Category Archives: FNSC

New Orleans Food Adventure – Day 2

Last week I skipped some stuff cause I was short on time, but I wanted to make sure I definitely included a Bokeh Picture of the Week this week:


Bokeh Picture of the Week

Just making herself home at FNSC!

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Now to start Day 2 of my food adventures in New Orleans. I didn’t eat anything for breakfast. Tony and I went to an Italian place across the street from the Convention Center for lunch. Then I went out to eat with Kim, Gina, and Michelle for supper. Then Gina, Michelle, and I ended up at Cafe du Monde for beignets.

Here are the pictures:


New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
It was pretty good pizza!

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
Cost: $26.36

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
Kim packed some pretty good snacks this year.

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
I went with the Catfish Napoleon for supper.

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
Brussel sprouts!

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
It was an okay meal.

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
And it cost me nothing. So there is that.

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
I also freeloaded here.

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
An okay chocolate milk.

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2
So much powdered sugar!

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

New Orleans Food Adventure - Day 2

All in all, it was another pretty good day of eating!

Last week I didn’t report on my quest to live healthier. The last two weeks have went okay, but I’ve been really bad a tracking things, so it is sufficient to say for now, things are still trending well. I just need to get back at tracking and I need to get back to walking more!

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

The stop on the Catholic Fish Fry Tour that I was most looking forward to was the Catholic Church in Granger. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Catholic Church. I was looking forward to it, not because of its reputation. I literally know nothing about this fish fry or the Catholic Church in Granger. I expected it be similar or smaller than the one in Boone because Granger is a tiny town.

The reason I was looking forward to it is because they put up giant signs along Highway 141 and for years those signs have called to me. Like a fish fry siren song.

During the pandemic we even sent Jesse’s son-in-law Jeremy to grab us some food from there, but we actually didn’t know the signs were for a church in Granger. We thought they were for a church in Polk City. That is how little we know about the Catholic scene in central Iowa. Turns out, there isn’t even a Catholic Church in Polk City and the he brought us back fish from a local VFW or American Legion. It was good fish, but it wasn’t the fish from the signs. Not the fish from the siren song calling my name.

When I actually did some research, I figured out that the church was in Granger. But once again, there wasn’t really much information on it. Their Facebook page talked a big game, but there wasn’t really any useful information on it, other than where it was and what time it was held. Turns out, it is a pretty big deal.

Here are some pictures:


Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work
Jay brought his own drink.

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work
Picture for a photo project I abandoned.

Assumption’s Fish Fry was outstanding! I would definitely go back again. I will say the baked fish was pretty awful, but everything else was fantastic. Probably the second best dessert I had while on the Fish Fry Circuit. The best dessert? Well that is yet to come.

I was definitely impressed with their operation. They really had everything down. Even offering a pizza option for children and Jay. The potato was good. The cole slaw was good. The fried fish was good. Bonus points for playing the Big 12 Tournament. It was like a Fish Fry Sports Bar, which is my kind of sports bar!

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve a burger in Kansas City.

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

This week my weight went down 2.8 pounds. I am now down 32.3 pounds since starting Noom. I have now reached my May 1 goal weight. WooHoo! 22.3 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight*. My new “short term” weight goal is to be down another 10 pounds by the time I have my CPAP follow-up doctor’s appointment. Which is May 30th. Might not seem super ambitious, but I’ll be gone in New Orleans for 7 days and I have no clue what will go down there. I might come back up 10 pounds. You never know. I’m hedging my bets though.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. This will sound vain, but this week I really got a ton of comments on how much weight I’ve lost from people who see me on the weekly. About how I’ve really dropped a bunch more weight in just the last couple of weeks. I really haven’t, but maybe it is just being redistributed differently. I don’t know. But better than the alternative.

Since I started using Fitbit on February 20, 2024 I’ve:

+ Taken 784,872 steps
+ Averaged 14,935 steps a day for the last 7 days
+ Walked 365.41 miles
+ Walked an average of 6.09 miles a day

That is all to report for now.

*Ultimate goal weight subject to change.

Fisher of Men: Rural Story County Field Work

A few weeks back FNSC made another stop on the Catholic Fish Fry Circuit. This time we went north of Ames on County Line Road and hit up the culinary offerings of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. A church that I have often wondered what it looked like on the inside. This particular Friday Night Supper Club was attended by your Humble Narrator, Jesse, Jay, and Nader.

Here are some pictures:



First things first. This was by far the best value of any of the Catholic fish fries we hit. Mainly because the dessert was included in the price of admission. All of the other ones had an at-will donation for the desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem throwing in a few bucks for a brownie or a piece of pie or cake. But they didn’t want my few extra bucks.

Here is the other thing to note. The real show stopper here wasn’t the fish, which was very good. It wasn’t the baked potato. Or the cole slaw. Or the green beans. It was the corn. This corn clearly didn’t come out of a can or a frozen steamer bag. This corn came from somebody’s farm. AND… IT… WAS… AMAZING!!!! I immediately was longing for a day in the not too distant future where I would be able to stop and buy some Grimes Sweet Corn from the back of a pickup truck in some random gas station. Despite its flaws that are growing by the day, there are parts that are great about living in Iowa. And buying sweet corn out of the back of a pickup truck is one of those great things. Then eating that sweet corn is even better. When I was eating the corn at this fish fry, dang it, if I wasn’t proud of this state again.

I would definitely add Saints Peter and Paul’s Fish Fry to my list of fish fries that I will hit again next year. There are still more fish fries left to share. Wish it was 3. Stupid Friday wasted at On the Waterfront in Ankeny. You don’t understand. We coulda had class. We coulda been contenders. We coulda been somebody, instead of bums. Which is what we are. Next year, there will be no wasted night in Ankeny. This I swear on the graves of many a fried fish. That I have eaten.

The next food adventure I will share will be another stop on the Central Iowa Catholic Fish Fry Tour. Next year we need to get shirts!

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

This week my weight went down -3.0 pounds. I am now down 29.5 pounds since starting Noom. I am .1 pounds away from reaching my May 1 goal weight. 25.1 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight*. It is nice to officially be on the side where I’ve lost more weight than I need to lose. That is an accomplishment of some kind.

I’m actually surprised that my weight went down this week. On my eclipse road trip I didn’t eat well and spent a ton of times just sitting in cars. Shoutout to whomever brought the peanut butter bars to the Eclipse Party. I crushed an unhealthy amount of those. Pete’s chili was also delicious! I also ate fast food. Had fried food 3 times. Crushed a carrot cake from an Indiana bakery. A raspberry something or other from “the bakery” in Pella. Ate some candy from a candy store in Chariton. Skipped a day at the gym because it closed due to a bomb threat. But I still kept moving as much as I could.

Seems like I should hit my May 1 goal this week. It is ONLY .1 pounds away! But I won’t be surprised if I don’t. Might be a rebound week or a plateau week. Only 1 thing to do, just keep moving.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. I think one of those is I think I’m officially down 1 shirt size. Depending on what company makes the shirt. That is something that is hard for me to judge, cause I don’t really like my clothes touching me too much. But some of my shirts are starting to be too big, even based on my very loose standards for very big. See what I did there?

In the 56 days since I started using FitBit I’ve:

+ Taken 380,541 steps
+ Averaged 12.158 steps a day
+ Walked 316.95 miles
+ Averaged walking 5.66 miles a day

Sometimes I think about going into the Computer Mine an extra day a week, cause it easier for me to get my steps in there, but the if you follow you me on SnapChat you know the main stumbling back against this is Canadian. CANADIANS! But maybe that part of the job is coming to an end. One never knows.

That is all to report for now.

*Ultimate goal weight subject to change.

Fisher of Men: North Ames Field Work

Happy Easter! Christ is risen!


Wapello County - Ottumwa
CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!

Here is an Easter devotional and a bit on the history of a popular Easter hymn. At least in the Methodist church.

Risen today! A Wesley hymn devotion for Easter

Many churches of all denominations begin worship on Easter Sunday by singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” Charles Wesley’s lyrics wonderfully celebrate how Jesus’ resurrection is God’s victory over death, and call us to tell the world.

A little history
Charles and John Wesley, two of the historic founders of The United Methodist Church, published the beloved hymn in their first hymnal, Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739. A section toward the back of the hymnal includes songs for special days where “Hymn for Christmas-Day,” which we know as “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” is just a few pages away from “Hymn for Easter-Day” that we sing as “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.”

For those who know our United Methodist Hymnal well, reading the words Wesley penned can feel incomplete. The alleluias we are used to singing at the end of each line aren’t there. A later editor added them to make the lyrics fit the tune and to give added opportunities for praise.

Entering the story
Wesley writes about the Resurrection in the present tense, inviting us into the biblical narrative. As we sing, we easily picture ourselves standing among the witnesses of the empty tomb on that first Easter morning.

“Christ the Lord is ris’n to day,”
Sons of men and angels say,
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Sing ye heav’ns, and earth reply.

Participating in this moment, we are also aware of the magnitude of the Resurrection. In this opening verse, Wesley introduces a theme that runs through the hymn. The Resurrection is celebrated both on earth and in heaven.

Our United Methodist Hymnal includes an edit to the second line. “Earth and heaven in chorus say” replaces “Sons of men and angels say.” According to United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, this change updates Wesley’s language to be gender inclusive and emphasizes the Resurrection’s impact throughout the world and beyond.

“The entire universe sings the triumphant chorus,” writes United Methodist scholar the Rev. Paul Chilcote in The Song Forever New: Lent and Easter with Charles Wesley, “with earth and heaven shouting their praise back and forth in ecstatic joy.”

Life in the midst of death
Earth and heaven sing because in the Resurrection we know death is not the final word. Wesley writes,

Love’s redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight, the battle won…

Lives again our glorious King,
Where, O death, is now thy sting?

In a podcast interview for UMC.org’s Get Your Spirit in Shape, Chilcote says, “Death seems to be a final word in the life of every human being. Seems to be, I say, a final word, because it isn’t,” he continues. “The final word is life, not death. The final word is resurrection. The final word is eternal life with God who loves us.”

Wesley calls us to live into eternal life every day,

Soar we now, where Christ has led?
Following our exalted head,
Made like him, like him we rise,
Ours the cross—the grave—the skies!

In a later verse, not published in our United Methodist Hymnal, he reiterates our call to follow Christ more closely each day:

Ris’n with him, we upward move,
Still we seek the things above,
Still pursue, and kiss the Son
Seated on his Father’s throne;

Life still to come
In the final three of Wesley’s 11 verses, the hymn’s focus shifts to our hope of a day of resurrection yet to come. Wesley returns to the theme of earth and heaven singing praise on that day:

Hail the Lord of earth and heav’n!
Praise to thee by both be giv’n:
Thee we greet triumphant now;
Hail the resurrection thou!

Jesus is the resurrection who brings new life to all of creation, and will bring it to completion.

We receive new life in Christ by God’s grace and are to share God’s love with the world. We do this by joining the song with our voices and lives.

King of Glory, soul of bliss,
Everlasting life is this,
Thee to know, thy pow’r to prove,
Thus to sing, and thus to love!

Living Easter every day
“We experience so many little deaths, don’t we, in our lives?” Chilcote asks in the podcast interview. Some are literal deaths like the loss of a loved one, but we also experience other griefs. Relationships end. Jobs are lost. “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” proclaims that Jesus has conquered all those deaths.

“The central message of our faith,” Chilcote concludes, “is the Cross and the Resurrection. Its earliest proclamation of a God who is in the business of raising us from the dead. Oh, if that isn’t good news, I don’t know what good news is.”

When we gather for worship on Easter Sunday and sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, God’s good news that life conquers death. As his disciples in the world today, we must raise our joys and triumphs high to invite others to join us in this new way of living.

I hope all of you had an amazing Easter!

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After the horrific experience at The Waterfront, the next Friday FNSC got back to our roots. The Catholic Fish Fry Circuit. Although that probably technically isn’t our roots. The first ever Friday Night Supper Club was at Tic Toc. But a good old fashioned Fish Fry is more in our wheelhouse.

On this Friday Jay, Willy, and I checked out the Fish Fry at Saint Cecilia’s in Ames. Here are some pictures:


Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Fish Fry - Saint Cecilia

Saint Cecilia is in a relatively new building. Therefore it had a disappointingly low amount of creepy Catholic art. The fish they served was baked parmesan encrusted tilapia. Definitely healthier than a fried fish. Pretty darn delicious too!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to tell them not to put bland, boring, worthless mac and cheese on my plate. So that part of my plate went to waste where I could have gotten more green beans. Yet I endured. They did this weird thing where they cut one end off the baked potato. I’m not sure why they did this, but my guess is that it made it easier to put them in the pan and could more in the pan. I’m not complaining, it was just weird. The green beans were green beans. They got the job done. It also came with a solid cole slaw.

There was a wide assortment of desserts available for donation. The chocolate pie I got was phenomenal! Definitely worth the few bucks I threw in the offering basket.

I would definitely go back to this fish fry again in the future. Lent and Catholic Fish Fry season is over, BUT there are still 3 more fish fries I have left to share.

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

You may recall I put a couple pounds on last week. Was pretty sedentary and I didn’t eat the best. This week was a better week. Particularly on the movement front. I probably made a few poor nutritional choices out of necessity, but overall it was a good week.

This week my weight went down -4.5 pounds. I am now down 24.7 pounds since starting Noom. I am 4.9 pounds away from reaching my May 1 goal weight. 29.9 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight*.

Weight obviously fluctuates quite a bit based on a ton of factors. From what you ate the day before to when you ate your last meal to when you went to bed the night before to when you last went to the bathroom to when you weigh yourself. I try not to get too high if the scale ticks down or too low if the scale ticks up. The important thing is that the general trend is going in the right direction.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. My endurance and stamina do seem to be improving. I did two hikes yesterday that involved going up some pretty sleep inclines. I only wanted to die for small portions of them. Instead of the entire time.

That is all to report for now.

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve ice cream!

On the Waterfront: Ankeny Field Work

Those of you that are observant AND have a Photography 139 email subscription, may have noticed that the emails that have come out have been a bit off this week. MailPoet (the client I use to send out those emails) had an update and that has jacked everything up. I think I have it fixed and the emails should look correct again, but I might do some more dinking around with it. It was probably past time I messed with it anyways.

A few Fridays back Jesse, Jay, and I suspended our Catholic Fish Fry Tour and paid a visit to The Waterfront in Ankeny. It was one of those Fridays that I thought I was going to have to cancel because I get stuck on Fridays late at the Computer Mine rather frequently these days. Which is a great joy, because I LOVE having to cancel plans with friends to work late. This also happens on Tuesdays. Which means I no longer make it to Bible Study or to movies with Nader. If you have noticed my increased negativity towards Canadians on the Snapchat lately, this is why.

I was able to go and didn’t have to cancel on this Friday. But when I did think I was going to have to cancel, I decided I was just going to watch ON THE WATERFRONT instead. Thankfully Marlon Brando will have to wait.

I’ve never really ripped a restaurant or food truck or concession stand or pancake feed in one of these reviews… that streak will end here.

Here are some pictures from the experience:


On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront
Calamari

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront
Rice Pilaf

On the Waterfront
Blackened Mahi Mahi

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

I’m just going to cut to the chase. This was an extremely disappointing experience. The only thing that I truly enjoyed was the calamari. It was fantastic. I can’t hate on the baked potato. But I mean, if a restaurant can’t bake a potato, what are we even doing here? The rice pilaf was incredibly bland. Maybe I’m expecting too much from rice pilaf, but it didn’t deliver. But the greatest disappointments was the mahi mahi. It was incredibly soggy. SOGGY!

I won’t say that my expectations were heightened because we were at a fancypants (by my standards) restaurant. I don’t like fancypants (by my standards) restaurants. Give me a greasy spoon. A local tavern. A 50 year old diner. This is where I live. After all, most of my food adventures (used to be anyways) revolve around the pork tenderloin. The least uppity and least elitist sandwich to ever grace God’s green earth.

Although I’m definitely not an elitist, I also do not stick my nose up at fancypants restaurants. I’ll give them a fair shake. However, if I’m paying $27.95 for some fish, it better not be soggy and it better have some flavor.

I wasn’t the only one to leave disappointed as they didn’t have the crab that Jay came for so he settled for some kind of shrimp pasta.

My exact words when we left were “I wish we would have went to Long John Silver’s.”

And that isn’t a slight on Long John Silver’s. I love me some Long John Silver’s. I miss the one in Ames.

I won’t bother telling you where to find The Waterfront. It is in Ankeny. You want to overpay for bland food, you can find it on your own.

Enough of that noise.

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

Well, there is no way around it. I had a rough week. I definitely didn’t eat well. I had a lot going on and probably didn’t exercise enough. I spent a lot of time in cars. I spent a lot of time in the Union Street Theater watching movies and basketball. I’ll repeat, I didn’t eat well. But this journey will never be a straight line.

This week my weight went up. +1.9 pounds. I am now down 20.2 pounds since starting Noom.

But I try not to get too high when I lose 5 pounds like 2 weeks ago or too low when I put on a couple pounds like this week.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. This week my stamina and speed was definitely up in my HIIT workouts. So not all bad this week.

That is all to report for now.

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve another stop on the Fish Fry Circuit.

Fisher of Men: Boone Field Work

Today is Andy’s birthday so I have to wish him a happy birthday!


Day 194 - July 13, 2022
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY!

I hope your day is filled with 17 hour old tenderloins!

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It is Lent! During Lent I like to hit a Fish Fry here and there. Which gives me the added benefit of hitting some Catholic churches and checking out what is usually some pretty creepy Catholic art!

On the first Friday of Lent Jay, Jesse, and I hit Sacred Heart in Boone to check out their fish and their creepy art:


Sacred Heart Fish Fry
Every single one of these dudes looks like a serial killer. Especially the guy in the upper left.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
Is this a serious question? Is Geraldine a super outlandish horse name? Also, nice use of the term “Indians”. Racism isn’t dead.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
If this kid didn’t die when he was 15 he would have put up H.H. Holmes type numbers.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
I kind of like this one. Like the world’s largest shrinky dink.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
No pictures of them standing on the corner of Story & US-30 shaking down people for donations.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
Fish, baked potato, cole slaw, green beans, and a roll. They also offered mac & cheese, but I was able to cut them off before they put that pile of bland on my plate.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
Gave a kid a $5 donation for this brownie. It was worth it.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry
We closed that Fish Fry down. Which is cooler than closing down the bar in my book.

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

Sacred Heart Fish Fry

The verdict? It was a darn good fish fry. I would definitely hit it on the regular if I wasn’t trying to hit all different fish fries this Lent.

Here is the update on my efforting to live a healthier lifestyle. I guess the big development is that I have joined a gym. I joined Planet Fitness in Ames. Although with my membership I can go to any Planet Fitness in the world. I am a little leery of joining a gym in a different town, but I don’t really like either gym in Boone and my tentative gym plan isn’t super ambitious. I mostly want to hit it twice a week. Once after working in Ames and then once again on weekends. I mostly plan to use it to do some HIIT workouts. Maybe some weightlifting. It seems like a good fit cause Brandon goes there and I think I got a deal by being referred by Elizabeth. Or she got a deal. Somebody got a deal and that is all that matters. Now I’m thirsty for some Deal’s Orchard apple cider! Adding the fitness watch and the gym membership are really the 2 big changes. I don’t know of any else that I’m planning to add in the future. Okay, I’m considering buying a smart scale. But we will see.

I have taken to posting some highlights from my daily walks on Snapchat. I really only send those to my Top 8 Snapchat Friends. That is currently Elizabeth, Fran, Brandon, Logan, Sabas, Alexis, Nathanial, and Micky. I have substantial Streaks with 7 of them. I mean maybe they don’t want to get them, but that is the burden of being one of my Top 8 Snapchat friends.

But if you are feeling left out and want to get Snaps from the thrilling world of me walking, let me know and I can send them to you as well. Maybe someday you will be able to squeeze into my Top 8 friends as dictated by the Snapchat algorithm.

I don’t have really any interesting statistics from Noom this week. I was going to try to dig up the statistic on how eating eggs for breakfast increases weight loss, but that was a couple weeks back and suddenly seems like a lot of work. So just take my word for it. Eating eggs for breakfast helps with increased weight loss because they can boost metabolic activity and increase satiety.

This week’s Noom lessons were mostly about how exercise doesn’t really help you lose weight. Mostly cause people overestimate how many calories exercise burns and then justify overeating because they think they burned more calories than they did. While exercise might not help you lose weight, it does help you maintain weight and exercise definitely makes you healthier. And your ultimate goal shouldn’t be to lose weight, exactly. It should be to be healthier and exercise is a big part of the healthier lifestyle.

That being said, I did lose some weight this week. I am down another 2.3 pounds. 14.7 pounds since I started Noom about 5 weeks ago. 51 pounds since January 1 of 2023.

But weight isn’t the only way to measure improvement. It is just the easiest way to measure cause you can stand on a scale every morning. So a couple less directly measurable results are that I’ve been going through my closet to downsize my extensive clothing collection. I definitely fit into some shirts better that I haven’t worn in a long time. While I am a well documented fashionista and twice recognized as the best dressed man at the Computer Mine (in my head at least) the one result that I have found most meaningful to me is my photo backpack. When I first purchased it the bottom strap, the strap that goes around my waist, it would buckle, but it definitely didn’t like it. I didn’t like it. People that saw me probably didn’t like it. It definitely dug into my sides. Now I can cinch it up. Maybe not a lot. Maybe an inch. Maybe two. Maybe just several millimeters. But it is definitely an improvement.

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve a local barbecue joint. I swear it this time!

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: New Hampton Field Work

Happy Christmas Eve everybody!


Christmas Eve Service - 2022

Christmas Eve Worship Service is my favorite worship service of the year.

I hope you had/have a magical Christmas Eve.

+++++++

A couple of months ago Jesse and I hit the Tenderloin Trail 2.0 for Friday Night Supper Club. We drove all the way to New Hampton to try the tenderloin at The Pub at the Pinicon. The winner for the Best Tenderloin in Iowa in 2019.

I have to say that the experience was two-fold. On one hand, the food was amazing. Loved every bit of it. On the other hand, the service was atrocious. This is not an exaggeration. We waited over 30 minutes from the time we were seated before somebody came to even take our drink order. If it would have been a restaurant in Ames or Boone or Des Moines, we would have left. But we had driven 2 hours and 30 minutes ( 2 hours of this Jesse screaming at somebody from DirectTV on the phone) for this tenderloin, so we sat and waited and waited and waited and waited. We watched 4 different servers walk by us and not even look our way. Finally a 5th server entered the room and actually spoke to us.

On the third hand, we got the pleasure of the guy sitting in the booth across from us ask their server to pee in pop so he could have…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

A Dr. Peeper!!!

Comic gold!

I expect that guy to have his own Netflix special sometime in 2024.

Here are the pictures of what was a fantastic meal… once it arrived:


Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon
Some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had.

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon
That is a lot of freaking onion rings for 2 dudes, that also ordered cheese curds

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

Tenderloin Trail 2.0: The Pub at the Pinicon

The tenderloin was excellent. The onion rings were amongst the best I’ve ever had. Despite the fact that the service was awful, I would gladly eat there again. I think the service on this night was an outlier.

The Pub at the Pinicon is located here:

2205 S Linn Ave
New Hampton, Iowa

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve pizza!

Bottled Bliss

Maybe you haven’t heard, but there is a new bar in Boone called Bottled Bliss. It is a wine and crafter beer bar. It was started by a friend of mine (really Nate’s friend, but I’ve borrowed her as my friend) named Kelli.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why I’m writing about a bar when I don’t drink. “Sure… sure…” you are thinking, “I’ll listen to you when you endorse a company like Honey Hollow cause you look like somebody that has eaten your fair share of honey in your day. Probably more than your fair share of honey. I’ll even listen to you when you endorse a company like Little White Lye Soap because you come off clean and are clearly one of the best smelling employees at the Computer Mine. Top 5. Maybe even Top 2. Some days, #1. I’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt when you endorse Salon 908, when you clearly don’t have a great head of hair perched atop your Gulliver. But why should I listen to you… a notorious teetotaler about a place to go get a drink?”

Don’t worry. There is an answer to your question. It all started back on May 5. Cinco de Mayo. I had heard a rumor that my favorite The Colorado Grill employee was hanging it up. Calling it a day at The Colorado Grill. So Jesse, Willy, and I saddled up and took Friday Night Supper Club out to The Colorado Grill for Kelli’s last night.

Once we got out there, Kelli told us that she was leaving the Grill to start her own wine bar. (Incidentally, I haven’t been back to The Colorado Grill since.) I was heartbroken because Kelli is a master of customer service and she always keeps my raspberry ice tea topped off AND she always serves it to me in a giant mug. Not like the glass that the paupers get.

To commemorate Kelli’s last day and what I thought would be last raspberry tea I would ever receive from her we took this picture:


Kelli's Last Day

As fate would have it, it wasn’t the last raspberry tea with Kelli in our future. She told me that she would stock raspberry tea for me AND we struck a deal to put some of my photography on the walls of her new business.

Here is where you come in. You should 100% get your friends together and go down to a night of wine tasting or craft beer tasting at Bottled Bliss. My understanding is that Kelli really knows her wine and craft beers. She spent years honing her knowledge by stocking the craft beers at The Colorado Grill and running a monthly wine club. Also, she pours a mean raspberry tea… which is no easy job.

I’ve already heard a couple of “Yes!”es and a few “Sounds really good. I’ll have to do that”s.

But if I haven’t sold you yet, here is some information from her website (bottledbliss.net):

Monthly Cork Membership:
$35.00 Monthly
1 Glass of wine each weak.
$10.000 off Wine Club admission
20% Off bottles of wine.

There are 2 Wine Clubs.

4th Tuesday of the Month

Think of this wine club as a Wine 101. Become the expert wine lover you’ve always wanted to be. Explore new wines and expand your pallet. There’s no shame in enjoying a fantastic glass of moscato BUT there is more to wine than just one varietal. Enjoy new exciting wine in a welcoming and learning environment with great company and small bites.

This wine club will be hosted by wine distributors and Iowa Wineries.

2nd Tuesday of the Month

This wine club is designed for a mature pallet. Experience wines from around the world, build knowledge about unique wine regions surrounded by fellow wine lovers. Deep reds, dry whites, and full bodied wine can be expected at this wine club. Small bites will be offered to help compliment your wine experience.

This wine club will be hosted by wine distributors to help enhance your wine journey.

Wine Club events are $25 per event.

But I want to know more about Kelli other than she pours a mean raspberry tea. Also from the website:

My name is Kelli Casper and I was born and raised in Boone. My husband and I are raising our two beautiful daughters in Ogden surrounded by all the things that I loved growing up. Most people will recognize me from The Colorado Grill. I was just a month shy of celebrating my 19 years with the Gano’s at The Grill. In 2013, I launched a wine club there to learn more about wine. We dedicated one Tuesday every month trying different distributors and wineries all over the world; it was successful every month for 7 years and then Covid hit. Covid ruined so many good things. I’ve always enjoyed exploring wine and craft beer and The Grill was the perfect place to build my knowledge. My interest became a hobby and then a passion. I love talking “shop” with anyone who wants to listen. A wine bar was always my dream and then one day I decided I was tired of dreaming. And BOOM. Enter Bottled Bliss! We have around thirty chairs to offer anyone wanting place to land. A great craft beer selection and wines from around the country and globe. We offer bottle and glass service and we have prosecco ON TAP! For now, our main focus is beverage services but we are looking forward to building a small kitchen where we can offer small bites in the near future.

We will have a monthly wine club (just like old times) and also a Cork membership (think gym membership) with weekly rewards for your monthly members. I am looking forward to partnering with other businesses in Boone to make downtown great and something to be proud of.

See you soon!
Kelli Casper

If you ever want to get together and you have a wine and I’ll have a raspberry tea, let’s go!

Bottled Bliss is located at:

706 Keeler Street
Boone, Iowa 50036

Current Hours:

Mon Closed
Tues wine club
Wed 5 PM – 9 PM
Thu 5 PM – 9 PM
Fri 5 PM – 10 PM
Sat 2 PM – 10 PM
Sun 2 PM – 6 PM

But… you are probably wondering about the deal I struck with Kelli to display my photography.

Currently there are 5 of my photos displayed there. I went a little crazy on the size, so they are 40×30. They are acrylic prints.

After conferring with Kelli, here are the 5 prints that are up (Click on the link below the images to see more information on each image):



More Info


More Info

Drone Photography
More Info


More Info


More Info

Kelli wanted pictures of local interest that people would recognize. Her favorite is the picture of the Teddy Roosevelt Statue. She claims she knows who has the thumb in their possession, but is sworn to secrecy. You can talk to her about it when you go in for a drink.

There are going to be about 6 more smaller pictures going up and then maybe they will rotate in and out now and again. But This does remind me that I need to swap out pictures at pictures at Salon 908 at some point.

2010-01-30

The pictures in the folder 2010-01-30 are from both THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE and PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT. The flower pictures were taken for the theme PLANTS. THE PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT involves a broken mirror and Willy.


Shattered Dreams

Friday Night Supper Club

Friday Night Supper Club

Friday Night Supper Club

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Full Moon

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 No. 6

The Digital Bouquet

RWPE #4 – PLANTS

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve basketball and cleaning toilets.

2010-01-02

Most of the pictures in the folder 2010-01-02 are of a Personal Photo Project I worked on where I put a microphone next to a fish bowl and took a picture of it. This (like almost all of my photo projects) ended up being more difficult than I anticipated. Mostly because the fish didn’t cooperate. It had little to no interest in facing the microphone.


Open Mic Night

Goldfish

Goldfish

New Year's Eve - 2009

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 NO. 3

Next Saturdays walk down memory lane will, at the very least, involve Christmas cards.