7.31.2012

10 Minutes - Tuesday

Hi. It's Joe.

I had optimistically, perhaps even manically, intended to bike commute all the way to work in Middleton WI from my home in Cambridge WI this morning. I ended up driving part way in and commuting the rest of the way, per my usual ritual. This was in part due to being really tired at 5 AM.

I was getting up at 5 AM on most days during RAGBRAI. I thought I might be able to maintain that schedule after I got back, but I was wrong. That is too dang early. Instead, I had a leisurely breakfast and then drove to the parking spot in Cottage Grove WI, from whence I biked to Mike's house, intent on commuting in with my drummer buddy. Unbeknownst to me, his wife and cousin had decided to join the commute, riding a tandem. We went the longer way, north around Lake Mendota. It was a nice ride, but cut into work time a little bit. Not that I cared.

I had a nice lunch date today. Nice enough to want to have a second one, and I guess it was mutual. So Friday, I am taking her out to lunch again. Then if she comes to my show on Saturday and likes the rocking, maybe things will go from there. Of course, she could hate my band, and that would be a bad sign, because my band is awesome. But optimism reigns supreme.

Tomorrow I am going to bike commute again, kind of early because I have band practice after work that I need to get home for by 6 PM. It is GUPPY EFFECT v2.0 practice. We have a show on August 25 (Saturday) at Carps Landing in Lake Mills WI. You should come if you are free.

I am going up to the cottage the weekend of August 11. It is the only weekend other than Labor Day that I can go up there and visit with my sister and niece and nephew. I have five days off at Labor Day. That's going to make for an awesome BIKE WITH (OR WITHOUT) MELINDA weekend. Todd and Sherry are going to go, which is cool. I will probably round up a few more people between now and then. I hope Rod can go.

Well, I have food waiting for me, then an early night.

Time.

10 Minutes - Tuesday Afternoon in the Universe

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Hi. It's Joe.

I bike commuted today. I was optimistically going to bike the whole way in from Cambridge, about 30+ miles, and I even got up at 5 AM, early enough to do so. But then I decided to pace myself a bit. So I made it a more leisurely morning and then drove to the east side of Madison and commuted from there. I first rode to my buddy and drummer Mike's house, where he and his wife and cousin joined me for the commute to Middleton. His wife and cousin rode a tandem and turned around about half way because Chandra (wife) had a business conference call to attend to and Claire (cousin) was fighting a cold.

We took the "long" way in this morning, taking the north shore of Lake Mendota up through Northport. Chandra and Claire turned back at the Nautigal pub, where BABY ROCKET (cover band I play in) will be performing on August 18. Mike and I then to Highway M west until we hooked up with the Middleton bike trail system. This dumped us out right near the Middleton Barriques coffee shop, where we got coffee.

Forgetting that it was a bike commute day, I asked my lunch date if we could relocate to a Middleton restaurant. She had wanted to meet in West Towne because she had a dental appointment there, but she was cool with relocating due to me being sans car. I have been talking to this woman through Match, and this will be our first in person date. She is heiress to a Wisconsin cheese manufacturing empire, and that alone is appealing to me. If there is chemistry, then things might go in a very good direction. But you know how that goes.

In any case, I will let you know what transpires.

Time.

7.29.2012

10 Minutes - Wisco Bound

Hi. It's Joe.

Highway 20 eastbound across Iowa is pretty quiet today, traffic-wise. I thought there would be more people on the road, going home from RAGBRAI. But on further contemplation, there is no logical reason for any RAGBRAIers to be heading east 20.

Yet, here I am going back to Wisconsin from RAGBRAI in Iowa. I cannot believe I am the only one, but maybe I am though.

Time.

7.28.2012

10 Minutes - The Last Day of RAGBRAI 2012

Hi. It's Joe.

It is the last day of RAGBRAI. I am not riding today because I don't like to ride the last day of RAGBRAI. The second to last day is always the funnest and yesterday was no exception. More on that in a minute. The last day is always a mad rush to get to the end of the route, pack up, and go home. Thus, nobody takes the time to enjoy themselves and have fun. I rode hard this past week and have no regrets about skipping the last day. It is by design, not by necessity. My life, my rules.

Yesterday, the second to last day of RAGBRAI, was Friday. My foster team who adopted me, Nick, and Brad this week, normally rode at all different paces from fast (LeeAnn) to leisurely (Nick). But yesterday they all decided to ride as a group so we could party together, which we did.

We drank beer in Mt. Vernon IA. I guest bass played with the band there. Down the road a piece, Nick and I performed at a farm party on the local band's gear. Some of us also did a couple runs of a big waterslide at another farm. This made us late (and muddy) for the van ride to Marion where we overnighted. On the van ride, we sang a few refrains of "Hail to the Bus Driver" for driving team member Joe who was a bit disgruntled at our tardiness getting back to the van.

This RAGBRAI taught me what I want out of life. So as usual, it changed me in a good way.

Time.

7.27.2012

Wisconsin Beer a Hit in Iowa (RAGBRAI Day 2 in Lakeview IA)

Peeps digging the Capital brews on RAGBRAI.

10 Minutes - A Triathlon is Child's Play Compared With This Year's RAGBRAI

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Hi. It's Joe.

It occurred to me as I was climbing a hill on my bike in 110 degree record heat during RAGBRAI 2012 that I could quite possibly die. I know my limits though and so I stopped at a food vendor in the town I was in and ate a pork loin sandwich and a turkey leg, violating my vegetarianism in the interests of simple survival. It worked and I was able to power on through to the end. I think I logged 93 miles in total on the record hottest RAGBRAI day ever, which was Wednesday. It was 110 degrees. Tuesday was also brutal. 109 miles and 103 degree temps. Near the end I had to stop at every gatorade station.

But I made it, so the olympics got nothing on me. They can just go ahead and win those gold medals. I got mine.

Time.

7.26.2012

5 Minutes - RAGBRAI Day 5

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Hi. It's Joe.

I am at Breakfast Delights, my morning food vendor of choice on this RAGBRAI 2012. It is Day 5. We are about 25 miles into a 85 mile route today. The meetup town is about 35 miles from here. That is where we will meet the team. Today is only supposed to hit 90.

That seems hot, but compared to yesterday's 110 (the hottest day of RAGBRAI ever recorded), it is basically air conditioned.

I got my fingernails and toenails painted by a girl on our team. Teal blue. That's gonna raise some eyebrows when I get back to work next Monday.

Time.

7.24.2012

10 Minutes - RAGBRAI Day 3 Was Good

Hi. It's Joe.

3 Dog Night played in Webster City tonight. Great concert, although the opener sucked. Well, I should say the song selection sucked. They actually played the songs quite well.

I rode 110 miles on my bike today. It was brutal but I made it. 100 degree heat and a headwind for more than 1/2 the time. I was feeling strong all morning so I went for the century loop. That went relatively fine too. It was the 30 miles after the loop where I had to stop a bunch of times for water and gatorade. But for the most part I was well fed and hydrated.

I got picked up at the Casey's in Webster City by the team van and we went back to the sweet digs for the night. There was a spread of food that was impressive. I broke with vegetarianism today due to the pressing need for protein, not obtainable via vegetarian food alone.

Time.

7.23.2012

10 Minutes - RAGBRAI Day 1 Continues

Hi. It's Joe.

Today was hot on RAGBRAI, pushing up toward 100 degrees. The team got an early enough start to beat most of the heat. But around 11 AM, it really started cooking into me and the thousands of other RAGBRAI riders.

I kept good pace today with teammate Kathy and so we rode together most of the day. In Marcus Iowa, we stopped for lunch. I had 2 slices of veggie pizza and a big cup o' black cherry ice cream. We sat in the shade to eat, but when we started riding again about 11:45 after drinking a ton of water, it was pretty brutal. You pretty much had to keep moving to keep any kind of breeze on you. I dosed myself with water bottle water a couple times because my own sweat wasn't cutting it.

As much as it would have been fun to party in Marcus all day, it being the last town before overnight town Cherokee Iowa, the heat was just not going to be tolerable in the afternoon. So we burled on through to Cherokee where we are staying at the Christian themed (blech!) but air conditioned Victory Gym.

We got there early enough to have no waiting for showers and we are right on the party square.

Time.

3 Minutes - RAGBRAI Day 2 (Lakeview IA)

Hi. It's Joe.

I only have 3 minutes because the band is about to start at the beer garden in Lakeview IA, where Day 2 of RAGBRAI ended, and where I am now. I am not going to upload any pictures because I am competing with10,000 other cyclists for bandwidth. I will upload them to my Facebook at a later time.

It's brutally hot this RAGBRAI. Also very fun. You just have to ride your bike when the heat is tolerable, which is before 11 AM. Brutal.

Tomorrow is an 84 mile day and I am going to hit the road by 6 AM to beat the heat. There is no way I am gonna do the optional century loop. It is going to be 104 degrees. I am not an idiot.

Time.

Postscript: I did do the optional century loop after all. Because I rock.

7.21.2012

10 Minutes - RAGBRAI Travel Period

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Hi. It's Joe.

I am in a van full of people en route to RAGBRAI. It is a 15 seater van and one of our team of 16 is sitting on the wheel well. Additionally, we are somehow picking up a 17th in Omaha. Some people are going to get to know each other quite intimately.

Then we are off to Sioux Center, Iowa to begin the weeklong bike ride across Iowa from west to east. I think it is going to be a blast. It is less like a Toure de Iowa than a Mardi Gras on bikes. This team has a bunch of cool people and they are very friendly. It will be fun to get to know them and party with them this week.

I brought my acoustic guitar, so hopefully they will let me (nay, beg me!) play some songs at the overnight towns.

Time.

10 Minutes - Bladder Pleasure

Hi. It's Joe.

I got considerably less sleep last night than I wanted to on the eve of my 2012 RAGBRAI adventure. The lads decided they wanted to load in the morning, which gave me the opportunity to go to Des Moines and hear my buddy Bryon's band last night. We ended up staying for all the bands. They were all really good. To tell you the truth, it wasn't actually Bryon's official band. He was guest bass playing with The Mumfords, a very high energy band from Ames IA. The rest of the bands were all borrowing members from The Mumfords, principally horns.

Anyway, I went to bed at 3 AM and had to get up at 6. My alarm was set for 6 but Bryon's roommate Molly came home from work at 5:45 and woke me, robbing me of that precious 15 minutes of sleep. That's not entirely true. I had woken up about 5:40 because it was roasting hot in Bryon's living room.

Anyway, we loaded up and made it to Des Moines to meet up with our foster team. I have to end this now. More later.

Time.

7.19.2012

10 Minutes - Biking Across Iowa

Hi. It's Joe.

I have biked across Iowa before and I am about to do it again. It's an amazing experience, not because of the physical and mental challenges, but because it is always a new experience. You would think if you biked across Iowa once, that would be it. But this bike ride I am doing changes up the route every year, so it is kind of like chromosomal mutations in a cell. You never know what new things will result from the change.

Today will be a great day, and not just because it is my last day of work before I head for the "hills" of Iowa. I have HIATUS band practice tonight and we are going to rock the 10 new songs we added on Monday, plus two more we are learning for the benefit of our guest guitarist at the Capital Brewery show on Saturday August 4 (if you have to miss this show, I truly pity you, especially if you saw us perform at Crivestivus and then still willfully don't come to this show).

Here's the set list (listen via SPOTIFY):


I am picking up my CSA box of vegetables today, and since I won't be able to eat it next week whilst on RAGBRAI, I am going to donate it to the Morses (at whose house HIATUS has practice tonight).

Tomorrow, I drop Buddy off at the sitter, pack my car, and head for Iowa, stopping for a lunch date in Madison on the way. I will have my solar phone charger and smart phone on RAGBRAI and there will be plenty of sun, so I am hoping to travelog, but it might be a pain in the ass, so instead I might just keep a journal of notes and reflect upon them when I am back. So if you don't hear from me for a while, don't despair. I still love you.

Time.

7.17.2012

10 Minutes - Hiatus Is Amazing

Hi. It's Joe.

Last night, my band HIATUS impressively added 10 to 12 new songs to our set list. I say 10 to 12 because there are perhaps a couple of them that are not 100% performance ready.

But even 10 songs is a nice increase to the repertoire. We are getting close to having enough songs for a full night of rocking. With 30 songs to date (see which ones at http://hiatusrocknroll.blogspot.com), we can easily perform for 2+ hours. It is also a level of entertainment unbeknownst to the general public, so it will feel like you have been rocked for 6 hours.

We are going to perform most of these 30+ songs at Capital Brewery on Saturday August 4, and I can guarantee the brewery and its patrons have never seen a band like this, nor been rocked as hard. The only down side is, once we perform, they will never want another band to play there. Yet, they have already booked these other bands, so they have to suffer through them for a while until such time as they can have HIATUS back to bring a much needed respite from a string of mediocre cover bands.

HIATUS is all about the presentation. It's an unbridled fury of stage antics and rock-n-roll energy. I realize there will be "late adopters," people who doubt me when I say HIATUS is the greatest cover band in the world, and thus don't come to every show they possibly can. I pity those people. But I pity even more such people who don't even care about how awesome HIATUS is, because their souls have already died.

Aystsht

http://hiatusrocknroll.blogspot.com

Time.

7.15.2012

10 Minutes - Fabulous

Hi. It's Joe.

Yesterday was all I hoped it would be and more. Simply fabulous.

GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 played their last show before going on official hiatus at Rock-n-Roll Fest in Delevan WI. It was one of our most rocking performances, if not the most rocking. That is not to suggest we won't perform again. Hiatus just means not officially working at being a working band (i.e., not doing the hateful things like booking shows with surly bar managers for low pay).

We are a quality band, and so going forward we will selectively choose to play quality shows here and there. That's really the only way to go.

We also got to open up for Madison rockers SUNSPOT. It is rare we get to share a stage with them, though we are always open to the idea of opening for them any time. Because that's a quality show right there, us and them. After the fest ended with SUNSPOT's sweet set, we went to Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant in Delevan WI and ate some great authentic Mexican food. I had a veggie burrito.

After that, we went to St. Andrews Catholic Church and listened to King's Highway perform. That is the band of Mike Stone (formerly of Queensryche) whose wife Laura was our "merch girl" at the fest earlier in the day.

Today I have a coffee date followed by band practice. This next week is going to be brutal. I am stressing because I have to get ready for RAGBRAI in Iowa and I have a lot going on.

The rest of this post you can ignore. It's an experiment in social media marketing.

So, I am subscribed to the mailing list of NicheChick.com. This is the web site of a woman who looks for profitable internet marketing niches and then shares them with her readers, along with a list of worthwhile keywords.

As an experiment, I am going to backlink to another post I wrote about the niche for digital baby monitors, using as my backlinking keyword "digital baby monitors reviews," because that was a very high yield, albeit awkward sounding, keyword. Actually, it is two keywords blended together for maximum traffic, "digital baby monitors" and "baby monitors reviews."

Also, since this Posterous post also posts to Blogger, I will get a double backlink.

Time.

7.13.2012

10 Minutes - Brief Respite

Hi. It's Joe.

At last, some respite from a very busy week. It is going to feel good to do nothing tonight.

I leave for RAGBRAI in slightly less than a week. I am going to drive out to Iowa next Friday 7/20 in the late afternoon and rendezvous with my team. On Saturday 7/21, we'll drive to Des Moines, IA and hook up with the larger team we are traveling with this year. Next week is going to be action packed getting ready for the ride. I am also taking a Social Media Marketing class at the UW next Tuesday night. I may have to re-schedule my jazz piano lesson for next week, because I am simply not going to have any time to practice. That means I won't have another lesson until August 2. That seems way too far off. But the reality is, the next 2 weeks are consumed with bicycling preparations and actual biking.

This week was fairly action packed. Let me see if I can re-cap it at all.

Last Friday, 7/6/12, GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 played a birthday party down by Darien, WI. It was a super fun time and most of the people there live in and around Delevan, WI, which is where GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 will play it's LAST official show tomorrow (Saturday, 7/14/12). A lot of those people from the party should be at the show. However, I don't expect anyone from outside that area is going to drive all that way to hear us, because they really have no way of knowing how insanely awesome it is going to rock (I mean, by comparison to just about any other priority on peoples' agendas).

In the morning on Saturday, I am going to bike up to Lake Mills, and possibly then cruise on over to Cottage Grove, for some additional miles. It is all about saddle time at this point, in the run up to RAGBRAI. Sunday I have GUPPY EFFECT v2.0 band practice in the late afternoon, but not before participating in a social bike ride from Verona to Mt. Horeb in the late morning on Sunday.

Today I received a nice compliment, that GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 was the best cover band my buddy John (aka Hammer) had ever heard. I wish the rest of the planet knew this fact, including, for that matter, GUPPY EFFECT v1.0, which broke up.

Gotta go.

Time.

5 Minutes - Shades

Hi. It's Joe.

Tragedy. I somehow dropped my prescription Ray Ban shades last night, and then someone stepped on them and they broke. I am trying to super glue a fix, but I might need to go to the glasses shop and get new ones. Luckily, I have eyeglasses coverage on my health plan through work now. So really, it's not a horrible tragedy, but I have had those shades a long time and so I am a bit nostalgic about losing them, if the superglue fix doesn't hold.

Last night, BABY ROCKET played a decent show at the Nautigal. For once, the vocals were loud enough. Unfortunately, the guitar was not.

I almost bike commuted this morning, but given the late night last night, I decided to catch a few more ZZZs.

Time.

7.12.2012

10 Minutes - Bike With (or Without) Melinda 2012

Hi. It's Joe.

Every year since 1999, I have hosted a bike ride over Labor Day weekend up at my folks' cabin in shell Lake WI.* This year is no exception.

The actual bike ride is on Sunday September 2. People cruise up to the cabin (about 4 hours from Madison WI) on Saturday and we grill out, splash around in the spring fed lake, and socialize. There is usually card playing and sometimes music.

We get up at our leisure on Sunday and ride bikes about 25 miles to the town of Stone Lake WI, stopping for breakfast and some "carbo loading" along the way. In Stone Lake we get lunch and socialize some more. On the bike ride back, we stop at a couple more establishments.

My mom and pops drive the support car and meet us in Stone Lake for lunch. Those that don't want to bike back can take a ride in the car with my folks.

More grilling and swimming and fun on Sunday night. Everyone goes home on holiday Monday.

The ride is totally free, but we ask everyone to contribute to cleanup on Monday before leaving.

The cabin is small, so people usually tent out in the yard near the lake, but there's 2 bathrooms and a shower in the cabin for everyone to use.

Questions?

*Note: We did try it in Whitewater WI one year but it was lame.

7.11.2012

25 Minutes - I Rode My Bike From Cambridge to Middleton This Morning

Hi. It's Joe.

Many posts ago, I indicated that some time this summer, I would bike commute to work in Middleton WI all the way from Cambridge WI. Today I am going to say I completed half of the goal.

I biked all the way IN to work. However, I do not have to do the return trip today (I hope). My parents are picking me up from work this evening and we are going to the American Players Theater in Spring Green WI. I am going to throw my bike on the bike rack on their Subaru Outback.

So the reverse commute will have to wait for another day.

It took me 2 hours and 25 minutes at a moderate clip and amounted to 34 miles in total. I did not kill myself. I rode my comfy cruiser commuter bike and was averaging about 14.7 MPH during the first half of the route. Once I hit city commuting in Madison, this probably dropped to 13 something, due to all the stops and traffic.

Odometer-071112

It is 4 miles from my house to the Glacial Drumlin bike trail, which goes east to west (all the way from Waukesha to Cottage Grove WI), a mile or so of which is on the WORST road in Wisconsin, Highway 134, between Cambridge and London WI. I have complained to the Wisconsin DOT about how unsafe this raod is for both bikes and cars, but they won't fix it because it is so short and run through the unincorporated township.

Once I am on the Glacial Drumlin trail, though, it is smooth sailing to Cottage Grove WI, albeit crushed limestone. It has been so dry that the limestone dust coated my bike and saddle bag quite well. From my house to the Cottage Grove bike trail head is just under one hour.

At that point, I wind my way through Cottage Grove along Vilas Road to Highway BB (Cottage Grove Road). The first mile and a half on BB kind of sucks because the shoulder is not very big and the speed limit for cars is 55 MPH. I got there about the peak of rush hour too. But I survived.

Once Cottage Grove Road hit the east side of Madison proper, and I could see the Capitol Building down the hill in the distance, there is a nice bike lane all the way down to the Capitol City Bike Path, which goes through downtown Madison. Then I cut through the Capitol Square and shot down State Street to the University, where I hooked up with the Lakeshore Path that runs along the south shore of Lake Mendota through campus. Then I followed bike paths all the way to Old Middleton Road, which I took to S. Highlands Road, which spills onto Old Sauk Road via a bike path connector. From there I shot up Old Sauk to Deming Way, where my workplace is located.

Very smooth.

Someone brought bagels to work, so I was able to rejuvenate my energy levels promptly. I need more coffee though.

I feel like I am ready for RAGBRAI.

Time.

7.09.2012

10 Minutes - Hiatus Rock-n-Roll

Hi. It's Joe.

My rock-n-roll band HIATUS had a band meeting over lunch today. We hashed out a few ideas for new songs to add for our rock show at Capital Brewery in Madison WI on Saturday August 4 (hint).

A few of these songs are good but many are filler. I would prefer to avoid filler and focus on QUALITY songs vs. QUANTITY songs. I don't care how long we are supposed to play. It is our band, so it is our rules and if people don't like it they can go pound sand in their asses.

I'd rather watch an awesome band for 1 hour than a mediocre one for 3 hours. When a band plays a few songs amazingly well, with a focus on stage presence and theatrics, it is much more fulfilling than when a band slogs through a huge number of uninterestingly presented mediocre cover songs.

I am back to work today after a forced (by THE MAN) week off. It's fine. Things are slow. I have my piano lesson tonight and I am making some advancements. I am getting a lot faster at the head and soloing on the song Joy Spring. Tonight I want to work on more theory with regard to the song All the Things You Are.

I might not be able to have another lesson for 2 or 3 weeks due to RAGBRAI and other conflicts. That sucks a little.

Time.

7.06.2012

15 Minutes - Fun in the Hottest Freakin' Sun

Hi. It's Joe.

Well, I suppose I should get my 10 minutes of free writing out of the way before this day kicks it into high gear. Stefan is coming over at 3 or so to run through a few songs.

We have to play a GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 gig tonight and I am not looking forward to it. Not because it won't rock. It will. But because it is going to be about 95 degrees out.

At least we are getting paid. And if we end up not getting paid, the v1.0 gig next weekend is off, I can tell you that. My accountant does not like it when I have to travel long distances to perform and then don't get paid. But I am just being a bitch right now, because of this god-awful heat.

I practiced a goodly amount of piano this morning, for over an hour. I am starting to improvize on jazz more fluently on the piano. It's not hard, it just takes concentration. I have to visualize the pattern of keys for the key I am improvising in. I am pretty familiar with the scales now, so it is just a matter of thinking ahead. I am gradually picking up speed. The song I am working on is supposed to be played at a metronome tempo of 166. That's pretty fast. I am at about 110 now.

I am going to practice some more before Stefan gets here, hopefully. But first I need to take a shower and then revisit a couple of new GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 songs we are doing for this birthday party tonight. The weekend looks to be very fulfilling. If it is cool enough tomorrow morning, I may bike to the Madison Farmer's Market and pick up some emu meat, and other allowable game meats for my hunter-gatherer diet. Then on Sunday, I am going to lunch with my buddy Stephen and a guy we used to work with named Adam. That's followed by GUPPY EFFECT v2.0 band practice.

I have a bunch of new songs to solidify for that practice as well, so I will spend some time on those tomorrow (Saturday) during my copious spare time.

I still need to find a support driver for my RAGBRAI team. I will get on the RAGBRAI chat groups this weekend and see what's up.

Time.

7.05.2012

10 Minutes - Solar Panel For Cell Phone Charging

Hi. It's Joe.

A guy at work gave me a small homemade solar panel. I used it to charge my smart phone and it works. I might take it on RAGBRAI so I can charge my phone when it is suuny, which July in Iowa usually is.

I am going to practice the crap out of the piano today, starting just about as soon as I finish this post. I was reading Julien Smith's blog this morning and he made a reference to the value of freewriting. Everyone agrees that it is a great way to loosen up the creative mind, the way that stretching loosens up an athlete.

I am taking a mini course on social media marketing in a couple of weeks. Less than a couple of weeks actually. I don't know what I will use it for, but I expect it will be educational. In October I am taking a double mini course on Kindle Publishing. Thus, my goal is to have my e-book on professional work-life balance written by then.

I have been working in corporate America for the past 12 years, not because I want to, but because it is research for this effort. It is kind of like that woman who worked a minimum wage job to see if she could make ends meet (she couldn't). But my book is about middle class professionals trying to create an enjoyable life while juggling family, work, and play. Usually, play is the priority that gets short shrift, but no longer, once my book is out. It is just a matter of thinking about life differently and quantizing play into smaller, integrated chunks.

Without play, the human soul dies. This is soon followed by a collapse of job and family, because of the angst it brings into peoples' lives.

I have a nice diversity of research subjects, my "core group," who are willing to share their experiences, as well as my own experiences. Two of the core group are single, one male and one female. The woman prioritizes play over work and the man prioritizes work over play, so it is a nice contrast, with no family issues as a confounding variable. The other three people are married with kids, two men and a woman. The spread of prioritization of work-life values is pretty diverse in this group as well. I need to do some formal interviews to find out their perspectives. That will happen soon.

Time.

7.02.2012

10 Minutes - It's Friggin' Hot

Hi. It's Joe.

Enough with this heat already! I am up north at the cabin where it is supposed to be cooler. It's not. Shell Lake is so tepid that the water doesn't even cool you. As soon as you get out, you are sweating again, healing waters or no healing waters.*

Sometimes I just want to punch global warming deniers in the ball sac when it is this hot.

I get a full day at the cabin tomorrow. Then I have to cruise home early Wednesday so I can play a jazz gig at the Come Back Inn from 5 to 7 pm. I brought my laptop and my acoustic bass up to the cabin so I could practice. Most of the songs are on my computer, but some aren't, so I have to get back home early enough to run through those other ones before I head to the gig about 4. Jazz is fun.

I bought a fishing license today and I fished a little bit, but caught nothing. Even the fish think it is too damn hot. We went to my aunt and uncle's for dinner. My aunt Helen is a great cook and she made grilled salmon and a bunch of other tasty side dishes. One of them was broccoli mixed with garlic pods and seasoning in a pie tin thrown onto the grill. Amazing. I must try this.

Time.

*Note: Shell Lake has Native American healing powers, due to it's spring fed nature.

10 Minutes - Financial Advice

Hi. It's Joe.

I actually have zero financial advice for you. Well, that's not entirely true. To tell you the truth my advice for you is pretty simple. With the exception of a mortgage, eliminate and/or stay out of debt. Debt is the only thing that enslaves you and shackles you to THE MAN. I would also say "buy low and sell high," but that sounds cliche and you probably already knew that. Lastly, I would say invest in beer company stock, especially right before the holidays (buy low). Beer is one of those things that has been around forever, will be around forever, and does well in good times or bad (the cause of and solution to all of life's problems). People drink to drown their sorrows and celebrate their joys. You can't go wrong with beer. And McDonalds. And probably Walgreens.

But my real purpose here is to recommend that you find a certified financial advisor (CFA) like mine. He really knows his stuff and on the rare occasions he doesn't, he goes and finds out. Even if you don't invest in your future, a good CFA can help you get out of your debt pickle, if you are in one. And if you do have investments, they can advise you on how best to manage them and, indeed, will even manage them for you, for a small fee. In the case of my CFA, the neglible fee more than pays for itself in long term gains.

Time.