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Friday, April 30, 2004


"Quote(s) of the Day."

Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher; and philosophy begins in wonder.
- Plato

Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which, if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or a Shakespeare.
- H.F. Hedge

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Thursday, April 29, 2004


"Loved I not Honour more"

Having watched the Civil War film "Gods and Generals" this morning I decided to share a selection of the quotes I found most touching.

I also post these in honor of our own troops, who are still this day laying down their own lives for cause and duty in Iraq. I imagine these thoughts have gone through their minds just as often now, as they did the minds of those in blue and gray over 150 years ago.


"Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breasts, and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such,
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more."

- from a poem by Richard Lovelace

~~~~

"An army is power. Its entire purpose is to coerce others. We have seen more suffering than any man should ever see. The end must justify the cost. War is a scourge, but so is slavery. It is the systematic coercion of one man over another. That is no excuse to tolerate it here. If your life or mine is part of the price to end this curse and free the [oppressed], then let God's will be done."

- Colonel Lawrence Chamberlain

~~~~

"The duty is ours; the consequences belong to God."
- Stonewall Jackson


Pray for our troops over in Iraq, and pray that their efforts are not in vain. They are laying down their lives for the freedoms we hold so dear. That, my fellow American, is honor, duty, and in the uncertain face of death, the ultimate sacrifice.

-Jon

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Wednesday, April 28, 2004


"A Very Hollow Movie."

The 2000 Sci-Fi thriller, "Hollow Man", is one of the worst modern-day sci-fi movies I've ever seen. The substance is very thin, the acting merely so-so, and the plot very typical of a standard B-grade slasher movie. Poorly done; Very poorly done. The special effects are certainly eye-catching though, but hardly enough to redeem the rest of this flop.

I really don't know why Noah owns a copy of this film. Out of pure curiousity I gave it a watch this evening, having never actually seen it before. Now I definitely know why. There was just to much missing from this flick for me to take a liking to it. It's called Hollow Man, but perhaps a better title is Hollow Movie.

-Jon

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004


"Moeller hits for cycle"

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Chad Moeller hit for the cycle Tuesday night, becoming the first Milwaukee Brewers player to accomplish the feat since Paul Molitor 13 years ago..... Read More.

-Jon

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Monday, April 26, 2004


"Baas Art Gallery & Framing"

In Seattle, WA, there is a place called the Baas Art Gallery. I just find that oddly ironic.

-Jon

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Sunday, April 25, 2004


"An Audition and a Roving Band of Muppets"

Unfortunately, today was one of those days where I had to stay around the apartment, and didn't get to go out. It would have been nice, especially as there were auditions for a stage show in the area that I'd been hoping to attend. But, sometimes not everything works out as planned. "There's a Burgler in my Bed" (a comic farce by Michael Parker) will have to go on without my audition.

I did get a number of things taken care of today, though, so despite being unable to audition, it wasn't a wasted day. Afterall, I can always catch the next stage audition on my calendar. The summer is still very young. The opportunities are are still younger. I have patience. I can wait.

I did top off the day with an excellent flick though. In the evening I sat down in front of the television. The first thing I came across was "A Muppet Treasure Island". I love that movie, so I had to watch. I'm a kid at heart, and, the Muppets are always entertaining -- especially as pirates. There's just something about that cast of characters, the rousing musical numbers.... and the vacationing rats that tugs heavily at my funny bone. Good stuff! Much enjoyed!

But, it's the late evening now, Sunday is at an end; a new week begins. With it comes a whole new collection of musings. So stay tuned. I'm not going anywhere!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, April 24, 2004


"Seventeen Kids and a Theatre Performance"

Today I was asked by my sister to help her with her final theatre performance for her Dare to Dream class. Her seventeen kids were performing an adapted version of "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" by CS Lewis. The production was being held on our old campus, so it was accessable, and I was available.

As was the case with past classes I've helped Rachel with, this one was just as enjoyable. The kids were a little wound up when we first ran the rehearsal, but by the time the audience showed up, I think they settled in and had a good performance. Video camera's were in abundance (including the one I was asked to operate), and we actually had a very good turnout -- probably about 100 people.

By 3 PM, Rachel, her other helper (who ran technical and lights -- a first for Dare to Dream), and myself each breathed a sign of relief. The day had gone well, the seven-weekend class had come and end, and both parents and children were heading home with eager stories and lots of praise. Rachel has a good thing going with this theatre class of hers, and, as a result, I think she'll have a good number of the children returning for her summer session. That's high enough praise right there!

When everything was cleared up from the performance, and the three of us had departed the theatre, Rachel took Vince and I out for dinner as a thank you for our participation. That was certainly unexpected, though quite delicious. Chinese food is always a good choice. As luck would have it, I also got to take home some of the remaining sweets (brownies, that sort of thing) from the refreshment table outside the theatre space. So, in the end, I think I'll also have some good desserts for the next few days. I can handle that. :)

It was a good day, and one spent in the theatre at that. When I think about it, though, that's one of the best ways to spend my day -- Theatre, kids, an audience, and free food..... Good times.

Have a blessed rest of the week all, and until the marrow,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, April 23, 2004


"Sleepless in Milwaukee"

I love it when I can't sleep. I'm restless, too full of energy, and -- despite trying to convince myself so -- not really all that tired either. In the end, it just means I get up, find something to work on, and sleep during the day.

It looks like today will be one of those days.

-Jon

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Thursday, April 22, 2004


"Season of Rebirth"

Almost overnight, the grass is lush and green, the trees are filled with new buds, leaves are opening up everywhere you look, birds are chirping in greater unison, and the air smells of a freshness once washed away by the bygone winter.

There is now no longer any doubt; the new year is in full swing, and the warm months of summer are just around the corner. Now truely is the time to stop and smell the flowers!

-Jon

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004


"Johnny Grass Seed and the Master Painter"

My brief excursion up north to Scott's cabin was relatively pleasant -- aside from the weather that is. It rained in the evening on Tuesday, and was gloomy, overcast, and cold on Wednesday.

Thankfully, on Tuesday we were able to get the cabin grounds raked (aka, removing the acidic pine needles and the oak leaves from the grass), and new grass seed laid down before the rain started falling too steadily. With the work completed, that allowed Scott and myself to just relax and hang around indoors while the rain helped complete our seeding project outdoors.

As we sat around indoors -- among the rustic cabin decor -- we chatted many things, and played three games of Scrabble. I lost all three, but I did find a renewed interest in the game itself. Honestly, I may just have to get my own copy. Scrabble is one of those intelligence games; it's all about words -- the fusion of luck and the clever creation words. It's funny how engaging a game like that can be.

Later that evening a few hours after both of us had gone off to bed, I awoke sometime around 5 AM Wednesday to heed the call of nature (the cabin plumbing had not yet been turned on for the renting season). As I looked out across the lake just behind the cabin, I was greeted with a truely awe-inspiring sight. It was dark since the sun had not yet risen. Upon the lake drifted a dense cloud of fog, swirling slowly in a random array of serene beauty. The lake itself was as clear, smooth, and reflective as glass, and there wasn't a sound -- pure silence.

I stood there on the grassy shore and looked out over the calm silent nightscape. There were no people around, no dogs barking, no city streets or freeways, no early morning birds shirping, not a sound. Pure silence and some of the most beautful drifting fog I'd ever seen, punctuated only by the tiny pinpricks of various year-round lights from other vacant cabins across the mist. You don't see that in the city. Most of the time you don't even see that in the country. And, usually, even if the opportunity does exist, most people are sleeping right through it.

If God can create this much beauty out of the simple interaction of cold water and warm air, then perhaps it should be a reminder that nothing is beyond His control. Nothing.

I worry sometimes over the littlest of things, hoping my plans work out as I want them to. Yet, when God can turn the simplest of physics into a jaw-dropping work of awe-inspiring beauty, what need is there for worry? It's these hidden wonders that remind us how close God really is, and how everything works together at the awesome yet simple power of His command. He's looking out for us, no matter how stressed out we may feel. And if He can calm the waters and paint the mists, then he can do the same thing for those worries.

That's truely awe-inspiring!

In the end -- by the time we left the cabin to return to civilization on Wednesday afternoon -- the trip up north had been enjoyable, even despite the cold, the rain, and the wind. The work was done, the grass was reseeded, and some of my concerns were calmed with the simple reminder of morning fog over a lake. Life can be very interesting, and it's nice to know that throughout, there are things working on greater levels than I can understand.

Despite my worries, I think I like it that way.

Have a blessed Thursday all, and until next time,

Your happily musing friend,
-Jon

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Monday, April 19, 2004


"And then the wind blew...."

You know, I half expect my apartment building to blow over sometime soon. Only this afternoon has the wind finally stopped howling, severely rattling my windows. In fact, it's been doing that for the past two days. Most of the weekend weather has been pretty nice -- in terms of temperature -- but when it comes to wind, very gusty.

Aside from the occasional errand around the neighborhood, though, I've stayed in all weekend. I've been working on logo and web-related projects, most for clients, but some for myself. And it hasn't really been all that exciting of a weekend beyond that. I've been enjoying this opportunity to be the "creative specialist" that I am, but it hasn't really offered me much to muse upon since Friday.

Tomarrow (Tuesday) I'll be heading up to my friend Scott's cabin to help him re-seed the grounds. It's become an annual spring task, this being the second year we're heading up there for that reason. Last year was a multiple day event, with a number of people involved. This year will only be a one night affair, with just Scott and myself. Apparently there isn't nearly as much to do as there was last year.

But, I'll be back sometime on Wednesday, and then I'll get right back to work. I appreciate the occasional opportunity to get out of the apartment and go somewhere of note, but I do have to remember to remain on task with the projects on my palatte. I enjoy it, and I seem to be in growing demand lately. But I think that works for me. :)

Have a blessed Tuesday, and I'll catch you all when I get back.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, April 16, 2004


"Beautiful Weather"

Wow, you can't get any better than this.... Weather in the 70's and summer just around the corner! The only downside, however, is that when my roomate, Noah, moves out in June, he takes the window AC unit with him. As a result, it will also be warm inside the apartment this summer.

Oh, well, can't win 'em all! I'll just have to break out the fans again. ... [chuckle].

Have a blessed weekend. Enjoy the nice weather, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, April 15, 2004


"Tax Day, 2004"

Happy Tax Day! I hope you got your taxes in on time? I did -- even if only to discover that I'm getting a total state and federal refund of just $47 dollars. But hey, a refund is a refund, right? .... Now, what to do with that fourty seven dollars....

-Jon

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Tuesday, April 13, 2004


"Strange Laws"

Did you know that in Missouri, a man must have a permit to shave?

Or, in Texas, it's illegal to put graffiti on someone else's cow?

Or better yet, in Washington, it's against the law to sleep in an outhouse without the owner's permission.

You might get a kick out of reading a few more of these peculiar laws Enjoy!:

Strange Laws (strangefacts.com)
Real (Strange) Laws (dribbleglass.com)

-Jon

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Monday, April 12, 2004


"Recap: Easter Weekend"

Well, I'm back in Wisconsin now after my visit with family over Easter weekend. As always, it was an enjoyable opportunity, and one well worth the unexciting 320-mile drive.

My sister (Rachel) and I arrived in Minneapolis early on Thursday evening. Unfortunately by the time we got there I was too tired to do much, and ended up taking a nap (eventually going to bed early as well). I had a lot on my mind, and had only slept an hour in the past thirty-six. Remarkably, however, I was able to stay awake enough to do some of the driving. I guess Caffeine and good upbeat music really does help.

Friday was a relatively relaxing day at home. I enjoyed the downtime, and spent quite a bit of time enjoying the company of my younger brothers. That doesn't happen very often these days. So, I've got to enjoy it while I can. :)

Saturday was again a rather relaxing day. My parents were treated to a showing of the Broadway musical, "Rent", at the local major stage theatre in the city. It was an anniversary gift from Rachel. Then, later, in the evening, my entire family went out to eat at the classy Italian family-style restaurant, Buca di Beppo, to celebrate my parent's 25th anniversary. And let me tell you, it was a pricey meal, but one of the best I've ever had! It's already on my short list of favorite restaurants. I'll be eating there again in the future.

Sunday morning was Easter. Breakfast was served at church, so we all went early, taking in the Sunday service afterward. Other than the reason for the holiday, however, the service itself really wasn't all that inspiring. The choir pieces were lovely though.

Later in the afternoon -- after a delicious traditional ham lunch (put together by the excellent cook that my mom happens to be!) -- my father treated all of us to a movie, "The Alamo". I enjoyed the film immensely, and thought it was exceptionally well done. Definitely well worth the matinee price. If you're interested, you're more than welcome to read my person review. I'd love to hear what you thought.

After a well-rested Sunday night, I awoke to see Monday and the long drive back here to Milwaukee. Again, the trip itself was uneventful, although, we actually did make exceptionally good time -- which hadn't been expected. Ironically, however, shortly after arriving back at my apartment, I took a nap. Go figure.

But, all-in-all, it was an excellent vacation from the norm, and a great opportunity to visit home -- even if I hadn't originally planned on making the trip. But, then again, in the end, I am glad that I did. It's what Easter is all about -- visiting with family and loved ones.

But, anyway, I hope your Easter was enjoyable as well, and, now that we are in a new week, I wish you the best. Have a blessed Tuesday, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004


"Easter and 25 Years of Marriage"

Well, I'll be heading home tomarrow for Easter. I'd been planning on avoiding the trip, and instead remaining here in Milwaukee -- so that I could finish a number of overdue personal projects -- but, I think this trip is definitely one worth making. Today is my parents 25th wedding anniversary. This Easter we will be celebrating twenty five years of a successful family with both my mother and my father at the helm!

I'll be honest, I've never too keen on driving the 320+ mile trip to get up to Minneapolis. It's long and not all that exciting. But I'm heading up with my sister, so we can both share the driving. The roads should be good, the weather lovely, and, unlike our last trip up to Minnesota, this time we'll be driving during the day. Some caffeine and a steady dose of Country music, and the trip should speed by. Hopefully. :)

The visit should be enjoyable though. While we're all together, I've been told we have plans for dinner at a fine restaurant (usually a rare occasion!), lots of chat and discussion (as is usual of such visits), and perhaps even a showing of The Alamo at the theatre. Three days to hang out at home. Short, but probably something I would have kicked myself for missing had I stayed here.

Yeah, I think I'll make the most of this rare milestone over the weekend -- I'll enjoy the opportunity and spend Easter with family. Then, come Monday, I'll be back down here in Milwaukee again doing double-time on a great many things.

Life is relentless, but it's refreshing to stop and consider the blessings it brings. Twenty-five years of a successful family is one heck of a blessing!

Have a Happy Easter everyone, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004


"History of the World.... (slightly mangled)"

This has become a classic over the years. And it still makes me laugh every time I read it. But then again, we all know how much most of us need a good laugh every now and then! So, sit back and enjoy the ride as history catches up with you -- horribly misspelled!

The History of the World (according to students)

-Jon

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Sunday, April 04, 2004


"Update: Back after a busy week."

Heh, I missed a few days in posting. I guess that's what happens when you become busy....

The good news, though, is that the website I'm working on is over the design phase, and I'm already into the coding and content phase. This will last for the next month or so, and thankfully keep me busy.

In terms of acting, I've added a few more audition dates to my calendar and we'll see what happens as spring and summer gets into full gear. There's some excellent theatre shows auditioning in the area. I aim to get in on those if I can. Like I've said before, I'll be "pretending" a lot this year. That's definitely an increased goal of mine here in 2004.

In other news, I'm gearing up to finally add more artwork and make it available to you online. There's some good stuff waiting in the wings. And I'm confident that it will speak well of my artistic skills. The only question that remains, is when I'll actually be able to get it all online.

Oh, and there's nothing too new yet in my search for a new roomate. But, as always, if you're interested, by all means please feel free to let me know.

And finally, baseball season starts tomarrow! Time to enjoy being a Milwaukee Brewers fan again!

Have a blessed new week everyone, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, April 03, 2004


"USS Montana"

Somewhere in the Irish Sea, a confrontation is brewing.... (video file)

-Jon

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Thursday, April 01, 2004


"April Fool's Day"

Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time.

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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Blogs That I Read:
- Mashable: Facebook
- Peace Lutheran (audio)
- ProBlogger
- Seth Godin
- The Brothers Brick
- The Presurfer
- Time of Grace Blog
- Grace Moments
- Trek Movie
- Wil Wheaton

Star Trek Social Story:
- USS Enterprise-D

Online Webcomics:
- Interesting Times

Performance / Theater:
- Improv Everywhere


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