May 12, 2009

…for the lack of blogging these past few days. Work has been a bear, and working in quality time with family and friends has really pinched the available time. Not that much has been missed, however:

The loony liberal left is still trying to destroy Miss California Carrie Prejean simply because they don’t like her views on gay marriage. Liberals love to preach tolerance, but only as long as you agree with them. Otherwise, it’s you that’s intolerant.

A federal tax on soft drinks to pay for national health care? What about caffeine-free and sugar-free? They’re good for you, aren’t they? I know Tracey won’t be happy…

Speaking about the Prez and his healthcare agenda… I’ve been saying all along that Barack Obama’s first priority ought to be focusing on fixing what government has already screwed up royally – like, for example, the Social Security and Medicare messes – before he adds healthcare to that list of programs the government has mismanaged beyond repair. The fact that he’s even thinking about sticking to his radical left/progressive agenda in the face of news like this tells me he’s either reckless or ignorant. Since I doubt he’s the latter…

Espionage at the America’s Cup trials? Me, I always thought one way to truly make the America’s Cup races for interesting is to allow each boat to have one – and only one, no cheating – machine gun mounted on the front deck.

One of the joys of hanging around with my folks is the crossword puzzles I get to do. They have plenty of crossword puzzle books around as well as the daily Lowell Sun puzzles. Lots of fun, keeps the brain cells active.

…not to mention going to BJ’s with my folks to pick them up a new printer. Their 14-year old Compaq finally died, so we found a nice Lexmark X6650 for $90. They have great prices at BJs – nothing like seeing the Lexmark X4975 I bought at Staples for $180 a month ago at BJ’s for $145. Need to get me a card….

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:13 | Comments Off on Mea Culpas
May 9, 2009

It’s still around 90 at 11 PM by the Tiki Bar. The pool’s jumped up to 86, and I’m in the mood for some summer music.

Here’s a little variation on an old theme. I love this YouTube clip of country star Lorrie Morgan backed by the Beach Boys on “Don’t Worry, Baby”. It also features one of the last video appearances by Carl Wilson; hard to believe he’s been gone for ten years now.

…And how about this lovely a capella version of “Forever”, featuring Dennis Wilson on lead and brother Brian on the back high harmony. Hard to find vocals sung with such passion, yet in such a subtle way anymore.

Enjoy and crank then up!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:27 | Comments (2)
May 8, 2009

The spigot has been turned on, and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna turn off anytime soon. I’m blogging outside at the Tiki Bar tonight, the weather is perfect – outside temp is 80, the pool is 84 – and the world seems still. A perfect time to catch up on a couple of things:

Best wishes and prayers go out to Red Sox color analyst Jerry “The Remdawg” Remy, currently recuperating from cancer surgery last fall. Can’t wait ’til he’s back in the broadcast booth.

Anyone who harbored suspicions about the Red Sox Manny Ramirez of 2007 and pre-August 2008 vs. the Dodger Manny of post-August 2008 shouldn’t be surprised about this. You get as big as Manny is/was, you’ll do whatever it takes to keep your edge. In this case he got caught and now deserves to pay the price.

Me, I always thought the Tunguska explosion was caused by a comet. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

I have to laugh when I hear Democrats and Democrat wannabes offer suggestions to the GOP to moderate its traditional stands on smaller government, lower taxes, and increased personal responsibility. Lemme think: did the Democrats moderate their own stands on their traditional issues (larger governmental control and spending, higher taxes, etc.) in the last election? That’s what I thought…

Has their ever been a more dishonest, partisan Speaker of the House than Nancy Pelosi? A less reprehensible and vile human being in the center stage of national politics I don’t recall ever seeing in my life. She’s not just an embarrassment but a living, breathing condemnation of the entire American political system.

Meghan McCain, your fifteen minutes are up.

200,000 people left homeless as a result of flooding in Brazil. The mind boggles at the scope of devastation this weather event has caused. Please consider a contribution to help out.

See y’all next week from the Eastern Daylight Time zone….

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:36 | Comments (3)
May 7, 2009

I’m not a Republican anymore, but over at RedState, ClarkKent has articulated my sentiments regarding President Barack Obama and his agenda pretty well:

The GOP said no to a bloated, irrational spending bill and stimulus package that would cage our grandchildren in the abyss of debt and high taxation for the majority of their lifetime; not to mention expand federal power beyond it’s limitations. The GOP is saying no to a government doctor, who by its own history cannot run a program in an efficient and sustainable manner. You look at Social Security and Medicaid and how could you not say no to the idea of a universal system? The GOP said no to the idea that the White House run the 2010 Census. They said no to the card check system which sought to take the power from the workers and place it firmly in the hands of union bosses. Yes, my party said no to a lot of things and they’re about to say no to a whole helluva lot more.

We say no to hate crime legislation that would dictate the worth of human life of some over others. Hate crime isn’t a crime against homosexuals or African Americans; when you take the life of any person, that’s a hate crime. There are no guidelines for what is or what isn’t a crime driven by hatred. Are we so disconnected from our neighbor? Has the relationship between man and his brother decayed that much? And have we so shut the coffin on the almighty that we dictate for ourselves who’s life is worth more; that’s not American, that’s not humane; it’s a perfect example of reckless judgment and power in the hands of deeply flawed people.

We say no to global warming laws that would punish capitalism and energy exploration. We say no to the Kyoto Treaty, a document that has one objective in mind and that’s to once and for all capture the sovereignty and power of America by international bureaucrats and hold it hostage. We care for this planet because we’re Christians and the good lord commanded his children to be stewards of the earth. Reason must take shape as the guiding light for any future energy plans and environmental policy. We cannot give in to the radical elements of the environmentalist movement as our friends in the Democratic Party already have; in fact they laid out the welcome mat.

I think this is about right. I long ago gave up on the Republicans to do the right thing in Washington: less federal spending, less government intrusion into the lives of everyday Americans, less taxes, greater faith in citizens to decide the extent to which they want their states to regulate their lives.

Now before you go calling me some right-wing wacko, know this: I have no problem with “gay marriage”, and I’m an environmentalist at heart. I do favor a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion, but am more of a feminist than either Barack Obama and his America-hating, $540 sneaker-wearing wife ever dreamed of being. (Democrats and liberals by nature are all for women’s rights, but when the U.S. chooses to condemn or make war on countries or societies that reduce women to nothing but slaves, out goes the feminist agenda.)

Bottom line here: Sooner or later, Republicans in Washington are gonna have to decide what pedigree they come from. The conservative train is leaving the station, and they can get on it or off it, otherwise they’ll find themselves under it.

Good for someone at RedState to have the balls to articulate something that the Republicans in Washington would do well to heed.


One final note: I’m not much of a fan of Ann Coulter but in this case truer words have never been spoken.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:43 | Comments Off on The Party of No
May 6, 2009

Because the public demands it – Herb Alpert’s tribute to Phil Spector‘s Wall of Sound:

If you don’t CRANK IT UP you’ll be sorry!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:28 | Comments Off on Flamingo

Seems that’s the magic number where the pool temperature moves from “perfectly acceptable” to “perfectly fine”. And given the fact that things are about to get mighty warm in the days ahead, “perfectly fine” is about to turn into “bath water” by the weekend.

We have a mourning dove nesting in the lemon tree who has employed a kind of interesting architecture for her building material. Now mourning dove nests are notoriously flimsy: just some grass and a few twigs strategically placed in order to get the job done. For this particular nest, mama dove chose for an eastern wall a lemon that had jammed itself between two branches, and for a southern wall a Fry’s plastic bag. Looks kinda funny to see her head poking out from behind a grocery bag.

A nearly full moon out is out tonight. The water always looks lovely in the moonlight – even on the coolest January night – but when it gets to swimming temperature things get kind of magical. Add into the mix some rustling palm branches, a chilled Caguama, and maybe some Caribbean or surf music, now you’re talking!

…and then add to that another good thrashing given the New York Yankees by the Red Sox, well, it’s hard to think life can get better.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:56 | Comments (2)
May 5, 2009

Glad to see Sox manager Terry Francona sees things the same way as The Great White Shank. Less than 24 hours after pleading with him to remove Julio Lugo from the lineup, dude does the right thing

“I spoke to Lugie today,” Francona said. “He came back [too] quick. I don’t think he’s moving yet like he’s going to. I told him to take the next day or so and meet with (strength coach) Dave Page because I think putting him out there is a little unfair. He got himself put in situations where plays were hard for him to make. He will get there. But in the meantime I’m trying to balance it. We’re looking out for our guys and we’re winning games. We’re going to communicate with the both of them (Nick Green, who was in the lineup last night) and that’s the only way I know how to do it.”

…meaning, of course, the Sox go back to the serious business of winning ballgames – this time over the New York Yankees, no less. A major contributor to the Sox victory, of course, was shortstop Nick Green, who bailed Jon Lester out of a potential mess with a diving stop behind the second base bag to take a base hit away from Robinson Cano. To beat the best in the American League you need both solid pitching and defense – something that was sorely missing with the Jonah in the line-up over the past week.

Glad to see Manager Francona come to his senses.

I have to say, however, that maybe it was the field and the damp conditions, but watching the Sox and Yankees go at it tonight was like watching two battle-weary dinosaurs compared to the baseball clinic put on by the happy, scrappy, and frenetic Tampa Bay Rays this past weekend. I have to admit that the Rays are for real, and right now field the most talent of any team in the American League – perhaps in all of baseball.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:48 | Comments Off on The Great White Shank – Right Again
May 4, 2009

“And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.” — Jonah 1:7

To: Terry Francona, Manager, Boston Red Sox

From: The Great White Shank, Goodboys Nation Weblog

RE: The Jonah

Dear Mr. Francona;

If you’ve been paying close attention to your ball team and its play over the past six days, you will note a troubling pattern – one that leads me to believe you have a Jonah on your ballclub. I know what you’re thinking – it’s the 21st century, for God’s sake, and what’s all this nonsense about bad omens and curses and the like. But let me recount to you the results of the past six days since you reactivated shortstop Julio Lugo:

* Tuesday, April 28: Lugo starts at shortstop, makes a critical error turning a double play, and the team ends up losing, 9-8, breaking an 11-game winning streak.

* Wednesday, April 29: Nick Green back at shortstop. Late-inning heroics by the team overcomes a poor start by Jon Lester, and the team wins 6-5.

* Thursday, April 30: Lugo back at shortstop. The team gets annihilated by the Rays, 13-0.

* Friday, May 1: Lugo still at shortstop. He goes 1 for 4 and leaves three men on base as the Sox lose a lackluster affair, 6-2.

* Saturday, May 2: Nick Green back at shortstop. He goes 3-for-5 and helps the Sox hold back the surging Rays 10-6.

* Sunday, May 3: Lugo back at shortstop. The Sox lose another lackluster affair 5-3, as Lugo not only goes hitless but also fails to convert a feed he should have been able to handle, allowing a run to score. He wasn’t credited with an error, but he just as easily could have been.

Now Terry, I’m no mathematician, but the results speak for themselves. Since Tuesday – the first day the Jonah was inserted into the lineup – the Red Sox are 2-4. With Nick Green starting at short, they are 2-0, with Lugo they are 0-4. As they say, do the math.

…Oh, and might I add that in the past few days the team has seen: a) NESN analyst Jerry Remy have to leave the broadcast booth because of a reoccurrence of an illness he had in spring training, b) rehabbing pitcher John Smoltz experienced a setback in his attempt to return to major league action, and c) rehabbing OF-1B Mark Kotsay did as well. The team is falling apart, and the Jonah, he conjures it up don’t you see; soon the whole team will be going down to ‘the old place’.

Terry, you’re a smart guy, and you know I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already thought of. So do the right thing.

Save your ballclub.

Save your season.

Bench Julio Lugo now and allow Nick Green to play himself out of a job, before even worse things befall your club.

Because they will – after all, you have a Jonah on board.

The Great White Shank

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:12 | Comments Off on The Jonah
May 1, 2009

Yesterday the phrase of the day was “gone mustang”. Today it’s “gone Julio” – the Boston Red Sox, that is, thanks to the reappearance of shortstop Julio Lugo. Just as The Great White Shank went AWOL yesterday, so seemingly has the decent pitching and defense the Beantown Nine displayed during their 11-game win streak.

And I’m blaming it all on Julio Lugo.

Just like in Vegas, baby, when you’re winning you don’t change a thing. You ride the hot hand, the hot dice, the hot dealer – heck, if you’re single, the hot stripper. The point is, you don’t mess with success, and a big-league manager ought to know that.

But that’s exactly what manager Terry Francona did on Tuesday. He takes shortstop Nick Green out and inserts the reactivated Lugo (he had been out since spring training after minor knee surgery) into the shortstop position, and what happens? The team loses, in no small part to a horrible error committed by Lugo on a routine double-play ball that would otherwise have gotten embattled starter Brad Penny out of a major jam. Instead, Penny got pissed and distracted, then subequently served up a 3-run ding-dong. Bye-bye streak.

The following night, Francona reinserted Green back into shortstop and – bingo bango bongo – everything goes magical again.

Tonight, Lugo was back in the starting lineup and what happens? The team gets absolutely walloped 13-0 with nothing – and I mean, nothing good to take away from it. They got smushed.

Look, I have nothing against Julio Lugo. For all I know, he’s God’s gift to humankind – oh wait a minute, that position’s already taken. But I’m a strong believer in karma, and let me tell you, just the sight of Lugo’s shadow darkening the dirt at shortstop changes the Red Sox’ karma in a negative way. Sure, he’s been known to hit a bit, but you would never want the ball hit to him in a key situation. Francona knows it. The Red Sox pitchers know it, and that’s where I think the problem lies.

So do us all a favor, Terry – put Green back in at short and leave Lugo for those times when someone needs a blow or a game gets out of hand. Otherwise, it won’t be just the Red Sox “going Lugo”, but the whole season.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:13 | Comments (2)


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