Tonight was Oscar Night. Unfortunately, I wasn't really interested in watching, hadn't cared to see many of this past year's nominated films, and, quite honestly, had other things to do. Fellow blogger Sean Hackbarth, summed up the night quite nicely:
"Here's what you need to know: some movie you didn't watch won for best picture; some actors won for performances you didn't see; and The Incredibles won."
Earlier this month, I recieved [free] tickets to another Preview event hosted by the same company. The intention seemed to be that of previewing new television programs before they hit broadcast tv. It had been an amusing event last year spent in the company of friends, so I decided to go this year hoping to see something new. My roomate, Scott -- also interested -- decided to joined me....
Unfortunately, I now I feel like a complete idiot for going, and am hereby boycotting the attendance of further events by this company. Scott and I had been suckered. When I went this evening, I discovered that they were showing the very same programs I saw last year. One horrible never-aired one-hour drama (titled, "Soalmates") badly edited to run in a half hour, and one humorous 30 minute pilot for the 1990 Valarie Harper sitcom, "City" -- upon which the popular Michael J. Fox sitcom, "Spin City", was later based.
Needless to say, I was very annoyed with the event. Annoyed that this event was hyped up as being something even remotely interesting.... Annoyed that I had gone and seen the very same programs as last year.... And annoyed that the organizers of this event actually went out of their way to lie to my face and claim that this event was to gather opinions for a new Valerie Harper show, as well a "new television drama" not yet aired on national television. It was pure manipulation, and I should have realized it. The event was nothing more than a cleverly veiled ploy to get people in to view and rate mind-numbingly uninteresting television commercials.
Scam, pure and simple. Thankfully, my time was the only thing wasted.
Urgh. I don't appreciate being lied to, especially just to get my opinion. So, shame on you Television Preview. Shame on you for suckering innocent people. Next time, try some good old honesty.... or at least rotate your choice of entertainment programs so as to make it worthwhile to those foolish enough to think the event was even worth blinking at.
We are a society obsessed with wealth. We gauge how rich we are by looking upwards at those who have more than us. We see their lavish lifestyles, their million dollar homes, their fleet of cars, and we feel all the more depressed and unlucky with our own lives. But, the truth is, most of us are in the privileged minority. Most of us are far wealthier than we realize.
Take a moment to click over to the Global Rich List. Enter your salary, click a button, and find out just how many people in the world are poorer than you. It's a lot more surprising -- and humbling -- than you may think.
It's another one of those beautiful days around here in Milwaukee. Sun, warm spring-like temperatures, melting snow.... The perfect day for a walk. It's also the perfect day for a snowball fight -- if I knew people around here who enjoyed that sort of thing. Before long, all this snow will be gone again, and the only thing to throw around will be a baseball (not that I'm complaining!).
I tell ya, Spring is definitely around the corner. Time to enjoy the last of the winter season before the bugs of summer come out to play again. Ah, yes... isn't life grand?! :)
I think the time has come for me to join the ranks of those who favor the internet browser, FireFox. Up until now, I've used the buggy, insecure, spyware magnet that is Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, I've finally lost my patience with it. Many an hour has been lost trying to stave off the unwanted advances of unsavory, unethical spyware tactics, and I'm quite honestly fed up.
It's not worth wasting my time trying to fight those battles anymore. And, unfortuantely, it took most of today scouring my computer, cleaning the unwanted junk from it's halls, and sighing in frustration over my final losing battle against the buggy browser behemoth. Good riddence Internet Explorer. Score one more for secure internet travels.
All of us at one time or another have enjoyed "MacGyver". Scott recently purchased the first season on DVD, and for the last week or so, he and I have been enjoying a few episodes here and there. While it does seem a bit dated in today's day and age, and perhaps a bit hokey at times, it is without a doubt a very entertaining series, and one I am really enjoying. When it comes to a diversion from the events of my day, lately, MacGyver seems to be filling that role quite nicely.
"Angus Macgyver is a secret agent with a difference. He is quiet, mild mannered, deeply principled and refuses to carry a gun on his missions. Fortunately, the last detail is unimportant when compared to his astounding mind. Drawing on a vast practical knowledge of science, Macgyver is able to make use of any mundane materials around him to create unorthodox solutions to any problem he faces. The enemies of world peace and justice continually learn that underestimating this man is a fatal mistake for their plans."
I splurged today. On Friday, I didn't have a birthday cake, so, today I went down to the store and picked up it's equivalent. To be unique, and to celebrate a quarter century of life, I enjoyed the delicious sweetness of a Wisconsin favorite -- an authentic Racine Danish cheesecake kringle.
Mmmmm, yes, In the absence of cake, I think this works quite well! :)
This morning I wasn't sure whether to go outside in my swim trunks, or to bundle up in my parka and grab my snow shovel. After a little thought, I decided the snow shovel was the better option....
Last night it snowed again, and today I shoveled the equivalent of four inches of soggy, sloppy, white slush off the sidewalks on and around my apartment. Needless-to-say, I'm a bit sore now. Unlike the other snowfalls this winter, this was the HEAVY back-breaking stuff. But, now that I'm back inside again, I think it's time for a nice warm shower, and a short nap. That should ease these screaming muscles! :)
Last night, in the spirit of our submarine interest, Scott and I sat down and watched the Sean Connery film, "The Hunt For Red October". To know that this 1990 movie is already a classic, makes me feel a bit old. But, nonetheless, watching it, one can easily see how it has earned that reputation. With one heck of a well-known cast, this is by far the best Tom Clancy film set on the big-screen.
Fellow actor/ blogger Jonathan Nail also has a birthday today. Granted he's a few years older than myself, but still... Two Jonathans, both of us pursuing careers in acting while working as artists, both of us maintain similarly titled notable weblogs, and we both share the same birthday. That's pretty ironic if you ask me!
1546 - Biblical reformer, Martin Luther dies at age 62. 1827 - Confederate Civil War general, Lewis Armistead is born. 1861 - Jefferson Davis is sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America. 1865 - Charleston, SC surrenders to the Union, and is burned by General Sherman. 1885 - Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are published. 1908 - U.S. postage stamps are sold for the first time. They cost only a penny. 1929 - The first Academy Awards are announced. 1930 - Pluto -- the ninth planet in our solar system -- is discovered 1930 - Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in an airplane. 1954 - Actor, John Travolta is born. 1977 - Space Shuttle Enterprise goes on its maiden flight. 1980 - I am born. 2001 - NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, Sr., dies at the Daytona 500.
"In 1991, a fisherman's net snagged on a massive object on the seafloor 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey. Professional diver John Chatterton went down to investigate and discovered an intact German U-boat from World War II, complete with unexploded torpedoes and the remains of its crew. Astonishingly, neither the American or British authorities, nor even the German government, had any record of a U-boat having sunk there.
Chatterton and his diving partner Richie Kohler set out to establish the submarine's identity. After six years of work, which included the tragic loss of three divers, they finally did so. The boat is U-869, a submarine previously thought lost off the coast of Morocco."
Scott and I watched the NOVA PBS documentary of Chatterton's efforts to identify this sub last night on DVD. It's a fascinating story, and one any history buff may enjoy. To think that in all, Germany commissioned 1407 U-Boats, is a staggering fact. Even moreso is it to realize just how close some of them really came to America's East Coast -- without us ever knowing!
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." - I Corinthians 13:4-8
I am reminded of this quote by the visit of a good friend last night. She does not realize it, but her friendship is teaching me a lot about love. Someday I may share that fact with her. Someday.
What is greater than God, More evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you'll die? Send this to 10 people and then press shift and you will get the answer. You won't believe this, but it does give you the answer!!!!
To those that celebrate it, Happy Valentines Day. :)
Personally, as far as I'm concerned, I'm not all that fond of the "holiday", and that has very little to do with my status as a single bachelor. See, I don't really need a special day to let my friends and loved ones know that I care about them. I try to make a point of doing that far more frequently. To me, it just seems foolish to make such a big point out of celebrating love merely on Valentines Day, when it should be something shared all 365 days of the year.
Now I'm certainly not opposed to love and romance -- far far from it actually! But the commercialization of Valentine's Day annoys me. Those who want to profit from the holiday try to convince you that your relationship is in trouble, and you have to prove it monetarily -- in the middle of February -- to keep it alive and well. Hah. Right. That's a stupid concept. True love is much stronger and deeper than that. And it's certainly not going to fail if gifts or flowers aren't recieved on February 14th.
However, if you do happen to fall for that romantic commercialization, or if Valentines Day truely is a special day for you, then, hey, go for it! Celebrate. Have fun. I won't think any less of you. But as far as I'm concerned, I plan to continue celebrating the love in my life all year long. It's one of the greatest blessings God could ever bless us with, and one day doesn't even come close to thanking Him for it. Try a lifetime!
So, this Valentines Day, I am proud to say, I have sent no flowers. I have given no chocolates. I have shared no passionate kisses. But to all those whom I do love and care about, I'll send you a warm hug. Your love and friendship means far more to me than money or gifts, and I'm willing to show that as often as I can!
Have a blessed Monday all, enjoy the new week, and until next time,
I went for a walk late this evening. The weather was comfortable for a mid-February night, the sky was clear with the twinkling of the thousands of city lights all around me, and the silence was serenely peaceful. This is what I call a beautiful evening!
With Spring just around the corner, I have a feeling I'll be seeing more nights like this. Perhaps the time has come to start getting into the habit of taking more late night walks again. :P
Have a blessed Sunday all. I'll see you again on the morrow.
Another beautiful example of photography that captures the essence of human life. All photos are from the files of the Chicago-Sun Times: Real Chicago.
The photographers who took these images were able to do more than simply record what was happening in front of their cameras. They recorded truths-about human life and about the place and times in which these pictures were taken.
Wow, this is quite an honor. Apparently my weblog was named by Yankee Fog as the Top Website of 2004! Quite an honor indeed!
And the Website of the Year award goes to...
1. JonBaas.com If you aren't a regular visitor to JonBaas.com, it's going to be difficult to fully explain just how profoundly insightful it is. All I can tell you is, creator Jon Baas is a genius--and I say that with full knowledge of how sadly devalued the word "genius" has become. Trust me; in Baas's case, it's an understatement.
(Well, many thanks to Gerard for bringing this to my attention!) :P
It snowed again last night -- just when the thick blanket of white already on the ground was starting to melt away. But, I didn't mind the shoveling. Only about an inch and a half had fallen, and it was the fluffy kind. Besides, around 8am when I went outside, the sun was shining brightly, and it was a beautiful morning. You can't wake up to much better than that!
But I'm off to take care of the matters for the day now though, including the shortening of this somewhat extensive to-do list. We'll see how far into it I get. :P
Have a blessed Wednesday all, and until next time,
Some interesting news to start the day. A warm congrats to fellow actor/blogger, Wil Wheaton. After a long acting drought, he's just earned himself a guest role on a very popular television show! Well done friend! Have fun and break a leg!
It always surprises me how people can get so excited about the SuperBowl and/or the commercials. Lately I've been losing interest quite rapidly. Unless the Green Bay Packers make it into a SuperBowl, I could care less about the game. And, considering how utterly unremarkable the commercials have been lately, I don't even get all that excited about those anymore. In fact, I had no qualms ignoring the SuperBowl this year. None whatsoever. I guess the thrill wore off back in college.
But, for those that may be curious, as I was this morning, I decided to check out the review of the SuperBowl commercials at IFilm. As follows are my personal reviews of the best and worst of those spots.
TOP FOUR COMMERCIALS: 1. Diet Pepsi - P. Diddy Truck Trend
2. Budweiser: Cedric Designated Driver Dance (tie)
2. Bud Light: Cedric Fantasy (tie)
4. FedEx: Dancing Burt
MOST CREATIVE COMMERCIALS: 1. McIlhenny Tabasco: Tanlines
2. Ford Mustang - Frozen in Fargo
3. Toyota Hybrid: Get Moving
MOST APPROPRIATE COMMERCIAL: Anheuser Busch: Thanking the Troops
I'd like to see this one air on a regular basis.
HONORABLE MENTION: Heineken: Brad Pitt
DUMBEST COMMERCIAL(S): Both McDonalds "Lincoln Fry" commercials
Stupid and uncreative. Ugh!
WORST COMMMERCIAL(S): Both Godaddy.com commercials
...Enjoy, and feel free to share your favorites. Have a blessed Monday!
Lesson of the Day: I Think I need more of a social life.
Case in point, this evening I was invited to spend some time with friends during one of their [board] game nights. We ended up watching the animated film, "Anastasia", played a game or two, and chatted along a broad range of topics. In the end, it was a very enjoyable gathering, and one spent in the company of good people, most of whom I had not met before.
Unfortunately, as it so often happens, I tend to get so caught up in my own personal projects that I forget to sit back, enjoy the company of the few friends I am still in close proximity to, and even get out and meet new ones. Then again, maybe I've never been an overly socializing person. Who knows. But, this evening, I had the opportunity to spend time with an existing friend, and possibly meet three more. That's a blessing I should try to be more open too.
Afterall, people make the world go round. But acquaintences make it spin with ease.
It's been an interesting Friday, although, unfortunately, not quite as productive as I had hoped. I was a little too chummy with my arch-nemesis, Procrastination. He stops by every once in a while, and when he does, we often have a lot to catch up on. But thankfully he's gone now, and it's back to business as usual. Tomorrow, I hear that my good friend Determination is stopping by again. I'm looking forward to it. I always enjoy his company.
Today did almost break a record though. Had it not been for that two hour nap earlier in the afternoon, this would have been the first time in quite a while (possibly even a year) that I would have been conscious for 24 straight hours. Yes, that's nearly a full rotation of the earth without any sleep. For me that's rare. I may have been able to accomplish that feat with greater ease back in college, but I'm not in college anymore. These days I usually hit my limit somewhere around 18 hours, at best.
In other local [JonBaas] news today. Here in Milwaukee, the weather was absolutely beautiful today! I took a walk in the mid-afternoon to run a few errands, and the temperature was in the high 40's. Very nice weather! No hat, scarf, or gloves were needed, and the jacket stayed unzipped. The depths of snow still on the ground were melting and running into the gutters as muddy, salty water, the sky was proudly revealing the warming sun, and I even saw a few people out and about on their bicycles. Today was a beautiful day, and one I was thrilled to be able to enjoy. Tomorrow I hear the temperatures are going to top 50 degrees. Maybe I'll have another walk to look forward to!
And finally, as I close this these Friday hours, how about a quote for the day. This one I felt was quite appropriate. Enjoy.
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
As many of you may know, I enjoy listening to country music. But what you don't know is that I've always dreamed of writing a song that launches me into a music career. Well, with the help of this country western song generator, I finally came up with something. Think this'll work?:
I met her in Sheboygan wrestlin' gators;
I can still recall that burlap bra she wore;
She was drinkin Dr. Pepper when she shot me,
and I knew no guy would ever love her more;
I promised her I'd have my rash forever;
She said to me she couldn't stand my tie;
But who'd have thought she'd yodel with no clothes on;
But that's the way that pygmies say goodbye.
Hah! Hot bad, huh? :P
Create your own lyrics for country songs. Every random verse has the potential of launching you into fits of laughter. The above lyrics were my favorite.
Have a blessed day all, and enjoy the laughs! Until next time,
Yes, after months of speculation, the news is official. UPN has announced today that the fifth STAR TREK television series (aka, "Enterprise") will not continue beyond this fourth season. They have decided to cancel the show and put the franchise to rest. The series finale will air on Friday, May 13, 2005.
This is sad news for Star Trek. Sad news indeed.
Sad news for me too, a life-long fan of Star Trek. Call me a nerd, Trekkie, nut, you can use whatever term you want. It would probably be applicable in some way. But I can't help it. I grew up on Star Trek. I chose to grow up on Star Trek. It presented a future of adventure, time-travel, space exploration, and unique characters. It presented me with a universe to dream in. And being a creative kid from birth, I did a lot of dreaming! :P
I became a huge fan of the franchise starting with the adventures of Picard and company in The Next Generation. I watched many of the Classic Kirk episodes (which had originally been before my time). I religiously tuned into Deep Space Nine, easily making it my favorite Trek series, and I enjoyed Voyager (despite it's often questionable continuity). Enterprise has been no different. Continuity or not, Trek is in my blood. And that's something you can't put a price on.
As I was growing up, I could often be found drawing dozens of designs for starships, aliens, alien worlds, and unique future technology. I greatly enjoyed my visits to the local Star Trek conventions with my father. Those were probably even some of my greatest childhood memories. I adored seeking autographs and conversation from the stars, building a few of my own Trek collections, and from time-to-time enjoying the occasional roleplaying event in the tradition of the Original series. Those were good times. Great memories. Heck, I even had the serious childhood dream of one day working professionally behind the scenes. I longed to thoroughly drown myself in the artistic aspects of production, such as painting mattes, building models, dressing the sets, etc. That stuff intruiged me then, it still has a hold on me today.
More recently, though, now that I am pursuing a career in acting, that artist's dream has become an actor's dream. Odd as it may sound, I've dreamt of earning a role on the series someday. Maybe even a walk-on role as a Starfleet crewman. He wouldn't have had to say anything. No, he'd just be there -- forevermore part of one man's unique vision of a possible science fiction future. A vision that I couldn't help but make my own.
But, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end -- even if prematurely. It's just sad to see ratings and money be the reason. Those Trek dreams of mine, they may never come to fruition. The franchise has been put to rest. It seems to be over. For how long? Well, unless something happens, years at best. I'm going to miss my regular sci-fi universe, and I'm going to miss looking forward to the next week's adventure.
But it's been a good run over these nearly twenty years. Even through the ups and downs. As far as I'm concerned, the Trek franchise may cease it's run on television, but it's still going on in my dreams. I'll still keep blazing a path into the unknown through the successful Star Trek online roleplaying game I maintain. And my creative ideas will still find their way through my art onto paper. I'm a Star Trek fan for life, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, here's to all those in production who have worked hard to preserve that adventurous future dreamed up by Gene Roddenbury. Here's to all the fellow fans like myself who grew up making it their own. And here's to eighteen years of a science fiction universe that has made such an impact on the lives of so many dreamers.
Here's to Star Trek. May she continue to live on in the hearts of those who have truely made her what she is today. May [entertainment] history never forget the name, Enterprise.
So, how about something different this evening? Maybe a little humor.... Some interesting celebrity rumors perhaps? ...Alright then. Each of the following was generated randomly with this online progam. Enjoy!
RUMOR #1: "It is rumored that George Bush was seen surfing the net just before an American Journal expose, while recieving a case of Stinger Missles, implicating involvement in a sinister scheme designed to win the browser wars."
Hmm. Stinger missles?! Wow, he really DOES want to win the browser wars! :P
RUMOR #2: "It is rumored that Dennis Rodman was seen decoding hidden meanings within Star Trek just before a UFO sighting, while recieving a case of alien-human hybrid embryos, implicating involvement in a sinister scheme designed to secure worldwide movie distribution rights."
See, now I always knew Dennis Rodman was a little strange. :)
RUMOR #3: "It is rumored that Alanis Morrisette was seen digitally enhancing a bootleg copy of Mel Brook's Spaceballs, just before filming a made-for-TV movie, while recieving a case of handwriting samples implicating a sinister scheme designed to win the rap wars."
Wow, Ms. Morrisette is one busy girl! How does she find the time!?
So, are the above rumors true? Well, you know, I don't really know. Could be. But then again, I'll let you be the judge of that! Have fun, enjoy, ...and I'll catch you all again later this evening.