Website Update

So earlier in the month I alluded to the fact that I have been updating the look and feel of the website.

I thought I would explain what has happened, without making you go blind with looking at things like this:

  • Perhaps the most obvious difference is that the website should have a different look. Gone is the old gray background for pages and blog entries. The background is now white. This should make it way easier to read text. Which will be a benefit if I ever get back on the short story horse.
  • Another change is that now all posts include a featured image. This is the image at the top of the blog post.
  • I have added a slideshow of “Favorites” in the upper left hand corner of every page. Currently there are only pictures of peoples in that slideshow, but its content will expand over time. From the slideshow, you can click on an image and then go buy it. (Last sentence provided by the Shameless Commerce Division of Photography 139).
  • Also on the sidebar of every webpage, I’ve gotten rid of the drop down list of Categories. This has been replaced with a more aesthetically pleasing Cloud of the most popular Categories. The size of the Category in the cloud is based on the amount of times it has been used for a post.   It is an easy way to find all the posts that have been categorized under let’s say “Jesse”.
  • Gone is the old “Social Media” page. Instead I have added social media icons to the menu that link to the social mediums that I frequent.
  • A skilled observer will notice that in the menu there is an icon for Snapchat. Clicking on that will take you to a page where you can scan my Snapcode and follow me on Snapchat. I use Snapchat mostly for contacting co-workers, hiding from the Sweet & Sour Mafia, and checking the haters.
  • There are now images for people that leave comments. These used to pull from Gravatar, but I’m pretty sure the only person to ever leave a comment that uses Gravatar is Lowell. Now, there is a default daisy image (because cool people like daisies) for commenters that I haven’t created an account. I have created Avatars for frequent commenters. The one of you and for my beta tester (Shannon). However, anybody that becomes a commenter in the future, I will create an avatar for you as well. If you want an avatar, the best way to do that is to leave a comment. If you use Gravatar, the website should still pull your Gravatar image.
  • There are new headers and a new logo. There are only 5 headers currently, but I will be added to that in the future. The new logo might not be permanent, but if it isn’t permanent, some variation of it will be. At this time, I’m leaving the old logo as the watermark for images in the Gallery.
  • 3 blogs are featured on the home page. The 3 featured entries will change as new blog are published.
  • There is a search function now on the far right end of the menu bar. In case you want to find all blog posts where I use the word Proust for example. Suddenly thinking about bringing back the Proust Questionnaire.  Hmmmm… I’ll see if anybody responds to this little outburst.
  • Added a new complementary color to the website. It is a shade of green.

I’ll probably make a few more changes in the coming months, so I’ll keep you updated on those as they occur.

Also, thanks to Vest for aiding in much of this transition!

Not Love

Thought it would be a good time to share a picture of a flower from my backyard.

I don’t post too many photos of my backyard flowers because I don’t want people to get too jealous of my green thumb.


FOCAL LENGTH: 60mm (90mm – 35mm equivalency)
ISO: 400
DATE: 08/26/2015- 19:30
LATITUDE: 42° 3′ 18.6″
LONGITUDE: 93° 52′ 14.8″
ALTITUDE: 357.72 meters

Houston on Fire

We’ve been fighting a losing battle against the insects for fifteen years, but I never thought I’d see the final face-off in my lifetime. And I never dreamed, that it would turn out to be the bees. They’ve always been our friend.
-Brad Crane

Many of you might not remember Brad Crane. He was a hero and national celebrity in 1978 when he helped fend off a swarm of killer bees that had invaded the southwest. The swarm destroyed large cities like Houston and small towns like Maryville. We almost lost hope. It is sad to think that his major contribution has almost completely forgotten.

I haven’t forgotten you Brad Cane!


FOCAL LENGTH: 60mm (90mm – 35mm equivalency)
ISO: 1250
DATE: 08/22/2015 – 18:24
LATITUDE: 41° 35′ 42.5″
LONGITUDE: 93° 33′ 4.9″
ALTITUDE: 253.71 meters

Mo’ Better Oinge

I must really like these flowers because I took lots of pictures of them.

I threatened an all flower week a couple weeks back, but this might be that week.


FOCAL LENGTH: 60mm (90mm – 35mm equivalency)
ISO: 1000
DATE: 08/22/15 18:24
LATITUDE: 41° 35′ 42.7″
LONGITUDE: 93° 33′ 4.8″
ALTITUDE: 251.57 meters


There were a decent amount of submissions this week. Let’s have a look!

Jerry Thilges

Michelle Haupt

Christopher D. Bennett

Angie DeWaard

Mike Vest

Time to reveal this week’s theme. It is an easy one!


Who wants a definition of SHADOWS? You are in luck! Keep reading…

SHADOW (noun) – a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body of intercepting light.

Email your submissions to by noon next Monday to be included in this here blog.

Thug Life

Although this undeniably falls into the category of posed photo, I still enjoy it as it shows flashes of truth. And we all know what Picasso said about art and the truth… right?

The Howard Children and their Significant Others

I should make a quick note that with this journal entry I’ve experimented with posting a larger image size. The million dollar question is whether or not this is how that image shows up in the inboxes of email subscribers.

If it is all jacked up, as always, you can click on the link and it should take you to the blog on the website.


FOCAL LENGTH: 28mm (35mm equivalency – 42mm)
ISO: 125
DATE: 09/26/2015 – 16:19
LATITUDE: 42° 2′ 22.1″
LONGITUDE: 93° 53′ 26.1″
ALTITUDE: 291.53 meters


Here are a few pictures I like that come from New Toy, but don’t fit into any particular narrative.

Went to Hilton Madness with Willy and Derrick.

Fizer and Frese mixing it up with the young pups.

Youth Room

Mike, John, and Tim at the Event Formerly Known as the Methodist Men Steak Fry.

A packed house.

View staring out my living room window.

Teresa’s paint.

Ernie painting.

The New Toy has come in handy now and again. I think it is a keeper.


It seems like a good time to return to the Iowa State Fair flower garden.

This also isn’t the picture that got me kicked out of the flower garden, but that one is coming up soon. I swear.


FOCAL LENGTH: 60mm (90mm – 35mm equivalency)
ISO: 800
DATE: 08/22/2015 – 15:22
LATITUDE: 41° 35′ 42.7″
LONGITUDE: 93° 33′ 4.8″
ALTITUDE: 247.12 meters

Taco Tailgate

In honor of Tacoctober a few friends from the mine and I held a taco tailgate before the Iowa State-Texas Christian football match recently. It seemed like a good time to squeeze off a few shots on the new toy.

Here are a few shots from Taco Tailgate 2015:

Since it is well established how I feel about koozies, my chums made sure I got one. Any way, anybody want a bottle koozie?

Jorge and Joe, placing the goodness on the grill.

More goodness.

Waiting for the goodness.

Houlihan chopping up the meat.

One of the mascots of Taco Tailgate.

Taco goodness!

Most of the tailgating equipment in years past has been provided by the Brog Frog Tailgating Company. Since they have closed down for business, I had to scramble for equipment this year. I found this table in my Mom’s garage. It is the perfect size for the trunk of my car.

Plans are already in motion for Taco Tailgate 2016.Play your cards right, you might just wrangle an invite. We are going to add a second taco recipe and hopefully upgrade some of our equipment. High on the want list is a tailgating canopy and a better grill. The fight goes on.