I should start the day by wishing Suzie a happy birthday. Happy birthday Suzie!
I hope your birthday was as amazing as you wanted it to be!
I made a recent decision to start breaking down town in the TOWN SIGN PROJECT by county. I’ve used the Wikipedia and a Iowa Gazetteer to start this process. Well, it seemed rather obvious that the first county I should cross off the list is the county is the county I live in.
Here are the town signs from Boone County.
Boone, Iowa – 12,661
Madrid, Iowa – 2,543
Ogden, Iowa – 2,044
Sheldahl, Iowa – 319
Boxholm, Iowa – 195
Pilot Mound, Iowa – 173
Luther, Iowa – 122
Fraser, Iowa – 102
Beaver, Iowa – 48
Berkley, Iowa – 32
Mackey, Iowa – Unincorporated
Moingona, Iowa – Unincorporated
Centerville, Iowa – Unincorporated
Napier, Iowa – Unincorporated
Ridegeport, Iowa – Unincorporated
Boone County has a couple of unincorporated towns that have no sign to mark their existence. These are Jordan and Logansport. Some people claim that Zenorsville is an unincorporated community, but I would consider it a ghost town. Same way I would consider Coal Valley a ghost town. Elk Rapids a ghost town. However, there are still people living in Jordan and Logansport.
The next county I plan on doing is either Story County or Greene County. Cause, proximity.
This is a bit of a different walk down memory lane. One of the first things I did when I started working from home was cleaning out what I guess what you would call my spare desk. I didn’t want to dump a bunch of work stuff on my normal computer. The computer I do all my photo editing on. So I built a computer to me a dedicated work-from-home computer and set it up on the desk that I have had since I was a child.
This started a massive office cleaning project that was at least 7 or 8 years overdue. In fact, when it was finished, Willy couldn’t get over it. During Friday Night Skype Club, he commented on it at least 5-6 times.
I began this process by cleaning out the drawers in my old desk. One of the things I found was a disc of pictures of the work that me and a bunch of friends and family did before I moved in.
I was ecstatic when I found these pictures because I thought they were lost. While I’ve been going through and fixing old “An Artist’s Notebook” posts on these Saturdays I have come across several pictures that were certainly lost. But none that really tore a hole in my soul like losing these pictures.
Now they have been restored to me and now I get to share them with you:
I’m very thankful to all the people that helped turn my house into a home. Many of those same people also helped me move a week later. Such wonderful and tremendous people.
I didn’t take a ton of pictures at Pufferbilly Days last year. Probably because there wasn’t a petting zoo. Probably because I didn’t really make more than an appearance at the parade. Probably because there really wasn’t much left by the time Sunday came around.
I did spend 3 days at Pufferbilly Days. Friday night with Willy at FNSC. Saturday I walked around with Suzie and her friend Michelle. On Sunday I went up and took pictures of my Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest entries, and Logan’s.
Here are a few pictures from Pufferbilly Days:
I think I will appreciate Pufferbilly Days a little more this year than in past years.
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:
I am thankful for my friends:
I am blessed with an amazing church family:
I am blessed with a decent job and work friends that I don’t mind seeing more than 40 hours a week:
I’m blessed to share my house with Naima:
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!
Seems like as good of a time as any to check in with the Selfie Project. My September was incredibly busy. I had several photo shoots, youth group was back in session, Pufferbilly Days, Iowa State football season is ramping up, and Elainie was back in town.
But I confess that my selfies might not reflect that, it feels like.
Here are my favorite September Selfies:
3 months to go in the Selfie Project. I’m slated to actually leave the state in October. So that is something at least.
Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve the first time Scottie D. and I ever went formally tenderloining, plus some sunset pictures, and the cherry on the top will be pictures of the Ames Party Bus.
The images below come from the folder 05-07-08. The images range from a post supper photo shoot with an Ungs to pictures of painting Monica’s one-time Roland home to me showing off a fat stack of cash to some flowers from my Mom’s flowerbeds to one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet.
A couple Sundays back I met Suzie at the Des Moines Art Center to take in one of Des Moines’ most underappreciated attractions. The Des Moines Art Center is actually one of my favorite art museums that I have ever visited. It’s collection is surprisingly impressive and to top that off, it is FREE!
This was the 3rd or 4th time that we had tried to get together to visit the Des Moines Art Center, but something always seemed to get in the way. Made me think that the trip was never going to happen, much like Scottie D. and I’s next great tenderloining adventure to Winterset may never happen.
This trip to the art center ended up being kind of strange. Part of the way through the museum I started to sweat profusely and I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of hunger. We sat down for awhile and Suzie gave me a stick of gum. I felt better after a few minutes.
It was very bizarre. Not sure Suzie will want to visit the Art Center with me again at any time in the near future.
Here are a few pictures I took before my hot flash:
This is called Klingon Mustaches
After I felt better, I bid Suzie a fond adieu and then headed to the March for Our Lives via quick pit stop at Ted’s Coney Island.
So I had an amazing day today. On a couple of strange fronts I had some new knowledge dropped on me and I’m still reeling from the info.
KNOWLEDGE BOMB #1
Today was the Methodist Men’s Annual Chicken Noodle Brunch. While we were taking a break from our arduous labor, I asked Kio if he had seen why Jefferson, Iowa was in the news this week.
Kio is a top dog at the Boone Area Humane Society, so I was referring to the story that was on the news about Jefferson coppers catching feral cats and then busting a cap in them.
Kio has unfortunately bought into the massive misinformation campaign to paint me as a cat hater. When in reality, I don’t hate cats. Cats suck and I report the facts. I don’t get any joy in this truth.
Because of his perception on my perception of cats, he thought I was going to push for Boone to follow suit with this efficient way to deal with an excess feline population.
However, all I really wanted to know is what the Boone Area Humane Society thought about this policy.
Now Kio can’t speak for the Boone Area Humane Society (okay, that is literally one of his jobs), but he can tell me what they do in Boone with what he termed “community cats”. Boone picks up these cats and makes sure they have all their shots and then microchips them, so they can track them. Then they return them to the neighborhood where they were trapped.
I was literally shocked to find out that this was happening. Boone has community cats.
Kio gave me the rough estimate that there are in the ballpark of 25 of these community cats in Boone. They are all registered, but he did not know whether or not the public had access to this registry.
I’ve had a few cats show up in my neighborhood and I had them dealt with before they could have an adverse effect on my property value.
However, I had no clue that some parts of Boone have sanctioned cats just strolling around.
I have decided that if I ever move, I will be finding out about how to check out this registry to make sure there isn’t one of these community cats in the neighborhood of a potential new home. Much in the same way that I made sure there were very few rental properties in my neighborhood when I bought my current homestead.
KNOWLEDGE BOMB #2
I now know the purpose and the story behind “The Shrine” between Boone and Ames. If you don’t know about “The Shrine”, it is a mysterious building on a country road between Boone and Ames, built by a guy that is known to run gawkers away from it. It is a source of frequent internet speculation and sometimes “investigative journalism” by local media outlets. It has its own thread on Reddit.
I have my information from a high placed source. While I would tell you what it is, I don’t want to ruin the mystery for you.
Here is a YouTube documentary on “The Shrine”:
I’ll just leave it that the documentary gets a few things right and quite a few things wrong.
Sometimes when I come across old photos I think twice before posting them. So much time has passed this the events of this nights. Marriages have come and gone. Friendships have faded. Some friendships have ended. That can make looking at these old photos awkward to look at. But what really makes these photos awkward is there is photographic evidence of me playing a video game as an adult.
I admit, not much of an adult, but still too long in the tooth to claim adolescence. I believe this may have been the last time I played a video game. Might be the last time I ever play a video game. Time will be the final judge on that, as always.
The photos that you might consider “blurry” were taken with a Lens Baby. It is a push-pull-bend lens. Lots of fun, even though I freely confess, most people don’t appreciate the images they create.
Next Saturdays walk down memory lane will involve Good Friday and a tradition that I am happy that my church has retired.