12.31.2010

30 Seconds - Just Dropped in on Big Lebowski's El Duderino Day

Hi. It's Joe.

I have to say I am looking forward to a brief hiatus from gainful employment to work 80 hours per week on creative endeavors.



Time.

12.29.2010

30 Seconds - How to Write What You Love (and make a living at it)

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm geeked that I just received my copy of How to Write What You Love (and Make a Living at it) by Dennis Hensley.

Off to work (as a writer...).

Time.

12.27.2010

30 Minutes - Game and PUA Openers (Lovesystems Pickup Artist Forum)

Hi. It's Joe.

So I have been on a self-improvement kick lately, working out, eating right, and working on relationships. I like to get a head start on the New Year's Resolutions.

As such, I have been absorbing all manner of reading material on improving both my inner and outer game, including some stuff on seduction (which, when you think about it, is no more than becoming more attractive, charming, and prestigious in the eyes of others, particularly women).

One book I have been reading is The Professional Bachelor Dating Guide - How to Exploit Her Inner Psycho by Brett Tate.

It's a difficult read. The book contains some valuable, albeit common sense, information about self improvement as it relates to women. But what makes it hard to read is all the misogynist comments the author peppers throughout the book.

Tate does not love women. I think he actually hates them, and views them as soul-sucking gold diggers, useful only for sex and accommodating a man's needs. That would be no more than my opinion, if he didn't actually say as much in the introduction of the book.

It's hard to put a lot of stock in what he says, when clearly strong, meaningful relationships with women are not his focus. He advocates throwing women to the curb as soon as they become a burden or show any kind of emotional baggage.

Were it not for the fact that much of the attraction information Tate presents is validated by other more credible and balanced sources, such as Neil Strauss's The Game, I would have stopped reading long ago. His misogynist comments just come out of nowhere, in the middle of unrelated information, and just seem angsty and spiteful.

I have to ask, what woman would be attracted to such a person?

I can only conclude that Tate is advocating deception and putting on the appearance of worthy maleness only to get women in bed.

But this is not the sort of thing I am looking for, with regard to self improvement. The inner game of self-improvement is actually becoming a better person and having stronger and better relationships with everyone, including women.

Anyway, I have to give this book a 2 star (out of 5) rating because of the bad thread of misogyny it seems to put forth.

On the other hand, these resources are amazing and work pretty much all the time:



Time.

10 Minutes - There is No Accounting for Bad Choices

Hi. It's Joe.

Recently, I have observed some people making really bad choices, that defy all reason.

On the other hand, I have also observed some people making really good choices.

In the latter category, the Dry Bean Pub and one Michael Nybroten of SANDMAN Productions (who books bands for the Dry Bean) made an excellent choice in booking Madison WI's best rock-n-roll band, GUPPY EFFECT, to play there on Friday January 7th. Largely that's because we agreed to perform for FREE if they provided live sound for us. On top of that, we are also bringing in an opening band, STRONG LIKE BEAR from Ames, IA, at no extra charge.

So that was a very wise and rational decision on their part.

My friend Jodi also made a fabulously good decision when she agreed to be GUPPY EFFECT's "merch girl" and general PR person. Indeed, it was a great decision on my part to ask her to join our band, because she loves us and she really has her shit together, which is rare in the world in general, and in the music world especially. Like the rest of GUPPY EFFECT, she has ambition and doesn't smoke cigarettes (which is also good decision-making).

Then there are the bad decision makers. For example, who fires the best and most driven bass player from their band for no apparent reason? I guess the PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND does. I don't really care or hold it against them. It just makes no kind of sense, considering said bass player (me) was beyond excellent, entertaining, punctual, and driven to rock hard. From a purely business and creative standpoint, losing the best bass player around is just a step backwards. But musical success may not be the main goal of the PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND, and I have to be cognizant of that.

Then there are the small handful of women who aren't interested in dating me. Granted, they are a minority compared to the throngs who are, but its consternating that some of the hold outs are actually the ones I like the best. No one woman is worth obsessing over, and I don't. But it's disappointing to see some women pass over the most eligible bachelor (and best bass player, see above) around. I pretty much have it all, good looks, brains, sense of humor, mad energy, and money.

On the other hand, I know I am a bit of a free agent and some women want a guy they can control. That isn't me, and I do enjoy being single and playing the field. However, for the right woman, I would consider taming my wanderlust, and there are a couple of such women in my life right now. I don't pursue them, because I have made it clear I'm the prize and I am available to them if they are interested.

But maybe the reason I like these particular women is because they are disinterested. They are like the forbidden fruit that I want because I cannot have it. Perhaps if I could have it, I would not be interested. Maybe these women know this and are playing the hard to get game. It's possible.

But as a matter of principle, I do not play games. I feel if there is mutual attraction, you just go for it. I don't pursue women, because I don't have to. There are plenty to choose from that are quite acceptable. It is just that none are my DREAM woman, and I don't settle. I go for quality not quantity. I will never again allow a life force sucking user into my life. There are so many good people out there that I do not need to put up with that shit.

I am close friends with many women, including the unobtainable ones. I guess I can hope that they will finally see what a prize I am and that I am not going to go after them. So if they want me, they need to make it clear. That is all.

Time.

12.26.2010

5 Minutes - MXL Microphones "Mic Mate" USB Adapter Thingy

Hi. It's Joe.

MXL MXL USB Mic Mate ClassicOver the Christmas weekend, I had some time to do a little recording.

I year or so ago, I bought myself this MIC MATE USB adapter that allows you to convert any microphone (even phantom powered ones) into a recording interface with your computer.

It's made by MXL. It's only $40. And it works great. It uses USB power to generate ample phantom power to my Violet Black Knight microphone.

I hooked it up to my MacBook PRO and it immediately recognized it as a sound input source, so when I opened up my recording programs, I was able to get crisp clean recordings with my BK condenser mic. Here's one sample video I made with iMovie.



I love this contraption and that is why I decided to write a blog post about it tonight. Simple is good in my rock-n-roll empire building...

MXL MXL USB Mic Mate Classic

MXL MXL USB Mic Mate Classic

The MXL USB Mic Mate is a compact low-noise analog preamp that converts 48-volt phantom powered studio mics and analog line level signals to USB for quality recording on any PC or Mac. The Mic Mate uses the best of both analog and digital technology and features a fully balanced low noise, low distortion preamp, gain plus a 3—position analog gain control; a special circuit that converts the 5 volts from the USB port to a regulated 48 volts required by professional condenser microphones. The digital section features a 16 bit Delta Sigma A/D converter with a sampling of 44.1 and 48.1. The input side has a 3-pin XLR female and on the output a USB connector.The Mic Mate has robust metal construction and is pocket sized making it a perfect travel companion for a portable computer allowing broadcasters, audio engineers and recording enthusiasts to capture great sounds wherever they go with their own mics. The MXL USB Mic Mate is easy to use and eliminates the need for any mixers, preamps, expensive studio gear or special software or drivers. Just plug in your favorite microphone to the converter and the other end to the USB port on your portable or desktop computer to set your preferences and enjoy studio quality recordings.


12.25.2010

1 Minute - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Hi. It's Joe.

This is my homemade Christmas present for you all being such loyal readers and friends. I hope you enjoy it.



This is a video post, so it only took a minute to embed the video, although the performance and editing itself took 2 hours.

Time.

12.20.2010

1 Minute - Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Hi. It's Joe.

And I am here to save you.

CLICK HERE if you still have people on your Christmas list and you are simply out of time.

Last minute Christmas shopping should never be left to amateurs.

Nor should it ever be done in person.

ENJOY!

Joe

10 Minutes - Dating Strategies: I Have This Problem...

Hi. It's Joe.

Again.

I've noticed I have this problem.

Whenever I go out socially to parties and stuff, I end up going on dates with pretty, often young, women soon after. I meet them at these parties, they think I am charismatic (especially if music is involved), and then they want to date me. They usually ask ME out, and so I say yes, what the hell, right?

This isn't a major problem, and for some people it is probably perceived as a blessing. Don't get me wrong, I am blessed to meet and know all these wonderful women. They are all usually very cool and fun, or I wouldn't date them.

But I am kind of wanting to eventually settle down and be with just one person. It's hard (no pun intended) with all these lovely ladies competing for my rockstar manliness. They all have things I love, but none are "the one" for whatever reason.

I guess I should take it as a compliment, that I have achieved "catch" status with the ladies. Lord knows it took long enough, examining myself inwardly and working to become the best person I can be. I am pretty happy with who I am nowadays, and so (clearly) are the ladies.

I guess it's better than not meeting any women. It would just be nice to find a "dream woman" for once.

There are some potential ones in the mix, I should disclaim. I should just let the fates guide me, I spose. It seems like all too often there is a really stupid "deal breaker" that prevents an otherwise kickass relationship from unfolding.

One of the common deal breakers seems to be the age difference. I'm 42, but I have the mind and health and interests of a 30 year old because I work out, eat right, don't smoke and refuse to live a boring life.

I tend to go on dates with women 30 or younger, because I relate to them the most (call me immature, I don't care), and they still have the "fire" of life to go out and do fun things.

Initially, they seem attracted to the interesting and outgoing "older man." But this seems to be a physical/short term attraction only, and when it comes to long term potential, they tell me stuff like they are worried I will die before them, or that they might feel unworthy or inferior to me with time.

I can't get my head around that. I am going to live a long time, possibly forever, and I am one of the nicest and least judgmental people you will ever meet, looking upon everyone as special and an equal. Indeed, I love and respect most people unconditionally, unless they prove themselves to be total assholes. I would never associate with assholes, and I am a pretty good judge of character. If I still like you after one date, then you have won me over. I am not very defensive or cautious when it comes to women. Maybe I should be?

But I guess stereotypes die hard. I am an older man, it's true. I'm also fairly "hot," fun, and interesting, at least in my mind (and confidence is 99% of seduction, by the way).

So for now, I guess dating is the name of the game for me. But come on dream girl, where the heck are you?

Sigh...

Time.

5 Minutes - The Best Place to See the Lunar Eclipse is Wherever There is a Cute Redhead Standing Beside You (me thinks...)

Hi. It's Joe.

Tonight I am going to watch the lunar eclipse (probably online, since it looks to be nasty weather...) at the home of a very nice and cute redheaded woman that I like.

It's just a social outing, but I am pleased that she invited me over, because she is pretty cool. Cool enough for me to brave possible freezing rain to watch the lunar eclipse with her.

Although, in truth, if it is really super bad on the roads, I might not go, so as to live to socialize with her another day.

I was going to ask if anyone knew what time is the lunar eclipse? I had assumed midnight, but then I realized it doesn't have to be at midnight. While a full moon is necessary for a lunar eclipse, you can have a full moon any time of day or night.

As it turns out, it starts around 12:30 AM Central Standard Time and goes for like two (2) hours, with the total eclipse around 1:40 AM. Jesus, that's late. I might need a power nap beforehand.

Maybe if things go well with this redhead, I will have a total eclipse of the heart.

OK, that was gay.

CLICK HERE for specifics on the time of the lunar eclipse.

Time.

12.18.2010

5 Minutes - I Will Work on Face Time Today

Hi. It's Joe.

Jodi and I wrote our first song together for our rock-n-roll band venture called THE PURVEYORS OF PULCHRITUDE.

It is called Face Time and it is very funny. I can't tell you what it is about on this blog, because this is a family show. But let's just say that a "facial" isn't a cosmetology procedure in the context of this song. I need to work on the music for it today.

Jodi is pretty cool, definitely enjoys our song writing, and best of all she administers, which is a task I hate. She writes the stuff down and keeps track of it. I would be lost at sea without her.

Today is Saturday. Last night took Jodi, Stefan, and I on a 12 hour party marathon to northeast Illinois to hear the (franchised) Spazmatics, a decent 80s cover band. The show itself was only 2 hours, but there was dinner, travel, more travel, and after bar breakfast. It was quite an ordeal.

But we are rockstars and so we made it.

12.14.2010

30 Minutes - My Brain Power Theory

Hi. It's Joe.

I have a theory about brain power.

The basic premise is that at any given time, a person has a fixed and finite amount of available brain power that can be used for essential and non-essential stuff.

Typically, a certain amount of brain power is reserved for essential bodily functions and survival in the external world. The amount of energy needed for this is determined by the health and well being of the body and the degree of stress one has to deal with (using brain power) in the external world.

Whatever is left over, people can use for self actualization. In our post-industrial society, survival is generally taken for granted by most people and they have a lot of brain power reserve that goes unused. This leads to two things, one very good and one very bad. The good thing is creativity or enterprise, and the other is waste. In the latter case, think of brain power as an uneaten meal being thrown away, its nutritive potential lost forever.

Let's say a person's brain power is 100 units. It doesn't matter what the units are, it's arbitrary.

Let's say 50 units are devoted to bodily functions, voluntary (10) and involuntary (40).

That leaves 50 units of discretionary brain power.

This brain power can be put to creative or industrious uses.

If it sits idle, the brain gets bored and it wants to do something with this excessive brain power. This happens a lot amongst our young people today, who have a large brain power capacity, but live in a world that does not challenge them.

If not channeled, the brain power reaches a critical mass in the brain and causes lots of hardware and software problems, like ADD and other mental illnesses. In the case of ADD, children are not permitted to unleash their brain power, except on the feeble and unchallenging tasks put forth by their so-called teachers, whose brain power is significantly curtailed.

There are two things the brain can do with excess brain power to avoid overload. The brain power can be re-directed to a creative or industrious task, such as writing a song or cleaning the house.

Or the brain power can be reduced via chemical means, say drugs or alcohol.

If the brain does not find an outlet for disposal of excess brain power, it overloads the system. This is why we have crazy people and rambunctious children.

In general, faced with few creative or industrious outlets for their brain power, people will tend to nuke it back with chemicals, or generally unnecessary tasks like eating excessive amounts of food, or watching TV.

Most people, though, just drink it away with alcohol. Or smoke it away with drugs. I am not judging anyone. The brain power has to be transferred out of the brain in some way to avoid causing unhealthy problems. If industrious or creative outlets can't be found or are not available, canceling out the brain power via chemical means is not only understandable, but justified.

I came up with this idea when I quit drinking alcohol in 2004. I found myself faced with an excessive amount of brain power I did not know what to do with. I had to re-direct it into something, or go insane, and that something was music (creative). Music became something of an addiction for me actually. I wanted to do it all the time, to the exclusion of other things. But the other things in my life were insufficient to utilize my brain power reserve. I have quite a magnificent brain and considerable mental faculties, so I need a lot to occupy my brain power.

My boss at my job at the time was (and probably still is) a tool. He actively prohibited most of us from engaging our mental faculties in industrious or creative tasks. Instead, he leeched away our mental energy, drained us of our souls like a vampire. He was a negative force in the universe, always shooting down any creative ideas. So it is no wonder that my brain turned to other outlets to channel its awesome powers, to the detriment of my former employer.

Music was the main focus. Increasingly, it has become writing, as you can see.

Time.

10 Minutes - When It Comes to Girls

Hi. It's Joe.

I won't lie to you. I am extremely selective when it comes to women and dating. I would rather go for months without a girlfriend than settle for mediocre. I prefer quality over quantity. Besides, what if my soul mate shows up and I am stuck in a shitty but tolerable relationship with someone I don't really love?

This isn't a problem for me. I sometimes get grief from people who don't understand why I am still single. It's really OK. I choose to live my life this way. I focus on being the best person I can be in every way, finding happiness and self-actualizing my creativity, so that I may someday meet a woman who also has high standards.

Every girl I have ever dated has known that I am strong, funny, kind, creative, and caring. They all tell me this, but I already know it. In short, I'm a catch, but I am very choosy about the bait I will take.

For me to let someone in romantically, they simply have to be awesome. Awesome is, of course, very subjective. I am not going to go into what makes a girl awesome in my book here. Suffice it to say, when they are awesome, they will have no difficulty getting past my defenses. I will open right up to such a person and let them in.

It's up to them if they want to come in and be in an awesome relationship with an awesome guy who will treat them great and show them a great time. If they don't want to, they don't have to. It's totally their choice and their loss if they don't know a good thing when they see it. What can I say, I never take anything like that personally. It's not a rejection if they don't want to come in. It's just a choice. I allowed them in, and they simply had to make a choice of what to do. I know I am awesome and that's all I can be.

A girl can't just be good looking or seductive. She has to impress me with her talents and intelligence and charm. The full package has to be there or I will just be turned off. There is no particular "type" I go for, although the darker complexioned women definitely have an edge on the fair skinned. A healthy lifestyle is critical, plus good moral values and an ability to reason. Probably most important is a sharp wit and ability to carry on a decent conversation. There should also be no awkwardness in the quiet times.

And it's not like I set my standards too high either. There's a lot of wiggle room. I have met plenty of women who fit the bill, but there has always seemed to be one or more deal breakers on my end or theirs. One girl wanted to get married and have kids before I was ready to do that (deal breaker mine). Another was stuck in a bad relationship but wouldn't leave it because of the security it gave her (deal breaker hers). Most recently it was too great of an age gap between us (deal breaker hers), although in all other respects it was a perfect match for the most part.

It's fine, really. I am still friends with most of these women and they still have a place in my heart. I am perfectly happy to just be friends with these girls, which is 99% of a good relationship anyway.

In fact, I am equally selective about friends. They have to meet the same standards of moral value and intellect and wit to get close to me. Otherwise, they are acquaintances. The best romances I have ever had started out as friendships. When relationships start with romance prematurely, they lose a solid foundation of trust and respect that goes with friendship.

There are three pillars to romantic relationships, respect, trust, and love. The first two pillars are all that is needed for friendship. They need to be strong before the pillar of love can be built and form an long lasting, stable, and fulfilling relationship.

These are just thoughts.

Time.

12.13.2010

10 Minutes - 2011 Is Going to be Kickass

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm on a short break at work until 3:30 PM. So I figured that was enough time to post on this blog of 10 minutes or less.

I am geeked for 2011. I am putting together a delicious punk metal band called the PURVEYORS OR PULCHRITUDE with my friend Jodi (aka Stela).

It's going to be a lot of raunchy funny sexually themed songs. We are building it from the ground up, because that is the best way to form a band. It is going to be more than music. It is going to be a stage show, a burlesque theatrical presentation. I am really looking forward to it.

Of course, my other bands will still be going strong. I might also form a MOTORHEAD COVER BAND, with me on bass and vocals. Even though I look nothing like Lemmy, I can sing like him when I want to. That would just be super fun.

I also expect to have a new or better job going into the new year. If my current employer can keep me on, I will have better pay and benefits right where I am. If not, I have been furiously applying for other technical writing positions around Madison WI.

I am very optimistic I will land one. But if I don't, I will still be able to do my freelance writing and search engine optimization, via blogs. I ended up buying Market Samurai, for monetizing my blogs. It is a great tool. Basically, think of any keyword or keyword phrase, and it will tell you what related keywords people are searching for on Google so you can maximize traffic. It tells you what keywords are too competitive, so you can customize.

Well, that is about all the time I have. Visit www.licktheballsofagoat.com to learn more about the PURVEYORS OF PULCHRITUDE and follow the band's development and progress.

Time.

12.10.2010

1 Minute - The Purveyors of Pulchritude

Hi. It's Joe.

It's far too late for me to be doing even one minute of free writing tonight, much less 10.

But I am going to do it. I feel inspired by my muse, with whom I am starting a new music project called the PURVEYORS OF PULCHRITUDE.

I can't disclose any more than that, and the fact that it is going to be awesome.

My powers of positive thinking are mad skills right now. Don't ask me why, maybe my astrology is aligned the right way.

Time.

12.05.2010

10 Minutes - My Mind Control Powers Are Getting Stronger

Hi. It's Joe.

I have to start being more careful what I think strongly about, because my power of mind control over the fabric of the universe is getting stronger.

Last night I went to a house warming party and the people's house was just over the top of a hill. When I got there, I saw all the cars parked on the right side of the road on the downhill slope. I could have parked behind the handful of cars parked there, but I thought, "What if someone comes over the hill and doesn't know these cars are parked here? They might not have time to see them and go around..."

So instead I parked in front of the line of cars. During the party, the cops came and said that the car parked at the top of the hill got hit, probably drunk driving by some punk kids. It was hit and run.

Then at the party there was a really fun girl and I thought, "I'd really like to meet her." Sure enough, we hit it off.

Things like this are happening more and more lately. I know, I know. It could just be that I am "predicting" future events that were going to happen anyway. That's possible.

But I'd prefer it if my mind actually had some control over the fabric of space/time, rather than just seeing it unfold in my mind. Either way it is a cool power to have.

I have been watching far too much FRINGE.

Time.

12.02.2010

1 Minute - Jack Black Soundboard: Octagon

Hi Friends.

I just found this Jack Black video entertaining, so I thought I would share it with you.



Google seems to think that the phrase "mens hair products" is a good match for keyword "Jack Black."

Weird. Maybe there is a hair care product called Jack Black? I don't have the time or desire to go Google it. But why don't you? Then come back here and comment below.

I guess I have to use it in a sentence. Besides, it let's me link to my online vitamins store.

11.29.2010

1 Minute - Ask God About Travel Coffee Mugs

Hi. It's Joe.

If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

Post your question as a COMMENT under this post. If and when God reads this blog, I am sure he will answer.

My question is, "Who makes the best travel coffee mug in the universe?" Because frankly all of mine have one design flaw or another and most basically suck or are not durable.

One that is pretty good is the COPCO. Ironically, it's design is very close to that of a disposable "to go" coffee cup.

That makes some sense to me.

Time.

11.28.2010

10 Minutes - My Last Day in Colorado: Why Hawkwind?

Hi. It's Joe.

Today is my last day in Colorado.


It isn't even a full day. My plane leaves tonight from Denver around 7:40 PM.

But there is still ample time to go up to Carl's house in Woodland Park and get a sauna.

That's the plan for today. I had a really relaxing time out here. I am fully rejuvenated to go back to Wisconsin and back to work tomorrow, which by the way is CYBER MONDAY.

I don't feel as bad about Cyber Monday as I do about Black Friday.

The word Cyber has that cool science fiction sound to it, and that makes it OK.

But I guess horror buffs probably like the sound of Black Friday as much as I like the sound of Cyber Monday.

And therein lies the future demise of humanity.

Black Sabbath buffs probably like the sound of Black Friday too, but they probably equally like the sound of Cyber Monday, because Black Sabbath has a song called "Supernaut," and have a few sci-fi themed other tunes as well.

By that logic, Black Sabbath AND sci-fi buffs ought to appreciate the album "Hall of the Mountain Grill" by 70s rockers Hawkwind. This LSD-fueled psychedelic metal band pre-dates Sabbath and was Lemmy of Motorhead's first band.

Time.

11.27.2010

1 Minute - Marijuana Dispensaries in Colorado Springs

One bright spot in this year's election was Colorado's legalization of pot dispensaries. They have a green cross outside to indicate they are wellness center's. Many of them are on Colorado Ave. in Manitou Springs Co.

They require a doctor's prescription but they have a doctor on staff to accommodate people.

Anything that put's a thorn in the side of THE MAN is alright by me.
Via my Blackberry

11.26.2010

5 Minutes - Manitou Springs

Hi. It's Joe.

This afternoon we spent some time in scenic Manitou Springs CO, mostly eating and socializing.

I succussfully avoided any major shopping today, only buying myself a coffee early in the day.

It is strange that both my friend Sherry from WI and I both have sisters that live in and around Denver and Colorado Springs. It is also strange that we are both out here for the Thanksgiving weekend to hang with family. Perhaps odder still, Sherry and my sister both have their birthdays on November 29. Also my sister's Secretary of State is named Kennedy and Sherry's Secretary of State is named Lincoln. OK, sorry. Esoteric reference lost on younger generation.

Time.
Via my Blackberry

1 Minute - More Garden of the Gods Pictures (but posting delayed so I don't overwhelm you...)

Hi. It's Joe.

This time I am testing Blogger's ability to handle picture uploads. My hypothesis is that Posterous will be better and easier because that is what Posterous was designed to do. SO here goes...






My hypothesis was proven false. The uploading via Blogger is about the same as with Posterous.

Easy.

The difficult step is really just the uploading to the computer from my Smart Phone before posting. That is a pain.

Time.

1 Minute - The Complete Garden of the (One True) God(s) Video Series

Hi. It's Joe.

OK, I used Bluetooth for the videos because they are cumbersome to work with via Smart Phone.

Here is the complete video series from today's hike so you can live vicariously through me.

Sorry about the discussion about bowel and urinary functions. No time to edit...

I am quite curious to see what Posterous does to them when converting to the Joe's Coffee Fix blog format.

Time.

Download now or watch on posterous
VID%2000021.3GP (1103 KB)
Download now or watch on posterous
VID%2000022.3GP (1818 KB)
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VID%2000020.3GP (620 KB)

Download now or watch on posterous
VID%2000023.3GP (324 KB)
Download now or watch on posterous
VID%2000024.3GP (256 KB)
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VID%2000026.3GP (191 KB)
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Minute - 
Download now or watch on posterous
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1 Minute - Garden of the Gods (F Bluetooth)

Hi. It's joe.

6 of one. Half dozen of the other as far as Bluetooth vs. Smart Phone upload.

This is a test of the latter. Here are 5 pictures from this afternoon's mosy around Garden of the (One True) God(s) with Sherry M. and her family members.

Yes, I am totally ribbing fundamentalist Christianity there because I do so love the angry comments I get from them due to no sense of humor.
Via my Blackberry

1 Minute - I am in Colorado. Where are you?

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm in Colorado. If I knew how to download my Blackberry's pics and videos to this computer at my sister's house, I would do it. Actually, I do know how. But it is cumbersome and requires Bluetooth. So let's just call it laziness and move on.

Colorado is pretty kickass. I have always liked it out here and now that my sister has a cool new house in the foothills, it is even awesomer. OK, awesomer is not a word, I know that. But this is a free write, so I am not going to correct it.

This is a short one minute blog post, because I really am going to figure out how to Bluetooth to this computer and then post some pictures on another blog post with more details.

If I can't do it, or laziness still gets the better of me, I will simply post to joescoffeefix.posterous.com, and you can either stay tuned there or here, because Posterous will automatically post to this blog, although without any kind of decent formatting. I will have to do that later. Still, it might be easier than using Bluetooth.

Can you tell I do not like Bluetooth?

OK, I saved the shameless promotional stuff until the end. For the BEST Black Friday Holiday Deals, visit the GUPPY EFFECT online holiday store. You can shop for Christmas or Hannukah with the full knowledge that you are sticking it to THE MAN in some smallish way.

Time.

11.21.2010

10 Minutes - This is My Castle

Hi. It's Joe.

I haven't written in a while. I have been busy. I am keeping occupied with a lot of cool things.

Anyway, I really like my house. It is perfect and has everything I need.

So it is my castle. I have achieved the largest palace I ever want or need. I think that's cool.

It's actually a little bit beyond my current means. But not by much. And my means are always improving.

Even royalty lives beyond its means sometimes.

Now I can refer to my house as my castle or palace and have royal events here.

Like tomorrow, the Court of Cactus Joe will entertain random guests for a sociable, with music by GUPPY EFFECT, the greatest band in the world.

Some people are always striving for more. They don't know when to stop when they have enough. I think they are taught that they must always achieve more. But sometimes you achieve all you want. Then stop. That is wise.

Time.

10.23.2010

10 Minutes - It Has Been a While

Hi. It's Joe.

It probably seems like a while since I posted.

But it hasn't. It is just that I had this blog set to private for a while. After I landed my new job, I didn't want prying eyes knowing all about me, so I set it to be viewed only with my permission. It turns out I was just paranoid. At my last job everyone was nosy and backstabbing, but at this place I am working at now, everyone is cool. They don't even give a shit what other people do outside of work.

Now that Halloween is coming, I thought I had better put it back to public so I can let all my readers know the cool news. GUPPY EFFECT is going to play at the Hay Market in Decorah IA on Saturday Rocktober 30, for a big Halloween party. We are pulling out all the stops and at midnight we are going to pull off something spectacular. You will miss it if you are not there, and I did not want that to happen.

People Brothers Band is also playing on Friday Rocktober 29, at the Lazy Oaf in Madison WI. I think you should come to that because I am going to try to go as Wonder Woman for that Halloween party, just to shock the hippies.

I finally got the exercise bike set up in the basement with my widescreen computer monitor in front of it so I can watch stuff while I work out. Lately I have been watching episodes of THE EVENT, which is best described as LOST meets 24. Sci-fi elements and political intrigue.

I tell you this mainly because I am going to go work out now, so I am going to end this post.

Time.

10.02.2010

10 Minutes - Award Winning Blog Post

Hi. It's Joe.

Wouldn't it be cool if someone was searching Google for an "award-winning blog post" and came across my blog?

Of course, they would click through to check it out, realize it was far from award-winning (albeit very cool), and leave - this is called "junk traffic" in the world of Search Engine Optimization. But they would still come here and thus a piece of me would meld with their psyche, however small, and be carried through the universal consciousness.

I'm not kidding. That really would happen. How many times have you stumbled on a web site you were not looking for, but you remembered it? I don't know the answer to that. But I have, so I can only assume others have too.

I'm tired. Well, actually, I was tired, before the short power nap I took earlier. I am working for THE MAN now, for a short while (until the end of the year), so I can generate some Holiday spending cash at HIS expense. As a result, I am working 40 hours per week, which is tiring in and of itself. The work is tolerable, even enjoyable, although the cube dwelling work environment makes me nervous. The crazy things people will talk about in their cubicles, as if no one else is listening...

Anyway, I also had a PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND show last night, which went pretty late, and then I had to get up at 7:30 AM this morning to go work a five hour shift at the CSA farm. While all of these activities are quite fun to do, they are tiring. So after I got back from the CSA farm this afternoon, I ate some food and promptly took a power nap on the couch.

It refreshed me enough to get a second wind, so I started preparing for the HOUSE CONCERT I am hosting tomorrow as part of Todd's going away party. I will miss Todd when he moves to Osh Kosh, and also Sherry when she follows suit. Things change.

I believe I am going to sell my house and move to Madison. It makes no sense for me to be here in Cambridge anymore. My current job is in Madison WI and I expect my next one will be also. So as much as I hate moving, it looks like the time has come.

I am in no rush, however, so I am going to try to sell the house on my terms, even though it is a buyer's market. You know, if the woman likes the house, they'll buy it, no matter what the cost. That is just the nature of human needs. And my house is freakin' awesome.

Granted, I won't be able to do these cool HOUSE CONCERTS anymore if I move. But I only do three (3) or four (4) a year, so it is really not worth the high mortgage that I pay. I need to simplify and downsize. Everything I want to do is pretty much in Madison, and with my car on the fritz, driving a long way there is not very fun.

Well, I said enough. I realize I am not able to keep up with daily 10 minute posts now that I am working for THE MAN. But since this blog is only public on the weekends now, the timing probably works out better anyway.

If you're a regular subscriber (and I thank you!), then you are reading this late Sunday afternoon. And a good thing too, because the blog goes radio silent late Sunday night and won't come online again until Rocktober 9th weekend (when GUPPY EFFECT will rock socks off the END ZONE bar in Delavan WI.

OK, time is up.

P.S. Shameless SEO back link to Tenacious D Streaming, although there is a decent video there of the D doing battle with the Devil.

9.26.2010

10 Minutes - So Far So Good, Me Thinks...

Hi. It's Joe.

It is Sunday night, September 26, 2010. I am feeling really good. Tomorrow, I will kick off another week working for the man. I use lower case lettering to indicate that the man, in this case, is pretty f-ing cool. My supervisor and co-workers are helpful and inspired and super nice.

The commute isn't the best, but it is tolerable and I listen to talk radio to get informed. When I get to the workplace, however, I am very focused and in my element. I don't get many e-mails or phone calls to respond to, as a result of being a very new employee. That may change, but the nice thing about being a contractor is that I'm not expected to integrate into the corporate collective. All I have to do is follow orders and bust my ass on the desktop publishing work they have me doing. And bust ass is exactly what I do.

I enjoy the work. It is little more than formatting MS-Word documents into Adobe FrameMaker using a template that was developed by the Technical Communications director. There are a few related side tasks to do with document control and obtaining graphics for putting images into the files. But it is all very straightforward. It takes focus, but not a huge amount of new learning. When I do need to learn something, the people around me are very helpful.

So, I hope they are pleased with my effort. I am giving it my all and I've removed a lot of things from my plate to allow me to dedicate myself to the task at hand. I am golden through the end of the year, I think. Then I have to start thinking about what to do with myself. Moving to Arizona is always an option. Moving to New Zealand would be an even cooler option, but I don't want to be that far away from my family during this time of our lives.

In retrospect, I probably should have gotten into writing more as soon as I left the vitamin company I was working for prior to April of 2009. They had re-purposed me to the most boring and useless tasks, totally unrelated to writing, that I had almost lost my skills in that department.

On the other hand, I am glad I took a year off to hone those very skills via blogging and piecemeal freelance writing, while exploring the realm of professional songwriting. I learned a ton, and now I am refreshed and ready to delve back into the world or pro writing.

I know this totally pisses off my former boss. Though he would never admit it, passive aggressive cock tool that he was, he made it his life's goal to suck my (and everyone else's) life force away by never letting me pursue my goals and aspirations at that job. Oh, the stories I could tell, but I won't.

As a result, he single-handedly deprived my former employer of one of the most creative and driven people they ever had. If I was the President of that company, I would have totally canned my former boss for doing that to the company. Since that didn't happen, I can only assume the company is not worthy of my skills. Now other companies are profiting from my genius. Well, at least they are profiting from my drive and ambition, if nothing else.

Time.

9.20.2010

10 Minutes - You Aren't Going To See This Until the Weekend

Hi. It's Joe.

This blog is offline during the week for a little while. It's not that there is anything bad about this blog per se. I started a new job, and I just don't want everyone there to be able to know all the details of my life, as uninteresting as they are.

At my last job, everyone was really nosy, so you had to keep your private life concealed, however innocuous it was. I think the people at this new job are not only way cooler, but they have lives and better things to do than pry into the lives of co-workers. But I could be wrong. In any case, I am still traumatized from my last job and the horrendous work environment created by the worst boss in the world. So for now, I will just play it safe. My new job is SWEET and so I just want to go there, do the best job I can do, and not make any waves.

So for a little while, my good readers, you will have to catch up on my posts on Saturdays and Sundays, which is when I will make the blog temporarily public. You can also e-mail me and I can grant you special permission to view the blog at will. Blogger gives me that option for up to like 100 people or something. I recommend it. That way you will never be without my posts on demand.

Time.

9.19.2010

10 Minutes - A New Perspective

Hi. It's Joe.

It's Saturday night. I'm chilling, watching a few episodes of the old Star Trek via YouTube on my new flat screen monitor.

I finished my first week at the new technical writing contract job. I like it. My work is cut out for me and it is clear what I need to do. It's hard, but enjoyable. By hard, I mean intensive. It's nothing I can't handle, but it takes a lot of brain power and focus. I like that. At my last job there was no direction or purpose and I was never allowed to do the things I wanted to do. Now I am able to pursue what I was cut out to do. Things really could not be better. I'm also making a decent amount of money, and that's cool.

The only down side is the long commute to Middleton WI from Cambridge WI. It's not bad right now. I can usually avoid the traffic in Madison pretty well and since I am at the workplace all day, I don't really have to drive anywhere when I am there. When winter arrives, I will feel less impartial about the commute. But it is possible I can work from home sometimes.

Anyway, my time is about up.

9.18.2010

Scary Halloween Games

Hi. It's Joe.

The Halloween Techno Party is coming fairly soon.

You'll want to have this info.

9.09.2010

10 Minutes - It Was a Good Day

Hi. It's Joe.

I will just say right off the bat that I think America has gone off the deep end, and as such the "terrorists" have succeeded in debasing us to the lowest common denominator of human idiocy. And that is all I will say. If you don't know what I am referring to, it is probably for the best anyway. In some cases, ignorance is bliss.

It is fall cleaning time at my house. Today I cleaned the back screen porch really really well. I moved everything out and I swept it out top to bottom and stem to stern. I was tempted to even hose it out, but I didn't want to deal with removing all the water after I was done.

I even did a little bit of power washing of my siding. My dad did the lion's share of it. My folks are in town through the weekend, and they will be going to Fighting Bob Fest on Saturday. They are die hard progressives and so that is probably where I get it from. Progressive thinking is intelligent thinking. Not that all dumb hateful people are right wingers, but a lot are.

OK, I'll stop. But they are really stupid some of them.

Tomorrow, I hope to finish power washing and then I am going to clear brush from my flower beds and garden for most of the rest of the day, hopefully with some aid from mom and pop. If I have time, I am even going to mow.

GUPPY EFFECT will put on a half way decent rock-n-roll show tomorrow night for the fine patrons of Bella Grays Pub in Delavan WI. We will be joined by guest drummer Peter, of the band Rough Diamond Red. It is going to be a very winged show. I don't know what time we start and I don't know how much we are getting paid, but I hope to know this soon, so I can put out a bulletin.

Time.

9.08.2010

10 Minutes - The Final Countdown

Hi. It's Joe.

I received the underwriting from THE MAN that I wanted. In other words, I got a job.

It's only a short-term, contract job. So it isn't really the same as having a real job. But it should pay the bills, while allowing me to maintain a modicum of free agency.

I don't think I have ever used the word "modicum" in my writing ever before. I may have. But I don't think so. According to BLOGGER's built in spell checker, it's not only a real word, but I even spelled it right.

I got my paycheck (actually, an electronic direct deposit) from the admin job I did a week or so ago. I am expecting another one this Friday for about half the amount of the first one. It wasn't a lot of money, but it was fairly easy work with nice people.

I start my new contract job as a tech writer next Tuesday. I am looking forward to it. I need to find out what the final pay scale is and also the dress code. When I interviewed there, the supervisor I would be working for had on a t-shirt. I hope underlings can dress in casual clothes too. I liked the guy. I think he will be a good boss to work for, if I kick ass. And I will kick ass. I have nothing to do but kick ass when I am there. I hope they don't even let me access the Internet. I will just focus on the work and do it.

Today I worked at the CSA farm in the AM and I will probably work there again tomorrow AM. The new job kind of screws up my schedule for working at the farm. I will probably have to do it on weekends now.

This weekend I am going to practice a lot of music. I am playing a gig with BABY ROCKET on Friday September 17. I also have my first piano lesson with Emily Paape on Tuesday September 14, the same day I start my new job. I will probably have to go right there from work, because I am sure that first day will be a long one.

My parents are rolling in tonight (Wednesday night) and will be here a couple of days before going back to Ohio. That will be nice.

I found a real estate property manager guy, named Bary Luce, who may be able to help me rent my spare room(s). Sherry Misener referred me to him. When a referral comes from a friend, it is always more trustworthy, even though it really has no reason to be.

Anyway, I am out of time.

9.06.2010

10 Minutes - Summer's End

Hi. It's Joe.

Summer isn't really ending, but the fun of summer is. After Labor Day, we have to close up the cottage for the year. It's always a bit nostalgic.

But there is still plenty of fun to be had. If I don't get the underwriting from THE MAN I seek, I will probably have to sell my house and take the money and run. It would be cool to get a camper van and tour around. I envision performing in one location until I have generated enough cash to move to the next location.

When Todd and Sherry were up here over the weekend for Bike With Melinda, the end of summer big event up at the cottage, Todd and I were monkeying with my Mac laptop to try and fix the battery. Well, we f-ed something up because now it won't boot up at all. It just goes into an infinite loop of useless disk spinning and never loads.

That's why I am posting on my Crackberry and my time is up because it takes forever to type on this thing. Hopefully, I can boot my Mac from the OSX DVD and not have to pay an arm and a leg for repairs. Note to self: Don't monkey with the Mac.

Time.
Via my Blackberry

9.03.2010

10 Minutes - "My Uncle Died" is the Perfect Excuse

Hi. It's Joe.

I am up at the cottage again. I had to go back to Madison for a job interview earlier today. I was able to coordinate it so that I could head back north right after the job interview.

I'm hosting BIKE WITH MELINDA this weekend at the cottage on Shell Lake. On Wednesday, I did a pre-ride of the ride and documented it on my smart phone.

VIEW IT HERE.

I originally had eight (8) RSVPs for BIKE WITH MELINDA via the Madison Energize Activities MeetUp group, not including myself. They started dropping like flies the week before the ride. People always chicken out, or they have minor issues that become major issues in their minds.

One excuse that always works and can never be questioned is, "My uncle died."

My uncle died about 13 years ago. It would not be false for me to say, "I can't make it because my uncle died."

Nobody would call me out on it, even if they knew my uncle died 13 years ago (or that he wasn't technically my uncle). Maybe I am still in mourning. It's possible.

Almost everyone probably has an uncle who died at some point in the past, making this an almost universally true excuse to get out of something.

You can't call someone out on it, because what if their uncle really did die last Thursday? Chances are slim, but you are going to look like a real ass if you doubt someone and it turns out to be true.

I am going to start using the ambiguous excuse, "My uncle died," more often. It's totally true, provided I don't put a time frame on it. Even if someone asks me, "Oh, sorry, when did that happen?" I can just reply, "Thirteen years ago," and let the uncomfortable, awkward silence linger.

I actually have come to expect a lot of people to bail out on Bike With Melinda, and so I overcompensate. By the time the ride happens, it is usually down to a fun intimate group of people who really want to be here, and who I really want to be here.

It always works out.

Todd and Sherry will be here, and that is good enough for me. My buddy Rod was not able to ride on Sunday, but he might come visit on Saturday and hang out. A couple other people from Madison are still on the list, although one might still bail out for lack of car pooling options.

Regardless, it is going to be great weather and a fun social with my friends and family. I wouldn't want this ride to ever become big and commercial. That would suck.

Good night.

9.02.2010

10 Minutes - Stevia Sweetener and Jumping Through Hoops for THE MAN

Hi. It's Joe.

Looking on the bright side, it is a good thing that I am being called back for an IN PERSON interview for the technical writing job that I want.

However, it is on Friday 9/3 (tomorrow), which disrupts an otherwise car free holiday weekend up at the cabin, where I am now. I have to drive back tonight (Thursday) and spend Friday morning getting into job interview mindset for the 1 PM appointment.

All I can say is that they had better hire me. I am driving nine (9) hours I wasn't going to drive just to be there tomorrow. That shows drive and ambition. Right?

Of course, there are other up sides. I can leave Buddy at the kennel for the BIKE WITH MELINDA family friendly bike ride over the weekend. That's one less dog to annoy people. I didn't want to put him in the kennel all week, because it would be too expensive. Now it will just be Friday evening through Monday evening. I can probably afford that, assuming I get the job. So for all this effort and expense they had better hire me. I am well qualified for the job.

Today I wrote a blog post about Stevia sweetener (an herbal, zero calorie sugar substitute), with a link to some flavored Stevia packets if people want to try it out.

Up at the cottage, we have a whole bunch of Stevia sugar in packets that look just like regular sugar packets. I use the Stevia sweetener on cereal and it is really good.

Stevia extract is about 300 times sweeter than sugar, which means virtually no calories or glycemic issues (for diabetics and people with sugar handling issues). They use inulin as a "filler" to give it the characteristics of powdered sugar. Inulin is a soluble fiber that has a low glycemic index and is a prebiotic, good for gut health.

The Stevia plant comes from South America, as most things useful do. They grow it in Asia too, to meet the demand for it as a sweetener in Japan.

Well, I should go psych myself up for this job interview. Stressful!

Time.

9.01.2010

10 Minutes - A Bold Adventure

Hi. It's Joe.

Today is the day that I "preview" the Wisconsin bike ride called BIKE WITH MELINDA that I am hosting over Labor Day weekend.

I am going to take my dumb smart phone with me as I ride the proposed route. I will snap a few pics of things I see along the way and post them to my FACEBOOK page, with comments.

That includes any BLACK BEARS. We saw yet a third black bear this morning driving up to Spooner WI. It was a juvenile.

The thing I like about black bears, and you may think it is trivial, is that they are black, which makes them very easy to see. Deer are hard to see, because not only are they semi-camouflaged with the background woodsiness, but I am also color blind to certain of the more pastel-ish natural color schemes. But black is no problem.

I guess it's because black bears have no natural predators besides humans that they can be so stark against the background. They don't really need to conceal themselves and I'd bet even if they had a natural predator they could probably kick its arse decently. Anyway, it's nice that you can usually see a black bear at a distance and avoid close encounters. Pray for me.

Does anyone else think that the fur of black bears seems to "loose" on them? My perception of it is that their skin kind of "hangs" on them, and isn't snug. It's almost like they are in a bear costume that is too large. Anyway, I am off to ride the route and see what there is to see.

I found out today that many employees at large corporations often have Google searches set up to feed them RSS about their company. Basically, Google e-mails them a list of any links making reference to the company in the previous day or week, say for example Intel Corporation in Portland, OR.

Do you see what I did just there? I shared my blog post with everyone at Intel who has a Google search set up for the search phrases "Intel" and/or "Intel Corporation." I even threw in "Portland OR" to hit anyone with a geographic filter on their search.

Hello, Intel! I love you, and especially TEAM CRAZY BIRD, my RAGBRAI cycling team, many of whom work at your fine company. Also, thanks for letting Apple Computers (yes!) use your Duo Core processors. I quite enjoy my Mac laptop, and I am using it right now to write this post.

Time.

8.31.2010

10 Minutes - More Bears?

Hi. It's Joe.

For the second time in a week, I saw a real live black bear tonight, up close and personal. This one was much closer than the last one, but this time I was in a car and last time I was on a bike. So even though I was relatively safer tonight, it was a bit more thrilling. This bear was not very afraid. It just glared at us from the side of the road.

We were on our way to get Mexican food in Rice Lake WI, after a fairly relaxed day of minor chores around the cottage. I am up here in Shell Lake WI with my mom and pop for a week, culminating with BIKE WITH MELINDA, a social bike ride, next Sunday. I am geeked.

Probably tomorrow, I am going to ride the proposed BIKE WITH MELINDA route and do a visual travelogue for my readers, irrespective of if they are attending the ride. I got this dumb smart phone expressly so I could do interactive things like that, and so tomorrow will be a good test of its powers.

Because of the high number of black bear sightings around here, I have to strongly encourage the BIKE WITH MELINDA campers to keep all their food in the cottage when they are here. No one wants to be woken up by a hungry black bear in the middle of the night.

I also need to share some cottage guidelines with the participants.

1. Drink only the bottled water. Don't drink from the tap - it's lake water, and even though it probably won't hurt you, it's still kind of yucky (algae, residual motorboat fuel, etc.).

2. Since the cottage is on a septic system, we have to conserve water usage. If it's yellow, let it mellow, strictly applies. Start getting in that mindset right now.

3. We also encourage participants to bathe in the lake whenever possible. It's good clean water for washing in, even if drinking it isn't advisable (clearly, if people are soaping up their butt cracks in it). Again, the septic system will be hard pressed to accommodate 10 to 12 people showering daily. If you simply MUST shower indoors, keep it short, top and tail.

4. NO PETS. We have three (3) dogs up here already, and that's too many in my opinion.

5. Don't forget the essential, camping gear, biking gear, a cooler with grillables and drinks, and lots of DEET. The mosquitoes are still terrible.

Those are the main rules. Rain or shine, people will camp outside. If conditions are super bad, we will allow people to sleep inside on the floor, but do not count on it. This is meant to be a rustic, outdoorsy time. Cool?

Time.

1 Minute - The Home Stretch

Hi. It's Joe.

I am in the final leg of my journey up to the cottage. It's the so called "home stretch," although the cottage isn't actually my home. But it will be my temporary home for the next seven (7) days.

On Sunday September 5, I will host Bike With Melinda based out of the cottage. A handful of guests will arrive on Friday and Saturday for a relaxing Labor Day weekend, chilling by the lake and biking socially.

We will probably ride from the cottage out to Stone Lake, where there are some good eating and drinking establishments. Also, there are several good places to stop on the return trip and most of the route is on fairly freshly paved roads.

I'm going to ride the route on Wednesday or Thursday, weather permitting, and scope it out.

I will report my findings here, hopefully with pictures, so stay tuned.

If you SUBSCRIBE to this blog, you'll be automatically alerted when I post.

Time.
Via my Blackberry

8.30.2010

1 Minute - I Enjoy This

Hi. It's Joe. Again.

I am experimenting with short posts, and I am rather quite enjoying it.

My short temping gig ended today. I rather quite enjoyed that too. The folks at non-profit Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation are really nice. The company is much bigger than I envisioned. There did not seem to be any observable corporate hierarchy. It was more reminiscent of a beehive or ant colony, with everyone doing their small part for the greater good.

It was refreshing to work for an organization that functions effectively and productively under a clear guiding vision. The employees at WECC are working collectively and cohesively toward a clear end goal that they all believe in.

Time.

1 Minute: A Series of One Minute Short Posts

Hi. It's Joe.

I am heading up to the cottage. It's Monday night. I don't care for night driving, but I do appreciate the lighter highway traffic after dark.

I like to ease the Prius into a drafting position behind a semi doing decent speed. It improves my gas mileage, and theoretically provides some defense against sudden obstacles that may appear in the road.

Time.
Via my Blackberry