30 Minutes - A List of Zombie Movies

Hi. It's Joe.

My small record label just released "Gingerbread (Zombie) Army," the cult classic holiday rock-n-roll anthem by Wisconsin rock-n-roll band GUPPY EFFECT.

As I was doing my marketing research on the song, I reflected upon several of the zombie films I have seen, most recently "Zombieland," starring Woody Harrelson. The thing I really liked about "Zombieland" is that the zombies aren't slow moving and easy to kill. They are fast, ravenous, and unintimidated by fear. So the main characters really have to watch out and it adds a lot more to the suspense, I think.

Here are some other zombie flicks I liked.


Here are some other good zombie reference materials and a zombie t-shirt.

10 Minutes - Commuting Doesn't Suck When Your Job Rocks

Hi. It's Joe.

I know, I know. I think I missed a 10 minute free write yesterday.

Actually, I'm not sure. Maybe I didn't.

In any case, my classic rock soul funkadelic band PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND decided to record an album. It's completely ill-advised and hastily planned, but I just play bass, so when they say show up to record, I do it.

I had to be at the recording studio by 6:30 PM. This meant that I had the pleasure of commuting against the traffic commuting from my prior job, the employer that I "fired" last year.

It is a great joy to be able to "fire" your boss for being a tool. It is an even greater joy to be able to commute to a job I love on my own timetable. That job is playing rock-n-roll music. It's a great job, fun and easy, albeit time consuming and for low pay. But being able to thwart THE MAN like I do...well, that's priceless. THE MAN can't touch that. All he can do is commute to his crappy job on someone else's timeclock to slave all day and make someone else rich. It's very sad, but THE MAN deserves it.

I was watching Carl Sagan's "Contact" movie today and reflecting on how my former boss was a lot like the Drumlin character in that movie, an arrogant, patronizing know-it-all who was almost always wrong, but too smug and arrogant to care.

I want to be able to give PhDs the benefit of the doubt, but almost every one I've worked for or with has been a tool (there are exceptions, but these are usually PhDs from other countries who are much more humble and human). I think this is mainly because academia and business don't mix. When PhDs get hired by businesses, they just screw everything up. Academia is the place for intellectuals who are better than everybody else (or think they are). When they get into the business world, they just alienate people, because the truth is they are not better than everyone else. They have a narrow skill set and oversized intellects, which makes them think they are superior to everyone else.

But in the real world, everyone has a skill, a talent, a super power. PhDs aren't special in the corporate arena. They are just team members. As soon as they start acting like superiors, they are doomed. They suck the life force out of everyone around them and no one wants to work with them, except under duress, which leads to horrible morale problems and cognitive dissonace as people do distasteful things out of fear of reprimand or job loss.

That's why I had to "fire" my boss. I couldn't swallow the BS anymore.



10 Minutes - No Lost on ABC Tonight and I Feel Empty Inside

Hi. It's Joe.

I don't even have cable, although my roommate Matt does. He gave me an open invite to watch whatever I want on his high-def wide screen TV, any time I want. But I'm polite.

So I watch episodes of Lost (Season 6) online at ABC.com a couple days after it airs for everyone else. I know, that makes me seem like a technophobic loser, but I'm really not. I know a lot more about pop culture and technology than most dopey pop rock stars who all have handlers that do everything for them. I also surround myself with technology geeks, so when there is something I don't know how to do, I can ask. But then I ALWAYS try to do it myself once I have the info, unlike spoiled pop stars who have everything done for them so they can party.

I have to admit, I got high today...

RUNNER'S HIGH, ha ha ha!!!

Watching Lost online also allows me to free myself from network television's broadcasting agenda, which is oriented to market products at certain demographic groups at a particular time of day. See how I thwart THE MAN just by my every day activities?

But today, THE MAN thwarted me, by failing to broadcast the expected (nay, desired...) next episode of Lost. I feel like a promise has been broken.

I'd give you a Lost synopsis, but I can't. The best I can do is to tell you that it includes a fictional research institute called the Dharma Initiative that I don't even think is a big part of the plot, except that they somehow opened up the door to whatever the place is where everyone is lost. All the Dharma Initiative people wear these Dharma jumpsuits. Are you lost? Good. I guess they named the show appropriately.

What makes the show so kickass and simultaneously consternating is how nothing ever gets answered, yet everything clearly fits a pattern of some kind.

The writers of Lost are geniuses. At least, I think they are. The conclusion of Season 6 will tell. This is why having ABC skip an episode is so alarming. I want answers. I want to see how they tie up all the loose ends. Time travel is a theme of the show, and a theme that very few TV shows or movies have ever handled well. But the Lost folks seem to be doing it by following parallel universes, which is a cool concept, and validated by modern physics experiments.

But I got a big fat F in physics in college, my only grade lower than a B. Granted, it was just the basic Newtonian physics of thermodynamics etc., but still not my strong suit. I know what tachyons are from Star Trek - they are particles that move faster than the speed of light and thus move backwards in time, theoretically allowing for time travel and communication back through time. I read "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" but I am way out of my element here.

If you don't watch Lost, good for you. It takes a lot of brain power. If you do watch Lost but have gotten a bit behind on episodes, you can catch up at ABC.com, where there is a complete Lost episode guide.

You can watch full free episodes of Lost there. There is also a Lost Wiki somewhere, where you can get much needed background info and facts about Lost you may have missed from the shows. There are even wikis for all the characters - a "kate wiki," a "sawyer wiki," a "jack wiki," etc. I'm honestly not even sure what a wiki is, but I'll bet the same could be said for a lot of pop rock stars, and if they can make a fortune being dumb, so can I, right?

A lot of people think the character Kate on Lost is super mega hot. Maybe she is, but I don't think so because she looks a lot like my sister, who is also named Kate. So, yeah, blech!

And guys, don't be asking me to meet my sister either. I will punch you.

1 Minute - One Minute is All It Takes

Hi. It's Joe.

This is more of a pictorial driven blog post, so it will only take me 60 seconds to do it. (NOTE: It does not count as a 10 minute daily blog post, but will be of import to some people.)

Sometimes I get the question, "Joe, how do you do it?"

The answer is I don't know. I just have fun and be myself.

But it could also possibly be THIS.

I don't think it is, but it could be...

And so what if it is? Is it wrong to harness a little bit of biology for our own selfish ends?

We do it all the time: CLICK HERE to see what I mean...

(NOTE: THIS is also one of the few proven ways to meet women, often referred to as " LIQUID COURAGE."


10 Minutes - Astounding Scientific Discovery: Doing Unhealthy Things Makes You Unhealthy

Hi. It's Joe.

You know, sometimes it amazes me the kind of amazing new things science discovers.

For example, a recent study has shown that doing unhealthy things like smoking, drinking a lot, not exercising, and not eating vegetables, makes you unhealthy, and thus more likely to die. Oh, and guess what! The more of these bad habits you have, the more unhealthy you become.

Seriously? At what stage do scientists decide that they have enough evidence to conclusively say that bad habits are BAD for you?

Is this like job security for scientists? Do they have to put out a research paper every few months just to keep their jobs, even if the results of the papers are just reiterating what everyone pretty much already knows?

Can't they add a new twist or something, just to make it a little more interesting?

Do they think that telling people for the millionth time that they should not smoke, drink less, eat vegetables, and exercise is going to make them actually do these things?

Show me where this has worked at any time in the past in the United States. Cigarette and junk food manufacturers spend billions of dollars a year convincing people to sit in their easy chairs mass consuming beer and potato chips. Science just doesn't have the advertising budget to compete with that.

Well, hopefully this "new" study does some good to convince people of their early deaths at the hands of Philip Morris and McDonald's. But I remain highly skeptical.

Remember, the people who participated in this study ARE NOT YOU. You are going to beat the odds by smoking 3 packs a day and living to be 105. You go! Tell the WORLD!



10 Minutes - Cinnamon and Diabetes

Hi. It's Joe.

On one of my other blogs, I posted about the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar control.

I was at Iowa State University in the mid-90s, working on my science journalism credentials (left there with a Masters degree, thank you very much...), when the first studies of the possible benefits of cinnamon on for blood sugar control came out.

Since then there has been enough research follow-up at various institutions to cause the nutritional supplement industry to begin marketing cinnamon supplements for "healthy blood sugar maintenance.

You see, the nutritional supplement industry isn't allowed to market nutritional supplements as treatments or cures for any disease. All they can say is that a given supplement "supports healthy metabolism" relevant to any disease state or condition.

So they leave it up to the consumer to figure out if the supplement can help them with a particular health issue. Thus, there is no cinnamon cure for diabetes.

But a cinnamon supplement might help a person maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

It's not a difficult logic leap to cinnamon as a diabetes cure or preventive. And when a supplement company literally names their product "Cinnsulin, it's pretty clear what they are trying to say.

I would not be surprised if the FDA calls them on this. Remember that energy drink called "Cocaine?" It didn't have any cocaine in it, but the FDA made them change the name.



10 Minutes - Rock-n-Roll Parties

Hi. It's Joe.

The thing I love about playing in a band is that we ARE the party.

What I mean is, a bar is just a bar, and a jukebox is just a jukebox. But a live band makes it a party. It makes what would otherwise just be a watering hole into a fully functional party.

That is what I love about playing in a band.

Madison WI's greatest rock-n-roll band, GUPPY EFFECT, rocked a potent show at Up North Bar in Madison tonight. It was touch and go on if our drummer was going to show up. He did, albeit late. We were worried we were going to have to rock a semi-acoustic set, which would have been alright at the Up North, where things are a bit more chill, but I really wanted to bring the thunder (softly).

Our drummer Al was able to ease back the throttle a bit on his thunder, so overall it sounded pretty good. It's hard to play drums softly, from what I can tell of drummers. But it is also a skill and some drummers can do it really tastefully which I love, almost as much as playing in a band.

Ashlee came to the show tonight. She has a good time. We really need to fully learn her song so we can play it at shows. Ashley did not make it to the show tonight. I thought she was going to. Ashley is Matt Alba's girlfriend and cohost of college radio show Enter The Medicine. I think she would have enjoyed it. But it was her 21st birthday party last night and I think she might have been out super late, and thus tired. But that's speculative. Anything could have happened to preclude her from one the the best rock-n-roll shows ever performed.

I know you think I'm either kidding or exaggerating. I am doing neither. But for popular opinion to sway our way, we are the next Led Zeppelin.



10 Minutes - I Am On the Verge of Stressing Out

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm diligently sticking to my 10 minute free writes even though it is a quarter past 2 in the morning and I really don't want to. But it's only 10 minutes and doggone it I swore I could do this. I haven't failed yet...except for those couple of times I just decided not to do it because I didn't want to. But even though I don't want to now, I still am, because I am committed to this thing.

I'd really rather be giving away free customizable business cards. Because that's what I do. I should say that is a small part of what I do. I also write. A lot.

Today I was in Madison WI most of the day for a seminar on guerilla marketing. I learned a lot and even promoted my awesome rock-n-roll band to a few people while I was at it. I got a few great ideas for promoting my band. I don't know if they will work, but the premise is sound.

It is essentially the common sense idea of "what's in it for the consumer?" The consumer is of course the music lover and consumer. We could tell them we are the best band in the world, but even though that's true people would think it was an inflated self-image and not check us out.

But we can say people will have the best time of their life at a GUPPY EFFECT show, and that's a realistic claim. We bring the thunder.

But if that doesn't work, we will use shameless hooks. We are going to start giving away a prize at every show. All people have to do is write their name and e-mail on a raffle ticket and at some point near the end of our show we will draw a winner. People will have to be present to win.

This does a few things. First, it keeps some people at the show longer, waiting for the drawing, so we don't lose audience. Second, we get new names and e-mails for the e-mail list. Third, whoever wins a band t-shirt or women's thong will be advertising for us every time they wear the apparel.

I can imagine that most people who get a full on view of one of our rock-n-roll thongs being worn by someone will associate our band with immediate gratifying pleasure in an almost Pavlovian manner.

In addition, anyone who shows their women's thong at any GUPPY EFFECT live rock-n-roll show will get a free drink on the band, no questions asked.

Besides, what girl doesn't want an iconic fish emblazoned right on the front of her skimpy sexy undies? It's not going to eat itself...

I don't even know what that means.



3 Minutes - Last Full Day in Colorado

Hi. It's Joe.

I don't have time right now for the full 10 minute free write. That's not to say I won't do it. Just later today, not right now.

It was a furious day of hiking and chilling, picking up a bunk bed from Goodwill and getting fixings at CostCo for the big party at Kate's house tonight.

OK, it won't be a big party exactly, just a couple people coming over and some grilling.

And therein lies my frenetic dash to write something quickly for you lot.

Kate went to pick up my niece and nephew at Day Care, leaving me to prepare burgers for grilling and a smedley of vegetables. My understanding is people will arrive some time between 5:30 and 6 PM. It's now 5 PM and I have to hustle...

But I have not neglected my daily 10 minute free write. I said I would do one every day and even though I have neglected it in the past, today is not going to be one of those times.


10 Minutes - My Vacation is Almost Over

Hi. It's Joe.

As promised, I am cranking out a 10 minute free write, just before I go to bed on my last night of vacation in Colorado. It is actually 11 minutes after midnight, so I am backdating this to yesterday at 4:20 PM. Then the post will look like it was posted at 4:20 on 4/20.

In the morning I will chill with sis in the AM before she has to go to work teaching at the local college. Then I will cruise up to Denver in my rented car and fly non-stop back to Milwaukee to resume my awesome rock-n-roll and writing life.

I could write all day long, as I have said before. It is kind of an addiction, although a good one with no side effects and even some income associated with it. Music is an addiction too. I guess this is what happens to a guy when you don't drink or do drugs. All that extra brain power has to go to something. In my case it is music and writing, and when I don't feel like doing those things, which is rare, I go bicycling or running.

I had my first real taste of making money while I sleep. It wasn't much - only $87 - but I went to sleep and woke up with extra money in my pocket. It was fairly simple to do. I basically just helped other people sell stuff and got a kickback. They call it a commission, but it's a kickback. Why? Because I like the word kickback better. It sounds like something more under the table and less legitimate. It's hard for me to feel legitimate about making money selling someone else's products. I have no store, no inventory, no work hours to keep, no clients to call, and they give me money. The product, if you are curious, is free business cards.

You are probably thinking, "Wait! How does Joe make money selling something that is FREE?"

Well, it's called AFFILIATE MARKETING (or sometimes Web Marketing) and it's more than I can explain in 10 minutes, but let me just say it is easy and you can do it as easily as I can. CLICK HERE.



10 Minutes - My 5-Year Old Nephew's Got Game (Future Pickup Artist?)

Hi. It's Joe.

I haven't seen it in action yet, but my sister and her friends tell me that my 5-year old nephew Ty has game.

He does this thing where if he sees a pretty girl, no matter how young or old, he will wait for them to draw near then "faint."

When they ask him what's the matter, he gets a gleam in his eye and says something to the effect of, "Sometimes I faint when I see a girl as pretty as you are."

Man, I can't wait to see this in action before I have to leave on Wednesday. He's a juvenile pickup artist.

Today, my sister had to teach a class. She said she would be done by 2 PM, but it was more like 3:30 PM when she actually did get done. She puts a lot of effort and time into her teaching of art, and that's a good thing. I had plenty to do, mostly looking at mountains and breathing mountain air. I could do that all day, and she has a great view of the front range from both her house and the college.

She did take a break at lunch and we went over to the student cafeteria at Colorado College where she works. The college has this incentive program to get faculty members to mingle with students. Whoever got this idea past administration was a genius.

Basically, faculty get a $50 meal card good for 15 all-you-can-eat visits to the student cafeteria. That's $3.33 for all you can eat food - the students pay $7.50/meal. And it's good food. They have chefs on staff to concoct and serve up vegan entrees and other meaty things, a full salad bar, breakfast foods, ice cream, the usual fast food junk (although only idiots would eat this stuff with everything else that's available).

I'm on vacation, so I have more opportunities for 10 minute free writes. Remember, it's a minimum of 10 minutes of free writing per day. It doesn't roll over, so I still have to write tomorrow even though I did at least two free writes today.

But getting money to do the one thing I love and could do all day is a no brainer.


10 Minutes - Garden of the Gods

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm still in Colorado.

My sister's new house is within eye sight, if not ear shot, of the Garden of the Gods, a pristine (except for all the humans infesting it) and sacred scenic area with these big slabs of red rock that shoot up into the air.

I'm a little bit surprised that they still call it Garden of the Gods. Since Colorado Springs, CO is such a bastion of fundamentalist right-wing Christians, I thought for sure by now someone would have petitioned to re-name it "Garden of the One True God (Subtitle: Whose only begotten son, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, died for ours sins...)."

But no one has yet, and that's a good thing.

My sister teaches art out here. It doesn't get much cushier than that. Well, it does actually...

She teaches at Colorado College, a university that uses a "block system" of classes. Students take just one class intensively for 3.5 weeks. This means my sister doesn't have to multitask as much as professors at other academic institutions do. She can focus on just teaching the one class and not have to shift focus until the 3.5 weeks is up.

I like the sound of that. I am not a multitasker either. It is much better to work on one thing intensively to get it done and get it done well. Quality trumps quantity in my view.

Anyway, Kate (my sis) is teaching her class right now. In about 20 minutes she gets a break for lunch and we will go get something to eat. In the meanwhile, I am cranking away on one of the office computers in the Art Department of CC where she works. So far, no one has needed to get on the computer so I have been uninterrupted. That's sweet.

I keep making money with my free business cards adwords campaign. Good stuff.



15 Minutes - I'm in Colorado (Where Are You?)

Hi. It's Joe.

I am safely in Colorado.

To be precise, I am in Colorado Springs, CO, where my sister lives. I am at her house and we are about to eat dinner.

Self employment is awesome. Ironically, it only allowed me four days to travel and visit family. But even though I work close to 80 hours per week on my music business and science & technical writing, it is not like working.

It is pure pleasure. The only times it isn't is just before tax time, or when I have to deal with bureaucracies of any type. But usually right after tax day, I am even happier because of the huge refund my accountant usually gets me. It's nice when your lifestyle is writing and music, and just about everything you do is tax deductible.

Some people think self-employment is like unemployment. Thankfully, the IRS doesn't think so. They recognize Cactus Joe Productions LLC as a full-fledged business. It's so easy to do too. I just basically have to earn money doing what I love.

For example, last night I played music for people for about 3 hours and made about $50 + free food and drink (of course, as a straight-edge musician, that doesn't add up to much...maybe $10). My expenses were about $6, not including mileage which is an expense handled differently at tax time and beyond the scope of this blog post.

Now if I could just play music for people five days a week and get $50 each time, I'd be pulling in about $1000/month, which is my current cost of living. I have a roommate who pays half the rent and that offsets a large chunk of my cost of living. The problem is getting gigs five days a week. That's tough, at least garnering the aforementioned $50 that frequently. As it is, I usually perform about three days a week on average and seldom achieve $50 for that effort. It is usually closer to $25/gig = $75/week = $300/month.

That's kind of like a baseline. I also teach bass lessons and I'm a freelance writer on various projects for people who need it. That brings in some more money. During the summer, the live music band gigs pay a lot better and the bands perform more frequently.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to license some of my independent rock-n-roll music to film and TV. My song writing is excellent, I know that and feel I can say it without being vain, based on peer-reviews I've received. I am ever improving on the quality of production of my recordings.

I have a home recording studio for music, and I am teaching myself the ins and outs of recording. It turns out some of my cousins on my dad's side were 80s rock musicians and engineers/producers with their own music recording studio.

Every so often, I get some feedback and input from them about how I can improve the recording quality of my songs. For example, my cousin Nils Rognerud (he's Norwegian by birth, now lives in L.A.) told me how to improve the guitar sound in GUPPY EFFECT's AC/DC-esque hard rock motorcycle freedom song "ROAD HOG."

Listen to it HERE.



10 Minutes - Pubs With Live Music

Hi. It's Joe.

I think Madison WI needs a better live music guide than what it currently has.

The Isthmus online has a cumbersome search engine that makes finding local live music a real pain. For all intents and purposes it is useless for bands and musicians to promote themselves.

The Onion's AV Club is very much a "CLUB." If you don't know someone there, you don't exist.

Both online directories publish local music shows faithfully. But there is no easy way to search for specific shows by genre or other meta data.

When it comes to recording live music, and live music downloads, music licensing and promotion services like BROADJAM.COM are useful. This is because they incorporate a lot of meta data into their site. If a band or musician is creative with meta data and tags, someone searching BROADJAM.COM can easily find what they are looking for.

There is a lot of live rocking going on the next week or so, culminating with GUPPY EFFECT at Up North Bar in Madison WI on Saturday 4/24 from 8 to 11 PM. That show is going to be awesome.



10 Minutes - Make a Date of Mother's Day Crafts

Hi. It's Joe.

Question: What day is Mother's Day?

Answer: The date of Mother's Day is May 9th, 2010.

If you are like me, you have no clue what would make a good Mother's Day gift and you are desperately looking for ideas.

Picking from among all the Mother's Day greeting cards usually isn't too hard. There is usually one showing some eye-catching humorous Mother's Day clip art and you say, "That works!"

But selecting a Mother's Day gift that is meaningful is hard. Mother's Day gift baskets are so cliche, and you may as well just print "Hi Mom. Couldn't think of anything, so here's a gift basket." right on there.

Sometimes, when it comes to Mother's Day ideas, you need to think outside the box.

One thing that is a little bit different than buying a Mother's Day gift is to make Mother's Day crafts. If you will be spending Mother's Day with your mother, this is a great Mother's Day idea. You can go to one of those what I call "bead stores" and get the fixings for some Mother's Day jewelry. Then spend the day making stuff.

You may have lots of other Mother's Day ideas, but try to get away from the outdated and silly idea of a GIFT and think of other Mother's Day things to make or do. And for God's sake don't get her a gift basket!


10 Minutes - Singing Birthday Cards

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm dog tired.

I need Rhodiola for energy, but it is too late at night. I want to sleep but I promised to do 10 minutes of free writing per day, and I swore that it was doable. So I am doing it.

I had to get up at 7 AM today to go to a half day class in Madison.

I learned a lot. But I was tired. I'm not used to getting up that early now that I am self-employed.

Yep. I am still not working for THE MAN, although I am exploring some options for "underwriting" from corporate America at the moment.

Then tonight my band hosted my roommate Matt's birthday party at Fat Boyz in Fort Atkinson WI. It was a blast, but now I am drained.

Anyway, the class was about copywriting for web sites. I decided after the class that I am going to try an experiment. The whole thing about writing marketing copy is to let your audience know what's in it for them.

On my indie rock-n-roll band's web site, I have had a tendency to try to encourage fans of our music to attend UPCOMING shows.

But since anything can happen at shows, it is difficult to persuade people to come to a show that hasn't happened yet, especially when they have other options available that are more certain in terms of outcome, even if lamer. Sure, I can speculate on what a great time it will be, how great the band will be, how many phone numbers they will get. But I don't know for sure. Audiences don't like uncertainty.

So I said, how can I encourage certainty? The dim light bulb that flickered to life over my head showed me that I should write my WEEKLY GUPDATE posts retrospectively, in the past tense. I can describe with utter certainty what happened, how much fun people had, and the crazy antics of people at recent shows.

Two things should then happen. Over time people will begin to see that my rock band's shows are consistently awesome. That's number one. And number two is that they will quickly begin to regret not coming to more shows and start coming.

This is my theory on paper. I am directly showing people exactly what is in it for them (or could have been if they came to the last show). It's fact, to the best extent my descriptive writing ability can convey it. And reality is unshakeable truth, no matter how much you may try to avoid it.

I'm starting this experiment tomorrow with the next installmend of the WEEKLY GUPDATE. You'll have to tell me what you think.



30 Minutes - David Sedaris and Hugh Hamrick

Hi. It's Joe.

I went and saw David Sedaris tonight with a friend. He spoke at the Overture Center in Madison. I hope that one day I can stand before people and entertain them by doing no more than reading from my own book. It was better than stand-up comedy.

I first read "Naked" by David Sedaris commuting on the Metrarail train to North Chicago IL when I worked at Abbott Laboratories as a fresh newbie technical writer out of journalism school (Masters degree thank you very much!), naive to corporate America.

His writing is so hilarious that I would often burst into uncontrollable laughter on the train, startling the poor brain dead, coffee drinking, WSJ reading business commuters, who scowled at me for enjoying my morning commute far too much.

The show was inspirational. Nothing more than him reading his own work and commenting on it, hilariously. He is so humble, but incredibly entertaining. Watching and listening to David Sedaris, I realized it is OK to sit around all day writing. You can even make a living doing it, if you have some talent and a lot of motivation. Practice is 90% of talent.

David Sedaris inspires me to write and do it with all my might. I hope I can one day be as good a writer as him and stand before a sold out concert hall reading my own work. That would be awesome!

I have also read "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris, equally awesome and funny. I want to read more, but those two books are definitely classic David Sedaris, essential to any bookshelf and/or coffee table.

David Sedaris is openly gay, and his boyfriend is Hugh Hamrick. I only put Hugh's name in the title and mention that fact because his name turns out to be an excellent keyword for search engine optimization. I want people to read my writing on this blog, maybe even SUBSCRIBE FREE or donate a coffee, although I don't care if they do. So David Sedaris related keywords that attract search engine traffic are going to bring people here who are perhaps interested in what I have to say. Logical. But I should probably thank Hugh Hamrick for letting me exploit his name for purposes of generating readership. Thanks Hugh! Your boyfriend is awesome.

I won't lie to you. My general business model behind this Joe's Coffee Fix blog is to eventually make passive income through coffee donations and affiliate marketing commissions by doing a minimum of 10 minutes of (albeit high quality) writing work each day. Writing that is interesting enough to make people want to come here and read it. More than 10 minutes is optional, if I am feeling saucy. But just think of it...

If I can show writers that they can make a decent living just by blogging 10 minutes every day, allowing them to pursue their dreams while getting cash from happy generous readers and THE MAN by selling other people's stuff, why not?

Is this so wrong? It's reality, and entertainment to watch and see if it can be done. Initially, your gut tells you this is exploitative. Is it? How am I exploiting you? I'm not controlling you. I believe you have free will and a mind of your own. You enjoy reading what I write here, right? That is why you are still reading, right?

So there are a few banner ads floating around on the page. They may be annoying or distracting, but I'm not spending my 10 minutes of free writing time encouraging you to click on the ads and go buy stuff. I just put ads on here for things I use and/or endorse. It's all stuff I am fairly passionate about, and you might be too, in which case it's easier for you to fulfill your desires here. Win-win.

I don't care if you do anything but read and enjoy this site. I don't want you to do anything else. My goal is simply to write and share it with you.

I love writing, and its a passion I share with David Sedaris. It connects us. It makes us brethren.

My main goal is for my writing to touch you. If I have done that, you may or may not feel like rewarding me with a coffee donation or SUBSCRIBING for free to this blog so you can read tomorrow's diatribe and the ones to follow - like I said, it's entertainment and you can watch my writing mature and develop as I rocket to fame and fortune (HA ha!). But whether you do or don't, it won't slow me down one bit. I write. I was born to do it, and I'd rather do it than work a real job for THE MAN any day. You might want to throw me a bone of support just to vicariously thwart the assholes in your life through me. That's fine too.

But maybe you resent me for "firing my boss" and choosing to pursue my dreams of writing (and music). Then maybe you won't visit this site and you won't donate coffee to my cause. OK then. That would be your loss, and I don't want any haters visiting this site anyway. It doesn't affect me one bit what you decide to do, because you are FREE just like me, and there are a lot more lovers in the world than there are haters, so I'm not too worried. Which one are you?

10 minutes is a small % of my busy day. I am happy to contribute 10 minutes (or more) of my time to write for you and to anyone else who stops by. All I want is for you to enjoy reading. And if you keep doing so because you like it, then I have succeeded. My readership is guaranteed, and thus my continued success. Tell a friend!

That is my only motivation. Your pleasure.



10 Minutes - My Red Coffee Maker

Hi. It's Joe.

As you've probably noticed, my blog posts here tend to travel far from the topic of coffee. So I thought I would go back to my roots for one post.

I started this blog ages ago, even before I "fired my boss" and became self-employed as a writer of songs and science communication documents. The reason was that there are quite a lot of good coffee-related niches for online product marketing.

I won't lie to you. I love coffee and I'm passionate about it. So I figured I could probably communicate pretty well with other coffee lovers and provide them with some useful information and links to cool coffee-related things.

It's just that my mind wanders a lot.

Anyway, I wanted to briefly cover a simple coffee-related topic here today, in my short 10 minutes of free writing. I'm not a coffee snob. I just want and need a decent-sized cup of strong coffee. It doesn't have to be a funny flavor or contain some crazy incarnation of dairy products. It just has to be good coffee.


I'll leave finding the best coffee beans up to you, reader. Personal tastes differ. Maybe you like low acid coffee or private label coffee or organic kona coffee or decaf gourmet coffee (Really? Decaf?). I'm really quite happy with the Food Club Columbian Supremo coffee I get at a discount with my Piggly Wiggly saver card.

When it comes to coffee makers I am both a simplist and a purist. I know simplist isn't a word. I made it up.

A coffee maker has to quickly pass hot (but not quite boiling) water over fairly fresh ground coffee beans and filter the solution thus rendered of particulates so that I can drink it. For some strange reason, this type of coffee maker is called a "drip coffee maker." But to be useful to me, it really has to be more of a flow of hot water than a "drip."

It needs only one button - ON.

I'm not so addicted to coffee that I need to program the coffee maker to make coffee while I am still asleep. I understand that some people like to wake up the the wafting aroma of freshly brewed coffee. I don't need that.

But I do need coffee soon after I get up, and that is why a coffee maker must quickly make coffee.

On the other hand, I do not need a coffee maker that automatically grinds whole beans and then brews them. I am content with pre-ground coffee. When I have the luxury of whole beans, I kind of like grinding them in my simple, one-touch Braun coffee grinder.

There is something more tangible about grinding my own coffee beans. It feels more organic than letting a machine do it, even if a machine does the other hot water and filtering part.

I like to drink two cups of coffee in the course of the morning as I work. Of course, to me a "cup" of coffee is more like a "small soup bowl" of coffee. One of my cups is probably 2.5-3 actual measured CUPS of liquid.

That's all I got.



10 Minutes - Zen Buddhism for Beginners and Confused Kids With Lots of Teen Angst

Hi. It's Joe.

A friend of mine recently returned to me the copy of Brad Warner's humble book, "Hardcore Zen," which I'd forgotten I had lent to her.

I have seldom in my life read a book twice, mostly because of laziness and a lack of time management that precludes me from reading most books even once!

I had casually placed "Hardcore Zen" on the dining room table, planning to return it to the bookshelf in my study some time soon, possibly without ever looking at it again.

But as I sat down for dinner the next night, I began paging through it and again found myself consuming its contents as voraciously as I did my dinner. Thus, a meal that usually lasts about 30 minutes went well over two hours. It was worth it.

This is a well written book and I am going to read it a second time. It isn't just because the author is a punk rock bass player, although I definitely relate to him on that level.

The book just flows. There is no other way to explain it. It is full of typographical errors, a pet peeve of mine that has caused me to quit reading many other less engrossing screeds. Somehow, I gloss over those when I am reading this book.

Brad Warner's subsequent book "Sit Down and Shut Up" is about the practice of Zen Buddhism itself and it is kind of dull.

But "Hardcore Zen," his first book, is more transcendent of the actual practice of Zen. I suppose that is appropos.

"Hardcore Zen" is more of a biography about truth and life from the Zen Buddhist perspective. Thus, it seems less preachy and also tells a kickass story with a moral lesson.

Reality is the one thing that THE MAN cannot do a goddam thing about. It's an untouchable truth no matter how far you want to bury your head in the sand. And that's awesome.


30 Minutes - Good Running Shoes Get You Going But Bicycling Gets You Where You Are Going

Hi. It's Joe.

I wouldn't actually say I like exercise.

But I like the way I feel after exercise.

It fills me with euphoria, especially after I go for a run.

I guess this is the "runner's high."

And I like how I look after exercising for a few weeks.

I burn off all that winter fat and I look all toned.

I definitely like bicycling more than running when I am doing it.

Running is harder than bicycling.

But the post-exercise "high" feeling after bicycling is negligible compared to the one after running.

So I guess this is the cost/benefit balance.

You have to work harder to get a better "high."

The nice thing about the exercise high is that it's not addictive.

This is also a down side.

I know I should run or bicycle daily.

When I make the time and do it, I feel awesome.

It is the motivation to actually do it that is lacking.

Once I get my shorts and running shoes on, then I am past the point of no return.

But I do procrastinate so to get to that point.

It's like my subconscious mind tries to run down the clock until I don't have enough time to properly exercise.

I usually need about an hour to run, including prep and cleanup.

It's about two hours for bicycling because I have to do it for longer to feel like I get the same workout.

It is harder to burn calories bicycling.

I think it is because you are coasting downhill about half the time on a bike.

But with running, you still have to run, even on the downhills.

Also, I am pretty sure division by pi (3.1415...) factors into bicycling somehow.

That is probably why fitness experts equate bicycling 10 miles with running 3 miles (actually 5K, which is 3.2 miles and close enough to pi in my reckoning).

That makes sense to me.

I also like to run at the dog park with Buddy.

When I do that, I need about 90 minutes, to factor in the 20 minute drive each way.

No, I definitely do not have a bicycling or running addiction.

Running makes me overheat sometimes.

Even if I jump in a cool shower after a run, it is not enough to cool me down and when I get out of the shower I start sweating again, totally defeating the purpose of the shower.

If I go to the dog park to run, then I can open the windows of the car on my drive home and I am usually cool by the time I get home and shower.

The down side of that is that I sweat all over my car seats, notwithstanding the seat covers I have on them.

I am an amateur runner and bicyclist.

I do both for fun.

I don't know what's the best running shoe or road bike.

I don't care.

My running shoes work fine.

My bicycle works fine.

I don't read running shoe reviews.

I don't listen to bicycle pros when they tell me how awesome their $5,000 bicycle is.

Mine was $500 when I bought it 15 years ago, and it's never had a problem getting me from point A to point B at a decent speed.

Trek road bikes are cool, but I don't have one.

Last night I biked to Lake Mills with my friend Erin.

She rides a touring road bike made by REI.

We ate pizza at Timber Creek in Lake Mills.

It was yummy.

By the time we got back to my house, it was dark.

We watched the DVD of my RAGBRAI trip in 2006.

I think it convinced her to go.

My bicycle team is TEAM CRAZY BIRD from Portland, OR.

2010 is a RAGBRAI year for us.



10 Minutes - Exposure PR and Targeted Internet Marketing

Hi. It's Joe.

I did two (2) 20-mile bike rides this weekend. One on Saturday and one on Sunday.

I am sorry I have been lax on the 10 minute free writes the last couple of days.

I have no excuse. Like I said before, I can always find 10 minutes.

I just didn't want to. I had two awesome rock shows with classic rock soul funkadelic jam band PEOPLE BROTHERS, and they kept me occupied.

Then there was the biking. I also had coffee with my friend Sherry on Saturday morning. She was on her way to the Cambridge Public Library to pick up a book on the new rules of marketing and PR for the Internet age, which I had recommended to her.

It's a great read and explains really well how people no longer have to rely on THE MAN (corporate controlled mass media) to get their message out to audiences.

This is great news for independent musicians who either can't or won't deal with THE MAN's exploitative business models. You can just START A BLOG and get the word out to everyone with a computer, assuming you can draw them to your blog and attract their attention.

And that is exactly what the NEW RULES OF MARKETING AND PR are all about. How to attract attention, and thus web traffic, to your site.

I find it odd that WORDPRESS is so negative when it comes to search engine optimizing (SEO), and they don't allow blogs that are thusly optimized. I mean, that's what Internet Marketing is all about. You want content that is relevant to your readers so that when they search GOOGLE, your web site or blog is more likely to get a hit.

It's logical. It's the way the Internet is supposed to work. I think GOOGLE and WORDPRESS might be at loggerheads on this. I side with GOOGLE. When someone searches for my web site, I want them to find it. And for that to happen, it has to be search engine optimized to a particular topic or niche market. What am I missing?



10 Minutes - Enema for Health: The Coffee Enema Cleanse

Hi. It's Joe.

Did you know there is a common recognized colon cleanse therapy that involves liquidating your butt with coffee?

Yeah. It's for real (although "legit" is probably too strong of a word...). It's a colonic enema using coffee. I first heard about this treatment when I worked in R&D at the vitamin company years ago. There were a lot of hippy trippy types and coffee enemas were, and still are, all the rage on the alternative health care scene, and these practitioners are gung ho to tell you all about the therapeutic value of a medical enema. I learned more than I ever wanted to (which was very little).

What's news to me though is that now there is a brand of shitty coffee (no pun intended...or maybe it was, I guess) that markets itself to the coffee enema set.


Say what you will about coffee enemas and the one-way directionality of the human rectum, it's impressive to me that a coffee manufacturer, recognizing the inferiority of its product as a beverage, would see an opportunity here and change their target niche entirely. A lot of businesses might have just flushed their product idea down the toilet (no pun inten...oh, never mind!). But not these guys.

So if you are into medical enema giving or receiving, check them out. But do NOT tell me about your coffee enema experiences. I do not want to know.

Unless you are a trained "therapist" named Fraulein Gretchen...



10 Minutes - Busking for Books at the Dane County Farmer's Market on Saturday 4/17

Hi. It's Joe.

On Saturday April 17, 2010, a few of us Madison-area acoustical musicians will "busk for books" at the Dane County Farmer's Market (a.k.a., the Madison WI Farmer's Market).

It officially begins at 1 PM, right after the Saturday farmer's market ends. However, I and a few others will probably start busking at the farmer's market early in the morning and donating ALL the cash to help kids who "can't read so good."

That's over a week off yet. I just wanted to let you know so you can mark it down in whatever passes for a date book in your world. That Saturday also marks the first outdoor occurrence of the Madison Farmer's Market for 2010, so it is expected to be huge, and that means a lot of kids who would never be able to read in their life will now be able to, and you can help make it happen by donating your leftover farmer's market money to the people busking songs that day, after lunch.

Speaking of busking, I am late for a new open mic night I found out about. It is tonight above Fat Boyz in Fort Atkinson WI. I still have to shower and get ready. But like I have said many times, there is always time to make 10 minutes for a free write. And with that I am about done...


10 Minutes - The Best Energy Drink Ingredient

Hi. It's Joe.

Today I wrote a blog post about Rhodiola rosea extract effects on my CJ SCIENTIFIC BLOG.

It was titled Adaptogen Rhodiola Rosea Extract Effects + Brain Toniq (with the best energy drink ingredients). I won't lie to you. Those title keywords are primo.

There is an energy drink called BRAIN TONIQ that uses Rhodiola as its main ingredient and contains no sugar or caffeine.

I have supplemented with Rhodiola and I can tell you that it works really well to protect against the effects of stress. It gives a sense of focus and well-being without the side effects of stimulants. I grant you that it could very well be the "placebo" effect, and that's totally fine with me. The "placebo" effect is well documented and real, so I am OK with it.

Anyway, someone from Brain Toniq thought my blog post was cool enough to donate to BUY JOE A CUP O' JOE (i.e., this site...). I thank them for that.

In return, I added them to my list of Caffeinators over there on the right.



Cactus Joe's Americana Music Download is Just $1 (this week only...)

Hi Friends!

I'm feeling saucy.

So in honor of MUSIC MONDAY (it's a Twitter thing), I decided to make my album Cactus Joe's "Inspirado" available for download IN IT'S ENTIRETY for just $1 (11 of my best songs of 2007).

And it will be so for this entire WEEK! (but only this week...unless I feel saucy next week.)

Visit www.cdbaby.com/cactusjoe to preview it and download it for just a buck!

Also, if you download it and leave a written review of the record on CD BABY, I will give you a free AUTOGRAPHED copy of the actual CD (while supplies last, so don't delay!).

10 More Minutes - For Pete's Sake Don't Drink Coffee at Night

Hi. It's Joe.

It's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep.

It's because I was cheap and when I went to Come Back Inn open mic night tonight I decided to drink coffee instead of, well, just about anything else.

I am wired for speed! And that sucks because I have to get up at 8:30 AM for a meeting tomorrow morning. I am going to be doing some freelance writing for a client and she is going to give me an overview of the project at her office in Fort Atkinson, WI.

I'll bet she is sound asleep right now.

It's ironic. The whole reason I started this blog in the first place was because of coffee. Specialty coffees are a niche market - like, for example, Espresso Coffee Beans (different than regular beans...). A lot of people (myself included) are coffee snobs. We like a good cup o' joe. A lot of people do, which is why a lot of people buy coffee beans, especially online.

Flavored decaf coffee is another one. I guess if you are going to drink decaf, it may as well taste good. I should have drank decaf (or nothing) tonight. Organic fair trade coffee is in demand because it kills, maims and makes life miserable for fewer people in the world.

So why did I drink mediocre, albeit strong, bar coffee tonight? It tasted just like the stuff you would get at any greasy spoon diner. I drank three cups. I'm an idiot.



10 Minutes - Glass Nickel Pizza

Hi. It's Joe.

It's Monday. That means it is open mic night at the Come Back Inn in Madison WI. I don't know what is going on at Glass Nickel Pizza in Madison tonight. I only put that in the title because Market Samurai tells me it is a BOMB keyword for a blog title, and it doesn't hurt to pepper it into a blog post either.

Glass Nickel Pizza does have excellent pizza. They also host live music, although as I said, I have no idea if they are hosting it tonight. But I am sure their pizza is as excellent as ever tonight. So if you are hankering for pizza, visit them. You can even ORDER A PIZZA online, which is probably why the Internet traffic is so good with them. If only they had an affiliate program...

Anyway, Come Back Inn is where I will be tonight from about 9 PM until midnight. I will probably eat some $0.50 cent tacos. I will definitely rock the mic. You should come.

I am going to see if my band, GUPPY EFFECT, wants to attend and perform unplugged. Maybe I can get a few friends to go too.


10 Minutes - Raised Bed Garden Design

Hi. It's Joe.

I am teaching myself search engine optimization the way I teach myself most things. Trial and error.

Today, I posted a blog on my CJ Scientific Communication site about RAISED BED GARDEN DESIGN, using keyword and title optimization. It turns out that particular keyword phrase is not over-used on the Internet, but is searched for fairly regularly. That makes it, theoretically, a good keyword for optimization of web pages. I figured, since it is the gardening time of year, it might be a good topic to have floating in the Internet space.

When I searched for "raised bed garden design" (in quotes), my blog post was ranked #32 out of 4,860 pages that Google pulled in as relevant. If my math is right (and it often isn't), that puts my blog post in the 99th percentile. That's a solid A+ in anyone's book.

Of course, to ever get any traffic to my blog post requires that it rank in the top 10 of all pages pulled in by Google. Rarely do people click through to less highly ranked pages, because they trust Google to give them the most relevant pages up front.

What I am trying to learn through trial and error is if backlinking to the other blog post garners me any additional rank.

I've put a link to that blog post on this page a couple times. As soon as I post this blog, in theory Google is going to see an increase in backlinkage to the other blog. Now this is entirely speculative.

As I said, I work well using trial and error. It's done me right my whole life. It may be that readers of this blog have to CLICK ON THE LINK and actually go to the other blog before it adds cred to that blog. Maybe I need to register the other blog post in Google's blog registration thingy, whatever that is called. See, I'm amateur yet.

It may also be that one backlink on this blog is as good as 50. Maybe better. Google seemingly knows when backlinks are being exploited and adjusts accordingly to avoid spammers (and good for them). Any outcome is a success. This is an EXPERIMENT. Results are observed, hypotheses adjusted, and I try again - and again, and again. Life is a process.

Anyway, my 10 minutes is rapidly evaporating. I wanted to conclude with a brief example of how trial and error has worked for me. I have also been teaching myself how to record and produce better music, so that I can try to get MY MUSIC placed in film and television licensing opportunities. My only real goal with that is to be able to see a movie or a TV show and hear one of my songs playing on a car radio or a jukebox in the background of a scene. Nothing more. Well, I want some money for that too. But nothing more than money and hearing my song brightening the lives of movie or TV people.

I ramble. So here's the example of trial and error's FREE benefits on my life. I have two versions of a song I wrote, called "A Romeo and Juliet Thing." One was recorded over a year ago, before I embarked on my one year of total immersion as a self-employed musician/producer, training myself (by trial and error) to record and produce songs in my home studio that are "broadcast quality" (as required for film and TV).

I would love it if you would compare and contrast these versions and comment below.

Version 1 (recorded in February 2009): A ROMEO AND JULIET THING #1: CLICK HERE

Version 2 (recorded in February 2010): A ROMEO AND JULIET THING #2: CLICK HERE

It may be that version 1 is actually better in your valued opinion. There is something to be said for using artificial drum loops. They are flawless, albeit monotonous. Real drummers make mistakes, but they have "feeling." So it's kind of subjective, depending on what you like. But try to be as objective as possible. Judge them on overall musicality and sound quality. Can you hear everything? Can you dance to it? Is it real?

I am really open minded and I can take constructive critique. It makes me better. That is what trial and error is all about, little quantum leaps of improvement, tiny differential slices of asymptotic perfection. OK, my head just exploded.

Thanks for listening.


30 Minutes - Indie Rock and Roll

Hi. It's Joe.

I like indie rock music. That is, independent rock-n-roll music. Some people spell it "indy" rock. Same thing.

The key word is "independent." It means independent of THE MAN, who has a bad tendency to ruin otherwise good music (and just about everything else).

Just look at what happened to indie rockers Kings of Leon. They recently rose to superstardom thanks to their commercial and relatively lame single "Sex on Fire," but I would posit to you that their best work comes out of their early indie band years.

Stuff like "Molly's Chamber's" and "Red Morning Light," which are musically awesome and sexually raw and uninhibited the way rock-n-roll was meant to be.

"Molly's Chamber's" was used in a car commercial a couple of years ago, but no one knew it was Kings of Leon, so that made it kind of cool. But THE MAN must have figured it out, because now that droning and monotonous song "Sex on Fire" is all anyone ever associates with them, and that means few people will take the initiative to go and seek out the older, kickass material like "Red Morning Light."

Anyhow, I am a member of BROADJAM, a Wisconsin-based service that helps indie musicians place their music in publishing and licensing opportunities. I love it. One of my original songs, "A Romeo and Juliet Thing," recently ranked at 93% (a solid A-minus) for a listing looking for romantic pop rock songs. It is that. To get picked, most songs have to rank at least over 95%, but there is always a chance.

I saw a listing today that requested songs with a sound similar to the Ting Tings.

Yeah, I never heard of them either. So I went to AMAZON and listened to a few previews. They are a decent band, with catchy hooky indie pop rock songs and a unique female front person.

Here's a clip.

I generally don't buy indie rock cds, and the Ting Tings are no exception. CDs are so 20th century. But I do sometimes download MP3s, and I would consider supporting the Ting Tings by downloading one or two of their best songs, once I figure out what those are.

This illustrates a major problem that indie bands have (and my band is no exception), getting fans to PAY FOR their music. Most stuff is obtainable for FREE somewhere, or can be "YouTubed." Video is all the rage these days. People don't have the same devotion to bands that they used to, enough to buy music and support the band. Now you have to have t-shirts and thongs and other cool things. That is why I have taken a unique approach to my band's business model, and I try to get our recorded songs licensed for commercial use via BROADJAM, which can be quite lucrative if a song is selected. That's the rub. You have to find the right opportunities and then have a better song than the competition (including recording and production quality, which tends to be the deciding factor nowadays).

The Ting Tings don't sound much like my band, except for their energetic sound, unsullied by the hands of THE MAN. And that's OK.

I have thought about getting a chick singer to front GUPPY EFFECT. But it is hard to find a hard rocking woman who has her wits about her and a good business vision for a band. At least, I haven't had the fortune to find one. If you are out there perfect female rocker woman, please get ahold of me.



10 Minutes - Internet Marketing in the Family

Hi. It's Joe.

So, I found out through my dad that my cousin Jon (pronounced "Yon" because he is Norwegian) has written a book on search engine optimization (SEO).

And not just ANY book, but the "ultimate" guide to SEO.

I knew that my other cousin Nils (Jon's brother) was an expert at Google Adwords, but I did not know it ran in the family. That must be why I enjoy it too. Genetics. I feel kind of like Internet Marketing Mafioso now.

The funny thing is when I added him on TWITTER, I got this automated reply back: jonrognerud: Hey! I'm sending an automatic message here - but, I'm real. Can we talk? Try: http://twt.tl/PEaPiob - love to learn more about you.

It's funny because I already knew he was real, and he already knows a lot about me, but I guess it's cool if he learns MORE about me. Except, the link he put in there just goes to a sales page for his book and doesn't really have any way for him to learn more about me, except my name, e-mail, and credit card info.

I downloaded Jon's free e-book though. It's got some good information. Not much that I didn't already know, but it's good to get reinforcement sometimes.

I've been exercising a lot. I did a 20 mile bike ride yesterday, portions of which were into a stiff headwind. It felt good, although my legs were like jelly afterwards. I had a show last night and I had difficulty jumping around as crazily as I usually do.

I have another show tonight, with PEOPLE BROTHERS at Wiggie's in Madison WI. I am hoping to have dinner with a new friend beforehand, but I have to see what time the gig is at, to know if I have time. I also want to squeeze in a short run too.

The power was out today, so I did not do much work. Instead, I read books. That was fun, but made me sleepy, so I fell back asleep and was completely useless for most of the rest of the day.

Oh well, it's a Saturday, and when you are self-employed you can organize your time in whatever way works best for you.



10 Minutes - Life is GOOD!

Hi. It's Joe.

I'm about to go on a 25 mile bike ride as soon as I finish this post, braving a strong wind and the chance of lightning to do so.

You see, accomplishing important things is all about will and motivation - mind over matter.

If you want to be self-employed, as I am, all you really need to do is face your fear and make it happen. This is true of anything in life.

Most people don't pursue their dreams, large or small, out of apathy or fear. If you can eliminate those obstacles, there is nothing you can't do, or die trying. We live in a culture of fear.

But there is also something to be said for the POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING. I was always a skeptic about new agey things like THE SECRET.

But not anymore. I have seen it happen, both to myself and other people (usually the negative aspect of it in others...where bad things manifest due to negativity). I don't believe it is some kind of religious or spiritual thing. I think it is just mind over matter.

For the past year I have been self-employed. It wasn't magic.

I researched for a year before I "fired my boss" and became my own "jefe." Being my own boss is nothing more than focus and discipline. I love what I do. So I don't mind doing it 80 hours per week.

I could slack off, party, watch TV, play video games, socialize. That is what most people do AFTER WORK. That's "employee" mentality. But "entrepreneur" mentality is all about profiting from actions that you are passionate about. In my case, it is writing and music.

Apil 1, 2010, marked the one year anniversary of my self-employment and freedom from THE MAN. That was my goal. But thankfully, I was successful enough that I can keep it going. Music is really taking off, and now I have writing opportunities knocking at my door.

I just scored a freelance writing job that pretty much fell in my lap (POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING?).