Category Archives: Portrait

BurgerTime: Drake Neighborhood Field Work

A few weeks back I went to The Library with Michelle before attending a political speech. I got the burger, but I also had to get their nachos because they claim they are the “Best in Des Moines”.

Here are some pictures:


BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

BurgerTime: Library

So are they Des Moines’ Best Nachos? They are pretty darn good! I’m not sure they are “the best”. I’d give that to Skip’s. If Skip’s is still open. If they aren’t still open… then sure… these are Des Moines’ Best Nachos.

The burger was also excellent and the final verdict is that I would definitely eat at The Library again!

You can find the University Library Cafe at:

3506 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa

Watch where you park. The parking police have very itchy ticket fingers.

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

Since the last time I reported on my weight loss goals, I am down 4.0 pounds. I have lost 38 pounds since I started Noom. I am 21.6 pounds away from reaching my ultimate goal.

Last time I insinuated that I was going to get something to help me with my healthiness goals. And I did! It is more exciting than a scale that tells you your BMI.

I added Bokeh to the family!


My first picture with Bokeh
First picture with Bokeh!

I picked up Bokeh on Friday and she is slowly becoming accustomed to life with me at my house! So you can look forward to a ton more pictures of Bokeh in the future!

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve a historic cafe along the Lincoln Highway.

Eclipse Road Trip – Day 3

I woke up in the hotel in Normal, Illinois at about my normal time 5:45 AM or so. I packed up the tremendous amount of stuff I lugged into the hotel. A suitcase. A laptop. A CPAP. A camera bag. My ledger. Probably some other stuff as well. I figured nobody else would be up, so I hit the shower. Felt pretty dang good for a hotel shower. Much better than the whore’s bath.

Clean. Smelling good (in my humble opinion), I went down to check out the continental breakfast. We stayed at a Comfort Suites which is right in my hotel sweet spot. I like hotels that are “expensive” enough to have amenities. But not so expensive they start charging you for amenities. Basically I want free wi-fi and free breakfast. A pool is nice too, but I’m really here for the free breakfast. I don’t understand why the more expensive a hotel is, the more stuff they charge you for. If a hotel doesn’t have free breakfast this dog is out!

After I took most of my stuff to the car I went to the breakfast room. I was the first one there. I expected to be. There was no way all the Gorshes were ALL up and going.

Not gonna lie. First thing I did when I got settled in my room the night before was going to check out the breakfast layout. Before entering, saying a silent prayer that they would have a waffle maker. The conveyor belt pancake maker is okay, but if you know I’m all about that #wafflelife.

I’ve heard that all prayers are answered. Just many times the answer is “Not today bro.” But on this day, the answer was “I got you bro.” Staring back at me from the corner of the breakfast bar was a shiny, beautiful waffle maker! It was a great morning.

Here are some pictures from the trip home:


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Not only did they offer regular old waffles. They also offered chocolate waffles! Bingpot! I know what you are thinking. Did he go original or did he go chocolate. He is trying to live somewhat healthier, maybe he went for neither and only had some fruit for breakfast. The suspense is killing you.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I went chocolate of course! If you are going to eat unhealthy, jump in with both feet! Besides calories that you eat in a different state don’t count. That is some kind of adultery loophole I saw on a sitcom once. But the exercise you do counts double. That’s just science. #chocolatewaffelife

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
While I was eating my waffle Dave showed up for his breakfast. Then Derrick and the dog showed up. I told them I was going to eject from the caravan and go ahead and hit the road because I was going to do some meandering on the way back and I was ready to hit the dusty trail and they wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours. I got in the RAV4 and considered opening my Christmas present from Sara that Jen took all the way to Indiana to give to me. I took it all the way back to Iowa to open it.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
My first stop in Iowa was in Le Claire. Le Claire is near the “Quad Cities” which means that it is Happy Joe’s country. I didn’t eat at Happy Joe’s because it wasn’t open for several hours, but I had to stop to at least take a picture of the sign to make Elizabeth (a noted Happy Joe’s fiend) jealous. Also, out of the blue on the trip Derrick told me really had been having a hankering for Happy Joe’s ham & sauerkraut pizza. I don’t think he stopped in Le Claire for some, but at least I let him know he had the option.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
That is a mango-strawberry with banana smoothie. Don’t ever accuse me of drinking coffee!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Endorsed. Cody Road Coffee for smoothies.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Reminds me of Carla’s camper.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Also reminds me of Carla’s camper.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
You know the theme from Golden Girls? I had no clue that was a song that existed outside of that show until a few months ago when I was listening to the Casey Kasem flashback countdown (a Sunday tradition in my sphere of influence) somebody requested it as Long Distance Dedication. My mind was blown. I also love Bob Ross. I’m not a Swiftie though. I’m a Lipsey. But Taylor Swift is cool.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
If anybody is looking for a beer tap, I know a place.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This was in Aunt Hattie’s Fanciful Emporium Unique Gift Shop. Spoiler: Guess what I’m putting in the Computer Mine Gift Exchange this year!!!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Ya know your boy was checking out the sticker selection.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
So true. I log onto Facebook everyday to read poorly informed political opinions of people I try to continue to respect. Or I never go on Facebook. One of those things is true.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I feel so seen.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
What is the budget for the Computer Mine Christmas Gift Exchange again?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Give me a few more years before I start rocking this hat.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
What did the seahorse do?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This book is in the Gorshe Library.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
But not this one… yet.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I know these people.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Next stop was Antique Archaeology. I love hitting this store because it reminds me of my parents and the old Bennett Antiques & Primitives store.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Even though it is actually super touristy and the price on most things is outrageous.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I switched to YouTubeTV over a year ago now. I absolutely can’t endorse it enough. But the one thing is I don’t get now is the History Channel. I do miss this show and ANCIENT ALIENS of course.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I stopped in Belle Plaine for lunch. I’ve wanted to eat at the historic Lincoln Cafe for a minute, so I took this opportunity to stop there and eat on my way home. But that is a story for a future food adventure entry.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I hope somebody took them up on this.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Finally made it home. 1150.3 miles later.

That is all I have for cell phone pictures from this trip. But I have plenty of real camera pictures to share at some point in the future.

It was a phenomenal trip and I’m very thankful for the Gorshes letting me crash their eclipse party! Let’s do it again in 20 years.

Fisher of Men: Ames Campustown Field Work

Originally I was going to break off from Jay for the last leg of the Catholic Fish Fry Circuit. I was going to go down to Ankeny or Des Moines and find a place that was serving fish tacos. But, the Iowa State Women were playing Maryland in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament at 6:30 that night, so I decided to forgo the fish tacos and join up with Jay and Jesse and hit up the fish fry offerings of Saint Thomas Aquinas in the campustown area of Ames.

It ended up working out, because (as you know) I am a big fan of creepy Catholic art. Saint Thomas Aquinas delivered on that in spades. They also had plenty of really cool art as well. Also we met Father Kyle. He was the only Priest we met on any of our 5 stops on the Catholic Fish Fry Circuit. I’m not saying it is bad that we never met any clergy at the other stops. But Father Kyle definitely gets bonus points for being out there among the flock.

Here are some pictures:


Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fisher of Men: Saint Thomas Aquinas

The showstopper here really was the dessert. This chocolate cheesecake number I had was the best dessert I had on the circuit. Delicious. The rest was solid. Potato. Good. Green beans. Good. Cole slaw. Good. Spaghetti (not really a spaghetti fan). But Good. The fish was a tad dry, but it was pretty good. Nothing a little extra tartar sauce couldn’t fix. They had AE chocolate milk as a beverage option. Yes please!

I would definitely hit up the Saint Thomas Aquinas Fish Fry again. If for no other reason than to see that amazing cross again. I sent a picture to Pastor Adam and suggested we steal (the idea not the physical) the cross for our church. He was 100% on board, but I can’t imagine it getting much traction. We recently lost a chance to paint our doors red. The CORRECT color for church doors (particularly Methodist church doors) to be painted.

Why?

Glad you asked.

“Red symbolizes the sacrificial blood of Christ that saves those who come to him. Red is also a reminder of the Passover and a sign of the Holy Spirit. Church doors began to be painted red as a way of remembering the ultimate sacrifice that others had made for their faith.”

Instead, we are stuck with boring AutoFocus* gray doors because the color “covers” better and it symbolizes thriftiness or boring. Whatever. Can’t win them all. Maybe I’ll paint the door of my house red. Stranger things have happened. I have other projects that definitely take precedence.

The next food adventure I will share will involve Des Moines’ Best Nachos… allegedly.

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

Yeah, I’m in New Orleans. I haven’t seen a scale in 5 days. If I’m lucky I will be able to see my feet when I get back.

That is all to report for now.

*Sorry for my rough language. I just get worked up about doors!

Iowa State Fair – Day 4 – Gamma

Time to share another collection of images taken on my last trip to the Iowa State Fair on the last day of the Iowa State Fair with Jesse and Nader.

This collection begins in the Varied Industry Building and ends in the Cultural Building. One of my favorite buildings at the Iowa State Fair:


Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023
This mural is interactive when you hold your phone up to it.

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023
This was a bad, delicious idea.

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023
A deliciously bad idea.

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Iowa State Fair -Trip 4 - 2023

Still one more collection of images to share from this day and that will be it for Iowa State Fair 2023. Just about in time for me to start thinking about what I’m going to enter this year.

Des Moines Farmer’s Market III

Time to share the final collection of images I took on my street photography trip I took to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market with Teresa last summer.


Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

For the most part I am opposed to putting stickers on cars. I can’t remember the name, but I once heard a comedian remark that they like when people put bumper stickers on their car. It was a really good way of telling people “I’m not worth meeting.”

However, I’m not opposed to stickers on your car or camper that show all the places you have been. These people have been almost as many places as Johnny Cash!

Weird thing is, I love stickers. I have stickers all over my laptop, my ledger, my cooler, my water bottle. Cognitive dissonance. What can you do?

I can’t wait to start hitting up farmer’s markets again! Soon!

Eclipse Road Trip – Day 2

On Day 2 of the Eclipse Road Trip I woke up in the comfort of the bed. Did my business in a toilet with running water. Brushed my teeth. Still opted for a whore’s bath and then decided to do a little bit of exploring while the rest were sleeping I decided to sneak off and do a little exploring. I had done a little research on the Gosport area and found out that there was a beautiful waterfall nearby. There was also an interesting sculpture park, but that didn’t open until 9 AM and by the time I explored it, I wouldn’t have had time to get back to Linda’s to leave for the eclipse party.

Through my research I also learned about a cool bakery in Gosport that had an open kitchen that allowed you to watch them bake all of the tasty goodness.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This cool drive-in theater reminds me that one of my goals this year is to go watch a movie at a drive-in movie theater. Who is in?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It was a beautiful sunrise on a foggy morning. Almost magical.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It cost an outsider like me 9 smackers to visit Cataract Falls State Park. If I was from Indiana, it would have been $7. I thought about how lucky I am to be able to visit Ledges or Mines of Spain or Backbone anytime I want for free, but then I’m also reminded that we don’t even have park rangers any more and are parks are poorly maintained. So maybe it is a wash.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Going over the Eel River was this sweet covered bridge.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Even though I wasn’t there to see the eclipse I got a 5 minute lecture about it from 2 different park rangers. Even though I told both of them that I was just there to see the Niagara Falls of Indiana.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It is really the largest waterfall in Indiana. You might scoff, but it is way bigger than any waterfall in Iowa.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
After leaving Cataract Falls I visited the town of Cataract to check out the famous Cataract General Store and the Cataract School. This sign should hang everywhere.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Is that good? That seems good.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I stopped at the cool bakery. I bought a piece of red velvet cake and a piece of carrot cake. I also bought this chocolate milk. I have a longstanding belief that it is impossible to get great chocolate milk outside of Iowa (or outside of the AE Dairy footprint). Kind of like how you can’t get a good tenderloin outside of Iowa. The clerk at the Bakery ranted and raved about this chocolate milk. It was an okay chocolate milk, but if I somehow ever get back to Gosport I’m taking a gallon of AE into the bakery and I’m blowing some minds. Anyways, this chocolate milk comes from a local dairy.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This truck is parked just outside of Paragon. Nobody I talked to seemed to know the story. Rest in peace Jack Brown.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Jen came back from Indiana with one more fur coat. A beaver fur coat this time.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I witnessed quite the wrestling match. I’m not sure who won. But it was quite the match.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I ate so much food at the Eclipse Party. Linda’s ribs were delicious. So was Pete’s chili. I tried something called “fluffy” that Evie was certain was going to change my life. I don’t know it did, but I ate plenty of it. Also a ton of peanut butter bars.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It’s starting!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Styling and profiling!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Totality!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
During the eclipse there are these crazy crescent shadows.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
My camera filter.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This is the road outside of Linda and Pete’s house. I swear every road that isn’t a highway looks like this road.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
After the eclipse we packed up and headed back. We had a hotel booked in Normal, Illinois.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
We ended up getting gas in Danville, Illinois. Apparently the no buying gas in Illinois thing was just an elaborate ruse.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I’ve been to shadier gas stations. One in San Antonio comes to mind, but this one was pretty shady.

The drive from Indiana to the hotel was crazy busy. There were a ton of people fleeing Indiana after the eclipse. The last 5 miles or so on the interstate took me over 30 minutes. It was great to get to the hotel. I watched part of UCONN’s dismantling of Purdue. Then watched the kids swim in the pool before calling it a night.

One more sleep before finishing the trip home the next day.

Oh… here is one more bonus image. Evie took this picture of Derrick. We were trying to teach him about Snapchat.


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

I think we failed and honestly I’m not that great at Snapchat. Evie knows way more than me. So maybe she can keep working on him.

Eclipse Road Trip – Day 1

The last total eclipse to be visible from the United States for the next 20 years was on April 8. Unfortunately to see the 100% totality, I had to leave my beloved Cyclone State. I originally perused a few options. A spot in Missouri. A spot in Illinois. A spot in Arkansas. A spot in Kentucky. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. Cause I knew that hotels in the areas were outrageous. I was considering driving to like the Quad Cities on the Sunday before the eclipse and then driving the rest of the way in the morning. Then driving back that night. Then the most magical thing happened. I had a trip just kinda fall into my lap.

The Gorshes are well-known eclipse fiends. They went to New Mexico for an eclipse last year. They were going this year. Travelling to Indiana to camp on Jen’s Aunt Linda’s land. They were going to drive all the way through on Sunday. Watch the eclipse on Monday. Then drive back to Illinois and stay in a hotel in Normal. Then drive back to Iowa on Tuesday. They graciously offered to let me 7th or 8th wheel it on their trip.

They were pulling a camper behind Derrick’s serial killer van* with 2 adults, 4 kids, and a dog. As roomy as the van was I elected to take the RAV4 to the Sycamore State cause for 1 person, I pack a lot of stuff. I think the offer was on the table for me to sleep in the camper as well, but I decided to pack a tent and an air mattress and sleep the way the pioneers did. In a tent. On a queen sized air mattress. With electricity for their CPAP, cause I still haven’t hit 3 months and I have to average over 4 hours a night for the old insurance company to kick in some ducats. Also electricity to charge their cell phone and listen to their sleepy time podcasts. Also electricity to charge their fitness watch. Those steps don’t count if they aren’t tracked! Some real old-timey pioneer stuff.

However, a couple days before we were set to leave, Jen texted me and let me know that I had been upgraded from the tent to Linda and Pete’s camper. With the only caveat being that it was still winterized, so there would be no running water. Me? An old-timey pioneer camper? I don’t need no stinking running water! I could brush my teeth in the rain. Or with the water in my Owala water bottle. Just like the pioneers did. And I had already planned on a whore’s bath for Monday anyways. You know. Pits and… well you know.

According to the Google maps, it is a nearly 8 hour drive from my domicile to Linda’s house in Gosport, Indiana.

I don’t want to brag, but we made it in a touch over 12 hours. That is without accounting for the time zone change.

I didn’t take many cell phone pictures on Day 1, but I took a few and here they are:


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 1. They also had a bathroom with running water, but in case you wanted the ambiance of a port-a-potty, “To The Right”. The capitalization of every word on this sign disturbs me and haunts my dreams.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 2. This gas station was very serious about not letting backpacks in their store.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It was in Davenport.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
And they brook no nonsense from kids.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I think they aren’t really sorry for the inconvenience. We stopped at virtually the last gas station in Iowa because it was very important to not buy gas in Illinois cause it is apparently very expensive there.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 3 – Sweet insect exhibit at an Illinois rest area.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
All rest areas should have giant rubber bugs. This is not open to debate.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Bug needs to work on his arms. Needing a condiment cup to hold himself up. Do you even lift bro?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I am such a sucker for taking pictures of where I am.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This rest are had a sweet lookout and somebody actually wrote a Joe Dirt quote on the railing.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Do sex drugs own the rock-n-roll? Is this person really into rock concerts sponsored by Viagra?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 4 – Another Illinois rest area. I told you I’m a sucker for taking pictures like that.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This rest area was a dump. Just filthy. No urinals. The only positive was these cherry blossoms.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This thing was cool too. While there Harrison had a meltdown in the restroom because he refused to wash his hands. This standoff lasted like 10-15 minutes. I don’t blame him. It was a bathroom that was so dirty that your hands were probably dirtier after washing them. In retrospect, I should have just offered him some of my Bridgerton scented hand sanitizer. Perhaps Bridgerton Study. They have a light scent. Easy on the nose. I’ve never heard anybody claim they are way too strong and demand that I leave their immediate area, shortly after using one. That seemed like an oddly specific denial.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I’m not sure which stop this was. We stopped at a gas station in Crawfordsville. Then we stopped at a Steak ‘n Shake, also in Crawfordsville.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
The Steak ‘n Shake had this weird thing. Weird to me, maybe some of you will look down your nose at me and call me a country bumpkin, but I had never seen it before. When you ordered (which by the way the only option to order was via kiosk – which super boo! Shouted this old man at the clouds.) Your receipt also printed out a QR Code. You had to scan this QR Code to use the pop machine. It only activated the pop machine for so long, so you better act fast AND it only worked like 3 times.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
When we got out of the restaurant, Derrick’s van wouldn’t start. Neither us have jumper cables (I keep mine in the Camry) so I had to give him a ride to Home Depot to buy a set.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
We got his van going and were on the road again. Willie Nelson would have been proud.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Turns out, Linda and Pete didn’t really live in Gosport. We drove through Gosport and then 10 miles more through 3 different towns before getting to their house.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
They live closest to Paragon. But they have a Gosport mailing address because that is the only post office in 3 counties. Also, that is the toilet.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Layla teaching the boys the globalist lie.

When we pulled up to our home for the night Linda approached me and asked me if I played the lottery today. The answer is of course not. I don’t play the lottery. It is a self-imposed tax designed to move the tax burden from the wealthy to the poor, uneducated, and the just plain bad at math.

But what I said was, “No.”

She told me I should have because it was my lucky day. I had been upgraded to sleeping in the house, in the guest bedroom. Not only that, I would have my own bathroom. Suck on that whore’s bath! That might have been an unfortunate turn of phrase but no turning back now.

I got a bed, inside a house, with access to all the running water my heart could desire and all the electrical outlets a true pioneer man could use. I should have brought other things into charge, just cause I could. I should have just sat there flushing the toilet. Cause I could. Brushed my teeth 10-12 times. Cause I could.

But I didn’t. I eventually called it a night and drifted into a nice sleep listening to a Cyclone Fanatic podcast. Tomorrow was a big day after all.

*It isn’t really a serial killer van. It has too many windows. But I like to pretend.

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

The stop on the Catholic Fish Fry Tour that I was most looking forward to was the Catholic Church in Granger. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Catholic Church. I was looking forward to it, not because of its reputation. I literally know nothing about this fish fry or the Catholic Church in Granger. I expected it be similar or smaller than the one in Boone because Granger is a tiny town.

The reason I was looking forward to it is because they put up giant signs along Highway 141 and for years those signs have called to me. Like a fish fry siren song.

During the pandemic we even sent Jesse’s son-in-law Jeremy to grab us some food from there, but we actually didn’t know the signs were for a church in Granger. We thought they were for a church in Polk City. That is how little we know about the Catholic scene in central Iowa. Turns out, there isn’t even a Catholic Church in Polk City and the he brought us back fish from a local VFW or American Legion. It was good fish, but it wasn’t the fish from the signs. Not the fish from the siren song calling my name.

When I actually did some research, I figured out that the church was in Granger. But once again, there wasn’t really much information on it. Their Facebook page talked a big game, but there wasn’t really any useful information on it, other than where it was and what time it was held. Turns out, it is a pretty big deal.

Here are some pictures:


Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work
Jay brought his own drink.

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work

Fisher of Men: Granger Field Work
Picture for a photo project I abandoned.

Assumption’s Fish Fry was outstanding! I would definitely go back again. I will say the baked fish was pretty awful, but everything else was fantastic. Probably the second best dessert I had while on the Fish Fry Circuit. The best dessert? Well that is yet to come.

I was definitely impressed with their operation. They really had everything down. Even offering a pizza option for children and Jay. The potato was good. The cole slaw was good. The fried fish was good. Bonus points for playing the Big 12 Tournament. It was like a Fish Fry Sports Bar, which is my kind of sports bar!

Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve a burger in Kansas City.

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

This week my weight went down 2.8 pounds. I am now down 32.3 pounds since starting Noom. I have now reached my May 1 goal weight. WooHoo! 22.3 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight*. My new “short term” weight goal is to be down another 10 pounds by the time I have my CPAP follow-up doctor’s appointment. Which is May 30th. Might not seem super ambitious, but I’ll be gone in New Orleans for 7 days and I have no clue what will go down there. I might come back up 10 pounds. You never know. I’m hedging my bets though.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. This will sound vain, but this week I really got a ton of comments on how much weight I’ve lost from people who see me on the weekly. About how I’ve really dropped a bunch more weight in just the last couple of weeks. I really haven’t, but maybe it is just being redistributed differently. I don’t know. But better than the alternative.

Since I started using Fitbit on February 20, 2024 I’ve:

+ Taken 784,872 steps
+ Averaged 14,935 steps a day for the last 7 days
+ Walked 365.41 miles
+ Walked an average of 6.09 miles a day

That is all to report for now.

*Ultimate goal weight subject to change.

Des Moines Farmer’s Market I

People often talk about how the Iowa State Fair is a great place for people watching. That is correct. All fairs and town festivals are great for such activities. But an underrated place for people watching is a good old fashioned farmer’s market. Like the Iowa State Fair it is also a great place to get great food. Walk in with a big old wad of cash and walk out with an empty wallet. I love a good Farmer’s Market from Rinehart’s Drive-Thru Farmer’s Market by Fraser to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. The downtown Des Moines Farmer’s Market is maybe… maybe my favorite place in the world (or at least central Iowa) to do a little bit of street photography.

One day last summer I went down there with Teresa and did just that.


Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

Des Moines Farmer's Market - 2023

This year I plan on making multiple trips to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market AND I’ve talked for years about going to the Farmer’s Market in Valley Junction. This is the year I make that happen!

Still more pictures to share from this trip!