5 Minutes - A Clean Blow

Hi. It's Joe.

It's a little bit pathetic (OK, more than a little) that the top benefit I have observed with my current adherence to the 4 Hour Body "slow carb" lifestyle shift isn't the nominal weight loss or the surprise that it is quite satisfying to both my taste buds and appetite.

No. It's something much more banal...

The clean blow.

I shant go into what that is, for if you don't know then you are probably better off to keep it that way.

But if you do know (and appreciate) a clean blow, you might really enjoy Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour Body satisfying dietary recommendations.



10 Minutes - The 4 Hour Body Experiment

Hi. It's Joe.

So, my mom bet me $500 (in the form of an IRA investment) to lose 25 pounds by Labor Day. I calculated that this is about one (1) pound every two days. It was going great until the last couple of days. I seem to have plateaued. I have been strictly following the diet, which is really more of a lifestyle change. So I am not sure what is happening.

The diet is non-restrictive when it comes to foods that are on the list. I have been sticking to these items. However, the last two or three days I have been eating relatively larger portions.

Not absolutely larger, just relative. One thing about this diet is that I am not hungry between meals. Sometimes I am not even hungry at meals, and this might be part of the problem. The past few days I made myself eat, even though I wasn't hungry.

I wasn't listening to my body and eating only when I felt the need. I am going to change that and see if I can get off this plateau.



10 Minutes - I'm Ambivalent About Amy Winehouse's Death (Age 27 is Spooky Though...)

Hi. It's Joe.

It is never cool when someone dies. It's sad.

But did Amy Winehouse not think living a life of unbridled sex, drugs, and booze might not be her demise? Most of America did, though they probably lived the rock-n-roll life cathartically through her.

I was never a fan of her music. She had some singing talent, I guess. But in this age of commercial pop drivel, technological production is the more spectacular thing you notice about music today. The pop stars are just the packaging.

Some people are going to say her death at age 27 (same as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin) is spooky. I say it is more likely a self-fulfilling prophecy. The woman clearly had a death wish, or she would not have spent have her time fucking herself up with booze and drugs.

I blame the music industry for her death. Her sensational lifestyle sold records and you can bet the record label suits did very little to tame it. I also blame the American public for eating it up and secretly wanting to be her.

If Amy Winehouse had been a quiet, mellow type like Nora Jones, would she have sold as many records? I don't have the answer.

But you do, so leave it as a comment below.

See ya!


5 Minutes - Bike With Melinda 2011


Hi. It's Joe.

"Bike With Melinda," the small bike ride I host in northwest WI every Labor Day (with or without, but mostly without, original host Melinda Holm-Peterson) is going to happen again this year, on Sunday September 4 in Shell Lake WI.

I will post more deets soon, but I wanted to start seeding the idea in your head that you should come. If you have attended in the past, then you know. But feel free to leave a comment here to guide those who have not been as fortunate.

In summary, we gather at my parents' lakeside cabin on Labor Day Saturday for a variety of water sports, games, and grilling, depending on weather. Sunday we ride a very leisurely social ride through the scenic rural northwoods, ending up in Stone Lake WI for afternoon socializing.

The stronger riders can opt to ride bikes back to Shell Lake and others can hop on the shuttle (usually my dad's car with bike rack) afterwards, for more lake side fun at the cabin.

Monday we all chip in to tidy up and head home at a leisurely pace.

If all goes well, we will see black bears, eagles, deer and other wildlife.

Stay tuned. It's a fabulous time.



30 Minutes - A Weekend of Rock and Stuff

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Hi. It's Joe. As promised, I am writing the more detailed tale of last weekend's amazingly rocking time, because 30 minutes is much better than 2 minutes for getting all the details down.

I had dinner with Caitlin and her mom at my house on Friday night. After that, I had planned to go see SUNSPOT at the Frequency in Madison WI. But then Caitlin told me she wanted to get up early the next morning to prepare for the Lake Mills Arts Festival, which she was showing in the next day (Saturday).

I asked, "How early?" And she replied, "6:30."

Well, SUNSPOT wasn't going to start until at least 10 pm and I knew that I was going to be rocking Rock-n-Roll Fest in Delavan WI with them on Saturday afternoon (already, I think you can see how action packed the weekend was going to be). So, I decided to get an early night and be relatively rested for helping Caitlin in the morning. It was Caitlin's first such art fair and we had a few technical difficulties to iron out in her tent setup, by way of a trip to Menards. She learned a lot about the best way to do an art fair. Overall it went well.

I could only stay until about 1 pm before I had to go to my gig. But before I did I had a fun morning. My coworkers Chad and Stephen were at the fest, as was my good pal Sherry Misener. It was my free day on my diet plan (my mom bet me $500 to lose 25 pounds before Labor Day), so I ate a veggie pizza with all local ingredients and had a coffee. I walked around looking at other people's art and then Chad and his wife and daughter and I went to the Lake Mills Cafe on the Square to eat lunch and I had a tasty veggie omelette.

The high point of the art fair for me was scoring one of Caitlin's paintings that I really dig, called the "Steadfast Tin Soldier," and based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale of the same name. There is a picture of it on this post somewhere, I think. Yeah, it is up there near the top.

I drove home and met Stefan at my house so we could car pool to Delavan for the rock fest. It was a hot day, but the bandshell we were playing under had decent shade and they provided bottled water. The Phoenix Park Bandshell park does not allow beer, so we had to keep it on the down low, using unmarked containers. Very high school!

And speaking of school, the opening act were four School of Rock graduates, aged 12 to 15, who were excellent. They were laying down rock cover songs with the skill of some people twice their age. The video is on this post somewhere, of them playing "Rock-n-Roll" by Led Zeppelin. Look down below at the video links. Sorry, the sound quality of my phone is quite crappy. But you get the idea.

The lead singer was nice enough to wear a GUPPY EFFECT t-shirt during their set. SUNSPOT rocked a great set after "Slightly Used," the School of Rock band. They are a power trio like my band, GUPPY EFFECT. I enjoyed it. I ate a chicken salad sandwich from the Downtown Deli, which was vending at the fest.

Then GUPPY EFFECT rocked and it was one of our best performances. That always seems to happen when the audience turnout is low (because of the "no beer" policy…and the Catholic church down the street was having a "yes beer" policy fundraiser, also with a live band).

After us was a popular local group who I want to call Martha's Vineyard, although I know that is wrong. Martha Berner, I think it was. Something like that. They were a 4-piece fronted by a singer-songwriter chick, with an ample following. After the full band played, she did some solo stuff and then brought back the full band. Near the end of the set, a bunch of us cruised down to the Catholic Yes Beer Party.

Caitlin and her mom had arrived in time to hear the GUPPY EFFECT set at the bandshell. We hung out at the church party for a while. Catholics sure love to drink. The next day I heard from Mike Stone, former Queensryche guitarist and leader of the band "Kings Highway" playing at the Catholic Yes Beer Party, that the church sold more beer than ever before at that party.

GUPPY EFFECT stopped by a local Delavan watering hole for a beer before Stefan and I cruised back to Cambridge, where I live. On the way, we stopped in Fort Atkinson WI to check out a little bit of MarioPalooza, a music fest hosted by our good buddy Mario Rodriguez III. We heard some of the music by a band called Sexy Esther. I think they got their name from the front woman named Esther, who is kind of sexy. We chatted with Mario a while before we had to go home, it was late.

Stefan, who is from Madison, stayed over in the guest room at my house, because on Sunday we headed back down to Lake Geneva, near Delavan, to play at Laura Stone's Music Show at Carvetti's Bar and Grill. Laura Stone is the wife of Mike Stone, the former Queensryche guitarist mentioned above (I like to flaunt my minor brushes with fame), and she hosts this music showcase there every Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. You should go, if you are in the area. It is a really fun time.

Caitlin and her mom came to this show on Sunday too. Caitlin's mom lives in Zambia and she is back for a while, so I was glad I was able to provide some opportunities to entertain her. The patrons of Carvetti's really seemed to enjoy mine and Stefan's performance.

Later on Sunday night I went swimming with Caitlin in Rock Lake in Lake Mills WI, where she lives, and then we ate dinner with her mom. I was quite exhausted, and I slept like a baby on Sunday night. I believe I am still recovering.

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10 Minutes - Up to the Cabin This Weekend

Hi. It's Joe.

I have not written for a while. Sorry.

A lot has been happening, but that is no excuse not to post.

Last weekend, Guppy Effect, the greatest band in the world, played 2 sweet shows on our mini-tour of WI over July 4 weekend.

On Saturday July 2, we rocked the pants off of the patrons at Carp's Landing in Lake Mills WI. Then we woke up early Sunday morning and cruised up to play Crivestivus in Crivitz WI, after gobbling down a whole bunch of scrambled eggs.

After our 3 to 4:30 pm set at Crivestivus, we went cliff jumping into the Peshtigo River. That was a blast. I did the thrilling 30 foot jump twice and then the "baby" 12 footer a bunch of times. Guppy Effect did a collective band jump that was caught on video, but I am still waiting for the guy to send me the video, so I can't post it yet.

I am going up to the cabin this weekend to fish for giant bass. Last weekend we went snorkeling in Shell Lake where the cabin is and we got a school of large bass following us by overturning rocks to release the crawdads underneath, which they love.

Thus, I am going to fish with a crawdad lure, although I actually have better luck with my fake, but very realistic looking, minnow lure.

I am in carpool right now, stuck in traffic but not driving. So it was a good opportunity to post. Now I am going to tack on some relevant links and you can either stop reading now and go about your business OR click on them to see what delights I have in store for you.