Category Archives: Sheri

Fat Mum Slim – June 2022

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

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

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

Here are my gratitude pictues:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the FatMumSlim Prompts for July:

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

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

Journal Entry #4,250

Can you believe that this is the 4,250th post in this crazy little thing called “An Artist’s Notebook’. 4,250 posts! It has been 5,549 days since I took keyboard in hand on August 9, 2006 and typed these words:

So here is the first journal entry.

The name of that first journal entry was “First Journal Entry”. I really started out with a bang!

What was that first journal entry?

A set of goals:

+ To write in this journal. Mission accomplished.
+ To be truthful. I’m sure there are some that would disagree, but I’m calling that mission accomplished.
+ To record my achievements and failures in the world of art. Mission accomplished.
+ To produce something that makes me “worthy” of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook. Jury might still be out on that one.

In that first entry I also wrote about attending the Photography Salon Reception with Sara. I go on to complain about the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest and tell a tale about how Jay convinced me to enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest that year.

That was it. A simple beginning for a simple man. 5,549 days ago.

When I hit these milestones, I like to check in on a few statistics, to see how things are trending. I like statistics cause they seem to bring order to chaos. It is like the saying goes: “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.”

Here are some damn lying statistics.

I use “Categories” to help organize this blog. There are 194 of them and the 100 most used Categories can be found on the sidebar of every page on this website. The 100th most used Category is a 3 way tie amongst “Jaycees”, “Vacation”, and “DaeHee”. I’ve use those 3 Categories 65 times each. The 2 Categories that have the greatest shot at breaking into the Top 100 are “Kelly” at 61 current uses and “Town Sign Project” at 59 current uses.

These are the 10 Most Used Categories (Post 4000 Rank and entries):

10. Art – 408 (NR)
9. WPC – Submissions – 417 (8 – 381)
8. Mom – 422 (10 – 363)
7. Carla – 435 (7 – 391)
6. Portrait – 450 (5 -472)
5. Shannon – 458 (6 – 421)
4. Jesse – 529 (4 – 495)
3. Animals – 665 (3 – 620)
2. Flowers – 754 (2 – 693)
1. Black and White – 819 (1 – 698)

These are the 10 Most Used Not a Person Categories:

10. Photoshop – 368 (8 – 327)
9. Nature – 379 (6 – 349)
8. Macro – 390 (7 – 332)
7. Road Trip – 394 (9 – 326)
6. Art – 408 (10 – 314)
5. WPC – Submissions – 417 (5 – 381)
4. Portrait – 450 – (4 – 472)
3. Animals – 665 – (3 – 620_
2. Flowers – 754 – (2 – 693)
1. Black and White – 819 (1 – 698)

There are the 10 Most Used Person Categories (Post 4000 Rank and entries):

10. Vest – 274 (9 – 258)
9. Jen – 277 (10 – 254)
8. Willy – 278 (8 – 268)
7. Derrick – 311 (7 – 295)
6. Jay – 329 (6 – 320)
5. Teresa – 405 (4 – 364)
4. Mom – 422 (5 – 363)
3. Carla – 435 (3 – 391)
2. Shannon – 458 (2 – 421)
1. Jesse – 529 (1 – 495)

The Non Person Categories most likely to break into the Top Ten are “Naima” at 323, “Formal Portrait” at 320, and “Candid Portrait” at 303.

The Person Categories that are most likely to break into the Top Ten are “Kim” at 263, “Logan” at 248, “Sara” and “Micky” both at 239.

After 750 posts, “Photography”, “Friends”, and “Life” were my three most used Categories. I’ve since tried to de-centralize those Categories and they have fallen. I’m trying to do the same with “Portrait”, so It should eventually fall out of the Top Ten as well.

After 1,000 posts, “Jay”, Jesse”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories.

After 1,500 posts, “Jesse”, “Jay”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories”.

After 2,500 posts, “Jesse, “Teresa”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories. It was the same after 3000 posts.

After 4,000 posts, Top 3 had changed to “Jesse”, “Shannon”, and “Carla”. I’ll be curious to see where these number are in another 250 posts.

If you are wondering how to increase your Category usage, it is simple. Submit to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Be a photo assistant. Show up in THE SELFIE PROJECT. Go on road trips with me. It doesn’t hurt to be related to me either.

But this is a photography online journal, so let’s look at what are the most popular images and galleries on my website?

Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries of the last 365 days:


#10 Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 25,192 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2013
#9 Daisies 26,286 Views

Punch Myself in the Face
#8 Christopher D. Bennett 31,665 Views

9 Emotions - Bill
#7 9 Emotions Project 49,215 Views


#6 Iowa 59,724 Views

Soccer with Evie and Layla
#5 Gorshe Family 60,179 Views

Xenia, Iowa
#4 Town Sign Project 72,850 Views

WEEK 293 - HANDS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#3 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 8 82,681 Views

Day 162 - June 11, 2021
#2 Selfie Project – 2021 128,029 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1 Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 236,976 Views

At post 4,000 The most popular album was “WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 7”. #2. Was “Christopher D. Bennett”. #3. was “9 Emotions Project”. I’m impressed with the sustained popularity of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. I haven’t taken a new picture for it in years. Although I do want to fire it up again.

Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the last 365 days:

Maven's 2021 Birthday Party
#10. Maven’s Gift Table – 2,013 Views

Moingona, Iowa
#9. Moingona Town Sign – 2,029 Views

Iowa State Fair - 2010
#8. Alexis Cheering at the 2010 Iowa State Fair – 2,177 Views

Mom's Retirement Party
#7. Mom’s Retirement Party – 2,669 Views

Day 73 - March 13, 2021
#6. Mom and I at John Wayne Birthplace Museum – 3,716 Views

Youth Group Family Portrait Fundraiser - 2010
#5. Andrea, Josh, and Kids at Youth Group Fundraiser – 2010 – 4,221 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#4. Alexis Pregnant with Anela – 5,485 Views

Day 51 - February 20, 2021
#3. Selfie in Ackley – 6,369 Views

Day 0 - December 31, 2020
#2. Selfie in Front Yard – 6,587 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. Alexis Pregnant with Anela – 10.355 Views

That picture of Alexis was also #1 at the 4,000 Post Mark, but the other 9 Pictures are completely different. Last time #2 was a picture of Taylan and #3 was a picture of me and Scottie D. at the Pufferbilly Days Parade.

That leads us to my most popular individual posts.

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

#10. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: HAMILTON COUNTY – 21 Comments

#10. POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT – MAMIE DOUD EISENHOWER BIRTHPLACE – 21 Comments

#10. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: DALLAS COUNTY – 21 Comments

#7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 43 – SUNRISE/SUNSET 22 Comments

#7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 9 – FOOD – 22 Comments

#7. POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT – SOME CHURCHES – 22 Comments

#3. THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE – ROUND TWO – 24 Comments

#3. TENDERLOIN APPRECIATION SOCIETY – WORKING AT HOME – 24 Comments

#3. CARROLL COUNTY AND CRAWFORD COUNTY AUXILIARY IMAGES – 24 Comments

#3.WPC – WEEK 283 – WIND – 24 Comments

#2. LIPTON CUP OF ZINNIA – 32 Comments

#1. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: JASPER COUNTY – 37 Comments

I have to confess that I haven’t been very good about responding to comments left on my blog lately. I swear that I will get better at this again.

The final statistic I want to share are who my most loyal email subscribers. Loyalty isn’t probably the most accurate term, but it is all I have.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

5. Jeanette Duff – 96.4%
4. Angie DeWaard – 98.5%
2. Michelle Haupt – 99.7%
2. Joe Duff – 99.7%
1. Kio Dettman – 100%

Jeanette, Angie, and Kio are new to the Top 5. They replaced Corey, Sara, and Shannon.

Linda and Tamara are the two most likely to break into the Top 5 in the next 250 posts.

We’ll have to check in on these statistics again in another 250 posts!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Three Strikes

I went through a long drought where I didn’t experience a good (new) tenderloin for several months. I decided not to torture my people with 3 separate entries on 3 bad tenderloins. I decided just to knock them all out in one swoop.


Big Al’s BBQ – Des Moines, Iowa

Back in May, Mom, Teresa, and Sheri went to Big Al’s BBQ in Des Moines to try their tenderloin. It was somewhat hyped as a tenderloin that was smoked and then fried. Baby Got Rack tried something similar once and couldn’t make it work. This also doesn’t work.

Although I will say that there service was good, the owner was awesome, and all their other food was good.

Here are some pictures:


Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

It was the best of the 3 tenderloins in this entry, but it wasn’t good. It did have many of the qualities of a good tenderloin. Decent breading. Good size. Proper thickness. But the smoky flavor just didn’t work.


GroVer Flavors – Van Meter, Iowa

I’m not going to pile on this tenderloin. This restaurant has since closed because the owner has lung cancer.

Here are a few pictures:


Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

It was burnt. It was too thin. Let’s not dwell on it.


Whistlin’ Donkey – Woodward, Iowa

Whistlin’ Donkey was also a disappointment and by far one of the worst restaurant experiences I’ve ever had. From the time we ordered, until the time we got our food, it was over 90 minutes.

Here are some pictures:


Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

I do remember them having an appetizer that was delicious, but now I can’t remember what it was. I think the high point of this tenderloin is that it had a toasted bun.

As I look at these pictures, I see that my tenderloin photography wasn’t always the best. As I pursue tenderloins in 2020, I will also effort to improve the quality of the tenderloin photography.

This is my solemn vow!

Selfie Project – May

Now seems like as good of a time as any to check back in with THE SELFIE PROJECT and see what “amazing” things I did in the month of May. Some of these things I had already forgot about!


May 1, 2019
May 1

May 4, 2019
May 4

May 5, 2019
May 5

May 6, 2019
May 6

May 7, 2019
May 7

May 8, 2019
May 8

May 9, 2019
May 9

May 11, 2019
May 11

May 12, 2019
May 12

May 15, 2019
May 15

May 17, 2019
May 17

May 18, 2019
May 18

May 19, 2019
May 19

May 21, 2019
May 21

May 23, 2019
May 23

May 25, 2019
May 25


May 26


May 27

May 29, 2019
May 29

May 31, 2019
May 31

I think June is off to a decent start. I haven’t done anything amazing, besides see GODZILLA KING OF MONSTERS. But at least I’m 99% sure I’ll be leaving the state to go on a mission trip. So that’ll be something.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 109 – MACRO

MACRO might be the most technically difficult theme on the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Despite that, several people buckled up and gave it a spin!

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


WEEK 108 - MACRO - SHERI FARKHOURI
Sheri Farkhouri

WEEK 108 - MACRO - SARAH KARBER
Sarah Karber

WEEK 108 - MACRO - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 108 - MACRO - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 108 - MACRO - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 108 - MACRO - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 108 - MACRO - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 108 - MACRO - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 108 - MACRO - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 108 - MACRO - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 108 - MACRO - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 108 - MACRO - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 109 - MACRO - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

A solid week of submissions!

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:


WEEK 109 - REFLECTION
REFLECTION!

REFLECTION! What a great theme!!! Also, I don’t think it requires much of an explanation. Some surfaces show back what is looking at them. Mirrors for example. Water. Mylar. Of course their is more than one definition of REFLECTION. So interpret the theme as you see fit.

As always, I look forward to your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge. 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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nothing new to report. I’ll try to do better next week.

Want your own Photography 139 email subscription? Call, email, or text me and I’ll get you the hook up.

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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 reflective Monday!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 108 – ART

ART is one of my favorite themes. I love seeing what kind of ART that people have in their lives. This was a solid week of submissions.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about submissions. You came here to see the submissions:


WEEK 108 -  ART - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 108 -  ART - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 108 -  ART - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 108 -  ART - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 108 -  ART - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 108 -  ART - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 108 -  ART - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 108 -  ART - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 108 -  ART - SHERI FARKHOURI
Sheri Farkhouri

WEEK 108 -  ART - SHERI FARKHOURI
Sheri Farkhouri

WEEK 108 -  ART - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 108 -  ART - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 108 - ART - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 108 - ART - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

A solid week of submissions!

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:


WEEK 109 - MACRO
MACRO!

MACRO! What a great theme! MACRO is legit one of my favorite themes, but what is MACRO. MACRO is just some east coast elite’s way of sayin’ close-up photography. With all their fancy book learnin’.

Okay, as somebody that has been falsely accused of being an elitist, I will say that there is a lot more accurate definition of MACRO that deals with the relationship of the size of the actual object to the size of that object when recorded on to a 135mm negative. That being said, to do that type of true MACRO photography, you need to drop a certain amount of coin on equipment.

As a man of the people, we can just say that MACRO means getting up in somebody or something’s grill and getting a shot.

As always, I look forward to seeing everybody’s interpretations. That includes you Bill, Dawn, and Micky. If Becky can make a comeback, you can make a comeback. We ALL can make a comeback!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge. 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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nothing new to report. I’ll try to do better next week.

Want your own Photography 139 email subscription? Call, email, or text me and I’ll get you the hook up.

**************************************

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 close and personal Monday!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 107 – WHITE

Another week of good submissions for this week’s theme of WHITE.

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


WEEK 107 - WHITE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 107 - WHITE - SHANNON BARDOLE
Shannon Bardole

WEEK 107 - WHITE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri

WEEK 107 - WHITE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 107 - WHITE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri

WEEK 107 - WHITE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri

WEEK 107 - WHITE - SARAH KARBER
Sarah Karber

WEEK 107 - WHITE - TAMARA PETERSON 1
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 107 - WHITE - TAMARA PETERSON 2
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 107 - WHITE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 107 - WHITE - CATHIE RALEY 1
Cathie Raley

WEEK 107 - WHITE - CATHIE RALEY 2
Cathie Raley

WEEK 107 - WHITE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

A solid week of submissions!

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:


WEEK 108 - ART
ART!

ART! What a great theme! I don’t know what it is, but I know it when I see it! Get out there and make some ART!

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge. 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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nothing new to report. I’ll try to do better next week.

Want your own Photography 139 email subscription? Call, email, or text me and I’ll get you the hook up.

**************************************

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 artistic Monday!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 102 – HATE

Participation rates took a pretty good hit for the theme of HATE. I was expecting this, but I think it will rebound this week.

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


WEEK 102 - HATE - ANGIE DEWAARD 1
Angie DeWaard 1

WEEK 102 - HATE - ANGIE DEWAARD 2
Angie DeWaard 2

WEEK 102 - HATE - ANGIE DEWAARD 3
Angie DeWaard 3

WEEK 102 - HATE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 102 - HATE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 102 - HATE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 102 - HATE -
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 102 - HATE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri

WEEK 102 - HATE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

A good solid week of hateful submissions!

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:


WEEK 103 - RUINS
RUINS!

RUINS! What a great theme!! This has been a theme every year of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. So I don’t really need to define it more than to say it is the remains of something that was once in great shape and has been abandoned to the ravages of time.

I can’t wait to see everybody’s interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. 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.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge. 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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Great news people! Sheri Fakhouri is the latest and greatest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by signing up for an email subscription to this here blog. Sheri has known me all my life and I’ve known her since I was able to start having memories as she is one of my eldest sister’s best friends. She also has excellent taste in tenderloins. If you see Sheri out and about walking the mean streets of Ankeny, feel free to giver her a knowing glance and show her the super secret Photography 139 handshake.

Want your own Photography 139 email subscription? Call, email, or text me and I’ll get you the hook up.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 GALLERY DIVISION

Sometimes people send me descriptions of their photos. I’ve never done anything with that information in the past. However, if you send me a description in the future, I will add it to your image in the Weekly Photo Challenge Gallery that houses all the submissions.

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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 ruinous Monday!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 101 – HUMANIZE

Here are the submissions for HUMANIZE for last week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - TAMARA PETERSON 1
Tamara Peterson 1

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - TAMARA PETERSON 2
Tamara Peterson 2

WEEK 101 - HUMANIZE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

Hopefully you guys have already got to work on your interpretations for this week’s theme… HATE. We should be back to the regular release schedule next week.