Category Archives: Willy

Selfie Project – October

On Sunday I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. One thing that always happens when I look back at a month’s worth of pictures I’m always surprised at some of the things that all happened in the same month. That? That happened this month? I thought that was like 2 months ago.

Here are my favorites from October:


Day 274 - October 1, 2021
October 1

Day 275 - October 2, 2021
October 2

Day 276 - October 3, 2021
October 3

Day 277 - October 4, 2021
October 4

Day 278 - October 5, 2021
October 5

Day 280 - October 7, 2021
October 7

Day 281 - October 8, 2021
October 8

Day 282 - October 9, 2021
October 9

Day 285 - October 12, 2021
October 12

Day 287 - October 14, 2021
October 14

Day 289 - October 16, 2021
October 16

Day 290 - October 17, 2021
October 17

Day 291 - October 18, 2021
October 18

Day 293 - October 20, 2021
October 20

Day 295 - October 22, 2021
October 22

Day 296 - October 23, 2021
October 23

Day 297 - October 24, 2021
October 24

Day 298 - October 25, 2021
October 25

Day 301 - October 28, 2021
October 28

Day 303 - October 30, 2021
October 30

Day 304 - October 31, 2021
October 31

There can be only one Selfie per day, but here are some of favorite alternate selfies from October:


Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Hopefully November is a good month too.

WPC – WEEK 320 – HERO

Reminder this is the last day to submit ideas for next year’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme. Leave you suggestions in the comments section of today’s journal entry.

It looks like a few people have people they consider to be a HERO.

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


WEEK 320 - HERO - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 320 - HERO - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 320 - HERO - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 320 - HERO - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 320 - HERO - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 320 - HERO - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 320 - HERO - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 320 - HERO - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 320 - HERO - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 320 - HERO - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

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 321 - BUSINESS
BUSINESS

BUSINESS! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a BUSINESS image? A BUSINESS image is any image that shows any aspect of a BUSINESS. From a storefront. To the employees working at the BUSINESS. To a BUSINESS card. Literally any aspect of a BUSINESS. And it can be any type of BUSINESS. From a mulit-million dollar corporation to somebody selling Pampered Chef out of the trunk of their car.

While thinking on your BUSINESS picture, think on the following quote:

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.
-Andy Warhol

Good luck capturing a great BUSINESS image.

RULES

The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of BUSINESS in this place that that vaguely resembles a business next Monday.

2011-02-13, 2011-02-17, and 2011-02-20

The images in the folders 2011-02-13, 2011-02-17, and 2011-02-20 are mostly from THE NINE EMOTIONS PROJECT. Then there is also a picture I took for Valentine’s Day.

Here are the pictures in the folders 2011-02-13, 2011-02-17, and 2011-02-20:


9 Emotions Project - Shannon

Shannon - Joy

Shannon - Sadness

Shannon - Anger

Shannon - Amusement

Shannon - Fear

Shannon - Jealousy

Shannon - Surprise

Shannon - Sympathy

Shannon - Boredom

9 Emotions Project - Willy McAlpine

Willy - Joy

Willy - Sadness

Willy - Anger

Willy - Amusement

Willy - Fear

Willy - Jealousy

Willy - Surprise

Willy - Sympathy

Willy - Boredom


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

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #55

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #63

The next time we walk down memory lane it will involve Jill.

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!

Pufferbilly Days Race

On the Saturday of Pufferbilly Days I went up to watch Willy and some of his friends run in the 5K and/or 10K. I also took some photos, since it has been a long time since I photographed Willy running. I also saw quite a few other people I knew up there running.

Here are some of the pictures:


Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

I also took some pictures of the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show (spoiler: no cats) that I will share at some point.

Selfie Project – June 2021

On Wednesday night I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. I don’t know that is was a particularly exciting month, but I think there are some good pictures in the collection.

Here are some of my favorites from June:


Day 152 - June 1, 2021
June 1, 2021

Day 153 - June 2, 2021
June 2, 2021

Day 154 - June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021

Day 155 - June 4, 2021
June 4, 2021

Day 156 - June 5, 2021
June 5, 2021

Day 160 -  June 9, 2021
June 9, 2021

Day 161 - June 10, 2021
June 10, 2021

Day 162 - June 11, 2021
June 11, 2021

Day 163 - June 12, 2021
June 12, 2021

Day 165 - June 14, 2021
June 14, 2021

Day 166 - June 15, 2021
June 15, 2021

Day 168 - June 17, 2021
June 17, 2021

Day 169 - June 18, 2021
June 18, 2021

Day 170 - June 19, 2021
June 19, 2021

Day 171 - June 20, 2021
June 20, 2021

Day 172 - June 21, 2021
June 21, 2021

Day 173 - June 22, 2021
June 22, 2021

Day 175 - June 24, 2021
June 24, 2021

Day 177 - June 26, 2021
June 26, 2021

Day 178 - June 27, 2021
June 27, 2021

Day 179 - June 28, 2021
June 28, 2021

Day 180 - June 29, 2021
June 29, 2021

Day 181 - June 30
June 30, 2021

I hope there are some great pictures taken for this project in July.

+++++++

This is your weekly reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ADVENTURE:


WEEK 303 - ADVENTURE
ADVENTURE

ADVENTURE! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

But what is an ADVENTURE image? An ADVENTURE image is simply any image that was taken while on an ADVENTURE or preparing for an ADVENTURE or going on an ADVENTURE. The theme reveal picture could qualify for all 3. The twist to this picture is that YOU have to figure out what you consider to be an ADVENTURE.

DON’T FORGET THAT INDEPENDENCE DAY IS SUNDAY, THEREFORE MANY PEOPLE HAVE MONDAY AS A VACATION. BUT PHOTOGRAPHY 139 DOES NOT TAKE HOLIDAYS. PLAN YOUR SUBMISSION ACCORDINGLY!!

Happy photo harvesting!

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 2

When we left off, I had just won 1st Place in Black and White and 3rd Place in Color at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but had been completely rejected by the Iowa State Fair for the 4th year in a row.

Whatever I was selling, the judges were not buying. I was despondent, but not discouraged because I knew I had entered some great photos, but they were not what the judges were looking for that year.

2011 comes around. I decided to retire from the Boone County Fair Photo Contest and to start a new way of picking pictures for the Pufferbilly Days. I also had what was probably the peak of my photo contest career at the Iowa State Fair. I got all 4 pictures exhibited. This is extremely hard to do. Thousands of people enter the contest every year. Only 5 of us got all 4 pictures exhibited. You can do the math. It is a big deal.

These are the pictures that were exhibited:


2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - I Recommend Pleasant

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
2nd Place Class 25

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Must Be Truth

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Drenched in Loneliness
Honorable Mention Class 13

For the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest it was the second year of letting other people select my entrants. Dawn, Derrick, Jen, Scott, Russell, and Rebecca chose my entries. Dawn’s choice got 2nd Place in Black and White:


2011 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Radiant Beams
2nd Place – Black and White

I was pretty excited for 2012. I thought I had cracked the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Code, but there is no code. Some years the judge like you. Some years they don’t. In 2012, they like one of my pictures:


2012 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Truth Perception

That year, I decided to retire from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Then shortly after that, I decided to retire from Photo Contests altogether.

But in 2017, the itch came back. I decided to put on a Washington Wizards Jersey and come out of retirement. Hard. I decided to enter all 3 contests again. I got all Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

I got one picture selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:


2017 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Little Apple

I had the following people select my entries for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest: Jim Robbins (yeah that is a long story), Micky, Michelle, Amber, Laura, and Dawn. However, none of the pictures earned a ribbon.

In 2018, my Boone County Fair entries were determined by popular vote:


2018 Boone County Fair
Red

2018 Boone County Fair
Purple

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

I had two pictures selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:


2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Peep

2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Christmas Eve Morn

My Pufferbilly Days entries were also selected by popular vote that year:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - INRI
1st Place Photoshop

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Freedom Flight
1st Place Photojournalism

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Abandoned (Mill Creek)
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County

2019 would also be a successful year. I moved to having individuals select my Boone County Fair entrants. Shannon, Michelle, and Logan selected my entries.


2019 Boone County Fair
Purple

2019 Boone County Fair
Blue

2019 Boone County Fair
Red

2019 Boone County Fair
Blue

2019 Boone County Fair
Purple

I had one picture selected for exhibition at the Iowa State Fair and it earned a ribbon:


2019 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - Green Little Vaulter
Honorable Mention Class 18

My Pufferbilly Day entries were once again selected by popular vote:


2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Hocks
1st Place Nature

2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Drops
1st Place Photoshop

In 2020 the pandemic hit and all photo contests were cancelled. Which was sad and I think it was avoidable because in a digital age, I think they could have found a way. For example the Iowa State Fair still held its Fine Arts competition.

Which brings us to 2021. I’m currently working on my next embarrassing failure at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. However, I am not going to enter the Boone County Fair this year. There is a reason for this decision. A very good reason. However, I’m not going to share the reason until it becomes official or it falls through. Things seem to fall through quite often these days. No decision has been made on Pufferbilly Days yet, but Pufferbilly Days has been moved to early August this year. I’m not crazy about the decision, but I’ll give it a chance.

If you want to peruse all 153 Photo Contest entrants in this long weird journey, click on the link below:

Photo Contests

You can see them all from the out of focus to the award winners. The good, the bad, and the moldy jam equivalent.

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 1

Recently I’ve been working on an organizational project as I prepare to get rid of a bunch of things in Boone’s annual Citywide Cleanup in a couple of weeks. Part of this has been organizing every (almost) picture that I have entered in a photo contest, both physically in a trunk and digitally in my website photo gallery.


Photo Contest Entries
150 or so Photo Entries

Almost every photo I’ve ever entered in in that trunk. Except for a few that I gave away. I thought I would share some of the highs and lows of my photo contest career. To start with, I have only entered 4 photo contests ever:

+ Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
+ Boone County Fair
+ Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest
+ Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest (this contest only existed one year – 2005)

I’ve entered 153 pictures in these 4 photo contests.

I’ve entered pictures of the following people in these photo contests:

+ Olivia
+ Jay
+ Willy
+ Humble Narrator
+ Derrick
+ Rebecca
+ Shannon
+ Alexis
+ Wedding Couple I don’t remember
+ Jill
+ Saydie
+ Kayelee
+ Jesse
+ Shorty
+ Mike Toot
+ Freedom Flight Participants

Plus I have entered pictures of both Karma and Naima.

My very first photo contest was the 2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was before they had standardized that pictures had to be matted on 11×14 foamboard. It was long enough ago that one of the pictures I entered was printed from a slide. I entered it because it was somewhat of a legacy contest. My Dad won a category in 1984.

At the time I didn’t realize what a tough contest it was and how hard it was to get even a single picture in. It was dumb luck (which in many ways all photo contests are luck because who knows what the judge likes) that I got one picture accepted for exhibition:


2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Odanata the Snake Doctor
Odanata the Snake Doctor

In some ways, this is maybe the most important photo contest entry I ever made. It is possible that 2002 me would have been so distraught that I might not have even entered another photo contest, ever.

This is the picture I entered that was printed from a slide:


2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Quietus
Quietus

I still kinda dig this picture. My other 2 entries weren’t even really in focus.

Then I didn’t enter another contest until the 2004 Boone County Fair, where this picture of Karma got a blue ribbon:


2004 Boone County Fair - Karma
Happy Karma

I did enter the Iowa State Fair, but didn’t get any pictures exhibited. But in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, I got two Honorable Mentions in the Black and White Division:


2004 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Light Train by J.C. Janson
Light Train by J.C. Janson

2004 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Shapes
Shapes

Then 2005 came and I “cleaned up” at the Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest:


2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Earth's Laughter
Honorable Mention Color (This picture is now the favicon for this website)

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Giotto's Bull
3rd Place Black and White

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Chestnut Street
2nd Place Color

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Happy Karma
Best in Show and 1st Place Black and White

But my triumph was very short lived. Immediately afterwards, I had my biggest failures ever. I entered two pictures in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest and got no ribbons. This is hard to do. EVERYTHING at the Boone County Fair gets a ribbon. Well everything except me and a jar of moldy jam. My photography was the culinary equivalent of moldy jam.


2005 Boone County Fair Photography Contest - Black, White, and Marigold
The equivalent of moldy jam.

2005 Boone County Fair Photography Contest - Eye of the Beast
The equivalent of moldy jam.

I did rebound to get one picture in at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon and that picture did get an Honorable Mention:


2005 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Colgate Smile
Honorable Mention

But that was bittersweet. It was my first ribbon at the Iowa State Fair, but it was a picture that I had already won a photo contest with, so that was the seeds of my rule of never entering a picture in more than one photo contest.

Also, this picture is still one of my all-time favorites and it has never gotten any love from a photo contest:


2005 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - My Giverny
My Giverny

I get why, but I don’t like it.

Then in 2006, I tried my luck at the Boone County Fair and this time, I got 2 Blue Ribbons, take that moldy jam!


2006 Boone County Fair - Internal Struggle
Blue Ribbon

2006 Boone County Fair - Scene from a Ditch
Blue Ribbon

I would also get 2 pictures exhibited at the Iowa State Fair:


2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Kentucky Appetizer
Kentucky Appetizer

2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Portrait of Self Portrait
Portrait of Self-Portrait

I would also have a good run at Pufferbilly Days:


2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Building 429
3rd Place Black and White

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Grizzly McAlpine
1st Place Black and White

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Outburst of the Soul
Honorable Mention Color

2007 wasn’t a great year for me and Photo Contests. I got shutout at the Iowa State Fair. I didn’t enter the Boone County Fair. I did enter Pufferbilly Days and believe a picture of a train wheel got a ribbon, but I’m struggling to find the documentation for that


2007 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Wheel

2008 also wasn’t a great year. I did get a couple blue ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2008 Boone County Fair Photo Contest

2008 Boone County Fair Photo Contest

But once again I got shut out at the Iowa State Fair. But I did rebound to get a ribbon at Pufferbilly Days:


2008 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - The Last Refuge
3rd Place Black and White

2009 was also not a stellar year. I did get 2 ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2009 Boone County Fair Photo Contest
Blue Ribbon

2009 Boone County Fair Photo Contest
Purple Ribbon

But got no other love at any other photo contest.

2010, I once again got two Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2010 Boone County Fair -The Best Place to Seek God
Blue Ribbon

2010 Boone County Fair - The Girl in the Blue Skirt Alternate
Blue Ribbon

But once again, I was shut out at the Iowa State Fair. If you are counting, that is four straight years. The Iowa State Fair really hated me.

However, Pufferbilly Days started to show some love:


2010 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Open Mic Night
3rd Place Color

2010 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Black and White
1st Place Black and White

Then 2011 happened. But we’ll get into that story in the conclusion of My (Sad) Photo Contest History.

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

It is time once again for the greatest sporting event of year. It is that time known as March Madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Once again, I will be sponsoring a pool. There is not cost to enter the pool, except for pride.

The winner gets a trophy. The dead last place person gets a trophy known as The Sara*.

By winning, you get your name etched on the list of immortals:

PAST ROUNDBALL ORACLE CHAMPIONS

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

But I said that there are 2 trophies. The 2nd trophy, The Sara, goes to the adult that finishes dead last, while trying. A person can not tank on purpose and win The Sara. The reason The Sara winner has to be an adult is that I don’t want to mock children, to their face. Probably a better rule would be that to “win” The Sara, you have to be at least a teenager. I have no problem mocking teenagers to their face. I do it pretty much every Wednesday night at Youth Group.

Past “The Sara” Winners:

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

The Sara doesn’t have the long storied history of the championship trophy, but it will get there. I have no doubts.

Last year, the tournament was cancelled. This year, we will hopefully have a tournament as the world starts to look like it will “normalize” sometime this year. Here’s hoping anyways.

If you are a basketball fan, or are just interested in having fun, click on the link below to join my pool:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

The rules are as follows:
Round 1 = 1 point + seed
Round 2 = 2 points + seed
Round 3 = 4 points + seed
Round 4 = 8 points + seed
Round 5 = 16 points + seed
Rounds 6 = 32 points + seed

The Play-in Games (AKA the First Four) don’t matter. You can wait for those games to complete before filling out your bracket. The deadline to fill out your bracket, is tip-off of the first game on Friday. Roughly 11 AM. Yes, there are no Thursday games this year.

Under special circumstances, I will allow you to turn in a paper bracket to me. So, don’t be afraid to ask.

Yes, your child can fill out a bracket. Your dog, no.

There were 42 competitors in 2019. Now, I doubt there will be as much excitement for the tournament this year, with no Iowa State. But Drake is sorta in the Tournament, so that is exciting!

*You have to be 18 years of age to win “The Sara”.

Wright County Auxiliary Images

Buckle up, this one could be a long post.

I need to start by wishing Dawn a happy birthday. Happy birthday Dawn!


9 Emotions Project - Dawn Krause

Photo of the Day 0089 - July 30, 2014

Bonne Finken

Josh Davis Band

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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I also need to wish a happy birthday to Baier. Happy birthday Baier!


Baier Tenderloin Road Trip

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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It is beyond time I share the photos from my trip around Wright County with my Mom and Teresa harvesting the town signs of… well Wright County. Although some of these pictures are also taken in Humboldt County, Hardin County, Franklin County, and Story County. But I want to start with a little history lesson about Woolstock. The birthplace of George Reeves.

For those of you don’t know, George Reeves was the first television Superman. He also appeared in GONE WITH THE WIND. But after playing Superman he was typecast and had difficulty getting other roles. He died tragically and mysteriously. It was ultimately ruled a suicide, but there are many that think he was murdered. His death was the focus of the 2006 movie HOLLYWOODLAND. He was portrayed by Ben Affleck.

Here is a little bit on George Reeves and Woolstock from the Superman Supersite:

On January 5th, 1914, George Keefer Brewer was born to Helen Lescher Brewer and Don Brewer of Woolstock. At the time of his birth his parents had been renting 2 front rooms in the home of the Fischers. So and so was the midwife that delivered little George in the Fischer home on that cold January day. Marie Claude was his babysitter (Her experiences with George will be coming soon).

Helen Lescher, George’s mother, came from Galesburg, Illinois, which is also where she met George’s father, Don Brewer, while he was at Pharmacy school. She was a child from a wealthy and prominent Galesburg family. Her move to Woolstock was made after she had become pregnant with George and came around the time of her marriage to Don Brewer in August of 1913. She disliked Woolstock because of its small town setting and her desire for more attention and fancy flare that she could not receive in it.

After the birth of George, Don soon acquired a small bungalow home on present day Cecilia Street. Their move there did not tame the flames already drawn by Helen, and Helen became disappointed that Don didn’t want to achieve more then what he already had with his pharmacist job in a small rural community. After a year or so, she would request separation and a divorce. There is talk that Helen ended up staying at the Woolstock Hotel on the west corner of Main Street (now it would have been located on the corner of Herman, Nellie, and Alice Streets across from the grain silos/elevator) during the separation. After the divorce, Helen eventually moved with George to Pasadena, California, near her sister, where she would meet her 2nd husband, Frank Bessalo. Frank eventually adopted George, and Helen made up fake documents about George’s past and told him that his real father committed suicide. Later George would meet his father unexpectedly during a show that George acted and toured with during the 1940s, after the success of Gone with the Wind (George played Stuart Tarleton). George was surprised that his father was alive, and was angry at Helen. He would never meet with his father after that because he thought too much time had gone by.

Don Brewer, himself, was born and grew up around the area of Woolstock in near by Webster City. He continued with business at the Reed and Brewer Drug Store, but would eventually move to Mason City, Iowa.

Well, his mom was a real piece of work.

Here are the pictures from the road trip:


Wright County
Woolstock, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Humboldt County
Thor, Iowa – I wonder is this sign works. Cause I have all sorts of doubts.

Wright County
Goldfield, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County
Clarion, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County
Belmond, Iowa

Franklin County
Alexander, Iowa

Wright County
Dows, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County
“Abundent”?

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County
Outhouse!

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Hardin County
Alden, Iowa

Hardin County

Hardin County
Buckeye, Iowa

Hardin County

Bald Eagle
North of Zearing, Iowa a few miles. Bald Eagles, the turtles of the sky.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

I believe Jasper County is next up for the sharing of auxiliary images.