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Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Rained Out"

Well, so much for camping a second night. Dark storm clouds are rolling in, and heavy rain is in the forecast. Kelli and I decided to cut our losses, pack up camp, and head back to Brillion. We'll lose a night of camping.... but at least we'll stay dry.

(This entry was hand-written, and posted upon my return to Milwaukee.)


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"Camping With Kelli"

Kelli and I are camping. :)

Yesterday, we drove from Madison back up to Brillion just in time to attend a graduation party. It was suggested that we go camping (since the weather has been absolutely beautiful as of late). So, we returned to Kelli's apartment, stopped in at the graduation party, grabbed our camping supplies, and took off for the nearby Calumet County Park.

We set up camp on a beautiful wooded site here in the camping area, roasted hot dogs for dinner, made s'mores, chatted by the fire.... and discovered (much to our surprise) that the temperature dropped to frigid overnight. But, we made it through, and today, we've been enjoying the once-again beautiful warm weather.

One of the best parts about this County Park, though, is that it's located right along the shores of beautiful Lake Winnebago. You can actually see the massive lake from our campsite, and it sure is a stunning sight (especially as the sun was setting last night... and as the overnight moon glinted off the calm sparkling water!).

If you're the camping sort -- like Kelli and I are -- I highly recommend this park. It has some beautiful terrain, excellent campsites, plenty of hiking trails, skiing in winter, multiple native American effigy mounds, and much more. Tent sites are only $17/night, RV sites abound, and there is running water/showers.

(This entry was hand-written, and posted upon my return to Milwaukee.)


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Friday, May 29, 2009

"Jeff Dunham Concert"

Kelli and I just returned from our Jeff Dunham concert. It was across the street from our hotel near the Alliant Energy Center here in Madison, Wisconsin. And we had a great time!

Stand-up comedy + top-notch ventriloquism = much enjoyment!

For Christmas Kelli's friend had bought us tickets to come see this performance, and for the past couple months, we've both been looking forward to this weekend. I went up to Brillion by bus yesterday, and today Kelli and I drove down to Madison. We're in town for the night, and then will be returning north to Brillion tomorrow.

The rest of our weekend has not yet been determined.

(This entry was hand-written, and posted upon my return to Milwaukee.)


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

"A Day in the Life of Jon -- (May 28, 2009)"

-- 5:57 AM --
Thursday begins. I wake up three minutes before my alarm. Turn it off. Drift back to sleep.

-- 6:21 AM --
Wake up again -- 21 minutes late. Grab a shower. Shave.

-- 6:43 AM --
Turn on the local news and eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

-- 7:16 AM --
Turn off GMA and pack the last of what I need for my weekend travels.

-- 7:47 AM --
Sending off a quick email, and then heading out the door.

-- 8:08 AM --
Catch city bus #1. Destination: downtown Milwaukee Greyhound station.

-- 8:14 AM --
Waiting at a city bus stop for bus #2. Watching an attractive smartly-dressed young woman across the street (also waiting for a bus). Musing upon her bright red lipstick, black skirt, long black coat... and bright pink leggings.

-- 8:31 AM --
Bus #2 arrives. I get on.

-- 9:17 AM --
Arrive downtown at the Greyhound terminal. Go in. Pick up my ticket.

-- 9:52 AM --
Sitting in the terminal watching CNN. Waiting for my 10:30am bus to begin boarding.
Ticket destination: Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

-- 10:04 AM --
Talking to a friendly well-traveled 71-year-old retired teacher. He's on his way back home from Boise, ID, and waiting for my bus as well.

-- 10:16 AM --
First boarding call for my bus.

-- 10:30 AM --
My bus is pulling out of the terminal. The skies are cloudy, gray, and overcast. I settle in for an 80-mile ride north to Manitowoc.

-- 10:34 AM --
Sitting across the aisle from an Amish man eating Cheetos.

-- 10:50 AM --
Listening to country music on my ipod.
Current artists: Shania Twain, Shannon Lawson, and Sherrie Austin.

-- 11:33 AM --
Pulling into the Sheboygan terminal. Three new passengers get on. Next stop: Manitowoc.

-- 12:09 PM --
Disembarking from my bus in Manitowoc. The terminal is nothing more than a gas station.

-- 12:18 PM --
Sitting down for lunch in the nearby Arby's.

-- 12:45 PM --
Spreading out some work in a newly-vacated restaurant booth. Planning to sit here in Arby's until 3pm, then walk to the nearby Starbucks to meet Kelli at 4pm (she's teaching in Brillion 20 miles away, and cannot come pick me up until then).

-- 1:34 PM --
Listening to the Weather Channel on the Arby's television. Melodramatic program about a tornado that destroyed a small Arkansas town in 2008.

-- 1:58 PM --
Sipping Pepsi and reading a computer game manual.

-- 3:11 PM --
Walking over to Starbucks.

-- 3:23 PM --
Sitting down in Starbucks with a slice of strawberry rhubarb crumble and a tall glass of ice water. Still reading the computer game manual.

-- 3:50 PM --
Kelli has arrived... earlier than expected. Very happy to see her!

-- 4:32 PM --
Arriving at Kelli's apartment with A&W cheeseburgers and deep fried cheese curds for dinner.

-- 5:30 PM --
Starting to watch "Timeline" on the Sci-Fi Channel. Never seen it.

-- 6:14 PM --
Changing clothes for church. Being reminded to hurry up (or we'll be late).

-- 6:46 PM --
In church. Grade school graduation service. Kelli is singing (in a choir).

-- 8:19 PM --
Eating tasty desserts (in the fellowship hall) and enjoying the graduation reception.

-- 9:30 PM --
Back at Kelli's apartment. Watching a cute DVD recap of her kindergarten school year.

-- 10:49 PM --
Gathering a few of my things, so I can head over to the Principal's house and spend the night in his guest bedroom. I have to be up around 5am so Kelli can have her car for school.

-- 11:07 PM --
Parking the car on the street. Tip-toeing into the Principal's quiet house (he and his wife are already sleeping). Locking up, and turning off the lights.

-- 11:16 PM --
Crawling into the guest bed. Time to end my day.

(This entry was hand-written, and posted upon my return to Milwaukee.)


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"Weekend in Madison"

Well folks, I'm heading out shortly, and I'll be gone for the weekend. Kelli and I are going to Madison (Wisconsin) to see comedian Jeff Dunham perform.

While I'm gone from blogging, I'm going to do a little something different... I'm going to write my posts on paper in my notebook, and when I return early next week, I'll re-post them here on my blog. So, while those posts will go up after the fact, you'll still get to "follow along" in my adventure. I'm also thinking of doing the same thing when Kelli and I go down to Chicago next weekend.

Alright, well, I'm off. Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and I'll see you when I get back!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Rainy Morning"

Yesterday I noted that, today, I would either be painting an apartment indoors, or landscaping outdoors. I think it's a safe bet to say... I'll be indoors. The rain will make landscaping a bit of a challenge. For example, I don't think I'll be moving dirt mud -- and certainly not with a wheelbarrow and shovel. Too messy. I doubt we'll be mowing wet lawns. Too slippery and counterproductive. And anything else.... yeah, better done on a warm dry day.

So, the odds are strong that I'll probably be painting the lower level of a duplex -- if, of course, the tenant is moved out as expected. And if the tenant is not moved out, or the apartment needs other work before we can paint it... then I have no clue what I'll be doing today.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see. :)


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Blogger's Block"

I'm sitting here at my computer, trying to come up with a personal blog post -- something a bit more Jon-oriented than usual -- but my mind just doesn't want to cooperate. I'm drawing a blank. And that's rather disorienting for a creative person such as myself.

To be honest, I'd like to get back into the habit of writing the kind of posts that started this blog -- longer musing-driven posts that often dipped into the realm of contemplation. Opportunities for reflection. Observation. I miss those. But, alas, maybe tonight just isn't the night for that. Maybe tonight I just need to head to bed, and start with a fresh mind in the morning.

Tomorrow, I'll either be painting an apartment indoors, or landscaping outdoors (I don't know which), so I suppose a little extra sleep wouldn't hurt. It'll be a busy day, followed by another early-to-bed night, so that I can travel up to Brillion on Thursday to see Kelli (we're going to a comedy performance in Madison on Friday). It'll be a long, but VERY exciting weekend.... kicking off a short and busy week.... capped off by yet another exciting weekend down in Chicago -- and then over into Michigan for a few days to visit friends.

[takes a deep gasping breath]

Oi. Yeah. Bed. No thinking. Need sleep. :)

Have a wonderful evening all. I'll see you on the morrow.


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"Astonishing 3D Murals"

Here's something neat for your Tuesday: It's a collection of photos that look as though a natural disaster has shaken away the walls of buildings to reveal the fascinating secrets hidden inside. But these images aren't the work of an earthquake or destructive force.... no, they're actually works of art -- incredibly lifelike murals -- painted on the sides of perfectly intact buildings.


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Monday, May 25, 2009

"Remembering Our Heroes"

"Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice."
-- David Kenyon Webster

As Owen said at Boots and Sabers, "Lakes of blood have been spilt for the liberty you enjoy. On this day, we honor those who filled those lakes."

Remember their ultimate sacrifice. ... [video]


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Warm and Beautiful!"

Yesterday's high temperature reached 89F here in my neighborhood, and we're predicted to reach the mid-70's later today. The sun is out, the air is warm... I love Spring!

And if the weather isn't enough to smile about, the flowers are blooming too! Last week I saw the first brightly-colored tulips of the season, and the lavender lilacs that surround my old apartment are at the peak of their beauty (oh how I love the smell of fresh lilacs!). Other than a few days of rain (and the first thunder/lightning storm of the year), the sun is making it's presence known. Even the shorts, short skirts, tank tops, bikini tops, and sandals are out everywhere.

Yep, it's definitely Spring. My favorite time of the year.


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"Photographic Solitude"

I came across this collection not too long ago, and thought I'd share it with all of you. Here are 100 beautiful photos that express solitude, peace, and loneliness. Enjoy!


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Lost: The Incident"

I just finished watching this week's two-part episode of "LOST" (I missed it on Wednesday night, and had to catch up online). I do believe that was one of the best season finales ever written.

Join me, and let's discuss it here.


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Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Ghosts and Spirits"

Last week a young man hanged himself -- a young man I was familiar with... a man I had met in passing. Yesterday, I went into the room where he had taken his life. It was dark and quiet. To me, this was just a room -- an empty room with a tragic story to tell. Yet, as I walked around, I was probably standing upon the very spot where this troubled man had committed suicide -- the very spot where his spirit had left his body.

Some people may view this room differently than I did, and there's nothing wrong with that. Perhaps it's more than just a quiet room to them. Maybe it's creepy. Maybe it's unnerving. Maybe it has a deeper spiritual meaning. Maybe it will forevermore be haunted by the memory of what has happened there... I don't know.

For me, it was just a room.

I'm a very religious person, mind you, and yes, I do believe in spirits. But in this case, I didn't sense anything ghostly. Perhaps that's not a gift I possess. Maybe it's one that you do.

So, let me ask you this:
If you had been in this room, how do you think you would have felt.... and why?

I've started a discussion thread on my forum titled, "Ghosts and Spirits". I'll be hosting the conversation. Join me. I'd like to hear your thoughts.


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"Pixel City"

Pixel City is a procedurally-generated city by Shamus Young. For the non-coders out there, this basically means that, based on a certain set of rules, a 3-D city is generated dynamically each time the program runs. It's very pretty. Watch in High Definition for better details. ... [video]


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"President Obama: Trekkie-in-Chief"

Last Wednesday, President Obama commented on the new Star Trek movie in a Newsweek interview titled "A Highly Logical Approach". The bit about Trek is at the end. Here's the excerpt:

And the last movie you saw?
Now, movies I’ve been doing OK [with] because it turns out we got this nice theater on the ground floor of my house … So Star Trek, we saw this weekend, which I thought was good. Everybody was saying I was Spock, so I figured I should check it out and—[the president makes the Vulcan salute with his hand].

Very good.
Yes, absolutely.

Did you watch that when you were growing up?
I used to love Star Trek. You know, Star Trek was ahead of its time. There was a whole—the special effects weren’t real good, but the storylines were always evocative, you know, there was a little commentary and a little pop philosophy for a 10-year-old to absorb.

A lot of U.N. stuff.
Yes, exactly, right.

This marks the first time a US President has given a review of a Star Trek film, while it has been in theaters. The only other recount of a Presidential screening of Star Trek at the White House comes from Ronald Reagan’s diary, where he wrote on June 23rd 1984: "After dinner we ran "Star Trek III." It wasn’t too good."


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Friday, May 15, 2009

"Friday in Review"

Mowed multiple lawns. Used an electric lawnmower. Had to be careful not to run over the extension cord. Watched the gloomy sky and the impending rain. Enjoyed Chinese for lunch. Came home. Showered. Talked to Kelli on the phone. Watched two episodes of "JAG" on DVD. Tired. Heading to bed for some much needed sleep.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Thursday in Review"

Finished painting another apartment. Long day. Sore knee. Came home. Talked to Kelli on the phone for an hour. Made a tasty dinner. Watched "Fireproof"; Excellent movie! Going to bed. Moving dirt tomorrow (shovel, wheelbarrow, that sort of thing).


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

" Turns Seven!"

As of today, is now officially seven years old! This site went live on May 13, 2002, and has been entertaining fans and visitors alike ever since. So... to everyone who has helped make it what it is now, thank you... and welcome to year number eight!


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A fierce battle is taking place. Location: An urban hospital. Combatants: Men in clown masks vs. the SWAT team sent to take them down.

It's a short film, but not like you might expect. This 2 minute 19 second beauty is filmed in one continuous tracking shot, and offers a unique look at one single moment in time. See... the battle itself is frozen. And YOU are exploring the scene.

It's called "Carousel". Creepy... yet fascinating. Enjoy! ... [video]


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"Animal Voice-Overs"

Here's some humor for your morning: If animals could talk, what would they say? Let's take a peek into the wild, and see what's buzzing in the animal kingdom, shall we. And, if the wilds aren't enough, there's always a rare look into the conversations of domestic felines. ... [videos]

Ahhh, yes, good stuff, good stuff!

Enjoy, and have a wonderful Wednesday all!


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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"The New Jon Baas Forum"

Earlier this evening, I finally relaunched this website's message board (now known as the Jon Baas Forum). I'm working to build up an active community here on, and I'd like to invite you to stop by and become a member.

I'm looking for people who like good discussion, people who want to interact with me on a regular basis, and people who long to share their opinion. If this is you, then come leave your mark. I'll have contests, debates, and I'll even answer your questions in a special "Questions For Jon" section. I'm making this forum an extension of this website. Come be a part of the fun!

The official Jon Baas Forum.


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"Headin' To The Pacific"

Congratulations to my youngest sister, Lydia (the one in the Navy). She received word this morning that they're stationing her on a ship out in the Pacific. She's wanted to get a posting over there for a loooooong time. She finally got her wish!

Whoohoooo! Yay for Lydia! :)


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Friday, May 08, 2009

"A New Star Trek"

I went to see the new Star Trek movie this evening, and I loved it! Great movie! Stunning special effects. Engaging story. However... it wasn't the Star Trek most fans are familiar with. No, it was a new Trek. A different Trek. An alternate Trek.

One fan put it best in his/her comment on TrekMovie:

"....We are able to witness the original crew making new adventures. No prequel. No reboot. Just a very complex sequel that allows us to experience a whole new fresh start with the original crew in another universe. Fascinating! Now that’s Star Trek being 'born again'!"

Yep. It's a whole new Star Trek, for a whole new generation.

If you get the chance, and you enjoy good science fiction (even if you're not a long-time Trek fan like I am), go see Star Trek. It's well worth the ticket price. And a whole lot of fun too!

Then, join me in my forum as we discuss our reactions!


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Thursday, May 07, 2009

"Beautiful Morning"

Current temperature at 9:26am: 63F. I love Spring!

The sky is clear, the sun is out, and the weather is neither too hot, nor too cold. It's the perfect kind of day to find a shady park, and read for a few hours. Alas, however, I will be indoors painting an apartment today. But... I'll still make it a priority to take breaks and get out in the sunshine. When God gives you a day like today, you just HAVE to find ways to enjoy it! :)


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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Back in the Saddle"

Well folks, I've been away from regular blogging for a while. I've had to focus on other things, grow a few projects, and deal with some unexpected setbacks. But things are settling down again, and I'm getting into a new groove. I wanna get back to the business of blogging! So... starting tomorrow, I'm back in the saddle again. Tomorrow, blogging will resume as usual.

Sorry for the silence all. I hope it didn't scare anyone away. :)

Have a wonderful evening, and I'll see you on the morrow.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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