April 30, 2007

Thoughts while lounging by the pool on a warm night amidst the awful realization the summer is not only here, but, here to stay (at least for the next 5 1/2 months)..

* How about the Red Sox taking five of six from the Bronx Bombers over the past two weekends? One can gloss over the numbers all you want, but the fact is, if things remain this way for the next few weeks, the Yankees won’t have much of a bullpen to call upon for the rest of the season. Their starting pitching is in tatters, and there’s no way anyone can rightly expect their offense to carry the load over a long season. The awful truth is, the Yankees are an old team, have no starting rotation they can count on, and a bullpen on the verge of collapse. Could be a long summer in the Bronx…

* On the other side of the coin, Hideki Okajima and the Sox’ bullpen seem better than advertised. Not only has Okajima proved more than capable of being a solid set-up man for uber-closer Jonathan Papelbon, but he’s got the Yankees number. Until events prove otherwise, this is no insignificant development, as the Yankees have to know that, between Okajima and Papelbon, the usual nine-inning affair has just shrunk to seven innings max when it comes to being able to do damage against the Sox’ pitching staff.

* It’s often said that Democrats have never met a tax they didn’t like. To that end, good to see the wealthy, ambulance-chasing trial lawyer show his true stripes. You watch, the rest of the Dems Presidential candidates will now be tripping over one another in the weeks ahead with their own tax increase plans. When it comes to promoting class warfare, no one does it better than the Democrats. What a bunch of freakin’ hypocrites…

* The untimely death of Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock (a one-time Red Sox farmhand, BTW) should be a message to us all that our hold on this life is a very tenuous one, indeed. All you can do is live for today and slog through the best you can…

* …Just recalling fondly the good old days when television commercials were all about cars and dining out. Now, all you get is drug manufacturers pushing everything from erectile dysfunction to Sally Field and her osteoporosis commercials – not to mention, of couse, the obligatory sleep aid advertisements. Frankly, it’s enough to send me rushing to my medicine cabinet for a couple of Bayer

* Congrats to Scott Verplank for winning a golf tournament he’s always wanted to win. I’m sure at this stage in his career, he’ll take any victory he can, but to win an event associated with one of his heroes must be sweet, indeed.

* Seems the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mayor Ray Nagin are back in the Lower Ninth Ward still bitching about President Bush and the federal government’s so-called lack of response following the post-Katrina floods of nearly two years ago. Look, I understand that many people called the Lower Ninth their home, but it makes no sense to even think of restoring that area of New Orleans to what it once was. Let’s face it, it wasn’t great to begin with, and there are far better areas of the city to consider investing in. Of course, Jesse the Fraud never turns down an opportunity to play the race card – especially when it involves the mayor of “Chocolate City”. What a couple of asses…

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:09 | Comments (0)
April 29, 2007

Let the record state that on Saturday, April 28 the pool temperature hit 82 degrees and I went for my first swim of the year. Air temperature: 99, with a hint of some thunderstorm activity in sight.

Sigh… Mark my words – it’s going to be a long, hot summer here. God only knows how expensive it’ll end up being…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:21 | Comments (0)
April 28, 2007

This story makes for interesting reading. And should it come as any surprise that that what young people in this day and age are seeking is not some new-fangled progressive excursion into the new age, but traditional orders with traditional beliefs and teachings behind it?

Like many of the convents experiencing growth, St. Cecilia is a traditional order. Some young candidates say they are looking for communities that still wear habits and are rooted in conventional theology.

Individualism leads to loneliness and the millennial generation is searching for a sense of community, says Dr. Alice Laffey, associate professor of religious studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

But, interestingly, it’s anything but traditional in the way these religious orders are marketing themselves:

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the largest religious order in the United States, hired an outside ad agency to design trendy ads to be placed in secular magazines like People and as Internet banner ads.

“We’re looking at different ways to draw people in,” spokeswoman Catherine Sherrod said.

McGlynn, of Tallahassee, Fla., watched a promotional DVD and visited the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist’s Web site before deciding to join.

“That helps a lot because online you can read about the community and see pictures and see what they’re about,” she said.

Good for them, and a refreshing alternative, I must say, to the bland, vanilla progressive nonsense typically found in the Episcopal Church and other mainline Protestant churches nowadays. I’ve always said that institutions that try to be everything to everyone end up being nothing to no one.

While I’ve had my problems with the Roman Catholic Church in the past with the way it handled the clergy sexual abuse scandals – the primary reason why I’ll probably never cross over the aisle to Rome – I respect their unwillingness not to cave in on their traditions and traditional beliefs and practices. It’s often tough to have control over 100% of what you preach, but far better that then to practice far less than what your supposed to be preaching, which is what’s often happening on the Protestant side of the fence.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:38 | Comment (1)
April 27, 2007

A few baseball-related thoughts and observations one week into the season:

* I know an easy way to clear up this latest Curt Schilling/bloody sock controversy. Let’s do a DNA test on the sock and announce the results publicly. Like the late Johnny Cochrane would say, if the sock fits, you must acquit! And if, in fact, it turns out to be the Schill-man’s blood, Oriole broadcaster Gary Thorne should publicly wear a dress, admit he’s a jerk, and go back to calling games for a crummy team that will go nowhere fast for yet another season.

* If Coco Crisp does indeed go on the DL, I say it’s time for the Sox to bring up minor-league phenom (and Johnny Damon lookalike) Jacoby Ellsbury and play him for a couple of weeks. Not only will be good exposure for the kid at a no-pressure time of the year, but he’d be an ideal platoon with Wily Mo Pena, who tonight broke a 1-for-15, 9 Ks streak with a 3-5 (including a grand-slam) performance against the Orioles. I still think the Bronson Arroyo trade that brought Pena to Boston was the worst of GM Theo Epstein’s tenure, and that sooner or later they’ll find a taker for Wily Mo in return for pitching.

* If you’re the Dodgers, you’ve got to be concerned about Jason Schmidt and all that money invested in him.

* But I still think the Giants giving Barry Zito, and KC Gil Meche, all that money were bigger mistakes. But time will tell.

* I’m betting the house, the farm, and that Masters 2007 baseball cap I got from my friend Lynn that Roger Clemens pitches for the Yankees starting in July.

* …which probably means ‘dude decides to retire.

* Hanley Ramirez is already a great player, but to get something good you have to give up something good, and I’m glad the Sox have Josh Beckett for the top of their rotation for years to come.

* I can’t stand the fact that John Miller, Joe Morgan, and – for that matter – all the dopes over at ESPN want to promote Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record as something news-worthy. The guy’s been a noted juicer and a pox on the game, and his career numbers are already tarnished. As far as I’m concerned, the more Bonds’ work is ignored, the better of the game will be.

* So L.A. Times sportswriter Mike Penner feels the need to tell his audience that he is a transsexual. Never mind the fact that someone’s sexual identity ought to be his own business and stay off the pages of his newspaper. But I’m just wondering if his announcement means we can now officially call him a switch-hitter…

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comment (1)
April 26, 2007

(Note: To show my support for Hillary Clinton‘s recent, and most blatant, panderings to the African-American community, including, of all things, comparing herself to Harriet Tubman (!), today’s post (below), with the help of The Dialectizer, has also been translated into jive. After all, if a privileged, wealthy white chick from Illinois, educated at Wellesley College, who has never lacked for anything she ever wanted in her life (except the Presidency of the U.S.A., which she’ll do or say anything to attain), can make talk like she just ‘gots outta’ de ‘hood, so can I!)

When yo’ Goodboys nickdojigger be De Great Honky Shank, it’s hardly some testimony t’yo’ golfin’ acumen. ‘S coo’, bro. Am ah’ de wo’st golfa’ amongst da damn Goodboys? Ah’ don’t dink so’s – at least not on some regular basis, but occasionally dat gots sadly been de case. I’ve neva’ aspired t’be some scratch golfa’ – if ah’ can bust 100 every now and den I’d be mo’e dan satisfied; alternatively, any time I’m makin’ googoo eyes at 110 o’ wo’se, ah’s feelin’ the blues, to be sho’. ‘S coo’, bro. De only comfo’t be knowin’ dat in de game uh golf, as Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy wuz wont t’say, puh’fecshun be unattainable, and sometimes I’m mah’ own wo’st enemy at makin’ certain dat goal remain elusive.

Several years ago, when we lived in Kentucky, ah’ actually rode some there streak fo’ a time where ah’ wuz constantly shootin’ anywhere between 96 and 105 – in fact, it wuz in 2000 dat ah’ and mah’ main man dat year, Bo-Jangles “El Dandito” Drewett, took de Goodboys Invitashunal crown. ‘S coo’, bro. De followin’ sprin’, mah’ game started south once mo’e and it neva been righteous since. Y’dig? While da damn main source uh my problems wuz mah’ irons – especially in terms uh bod accuracy and, frustratin’ly so, distance – it wuz consistency off de tee dat wuz real de source uh my problems. De pros say ya’ “roll fo’ show and putt fo’ dough”, but fo’ beginna’s likes me, if ya’ kin’t dig off de tee, ya’’ll not only sco’e poo’ly but lose an awful uh golf balls hangin’ so. ‘S coo’, bro.

Mo’e dan nuthin else, however, it wuz mah’ course management – de strategy one employs t’always try t’put yo’self in some posishun t’succeed on any given hole by avoidin’ risky shots and playin’ t’yo’ strengds (mine happens t’be mah’ sho’t game) – dat left da damn most t’be desired. To dat end, last year ah’ started makin’ heat t’my arsenal – some 9 and 11 wood t’accompany mah’ 1, 3, 5, and 7 woods. While dis meant ah’ could now go fo’ greens fum distances ah’ could neva’ do wid mah’ mid-to-long irons, de effect on mah’ sco’e wuz minimal, but da damn potential remained. Whut ah’ needed wuz some strategy, an image in mah’ brain, dat ah’ could carry wid me onto de course t’guide mah’ play and improve mah’ course management. Man!

Hence “De Go Zone”. Whut be “De Go Zone”? Simply put, it’s identifyin’ one o’ two places on any given hole where ah’ can do whut ah’ can do best and most regularly – which is, chip onto de green and two-putt. Man! On par 3s, it all depends on de distance and da damn hazards protectin’ de green – sometimes ya’ plum have t’go fo’ it and let da damn chips fall where dey may. Slap mah fro! But on par 4s and par 5s, it’s allowin’ mah’self 2 shots (on de fo’mer) and dree shots (on de latter) t’get t’“De Go Zone”. If I’m able t’do dat and den do no wo’se dan some chip and two putts, I’m playin’ bogey golf and ah be baaad… In practical terms, whut dis means be dat ah’ fine much keep de rollr in de bag and go wid some 3-wood (o’ sometimes even some 5-wood) off de tee in most cases.

Since takin’ dis “Go Zone” approach, I’ve played dree rounds uh golf, and da damn results gots been stunnin’ly righteous, dig dis: some 52/50=102, some 53/49=102, and some 52/48=100. Mah’ rolls gots been far mo’e consistent, and some Leroy Charles swin’ tip and some chippin’ tip fum De Golf Channel’s Gary Koch durin’ deir Honda Classic coverage hasn’t hurt eider. Ah be baaad… Tracey says I’m actually mo’e controlled and human on de golf course, and, at one point last week while ridin’ wid me on one uh my rounds, suddenly ax’ed, “Coo’, who is you, and whut dun did ya’ do wid De Great Honky Shank?” High praise indeed.

Only 85 days t’go until de 2007 Goodboys Invitashunal. Watch out bro’s, me and mah’ main man Steve “Wasteer” Kowalski is gonna be eyebally. Slap mah fro! I’ll be in “De Go Zone”. Gots’ta ya’?

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 02:36 | Comments (0)

When your Goodboys nickname is The Great White Shank, it’s hardly a testimony to your golfing acumen. Am I the worst golfer amongst the Goodboys? I don’t think so – at least not on a regular basis, but occasionally that has sadly been the case. I’ve never aspired to be a scratch golfer – if I can break 100 every now and then I’d be more than satisfied; alternatively, any time I’m making googoo eyes at 110 or worse, I feel lower than whale sh*t, if you know what I mean. The only comfort is knowing that in the game of golf, as Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy was wont to say, perfection is unattainable, and sometimes I’m my own worst enemy at making certain that goal remain elusive.

Several years ago, when we lived in Kentucky, I actually rode a pretty good streak for a season where I was constantly shooting anywhere between 96 and 105 – in fact, it was in 2000 that I and my partner that year Jim “El Dandito” Drewett took the Goodboys Invitational crown. The following spring, my game started to slide once more and had been sliding ever since. While the main source of my problems were my irons – especially in terms of both accuracy and, frustratingly so, distance – it was consistency off the tee that was really the source of my problems. The pros say you “drive for show and putt for dough”, but for amateurs like me, if you can’t get off the tee, you’ll not only score poorly but lose an awful of golf balls doing so.

More than anything else, however, it was my course management – the strategy one employs to always try to put yourself in a position to succeed on any given hole by avoiding risky shots and playing to your strengths (mine happens to be my short game) – that left the most to be desired. To that end, last year I started adding some exotic fairway woods to my arsenal – a 9 and 11 wood to accompany my 1, 3, 5, and 7 woods. While this meant I could now go for greens from distances I could never do with my mid-to-long irons, the effect on my score was minimal, but the potential remained. What I needed was a strategy, an image in my brain, that I could carry with me onto the course to guide my play and improve my course management.

Hence “The Go Zone”. What is “The Go Zone”? Simply put, it’s identifying one or two places on any given hole where I can do what I can do best and most regularly – which is, chip onto the green and two-putt. On par 3s, it all depends on the distance and the hazards protecting the green – sometimes you just have to go for it and let the chips fall where they may. But on par 4s and par 5s, it’s allowing myself 2 shots (on the former) and three shots (on the latter) to get to “The Go Zone”. If I’m able to do that and then do no worse than a chip and two putts, I’m playing bogey golf and am one satisfied customer. In practical terms, what this means is that I pretty much keep the driver in the bag and go with a 3-wood (or sometimes even a 5-wood) off the tee in most cases.

Since taking this “Go Zone” approach, I’ve played three rounds of golf, and the results have been stunningly consistent: a 52/50=102, a 53/49=102, and a 52/48=100. My drives have been far more consistent, and a Bob Charles swing tip and a chipping tip from The Golf Channel’s Gary Koch during their Honda Classic coverage hasn’t hurt either. Tracey says I’m actually more controlled and human on the golf course, and, at one point last week while riding with me on one of my rounds, suddenly asked, “OK, who are you, and what did you do with The Great White Shank?” High praise indeed.

Only 85 days to go until the 2007 Goodboys Invitational. Watch out boys, me and my partner Steve “Killer” Kowalski are gonna be ready. I’ll be in “The Go Zone”. Will you?

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comments (0)
April 25, 2007

Iraq continues to be a state awash in both blood and chaos, months after the President’s so-called “surge” strategy to tighten up security there began. There are huge problems there, and I don’t, and won’t, claim to have all the answers. Once the Pandora’s box of sectarian violence and terror was opened by the U.S. invasion more than four years ago, as the old saying goes (and to mix metaphors judiciously), once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it’s impossible to put it back. Unfortunately, whether it be because of poor planning, a lack of resources, or (as in my view) an unwillingness to engage in all-out war with overwhelming force and firepower to achieve total victory – perhaps, a little of all of the above, the damage has been done, and there seems no good way out of the mess that has resulted.

While, to a certain extent, I feel sorry for the President, for the Iraq clusterf*ck will be the only thing his Presidency will be remembered for, guaranteeing him a legacy somewhere akin to the likes of Warren G. Harding and James Buchanan, I also blame him for not only getting us into this mess, but getting us into this mess without a clear exit strategy. I blame Donald Rumsfeld, too, and his legacy will also be measured by the mess that’s been created. But most of all, I feel badly for the families of those who are fighting over there. To me, the worst thing battlefield generals can do is fight with one hand tied behind their backs without a clear mission, and it’s the families that suffer the most because of it.

What, if I may be so bold to ask, is our mission in Iraq at this point, exactly? What has it evolved from and into – if anything? To me, that’s the biggest problem. When fools (and, arguably, traitors) like Harry Reid go defeatist on the troops solely for the purpose of political gain (after all, Reid knows there’s no way the Senate or Congress would ever approve the current war spending proposals before it beyond party line, so therefore his latest words are only for political theater) I say, a pox on their houses, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. The last thing the American people and our troops in the field need right now is bitchy political infighting absent of any real purpose other than to politically humiliate and wound the Commander-in-Chief.

If the Democrats really believe the only way out of the quagmire that is Iraq is to withdraw our troops – either immediately or on a regimented timetable, they should be bold and put a simple piece of legislation before Congress calling for exactly that. Don’t be cowardly and bury it in some kind of omnibus bill filled with spending and pork and various other crap, have some balls and introduce a simple bill before the Congress, setting a timetable with specific guidelines for disengagement. And turn it into a national referendum on the war. Not the President. Not Dick Cheney. Not Halliburton, or Saddam, or WMDs or lack of evidence thereof. Make it a simple question: do we stay, or do we get out?

And then let’s debate the damned thing out on national television, in prime time. Get the President to testify. And the generals. And the Secretaries of State and Defense. And the policy wonks and advisors. And Iraqis representing both sides. And let’s have it out, without politics, the only concern being what the situation is, what it will be if we leave, what it will be if we stay. And then, when the time comes, let every member of Congress vote his conscience. There’ll be nothing for them to hide from, and neither should they; after all, both they and their constituents would have heard the same evidence. Just a vote of conscience by every member of Congress. And then make a decision. Make it the ultimate decision – the act of a strong and resilient democracy in action. The troops on the field deserve as much, as do the people of Iraq.

And then, whatever the majority, let’s make the decision and live by it. Those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom and future of Iraq deserve to have their stories told alongside the living. And the only way that can be accomplished is to have a genuine dialogue about the war – what it’s all about, what we’re all about as a nation. And, for God’s sake, let’s keep the petty politics out of it – let history judge those who got us to this place in time, but let’s not do it now while our men and women are fighting and dying thousands of miles away.

I don’t know what to do about Iraq. I’ll bet most people – on both sides of the political aisle – feel the same way. But what I do know is that what is missing most amidst the political follies of Cindy Sheehan, John Murtha, Harry Reid, and the President’s civilian and military advisors is an honest and open debate about the war. As a nation, we are hopelessly paralyzed and divided; meanwhile there are plenty of other things being allowed to let slide both domestically and internationally, and it’s all because of Iraq. It’s time to end the stalemate and for our elected leaders to show courage and fortitude at a crucial time in our nation’s history.

Unfortunately, I don’t see the President or either party having the political courage to take on such a formidable undertaking – after all, there’s a high-stakes Presidential election next year. But, by avoiding the issue out of a desire to maintain a hostile Beltway climate of “politics as usual”, it is our country, and our brave military men and women putting their lives on the line, who suffer as a result.

And both we and they deserve better.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comments (0)
April 24, 2007

You’ve got to hand it to Hillary Clinton – she’s never met a disaffected minority she didn’t rush to pander to whenever it was politically expedient for her to do so. Take last week, for example – Hillary had herself quite a time chasing after potential votes in the African-American community with all the moxie and zeal of an bonafide ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyer. Disgraced radio talk-jock Don Imus had barely had time to start cleaning out his office before Hillary was at Rutgers University to support the women’s basketball team following Imus’ well-publicized comments that ultimately led to his firing.

Lest one accuse Madame Hillary of piling on the Destroy Imus bandwagon, there might have been some genuine empathy on her part for the feelings of the Rutgers girls – after all, as Polipundit’s Michael Illions notes, she’s had prior experience in this area.

The words “fraud” and “hypocrite” don’t even begin to describe Hillary Clinton and the lengths this self-absorbed, unabashedly ambitious egomaniac will go to ingratiate herself to the American public. Does anyone doubt there must have been a pretty strong debate behind the scenes amongst her campaign advisers as to whether she should show up at Virginia Tech to lend her support and compassion to the students there? I don’t. Perhaps even she felt a stunt like that would be over the line. But don’t doubt for a moment the idea didn’t cross her mind once or twice. After all, when it come to pure chutzpah, Hillary takes the cake.

Don’t believe me? Remember her country-fried schtick last month in Selma, Alabama? Well, we got another taste of it during her smarmy address to Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference this past weekend. Born in Illinois? Educated at Wellesley? Naw….this is just a down-home, backwoods raised, country chile. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Question: Does Hillary really think she can get away with such an obviously transparent, pandering act? Can you imagine what would happen if, say, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice did the same thing? Why, she’d be absoluteley skewered by the mainstream dino-media!

And it’s not me thinking this same kind of thing. This from the great Victor David Hanson (Hat tip: Michelle):

“When I walk into the Oval Office in 2009, I’m afraid I’m going to lift up the rug and I’m going to see so much stuff under there. You know, what is it about us always having to clean up after people?”

So spoke Senator Clinton in a pseudo-southern drawl to a largely black audience assembled under the aegis of Al Sharpton.

…Will anyone ever become offended that Senator Clinton serially now drops her Wellesley nasal tones to affect a condescending drawl in the presence of African-Americans, as if blacks all speak in a southern slang?

And does “us always having to clean up after people” suggest — Howard Dean-like — that she assumes an assembly of black leaders is paramount to domestic workers?

And speaking of lifting rugs and finding “stuff under there”: Does she realize that image of surprises lurking in the White House private quarters immediately evokes Hillary’s mysterious billing records of the Rose Law firm — under court subpoena but strangely missing for two years — that abruptly “turned up” in the “book room” in the personal residence of the White House? And as I recall Ms. Clinton was the first First Lady to testify in front of a grand jury.

Why would an obviously intelligent and supposedly sophisticated politician resort to such cheap and obviously transparent stunts? First of all, because she knows she can get away with it. But, more importantly, I think, she knows her campaign is in trouble and she’s doing whatever she can to solidify her political base (actually, her husband’s political base). Anyone who doubts this must have missed Hillary’s announcement over the weekend that, were she elected President, she’s planning on dragging out ol’ Bill to be her ‘roving anmbassador’.

And lookee here at this – if you believe the polls (and I don’t, but so what?), Obama’s pulled even with her among Democrats likely to vote.

As I’ve said before, you’ll be able to tell how much trouble Hillary’s campaign is in by the amount of times she invokes The Cheater in speeches and press releases. She knows how unpopular she is, and needs to do whatever she can to steer the conversation away from her personally and back to the so-called “good old days” of her husband’s Presidency.

As if that’s a legacy anyone would want to wrap themselves around…

But this is Hillary Clinton, and it’s the White House she’s after. So nothing she says or does should surprise anyone anymore.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:21 | Comments (0)
April 23, 2007

barry OK, I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for Barry Chappell’s Fine Art Showcase on Thursday and Saturday nights on the Celebrity Shopping Network. Who is he, you ask? This, from his website:

For the last 15 years, Barry Chappell has helped thousands of people buy museum quality art at the lowest possible prices. His unmatched expertise combined with his passion for value has solidified his reputation as art’s foremost deal-maker.

Today, Barry is privileged to host Barry Chappell’s Fine Art Showcase on the Celebrity Shopping Network. Within just a few short months, the show has exploded in popularity and Barry’s name has become synonymous with quality and value. Not only does the program combine the lowest prices with the best deals, but it also highlights Barry’s innate ability to tell ‘the stories behind the masterpieces’.

For us, it’s an especially guilty pleasure, because, if you had the dough and an empty-enough credit card, you could go absolutely nuts and very much into debt if restraint was your problem. The show is pretty much an auction of fine art and objects d’art, and that in and of itself would be entertaining enough for me to watch. After all, whenever we’ve vacationed on cruises, I’ve always enjoyed the art auctions invariably held by on the cruise ships as a way to vary the on-ship entertainment and make someone some money. I’ve never bought any work of art that way (and probably never would, as my own particular taste in art doen’t extend much beyond the seascapes you see sold in the little art galleries in Newport, RI, or Ogunquit, ME), but they’ve always been an interesting way to pass the time.

What makes Chappell’s show so entertaining, however, is the lack of slickness involved in the proceedings, even though it’s obvious the guy knows how to present and sell stuff. His set is simple – a table, a couple of lounge chairs, and an obviously-phony backdrop of a city with rush-hour traffic. But it’s his laid-back, unassuming style that I enjoy the most. While attempting to auction off some works by an artist he’s gone heads over heels for, convinced they’re investment-quality works that will stand the test of time, or holding up printouts of Internet web sites showing how much art galleries and museums have paid for a particular artist’s works or the number of books published featuring the artist’s works, Chappell drinks his diet soda, kibbitzes with his staff off camera, sits in a chair and converses about nothing in general, or just tosses out figures to start the bidding process. It’s fun, laid back, and a nice cable alternative to the nonsenical talking head and reality television shows polluting the airwaves.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:08 | Comments (0)
April 22, 2007

After a tough week here in the Richard household, here’s a couple of items guaranteed to cheer almost anyone up:

* Turns out that fruity cocktails might not be a bad thing for your health after all. Seems that alcohol enhances the effects of anti-oxidents in fruit as a cancer fighter. I will now look at my boat drink cocktails in a whole new light! (Hat tip: Free Republic)

…Of course, you gotta be careful of those foo-foo drinks in anything less than moderation, or you might end up like this!

*I thought this was a laugh – 40 things only possible in movies. (Hat tip: Instapundit).

* The Red Sox take two in a row from the Yankees. How good is that?

* A new Star Trek movie coming? Now that’s something that would cheer Tracey up.

* And finally, let’s not forget that, as hard as it is to see a favorite rabbit depart, there are always plenty more cute bunnies out there!

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:32 | Comments (2)

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