Category Archives: Baby Got Rack

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

Freedom and Flowers

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?
-Oscar Wilde

Before we get into the meat of today’s blog, we need to start with…


Iowa State 14 TCU 7
Happy 4th of July!

I hope you had an continue to have an enjoyable 4th of July!

+++++++

Time to hit up the back log and publish more pictures from Donna Jones’s flower bed!


Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

Donna Jones' Flowers

There are more of Donna Jones’ flowers in the hopper. For those of you that are fans of “flower porn” as Micky likes to call it.

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The votes have been tabulated and these are the photos that I will be entering in the Boone County Fair:


No. 8
#1

No. 45
#2

No. 43
#3

No. 12
#3

No. 21
#5

Technically there was a frog picture that got more votes than the picture of Shorty, but I’m not going a photo contest without entering a black & white image.

Thanks to the people that voted: Sarah Karber, Michelle, Micky, Vest, Mom, Teresa, Shannon, Kio, Aunt Linda, Jordan, Andy, and all of the fellow SmugMuggers that voted.

If you want to see the photos in the flesh (so to speak) they will be on display at the Community Building at the Boone County Fairgrounds. on July 21 and 22.

Baby Got Rack will also probably be competing on July 21. So mark your calendar!

We will do something similar when it comes to the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

You Know I’ll Leave ‘Em Changing; ‘Cause You Know I’m Real with It; Don’t Care if You Feeling It!

The world wasn’t ready for these alternate TOY images on Monday. Most of these pictures are taken in the Photography 139 Backyard Studio where photography was often disturbed by 2 raucous dogs that had a whole yard to play in, but seemed to want to only play right on top of my rubber dinosaurs.

The flower image is from one of my Mom’s flower pots. It was taken with the TOY special effects setting on the trusty old Alpha 77ii.

However, the images that really might make you stand up and go “Huh?” are of the ginorumous smoker.

The smoker is the new smoker for Baby Got Rack. It was purchased in Louisville from another award winning barbecue man and shipped all the way up to Iowa. Many people have asked when will be their next opportunity to try some award winning Baby Got Rack barbecue.

You could try crashing a Catholic anniversary party in a few weeks.

Otherwise, the only competition that Baby Got Rack is currently eyeing is the Farm Bureau contest at the Boone County Fair.

Other than that, you’ll have to wait for my birthday extravaganza in 2019. I’m guaranteeing that it will happen again in 2019. I just have to settle on a theme. I’m thinking the theme might be “Jorts & Cargo Shorts”. That way the invitations will be easy to make.

Next year my birthday is on a Saturday, so I can actually hold the shindig on my birthday. It would be perfect timing. You can go to your favorite graduate’s open house and then come sit around to the fire tub and listen to KNMA Radio – The Power Retriever.

We’ll see.

Okay, I can’t hold the TOY alternates back any longer:


Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

You’re welcome world!

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!