May 31, 2012

Congratulations to Butterscotch and “the Beastie Boys”, who were successfully bonded while we visited Las Vegas last weekend. Almost right from the start, Sherman (the white and black lop) took a fancy to Butterscotch, and she didn’t mind at all. My sister-in-law Tam kept them apart with a fence the first day, but it was obvious the lovebirds had a fancy for each other and the rest was history. Today, Butterscotch took up permanent residence in Tam’s apartment and, while there’s a protective fence up between her and the Beasties just so they get used to each other’s scent in a new place, last report was that Sherm and Butterscotch were laying next to each other on either side of the fence, they fur touching each other, so I think we can call the experiment successful.

It’s really a win/win situation for everyone: Butterscotch gets a new pair of friends (a situation she’s been used to since she was born), the Beasties now have a rabbit friend of their own (something very important for whenever the time comes when one of them pass on), Marlie moves into Butterscotch’s old area (meaning she now has Peanut and Cosmo to terrorize at her leisure), and we get the guest bedroom back (meaning we can now have a nice room for guests to stay).

Sometimes things just work out if you give it enough time, and what a time it has been. Here’s the final scorecard from the past month:

Marlie / Butterscotch: FAIL
Marlie / Beastie Boys: FAIL
Butterscotch / Beastie Boys: PASS

Pictures to follow.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:25 | Comments (0)
May 29, 2012

If you’re a guy they say you know you’re not in Vegas anymore as soon as you walk into the grocery store upon your return. Sure, you might run across an attractive lady or two picking through the bananas or asking their child what they for dinner, but there are no beautiful people, no size 0 chicks in short skirts up to here and strutting around in stiletto heels. After a few days at Wynn Las Vegas they all start to look alike, but that doesn’t mean you get tired of looking….

What can I say, I love Vegas, and especially love the vibe at Wynn, and Tracey and I had a great weekend. To start off with, we got the dinner/show package at The Mirage. The dinner at Kokomo’s was as good as we’ve ever had (the lobster bisque was absolutely to die for!), and while the Cirque de Soleil show was about what you’d expect – lots of acrobatics and funky weird stage props and effects – the music was great. Strangely enough, there was no stereo separation in the sound system, which (at least in my opinion), deadened the overall quality of the Beatles recording experience. Still, it was well done.

Golf at Las Vegas National was interesting – interesting in that I’ve never played golf in 40-50 MPH sustained winds. It was really blowing out there, to the point where you were just trying to survive. It was hard to tell when you made a good shot – if you strayed offline was it the wind or your swing? Or vice-versa. Still, the course was beautiful, and while I kicked the ass of that course on the front nine (hitting all but one fairway), I learned I have a lot to work to do before Goodboys Invitational weekend, especially with my short game (although I believe I found a key on my next to last shot on 18). I know, I know – fine time to find something out there, but with a nickname like The Great White Shank, it’s obvious I ain’t no pro.

And the rest of the weekend? The spa at Wynn was great: if I had my way, I’d never play another round of golf without a trip to the spa afterwards, ever. The Peppermill, the Parasol Up bar at Wynn, and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville were their usual reliable selves. Still, there wasn’t a dose of times-a-changin’: I learned I can make better Mai Tais than Gary at Peppermill, and the folks at Margaritaville have forgotten what it takes to make a great Bubba’s Big Bamboo. But hey, time marches on…

The Beach Boys 50th anniversary concert was very well done. I can’t say it was great – as someone who has seen the Boys two dozen times over the years, the absence of Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson is just too much for me to just pass over – still, the band sounded great and played a wider repertoire than most concerts I’ve attended. To me, the standout performances were from their early ’70s period (my brother Mark’s and my favorite Beach Boys recording era) with “Add Some Music To Your Day”, “This Whole World”, and “Forever” (Dennis singing via video clip on the big screen) from Sunflower, “Marcella” and “All This Is That” from Carl and the Passions – So Tough, and “Sail On, Sailor” from Holland. Watching the proceedings, I couldn’t help but think back 38 years ago to when Mark and I first saw the Beach Boys play Boston Garden: everyone was younger then, our whole lives ahead of us. Now the Beach Boys, their fans, and me are all much older, the dreams of decades back tempered with experience and the realization that nothing last forever. Not even brothers.

Still, there’s nothing like walking back into Wynn and siding up to a table at the Parasol Up bar to watch all the pretty people strut by as you sip a Hemingway Daiquiri or two. Shallow and self-centered? Perhaps. But I love the vibe the young people bring and playing the part of spectator in the larger play of a younger and more spoiled generation doing the very same thing I’m doing in Vegas – spending a relatively few hours escaping from the real world and the demands of real life.

To me, that’s OK, and I can’t wait to get back there (God willing) next February with the Goodboys. Because it’s Vegas, baby, and there’s nothing like it.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:18 | Comments (5)
May 24, 2012

No blogging for the next few days as my sweetie and I take a well-deserved weekend in Vegas to relax, veg out, and see The Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour stop at the Red Rock Casino. As a result of my first “senior moment”, we’ll be driving up as I neglected to book flights. The whole thing is very strange, but I think what happened is that, this being on the cusp of Memorial Day weekend, after seeing how astronomical the fares were I figured I needed to do some serious sit-down work to find something fairly reasonable, then forgot all about it. But that’s OK – the car rental is less than the cost of a single air ticket, and, when it comes to Vegas, the less time spent there the cheaper the vacation. So, Thursday and Monday are travel days and Friday-Sunday are the fun days.

Don’t think just because the 2012 Goodboys Invitational weekend is still the better part of two months away that golf preparation isn’t on my mind. I have a tee time at beautiful Las Vegas National and how I play there will either give me confidence that the latest changes I’ve made to my setup and address (I’m not sayin’) are the right way to go, or prepare me for a “siege mentality” where I know I’m just gonna have to fight my way through Goodboys weekend. I’m hoping for the former.

Anyways, you can’t lose going to Vegas, baby. Next to New Orleans it’s my favorite choice for a weekend away from the usual crap. And staying at Wynn, you know you’re going to be treated right. They were very understanding last September when we had to cut our planned anniversary tgrip short because of my brother Mark’s passing, not charging us for our last planned night’s stay, and I’m a firm believer in taking care of the businesses that take care of you.

I know a few Goodboys who would love to be meeting us in “Sin City”, I’ll just have to drink a couple-two-three toasts in their honor.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:44 | Comment (1)
May 23, 2012

We have a rabbit problem.

Marlie the rabbit has turned this house into total chaos. When we brought her home, the story was that she was a sweet little rabbit who had lost her mate a few months ago. Knowing that her prior mate was female, we figured we’d try and bond her with another female, Butterscotch. Butterscotch is a sweet, albeit skittish, beast who did really well when we paired her up with poor Geronimo a while back, so we figured she’d be open to having a new bunny friend. Bad idea. Marlie and Butterscotch’s relationship started at annoyance and turned quickly into hatred. (People think of bunnies as cute and cuddly, but, like every other creature that inhabits this planet, they can have a cruel and mean side as well.) The fur was really flying, and the cocoa puff poops rabbits produce as a way to impose their scent numbered in the hundreds.

But it wasn’t just Butterscotch who hated Marlie, it was Peanut and Cosmo as well.

marlie

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this one is no different. All the characters are there, from left to right: Cosmo, under the desk and ready to pounce if Marlie (brown, center) gets any closer to the litter box. Peanut is in the middle of turning around after hissing and spitting at Marlie behind the security of her fence (she’s really a chickensh*t at heart), Marlie, attempting to aggravate as many rabbits as she can in as short a time as possible, and Butterscotch in the back left corner of her cage (you can barely make out her eye) staring down Marlie if she comes any closer to Cosmo’s and Peanut’s litterbox. It is a trip to watch them.

The fact that Peanut wouldn’t like Marlie was a no-brainer – as part lion-head she hates being petted and despises all females, especially Butterscotch. She loved my sister-in-law’s rabbits “the Beastie Boys” (Sherman and Cosmo) before she met Cosmo, though, but that’s only because they’re males, and Peanut loves males. The surprising thing was to see Cosmo, the elderly gentleman of the bunch, turn on Marlie as well. Now Cosmo loves Peanut, and every time Marlie would get close, he’d hop out from under the desk (where he spends his days idling and snoozing with Peanut) and place himself squarely between Marlie and the litter box, knowing that if Marlie could contaminate their love nest, she would. And if Marlie got close, he’d nip at her. Guess Cosmo’s a one-chick guy…

We thought bonding Marlie with “the Beastie Boys” had a decent chance of success, but they’re also mini-lops, known to have very laid-back personalities. To be blunt, Marlie intimidated the sh*t out of them. It was OK for both sides as long as a fence was between them, but putting them out in the open was something to behold – Marlie aggravating them by charging at them, “the Beastie Boys” not daring to venture outside the safety of their litter box.

So I don’t know where we go from here. We’re going to try and bond Butterscotch with “the Beasties” to see if that’s a relationship that would stick, then we could try Marlie with someone else down the line. But it isn’t going to be easy. Rabbits are such fickle beasts.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:46 | Comments (0)
May 22, 2012

This doesn’t surprise me in the least. In fact (and I never thought I’d say this) I’m thinking of applying for a gun permit myself. I think things are going to be heading very downhill fast – especially if Obama is reelected – and when you read about stories like this and this and this, well, I’m not going down without a fight.

Democrats are so classy. Can you imagine the uproar if, say, a Republican was caught doing the same thing. The Great White Shank to Democrats and liberals everywhere: grow up!

Can you imagine the mainstream dino-media uproar if a Republican had said something like this?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:37 | Comments (0)
May 21, 2012

I think Mark Steyn is one of the most original and enjoyable observers of the political scene these days. He’s got the quickest of wits, mixes the right touch of wry humor and cynicism about today’s politicians, and boy, can he turn a phrase. His latest column at National Review Online speaks to the same topic I wrote about a few days ago, linking Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama on the topic of “biography padding”, but does so in a way I can only aspire to:

When it comes to conspiracies, I’m an Occam’s Razor man. The more obvious explanation of the variable first line in the eternally shifting sands of Obama’s biography is that, rather than pretending to have been born in Hawaii, he’s spent much of his life pretending to have been born in Kenya. After all, if your first book is an exploration of racial identity and has the working title “Journeys in Black and White,” being born in Hawaii doesn’t really help. It’s entirely irrelevant to the twin pillars of contemporary black grievance — American slavery and European imperialism. To 99.99 percent of people, Hawaii is a luxury-vacation destination and nothing else. Whereas Kenya puts you at the heart of what, in an otherwise notably orderly decolonization process by the British, was a bitter and violent struggle against the white man’s rule. Cool! The composite chicks dig it, and the literary agents.

And where’s the harm in it? Everybody does it — at least in the circles in which Obama hangs. At Harvard Law School, where young Barack was “the first African-American president of The Harvard Law Review,” there’s no end of famous firsts: As The Fordham Law Review reported, “Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995.” There is no evidence that Mrs. Warren, now the Democrats’ Senate candidate, is anything other than 100 percent white. She walks like a white, quacks like a white, looks whiter than white. She’s the whitest white since Frosty the Snowman fell in a vat of Wite-Out. But she “self-identified” as Cherokee, so that makes her a “woman of color.” Why, back in 1984 she submitted some of her favorite dishes to the Pow Wow Chow cookbook, a “compilation of recipes passed down through the Five Tribes families.”

The recipes from “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee” include a crab dish with tomato mayonnaise. Mrs. Warren’s fictional Cherokee ancestors in Oklahoma were renowned for their ability to spear the fast-moving Oklahoma crab. It’s in the state song: “Ooooooklahoma! Where the crabs come sweepin’ down the plain . . . ” But then the white man came and now the Oklahoma crab is extinct, and at the Cherokee clambakes they have to make do with Mrs. Warren’s traditional Five Tribes recipe for Cherokee Lime Pie.

Read the whole thing, it’s a gas – Barack Obama truly is this generation’s Jay Gatsby. Well done, Mark!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 15:42 | Comments (0)
May 20, 2012

OK, I’ll lay myself bare to the masses: I don’t go to Mass every week. Sometimes I feel as if I should, other times I feel as if sitting on the back patio on a late summer afternoon with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio staring at a crimson sky under the queen palms as it changes from day to dusk, or staring at the ocean at the shore at North Hampton, NH as it changes from blue to teal to green-gray under a milky sun is a sufficient recognition of God’s awesomeness and my own mortality as anythiong modern religion could conjure up. Does that make me bad?

I guess I’m just dissatisfied with the way modern religion is practiced and how much the worldly – whether it be via fund-raising or the usual parish activities – trump the Mass. It just bugs the sh*t outta me. Maybe I should have been a monastic. Look, you want to have parish announcements and do your collections? Fine, do it at the start of the Mass or (if you’re an Annglican, Episcopalian, Lutheran, etc.) before the service. But for God’s sake, get it out of the way! That way, people can focus on the eternal, which is what the Eucharist is all about, and then leave church with a high and the sense they’ve been changed by the proceedings (which they have!).

Maybe it’s just me, me, but I feel as if the Eucharist has become a sideshow to distractions that should not be so. Whether it be the priest’s or pastor’s homily, or the collection, or the weekly announcements, it just seems to me there’s too much else going on besides why God has called the faithful to church to begin with. Tracey says I’m nuts, but I feel as if when people go to church they should feel as if they’re somehere unique, special, and holy. Otherwise, what’s the bleepin’ point? That’s why I want everything – the bells, the smells, and the ancient liturgy from 2,000 years ago to be the the sole focus on the congregation once you enter a church.

I guess I’m just a dinosaur. See, I want it all. I want church to make me understand just how small and insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. Because, when one thinks about it, I am. Whether it be my successes or my sins, there is nothing I have or have not done that hasn’t been done or not done by a gazillion others in the past millennia or two. And God, through Jesus Christ, has made the ultimate sacrifice – not for me, not for you, but for humankind. And the awesomeness of that gift should never be diminished by the usual crap that parishes feel they have to go through to make their way in the modern-day world.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 00:37 | Comments (2)
May 19, 2012

This story caught my eye. Something tells me that before the paramedics got there, somehow – somehow – the man’s wallet was located and the dancers reimbursed for their troubles. From what I’ve heard about strip clubs (not that I would ever go into one!) there is no such thing as a “get out of jail free” card (even if that card bears a striking resemblance to a death certificate).

And you think you have problems? Ouch.

OK, here’s my official Mai Tai recipe for the sharing, tastes just like Steve the bartender makes at the Wu Loon Ming in North Billerica, Mass:

Start with a chilled old fashioned-size glass
Muddle a few mint leaves with 1/2 of a lime cut into quarters
1/2 oz. orange curacao
Dash of Orgeat syrup
1 1/2 oz. of passion fruit juice (1 oz of orange juice and 1/4 oz. of guava juice OK can be substituted)
Add ice to top

Now comes the good part:

1/2 oz. of light rum (I prefer the Cruzan light rum)
1 1/2 oz. of dark rum (I prefer Meyers)
Garnish with a twist of anything colorful

Admire the marvelous dusky color before you stir and enjoy!

This sounds like good news. Anytime you get a El Nino going that means more winter storms for the west and more monsoon moisture for the Southwest. Could be a great year for thunderstorms with actual rain – bring it on. As I mentioned the other day, we’re already having a rough year wildfire-wise and until we get some monsoon moisture it’s only going to get worse.

Happy weekend, everyone…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:26 | Comments (0)
May 18, 2012

All of a sudden things have gotten a lot more interesting on the campaign trail. Today’s two items of note:

1. Have to agree with Mitt Romney on this. Conservative talkers are trying to raise Rev. Wright up as a campaign topic based on Ed Klein’s new book, but the time for that was 2008. We have major, and I do mean major, issues confronting our country economically, and Romney is right to keep the focus on jobs, spending, and the astronomical debt.

Bottom line: I’m with Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey here: anything other than that plays into the Obama campaign’s hands – they would positively love to keep this election on anything else other than Obama’s putrid record on this economy. But that won’t stop his state-run, kiss-a$$ media from trying…

2. Has Barack Obama been caught doing an Elizabeth Warren regarding his heritage? Sure, his “literary agent” said it was her mistake, but what was she supposed to say, given the fact that back in 1991 Barack Obama was – to put it kindly – just another nobody; the info had to come from someplace. And considering his relative obscurity at the time, the source of that info could only have been Barack Obama. Methinks PJ Media’s Ed Driscoll has it about right: wherever it was convenient for Barack Obama to be born, that’s where he was born. History will show him at best to be an opportunist, at worst, an outright fraud. I’m going with the latter.

Bottom line: The most interesting aspect of this story to me is not that Barack Obama might well have misrepresented his past to some literary agent, but that this seemingly-innocuous story may hold clues as to why we’ve been provided so little information about his pre-politics years. I’m guessing that, were the onion to be peeled back a little further, we’d find more than one occasion where Barack Obama would claim a foreign heritage to get where he felt he needed to be, even if it meant padding his resume or reputation in order to do so. I also find it strange (though not surprising) that it took until May of 2012 for a conservative outlet like Breitbart to be the first to publish this curious nugget of information. And I’m not alone in that regard.

3. RFK Jr.’s former wife commits suicide by hanging herself in the family barn, leaving four children behind. Amazingly, Yahoo! News inexplicably calls it another instance of the “Kennedy curse”. Total bullshit. The Kennedys have always treated their women like crap, and, unfortunately, she’s just the latest casualty.

Bottom line: As someone who holds RFK as one of my idols, I still wait for the day when this country and its fawning liberal media get over the so-called “Kennedy dynasty”. They were no better – and in many cases far worse – than most families. You can say JFK and RFK were greats even with their faults, but the rest of family – bar none – were and are nothing more than a bunch of political opportunists living off of a name and a legacy undeserved and fabricated by the same media that has created an “aura” around Barack Obama and his high-living, mooching wife. Camelot, my ass – tell that to Mary Jo Kopechne and the four children of Mary Kennedy who will forver live with the knowledge that their mother saw no other way out but committing suicide.

————-

R.I.P. Donna Summer. So sad to hear of her passing after a battle with cancer. The legendary “disco queen” had a great set of pipes, and while never much of a disco fan I did love her voice. And, let’s not forget she was a bona-fide fox as well. Gone too soon.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:05 | Comments (0)
May 17, 2012

Observations about the usual stuff…

I still can’t get over that shot Kevin Na hit last Sunday in the final round of The Players. I mean, a fairway wood picking the ball clean off the cart path? I’ve never thought of attempting such a shot but have had numerous chances over the years. Maybe this will be the year!

This latest scandal involving the Obama administration is gonna raise some eyebrows. But, like then-Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, the Obamacare bill had to be passed so people could see what was in it.

If you really want to know what’s really going under the covers during this election cycle, you can’t do better than The Ulsterman Report. He’s got some serious insiders that know excatly what the mainstream dino-media is afraid to write about.

Massachusetts strikes again: a couple of weeks ago it was banning bake sales “for the sake of the children”. This week, you have armed environmental police shut down a popular ice cream stand in Carlisle, Mass. for not having the proper building permits. You see, this is the problem with Democrats and liberalism in general – they just don’t know when to quit. There’s no moderation, only increasing extremism that defies the slightest bit of common sense. Fortunately, taxpayers across the country are getting wise, and the blowback has already started – primarily through the new social medias that the old dinosaurs cannot control like in times past. Believe me, payback is gonna be a b*tch.

This is very cool.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:34 | Comments (0)

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