Category Archives: Joe

Pride. Integrity. Guts.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of you that celebrate. I don’t. I’m mostly of Scottish and Welsh stock, so I’ve been trained by the English to hate the Irish and I do. I do hate the Irish. At least I hate the Notre Dame Fighitn’ Irish. They can straight bugger off.

That being said, under normal circumstances, I would make my way to West Street Deli and have the most delicious Reuben in the world. That was before we were in a global pandemic. Also, I think West Street Deli closes during Spring Break anyways.

Another thing that would normally happen tonight would be the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. This year it was cancelled due to fears of over the coronavirus. I one hundred percent support this decision. In situations like we find ourselves in, we should very vigilant. When this is over, nobody will regret being too cautious. That being said, it still makes me a little sad. The NCAA Tournament is by far my favorite sporting event every year. There isn’t a close second. Maybe Championship Week. Followed by bowl games. Followed by about every college football Saturday.

So let me quote a Brandi Carlile song to express a little bit of how I feel about the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.

Look to the clock on the wall
Hands hardly moving at all
I can’t stand the state that I’m in
Sometimes it feels like the wall’s closing in
Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?
Trap all my troubles away
Drown my sorrow the same way
Seems no matter how hard I try
It seems like there’s something just missing inside

However, while I drown my sorrows, it seems I should still honor last years NCAA Tournament and the winners of my annual Roundball Oracles Pool.

You may recall that there are two trophy winners. The winner and then the biggest adult loser. The winner of last year’s Roundball Oracles Pool was Becky Parmelee:

2019 Roundball Oracles Champion
Becky with her Championship Trophy

Then the winner of The Sara Trophy for last place adult was Russell Kennerly:

2019 Roundball Oracles - The Sara
Russell with the Sara.

Last year, 42 people vied to join the List of Immortals with Becky finishing on top. Here are the final standings:

Roundball Oracles – Year 15

1. Becky Parmelee – 281
2. Linda Bennett – 265
3. Michelle Haupt -242
4. Lowell Davis – 242
5. Angie DeWaard – 242
6. Dawn Krause – 239
7. Sean Clubine – 237
8. Paul Golden – 237
9. Rachel Gildersleeve – 237
10. Jason Baier – 236
11. Jesse Howard – 231
12. Michael Augustin – 230
13. Corey Faust – 225
14. Derek Dohrman – 224
15. Shannon Bardole – 224
16. Cathie Raley – 223
17. Jordan Toot – 221
18. Robert Henning – 220
19. Frank Meiners – 219
20. Brandon Kahler – 210
21. Jackson Faust – 209
22. Which Mascot Would Win a Fight – 202
23. Bill Wentworth – 202
24. Ben Baier – 201
25. Derrick Gorshe -201
26. Humble Narrator – 198
27. Elizabeth Nordeen – 196
28. Jason Stensland – 195
29. Olivia Baier – 195
30. Tim Peterson – 193
31 – William McAlpine – 192
32. Jorge Rios – 189
33. Sarah Karber – 189
34. Toby Sebring – 185
35. Joseph Lynch – 181
36. Teresa Kahler – 181
37. Will Baier – 177
38. Jon DeWaard – 173
39. Carrie Baier – 170
40. Laura Miller – 166
41. Sean Gildersleeve – 161
42. Russell Kennerly – 160
43. JJ Baier – 150

The Updated 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

A few final thoughts on the end of the college basketball season. This year’s Iowa State men’s team was one of the worst in school history. At least one of the worst in my lifetime. In some ways there is little in the way of hope for next season as Iowa State will (barring a miracle) will lose their best player (Tyrese Halliburton) to the NBA. They only lose 2 seniors in Jacobson and Nixon, but I’m not sure how much talent is returning. Every guy that returns has shown flashes of greatness and then has returned to the mean. Freshman like Tre Jackson had to play way too much before they were remotely ready. The bumps those guys took could pay off next season as at least Tre could take a big jump. Solo is the heart and soul of the team and he could have a big senior season. George Conditt is an NBA talent, but he struggled this season, but if there is anybody on the roster that is able to make a bigger jump than him, I don’t know who it would be. If T-Lew could learn to play just a little bit of defense he could be a big contributor. I’m sure his flex after his dunk against Okie State instead of running back on defense will be a big motivator this offseason. Zion might be the biggest question mark on the roster. His playing time diminished as the season went along, but he still has a huge upside. Bolton is in line to be the best player on next year’s roster, but he has to start playing with more discipline.

There is a great recruiting class coming in with Xavier Foster being one of the biggest recruits in school history. With his silky smooth shot, he could easily fill that stretch 4 role that Jacobson struggled to fill this season. Dudley Blackwell is also a highly regarded recruit that could also contribute immediately. Darlinstone Dubar has an incredible name and frankly that is how I evaluate most recruits. He wasn’t a highly regarded recruit when he signed with Iowa State, but then he shot up the rankings. He has good size. which is something this year’s team lacked. Jaden Walker is another mystery. He isn’t all that highly regarded, but he is built like Tyrese. His rankings are similar to Tyrese. I’m not saying he is the next Tyrese Halliburton, but even the Steve Prohm haters that came out of the woodwork this year would struggle to criticize his record with point guards.

The other big mystery is sit-out transfer Javon Johnson. He is a 6-6 small forward that averaged double digits for Troy. He has a good shot and allegedly had NBA athleticism. But it is a big jump from Troy to what has been the best basketball conference in the country for the last decade. He is a big wild card.

Finally, Iowa State will have at least one scholarship to fill. I’d like to live in the world where Tyrese comes back, but even with his injury, some mock drafts having him going as high as #4 in the draft. That gives at least one scholarship to fill. I imagine Iowa State will try to sign an immediately eligible experience point guard. Bolton can play the point, but he is clearly better as the 2. Otherwise, you are looking at Tre taking over at the point. He didn’t get a ton of time there this season, so it isn’t the best case scenario.

It is also certainly possible that somebody transfers, opening up another scholarship. If that happens, I imagine Iowa State would look at a sit-out transfer (if that is still a thing). Not sure what they would go after there, but my guess is another combo guard.

Now, the Cyclone women had a much better season. They ended their season by defeating #2 Baylor and ending their 58 game Big 12 Conference win streak. Leaving Hilton Coliseum that day was the most joy I have experienced as a Cyclone fan since leaving Jack Trice on November 16 after the Cyclones knocked off Texas with a 36 yard Connor Assalley walk-off field goal.

The women’s had an up and down season, but they were projected to be in the NCAA Tournament as a 9 or 10 seed. They could have improved that seed with a run in the Big 12 Tournament, but to get to the finals, they would have had to beat that same Baylor team in the semi-finals.

Not much was expected out of the Cyclones this year. They had just lost Bridget Carleton, arguably the best player in school history. If she isn’t the best, the only person in the conversation is Angie Welle… for now. They also lost Alexa Middleton, the best point guard Iowa State has had since Allison Lacey. Finally, they lost Meredith Burkhall. Meredith wasn’t a star, but she was a solid post that might have been primed for a big senior season if she hadn’t experience a serious illness the summer before her senior season.

Iowa State’s season could have went south as the roster constantly battled injuries. Iowa State’s second best player Kristin Scott battled a back injury that sidelined her at the beginning and the end of the season. Starting point guard Rae Johnson also missed several games with a bad back. At the end of the year her minutes were being heavily monitored. Madison Wise missed a good chunk of the season due to debilitating migraines. Maddie Frederick was starting to get good minutes when she went down with an injury and only returned for the last few games of the season.

Despite all of that, Iowa State finished 4th in the Big 12 and were playing great basketball at the end of the season. They had the grit that the men lacked. People played out of position. People stepped up. Having Ashley Joens, who will be in the conversation with Welle and Carleton to be the GOAT when her career is over, probably didn’t hurt either.

But what will next year’s team be like? I think we are at the dawn of what could be another golden era for the Cyclone women. I don’t want to say that they could contend for a conference title next year, because.. you know… Baylor, but they could give Baylor a run for their money. Especially with what Baylor loses. But what does Iowa State lose?

Iowa State graduated 4 seniors. All of them were contributors, but none of them put the kind of a dent in the program that Bridget Carleton did.

Probably the biggest loss is Adriana Camber. Down the stretch, she played almost every minute of every game. Her numbers won’t pop out at you. She averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. But she wassecond on the team with 845 minutes played. She was the consummate glue player. She did whatever the team needed. Usually that meant guarding the best player on the other team. More times than not, she was able to shut them down. She also lead the Cyclones with 48 thees. All of that will be hard to replace, but that is a role that a healthy Madison Wise could slide into. She struggled from 3 this season, but her history suggests she is a better shooter than she showed this season. Camber also struggled with her shot as a junior after all.

The second biggest loss is probably Ines Nezerwa. Ines was a post and probably one of the biggest fan favorites. Ines came to Iowa State very raw and left a little raw. You could see that talent there, but sometimes that meant bad turnovers. Sometimes it meant several minute stretches where she would dominate games. Sometimes it mean she couldn’t stop fouling. But nobody will ever forget the big 3 she drilled in the final minutes against Baylor to give Iowa State the lead. With Kristin Scott having an injury plagued season she came up big for the Cyclones over and over again. Especially when the only other big on the roster was Morgan Kane, who was a very green freshman. The good news is that there are people ready (hopefully to replace Ines). For starters there is 6-5 sit out transfer Lindsey Jarosinski. Plus it is hard to put into words how much Morgan Kane grew this season. At the end she was able to play valuable minutes. I don’t know that she will ever be much of a scorer, but she doesn’t need to be. Finally, Iowa State redshirted Gabby McBride this season. Iowa State will not be so thin in the post next season. Especially if Kristin Scott stays healthy.

The third Cyclones they lose is Jade Thurmon. Jade came up big for the depleted Cyclones late in the season. She was super fast with the ball and was hard to contain off dribble penetration. However, there are plenty of players coming that are coming that can take Jade’s minutes.

The last senior Iowa State loses is Nia Washington. Nia hardly ever played, but she was definitely a team leader. She was the player that gave the last words to the team before they took the floor. As an outsider, it is hard to quantify how much her leadership could be missed.

That is the bad. The good news is that Iowa State returns their (at least) 3 best players. Ashley Joens will be a junior. Kristin Scott will be a senior. Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw will be a sophomore. They will return Rae Johnson, their point guard and sometimes best player. Hopefully Madison Wise is healthy and returns to her freshman form. They add a 6-5 transfer. I’m very intrigued to see how Maddie Frederick develops. She has shown signs. She is somebody who could potentially take that Camber role as well.

While what returns on paper is more than enough to get excited about, we should talk about what is coming in next year. They have the #7 ranked class in the country.

Lexi Donarski from Wisconsin will be only the second McDonald’s All-American (Alexa Middleton) to play for Iowa State. She is the #12 player in the country.

Emily Ryan from Kansas has never lost a high school game. She has been the Kansas Player of the Year multiple times.

Aubrey Joens in Ashley Joens’ sister. Enough said, but she is also the #58 player in the country.

Kylie Feurbach from Illinois is the #77 player in the country.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little bit excited about the women’s team next year. The fact that thee is no NCAA Tournament this year doesn’t help.


I also wanted to share some pictures from my trip to the Iowa State Fair with Nader and Logan:

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

I still need to crack into flower pictures I took at the Iowa State Fair on this day. I know some of you are looking forward to that!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

I have to start today’s post off by wishing the happiest of birthdays to Micky! I’m not sure how old Micky is now, but I hope he is at an age where he start to gain a refined taste in pancakes. Micky is one of the best outdoorsman I know, if he ever conquers his fear of snakes, he could even be the best.

Here are some pictures of Micky:

Pie In Your Face!

June 17, 2017

Happy birthday Micky!!


You are probably wondering what Micky would like for his birthday. The answer is pretty obvious, since it IS Ash Wednesday.

Micky would like you to come to the Heart of Boone Youth Fellowship Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for our trip to Indianapolis!

It is all the spaghetti you can eat and you get to name your own price. Starts at 6. Ends at 7. At the Boone First United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall in the basement.

Why is this what Micky wants for his birthday? Because a funded mission trip gets me out of the office for an entire week! A full week he doesn’t have to deal with me at work. I know! I can feel people scrambling for their checkbooks right now!


Since Micky is a truly great outdoorsman, I think the type of pictures he would like to peer at on his birthday are from when the family stopped at Jester Park after post-worship lunch some Sunday in August.

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Alas, Poor Yorick!

I just don’t make it to Jester Park enough.


I would be remiss if I didn’t open today without wishing everybody a Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today, I want to share some of his words following the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Often our movement has been referred to as a boycott movement. The word boycott, however, does not adequately describe the true spirit of our movement. The word boycott is suggestive of merely an economic squeeze devoid of any positive value. We have never allowed ourselves to get bogged in the negative; we have always sought to accentuate the positive. Our aim has never been to put the bus company out of business, but rather to put justice in business.

These twelve months have not at all been easy. Our feet have often been tired. We have struggle against tremendous odds to maintain alternative transportation. There have been moments when roaring waters of disappointment poured upon us in staggering torrents. We can remember days when unfavorable court decisions came upon us like tidal waves, leaving us treading in the deep and confused waters of despair. But amid all of this we have kept going with the faith that as we struggle, God struggles with us, and that the arc of the moral universe, although long, is bending toward justice.5 We have lived under the agony and darkness of Good Friday with the conviction that one day the heightening glow of Easter would emerge on the horizon. We have seen truth crucified and goodness buried, but we have kept going with the conviction that truth crushed to earth will rise again.6


This is the time that we must evince calm dignity and wise restraint. Emotions must not run wild. Violence must not come from any of us, for if we become victimized with violent intents, we will have walked in vain, and our twelve months of glorious dignity will be transformed into an eve of gloomy catastrophy. As we go back to the busses let us be loving enough to turn an enemy into a friend. We must now move from protest to reconciliation. It is my firm conviction that God is working in Montgomery. Let all men of goodwill, both Negro and white, continue to work with Him. With this dedication we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.

If you are ever in Memphis, I can’t urge you to visit the Civil Rights Museum strongly enough.

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

Civil Rights Museum

It is an extremely powerful and rage inducing experience.

As white supremacy continues to be emboldened in this country and has made an ugly resurgence in the last couple of years, I pray that after this current shameful chapter in American history closes, that there is some real healing in this country.


WooHoo! TEXTURE makes is 17 straight weeks of double digit submissions! I was a little worried about this week because TEXTURE is one of the more abstract themes. Not technically difficult, but a little on the obtuse side. Plus, at least in central Iowa the temperature barely climbed into positive digits all weekend. But, we hit double digits and I barely had to twist any arms this morning!

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates, you came to see the submissions:

Monica Henning

Monica Henning

Elizabeth Nordeen

Carla Stensland

Michelle Haupt

Sarah Karber

Stephanie Kim

Shannon Bardole-Foley

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn Krause

Becky Parmelee

Micky Augustin

Cathie Raley

Tamara Peterson

Tamara Peterson

Kim Barker

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


COUNTRY! What a great theme! But what is a COUNTRY photo? A COUNTRY photo is really just any photo that is taken outside of a town, city, village, or hamlet. This should be easy enough. I know plenty of you (like me) drive through the COUNTRY to get to work. Some of you live in the COUNTRY. But something doesn’t have to be in the COUNTRY to suggest the COUNTRY. Plus, remember that the word COUNTRY has more than one meaning. A quality tip for people who live in the middle of say Brooklyn or Minneapolis.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!




The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.


I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.


Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.


That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very country Monday!

Selfie Project – December

December was a truly busy month. I actually left the state more than one. I visited places like Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.

I feel I ended this attempt at THE SELFIE PROJECT fairly strong. Here are some of my favorite pictures from December:

December 1, 2019
December 1

December 2, 2019
December 2

December 3, 2019
December 3

December 4, 2019
December 4

December 5, 2019
December 5

December 6, 2019
December 6

December 7,  2019
December 7

December 10, 2019
December 10

December 12, 2019
December 12

December 14, 2019
December 14

December 15, 2019
December 15

December 19, 2019
December 19

December 20, 2019
December 20

December 21, 2019
December 21

December 22, 2019
December 22

December 23, 2019
December 23

December 24, 2019
December 24

December 25, 2019
December 25

December 26, 2019
December 26

December 27, 2019
December 27

December 28, 2019
December 28

December 30, 2019
December 30

December 31, 2019
December 31

January 1, 2020
January 1

I might do a year-end look at THE SELFIE PROJECT, at some point, but if I don’t, you can peruse all THE SELFIE PROJECT pictures by clicking on the link below:


I’m not duplicating this project in 2020. I might do a “selfie-type” project, but it will be completely different.


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

WEEK 225 - HDR

Remember an HDR image is a combination of several images to create on image with expanded dynamic range. Pretty much every camera will have an HDR setting that will do this for you automatically. If you can find me, I can show you the setting on your camera.

Happy photo harvesting!


Happy Thanksgiving! Every year on Thanksgiving I like to think about my many, many blessings. I know, real original. You should feel free to try it sometime. But make sure you let everybody know that I invented gratitude.

I am thankful for my family, no matter how family is defined:

April 9, 2019

May 18, 2019

May 25, 2019

August 24, 2019

September 19, 2019

October 26, 2019

January 26, 2019

February 25, 2019

June 29, 2019

July 6, 2019

August 4, 2019

April 6, 2019

May 12, 2019

I am thankful for my friends:

January 16, 2019

March 12, 2019


Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

March 21, 2019

May 6, 2019

May 17, 2019

June 1, 2019

June 6, 2019

August 25, 2019

July 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019

August 18, 2019

September 7, 2019

September 20, 2019

September 21, 2019

October 5, 2019

October 21, 2019

April 27, 2017

Selfie Project - January 21

March 3, 2019

I am blessed with an amazing church family:

April 7, 2019

Selfie Project - January 27

April 17, 2019

May 1, 2019

June 15, 2019

June 23, 2019

June 24, 2019

June 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

July 13, 2019

September 25, 2019

October 27, 2019

June 28, 2017

I am blessed with a decent job and work friends that I don’t mind seeing more than 40 hours a week:

January 12, 2019

August 30, 2019

May 2, 2017

Selfie Project - March 27

Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa

I’m blessed to share my house with Naima:

January 10, 2019

October 6, 2019

July 9, 2019


This is only a small sampling of my blessings, but I feel to go on much longer would sound like boasting. Thank all of you for choosing to be part of my life!

Selfie Project – October

Now is as a good of a time as any to check in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. I’m sure I did a bunch of interesting things in the month of October, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not I capture that while taking my daily THE SELFIE PROJECT photo or not.

Here are a few of my favorites from October:

October 2, 2019
October 2

October 4, 2019
October 4

October 5, 2019
October 5

October 6, 2019
October 6

October 9, 2019
October 9

October 11, 2019
October 11

October 12, 2019
October 12

October 13, 2019
October 13

October 15, 2019
October 15

October 16, 2019
October 16

October 18, 2019
October 18

October 19, 2019
October 19

October 20, 2019
October 20

October 21, 2019
October 21

October 23, 2019
October 23

October 24, 2019
October 24

October 25, 2019
October 25

October 26, 2019
October 26

October 27, 2019
October 27

October 29, 2019
October 29

October 30, 2019
October 30

October 31, 2019
October 31

Phew… 2 months to go!

Selfie Project – August

Now seems like a good time to check-in with my favorite pictures from my August SELFIE PROJECT pictures.

It would seem that I had a successful month of August. I met Vice-President Joe Biden. I competed in a barbecue contest at the Iowa State Fair. I also competed in a photography contest at the Iowa State Fair. I dine at a Brazilian Steakhouse totally not for Jay’s birthday. I went to an air show. I met my great nephew. I went to the Minnesota State Fair. I dined at Zeno’s. I went to an Iowa State football game.

Here are my favorites:

August 1, 2019
August 1

August 2, 2019
August 2

August 3, 2019
August 3

August 4, 2019
August 4

August 5, 2019
August 5

August 9, 2019
August 9

August 10, 2019
August 10

August 11, 2019
August 11

August 13, 2019
August 13

August 15, 2019
August 15

August 17, 2019
August 17

August 18, 2019
August 18

August 23, 2019
August 23

August 24, 2019
August 24

August 25, 2019
August 25

August 26, 2019
August 26

August 29, 2019
August 29

August 30, 2019
August 30

August 31, 2019
August 31

I’m not sure I’ve had as busy of a September, but I guess we’ll find out in October when I get a chance to look back at it.

Naima Takes Dickcissel

Dipping into the backlog again. This post finishes off all of the backlog from May of 2018! WooHoo!

It once again draws on a consistent theme. Me taking pictures of Naima at Dickcissel Park.

You might be wondering why I took so many of these pictures last year. The reason is because I spent a considerable part of 2018 trying to get the perfect picture of Naima running at the camera. Ears in the air. Tongue sticking out of her mouth. Silly dog smile on her mug.

I also had an obsession with getting a picture of her in the water. From underwater. But that is a project that will continue into 2019, I do believe.

Here are some more Naima pictures:

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Gotta keep hammering away at that backlog!


Also, since the purchase of the drone, I’ve decided to start actually adding some content to my YouTube channel. In the past, the YouTube channel has only really existed so I could like other YouTube videos. Over it’s 10+ year existence, I’ve only uploaded like 30 videos.

That will hopefully change in the coming months. ‘

I recently put up my first “test” video. It was mostly a test of if I could figure out how to do it. I’m not particularly good at video editing and it shows in this video. What also shows is how terrible I am at sound recording.

I hope my video editing skills improve. We’ll see about the sound recording skills. Actually I have no choice but to improve on sound recording. You’ll see when you watch the video.

So below, checkout this YouTube video I made on DJI Mavic 2 Pro Quickshots with Bethany as the guinea pig:

If you don’t subscribe to my YouTube channel, please do because when I hit 100 subscribers, I can customize my channel’s URL. In the future, there will be more drone videos and I have plans for more videos revolving around the birthday present I’m giving to myself.

Also, a big shoutout to Joe who is helping me with video editing. The video is edited with an open source video editing program called OpenShot.

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:

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.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 82

Last Saturday I continued on my goal to try to finish THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT as Joe agreed to pose for Page 82.

Before you ask, yes, Joe legitimately think the world is flat. Not only does he believe that the world is flat, he is an evangelical for the theory. He spends hours upon hours posting on Facebook and YouTube about his belief that the earth is flat.

He sells flat earth shirts. He orders books about the earth being flat. He intended to go to the Flat Earth Convention last year. He plans on going this year. He says he can not date a girl that isn’t open to the earth being flat.

It isn’t a joke to Joe. It is a core, perhaps the core part of his identity.

Here is Page 82:

Photo Journal - Page 82
Page 82 – Show us the world is flat.

Now the original intent of “Show us the world is flat” was to get up high and look down on the earth and then compress the image by using a telephoto lens. I decided to go in a different direction.

Photo Journal - Page 82

My goal is still to knock at least one of these pictures out a week. I have yet to take one this week as I haven’t had the free time I expected yet, but these are some of the ones I’ve been thinking on:

PAGE 21 – Make something small look big.
PAGE 43 – Take a picture that only works in black & white.
Page 68 – Let a window do the talking.
Page 90 – Create ambiguity with a blend of natural and artificial light.


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


Remember that a TOOL photo is simply any photo involving a TOOL. Remember that there are multiple definitions of the world TOOL.

Happy photo harvesting!