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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"Short Story: The Battle of Dry Lake"

About a week back I awoke one morning after having a series of very peculiar, yet somewhat thought-provoking dreams. Nothing too special really, just the 'ole subcontious mind being it's mysterious creative self. There was, however, one dream that really intruiged me....

So, when I awoke, I emmediately sat down and typed up what I could remember. Since then, just for fun, I've adapted it into a short story. It has a mysterious quality to it, and is perhaps a combination of science fiction and a little bit of fantasy, with a longing to investigate the past thrown in.

I thought I'd share it with you. Feel free to give it a read, and let me know what you think.

Short Story: "The Battle of Dry Lake"

Until next time,

Your happily blogging creative friend,

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Monday, September 29, 2003

"Chris Noth And His Fans"

Sunday night, before heading off to bed, I decided to share some pictures and information from my Mr. 3000 on-set journal entries with a Yahoo fan Group devoted to actor Chris Noth.

So, before going to bed, I finally joined the group and posted a few production photos that I had found, as well as a little first-hand info about Chris and the overall film. Nothing jeapordizing the production of the movie, mind you, just a little bit of free publicity for the production company, and some sought-after fandom for the fans. Then I went to bed.

In the morning on Monday, I was surprised at the warm welcome that I had recieved in the group. They really liked the photos -- even passed them on to other fan groups -- and, they turned out to be a very friendly bunch. I appreciated that. I'm probably not as much of a Chris Noth fan as most of them are (although Chris and I are both from Wisconsin...), but I may stick around for a bit. They're a good group. And, who knows, maybe I'll even learn a little something while I'm there! You never know.

If you're interested, and are a fan of Chris Noth yourself, you might have an interest in these groups. If so, I've added the URL's to two of them below. Feel free to check them out:

- The Chris Noth Party Group
- Escape the Drama / The Chris Noth List

Have a blessed Tuesday, and until next time,

Your happily blogging actor friend,
-Jon Baas

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"The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said..." talk of many things. Actually, the time has come to once again relaunch a discussion board here on! Yep, I did so some time back with limited success,.... and then the site underwent remodeling and the whole idea was lost to the back burner....

Well, I've pulled the 'ole board out of mothballs, and I'm hoping to make a better go of it this time. You are of course invited to stop in and join the discussions. I'll be stopping in quite frequently myself -- starting new conversations and joining old ones. Let's have fun exchanging ideas and information shall we?! :)

The board is linked throughout, however, you can also go there directly through the following URL:

Current young conversations range from any questions you may have of my time on the set of "Mr. 3000" (within reason of course. I have promised not to divulge too much info).... to critiques on my artwork.... to even issues of Christian faith and living. Of course, you will have to stop in to see whats shaking, but, I think with a little active participation, this could become a rather busy little board.

Enjoy, and I hope to see some of you there.... Oh, and it is free to participate, so now you really can't say no, can you! ....[chuckle]

Your happily blogging friend,

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Saturday, September 27, 2003

"And the Cold is Upon Us"

Yes, fall is here, and so are the beginings of the cold weather.

I actually took the time today to install the storm screens on my bedroom windows. It's a bit warmer in here now that the chilly air outdoors cannot get in and the warmth indoors cannot get out, but it's the start of a sad thought. It'll be winter soon and the white stuff will fall. The warm breezy days of summer are all but behind us, and the chill of the colder months are creeping closer. .... Welcome, old man winter. Come on in. Sit down. Make yourself comfortable. I can't stop you.

I did discover something though that I didn't realize during the winter months last year.... One of my bedroom window frames is not level in the wall, and dips slightly at one end. As a result, the window itself is not set totally straight in the wall. If I don't pay close attention to the problem, the colder air can find it's way into the room through the uneven top of the window. I guess that would explain my frustrations last year in combating a bedroom that was consistantly colder than the rest of the apartment. I suppose, though, I'm better prepared this year. Hopefully a cold bedroom won't be so much of an issue.

With Fall upon us, I've already broken out the warmer attire. Sweat pants replace shorts when I'm lounging around my apartment, and, occassionally a sweatshirt joins them. My jacket came out of it's comfortable hanger in the closet, and, pretty soon I may consider breaking out the gloves and warm winter cap. Yeah, old man winter is just around the corner, and there's not a lot we can do about that.

There are probably a few relatively warm days still waiting before the snow flies, but everyone is gearing up for the chill. Television commercials feature attractive warm weather clothing... fast food commercials are just starting to bill their food as a way to warm up, and car dealers are making a drive to clear out their summer models and bring in the winter SUV's and heavy-duty pickup trucks.

See, that's the thing about the Upper Eastern-Midwest USA. We get severe changes in climate , while areas near California and the Southwest complain that sixty degrees (F) is cold. Bah. Sometimes I'm proud to have been born and raised where I have been. I come from a tough breed. We may not like the cold all the time, but, we certainly know how to deal with it.

I've actually heard predictions that it may be an unusually cold winter this year. That may be true, it may not be. Old Man Winter will come, it's just a matter of when at this point. And It never hurts to be prepared.

Stay warm all, and enjoy autumn while it's still here. Then, find a good hole and hibernate for a few months. :)

Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Friday, September 26, 2003

"Blogging: Technical Difficulties Fixed"

My appologies to all of you. I have not been able to post here to my blog for nearly a week because of technical difficulties. I think the problems are fixed though, thanks in part to the helpful people at my web host. (I'll keep my fingers crossed though... [smile].).

For now, however, I am happily back to posting.... So, on with the show! :)

Have a blessed day all, and again, my appologies.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Monday, September 22, 2003

"New Artwork"

New artwork has arrived courtesy of yours truely. If you're interested in seeing the additional designs I've added to my store, feel free to take a gander. I'd love to hear your comments.

As of this writing there are now nine (9) distinct artwork categories, featuring 124 individual items. There is additional artwork slated to be added this week, and two attractive commissioned pieces coming down the pike very shortly. I'll add links to those as soon as 'my client' has them on his own online catalog. :)

Oh, and on a final note, if you were involved with the filming of "Mr. 3000", you might find the "I was an extra in..." line of apparel rather interesting. So far, they seem to be a very popular addition to my catalog of artwork. .... A second line of apparel, a take on the infamous "Pantomime" shirts, will be added later this week (by special request).

Enjoy, and, as always, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Have a blessed week.

Your happily blogging artist friend,

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Saturday, September 20, 2003

"From Country to Jazz"

I'm sitting here working on artwork and listening to the local Jazz radio station. It's pretty good stuff. Normally I don't listen to this station, but strangely, I've just had a craving for it lately. Maybe I've just been listening to too much Country in the past few days? .... [shrug]

Hmm. Isn't life interesting?! :)


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Friday, September 19, 2003

"Busy-ness = Blog Absence"

Well, I've missed a few days posting here. I guess you could say I've been pretty busy. But, productivity has been high and I'm planning to take it a little easier now, so I'm back again. :)

Lately, I've had my mind on designs for two corporate logos, and two commissioned pieces of art. One of those artworks is completed and on it's way to the client. It'll probably be in their catalog sometime soon. The other I'll be starting to draw on paper tomarrow. One of the two logos has been decided upon, and the other is pending and should be completed shortly. It's a lot of work. Fun stuff, but it keeps me busy. .... I like keeping busy though.

Now that I have a few more hours to look at other things, I can reflect a bit. There really isn't all that much new going on in my little corner of the world though -- at least beyond the artwork:

I turned down the retail job offer from Suncoast. I just wasn't able to justify working at a 10 hour/week job for just barely $6/hour. By the time I would have taken out taxes and the costs of transportation, I'd likely only be bringing home just about $30 per week. That really wouldn't have helped me much toward my goals. It would have been an interesting job, but probably only at a higher offer.

So, needless-to-say, I continue to look on the non-art employment end of things.... But NOT so much at retail anymore. They don't seem to be presenting enticing job offers. That means it's time to dust off that 'ole resume again.

Oh well. What will be, will be.

Oh, on a slightly more interesting note, I've been able to squeeze in a few hours here and there to watch more of the Babylon 5 series on DVD lately. I'm almost through the first season. Ironically, my interest in the series only grows as I watch more and more of the episodes.... I did notice something very interesting though. For those of you who are Star Trek fans out there, did you realize how many guest actors on that series also later showed up in the various Star Trek series'? Yep. Quite a few. Being a well-versed Star Trek fan myself, I found that fact quite amusing. No wonder I enjoy both television series.... They have a lot more in common than I thought!

Hmm, .... what else?

Oh, yeah, ...The weather. Here in the Milwaukee area, it's getting colder outside -- evidence that fall and winter are indeed upon us. I'm actually opting to wear sweats around the apartment now. Shorts are out, jacket is in. .... And just when I was enjoying the warm weather too. Oh well. Seasons change quite drastically here in the upper midwest. I'm used to it. Time to think about seeing the city covered in the cold white stuff pretty soon.

Ah, but we still have a few more weeks of the green and brown. All the more reason to enjoy the outdoors while it's still above sixty degrees. Maybe tomarrow I'll get outside just for the heck of it. We'll see.

But, it's not Saturday yet... still Friday evening -- too cold and late. We'll have to see what the weekend brings tomarrow. :)

Take care all, and have a blessed weekend. Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

"The Old Man on Campus"

Today I visited my alma mater -- my old college. I had some library books to return.

Truth is, I feel so old when I go there now, especially since all 700-some students are back and populating the halls. All these younger students walking around, smiling, chatting of classes, papers, exams, mingling with friends, reading a book out in the sunny grassy areas.... I remember doing all that too -- all to well. Some of it I miss. Some of it I don't.

But I'm graduated. I've been out now for almost a year and a half. I guess I'm supposed to feel like an old man when I visit. I don't belong there anymore. I'm a relic. Yet, there are so many fond memories of my four years spent in residence. I may have severed all ties as a student to that fine educational facility, but as an individual, parts me still remain.

Four years of one's life spent among friends, preparing for class, commenting on the lastest class project, meeting up with friends for a late night cup of tea, rushing off after class to theatre rehearsal, and so on.... I guess some of it just sticks with you. I saw a few student friends I knew when I was there today, but only a few. I said hi, but sadly didn't know what else to say. I've been graduated too long. The gap has grown. Most everyone I knew well has graduated and moved on, as I have.

It has really been a nice feeling being out on my own though -- completely out on my own -- carving out my own life for myself. But sometimes, when the moment is at a lull, my thoughts might drift back to my days among those halls, and I envision those memories. Then I smile, and think, "those definitely are the days of our lives. Those are some of the days we will remember the most.... for the rest of our lives."

Then I open my eyes, and I suddenly I don't feel so old anymore.... Just wiser -- wiser like the rest of my friends, who perhaps often close their eyes and think the same thing. My smile remains. Memories have a way of doing that. But moreso that smile reminds me that I am still young. I have my whole life ahead of me, and, God-willing, that's a whole heck of a lot of memories yet to be made. Enough to make those treasured memories of college look like a grain of sand in a vast beach of life.

It's funny how life works. The future is always the question that plagues us. But the past is the scrapbook that reminds, and often comforts us. Yeah, God put a lot of thought into the progression of time. He certainly knew what he was doing.

Enjoy the present, take comfort in the past, and muse upon the future. Life is short, make a killer scrapbook.

Your happily musing friend,

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Monday, September 15, 2003

"A New Fan: Babylon 5"

When I was up visiting my friend Scott recently, he lent me the first three seasons of Babylon 5 on DVD. I had only seen an episode here and there -- when it was first being aired on television a few years ago -- so, for me, this is a new series.

So far, I've watched the first ten episodes of season one, and I'm already becoming a big fan. I've been an avid fan of the Star Trek franchise for quite some time.... Now enter Babylon 5.

Great. Now I really am just a big geek. .... [lol]


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Saturday, September 13, 2003

"An Evening Up North"

Friday, I returned from an overnight up north visiting my friend Scott. It was, as always, a nice opportunity. We met in college and have become best friends since then. However, since graduation, he lives with his grandmother in a small town 50 miles north of Milwaukee, while I live here IN Milwaukee. Getting together and hanging out is a lot more of a challenge these days.

But, despite the distance, getting together, when we can (other than online), is enjoyable.

Thursday night, we actually ended up voice chatting with his friend (possible future significant other) for a few hours. Granted Scott and I did most of the talking/witicizing, while she listened on the other end of the connection. She seemed to find our conversing amusing, and, when she was an active part of the conversation, she seemed to be a very friendly conversationalist herself. Nice person. And a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours ... (even if Scott and I were doing most of the talking).

Later in the evening, after we signed off from the chat, Scott and I watched "The Rookie" -- the most recent film I've purchased. He was interested in seeing it, and actually liked it. ...(For those of you unfamiliar with the plot, it's about pursuing your dreams in life, and set in the world of a high school baseball coach in the baseball deprived Texas countryside.).... Great film. It's definitely reached my list of favorites, and it was nice to see someone else enjoy it as much as I did.

Still not too tired after "The Rookie" ended, Scott and I decided to watch another film. This time, "Most Wanted" -- a typical adventure/action flick -- was the film of choice. Though enjoyable and entertaining to watch, personally, it wasn't as good as "The Rookie". But, then again, I am usually somewhat biased towards good movies categorized as favorites.

We tried to watch a third movie, but the call of sleep upon us had become too strong, so we each retired for the morning. When we awoke on Friday a few hours later, Scott returned me to Milwaukee; He also had some errands to run down here. He was a little disappointed that I elected not to return up north with him, but I was strangely still tired, and had a few things to do. I just wanted to go to sleep.

....Ironically, when I did crawl into bed, I didn't end up sleeping for long. Ha. Just my luck.

But, all-in-all, it was an enjoyable diversion from the Big City, and a rare opportunity spent with a great friend. Afterall, such diversions just have to be tossed into a busy schedule from time to time. It is kind of funny to note though, that otherwise, visiting Scott has been my only real social life lately....

Man, I gotta get out more.

Your somewhat peculiar blogging friend,

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Friday, September 12, 2003

Thursday, September 11, 2003

"America Remembers."

September 11, 2003. Two years later.

In memory of the victims of 09.11.01. May peace prevail on earth.

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"Productive Wednesday."

Yep. Wednesday turned out to be a rather productive and interesting day....

First off, I finally completed and sent the files for the latest art project I've been working on. The requested reworking only took about 30 hours, but it's done, and looking pretty good. I'm waiting on final approval, and then, when it comes, in a few weeks the print will be available online. It will also be etched in glass, and if I do say so myself, it should be a rather attractive etch. I'll see about linking a sample of the image after I get final approval on the project.

My second bit of news is an interesting little story. Wednesday my sister and I spent the afternoon out at the mall. It was an excellent opportunity for two siblings to enjoy each other's company, but there was also another reason for the excursion. She'd been out there earlier in the week while looking for a part-time job herself, and applied at a local Suncoast (video / DVD store). She got an interview shortly after.

She also passed along the information that this particular store was still hiring and that it might be a wonderful place for me to look into as well, considering my knowledge and love of good movies. So I did. I am in the market for a job. Granted I'm hoping for something more involved than just a part-time sales job, but I guess in the present economy, I can't be too picky.

So, I dropped off my application yesterday, and even before I returned home the manager had called and left a message on my machine that he'd like to interview me. He's out of the office until Friday, but I'll give him a call when he's in, and we'll see what goes from there. I'll pursue it, and if I get the job, keep it until I come across something greater.

So, all-in-all, it ended up being a pretty good Wednesday. Definitely worthy of being called a productive day. In the evening I enjoyed the season premieres of Star Trek: Enterprise and Jake 2.0, and then got a restful night's sleep. .... Definitely a productive and enjoyable day. Something to keep my spirits up as well!

But, tis Thursday now. Time to work on a few other things before spending a night visiting Scott up north.

Have a blessed day all, and until Friday,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Monday, September 08, 2003

"All Bugged Out."

They say laughter is the best medicine!

I watched the end of "A Bug's Life" on DVD during a late dinner, and caught the animated outtakes. It's been quite a while since I laughed that hard -- I had tears in my eyes! ... I think I needed that too. Nothing can lighten spirits more than a good laugh. :)

Now I'm feeling a bit more refreshed. I think a little more artwork, and then a good night's rest is in order. Sounds like fun!

Until later,

Your happily blogging artist friend,

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Sunday, September 07, 2003

"Sunday: Almost out of Bread and Butter?"

Hmm. I'm not sure whether today is turning out to be a really productive day, or just a day that a lot of things are getting done.

I'm polishing off some of the last art projects, still working on a few, and opening up some time to start working on another smaller commissioned peice. Yet, I don't feel overly productive today. Nor do I feel as though my day was wasted. No procrastination today, sorry. It's just strange feeling in limbo like this.


Maybe it's just the thought floating around my head that this can't last forever -- this freelance work. At this point, I've got maybe one more month, and then, well, .... I'll have to be looking at other things. Not a fun horizon to be thinking about.

I'm dreading the pending decision -- the one I have to make this month. Get a full-time desk job, probably meaning a search resulting in a lot of disappointing rejection letters, and in a field totally opposite my personal interests -- one that will provide greater job security and more steady income.... or, hit the local low-paying acting scene where my heart keeps prodding me to go, but security and pay are not plentiful. The last time I tried an intensive search for a good job, I had to settle for working at Barnes and Noble.... and choking down some really annoying store politics. Many of you here already know how much fun that was.


Well, my personal goal is still to be engaging myself in things I have a passion for. It's been working pretty well this far (since I left Barnes and Noble) but, unfortunately, like I say, I think I'm starting to see the end of the tunnel. And that's not a tunnel I want to see the end of.

Pray for me. I hope I don't have to go back to things I have no heart for.

...Then again, if you know of a job opportunity up my alley, I'm all ears. If it involves creativity, heart, and variety, then maybe I'm your man! .... My eyes and ears are starting to look in that direction again. Maybe we can both cut our searching short.... [wink, wink].

Well, we'll see how things go. But for now, I'm going to enjoy another evening of artwork, while I still have it!

Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, September 04, 2003

"Definition of the Day."

Procrastination: The art of keeping up with yesterday.

Man, I really hate that word sometimes. It's actually been nipping at my leg these past few days. We'll have to see if I can keep from sucumbing to it. Should be an interesting challenge.

Oh well. Off to bed. :)


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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

"Harley: All Quiet on the Milwaukee Front."

Ah, the sweet sound of silence once again!

This past week saw the Milwaukee celebration of 100 years of Harley Davidson motorcycles, and since Milwaukee is 'ground zero' for the Harley Davidson Motor Company, that meant this past week my hometown became a Mecca of sorts. It was estimated that at least 250,000 people from all over the world showed up in Milwaukee with their chrome two-wheelers. Yes, that meant people from Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, England -- you name it -- all showed up for the major Harley bash. Some people even shipped their Harleys overseas just to be here for the big event!

.... And let me tell you, my what a bash it was! Big name entertainers putting on concerts, hundreds of thousands of extra visitors to Milwaukee, stylish Harley motorcycles everywhere you look (and yes, I mean EVERYWHERE), and every hotel and campground plus even people's homes booked up with visitors. There were leather jacket-clad people on chome 'Hogs' all over the place, and evidence of Harley the tradition was in abundance everywhere.

Despite all the cool additions to Milwaukee for a few days, not all was totally exciting though. I just so happen to live right near one of the major festival sites, so almost 24-hours a day there was to be heard the roar of Harleys -- never one at a time (Harley's travel in packs, dontcha know.). Roads were three to four times as populated as usual, and the noise level rose dramatically (Harley's are traditionally quite loud, dontcha know.). So, as you can image, it was a little frustrating for a citizen such as myself, especially as I am not used to all the commotion.

But, it was nice having so many people visiting my fair city. Not since the 2002 MLB All-star game has something notably big hit Milwaukee, and this is by far the biggest to date. This many tourists to my Midwestern city, is usually not normal... But thank goodness for Harley. Milwaukee IS on the map, and that I greatly enjoy every once in a while.

And, I've noticed that the Harley-riding kind are generally very friendly folks -- despite their rough-tough outer appearance. So, despite the sometimes frustrating additional noise the thousands and thousands of bikes caused, us Milwaukeeans were in good company. And the Harley visitors enjoyed their stay too.... so all went well. :)

It was interesting on Sunday though. In the early afternoon and on the major Milwaukee street that runs a few blocks away, there was an organized parade of Harley motorcycles representing people from all over the world, as well as the many designs and models of 100 years of Harley. In this parade were over 10,000 motorcycles! Loud, and long, but, as I am told, quite a sight to see!

Not being much of a hardcore Harley motorcycle fan myself, I opted to avoid the massive throng of people not far from my home -- I'm not one for huge crowds and lots and lots of loud noise. But, as I was witness to, spectators for this parade had already roped off nearly the entire thoroughfare 24 hours ahead of time! Yeah, no kidding. I imagine that meant that there were a couple hundred thousand people watching the parade -- it's a long steet!

I don't feel I missed all that much though personally. I got to see the constant parade in front of my house. That suited me. But I'll tell ya one thing, besides having seen no more than 30 cycles at one time go by my house in the country when I was growing up, I have never seen this many Harley Davidson motorcycles in one place. This is/was big excitement for Milwaukee, but it'll never happen again in our lifetimes. It only comes every 100 years.

Ah, but despite the past excitement, the silence now is nice. I appreciate motorcycles and those that ride them, but, man, that was a lot of bikes! All of the Milwaukee visitors and their bikes have now set out once again for their respective corners of the world, and I get to enjoy the quiet of Milwaukee once again. It was an exciting once-in-a-lifetime event. Now it's time to reminisce.

Have a blessed Tuesday everyone, and, if any of you reading this were in town for the Harley 100th, I hope your journey home was a safe one. Thanks for visiting Milwaukee and showing your support for one of the biggest traditions in America. Drive safe. :)

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

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