Category Archives: House

Coming Soon…

Actually, not coming soon. They are already there.

Recently my sister Teresa came across a collection of theater seats at the Funky Rooster. She was able to negotiate a sweet deal and after borrowing a truck from the Petersons and getting Derrick to help load them and Willy to help unload them and place them in The Union Street Theater, they are home.

Here are a couple of cruddy cell phone pictures for you to admire my recent addition and commitment to consumerism.

Derrick strapping the seats in.

Willy and I testing them out.

Another view of the test.

This addition will seat four people or two straight males.

My understanding is that these seats came from the old Century Theater that was on Duff all those years ago.

I also recently added a computer to the Union Street Theater to make it easier to stream music or watch YouTube videos down there.

I’m not sure how many people can sit and watch movies at the Union Street Theater, but currently there are 4 theater seats, 2 recliners, 1 couch, a daybed, a trundle bed, and 1 bean bag chair. However, the couch will probably bite the dust at some point.

The Union Street Theater will start hosting more formal events in the future. Including:

-Probably at least 2 viewings of MANOS: HANDS OF FATE.
-A Network Engineering viewing of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
-A possible Youth Group event.
-A Nader birthday movie viewing.
-Another undetermined movie viewing.
-Many a Cyclone sporting event watch party.

I think I might be done tinkering with it for awhile, but I would have made that same claim a few weeks ago.

Painting Vol. III

Here are more painting pictures. YEAH!!! These are from my other sister Carla:

Jesse, trying to break my window. Jeff watches on.

Anders, painting away!

Anders and Ian painting away!

Melissa and Scottie D. painting the east side of the house.

Anna painting!

Teresa cutting some plastic as Willy and I hold it.

The north wall.

Alisa and Erica painting the front “porch”.

Jeff and Terrence painting.

Teresa painting.

Teresa painting.

Alisa and Erica painting the gate. Terrence supervises.

South wall.

I think Shannon is in there somewhere.

Note the excellent scallop work that Carla did!

The front porch.

Painting Vol. II

What lies below are a few pictures my sister Teresa took of the painting.

Yep. That is Jesse trying to break my front window.

More Jesse trying to break my window.

Another angle of Jesse trying to break my window.

There may be more action packed painting pictures coming your way in the future! Try to contain your excitement.


The great national nightmare, or maybe it was just my nightmare, is finally, virtually over. The 2 day house painting party this weekend is over and my house is painted!

Just a couple splashes of paint here and there, and hanging a few things up and it is over.

So thanks a million to my amazing Saturday Painting Crew:

  • Jesse
  • Teresa
  • Baier
  • Will
  • Ben
  • Monica
  • Jeff
  • Scottie D.
  • Melissa
  • Porter
  • Dalton
  • Anders
  • Ian
  • Mom
  • Shannon

Equally as great was my awesome Sunday Painting Crew:

  • Willy
  • Jesse
  • Derrick
  • Teresa
  • Carla
  • Jen
  • Evie
  • Layla
  • Jay
  • Kelly
  • Anna
  • Anthony
  • Alisa
  • Erica
  • Shannon
  • Jeff
  • Terrence
  • Mom

I’m in such good spirits that I’ll even thank the people that just stopped by to gawk:

  • Terry
  • Grandma
  • Sherrie
  • Steve
  • Andy (In fairness Andy would’ve helped if there were any work left to do).

Since I wasn’t able to photograph anything on Saturday on Sunday because I was covered with paint, at this time I don’t have any pictures of the actual painting to share. However, I do have some pictures of the aftermath. Some of the things might make you wonder about the cleanliness and skill level of my people. You should know that many of them are highly skilled painters: Derrick, Baier, Carla, and to my admitted shock Willy (to name a few), but everybody contributed on some level. Therefore, imperfections, spills, messes, I actually love these things. These are reminders that on one beautiful fall weekend 15 people on Saturday and 19 people on Sunday decided to come to my house and help me paint rather than do something that society may have considered more fun and more interesting. Society can go suck an egg!

I call it the house that love painted and that is even at least partially true. If nothing else, I have at least a healthy start to my Birthday Party Invite List. Don’t worry, there will be other chances to earn a coveted invite to The Party of 2016*. Not many granted, but I’m sure those chances will be out there.

Any way, here is a collection of photos of my Painting Party Aftermath:

A piece of tape leftover from where Alisa and Erica did a crackerjack job of painting the front porch!

An unintended sweet design left behind from Carla painting the house numbers!

Paint left behind from where my frog rain gauge sits. Possibly left from when Anna or Willy painted the rain spout? Actually that is probably my spill.

That cardinal even looks sweet on the brick.

Normally I would be sad if my beautiful, lush lawn looked so downtrodden and pathetic, (I pay good money for somebody else to fertilize it for me) but this is actually a sign of how many people were there painting my house at any given time. Can’t hate on that.

Cleaning out paint trays lead to this sweet white streak of grass.

The gold paint. The finishing touch that really adds some flair. Alisa and Erica also knocked it out of the park with this paint and my gate. Shannon also rocked the front threshold with this paint.

Another awesome aspect of this painting project was how much equipment I was loaned. One neighbor Stan loaned me 2 scaffoldings. The other neighbor Roger loaned me a ladder.

Stole the idea of using dish tubs to hold paint from my mission trip to South Dakota. Fortunately while painting cedar siding sucks, it doesn’t suck as bad as painting stucco.

More than a few people were infatuated with my house’s “nipple”. It is my kitchen vent. Don’t be weird, creeper. Either way, Anders and Ian did a dynamite job of painting it.

Just a few of the ladders that were used in the project. Not pictured is 1 of 2 family heirlooms used in during the project. A ladder my Grandpa Bennett bought in 1969 to paint the house at 415 Greene Street.

A few of the rollers that survived usage by Teresa the Roller Killer.

It took about 10 gallons of cardinal paint, 3 gallons of white paint, and 1 gallon of gold paint to complete this project.

Lots of experimental painting was done by me on this project. Some paint tools are excellent. Some are a waste of money. Such a waste of money.

On Saturday night I bought a gallon of gold paint and a whole set of paint brushes to use with the gold paint. When the time came around to use the gold paint, all those brushes, except one had been used for cardinal. This solo cup is an artifact left behind by Alisa and Erica from painting the gate gold.

Earlier this year I moved this wood pile from where it is pictured to the brick patio for use in the Firetub. I have had exactly zero social fire tub fires this year. Will and Ben moved the pile back to its original location. Very thankful I didn’t have to do that. Although since I am retiring the Firetub this fall, I should have one last social fire soon. What will become of the Firetub? Stay tuned. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

The other family heirloom that was used in this painting project. This step stool also belonged to Grandpa Bennett. When it isn’t being used in painting projects, it holds frog statues. It will no doubt be used when I complete Fall/Winter House Project #2 sometime soon-ish.

This was the Painting Party Cafeteria. Many a burger and dog were consumed here over stimulating conversation. Such as what do you do when you have to go to the bathroom on a 100 mile run? Loyal Instagram followers will recognize the chairs I stripped and painted John Deere colors and the plastic chairs I did a very poor job of painting Iowa State colors. The bench was built by Teresa. It normally is housed between the cherry trees and holds rain gauge no. 2 and more frog statues. Naima enjoyed her time in the cafeteria. Especially when Evie tried to bribe her with a hot dog to go on a walk.

This dog. She was in heaven with so many people around. She converted a couple of kids that were afraid of dogs and was a wonderful playmate for Layla and Evie as well. She even tried to help with the painting.

I set up the tent for its annual airing out and as a place for children to play. I think Jay might have been the one who played with it the most. Willy and Jesse helped set it up. It is always my pleasure helping people learn survival skills.

Naima’s tail got an extra shade of gold when she tried to help with the gate painting.

The best part of painting during the fall is that it doesn’t matter what happens to the flower that surround my buildings. I would have photographed the hosta that Melissa dumped (much to the chagrin of Scottie D.) quite a bit of white paint on, but we all know that hostas are weeds. So who cares what happens to them? Not this guy!

I did almost all the scraping myself. Let me tell you, scraping cedar siding is the worst. Here is just a small sampling of the piles of scraped paint chips that surround my house.

I think I had 5 paint trays going all at once on Sunday. Might have been 6.

So once again. Thanks to everybody that helped me with this project!

If you are wondering what the house actually looks like now, you might have to visit**. Or maybe that will be covered in a blog post in the future. I don’t know what the future holds.

*Actually, I can’t guarantee that the party will be that great***, but the invitations will be very amusing to at least 3, maybe 4 people.
**But don’t ring my doorbell, that freaks me out.
***Although the partial party playlist was endorsed by Anna and she knows about such things. I’m sure.


Saw this spot of purple in my backyard so I figured I better photograph it. After all, somebody once said that “if you don’t notice a spot of purple in nature, it pisses God off.”

Okay, that isn’t the exact quote, but I’m not feeling the motivation to look it up. Google is all the way on my other monitor. Looking over there seems like a ton of work suddenly.


FOCAL LENGTH: 60mm (90mm – 35mm equivalency)
ISO: 160
DATE: 09-28-15 – 17:08
LATITUDE: 42° 3′ 18.5″
LONGITUDE: 93° 52′ 14.8″
ALTITUDE: 346.78 meters

Work Opportunity!

See this house…

My house. Before the paint job. Hope that isn't optimism talking.

It is a sad little house in need of a new paint job…

But there is good news, so rejoice!

I have bought a bunch of paint and I am throwing a painting party!

“What is a painting party?” You may ask.

It is a party where a bunch of people come over and paint my house.

“That sounds like a terrible party.” A lazy person might say.

However, if you think about it, it is actually just as great, grand, and wonderful as any other party.

It has all the same fun things other parties have:

A Dog
Fresh Air
Good People
Stimulating Conversation
Danger (Maybe)
A Sense of Accomplishment

And of course all great parties should end with the need to shower.*

“Wow Chris! That does sound like a great party. What do I have to do?”

For starters, this party will stretch over 2 days. There will be a prep day and a painting day.

Prep Day

Saturday, September 26
Approximately 10-2

Painting Day

Sunday, September 27
Approximately 10- whenever

I honestly don’t anticipate it taking an incredibly long time to paint my house. It isn’t very tall. So come put some paint on my house for a little bit. Then head out. I won’t hate.

I should also state that the only way to be guaranteed an invitation to the 2016 Birthday Party is to come help paint. While that Birthday Party might not be anything special, the invitations will be.

*Shower facilities on site.

The Floor

After years and years of talking about it, I finally removed my carpet from my great room and finished the floor while I was on a vacation. It was a multi-day project that involved several days of just removing furniture and I’m still in the process of putting furniture back in, although some of the furniture has been downsized.

Here are some photos of the process:

Before the process began.

Before the process began.

Before the process began.

Before the process began.

Random picture of my WB Joe!

End of Day 1

End of Day 1

End of Day 1

End of Day 1

End of Day 2

End of Day 2

End of Day 2

End of Day 3

End of Day 3

End of Day 3

End of Day 3

Ready for Finish

Ready for Finish

Ready for Finish

Ready for Finish

Naima, frustrated by the process.




There aren’t pictures of the finished project yet because it isn’t quite finished yet. I need to order new pictures for the walls and Jeff and I are going to be drilling some holes in the wall in the near future. I might post pictures again when it was done, or you might just have to come visit me.

I’d like to thank my amazing floor crew. In particular, Carla and Jesse that helped a ton. Carla came over at midnight to help put on the last coat of finish, which was pretty amazing. But also:


  • Derrick
  • Willy
  • Jay
  • Dawn
  • Dawn’s Kevin
  • Teresa

My Mom was also a big help by giving Naima and I a place to crash while the finish dried and the fumes were at their most toxic.

Now that this project is complete (almost), the painting of the house seems so much more doable. Plus, it will require a larger crew. Not that I’m trolling for volunteers…

Personal Photo Project of the Week #148

Decoupage Experiment

This fits into a crafty version of the Personal Photo Project.

Even though almost everybody thinks it is a bad idea, except Michelle and Jesse, I’m really considering decoupaging a photo montage onto a wall or two or three in my house. I’m really considering doing the basement stairwell. I’m considering doing this even though I know it will make it more difficult to sell my house some day, but on the other hand, there is a chance I could live in that house the rest of my life. When I retire I could decoupage the entire house. Then when I die it would be one of those tourism oddities. I can almost see the entry in the tourism book now:

No visit to central Iowa would be complete without a stop at True Lone Wolf Manor. Thousandaire recluse, madman, artist, genius (by 2 standard deviations), and undisputed True Lone Wolf Christopher D. Bennett spent his retirement years decoupaging the heck out of his house. It is a must see for lovers of art, crafts, photography, and crazy old people. Head east on Union Street from Story Street…

I still have a little ways to go to master the craft, but my 2nd attempt worked, while my 1st attempt was an unmitigated disaster:

When you examine this work, you shouldn’t look at the design or the pictures so much. I basically stuck my hand into an old box of pictures and selected some that I could live without, but didn’t make me sick to look at and started gluing away. There really isn’t a design. This represents a mixture of glue, old photos, and chaos. When I take to my wall, there will be the outlines of an outline of a plan.