All posts by Christopher D. Bennett

Iowa State Fair – Day 2 – Gamma

Time for the final collection of images from my 2nd of four trips to the Iowa State Fair. I left earlier from the Iowa State Fair than I usually do. Usually after the barbecue competition I hang around the Fair for several hours. But this time I packed up and went home with Degeneffe family.

Here is the final collection of images:


Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Only 2 more days of Fair trips left to share!

I Walk the Line

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine,
I keep my eyes wide open all the time,
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds,
Because you’re mine, I walk the line.

I find it very, very easy to be true,
I find myself alone when each day’s through,
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you,
Because you’re mine, I walk the line.

As sure as night is dark and day is light,
I keep you on my mind both day and night,
And happiness I’ve known proves that it’s right,
Because you’re mine, I walk the line.

You’ve got a way to keep me on your side,
You give me cause for love that I can’t hide,
For you I know I’d even try to turn the tide,
Because you’re mine, I walk the line.

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine,
I keep my eyes wide open all the time,
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds,
Because you’re mine, I walk the line.
-Written and recorded by Johnny Cash

I figured since I spent some time bashing the Patsy Cline biopic SWEET DREAMS, I should at least reference what I consider to be the best biopic made about a musician, the 2005 movie starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, WALK THE LINE.

To be honest, a biopic about a musician has to be pretty bad for me not to enjoy it. Most of them are pretty middling at best, but I’ll still watch the heck out of them because if the music is good enough, I don’t care that much about the story.

Johnny Cash recorded “I Walk the Line” in 1956 and it was his first #1 hit. It remained on the charts for over 43 weeks. In June of 2014 Rolling Stone ranked it as the greatest country song of all-time. In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Johnny Cash isn’t known for romantic songs. Most of his songs that are romantic are mostly sad. His ode to fidelity might qualify as his most romantic song. In its strange way.

I actually don’t consider SWEET DREAMS to be the worst musician biopic. That is a movie about the Hillbilly Shakespeare and I will reveal that in due course.

But Thursdays are for flowers! This Thursday’s flowertography images were taken in my yard:


Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Soul Expansion - 2023

Soul Expansion - 2023

Next Thursday’s flowertography session will involve more flowers from my yard.

RAGBRAI – Slater – I

The second day I followed RAGBRAI, I hit up two towns. Slater and then Madrid. I mentioned I wasn’t that impressed with the setup in Ames. It really just felt like every other town festival in Ames. On the opposite end of that spectrum, I was really impressed with both Slater and Madrid.

Here is the first collection of images I took in Slater:


RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023
This Farmer’s Market is near Fraser. I like to hit it a few times this year.

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

RAGBRAI - Slater - 2023

Still one more Dr. Seuss themed collection of images from Slater left to share!

WPC – WEEK 441 – LEADING LINES

Today is Micky’s birthday so I have to wish him a happy birthday:


June 22
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKY!

I hope your birthday is filled with all the outdoorsman adventures you can handle!

+++++++

It is the last Monday of the month and on the last Monday of the month I like to revisit our Frequently Asked Questions. Who asks these questions? I mostly ask them of myself. But that isn’t a Frequently Asked Question. These are:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

What skill level photographer can participate?

THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is open to photographers of all skill levels. From award winning photographers to professionals to the highly ranked amateurs to those that are just beginning to those who don’t even know how to focus a camera. All skill levels are encouraged and welcome. You can’t be too bad and you can’t be too good! Everyone has room to learn and be challenged!

Award winning photographers? Really?

Yes. I can think of at least 10 photographers that participate regularly that have won a photography award of some kind.

Is this a competition?
NO. It is a challenge. There are no winners and losers. Well the people that don’t participate are losers.

Is there a limit to the number of submissions I can have each week?

Yes. That limit is 2. If you send me more than 2, I will post the first 2 that you send. I’m not trying to harsh your photography buzz, but any more than that starts to overwhelm the other submissions and it takes me about 5 minutes to take a picture from my inbox to code it on the website. So I have to manage my workload.

If you are going to submit more than one picture, I strongly urge you to choose completely different subjects for each submission. If you are submitting multiple pictures of the same subject, make sure that each picture is saying something unique.

If I start to average like 45 participants a week, I will lower the limit to 1.

Can I send you several pictures and have you pick the best one?

No! No! NO! If those words come out of your mouth or your keyboard, I consider that to be a non-submission.

Do you ever question whether somebody’s submission fits the theme?

Meh. Only if I think somebody is clearly confusing this week’s theme with last week or next week’s theme. Otherwise, if the submission makes sense in your head, that is good enough for me. However, I would urge you to not try to fit your favorite subject into the theme every week. This isn’t a challenge to share a picture every week of your kid or your business or your pet. It is a challenge to take pictures of different things every week. Which isn’t to say subjects can’t be repeated, but you shouldn’t become reliant on the same ones.

Why can’t I submit after 11 AM on Mondays if the post doesn’t publish until 12:01 PM?

I go to lunch at 11 AM. I leave my office. I’m not near a computer. At 11 AM I hit “Schedule” and then I go throw food down my throat. 167 hours is more than enough time to send a submission. Okay, 166 hours and 59 minutes. You got me.

Do I have to wait until Monday morning to submit?

Absolutely not! In fact (AND CAN’T EMPATHIZE THIS ENOUGH) I appreciate the submissions that make it to me by Sunday evening. Makes the job of putting this together on Monday morning much easier!

Are there resolution requirements for submissions?

I won’t turn down submissions that are too small. I will probably ask you for a picture of greater resolution if it is really small. The typical 4 x 6 image posted to my website has a resolution of 1280 pixels x 853 pixels. While a 400 x 300 image might look okay on your phone, it looks like trash on a computer monitor. I prefer images that are at least 1000 pixels at their widest point, but don’t ban smaller pictures at this point. But don’t tempt me!

What format should my submission be?

.JPG but .PNG also works.

If I write a description of my image will you include that in your post?

No. Photography is art that should stand on its own. Only exception is the SLICE OF LIFE theme. But if you let me know where the picture was taken, I will include that. In fact, I appreciate you letting me know where a picture was taken. If you don’t let me know, I will assume the picture was taken in the state you live in.

When will you start accepting suggestions for next year’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE themes?

I will take suggestions only and ONLY in the comments sections of the THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE posts the last week of October and the 1st week of November.

+++++++

LEADING LINES! They lead somewhere, but did they lead to being a popular theme? You will have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, February 19, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Mary Green – 1 week
2-Susanna Funk – 1 week
3-Stehanie Kim – 1 week
4-Becky Parmelee – 1 week (2)
5-Jen Ensley-Gorshe – 2 weeks (2)
6-Deanna McClain – 2 weeks
7-Willy McAlpine – 3 weeks (2)
8-Sara Lockner – 5 weeks
9-Monica Jennings – 5 weeks
10-Suzie Brannen – 7 weeks (2)
11-Lowell Davis – 7 weeks
12-Michelle Haupt – 7 weeks
13-Alexis Stensland – 7 weeks (2)
14-Brandon Kahler – 8 weeks
15-Scott Degeneffe – 26 weeks (2)
16-Sabas Hernandez – 27 weeks
17-Mike Vest – 32 weeks
18-Sheri Fakhouri – 36 weeks
19-Logan Kahler – 37 weeks
20-Nathanial Brown – 38 weeks
21-Jesse Howard – 38 weeks (2)
22-Tamara Peterson – 41 weeks
23-Mindi Terrell – 53 weeks (2)
24-Linda Bennett – 82 weeks (2)
25-Sarah Toot – 83 weeks (2)
26-Angie DeWaard – 87 weeks
27-Dawn Krause – 91 weeks (2)
28-Kim Barker – 97 weeks
29-Joe Duff – 98 weeks (2)
30-Teresa Kahler – 109 weeks (2)
31-Carla Stensland – 109 weeks
32-Micky Augustin – 111 weeks
33-Andy Sharp – 112 weeks
34-Bill Wentworth – 113 weeks
35-Cathie Morton – 117 weeks
36-Elizabeth Nordeen – 118 weeks
37-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 120 weeks
38-Kio Dettman – 122 weeks (2)

Reminder. Here is the list of rules for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


1. The picture must be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch and take pictures challenge!
2. There is a limit of 2 submissions per person per theme. If you send me more than 2, I will use the first 2 that you submit.
3. Deadline to submit your submission is 11 AM next Monday.
4. To be considered the photographer of an image, you have to be the one that clicks the shutter. If you hand your camera over to somebody else to take a picture of you, you are NOT the photographer of that image.
5. No screen captures. This is a photography challenge. Not a “look at what I found on the internet” challenge.

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 8 Pro.
3. Sometimes, for special people, for special circumstances, we can negotiate something.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks or the rules of the challenge or how to submit. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 123 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Summerset Trail – North of Indianola, Iowa) – 121 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 119 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 114 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Boone, Iowa) – 113 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Beardshear Hall – Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa) – 112 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Brookside Park – Ames, Iowa) – 110 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Lagomarcino Hall – Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa) – 110 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Houston, Texas) – 99 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Nevada, Iowa) – 98 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 92 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Bandorama – Boone High School – Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Ames, Iowa) – 88 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (Ludlow, Vermont) – 84 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 83 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Terra Park – Johnston, Iowa) – 54 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Terra Park – Johnston, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota) – 42 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – 39 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (The Waterfront – Ankeny, Iowa) – 39 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 38 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 37 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 33 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 28 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 27 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Iowa) – 9 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Iowa) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Bandorama – Boone High School – Boone, Iowa) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Clive, Iowa) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Clive, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Boone County, Iowa) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (Des Moines, Iowa) – 6 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa) – 6 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Ledges State Park – Boone County, Iowa) – 4 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Michigan) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Michigan)

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - STEPANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim (Downtown Brooklyn – New York City, New York) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Arkansas) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 441 - LEADING LINES - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (McHose Park – Boone, Iowa)

36 participants! That is a slight dip from the previous weeks, but still a pretty great week!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Arkansas
+ Iowa
+ Kansas
+ Michigan
+ Nebraska
+ New York
+ South Dakota
+ Texas
+ Vermont

Thanks to the travels of Sarah, we added Vermont to the list!

Here is the Year 11 list of states where submissions have been taken (submissions taken in each state):

+ Arkansas (3)
+ California (1)
+ Colorado (2)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Iowa (307)
+ Kansas (12)
+ Michigan (4)
+ Minnesota (1)
+ Missouri (1)
+ Nebraska (10)
+ New York (5)
+ Pennsylvania (6)
+ South Dakota (2)
+ Texas (15)
+ Vermont (1)

15 states so far! No bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple states:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX)
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT)
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO)
+ Mary Green (MI, IA)
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN)
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD)

Sarah has trimmed Jen’s lead down to 1 state to be crowned the Queen of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Travel! I’ll keep workshopping that name.

There were no major milestones this week, but there are some big ones coming up!

There were some sad times though. Susanna couldn’t build on last week’s submission and her streak is over before it began. Jen and Deanna’s streaks both ended at 2.

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 442 - ROAD TRIP
ROAD TRIP

ROAD TRIP! What a great them for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE! One of my favorite themes every year. Since I’m pretty sure several of you are shut-ins, I like to see some of you actually leave the house now and again. Although I’ve mentally prepared myself for pictures of toy cars.

I look forward to your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing your idea of ROAD TRIP in this place in this place that is at least a trip on its best days next Monday.

Super Bowl Spreads

On Super Bowl Sunday I got invited to 2 Super Bowl parties. Which is strange, cause it isn’t all that common for me to get invited to adult parties. I’m big time on the toddler party circuit, but other than that, my party dance card is pretty much empty.

So when I got invited to not ONE, but TWO parties on the same night, I had to cash in!

If we’re being honest, I wasn’t that emotionally invested in the outcome of the game. I wanted the 49ers to win because I wanted Brock Purdy to win, but I had no expectation they would win. The 49ers have a trash offensive line and their defense was also trash down the stretch. If the game was close, it was only going to be because the Chiefs also have a trash offensive line. In fact, it is amazing that two teams with such trash offensive lines made it so far in the playoffs.

But, despite my having a rooting interest for Brock Purdy, I wasn’t going to lose any sleep no matter the result. It is only his 2nd year in the league, he will have more chances.

But I might never have a chance to graze at 2 different Super Bowl parties.

I watched the 1st quarter and the 4th quarter at Logan’s party. I watched the 2nd and 3rd quarter and the halftime show at Scottie D.’s. Although I was attempted to leave immediately when only 2 people there knew who H.E.R. was.

Maybe next year I can get invited to 4 parties and watch each quarter at a different party. #GOALS.

Moving around didn’t really hurt my enjoyment of the game cause it was one of the single worst games I’ve ever watched in my life. The levels of ineptitude shown by the 2 “best” teams in the NFL made me thing that the defending USFL Champs (Birmingham Stallions) might have been the best team in professional football last year. You think the Chiefs defense could shut down Deon Cain? No. No they couldn’t. The 49ers pathetic secondary certainly couldn’t.

What? You thought I was going to talk up the Arlington Renegades. Please! They finished the regular season 4-6. The XFL should be ashamed for letting them be their champs.

And if you want to know who my team is in the UFL? It is the St. Louis Battlehawks!! Why? Cause Anthony Becht is their coach.

Here are some pictures of some of the spread at Logan’s:


Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party
This isn’t finished, if you are wondering.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party
Some of these have a Dr. Pepper sauce.

Scottie D. had a larger party, so a larger spread:


Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
Scott is a Chiefs fan, but almost everybody else there was rooting for Brock Purdy.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
I bet this was delicious.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
I confess, mashed potatoes took me by surprise, but I bet they were delicious.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
These were homemade meatballs.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
Scott’s very proud of his countertop ice machine. Might like it more than at least one of his children.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
I’m a sucker for little smokies. In fact I bought an 8 pack of them just the other day.

Basically what needs to happen is Logan and Scottie D. need to have their parties again next year. Then 2 more of you need step up and invite me to your parties. I don’t really care about missing much of the game to travel, but all 4 of the parties should be in Boone or close to Boone. As long as I get to see all of the halftime show, I’m good. One of my favorite yearly tradition is watching old people complain about that year’s halftime show. Like clockwork.

If you are wondering what my favorite Super Bowl treat was???

Drumroll please…

This will disappoint Scott and Logan…

It was the sliders Melissa made. I’m a sucker for a good slider.

But also thanks to my cousin Sarah for sending me pictures of her Super Bowl spread. I think hers looked healthier. I swear I saw vegetables and maybe hummus in one of her pictures.

But I promised, you… my accountability buddies, that there would be weekly updates on my attempts to establish healthier habits.

I thought I would sprinkle in a little knowledge on these updates. Here is something I learned from my Noom lessons this past week:

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that when you eat a meal with someone else it increases the number of calories you eat. If you eat with one more person, (this is at the aggregate level) you consume 44% calories. 58% more with 3 people. 69% with 4 people. 96% more calories with 7 people!

So don’t be jealous when you see a skinny person. They are just a loser that nobody wants to eat with.

A for the weight update, I’m down 5.9 pounds this week and 12.4 pounds since starting Noom about 4 weeks ago. Obviously 5.9 pounds in a week isn’t sustainable and is definitely a bit of a fluke and weight fluctuates from day to day due to a large number of factors. I expect that weight to go up a little bit this week. But all in all, a positive trend.

How is the CPAP going? I think I’m starting to get used to it. My FitBit sleep score has been in the 70s this past week. Which puts me in the Fair sleep range. I’ll take it.

I did breakdown and get a fitness watch. I went with the Google Pixel Watch 2. So far I’m really digging it. I am NOT a watch person. I need to pick up a different band though. Apparently people think my baby blue watch band isn’t manly enough. Just kidding, I don’t care what other people think.

At this time, I’m still thinking about joining a gym. Planet Fitness in Ames is the current leading contender. I do worry about joining a gym in a different town, but the price is right and I don’t like either of the gyms in Boone. So stay tuned on that front.

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve a local barbecue joint that shockingly, I had never eaten at before.

Iowa State Fair – Day 2 – Beta

Time to share another collection of images from my 2nd trip to the Iowa State Fair. This time a trip with the Degeneffes. This is more of my roaming around the fairgrounds while most of the fair was still asleep and the gates had yet to be opened to the general public.


Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023
Come on! You know I love pictures of urinals!

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023
They serve the same amount of customers when the Fair is open.

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Still one more collection of pictures from this trip to the Fair to share! And two more days of Fair trips left to share!

I Fall to Pieces

I fall to pieces
Each time I see you again
I fall to pieces
How can I be just your friend?

You want me to act like we’ve never kissed
You want me to forget (to forget)
Pretend we’ve never met (never met)

And I’ve tried and I’ve tried
But I haven’t yet
You walk by and I fall to pieces

I fall to pieces
Each time someone speaks your name (speaks your name)
I fall to pieces
Time only adds to the flame

You tell me to find someone else to love
Someone who love me too (love me too)
The way you used to do (used to do)
But each time I go out with someone new
You walk by and I fall to pieces
You walk by and I fall to pieces
-Written by Hank Cochran & Harlan Howard
-Made Famous by Patsy Cline

I do love the song “Crazy” but “I Fall to Pieces” is really my favorite Patsy Cline song.

But Thursdays are for flowers. And most of this flowertography session took place in my yard, but there are some bonus pictures (including one of Naima) that I took at Dickcissel.


Happy Things - 2023

Happy Things - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

A Yellow Flower

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

The next flowertography collection will be less experimental. A bit more macro.

RAGBRAI – Ames

On the first day that I followed RAGBRAI, the final stop was Ames. Ames was an overnight town. I went to downtown Ames to check out their festivities and met up with the Gorshes.

Here are some pictures:


RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

Honestly, the Ames RAGBRAI experience was a little bit of a disappointment. But on the next day I would follow RAGBRAI to Slater and Madrid, and both of them more than made up for Ames!