4.30.2013

5 Minutes - Idle Hands...

Hi. It's Joe.

While I run wild goose chases hunting down document files that do not exist anywhere at work, I decided a good use of the waiting time (while Windows 7 searches the entire ClearCase directory for the files it will never find) would be to write a blog post.

The timing could not be better either. It takes me more or less 10 minutes to write a post and in more or less 10 minutes I am going to get up from my desk chair, pick up my gym bag, walk over to the other building, change into my bike shorts and gear, and ride the @#$% away from this mediocre weak sauce institution that pays me exorbitant amounts of money to hunt down non-existent files.

I should not be too harsh. Sometimes the files do exist. I would say about 50% of the time a file with the right filename is found. Then it is usually at a revision level that far outstrips the outdated document request against it, making the request obsolete or more often than not generating a new wild goose chase to determine if the outdated request is obsolete or not.

Hey, let the cash roll in. If my job is searching for files all afternoon, by managerial directive, so be it. But there could be better uses of my time.

So, I heard there is a law now that prosecutes animal rights people if they document abuses at slaughterhouses. That's totally bogus. I think we need to go Monkey Wrench Gang on any and all corruption in Corporate America. They are khaks.

That was only about 5 minutes of writing. I am going to update the title of this post accordingly and goof off for a while longer as my computer spins its gear hunting down phantom files.

Time.

4.27.2013

10 Minutes - Slower

Hi. It's Joe.

The down side of my new Galaxy S3 phone is the lack of a real keyboard. These touch screen keyboards are alien to me. There is no satisfying tactile sensation. This Swype thing though is cool if you are not on the go. It corrects your typing so you can be a little sloppy and don't have to hit every letter or even the space bar. But Swype is not faster than real typing I don't think. Maybe once you got used to it. For one thing, it is error prone, notwithstanding the auto correction. You have to be vigilant whilst swyping. You be the judge. How error prone has this post been so far?

Anyway, I am in Lake Mills at the Waterhouse Cafe. My dryer took a digger for what I decided was the last time. I am not going to pay any more repair bills. Time to upgrade. Sadly, dryers tend to expire when there is a load of wet clothes in them. So I took said clothes to the laundromat in Lake Mills and they are being industrially dried as I drink coffee, eat a bagel sandwich, and compose this post.

I am pretty much done composing this post though.

Time.

4.23.2013

10 Minutes - "Why Didn't We Listen to Joe?" Asked Everyone

Hi. It’s Joe.

Today at work, the question floating through almost everyone’s head is, “Why didn’t we listen to Joe?

I actually kind of surprised myself a little bit by how gosh darn right I was in predicting the failures of middle management.

When I raised red flags on a few occasions, I was slapped right down. Part of the slapping down was blind (albeit wrong) optimism of management, which never likes bad news, even when it comes from experts. Part of it was just slapping down a lowly employee who was too uppity and outspoken for his own good.

I don’t especially like pure, unadulterated vindication. But this is 99.6% pure. That’s about as pure as Mr. White’s blue meth. The truth hurts and it is hurting a lot of people today. Some of those people I don’t care about. They deserve the pain of utter incompetence. But some people I work with are actually marginally alright at their jobs and as people. I empathize with them a bit. Still, they were not wise enough to listen to the experts. They thought they knew better than Joe.

And frankly, I can’t say that I was always confident I was right. I was 100% sure about some things, but not all things. As it turned out, I was just by random chance 100% right about 100% of things. That is rare. I know I am not perfect. I know I can sometimes be ideological and dogmatic, though I try not to be. But what I never do is swallow the corporate Kool-Aid just to go along with the happy middle managers and their optimistic view of reality.

Now there will be some pain. They will regroup and be secretly glad they have Joe around, even though whatever cockamamie scheme they dream up next will probably stink equally as much, and they will probably again totally ignore Joe’s words of caution, in the interests of not rocking the boat. It’s kind of sad.

Just save yourselves a lot of time, people. Put me in charge of what I do best.

Time.

4.22.2013

10 Minutes - The Feeling of Knowing You Are Considered Less Than Pond Scum by Management

Hi. It's Joe.

Today our boss told us some important stuff. It doesn't matter what he told us, specifically, except that it was kind of pertinent to us doing our jobs.

What really matters is that he also told us that middle management had told him not to tell us this important information. They wanted us to spin our wheels for nothing, which is what we would be doing without this knowledge we got today. So it was cool of our boss to defy the imbeciles in middle management and give it to us straight. It was not cool for middle management to want to sideline us like we are not important. That spells their doom.

I am not sure why management is always so diabolical, with the cloak and dagger routine. Employees much prefer to be given the straight dirt so they know what is happening right up front. When you try to deceive employees, they resent you and eventually hate you.

We are all supposed to be working for the same company, toward the same goals. That means we all kind of need the pertinent info that helps us do our jobs. If you are up to no good and need to hide information from your employees, that means you are not in good shape as a business.

Well, anyway, what does this week have in store?

I had my piano lesson tonight. It seemed to go well. My teacher went over almost a half an hour longer. I felt bad, but I really only wanted an hour lesson. Still, we covered a lot. I have a huge assignment for my lesson in a fortnight though.

Tomorrow is kind of a light day. I mean, I have to go do stuff at work, but it will be light. In the evening, I do not have much going on. I might head over to Tuesday night jazz for a little while at the Mason Lounge on Park Street in Madison. In fact, I am strongly leaning that way.

I told my friend Holly at work that I was not going to go to jazz until next week, because she was asking. But now I think I will tell her that I am going this week. Maybe next week too, but I do not want to overdo.

There is no HIATVS band practice this week on Wednesday, which bums me out a little. But that also means I will be able to work on piano a lot that night. I am hoping the weather allows me to get a bike commute in this week. But tomorrow won't be that day, because it is supposed to be rainy and cold.

I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday. I am going to a new doctor in Madison, because my doctor in Cambridge has been dropping the ball on some things. I want to say there is something after work on Thursday, but I cannot remember what it is. I am sure there will be the usual Thursday after work social at Capital Brewery. I think they should move that to Wednesday, because there are better happy hour specials on Wednesday.

But I do not really care. I cut way back on beer during the week anyway, on my new fitness kick.

Time.

4.14.2013

10 Minutes - Mission Accompli and a Review of "Aeon Flux"

Hi. It's Joe.

With my 90 minute workout earlier today, I accomplished my goal of hitting five 45-minute workouts this week (my week runs Monday through Sunday). It was touch and go though. My cruiser bike is the one I use on the trainer (still much too cold to venture outdoors on the bike...I am a fair weather biker) and it got another flat tire. There is something weird going on there. I patched the tube but it was only a matter of minutes before it went flat again. I will have to change out the tube and tire in the next few days, at least before I start bike commuting. In any case, I had a backup plan. I switched out bikes, putting my road bike on the trainer instead. I don't like training on the road bike, because the lower riding posture is uncomfortable. But I did it anyway. I was not going to let a flat deter my workout.

During this workout, I watched the film "Aeon Flux" on Netflix. Skip it. It's not very good. I am pretty sure the film was made to show off Charlize Theron's aesthetics. The plot made hardly any sense. It was based on an MTV show, so that should have been a telltale sign of mediocrity. But I decided to give it a shot and it was tolerable for a workout distraction.

I think my dog Foster was sleep walking last night. Either that or he had a seizure. I heard him whimpering and when I got up, he was stumbling around awkwardly. Then he suddenly fell over and started kicking his legs in the air. When I went over to him, he snapped out of it and was totally normal, like nothing had happened. It was very bizarre. Can dogs sleep walk? I am going to have to ask the vet about that on Wednesday, when I take Foster in to get his fingernails cut as far back as possible. He has crazy long nails. At first, when he was whimpering, I thought he had broken another nail, as sometimes happens. But when that happens he usually limps around because of the pain. In this case, there did not seem to be any after effects or limping.

It was a laid back weekend. I had GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 practice on Saturday with Stefan and Peter. We are learning three new songs, but I would not say they are polished yet. Nobody really gave them much of a listen ahead of time, so the takes were pretty rough. I did record them. I wish there was a way to insert audio into these blog posts. But it looks like video is the only option. That's what Demitri Martin would call "uncool."

Time.

10 Minutes - Be Yourself and Have Fun

Hi. It's Joe.

I am no self help lifestyle coach by any means, but when I look around, it seems to me that the happiest people are the ones who be themselves and have fun. I guess it is kind of hard to determine if someone is really being him- or herself. But all that really matters is that the person feels like they are being who they really are and not trying to be who other people expect them to be. The indicator of this is your comfort level.

People are most comfortable when they can be their true self and least comfortable when they have to put on a facade for whatever reason. Have you ever hung out with a group of people that aren't like you? You feel uncomfortable and out of place, especially if they seem judgmental. But that's OK. Don't try to be more like them and fit in. These are not people you are going to hang out with very often.

Sometimes a person can feel most comfortable when he or she is putting on a facade. For example, when I rock with my bands, I have a rockstar alter ego. I am nothing like my rockstar alter ego in real life. I am generally pretty mellow and quiet. But the rockstar mantle allows me to conceal my inner self when I am on stage. People see the exterior rock star persona and that is what they should see and what I want them to see, because they are there to have a blast and my normal every day self is not much of an entertainer. So when I am on stage, my normal self would feel quite uncomfortable, but my rockstar alter ego feels right at home.

I work for a company where some of my coworkers are very unlike me. Some are like me, but on occasion I have to associate with the ones who are not like me and who make me feel uncomfortable. But I never try to be like them. I just observe them and contemplate why we are so different. I am most comfortable at work with my team of peeps who are like me and who I feel comfy around. I am also most comfortable listening to punk rock at work to block out the people who I do not feel comfortable around.

I avoid social events with the people I don't relate to. Our manager tries to force compliance in our group by making everyone go to social events. But all that does is augment the awkward discomfort and make us think about it more. The most rational approach is to avoid such socials and let groups avoid each other if they will never be on the same page. I can work with these people just fine. There's a corporate vision and explicit goals, so we just go after them. At no time is there a requirement to like or relate to coworkers. You just have to get the job done. When coworkers work hard and uphold their end of that bargain, everything works great.

Time.

4.13.2013

15 Minutes - My Week in Review

Hi. It's Joe.

Sometimes it is a good exercise to reflect on a good week and reminisce the highlights. The thumbnail on the right is one of the highlights. I picked up Iron Maiden's album "Powerslave" on vinyl.

This has always been one of my favorite Maiden albums and it would be awesome to cover the title track, "Powerslave," in a band, such as HIATVS.

You will recall a recent post where I explained that I picked up a low end inexpensive vinyl record player. It has been getting some good use. In fact, I am listening to it now, specifically "Brain Salad Surgery" by E.L.P. I have a milk crate of vinyl records that I got as a graduate student in Iowa in the mid-90s. Many of these records belong to an ex-roommate, but he has never asked for them back, so I consider them my "foster" records. I would return them if asked. But for now, I am going through and listening to them all.

Last night there was a social at the Essen Haus in Madison WI that involved some passing of "boots" and some shuffle board. I was the DD, so I did not indulge in the fine diversity of the German ales available, but I did have a couple of sips from the boots as they floated by.

I had sushi for lunch on Friday, with my buddy Stephen. It was great, though the service was slow. But it was worth the wait.

I did not have HIATVS band practice this week because Brian (guitar) was out of town on business. Siberia is about as out of town as you can get, and that is where he went.

I practiced a ton of piano this week and one of the reasons I scored that Maiden album was because after my piano lesson on Monday, my teacher recommended some good piano learning books via AMAZON. I decided to tack a few extra things onto the order that I have been meaning to get, and thus take advantage of the free shipping from Amazon.

One of the books was piano exercises composed by Oscar Peterson, the jazz pianist I idolize and who influenced me to pursue jazz piano in the first place.

Anyway, it was a laid back week. This morning I applied for some new technical writer jobs and now I am going to go learn some songs for band practice with GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 at 3 PM.

Time.

4.11.2013

10 Minutes - The Sabbath Diet

Hi. It's Joe.

As I gear up for the post winter health and wellness activities, I had an idea for a dietary plan. I wish I could somehow tie the band BLACK SABBATH into this plan, but I have not found a way yet to do so.

I picked up the Tim Ferriss book, "4 Hour Body," a couple of years ago. It's got some good info and some bad info, but one of the recommendations he had for diet was to eat healthy six days a week and then have one day where you binge and eat whatever you want. There is an evolutionary genetic basis for such a regimen. As hunter-gatherers, our genetic ancestors went through periods of feast and famine depending on the availability of food in a given area. We might be hard wired to eat this way, low calories for a while then a sudden large intake of food (say, when big game was taken down).

Anyway, some people I know tried this dietary plan with good results. It might not be for everyone, but it is clearly for some people. I want to try a derivative of this plan.

The Ferriss plan involved one day of complete hedonistic dietary indulgence. I am not that much of an indulger and I don't eat a lot of refined sugar anyway. But I do tend to consume too many calories too often. So my derivative dietary plan for the spring is to eat a healthy diet most of the time but allow myself to eat and drink whatever I want during the sabbath period of the major religions, Judaism and Christianity. So basically from sundown on Friday until probably about noon on Sunday, I will allow myself to eat whatever I want, and the rest of the week I will adhere to a strict healthy diet of salads and whole food sources of protein, like beans.

This plan might work. My friends who did the Ferriss plan really went crazy on their free day, eating all manner of high calorie food and drink. I don't plan to go that crazy, so I think I can allow myself a day and a half or so of ad lib freedom, because I'll be eating less crazy. What do you think?

This jibes with the fact that I sometimes travel on weekends and it is hard to find good healthy food on trips. Plus, I can usually have a few beers when I go on trips, because I am not usually driving. So liquid calories will be OK too.

I am going to go soak some beans right now, for later cooking as part of my healthy diet. I ate some fish and cauliflower tonight and I had salad for lunch at Roman Candle. But I also had a few herbed breadsticks at Roman Candle too, because they were free. However, my friend Alexandra helped me eat some of them.

Strict!

I will let you know how it goes.

Time.

20 Minutes - I Am Getting an Oil Change

Hi. It's Joe.

I am taking the time to write a blog post while my car is in the adept hands of my local mechanic, Terry. I am getting an oil change. I am not sure Terry is even the one doing the oil change; it may be one of his henchmen. But I am glad he is at least overseeing the work.

In any case, I had a good day at work today. I was able to blow the entire morning on work-related things, thus avoiding actual work. It was not my intention to avoid actual work and indeed, the work related items had to get done one way or another. But it was nice to be away from the banal and idiotic chatter that usually pollutes the area where I work. Usually, I have to wear headphones and listen to punk rock music to block out the lost time conversational incidents, although that can only block out sounds, not smells, and believe me there are some weird smells ranging from rotten milk to booze breath.

There are 2 buildings owned by my employer, across the street from one another. For whatever reason, one of these buildings houses buffoons and the other houses competent, intelligent, hard working people. Obviously, I do not gravitate toward the buffoon house, even though my desk is, painfully, situated there due to a recent downsizing and consolidation of real estate (they used to have 3 buildings). My work related tasks this morning took me to the more academic of the two buildings, and that was refreshing.

First, I stopped by HR and talked to my favorite HR rep about how to get a health and wellness reimbursement for joining a CSA farm. I got the info and should see a $100 rebate some time in early July. I also had a really good chat with my favorite HR rep. She told me we should start our own business doing health and wellness motivational seminars for other organizations, since we are both well informed about health and wellness. I concurred.

Then I went and had a chat with my favorite manager. There are not many competent managers where I work, but this guy is one...possibly the only one. We strategized about a project we are both involved in for improving documentation. Issues resolved, I headed back to my building a little before noon. There I found my favorite work peep doing her nails in the lunch room and I convinced her to tag along with me when I went to lunch. This was helped along by the fact that she was getting harassed by some of the buffoons referenced above and she needed some respite from them.

So we went to Roman Candle and I ate some salad while she finished her nail care using some kind of weird UV lamp that hardens some kind of nail polish finisher she had applied. Reluctantly, we returned to work. I finished some work I had to do and then prepared the documentation for my CSA reimbursement that came through on the e-mail from our healthcare provider.

Since all my work was either done or waiting for stuff in other peoples' courts, I felt a reward for my productivity was in order and I gave myself a raise, as did my nail polish flaunting coworker. When you are awesome, you are qualified to give yourself a raise. Don Draper is awesome at advertising and he gives himself raises all the time. That's my rationale.

Time.

4.10.2013

10 Minutes - Bach "Prelude in C"

Hi. It's Joe.

I had to give myself a raise today. We had health screenings at work. I did pretty well, though I need to up my game on working out and eating healthy 80% of the time. I am going to work out tonight, before I go to bed, but after some piano practice. In fact, I have to get going on piano practice here pretty soon.

I am working on a new Bach piece called "Prelude in C." It's a bit tough compared to the Minuets, even though it is mainly arpeggios.

What is a prelude anyway? Or, I guess, what's a 'lude? Presumably a prelude comes before a 'lude.

Well, I am pretty much rambling. I am actually kind of tired tonight. We had to go to the boringest meeting ever today, part of the justification for giving myself a raise (they stole an hour from me), and it sucked my soul away like nobody's business. I have half a mind to get an early night and do my workout in the morning. But that's always a slippery slope. In the morning, perhaps I will find another excuse to put it off.

But no, I have actually been good. I did the bike trainer Monday and Tuesday this week. I was even planning on going on a social bike ride with MG tonight in Cottage Grove. But I am a fair weather biker and the weather has been awful the past two days, with no end in sight. I am told of more cold rain tomorrow and possibly even snow on Friday.

Winter! We are sick of you. I am going to have to ask you to F right off. You are about as useful as middle management at the company I work for.

That said, perhaps there is an option for a snow day on Friday. That'd be grand.

I am not going to let the core incompetencies of some of my coworkers get me down this week. I work to live and they are paying me phat money to tolerate their jive. So tolerate it I will. But that is not to say I won't give them hell.

Been listening to some vinyl on my new smelly record player (smells all plasticy and new, and even a little electronically weird...an ozone smell like something is heating up inside the thing...hope not! But it is under warranty...). I like the vinyl.

Time.

4.09.2013

10 Minutes - Why I Like Vinyl Records

Hi. It's Joe.

I am listening to the Jimi Hendrix album "Are You Experienced?" on vinyl.

I picked it up a couple of years ago, then subsequently gave away my cheap turntable to a friend's kids so they could enjoy vinyl. I am just that kind of a guy.

When I went up to Oshkosh last weekend for Friday Fright Night at the Time Theater, I picked up a slick new (albeit still pretty cheap) turntable at the Exclusive company.

I remain a skeptic that vinyl really does sound better than digital audio, objectively speaking. But subjectively speaking, I definitely think it does. It may not be possible to show this with science, just as it is not possible to show the subjective existence of God with science, but in my mind vinyl sounds better, more real, less sterile.

Even if this is totally in my mind, for me it is real, just like seeing the Virgin Mary in a piece of buttered toast is real to some people.

But this is not why I like vinyl. I like playing vinyl records because there is a zen discipline quality to it. Unlike a CD, you have to flip a vinyl record half way through to listen to the whole thing.

That means vinyl forces you (if you too like vinyl) to participate in the listening experience. You are to some small but significant degree INVESTED. That makes the vinyl listening experience more human, more participatory.

As a result, I think this is why listening to vinyl is a more satisfying or at least fulfilling listening experience, entirely subjective, but still very real.

Like the placebo effect.

Time.

4.08.2013

10 Minutes - Piano

Hi. It's Joe.

I practiced a lot of piano the last couple of weeks but I don't feel like I have achieved much and it is discouraging. Maybe I should take a break from lessons for a while and combe back to it later. I like that my teacher pushes me, but I almost never practice what he tells me to, because something is missing. I am lacking some skill that he must assume I have that prevents me from getting better. I think that something is a basic dexterity with the keyboard. Maybe I need to work on some classical pieces and get the dexterity skills before I try jazz.

Right now I am on a break from work. I just got some Salad Creations for lunch and I am feeling pretty healthy. Now I am chilling at the Barriques coffee shoppe on Old Sauk in Madison, with some dark roast. I needed to get away from the workplace for a spell because some coworkers were engaged in ceaseless banter about banal, non-work related topics. I swear if they actually worked as much as they gabbed, a lot of stuff would get done around here.

I had a fun weekend up in Oshkosh (begosh). As you know, if you have been following along, I cruised up there on Friday afternoon to hit Friday Fright Night at the Time Theater. Before that though, I met armona for coffee at noon on the west side of Milwaukee. I took Friday off to recover from the MOBIUS STRIPTEASE reunion gig and that was wise. This week should be light. HIATVS' guitar player is away for business, so I have no band practice on a school night this week. However, I do have GUPPY EFFECT v1.0 practice on Saturday and quite possibly GUPPY EFFECT v2.0 practice on Sunday. I want to focus the latter incarnation of the brand on original music and recording, because I am not feeling the live vibe with them. Recording will help us hone our sound and hopefully we can use a click track to keep the tempo in line, a big issue with that incarnation. We can play some live shows once we develop a solid performance.

Time.

4.06.2013

10 Minutes - Friday Fright Night in Oshkosh (begosh): Part 2

Hi. It's Joe.

I realize that my last post, in keeping to my 10 minute time limitation for writing, never completed the reference to the titular "Friday Fright Night" reference.

There is an old time community theater in Oshkosh called the Time Theater. It is run by some kids and they do a decent job. On Fridays in the spring, summer, and fall, they show campy horror movies every Friday night, called Friday Fright Night. Sometimes I can go to them and last night was one of those times. It was also the premiere night of the 2013 FFN, so that was cool.

Recall that MOBIUS STRIPTEASE played that weird rock show on Thursday night in Milwaukee. I wisely took a day off from work on Friday, in part to sleep in and recuperate from the late night, but also to run some errands before heading up to Oshkosh for the movie and festivities. As fate would have it, Todd and Sherry were not able to come to the premiere FFN movie at the Theater, but they hooked me up with their friend Pam and her daughter Ashley who were also going to the flick. I had met Pam before, but only briefly. She was nice and so was Ashley. I made two new friends and might have scored a gig for one or more of my bands, since Ashley does booking for the Masonic Lodge in Oshkosh. But whether that happens, I don't really care.

After the film we all re-grouped at the Reptile Palace in Oshkosh. This is a divy little bar that always has great punk rock and metal bands. Madison band DROIDS ATTACK was playing. I had never seen them before so it was cool to learn what all the hype was about. I am still not entirely sure. I mean, they are a great tight band and the music was good, but it wasn't particularly unique to the punk/metal genre. Darwin, who owns the Frequency rock club in Madison WI and also plays in another band called ORPHAN BLOOM, is now playing bass for DROIDS ATTACK. That is a new development within the last 3 to 4 months, I found out.

Anyway, when I am in Oshkosh, I am not really in my element, but it is a very nice and fun environment. So when I said in my prior post that I was in my element at the rock show on Thursday, even though the venue was alien to me, Oshkosh is the opposite. I am not usually in my rock-n-roll alter ego in Oshkosh, so to that extent, I am out of my element. But the environment of Oshkosh is very inviting and comfortable. There is tons to do and all the people are pretty nice. Weird things do happen though, usually when college kids and alcohol don't mix. But that always provides for some good entertainment.

Time.

4.05.2013

10 Minutes - Friday Fright Night in Oshkosh (begosh)

Hi. It's Joe.

Last night I was fully in my element but in an alien environment. Tonight I will be a bit out of my element but in a very comfortable environment.

Last night I reunited with my old band MOBIUS STRIPTEASE to play a rock show at Coyote Ugly Saloon in Milwaukee WI. With only one rehearsal after a five year hiatus, we rocked the crap out of it and the people who came specifically to see us thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We blew their arses out.

Then there was the alien venue and the patrons who were not there to see us but rather to ogle and drool over the sexploited and scantily clad "service personnel," the bar dancing, body shot pushing female bartenders. Like strippers with clothes on, these women entertained by strutting their stuff to bad 80s hair metal while encouraging binge drinking.

Nothing particularly wrong with the albeit cliche entertainment, objectively speaking. But subjectively, it had many of the components I dislike in a venue and few positives. Actually, the bar staff was not unlike MOBIUS STRIPTEASE, actors and entertainers purveying a kind of sexy alter ego to please an audience. I would argue the main difference is that we purveyed more depth of  "personality" and they purveyed more cosmetic "sexuality." And rightly so. They were arguably physically attractive women and we are all pretty average looking but arguably amazingly talented musicians. They do what they do well and we do what we do well.

Unfortunately, there was a noticeable lack of synergy between our two art forms. This was unfortunate because there was great potential for synergy that could have benefitted both parties. I would lay the blame for this at the feet of the venue, but for the fact that they simply were not prepared for the high quality performance "product" we brought in comparison to their somewhat low quality one. I mean, we could not realistically expect them to magically up their game for one night only when they may never again encounter the level of quality we bring (a rarity in S.E. Wisconsin).

Had the skin flaunting purveyors of pulchritude turned their attention to the band when we started playing, we could have facilitated their ultimate goal of booze sales and they could have turned the attention of their lust addled patrons toward our great band. I feel like we were open to this possibility and tried to encourage it, but that they preferred to maintain a territorial neutrality with respect to us. To that extent, the blame does lie with them in as much as it was a missed opportunity for mutual gain (recall the Prisoner's Dilemma exercise of game theory).

On the other hand, MOBIUS STRIPTEASE is an intimidating rock-n-roll force and no one would hold it against them for running away in fear.

Time.

4.04.2013

10 Minutes - For Those About to Rock...

Hi. It's Joe.

In about 2.5 hours or so, my old band MOBIUS STRIPTEASE is going to unleash a fury of rock-n-roll upon the unsuspecting citizens of Milwaukee WI. This is not to suggest that said citizens don't know we are coming. They do. Or they should. What I am saying is that the level of rocking will take them completely by surprise. They are expecting just you average puny WI cover band. But MOBIUS STRIPTEASE has no equal in the realm of mere "mortal" rock-n-roll bands. Way back in the early days of this band, in the mid 2000s, we tapped into an ancient secret for channeling the spirits of dead (or partly dead, in the case of Ozzy) rock stars. Thus, the energy level of the rock is diabolically amplified. The FDA actually required us to use a black label warning on our marketing materials:

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: This band will rock your ass off.

Too many people were shaking their booties so hard at shows that they literally flew off. Although this was not a lethal side effect of our rock, most people don't like the feeling of having no ass.

Anyway, tonight at the Coyote Ugly Saloon in Milwaukee will be no different. Wear your dancing shoes and your butt cheek restraining straps.

Or don't come. But you will be even sorrier if you don't.

Time.

4.02.2013

20 Minutes - Let the Games Begin

Hi. It's Joe.

I just got back to Madison after a good vacation out in Colorado. Manitou Springs CO, to be precise. That is where my sister lives.

I kind of have to hit the ground running now that I am back, and the pace of life picks back up a little. It is a little after 3 PM on Tuesday 4/2 and yet today I have to vote, buy some groceries (the cupboard is bare), eat, practice some bass (for Thursday's MOBIUS STRIPTEASE gig in Milwaukee), and then hit Tuesday jazz night at Mason Lounge for a little while. I don't plan to be there too late and if I had to, I could skip bass practice, since I will have another opportunity to do that tomorrow. But it would be nice to hit the songs twice before the gig.

In a worst case scenario, I could skip jazz night too. But it is a fun assed time and in as much as I will someday be the substitute bassist for jazz night (among others), I should try to keep my skills honed.

Of course, I have work tomorrow, but I don't really care about that. My job is cut and dry, the hours predetermined. What matters is fitting in all the extracurriculars around work. Wednesday evening is pretty free, save for a brief musical diversion from 5 to 6 PM. Thursday night is the gig and I need to work out with MG the logistics of when we are going to try to get there. I have half a mind to do two half days of vacation, one on Wednesday morning, so I can sleep in post jazz night and also practice more bass, and one on Friday, so I can sleep in after the Milwaukee gig. Then again, vacation time is precious. I should just go to work tired in order to save it up for my next trip.

I like travel. Colorado was very laid back. I did not do anything too crazy. We did a couple of hikes and took my niece and nephew for a bike ride. We ate some decent food and I did the Swedish style outdoor sauna up at my sister's BF's mountain cabin. Breathtaking. If I had a mountain cabin, I would be up there all the time. I'd probably go off the grid and just focus on writing and music. We had awesome Mexican food up in Woodland Park, where the mountain cabin is. We saw the residue of the Waldo Canyon Fire from last summer. My nephew Ty and I got old school barbershop shaves and haircuts. I taught both my niece and nephew about the mock pro wrestling move called Flying Butt Pliers, which will probably get them in trouble at school.

The last time I was out there, I taught them a clever knock knock joke:

Knock knock.

Who's there?

A pile up.

I'll let you ride that one out, dear reader.

A while back, I taught them to say, "Building number 7 was an inside job," which they inappropriately yelled to me while saying goodbye at airport security. Totally my bad there.

I also played a lot of piano at my sister's. I still suck. Maybe I am too old for piano.

Time.

4.01.2013

2 Minutes - Photo Shoot With Ty and Millie

Hi. It's Joe.

After lunching with my niece and nephew (and mom and pops) in Manitou Springs CO today, we stopped by a boutique for a quick kids photo shoot while my mom shopped for clothes.

The results were outstanding.

Time.