Category Archives: Brandon

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!

Fly Iowa: The Final Chapter

Buckle up Nancy, this is going to be a long one!

I need to start this post by wishing a very happy birthday to the middle child of the Bennett Sibling Triumvirate. Happy birthday Carla!

Here are some pictures of Carla:


Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

San Antonio Road Trip

October 15, 2019

State Tournament - Albia

I hope your birthday had the exact amounts of joy that you wanted!

+++++++

It is also Monica’s birthday. I think it has been a couple of years since I last saw Monica in person. But I know that she would still take a bullet for me. Small caliber. In the arm. Maybe the leg.

Happy birthday Monica! Here are some Monica pics:


Eastern Iowa Road Trip - 2006

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Cheaper than Therapy

Eastern Iowa Road Trip - 2006

I hope your birthday was absolutely wonderful!

+++++++

The Union Street Theater is pleased to announce that a date has been chosen for March Movie Night. March movie night will be Sunday, March 29. March Movie Night will be a tribute to one of my favorite actors, Kirk Douglas. Kirk was the start of a few of my favorite movies of all-time. PATHS OF GLORY, LUST FOR LIFE, and SPARTACUS. Kirk Douglas was instrumental in elevating the greatest filmmaker in history, Stanley Kubrick, to prominence. If he had done nothing else, that would have been enough.

Kirk Douglas passed away in February at the age of 103. The Union Street Theater is pleased to pay tribute to the iconic Kirk Douglas with our March Movie Night. He is only the second actor to receive such a tribute. Burt Reynolds got a similar tribute in 2018.

These are the movies that will play for the Kirk Douglas Tribute. First, the B Movie is:



SATURN 3

Here is a synopsis of SATURN 3 from IMDB.com:

Two lovers stationed at a remote base in the asteroid fields of Saturn are intruded upon by a retentive technocrat from Earth and his charge: a malevolent eight foot robot.

The feature film will be:



LONELY ARE THE BRAVE

Here is a synopsis of LONELY ARE THE BRAVE from IMDB.com:

A fiercely independent cowboy gets himself locked up in prison to escape with an old friend.

Anders is also providing a short film that is very intriguing. This will also be the 3rd, but hopefully not the last round of Jay’s Root Beer Symposium.

To Recap:

What: Union Street Theater Movie Night
Movies: SATURN 3 & LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020
Time: 6 PM
Where: UNION STREET THEATER
TOILET PAPER SITUATION: As of right now, I still have plenty of toilet paper.

Hope to see you there!

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Might as well just get to it. This is the 4th collection of images from Fly Iowa:


Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Fly Iowa - 2019

Only about 800 more images to curate!

Walking the Floor Over You

It was a bittersweet Christmas for the Bennetts. As always, there was much joy when the family gets together, but while the 2019 Christmas will always be known as the first Christmas with Kanoa. It will also be the Christmas when Amanda and Logan announced that they are expecting a new bundle of joy in 2020. It will also be known as the Christmas where Grandma passed away.
The good outweighs the bad though.

Here are some pictures from the Bennett Christmas, some are cruddy cell phone pictures that I took while experimenting with a camera phone app:


Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

I don’t usually dwell on the names of my blog posts. I either figure that people don’t care or that they google it and figure it out. Although Google won’t always unravel the riddle.

This riddle is a reference to Ernest Tubb, who was my Grandma’s favorite musician. I’d like to share the lyrics to one of my favorite Ernest Tubb songs to close this post out:

Yesterday’s tears are still fallin’ yesterday’s dreams are still broken
Yesterday’s love is still livin’ a love that will never be spoken
I’ve tried so hard to forget dear tried not too smart everything
You are the one who has given but all you’ve received dear is pain
My life has been such a sorrow my world has crumbled like clay
My heart has slowly been dying since you told me goodbye that day

Long weary years you have suffered to keep from hurting someone
If only I could repay you for all of the kind things you’ve done
You haven’t spared me my darling everything to you I owe
All I can say is I love so much more than anyone know
So yesterday’s tears are still fallin’ yesterday’s dreams are still broken
Yesterday’s love is still livin’ a love that will never be spoken

Selfie Project – December

December was a truly busy month. I actually left the state more than one. I visited places like Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.

I feel I ended this attempt at THE SELFIE PROJECT fairly strong. Here are some of my favorite pictures from December:


December 1, 2019
December 1

December 2, 2019
December 2

December 3, 2019
December 3

December 4, 2019
December 4

December 5, 2019
December 5

December 6, 2019
December 6

December 7,  2019
December 7

December 10, 2019
December 10

December 12, 2019
December 12

December 14, 2019
December 14

December 15, 2019
December 15

December 19, 2019
December 19

December 20, 2019
December 20

December 21, 2019
December 21

December 22, 2019
December 22

December 23, 2019
December 23

December 24, 2019
December 24

December 25, 2019
December 25

December 26, 2019
December 26

December 27, 2019
December 27

December 28, 2019
December 28

December 30, 2019
December 30

December 31, 2019
December 31

January 1, 2020
January 1

I might do a year-end look at THE SELFIE PROJECT, at some point, but if I don’t, you can peruse all THE SELFIE PROJECT pictures by clicking on the link below:

THE SELFIE PROJECT

I’m not duplicating this project in 2020. I might do a “selfie-type” project, but it will be completely different.

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


WEEK 225 - HDR
HDR

Remember an HDR image is a combination of several images to create on image with expanded dynamic range. Pretty much every camera will have an HDR setting that will do this for you automatically. If you can find me, I can show you the setting on your camera.

Happy photo harvesting!

2009-07-24 & 2009-07-27

I decided to throw two folders into today’s walk down memory lane because one folder really only had two pictures of Brandon in it.

The other folder had a ton of pictures from a trip to Ledges and a trip to Des Moines with Sara. There has been a lot of pictures of Sara in these recent trips down memory lane. I think I’ve seen Sara exactly one time in 2019. I think I saw her twice in 2018. If things break just right, I might see her again in 2020.


Future Road Trip Master

Sore Feet

Sore Feet

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Lousy with People

Sore Feet

Sore Feet

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:

Future Road Trip Master

Lousy with People

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Jay and more sparklers.

Selfie Project – November

Now that the 2018 backlog is mercifully behind us, it seems like a good time to check back in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. The 2019 version of THE SELFIE PROJECT has almost ran its course. I won’t repeat it in 2020, but maybe I’ll bring it back in 2021. We’ll see.

Here are my favorite images from November:


November 1, 2019
November 1

November 2, 2019
November 2

November 3, 2019
November 3

November 4, 2019
November 4

November 7, 2019
November 7

November 9, 2019
November 9

November 11, 2019
November 11

November 12, 2019
November 12

November 13, 2019
November 13

November 14, 2019
November 14

November 15, 2019
November 15

November 16, 2019
November 16

November 17, 2019
November 17

November 20, 2019
November 20

November 21, 2019
November 21

November 23, 2019
November 23

November 24, 2019
November 24

November 25, 2019
November 25

November 26, 2019
November 26

November 27, 2019
November 27

November 28, 2019
November 28

November 29, 2019
November 29

November 30, 2019

I think November was one of my best months. At least for interesting pictures.

2009-07-23

There are a metric buttload of pictures in the folder 2009-07-23. Strangely, most of them were actually taken in December of 2008. I’m not entirely sure what was going on there. I can just state that my organizational system back then wasn’t rock solid like it is now. Mostly because I let a program do most of the organizational heavy lifting for me.

There are pictures from a foggy Friday Night Supper Club. Pictures from a Bennett Christmas. Pictures of my old buddy Missionary Mark. Pictures from a Roland VFW Fundraiser.

Many of these pictures have never been published before. Have a peek:


Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Foggy Night Supper Club

Foggy Night Supper Club

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Roland VFW Fundraiser

2009 Mark Reunion

The Hero of Africa

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

Foggy Night Supper Club

The Hero of Africa

Sedulous

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Brandon, Sara, and Ledges. But not all at the same time.

Gratitudo

Happy Thanksgiving! Every year on Thanksgiving I like to think about my many, many blessings. I know, real original. You should feel free to try it sometime. But make sure you let everybody know that I invented gratitude.


I am thankful for my family, no matter how family is defined:

April 9, 2019

May 18, 2019

May 25, 2019

August 24, 2019

September 19, 2019

October 26, 2019

January 26, 2019

February 25, 2019

June 29, 2019

July 6, 2019

August 4, 2019

April 6, 2019

May 12, 2019

I am thankful for my friends:

January 16, 2019

March 12, 2019

PHOTO JOURNAL - PAGE 121 ALTERNATE

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

March 21, 2019

May 6, 2019

May 17, 2019

June 1, 2019

June 6, 2019

August 25, 2019

July 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019

August 18, 2019

September 7, 2019

September 20, 2019

September 21, 2019

October 5, 2019

October 21, 2019

April 27, 2017

Selfie Project - January 21

March 3, 2019

I am blessed with an amazing church family:

April 7, 2019

Selfie Project - January 27

April 17, 2019

May 1, 2019

June 15, 2019

June 23, 2019

June 24, 2019

June 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

July 13, 2019

September 25, 2019

October 27, 2019

June 28, 2017

I am blessed with a decent job and work friends that I don’t mind seeing more than 40 hours a week:

January 12, 2019

August 30, 2019

May 2, 2017

Selfie Project - March 27

Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa

I’m blessed to share my house with Naima:

January 10, 2019

October 6, 2019

July 9, 2019

Naima

This is only a small sampling of my blessings, but I feel to go on much longer would sound like boasting. Thank all of you for choosing to be part of my life!

2009-07-15

Sometimes these Saturday walks down memory lane that are part of a restoration project of old blog posts, takes a completely unexpected turn. The images in the folder 2009-07-15 contains a couple of those pictures.

In there are pictures of Sara and a sparkler. Then there are pictures of lilies. There is a picture of Andree in front of his house. Then there are pictures of Logan and Willy running in Midnight Madness.

But buried in those Midnight Madness photos are 2 pictures of people I haven’t thought about in years. One guy I liked and miss when I remember them and another person that was just the strangest briefest flash across the sky of my life. He was a person I had completely forgotten about.

The first picture is of a UPS guy named Blake that used to be the dedicated UPS guy at the Computer Mine my first 6 or 7 years I was swinging the pick. At a certain point Blake took a different route and I haven’t really seen him since then and it is too bad. I miss talking to that guy. He even once tried to pay me to pretend to be Santa for his kids. I declined the offer because, you know, kids smell, but in the history of people thinking I should portray Santa, Blake the UPS guy was the first. At least the first to offer me money.

The second is a more weird twisted, rocky memory lane. There is a picture of a guy named John in the collection. I can’t remember John’s last name at all, but at the very end of my tenure with the Evil Clown Empire I was stationed at the West Ames Outpost. John was my “boss”. He suffered from some mental illness, but I’m not entirely sure what flavor.

He spent an entire afternoon once counting paper clips and rubber bands in the lobby. Then he calculated which one was cheaper to bundle money with, paper clips or rubber bands. He spent hours on this project to try to save the store .0003 cents per bundle of bills.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. There are two ways to control your profit at a restaurant that matter. You control your labor costs. You control your food costs. Placing energy on anything is a complete waste of your resources. Control those 2 things and almost everything else will fall into place.

I only worked with John a few weeks. He was fired during the weeks I took off work after Olivia passed away. I can remember sitting in my Mom’s kitchen a couple days after Olivia’s funeral when John called me. He called to tell me that he had been fired. When I returned to work, they offered me John’s job. I told them where to stick their job in so many words. It was also when I put in my 1 month notice. In retrospect, I don’t know why I gave them a full one month notice, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.

As for John, it would be 3.5 years before I would see him again. He was running in Midnight Madness. He seemed to be doing well. I haven’t thought of him in years until I came across his picture in this collection.

I wonder what he is doing now, but I can’t even look him up. I don’t remember his last name.

Here are some pictures from that folder:


DFDA54

DFDA54

Midnight Madness - 2009

The Most Tolerable Third Party

The Most Tolerable Third Party

The Most Tolerable Third Party

The Most Tolerable Third Party

New Digs

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009
This is John

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009
This is Blake

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:

DFDA54

New Digs

The Most Tolerable Third Party

Yet There is Method in It

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve another Ames on the Half Shell concert.

Dogface

Here is another post from the 2018 backlog. These are mostly pictures of Naima. I think they might have been alternates for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme the week they were taken. I’m not entirely sure and I’m not up to that level of soul searching and research.


Dogface

Dogface

Dogface

Dogface

Dogface

Dogface

Dogface

Mitten Knitters

Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

Ledges

There is still more in the 2018 backlog, but it is getting smaller every day. Well maybe not every day.