Category Archives: Contests

Can You Smell What the People’s Champ is Cookin’?

I’m sure I mixed up that pro wrestling reference. I don’t watch pro wrestling. I went to college.

That being said, here are some pictures from Baby Got Rack’s day at the Pufferbilly Day Barbecue Contest:



Marcus whipping up a batch of Marfins. Not to be confused with Scuffins. Which is an entirely different thing.


That’s not Tone’s. That is our proprietary rub.


Vote 5! Stay alive! It sounds like a threat but, well maybe it was a threat.


Not all of our trophies are on display. That Coke can might have been self-awarded.


I made 6 gallons of Thick Soul Sweet Tea. Secret ingredient… more sugar.


Marcus’ sidewalk chalk rendition of Sir Pigs-a-Lot.


Pork loins going on Fat Boy. (The bigger smoker isn’t really named Fat Boy.)


Chicken coming off Little Man. (The smaller smoker isn’t really named Little Man.)


Scottie D. and I (mostly Scottie D.) brokered a deal for a silver pig from Paradox. We partnered with them (Baby Got Rack is all about synergy) at first to borrow the pig for the day. But then we sweetened the deal with a gallon of Thick Soul Sweet Tea and a ton of barbecue and that pig came come with me. Part of the partnering process included our bull getting a picture taken with their bull. If you have never checked out Paradox, I would highly recommend it. It is a pretty sweet store with some pretty sweet stuff.


We handed out pork loin sliders. Marcus cut the meat. I cut the buns. Scottie D. worked the crowd.


Scottie D. working the crowd.


The line for Baby Got Rack! Is that famous Flat Earth Theorist Joe Lynch in the crowd. You better believe it!


Bull working the crowd. My Mom pouring people stiff cups of Thick Soul Sweet Tea.


Did we win the kid’s vote? You bet your bottom donut! I’m being told that most people don’t use donuts for currency. I’m confused.




Baby Got Rack currently has two kinds of barbecue sauce. S + M and for the more daring sorts Anaconda Picosa. Story about that later.


Look at that line! People’s Champs!


Mmmmmmmm… Do you want to know what is in our injection? Love and goodness and other stuff.


Maybe we’ll do pork loin for my birthday next year. Maybe I won’t do a birthday party next year. One never knows.


Fat Boy cooling off.


This guy stopped by in the morning when we didn’t have any food to give out. We recruited him to come back and HE DID! Feeling the Baby Got Rack love!


Always time for a selfie with Bull!


Look at all these votes!


Note the silver pig.


People’s Choice!

First, thanks to Carla for taking many of these pictures.

Second, 2 quick stories.

Story 1

I told you we had two sauces: S + M and Anaconda Picosa. Anaconda Picosa is our spicier sauce. Scottie D.’s job while working the crowd was to explain the difference between the two sauces to the people. One guy approached the table and Scottie D. said, “Are you trying the Sweet + Mild?”

The guy stared Scottie D. down. There was 5 seconds of silence. Then he said, “Do I look Sweet + Mild?” He paused and then continued, “I’m an anaconda!”

He might’ve flexed after that, I’m not sure because I was laughing so hard.

Story 2

This one is creepier.

One of the other barbecue combatants arrived at Baby Got Rack’s tent early in the morning. To deliver this message:

“I’m going to win the People’s Choice Award this year. My niece… well she’s smokin’ hot. When it is time to give out samples, I’m going to have her come up here and hand out the samples dressed all sexy.”

There was some manly banter that I definitely don’t want to bore any females in the audience with.

A few hours later, he came back. This time, he had his niece with him. Holding a pan of samples for us to try.

“See what I’m saying?” He blurted out.

All I’m going to say is he better get a sexier niece for next year, cause you know who went home with that People’s Choice Award!

Finally, if you want to see all the Baby Got Rack images from 2016 (there might even be a picture of that niece in there) click on the link below:

BABY GOT RACK – 2016

That concludes the competitive barbecue season for 2016, but I’m sure Baby Got Rack will be back with a vengeance in 2017! Winning all the hearts and minds and trophies!

State Champs!

As some may have heard from various social media outlets or via press release, Baby Got Rack competed at the Iowa State Fair barbecue contest in the Combination category last Tuesday and brought home the championship.

Word on the street is that we were very close to winning the Grand Championship, but fell just short because we didn’t have our own barbecue sauce. An oversight that has been remedied. 4X over.

Here are a few photos from the day.





We were set up and ready to rock by 5 AM.


This corn dog stand can take a long walk off a short pier.


Marcus holding down the smoker.


Chicken and pork loin on!


IPTV setup a timelapse camera in our booth, but didn’t use the footage in their show.


Meat check.


Meat resting.


This guy’s shirt. Came to the right place.


60 total barbecue combatants.


Never hurts to work the Staties.


Getting the pizza ready.


The Marriage Saver


Scott and the judges.


Cynthia Fodor spent quite a bit of time hanging around our booth.


Media Obligations


More Media Obligations


Even More Media Obligations. This interview was on IPTV.

The Grand Champion Judges


Scott receiving his award. If we would’ve won Grand Champion, he would’ve gotten that crown.

I also took some pictures of the preparations, but we don’t want any of the trade secrets going public.

If you’re sad you missed Baby Got Rack’s most recent competition, we will be competing again during the Pufferbilly Days barbecue contest. We will be looking to defend our People’s Choice Award. We have a few tricks up our sleeve for this one. An ace in the hole from a marketing standpoint. Almost as good as our trademark fedoras.

Some come up and try our free samples on Sunday, September 11. Downtown Boone. Follow the smell of smoky and goodness. Vote for Baby Got Rack! The one vote you can cast this fall that you won’t regret later.

Baby Got Awards

For the third time in as many years I was an auxiliary member of the award winning competitive barbecue team Baby Got Rack at the Pufferbilly Days Barbecue Contest. In many ways the Pufferbilly Days Barbecue Contest was a much bigger success than in previous years. There were 15 teams competing and I’d guess that there were over 200 people there milling around and trying the free samples from the teams competing.

Here are a few pictures from the competition:






















As you can see, Baby Got Rack came home with multiple awards. 3rd Place for chicken. 2nd Place for pork loin, 3rd Place overall (no trophy), and the first ever Peoples Choice Award. It is not a coincidence that a well-documented “Man of the People” like me and Scottie D. would work for and attain such a prestigious award.

The secret to Baby Got Rack’s success, besides incredible teamwork and charisma? Well, Scottie D. makes the injection and House makes the rub. Other than that, you’ll have to spy on one of our team meetings.

If you are an aspiring graphic designer and work for the price of next to nothing, Baby Got Rack is looking for a logo to help brand the team on its adventures moving forward. If you have ideas and sketches, I might be able to get you invited to the next team meeting. However, you might be searched for a wire. The world of competitive barbecue is cutthroat. We take no chances.

If you are the observant type of person, you may have noticed that this is the second appearance by Scottie D. in less than a week. That is not completely random. All part of a new philosophy that I’ve adopted. He just doesn’t know it.

My new philosophy has a name. If you ask, I won’t tell you.

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On an unrelated note, as the barbecue contest is really beginning to take off, it seems like the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest is beginning to peter out. There were less than 20 photo entries this year. I haven’t entered the contest in probably 7 or 8 years. In that time all of the best photographers I know have also stopped entering. I don’t know why they stopped entering, but I know the reasons why I stopped entering. Those reasons don’t stand up to scrutiny when placed under my new philosophy. Therefore, if the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest returns next year, I intend on throwing my hat back into the ring. Hopefully, I will get my hat back afterwards. I like that hat.

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One other personal note, I had another great personal victory on Sunday. While shopping at the book store in Boone I found a book I have coveted for years and years and years. A book that I would have gladly paid a princely fortune to obtain. Only I didn’t have to pay a princely fortune. It was in a collection of books that were available to take as many as you could fit into a bag for 2 dollars, American.

At this time I will keep the details of that book a secret to only those that would understand its greatness and significance. However, believe me, you will be hearing about this book again 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.”*

*That was a clue, in case you are denser than osmium.

State Fair 2012

Now that the State Fair has all but concluded, I thought I would share the picture that was accepted into this year’s Photography Salon:


Truth Perception
Truth Perception

Micky gets the assist credit on this photo. He is the one that plucked this lotus from Lake Augustin and placed it in my care. Then I set it on fire.

I would reveal the other 3 submissions that were rebuked, but I don’t want to hurt their feelings and I’m afraid that couldn’t take the public humiliation. My pictures have very tender souls.

For those of you wondering, I will not be doing the Pufferbilly Day Photo Contest this year. I’m either retired or semi-retired from that contest. In fact, I’m pretty sure the State Fair Photography Salon is the only photo contest I will pursue in the future.

However, my mind has been known to change every now and again.

Having other people select my entrants was kind of fun.


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State Fairing It Up!

I made it to the State Fair twice this year. I went once on a Friday to see Maroon 5 with Jill. Then on the last day of the Fair I went with my Mom. I met up with Derrick, Jen, and Evie. We ran into Sara, Shawn, and Cousin Amy. Here are some pictures from those trips:



Jill in front of the picture of her at the Photography Salon.


Jill with her turkey leg.


The damage she did to that turkey leg.


Even though Jill is a Legacy Member of the Maroon 5 Fan Club, she felt our seats could have been better…


I thought that they were pretty good.
















For some reason, Maroon 5 played before Train. Don’t know why, but at least we didn’t have to endure Train.












Evie loves baby animals!




Evie is a toe wiggler!




Evie supports winners!


We heard the following at this stand a lot: “1 fried butter on a stick and a bottle of water, please!”




You can’t imagine how hard it was for me NOT to photoshop that terrible Hawk logo out of this picture, but trust me, despite what his wardrobe is telling the world, Shawn is a good guy. He just doesn’t know how to dress.


With the 2nd Place Picture


With the Honorable Mention Picture


Some people view this as impressive.

Looking forward to next year’s fair already!

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest

These are the pictures I entered in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest and the person that selected the picture:



Derrick Gorshe


Jen Gorshe


Russell Kennerly


Dawn Krause


Scottie D.

The Girl in the Blue Skirt
Rebecca Peterson

Thanks to everybody who took their time and energy to select pictures for me this year!

The picture that Dawn chose got 2nd Place in Black & White. My original intent for next year’s selectors was to bring back all of the people that had chose an award winning photo in the past few years, but my fire for photo contests has kind of been extinguished. Not that I might not reconsider, but I think that this might have been my last photo contest. Or at the very least the last time I enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

State Fair Results

Now that the State Fair has ran its inevitable course, I can reveal what pictures I entered in the State Fair Photography Salon.



Drenched in Loneliness (Honorable Mention Iowa Places)


I Recommend Pleasant


Must Be Truth

The Girl in the Blue Skirt
The Girl in the Blue Skirt (2nd Place Black & White Flower)

I guess this means I need to start focusing some effort on the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Personal Photo Project of the Week #79

This is not meant to be a “tooting my own horn” thing. That is not something I do. In fact, I don’t even own me a horn. This is just a statement of facts for interested parties. Both of you. You know who you are.

Several weeks back I selected and put together my entries for the State Fair Photography Salon. A couple weeks back I got the card in the mail that tells you if you got any photos in and if you did, how many.

This year the card looked something like this:




I can’t mention success without mentioning failure. Success leads to backslapping, which leads to complacency, which stunts growth. For the last 4 years, the card said “Get out of here kid. You got no future!” So while this year’s card might not be that motivating, it was a more pleasant read.

Again, I’m not bragging. I’m not an award person. Awards don’t factor into my motivations in anything that I do. Whatever award I get will go into the photo contest trunk with all the other past photo contest pictures and awards. But I do want to give you some statistics and then you can determine if this was an accomplishment or if this was just luck.

Last year a little over 1,500 people entered this contest. 8 people got all 4 of their pictures accepted for display. I don’t know how many people entered the contest this year, but only 5 people got all 4 of their pictures accepted for display.

For having all of your pictures displayed, you get the Superintendent’s Award of Merit. I assume that is the award I got, but it is feasible that one of my pictures got another award of some kind. The Award Ceremony is this Sunday, but I won’t be able to attend. I had already made my vacation plans for that day, so I’ll be celebrating by having brunch with Jill at Hell’s Kitchen while the ceremony is going down. Or we might be at an Arts Festival in Minneapolis. It depends on how the day lines up, but I won’t be able to make it to the Awards Ceremony.

Wondering what four pictures I entered? The only way to find out will be to go to the State Fair and see for yourself. However, I will give you a one word clue for each picture:

1. Daisy
2. Foster
3. Barn
4. Jill

Good luck finding them!