"Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world." - Virgil A. Kraft
UPDATE: - (11:47 PM) Today's high temperature here in Milwaukee... 83F. Not at all drab and dirty. Gorgeous and sunny is more like it! The normal high? Only 60 degrees. Not that's what I call a perfect Spring day!
As many of you already know, I am deeply in love with a beautiful woman from Tennessee. Jenny -- as she is more commonly known -- has become my companion, the Love of my life, and the other half of my heart. Hopefully within a year or two, even my wife. I've written about her in the past, but beyond that, you haven't really had a chance to meet her. So I thought I'd change that.
As it just so happens, she recently made her MySpace profile (her "website" on the internet) viewable again. And as such, you can now discover a little more about her. You can even see a few images she posted, read some of her blog posts, say hi, etc.
And, on top of that, she has even agreed to let me interview her right here on my blog! Yep, that's right, my first blog interview -- ever! How cool is that! Within the next few days, the woman who has claimed my heart, will no longer be just a name on a blog!
So, stay tuned... You're gonna get the chance to meet my Jenny! ... [wink]
Have a wonderful new week all, and until next time,
So, I've updated my Art Gallery here on JonBaas.com, and I've added a few of my latest graphite portraits. Feel free to take a peek, and let me know what you think! Additional portraits will be featured on a regular basis. Enjoy!
The Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company, built in 1628 in Amsterdam. It was, however, struck by mutiny and shipwreck during her maiden voyage.
In 1985, reconstruction of the Batavia began at a shipyard in the Dutch city of Lelystad. Under the guidance of Master-shipbuilder Willem Vos a group of young people worked on this project. The intent has been to achieve the most authentic reconstruction possible by using traditional materials, and following the building methods of the day.
Thanks to the wonders of QuickTime VR technology it is now possible to take a virtual tour of the Batavia. The panoramic pictures of the entire ship are fascinating! Enjoy!
What did I do today? I put down some new carpet (the kind that gets attached to the floor), and hung some new window blinds. Officially, I do believe the two open apartments in my building are now ready to be rented! They're cleaned, painted, and have brand new carpeting. Any takers?
Another Friday, another movie. This week my selection is titled, "Rockfish".
This is one futuristic hunting trip you never saw coming! A man on an alien planet quests to catch an elusive giant fish. It's an excellent movie, and one of my long-time favorites. Originally released by Blur Studios over four years ago, it even appears as though a remake is in production... ...and it will feature the voice of Vin Diesel. Go figure.
Here's something strange, yet wonderfully entertaining. British pop star Lilly Allen has a song titled "Smile" that was apparently a big hit last year. In addition to singing the song in English, though, she has also recorded it in Simlish -- the language of the computer game The Sims 2. Here's the music video (Simlish version) for "Smile". Enjoy! ... [video]
Here a father says goodbye to his young daughter and leaves for a distant shore. As the wide Dutch landscapes live through their seasons, so the girl lives through all hers. She becomes a young woman, has a family, and in time, becomes old. Yet within her there is always a deep longing for her father. Feel free to give it a watch, and enjoy!
"Do you remember me? Do you know who I am?" ... [video]
With all the mixed messages, mud-slinging, and screwed up truths coming out of Washington and the Media, it's easy to get distracted by politics. But there's another group of men and women that need our attention -- that need to know we're behind them and support what they're doing for us. You can disagree with the War in Iraq all you want, just remember, honor, and respect the troops.
The highly anticipated Star Trek mini-series, "Of Gods and Men" will be delayed a bit longer. The first installment of the 3 part mini-series was originally scheduled to be released today, however, due to time constraints, the production team has been unable to complete the project in time. There is a bit of good news though... the website has been redesigned (with lots of new features!), and the first 3 minutes of the mini-series have been released for viewing.
If you're a Star Trek fan like me, feel free to swing over to their website and check it out. And by all means, take a peek at the first three minutes! Enjoy!
The Perception Laboratory at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland created a software program called Face Transformer that lets you change the age, race, sex, etc. of a face photograph.
Two years ago, I posted this find on my blog, with a series of my results based upon an old theatre photo I had. Today, however, I decided to go back and submit a newer more recent photo of myself. These are a few examples of the newly transformed me! Enjoy!
And if you give this a shot yourself, feel free to share your results!
Meet Don LaFontaine. You may not know him, but if you’ve ever gone to the movies, you’ve heard his voice. Here’s an ABC News feature with the voice actor famous for recording over 5,000 movie trailers, television commercials, network promotions, and video game trailers. ... [video]
Yesterday, I passed along the news that my sister, Lydia, has joined the Navy -- the third of my siblings to volunteer for miltary service. However, after discovering this news myself, I got to thinking... Who else in my family (or among my ancestors) has served our country? And what branches did they enlist in?
So, after doing a little inquiring, I came up with a list:
Becca Baas, Lt. -- AirForce ... (sister) -- Active duty. Based in Texas.
Ben Baas, PFC -- Marines ... (brother) -- Active duty in Iraq.
Lydia Baas -- Navy ... (sister) -- Recruit in training.
Jeremy Pingel -- Army ... (older cousin) -- Active duty(?)
Stephan Pingel -- AirForce ... (cousin) -- Active duty.
Andy Rodenbeck -- Intelligence ... (older cousin) -- Former spy. Discharged.
Bill Rodenbeck -- AirForce ... (older cousin) -- Discharged.
Carl Pingel -- Army ... (grandfather) -- Stationed in Novia Scotia during WWII. Deceased.
Alice Pingel -- Army ... (grandfather's sister) -- Nurse during WWII. Deceased.
And then there were a few relations who didn't actually serve in the armed forces, but had some direct and noteworthy relation to it. All are deceased:
Arthur Baas -- (grandfather) -- Recieved a WWII draft deferrment because his job was essential to the military effort. Manufactured components for battleships and submarines.
Henry Pingel -- (grandfather's brother) -- Civilian Conservation Corps during WWII.
Anton Virkshus -- (great-great uncle) -- Well-known war photographer during WWI.
And then, I discovered one intruiging individual among my ancestral tree, who, while not a direct relation to me, does bear noting:
The father of one of my dad's cousins was the grandson of General Irvin McDowell, commander of the Union Army at the Battle of Bull Run during the American Civil War.
So, there you have it. I guess military service does run in the family!
Well, the weather forecast was correct. It snowed in Milwaukee. Right now we have about 3-4 inches of the heavy wet stuff on the ground. I even had to go out and shovel (which is unusual for April). It should all melt within the next few days, but until then, everything will be white... again.
Maybe this year the saying should be, "April snow, brings May showers, brings June flowers." Maybe we'll have a cooler summer too? Here's hoping!
Have a great Thursday all! Enjoy the warm weather snow!
It's official. Lydia, the youngest, and last Baas to graduate from high school (this Spring), has joined the Navy. She becomes the third of us six siblings to serve in the U.S. military, joining Ben currently deployed with the Marines in Iraq, and Becca based with the Air Force down in Texas.
Way to go little sister! You make me proud already!
How to deal with Worry, Hardship, and Uncertainty.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
- Matthew 6: 25-24 (The Bible)
So, I've been pondering a great many things lately. And, yes, like anyone, I've started to worry about a few of them too. But as I was taking a walk earlier this evening, these Bible passages came to mind, and I thought I'd share them with you.
For me, as a Christian, they're a great reminder that if my focus is upon God, and my efforts upon what I can do to deal with my present struggles, then I have no need to worry about what will happen in the future. God knows my struggles, and He won't let me fall beneath them. In fact, he PROMISES not to let me fall beneath them! How cool is that! I have a loving Heavenly Father who cares so much for me, that even though I may face struggles in my life -- and I may feel overwhelmed at times -- I cannot fail. I cannot fail because my Heavenly Father loves me, and he won't let that happen.
Trust is one of the hardest things to accept in life, but yet one of the most comforting. If you're facing struggles like I am, don't get caught up in worry. That'll only bring you more heartache and pain. Instead, challenge yourself to do what Country singer Carrie Underwood suggests in one of her songs, "Jesus take the wheel." Let God do the "worrying", and you just focus on today.
And you know what? You'll be a lot happier, AND, your troubles won't seem nearly as big.
"Cast all your troubles upon Him, because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7 (The Bible)
It works. It really does.
Have a blessed Wednesday all! And until next time,
Now here's a first: Due to unseasonably cold weather, Miller Park -- home of my MLB Milwaukee Brewers -- will also be the temporary home of the American League Cleveland Indians. Why? Because Jacobs Field in Cleveland is buried under a foot of snow.
As it just so happens, the Brewers are on a road trip down in Florida, so, Miller Park is available -- and has a roof to keep out the weather. So, for the next three days, the Cleveland Indians will be hosting the Los Angeles Angels here in Milwaukee! And, Tuesday will be their "home opener". How's that for out-of-the-ordinary!
For those that are curious, here's a picture slideshow of what Jacob's Field in Cleveland currently looks like. No wonder they chose to play here instead!
What happened to Spring? For the past two weeks, it's been 15 degrees colder around here than it should be for this time of year. And get this... right now, it's actually snowing outside! Aren't we supposed be getting flowers and rain in April?
UPDATE: - (6:17 pm) According to the local 6pm weather forecast, we could be getting more snow into Tuesday. Around here in Milwaukee, it should become rain later tomorrow and melt away, but just north of the city, they might get as much as six inches of "heavy wet snow".
Spent my Thursday night/Friday morning online with my Tennessee Love, Jenny! Who, I might add, lovingly chose to stay up all night and keep me company (since she had the day off from her nursing classes today! What a woman! ... [grin])
Worked on some small computer/internet projects as we enjoyed each other's company.
Slept for two and a half hours, only to oversleep my alarm by 15 minutes.
Awoke to a day of apartment painting next door. I seem to have become my landlord's go-to guy for projects like that!
Painted apartment walls "indian sand" white for 5-6 hours while listening to the local 80's rock music station on the radio.
Cleaned up my painting supplies, and returned to my apartment for a nap... and an opportunity to catch up on a little "missed" sleep.
Slept for about five and a half hours.
Awoke to dinner -- some of my roomate's tasty cooking (a Greek potato dish actually).
Returned to my computer, and was finally able to get back to my work.
Signed online and spent a few more hours with my beautiful Jenny.
Returned my head to my pillow for a full night of rest.
And that was my Friday. Rather typical, to be honest, but a great end to yet another wonderful week. A week full of challenges, struggles, successes, and love. And through it all, my Jenny to keep me company! My cup doth overflow! And I am richly blessed beyond what I deserve.
Yes, to God be the glory! For His love has done wonderful things!
Here's something fun... It's a video compilation from American Idol where the contestants keep choosing the wrong door when trying to leave the audition room. I enjoyed it, but as my roomate Scott said, "Why don't they just unlock the door?"
Here's something cool!... It's called Animusic, or -- quite simply -- "animated music". I've been a fan myself for years, ever since I saw it featured on television, but tonight I thought I'd share it with all of you. If you've got a moment, wander around their website, and take a look at some of their short video clips. I think you'll find them highly enjoyable!
Have a great evening all, and feel free to let me know what you think!
Earlier this afternoon, a brilliant 2-hit complete game by pitcher Ben Sheets gave the Milwaukee Brewers a 7-1 win over the Dodgers in their sold-out home opener. And, from what I heard, it could very well have been the best opening day pitching performance in team history; maybe even Milwaukee major league history! I know it's only the first game in a long 162-game season, but come on... it gives us longing fans hope!
Yep. The 2007 MLB baseball season is finally underway!
I'll even make a prediction... I predict that my Brewers will finally end the season with a winning record (something they haven't done for over a decade!). Even with a weak NL Central, I’m not sure that'll be enough to win the division, but I do think they'll earn that record. They have plenty of depth and talent on the roster this year, and solid starting pitching to support it. Yeah, this could be a very good year!
As most of you hopefully know by now, today was April 1st, and -- according to witty pranksters around the world -- "April Fool's Day". So, with that in mind, let's take a look at some of the pranks, jokes, and sarcastic witticisms that were pulled this year...
And, yes, for those of you who missed it, I got in on the fun as well. For the entire day today, my official MySpace profile switched genders, and I became Heidi Baas. Cute new photo, colorful new design, same information, and a whole lot of creative fun!
Ah, yes, I love April Fool's Day! ... [laugh]
Have a great new week everyone, and until next time,