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Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Plot Device"



A young filmmaker needs an idea to launch his career. But no matter how hard he tries, he keeps coming up empty. Then, one day, while browsing Amazon.com, he sees a "Plot Device" for sale. He has no idea what it is, but he buys it anyway.

A few days later, a mysterious device, labelled "Plot Device", arrives in the mail. There's a single button on it. Curious, he pushes it...

Watch this great little short film to find out what happens next.

-Jon

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Friday, July 22, 2011

"Pensmore: The Missouri Castle"

There's a castle being built in Missouri. It's called Pensmore, and it's a 72,000 square-foot residence, soon to be the home of Steven Huff, chairman of Wisconsin-based TF Concrete Forming Systems.

Once completed, Pensmore will be considered one of the largest residential homes in the United States. It sits on 500 acres, it's also being made of reinforced concrete, and it has has the capability to withstand an F5 tornado. Completion is slated for 2012 or 2013.

Check out the Pensmore website to see some photos and learn more.

"Gigantic home attracts notice"

-Jon

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"Star Trek Captain's Chair Replica"

There's a new Star Trek collectible on the market -- a full-size set-accurate replica of Captain James T. Kirk's command chair from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Hand-built by Steve Horch, and his company, HMS Creative Productions, this exact replica sells for $5,499.99.

Personally, I think it's a fantastic collectible! A great idea, and a unique product at that. Unfortunately, I don't think my wife would approve of one of these taking up space in the our house.

But I can still dream, though, right?

-Jon

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Jim Meskimen: Shakespeare In Celebrity Voices"



Jim Meskimen performs Clarence's speech from William Shakespeare's Richard III... but does so in the voices of different celebrities. Voices include: William Shatner, George W. Bush, Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, and more. Enjoy!

-Jon

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"NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis Makes Final Landing"



Early this morning, the Shuttle Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center. It was the last flight of the American Space Shuttle Program, and the end of an era. From now on, American astronauts will hitch rides to the space station via Russian Soyuz rockets. It will be at least three years -- maybe more -- before Americans are once again launched into orbit from U.S. soil.

All-in-all, during the course of it's 30-year history, the American shuttle program has launched 135 missions. It's traveled more than 537 million miles in orbit, and has carried 335 astronauts into space -- 14 of whom died when the shuttles Columbia and Challenger were lost.

NASA will continue to study our solar system, astronauts will still go into space (courtesy of the Russians), and unmanned missions are currently being planned. But the future of American manned space missions remains uncertain.

-Jon

Digg my article

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Hot, Hot, Hot"

The current temperature here in Brillion, WI is 94F. However, with the heat index, it feels more like 106F. And right now, we're under an Excessive Heat Warning -- in effect until tomorrow afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service, an excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible. To avoid such situations, drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, and stay out of the sun.

This is, without a doubt, the hottest day so far this summer. Apparently, it's also some of the hottest weather we've seen since July 1995. Back then, on the 13th and 14th, temperatures in this area climbed above 100F. We're not there yet this year, but we're close. And that's hot enough in my book.

If you're outside... stay cool.

-Jon

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Friday, July 15, 2011

"10 Cheap Date Ideas She’ll Actually Love"

Taking women out on dates doesn't have to be expensive. You just have to be creative. Too many men believe they can buy their way out of thinking. But creative and inexpensive dates are usually the best kind. They're more memorable than the standard dinner and a movie, and, when a woman sees that you're thoughtful, she won't care how much money you spent on taking her out.

Here are 10 inexpensive date ideas that are sure to impress.

-Jon

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The Colour Clock"

Now THIS is cool! It's an online digital clock representing time as a hexadecimal color value. Time is translated into an ever-changing color value, and then that color is displayed as the seconds counts up. It's called, The Colour Clock, and it's a novel concept. Take a peek!

And for those that don't know, a "hexadecimal color value" is a six-digit code used to represent colors. It can include numbers and letters. All colors you see on your computer have one of these codes. Here are some more details on web colors, if you're interested.

-Jon

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Monday, July 11, 2011

"Wedding Anniversary Weekend"

This past weekend was my 1st wedding anniversary; Kelli and I have been married for twelve months now. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a lot, but it is a successful start to the years that will follow. Personally, I'm rooting for 49 more. We'll see; God holds the cards on that one.

I actually put together some fun plans to celebrate this weekend. On Saturday, I was prepared to surprise Kelli and take her on an old-fashioned picnic. She said she wanted to go somewhere (away from Brillion), and previous plans to spend time up in Door County hadn't worked out. So my idea was to put together picnic gear and head east to the shore of Lake Michigan. Manitowoc's Silver Lake Park seemed like a scenic spot. Plus, it was close-to-home, yet along the same beautiful water that borders Door County to the north.

Unfortunately, a number of factors got in the way. Kelli wasn't feeling up to a picnic, it was a warm muggy day, and, as we later found out, it was raining when we would have been laying out on the grass. So, we ended up going out to eat at Red Lobster instead, which was just as enjoyable. Lobster is a treat in our corner of the world. We might still try the picnic idea later in the week -- just for the fun of it.

On Sunday, I treated Kelli to another meal out -- this time, as originally planned. We went to Olive Garden, and enjoyed a tasty Italian dinner. Afterwards, I had planned for us to return home, crack open a bottle of wine, and cuddle on the couch while watching a romantic movie. As it turned out, though, we ended up doing a little shopping at Barnes and Noble, and then went to the movie theater to see "Kung Fu Panda 2" instead. Not quite as romantic as I had hoped, but still well worth the change in plans. Good movie too. Maybe even better than the first.

As I've been told, Kelli and I will probably follow up on the wine and romantic movie idea later in the week as well. It just won't be an anniversary thing.

I also got Kelli some chocolates. She likes chocolates. Unfortunately (as should probably have been expected), I couldn't find her the romantic collection that I wanted -- stores around here just don't seem to carry that sort of thing. So I compromised, and got her some of her favorites -- that the store did have. Not quite the same thing. But, it's the thought that counts.

In the end, my anniversary plans didn't quite work out as I had hoped, but it still turned out to be a wonderful date weekend nonetheless. I like to be creative with my romance ideas, even if things change at the last minute. I did arrange, though, to have a dozen red roses delivered to Kelli on Saturday morning. She really liked that. For months she'd been commenting that I never got her flowers. But I had good reason. I wanted to surprise her this weekend. And, I think I did. She's drying one of the roses as we speak -- to save it's beauty indefinitely.

Now that it's Monday (July 11th), the weekend is over, and a new year of marriage begins. I don't know what's in store for the two of us in the NEXT twelve months, but I do know this: I have an amazing wife, and if year two is anything like year one... it'll be a wonderful, exciting, always-learning-something-new adventure -- the kind that keeps you on your toes, but yet always finds a way to fascinate. It's usually full of unexpected moments, but it's ALWAYS memorable!

And memories are what bring people closer together.

So... here's to year two. The unknown continues. Let's see what awaits!

-Jon

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

"Firefly, The Rap"



I'm not a fan of rap. It's not my thing. But THIS rap I like! Watch and enjoy!

-Jon

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"The Artist That Paints With Her Lips"

Natalie Irish doesn't need to use her hands to create mind-blowing masterpieces. That's because she paints portraits using only her lips and lipstick. This Houston-based artist simply puckers her lips and kisses the canvas a few thousand time until she gets the desired effect.

And, believe it or not, she's actually pretty good! Take a peek... and enjoy!

-Jon

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Friday, July 08, 2011

"Kelli Returns; Anniversary Begins"

Kelli is back in town again; she returned to Brillion this afternoon. She was sad to have to leave her family in Tomah -- sad to the point of tears. She would have stayed longer if she could, but this weekend is also our first wedding anniversary. As of Sunday, she and I will have been married for a year. Naturally, that was a pretty good reason for returning home early.

I do have things planned for the weekend. I haven't told her about them yet, so I can't say what they are here either. But suffice it to say, I think they'll be worthy of our first anniversary. I'm kinda new to this, so we'll see how things work out. People used to tell me -- before we were married -- that my romantic ideas put other men to shame. I don't know how accurate that is, but I can say this... love is a great motivator. It gets you thinking, brainstorming, trying to find ways to express your love. And I have a lot of love for my wife. So... we'll see.

If you're curious about what's in store, stay tuned. I'll probably write about the weekend, and our anniversary activities, a little after the fact.

For now, though, the house is back to normal. The temperature is adjusted back to the wife's preferences. The TV remote reverts back to Kelli's control. And my bachelor-like schedule returns to the husband zone. Hanging out on my own was fun, I enjoy my solitude. But I missed my wife too.

So, here's to a fun weekend, and a great first anniversary with the wife! I'll let you know how it goes!

Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"The Final Launch of the Space Shuttle"

Today marks the end of an era. Today was the final launch of the American Space Shuttle Program. The shuttle Atlantis lifted off successfully from the Kennedy Space Center at 11:29 (EST) this morning. They'll deliver supplies to the International Space Station, and then return to Earth in 12 days. After that, all NASA astronauts will launch into space aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

-Jon

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

"Quote of the Day"

"Ah, summer -- what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
-- Russell Baker

-Jon

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Monday, July 04, 2011

"A Week of Solitude"

This week I get the house all to myself. Kelli went home to visit family in Tomah on Friday, and I stayed here in Brillion to work. Seven to eight days of vacation. She'll be returning home at the end of the week.

So far, it's been a relatively normal few days. Nothing much happening out of the ordinary. I've been staying indoors with the air conditioner on to beat the heat, and I've been watching a little Star Trek on Netflix here and there. I've also been cooking for myself -- nothing fancy. In a way, my former bachelor self gets to resurface slightly. I still abide by house rules (set forth by the wife), but for the most part, I'm enjoying my solitude.

This is also the first time Kelli and I have been apart for an extended period of time since we were married. She brought it up before she left, so it probably weighs upon her a bit more than it does me. But for the most part, we both seem to be handling it well.

Tomorrow, I might venture out into the city. Maybe take a walk, grab some photographs, run a few errands. I've been doing a lot of office work since Kelli left. Stretching my legs will do me good.

I also plan to blog more personally in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned for that. More of my thoughts, perspectives, motivations, etc. You'll probably hear a lot more about Brillion as well. It's summer; 'tis a good time to get out and explore the local history.

That's all of I've got for tonight, though. It's a quiet night. Maybe a movie is in order. We'll see. Have a great evening all, and until tomorrow,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"God Bless America!"

Happy 235th Independence Day!

-Jon

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Friday, July 01, 2011

"Star Trek Begins Streaming on Netflix"

As of this morning, Netflix began streaming hundreds of Star Trek episodes. Right now, all of the original Star Trek series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Voyager, and Star Trek Enterprise are available for streaming. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will be available on October 1st.

Each series gets its own page on Netflix, with season tabs allowing you search and find any episode. You can add the series to your instant queue, or you can just click the play button next to any episode. Each episode streams commercial-free, and is available to subscribers in the USA.

This is the first time that Star Trek: The Next Generation has been available digitally, and the first time Star Trek: Voyager is available via streaming. The original Star Trek and Star Trek: Enterprise are being shown in HD (720P). And the original series episodes are indeed the "remastered" versions featuring the new CGI digital effects (well worth watching, if you haven't seen them yet).

If you've been itching to watch some Star Trek, but don't own all the series on DVD, now you can sit down and enjoy them -- on-demand -- from the comfort of your nearest Netflix-ready device.

I bet you can guess what I'll be doing in the coming days!

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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