Category Archives: Animals

Saturday Night

On Saturday Night I met Jeff and Yin in Des Moines for Supper. Although I was horribly sleepy when I got home on Saturday night two things reinvigorated me.

I took a brief 30 minute nap.
I watched the Paul Rhoads press conference. It was very refreshing to see a coach that actually showed passion and a desire to be at Iowa State. Time will only tell if he will be successful, but I already feel that he is the right man for the job.

When I got down to Jeff and Yin’s place I was introduced to a couple of pretty fascinating things.

The first was Baxter.

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The second was the 1935 Chevy that Jeff is going to restore.

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

We had a good dinner at Raccoon River Brewery. I tried their root beer. It wasn’t bad, but it was no Red Monkey.

Muskrat Carcass

This is just a random image. I thought you might find it interesting and you might want something interesting after the story below.

On Tuesday a few of us miners went to Pizza Pit for lunch because a new employee allegedly loved chicken wings, but as it turns out, he didn’t love chicken wings enough to show up for work.

After we returned from Pizza Pit we noticed about 20 (not an exaggeration for effect) crows in the back of a co-workers truck.

When I went into the mine I found the owner of the truck and asked him what he had in the back of his truck that would attract a murder of crows.

To know the answer, read the subject of the entry again.

Here is the weird thing. It didn’t even phase me. It just made sense to me that somebody where I work would have such a thing in the back of his truck.


I spent most of Monday with Sara.

We started the day by lunching at Fresh Cafe and Market. It is an interesting little restaurant in West Des Moines that is only open about 20 hours a week. They specialize in serving an organic menu.

We started the meal with a double shot of wheat grass. I’m not big into wheat grass, but Sara has made me curious about it. This was the fourth different type of wheat grass that I have tried with her. This was also the best. It was a healthy boost that was most likely negated by our supper.

Sara ordered the Hummus & Veggie Wrap.

I ordered the Mediteranian Wrap. I assume that there is a reason why they spell it that way. I chose the spinach tortilla. The wrap consisted of organic greens, fresh veggies, black and green seasoned olives, tomatoes, feta, lemon and olive oil. It was quite excellent.

At the conclusion of the meal we hopped in her car to travel to Ottumwa to visit Jen.

Ottumwa House
Sara likes driving to Ottumwa because there are no turns.

Ottumwa House
We stopped at a gas station in Oskaloosa to get candy. Sara was very high on Big League Chew.

Ottumwa House
Sara was very high on this sucker that reminded her of the Ogden swimming pool.

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House
Bailey and a neighborhood dog

Ottumwa House
Derrick,Sara and Jen

Ottumwa House
Jackson and a neighborhood dog

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House
Derrick’s Chainsaw Sculpture

Ottumwa House
This mullet wig would be part of a Halloween costume, if I were to dress up.

This was my first time ever in Ottumwa. It is a town that seems to be fading out of existence, but there are a few nice touches.

In downtown Ottumwa there is an “Adult” Theater. Two storefronts down is a Christian outreach ministry.

We had supper at the Sirloin Stockade. The Sirloin Stockade is kind of a low rent Golden Corral or Bonanza, but it is also considered the best restaurant in Ottumwa.

Before we got out of the car Derrick made a dramatic announcement.

“At some point during the meal they are going ask you if you want a baked potato. The answer to this question is ‘yes’.”

“Why is that? Is the baked potato the best part of the meal?”

“No. But they won’t stop harassing you about the potato until you take it.”

I took the advice to heart.

Our waitress asked us if we wanted a potato.

“Yes, I want that potato.”

Then Derrick, Jen and Sara all turned down the potato.

“What the heck? You told me to take the potato and then you turn it down.”

Derrick answered, “I didn’t want the potato.”

It was the closest to a Willy moment that I’ve ever had with Derrick.

For the record, they never asked the rest of my party if they wanted a potato again AND the potato was the best part of the meal.


Last Sunday I had some unexpected free time when I got fired from a friend’s photo project.

That is right I got:

  • A career change opportunity
  • Discharged
  • The Pink Slip
  • Dehired
  • Canned
  • Downsized
  • Let Go
  • Outsourced
  • Made Redundant
  • Skill-mix Adjustment
  • Released
  • Walking Papers
  • Shown the Door
  • The Ax
  • Terminated
  • Sacked

On the positive side, this freed up my Sunday afternoon.

I made the use of my time by taking some flower pictures.
















I also was able to witness some Ames Party Bus painting. I have more pictures of this, but even posting the one picture that I’m posting is kind of violating an agreement I made.

Ames Party Bus

I made use of my unexpected freed up future.

Dear, Beloved, Precious

My Aunt Linda is renting out her acreage. This has caused her to get rid of some of the things in the acreage. I benefited from this downsizing by getting a sweet new table.

Aunt Linda

So I got Steve and Jesse together and we drove over to the acreage and picked up the sweet table.

Steve and Jesse

When we got back to Steve’s house he showed me the zucchini that had grown “too large” in his garden and now he is going to allow them to rot.

Too Beaucoup

Apparently Steve feels like when zucchini gets too large the seeds become too hard and Steve doesn’t like hard zucchini seeds. I think this makes him soft.

Whatever Jesse does disappoints Steve

So I bid a fond adieu to Steve and Jesse.

Random picture of Steve’s flowers

I went home to admire my new table.

The Sweetness

I’m very excited about this table. It is going to make an awesome workspace table some day. It will be perfect for painting, matting and cutting. Plus it has a drawer! The drawer is super long.

Yes I know that nobody else is as excited about this table as I am, but those of you that don’t see the greatness of this table can bugger off!

The Long Road Back (Part 1)

Last Thursday, the Cyclones began their long return from the abyss. Last year the Cyclones were embarrassed at The Jack in their opening game of the season. This year they took another step towards redemption by routing their opening opponent. The South Dakota State Jackrabbits were not a match for the Cyclones. True South Dakota State is just a Division 1-AA school. But I think, my memory is a little hazy on the subject, we lost to a Division 1-AA school last year at some point during the season.

Below are some pictures from before we entered the stadium.

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

We had a bit of an abbreviated tailgating experience this week. This Saturday, before the Cyclones get their vengeance on Kent State, we will have the full tailgating experience. I guarantee it. Jay is even making potato salad.


A couple more pictures that were not selected.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad

I took this picture last year when Jay went on his first ever trip on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. I threw this particular picture into the mix to see if anybody would consider selecting this picture because of the nature of the photo contest.

Nobody took the bait. That is good, because it would have been pandering on the scale of a John McCain VP nominee.

I took this picture at Jester Park. Jay was impressed by this picture and I gave it to him as a birthday present. I think of this picture as being melancholy at first glance, but as being hopeful the longer it is gazed upon.

I named this picture based on an Emily Dickinson poem.


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.