10 Minutes - Memorial Day Weekend

Hi. It's Joe.

I had a very relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

I remembered to mow the yard on Monday, which I had off from work. While I was doing that, I noticed that the rhubarb was overgrown and I decided to harvest a bunch of it.

Now I need to find something to do with it all. I suppose I will make some baked goods. Rhubarb has a strange smell. I wonder how and why people decided it would be a good basis for baked foods.

I also put up a bird feeder and laid some landscape fabric in my yard for a future Prairie Garden. The landscape fabric is black and over the course of the summer, solar heating and a lack of sunlight transmission through the fabric will neutralize the grass and weeds (along with weed seeds) on that patch of ground. Next spring, I will innoculate it with prairie wildflower seeds, which will go through a season of vegetative growth, putting down roots, and two years from now it should explode in wildflower radiance. Talk about an exercise in Zen discipline.

I was going to go to Alt Brat Fest on Sunday, in protest of Actual Brat Fest, but thunderstorms deterred me. Instead, on Monday night, I bought a bunch of Klement's brand (not Walker-supporting Johnsonville brand) brats and Italian sausages and had my own Brat Fest at home.

Just so you know, for future reference, Klement's brand brats and Italian sausages do not contain any MSG or toxic nitrates (although they use less toxic BHA and citric acid as "freshness enhancers"). It is these additives that make you feel disgusting after eating a corporate Johnsonville brat. No joke. MSG is a mild neurotoxin and nitrates are liver toxins that can, over time, cause liver (as well as colon) cancer.

Monday during the day, I cruised down to Rockforf IL and met Caitlin, her brother, and grandparents, at the intercity bus depot there (the Clocktower). After we saw off Caitlin's brother (to Ohare Airport and, ultimately, Zambia Africa), we went for ice cream at the Machine Shed.

All told, a decent weekend.




10 Minutes - Paleo Diet New Edish

Hi. It's Joe.

In just 10 minutes I will check my Google Analytics blog stats. I have been crazy blogging lately, just for something to do. It hones my writing super skills.

I have still been doing my photo food diary for the month of May. I occasionally forget to photograph a dish that I eat, either because I am so hungry that I can't wait, or it slips my low blood sugar addled brain.

I saw that a new edition of Loren Cordain's "Paleo Diet" is out.

I highly endorse this dietary concept from an evolutionary perspective. Humans survived largely on wild foods foraged from nature for millions of years and we are genetically programmed to thrive on them. So if you can make you diet more hunter-gatherer-like, you will rule.



10 Minutes - No Rapture. Perplexed.

Hi. It's Joe.

I can't lie to you. I am a little bummed there was no Rapture today. Not because I expected to be chosen. I didn't. But because there was no ensuing zombie apocalypse.

You see, when the earth opens up to release all the dead from their graves, a lot of zombies get unleashed. These are dead people who either weren't Christians or were not very good Christians (you know, Dick Cheney types). They get re-animated in the whole Rapture process, but they don't get lifted up to Heaven, and some of them are pretty pissed off (you know, Dick Cheney types).

Of course, those of us still living then have to deal with this zombie threat for the next five (5) months until, as prophecy has it, God comes back and obliterates the whole planet.

That, of course, presents another problem. While fighting hordes of zombies, the remaining humans also need to make it to Area 51 in New Mexico and find the alien spacecraft that is there, in time to escape into space before the complete and total annihilation of earth by the Hand of God. After that, it is basic human ingenuity to find our way through the wormhole to the solar system that the aliens come from. Hopefully, they aren't hostile. But if they are, the human colonists can fight for survival in the alien wilderness.

That is until their God decides he has had enough of the destructive ways and obliterates them too.



10 Minutes - This Does Not Suck

Hi. It's Joe.

I just downloaded the Blogger app for my Droid.

This is me testing it out. Right now I am going to try taking a picture.

I took a picture of cheese. It is not the same picture of cheese I used on my whole food vitamins blog, http://wholefoodvitamins.posterous.com, a little while ago. But it is the same cheese.

I got a skin for my Droid. It might help to protect it if I accidentally drop it again. It snaps onto the phone. The only down side is that it is in 2 pieces, by necessity, because my Samsung Transform Droid (who I nicknamed Sammy the Tranny) has a slide out keypad. I am typing on said keypad now, and I would not trade it for the world. It is so much better than the screen keypad.

Well, I am rambling. Gonna go eat cheese, Chinese food, and some brown rice. Expect pictures on http://cjscicomm.blogspot.com. then I am gonna cook some chicken for later. Then who knows?

I am a little bummed that there have not been any reports of Rapturing and subsequent zombie attacks.




15 Minutes - Everyone Has a Super Power (Mine is Writing)

Hi. It's Joe.

I am writing this from the workplace. It is 5:45 PM. I should be going home. I was in to work at 8:15 today and didn't even get a real lunch. I know that's not really a super long day. I'm not complaining or anything. I am at a good stopping point and if there was important stuff to do, I would probably stay later.

But I can do this other stuff tomorrow. The only reason I am sticking around here is to blog for about 15 minutes, until 6 PM. This is for purely selfish reasons. I do not like to drive in rush hour traffic, and most of it has died down by about 6 PM. My workplace is separated from my home by basically the entire stretch of "Beltline Highway" in Madison WI via which everybody commutes. Madison WI has these big lakes, and even though they are really pretty and recreational and stuff, they pretty much preclude any kind of "direct route" for getting anywhere in Madison.

This "Beltline Highway" traverses the south side of the lakes and goes all the way from the lower east to the upper west side of Madison, via the lower west side of Madison. Most of that distance is business parks and dive bars, until the west suburb of Middleton, where my workplace is.

Although my commute is fairly long, at 33 miles one way, it really isn't that bad, IF I can avoid the rush hour traffic that pollutes and infects the approximately 1/3 of that distance (the "Beltline Highway" part). Most of the drive is on traffic free rural roads, and it's enjoyable. I can listen to music or news or nothing.

But then I hit the "Beltline Highway" and all the losers and a-holes start harshing my gig. I cannot stand tail-gaters, especially when there is nothing I can do about the cars in front of me that are slowing me down. I don't flick off these drivers. Instead, I place the American sign language sign for the letter "L" to my forehead and flash that at them. That is colloquial sign language for LOSER, which is what these people are.

And do you want to know why they are LOSERS (I mean, besides harshing my gig)? It is because they believe they are better than everyone else. They believe that their destination is more important than anyone else's and their getting there trumps everyone else's priorities. This is LAME (also an L word). Sometimes I give these people the benefit of the doubt, that they simply love their job SO MUCH, that they just can't wait to get there and start working.

But in reality, it is probably that they HATE their job so much, that they come in as late as possible, and so they have to speed to get there. To no avail, of course, because they will find me in their path, leading by example that nothing is so important you have to risk your life or getting a ticket for it. I will slow right down to give them a taste of the FREEDOM of laid back driving. I am saving them from anxiety and stress.

In actuality, I will just be honest, I have a couple of speeding tickets under my belt. That is PART of the reason why I don't speed more than 8 mph over the speed limit. But MOST of the reason is because I just like to take it (SL)EAZY. There is nothing in the world that is going to benefit from me getting someplace 2 or 3 minutes earlier. Nothing.

I love my current job because we can be flexible on when we come and go. We all put in over 40 hours a week. In my case it is because I love being a writer and it is my super power, so I don't mind doing it all the time. Heck, I am doing it right now. If I leave my house at 8:15 AM, I usually miss most rush hour traffic, but catch enough of it to annoy the tail gaters that I get in front of and then slow down. I get to work about 9 AM and then I do what has to be done at work, with the aim to leave no earlier than 6 PM, so I can avoid the bulk of the afternoon rush hour traffic.

Every other Tuesday, I have music lessons at 5:30 at the Madison Music Foundry, about half way along the "Beltline Highway" from my workplace. Traffic is always bad on Tuesdays and I really don't like it. So I have found short cuts.

My girlfriend asked me to stop swearing so much. I am going to try.



10 Minutes - The Year of Living Biblically

Hi. It's Joe.

I got the book "The Year of Living Biblically," by A. J. Jacobs, at the Lake Mills Library. My excellent GF Caitlin lent me her library card to check it out. I am going to read a bit of it tonight, before bed.

The book was originally recommended to me by a co-worker. I thought it sounded interesting. Now that I am learning about things Biblical, I thought this would be a relatively painless way to get into it.

Don't worry, I am not converting or anything. I'm still just as much of an atheist as ever. But knowledge is power, and so who better to objectively learn about the Bible than an unbiased non-believer.

I also got "Ken's Guide to the Bible," by Ken Smith. It's a bit more irreverent, focusing on the less focused on parts of the Bible (the mass killings, sex, insanity, etc., that you never cover in Sunday school). It's all backed up, chapter and verse, don't worry.

At one point, this Biblical guy Jacob has an all night wrestling match with God. I totally put my money on God winning that one. But no. He lost. And then blessed Jacob and re-named him Israel.

In the hit TV show LOST, Jacob plays a good guy. At least I think he is a good guy. It was kind of hard to tell with that show. I never did fully understand what the hell was going on in that show. I should watch it again, since it is on Netflix. Maybe if I watch episodes in rapid succession, I will get it.

But what if I do that and I still don't understand a goddam thing. Then I will just feel stupid for wasting all that time watching it.

Mainly, I just want to know what the smoke monster is all about. They explained it in the last season of the show, but honestly it was a lame explanation. I was a little bit disappointed, I have to say. Kate was my favorite.



10 Minutes - Time to Socialize, I Guess

Hi. It's Joe.

I am heading out to a social in a little bit. A few months back, an offshoot of cover band BABY ROCKET, from Madison WI, played at a girl's birthday party. Said girl, named Lisa, decided to thank us by having us over for dinner and drinks. Thus, in a few short minutes here, after I get done with this post, I am going to shower and head over there.

Today I met my friend Sherry at the Cafe on the Park in Lake Mills, WI.

She and her BF Todd used to live in Lake Mills, but they moved to Osh Kosh. So it is rare to see them. She was in town to do some cleanup at her old house, that she is selling. Anyone looking to buy a house in Lake Mills WI?

Most of the afternoon here, I have been dicking around on the computer, tightening up some of my blog sites and doing a couple of quick and dirty SEO posts here and there.

For example, I wrote a post titled "Common Sense Writer" on the Red Stapler Brigade site. I don't know who runs that site, but it is awesome.

On my Business Cards affiliate site, I wrote two (2) posts:

As title keywords go, these were both quite good and relatively low in competition, serving no purpose than to get junk traffic to my business card site. Who knows, a small number of those people might be looking for some free business cards.

I learned something today. It is something really useful for bloggers. When you have a site URL you want to backlink to from another site, Google only recognizes the FIRST OCCURRENCE of that URL, and ignores all the ones that follow. So there is no sense doing multiple backlinks in a single blog post. You should spread it out among many blog posts and only do it once per post.

But you can backlink to DIFFERENT URLs in the same post and they will all have ranking potential. Thus, you can backlink to different posts on the same blog, and all of them will count because the blog post links are all unique.

Cool huh?

Well, I have to go get ready for this party.


10 Minutes - Flu Shots 2010

Hi. It's Joe.

I wrote a blog post called Flu Shots 2010. It's just a short anecdote.

My photo food diary is going well. One of the main things I have noticed is that I think twice about what I eat now. On the one hand it is laziness because taking pictures of every freakin' thing I eat can be a pain. But I also have to take some responsibility for what I eat, because I am posting all the pictures to Facebook (via Posterous) for all to see. I don't want people to think I am a glutton. That is part of the driving force behind the success of this lifestyle paradigm shift (inspired by "4 Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss). It is all about OWNERSHIP of your life. Long story, but check out the book at the library some time.

Another thing about the photo food journal is the types of foods I eat have changed. Again, everyone is going to see what I eat. I can't be eating junk food and ice cream all the time. Not that I did before, that much, but when I do, now I think twice about it.

I also include any drinks other than water on the diary. Juice, beer, etc.

I have been quite good about taking the pictures and posting them, thanks to my Android phone capabilities. I usually can upload the images right then and there, but typing on the Android can be a bitch sometimes, so I sometimes wait a little while. But it will all be on there and you can check it out graphically at http://wholefoodvitamins.wordpress.com.



10 Minutes - It is the Weekend

Hi. It's Joe.

It's the weekend and I will be continuing my Photo Food Diary. It has been going really well.

I (and others, since I make the log public on Facebook) have concluded that I eat too much cheese. I knew this, but now it is quantifiable. So that is one thing I need to cut back on.

Anyway, GUPPY EFFECT has a gig on Saturday night. We are rocking out at the END ZONE in Delavan WI. It should be a very groovy time.

Then I do not think we have any gigs for a long while. I might play solo on Saturday May 28 at the Up North Public House in Madison WI.

I think the Come Back Inn wants to have GUPPY EFFECT play an evening show on Friday May 20, on their patio.



10 Minutes - Free Lunch at Work

Hi. It's Joe.

I like free food.

I am keeping a picture food diary now.

It is part of a lifestyle paradigm shift I am undergoing.

I am going to document how much I eat each day for a month

In pictures.

That means EVERYTHING. If I get seconds, there will be 2 photos.

I have already noticed a direct benefit of this regarding caloric intake.

I prefer to only take one picture per meal.

Thus I am less likely to get seconds.

Laziness trumps gluttony every time.


P.S. I am reading "4 Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss. This is one of the quantification techniques he suggests, and just about the only one I have the willingness to do.