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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar" Fan Film Trailer Released

Prelude to Axanar, a Star Trek fan film that raised over $100k on its Kickstarter in  March, has released its first teaser trailer. The film boasts an impressive cast and crew, including Richard Hatch, Michael Hogan, JG Hertzler, and Gary Graham (reprising his role as Vulcan ambassador Soval). The visual effects artist, Tobias Richter, shows some impressive graphics work. Take a look, and enjoy!


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It's not about you.

You love what you do. You have fans who love what you do. But there are always those who seem determined to look down on your great work as uninteresting, stupid, or downright boring. The truth is, you can't please everyone -- no matter how hard you work. Do what YOU love, and give your dedicated fans something to enjoy. Everyone else... well, they'll find other things to appreciate.

It's not about you. Seth Godin expresses this quite well:
"Right in the front row, not four feet from Christian McBride, was every performer's bĂȘte noire. I don't know why she came to the Blue Note, maybe it was to make her date happy. But she was yawning, checking her watch, looking around the room, fiddling with this and that, doing everything except being engaged in the music.
McBride seemed to be too professional and too experienced to get brought down by her disrespect and disengagement. Here's what he knew: It wasn't about him, it wasn't about the music, it wasn't a response to what he was creating.

Haters gonna hate.

Shun the non-believers.

Do your work, your best work, the work that matters to you. For some people, you can say, "hey, it's not for you." That's okay. If you try to delight the undelightable, you've made yourself miserable for no reason.

It's sort of silly to make yourself miserable, but at least you ought to reserve it for times when you have a good reason."

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Friday, June 06, 2014

BrillionFest 2014 Schedule

As many of you know, I live in Brillion, Wisconsin -- a northeastern Wisconsin city of just over 3,000 people. Next weekend (June 12-14, 2014) is our annual BrillionFest celebration. Thousands of people will be visiting our city to enjoy city-wide rummage sales, live music and carnival events, local museum exhibits, the popular Brillion night-time lights parade, and much more.

To help inform Brillion visitors of the activities taking place all weekend, I've put together an online schedule of events for easy reference. I'll add additional events if they become known. Please consider joining our Facebook BrillionFest event page, share it with others, invite friends, family, etc. And take a moment to like our official Brillion, Wisconsin Facebook Page. We'll be posting more information, photos, and all sorts of other goodies there for you to enjoy!

Come join us here in Brillion on June 12-14. We'd love to share the weekend with you!



  • Brillion city-wide rummage sales -- all day.
  • Food & Beverages (Hidden Treasures) 10am - 2pm
  • Book sale (Brillion Public Library) -- 12-8pm
  • Brillion city-wide rummage sales -- all day.
  • Book sale (Brillion Public Library) -- 8am - 4pm
  • Ice Cream Social (Calumet County Bank north lawn) -- 4-8pm
  • Concession Stand (Main Street Square) -- 4-11pm
  • DJ music (Main Street Square) 7-9pm
  • Electric Light Parade (Main Street) -- 9pm
  • DJ music (Main Street Square) 9:30pm - midnight
  • Street Dance -- 9:30pm
In Brillion:

  • Brillion city-wide rummage sales -- all day.
  • Book sale (Brillion Public Library) -- 8am - noon
  • History House Museum open -- 9am - noon
At Peters Park:
  • Co-Ed Softball Tournament -- 8am
  • Craft Vendors -- 9:30am - 2:30pm
  • Mr. Billy-Brillion Library Performance -- 10am
  • Food Fair -- 10am - 3pm
  • Carnival Games -- 10am - 3pm
  • Kids Bounce House -- 10am - 4pm
  • Petting Zoo / Pony Rides ($1) -- 11am - 3pm
  • Kid's Tractor Pull -- 1pm
  • Wayside Morrison Polka Band -- 11am - 1pm
  • DJ-Big Soundz -- 1-5pm
  • RPM -- 7:30pm - 11:30pm
Concessions, games, tournaments & more!

(BrillionFest 2014 is hosted by the Brillion Area Jaycees.)


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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blogger's Block

I have no idea what to blog about right now. And that annoys me.

Years ago, my blog was very well read -- popular -- it was even reviewed in the local media as one of the best blogs in Wisconsin! Of course, back then, I was in a very different place in life, and I had more time to write down my thoughts. These days, I'm a busy guy. There's always something pulling me in one direction or another. Either I'm working on a creative project, or I'm working hard to market that creative project. My blogging has slipped to the back burner.

The thing is, though, busy or not, I enjoy blogging. I miss blogging. I love dancing with the written word. But when it's so much easier to post my thoughts during a busy day on Facebook, what becomes of this blog? What happens to this once-great blogging platform? What do I write here that isn't already shared on the big "F"?

Part of me wants to continue the, "this is cool, I found it on the inter-webs" blogging angle that I've been pursing the past few years. I like discovering things. I like learning new bits of knowledge. But then there's the other part of me that wants to go back to those early days of blogging -- twelve years ago -- when I recapped my post-college days, and the ponderous thoughts flowed freely.

It's a tough decision. And it bugs me. Maybe my brain is being tapped out as a result of all the creative work that I do. Maybe I need to scale back the work, sit down... and write. Write whatever comes to mind.

Then again, maybe those ponderous thoughts aren't flowing freely because I'm stuck in a rut of familiarity. I'm comfortable, I'm occupied. I'm content. And what I'm really having a hard time with is -- taking bigger steps into the unknown. Perhaps those early blogging years were so fascinating because I had just graduated from college, and I was wading into the waters of uncertainty.

There's always something to blog about when that something is fresh and new.

Perhaps what I really need, is to focus more on the new, and less on the familiar.

Maybe that's the block this blogger is struggling with. The question is: where do I start?


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Marketing"

"Time, energy, and talent can be more important than budget."
- Scott Harrison

Money does not always buy what you need or want to acquire. More often than not, time, dedication and pure determination carry a heck of a lot more value than the local currency ever would.


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Monday, May 12, 2014

"Do You Wanna Go To Starbucks?"

If you've seen Disney's "Frozen", and you like coffee, then you'll probably enjoy this. If you ask me, I think it has "viral" ("shareable") written all over it! Enjoy!


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Saturday, April 05, 2014

"How We're Feeling (on Twitter)"

Now this is a fascinating website:

How We're Feeling grabs tweets in real time looking for one of 32 hashtags related to how the tweeter is feeling. On the website, the hashtag circles light up as new tweets come in, and the "total tweets" are the number of tweets that been received today. The "positivity rating" is a percentage of how many tweets express a positive emotion.

Right now, as of this post, Twitter is 84% positive.

Take a look at the website, and see how Twitter is feeling right now -- in real time.


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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

"The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)"

I've worked with clients like this. They have a great idea, something that looks amazing in their own minds, but in reality, it isn't nearly as easy to achieve. Sometimes, when an idea like this is placed on the table, the best answer really is, "I'm sorry, I can't do that".

Sit back, and enjoy. This comedy sketch will confuse you, elicit sympathy, and entertain you all at the same time. And, for some, it may even remind us of moments in which we were in this exact same situation. Creativity can achieve the impossible -- but it does still have limits.


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Dogs"

"He is your friend, partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown

I grew up with cats, I've never been much of dog person. However, my in-laws have dogs (four dogs in related families), and I'm slowly growing to appreciate canines as the years pass. Will I own a dog of my own? I'm not at that point yet, but I most definitely appreciate them for the unconditional love and devotion they offer.

That being said, I came across this quote today, and thought I'd share.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Disney's Frozen: "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel"

I'll admit: I'm a fan of the Disney movie, "Frozen". It is, without a doubt, my favorite Disney animated film, followed closely by "Tangled". The "Frozen" music, story, digital animation, it's all well done. I've never really considered myself a big fan of Disney films, but, in recent years, they're changing that perspective a bit. I'm willing to come back around.

That being said, I'm also a big fan of the film's signature song, "Let It Go", performed by Idina Menzel. It captures me with the power, the musical range.... and the emotional story of Queen Elsa. I've included that song here for your viewing pleasure. Sit back, turn up your speakers, and enjoy the Academy Award-winning Best Original Song of 2013.


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Victor Hugo"

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
- Victor Hugo

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. It seemed appropriate to share again today.


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Your Relationship With the Future"

I admire Seth Godin and his insight into the world of marketing. Always have. His advice, his tips, his perspective have helped me better develop my own unique brand(s) in this wonderfully creative world we live in. Here's another bit of helpful insight, this time as I look to the future.
"Some people believe that tomorrow is likely to be better. Better opportunities, better technology, a brave new day to make a new kind of difference.

Others think that yesterday was a lot better than today. Tomorrow represents diminished resources, fewer opportunities, one step closer to the end.
We call tech geeks, "early adopters," and it's worth highlighting that they are not, "early adapters." Adaptation implies that people aren't eagerly going forward, they're merely tolerating what gets thrown at them.
As a marketer, then, there's a real choice here--to market your wares (new to this market) to people who are eager for change, or to get very good at marketing to people who would prefer not to change.

As a human, the question is even more profound: What relationship with the future will you choose?
The thing is, the future happens. Every single day, like it or not. Sure, tomorrow is risky, frightening and in some way represents one step closer to the end. But it also brings with it the possibility of better and the chance to do something that matters."

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"'Star Trek Continues', A Fan-Produced Web Series"

I'm a huge fan of Star Trek. For most of you, this is no secret. I've seen all 725 episodes of Star Trek (including the animated series from the 1970s), as well as all 12 feature films. I direct two popular highly-detailed, Star Trek web-based fan series' (as well as act/write in both); I've met a number of Star Trek cast members; I design, create and sell licensed Star Trek merchandise; and a large part of my office bookshelves contain Star Trek books, technical manuals, encyclopedias, role-playing materials, etc. I've read many of the Star Trek novels; and I own props and memorabilia -- including two Starfleet uniforms.

So... yeah, I know Star Trek.

That's why I'm excited to share with you the first two episodes of a popular Star Trek fan series known as Star Trek Continues. Produced and directed by Vic Mignogna (who also plays Captain Kirk), this web series is attempting to continue the original 5-year mission of the USS Enterprise.

They've been producing some fantastic visual work so far, that is undeniably reminiscent of the original William Shatner Star Trek series of the 1960s. And they have a cast of actors you'll recognize, including: Larry Nemecek, long-time Star Trek writer and consultant; Chris Doohan, the son of the original Scotty (James Doohan); and Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame. Even more recognizable actors like Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) have shared their talents with the series.

Star Trek Continues has produced two episodes so far. Just last week they released the second. However, for the sake of continuity, I present both episodes for you below -- in order of release. Sit back, relax, and enjoy two of the best fan-produced Star Trek episodes you will ever see:

Episode 1: "Pilgrim of Eternity"
Apollo returns to wreak havoc on Kirk and the Enterprise in the first episode of the new series. Michael Forest, original series actor who played Apollo, reprises his role.

Episode 2: "Lolani"
A survivor from a distressed Tellarite vessel pulls Captain Kirk and his crew into a moral quandary over her sovereignty.


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"Jon Baas Rising"

You know, I've come to the conclusion that my Facebook is hurting my blog. I used to post here on a daily basis. I had thoughts, and ideas, and musings aplenty. Then I became VERY active on Facebook, and all of those blog contributions found their way there instead. I need to change that. I need to get back to what made this blog one of the top regional blogs a few years ago.

I need to challenge myself to share my musings with both Facebook AND this blog. And, while I'm at it, I suppose my Twitter should get a piece of the pie as well. Bear with me, folks.... my social media value will be rising in the coming weeks. How much, and how far is yet to be determined, but one thing is for certain, I've gotta get the ball rolling again.

I've gotta get back to the business of blogging.


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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

"15 Fun Facts About The LEGO Minifigure"

LEGO is one of the creative toys that never gets old. The tiny, interlocking bricks have provided hours of entertainment for millions of people since 1949. But it's the iconic minifigures, first released in 1978, that continue to bring life to the enduring favorite.

Here are 15 fun facts about the little people of the LEGO world.


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