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.