Category Archives: Jesse

Roundball Oracles – Year 15 Final Results

6 days ago another college basketball season sadly came to an end. While it was one of the most exciting tournaments in history, it was bittersweet as the Cyclones were eliminated in the 1st Round.

Now anybody that watched Iowa State’s mercurial season knew that there was a good chance that would happen. When I saw they were playing Ohio State, I was 95% that they would lose in the 1st Round. Ohio State was a completely garbage team that didn’t even belong in the tournament. Iowa State struggled all season with garbage teams.

Despite that, I still picked Iowa State to win it all in my bracket because I don’t pick against my rooting interests.

I don’t pick Iowa State to lose.
I don’t pick Duke to win the National Championship.
I don’t pick Michigan State to win the National Championship.
I don’t pick Liberty to win a single game.

When the overtime was over in Minneapolis on Monday night, the Virginia Cavaliers were the National Champions and Becky Parmelee won her first ever Roundball Oracles crown. Russell Kennerly won his first ever The Sara for last place adult.

Becky’s name has been added to the List of Immortals:

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

Paul Golden’s iron grip on the throne has been released.

On the other end of the spectrum, Russell Kennerly adds his name to past “The Sara” winners:

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

The trophies will be in their possession shortly.

Here are the final standings:

STANDINGS
RANK TEAM NAME SCORE CORRECT BEST SCORE BEST CORRECT CHAMPION
1 Becky Perky 281 45 281 45 Virginia (112)
2 Linda Bennett 265 45 265 45 Virginia (93)
3 Michelle Haupt 242 40 242 40 Gonzaga (150)
4 Lowell Davis 242 45 242 45 Duke (148)
5 Angie DeWaard 242 41 242 41 Virginia (183)
6 Dawn Krause 239 42 239 42 N. Carolina (146)
7 Sean Clubine 237 44 237 44 Duke (152)
8 Paul Golden 237 43 237 43 Duke (135)
9 Rachel Gildersleeve 237 42 237 42 Iowa St. (125)
10 Jason Baier 236 41 236 41 Duke (159)
11 Jesse Howard 231 42 231 42 Duke (143)
12 Michael Augustin 230 43 230 43 Gonzaga (165)
13 Corey Faust 225 39 225 39 Duke (153)
14 Derek Dohrman 224 43 224 43 Duke (160)
15 Shannon Bardole 224 39 224 39 Gonzaga (138)
16 Cathie Raley 223 41 223 41 Duke (137)
17 Jordan Toot 221 40 221 40 N. Carolina (128)
18 Robert Henning 220 39 220 39 Duke (150)
19 FHMeiners 219 42 219 42 Duke (182)
20 Brandon Kahler 210 40 210 40 Duke (125)
21 Jackson Faust 209 38 209 38 Kentucky (126)
22 Which Mascot Would Win in a Fight 202 34 202 34 Iowa St. (150)
23 Bill Wentworth 202 40 202 40 Duke (105)
24 Ben Baier 201 36 201 36 Iowa St. (173)
25 Derrick Gorshe 201 38 201 38 Duke (128)
26 Christopher Bennett 198 40 198 40 Iowa St. (158)
27 Elizabeth Nordeen 196 41 196 41 Iowa St. (149)
28 Jason Stensland 195 39 195 39 N. Carolina (167)
29 Olivia Baier 195 32 195 32 Yale (155)
30 tim peterson 193 39 193 39 Duke (160)
31 William McAlpine 192 36 192 36 N. Carolina (165)
32 Jorge Rios 189 36 189 36 Iowa St. (150)
33 Sarah Duffel 189 34 189 34 Michigan St. (112)
34 Toby Sebring 185 36 185 36 Duke (144)
35 Joseph Lynch 181 38 181 38 Iowa St. (167)
36 Teresa Kahler 181 35 181 35 Iowa St. (124)
37 Will Baier 177 33 177 33 Duke (164)
38 Jon DeWaard 173 36 173 36 Duke (148)
39 Carrie Baier 170 34 170 34 Michigan St. (177)
40 Laura Priest 166 36 166 36 N. Carolina (155)
41 Sean Gildersleeve 161 31 161 31 Iowa St. (125)
42 Russell Kennerly 160 34 160 34 Villanova (145)
43 JJ Baier 150 25 150 25 Seton Hall (181)

If you are wondering, JJ Baier is 7 years old and isn’t eligible for “The Sara”.

Now that is behind us, it isn’t too early to start looking at what kind of team Iowa State will have next year.

Next year could be a potential step back for the Cyclones. They lose 3 seniors, including their starting point guard in Babb and leading scorer in Shayok. They are also losing Wigginton and THT to the NBA. Talented post Lard has also left the team and intends to transfer.

Iowa State has currently signed 3 players for the upcoming class. Currently, none of the freshman they have signed are highly ranked, but they all have the potential to be solid contributors. 2 in particular will be interesting to watch.

Marcedus Leech is perhaps the most intriguing. He was formerly a 5 star guy and one of the most recruited players in the country. 2 years ago he had a gruesome leg injury similar to the one Paul George suffered. Almost every school backed off, except Iowa State. Leech rewarded the Cyclones for their loyalty. If he gets back to what he was, he will be the steal of the recruiting class.

Tre Jackson is another interesting player. He was under recruited and didn’t really get many major offers until last summer. He is a shooter and a good athlete that recently dominated the Carolinas Classic by scoring 38 points and hitting eight 3 pointers. With so many guards leaving, Jackson will have a shot at getting some playing time.

Luke Anderson is the final commit. He will be a stretch 4 or 5. Even with the loss of Lard, Iowa State is still fairly stocked in the post with Jacobson and Conditt playing big roles this season and with Solomon Young coming back from an injury that sidelined him for a year and a half. That will give Anderson time to add some bulk to his body.

Another newcomer that I anticipate starting for the Cyclones next season is Prentiss Nixon. He sat out last season after transferring from Colorado State. The 6-2 point guard averaged over 16 points a game with the Rams. I anticipate he will be the starting point guard. He might not have Babb’s overall game, but he will be more of a scoring threat from the point.

Adding proven college players in Nixon and Young back to a returning nucleus of Halliburton, Jacobson, and Conditt, the Cyclones will still be pretty decent next season. How good they can be will depend on what a couple players buried on the bench last season are able to bring. Both Zion Griffin and Terrence Lewis were highly regarded coming out of high school. Zion was slowed at the beginning of last season with an injury and never really broke into the rotation. Lewis showed flashes, but got buried on the bench after Lard and Wigginton returned from injuries and suspension. Both could take great leaps next season if they can show some consistency. The potential is there.

The other unknown variable for next season is Iowa State currently has 3 scholarships open for next season.

I expect Iowa State to add 1 more freshman. Possibly Caleb Grill from Wichita. 1 sit out transfer. 1 graduate transfer.

Another possibility would be to leave one of those scholarships open for the 2020 class. As it sits now, Iowa State will only have 2 seniors on next year’s squad in Nixon and Jacobson.

The 2020 class is loaded and Iowa State is sitting in a good spot with a few very highly regarded recruits in Xavier Foster, Dudley Blackwell, and Ben Carlson.

Either way, I can’t wait for college basketball season to start again.

Shaving Says A Lot About A Man, Like, “I’m Not One”

Immediately after the beautiful beard go its final photo shoot Jay and I trudged from the Photography 139 Basement Studio to the kitchen where the unpleasantness was set to be done. “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana playing through my head.

I still had time to back down. It was now spring and the weather was starting to heat up and I was well past time for a shearing, there was no reason to do it now. It could wait a few days. Maybe even a week. Maybe there was no reason to shave at all? Despite the naysayers, the beard had a near cult like following. There were beard fanatics out there and didn’t I have a certain obligation to them?

I shook all these thoughts out of my head as we reached the kitchen. I sat down in the chair. Jay got out his clippers. The following pictures document what transpired:


Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

It was then that the battery on Jay’s clippers died. I spent the rest of the night with that cheeseball mustache. When I woke up in the morning I shaved down to full dirty naked face.

Thanks to Jesse for document the horror of it all.

It Stands for the Sun

Yellow.

Yellow is the most recent filter from the super cheap filter set that I cracked out and tested. I still took mostly pictures of Naima, but I actually left my yard and went out to Dickcissel.

This, was perhaps, not the best plan. With all the space to roam, Naima is definitely harder to photograph at Dickcissel. Also, your shutter speeds often slow down when using filters, so a dog running all over the place isn’t the best subject. But I made do.

You might be wondering what a yellow filter does in black & white photography.

Here is an explanation from shuttermuse.com:

A Yellow filter absorbs all coloured light except yellow. It is the most-popular colored filter used with black and white film. Because a yellow filter absorbs blue, it provides significantly greater contrast between blue and yellow or white subjects. The classic example of the use of a yellow filter is when shooting black and white scenes which include portions of a cloud filled sky. Use of a yellow filter in this situation significantly darkens the blue portions of the sky, whilst allowing the clouds to remain bright and vibrant. This change in contrast gives the sky a vastly improved sense of depth and drama.

Here are some pictures from the yellow filter photo shoot:


Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Naima decided she needed to dig a giant hole while we were out there. Here are a couple pictures in color to help you appreciate the mess she made:


Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

The next filter I will test will be the green filter.

11-15-08

The pictures from the folder 11-15-08 are from the final home game in Iowa State’s Gene Chizik era.

I can still remember the afternoon I head that Chizik was leaving for Auburn. I was driving around with Jason looking at potential houses when the rumors came across the radio.

We were looking at a house where the current occupant had smoked so much that you could smell it from the driveway. It was awful. As awful as these rumors. Rumors that I scoffed at and dismissed out of hand.

Auburn was not necessarily a national power, but they were certainly a national name. They had just fired a coach that consistently won 8 or 9 games a season. There was no way they were going to hire a coach who had gone 5-19 at Iowa State. A coach who had lost his last 10 games. Many of them weren’t even close.

38-10
35-7
59-17
52-20

But it still happened. Auburn hired Chizik. Iowa State was without a head coach. I was still without a house. It was a weird world.

Here are a few pictures from the Iowa State-Missouri game from 2008:


Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

The tailgating pictures make me nostalgic. I do need to do more tailgating this season than I have the last few. I probably say that every year though.

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:

It Ends

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane involves the Living History Farms Run and a very special cribbage board.

Roundball Oracles – Year 15

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 not 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:

PAST ROUNDBALL ORACLE CHAMPIONS

Past Roundball Oracle Champions:

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

Paul’s repeat championship definitely puts a target square on his back.

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. 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. I do it pretty much every Wednesday night at Youth Group.

Past “The Sara” Winners:

The Sara

2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole – now Bardole-Foley
2016 – Laura Priest – now Miller
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.

Last year, 35 combatants threw their hats into the ring. Here are the standings from last year:

2018 STANDINGS
RANK TEAM NAME SCORE CORRECT BEST SCORE BEST CORRECT CHAMPION
1 Paul Golden 248 40 248 40 Duke (175)
2 Dawn Krause 243 38 243 38 Villanova (132)
3 Christopher Bennett 243 37 243 37 Villanova (153)
4 tim peterson 232 41 232 41 Michigan St. (165)
5 Michelle Haupt 232 35 232 35 Villanova (182)
6 Nate Miller 230 37 230 37 Villanova (159)
7 Jordan Toot 224 33 224 33 Villanova (108)
8 Corey Faust 223 34 223 34 Villanova (153)
9 Angie DeWaard 221 34 221 34 Villanova (201)
10 Rachel Johnson 219 39 219 39 Kansas (178)
11 Lowell Davis 215 38 215 38 Virginia (152)
12 Benjamin Baier 213 33 213 33 Virginia (112)
13 Derek Dohrman 205 36 205 36 Virginia (155)
14 Cathie Raley 204 35 204 35 Virginia (138)
15 Bill Wentworth 200 34 200 34 N. Carolina (97)
16 Sean Gildersleeve 198 35 198 35 Michigan St. (145)
17 Linda Bennett 195 36 195 36 Kansas (145)
18 Jesse Howard 195 35 195 35 Duke (146)
19 Olivia Baier 188 33 188 33 Virginia (133)
20 Toby Sebring 185 32 185 32 Arizona (148)
21 Russell Kennerly 184 33 184 33 Virginia (161)
22 Jackson Faust 182 32 182 32 Auburn (124)
23 Sean Clubine 173 33 173 33 N. Carolina (151)
24 Jason Baier 173 30 173 30 Virginia (159)
25 Michael Augustin 167 31 167 31 Virginia (186)
26 Brandon Kahler 166 33 166 33 Kansas (133)
27 Nader Parsaei 166 33 166 33 St. Bona. (170)
28 Andree Jauhari 165 32 165 32 Virginia (145)
29 Elizabeth Nordeen 165 32 165 32 N. Carolina (173)
30 Carrie Baier 162 31 162 31 Gonzaga (144)
31 Laura Priest 158 32 158 32 Duke (125)
32 FHMeiners 156 31 156 31 Kansas (167)
33 Becky Perky 152 32 152 32 Kansas (168)
34 Will Baier 148 25 148 25 Marshall (113)
35 Robert Henning 141 28 141 28 Kansas (156)
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
I can tell that you are already sold and just want to know how to get into this competition, so that you can battle it out and possibly get your name on “The List of Immortals”. It is easy enough, just click on the link below:

Roundball Oracles – Year 15

Good luck! I know you will fare well!

11-01-08

The images from the folder 11-1-08 are all over the place. They include pictures of Jesse and I exploring the disc golf course in McHose Park to pictures of Shannon before she made a donation to Locks of Love to pictures of my Hoosier before it got fixed up to pictures Halloween in 2008.

I’m not a frolfer, but I do think that McHose Park has a badass disc golf course. The first 9 holes are nothing special, but the back 9 is a man’s golf course. When I say man’s golf course, what I really mean is that it isn’t for the faint of heart. It is for people that aren’t afraid to get lost in the woods and never heard from again.

The Hoosier pictures were taken from before Shannon’s dad came to pick it up. It was in storage and he did a wonderful job making it presentable again and he did it in plenty of time before I found a house to call home. Which was quite the feat, even though I did take my own sweet time with my house hunt.

The pictures of Shannon before she cut off her hair were taken in Brookside Park. This was Shannon’s 3rd donation to Locks of Love. In that collection of pictures is one of my favorite pictures of Shannon and I believe it is safe to say that I have taken lots of pictures of Shannon.

Finally, the 2008 Halloween pictures includes a picture of Willy in what was definitely the best Halloween costume he has ever had.

Have a look:


Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

The Hoosier

The Hoosier

The Hoosier

The Hoosier

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

The stick figure pumpkin is the best pumpkin I have ever carved. Jay hated it. I’m not bitter about that, otherwise I wouldn’t be bringing it up over 10 years later.

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

McHose Park Mystery

All Hallow’s Eve

Before

Another Before

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve another trip to Ottumwa and what Shannon looked like after she cut off her 12 or so inches of hair.

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: Triplets

After doing our “horns down” gesture, we loaded back into the car and headed north. Hoping to get deep into the heart of Oklahoma before bedding down for the night.

Leaving Austin we made a stop at Buc-ee’s. If you ever make it to Texas, I can’t strongly recommend stopping at a Buc-ee’s enough. Without mincing words, it is the best gas station in the world. I’m not just saying that because they have a beaver for a mascot.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Buc-ee’s is almost as big as Wal-Mart, but you can shop there without feeling that you are supporting an evil organization. They have just about everything you want, from a fudge shop to a barbecue shop. Do you need more than barbecue and fudge? You really have to experience it. Words don’t do it justice.

While I was Buc-ee’s I had an interesting encounter in the bathroom. Most men live by a rule that when you are at the urinal, you don’t speak to anybody around you. I don’t necessarily live by this rule, but I’m guessing 95% of men do.

While I was about my business a Washington State fan got my attention. I was thinking, “Great, I want to hear some dirty Cougar gloat about their victory while I’m in the most magical place on earth. (Buc-ee’s, for the record, not the men’s room.)

But he didn’t gloat though. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “The refs screwed you guys.”

I wasn’t looking to make a beautiful connection with another human being over gas station urinals, but here we were. I looked him back dead in the eyes and said:

“I know.”

Leaving Buc-ee’s I figured that we could unright a wrong that I didn’t even know I had committed. On the way through Waco we could stop at Magnolia and pick up the cupcake that I had apparently agreed to buy my Mom but had forgotten.

Because we knew the trick of the bakery food truck, I dropped Jesse off and scooped the loop of the silos district of Waco. I stopped and took a few pictures of an interesting looking burger joint and a church:


Waco

Waco

Waco

Waco

Waco

Waco

Waco

While scooping the loop I discovered something about Magnolia that we didn’t realize the first time we were there. They have a parking lot. If you ever find yourself visiting Magnolia, don’t fall for all the parking lots charging you $10 to park there. They have a free parking lot. Go there first.

I parked our trusty steed and headed into Magnolia. Right next to the bakery truck was the infamous Alabama Sweet Tea truck. This time it was open. Hallelujah!! I was going to be able to have even more sweet tea!

I got in line, but I was greeted by an extremely prejudiced menu:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Once again, the bigotry of southerners was thrown in my face. I almost decided to skip the sweet tea, but I persisted:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

After securing the sweet tea and the cupcakes, Jesse and I got back on Interstate 35 and efforted to make good time. We wanted to get as far north as we could to make the last day of our road trip as short as possible.

We did stop at the Texas-Oklahoma border to take our picture with the iconic Texas sign:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

I also saw this in the rest stop bathroom and I documented it because I didn’t know what to make of it. I still don’t know what to make of it:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

We stopped for supper at a Taco Casa in Ardmore, Oklahoma.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

I’m not going to say it was delicious, but it was cheap and there was lots of it and sometimes when you are on the open road, that is enough.

We left Taco Casa and gassed up at a Valero. At the pump next to us were a boyfriend-girlfriend or brother-sister combo, being in the south, possibly both, gassing up their truck. They were clearly loaded. I’m not an expert on Ardmore, Oklahoma, but if I had to take a guess at their controlled substance of choice, that guess would be meth.

Regardless of what they were on, they were clearly staring at me. It made me a little nervous because our car being a rental, I wasn’t packing the car knife that always resides in the Sir Pixalotmobile. If trouble was going to go down, all I had to rely on was my dashing good looks. Fortunately, that was all I needed.

Finally, the guy spoke to me.

“Sir, how tall are you?”

At least he got my name right.

“Six foot three or six foot four.”

His girlfriend/sister said, “You’re sure a tall $&#@er. What do they feed you?”

While I should have said “Meth heads.” What I really said was, “Taco Casa most recently.”

I finished gassing up the rental and we hit the road north looking to put distance between us and this unfortunate part of Oklahoma.

We drove for a couple more hours and bedded for the night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Perry, Oklahoma. After spending about 15 minutes watching the Oklahoma-Alabama game with an Oklahoma State fan that turned out to be a hotel employee eating what looked like tapioca pudding out of about a one gallon bucket (my man) we were in our rooms and snoring the night away.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

We got up in the morning and enjoyed the continental breakfast that the Holiday Inn Express & Suites had to offer. They didn’t have a fancy pants omelette guy. But they did have conveyor belt pancakes and I can’t ever say a bad word about conveyor belt pancakes.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

But the real show stopper was this mango juice that they had on tap. It wasn’t straight mango juice, but it was still delicious. I knocked down something like 5 cups of it and then filled up my empty Alabama Sweet Tea mason jar with more of it for the road:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

It really hit the spot and I was melancholy when I finally knocked down the last few drops as we approached Manhattan, Kansas to visit Nate and Laura and the triplets.

There isn’t much to say about this visit other than TRIPLETS!!!


Triplets

Triplets

Triplets

Triplets

Triplets

Triplets

Triplets

The triplets were doing great. Nate and Laura were doing great for being so tired. The triplets slept the whole time we were there, so maybe triplets is easy? Either way, it was a great visit.

We said goodbye to the Millers and hit the road. There was a stop for lunch in Topeka and another stop for gas. However, it wasn’t long before we were back home in Boone, Iowa. The #1 Affordable Small Town Where You’d Actually Want to Live as ranked by realtor.com.

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: Alamo Bowl

We gave her a hug. Loaded back up in the rental and left Waco profoundly changed in a way that is hard to figure. My best guess is that it would be the way you would change if you saw the Vietnam War Memorial with a veteran of the Vietnam War or if you talked to a holocaust survivor or met somebody that was in the towers on 9/11. Something that was merely academic, was suddenly real.

We were a couple hours from San Antonio and several hours from the kickoff, but the game seemed decidedly less important than it did just an hour or so earlier.

We only made one stop between Waco and San Antonio. Some gas station that won’t be remembered for the cleanliness of their bathroom. Bathroom not pictured.

We reached our hotel near the San Antonio airport about 4 hours before kickoff. We dropped off our stuff and took an Uber to downtown San Antonio to meet Andree and his brother. The Uber driver really hated Lonestar Beer. He made a point of that in our conversation.

We met Andree and his brother at their hotel and walked to Fudrucker’s for supper. This violates the #1 rule of Christopher D. Bennett road tripping, but I was hungry and wasn’t in the mood to make a big deal out of it.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

The River Walk, which we walked by.

On our way to Fudrucker’s we ran into a guy with a beard that was almost as impressive as mine. We exchanged pleasantries and then we hugged it out for a bit. I think Andree and his brother were a bit mesmerized by this exchange. Apparently they have never hugged a complete stranger. Which is sad and means that they clearly need to grow beards.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip
My burger and onion rings hit the spot!

After the meal we walked to the Alamodome for the Alamo Bowl. We walked a good portion of the way with a Washington State graduate that was from San Antonio originally, but now lived in Japan. He was fortunate to be able to attend the bowl game of his alma mater because he had come home to visit his mom for the holidays. Washington State happened to be playing in San Antonio. Really worked out for him. He was a pretty cool guy.

We got to the game and I had an usher take our picture:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

The usher walked back like 20 rows to take our picture to make it horribly backlit. I did what I could to salvage the photo in post.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Unfortunately, the Cyclones couldn’t pull off the victory. The refereeing was dreadful. The kind of refereeing you get one Big Ten refs referee a Big 12 game. They just don’t see the caliber of athlete and they aren’t prepared for the speed of the game.

This resulted in one of Iowa State players being ejected from the game for targeting, but replays showed the Cyclone more like softly landed on top of the Cougar quarterback.

Another terrible call was a play where Matt Eaton caught a pass and took 4 steps before being tackled. The ball came loose as he hit the ground. It should have been a 20 or so yard completion for the Cyclones. Somehow the refs called it an incompletion.

Regardless of how terrible the refs were, Iowa State has to look in the mirror and face the fact that they gave that game away. 3 turnovers. 7 false start penalties. That isn’t a recipe for beating anybody, let alone a top ten team.

It was with that bitterness we filtered out of the Alamadome, knowing the better team didn’t win that night, but excited to see what these young Cyclones do in 2019. Even though we were facing the reality that Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery were probably leaving for the NFL with a year of eligibility left.

Jesse and I bid Andree and his brother a fond adieu and took a Lyft back to our hotel. I think our Lyft driver was somewhere on the autism spectrum. At the very least he was extremely socially awkward. Not the type of guy that hugs a stranger on the streets of San Antonio.

After having the same conversation with the Lyft driver at least 5 times on the way back to the hotel, I was relieved as we hit the hotel room. I crashed almost immediately.

Jesse had booked us kind of a fancy pants hotel with all his Marriott points. They had a spread for breakfast that made me almost (ALMOST) forgive them for not having a make your own waffle maker that makes waffles in the shape of Texas.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip
They had 2 guys making cook-to-order omelettes.

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Jesse had something of a dreadful pain in the gulliver, so I took over the driving duties. The trip back to the Cyclone State was mostly business, but we did stop in Austin.


Austin
Austin artwork.

Austin

Austin

We also stopped to see the Stadium where the Texas Longhorns play football. I’m pretty sure it is the biggest stadium I’ve ever seen. It holds almost twice the number of people as Jack Trice Stadium. It feels twice the size of any other stadium I’ve seen. Such as where Kansas plays, where Kansas State plays, where Iowa plays, where Missouri plays, where the Vikings play, and where the Chiefs play. The only stadium I’ve been to that is comparable in size is where the Nebraska Bugeaters play.


Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Austin

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Horns Down!

The guy we met outside of Texas’s stadium was interesting. He immediately wanted to engage us in a political discussion when he found out we weren’t from Texas.

He had two main planks to his political beliefs.

#1. Texas not having state income tax was the greatest thing ever.

I was happy for him to be so happy about it, but I tried to explain to him that having no income tax just means that he pays higher taxes in other areas. Furthermore, not having state income tax moves the tax burden from the wealthy and makes poor people pay more taxes.

He insisted this wasn’t the case, but it is in fact true.

The effective tax rate on the bottom 20% in states without income taxes is 10.7%. The effective tax rate on the bottom 20% in states with income taxes is 9.9%. 9.9% is less than 10.7% if you were trying to do the math.

The effective tax rate on the top 20% in states without income taxes is 4.7%. The effective tax rate on the top 20% in states with income taxes is 7.6%. 4.7% is less than 7.6% in case you were doing the math.

The sad truth is that whether or not you have an income tax or don’t have an income tax, the wealthy in this county don’t pay their fair share of the tax burden and the poor pay too much of a tax burden.

To his other point that he wasn’t get taxed more in other ways to make up for the lack of income tax, the numbers don’t back him up there either.

Just putting Iowa against Texas, Iowans pay a little more than 1% more in state taxes than Texans. But 1% is not the great number that he purported.

Iowans pay:

Total Tax Burden – 9.32%
Property Tax Burden – 3.45%
Income Tax Burden – 2.5%
Sales & Excise Tax Burden – 3.35%

Texans pay:

Total Tax Burden – 8.15%
Property Tax Burden – 3.70%
Income Tax Burden – 0.0%
Excise and Sales Tax Burden – 4.45%

Excise and sales tax burden is inordinately paid by the poor and middle class.

States that don’t have an income tax get that money from some place else. That some place else is usually the poor.

While the jury’s still out on the benefits of living in a state with no income tax, experts agree that there is one clear result for those states that do levy an income tax.

It helps the poor.

An income tax is a classic tool for redistributing wealth. It’s usually “progressive” in nature, meaning that it taxes higher earners at a greater rate than lower earners. Other taxes typically don’t have that Robin Hood-like characteristic.

Sales taxes, for example, are considered “regressive.” They don’t change depending on the income level of the consumer. They treat everyone the same. So do levies on food, gasoline and other key consumable items.

These taxes place an unfair burden on the poor, according to research from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The reason is the lowest earners in the state devote the lion’s share of their take-home pay to buying things that are subject to sales taxes. The wealthy, who can save a chunk of their income in their 401(k)s and other investments, have a much smaller exposure to the sales tax.

If you think I’m delving into class warfare, I will only say this:

There can’t be class warfare in this country until the poor start fighting back.

Here is my favorite example of how class warfare currently works in our country:

A billionaire, a worker, and an immigrant are sitting at a table with 1000 cookies. The billionaire takes 999 cookies and says to the worker, “watch out, that immigrant is going to take your cookie.”

#2. Ann Richards is the worst thing that ever happened to Texas.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Ann Richards. I’m not. I’m not going to defend her. However, after listening to this guy espouse about his libertarian belief for 15 minutes. Then listening to him call Ann Richards a bitch at least 5 times and tell us about how he celebrated her death, the only policy that he pointed out that was so terrible was that she repealed a law that made it legal to build a building that is taller than the state capitol building in Austin. That would be a libertarian policy. I’m not sure he actually knows what he is.

But I digress.

After doing our “horns down” gesture, we loaded back into the car and headed north. Hoping to get deep into the heart of Oklahoma before bedding down for the night.

+++++++

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



TRANSPORTATION

A TRANSPORTATION photo is a photo of anything that is TRANSPORTATION related. From trains to planes to automobiles. To bridges to tunnels to tracks.

Happy photo harvesting!

10-19-08

The pictures in the folder 10-19-08 are from the Iowa State-Nebraska football game in 2008.

One of the head coaches in the game would go on to win a national championship. The other coach… looks like he got exiled to someplace called Youngstown, Ohio.

Looking through these pictures, it does remind that when conference realignment hit the Big 12 and we lost Nebraska to the Big Ten, they are an opponent that I really miss playing. At least in football. No interest in playing them in basketball. It isn’t just because Nebraska slit their own throat by joining the Big Ten by severing recruiting ties with the state of Texas and now are amongst the worst teams in college football and would make an easy yearly W for Matt Campbell and the boys. I legitimately missing playing them and as much as it pains me to say it, I actually miss their fans coming to Jack Trice every other year. Their is nothing sweeter than rubbing a sweet victory in the face of a pompous Nebraska fan. Not even beating Iowa is that sweet and we all know how obnoxious a faction of that fanbase.

I also miss playing Missouri. Particularly in basketball. Their fans don’t travel like Nebraska fans and they aren’t that obnoxious, but it was a regional school with which Iowa State had a decent rivalry. I really enjoyed the 2 year basketball series Iowa State just had with Missouri. Even though both games ended up being blowouts.

Colorado was a traditional Iowa State opponent. They were the last school to join the Big 8 in 1947. Oklahoma State technically was the school to make it the Big 8 after they rejoined the conference in 1958, but let’s not pick nits here.

The point is, I also miss playing Colorado, but not anywhere near as much as I miss playing Nebraska and Missouri.

The other traitors to leave the conference was Texas A&M. I don’t miss playing them at all. Texas A&M is more like a cult than a school. While it is well-documented that I am fascinated by cults, I don’t want them coming into holy ground like Jack Trice Stadium or into the cathedral that i Hilton Coliseum. Ever. Good riddance to the Aggies.

I do like the Big 12’s current lineup of 10 teams. While the name is stupid when there are 10 schools, the Big 12 can’t become the Big 10 because there already is a Big 10, that has 13 schools. 14 if you count Rutgers. Which I do. Because I am a very charitable person.

I think the Big 12 is the only conference that gets it right. I know the other conferences added schools that don’t really belong because they were chasing television markets for television markets. It was a short-sighted pursuit because Americans are cord cutting like crazy. When all the major conference television contracts are up in 5 years, the way that people consume television will be entirely different. The majority of people won’t be watching content on traditional television channels. They will be consuming through streaming services. ESPN, Fox, and CBS won’t be willing to pay the outrageous fees for broadcast rights that they did 4 years ago. They won’t have the subscriber base that they did back then. Instead, services like Twitter, Hulu, and Amazon Prime and services that probably don’t even exist yet will be entering the fray for broadcast rights. They won’t care about size of television markets. They will be interested in content. It will be at this time that the Big Ten will really regret adding a Rutgers and a Maryland.

2 years ago when the Big 12 looked into adding 2 more schools was a glimpse at the future. The television networks actually paid the Big 12 more money to NOT expand.

This doesn’t mean that the Big 12 couldn’t implode in 5 years. It easily could, but I think it won’t. My best guess is that in 5 years the Big 12 expands and adds Arizona and Arizona State.

My second best theory is that conferences are broken up and the Power 5 schools and maybe a couple others are put into geographical districts. Kind of like high school football. At least in football.

But none of that isn’t why I think the Big 12 gets it right. I think they get it right because as a fan of a Big 12 school, I get to watch Iowa State play every single other school in their conference in football. In basketball, Iowa State gets to play a home and road game against every other team in the conference. It is the only conference where the regular season title actually means something. I love that, but I mostly love getting to play everybody in the conference. Instead of, and for example, Iowa only plays Ohio State in football about once every 8 years. That isn’t an exaggeration. Look it up.

That being said, in my dream world, the current lineup of the Big 12 isn’t what I would go with. In my dream world, I would get rid of West Virginia because geographically they just don’t belong. I would be a little bit sad to see them go because I legitimately hate their basketball team and can’t stand their ex-football coach. Their are seeds of a rivalry there. However, they belong in an east coast conference. They belong in the ACC. They certainly belong in the Big Ten more than Rutgers. I’d give them an edge over Maryland as well.

I would also kick out Baylor. Their football programs rape culture is an absolute disgrace. Not only should they have been kicked out of the Big 12, their football program should have been closed down.

Then I would bring back Nebraska and Missouri. This would make a pretty sweet conference:

1. Iowa State
2 Nebraska
3. Missouri
4. Kansas State
5. Kansas
6. Oklahoma
7. Oklahoma State
8. Texas
9. Texas Tech
10. Texas Christian

It actually wouldn’t take too much pressing for me to want to kick out TCU and put Colorado back in. Nothing against TCU, but I don’t like competing against private colleges because they aren’t subject to the same open records policies that public universities are.

All the being said, here are some pictures from the Iowa State-Nebraska game:


Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

Iowa State vs. Nebraska

I don’t know what the final score of this game was, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. The Gene Chizik era at Iowa State ended with 10 straight losses. Most of them were beatings.

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:

Nebraska Debacle

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve women fighting for the right to vote. No, really.

Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2006

You might think this post really belongs on Saturday as it is a bit of a walk down memory lane, but these images were never really posted to “An Artist’s Notebook” until today.

I came across this collection of photos when I was looking for different photos as I’m trying to go back in time and get a better organizational system going for some of my first digital images.

Perhaps not terribly exciting, but I’m nothing if not boringly transparent.

Below are some of my favorite images I took of the Iowa State Cyclones football season during the 2006 season. Also known as Dan McCarney’s last season.


Iowa State Spring Game - 2006

Iowa State Spring Game - 2006

Iowa State vs. UNLV 2006

Iowa State vs. UNLV 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. UNI 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Nebraska 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Kansas 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

Iowa State vs. Missouri 2006

There are about 650 more images for you to peruse if you click on the link below:

Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2006

I still think it was a mistake to fire McCarney. He still is my favorite coach in Cyclone history, however, if Matt Campbell continues to stick around and gets us into a Big 12 Championship Game, Campbell will be my new main man!