Category Archives: State Fair

Minnesota State Fair #1

14 work days of working from home in the books. I think the last time I indicated that I was starting to get a system going. Now I can say that I’m starting to get comfortable working from home. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’ll pumped when it is safe to work from the office again, but I mean that my FOMO is tamping down quite a bit.

That being said, Naima has been pretty much a Sleepy McGee during the day and left me alone to work. However, today she was a ball of fire. I think it is because I have new neighbors that have moved in next door and they have a dog named Gator. Naima and Gator like to “play” by running up and down the fence together. It is a positive that Naima has a new friend. If there is anybody that is really bad about social distancing, it is golden retrievers.

The new neighbors seem good. When Linda moved out, she left a Hawkeye windsock hanging off the back of the house. As the new neighbors have moved in, I’ve been watching that windsock. After 5 days, it is still there. Unfortunately.

Last night I got to introduce myself to the patriarch of the household. I mentioned that I have been waiting for that windsock to go down. The windsock will be staying up. They are Hawkeye fans. Other than this obvious shortcoming, they seem like they will be good neighbors.

An update on what I have been listening to while I work from home:

I still listen to 96.1 from 7 to 9 in the morning. Listening to Christian music does help center me and is a good reminder that while we may feel alone in this pandemic, we are not alone. Not by a long shot.

Then from 9-11 I listen to the Master Playlist. You don’t know about the Master Playlist. It is a playlist of songs I put together for my last birthday party. It is 1,585 songs. 102 hours of music. I am listening to it to cut some of the fat. I’m up to track #307 right now. The acoustic version of “100 Years” by Five For Fighting. Not to be confused by the radio version of “100 Years” by Five for Fighting. That is track #303 silly.

Then from 11 to noon I eat lunch. Watch one episode of THE OFFICE. Then I shower. Lotion up. Gotta keep them feet soft. Put on a fresh set of clothes. Then I’m ready to take the world back on.

From 12-2 or so, I listen to the Master Playlist some more. At I turn on Murph and Andy and they take me to 4, when I clock out and call it a day.

14 days done. Who knows how many more to go, but I am beyond blessed to still be able to work 40 hours a week, have health insurance, and collect a paycheck every other week.

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Here is part of devotional I found on the Methodist Women website that I thought I would share:

John 13:34-35

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:34-35

Jesus calls out the importance of love to his disciples, the importance of loving one another. Love is the only way, the only path to grow with, the mark of a disciple as beloved, the keeper of the fellowship of disciples. Love is central to Jesus’ mission.

Even as he knows the pending betrayal by Judas and Peter’s denial of him, Jesus demonstrates love by washing their feet like a slave does.

Jesus is focused in his teachings on the centrality of loving one another, so that love will not be broken by troubles and doubts among the disciples.

Jesus glorifies God as the highest, the one source of the new commandment to love and act as one beloved community. The parallel verse to this new commandment is in John 15:12-14, laying down one’s life for the love of friends, and for all friends to do the same. It lifts up the heroic act, giving one’s life for others. Love is the formation of community, and love becomes eternal.

Jesus’ pronouncement in John 10:10 is made real.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, help us to rest in your words of love, and loving our neighbors who are suffering, be with us in search of the true meaning of life you offered and find us to be faithful in helping build communities of love, nurture and care. In your name we pray, Amen.

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Last August I went to the Minnesota State Fair with Bethany, Becca, Jonah, and Shawn. I do have to say this, “whoever said that the Minnesota State Fair is better than that Iowa State Fair is seriously disturbed.”

That being said, the Minnesota State Fair is definitely worth visiting. It is crazy overcrowded, but there is more than enough to keep a person entertained!

Here are some pictures:


Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

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Minnesota State Fair - 2019
I can’t tell if this is genius or madness, but I love them!

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

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Minnesota State Fair - 2019
I don’t know what Swedish Egg Coffee is, but it sounds disgusting.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

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Minnesota State Fair - 2019

The one thing I was told not to miss at the Minnesota State Fair is the cookies in the bucket. We did get some and they did not disappoint, but that that is a story for another entry though.

What I want to point out is that another thing the Minnesota State Fair is famous for is a place that sells bottomless cup of milk. The tragedy of this situation is that they aren’t right next to either. In fact, they aren’t even close.

Oh the humanity!

The Gambler, He Broke Even

Kenny Rogers passed away on Saturday. Celebrity deaths don’t usually have much effect on me. However, I was deeply saddened by the passing of Kenny Rogers. Kenny Rogers is my Mom’s favorite and therefore is one of my favorite country singers. I can’t stomach modern country, but I have more than a few old timey country artists I love. Like Hank Williams because of my Grandpa, (I’ve probably covered the Nirvana Christmas Story to recollect it again here) Ernest Tubb because of my Grandma, and Johnny Paycheck AND Tom T. Hall and Dolly Parton because of my Dad. Then there is Kenny Rogers because of my Mom.

Kenny songs were a staple in the Bennett household as I grew up. I have so many favorites:

-Coward of the County
-Lucille
-Lady
-She Believes in Me
-Islands in the Stream
-Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer
-We’ve Got Tonight
-Through the Years
-She Believes in Me
-You Decorated My Life
-Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town
-You Decorated My Life
-Love Will Turn You Around

and of course

-The Gambler

I think “The Gambler” is the song that most people in my generation affiliate with Kenny Rogers. It isn’t actually my favorite Kenny Rogers song, but I do love it so. I also think there is some real world, great, practical advice in that song.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

When I was a kid, I foolishly thought that this was advice about how to play poker. It wasn’t until later in life (probably embarrassingly later) that I realized that this advice had nothing a card game. It was about life. It is advice that I should really apply to my life.

There are too many times where I should fold ’em and walk away. I can think of a couple times where I should have folded ’em and then ran. I’m a person who sometimes tries to hold ’em too much. Or as he says in “Lucille”:

“I’m no quitter, bit I finally quit livin’ on dreams.” I’m hungry for laughter and here ever after. I’m after whatever the other life brings”

It is sad that the dealin’s done for Kenny Rogers. But in his songs I found an ace I can keep.

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Thought I would share pictures from another event that takes me back to my childhood every time I go, the Iowa State Fair. This is the final collection of pictures from my trip there with Logan and Nader.

Most of these pictures are of animals. The DNR building is one of my favorite stops at the Iowa State Fair every year. There are also picutres of the baby pigs from the baby animal exhibit and cakes from the cake competition and sheep waiting for mutton busting.


Iowa State Fair - 2019

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I can’t wait for this year’s Iowa State Fair. Hopefully there is one.

Pride. Integrity. Guts.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of you that celebrate. I don’t. I’m mostly of Scottish and Welsh stock, so I’ve been trained by the English to hate the Irish and I do. I do hate the Irish. At least I hate the Notre Dame Fighitn’ Irish. They can straight bugger off.

That being said, under normal circumstances, I would make my way to West Street Deli and have the most delicious Reuben in the world. That was before we were in a global pandemic. Also, I think West Street Deli closes during Spring Break anyways.

Another thing that would normally happen tonight would be the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. This year it was cancelled due to fears of over the coronavirus. I one hundred percent support this decision. In situations like we find ourselves in, we should very vigilant. When this is over, nobody will regret being too cautious. That being said, it still makes me a little sad. The NCAA Tournament is by far my favorite sporting event every year. There isn’t a close second. Maybe Championship Week. Followed by bowl games. Followed by about every college football Saturday.

So let me quote a Brandi Carlile song to express a little bit of how I feel about the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.


Look to the clock on the wall
Hands hardly moving at all
I can’t stand the state that I’m in
Sometimes it feels like the wall’s closing in
Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?
Trap all my troubles away
Drown my sorrow the same way
Seems no matter how hard I try
It seems like there’s something just missing inside

However, while I drown my sorrows, it seems I should still honor last years NCAA Tournament and the winners of my annual Roundball Oracles Pool.

You may recall that there are two trophy winners. The winner and then the biggest adult loser. The winner of last year’s Roundball Oracles Pool was Becky Parmelee:


2019 Roundball Oracles Champion
Becky with her Championship Trophy

Then the winner of The Sara Trophy for last place adult was Russell Kennerly:


2019 Roundball Oracles - The Sara
Russell with the Sara.

Last year, 42 people vied to join the List of Immortals with Becky finishing on top. Here are the final standings:

Roundball Oracles – Year 15

1. Becky Parmelee – 281
2. Linda Bennett – 265
3. Michelle Haupt -242
4. Lowell Davis – 242
5. Angie DeWaard – 242
6. Dawn Krause – 239
7. Sean Clubine – 237
8. Paul Golden – 237
9. Rachel Gildersleeve – 237
10. Jason Baier – 236
11. Jesse Howard – 231
12. Michael Augustin – 230
13. Corey Faust – 225
14. Derek Dohrman – 224
15. Shannon Bardole – 224
16. Cathie Raley – 223
17. Jordan Toot – 221
18. Robert Henning – 220
19. Frank Meiners – 219
20. Brandon Kahler – 210
21. Jackson Faust – 209
22. Which Mascot Would Win a Fight – 202
23. Bill Wentworth – 202
24. Ben Baier – 201
25. Derrick Gorshe -201
26. Humble Narrator – 198
27. Elizabeth Nordeen – 196
28. Jason Stensland – 195
29. Olivia Baier – 195
30. Tim Peterson – 193
31 – William McAlpine – 192
32. Jorge Rios – 189
33. Sarah Karber – 189
34. Toby Sebring – 185
35. Joseph Lynch – 181
36. Teresa Kahler – 181
37. Will Baier – 177
38. Jon DeWaard – 173
39. Carrie Baier – 170
40. Laura Miller – 166
41. Sean Gildersleeve – 161
42. Russell Kennerly – 160
43. JJ Baier – 150

The Updated List of Immortals

2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

A few final thoughts on the end of the college basketball season. This year’s Iowa State men’s team was one of the worst in school history. At least one of the worst in my lifetime. In some ways there is little in the way of hope for next season as Iowa State will (barring a miracle) will lose their best player (Tyrese Halliburton) to the NBA. They only lose 2 seniors in Jacobson and Nixon, but I’m not sure how much talent is returning. Every guy that returns has shown flashes of greatness and then has returned to the mean. Freshman like Tre Jackson had to play way too much before they were remotely ready. The bumps those guys took could pay off next season as at least Tre could take a big jump. Solo is the heart and soul of the team and he could have a big senior season. George Conditt is an NBA talent, but he struggled this season, but if there is anybody on the roster that is able to make a bigger jump than him, I don’t know who it would be. If T-Lew could learn to play just a little bit of defense he could be a big contributor. I’m sure his flex after his dunk against Okie State instead of running back on defense will be a big motivator this offseason. Zion might be the biggest question mark on the roster. His playing time diminished as the season went along, but he still has a huge upside. Bolton is in line to be the best player on next year’s roster, but he has to start playing with more discipline.

There is a great recruiting class coming in with Xavier Foster being one of the biggest recruits in school history. With his silky smooth shot, he could easily fill that stretch 4 role that Jacobson struggled to fill this season. Dudley Blackwell is also a highly regarded recruit that could also contribute immediately. Darlinstone Dubar has an incredible name and frankly that is how I evaluate most recruits. He wasn’t a highly regarded recruit when he signed with Iowa State, but then he shot up the rankings. He has good size. which is something this year’s team lacked. Jaden Walker is another mystery. He isn’t all that highly regarded, but he is built like Tyrese. His rankings are similar to Tyrese. I’m not saying he is the next Tyrese Halliburton, but even the Steve Prohm haters that came out of the woodwork this year would struggle to criticize his record with point guards.

The other big mystery is sit-out transfer Javon Johnson. He is a 6-6 small forward that averaged double digits for Troy. He has a good shot and allegedly had NBA athleticism. But it is a big jump from Troy to what has been the best basketball conference in the country for the last decade. He is a big wild card.

Finally, Iowa State will have at least one scholarship to fill. I’d like to live in the world where Tyrese comes back, but even with his injury, some mock drafts having him going as high as #4 in the draft. That gives at least one scholarship to fill. I imagine Iowa State will try to sign an immediately eligible experience point guard. Bolton can play the point, but he is clearly better as the 2. Otherwise, you are looking at Tre taking over at the point. He didn’t get a ton of time there this season, so it isn’t the best case scenario.

It is also certainly possible that somebody transfers, opening up another scholarship. If that happens, I imagine Iowa State would look at a sit-out transfer (if that is still a thing). Not sure what they would go after there, but my guess is another combo guard.

Now, the Cyclone women had a much better season. They ended their season by defeating #2 Baylor and ending their 58 game Big 12 Conference win streak. Leaving Hilton Coliseum that day was the most joy I have experienced as a Cyclone fan since leaving Jack Trice on November 16 after the Cyclones knocked off Texas with a 36 yard Connor Assalley walk-off field goal.

The women’s had an up and down season, but they were projected to be in the NCAA Tournament as a 9 or 10 seed. They could have improved that seed with a run in the Big 12 Tournament, but to get to the finals, they would have had to beat that same Baylor team in the semi-finals.

Not much was expected out of the Cyclones this year. They had just lost Bridget Carleton, arguably the best player in school history. If she isn’t the best, the only person in the conversation is Angie Welle… for now. They also lost Alexa Middleton, the best point guard Iowa State has had since Allison Lacey. Finally, they lost Meredith Burkhall. Meredith wasn’t a star, but she was a solid post that might have been primed for a big senior season if she hadn’t experience a serious illness the summer before her senior season.

Iowa State’s season could have went south as the roster constantly battled injuries. Iowa State’s second best player Kristin Scott battled a back injury that sidelined her at the beginning and the end of the season. Starting point guard Rae Johnson also missed several games with a bad back. At the end of the year her minutes were being heavily monitored. Madison Wise missed a good chunk of the season due to debilitating migraines. Maddie Frederick was starting to get good minutes when she went down with an injury and only returned for the last few games of the season.

Despite all of that, Iowa State finished 4th in the Big 12 and were playing great basketball at the end of the season. They had the grit that the men lacked. People played out of position. People stepped up. Having Ashley Joens, who will be in the conversation with Welle and Carleton to be the GOAT when her career is over, probably didn’t hurt either.

But what will next year’s team be like? I think we are at the dawn of what could be another golden era for the Cyclone women. I don’t want to say that they could contend for a conference title next year, because.. you know… Baylor, but they could give Baylor a run for their money. Especially with what Baylor loses. But what does Iowa State lose?

Iowa State graduated 4 seniors. All of them were contributors, but none of them put the kind of a dent in the program that Bridget Carleton did.

Probably the biggest loss is Adriana Camber. Down the stretch, she played almost every minute of every game. Her numbers won’t pop out at you. She averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. But she wassecond on the team with 845 minutes played. She was the consummate glue player. She did whatever the team needed. Usually that meant guarding the best player on the other team. More times than not, she was able to shut them down. She also lead the Cyclones with 48 thees. All of that will be hard to replace, but that is a role that a healthy Madison Wise could slide into. She struggled from 3 this season, but her history suggests she is a better shooter than she showed this season. Camber also struggled with her shot as a junior after all.

The second biggest loss is probably Ines Nezerwa. Ines was a post and probably one of the biggest fan favorites. Ines came to Iowa State very raw and left a little raw. You could see that talent there, but sometimes that meant bad turnovers. Sometimes it meant several minute stretches where she would dominate games. Sometimes it mean she couldn’t stop fouling. But nobody will ever forget the big 3 she drilled in the final minutes against Baylor to give Iowa State the lead. With Kristin Scott having an injury plagued season she came up big for the Cyclones over and over again. Especially when the only other big on the roster was Morgan Kane, who was a very green freshman. The good news is that there are people ready (hopefully to replace Ines). For starters there is 6-5 sit out transfer Lindsey Jarosinski. Plus it is hard to put into words how much Morgan Kane grew this season. At the end she was able to play valuable minutes. I don’t know that she will ever be much of a scorer, but she doesn’t need to be. Finally, Iowa State redshirted Gabby McBride this season. Iowa State will not be so thin in the post next season. Especially if Kristin Scott stays healthy.

The third Cyclones they lose is Jade Thurmon. Jade came up big for the depleted Cyclones late in the season. She was super fast with the ball and was hard to contain off dribble penetration. However, there are plenty of players coming that are coming that can take Jade’s minutes.

The last senior Iowa State loses is Nia Washington. Nia hardly ever played, but she was definitely a team leader. She was the player that gave the last words to the team before they took the floor. As an outsider, it is hard to quantify how much her leadership could be missed.

That is the bad. The good news is that Iowa State returns their (at least) 3 best players. Ashley Joens will be a junior. Kristin Scott will be a senior. Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw will be a sophomore. They will return Rae Johnson, their point guard and sometimes best player. Hopefully Madison Wise is healthy and returns to her freshman form. They add a 6-5 transfer. I’m very intrigued to see how Maddie Frederick develops. She has shown signs. She is somebody who could potentially take that Camber role as well.

While what returns on paper is more than enough to get excited about, we should talk about what is coming in next year. They have the #7 ranked class in the country.

Lexi Donarski from Wisconsin will be only the second McDonald’s All-American (Alexa Middleton) to play for Iowa State. She is the #12 player in the country.

Emily Ryan from Kansas has never lost a high school game. She has been the Kansas Player of the Year multiple times.

Aubrey Joens in Ashley Joens’ sister. Enough said, but she is also the #58 player in the country.

Kylie Feurbach from Illinois is the #77 player in the country.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little bit excited about the women’s team next year. The fact that thee is no NCAA Tournament this year doesn’t help.

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I also wanted to share some pictures from my trip to the Iowa State Fair with Nader and Logan:


Iowa State Fair - 2019

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I still need to crack into flower pictures I took at the Iowa State Fair on this day. I know some of you are looking forward to that!

Baby Animals and Cows

I need to start today’s post by wishing my niece Nora a very happy birthday! Nora is like 4 years old now. How did she get so old! Here are some Nora pictures:


Nora

Memorial Day - 2017

Nora

Nora - 4 Months Old

Thomas the Tank - 2018

I hope Nora has a very happy birthday!

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I still have quite a few pictures to share from my day at the Iowa State Fair with Nader and Logan:


Iowa State Fair - 2019

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Iowa State Fair - 2019

I still have plenty more pictures left from my Iowa State Fair day and I haven’t even started the flower pictures yet!

ISFRXOII

Even though it is barely March, it is about time that I start turning my thoughts to the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. I hope to be more current with my images by the time I actually have to make a decision, but I am pretty sure I know of at least one picture I’m going to enter. Even though, I currently can’t remember that picture. I just remember taking a picture and thinking, I’m going to enter that in the Iowa State Fair. Could be a false memory planted by my therapist. Since, after all, having a therapist is a false memory placed by parts unknown.

Today’s collection is of pictures I took on the last day of the Iowa State Fair with the Sony RXOII. Nader went with me and Logan met me down there.


Iowa State Fair - 2019

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This is just the beginning of the pictures from last year’s Iowa State Fair.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is JUNK:


WEEK 234 - JUNK
JUNK

Remember, that there is a difference between JUNK and garbage. Also remember, there are many definitions of the word JUNK.

Happy photo harvesting!

Smiles are to Humanity

On the day that Baby Got Rack competed at the Iowa State Fair, I took some time to go over to my favorite part of the Iowa State Fair to take some flower pictures.

Unfortunately, the lighting was atrocious, but I took a couple flower pictures I don’t hate.


Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

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Iowa State Fair - 2019

I went to the State Fair a second time last year and I believe the lighting for my flower pictures was much more favorable. I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

2009-08-24

There are a ton of photos in the folder 2009-08-24. Most of them are from my trips to the Iowa State Fair in 2009. However, there is also a good chunk of them that are pictures of Teresa and Ernie.

This is already going to be a long post, so I don’t want to overwhelm you with a ton of words up front. I want to overwhelm you with pictures on the backside:


Iowa State Fair - 2009

Iowa State Fair - 2009

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Iowa State Fair - 2009

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

Teresa and Ernie

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

The State Fair

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve some Stephanie and some of my mad gardening skills.

Dogs with Papers

Today is the last day of 2019. Therefore, I will reveal the November and December images for the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

November Image:


2020 Calendar - November
November

The November image is a collection of dew drops that were trapped in a spiderweb. The spiderweb was located on a evergreen bush in my front yard. This picture was selected to be entered in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest by Michelle Haupt. It received a Blue Ribbon. This picture was taken July 14, 2018.


Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/2.2
Exposure: 1/100
ISO: 100

December Image:


2020 Calendar - December
December

The December image is of Old Highway 30 crossing through the Des Moines River Valley between Boone and Ogden. The image looks west towards Ogden as the sun begins to set. On the left is the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area. In the distance Seven Oaks can be seen. This picture was entered in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, but was not selected for display. This picture was taken March 8, 2019.


Details

Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20C
Focal Length: 10.3mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/400
ISO: 100
Altitude: 343.7 meters above sea level

That concludes the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar images. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope if you got a calendar, you enjoyed it too.

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Before I left for the Mission Trip, I agreed to photograph the graduation of the Boone Area Humane Society’s Dog Obedience Class for Kio. Here are some of my favorite images from the experience:


Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

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Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

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Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Guess I’ll see you in 2020. Happy New Year’s Eve if you’re the type that celebrates. I believe I have successfully escaped being invited to a New Year’s Eve Party for like at least the 10th straight year!

Week 225 Theme Reveal

Today I reveal the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar images for September and October.


2020 Calendar - September
September

The September image is of the Union Pacific Big Boy. It was taken a few miles east of Boone, near Jordan. It was taken on August 2, 2019. The Big Boy was on a tour to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 28mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure: 1/400
ISO: 100


2020 Calendar - October
October

The October image was taken in the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair. The subject is a monarch butterfly on top of a zinnia. The picture was taken on August 19, 2018.

Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 200mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/320
ISO: 400

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If things go right, by the time you read these words I will be somewhere in Illinois or Missouri or maybe even Kentucky on my way back from Orlando, still high from a Cyclone victory of Notre Dame.

Therefore, when I get home from Orlando I will publish all the submissions for last week’s theme CANDID PORTRAIT.

However, just because I’m out cruising through the country, doesn’t mean you should be delayed on starting this week’s theme:


WEEK 225 - HDR
HDR!

HDR! What a great theme! Wait a second. What the Hades is an HDR image?

Okay, so this is the one that I was pretty sure would end the double digit submission streak. If the holidays didn’t end it already, but CANDID PORTRAIT is a pretty easy theme especially when, is there a better CANDID PORTRAIT opportunity then little kids opening presents on Christmas morning?

But none of that answers the question what is an HDR image? HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Here is a great explanation from Digital Trends:

HDR stands for “high dynamic range.” For those who aren’t so acquainted with this high-tech shutterbug lingo, dynamic range is basically just the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark you can capture in a photo. Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white, or the darks simply become big black blobs. It’s notoriously difficult to snap a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum, but with modern shooting techniques and advanced post-processing software, photographers have devised ways to make it happen. This is basically what HDR is: a specific style of photo with an unusually high dynamic range that couldn’t otherwise be achieved in a single photograph.

The best way to think of it is several pictures taken at different exposure levels, combined to create one image.

How the hades am I going to do that? Well, it isn’t as hard as you think. Pretty much every camera (including your phone camera) has a setting that will do this for you automatically. For example on my Pixel 2:



I can turn off and on HDR. Or even enhanced HDR. Look under you camera settings, you can find it there too.

You can also try to get fancy and take individual pictures yourself and try combining them yourself. You can even use an HDR toning program to create an HDR image from just one image.

As you can see, this isn’t an intimidating theme at all. You can literally take a picture of anything, as long as you change a setting on your camera before you take the picture.

It is almost too easy!

President Quest 2020 – Pete Buttigieg – Volume 1

On my first stop to the Iowa State Fair, the trip where Baby Got Rack dominated the competition with our Meatloaf Cupcakes, I stuck around longer in the day to see 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

He was speaking at the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox. I badly underestimated how soon the crowd would line up to see him. I also badly underestimated how many people would show up to see him.

I cracked out one of my longest telephoto lenses and grabbed what pictures I could. It was hard to hear him, so I decided that I would have to go see Mayor Pete a second time, in a more intimate locale.

Here is a little information on Pete Buttigieg from the Wiki, the first openly gay candidate to run for the presidential nomination of a major political party.

Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg[1] ( /ˈbuːtɪdʒɪdʒ/ BOOT-ih-jij;[2][3] born January 19, 1982) is an American politician and former U.S. Naval Reserve officer who has served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012. He is one of two combat veterans running for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election.[4]

After graduating from Harvard University and then from Pembroke College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship, Buttigieg worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.[5] From 2009 to 2017 he served as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant and deploying to Afghanistan in 2014.[6][7]

Buttigieg was elected Mayor of South Bend in 2011 and reelected in 2015. Before his reelection, he publicly came out as gay. On April 14, 2019, Buttigieg announced his candidacy in the 2020 United States presidential election,[8] after having formed an exploratory committee in January 2019.[9][10] His platform includes support for reducing income inequality, pro-environmental policies, cooperation between the Democratic Party and organized labor, universal background checks for firearms purchases, the Equality Act, a public option for health insurance, and preserving the DACA program for children of illegal immigrants. Buttigieg also supports reforms that would end gerrymandering, overturn the Citizens United v. FEC decision, and abolish the Electoral College.[11]

Here are some pictures of Mayor Pete:


Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

I would see Mayor Pete again, a couple of months later.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is LINES:


WEEK 215 - LINES
LINES

LINES photography, is the drawing the viewer’s eye along vertical, diagonal, parallel and horizontal lines.

Many subjects make LINES. Roads, paths, bridges, buildings. Just to name a few.

Happy photo harvesting!