Category Archives: Baier

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!

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You’d Leave

I need to start off this post by wishing Jason Baier a happy birthday. Happy birthday Baier:

The Story

I hope your birthday has all the joy, happiness, and bears doing cocaine you could ever want!


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

Surprise - Dawn

I just hope you enjoy your book!


Time once again to work on the backlog. The images I’m about to share were taken last May and they never really fit into any other “An Artist’s Notebook” entries. Some are self-portraits I took shortly before I shaved off my beard for the trip to Miami Beach. The rest are pictures of Jesse before or after having a water balloon exploded on his face.

I made up four water balloons. Jesse volunteered to be the subject. Anders and Jay watched. Willy, was also in the crowd and he was deemed to be the most athletic of the the three so he was selected to throw the water balloons at Jesse. He missed 3 times in a row. THREE TIMES IN A ROW!!!

So finally, down to the last water balloon, Willy just pressed a water balloon against Jesse’s face. While some of the pictures of Jesse anticipating the water balloon look like the before picture in one of those commercials for t-shirts that fit better, he is actually it is anticipation of a balloon collision.

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

I Knew from the Start this is Exactly How You'd Leave

It always feels good to get some of the backlog knocked out. You never know, some day there might night be a backlog. On to the June backlog!

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!

Fall Apart Again

Year 17 of the Roundball Oracles has come to an end. On Monday night, Kansas used a flaw in the court that injured North Carolina’s best player to help them overcome the Tar Heels in the last minute of the game. It was an otherwise great game and it is sad that it was partially decided by an injury due to a flaw in the court construction.

Ben Baier was the winner of this year’s pool. He is the youngest to ever win it. He joins this list:


2022 – Ben Baier
2021 – Micky Augustin
2020 – No Tournament
2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

Where there is a champion, there also has to be a last place. This year’s The Sara “winner” was Joey Randazzo.

Past “The Sara” Winners

2022 – Joey Randazzo
2021 – Rachel Gildersleeve
2020 – No Tournament
2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

Note, Olivia Baier actually finished below Mr. Randazzo, but as she is a child, she is not eligible for The Sara.

Here are the Final Standings:

1. Ben Baier – 273 points
2. Sara Lockner – 271 points
3. Shawn Lockner – 242 points
4. Rachel Gildersleeve – 242 points
5. Linda Bennett – 232 points
6. Becky Parmelee – 231 points
7. Carla Stensland – 229 points
8. Angie DeWaard – 224 points
9. Humble Narrator – 224 points
10. Tim Peterson – 223 points
11. Jason Baier – 217 points
12. Lowell Davis – 215 points
13. Derek Dohrman – 215 points
14. Carrie Baier – 214 points
15. Sarah Karber – 210 points
16. Micky Augustin – 209 points
17. Elizabeth Nordeen – 206 points
18. Jorge Rios – 203 points
19. Brandon Kahler – 203 points
20. Will Baier – 197 points
21. Jordan Toot – 197 points
22. Corey Faust – 197 points
23. Andree Jauhari – 192 points
24. Jesse Howard – 191 points
25. Dawn Krause – 182 points
26. Derrick Gorshe – 181 points
27. Michelle Haupt – 179 points
28. Jackson Faust – 176 points
29. Jason Stensland – 168 points
30. J.J. Baier – 164 points
31. Russell Kennerly – 161 points
32. Toby Sebring – 157 points
33. Robert Henning – 151 points
34. Jill Gorshe – 147 points
35. Joey Randazzo – 143 points
36. Olivia Baier – 141 points

I’m already looking forward to next season. Iowa State will have to replace a lot from this year’s team and one of their assistant coaches, but could be a good team. You never know. This year’s team definitely wasn’t supposed to make the Sweet Sixteen!


Seems like a good time to share some flower pictures from last year:

Soul Expansion - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Fall Apart Again

Fall Apart Again

Nature's Amen - 2021

Nature's Amen - 2021

I still have some flower pictures left to share from last year.

Selfie Project – March 2022

Tomorrow is the Final Four. Thought it would be a good time to check-in on the Roundball Oracles.

With 3 games left to go in the NCAA tournament this is the Top 3:

1. Becky Parmelee – 231 Points
2. Carla Stensland – 229 Points
3. Angie DeWaard – 224 points

This is the Bottom 3:

34. Joey Randazzo – 143 points
35. Olivia Baier – 141 points
36. Toby Sebring – 140 points

At this point, there are 4 people left that have a chance of taking home the Championship Trophy. 2 people still have a shot at The Sara.

Here are the scenarios for The Sara:

If Villanova beats Kansas then Toby “wins” The Sara.
If Kansas beats Villanova then Joey “wins” The Sara.

Note as Olivia Baier is a child, she is not eligible for The Sara.

Here are the scenarios for the Championship:

If Duke wins the National Championship then Sarah Karber wins the trophy.
If Kansas wins the National Championship then Ben Baier wins the trophy.
If Villanova beats Duke for the National Championship then Becky wins the trophy.
If North Carolina beats Villanova for the National Championship then Becky wins the trophy.
If North Carolina beats Kansas for the National Championship then Ben wins the trophy.
If Villanova beats North Carolina for the National Championship then Derrick Gorshe wins the trophy.

It is possible, that there is an error in my math, but I’m fairly certain this is correct.

Root accordingly.


I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I think I actually did some stuff in March. I didn’t go to Pennsylvania and Illinois (briefly) and North Carolina (briefly), but I did stand in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota all at the same time. I ate the reigning Best Tenderloin in Iowa. I went to two Iowa State NCAA Tournament games. I stood on the highest point in Iowa and the second highest. I hosted Alligator Movie Night. I had some good times with friends and some poignant times with family. March wasn’t too bad. Raised the bar a bit for April.

Here are my favorite SELFIE PROJECT images from March:

Day 60 - March 1, 2022
March 1

Day 62 - March 3, 2022
March 3

Day 63 - March 4, 2022
March 4

Day 64 - March 5, 2022
March 5

Day 66 - March 7, 2022
March 7

Day 67 - March 8, 2022
March 8

Day 68 - March 9, 2022
March 9

Day 70 - March 11, 2022
March 11

Day 71 - March 12, 2022
March 12

Day 72 - March 13, 2022
March 13

Day 74 - March 15, 2022
March 15

Day 75 - March 16, 2022
March 16

Day 76 - March 17, 2022
March 17

Day 77 - March 18, 2022
March 18

Day 78 - March 19, 2022
March 19

Day 79 - March 20, 2022
March 20

Day 80 - March 21, 2022
March 21

Day 82 - March 23, 2022
March 23

Day 84 - March 25, 2022
March 25

Day 85 - March 26, 2022
March 26

Day 88 - March 29, 2022
March 29

Day 89 - March 30, 2022
March 30

Day 90 - March 31, 2022
March 31

Oh yeah! I also bought a new camera in March! I hope to continue to do good work in April!

Of course, there can only be one selfie for each day. Here are my favorite alternates I took for THE SELFIE PROJECT:





























Jesse is a sleeper!


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


But what exactly is a FRAMED picture? It is simply a picture where the subject is FRAMED in by something else. In the theme reveal, the edge of the garbage can makes a frame for the subject of the refuse. A doorway makes a good frame. So does a hall way. A window Any thing that creates negative space makes a great frame for your subject. Or you could even do something as easy as taking a picture of something that is in a literal picture frame.

Happy photo harvesting!

Roundball Oracles – Year 17

It is time once again for the greatest sporting event of year. It is that time known as March Madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Once again, I will be sponsoring a pool. There is no cost to enter the pool, except for pride.

The winner gets a trophy. The dead last place person gets a trophy known as The Sara*.

By winning, you get your name etched on the list of immortals:


2021 – Micky Augustin
2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

But I said that there are 2 trophies. The 2nd trophy, The Sara, goes to the adult that finishes dead last, while trying. A person can not tank on purpose and win The Sara. The reason The Sara winner has to be an adult is that I don’t want to mock children, to their face. Does that mean I have no problem mocking children behind their back? Does it make me a bad person if I say yes? Probably a better rule would be that to “win” The Sara, you have to be at least a teenager. I have no problem mocking teenagers to their face. At least, back when there was a Youth Group.

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2021 – Rachel Gildersleeve
2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

The Sara doesn’t have the long storied history of the championship trophy, but it will get there. I have no doubts.

These were the final standings from last year:


1. Michael Augustin – 275 points
2. Jorge Rios – 252 points
3. Jordan Toot – 240 points
4. Corey Faust – 233 points
5. Tim Peterson – 229 points
6. Mike G – 228 points
7. Dawn Krause – 216 points
8. Joey Randazzo – 210 points
9. Elizabeth Nordeen – 204 points
10. Kio Dettman – 203 points
11. Humble Narrator – 202 points
12. Angie DeWaard – 202 points
13. Brandon Kahler – 199 points
14. Bill Wentworth – 194 points
15. Toby Sebring – 191 points
16. Carla Stensland – 188 points
17. Andree Jauhari – 187 points
18. Lowell Davis – 184 points
19. Dylan Groves – 179 points
20. Jesse Howard – 177 points
21. Derek Dohrman – 174 points
22. Joseph Duff – 170 points
23. Robert Henning – 168 points
24. Jackson Faust – 167 points
25. Sarah Karber – 151 points
26. Michelle Haupt – 143 points
27. Rachel Gildersleeve – 142 points

If you are a basketball fan, or are just interested in having fun, click on the link below to join my pool:

Roundball Oracles – Year 17

The rules are as follows:
Round 1 = 1 point + seed
Round 2 = 2 points + seed
Round 3 = 4 points + seed
Round 4 = 8 points + seed
Round 5 = 16 points + seed
Rounds 6 = 32 points + seed

The Play-in Games (AKA the First Four) don’t matter. You can wait for those games to complete before filling out your bracket. The deadline to fill out your bracket, is tip-off of the first game on Thursday. Roughly 11 AM. Yes, there are no Thursday games this year.

Under special circumstances, I will allow you to turn in a paper bracket to me. So, don’t be afraid to ask.

Yes, your child can fill out a bracket. Your dog, no.

There were 27 competitors in 2021. A 15 person drop from 2019. (There was no tournament in 2020.) Hopefully there is a slight rebound in participation this year, but it is possible I have 15 less friends than I did in 2019. It is possible I have lost even more friends since 2020. I might not be that great of a person.

*You have to be 14 years or older to win “The Sara”.


Most of the pictures from the folder 2010-11-22 are from when I took some pictures of the Baiers around Iowa State’s beautiful campus.


Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2010

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


Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a youth group fundraiser.

Wright County Auxiliary Images

Buckle up, this one could be a long post.

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

9 Emotions Project - Dawn Krause

Photo of the Day 0089 - July 30, 2014

Bonne Finken

Josh Davis Band

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


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

Baier Tenderloin Road Trip

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009

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


It is beyond time I share the photos from my trip around Wright County with my Mom and Teresa harvesting the town signs of… well Wright County. Although some of these pictures are also taken in Humboldt County, Hardin County, Franklin County, and Story County. But I want to start with a little history lesson about Woolstock. The birthplace of George Reeves.

For those of you don’t know, George Reeves was the first television Superman. He also appeared in GONE WITH THE WIND. But after playing Superman he was typecast and had difficulty getting other roles. He died tragically and mysteriously. It was ultimately ruled a suicide, but there are many that think he was murdered. His death was the focus of the 2006 movie HOLLYWOODLAND. He was portrayed by Ben Affleck.

Here is a little bit on George Reeves and Woolstock from the Superman Supersite:

On January 5th, 1914, George Keefer Brewer was born to Helen Lescher Brewer and Don Brewer of Woolstock. At the time of his birth his parents had been renting 2 front rooms in the home of the Fischers. So and so was the midwife that delivered little George in the Fischer home on that cold January day. Marie Claude was his babysitter (Her experiences with George will be coming soon).

Helen Lescher, George’s mother, came from Galesburg, Illinois, which is also where she met George’s father, Don Brewer, while he was at Pharmacy school. She was a child from a wealthy and prominent Galesburg family. Her move to Woolstock was made after she had become pregnant with George and came around the time of her marriage to Don Brewer in August of 1913. She disliked Woolstock because of its small town setting and her desire for more attention and fancy flare that she could not receive in it.

After the birth of George, Don soon acquired a small bungalow home on present day Cecilia Street. Their move there did not tame the flames already drawn by Helen, and Helen became disappointed that Don didn’t want to achieve more then what he already had with his pharmacist job in a small rural community. After a year or so, she would request separation and a divorce. There is talk that Helen ended up staying at the Woolstock Hotel on the west corner of Main Street (now it would have been located on the corner of Herman, Nellie, and Alice Streets across from the grain silos/elevator) during the separation. After the divorce, Helen eventually moved with George to Pasadena, California, near her sister, where she would meet her 2nd husband, Frank Bessalo. Frank eventually adopted George, and Helen made up fake documents about George’s past and told him that his real father committed suicide. Later George would meet his father unexpectedly during a show that George acted and toured with during the 1940s, after the success of Gone with the Wind (George played Stuart Tarleton). George was surprised that his father was alive, and was angry at Helen. He would never meet with his father after that because he thought too much time had gone by.

Don Brewer, himself, was born and grew up around the area of Woolstock in near by Webster City. He continued with business at the Reed and Brewer Drug Store, but would eventually move to Mason City, Iowa.

Well, his mom was a real piece of work.

Here are the pictures from the road trip:

Wright County
Woolstock, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Humboldt County
Thor, Iowa – I wonder is this sign works. Cause I have all sorts of doubts.

Wright County
Goldfield, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County
Clarion, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County
Belmond, Iowa

Franklin County
Alexander, Iowa

Wright County
Dows, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Hardin County
Alden, Iowa

Hardin County

Hardin County
Buckeye, Iowa

Hardin County

Bald Eagle
North of Zearing, Iowa a few miles. Bald Eagles, the turtles of the sky.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

I believe Jasper County is next up for the sharing of auxiliary images.

Post #4,000

August 9, 2006. That was the date where I first took keyboard in hand and began typing out the blog that I entitled “An Artist’s Notebook”. I entitled that first post “First Journal Entry”. The categories for that first post were “Blogging”, “Contests”, “Jay”, and “Sara”.

This is the first paragraph I posted:

So here is the first journal entry. I felt like having as pretentious sounding name as possible for my journal. I have a few goals about this journal. My main goal is just to actually write in it. My second goal is to be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings. I have another journal on another website, but it is really just a collection of sarcastic statements and cheap jabs at open faced sandwiches. This journal is meant to be about what my achievements and failures are in the world of art. What projects I am working on and what I have accomplished and what I have failed to accomplish. What I am photographing and what I am thinking about entering in photo contests. What I am thinking about. It might not always make sense. It might just be things I need to write down because they strike me as poignant or inspirational. This is in a small way an online “idea box”.

Then it goes on to talk about how I attended the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception with Sara to see what two pictures had been accepted for display that year. Then I would go on to talk about how Jay had talked me into entering the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

The last line of the entry was simply:

I don’t want to mail it in.

While I was actually referencing the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, it is my hope that I also didn’t choose to “mail it in” as it pertains to “An Artist’s Notebook”.

It has been 5,276 days since that first post. 5,276 days to reach this day and the 4,000th post in this blog, or “online journal” like I sometimes call it when I don’t like calling it a blog. It is hard to believe I have made it this far, for this long.

It hasn’t been necessarily smooth sailing the whole time. My website has been through a couple different servers. I have been through a couple different hosts for the blog part of the website. I have been through 4 (I think) different image hosting options in those 5,275 days. That jumping around for image hosting solutions did cause the problem that images from my posts from the first few years of this website’s existence have had to be “restored” slowly over time. So far I have semi-successfully restored all the entries though June of 2010. Which means, I still have a full year’s worth of entries left to restore. Somewhere in 2011, was when I fully made the move to my current SmugMug image hosting solution. I have unfortunately lost a few images, probably forever, mostly old phone pictures, but those old posts are as complete as they will ever be.

When I hit these milestones, I like to publish a lot of fairly meaningless stats. This one will be no different. So, here are the “An Artist’s Notebook” categories that I have used the most often:

Top 10 An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Jesse – 495 Entries

#5. Portrait – 472 Entries

#6. Shannon – 421 Entries

#7. Carla – 391 Entries

#8. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#9. Teresa – 364 Entries

#10. Mom – 363 Entries

Top Ten An Artist’s Notebook People Categories

#1. Jesse – 495 Entries

#2. Shannon – 421 Entries

#3. Carla – 391 Entries

#4. Teresa – 364 Entries

#5. Mom – 363 Entries

#6. Jay – 320 Entries

#7. Derrick – 295 Entries

#8. Willy – 268 Entries

#9. Vest – 258 Entries

#10. Jen – 254 Entries

Top Ten Non-People An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Portrait – 472 Entries

#5. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#6. Nature – 349 Entries

#7. Macro – 332 Entries

#8. Photoshop – 327 Entries

#9. Road Trip – 326 Entries

#10. Art – 314 Entries

People often ask what is the best way to improve their Photography 139 Category Score. The easiest way is to submit pictures to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. But posing for and assisting me with photo project or photo adventures is also a very good way.

What people have a shot at cracking the Top Ten by the time we hit Post #5,000? Kim, Sara, Logan, and Micky all have a shot. But 1,000 posts is a long ways away. So anybody has a shot!

But what are the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries in Photography 139 history? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question. I can only process stats up to 365 days ago. However, I can tell you the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries of the last 365 Days are.

Click on the image to peruse that gallery.

Top Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries (by view) of the Last 365 Days


Be True
#2. Christopher D. Bennett – 41080 Views

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#3. 9 Emotions Project – 36972 Views

Taylan Howard
#4. Taylan Howard – 2020 – 34075 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2016
#5. Daisies – 26800 Views

Morning in America
#6. Drone – 24659 Views

#7. Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 24603 Views

Be Aggressive!
#8. Family Happenings – 18,231 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#9. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 – 17057 Views

Black Lives Matter - Boone
#10. Black Lives Matter – Boone – 2020 – 16160 Views

The Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the Last 365 Days (by Views)

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. 7254 Views

Taylan Howard
#2. 3153 Views

2020 Birthday Party Invites
#3. 2460 Views (Photo by Logan Kahler)

Cousin Amy and Sam - 2009
#4. 2228 Views

Garrett Larson
#5. 2127 Views

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009
#6. 2111 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3
#7. 1971 Views

2019  Computer Mine Holiday Card
#8. 1916 Views

The Most Tolerable Third Party
#9. 1891 Views

The Hero of Africa
#10. 1830 Views

Now the secret to the popularity of some of these images is that they are cover photos for albums, but shhhh… don’t tell anybody!

Another category of meaningless statistics, I’d like to share is what have been the most popular posts since the inception of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Although it might not be the most accurate way to judge such things, the only statistic I can use to judge this is “Comments” left on each post. That doesn’t mean emails or text messages or comments I received in person. These are comments that were left in the Comments section of each post.

Most Popular An Artist’s Notebook Entries (by Comments)

#1. The People’s Choice Round Two – 24 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 9 – Food – 22 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 43 – Sunrise/Sunset – 22 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Hamilton County – 21 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Dallas County – 21 Comments

#6. Postcard Recreation Project: Some Churches – 20 Comments

#6. Rodan139: Swede Valley Lutheran Church – 20 Comments

#8. Will History Blame Me… – 19 Comments

#9. Yo, Ya Just Get in that, You Get in that Head Space, Ya Know – 15 Comments

#9. You Can Call it a Comeback – 15 Comments

#9. Wild Goose Chase – 15 Comments

#9. Sorry Not Sorry – 15 Comments

One thing to note is that each “An Artist’s Notebook” entry has its Comments section close 30 days after being posted. Some of those still have a chance to grow, but most have been locked into place forever.

The last statistic I want to share before closing out Post #4,000 is kind of a loyalty score. To even be considered for this list, you first have to have a Photography 139 Email Subscription. The following is a statistic based on “loyalty” for lack of a better term to that service.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

1. Michelle Haupt – 99%
2. Joe Duff – 97%
3. Shannon Bardole-Foley – 94%
4. Sara Lockner – 90%
5. Corey Faust – 89%

Thanks to everybody that has supported this adventure for 14 years, 5 months, and now 10 days!

Blessings 2020

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

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

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

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

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

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

March 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019


Self Portrait Project - 2012

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Honey Hollow


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

October 27, 2019

October 30, 2019

September 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

June 23, 2019

January 16, 2019

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

August 30, 2019

December 27, 2019


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

Black and White Alternate

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