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Monday, March 29, 2004

"Interview: Maybe I will go it alone."

Today was indeed a sunny day. Outside the weather was bright and the temperatures warm. The day was so beautiful day in fact, that I opted not to worry about my bus transfer, and just walk the twenty blocks to my interview! The exercise was good, and the spring air refreshing. I didn't mind one bit.

My interview, however, didn't end up being as refreshing. When I recieved the call to come into the employment agency last week, I expected something a little more concrete. Afterall, this was in response to a specific graphics art opening. When I got there, the agency just wanted me to take the tests and join their client roster. I should have expected as much I suppose. They were friendly, polite, and professional, but the job prospect was a little less than promising.

I actually ended up hanging around their office for a little over two and a half hours. I took the tests they requested of me, and filled out the numerous articles of paperwork. Unfortunately, in the end, the results of my tests were only average. I highly doubt the agency is going to be any help in finding me a job. From the sounds of it, they make better money sending out the resumes of their more qualified clients. I get the impression I'm on the lower end of that list.

But, I tried, and I satisfied my curiousity. I can live with that. :)

When I returned home, I wrapped up a few more projects, and late in the evening lay down to do a little reading. My book of choice was oddly "Making a Living Without a Job" by Barbara J. Winter. For some reason, that one stuck out in my mind. It's all about finding ways to make your own passions work for you, and earn a paycheck that way. It was a good reminder to me that perhaps I am putting too much stock into trying to make a living with a concrete job, when what I should really be doing is focusing more on making a life doing what I love.

I've already read this book before -- many months ago actually. But, the events of my day today, coupled with the first few chapters of this book, got me thinking again, 'Why put my effort into finding ways to do someone elses work, and earn them the money (while I only make a laughable income)? Instead, I got the skills, I got the passion.... I just need to work even harder to make MY skills work for ME.

Writer Peter Mayle sums this idea up very nicely when he says, "I'd rather live precariously in my own office than comfortably in somebody else's." Afterall, the greater the risk, the higher the gain, right? That was drilled into me in each of my theatre classes. I just need to remember how independant-minded I really am. Perhaps it's time to put even more focus on my own office. Time to step up the risk taking, and look for even better rewards.

Yes, it's time to get back on track, and see how far I can get on my own. I'm a little intimidated by that though.... always have been. It's a tough prospect, but certainly a much more satisfying way of life.

So, I guess today was actually a sunny day -- in more ways than one. Thanks Adtec Staffing. You may have lost my business, but you reminded me how I should be finding my own.


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Sunday, March 28, 2004

"Let it rain; Tomarrow it will shine"

It rained most of today. As a result the grass around here is looking a lot greener. With that, and the temperatures nearing sixty degrees, it truely is springtime. I think after this rain stops, we'll be seeing budding leaves all over the place. Summer, here we come!

I braved the falling raindrops today, though, and made a trek over to my old college. I wanted to return a few library items, and make a few printoffs of my resume and references in preparation for my interview tomarrow. It was a wet walk, but worthwhile. -- I got the printouts I needed, checked out a few new DVD's in exchange for those I returned, and ran into Diana, my friend Scott's sister. (I always enjoy running into her. She's a creative person much like myself. We have a lot in common.). :)

But, in the end, I think the news is good. I'm ready to see in what way this graphics company is interested in me. My first priority is obviously the webdesign project I've accepted, but if I can aquire something good from this interview -- even if just information and references -- then I'll be happy. If I have to decline any offer due to my previous priorities, I feel confident that something better will be coming my way. And at least I'll have the knowledge that there are design companies out there that have an interest in me!

That would make me happy indeed! But we'll see what tomarrow offers. 'Sunshine' I hope. :)

Have a blessed Monday everyone. I'll catch you sometime on the marrow.

Your happily blogging creative friend,

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Friday, March 26, 2004

"Mr. 3000 Film Trailer"

Ok, this time I think it's for real. The trailer for the film, "Mr. 3000" is finally online. The official website is also available, as is the film poster. You can check out and enjoy all three right here.

Have a blessed Friday!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

"Interview Update"

My job interview for that graphics opening is on Monday afternoon. If the job offer is good, and I can take it along-side the website I'm doing, I'll jump at it. Who knows, maybe a string of extraordinary luck has finally drifted my way. That would certainly be cool!

But I guess I'll just have to wait until Monday to find out, huh? :)

Have a blessed day all, and until later,

Your happily blogging creative friend,

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"Three Points of Luck"

God has a sense of humor.

Yesterday, I awoke from a strange dream that seemed to mirror my thoughts regarding my job search. Then I found out later in the day that my roomate had decided he would be moving out in June, thus leaving me searching at the last minute for a new apartment mate. It wasn't a bad day, just not one full of good news.

Today seemed to do a 360 degree turn on that lack of luck.

First, when I checked my email in the afternoon, I found a response from a regular reader of my blog. He was interested in learning more about my opening for a roomate. And, as a plus, he's the creative type.

Then, later, I recieved confirmation that the web design job I had submitted a bit for went through. The job is mine. And it pays well by my standards.

And finally, to top off all that good news, when I returned from some errands, I found a phone message waiting on my voice mail asking me to come in for a job interview. The company (a graphics design company) was one I applied to nearly two months ago! Now, out of the blue, they were suddenly interested in me. Go figure.

So, now I sit here in the evening wondering. All this luck on one day?! ....

Maybe my search for a new roomate might not be as daunting as I thought at first. Maybe this website design project -- notable as it is -- might even be the start of an increased interest in my freelance art skills -- on a larger scale? And this request for me to come in for an interview? Well, I'm not sure what to make of it yet, since it is from company I had all but given up on. But, good news is good news, especially when it's unexpected.

I should probably count my blessings. The Almighy hasn't quite given up on me yet. He's just reminding me not to give up. Good things are apparently still waiting around the corner.

I can handle that.

And besides, I kind of needed the supportive kick in the butt. He knows me all too well. :)


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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

"Seeking a New Roomate"

This afternoon as I took a short walk to enjoy the beautiful Spring day, a strange passing thought came to mind.... Part of me actually misses those old college days of living in a campus apartment, usually moving to a new one every year, and sometimes even playing musical roomates. It kind of mixed things up a bit.

Now, I don't really know where the thought came from to be honest. Just one of those strange random thoughts I guess. So I shook it off, citing how happy the majority of me is that I am not presently bound by the walls of a college campus. I like my independance.

Well -- ironically -- that random thought was pounded home later this afternoon when Noah (my current apartment mate) returned from work. Not long after he set his gear down, he informed me that he had officially decided not to re-sign our apartment lease on June 1st. He had found a cheaper one-bedroom apartment closer to his family's house (here in the Milwaukee area), and had decided to move there.

I knew there was the possibility that I may need to find a new apartment mate this Spring. Noah had mentioned his interest in moving before, many times actually. Heck, he'd even hyped it up last Spring. But, like most things in his life, he hadn't really acted on it -- until now.

We've usually gotten along pretty well these past two years, but this just leaves me a little annoyed. Since January he's noted his interest in finding an apartment closer to home (closer than a 20 minute city drive!), but he's always strung the idea along. By this point in March, I had all but assumed it was just another pipe dream. Nope, guess not.

This time he actually seems serious. He's moving out.... and I'm left scrambling to find a new apartment mate -- before June 1st! Great. I hate short notices like this.

I need a new apartment mate, and I don't know a lot of people in the market.

Any takers? :)


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"The Dream Job."

This morning I awoke with an interesting story foremost in my mind. It was a dream I had last night, and it went something like this....

I had just worked hard to put together a stunning resume of my creative work. The portfolio was there... the credentials, the artwork.... everything the employer had asked for. I had left out nothing, and I was certain I would be a leading candidate for the job. It payed very well, there was no limit to my creativity, it involved both my acting and my artistic skills, and the hours were good -- it was the perfect job!

Well, the employer wanted all resumes, portfolios, references and other assessment materials dropped off in person at their company headquarters. It just so happened the location was just outside of the downtown area. I got there with ease and time to spare, dropped off my materials, thanked the employer, and left to return home.

A few days later the call came in. They were impressed with my work and wanted me to come in for an interview. When I arrived, I was greeted by an overcrowded lobby. Apparently I was not the only person whose work impressed them.

I awaited my turn to be interviewed, and after a good meeting with the hiring representative, returned to the crowded waiting room to await the final decision. An hour later, the representative came out, gave the typical "you-are-all-skilled, but-we-can-only-choose-one" speach, and then announced that they had selected ONE individual for the job -- me.

Yes, out of the entire crowded lobby, I was the only person there to get hired by the company. Respectfully, I suppressed my excitement. I watched as my fellow interviewees slowly left the building with their heads hung low, shaking them in disbelief. I felt bad. I couldn't have been the only qualified candidate in the room!?

After everyone had left, the hiring representative came up to me and congratulated me on a supurb creative portfolio, as well as high praise for my artistic and theatrical credentials. Apparently I was just the person they were looking for. The job was mine as long as I desired to stay with the company. Naturally I was appreciative of the offer.

After a few more minutes, the conversation came to a close, and they invited me to take a tour of the department I would be working in. I gladly accepted, eager to get acclimated to my new career. They pointed me towards a door and told me to go in and have a look around. They'd catch up with me again later. I smiled and happily did so.

Behind the door was the cafeteria. According to the apron-clad woman on the other side of the food counter, my job would be to ensure that the buffet table was properly stocked at all times.

Great. All that hard work and excitement over a professional creative career opportunity,.... and all the company really wanted me for was to work in the cafeteria.

I felt duped. I had been duped. And the truth is, based on my real life resume search so far, I feel the same way. No one (outside of the freelance work I've been doing) seems to want my creative skills or talents. And any job I could "settle for" is hardly a job in the first place.

Maybe I need to reassess my "job" goals at this stage in my life. I am certainly unwavering in my career goals (acting and art), but it's becoming increasingly clear to me that if no one will snatch up the creative skills, working in a "buffet job" is the next step backwards. And that's not going to support me right now. Nor will it do anything for my severely right-brained personality.

Long story short, I'm begining to wonder if employers are just toying with me.


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Monday, March 22, 2004

"A hundred screaming....?"

We've all seen or heard of events where hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of young teenage girls scream themselves hoarse in adoration of their favorite pop star or the hottest male heartthrob. If not, you can at least picture it, right?

Well, now replace those screaming pre-teen girls with a couple hundred screaming women in their 30's or 40's. .... Yeah, what do you have? Don't know? Let me tell you.... "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Yes, the daytime talk show where Oprah tackles events of the day, and gives away expensive gifts to the audience. Nowhere else have I seen such a collective throng of older women go wide-eyed and open mouthed with screams of glee over winning something from Oprah. To me, something just doesn't seem right about that.... I mean, when was the last time you saw a few hundred middle-aged women jumping up and down screaming like pre-teen girls at a Britany Spears concert?!

Yeah. That just scares me.

But I probably shouldn't knock Oprah's fans too much... or even pre-teen girls at a Britany Spears concert for that matter. They each have every right to have the following that they do. Heck, I apparently even have a few of my own. But, just the thought -- and sight -- of those middle-aged women jumping up and down screaming in childish glee.... that's just scary. Glee like that should probably be reserved for the young. It's more becoming of them. :p

But, then again, I suppose that's what I get when -- out of boredom -- I sit down on the couch and turn on the telvision at 4 PM in the afternoon. Heh. Sometimes I feel so dumb. And what's worse,.... I actually find Oprah's show mildly interesting.



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Saturday, March 20, 2004

"Saturday = First Day of Spring"

It was a beautiful day today. Sunny and warm. The perfect weather for the official first day of Spring.

I went for a short walk today to take advantage of the lovely weather, and I am happy to say I enjoyed another first for the year -- motorcycles. Yes, I was thrilled to see at least half a dozen happy bikers taking their hogs out for a spin. The loud roars, the pealing engines, the shiny chrome accessories. It made me smile. If that's not a sign of springtime, then what is?! :)

Gone are the icy winds of winter; Upon us are the green buds on the trees, and the warm sunny days. I think I'll be making a point of taking a lot more walks in the next few weeks. I enjoy taking walks, and what better time to take the opportunity. Yep, Spring.... my favorite season of the year!

Have a blessed weekend all. And enjoy the season of new life while you still can!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Friday, March 19, 2004

"Official Mr. 3000 Film Trailer"


Earlier this morning I noted (right here) that the official theatrical trailer for the film, Mr. 3000, was online and viewable. It appears, however, that now -- later in the day -- the links to those trailer files have either been removed, or are broken. That leads me to believe that the trailer was probably released prematurely.

Whatever the case, though, I did get to see it while it was up, and it looked good. Based on the trailer that was online briefly, the film looks like a good mix of humor and drama. Worth going to see.

I'll keep an eye on the news though, and let you know when I hear anything else.

In the meantime, you may enjoy the Mr. 3000 page that I've created. So far, it's the most updated collection of film news and information available online. Obviously, as I have a strong personal interest in this film, I am more than happy to share what I find. Comments or submissions are welcome. :)

Film Page: "Mr. 3000 (2004):"

So, stay tuned, and I'll gladly let you know when the official film trailer is re-released.

Have a blessed weekend, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"Just a little snow...."

Heh. It snowed last night. Not much, maybe half an inch or so. The ground was too warm and wet for anything to take hold, so it really wasn't that big of a deal. I did have to shovel a small part of my apartment lot in the morning. It was a breeze, though, and could quite likely be the last time I'll have to shovel this winter. Come Saturday it'll be spring. Ah, yes, happy thoughts. :)

Have a blessed day, and until next time, enjoy the last few days of winter!

Your happily blogging friend,


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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

"The Week Ahead"

Well, it's Tuesday evening already. I'm guessing this will be a rather slow and uneventful week....

Not much to note with the job-searching lately. Same old, same old. I probably won't be hearing from any potential employers this week either. I keep sending out my resume as I find leads, but there really isn't anything all that hot at the moment.

I have come across a bit of luck though on the artist end of things. I've been invited to submit a bid on the creation of rather large commercial website. I've already submitted the bid itself over the weekend -- I quoted my price and all that jazz, now I get to wait and hear the decision.

I still have to put together a mock-up of the actual website design, and send that over to the client before the weekend, but I already have a design I like in mind. It should be an easy enough task. Then, either the client goes with me or another artist. Either way, though, I'm eager to hear the decision. This would be a well-paying gig for me if I got it. We'll see. I've got my fingers crossed. :)

On an unrelated note, can you believe it's almost Spring?! The first day of the season is officially this coming Saturday. We've already been getting nice weather.... and the massive snowbanks of the winter past are all but history now. Before long it'll be summer -- and baseball season! Whoohooo!

Well, I'm off to other things. I'll catch you again probably on the marrow. Have a blessed Wednesday!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Sunday, March 14, 2004

"Railroad Tycoon (online)"

Here's a nice little online game for you. Drag track sections onto the grid to guide the train across the screen into the station to advance to the next level. I enjoyed it anyway... bookmarked it too. Have fun!


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Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Another Bloody Eleventh"

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families in Madrid, Spain. We're still at war. New York City, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Bali.... and now Madrid. This has got to stop.

"Terror Blasts Kill at Least 192 in Spain"


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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

"A Likely Possessed Coke Can"

For sale on eBay: a 'likely' possessed can of Coca Cola.

No, you heard that right. Some seller on ebay is actually selling one. He's not entirely sure it really IS possessed, but it could as well be. And what I find even more mind-boggling, is that the current bid is almost $200!


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Sunday, March 07, 2004

"Trekker For a Day"

Meeting Some of Star Trek's Notables; An Actor's Dream

Well, I'm back from the Star Trek convention in Chicago. It was an enjoyable time spent with friends, and an equally unique opportunity to meet and greet some of Star Trek's notable actors. Interestingly enough, this convention was also very different from any Star Trek conventions I've been to in the past....

We arrived in Chicago around 10 AM this morning after an uneventful hour and a half drive from Milwaukee. It was a brisk and somewhat windy day when we stepped out of the car, but quite comfortable indoors. I was actually rather surprised to find that this particular Star Trek convention was being held in a hotel. I hadn't really expected that. The ST conventions I have gone to when I was younger were in massive convention centers. This hotel setting had me a little concerned.

When we got indoors we signed up, payed our $20 entrance charge (a little steep for my tastes, but I decided to splurge non-the-less) and looked around. The entire show filled up only two moderately sized ballrooms. One was the dealers room, the other contained the guest stage. There were only a dozen dealer's tables in the first ballroom, which disappointed me greatly at first. They were mutiple-table dealers, sure, but still, there were only twelve. Considerably less than the hundred or more dealers I would have expected.

I soon came to discover the advantage of this set-up however. As I walked slowly around the dealer's room, I noticed that the merchandise tables were against the outer walls of the ballroom, while numerous empty tables (at the time we arrived anyway) encircled the center of the room. As it turned out, those plain, simple, unguarded tables would be where the stars sat for autographs. There were no ropes, no set area for waiting lines.... just regular tables.

Obviously, when the three of us arrived, the show had recently opened for the day. There was very little of note going on at the time. So, we walked around investigating the Star Trek merchandise a few times. Most of the items there were either autographed posters, cards, or the insanely numerous autographed photos. They were everywhere and nearly every dealer had them. Plastic figurines seemed to be the second most numerous merchandise category there. Overall, not a very original collection of dealers.

There was, however, one dealer that had an impressive collection of bladed weaponry.... Klingon knives, Samurai swords, I think even an authentic broadsword, you name it. He was a very interesting guy to talk to, and clearly very passionate about his collection. I learned there's actually a lot more to the blade collecting hobby than actually meets the eye. Since I have a strong interest in related bladed weaponry myself (especially Klingon), I enjoyed lingering at his table the longest.

A little after 11:15 AM, I gave up wandering about the limited collection of dealers and found my way into the second ballroom. At this point actor Douglas Arthurs (one of the god's from the popular sci-fi series Stargate SG-1) was speaking to the crowd, so I thought I'd listen in. I only caught the last fifteen minutes of his talk, but being a huge fan of Stargate, I greatly enjoyed his comments about the acting end of things on the show. Very interesting.

When Douglas finished his talk, the next speaker on the schedule was actress Elizabeth Dennehy, who played the popular Commander Shelby in the Next Generation episodes "The Best of Both Worlds". She was very down-to-earth and talked quite extensively about her acting career, acting as a guest star on Star Trek, and what she learned on the set way back fourteen years ago.

Following her intruiging talk came the first of the two Sunday headliners of the convention, Garrett Wang -- Ensign Harry Kim of Star Trek Voyager fame. He, obviously, was no stranger to Star Trek conventions and gave a very energetic talk, answered fan questions, and the like. I was most amused by his stories of the practival jokes pulled on set, the friendships forged among the principle actors, and some of the generally unknown factoids about working on the set of Voyager with his castmates. He ended up being a very engaging speaker, and quite humerous to boot!

An hour later -- which seemed to go by like lightning becasue of Garrett's ability to engage the audience, he left the stage to sign autographs. At this time Dwight Shultz (Star Trek's Lieutenant Barclay) had also arrived and was signing autographs out in the hall. I opted to avoid getting any autographs due mostly to the $20/each cost, but, I did enjoy the break from guest talks in ballroom two, to walk around ballroom one.... and actually mingle with the stars. -- Yes, actually mingle!

Dwight was out in the hallway signing, and I avoided the reasonable line in the dealers room for Garrett, but, there were many other actors of Star Trek fame there who I actually enjoyed talking to, taking photos of for other fans, complimenting, and generally conversing with as if they were at a small booksigning. It was great, and, quite honestly, made my $20 entrance fee all worthwhile!!!....

Robin Curtis (ST:III's Saavik) was there.... So was Mary Kay Adams (DS9's Grilka, the Klingon female who married Quark; as well as a regular star of the sci-fi series Babylon 5 of which I am a huge fan);.... Spice Williams and Todd Byrant (most notable as Klingons in ST:V);..... Vaughn Armstrong (currently playing Admiral Forrest of Enterprise fame as well as the most often cast actor in Star Trek history);.... Robert O'Reilly (Klingon Chancellor Gowron -- no, his eyes are not as big in real life!);.... Max Grodenchik (DS9's Rom);.... Aron Eisenberg (DS9's Nog);.... Casey Biggs (DS9's Cardassian, Damar);.... as well as Jason Carter (of Babylon 5 star fame, as Ranger Marcus... who incidently was wearing my favorite hat -- a bowler!).

There were a few other actors from other sci-fi series (TekWar, Buffy, etc) whom I was unfamiliar with. But, to be able to mingle intimately with the actors who where there, that I did recognize, was a real joy. They were all nice, glad to meet the fans, and more than happy to strike up a conversation when there was nothing else going on. As an actor myself, THAT was a REALLY cool opportunity! It's not often that I'll get to do that!

When 3 PM rolled around, and the autographs had long since dwindled down, the actors were just hanging around talking with fans. Garrett had left (probably to catch a flight), and Dwight Schultz was just taking the stage for his hour-long Q&A talk. He too, though much less animated than most of the other speakers, was a very engaging actor. A long time Star Trek veteran, and beloved series' character, he spoke in depth about both his roles on the "A-Team" as well as "ST: Next Generation". As an actor in his mid-fifties, I thoroughly enjoyed his perspective on his own acting career. I learned a lot from his as well as heard some great acting advice. Great guy, with a great perspective on life, and, apparently, a similar religious faith as my own! That I really appreciated.

When Dwight concluded his talk, the time had come for the show to close for the day. He bid the fans a genuine adeu (and recieved the only standing ovation of the day), and departed. The dealers were packing up their tables, and the fans were heading home. My two friends and I did likewise, and in the end had had a VERY worthwhile day. They had actually each aquired numerous autographs themselves, and had some amusing stories to tell as we drove home again to Milwaukee. It was a well worthwhile Sunday, and ended up being one of the most unique Star Trek conventions I have ever been to! And I really do mean that!

It was a very tiring day too, however, so, with my own heavy eyelids I think I'll bid you my own fond adeu and head off to bed. I'm sure I'll fall asleep to the enjoyable opportunities I came across today. I'll sleep well. As an aspiring actor myself, I couldn't have planned a better day!

So, I hope you enjoyed the review. Have a blessed Monday, and until next time,

Your happily blogging Star Trek fan and actor friend,

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"Chicago for a day"

Well, I'm just about to head down to Chicago. I'll let you know how the Star Trek convention went when I get back later this evening. Have a blessed Sunday, and until then, :)

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

"Seeking 3 Fantasy Baseball Managers"

Once again, I'm managing another year of my successful 'Baasball' fantasy baseball league. This is the fourth year the league has been in competition. At the time of this writing, I'm looking to fill three of twelve remaining team openings.

If you're interested in learning more about this league, or perhaps seeking to apply for one of those openings, please feel free to take a look at the rules page and contact me.

Hopefully we'll be able to fill this league over the weekend. The draft is live and still two weeks away, but it never hurts to prepare early this year. If you're interested, let me know. Thanks much!


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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"Star Trek Convention Countdown"

This week already looks like it'll be a rather uneventful one. It's Wednesday night, and I don't have anything too exciting to note since Sunday. The play is over, the performances have wrapped, and I'm back to the daily grind again. Same old, same old.


This coming Sunday, March 7, should be an interesting one. I've been invited to join a few friends on a trip down to Chicago. We'll be attending a Star Trek convention down there, and guests such as Dwight Schultz (Lieutenant Barclay), and Garrett Wang (Voyager's Ensign Kim) are scheduled to appear. I'm looking forward to it.

I'll probably pass on the overpriced autograph sessions (typical of events like these), but I'm eager to listen in on the actor presentations, investigate the dealer's tables, and take in the aura of the event. It's been at least eight years since I last went to a Star Trek convention. When I was younger I attended quite a few with my dad, and enjoyed the opportunties greatly. Now, at age 24, I can once again be a Star Trek geek, and take in another one of those opportunities.

We'll have to see how the day goes. And for those of you that will be unable to join me, don't worry, you can attend for free, right here -- vicariously through me.

So, until then, stay tuned, and have a blessed evening. I'll post again soon.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

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