Category Archives: Jay

Post 5,005

I need to start this milestone post by wishing Elainie a happy birthday!

Day 57 - February 26, 2022
Happy birthday Elainie!

I hope your birthday is amazing!!


Today is also Layla’s birthday!

Day 278 - October 5, 2021

I hope you have an awesome birthday!


Can you believe that this is the 5,005th entry in the blog known as “An Artist’s Notebook”? Every 250 posts or so I like to take a moment to reflect on where this post has been and post a lot of meaningless stats. I meant to post this post on Sunday night when it would have been Post #5,000, but you know how my week went. Not great.

As always on these posts, I like to start by quoting the very first “An Artist’s Notebook” entry that published on August 9, 2006. That first post that published 6,296 days.

That post that started with these words:

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”.

Since those words, I have posted 5,005 journal entries. (Normally I would do this little exercise on post #4,750, but I was in Vegas at that time.) This website is still something of an “idea box”. Sometimes I’m just working stuff out here. I don’t know why, sometimes I need to work stuff out in public. But this website is definitely more than just an “idea box”. It is a place where I post a few thoughts and a ton of pictures. I’ve gone through a few photo projects on these pages. From THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT to the 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT to THE SELFIE PROJECT to the POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT to name just a few. This website has also created a community with THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Which is one of my proudest achievements. Even if it sputtered and spit and barely survived in its first few years.

5,005 posts. I can’t even measure the elevation changes my life have taken since then. Major ups. Major downs. Peaks and valleys. 5,005 posts and I vow to keep on chugging along.

On these reflective posts, I like to publish a bunch of statistics that me and Joe Duff find interesting. So I might as well get to it.

Every post in “An Artist’s Notebook” is tagged with at least one Category. It is one of the easiest ways to navigate around the website. They are listed at the top of each post. Here are some statistics about Categories:

10. Carla – 582 (#8 – +52)
9. Teresa – 590 (#9 – +65)
8. Road Trip – 611 (#6 – +42)
7. Macro – 627 (#10 – +132)
6. Formal Portrait – 638 (NR)
5. Jesse – 684 (#4 – +54)
4. Art – 744 (#5 – +122)
3. Animals – 790 (#3 – +65)
2. Flowers – 958 (#2 – +77)
1. Black & White – 1,212 (#1 – +220)

Dropping from the from the Top 10 was Shannon, a category that was #7 in Post #4757.

The 5 categories that have the best shot at making the Top 10 in Post #5,250 are Shannon, Nature, WPC-Submissions, and Candid Portrait.

It should be noted that some of these increases are caused by my working on the categories on some older posts.

10. Photoshop – 432 (#10 – +43)
9. Candid Portrait – 475 (NR)
8. Nature – 538 (+101 – #8)
7. Road Trip – 611 (#5 – +42)
6. Macro – 627 (#6 – +132)
5. Formal Portrait – 638 (#8 – +191)
4. Art – 744 (#5 – +122)
3. Animals – 790 (#3 – +65)
2. Flowers – 958 (#2 – +77)
1. Black & White – 1,212 (#1 – +220)

WPC-Submission fell out of the Top 10. It was ranked #7 in Post #4757.

The categories that are just right outside of the Top 10 are Still Life, Naima, History, and Self-Portrait and Christianity.

10. Vest – 350 (NR)
9. Jay – 353 (#6 – +5)
8. Micky – 359 (NR)
7. Logan – 380 (#9 – +61)
6. Kim – 395 (#7 – +53)
5. Mom – 464 (#5 – +6)
4. Shannon – 576 (#2 – +37)
3. Carla – 582 (#3 – +52)
2. Teresa – 590 (#4 – +65)
1. Jesse – 684 (#1 – +54)

Dropping from the rankings was Willy and Derrick.

The categories that have the best shot at cracking the next Top 10 are Willy, Derrick, Jen, Andy, and Sara.

If you are wondering what is your best way to improve your Photography 139 Score and crack the Top 10, it is simply to be active in THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE or go on trips with me or participate in various other photo projects or be related to me. Now these aren’t necessarily the 10 people that have influenced my photography the most, but these are the 10 people that have made the largest imprint on this website.

I can tell you the people that have influenced my photography the most, but that is a tale for another time. But I’m pretty sure you can guess who.

If you have spent any time on the Photography 139 website, you know that on the left sidebar, the “Top 100 Categories” are listed. I thought I would give a little bit of coverage to the Bottom 10 of the Top 100. There are currently 203 categories used on the website. I could cover the Bottom 10, but they are mostly people that either very recently came into the life of this website by birth (Jonah Kahler) or another way (Nathanial, Mindi, Fran). Or people that I thought would be a bigger part of my life and then weren’t. No need to cover those people. The Category that is #203 probably needs to be purged.


#10. Andree – 77
#10. Flat Earth Joe – 77
#10. Self-Portrait Project – 77
#9. Photo Journal – 79
#8. Commercial – 83
#7. Sabas – 84
#6. Becca – 89
#3. Pufferbilly Days – 91
#3. Pastor Sarah – 91
#3. House – 91
#1. Faust – 92
#1. Writing – 92

The following categories have either fallen out of the Bottom 10 of the Top 100 or climbed out of it:
Kelly, Lowell, and Suzie.

The following categories have the best shot at dropping back into the Bottom 10 of the Top 10:
Sarah Toot, Lowell, Suzie, Russell, and Nate

The following categories have the best shot at climbing up into the Bottom 10 of the Top 10:
Layla, Kelly, Vacation, Saydie, and Kalista

“An Artist’s Notebook” is part of Photography 139. The 139 comes from Psalm 139:1-12. The Photography part comes from the fact this website is supposed to be filled with photography. So, what are the most popular photo galleries on the Photography 139 website? Glad you asked:


To View the Gallery, Click on its Representative Image

Now I don't want your sympathy
10. Naima – 64,796 views

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stumble Inn
9. Tenderloining – 75,558 views

9 Emotions Project - Elainie
8. 9 Emotions Project – 81,405 views

Day 267 - September 24, 2022
7. Selfie-Project – 2022 – 88,632 views

Rodan139: Water Works Park
6. Drone – 99,708 views

5. Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 9 – 108,852 views

Anita, Iowa
4. Town Sign Project – 118,563 views

Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Las Vegas 2023 – 169,257 views

Plymouth County - Le Mars
2. Town Sign Project Auxiliary Images – 219,546 views

1. Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 10 – 323,781 views

Galleries that fell out of the Top 10 are:
Christopher D. Bennett, Miami Beach, Jayton Poole, and Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020

Galleries that fell just outside of the Top 10 are:
Sleeping Angels – 2023, Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 6, Photo Journal Rejects, Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2008, and Christopher D. Bennett.

But what are the most popular single images of the last 365 days? Don’t worry, I’m gonna feed you baby birds.

Top 10 Photography 139 Images

Sleeping Angels Fun Run - 2023
10. Sleeping Angels Fun Run – 2,772 views

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022
9. Maven’s Birthday Party – 2022 – 2,820 views

Community Thanksgiving - 2022
8. Boone FUMC Thanksgiving – 2022 – 3,073 views

Color the Wind - 2023
7. Color the Wind – 2023 – 3,149 views

Celtic Dancing - Renaissance Fair - 2022
6. Renaissance Fair – 2022 – 3,302 views

Fran & Pepper - 2022
5. Fran and Pepper – 3,687 views

World Food Festival - 2022
4. World Food Festival – 2022 – 3,754 views

Howards - 2022
3. Howards – 2022 – 3,976 views

Boone County Fair Barbecue Contest - 2023
2. 2023 Barbecue Contests – 4,168 views

2023 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship Game
1. Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship – 18,045 views

If you are interested in checking out some of the milestone posts of the past, I got you. Click on any of the links below to check them out:

Post 1
Post 750
Post 850
Post 1,000
Post 1,101
Post 1,200
Post 1,447
Post 1,718
Post 2,500
Post 3,000
Post 3,252
Post 3,751
Post 4,000
Post 4,250
Post 4,500
Post 4,757

I think that is enough. We will check back in, in another 245 posts.

Food Truckin’: Boone County Fair Field Work

On the Friday of the Boone County Fair, I went out there with Jay and Willy for supper. I’m a big fan of the grinder and I found a food truck called Off the Griddle serving a variety of the sandwich, so I thought I would give them a try.

Here are some pictures:

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

I can say that service was very friendly, but it was INCREDIBLY slow. It is not an exaggeration to say that I waited well over 15 minutes before I got my food. I ordered my food at the same time as Willy. He got his food and had eaten it, cleaned up his mess, and began to think about what he wanted to dessert before I even remotely saw my food. It is also not an exaggeration to say that double digit people that ordered after me got their food before me. I was fairly certain that they had completely forgot about my order.

When I finally got my food and went back to the table to eat it, by myself, since it took so freaking long, the food was okay. It was what those of us in the grinder biz say. NJGG. Not Jennie’s Grinders Grinder. But in fairness, the only thing that has ever approached it is Mema’s Grinders.

The verdict on Off the Griddle is that it was okay. I would never pursue it. If it was at a place and it was the only food truck there I would eat there, but I wouldn’t get the grinder again. Maybe go for the Philly Cheesesteak.

To washdown the grinder I went to Hawaii Grill for a Lotus Refresher:

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

Food Truckin': Boone County Fair Field Work

They made me an off-menu drink that was incredible. The kid that designed it was very proud of it and he should have been. I would have knocked down about 4 or 5 of them, if they weren’t crazy expensive for such a small drink. However, the drink definitely redeemed the meal.

Next Sunday’s meal will cover all the food I ate at the Iowa State Fair!

Like A Big Pizza Pie: Homework

Recently I was given a gift of a Ooni Pizza Oven. Jesse felt some kind of obligation to give me something for letting him crash at my place for a few months last year. Completely unnecessary, but I won’t turn down the pizza oven.

One night Jay (who is a pizza chef of some note), Jesse (a pizza eater of some note), and I (also a pizza eater of some note) got together to take it for its maiden voyage.

Because we didn’t really know what we were doing, I tried to make it fairly easy and maybe went too low end on one of the ingredients.

Here are some pictures from the maiden voyage:

It is wood fired, but it can be modified to also run on propane.

The fire is at the back of the oven.

While I was making the pizzas up, Jay got the fire going with some old matches.

Good fire makes good pizza.

Pizza 1: Sausage, hamburger, white onions, red onions, mushrooms, and green peppers.

Inside the belly of the beast.

We badly underestimated how quickly it cooks. Lesson 1. Turn pizza at the 1 minute mark or under.

Pizza 2: Really more of the same.

Also learned to lubricate the peel to make it easier to turn the pizza.

Pizza 2 a touch burnt, but still delicious.

My one real regret with the ingredients for the maiden voyage was that because I was trying to make everything quick and easy, I went too low end on the sauce. I got Hy-Vee pizza sauce and it is trash. It is runny and bland tasting. Even after I tried to church it up a bit by mixing in some Italian seasoning.

I have a really good sauce recipe from some family friends that I’ll have to crack out someday. I also have their crust recipe as well.

Anyways, if you ask nicely, I may invite you over for pizza some night. I also have a tentative plan to take it camping some time. I just haven’t found the right camping trip yet.

Next Sunday’s food adventure is more of an endorsement. An endorsement that doesn’t need to be made. But I’m going to make anyways.

Boone Art Center Gallery One

Today is Jay’s birthday, so I need to wish him a happy birthday. Happy birthday Jay!

2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Portrait of Self Portrait

I hope your birthday is as magical as this photo that was done completely in camera. What am I saying? I know your birthday was magical! You spent a good chunk of the day with me! Which most people will tell you, spending large chunks of time with me is pretty magical.


Many people asked me when I completed THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, “so what is your next project?” But usually they said it in a tone that was less supportive and more accusatory. Like “Whatcha gonna do now ya one trick pony?”

While I might be a one trick pony, I did have more than a few ideas up my sleeves. In fact, I had one main idea I wanted to pursue, but that project I haven’t pursued at all. Not even a little bit. Not at all.

However, I have pursued a completely different project that wasn’t on my radar at all. It just sort of came to me, like an epiphany one might say. Kind of the way most of my ideas come to me. Either while I’m sleeping or while I’m driving and every once in awhile, while I’m sleeping while I’m driving. Which I don’t recommend, but I’m a busy guy. Sometimes I need to get places and take a nap at the same time. It’s called multi-tasking and chicks dig it.

This other project is based on the fact that there is a dearth of public art in Boone. While there are numerous talented artists in Boone. “In fact, at least 2 live on my block alone” he said while counting himself as one without a hint of irony. About the public art in Boone is a train mural, a statue of Teddy Roosevelt, and the Freedom Rock. Well turn it up man. Sorry, not that kind of Freedom Rock. But I wish it was that kind of Freedom Rock.

There is also at least one local graffiti artist. At least there is one out there trying real hard. But the best and largest collection of public art in Boone comes rolling in on the Union Pacific railroad line. Choo Choo art lovers! Graffiti from all over the country comes rolling in like a mobile art gallery with extremely limited engagements.

While much of the graffiti isn’t great, there are many that blow the mind. I decided to start capturing “found art” I find in or near the confines of Boone. I’m calling it THE BOONE ART CENTER PROJECT. When I get to about 25 pieces of art or pictures of pieces of art that I like, I will release a collection.

This is the first of those collections:

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

Boone Art Center

All of these pictures were taken east of Boone from the shoulder of Old-30, but that doesn’t mean all these “found” art pieces will be taken east of town or even they will all be on the side of railroad cars for that matter. But almost all of them have been up until now.

Not sure when the next collection will be released, but it can’t be too far in the future.

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!

You Found Someone More Exciting

A good time to clean up some of the backlog. These pictures were all taken in June and never really found there way into an “Artist’s Notebook” entry. Almost all of these are from Maven’s birthday party. The other image was taken as a theme reveal for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme SELF-PORTRAIT. That picture was actually taken by Jay.

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

Maven's Birthday Party - 2022

You Found Someone More Exciting

You Found Someone More Exciting

You Found Someone More Exciting

One of the things that Shawn and Sara excel in is throwing parties that are photogenic. More people should look into that.

Selfie Project – December 2022

Time to share the December images from THE SELFIE PROJECT. I don’t know I did a tremendous lot in December, but I think there are a few good pictures in there.

Here are my favorite December images:

Day 335 - December 1, 2022
December 1

Day 337 - December 3, 2022
December 3

Day 339 - December 5, 2022
December 5

Day 340 - December 6, 2022
December 6

Day 342 - December 8, 2022
December 8

Day 344 - December 10, 2022
December 10

Day 346 - December 12, 2022
December 12

Day 347 - December 13, 2022
December 13

Day 348 - December 14, 2022
December 14

Day 349 - December 15, 2022
December 15

Day 350 - December 16, 2022
December 16

Day 351 - December 17, 2022
December 17

Day 352 - December 18, 2022
December 18

Day 353 - December 19, 2022
December 19

Day 354 - December 20, 2022
December 20

Day 355 - December  21, 2022
December 21

Day 356 - December 22, 2022
December 22

Day 357 - December 23, 2022
December 23

Day 358 - December 24, 2022
December 24

Day 359 - December 25, 2022
December 25

Day 360 - December 26, 2022
December 26

Day 361 - December 27, 2022
December 27

Day 363 - December 29, 2022
December 29

Day 364 - December 30, 2022
December 30

Day 365 - December 31, 2022
December 31

Day 366 - January 1, 2023
January 1

Then I had to make a photomosaic out of the 365 THE SELFIE PROJECT images of what I looked like on January 1:

The Photomosaic from the 2022 SELFIE PROJECT.

I’m not doing THE SELFIE PROJECT in 2023. Maybe I’ll bring it back in 2024. But it isn’t happening in 2023. Sorry to all this disappoints.

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!

World Food Fair Festival

Time to reveal the April image for the 2023 Photography 139 Calendar:

2023 Calendar - April

This image of a statue of Jesus crucified on the cross was taken in a cemetery near Stuble, Iowa. It was an image that when I took it that I knew was going to be processed into a black and white image. I placed in April because Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter are all in April. No deeper meaning than that.

DATE: March 17, 2022 – 2:48 PM
LENS: Sigma 17-28mm f/2.8
ISO: 100
FIELD OF VIEW: 86.9 degrees

Tomorrow I will reveal the May image for the 2023 Photography 139 Calendar.


Back in September Teresa, Jesse, Jay and I went to the World Food Festival. It was a great opportunity for one of my favorite type of photography… street photography!

Here are some of my favorite images from the day:

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

World Food Festival - 2022

I loved it! Will definitely try to go again next year!

Selfie Project – September 2022

I knew September was not going to be as busy as August, but looking at these pictures it is hard not to wonder if I ever left my house. Being sick for about 4 or 5 days didn’t help, but really… I’ll try to do better in October.

Here are some of my favorite selfies from THE SELFIE PROJECT in October:

Day 244 - September 1, 2022
September 1

Day 245 - September 2, 2022
September 2

Day 246 - September 3, 2022
September 3

Day 247 - September 4, 2022
September 4

Day 248 - September 5, 2022
September 5

Day 250 - September 7, 2022
September 7

Day 251 - September 8, 2022
September 8

Day 252 - September 9, 2022
September 9

Day 253 - September 10, 2022
September 10

Day 254 - September 11, 2022
September 11

Day 256 - September 13, 2022
September 13

Day 257 - September 14, 2022
September 14

Day 258 - September 15, 2022
September 15

Day 260 - September 17, 2022
September 17

Day 261 - September 18, 2022
September 18

Day 262 - September 19, 2022
September 19

Day 266 - September 23, 2022
September 23

Day 267 - September 24, 2022
September 24

Day 268 - September 25, 2022
September 25

Day 271 - September 28, 2022
September 28

Day 272 - September 29, 2022
September 29

While there can only be one picture to represent every day, thought I would share some of my favorite alternates from September.












I will try to be more active again in October, but I make no promises. Maybe the slacker lifestyle agrees with me?