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Monday, February 23, 2015

"Everything is Awesome" At the Oscars

Yes, I admit, I'm a big fan of Lego.... and I enjoyed The Lego Movie. That's why I was thrilled to see the song "Everything is Awesome" performed on-stage at this year's Oscars -- complete with break-dancing Emmets, Will Arnett as Batman, "awesome" rapping, and brick-built LEGO Oscar trophies that were handed out to random celebrity guests.

Yes, everything about this performance was most definitely awesome!

If you missed it, give it a watch here, and enjoy!


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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Caller from Microsoft Scam

To the scammers out there: if you're going to call me on the phone pretending to be from "Microsoft", speaking in a thick Indian accent with artificial concern, and offering to "fix the technicals" of "Mr. Kelli's" computer (FYI: Kelli is my wife), I will hang up on you.

I received a call like this today, and it went something like this:

ME: Hello, this is Jon.

SCAMMER: Hello. I am Tom from Microsoft. May I talk to Mister Kelli?

ME: Kelli is a girl.

SCAMMER: Uh... Can I speak to him? May I leave a message.

ME: No.

SCAMMER: Uh... Okay.... I am calling from Microsoft. We have informations about problems to fix the technicals on Mr. Kelli's computer. If you can...

*click* ... (me hanging up on "Tom" mid-sentence).

Clearly, "Tom" wasn't listening. Nor did he care about his supposed "customer service".

You'd think these scammers would get get the hint from the other dozen times I've hung up on them. They used to call asking for "Mr. John". I've hung up on them quite rudely every time. Now they're calling for "Mr. Kelli" (who is a woman, and, quite clearly, my wife). These guys are attempting to scam people by convincing those people to give them remote access to their personal computers (so that they can install malware and other dangerous programs). Their scam has been widely reported on the news, cautioned by word-of-mouth, and can easily be discerned by most people.... yet they persist. They are foolishly determined to steal from and scam anyone who will do what they ask.

If you get a call from someone like this claiming to be from Microsoft, hang up. Microsoft does not call people asking to fix their computers. That's not how Microsoft works.


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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

"The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."
- Victor Hugo


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Urbex - The Art of Urban Exploring

I'm deeply fascinated by pictures of old abandoned buildings. For places like this, it's as if life just ceased one day, and everyone disappeared. Artifacts are left behind; pictures are still hanging on the walls; once-valuable documents litter the floor. But the questions always remain: What's the story behind each of these abandoned places? And why are they still here for us to wonder about and explore?

Come join me as we take a peek at some off-limits areas. The photos of these unique places are oddly captivating.


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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quote of the Day: Artist

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."
- Charles Horton Cooley


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A New Perspective

Alright, folks, I'm relaunching after a bit of hiatus. If you've been one of my readers for the past twelve years, you're seeing a newly-minted blog design. Eventually the rest of my website will look like this as well. Sooner than later, I hope. But for now, you're seeing the new look -- it's cleaner, fresher, and more in line with advancing web standards. Yeah, I know, about time, right?

Stay tuned as I kick things off again -- just like old times. Only this time, we'll be diving back into the world of blogging with a new perspective. Blog 2.0. Let's get started!


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Star Trek Starfleet Uniform T-Shirts

Replica Star Trek Starfleet Uniform T-Shirts from Jon Baas Designs:
DS9 Red Uniform DS9 Gold Uniform DS9 Blue Uniform
DS9 Red Uniform DS9 Gold Uniform DS9 Blue Uniform
DS9 Red Admiral Uniform DS9 Gold Admiral Uniform DS9 Blue Admiral Uniform
DS9 Red Admiral Uniform DS9 Gold Admiral Uniform DS9 Blue Admiral Uniform
VOY Red Uniform VOY Gold Uniform VOY Blue Uniform
VOY Red Uniform VOY Gold Uniform VOY Blue Uniform
TNG Red Uniform TNG Gold Uniform TNG Blue Uniform
TNG Red Uniform TNG Gold Uniform TNG Blue Uniform

One of the things many Star Trek fans enjoy, is the opportunity to dress up as themselves -- or their favorite character -- in the Star Trek universe. But that usually requires a costume, and more often than not, those authentic replica costumes can be very expensive. So, I was thinking, what if those popular Starfleet uniforms could be available in a t-shirt format? What if a fan could wear their favorite uniform in everyday life?

So I made these all-over-print replica Starfleet uniform t-shirts, printed on the front and back. They each feature the appropriate iconic combadge, the department colors (exactly as seen on Star Trek), and they are all 100% softened polyester. In addition, each t-shirt is fully licensed by CBS/Paramount. They're the coolest Star Trek shirt every fan needs to own!

If you're looking for a new way to show your love for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, or Deep Space Nine, you've come to the right place! Click any of the t-shirt images or links above to check out the shirts in more detail, place an order, or see any of the other non-shirt items I have, featuring the same uniform images (stickers, buttons, pillows, tech cases, etc.)

Take a look. I think you'll be love 'em as much as I do!


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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Milwaukee Brewers 2014: The End of a Season

Like many Milwaukee Brewers fans, I'm sad and disappointed. What began as an exciting baseball season full of hope and eagerness for a post-season Playoff berth, fell apart in September. The Brewers started the season in April with a 20-7 record, and they stayed atop the National League Central division for five full months. During that time, they never gave up first place. But in September, they crashed with a 9-22 record to end the season at 82-80.

Third place. No division title. No wild card. A fantastic season that ended with a heavy thud.

Yeah, I'll miss my Brew Crew. I'll miss watching the games. I'll miss the crack of the bat. But, like every disheartened life-long fan (of any losing team), I'll put the depressing fall behind me, wipe the slate clean, and hope that next year tells a very different story.

Six months until the 2015 season. The long winter wait begins.

"Brewers collapse leaves immediate uncertainty"


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Quote of the Day: Listening

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."
- Karl Menninger


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

The 23 Most Scenic Train Rides In The World

I love trains; I love riding trains. If I could retire today, and travel the world on trains, I would. In a heartbeat. Trains are the most laid-back -- and often most beautiful -- mode of travel. You can just sit there in your seat (or, my personal favorite, the observation car!), and enjoy the view. Magestic mountains, pristine snowscapes, vast rocky gorges.... trains pass through them all!

For your viewing pleasure, here are 23 of the most scenic train routes in the world. My own personal love affair with train travel began on old trains in Colorado, and was reinforced aboard The Empire Builder (#16 on this list). Which if these trains have you ridden aboard?


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A Live Painting of a Woman's Life

South Korean illustrator Seok Jeong Hyeon created a "live" drawing of a woman's aging process from infancy to old age. It's an ever-changing video that captures the beauty of this girl's aging process in a wonderfully captivating way. Click play, sit back, and enjoy!


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Quote of the Day: Afternoons

"Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you."
- Annie Dillard

Enjoy the day. Enjoy what you do during the day. Because that day will never come again.


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's not about you.

You love what you do. You have fans who love what you do. But there are always those who seem determined to look down on your great work as uninteresting, stupid, or downright boring. The truth is, you can't please everyone -- no matter how hard you work. Do what YOU love, and give your dedicated fans something to enjoy. Everyone else... well, they'll find other things to appreciate.

It's not about you. Seth Godin expresses this quite well:
"Right in the front row, not four feet from Christian McBride, was every performer's bĂȘte noire. I don't know why she came to the Blue Note, maybe it was to make her date happy. But she was yawning, checking her watch, looking around the room, fiddling with this and that, doing everything except being engaged in the music.
McBride seemed to be too professional and too experienced to get brought down by her disrespect and disengagement. Here's what he knew: It wasn't about him, it wasn't about the music, it wasn't a response to what he was creating.

Haters gonna hate.

Shun the non-believers.

Do your work, your best work, the work that matters to you. For some people, you can say, "hey, it's not for you." That's okay. If you try to delight the undelightable, you've made yourself miserable for no reason.

It's sort of silly to make yourself miserable, but at least you ought to reserve it for times when you have a good reason."

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blogger's Block

I have no idea what to blog about right now. And that annoys me.

Years ago, my blog was very well read -- popular -- it was even reviewed in the local media as one of the best blogs in Wisconsin! Of course, back then, I was in a very different place in life, and I had more time to write down my thoughts. These days, I'm a busy guy. There's always something pulling me in one direction or another. Either I'm working on a creative project, or I'm working hard to market that creative project. My blogging has slipped to the back burner.

The thing is, though, busy or not, I enjoy blogging. I miss blogging. I love dancing with the written word. But when it's so much easier to post my thoughts during a busy day on Facebook, what becomes of this blog? What happens to this once-great blogging platform? What do I write here that isn't already shared on the big "F"?

Part of me wants to continue the, "this is cool, I found it on the inter-webs" blogging angle that I've been pursing the past few years. I like discovering things. I like learning new bits of knowledge. But then there's the other part of me that wants to go back to those early days of blogging -- twelve years ago -- when I recapped my post-college days, and the ponderous thoughts flowed freely.

It's a tough decision. And it bugs me. Maybe my brain is being tapped out as a result of all the creative work that I do. Maybe I need to scale back the work, sit down... and write. Write whatever comes to mind.

Then again, maybe those ponderous thoughts aren't flowing freely because I'm stuck in a rut of familiarity. I'm comfortable, I'm occupied. I'm content. And what I'm really having a hard time with is -- taking bigger steps into the unknown. Perhaps those early blogging years were so fascinating because I had just graduated from college, and I was wading into the waters of uncertainty.

There's always something to blog about when that something is fresh and new.

Perhaps what I really need, is to focus more on the new, and less on the familiar.

Maybe that's the block this blogger is struggling with. The question is: where do I start?


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Marketing"

"Time, energy, and talent can be more important than budget."
- Scott Harrison

Money does not always buy what you need or want to acquire. More often than not, time, dedication and pure determination carry a heck of a lot more value than the local currency ever would.


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Jon Baas
Blogging Since 2002!
Blog Home

Blogs I Read:
- Improv Everywhere
- Interesting Times
- Mashable: Facebook
- My Year of Star Trek
- Neatorama
- Peace Lutheran Blog
- ProBlogger
- Seth Godin
- SocialTimes: Facebook
- Starfleet Academy
- Star Trek: Terra Nova
- The Brothers Brick
- The CafePress Blog
- The Presurfer
- Time of Grace Blog
- Grace Moments
- Trek Movie
- Wil Wheaton

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