3.30.2013

10 Minutes - Dolphin Tale

Hi. It's Joe.

Tonight I watched the feel good movie "Dolphin Tale" with my niece and nephew, who are nigh on eight years old (April 15). I had a signed copy of the DVD from my friend in Florida who works at the aquarium where this quasi true story takes place. That is to say, my friend signed the DVD and sent it to me as part of a fundraiser for her book that I contributed to. Anyway, not relevant. What is relevant is that my friend has a couple cameos and appears in the outtakes at the end. I remember when they were filming the movie and she was telling me all the trials and tribulations of it. So that was cool.

Today, we did some hiking in the Red Rocks park in Colorado Springs, where I am on vacay at my sister's.



I practiced a whole bunch of piano this morning and still feel like I am making no progress at all on improv. It is a bit discouraging. But I keep trying. I was busting some pentatonic scales on "All the Things You Are" and "On Green Dolphin Street." I suppose I am probably subconsciously getting better.

After Red Rocks, we ate Mediterranean food at the Jerusalem Cafe in Manitou Springs CO, and we all came out of there stankin' of garlic. We quickly became desensitized to the aroma, but later in the evening when my sister's BF came home, he said as soon as he walked in the house he was hit in the face with garlic, emanating still from our pores.

Played a little zombie apocalypse with my niece and nephew at the nearby neighborhood park (I was the zombie chasing them, which was nice because zombies move slowly...) and garnered the ire of my sister for teaching them the pro wrestling move called the "Flying Butt Pliers."

Time.

1 Minute - Jazz Night Was Promising and Good

Hi. It's Joe.

In theory, I only have one minute to write this blog post, if I am to achieve my goal of a 2 AM bedtime. But let's be realistic. I am not going to hit that goal. So even though this is theoretically only a one minute blog post, I can tell you right now that I am close to three minutes in. I am at MG's, post Tuesday jazz night at Mason Lounge. It worked out really well because I am getting a ride to the airport early in the morning from MG's wife, Heather. Since MG plays drums at jazz night, it made sense for me to make a rare jazz night appearance and then follow MG home to crash here. I could have skipped jazz night and just come to his place butt early in the morning. But that would have been a lose-lose scenario. This current scenario is win-win, although I only have about two more minutes of off the record blogging to do.

Alex was supposed to come to jazz night tonight, but I have evidence she fell into a time vortex and thus missed it. But let me tell you who did not miss it: Brian from HIATVS, Brian Olson the new guy from work and his wife, Matt Beneke from work, and a mess of random people from Madison, because it was packed at Mason tonight.

I learned many words today that violate the rule I before E except after C. For example, SEISMIC.

Time.

3.29.2013

10 Minutes - The Next Available Rock-n-Roll Shuttle Will Be Departing In...

Hi. It's Joe.

Guess what!

My old band MOBIUS STRIPTEASE (nee MAI KIND) will be reuniting for a rare rock show in Milwaukee on Thursday April 4th. It's at the Coyote Ugly Saloon downtown from 9 to 11 PM.

That's not horribly late for a school night, if you live in Milwaukee. MG and I do not live in Milwaukee. We live in Madison, but we are geeked to rock this show with our old guitarist Wes because this band was (and will be for 2 hours only!) amazingly rocking. So some time on Thursday afternoon, we will be setting course for Milwaukee, and then the rocking will coalesce into insanity, the time/space continuum will shudder under the magnitude, and minds will be blown out.

I am still in Colorado. Today we hiked around Garden of the Gods. I played a mess o' piano this morning and I am going to do some more when I finish this post. I have been working on the tune "On Green Dolphin Street," and coming up with some tasty alt chords over which to play the melody line.

I am getting more into jazz. I have even convinced my rock guitarist buddy Brian to toy with the idea of exploring jazz, mainly as a tool to explore music theory and improvisation in more depth, which in turn will be applied to the rocking.

I would like to form a jazz trio or quartet, with me on piano, that is a little more rock-n-roll than your average lounge jazz act. A little more upbeat and edgy, but not in the realm of fusion jazz, which is kind of weak sauce in my opinion. Staying true to the bebop improvisational structure, but with just more beef added.

I'd like to play piano and find a beginner standup bass player who is not too good. I bet we could easily find one at the Madison Music Foundry. So we would have me on piano (beginner), Brian on guitar (advanced rock player but beginner on jazz improv), and some pimply kid on bass who is just starting out. Then everything will come full circle, because I was once a pimply kid learning standup bass until I switched over to electric bass, and by association rock-n-roll instead of jazz.

Time.

3.28.2013

20 Minutes - Random Vacation Thoughts

Hi. It's Joe.

I had a pretty good sleep last night, in contrast to the night before.

I am at my sister's in Colorado. I arrived in Denver yesterday morning, on about 2 hours of effective sleep the night before. MG's wife, Heather, gave me a ride to the airport on Wednesday morning, so I stayed over at their house on Tuesday night.

But Tuesday night is jazz night at the Mason Lounge in Madison, where MG is the house drummer. I attended jazz night so I could play a little bass with the jazz group. It was a jumpin' jazz night though, with a great crowd.

To tell you the truth, I don't even think the crowd was there for the jazz, nor did they appreciate the awesomeness before them. They were most likely there to socialize and drink the super high quality microbrews that Mason has on tap at all times, but were subconsciously drawn to the mellow grown-up atmosphere that the ambient low volume jazz brings to the little hole in the wall bar.

Anyway, because of the decent crowd, the jazz went on well past the usual midnight end time. So I didn't get to bed until a little bit after 2 AM and slept restlessly until MG's cats mewled me awake at 5:50 AM. My alarm was set for 6 AM anyway, so the premature feline intervention in my slumber was not such a bad thing. In fact, it gave me a few extra minutes to regain my senses and get ready for my trip.

When I got to Denver, my family (me, niece, nephew, sister, mom, and pops) all went to a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit in Denver. On display were many of Leonardo's mechanical inventions. He had a good grasp of gears and motion. His flying machines were failures only because they did not work in air, but would have been great in water. He designed a bicycle with a chain and a paddle boat, both of which theoretically worked.

After that, we went to an "authentic" Japanese restaurant called Doma and had a delightful meal. It was basically a noodle place, and they had these delicious buckwheat noodles in a miso soup base.

Driving back to Manitou Springs, where my sister actually lives, I dozed off in the car, but when we got to her house, I took a full fledged "authentic" power nap and was greatly rejuvenated. My niece and nephew woke me up to tell me it was dinner time. I contributed to a spinach salad with "authentic" sheep's milk cheese (similar to goat's milk, but a little more like cottage cheese), which we had picked up at CostCo on the way home.

I practiced a little jazz piano and then had a pretty solid night's sleep in my sister's guest room. I had a weird dream that I reconnected with a staunchly Christian ex-girlfriend and another dream that I was controlling the storm sewers of some ancient ruins.

Time.

3.27.2013

10 Minutes - Colorado

Hi. It's Joe.

I am in Colorado.

I am appalled at how bad air travel has become.

I understand that TSA is comprised of surly workers, because they are a government agency and all the nice people who understand good customer service are already working for private sector companies that want to stay in business. But it would be nice if the TSA didn't treat everyone like the worst potential terrorist in the world. Niceness goes a long way toward getting people to cooperate. Well, karma will get them in the end I am sure. I certainly don't envy them. Worst job ever.

But the airports and airlines are sucking more and more too. The flight crew on the plane was totally oblivious to our existence. When I got off the plane in Denver, the attendant at the door of the plane was texting on her phone. She didn't even look up when I said, "Thank you." Note that it was SHE that was supposed to be thanking people and wishing them an enjoyable day. It's a sign of the deteriorating infrastructure in America. Very sad that the airlines are doing all the totally wrong things for the success of their business. The only thing keeping them afloat is the fact that people do need to fly places. But given a choice most people wouldn't. I certainly don't look forward to it.

However, I am glad that at least statistically, flying in a plane is safer than ever before, safer even than being in your own house. Still, safety is not enough. Safety is a bare minimum, and expected standard. Customers demand courtesy and quality customer service. Airports, the business they contain, and the people that work there all pretty much suck the balls of a goat.

Then when I went to the passenger pickup area of the Denver airport, the underpaid traffic cops were unnecessarily hassling people, causing more traffic problems than they were solving. I saw one girl getting picked up by someone and when her ride pulled over to the side to pick her up, the retarded traffic cop tried to tell her to keep moving. How are you supposed to pick someone up when the car is moving. Idiot. Well at least she gave him an earful. He was clearly wrong. It's not like she was loitering. The guy just wasn't firing on all cylinders, another case of the bottom of the barrel getting hired by airport security because all the good people were elsewhere. For my part, I moved to a different section of the pickup area so my sister would not be inconvenienced by that douchebag when she picked me up.

I took a wondrous power nap, had a great dinner with the family, and even practiced some piano. This was all after we spent the morning in Denver at a museum checking out life sized representations of the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. I am learning Green Dolphin Street on piano and my pace of learning is really starting to pick up.

Please click the thumbnail upper right to have a quick listen to the tune. I like how it jumps between a Latin feel and a Swing feel.

Time.

3.26.2013

10 Minutes - An Alignment of Cosmic Forces

Hi. It's Joe.

I like cosmic harmony. I am taking a week of vacation starting tomorrow and it could not come at a better time. I managed to tie up (tie off?) all loose ends at work, so there is nothing hanging over my head. Even my boss has gone on vacation at the same time, something I did not plan, but which works in my favor as far as unexpected work emergencies. My two awesome coworkers will be able to field anything that comes in while I am gone.

Tonight, I am going to jazz night at the Mason Lounge, to hang out and enjoy myself pre-travel tomorrow. It is going to be an early morning, but my dogs are safe and sound (Buddy at the kennel and Foster with Todd and Sherry), plus my buddy MG (who is also the drummer at jazz) is going to facilitate my transport to the airport. More aptly, his wife is, because MG will be sleeping when I get up. I am hopeful that the jazz group will invite me up to play a couple of numbers. I don't really care if they do or don't, but it would be more fun if they do. It's going to be uber fun even if they don't, but my head might explode (metaphorically) if they do.

I am looking forward to some relaxation time this week. I am going to write, hang out with my family, do some much needed piano practice, eat some healthy "mountain" food, and generally chill. It's going to be nice not to have to listen to some of the whining and inappropriate people I work with, who seem to have no inner monolog, like the woman who had to announce that her pregnancy has given her a heightened "wolf like" sense of smell. TMI, good lady. TMI.

Another buddy is going to "caretake" my house for me while I am gone. Since it is on the market, I have a heightened "wolf like" sense of it's good condition, and I want to keep it that way. See, now that was a totally appropriate use of the phrase. Am I right?

So, have a great week. I will try to post some blog posts from my sister's. Also, check out the jazz piano pieces I am working on now. The strategy that is developing with my teacher is to add new songs each fortnight, to expand my repertoire and improve my sight reading skill. This is a very agreeable plan. At least until I am solid at improvisation, I will at least have some songs I can play at will.

Time.

3.22.2013

15 Minutes - No Matter What Bad Conscience Tells You to Do...Do the Opposite!

Hi. It's Joe.

I am at the High Noon Saloon in Madison WI. There are several reasons for this, the main one being that Wendy Staats invited me to her birthday party, which she is hosting here tonight. But that also coincides with a rock-n-roll show. Wendy likes this musician named Mark Mallman, and since she speaks highly of him, it seemed like a good opportunity to check him out. But then I found out the band Electric 6 is also playing tonight. I had never heard of them, but I checked them out on SPOTIFY and they are quite awesome. Very funky and techno and hard rocking all at once. Humorous lyrics and high energy songs.

I figured out that a good tempo for an upbeat rock song is 160 bpm. I composed one at that tempo the other night. It still needs lyrics, but it has good energy. I call it, "(And Now For) The Distortion Portion." It has, as you might guess, a portion with clean guitar and a portion with distorted guitar. I need to revisit it at some point.

So, I secured some decent balcony real estate at the High Noon, which is hard to come by. Since none of my peeps are here yet, I feel bad hogging a table and some unused chairs. I might get evicted if a ton of people come up here looking for seats. And frankly, I would deserve the eviction. I don't even know if my peeps want to sit in the balcony. I might be being a khak for no reason.

Well, if no one is here soon, I might have to abandon my prime real estate. It would not be fair to hog these seats for no reason.

Soon I will be able to post an evaluation of this show.

Time.

3.19.2013

20 Minutes - A Damn Productive Day

Hi. It's Joe.

The only thing I didn't accomplish today that I wanted to accomplish today was piano practice. I just ran out of time. I could stay up past my school night bedtime to do it, but I am not going to. I like sleep. I am going to read a bit though. I have Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" going for fiction and a couple of Bart Ehrman books about Biblical history for non-fiction. There are some strangely overlapping themes in all these books about the inflated self importance of humanity. Anyway, that's a tangent for another day. I only have 10 minutes to write after all. I might write for 15 or 20 minutes though, because I am typing on my dumb smart phone and that's quite a lot slower than typing on my Apple wireless keyboard. Did you see what I did just there? I dropped a keyword that I can backlink to my prior post from yesterday about how my Apple wireless keyboard quit working on me, but then my friend, MG, helped me fix it.

Wow, I sure took the scenic route. So I woke up at 6:40 today, which was early enough to do a 30 minute exercise bike workout while watching an episode of Season 8 of "Weeds." Is 8 the final season? Because it feels like it, all happy ending and shit. I am not really digging it. It seems like they have all finally drunk the corporate Cool Aid they were fighting against in most of the other seasons.

Then I went to work where I cranked on some stuff, interspersed with soliciting for lead singers for two of my bands. The Led Zeppelin cover band, HAMMER OF THE GODS, wants a singer so the guitarist and I can focus on rocking our instruments. HIATVS wants a lead singer for much the same reason. We had a couple of good leads on female vocalists. I have also been pitching my idea for a punk rock band called PHALLUSY that will sing funny power punk songs about things to some of my fellow musicians. Turns out they are all a bunch of prudes who don't appreciate the awesomeness of punk rock. But that's OK. They are misguided and my raw creative genius will not be slowed by hacks. I gotta do what my spirit tells me to do, and it is telling me to do a punk rock band called PHALLUSY.

It's a clever name, don't you think. It suggests a LONG and HARD path. My plan for this band is to write 12 songs, record and produce them on a vinyl record (with an online download option), and then do a release show followed by a few promotional shows, but without selling out for profit or fame. F the peons.

I came home and made an awesome healthy dinner, packed a box to UPS ground to my sister's in Colorado, so I can ship it out there for my trip next week. Then I can travel light and avoid giving the hated airlines any more money than I have to. I would rather pay UPS more than give the airlines bogus baggage fees. Those khaks. But I also have a $5 off UPS ground shipping bonus from Belly. I also got my passport renewal stuff together so I can send that off tomorrow as well.

High yield.

The end.

Time.

3.18.2013

5 Minutes - The Day My Wireless Bluetooth Apple Keyboard Cut Out

Hi. It's Joe.

I am typing on my Apple wireless Bluetooth keyboard.

But it was touch and go there for a while. It stopped working. Batteries were fine. It just wouldn't respond by producing letters on my screen when I would press keys.

Now it is responding like normal.

I queried my Apple savvy friend MG about why it wasn't working, using my laptop keyboard as a substitute. He told me to re-pair my computer with the keyboard via the Bluetooth settings. I tried that, and it fixed it.

Weird that happened, though. The computer could clearly see the keyboard, it just wasn't responding to it.

If the re-pairing via Bluetooth had not worked, MG's next suggestion was to clean the battery connections, much like you would a car battery with connectivity issues. But the power light of the keyboard was ON, just blinking at me like it was trying to tell me something.

The only unusual thing that happened with this keyboard is that I took it on a trip to Oshkosh and accidentally had the power on whilst it was in my bag. I wonder if the keyboard inadvertently tried to pair up with the computer of the friend I was visiting.

If so, then my wireless Bluetooth keyboard is a slut.

Time.

3.14.2013

10 Minutes - The Misfits

Hi. It's Joe.

The Misfits are kind of a dark and twisted band, but I like them, in much the same way as I like a good horror movie. If it is well done and engaging, it can be entertaining, especially if the bad guys die at the end. But even when there is a twist and the bad guys either don't die or else set the good guys up for future failure in some diabolical way, it can still be cool.

I want to go back to my musical roots and throw together a punk rock band of some sort. I want catchy and clever music, but it should be simple in composition, 4 to 5 chords per song, tops. I think it is very doable. Pedro indicated he might like to drum. The songs will be simple conceptual pieces about fairly banal topics. For example, I wrote a simple tune (lyrics only right now) about drinking coffee from a large coffee mug. It is a simple song with not much redeeming lyrical value, but it could be musically catchy, if I play my cards right.

I am geeked for my trip to Colorado at the end of the month. Tonight I am cruising down to Monroe WI to meet someone for dinner. This afternoon, I need to create some documentation demos at work. Our manager was asking us this morning if we thought a single source document model could work. I think it very well could, but I think his question was misdirected. It depends on the competency and cooperativity of the people involved. We are not the ones to ask, but I think he was asking us as a proxy for other peoples' input, for which we are a poor substitute. We still cannot read minds.

Time.

10 Minutes - This Day Is Joyously Almost Over

Hi. It's Joe.

I should clarify that when I say this day is joyously almost over, I actually mean that the non-joyous part of the day (i.e., work) is almost over, such that the joyous part of the day can soon begin.

You see, it is Thursday. And Thursday is the day that a few of us work peeps get together and socialize at the Capital Brewery in Middleton WI after work. By Thursday night, the work week is nigh over, especially for us highly productive and efficient types. We don't care about Friday too much, as most of our solid work was accomplished way early in the week, per the 80/20 rule that we follow - we get 80% of our work done in the first 20% of the work week and (following the progression) about 96% of it is done in 40% of the work week. So really we are achieving an A grade some time early on Wednesday morning and everything else we do for the week has a law of diminishing returns that is directly proportional to how much beer we will drink at Capital.

That is not to say my job sucks, just because it isn't joyous. My job is actually pretty easy and I rock at it. I am a little amazed by how much they pay me to do it, too. But whatever. They agreed to it, when they had the chance to be rid of me, so they are stuck with me now. I am rather indispensible. Without me, documentation actually might suffer a significant blow. So I don't mind 80/20 action and taking 'er easy on Fridays.

The only non-joyous part of my job is some of the angry, bitter, cynical people my team is forced to deal with some days. I usually block them out with punk rock music, but my other teammates are less fortunate. We really hate interacting with some of these people, mostly because of the inappropriate things they say.

Time.

3.12.2013

8 Minutes - Monroe WI

Hi. It's Joe.

I am in the quaint rustic town of Monroe WI where I have a dinner date. I like this town. It has a nice town square and the traffic flow goes in a logical counterclockwise direction with the proper right of way. I am just killing time with a random blog post, so read no further unless you have nothing better to do. It literally does not get any better than this.

The weather outside is questionable, so I left work a little bit early in case of traffic and/or weather delays. There were none. So I got here way too early and popped into a coffee shoppe/bar/restaurant for a pick me up. I scored some cash on my way here. I might take the bus to work with Alex tomorrow, and if I do, I will need a few bucks for the bus fare. So getting coffee was a good way to break up the $20 bills. Yeah, this blog post is thrilling isn't it?

Well, I guess I had better head over to the chili and cheese joint. I wouldn't want to be the tardy one.

Time.

3.11.2013

10 Minutes - A Monday Replete With Ideas That Need to Be Implemented

Hi. It’s Joe.

I want to write some punk rocks songs. I was inspired by a really good band from Chicago that played up in Oshkosh when I was there this past weekend. They are called VOICE OF ADDICTION and they put on a great show. I scored their vinyl record, even though I don’t currently have a vinyl record player. But I should remedy the latter situation, because I have a milk crate full of vinyl records at home I want and should be able to listen to. However, VOICE OF ADDICTION’s record also has an online download option. So I can still throw the songs on my iPOD.

They are also on SPOTIFY: Voice Of Addiction – Reduce Reuse Resist.

Tell me what you think.

Anyway, I have been trying to come up with clever but simple lyrics to use for songs, and I have made some headway. I think I will take the approach of writing words first and sculpting music to go with it second. In the past, this approach has not worked for me very well. But to tell you the truth, neither has the approach of writing music first and trying to fit lyrics. With the latter approach, I tend to come up with better melodies in the songs, but the lyrics end up being “filler,” just to be able to put a vocal line to the song. When I write lyrics first, they are sometimes quite good, but then the music I write to accompany it tends to be very simplistic and mediocre. I need to devise some kind of song writing formula.

It looks like my band will be on hiatus for a couple more weeks yet. I think I need to explore some other avenues. I am starting to get a little frustrated with a lack of musical outlets. A band needs momentum in order to make progress. HIATVS seems to have a burr jammed in the drive shaft, and pushing it along is far too much work. I want to add more songs to the repertoire and maybe even add some tasty originals. But this seems like a pipe dream, especially the latter, if we can never get together to even hone and polish the existing repertoire.

I would optimally like to start an all original punk rock/heard rock band, influenced by NOFX, Black Flag, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Bad Religion, and the like. Kind of a fusion between punk and hard rock. I guess there is really nothing for it, except to make it happen.

If I join any more generic cover bands, I have a couple of criteria. One is that it has to be a good band, with a compelling presentation, like HIATVS (only, with a regular practice schedule). The other is that I am not going to bend over backwards or do any of the business/management/sound side of things. That should be hired out or we should have a dedicated “crew” associated with the band, which gets a cut of the take for any gigs. Optimally, I would like a cover band to be like a business, with the following departments represented:

1. Bass (+ backing vox)
2. Guitar (+ backing vox)
3. Drums (+ backing vox)
4. Vox
5. Keys or Guitar #2
6. Sound guy
7. Merch girl
8. Booking agent (could double as merch girl or booking agent)

Time.

3.08.2013

10 Minutes - Taking Control of Your Own Destiny

Hi. It's Joe.

This weekend, I am taking a trip up to Oshkosh with the lads (Buddy and Foster). My realtor wants to host an open house at my house, which is for sale, on Sunday. So if figured I would stay out of the way by getting out of town. She is taking a deep cut of the sale proceeds, should my house sell, and so she may as well earn her keep.

I am going to a VIP beer tasting event with my buddy Todd on Saturday night. There is also some sort of artsy thing going on Sunday that I will attend with friend Sherry, Todd's GF. Should be really fun.

There is a chance of ugly weather, so I will have to plan travel accordingly. Maybe I will head up to OK tonight. We shall see.

Right now, I am at work. I am going to drop off a book for a coworker. We were talking about it last night.

I want to encourage everyone to take control of your own destiny. It really is a life and death matter. Anxiety and stress are linked to morbidity and mortality. They are physiologically caused by a negative lack of control in your environment, such as the workplace. This is also known as "distress," or bad stress. Eustress is good stress, like when you are doing something challenging, but fun and by choice, like snowboarding or a hard crossword puzzle. But under no circumstances should you let anyone else control your destiny, such as a douchy boss. That is distress and you can honestly use "self defense" as a rationale against it, because bad stress kills (or maims).

Time.

3.06.2013

10 Minutes - Godlike Powers of Perception

Hi. It's Joe.

I don't know what it is, but the last couple of days I have had what I call Godlike powers of perception. This is not to be confused with Godlike powers of action, just perception. I am seeing a lot of things very clearly. As a result, some things have, in my perception, become very puny and insignificant, while other things seem more important than ever.

I don't need to go into details, but suffice it to say, the fantasy world conveyed by mainstream media is a farce and an illusion.

Lately, I have been eating amazingly healthily and exercising. I have eliminated almost all American processed junk food from my life. I am also continuing my mainstream media fasting. It is amazing, but when you clear your body of dietary toxins and your mind of media poison, reality comes into much sharper focus.

I don't know about you, but I will miss Hugo Chavez. I admired his benevolent dictatorship and the way he was a socialistic thorn in the side of American capitalist free marketeers and neocons.

I bought a book a while ago, about making a career of writing and as I was reading it last night, I concluded that I disagree with it. The author's basic thesis is, if you want to be a full time writer, save up a year's salary and then be poor and destitute while you struggle to make it as a writer. Yeah, good plan there, Biff.

Why not have a day job that is tolerable, and if possible writing related, to underwrite creative writing on the side. I mean, if writing is really your passion, you are going to try to do it all the time. So just do ikt after work and on weekends. But you need a day job that dolesn't suck your life force out, and that is hard to come by.

I am lucky I guess. I have a day job I rock at, which is usually fairly easy (because I practice awesome time management strategies, like deleting any and all emails that do not relate to my job and keeping work and personal email separate), and allows me to listen to punk rock music while working.

Time.

3.02.2013

10 More Minutes - Taking a Break

Hi. It's Joe.

I am taking a break from jazz piano practice. It was going OK, but I was distracted. So I thought I would clear my mind with a little bit of writing. You really should stop reading right now, if you even are. Because this post is going to be completely useless.

I am working on left hand comping a steady rhythm whilst playing melodies or running 8th note swing improv lines in my right hand. It takes a bit of focus and if my mind wanders, then I biff. All music is this way really. If you are not in the moment, then you are out of the moment. If your mind is elsewhere, then it is not attending to the music at hand.

I have my music lesson on Monday. I want to make a goodly bit of progress on my rather small and simple assignment. I have these improv exercises, and I am supposed to incorporate them into the actual songs I am working on. This is not so easy as you would think. Well, maybe you don't think it is easy, in which case you would be right.

Anyway, my feet are cold too, and when my feet are cold, I tend to be more distracted. So I think I will go put some warm socks on before I resume my piano practicing.

I am sad that Posterous is shutting down at the end of April. But I am glad that I was able to recover all of my media files before it does. I will get used to not having an autoposting blog hub. It's actually probably a good thing. If I write something like this post, which sucks, it won't be automatically posted, and that is probably a good thing for not alienating readers.

Time.

10 Minutes - Eeek! Posterous is Going Away...

Hi. It's Joe.

Posterous is going away.

They got bought out by TWITTER and apparently TWITTER told them to close up shop and focus all their efforts on TWITTER.

That's a bummer. Posterous was a good hub for automating my blog posts, sending them to social media automatically instead of manually.

I will now have to look for a new hub. What is TUMBLR like? Does it give you the autopost option? Wordpress has the autopost option for some social media, but I despise Wordpress.

This past week was fun. My writing team finally made some progress in our battle to get upper management to pull their @#$% together. I want to say we won, but knowing what I know about middle management weaseling, I cannot say for sure that they won't pull some backhanded scheme.

But recall that HONEY BADGER does not give a @#$%. There are some good people where I work. My team has told our boss we will only work with people who meet a minimum quality standard. That probably cuts the number of people we will be working with going forward to about 50%. That proportion will gradually increase as the sub par people come to realize their needs won't be met until they up their game. Our immediate boss is pretty cool. Above him in the chain it is pretty much devoid of intellect until the CEO. It's a big gap, with far too many superfluous intermediates.

Recall that scene in OFFICE SPACE where Peter reflects on the fact that he has 8 bosses.

I went to see Office Space with some coworkers on Thursday night. It was fun. They had a "Brew & View" at the Majestic Theater in Madison WI. I got in free because I had FLAIR. They were expecting people to wear buttons as flair, but instead I dressed up as Samir "Not-gonna-work-here-anymore" and even had an Innitech mug.

Last night, which was Friday night, I also met some coworkers out for some shuffleboard, darts, and pool. We ate fish fry at the Old Fashioned. My one coworker recommended the perch, and it was top notch, just like he said it would be.

Well, I am going to go explore other autoposting blog hubs now, then practice piano for a long while, before deciding what to do this evening.

Time.