the Instagram, these were my 9 Most Popular Photos based on Likes:


My theme for my 2018 Instagram posts was Black & White. My theme for 2019 will be HDR Toning. Also, I will be bringing back THE SELFIE PROJECT to Instagram in 2019.

You can follow me on Instagram here:

@christopherdbennett

I entered 3 photo contests with the following results:


Boone County Fair - 2018
Red Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Purple Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Not Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Not Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
1st Place Photoshop – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
1st Place Photojournalism – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Last note:

My goal for 2019 is the same as it was in 2018:

I’m gonna step my game up and get what is coming to me.

Good luck in 2019 everybody!

Blessings – 2018

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! It is the time of year where we are supposed to count our blessings.

I thought I would share a few of my current blessings:


I am blessed with a great family!

























Sympathy - Brandon Kahler

NATE - SYMPATHY

SURPRISE - LAURA MILLER

Bethany - Boredom

Elainie - Boredom

Fear - Alexis

Anger - Johnathan

Sadness - Logan

I have plenty of friends that share my love for the Cyclones!



Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Liberty Bowl Road Trip



I have a job I don’t hate going to, where I work with several people I don’t want to punch in the face.





Iowa State vs. Texas Tech

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech





I have an amazing church family!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Pufferbilly Days Float - 2018

Critter Sunday - 2018

Easter - 2018 - Boone FUMC



I have an amazing friends family!



Anders - Fear









Shannon with her

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

2009 - Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

I’m blessed to share my life with Naima!







August 23, 2017

This is really just a handful of the blessings in my life! But I’m already getting this out late, so I’ll cut if off here. I’ll just end with a passage from a Rob Bell NOOMA video that really spoke to me:

“So the verse in First Timothy, it says command those that are rich to not put their hope in wealth… and then it goes on and it continues… and it says, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

That phrase, a God that richly provides us with everything. All that we have is a gift.

Food. It is a gift.

Clothes. Gift.

Roof. Gift.

That breath you just took. It’s a gift.

Now there are some that will say: No, you don’t understand. I’ve worked for what I have. I deserve it. It is mine. But like it says in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8: You may say to yourself, my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the Lord your God, because it is God that gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

I thank God for the embarrassment of riches in my life!

Baby Got Rack Takes the Iowa State Fair

A reminder that today is the last day of the Iowa State Fair. If you are going, you should make your way to the Cultural Building to see the pictures that I had accepted for display. They will come down at approximately 8 PM. Also, I will be at the Iowa State Fair today, if you want to try to look me up.

+++++++

On Tuesday, Baby Got Rack went to the Iowa State Fair to compete in the Iowa State Fair Farm Bureau Cookoff.

Baby Got Rack earned their way there by winning the Combination category at the Boone County Fair. The Combination category is any dish that combines 2 or more meats. We won with Scottie D.’s famous Mediterranean Pizza and his Barbecue Pizza.

Baby Got Rack took a little bit of a different formation this year. House dropped out this year. A couple of other people auditioned for roles on the team, but only one person stepped up to join Baby Got Rack. That was Bryon Porter.

I will also add that Baby Got Rack’s guardian angel, Melissa also increased her role with the team this year. In year’s past she had stayed mostly in the background. Running the books and being in charge of procurement. This year she also was in charge of making the pizza crust.

I can’t lie. At the Iowa State Fair they both did more work than me, probably. It looks like once again there is no Pufferbilly Days Barbecue Contest. We had heard rumors that it was a done deal at the Boone County Fair. But those rumors ended up being lies. Dirty, dirty lies! At least as of this writing, there is no listing for a Barbecue Contest on the Pufferbilly Days website.

Sorry people that were planning on coming to visit us on the Sunday of Pufferbilly Days. Tuesday might have been your last chance to see Baby Got Rack in action until at least May. When Baby Got Rack will cater my birthday party. If I have it. Which currently, everything trends to that happening.

Since I knew this was probably the last time Baby Got Rack would gird its loins for the field of barbecue battle, I took as many pictures as possible. Here are some of my favorites:


Iowa State Fair - 2018
Unloading.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Baby Got Rack’s Latest Superstar

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Fire!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
4 AM came early for this guy!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Injecting the Pork

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018
When you’re this stylish, you take a selfie!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
4 AM also came early for this guy!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Applying BGR’s Proprietary Rub

Iowa State Fair - 2018
That is a good looking piece of meat!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Seasoning the chicken!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Melissa is also our Interior Decorator.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Lots of competitors!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a team competition. Scottie D.’s name is the only one you’ll see in the record books.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Bryon rocking the swag!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Checking the meats! Arby’s got nothing on BGR, on so many levels.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Cutting up the pizza toppings.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Is that 2 types of bell peppers? I’ll never tell!

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Melissa, making magic.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Magic!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Crust!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Time to let the meat rest!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Delicious!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Mmmmm… Pork!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
I love our chicken. It still might be my favorite thing we make.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Seasoning Up!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Spreading the Sauce!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
(Wipes drool off of keyboard.)

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Cheese!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Sean! This guy is the chicken master, but he entered pork. He got 2nd place in Pork.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Starting to look like pizzas!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Barbecue Pizza

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Mediterranean Pizza

Iowa State Fair - 2018
They gave everybody that came a Participant Ribbon*. Some people put it up. We put it away. BGR doesn’t come to “participate”. BGR comes to dominate!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Pizza. Macro.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
The crowd starts to swell around our booth.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Pizza on the grill.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Picking out pieces for the judges.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Next year, we will have our own hashtag!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Piece for the judges.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Category Judges.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Scottie D. working his magic.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Giving the judges a sample of the meats.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Everybody loves this pizza!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
The Showmanship Judges.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Ed Wilson gave Scottie D. a fist bump.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Scottie D. was briefly on the news that night.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
There was one pizza catastrophe, but people didn’t care, They wolfed it down!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
People love free samples, but not everybody is what I would call appreciative.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Scottie D. being interviewed for the pseudo-radio broadcast.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
More free samples!

Iowa State Fair - 2018
The Grand Champion Judges.

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018
This is our favorite judge.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
The Secretary of Agriculture.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
We won our Category.

Iowa State Fair - 2018
Baby Got Rack Team Picture. Melissa refused to be in it for some reason.

There are plenty more pictures from the day’s event. If you want to peruse them, you should click on the link below:

BABY GOT RACK – 2018

That is probably all she wrote for this year’s Competitive Barbecue Season. I’m sure Baby Got Rack will be back in 2019, unless Scottie D. decides to open up a restaurant instead of all this small fish stuff. Many people wanted to know where our restaurant is and we had to break their heart.

Special thanks to everybody that came down to see us and support us:

Shannon
Barb Shedd
Michelle’s Parents

BGR out! Mic drop.

*I’m not one of those people that freaks out about giving out “participant” ribbons. I don’t suffer from the disease of toxic masculinity. If you want to give kids participant ribbons, it isn’t making them soft. It isn’t making them less competitive. It might even people helping their self-esteem. Which is fine by me.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 86

First of all, thanks to everybody who voted to determine what pictures I will enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I have the 6 entries determined and will be ordering them this weekend.

Pufferbilly Days is September 7, 8, and 9 this year. You can see the photos at the new KWBG Building. That is located on the corner of 9th and Keeler. I don’t know for certain, but my sister Carla will most likely be entering photos as well. She did last year and did very well. There is also a fair chance that frequent WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE contributor Mike Vest will be entering as well.

Other Pufferbilly Days activities you might enjoy watching. Bethany will be running in the 10K. I don’t that Willy is, but I bet he does.

I normally don’t recommend going to parades. They are boring. Too long. Also, they are boring. However, you might want to give some consideration to going to the parade this year. While it isn’t a certainty, there is a pretty good chance I’ll be in the parade for Boone First United Methodist Church. Represent!

Also, on September 8, I’ll be opening the doors of the Union Street Theater* for an Iowa State-Team Out East Game Watch. All Cyclone fans are invited! Hawk fans, I think I can find an old analog television I can set up for you to watch in the garage. Kickoff is 4 PM. There will be snacks. You never know, I might have a popcorn machine by then. Probably not though. I have an electricity thing that I need done and all my electrician type friends have fallen through.

There is a rumor that Baby Got Rack will be competing in a barbecue contest on the Sunday of Pufferbilly Days, but they don’t list such a contest on the Pufferbilly Days website, so stay tuned for more information on that. Otherwise, you can come down to the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday to support us as we compete in the barbecue contest down there. Although, admittedly, we won’t be going all out down there. If there is a Pufferbilly Days contest, we will be bringing out the Cow. Probably Sir-Pigs-a-Lot as well. Stay tuned!

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FEAR!


WEEK 152 - Fear
FEAR!


I would describe the difference between a FEAR photo and a SCARY photo as a SCARY photo is a picture of something SCARY while a FEAR photo is a reaction to something SCARY. However, feel free to interpret the theme any way you see fit.

Happy photo harvesting!

+++++++

A week or so back, a nice little storm ripped through Boone. I used it as a good opportunity to knock out Page 86 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 86
Page 86 – Use Exposure as a Metaphor

This is the water tower that is about a block from where I live. The exposure compensation for this picture was set at -2.3.

Although I took several pictures, only one can be physically adhered into the physical PHOTO JOURNAL. The physical PHOTO JOURNAL is housed at Photography 139 Studio. It can be seen by appointment. It is protected by the Photography 139 security dog when I am not there.

Here are the ones that won’t be in the book:


Page 86 - Reject
-4.3

Page 86 - Reject
-3.0

Page 86 - Reject
-2.7

Page 86 - Reject
-3.0

Page 86 - Reject
-4.0

Page 86 - Reject
-2.3

Page 86 - Reject
-2.0

Page 86 - Reject
-2.3

Page 86 - Reject
-2.3

Page 86 - Reject
-3.7

Page 86 - Reject
-4.0, but this one also had a lot of Photoshop tinkering done to it.

Next time we check into THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will probably visit Page 52, but nothing in life is certain, but death and taxes and Iowa football players getting arrested. For mistaking a police car. For an Uber.

*The Union Street Theater Movie Club’s August meeting will be August 26. Projector rolls at 6 PM. This month the double feature is bird themed. The B movie will be BIRDEMIC 2: THE RESURRECTION. The feature film will be the Alfred Hitchcock classic THE BIRDS. Snacks may also be bird themed. Or not. I have to talk to a guy.

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Entry Selection Process

It is once again time for me (and by me, I mean you guys) to pick out my photos to enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Once again, I am going to leave it up to a popular vote.

The Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest allows you to enter up to 6 photos.

There are 4 Categories:

1. Nature
2. Photojournalism
3. Photoshop Enhanced
4. Hidden Treasures of Boone County.

I was told that voting for the Boone County Fair was too complicated. A computer guy even told me it was a tough nut to crack. Therefore, I have made the process as easy as I can conceive this time. I had the QA guy from the Computer Mine Beta Test for me. Thanks Micky!

I have selected 60 images for you to consider. To simplify things, I have split the 60 photos into 6 sets of 10. If you wish to exercise your enfranchisement, clicking on the link below will take you to Poll #1. Vote for one of those pictures and then move onto the next poll, until you have voted in all six polls.

The winner of each poll will be entered into the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Click on the link below to start voting:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominees

Voting will end at midnight, August 8.

If you want to study up beforehand, keep scrolling down to see the nominees here:

POLL 1 – PHOTOSHOP


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10

POLL 2 – PHOTOJOURNALISM

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 3 – NATURE (FLOWERS)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 4 – NATURE (ANIMALS)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 5 – HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY (GROUP 1)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 6 – HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY (GROUP 2)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10


Thank you in advance for your time and your opinions!

Boone County Fair 2018 Results

I was involved in 2 contests at the Boone County Fair this year. Now that the fair is in the past and I’ve had adequate time for reflection, I think it is a good time to share the results from the contests I entered.

First, the Open Class Photography Contest. You may recall that I had people vote to decide what pictures I entered. These are the five that were voted in and what they received:


Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon

Boone County Fair - 2018
Purple Ribbon

Boone County Fair - 2018
Red Ribbon

Purple is the best. Red is the second worst, I guess. You can also get a white ribbon. I figured the reflection picture would resonate well with the Boone County Fair “judges”, because there is no obvious photographic technique. The subject is debatable. It doesn’t follow any rules for composition. To some degree, it is hard to tell what is in focus. It is a terrible photo contest photo. But it is a cool looking photo. You could print that up (perhaps on metal) and put that on your wall.

I reiterate, that I don’t enter photo contest to win ribbons. I just like to have pictures be seen. Whatever prize comes or doesn’t come, so be it.

I will run a similar program to pick out the pictures to be entered in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It will be slightly different because people struggled to figure out how to use the website, so I will try to make it as not tech savvy as I can. None of these pictures, nor the pictures from the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon will be eligible to be in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

That is my rule, not theirs. I never enter a photo in more than one photo contest. I will be bagging these photos up and be putting them in the Photo Contest trunk in the next couple of days. The trunk is running low on space, so I will be needing to upgrade or get another trunk in the near future.

Look for your chance to vote at the beginning of August.

The other contest I entered during the Boone County Fair was the Farm Bureau Cookoff. Technically Scottie D.’s name is the name on the entry, but this was a Baby Got Rack entry. Although, let us face it. Scott is the talent of Baby Got Rack.

There was a bit of confusion with the contest as the rules had changed quite a bit from previous years and also, were not well written. At our team meeting on the Thursday before the competition, there was much discussion about not even entering the contest.

According to the new rules, set up was at 1 PM and judging was at 4 PM. That is not enough time to smoke a piece of meat. It takes a minimum of 1 hour to get the fire going and the air circulation to where you want it. Then the quickest meat to smoke is pork loin. It needs to smoke for 2 hours. 1 hour 45 minutes at the least. Then it needs to rest for at least half an hour, otherwise all the juices will be lost when you cut into it.

There just isn’t time!

We thought about just showing up and winging it. We had once made a Chili Cheese Dog Pizza on a whim. It was delectable. It was delicious. We have never made it since.

On Friday, Scott talked to the people running the contest and they told him that we were allowed to show up and set up at 8 AM. That is enough time to do a rack of ribs right.

The other major change was the limitation of only being able to enter 2 categories.

At the Thursday meeting we must have went around in circles for hours about what 2 categories to enter. When the 1 PM rule disappeared, the answer became clear:

+Combination
+Pork

Here are a few pictures from Baby Got Rack’s day at the Boone County Fair:


Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018
Photo Cred: Dawn Krause

We took 1st Place in Combination.
We took 2nd Place in Pork.

That means that we will be going to the Iowa State Fair to compete on Tuesday, August 14th. If you are at the Fair that day, I would encourage you to come by and root us on. Judging will be at 10 AM.

After that, your next chance to try Baby Got Rack Barbecue will be at Pufferbilly Days. After that, you will have to wait until my birthday. Incidentally, the theme of my 2019 birthday party is going to be cargo shorts. It was going to be cargo shorts and jorts, but I have been told that jorts are considered stylish now. I don’t believe it, but I can’t take the risk!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Winterset Field Work – Solo Mission

Welcome to a bonus “An Artist’s Notebook” blog. A couple things before we get into the meat of this blog.

#1. Today Baby Got Rack will be competing at the Boone County Fair’s barbecue competition. They changed the rules from previous years. We are only allowed to enter to categories. We will be entering the Pork category with a tasty pork loin. We will also be entering the Specialty category with nachos. I believe the awards are announced around 4. Since you will already be there to watch the pig races, you might as well stop by Baby Got Rack’s area. There might be free samples.

#2. You can also duck into the Community Building to see the photos I entered in the photography contest. I think those usually go on display around 12 pm or so.

#3. Tomorrow night is The Union Street Movie Club’s monthly movie night. This month will be a triple feature. The B movie will be CHOSEN SURVIVORS. The feature will be AMERICAN MOVIE. Then we will conclude with the bonus of watching COVEN. Due to showing 3 movies, the projector will roll right at 6 PM. Don’t be late! We will be having pizza to celebrate Jay’s birth and Jay will be bringing a cake to celebrate America’s birth. It is going to get a little crazy.

+++++++

Later today I will be releasing a blog that will include pictures from the first time The Tenderloin Appreciation Society sat in judgment upon somebody’s tenderloin offering. Because of that, I can’t sit any longer on when I made a solo trip down to Winterset to evaluate a tenderloin.

I had been trying for months to get Scottie D. to commit to go down to Winterset to the Northside Cafe to evaluate their tenderloin. It placed second to the Webster City tenderloin in Iowa Pork Producers Tenderloin Contest in 2017. Only, I couldn’t get Scottie D. to commit. It was almost as if his love for the tenderloin was waning. I became concerned.

Back in May I took my birthday off from work. Nobody was around, so I decided to make a solo trip down to Winterset for lunch, even though I don’t actually like lunching alone.

Here are some pictures from the experience:


Tenderloining at Northside Cafe
The Afton Bridge Pork Tenderloin

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe
Lightly toasted bun.

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe
Chomp. Chomp.

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe
A flattering angle.

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe
Last couple of bites.

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

Tenderloining at Northside Cafe

For starters, let me say that Northside Cafe is cool, old and historic restaurant. It is probably a bit too fancy of a restaurant for a tenderloin to fill at home, but not too fancy to feel completely out of place on the menu.

My biggest complaint by far would be the service. I arrived at the restaurant a hair before noon and it took at least five minutes before I got seated. Even though I was the only person waiting to be seated.

Then after I ordered it took well over an hour before I got my food. They had forgot to make it.

My waitress, who was very nice and friendly. Stopped by at about the 65 minute mark of waiting and said, “You haven’t got your food yet, have you?”

That would be a negatory, Ghost Rider.

She apologized profusely and I got my food about 15 minutes later.

They were kind enough to give me my meal for free. So it wasn’t all bad.

THE VERDICT

THE GOOD

  • The meat to bun ratio 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 good thick breading.
  • The bun was toasted. Clearly a homemade bun. Not something that came frozen off a truck.
  • It is a clean restaurant with friendly service.
  • You can get old-fashioned sodas there.
  • The standard tenderloin does not include a tomato.
  • They made up for poor service by comping the meal.
  • They serve Picket Fence Ice Cream.

THE BAD

  • The standard tenderloin does have lettuce.
  • While juicy, the tenderloin did not have all that much flavor.
  • The breading on the onion rings was very floury tasting.

THE UGLY

  • Having to wait almost 90 minutes for food is awful. Especially when the restaurant is not busy and the food item you order takes 10 minutes to fix.
  • While they served a limited selection of old fashioned sodas, they served Coke products.  Mill Stream Root Beer, which isn’t a great root beer.

THE FINAL WORD

The Northside Cafe serves a good, but not great tenderloin. I would gladly eat it again, but I would not pursue it. It does not belong in the Tenderloin Pantheon with Nick’s or Cole’s or The Country House. However, it certainly isn’t a garbage tenderloin like The Lucky Pig or Gramma’s Kitchen or Thunderhead Sports Bar & Grill.

The Northside Cafe is a cool historic restaurant though. I would definitely like to eat there again at some point. They acknowledged their mistake with the poor service and they made amends.

NEXT UP

About a month after I went to The Northside Cafe, Scottie D. emerged from his hiatus and we supped at Roosters in Boone. That review will be published in about 2 weeks, give or take.

Maquoketa Caves State Park: Chapter 1

An announcement!

Today is the beginning of the Boone County Fair. On Saturday, Baby Got Rack will be competing in the Barbecue Competition. You should come out an support us. I think we will be there pretty much all day. I think judging is at 4 PM.

See you there!

You can also check out the photos I entered in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest.

+++++++

Jay, Willy, and I hopped in the car and went on a road trip to Maquoketa Caves State Park. At this point, I’ve published every ancillary photo from the trip, but not the pictures from the actual Caves State Park.

I begin that process now.

It was a brutally hot and humid day. Spending time in caves was very refreshing. However, the day had the worst photographic conditions you can imagine. The lighting was brutal.

I soldiered on though.

Here is the first batch of pictures from Maquoketa Caves State Park:


Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip
Photo Cred: Jay Janson

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip
Photo Cred: Jay Janson

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

More pictures from this epic adventure coming your way soon!

Take the Time to Plant

I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.
― Herbert Rappaport

Digging deep into the backlog here. The following are pictures from an August 2016 trip to the Iowa State Fair. Yes, I have pictures from 2016 I still haven’t even edited.

As many of you know, I the Discovery Garden is my favorite place on the Iowa State Fair fairgrounds. Every trip to the State Fair I make a stop there. This is often when I tell the people that go with me, go do something else. I’ll meet up with you later.

This particular trip to the State Fair was when Baby Got Rack was competing in the Farm Bureau Barbecue Contest. While the meat was smoking, I snuck over and grabbed these photos.


Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair

Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair
Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair