Category Archives: Sports

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 7

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

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Friday morning everybody works on cleaning the building. Then you have a quick breakfast (usually this is a packed breakfast), everybody says goodbye and then you hit the road for the long, long, long trip back to the Cyclone State.

After cleaning the building, the kids got to put a pie in the face of each of the YouthWorks employees as a reward for buying so many shirts.

My day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
YouthWorks!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jaxon packed up and ready for the road!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Our toilets for the last 18 hours.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Breakfast!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan got one of the honors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Pie in the face!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This was Talia. I think she was literally in pain.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Ashley was next. She was the Site Director.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Last was Brogen.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

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Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Our super caring kids did lead blinded Talia to the water.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Group photo!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Before we headed back we stopped by the Texans’ practice field. Megan’s “hot” older brother is the turf manager for the Texans.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
He oversees their 3 grass practice fields.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
He also see the turf on their indoor practice field.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The guy is like 26 and he already has his dream job. Thanks to a degree from Iowa State University.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Group photo on the Texans logo.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A closer photo.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Overturning a practice tire.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kyle sized tire.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Schoff Bros.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I was shocked to see that the Astrodome is still standing. They are turning it into a parking garage.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Inside NRG Stadium. He is also in charge of the turf in the stadium.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We also got a tour of the stadium where Houston’s professional soccer teams play.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Also managed by somebody from Boone County. This time from Ogden. Also an Iowa State graduate. Seeing a trend?

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Most the tour was of the concourse, we weren’t able to go down onto the field because the Houston Dash had a game that night.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Celebrating in the pool at the hotel in Tulsa. (Photo cred: Tiffany)

Not pictured:

Most of the day. After we left Houston, most of the rest of the day was spent on the road with one mission. To get to the hotel in Tulsa before the pool closed at 11. We ate lunch at a Chick-Fil-A. Then we drove with only bathroom stops all the way to Tulsa. We got there a little before 10.

Andy was a swell guy and ordered up a bunch of pizzas from a local pizza place in Tulsa. I think the place was called Mazzio’s. It was delicious.

The kids got to swim in the pool until almost midnight, before the hotel employees realized they were still in there and kicked them out.

For the first time in over a week, I got to sleep in a bed. It was glorious! It was everything I remembered that sleeping could be!

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!

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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

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Donna Jones' Flowers

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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

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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.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 2

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

I woke up on the cold hard floor of the Methodist church in Saginaw. I got dressed and prepared myself mentally for the day.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Based on the amount of stores that cater to both, Texans LOVE donuts and pornography. I imagine some probably do both at the same time. I’m not here to judge.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Statue in the church’s beautiful courtyard.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Fountain in the same beautiful courtyard.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Their women’s group made us a delicious breakfast.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A staple of every Methodist diet, egg casserole!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The lady who made us the breakfast did taunt us with a description of dish she described as “too much”: Breakfast Lasagna. Sign me up lady!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Myrtle.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Donovan discussing the courtyard.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jaxon still thinks it is a thrill to pump gas. I’m not afraid to exploit his youthful enthusiasm.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Gas station breakfast food. Hard pass.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The church televises their worship services into their fellowship area. We get it, you’re good with technology.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Congregating to worship an awesome God!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We went to their acoustic service. It was great music lead by a great musician!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
They sit in the front row at our church too…

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The lady in the middle was a Pastor at the church. The one on the right was a member of the congregation that recently became a Pastor and was getting assigned to her first church. She gave the sermon. I loved this worship service. There were two things of note that happened. 1 funny and 1 tragic. The funny thins was that they discussed a couple in the church that had gotten married the previous day in “Detroit or Chicago. Some Yankee town.” The tragic thing was a member of their congregation was killed in a car accident on the previous day. He left behind a wife and 2 small children. Happy Father’s Day.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jentry taking Communion

Something else unique about this church was they did the light a candle thing in the corner. This is something I’ve always affiliated with Catholics because I’ve only ever seen it in Catholic churches. Really, mostly in movies. I lit 2 candles.
Shortly after the worship service, we hit the road for Vidor. Another 7 hours or so in the van coming up!


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We stopped in a town where a buffet was recommended to us by one of the Saginaw Methodists, but it required a 30 minute wait, so instead we went across the street to a string of fast food restaurants: Jack in a Box, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Subway, and Texas Burger. I recall an unsavory taco experience at a Kansas City Jack in the Box on another mission trip with Shawn Karber. So Jack in the Box was a hard pass for me.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I went to Texas Burger because I might never get a chance in my life to try Nolan Ryan’s Texas Beef Steak Fingers.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
They taste kind of you how you imagine.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The next stop was Buc-ee’s in Madisonville, I’ve always been a big fan of Buc-ee’s. At least since Carla, Mom, Alexis, and I stopped at one on our way to see Elainie graduate in San Antonio.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
If you’ve never been to a Buc-ee’s, it is the single greatest gas station chain in the world. It is the exact opposite of that Road Ranger in Illinois.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I wanted to buy a Buc-ee’s hat to make it my official Mission Trip Hat, but none of them were my flavor.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The last 2-3 hours we drove through some major rain. But when we got to Vidor: BASKETBALL!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
On Sunday night we worshiped and we prepared for the next 4 days of hard work.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Worship!

After the worship service I found out I was part of The Cowboys. At YouthWorks they split you up into several teams. You work with that team the rest of the week on chores and at your work sites.

The Cowboys consisted of:

Humble Narrator
Tiffany
Kari – from Missouri, but really Madrid, but really Boone (who turned out to be my cousin)
Anna
Jordan
Kolbe
Maci
Mackenzie
Megan
Ellie from Missouri
Jake from Missouri

In the next 4 days, the pictures will concentrate heavily on those people because these are the people I spent the majority of my day.

The Cowboys had breakfast prep on Monday, so I had to make an attempt to get to bed early, to rise early. Even though trying to sleep the first two nights of a mission trip is a fool’s folly.

Not pictured:

Kolbe really, really likeS the song CARAVAN.

05-07-08

The images below come from the folder 05-07-08. The images range from a post supper photo shoot with an Ungs to pictures of painting Monica’s one-time Roland home to me showing off a fat stack of cash to some flowers from my Mom’s flowerbeds to one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet.


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

TELL MY FRIEND WILLIE BROWN


SOME STORM


SUPPER WITH THE UNGS


FALSE SNAKE HYPE


That sick wad of cash that I was flashing in the Fazoli’s parking lot was my winnings from my bowling league. Helping Monica paint the Roland house was Suzie and Cassie.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will be all about the Big Jesus Road Trip.

05-03-08

The images in this blog are from the folder 05-03-08:


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By adding these images to the Photography 139 Photo Gallery, I was able to restore the following historical An Artist’s Notebook entry to its original glory:

CARDINAL GYMNASTICS ACADEMY

The pictures of Alexis doing gymnastics was at her gymnastics recital, which is a lot less painful to sit through than a dance recital. Every day of the week and three times on a Sunday.

I don’t believe that those Little White Lye Soap pictures were ever published, but of course, I could be wrong.

Remember you can buy Little White Lye Soap here:

Little White Lye Soap Store

Little White Lye Soap is the only current Christopher D. Bennett endorsed product of any kind on the market. However, I have always meant to formally endorse Franklin Broomworks brooms and this book:

I Cannot, Yet I Must: The True Story of the Best Bad Monster Movie of All Time: Robot Monster

Consider this an endorsement, but not a formal endorsement of both. When I get back to the formal endorsement game, I will formally endorse both.

Next time we take a walk down the lane of memories it will involve worms, flowers, painting, and old cohorts from my time with the Evil Clown Empire.

Mr. 3000

So here is the first journal entry. I felt like having as pretentious sounding name as possible for my journal. I have a few goals about this journal. My main goal is just to actually write in it. My second goal is to be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings. I have another journal on another website, but it is really just a collection of sarcastic statements and cheap jabs at open faced sandwiches. This journal is meant to be about what my achievements and failures are in the world of art. What projects I am working on and what I have accomplished and what I have failed to accomplish. What I am photographing and what I am thinking about entering in photo contests. What I am thinking about. It might not always make sense. It might just be things I need to write down because they strike me as poignant or inspirational. This is in a small way an online “idea box”.

I do also have a goal of producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

With those words on August 9, 2006 this blog burst into the world with the blog entry titled:

FIRST JOURNAL ENTRY

Now here we are 4294 days later and I’m posting journal entry number 3,000.

The blog has changed quite a bit over the years. It started out as a blog that I physically coded and added to a website that I physically coded back when my website was hosted on Frank’s basement server. Then, I moved it to a third party company called Blogger. If you visit this URL, you can still see its pathetic remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Blogger Version

After that, I still used Blogger, but I published An Artist’s Notebook to the server that currently hosts my website. The content was the same, but the URL changed. If you click on the link below, you can still see it’s pathetic remains, that are identical to the Blogger URL remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Photography 139 Hosted Version

Well before this, I had changed my website over to WordPress. Even though WordPress has very powerful blogging tools, it wasn’t until March of 2010 that I started using WordPress and An Artist’s Notebook moved to (hopefully) its final URL:

An Artist’s Notebook – Current Incarnation

Last time I posted that An Artist’s Notebook had reached a milestone number of posts, I received a bunch of congratulations. I was confused by this because I didn’t feel it was necessarily an accomplishment. After all, I basically was just too stupid to quit. Just plugging along in relative obscurity, with a few loyal subscribers that send me emails or leave comments on the blogs scattered across the globe earth. A smarter person would have just stopped by now.

But instead, other than a slight walking away from An Artist’s Notebook back in the spring of 2015, nevertheless he persisted.*

I don’t know if just persisting is an accomplishment, but looking at the earlier formats for An Artist’s Notebook, I see that I used to link to several other blogs, that have either stopped updating or are just simply gone with the wind.

  • The original Little White Lye Soap website is gone, but it has been replaced by the Franklin Broomworks website.
  • Act of Gravity – BrogFrog’s band at one time is gone. True I don’t think Act of Gravity every played a show, but you could pretend.
  • Waxen Media – Vest’s website is still up, but hasn’t been updated since 2015. Although I’ve heard rumors that a comeback might be on the horizon.
  • Lesser Known Saint – My friend Mike’s old band website is still up, but they broke up in 2012.
  • Impassioned Versifier – Dawn’s poetry blog is still up, but she hasn’t versified, impassioned or otherwise since 2011. Get it together Dawn!
  • Mayor Goldie’s Website – Jesse’s website is frozen. He must have done something bad. Like giving up his dream of being mayor of Hill Valley.
  • LowellDavis.net – Still up, but the last post was in 2015.
  • Carla’s Blog, Teresa’s Blog, and J- The Online Magazine are all victims to Windows Live Spaces no longer being a thing. I miss knowing what was in Jay’s fridge.
  • Live Like A Champion Today – Mark’s blog on his Missionary Work is still up, but he no longer posts. He isn’t a missionary any longer, but he could make stuff up.
  • Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century – Died on October 1, 2010. Sad. I think we all remember where we were when we heard the blog about 19th century mustaches stopped production. I was grooming my beard.
  • True Wife Confessions – Died on October 28, 2012
  • I Found Your Camera – Date of death, lost.

I have to give props to the other people who are also too dumb to quit:

  • Horror Movie A Day – Sure he isn’t cranking them out like he used to, but he hasn’t given up the ghost.
  • A Novel Blog – The writing blog of a person I actually knew in the real world once. A very talented writer named S.E. White.

I’m still here. Let’s not make a big deal of it.

Even though An Artist’s Notebook is meant to complement the rest of the Photography 139 website and universe, I actually didn’t post a photo in the blog until a good 3 months after I started it. On October 20, 2006 history was made with the blog post:

A GOOD DAY AT WORK

This was the first picture ever posted to An Artist’s Notebook:


Groundhog Steve

A picture of a groundhog that lived behind the computer mine.

Although the seal was broken the floodgates didn’t exactly open. I didn’t post an image again until December 31, 2006. That picture was the back page of the the 2007 Photography 139 calendar.


2007 Back Page
Back from when I printed the calendars myself.

The picture flood gates really opened on January 5, 2007 with this post:

FAILED BEGINNING

And these 2 photos:


Chocolate Milk Endorsement

Thinker Recreation

The rest, has been photographic history.

An observant reader of An Artist’s Notebook would have notice that my Saturday post walking down memory lane are partially done so that I can have a look at my old images and partially done so I can restore my old blog posts to their original glory. The reason why this is necessary is because in addition to having gone through several ways to post a blog, I also went through several hosting options for my photos.

The first one was a company known as Photobucket. Photobucket was a good free option. I used it from October 2006 up until October 2008.


Photobucket

I abandoned Photobucket because eventually I was going to outgrow their limits. Recently they stopped allowing people to embed images stored with them, so if you were to click on a journal entry from May 2008 to October 2008, you’d see something like this:


Photobucket

After Photobucket, I decided to host my pictures with a MySQL-PHP photo gallery called Coppermine. I ran with Coppermine from November 2008 until July 2011. I left those galleries up for several years, even though you couldn’t access them unless you had a direct URL. Also by leaving them up, pictures would still show up on the website. Unfortunately, those galleries were used to hack my website and take it down a few years back. As a result, I had to completely delete the galleries to close the security loophole in my website. So until I get the journal entries from November 2008 until July 2011 restored to their original glory, they will look something like this:




Then in April of 2011 I was hired to be the photographer for the American Red Cross Young Heroes event. They wanted to have a way that people could go to my website and buy pictures. I didn’t actually have a way to do that, so I needed to find one. I ended up with Smugmug. It was a service that a professional photographer I knew used and recommended. You can store unlimited photos there and people can buy them directly from your website.


American Red Cross Young Heroes

It took me a few months to realize that the Smugmug was the future of my photo hosting. It has unlimited data storage and it stores full resolution images.

That unlimited full resolution pictures is a pretty big deal because I have currently uploaded 45,005 images/videos that take up 395.59 GB of hard drive space. Probably not going to be slowing down any time soon on that front, either.

Also, if anybody every wanted to buy a print or a coffee mug or a puzzle or a mouse pad or a ceramic tile or a mahogany desk organizer or playing cards or photo key tag or coasters or a phone case with one of my pictures on it, they can do it straight from the website. Don’t worry people who submit photos for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Those photos are not for sale on the website. Either are pictures from Graceland or of Iowa State athletic events. I can’t sell those for legal reasons.

While people can go to the gallery and leave comments on pictures and rate them up to 5 stars (hint: this will be how Pufferbilly Day Photo Contest and possibly Boone County Fair entries will be determined this year), the way I determine the most popular images is by views. Views statistics go back one year.

These are the 10 most popular Photography 139 Images (by views) of the last 10 Months:


WEEK 61 - STILL LIFE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#10 – Sidewalk Chalk – 1,223 Views – Picture taken for STILL LIFE in the WPC. Taken outside of the Ericson Public Library

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#9 – Johnathan Stensland – 1,261 Views – Taken for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT in the Photography 139 Studio


Iowa State vs. Kent State>
#8 – Brett Meyer – 1,403 Views – Taken at the Iowa State vs. Kent State football game in 2007

Falls Park - Sioux Falls
#7 – Sioux Falls – 1,428 Views – Taken on my South Dakota Road Trip with my Mom

Saint Paul - Irish Fair
#6 – Nora – 1,493 Views – Taken at the Irish Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota

ART - ALTERNATE
#5 – Graffiti – 1,707 Views – Taken in downtown Ames for ART for the WPC

WEEK 110 - REFLECTION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#4 – Reflection – 1,762 Views – Taken in Ledges for REFLECTION for the WPC


01-01-08
#3 – Angel Ornament – 3,197 Views – Willow Angel Ornament taken in my Mom’s house

07-01-07
#2 – Ground Squirrel – 3,732 Views – Ground squirrel on top of a shepherd’s hook at my Mom’s house

Selfie Project - January 27
#1 – With Alisa – 9,541 Views – Taken at Winter Jam in 2017 for THE SELFIE PROJECT


The following are links to the 5 Most Popular Photography 139 Photo Galleries:

Original 9 - Fear Composite
#5 – 9 Emotions Project – 23,417 Views

FRAMED - ALTERNATE
#4 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 – Alternates

WEEK 113 - PARTY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#3 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 (34,203 Views)


LOSER - CHILDREN
#2 – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 4 (52,673 Views)

December 30, 2017
#1 – THE SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 (62,509 VIEWS)

I also use a category system to organize my posts so that a person could find all the posts on a certain topic or a certain person. This is far from a scientific system and it is a moving target as I am re-categorizing old entries as I restore them. I’m trying to get rid of some of the more generic categories like “Photography” or “Life” or “Family” or “Friends” or “Religion”. But this is an ongoing process.

These are the 10 most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”:

#10 – Jay – 262 Posts

#9 – Life – 274 Posts

#8 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#7 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#6 – Animals – 301 Posts

#5 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#4 – Jesse – 328 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

10 Most Popular Not People Categories

#10 – Slice of Life – 189 Posts

#9 – Religion – 191 Posts

#8 – Road Trip – 217 Posts

#7 – Personal Photo Project – 259 Posts

#6 – Life – 274 Posts

#5 – Animals – 301 Posts

#4 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

If you are relatively new and are wondering what the heck a “Personal Photo Project” is, it came about at a time where I seemed to be working on a ton of other photo projects (for various entities) and seemed to be getting pulled a way from the pure joy of photography. At that time I decided to work on a Personal Photo Project once a week to keep photography from becoming a grind.

10 Most Popular People Categories

#10 – Vest 204 Posts

#9 – Jen – 205 Posts

#8 – Willy – 209 Posts

#7 – Derrick – 241 Posts

#6 – Mom – 247 Posts

#5 – Carla – 261 Posts

#4 – Jay – 262 Posts

#3 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#2 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#1 – Jesse – 328 Posts

You may be looking at the list and wondering, “what can I do to improve my Photography 139 Q Score?”

First, I should point out that these aren’t necessarily the people that have influenced by photography the most. That would be my Dad by having photography in the house. My Mom for buying me my first camera. Olivia for loving flower photography. The favicon on this website was her favorite flower picture. Carla and Teresa for doing photography with our Dad. The list could continue, but you get the idea.

However, these are the people that most influence this blog.

But about that Q-Score thing…

Obviously, the easiest way is to submit photos to the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You could also volunteer to be a photo assistant on photo projects. Pose for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. Head out on the open road with me. Join an organization that I am in. Commission me to do work for you (i.e. photograph your baby, wedding, family, senior picture, work holiday card, church directory, soap, leather goods).

Follow those simple suggestions and someday, when we hit blog post number 3,500, you could see yourself in the Photography 139 Top 10. After all, Sara, you are knocking right on the door!

I also decided to update my profile pictures for Twitter and Instagram and Smugmug. Here is the new one below:


Social Media Profile Picture

That should work for another year or so!

I think that more than covers where the Photography 139 community currently sits. Until next time!

*I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mind my appropriating this phrase. I guess it was accidentally created by a half man-half turtle creature and I am at least half a man. No turtle. I’ve had a grudge against turtles since The Great Turtle Race was fixed back in 2016. Sorry Mitch.

The Town Sign Project Vol. 6

On Saturday I decided to look for Town Signs for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT in the Story County area. Here is what I was able to track down:


Roland, Iowa
Roland, Iowa

McCallsburg, Iowa
McCallsburg, Iowa

Zearing, Iowa
Zearing, Iowa

St. Anthony, Iowa
St. Anthony, Iowa

Bangor, Iowa
Bangor, Iowa

Clemons, Iowa
Clemons, Iowa

State Center, Iowa
State Center, Iowa

Colo, Iowa
Colo, Iowa

Collins, Iowa
Collins, Iowa

Maxwell, Iowa
Maxwell, Iowa

Cambridge, Iowa
Cambridge, Iowa

Zook Spur, Iowa
Zook Spur, Iowa

Xenia, Iowa
Xenia, Iowa

A few things of note from this collection:

Roland has a “nicer sign” than the Roland Rocket sign, but if you think I’m going to choose a nice sign over a sign that celebrates one of the greatest Cyclones of all-time, you don’t know where you are.


Roland Town Sign
Velkommen to Not Making the Cut Sign!

Zearing used to have a sweet sign:


Zearing, Iowa

Then they replaced it with the lameness that is their current sign. This is the worst sequel since GREASE 2.

Bangor isn’t a town. I’d say it is a place where an agriculture company stores trucks and a park with a creepy swing set.


Abandoned

I literally couldn’t find anything that said Bangor. There were the remains of a sign post that may have held a sign at one time in the park. There is a Bangor church and cemetery just outside of what I would consider Bangor.


Bangor Friends Cemetery

I just can’t figure out why there are several signs directing people to Bangor, but nothing telling you that you are in Bangor. I don’t know another unincorporated town that gets that much love!

Zook Spur and Xenia are both ghost towns. The best way to describe them is that there are maybe 3 or 4 houses that are closer together than is normally the case in the country. Zook Spur is just south of Madrid. Xenia is just east of Woodward. I wish somebody cared about Jordan enough to put a sign up around there. Unfortunately, Jordan wasn’t too tough to not die.

I don’t know that I’ll have time to go sign hunting again this weekend. I start a bunch of consecutive weekends of graduations and birthday parties and more graduations and Mother’s Days this weekend. But we’ll see. We will see.

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When I road trip on SaturdayS I listen to NPR. If you’ve spent time in a car with me on a Saturday morning, you already know this fact.

If you know that fact, you also know that one of the purposes of this here blog is for me to store things that inspire me, so that I can reference them again at a later date. Sort of an online idea box.

While I was cruising around the back roads of Story County (I was desperately looking for a Bangor sign) I was listening to the conclusion of THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The episode began with the story of a group of students of color, mostly black, that were painted as anti-Semitic by the media after a field trip to see SCHINDLER’S LIST went awry.

While this story was fascinating and scary, it isn’t the story that hit home hardest with me. That was the last story of the show.

The last story of the show was about the experience of a man, who’s sister was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11, visiting the 9/11 Memorial a few days before it opened to the general public.

Part of it I found really poignant and I think it will strike a chord with anybody that he been through tragedy, which means pretty much everybody.

I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion. And maybe I learned something, but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark– annotated divorce papers blown up and mounted, interactive exhibits detailing how your mom’s last round of chemo didn’t take, souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with your best friend’s last words before the car crash. And you should have to see for yourself how little your pain matters to a family of five who just need to get some food before the kids melt down. Or maybe worse, watch that pain be co-opted by people who want, for whatever reason, to feel that connection so acutely.

There are three recording booths for people to tell their own stories of the day or remembrances of loved ones who were lost. A man exits one of the confessionals, sees me, shakes his head and says, “Amazing idea.” I enter, sit down, and stare at the screen and say Shari’s name and how I was 3,000 miles away that morning and didn’t even know she was working there until I got the call at 6:00 AM, and that I wish I had seen her more in those last years and remembered more about her and had something better prepared to say, and that I wished my kids would have known her, and that she’d think it’s pretty f*cking weird that I’m here talking about her to an invisible camera in the bowels of a museum dedicated to the fact that she was killed by an airplane while sitting at her desk. And at some point, the timer is up.

When this story was over, I just sat in my car. In Bangor, Iowa. Realizing that the way I look at certain museums has been changed forever.

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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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!

04-19-08

The following images are from the folder 04-19-08:


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Spring Game

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

LITTLE WHITE LYE BONUS


SPRING GAME

If you want to check out more pictures from Iowa State’s 2008 Spring Game, click on the link below:

2008 IOWA STATE CYCLONES FOOTBALL PHOTO GALLERY

Some of these pictures were taken as part of an ad campaign for Shannon’s soap company Little White Lye Soap. The rest are taken from the 2008 Iowa State Spring Game, obviously.

BONUS MEMORY

Racist Starbucks (as opposed to good Starbucks in Nevada, Iowa) has jogged a memory of mine that I’ve been think about lately.

(If you don’t know about Racist Starbucks, a Starbucks recently called the police and had 2 black men arrested who were waiting for a friend to meet them. The fact that Starbucks is racist comes as no surprise to me. I’ve long hated this company. I’ve never once been inside a Starbucks. I’ve unfortunately been drug through a Starbucks drive-thru a few times in my life. Thanks Bethany. You too Kim.)

In another life, when I was running a “restaurant” for the Evil Clown Empire I only called the police to have somebody thrown out of the “restaurant” once. However, I wasn’t even the person that did it. I wasn’t there when they removed him. I think I was running to another store to get product. I only heard about it later.

I believe it was an Iowa State football Saturday, so the store was busier than normal. A drunk homeless person had taken up one of our booths and then passed out. He was there for a couple of hours before the police were called to remove him from the store.

The man was still passed out when the police arrived. The officer grabbed the guy from the back of the head and slammed his face into the table. This woke the guy up and then they escorted him out of the store.

I wonder about what would have happened if I would have been in the store. I know I wouldn’t have taken kindly to the police slamming his head against the table.

I wonder what would have happened if the technology of today existed then. I have no doubt somebody would have videoed the event and it would have ended up on The Facebook, assuming that The Facebook was still for college students and hadn’t been ruined by old people and wasn’t funneling your personal information to the Russians.

I’m sure the conversation with the Son-in-Law (the incompetent boob that was my boss) on the following Monday would have been a hoot.

Next time we take a stroll down memory lane we will probably take even more of a look at some Little White Lye Soap commercial photography.

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!