Jon Baas Blog
 
Home Biography Credits Meet Jon Blog Artist Forum Facebook Twitter Freelance Store


OFFICIAL BLOG :: Jon Baas

Jon Baas: The Brand Man. -- Build Your New Brand Starting at $5!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Brewers vs. Diamondbacks in NLDS"

For those who follow my Milwaukee Brewers postings, here's a quick update. After last night -- one of the craziest nights in baseball history, the Wild-Card teams in the MLB have been decided. In the National League, the Atlanta Braves finished off their historic collapse with an extra-inning loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, and the St. Louis Cardinals trounced the Houston Astros. Since both the Braves and Cardinals were tied going into last night's games, the Cardinals come out on top as the NL Wild-Card.

And, since the Cardinals are the NL Wild-Card, that means the Milwaukee Brewers will be playing the NL West division champs, Arizona Diamondbacks, in the first round of the Playoffs. The match-up begins on Saturday at 1:07pm (CST) in Milwaukee. It'll be televised live on TBS.

It'll be a best-of-five series. The first team to win three games moves on to play the winner of the Phillies/Cardinals match-up. The winner of the second round match-up goes on to the World Series, where they'll play the top American League team. I'm rooting for the Brewers to go all the way! Of course, anything goes in the post-season; that's what makes October and the MLB so exciting!

This is the fourth time in 42 years that the Milwaukee Brewers have made it into the Playoffs, and only the third time they've won their division to get there (they won the AL East in 1981 and 1982; NL Wild-Card in 2008). So, for those not from Wisconsin, it's a pretty big deal around here!

The Green Bay Packers won the NFL Super Bowl this past winter. Can the Milwaukee Brewers win the MLB World Series this Fall? Stick around. We'll find out.

"Brewers’ big moves pay off with playoffs"

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"The Imperial March by Two Floppy Disk Drives"



This is the ultimate in geek: The famous John Williams "Imperial March" from Star Wars... played on two floppy disk drives. It's been done before, but this is perhaps the best rendition I've ever heard. And for those who are curious, the sound comes from a magnetic head moved by a stepper motor. To make a specific sound, the head must be moved with appropriate frequency.

The sound is not a music file; it's created on the hardware itself. Brilliant!

UPDATE:
Here's the original "Imperial March" composition for comparison.

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"The Beauty of LEGO"

I love LEGO. It was my favorite toy as a kid, and even now, in my early 30's, it still fascinates me. The creativity that can come from just a few colored plastic bricks is amazing. A couple thousand of them... downright mind-blowing!

Perhaps that's why The Brothers Brick site is such a fun place to visit! Take a peek at the many wonderful creations of LEGO builders from around the world! Enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"Star Trek: The Next Generation Remastered"

While it was rumored for some time, yesterday, CBS made it official. They will be remastering (in HD) all 178 episodes of the iconic "Star Trek: The Next Generation" television series. Each episode will be re-scanned from the original film elements and visual effects elements will be re-composited for mastering into Blue-ray, syndicated release on television, as well as digital distribution via Netflix and other online rental services.

The project is being released just in time for the 25th anniversary of the series in 2012. A sampler featuring four of the episodes will be released on January 31, 2012, with all seven seasons to follow. If you're interested, here are the details on the TNG Remastered project, as well as the promo video... courtesy of TrekCore.com. Enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Thread Paintings by Cayce Zavaglia"

Cayce Zavaglia is the kind of artist I love to feature on this blog. She's found a way to turn something usual and commonplace, into something unique and extraordinary. Using simple crewel embroidery wool, and techniques borrowed from the worlds of drawing and painting, she creates like-like portraits that look a lot like oil paintings!

She created a system of sewing colored threads in a sequence that gave the illusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn mimics the way lines are layered in a drawing or painting, and, as a result, gives the portraits depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex, presenting the image of flesh, hair, and cloth.

Take a moment and explore Cayce's artwork on her website!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Table 7"



A couple is having an intimate conversation in a restaurant, unaware that their every word is being closely monitored. However, not all is as it seems. A short film by Marko Slavnic. Enjoy!

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"Quote of the Day"

"Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions."
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Monday, September 26, 2011

"The Ruins Of Bannerman's Island"

Did you know, there are the ruins of a castle sitting empty upon Pollepel Island (on the Hudson River) -- only 50 miles north of New York City? At first glance, you might think the abandoned and decaying remnants are located in Europe... or somewhere in Ireland; the architecture is very unique. But no... it's definitely on American soil.

It's called Bannerman's Castle, and while it looks like the ruins of a castle, it's actually an old abandoned military surplus warehouse, built in the early 1900's by wealthy Scottish immigrant, Francis Bannerman VI. Here are some photos of old Bannerman's Castle, as well as the history surrounding it's abandonment. It's a fascinating story, and one most American's probably know nothing about. Take a peek... and enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Friday, September 23, 2011

"Playoff Fever 2011: NL Central Champions!"

Milwaukee Brewers 2011


The Milwaukee Brewers have done it! They're going to the Playoffs!

On Thursday, the New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, dropping the Brewers magic number to clinch the NL Central to 2 games. Today, with one epic swing of the bat, Ryan Braun's three-run Miller Park homerun -- in the bottom of the 8th inning -- launched the Crew to a 4-1 win over the Florida Marlins. Half an hour later, the Cubs beat the Cardinals, and Milwaukee earned it's title!

The last time the Brewers earned a division title was in 1982 -- 29 years ago. They made it into the Playoffs in 2008, but as the NL Wild-Card. This time, they're going in as champions!

The Brewers still have five more games to play in the regular season. They may not be fighting for a Playoff spot anymore, but they still have another goal to reach. They need to end the season with more wins than the eventual NL Wild-Card team (either the Atlanta Braves or St. Louis Cardinals) as well as the NL West champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks. If they do, they will avoid having to play the NL best Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the Playoffs. Back in 2008, it was the Phillies who defeated the Brewers in the first round, and then went on to win the World Series.

The most likely first-round match-up this season will be the Brewers vs. the Braves -- a battle of the Milwaukee teams. The Atlanta Braves used to play in Milwaukee in the 1950's and '60's. They are the only team to win a World Series in the Brew City (1957). The Braves may be a Southern team now, but there's still a history here in Wisconsin. Put the two teams together in the Playoffs, and it could be a very interesting series.

So, here's to the Brewers in October. May their playoff fortunes be as dramatic as their season. And may Wisconsin end the year with yet another world champion!

"Braun’s homer gives Brewers NL Central crown"

VIDEO: Ryan Braun's 8th inning homerun

VIDEO: Brewers talk about winning NL Central

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  1 comments


Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Quote of the Day"

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."
-- Arnold Bennett

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"Playoff Fever 2011: Down to the Wire"

Two more games have been added to the books. The Brewers won and lost against the Cubs in Chicago, while the Cardinals won both of their games against the New York Mets. As a result, Milwaukee loses another game in their lead over the NL Central. With six games left in the regular season, their magic number to win the division remains at 3.

Here's where things stand after Wednesday's games:

National League Central Division:

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

Milwaukee Brewers .... 91 - 65 .... --- .... (6 games left)
St. Louis Cardinals ..... 86 - 69 ... 4.5 ... (7 games left)

The Brewers "Magic Number": -- 3

The magic number represents the combination of wins by the leading team and losses by the second-place team that would clinch the division title.

Today's game: The Brewers have the day off; Cardinals play the Mets.

If the Cardinals lose today, the Brewers' magic number drops to "2". If the Brewers win their Friday game against the Florida Marlins, and the Cardinals lose against the Cubs, Milwaukee will win the division and move on to the Playoffs. A day off, and then the final stretch. Here's hoping!

"Garza pitches 6-hitter, Cubs stall Brewers"

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Pretty Girls and Chalk Dust"



This video caught my eye. It's a promotional spot for Australia's biggest music festival, Summadayze, but it incorporates color in a way we don't often think about. Take a few pretty girls, film them in slow motion, toss in hand-fulls of brightly-colored chalk dust, and you have yourself a cleverly artistic, high-energy short film.

And one that's oddly fun to watch too! So, sit back... and enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"If Computer Problems Were Real"



In this day and age, we use a lot of metaphors to represent the world of computers. Here's a humorous video that translates those into real-life problems. Enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Playoff Fever 2011: Two Wins to Clinch"

The Brewers lost to the Cubs last night, while the Cardinals beat the Phillies. This drops the Brewers lead in the NL Central to 5.5 games, and leaves their magic number to clinch the division at 4 games. If you do the math, this means the Brewers cannot clinch until tomorrow (vs. the Cubs, in Chicago). For this to happen, they will need to win their next two games, while the Cardinals need to lose those two.

I doubt this will happen. Instead, I predict the Brewers will be celebrating their first division title in 29 years on Friday -- with a win over the Florida Marlins in Milwaukee. Better at home than away, right?

Here's where things stand before today's games:

National League Central Division:

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

Milwaukee Brewers .... 90 - 64 .... --- .... (8 games left)
St. Louis Cardinals ..... 84 - 69 ... 5.5 ... (9 games left)

The Brewers "Magic Number" is: -- 4

The magic number represents the combination of wins by the leading team and losses by the second-place team that would clinch the division title.

Today's game: Milwaukee in Chicago (vs. Cubs). 7:05pm (CST)

We need a win today. Go Brewers!

"Soto powers Cubs over Brewers" (last night's game recap)

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"The Great Remote Roundup"

I didn't know this, but apparently you can round up cattle with a remote-controlled car. They're very skittish; It's a lot of fun to watch. Take a peek! ... [video]

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"A Weekend At The Cottage"

This past weekend, Kelli and I spent a few days at a rustic cottage. The place is owned by my friend's family, and he's been staying there on a two week vacation -- by himself. This past weekend (the mid-point in his stay), he invited his fiancee, and Kelli and myself to join him. So, Kelli and I drove west into central Wisconsin, and got away from the busy-ness of civilization for a while.

Friday night was, for the most part, spent outdoors sitting around a campfire. Marshmallows were roasted, and conversation was lively. In the later evening, the two women went off to chat by themselves, while my friend (Scott) and I walked around the lake, making an after-dark trek up a nearby mountain to the county park at the top. After some creative brainstorming (on a project we're both involved in), we walked back down the mountain, and returned to the cottage.

An hour or so later, everyone went off to bed. The woman had the two available beds in the cottage, and Scott and I slept in the two second-level lofts (which you can only get to via ladders).

On Saturday, the women made breakfast, and then the four of us played a lively game of "Apples to Apples". We hung out for a while, and then by mid-afternoon, walked to the village nearby for dinner. And by village, I mean: a motel, a small dam, a mill/cafe (which was closed for renovation), a "town hall" (in what was probably an old school house), an old mechanics shop (which may have been a gas station in the 1950's), and the "Trading Post" -- a recently-built bar/restaurant constructed of wooden logs. Our dinner was at the Trading Post, and a good dinner it was. Burgers. Very tasty!

After dinner, the women went off to chat again, and Scott and I explored the local rural roads. We walked quite some distance, musing upon the hundreds of trees that had been snapped in half by a recent windstorm (the area around there is heavily wooded), and chatting upon a variety of topics. We eventually made it back to the cottage before nightfall, returning to our respective lofts a few hours later.

On Sunday, the women made breakfast again, this time outdoing themselves from the day before. After that, we hung out, and by late morning, Scott and his fiancee waded into the lake, and removed part of the dock -- a project that required the unscrewing of supports from the lake bed. I helped from the shore.

By about 1pm, Kelli and I packed our gear into the car, bid Scott and his fiancee farewell, and set out for home. Both woman are teachers. Kelli had lesson plans to work on; Scott's fiancee left shortly thereafter (probably for the same reasons).

All-in-all, it was a fun weekend away. I've been to that cottage a number of times before -- while I was still a bachelor and sharing an apartment with Scott in Milwaukee. This was, however, the first time I've been there since I was married.

If you'd like to see some pictures that I took while visiting the cottage, visit my Facebook photo album. If you'd like to see more photos (from other events/topics), they can be found here.

Have a wonderful Tuesday all! Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Monday, September 19, 2011

"Quote of the Day"

"The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do without thought of fame. If it comes at all it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"Playoff Fever 2011: Clean Sweep"

I was out-of-town this weekend, and thus unable to stay up-to-date on my Brewers "countdown to the Playoffs" theme. As it turns out, though, in my absence, they managed to sweep a three-game series from the Cincinnati Reds. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals lost one of their three games against the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Brewers gained one more game in their NL Central Division lead.

Here's where things stand as of this morning:

National League Central Division:

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

Milwaukee Brewers .... 90 - 63 .... --- .... (9 games left)
St. Louis Cardinals ..... 83 - 69 ... 6.5 ... (10 games left)

The Brewers "Magic Number" is: -- 4

The magic number represents the combination of wins by the leading team and losses by the second-place team that would clinch the division title.

Tonight's game: Milwaukee in Chicago (vs. Cubs). 7:05pm (CST)

We're getting down to the wire. Go Brewers!

"Brewers ride early runs to easy win"

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Thursday, September 15, 2011

"The 'What Was There?' Project"

The WhatWasThere project is a virtual time machine that ties historical photos to Google Maps, and allows you to tour familiar streets to see how they appeared in the past.

Anyone can participate in this project. You can easily upload a photo with two straightforward tags to provide context: Location and Year. If enough people upload enough places, the project will weave together a photographic history of the world (or, at least any place currently covered by Google Maps).

It's a fascinating idea. I may even have to start posting some photos of Brillion!

Take a peek. Visit the above link, type in your city or state, and start searching location photos from the past. You never know what you might find.

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Playoff Fever 2011: Loss; Brewers Aren't Worried"

The Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Colorado Rockies last night. Final score: 2-6. Meanwhile, the second-place St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2. As a result, the Brewers lost a game in their NL Central Division lead.

Here's where things stand after today's games:

National League Central Division:

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

Milwaukee Brewers .... 87 - 63 .... --- .... (12 games left)
St. Louis Cardinals ..... 81 - 68 ... 5.5 ... (13 games left)

The Brewers "Magic Number" is (still): -- 8

The magic number represents the combination of wins by the leading team and losses by the second-place team that would clinch the division title.

Tomorrow's game: Both the Brewers and Cardinals have the day off.

Go Brewers!

"Fielder says Brewers aren’t worried"

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"Playoff Fever 2011: Walk-Off Homerun"

With the Major League Baseball season winding to a close, and my local Milwaukee Brewers poised to make a rare Playoff appearance, I thought it might be fun to bring back an old blog theme from previous years. I thought I'd start a countdown to the National League Central Division Pennant!

So, that said... let's have at it.

Late last night, I sat down to watch the end of the Brewers game on television. When I joined the program, the contest was in the top of the 11th inning. The Brewers and Rockies were tied 1-1 after a great pitchers duel. Three outs later, the Rockies sat down, and the Brewers got their turn. The first batter up was our very own likely-MVP-candidate, Ryan Braun. After fighting off eight or nine great pitches, he launched a walk-off homerun into left-center, and the Brewers grabbed season-win number 87 (see video below)! Final score: Brewers 2, Rockies 1.

Here's where things stand at the end of this morning:

National League Central Division:

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

Milwaukee Brewers .... 87 - 62 .... --- .... (13 games left)
St. Louis Cardinals ..... 80 - 68 ... 6.5 ... (14 games left)

(NOTE: The other four teams in the division -- the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros -- have no chance of making it into the Playoffs this year.)

As of right now, the Brewers "Magic Number" is: -- 8

The magic number represents the combination of wins by the leading team and losses by the second-place team that would clinch the division title.

Tomorrow's game: Colorado Rockies in Milwaukee. 7:10pm (CST)

Go Brewers!

"Braun homers in 11th to lift Brewers over Rockies"

VIDEO: Ryan Braun's 12th career walk-off homerun

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"How to Work a Webcam"



It's the simple things in life that matter: Love and Laughter. With that in mind, here's a delightful elderly couple as they try to figure out how to use their new webcam. They'll make you smile (and they don't even know their doing it!). Take a peek, and enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"The Russian Commercial Space Station"

A Russian company called Orbital Technologies has announced plans for a hotel in orbit -- 217 miles up. It would house seven guests in four cabins, and have huge windows for views of the Earth as it rotates below them. Of course, getting there will half the adventure, as it would take two days aboard a Soyuz rocket. The cost for a five-day stay: $158,000 -- with an addition $790,000 for the journey.

The Commercial Space Station as it's called, is due to open by 2016. Claims are that it will be far more comfortable than the International Space Station currently used by astronauts and cosmonauts.

It's a fascinating idea. Visit the link above to see photos.

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"14 Things You Might Not Know About Star Trek"

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of Star Trek. In fact, a lot of what I do these days -- including my job -- has to do with Star Trek. So, you'd expect me to know a lot about the topic, right? You'd be surprised.

Here's a list of 14 things you might not know about Star Trek:

1. The USS Enterprise was originally named the Yorktown.
2. Jeri Ryan ("Seven of Nine") was offered her role... four times.
3. Scotty had a hand double.
4. Leonard Nimoy was not the first choice for Spock.
5. Geordi’s visor was actually a modified auto filter.
6. The Borg was originally designed to be a race of insectoids.
7. Star Trek’s most famous line was not original.
8. Gene Roddenberry rests peacefully in space.
9. Watching all 726 episodes and 11 films back-to-back would take three weeks.
10. Michelle Forbes ("Ensign Ro") was the original choice for Major Kira on DS9.
11. Jadzia Dax’s Trill spots were hand-painted every day.
12. Kate Mulgrew was not the first choice for "Captain Janeway" on Star Trek: Voyager.
13. Mick Fleetwood, of Fleetwood Mac, shaved his beard for Star Trek.
14. Star Trek is credited with the first interracial kiss on television.

Ironically, some of these even I didn't know! Take a peek at the original list of of 14 things you might not know about Star Trek -- complete with photos, videos, and explanations. Enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments



"Century Style Dance"



This film is a 100 year countdown to the grand opening of Westfield Stratford City, London, UK on September 13th 2011. It celebrates a century of East London fashion, dance and music. The film was shot over 4 days in east London locations with hundreds of costume changes.

Great fun! Give it a watch, and enjoy!

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11: Ten Years Later

Up until this morning, my knowledge of 9/11 and the attacks on the World Trade Center were confined to narrated media footage, countless articles... my imagination. I wasn't in New York City on September 11th. I wasn't a survivor. I awoke to the media coverage half-way across the country. For me, today was the first time I saw it first-hand. First-hand from the American who happened to have a video camera handy. First-hand from the emergency worker standing at the foot of the towers before they fell. First-hand from an on-looker unaware that the fires above him would soon be something far more frightening. First-hand from a fireman whose name is now written on a monument in Lower Manhattan.

9/11 through the media coverage was shocking. Frightening. Distant. 9/11 from the camera of an eye-witness is terrifying. Raw. Personal.

Yesterday, on this 10th anniversary of 9/11, I wanted to remember. To reflect. To be thankful. I picked three of the 9/11 programs on television, and spent a few hours revisiting various topics about the day.

One of the programs I selected was that of 9/11 as documented through the raw camera footage of first-hand witnesses. No narration. No media reporters trying to break a story. Just life as it happened. Life as it was experienced.

And, as expected, I was introduced to a great deal of imagery I never imagined: Young people watching from their high-rise apartment a mile away from Ground Zero... watching... wondering... seeing the towers one minute, then gone the next. // Two wide-eyed little children... a confused little girl saying, "The World Trade Center... it's not there." // Listening to radio communication with firemen in the south tower documenting their climb up to the 70th floor.... moments before the tower collapsed to the ground. // Listening to emergency workers, covered in dust, panting for water, drinking their fill, then putting their gear back on... and going right back into the cloud of debris. // Following along with an army -- a sea -- of newly-arrived firefighters, flowing down a New York street toward the wreckage of the first tower, heavy fire hoses wrapped around their shoulders.... only to see those same men moments later, standing silent, stunned, as the dust from the second tower swirled around them. // Watching as a bewildered businessman shuffled slowly out of the cloud, alone, his clothing hanging off of him, covered in dust... dragging his briefcase behind him, and asking... "Where is everyone going?" // Watching as people exited the World Trade Center buildings before they fell... knowing that THEY were the lucky ones. // Seeing stunned New Yorkers in Times Square, looking up, watching the media coverage... their mouths open in horror. // Watching people stand agape at the jumpers choosing free-fall over burning flames.

That's what I saw this morning. 9/11. Real. First-hand.

Ten years ago on a Tuesday, I awoke to the media coverage from my college apartment -- safe in the confines of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The first tower had already fallen. I was awake to see the rest. I was heartbroken, transfixed, angry. I didn't attend any of my classes that day. My heart just wasn't in it.

Today I saw 9/11 from a different perspective. I'll never forget it.

The United States is my home. I'm proud to live here. I'm blessed to live here. I will always remember 9/11. The loss... the unsung heroes... the servicemen and woman... the way it changed my life.

I can forgive (or try to forgive) those who enact their bitter hatred upon my country. I can move on. But I will never forget. Because... it is when we forget that past, when we stop remembering, when we ignor what came before... that is when we doom ourselves to repeat it.

And I don't wish to remember another 9/11.

-Jon

 I  link to this post  I  0 comments


+ Previous Blog Posts  I  Blog Home

Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
Blog Home

Blogs That I Read:
- ProBlogger
- Seth Godin
- The Brothers Brick
- Trek Movie
- Wil Wheaton

Star Trek Social Story:
- USS Enterprise-D

Performance / Theater:
- Improv Everywhere


Blog Archives:
- Full Archive

Subscribe:
- Posts (Atom)

Contact:
- Email Jon