5.28.2010

10 Minutes - Tomorrow I Can Just Stare at My Saltwater/Marine Fish Tank

Hi. It's Joe.

Oceanic 29 Gallon Biocube Aquarium w/ StandYou know what I have to do tomorrow?

Nothing.

I don't have to do a goddam thing.

I'm gonna do stuff.

But I don't have to.

And that's a great feeling.

Well, I kind of do have to mow the lawn.

But that's not urgent.

It could wait.

But I just want to get it done.

The fact that I have a choice makes me not dread the task as much.

Like when my salt water fish tank needed to be cleaned. I didn't have a choice. It was overgrown with algae and the water was like 6 months old. I felt sorry for the one remaining fish, who sadly died of shock during the cleaning, even though I quarantined it in a bucket overnight. Maybe the bucket had some residue in it or something.

I also want to get my garden in tomorrow.

But it is a want, not a need.

The need was a couple days ago when I sprayed all the weeds with Round Up.

Now I just have to pull the dead weeds to make room for my tomatoes and peppers.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I am really busy with awesome rock-n-roll.

That's pleasurable. But it is still work.

Tomorrow is a day of rest, even though as I said, I shant rest.

I don't really rest much.

Maybe I am a type A person.

I seem pretty mellow.

But my mind is always working.

And I am a doer.

I like to do things, even if those things aren't work.

I think after I get done with the yard work tomorrow, I might cruise to Madison and go pick up some salt water organisms to re-populate my now spotlessly cleaned marine aquarium.

I have a 29 gallon BioCube marine fish tank.

It's made by Oceanic Aquariums, and I have been very pleased with it.

Even when it is really dirty, it keeps working, biologically filtering out toxins and crud.

I dig it.

Time.

Oceanic 29 Gallon Biocube Aquarium w/ Stand
Oceanic 29 Gallon Biocube Aquarium w/ Stand

The Oceanic BioCube features high-quality components and can be used for saltwater or freshwater setups. The enhanced filtration system features dual filter intakes to draw aquarium water from the surface and mid-water for improved water circulation and filtration. The replaceable 2-stage filter cartridge provides easy-to-maintain mechanical and chemical filtration. The "Bio-Ball" wet/dry (sump) filtration system improves gas exchange and provides efficient biological filtration. This aquarium is easy to clean and maintain. A complete aquarium lighting system includes Coralife compact fluorescent daylight and actinic lighting, Lunar Blue-Moon-Glow LEDs, and dual cooling fans, all integrated into the hood. Dimensions: 20.8in x 19in x 49.6in











5.26.2010

10 Minutes - I Rode My Bike So Far I Almost Puked

Hi. It's Joe.

Closeout sales at NashbarI went on a long hard bike ride today. I can't tell you how long, because I don't keep a bike computer on my Bianchi road bike. But I can tell you it took me three (3) hours and it was hot, and I was riding continuously almost the whole time.

I can't complain too much though. There weren't any great big hills and it wasn't windy. In fact, most of the ride from Cambridge to Whitewater (which is where I rode to) I had a slight tail wind. Although this was a slight head wind coming back, it wasn't too bad.

I decided to ride to Whitewater because I wanted to stop at the pet store there and see if they could special order me some salt water fish for my marine aquarium. You see, I have this cool marine aquarium. It's called a BIO CUBE and it is pretty sweet.

It is like a self-contained marine ecosystem, minus the oil spills (sorry, I could not resist). However, for a while I kind of let it go and a bunch of algae built up inside of it. The one single fish, a 3 striped damsel fish, never seemed to care. But last weekend I totally cleaned every inch of the goddam thing. I had been dreading it, but it wasn't as hard as I thought (is what she said). I had put the single lone fish in a bucket of sea water from the pre-cleaning tank, so as not to shock it with the fresh clean "Instant Ocean" sea water I mixed up to replace the rest of the mucky old water. I left the hermit crabs in the tank though, they can survive anything. Anyway, the water in the bucket must have gotten too cold over night because little fishy croaked it. So now I have this pristine beautiful looking salt water fish tank, but no fish. I want to remedy that.

BargainsSadly, though, the pet store in Whitewater no longer deals in fish and they are soon phasing out livestock altogether to become just a supply store. I think that's a great idea. Animals should be free in nature.

Anyway, I then biked all the way back to Cambridge. I think I got a little dehydrated. I feel OK now after drinking some juice and eating some potato chips (salt). I thought I was going to puke when I first got home. But a shower helped.

Now I am off to Fat Boyz open mic night in Fort Atkinson and if I get there in time it is $6 all you can eat chicken wings. It's my one vice and my one day a week to totally F up my arteries with lard. Fun!

Time.

2 Minutes - Who Needs a New (Free) Coffeemaker and (Free) Travel Mug?

Hi. It's Joe.

Get Your FREE Coffeemaker and Travel Mug Today!I love coffee. You love coffee.

So I thought I would share this deal I found with you. Gevalia Coffee is apparently giving away a FREE stainless steel coffee maker if you buy any four (4) of their coffees for just $19.95. You also get free shipping and a free travel mug with the deal.

It's kind of like how my cell phone service provider gave me a FREE Blackberry Curve (retail: $349) in exchange for signing a new two year contract with them. I have been with them for like 15 years, so that was kind of a no brainer.

And there is the rub with this free coffeemaker deal. As with my cell phone company, there is always a catch with stuff like this coffeemaker deal. To get it, you have to join Gevalia's coffee club, and even though there is no fee, no minimum purchase, and you can quit any time (according to their Terms and Conditions), you may not want to join unless you really love coffee and want it delivered to your door every 4-6 weeks on a schedule you determine.

They do have a lot of kickass sounding coffees. If anyone reading this has tried Gevalia coffee in the past, please comment below to let others know what you think of them.

You might not need a new coffee maker, but it could be a sweet gift for a coffee-loving loved one. You could keep two of the four coffees and give them two along with the coffee maker. Father's Day isn't too far off.

Time.

5.25.2010

10 Minutes - If You Buy a Bass 5-String: Washburn T25 Bass vs. Peavey Grind Bass

Hi. It's Joe.

I play bass guitar. I'm not awesome, but I am pretty damn good. Much better than I am on guitar. While I do a lot of my song writing on guitar, so I can hear the chord progressions against the melodies better, I much prefer to play bass guitar when I play live. That is probably the main reason why I have an awesome indie rock power trio called GUPPY EFFECT. For all the headaches of running a fully functional rock-n-roll band, it is awesome to have a vehicle for performing my original songs live. My guitar player is quite good at learning my songs on guitar so that I can play bass guitar in GUPPY EFFECT. I do the same for his original rock songs, so he can play guitar.

Washburn Taurus T25 5-String Neck-Thru Electric Bass Guitar Natural MahoganyAnyway, this is my bass guitar. You can click on the picture (on left) to see a larger image and get deets on it. It's a 5-string Washburn T25 bass and I love it. It's by far the best bass I have ever owned. I bought it used from a friend in Iowa. I had played his bass a few times when our respective bands had shared stages over the years and I always dug its warm punchiness. So when I found out he was selling it (you idiot!), I snatched it up as soon as I was able to ditch my 5-string Peavey Grind Bass for the cash.

My 5-string Washburn T25 bass may not be the best bass guitar I ever played (I have had my hands on some really nice and EXPENSIVE instruments that are excellent in proportion to their high cost.), but amongst 5-string bass guitars I can actually AFFORD, my 5-string Washburn bass is the top dog. It plays like a much pricier bass, and it has a wide frequency range from warm and punchy to crisp and slappy. I will continue to play this bass for years to come, until such time as my songwriting earns me enough cashola to land a really sweet, expensive bass guitar.

I like playing a 5-string bass guitar. Even though I have a nice 4-string Fender Jazz Bass, that I love to play when I do slap bass (ala Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson) or just don't want to think as hard (I still sometimes forget about the extra string on the 5-string bass when I am performing...I was weened on 4-string...), having that low B string to vibrate people's innards at a live show is priceless.

Anyway, the Washburn T25 5-string electric bass has Cactus Joe's highest endorsement. I have had this bass for two years, and it has survived many an intense rock-n-roll show. It stays in tune and I have never broken a string on it. That's priceless.

Peavey Grind Bass 5 BXP NTB 5-String Electric BassMy previous bass, the aforementioned 5-string Peavey Grind Bass (on right, click pic for more...), used to break strings all the time, and that gets expensive. It was a great bass for hard rock and metal, with a crisp metallic sound, but the range of warm and punchy frequencies was very small. Since I play a variety of musical styles now, I needed more frequency dynamic range and warmth. The 5-string Washburn T25 bass gives me that perfectly.

I also have a 6-string custom fretless Carvin bass guitar. I pull it out when I am really going to be breaking it down on some funkadelic space jams. It's a sweet instrument, but the high C string is really pretty superfluous for all but the most virtuosic of bass solos. I much prefer to lay down a phat solid low-end foundation of groove and let the other instrumentalists handle the high frequency end of the rock-n-roll cosmos.

If you are researching to buy 6-string basses, TALK TO ME first. I will be glad to share my opinions.

Time.

10 Minutes - Side Effects of Kava Kava Tea: Kava Anxiety

Hi. It's Joe.

Yogi's Kava Special Formula Tea 16TbagsYesterday, I wrote a short blog post about kava kava on my CJ Scientific Communication site. I was talking about kava kava effects for reducing stress and anxiety, calming nerves, and aiding sleep. I also wrote about the possible side effects of kava kava on the liver and some possible reasons for it. My conclusion was that if you buy kava kava tea, and consume it infrequently, you are unlikely to have any adverse side effects.

Then I started thinking, kava kava is supposed to reduce anxiety, but everyone is so worried about side effects from kava kava that this creates it's own "kava anxiety," totally defeating the purpose of kava kava.

So I am going to use this blog here to add to my other post and say, don't drink kava kava tea or take any kava kava supplements if you are worried about it. Because that will cancel out the effects. Just buy kava kava and don't worry about it, and maybe you won't even need to take it, if that is the only thing you are worrying about in the first place.

REFERENCES

1. Many Supplements Said to Contain Toxins, Make False Health Claims

Time.

5.24.2010

10 Minutes - Hey, That's Pretty Funny... Shaddap!

Hi. It's Joe.

I wish people would mind their own business, or at the very least keep their inner monolog INNER.

I ate a couple of my roommate's microwave popcorns this weekend. The stuff is toxic and I rarely eat it, but it is yummy. Most people who know me know I am a health nut, primarily eating natural whole foods.

But when you eat that stuff all the time, sometimes you just want to treat yourself to tasty nutrition-less junk food. That's what I did, but since I don't buy the stuff myself, I had to bum my roommate's.

Now I am not a mooch. So tonight I went to the 24 hour Sentry grocery store in Fort Atkinson and I picked up a box of three (3) Orville Reddenbacher "Butter" Flavored microwavable popcorns to replace the two (2) I ate. It is my convention to always replace what I borrow with interest paid back. That is just part of the roommate code. I also scored a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for my roommate, because I had eaten some that I found in our shared kitchen and I wasn't sure if it was his or my ex-girlfriend's. She moved out a couple months ago and she left a lot of food behind, including Mac & Che. So I figured I would play it safe and replenish that with a fresh box. For myself, I bought some ice cream, as well as some eggs for breakfast tomorrow.

So when I get to the checkout counter there are two boys and two girls who look like they are maybe in their early 20s in front of me. I didn't bother to look what they were buying, it was none of my damn business. I just assumed it was beer.

I start loading my groceries on the conveyor and one of the boys says to his friends in a loud whisper, referring to my stuff, "Somebody has the munchies!"

"No genius. I HAD the munchies. Now shaddap and mind your own business," is what I said in MY inner monolog, because I keep my inner monolog inner. That way I don't sound like a jackass in front of other people. Try it some time.

Now, I know you were trying to be a smart ass in front of your female friends. They were attractive girls. But when your life is one long beer pong festival, please don't try to build yourself up by putting other people down.

I am and always will be your superior. You are the stoners with the bleak economic futures, so put a sock in it, OK?

Time.

5.21.2010

Less Than 1 Minute - Time to Stop THE MAN's Crap!

Hi. It's Joe.

My good deed of the day is to share THIS with you:

THE WAR IS MAKING YOU POOR

Alan Grayson is the man! (but not THE MAN...)

I totally expect him to be assassinated by the powers that be (remember Paul Wellstone?). So act fast! He is a brave man, dedicated to what is right. Very rare these days.

I will humbly accept your coffee donations for sharing this important information with you.

Joe

5.20.2010

1 Minute - People Should Read More Books and Stuff

Hi. It's Joe.

I have to shower and get ready for an awesome rock-n-roll show tonight. GUPPY EFFECT is rocking Bolt Inn in Fort Atkinson WI from 9 PM until bar time. You should go, but probably by the time you see this it will be too late.

I just had the thought that people should read more. It's a great way for people to share someone else's experience of the universe. People should write more too, and make their writing available for people to read, like I do here on this blog.

Are you with me?

Time.

10 Minutes - Polarized 3D Goggles: Where to Buy 3D Glasses

Hi. It's Joe.

3D is back!

3D seems to come in and out of fashion periodically. The last time I remember a 3D craze was in the late 80s. Most of the kids today weren't even born then, so they might not remember the cheezy 3D glasses with one green lens and one red lens to filter out the red and green hued bipolar images on color TVs.

Being partially red-green color blind, 3D was sort of lost on me. But not anymore, baby!

Now it has gone high tech. In the age of high definition TV, there is now a whole new technology for 3D viewing that doesn't rely on color separation. Todays 3D glasses use the laws of physics (polarization) and liquid crystal technology (shuttering) to create a magnificent 3D viewing experience.

So advanced has 3D now become that 3D glasses are now becoming more than just those flimsy cardboard things. People with high definition 3D capabilities are actually buying pretty nice plastic framed 3D glasses as part of their multi-media technology accessories.

There are two kinds of high tech 3D glasses available.

1. Passive Polarized 3D Glasses: Polarized sunglasses have been around for a long time, but polarized high definition 3D movies haven't. The high definition screen displays two overlapping images that are polarized at 90 degrees from each other, as are the lenses in the polarized 3D glasses. Similar to color separation 3D, one eye sees one of the overlapping polarized images and the other eye sees the alternate one, creating the 3D effect without the wonky color issues of the old school 3D frames. According to AMAZON, "the only drawback is that viewers will need to sit directly in front of the display to get the full 3D effect. If the viewer is sitting on the side, the 3D effects will be less pronounced."

Try wearing regular polarized sunglasses and viewing a flat screen (polarized) high definition computer display, such as a laptop. If you tilt your head one way of the other, the screen will appear to go black. This is because the frames of normal polarized sunglasses are both polarized in the same direction. In polarized 3D goggles, the polarity of one lens is offset 90 degrees from the other, and so are the two overlapping images of the high definition 3D display screen.

2. Active Shutter 3D Glasses: These are battery powered 3D lenses that alternately open and close to match the frame rate of high definition 3D movies. Each of the overlapping images of the 3D movie are displayed at 60 frames per second, for a total image rate of 120 frames per second (Hz). The lenses of the active shutter 3D glasses alternate their shutter speed at 120 frames per second so that each eye sees one or the other of the overlapping images.

According to AMAZON, "you will need a pair of active shutter glasses if you buy a 3D-capable HDTV in 2010 and onwards."

I don't trust any technology that relies on batteries and active shutter 3D glasses seem like a lot could go wrong. With polarized 3D glasses, you are just relying on the basic laws of physics regarding light waves, so there is a lot less human error that can get in the way of your high definition 3D movie viewing experience.

Time.

5.17.2010

10 Minutes - Ronny James Dio Rock & Roll/Tenacious D Film

Hi. It's Joe.

A sad, but not unexpected, day in rock-n-roll yesterday.

Ronnie James Dio, of DIO and BLACK SABBATH fame, died.

It always sad when a rocker dies. I liked RJD as Dio. I didn't especially care for him in Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath for me was always Ozzy's band. When Dio joined Black Sabbath, it sounded more like Black Sabbath playing Dio covers.

But I liked Dio as Dio, the melodramatic good vs. evil power rock was unique and great. I really liked the scene in Tenacious D's "Pick of Destiny" where the young Jack Black has a divine encounter with rock god Dio, who inspires JB to pursue his life's dream to rock.



CLICK HERE for Kickapoo by Tenacious D lyrics.

If you would like to watch Tenacious D perform "Kickapoo" live, CLICK HERE.

I think my band, GUPPY EFFECT (the "greatest and best band in the world?") should do a "Kickapoo" cover version in tribute to Dio. And also just because it is a good song.

Time.

5 Minutes - I Don't Need a Fancy House, Just MY House!

Hi. It's Joe.

I love my house. It is perfect in almost every way. It's only negative characteristic is the guy living in it. ME!

I could do more to make it look pretty. I could get more done on the yard. I could clean more often.

But structurally and functionally it is my dream house. It's laid out just right. It has a music room and recording studio and lots of living space far away from the music space, which is nice when I need quietude or the family comes to visit. It's well-built and insulated. I couldn't ask for a nicer place to live, even with the longer commute to Madison where most of my job opportunities in music are.

I would like to keep on living in my house. I am self-employed, so even though I am in no danger of having to sell this house and move to someplace smaller, there is always a slight concern in my mind that economics might make me have to move away from my perfect dream house. That's why I focus on multiple income streams, like renting part of my awesome house to my roommate, Matt.

One of my other income streams is getting coffee donations via this awesome web site. I do my duty daily to maintain this site and share my world view with you. If you can spare it, please donate. Some day it might be the difference between me staying or leaving my awesome house. In any case, it all goes to a good cause - building my rock-n-roll empire of musical benevolence.

I never understood why some people need a mansion that they never live in, and even when they do 95% of it is unused. Is that just a display of wealth? Do those people get laid more often for having that much wealth? I've heard otherwise.

Time.

10 Minutes - Best Dating Websites: Is Plenty of Fish Cool?

Hi. It's Joe.

Worlds Largest Sugar Daddy Dating SiteI am not the person who should ever write an Internet dating guide. But I won't lie. I've tried Internet dating.

It used to be a thing that was stigmatized a few years ago, and you never spoke of it publicly. There were always horror stories of men pretending to be women, and various other kinds of pervs.

But then it started working for some people, and caught on for a while. It was OK to tell people you met your date on the Internet. Sometimes, the people were even good looking.

Now it is just something that is broken and doesn't work, like most other Internet trends.

They are hot for a while, then they become obsolete. Now Internet dating is spam-laden and stupid.

With Internet dating, it was Plenty of Fish that broke the mold, the free Internet dating site.

Does anyone pay for dating sites anymore?

Why?

It's a waste of money, when there is a free site that does all the same stuff and is easier to use. Since it's free, there aren't any extra fees when you want to message someone you like - you just do.

Do I know how to get dates on Plenty of Fish? No I don't. At least, I rarely get them. So I can't really put in any kind of strong plug for Plenty of Fish.

My last relationship, which lasted one day shy of a full year, started via Plenty of Fish. It was the strangest relationship ever. But, it also lasted a year, which is longer than most of my relationships.

Beyond that, Plenty of Fish hasn't yielded squat. That said, it has yielded more than Yahoo personals, the dating site (that costs money) I was on before I found out about Plenty of Fish. Yahoo personals yielded negative squat and cost money. Nothing infuriates me more than the trickery of some web sites to get your money.

With Plenty of Fish, at least what you see is what you get. It's a crude but functional user interface. Searching is easy. Messaging is easy. Screening people is easy. And it's FREE.

Yahoo personals was NOT easy and it cost money. Logic dictates.

Plenty of Fish is spammy. But the spam is all up front and out in the open. The creator of Plenty of Fish definitely knew that Internet dating consumers are not stupid. Sure, in our minds, we want to date hot horny MILFs. But everyone knows hot horny MILFs aren't on the Internet. They have better things to do. So trying to trick people into clicking through to the web site of hot horny MILFs "waiting for you" is really dumb.

Plenty of Fish is full of hot horny MILFs, masquerading as, well, mild-mannered, prudish MILFs. Therein is the secret to Internet dating. And like I said above, I am the last person you should ever listen to when it comes to Internet dating.

Time.

5.15.2010

1 Minute - I Appear to be Addicted to This...

Hi. It's Joe.

There is a rare GUPPY EFFECT show coming up in Madison WI on Wednesday May 19, 2010.



You'll wanna watch the whole video. It's classic.

Time.

1 Minute - Another Rock-n-Roll Promo Video

Hi. It's Joe.

This one took me longer to make, but still just a minute to post.

If you enjoy it, please buy me a coffee!



Time.

5.14.2010

1 Minute - A Rock-n-Roll Promo Video of My Making

Hi. It's Joe.

It actually took me about an hour to make this video.

But only a minute to post it here. Enjoy!



Become a GUPPY. Join the band mailing list at www.guppyeffect.com

Time.

10 Minutes - Vintage Acoustic Guitars: My Guitar Appraisal

Hi. It's Joe.

I swear to God I did not choose the topic of "Vintage Acoustic Guitars" because it is one of the examples in Ed Dale's 30-Day Challenge.

Actually, I just got an e-mail from an old RAGBRAI buddy who helped develop a vintage acoustic guitar company called TWO OLD HIPPIES.

They look like wonderful instruments. I wouldn't mind having a really nice (read expensive) vintage acoustic guitar to really augment my solo work, instead of the cheap-assed (but very playable) Jasmine by Takamine that I now use. Even a used acoustic guitar that was in great shape and played kind of awesome would be cool with me.

But deep down in my heart of hearts, what I would really like to find is a sweet acoustic vintage bass guitar. One that just plays like magic, with low action and a warm sound with zero fret buzz. A 4-string acoustic bass would be great, but to find such an instrument in a 5-string variant would blow my mind.

I didn't see any acoustic bass guitars on the TWO OLD HIPPIES site. They did have a couple of nice vintage bass guitars, but they were electric bass guitars. These would be decent additions to my bass arsenal. One was a 60s Fender Jazz Bass and the other a 60s Fender Precision Bass. Lovely old vintage bass guitars. However, I already have a pretty sweet vintage Fender Jazz Bass, so I can't really justify buying another, even if it is better. If I was independently wealthy, I'd have a bass guitar room.

Where can I find an ACOUSTIC vintage bass guitar that is Cactus Joe worthy? That is what I need to know. I know they exist. I need to find them. Maybe next time I visit my sister in Colorado Springs, I will go down to that acoustic guitar shop and see what they have.

I am the kind of musician who needs to hold, feel, and play an instrument before I will invest money I don't really have in it. I can't just buy one off the Internet and hope it is right. That's convenient for cheap acoustic guitars, when I just need a functional axe. But when it comes to any kind of vintage acoustic guitars I am going to perform with, I need to know that I can become organically ONE with the instrument. Only then will I know that my performance is as close to perfectly in harmony with the cosmos as it can be.

Man and wood.

Time.

5.12.2010

10 Minutes - Fruit is Better Than Juice is Better Than Cocktail is Better Than Drink

Hi. It's Joe.

Woodstock Farms Organic Juice Concentrate - Pomegranate, 10 ozAll fruit juices are not created equal. I learned a lot about fruit juice when I worked in R&D at a nutritional supplement company.

I am not sure how much the general public really knows. If you have ever looked at the nutrition label of a bottle of juice, you might know that only 100% fruit juice has no added sugar. That is not to say it doesn't have sugar. It has lots of sugar, but it is all fructose (or fruit sugar) that comes naturally from the fruit. It isn't added in the form of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup (Would you seriously consider drinking corn juice? Yuck!).

However, juice is a form of refined food in the sense that it is refined from fruit. The fiber content of a piece of fruit helps to slow digestion of the fruit sugars in the fruit. This means that fruit raises your blood sugar at a slower rate, which requires your body to produce less insulin to handle the fruit sugar.

When you drink juice, even pulpy juice, the fruit sugar is free from the fiber matrix of the fruit, which means it is absorbed much faster and spikes blood sugar and insulin levels in the blood. It's beyond the scope of this post, but insulin is a hormone that the body should only use in small amounts. When it is secreted too often in too high of a quantity, the body becomes insensitive to insulin, and this can lead to type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. This is why eating a lot of sugar is generally bad, as is drinking it via juice.

100% fruit juice still contains a lot of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals of the whole fruit. This makes it healthier than fruit juice cocktail, which is the industry name for beverages containing 25% or less of actual fruit juice and 75% or more water and sugar. In cocktails, there is some juice, but most of it is sugar water, and that's awful for your body's metabolism over time.

Fruit juice "drink" is basically sugar water flavored to taste like the juice it is named after. It has almost no nutritional value.

Was that helpful?

Time.

5.11.2010

10 Minutes - Are Invisible Bikinis or See Thru Bikinis Any Different Than Just Being Naked?

Hi. It's Joe.

My topic today is that very small swimsuit we all know and love, the thong bikini. OK, just bikinis in general. I favor the thong variety, but that's my bias mainly because my awesome rock-n-roll band sells branded thong underwear, very stylish and super sexy. That's a pic of it over there on the right. If you click on it, you can learn more. You might also be pleased to know that my rock-n-roll band often gives one of these away at every GUPPY EFFECT show, by way of prize drawing. So if you favor this type of sheer underwear, you ought to come to a show.

Back to the topic. I can't go very far with this one, except to say we have come a long way with respect to sheer swimwear in the United States. In fact, I think we are probably behind the curve, because of the large cohort of Puritans who live here. Some parts of Europe around the Mediterranean Sea have done away with swimwear altogether, at least the top half. They would probably love our rock-n-roll band thongs over there. We don't sell the top half. Maybe we should. But then it becomes a bathing suit, rather than a thong, and unless we are playing at a beach party somewhere (which does occasionally happen - we are playing on a pirate ship on July 24), that's not going to sell very well.

My grandma used to wear one of those full body skirted swimsuits. Don't get me wrong, that was a GOOD thing. I loved my grandma a lot, but no one wants to see their grandma in a bikini. I don't care who you are. For old people, vintage swimwear all the way I say.

But for most other female, healthy, attractive, young people, I say buy a bikini and wear it proudly.

Small bikinis, large (but not too large) bikinis, invisible bikinis, Brazilian cut bikinis, purple polka-dot bikinis, even micro g-string bikinis (if you qualify...). Flaunt your sheer swimwear with pride and buy a bikini today.

It's almost summer time, you know. Let's make 2010 the YEAR OF THE BIKINI. Are you with me?

Also, please only wear a maternity bathing suit if you are an expecting mother. These things should be thought of much the same way as you think of a hospital gown, a functional piece of apparel with no fashion appeal whatsoever. This is probably common sense, but I know you've been to the mall, right?

Time.

30 Minutes - Egg Myths: Free Range Eggs vs. Free Range Hens

Hi. It's Joe.

I saw an article on YAHOO today about eggs and egg myths.

Before I go on about that subject, I just want to let you know that the software I use to better integrate my human brain with the Internet brain, called DOMAIN SAMURAI (it's free...), has been updated, fixing a few bugs related to Google's paradigm shift. That probably makes no sense, so let me briefly explain.

The purpose of this blog is to CONNECT my experience of the cosmos with yours. It is a two-way connection if you choose to interact by COMMENTING on this blog below each post (I always respond). Google, and other search engines, catalog web sites (including blogs) based on their textual content, primarily by scouring the Internet (brain) for sites that contain keywords and keyword phrases that people are seeking on the Web.

In order to maximize KARMA, I would like my blog to connect with the most people possible. Then the shared universal experience will be much greater. So for any given subject I am covering, I want to include some relevant keywords and keyword phrases that other REAL people are actually looking for on the Internet. That's what CONNECTING is all about, right?

Google loves keywords, and it uses them (and several other variables) to rank Web sites every time someone searches for something. If a site contains the search word or phrase and appears to Google to be an "important" site, it will rank higher on Web searches and more people are likely to see it and come visit the site. If they visit this site, the universal consciousness expands. So that is why I like using proper keywords in my posts.

So the software I mentioned basically lets me type in a topic word or phrase, then it goes out and essentially asks Google, "Hey Google! This Joe guy wants to make his blog more accessible to people searching the web for [THIS TOPIC]. What keywords and keyword phrases would you suggest?" Google, after making me (via the software) type in a CAPTCHA to ensure I am not a SPAMMER, runs its algorithm and returns information on keywords and phrases that would be likely to score HITS on Google searches. It sorts them by number of Web sites containing the words as well as the Web sites that have the words as part of the title, such as http://www.freerangeeggs.com.

This is great, because my posts are clearly off the beaten topical path. So I can find keywords and phrases that are best suited to MY readers and not have to compete with the 10 million other Web pages with more mainstream content. I mean, if the owner of a free range farming (Ding, ding, ding!) operation really wants to research free range hens (Ding, ding, ding!) and free range eggs (Ding, ding, ding!) to find the best chicken feeders (Ding, ding, ding!) to use for their free range poultry (Ding, ding, ding!) farm, I would rather they stumble upon someone else's more relevant web site. My site is simply about building KARMA and expanding universal consciousness, via whatever means, in this case free range poultry farming.

What would Buddha do?

Optimally, once you get here, you will SUBSCRIBE to this blog and create a "permanent" neural connection with me via the Internet brain. Because if you don't subscribe, and just drift away, then only by random chance will you stumble upon this site again, if you happen to search a word or phrase on a search engine for which my blog has relevant content.

I would posit to you that just by connecting with me regularly for two minutes or less per day (about the time it takes to read a typical "10 Minutes" post) our collective universal consciousness is increased.

Think about it. If everyone lived in a vacuum and never interacted, what a dull and lifeless world this would be. Life and consciousness depends on everything being intertwined in some way, however small. Even though we are all technically "alone," we are also all technically "one." "ONENESS" is part of "alONENESS."

I just came up with that now. Clever, eh?

Well, that's touchy-feely enough for now. About free range eggs...

Let's start with the fact that there is no such thing as a free range egg. Eggs don't have legs and they rarely if ever see the light of day. And they don't "see" either because they don't have eyes. When we talk about free range eggs we are really talking about free range hens.

The YAHOO article only hinted at the fact that regulating what constitutes "free range" farming of any kind is very difficult. For example, at Thanksgiving you might see "free range turkeys" at the grocery store, much more expensive than the "imprisoned turkeys." But to be a free range turkey only means that the turkey has to have access to pasture for some time during its short, pitiful life. The rest of the time it can be cooped up (I guess pun would be intended there...) with thousands of other turkeys under horrible conditions.

Except when the occasional PETA infiltrator manages to get a job in one of these meat factories, we really have no clue what goes on. Because chickens and turkeys are usually raised on private corporate farms, they can't be regularly audited, except by the historically under-staffed and grafted USDA.

The YAHOO article also says there is no difference between brown eggs and white eggs. In terms of whether they come from free range hens, this is probably true. Brown eggs are not somehow magically organic or healthier just by being brown. It depends on the color of the hen. Albino hens lay white eggs. It is that simple.

However, I think the article is wrong about one thing. It says there is no difference in cooking characteristics between brown and white eggs.

From my experience, I have noticed that brown eggs tend to crack more unevenly, and will often leave shell fragments in the egg whites that drop into the frying pan. Has anyone else noticed this? Comment below. I'd like to see if this is a real phenomenon, or just a random fluke of my cooking endeavors. See, that's us CONNECTING our small plots of COSMOS via the Internet brain.

So if you are going to eat eggs, know the facts on organic vs. conventional, brown vs. white, free range vs. not so. Or don't. Just buy what's cheap and ecological footprint be damned. It's your (shared) life.

Truly free range hens tend to lay eggs that are richer in nutrients like vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. But (Debbie Downer...), eggs that are labeled as being high in omega-3 fatty acids are NOT necessarily from free range hens. The hens are usually just fed a grain diet that has omega-3 fatty acids added to it, perhaps in the form of flax seed or flax oil.

So if you want to get omega-3 fatty acids, perhaps you should just use a flax oil supplement and buy/eat regular old plain white eggs (if you can stomach the animal cruelty that goes into most of them).

Time.

10 Minutes - Galaxy 15 Satellite is Now "Zombie Satellite"

Hi. It's Joe.

Ever since my awesome rock-n-roll band GUPPY EFFECT recorded our cult classic rock holiday song "Gingerbread (Zombie) Army" (available at AMAZON), I have been more cognizant of zombie-related topics on the Internet.

This one is kind of cool, shared with me by Tracy Janzen.

Apparently, a very powerful telecommunications satellite named Galaxy 15 in orbit around the earth had its "brain" fried by solar flares. Except, the only thing it lost the ability to do was communicate with its earth-bound human handlers.

It is still fully functional, and apparently capable of "parasitizing" other satellites it encounters in earth orbit. What makes this all the more thrilling is that the Galaxy 15 "zombiesat" has left its original orbit and is now stumbling randomly about inner space looking for nearby satellites to infect.

That's AWESOME!

Even more so is that this renegade satellite carries the signal for cable TV's SyFy channel. It's a cream dream.

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

5.10.2010

10 Minutes - It's Home Improvement Time at the Cactus Joe Rock-n-Roll Empire

Hi. It's Joe.

On principle, I like to take Mondays off.

This is largely a poke in the eye to the loser boss I had to "fire" last year who was a dick about flexible schedules (and most other things). I love being self-employed.

I don't actually take Monday "off." That makes it sound like I sit around playing video games and generally slacking. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, I mowed the entire lawn today. It's a two hour operation, because I have a huge yard. I also had to go and get gas for the mower at the local gas station. On my way to do that I deposited money in the bank, mailed a business document, bought groceries (redeeming three excellent coupons, which I will get to in a minute), and stopped at the local library to help in their fund raising efforts.

The last few times I went grocery shopping, I got some sweet coupons. One was for a FREE half gallon of Silk's newest pseudo-milk product - ALMOND MILK. There was another one for $2 off same. So for about $1.55, I scored a full gallon of Silk Almond Milk. One half gallon is vanilla flavored, the other plain.

Of course, with this much almond milk on hand, I had to also buy an overpriced box of Golden Flax organic cereal, which was like $4.50.

I don't use pseudo-milks for much besides adding to my coffee, so there is no way I am going to consume a gallon of almond milk in that way before it goes bad. The cereal will speed things up a bit. Even so, I still saved about $0.50 per half gallon of almond milk. That stuff ain't cheap. I guess Piggly Wiggly is trying to develop a consumer market for the stuff. It worked on me. I know I should have probably redeemed the coupons one at a time, but the expiration date was fast approaching and I tend to be an "immediate gratification" type of person, to my demise.

Almond milk is super healthy for you, because it comes from almonds, which are healthy. However, I was reading the label on the Silk brand almond milk and it looks like they add a lot of unnatural shit to make it look and feel more like DAIRY milk. Why do they do that? That suggests a poor understanding of their BUYER PERSONA, which is most likely someone who doesn't particularly like dairy milk for whatever reason, and doesn't want to be reminded of it. Cuz if they liked dairy milk, they'd just BUY IT, because it's a lot cheaper. I guess there could be a few lactose intolerant people who desperately want to feel "normal" by drinking something that is akin to the sweet forbidden secretions of a cow's teet.

But don't you get the sense there are probably statistically more vegetarians and animal-rights people looking for an alternative to dairy milk than lactose intolerant people? The latter would probably be better off just taking a lactase supplement.

Whatever. Locust bean gum is one of the additives in the Silk Almond Milk. I don't trust that stuff. It's basically a thickener, I think. The almond milk has a thicker consistency than soy milk, or even regular dairy milk. It doesn't feel that natural to me. The thing I like about almond milk is the lighter texture, kind of like skimmed DAIRY milk.

The third coupon was for $0.75 off two (2) half gallon jugs of healthy blueberry/pomegranate juice by Minute Maid. The stuff cures everything and makes your brain 10 times more powerful. See, I can make that claim because I'm not making or selling the stuff, just drinking it.

Anyway, that was my Monday. I still don't feel 100% since my cold, so I skipped the Monday night bike ride in Madison this week. It's sponsored by the Madison Area Outdoor Meetup Group.

Time.

1 Minute - Couldn't They Come Up With a Shorter Acronym Than CAPTCHA?

Hi. It's Joe.

I don't hate CAPTCHA.

That's when a web site makes you enter a string of letters or numbers in an effort to prevent SPAM.

SPAM sucks and CAPTCHA seems to work.

But why the excessively long acronym?

Comments below please.

10 Minutes - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Your Votes Are Working

Hi. It's Joe.

The software that I use to optimize keywords in my blogs is all wonky and they haven't updated it yet. So I am kind of hoping that by repetitively including the title of the indie rock film "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (due out in theaters in August) along with a few rational keyword ideas, maybe Google will like it and give these posts some rank.

I suppose I can also back link to my prior posts with similar titles by making reference to indie bands in movies and the like. But I don't want to over do it.

Anyway, I play in an awesome rock-n-roll band called GUPPY EFFECT. I wrote a song for the band entitled "A Face Like Yours" that I thought would be a good fit for the movie, the Sonicbids listing for which was requesting indie rock band music submissions.

I am not yet sure how the makers of the movie are going to incorporate the winning indie rock band(s) into the film PR, which is probably pretty near completion. All I know is that the winner is determined by peer-review voting and that it is super easy to vote.

And I would like you to go and VOTE FOR US right now. It's easy and free and takes less than one (1) minute to do.

I'd also like you to VOTE FOR US every day (when you think of it) from now through May 28. After that date begins ROUND 2 of the competition, in which my band (when we win ROUND 1) will have to make a music video of epic proportions, using film footage from the movie, presumably provided by the movie's makers.

That's all I am asking of you, readers. Just click your mouse a couple of times in support of my band.

I can tell you this. In two (2) days of voting so far, we have moved up the ranks from #43 to #30. So your votes do count and we do have a good chance of winning. Think positive. We are #30 out of 100 bands. Not bad. We already made the cut of being selected to compete, so they must have liked something about us.

Time.

5.09.2010

10 Minutes - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: My Band Rocks!

Hi. It's Joe.

I was playing a show with PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND tonight in Madison when the awesome guitarist from my other rock-n-roll band, GUPPY EFFECT, texted me to let me know that GUPPY EFFECT had won an award at the Madison Area Music Awards ceremony last night.

Yes, apparently our awesome hard rock song "Porn Star Hot" won BEST HARD ROCK/PUNK SONG OF THE YEAR. That's pretty exciting. It means people out there really do love our brand of high energy rock-n-roll, even if they don't always make it out to the shows. (Yeah, I know we are a little bit too rocking to handle sometimes...)

Second, this bodes very well in karmic terms for our other rock song, "A Face Like Yours," to be selected to appear in the major motion picture "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World."

This song is competing with several others to appear in the movie soundtrack, and the winner is decided by peer-review voting.

So what this means, readers, is that your vote LITERALLY counts, and I need you to VOTE DAILY for GUPPY EFFECT by visiting www.indierockvstheworld.sonicbids.com as often as you can and VOTING FOR US! (You can vote once every 24 hours through May 28 - please do so whenever you think of it...)

Help us win this and we will make sure you all get invited to the VIP pre-screening party, which we assume there will be.

The movie appears to be based on THIS.

My house needs a serious cleaning. After I write a short article, have band practice, and rock a gig tomorrow, I should be free to accomplish this chore on Monday.

Time.

5.07.2010

1 Minute - A Shameless Rock-n-Roll Promotion (you know you love it...)

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm just doing my civic duty to save humanity through rock-n-roll music...

My fairly kickass rock-n-roll band GUPPY EFFECT submitted a catchy tune called "A Face Like Yours" for consideration to be in a major motion picture - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (starring Michael Cera - the boyfriend from Juno).

Since it's about a rock-n-roll super hero (sort of...), we figured it was a perfect fit for GUPPY EFFECT.

Would you like to see/hear GUPPY EFFECT in a movie? If so, you can help in two (2) minutes or less (and for FREE). I'll make it easy for you...

1. Visit www.indierockvstheworld.sonicbids.com by CLICKING HERE.

2. Click "Vote Now."

3. Confirm your vote via e-mail.

That's it. You can vote once every 24 hours totally for free, so just whenever you think of it, OK? Maybe bookmark www.indierockvstheworld.sonicbids.com and set a daily reminder on your Blackberry/iPhone/What-Have-You to go vote for us. (NOTE: Voting is NOW through May 28, so don't wait too long!)

If you are really geeked about this, tell two (2) friends (and so on, and so on...).

Wouldn't it be kickass if our song was in a movie?

I humbly thank you for your votes, but if that's too much effort for you, then just check out GUPPY EFFECT's brand new cult classic holiday rock single release "Gingerbread (Zombie) Army" now available to the world via AMAZON and iTunes and all other online digital music retailers. This holiday rock song is only available online as an MP3 download. But if you come to a show, we will have a limited number of CD singles that we will give away FREE.

If you like good ol' fashioned rock-n-roll, you really can't lose with GUPPY EFFECT, Wisconsin's funnest party rock-n-roll band.

I know I still owe you nine (9) minutes.

5.05.2010

10 Minutes - Naturopathic Remedies for Colds/Flu: Ancient Chinese Secret?

Hi. It's Joe.

I caught a bitch of a cold over the weekend. It took my lungs by storm and was so bad that I had to go get some prescription meds by way of Urgent Care (the doc was a mega babe!).

She gave me an albuterol inhaler to clear my airways. I felt like my lungs were filled with cotton balls. Effort to breath, horrible coughing spasms.

Anyway, I loaded up on all the meds and drank lots of fluids, same as usual. Right before bed I decided to try a naturopathic remedy that I was told about back when I worked at the VITAMIN COMPANY.

The naturopathic doctor said that if you put on wet tubes socks and dry wool socks over them, the cold and flu toxins will get drawn out through your feet during the night. The first time I tried this I was really surprised. In the morning, the tubes socks were completely dry and my feet were cozy warm. My assumption was that I would have a miserable night with cold wet feet.

So I figured it couldn't hurt to try this remedy again last night. Once again, I woke up with warm DRY feet and felt about 90% better (no cough, less congestion, fewer aches and pains). I can't say if it was the naturopathic remedy or the meds. Maybe it was just placebo effect. And I'm fine with that. But I have to say that it seemed to work, even if science can't really explain why. Maybe holistic doctors and naturopaths are right about some naturopathic remedies, even if scientists can't "prove" it.

Tonight is $6 all you can eat wings at Fat Boyz in Fort Atkinson WI, along with open mic night. Stefan and I are going to attend and I'm told Ashley and Matt from the radio station are planning on making it. It could be a party.

There's not too much else, except that my adwords campaign for free business cards is still making decent money, even more so since I tweaked a few things.

Time.

5.03.2010

10 Minutes - So Tired...Must Sleep...

Hi. It's Joe.

My weekend was action packed. It actually started Thursday night. Classic rock soul funkadelic jam rockers PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND recorded a bunch of songs in a makeshift, but quality, recording studio Thursday and Friday nights for an upcoming commercial CD release.

Saturday night, high energy indie power trio rock-n-roll band GUPPY EFFECT performed at 1850s Inn in Juneau WI. We were almost a power duo. I came to find out on Saturday morning that our drummer Al had no intentions of playing the show due to a trip to Israel. Thanks for the warning there, Chet.

But luckily, PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND drummer Greg was available to sub. Thank God it was a paid gig. Guitarist Stefan was able to rent his brother-in-law's utility van for the gig, so we all three piled in with the gear and cruised up to Juneau, where we rocked a great show.

My bass guitar student Troy and his wife (I want to say her name is Samantha, like the witch...) came to the show and Troy jumped up on stage to perform three songs with us (Paranoid by Sabbath, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, and Forcefield, an easy original song that I wrote). He did awesome. I thought he was going to have some stage fright, but he had none. He will be an awesome bass player someday, better than me I am sure.

Then on Sunday, I went on a group bike ride in Madison WI at 1 PM. After that Stefan and I rehearsed GUPPY EFFECT songs with Eric Shackelford, drummer for Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo, who will be subbing on drums with us at Brink Lounge in Madison WI on Wednesday May 19 (from 9 pm to midnight, if you want to come...). We rocked a good 2.5 hours with him.

As if that wasn't enough effort for one weekend, today I decided to ride my bike from Cambridge WI where I live to nearby Lake Mills WI to go to the bank and what have you in the early afternoon. That was followed by another group bike ride in Madison WI at 6:30 PM. I probably logged about 33 miles of biking all told today. It is easy to love Mondays when you are self-employed. I purposefully make Mondays my relaxation day, just to thwart THE MAN.

But that still wasn't all. After the evening bike ride I went over to Come Back Inn in Madison WI for open mic night and Stefan and I rocked a bunch of rock-n-roll songs for the handful of appreciative patrons. GUPPY EFFECT really is the best rock-n-roll band in the world. I am not one to toot my own (or my band's) horn. But this band is worthy.

Some day we will find a drummer we can keep.

Time.