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Sunday, December 30, 2007


"Star Wars Bagpipes"

This is creative: The Star Wars theme... played on bagpipes. ... [video]

Now all we need are a few Stormtroopers in kilts, and the scene will be complete. Muahaha! Welcome to the Dark Side, Scottish style.

-Jon

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"Quote of the Day"

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy.
Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

-- Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

I watched a PBS documentary on the Marines earlier this afternoon. And although I already have the utmost respect for them (since my younger brother is one), I've gained even more. This quote is for Ben, as well as Adam -- my roomate's younger brother. Ben is a veteran rifleman (returning to Iraq in 2008); Adam is a Marine officer in training. Semper Fidelis. Thank you.

-Jon

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Friday, December 28, 2007


"Friday in Review"

Ripped up carpet, moved old kitchen appliances to the scrap yard, went to the municipal dump. Watched in fascination as another snow storm dumped 4-6 inches of snow on Milwaukee throughout the day. Marveled at the new-fallen blanket of white... and then shoveled it off the sidewalks. Hoping it doesn't snow again overnight. :)

-Jon

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"Funny And Outrageous News Moments"

For your viewing pleasure, here's your broadcast humor of the day. Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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"Movie Friday: "A Tale of Rock"

Another Friday, another movie. This week my selection is titled, "A Tale of Rock".

Today's animated film takes a look at rock music. Here we see a peppy little dinosaur as he arrives at a guitar audition, ready and eager to show his stuff. But his competition isn't far behind; it's a determined rock monster with an even bigger guitar. The two meet, duel it out, and... well, you'll just have to watch and see what happens! Great fun, upbeat music, beautiful animation!

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

-Jon

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Thursday, December 27, 2007


"T-Shirt Thursday: Actor T-shirts"

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)

Upstage Me T-shirtsEat Sleep Act T-shirtsTriple Threat T-shirts

More T-shirts & Gifts: .... Election 2008 T-shirts .... About Me 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 wonderful Friday everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007


"Everybody Say w00t!"

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2007 is "w00t!" The word first became popular in online gaming forums as part of what is known as l33t ("leet," or "elite") speak -- an esoteric computer hacker language in which numbers and symbols are put together to look like letters.

Although the double "o" in the word is usually represented by double zeroes, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for "we owned the other team" -- also from the gaming community.

The #2 word in Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2007 competition was "facebook".

-Jon

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"The Lights of Winter"

Two years ago I linked to a video featuring "the most amazing Christmas lights display I'd ever seen" (up until that point). Of course, that display has since been eclipsed by a far more amazing one, but in the spirit of the holiday, I thought I'd repost it nonetheless, and add another. So...

Here's the 2005 Christmas lights video (synched to Trans-Siberian Orchestra music).

And here's a 2006 Christmas lights display featuring the music of Mannheim Steamroller.

Both are fantastic examples of creativity, lights, and the Christmas Spirit!

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

-Jon

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007


"The Reason for the Season"

Today is Christmas, and this is why I celebrate:
In those days Caesar Agustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Cyria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

-- Luke 2: 1-20

Have a wonderful Holiday all; one full of warmth, love, and blessing!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Monday, December 24, 2007


"Quote of the Day"

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!"
-- Hamilton Wright Mabie

-Jon

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"50 Facial Expressions And How To Draw Them"

A lot of people struggle to draw convincing facial expressions. Even I face that challenge sometimes. So.... here's a nifty little Facial Expressions Chart that gives you an idea of the characteristics most facial emotions contain. Enjoy!

-Jon

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Sunday, December 23, 2007


"Humor of the Day"

In honor of the fact that I recently did some flying, here's a little airline humor:

Occasionally, airline flight attendants try to make the "in-flight safety lecture" a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
  • On one flight passengers were slow to get their stuff stowed and take their seats. To get the point across that they needed to take their seats and buckle in, a flight attendant made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, the captain informs me that he can't back this big bird out until you take your seats; you're blocking his rear view mirror. Please take your seats so the pilot can see and we don't back over a concession truck or small plane or something. Thank you".

  • After taking off, the pilot got on the cabin speaker and said, "Bear with me folks, this is my first time."

  • Pilot: "Good morning. As we leave Dallas, it's warm, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. We are going to Charlotte, where it's dark, windy, and raining. Why in the world y'all wanna go there I really don't know."

  • From an airline employee.... "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more."

  • Flight attentant: "We do feature a smoking section on this flight. If you must smoke, please contact a member of the flight crew and we will escort you to the wing of the airplane."

  • "Smoking in the lavatories is prohibited. Any person caught smoking in the lavatories will be asked to leave the plane immediately."

  • On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

  • Pilot: "Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land... it's a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern."

  • Pilot: "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."

  • As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella...WHOA..!"

  • On a Southwest Airlines plane just after a hard landing in Salt Lake City, the flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

  • After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the flight attendant came on the intercom, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt up against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

  • An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally, everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no, Ma'am," said the pilot, "what is it?". The little old lady replied, "Did we land or were we shot down?"

  • Flight attendant: "As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

  • Flight attentant: "My name is Mandy of SouthWest airlines; we hope that you enjoyed your flight, and if you didn't, my name is Julie of Delta airlines."

  • "Last one off the plane must clean it."

Have a wonderful Monday all, keep smiling, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"It's a Cold One"

Current temperature: 14°F. With the wind chill... -5°F. Yeah, it's cold outside.

-Jon

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"Make Your Own Virtual Snowflake"

Make-A-Flake is a neat little website that lets you design your own digital snowflakes. And you get to do so based upon a pattern you cut using a pair of virtual scissors! Have fun, and enjoy!

-Jon

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Saturday, December 22, 2007


"Baas Corners"

Here's a fun little on-going internet game: It's called MyMiniCity, and it's a website that allows you to build your own town, and then revisit it daily to see it grow. Certain elements like infrastructure, environment, job growth, etc. all play a part, and each can be manipulated by those who "visit".

I created the town of Baas Corners. Stop on by sometime, and help it grow!

-Jon

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"Hand Bell Hero"

Here's a fun little online game -- and quite addicting at that! It's called Hand Bell Hero, and it's a clever twist to the popular video game, Guitar Hero.

Here's how you play: Keep an eye on the scrolling scale in the middle of the screen. As the notes pass, hit the corresponding key (a,s,d, or f) to play the song. The more notes you get right, the happier the scene becomes. The more notes you miss, the more winter havoc is unleashed. Enjoy!

-Jon

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"How To Make An Igloo"

Here's something for those who have always wondered: How to Make An Igloo.

An igloo is a temporary dome-shaped winter home or hunting-ground dwelling of Canadian and Greenland Inuit, made from blocks of snow. The builder chooses a deep snowdrift of fine-grained, compact snow, and then cuts it into blocks. After a row of these blocks have been laid in a circle, their top surfaces are shaved off in a sloping angle to form the first rung of a spiral. Additional blocks are added to the spiral to draw it inward until a dome is completed, a ventilation hole is added at the top... and you have yourself an igloo.

Fascinating stuff!

-Jon

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Thursday, December 20, 2007


"Back in Milwaukee"

Greetings all! I'm back home from Tennessee (I flew into Milwaukee from Atlanta last night). I've got a few errands I want to run today, but I'll recap my exciting adventure a little bit later. So, stay tuned... and Happy Thursday!

-Jon

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007


"Way Down in Tennessee"

Well, folks... as noted last week, I'm flying down to Tennessee to spend a week with Jenny, since she graduates from nursing school this weekend. I'll be gone until next Wednesday, and I may or may not blog while I'm away. We'll see. When I get back, it'll be blogging again as usual.

So, have a beautiful week all, wish me well, and I'll see you when I return! :)

Your happily blogging "adventuring in Tennessee" friend,
-Jon

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Monday, December 10, 2007


"The Final Countdown, Cello Style"

This is just plain awesome!: Cello trio Melo-M and the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra (of Latvia) perform Europe’s classic 80's rock hit, "The Final Countdown". I think these guys wanted to be rock stars... but their mom's made them take cello lessons. ... [video]

-Jon

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Sunday, December 09, 2007


"The People History"

Here's something interesting: The People History. It's a website covering history from 1920-2006. For every year, it lists popular culture, music, film and TV, technology, world events, cost of living, inflation, price of goods and property, wages, and the value of money.

I found out that in the year I was born, the average cost of a new house was $68,700, the average cost of a new car was $7,200, and gasoline was $1.19 per gallon.

Also in 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted, Ronald Reagan was elected President, CNN became the first 24-hour television news channel, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was popular in the movie theatres, and Queen's song "Another One Bites the Dust" was all the rage.

Fascinating stuff!

-Jon

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"Wrecked Vehicle Models"

Here's a new take on model car collecting. They're wrecked: Urban Collectables.

-Jon

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Thursday, December 06, 2007


"More Snow"

It's snowing again. 2-4 inches are expected by morning. This is now the third significant snowfall in less than a week. And it's enough that I *will* have to go out and shovel -- again. I just hope this isn't an indication of what the rest of winter will be like.

-Jon

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"New Sidewalk Art by Julian Beever"

Julian Beever, the artist who draws 3-D chalk illusions on city streets (featured on my blog some time back), has been busy making a a new round of street paintings. Take a look, and enjoy!

-Jon

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"T-Shirt Thursday: About Me T-shirts"

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)

Chocoholic T-shirtsRides Horses T-shirtsFrequent Laugher T-shirts

More T-shirts & Gifts: .... Fruit Gifts .... Women's Witty 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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"New Jon Baas Designs!"

My big Wednesday project is finally finished! I spent the entire morning so far adding over 700 new products to my online store... and now I'm done. Time to grab something to eat, watch an episode of the old "Mission: Impossible", and then head off to bed for a few hours. When I wake in the afternoon, I'll be adding even more more products. Gotta love these creative streaks!

Feel free to visit my online store. Let's see if you can spot the new additions!

Have a wonderful Thursday all! Stay warm. And until later,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"A New Adventure"

Well folks, I've got some exciting news to report: As of this time next week, I'll be in Tennessee! Yep, it's official, I'm flying down to visit my Jenny. She graduates from nursing school on December 15th, and I'll be hanging out with her for a week -- from the 12th to the 19th. She's come up here to visit me in Milwaukee twice already, now I get to go down and visit her!

It'll be quite an adventure! And as it just so happens, I LOVE adventures! What's even more exciting, though, for me, is that I get to fly there. I haven't flown on an airplane in over 20 years.

Yeah, I've got me a new adventure to enjoy. And it starts next Wednesday!

-Jon

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007


"Four and a Half Inches"

More snow blanketed Milwaukee last night. Roughly 4.5 inches to be exact. This time, though, it was the light fluffy stuff, so clearing off the sidewalks was much easier. Since I was up all night working, and ended my day with shoveling, I think it's time for me to head off to bed.

But I'll be back later, rested, refreshed, and ready to get back to work on my projects.

So, have a beautiful Wednesday all, and until then,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


"Plush Animal Trophies"

If you’ve ever wanted a safari big game trophy to hang above your fireplace at home, but haven’t had the heart (or financial means) to acquire one the "traditional" way, then here’s something you might enjoy: plush animal heads handcrafted by a small company in Colorado.

-Jon

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"The Brick Artist"

Some professional artists use paint, others bronze, but for Nathan Sawaya, he chooses to build his art out of Lego. He’s used the plastic bricks to create everything from an Apple iPhone, Master Chief from the PC game "Halo", a Statue of Liberty holding a light saber, war memorials, polar bears, baskets of fruit, portraits of celebrities like John Lennon, and much more!

Here's a gallery of some of his work.

-Jon

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Sunday, December 02, 2007


"Nick Patera Sings"

Now this blew me away! Nick Patera is a contestant in the Little Mermaid (Broadway version) "Give Us Your Voice" contest. He contributed a performance of the Ariel song, "Part of Your World", and sang it with an amazing woman’s voice! If I hadn't seen the video recording, I wouldn't have been this impressed! ... [video]

I did a little research, and apparently this is not an uncommon talent. In the musical world, Nick is known as a countertenor -- an adult male who sings in an alto, mezzo or soprano range, often through use of falsetto, or sometimes natural head voice. And he's quite good!

-Jon

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"Winter Rain"

It's messy around here, the wet, slippery, slushy kind of mess.

I was still up this morning at around 3am, and as the gusty slushstorm from yesterday had passed, I decided to head outside and see what I could shovel off the sidewalks. Unfortunately, the slush had frozen to the concrete, and shoveling was out of the question. So, instead, I salted the rough patches, came back inside, and went to bed.

Later this morning -- after a few hours of sleep, I went back out to find that the salt had all but cleared the rough patches from earlier -- which was great! I shoveled the rest of the interior sidewalks (the ones actually on the lot), broke up the remaining ice, and was working on the public sidewalk out front when it started to rain. A downpour actually. And I got wet. It's not often that you're out shoveling winter snow, and get drenched by falling rain. As of right now, the shoveling *still* isn't finished. I figure I'll just wait until the rain stops.

UPDATE: - (3:26 PM)
It's done. The 1-2 inches of slushy white stuff has been removed from all the sidewalks at my apartment, and more salt has been put down. Now I'm thoroughly exhausted... and hungry. I think I'll go find something to eat, then go take a nap. :)

"Snow, ice storm rips across northern US"

-Jon

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Saturday, December 01, 2007


"One Cold Hand?"

Here's a novel idea: One Cold Hand? ... It's "a site for the collection and hopeful reunion of Pittburgh’s dropped gloves." Here in Milwaukee, Scott and I used to have a box full of lonely gloves and mittens found during winter. We originally had some creative ideas in mind for those mismatched gloves, but over time we've abandoned the project. You'd be surprised, though, here in the city, you can find dozens of missing gloves on the ground. They're everywhere!

-Jon

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"Here There Be Snow"

Well folks, it has begun. I awoke to my day half an hour ago, and found significant snowfall on the ground, with plenty of drifts covering everything. So, I do believe I shall have to go outside and shovel -- and for the first time this season. Wish me luck! Winter... has arrived.

UPDATE: - (4:06 PM)
That'll have to do for now. I cleared the snow drifts off the walkways/front steps, and decided the rest will have to wait until later. The snow has stopped falling, but now it's freezing rain and wind. To put it simply, that's like little projectiles of ice being whipped around by the wind.

Yeah, I think I'll wait until later. :)

-Jon

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"Emma Luna: Ceramic Artist"

Emma Luna is a California artist that looks at everyday objects in a unique way. Where we might see a pile of fresh soft towels, Emma sees the opportunity for sculpture. As a result, she turns the most unexpected things into some of the most realistic ceramic sculptures I've ever seen!

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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Blogs That I Read:
- Mashable: Facebook
- Peace Lutheran (audio)
- ProBlogger
- Seth Godin
- The Brothers Brick
- The Presurfer
- Time of Grace Blog
- Grace Moments
- Trek Movie
- Wil Wheaton

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- USS Enterprise-D

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- Improv Everywhere


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