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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Walter Koenig Autograph - (TJBtH Trade #1)"

Those who follow me on Facebook, Twitter or right here on my blog, know that I am working on a fun new "trade-up" project that will hopefully send me to an acting role in Hollywood.

This is how it works: I started with a $1 million dollar bill. I traded that $1 million dollar bill to someone else, and they traded me something neat in return. Then I take that new object, and I trade it to someone else for a completely different neat and interesting object. This string of trades continues (for as long as it takes) until my final trade is made with a producer or director in Hollywood who chooses to trade me a small speaking role in a movie or television episode. My goal is to obtain a fun professional acting opportunity, but the journey to get there is told through the creative trades that fans, friends and others choose to make with me along the way!

You can read more about my trading project here: "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" ("TJBtH").

As of right now -- today -- I've made my first trade. A friend in Utah, Rex, offered to trade me an autographed publicity photo of actor Walter Koenig (who played Ensign Pavel Chekov in the original "Star Trek" of the 1960's) in exchange for my $1 million dollar bill. The photo is hand-signed by Walter Koenig himself.

A number of years ago, Rex hosted a podcast known as I-SCI-FI. During that time, he interviewed many celebrities, production people and producers from Star Trek and other science fiction franchises. He still maintains contact with many of them today. Walter Koenig was one of the celebrities he interviewed, and this autographed photo comes from that meeting.

Today, Rex is a Mechanical Designer who has designed everything from Flight Simulators to rocket tooling for Shuttle boosters and other systems. He also writes science fiction, draws spaceships, and is a member of the Seventh Fleet Star Trek fan organization -- a group that promotes the dream of Star Trek through fan, friends, and family activities in the Utah area. Rex has also become a friend of mine through our interactions and shared interests on Facebook. I am deeply honored to have made my first trade with Rex, and humbled that he chose to trade me such a fascinating Star Trek item!

Here is a photo of Rex holding the Walter Koenig autograph that he traded me:

Now that trade #1 has been made with Rex, if you like Star Trek, Walter Koenig, or wonderfully unique Star Trek memorabilia, this Walter Koenig autograph is available to trade to YOU. The photo is stored in a protective clear plastic sleeve, and is autographed with a silver Sharpie. The autographed text reads: "To I Sci fi, Guess who's coming to Dinner? Walter Koenig".

Here's a close-up of my Walter Koenig autographed publicity photo:

So, who wants to trade me something bigger, better or more interesting than my Walter Koenig photo? Who wants to be the second trade in my bold "trade-up" journey to Hollywood?

If you have something neat that you would like to trade, email the details to me at: (I will only accept emailed trade requests at this email address).

Also, please be sure to read the project rules and information as noted on my original blog post, "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood". There are a few important things you'll want to keep in mind. The details can be found at the bottom of the post. :)

Alright, offer me something in trade. Let's see what happens in #2!


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Monday, February 18, 2013

"Happy Birthday Jon Baas!"

Today is my birthday. I am 33 years-young.


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"The Luxury Hotel That Used To Be A Jail"

Finding a new use for an old space can be a lot of fun! Here's an example of one such renovation you probably never considered. In the Netherlands, there's an old jail that has been converted into a luxury hotel. Seriously.... a luxury hotel! It's the Hotel Het Arresthuis, and you have got to see the photos of this place! Take a peek!


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Friday, February 15, 2013

"Quote of the Day"

"If you hear a voice within you saying, "you are not a painter," then by all means paint... and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Humanize it."

I admire the advice and perspective of Seth Godin. Here's another nugget of his wisdom:
"Quite intentionally, all Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars are identical.

No one says, "oh, this one is really special, Brian made it."

What industrialists do: They dehumanize what they make, so it is the brand and the organization and the factory that is known and trusted, not the person on the line. (This is not always a bad thing--there are many items where consumers prefer perfect instead of human).

The outcome of this effort is that employees are fungible commodities, as long as they are able and willing to follow the manual. That's all well and good if you're the owner (or if you need a reliable supply of chocolate), but it doesn't play out so well for the worker, particularly in a society with ever-faster-shifting job slots.

The only alternative is to humanize our work. To create something that only you could have made, or said, or conceived of. When it looks and feels like you, when you are the trusted source (not an anonymous trademark) then you are on the spot, under pressure and deservedly valued."

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"D. Westry, Speed Painter"

When I paint or draw, I like to take my time. Details are important in my work. Master speed-painter, D Westry, however, likes to paint fast. In this video he shows off his skills during the "Anderson's Viewers Got Talent" competition. And believe me, his 1 minute, 30-second painting will knock your socks off! Enjoy!


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"Quote of the Day"

"To change one's life: 1.) Start immediately. 2.) Do it flamboyantly. 3.) No exceptions."
- William James


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Monday, February 11, 2013

"A Million Dollar Trade"

Two weeks ago, I started a new social project. I decided to pursue a string of trades (with anyone who wishes to trade with me), and by doing so, trade-up to a small speaking role in a Hollywood movie or television show. I call it my "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" project. It's a bold, perhaps even crazy endeavor, but it's also one that could make for a great adventure story along the way. Who do I trade with? What do I trade for? Do I make it to Hollywood? That sort of thing. I'd love to see what happens, and anyone who trades up with me gets to be part of the journey.

To start this string of trades, I originally offered an autographed stage script from one of my first stage performances. Back in 1996 (when I was still in high school), I played the role of Gandalf in a stage dramatization of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit". It was a fun opportunity, and it helped set me on the path to being the professional actor that I am today. Two weeks ago, that script seemed like an appropriate trade item to begin this project.

This is what the original script looks like (it was to be autographed at the time of my first trade):

In the first two weeks that I've been promoting this project, however, the thought has occurred to me that this might be a little too personal of an item to begin with. Perhaps something a little broader in scope would appeal to a bigger audience. Not everyone is as interested in trading for an old script. So I decided to make things a little more interesting; I'm going to start with another item instead. My first trade partner can still opt for the script if they want, but, moving forward, I'm going to promote the new item until the my first trade is completed.

So, what is this new first trade item? Well, here's the thing: as a creative person, I have many interesting collections. One of the things I've started to collect lately is historic, real.... and fake currency. Believe it or not, there are actually artists out there who have taken it upon themselves to design their own unique paper money -- based upon current or past United States bill designs.

Now, I should note, it is illegal to print money, copy existing currency bills, create real money as art, etc. You cannot recreate $1 bills, $5, $20, $100 bills -- any real denomination. That could land you in prison. As a result, artists will usually create their designs as "one million dollar bills", "fifty thousand dollar bills", and so forth. There has never been -- nor will there ever be -- American currency in those denominations. Therefore, it is NOT illegal to create a work of art that depicts this kind of fake currency, because there will never be one million dollar bills in circulation.

In fact, Hollywood uses this kind of fake money as props in all of their films, movies, and television episodes, because it is strictly regulated (and often impractical) to use real money in television/movie/film productions. So... any money seen in movies is fake, artificial.... not real.

Since I'm starting this project with the hopes of trading up to an acting role in a Hollywood production, it seems appropriate that my new first trade item be a fake one million dollar bill. But not just any fake million dollar bill, no, this one looks really cool! It's from my own personal collection, and I will trade it to the first person who offers me a trade in my "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" trade-up project!

For those who are curious, this is what my fake (completely legal) one million dollar bill looks like:

And, to make this one million dollar bill even more unique to my trade-up project, if you want, I will gladly autograph it for you when we make our trade! Just keep in mind, this is NOT real money. You can't spend it. It's not worth one million dollars. But it IS unique, it looks "realistic", and it represents the kind of fake money used in Hollywood movies. Therefore, I think THIS is a better, broader item worth starting off my "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" project.

So.... would YOU like to trade with me? Check out my "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" blog post to learn more! I'm still looking for my first trade. Only now.... I'll trade you "a million dollars"!


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Thursday, February 07, 2013

"Facebook Turns 9"

Earlier this week, Facebook celebrated its ninth birthday. On Monday, February 4, 2004, Facebook was born in the Harvard University dorm room of then-sophomore Mark Zuckerberg. Today, the social networking site connects more than one billion users from all around the world.

Believe it or not, my blog (this one that you are reading right now) is actually older than Facebook. I started blogging on Monday, August 26, 2002 -- three months after graduating from college and earning my degree. Last year, I celebrated my 10th anniversary as a successful blogger. I am currently working on year eleven.

Happy Birthday, Facebook. Nine years is great! But I still got you beat!


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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Star Trek The Experience"

Star Trek lives. Star Trek will continue to live. And this is why: the fans -- the diehard Trekkies. The millions of people who share the dream of a better future for all of us.

If I had been able to participate as an actor in Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, I would have. Unfortunately, the Experience closed in 2008, and I didn't get the chance. But the dream continues. Some day I will be a character in Star Trek. In a Star Trek film project.

Give this video a watch. It's a 37-minute documentary on last day of 'The Experience', before it closed. You'll learn a lot about the loyalty and mindset of Star Trek fans, but you'll also see a great behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to be an actor who brings something like this to life. Enjoy!


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"Quote of the Day"

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge


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"Everyday Love"

Here's a little reminder for all of us, especially when we're feeling down or alone. Courtesy of the WELS and
"If you walk through the doors of the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, you can view artifacts and documents from some of the most consequential years in the 20th Century. In room after room, on shelf after shelf, you can research the end of World War II, the beginning of the Cold War, the rebuilding of Europe, the Korean War, and everything in between.

Somewhere in that library, you also will find a collection of over 1,300 letters. These letters, however, have little to do with historic events of the 20th Century. They are, nevertheless, something extraordinary. You see, President Truman made it a point to write a letter to his wife, Bess, every day they were apart for any reason.

Many of the letters are simple updates on minor things. Others, of course, do mention world leaders. But it's the sheer number of letters that makes the real impact. To see those letters all together is to see the evidence of one man's steady, faithful love for his wife.

God's love for you is often not in the big and the dramatic. Very often his love for you is in the regular routine of life. He's the One who sees to it that you get something to eat. He's the One who sees to it that you have a place to sleep and something to wear. He's the One who sees to it that you receive an encouraging word when you need it. Most of all, he's the One who sees to it that his forgiveness of your sin is fresh and new for you every day. Your face was on his heart when he sent his Son to the cross for your sins and raised him from the dead.

Through faith in Jesus, that's the love God has for you. It's a love that is at work in your life every single day."

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Friday, February 01, 2013


The Disney animated short film, "Paperman", is up for an Academy Award this year. The technique used to produce it is a fascinating combination of hand-drawn art and computer animation. This gives it the feel of a classic Disney film.

I like "Paperman". I REALLY like it. I think you will too. Give it a watch.... and enjoy!


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"The Importance Of A Father"

Here's another nugget of excellent advice, courtesy of Time of Grace. While it does not yet relate to me personally, it may sometime down the road when/if me and my wife have children. It's something every father and future-father needs to know:
"There's a reason why children retell stories about bogeymen and monsters under their beds. It's because they know their world is scary and dangerous and they need to know that there is a place for them where they can be safe. Daddy's strength is a huge wall holding off the monsters to give them time to grow up.

Where does Daddy get his strength from? In the earlier part of his life, Solomon was still following the miraculous wisdom that God gave him. He shares an important insight about family security: "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge." (Proverbs 14:26). God's Word and wisdom help men to control their sinful and violent impulses, and his divine forgiveness helps a man to be a patient, disciplined, and kind husband and father.

A little girl needs a daddy who thinks she is a princess, beautiful and precious. If her heart is secure in that manly admiration, she doesn't have to throw herself at bad boys for attention when she's a teenager. Little boys need a daddy who shows them that real strength is shown in self-control, self-discipline, and self-sacrifice. The feeling of manhood is not automatic -- it needs to be conferred by another man.

A man who is strong in the Lord will know how to be strong for his family.""

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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