Category Archives: Brandon

Blessings 2020

Let’s face it. 2020 has been a terrible year. I could spend hours and hours polishing this turd, but a turd is still a turd.

I basically only see 2 other people on a regular basis right now. Willy and I haven’t held a Friday Night Supper Club since March 13. We went to Jimmy’s for their Friday the 13th sale. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen any of my nieces and nephews this year. I’ve been able to hold a couple of Union Street Theater Nights in the reconfigured Union Street Theater, but it isn’t really the same. The masks and the sound of the air purifiers makes conversation a little difficult and food is definitely a missing element. Since March, the only stores I have been inside are the Boone Wal-Mart and Boone Hardware. I go to Hy-Vee every other week. I’ve seen Bethany twice. Nate and Laura once. Becca, not at all. I haven’t seen the Lockners at all. I’ve seen the Gorshes thrice. I run into Willy around town now and again. Jay stops by here and there to work on his homework. I see Jesse now and again. I haven’t met Kalista’s baby. Baier, Russell, Andree? Distant memories. Since I left the Computer Mine with the belief that I would be working from home for a few weeks, the only co-workers of note that I’ve seen in person are Vest, Lowell, Kim, and Elizabeth. I haven’t met Jorge’s twins. My church has had maybe a dozen worship services and those are suspended again. The Mission Trip is cancelled. There will be no Mission Trip next year. Youth Group has been put on hold indefinitely. For the first time since September 18, 2004, they played football games at Jack Trice Stadium and I wasn’t in attendance. The Cyclones Women’s Basketball Season just tipped off. I wasn’t there. I will most likely, not be able to attend any Cyclones Men’s games this year.

All of that being said, 2020 has still been an embarrassment of blessings for me. In a time where the pandemic was horribly mismanaged by an inept and corrupt federal government, causing employment rates to go through the roof and food insecurity and evictions to sweep across the country like a second plague, I have not had to worry about my job. As these pandemic pounds can attest, I haven’t once had to worry about my next meal. I was in a solid enough financial position that when the $1200 dollar stimulus check hit my bank account I wasn’t sure what to do with it. We were supposed to put it where it would do the most good, so I donated some of it to Joe Biden’s campaign.

While the only people I see on a regular basis are Mom and Teresa. I am still blessed with a pretty incredible family:


Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

While I see them rarely, I still have a pretty incredible set of friends:


March 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019

LOSER - BLACK & WHITE

Self Portrait Project - 2012

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Honey Hollow

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

While we don’t get to worship an awesome God together right now, I still have a pretty incredible church family:


October 27, 2019

October 30, 2019

September 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

June 23, 2019

January 16, 2019

While I continue to work at home, I still talk to and try to stay in contact with my amazing work family:


August 30, 2019

December 27, 2019

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

And while Naima is becoming off the charts spoiled, I’m blessed to have her in my life as well:


Black and White Alternate

I hope to see so much more of all of you in 2021. In fact, I’ve started to compile a list of things that I look forward to doing when this pandemic subsides. It isn’t a glamorous list. But that is a sign of 2020.

2010-05-03

The pictures from the folder 2010-05-03 are from a Mother’s Day celebration at Carla and Jason’s old house. We celebrated a week early because Teresa was going to Kentucky for Mother’s Day.

A few of the pictures in this collection were taken by Alexis:


Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

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:

VACATION DAY 9B – MOTHER’S DAY EARLY

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a trip to Brookside Park among other things.

In the Cold October Snow

I need to begin today by wishing Elainie a happy birthday. Happy birthday Elainie!


Elainie & Sabas

06-22-08

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

9 Emotions Project - Elainie

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be.

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Back in late October, we got a bit of unexpected snow. I took a few flower pictures afterwards.


A Proud Assertion - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Fortunately, fall weather wasn’t done with us yet. But that snow pretty much did in all of my flowers.

WPC – WEEK 264 – SIGNS

Sorry that this is several minutes late today. I went to cast my ballot for the 2020 election during my lunch break from the mine:


Early Votiong 2020

A reminder that if you live in Iowa, early voting starts today! It might be easier and safer than voting on November 3. But you have to make the choice that is best for you.

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I need to start today by wishing Johnathan a happy birthday. Happy birthday Johnathan!


Johnathan at 400mm

Photo of the Day 0009 - May 11, 2014

09-22-07

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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WooHoo! 53 straight weeks of double digit submissions!! Once again, I didn’t even have to send out any reminder texts.

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


WEEK 264 - SIGNS - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 264 - SIGNS - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

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:


WEEL 265 - SELF-PORTRAIT
SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTAIT! What a great theme! But what is a SELF-PORTRAIT? This is simply a portrait where the subject and the photographer are one and the same. If you don’t like taking your own picture, you can always take a picture of somebody else taking a SELF-PORTRAIT. That is a pro tip for ya!

Here is a look back at the previous 7 times SELF-PORTRAIT was a theme:

RWPE #8 – SELF-PORTRAIT

RWPE Y2 #52 – SELF-PORTRAIT

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 25 – SELF-PORTRAIT

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 68 – SELF-PORTRAIT

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 144 & WEEK 145

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 179 – SELF-PORTRAIT

WPC – WEEK 245 – SELF-PORTRAIT

HOUSEKEEPINGA 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.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

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 selfish Monday!

Rodan139: Water Alternate

I need to start today off by wishing my Mom a happy birthday. Without here, none of this would be possible. Not only would I never exist, she also bought me my first camera. A Minolta Maxxum 450si.

Happy birthday Mom!


Mom and Grandma

WEEK 34 - PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Photo of the Day 0036 - June 7, 2014

Custer State Park

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

December 25, 2019

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Vacation 09/23/18 - 10/01/17

Mom

Mom

It hope is as amazing a birthday as you want it to be!

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I went to Ledges on Sunday morning to take my WATER picture for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. I took several pictures. Here are some of the others I took that weren’t ready for the world on Monday.


WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

WPC - WEEK 262 - WATER ALTERNATE

I hope to take Rodan139 out again this weekend. On Tuesday I came off a self-quarantine from a potential exposure from a previous Sunday. As it turns out, I wasn’t exposed, so good news for the friendly skies!

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This is your reminder that STILL LIFE is this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


WEEK 263 - STILL LIFE

A STILL LIFE image is a picture of an inanimate object. Usually posed.

Happy photo harvesting!

WPC – WEEK 257 – MACRO

I need to start today by wishing my eldest sister Teresa a happy birthday. Happy birthday Teresa!


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa Birthday - 2008

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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Can you believe it? 46 straight weeks of double digit submissions! I thought for sure the derecho would maybe put a hitch in THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE’S giddy up this week. But it was barely even a bump in the road for most of you. The rest of you, I’m going to assume you still don’t have power and your roof is lying in your neighbor’s field.

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


WEEK 257 - MACRO - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 257 - MACRO - BECK PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 257 - MACRO - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 257 - MACRO - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 257 - MACRO - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 257 - MACRO - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 257 - MACRO - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 257 - MACRO - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 257 - MACRO - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 257 - MACRO - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 257 - MACRO - 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:


WEEK 258 - RELIGION
RELIGION

RELIGION! What a great theme! But what is a RELIGION photo? A RELIGION photo is a photo of anything that deals with the practice of a RELIGION. From a picture of a holy book or a place of worship or a worship service or a symbol of RELIGION.

I look forward to 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.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

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 religious Monday!

Derecho Beta

I need to start today by wishing a happy birthday to Russ! Happy birthday Russ!


Logan Graduation

Brandon Kahler - Senior Night

Brandon Kahler - Senior Night

Mother's Day - 2009

I hope your birthday was as wonderful as you wanted it to be!

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The first day after the derecho, I woke up without power. I figured it wouldn’t take long to get power. While I am a dirt poor, blue collar working stiff, I do live in what is considered the “nice” side of town with a bunch of swells. I figured that while my economic status wouldn’t get me preferred service, I would be able to ride the coattails of the country club set.

I was wrong. While even people who live west of Division Street got power back, I spent my day going back and forth between the darkness of my working man’s humble abode and to my Mom’s to get a charge on various electronics. My Mom did get power back at about 10 AM. The electric company came and moved the downed power line that was laying across her backyard. This allowed us to clean up her backyard. Shortly after that crew left, another crew came and turned her power back on.

Since I live about 3 blocks from my Mom, I thought I would have power back within minutes. Or at least within hours. But that power never came. I thought that I might have to travel to Ames to work at the Computer Mine, but they also didn’t get power back until late Tuesday night.

With no power and no job to work at, I grilled myself a semi-frozen pizza for lunch and then drove out to the “Stop Eminent Domain Abuse” semi trailer that had reportedly flipped over. Then I went back to Luther to photograph the grain bins one more time with a different lens than I brought the first time.

Here are some pictures:


Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

Derecho Beta

I went to bed without power and now the amount of generators in my neighborhood had tripled. I loved the dark, I just wish some quiet would have accompanied it!

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


WEEK 257 - MACRO
MACRO

A MACRO photo is a closeup photo. I was going to get into the technical definition, but nah, closeup photo is enough of a description.

Happy photo harvesting!

Bodega Bay

I need to start today by wishing Alexis a happy birthday. Happy birthday Alexis!


9 Emotions Project - Alexis

Alexis & Kupono Wedding

Stenslands- 2019

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

06-11-08

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you wanted it to be!

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I thought I would give you a break from flowers for a day and shows some pictures of some baby robins from my front yard. A pair of robins built a nest in my bush in my front yard for the second time this year. Here are some pictures:


Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

I recently added a birdhouse and a second bird feeder to my property. Well it is really a first bird feeder, because I keep the first bird feeder for the wasp nest that I nurture.

Actually the second bird feeder was a gift from my Mom and the birdhouse was a gift from Kio. The second bird feeder has proved to be popular thus far.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is NIGHT.


WEEK 253 - NIGHT
NIGHT

A NIGHT picture is simply any picture taken at NIGHT.

Happy photo harvesting!

Happy Birthday!

Thought that this would be a good day to share the balance of pictures I took while I was tooling around Boone County looking for my BLACK AND WHITE and Happy Independence Day photos.


I Know Who did This...

Boone County Historical Marker

Boone County Historical Marker

Boone County Historical Marker

Boone County Historical Marker

Boone County Historical Marker

The sign says:

On July 31, 1943 a U.S. Army Air Force B-24 Bomber Ser. No 41-29052 carrying a crew of 5, crashed at this site during a server thunderstorm killing everyone on board.

This marker is placed in their memory.
Pilot 1st Lt. Melvin S. Meeker
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Samuel Levitt
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Matthew J. Radosevich
Engineer T/Sgt James M. Parker
Radio Man T/Sgt Thomas J. Leyshon

The crew was on a navigation training flight from Topeka ARM Air Force Base, Topeka, Kansas, to Duluth, Minnesota at the time of the crash.

Iowa Military Aviation Heritage Museum Ankeny, Iowa

I’ve corrected some of the unfortunate spelling errors on the sign.

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There are a ton of birthdays up in the Photography 139 Universe! Let me start with my nephew Logan. Happy birthday Logan!


Logan Graduation

Good Friday - 2009

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State

I hope your birthday was as amazing as you wanted it to be! Get some rest. You’re going to need it!

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I also need to wish a happy birthday to Derrick. Happy birthday Derrick!


October 28, 2017

Last Ottumwa Day

WEEK 139 - MUSIC - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT


I hope your birthday was as incredible as you wanted it to be!

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If it is Derrick’s birthday, that also means that it is Jill’s birthday. I haven’t talked to Jill in years, but I still wish her a happy birthday!


Iowa State Fair - 2011

9 Emotions Project - Jill Gorshe

Ottumwa

I hope your birthday was as joyous as you hoped it would be.

Pride. Integrity. Guts.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of you that celebrate. I don’t. I’m mostly of Scottish and Welsh stock, so I’ve been trained by the English to hate the Irish and I do. I do hate the Irish. At least I hate the Notre Dame Fighitn’ Irish. They can straight bugger off.

That being said, under normal circumstances, I would make my way to West Street Deli and have the most delicious Reuben in the world. That was before we were in a global pandemic. Also, I think West Street Deli closes during Spring Break anyways.

Another thing that would normally happen tonight would be the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. This year it was cancelled due to fears of over the coronavirus. I one hundred percent support this decision. In situations like we find ourselves in, we should very vigilant. When this is over, nobody will regret being too cautious. That being said, it still makes me a little sad. The NCAA Tournament is by far my favorite sporting event every year. There isn’t a close second. Maybe Championship Week. Followed by bowl games. Followed by about every college football Saturday.

So let me quote a Brandi Carlile song to express a little bit of how I feel about the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.


Look to the clock on the wall
Hands hardly moving at all
I can’t stand the state that I’m in
Sometimes it feels like the wall’s closing in
Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?
Trap all my troubles away
Drown my sorrow the same way
Seems no matter how hard I try
It seems like there’s something just missing inside

However, while I drown my sorrows, it seems I should still honor last years NCAA Tournament and the winners of my annual Roundball Oracles Pool.

You may recall that there are two trophy winners. The winner and then the biggest adult loser. The winner of last year’s Roundball Oracles Pool was Becky Parmelee:


2019 Roundball Oracles Champion
Becky with her Championship Trophy

Then the winner of The Sara Trophy for last place adult was Russell Kennerly:


2019 Roundball Oracles - The Sara
Russell with the Sara.

Last year, 42 people vied to join the List of Immortals with Becky finishing on top. Here are the final standings:

Roundball Oracles – Year 15

1. Becky Parmelee – 281
2. Linda Bennett – 265
3. Michelle Haupt -242
4. Lowell Davis – 242
5. Angie DeWaard – 242
6. Dawn Krause – 239
7. Sean Clubine – 237
8. Paul Golden – 237
9. Rachel Gildersleeve – 237
10. Jason Baier – 236
11. Jesse Howard – 231
12. Michael Augustin – 230
13. Corey Faust – 225
14. Derek Dohrman – 224
15. Shannon Bardole – 224
16. Cathie Raley – 223
17. Jordan Toot – 221
18. Robert Henning – 220
19. Frank Meiners – 219
20. Brandon Kahler – 210
21. Jackson Faust – 209
22. Which Mascot Would Win a Fight – 202
23. Bill Wentworth – 202
24. Ben Baier – 201
25. Derrick Gorshe -201
26. Humble Narrator – 198
27. Elizabeth Nordeen – 196
28. Jason Stensland – 195
29. Olivia Baier – 195
30. Tim Peterson – 193
31 – William McAlpine – 192
32. Jorge Rios – 189
33. Sarah Karber – 189
34. Toby Sebring – 185
35. Joseph Lynch – 181
36. Teresa Kahler – 181
37. Will Baier – 177
38. Jon DeWaard – 173
39. Carrie Baier – 170
40. Laura Miller – 166
41. Sean Gildersleeve – 161
42. Russell Kennerly – 160
43. JJ Baier – 150

The Updated List of Immortals

2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

A few final thoughts on the end of the college basketball season. This year’s Iowa State men’s team was one of the worst in school history. At least one of the worst in my lifetime. In some ways there is little in the way of hope for next season as Iowa State will (barring a miracle) will lose their best player (Tyrese Halliburton) to the NBA. They only lose 2 seniors in Jacobson and Nixon, but I’m not sure how much talent is returning. Every guy that returns has shown flashes of greatness and then has returned to the mean. Freshman like Tre Jackson had to play way too much before they were remotely ready. The bumps those guys took could pay off next season as at least Tre could take a big jump. Solo is the heart and soul of the team and he could have a big senior season. George Conditt is an NBA talent, but he struggled this season, but if there is anybody on the roster that is able to make a bigger jump than him, I don’t know who it would be. If T-Lew could learn to play just a little bit of defense he could be a big contributor. I’m sure his flex after his dunk against Okie State instead of running back on defense will be a big motivator this offseason. Zion might be the biggest question mark on the roster. His playing time diminished as the season went along, but he still has a huge upside. Bolton is in line to be the best player on next year’s roster, but he has to start playing with more discipline.

There is a great recruiting class coming in with Xavier Foster being one of the biggest recruits in school history. With his silky smooth shot, he could easily fill that stretch 4 role that Jacobson struggled to fill this season. Dudley Blackwell is also a highly regarded recruit that could also contribute immediately. Darlinstone Dubar has an incredible name and frankly that is how I evaluate most recruits. He wasn’t a highly regarded recruit when he signed with Iowa State, but then he shot up the rankings. He has good size. which is something this year’s team lacked. Jaden Walker is another mystery. He isn’t all that highly regarded, but he is built like Tyrese. His rankings are similar to Tyrese. I’m not saying he is the next Tyrese Halliburton, but even the Steve Prohm haters that came out of the woodwork this year would struggle to criticize his record with point guards.

The other big mystery is sit-out transfer Javon Johnson. He is a 6-6 small forward that averaged double digits for Troy. He has a good shot and allegedly had NBA athleticism. But it is a big jump from Troy to what has been the best basketball conference in the country for the last decade. He is a big wild card.

Finally, Iowa State will have at least one scholarship to fill. I’d like to live in the world where Tyrese comes back, but even with his injury, some mock drafts having him going as high as #4 in the draft. That gives at least one scholarship to fill. I imagine Iowa State will try to sign an immediately eligible experience point guard. Bolton can play the point, but he is clearly better as the 2. Otherwise, you are looking at Tre taking over at the point. He didn’t get a ton of time there this season, so it isn’t the best case scenario.

It is also certainly possible that somebody transfers, opening up another scholarship. If that happens, I imagine Iowa State would look at a sit-out transfer (if that is still a thing). Not sure what they would go after there, but my guess is another combo guard.

Now, the Cyclone women had a much better season. They ended their season by defeating #2 Baylor and ending their 58 game Big 12 Conference win streak. Leaving Hilton Coliseum that day was the most joy I have experienced as a Cyclone fan since leaving Jack Trice on November 16 after the Cyclones knocked off Texas with a 36 yard Connor Assalley walk-off field goal.

The women’s had an up and down season, but they were projected to be in the NCAA Tournament as a 9 or 10 seed. They could have improved that seed with a run in the Big 12 Tournament, but to get to the finals, they would have had to beat that same Baylor team in the semi-finals.

Not much was expected out of the Cyclones this year. They had just lost Bridget Carleton, arguably the best player in school history. If she isn’t the best, the only person in the conversation is Angie Welle… for now. They also lost Alexa Middleton, the best point guard Iowa State has had since Allison Lacey. Finally, they lost Meredith Burkhall. Meredith wasn’t a star, but she was a solid post that might have been primed for a big senior season if she hadn’t experience a serious illness the summer before her senior season.

Iowa State’s season could have went south as the roster constantly battled injuries. Iowa State’s second best player Kristin Scott battled a back injury that sidelined her at the beginning and the end of the season. Starting point guard Rae Johnson also missed several games with a bad back. At the end of the year her minutes were being heavily monitored. Madison Wise missed a good chunk of the season due to debilitating migraines. Maddie Frederick was starting to get good minutes when she went down with an injury and only returned for the last few games of the season.

Despite all of that, Iowa State finished 4th in the Big 12 and were playing great basketball at the end of the season. They had the grit that the men lacked. People played out of position. People stepped up. Having Ashley Joens, who will be in the conversation with Welle and Carleton to be the GOAT when her career is over, probably didn’t hurt either.

But what will next year’s team be like? I think we are at the dawn of what could be another golden era for the Cyclone women. I don’t want to say that they could contend for a conference title next year, because.. you know… Baylor, but they could give Baylor a run for their money. Especially with what Baylor loses. But what does Iowa State lose?

Iowa State graduated 4 seniors. All of them were contributors, but none of them put the kind of a dent in the program that Bridget Carleton did.

Probably the biggest loss is Adriana Camber. Down the stretch, she played almost every minute of every game. Her numbers won’t pop out at you. She averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. But she wassecond on the team with 845 minutes played. She was the consummate glue player. She did whatever the team needed. Usually that meant guarding the best player on the other team. More times than not, she was able to shut them down. She also lead the Cyclones with 48 thees. All of that will be hard to replace, but that is a role that a healthy Madison Wise could slide into. She struggled from 3 this season, but her history suggests she is a better shooter than she showed this season. Camber also struggled with her shot as a junior after all.

The second biggest loss is probably Ines Nezerwa. Ines was a post and probably one of the biggest fan favorites. Ines came to Iowa State very raw and left a little raw. You could see that talent there, but sometimes that meant bad turnovers. Sometimes it meant several minute stretches where she would dominate games. Sometimes it mean she couldn’t stop fouling. But nobody will ever forget the big 3 she drilled in the final minutes against Baylor to give Iowa State the lead. With Kristin Scott having an injury plagued season she came up big for the Cyclones over and over again. Especially when the only other big on the roster was Morgan Kane, who was a very green freshman. The good news is that there are people ready (hopefully to replace Ines). For starters there is 6-5 sit out transfer Lindsey Jarosinski. Plus it is hard to put into words how much Morgan Kane grew this season. At the end she was able to play valuable minutes. I don’t know that she will ever be much of a scorer, but she doesn’t need to be. Finally, Iowa State redshirted Gabby McBride this season. Iowa State will not be so thin in the post next season. Especially if Kristin Scott stays healthy.

The third Cyclones they lose is Jade Thurmon. Jade came up big for the depleted Cyclones late in the season. She was super fast with the ball and was hard to contain off dribble penetration. However, there are plenty of players coming that are coming that can take Jade’s minutes.

The last senior Iowa State loses is Nia Washington. Nia hardly ever played, but she was definitely a team leader. She was the player that gave the last words to the team before they took the floor. As an outsider, it is hard to quantify how much her leadership could be missed.

That is the bad. The good news is that Iowa State returns their (at least) 3 best players. Ashley Joens will be a junior. Kristin Scott will be a senior. Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw will be a sophomore. They will return Rae Johnson, their point guard and sometimes best player. Hopefully Madison Wise is healthy and returns to her freshman form. They add a 6-5 transfer. I’m very intrigued to see how Maddie Frederick develops. She has shown signs. She is somebody who could potentially take that Camber role as well.

While what returns on paper is more than enough to get excited about, we should talk about what is coming in next year. They have the #7 ranked class in the country.

Lexi Donarski from Wisconsin will be only the second McDonald’s All-American (Alexa Middleton) to play for Iowa State. She is the #12 player in the country.

Emily Ryan from Kansas has never lost a high school game. She has been the Kansas Player of the Year multiple times.

Aubrey Joens in Ashley Joens’ sister. Enough said, but she is also the #58 player in the country.

Kylie Feurbach from Illinois is the #77 player in the country.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little bit excited about the women’s team next year. The fact that thee is no NCAA Tournament this year doesn’t help.

+++++++

I also wanted to share some pictures from my trip to the Iowa State Fair with Nader and Logan:


Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

I still need to crack into flower pictures I took at the Iowa State Fair on this day. I know some of you are looking forward to that!