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Wednesday, April 30, 2003


"Mr. 3000"


Hollywood in Milwaukee again. Woohoo!!

I actually just found this online today... A Hollywood film titled "Mr. 3000", is set to film in Milwaukee this summer, and deals with the Milwaukee Brewers. Sounds like something I might like to get involved with!

Brewers to Host Film Crew (jsonline.com)

-Jon

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"Artwork: Afternoon Hideaway."


It's now official, my most recent commissioned artwork, "Afternoon Hideaway", is online and part of the Mastervisions line of products.

For those of you that may not be familiar, Mastervisions is a company in Minneapolis, MN that creates artistic etchings on glass and mirror surfaces. A little over a month ago, they commissioned me to create a piece for them depicting a rustic front porch setting. That artwork, originally done in graphite (pencil), is now online, etched in various arrangements on glass and mirrored surfaces (including glass coffee tables, and mirrored coat racks).

You may be interested in taking a look at what they have to offer. If you'd like to see what I have done for them so far, feel free to visit my artist page on the Mastervisions site.

Besides "Afternoon Hideaway", I have also been commissioned to work on a series of three more etchings for them. The hope is that they can also be added to the Mastervisions line of products as a full-color set of art prints. I'm excited for the opportunity to work with Mastervisions further, and busily working on the series already. I'm not sure yet on the date that this new series is likely to come out, but I'll be certain to keep you updated as the project progresses.

Enjoy!
-Jon

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003


"I be buff."


Well, it's interesting how certain things work. I have wondered lately if I should make more use of my local college fitness facilities, especially since I am an alumni. Then, of course, when I start thinking about it, the idea gets put on the back burner to other more pressing matters, and, when I get around to the thought once again, the whole process starts all over.

Well, this weekend, a work-out found me. There was this past weekend up at my friend's cabin up north, full of hauling dirt, and general landscape maintenance.... oh, yeah, and a little bit of canoeing to boot. Then there was yesterday and today -- moving day(s) for one of my friends and his wife and baby.

Now, don't get me wrong, I was all for volunteering my hands, and arms, etc to the cause of moving both dirt and furniture, but I think I've gotten my workout for the next two weeks. I'm starting to feel the sore aching muscles. It's a rather good feeling though. The work was good, the cause(s) even better, and the chance to stay fit quite appreciated. My friend's family cabin looks nicer, and my other friend is moved into his first house (he married last year and now has his own family).

I will have to be honest though, these 'full body workouts' have been a good segway into other projects that I need to do, namely art-related, as well as on the computer. I can sit for those, and right now, that's all I want to do. ... Oh yeah, and nurse my sunburn! Works out perfectly!

But hey, I can't complain. I'm unemployed for a few weeks, yet working on independant free-lance art projects. I'm certainly not rich, but I'm not broke either. I'm busy, but quite happy and content right now. And, I'm aching, but just a little bit more buff! .... Hey, It's a win-win situation! What more can you ask for!

Have a good one, and I'll catch you again soon... Time to go find the TV, the comfy couch, and a good snack (Hey, besides buff, I'm also hungry... [wink]...)....

Your happily blogging, but physically sore friend,
-Jon

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Monday, April 28, 2003


"A former employee, and some cabin R&R."


Friday was my last day working at Barnes and Noble. Ironically, it was also a good day. Business wasn't as hectic as the Friday before, nor was it a dull slow day. And, when my eight hour shift was up, I bid a fond farewell to my fellow booksellers, exhanged a few hugs and email addresses, returned my key and other 'employee objects', and left the store as an employee for the last time.

The only thing I am going to miss, is probably still the fellow booksellers I worked with (those on my level). I've had my silent questions of a 'select few' in managment (namely a certain female assistant manager), and some of the rediculous policies the store has enacted, but, hey, I was only a lowly bookseller. I guess my opinions and concerns were not as valued as I thought they would be. I doubt those managers are going to miss me much either, but that's their loss. I'm moving on to greener pastures. Onward and upward. Time to follow my dreams more closely.

My goal was to leave the store on good terms. Overall, I felt I achieved that as best I could, considering the circumstances. Now, I will only look back on my time at B&N as a learning experience -- both good and bad. And, I will hope the store gets those matters of concern cleared up before there are more disgruntled employees, like myself, following me to these greener pastures.

So, that said, thankfully, here ends a chapter in the employment history of Jon Baas.

Now that I am done working there however, I can look toward other things.... finding further job leads, pursuing the few I already have, actually working hard at pursuing what I want to do with my life, diving into my status as an increasingly busy independant freelance artist, and enjoying a little free time as I set myself up to enter these new doors in life. And you know what, right now, I couldn't be happier!

This weekend, with some of that newfound free time, I actually spent it up north at my friend Scott's family cabin, helping to do a little annual grounds maintainence. Five guys, a cabin, and some manual labor.... Basically, we filled a few holes, planted some grass, hauled dirt, that sort of thing. And, thankfully, the weather was beautiful, so the time spent sweating outdoors was well worth it.... (despite this sunburn of course... [grin]).... There's very little that can compare to a weekend like this, not to mention the chance to go canoeing, roast hotdogs, and smell of wood smoke..... Ahhhh.... now that's the life... [chuckle]

In addition to the labor, and the canoeing, our late Saturday night walk up the nearby 'mountain' (a small state park) was also enjoyable. Granted it was very dark walking up that forest road in the absense of any light (we decided to forgo the flashlight), but the view of the stars, unpolluted by the lights of the city was awe-inspiring! Very rarely, unless you live outside the city, do you get to see a star-filled night sky like that! ... and the pure silence.... even more awe-inspiring!

After a good deal of work, earlier on Saturday, we did get into the nearby 'town' and enjoy a little time time among civilization. While Scott (my friend), his younger brother Adam, and I went to see a movie, the other two guys, Scott's cousins, went looking for a nearby bar to watch the Milwaukee Bucks NBA tournament game. Excitement later prevailed when we all were informed that they won!.... The three of us movie-goers, however, decided to go see "Holes", a film based upon an award-winning childrens novel. We all enjoyed it, and when discussing it later, could see why it had been so popular. It was both a well-written book, and, in turn a very cleverly produced film. My recommendation.... Go see it. It's well worth the time and ticket.

But, now that my enjoyable weekend has come to a close, and a new weeks starts, I have much to do. I'll certainly be able to keep busy -- freelance art projects, job-searching full-time, helping a friend and his wife move to a new house today, etc. I'm actually looking forward to it. It should be a good week, and I am already embarking upon it with a light heart. And you know what, strangely, I have a calm contented feeling regarding my job search. Maybe my efforts previously are about to pay off. Or, maybe this is just foreshadowing of better things to come. [shrugs happily].

We shall see. In the meantime, however, I wish you all a blessed start to a new week. Enjoy the nice weather (at least if you're anywhere near where I live and are under the same promising weather forecast), and I'll write again shortly.

God's blessings.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, April 24, 2003


"A Barnes and Noble blunder?"


Oh, you know, on my second-to-last day at B&N yesterday, I discovered the company is starting up yet another something I think to be a bad idea. Now, at each and every transaction, they are making a big push to collect email addresses from their customers. The idea is that they can then spam them with promotions and such. They say it's a way to 'keep their customers updated." Sure, maybe, but who wants more spam? I know it's not a new practice to collect emails at a purchase, but usually it's done online.

First of all, if I'm a customer, I'm there to buy my book and continue on my way. Very few people, if any, say, "Yes, here's my email, spam me." Dumb idea. There's gotta be other ways to promote whatever stuff you want to promote than engage in a practice like this, at a store register. It just seems a little, well, disrespectful. I, personally, hate email spam. I'm sure most everyone else does as well. If the store must promote, offering a printed publication should be the way to go. At least I can just throw that away, and the only thing it clogs up is my waste basket.

Second, as an employee, it slows the transaction down immensely to have to ask each and every customer if they want to give the store their email address. You know 99.9% are going to decline.... So why bother? And if they do accept, it adds even more time to process the customer's transaction. No wonder there's a little resistance to this new procedure, not to mention all the other stupid ideas the big whigs think are so positive.

So, this outgoing employee (myself) has decided to rebel peacefully. I have refused to even ask customers about this email thing. If it costs the company a few email addresses, tough. It's my register to manage for eight hours. I maintain the counter space the way I like it. I process the money like I'm supposed to. I respect the customers and offer them a smile or a little bit of wit before they leave, and I sure as heck am going to make their transactions efficient and painless.

Big business politics, bah.... Who are these guys anyway? Have they EVER worked in my position lately? I think the decision makers should spend eight hours doing my job before deciding they know how I should be doing things. There's a big difference between enacting some new policy, and actually experiencing how it plays out.

Good-bye Barnes and Noble. Each day I work, I am going to miss you less and less.

Your sometimes opinionated, but happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, April 23, 2003


"Celebrity"


I happened to see the country music video for Brad Paisley's song, "Celebrity" on GAC (cable) last night. As my friend Scott says, "It's a stitch". (In layman's terms, that means it's quite funny.) ....

You might want to check out the lyrics on Brad Paisley's website. (You can also listen to part of it).

It's a classic example of how I am NOT going to be someday. Although, it does say a lot about the foolishness of many in Hollywood thought these days. And that's kind of sad if you think about it.

Have a great Wednesday.
-Jon

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003


"The deed is done."


You know, strangely I'm feeling pretty good this afternoon. I have officially turned in my resignation to Barnes and Noble.

Unless my Barnes and Noble store does something positively surprising (which is not likely to happen considering the management lately), my last day as an employee will be this Friday, April 25. ... And you know, I really don't feel guilty about leaving. The time has just come for me to do so. With the retail politics as they are right now, I think it really is the best course of action I could take.

I was surprised to find that many of my fellow booksellers, there at the store, support my decision. Some were curious about the letter I was reading briefly in the breakroom (my letter of resignation). A discussion started, and I found that more people are sad to see me go than I thought. That made me feel a little better about my decision. Some even thought I was quiting to move to California and dive into the Hollywood acting business right now! ... Well, yes, soon, but not quite yet. ... [chuckle].

Later on I just happened to hear of a few more collegues making preparations to move on as well. One of them, another creatively-minded individual, was hoping to leave in negative stead. He was quite upset with certain factors, and he 'ranks' higher than I in store. I can't imagine the store manager will be too happy. I guess maybe I am just the tip of an iceburg. ... [shrug]

It's further proof of one of my beliefs, "I am my own boss, even if I work for another." If the work environment is going downhill, regarding what is supposed to be the store's greatest asset, then it's time to relocate 'my business' (aka, me). I find it kind of funny actually, we're supposed to bend over backwards for the customer, and rightly so, but most of our management does not feel the same way of it's employees. Something's a little fishy, don't you think?

Oh well, since I do feel lighter, with this worry off my back now, I'm going to have a bit of fun with my last few days as a Barnes and Noble employee. Nothing disrespectful mind you.... just a heavy push towards building upon the little bit of creativity that I've been able to incorporate into my mundane job so far. Sounds like a fun way to exit the stage, if you ask me! ... [grin]

Well, I'm off to run a few more errands before 'Day -3' of work. Have a blessed Tuesday!

Your very happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Monday, April 21, 2003


"Easter 2003."


Well, the day has passed. Easter 2003 has entered the history books.

It really wasn't much different of a Sunday than most others for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Noah had left to take Rachel up to Minneapolis early Saturday so that she could spend Easter with our family, and also so she could take her driving liscense, and *finally* be able to drive. Silly girl. She's a senior in college, and has just put it off again and again. I guess, in order for her to accept her nanny job this summer, she has to be able to drive. Makes sense.

Well, since Noah was gone, resigned to the 300 mile, 6 hour drive across the state of Wisconsin -- twice this weekend -- I had the apartment to myself. I appreciated the opportunity. Not that I did anything out of the ordinary, but I did like the quiet and the free reign of the place. Felt relaxing somehow.

I spent a good part of my afternoon being creative.... some website work (Star Trek website), a little brainstorming, drawing, etc. That felt nice too. Having a job where I can't use any of that, creates for a real appreciation of it when I DO have the opportunity to engage in such activities. Perhaps that's another reason I'm choosing to leave Barnes and Noble. I just feel empty there. I need to feel useful. I'm just one of those people that NEEDS to be creative.

In the evening I set aside the time to watch the first part of the "Helen of Troy" miniseries on USA (cable). I really enjoyed it. Having seen the half-hour "Making of" documentary of it Saturday, I was very intruiged to watch the story unfold... especially as I am quite familiar with the behind-the-scenes work on a film. I love that kind of thing. Hundreds of people all working together to contribute their own unique creative talents to make an epic film about the Trojan War, and the 'face that launched a thousand ships'. Pretty cool stuff. Besides, I have a real interest in ancient Greece and Rome, both in terms of art as well as the history.

...I tell you, someday, I'll be working behind the camera on things like that on a regular basis.... Perhaps even hopefully in front of the camera. I've got my fingers crossed. Mark my words... Someday you will see my name in the credits quite often. It'll happen. That's my goal. It WILL happen! ... [grin]

But, unfortunately, now, as I sit here, at 1am Monday morning, I remember, I have to get to bed a little earlier than usual. I have some more resumes -- the creative and unconventional ones -- to work on and hopefully send out tomarrow. I have a good feeling about these, but, unfortunately it is just a feeling. I'm continuing in my pursuit of taking risks from last week. The decision has become final to leave B&N (see previous post). Now I compound that, and a few other risks I've engaged in, with a new take on sending out my resume and cover letter, to places I would like to work. Who knows, maybe it's all wasted effort, but I certainly hope not. I no longer will be content to fit in as just another one of the crowd. I'm unique... Doggonit, I'm gonna play that up! ... [grin]

Alas, however, I must cease writing for the night. I'll catch you on the marrow, probably after work, and let you know how my resignation with Barnes and Noble plays out. I'm hoping for the best, but I have this nagging feeling that it won't quite go that way. Let's hope that is JUST a feeling.

Have a blessed new week. Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, April 19, 2003


"Change is good."


Monday I will be saving myself some stess. I will be turning in my resignation to Barnes and Noble. One of three possibilties exists for how it will go:

One:... I will give two weeks notice. This is the professional thing to do, and I do wish to leave on good terms. A good recommendation from a retail job might come in handy somewhere down the road, even if the job was less then favorable lately. I am hoping B&N responds professionally as well. Thus far, I'm feeling a little cheated from their end. In some regards, I think they could have done a better job serving their greatest asset -- their employees (not meaning only me). Unfortunately, as I've noticed at Barnes and Noble especially, profits come first... assets a distant second.

Two:.... Should a few matters of importance not be satisfactorily addressed when I talk to them, I will only provide one week's notice, and take the risk of not being able to use them as a reference down the road. I will also save myself the stress of remaining there for two more painful weeks. Since my career hopefully will have nothing major to do with retail, I suppose a good recommendation from them can be sacrificed, in favor of a healthy level of sanity.

Three:.... Should matters necessitate it, and appear severe enough, I will walk right then and there. THAT might just be one of those risks I need to take in my life right now.

I am hoping for at least the first option, as I do intend to remain the honest, respectful person that I try to be. However, when you are wronged, and few efforts are taken to correct it, you're less likely to desire to remain that way. It's a toss-up. I'll be prepared for each option, and just hope for the best.

In the meantime, this weekend, I will be pursuing some more possible job avenues, via resume and networking. Afterall, with a new college class graduating shortly, there must be positions available. I'll just dig harder.

So that's where I stand on the biggest issue at hand. It spiders out into other issues, however, if I can find some kind of completion to this issue, the rest will slowly present their own answers. Pray for me, not just regarding employment matters, but that I have the courage to finally step out and achieve what I have the most passion for. It's just a matter of strength of will, and a persistant faith that the Lord has his hand firmly rooted in the course my life is yet to take. We'll see what happens.

Have a blessed Easter weekend.

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, April 16, 2003


"Off to bed."


I must appologize. I promised I'd write more this evening after work, but, strangely, instead, I find myself too tired to do much at all. Work wasn't really all that tiring, but I believe, rather, that the very peculiar weather today has something to do with my fatigue. I went to work on a balmy 80-degree afternoon, only to come home with my jacket on, in a somewhat chilly 40-some-degree evening.

I tell you, this Wisconsin weather has had a mind of it's own lately. Now it's supposed to be cold again. Go figure.

Anyway, I'll probably catch you all on the marrow sometime. Until then, God's blessings, and may your Wednesday be bright.

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003


"I looked... Now I am ready to leap."


You've cast your vote for security, and you probably did it a long time ago. Most of us know by the age of eight whether we're going to play it cautiously, recklessly, or somewhere in between. Some kids leap before they look. Some look and then leap. You looked and didn't leap. There were reasons we make those choices; we've forgotten them now. The point is that when we grow up, we continue to play it the way the child designed it. We never stop to rethink the design. We never reexamine those rumbles of urgency inside us to see if they make any sense. Our habits take on a life of their own, and we just assume they're right.

The truth is, most of us don't really know why we're so cautious. If there ever was a reason, it's long gone. And we've overlooked something even more important: When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life.


That's me. I've been playing it too safe.... all my life.

I actually picked up a book while I was at work recently, I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was, by Barbara Sher (quoted above), and I've been reading it through lately. It's been reminding me of a lot that I have forgotten, about my dreams and goals in life. I know I can find better, I've just been a little swiss-cheesed I guess.

So, despite my less than 'successful', though quite productive week of vacation job-searching last week, many hours of thought, quite a bit of reading, and so on, I've come to find one powerful phrase imprinted it upon my mind, "Now is the time to act. The time for looking is over. Time to leap."

That 'leaping' is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever forced myself to do.

Since I love writing, odds are, I'll probably be writing more from this new perspective quite a bit over the next few days. If you've had an interest in the direction of my career (wherever the Lord is leading me this time), you may want to follow along. If not, I won't hold it against you.... A lot will be happening this week though. ...and much of it probably somewhat life-changing.

But for now, I guess work calls. I do look forward to returning and writing more this evening, but, until then, I wish everyone a blessed day. Keep me in your prayers. I may need all the support I can get.

And, on a lighter note, remember, life is what you make of it.... Smile, no matter what happens. It uses less facial muscles, and looks better on you.

Your happily blogging, though, deep down, frightened friend,
-Jon

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Monday, April 14, 2003


"Hack Harder."


One of my favorite fellow bloggers made a very poignent analogy to the struggles in life, especially relating to herself at the moment. I wanted to share that analogy with you, as I took a lot of meaning from it when I read it.:

"....[this painting] is a reminder that while you are in a struggle that may feel hopeless and uncomfortable, to not focus on the struggle. You must work through that like a jungle explorer cutting through thick brush with a machete. Every swipe is hard, but gets you one step farther. Your goal is that next step, and the one after that. Eventually you get through to an oasis, where the brush ceases and the mist of a giant waterfall tingles against your face. The air is less thick, so you fill your lungs with a deep unencumbered breath.

Only then, should you look back and realize the struggle it took for you to get there."


Makes sense. Maybe I'm just not hacking hard enough with my machete?... or maybe the blade has gotten duller than I thought?...

I guess I just need to stand out more.

-Jon

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Sunday, April 13, 2003


"New Store."


NEWS: JonBaas.com Online Store Redesigned

Check out the new "American Eagle" Military Bear (plush), some of my artwork (coming soon), or perhaps items like Darryl Worley's new CD. Or perhaps even my recommended books might be of interest.... It's a whole new store. ... [grin].
Shop@JonBaas.com

-Jon

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Saturday, April 12, 2003


"Job Searching: What I've learned."


Well, technically my week of paid vacation has come to a close, and I still have no new job to show for it yet. My efforts, though relatively productive, were sadly less than successful. But I guess that means I keep looking. I keep inquiring and looking to set up interviews.... With continued dedication to that task, something positive will come in time.... It has to eventually. It's just becoming a very disheartening search at this point, especially knowing that I'm back to work at Barnes and Noble on Monday. At least the vacation from the mundane (which that job certainly has become) was extremely welcome. If I do have to go back to work there for a little bit yet, at least I'm rested and prepared to fight it with a renewed vigor.

But I will have to be honest though, in my searching this week (and previously), I've learned/ realized a few things about the job search. I think I'll share them with you, in no particular order:

1.) Very few employers actually care to take the time and interview someone they don't know, especially if that someone has not been personally recommended by someone they know.

2.) Finding someone who can 'recommend' you to your potential employer is annoyingly challenging.

3.) Nearly all of my resumes I've sent out have probably gone straight into the trash, hense a wasted effort.

4.) Only a few employers are kind enough to send me a kindly worded response to my interview/ job inquiry. Though I greatly respect them for that, they usually say something to the effect that they are not able employ me, or they are not interested in meeting with me at this time.

5.) Maybe I'm not as qualified as I thought, to be seeking a graphics artist position. Either that, or there really are no available openings for someone as qualified as me.

6.) Perhaps God really is saying, "Jon, you love acting so, why aren't you looking in that direction yet? There are no openings in art for you right now because that is not the direction I want you to go."

7.) A lot of people in the business end of things appear rather grouchy and stern. Perhaps they need a vacation from the stresses of their work.

8.) Money really does make the work go 'round. It's sad, but true. If you have it, people want to help you out.... If you don't, they could care less about you.

9.) Not everyone you thought could be a possible career networking contact, actually has an interest in honestly helping you out. Usually they are less kind-hearted, and want something big in return.

10.) Persistance of heart, mind, and vision, is one extremely challenging task! But it's fun to work at.

11.) Faith is both a challenge, and yet a rewarding task. If you have no faith, you have no chance at your dreams. If you have faith, the journey will be long.... but rewarding whenever the end comes around.

12.) It's good to believe in a greater being (such as my Lutheran faith entails), because many times, it is that faith and trust in God that is the only thing that keeps you going.

13.) People say that honesty is of high importance to them, yet you always hear of the dishonest scoundrals that suceed before you.

14.) Be thankful for what you do have. Often we always look at the bad, or the failing dreams and forget that we already are blessed with a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, friends to support us, and just enough to just barely get by. Those are huge blessings many in this world sadly do NOT have.

15.) Keep striving towards a goal. It will happen, but not right away.

16.) Smile, no matter what happens. It uses less facial muscles, and looks better on you.

17.) Look at the bad as though it were a test to make you stronger. In actuality, it will.

18.) Stick to YOUR dreams and goals in life. Never let anyone say you are not suited for the work. Persistance pays off... eventually.

19.) Be open-minded. There are more job opportunities available to you than in just one career field.

20.) ....And lastly, be your own person. You are you. There is no one in this world just like you. YOU can offer the world a lot, just have patience and know that even though you may not think you are at that place to offer the world much, you already are as you go about your daily struggles.

So there you have it. My job search is extremely frustrating.... but now you know why I am still intentionally frustrating myself. You don't succeed by quiting, no matter what befalls you.

Stay strong in whatever life throws your way, and if you do... then I'll see you at the top.

Your happily blogging and still job-searching friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, April 10, 2003


"Tech Support = Source of income?!"


So, now it costs an arm and a leg just to get personal tech support if something goes wrong with your free Netscape computer software? Sounds a little fishy to me. I'm not going to pay to be able to ask a simple question, like, "why is this not working right?"....especially if the program was downloaded FOR FREE! ...sheesh.

...Good thing Microsoft Internet Explorer is my internet program of choice. At least I can find the answers I need there, without the rediculous roadblock.... Oh, well, I'm resourceful. My Netscape question can be answered elsewhere... [sighs, grins slightly, and steps down from his soapbox].

Have a good one,
-Jon

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Wednesday, April 09, 2003


"Darryl Worley fans."


I just wanted to take a brief moment to say "hi" to all of you visiting my site after searching the phrase "Darryl Worley Have You Forgotten? (Original Version) lyrics" on Yahoo. It's refreshing to come across so many interested country music fans! ...And just to be fair, if you are looking for the lyrics to that song (which I noted in one of my blog posts not too long ago) and you haven't found them yet, you can find them listed here. ... Enjoy. ... [smile].

....Oh, and perhaps a few other talented country musicians you might want to check out if you have the chance.... [wink].

Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed week!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, April 08, 2003


"A week of vacation suits me fine."


Well, Tuesday has rolled around, and I sit here at my computer smiling knowing that I do not have to go into work this week.... And I couldn't be happier! .... See, I was able to take the week off, and do so with vacation pay (which helps my pocketbook emmensely!). Of course it's not all fun and games, I do take this vacation with a serious reason in mind....

Last week after a thoroughly depressing and utterly boredom-filled three-day work week, a dilemma made itself known. My interests in finding a new job had reached the peek. Leaving Barnes and Noble for greener and more creative pastures had to happen... pronto!

However, to actually have told my boss last week, "Sir, I am sorry, but I must render my resignation, effective on Friday," would have been a bit too risky. The idea would have been, with no job, I could hit the streets full time pursuing those other pastures. However, with no job also comes no pay, and who knows how long that would have lasted. That's a risk I can only take as a severe desperation measure.

So, I let my jets cool, cleared my head and came up with another better option.... Instead I went to my boss and said, "Sir, I need next week off. I've been here for six months and I qualify for paid vacation according to the employee handbook. I'd like to take that in place of working next week. If I cannot get the vacation, I will find others who are interested in taking my hours for me. I need the week free." ... He seemed a little put out, and probably rightly so, but the truth is, I had every intention of making it easy on him and finding ways to have my scheduled hours covered. With a severe shortage of hours available for the store to schedule it's employees anyway, and a whole lot of disgruntled employees because of it, I would have been helping both sides.

Well, in the end, my boss gave me the vacation time and told me not to worry about finding replacements for my hours, he'd deal with it. I appreciated his receptiveness to my request, and was grateful I had managed to work this out. Later in the day he asked me where I was going for my week of vacation.... I held my tongue, and was careful not to say that I was really planning to stick around town and job-hunt.

So, now it's Tuesday already -- Tuesday of my 'vacation week.' Thus far Monday became a day of errands and generating possible job 'leads'. I've come up with some possibilities, now I just need to pursue them and see if they really do interest me. ... So, I guess it's back to the phones. I am wholly determined to make this paid week of job-hunting worthwhile!

But more on my efforts later. I've got to make sure to make the most of these prime 9-5 workday hours to find that new job. So, until later, take care, and I wish you all a blessed Tuesday!

Your happily job-hunting friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, April 06, 2003


"Make your own rock band..."


If you like music, you'll probably have loads of fun with this link!

I happened upon this site purely by chance this weekend, and have probably already spent more time playing around with it than I should have.... But hey, so far, my country band, Texas Smoke, is rising up the country charts with their own unique brand of country music. I'm happy. ... [grin]

Take a look. Have fun, ...and don't worry, there's nothing to download.

-Jon

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"A shocking Nashville Star development!"


I'm shocked.... Jamey Garner, the wonderfully-talented harmonica-playing competetor on the show Nashville Star, was just voted off! ... Now I'm not sure who my top pick is... Buddy Jewell perhaps? There's just so much talent to choose from....

I tell you, nearly all those competetors still left had better get signed by someone. There's no question on talent with most of them, it's just a matter of when someone in the music business takes notice of it. I can say this though, even though Jamey Garner was voted out of the competition (and accepted the decision like a pro), I think he's got a new fan. I'll be keeping, my eye on this guy. I think he'll be going places...

Have a blessed Sunday,

Your happily blogging country-loving friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, April 05, 2003


"A Sim's life for me...."


I've been a bit of bit of a recluse from the outside world this week, at least beyond work. I worked full shifts on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, ate, slept, and that's about it really.... my mind has been on too many things to dedicate time to too much else. Of course, it's times like these when the instinctual thing is to seek out activities that take one's mind OFF those incensant ponderings....

So.... I've slipped into the world of computer gaming -- My game of choice: The Sims.

As it just so happens, I still possessed, in my wallet, a gift card to CompUSA (a college graduation gift from my parents from about this time last year), that had a little over $50 remaining on it. It just took me this long to determine what to use it for. That, and the fact that my only ride out near where the nearest CompUSA in Milwaukee is, is my friend Scott. He visits often, and as it just so happened, last Saturday, he and I were out and about near CompUSA. I figured it was time to find the remainder of my graduation gift.

After a bit of thinking (of which I still do too much), I settled on purchasing The Sims. And, since that left me with about $7 from the gift card, which I got back in change at the store register, my parents also gave me dinner out to Fuddruckers, spent in the company of my best friend. How cool is that! ... Thanks Mom and Dad!

So, now I have The Sims, a game I have borrowed and played in the past, adored, and now own myself. Of course, having The Sims means, I am once again addicted to the lives of little computer simulated characters... Oh, well. ... [chuckle] ... There are worse things to be addicted to!

So that's where I've been when not at work or taking care of other pressing matters this week -- playing The Sims, or rather, researching, and downloading, little goodies to make my game even more intruiging.

But, for now, I've surfaced for air, and though I'll be playing some more this weekend, I have other projects to work on as well. ....

And then there's next week.... But more on that in a later post.

For now.... I think 5:30am on Saturday morning is a good time for bed, don't you think? ... [sarcastic grin]

I'll catch you all on the marrow, sometime in the afternoon or evening I would guess. Until then....

Your happily blogging Sims-'addicted' friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, April 01, 2003


"A fish out of water."


Well, it's Tuesday again.... day two in the week of a job I desperately want to get out of, but cannot becasue it almost pays the bills, and almost paying the bills is better than not... [sigh]

I guess I really am a fish out of water. When I first started working at Barnes and Noble, it was an interesting job, but now, 5-6 months later, I'm really working to drag myself in everyday, just to stand at the registers and say stuff like, "would you like the reciept in the bag." .... Urgh. I'm the creative type.... I NEED to be doing something that engages my mind. I NEED to find something I enjoy.

Do you know how hard it is to have the strong desire to tell my boss, "Nice working with you. Bye." But, without something else -- something better -- to bring in a paycheck, logic says, 'Jon, don't do it. That would be stupid, and put you in a worse off position than you are already in.' Unfortunately logic rarely fails in the intelligence department.

It just pains me greatly to know that each and every day my smile is becoming less and less genuine there as I am losing my will to be able to even look like I like that job. I literally drag myself in there every day just to be confined to the same place every day, repeat myself over and over, make money to line someone else's pockets, and watch as my insides turn to jelly from the boredom and severe lack of creativity this job affords.... Yet it almost pays the bills.

I've been reading this book I picked up, "The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People." It's a good book, and it seems to have me in mind on every page.... However, the more I read it, the more I DO want to kiss B&N goodbye and take that risk of unconventionality. Then I see that I'd be unemployed without an income at a time that that would not be a smart thing.... [sigh]... I need a severe change in my life, but I keep hearing people say that quiting a job without other possibilities is insane. Yet, I CANNOT remain in this mundane cost-cutting big business corporation -- a place where the company financial assets and profit seem to be more important than those employees that actually directly build up those assets.

I'm between a rock and a hard place.

Pray for me. I've fallen back into that state of "Free Fall", as noted in a previous post. I'm really struggling to be myself, and enjoy doing so. ... Anyone know any job openings that might interest me?

Should I weigh the pros and cons and go with my gut and quit this job in favor of finding something better? It would give me one week to hit the streets before I no longer have a paycheck. It would require a huge leap of faith and trust that the Lord leads me to greener pastures. I do need to take more of a risk in life.... But is this a wise risk?....

It's a free fall
When your back's against the wall
When you hit rock bottom and the bottom drops out
How's a man supposed to stand tall
Well the high life ain't my life
I can't walk a line and I damn sure ain't gonna crawl
Just living in a free fall

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Jon Baas

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