Category Archives: Contests

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!

Iowa State Fair Photography Salon – 2017

Now that the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon is officially over, I can reveal what picture was accepted for display and what 3 pictures were given the shaft.

Iowa State Fair - 2017

In case you didn’t know, the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon is one of the hardest photo competitions in the world. They only accept about 20% of the photos entered. Now you know.

The following pictures did not fare so well. The judges looked them square in the eye and said, “Get out of here kid. You have no future!”

Iowa State Fair - 2017

Iowa State Fair - 2017

Iowa State Fair - 2017

The next photo contest on the docket is the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Those pictures have been selected by my hearty crew of volunteers and their order has been placed. You can check out those entries on the corner of 8th and Story in downtown Boone starting Thursday, September 7.

Here is a bonus picture:

Sara and Cousin Amy

Sara sent me a picture of she and Cousin Amy finding my picture at the Photography Salon!

Baby Got Domination

For the second straight year, Baby Got Rack competed at the Boone County Fair barbecue competition. Sponsored by State Farm or Farm Bureau or some insurance company.

Here are a few snaps from the very, very, very hot day:

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR - Boone County Fair 2017

BGR needs to thank Jesse for bulling it up, Willy for taking some of the photos, and for all of our super fans that came out to support us.

I honestly can’t remember how we did exactly, but I think it went something like this:

Tied for Best Overall for Lamb
Won Lamb
Won Pork
Won Turkey
2nd in Chicken
3rd in Beef

Or something like that.

By winning a category, we clinched a birth at the State Fair barbecue competition. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to contend because some of us have to adult on that day.

However, Baby Got Rack will be back at it during the Pufferbilly Days Barbecue Contest. If it is the same as last year, it will be on the Sunday of Pufferbilly days on the corner of 8th and Story.

So come down on Sunday, September 3. Look at the Photo Contest photos and then come over for some award winning barbecue. You won’t be disappointed!

You CAN Call it a Comeback

I can officially announce now that I have unretired from “competing” in photography contests.

For the first time in a couple years I entered photos in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. I will have one photo displayed at the Iowa State Fair. Don’t ask me which one, because I don’t know and I’m not even sure I remember what I entered at this point. Seems like a long time ago.

However, I was inspired by Baby Got Rack competing in the barbecue contest at the Boone County Fair, I decided to enter some photos in the Open Class at that same fair. Here is what I entered:

Boone County Fair - 2017
Ionized Gas

Boone County Fair - 2017
Peas Creek

Boone County Fair - 2017

Boone County Fair - 2017
Ledges Reflection

Boone County Fair - 2017
Cole School

Each image got a Blue Ribbon. It had been approximately 15 years since the last time I entered the Boone County Fair. Seemed like it was about time and I owe a debt of gratitude to Mike Vest for getting the pictures mounted so I had something to enter.

However, that isn’t all. Here is where it gets exciting! I’ve decided to keep all this participation momentum going and enter the Pufferbilly Days Contest for the first time in maybe at least 7 or 8 years.

I’m also going to bring back the way I used to pick my Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Photos. That means I’m not going to pick at all. I’m going to let 6 lucky Photography 139 fans pick the images.

At some point later this week, I’m going to publish the following photo on Instagram:

Picture of the 1385 taken by my Dad

When that photo gets posted, the first 6 people that leave a comment on that photo stating that they want to be a Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Selector, will get there wish and be just that. They will have access to about 50 images and the picture they pick, I will enter.

If I can’t find 6 people that want to be selectors, well we will fall through that bridge when we get to it.

Baby Got Rack is Back!!

Baby Got Rack opens their competitive barbecue season tomorrow at the Boone County Fair!

You should probably make it a point to be there in the ballpark of 4 PM when the judging begins. Last year we were next to the bunnies. I’d imagine that is where we’ll be again.

But let’s take a fond look back at Baby Got Rack last year:

Don’t call it a comeback…

We’ve been here for years…

We’re rocking our peers…

Puttin’ suckers in fear…

Makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon…

Listen to the bass go boom…

Explosions, overpowerin’…

Over the competition we’re towerin’…

Wrecking shop when I write these lyrics…

That’ll make you call the cops…

Don’t you dare stare…

You better move…

Don’t ever compare…

Us to the rest..

That’ll all get sliced and diced…

Competition’s payin’ the price!

If you get there around 4 PM, you can get your picture taken with our currently unnamed bull mascot. Heck! You might even be able to give him a name!

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:


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.


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.


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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