Category Archives: Youth Group

The New New

I have recently had a battle in my head and in my wallet. I knew I wanted to purchase a new camera that was something like an action cam, only so much more. It has the qualities of say a GoPro, but the image quality is vastly superior. The amount of control you have with the camera is like night and day.

The camera I’m talking about is the Sony RX0. I had it in my sights for several months. Then Sony went and released the Sony RX0 II. This put in something of a quandary. Three months ago, there was nothing wrong with the Sony RX0, but now there was a Sony RX0 II that was superior.

I had to make a decision. By the old and save a few bucks or pull the trigger on the new and lighten the wallet a bit.

Lucky for me, while I was wrestling with the decision, a bit of an unforeseen windfall landed in my lap and I decided to pull the trigger on the Sony RX0 II.

I’ve only had it since Tuesday, but I already love the little guy:


Sony RX0 II

Happy birthday to me!

Here are a few of the first pictures I’ve taken with the RX0 II:


First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

Here are some of the specifications of the camera:

Number of Pixels (Effective)Approx. 15.3 Megapixels
Lens Type ZEISS Tessar T Lens, 6 elements in 6 groups (6 aspheric elements)
F-Number (Maximum Aperture) F4.0
Focal Length 7.9mm
Focus Range (From the Front of the Lens)Approx. 0.66′ (20cm) to Infinity
Focus Area Wide (25 points [contrast-detection AF]), Center, Flexible Spot (S/M/L)Expanded Flexible Spot
ISO Sensitivity Auto (ISO125-12800, selectable with upper/lower limit)
125/160/200/250/320/400/500/640/800/1000/1250/1600/2000/2500/3200/4000/5000/6400/8000/10000/12800 (Extendable to ISO80/100)
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent
Fluor.: Warm White, Fluor.: Cool White, Fluor.: Day White, Fluor.: Daylight, Underwater Auto, C. Temp./Filter, Custom
Electronics Shutter 1/4″ – 1/32000
Continuous Shooting Speed Speed Priority Continuous Shooting: approx. 16fps, Continuous Shooting: approx. 3.5fps (Maximum) (With Max. Recording Pixels)
Waterproof Yes (IPX8 equivalent)
Dustproof Yes (IP6X equivalent)
Shockproo fYes (6.5′ (2.0m) (MIL-STD810G C1 Method516.7-Shock)
Crushproof Yes(200kgf/2000N/440lbf)

I made an unboxing video of it the RXO II for the YouTube Channel. It isn’t necessarily something I would recommend watching, unless you really like unboxing videos. It is in black & white, because I lazily didn’t check my camera settings before I started recording:



It isn’t the most watchable video in the world, but it allows me to practice my minimal video editing skills.

I’m going on a Birthday Road Trip on the morrow. I plan on using the RX0 II to do a vlog of the trip. I’m definitely not going to get in the habit of vlogging, but I wanted to test the RX0 II as a vlogging camera because some people say it is the greatest vlogging camera ever and some say it isn’t good for it at all.

One last thing, if you are a GAME OF THRONES fan, we will be watching the series finale at The Union Street Theater on Sunday night. You are invited! Jay might even be making cake. He also has a 20 year old surprise.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 190 – GREEN

For what I think is the 4th week in a row double digit submissions were received for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE them of GREEN. We are on quite a roll!

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


WEEK 191 - GREEN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 191 - GREEN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 190 - ANDY SHARP - GREEN
Andy Sharp

WEEK 190 - ANDY SHARP - GREEN
Andy Sharp

WEEK 190 - GREEN - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 190 - GREEN - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 190 - GREEN - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 190 - GREEN - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

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 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY! What a great theme! But what is a STREET PHOTOGRAPHY image? Here is a good definition I lifted from the Wiki:

Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents[1] within public places. Although there is a difference between street and candid photography, it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature and some candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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. 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

I am pleased to announce that Lori Backous is the latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by securing a Photography 139 email subscription. If you see Lori out and about, feel free to give her a knowing glance and show her 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 streetwise Monday.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 188 – RELIGION

A very solid week of submissions for RELIGION. We hit double digits and maybe if the weather stays nice, we can stay in that rarefied air!

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


WEEK 188 - RELIGION - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - JAXON SCHOFF
Jaxon Schoff

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - CHRISTOPER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

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 189 - DESSERT
DESSERT

DESSERT! What an incredibly tasty theme! It should also put to rest any of the chatter on conspiracy nutbag YouTube channels that I rig the themes in some way, shape or form. Because if I did, and since today is Earth Day, if I rigged themes, this week’s theme would be GREEN.

But what is a DESSERT photo? It is any photo of a DESSERT or somebody enjoying a DESSERT. Personally, I think I’ll be heading down to The Filling Station in Madrid this weekend for a little hardcore DESSERT action.

This theme was suggested by Andy Sharp. See, suggesting themes does bear fruit!

I look forward to your interpretations.

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. 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

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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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 sweet Monday.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 68

The journey to taking the picture for Page 68 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT is one that came completely out of nowhere. I certainly didn’t see it coming. I don’t think anybody saw it coming.

It all started when I got home from Youth Group a couple weeks back and saw a bunch of text messages on my phone from Logan. It had been a fascinating night at Youth Group. Pastor Doug came and talked to the youth about the multi-million dollar public relations disaster for the United Methodist Church that was the Saint Louis Conference.

If you aren’t Methodist or don’t follow the news, the Saint Louis Conference was a conference where a bunch of Methodists got together to decide what to do about homosexuality. Just like Jesus wanted. People getting together in big meetings, with a ton of parliamentary rules, to discuss a topic he wouldn’t care about.

He’d be like, “You guys do that. I’m just going to be over here loving people. You might want to think about joining me.”

I have no doubt that Jesus would be throwing all sorts of shade at the modern church. Not just the Methodist Church, but all the pedo-church down the street and the church across town that makes divorcees second class members and the church out in the country that spends a fortune on having a beautiful building but turns it back on the suffering widow and the starving child.

Borrowing from Carlos A. Rodriguez:

Here’s what Jesus did NOT say:

Welcome the stranger, if he has money.
Feed the hungry, who earned the food.
Love your neighbor, when it’s good for the economy.
Give water to the thirsty, once they pay their dues.

Rule. Don’t server.
Be first. Not last.
Take and keep taking.

OR

Borrowing from Barbara Brown Taylor:

The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and m neighbor, I will choose my neighbor… Jesus never commanded me to love my religion.

Remember, 100% of the people you hate were created in God’s image.

There were basically two plans on the table. (That isn’t 100% accurate, but you don’t want to be here all day do you?) One plan was called the Traditional Plan and it was basically, “Hey we’re going to take a couple verses in Leviticus out of context and then forget about literally almost everything Jesus said and pretty much make that our thing. You cool with that? If you don’t agree and step out of line, we’re going to hit you with a bunch of punishments.”

This was put forward by the super conservative churches that our drawn to Christianity because they think it is a way they get to judge other people. Which I get, judging other people makes you feel really good about yourself without having to earn that feeling. It is almost like found money.

My understanding is that this super bigoted plan was put forth by these conservative churches with the intention that it would never pass. Then they could cry foul, take their ball and go home. Their ball being that they could break off from the rest of the Methodists and have their Klan lite meetings without anybody bothering them.

The other plan was the One Church Plan. It basically said, “Hey guys, we aren’t all going to agree on this one issue, but this whole Jesus thing is a whole lot bigger than one issue. So let’s let each church and Pastor do their own thing. If officiating gay weddings is your bag, we dig it, go do it. If it isn’t, that’s like super judgmental, but we won’t force it on you.”

Well, the Traditional Plan passed. So yeah. Sucks to be a Methodist.

But the news isn’t all bad. The Traditional Plan is super unconstitutional (because of a bunch of super boring technical financial issues) and has been sent to the Methodist Judicial Council where it will crash to the ground faster than a Boeing 737 Max 8.

Now the youths weren’t being super talkative. So I had all the people in the room that wear glasses stand on one side of the room and told them for the purpose of this exercise, what would they do if I told them that they were only allowed to come back to Youth Group if they gave up their glasses wearing lifestyle.

Many of them threw their glasses off. They said, they would be willing to cover up who they were to keep coming to Youth Group and that made sad. I dare say melancholy.

Now this exercise was I’m sure was subconsciously based on the C.S. Lewis quote:

“I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun – not because I see it, but by it I can see everything else.”

But then something that will go on the list of my favorite things that I have ever seen with the youth group happened when two of the youths told me that what they would do if they were kicked out of Youth Group for living a practicing eye glass wearing lifestyle. They said that they would build a giant pair of glasses and put it on the church building.

They were being probably about 40% facetious and another 40% punk, but I thought: “My God! These kids have created the perfect metaphor for the situation we are in.”

Much of the rest of the night’s conversation surrounded the gender fluid and transsexual kids that they knew and ways that they can be their allies in what is probably the worst roughest part of life. High School.

The conversation lasted well past the time we are supposed to close up shop. I feel that is was a successful night.

When I got home it was then that I saw all the text messages from Logan. They were pictures of old doors. One had my Dad’s name and my Uncle David’s name on it. The other had artwork drawn on it, by my Dad. I had never seen these doors. I didn’t know they existed.

My Dad passed away two days before Christmas when I was nine years old. My Uncle David passed away before I was born. This artwork had to date back to the early 1960s.

Logan is the someday to be Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Boone News Republican. For reasons that aren’t clear, but also aren’t important, his job landed him at Paradox. I think the best way to describe Paradox is that it is an art and antique and craft store. Yes, Boone has a ton of them. But Paradox is different. The kind of things they sell in there are strange. Maybe even a little twisted. Basically, not the type of thing you’d expect to see in Boone.

Somehow Logan got a tour of the entire building that Paradox owns. It used to be Ensley Photography Studio, but right now it is being rehabbed into something entirely different.

On the second floor of the building there is an old vaudeville stage. In this area, there is a door. On the window are the names Gerald D. Bennett and John D. Bennett. In a pile of doors off to the side is a door that is the work of Doc Bennett.

From talking to my Mom, Logan figured out that this building used to be apartments. My Dad lived there after divorcing his first wife. Uncle David lived there with his first wife. This was in the early 60s. They were still there almost 60 years later.

I told Logan that I needed to see these doors and to see if they would sell one of them to me. Logan went back and setup an appointment to get a tour again on that Saturday.

It was on this tour that I took the picture for Page 68 of the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 68
Page 68 – Let a window do all the talking.

Now the actual purpose of Page 68 in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT isn’t to find a window with artwork on it. It is actually to put a subject next to a window and take their picture lit by the light coming through the window.

However, when the wording is “Let a window do all the talking”, you better believe that I haven’t had a window talk to me like that window talked to me.

Here are a few other pictures I took of artwork, some of it kind of creepy, that I absolutely can’t believe are still there 60 years later:


Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

After the tour I did inquire about buying the door from the husband and wife team that owns Paradox. They said, that they would have to think about it, but they thought that they would. I gave them one of my super fancy Photography 139 business cards so that they could contact me. I haven’t heard from them yet, so I may have to go back in and inquire again.

The next time we check into the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will look at Page 90.

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This is your reminder that this week’s theme for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is FAVORITE COLOR:


WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR
FAVORITE COLOR

A FAVORITE COLOR photo is any photo that involves your FAVORITE COLOR.

Happy photo harvesting!

I Know What I Did Last Mother’s Day…

Reminder that tomorrow night the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group will be holding a fundraiser for their mission trip to Rapid City, South Dakota in June:


Ash Wednesday Spaghetti Supper

Cost is a free will donation. Come eat some delicious spaghetti. Throw a few ducats into the till. Heck, even stick around and enjoy a wonderful worship service. Support a good cause and borderline great kids!

Hope to see many of you there!
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While I work on the 2018 backlog, the most recent folder I cleared out was from pictures I took on Mother’s Day.

They range from pictures of my nephews grilling to pictures of me working on a self-portrait project (that heavily involves updating classic Photography 139 image “Blue Steel”) and pictures of Naima.

Enjoy:


Mother's Day - 2018

Mother's Day - 2018

Mother's Day - 2018

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

The original “Blue Steel” was considered too sexy to hang on the wall of Salon 908. I’m not going to bother trying to get Blue Steel Redux on any public walls. However, one of them could be part of the Canvas Wall Project.

Get Your Ash!

Today’s post is somewhat more of an advertisement than informational or even photographical. This is me telling you what you should do for supper next Wednesday.

The Youth Group will be making and serving spaghetti next Wednesday night before our Ash Wednesday Service. The cost of eating delicious spaghetti is an at-will donation. All the money raised will go to support the youth group and youth group activities.

All the details you need are on this picture of this wonderful poster the Sr. High Youth Group made on Wednesday night:


Ash Wednesday Spaghetti Supper

If you want it spelled out more, this is what you need to know:

What: Ash Wednesday Spaghetti Dinner
Where: Boone First United Methodist Church
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Time: 5:30-7 PM
Cost: Free Will Donation
Why: To support the Youth Group on their Mission Trip to Rapid City, South Dakota in June!

I can personally vouch for these kids. Look at some of the good works they did in Vidor, Texas last year:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Some of the pictured kids have moved on. Some of the pictured kids will be going. Many new faces will be getting their first taste of service Christianity through the mission trip lifestyle.

So come down on Wednesday and support a good cause and great kids! Then stay for our Ash Wednesday Worship Service!

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


WEEK 181 - FACELESS PORTRAIT
FACELESS PORTRAIT

A FACELESS PORTRAIT is a portrait that does not include a person’s face. It could be a picture of just part of their body. Or with their face covered. They don’t even necessarily have to be in the picture.

Happy photo harvesting!

Boone FUMC Church Directory: Chapter 3

Seems like another good time to release a collection of photos that I tooke for the Boone First United Methodist Church’s Church Directory.

In this collection are pictures I took of a particular stained glass window that the committee wanted, a communion set that the committee wanted, some Youth Group pictures the committee wanted and a choir picture the committee wanted.

You will see no pictures of Kio, which I believe is what the committee wanted. Too soon? Love you Kio!


Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

Boone FUMC Directory

There is still at least one, possibly two more sets of pictures from the Boone FUMC Church Directory Photo Shoots still out there to publish!

Selfie Project – January

Loyal leaders may recall that I started up the Selfie Project again in 2019. At the end of every month I will check-in with it to share some of my favorites from the month.

If you don’t want to wait until the end of the month, you can follow me on the Instagram to see what I have done and where I have been.

To follow me on the Instagram, scan my Nametag below:


Instagram Nametag

Spoiler: For January I’m not sure I did anything all that exciting. Although I did leave Iowa once to visit the Miller Triplets in Kansas.

Here are my favorites:


December 31, 2018
December 31, 2018

January 4, 2019
January 4

January 8, 2019
January 8

January 10, 2019
January 10

January 12, 2019
January 12

January 14, 2019
January 14

January 16, 2019
January 16

January 17, 2019
January 17

January 18, 2019
January 18

January 20, 2019
January 20

January 21, 2019
January 21

January 22, 2019
January 22

January 23, 2019
January 23

January 25, 2019
January 25

January 26, 2019
January 26

January 27, 2019
January 27

January 29, 2019
January 29

January 30, 2019
January 30

January 31, 2019
January 31

Hopefully I will be interesting in February. There is a baby I need to visit up in Minnesota. A baby I need to visit down in Des Moines. If the weather gets nicer, I could spend some time pursuing THE TOWN SIGNS PROJECT or I could spend the entire month hanging around the house with Naima.

The struggle is real!

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Here is a big update on my pursuit of a drone:

  1. Car paid off. – I got the pink slip daddy!
  2. Training Budget Reimbursement – Bought about 10 books and signed up for an online portrait photography class that I will discuss someday.
  3. Purchase Popcorn Maker – The Union Street theater has procured its very own popcorn maker from Flat Earth Joe. The one that was borrowed from Andy’s friend of a friend has been returned.
  4. Computer Upgrade – I have completed upgrades on my home computer. I’ve put in a solid state drive to run the OS and the applications, I upped the RAM to 16 GB and I replaced the video card with a video card with twice the ram and that is capable of running 3 monitors.
  5. Figure out the effect of the Iowa GOP Tax Scam – The Iowa GOP Tax Scam will indeed result in me paying more taxes. There is about a $7 effect on my paycheck, meaning I am getting a tax cut of roughly $200. (Assuming the withholding from my paycheck is being done right.) However, since the Iowa GOP Tax Scam made it so a 6% sales tax is levied on all online purchases, I will be taxed well more than the $200 benefit. For example, I’ll pay over $100 in taxes on purchasing the drone that I wouldn’t have had to pay before the Iowa GOP Tax Scam became law. 
  6. Rear Brakes – I had the rear brakes replaced on my car last night. It costs me about 40% of what I was expecting Win!
  7. Computer Mine Bonus – I did indeed get a Computer Mine Bonus. I can’t complain about it one bit. 
  8. Bank Fraud Resolution – I am going to consider the bank fraud situation resolved. I haven’t received a letter saying that it is a done deal, but the bank did place the $350 that I requested in my bank account as a provisional credit. The investigation is still to be closed by January 31. I have a naive faith that the investigation will end in my favor. Otherwise, Credit Union Time?
  9. Federal GOP Tax Scam – The Tax Scam didn’t effect my tax refund at all. It was almost like it wasn’t meant to be a tax cut for lower class and middle class people. It is almost like it was a cash grab for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations under the ludicrous precept that some of the benefits would trickle down to us poor folks. I can say this with 100% certainty. I respect a person that believes the earth is flat way more than I respect somebody that believes in the Laffer Curve. 
  10. Change Jar -I have added some change to the change jar, including the change I won in a football pool at the Computer Mine. However, I am still probably 2 inches short of being almost full. I should effort to go through the cushions of my couches. If I can get within one inch, of the top of the jar, I will call this quest complete and proceed to order my drone.

That looks identical to last week’s drone update. This is because it is identical to last week’s drone update.

Here is what is different. I’ve decided not to wait until the coin jar is full to pull the trigger on the drone. I pulled the trigger last Friday and it should arrive to be safely caressed in my arms tomorrow.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to actually use it due to the weather, but I will monitor the weather closely. It is possible that the first day of decent weather I’ll take off of work and go play in the skies above us. No higher than 400 feet and not within 5 miles of an airport.

I know what you’re thinking, you snagged your reward before achieving your goals. That shows a lack of discipline. This is very disheartening, considering you have been yammering on and on to anybody that would listen that you are going to be more financially responsible this year.

This is true. My main goal of 2019 is to be lest wasteful with money in certain ways. However, the benefit of that is that I get to be more wasteful in other veins.

My way of being more financially responsible is to have set some goals.

Goal #1: Decrease my actual debt load my a certain amount of money. I’m not heavily in debt. I have a house payment and some credit card debt. However, while I don’t have a car payment, I want to hammer on my debt and get it below #X by the end of the year. I’ll report on my progress here, because congratulations, you just became my accountability buddies.

Goal #2: Figure out why my website is costing me so much more money than I ever intended. I have partially concluded this goal. I actually (I know people should do these things) sat down and reviewed what my webhost was charging me. I discovered that I was paying $10 a month for something called Website Builder, that I don’t use. I built my website with my own two hands and Vest’s two hands and WordPress. They are also charging me like 8 bucks a month for PHP 5.2+. I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I need that, but at the very least, I’m saving $120 bucks a year on this website.

Goal #3: To stop wasting so much money going out to lunch at work. It is not an exaggeration to say that in 2018 and the years before I went out to lunch, on average 4.5 out of 5 work days a week. If I conservatively estimate the average lunch to be $10, I probably spent $200 a month on lunch. That is $2400 a year. My goal is to only eat out for lunch 20% of the year. I estimate that just by bringing lunch from home, I can save $1800 a year. The good news is that I’m on track this year. In January there were 22 work days. I went out to lunch one time. I’m currently at a 4.5% eating out for lunch percentage. My worry is that I will get burned out on eating in. So I’m going to try to mix it up as much as possible. If you have any cheap, healthy lunches that are easy to prepare either at work or on the Sunday before the work week starts, throw them my way. This week I’m eating overnight oats. This space is a place where I might also share some of the recipes I come across. I have to thank American Ninja Steve for introducing me to overnight oats. I’m not making his recipe yet because it involves lots of exotic ingredients I need to be able to track down like flax milk and hemp heads. But when I make that for a week, I’ll share that recipe here.

Goal #4: Save money by buying used lenses. I’m still torn on whether or not I’m going to buy a new camera this year. It has been almost 3 years since I bought a new camera and I’m getting the itch. However, I am vexed on what camera to buy. I’ve thought about crossing over into the Sony mirrorless realm, but that means a whole new camera mount. The other option is to buy the camera that is above my camera in my current platform. That camera sells for about $3200. That price tag is going to take me a lot of meals of overnight oats to justify in my head. Especially with my debt lowering goals. While I don’t know about buying a new camera, I have compiled a list of lenses I want to buy this year. I’ve decided to hit the used lens market this year as I can save sometimes as much as 30% by going used. Some of the lens I want are pretty cheap, but some are not. The exciting news for you is that every time I get some used glass, you’ll get to read an exciting equipment review! Yay you!

Goal #5: Up % of the paycheck that goes into savings and 401K.

But none of this explains why I felt it was okay to pull the trigger on the drone with the change jar still 2 inches from the top.

There are two reasons for that:

#1. Through my works and luck at the computer mine, I had $325 in Amazon gift cards burning a hole in my virtual wallet. In my wildest dream, there isn’t $325 in the coin jar.

#2. I recently ordered a new photo toy called arsenal for $185. It is a camera attachment that allows you to control your camera with your smartphone. Now I can already control my camera with a smartphone, but there is limited control. It basically throws the camera into automatic and you get what you get. Arsenal allows you to control pretty much all the main settings on the camera. Plus it is supposed to do its own focus stacking and HDR. Plus it has some pretty sweet time-lapse settings. However, I got an email that they can’t make it Arsenal work with my camera and don’t think they ever will be able to. They refunded me that money. Although to be honest, that $185 isn’t going toward the drone. When the refund hits my account it is going towards some glass. Not sure which one I’ll pull the trigger on first. But don’t worry I’ll let you know.

So where is that change jar money going to go. Well, one camera purchase I am dedicated to this year is the Sony RX0. Therefore, when the change jar is full I will take it to the bank and then order up the Sony RX0.

This concludes your Tuesday camera equipment purchase updates.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 88

My favorite church service of the year is undeniably the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve.

The last 4 weeks at Youth Group we have been having our own Advent Candle series.

It culminated on Wednesday when we lit the Love Candle and then the Christ Candle and then had our own Candlelight Service.

It was the perfect time to take Page 88 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 88
Page 88 – Take a picture inspired by your favorite poem

I took this picture in the worst way possible. I put the DSLR on a little tripod in the front of the room and controlled it with my smart phone, while running the ceremony. The results were less than spectacular, but they are what they are. I’ll set up for success next time.

Here are a few of the other photos:


Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

The poem that is my inspiration for these photos is “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I first came across the poem in the movie AKEELAH AND THE BEE. If you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend it!

+++++++

Here is your weekly reminder that the theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is PHOTOJOURNALISM:



PHOTOJOURNALISM

A PHOTOJOURNALISM photo is any photo that can be used to tell the story. It doesn’t have to be the kind of story that the “New York Times” would report. A small company newsletter would still count as PHOTOJOURNALISM.

The editor of the “Boone News Republican” is a subscriber to this blog. You never know, you could catch his eye and you could be launched on a PHOTOJOURNALISM career.

Reminder that Monday is Christmas Eve. Plan your submitting accordingly.

Happy photo harvesting!

Boone FUMC Soup Supper & Christmas Pageant

A couple Sundays back the Boone First United Methodist Church had our annual Christmas Pageant.

Before the Christmas Pageant was a Soup Supper that was a fundraiser for the Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Rapid City next June.

Here are some pictures from the night:


Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Soup Supper and Christmas Pageant

Worried you didn’t get a chance to help support the Rapid City Mission Trip? Don’t worry. There are at least 2 more fundraisers for you to support.

Stay tuned for more information.