April 20, 2019

Hard to believe it’s Easter weekend already – isn’t the year flying by? My landscaper Carmelo and I take great pleasure in having the front “prayer grotto” and rear bougainvillea looking mighty fine for Easter, and I don’t think front or back has ever looked as good as it does this year.

In the front Carmelo has created a lower arch than we have had in prior years. I’d like to think we’re trying to accomplish two things: 1) accentuate the “grotto” aspect of the prayer grotto, and 2) simulate in our own small way the shape of the rock-hewn tomb Jesus was laid in and rose from on the third day. It’s kind of cool to duck your head underneath and have a look at the candle burning in front of the cross, dontcha think?

In the back, this year the gold bougainvillea really seems to have taken off. OK, so they’re more Christmas colors than Easter. But they still look great against a clear blue sky, don’t they?

Here’s hoping everyone has a blessed Easter weekend. Me? Today is “opening day” of The Great White Shank’s 2019 golf season, teeing it up at Superstition Springs Golf Club. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work on my golf game given my right hand (feeling 85%, thanks), work, and doing stuff around the house, but I’d like to think the minor changes I’ve been working on with my golf swing in what little time I have had are significant – things I hope to take to the course tomorrow. My sister-in-law Tam has made everyone Easter baskets, which will make for a colorful Easter Sunday.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:54 | Comments (0)
April 19, 2019

Hat tip: Rising Serpent

So in the end all the libs and their political operatives in the mainstream media are left with is a few measly strands of supposed “scandal” – Robert Mueller’s interpretation that it was difficult to assess Donald Trump’s mindset during the entire two years of Mueller’s investigation and therefore equally difficult to say yea or nay as to whether obstruction of justice occurred. That’s it.

Obstruction of justice? Obstruction of justice? Whoa, wait a minute. I – silly me – was under the impression after all the hype and hysteria from the likes of MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times and all the major networks that Robert Mueller’s investigation was all about Russia and collusion, and that Trump was some kind of Russian agent and even a traitor because his campaign collaborated with “Bad Vlad” to deny Hillary Clinton the election and the presidency that was so rightly hers.

What happened to that??

No, no. Even if obstruction of justice was true (which it obviously wasn’t, that was just Mueller giving President Trump the middle finger as a parting gift) – you Trump-hating losers (and you are the very definition of losers) don’t get to move the goalposts that easily. You can’t spend virtually every waking hour on your network coverage for more than two years pushing the Russia collusion angle with speculation, character assassination, and unnamed sources and then on the day the final report was issued detour all your attention to obstruction of justice. And even at that, you’re all looking like the morons you are and have been since Donald Trump was elected. As Powerline blog’s John Hinderaker points out:

One of the Democrats’ basic problems is that “attempting” to obstruct the investigation doesn’t make a lot of sense. If Trump had really wanted to obstruct the investigation, he could simply have terminated it. And Mueller acknowledges that the administration fully cooperated with the investigation in every way. So the “attempts to obstruct” come down to Trump expressing outrage at the fact that a baseless, partisan investigation was hampering his administration. Arguably Trump should have brought the Mueller farce to an end, but he didn’t.

The above being said, it’s fairly obvious what was going on with the Mueller investigation. Robert Mueller knew almost from the start that there was no evidence involving Russia collusion. The challenge was to take the investigation in whatever direction was needed to goad Trump to fire Mueller. (Which is why such a focus was initially on the (obvious) set-up meeting at Trump Tower involving Don Jr., who refused to take the bait.) Mueller figured if he could get any dirt on a Trump family member he’d be toast, and the Democrats – were they able to take both the House and the Senate in the 2018 midterms – would have sufficient cause for impeachment hearings, with, not unlikely, the support of more than a few Republicans along the way. Trump’s presidency would then be toast, leading him to either resign or be voted out in 2020.

Of course, the Republicans retained control of the Senate, and the movements by the Mueller investigation team, obviously goading the President to fire Mueller, were unsuccessful. Trump’s feelings about the Mueller investigation – whether on his own or by heeding the advice of his various counsels, never went beyond the feelings expressed on his Twitter feed. Bye-bye obstruction, and Mueller’s team, pissed, was reduced to the admission that there was no evidence of collusion with Russia and a parting shot of the amorphous language regarding obstruction.

So everything the Democrats and the liberal media have promoted for the better part of 2 1/2 years has now been proven to be much ado about nothing. Given their hatred of Trump, they’ll undoubtedly continue to hassle the President and his administration with more investigations and even impeachment threats, but I have a funny feeling both Chuck Schumer and “San Fran Nan” Pelosi know damned well that voters will now expect a little more constructive action from their elected leaders in Washington. Of course, the Democrats won’t be able to help themselves (Pelosi herself having lost control of her caucus), and they’ll try to make the 2020 elections a referendum on Trump’s presidency and his fitness for office. All I can say is, good luck with that – especially with the clown car of candidates the Dems will be running in 2020.

I may be wrong here, but if the Democrats continue to go down this road I do not believe the voters in 2020 will be amused.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:53 | Comments (0)
April 17, 2019

It had been a task I’d been putting off for as long as I can remember: cleaning the kitchen cabinets inside, outside, and upside. After all, while the outside of the cabinets had been cleaned from time to time since our arrival here in Arizona more than fifteen years ago, I had never gotten around to emptying out and cleaning the insides. Ugh. Here’s a pic of our kitchen so you know what I’m talking about:

I’m guessing, like most folks, we have several “go to” cabinets that contain the most-used stuff, like pots and pans and the like. But then (also like most folks, I gather) you have those cabinets that become the dumping ground for all kinds of assorted stuff that you end up either never using again or completely forgetting about – kinda like the household equivalent of a black hole. For us, it has always been the furthest cabinet on the upper right. Below the countertop, that’s where you can find glass vases of various shapes and sizes from the many wedding anniversaries and Tracey birthday observances over the years. Above the counter? Well, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what was even in there. Mostly because I seldom had a need to get anything from there due to its proximity furthest away from the cooking area. It was never used for any kind of cookware, so over the years whatever was put in there (outside of the trash bags) was pretty much ignored.

After the New Year, it was my resolution to clean the kitchen from top to bottom, including the inside of all cabinets. I had a feeling that, like most people undertaking a similar goal, I would find some things I really didn’t want to see in the deepest, darkest regions of my cabinet space. (Which I did, BTW, but there’s no need to go there.) Nevertheless, out came the plastic gloves and cleaning agents, believing that, in the end and once it was over and done with, I’d find the whole experience freeing and rewarding, with a kitchen that was top-to-bottom clean.

There really wasn’t any rhyme nor reason as to where I started – the Saturday I chose to start the day was sunny and the air clean and cool, so I opened the patio doors and chose the top right-hand side (nearest the doors), figuring I’d work the kitchen in a deliberate fashion from right to left. I opened the cabinet and after pulling the trash bag box I noted first a cardboard box marked “FRAGILE!”. I took the box out and gave it a bit of a shake (big mistake, as it turned out) and laid it on the island countertop. Opening the flaps I saw what looked like three shirts wrapped around an object of some kind. Imagine my surprise at pulling the first t-shirt out and two immediate observations:

1. The t-shirt was from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee – one of the schools I had been hoping to attend for my Masters in Divinity degree during my pursuit of being ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church.
2. The presence of beach sand on the countertop.

“What the hell?”, said I, suddenly realizing there was something of an unusual shape in the box. I carefully removed a second t-shirt (and with it, more sand) – another reminder of the four years we had spent in Kentucky between 1998-2002 and the following 1 1/2 years we lived in Milford, Mass. just prior to our move to Arizona. Removing the final t-shirt which served as a covering, I let out a gasp.

“Oh wow!” I had completely forgotten about a sea sculpture I believe (frequent commenter Jana will help me here) our good friend from Kentucky Jana gave to us as a gift before we left for Massachusetts.

It was beautiful, and something I had completely forgotten we had. I’m sure we had put it up in that cabinet when we first moved here, simply because we were so focused on getting all our important, daily-use stuff where it was going to be, figuring we’d find a place for it when everything else got settled before completely forgetting about its very existence.

Looking at the sea sculpture and the Sewanee shirt, my mind was flooded with memories, some good, some more bittersweet. More than anything, however, a real sense of melancholy came over me at just how much time had passed. I thought about what life was like when the box had been packed, the air from that time and moment sealed inside the box along with the sea sculpture and the t-shirts. Heck, I was in my late ’40s then, a whole lifetime seemingly ahead of me. My mom was alive and full of life, still living with my dad in their Lowell, Mass. condo. While seniors, my parents were still fairly young seniors and doing all the things they enjoyed doing together – going out to eat and going to the Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun casinos every month, playing cards with my Auntie Marge and my Uncle Don every Saturday night.

Now, more than fifteen years later, Mom is gone, and Auntie too. I’m 63, and I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks – at this point in life there’s really not a whole lot of new and exciting things to look forward to. Oh, there will come retirement (perhaps sooner than I’d like), and working on my golf game and not having to deal with all the bullshit at work is something worth looking forward to, I suppose. But I also know damned well that there’s bound to be some medical issue that arises that isn’t going to be pleasant, something that will make me long for days long passed – not wasted, I don’t think, not unappreciated at the time, neither – just days that were far better than they will be at some future point in time (hopefully later than sooner!).

Which is all life is, when you get right down to it – just time tick-tick-ticking away, and just a little faster every year.

But enough about things and events one can neither control nor foresee. I’ve put the sea sculpture on my bathroom vanity, just a foot or so away from the seashell tray filled with little seashell-shaped soaps that had sat on my parents’ bathroom countertop in the apartment they moved into not long after we moved out here in Arizona. I’d always liked it, and I brought it here to Arizona when my dad didn’t have room for it in the bathroom of the studio apartment he moved into last year. Together these cherished objects provide a daily reminder of times long passed – good times, I think, even if at the time I may not have thought the life and/or the situation I was in felt that way.

I guess that’s what time in its inevitable rite of passage does best – helps you remember the good times, forget the bad. Or, perhaps, what you thought was bad at the time that really wasn’t that bad after all. It’s just the ebb and flow of life, right? And its moments like the one that Saturday afternoon that made me realize just how long a road it has been that I’ve traveled, both physically (and metaphysically).

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:20 | Comments (4)
April 15, 2019

Can you imagine what the vibe was like at GOLF Channel after Tiger Woods’ win at Augusta on Sunday? Why, you just know it had to have been the golf equivalent of what it would have been like at CNN and MSNBC had Robert Mueller’s report found incontrovertible evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that a subpoena with Donald Trump’s John Hancock on it was forthcoming. I mean, to see all that fawning coverage and over-the-top ass-kissing (yes, I’m especially talking about you, Rich Lerner) for the past, what, ever finally – finally! bear fruit had to have been very self-satisfying beyond their wildest dreams.

Now that Tiger has won his 15th major the floodgates open. The hunt for Jack’s record of 18 majors is back on.

How amazing is Tiger? Isn’t Tiger magnificent? What can Tiger do to top this?

Tiger. Tiger. Tiger. Tiger. Tiger. All Tiger all the time.

Now there’s no longer any excuse for 24/7 Tiger coverage. It’s back to open season on everything Tiger. We’ll hear about every thought, comment, and action Tiger takes for the rest of our natural lives or until his body breaks down again (whichever comes first). He’s now automatically the overwhelming favorite going into every tournament he enters. Everything that was once off the board is back on the board. No one, or nothing else, associated with professional golf – never mind the PGA TOUR – matters anymore. No matter what anyone does going forward, it will all be somehow related back to Tiger and what Tiger did or has done.

Just think of it. Say, Brooks Koepka wins, say, another U.S. Open. You just know the first question out of the media’s mouth will be, “So, Brooks, how does this win feel knowing that you missed that putt on 18 at the Masters to basically hand Tiger the tournament.” Or, say, Justin Thomas wins his second major down the line and Tiger finishes four strokes back. You just know the question will be something like, “So Justin, did having Tiger lurking behind you with a chance at his 16th major ever enter your mind?” Because that’s how it’s going to be going forward – no matter what anyone else does, or how anyone else plays, you just know the media – and especially the shills at GOLF Channel – will try and work Tiger into the conversation. You thought it was bad before today? Lemme tell, y’all, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Unless you’re an incurable Tiger flunkie, the coverage will be virtually unwatchable.

Look, I’m not trying to take anything away from Tiger’s achievement, most especially after everything he has been through since his last major win in 2008. He not only outplayed the field on a murky, threatening Sunday, he out-thought and thus out-persevered the rest of the field. I always figured if Tiger was going to win another major it would be at Augusta. Why? Because Augusta on a Sunday is unlike any other experience in professional golf. It requires, thought, patience, and strategy. It’s not just about the shot in front of you, it’s recognizing the vibe all around you and how to handle it. And, besides Phil Mickelson, there’s no one who knows Augusta, the pressure, the shot-making required, and the Sunday afternoon vibe, better than Tiger Woods.

The saying goes that the Masters doesn’t really start until the back nine on Sunday, and was there never a better example of that today? I mean, there you had Francesco Molinari on cruise control, only to be one of four – four! – players in the last two groups to find the water on the par 3 #12. And when that happened you could almost hear the gears in Tiger’s head start churning up a notch. He knew, just like everyone knew, that Molinari created an opening wide enough to drive a 16-wheeler through it, and that that was going to sting the rest of the way through. And while there were players and pretenders making mini-charges the rest of the way, you could see Tiger simply sticking to his plan, knowing that if he kept on doing what he was doing the others would find a way to fall by the wayside.

Honestly? I didn’t think Brooks Koepka was going to miss that putt on 18. After all, dude has ice water in his veins, right? I mean, of all the friggin’ putts to miss! But that’s the way it goes.

A couple of other thoughts:

1. Enough about Rory McIlroy. He’s the golf equivalent of a pretty boy who just doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. Might be the greatest guy in the world, but he made his fame and fortune too early. Whenever I hear someone say that (for all intents and purposes) it doesn’t really matter if you win or lose the Masters it won’t change who you are as a person, that tells me everything I need to know. No one will dispute his talent, but the fact is, he’s not, and never will be, a killer. And the same holds true for Justin Rose.

2. Jordan Spieth? Ditto. Listen, I absolutely love to watch the guy play golf, but it’s obvious he’s got a stubborn streak in him a mile wide. Brandel Chamblee laid out before THE PLAYERS exactly what Jordan was doing wrong and what he needed to get back to his earlier form, and you have to think “his team” saw or heard Brandel’s comments. The fact he hasn’t taken them to heart tells me everything I need to know. Regardless of his public comments, he’s got to know that his swing sucks and he has no clue where his next shot is going to go. So what’s he trying to prove?

3. Dustin Johnson misses way too many putts from ten feet in to ever win a green jacket. He played great this week, but at Augusta (as I’m sure he knows) it all comes down to putting. I think Brooks Koepka now knows this and will adjust accordingly – after all, he, unlike Rory, is a steely-eyed killer who’s going to win at least one major this year. And perhaps Augusta next year.

4. Alternatively, Xander Schauffele is a virtual lock to win a green jacket someday. He’s got the same kind of steely-eyed killer instinct that Koepka does, he’s just a little behind him yet. Justin Thomas? I’m not so sure. I think there are some tournaments and courses that make a good match for players and I don’t see Augusta being that way for JT.

5. While it was pathetic to see Adam Scott miss all those putts on Saturday, it’s just as well as he did, because if he couldn’t make them on “moving day” you knew there was no way in hell he was going to make them on Sunday when it mattered. I love his swing but as a putter he is painful to watch.

Finally, just another indicator of how Tiger Woods doesn’t just move the needle, he is the needle. After the Masters ended, I was at the PGA TOUR Superstore down the street to pick up a couple of gloves. I mentioned to the sales person Tiger’s win, and the guy tells me they expect business to increase as much as 20% over the coming weeks purely because of Tiger’s win at Augusta. Tells you something, huh?

Is it too late to make Tiger the favorite at Bethpage Black? Or maybe even sweep the majors and catch Jack after winning the Open Championship in July? Why not? After all, you just know he’s now the favorite going into all those events. Heck, he’s already a lock for golfer of the year.

Whoo whoo!!!! I’m riding the Tiger train.

I think not. But he does deserve all the congratulations in the world for finding his way back to the top of the professional golf world. Well done, Tiger.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comments (0)
April 13, 2019

It’s 2019 and we’ve finally decided to something about the backyard. It looks OK – most especially the repainted patio:

…but the 800 lb. gorilla in the backyard has always been the swimming pool patio/deck. Over the past few years it has really started to show its age – the pool deck coating has become chipped and completely missing in spots, revealing the poured concrete underneath it.

…but, given the size and shape of the backyard, the pool deck is such a critical feature that we’ve been holding off on any kind of decision until we could comfortably answer the question, with what?

As you can imagine, living in the Valley of the Sun and with all the swimming pools out here, the products and options for resurfacing pool decks are endless – everything do-it-yourself material you just pour and smooth over yourself to more exotic solutions such as the various kinds of tile out there.

In addition, I’ve been wanting to maximize the space available for true recreation on the pool deck by moving the barbeque grill back where I had it when we originally moved out here: to the concrete slab on the east-facing side of the house where the previous owners once had their spa.

The main problem with that location is that there’s no light out there, so when barbecuing during the fall and winter it’s damned dark out there. Sure, I could do what I used to do before and bring my flashlight out with me, but that’s not very cool, is it? Besides, that concrete slab is just begging for a new and exotic look that will make the whole area look that much more inviting and fun. So, I’ve been tossing around in my head running some kind of overhead lighting solution that doesn’t look third-rate and then recoating or painting or resurfacing that slab.

Finally, I’ve been thing about a wood-burning fire pit for a while now. Sure, we have a chiminea, but it’s not really cut out for the kind of wood burning you’d like to do come, say, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And there’s this neutral spot between the pool deck and the grass area in front of the tiki bar just screaming out for something that looks recreational on cool nights: not to mention something you can enjoy by simply turning the chairs around on the pool deck to enjoy.

So there’s a lot of potential work to be done. But nothing was going to get moving until we made a decision on what to do with the pool deck. Every six weeks or so we get these magazines featuring every kind of home improvement company or service vendor you could imagine. Tracey is pretty picky about what she’s looking for as a pool deck surface replacement – it can’t be boring, and it can’t be all brown-shaded: after all, our newly-repainted patio is painted in lovely tropical colors. That being said, you also don’t want to get crazy and choose something that might turn off someone who might now share the same ideas about color and theme we do.

Enter the folks at Allied Outdoor Solutions and their Carvestone product. It’s perfect for what we’re looking for. Between the costs of do-it-yourself coatings and the high cost of solutions like granite and travertine tile, this not only fits our budget, but it comes in a wide range of colors that we’ll be able to select to integrate our patio and pool into a happy and colorful theme. Better yet, they will do our blank concrete slab for the designated barbeque area and even include a color medallion in the middle of the slab to really make it stand out. I think I’m going with an ancient sun:

Once the pool deck is done, everything else will fall into place: the barbecue grill will go to its new area on the east side of the house, and I’ll have the good folks at Hawkeye Landscaping create a lighting solution that will look great. (Hey, if we ever move from here and the new owners want to put a spa there it will make the side yard even more attractive!) Then, we’ll put in a wood-burning firepit with a mortar siding that will match the pink color in our patio with a surface around the top that will match the color of the pool deck. Everything will be integrated, everything will be designed for three-season “fun, fun, fun” that – oh, by the way – will increase the value of our property and make it more attractive to new home-buyers.

I’m kind of pleased and excited about the changes. I think, between the repainted patio, the cut-back mesquite tree, and the commitment to a new pool deck solution we’re finally going to be able to put the (at least for us) age-old question of “what are we going to do about the backyard” behind us. Can’t wait to show you the before and after pics – it ought to be something!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:04 | Comments (2)
April 11, 2019

It’s time to tee it up. All the yakking, prognosticating, and Rory McIlroy “Grand Slam” and Tiger Woods is Back! hype is over. It’s time to walk the walk, my friends, through Augusta National’s 18 holes in Great White Shank style. So here are 18 thoughts – some golf, some not, as another Masters beckons:

1. (Tea Olive). This will be the week when, looking back, the whole story behind the so-called “Russia collusion” began the shift from Donald Trump to the Democrats. Personally, I don’t think Democrats are outraged as much as they are scared shitless. Because (and it’s going to take time) the truth will ultimately be revealed that the truth behind “Russia” was nothing more than a silent coup attempted against a duly-elected President of the United States. And it’s going to get ugly. Because, just as the legendary mouthpiece of the Watergate scandal, “Deep Throat” told Bob Woodward about Watergate, “everyone is involved”.

2. (Pink Dogwood). Maybe, maybe not. But I’m leaning to this being a very big story going into the 2020 elections.

3. (Flowering Peach). I wish more professional golf tournaments would follow the example of Augusta National. The whole phone thing has gotten way out of hand.

4. (Flowering Crab Apple). I’ll admit, when she was first elected I thought Alexandra Ocasio-Cortex was very hot. But for gawdsakes, the woman can’t keep her friggin’ mouth shut, and her outrageous conspiracy theories are making her look like an absolute fool. Can’t somebody shut this girl up? I know if I’m feeling this way there are plenty of others as well. I’ll tell you this: she’s ruined whatever good will I was willing to toss her way. Once h-o-t hot, now just another Democratic leftist loon.

5. (Magnolia). …what she is, in fact, is a narcissist whose election inflated her ego to staggering proportions. And the same holds true for her Jew-hating compadre, Ilhan Omar. Something tells me “San Fran Nan” Pelosi is about to drop the hammer on these two clowns. As the new face of the Democratic Party, they may have a large Twitter following, but that doesn’t – and never will – translate to votes. Not to mention the fact that together they’re making their national Party look like morons.

6. (Juniper). I can’t think of Juniper bushes without thinking about this scene from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.

7. (Pampas). I guess it goes without saying that if the governor of Virginia were a Republican he wouldn’t get this kind of treatment. Democrats and their political operatives in the mainstream media are such friggin’ hypocrites.

8. (Yellow Jasmine). If you’re looking for what my next “Top 10” music list is going to feature, here’s a little hint, my little flower children.

9. (Carolina Cherry). The fact that The Boston Globe gave valuable opinion space to an pathetically ignorant and outrageously childish moron like this tells you everything you need to know about where today’s Democratic Party is. (Not to mention the Globe’s mindset.) Simply put, these people are batshit-crazy loons. And don’t tell Donald Trump is to blame – all he did was win an election over a Hillary Clinton.

10. (Camellia). …let me play straight with y’all: if you’re using Trump’s election to lower and disgrace yourself in thought like Mr. O’Neil has done in print, you’ve got bigger life issues than just Donald Trump being your president. Grow up.

11. (White Dogwood). This just another reason why I despise the NFL. When someone fears his political beliefs are going to harm him when it comes to getting drafted, it tells you just how many teams there are in the NFL truly committed to winning. If you’re a NFL owner who believes being a good social justice warrior trumps (no pun intended) putting the most talented team on the playing field, you need to find yourself another line of business.

12. (Golden Bell). This is a great story. His tenure in Boston might have been stormy, but no one who watched Manny and David “Big Papi” Ortiz hit back-to-back over their years together could never deny that whatever you were doing at the time, you dropped it to watch them hit. Never mind the fact that Manny helped the Red Sox win World Series championships in both 2004 (the best one ever, with Manny being named World Series MVP) and 2007. He may have driven me (and my parents) crazy from time to time, but I sure remember Manny Ramirez fondly.

13. (Azalea). I think the esteemed (at least in my view) Victor Davis Hanson has hit the nail on the head with this. Democrats know the only way to keep African-Americans on the plantation is to pander to them by playing the race card. As Candace Owens so eloquently put it in her fiery Congressional testimony on Tuesday, Democrats think African-Americans are stupid and only understand identity politics. And so, to make sure their electoral slaves stay chained to their political masters, their 2020 clown car candidates bring the concept of reparations mainstream. It’s a cynical and pathetic joke that is going to backfire on them, big time.

14. (Chinese Fir). Seems to me this is kind of a big thing. This is what makes folks so enraged about the “Deep State”. And I’m no political partisan when it comes to this: I guarantee both Democrats – and Republicans – are equally guilty. The present system of spoils stinks and, in my view, beyond repair. The only fix for the system is term limits, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

15. (Firethorn). My back patio painting project is done, and (as you’ll see in a soon-to-be-published post) our decisions on a major re-do in the backyard are committed to, so it’s time to start working on my golf game in earnest. The right hand feels ~ 85%, so there’s no excuse not to. The goal will be to hit balls and work on my short game twice next week, then kick off the 2019 golf season with (hopefully) the traditional Opening Day at Superstition Springs G.C. a week from Saturday.

16. (Redbud). When Barack Obama starts making more sense than all the Democratic challengers who have announced to date, you know the Democrats have a problem. It still wouldn’t surprise me to see Michelle Obama make an entry in the race – after all, looking at the Dems’ clown car candidates to date, you have to think the major donors out there would just love to throw their money behind a force like Moochelle. I think it would be a mistake on her part, but power can be a very enticing force.

17. (Nandina). My dark horse picks for the Masters this year? I’m going with Paul Casey and Jason Day, because I can’t make up my mind who will play better.

18. (Holly). My pick for the Masters this year? I’d love it to be Rory McIlroy, but logic says that Justin Rose has the game and the track record to win the Green Jacket. Lots of folks are picking Tiger Woods, but something tells me he’s not going to play as well as everyone suspects.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:44 | Comments (0)
April 7, 2019

It’s my favorite golf week of the year, hands down (sorry, Goodboys!). It’s Masters week, and it never gets old. And I want to hear and see it all.

I want to see the nightly GOLF Channel “Live From the Masters” shows with all those dopey, hopelessly overwrought, and sentimental Rich Lerner segments with the same sappy music playing behind them.

I want to see Rich, Brandel, Frank, and David at the desk, the familiar tree behind their set.

I want to hear Jim Nantz and his sappy but familiar “Hello, friends.” greeting.

I want to hear the stories of long past – especially if they involve Ken Venturi.

I want to feel all the emotion and the sentimentality, with lots of stories about the legends about Augusta National.

I want to hear every cliché and key moments in Masters history. I want to hear the origin of “Amen Corner” and Gene Sarazen’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, the Ben Hogan bridge, and how you just cannot go right on #15 with the Sunday pin placement. I want to hear the phrase “It’s moving day at the Masters”, and how the Masters doesn’t really start until the back nine on Sunday.

Shit, I’ll even put up with that moron Mike Turico who totally sucks with his phony “professional announcer” voice acting like he actually knows something beyond what is constantly fed to him via TelePrompTer.

…and the 4,321,623 references to Tiger Woods that will be made throughout the week.

More than anything, I want to hear the Masters theme song 30,000 times between now and next Sunday.

Because, as far as I’m concerned, it never gets old.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 20:31 | Comments (0)
April 4, 2019

Now this is the proper way to do cocktails.

So it appears there’s a ghost at the Wilmington, Mass. Market Basket. Maybe they should contact The Dead Files and ask Amy and Steve to come out.

When you remember that this country’s college and university systems are run by former ’60s hippies, feminists, and radicals solely for the purpose of indoctrinating and brainwashing students into advancing their liberal/progressive agenda this kind of thing makes sense. As I’ve said numerous times before the Baby Boomer generation is worst thing that has ever been foisted upon this country in its history.

…and when you replace the words “journalist” and “contributor” when it comes to the mainstream media – most especially, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and The Washington Post and The New York Times” – with the words “Democratic Party operatives” this kind of thing makes sense as well.

Even in this day and age, with the likes of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar being the anti-Semite face of the Democratic Party, it’s hard to find a more vile, despicable, and hateful person than Linda Sarsour. But the mainstream media sure loves to give her air and face-time. Hey, maybe the Dems can get her to run for Congress in 2020? After all, they’ve already got a rather infamous anti-Semite planning a run for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico.

Just another example of why Joe Biden ought to hang up his running shoes. PowerLine blog’s Paul Mirengoff is right:

A normal person would flatly deny the allegation if he didn’t believe it. If he did believe it, he would either deny the allegation anyway or apologize.

If he wasn’t sure (i.e., he didn’t recall doing what he’s accused of but knew he was capable of it — which is probably the case with Biden), a normal would either deny the allegation or simply say he doesn’t remember inappropriately touching Flores. He would not add the obligatory salute to the “Me Too” movement.

This whole episode – like any number of others that can happen when one is running for the highest office in the land – shines a light into a candidate’s soul. And from this one can only gather that Joe Biden appears to have none, he’s just a panderer to the worst angels of our nature. Time to call it a day, Joe.

…besides, you can bet this Twitter thread is gonna draw some blood. All I can say is, those of us in conservative circles have known this fact for a long time.

Folks who are all worked up about the Red Sox tepid start need to remind themselves that their pitching staff is still, for all intents and purposes, in extended spring training. These guys pitched into almost November last year, and I think manager Alex Cora is right to ease them into the season.

Just another reason why President Trump can’t close our southern border soon enough. Could there be decent folks just looking for a better life? I’m sure. But my guess the vast majority are just like this ungrateful, vile woman looking to eat and drink at the trough of the American taxpayer. Here’s hoping this woman’s sorry ass is deported quickly and efficiently.

OK, I got it: Increased taxes all around, open borders, infanticide, and slavery reparations. Man, that is one hell of a Democratic Party platform going into 2020.

I love this song. Reminds me of me and my friend Jerome Pascua back in Kentucky calling up the Georgetown public radio station almost daily to make our eclectic requests. Good times.

…”No Exit” was a great album. This was another great track from that album. Dreamy, yet edgy.

It’s a long read, but everything you need to know about what was really behind the Robert Mueller / “Russian Collusion” investigation can be found here. Even if you despise Donald Trump with a passion, I ask you to open your mind for just a few minutes. I guarantee you wouldn’t want any Democratic president to go through what President Trump has had to endure for the past 2 1/2 years.

Could this be the par 3 “hidden gem” being touted by Exec-Comm for Friday play at this year’s Goodboys Invitational?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (0)
April 1, 2019

The pic is of a dog, of course, but the same sentiment holds true if you’re a dog or cat lover, a bunny lover, or any kind of an animal lover, for that matter. Here at the Richard hacienda we’ve had several cats and a slew of rabbits over the years. My sister-in-law Tam still grieves daily over her bunnies “the Beastie Boys“, Cookie and Sherman, who were such a big (and important) part of her life during some very difficult years. And I know not a day goes by where Tracey doesn’t think about the true love of her life, her Marble, and miss him terribly.

Me? I try to remember all the rabbits we have had come through our lives with various computer passwords. It sounds strange, I’m sure, but every time I have to type in their names it’s an opportunity to remember something fondly about them.

Whenever Tammy gets blue over the loss of Cookie and Sherm, all I can do is tell her just how much her rabbits, the ones she’s had and the ones she has now, and those rabbits we have had and have right now, caught the gold ring in life. They, of course, may not know it, but a lot of rabbits don’t get to live very nice lives – rabbits require a lot of work and folks who think a cute, cuddly rabbit for Junior will often allow it to be mishandled and mistreated, or leave it stuck in a small cage. And I’m sure the same holds true for a lot of dogs and cats. So all you can do is spoil your pets rotten, talk to them in stupid, child-like voices, and give them the very best lives you can. And when the time comes when you have to say goodbye to them, even with the pain it causes, the best way to celebrate their lives is, after giving yourself a little time to mourn, welcome yet another new family member into your home.

Because what the pic above says is absolutely true.

Pic hat tip: Ace of Spaces HQ.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:46 | Comments (0)
March 30, 2019

This will be a good weekend for staying as far away from the computer as possible. I’ve had a bunch of long workdays, and it’s time to work on cleaning the back patio and prepping it for repainting and re-staining next weekend. We’re on the very cusp of much warmer weather, so there’s not a moment to lose! Of course, it means the golf game is back on the shelf for a week or two, but that’s OK – I’m not really all that revved up about playing right now, anyways. There’s just too much to do. And there are plans for a bit of a backyard redesign that I’ll be sharing in my (hopefully) next post (with pictures, no less!). In the meantime…

Think I’ll play this great tune repeatedly while washing down the patio, see what the neighbors think. I mean, you just have to play this loud, right? The cool thing about this song is that the only non-Moog sounds are Donna Summer’s voice and a drummer kicking out the beat with a single smack. But, just to show that more isn’t necessarily better, I have to admit I like the studio (single) version better. It’s just tighter. Check out the video – all these musicians acting as if they’re playing when actually there were only two musicians on the recording, and one of them was Summer, singing! (my boldings):

Before “I Feel Love”, most disco recordings were backed by orchestras. Instead, the team produced “I Feel Love” with a Moog Modular 3P synthesizer borrowed from the classical composer Eberhard Schoener, aided by Schoener’s assistant, Robby Wedel. Wedel proved essential for using the technically complex synthesizer, and Moroder described him as the “unsung hero” of the project. He demonstrated how to synchronize the song’s various elements using an internal click track, a feat Moroder described as “a revelation”.

The song was recorded on a 16-track tape recorder, with the various parts played on a sequencer. As the Moog went out of tune quickly, it had to be recorded in bursts of twenty or thirty seconds before being retuned. To create the hi-hat sound, the team took white noise generated by the Moog and processed it with an envelope. As the Moog could not create an appropriate kick drum sound, the kick was played on a drum kit by session drummer Keith Forsey. Aside from Summer’s vocals, the kick drum is the only element of the song not played by a machine.

40 years later, it still sounds like it came from another universe. It’s an all-time favorite.

Hell, if it were up to me it would haven been closed two weeks ago. But I’ll take it.

I tried to tell y’all that Joe Biden wasn’t aware of what was about to hit him, and, once again, The Great White Shank has been proven right. Biden has always been a stooge, a dolt of a politician, with the political instincts of a sugar glider. Case in point, 2016: sure, his family tragedy had a lot to do with his decision not to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, but as a politician he had to have known that had he entered the race he not only would have beaten Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, he was probably the only Democratic challenger who would have beaten Donald Trump. I guarantee you I wasn’t the only one that breathed a sigh of relief when Biden announced his decision not to seek the presidency.

…that being said, these kinds of moments come and go in the world of politics in the blink of an eye, and in 2019 Biden is old, white, and a symbol of everything that’s wrong with Washington politics. He’s a dope and a joke – someone you wouldn’t even rely on to run supermarket errands. Forget about what the polls say – at this point they’re all about name recognition and nothing else. Fact is, Biden would get his lunch handed to him on the debate stage when things start to get serious. And the unflattering articles being written about him are shots across the bow to tell him to make like an egg and beat it. He’s yesterday’s news, and the other candidates need his donors dough-re-mi for their own campaigns to help them rise above an ever-crowded field.

Simply put, who cares what Jeff Flake thinks? This is a guy, remember, who couldn’t even garner a favorability rating over 16% – 16%! – in Arizona, and as a result chose wisely not to run for re-election. Why anyone thinks anyone cares what this political ignoramus thinks is beyond me.

If I’m Barack Obama I’m carefully watching where the “Russia collusion” hoax fall-out goes from here. This whole thing started with Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch. They thought they were going to get away with it, but then Hillary, of course, lost the election, and then they never thought in a million years Donald Trump would show the patience to allow the Mueller witch-hunt to proceed to it’s completion.

…do you not see it? All the hubbub from Democrats and their operatives in the mainstream media saying, “Donald Trump better not fire Robert Mueller!”, and those unsubstantiated (of course) rumors that Mueller planned to indict Donald Jr. and Ivanka were all nothing but political head-fakes designed to lure Trump into firing Mueller, thereby opening him to real obstruction of justice charges that would increase the chances of impeachment.

…but it was all a joke. Everyone, from Mueller on down to just about everyone except sleaze-ball Adam Schiff and his toady congress-critter from California Eric Swalwell knew there was never any collusion. Now the Democrats have put themselves in the position of looking like sore losers – something easy to spot by voters.

Want my opinion? After the Mueller report is released in its entirety (or as much as is legally possible) in the next two weeks, watch Chuckles Schumer and “San Fran Nan” Pelosi swallow hard and call a yuuuuge press conference to wave the white flag, announcing their acceptance of the results of the Mueller investigation. They’ll say their intention were honest, that they were just “watching out for the American people and the sanctity of the American electoral process.” Of course, it will be bullshit, but it would be the smart thing to do politically – they have to know at this point they’re fighting a losing battle. Besides, they and their party need to start switching the focus and attention to 2020, the debates, and their candidates’ plans for where they want to take the country (for better or for worse).

I’m still not convinced that we won’t see Michelle Obama enter the race for the Democratic nomination.

Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:30 | Comments (0)

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