Category Archives: Photography

Super Bowl Spreads

On Super Bowl Sunday I got invited to 2 Super Bowl parties. Which is strange, cause it isn’t all that common for me to get invited to adult parties. I’m big time on the toddler party circuit, but other than that, my party dance card is pretty much empty.

So when I got invited to not ONE, but TWO parties on the same night, I had to cash in!

If we’re being honest, I wasn’t that emotionally invested in the outcome of the game. I wanted the 49ers to win because I wanted Brock Purdy to win, but I had no expectation they would win. The 49ers have a trash offensive line and their defense was also trash down the stretch. If the game was close, it was only going to be because the Chiefs also have a trash offensive line. In fact, it is amazing that two teams with such trash offensive lines made it so far in the playoffs.

But, despite my having a rooting interest for Brock Purdy, I wasn’t going to lose any sleep no matter the result. It is only his 2nd year in the league, he will have more chances.

But I might never have a chance to graze at 2 different Super Bowl parties.

I watched the 1st quarter and the 4th quarter at Logan’s party. I watched the 2nd and 3rd quarter and the halftime show at Scottie D.’s. Although I was attempted to leave immediately when only 2 people there knew who H.E.R. was.

Maybe next year I can get invited to 4 parties and watch each quarter at a different party. #GOALS.

Moving around didn’t really hurt my enjoyment of the game cause it was one of the single worst games I’ve ever watched in my life. The levels of ineptitude shown by the 2 “best” teams in the NFL made me thing that the defending USFL Champs (Birmingham Stallions) might have been the best team in professional football last year. You think the Chiefs defense could shut down Deon Cain? No. No they couldn’t. The 49ers pathetic secondary certainly couldn’t.

What? You thought I was going to talk up the Arlington Renegades. Please! They finished the regular season 4-6. The XFL should be ashamed for letting them be their champs.

And if you want to know who my team is in the UFL? It is the St. Louis Battlehawks!! Why? Cause Anthony Becht is their coach.

Here are some pictures of some of the spread at Logan’s:


Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party
This isn’t finished, if you are wondering.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Logan's Party
Some of these have a Dr. Pepper sauce.

Scottie D. had a larger party, so a larger spread:


Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
Scott is a Chiefs fan, but almost everybody else there was rooting for Brock Purdy.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
I bet this was delicious.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
I confess, mashed potatoes took me by surprise, but I bet they were delicious.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
These were homemade meatballs.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
Scott’s very proud of his countertop ice machine. Might like it more than at least one of his children.

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party

Super Bowl Sunday Spread  - Scott's Party
I’m a sucker for little smokies. In fact I bought an 8 pack of them just the other day.

Basically what needs to happen is Logan and Scottie D. need to have their parties again next year. Then 2 more of you need step up and invite me to your parties. I don’t really care about missing much of the game to travel, but all 4 of the parties should be in Boone or close to Boone. As long as I get to see all of the halftime show, I’m good. One of my favorite yearly tradition is watching old people complain about that year’s halftime show. Like clockwork.

If you are wondering what my favorite Super Bowl treat was???

Drumroll please…

This will disappoint Scott and Logan…

It was the sliders Melissa made. I’m a sucker for a good slider.

But also thanks to my cousin Sarah for sending me pictures of her Super Bowl spread. I think hers looked healthier. I swear I saw vegetables and maybe hummus in one of her pictures.

But I promised, you… my accountability buddies, that there would be weekly updates on my attempts to establish healthier habits.

I thought I would sprinkle in a little knowledge on these updates. Here is something I learned from my Noom lessons this past week:

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that when you eat a meal with someone else it increases the number of calories you eat. If you eat with one more person, (this is at the aggregate level) you consume 44% calories. 58% more with 3 people. 69% with 4 people. 96% more calories with 7 people!

So don’t be jealous when you see a skinny person. They are just a loser that nobody wants to eat with.

A for the weight update, I’m down 5.9 pounds this week and 12.4 pounds since starting Noom about 4 weeks ago. Obviously 5.9 pounds in a week isn’t sustainable and is definitely a bit of a fluke and weight fluctuates from day to day due to a large number of factors. I expect that weight to go up a little bit this week. But all in all, a positive trend.

How is the CPAP going? I think I’m starting to get used to it. My FitBit sleep score has been in the 70s this past week. Which puts me in the Fair sleep range. I’ll take it.

I did breakdown and get a fitness watch. I went with the Google Pixel Watch 2. So far I’m really digging it. I am NOT a watch person. I need to pick up a different band though. Apparently people think my baby blue watch band isn’t manly enough. Just kidding, I don’t care what other people think.

At this time, I’m still thinking about joining a gym. Planet Fitness in Ames is the current leading contender. I do worry about joining a gym in a different town, but the price is right and I don’t like either of the gyms in Boone. So stay tuned on that front.

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve a local barbecue joint that shockingly, I had never eaten at before.

Iowa State Fair – Day 2 – Beta

Time to share another collection of images from my 2nd trip to the Iowa State Fair. This time a trip with the Degeneffes. This is more of my roaming around the fairgrounds while most of the fair was still asleep and the gates had yet to be opened to the general public.


Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023
Come on! You know I love pictures of urinals!

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023
They serve the same amount of customers when the Fair is open.

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Still one more collection of pictures from this trip to the Fair to share! And two more days of Fair trips left to share!

I Fall to Pieces

I fall to pieces
Each time I see you again
I fall to pieces
How can I be just your friend?

You want me to act like we’ve never kissed
You want me to forget (to forget)
Pretend we’ve never met (never met)

And I’ve tried and I’ve tried
But I haven’t yet
You walk by and I fall to pieces

I fall to pieces
Each time someone speaks your name (speaks your name)
I fall to pieces
Time only adds to the flame

You tell me to find someone else to love
Someone who love me too (love me too)
The way you used to do (used to do)
But each time I go out with someone new
You walk by and I fall to pieces
You walk by and I fall to pieces
-Written by Hank Cochran & Harlan Howard
-Made Famous by Patsy Cline

I do love the song “Crazy” but “I Fall to Pieces” is really my favorite Patsy Cline song.

But Thursdays are for flowers. And most of this flowertography session took place in my yard, but there are some bonus pictures (including one of Naima) that I took at Dickcissel.


Happy Things - 2023

Happy Things - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2023

A Yellow Flower

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

The next flowertography collection will be less experimental. A bit more macro.

RAGBRAI – Ames

On the first day that I followed RAGBRAI, the final stop was Ames. Ames was an overnight town. I went to downtown Ames to check out their festivities and met up with the Gorshes.

Here are some pictures:


RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

Honestly, the Ames RAGBRAI experience was a little bit of a disappointment. But on the next day I would follow RAGBRAI to Slater and Madrid, and both of them more than made up for Ames!

Your Friends are Mine, You Know, I Know

I took a few pictures for the THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES. In fact, I even took a road trip along the old Lincoln Way backroads to Marshalltown to take a few photos.

Here is the collection of images that didn’t make the cut:


Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, &  Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles Alternate

It was decent little road trip. With only one weird experience. But we’ll tackle that at another time.

WPC – WEEK 440 – ORANGE

ORANGE! The favorite color of some. Some even say it is the new black. Some say that whomever said it was the new pink was seriously deranged. But was all these opinions on ORANGE enough to make it a popular theme? You will have to keep scrolling to find out:

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, February 5, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Jen Ensley-Gorshe – 1 week
2-Jennie Green – 1 week
3-Amy Peterson – 1 week (2)
4-Deanna McClain – 1 week
5-Johnathan Stensland – 1 week
6-Willy McAlpine – 2 weeks
7-Sara Lockner – 4 weeks
8-Monica Jennings – 5 weeks
9-Suzie Brannen – 6 weeks
10-Lowell Davis – 6 weeks
11-Michelle Haupt – 6 weeks
12-Alexis Stensland – 6 weeks
13-Brandon Kahler – 7 weeks
14-Scott Degeneffe – 25 weeks
15-Sabas Hernandez – 26 weeks
16-Mike Vest – 31 weeks
17-Sheri Fakhouri – 35 weeks
18-Logan Kahler – 36 weeks (2)
19-Nathanial Brown – 37 weeks
20-Jesse Howard – 37 weeks
21-Tamara Peterson – 40 weeks
22-Mindi Terrell – 52 weeks (2)
23-Linda Bennett – 81 weeks
24-Sarah Toot – 82 weeks
25-Angie DeWaard – 86 weeks
26-Dawn Krause – 90 weeks (2)
27-Kim Barker – 96 weeks
28-Joe Duff – 97 weeks (2)
29-Teresa Kahler – 108 weeks
30-Carla Stensland – 108 weeks
31-Micky Augustin – 110 weeks
32-Andy Sharp – 111 weeks
33-Bill Wentworth – 112 weeks (2)
34-Cathie Morton – 116 weeks
35-Elizabeth Nordeen – 117 weeks
36-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 119 weeks
37-Kio Dettman – 121 weeks

Heading in to this week’s theme, here is what the 2024 Submission Map looks like:



THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is starting to spread!

Reminder. 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.
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 - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Ames, Iowa) – 111 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Iowa) – 120 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Nevada, Iowa) – 97 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Photography 139 Studio – Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 82 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Clive, Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Boone, Iowa) – 38 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Boone, Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 26 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 122 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Ames, Iowa) – 87 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas) – 98 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Missouri Airspace) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Galveston, Texas)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 36 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SUSANNA FUNK
Susanna Funk (Pikes Peak, Colorado) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 27 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Sacred Heart – Boone, Iowa) – 38 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Y Camp – Boone County, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa) – 6 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Wal-Mart – Boone, Iowa) – 37 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 109 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Ames, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim (Bed-Stuy – Brooklyn, New York) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 91 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (Granger, Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Boone, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 117 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Bella Vista, Arkansas) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Bella Vista, Arkansas)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Perry, Iowa) – 41 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Boone, Iowa) – 112 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Ogden, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa) – 109 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa) – 53 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (New York City, New York) – 83 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (New York City, New York)

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 32 weeks

WPC - WEEK 440 - ORANGE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 113 weeks

39 participants! That is a great week! Breaks the previous record for participants this year, which was 38! Plus the first submissions this year from Stephanie and Becky!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Arkansas
+ Colorado
+ Iowa
+ Kansas
+ Missouri
+ Nebraska
+ New York
+ Texas

Thanks to the travels of Jen, we added Missouri to the list. And Becky’s first submissions of 2024 add Arkansas to the list!

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

+ Arkansas (2)
+ California (1)
+ Colorado (2)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Iowa (272)
+ Kansas (11)
+ Michigan (2)
+ Minnesota (1)
+ Missouri (1)
+ Nebraska (8)
+ New York (4)
+ Pennsylvania (6)
+ South Dakota (2)
+ Texas (13)

12 states so far! No bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple states:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX)
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO)
+ Mary Green (MI, IA)
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY)
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN)

Jen has now taken a 2 state lead to be crowned the Queen of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Travel! I’ll keep workshopping that name.

The big milestone this week was Scott joining the Half Year Club! WooHoo!

But it wasn’t all good times! Jennie, Amy, and Johnathan couldn’t build on last week’s submission. Their streaks ended before they 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 431 - LEADING LINES
LEADING LINES – IOWA STATE FAIR PHOTOGRAPHY SALON THEME

LEADING LINES! What a great them for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I’m not explaining themes this year, unless it is something technical, but since this is the special theme category for the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, I thought I would share their explanation for LEADING LINES.



I look forward to 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 LEADING LINES in this place in this place that hopefully is leading somewhere positive next Monday.

Colon Scopin’

Not gonna lie. Going to state it right out in the open. This post isn’t for everybody. I was already told once that I overshared about this process, but it was a food adventure of sorts and the information I’m going to share fits into my future food adventures.

I started 2024 without really being to the doctor much over the last few years. If I’m being honest, much in my lifetime. But I’m getting old Auto Focus and the targeted ads when I listen to podcasts or peruse the internet or watching streaming services remind me of this fact every single day.

To start this year, I got a physical and since I haven’t been to the doctor much, he announced that this was the year that we were going to tune me up. So he scheduled me for a sleep study and a colonoscopy.

I was definitely dreading the colonoscopy. I have heard the hype about how awful it is for years. I don’t know what your experience with having something shoved up your butt is, but it was going to be a new experience for me. Not one I was looking forward to, like going to New Orleans for the first time. But when you are old like me, these are the kind of things you have to do.

Today’s food adventure is the prep I went through before my colonoscopy. I had my colonoscopy on Thursday. The prep started on Monday.

Monday Instructions

East absolutely nothing with seeds or corn: NO tomatoes, celery seeds, raspberries, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, popcorn, bread with seeds (whole grain), nuts.

This was particularly challenging for me because I eat a lot of raspberries and I enjoy a variety of nuts on the regular. Almonds. Pistachios. Walnuts. All favorites of mine. And, if you remember, a poppyseed kolache had made its way back for Nebraska with my name on it. Oh kolaches! So goooooooood! The no tomato part was also difficult cause I like a good tomato on my sandwich. Not tenderloins, but other sandwiches. I also have been eating lots of corn lately. I persevered though.

Tuesday Instructions

Milk of Magnesia: Take one ounce of Milk of Magnesia at bedtime. No seeds. No corn.


Colonoscopy Prep

I opted for the wild cherry flavored milk of magnesia. Only 1 ounce. It actually didn’t taste too bad. I don’t hanker for it, but it wasn’t bad.

Wednesday Instructions

Drink only clear liquids for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Solid foods including milk and milk products are NOT allowed. Clear liquids include water, juice, chicken or beef broth, plain Jell-O, Gatorade, popsicles, black coffee, teas, soda. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM RED AND PURPLE LIQUIDS.


Colonoscopy Prep

Member’s Mark Chicken Broth and 7-Up. That is what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other than it wasn’t all that filling, it wasn’t too bad. I can recommend this chicken broth. It is pretty dang tasty. I actually like 7-Up. Of the clear citrus sodas, it is my favorite by far. I’ve never liked Sprite much. Sierra Mist was slightly better than Sprite, but not the best. It’s replacement Starry, I can live without.

3:00 PM: Take 4 Dulcolax tablets. Continue clear liquids.


Colonoscopy Prep

There isn’t much to say about these. They are tiny. You can’t taste them. They definitely do the job as a laxative.

5:00 PM Pour 64 oz Gatorade into large pitcher or container. Add 238 gm Miralax into the Gatorade. Mix Well. You will want to drink one 10-12 oz glass every 15-20 minutes until it is gone.


Colonoscopy Prep

I’m not a fan of Gatorade. It is one of those things that if my body needs it (like after a workout) it tastes fantastic. If I’ve been sitting around like a worthless couch potato all day, then it tastes like ass. My body rejects it.

“Dude, you haven’t earned this.”

I hear a lot of people struggle with this, but I was able to knock all this down fairly easily. Probably cause the other diuretics had been doing their work and I was getting pretty hungry. The broth wasn’t exactly filling me up.

NOTHING BY MOUTH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

THURSDAY INSTRUCTIONS

Day of the exam, 3 hours prior (3 AM): Take 10 0z of the Mag Citrate (set your alarm). If you have known kidney disease, please discuss with physician fist. DO NOT drink with water.


Colonoscopy Prep

I opted for the cherry flavored magnesium citrate. It actually went down pretty smooth. The taste wasn’t bad and I was so hungry by this point, 10 more ounce of liquid. If you have constipation, you could do worse. Flavor wise.

I’ve heard stories of people throwing this up, but really, I was so hungry. I downed that bottle like it was an ice cold Pepsi-Cola.

The colonoscopy experience itself was not anywhere near as bad as the hype. Teresa took me to the hospital and drove me home afterwards.

I checked-in. They took me back to the waiting room. I put on a gown that was a million times too short for me. They ran an IV. The first one in my life. That one took a little bit. Apparently my veins are a bit shy. But I’ve know that from every time I’ve ever gotten my blood drawn.

Then we walked back to the operating room. I lied down. The anesthesiologist told me the anesthesia might burn a little bit going in, but I didn’t feel any burn. Next thing I knew, they were waking me up and walking me back to my room.

Once I was situated there, they came in and told me that everything went well. They found one polyp, which is common, but shouldn’t be anything to be worried about. They would send it to get biopsied and then I would hear the results next week.

Then I got dressed and went home.

The following week they called me and told me the polyp was benign and that I wouldn’t have to go through this again for 10 years. Which is exactly what I was hoping to hear.

I’m not going to get on my soapbox and tell you that if you are over 45 years, you should get in and get a colonoscopy. But if you are starting to get an inordinate amount of ads in your feeds for bentcarrot.com, then it is probably time.

If I were you, I wouldn’t listen to me either, so like I said, I won’t preach. Cause you already know and one more person telling you won’t make a difference. But I might be the one person that you hear say, “it isn’t really all that bad”.

So it is like the poster says:



I also said that I was getting a sleep study done. I was lucky enough to get to do an at home sleep study and that was an awful experience. I wore a sensor on a finger and another one on my chest. It doesn’t sound like much, but I had the worst night of sleep ever.

When they rate how you sleep, it is on a scale of 1-35. 35 is the worst. I got a 31. Which is basically, “How are you still alive?”

So starting on Thursday, this is what I look like when I go to bed at night:


Colonoscopy Prep
Sexy Auto Focus

I have slept with it for 3 nights now. The first night was pretty awful. I might have just thrown in the towel, but the insurance company won’t pony up the cash unless I average 4 hours a night with this guy on for 3 months.

However, the 2nd night wasn’t too bad. The 3rd night I would characterize as not bad. I’m hoping in a week or so I can crank that all the way up to good.

The third and final health related thing that came out of my physical is I’m becoming increasingly more active trying to establish healthier habits. That includes both eating and exercise.

Last year I did change many of my eating habits. I wasn’t completely mindful about it, but I established a few guidelines with what I considered to be healthier eating. I won’t going into much detail, but I tried to limit the bad foods I ate. Tried to eat healthier snacks. Tried to stop eating by 8 PM. Tried to be more active. The active part can be hard for me because my job is a TON of sitting down. I try to take some brief walks on my 10 minute breaks.

And I did have some positive results. In fact in 2023 I lost like 30 pounds.

Exactly 1 person noticed.

Thanks Michelle!

From my physical my doctored said I should try Noom. It is that weight loss program that is based in psychology. I wasn’t eager for this, but I decided to give it a shot. As a bonus, I’m pretty sure I can get the Computer Mine to pay for it through our continuing education budget. So at worst case scenario, I shouldn’t be out any money.

The Noom system basically consists of 4 things you do every day:

1. Read lessons on forming good habits and nutrition.
2. Weigh yourself.
3. Track what you eat.
4. Track your exercise.

Which I suppose doesn’t seem like rocket science and I wasn’t looking forward to logging what I eat. But as it turns out, that part has probably been the most helpful part for me. I’ve really learned a ton. There are so many foods I thought were healthy that turns out, ain’t all that healthy. Some food I thought were pretty bad, actually a lot healthier than I expected.

I’ve been working the system for about 3 weeks now. I am down 6.7 pounds. Probably would have been more, but you know Super Bowl Sunday happened in there.

Now weight isn’t the only measure of health and isn’t even the best measure of health, but it is the easiest to measure. So I will continue to share this journey on hear. Congratulations! All of you just became my accountability buddies!

Super Bowl Sunday? Yeah, next Sunday’s food adventure will cover many of the delicious food offerings I experienced on Super Bowl Sunday. I attended 2 parties. That is a lot of food adventuring!

George Perry Floyd Square – III

On Thursday night, in Iowa City, Caitlin Clark pulled up near the logo and drilled a 3 pointer. The crowd went crazy. The announcers went crazy. She went crazy. Her teammates went crazy. She has just become the all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball history!

Only, not so fast. Did she?

Now, this isn’t meant to be a slight against Caitlin Clark. She is a great basketball player. Maybe, the greatest women’s basketball player in history. BUT, she isn’t the all-time leading scorer in women’s college basketball history. Not yet.

You see there are a couple of caveats to her being the all-time leading scorer in women’s college basketball history. You have to listen closely. If the announcers/reporters are doing their job, they are saying the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history. Next, they will start counting down her march to overtake Pete Maravich as the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history. Men’s or Women’s.

That is right, but there is more college basketball than just the NCAA variety.

Caitlin Clark is no the second all-time leading scorer in women’s major basketball. Some might call it Division 1. Before the NCAA could see their way to oversee women’s basketball, women’s basketball was ran by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. From 1971 to 1981, they oversaw women’s sports and believe it or not there was a woman at a major college that scored more points than Caitlin Clark, so far.

Caitlin Clark has currently scored 3,569 points, so far. So who still has more points than her? There are a few, but here are the key ones.

Lynette Woodward scored 3,649 points in her career at Kansas. Making her the current all-time leading scorer in major women’s college basketball.

Pete Maravich scored 3,667 points in his college career at Louisiana State. No matter, what he is and remains the greatest scorer in college basketball history. He amassed his total in only 3 years because when he played, Freshman were not allowed to play. He also played before the institution on of the 3 point line. In fact, so did Lynette Woodward and the next person on this list. Maravich averaged… AVERAGE 44.2 points per game over his college career. 44.2!!

Pearl Moore scored 4,061 points in her college career at Francis Marion College. Making her the all-time leading scorer in women’s college basketball history. Regardless of level.

John Pierce scored 4,230 points in his career at Lipscomb. Back when he put up his monster stats Lipscomb was an NAIA school. So that makes him the all-time leading scorer in college basketball history at all levels.

This isn’t to put down what Caitlin Clark is doing. It is just that some people have seemingly been wiped out of the narrative and their accomplishments forgotten. I think their accomplishments should not be forgotten.

+++++++

Time once again to share a collection of images I took last July while visiting George Floyd Square in Minneapolis.


George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square

Still plenty more pictures to share from this powerful experience.

Iowa State Fair – Day 2 – Alpha

I told you I would give you the info on as many local area fish fries as I could, on this the opening day of Catholic Fish Fry season. Here is the list I have compiled:

St. Malachy, Madrid
Feb. 16 & 23 & March 8 & 22
4:30-7
Prices Unknown

Sacred Heart, Boone
Feb. 16 & March 1 & 15
5-7
Prices: Unknown

Saint Cecilia, Ames
Feb 23 & March 1 & 8
5-7 PM
ADULT: $12
CHILD: $5

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Ames
Feb. 16 & March 22
5-7
Adult $10
4-12: $5
Group of 4: $35

Assumption, Granger
Feb. 16 & 23 & March 1,8, 15, 22
5:30-7
Prices: Unknown

Sts. John and Paul Catholic Church, Altoona
Every Friday
4:30-7
Adults $14
Children 6-12 $6
5 and younger – FREE
1401 First Ave. S., Altoona

Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, Ankeny
Feb. 23, March 8, and March 22
5-7
Free Will Offering
510 E. First St., Ankeny;

St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, Ankeny
Feb. 16, March 1, and March 15
4:30-7
Free Will Donation
1102 NW Weigel Drive, Ankeny

All Saints Catholic Church, Des Moines
Every Friday except Good Friday
5-7
Adults: $11
Children 5-12 $8
Under 5: FREE
650 NE 52nd Ave., Des Moines

Basilica of St. John, Des Moines
Feb. 16 & 23; March 1, 18, 15, & 22
4:45-6:30
Adults: $12
Children 4-10: $5
3 and Under: FREE
Max of $50 for families
1915 University Ave., Des Moines

Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Des Moines
Feb. 16 March 1 & 22
5:30-7
Adults: $12
Kids 5-11: $6
2926 Beaver Ave., Des Moines

St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines
Feb. 16 & 23 & March 1, 8, 15, & 22
11:30-1
Flat $8
607 High St., Des Moines

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Des Moines
Feb. 16 – March 22
4:30-7
Adult: $13
Kids: $5
Under 6: FREE
Family Max: $40
3300 Easton Blvd., Des Moines

St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church, Des Moines
Feb. 16 & 23 – March 1, 8, & 22
5-6:30
Adult: $13
Couple: $25
5-12 $7
Under 5: FREE
4600 Meredith Drive, Des Moines

St. Theresa Catholic Church, Des Moines
Feb 16 – March 22
5:30 – 7 PM
Free Will Offering
1230 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines

St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Norwalk
Every Friday during Lent
5:30-7
Adult: $12
5-12: $10
720 Orchard Hills Drive, Norwalk

St. Boniface Catholic Church, Waukee
Every Friday during Lent
5-7
Adult: $12
5-7: $7
4 and under: FREE
1200 S. Warrior Lane, Waukee

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, West Des Moines
Every Friday during Lent
5:30-7
Adult: $14
4-10: $7
Under 4: FREE
Family Max: $45
1627 Grand Ave., West Des Moines

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, West Des Moines
Every Friday During Lent
5:30-7
Adults: $15
6-11: $5
Under 6: FREE
7075 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines

I think I’m going to hit up the fish fry in Boone tonight. FNSC is going high end the following Friday, but then I might be back on the Fish Fry Circuit the following Friday. I definitely want to hit the fry in Granger at some point. Maybe one in Ames. Maybe one down in Des Moines. What can I say? I like fish and some of the ones in the Des Moines area are very intriguing. Some have fish tacos. Who has 2 thumbs and loves fish tacos? You can’t tell but right now I’m pointing back at me with both my thumbs. Take my word for it.

+++++++

It feels like a good time to release some of the pictures I took on my trip to the State Fair with the Degeneffes. I went down there with them to help and document Austin competing in the State Fair barbecue contest. We got to the fairgrounds like 4:30 AM. Which seems early, but is a great time to roam the fairgrounds in the dark with virtually nobody there. It is actually kind of amazing, actually.

Here are some pictures:


Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Degeneffes Trip - 2023

I hope somebody I know makes it to the State Fair barbecue contest again next year, so I can wander around the fairgrounds mostly alone again.

Still plenty more pictures to share from this trip to the fair to share!