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Monday, May 31, 2004


"Twenty-Four Notes"

Of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized or more apt to render emotion than the call 'Taps'. The melody is both eloquent and haunting, and is unique to the United States military. It beckons us to remember patriots who served our country with honor and valor. It moves all who hear it.

"Lord of our lives, our hope in death, we cannot listen to Taps without our souls stirring. Its plaintive notes are a prayer in music -- of hope, of peace, of grief, of rest... Prepare us too, Lord, for our final bugle call when you summon us home. When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and death will be no more."

--From the invocation delivered by Chaplain (Colonel) Edward Brogan (USAF, Ret.) at the Taps Exhibit Opening Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, 28 May 1999

Listen to 'Taps' (mp3 file)

Today we remember that freedom isn't free.

-Jon

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"No, Freedom Isn't Free"

No, Freedom Isn't Free
- Author Unknown

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

-Jon

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Sunday, May 30, 2004


"Treerats"

A film by Sam Driscoll. (humorous!)
We already knew squirrels were strange animals... but I bet you didn't know they play music too. :)

-Jon

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Saturday, May 29, 2004


"A Family Visit"

This weekend my parents came down to Milwaukee for a visit. They made the trip to see my sister Rachel (up in Sheboygan) in her stage production of the musical, "South Pacific". However, since they were down here in the area, they also stopped in by me and stayed the night on Friday.

For most of the evening we talked, had dinner out, and generally just enjoyed the rare opportunity to get together. Such occasions usually come only a few times a year these days, if even that. They live up on Minnesota; I live in Milwaukee. That makes visiting a rare event.

But it's Saturday afternoon now. After their short visit here, they've left recently to head up to Sheboygan; Rachel's show starts at 7pm. This allows them some time to visit with her also before the curtain goes up. I, however, declined to go along for logistical reasons, as they plan to leave for Minnesota early Sunday. But I'm glad they had a good visit down here. And I eagerly look forward to the next one! :)

-Jon

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Thursday, May 27, 2004


"Nike Commercial"

Interesting Fact of the Day:

Last night I was contacted by one of the local talent agencies in town, and asked if I would be available to do a Nike commercial today and tomarrow....

Unfortunately, time schedules conflicted, and it just didn't work out on such short notice. But I certainly appreciated being considered for the shoot -- especially since I am not yet represented by this agency. I'm hopeful that the next time the opportunity arises, I'll be able to take it without any conflicts. :)

-Jon

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"Jon, the British Actor"

One of the interesting things about the internet, is that each site wants to be THE place to find information. They all strive to have the most information, the most links, the most resources. Unfortunately, sometimes they try so hard, that in the process, they get that information totally wrong.

Now, it's interesting to note -- being the curious person that I am -- how many of these "informational sites" there are out there that have -- of their own accord -- listed me as a top celebrity. Seriously, they do. And, I am usually always listed in the very same directory as the real top celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Halle Barry, etc.

Well, that said, I was amused when I recently came upon this directory's top celebrity listing. I'm not really sure, though, where Womendex.com got their biographical information. Unfortunately, it's a little off. :)

Jon Baas biography:

Date of Birth: February 4, 1978
Place of Birth: Austin
Nationality: British
Bust-Waist-Hips: 89 - 52 - 91
Shoe: 35
Eye Color: Gray
Hair: Blonde
Agencies: New York - IMG
Height: 174 cm

Apparently, according to their information, I'm a British actor working in New York. I'm 5'7" tall, and was born in Austin, Texas... I am actually American-born (Minnesota) on the 18th of the month, working in Milwaukee, and 6'1" tall. My eyes are also green/hazel, not gray. Yeah, just a wee bit off, but nonetheless quite amusing. And the odds that this is another professional actor named Jon Baas? Quite slim.

So, I guess I'd better start working on my English accent then, eh?

Have a blessed day, and until later,

Your American actor friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004


"American Idol"

Congratulations to Fantasia Barrino, the new American Idol!

-Jon

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"Star Trek Enterprise: Alien Nazis?"

Ok, so, the finale of Star Trek: Enterprise this evening was an enjoyable one. I was really getting into it -- until the last five minutes. What the heck happened there?....

Captain Jonathan Archer is supposedly killed saving the day. Ok. But wait, no, he actually survived (with severe burns) -- in a Nazi WWII field hospital?!

Hold on a minute, though, it gets better...

Meanwhile, the Enterprise returns to Earth after their own harrowing ordeal, to find no communication signals coming from the planet. Characters, Trip and Mayweather, decide to fly down to Starfleet Command in San Francisco to investigate, and they get shot at by WWII P-51 fighter jets?!! Then, to top that off, we -- the viewers -- are left with a visual shot of an alien humanoid dressed in a German military uniform. And he's clearly not out of place in this 2154 WWII Earth setting!

WHAT?! I'm lost. Where's the plausible continuity?

(...Sounds a little "Planet of the Apes"-like to me...) :)

Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until August to see what comes of this. I sincerely hope it makes sense. Fun as it may have been intended to be, I am getting a little tired of all this careless tampering with time.

If you missed the series finale I recommend the review/ analysis posted on Trek Nation.

-Jon

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004


"This Wonderful Life"

A digital short film by Liam Kemp, "This Wonderful Life", was presented at the Electronic Theater at Siggraph this year in San Diego. It took 23 months to complete.

"A troubled young woman finds an unexpected surprise in this highly emotional and beautiful tale." This film features some of the most advanced and complex facial expressions I've seen in any independant digital shorts lately. A touching story, and a truly impressive film both technically and artistically.

-Jon

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"Colony 1628: Successful"

For those of you that may have missed it, the last installment of the PBS series, Colonial House aired on television this evening. After four months, the two dozen or so participants, were evaluated by their trading company to see if their colony would have survived beyond 1628. The final verdict is in. They would have -- but just barely, and not without a lot of increased effort.

Other than a few historic issues (namely social and political), and the recommendation of the trading company that a new Governor be assigned to the colony to improve financial productivity, the Colonial House Colony could have survived in early America. The venture was a success, and along the way also proved to be a very engaging experiment in history.

-Jon

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"'LOTR: Return of the King', now on DVD"

Today "LOTR: Return of the King" came out on DVD in retailers around the country. Winner of eleven Academy Awards -- including Best Picture for 2004 -- this film deserves all of them. Hands down, one of the best films of all time! (...And in my humble opinion, perhaps the best of the three superb trilogy films!)

If you haven't seen it yet, shame on you! Go pick up a copy! :)

-Jon

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Monday, May 24, 2004


"Haircut Monday"

I got my hair cut today, which actually amounted to losing a notable amount of blond locks. It was about time though. It had just gotten a bit too long over the past few months.

Before today, I had probably acquired that wavy-haired model type of look. Now, though, I've got a much shorter well-groomed one. Works for me. I'm a short hair kind of guy anyway. Besides, it's summer, and I like my head to be able to 'breathe'. And not having to worry about wind-blown hair getting in my eyes, is definitely something I can appreciate.

Ah, yes.... I feel a bit lighter now. :)

-Jon

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Sunday, May 23, 2004


"New Roomate: Found"

Today my new roomate officially signed the lease extension for the next twelve months. Scott -- my good friend, and former college roomate of two years -- is moving into Milwaukee when his aging grandmother moves closer to family. He's been living with her up in Smalltown, WI for the past two years since graduation. Since she's moving into the city, Scott was unexpectedly looking for an apartment. It just so happened I had an opening. So, come the end of June, he moves in, and Noah moves out.

That's good news for me. One less project to worry about. And honestly, that also means I'll now have a roomate who I share a heck of a lot more in common with than Noah. Don't get me wrong, Noah's a good guy... he and I just had few common hobbies and perspectives on life. But change is good, and in this case I think it'll be a change for the better -- for all three of us.

-Jon

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"NFL Europe Football?"

This afternoon, I sat down for a short while and turned on the television. One of the first things I came across was an NFL football game. Yes, an actual NFL football game. I did a double-take. NFL Football... in the end of May? Since when does an NFL game take place in late spring? I thought the SuperBowl was already determined back in the end of January?

Well, I guess that just goes to show how much I don't follow professional football. NFL Europe Football has been in existance since 1999... and I never realized it. Apparently a lot of American NFL players go over there and get additional experience once the USA season is over. It's a great concept, but one that took me totally by surprise. I guess you really do learning something new everyday!

Oh, and incidently -- for those interested -- in the last few minutes of the game I saw, the Cologne Centurians beat the Rhein Fire 7-6. Whether that's a good thing or not, I have no idea, but, it did intruige me so I suppose it's worth nothing, right? :)

Have a blessed day, and until next time,

Your apparently non-NFL fan friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, May 22, 2004


"Water, Water, Everywhere...."

Here in Southeastern Wisconsin, we've been pummeled by continuous rainstorms all week. Flooding has been a major issue around here, especially with sewage overflows into Lake Michigan. We've gotten so much rain recently that the Milwaukee Metro Sewer District just can't manage it all. They've had to close their waste water intake until they can catch up. Even the city's deep tunnel is full to capacity.

Directly south of us in Racine County, they've had to contend with the overflowing Fox River which continues to rise past floodstage. Flooding is usually a normal thing down there, but, it's been quite some time since the water has reached these levels. With more rain still on the way, how much worse it'll get yet is anyone's guess.

I'm just hoping this coming week sees more sunshine. We could definitely use the time to catch up and dry out from these powerful storms. Rain is good. I'm sure the Wisconsin farmers are appreciating it, but that's still a lot of water!

"Powerful Storms Leave Trails of Damage"

"Sewage overflows as MMSD closes all gates"

"More Rain on the Way"

-Jon

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Friday, May 21, 2004


"The Art Renewal Center"

"The purpose of the Art Renewal Center is to create the largest art museum on the internet. The goal is to include hundreds of thousands of oversized high quality images of all the known works of the greatest painters and sculptors in human history. Each work is cross referenced to the largest online encyclopedic art reference library of historical texts, essays, biographies and articles."

In other words -- as an artist myself -- I've just come across THE goldmine for investigating historic artwork on the internet. This is really cool! It's like coming across the mother of all art history books -- but online. Yeah, this one's getting bookmarked!

-Jon

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Thursday, May 20, 2004


"Hybrid Photoshop"

If you're feeling hungry, you may want to swing down to your local farmers market and try some of the fresh and unusual hybrid produce that just arrived. I was particularly fond of the kiwiberries myself, but the watercados, grolives, cocomelons, and grilled cornanas are also definitely worth checking out.

And, after that, if the farmers market wasn't interesting enough, you may want to stop by your local sports facility. I hear they've got a number of unusual hybrid sporting events going on. I recommend unicycle tennis, sumo figure skating, and bowlyball just to name a few, but there are many to choose from.

...And watch out for basket curling. Michael Jordan makes it look easy, but it really isn't! Enjoy!

-Jon

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004


"Cities for Dating"

A list of America's Best (and Worst) Cities for Dating.

This study is based on criteria that include percentage of singles ages 18-24, population density, and dating venues per capita such as concerts, coffee shops, bars, bowling alleys, and other typical hotspots. It includes 80 metro areas in America.

My hometown -- Milwaukee -- is ranked as the 43rd best city for dating -- which, incidently still puts us in the bottom 50% of the results.

According to the study, there are 9.1% of us in the state's population that are between the ages of 18-24, and of that percentage, 82.6% of us are single. We have one of the highest scores for the number of establishments to meet people, which is good... However, in comparison to the other 79 metropolitan areas, we are the 16th lowest city when it comes to spending money out socializing.

Translation: Those of us 18-24 year-olds here in Southeastern Wisconsin either really know how to socialize and date without spending money, or the majority of us just don't get out much.

Overall, according to the study, Austin, Texas is the best city in which to date, while the worst city for dating is Kansas City, Missouri.

-Jon

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"The Streak is Over"

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, Lyle Overbay, failed to get a hit in today's contest with the Montreal Expos, thus ending his hitting streak at 18 games.

-Jon

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Tuesday, May 18, 2004


"Randy Johnson = Perfect!"

Earlier today, Randy Johnson pitched the 17th perfect game in major league history, dominating the Atlanta Braves with a fastball that reached 98 mph. What's even more impressive is that he did this at age 40!

"Randy Johnson Pitches Perfect Game"

-Jon

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Monday, May 17, 2004


"Colonial House: 1628"

"Indentured servitude. No baths or showers. Public punishments....

Welcome to daily life in the year 1628.

Think colonial life was all about pious Pilgrims, powdered wigs and freedom for all? Think again! Two dozen modern-day time travelers find out the hard way what early American colonial life was really like when they take up residence in Colonial House, public television's latest hands-on history series.

The intrepid adventurers -- men, women, and children from across the U.S. and the U.K. -- arrived in their New World on a period tall ship and struggled to create a functioning and profitable colony, like those of America's first settlers, using only the tools and technology of the era."

I sat down and watched part one of the series this evening. Very intruiging experiment. It reminds me greatly of my own youth spent as a historical reenactor. Granted this series is a bit more intense than my own historical experiences. But, as an experiment in learning how life was for America's early settlers, this is proving to be a rather eye-opening history lesson.

If you're interested, Colonial House runs in four parts, airing May 17, 18, 24, and 25, 2004 from 7-9 PM (CST) on your local PBS station.

-Jon

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"Milwaukee Brewers: Yet Another Record"

Yesterday, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets struck out a franchise record 18 Atlanta Braves and allowed only three hits in a complete-game victory. It was Sheets' best game ever as a pro, and probably the greatest pitching performance in team history. The closest comparison is Juan Nieves' no-hitter in 1987.

Ironically, is was also announced today that Sheets was named the NL Player of the Week. He followed teammate Lyle Overbay, who won the award last week, marking the first time since Jim Gantner and Robin Yount won on July 18 and 25, 1982, that two Milwaukee players were honored in back-to-back weeks.

"Brewers: Sheets fans 18 in win"

"Brewers RHP Sheets named NL Player of Week"

-Jon

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Saturday, May 15, 2004


"A Day Helping Trisha"

Today was actually a very good day.

Earlier in the week, my sister Rachel had asked me if I would be willing to help one of her friends -- up in Smalltown, WI -- move into her new apartment. She was probably playing a little bit of the 'matchmaker' role though when she asked me, but nonetheless, I agreed to help out. I was more than happy to get out of my own apartment for a while, and meeting this friend of hers and helping her move, sounded like a good way to spend my Saturday.

So, in the morning, Rachel drove down from Sheboygan, picked me up and we returned to Smalltown, WI. Unfortunately, we arrived at her friend Trisha's house to find that most of the moving had already been done. Those that had been helping her earlier in the day had apparently made better time than was expected. But regardless, we helped with what was left, and before long, the last of her belongings residely comfortably within the walls of her new apartment.

As it turned out, though, Rachel had a meeting that she had to attend elsewhere in the early afternoon. Returning me to Milwaukee would actually have been out of her way, and not practical with her time schedule. So, that left me to hang out at Trisha's new apartment while she started to unpack her things. At first I thought it would end up being a rather awkward preposition -- hanging around the apartment of a friend I had just met as she unpacked from a move -- but truth be told, I actually had a lot of fun.

For the rest of the afternoon, I helped her unpack some of her belongings -- organize her new bedroom, set up her office, etc -- all the while 'bugging her' as I put it. But thankfully she didn't seem to mind. I'm just glad I was able to lend her a hand as she started to get situated in her new place. Moving is a daunting task. Hopefully some company made it a little easier.

Over the next few hours, though, I ended up discovering that we had a lot more in common, and that made conversation very enjoyable. She's a very impressive young woman, with a good head on her shoulders, and a friendly personality. That's a wonderful combination in anyone. That said, I think she's definitely someone I wouldn't mind getting to know further. I usually don't get to meet people like her very often.

By dinner time, Rachel had returned from her meeting (apparently with a new talent agent), so Trisha treated us to dinner out as a thank-you for helping her move. It was a kind offer, good food, and excellent company. After we had all finished eating, and talked for a while, we parted ways, and Rachel returned me to Milwaukee.

Now, my Saturday is at an end, but it was a good one. And meeting Trisha was definitely a highlight of the day too. Whether Rachel really was playing 'Matchmaker' or not, she has excellent taste in friends. A day helping Trisha, proved to be much more enjoyable than I had expected. I'm glad I took the opportunity. :)

Have a blessed Sunday all, and a wonderful start to the new week. Take care, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, May 14, 2004


"Library of Alexandria Discovered"

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Greco-Roman Library of Alexandria. This ancient facility has been described as the world's first major seat of learning.

A team of Polish and Egyptian archeologists have excavated parts of the Bruchion region of the Mediterranean city and have discovered what look like lecture halls or auditoria.

-Jon

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"Photoshop Contest"

Now this I found very amusing. What if famous celebrities of today, were placed in different time periods? What might they look like? This Worth1000 Photoshop contest addresses this question. Take a moment and check out the visual entries. Most of them are very well done!

-Jon

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Thursday, May 13, 2004


"Eleven Years of Frasier"

"Few television spinoffs have enjoyed as much success as "Frasier." The show earned Emmy Awards as television's best comedy for five straight years -- the only series to accomplish such a feat -- and garnered a record 31 Emmys overall."

Tonight, the 11th season came to a close as the series bid a final goodbye to prime time television.

"'Frasier' to Bid Final 'Goodnight Seattle'"

-Jon

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"Two Years and Counting"

As of today, JonBaas.com is now officially two years old!

This site went live on May 13, 2002, although my blog officially entered the blogosphere a few months later. Still, two years is a long time on the internet. My, how the time flies by! :)

-Jon

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004


"High Gas Prices!"

This is a little frightening. The price of unleaded gas at the local Milwaukee gas station a few blocks away, is currently at $2.08/gallon. Good thing I don't own a car right now. Ouch!

-Jon

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004


"Brewers 2004: Better than Expected"

Before April, it looked like the Milwaukee Brewers would be destined for another horrible season. They'd only won 62 games last year, and in the off-season they decided to trade away their best player, Richie Sexson.

So far, however, they've done much better than most people predicted, and have been consistantly playing around .500 after a full month of play. Thanks in part to great play by first baseman Lyle Overbay -- named the NL Player of the Week last week -- and pitcher/pinch hitter Brooks Kieschnick who hasn't given up a run in his last eight appearances.

"Overbay Earns Notice for Torrid Week"

"No Joke"

Good things for the Brewers in 2004? Maybe. :)

-Jon

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Monday, May 10, 2004


"The other Jon Baas"

I found this amusing. According to an online web search I did recently, I apparently play softball in a league somewhere on Long Island, New York. So does my sister, Julie.

Of course it's not really me, since I've never been to New York, nor do I have a sister named Julie, but still, coming across another actual "Jon Baas" always catches my eye. That's never happened before. The closest I've ever seen previously has been a "John Baas" (with an "h"), and that's certainly not the same name. Quite ironic if you ask me.

I guess I'm not quite as unique as I originally thought I was afterall. Go figure. ... [chuckle].

Anyway, have a blessed Tuesday. I'll catch you on the marrow sometime.

Your happily blogging friend,
- the Wisconsin Jon Baas

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Sunday, May 09, 2004


"In Honor of Mothers"

"Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it."
(Proverbs 22:6)

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there -- especially to my own! Thanks for being there and being a strong, supportive, loving mother for all of my 24 years. I wouldn't be where I am today without that guiding hand teaching me right from wrong. God's blessings on a 25th year of motherhood.

To all the other mothers out there, may God also grant you the continued blessings of motherhood, and may he bring you much joy through your own children.

Happy Mothers Day.

-Jon

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Saturday, May 08, 2004


"Thunder and Lightning"

I love watching thunderstorms. They are such beautiful displays of both God's power over nature, as well as his unfathomable creative genius. He created the whole concept of Physics afterall. There really is no one better to display it than the Maker himself. Purely awe-inspiring!

As you may have guessed, I've been standing at my favorite window here in my apartment, watching as the Milwaukee area plays host to just this kind of power and beauty. White-blue streaks of lightning are illumnating the night sky within seconds of each other, while loud peals of booming thunder shake the ground. A heavy downpoar blasts my windows, and headlights from the cars on the street below struggle to pierce the sheets of torrential water.

This is what life is all about sometimes. Setting everything aside for a while just to watch the beauty of nature play it's part in things around us. Unfortunately, most of us are often too busy to care. Take time and enjoy it.

As much as some people may disagree, thunderstorms are indeed blessings too. They can be comforting (or destructive), but yet also simple reminders that there is a God up there who cares enough to paint us a thunderstorm every now and then. And believe me, there isn't an artist on earth who can match the real thing! I know, because I'm watching Him paint one right now.

Have a blessed Sunday, and until the marrow,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, May 07, 2004


"Rockfish: The Movie"

"Rockfish" is a nine minute, comic action-adventure, animated short film that took four months to complete. The premise is that sometime in the future, huge fish swim in the lava beneath the surface of a distant planet. An 'exterminator' character is called in, and he uses an elaborate rig to drill a hole to catch the mother of all Rockfish. Blur Studio -- the production company -- calls it a 'fishing story.'

It's a good little short (one I happened upon by chance earlier today), has excellent animation, and is actually rather engaging to watch. I found myself enjoying it greatly, so I have a feeling you probably will as well. Give it a watch. See what you think. I'd love to hear your comments.

-Jon

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Wednesday, May 05, 2004


"Daily Past News"

Daily Past News brings history to life. It's the first internet news site that takes a look back. Packed with all the features of your favourite news site, with one big difference. They turn history into current affairs.

-Jon

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"Picturing Women"

Today, I happened upon the following site, by luck actually. It ties in very nicely with my own recent portrait of a young woman. I found this site very intruiging, so I thought I'd share it with you. Very informative, and an excellent look at how women have been depicted in society and culture over the years.

What constitutes female identity? How is it culturally constructed in images, artifacts and texts? What roles have these artifacts played in defining women's places in society? And how they have been pictured historically, and how they are pictured today?

Picturing Women explores how women are figured, fashioned, turned into portraits, and told about in words and pictorial narrative.

-Jon

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004


"Girl in the Shadows"

I've added some new artwork to my online store recently.

You will now find a number of high quality framed prints and posters of ALL of my current digital landscapes. Previously, due to various creative constaints, I was only able to offer framed prints of two of my landscapes. Now, however, all of them are fully represented. I am also working on two more unique scenes to be added shortly.

In addition, you will also find a new artwork titled, "Girl in the Shadows"....


"Girl in the Shadows" depicts that one silent girl whose personality and looks intruige us, yet her true friendship seems unattainable. She's the attractive one we often see from afar, but have not yet had the courage to approach. In other words, she's one of life's simple mysteries.

Created as a reverse graphite portrait (not visually based on anyone in particular), this creation was used on the book cover of one of my friend's recent screenplays. Originally it was designed entirely opposite to traditional drawing. The intended highlights within the image where drawn in pencil on quality white paper. Then, when inverted digitally, it became the portrait of an young woman peering over her shoulder from within the shadows. It was a bit of a creative challenge to do it this way, and essentially draw the whole thing in reverse, but in the end, I think this girl has probably become one of my favorite graphite portraits. Feel free to check her out.

And finally, I've got a bit of a challenge for you if you're interested....

Feel free to suggest a digital landscape that you'd like to see created and offered in my collection. I'll take it into consideration, and if I do create it, I'll offer it in both a print and a poster, and give you a discount towards the purchase of each! The offer stands indefinitely. Feel free to take me up on it sometime.

Have a blessed Tuesday all, and I'll catch you on the marrow.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Horse manure makes great art!"

I like to consider myself a creative artist -- and a good one at that, however, I think one woman in California has taken the idea of creativity to a whole new level. That said, enter the 'Turd Bird'.

Yes, you heard that right. This woman makes unique bird "sculptures" out of horse manure. They're very colorful, hand-made, and certainly unique, but they're made of crap. Don't believe me? Then take a moment and check out her website -- where she actually sells them!

I definitely give her points for creativity, but I think that's as far as I go. I wish her luck with her creations, but I really don't think you'll be seeing one of her colorful birds on my dresser. I think I'll just stick to traditional media. :)

-Jon

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Monday, May 03, 2004


"Earthquake 10.5!"

If you enjoyed the conclusion of the disaster thriller miniseries "10.5" on NBC tonight, than you'll be happy to know that they didn't portray earthquakes realistically. In fact, the producers dropped the ball when researching the film, and went straight to the thriller aspect of the story instead. As a result, we got an exciting evening of entertainment -- but one based completely upon fiction.

If you're interested in seperating fact from fiction within the film, then this site is an excellent resource. And even if you didn't see the miniseries, you may still find it worth reading. An earthquake can be devestating, but in real life, don't worry, you'll never experience a 10.5.

-Jon

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Saturday, May 01, 2004


"The other side of the internet"

This morning I completed one of the major phases in one of the projects I've been working on this week. My task was to research a list of websites, and assess whether they were suitable to one of my clients for submitting their company listing. The project was from time to time enjoyable, and I gathered a sizable research file, but one thing became painstakingly clear -- Not all websites are designed to look good.

Sites like this one for example -- just one of the many on my list -- are rather painful to the aesthetic eye, and contain little or no graphical qualities. Yet, ironically, they are actually beneficial elements to the existance of a successful website.

In our on-demand electronic world, where everyone else is trying to come up with the most attractive way to gain online customers, there's a whole side to the internet that thrives by doing the exact opposite. They happily contain very little visual creativity. Most people never visit these sites, but they're there, standing firm and lending an ugly functional existance to make the creative side of the internet a success. They're there to build link popularity, and help the big guys improve their search rankings.

Those of us that have visited these sites, know them "affectionately" as internet directories. Those of us who also have an eye for the creative, often know them simply as eyesores. But whatever you want to call them, they don't really care. They're more than happy to do the dirty work, and more than happy to exist as the other side of the internet.

-Jon

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Jon Baas

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