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Thursday, July 31, 2008


"Moving Update"

It looks like next weekend (August 9-10) will be my target moving date. In other words, that's when we'll take the big stuff out of this apartment, and move it to the new one. If you're in the area, and would like to help out a friend, let me know. :)

-Jon

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"T-Shirt Thursday: Fruit 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)

Cherry T-ShirtsPineapple T-ShirtsBanana T-Shirts

More T-shirts & Gifts: .... Fruit 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 evening everyone!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Canon Rock, by Jerry Chang"

I came across the following video not too long ago, and while I've probably posted it here before, I think it bears mentioning again. It's a rock arrangement of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D, played by Taiwanese guitarist and composer, Jerry Chang.

This piece, "Canon Rock" has become an internet meme. It's garnered media attention, and has been featured in newspapers, blogs (like this one!), television shows, and radio stations worldwide. South Korean guitarist Jeong-Hyun Lim even performed a cover version in 2005, that has since become the 17th most viewed video on Youtube with over 46 million views. ... [videos]

"Canon Rock" is a fantastic modern take on a classic composition. Creativity at it's best (and some fine guitar work too)! I wonder, though, what Pachelbel would think? :)

-Jon

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"From Milwaukee to West Allis"

The decision has been made.... I will be moving. And I'll be doing so within the next three weeks. For all of you that have kept me in your prayers, thank you. It took me a week to decide, but I'm finally ready for the adventure! :)

Earlier this evening (after dark), I went out and explored my new neighborhood. My decision had already been made by that point, but it was still helpful to get a feel for the area. In my case, I just don't feel comfortable with a place until I get out there and explore it -- see what it has to offer. That's just how I am. After two and half hours on foot, though, I'm sold. It's not quite the same as my present neighborhood, but it has a lot to offer -- and a lot yet to be discovered.

Right now, I live IN the city of Milwaukee, although right on the far western edge (a few miles from the downtown skyscrapers). My present neighborhood could probably be defined as... "cozy". All the streets curve and flow through quaint residential areas. It's quiet. Peaceful. Lots of trees. There's even a beautiful parkway system that snakes it's way along-side a small creek.

A few blocks to the north of me is the city/village of Wauwatosa, founded in 1840. They're a community steeped in history, and adamant about preserving it. The quaint riverside downtown is evidence enough of this, however, one could also point to the numerous buildings, the Greek Orthodox church (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), and three entire districts that reside on the National Register of Historic Places.

To the south of me, is West Allis. This is where I'll be moving. It's a small city founded in 1906 as a result of the massive Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. that built their western-most Milwaukee factories there (hense the name, "West Allis"). The massive industrial buildings are long gone now, but the town that grew up around them remains. And in many ways, West Allis still has that All-American small-town feel. There's a distinct main street with all sorts of shops, the streets are straight, the city blocks are prominant, and city parks abound.

My new apartment is actually right off "main street", and only 10-15 blocks from the heart of downtown (West Allis). It's near a commercial intersection, and still has easy bus access to anywhere in metro Milwaukee -- this time, however, right outside my front door. There are also quite a few restaurants within walking distance, and a surprisingly huge city park with a gorgeous wide-open view of the night sky mere blocks away.

I grew up in a small-town Wisconsin farming community... lots of corn fields, rural roads, and plenty of wide open spaces. When I moved to Minneapolis near my high school years, I got a taste of living on a major metropolis. Then it was back to Wisconsin -- to my present neighborhood -- for college. And now, ironically, I'm moving back to small-town Wisconsin, only with an infusion of "big city Milwaukee". When I think about it, I've sort of come full circle.

This'll definitely be an interesting adventure. And as my landlord reminded me, change is good. It helps us grow. If I play my cards just right, it may even lead to successes I can't even dream of. For now, though... I think it's time to start packing!

Have a wonderful Thursday all! Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


"The Residency Question"

Well, it's official, the apartment below me is no longer empty. The young single mom and her 5-year-old daughter are finally moving in. I saw her carrying items from a minivan into the kitchen earlier today, so, I suppose that's as good a sign as any.

She's moving in... And I'll probably be moving out.

But, not to worry, the two events aren't related. It's just coincidence.

Do you remember that offer I mentioned last week? The one that put me deep into thought? Well... it was presented by my landlord. For reasons I cannot go into right now, he's offered to move me (and Scott) into another building he owns -- a building outside of Milwaukee (in the nearby city of West Allis). It's a bigger place, has more amenities, and could very well be an upgrade to my present address.

The only problem is, I really like where I'm living right now.

It's been a tough decision, and a major issue on my mind this past week. Do I pick up and move to a better apartment in a new city, or do I stay where I feel most comfortable, and face a whole new array of residency challenges? I love my present neighborhood, it's open, spacious, lots of parkland. The new neighborhood would be considerably more... commercial. The reasons for my landlord's offer are sound, logical, and quite generous. It just a tough call. Considering a change this drastic isn't something I take lightly.

As of right now, I'm very close to a decision. There is, however, one last thing I want to do: I want to explore the new neighborhood. I gotta know if I'll "fit". So that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. Lots of walking. Lots of thinking. And hopefully... finalizing an answer.

Wish me a clear mind. I'm gonna to need it.

-Jon

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"50 Beautiful Feminine Illustrations & Artworks"

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is the quality of femininity. Exploring this for many artists takes on a diversity of themes.

Here's an article that showcases different styles, different ideas, and different approaches to the artistic illustration of femininity. Some examples are funny, some are compelling, and still others are rather sad. All of them, however, are quite captivating.

And, since I enjoy musing upon the beauty of women myself, and recreating it within my own art, here's a favorite from my own portfolio: "Girl in the Shadows". Enjoy!

-Jon

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"NASA Founded 50 Years Ago Today"

On July 29th, 1958 President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law and NASA was born. Thus began the space race of the 60s. In the years since, men have walked on the moon, unmanned proves have explored our solar system, rovers are crawling across the surface of Mars, a space station is being constructed in Earth orbit, and hundreds of satellites allow us to view our planet from above. A lot has changed in 50 years!

Happy Birthday Space Travel!

-Jon

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Monday, July 28, 2008


"The Stop Sign, Redesigned"

What if there were no stop signs... and a major corporation was charged with inventing one? What would it look like? Here's a fun little video to illustrate the process. Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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Friday, July 25, 2008


"Quote of the Day"

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
-- M. Scott Peck

-Jon

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Thursday, July 24, 2008


"Your Prayers Requested"

I received an offer yesterday that has me deep in thought... an offer that could bring some major changes to my life. It's an exciting offer -- an adventure perhaps, but it's also an offer that has me pretty darn scared. (And no, it has nothing to do with relationships.)

During these past ten years, I've become accustomed to certain things in my life... in many respects I've been "comfortable". I "fit". I was focused on other things. But now this offer is on the table; I can't avoid it. I have a serious decision to make. And while the answer I should come to seems like a real no-brainer, I'm still frightened at the prospect. I'm not ready for this adventure. It wasn't at the top of my list.

Yeah, I know, life tosses you curves... and how you deal with those curves is what makes you stronger. I know what I have to do, but for me, it's not going to be easy. My heart needs to adjust. So... as I consider this offer over the next week or so, as I make my decision, please pray for me. I'm going to need a lot more strength on this one. A LOT more.

But, I also know, with your prayers, and God's help... I'll make the right decision. I'll overcome my uncertainty. It's just this next week that'll be the hardest.

-Jon

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"T-Shirt Thursday: Christian 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)

My Savior T-ShirtsWon by One T-ShirtsFisher of Men T-Shirts

More T-shirts & Gifts: .... Christian T-Shirts .... Love 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, July 23, 2008


"Kermit and Paisley"

Yeah, I know, the title sounds like a Country music band. But, in reality, it's a Target commercial -- a commercial featuring everyone's favorite Muppet frog, and Country singer, Brad Paisley. Both musicians duel it out on guitar/banjo! Very cute! Enjoy! ... [video]

-Jon

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"Matchstick Elvis"

Now this is just plain cool! Scottish artist David Mach used 50,000 matchsticks to make a realistic bust of Elvis! Yep... creativity at work. :)

-Jon

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Sunday, July 20, 2008


"Simon's Cat: TV Dinner"

Simon Tofield has a new animation featuring his cat: "TV Dinner". This time around, his persistent little feline wants to be fed. Previous animations have featured "Cat Man Do" (his cat tries to wake him up), and "Let Me In!" (his cat is stuck outside). Very entertaining stuff! Enjoy! ... [videos]

-Jon

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Friday, July 18, 2008


"Friday in Review"

Finished painting the 2nd-floor apartment from yesterday. Power was restored; AC, radio, and lights put to good use. Much cooler work environment! Decided to go out for ribs after the job was done... went to Famous Dave's (thanks Steve!). Enjoyed some of the best BBQ I've ever had! Came home, showered, relaxed, heading to bed.

-Jon

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


"Thursday in Review"

Painted the first half of a 2nd-floor apartment. Electricity had been turned off by the utility company... so, no lights, radio, or AC. Sweated like a pig on an 88 degree muggy day. Drank lots of water. Painted in dim natural light. Had plenty of time to hang out in silence with my thoughts. Actually had fun! ... Came home, ran a few errands, took a much-appreciated shower, relaxed, made dinner, going to bed shortly. Finishing up the apartment tomorrow.

-Jon

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"The Story Behind 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game'"

In America, baseball is considered to be the national pastime. Organized baseball was well into its glory years before other sports such as football, basketball, hockey and soccer were even on the map. So it's only natural that one of America's most popular songs relates to the sport.

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is a simple tune that tells of a girl who wants her beau to take her to a baseball game instead of to another popular spot. The song turns 100 years old this year, and to commemorate the event, the U.S. Postal Service has issued a beautiful new stamp.

-Jon

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"A Biblical Observation"

Earlier this morning, I added a new category of t-shirts to my store: Christian T-shirts. However, as I looked over the final category, I made an interesting -- and serendipitous -- discovery...

Each new category in the CafePress system, is assigned a multi-digit number -- sequentially -- across millions of stores. As a new category is created (in any store), the overall number goes up by a factor of one. It's then assigned to the store URL, and becomes the permanent link to the new category, like this:

cafepress.com/jonbaas/2423676

With that said, here's what I discovered this morning: As a random result of time and the sequential order in which new categories are assigned numbers, my Christian t-shirts were given the following seven-digit number: 5777777.

As it just so happens, the number seven is actually a Biblical number. Thus, if we put this all together, we have: the category for my Christian t-shirts.... and a multi-digit tag with a whole lot of sevens. That my friends is not only ironic, but highly improbable. Pretty cool, huh?!

-Jon

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"Pennant Fever 2008: 67 to go"

With exactly half the season left, the Milwaukee Brewers and the NL Central division-leading Chicago Cubs are heading for a showdown. Both teams desperately want to make it into the Playoffs, and both teams are making a dramatic push to get there!

Here's where things stand right now -- at the All-Star Break:

Team Name .... W - L ... .pct ... GB

Chi Cubs ...... 57 - 38 ... .600 ... ----
St. Louis ...... 53 - 43 ... .552 ... 4.5
Milwaukee .... 52 - 43 ... .547 ... 5.0

According to the Post-Season Odds, the Brewers currently have a 41% chance of making the playoffs, with a league-leading 30% chance of winning the NL Wild Card. They also have an 11% chance of going to the World Series. Where they go from here, though, will be what makes this summer and fall sooooo very exciting! Go Brewers!

"Rays, Cubs have big hopes for second half"

-Jon

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


"Open Sesame!"

"Oh Great Frigidaire, give unto me this day my daily tuna..."

Magic words or gestures certainly won’t open the refrigerator, but this determined kitty isn’t willing to give up! Afterall, if at first you don't succeed, keep trying until you do! ... [video]

-Jon

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"The Sunshine"

Here's something pretty! It's a photoblog called, The Sunshine, featuring beautiful pictures of... well, sunshine. Click on the "???" link at the bottom of each page to see more. Enjoy!

-Jon

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"Stripes"

Here's a fascinating optical illusion. Grab the stripes image to the right of the image and drag it slowly to the left -- over the other stripes below it. What do you see?

-Jon

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Friday, July 11, 2008


"Friday in Review"

Finished painting yesterday's apartment. Long -- but productive -- day. Decided to go out for ribs; ribs place was closed (out of business). Decided to seek out ribs at a local buffet restaurant; ribs weren't being served. Settled for steak instead (which satisfied my craving for ribs). Came home. Showered. Played a computer game. Relaxing. Planning to be up for a while.

-Jon

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Thursday, July 10, 2008


"Thursday in Review"

Started painting another apartment. Watched a dark thunderstorm pass overhead. Listened to the rain -- and the radio -- as I worked. Came home. Did some laundry. Had spaghetti for dinner. Watched "Murder at 1600" on DVD. Going to bed shortly; painting again tomorrow.

-Jon

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008


"Wisdom of the Day"
God Is There When You're Frustrated

"Thousands of people each year hit such a level of frustration in their lives that they commit suicide. But that doesn't mean everybody else is happy. Thoreau wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I think one of the greatest sources of frustration is for us to try to control things that really are God's business.

The Bible says in James chapter 4, "You do not even know what will happen tomorrow... Instead you should say, If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." Find the sweet serenity of just letting God be God, and rejoice to find the little gifts he's given you along the way."


- Pastor Mark Jeske, Time of Grace

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


"The Race Heats Up!"

This is going to be a very interesting race for the baseball Playoffs, especially here in the NL Central Division! The Chicago Cubs (who haven't won a World Series since 1908 -- despite plenty of chances) are trying -- desperately -- to break the 100-year Curse of Fred Merkle. The local Milwaukee Brewers, on the other hand, a perennial small-market cellar-dweller for the last 26 years, haven't been in the World Series since they lost in 1982. Both teams have a lot to prove... and this is the year to prove it!

Yesterday, the Brewers announced a rare big-budget blockbuster trade, and acquired last years best starting pitcher in the American League. So far, this has been major news for the local Milwaukee fans! But the Cubs, not to be outdone, countered today by announcing a major 6-player trade that improves their roster as well. Both teams are determined to make some post-season noise -- and they're willing to go to war in order to do so.

Yeah, baseball drama will be plentiful here in the Midwest. It's the "lovable loser" Cubs vs. the "just can't quite make it" Brewers. And the rival city fans will be turning out in droves! "War" -- on this scale -- might be an understatement! May the best team Brewers win! Go Crew!

"Cubs land pitcher Rich Harden from Athletics"

"Sabathia’s Debut is a Scream"

"A Harden fast response by Cubs"

-Jon

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"Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies"

Not too long ago, I finished watching an early morning Nature program on my local PBS station, titled "Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies", and I must say... horses have got to be one of the most magnificent creatures ever created! So strong, wild, and free... yet also loyal, determined, loving, and social. Beautiful, beautiful animals!

This particular Nature episode chronicled the perilous existence of a wild pale Palomino stallion in the mountains of southern Montana. It was hosted by Emmy-winning filmmaker and nature photographer, Ginger Kathrens -- who named the striking white stallion, Cloud. Over the course of four years, she followed Cloud from before his birth, through his rites of passage, and into his adult years. The resulting documentary was a fascinating tale of survival for one extraordinarily determined stallion in the unforgiving beauty of Montana.

You know, as I grow older, I find myself drawn more and more to the rugged beauty of nature. I don't know if I would consider myself a cowboy -- the lure of the big city still has a strangle hold on me -- but, someday.... someday I could easily see myself spending more time in rural (or wild) America. I grew up in the country, I spent my childhood there, and while the city is my home, in many ways, the country is an underlying part of who I am.

Horses, farmland, wild mountaintops... There's something romantic about those things. Something romantic that calls to me. I don't know when I'll go back there -- I'm pretty happy where I am right now -- but someday, someday it might just be me who's riding through the mountains of the West documenting the beauty that I see.

Afterall, Beauty... artist... camera. You never know. :)

-Jon

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Monday, July 07, 2008


"This is Sand"

This is Sand is a website for play. It changes the pixels on the screen to digital sand, that can then be used as building material for cosmic landscapes or mandalas.

To "play" (aka, create your composition), press or double click the mouse button to drop sand. Press "C" to pick a color, "E" to erase the drawing. It's as simple as that!

Have fun, and happy creating!

-Jon

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"Radoxist"

The 3D art of Radoslav Zilinsky. Beautiful and creative stuff!

-Jon

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"Cy Young Winner Comes to Milwaukee"

In baseball news, my Milwaukee Brewers have taken a step closer to the top -- and ultimately the Playoffs. They just acquired last year's American League Cy Young winner in a trade with Cleveland. As of later today, starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia will be a Brewer.

And, as it just so happens, our new ace joins a team that contains last year's NL Rookie of the Year -- outfielder Ryan Braun -- AND, last year's NL Home Run King, Prince Fielder.

For a small-market team, things are going pretty well for the Crew!

"Tribe wise, but Brewers get best of Sabathia deal"

-Jon

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Saturday, July 05, 2008


"June 2008 Rainfall Totals"

With the month of June concluded, I thought it appropriate to update the final rainfall totals here in Milwaukee. Last month is officially the wettest in recorded history. And to put things into perspective, the previous record was broken back on June 13th.

The top five rainiest months in Milwaukee history:
RANK / AMOUNT / SEASON

1. . 12.27 -- 2008 June
2. . 10.03 -- 1917 June
3. ... 9.98 -- 1997 June
For the record books, here is a thorough recap of the Midwest Flood of 2008 -- the devastating result of all this rain. As of today, some areas are still above flood stage.

-Jon

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Friday, July 04, 2008


"Quote of the Day: Sons of Freedom"

The following excerpt was printed in the Virginia Gazette on July 18, 1777. It recounts the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence as celebrated in Philadelphia -- the nation's capital. I thought it appropriate to share here on our nation's 232nd anniversary. Enjoy!
Yesterday, the 4th of July, being the Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America, was celebrated in this city with demonstration of joy and festivity. About noon all the armed ships and gallies in the river were drawn up before the city,... with the colours of the United States and streamers displayed.

At one o'clock, the yards being properly manned, they began the celebration of the day by a discharge of thirteen cannon from each of the ships, and one from each of the thirteen gallies, in honour of the Thirteen United States. In the afternoon an elegant dinner was prepared for Congress, to which were invited the President and Supreme Executive Council, and Speaker of the Assembly of this State, the General Officers and Colonels of the army, and strangers of eminence, and the members of the several Continental Boards in town.

The Hessian band of music taken in Trenton the 26th of December last, attended and heightened the festivity with some fine performances suited to the joyous occasion, while a corps of British deserters, taken into the service of the continent by the State of Georgia, being drawn up before the door, filled up the intervals with feux de joie. After dinner a number of toasts were drank, all breaking independence, and a generous love of liberty, and commemorating the memories of those brave and worthy patriots who gallantly exposed their lives, and fell gloriously in defence [sic] of freedom and the righteous cause of their country. Each toasts was followed by a discharge of artillery and small arms, and a suitable piece of music by the Hessian band. The glorious fourth of July was reiterated three times accompanied with triple discharges of cannon and small arms, and loud huzzas that resounded from street to street through the city.

Towards evening several troops of horse, a corps of artillery, and a brigade of North Carolina forces, which was in town on its way to join the grand army, were drawn up in Second street and reviewed by Congress and the General Officers. The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.

Every thing was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal. Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen, and amen.


- Virginia Gazette, July 18, 1777
-Jon

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"Nine Little-Known Facts About Lady Liberty"

The first face that many early immigrants to the United States saw upon reaching our shores, was that of the Statue of Liberty. Her solemn eyes and iconic countenance promised the hope of a new life for those leaving one of despair.

Formally called Liberty Enlightening the World, this well-known statue -- a gift from France over 120 years ago -- has become one of the most recognizable icons of the United States, and a symbol of freedom and democracy throughout the world.

Here are some facts that you may not have known about Lady Liberty.

-Jon

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Thursday, July 03, 2008


"Thursday in Review"

Finished painting the apartment from yesterday. Played hide-and-go-seek with a cute little five-year-old girl. Treated to dinner at Moe's Southwestern Grill; watched the Milwaukee Brewers lose a 6-5 nail-biter on the big-screen. Came home, did some work. Going to bed soon.

"Jackson’s single leads Diamondbacks to 6-5 victory"

-Jon

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"The Robots of Ann P. Smith"

Artist, Ann P. Smith spends her days making little robotic-like figurines from broken electronics and machine parts. The sculptures are then sold in stores and galleries throughout the US, and have even been published as illustrations in magazines and brochures.

-Jon

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"America's Regional Hot Dogs"

Like any American, I enjoy hot dogs from time to time. I didn't realize, however, that there were so many types of regional hot dogs: Sonorans from Arizona, Half Smokes from Washington D.C, Red Dogs from Maine, Kosher-style from New Jersey and New York, Coneys from the Midwest, Chicago-style from just south of here.... etc. That's a lot of tubular meat!

Oh, yes, and we can't forget the tubular meat made famous here in Wisconsin (and 39 other countries of the world): Johnsonville sausage and brats! And in case you were wondering, uh, yeah.... they really are made here in Johnsonville, WI. :)

-Jon

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


"My New Neighbors"

I just found out who my new downstairs neighbors will be.

A few days ago, I showed the apartment to a young single mother and her 5-year-old daughter. She liked the place, filled out an application, and I passed it along to my landlord. He approved it, and today she signed the rental contract. Later this month the two of them will be moving in.

You know, I've gotten used to a young child living downstairs. Previously it was a young boy. Now it's a young girl only a few years older. It's nice to see the trend continue. :)

-Jon

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"A Reminder from Above"

Today was an interesting day: Lightning struck the ground a few hundred feet from me, it knocked out electricity to the building I was in, and I spent the next two hours painting in the dark!

Late this morning, I had just started putting paint onto the walls in a 2nd floor apartment, when the sky outside began to grow gloomy and foreboding. An ominous thunderstorm was rolling in, and in short order, a bolt of lighting knocked out power. No more electricity. Which, of course, meant that, as the sky grew darker and darker outside, so did the interior space I was working in -- a space lit only by the weak light seeping in from the outside windows.

The painting project needed to be done though, so I kept at it, even if that meant struggling at times to see where I had just painted. I adjusted my plans a bit too, and decided to remain in the two small outermost bedrooms -- the two rooms that had the biggest windows. At least there I could still see the walls.

At one point, I stepped outside (on the covered balcony) to chat with the young woman on the 2nd floor balcony across the way. Her building (one of the four apartment structures on the lot) was also without electricity, and she was hanging out there with her two young boys, trying to keep them from becoming antsy and bored. Afterall, with no working television to watch cartoons, and an apartment lit by candles, the balcony really was the best place for them to be.

As I was talking to her, another nearby balcony-dweller informed us of her recent conversation with the local power company. Apparently a bolt of lighting had struck one of the residential power poles on the lot only a few hundred feet away. It fried the transformer, and plunged all four apartment buildings, and 36 apartments, into darkness. The company was fixing the damage.

Yeah... A few hundred feet away! Seriously! That's the closest I've EVER been to a lighting strike! It's too bad I was inside, though; I imagine that would have been quite a sight to see!

Anyway, after much rain, the storm passed, and the sky grew light again. Gradually I could see further into the apartment, so I moved on to some of the innermost rooms. By about 2pm, power was restored, the lights came back on, and I was able to continue painting as planned.

To say my day was a normal, though, would have been far from the truth. Afterall, it's not every day that lightning strikes the ground in close proximity to you, and forces you to work in the dark. But what intrigues me the most is this: when I woke up this morning, I asked God to grant me an interesting Wednesday -- one in which I gave Him my present (and often baffling) struggles, and left the day to His leadership. In response, he answered my prayer, granted me a memorable Wednesday, and tossed in a lighting strike to remind me that yes, he is still in control.

Now, how's THAT for a "reminder from above"! God works in awesome ways sometimes! And just like his conversation with Moses from within a burning bush (that didn't burn), the word "grand" doesn't always describe his answers. Sometimes, simplicity can be just as effective.

-Jon

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"Today in History"

Seventy-one years ago today, aviator Amelia Earhart, along with navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, never to be found. She vanished during her second attempt at flying around the world. Fascination with her life continues to this day.

-Jon

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"Wisdom of the Day"
God Controls the Heavens

"Does your world ever seem out of control? When it does, look up at the night sky. There you will see some of the billions of stars, flaming, fiery giant gas balls that God placed there to decorate the night sky for rich and poor alike.

"The heavens declare the glory of God," King David wrote in one of his poems, "and the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

"What’s more, God still retains total control over the heavenly bodies. The Bible tells us that God stopped the rotation of the earth for Joshua and even made it go backwards for Hezekiah. This is the God who tells you that nothing, no force in all the universe, can come between you and his love."


- Pastor Mark Jeske, Time of Grace

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


"An Army Anniversary"

Thirty-five years ago the U.S. Army became an all-volunteer force. Ever since July 1, 1973, there has never been a draft, and every soldier has served this country by choice. That, in turn, has made our nation's military the envy of the world.

I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty cool bit of history!

"All-volunteer Army envy of world says G-1"

-Jon

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"10 Amazing 3D Street Artists"

These 3D street artists give graffiti a whole new meaning –- and one that departs from graffiti as vandalism (aka, images and letters scrawled on public property). This kind of street art so detailed, so complex, that it's almost impossible to pass by without being sucked in. What had once been a concrete wall or an asphalt sidewalk, now becomes a whole new world of visual creativity!

-Jon

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"The Blue Road"

Here's a creative idea: In April 2007, het Moleneind, a road in Drachten, The Netherlands, was painted blue to symbolize water. The 1000 meter-long road was created to form an urban river, and recreate the path of a waterway that once used to flow there. Here are some photos.

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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- Mashable: Facebook
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- ProBlogger
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- The Brothers Brick
- The Presurfer
- Time of Grace Blog
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