Category Archives: Ruins

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 137 – ARCHITECTURE

A good week of submissions for ARCHITECTURE. I have no doubt that my outhouse picture inspired many a person to submit this week. This week, the Photography 139 Empire extended as far east as Chicago. As far north as Roland, Iowa. As far west as the Des Moines Airport. As far south as the Indianola area. There is some guesswork in these estimations.

The exciting development this week is that we have a first time contributor! Linda Clark submitted 2 photos. I’m expecting big things from her in the future!

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


WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 137 - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - LINDA CLARK
Linda Clark

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - LINDA CLARK
Linda Clark

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - SARAH KARBER
Sarah Karber

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - SHANNON BARDOLE
Shannon Bardole

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 137 - ARCHITECTURE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

A solid week of submissions!

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 138 - CITY
CITY!


CITY! What a great theme! But what does it mean? CITY photography would be a picture of a CITY or a picture that takes place uniquely in a CITY. But what is a CITY?

Here is a handy dandy breakdown of settlement hierarchy Wikipedia:

Ecumenopolis – a theoretical construction in which the entire area of Earth that is taken up by human settlements, or at least, that those are linked so that to create urban areas so big that they can shape an urban continuum through thousands of kilometers which cannot be considered as a megalopolis. As of the year 2009, the United Nations estimated that for the first time more than 50% of the world’s populations lived in cities, so if these were linked, the total population of this area would be about 3,400,000,000 people as of 2010.
Megalopolis – a group of conurbations, consisting of more than ten million people each.
Conurbation – a group of large cities and their suburbs, consisting of three to ten million people.
Metropolis – a large city and its suburbs consisting of multiple cities and towns. The population is usually one to three million.
Large city – a city with a large population and many services. The population is <1 million people but over 300,000 people.
City – a city would have abundant services, but not as many as a large city. The population of a city is between 100,000 and 300,000 people.
Large town – a large town has a population of 20,000 to 100,000.
Town – a town has a population of 1,000 to 20,000.
Village – a village is a human settlement or community that is larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town. A village generally does not have many services, most likely a church or only a small shop or post office. The population of a village varies; the average population can range from hundreds to thousands.
Hamlet – a hamlet has a tiny population (<100) and very few (if any) services, with only a few buildings. Isolated dwelling – an isolated dwelling would only have 1 or 2 buildings or families. It would have negligible services, if any. Quite frankly, I don't care what you call a CITY. I mean, unless you call Beaver, Iowa a city. If any of you send me a picture of Beaver, Iowa... God help you! But on the other hand, go nuts in Story City or Albert City or Charles City or Dakota City or Decatur City or Prairie City or Promise City. As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

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

The latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication and sign on for a Photography 139 Email Subscription is Linda Clark. I honestly don’t know much about her, other than she is a relative of Andy Sharp and he says she has an interest in photography. Welcome aboard Linda! If you see her, feel free to give her a knowing glance and teach her the super-secret Photography 139 Handshake.

**************************************

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 urban Monday!

Miller Estate Auction

This is one of probably 2 entries for An Artist’s Notebook about my Saturday morning last. This is about the later part of my morning, but you must know a little bit about the early morning to understand how this strange turn of events happened.

The earliest part of my morning was spent at Dickcissel Park with Naima. Things there went slightly sideways and I ended up having to be late for my normal Saturday morning breakfast with my Mom. We normally breakfast at The Whistle Stop Cafe because they have tasty pancakes (and I’m what you would call an expert on tasty pancakes #pancakelife), good service, and they are literally the only breakfast game in town since The Legal Limit shuttered their doors.

I mean, a person could lower themselves to eating at The Avenue of the Saints Cafe, but it is the answer to the age old question:

Is it possible to make something worse than Golden Corral?

Answer: Yes, The Avenue of the Saints Cafe.

The main drawback to The Whistle Stop Cafe is that it is tiny. There are maybe 4 booths, a couple of tables thrown up on the side, and maybe 10 or so counter stools. When we drove by the Whistle Stop Cafe, we were saddened to see that it was overflowing with customers. We needed a new plan.

We decided to head out to the Don Williams Clubhouse. It is about a 15 mile drive from Boone, but it served breakfast and it is under new management. We wanted to see if the new management has game.

The easiest way to get from the Whistle Stop to Don Williams is to head by Water Works and on past Fraser. However, on Wednesday night, Carla contacted me to let me know that there was a flock of swans (possibly) at the J. Carlson Wildlife area, between Boone and Ogden.

On Wednesday night I went out there and had a peek. It turned out that it wasn’t a bevy. It was a brief or a pod or a pouch or a scoop or a squadron. It was a group of pelicans is what I was getting at. On Wednesday I efforted to get a photo of them, but I couldn’t get a good angle on them.

On Thursday, I went back. They were gone. However, I did get a photo of an egret, so not all was lost.

On Saturday morning, I decided to take Old 30 to Ogden and then up County Road P70 to Don Williams to see if those pelicans had returned. They were, but none of that is important to the story.

Due to the chosen route, we picked up Carla and made our way towards breakfast.

On our way through Ogden, at the intersection of Old 30 and P70, we stumbled across a sizable auction. My people have auction in their blood from way back*. Possibly why I had a cousin once state:

I’m impressed how well you and your siblings turned out, considering the white trash you come from. #neverforget

But you know that he has the complete and utter moral ground to make statements like that. It isn’t like he ever ended up in prison or anything like that. I can’t hate.

While my tummy made the decision that we didn’t have time to stop at this auction at this time, there was little doubt that we would hit this auction on our way back to drop Carla off at her home.

Breakfast went fine. The new management serves a tasty breakfast. My one critique would be that portion sizes are somewhat small. However, the small portion sizes are reflected in the prices. The 3 of us ate breakfast for something like 18 dollars, American.

On the way back we stopped at the auction and this is where things got a little bit strange.

As I was walking around the auction, I noticed that some of the stuff seemed a little familiar. There was a Patio Pros (represent!) car in the driveway. There was a ton of plumbing and heating and cooling type stuff in the auction.

I began to suspect that this was an estate auction for Olivia’s Grandpa Dean. He passed away a few months back and I was a pallbearer at his funeral.

I saw Olivia’s cousin Jim there and approached him and he confirmed, this was indeed Grandpa Dean’s Estate Auction.

I took a few photos while I was there:


Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

Miller Estate Auction

I never would’ve stumbled upon this auction IF:

+There weren’t pelicans at the J. Carlson Wildlife Area on Wednesday.
+If the pelicans would’ve been there on Thursday.
+If Naima hadn’t decided to do something stupid on Saturday morning.
+If the Whistle Stop Cafe wasn’t super packed.
+If Carla didn’t move out between Boone and Ogden.
+If the Don Williams Clubhouse hadn’t just re-opened for the season.

It was not the Saturday morning I envisioned when I closed my eyes and went off to slumberland on Friday night.

I didn’t buy anything, but Carla purchased a few nuggets. Grandpa Dean had his own plumbing business. Carla purchased a whole package of his business calendars from 1975 and 1976. Never opened. I’ll be giving some of those to Nate and Bethany next time I see them.

*I was almost born at the Hillbilly Auction after all.

You Ain’t Never Been in My Book and I Got a Problem with It, Why? ‘Cause You Acting Like You Read My Pages!

The world wasn’t ready for these GOVERNMENT pictures on Monday. I’m not sure the world is ready for them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer. Here are GOVERNMENT alternates:


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Government - Alternate

If you are wondering why the bird photos are considered GOVERNMENT, it is because those pictures were taken on Boone County Wildlife Conservation Areas.

The last picture should not be seen as an endorsement of the lottery. It is the stated position of Photography 139 and all of its employees and subsidiaries, that the lottery is a scam. It is a self-imposed tax that is designed to move the tax burden from the wealthy to the poor and poorly educated.

You’re welcome world!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 135 – SIGNS

Another big week for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. People didn’t let the weather stop them from harvesting all sorts of SIGNS pictures. This week the Photography 139 empire stretched as far north as downtown Boone, Iowa. As far south and east as Kentucky. As far west as Folsom, California. There are 2 special notes need to be made about the submissions this week:

SPECIAL NOTE #1

Jaxon made his first submission this week. I’m very excited and I expect big things in the future.

SPECIAL NOTE #2

Pay special attention to Linda Bennett’s submission. It is a very special submission. Many of you will be able to figure out why.

But you didn’t come here to listen to all that tommyrot, you came to see the submissions:


WEEK 135 - SIGNS - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - JAXON SCHOFF
Jaxon Schoff

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett -I found this in a trunk filled with cards and letters from the last 70 years. Made me smile.

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley
“All license plates in California are made in Folsom Prison. So it seemed fitting for the closed sign for the museum to be a license plate. However, we were there when the museum was open, so it was partially hidden.”

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 135 - SIGNS - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland – Form of sign..?

A very solid week of submissions!

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 136 - GOVERNMENT
GOVERNMENT


GOVERNMENT! What a great theme! But what is a GOVERNMENT photo? A GOVERNMENT photo is any photo that shows the GOVERNMENT at work. There is the obvious, a picture of a court house. GOVERNMENT. City Hall. GOVERNMENT. Police Station. GOVERNMENT. Fire Station. GOVERNMENT. But there also many GOVERNMENT activities you might not think about. That road you drove to work on today. GOVERNMENT. That public school where you dropped your kid off (I’m talking to those of us in the lower and middle class here) at this morning. GOVERNMENT. City Park. GOVERNMENT. County Park. GOVERNMENT. State Park. GOVERNMENT. National Park. GOVERNMENT. Iowa State University. GOVERNMENT. Other public universities. GOVERNMENT. The military. GOVERNMENT. A county hospital. GOVERNMENT. The Post Office. GOVERNMENT. The clean water (assuming nobody from Flint, Michigan or a state that allows fracking is reading this) coming out of your tap. GOVERNMENT.

Even organizations that aren’t the GOVERNMENT, are GOVERNMENT. That youth sport organization that you allegedly resigned from the Board, but sit my basement have 30 minute conversations about who should mow the lawn and chalk the fields. (That got strangely specific.) That board is a GOVERNMENT.

As you can see, there are a plethora of options and there are a ton more.

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

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

The latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication and sign on for a Photography 139 Email Subscription is Linda Clark. I honestly don’t know much about her, other than she is a relative of Andy Sharp and he says she has an interest in photography. Welcome aboard Linda! If you see her, feel free to give her a knowing glance and teach her the super-secret Photography 139 Handshake.

**************************************

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 governed Monday!

The Town Sign Project: Vol. 3

On my recent sojourn to Marshalltown, I was able to collect a few more signs for the TOWN SIGN PROJECT.


Mackey, Iowa
Mackey, Iowa

Story City, Iowa
Story City, Iowa

Randall, Iowa
Randall, Iowa

Jewell, Iowa
Jewell, Iowa

Radcliffe, Iowa
Radcliffe, Iowa

Garden City, Iowa
Garden City, Iowa

Gilbert, Iowa
Gilbert, Iowa (Side 1)

Gilbert, Iowa
Gilbert, Iowa (Side 2)

Most towns have multiple town signs. I only pick one for the project. For example, Story City has a couple nice, brand new looking signs. BORING! I almost fell asleep looking at them and I was driving at the time. I’m sure I’m not able to find all of the town signs in the towns I’m tooling through. My preference is old decrepit signs like the Garden City sign.

I should point out that Mackey isn’t really even a town any longer, but somebody put up a sign to mark where it used to be. I’m not above photographing town signs for towns that don’t exist any longer. I’m looking forward to my dance with the Zook Spur sign at some point in the near future.

You can review other signs that I’ve harvested for this project by clicking on the link below:

TOWN SIGN PROJECT

I hope to more than double the current number in the next month or so.

NOTE: The Gilbert sign was taken on a different road trip.

I Get So Frustrated, Take A Look at What I Created, Time is Wasting and I Ain’t Waiting!

The world wasn’t ready for these ROAD TRIP photos on Monday. The world still wasn’t ready for them on Tuesday. I’m not sure the world is ready for them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


Road Trip - Alternate

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After Jewell, I tooled through Ellsworth. From Ellsworth I moved onto Radcliffe. Radcliffe is notable for the shortest water tower I have ever seen. From Radcliffe I went through Garden City. Garden City gave me a DELIVERANCE type vibe. I’ve only really felt that similar vibe, to that degree in Beaver. Beaver, Iowa creeps me out. There is a reason why I once created a series of photos called “The Beaver Machete Massacre” I don’t believe those photos are online anywhere. So don’t go looking for them.

In Garden City, I realized I was going to be late for my supper appointment with some of my favorite miners. I pressed on the gas and made haste for Marshalltown. Only stopping briefly in Zearing.

If you have never been to Zeno’s in Marshalltown, I would highly recommend it. Zeno’s gets the Christopher D. Bennett Endorsement. In particular, I can’t recommend the BBQ Brisket pizza enough. Smoked beef brisket, red onion, peppadew peepers. Drizzled with sriracha bourbon bbq sauce. It is even more amazing than it sounds. Even people with questionable taste in food products like Elizabeth endorse it. She normally only likes meat paste pizza.

The final picture with my Mom (dinking with her phone like a millennial) was taken on our way back from Wingstop on Sunday after our post-church lunch.

That is all the ROAD TRIP alternates I have. You’re welcome world!

I’m Not Complaining, I’m Just Being Honest, I Promise That I Will Not Beg for Respect, No!

The world was not ready for these ROAD TRIP pictures on Monday. It is highly doubtful that the world is ready for these ROAD TRIP pictures now, but I can’t hold them back any longer.


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This is not an endorsement of Rick Young for Hardin County Supervisor, although he has a sweet website.

I took a little ROAD TRIP on Saturday on the way to Marshalltown to meet some fellow miners for supper. On the way there I decided to head north a little bit before heading east and to pursue some signs for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT.

I left Boone and went through the remains of Mackey. Took a few moments in Story City before heading north and spending quite a bit of time in the fascinating town of Randall. One of the fascinating things I found in Randall was the Dodge truck. I find it fascinating that on the hood ornament was the Star of David. I wonder when they took the religious symbol out of their marketing.

I looked into this and found the following:

1. The Dodge brothers were not Jewish. It is not a Star of David.
2. But nobody seems to know what it means. It might represent the Greek letter delta or it might be a masonic symbol or it might have to do with medieval mysticism.
3. It was not done to taunt Henry Ford, who was a noted anti-Semite as has often been theorized.
4. They symbol disappeared from Dodge cars when the 1939 model was introduced. Hmmm… what was going on in the world in 1939.
5. The Dodge brothers both died in 1920 as victims of the influenza epidemic of that year. They took the truth of the symbol with them to their graves.

Here endeth the lesson.

The small world picture is of Randall. From Randall I headed north. I stopped briefly at Little Wall Lake to take a couple of self-portraits. I also took a couple lake pictures, but they did not please me.

After Little Wall Lake, I spent a few minutes cruising Jewell. Just to the east of the Jewell town signing (heading north of 69) is the fascinating remains of the animal sculptures. They’ve sadly fallen into a degree of disrepair. I could analyze this piece of of art for days.

It feels like the kind of tableau that should be in any respectable roadside curiosity book about the great Cyclone State!

There are a few more images from this ROAD TRIP in the hopper. You’re welcome America!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 134 – ROAD TRIP

A healthy amount of people hit the open road for a ROAD TRIP photo. I think this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE EMPIRE extends as far north as Randall, Iowa. As far south as Arkansas. As far west as West Wendover, Nevada. As far east as Virginia, I’m guessing.

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


WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - MICHAEL AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 134 - KIM BARKER - ROAD TRIP
Kim Barker

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 134 - ROAD TRIP - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

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 135 - SIGNS
SIGNS!


SIGNS! What a great theme! But what is a SIGNS photo? The obvious answer is any picture of a SIGN(S) is a SIGNS photo. But there are more than just the SIGNS that tell you to stop, yield, sit down, and shut up. If she hasn’t responded to your text message, but she has posted on Facebook twice, added to her Snapchat Story and tweeted 3 times… those are SIGNS that bro, she just isn’t in to you. If he doesn’t acknowledge your existence around his friends, but at 2 AM he is always sliding into your DMs, that is a SIGN(S) that grilfriend, you can do better!

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

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

The latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication and sign on for a Photography 139 Email Subscription is Linda Clark. I honestly don’t know much about her, other than she is a relative of Andy Sharp and he says she has an interest in photography. Welcome aboard Linda! If you see her, feel free to give her a knowing glance and teach her the super-secret Photography 139 Handshake.

**************************************

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 signed Monday!