Category Archives: Holidays

Pink Houses

Today is the 4th of July, so I must wish you all a Happy Independence Day!


And You Left Me There Cryin' Wonderin' What I Did Wrong

I hope your day is filled with good food and friends and parades and music and fireworks and not having to go to work!

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There’s a black man with a black cat
Livin’ in a black neighborhood
He’s got an interstate runnin’ through his front yard
You know he thinks he’s got it so good
And there’s a woman in the kitchen
Cleanin’ up the evenin’ slop
And he looks at her and says, “Hey darlin’
I can remember when you could stop a clock”

Ah, but ain’t that America for you and me?
Ain’t that America? Somethin’ to see, baby
Ain’t that America? Home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me
Ooh yeah, for you and me

Well, there’s a young man in a t-shirt
Listenin’ to a rockin’ rollin’ station
He’s got greasy hair, greasy smile
He says, “Lord, this must be my destination”
‘Cause they told me when I was younger
Said, “Boy, you’re gonna be president”
But just like everything else those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went

Ah, but ain’t that America for you and me?
Ain’t that America? Somethin’ to see, baby
Ain’t that America? Home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me
Ah, yeah, baby, for you and me

Well, there’s people and more people
What do they know, know, know?
Go to work in some high rise
And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico, ooh, yeah
And there’s winners and there’s losers
But they ain’t no big deal
‘Cause the simple man, baby, pays for the thrills, the bills
The pills that kill

Ah, but ain’t that America for you and me?
Ain’t that America? Somethin’ to see, baby
Ain’t that America? Home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, ooh
Ooh yeah

Ain’t that America for you and me?
Ain’t that America? Hey, somethin’ to see, baby
Ain’t that America? Oh, the home of the free
Ooh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Little pink houses, baby, for you and me
– Written and Performed by John Mellencamp

Once again, not exactly a love song. But a great song! And often completely misunderstood.

But Thursdays are for flowers! This flowertography session was taken in Pella!


Still Laughing - 2024

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Still… so many pictures to share from my trip to Pella to photograph their tulips!

WPC – WEEK 454 – NOT YOUR HOMETOWN

Today is a very important day! Today is Jason’s birthday, so I have to wish him a happy birthday.


June 14
Happy birthday Jason!

I hope you birthday is amazing!

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Today is also Memorial Day. The day we honor and mourn U.S. miliary personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.


Monroe County - Albia

It isn’t the kind of holiday where you say “Happy (insert holiday name)!” But I hope you have a good Memorial Day filled with time spent with friends and/or family.

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It is the last Monday of the month and on the last Monday of the month I like to revisit our Frequently Asked Questions. Who asks these questions? I mostly ask them of myself. But that isn’t a Frequently Asked Question. These are:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

What skill level photographer can participate?

THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is open to photographers of all skill levels. From award winning photographers to professionals to the highly ranked amateurs to those that are just beginning to those who don’t even know how to focus a camera. All skill levels are encouraged and welcome. You can’t be too bad and you can’t be too good! Everyone has room to learn and be challenged!

Award winning photographers? Really?

Yes. I can think of at least 10 photographers that participate regularly that have won a photography award of some kind.

Is this a competition?
NO. It is a challenge. There are no winners and losers. Well the people that don’t participate are losers.

Is there a limit to the number of submissions I can have each week?

Yes. That limit is 2. If you send me more than 2, I will post the first 2 that you send. I’m not trying to harsh your photography buzz, but any more than that starts to overwhelm the other submissions and it takes me about 5 minutes to take a picture from my inbox to code it on the website. So I have to manage my workload.

If you are going to submit more than one picture, I strongly urge you to choose completely different subjects for each submission. If you are submitting multiple pictures of the same subject, make sure that each picture is saying something unique.

If I start to average like 45 participants a week, I will lower the limit to 1.

Can I send you several pictures and have you pick the best one?

No! No! NO! If those words come out of your mouth or your keyboard, I consider that to be a non-submission.

Do you ever question whether somebody’s submission fits the theme?

Meh. Only if I think somebody is clearly confusing this week’s theme with last week or next week’s theme. Otherwise, if the submission makes sense in your head, that is good enough for me. However, I would urge you to not try to fit your favorite subject into the theme every week. This isn’t a challenge to share a picture every week of your kid or your business or your pet. It is a challenge to take pictures of different things every week. Which isn’t to say subjects can’t be repeated, but you shouldn’t become reliant on the same ones.

Why can’t I submit after 11 AM on Mondays if the post doesn’t publish until 12:01 PM?

I go to lunch at 11 AM. I leave my office. I’m not near a computer. At 11 AM I hit “Schedule” and then I go throw food down my throat. 167 hours is more than enough time to send a submission. Okay, 166 hours and 59 minutes. You got me.

Do I have to wait until Monday morning to submit?

Absolutely not! In fact (AND CAN’T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH) I appreciate the submissions that make it to me by Sunday evening. Makes the job of putting this together on Monday morning much easier!

Are there resolution requirements for submissions?

I won’t turn down submissions that are too small. I will probably ask you for a picture of greater resolution if it is really small. The typical 4 x 6 image posted to my website has a resolution of 1280 pixels x 853 pixels. While a 400 x 300 image might look okay on your phone, it looks like trash on a computer monitor. I prefer images that are at least 1000 pixels at their widest point, but don’t ban smaller pictures at this point. But don’t tempt me!

What format should my submission be?

.JPG but .PNG also works.

If I write a description of my image will you include that in your post?

No. Photography is art that should stand on its own. Only exception is the SLICE OF LIFE theme. But if you let me know where the picture was taken, I will include that. In fact, I appreciate you letting me know where a picture was taken. If you don’t let me know, I will assume the picture was taken in the state you live in.

When will you start accepting suggestions for next year’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE themes?

I will take suggestions only and ONLY in the comments sections of the THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE posts the last week of October and the 1st week of November.

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NOT YOUR HOMETOWN! A great theme, but did enough people escape the confines of their HOMETOWN to go someplace that wasn’t their hometown and take a picture to make it a popular theme? You will have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, May 20, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore everything in parentheses):

1-Mary Green – 1 week (MI, IA, IN, IL) <2>
2-Sara Lockner – 1 week (IA, MN, BHS)
3-Johnathan Stensland – 1 week (IA)
4-Suzie Brannen – 2 weeks (IA, MD)
5-Mike Vest – 2 weeks (IA, MO)
6-Alexis Stensland – 4 weeks (IA) <2>
7-Monica Jennings – 5 weeks (IA)
8-Sabas Hernandez – 6 weeks (IA, OH)
9-Deanna McClain – 10 weeks (IA)
10-Adam Gordon – 12 weeks (IA, MS, MO) <2>
11-Becky Parmelee – 13 weeks (AR, IA, OK)
12-Lowell Davis – 20 weeks (IA) <2>
13-Michelle Haupt – 20 weeks (IA, MO, KS, LA)
14-Brandon Kahler – 21 weeks (IA, MN)
15-Scott Degeneffe – 39 weeks (IA, FL, UT, CO, KY, IN) <2>
16-Sheri Fakhouri – 49 weeks (IA, NE)
17-Logan Kahler – 49 weeks (IA, MN) <2>
18-Nathanial Brown – 51 weeks (IA, SD, GA, TN)
19-Jesse Howard – 51 weeks (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW)
20-Tamara Peterson – 63 weeks (IA, MN)
21-Mindi Terrell – 66 weeks (IA) <2>
22-Linda Bennett – 95 weeks (KS)
23-Sarah Toot – 96 weeks (PA, NY, VT, NV)
24-Angie DeWaard – 100 weeks (IA, IL) <2>
25-Dawn Krause – 104 weeks (IA) <2>
26-Kim Barker – 110 weeks (IA, CO, LA) <2>
27-Joe Duff – 111 weeks (TX) <2>
28-Teresa Kahler – 122 weeks (IA, NE) <2>
29-Carla Stensland – 122 weeks (IA, MO) <2>
30-Micky Augustin – 126 weeks (IA, IL)
31-Andy Sharp – 125 weeks (IA, NE, AR, MS, MO, TN, LA)
32-Bill Wentworth – 126 weeks (NE)
33-Cathie Morton – 129 weeks (IA, FL, BHS, MO, LA)
34-Elizabeth Nordeen – 131 weeks (IA, OH)
35-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 133 weeks (IA, CA, NV)
36-Kio Dettman – 135 weeks (IA)

Here is the list of rules for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:

1. The picture must 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 and take pictures challenge!
2. There is a limit of 2 submissions per person per theme. If you send me more than 2, I will use the first 2 that you submit.
3. Deadline to submit your submission is 11 AM next Monday.
4. To be considered the photographer of an image, you have to be the one that clicks the shutter. If you hand your camera over to somebody else to take a picture of you, you are NOT the photographer of that image.
5. No screen captures. This is a photography challenge. Not a “look at what I found on the internet” challenge.

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 8 Pro.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks or the rules of the challenge or how to submit. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Ames, Iowa) – 136 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Haines Park – Altoona, Iowa) – 134 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 132 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Middlebrook, Iowa) – 130 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Marshalltown, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Saint Louis, Missouri) – 127 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Saint Louis, Missouri)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Polk County, Iowa) – 127 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Pilot Mound/Fraser, Iowa) – 126 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Cellar Winery – Madrid, Iowa) – 123 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Okoboji, Iowa)- 123 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Arnolds Park, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Texas) – 112 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Texas)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Ankeny, Iowa) – 111 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Hamilton, Iowa) – 105 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Hamilton, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Cambridge, Iowa) – 101 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) – 97 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 96 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MINDI TERRELLM
Mindi Terrell (Urbandale, Iowa) – 67 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota) – 64 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Jefferson, Iowa) – 52 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Norwalk, Iowa) – 52 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Laurel, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Jack Trice Stadium – Ames, Iowa) – 50 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Ames, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 40 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN -SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 40 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Iowa) – 22 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Cellar Winery – Madrid, Iowa) – 21 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Wellsburg, Iowa) – 21 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Rogers, Arkansas) – 14 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Rogers, Arkansas)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Ames, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Ames, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota) – 11 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Arnolds Park, Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Arnolds Park, Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Fairbanks/Manchester, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Ogden, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Ottumwa, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - WILLIAM MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Ada Haydn Park – Ames, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - FRAN DUNCAN
Fran Duncan (Kellogg, Wisconsin) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 454 - NOT YOUR HOMETOWN - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Marshalltown, Iowa)

There were 37 participants this week! Same as last week. Not bad for a holiday weekend!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Arkansas (2)
+ Iowa (38)
+ Kansas (1)
+ Minnesota (2)
+ Missouri (2)
+ Pennsylvania (1)
+ Texas (2)
+ Wisconsin (1)

Thanks to Fran’s first ever submission, we added Wisconsin to this year’s map! WooHoo!

Here is the Year 11 list of places where submissions have been taken (submissions taken in each places):

+ Arkansas (14.5)
+ Aruba (1)
+ Bahamas (2)
+ California (3)
+ Curacao (1)
+ Colorado (5)
+ Florida (85)
+ Georgia (1)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Illinois (6)
+ Indiana (4)
+ Iowa (742)
+ Kansas (29)
+ Kentucky (1)
+ Louisiana (8)
+ Maryland (1)
+ Michigan (5)
+ Minnesota (8)
+ Mississippi (1.5)
+ Missouri (12.5)
+ Nebraska (28)
+ Nevada (2)
+ New York (12)
+ Ohio (2)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (16)
+ South Dakota (3)
+ Tennessee (2.5)
+ Texas (32)
+ Utah (1)
+ Vermont (1)
+ Virginia (1)
+ Wisconsin (1)

29 states so far! 3 foreign countries! Not bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple places:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA, IL, FL) – 8
+ Andy Sharp (IA, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA) – 7
+ Scott Degeneffe (IA, FL, UT, CO, IN, KY) – 6
+ Jesse Howard (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW) – 6
+ Christopher D. Bennett (IA, MO, NE, IL, IN, LA) – 6
+ Cathie Morton (IA, FL, BHS, MO, LA) – 5
+ Michelle Haupt (IA, MO, KS, LA) – 4
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD, TN, GA) – 4
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT, NV) – 4
+ Kim Barker (IA, CO, LA) – 3
+ Shannon Bardole-Foley (IA, CA, NV) – 3
+ Adam Gordon (IA, MS, MO) – 3
+ Mary Green (MI, IA, IN, IL) – 4
+ Becky Parmelee (AR, IA, OK) – 3
+ Sara Lockner (IA, BHS, MN) – 3
+ Micky Augustin (IA, IL) – 2
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO) – 2
+ Brandon Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Logan Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN) – 2
+ Carla Stensland (IA, MO) -2
+ Mike Vest (IA, MO) – 2
+ Teresa Kahler (IA, NE) – 2
+ Sheri Fakhouri (IA, NE) – 2
+ Angie DeWaard (IA, IL) – 2
+ Sabas Hernandez (IA, OH) – 2
+ Suzie Brannen (IA, MD) – 2
+ Elizabeth Nordeen (IA, OH) – 2
+ Linda Bennett (KS, IA) – 2
+ Bill Wentworth (NE, MO) – 2
+ Deanna McClain (IA, MN) – 2

Jen is now in the lead to be crowned “The Most Travelled THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Photographer!” Jesse and Andy and Scott are in striking distance though!

Deanna and Bill joined the list of people that have submitted from multiple states/places.

The huge milestones reached this week were Nathanial and Jesse both joining the 1 Year Streak Club! WooHoo! Cathie joined the 1.5 Year Streak Club! WooHoo! Woo!

But it wasn’t all peaches and cream. Sara couldn’t build on last week’s submission. Her streak ended before it started. Monica’s streak calls it quits after 5 weeks.

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 455 - SIGN
SIGN

SIGN! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I look forward to seeing your interpretation.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see your idea of SIGN in this place that reads the tea leaves next Monday.

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!

Christmas – 2023

Since Easter is tomorrow, thought I would share some pictures from Christmas. I spent the day with Teresa’s family and unfortunately didn’t get to see Carla’s family as they were down with the COVID. Maybe next year.

Here are a few photos:


Christmas - 2023

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Christmas - 2023

I hope everybody has as good of a Christmas as I did and I hope all of you also have a great Easter as well!

Iowa State Fair – Day 3 – Delta

Today is Good Friday.


Good Friday - 2024

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. If you are looking for a place to worship tonight, you can join me at the Boone First United Methodist Church. It is a Tenebrae Service. It starts at 6:30.

What is a Tenebrae Service? From our website:

A Service of Tenebrae, or “Shadows,” is based on a twelfth–century late night/early morning service and is an extended meditation on the Christian Scriptures that tell of the suffering of Christ during his betrayal, trial, and public execution. This service utilizes a mix of readings, liturgy, hymnody, and candlelight to draw our attention to Jesus’ suffering and death for the whole world.

Here is a Good Friday Devotional written by Rev. Lucky Cotto.

Good Friday

The Centurion near the Cross

Scripture Readings:

John 19:23-24
Matthew 27:50-54
Mark 15:39: When the centurion, who stood facing Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “This man was certainly God’s Son.”

Devotional

The presence of Roman soldiers around the crucifixion of Jesus Christ indicates that this was a state-sponsored crucifixion ordered by the Jewish leaders opposed to Jesus’ message. (Incidentally, the Jews were treated as slaves and oppressed.)** The opponents claimed that Jesus had deceived the Jews and that He was opposed to them paying their contributions to the empire, and that, in addition, He claimed to be the Messiah, King of the Jews and stirred up the people with His teachings.

But the Roman Empire didn’t care. In fact, Pontius Pilate could not find a reason to crucify him, all he could think of was the coming uproar against the empire. In his own words, “Pilate then said to the chief priests, and to the people, “I find no crime in this man,” and he said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who was misleading the people. I have questioned him in your presence and found nothing in this man’s conduct that provides a legal basis for the charges you have brought against him. 15 Neither did Herod, because Herod returned him to us. He’s done nothing that deserves death.” As Pilate wanted to release Jesus, he again addressed the people; (Luke 23;1-24, VV. 4,14,15,20).

Meanwhile the crowds continued to shout, “crucify Him, crucify Him” (vv21) and the priests encouraged them to ask that Barabbas be set free. They wanted a revolutionary who had been in prison for murder to go free. At the same time, the Jews could not execute anyone. So, from the legal and judicial point of view Jesus’ sentence was unjust and tainted with false accusations. It is the effective result of false narratives promoting political manipulations orchestrated by religious fanatics who could not accept the message of Jesus’ kingdom.

However, from the perspective of what God intended for humanity, and what Jesus’ sacrifice would mean for the world, Jesus bore our sin, therefore, bore our guilt, our crimes, and on the cross, as Paul wrote: “God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God.”

At the foot of the cross are the Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross, mocked Him, tore His clothes, and were asked to watch over Him. Finally, He died and when He expired there was among the soldiers a centurion, a prominent officer, in charge of at least 100 soldiers. We do not know if he was comfortable and in agreement with the crucifixion of Jesus, if he knew about Jesus, or if he was interested in Judaism. Surely, he saw the sign above the cross that said “King of the Jews”, and he must have heard the thief standing next to Jesus who said to him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk.23:42). and the assurance with which Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. The centurion saw and heard everything that was happening and saw when Jesus gave His last breath and died. What came out of this man’s mouth was to praise God and say, “Truly this man was righteous.”

For Reflection

As a result of his new conviction, the centurion turned against the government he served. He had a transformation of mind and heart, even though he was one of those who wounded Jesus’ side, and executed him. Now he could see that this Jesus was truly sent by God, that he was truly who he said he was. Let us ask ourselves: Who is Jesus for me? Should we strive for people in positions of power who are guilty of committing injustice on the innocent to change in the face of an encounter with the gospel?

Prayer

God who loved us so much that You did not mind sending Your only Son to come to save us, to save humanity, help us to recognize that great love that You have for us and that we can live as Jesus lived, who, in the midst of pain had compassion and asked you to forgive us. Thank You that we can feel Your forgiveness, Your love, and Your grace. Amen.

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Time to share another collection of images from my trip to the State Fair with Monica and Graham and then Elainie, Sabas, and Tiffany. At this point in the day Monica and Graham just kinda ghosted me. I never saw them again. I hope they are doing okay, wherever they are.


Iowa State Fair -Trip 3 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 3 - 2023
I’m pretty sure this is the last time I saw Shannon. Have seen. I’m sure I will see her again someday.

Iowa State Fair -Trip 3 - 2023

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Iowa State Fair -Trip 3 - 2023

Still more pictures to share from this day. I don’t think I’ll be going to the State Fair with Sabas and Elainie this year. With Elainie all preggers now, I’m sure she won’t be up for that kind of heat and activity. Maybe Sabas and I will go and we’ll send her pictures. Lots of pictures.

Lady

Today is Maundy Thursday, so I wish all of you a happy Maundy Thursday with the following picture:


Happy  Maundy Thursday - 2024

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with his disciples. The Last Supper was a Passover meal and so we continue to celebrate that through communion with unleavened bread and a grape drink. Jesus wasn’t a Christian. In fact, one of my favorite shirts has Jesus on it, riding a motorcycle, with the words “What the (fudge) is a Christian?” I don’t own this shirt, but I have admired it from afar.

My picture to commemorate the Last Supper is a (rather weak admittedly) imagining of Jesus’ Last Supper if he was not only a Christian, but a Methodist. A good Methodist meal would consist of a casserole. But Jesus’ status was “single” or maybe it was “It’s complicated” depending on who you listen to and how you want to interpret relationship status. So I figure Jesus wouldn’t have made his own casserole. He would have picked up a frozen one by Marie Callender and popped that in the oven. He definitely wouldn’t have had wine with it. He would have had grape juice. But not just any grape juice. It would have to be Welch’s grape juice. Or as it was originally called, Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine.

You still might be wondering where the Maundy in Maundy Thursday comes from. Maundy is short for the Latin word mandatum which means command. Maundy Thursday also celebrates Jesus giving us the new commandment:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

On these holy holidays I like to share a devotional. This one was written by Rev. Dr. Luz E. Maldonado.

Maundy Thursday

Trimmed or chopped

Scripture: John 15:1-11, CEB
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.

“As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.

Meditation
In the Bible we find the use of similes (indirect comparison) and metaphors (direct comparison). God uses them to bring to His people the teachings of what the kingdom of God is like and what He is like. He uses well-known examples to teach the people in these comparisons. The potter, the carpenter, in this case he uses agriculture-the growing of grapes. Whenever a seed is sown it is done in the hope that it will grow and produce its fruit. But there is a care to be taken so that the harvest is properly reaped.

Jesus teaches us what He and the kingdom of God are like by pronouncing the seven “I am’s.”

In John 10:11-14 I am the good shepherd; John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life; John 6:35-48 I am the bread of life; John 8:12; 9:5 I am the light of the world; John 10:7 I am the door; John 14:25 I am the way, the truth, and the life. And in the reading, we have chosen for today’s meditation: John 15:1-5 I am the true vine. The vine is a grape plant, it is a vine. It has a root, a trunk, branches, shoots, leaves and fruit. Jesus compares himself to that plant “He is” and my father is the vineyard keeper, He is the owner and caretaker. He is the one who takes care, who cleans, who prunes. The use of agriculture to explain the kingdom of God, and its care.

He talks about trimming: What is it and why is it necessary? It is to clean, to cut, to pull up, to remove dry leaves, dry branches. Pruning is a sign of love, God is concerned about us. He takes care of us, He removes what is not necessary, He removes what is not productive, what is not useful to us. When God is closest to us, it is when He is trimming us. When a vinedresser goes to prune, He always has the branch in his hand. God has not let you go, you have always been in the hollow of God’s hand. Pruning is not the absence of God, on the contrary, it is when He is closer than ever. John 15:2 he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.

To be cut off: John 15:2 He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit; the branch is a new shoot. The danger of not being attached to Christ is that this new shoot will dry up. In other words, the danger of not congregating, of not being in a church, can dry us up, it does not allow us to grow, mature and bear the fruit that is expected of us. The Lord gives us a piece of advice, a commandment or recommendation in John 15:4 “remain in me, and I will remain in you”. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me. He is speaking of a relationship, a friendship and fellowship. John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches” is giving us identity. He is also giving us a promise John 15: 5b “he who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit”. He is telling us that we need him in order to go forward, John 15:5c “for apart from me you can do nothing”.

For reflection
Trimming is the evidence of something new in our lives. Usually when something goes wrong or we are in a time of trial we get desperate. We tend to worry too much and try to solve. The pruning in your life has as a goal that you bear fruit as it says: Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.”; 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control”. So do not stray from the vine and allow whatever the vineyard keeper desires to do in your life to be done, for the result will be a blessing.

Prayer
Blessed God, thank You for revealing Yourself to our lives with examples from our daily lives and with them help us to understand Your plans and purposes in our lives. Help us to stay attached to You and continue to work in our lives, take away what You need to take away, add what You need to add so that we may remain united to You and bear much fruit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

If you want to worship an awesome God, you are welcome to join me at Boone First United Methodist Church. Our Maundy Thursday Service is at 6:30 PM tonight. And I promise you will be home in plenty of time to watch the Iowa State game.

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Lady
I’m your knight in shining armor and I love you
You have made me what I am, and
I am yours

My love
There’s so many ways I want to say I love you
Let me hold you in my arms forever more

You have gone and made me such a fool
And I’m so lost in your love
And oh, we belong together
Won’t you believe in my song?

Lady
For so many years
I thought I’d never find you
You have come into my life and
Made me whole

Forever
Let me wake to see you each and every morning
Let me hear you whisper softly
In my ear

And in my eyes (In my eyes)
I see no one else but you (I see no one else but you)
There’s no other love like our love
And, oh, girl I’ll always want you near me
I’ve waited for you for so long

Lady
Your love’s the only love I need
Oh, and beside me is where
I want you to be (I want you to be)
‘Cause, my love
There’s somethin’ I want you to know
You’re the love of my life
You’re my lady
-Written by Lionel Richie
-Perfected by Kenny Rogers

This week marks the 3 year anniversary of my Mom’s passing. I selected this song because she loved this song and she loved Kenny Rogers. She loved Elvis. She loved the Beach Boys. I’m not sure which was her absolute favorite, but this was one of her absolute favorite songs. And objectively, it is one of the greatest songs ever written.

I got to see a Kenny Rogers concert at the Civic Center with my Mom. It is one of my favorite memories and favorite concerts I’ve ever attended. Life, as they say, is made up of memories. Not possessions. It is a great memory.

This Thursday’s flowertography is a collection of flower images taken in my yard. I know I said I was about to finally leave my yard for the flowertography session, but then I stumbled upon this collection of flower images that I had somehow missed. I’m glad I found them.


Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Nature's Amen - 2023

Soul Expansion - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Next Thursday we will finally leave my yard again.

Can you believe that it is almost flowertography season. I will be heading down to Pella in a couple of weeks to take some tulip pictures. The peak tulip bloom is going to be about 2-3 weeks early this year. So I’ll probably head down there in the middle of April. Let me know if you are interested in going, hitting their bakery, and probably eating some good food.

RAGBRAI – LUTHER

Today is a rare double holiday. It is both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. As always, if you are not out romancing it up tonight, I invite you to come to the Boone First United Methodist Church for our Ash Wednesday service. Full disclosure, I won’t be there. I am neither out romancing it up or going to get my ashes on in some stray church. I’ll be in Hilton Coliseum (AKA The Cathedral) watching an Iowa State women’s basketball game with the rest of the real ones.

Since I won’t be getting ashes this year, enjoy this picture of me on Ash Wednesday from a couple of years ago:


Day 61 - March 2, 2022

I always like to share a devotional type thing on these holidays. So today I’m going to share one from Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. This one by Reverend Doctor Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon to be exact:

We Are Ashes – Abiding in Hope
by Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon (Senior Pastor Collegiate Methodist in Ames)

As we lean into Lent, I wrote this poem for Ash Wednesday. If you are into interactive reading, you can look up the passages in Daniel and John that I reference in the poem. I was working with the idea that ash is a transformed remnant of something: a piece of wood, the remains of a meadow, a life, and in that transformation, it always carries the memory of what it was before, just now it is changed. I apply the idea of God’s unquenchable fire (such as displayed in the burning bush and maybe Biblically remembered in the story of Daniel) that changes and transforms us. As the ashes we use on Ash Wednesday come from the burnt palms of the previous Palm Sunday, that image, too makes its way into the poem.

We Are Ashes

What is born from the flame is ash, life transformed,
black and silvered memories of being held
in fire — maybe like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
who walked in the heat, the flames licking their hands
that were folded in prayer even as they were almost scorched
with a knowledge of God too great for them,
even as they became living ashes:
ones who did not forget but were sent as testimonies,
touched but not burnt, maybe with a sign on their foreheads. [i]

The alchemy of loving means we die and no longer die.
What is here is ash from firelight, also dark and essential,
the ashes we become in grief and in forgiveness and in mercy.

Our pretenses have been burnt away.
We are gathered up in dimly lit certainty,
we are the remnant, you and me
and those who kneel who might be far from us
whose heads are also smudged:
“remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” —
the ash is everywhere – –

hopefully faithful, hopefully able to feel
the webbing root buried in the earth that nurtures us,
and the branch we graft to that stretches
out our lives and then the love,
and then the smoldering embers
of all that is the first and the last;
all that is in each moment.

We are secretly the palms that were spread on the road
where Jesus came to collect us on his way to Jerusalem [ii]
and now we are ashes, smeared
with the oil of His hands,
we are the remnant
from the fire of His resurrection
we are the ashes that mark the way to Him.

Let us be spread again, let us be smudged,
let us be carried from the fire into the world
our bodies some sacred event born in ashes and returned,
the name of love written on our foreheads
the sound of hope sung from our prayers
the burden of care held firmly in our hands
and knowing home in the One who heals us,
in the flame that is never quenched, Alpha and Omega, amen.

[i] Daniel 3: 13-30 (the image I draw is poetic license)

[ii] John 12: 12-17

If you are curious:

Daniel 3: 13-30 – Amplified Version

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in a furious rage gave a command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; and these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, very good. But if you do not worship, you shall be thrown at once into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can rescue you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you on this point. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up!”

Daniel’s Friends Protected
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and his facial expression changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then he gave a command that the furnace was to be heated seven [a]times hotter than usual. 20 He commanded certain strong men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 Then these [three] men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their turbans, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. 22 Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was extremely hot, the flame of the fire killed the men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king [looked and] was astounded, and he jumped up and said to his counselors, “Did we not throw three men who were tied up into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He answered, “Look! I see four men untied, walking around in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt! And the appearance of the fourth is like [b]a son of the gods!” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the blazing furnace and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out [of there]! Come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. 27 The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s counselors gathered around them and saw that in regard to these men the fire had no effect on their bodies—their hair was not singed, their clothes were not scorched or damaged, even the smell of smoke was not on them.

28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! They violated the king’s command and surrendered their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be cut into pieces and their houses be made a heap of rubbish, for there is no other god who is able to save in this way!” 30 Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.

And John 12:12-17 – Amplified

12 The next day, when the large crowd who had come to the Passover feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took branches of palm trees [in homage to Him as King] and went out to meet Him, and they began shouting and kept shouting “Hosanna! Blessed (celebrated, praised) is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; just as it is written [in Scripture], 15 “Do not fear, Daughter of Zion; Behold, Your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 His disciples did not understand [the meaning of] these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified and exalted, they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him. 17 So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to tell others about Him.

If you are looking for a place to get your ashes, our service is at 6:30.

While Ash Wednesday is meant to remind us of our own mortality, it doesn’t have to be all gloomy because Ash Wednesday also means the Catholics are going to start having Fish Fry Fridays! WooHoo! Bingpot!

I’m going to break down some area fish fries for you, my people, but I will wait until Friday to do that. Don’t worry, I’ll feed you baby birds!

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It is also Valentine’s Day. So I need to wish you all happy Valentine’s Day in my way:


Happy Valentine's Day - 2024
LOVE STINKS!

So first things first. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Second. You might be wondering why this picture is called “Love Stinks”. This was at the insistence of my photo assistant for this project. She complained that this heart shaped sparkler absolutely wreaked! She backed this up by claiming that the sparkler gave her a sore throat for like 5 days. Because she suffered for my art, I have granted her request that the name of this photo is “Love Stinks”.

On holidays like Valentine’s Day I do like to do power rankings. Last year I did romantic comedy power rankings. However, I know many people who absolutely despise Valentine’s Day. So I thought rather than doing something positive about the concept of love, I would do a power rankings based on the negatives of love. My power rankings this year are the 5 Worst Couples! This is a personal list. No apologies if you think, “wait I’m in that couple or throuple” (no judgment). The couples that personally annoy me. Cause love stinks! It often has lots of sulphur and gives you a sore throat for several days. Metaphorically speaking of course!

5 WORST COUPLES POWER RANKING

5. EXCESSIVE PUBLIC AFFECTION COUPLE
I don’t run into this couple that much any more. Mostly because I don’t run with a lot of teenagers or college students and most of the couples I know have been married for years, so the concept of public affection went out the door years ago. But you know the couples. They can’t stop touching each other, right in front of you. All you are trying to do is eat a bowl of soup and they are treating you to the opening scene of BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR*. There is also a variant of this couple that wants to go into great details about their sex life. I didn’t sign on for any of this. Put it in your diary. The phrase “get a room” exists for a reason.

A sidenote on this couple. It doesn’t have to be physical. This can also be the couple that has the just too precious nicknames for each other. PUKE! And couples that call each other “mom” and “dad”… GROSS!

4. THE CONSTANTLY BREAKING UP COUPLE

You know this couple. They’ve broken up 7 or 8 or 9 times, at the very least. And every time, you have to hear about it. You listen to all of the terrible things that one of the people in the couple did. You hear about all of their inadequacies and flaws. Then 24 hours later, the same friend that was dumping all of this stuff on you, they are back with this deeply flawed person that does all of the terrible things. In a couple weeks you will be hearing all the same things again and you stopped caring somewhere around the 3rd breakup.

3. THE SIT ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE TABLE WHEN DINING ALONE COUPLE

This couple probably seems harmless to you. Maybe I can’t defend how I feel about this couple, but I find them SUPER creepy. Sit on opposite sides of the table! At least then you can stare into each other’s eyes lovingly, while eating the Super Nachos Deluxe you ordered for an appetizer. It is well documented that nachos are the most romantic appetizer, but that is a power ranking for a future Valentine’s Day.

2. THE PUBLIC FIGHTING COUPLE

All couples fight. Not all couples have to fight in front of you, all the time. They might argue that fighting is just an example of their passion. They might even argue that fighting is their love language. My love language is handing you a card for a therapist. Go to counseling!

1. THE HOSTAGE COUPLE

This couple can’t do anything alone. Donna is going out for margaritas with her high school girlfriends. But Donna insists on bringing Bob along, cause Donna can’t do anything without Bob. Or Donna does finally join her friends without Bob, but the entire time she is having to check in with Bob. And Bob is having to check in with Donna. This same couple probably has shared social media accounts. The worst! If they don’t have a shared social media account, these are the ones that post super flowery tomes about the greatness of the significant other. They have to know that everybody is reading this is thinking, “oh, they about to get divorced.” And I’m not saying I’m rooting for divorce when I stumble across these… but I’m not saying that I’m not NOT rooting for divorce. Even if it is fleeting.

This list is definitive and is beyond contestation. No interviews at this time.

When I decided to do an anti-love post for Valentine’s Day, I checked in with some of the most ardent haters of Valentine’s Day I know. I simply asked them what couples they think are the worst. Almost without exception, I instead got a long diatribe about why they hate Valentine’s Day. Which wasn’t what I asked, but I did find hilarious. I confess I didn’t really read that part of those messages, cause it was a lot of blah, blah, blah, same things I’ve heard for years. I assume.

Interestingly, only Scottie D. asked me what I think about Valentine’s Day. And I might just tell you someday.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate! Happy Valentine’s Day to all the people who bah humbug it! Happy Valentine’s Day to all the people who dread it because it makes them feel all alone! I can save all of you a seat at the Iowa State women’s basketball game!

If you don’t do the Juicy Wiggle, was it really even a holiday?

+++++++

After we left Jefferson, Logan and I parted ways. I went home for a bit and then decided to go check out RAGBRAI in Ames. As a lark, I decided to head up to Luther since it was one of the towns that RAGBRAI was passing through. I really thought that by the time I got there, it was going to be too late to see much of anything going on. But Luther was packed! I bet Whatcha Smokin’ made a mint that day!

I was impressed with the job that Luther did with RAGBRAI. I hung around and took a few pictures:


RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023
I’d never heard them before, but they were a pretty solid classic rock cover band.

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023
Oh man, I haven’t had wheat grass since Sara got over it.

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023
I’m not a badmouth the younger generation guy. But in my day, when we climbed on a roof, it wasn’t to stare at our phone. We were probably breaking stuff. Okay, maybe the younger generation is better.

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

RAGBRAI - Luther - 2023

Still one more collection of RAGBRAI pictures from this day to share.

* I actually haven’t seen BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR, so I have no clue what the transpires in its first scene. It could be very boring. I understand the historical and cultural significance of the movie, but pornography just isn’t my bag.

WPC – WEEK 435 – UGLY

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I forgot to mention this last Monday cause it had slipped my RADAR. The Computer Mine doesn’t care about civil rights all that much, so while government employees, schools, and bankers get the day off, I’ll be working it to the bone all day.

I don’t know if it the type of holiday where you say “Happy (insert holiday here)!” While it is definitely good to honor the man and all of the civil rights accomplishments this country has made over the years, there are large swaths of this country where basic human rights are not only being threatened, they are being walked backwards by regressionist political policies.

I mean, they are banning books! You want to know who the bad people are. Every single time in history, the bad people were the ones banning books! Always!

As always, I like to share a photo when celebrating a holiday. Here is a picture of the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.


MLK Jr. Day

The Civil Rights Museum was built on the same property where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. One of those rare times where a place that was the scene of tragedy was turned into a place of veneration and education.

As you celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. today don’t act like the battle for basic human rights is over. The fight is as alive today as it was in King’s day.

+++++++

UGLY! This was a theme I thought I might struggle with. After all, I’m a person that doesn’t find much to be UGLY. I mean, more than a few of you have had me text you pictures of public bathrooms. I love old. I love rusty. I love the unusual. I love the weird. It is hard for me to find something that is UGLY. Besides racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, xenophobia, jingoism, misogyny… you know… the basic tenets of hatred. But to find out if other people took camera in hand to photography something UGLY, you will have to keep scrolling to find out.

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, January 8, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Suzie Brannen – 1 week
2-Lowell Davis – 1 week
3-Susanna Funk – 1 week
4-Michelle Haupt – 1 week
5-Willy McAlpine – 1 week
6-Alexis Stensland – 1 week
7-Brandon Kahler – 2 weeks
8-Mary Green – 3 weeks (2)
9-Scott Degeneffe – 20 weeks
10-Sabas Hernandez – 21 weeks
11-Mike Vest – 26 weeks
12-Sheri Fakhouri – 30 weeks (2)
13-Logan Kahler – 31 weeks
14-Nathanial Brown – 32 weeks
15-Jesse Howard – 32 weeks
16-Tamara Peterson – 35 weeks (2)
17-Mindi Terrell – 47 weeks (2)
18-Linda Bennett – 76 weeks (2)
19-Sarah Toot – 77 weeks
20-Angie DeWaard – 81 weeks
21-Dawn Krause – 85 weeks (2)
22-Kim Barker – 91 weeks
23-Joe Duff – 92 weeks
24-Teresa Kahler – 103 weeks (2)
25-Carla Stensland – 103 weeks (2)
26-Micky Augustin – 105 weeks
27-Andy Sharp – 106 weeks (2)
28-Bill Wentworth – 107 weeks
29-Cathie Morton – 111 weeks
30-Elizabeth Nordeen – 112 weeks (2)
31-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 114 weeks
32-Kio Dettman – 116 weeks

Heading into this week, this is the 2024 THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE SUBMISSION MAP:



Maybe the map will get more filled in today!

Reminder. Here is the updated list of rules for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


1. The picture must 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 and take pictures challenge!
2. There is a limit of 2 submissions per person per theme. If you send me more than 2, I will use the first 2 that you submit.
3. Deadline to submit your submission is 11 AM next Monday.
4. To be considered the photographer of an image, you have to be the one that clicks the shutter. If you hand your camera over to somebody else to take a picture of you, you are NOT the photographer of that image.
5. No screen captures. This is a photography challenge. Not a “look at what I found on the internet” challenge.

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 5.
3. Sometimes, for special people, for special circumstances, we can negotiate something.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks or the rules of the challenge or how to submit. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC 435 - UGLY - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Iowa) – 106 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Sommerset, Iowa) – 115 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Iowa) – 92 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 77 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY -  LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas)

WPC 435 - UGLY - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Boone, Iowa) – 33 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Rural Boone County, Iowa) – 21 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Iowa) – 82 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas) – 93 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas)

WPC 435 - UGLY - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 117 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Rieman Music – Ames, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 435 - UGLY - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Mercy Hospital – Des Moines, Iowa) – 31 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Mercy Hospital – Des Moines, Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - SUSANNA FUNK
Susanna Funk (Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa) – 4 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 22 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Iowa) – 33 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 435 - UGLY - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 32 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 104 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Iowa) – 86 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 112 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 113 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Iowa) – 36 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Boone, Iowa) – 107 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Boone County, IA – 216th Dr. Near Ogden) 104 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Boone County, Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa) – 48 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa)

WPC 435 - UGLY - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (E. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) – 78 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 27 weeks

WPC 435 - UGLY - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 108 weeks

34 participants! That is a pretty great week!

There were submissions this week were taken in the following places:

+ Kansas
+ Iowa
+ Nebraska
+ Pennsylvania
+ Texas

No new states added this week.

Here is the Year 11 list of states where submissions have been taken:

+ Kansas
+ Iowa
+ Michigan
+ Nebraska
+ Pennsylvania
+ Texas

There were some big milestones this week. Sarah joined the Year and Half Streak Club! WooHoo! Both Carla and Teresa both joined the 2 Year Streak Club! WooHoo!

But it wasn’t all happiness and rainbows. Willy couldn’t build on last week’s submission. His streak is over before it even began.

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 436 - BREAKFAST
BREAKFAST

BREAKFAST! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I look forward to seeing your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing your idea of BREAKFAST in this place that like a little #wafflelife next Monday.

WPC – WEEK 432 – GREEN

Friendly Reminder: Next Monday is New Year’s Day. While the bank and government employees get the day off, there are no holidays for Photography 139. If you are busy around the New Year’s holidays (and a lot of people are) plan on getting your submission in early this week.

+++++++

Merry Christmas! Christ is born!


Merry Christmas - 2023
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you have a great Christmas!

+++++++

As most of the Photography 139 Calendars have been distributed it seems like a good time to start sharing the images for the 2024 calendar.

Here is the cover:


2024 Calendar - Front Cover
FRONT COVER

I don’t usually include pictures of people in the calendar, but I included this one of Jesse and Willy because it was the picture that was displayed at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon this year.

TECHNICAL DETAILS:

CAMERA: Sony ILCE-7M4
DATE: May 29, 2022 – 6:13 PM
LENS: 105mm f/2.8 Sigma Art Macro
FOCAL LENGTH: 105 mm
APERTURE: f/2.8
EXPOSURE: 1/8000
ISO: 800

Tomorrow I will share the image from January.

+++++++

It is the last collection of submissions of the month, so it is a good time revisit the THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE FAQ:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT SOME OF THESE MIGHT CHANGE STARTING NEXT YEAR. FOR EXAMPLY THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF SUBMISSIONS WILL CHANGE TO 2 STARTING NEXT YEAR.

What skill level photographer can participate?

THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is open to photographers of all skill levels. From award winning photographers to professionals to the highly ranked amateurs to those that are just beginning to those who don’t even know how to focus a camera. All skill levels are encouraged and welcome. You can’t be too bad and you can’t be too good! Everyone has room to learn and be challenged!

Award winning photographers? Really?

Yes. I can think of at least 10 photographers that participate regularly that have won a photography award of some kind.

Is this a competition?
NO.

Is there a limit to the number of submissions I can have each week?

Yes. That limit is 3. If you send me more than 3, I will post the first 3 that you send. I’m not trying to harsh your photography buzz, but any more than that starts to overwhelm the other submissions and it takes me about 5 minutes to take a picture from my inbox to code it on the website. So I have to manage my workload.

If you are going to submit more than one picture, I strongly urge you to choose completely different subjects for each submission. If you are submitting multiple pictures of the same subject, make sure that each picture is saying something unique.

This limit will change to 2 starting with next year’s first theme.

Can I send you several pictures and have you pick the best one?

No! No! NO! If those words come out of your mouth or your keyboard, I consider that to be a non-submission.

Do you ever question whether somebody’s submission fits the theme?

Meh. Only if I think somebody is clearly confusing this week’s theme with last week or next week’s theme. Otherwise, if the submission makes sense in your head, that is good enough for me. However, I would urge you to not try to fit your favorite subject into the theme. This isn’t a challenge to share a picture every week of your kid or your business or your pet. It is a challenge to take pictures of different things every week. Which isn’t to say subjects can’t be repeated, but you shouldn’t become reliant on the same ones.

Why can’t I submit after 11 AM on Mondays if the post doesn’t publish until 12:01 PM?

I go to lunch at 11 AM. I leave my office. I’m not near a computer. At 11 AM I hit “Schedule” and then I go throw food down my throat. 167 hours is more than enough time to send a submission. Okay, 166 hours and 59 minutes. You got me.

Do I have to wait until Monday morning to submit?

Absolutely not! In fact I appreciate the submissions that make it to me by Sunday evening. Makes the job of putting this together on Monday morning much easier!

Are there resolution requirements for submissions?

I won’t turn down submissions that are too small. I will probably ask you for a picture of greater resolution if it is really small. The typical 4 x 6 image posted to my website has a resolution of 1280 pixels x 853 pixels. While a 400 x 300 image might look okay on your phone, it looks like trash on a computer monitor. I prefer images that are at least 1000 pixels at their widest point, but don’t ban smaller pictures at this point.

What format should my submission be?

.JPG but .PNG also works.

If I write a description of my image will you include that in your post?

No. Photography is art that should stand on its own. Only exception is the SLICE OF LIFE theme. But if you let me know where the picture was taken, I will include that.

When will you start accepting suggestions for next year’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE themes?

I will take suggestions only and ONLY in the comments sections of the THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE posts the last week of October and the 1st week of November.

GREEN! A great theme! But was it great enough to make it a popular theme. You will have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, December 18, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Suzie Brannen – 1 week (2)
2-Jen Ensley-Gorshe – 2 weeks
3-Sara Lockner – 4 weeks
4-Scott Degeneffe – 17 weeks
5-Sabas Hernandez – 18 weeks
6-Mike Vest – 23 weeks
7-Sheri Fakhouri – 27 weeks (2)
8-Logan Kahler – 28 weeks
9-Nathanial Brown – 29 weeks
10-Jesse Howard – 29 weeks
11-Tamara Peterson – 32 weeks
12-Mindi Terrell – 44 weeks
13-Brandon Kahler – 67 weeks
14-Linda Bennett – 73 weeks
15-Sarah Toot – 74 weeks
16-Angie DeWaard – 78 weeks
17-Dawn Krause – 82 weeks (2)
18-Kim Barker – 88 weeks
19-Joe Duff – 89 weeks
20-Teresa Kahler – 100 weeks (3)
21-Carla Stensland – 100 weeks (2)
22-Micky Augustin – 102 weeks
23-Andy Sharp – 103 weeks
24-Bill Wentworth – 104 weeks
25-Cathie Morton – 108 weeks
26-Elizabeth Nordeen – 109 weeks
27-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 111 weeks
28-Kio Dettman – 113 weeks (2)

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC 432 - GREEN - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Iowa) – 114 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole Foley (Honey Hollow – Rural Warren County) – 112 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 110 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Waukee, Iowa) – 109 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Saint Louis, Missouri) – 105 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Saint Louis, Missouri)

WPC 432 - GREEN - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska)

WPC 432 - GREEN - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Boone, Iowa) – 104 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Orlando, Florida)- 103 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 101 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Reiman Gardens – Ames, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Boone – Ogden, Iowa) – 101 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Houston, Texas) – 90 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (Houston, Texas)

WPC 432 - GREEN - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Ames, Iowa) – 89 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Iowa) – 83 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Reiman Gardens – Ames, Iowa) – 79 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (Chicago, Illinois) – 75 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (Chicago, Illinois)

WPC 432 - GREEN - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 74 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas)

WPC 432 - GREEN - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa) – 45 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Iowa) – 33 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Branson, Missouri) – 30 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Branson, Missouri)

WPC 432 - GREEN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Ames, Iowa) – 30 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Le Mars, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Ames, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 29 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Reiman Gardens – Ames, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 28 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 24 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 19 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 18 weeks

WPC 432 - GREEN - EVIE GORSHE
Evie Gorshe (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 432 - GREEN - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 432 - GREEN - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - ELAINIE HERNANDEZ
Elainie Hernandez (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 432 - GREEN - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 432 - GREEN - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Parkersburg, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC 432 - GREEN - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Parkersburg, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Parkersburg, Iowa)

WPC 432 - GREEN - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Reiman Gardens – Ames, Iowa)

30 participants! That is a pretty great week, considering the holiday!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Florida
+ Kansas
+ Illinois
+ Iowa
+ Missouri
+ Nebraska
+ New York
+ Texas

Here is the current calendar year list for states:

+ Arizona
+ Arkansas
+ California
+ Colorado
+ Florida
+ Georgia
+ Hawaii
+ Idaho
+ Illinois
+ Indiana
+ Iowa
+ Kansas
+ Kentucky
+ Louisiana
+ Maryland
+ Michigan
+ Minnesota
+ Mississippi
+ Missouri
+ Montana
+ Nebraska
+ New Hampshire
+ New Jersey
+ New Mexico
+ New York
+ Nevada
+ North Carolina
+ North Dakota
+ Ohio
+ Oklahoma
+ Oregon
+ Pennsylvania
+ South Carolina
+ South Dakota
+ Tennessee
+ Texas
+ Utah
+ Vermont
+ Virgin Islands
+ Washington
+ Washington D.C.
+ Wisconsin
+ Wyoming

41 states and 1 district and 1 territory! That is pretty impressive! Over 80% of the way there!

The missing states are:
+ Alabama
+ Alaska
+ Connecticut
+ Delaware
+ Maine
+ Massachusetts
+ Rhode Island
+ Virginia
+ West Virginia

The Outside of the United States map is currently:

+ Spain
+ British Virgin Islands
+ Mexico
+ Nassau Bahamas
+ Canada
+ Peru
+ France
+ Austria
+ Germany
+ Italy
+ Slovenia
+ Belize

The major milestone stone this week was Andy joining the 2 Year Streak Club.

But it wasn’t all fun and reindeer games. Suzie couldn’t build on last week’s submission. Jen’s streak ends at 2. Sara’s streak ends at 4. Sadly, Brandon’s streak ends at 67.

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 433 - HUMANS
HUMANS

ONCE AGAIN. DON’T FORGET THAT NEXT MONDAY IS NEW YEARS DAY! PLAN ON GETTING YOUR SUBMISSION IN AROUND THE HOLIDAY! OTHERWISE, THERE COULD BE A TON OF STREAKS BITING THE DUST.

HUMANS! What a great theme for Year 10 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE! Even if HUMANS are mostly a failed species.

But what exactly is a HUMANS image? Simply put it is a picture that captures either a collection of HUMANS (or just one HUMAN) or the effects of HUMANity. A place where you can look at for inspiration is Humans of New York. After all, it did inspire this theme.

While thinking about possible subjects for your submission, meditate on the following quote and I have no doubt you will come up with a great image:

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein

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. There is a limit of 3 submissions per participant. To be considered the photographer, you have to be the one that takes the picture. Don’t be stealing the work of other artists. You can submit pictures for other photographers that took pictures with your camera or phone, but give credit where credit is due.

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

That is it. Thems the rules!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing your idea of HUMANS in this place that is ran by one next Monday.

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!