Category Archives: Suzie


So the walk down memory lane now concludes. With a look at the images that were in the calendar that early this morning will be taken down from kitchen walls (most common place I’ve seen the calendar hung up), office walls, cubicle walls, and placed gently in the trash with yesterday’s coffee grounds. 2015 Photography 139 Calendar I bid you a fond adieu.

2015 Calendar Cover
Front Cover

January - 2015 Calendar

February - 2015 Calendar

March - 2015 Calendar

April - 2015 Calendar

May - 2015 Calendar

June - 2015 Calendar

July - 2015 Calendar

August - Flower Calendar

September - 2015 Calendar

October - 2015 Calendar

November - 2015 Calendar

December - 2015 Calendar

If you ever get bored and want to take this walk down memory lane again, you can visit the Calendar and Postcards Gallery in the PHOTOGRAPHY 139 GALLERY. Link below:


Since yesterday was the end of year and a holiday that many people celebrate (not me though, I don’t need the calendar gestapo telling me when to start a new year) I would like to take a quick moment to thank everybody that has continued to be an email subscriber to this here blog.

Off the top of my head and I apologize if I miss anybody:

These people are all original subscribers or at least haven’t changed their email since August 22, 2011. Which is how far back the records from off the top of my head go.

Jay Janson
Jason Baier
Shannon Bardole
Scott Degeneffe
Corey Faust
Susanna Funk
Jill Gorshe
Jesse Howard
Sara Lockner
Teresa Kahler
Nader Parsaei
Becky Perkovich
Bernice Verhoorn
Janice Peterson

Suzie Brannen – Since June 22, 2012
Eric Hiatt – Since August 20, 2012
Kim Barker – Since September 18, 2012
Amy Junck-Wallendal – December 18, 2012
Russell Kennerly – Since May 13, 2013
Tim Tucker (Not the one most of you are thinking about) – Since June 27, 2013
Michelle Haupt – Since July 12, 2013
Tim Tucker’s Woman (Sorry, never caught her name) – Since August 22, 2013
Geri Derner – Since September 30, 2013
Micky Augustin – Since October 10, 2013
Angie DeWaard – Since August 24, 2015
Mike Vest – Since September 9, 2015
Melissa Degeneffe – Since September 14, 2015
DaeHee Yoon – Since September 29, 2015
Monica Kewer – Since October 2, 2015 (Current email)
Carla Stensland – Since October 5, 2015
Joe Lynch – Since October 9, 2015
Jorge Rios – Since October 9, 2015
Anders Runestad – Since October 11, 2015
Elizabeth Nordeen – Since November 2, 2015
Laura Miller – Since November 9, 2015
Michael Houlihan – Since November 16, 2015
Dawn Krause – Since December 21, 2015
Joe Duff – Since December 21, 2015

Thanks for all the support and for making 2015 a successful year, by some sense of the word. I hope our little family here continues to grow. I’ll try and do better in 2016!

The Archives: Edition Twenty-One

These pictures come from: Backup/Old My Pictures/Labels

I once had an idea where I had my friends do a little exercise in self-realization. I asked them to pick a word. One word that they wanted the world to think of when the world saw them. Then I had them write that word on a piece of poster board and then I photographed them.

I was going to follow this up with a project where I had them pick one word that they thought was how the world perceived them.

I sometimes think about bringing this project back. Perhaps if bring back the BIG birthday party next year.

These are pictures from the Labels Project.

Sara - Labels

Jen Ensley - Labels Project

William McAlpine - Labels Project

Bill - Labels Project

Corey - Labels

Derrick Gorshe - Labels Project

Next Week’s Folder will be:

Backup/Old My Pictures/Master Wentworth

Family Night

Last Friday was Family Night for Ames on the Half Shell. By all measurable criteria the event was a smashing success. More than twice the amount of children made it to Family Night this year than last.

Plus I got to see many of my friends and their children. Take a look at some of the fun that was had on that evening.

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Family Night - 06-06-08

Of course there are about 80 more pictures in on my website in the AOTHS Gallery.


Here is a Family Night Fun Fact. Despite the fact that there were 5 times the amount of children at Family Night than there were for the first night of of AOTHS and Red Monkey was free for children, less than half the amount of Red Monkey that was consumed on the first night was consumed on Family Night.

If you picked up what I was laying down with that big run-on sentence, you might be wondering how that was possible. The fact is that I am to blame. I laid off the Red Monkey during Family Night because I thought the youth of Central Iowa would pick up my slack. They did not. Now I have to hit the Red Monkey doubly hard this Friday night to make up for lost time. But I mean really, what is wrong with this generation?

I also learned a few things on Family Night. I learned that Shannon can’t blow bubbles. I learned that if you sign up to run the 5K during Scandinavian Days they give you a pretty sweet free shirt. I learned that Becky proved that she doesn’t know anything about hats because she wore a balloon hat around most of the night. I learned that even if you have somebody watching the bounce house, children will get in a fight and scare other small children. I learned that the Baier children will take their tats like men when the time comes for them to get their tats. I learned that security is such a tough job that I didn’t get a chance to talk to everybody nearly as long as I had hoped.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Ames on the Half Shell will happen again this Friday night. This week the band is Burnin’ Sensations and they are excellent. If you have a hole in your schedule between 5-8, this is the place to be. Also Friday is somebody’s birthday. I don’t wish to embarrass them (yet), but at the very least it is worth the price of admission (79 cents less than a gallon of gas) to wish her a Happy Birthday!*

Plus it is Friday the 13th. I’m not a superstitious person, but it might be a good day to be in a large crowd.

*That exclamation mark is not a random choice of punctuation.

Memorial Day and the Crystal Skull

Memorial Day wasn’t really meant to be a good-time-feel-good holiday. It was established to honor Union Soldiers that died in the Civil War and was first known as Decoration Day.

Regardless of its original intentions, this solemn holiday has become a chance for most Americans to barbecue and enjoy a 3 Day weekend. I’m not different than most Americans. I just wanted to have a good time on Memorial Day.

My day started out good enough. I watched 4 straight hours of Animal Planet with Alexis in the morning. Jay came over and we had tacos and nachos for lunch. Then we headed over to the Cinemark to catch a matinée of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull with Derrick.


Usually I’m not the type of person that gives away spoilers about movies. I want people to see movies on their own, but this is one movie that I don’t feel the need to protect any of its secrets. This movies is a piece of garbage.

I’ve alway been a big fan of the Indiana Jones movies. Sure Temple of Doom blows a little bit, but the other 2 are excellent. Crystal Skull is an insult to all 3 of those movies.

I didn’t understand why so many Star Wars fans were upset with the prequels that came out a few years back. True, they weren’t very good, but the first 3 Star Wars movies stunk as well. What was the big deal? Instead of 3 movies with terrible acting and writing now you had 6 of them. Star Wars fans should have been elated.

I still don’t understand Star Wars fans, (there are certainly much, much better science fiction movies out there, I refer you to the two that Stanley Kubrick made 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange just for starters) but now I can relate to them a bit. I’ve seen a movie franchise that I love torn to shreds before my very eyes.

On Sunday when we were driving down to The House of Bricks Willy told me that Crystal Skull was not very good. I told him that I could handle it if it wasn’t very good, but I would not be able to handle one thing. If they tried to set up a series of sequels starring Even Stevens, I would be angry. I would leave the theater in a rage.

I should have seen the warning signs. Even Willy would be the first to admit that I have much higher standards for movies than he does. The dude loves Van Damme movies!

Despite my bold proclamations, I left the theater angry. In fact, I haven’t been this angry leaving the theater since I sat through the misogynistic propaganda piece masquerading as entertainment known as Sin City. I was madder than when I left the theater after Transformers. Another example of taking something I loved from my childhood and making it suck. Incidentally also starring Even Stevens.

The one good thing I can say about Crystal Skull is that they didn’t end the movie by setting up sequels for Even Stevens. They came close. They made you think that is what they were going to do. At the end of the movie Indy’s hat blows off a hat rack and rolls to a stop at Even Stevens’ feet. As he bends over to pick up the hat, Indy picks it up before him and puts it on his head. Me physically vomiting in the aisles was averted.

I suppose that I don’t have time to write on all the things I hated about this movie, because there are so many of them. I’ll try to keep it to just two.


Are you kidding me? Could Lucas and Spielberg not turn the last Indiana Jones movie into a science fiction movie? I now fully expect that the next Spielberg WWII movie to involve aliens in some way, shape or form.


CGI has already, for the most part, ruined most summer movies. It was as if they had missed the point of the first three movies. They were an homage to old time serial movies and they were done with trick photography and stuntmen. Crystal Skull is an homage to the other 3 movies basically, only with way too much CGI. I should have known it was coming when the first shot of the movie features a CGI prairie dog.

My day was ruined from that point on and I don’t think that there was much that could have happened to turn my day around.


My day did turn around though. I headed out to Roland for Monica’s barbecue. The only low point of the barbecue was having Happy Birthday sang to me for the third time in 8 days. I’m glad I won’t have to hear that again for some time. Although Monica did make me a sweet Jello birthday cake.

I don’t really like getting presents all that much. Unless it is something the person has made, like a sweet painting or piece of stained glass or cake or rhubarb pie or a card.

Teresa sent me this birthday card.

There is the occasional exception. Sara got me this sweet gift:

The camera is 30 years old and still is in its original box. This will look great on my shelf of old cameras.