Category Archives: Anders

Pufferbilly Days Parade Three

Today is Anders’ birthday, so I need to wish him a happy birthday!

9 Emotions Project - Anders Runestad

I hope your birthday is filled with all the British and 70s science fiction you can handle!


Time to share the final collection of images from the Pufferbilly Days Parade and the final collection of Pufferbilly Day images altogether. Man… you will have to wait until September for more Pufferbilly Day images. Stay strong.

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Pufferbilly Days Parade - 2023

Probably would be a good time to start sharing pictures from my many trips to the Iowa State Fair.

Calendar Favorites

Today is Lowell’s birthday so I need to wish him a happy birthday!

Day 138 - May 18, 2022

If you don’t know, Lowell is not Kim and is not the tall guy.

It is one of my most profoundest birthday wishes that today is a good day.


This is one of my favorite posts of the year. To share what people said was their favorite calendar image from the 2024 Photography 139 Calendar. There is still 1 calendar left to distribute, but I don’t know when that will happen. I got a response back from most people I gave a calendar to. Some people must have just immediately thrown it in the garbage and never given it a second thought. But that’s okay. Maybe opens up new calendar recipients for 2025…*

Some of these picture below are of different people in the same family that got one calendar, in case you are wondering if I gave, say 6 calendars to the Baiers.

Here we go:

2024 Calendar Favorites
Brandon Kahler

2024 Calendar Favorites
Nora Yoon

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jay Janson

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Sabas Hernandez

2024 Calendar Favorites
Sara Lockner

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jesse Howard

2024 Calendar Favorites
Kevin Krause

2024 Calendar Favorites
Layla Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Olivia Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Andree Jauhari

2024 Calendar Favorites
Andy Sharp

2024 Calendar Favorites
Bill Wentworth

2024 Calendar Favorites
J.J. Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Kim Barker

2024 Calendar Favorites
Russ Kahler

2024 Calendar Favorites
Scott Degeneffe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Will Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Willy McAlpine

2024 Calendar Favorites
Colleen Hobe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Joe Duff

2024 Calendar Favorites
Michelle Haupt

2024 Calendar Favorites
Monica Jennings

2024 Calendar Favorites
Teresa Kahler


2024 Calendar Favorites
Ben Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Fran Duncan

2024 Calendar Favorites
Beck Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jason Carpenter


2024 Calendar Favorites
Carrie Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Logan Kahler

2024 Calendar Favorites
Mike Vest


2024 Calendar Favorites
Jason Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Russell Kennerly



2024 Calendar Favorites
Becky Parmelee

2024 Calendar Favorites
Elizabeth Nordeen


2024 Calendar Favorites
Alexis Stensland

2024 Calendar Favorites
Derrick Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jorge Rios


2024 Calendar Favorites
Carla Stensland

2024 Calendar Favorites
Elainie Hernandez

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jeanette Duff

2024 Calendar Favorites
Johnathan Stensland

2024 Calendar Favorites
Kio Dettman

2024 Calendar Favorites
Melissa Degeneffe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Nader Parsaei


2024 Calendar Favorites
Anders Runestad

2024 Calendar Favorites
Dawn Krause

That is it. I’m done writing about the calendar until the next one comes out!

*This is facetious.

‘Cause Someday I’ll Be Everything to Somebody Else

Time to clean out the April backlog. Lots of pictures that didn’t quite make their way into previous “An Artist’s Notebook” entries. Including some that were alternates for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE and some that were taken in Jester Park and some at the end of a flowertography road trip. And some that include Naima.

Dickcissel with Naima

Dickcissel with Naima

Dickcissel with Naima

Dickcissel with Naima

Dickcissel with Naima

April Movie Night

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Jester Park Elk

Lucas County

Lucas County

Lucas County

Lucas County

Lucas County

Lucas County

It always feels good when the backlog gets a little more cleaned out!

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!


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:

Suzie Brannen – Week 71

Kim Barker – Week 71

Stephanie Kim – Week 71

Angie DeWaard – Week 71

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!

Oh Dear

I need to begin by wishing Anders a happy birthday.


Happy birthday Anders! I hope your birthday is sufficient in every way you want!


Heart breaks, mistakes
Catching up to me in old ways
I know of hard days
Had my share of lonely nights

It’s only you that my heart desires
Only you alone can break my fall
I pace the floor and I wish for more
-Brandi Carlile

Thursdays are for flowers. This collection once again comes from the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair from the last day of the Fair.

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2022

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

I do love me some Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair!

Goodbye 2022.

Happy New Year to those of you sheeple that follow the Gregorian Calendar. I for one, moved to Unix time years ago. So if I have a birthday party this year (Sara wants me to have one, but I doubt it happens) the invites will list the time of the event in Unix Time, like an adult. But I don’t want to tell you what calendar to use.

I think you should look at the options. By the Gregorian Calendar, when this post publishes, it is the year 2022. But there are other calendars.

Here is a list of other calendars and what year it is if you use those calendars:

Hebrew – 5783
Islamic – 1444
Chinese – 4659
Coptic – 1739
Japanese – Reiwa 4
British Regnal – 1 Cha. 3
Buddhist – 2566
Nanakshahi – 554
Hindu – 5123
Juche – 111
Byzantine – 7531
Roman – 2775
Holocene – 12022
Unix Time (like an adult): 1672531199 (roughly)

As you can tell, Unix Time is clearly superior.

Even though I don’t celebrate New Years, I do like to give holiday Power Rankings.

Here are my champagne power rankings:

10. All champagne is trash.
9. All champagne is trash.
8. All champagne is trash.
7. All champagne is trash.
6. All champagne is trash.
5. All champagne is trash.
4. All champagne is trash.
3. All champagne is trash.
2. All champagne is trash.
1. Champere

So Happy New Years to those who celebrate it. I will have been asleep a couple hours when the bell tolls for 2022. I’m old, lame, and don’t get invited to adult parties.


Time to reveal the December image for the 2023 Photography 139 Gregorian Calendar:

2023 Calendar - December

The December image is a picture of the old mill in Independence, Iowa. I took it while harvesting the town signs of Buchanan County for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. In retrospect, it isn’t a great image for the brutal colds and snows of December. But it was the last selected image and December was the last month that didn’t have an image. These things tend to sort themselves out.

DATE: May 28, 2022 – 9:41 AM
LENS: Tamron 17-28 f/2.8
ISO: 100

I have no calendar images to share tomorrow. Or again until December. If the Photography 139 Calendar exists again in 2024.


This year when I handed a calendar to somebody I asked them to pick a favorite image. Then I photographed them with their favorite image. I also asked people that I didn’t hand deliver a calendar to to pick a favorite image and then send me a picture of them with that image. Like 3 people did that. So good for them? Not that such treachery might factor in who gets a calendar next year…

I forgot to do this for the attendees of the Westhaven Christmas, so this won’t be held against them. Maybe Nate. I did ask him and he said “No problem” and then never sent me a picture.

Any way here is a collection of, but not comprehensive collection of pictures of people with their favorite pictures from the calendar:


Bethany and Nora


Also Colleen

Also, also Colleen


Baier (Jason)

More Baiers (Olivia)

More Baiers (Ben)

More Baiers (Carrie and J.J.)

More Baiers (Will)


























It is possible more pictures might trickle in, if people I mailed calendars to haven’t received them yet. I think every picture got picked except for January. Poor January. Might try this again next year. We’ll see if the people like it.


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



BODY PART! What a great final theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a BODY PART image? Simply put, it is a picture where a major compositional element of the image is a BODY PART. Doesn’t have to be your BODY PART. Could be somebody else’s. It could belong to an animal. There are so many BODY PART(s) to choose from! Heads. Shoulders. Knees. Toes. Just to name a few.

Happy photo harvesting!

Fat Mum Slim – June 2022

On Thursday I completed another month of the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge. For June, there was only one prompt. Grateful. Everyday, post a picture of something that makes you grateful. What I decided to do was every day take a picture with somebody that I am grateful to have in my life. 30 days in June. 30 different people. Only one person a day. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it wasn’t necessarily difficult. Most days, I just let people come into my life. I never made a trip way out of my way to take a picture. I think the farthest I went out of my way was to Madrid for the last day. Most people agreed to come to me. The farthest away a picture was taken was in Lansing, Iowa. But I didn’t go to Lansing, Iowa to take the picture. I went to Lansing to take a picture of their town sign. The second farthest away a picture taken was Spirit Lake, Iowa. But I didn’t go to Spirit Lake to take the picture. I went to Spirit Lake to go camping. The funny thing about those subjects is they were my sisters, who both live pretty darn close to me. The farthest away anybody lives from me that was included was Easton, Kansas. But that person definitely didn’t drive to Boone to have their picture taken with me.

The breakdown of people that I got pictured, if I were to categorize these people by how I first met them, it would break down like this:

+ Friend from Work: 11 – 7 current and 4 from the past.
+ Blood Relative – 7 people.
+ Church Friend – 5 people.
+ School Friend – 4 people.
+ In-Law – 1 person.
+ Teresa’s Friend – 1 person.
+ Olivia’s Friend – 1 person.

Here are my gratitude pictues:

June 1
June 1 – Grateful – I’m grateful for my “Workspace Buddy” Joe. Not only because he is a great co-worker, but a great guy. He 100% believes the earth is flat, that there is no such thing as space, the moon landing was faked, and all celebrities are clones. While I don’t buy any of his views, I do have more respect for them than somebody that believes that supply side economics work. I’m grateful to know such an outside of the box thinker.

June 2
June 2 – Gratitude – This is Derrick. I’ve known him since we were slinging burgers together at the Evil Clown Empire back in college. I’m grateful to have him in my life, not just because we have season tickets together for Iowa State Cyclones football, but also because I wish I had 5% of his musical talent. He is a true guitar god in that he can both play a face melting solo and he can tell you everything about and repair any guitar. Just listening to him talk about guitars is a privilege.

June 3
June 3 – Gratitude – This is Willy. I’ve known him since I started getting invited to Saturday Morning Basketball in 9th Grade. Willy used to dominate the game before the “Big Dog” started to prowl the court. Willy is a world traveler as his Costa Rico hat and Portugal shirt attest and I do live vicariously through him. But the reason I’m most grateful to have him in my life is shortly after his teenage sister passed away suddenly, we started getting supper together on Friday nights. Other members of Friday Night Supper Club came and went, but Willy and I got supper together almost every Friday for a decade, right up until the pandemic. It was and maybe in the future, the perfect end to a work week.

June 4
June 4 – Gratitude – This is Brandon. I’m grateful for all my nieces and nephews, biological and otherwise. Brandon is my oldest nephew and grows the best beard of any of them. He also has great taste in pop culture as he shares my love for all things Godzilla.

June 5
June – Gratitude – I know there are well more than 30 people from my life that I am grateful for, but I also just don’t know if that I will see 30 different people on 30 different days. Especially when I mostly work from home. Some days I don’t really know that I will see anybody that I haven’t already photographed, but then something happens totally unexpected. My sister Teresa had tickets to see Hamilton with her best friend Sheri, but then she got sick and couldn’t go, so I ended up going to see Hamilton with Sheri. While I feel bad for Teresa, I am grateful to have Sheri in my life as she is one of those friends that is more like family to everybody in my family. And yes Hamilton was great! It is Hamilton.

June 6
June 6 – Grateful – This is my Aunt Linda. She is practically the last one left from my Dad’s generation. I’m grateful to have her in my life as she is a connection to my Grandma and Grandpa Bennett that I never got to know, my Uncle David that I never got to know and my Dad who I lost when I was nine. I don’t see her much because she lives in Easton, Kansas but she was in town today to take care of her Boone house.

June 7
June 7 – Grateful – This is Nader. I met him when in another life, I transferred to the Campustown outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. I’m grateful to have Nader in my life because despite having spent 5 years in an Iranian prison without a trial for saying Allah wouldn’t want you to kill people, in front of the wrong people, he still managed to find happiness in Henry Fonda winning an Oscar for On Golden Pond. I share his love of movies, but not how infatuation with the Oscars.

June 8
June 8 – Gratitude – This is Kim. At work I’m somewhere between the low man on the totem pole to not being on the totem pole at all. However, a big wig like Kim takes care of the little people by scheduling Popcorn Day around my schedule!

June 9
June 9 – Gratitude – This is Ron. I’ve worked with him for over 16 years now. Ron has a Purple Heart because he was injured in the terrorist attack on Khobar Towers. However, the truth about his heart is that is gigantic in his love for dogs. He has several dogs and he and his late wife were very active with the animal rescue league in his hometown and he is active in trying to get puppies away from puppy mills, often going to Missouri in this pursuit. I’m grateful for Ron, not just because he is a fountain of knowledge but because he loves dogs even more than me!

June 10
June 10 – Gratitude – This is Carla. She is my elder sister. The middle child of 3. I could just say I’m grateful cause she is my sister, but I realize not everybody has a sister where they are also friends. I am fortunate to have that with both my sisters. If you doubt that, I’m writing this while smashed into the bottom bunk of her camper reminding myself, that I’m not claustrophobic. I’m not claustrophobic. I’m not claustrophobic.

June 11
June 11 – Grateful – This is Sara. Today was her daughter Maven’s birthday party. Before this picture we tried to remember when we first met. Sadly, we can’t figure it out, but it was definitely no later than 1997, but probably before that. Sara has a hard fast rule that when taking a picture of her there has to be at least 3 takes. She is one of the best educated people I know. She has a Bachelor’s from Iowa State. A nursing degree from Mercy, and a Nurse Practitioner degree from Iowa with an emphasis in mental health. While I respect all that learning, but really I’m grateful for her because she is just incredibly fun to be around.

June 12
June 12 – Grateful – This is Pastor Dave. Today was his last day at our church. He is moving on to become a chaplain. I know that Dave must be a devastatingly handsome man because when I’m in my short beard mode I often get mistaken for him. I wish he was sticking around but I’m grateful to him for the job he did taking over in our church shortly before the pandemic began. It could not have been easy!

June 13
June 13 – Grateful – This is Jay. I’ve known Jay since 7th Grade. He is one of the most talented and creative artists that I know. I’m grateful to have some of the art he has created, including this hand staff he made when like 5 years ago I decided I wanted to make MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE themed birthday party invitations.

June 14
June 14 – Grateful – This is my brother-in-law Jason. He’s married to my sister Carla. He’s a great guy and very selfless. But probably why I’m most grateful to have him in my life is because he is handy. I am decidedly not “handy” and anytime I need help with a home project or a car repair, he volunteers his time and expertise.

June 15
June 15 – Grateful – This is Scottie D. I’ve known him since we worked together at the Boone Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. We (with a few other rotating members) the competitive barbecue team Baby Got Rack. Not gonna lie, Scott is pretty much all the culinary talent and I mostly help pack and unpack and photodocument and follow orders. We’ve won more than a few competitions, but haven’t competed since before the pandemic. The hiatus might be coming to an end next month, but even if it doesn’t, I’m grateful to have Scott in my life because of all the delicious food he makes.

June 16
June 16 – Gratitude – This is my nephew Logan. Of all my nieces and nephews, he is the one that is continuing the family legacy of photography. He is even pursuing it professionally doing portrait and wedding photography. I’m grateful to have family that share my passion.

June 17
June 17 – Grateful – This is Kio. He is the person I know that is most dedicated to philanthropy and volunteering. But the reason I’m most grateful to have Kio in my life is that he was instrumental in hooking me up with running the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. A gig I coveted for years.

June  18
June 18 – Gratitude – This is my niece Alexis. It is rather embarrassing how long it has been since today that we’ve seen each other. She is the baby of the family. Well of her generation. She lived with me for a bit and that is the one and only time she heard me “swear”. It was apparently significant enough to her that she immediately took to social media to post about it.

June 19
June 19 – Grateful – This is Andrea. She was the Associate Pastor at my church about 10 years ago until she got moved to Fort Dodge to have her own church. Last year they moved her to West Des Moines. I went down to her worship service today and her sermon was so affirming and so everything I needed to hear. She is probably the Pastor that has had the most influence on my faith journey… in many ways… but including the simple act of asking me to help chaperone a Youth Group Mission Trip to Kansas City a long time ago.

June 20
June 20 – Grateful – This is Jesse. We’ve been best friends since meeting in Mrs. Ford’s 2nd Grade Class. Probably could write a ton on him, but enough to say he has been with me on most adventures and tragedies in my life since then. Which is a lot of years when you’re old and washed up like us.

June 21
June 21 – Grateful – This is Johnathan. He is the last of my biological nieces or nephews that will be featured this month. I have one more. My niece Elainie, but she is off in California currently with her Navy husband. So… Johnathan. He is the often quiet, keep to yourself nephew and I can relate to that. He is a phenomenal cook and is way better at cleaning than I am. He also lived with me briefly and his portion of the house was always in order. Like all my nieces and nephews, I need to effort to see him more, especially because his work schedule is so tough.

June 22
June 22 – Grateful – This is Micky. I’ve worked with him for over 16 years now. And while I’m grateful to him for all the help he gives me at work, I’m really grateful for our friendship outside of work. He is a great outdoorsman, but in ways that are opposite to how I enjoy it. Meaning, he likes to hunt and fish. Frankly, I do enjoy fishing a bit, I don’t think I could ever murderize other animals, I just don’t have it in me. Yet I have went turkey hunting with him. But my favorite part of our friendship is the great outdoorsman is terrified of snakes and I love sending him videos of snakes.

June 23
June 23 – Grateful – This is Michelle – I’ve worked with Michelle for a bit now. But like all my work friends it is our friendship outside of work that I’m truly grateful for.She is from Fort Dodge, so she does have the affliction of not knowing that Taco Tico is disgusting. But despite that she has went with me on more than one occasion to try a new tenderloin. She plays banker for the football betting pool I run and she currently has the 8th longest consecutive submission streak for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE I run. She is proof not all Walmart Hawkeyes are bad people (she went to Drake).

June 24
June 24 – Grateful – This is Jen. I’ve known Jen since we worked together at the Boone Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. Now she works for NASA. I don’t really care where my friends work, as long as they are happy, but I use it as an example of what a long, strange, often tragic and often joyful, trip we’ve been on. I’m wearing a banana hat because she hates bananas, but one thing we definitely agree on is that today was an incredibly sad day in this country’s history. But she will persist. I will be an ally.

June 25
June 25 – Grateful – This is my eldest sister Teresa. Like I mentioned with my other sister Carla, I am lucky to also be friends with my two siblings. She is super crafty and she’s probably made like half the shirts I wear, including the one in this picture with her Cricut. She also crochets and paints and many other things I’m probably forgetting.

June 26
June 26 – Grateful – This is Phil. He is another former Pastor from my church. He has also had a huge influence on my faith journey. He was a key part of my becoming way more active in my church and he did this by visiting my at a point in my life when I was deep in grief and not giving me any of the platitudes that you are given at that time. He was just present and it made such a huge difference. Over lunch he also shared a story when he knew I saw him as a person and not just a Pastor and I won’t share it, but I will remember it and it will help shape my interactions in the future.

June 27
June – 27 – Grateful – This is Anders. I’ve known him since meeting him in Jr. High band. He is a major driving force in the monthly movie night I host in my theater room. I’m grateful to have somebody in my life who has similarly eclectic taste in cinema as I do. In fact, the book I’m holding is a 700 page book he wrote on the making of our favorite bad movie, ROBOT MONSTER.

June  28
June 28 – This is Andy. I’d guess I’ve really known Andy about 10 years now. I don’t know he made a great first impression, but that is one of the cool parts of this friendship. We have chaperoned youth group mission trips to Martin, South Dakota, Saint Paul, Houston, Milwaukee, Rapid City, and I think Kansas City. Would be more, except for the pandemic. The shirt he is wearing is for a local charity he supports (there are too many to list) that gives support to families that have lost a baby. (Neonatal, perinatal, and infant loss) I’d explain why this is necessary, but it makes me sad. Andy’s big heart is why I’m grateful he is in my life.

June 29
June 29 – Grateful – This is Elizabeth. This might be a hard one to write because I was only partially convinced that she would agree to do this and I wasn’t expecting her to come to me this morning with her hair all straightened and say, “I don’t like having my picture taken, but I do like you. So let’s take this picture.” Which was an absolute highlight of my day. And she will read that and give me grief about it. Then she said, “You’ll probably write something snarky about how I don’t like having my picture taken”. Which I probably would have and pointed out about how as a photographer it really gnaws at you, the pictures you don’t get to take. I might have even written something about the misogynist in me vs. the feminist in me, but none of that will cover why she is important to me. So I will get to that. She is probably the person that most calls me on my BS, which somebody like me needs. She at least attempts to tell me when she thinks I’m wrong as she is the unnamed other opinion on my TOWN SIGN PROJECT posts on my regular Instagram account. While we have differing opinions on the important things (pizza and she doesn’t LOVE peanut butter and chocolate together, right?)… I’ve somehow come to value her opinion. That probably even surprises her.

June 30
June 30 – Grateful – This is Mike. Made it. 30 days. 30 different people. That is a lot of grateful and a lot of grateful still left on the table. But Mike… I’ve known him since I started working at the Computer Mine 16 plus years ago. He is the number one influence on my photography website being as advanced technologically as it is. And because we both have interests in photography (both interests inherited from fathers we both lost way too early) it was originally mostly his idea to create THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE on my website. A challenge that has very slowly grown from a couple people a week to consistently over 30 submissions a week. And his technological savvy is just a small part of why I conclude the grateful month with Mike.

I definitely didn’t write nearly enough about some people. Sometimes it was a time crunch. Sometimes, it just seemed obvious and obvious is sometimes hard to put into words.

Obviously there are more than 30 people in my life that I am grateful to have in my life. I won’t even give you examples of people that I am thankful for, because I’m sure I would leave people out. Then they would have been left out of the 30 days and then out of the list of but I’m also grateful for you list and then would be like a double slap. Just know that if you think I’m grateful to have you in my life, I probably am and you weren’t included in this set of 30 because you live too far away or I don’t see you on a regular basis. Or at least didn’t see you in June.

Here are the FatMumSlim Prompts for July:

July 1 – Reflections
July 2 – Letters
July 3 – Human
July 4 – I’m Working on This…
July 5 – Wall
July 6 – Bright Colours
July 7 – A Fave Place
July 8 – Out of Focus
July 9 – A Boomerang
July 10 – Behind Someone
July 11 – Interior
July 12 – Exterior
July 13 – Life
July 14 – Create A PostCard
July 15 – Where I Stood
July 16 – Pattern
July 17 – Water
July 18 – Street Photography
July 19 – A Cylinder
July 20 – Hug
July 21 – A Church
July 22 – Current Interest
July 23 – Still Life
July 24 – A Metaphor
July 25 – Beauty
July 26 – Portrait Mode
July 27 – Countryside
July 28 – An Old Car
July 29 – Black and White
July 30 – Happy Days
July 31 – Sunday Morning

Some good prompts in there. It will fill weird getting back to a different prompt everyday, but I’m sure I can handle it.

Fat Mum Slim – January 2022

This year, in addition to THE SELFIE PROJECT, I’ve decided to participate in the popular Instagram Photo of a Day Project run by Fat Mum lim. Each day there is a different photo prompt. I’ve created a separate Instagram account to post these pictures, so if you are Instagram, you can follow that account at @fmsbennett.

Here are the pictures from January:

January 1
January 1 – How I’m Starting 2022

January 2
January 2 – This is me

January 3
January 3 – Breakfast

January 4
January 4 – Something blue

January 5
January 5 – This year I’ll

January 6
January 6 – Begins with G

January 7
January 7 – Words to live by

January 8
January 8 – Get in the photo

January 9
January 9 – Play

January 10
January 10 – Makes me smile

January 11
January 11 – Lunch

January 12
January 12 – I am here!

January 13
January 13 – Happy

January 14
January 14 – Reflection

January 15
January 15 – Heck Yes!

January 16
January 16 – Self care

January 17
January 17 – In the sky

January 18
January 18 – Serenity

January 19
January 19 – Lucky number

January 20
January 20 – A path

January 21
January 21 – Happens every day

January 22
January 22 – I love this colour

January 23
January 23 – A place

January 24
January 24 – A shape

January 25
January 25 – Flowers

January 26
January 26 – Water

January 27
January 27 – Dinner

January 28
January 28 – Nature

January 29
January 29 – A book cover

January 30
January 30 – Mirror

January 31
January 31 – I need to do this…

I need to acknowledge Elizabeth for helping on two of the projects. She threw the basketball in the air for “Up in the sky” and she also provided and held the illustration for “Flowers”.

The February themes are all letter related:
February 1: A is For…
February 2: B if For…
February 3: C is For…
February 4: D is For…
February 5: E is For…
February 6: F is For…
February 7: G is For…
February 8: H is For…
February 9: I is For…
February 10: J is For…
February 11: K is For…
February 12: L is For…
February 13: M is For…
February 14: N is For…
February 15: O is For…
February 16: P is For…
February 17: Q is For…
February 18: R is For…
February 19: S is For…
February 20: T is For…
February 21: U is For…
February 22: V is For…
February 23: W is For…
February 24: X is For…
February 25: Y is For…
February 26: Z is For…
February 27: Letters
February 28: Your Fave Word

Hoping to collect some fun images in February.


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


JUNK! What a great theme for Week 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a JUNK image? Simply put, it is any picture that involves JUNK in the composition. It can be as simple as opening up your JUNK drawer and taking a picture. I have at least 5 JUNK drawers in my house and one more in the office. You could got to a local salvage yard. You could go to a local “antique” store. It could be simply a picture of something you don’t like. There are numerous definitions of JUNK and feel free to explore any of those definitions. I think you know the definition I’m talking about.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – January 2022

I don’t usually run THE SELFIE PROJECT in back to back years, but since I took a break from it for a bit in 2021, I decided to make an exception and bring it back in 2022.

Before getting into my favorite images from January of 2022, I want to put a bow on 2021.

Here is a photomosaic made out of THE SELFIE PROJECT images of 2021.

2021 Selfie Project Mosaic

The base image was taken on January 1, 2022. All the images that make it up were taken in 2021. I don’t think I need to point out the symbolism of the image, but I will. The image was created because because the person standing there on January 1, 2022 was created by all the experiences (bad and terrible and godawful and a few that were good) that I went through in 2021. As with all mosaics, the further away you get, the easier it is to see the base image. You can also click on the image to see it larger.

Here are my favorite THE SELFIE PROJECT images from January 2022:

Day 1 - January 1, 2022
January 1

Day 2 - January 2, 2022
January 2

Day 4 - January 4, 2022
January 4

Day 5 - January 5, 2022
January 5

Day 6 - January 6, 2022
January 6

Day 9 - January 9, 2022
January 9

Day 10 - January 10, 2022
January 10

Day 12 - January 12, 2022
January 12

Day 14 - January 14, 2022
January 14

Day 15 - January 15, 2022
January 15

Day 16 - January 16, 2022
January 16

Day 17 - January 17, 2022
January 17

Day 18 - January 18, 2022
January 18

Day 20 - January 20, 2022
January 20

Day 22 - January 22, 2022
January 22

Day 23 - January 23, 2022
January 23

Day 24 - January 24, 2022
January 24

Day 25 - January 25, 2022
January 25

Day 26 - January 26, 2022
January 26

Day 28 - January 28, 2022
January 28

Day 29 - January 29, 2022
January 29

Day 30 - January 30, 2022
January 30

Another reason I decided to run it back again this year is because Sara gave me a kind of a “selfie kit” for Christmas. So I can’t let that go to waste!

Here are some SELFIE PROJECT bonus images:












It doesn’t appear I did a tremendous lot in January. Maybe I will do more in February.

Selfie Project – December

I’ve decided to do the SELFIE PROJECT in 2022. I usually don’t do this in back to back years, but I thought I would give it a shot.

Here are my favorite SELFIE PROJECT images from December:

Day 335 - December 1, 2021
December 1

Day 336 - December 2, 2021
December 2

Day 337 - December 3, 2021
December 3

Day 338 - December 4, 2021
December 4

Day 343 - December 9, 2021
December 9

Day 345 - December 11, 2021
December 11

Day 346 - December 12, 2021
December 12

Day 347 - December 13, 2021
December 13

Day 348 - December 14, 2021
December 14

Day 350 - December 16, 2021
December 16

Day 353 - December 19, 2021
December 19

Day 354 - December 20, 2021
December 20

Day 355 - December 21, 2021
December 21

Day 356 - December 22, 2021
December 22

Day 358 - December 24, 2021
December 24

Day 360 - December 26, 2021
December 26

Day 361 - December 27, 2021
December 27

Day 363 - December 29, 2021
December 29

Day 364 - December 30, 2021
December 30

Day 365 - December 31, 2021
December 31

To check out all THE SELFIE PROJECT images from 2021, click on the link below:

Selfie Project – 2021

I took several selfies that couldn’t be included in THE SELFIE PROJECT cause there can only be one per day, but I would like to share some of my favorite alternates:

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Hopefully the 2022 SELFIE PORTRAIT PROJECT goes off without a hitch.