Category Archives: Self-Portrait

An Eternal Love BS You Know You’ll Never Mean

Today is Logan’s birthday, so I have to wish him a happy birthday!


Burgertime: Desination Grille
Happy birthday Logan!

I hope your day is filled with quality garage sale finds and a ton of photo opportunities!

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Today is also Derrick’s birthday, so I also need to wish him a happy birthday!


Day 323 - November 19, 2022
Happy birthday Derrick!

I hope your birthday is filled with camping and some tasty face melting guitar solos. Probably some Pink Floyd as well.

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Time to share more alternate BLACK & WHITE images for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. These BLACK & WHITE images I took on July 3.


Last Penny - 2024

Last Penny - 2024

Nature's Amen - 2024

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Still Life

Black & White Alternate

Vest & Ron

Bokeh - Black & White

Bokeh - Black & White

Bokeh - Black & White

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

Yankee Doodle Pops

3 days of glorious BLACK & WHITE images shared! 4 more days to go!

WPC – WEEK 460 – BLACK & WHITE

Today is going to be a long one, so buckle up and get your popcorn ready!

Today is Jay’s birthday, so I need to start by wishing him a happy birthday.


Day 70 - March 11, 2022
Happy birthday Jay!

I hope your birthday is magical in the nothingness you attempt to do!

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It is that time of year when a little yellow card shows up in the mailboxes of many a photographer in the state of Iowa. The yellow card that tells you if you had any pictures accepted into one of the hardest photo contests in the country. The Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. A contest that only displays 25% of the pictures submitted. It is the only photo contest that I enter (for a wide variety of reasons) and as such I did get my yellow card in the mail last week. It looked a little something like this:



You might be wondering what pictures I entered this year. I’m the only person that currently knows what pictures I entered. But, you can go down to the Iowa State Fair and see them for yourself. I will reveal what pictures I entered and what pictures got in on the last day of the Fair. As is my custom.

But I wasn’t the only regular contributor to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE that got pictures accepted to the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. Angie, Logan, and Nathanial all got pictures accepted! WooHoo! Which makes sense, because when THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE was birthed into existence as THE RANDOM WEEKLY PHOTO EXPERIMENT all those years ago by me and Mike Vest, the idea was (to be honest more his idea than mine) that at the end of the year, you would have 52 photos you could consider for entering in photo contests. Maybe in 2025 there will be MORE than 4 people from THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE displayed at the Iowa State Fair. I have an eye on a few of you.

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Must be time to see the submission for BLACK & WHITE, right? Not yet. As you may know, it is about 10 weeks out from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. So it is past time that I published the rules for this year’s contest. They are identical as last year.

Have a look:



I hope many of you enter again this year! Now I need to get to work!

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BLACK & WHITE! A great theme! But did enough people see the world in monochrome to make it a popular theme? You’ll have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, July 1, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore everything in parentheses):

1-Jen Ensley-Gorshe – 1 week (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA, IL, FL)
2-Willy McAlpine – 1 week (IA)
3-Amy Peterson – 1 week (IA)
4-Deanna McClain – 3 weeks (IA, MN)
5-Mary Green – 4 weeks (MI, IA, IN, IL, PR) <2>
6-Sara Lockner – 4 weeks (IA, BHS, MN)
7-Suzie Brannen – 8 weeks (IA, MD) <2>
8-Mike Vest – 7 weeks (IA, MO)
9-Alexis Stensland – 10 weeks (IA) <2>
10-Sabas Hernandez – 12 weeks (IA, OH) <2>
11-Adam Gordon – 19 weeks (IA, MS, MO) <2>
12-Lowell Davis – 26 weeks (IA)
13-Michelle Haupt – 26 weeks (IA, MO, KS, LA)
14-Brandon Kahler – 27 weeks (IA, MN)
15-Scott Degeneffe – 45 weeks (IA, FL, UT, CO, KY, IN, IL) <2>
16-Sheri Fakhouri – 55 weeks (IA, NE)
17-Logan Kahler – 55 weeks (IA, MN) <2>
18-Nathanial Brown – 57 weeks (IA, SD, GA, TN, IRL, UK, FL)
19-Jesse Howard – 56 weeks (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW, MN)
20-Tamara Peterson – 68 weeks (IA, MN)
21-Mindi Terrell – 72 weeks (IA) <2>
22-Linda Bennett – 101 weeks (KS, IA)
23-Sarah Toot – 102 weeks (PA, NY, VT, NV, NJ)
24-Angie DeWaard – 106 weeks (IA, IL) <2>
25-Dawn Krause – 110 weeks (IA, IL) <2>
26-Kim Barker – 116 weeks (IA, CO, LA) <2>
27-Joe Duff – 117 weeks (TX, NY)
28-Teresa Kahler – 128 weeks (IA, NE) <2>
29-Carla Stensland – 128 weeks (IA, MO, SD)
30-Micky Augustin – 130 weeks (IA, IL, FL)
31-Andy Sharp – 131 weeks (IA, NE, AR, MS, MO, TN, LA, IL) <2>
32-Bill Wentworth – 132 weeks (NE, MO)
33-Cathie Morton – 135 weeks (IA, FL, BHS, MO, LA) <2>
34-Elizabeth Nordeen – 137 weeks (IA, OH)
35-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 139 weeks (IA, CA, NV)
36-Kio Dettman – 141 weeks (IA)

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.

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 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Boone, Iowa) – 20 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Madrid, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Boone, Iowa) – 11 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Prescott, Wisconsin) – 132 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Plymouth, Minnesota)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Iowa) – 107 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 133 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Story City, Iowa) – 28 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Devil’s Tower National Monument – Wyoming) – 129 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Arkansas River – Salida, Colorado)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Ankeny, Iowa) – 136 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 111 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Iowa) – 4 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ELAINIE HERNANDEZ
Elainie Hernandez (Boone, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 138 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Ames, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (New York) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (New York)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Nevada, Iowa) – 117 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 142 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Boone, Iowa) – 102 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 56 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Bone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Kansas City, Missouri) – 27 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Kansas City, Missouri)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Iowa) – 27 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Colo, Iowa) – 131 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Grove, Oklahoma) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Bentonsville, Arkansas)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Mitchellville, Iowa) – 73 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Johnston, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Tampa, Florida) – 58 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ankeny, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (Pennsylvania) – 103 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 46 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Honey Hollow – Summerset, Iowa) – 140 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 56 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Iowa) – 9 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Perry, Iowa) – 103 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 129 weeks

WPC - WEEK 460 - BLACK & WHITE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

37 participants this week! A pretty good week!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Arkansas (1)
+ Colorado (1)
+ Florida (1)
+ Iowa (41)
+ Minnesota (1)
+ Missouri (2)
+ Nebraska (1)
+ New York (2)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (1)
+ Wisconsin (1)
+ Wyoming (1)

Thanks to Carla’s travels, we were able to add Wyoming to the map!

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

+ Arkansas (16.5)
+ Aruba (1)
+ Bahamas (2)
+ California (3)
+ Curacao (1)
+ Colorado (7)
+ Florida (13)
+ Georgia (1)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Illinois (11)
+ Indiana (4)
+ Iowa (943)
+ Ireland (3)
+ Kansas (36)
+ Kentucky (1)
+ Louisiana (8)
+ Maryland (1)
+ Michigan (5)
+ Minnesota (10)
+ Mississippi (2.5)
+ Missouri (18.5)
+ Nebraska (34)
+ Nevada (4)
+ New Jersey (1)
+ New York (17)
+ North Ireland (1)
+ Ohio (2)
+ Oklahoma (2)
+ Pennsylvania (19)
+ Puerto Rico (4)
+ South Dakota (4)
+ Tennessee (2.5)
+ Texas (38)
+ Utah (1)
+ Vermont (1)
+ Virginia (1)
+ Wisconsin (2)
+ Wyoming (1)

31 states so far! 1 U.S. Terriorty! 5 foreign countries! Not bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple places:

+ Andy Sharp (IA, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA, IL, MN, WI) – 10
+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA, IL, FL) – 8
+ Scott Degeneffe (IA, FL, UT, CO, IN, KY, IL) – 7
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD, TN, GA, IRL, NIR, FL) – 7
+ Jesse Howard (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW, MN) – 7
+ Christopher D. Bennett (IA, MO, NE, IL, IN, LA) – 6
+ Cathie Morton (IA, FL, BHS, MO, LA) – 5
+ Carla Stensland (IA, MO, SD, WY, CO) -5
+ Mary Green (MI, IA, IN, IL, RP) – 5
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT, NV, NJ) – 5
+ Michelle Haupt (IA, MO, KS, LA) – 4
+ Mike Vest (IA, MO, AR, OK) – 4
+ Kim Barker (IA, CO, LA) – 3
+ Shannon Bardole-Foley (IA, CA, NV) – 3
+ Adam Gordon (IA, MS, MO) – 3
+ Becky Parmelee (AR, IA, OK) – 3
+ Sara Lockner (IA, BHS, MN) – 3
+ Micky Augustin (IA, IL, FL) – 3
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO) – 2
+ Brandon Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Logan Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN) – 2
+ Teresa Kahler (IA, NE) – 2
+ Sheri Fakhouri (IA, NE) – 2
+ Angie DeWaard (IA, IL) – 2
+ Sabas Hernandez (IA, OH) – 2
+ Suzie Brannen (IA, MD) – 2
+ Elizabeth Nordeen (IA, OH) – 2
+ Linda Bennett (KS, IA) – 2
+ Bill Wentworth (NE, MO) – 2
+ Deanna McClain (IA, MN) – 2
+ Dawn Krause – (IA, IL) – 2
+ Joe Duff (TX, NY) – 2
+ Lowell Davis (IA, MO) – 2

Andy now has a commanding lead to be crowned “The Most Travelled THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Photographer!” Jen, Jesse, Scott, and Nathanial remain in striking distance though.

There were no major milestones reached this week. And unfortunately a few streaks bit it. Willy and Amy couldn’t build on their submissions from last week. Their streaks are over before they began. Then worst of all, Jesse’s 56 week streak is over! It lasted over a year, but now it is over. The humanity!

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:


WPC - WEEK 461 - FACELESS PORTRAIT
FACELESS PORTRAIT

FACELESS PORTRAI! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I look forward to seeing your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see your idea of FACELESS PORTRAIT in this place that isn’t afraid to show its face next Monday.

I’m Selfish, I Know, I Can’t Let You Go

Time to clear out more of the proverbial backlog. These are a collection of pictures that I took back in August of 2023 but never fit any other “An Artist’s Notebook” posts. But are good enough that I think the world should see them. Some were taken on a trip to Dickcissel with Naima. Some from the drive home from watching Logan and Nathanial compete in a competitive barbecue contest. Some from my yard. And more from Dickcissel.


Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

A Butterfly

A Butterfly

Moingona School

Guthrie Center, Iowa

Guthrie Center, Iowa

Guthrie Center, Iowa

Guthrie Center, Iowa

Panther, Iowa

Panther, Iowa

Panther, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa

Rippey, Iowa


Panther, Iowa – Ghost Town
PANTHER


Perry, Iowa
PERRY IA
CULTURE & COMMUNITY THRIVE HERE.

Stop Sign on 17.

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Dickcissel Park

Always feels good when the backlog gets just a little bit more cleaned up.

Burgertime: Adair Field Work

Here is your Bokeh Picture of the Week:


Bokeh

In this picture Bokeh is running with a tennis ball that Lola, the dog from across the street, gave her. She had a vet appointment on Friday where she got 2 shots. Only 2 more rounds of shots and she will be good for a year. She now weighs 23.9 pounds.

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A few weeks back I went on a road trip with Nader and we ended up in Adair to try the burger at the Chuckwagon in Adair. It was one of the 10 finalists for Best Burger in Iowa, but it did not win. Here are some pictures:


BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant
Nader’s Chicken Strips

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant
Great urinal.

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

BurgerTime: Chuckwagon Restaurant

The burger was a hot delicious mess! I would gladly go back there. I wouldn’t make a special trip from Boone, but if I was on I-80 between Des Moines and Omaha, I would pull over and knock down a tasty burger from there.

You can find the Chuckwagon Restaurant here:

113 5th Street
Adair, Iowa

HOURS:
Sunday Closed
Monday 7 AM–8 PM
Tuesday 7 AM–8 PM
Wednesday 7 AM–8 PM
Thursday 7 AM–8 PM
Friday 8 AM–8:30 PM
Saturday 8 AM–8:30 PM

Next Sunday’s food adventure will recount all the food I ate in New Orleans.

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

This week my weight went down 0.0 pounds. I weight exactly the same as I did last Sunday. Definitely a week of plateauing, but also a week of not exercising much and not eating well. But it happens. I am now down 46.5 pounds since starting Noom.

So my new goal is to drop that 8.1 pounds by the 4th of July. That would be around 2 pounds a week, which seems realistic. Although. I can say for certain that after I reach my “ultimate goal weight” that goal weight will change. I’m going to guess with about another 25 pounds or so. We’ll see. I have to make that weight first.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. I’m not sure I can come up with any this week. Obviously there are. I guess I’ll just go with yardwork is definitely easier these days.

Since I started using Fitbit on February 20, 2024 (117 days) I’ve:

+ Taken 1,402,585 steps
+ Averaged 8,154 steps a day for the last 7 days
+ Walked 648.81 miles
+ Averaged walking 5.54 miles a day

That is all to report for now.

*Ultimate goal weight subject to change.

The Big Easy – Day 7 Phone Pictures

Day 7 in New Orleans was supposed to be relatively short. Tony and I had a 10:20 flight. So we would leave for the airport a little after 8. We would grab a connecting flight in Denver and be back in the Cyclone State by 3:30. But the best laid plans of mice and men…

Here are the pictures from Day 7. The final day.


New Orleans Trip - Day 7
I got up early to take one last stroll around. Saw this banner. I level of petty I can get behind.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
About the time I was going to order an Uber we got a message from Southwest Airlines. Our flight had been delayed until noon! We decided to delay our trip to the airport until 10. That gave me time to go down and try to see the famous Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. I didn’t get to see it because you have to pay for a tour, which is fine, but the tour lasted too long for me to take it. Anyways, saw this sticker. Enjoyed it.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
On the way to the airport we got a text from Southwest that our flight had been moved back to its original flight time. Meaning that we missed our flight. Southwest was less than helpful. They told me to run and I might make the flight. Yeah, this was the security line. While waiting in it (this is TSA Pre-Check) Southwest sent me a message that my flight had left. Thanks!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
I had to go back and get booked on a flight that wouldn’t leave until after 6. The fortunate thing for me was that they had checked my bags in. So I could go into the airport. They hadn’t checked Tony’s bag in, so he couldn’t go into the airport until 4 hours before the flight.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Not a fan of Southwest.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Another look at the security lines. This is the one that isn’t TSA Pre-Check.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Waited with Tony for a bit before going in.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Thanks airport.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
NASA display.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Southerners love their Moon Pies!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Airport art.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Southerners love their Moon Pies!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Southerners love their moon pies!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Not in the mood for this toy at this time.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
No lies detected.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
For the Swifties that also love crawdads!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
I know a big fan of the Golden Girls.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Southerners love their moon pies.

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Finally in the air!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Bellisimo!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7

New Orleans Trip - Day 7

New Orleans Trip - Day 7

New Orleans Trip - Day 7

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Landed in the home of Toasted Ravioli!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
This sign made me so happy!

New Orleans Trip - Day 7
Goodbye Land of Toasted Ravioli.

Tony and Shannon dropped me off at my doorstep a little after midnight. It was a long, boring day. It was good to be home. 2 days later I would be welcoming Bokeh into my life and this trip feels like such a distant memory, even though it was only a month ago.

At some point I’ll begin sharing the pictures I took of New Orleans with the real camera!

This Ain’t Sea World, This is as Real as it Gets

Before Carla and I went to the Clay County Fair, we took a quick spin around Lake Okoboji with Jason before he put away the boat for the winter. It is always a good time when you are on a boat.

Here are some pictures:


Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

It was a truly great and always a great time cruising around the lake. Hope I get to do it again at some point this year too!

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!

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.