August 31, 2010

A little over a week to go before my surgery – a perfect time to attempt the second leg on our “treasure hunt” for the ultimate in autographs for my “Endless Summer” movie poster. For those of you late to the game, a brief summary:

A couple of months ago, I was talking to my friend John at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum in – you guessed it! – Huntington Beach, California, who had a movie poster for Bruce Brown’s iconic 1966 surf film, “The Endless Summer”, signed by Bruce Brown himself and one of the two primary surfers featured in the film, Robert August. I asked John about the other surfer featured in the film, Mike Hynson, and John told me that Hynson didn’t sign posters for free, but he knew of people who would track him down at his surf shop in La Jolla where they’d pay him to autograph their posters – something he highly recommended, as he had a unique signature that would make any trip there worth it.

Which got me to thinking: if I could ever get Hynson’s autograph, why stop there? Why not really make the poster unique and get the three active members of The Sandals, the band that provided much of the film’s music, including the film’s memorable, wistful theme song – guitarists John Blakeley, and Walter Georis, and keyboardist Gaston Georis – to sign it as well? That would make a great poster and collector’s item even more unique and special. But how to do it? This would require no small amount of audacity, creativity, and, yes, dinero, but I figured, why not?

It didn’t take long to track down Mike Hynson, and meeting him and getting his autograph a few weeks ago at a surfing/skateboarding convention in San Diego made for a truly unforgettable weekend.

Next was to track down the whereabouts of the members of The Sandals, and I discovered that the two Georis brothers live up in Carmel Valley, California, where Walter runs Georis Winery and both he and Gaston own a restaurant called Casanova. John Blakeley seems a little more difficult to track down, but I’m hoping that if we can ever connect with the Georises, perhaps they’ll provide us with a means to contact Blakeley.

So, this weekend we’re off to Carmel Valley. A late Friday afternoon flight into San Jose and three nights at the Country Garden Inn in Carmel Valley. Saturday will be our official “Treasure Hunt Day”, with plans to take in a wine tasting at the Georis Winery on Saturday and dinner reservations at Casanova on Saturday night. Sunday we’ll play the tourist thing and do the 18-mile drive around the beautiful Monterey Peninsula with a stop at Pebble Beach (hey Goodboys, guess where next year’s prizes will come from!) and a redwoods forest, then Monday make the trip back in time for my medical reality show starting next Tuesday.

I’ve written introductory letters to both Georis brothers letting them know we’re coming and our hope that we can meet them personally during our visit. I haven’t heard back from them as of yet, but we’re going nevertheless. Our “Hynson experience” turned out far better than we ever could have imagined, we’re hoping our “Georis experience” turns out the same. But it’s a crapshoot, that’s for sure (which is why, I guess, they call treasure hunts “hunts” to begin with!).

BTW, here are The Sandals performing “The Endless Summer” theme, with Bruce Brown dropping in for a visit towards the end. From the looks of it, the video appears to have been filmed at none other than the Georis winery. Was it? I’ll let you know and hope to tell y’all about it after this coming weekend. Updates as they come in.

BTW, I’m told The Sandals will also have some new music featured in the upcoming documentary film “Shaped”, celebrating the movers and shapers behind the early ’60s California surf culture. Something to keep on the lookout for….

Pool temp: 89 degrees

Filed in: Treasure Hunt by The Great White Shank at 00:43 | Comment (1)
August 30, 2010

As promised in this post, here are some pics I took from that amazing set of thunderstorms that rolled through here on Saturday.

After the first storm came through – a combination dust and thunder storm – things got really still and incredibly muggy. All I was doing was skimming the pool to get all the debris from the first storm out and I was drenched with sweat after just a few minutes. Very rare for Arizona, but very ominous as well. I started to hear thunder off to our north and east, which was kinda strange since our weather was coming from the southwest. Nevertheless, I went out front and took this shot of some pretty cool clouds…

tstorm4

I went back in and checked Accuweather.com to find out there were reports of dime-sized hail in east Mesa (to our north and east). Severe thunderstorm warnings were up all around us, so I went back out front, and saw these angry-looking clouds to our northeast:

tstorm5

Thunder was starting to boom all around us, even to our southwest, and you just had that feeling that something big was going to come through. Just moments after this picture was taken, the usual monsoon regimen started – the wind came up out of nowhere, followed by a few big fat drops, then a dozen big fat drops, then the deluge. I could actually hear the rain and wind coming towards us, so I dashed back inside and came out through the back door to find a hurricane blasting us:

tstorm6

(BTW, that’s a “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” sign from Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Key West store hanging on the palm tree – pretty cool, huh?) The rain was (as you can see) falling in sheets, and we were getting sustained winds of 40 MPH with gusts probably to 60. The gusts came in waves, and I was standing by the back door getting drenched and holding one of the phony palm trees so it wouldn’t fall over and spill the rocks that held it down all over the patio like it did the other day. All of a sudden there was a big flash right above us followed immediately by a crack of thunder that sounded ten feet above my head, and then a huge blast of wind smashed through the back yard:

tstorm7

Between the sound of the rain, the palm branches swirling, and the wind chimes going crazy I thought I heard a loud crack but couldn’t place it (as it turned out it was a large Palo Verde tree over on the next block coming down). For a moment, I thought we’d lose one of our palm trees…

…And then, just as quickly as it had come it was gone. Like, within two minutes of the picture above being taken we went from absolute chaos to an exhausted, calm muggy dripping. No wind, just the occasional flash of lightning and dull rumble of thunder and the sound of fat drops of water dripping off the roofs. We later found out that storm caused nickel-sized hail just a few miles north of us and big pile-up on the I-10 interstate.

I let go of the palm tree, grabbed my glass of Chianti soaked in rainwater, and went back inside and out to check out the situation out front. Streams of water were cascading down the street towards the storm drains. I couldn’t believe it – no one was out, no one seemed to care about the fantastic display and the power of God’s creation we were just treated to. To the northeast, a rainbow you could see both ends of and a second one hinted at above it; unfortunately, I had no panoramic camera to show the entire arc.

tstorm8

By this time, sunset was upon us, and the entire street was bathed in an incredible salmon color. Our neighbor across the street came out to tell me the storm had ripped one of her large screens off a window. Above us to the west, the sky was a clear, almost phosphorescent blue; to the southeast, clouds in every pastel color imaginable, including some funky clouds in a weird sea-green I had never seen before (center of picture below, directly above our next-door neighbor’s house), all lit up in the setting sun. It was gorgeous:

tstorm9

Just another day in the Arizona monsoon season.

Pool temp: 86 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:53 | Comments (3)
August 29, 2010

Glad to see President Obama finally finishing up his “blissfully free” from stress Cape Cod vacation and getting back to work – after all, his so-called “Recovery Summer” victory tour has turned into a disaster of epic proportions. Let’s see all of the great stuff he and his administration can take responsibility for since June:

– An unemployment rate stalled in the mid-9s amidst growing fears it will once again approach 10% in the coming months.

– The sales of existing U.S. homes sank 27.2% in July – the biggest one-month drop ever.

2nd quarter GDP reduced from an already-meager 2.4 percent down to an abysmal 1.6, showing an economy that is slowing to a crawl. Horrible news coming just months before retailers ramp up for their critical holiday shopping season.

– The President wading in on the plan to build a mosque just two football fields away from Ground Zero. Once again we see this President taking an ill-advised jump into local politics (as he did by inserting his administration into Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration 1070 legislation debate) and igniting a fierce debate pitting one group of Americans against another. Not only was it a stupid and tin-eared thing to do, it provided his critics with additional evidence that President Obama is not the uniter his campaign promoted him as, but a divider of the worst kind. It also re-ignited suspicions that he’s an undeclared Muslim by faith.

– The Obama administration throws the state of Arizona under the bus in its report to the U.N. Council on Human Rights. Absolutely dispicable (and in my view, an impeachable offense) in every way imaginable. The thought of a U.S. President waging active war against one of the states is beyond reprehensible.

How bad has it all gotten for the Petulant One? When even as usually stalwart a liberal-leaning institution as the Denver Post starts crying “no mas!” to the gross exspansion of the federal government and federal government regulations and spending in the first two year of complete Democrat control in Washington, you know the jig is up:

We need our lawmakers in Colorado, and those who represent us in Washington, to start articulating specific proposals meant to restructure government to something we can afford.

In Colorado, that means ideas for balancing the budget without decimating K-12 education, higher ed and social services; and in Washington, that means deficit reduction plans.

The debate in Washington also will be about whether to extend President Bush’s tax cuts.

We don’t know that extending the cuts will help much in the short term, but we do know that adding uncertainty to the already fragile situation is irresponsible.

(Hat tip: Hot Air.)

As the days continue to count down to the November 2 mid-terms and a Democrat disaster of biblical proportions starts becoming more than just a possibility, expect more of this. Obama’s administration has been a total failure, forcing even Democrats to run for cover. Key question: does the President come out and admit that he was wrong and plan a change of course after the midterms, as Bill Clinton so ably did after the 1994 GOP “Contract With America” victory wave? Given that Obama seems completely incapable of: a) admitting anything he’s ever done has been wrong, and b) giving anyone but himself credit for anything, the answer is likely a responding “don’t think so”.

Which is fine with me. This clown deserves everything he gets – he’s taken an inherited mess and made it far worse than anyone might have expected. The unfortunate thing is that we as American are the ones taking all the shots – or, at least, the non-golf ones.

The lame-stream media loves to portray the Tea Party, FOX News, and Glenn Beck as some kind of abberation from the ruling class elite; this event ought to change the dialogue. Lemme tell you, something is brewing this coming November that few will anticipate in its scope, breadth, and impact. I can only speak for hundreds of thousands – if not millions – like me: I can’t wait to vote and do my part to derail the Obama / Pelosi / Reid agenda that has been hell-bent on destroying this country.

P.S. Happy birthday, Mom!!

Pool temp: 89 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments (0)
August 28, 2010

It’s a little before 11 PM tonight and the house is still. Like in, really still. Tracey’s asleep on the couch, the rabbits have been fed and attended to, and are in their normal busy nighttime regimens (eating hay, chewing grass mats, vegging out, etc.), and I’m here nursing a cold Sammy Octoberfest and enjoying the fall-like weather that came upon us so unexpectedly after a a violent day weather-wise.

I’ll have some photos on my Monday post, but today we had a series of thunderstorms that really lived up to the Arizona monsoon season hype. What changes weather-wise throughout the day! It started out hot and relatively dry, then the humidity started to build, followed by cloud formations to the southwest. At 4:30 PM we had a dust storm blow in, followed by some heavy rain and, upon leaving, the heaviest humidity I think I’ve ever experienced here in Arizona. I mean, just being out for ten minutes and every bit of clothing on my body was drenched. Very unusual for around here.

When the clouds started building to the southwest, you just knew someone was going to get blasted. Severe thunderstorm warnings were everywhere. As it turned out we didn’t take a direct hit, but it was heavy enough to blow screens off of our next-door neighbor’s windows and down a good-sized Palo Verdes tree the next block over.

As the storm rumbled off to the northeast there were reports of nickel-sized hail, chaos, and extensive tree damage. For us, it was an unforgettable dusk complete with every pastel color imaginable, including a double rainbow and sea-green clouds immersed in lightning I’ve never seen before. The storm sucked every ounce of humidty out of the atmosphere, to the point where tonight I took a gorgeous swim in 89-degree water with the air temp at 84 going down to 78 and lightning still filling the skies to the northeast.

It was a beautiful breezy night for a walk, so, beer in hand, I took a walk over to the next block where a chipper was making fast work of the downed Palo Verde. The air was full of that beautiful and uniquely musky scent of Texas sage in the air you get after any kind of rain, and I thanked God for being able to walk barefoot and in shorts around a quiet neighborhood with lightning flashing in the distance and a cool breeze blowing across my face. As a New Englander, I hate Arizona, but there’s a part of me that has come to love and accept it for what it is as well. Tonight’s sunset and moonlight swim I hope I’ll never forget.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:10 | Comments (3)

It was hard tonight stopping by the local pizza joint. Not just at the sight of the owner’s son (who I call “Mr. Visa”), or Brooke, one of my favorite waitresses (whose boyfriend recently broke off their engagement), but knowing that I can’t say when the next time I’ll be stopping by there for take-out, or what condition I’ll be in when I do. After all, next Friday Tracey and I will be off to Carmel, California to continue our “treasure hunt” (more on that later); the following Friday I doubt I’ll be in any frame of mind to yak-yak with my fellow bar flies and the hired help given that I’ll be just two days removed from my prostate removal surgery.

It’s all so closing in. The days are getting shorter (tonight I had to put on my lights for the first time bringing take-out back), and this whole surgery thing is really screwing up my brain and peace of mind. Fortunately, today was the first day I was able to buy Sam Adams Octoberfest – my favorite beer in all the world (this year complete with a new label featuring trees with orange trees that almost made me want to cry at the thought of missing autumn in New England) at the local Fry’s. But you take what comfort you can get.

My internal time clock tells me I should be thinking about Fall, but that’s nothing but fallishnessness around here. Even though the pool lost another degree today (it’s now down to 87), it’s still damned hot outside and there’s really no indication that Fall is on the way. Were I living back in New England, my musical tastes would have already started gravitating towards Fall-like music like Pink Floyd, Gordon Lightfoot, and Enya; instead, here in AZ, the late afternoon sun boring a hole in my forehead, I just threw some Gary Usher and the Super Stocks on the computer, since, the sun and heat and all, it might as well be June. But that’s OK, it is what it is, and one can do a hell of a lot worse!

…So the word on the street is that our main man in Afghanistan, General Patraeus, likes Enya. That’s OK by me, her CD “A Day Without Rain” remains one of my all-time favorite CDs; you just have to be in the proper mood and locale for it. And living in Arizona does NOT promote the right mood and locale. As a New Englander there’s a part of me that right now aches to be back home. As a cancer sufferer, there’s a part of me that knows there’s some serious work to be done, in a very short amount of time.

Our friend Jana will laugh at my admitting to liking Enya – I guarantee she’s one of her favorites. But like I’ve always said, I’m a sensitive guy – hell, I’m “Mr. Sensitive”! Don’t believe me? Here are two faves from “A Day Without Rain” – “Wild Child” and “Flora’s Secret” – that I consider amongst her best and amongst my all-time favorites. Enjoy!

A final word about Enya: I love the poetry in her songs. Consider the lyrics for “Flora’s Secret”:

Lovers in the long grass
Look above them
Only they can see
Where the clouds are going
Only to discover
Dust and sunlight
Ever make the sky so blue

Afternoon is hazy
River flowing
All around the sounds
Moving closer to them
Telling them the story
Told by Flora
Dreams they never knew

Silver willows
Tears from Persia
Those who come
From a far-off island
Winter Chanterelle lies
under cover
Glory-of-the-sun in blue

Some they know as passion
Some as freedom
Some they know as love
And the way it leaves them
Summer snowflake
For a season
When the sky above is blue
When the sky above is blue

Lying in the long grass
Close beside her
Giving her the name
Of the one the moon loves
This will be the day she
Will remember
When she knew his heart
Was…

Loving in the long grass
Close beside her
Whispering of love
And the way it leaves them
Lying in the long grass
In the sunlight
They believe it’s true love…

And from all around them
Flora’s secret
Telling them of love
And the way it breathes
And…

Looking up from eyes of
Amaranthine
They can see the sky
Is blue
Knowing that their love
Is true
dreams they never knew
And the sky above is blue

Like I say, I’m a sensitive guy.

Pool temp: 87 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:57 | Comments (2)
August 27, 2010

So, what to make of the fact that, his divorce being final, Tiger Woods goes out and shoots his best round of the year? All I can say is, nice work today, Tiger, let’s see if you can put three more rounds together like that.

…and the same thing holds true for you, Michelle – one round does not a tournament make. Let’s see where both Tiger and Michelle stand come Sunday night.

Jim Furyk gets disqualified from this week’s Barclays because he overslept and missed his pro-am tee time by a few minutes? How ridiculous is that? Sure, rules are rules, but in this age of cell phones there’s nothing wrong with giving the guy a break if he makes a quick call, explains the situation, and tells his foursome to hold on, grab a brewskie or two on him, and let a couple of other foursomes go on out ahead until he gets there. It’s good for everyone, and is the most common sense solution.

…of course, in this Age of Obama, when you read things like this and this, common sense is the least common thing to be found.

How else to describe: European pro golfers try to skim a golf ball 200 yards across a lake and hit a 9-inch gong. Really. (Hat tip: National Review Online’s Corner Blog)

…and speaking of great golf shots, here’s a shot not even fellow Goodboy Ron “Cubby” Myerow would dare to attempt. I would, though…no shot is to difficult for The Great White Shank to at least want to give it a try.

Pool temp: 88 degrees (that’s -7 in 48 hours!)

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:06 | Comments (2)
August 26, 2010

The clouds had been building all afternoon to the south and to the east, and the Accuweather.com radar showed some big storms building in both directions and heading towards the west. There was a severe thunderstorm warning up for parts of the valley, including us here in Gilbert, and I could hear the wind chimes on the patio and see the lemon tree outside the bunny room window being pushed around, but the sun was still shining brightly. This warranted an investigation.

I poured myself a cold glass of Pinot Grigio and was just getting ready to head out the back door when all of a sudden there was a loud Whoosh!. The back doors (which obviously hadn’t been closed tightly) were flung open, and one of the phony palm trees held down by a bucket of stones followed through the open doors, it’s top end coming to rest inside the dining area, the stones poured out beneath it. I picked the palm tree back up and set it back in its place, and that’s when I noticed two branches from our palm trees by the pool bent down to the ground. That was quite a blow.

I walked out to the little patio area by the gas grill, pulled up a wicker chair, and sat down. It was incredibly hot and oppressive, and I could practically feel the wine warming in my hand. I couldn’t put the glass down because every surface was broiling hot, even though I was sitting in the shade of the house. The wind was really gusty, but the sun was shining brightly and there was blue sky all above me. Just as I noticed the black clouds lowering beyond my neighbor’s house to the east, I heard the first low rumble of thunder off to the northeast…

[Ed. note: is there a finer sound than the sound of thunder on a hot, late summer afternoon? Maybe, perhaps, the sound of surf on the beach, but in my mind they're pretty damned close.]

…followed shortly thereafter by a louder and sharper rolling rumble. I couldn’t see anything because of the lemon and lime trees, so this warranted some investigating. I grabbed my Blackberry, then headed back inside and out the front door. Sure enough, we had some action coming towards us:

tstorm1

The wall of rain (showing white above the tree on the left) really wasn’t moving towards us – it was actually sliding east, but there had to have been quite a bit of dust in the air because it starting raining mud. Yuck. Fortunately, that didn’t last too long, but just after this photo was taken the wind really picked up again – not just gusts, but heavy sustained winds. The photo below doesn’t do justice to how hard the wind was blowing at the time, but I was having a difficult time keeping my balance (it was later reported that a roof was blown off of someone’s house several miles away up in Mesa). What was truly amazing was that, while all this is happening, the sun was still out full, creating a beautiful contrast with the colors of the trees and the sky:

tstorm2

Shortly after this picture was taken, it finally started to rain, this time in earnest. It came like a wave – a few drops, a dozen drops, then the deluge, and you could feel the temperature and the humidity drop as it came through. So there I am, getting soaked in the driveway, rejoicing like some crazed Indian (oops, er, native American) at how fresh and clean it all felt. The wind then started to subside, and then the rain, so I went back inside and then out the back door where you could see the rain falling like glistening sheets against the setting sun:

tstorm3

Pretty, huh? A minute later it was all over, save for a few remaining rumbles to the north and west. The pool was covered in all kinds of tree and plant debris, and our smallest palm, the one that has always struggled next to its larger and healthier neighbors, lost a critical branch that may not portend well for its future. I checked the temperature – it had dropped from 112 to 97 in just fifteen minutes – and checked my glass – it was in need of a refill – and began the arduous task of skimming the pool.

The pool was still a season-high 95 degrees when I took a dip around 10 PM, but between the wind, the humidity being sucked out of the atmosphere, the rain, and the night, 24 hours later it had dropped four degrees to 91 degrees – that’s quite a big drop in just a day. My swim tonight was in conditions almost – almost – like early “Arizona winter” – while it was still warm, there was no heat, and the patio beneath my feet was absent its typical heat as well. What a welcome change!

That’s not to say we’re done with summer by any means – we’re still going to be in the low 100s for the rest of the week – and you can bet there’s still some sizzling days to come. But for one afternoon this year’s monsoon season provided a wonderful experience where I could forget about, at least for a brief time, all my cares amidst the unmatched beauty and awesome unpredictability of God’s creation on display. Fantastic.

Pool temp: 91 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:04 | Comments (0)
August 25, 2010

Congrats to Senator John McCain and Governor Jan Brewer on their Republican primary victories tonight. May you wipe the floor with your Democratic opponents in the general election a little over two months from now.

One comment about my support of John McCain: you’ll see a lot of conservative outposts – like this, for example calling people in Arizona idiots for supporting someone who, if not a RINO (Republican in name only), is all over the board when it comes to issues. But I’m sorry: take your rigid, sanctimonious attitiudes and go screw yourselves. The fact is, J.D. Hayworth ran a lousy campaign practically from the start, allowed McCain to put him on defense throughout the entire race, and, frankly, gave few people a good enough reason to vote for him. My feeling is this: if you can’t run a competent primary campaign, what makes anyone think you’ll be a competent elected official in Washington?

Hey, all you Obama fans who think The Great White Shank was just blowing smoke about reckless spending and spiralling deficits? Better get used to seeing this chart – it’s about to go viral in the days ahead. Key points to consider:

So the following are facts, based on the government’s own figures. Whenever you hear some Democratic strategist blame Obama’s deficit and his reckless spending on the Iraq war, you’ll have the truth before you.

* Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more.
* Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.
* Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.
* Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.
* Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.
* The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).
During Bush’s Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

(Hat tip: Instapundit). Expect to see the Dems drag out poor old W’s carcass in the days and weeks ahead, hoping to blame the economic mess we find ourselves in on W and the Iraq war, but they’re only masking their own gross (and, in my view, criminal) incompetence since they took Congress and then the White House. Fortunately, I think the American people are smarter than that and see what’s really going on. We’ll see come November, won’t we?

I might be wrong – predictions are hardly my strongest suit – but I think this will be the most important political development, not just in this fall’s midterms, but for the 2012 presidential election. The angry, bitter, self-centered “it’s my body, everyone else be damned!” feminism from the ’60s is, thankfully, in its final dying gasps, being replaced by a more positive, intelligent, less self-serving, and more socially-empowered, family-oriented perspective. Keep an eye out for this, I’m telling you. This “new feminism” crosses every demographic and will be a force to reckoned with.

Pool tyemp: 95 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments (5)
August 24, 2010

Girding my loins for what the National Weather Service is promising to be the hottest day of the year here in the Valley of the Sun. Temps around 110, oppressive humidity, heat indices around 115 or higher. And I thought today was miserable, it only hit 107. I’ll tell you this: the pool sure noticed it, it jumped to 95 today.

Welcome to the machine: A great Pink Floyd tune, one I couldn’t help thinking of Monday during my 30-minute stay in the MRI exam tube in preparation for my prostate surgery just two weeks from tomorrow. The MRI itself wasn’t that bad, it was the endorectal coil I had inserted into my cabooseskie throughout that made the experience less akin to the half-hour, “inside a tanning booth” experience the helpful and friendly tech tried to assure me beforehand.

Fortunately, being able to contemplate and recite some of the Psalms I’ve become familiar with from my years of prayers really helped. Oh sure, they try to relax you with music they pump through earphones, but to be honest, if they ain’t got surf, they can play whatever the hell they want, I’ll just focus on the Psalms, thank you. Besides, being aurally assaulted by that crap they call “smooth jazz” from Kenny G and his ilk was almost as bad as the procedure itself.

I’ll say this: today’s experience made me realize just how real this whole cancer thing now is. This is where the rubber hits the road, for sure. Up until now, September 8 seemed so far in the future, something to deal with when the time comes. Well, the time has come. Laying on my back while the MRI machine did its buzzing, grunts, wails, shakes, and rattles brought to mind that wonderful scene in Monty Python’s “Life Of Brian” where Judith interrupts a meeting of the People’s Front of Judea to announce Brian is being taken off to be crucified: “It’s happening, Reg! Something’s actually happening, Reg! Can’t you understand?”

Yep. Something’s really happening. And like my very good friend and fellow Goodboy Ben “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis is wont to say as he stares down a slippery downhill 6-foot putt for par: “I’m ascared”.

No matter. When you have cancer it’s really just you and the treatment, no matter what form(s) that might take. And I’ve never felt so alone as during my prostate biopsy back in May and today’s MRI. But perhaps there are some things in life you just have to go through alone.

Pool temp: 95 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:03 | Comments (0)
August 23, 2010

…and it’s a big bright white one as I loll in the pool tonight. All around me the A/C units of the neighbors houses hiss and whoosh, turning off and on to the tune of their own varying thermostat settings. There are a few crickets out too, but frankly, with the temperature still at 94 at nearly 11 PM it’s too hot for them. So, it’s just me, the moon, the night, and the A/C units. With the pool temp at 93 there’s virtually no sense of temperature difference in my nighttime dip, the water is just wet.

But looking up at that moon, all I can think of (at least for this moment – otherwise, there’s a helluva lot more going on in my mind and life right now) is that wonderful doo-wop tune by the fabulous Capris – “There’s A Moon Out Tonight”. The end of the song (in bolds) features probably my absolute very favorite harmonic moment in all of pop music:

There’s a (moon out tonight) whoa-oh-oh ooh
Let’s go strollin’
There’s a (girl in my heart) whoa-oh-oh ooh
Whose heart I’ve stolen
There’s a moon out tonight (whoa-oh-oh ooh)
Let’s go strollin’ through the park (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)

There’s a (glow in my heart) whoa-oh-oh ooh
I never felt before
There’s a (girl at my side) whoa-oh-oh ooh
That I adore
There’s a glow in my heart I never felt before (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)

Oh darlin’
Where have you been?
I’ve been longin’ for you all my life

Whoa-uh-oh baby I never felt this way before
I guess it’s because there’s a moon out tonight

There’s a (glow in my heart) whoa-oh-oh ooh
I never felt before
There’s a (girl at my side) whoa-oh-oh ooh
That I adore
There’s glow in my heart
I guess it’s because

There’s a moon out tonight
Moon out tonight
Moon out tonight
Moon out tonight
There’s a moon out tonight

Really priceless to me. Reinforces my view that if I had to choose between being blind or deaf I’d choose blind any day.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 22:46 | Comments (3)

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