Jack Trice Wallpaper

My friend Shawn is a badass graphic designer. He recently made a new wallpaper featuring Jack Trice. You should know who Jack Trice is and if you don’t, then I have failed you as a friend.


He is the man in this statue.

Jack Trice was the first African American to play sports for Iowa State. During the first half of his first game, Trice suffered a broken collarbone. He continued to play during the third quarter, until he was thrown on his back and trampled by three Minnesota players. He died three days later. Four thousand students and faculty members attended his funeral service on central campus.

Before the night of the game he wrote this letter to himself on some hotel stationary:

My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life: The honor of my race, family & self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped, I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break thru the opponents’ line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of mass interference. Fight low, with your eyes open and toward the play. Watch out for crossbucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good.

Below is a small version of Shawn’s Jack Trice Wallpaper.

Some other exciting news about Shawn (the former drummer of UnHingd) is that he has a new band up and going. They have yet to pick a name, but they are planning to be playing a show near you by April.

The Lost Quarter

Yesterday while I was slaving away in the Computer Mine, I came across something curious. While it is true that I frequently come across something curious in the Mine, this seemed to be a different kind of strange.

When I get to come out of the darkness of the mine and out into the light at work, it is frequently related to shipping. The 2 company vending machines are located next to the shipping area. As I was getting ready to ship out a freshly mined credit card reader I noticed a note taped to one of the vending machines:


I concede that very few people at the Computer Mine are getting filthy rich, but I doubt that anybody that works here is in such dire financial straits that they desperately need that one quarter.

It turns out though that my initial inclinations about this note were wrong. I thought Judy had found an extra quarter in the change slot of the vending machine and taped it up, in case somebody came back looking for their quarter.

In fact, Judy just posted the note because the vending machine had stolen her quarter. Jesse saw this note, went back to his office, grabbed a quarter, went back to the vending machine and taped a quarter to the note.

I guess in the future, any time that gas prices are making me feel pain in my wallet, I’ll just post a note on the vending machine asking for like 50 bucks. Maybe somebody will tape up some cash for me.

Although there has to be an easier way to financial security. If only there was some church out there that would send me a prayer rug that I could use and then fill out exactly how much money I want God to give me and then send them 50 bucks and then God would just give me that money. If only there was something like that out there.

Journal Entry No. 200

This is the 200th post on this online journal. I’m kind of surprised it took me this long to get to 200. It has been well over a year since I started this online journal. I’m finally starting to get into a groove with entering things daily and keeping things nice and short.

Tonight I went to Willy’s home bar, Club Element. I didn’t go there with Willy because he would never lower himself to go with one of his friends. I’ve heard the legend of how Club Element is a little kids’ bar, but I didn’t see any evidence. There was no ball pit or water slide. My main impressions of Club Element were that it was ridiculously small and surprisingly well lit. It also had one of the ugliest interior designs of a bar I’ve ever seen. The pool table looked to be in pretty sad shape as well.

On the other hand, the seats were comfortable and the company was great. I went with Derrick and Jen to see a band called Inebriated Saints. The Inebriated Saints is fronted by the old lead singer of UnHingd Mike DiMarco. When we got to Club Element we met up with Shannon and Becky.

It was interesting hearing Mike’s latest incarnation. They played many of the old songs from UnHingd, but the sound was definitely louder and more distorted. It wasn’t as distorted as Against the Grain, but much more distorted than the dulcet guitar tone that Derrick Gorshe laid down when he was in UnHingd.

This marked my 2nd trip to a bar this year. There is a chance that I might make a third trip this Saturday to see 35 South. That is Dennis’ band. They are a southern rock cover band. Derrick is their official sound guy. I only went to a bar 3 or 4 times all of last year. I think I will have to take a few months off if I go on Saturday.

I’m not a fan of bar photography, but I have been considering purchasing a small camera that would be easier to take into places where I can’t lug in my big expensive cameras. Last night would have been a good night to have such a camera. I would have enjoyed documenting the Club Element experience. I could have proven to Willy that I was there.

BHS Alumni

Dear Kelly J. Hardy:

I thank you in advance for making this my “Final Notice”. I look forward to a future where these stupid postcards are no longer filling my mailbox and I can go to the mailbox and see fun things there like bills, credit card offers and scams from quasi-religious organizations. I take no pride in graduating from BHS and have no desire to be included in any such directory. Please leave me alone and do not contact me about any future editions of your directory, leather bound or otherwise.

Your Humble Servant,
Christopher D. Bennett
BHS Class of 1993

My Saturday

Most of my Saturday was devoted to Jaycee activities. It started out with the Super Shooters competition. This is only the second Jaycees activity that I have had a chance to work. I was planning on taking a few pictures there, but as it turns out, I left my memory card sitting at home in my memory card reader. I did have my film camera, so I took a few B&W photos. This wasn’t the ideal situation, but I made do.

It had been awhile since I have had REAL B&W film developed. I went to a local camera shop that I haven’t visited in some time to get prints made. I would like to say that I was impressed by their work, but the prints that came out are filled with a myriad of scratches and dust spots. I don’t know what to make of that, I surely don’t.

Here are some of the images from Super Shooters:

Ames has their own electric car?

I dig this dragon sculpture.

The Ames City Hall Gym

Same Gym, Different Angle

Keeping Score

More Keeping Score

Gym Window

Super Shooters

More Super Shooters

More Super Shooters

More Windows

The Youngest Super Shooter

Center Court


Year End Banquet

Before I discuss the Year End Banquet, I should point out that I have excellent news for Cyclone fans. I can pretty much guarantee a Cyclone victory over the UNI Panthers next basketball season. You will understand in a moment, but it is important for you to understand my reasoning for making this claim. You see lately I have been hotter than a firecracker when it comes to wagering. I have been so unstoppable that I have had to turn down my friends’ offers of wagers because I fear them going so deeply into debt with me at which time I will have to swear out a warrant for their arrest and they will rot away in debtors prison.

For example, just this Saturday I have won yet another wager with Russell. It was so obvious I was going to win this wager that I almost turned down his wager. He bet me that Hillary Clinton would defeat Barack Obama in the South Carolina Primary. Not only did he defeat her, it was something of a woodshed beating. His vote total more than doubled her vote total.

I could have won a second wager this weekend with Jason Baier. He wanted to bet me that Rambo would make more than 40 million at the box office this weekend. Even though he pursued this wager aggressively, I had to turn him down. I don’t like to make wagers with people when they can’t win. Even if they don’t know they can’t win. Well almost never as it turns out.

For the record, Rambo grossed 18.1 million at the box office this weekend.

I don’t really need to go into much detail about the banquet. I think that I can break the event down to the two core events that left the deepest impression on me. I can say that before I went to the banquet, I could place a name and a face together for about 6 or 7 Jaycees. After the banquet I think I can up that number to about 12 or 14, but sadly for me, that number should be much higher, but I think I’m starting to suffer from Jay Janson’s Disease. (The inability to put names with faces)

The first event occurred while I was talking to Shannon. Somebody came back from the bar side of the American Legion to announce that my beloved Cyclones were losing by 25 to Kansas State. Although it was sad news, it was to be expected. The simple fact of the matter is that they have Beasley and we do not. That fact alone will decide quite a number of games in Kansas State’s favor this season.

At this point Peggy (the 2008 Jaycees President with questionable taste in college sports teams) came over to point out that her Kansas Jayhawks also thumped Iowa State earlier in the week.

I responded that I wasn’t so sure that wasn’t to be expected. Right now Iowa State is held together by spit, baling wire and a walk-on point guard.

Shannon added that “He will defend Iowa State under any circumstances.”

What she said is undeniably true, but the way she said it indicated that she thinks that there was another way that it is acceptable to be.

Then she took it too far. She wandered down a road that is going to end poorly for her. Even though that road won’t officially end for several months.

She brought up that UNI had beaten ISU this season.

It is a fact. I can’t deny it, but I can make bold proclamations.

I made this bold proclamation:

“I guarantee that we beat UNI next year.”

There I said it. I got it out there. I might have went into some details about how next year’s Cyclone team would be essentially the first team in 3 years that wasn’t going to be built from scratch that offseason.

Then she made the mistake.

“That sounds like a wager.” Those words escaped her lips. I think she knew that she had a mistake as soon as the words had finished reverberating around the American Legion. Yet she gamely continued on and did not back down.

The terms of the wager have not been set, but I can hint at what I’m leaning towards. Let me just say that I think Shannon is going to look good in Cardinal and Gold.

The other event that left an impression on me at the banquet also involved Shannon. I think it was the previous weekend that Shannon won an award at a Jaycees convention known as All-State. She won a pretty major award. She was declared to be the Secretary of the Year in the entire state of Iowa.

Part of the banquet was devoted to handing out awards and re-presenting the awards that various chapter members had won the previous weekend.

Something interesting happened when Shannon got her award. Everybody else got a “clap”. Just one clap. It was confusing to me, but I learned this morning that “the clap” is known as “Rally Applause” or something like that. Everybody got that. However, when Shannon got her award, the room spontaneously broke out in the wave.

I’m not making that up. I’ve been in several crowds where the wave has broken out. Almost all of them have been at sporting events. A couple times it has been at political rally. Sometimes I’ve seen it forced upon a crowd at a corporate brainwashing seminar. I’ve never seen this happen at a formal banquet before. I can only say that this turn of events was very impressive to me. I still can’t quite get my head around it.

This isn’t to say that she doesn’t deserve it. From what I know, she is hyper-organized and put in tons of hard work at that position. The wave was an interesting way of showing admiration for her hard work and skills.

After the banquet, several Jaycees retired to a bar down the street. The name currently escapes me, but my best stab at it is DG’s Tap House. It is in a commercial space that was formally known as The Zone. This makes me wonder where all the women that have graduated from Club Element go now.

This was my first appearance at a bar in 2008. I made 3 bar appearances all of 2007. Cory, a co-worker from the Computer Mine, has made it one of his goals this year to get me to the bar 4 times this year. We’ll see how that turns out.

The most interesting thing to transpire at the bar was running into Julie. I haven’t seen or talked to Julie in several months and it was awesome getting a chance to talk to her and catch up with her. Although I think she was quite shocked to actually see me at a bar. In fact, I know that she was surprised. It took her a little while to actually convince herself that she was seeing me. Of course Julie also thinks that her house is haunted, so I’m not sure why seeing me at a bar would be so hard for her to believe.

I think I was at the bar listening to some band until about midnight. Then I took off to get some sleep. I had a big day ahead of me on Monday. Rambo and There Will Be Blood weren’t going to see themselves.

God Wants to Use Us!

Perhaps I shouldn’t judge or rate the sermon’s given in my church, but there are definitely some that speak to me a quite a bit more than others. During Phil’s sermon on Sunday he gave a sermon that spoke to me. During the sermon he gave a list of people from The Bible that God used to make a powerful impact in the world. The list consisted of the person’s name and their shortcoming. Perhaps not even shortcomings, but in the ways that some people in the world might have seen them as broken. Some might have seen these as weaknesses or faults.

After the service I asked Phil for the list. He told me that it was in his folder and to go grab the list and we would make copies. I got to his pulpit and opened his folder, but I didn’t see the list, so I grabbed his folder and brought it to him.

I handed it over to him and told him that I didn’t want to go rifling through his stuff.

He said, “You don’t have to worry about that. When I let my hair down it doesn’t go that far down.”

So we went into the church office and he made me a copy of the list. The list was from an article by Dr. Robert A. Schuller. Below is the paragraph from that article with that list:

The Bible is filled with people God used who, by today’s standards of ability and nobility wouldn’t have qualified for much at all.

Noah was a drunk,
Abraham was too old,
Isaac was a daydreamer,
Jacob was a liar,
Joseph was abused,
Moses stuttered,
Gideon was afraid,
Samson was a womanizer,
Rahab was a prostitute,
Jeremiah was too young,
David was an adulterer,
Elisha was suicidal,
Isaiah preached naked,
Jonah ran from God,
Naomi was a widow,
John the Baptist ate bugs,
Peter denied Christ,
all of the disciples fell asleep while praying,
Martha worried about everything,
the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages,
Zacchaeus was too small,
Paul was too religious,
Timothy was too young and had ulcers,
and Lazarus was dead.

I think that it is a powerful list to meditate upon when we want to sit in judgment upon other people. It is a powerful list to meditate upon when we want to sit in judgment on ourselves. Who are we to do God’s work? We are who God made us to be, even with all of our faults, shortcomings and mistakes.

Rambo Platoon

Tonight was the big Rambo night. Below is a picture of the gentlemen that made their way to our local multiplex to view Rambo with me.


Pictured left to right: Jeff, Yours Truly, Scottie D., Jesse, Derrick, Jason Baier, Jay, Andree and Greg.

Not pictured is Russell. He finally relented to viewing Rambo despite contending that his “self respect was not expendable”. However, Russell took off immediately after the film and is not in the photo.

Preceding the movie was a dinner and Rambo discussion. Almost everybody shared a favorite Rambo moment from the past. I will publish those in due course, after I compile my own personal list of my ten favorite Rambo moments.

Angry Brad’s Designs

Sara sent me an e-mail announcing the formation of a new business venture she is entering into with a couple of her friends. Sara is a craft fiend. She is now making some of her creations available for purchase via a new online store on Etsy.

Below is an example of one of her tins.


The name of the new online store is Angry Brad’s Designs. If you find this tin to be intriguing, you should go check out the store. Check it out today and often. There will be new things going up all the time. Perhaps even including some t-shirts of my own design in the future. You can follow the link that I have so ultra conveniently located below to get there.

Angry Brad’s Designs – (STORE CLOSED)

Best Picture Nominations

They announced the Academy Award Nominations this morning. These are the 5 Best Picture Nominees. I still need to see There Will Be Blood, but at that point I will have seen all the nominees.

Michael Clayton

There Will Be Blood


No Country for Old Men


At this point in the game, I think my favorite would be Juno. My least favorite would definitely be Michael Clayton. Atonement has a great beginning, but I have no love for the way this movie ends. I would consider No Country for Old Men to be almost a perfect movie up until the last 15 minutes. Most people I know hate the ending. I didn’t love the ending, but I do love the movie.