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Saturday, January 31, 2004

"Star Trek Saturday"

If there's one thing I'm a big geek over, it's Star Trek. I know the trivia... I know the characters, and I know the history. I grew up with it. It only seems natural that I would still be a big fan. So, as it turns out, my Saturday became a day for all things Star Trek.

Most of my day was eagerly actually spent taking care of website updates, story posts, and general maintenance for the online Star Trek PBeM roleplay that I gamemaster -- The USS Terra Nova.

But, then again, I suppose it probably makes sense. Creativity is my life. My acting talents go into the characters I play, while my artistic talents go into the site and sim details. It kept me busy, and today, launched me deep into the amusement that Star Trek has become for me.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the Terra Nova from previous notes, our little novel-style internet community has become a bit of a Star Trek series in it's own right. We have our own timeline (based off the painstakingly researched Star Trek universe). We have a unique setting focused on an unexplored area of space, a cast of some of the most unique characters a Star Trek series has ever had, a collection of intertwined species native to this area of space, and, a thorough -- relatively well-known -- website documenting all of it.

But, even though the environment itself sucked me in for most of the day, another segment of my day was spent searching and researching available Star Trek resources online. There are literally thousands, believe me! But, if you're a Star Trek fan, you may want to sit back and enjoy these. Below are some of my favorite resources, dug up during my immersion into fandom. Enjoy!:

BBC Online: Star Trek
A collection of video interviews with the actors who portrayed the characters within Star Trek lore. If you want a recommendation, I personally enjoyed the interviews with J G Hertzler, Klingon General Martok on the television series Deep Space 9.

Star Trek: Enterprise Timeline
One of the best timelines covering the entire Star Trek universe. Klingon Database
The world's largest and most popular Klingon database. Yes, anything, and everything for both the research of the Klingon race, to the connection Klingons have to present day fans. A must-visit site.

Bajoran Central Archives
Or, perhaps you prefer the Bajorans -- The dominant race of the Deep Space Nine series. Here is their comprehensive database. Also a worthy visit.

LCARSCom.Net: A Fan Site
An excellent Star Trek database of information. Focused with the fan in mind. If you ever wanted the feel of an authentic Star Trek control panel experience, this is the site. Turn on your speakers, and puruse the pages. (After a while though, you may wish to turn off the sound. The effects can get a little annoying... no matter how authentic.) Oh, and a recommendation.... I particularly enjoyed the collection of downloadable sounds and video.

Janet's Star Trek Voyager Site
I'm not really a fan of the design of this website, but, if you happen to be either a Voyager fan, or a Star Trek fan, this website is one of the best Star Trek databases on the internet. See for yourself.

Star Trek Voyager.... In the Mirror Universe
Three takes, by Star Trek fans, regarding what Voyager may have been like if we saw their Mirror Universe counterparts. Humorous, and witty. A fun read. The Official Website
And, of course, no Star Trek resource collection would be complete without the official website.

And, of course, if these eight sites aren't enough, just do a websearch for "Star Trek". But, I must warn you, be prepared for hours of amusement! Star Trek is more than just a cult favorite. Happy hunting!

Your always amused, happily blogging friend,

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Friday, January 30, 2004

"Diversions For a Lazy Day"

Hmm. Ok, I guess I haven't had a lot going on lately that's really worth musing about. It was cold today, so I stayed in, perused a few employment notices, and did a bit of web design work. It was a good day, but not a particularly exciting one.

However, in my internet travels throught the day, I did keep a list of websites that were both amusing and fun. See if you agree. Enjoy! (recommended: open each link in a new window)

So, are you one of those people who has a lot of music bottled up inside you, and no instrament with which to let it out? Well, you're in luck. A dozen musical instraments await you. Just move your mouse around.

Here's a company that believes in nothing, and they think you should too. They have their workers doing nothing around the clock, find new ways to package nothing, new problems to confront, or doing nothing just to waste time.

Right now they are drastically understaffed, but thankfully they aren't in a hurry becasue they want to make sure they get nothing right. Why not order *your* "nothing" today!

Let Fido read your mind.

#18. If the one who is "it" touches you, you are now "it."

#24b. Bathe, floss, and move your bowels daily. Do not fall in love this often.

Instructions to everything!

Learn how to speak with a standard American accent.

Expand a music tree and learn about all sorts of meticulously detailed musical genres that probably don't really exist. Or just poke around to learn about important sounds and instruments.

Hmm. Amusing, no? Maybe I'll have to make a section on my website to showcase this kind of stuff. There's no end to the kind of amusement the internet can provide. No wonder I love my computer so!

Have a blessed day. Stay warm, and be amused. It keeps things interesting.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, January 29, 2004

"I'm a starving artist.... Feed Me!"

This t-shirt amuses me.

I was looking over my store today, and thought I'd share a random thought. Enjoy! :)


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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

"An American Idol discussion board"

Well, there's not really all that much to say of my Wednesday. I ran a few errands, got some food, looked into a few places of employment, that sort of thing. It was pretty much just a day out and about the city. The good news, though, is that I didn't have to shovel. No new snow. That was much appreciated.

But, since there really isn't all that much to muse upon today, I'd thought I'd actually take this opportunity to send some of you an invite. To those of you that might be fans of the television show, "American Idol", you might like to stop by one of my latest projects -- an American Idol discussion board. Since the show is popular right now, there's a lot to talk about, and so far, this board is on the rise.

Idol Fans: An American Idol discussion board

We've got lively discussion, a complete list of contestants going to Hollywood, and details about all of them. There are also a number of unique features planned as the competition continues. So, feel free to stop by, and just so you know too, the board is just over a week old. Don't be surprised if things still look a bit small yet. They're growing. Feel free to join in.... I'd love to hear your opinions. :)

Take care all, and until next time, stay warm.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Man of constant shovel"

Heh. We've been getting a lot of snow around here lately.... A lot! To further prove this point, here are some numbers: Since Saturday morning (three days), I have shovelled my entire apartment lot FIVE times. That's about an hour to hour and a half job each time. And yes, I do mean the whole thing (minus the parking lot of course).

I tell ya, the snow just keeps coming, and coming....

The disadvantage? This shovelling is a lot of work. The Advantage? ... Well, I'm definitely getting quite a workout! And who really needs to lift weights when you're regularly hefting snow, right? :)

(Now, I just have to hope the women take notice!) ... [sarcastic laugh]

Heh. Have a good one, and until next time.... Stay warm and keep that hot tea handy!

Your happily blogging (and continually shovelling) friend,

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Sunday, January 25, 2004

"Tragic News: Kellie Waymire"

I just discovered something very saddening this evening as I was visiting various Star Trek sites. One of my favorite lower-decks characters, Crewman Elizabeth Cutler on Star Trek: Enterprise, will not be making any more guest appearances. On November 13, 2003, the actress playing her -- Kellie Waymire -- died of an undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmia (a heart attack). She was 36 years old.

Her official website is now a memorial to her. You might want to take a moment and stop by.

ADDITIONAL LINK: Nov. 17, 2003 News Article
In Memorium: Kellie Waymire


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Saturday, January 24, 2004

"Attending a Television Preview"

Friday night I attended a Q&A preview for "potential new television programs".

My friend Jen had actually recieved tickets to this event, and was invited to bring a few friends. So, myself, as well as another friend, Camille, went along. We didn't really know what to expect, other than that we would presumably be sharing our initial viewer opinions. But, since it was a unique free invitation, we decided to go -- out of curiousity.

We were told someone in Hollywood was still trying to ressurrect an old television sitcom that originally starred Valarie Harper. Titled simply, "City", this series ran from January through June 1990, lasting only 13 episodes before being cancelled. Last night, we were shown the pilot, apparently to get our opinion on its resurrection, or at least some new project in mind to once again star the now 63 year old Valarie Harper.

I did actually enjoy the pilot, and got quite a few laughs out of it. But I did have to wonder why the sitcom was cancelled after only 13 episodes. It clearly had potential.... I don't know if I would really want to see a remake of the series now, though, 14 years later. The subsequent hit sitcom, "Spin City" has already aired, and it was, incidently, quite similar to the failed 1990 "City". It seems rediculous that anything similar would go over well. But, if what we were told was true, hey, Hollywood is Hollywood. I suppose they have their reasons. :)

While we were at this preview, we were also shown one other pilot for a "potential new primetime dramatic series". I'm not sure I liked it very much. It came across -- to me -- as more of a Twilight Zone kind of progam than a potential new series. Rushed, choppy, and.... already done before as a movie. But, we'll have to see what comes of it. If the series does air, or news of it being picked up crosses the internet, I guess I'll have to review it here in more detail. But, overall, I wouldn't want to see anything like it on television.

Other than being shown a number of new television commercials as well -- and filling out some rediculously mundane surveys -- I guess that pretty much sums up my own review of this strange event. I've attended professional movie previews in the past, but nothing having to do with any potential television programs. It was actually a rather amusing event, and moreso a fun opportunity to spend with friends. I may see about doing something like this again sometime. I just hope it features better material. :)

Have a blessed Saturday all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging actor friend,

UPDATE: (2-26-2005) -- This event is falsely advertised. Read more.


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Friday, January 23, 2004

"Mr. 3000 Release Date Changed"

It's now official. The film, "Mr. 3000", starring Bernie Mac and featuring yours truely, has had it's release date pushed back. It will now open in wide release on September 24, 2004 -- at the end of the baseball season. I guess we'll just have to wait a few more months.


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Thursday, January 22, 2004

"The 28 Million Viewer Hoax"

Ok, now this I find very interesting and worthy of my musing....

On Tuesday, American Idol III showed their episode from the Atlanta talent auditions. I watched it. Reviewed it. I enjoyed it. What I didn't know was that I'd been duped by a young woman from Atlanta. In fact, she successfully convinced millions into feeling sorry for her misfortune as a 'jilted' contestant on American Idol. Yes, Kristen Powell had just successfully conned America.

Known now on some message boards as "Flashdance Girl" -- for her infamous performance of the song "Flashdance" for her audition -- Kristen was/is actually an intern for a regionally syndicated radio morning show in the Southeast US -- The MJ Morning Show. Her producer helped her plan the scenario as a push to pull the ultimate practical joke on national television. It worked.

In fact, the whole set up worked all the way through the initial auditions.... (how she got through with an obvious lack if singing talent, I still can't figure out) ....But she made it all the way until she her first round audition in front of "The Big Three" judges, Simon Powell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Adbul. That audition aired on Tuesday's Atlanta Auditions episode, and though she was cut for her lack of singing talent, she had conned them too.... Tears and everything.

Now, by chance last night I was reading through some of these message boards and I took an interest in Kristin's story. It intruiged me -- the ultimate reality stint. So, I hopped on over to the MJ Morning Show website, and read up on her efforts. I even listened in on their morning show this Thursday morning (broadcast over the internet). The really interesting thing is, besides obviously not being able to sing, she is also NOT an actress. She just put her best foot forward and walked away with the last laugh! Whatever your opinion on the situation, you have to admit, it was clever.

If you're interested, she was actually interviewed on a Wednesday morning television show. They also showed the clip of her American Idol audition as part of that. The clip, a few photos, and other information can be found on the MJ Morning Show website. It's worth a look....

Interview: Kristen Powell on American Idol III

Good or bad, you have to admit.... So far it's the con of the year -- "The 28 Million Viewer Hoax"!

Enjoy, and feel free to comment. I'd love to hear what you think. :)

Until later,

Your happily musing friend,

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"The Typicality of Tuesday"

I don't really have a lot to muse upon today. It was a actually a rather ho-hum kind of Tuesday. Nothing too exciting, nothing really muse-worthy, and yet not a boring 'sit around and do nothing day'. Typical day I guess. But, we're all allowed a few of those from time to time, right?

One thing I can comment on though, I suppose, is the second episode of American Idol III, which I did watch and enjoy this evening. If you're interested in my review, you can read it here.

Have a blessed Wednesday. I'll catch you on the marrow. :)

Your happily blogging friend,

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Monday, January 19, 2004

"Reality Monday"

"American Idol III -- The Search for [another] [music] Superstar"

This evening happened to be the premiere of American Idol III on Fox. I don't know how many of you are fans of the show, but, as far as my interest goes.... Let's just say that since having been introduced to the talented season II runner-up, Clay Aiken, I've decided to give this third season a try.

I haven't really paid much attention to the show since season one when Kelly Clarkson won the top honors -- and even then I only watched the first few episodes before the demands on my college class schedule pulled me away from the television. I missed the end of season one, and the all of Season II just becasue I hadn't taken the time to get into the show.

Well, tonight I sat down and watched the New York Auditions episode for season III (the first of five audition episodes taking place in New York, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles/San Francisco, and Honolulu in that order). I've decided to do a little research too and catch some on what I missed. I figure, if I enjoyed Nashville Star so much during the course of it's first season last year, and the second season of American Idol can produce such a musician in Clay Aikens, then I can probably let myself get interested in a second talent search "reality" series.

I've never really been a fan of 'reality' series' (outside of Nashville Star, and some of the American Idol I). It'll probably stay that way, for the most part too. But, then again, a star search series -- such as these -- isn't really in the same calibur as Survivor or Joe Millionaire. That I can appreciate.

If you're interested in what I thought of the premiere of American Idol III, feel free to take a moment and read my review. I'd love to hear your comments. :)

"My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance"

Um, ok, what can I say about this reality show, other than, that's just a mean, mean, MEAN prank to pull on anyone.... But, dare I say it,.... It was rather enjoyable to watch. I don't agree with the idea of messing with marriage like this even in the slightest, but.... I, err... did watch it this evening.

Here's the gist, though, for those unfamiliar (and rightly so) with the show:

Take a single, polite, honest, down-to-earth woman (a teacher in this case), and offer her a challenge. If she can make her family believe she met a contestant on a reality show, got engaged, and will be married to him twelve days from now, she wins $500,000 for her, and $500,000 for her family. The catch, however, is that this man she met is the most mismatched, sloppy, not-the-ideal-husband kind of guy. An unromantic bumbling sort of fellow in other words.

But that's not the end of it. To make things even more interesting, she is led to believe this man is another real contestant in on the con, and also playing for money. However, in reality (and known only to us, the viewing audience), this man is not a contestant, but rather an actor hired to do everything he can to challenge her to her limits. If she breaks down and reveals the con, or does not convince her family of this false reality, she loses her shot at the prize, and the reality challenge is over.

I'll be honest, though, whoever thought of the idea, was both morally twisted.... and yet cleverly creative. I'm not really sure where I stand with this series. It's just downright morrally corrupt and a mean idea for a prank. On the other hand, though, it's very dramatic and engaging. I don't know yet how far into the series I'm going to watch. We'll have to see. Should I alter my opinion of reality shows, and actually take interest in a non-talent search show? Or should I stick to my Christian viewpoint in life and personally boycott the moral no-no this show presents? Man, it's a tough call.

Judging by how television is all about the ratings, I can probably predict the outcome though..... Suspense will be pushed to the limit, there will be a lot of the typical edge-of-your-seat "what's going to happen next" plot twists, and then, in the end, she'll just barely succeed in the con and win the one million dollars. Afterall, what fun is a television show that doesn't end how the audience would like it to? Personally, I appreciate the unexpected endings, but, somehow I get the impression the show's producers think otherwise.

Urgh. Good, bad, either way, I'm going to have to sleep on this one. Anyone care to comment?

For now, though, enough faux reality.... time for my own actual reality. Have a blessed Tuesday, and until later, stay well. :)

Your happily blogging, and always musing friend,

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"Project Completed"

Most of my day today was spent completing my third art project. The good news is, as of about 5pm today, it's finished and already awaiting comments from my 'client'. As soon as I send it off, I'll see about putting a sample online. It happens to be the promotional image for the upcoming theatre show I'm in, so odds are you'll see it used here in my blog in days to come anyway. :)

So, with this project out of the way, I find myself returning to a little more project downtime. There are some possible commissioned projects in the works, but nothing concrete yet. So, with the free time it's back to job-searching full-time again this week, and, maybe even a little more personal artwork, some of which I may add to my remodeled online store. We'll see. It should be a less intense week than the last. I don't think I'll mind that. :)

For now though, I'm off to work on other things until American Idol III premieres in just over an hour.

Take care all, and I'll catch you with my review of the premiere later this evening.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Saturday, January 17, 2004

"Sleep in, and God may teach you a humorous lesson!"

Working late into the evening, and then sleeping in isn't always the best of ideas. Ask my landlord.

See, last night (Friday) I made plans to stay up late, work on my third art project a bit more, and maybe even pop in a DVD at some point. Things went pretty much as planned, and I even got to see "Finding Nemo" for the first time (which, incidently is an excellent movie! Read my review.)! When all was said and done, I ended up finally going to bed at about 5:30 am. It was snowing lightly outside at the time.

Well, it turned out that, having not set my alarm clock, I was awakened just before 1 am this afternoon (Saturday) by a concerned phone call from my landlord's wife. (I have never met his wife, nor has she ever contacted me before. All apartment matters go through my landlord.). ... She was calling, on behalf of her husband, to ask if I planned to shovel my apartment lot or not, since I am under contract to do so. Apparently it had snowed significantly after I went to bed.

Concerned, and feeling horrible that I had been shirking in my duties, I got dressed, and went out to shovel, appologizing to my landlord in person, as he was apparently on the lot recording water meter readings. He seemed understanging and cordial. He's a nice guy, and this was an unsual situation. All seemed well, and so we parted ways.

After fourty-five minutes of shoveling the heavy wet snow, I decided to head indoors and take a breather before returning to shovel the remaining two sidewalks. I was feeling a little ill. While I was indoors, though, I got another call, this time from my landlord himself, asking if I planned to finish the lot. I explained the situation, appologized for it's incompletion, and returned to what remained. He must have been keeping an eye on me, which is odd, becasue this is probably the eighth time that I have shoveled the lot this winter -- by myself. I've already proven my reliablity.

Fourty-five minutes later the lot was shovelled and salted - twice. Feeling utterly exhausted, I came indoors, made a mug of hot apple cider, and decided to turn in for a short nap to rest my aching muscles. Unfortunately, again I did not set my alarm, and I ended up sleeping for five hours, waking a little after 8 pm.

My, what an unproductive, and, yet amusingly embarrassing day!

I slept most of it away quite unexpectedly, and, in terms of productivity, had only a very well-shovelled apartment lot to show for it. I did get to meet my landlords wife though -- sort of -- and under very odd circumstances. And at the moment, I'm very well rested! My third art project, however, is not quite finished, and, as usual, my to-do list for today has hardly been touched. Some day indeed! :)

Here's a word of advice though.... God has a sense of humor, and He's not afraid to use it -- when you least expect it. Next time it snows, I'll make sure I don't sleep in. Lesson learned. :)

Have a blessed weekend.

Your happily blogging, and always amused friend,

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Friday, January 16, 2004

"Featured on"

Oh, an interesting bit of news....
One of my artworks is now featured on :)


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Thursday, January 15, 2004

"My, what a busy week it's been...."

Heh. I missed a few days here in my blog. But, I suppose I have a reason.... sort of. I've been very busy.

I completed two more notable commissioned projects this week, and have already sent them off in the mail. I am currently working on a third, due to be finished by the end of the weekend, and I have been approached by two new possible clients who have inquired about the availablity of my art skills. I'll have to see what works out and what doesn't. Needless-to-say, though, the artwork is going pretty well lately.... (But then again, it often comes in spurts anyway). :)

I've also chosen to pull strange hours, if for no other reason than becasue I can. It reminds me somewhat of the days past when I was a busy college guy. I liked being a busy college guy. Since I can pretty much set my own hours, .... busy college guy it is. As a result, though, I have not always been online, so, sadly, that's why I missed a few days in the blog. Bad Jon. :)

But, I'm back now! .... [sarcastic applause].

On the upside, though, tomarrow is Friday, and right now, it's looking like I'll take the day off -- for the most part. I have a few errands to run, cleaning to do, that sort of thing. I'll probably do a little work on this third project too, but I'll likely end up completing it over the weekend.

So, after a short -- and unannounced -- blog vacation, I'm back at it. We'll have to see what interesting musings and journal entries cross my mind in the next few days. Stay tuned. ... [wink].

Have a blessed Friday, and I'll catch you all sometime tommarrow.

Until then, God bless.

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

"Wagons East.... (and back again)"

They Came, They Saw, They Changed Their Minds.

I happened to catch a very entertaining movie on television this evening called "Wagon's East"....

Plot Summary: "In the 1860's, when a ragged bunch of misfit settlers out west decide they cannot stand living in their current situation, they hire a grizzled cowboy to take them on a journey back to their hometowns out east."

Very entertaining.... highly unrealistic, but a good sarcastic comedy through and through, typical of many of actor John Candy's movies. Sadly though, it carries with it the sad distinction of being his last movie. He died during filming ten years ago.

Also in the film are Star Trek: Voyager alumni, Robert Pichardo and Ethan Phillips, who I always enjoy watching. :)

NFL Sunday Recap: The Pack is Back.

And finally, in other news -- and returning west again -- things were not as comedic for the Green Bay Packers today. They lost in overtime to the Philadelphia Eagles, and are no longer in the NFL playoffs. A win just wasn't in the cards. But, there's always next year. :)

Final score: Philadelpha 20, Green Bay 17


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Friday, January 09, 2004

"Something Cheesy in Philly"

Ok, now it's not very likely that you'll see me wearing a cheesehead hat in support of my Green Bay Packers. Just not quite my thing. But the stuff the fans in Philadelphia are wearing.... Well, I hate to say it, but those are downright ugly.

At least the Green Bay Packers cheesehead hat is clever and a widely established article of apparel. But a styrofoam Philly Cheesesteak Hat, that's just dumb. Who in their right mind would wear something that ugly on their head?

I'll definitely have to give it to the entrepreneural guy who decided to try it though.... It was a bold move. But I really think he should stick to his regular day job. :)


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Thursday, January 08, 2004

"Back on-stage again!"

This evening I set foot on-stage again for a few acting auditions. Incidently, they were actually for my college's alumni theatre production, which had originally been cast way back in August 2003. However, due to unexpected reasons, the performance dates were pushed back until this coming February. So, these were the auditions to fill in the available roles after these past few months.

I was was happy to hear, though, that I didn't really need to re-audition and could keep my original cast role if I wanted. Of course I happily agreed. I had already put quite a bit of time into the character, the lines, and the staging, so it was nice not to have all that work be for naught. But, I attended the auditions anyway, mostly to discuss the promotional graphics work which I've been asked to do for the show, as well as read any male parts if necessary. In the end, it turned out to be a rather enjoyable hour or so. I'm glad I went!

I do miss the stage though. I really do. It hasn't been since "Mr. 3000" in summer that I've really done anything too theatrical. I've been busy with other things lately -- most notably my artwork -- and my acting aspirations have had to take a bit of a back seat. But, 2004 will hopefully be even more of a theatrical year for me than 2003 was. It's actually one of my New Years Resolutions -- "Do a LOT more acting". This one I'm pretty determined to keep!

We'll have to see exactly what kind of acting this year provides. So far it'll start off with an enjoyable college alumni show, then there's two months where something more could happen.... then "Mr. 3000" opens in mid April.... and then, well... then, the sky's the limit! This could definitely be a very good year! I'm seeing a lot of work ahead of me though, but it's fun work when it's something you enjoy. I'm already finding myself starting to get excited!.... And that's usually a good sign!

Here's to a successful year doing what I love though. Being creative! I've already got an awesome start on the art end of things.... Now it's time to build a reputation in acting. Fun times. Fun times indeed!

Well, I'm off for now. Take care and have a blessed Friday. I'll probably catch you all at some point during the day, but until then, be safe, and keep working at what you love. Find passion.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

"Wednesday's Musings"

I had a breakfast date with my friend Amy this morning. She's the friend I met by chance as the result of a friendly email recieved from out of nowhere. Nice girl. I enjoy her company. A breakfast date is a little out of the norm for me, but, the restaurant choice was wonderful, and the conversation enjoyable. So, it was certainly a good reason to get up earlier than usual.

Honestly, though, I may have to actually invite the opportunity with some of my other few local friends. Maybe not necessarily a breakfast date, but a date of some kind nonetheless. I do have to get out more, and, if I can work it out with varied schedules, I do have some wonderful girl friends that I know who may love such an opportunity! I just have to find the time, and perhaps be a little more spontaneous. .... [smile].

But, back to Wednesday.... :)

It was an earlier start to the day, but, surprisingly, for having gotten a little less rest than I would have preferred last night, I haven't found myself all that tired since. I've taken care of a few things, run a few errands for groceries and such, and made a small dent in my to-do list. All in all, so far, it's proved to be a pretty good day.

I did find out sometime interesting today though. I discovered how valuable a quarter can be.

When I got on the city bus to run those errands, I put my change into the fare box, and was about to go find a seat like usual, when I heard the bus driver speak, "Sir, it cost's $1.75."

I blinked. "What? .... That's news to me," I replied as I politely fished into my pocket to procure another quarter, put it into the fare box, and eyed the bus driver somewhat suspiciously. Luckily I had brought enough extra change with me, so it wasn't all that big of a deal. But that one had been sprung on me out of nowhere. I take the bus everywhere these days, and now it's going to cost me an extra quarter everytime I do.

I'll live with it I guess. Apparently the new fares had been instituted on Sunday, January 4 -- only three days earlier. I hadn't heard nary a word about the fare increase. But then again maybe I don't watch the local news as often as I should. I do find it ironic though.... It now costs more to ride the city bus in Milwaukee than it does in Chicago or Minneapolis/St. Paul! Thankfullly, though, New York City is still at $2 bus fares, so I guess it's not all bad. But still, as of today, my extra quarters have become all the more valuable.

Man. I just gotta get a car. .... [chuckle].

Heh. But it has been an interesting day. And now it's at an end. I've gotta run and take care of a few last things before bed, but I hope you have a good Thursday. God bless, and hey, if you've got any extra quarters, I'd happily take them off your hands for you. I know I could certainly use them! .... [grin].

Until later,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it...."

...Snow. Yep, the white stuff finally fell around here in Milwaukee, and this time it actually amounted to something notable, not just a dusting that disappeared by the morning. No, this time we got at least a full 6-8 inches. Enough that my shoveling skills were needed, and the sidewalk salt needed to be removed from it's storage shed.

In fact, since Monday morning when all the snow began to fall, I've actually shoveled my entire apartment lot three times. My back is still slightly sore, but hey, I don't really mind. It's a contract job with my landlord. I get paid, and I get to remember the good old days growing back home when shoveling was expected of us older siblings. The only downside is the cold, but then again, having grown up in the Upper Midwest, that too is just part of the game. :)

But, as my part of the country changes for a few months and new responsibilities, dangers, and daily adjustments come to the forefront, I do have to marvel at all this white outside. That's one of the advantages of living in this part of the country. It's a whole new beautiful world in wintertime. The leaves are gone, leaving stark jagged and bare tree branches; the green grass is buried under nearly a foot of frozen flaky water; and walking becomes perilous as sleek transparent ice covers the miles of concrete roads and sidewalks.... But, black and white are two colors that go together beautifully, and this time of the year, there's an abundance of that kind of beauty all around us!

Oh, sure, I miss the birds chirping, the green grass sprouting everywhere, and the warm breezy days, but truth be told, I love these seasonal changes too. It keeps things fresh and new. Just when you're too comfortable with one season, it changes into the next, and you have a whole new season to get used to for a few months. God has a marvelous way of working things. And his sense of beauty is far off the charts. But, then again, when you think about it, he designed the whole concept of beauty, so where's the real comparison anyway?

So, yes, the world is white, I have my snow shovel at the ready, and my gloves waiting to be worn. Winter -- in the truest sense -- is finally upon us. But, in my mind, it's a blessing, and I think this season I'm going to enjoy it more, and complain about it's struggles less. Afterall it'll only last a two more months or so, and then everything will be green again. That doesn't really leave a lot of time does it? :)

Enjoy the season, and I hope -- if you live in an environment like I do -- you are able to stay warm. Take a look out the window, enjoy the white wonderland, put on your warm flannel pj's, and settle in with a nice warm hot chocolate. Tis the season! .... Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

"Packers 33, Seahawks 27"

Good news.... The Green Bay Packers win the NFC wildcard, and move into the NFC Divisional Playoffs! Excellent game. Nail-biting results! Yeah, I'm definitely rooting for a Green and Gold miracle year this year. What do you think?... Maybe even a trophy? :)

Enjoy the moment.... and have a blessed Sunday evening!


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Saturday, January 03, 2004

"New Resolutions in 2004"

In 2004 I resolve to make an effort at the following (in no particular order):

- I will continue to be an Artist and an Actor. Any jobs I find will relate to these two passions.
- I will take in an increased number of acting auditions. My acting career will kick off professionally in 2004.
- I will create memorable artwork in 2004. My portfolio will expand greatly.
- I will be open to new friendships. I will be willing to share more of myself with those friends.
- I will not be afraid to love. I will take life and learn as much as I can from it and those around me.
- I will not sacrifice my dreams and goals to satisfy neccessity.
- I will continue to dream big, and patiently enjoy the long journey toward success.
- I will not let procrastination gain an upper hand. I will seek out and find greater dedication.

And my most important resolution:

- The Lord will remain foremost in anything I do this year. To Him be all glory!

Have a blessed 2004. I pray your own resolutions find as much success as hope mine will!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Friday, January 02, 2004

"2003 Weblog In Review"

As the year 2004 has arrived, and 2003 is now but a memory, I've decided to recap this past year, and share some of the highlights with you. It was a memorable year, and one that afforded me a lot of opportunities. So, feel free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the best of the year of our Lord, A.D. 2003 -- Jon Baas style.


The year began with a loss on New Years Day, 2003. My computer died, and with it most of my art files collected during college. For the artist in me, it was a notable blow, but not one I couldn't recover from. Ironically, my dad had been building a new computer for me for Christmas -- a much more up-to-date PC complete with Photoshop and other features useful to the artist in me. The death of my old computer couldn't have come at a better time.

I was able to spend a few hours at home up in Minneapolis visiting for Christmas. Noah (my roomate), Rachel (my sister), and I drove up, and after a short visit, we left Rachel there to stay longer, and Noah and I drove back. It had been a short visit, but none the less enjoyable.

In late January, I found out that my sister Rachel was officially engaged to be married.


I mused much here on my weblog in February. I reflected upon my past relationships and singlehood, my frustrations working in retail, and the challenges searching for a new job.

On February 18 -- my birthday -- I turned 23 years of age.

In the end of the month my parents came down from Minnesota for a visit as well as to see my sister's first directorial debut of her stage production of "The Diary of Anne Frank". The show was very well done, and the visit much enjoyed.

MARCH 2003:

I continued to work at Barnes and Noble. Some days were busy, some boring, some furthered my desire to no longer work there, and then there were days when I learned some interesting titbits of information!

After another long day at work, I mused upon an interesting dream about an old abandoned church. It always makes me wonder where dreams like this come from. Looking back though, maybe it had more meaning than I had thought at the time...

The country boy in me became hooked on "Nashville Star", the country equivalent of "American Idol".

I made the resolution to end my employment with Barnes and Noble. It was time to jump into the unknown.

Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off the war in Iraq. I voiced my support.

I recieved my first professional commissioned art job. (UPDATE: Since going online in April 2003, this artwork has sold nearly 80 copies, and been the top-selling artwork for company during the end of 2003!)

In a weblog update on March 26th, I mused upon the War in Iraq, and what it meant to me, and noted my thanks to our troops whose job was to defend my freedoms and the freedoms of those around the world.

APRIL 2003:

As I continued to wrap things up in preparating to leave my employment with Barnes and Noble, I noted a few things I learned about the job-searching process.

I completely redesigned my artwork store -- -- in preparation for better things.

In my post on Easter, I had this to say:
"...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]"

....Seven days later, I discovered Hollywood was coming to Milwaukee, and they were planning to film the 2004 Bernie Mac movie, "Mr. 3000" at Miller Park.

I finally turned in my resignation for employment at Barnes and Noble.

MAY 2003:

Country singer, Buddy Jewell, won the first season of Nashville Star. I was quite thrilled!

Rachel graduated from college, and my parents came for a visit.

Later, I mused upon how fast time has flown by in my family.

JUNE 2003:

On June 7, I took the opportunity, and went and auditioned for the film "Mr. 3000".

In the middle of June, I traveled back to Minnesota to spend Fathers Day with family.

On Tuesday, June 17, after returning from my visit to Minnesota two days earlier, I was called by one of the casting agents for "Mr. 3000". I was cast in the film, and would be on-set through the month of July!

JULY 2003:

June 30, 2003 was my first of fifteen long but exciting days on-set for "Mr. 3000". While I was there on-set, I kept a daily journal of my experiences. Since then, it has become a widely read feature on my weblog and the internet!

My days were busy in July, as I spent nearly all of them on-set filming. Fun times!

AUGUST 2003:

"Do what you love, the success will follow."

A new role: "Happily married.... for three weeks."
(UPDATE: Due to unexpected reasons, this show has been postponed until February.)

On Wednesday, August 13, I had the opportunity to spend a day down in Chicago with a friend. We took in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and enjoyed some of what Chicago had to offer. The Cubs won, and incidently, were having one if their best seasons in almost 80 years!

During the last week of August, Milwaukee played host to some 250,000 people from around the world, thanks to Harley Davidson's 100th year celebration. I enjoyed being a Milwaukeean that week!


I spent some of my August, and most of September through October busy with art projects as a successful freelance artist. Busy times, but exactly the kind of job I thrive in! Creativity all the way!

America remembered the two-year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Entertainment legends Johnny Cash and John Ritter died. Both were a sad loss to the entertainment world.

I became a new fan of the television series, "Babylon 5".


I spent my Saturdays helping my sister with her theatre class for kids.

Hundreds of Asian Ladybugs invaded my home and bugged the heck out of me!

The Chicago Cubs lost a close series in the MLB playoffs and their hopes of a world series are dashed. Incidently, with their unfortunate loss, I had no interest in following the 2003 Playoffs. Good riddence to high-budget teams. (And, I'm thrilled that the Yankees lost the World Series too!)


I added a new line of artwork to my site -- Digital Landscapes. You might enjoy checking out my 2004 wall calendar to see all of them. Pretty snazzy if I do say so myself!

I began a personal campaign to find an additional new [career] job.

I spent Thanksgiving Day with relatives in a small Wisconsin town outside Milwaukee. On this day of thanksgiving, I was thankful for.....


The job-hunting continued.

I became introduced to musician Clay Aiken, runner up in the most recent second season of "American Idol". Researching him a bit, my interest was peaked in watching the upcoming season three of the series which will air in Janurary 2004.

My sister (again, Rachel) starred as Peter Pan in the musical "Peter Pan" as performed up in the renowned Sheboygan Theatre Company. I reviewed the show. Rachel now also lives up there in Sheboygan, and is pursuing a successful stage acting career, while running her theatre program for kids, and taking in commercial auditions. She is well on her way towards theatrical success. (UPDATE: Her engagement is now also on temporary hold.)

Saddam Hussein was captured in Iraq, ending a massive manhunt for the dictator.

I spent Christmas at home up in Minneasota. The visit was enjoyable, and as I reflected upon the year 2003, I am thankful for all the blessings in my life. The Lord has blessed me richly this year. And, as I look forward to 2004, I think this should be an exciting year as well!

God's blessings on a wonderful new 2004 for all of you. Take care, and until later,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, January 01, 2004

"New Years Eve 2003: Signs of Him"

So, last night was New Years Eve. But I'm a bum, I didn't really celebrate -- Well, ok, I did somewhat, but on my own. I was invited by my friend Jen to join her and some friends at a local bar to ring in the new year, but I'm not really all that fond of smokey bars.... or alcoholic beverages. So, in the end I opted for a raincheck. She and I will have to get together and do something else later on. I actually kind of miss the opportunity to get together with her. She's a good friend.

So, then, if I didn't go out with friends, how did I ring in the new year? Well, go figure.... I popped in the DVD "Signs" and watched that after the ball dropped in Times Square. Great movie! I've never taken the time to sit down and watch it before, but, I think it's going onto my list of favorites.

I was especially fond of the film's message -- "There are no coincidences. Everything is carefully crafted as part of God's plan and his watchful eye protecting us from the dangers life can toss at us." It was an excellent film. And, if you think about it -- based on that message -- it was actually the perfect film to watch on New Years Eve. We always need reminders that we are not alone, and what better time to be reminded of this than when we enter a new year!

Enjoy the transition from 2003 to 2004! If you're out and about, drive safe. And as the years turns over, remember, there is someone up there guarding you day by day. Live this new year in thanks to Him!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

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