Category Archives: Jason

This Ain’t Sea World, This is as Real as it Gets

Before Carla and I went to the Clay County Fair, we took a quick spin around Lake Okoboji with Jason before he put away the boat for the winter. It is always a good time when you are on a boat.

Here are some pictures:


Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

It was a truly great and always a great time cruising around the lake. Hope I get to do it again at some point this year too!

WPC – WEEK 454 – NOT YOUR HOMETOWN

Today is a very important day! Today is Jason’s birthday, so I have to wish him a happy birthday.


June 14
Happy birthday Jason!

I hope you birthday is amazing!

+++++++

Today is also Memorial Day. The day we honor and mourn U.S. miliary personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.


Monroe County - Albia

It isn’t the kind of holiday where you say “Happy (insert holiday name)!” But I hope you have a good Memorial Day filled with time spent with friends and/or family.

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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

What skill level photographer can participate?

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

Award winning photographers? Really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I have to wait until Monday morning to submit?

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

Are there resolution requirements for submissions?

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

What format should my submission be?

.JPG but .PNG also works.

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

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

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

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

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NOT YOUR HOMETOWN! A great theme, but did enough people escape the confines of their HOMETOWN to go someplace that wasn’t their hometown and take a picture to make it a popular theme? You will have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, May 20, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore everything in parentheses):

1-Mary Green – 1 week (MI, IA, IN, IL) <2>
2-Sara Lockner – 1 week (IA, MN, BHS)
3-Johnathan Stensland – 1 week (IA)
4-Suzie Brannen – 2 weeks (IA, MD)
5-Mike Vest – 2 weeks (IA, MO)
6-Alexis Stensland – 4 weeks (IA) <2>
7-Monica Jennings – 5 weeks (IA)
8-Sabas Hernandez – 6 weeks (IA, OH)
9-Deanna McClain – 10 weeks (IA)
10-Adam Gordon – 12 weeks (IA, MS, MO) <2>
11-Becky Parmelee – 13 weeks (AR, IA, OK)
12-Lowell Davis – 20 weeks (IA) <2>
13-Michelle Haupt – 20 weeks (IA, MO, KS, LA)
14-Brandon Kahler – 21 weeks (IA, MN)
15-Scott Degeneffe – 39 weeks (IA, FL, UT, CO, KY, IN) <2>
16-Sheri Fakhouri – 49 weeks (IA, NE)
17-Logan Kahler – 49 weeks (IA, MN) <2>
18-Nathanial Brown – 51 weeks (IA, SD, GA, TN)
19-Jesse Howard – 51 weeks (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW)
20-Tamara Peterson – 63 weeks (IA, MN)
21-Mindi Terrell – 66 weeks (IA) <2>
22-Linda Bennett – 95 weeks (KS)
23-Sarah Toot – 96 weeks (PA, NY, VT, NV)
24-Angie DeWaard – 100 weeks (IA, IL) <2>
25-Dawn Krause – 104 weeks (IA) <2>
26-Kim Barker – 110 weeks (IA, CO, LA) <2>
27-Joe Duff – 111 weeks (TX) <2>
28-Teresa Kahler – 122 weeks (IA, NE) <2>
29-Carla Stensland – 122 weeks (IA, MO) <2>
30-Micky Augustin – 126 weeks (IA, IL)
31-Andy Sharp – 125 weeks (IA, NE, AR, MS, MO, TN, LA)
32-Bill Wentworth – 126 weeks (NE)
33-Cathie Morton – 129 weeks (IA, FL, BHS, MO, LA)
34-Elizabeth Nordeen – 131 weeks (IA, OH)
35-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 133 weeks (IA, CA, NV)
36-Kio Dettman – 135 weeks (IA)

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

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

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 8 Pro.

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


WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Ames, Iowa) – 136 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Haines Park – Altoona, Iowa) – 134 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 132 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Middlebrook, Iowa) – 130 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Marshalltown, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Saint Louis, Missouri) – 127 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Saint Louis, Missouri)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Polk County, Iowa) – 127 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Pilot Mound/Fraser, Iowa) – 126 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Cellar Winery – Madrid, Iowa) – 123 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Okoboji, Iowa)- 123 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Arnolds Park, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Texas) – 112 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Texas)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Ankeny, Iowa) – 111 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Hamilton, Iowa) – 105 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Hamilton, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Cambridge, Iowa) – 101 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) – 97 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 96 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MINDI TERRELLM
Mindi Terrell (Urbandale, Iowa) – 67 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota) – 64 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Jefferson, Iowa) – 52 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Norwalk, Iowa) – 52 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Laurel, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Jack Trice Stadium – Ames, Iowa) – 50 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Ames, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 40 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN -SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 40 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Iowa) – 22 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Cellar Winery – Madrid, Iowa) – 21 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Wellsburg, Iowa) – 21 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Rogers, Arkansas) – 14 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Rogers, Arkansas)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Ames, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Ames, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota) – 11 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Arnolds Park, Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Arnolds Park, Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Fairbanks/Manchester, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Ogden, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Ottumwa, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - WILLIAM MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Ada Haydn Park – Ames, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - FRAN DUNCAN
Fran Duncan (Kellogg, Wisconsin) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Marshalltown, Iowa)

There were 37 participants this week! Same as last week. Not bad for a holiday weekend!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Arkansas (2)
+ Iowa (38)
+ Kansas (1)
+ Minnesota (2)
+ Missouri (2)
+ Pennsylvania (1)
+ Texas (2)
+ Wisconsin (1)

Thanks to Fran’s first ever submission, we added Wisconsin to this year’s map! WooHoo!

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

+ Arkansas (14.5)
+ Aruba (1)
+ Bahamas (2)
+ California (3)
+ Curacao (1)
+ Colorado (5)
+ Florida (85)
+ Georgia (1)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Illinois (6)
+ Indiana (4)
+ Iowa (742)
+ Kansas (29)
+ Kentucky (1)
+ Louisiana (8)
+ Maryland (1)
+ Michigan (5)
+ Minnesota (8)
+ Mississippi (1.5)
+ Missouri (12.5)
+ Nebraska (28)
+ Nevada (2)
+ New York (12)
+ Ohio (2)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (16)
+ South Dakota (3)
+ Tennessee (2.5)
+ Texas (32)
+ Utah (1)
+ Vermont (1)
+ Virginia (1)
+ Wisconsin (1)

29 states so far! 3 foreign countries! Not bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple places:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA, IL, FL) – 8
+ Andy Sharp (IA, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA) – 7
+ Scott Degeneffe (IA, FL, UT, CO, IN, KY) – 6
+ Jesse Howard (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW) – 6
+ Christopher D. Bennett (IA, MO, NE, IL, IN, LA) – 6
+ Cathie Morton (IA, FL, BHS, MO, LA) – 5
+ Michelle Haupt (IA, MO, KS, LA) – 4
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD, TN, GA) – 4
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT, NV) – 4
+ Kim Barker (IA, CO, LA) – 3
+ Shannon Bardole-Foley (IA, CA, NV) – 3
+ Adam Gordon (IA, MS, MO) – 3
+ Mary Green (MI, IA, IN, IL) – 4
+ Becky Parmelee (AR, IA, OK) – 3
+ Sara Lockner (IA, BHS, MN) – 3
+ Micky Augustin (IA, IL) – 2
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO) – 2
+ Brandon Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Logan Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN) – 2
+ Carla Stensland (IA, MO) -2
+ Mike Vest (IA, MO) – 2
+ Teresa Kahler (IA, NE) – 2
+ Sheri Fakhouri (IA, NE) – 2
+ Angie DeWaard (IA, IL) – 2
+ Sabas Hernandez (IA, OH) – 2
+ Suzie Brannen (IA, MD) – 2
+ Elizabeth Nordeen (IA, OH) – 2
+ Linda Bennett (KS, IA) – 2
+ Bill Wentworth (NE, MO) – 2
+ Deanna McClain (IA, MN) – 2

Jen is now in the lead to be crowned “The Most Travelled THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Photographer!” Jesse and Andy and Scott are in striking distance though!

Deanna and Bill joined the list of people that have submitted from multiple states/places.

The huge milestones reached this week were Nathanial and Jesse both joining the 1 Year Streak Club! WooHoo! Cathie joined the 1.5 Year Streak Club! WooHoo! Woo!

But it wasn’t all peaches and cream. Sara couldn’t build on last week’s submission. Her streak ended before it started. Monica’s streak calls it quits after 5 weeks.

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 455 - SIGN
SIGN

SIGN! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I look forward to seeing your interpretation.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see your idea of SIGN in this place that reads the tea leaves next Monday.

Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship

A few week’s back Carla, Jason, Teresa, and I loaded up into Teresa’s new car and drove down to Kansas City to watch Iowa State play in the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game. It was the second year in a row for Iowa State to make the Championship Game. This year was quite a surprise after everything Iowa State lost last year to graduation, the NCAA hating Iowa State, and the transfer portal. Iowa State lost the best player in school history. They lost the #4 pick in the WNBA draft. They lost their starting center. They lost the two players that would have been considered the best two returning players to the transfer portal. Then to make matters worse, they lost their leader, the best returning player, and the best point guard in Iowa State history for over half the season to injury. Their rotation to start the season consisted of 5 true freshman, a Division 2 transfer, and a transfer from the Big Sky Conference.

Despite all of the strikes against this team, they were one of the most fun teams to watch and they battled and they persevered and they somehow made it to the Big 12 Tournament Championship Game. It was definitely worth the trip down to Kansas City to watch.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024
Hilton South

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024
I wasn’t that guy.

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

Big 12 Women's Championship - 2024

I’m so excited for the future of this team. The transfer portal is already open for college basketball. They’ve already lost 4 players to the transfer portal, but I think only one of them is a potentially major loss. It will be interesting to see what Iowa State pulls in through the transfer portal, but I’ll get into all that in the future.

WPC – WEEK 438 – CIRCLE

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is possible that this will publish late this week. I am getting my taxes done at 11 this morning and when this publishes is dependent on how long that takes. BIG BUCKS! NO WHAMMIES!*

CIRCLE! 360 degrees of fury! But is there enough fury in a CIRCLE to make it a popular theme? You will have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, January 22, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Myriah Sharp – 1 (2)
2-Elainie Hernandez – 2 weeks
3-Sara Lockner – 2 weeks
4-Monica Jennings – 3 weeks
5-Suzie Brannen – 4 weeks
6-Lowell Davis – 4 weeks (2)
7-Michelle Haupt – 4 weeks
8-Alexis Stensland – 4 weeks (2)
9-Brandon Kahler – 5 weeks
10-Mary Green – 6 weeks (2)
11-Scott Degeneffe – 23 weeks (2)
12-Sabas Hernandez – 24 weeks
13-Mike Vest – 29 weeks
14-Sheri Fakhouri – 33 weeks (2)
15-Logan Kahler – 34 weeks (2)
16-Nathanial Brown – 35 weeks
17-Jesse Howard – 35 weeks (2)
18-Tamara Peterson – 38 weeks
19-Mindi Terrell – 50 weeks (2)
20-Linda Bennett – 79 weeks (2)
21-Sarah Toot – 80 weeks
22-Angie DeWaard – 84 weeks
23-Dawn Krause – 88 weeks
24-Kim Barker – 94 weeks
25-Joe Duff – 95 weeks (2)
26-Teresa Kahler – 106 weeks
27-Carla Stensland – 106 weeks (2)
28-Micky Augustin – 108 weeks
29-Andy Sharp – 109 weeks
30-Bill Wentworth – 110 weeks
31-Cathie Morton – 114 weeks
32-Elizabeth Nordeen – 115 weeks
33-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 117 weeks
34-Kio Dettman – 119 weeks (2)

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


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

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

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


WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Boone, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - EVIE GORSHE
Evie Gorshe (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Boone, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - JASON STENSLAND
Jason Stensland (Lake Waubay, South Dakota) – 1 week

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - JASON STENSLAND
Jason Stensland (Lake Waubay, South Dakota)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -
Elainie Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -  SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (Johnston, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Iowa) – 4 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Clive, Iowa)- 5 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Ames, Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Ogden, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 6 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 24 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 25 weeks

WPC - WEEK 438 - CIRCLE - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 30 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Iowa) – 34 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 35 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Jefferson, Iowa) – 36 weeks

WPC - WEEK 438 - CIRCLE - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Ames, Iowa) – 36 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Iowa) – 39 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa) – 51 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 80 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (New York City, New York) – 81 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Des Moines, Iowa) – 85 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Ames, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 89 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Nevada, Iowa) – 95 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -  JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas) – 96 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -  JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Ankeny, Iowa) – 107 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 107 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Ames, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Iowa) – 109 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Mason City, Iowa) – 110 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska)- 111 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE -
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 115 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 116 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) 120 weeks

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 438 - CIRCLE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (McHose Park – Boone, Iowa) – 542 weeks

38 participants! That is a new high for this year!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Iowa
+ Kansas
+ Nebraska
+ New York
+ South Dakota
+ Texas

Thanks to Jason’s trip to South Dakota and Sarah’s trip to New York, we can add those to this year’s list!

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

+ Hawaii (2)
+ Iowa (195)
+ Kansas (8)
+ Michigan (2)
+ Nebraska (6)
+ New York (1)
+ Pennsylvania (5)
+ South Dakota (2)
+ Texas (9)

The big milestone this week was the first ever submission from Jason! WooHoo!

But it wasn’t all good news. Myriah couldn’t build on last week’s submission and her streak was over before it even began!

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 439 - TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES
TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES – POTENTIAL PUFFERBILLY DAYS CLASS

TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I look forward to your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing your idea of TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES in this place in this place that was heavily influenced by a book on trains next Monday.

*There were no BIG BUCKS! But there were also NO WHAMMIES! But at least I didn’t owe any money.

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Recap

I know I might have written that I was finally going to start sharing pictures from the Color the Wind Festival today, but instead I’m going to do a recap of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest before it gets too long in the tooth.

First, I should announce to those of you that voted in the People’s Choice Award what photo took home the prize:



Road Trip by Savannah Martin

Road Trip received 50 votes. The next highest vote total received was 21 votes.

If you are interested in seeing this year’s photo books, click on the links below:

Readable Photo Book

Printable Photo Book

There is a lot of people I need to thank for making this years Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest a success.

The Judges:
+ Andie DeWaard
+ Janae Erickson
+ Lisa Person

The Administrative Staff:
+ Teresa Kahler
+ Carla Stensland

The Pegboard Builders:
+ Andy Sharp
+ Jason Stensland

The Graphic Designer:
+ Monica Jennings

The Photo Display Team:
+ Dawn Krause
+ Jesse Howard
+ Monica Jennings
+ Graham Jennings

The Book Designer:
+ Michelle Haupt

The Best of Show & People’s Choice Award Creator:
+ Anonymous

The Merchants that hosted the photo entries:
+ Boone Theater (Teen and Adult Places)
+ Ema’s Elegance (Adult Animals)
+ The Houndstooth Haberdashery (Adult Trains, Planes, & Automobiles)
+ Infamous Ink (Adult Black & White)
+ The Lavender Basket (Adult Plants)
+ Paradox (Youth)
+ Studio 721 (Adult People)

I didn’t take as many pictures as I have in the past of the machinations of the Photo Contest but I did take a few.

Here are some from the Judging:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Judging went very smooth. There was some good and spirited debate from the judges and for the first time ever, had to engage in some tie-breakers. Including a tie-breaker for Best in Show.

I already have 2 of the judges picked out for next year. Still thinking on that third judge, for now. But I have a pretty good idea. Or at least a couple of candidates in mind.

Monica and I set up the photo displays on Thursday. Paradox and Studio 721 set up the displays themselves, which was a big help. Monica really put the displays together and I did the grunt work.

Here are some pictures of the displays:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

On Saturday Jesse and I tore down all the displays. On Sunday we transported them out to McHose Park. Graham and Monica met us out there and setup the tents and the display. Jesse and I sat out there in the pouring rain all day trying to keep the pictures dry.

Here are some pictures from Art in the Park:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2023

Watching over the photo display at Art in the Park was a pretty cool experience, even if the conditions weren’t ideal. I got to meet and speak with a few of the photographers that I hadn’t met before. And I met one person that is interested in entering next year and another that is an artist that urged their friend to enter this year. I enjoyed all of those interactions.

After Art in the Park concluded Dawn and Nathanial helped tear down the display and the tents. Logan returned all the pictures that weren’t picked up at Art in the Park for me.

All things considered, it was a successful year. I’m not sure what changes I will make for next year, but I know I will need to add some new faces to the list of volunteers. That volunteer might be you!

And You Left Me There Cryin’ Wonderin’ What I Did Wrong

Today is Jason’s birthday. Happy birthday Jason!


June 14

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

+++++++

Time to clean up the backlog. These images are from September that never quite fit into any previous posts. Some are alternates for THE WEEKLYPHOTO CHALLENGE. Another is a photo I took of Ron for last year’s Computer Mine Holiday Card.


And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

Railroad Bridge near Jefferson

Railroad Bridge near Jefferson

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

Ames, Iowa

Boone Scenic & Valley Railroad

Boone Scenic & Valley Railroad

Boone Scenic & Valley Railroad

Boone Scenic & Valley Railroad

Boone Scenic & Valley Railroad

Ron - 2022

Maybe you are wondering about the George A. Wyman sign. Don’t worry, I’ll feed you baby birds. From the Wiki:

Wyman used his 1902 California machine for his crossing of the United States. The California had a 200 cc (12 cu in), 1.5 hp (1.1 kW) four-stroke engine attached to an ordinary diamond-frame bicycle. Wyman’s machine was equipped with 28 x 1.5 in. tires, wooden rims, a leading-link front suspension fork, a Garford spring saddle, a Duck Brake Company front roller brake, and a 1902-patent Atherton rear coaster brake. A leather belt-drive with a spring-loaded idler pulley directly connected the engine output shaft to the rear wheel.Using a standard steel bicycle frame, the California weighed approximately 70–80 pounds (32–36 kg) without rider, and was capable of approximately 25 mph (40 km/h) using the 30-octane gasoline of the day, with a range of 75 to 100 miles (121 to 161 km). Throttle control was not yet perfected, and engine revolutions were mainly controlled by means of a spark timing mechanism. The wick-type carburetor was crude, consisting of a metal box with internal baffles stuffed with cotton batting. With no float chamber, the rider had to open the gasoline tap periodically to admit fuel into the carburetor.

For such a long trip, Wyman carried a remarkably small amount of gear. A set of warm clothing, money, water bottle, cans for spare oil and gasoline, a Kodak Vest Pocket camera, a cyclometer, various bicycle tools and spare parts, and a long-barreled .38 Smith & Wesson revolver constituted his total luggage.

Wyman departed from Lotta’s Fountain at the corner of Market and Kearny streets in San Francisco at 2:30 P.M on May 16, 1903.[4] He had previously agreed to keep a diary of his journey for later publication in The Motorcycle magazine, a periodical of the time. The first part of his trip took him across the Sierra Nevada, through the Nevada desert into Wyoming, then on through Nebraska to Illinois.

As the dirt trails and wagon tracks of the day were often impassable, Wyman rode the railroad tracks for over half of his journey. During the first part of his trip, he frequently slept in railroad company housing or at rooming houses located in division settlements (small municipalities founded by the railroad). His motorbike suffered several breakdowns along the way, requiring him to make improvised repairs until he could get to a larger town to obtain new parts. As he neared Aurora, Illinois, his engine’s crankshaft snapped, and after pedaling his way to Chicago, Wyman was forced to wait there five days for a new crank to arrive by railway express.

After leaving Illinois, Wyman traversed the states of Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before entering New York state. Outside of Albany his engine lost all power, and he was required to pedal his heavy motorbike the remaining 150 miles (240 km) to New York City using a cycle path reserved for licensed cyclists.

On July 6, 1903, Wyman arrived in New York City, completing his transcontinental crossing and becoming the first person to cross the North American continent aboard a motor vehicle. His journey took a total of 51 days to cover some 3,800 miles (6,100 km). Afterwards, Wyman’s motorbike was placed on display at the New York Motorcycle Club while Wyman recovered from his grueling journey. While in New York, Wyman was present for the inauguration of the very first nationwide motorcycle organization, the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM)[14] at the Kings County Wheelmens’ Club in Brooklyn; it was reported at the time that his hands were still in bandages from the trip. Wyman later returned to San Francisco by train. His California motorbike was put on display in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park for a special exhibition commemorating the trip.

This is actually something Jesse and I have talked about doing as well. Not on a motorcycle, but driving across the country. We’ve never done anything about it, but maybe will someday.

Here is more information on the route he took:



From: https://wymanmemorialproject.blogspot.com/

It is hard to read, but the towns we care about in the Cyclone State are:

Council Bluffs
Woodbine
Denison
Ogden
Boone
Ames
Marhalltown
Tama Reservation
Cedar Rapids
Clinton

He stayed the night in Ogden. I hope he ate at Zeno’s when he was in Marshalltown!*

*That is a joke, don’t email me telling me that Zeno’s didn’t exist back then, because I will only reply back that Zeno’s has always will always exist.

The Windy City: Day 1B

I need to start out by thanking everyone that wished me a happy birthday. I believe this is a comprehensive list of everybody that wished me a happy birthday.

+ Kim and also thank you for buying me birthday Buffalo Chicken tots and the card.
+ Ron, Clevenger, Jordan, and Aaron. Although I may have bought those birthday wishes with donuts.
+ Elizabeth and also thanks for buying me candy bars I know you don’t like but the real thanks goes for looking for my favorite candy bars the Whatchamacallit and the Take 5! You are the real hero! Also, glad you are digging SHRINKING! Such a great show!
+ Steph. My birthday buddy, I hope FAST X was everything you wanted to be and I’m trying not to lose just a smidge of respect that you went to it.
+ Jesse – Sorry I was so aggressive in accusing you of eating all the mystery cheese.
+ Nader – Thanks for the frog statue!
+ Shannon- half credit for including a picture of a gross cat with your birthday wishes.
+ Michelle – good job taking a three day weekend to celebrate my birth.
+ Jay – doesn’t look like you got any rhubarb. It isn’t going to pick itself.
+ Kelly – thanks for the kind words. Not necessary, but thanks.
+ Angie – hope the postcard arrives soon.
+ Monica – thanks for sending me the picture of me in my Hulkster phase.
+ Suzie – thanks for knowing the proper animal to include in a happy birthday wish!
+ Jason – glad you are feeling better!
+ Bill – thanks for replying “no problem” when I said “thanks”. Don’t know why, but that amused me.
+ Sara Lockner – thanks for almost using enough exclamation marks in your birthday wishes!
+ Shawn – I’m sorry your wife used up all the world’s supply of punctuation in her birthday wishes and there wasn’t any punctuation left for yours.
+ Faust – thanks for pretending that banking sounds fun.
+ Teresa – thanks but I have my doubts you know who Dwight Schrute is.
+ Anders – I don’t know if it was a great one, but I’m sure May Movie Night will be.
+ Sarah Toot – Thanks for thinking I have the slightest clue what emoticons mean. Don’t feel pressure to do better next year.
+ Alexis – thanks for letting me think today was my day.
+ Baier and Dre – We didn’t have much interaction, but thanks for thinking of me.
+ Micky – thanks for multiple birthday wishes. It isn’t a contest, but if it was I think Elizabeth won. At least I think that is what she yelled at me as I walked out the door. But your message was the closest I came to having cake today. So that is something.
+ Lori – thanks, no need to apologize for transferring me my favorite kind of call, even if I really shouldn’t have been first in queue. Hope things went well today.
+ Mark – thanks. I suppose I should learn when your birthday is. Also stop using your desk for storage. Nah!
+ Lowell – thanks for the gift card. I like to think you would get me one even if the company didn’t require it.
+ Carla – thanks for getting your birthday wishes in right before the buzzer.
+ Nathanial – thanks for the final birthday wishes of my day.

I think that is the list. I think that is everybody that wished me a happy birthday! Thanks everyone!

If you are wondering what I did for my birthday, it was nothing super spectacular. It was mostly an average day.

I woke up about 5:54 AM. A little late for me. I was up late last night watching the NBA Playoffs. Then trying to watch the season finale of THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND. Dang it! This wasn’t the season they actually found treasure. And I was so sure! I also ate fried food the night before. I’m trying to eat healthier, so it is fairly rare I eat fried food these days, he said hoping that there were people that believed him. Point is I slept in. It was my birthday. Cut me some slack!

I’m not sure what I did when I first got out of bed. I think I moved to the couch and watched the news for a little bit. Then I went outside and watered the flowers. I also took apart the trunk in the Camry. I had a slight gas spill in the trunk the night before and it was creating a pretty strong smell in the rest of the car. Then I took a shower. Brushed my teeth. Got dressed. But on cologne option #2. Said goodbye to Naima. Got in the Camry. Headed out.

There is an old birthday tradition at the Computer Mine where on your birthday you bring in food for the other employees. On a good day, there are about 10 employees in the building. (On a great day there is less.) On this day, half those people were gone for various reasons. On my way to work I stopped at the Dutch Oven Bakery and picked up a dozen donuts for my co-workers.

This is a small detail of what transpired on my birthday, but perhaps one of my favorite things that happened.

I left the donuts in the breakroom and then sent an email out to the people I knew would be in the building. Here is the backstory.

About 2 weeks, Elizabeth brought in a dozen donuts from a bakery in Nevada. (For the record, and I might get rode out of Boone on a rail for saying this, these donuts buried the ones from Dutch Oven.) She cut all the donuts in half. Now I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain why, but I will. She cut them in half so that people could try multiple donuts and multiple people could try the same donut.

Back to my birthday. Based on my current work schedule, Ron gets to the building about 30 minutes before I do. Elizabeth gets to the office about 15-30 minutes after me. She is in Special Forces so she can come and go as she pleases. I guess that is really more backstory, for what I’m promising you isn’t much payoff.

So back to that email. I explained in the email that there were donuts in the breakroom for my birthday. I didn’t cut them in half (cause I’m lazy – I didn’t write that, but it was in the subtext) but maybe when Elizabeth got here she would cut the donuts in half. I added that this wasn’t sexist on my part, just she is very passionate about the donut cutting thing.

Here is the “payoff”. I’m telling you that the ink wasn’t dry on that email before Ron was standing next to my cubicle. He wished me a happy birthday and then said that he was going to go get a donut quick before Elizabeth got here and cut them in half.

I said it wasn’t much of a payoff, but I thought it was hilarious.

I think it was somewhere in here I went to take a Snap of the donuts to keep my Streaks going with Logan (501), Brandon (257), Nathanial (89), Fran (37), and Alexis (23).

Somewhere after this, Elizabeth did come in. She did not cut all the donuts in half, but she did cut the donuts she tried in half. Take that Ron! She also brought me candy! So the day was off to a great start.

After that I put in a good solid 8 hours for The Man. I was a problem solving machine. Well to be honest, in the morning I mostly did a lot of rando stuff. I think the highlight of my morning (besides the other stuff I’ve highlighted) was being on hold with a customer for about 30 minutes as they repeatedly rebooted their computer before announcing, I’ll have to call you back.

Then came my lunchbreak. I did point out that I am trying to eat healthier. That means (amongst other things) that I only drink pop once a week. I’m pretty much completely off fast food. I rarely eat fried foods. This means that one of my favorite haunts, B-Bop’s has been off the table. But I figured it was my birthday, I could treat myself to B-Bop’s.

I drove halfway across Ames and got the #2 with Cheese with a Large Pepsi.

Sidebar: A great birthday present would have been the B-Bops across the street from the Computer Mine opening back up so I don’t have to drive completely across tarnation to get B-Bops goodness. They have been remodeling for months now! How long does it take to remodel a restaurant that doesn’t have a dining room?!?!?

It was just as good as I remembered. Although, I could feel the salad place next door judging me a little bit. But I literally ate there the day before. Asian Crunch Salad, no protein. So I think we’re square. Stop looking at me lettuce!

After I got back to the work I was a machine. Updating Server Managers. Modifying hosts files. Attaching SQL databases. All a beauty of motion, while sitting in a desk chair staring at 3 monitors. Barely taking a break to try to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing (I failed).

I called it a day, leaving many a satisfied customer in my wake. (Which means next time I work I won’t be able to solve anybody’s problems.) I drove home. I like to take a route home (sometimes called Old 30) where I drive by a bunch of railroad cars just parked along the highway to see if there is any interesting graffiti to photograph. There wasn’t anything transcendent like a painting of a dog or a clown or characters from The Simpsons, but there was one I found photo worthy. I pulled over and snapped a photo. I’m collecting these images and when I hit about 20 or so I will share them. This is what passes for an art scene in Boone.

Got home. Said hello to Naima. Then mowed my back yard. Which needed to be done before it became a 3 man job… again. I was supposed to have a meeting with my friend Kelli. She is opening a wine bar and wants to use my photography on her walls. I was supposed to look at the space and kind of figure out what we wanted to put there, but that meeting got postponed cause, from what I’m gathering, one of her kids did something dumb. Like go to Grand Junction.

The cancellation opened up a hole in my schedule and I was able to take Naima to Dickcissel for a walk and some wading for her. It was also a good time for me to take the theme reveal image for next week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme.

There was a decent rain coming down on us when we completed the loop. Which meant Naima was soaked all over. I consider this to be a positive though, because the smell of wet dog masked the smell of gas. Not much of a trade up, but small victories.

I decided to go to Dairy Queen for ice cream on our way home since I’m eating healthier. Unfortunately, the line in the DQ drive-thru was crazy long, so instead I drove across town to Big Kahuna’s. This is a considerable upgrade in the quality of the ice cream for me, but it meant Naima didn’t get a pup cup. Sorry, Naima. Don’t feel too bad for her. She did get a full pork chop for supper. Me? I had a cherry amaretto ice cream waffle cone for supper. The supper of champions!

I came home and started watching the Lakers-Nuggets game to finish off my night. While sitting there I got a snap from Nathanial asking for my opinion on his options for the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. He is the second person to ask for my opinion. Meanwhile, humble narrator, hasn’t even given any consideration to what he will enter. Usually at this point I at least know at least 2 of the pictures I will enter. This year I have absolutely no clue. I mean that could be a weekend project, but I don’t know I’ll have much time this weekend either. I guess we’ll see what happens.

After the Nuggets won, I watched a little bit of “90s Nation” on MTV Classic and called it a night. Nodding off into a golden slumber listening to the “Morbid” podcast on H.H. Holmes. Part 4. All in all, a pretty good birthday.

+++++++

We begin where we left off last Friday. Lowell, Tony, and I were walking around Chicago waiting for Kim to get done getting good union employees fired for smoking a joint while putting up our booth. Kim has no chill. We were going to checkout a place called Zombie Taco as a potential place for supper. Kim had told us that we were to pick the place for supper. Tacos are always a good choice. That is free advice that I’m giving you, that I wish I had listened to on Day 3 of this trip. Unfortunately when we found Zombie Taco it seemed to be only a walk-up window and on top of that, it seemed to be closed.

But back to the walkabout.


Chicago, Illinois
A play on “This American Life”. My favorite radio show. But I’m not sure what it means.

Chicago, Illinois
I think this place was abandoned.

Chicago, Illinois
Never let anybody tell you, wearing Skechers is not cool. I wear them. Snoop wears them. Tony wears them. Elizabeth’s Grandma used to wear them.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
My greatest regret from the trip to Chicago is not taking a river cruise.

Chicago, Illinois
I wonder if this was the boat that the Dave Matthews Band dumped their poop on. As awful as that must have been, still better than listening to their music.

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago has a fair collection of interesting bridges.

Chicago, Illinois
More street art.

Chicago, Illinois
Down to the River Walk.

Chicago, Illinois
Another interesting bridge.

Chicago, Illinois
It was around here I met a lady that was walking a golden retriever. Such a good dog. Also, more street art.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
I’m guessing this is to protect you from Dave Matthews dumping his poop on your head. Now if they could devise a way to protect you from his awful music.

Chicago, Illinois
I assume Dave Matthews put that there.

Chicago, Illinois
I’d tell you what I think of Salesforce, but enough work talk.

Chicago, Illinois
There is also a Dick’s Last Resort on the San Antonio River Walk. This parking garage is an excellent example of why I would never want to live in a city.

Chicago, Illinois
But it is pretty to look at.

Chicago, Illinois
My #1 goal of the Chicago Trip was to see The Bean. Crossed it off the list Day 1.

Chicago, Illinois
After telling us to pick the restaurant, Kim picked the restaurant. Which fortunately, was 1 block from The Bean.

Chicago, Illinois
The WPC theme this week was FRIENDS. Nathanial told me I could take a picture of my reflection and I could be my own FRIEND(S). I have FRIENDS Nathanial. Still a cool shot.

Chicago, Illinois
The sculptor (Anish Kapoor) of The Bean at first hated that people called it that. It’s official name is Cloud Gate.

Chicago, Illinois
It is made out of 168 stainless steel plates welded together.

Chicago, Illinois
It’s highly polished exterior has no visible seams.

Chicago, Illinois
It measures 33 x 66 x 42 feet.

Chicago, Illinois
The design was inspired by liquid mercury.

Chicago, Illinois

I still have one more collection of images to share from Day 1 of the trip to Chicago.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is HAPPY!


WEEK 400 - HAPPY
HAPPY

HAPPY! What a great theme for Year 10 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what in the Dave Rauker is a HAPPY photo? Simply put, it is a picture of somebody that is HAPPY or a picture of something that makes you HAPPY. HAPPY is, well it is a feeling of pleasure or contentment. In case you aren’t sure you know what it means to be HAPPY.

HAPPY has been a theme one other time. Here are a few of the submissions from that time to provide you with some inspiration:


WEEK 71 - HAPPY - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen – Week 71

WEEK 71 - HAPPY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker – Week 71

WEEK 71 - HAPPY - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim – Week 71

WEEK 71 - HAPPY - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard – Week 71

WEEK 71 - HAPPY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett – Week 71

In fact, that was pretty much every submission I received for HAPPY. I bet there will be more submissions this time.

Happy photo harvesting!

I Got My Swim Trunks and My Flippie Floppies

Full intellectual honest, I hate flippie floppies and don’t own a pair. The worst “shoes” ever designed by, I don’t know, the devil! I could write for hours about how they are terrible. They are so terrible, I don’t even like to see other people wearing them.

However, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the second half of the photo collection of me on a boat. Everybody look at me, cause I’m on a boat!


Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

If you’re on the shore, then you’re sure not me, oh!

The next time we visit a county to look at auxiliary images from THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will visit Allamakee County.

On a Boat Like Leo

Happy Friday the 13th to those who celebrate! I celebrate by going to Jimmy’s for their free sandwich Friday the 13th special. I’ll see you there.

This is a good time to share more pictures from my camping trip with Carla and Jason. I actually had to cut the camping trip shorter than I wanted because I had to drive from Spirit Lake to Johnston for a little kid’s birthday party. So I didn’t get to stay through until Sunday. Hopefully I get a chance to go camping with Carla and Jason again this year and won’t have to leave early.

We still had a pretty cool day with the time I was there. We visited the site of the Spirit Lake “Massacre” and then we tooled around I think 3 of the Great Lakes of Iowa. On a boat!


Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Okoboji Camping Trip

Still more pictures from this trip to share!

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


WEEK 383 - REFLECTION
REFLECTION

REFLECTION! What a great theme to kick of Year 10 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what in tarnation is a REFLECTION picture. It is simply enough a picture where a major compositional element of the picture is a REFLECTION. Mirrors obviously make great REFLECTIONs. But there are other things that REFLECT(ION) as well. For example water. I nicely waxed floor. Eyes. The list just goes on and on. Also, don’t forget that there is more than one definition of REFLECTION.

Happy photo harvesting!

Marble Beach

Today is Lowell’s birthday… so… happy birthday Lowell!


Day 138 - May 18, 2022

Ironic that this picture was taken on my birthday? Either way, I hope your birthday has adequate amounts of happiness!

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I count this trip a bit as auxiliary images for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. In fact I went camping with Carla and Jason at the Marble Beach State Recreation Area. While I was there I harvested one town sign. It was a town sign that I had harvested before, but I wanted to get a picture of it at night. So I revisited the town sign of Terril, Iowa.


Terril, Iowa
Terril, Iowa – The only town sign in Iowa that is neon.

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Dickinson County - Terril

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

The swinging bridge is located in Estherville. Made a special trip just to walk across it. It is hard to put into words how incredibly dark it was on that bridge on that night. The pictures make it look much brighter than it actually was. In fact, crossing a swinging bridge, suspended over a swift Des Moines River, in pitch black conditions was a bit of a rush.

I still have more pictures from this camping trip to share.