Category Archives: Family

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 179 – SELF-PORTRAIT

Another week with subpar participation despite being perhaps the easiest theme of this set of 52. Weather I’m sure contributed. This week central Iowa is supposed to get two more snowstorms, so we’ll see how many people struggle through the elements for this week’s theme.

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


WEEK 179 - SELF-PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 179 - SELF-PORTRAIT - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 179 - SELF-PORTRAIT - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 179 - TRANSPORTATION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 179 - SELF-PORTRAIT - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

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:



TRANSPORTATION

TRANSPORTATION! What a great theme! But what is a TRANSPORTATION photo? A TRANSPORTATION photo is a photo that involves any aspect of TRANSPORTATION. A car, a train, an airplane, an airport, a bridge, a road, railroad tracks… the list goes on and on. It bottles the mind! Truly mind bottling!

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very transportive Monday.

10-26-08

There are 2 types of pictures in the folder called 10-26-08. Some are from Iowa State’s game with Texas A&M. The second type are pictures from a Suffrage Parade re-enactment that took place in Boone in 2008.

Perhaps you don’t know that Boone was (possibly) the site of the first Woman’s Suffrage Parade in the United States. That’s right, sometimes this backward hick town can be darn right progressive.

Here is some information on the event taken from a “Des Moines Register” article printed around the time of the re-enactment:

Boone Lead the Way

If you haven’t heard of this milestone event in women’s rights, you’re not alone.

Suzanne Caswell, who helped organize the re-enactment as a way to celebrate the parade’s 100th anniversary, says for the most part Boone’s marching suffragists have vanished from public consciousness.

Caswell hopes the re-enactment – which will include the dedication of a memorial – changes that.

“I think people need to realize that a small town was able to be in the vanguard of an important movement in American history,” she said.

The gathering
It was just before lunch hour on a windy October day in 1908 when the women gathered in front of the Universalist Church in downtown Boone.

Some were eager; others, afraid.

All were growing impatient with a struggle that showed no sign of ending, especially their leader, the Rev. Eleanor Gordon, a “relief minister” at First Unitarian Church in Des Moines and president of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association.

“Perhaps the dreariest of all the dreary meetings of the summer were the monthly meetings of the Des Moines Political Equality Club,” Gordon recalled later in a first-person account compiled by the Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission. “We listened to an earnest paper written by an earnest woman, read in an earnest manner, giving good and sufficient reasons why women were entitled to vote. … As I walked slowly home over the hot and dusty pavement, I said to myself, ‘Something must be done and done quickly or we shall learn to hate the whole business.’ ”

Less aggressive mood
Gordon was in the mood for more aggressive action, similar to the stories she was hearing from England, where a group of suffragists had led a march through the rain and mud that drew 3,000 participants.

Although Gordon didn’t want to take things quite as far as some of the more militant English leaders, who were waging hunger strikes from their jail cells, she thought it was time to take the movement to the masses.

With Iowa suffragists’ annual convention coming up in late October in Boone, Gordon enlisted the help of Rowena Edson Stevens, president of the Boone Equality Club, in planning a parade for the convention’s last day on Oct. 29.

The only thing not in the women’s control was the blustering wind that October day, which whipped dust into the faces of the marching women – some accounts say there were 30, others 100 – as they followed the band down Seventh Street, the hems of their long skirts brushing the dirt roads.

Accompanied by a few high-profile guests, including the Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, they carried banners that read “We have knocked on Iowa’s door for 37 years, is it not time it opened” and “Like the daughters of Zelophehad, we ask for our inheritance.”

Many of the marchers were the wives of leading community professionals and Caswell, who has a doctorate in history and has done extensive research on the parade, said accounts written at the time clearly show they were worried about the possible ramifications of their involvement.

What if the townspeople disapproved and stopped going to their husbands’ businesses?

What if their daring cost their husbands their jobs?

“It took a lot of courage to do this,” Caswell said.

The women needn’t have worried. By all accounts, the town of Boone gave them a warm welcome. A large crowd quickly formed, politely cheering the speakers rather than jeering them, as had happened other places.

News of the event made the New York Times (which erroneously reported 600 participants) and the Boston Daily Globe.

First of its kind?

Some historians — mostly Iowans — maintain the Boone event was the first official suffrage parade in the nation but Caswell says you have to define the word “parade” pretty narrowly for that to be true. Female suffragists had marched through the streets that same year in New York City and Oakland, Calif., she said, although without bands or speeches.

After Boone, parades and open-air meetings became staples of the suffrage movement across America. Among the Iowa women who led the way, there was a strong feeling of satisfaction, as if they’d struck a powerful enemy a mortal blow.

One successful parade, though, didn’t change the law.

In the 1923 book “Women Suffrage and Politics,” authors Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Rogers Shuler recounted how every two years, a contingent of women would go before the Iowa Legislature to ask for suffrage only to be steamrolled by liquor lobbyists who feared – correctly, as it turned out – that a prohibition on liquor sales would follow if women earned the right to vote.

It wasn’t until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1919, 50 years after Iowa suffragists first took up the fight, that they finally were able to celebrate victory. Some of those who marched in Boone that October day, like Mary Jane Coggeshall, a charter member of the Polk County Woman Suffrage Society, died before they were able to cast a ballot.

Here are some pictures from that folder:


Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Women's Suffrage March Re-enactment

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

Iowa State vs. Texas A&M

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

Suffrage March

An Explosion of Catastrophe

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a Senior Night.

Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2005

I still need to circle back to the Alamo Bowl Trip, but thought I would share more from my project of re-organizing some photos that pre-date the Photography 139 website.

I’m actually going through a big photography re-organization in general. One of the photographers I follow on Instagram recently shared a post about their photography closet and a light went on in my head.

My house has an excess amount of closet for just one person. My bedroom has 2 closets. The office has 2 closets. The guest bedroom has 1 big(ish) closet. My bedroom closets are obviously used for clothes and some miscellaneous stuff. The guest bedroom closet house like 3 shirts that randomly ended up in there, board games, and a bunch of photographs and negatives. One office closet houses retired electronics. Electronics I should just throw away, but just haven’t. If any of you want a VCR and old DVD player, a receiver, or an old CRT television let me know and you can have it. The other office closet is mostly random stuff.

My photography stuff is strung all over the house. I have a big metal cabinet with sliding glass doors in my bedroom that is meant to house all my photography stuff, but that has never really worked. Then I decided to dedicate an old dining room table that is in my living room to store stuff. That definitely hasn’t worked. I’ve decided to steal the photography closet idea from that Instagram photographer.

I’ve decided to make one of the closets in the office the photography equipment closet. The other closet in the office the photograph closet. The guest bedroom closet will become the retired electronics closet, unless I finally am able to get all of that stuff out of my house. Especially before I retire any more electronics. For example, in 2020 I may upgrade the projector in the Union Street Theater to 4K. This will mean that I will also need to upgrade the receiver in the basement and then add a 4K player to the Union Street Theater. Of course, that will mean more retired electronics.

But that is 2020, I need to conquer my 2019 goals first.

Some of this physical reorganization has lead to digital reorganization. Which has lead to this post. Here are some pictures from the Iowa State Cyclones 2005 football season:


Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Illinois State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Baylor - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State - 2005

These pictures were taken with my very first digital camera. A Minolta Dimage Z2. It was at a point where I wanted to dabble in digital photography but was still really loyal to film.

The Dimage Z2 was a point & shoot digital camera, but a bit on the higher end of the spectrum. I was so broke back then, I couldn’t have imagined buying an actual DSLR.

There are a couple hundred more pictures from that season that you can peruse by clicking on the link below:

Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2005

Hopefully next Friday I will return to the Alamo Bowl Road Trip.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is SELF-PORTRAIT:


WEEK 179 - SELF-PORTRAIT
SELF-PORTRAIT

A SELF-PORTRAIT is a picture that somebody makes of themselves. Pretty simple and straight forward.

Happy photo harvesting!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 178 – EYE

I would describe the amount of submissions this for the theme EYE as fair. People might be coming out of the winter doldrums even though winter weather doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for this week. Maybe next week won’t be so bad.

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


WEEK 178 - EYE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 179 - EYE - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 179 - EYE - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim – These mosaics are in the Chambers Street station in Manhattan.

WEEK 178 - EYE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker


Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 178 - EYE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

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 179 - SELF-PORTRAIT
SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT! What a great theme! What is a SELF-PORTRAIT? It is a picture of yourself. Sometimes called a selfie, but a selfie and a SELF-PORTRAIT aren’t the same thing. A selfie is a SELF-PORTRAIT, but a SELF-PORTRAIT isn’t necessarily a selfie. A selfie has to be taken on a cell phone to be a selfie. Regardless, take a SELF-PORTRAIT with your cell phone camera, your 35mm camera, your pinhole camera, or your DSLR camera. Doesn’t matter. Just take a SELF-PORTRAIT and submit it.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very self involved Monday.

10-19-08

The pictures in the folder 10-19-08 are from the Iowa State-Nebraska football game in 2008.

One of the head coaches in the game would go on to win a national championship. The other coach… looks like he got exiled to someplace called Youngstown, Ohio.

Looking through these pictures, it does remind that when conference realignment hit the Big 12 and we lost Nebraska to the Big Ten, they are an opponent that I really miss playing. At least in football. No interest in playing them in basketball. It isn’t just because Nebraska slit their own throat by joining the Big Ten by severing recruiting ties with the state of Texas and now are amongst the worst teams in college football and would make an easy yearly W for Matt Campbell and the boys. I legitimately missing playing them and as much as it pains me to say it, I actually miss their fans coming to Jack Trice every other year. Their is nothing sweeter than rubbing a sweet victory in the face of a pompous Nebraska fan. Not even beating Iowa is that sweet and we all know how obnoxious a faction of that fanbase.

I also miss playing Missouri. Particularly in basketball. Their fans don’t travel like Nebraska fans and they aren’t that obnoxious, but it was a regional school with which Iowa State had a decent rivalry. I really enjoyed the 2 year basketball series Iowa State just had with Missouri. Even though both games ended up being blowouts.

Colorado was a traditional Iowa State opponent. They were the last school to join the Big 8 in 1947. Oklahoma State technically was the school to make it the Big 8 after they rejoined the conference in 1958, but let’s not pick nits here.

The point is, I also miss playing Colorado, but not anywhere near as much as I miss playing Nebraska and Missouri.

The other traitors to leave the conference was Texas A&M. I don’t miss playing them at all. Texas A&M is more like a cult than a school. While it is well-documented that I am fascinated by cults, I don’t want them coming into holy ground like Jack Trice Stadium or into the cathedral that i Hilton Coliseum. Ever. Good riddance to the Aggies.

I do like the Big 12’s current lineup of 10 teams. While the name is stupid when there are 10 schools, the Big 12 can’t become the Big 10 because there already is a Big 10, that has 13 schools. 14 if you count Rutgers. Which I do. Because I am a very charitable person.

I think the Big 12 is the only conference that gets it right. I know the other conferences added schools that don’t really belong because they were chasing television markets for television markets. It was a short-sighted pursuit because Americans are cord cutting like crazy. When all the major conference television contracts are up in 5 years, the way that people consume television will be entirely different. The majority of people won’t be watching content on traditional television channels. They will be consuming through streaming services. ESPN, Fox, and CBS won’t be willing to pay the outrageous fees for broadcast rights that they did 4 years ago. They won’t have the subscriber base that they did back then. Instead, services like Twitter, Hulu, and Amazon Prime and services that probably don’t even exist yet will be entering the fray for broadcast rights. They won’t care about size of television markets. They will be interested in content. It will be at this time that the Big Ten will really regret adding a Rutgers and a Maryland.

2 years ago when the Big 12 looked into adding 2 more schools was a glimpse at the future. The television networks actually paid the Big 12 more money to NOT expand.

This doesn’t mean that the Big 12 couldn’t implode in 5 years. It easily could, but I think it won’t. My best guess is that in 5 years the Big 12 expands and adds Arizona and Arizona State.

My second best theory is that conferences are broken up and the Power 5 schools and maybe a couple others are put into geographical districts. Kind of like high school football. At least in football.

But none of that isn’t why I think the Big 12 gets it right. I think they get it right because as a fan of a Big 12 school, I get to watch Iowa State play every single other school in their conference in football. In basketball, Iowa State gets to play a home and road game against every other team in the conference. It is the only conference where the regular season title actually means something. I love that, but I mostly love getting to play everybody in the conference. Instead of, and for example, Iowa only plays Ohio State in football about once every 8 years. That isn’t an exaggeration. Look it up.

That being said, in my dream world, the current lineup of the Big 12 isn’t what I would go with. In my dream world, I would get rid of West Virginia because geographically they just don’t belong. I would be a little bit sad to see them go because I legitimately hate their basketball team and can’t stand their ex-football coach. Their are seeds of a rivalry there. However, they belong in an east coast conference. They belong in the ACC. They certainly belong in the Big Ten more than Rutgers. I’d give them an edge over Maryland as well.

I would also kick out Baylor. Their football programs rape culture is an absolute disgrace. Not only should they have been kicked out of the Big 12, their football program should have been closed down.

Then I would bring back Nebraska and Missouri. This would make a pretty sweet conference:

1. Iowa State
2 Nebraska
3. Missouri
4. Kansas State
5. Kansas
6. Oklahoma
7. Oklahoma State
8. Texas
9. Texas Tech
10. Texas Christian

It actually wouldn’t take too much pressing for me to want to kick out TCU and put Colorado back in. Nothing against TCU, but I don’t like competing against private colleges because they aren’t subject to the same open records policies that public universities are.

All the being said, here are some pictures from the Iowa State-Nebraska game:


Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

I don’t know what the final score of this game was, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. The Gene Chizik era at Iowa State ended with 10 straight losses. Most of them were beatings.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entry to its original glory:

Nebraska Debacle

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve women fighting for the right to vote. No, really.

Remember Tonight…

I thought I would take a Friday off from regaling you with events from the Alamo Bowl Road Trip because, I do now own the drone that I have been planning to own for several months now.

While admittedly, I only reached 9 of my 10 goals, nobody has seemed to displeased with the fact that I’ve switch the filling of my change jar to when I pulled the trigger on the Sony RX0.

I received the DJI Mavic 2 Pro on Wednesday. I was able to put it together and charge the batteries and read parts of the manual. Because I wanted to at least see it in the air, I flew it about a foot off my dining room table and took a picture.

When I got home from work on Thursday there was a brief respite in the harsh weather conditions and I was able to fly it around my backyard for a bit and snap a few more pictures.

Therefore I present the first pictures taken with Photography 139 One (name unofficial and probably will change by the end of this blog):


Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

This is the tip of the iceberg. There will be plenty more drone blogs in the future. A full review and tons of video. Tons of video!

I can report that Naima is not a big fan of Rodan 139 (see, I told you the name would change), but I feel in time she will grow to love it. Like how she loves being carried to the basement to watch Iowa State basketball games or two watch the feature movie on Movie Night or how she loves inflatable things or how she loves her dog food bag.

Speaking of Movie Night, Movie Night in February will be ON February 17. Projector rolls at 6 PM. The feature will be FORTY GUNS. It will be the first (but certainly not the last) Samuel Fuller movie shown during Movie Night. The B Movie is still to be determined. Snack currently to be determined, but popcorn will definitely be on the menu.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is EYE:


WEEK 178 - EYE
EYE

An EYE photo is simple enough. It is a picture of an EYE or anything EYE related.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – January

Loyal leaders may recall that I started up the Selfie Project again in 2019. At the end of every month I will check-in with it to share some of my favorites from the month.

If you don’t want to wait until the end of the month, you can follow me on the Instagram to see what I have done and where I have been.

To follow me on the Instagram, scan my Nametag below:


Instagram Nametag

Spoiler: For January I’m not sure I did anything all that exciting. Although I did leave Iowa once to visit the Miller Triplets in Kansas.

Here are my favorites:


December 31, 2018
December 31, 2018

January 4, 2019
January 4

January 8, 2019
January 8

January 10, 2019
January 10

January 12, 2019
January 12

January 14, 2019
January 14

January 16, 2019
January 16

January 17, 2019
January 17

January 18, 2019
January 18

January 20, 2019
January 20

January 21, 2019
January 21

January 22, 2019
January 22

January 23, 2019
January 23

January 25, 2019
January 25

January 26, 2019
January 26

January 27, 2019
January 27

January 29, 2019
January 29

January 30, 2019
January 30

January 31, 2019
January 31

Hopefully I will be interesting in February. There is a baby I need to visit up in Minnesota. A baby I need to visit down in Des Moines. If the weather gets nicer, I could spend some time pursuing THE TOWN SIGNS PROJECT or I could spend the entire month hanging around the house with Naima.

The struggle is real!

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Here is a big update on my pursuit of a drone:

  1. Car paid off. – I got the pink slip daddy!
  2. Training Budget Reimbursement – Bought about 10 books and signed up for an online portrait photography class that I will discuss someday.
  3. Purchase Popcorn Maker – The Union Street theater has procured its very own popcorn maker from Flat Earth Joe. The one that was borrowed from Andy’s friend of a friend has been returned.
  4. Computer Upgrade – I have completed upgrades on my home computer. I’ve put in a solid state drive to run the OS and the applications, I upped the RAM to 16 GB and I replaced the video card with a video card with twice the ram and that is capable of running 3 monitors.
  5. Figure out the effect of the Iowa GOP Tax Scam – The Iowa GOP Tax Scam will indeed result in me paying more taxes. There is about a $7 effect on my paycheck, meaning I am getting a tax cut of roughly $200. (Assuming the withholding from my paycheck is being done right.) However, since the Iowa GOP Tax Scam made it so a 6% sales tax is levied on all online purchases, I will be taxed well more than the $200 benefit. For example, I’ll pay over $100 in taxes on purchasing the drone that I wouldn’t have had to pay before the Iowa GOP Tax Scam became law. 
  6. Rear Brakes – I had the rear brakes replaced on my car last night. It costs me about 40% of what I was expecting Win!
  7. Computer Mine Bonus – I did indeed get a Computer Mine Bonus. I can’t complain about it one bit. 
  8. Bank Fraud Resolution – I am going to consider the bank fraud situation resolved. I haven’t received a letter saying that it is a done deal, but the bank did place the $350 that I requested in my bank account as a provisional credit. The investigation is still to be closed by January 31. I have a naive faith that the investigation will end in my favor. Otherwise, Credit Union Time?
  9. Federal GOP Tax Scam – The Tax Scam didn’t effect my tax refund at all. It was almost like it wasn’t meant to be a tax cut for lower class and middle class people. It is almost like it was a cash grab for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations under the ludicrous precept that some of the benefits would trickle down to us poor folks. I can say this with 100% certainty. I respect a person that believes the earth is flat way more than I respect somebody that believes in the Laffer Curve. 
  10. Change Jar -I have added some change to the change jar, including the change I won in a football pool at the Computer Mine. However, I am still probably 2 inches short of being almost full. I should effort to go through the cushions of my couches. If I can get within one inch, of the top of the jar, I will call this quest complete and proceed to order my drone.

That looks identical to last week’s drone update. This is because it is identical to last week’s drone update.

Here is what is different. I’ve decided not to wait until the coin jar is full to pull the trigger on the drone. I pulled the trigger last Friday and it should arrive to be safely caressed in my arms tomorrow.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to actually use it due to the weather, but I will monitor the weather closely. It is possible that the first day of decent weather I’ll take off of work and go play in the skies above us. No higher than 400 feet and not within 5 miles of an airport.

I know what you’re thinking, you snagged your reward before achieving your goals. That shows a lack of discipline. This is very disheartening, considering you have been yammering on and on to anybody that would listen that you are going to be more financially responsible this year.

This is true. My main goal of 2019 is to be lest wasteful with money in certain ways. However, the benefit of that is that I get to be more wasteful in other veins.

My way of being more financially responsible is to have set some goals.

Goal #1: Decrease my actual debt load my a certain amount of money. I’m not heavily in debt. I have a house payment and some credit card debt. However, while I don’t have a car payment, I want to hammer on my debt and get it below #X by the end of the year. I’ll report on my progress here, because congratulations, you just became my accountability buddies.

Goal #2: Figure out why my website is costing me so much more money than I ever intended. I have partially concluded this goal. I actually (I know people should do these things) sat down and reviewed what my webhost was charging me. I discovered that I was paying $10 a month for something called Website Builder, that I don’t use. I built my website with my own two hands and Vest’s two hands and WordPress. They are also charging me like 8 bucks a month for PHP 5.2+. I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I need that, but at the very least, I’m saving $120 bucks a year on this website.

Goal #3: To stop wasting so much money going out to lunch at work. It is not an exaggeration to say that in 2018 and the years before I went out to lunch, on average 4.5 out of 5 work days a week. If I conservatively estimate the average lunch to be $10, I probably spent $200 a month on lunch. That is $2400 a year. My goal is to only eat out for lunch 20% of the year. I estimate that just by bringing lunch from home, I can save $1800 a year. The good news is that I’m on track this year. In January there were 22 work days. I went out to lunch one time. I’m currently at a 4.5% eating out for lunch percentage. My worry is that I will get burned out on eating in. So I’m going to try to mix it up as much as possible. If you have any cheap, healthy lunches that are easy to prepare either at work or on the Sunday before the work week starts, throw them my way. This week I’m eating overnight oats. This space is a place where I might also share some of the recipes I come across. I have to thank American Ninja Steve for introducing me to overnight oats. I’m not making his recipe yet because it involves lots of exotic ingredients I need to be able to track down like flax milk and hemp heads. But when I make that for a week, I’ll share that recipe here.

Goal #4: Save money by buying used lenses. I’m still torn on whether or not I’m going to buy a new camera this year. It has been almost 3 years since I bought a new camera and I’m getting the itch. However, I am vexed on what camera to buy. I’ve thought about crossing over into the Sony mirrorless realm, but that means a whole new camera mount. The other option is to buy the camera that is above my camera in my current platform. That camera sells for about $3200. That price tag is going to take me a lot of meals of overnight oats to justify in my head. Especially with my debt lowering goals. While I don’t know about buying a new camera, I have compiled a list of lenses I want to buy this year. I’ve decided to hit the used lens market this year as I can save sometimes as much as 30% by going used. Some of the lens I want are pretty cheap, but some are not. The exciting news for you is that every time I get some used glass, you’ll get to read an exciting equipment review! Yay you!

Goal #5: Up % of the paycheck that goes into savings and 401K.

But none of this explains why I felt it was okay to pull the trigger on the drone with the change jar still 2 inches from the top.

There are two reasons for that:

#1. Through my works and luck at the computer mine, I had $325 in Amazon gift cards burning a hole in my virtual wallet. In my wildest dream, there isn’t $325 in the coin jar.

#2. I recently ordered a new photo toy called arsenal for $185. It is a camera attachment that allows you to control your camera with your smartphone. Now I can already control my camera with a smartphone, but there is limited control. It basically throws the camera into automatic and you get what you get. Arsenal allows you to control pretty much all the main settings on the camera. Plus it is supposed to do its own focus stacking and HDR. Plus it has some pretty sweet time-lapse settings. However, I got an email that they can’t make it Arsenal work with my camera and don’t think they ever will be able to. They refunded me that money. Although to be honest, that $185 isn’t going toward the drone. When the refund hits my account it is going towards some glass. Not sure which one I’ll pull the trigger on first. But don’t worry I’ll let you know.

So where is that change jar money going to go. Well, one camera purchase I am dedicated to this year is the Sony RX0. Therefore, when the change jar is full I will take it to the bank and then order up the Sony RX0.

This concludes your Tuesday camera equipment purchase updates.

10-13-08

There is quite the collection of images in the folder called 10-13-08. I can’t possibly include all of them in this here entry, so I’ll just have to pick out a few that I like the most.

The pictures range from Gyro Day at the Computer Mine to the Ames Party Bus in action to a road trip to Kalona with Mom, Teresa, and Jay.

Have a looksie:


Gyro Day - 2008

Gyro Day - 2008

FNSC

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

Kalona Road Trip - 2008

While I’m not 100% sure, I believe that is the last of my Ames Party Bus pictures. Which means I should explain why you haven’t seen Becky driving around the Ames Party Bus in 10 years.

I might not be getting the details 100% correct, but the spirit of what I’m writing is dead on.

Shortly after Becky finished restored the Ames Party Bus and began putting out an APB on fun, Big Party Bus felt threatened. In fact they were scared. Petrified.

Big Party Bus checked their address book to look up which state representatives they had in their back pockets. Then they went to these bought politicians and pulled their chains.

The bought politicians reacted by passing a law that made party buses carry an exorbitant amount of insurance. Like an incredible amount of insurance. Insurance that was price-prohibitive.

This effectively shutdown the small-time party bus. Becky was out of business, shortly after the party had begun. Rich people win again.

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

Spoiled

Euphonious

Kalona (Part 1)

Kalona (Part 2)

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve an Iowa State football match with the Bugeaters of Nebraska.

The Proverbial Swan Song

While I was preparing to write this entry I went down a rabbit hole on the origins of the term “swan song”.

I have heard the term many times, but never really understood what it meant. Apparently there is a belief dating back to ancient Greece that swans stay mostly mute for their life and then right before they die, they sing a beautiful song.

There is still a fair amount of debate on whether or not swans do in fact sing a beautiful song before they die. I would like to think it is true since swans are among the most beautiful of birds. They certainly are the most beautiful bird that you can see in Iowa, in the wild.

The term isn’t always morbid. Is has come to be synonymous with doing something great right before you retire.

I don’t know if this post 100% qualifies, but it is about a form of retirement for me.

For the last couple of years I have done some pro bono photography (although I once was paid in homemade treats for Naima) for the Boone Area Humane Society. The last time I did photography for them was when I covered their annual Pet Memorial Day Celebration.

Due to the shifting sands of the power structure of the Boone Area Humane Society, I have a feeling that I won’t be asked to do any photography for them in the coming years. But that is a story for a different time.

Here are some pictures from that event:


Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Pet Memorial Day - 2018

Kio ran the event. Pastor Doug gave a speech and lead us in prayer. It was a cool event. I hope it continues to happen in the future, but the way things stand currently, I have my doubts.

Another loss that people in one of my communities are experiencing is that we learned that we will be losing Pastor Doug and his amazing wife Jodie near the end of June. It is a good deal for Doug because he is getting a big fatty promotion. He will be the District Superintendent of the Southeast District. He will be posting up in Mount Pleasant.

For our church, it kinda sucks. Doug is a great Pastor and Jodie is possibly an even better Pastor’s wife. Losing both of them will leave a hole in our church that the next person or persons will have quite a time filling.

The new Pastor will also be like the 80th Pastor we have had in the last 5 years. Now that is probably hyperbole, but search your feelings, you know it to be true.

There is a common misconception that somewhere in The Bible it says “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” It is a common phrase that is trotted out as a reassurance when people are going through difficult times or grief.

The truth is that this isn’t in The Bible. Sorry, but sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a train.

That being said, I would like to give the common response to the phrase, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

I wish God didn’t know we were so strong*.

The good news is that while God doesn’t say anything about giving us more than we can handle, God does say that we won’t be tempted beyond our limits:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Therefore, I hope my church will not be tempted to feel sorry for itself. I hope my church won’t feel tempted to cling to the past. I hope my church won’t be tempted to resist the future.

A new Pastor is coming. While they will be the 80th Pastor in the last 5 years, I have faith that we will get a good one. We are in a good position and while we aren’t exactly a “destination” denomination, we are in a relatively good place and we have some powerful people looking out for our interests.

Playing the numbers game, we’ve really only had one bad Pastor in the last 15 years. While they were a really, really, really, really, really bad Pastor (I mean the guy sermonized at least once a month about past congregants he had smited and that is just the tip of the iceberg), we aren’t due for another like him for at least 30 years. Those are my calculations at least.

While I’m sad to be losing such great people, I am optimistic about the future and what a new Pastor will bring to our church and what our church will bring to a new Pastor!

There is light at the end of the tunnel and at this time, I don’t hear a train.

*On a personal note, this phrase has always bothered me.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 176 – SURPRISE

I knew SURPRISE was a tough theme and participation took a predictable hit this week. This week’s theme is considerably easier, but you might have to go out in the -50 (wind chill) temperatures to get a picture. You don’t have to, but I know I will be! Probably. You need to be careful with electronics in cold temperatures. I know a guy who recently bought a drone and can’t fly it yet because the temperatures are just too cold.

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


WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

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 177 - RUINS
RUINS

RUINS! What a great theme! But what is a RUINS photo? A RUINS photo is any photo of something in decay. Not necessarily something organic, but if you feel like interpreting the theme that way, more power to you.

I can’t wait to see your interpretations!

+++++++

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

+++++++

That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very ruinous Monday.