Category Archives: Nature

I Don’t Know Why You’re Mean to Me

I took Thursday and Friday off this week to watch basketball. Obviously there is no basketball right now. There is no basketball for at least a month and there is no NCAA Tournament this year at all. I wasn’t sure if I was going to still take these two days off. I waffled for a few days and then I ultimately decided that I needed a few days off.

I understand that can sound tone deaf. To need a few days off, when there are many people that aren’t able to work right now. People who suddenly are finding themselves unemployed. I am blessed that for at least now, the Computer Mine is still open for business. I am also blessed that starting a couple days ago, the Computer Mine opened up the option to work from home for some employees. They started by opening it up to workers that are in high risk groups and workers that are around people that are in high risk groups. I fit into that second category.

I wasn’t sure I was going to work from home or continue to work from the office, but after listening to a few co-workers regurgitated Fox propaganda talking points, I knew that I no longer trusted my co-workers to make smart decisions for their health, for the health of the people the come into contact with, and the health of the people that they come into contact with.

Starting on Monday, I’m going to start working from home. Because of this, I spent Thursday building a computer to use as my work from home computer from some computer parts I have laying around. I didn’t want to complicate my main home computer. So that is what passes for ENTERTAINMENT for me yesterday.

I also added a web camera to my work-from-home-computer so I could have video calls with my co-workers:



It isn’t the best web camera in the world. In fact, it is the web camera I bought a few years back so I could set up a modest photo booth at my birthday party:


2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

But it will get the job done as far as video chatting goes. Because the one thing that I’m definitely going to miss as I work from home for at least a couple of weeks is some of my fellow miners. Most of them have opted to work from home, but I think Joe, Micky, Elizabeth, and Ron and a few others still seem to be committed to showing up to the mine. I’m going to miss you guys

Working from home does mean that I’ll have more time on my hands. I won’t have the 20 minute or so one way commute every day. My one hour lunch break will also be spent at home. Plus with not going pretty much anywhere at night, I will definitely have added time to work on my photography backlog. You guys might have to endure some days of TWO “An Artist’s Notebook” entries! Oh the humanity!

Hopefully the webcam will help with the social isolation. Hopefully my dog adjusts to having me around all the time!

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Since I mentioned birthday parties, I might as well mention that while I have been planning to have a birthday party this year, it is definitely off. Which is sad because Scottie D. and I had a tremendous menu planned. Baby Got Rack was going to cater the heck out of that party! You’ll just have to imagine what it would have been like.

What you don’t have to imagine what it is like, was what the invitations were going to look like. My nephew Logan took some of the photos that were going to be used for the invitations, that were going to look like they came from a political candidate. Here are a couple of the pictures that won’t get used:


2020 Birthday Party Invites

2020 Birthday Party Invites

2020 Birthday Party Invites

2020 Birthday Party Invites

2020 Birthday Party Invites

2020 Birthday Party Invites

That last picture wasn’t getting used for sure, I just like it. Maybe 2021 will be a better year to bring the party back!

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Last week I took more than one picture for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, so here is a good chance to share the once that didn’t have what it takes to make the big show on Monday:


I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

I Don't Know Why You're Mean to Me

The pictures of Naima were taken with a new Lensbaby lens I bought for my new camera. I will probably going into some boring detail about it at some point in the future.

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


WEEK 236 - ENTERTAINMENT
ENTERTAINMENT

I have no clue what participation will look like this week. However, I can assure you that even if you are taking social distancing to self-quarantine, this theme and every theme in the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is a theme that can be accomplished within the confines of your house or your yard.

Happy photo harvesting!

Dickcisselin’

Need to start today by wishing a happy birthday to my mission trip and youth group buddy Andy! 5 or 6 years ago or however long it was when we first went to Martin, South Dakota together I never would have guessed how good of friends we would end up becoming.

Here are some pictures of Andy:


Pizza Ranch Fundraiser - Spring 2018

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

May 17, 2016

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Happy birthday Andy!

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Hitting up that 2019 backlog again. These are pictures I took out at Dickcissel Park in June.


Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Dickcisselin'

Only like 40 some days of pictures left in the 2019 backlog.

2009-09-09

The pictures in the folder 2009-09-09 are from two road trips I took back in 2009. One was a trip with my Mom, Grandma, and Teresa to Kalona. Kalona has always been one of my favorite places to visit. It has been too long since I have been there, that is for sure.

The second road trip was one I took with Jay and Jesse to visit Faust up in Mankato. It also has been too long since I have visited Faust. I don’t lack proper motivation. Mankato has a sweet Godzilla statue that I still haven’t seen.

Here are some pictures from those road trips:


Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Kalona Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

Mankato Road Trip - 2009

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

Vacation Stuff – One

Vacation Stuff – Two

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve some family photos I did for Jim’s lady friend Pam.

I Just Smile, Once in a While

A few weeks ago I decided to buy a new camera. This isn’t the post about the new camera, because that one is going to get pretty deep into the weed, but this is a post that is happening because of that decision.

The short version is that because of the new camera purchase I started to look around at adapters. Something that happened while I was looking at adapters I came across some adapters that would hook my Dad’s Minolta manual focus lenses to my current camera and to my new camera. Those adapters arrived on Friday and I took dug out the lenses and took a few pictures:


I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

I Just Smile, Once in a While

In fact, my WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE submission from last week was a picture I took with my Dad’s lens of Logan taking a picture with one of my Dad’s lenses of my Mom:


WEEK 231 - FAMILY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

I’ll go a little more in depth on each lens in the future, but right now I just want to celebrate the fact that I can use them!

Birthday Road Trip – Dunnings Spring Waterfall

I’m not 100% sure if the waterfall featured today is the Dunning’s Spring Waterfall or the Dunnings Spring Waterfall. I have seen it spelled both ways by multiple reputable organization. This is the type of thing that keeps me up at night.

The Dunnings Spring Waterfall in Decorah was the main goal of my birthday road trip. I had visited it once a few years back and I have always been completely unsatisfied with my pictures of it. It was a goal of mine to get back there and take at least one picture of it that I liked.

Here are my attempts:


Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Birthday Road Trip - Dunnings Spring Waterfall

Jesse fell down the side of the waterfall and cut himself. But he kept the camera equipment he was carrying protected, so good work on his part!

I have a couple more sets of pictures from the Birthday Road Trip still to share. Kind of a miscellaneous set of pictures and the some cruddy cell phone pictures.

Birthday Road Trip – Malanaphy Springs

After we left The Little Brown Church and the possible time travelers but probably LARPers, our next stop was the Malanaphy Springs Waterfall. It is the lesser known waterfall in/near Decorah. It isn’t as pretty as Dunning’s Springs. It definitely isn’t as accessible. It is a good 20-30 minute hike on a trail that isn’t well curated.

With that being said, it is definitely worth the extra work. It is a place out in the woods that is beautiful and private. A person can collect their thoughts there.

Here are some pictures:


Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

.Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

Malanaphy Springs Waterfall

I would like to return to this waterfall at some point this year. Looking ahead, I’ll probably take my birthday road trip on May 15 this year. But I have no clue where I will end up. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it is back in northeast Iowa again.

More pictures from this trip still to come.

70% Playing with Stuff

Today’s entry is a collection of random May images from last year. Some are from a trip to Dickcissel with Naima. One is a horrible green screen experiment. There is a picture of Jason from when we put my mom’s ceiling back together.

Last year my Mom’s ceiling fell on her in the middle of the night. Not the whole thing, but a good chunk of it. It definitely isn’t the way one wants to be woken up.

The weird thing is that there were no cracks in it beforehand. It just broke one night. Probably due to how close she lives to the Life Flight landing pad at the Boone County Hospital.


Dickcissel

Self-Portrait - May 2019

Self-Portrait - May 2019

Naima

Naima

Naima

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Naima at Dickcissel - May 2019

Fixing Ceiling

Green Screen - Dinosaur

One big step closer to having the 2019 backlog cleared up.

There is No Blame, Only Shame

By the time this email flies through the tubes of the internet and gets flushed down into your computer, phone, web tv, or whatever device you use to upload Photography 139 content into your brain, the Super Bowl will probably be somewhere in the third quarter. You will probably be ready for a distraction.

However, I’m going to give you more than a distraction. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that the final score of the Super Bowl is going to be 28-24. The San Francisco 49ers will win. Defense wins championships. Period.

I wish it wasn’t the case. I don’t have much rooting interest in the Super Bowl (or any NFL game) these days. I guess I’m slightly rooting for the Chiefs because I have family that are Chiefs fans. Frequent contributor to the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, Michelle is also a Chiefs fan.

However, I have on friend that really stands out as a Chiefs fan. He is a former season ticket holder and he lives in Ballardville, Iowa. That is like a 3 hour drive to the Chiefs stadium. Whatever it’s called. When I asked him where he was going to watch the game, he replied:

“In a locked room, by myself.”

He would go on to talk about how he had been waiting 30 years for this moment.

I told him that I appreciated his passion. I pretty much always appreciate passion that isn’t derived from mental illness. Even though, you could certainly make the case that being an avid sports fan is a form of mental illness, I’m not going to make that argument. It strikes a little too close to home.

I told him that locked in a room by myself was exactly the same way that I watched the series finale of DOWNTON ABBEY.

Another friend on the same group text chimed in that it wasn’t fair to compare the Super Bowl to DOWNTON ABBEY. I reassured him that while American football is only popular in the United States and DOWNTON ABBEY was an international phenomenon, it is still fair. American football is still a pretty big deal. Not as a big of a deal as the Crawleys, but people still like it.

So, I’m rooting for the Chiefs right now. Despite the fact that their fans spit on America by blaspheming the national anthem. Despite the fact that many of the traditions that go on in that stadium crossed the “is that racist” border several miles back.

I hope I forgot to carry a one and the Chiefs don’t disappoint my friend that is locked in a room (hopefully not one with padded walls) right now. I don’t want him to go through the same disappointment I did when Tom Branson and Laura Edmunds didn’t hook up.

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Here are some pictures that didn’t make the cut for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme COUNTRY:


There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

There is No Blame, Only Shame

Hope you have gotten your WORK photo by now. Even if you haven’t, you probably have plenty of time to get a picture from where you WORK on Monday morning.

WPC – WEEK 228 – COUNTRY

Another big week for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Double digits for the 17th week in a row. Double digits easy. Easier than walking a Thunderbird.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 228 - COUNTRY -MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - SARAH KARBER
Sarah Karber

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - WILLIAM MCALPINE
William McAlpine

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 228 - COUNTRY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 238 - COUNTRY - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

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 229 - WORK
WORK

WORK! What a great theme! But what is a WORK photo? It doesn’t just have to a picture from around your WORKplace, but that would certainly WORK. A WORK picture is a picture of anything that is used in WORK. Anybody that is engaged in WORK. Can be at their place of employment, but certainly doesn’t have to be. Remember the physics definition of WORK, the measure of engery transfer that occurs when an object is moved over a distance by an external force at least part of which is applied in the direction of the displacement.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Congrats to Aaron Barnett. He is the latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by signing up for an email subscription to Photography 139’s online journal “An Artist’s Notebook”. I worked with Aaron in another life at the Boone outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. So if you see Aaron out and about, give him a knowing glance and teach him the super secret Photography 139 handshake.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very worked Monday!