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Monday, March 31, 2008


"The Mall of America"

Today, my mom and I spent part of the afternoon out at the Mall of America. We hopped the bus to downtown Minneapolis (on a disappointingly snowy day), transfered to the light rail, and made our way out to the suburb of Bloomington. We walked around a bit, explored, did some shopping, had lunch, found a candy store that sold at least 40 flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans, and then backtracked our way home. It was a fun little trip, and a great time spent with my mom.

In all the years that I used to live in Minneapolis, though, or the dozens of times I've gone out to the Mall, I don't think I've ever seen the whole place. There are four floors, a major indoor amusement park, a large underwater aquarium, over 520 individual stores and restaurants, a 14-screen AMC movie theatre, a high school, a wedding chapel, a full 18-hole minature golf course, numerous LEGO sculptures, two food courts, and roughly 20,000 parking spaces.

And if that's not enough, a planned expansion could include: a dinner theatre, an NHL-sized ice arena for public and private skating, three hotels, a waterpark, 380 more stores, art exhibitions, and an added 8,000 parking spaces. Financing and state approval are still in the works.

In short, that place is HUGE. If you get the chance, it's well worth a visit. But be warned, you're not going to see the whole place in one day. Probably not even two. Three might be stretching it; There's a lot to see. Bring your camera, wear good walking shoes, and be prepared to leave with at least one shopping bag.

They don't call it the "Mall of America" for nothing. :)

-Jon

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"Let's Play Ball!"

The hype here in Minneapolis revolved heavily around the baseball home opener for the local Minnesota Twins. As it just so happened, I was out and about today, and everywhere I looked, people were sporting Twins gear. Me and my favorite Brewers hat were a little out of place.

Today was Milwaukee's first game of the season too, although my team was playing the Cubs down in Chicago. And -- to the fans' disappointment I'm sure -- the Brewers won in overtime, 4-3.

Such an event can only mean one thing, though... baseball is back! And it's time to watch the Brewers blossom into a contending team. My pre-season predictions: The Brewers will edge out the Cubs and finally win the National League Central. They will then surprise in the playoffs, and challenge the Mets in the National League Championship Series. Odds are, the Mets would probably win that matchup, but not without a fight. In the end, Milwaukee will have something big to cheer about. And let me tell you, it's... about... time!

So far, stage one: Milwaukee one, Chicago zero. Go Brewers!

"Brewers beat Cubs to spoil Fukudome debut"

-Jon

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"I Need Some Color"

Snow is pretty, I won't deny that, but I'm tired of seeing so much of it this winter. When I left Milwaukee, it felt like Spring. When I arrived in Minneapolis it felt like Spring. The snow was melting, the ground was barren, and I was happy.

Then, lo and behold, it snowed today. Here in Minneapolis, 3-7 inches have fallen, and the ground is covered in a substantial layer of white. Throughout the day, a chill wind tortured the city, the sky was overcast, and it just didn't feel like Spring. Sure, the Twin Cities have seen only 40 inches of snow this winter -- which is nothing compared to Milwaukee's 98.9 inches -- but still, snow is snow, no matter where it falls. And I'm throwing in the towel.

No more black and white, please. I want to see some pretty colors.

-Jon

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Sunday, March 30, 2008


"Sunday in Review: Minneapolis Edition"

Attended church with my parents. Eagerly recognized by people I knew years ago. Went shopping for some electronics; didn't find what I was looking for. Ate dinner; had a tasty one-of-a-kind pizza hoaggie at "DaVanni's". Went through some old childhood photos with my mom; scanned some into digital format to bring back to Milwaukee with me. Looking forward to the Mall of America tomorrow.

-Jon

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Saturday, March 29, 2008


"The Value of Family"

Today was rather relaxing. I hung out at home here in Minneapolis, while my mom made cookies (my favorite actually!). My dad worked in his office a bit, the three of us chatted about love, life, family, etc., and then, in the evening, we ordered pizza and watched a not-so-well-known British movie, "Hear My Song".

So far, my visit has been much the same -- Quiet, enjoyable, and surrounded by love. Even my youngest sister, Lydia, called (from her Navy base in California). She's immersing herself -- literally -- in language studies, so it was nice to talk to her for a bit between classes. I kinda miss her.

Tomorrow I'll be going to church with my parents, and maybe take in some afternoon shopping. On Monday, my mom and I are planning on taking the light rail out to the local Mall of America. And on Tuesday, I'll probably be going through some old photos -- most of which I haven't seen in years.

Yeah, it's been a great visit so far. I'm truly blessed to come from such a close-knit family. Large as my family may be, each and every one of us Baas "kids" have been wonderfully influenced by two very loving and supportive parents. And that's a blessing I value very highly. The older I get, the deeper my appreciation and respect grows for my mother and father. And someday, I can only hope my future wife and I are able to become the same for our children.

-Jon

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Friday, March 28, 2008


"Quote of the Day"

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family." -- Thomas Jefferson

-Jon

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"More Snow; Closing in on 100 Inches"

According to the National Weather Service, more snow fell in Milwaukee yesterday. That brings our total for the winter season up to 98.9 inches. Just over one inch more, and we'll break the century mark. Think it'll happen?

-Jon

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Thursday, March 27, 2008


"Notes From the Train"

Yesterday, I traveled by train from Milwaukee up to Minneapolis (where I am right now) to visit with my parents for a week. I thought I'd do a little something different here on my blog, so, as I traveled, I documented my trip through short little notes in my notebook. These are those notes. I've linked a few things to aid in your understanding as you read. Enjoy!

======================================================

I’m sitting here in the new Milwaukee Intermodal Station waiting for my train to board. It’s all quiet, just a few people sitting around waiting as I am. In about 20 minutes, I’ll be train-bound at 4pm, but until then I get to do a little people-watching.

The intermodal station here is brand new. It opened just this past Fall, and replaces the old station – a bland 1960’s art deco eyesore. Now we’ve got a large glass-front state-of-the-art facility that not only services Amtrak trains, but processes Greyhound bus travel as well. The cramped waiting area has been replaced by a large three-story atrium, natural light streams into the hall from the all-glass exterior walls, and the whole place has a fresh inviting aura. The old train-only station had a certain outdated charm to it, but in this day and age, you’ve just gotta upgrade to make things more accessable.

As I look around, more people seem to be arriving, so I suppose I’d better get my things together for boarding. More commentary from the train.

+++

Well, I’ve boarded, and we’re underway. In fact, we just passed through my Milwaukee neighborhood. I live west of downtown, so to get to the train station, I had to take the city bus east. And now that the train has left the station, it’s heading west again –- to the Minnesota state border. This is a perspective of my neighborhood I don’t get to see very often.

Here on the train, it’s not too crowded, there’s at least one person in every two seats. Right in front of me there’s an Amish family (dressed in typical Amish attire). One of the women has the cutest little baby girl – all wrapped up in a pink jumper and blanket. Very cute. Beside me sits a middle-aged man reading a book. He’s going to Minneapolis as well (from Chicago). He’ll be my company on my journey. And across the isle behind me sits a man in his 30’s, talking on his cellphone about global warming in the Arctic. Quite an interesting cross-section of travelers.

We’re going past a frozen lake right now. A few people are out kite-surfing on the ice. Not a bad day for it either -– high 40’s, lots of sun, bright, cheery. Before long, though, that ice will be gone, and the lake sport will become water skiing again.

We’ve moved out of the city now. Forests, highways, and towns have replaced the urban landscape. Farm fields and rural terrain is starting to pass us by. I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy the view! More later.

+++

First stop since Milwaukee: Columbus, WI
Small station, no larger than a small barn. Old late 1800’s architecture.

There are quite a few flooded marshlands and/or fields around here -- flooded over by the massive amounts of melting snow. A lot of the lower areas of forest appear to be underwater too -– evidence of a snowy winter disappearing into Spring.

+++

It’s interesting, as we travel through this stretch of Wisconsin, I’m starting to see deer-hunting stands of all shapes and kinds. Since there aren’t any leaves on the trees, these deer stands are clearly visible – dozens of little houses on poles.

Deer hunting is a major pastime here in Wisconsin. More of a cultural thing really. In rural areas, blaze orange jackets are a common sight during hunting season (deer are colorblind, and orange stands out to other hunters). Common also are men with rifles, flannel shirts, and a love for venison. It’s just one of those Wisconsin things -– right up there with the love of cheese, Green Bay Packers frenzy, and a general appreciation for the Great Outdoors.

Still, seeing all these little tree houses is kind of amusing.

+++

Second stop: Portage, WI ... (5:20pm or so)
A small station with white siding. Right next to a small train yard full of freight cars.

A lot of the freight cars here have some very artistic graffiti -– moving canvases of urban art. I don’t agree with defacing public and private property, but I do still have to admit, some of this graffiti is pretty creative.

+++

Third stop: Wisconsin Dells, WI ... (5:50pm)

The terrain around here is far more hilly. Forests are more common, with pine trees, steep hills, ravines, and the like. The area around here is a lot more built up too, since it’s a popular scenic tourist attraction. But it’s still nice to see the quaint little brick depot. No train yard this time, just the station.

+++

And just like that, the hills are gone again, and the flat forested land returns. Lots of trees, an occasional community or farm, and then more forest. Despite the barren post-winter trees, it’s still pretty countryside, especially as the setting sun casts an orange and brown hue over everything.

+++

Fourth stop: Tomah, WI ... (close to 6:30pm)

We’re at the midway point in my journey now -– roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Minneapolis. From this point on, I’m without my Amish companions. They’ve been traveling from Rochester, NY; This was their stop.

I think I’m going to go explore the train for a bit.

+++

This lounge car is nice. Big windows looking out at the Wisconsin wilderness. On this stretch of the journey, there’s not a house to be seen –- just forest, a few hills in the distance, old abandoned telephone poles (no wires), and ATV trails. Occassionally there’s a backwater rural road, but for the most part, just wild Wisconsin.

Oh, wait, I stand corrected. We just passed through a small town. And then it was gone. More forest... and now farm fields again. I love the Wisconsin countryside!

+++

Fifth stop: La Crosse, WI ... (around 7:10pm)

La Crosse is a notable city, not as big as Milwaukee, but big enough to host a public transit system. So, it’s no surprise that the train station is a large old brick building with a nearby train yard. Lots of old factories around here too.

The terrain nearby has become significantly more hilly again too, especially as we move closer to the Mississippi River and the Minnesota border. In a few minutes we’ll hit the well-known river bluffs, and then travel northwest along the massive river until we reach the metropolis that serves as my destination -– Minneapolis/ St. Paul.

+++

And, here we are: Minnesota! We just crossed the Mississippi River.

+++

This area is really quite impressive. On the right side of the train, the glassy "mile-wide" Mississippi flows south. On the left, the bluffs rise up and tower over the river.

It’s getting dark, though, as night falls. The sun has already set, and before long, the darkness will obscure my view. It’s a shame, really. The terrain around here is quite breathtaking. But, I’ll get to see all of this during the day on my train ride back to Milwaukee next week. So, I’m not worried. I can wait.

+++

Sixth stop: Winona, MN

The train stopped here long enough for passengers to step outside and grab a smoke. And while I don’t, I still decided to take in some fresh Minnesota night air. Winona is one of this state’s oldest cities, as evidenced by the old-style station. It was lovely to see it all lit up at night. I felt somewhat like a passenger from a century ago, stepping off the local steam train at what was then a major stop. Very serene.

Next stop: an even more old-fashioned Minnesota town, Red Wing.

+++

I’m sitting in the lounge car again. We’re underway after our stop at Winona. The view outside these big windows? Nothing but the inky blackness of night, punctuated every few minutes by a single light on some rural farm or backwater road. It’s not as exciting as when I could see the landscape from earlier, but still oddly fascinating.

+++

Seventh stop: Red Wing, MN ... (late at night)

Red Wing, home of the famous Red Wing Shoes. Also an old town set in a deep valley with massive cliffs and bluffs rising above it on three sides, and them the Mississippi River on the fourth. It looks like a small city straight out of the late 1800’s.

I’ve always been impressed with this place. They put so much effort into retaining their historic charm. Old-fashioned main streets, historic warehouses converted into charming modern apartments, the whole works. Sometime I’ll have to stop and spend more time here, rather than pass through on the train. I rather like this town.

+++

And there she be... the bright glow on the horizon. Minneapolis/St. Paul!

+++

Look at all the pretty lights! After the past two hours of inky blackness, it’s nice to see the vibrant lights of the city. We’re actually just outside downtown St. Paul. I can see the skyline, all sparkly and bright. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say we’re 20-30 minutes out of the station.

We’re passing through the massive St. Paul train yard now. There are hundreds of freight cars, tanker cars, and locomotives everywhere! It’s huge. And the bright lights of downtown St. Paul grow ever closer. The conductor just announced our arrival. We’re 15 minutes out of the station. My fascinating journey has come to an end.

+++

Arrival at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Midway Station: 10:20pm. Time to meet up with my parents, get settled into the house I spent my teen years in, and then enjoy a nice week-long visit right here in Minneapolis. Ah, yes... vacation. Much appreciated!

======================================================

Have a wonderful Friday all. Until next time, right here from Minneapolis,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


"Headin' to Minneapolis"

Well folks, I'm heading up to Minneapolis (by train) later this afternoon. I wasn't able to go home for Christmas in December, so, I'm making the trip up this month instead. It'll just be me and my parents, though, since all my siblings are elsewhere, but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless! It'll be a quiet visit with some sight-seeing, lots of photo-taking, and a little exploring too.

Unlike other trips, though, I WILL continue blogging while I'm away. So look for posts, commentary, and the like as usual. The only difference... I'll be posting from Minnesota. :)

My visit will last a week, and I'll be returning to Milwaukee on April 2.

So, stay tuned. I'm going to "dat land up nort dare, where all da people, ya know, tawk funny". Should be fun! See you soon -- from the Twin Cities! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday all!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


"Kathleen Dustin’s Art Purses"

Math major turned artist Kathleen Dustin makes purses -- but not just any purses, her creations are truly original. For example, she has her "pod" series, where the purses are shaped like fruits and flowers, or her "stone" series shaped like rocks. Even her "brush purse" series is pretty impressed. She's taken something ordinary, and turned it into a creative niche. Nicely done!

-Jon

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"3D Paper Portraits"

Whoah! These are cool: 3-D Photorealistic Paper Portraits, by Bert Simons.

-Jon

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"Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

And so it begins! The 2008 Major League Baseball season kicked off today -- in Tokyo. A crowd of 44,628 fans were on hand as the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5. This is the the third MLB season-opening game hosted in Japan.

As for my Milwaukee Brewers, their season opener is on Monday when they challenge the Cubs to a three-game series down in Chicago. Oh yeah! Baseball... is back!

-Jon

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Monday, March 24, 2008


"Monday in Review"

Voted absentee in Milwaukee's upcoming April 1 election (I'll be out-of-town that day). Treated to a tasty Italian beef sandwich for lunch. Chatted with my landlord. Ran some errands. Picked up Subway for dinner. Watched part of today's "Dancing With the Stars". Wrote a few emails. Did some work. Played a little Baseball Mogul 2008. Relaxed.

-Jon

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"A Little More Snow"

According to the National Weather Service, 0.2 more inches of snow fell yesterday (aka, Easter Sunday), so our total for the winter season now stands at 97.1 inches.

-Jon

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Sunday, March 23, 2008


"Happy Easter!"

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Saturday, March 22, 2008


"Snowiest Winter in 110 Years"

Yesterday's snowfall was pretty severe, but it did bump Milwaukee up to being the second snowiest winter in recorded history. The last time we had this much snow, the present 113-year-old historic Milwaukee city hall was only three years old... AND the world's tallest skyscraper. Electric trolleys, horses, carriages, and wagons filled the dirt and cobblestone streets. And my current neighborhood didn't even exist (it wouldn't be developed for another 40 years).

Yesterday, the National Weather Service clocked Milwaukee at 12.5 inches of fresh new snow. That brings our winter total up to 96.9 inches -- 57 above normal, and easily enough to eclipse the winter of 1898. I'm still waiting to hear the final snowfall numbers in my neighborhood.

Here's the list of top ten snowiest winters in Milwaukee:
RANK / AMOUNT / SEASON

1. . 109.8 -- 1885-86
2. ... 96.9 -- 2007-08
3. ... 94.2 -- 1897-98
4. ... 93.3 -- 1959-60
5. ... 83.2 -- 1973-74
6. ... 82.9 -- 1978-79
7. ... 82.6 -- 1903-04
8. ... 81.9 -- 1993-94
9. ... 80.8 -- 1922-23
10. ... 80.7 -- 1977-78
Totals might rise a bit, as small amounts of snow could still fall. However, as we've reached the warmer weather of Spring, it's unlikely we'll get the 14 inches necessary to move us into #1.

Please note: The winter season in these ranking is defined from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. This takes into account the entire cold season. This differs, however, from the meteorological winter, which is defined as December through February of the following year.

It's been a busy winter. Time for some flowers and warm sunny days!

UPDATE: - (5:32 PM)
The official numbers for my neighborhood have been released. According to the National Weather Service, yesterday's snowstorm dumped a whopping 18.5 inches. That's probably the most any single snowstorm has dropped on my sidewalks this entire winter.

UPDATE: - (6:53 PM)
Alright... my sidewalks are cleared. Time for a nice long nap.

-Jon

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Friday, March 21, 2008


"Winter's Last Hurrah"

Since early this morning, the heavy snow has been falling quite steadily. As of right now, Milwaukee has 8 inches, while here in my neighborhood (5 miles west of downtown), we've received 13.3. By midnight, the city should have somewhere between 11-15 inches covering the ground. And that's a lot of snow -- especially this late in the season.

Current winter/spring snowfall total: 92.5 inches.

-Jon

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


"Internet Game: DiceWars"

Oh, now THIS is one of my favorite little Flash games. Very addicting and full of "strategery".
It's called DiceWars, and here's how you play:

It's kind of like a simplified game of Risk. You select the number of players (you'll be purple), and the game begins. When it's your turn, you click on one of your purple areas, and then select a neighboring area (of another color) that has fewer dice. The computer will "roll" the dice and if yours come up higher, you take the "conquered" non-purple area. If not, the other color takes yours.

You can always end your turn at any time, but the "strategery" comes into play in terms of who you attack, when you attack, and so forth. Lots of fun! Enjoy!

-Jon

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"First Day of Spring; More Snow Cometh"

Today was a beautiful 40-degree Spring day -- the first official day of the season to be exact. Birds were chirping, the sun was shining, all the snow is gone. Just an utterly perfect day. But tomorrow, well... that'll be a different story. Tomorrow we're forecast to get 9-14 inches of heavy snow!

Yeah, you read that right. It'll be the second day of spring, and the meteorologists are unabashedly predicting what could be our worst snowstorm this season. Winter just doesn't want to leave.

"Spring To Bring Snow To Southeast Wisconsin"

-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)

Romance T-shirtsCar Fanatic T-shirtsChristian T-shirts

More T-shirts & Gifts: .... About Me 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 wonderful weekend everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


"Cows On The Moon"

Everyone knows the moon is made of cheese, and that the cow jumped over the moon, but few are aware that today a herd of about 6,000 bovines live on our cheesy satellite. They are quite independent and wander around looking for things to chew.

Cows, or "Cosmocows" as they prefer to be known, have been exploring the moon for years. In fact, their hooves are perfectly adapted to the dusty lunar surface, and they've learned to use their ears as stabilisers. They even play golf! :)

-Jon

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Monday, March 17, 2008


"Internet Game: Open Doors"

Here's a neat little Flash game. It's called, Open Doors, and the object is simple: use the arrow keys to move a square box to its destination through a number of doors. The trick is, however, some doors don’t open the way you expect them to. Have fun!

-Jon

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"A New Look?"

Yours truly has shorter hair -- and maybe a new beard/ mustache style. I'm testing out a few options, so I haven't decided on anything yet. I may find something new that I like, and then again, I might just stick with the old. For now, I'll just have a little fun and mix things up a bit.

If you have any creative style suggestions, let me know. I might give it a shot!

Have a wonderful evening all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, March 16, 2008


"A Sunday in the Sun"

I went for a walk this afternoon, and I must say... it's so nice to see Spring arriving! Birds are chirping, the record 84.5 inches of snow we got this winter has melted away (except for the once large snowbanks), and I can walk on the grass again (even if it is still ugly and brown). Yeah, today was a beautiful day, 34 degrees, sunny.... very invigorating!

In four days, it will officially be Spring. Flowers will errupt in bloom all over the place, the grass will turn green, leaves will sprout on the trees -- and I won't need winter gloves anymore! A black and white Milwaukee will burst forth in color, and a long cold winter will be put to rest. I can't wait!

-Jon

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"How To Give A Great Man-To-Man Hug"

Good advice for every guy out there: -- Don't get left behind, learn how to show your affection for your fellow man. Give a great man-to-man hug to your closest friends and family without getting that awkward, not-so-manly, floppy hug feeling. ... [video]

-Jon

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"Cookie Dreams"

I awoke today having dreamt of baking fresh cookies. And what a vivid dream it was too! I can still smell them even now! Yeah... I think I need to take a walk to the store and buy me some ingredients. I'm thinking chocolate chip. Anyone want some?

UPDATE: - (7:17 PM)
[munching on a warm, gooey, lip-smackingly good, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie]
... Mmmmm! Now that's good stuff! I think I'll go have another! :)

-Jon

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Saturday, March 15, 2008


"Quote of the Day"

"What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life -- to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories."
-- George Eliot

-Jon

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Friday, March 14, 2008


"Friday in Review"

More Spring cleaning -- cleaned out two dusty basements. Took debris to the dump/ salvage yard. Got a new furnace (my landlord is replacing all of them). Was treated to lunch at a Greek fast food restaurant (very good food, by way!). Did a little of this and a little of that. Spent time with friends.

-Jon

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"Puddleblog"

Puddleblog chronicles the epic journey of one puddle, bracing for an uncertain future. Specifically, the puddle that graces the corner of Jay and Plymouth, a couple blocks east of the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. It's a fascinating perspective you may never have considered. Enjoy!

-Jon

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Thursday, March 13, 2008


"The Baas Is Back"

Hey all! My apologies for the silence since Sunday. I've been distracted this week, and as a result, my blogging took a short (and unexpected) hiatus. But I'm back. I'll resume posting tomorrow.

Thank's for your patience everyone! Have a great Friday!

-Jon

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Sunday, March 09, 2008


"Fourth Snowiest Winter"

More snow fell in Milwaukee yesterday, and just like that, we've jumped up to 4th place in the list of top ten snowiest winters. As of 8pm this evening, the National Weather Service reports a grand total of 84.5 inches -- 40 inches more than normal.

Here is the list of top ten snowiest winters in Milwaukee:
RANK / AMOUNT / SEASON

1. . 109.8 -- 1885-86
2. ... 94.2 -- 1897-98
3. ... 93.3 -- 1959-60
4. ... 84.5 -- 2007-08
5. ... 83.2 -- 1973-74
6. ... 82.9 -- 1978-79
7. ... 82.6 -- 1903-04
8. ... 81.9 -- 1993-94
9. ... 80.8 -- 1922-23
10. ... 80.7 -- 1977-78
The totals will continue to rise as the winter progresses. We still have the rest of March and April remaining, with more snow likely to fall before we officially reach Spring.

Please note: The winter season in these ranking is defined from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. This takes into account the entire cold season. This differs, however, from the meteorological winter, which is defined as December through February of the following year.

Stay tuned. Nine more inches until we reach the #3 spot!

"Milwaukee Reaches Fourth Snowiest Season"

-Jon

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"Wisdom of the Day"
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

- Philippians 4:6

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Friday, March 07, 2008


"Movie Friday: "The Interrogator"

Another Friday, another movie. This week my selection is titled, "The Interrogator".

Today's live-action film is a fun one. Deep in the heart of Gotham City, a man is at work. They call him, The Interrogator, and he's on a mission to find... Batman.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

-Jon

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Thursday, March 06, 2008


"Humor of the Day: Men Vs. Women"

How are men and women different? Take a peek... and enjoy! ... [video]

(Thanks to Joni for the link!)

-Jon

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"T-Shirt Thursday: Election 2008 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)

Obama 2008 T-shirtsMcCain 2008 T-shirtsClinton 2008 T-shirts

More T-shirts & Gifts: .... Election 2008 T-shirts .... Humorous Candidates

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 Thursday everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008


"A Legend Rides Off Into the Sunset"

For seventeen seasons, he played the game with charisma, determination, and heart. He set NFL records, won three MVP titles, and started in an impressive 275 straight career games. He became Wisconsin's biggest sports legend. But even legends grow tired. And today, that legend hung up his cleats for the last time. Today, Brett Favre, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, retired.

"Tired Brett Favre ends dazzling career"

-Jon

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"Cracking the Top Ten"

Well folks, we made it. This winter is officially one of the top ten snowiest in Milwaukee history. As of this morning, Milwaukee has recorded 80.5 inches of snow. This is good enough for 10th place in the record books, and moving up from there shouldn't be much of a problem.

Here is the list of top ten snowiest winters in Milwaukee:
RANK / AMOUNT / SEASON

1. . 109.8 -- 1885-86
2. ... 94.2 -- 1897-98
3. ... 93.3 -- 1959-60
4. ... 83.2 -- 1973-74
5. ... 82.9 -- 1978-79
6. ... 82.6 -- 1903-04
7. ... 81.9 -- 1993-94
8. ... 80.8 -- 1922-23
9. ... 80.7 -- 1977-78
10. ... 80.5 -- 2007-08
A typical winter in Milwaukee usually gets about 42 inches of snow.

The totals will probably continue to rise as the winter progresses. We still have the rest of March and April remaining, with more snow likely to fall yet before we officially reach Spring.

Please note: The winter season in these ranking is defined from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. This takes into account the entire cold season. This differs, however, from the meteorological winter, which is defined as December through February of the following year.

Stay tuned right here. I'll keep you updated as we climb in the rankings!

UPDATE: - (7:43 AM)
Oh, and here's a fun little fact to put things into perspective: If you think these snowfall numbers make Milwaukee look cold and frigid, don't be fooled. Even further north(west) -- up in Minneapolis (where my parents live) -- the National Weather Service reports only 25.3 inches of snowfall this winter. That's not even close to the kind of snow we have!

And how about this: All the way up in Fairbanks, Alaska -- where my friend Joni lives, they've only received a grand total of 37.9 inches this winter.

Long story short, we may be getting dumped on here in Milwaukee, but we're pretty lucky. Further north of here, the temperatures have been far too cold for snow. -- When the temperature drops to -4F, the air is too dry/frozen to form snowflakes, and thus it doesn't snow as often. Milwaukee is actually quite warm by comparison -- hense we get snow. :)

-Jon

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"Forbidden Underground: Behind Niagara Falls"

Now this is utterly fascinating, especially since I love the adventure of exploring old places!:

Michael Cook of The Vanishing Point wrote about his experience exploring the depths of the decomissioned Toronto Power Company Hydroelectric Plant's tailrace at Niagara Falls. (Tailrace is the downstream part of the dam where water re-enters the river):
Imagine a tunnel more than ten storeys underground, a hundred years old, bricklined, wet, and completely inaccessible save by descending through a narrow slit in its ceiling thirty feet above the floor, and then returning up the same rope.

Now imagine that this tunnel flows into Niagara Falls, emerging behind the pummeling curtain of water that nearly everyone in North America journeys to see at some point in their lives.

This tunnel exists. In the autumn of 2004, thanks to the work of two people with the experience and equipment to make it happen, I had the chance to feel Niagara Falls.

You can read about Michael's experience, as well as another far more detailed excursion into those same tunnels done by another explorer, Sleepy City. A few more photos of the abandoned hydroelectric plant itself can also be found here.

Enjoy exploring, and have a wonderful Tuesday all!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Monday, March 03, 2008


"MC Chris: Nrrrd Grrrl music video"

MC Chris is a "nerdcore" rap artist with a cute and funny "geeksta" music video on Youtube.
For some reason it reminds me of a friend of mine. Kinda catchy too. :) ... [video]

Enjoy, and have a wonderful new week everyone!

UPDATE: - (10:39 AM, Tuesday)
For those who have a hard time understanding the lyrics in the video, here they are written out. It's a song about girls who collect comic books, watch Sci-fi shows, and listen to bands most people haven't heard of. Cute!

-Jon

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Saturday, March 01, 2008


"Bottlecap Portraits"

I love art, I love artistic portraiture, and I'm constantly fascinated by the endless possibilities of a creative mind. So, naturally, I found this very interesting: bottlecap portraits, by Molly B Right.

-Jon

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Jon Baas

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