Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daddy on the Edge of a Venti Bold idea

If you know anything about Daddy, you know that Daddy has a strong, mildly unnatural, almost romantic bond with his Starbucks coffee. It puts the Ying in my Yang, it is the jen nais to my se quoi. It had me at "Hello" Starbucks...completes me.

I didn't know much from Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks; I probably knew as much about him as Snoop Dogg knows about his weed dealer - the man puts out good product, aight? As long as I get my daily fix, everybody's happy - I don't need to know from the corporate infrastructure.

Turns out though, this Howard Schultz is a pretty impressive guy. Not because of his coffee company, as huge as that is. So, what makes him so impressive? This...

August 15, 2011

Dear Fellow Concerned Americans:

Our country is better than this.

Over the last few weeks and months, our national elected officials from both parties have failed to lead. They have chosen to put partisan and ideological purity over the well-being of the people. They have undermined the full faith and credit of the United States. They have stirred up fears about our economic prospects without doing anything to truly address those fears. They have spent a resource even more precious than the dollar: our collective confidence in each other, in the future, and in our ability to solve problems together.

As leaders in business, we have watched all this unfold, first with frustration and then with dismay. Like so many of our employees and customers, we are gravely concerned about the current situation. Today, with both humility and urgency, we propose to do something about it.

First, we aim to push our elected leaders to face the nation's long-term fiscal challenges with civility, honesty, and a willingness to sacrifice their own re-election. This means not kicking the can anymore. It means reaching a deal on debt, revenue, and spending long before the deadline arrives this fall. It means considering all options, from entitlement programs to taxes.

This is what so many common-sense Americans want. That is why we today pledge to withhold any further campaign contributions to the President and all members of Congress until a fair, bipartisan deal is reached that sets our nation on stronger long-term fiscal footing. And we invite leaders of businesses – indeed, all concerned Americans – to join us in this pledge.

We also believe in leading by positive example. And we believe that while the long-term fiscal challenge is serious, even more painful to millions of Americans today is the immediate crisis of jobs. Tens of millions are unemployed and underemployed. Right now our economy is frozen in a cycle of fear and uncertainty. Companies are afraid to hire. Consumers are afraid to spend. Banks are afraid to lend. Record levels of cash are piling up in corporate treasuries, idling. That cash is not being used to expand operations, train new workers, underwrite new ventures, or spark innovation.

The only way to break this cycle of fear is to break it. The only way to get the country’s economic circulatory system flowing again is to start pumping lifeblood through it. That is why we today issue a second pledge. Our companies are going to hire. We are going to accelerate growth, employment, and investment in jobs.

We do this because we want to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. We are not waiting for government to create an incentive program or a stimulus. We are not waiting for economic indicators to tell us it’s safe to act. We are hiring more people now. We invite leaders of businesses across the country to join us in this pledge as well – and to bring their stakeholders into the effort. Confidence is contagious. The best thing we can do now is to spread it.

This is a time for citizenship, not partisanship. It is a time for action. We don't pretend that our two pledges are quick fixes. We just believe that in this moment of great uncertainty, the government needs discipline, the people need jobs – and leaders need to lead.

Our country is better than this. Let’s get things moving now.


Howard Schultz

Take the Pledge

Clicking on the "TAKE THE PLEDGE" button will take you to the Facebook page of "Upward Spiral 2011", a platform the Schultz has created for action inspired by the letter. As of this blog post, there have been 209 pledges to withhold campaign contributions and 43 pledges to hire. This is how it's done, people. When the game is rigged, refuse to play...and take your money off the table.

Take the Pledge. Be part of the solution. And order me a Venti.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Daddy on the Edge of Rediscovering Daddy

Daddy forgets a lot of things.

Birthdays, where I left tools, whether or not I closed the garage door before I left the house (and then I have to drive back and check - it's been closed...every time), but lately, I managed to forget something pretty frigging major -

I forgot who I was.

The reason behind this amnesia was the last house I worked on. It's been called The Pit, My Little Crack house, Casa del Fakakte - It was The House That Ate My Soul. What started out as "a little paint and cleanup" turned into a major re-build, and every day there was more and more found that needed to be rebuilt. As the job grew, it got hungrier...and me. First it came for my optimism. I always try to see the glass as half full as opposed to half empty. The House took my glass and shattered it on it's crumbling rubble foundation. Then it came for my physical strength, my self esteem and my sanity. It filled my every day and invaded my dreams on a regular basis.

I became a machine - working 7 days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day, dealing with new, ridiculous, often ludicrous circumstances on an almost daily basis. Work was all there was. Work. Deadline. Code. The Domino Effect of lining up all the different trades in order so that they can all get their work done. Over the last three months, waking up at 3am to a brain that was already thinking at eight miles a minute was a nightly occurrence. Wake up at 3am, assess how fast my heart was beating, followed by focused breathing and prayer to slow it down, then toss, turn, drift in and out of semi-sleep, focus on breathing some more, and then give up and get up at about 5:30. This was my every day.

And it sucked. Boy oh boy, did it suck.

You know those times on Star Trek, where the shit has hit the fan so bad during battle that they divert all available power to the shields? The only thing they don't take power from is life support. That's how the job was - divert every part of yourself to the job, stopping only long enough to feed yourself, sleep and hose yourself off on occasion. Every day, bit by bit, things start to slide. The things that make you "You", fall by the wayside. Writing this blog, spending time with my family, volunteer work, performing on stage, my physical health - all of those things took a back seat. Now, you can do that for a couple of weeks, maybe even a couple of months without too much damage. But this was months, and months...and months - and that can fuck with who you are on a basic level.

It's basically done now - ironically, I'm now at the "paint and cleanup" stage - and not a moment too soon. This job has had a detrimental effect on me, and I need to heal - spiritually, mentally and physically. This is a part of that healing - writing this blog. "Daddy on the Edge" was one of the casualties of this job, and I am trying to breathe life back into it slowly. I want to thank all of you who have kept reading - especially those of you who I don't know personally. ;)

I also want to thank those of you who read my alter ego's work in the Nyack-Piermont Patch. If you are unfamiliar, this is the place where Daddy lets his parental, less acerbic, G-rated prose roam free. If you haven't already, you can check out my latest article here.

Another part of Daddy that had nearly been lost forever was the performing side. Regular readers of this blog will remember back in April, I devoted a week of this blog to "Haywire", an original web series created by Scott Klein. Klein took the "Best Suspense Feature" award in 2009 at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival for his feature film, "Cry" and has brought that same sense of suspense to Haywire. Daddy managed to snag a regular role on the series, and it was one of the few things that kept me sane over the past year. Web series episodes are generally about ten minutes in length. You can watch nearly the entire first season of Haywire (previews included) in less than an hour and a half, and it's definitely worth watching. You can view the series on Koldcast TV by clicking here or, for those having technical trouble with Koldcast, you can view Haywire's YouTube channel here.

These are a few of my favorite things. These are a few of the things that make Daddy, "Daddy". Daddy wants to stick around here for a long, long time and that's where y'all can really help me out. It has been determined that I need a new line of work. If you like any or all of the links above, sharing them, "liking" them, tweeting, favoriting, commenting, hitting the "Google Plus One", forwarding them - doing anything that you can do to help spread the word and popularity of these projects might actually enable me to make some real money off these gigs and quit my day job. And that, my friends, would be a lifesaver.

Thanks for being a part of my world,


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daddy on the Edge of The Future

Okay, maybe not the definitive future, but one possible future...a brighter day, if you will. A better tomorrow, if you'll allow. Kyle Reese said, "The future is not yet set". John Connor sent a message to his mother saying that, "There is no fate but what we make."
Am I quoting the Terminator films? Hell, yes. Daddy is a time travel junkie and those lines soothe me like the warm hum of a Flux Capacitor when you hit 88 miles per hour.

But I digress. My point is that the future as it stands right now looks like a cross between morose and downright terrifying. Lately, I have watched my government representatives just completely and utterly trash everything good about our country in some ridiculous, childish attempt to please all of the people all of the time. And they all say, they ALL SAY, THEY ALL F*CKING SAY that they're doing the will of the American People. Well folks, that is a pile of bullshit and you know it. The American People didn't want our countries credit rating slashed, anymore than we want our own personal credit ratings messed with. The American People don't want you to gut Social Security and Medicare - we want everyone to pay their fair share. And please, please, PLEASE don't tell me that the mega rich are "job creators" and therefore should continue to get tax breaks. These millionaires have had these tax breaks in place since, what - 2003??? Based on your "job creator" mantra, unemployment should be at about 2%, what with all these rich folks getting to keep all that tax revenue for all those years and doing all that hiring. But that's not what's happening, is it? Seriously, Washington - how fucking stupid do you think we are? Tax breaks made things WORSE, not better. Highest prosperity in my lifetime has been in the Reagan and Clinton years, when tax rates were at their HIGHEST for the wealthiest Americans. I don't know what makes me want to throw up more - that you really think we're stupid enough to believe that nonsense, or that it seems like y'all are starting to believe it as well.

By and large, it would appear that our elected officials are more than willing to throw this country under the bus for money, or approval, or to have everyone like them. The US Government, with a few exceptions, has turned into the cast of High School Musical. (and yes - Eric Cantor is Sharpay).

That's not the movie I want to see. And I'm really not grooving too much on the President's portrayal of Gandhi, either. I'm sorry, but Obama the Peacemaker, Obama as King Solomon, Obama as the Great Uniter just ain't working out...for the majority of Americans, anyway. It's working out great for the Republicans, since they hold their breath until he gives them everything that they want and then he thanks them for "reaching across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisanship". Nope, not the movie I wanted to see, and not the role I wanted to see him in. Y'know how I'd love to see our current President? A little something like this;

That's the shit. The verse even works referencing the Republicans. But that ain't gonna happen; I wish it would, but it won't. Our current President is just too cool to lose his shit - it seems to be easier to just give the country away to the Koch Brothers. So, the Tea Party still runs the asylum, the debt ceiling gets held hostage, and the people who put the batshit in batshit crazy are all fighting to be the Republicans main squeeze in the 2012's.

Well, Daddy is sick and tired of it. Frankly, I've got enough to deal with without having to worry about Standard and Poors ratings or the fact that a potential Presidential nominee can work a corn dog like Jenna Jameson. So, rather than wait around seeing how this low budget Greek tragedy is gonna play itself out, Daddy is going to attempt to influence the outcome. Life Coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins says that everything is a cause set in motion. Getting up and going to work is a cause set in motion. Not getting up and going to work is a cause set in
motion. Everything you do or don't do can have a great influence over your life and the lives of those around you. He also says that thoughts become words, words become deeds, and deeds become results, but you have to see it through.

So, I've been having this thought lately, and after putting it through the Google, it seems like others are having it as well, so it's already got some energy behind it. I, and others like me, remember when we used to have people in charge that could actually have balls AND make sense at the same time. Like this guy;

Yeah, that's the stuff. Now, check out this guy;

Wow. That guy just gave me...hmmm, what's the word? Oh, yeah....


Business as usual just ain't gonna cut it anymore, my friends. That's why Daddy is changing his party affiliation to Independent and is ready to throw his support 100% behind this ticket, as soon as they agree to make it a reality;

It's time...for some real Change.

Let's do this, guys.

Keep Hope Alive,