October 31, 2010

halloween New England is the absolute best place to do Halloween. The trees are starting to look barren, the brown oak leaves rustle in the cool air, a multi-colored quilt of leaves cover the forest floors, and the air is full of the scent of fallen leaves and pine needles. Hopefully, fellow Goodboy Ron “Cubby” Myerow is taking advantage of his Salem digs to try some love potion on a witch or a wench – either would do. After all, there’s all sorts of wicked doings in the “Witch City” this weekend.

Here it’ll be just another ho-hum bright sunny day in the ’80s. But our neighbors John and Mary across the street always set up a table with chili for the folks bringing their kids around, and it’s fun drinking margaritas and chewing the fat while watching the trick-or-treat action. Then we’ll probably pop into the DVD player Sleepy Hollow, which is a good flick for Halloween.

But, to commemorate the traditional All Hallow’s Eve, I also have a candle burning in my prayer grove, and said prayers tonight for family members and pets, and friends who have passed before us. It felt both good and right.

So a safe and happy Halloween, everyone! Here’s a great little poem for the occasion:

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Haunted Houses” (1858)

(Hat tip: About.com)

Pool temp: 68 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:53 | Comments (0)
October 30, 2010

Check out my new video for this classic Sandals tune from 1964 uploaded on my YouTube channel. Hope you like it (excuse my dig at the “joys” of camping, something I’ve never understood or enjoyed…)

Pool temp: 70 degrees

Filed in: YouTube Channel by The Great White Shank at 00:28 | Comment (1)
October 29, 2010

When I was back in Massachusetts, late October and November were Pink Floyd months for me, music-wise. There was always something about their music that fit in the increasingly-dark, bleak, and barren days leading up to the first December snowfall and Christmas. Not all of their classic albums, mind you, just certain ones like Atom Heart Mother, Obscured By Clouds, and Wish You Were Here.

(For some reason, and maybe it’s because of the time of year they were released, I don’t associated Dark Side of The Moon, Animals, and The Wall with New England fall.)

Now me, I’ve always been a huge Pink Floyd fan. Maybe it’s because their music fed the deep down cynicism, disenchantment, and paranoia I’ve always felt towards our culture, institutions, and authority; maybe it’s because the music is just so damned good.

Anyways, here’s my own “Top 10″ of great Floyd tunes – prepare to be blown away:

10. Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast, from “Atom Heart Mother” (here broken into parts 1 and two), My brother Mark always loved the drums in Part 2, we always wanted that sound in Top Priority.

9. Mother, from “The Wall”

8. Learning To Fly, from “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason”

7. Take It Back / Coming Back To Life, from “The Division Bell”

6. Brain Damage / Eclipse, from “Dark Side of the Moon” (although the obvious edit linking the two songs has always been jarring to me).

5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part 1 and part 2, from “Wish You Were Here”. I still get shivers hearing the song as it fades in, that guitar riff at 3:55 – amazing!

4. One Of These Days, from “Meddle” (listen for the backwards cymbals shooting from left to right and right to left starting at 3:45).

3. Sheep, from “Animals” (featuring some of the most slashing, bone-crushing guitar chords and cool drum fills you’ll ever hear starting around the 8:00 minute mark!).

2. Wish You Were Here, from “Wish You Were Here”. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year…” I mean, can you find better lyrics than that?

…and, of course, probably most everyone’s favorite Floyd tune:

1. Comfortably Numb, from “The Wall”.

Honorable mention has to go to one of the Floyd’s most underrated songs and this one, which I remember my Mom always hated really bad. :-)

Pool temp: 69 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:20 | Comments (4)
October 28, 2010

Less than five days to go before the November mid-terms, and I’ve stopped paying attention to the pollsters and what their polls and the talking heads on the cable networks are saying. It’s just my opinion – and take it for what y’all will – but the pollsters are unable to pick up three critical movements which I think will play a key role in the results of Tuesday night and leave them scratching their heads on Wednesday morning how they could have gotten it so wrong:

1. The Tea Party movement cannot be defined by the traditional Republican, Independent, or Democratic labels. There will be a significant number of voters being brought into the election process by their involvement (directly or indirectly) and/or support of the Tea Party movement. The mainstream dino-media has underestimated this movement from the start, and the pollsters who can’t help but follow so-called “conventional wisdom” are doing likewise. Tea Party voters come from all stripes: conservative Republicans, traditional unaffiliated or Independent voters, and what was once called “Reagan Democrats”. These voters don’t respond to pollsters and don’t care what the polls say – they just want to vote, and they will in larger numbers than the pollsters are picking up.

2. Union members who are registered Democrats will vote Republican in larger numbers than presumed. I guarantee you there are many union members out there that disagree with the politicization of their unions and the huge sums of money being spent by them on Democratic causes and candidates. What a union man says to his friends in the shop or to a pollster, and how they vote in the solitude of the voting booth will be shown to be two different things this year> This is something the pollsters aren’t picking it up, because they can’t.

3. The unpopularity of Barack Obama. All you have to do is watch where he’s campaigning, both in person and on the radio, to know that he knows just how bad things are – he’s going after the college towns and African-Americans to gin up enthusiasm. Considering how many votes he got in 2008, how much good will he brought with him to White House, and how much the mainstream dino-media slobbered all over him during the campaign and after he took office, the place he finds himself in politically is almost impossible to fathom. But, as I mentioned numerous times in this space, when you run as a uniter and a centrist, then reveal yourself to be a far-left progressive and a polarizing incompetent who picks fights with wide swaths of the American electorate, you get what you deserve.

All the usual national prognosticators on both sides of the aisle (Dick Morris being the exception) seem afraid to make any kind of radical predictions, preferring to speak in generalities and avoid being seen as too off base (after all, 2012 is just around the corner). Conventional wisdon says the Republican take control of the House by winning somewhere between 45-60 seats, and the Democrats retaining control of the Senate with the Republicans falling 2-3 seats short of a majority and winning perhaps 6-8 seats.

The Great White Shank is under no such constraints and isn’t afraid to be wrong – after all, no one listens to The Great White Shank, anyways, right? So here are my predictions: Republicans win a whopping 77 seats in the House and take control of the Senate as well. I think Barbara Boxer (CA) and Patty Murray (WA) are both going down, and it wouldn’t even surprise me if Christine O’Donnell were to pull off an upset in Delaware (and what an upset that would be!). Even if the Democrats are able to barely retain control of the Senate, the House defeat will be a crushing rebuke to the president, and set the stage for a Hillary Clinton (remember her?) challenge for the 2012 Democratic nomination – something I predict she will win.

So there you have it – maybe I’ll be right, maybe I’ll be wrong. I’m more comfortable with my House prediction than my Senate one, but isn’t that half the fun of predictions to begin with?

Pool temp: 68 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comment (1)
October 27, 2010

Kudos to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles. Folks who frequent this site know all too well I’m no fan of government by nature, but you have to tip your hat whenever it’s warranted. This past Sunday we realized that, because we changed our e-mail a few months ago, we never received our vehicle registration renewal notifications from the DMV. (Here in Arizona you can have all that kind of thing done online.) For our 2003 Saturn, we visited the DMV website and paid our fee. For the 1999 Saturn, I had to get an emissions first, which I did on Monday. 24 hours later, we received our license plate tags in the mail and everything’s good. The DMV here (unlike the clowns in Massachusetts) have always shown themselves to be competent and responsive, which is all one can expect from government these days.

A zing to Barack Obama, for continuing to ratchet up the angry rhetoric against Americans whom he represents as President of the United States. To encourage Hispanics to “punish our enemies”, and to tell Republicans – once again employing his tired “car in the ditch” metaphor – they need to “sit in the back” (a curious use of words for an African American, wouldn’t you say?) serves no good purpose whatsoever. Not only does that kind of rhetoric diminish the office he holds (something he has shown himself to be extremely adept at since his inauguration), but it divides the very people he promised to unite during his 2008 campaign. No wonder his approval ratings are tanking, reaching new lows every week.

Kudos to the Wolong Panda reserve in China’s Sichuan province and the progress they have seen in increasing the number of pandas born in captivity. I enjoy reading success stories like this since they typically seem so few and far between.

A zing to The View’s Joy Behar for calling Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle “a bitch”, and telling her to “go to hell” on national television. Why anyone would watch the pathetic shrills on The View is beyond me, but there is absolutely no place on national television for this kind of hatred and language Behar used. What does it say about the state of our culture when a Juan Williams can be fired from NPR simply for expressing his own discomfort when traveling on an airplane with people dressed in traditional Muslim garb, and Behar keeps her job after this hateful and offensive screed?

Pool temp: 68 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:45 | Comments (0)
October 26, 2010

…Went into the local Lowe’s the other day and saw they already have all their Christmas stuff up – fake trees and lights and everything. Maybe it’s just me, but should we be allowed to get past Halloween first?

…Still, put me down as one who can’t wait for the Christmas season. I’ve never really been a holiday season fan, and there won’t be much – if anything – under the tree, but it’s been such a long hard year that some lights, festive music, and levity by the Christmas tree sounds really inviting right now.

Dream on, socialists. Want to hear from The Great White Shank what the untold story of this year’s mid-term elections is going to be? The number of union members (mostly registered Democrats) who actually vote Republican out of anger and disgust at how politicized their unions have become and how much money they’re wasting on candidates in this election cycle. Were I a union guy (and thank God I’m not) I’d be pretty pissed at my union dues going to political races when it could be better invested on my healthcare and retirement benefits.

…When the news comes a week from tonight that Republicans have taken control of the House away from Nancy Pelosi I am going to drink heavily.

…I never get tired of watching “My Cousin Vinny”.

…Or, for that matter, “The Big Easy”.

…Gotta agree with Sarah here: Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski is the very definition of the entrenched Washington pol that needs to be voted out. And, with all due respect to Christine O’Donnell, she’s a witch – a real one – too. What a pathetic hag.

…Sergio Garcia is, and always will be, a pussy.

…Put me down as saying it’s a great thing for Major League Baseball that we’re about to watch the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers duel it out in the World Series. Heck, watching Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum pitch against each other will be worth the cost of admission.

…Does this mean the groom will get the seven-year itch when he’s twelve?

…Congrats to former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell and good luck to him in his new role as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Here’s betting the Jays replace the Tampa Bay Rays as the “third team” battling the Yankees and the Red Sox for supremacy in the A.L East in 2011. Farrell did a great job as Sox putching coach and deserves the chance.

…I need a new FM clock radio to wake up to. The one we have is more freakin’ complicated than a ICBM guided missile defense system. All I want is something that keeps time, is easy to use, and has an external antenna I can hang on the blinds. Without these three primary characteristics, I’m not interested. Ideas, anyone?

Pool temp: 69 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:34 | Comments (2)
October 25, 2010

Just finished reading Evan Thomas’ magnificent “Sea of Thunder”. A wonderful book – thanks Ben!

After reading this book, I’m left with the thought that the “greatest generation” were just that – not that they were any better people than those who came either before or after – but earned that distinction because they rose up to the challenge presented to their generation. Me, I’m just awestruck.

Although I was born in 1955, I’ve always felt I was born ten years too late. I think about my interests, the music I like, the architecture I’m drawn to, the books I like to read and stories I like to hear about, and wonder why the heck I’m still working my ass off here in Gilbert, Arizona and not lollying around early happy hours somewhere around the Gulf coast of Florida, playing golf and marking restaurants that have the best blackened grouper.

This has been a constant source of tension in my life since, I don’t know, forever. There’s a part of me that knows if I were born in, say, the late ’40s there’s a damned good chance I wouldn’t even be alive today, instead memorialized after some clean-up crew discovered me face-down in a rice paddy in South Vietnam. But outside of my professional life, there’s so much of me that thinks and is drawn to things that are older than I am. And yet, I know I’m not comfortable there, either. There’s another part of me that is damned glad I was born in 1955 and therefore came of age, so to speak, in the mid-to-late ’60s and the early ’70s.

Not sure actually what I’m writing about here. But I will say this: I think (and y’all may disagree) that the generation before mine had a lot more courage and class than mine did (and, to be sure, those after mine have). I like the technological advances and the conveniences that being born when I was have brought, but I think this country and its culture has lost something along the way.

Heck, maybe I’m wrong. Like I say, I’m babbling.

Keeping with the spirit of the moment, here’s the Chairman of the Board, doing what he did best.

Pool temp: 70 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:06 | Comments (0)
October 24, 2010

Was listening to a CD shuffle of John Lennon and George Harrison solo work the other night and was glad to hear once again this song from George’s reissue of his epic “All Things Must Pass” CD. “I Live For You” features an incredible steel guitar performance by the legendary Nashville great Pete Drake. Sigh. All legends, all great, all gone.

Hearing the song reminded me of this post from back in 2006, a precursor to the spiritual reawakening I would experience a little more than a year later. It was written in haste just prior to me heading up to Vegas for a crazy weekend with my Goodboys friends, and remains one of my very favorite (and most intimate) posts here at Goodboys Nation. Enjoy!

Pool temp: 69 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:36 | Comments (0)
October 23, 2010

Wasn’t even going to post today, but it’s a beautiful cool night outside and the fresh air coming through the doors told me to get my ass in gear. So hear are a few late-night links before I call it a day…

“Help me, dude!”

All I can say is wow.

“According to the inquiry report and the testimony of the only survivor, the crash happened because of a panic sparked by the escape of a crocodile hidden in a sports bag.”

Ditto.

“But for me, we’d be in world-wide depression.”

I can’t figure out whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is borderline senile or just pathetic. I’m guessing a little bit of both. Either way, it’s time to put him and his incumbent friends out to pasture for good.

“The World Series is coming to Texas.”

It was great and very satisfying to watch the New York Yankees get eliminated by the spunky, upstart Texas Rangers. I’ve always said watching the Yankees lose is better than watching the Red Sox win, and tonight was no exception as the Evil Empire looked old and decrepit as they were outplayed by Texas throughout virtually the entire ALCS.

“Way too funny. The video work really hit home.”

Jerry “Keys” Palma’s comment on the Top Priority video smash, “Rhythmic Blues”. He ought to know, he was there.

“If you believe Hillary Clinton is the future of the Democrat Party and would make a better president, then you must stay home on November 2nd and don’t vote.”

I think Rush Limbaugh and his “Reverse Operation Chaos” plan is onto something here. Were I a Democrat I’d definitely consider it. If the Republicans take more than, say, 75 seats in the House and win the Senate (not such a far-fetched thought) the pressure might very well be on Hillary Clinton to take on Barack Obama in the 2012 primaries. Me, I’d love to see it – not that I’m much of a Hillary fan, but compared to Obama she’d at least look an act like a President should.

“It’s hard enough I know just to feel your own pain.”

One of my all-time favorite guitar solos is from David Spinozza on John Lennon’s “Aisumasen (I’m Sorry)”, a cut from his 1973 album “Mind Games”. Simple and very bluesy.

Pool temp: 71 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:30 | Comment (1)
October 22, 2010

Oh sure, the saying goes that no one listens to The Great White Shank. But I keep trying to tell y’all that I don’t speak no jive: when I post something you can take it to the bank that I’m (as the liberal moonbats like to say) “speaking truth to power”.

* Note I was right about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy flogging the dog long before Barack Obama’s candidacy caught fire.

* Note I was right about President Barack Obama being a coming train wreck as a President due to his inexperience and incompetence long before 2010′s ridiculous “Recovery Summer”, which has been anything but.

* Note I was right about the Obama administration’s “Nixonian characteristics” long before observers on both the left and the right of the political spectrum noticing the same similarities in our current President.

* Note I was right about predicting that Eric Holder’s Justice Department dropping that case against those New Black Panthers whose presence outside a Philadephia polling station would bcome a big deal – just wait until the Republicans are back in charge in the House (and perhaps the Senate). This is gonna explode on the administration before too long – especially after the unprecedented and systematic voter fraud that’s about to take place in less than two weeks.

* Note that just last month, I was right about what I wrote about how the days of National Public Radio (NPR) sucking off the public trough to help support its Democratic Party / liberal left programming ought to be a thing of the past.

And that is why, ultimately, the Juan Williams firing is destined to become a defining moment in the history of NPR and its parent company, the Corporation For Public Broadcasting. Bad enough that Williams got sacked for absolutely no reason (not only because nothing he said was the slightest bit controversial, but because NPR folks have uttered far more outrageous comments in the past without any form of public rebuke), but then NPR’s CEO shows her true nature by making an insulting and disgraceful remark questioning his mental health.

In some ways this is a win/win situation for nearly everyone (pity the saps ‘shilling for sheckels’ the next time NPR conducts yet another interminable “pledge week”): Williams gets a handsome new contract from Fox News (an organization that truly appreciates journalistic talent), and finally, NPR is revealed to all for what it has been for a long time – a taxpayer-funded mouthpiece for the left, even as it takes a cool $1.8 mil from socialist billionaire George Soros to push Democratic Party talking points and the liberal left’s agenda. Consider:

* NPR’s continual characterization of the Tea Party movement as a bunch of right-wing loons, bigots, xenophobes, racists, and extremists.

* NPR’s incessant one-sided reporting and dismissal of Christine O’Donnell, Sarah Palin, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and any other successful women who dare to run for political office while not toeing the feminist agenda pushed by the washed up, worn-out hags at the National Order of Women (NOW).

* NPR’s daily savaging of former President George W. Bush and his administration for the economy (5% unemployment – how awful!) and the War on Terror; now, with Barack Obama as President, you hear nary a hint of protest as Americans and NATO troops continue to die in ever-increasing numbers.

Look, I would have absolutely no problem with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR if they had to compete in the media marketplace like everyone else. But to be completely and unabashedly biased to one side of the political spectrum in its programming (NPR’s “All Things Considered” ought to be renamed “No Things Considered”) while taking money from the U.S. taxpayers (anywhere between $9 mil and $20 mil annually based on reports) is outrageous and absurd in this day and age. Cut their purse strings and let them fend for themselves as a totally-private media organization and see how well they do. Prediction: it would be another Air America.

The Juan Williams controversy reminds me of that scene in “Tin Cup” where Roy McAvoy’s caddie tells him that when a defining moment comes, either you define the moment or the moment defines you. For NPR, its disgraceful, classless, and despicable treatment of someone with the integrity and journalistic pedigree of Juan Williams is a moment that has defined them forever.

And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of people.

Enjoy your next “Pledge Week”, kids.

Pool temp: 72 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:23 | Comments (0)

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