September 4, 2011

[Ed. note: In preparation for my impending move over to DreamHost I’m cleaning out some old drafts. I found this one from Jana – sorry Jana, I thought this got posted!]

Prepare grits.

Add to tuna which has been drained…chopped onion, lime juice, hot sauce and enough mayo to combine.

Throw a big glop of tuna on the hot grits and experience a major YUM-OOOOO.

Trust me on this one…I was skeptical the first time and now, this is the only way I eat tuna with or without grits. This is served from the backs of trucks at the harbor in Nassau as the conch fisherman head out for the days catch for conch salad (which I could eat daily).

Filed in: Uncategorized by at 12:20 | Comment (1)

One of the best days of my life. Make of my life what you will, but I’ll never forget last year’s Labor Day weekend. It is beyond precious to me.

Filed in: Treasure Hunt by The Great White Shank at 00:51 | Comments (2)
September 3, 2011

When you ask people who have had the opportunity and privilege to play bass who their favorite classic rock bassists are, you’re likely hear the names of Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Carol Kaye, or John Entwhistle bandied about, and with good reason. For me, McCartney was the very best; it was his virtuoso playing throughout Abbey Road (especially here and here) that inspired me to learn to play bass.

An unsung favorite you rarely, if ever, hear about, and one of (at least in my mind) great rock bassists of all time was Chip Douglas. While you may not have ever heard of Douglas by name or reputation, without a doubt you’ve heard him play on any number of classic hits by The Turtles and, most especially, on The Monkees‘ classic albums. He had a very “busy”, jazz-like technique that really kept the beat jumping behind even the most straight 4/4 rhythms. His work on The Monkees’ albums Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones is some of the finest bass playing I’ve ever listened to.

Here are some samples of songs he’s played on I think you’ll enjoy.

From The Monkees:

“Listen To The Band”
“What Am I Doin’ Hangin’ Round?”
“Pleasant Valley Sunday”
“The Girl I Knew Somewhere”

From The Turtles:

“Happy Together”
“She’d Rather Be With Me”

…and my favorite (just listen for how Douglas’ bass line drives the chorus): Elenore. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs. Don’t forget to play this one loud and by all means, sing along!

But I’m not the only one who respects Douglas’ technique. Check out this guy; dude has got it down pure. He’s playing along to “Sunny Girlfriend” from Headquarters. God, I wish I could play bass like that!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:44 | Comments (0)
September 2, 2011

Rob over at CrabAppleLane Blog (a.k.a. “the blogging bodhisattva”) has a good post about the return of Dick Cheney with his book “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir”. On most issues involving politics you’re likely to find Rob and me on opposite sides, but he hit the nail on the head this time when he wrote:

There was a time I liked him. Loose cannon, hypocrite, and always funny with his quips. I think he’s poisonous now. Poisonous to his party, poisonous to his cause (The war on terror), and poisonous to his former boss. Someone should tell him his service is no longer needed.

Couldn’t agree with Rob more there. We’re in a time right now where politics is so divisive and so negative, and I believe Cheney has a lot to do with that. I write often about the arrogance of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, but Cheney’s a Republican example of the same kind of arrogance – the arrogance of power and the idea that Washington (and in his case, the Bush White House) knows best.

Most certainly, the buck stops at the desk of the President, and I have no doubt that President Bush was the one making the decisions when it came to the “war on terror”; in that way, I completely disagree with the liberal, loony left who saw Cheney as some Darth Vader character pulling the strings for a dunce of a president. But there’s little doubt that Bush respected Cheney’s opinion greatly, and that Cheney and Don Rumsfeld were the hawks that led W to take the “war on terror” to the level and involvement that it did (and, to Barack Obama’s detriment, still does).

I understand the reasons for going into Afghanistan in the first place after 9/11, but after we crushed the Taliban we should have left it at that – it would have sent a powerful message to the radical Islamic fundamentalists of the world that you mess around with the USA, you’re gonna get hurt, immediately and badly. But staying around to nation build was an ill-conceived idea, and we’re still paying for it in blood, dollars, and prestige nearly ten years later.

With Iraq, I understand the whole WMD issue and Saddam Hussein as a “grave threat” and what Bush might have been thinking about when he chose to go in – after all, he had 9/11 happen on his watch and was determined that it not happen again. I get that. But still, it was flawed intelligence, and I have to think that we could have waited Hussein out longer and more diplomatically until a time when (or if) he made any kind of real threatening moves, then smash him fast and hard just like with the Taliban. Instead, we got ourselves into another protracted engagement, and to what purpose?

In all of this, I think Cheney was a main mover and shaker, and it’s because of him to a great extent that we’re still in the Middle East, involved the messes we’ve created for ourselves. Cheney is a huge proponent of executive power, but that power cuts both ways. We’re seeing the incredible expansion of executive power under President Obama domestically for all the wrong reasons (i.e., the federal government knows best); Cheney exhibits that same flawed judgment in his defense of the Bush White House’s use of executive power in the “war on terror”.

This country is so divided right now, and the politics are so poisonous; the re-emergence of Dick Cheney on the scene does nothing to enhave and improve the dialogue. Time to say “goodnight, Dick”.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:12 | Comments (0)
September 1, 2011

abita A big N’Awlins “thank you” goes out top my blogger bud Rob at CrabAppleLane Blog who helped me through the problems with the website yesterday. From what I can gather, it would appear my present hosting vendor Blogs-About Hosting is going through its final death throes, cleaning up websites they used to host that have since gone defunct and directing interested parties to Blogrolling.com. Rob helped identify a “Blogs-About Buddies” script that was causing the problem and provided the solution. Too bad for them, Goodboys Nation is still alive, and plans to be alive for as long as y’all will have me (or my interest wanes, whichever comes first!). 🙂

Rob, I owe you an icy-cold Abita Amber at Liuzza’s and a shrimp po-boy when Tracey and I visit New Orleans next year (God willing!). You’re a good friend and a real blogging bodhisattva. Thank you.

I’m not sure how available Goodboys Nation will be over the next week, as the good folks at DreamHost are presently figuring out how to make the conversion to their hosting venue as pain-free as possible. We’ll see. I’ll keep y’all posted. Thanks for all the e-mails expressing your concerns.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:11 | Comment (1)

When I first heard earlier today that President Obama called for a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 7th to give his speech outlining his jobs proposal – the same night as a scheduled NBC / Politico-hosted GOP candidates debate, my first thought was, “he can’t do that without approval from Speaker of the House John Boehner”, and my second thought was, “what a stupid idea!” I mean, it made no sense on two accounts: 1) there was no way in hell Boehner was going to approve that, and 2) knowing that, why would the White House push such a thing without prior agreement from the Speaker? It just reeked of political opportunism and the opportunity to score cheap political points when, if he really wanted to look like a leader, the President would schedule his address at a date and time that would provide him the biggest audience to allow his message to be the focus.

A commenter over at Free Republic had it about right when he wrote:

Think about it.
Barry can’t do the 5th – Labor Day

The 6th gives the GOP debaters the 7th to rip apart his “plan”.

The 7th – nope

The 8th – Saints at Packers – only an idiot would go up against this game (so, I won’t rule it out).

The 9th – Friday of 9/11’s 10th anniversary. A Friday wouldn’t work anyhow (opening weekend of HS football), but especially this Friday. Put the 10th and 11th as a no, too.

The 12th – opening Monday Night Football – a possibility, but the news and mood will still be about 9/11

The 13th – probably the earliest that Barry can reschedule his “urgent” address to Congress that he and his cronies threw on some paper while goofing around the entire month of August.

I mean, this is not rocket science, and you don’t have to be a “professional” politician to see the logic in this.

But nooooooooo. Instead, what ended up happening is that: 1) the Speaker rejected Obama’s request due to “legislative practicalities”; 2) the President’s address will now take place on Thursday, September 8th, when most people will be gearing up for the NFL’s opening night, and 3) the focus will be no longer be on the substance of his address (if there is any), but on how the President of the United States ended up giving one of the most important speeches of his presidency on a night when most people will be watching anything else but him. It really boggles the mind.

Only the most egostical punk of a politician would use the misery of millions of unemployed as an opportunity to score cheap political points. Only the most incompetent of presidents would, in the space of a little more than six hours, have their plans for a major address turned into a PR disaster that infuriates both those on the right (for attempting such a cheap political stunt) and the left (for “caving in” to the Republicans and thus looking like the bumbling idiots they are). But that’s what happens when you have someone in the White House who thinks so much of himself that he thinks he can just steamroll over everyone and everything simply because he’s the President of the United States.

Barack Obama is losing it, and he’s a dangerous man to have in the White House right now. And to think I once thought Bill Clinton disgraced the Presidency. How times have changed! Compared to this narcissistic, egomaniacal punk, Bill Clinton is Lincoln, JFK, and Harry Truman all rolled into one.

We are seeing this White House unravel before our very eyes, and there are still fourteen months left until the 2012 election. I’m beginning to wonder if Democrats will allow Obama to go unchallenged in 2012. Where’s Hillary when you need her?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:01 | Comments (0)

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