20 Minutes - The Last Holiday Season Before Armageddon Starts...NOW!

Hi. It's Joe.

So, you may be wondering why I always throw a thumbnail image over there on the right hand side of my blog posts. Or you might not, I don't know.

I have been trying to read more. But more importantly, I have been trying to stick to just one book at a time and actually read more with an intention to finish said book.

The thumbnail indicates the MAIN book I am reading at the time of the post I am writing. Right now, this book is Bart Ehrman's "Jesus Interrupted," which my mom sent me. It's a quite fascinating historical critical analysis of Jesus and the Bible. I am learning a lot.

But I say this is my MAIN book because I am also reading Richard Dawkin's "The Ancestor's Tale," which is a backwards journey through the evolutionary history of humans.

It's rather ironic that my SECONDARY book is this one, don't you think? I mean, compared with evolutionary history, Biblical history is a fleeting blink of an eye. It barely happened. In fact, it's still happening.

Not sure I was really going anywhere with that, but I just think it's interesting how much value we put on religion compared to the 3.5 billion years (give or take) that preceeded it on the planet called Earth. We ought to, as many "primitive" cultures do, pay more tribute to our ancestors. Until humans developed agriculture and societies, all of our ancestors had to fend for themselves in a fairly hostile world.

A lot of them didn't make it. But YOURS did, if you are reading this. Don't you want to thank your ancestors, human, primate, rodent, amphibian, fish, invertebrate, etc? I do. They kicked ass through thick and thin, and here I am. Thanks ancestors! I realize you all had no idea what you were doing at the time, and it's quite possible I might be the end of the line. But my fate doesn't devalue your AWESOMENESS.

Anyway, this year is supposedly the final year of humanity and the world, if the conspiracy theorists are right. That means this weekend sort of marks the beginning of the final holiday season EVER. It would be cool if Jesus came back on Christmas day. I mean, there is no reason why that would make any kind of sense. It would just be cool, because humans have assigned that day as Jesus' birthday, arbitrarily (it's not in the Bible). So his re-appearance would kind of be like a rebirth, so to speak.

I thought a zombie apocalypse might be cool, but then I watched Season 1 of "The Walking Dead," and now I am not so sure I want to battle living dead. It would be fun for a little while, then it would get old and it would be anxiety-causing...to always be on the lookout for surprise attacks. One bite, and that's it, you're a zombie. Unless, you are one of the very small percentage of people who are genetically immune to the zombie plague.

That's the great thing about evolution and natural selection. No matter how messed up things get, there will always be survivors who carry on. Not necessarily human survivors, but even in the worst scenarios, bacteria, roaches, and maybe even rodents would do OK. That's enough genetic diversity to get things rolling again in this crazy thing called LIFE.

Well, my time is up. I was just procrastinating because I am still at work and I wanted to avoid the nutty rush hour traffic when I drive home. It's about 6:30 pm now and the worst of the zippety doo dah Beamer drivers are probably at home eating dinner by now.

Just quick, GUPPY EFFECT rocks a Halloween House Party tomorrow night. Jeebus Preebus (power trio version of my new band, sans SPS) is likely going to make a brief appearance and rock 3-5 tunes. Then I am hosting open mic at Waterhouse Cafe in Lake Mills WI next Thursday November 3. Then I don't think I have any more rocking until November 26, when GUPPY EFFECT rocks Carps Landing in Lake Mills WI.

I am hoping some time in the interim, I can pull together Kyle, Peter, and Branden to develop a new original band startup. If everyone is into it, it should go smoothly. I wonder if Kyle is back from whitewater rafting in Colorado yet...



10 Minutes - Rocking With Jeebus Preebus

Hi. It's Joe.

Tonight I had band practice with my new band, Jeebus Preebus. We are starting to define our sound now, and it is kind of a high energy hard rocking sound, which I like.

There is no place for low energy in rock-n-roll.

I have been diligently sticking to my lifestyle challenge for November-December, of working out for 45 minutes five days per week. This morning I rode the exercise bike for 47 minutes and watched an episode of Mad Men on Netflix.

I realize it is still October, but I always like to preamble my lifestyle challenges with a buffer period to get into the swing of it.

Also, as I mentioned on my whole food vitamins blog, on the days when I run 3 miles, I only have to do 30 minutes or more. Running is more intense than other activities and 3 miles is about all I can do. It takes about 35-40 minutes, depending on my pace.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning. I am in top shape. My blood pressure is 77/122. That was measured shortly after I drank a mammoth cup of coffee too. I could still stand to lose a few pounds, and that is why the increased exercise regimen has been put in place. In addition, the holidays are coming. I don't want to miss out on the goodies. This level of exercise will allow me to boost my basal metabolic rate, so I will actually burn more calories at rest than a sedentary person of equal height and weight would.

Also, when I work out at the small gym at work, I can read books. I am almost done with Bart Ehrman's "Jesus Interrupted." It's quite good. My mom sent it to me. Did you know that most cultures do not worship the Bible as holy the way Americans do? Most Christians in the rest of the world view it as a holy book, but they do not worship it. I think Americans need to get out of their comfort zones more and experience what the rest of the world does.

This weekend, GUPPY EFFECT is playing at a Halloween party in Madison WI. In a few weeks, on November 19, I believe I am going to sing IRON MAN by Black Sabbath at the Madison Music Foundry Student Jam. That will be fun. I should dress up as Ozzy even though it will be a little bit past Halloween by then.



10 Minutes - Osh Kosh Begosh

Hi. It's Joe.

I went up to Osh Kosh this weekend and hung out with Todd and Sherry.

We went to the Independent Horror Film Festival there on Saturday, which was killer. Pun intended. You need to find and watch a movie called "I Didn't Come Here to Die." It was excellent.

Later on Saturday night, we went out to the Reptile Palace, a hard rock music venue in Osh Kosh. It was one of those places where everyone wears black and the college kids don't go there (thank goodness). As we were walking down there though, we saw a zombie army of teenie bopper college kids going in the other direction, probably to a kegger or the college bars. Poor misguided college kids. I was one of them once, missing out on great music to go get hammered. Live and learn.

There were 4 bands at the Reptile Palace, and they were all excellent. Uncle Eddie was one of them, featuring Darwin, owner of the Frequency rock club in Madison. I also saw Dan "Dano" Stoffels there. He's a music buddy who used to drum for Axiom. He was up appreciating the bands, two of which were from Madison.

I stayed over at Todd and Sherry's. Buddy got along really well with their 3 Boston terriers. Two of them are theirs, Bella and Corella. The 3rd one is actually a rescue dog they are fostering, named Leo. Leo has skeletal problems and he's frisky. Nice dog though.

After I drove back home from Osh Kosh, I practiced music for a while. I am trying to get all the Jeebus Preebus songs learned for this Wednesday. Michael Anthony of Van Halen is an uninteresting bass player. I would say he sucks, except for the fact that he played in one of the world's most rocking bands. So he must have done something right. But I don't like his style. Do any bass players call Michael Anthony a bass idol or role model? I'd like to know. That doesn't seem very aspiring. But I should cut MA some slack. I don't know the guy, and honestly, if you can get away with playing 3 notes for an entire song, more power to you, as far as the business end of music goes.

I worked out 45 minutes on the exercise bike tonight. Looking forward to working out more this week too. Work has a decent gym and showers.

Well, I am going to bed and I am going to read for a while until I doze off. That shouldn't take too long since I am wiped.


15 Minutes - Rough Week So Far

Hi. It's Joe.

I tend to not be much of a complainer, and that's not what I am doing now.

But it doesn't change the fact that my stress levels are high this week.

I somehow managed to inadvertently hurt a close friend. My hot water heater sprung a slow leak. Work is incredibly busy and stressful (still challenging and fun though...I guess that is eustress?). I am not sleeping well. My TMJ is worse (probably stress related). I might not be able to go on vacation this weekend. I had to fix the dryer exhaust duct work. The weather is yucky (not under my control though). And there are probably a couple of other things I missed.

On the bright side, my song LIL RED HEAD GIRL that I used for my music mixing and mastering class turned out pretty good. And my new rock-n-roll band, Jeebus Preebus, is very fun. We had practice last night and I enjoyed it.

I also have started working out at lunch because there is a small gym at work, complete with locker room and shower. Very few people use it and there is a stationary bike, elliptical, and treadmill, as well as weights. The elliptical has a book stand so I can read. I am hoping that working out 3-4 times per week at work will not only improve my work productivity but also improve my current sour mood and also drop a few pounds off my wasteline.

I am reading an intriguing book about Jesus and the Bible. It is a historical critical analysis by Bart Ehrman called "Jesus Interrupted." Very open minded, scientific, skeptical approach, which I can relate to. And if I can relate, then I can learn. I am of the mind that Bible Study cannot consist of just reading the Bible, especially if you are untrained in the historical critical scholarship surrounding the good book. Rather, you can learn a lot more by reading the analysis of experts and then using the Bible as a cross reference. This gives you a context for understanding that a vertical reading of the Bible can't give you. As Ehrman points out, Christians have an inherent bias in their analysis and interpretation of the Bible, so it is best to look at multiple sources, both religious and secular, particularly early ones, before the dogma of Christianity took hold and filtered the Gospel messages toward the membership goals of the church.

Still not a Christian, and no ambitions to go that route, but definitely more understanding of the religion, which is good. Understanding breeds compassion and I think if Jesus was right, then he would appreciate that.

Well, now that I got that off my chest, I feel better and now I can go focus on the tsunami of work I have to do. Back to the grind.



10 Minutes - A Brief Respite

Hi. It's Joe.

I got my mixing and mastering class homework done yesterday. It didn't take too long. I had to track a lead guitar part over the bridge. I kept it simple and melodic, not complicated and melodramatic.

It was a nice day and completely free from responsibilities other than the aforementioned homework assignment. I took Buddy out to the Jefferson dog park and ran/walked about 3 miles.

I didn't practice for my vocal lesson that I have tonight, but I did get an early night. I got into work a bit early this AM. It didn't behoove me to do so, but it makes me feel better about leaving work at 4:30 for my lesson. No one can say I didn't put in the hours.

Guppy Effect (the brand) is going on hiatus while I develop a new 4 piece that will have a frontman singer, as I envision it. All new brand with new image and song repertoire. Theatrical more than musical, I hope. I am not adverse to having the lyrics to songs on a music stand in large print to facilitate the "second nature" image of focusing on performance vs. remembering how to play songs and sing them.



10 Minutes - The Dudes Are Here

Hi. It's Joe.

The delivery dudes are here with my new dehumidifier that my guitar player has been begging me to get for weeks. Now he can't complain about the dampness anymore. The dudes also took away my old freezer in the basement. I never used it, except once I tried putting a guitar amp in there and using it like an isolation chamber. That didn't work. So it was effectively useless to me.

I have a dental appointment on October 20. I am doing an experiment. The dentist is always saying how flossing daily will improve my gum line (not that it is bad). I don't believe it. I brush every day but I usually only floss every once in a while when I think I need it.

Not this time. I am making it a point to floss daily and I haven't missed a day yet. This time, if the dentist gives me crap about my gums I will know that flossing is a load of crap. On the other hand, I am a skeptic, not a denier. In scientific experimentation, you have to accept the reality of the experimental outcome. So if she says my gums look fabulous, then OK. I will accept that daily flossing is a good idea.

On the other hand, humans survived for millions of years without dental floss, by eating a wholesome whole food diet, which I largely do (and as indicated above, in the past I have tended to let the junkiness of my diet determine when I should floss...ice cream = floss, vegetables = no floss, unless it's broccoli or corn on the cob, then floss). So I think flossing is overrated. Although, early humans did not live as long as people do today, so it is hard to say if maybe they would have lost all their teeth, given more gum disease. But a crappy diet accelerates gum disease and early humans did not have that option. With the exception of seasonal honey and maybe maple syrup, they did not eat much sugar at all, until agriculture came along and made everyone fat and toothless.



2 Minutes - The Dude

Hi. It's Joe.

I am going as The Dude for Halloween. I will probably repeat this for the El Duderino bowling outing on New Year's Eve Eve too.

Tonight was band practice night, but because our guitar player was on vacation in Key Largo, the rest of us watched THE BIG LEBOWSKI movie instead of rehearsal.

I got some books in the mail today. Sweet. They look like great books. Too bad I have so many other books I have to read too, but I will try and get through them.



3 Minutes - Coffee Time in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Hi. It's Joe.

I am at Mr. Pancake in Wisconsin Dells with my Iowa buddies Rachel and Bryon. Omelette, cakes, coffee.

This is the life. In a short while, I will be in Lake Mills WI having a second breakfast with Osh Kosh buds Sherry and Todd.

I should just do breakfast socials every Sunday. Maybe it should be my job and people can pay me to do it. Ha ha.