August 26, 2011
You’ve read about me in the papers
You’ve seen me on the movie screen
You know everything there is to know about me
I’m your late night fantasy
But don’t think I can’t hear you calling
From the shadow of the 14th row
Cause I’ve had the same dreams you’ve had
Just a few short years ago…
You know, I’ve been talking a lot of politics lately.
I think this week, we need a break. You know what we need?
Some of my pointless banter. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?
I saved Florida…
Wow! What a busy week. Let’s recap…
Earlier this week, I had plans to go sailing off the coast of New Port Richey.
Ever wonder what happened to Old Port Richey?
But I cancelled those plans on Monday and instead, I purchased every electric fan at every Target and Wal-mart store in Florida. Went to The Home Depot, got lots of extension cords and power strips. I lined South Florida’s beaches with electric fans (pointed East), plugged them all in and turned Hurricane Irene’s path right into the Bahamas. Thank you… Thank you very much.
My apologies to the people in NYC and beyond. Be safe.
This is probably a good place to introduce this week’s musical guest…
25 year old, Brittish Pop Star, Ellie Goulding.
Apparently, Ellie was asked to perform at the royal wedding. Really? Is she that good? …or just that popular? …or just that well liked by the Brits? I’m still not sure if I like her stuff. I mean, I get that she’s pop, and not my usual folksie female singer, but she’s also no Britney or Lady Gaga… which, I guess, is also OK. Not everyone can be Lady Gaga.
Although, wouldn’t that be cool… if everyone was Lady Gaga?
No? Maybe just for a day? Why are you looking at me like that?
Uh… So… Ellie, what do we think… Do we like her?
I thought the video was cool but I don’t think she’ll make my playlist?
Send me your thoughts and opinions.
Tuesday: A Third Rail Evening…
So, after saving Florida on Monday, I had a few F-POPs gathering on Tuesday and, I have to admit, although I frequently mention alcoholic beverages, I actually drink very little. The reality is that, I can’t afford it. I can’t afford the calories.
And then he said, “oh… I’ve got drinkin’ money”.
Well, I went all out on Tuesday night. The evening started with a little innocuous sipping of Patron’s XO Coffee Liquer, but it soon escalated into a plethora of Irish Car Bombs (featuring Left Hand’s Milk Stout) and a myriad of amber colored samples of the world’s third most popular drink (after water and tea).
Of course, Stonesy was in town and I had invited a newcomer to the F-PoP community, who I hereby dub, “Napster”. I knew these two guys would get along but it was ridiculous. I swear, I left them alone for no more than about 5 minutes. When I returned, there were shot glasses everywhere and they were planning a trip to Guadalajara. Yep… I’m getting pretty good at picking friends.
Now, one of the keys to a great evening out is to be at peace with the party Gods. If you question their authority, you’ll end up in a bar fight, kneeling down before the porcelain throne, or (worst case) in or near a vehicle with flashing lights. On the other hand, if you’re on good terms with the party Gods (and have been spending at least 15% of your annual salary at Total Wine), you’ll have a great evening, be delivered home safely, and meet some cool people along the way. Speaking of cool people along the way…
Although I do have a tendency to befriend bartenders, I usually try to leave other people in the service industry alone. Let’s face it, 99 times out of 100, a waitress just wants you to throw some culinary artwork down your throat, leave a generous show of appreciation for her services, and then get the hell out. So, an honorable mention must go out to Molly.
We’d been drinking, you were great. I hope, in some way, we brightened up an otherwise dull Tuesday evening “at the office”. I also hope that whoever paid the bill left you a…
[Thinks to himself: I hope someone paid the bill.]
So, uh…anyway. Thanks for taking care of us and brining us the essential elements (food, water & beer) during our time of need. Oh and, by the way, I’ll be back to your place of business in a few weeks with my friend, Lynda. Don’t worry..no need to go looking for a new job. I promise to keep the beverage consumption down to just a few Yuenglings.
So then Wednesday rolls around. I’m thinking it’s just going to be another, slightly hungover, hump day but then the two jobs that I’ve always wanted, but are seldom open, BOTH become available on the same day.
Yep. Steve Jobs has resigned as the dictating ruler of Apple Computers and Muammar Gaddafi has been toppled as the CEO of Libya. Both on the same day! I know. Now what do I do? Needless to say, the recruiters have been calling me all day.
I wonder if I could get good cell service from Sprint in Libya? So far it hasn’t happened in the US or in Mexico. This alone could be worth the gig.
Does it ever end…
On Thursday, I heard that Dick Cheney had released his new book, “In My Time”, from an undisclosed location. Although I’m sure it would be an interesting read, there are plenty of things that I disagree with the former Vice President on, so… Instead of buying the paperback or downloading some kind of an electronic version, which would surely elevate my blood pressure immediately upon opening, I’m going to wait for the Hard Cover Duraflame version so that I can contribute to Mr. Cheney’s success as a writer but still put the book directly into my backyard fire pit and roast some marshmellows.
Finally, if you’re like me… You know, always looking for the silver lining in things… And you’re wondering what good could come from a giant hurricane that could flood New York City… Maybe we can drown some of these giant 3-foot-long rats that they are finding in Brooklyn?
Yikes! Hey, maybe the rain will get them to the surface? Then we can get Dick Cheney to go hunt them with us. Let’s just try not to get shot.
Well, damn it! I guess that’s it for today. I can’t believe it’s only Friday.
Oh… There were also a lot of birthdays this week.
I hope you all had happy ones and are enjoying every day to the fullest.
Again, to my friends from New York through Massachusettes, be safe.
If you need anything before, during or after the storm – call me.
I have resources…
August 19, 2011
Hello My Peeps…
People who read my stuff even when I go off on misguided rants.
Yes. It must be you…because… Here you are.
I guess everyone has to be somewhere?
So, last week, I said that someone had asked how I could possibly be pro-choice and yet be “OK” with gay marriage. Of course, I went off on a rant about how those things aren’t related, other than maybe through religious beliefs, and religion is supposed to stay out of lawmaking. Well, I stand by my rant and everything I said at the time. However, a few days after posting it, I woke up, somewhere in Atlantic Ocean, near Martha’s Vineyard, and realized that, most pro-choice people ARE OK with gay marriage. The same religious goofballs who want to pass anti-abortion laws, want to define marriage exclusively as the legal union between a man and a woman. So, WTF dude? In the words of Ozzy, “Sharon… I’m so confused.”
Doesn’t matter. I stick by my thoughts on personal freedom.
Your results may vary!
And that brings us to this week’s musical guest. In exchange for Christina Perri, one of my F-POPs put me onto Michelle Featherstone earlier this week. She’s got some good stuff.
I really liked this song…
Lawyers, Guns & Money
No it’s not Warren Zevon… unfortunately, he’s passed. Warren Buffett, on the other hand, is alive and well and pulled a clever publicity stunt this week by writing an op-ed article in the New York Times saying that he and his super-rich friends should be paying a lot more taxes.
Well, I’m not sure what is stopping Mr. Buffett from contributing more. I’m thinking that if you can get yourself published in the New York Times, you should also be able to find this link…
But even better is this CNN article from two years ago…
That’s right. Our government has a special account where YOU can make tax deductable contributions to help pay down the national debt. So why doesn’t WB just write a big check?
The reality is that the idea of levying big taxes on the super-rich is a very popular idea. After all, most people aren’t super-rich. The non-super-rich totally outweigh the super-rich. We can totally kick the super-rich’s collective asses. I mean… the average person doesn’t understand what it’s like to make $1M per year and can’t even begin to imagine making over $10M per year. So, naturally, we would want to painfully tax those lucky bastards, right?
But remember if you make $100K and paid 15% in taxes, you’d have to pay $15,000 but a person making $1M would have to pay $150,000 at the same 15% rate. Well, last I checked, 150 was a lot more than 15, so… the rich ARE paying more already. $150K is a lot of cheese. And yes, they also have a lot more left over than you do…but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, as they say.
Now granted… If you carefully read Mr. Buffett’s article, and were to follow his suggestions, we might generate an extra $35 billion dollars in taxes each year or $350 billion over 10 years. Hey, every little bit helps, but it is important to point out that this is a drop in the bucket. It’s OK to do but it’s not the basis for bringing down our nation’s debt. We need to do a lot more.
At the end of the day, this was a publicity stunt. The republicans have been getting a lot of press lately as they’ve been traveling around bashing the way thing are currently being done in Washington and this was nothing but a clever way to give Obama something to point at and say, “see…even the really welathy people think we should tax them more”.
Yeah…whatever. It’s a drop in the bucket. I’m not drinking the cool-aid.
You wanna tax the mega-wealthy go ahead. But take a lesson from basic supply & demand economics… High demand can cause prices to rise but lowering prices can create a higher demand. My point is that you can make a lot more by getting a little bit from everyone than from trying to get huge dollars from the few. Of course, no one wants higher taxes (not even Warren). So what do we do?
The answer is to put money to work. In business, lowering expenses is always good but you can only lower them so much. The bigger payoff comes from investing in the right resources and bringing in more revenue, while keeping expenses under control. This is the same thing. Instead of taxing everyone more, let’s see how we can put more money in everyone’s paycheck. Then, percentage-wise, they will automatically generate more tax dollars…and everyone will be happy.
I realize it isn’t easy to be POTUS. I respect the office, even when I don’t agree with his politics. But we need a strong leader, not a politician. We need someone who will put politics aside and do what’s right.
“Make it so, Number One” – Jean Luc Picard
In the meantime, listen to this guy, I think he nailed it.
Sorry…if you have to watch an advertisement first.
Other than that, I’m done for the day.
My apologies if I seem rushed…but I’m rushed.
I can sense a glass of Santo Tomas Sauvignon Blanc from Ensenada, BC is somewhere in my future. One of my favorite white wines, from one of my favorite places on Earth.
I poured my booze all down the kitchen drain
And watched my bad habits get flushed away
Wait… Who said anything about pouring booze down the drain?
I’m sure she didn’t mean to include my Sauvignon Blanc in that.
“Barnsley… Where’s the Santo Tomas?”
Alrighty then, I have to go look for Barnsley and my wine.
Remember, keep up the fight…
And by the way, I never check my email, but you can try to contact me at:
You should also like my Facebook Page at:
I’m working on a shorter URL – freakin’ Facebook.
August 12, 2011
Before moving on to this week’s topic, “Connections”.
I wanted to take a moment and address one comment that was recently sent my way. I was told that, based on my political commentary of last week, it was difficult to place me. Someone asked how I could possibly be pro-choice and yet be “OK” with gay marriage.
Your ignorance astonishes me. Seriously… Have you stopped to think about this? Those two aren’t even related. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. It’s like asking, how could you like Pizza and yet be OK with having a cheeseburger (now and then). The only way those topics are related is through either religion or through political association. Well… 1) Aren’t we supposed to keep religion out of our lawmaking. That’s what supports Freedom of Religion and makes our laws mostly acceptable to most religions. 2) I refuse to let the political party system affect the way I think.
“I’m an athiest. I swear to God.”
You see, I am for personal freedom. That’s what this country was supposed to be all about. That’s why people came from Europe to the New World, to get away from dictatorships and live in a place where “We the People” ruled. I will always support your personal freedom, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my personal freedom (or that of others). You want to have an abortion? Go for it. You want to get married? Why do I care? Enuff said.
By the way, I’m not really an athiest. In general, believe in intelligent design. But my religion is mine. My religion doesn’t dictate that I should save others or get anyone else to see things my way…and it doesn’t skew my views on how we should be running our country.
Now, I’m done talking politics.
Although not before revealing my new thing…
OK, let’s get to this week’s topic: Connections
This week I’d like to raise a virtual glass to all the great connections that I’ve made in my life. Although I have been blessed by many connections, I realize that true connections are rare. Every once in a while, someone unexpectedly enters your life and you just seem to connect with them? These are usually far and few between. They just sort of happen. Some of these connections last forvever. Others, unfortunately, have a limited lifetime.
Sometimes you connect with an artist through their music, someone you’ve never met before but that connection is still there. I just recently connected to this artist, Christina Perri. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked her voice. Now I can’t stop listening to it, particularly this song…
Note: I think this song is better if you don’t watch the video.
In college, I made a great connection named Dana. She was awesome, although tremendously quirky. Dana loved tools, like wood working tools or mechanics tools. Her sheets and pillow covers had to be satin. Dana never attended weddings because too often they would take place in a church. She didn’t like churches. I once asked Dana if she was a witch. She responded with, “why… are you a warlock?”
Dana planned to not marry. In fact, when we last discussed it, she had planned to not have sex. Her theory was that people should not get overly involved with each other… emotionally or physically. She said that if you let a person take your mind, then they would take your body, and then your life. She became very serious when she talked about these things. Ironically, some time after telling me this, Dana settled down with a permanent boyfriend. Soon after, they married. Soon after, Dana passed away.
She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman I had ever seen
Did I mention that Dana was a huge AC/DC fan?
Then there are my Amigos. How long have we known each other? It seems like just the other day, we decided that every two years we were going to get together for an Amigos trip. And, even if every Amigo didn’t always make it, we’ve managed to keep our schedule. By the way, the decision to have an Amigos trip every two years came after we’d known each other for over 15 years and, guess what? That was (almost) 10 years ago! Time absolutely flies and even though we don’t talk that often, I feel just as connected to you three as always. I’m really looking forward to spending a few days together, later this year.
But I particularly want to raise that virtual glass to my private connections. Those who I have connected with and, at the end of the day, it’s just between us. Some of those connections are among the best. You are what I call my F-POPs (Favorite People on the Planet). This includes the people I talk to everyday, who make my life a little brighter. This includes the people I’d like to talk to everyday but maybe it just isn’t in the cards these days. This includes the people I never talk to, and maybe only see once (or twice) per year.
This includes the people who know I love to sail, so they take me sailing…
This includes the people I used to talk to everyday and now I haven’t seen in a long time…but the connection is still there. You now who you are.
At times I’ve connected with people and, for years, I was unable to figure out the friendship. But there’s always a purpose to the connection. Sometimes it’s the connection itself. Other times a connection is there, just to connect you to someone else.
Everyone… Think about this. Who are your best friends today? How did you get to be best friends with those people, as opposed to the countless others with whom you only randomly associate? This holds true for friendships, relationships, even music or your favorite artists, or your favorite bartender. It’s all about making that connection.
Of course, there are connections that break or fade over time or distance.
(Hopefully never over politics… ) What can you do?
So to all those great connections out there, Past, Present & Future, let us raise that glass and throw one back together. You are my peeps, you continue to shape my life, and I love you all.
May I recommend a…
Now, you should each, individually take a moment and acknowledge all of your connections. Screw Facebook… Pick up the phone, make a call! Take a picture, have it professionally printed at Walgreen’s, and send it to a friend via the U.S. Mail with a handwritten note.
Now you’re cooking with gas!
And that concludes our broadcast day, live from somewhere in the Atlantic.
Don’t worry. I’ll be back to me usual pointless banter soon enough.
August 5, 2011
The children I raised as my very own, have grown up and forgotten about Margarita Fridays!
Yup. I’m in New York City this week, but when I get back, I am restocking the bar, getting some proper margarita making supplies… (What is that stuff in the freezer?) …and I’m sharpening up the blender baldes. It’s show time!
It’s always show time, here at the end of the stage.
Tuesday was a bit crazy. I flew into JFK around 1:30pm, had a 4pm meeting in the city, then a dinner meeting out in Westbury at 7pm. You could say that I’m becoming a bit of an expert in LIRR. Yeah… Not really.
Went to see the taping of David Letterman on Wednesday. My compadre, The Chuckster, had gotten us on the CBS VIP list. Obviously no one at CBS security reads my stuff. Wednesday’s show turned out be quite a score… The celebrity guest was Emma Stone. The other scheduled guests this week were James Franco, Ricky Gevais, and Collin Farrell. I think you can see where I’m going with this…
The other guest, on Wednesday, was Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company. I know. Now you understand why CBS security needed to be concerned. Just in case there was trouble, I even wore my ”Don’t taze me bro” T-shirt. But he turned out to be a great guest on the show. After 37 years of running things at Boeing, he decided to come turn Ford around, after getting a phone call from Bill Ford, himself.
The story is that in just a few years, he’s done it. They got lean and mean, they are now building American cars in America – I didn’t get to ask him about the new plant they just built in Mexico, they are building fully electric, as well as hybrid cars, making money and they did it all without any goverment bailout money.
I think my next card could be a Ford.
But enough about Dave & Alan…
Today’s musical guest on my show is one of my faves, Rosi Golan.
She has a new album, “Lead Balloon”, coming out on August 30th. Buy it!
Meanwhile, here’s ”Seeing Ghosts” (from the new album),
performed here with co-writer, Iain Archer.
So, all this NYC stuff is plenty of fun, but the last few weeks really reminded me why I stopped watching the news (including no reading of newspapers or news websites) in June of 2008 and never really went back. I can’t stand the news. I hate that every story has a slant. Also, thanks to a brief political discussion with a few friends, I was also reminded of all the things that I don’t like about the way American politics operate.
Let’s start with the political party system as a whole… I don’t like it. I don’t like that, in general, people pick their political party in much the same way that they pick their favorite sports team. Some people become republicans because their parents were republicans. Other people become democrats because their parents were republicans. That was probably the only that when I originally registered to vote, I was a registered democrat. And this is exactly where the derailment begins. Very few people join a political party with an in-depth understanding of the party or with free thinking thoughts of leading their party into becoming America’s party. Instead, they join a party for some arbitrary reason and then let the party direct their minds. It’s as if you have to follow the party platform and can no longer think for yourself.
In continuing my sports team example, I’ve noticed New York City has a lot of Yankee’s fans and a lot of Met’s fans. But you’ll hardly ever find someone who likes them both. No one thinks of both as, their home team. And if you ask why they prefer one team over the other, the answers are never substantial. The party system works much the same way… Everyone is either a democrat or a republican, and they think everyone else has to be too. You almost don’t get a choice. If you’re not one or the other, then you’re just some kind of a hippie and not to be taken seriously. Many people want that designation on everyone. Are you a democrat or a republican? They need it. It tells them something about you. When it comes to politics, they need to know, are you with me or are you against me?
Not me. I understand that you almost have to choose one of the other, but I’m not for either one. I’m for America and the political system will, unfortunately, dictate that we can never have a president (or any other elected official) who will always do what’s best for America. Sooner or later, they’ll have to do something either stupid or against what they believe to be the right course of action, in order to follow their party platform. Because of this bipartisan system, every major and/or important decision will always be a compromise, and that sucks.
So you wanna know where I stand on some of the dumb issues? I’ll tell you. And I’ll tell you that I call them the dumb issues because we shouldn’t even be debating them, ever. It’s a waste of time and money and, at the end of the day, I don’t care…and you shouldn’t either.
Let me take a crack at this. 1. I’m pro-choice. I think a woman should have the right to make any decision she’d like regarding anything that is going on in her body. It’s not your body, so why do you care? Shame on you for wanting to legislate what someone else can or can’t do to themselves. You think the unborn fetus is a person… great, don’t have an abortion yourself. Case closed. Don’t tell me it’s a religious thing because I’m going to insist on the separation of church and state on this one. So, don’t force your religion on me. Maybe my religion says that a fetus isn’t a person until they are old enough to buy you a shot of tequila. E’nuff said.
2. Gay marriage. I really couldn’t care less. Most straight people who get married can’t make it work, if gay folks want to give it a shot, go for it. My problem is, the church and state thing. Marriage wasn’t invented by government, it was taken from religion. So why is the government involved in this? Are you talking about a legal domestic partnership between two people? OK. Why not? Go for it. Who determined that a woman has to be a man’s companion… Oh that’s right, The Bible. I say that if your church allows it, then call it a marriage. If your church doesn’t allow it, then call it a legal union. There are many advantages to marriage including tax breaks, joint custody of assets, etc., etc. why are we denying these things to people because they are different from you and me, and in a way that completely doesn’t affect us.
3. While I’m big on this separation of church and state, I really couldn’t care less about how you decorate the courtyard or lobby area of a courthouse. You want to put a 6-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments out there, great. Keep the church out of the courtroom. Who cares how you decorate the lobby? Oh, I know who cares… Nutty ACLU attorneys looking to make a name for themselves while wasting countless tax payer dollars. Thank you very much, nut bags. Let’s move on.
4. I’m a big believer in personal responsibility. But that doesn’t mean turning the country back into the Wild West and/or abolish the EPA and saying screw the environment, but we’d better see a measurable return on our EPA investment…or heads will need to roll. I am for smaller government, but it is obvious that we can’t depend on the average person to police themselves when it comes to certain issues. You know damn well that if we didn’t have littering laws, you’d ocassionally pitch that Dasani bottle right out your Prius window.
To me personal responsibility means that people need to take more responsibility for their own actions and not always look to point fingers and decide that someone else made you do it. If you are driving home drunk and you drive off a cliff, you shouldn’t be able to sue the city for not putting a guard rail there. You were driving drunk. You should have to finance the guardrail for future drunk drivers. You can’t always point fingers and accept no responsibility for things. And you can’t let attorneys talk you into suing everyone for every little thing. If you did something, you did it. Hurting yourself shouldn’t always be a chance at lottery winnings, where, in the end, mostly the attorneys get rich.
And finally, for now, let me make a few comments on government run healthcare.
Good luck with that!
I think government run healthcare could be awesome…it’ll just never, ever, never, ever never happen in a wealthy, capitalistic society, such as ours. No one wanted their son to become a doctor so that they could help people. They wanted their son to be a doctor for the prestige and the (assumed) money that went with the title. Government run healthcare would have to be about doing what’s best for every patient. How are you going to do that? Currently, every hospital’s mission is to figure out how to extract money from the insurance companies, the government, the doctors, the patient, whoever. Taking really good care of the patient, at the end of the day, is really just necessary inconvenience. Healthacre is all about the money, always….like it or not. Good luck on helping someone with cancer. If they don’t have insurance and you don’t offer to pay for the treatment yourself, then who is paying for it? That’s always the first question asked…
You can have anyone you’d like as president, you’re not changing that.
Just imagine doctors as government employees. You know, so that they care deeply, like the yo-yo’s at the passport office. Here’s your guaranteed salary, it’s not a lot but you make a decent living. Show up every day and perform these surgeries. Really? It’ll never happen. Not unless we just contract the whole thing out to Wal-Mart. If they can’t do it, no one can.
Well, that’s enough ranting and raving for one day.
I raise my glass to all those with whom I’ve made connections.
And those who get out of my way while trying to make connecting flights.
See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya…
After all, you’re reading my dumb ranting & raving.