Category Archives: Animals

Just Put Down “Cause Unknown”

I would be remiss if I didn’t start by pointing out today is the anniversary of 9/11. It has been 18 years since terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes and murdered over 3,000 people in senseless acts of violence.

The United States went to war shortly thereafter, and we have been at war in one country or another constantly since then. On that day an unsuccessful real estate magnate and trust fund baby went on television and incorrectly bragged that his building was “now the tallest building in New York City”.

I’m not a trust fund baby, a serial liar, or a sociopath so I spent most of that day working at the Campustown Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. I wasn’t the store manager yet. I would call myself the virtual store manager. I had pretty much all the responsibilities of a store manager, but none of the pay. The store manager was technically a guy named Mike Booth. He only worked part-time.

I was the 8-4 manager on that day. That meant that I spent the morning balancing all the books from the previous day and putting out whatever fires had happened in the morning. The fires I was putting out that morning were inventory related. We were short a ton of product and I spent my morning calling around to the other Evil Clown Empire outposts trying to find products to get us through until the truck arrived.

Driving around and getting stock from other stores was one of the few parts of the job I enjoyed. It got me out of the store. Sometimes, that was more than enough.

Back then, I listened to Lazer 103.3. This was a radio station that played a brand of music I would describe as “I’m-So-Angry-I’m-A-White-Male-So-I-Was-Born-with-a-Certain-Amount-of-Privilege-But-I’m-Still-So-Angry-Because-I-Have-No-Understanding-of-Systematic-Oppression”. Sometimes it is called hard rock. The bands that were putting out Angry White Male Music back then were particularly dreadful, but I listened to plenty of them back then I suppose. I was a White Male, with certain pockets of suppressed anger, I’m sure. I’m not a psychiatrist. I just can’t think of another excuse for why I owned a Godsmack CD.

On 103.3 in the mornings was a show called Mancow’s Morning Madhouse. When I reflect upon it, it was incredibly inane. I once remember hearing that people want irreverence on the radio in the morning. I’m sure Mancow offered plenty of irreverence and on the rare occasions, just enough clever to keep me tuning in.

When the first plane hit I was driving around Ames with a car full of McDonald’s products. On the radio they reported that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. They joked about it. They had no clue about the seriousness of what happened. None of us did.

The image that called up was of a small one engine plane where the pilot had mistakenly slammed into the World Trade Center. A plane had done that recently to the Empire State Building.

Mancow and his cast of characters described the visual as similar to a cartoon, where a cartoon runs through a wall and their body leaves an outline in the wall. I’ll never forget that comparison.

When I got back to Campus, almost everybody was in the lobby staring at the televisions. We had 3 televisions in the lobby. When I saw the visual, I realized that the Mancow characterization wasn’t accurate. Whatever hit the World Trade Center wasn’t a single engine plane. It was something considerably larger.

I still had no real conception at what was happening. I dropped off the products. While I was doing that, the second plane hit the second tower. I remember people freaking out that watched it live on our lobby televisions.

Things had changed now. Now I knew that this wasn’t some freak accident. This was on purpose. However, I still had a job to do. I got back in my car and went to the next store to collect more products to bring back.

It was about the time I returned to Campus that the second tower collapsed. I was still listening to Mancow. I honestly wasn’t sure if it was a joke. Mancow was known for their pranks, and their pranks were often truly tasteless. They screamed when the tower fell. Their reactions seemed genuine, but I turned to a different radio station to confirm. I didn’t really believe it was happening. Unfortunately, the other radio station confirmed that it was true.

We were living in a new world now.

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One of the few things that can bring my spirits up is looking at cute animals. I reached into the 2018 backlog and found some macros of the cutest little guy.


Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

It always feel good to knock another piece of the backlog off.

Selfie Project – August

Now seems like a good time to check-in with my favorite pictures from my August SELFIE PROJECT pictures.

It would seem that I had a successful month of August. I met Vice-President Joe Biden. I competed in a barbecue contest at the Iowa State Fair. I also competed in a photography contest at the Iowa State Fair. I dine at a Brazilian Steakhouse totally not for Jay’s birthday. I went to an air show. I met my great nephew. I went to the Minnesota State Fair. I dined at Zeno’s. I went to an Iowa State football game.

Here are my favorites:


August 1, 2019
August 1

August 2, 2019
August 2

August 3, 2019
August 3

August 4, 2019
August 4

August 5, 2019
August 5

August 9, 2019
August 9

August 10, 2019
August 10

August 11, 2019
August 11

August 13, 2019
August 13

August 15, 2019
August 15

August 17, 2019
August 17

August 18, 2019
August 18

August 23, 2019
August 23

August 24, 2019
August 24

August 25, 2019
August 25

August 26, 2019
August 26

August 29, 2019
August 29

August 30, 2019
August 30

August 31, 2019
August 31

I’m not sure I’ve had as busy of a September, but I guess we’ll find out in October when I get a chance to look back at it.

2009-05-29

There are a wide variety of pictures in the folder 2009-05-29. They range from pictures of socks that Shannon made to Ernie trimming trees to baby worst birds to invites to my housewarming party to pictures Sara took at my housewarming party.


Baby Grackles

Baby Grackles

Shannon Socks

Shannon Socks

Cherries

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

The guy in the picture with me and Jesse was my neighbor across the street from me. He would sometimes drop by at all hours of the night. He was a good guy, but his struggles overcame him and he passed away a couple years after this picture was taken.

However, looking at these pictures, it does inspire me to bring back the birthday party in 2020. I’m about 95% sure that I will.

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

The Fruit of the Mystery Trees
Mr. Bunyan
Memorial Day Backyard
Shindy
Housewarming Invites

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve flowers.

Selfie Project – July

Usually I don’t like to get this late into a month before I publish my favorite photos from the previous months SELFIE PROJECT, but I guess I’ve been busy and I’ve really been trying to be diligent with hitting up that 2018 backlog.

I don’t know that I did anything that was as interesting as what I did in June, but it wasn’t the worst month of the year for me.

Here are my favorites from July:


July 3, 2019
July 3

July 5, 2019
July 5

July 6, 2019
July 6

July 8, 2019
July 8

July 9, 2019
July 9

July 11, 2019
July 11

July 12, 2019
July 12

July 13, 2019
July 13

July 14, 2019
July 14

July 15, 2019
July 15

July 18, 2019
July 18

July 19, 2019
July 19

July 20 , 2019
July 20

July 21, 2019
July 21

July 24, 2019
July 24

July 26, 2019
July 26

July 27, 2019
July 27

July 28, 2019
July 28

July 31, 2019
July 31

I’d like to think that I’ve done some borderline interesting stuff in August so far, with a couple things left to go. A trip to Zeno’s. A trip to the Minnesota State Fair. The first Iowa State football game are all left to go!

WPC – WEEK 205 – FLOWER

Much to the chagrin of floraphobes like Russell Kennerly, FLOWER proved to be an exceedingly popular theme. Possible the most submissions ever for one theme in the 6 year history of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

There is even a first time submission from Elizabeth. At the Computer Mine there is a Photo Bar across from the kitchen. Every year there is something of a “photo contest” to get employee photography up. I think there is 12 or 14 pictures that go up. Elizabeth got 2 pictures selected for display this year. Which shocked me because I didn’t even know that Elizabeth took pictures. A self-described Ansel Adams was right under my nose and I didn’t even know it. This week was her first submission, but I hope that it won’t be the last.

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


WEEK 205 - FLOWER - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 205 - JODIE CUE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 205 - JODIE CUE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 205 - FLOWER -CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 205 - FLOWER - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

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


WEEK 206 - RED
RED

RED! What a great theme! But what is RED photo? A RED photo is any photo where the subject is RED or where RED is significant to the photo.

There were no ideas submitted for themes for Year 7 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, so next year you guys will be totally at my mercy. I’ve already selected the 52 themes and randomized them. Hooray me!

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HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

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

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

OR

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

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

That is it, them’s the rules.


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

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

+++++++

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

Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Results

The Iowa State Fair is almost over. While this publishes I should be at the Iowa State Fair having recently picked up the photos I entered in this year’s Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. They’ll be nice and packed up. Ready for the trip home. Ready to be placed in the Photo Contest Trunk. Although at this point, there are actually two Photo Contest Trunks.

Since you can no longer wander around the Photography Salon looking for my picture it is time to reveal the pictures I entered and which one got in…


Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - 2019
Not accepted for display.

Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - 2019
Honorable Mention

Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - 2019
Not selected for display.

Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - 2019
Not selected for display.

So every year is different and you never really know what the judges will like from year to year (this year, they were really into clowns and setting steel wool on fire), which is why it makes it one of the most difficult and most prestigious contests in the country. People from all over the United States enter it. Which is rare. For example, the photo contest at the Minnesota State Fair doesn’t even allow people from outside of Minnesota to enter it.

It is an accomplishment to get one picture in.

3169 pictures were entered.
757 pictures were exhibited.
207 received ribbons.
1714 Adult color pictures were entered.
313 were exhibited.
476 Adult black and white pictures were entered.
154 were exhibited.

This is the first time in years where I didn’t enter a flower or black & white picture. I’ll need to correct that next year.

The hardest category to get a pictured exhibited was Color Plants, Flowers & Trees. Only 13% of entered pictures were exhibited.

Finally there were 15 photographers that entered from Boone County.

I suppose I should start making plans for next year’s contest. Getting caught up on the backlog would probably be a good start.