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Saturday, June 30, 2007


"Bloggin' Vacation"

This blog is on hiatus for the weekend as I work on a major family geneology project. Stay tuned, though, I'll be back and writing come early this week!

Have a great weekend all!

-Jon

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Friday, June 29, 2007


"Goonies of the Caribbean"

Is this a seemlessly edited parody movie trailer, or the real thing? You tell me. It's "Goonies" meets "Pirates of the Caribbean" in: "Goonies of the Caribbean". ... [video]

-Jon

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"Movie Friday: "Spin"

Another Friday, another movie! This week my selection is titled, "Spin".

Today's live-action short was actually featured on my blog last year. However, since it's such a good one (and a personal favorite), I thought I'd repost it, and include this gem within my growing "Movie Friday" collection. The winner of over 35 film festival awards worldwide, this is easily one of the most successful short films of all time.

A mysterious DJ is sent to a busy city block to mend a series of tragic events that occur in our everyday lives. Does he succeed? Does he fail? This is his experience.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, June 28, 2007


"T-Shirt Thursday: American Patriotism"

In an effort to show off some of my popular (or new) t-shirts, artwork, and gift ideas exclusive to my online store, Jon Baas Designs, I've decided to feature a few of them here on my blog every Thursday. I call it, "T-Shirt Thursday". Feel free to comment, and enjoy!

Today's Featured Designs:
(click on each image to see available products)

EagleHomeland HeroesHeart USA

More Designs:
Jon Baas Fine Art .... Patriotic Heart T-shirts & Gifts .... Election 2008 T-Shirts

And for those of you who like to shop, weekly sales and coupons are available on the front page of my store. Feel free to use them for special discounts!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Contented Hamster"

So, how about some daily cute? Here's an upside-down hamster, on a piano keyboard, eating popcorn, with Elvis Presley music in the background? Yep. Definitely cute! Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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"Summerfest: From Missles to Music"

Today is the start of one of Milwaukee's largest annual attractions, Summerfest.

Summerfest, also known as "The World's Largest Music Festival," (and confirmed to be so by the Guinness World Records) is a MAJOR music event held downtown every year at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront. It runs for 11 days, and attracts nearly one million people from all over the United States. This is the festival's 40th year.

The event features local and nationally-known music talent from a variety of different music genres (all the way from James Brown, and the Jackson 5, to Bon Jovi, and John Mellencamp) on 13 stages, including the 24,000-seat Marcus Amphitheatre. It also provides the opportunity to sample a wide variety of unique food from many of Milwaukee's restaurants. Some of Summerfest's other attractions also include comedy acts (in the past: Jay Leno, Bob Hope, etc), shopping booths, fireworks (including the impressive and much-anticipated opening night "Big Bang" by Bartolotta Fireworks), karaoke, and children's activities.

It's a BIG deal, especially here in culturally-diverse Milwaukee!

And I bet you didn't know... prior to 1970, the famous Maier Festival Park was actually an old abandoned airport dating back to the early 1930's. During the Cold War, it served as a Nike anti-aircraft missile defense base for Milwaukee and Chicago. If Soviet bombers and fighter jets had invaded the U.S. through Canada, Milwaukee's Maitland Airport Nike defense batteries would have been some of the first missles fired. Pretty interesting stuff!

From nuclear missles to big-name music stars. How's that for a dramatic change!

This year's Summerfest (official website) -- which runs until Sunday, July 8, 2007 -- features the Goo Goo Dolls, REO Speedwagon, Big & Rich, John Mayer, Weird Al, Bon Jovi, and Toby Keith -- just to name a few. And just like the past 39 years... it's gonna be BIG!

-Jon

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007


"Bloxorz, The Block Tumbling Game"

Here's another challenging game for you: Bloxorz. The goal: Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to tumble a rectangular block and land it into the square hole at the end. Trust me, it's a lot harder than it looks! There are 33 levels to complete. Have fun!

-Jon

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


"Lost: How It All Began"

If you're a fan of the hit ABC drama, "Lost" (like I am), then you're going to love this post!

Late last year, a fan of the show decided to take footage fragments from various episodes, and piece together the defining moment... the moment that started everything -- the plane crash. And he decided to do it from the point of view of the Losties (those that crashed on the island), the Others (those already living on the island), and Desmond. Each perspective was revealed piecemeal throughout the first three seasons, so it's always been heavily fragmented. But now, for the first time, the crash can finally be seen in one complete five minute clip.

So, sit back and enjoy. I bring you... "The Crash of Oceanic Flight #815".

-Jon

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"Hot Days in Brew City"

The weather isn't the only thing that's hot here in Milwaukee. So are the Brewers. And they're proving that this will likely be their first winning season in fourteen years. And, probably the first time they'll have won their division in twenty-four years! Yes, my Brewers are on fire!

2007 has been phenominal! They started the season in rare form, easily cementing a spot in first place within the NL Central Division. Then they endured a moderate slump in late May (still retaining first place), culminating in a No-Hitter by Detroit Tigers, pitcher, Justin Verlander. Since that No-Hitter, however, they've returned to their dominating form, and have won 11 of their last 13 games. Tonight they blasted the Houston Astros 11-5.

As of right now, my Brewers have the best record in the National League (45 wins, 32 losses). According to the Postseason Odds (statistical prediction), they *could* even be playing the New York Mets for the National League Pennant! If that happens -- heck even if they just win the central division -- there will be great celebration in Milwaukee. You see, twenty-four years is a long time to wait for a title. Perhaps it's time for the underdog to do a little hunting, eh? Perhaps 2007 really *will* be the awesome year I've predicted it to be! So far, so good!

-Jon

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"[Discarded] Clothing Art"

Cuban artists Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz create art from discarded clothing!
Fascinating AND creative! ... [Flash gallery]

-Jon

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Monday, June 25, 2007


"Chord Studio"

Now here's a fun little distraction for you! It's called Chord Studio, and it's a free website that allows you to compose your own songs using a variety of musical instraments, chords, and tempos. I've been playing around with it myself for the past hour or so, and I must say, my inner composer is having a blast! Feel free to give it a try yourself, and see what kind of musical sounds *you* can come up with!

Enjoy, and have a great Tuesday all!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Ironworkers in the Sky"

Here are some photos of ironworkers putting together a steel building high above the streets of Philadelphia. It's certainly not a job for me, but one worth respecting nonetheless.

-Jon

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Friday, June 22, 2007


"My Little Friend"

Today, after assisting my landlord in testing fire alarms at one of his [outside of Milwaukee] apartment complexes (and, unfortunately, frightening three cats in the process), we came back into the city to put up new window blinds at the second-floor apartment of another rental complex...

When we opened the front door, I had to smile, because there sitting on the top step of the carpeted stairs leading up to the unit, sat the cutest little sandy-haired kitten I have ever seen, his head cocked slightly watching us. When we reached the landing, he immediately started following me around, curious like a little puppy. And, unlike most cats I've seen, this little youngester didn't have a shy bone in his body! I would reach down and pet him, and he'd just rub his head gently against my hand and purr happily. And everywhere I walked, he was right there at my feet as if to say, "Oooh, cool... whatchya doin' now?"

Yep, *the* cutest little kitten I have ever seen!

I felt bad having to "lock" him in the bathroom, though. We couldn't have the little guy under foot all afternoon as we moved about pulling down old blinds, and replacing them with new. So, in the "locked" bathroom he sat, mewing forelornly from time-to-time. I have a soft heart for cats -- especially kittens -- and this little guy just melted my heart. I couldn't wait to let him out again!

Later, when we had finally finished our work, I opened the bathroom door, and crouched down to pet him, appologizing softly. He streeeeaaaaatched his little paws on the carpet, looked up at me, and then happily stood up on his hind legs, his front paws resting on my leg as if to say, "Pick me up! Pick me up!". He was already purring, eager to be social again. I knelt there for a few minutes giving the little guy some love and affection. He just purred.

When we finally left, he was sitting there on the stairs again, watching us (although, this time, I think he wanted to follow me home too!). He'd hop down a few steps as we neared the door at the bottom, and then look up at me expectantly. If I'd been able to, I would have taken him home in a heartbeat! But, alas, I couldn't, so I had to bid my little friend goodbye. Someday, though...
I'll just have to find me a loveable little companion just like him!

Hey, what can I say, I like cats. Especially cute little social ones! ... [happy grin]

Have a great evening all... and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Movie Friday: "Horn OK Please"

Another Friday, another movie! This week my selection is titled, "Horn OK Please".

This cute little animated film follows a monotonous day in the life of an Indian taxi cab driver named Lucky. Lucky's goal is to earn enough rupees to buy the air-conditioned taxi of his dreams....

"Horn OK Please" was produced in 2006 by Flickerpix Animations Ltd. in Belfast. It's a creative collaboration between animators from India and Northern Ireland, and is a combination of stop-motion (clay) models and drawn, composited backgrounds.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, June 21, 2007


"Dramatic Prairie Dog"

Now *this* is one overly-dramatic rodent!... [5-second video]

UPDATE: - (10:07 AM, Friday)
And the original video (in Japanese) is just as cute! Poor little guy!

-Jon

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"Summer Sunrise"

To celebrate the first official day of Summer, I decided to set aside what I was doing, and go for an early morning walk. My goal? To see the sun rise.

And boy was it a beautiful sunrise! Vibrant pastel hues of pink, purple, orange, peach, and aquamarine slowly melted into a dark canvas of muddy blue, as if painted in generous strokes by one mighty paintbrush. Dark gray cotton clouds drifted steadily into the horizon, the last remnants of the brief thunderstorm to pass through the area only an hour before. And as the beauty of the morning sky rose above the leafy treetops, the twinkling lights of the city slowly settled down for their daytime slumber.

Closer to the ground, a multitude of happy birds played tag with each other, while twittering and chirping their morning songs. Leaves rustled slightly as a cool soft breeze drifted in and out of the disappearing shadows. Early morning dogs quietly and ever so patiently walked their sleepy masters, while an occassional car hushed past along the still-deserted residential streets. An elderly man sat quietly on his front porch taking in the morning beauty just as I was, and from time-to-time, I think I heard God smile.

Yes.... when it comes to peace, there's nothing quite as calming as the beauty of Creation. It's all around us, beckoning us to gaze in wonderment at the simple complexities it provides. Whether it be the colors in the vast and endless sky above, or the rustling leaves tickling each other in the breeze just off the beaten path, we have only to stop, set aside our frustrations, and heed it's gentle calling. For only then do the noises of our daily lives truely cease -- even if just for a fleeting moment -- and only then can we find calm for our troubled souls.

If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want to commune with Him, go for a walk.

Have a beautiful Thursday all, and a wonderful first day of Summer!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"T-Shirt Thursday: Digital Landscapes"

In an effort to show off some of my popular (or new) t-shirts, artwork, and gift ideas exclusive to my online store, Jon Baas Designs, I've decided to feature a few of them here on my blog every Thursday. I call it, "T-Shirt Thursday". Feel free to comment, and enjoy!

Today's Featured Designs:
(click on each image to see available products)

NorwayTop of the WorldMajestic

More Designs: ... Digital Landscapes .... Love T-Shirts .... Occupation T-Shirts

And for those of you who like to shop, weekly sales and coupons are available on the front page of my store. Feel free to use them for special discounts!

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Quote of the Day"

"Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone."
- C.S. Lewis

-Jon

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


"No-Tree State Park"

A new Wisconsin state park opened today, and this one happens to be located in Lake Michigan, right off the shore of downtown Milwaukee. It's an island actually, and it has no trees.

Lakeshore State Park, as it has been named, has been a project nine years in the making. The 17-acre, $17 million park was carved out of more than 1 million tons of rock excavated during the 1980s for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's deep tunnel project. For years the giant island of boulders just sat there. Now, this sun-drenched space in the lake has the makings of an impressive urban jewel.

"Awash with sun, new state park is urban island oasis"

-Jon

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"Brewers appear on Young and the Restless"

Back on May 23, I wrote about how four baseball players from the Milwaukee Brewers (Chris Capuano, Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy, and Jeff Suppan) had filmed appearances on the top-rated CBS soap opera, "The Young and the Restless". Earlier this afternoon, that episode finally aired on television. I wasn't around to watch it myself, but I did find footage here on the net:

First-off, I found a behind-the-scenes clip from May 22, in which a camera crew followed the players around as they practiced their lines, sat down for makeup, hooked up with the wardrobe department, and taped their scenes. ... [video]

And then there's the actual scene (aired earlier today) in which the guys appeared opposite actors Peter Bergman (Jack), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), and Billy Warlock (Ben). ... [video]

Not bad, actually! Quite entertaining. And, it's a thrill to see the Brewers back in Hollywood again! A ficticious version of the team was featured in the 2004 movie, "Mr. 3000".

"'Restless' Brewers prove to be budding soap stars"

-Jon

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"Crossword, a Flash Game"

Here’s a fun little crossword game for you. Select a spot, then put a letter to put into the spot. All the clues are already on the board, and the game gets harder as you play. Have fun!

-Jon

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


"The Evolution of Video"

Motorola recently produced a brilliant commercial, "The Evolution of Video," to introduce a new high resolution mobile phone. They set out to do something different, and used the image of a man riding a horse to progress through every major style of film-making as it has evolved throughout the history of cinema. All the way from early stop action photography, to the vibrant brilliance of a modern-day historical epic.

They used the same actor for each of the varying sequences.

Here is a short behind-the-scenes documentary of the filming. The final commercial -- as it aired -- can be seen at the end of the feature. Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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Monday, June 18, 2007


"A New Day: Jenny Update"

I think things are starting to look up again in terms of the issues Jenny and I have been struggling with lately. I could probably share the details myself, but I think we'll do something different this time, and let Jenny fill you in. The following are her words via her blog earlier this afternoon:

"I had intended to spill my guts about all the nittgy gritty details about what's been going on in my life lately. It's been painful and draining, but I think things are starting to get better again.

I won't hash out all the details, but just to get you up to speed, I've been having conflicts with Jon over Lutheran and Baptist doctrine, mixed together with unresolved feelings for my ex-boyfriend (whom I visited this weekend and made matters worse... or better ...depending on how you look at it.)

After this weekend spending time with my ex (who was in North Carolina umpiring minor league baseball games), and things not going all that well, I realized driving home that I needed to remove myself from the role of "girlfriend" for a while. My spiritual walk has been stagnant lately, and I know that's the cause of my hopelessness lately with everything going wrong.

I hate to hurt Jon by stepping aside for a while, but until I get my spiritual life in order, I don't feel like I can fulfill the role of girlfriend to anyone. And he deserves better than for me to string him along while I sort out old feelings and new feelings and everything in between. He is amazing, though, and refuses to step aside, though. He won't leave me or give up on me, which is very noble and speaks a lot of his love and character. I still feel bad that he's spending his energy worrying about me right now, though. I'm not treating him well right now, and I don't deserve his loyalty. But, I suppose I won't question it, but be thankful for him. :)

So, as of right now, I'm refocusing my attention to developing a deeper relationship with God again. I used to have one, but it's gone by the wayside lately, and I'm desperately seeking Him again. I got 2 new books and 2 new Bible study guides today, so I feel like I'm going in the right direction again... finally. It's a new day, and I'm gonna let God take the reins of my life back. I'll take it one day at a time."

I think the hardest part of all this is behind us now. Peace is settling in, and things are looking up again. But don't stop praying for us now. Pray that the Lord brings comfort, healing, and strength to Jenny through her renewed Bible studies. And pray that He continues to work patience and understanding in me, so I can learn to be the kind of support *Jenny* needs -- not the kind of support I think she needs.

We're both learning here... It'll just take a little more time and understanding.

Thank you to everyone for you advice over the past few days, your kind words of wisdom, and even just your hugs. They're much appreciated, and they mean the world to me.

Have a great Monday evening, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"BGT Update"

Opera-singing Paul Potts has won "Britain's Got Talent." Congratulations Paul! ... [video]

-Jon

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"Koiné - The Church Band"

I've been spending a good part of the morning listening to some great Christian Contemporary music. Really good stuff; one of my favorite groups in fact. But, the odds are, you've probably never even heard of them. Why? Because they're the "worship band" at my home church here in Milwaukee -- St. Marcus Lutheran Church.

Formed in 1993, the band, called "Koiné", took its name from an ancient Greek term for the language of the common people -- the language the Biblical New Testement was written in. They're a contemporary Christian band, bringing a new vibrant sound and feel to traditional Lutheran and Christian songs. All of the songs come from the old hymnal songs within the Lutheran tradition, and others. The goal is to give new life to some of these old hymns, while keeping the beautifully written lyrics, and giving the music a blues, pop, folk, or rock 'n' roll setting.

Now, I should probably note, such contemporary sounds aren't common in Lutheran churches yet. In fact, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) -- of which my church is affiliated -- has usually been known for it's staunch theological conservatism. But that trend is slowly changing. New ways to deliver God's message have been evolving, and more modern times present new opportunities for creative outreach.

Exploration of modern musical forms and instrumentation has been happening for years in other branches of Lutheranism, and in other denominations -- sometimes sparking great debate over contemporary and traditional approaches to music and worship. But, St. Marcus, with it's diverse urban congregation, it's younger congregant base, and it's forward-thinking leadership, has been one of the main churches embracing a more contemporary approach to Lutheran worship.

In fact, my church even happens to be the congregation that broadcasts "Time of Grace" -- the weekly worldwide media ministry that shares the Good News of Jesus Christ on television and radio in more than 15 markets throughout the country in the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Time of Grace is also aired in Grenada, on the American Forces Network, and streamed worldwide on the Web.

But, enough about that. Back to Koiné....

While they may be the local church band here at St. Marcus, they're also gaining a worldwide following. They've released two self-titled CD's, and have toured to churches and other shows in eight different states over the last year. They even made an appearance at Lifest, one of the largest gatherings of Christian bands in the country. This past Spring, they were asked to travel to Ontario and North Carolina, and this summer they're planning a tour of the Western United States.

They're a great musical group. If you haven't had a chance to get to know them, feel free to check out their website, Koiné, The Church Band, to hear a few songs. You can also hear a few more on their MySpace page.

Yes, overall, Lutheranism might still be more traditional than most Protestant Christian denominations, but St. Marcus is certainly succeeding in stepping outside that mold. They've set foot into contemporary waters, they broadcast the weekly WELS worldwide media ministry, AND, they're the home to Koiné. If you ask me, I go to a pretty cool Lutheran church!

And just like Koiné of the 4th and 5th centuries in Macedonia was the common language of the people, in which the New Testement was written, today's "Koiné - The Church Band" is once again a voice for the common people, and once again the format for an extraordinary message.

Check 'em out. You might enjoy their sound!

MEDIA: "Old time rock 'n' roll" (JSOnline.com news article)

Have a great Monday all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, June 17, 2007


"To My Father"

Dad, thank you for the long talks, for the gentle support, and for the wisdom of your advice. They have made me who I am today. Thank you for the discipline, the correction to my errors, and your strong Christian guidance. They have given me the morals I hold so dear. And, above all, thank you for your sacrificing love and tenderness. They have taught me how to love in turn.

I love you Dad! Happy Father's Day!

Your happily blogging son,
-Jonathan

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Saturday, June 16, 2007


"Quote of the Day"

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
- Helen Keller

-Jon

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"Heartbroken, but Patient"

I miss my Jenny. We haven't talked much this past week, as she's chosen to stay away and work through her struggles on her own. I desperately want to help ease her pain, though -- we're very close and I love her very much -- but she prefers to do this on her own. And I fear her concerns over the differences between my Lutheran beliefs and her Baptist beliefs aren't the only things weighing heavily upon her heart and mind.

This weekend, she's visiting a friend in North Carolina -- a former "boyfriend" -- who was the cause of a very painful breakup a while ago. He was also the cause for her move from Ohio back to Tennessee (to live with her parents again), where she attempted to start her life over, and as a result, went into nursing school. Since then, however, this former boyfriend has found God, and has been slowly changing his perspective on life. According to Jenny, this, and our present doctrinal differences, have brought old feelings to the surface again.

My biggest fear in all this, though, is that I'm losing her to the easy road. The man that broke her heart (among other things), and caused such drastic change in her life, now seems to be a more desirable choice to her than the man who loves her unconditionally -- but has a slightly different doctrine of belief than she does. She's not confrontational, and she's deathly afraid of something she's not familiar with.

She and I have known each other for over seven months. And they've been an amazing seven months of growth, patience, love, and learning... But then, suddenly, all these issues with her explode to the forefront, she goes into hiding, and I'm left confused, hurting, and feeling as though I did something to drive her away.

I love her deeply. I'll let her go if that's what's best for her, but I so desperately want to fight for her too. She's an amazing friend, the perfect companion, and one heck of a beautiful woman (inside and out). I don't want to lose her, but my love is willing to let her go if I have to.

I just hate being conflicted like this. Here's hoping she'll still be willing to help put *my* concerns and struggles to rest. She's in my prayers, she has my heart, and I have my fingers crossed. I'm heartbroken.... but patient.

-Jon

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Friday, June 15, 2007


"Friday Briefs"

Finished painting yet another apartment. Returned home later than usual. Feeling a little drained. Still worried about Jenny and her current struggles. Planning to watch a Star Trek film during a late dinner. Going to bed in a few hours. Not sure how well I'll sleep. Eager for the weekend.

-Jon

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"Movie Friday: "The Bloody Olive"

Another Friday, another movie! This week my selection is titled, "The Bloody Olive".

This brilliant (and award-winning!) black and white short film by Vincent Bal (1996) isn't what you might expect. It's better. Filmed in Dutch and subtitled in English, it remains a classic "who-dunnit" with a very clever twist. A combination of the "Bogart-gentleman-ish style, with a slight atypical panic aspect that shines through in a very sutble way" (Julian Reischl, Imdb.com), this foreign film is definitely a fun watch, and well worth the twelve minutes!

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


"T-Shirt Thursday: Patriotic Hearts"

In an effort to show off some of my popular (or new) t-shirts, artwork, and gift ideas exclusive to my online store, Jon Baas Designs, I've decided to feature a few of them here on my blog every Thursday. I call it, "T-Shirt Thursday". Feel free to comment, and enjoy!

Today's Featured Designs:
(click on each image to see available products)

Heart USA T-shirtsHeart UK T-shirtsHeart Canada T-shirts

More Designs: ... Patriotic Heart T-Shirts & Buttons .... About Me T-Shirts .... Actor T-Shirts

And for those of you who like to shop, weekly sales and coupons are available on the front page of my store. Feel free to use them for special discounts!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"More British Talent"

Yesterday, I posted a link to an awe-inspiring opera performance by Paul Potts on "Britain's Got Talent". Well, here are three more amazing performances I just had to share! Enjoy! ... [videos]

First there's Connie Talbot, a cute little 6-year-old girl who won over the judges (and made one of them cry) with her performance of Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Get out the kleenex, this one's adorable!

Then there's Damon Scott and his puppet Bubbles. They put Michael Jackson to shame. But I won't say anything more than that. You'll just have to watch and see what I mean!

And finally we've got Craig. He does baton twirling, and, boy is he good at it too!

Four simple people. Four dreams. Four great performances! Now that's what I call talent!

-Jon

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


"Banana-Creme Twinkies"

Twinkies are going old-school:
"The sweet treat known for its golden spongy cake and its creamy vanilla center is returning to its roots with banana-creme filling -- the flavor that first made the snack a hit with sweet-toothed people more than 70 years ago.

Hostess, owned by Kansas City-based Interstate Bakeries Corp., began selling the banana-creme snack cakes last week at retail stores nationwide. The filling tastes just as sweet as the standard vanilla but with a subtle hint and smell of banana.

Old-timers may remember the taste from the pre-World War II years. From 1930, when the Twinkie was first invented, to the 1940s, Twinkies were filled solely with banana creme. But a banana shortage during the war forced Hostess bakers to replace it with the vanilla flavor."

I've never really been a big Twinkies fan myself (I like to limit my "junk food" intake), but I do love bananas! Maybe I'll just have to splurge sometime, and see what the talk is all about!

"Hostess Selling Banana-Creme Twinkies"

-Jon

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"Fake Food"

Food stylists often go to great lengths to make "food" in ads and magazines look so tasty.

But sometimes it’s just easier to go with fake food props rather than fiddling around with the real thing (Although, by law, the main food being advertised must always be real, garnishes and accompanying side dishes don’t have to be).

Here’s a neat little collection of fake foods and other special effects from Tengrove Studios.

I remember using props like this in various stage productions. So fresh and appetizing at each performance. Ah, yes, the joys of pretending to drool over plastic fruit. Good times! Good times!

-Jon

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"Paul Potts"

Cellphone salesman Paul Potts enters the stage on the UK talent show "Britain's Got Talent," and sings "Nessun Dorma". He stuns both the jury and the audience. ... [video]

-Jon

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


"No Hits in Detroit"

Well, that's one way to end a six-week slump (hopefully!). Endure a no-hitter. My Brewers couldn't get beat any more soundly than that. But, on the bright side, Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander really *is* that good.

"Verlander throws no-hitter against Milwaukee"

-Jon

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"Kitten Playtime"

Ok, so it's a new day; a chance to start fresh. Let's start with some cute, shall we? Here's a video of two little kittens, Toby and Pandora, playing around. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd probably predict that little Pandora will grow up to be a boxer! ... [video]

Enjoy, and have a wonderful Tuesday all!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Monday, June 11, 2007


"I need a hug... and some advice."

Question: How does a woman who is a strong Baptist, and a young man raised Lutheran, come together on religion within a loving committed relationship, when the little details of conflicting doctrine always seem to get in the way?

Unfortuantely, this is an issue facing Jenny and myself -- and has been to an increasing level over the past seven months. I'm far more trusting that the Lord will work things out in both of us, and that our common faith can overcome our doctrinal differences, yet Jenny worries. She fears her lack of knowledge in the subject. And as our hearts are so close, I feel her pain. Immensely.

It probably doesn't help either, that she lives down in Tennessee, and I live up here in Wisconsin -- 600 miles away. Distance is not something beneficial to the issue. And communication via instant message and the telephone can only go so far.

So, I guess the question remains, how do we bridge the doctrinal gap? How do we find common ground when it comes to differing views on baptism, communion, church governance, etc? We have the same Protestant Christian faith, it's just interpreted differently. And if we both hope to get married, as is our mutual goal, how do we stand together in what we teach our children? She doesn't wish to leave the Baptist church, nor should I ask her to, but I can't leave the Lutheran church either. I was born the son of a Lutheran pastor. My beliefs are in my blood.

I love Jenny very much. I would not hesitate to sacrifice for her so that -- first and foremost -- *SHE* can be happy, but I just can't give up my beliefs. So where does that leave us? My own walk with God is very close, I talk to Him about this issue (as well as Jenny) all the time. I trust Him. I desire Him to lead. And I know He does. But, other than prayer and trust, I just don't know how else I can help ease Jenny's pain.

I guess I just need a hug. And some good strong Christian advice.

If you'd like to help, you are, of course, more than welcome to leave short comments here with this post. If you wish to offer more indepth advice (which I could always use, and I'd be more than happy to pass along to Jenny as well), drop me an email me at my main Yahoo address, or leave me a private message on MySpace. I will try to answer to all messages.

I do appologize for today's somewhat less than exhuberant blog post. Sometimes, I guess you just have to get by with a little help from your friends. ... [smile]

Have a great Tuesday everyone.... and thank you.

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, June 10, 2007


"Quote of the Day"

"Where there is great love, there are always miracles."
- Willa Cather

-Jon

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Friday, June 08, 2007


"Movie Friday: "Mater And The Ghostlight"

Another Friday, another movie! This week my selection is titled, "Mater And The Ghostlight".

It's a cute little animated film by Pixar, featuring the cast of Disney's "Car's". The main character here, though, is Mater, the rusty and easily impressionable towtruck. He hear's the tale of the mysterious "Ghostlight", and, well, you'll have to watch the rest!

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, June 07, 2007


"T-Shirt Thursday: Fruit"

In an effort to show off some of my popular (or new) t-shirts, artwork, and gift ideas exclusive to my online store, Jon Baas Designs, I've decided to feature a few of them here on my blog every Thursday. I call it, "T-Shirt Thursday". Feel free to comment, and enjoy!

Today's Featured Designs:
(click on each image to see available products)

Grapes T-shirtsCherry T-shirtsBanana T-shirts

More Designs: ... Fruit T-Shirts .... About Me T-Shirts .... Actor T-Shirts

And for those of you who like to shop, weekly sales and coupons are available on the front page of my store. Feel free to use them for special discounts!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Pierre Cardin’s Bubble House"

In the early 1980's, fashion designer Pierre Cardin wanted to buy an atypical summer house in Cannes. While searching for one, he stumbled across a construction site being built by architect Antti Lovag for a French industrialist. When the owner died before the Bubble home’s completion, Cardin bought the site and asked the architect to complete it for him. The finished home is all curves, bubbles and rounded shapes. Very artistic!

Here are a few photographs of the house.

-Jon

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


"The Baas Boys"

My younger brothers, Ben and Joel, came for a visit yesterday. They're on their way down from Minneapolis, and over to Sandusky, Ohio where they'll be spending some time at Cedar Point (amusement park), then driving all the way westward to Ben's Marine base near San Diego (yes, that's almost 2000 miles!). He reports back from leave in two weeks.

They decided to stay here last night -- before heading through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio -- and I, of course, was thrilled to see them. I haven't seen Ben since he deployed to Iraq early last Fall, and Joel, I haven't seen him since Christmas. But we had great fun, even if only for a short time. We went to the local Brewers game at Miller Park (in which they beat the rival Chicago Cubs... Wahooo!), we watched Disney's "Cars", and I got to talk with Ben for a few hours about his deployment in Iraq (which was *very* enlightening and enjoyable!).

From what he tells me, he'll return to his base, and then remain stateside for another 7-8 months before being eligible for deployment again. In other words, sometime early next year, he may be heading back to Iraq. But for the time-being, all Baas' are stateside, all is well, and the three Baas boys got to hang out together for a while here in Milwaukee. It's a rarity these days, but when the opportunity comes around, I'm NOT passing it up! Yep... Good times. Good times!

Have a great Wednesday all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


"2012 Olympic Logo"

This has got to be one of the ugliest Olympic logos I have ever seen. Yet, Seb Coe, chairman of the 2012 London organising committee seems to adore it. "This is the vision at the very heart of our brand. It will define the venues we build and the Games we hold and act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world. It is an invitation to take part and be involved."

Ok. Perhaps. But it you ask me, it looks more like they're trying to reach out to pre-schoolers. It's just downright ugly. And, what's worse, the design cost of this logo was a mere $536,974.80 USD. This simple artist would call that a colossal waste of money.

Personally, I prefer some of these fan-designed alternative logos.

"London unveils logo of 2012 Games"

"London 2012 team defend new logo"

"Epilepsy fears over 2012 footage"

-Jon

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Monday, June 04, 2007


"Shuffle"

Here's an addictive little game: It's called Shuffle. Click on one of the red balls and hold down your left mouse button. Then drag the mouse to choose speed and direction. Release button to shoot. The goal of the game is to get all the yellow balls off the board.

My highest score was only 33,090. How well can you do?

-Jon

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"How To Bake A Car"

Yep, you heard that right... "How to bake a car". It's an ad for the new Skoda Fabia. The whole car was modeled out of cake with jelly lights and treacle for oil. The song is 'My Favourite Things' by Julie Andrews. Enjoy! ... [video]

And here's a short video about how they put it all together.

-Jon

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Jon Baas

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