Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Joe Puente's services for travel donations

A recent letter of appeal...

Greetings, friends and colleagues.

As many of you know, I'm trying to scrape together some money so that I can visit my Dad for Christmas in Idaho.

I have received a few donations in the spirit of the season and for that I am truly grateful!

I also want everyone to know that I have some skills that could be of use to many in the business, film and arts communities and for the next couple of weeks I'm offering those services in a "Name-Your-Own-Price"* model with all fees going toward the budget to fund my trip.

One thing that might appeal to you are head shots! I'm a pretty good photographer and I would be happy to take some head shots for you at a location of your choosing in the Salt Lake area—several different backgrounds, poses and whatnot—all for the bargain price of... whatever you would like to donate to "Operation: Surprise Joe's Dad for Christmas!"

Whether you write screenplays, novels, short stories or essays, I can do some proofreading and editing for you. Again, for a nominal fee defined by YOU! I can also offer some basic critique if you like.

I too am a writer and can put together anything from formal correspondence to business plans and even resume writing services.

As a filmmaker myself, I have some production experience under my belt in addition to being an actor. In exchange for your kind donation, I'm offering my services both in front of and behind the camera. If I don't quite fit the character-type you're looking for, then by all means, I can work on your crew for an upcoming project in any capacity from Producer to PA—More specifically, "Super-PA™" (For more information on what that entails, please visit: )

Thinking about starting your own business? Believe it or not, I offer consultations for people looking into self-employment. I've done a lot of research and have practical experience with setting up S-corps, LLCs, non-profit organizations and sole proprietorships. Let me help you figure out what model might work best for you. I normally charge $50/hour for consults but I'm consulting for donations for the next couple of weeks.

To give you an idea of what I need and where I'm at, here's a rough breakdown:

I'm making this trip in my car and to ensure that I do it safely, I'm getting some necessary repair work done (new brakes among other items). Cost for these repairs is going to be around $250 for parts and labor. I'm figuring my travel expenses (gas and food, primarily) will be around $150. So, I'm trying to raise close to $400.

So far, I'm about halfway there. I have until December 19th to get the rest of the way. So, if there's a service that I can provide in return for a donation to the cause, please contact me at this e-mail address: and/or by phone at (801) 608-4724

Thank you all so much for helping me to make my Dad's Christmas.


Joe Puente

If you have a PayPal account, you can book me or send a donation directly to me by logging into, clicking on the "Send Money" tab and then clicking on the "Send Money Online" link and entering "" in the "To" field.

If you don't have PayPal, you can still make an online contribution to the operation by clicking on the button below (be sure to include a note if there's some service that I can provide as well):

Thank you very much for considering my efforts and for your support.

*You can pay whatever you want for these services, though I hope you will consider donating something close to what you think the work is worth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Operation: Surprise Dad for Christmas

Dad called me the other day and asked me what my holiday plans were.

I told him what I had been thinking up until that point. That I was just going to stay home because I was planning to visit my sister in Georgia this coming February but that I would look into some other options for Christmas. I haven't seen Dad in a few years.

Well, I looked into flights to Idaho. I couldn't afford it. No surprise there. Then I looked into bus fare. Unfortunately that was too much as well. I e-mailed my step-mom to tell her the bad news. That I wouldn't be able to visit for Christmas.

Then I got to thinking: I can probably postpone my trip to see my sister and if it's so I can visit our Dad, she'll certainly understand (and she did). A lot of the cost of a ticket is paying for somebody else to get you there. I own a car. I should just figure out what the cost of driving to see Dad would be then factor in other variables.

Travel costs aren't that complicated.

• It's a roughly 750 mile round trip
• I get about 20 miles to the gallon in my car
• The cost for gas there and back would be around $130
• I can take food and water with me so I won't need to stop for meals, just to refuel and take Phil for a walk (Oh, yeah! I'm taking my dog Phil!)
• I just got my oil changed so I'm good in that department

But... my car is 18 years old. It's had a few items replaced and repaired over the years but they're the sort of things that kind of sneak up on you. I have no idea what will need to be fixed next nor when, where or how much it will cost. I'd certainly like to be prepared for some unexpected surprises along the way to visiting Dad. Ideally, I'd like to get this stuff taken care of prior to the trip.

I have a few things that I'm trying to sell in order to cover some of these costs but I'm not sure if they will sell in time or if I'll get enough money for them. We'll see.

I'm pretty sure I can cover the gas but if anyone can kick a few bucks my way to help me visit my Dad this Christmas, I'd really appreciate it. I'm also happy to offer my services in various professional capacities in exchange for donations. I'm a photographer, videographer (My services on film crews with The Super-Production Kit™ are also available) and writer (not just screenplays and commercials, I also do business writing, official correspondence, business plans, I even speak a little legalese*). I also do business and media consulting and I have a knack for certain household repair jobs like some electrical repairs, installing shelves, painting, etc.

That being said, I'd like to invite the reader to help me make Dad's Christmas. If you have a PayPal account, you can send a donation directly to me by logging into, clicking on the "Send Money" tab and then clicking on the "Send Money Online" link and entering "" in the "To" field.

If you don't have PayPal, you can still make an online contribution to the operation by clicking on the button below (be sure to include a note if there's some service that I can provide as well):

Thank you very much for considering my efforts and for your support.

*I am not a lawyer, I do not offer legal advice, just some basic information. I have composed drafts of letters and articles of incorporation that have later been reviewed and edited by legal counsel prior dissemination and/or official filing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hold to the rod

So, I'm reading the Book of Mormon this morning—1 Nephi, Chapter 8 (Lehi's vision of the tree of life)—and as I read the description of an iron rod next to a river surrounded by mist, I couldn't help but think... By he time I got to the tree, holding onto that piece of iron the whole way, my hand would probably be coated with rust. I guess I'd pick my tree of life fruit with my other hand. ;-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life Coaching

Had a consultation with a life coach today. Not sure if I can afford a life coach but it was an interesting experience.

It started with an e-mail that contained a few questions for me to answer. My reply follows:

I have opened this e-mail several times and read the questions. And several more times I have sat down to write my answers only to run away from them or find an excuse to do something else. I even took a "break" between THIS sentence and the one that preceded it. I'm feeling very anxious and my mind is racing, though I don't feel like I'm doing anything, just running around in circles. Here goes...


1.What are your 3 biggest desires and dreams for your life - the ones that really get you excited?

1) To tell beautiful and profound stories that move people through writing and filmmaking.

2) To find someone to share my life with, who understands me and will support me in my goals and who won't judge me unrighteously.

3) ...

I'm not sure if there's anything else I want to do. At first I wrote "To have the resources to accomplish my dreams without the acquisition of said resources supplanting those dreams" but then I realized that I wasn't at all excited by that, the very idea of it stresses me out.

2. What are your three biggest fears/concerns about your life-where do you find yourself getting stuck?

I was once confronted by a friend in the Navy, his name was Michael Sapp, he kept telling me that I had to face my fears. That I had to do the things that I was afraid of. He kept asking me over and over, "What are you afraid of, Joe?" and I kept dodging the question. So he just asked again, "What are you afraid of?" and I'd try to change the subject. Then he asked more forcefully, "What are you afraid of?" And I blurted out, "Being alone." And he said right there, "Then be alone."

I've gotten used to being alone. But...

1) I'm afraid of ending up alone.

2) I'm afraid my own narcissism will undermine any progress I might make personally or professionally.

3) I'm afraid of becoming so successful that I turn into one of those rich assholes who thinks that their bank balance is a direct indicator of God's approval and blessings.

3. What do you hope/believe working with me could do for you and your life?
I honestly have no idea. I have very little in the way of income, assets or resources so I'm not sure if this will even go farther than a friendly consultation. At the very least, I hope to gain some perspective.


Joseph L. Puente

               ...since 1974

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Self check-out

I both love and hate the self check-out kiosks that are popping up at more and more stores.

I love not having to deal with anyone when I buy stuff but there is something to be said about looking someone in the eye when you're about to put down money to buy junk food. There is no guilt at the self-checkout. I hate that the machines can be so damned fickle. The touch screens don't always work. The area where you put your items after scanning them is a giant scale so if you rest something against the machine its full weight isn't on the scale which locks up the machine and notifies an attendant to come over, forcing you to deal with people when you clearly don't want to. Sometimes I will ask for help, like when a bar code won't scan for whatever reason but this one time this woman comes over and scans the defective barcode with her hand-held scanner and hands it to me. I put it in the bag and then start to reach for another item which she then scans and hands to me.

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"I'll scan it, you bag it," she says.

"No. The whole point of me using this kiosk is so I don't have to deal with anybody." It wasn't even like the scanner was broken, the barcode on that one item was where the problem was.

I think I might have pissed her off but seriously, self check-out is for people to check out themselves. Maybe she was bored waiting around to help people. Which leads to another reason why I hate the self check-out: how many jobs it costs. And yet, I still use it.