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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


"Bork, Bork, Bork"

Let's start the day with a little cooking lesson shall we? How about a lesson from a famous foreign chef. Yes, he's incompetent, he's hard to understand, and he has a certain affinity for throwing kitchen utensils... but he'll definitely make you laugh! I promise!

So, turn up your speakers, grab your popcorn, sit back, and be dazzled! I bring you... cooking with everyone's favorite muppet -- the infamous Swedish Chef. Enjoy! .... [video = 14 mins.]

-Jon

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007


"Jenny, are you there?"

In the 1980s, a song by the band Tommy Tutone, titled "Jenny/867-5309" (about a guy finding a girl's phone number on a wall, and wanting to call it) sparked a fad of people dialing that phone number asking for the girl named Jenny.

A few years back, someone called the number 867-5309 on every single area code in the United States, and recorded the result. His findings are rather amusing: "Jenny, are you there?"

-Jon

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"Star Trek XI: Christmas Day 2008"

As of today, it's official... the next Star Trek movie (currently untitled) will be released in theatres on Christmas Day 2008. Casting is unconfirmed. Filming will begin this fall.

-Jon

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"Lost Cities"

Here's some history for you: Beautiful photographs of 'lost cities.'

-Jon

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Monday, February 26, 2007


"Best Supporting Actress"

On April 21, 2004, Jennifer Hudson -- a finalist on Season 3 of American Idol -- was voted out of the contest and sent home. In November 2005, she was cast as Effie in the film adaptation of "Dreamgirls", and on January 15th, 2007, she won a Golden Globe for her role. Last night at the Academy Awards, she went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for that same role.

"Dreamgirls" was Jennifer's first professional film role. She is now only the 13th actor in the history of the Oscars to win an Academy Award in her debut role. Congratulations Miss Hudson!

-Jon

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"The Internet"

Back in the early 90's a revolution was taking place.... a revolution called 'The Internet'. Back then this was big news. Now, though -- merely a decade later -- the internet permeates every facet of our daily lives. Here's a 1993 Canadian primetime report all about this amazing new revolution in technology. Keep an eye on how dated the video is, and remember... this news feature was only 14 years ago! Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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"Cat in a Bowl"

Now here's a cute video clip:
This curious cat managed to get it's entire body inside a fish bowl! ... [video]

-Jon

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Sunday, February 25, 2007


"Blizzard #2: The Aftermath"

Yep. We most definitely had another snow storm last night, only this time it was mixed with rain. That means there are -- once again -- massive snow banks all over the place, wet sloppy roads and sidewalks, and, dare I say more back-breaking snow removal to do. And, unlike the first snowstorm back in early December, shoveling this stuff is like hauling heavy bags of sand.

-Jon

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Saturday, February 24, 2007


"Blizzard #2"

On December 1, 2006, we had our first blizzard of the winter season around here. Since then, it's been relatively calm. Back on February 4-5, 1924 (82 years earlier), Milwaukee recieved it's all-time worst snowstorm, clocking in at 26" inches. This weekend, our current (and second) blizzard of the season has the potential of matching that long-standing record.

Milwaukee County
Blizzard Warning:


Issued at: 9:39 PM CST 2/24/07, expires at: 5:45 AM CST 2/25/07

"A blizzard warning remains in effect until 6 pm cst Sunday.
Snow, heavy at times, will overspread all of southern wisconsin tonight. Areas from marquette through sheboygan county and points north will see the snow kick by midnight. Meanwhile intense snowfall, along with isolated thunderstorms mainly along and south of interstate 94 have increased snowfall rates. Some sleet may be mixed in with the snow at times. Snowfall expected tonight will be in the 7 to 14 inch range with several more inches expected on Sunday.

In addition, strong east winds will gust to 40 mph at times resulting in blizzard conditions with visibilities reduced to less than one quarter mile at times. The strongest winds are expected tonight into Sunday morning.

A blizzard warning is issued when sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or more will combine with falling and/or blowing snow to result in near whiteout conditions with visibilities around 1/4 mile or less for 3 hours or more.

This will be a very dangerous situation. If you leave the safety of indoors, you are putting your life at risk. Travel is not recommended tonight and Sunday."

The local 10:00pm weather report even went to far as say Milwaukee could get up to 16" inches of snowfall this evening. That, of course, does not count the 6" inches that fell Friday night, nor the snow that could fall during the day on Sunday. Yep, this'll be another doozy of a winter storm.

"7 deaths blamed on winter storm in Wis."

-Jon

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"Guatemala Sinkhole"

Now this is one scary hole!: Guatemala Sinkhole.

A 330-foot-deep sinkhole killed two teenage siblings when it swallowed a dozen homes early Friday, forcing the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people in a crowded Guatemala City neighborhood. Officials blamed the sinkhole on recent rains and an underground ruptured sewage main.

And here are some amazing photos.

-Jon

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"It's not over yet."

This past week, it's been so Spring-like here in Milwaukee, all the snow we've had on the ground has been melting away. And we had a lot of snow! In fact, as of yesterday, I could see the grass in my front yard. And all that was left were tiny patches of dirty white slush scattered about where the larger snowbanks used to be.

In the past few hours, though, we're singing a familiar tune again.

It's snowing. And according to the weather forcast, we can expect 4-8" inches by this morning, with a Winter Storm Watch for tonight into Sunday. By Sunday morning, another 6-10" of snow is expected, with an additional 2-4" inches throughout the day. By Thursday, it could rain.

So... I guess Winter isn't ready to go into hibernation just yet. Thankfully, temperatures should remain in mid 30's. For Southeastern Wisconsin, that's not too bad!

-Jon

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Friday, February 23, 2007


"Pictures From The Sky"

Here are some gorgeous photos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand: Pictures From The Sky.

-Jon

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"Movie Friday: "Gopher Broke"

Another Friday, another movie! This week it's a film by Blur Studio, titled, "Gopher Broke".
It's the animated story of an unfortunate animal. A very unfortunate animal... I think you'll like it!

Have a great Friday all!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Modeling a Baby Cake"

For a cake decorating contest, Michelle Wibowo sculpted a life-like cake in the shape of a newborn baby. She won. Her artistry is amazing, but I'd have a hard time eating it. ... [video]

Take a look at a gallery of her sugar art figurines!

-Jon

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


"Quote of the Day"

"What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible."
- Theodore Roethke

-Jon

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"Bolero on One Cello"

Stringfever is a group of three brothers and a cousin who play electric stringed instruments. In this YouTube video, the four play Ravel’s Bolero on one electric cello!

Or check out the band's official website.

UPDATE:
This Stringfever History of Music is pretty good too! ... [video]

-Jon

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"JonBaas.com Message Board"

This website now has a new official message board. New topics, new discussions, and even a few challenges. I'll be participating there quite often myself. Feel free to join me!

Have a great Thursday all!

-Jon

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


"A New George"

The newest $1 coin (bearing the likeness of George Washington) was rolled out by the U.S. Mint this past Thursday. Every three months following, the design on the coin will change, featuring a new president in the order in which they served. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison will be honored later this year. The program is scheduled to run into 2016.

"U.S. Mint rolls out new dollar coin"

-Jon

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"Blog Stats"

Just for fun, I did a little number-crunching this afternoon. I decided to investigate my blog stats and see what I could discover. The following are some of the results (Note: blog results only):
Daily Musings:
Total Blog Posts: .................. 1,330
Total Blog Comments: ........... 792

Unique Blog Visitors: ............. 36,277
Most Popular Viewing Day ..... Monday
Google PageRank: ................ 5/10

Referrers:
Website ............................... 63.45%
Search Engine ...................... 36.53%

Top Website Referrers:
1. JonBaas.com (index only) ..................... 43.14%
2. blog.hotornot.com ................................ 3.17%
3. images.google.com/imgres ................... 2.46% (not found)
4. wherethehelldidmyjobgo.blogspot.com ... 2.02%
5. presurfer.meepzorp.com ....................... 1.90% (blogger)

Referrers on the Rise:
- http://www.myspace.com/jonbaas ........... 1.41% (my profile)

Blog Stat Analysis:
  • My blog is actually the most popular page on JonBaas.com.
  • I've gained a growing readership over the past four years, although, only a very small percentage of those readers actually leave comments.
  • Only 1/3 of all my new blog visitors come from search engines.
  • I have a loyal readership (Thank you all!).
  • My blog is fairly well linked among other well-read bloggers.
  • The main page of JonBaas.com gains significant traffic as well, and most of those visitors choose to link through to my blog. (aka, most of my main page traffic chooses to read my blog before visiting any other page on my website.)
  • My blog (and site) attracts a fair amount of advertisers.

-Jon

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"Is it Spring yet?"

Wow! Current Milwaukee temperature... 48F. Is it Spring yet?

-Jon

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007


"Frigid No More"

Good news... the frigid cold has disappeared. Here in Milwaukee, the below zero temperatures (and -30F wind chills) seem to be a thing of the past. In fact, it feels far more like Spring right now, with temperatures in the high 30's and low 40's. The 10"-12" of snow that we've had on the ground is starting to recede, and the grass underneath is showing more and more each day. According to the weather forecast, we're even expecting RAIN by the weekend!

Yeah, rain -- in February! Talk about a drastic change in the weather!

-Jon

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"Manah Manah"

"The question is, what *is* a manah manah?"
"The question is, who cares." ... [video]

-Jon

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Sunday, February 18, 2007


"This Day in History"

On this day in history...
1546 - Biblical reformer, Martin Luther dies at age 62.
1564 - Italian artist, Michelangelo dies in Rome at age 89.
1678 - John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is published.
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.
1898 - Enzo Ferrari, Italian designer of the Ferrari automobile is born.
1901 - Hubert Cecil Booth patents a dust removing suction cleaner.
1908 - U.S. postage stamps are sold for the first time. They cost only a penny.
1915 - During WWI, Germany blockades Britain with submarines.
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.
1932 - Sonja Henie wins her 6th straight World Women's figure skating title.
1954 - Actor, John Travolta is born.
1959 - Women in Nepal vote for the first time.
1960 - The eighth Winter Olympic Games open in Squaw Valley, CA.
1964 - Actor, Matt Dillon is born.
1977 - Space Shuttle Enterprise goes on its maiden flight.
1979 - It snows in the Sahara Desert for 30 minutes.
1980 - I was born.
2001 - NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, Sr., dies at the Daytona 500.
2005 - Hunting with dogs in England and Wales becomes illegal.
2007 - The holiday of Fastelavn is celebrated in Denmark.
2007 - The Chinese New Year is celebrated.

On this day in history... I also celebrate my 27th birthday.

-Jon

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Friday, February 16, 2007


"Movie Friday: "A Work in Progress"

Yep. It's another Friday, so, I've got another movie for you! This week it's an untitled short film by Wes Ball, referred to simply as, "A Work in Progress". And it's a cute one, sure to make you smile. Take a moment, grab your popcorn, and enjoy!

Have a great Friday all!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Fish Face Art"

Here's something cool and creative: Fish Face Art.

-Jon

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Thursday, February 15, 2007


"Beatboxing Flutist"

I've seen amazing flutists. I've seen skilled beatboxers. But I have never seen anything like this.
Yes, this guy is a beatboxing flutist! And he's quite good at it too. Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007


"Happy Valentine's Day!"

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"Quote of the Day"

"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."
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

-Jon

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007


"Astronomy Picture of the Day"

Check out these awesome astronomy photos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Here is today's space photo. ... Enjoy!

-Jon

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"Leader Personality Test"

Take a test and find out which famous leader you are like: Famous Leader Test.

My results:

"You are a people loving Macedonian dwarf. You are Mother Teresa. You lead with your good works and helpful nature. You just love to give."

Ok. Well, considering that I'm over six feet tall, and born in the United States, I don't really qualify as said "Macedonian dwarf". But, I can go with the rest. That sounds complementary!

-Jon

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Monday, February 12, 2007


"Snowy Mexico"

Yep. It snowed... in Mexico. Well, ok, not the country, the town -- Mexico, NY. And, as you all know, last week, New York was the recipient of at least 9.5-feet of snow. So, to show you just how much snow that really is, here are some amazing photos! ... Enjoy!

-Jon

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Sunday, February 11, 2007


"Buried -- update"

Now THIS is a lot of snow: "N.Y. lake effect snow hits 9.5-feet deep"

-Jon

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Saturday, February 10, 2007


"Practice Makes Purr-fect"

Nora enjoys playing the piano. She’s no Mozart, but for a cat, she’s pretty good.
She’ll even play a duet! Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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"An Extraordinary Wedding Photo"

Marine Sergeant Ty Ziegel is a true hero. He was severely wounded in Iraq by a suicide bomber, and left disfigured for the rest of his life. Yet, after months of recovery in the hospital, and numerous operations, he was eventually able to return home — and marry his childhood sweetheart. That alone makes this an extraordinary wedding photo! ... (more photos)

"The triumph of love"

-Jon

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Friday, February 09, 2007


"Movie Friday: Love Letters"

So... another Friday, another movie.

Today, though, we'll go with a romantic theme. Afterall, this is the weekend before Valentine's Day. What better time to share a little love, right?

So, as I was looking through possible short films, I came across this one... and it won, hands down. It was originally produced by a 38-year-old 3D animator, named Jeff, as a way of proposing to his girlfriend Natasha. He assembled a team of 20 animators, co-workers, and a few students from an animation class at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco, and in just three months, they put together this short little four minute film.

When it was completed, Jeff surprised his Natasha by bringing her to the Parkway Theater in Oakland, and playing the film on the big screen in front of over 100 of his friends and family. The event was filmed for the TLC television show "A Perfect Proposal." ... She, of course, said yes.

So, that said, and without further adeu, I bring you, "Love Letters". Enjoy!

Have a great Friday all,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


"Travel Photos"

Excellent photography by Trey Ratcliff: Stuck In Customs.

-Jon

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"An Eternal Embrace"

Archaeologists in Italy, have found the remains of a couple locked in a tender embrace, one that [they claim] has endured for more than 5,000 years.

The well-preserved skeletons were discovered facing each other, their arms intertwined, during excavation work in an industrial zone within the northern city of Mantua. Over the next few months, scientists will examine the skeletons to try and establish how old they were when they died, and how long they've been buried there.

An eternal hug. Love in the face of death. Now that's romantic!

"Archeologists find couple in 6,000 year old final embrace"

"Locked in an eternal embrace"

-Jon

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


"If I Die Before You Wake"

Back home now I know you're prob'ly sleepin',
Over here it's the middle of the day.
I finally found some time to write a letter,
Sittin' here a half a world away.

I heard about all them folks protestin',
As if I really want this war.
But that don't stop me from believin'
There's just some things worth fightin' for.

And if I die before you wake,
I pray the world will take
A good look at what God's given us.

If we could only understand
Everything is in His hands.
All we need is a little faith and trust.
I want you to know it ain't too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake.

Tell everybody that I miss them,
and I can't wait to get back home.
But until then, I'll serve my country
and be proud to wear this uniform.

And if I die before you wake,
I pray the world will take
A good look at what God's given us.

If we could only understand
Everything is in His hands.
All we need is a little faith and trust.
I want you to know it ain't too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake.

No, it ain't too high a price to pay
if I die before you wake.

Song by Dustin Evans. See a video tribute.

For my brother Ben, and for all the men and women of the U.S. military fighting for democracy and freedom overseas. Stay safe. Come home soon.

-Jon

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"The March of the Emperor"

Back in March 2005, the documentary film, "March of the Penguins" came out in theatres. It was all about the emperor penguins of Antarctica. Here's a short clip showing how baby penguins learn to walk. Awww. Cute! ... [video]

And, now that you've seen the above film clip, here's an amusing French TV spot promoting the movie. When the film was released in France, it was originally titled, "La Marche de l’empereur", or, "The March of the Emperor". This TV spot capitalizes on the altered title. Enjoy!

-Jon

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007


"Quote of the Day"

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
- Victor Hugo

-Jon

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Monday, February 05, 2007


"What Hands Can Do"

Here's a neat shadow play that shows just how artistic hands can be. It's actually a short commercial for a car, but nonetheless impressive! Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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"SuperBowl Commercials"

Yesterday was "SuperBowl Sunday". Big news in America. However, unless the Green Bay Packers are one of the two teams playing, I'm usually not all interested. The only reason I *would* watch the game, would be for the silly commercials... and yesterday, I passed on those too. Thankfully, I didn't miss much. They weren't all that memorable.

There was, however, one ad that stood out to me as being a cut above the rest. Humorous, witty, and cleverly executed. This year, it was the Blockbuster commercial. Give it a watch, and see if you don't agree with me!

And, for those of you that are curious, here are the rest of this year's SuperBowl ads. Enjoy.

Have a great Monday all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


"The Hensel Twins"

These two girls impress me to no end. See for yourself!

Abby and Brittany Hensel are conjoined twins from Minnesota. They share many body organs, and each twin controls one arm and one leg, yet they coodinate so well they seem to move as one. And what's even more impressive... they're nearly 17 years old, and in high school!

Here’s a video update on how Abby and Brittany are doing. Truely amazing!

-Jon

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Saturday, February 03, 2007


"Let's Be Friends"

Here's your daily cute fix... A blog devoted to cute animal photos: Let's be friends. Touching photos of unusual animal friendships. Enjoy!

-Jon

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"Silly (but cute) Songs"

Courtesy of my Jenny... Let's have some youthful fun, and start our Saturday with a few catchy songs, shall we? Today's selection consists of a few little ditty's by those famous vegetables -- yes, the Veggie Tales. Enjoy! ... [videos]

Let's start with a cute classic:

- "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything"

And two more favorites:

- "Song of the Cebu"
- "The Belly Button Song"

Enjoy, have a wonderful Saturday, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, February 02, 2007


"Which Side of the Road?"

In about 75% of the countries in the world, people drive on the right side of the road. In the past, almost everybody traveled on the left side because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent, and their scabbard further from him.

In the late 1700s, however, teamsters in France and the United States began hauling farm products in big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. These wagons had no driver's seat; instead the driver sat on the left rear horse, so he could keep his right arm free to lash the team. Since he was sitting on the left, he naturally wanted everybody to pass on the left so he could look down and make sure he kept clear of the oncoming wagon’s wheels. Therefore he kept to the right side of the road.

Interesting, huh? Consider it your "Random Thought of the Day"! ... [grin]

Have a great weekend all!
-Jon

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"The Big Chill"

Brrr, it's cold outside! Here's my local weather forecast:

Tonight: Evening flurries with a better chance of snow showers overnight. Cold. Low 4F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 40%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.

Saturday: Windy conditions and snow showers. Very cold. Wind chills approaching -15F. High 8F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 40%. Snowfall around one inch.

Saturday night: Bitterly cold. Variably cloudy with light snow flurries possible. Wind chills approaching -25F. Low -8F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.

Sunday: Variably cloudy with light snow flurries possible. Very cold. Wind chills may approach -20F. High 4F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.

Yep, I'd call that "frigid". I think I'll just stay inside this weekend!

-Jon

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"The Illustrious February 2nd"

Yay! Happy Groundhog Day! ...Who's up for some BBQ? :)

-Jon

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"The ChubbChubbs"

It's Friday again! You know what that means, right?... Yep, it's "Movie Friday".

So... here's another cute little film by Pixar: "The ChubbChubbs". Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


"Drifting -- by Andy McKee"

One of today's finest new fingerstyle guitarists, Andy McKee is lauded by many critics as the most promising fingerstyle guitarist to arrive on the scene in quite a while. Over the last thirteen years, he has cited numerous influences ranging from Metallica, Bjork, Don Ross, and even Tchaikovsky. As a result, he's created a truely unique voice and style on the acoustic guitar.

Take a moment and listen to one of his original compositions titled, "Drifting". Not only does he play the guitar, but he also manages to fit in a rhythm as well. Truely inspiring. Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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