"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." - John F. Kennedy -- Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
We will never forget those who carry(ed) that burden. Those are our true heroes.
It doesn't matter how brainy you are or how much education you've had, you can still improve and expand your mind. Boosting your mental faculties doesn't have to mean studying hard or becoming a reclusive book worm.
There are lots of tricks, techniques and habits, as well as changes to your lifestyle, diet and behaviour that can help you flex your grey matter and get the best out of your brain cells. Here are 11 of them.
Yep. I think I'm recovering from this cold now. Or at least I hope so. Getting my voice back has got to be a good sign, though, right? A few sniffles and a bit of a sore throat remain, but otherwise, I'm almost "fit as a fiddle". I'm probably not out of the doghouse just yet, but we'll play it safe through the weekend and see how I am on Monday. :)
So, have a blessed Saturday all, and until next time,
The year is 2020. A new telescope orbiting high above the Earth has just made a discovery that will change our lives forever. It has found two habitable worlds outside our solar system: Blue Moon and Aurelia.
Take a look at what extraterrestrial life might really look like. Based on the latest scientific research of the world's leading scientific minds, this is a glimpse at an alien world that goes far beyond the human imagination.
Oh, and as a bit of trivia, if you do watch the sample video clip, let me know if you can guess who the Star Trek actor hosting the series is. :)
Tuesday morning I awoke up with a splitting headache, and from there, this frustrating head cold set in. Sure, with a little aspirin, the headache and slight chills vanished in about a day, but the stuffy head and mind-numbing congestion still remain. Plus, for someone who really appreciates a healthy voice, having a severely dimished one is proving to be a real challenge.
However, since I do like to look on the bright side of things, there are actually a few blessings I've discovered about being sick:
First of all, it's rather pointless for me to try and answer the telephone. The poor person on the other end wouldn't be able to hear me anyway, so, why bother, right? I just let them leave a voice message, or let Scott answer it. And, if it's an important call, I can always contact them through other means, or wait until my voice comes back this weekend. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against talking on the phone -- it's a great invention, it's just much more convenient not having to get up and go running to it every time it rings. :)
Second, you really come to appreciate the blessing of a good voice -- especially when you don't have one. Earlier today, Scott was joking around with a variety of character voices, and I so wanted to join in (I am a trained voice actor afterall!), but without the ability to manipulate my own vocal cords, I was reminded of just how much I've lost. Communication truely is the pivital wheel upon which society spins. Without it, life is a heck of a lot harder!
Third, water becomes even more of a valuable commodity. When you're sick, the body needs fluids to help flush out the offending intruders, so, you drink a lot more of it. I'm already an aquaholic when I'm healthy, but being sick tends to remind you how blessed we all are to have that good clean water to drink. Especially when 2/3 of the world doesn't have that same kind of clean water. It makes you think, doesn't it.
Fourth, sleep becomes a hobby when you're not feeling so hot. Usually, when I'm healthy, I rather be up and about doing something productive or mentally stimulating. But when you're sick, your bed tends to look a little more inviting. It's warm, comfortable, and always there for you. And it's really the best place to recover when your under the weather. But, once again, we in these first world countries take this for granted. Not everyone in the world has a nice warm bed.
And finally, when you're sick, you tend to -- even subcontiously -- act more cautiously around others. Point of fact... My landlord stopped by earlier today to drop off the details of a project he was interested in having me do for him. I felt a little strange having to lean in to talk to him just so he could hear me. However, later on I realized that when I did lean in, I wasn't talking right at him. Without knowing it, I was being cautious so as not to breath on him. By not breathing on him, I was hoping to minimize the chances that he might catch this same cold.
It's weird. When we're sick, we just wish the world would slow down and meet us on our level -- the level at which we feel. And we get frustrated when it doesn't. We feel powerless, and useless. Sometimes we even get upset at those around us. But let me ask you this.... When was the last time you felt blessed that you were sick? When was the last time you were laying in that nice warm bed, hacking up a storm, sipping down water, avoiding the telephone, and thinking.... "Man, being sick really does suck, but oh what a blessing it is!"?
Probably never. But here's a challenge for you. Next time you're sick, try thinking about all those blessings -- blessings that will undoubtedly put you back on your feet in a few days rather than six feet underground.
It really is powerful stuff if you take the time to think about it.
This past week, I finally returned to conducting business on Ebay, the world's premier online auction site. This time, however, I decided to familiarize myself with "Mystery Auctions" -- an Ebay category that has exploded in popularity as of late. If you like to be intruiged -- as I do -- you might be interested in taking a look at some of the creative ideas I've put up for auction!
NOTE: These are, unfortunately, limited time auction listings, so, my sincere appologies for those who may read this blog post after an auction has ended. If that is the case, an auction will no longer be on this list. But, I'll see about recapping my success (or lack thereof) with these ideas at a later date. So stay tuned for that.
For now, though, have fun and enjoy the creative side of comsumerism! :)
On Monday, my sister, Becca, finally graduated from VMI (Virginia Military Institute) out on the east coast. After four long years of intensive study, she is no longer a cadet, but a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. AirForce! Her 'major'? Psycology. Her first assignment? Down in Texas! Well done sis!
But the tale of the Baas connection to the military doesn't end there. Nope. As of about a month ago, my younger brother, Ben, has also joined the military. In his case, however, he has enlisted in the U.S. Marines! His training begins in September. His destination? Probably Iraq.
But, you know what? Regardless of where either of my two miltary siblings are assigned, I'm proud to be their older brother, and proud to be part of a miltary family. I now have all the more reason to support our troops, and even more reason to be "Proud to be an American"!
God's bless our troops, and may their work bring stability to freedom.
Today my parents (and two siblings) are returning from my sister's college graduation out on the East Coast. On their way back up to Minneapolis, they stopped to visit me here in Milwaukee. I thought the following quote summed up that visit quite nicely:
"The bond that links your family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach
Today is a sad day in the world of science fiction. With the airing of the poorly written Enterprise series finale, this marks the end of an epic eighteen (18) year run of Star Trek on television. And, as much as it pains me to say this, I think Star Trek is officially dead. Ended. History. No more. And you know why?....
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga killed it.
I'll be honest, there are many horrible things I could say about those two money-grubbing fan-hating hacks, but, in the spirit of this blog, and in the spirit of who I am, I will bite my tongue. Both men killed the franchise, and they did it intentionally. And, you know what, I can't even imagine what it's like to have millions of Trek fans hate your very being. But, you reap what you sow. And, right now, they're reaping a bumper crop.
If I'm ever walking down the street with fresh eggs in my grocery bag, and I see Berman or Braga coming the other way.... let's just say, by the time I get home, I won't have any fresh eggs left.
As of today, JonBaas.com is now officially three years old! The site went live on May 13, 2002, and has been successfully entertaining visitors ever since. To all of you who have helped make it what it is now, thank you.... and welcome to year four!
"Two paths diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the road less-traveled by. And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost
This continues to be my philosphy on life. And, you know what? It ain't changin'! So, for those of you who still think I'm foolish to chase the dreams I have chosen to chase.... Enjoy the highway. I'm taking the scenic route!
My blogging friend Nicole, at MONKLIKE - In Search of Heroes, posted the following "survey" on her blog. She passed the baton to me to do likewise, so, today I think I'll accept. I don't usually post "surveys" here on my blog, but this one intruiged me. So, this one's for you Nicole! Enjoy! :)
1) Total number of films I own on DVD/Video: - Serendipity - The Alamo - The Rookie - Shrek 2 - Elf - Patch Adams - The Horse Whisperer (This is a small list, I know, but keep in mind, I also live with a roomate who appreciates good films -- mostly classics. As such, the entire film collection in my apartment is quite extensive.)
2) The last film I bought: I don't recall, but the last film I recieved was Elf -- as a Christmas gift.
3) The last film I watched: At the theater: Fat Albert On DVD/Video: Monk (Season One)
4) Five films that I watch a lot or mean a lot to me: - Serendipity - The Cutting Edge - A Beautiful Mind - Cast Away - The Rookie (And, of course, my favorite, the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy!)
5)Which five people are you passing the baton on to?: (I generally do not pass along surveys).
Lately, there have been a number of things weighing heavily on my mind. So, today, the following quotes seem to be most appropriate. They always provide me with the comfort I need when matters of life seem so troublesome and uncertain.
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we cannot see." - Hebrews 11:1 (The Bible)
"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." - Psalm 50:15 (The Bible)
Lord, grant me courage to remain on task, strength to do my best, and faith to trust you are with me all the way.... For you are my guide, and today I have a race to run.
I recieved some very disheartening news today. Because of government mismanagment of funds, the State of Wisconsin will be closing down the Wisconsin Film Office. According to the state, promoting film in Wisconsin is not a priority.
On the upside, however, a coalition of arts organizations, film related businesses and filmmakers think otherwise, and have been meeting to create a private, nonprofit, industry-based alternative to the film office. Here's hoping they find success. Wisconsin continues to be a state rich in art and culture. To see that dimish because of lack of funds would be truely gut-wrenching.
Without you, your selfless love, or your tireless hours of support and discipline, none of us would be here. A big thank-you to my mom especially... She successfully raised six of us! And that's no small feat either! I love you Mom! ...[big hug].
Have a blessed Sunday all, and don't forget to honor your mother. She's earned it -- many times over!
This weekend, my roomate, Scott, went down to Illinois to visit his girlfriend, so he left the apartment to me for a few days. But I didn't mind. It ended up being pretty quiet and uneventful around here. And I like the quiet.
But I did get out for a bit this afternoon. I took a walk down to my old college. Actually, I had to pick something up from my actress sister, and since she was in the theatre directing the latest performance for her theatre class for kids, that made the task pretty easy. As it turns out, earlier in the week I had completed the promotional design for her upcoming summer production, and she was making today a bit of a payday for me. By the time I was on my way back home, however, the errand had also become a bit of a walk down memory lane. It's not often that I get back to my old alma mater. There's still a lot about that place that reminds me of the good old days. And those are usually good memories too.
Then, later in the evening -- and back at the apartment -- the day continued it's enjoyable trend, as I happily settled down to enjoy the quiet once again. This time, however, it was with a tasty pepperoni pizza, the DVD remote, and a good Romantic Comedy. Yep, it's been a good Saturday. Very relaxing too. Now the only question is, other than a few small projects tomorrow, what the heck am I going to do with my Sunday?
Well, I guess this Brewers streak ends at seven games. They lost the first game of their three-game series today with the Mets. But I forsee more streaks yet this season, so I'm not all that disappointed. Baseball is good in Brewtown.
Have a blessed rest of the day all. Until next time,
It's only five weeks into the baseball season, and the Milwaukee Brewers already have a seven-game winning streak and a seven-game losing streak. Today was the seventh straight win, and the end to a three-game sweep of their rivel Chicago Cubs.
Today was another one of those beautiful days -- warm, sunny, and full of joy. Just the kind of day I adore. Granted, I didn't get as much work done as I had planned, but I did pass on playing the Sims, took a walk in the early afternoon sun, continued my latest inventory project, and enjoyed an evening visit from my favorite female friend. I'd call that a good Wednesday!
Now I just have to remain on task for tomorrow. There's still much that needs to be done... and a rapidly waning week in which to do it. So, here's to a productive Thursday. May it be one worth writing about.
Take care all, have a blessed Thursday, and until next time,
Well, guess what I did for most of Tuesday? Yeah, I played The Sims. Why? Because I recently decided my computer seemed too naked without any good games on it. Unfortunately, it didn't take long before I was reminded just how addicting the game really is. And, just how fast the clock can fly by when you're not paying any attention to it.
Oh, well. So much for a productive day. I guess I'll just have to hide the CD before going to bed so I can be assured my to-do list takes precidence over returning to the world of everyone's favorite little people. Somehow, though, I have my doubts. But we'll see. :)
Have a blessed Wednesday all, and until next time,
I really love these kinds of vintage photos. They hold such charm and history. And the stories they tell are priceless. But, if pictures like these can say a thousand words, I can only wonder.... How will those in our future view the multitude of vibrant pixel-perfect snapshots we've taken?
The Baseball Almanac has dedicated itself to preserving the history of America's national pastime, and has rapidly grown into the ultimate interactive baseball encyclopedia, filled with more than 110,000 pages of in-depth baseball facts, original baseball research, and baseball statistics not found anywhere else on the internet.
I'll be honest, I've already gotten lost on this site many times. It's like the "Mall of America" for baseball fans. You can spend hours roaming it's halls, but you still never really see it all.
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon
Yep. Other plans. I guess that sums up this past week quite nicely. I got so caught up some things that I neglected others -- such as this blog. I hate it when that happens. But, I suppose it's bound to happen from time to time. I just go with the flow and take things as they come.
But, the good news is, I've been keeping busy, and that's what counts. While most of my time was spent on a major personal inventory project, a freelance theatrical design job, and general improve-my-self-employment endeavors, I can now get back into the flow of a broader range of projects once again. I get to shift my attention, and there's nothing more invigorating than change. So, that said, I think it's time to get back to your regularly scheduled programming.
For those of you who read my blog regularly, my appologies. And yes, I'm still alive. :)