June 30, 2012

Murderously hot out there Friday afternoon at the Superstition Springs G.C. driving range. The thermometer said 112, but it felt more like 200 degrees under my floppy hat. But still, there I was, practically alone, water bottle on the ground next to my 7-wood, 8-iron, 9-iron, and pitching and sand wedges, effortlessly hoisting (irons) or launching (7-wood) one ball after another in the direction of a 100-yard marker bleached white by weeks of searing heat while my personal (and fab) mix of the Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” played over my PDA.

I have to admit, between the floppy hat, shades, Hawaiian shirt, and white shorts I looked like I shoulda been guiding my sloop “John B” out of the Thames Street harbor at Newport, Rhode Island instead of hitting balls off of too-thin lies against a bleached-out landscape under sizzling azure skies, but with just three weeks left before the 2012 Goodboys Invitational, there’s no time to whine about the heat – it’s time to suck it up and finish my game prep. And I have to admit, I was hitting the ball pretty darned good, as my game has settled into the first real predictable consistency I’ve ever known in my personal golf history. Now, whether it translates into low-enough scores to challenge for the hallowed Spielberg Memorial Trophy and winner’s jackets remains to be seen, but I’ve never been in a better spot this close to a Goodboys Invitational. We’ll see.

Here’s a recipe for a great summer cocktail, courtesy of Parasol Up Bar at Wynn Las Vegas:

Cucumber & Ginger Cooler:

10 super-thin slices of cucumber
1 ¼ oz. Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
¾ oz. fresh lime juice (and I have the fresh limes!)
dash of Agave Syrup
2 ½ oz. of club soda

Muddle the cucumber slices with the lime juice in a tall glass, then add all ingredients except the club soda. Ice to top of glass, then add the club soda.

Perfect for a hot summer afternoon!

After a good 2-hour session hitting and chipping balls I had the chance to sit down with Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee to discuss my golf game and everything Goodboys, check back on Monday for the full text of the interview. Until then, stay cool, jewel…

———————–

Unrelated thought: hard to believe the year is half over.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 01:37 | Comments (5)
June 29, 2012

butterscotche Even though she’s no longer with us, Butterscotch is happy as a clam over at my sister-in-law’s place with her new buds, “the Beastie Boys”. They all take turns cozying up to each other and taking naps together. While we miss her, we know she’s always liked being around other rabbits and it’s great to know that she’s happy in her new environs. Good for you, Butterscotch!

Now our new rabbit, Marlie, on the other hand…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:28 | Comments (0)
June 28, 2012

constscrip The Supreme Court’s decision today to, in effect, uphold the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. “Obamacare” as constitutional is a ghastly defeat for freedom, liberty, and individualism in the United States. Of course, the real pain of this decision won’t be felt until after the November election, however, when, starting in 2013, when many – if not most – employers start to drop their healthcare insurance plans because the penalty (er, the Court calls it a tax even when its primary proponent said it wasn’t) will be less costly to embrace.

But don’t worry, if that were to happen and President Obama is re-elected his response will be to simply raise the so-called “tax” imposed on “irresponsible” employers in the name of “fairness”. Of course, you can only do that if there are employers around to raise the tax on. Make no mistake about it, if Obamacare is allowed to be enacted this is a small business and jobs killer.

Whether or not this becomes a pyrrhic victory for Democrats and big government loving, nanny state liberals remains to be seen – you can now bet that Mitt Romney’s promise to “repeal Obamacare” (whatever that means) now gets equal, if not higher, billing as an election election issue as the economy and jobs. In a swing state like Florida, you can bet Romney and Republicans will be pushing the fact that Obamacare loots the Medicare fund by half a trillion dollars simply to cover the cost of implementing Obamacare. And how this plays with Independents (who have already been polling as strongly against Obamacare) will be interesting to see.

In just the course of a week, between this and the Court’s decision to uphold only part of Arizona’s SB 1070 law, this Supreme Court has made mince-meat of the Constitution, but maybe it’s just as well – after all, it shows just how much elections matter in this country. Elections do matter. Who is elected to go to Washington and help write legislation that upholds the Constitution of the United States does matter. And this year’s election will determine whether the President and his political party now responsible for the biggest tax ever imposed on American citizens, some $1.7 trillion over the first decade according to the Congressional Budget Office, will pay a price at the ballot box.

Here’s hoping my Republican and conservative-leaning friends and colleagues who call themselves independents now understand more fully the importance of being engaged and getting out the vote this coming November.

BTW, thanks to the folks at Free Republic for the image. FReeper LALALAW provides a hopeful final word, writing in part:

Do not think that Benedict Arnold Roberts, the unethical Kagan and their liberal activist cohorts have done the Democrats a favor. The ruling concerning Medicaid expansion, likely will have the effect of blowing the whole thing out of the water. The cost of Obamacare will skyrocket if States opt out of the Medicaid expansion, which at least 26 are likely to do.

Without the Medicaid expansion, individuals under 133% of poverty not eligible for traditional Medicaid would now qualify – and need – the full subsidy under Obamacare exchanges. This means that the law is not paid for. In fact, it could not have obtained the CBO blessing originally proferred and would not have been enacted.

Most importantly, this means Obamacare can be repealed under Reconciliation with 51 senators!!!!

We’ll see….

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 08:44 | Comments (0)
June 26, 2012

I’ve lost the streetlight I wrote so longingly about a while back. From my favorite wicker chair on the back patio I used to be able to see a bright sodium streetlight over the next-door neighbor’s house. Until we installed patio lights around the back yard, that streetlight was the brightest thing you’d see at night, and I grew accustomed to enjoying the way it shone like a beacon over a cocktail or a nitecap.

It’s not as if the streetlight isn’t there anymore, it’s not as if the town decided to take it down – they didn’t – but evidently the town had money they felt they had to spend by the end of 2Q 2012, or found a more cost and energy-effecient solution, and they decided to replace all the sodium lamps with these new ghastly (ghostly is probably the more appropriate term) whitish flourescent lights that are extremely bright while not spreading their light around as far. But what’s worse is that they’re not as big as the other lamps were, so my my streetlight now lies pretty much hidden behind the neighbor’s roof.

It was kind of weird how efficient the replacement took. I mean, one night our whole subdivision had the orange-y sodium lamps, the next night everything was ghostly white. While they perform the most requisite duties any streetlight worth its salt is supposed to perform (lighting the streets), they’re just not as warm looking and inviting as the old ones. And now that my streetlight is no longer visible unless I stand up, the backyard viewing experience will never be the same. I’m just glad I got the accent lighting to at least provide some semblence of appeal to the eyes on an oppressively hot June evening.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:47 | Comment (1)
June 25, 2012

Ed. Note: Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner recently sat down with Goodboy Kevin “Goose” Dwyer to discuss the upcoming Goodboys Invitational and all things Goodboys Nation. Enjoy this third in a series of interviews with the participants of the 2012 Goodboys Invitational.

lerner

Goose, you’ve been a Goodboy for a long time now, 2012 will be your fifteenth year. What’s the biggest change you have seen since your first Goodboys Invitational in 1998?

goose

Well, Rich, it’s pretty much the same cast of characters, but with a lot less hair and a few more pounds around the middle. The quality of golf (or lack thereof) remains the same. Kinda funny, huh?

lerner

Goose, Tiger Woods has 14 majors after more than a dozen years on the PGA Tour. In your fifteen years as a Goodboy, you have zero championships. In fact, you’re known as “best Goodboy never to have won a Goodboys championship”…

goose

Is there a question there?

lerner

Well, I guess I’m wondering…

goose

You know Rich, this game is all about honor, integrity, and tradition. I’m just trying my best out there like everyone else. But it’s not my fault, I’ve had some lousy partners over the years.

lerner

Care to name names?

goose

All of ‘em.

lerner

In 1998 – your first year as a Goodboy – Tom “Hammer” Harlan, winner of that year’s Goodboys Invitational….

goose

…and the coveted Spielberg Memorial Trophy…

lerner

…and the coveted Spielberg Memorial Trophy…

goose

…and the winner’s jacket…

lerner

…and the winner’s jacket. Anything else?

goose

No, you can continue.

lerner

I forget what I was going to ask.

goose

I think you were finished.

lerner

Listen, pal, in this business you may be done but you’re never finished. Hold on, now I remember what I was going to ask. In 1998 – your first year as a Goodboy – Tom “Hammer” Harlan, winner of that year’s Goodboys Invitational….

goose

…and the coveted Spielberg Memorial Trophy…

lerner

…and the coveted Spielberg Mem… NOW CUT THAT OUT! I’ll start again. In 1998 – your first year as a Goodboy – Tom “Hammer” Harlan, winner of that year’s Goodboys Invitational….

goose

Awkward…

lerner

…characterized the Goodboys Invitational weekend as “the three B’s – birdies, broads, and beers”. Your thoughts.

goose

Well, for me, Rich, it’s the three “B’s” alright, it’s just that for me the three Bs means bogies, banana slices, and begging for strokes.

lerner

One final question: you and Tiger are both named after animals.

goose

A goose is a bird, Rich, it’s not an animal.

lerner

OK, OK, then. Let’s just say you both have unusual names. What else do you have in common?

goose

You mean besides the mansions, the millions, and the dozens of porn stars we’ve bedded?

lerner

…You’re kidding, right?

goose

Say goodnight, Rich.

lerner

Goodnight, Rich.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:03 | Comments (0)
June 24, 2012

It all started last Tuesday when, while attempting to play happy music over Windows Media Player for the bunnies, I could hear commercials playing in the background even though no Internet Explorer connections were active. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that we had picked up a virus somewhere, but was was disconcerting to me was that, not only did we have McAfee Anti-Virus running on our machine, but a scan of the machine resulted in zero viruses being detected.

So I did what I always did in these kinds of circumstances: I downloaded trusty old Malwarebytes to my machine and cranked up a full machine scan. Not only did it find two trojans affecting some files called svchost.exe, but we started getting these informatory balloons from Malwarebytes saying it had successfully blocked access to a “potentially malicious” website being attempted by – you guessed it – svchost.exe. I then attempted to restore our machine back a couple of days later, only to find out that, not only would System Restore not work, but Windows Update was failing as well. Not a good thing, to say the least!

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes, while successfully quarantining the trojans, seemed unable to get rid of them. Oh sure, it quarantined them and allowed you to delete them, but upon reboot there they were again. I was just about ready to spend some serious dinero by calling Geek Squad when I happened upon a Microsoft chat room recommending trying Microsoft Security Essentials, a product I had never heard of before. Now I’m amongst the most skeptical when it comes to Microsoft products, but I’m here to tell you that after the better part of two days running a combination of virus scans by Windows Essentials and Windows Offline Detector with Malwarebytes in tandem I finally got rid of the two svchost.exe viruses. Security Essentials even detected a virus (on our boot drive, no less!) that was preventing Windows Update (and, I’m guessing, System Restore as well) from running successfully.

What I’m really pi**ed at is McAfee AntiVirus – not only did they serve in the de facto role of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, saying everything’s fine while our economy melts down around us by whistling happily past the graveyard as some really malicious sh*t was allowed to infect our computer, but my parents were having issues with their machine, and running Malwarebytes against their so-called “McAfee protected” PC yielded 46 – count ‘em, 46! – malicious items. Fortuntely, I was able to capture some screen shots from their machine before Malwarebytes took care of those, and when I call McAfee on Monday they’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!

I’ve deinstalled McAfee from our machine and will try running with a combination of Security Essentials and Malwarebytes for a while to see how that goes. Both definitely came through in my time of need, and I’ve always believed supporting software products and vendors that are there for you.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:50 | Comment (1)
June 23, 2012

woodward_bernstein The Watergate scandal turned 40 years ago the other day, and it’s still as fresh in my memory and as fascinating a topic to read about and discuss as ever. Like a lot of people my age, it really was the moment of our time – a sitting President awash in a building crisis that started slow and steady, building to an unforgettable crescendo and his resignation in disgrace. I remember it all – the ‘Saturday Night Massacre”, the Ervin Committee, listening to the Senate confirmation hearings following Vice-President Spiro Agnew’s resignation on the radio, Nixon’s speech when he released the transcripts of the tapes, watching the events of his final day in office (I stayed home from work and was flat on my back as a result of heat sickness), and, finally, hearing of Nixon’s pardon by Gerald Ford on the radio. It all seems like yesterday.

I remember my brother Mark and I seeing “All The President’s Men” something like five times the summer it came out; a big poster of Redford and Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein hung prominently in the cellar where our band Top Priority practiced. It remains my favorite all-time movie and I never get tired of watching it. I mean, Redford, Hoffman, Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee, Hal Holbrook as “Deep Throat” – I still think of those great dramatic scenes in the parking garage whenever I find myself in one to this day.

It’s interesting to read Woodward and Bernstein’s perspective after forty years; some may agree with them, others tend to see things in a different light. And there are stories like this that make you think that, like most scandals of this nature, the full truth will never come out, too many people involved with all kinds of stories left to tell.

Still, compared with Barack Obama’s newly-owned “Fast & Furious” scandal, at least with Watergate no one was killed, which (at least in my mind) makes F & F and the President’s use of executive privilege far worse than anything the White House “plumbers”, John Mitchell, and Richard Nixon ever concocted. I just wonder if there are any modern-day Woodward and Bernsteins willing to take on the myths that Barack Obama and his syncophants in an all-too-willing 21st century media have created about this president and his White House. Given the evidence we’ve seen to date, the answer, unfortunately, appears to be no. And we are all the worse for it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:33 | Comments (0)
June 22, 2012

gatsby “In two weeks it’ll be the longest day in the year….Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.” — Daisy Buchanan, “The Great Gatsby”

I love the longest day of the year and, unlike Daily Buchanan, I never miss it, ever. I think me and my godfather Milt (God rest his soul) were the only two people on the face of the earth that liked the version of “The Great Gatsby” starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Sam Waterston was great as Nick and Bruce Dern was fine as Tom. Of course, Karen Black was kind of annoying as Tom’s object of affection, but I really enjoyed the flick.

But I digress…

Tradition in our household is that on the longest day of the year we light candles, and this year, I supplemented my indoor candles by lighting the tiki torches outside on a sweltering summer night and putting the new Beach Boys CD on the wireless audio to watch the dusk fade to black over a chilled Pinot Grigio. Took a couple of swims under the torches and it was very nice.

Hard to believe we’re past the halfway point of the year. A month from now Goodboys Invitational weekend will be over. The funny thing about Goodboys every year is that you start getting revved up to see everyone starting in, oh, about May, and then, come Sunday afternoon, once the winners have been determined, the trophy and jackets presented, and the final pigeon sheet bets paid off you can’t wait to get your tired and hungover body the hell out of there and back to the safety of hearth and home until another year. A few months later and it’s time to start looking forward to Vegas in February.

But that’s what makes it all so great. And I can’t wait to see all the lads again.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:24 | Comments (0)
June 20, 2012

OK, put me down as someone rather puzzled at the decision of President Barack Obama to invoke “executive privilege” at the eleventh hour to prevent Attorney General and Obama flack Eric Holder from turning over to House committee investigating the so-called “Operation Fast and Furious” operation all the documents being requested. It’s a very bold (and, in my view, politically misguided) move on the President’s part, primarily because, by doing so, he takes an investigation that was pretty much flying under the political radar and elevates it to a bona fide legal and political hot potato when it never needed to be. Rather than a Holder scandal, it’s now an Obama scandal.

Just like the President’s decision last Friday to no longer enforce immigration laws for 800,00 so-called “anchor babies”, it just serves to reinforce the suspicion of many conservatives and independents that this White House is adrift and flailing around in its priorities and election strategy when – at least in my view – the only card they have left to play (and should be playing) is their support of bigger and more intrusive government and higher taxes on the rich in contrast to Mitt Romney’s view of smaller, less intrusive government and lower taxes. I mean, why hide your political beliefs and intentions for the next four years? While I and many others would vehemently disagree with such a platform, how do they know such a platform would be a losing proposition with the American electorate unless they try it?

But I digress…

The fact is, there can be only one of three reasons why President Obama went the executive privilege route in defense of Attorney General Holder:

1. There are documents that would bring great embarrassment to the White House, indicating that the Obama administration was much more involved in Fast and Furious than previously disclosed.

2. That the documents will show that Holder perjured himself repeatedly before Congress.

3. That the documents will show Holder to be a total incompetent.

…of course, there is a #4, which is, all of the above. Which, I happen to believe, is the most likely option at work here.

You’ll hear lots of talk in the coming days by Democrats calling this a witch hunt and Republicans voicing echoes of the Watergate scandal (which turned 40 years ago this week). But the truth is, Fast and Furious is far worse than anything Richard Nixon ever did. As a result of Fast and Furious you have one, perhaps two, border agents dead as well as hundreds of Mexican civilians as a result of crimes committed with guns that were allowed to “walk” across the border. It is a disgrace and something beyond reprehensible that anyone, let alone, Attorney General Holder (who, ultimately, is responsible for all Department of Justice programs instituted under his watch) would even conceive of such an ill-advised program, knowing that innocent people would be victimized and harmed by such a program.

You’ll also hear Democrats bemoan any contempt of Congress action against Holder as being politically motivated during an election year, but the fact is, this wouldn’t even have been an election year issue if Eric Holder’s Justice Department hadn’t stonewalled Darryl Issa’s investigation as long as it did. But, given the fact that everything the Obama administartion does is steeped in politics, it’s hard not to believe that this isn’t going down exactly as they planned once it was determined that Holder was as reckless and as incompetent as he appears to have been. Without any other card to play, the Obama administration chose to double down against the Republican-held Congress, but it’s hard to see (at least from this angle) the benefit of raising the visibility on yet another scandal that can only paint the Obama White House in a poor light during a hotly-contested re-election campaign.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 21:18 | Comments (0)
June 19, 2012

With all the great hubbub over the Beach Boys not only ascending to the top of Billboard charts, but eclipsing The Beatles Billboard chart record for the greatest difference between first and last Top 10 chart appearances

With That’s Why God Made the Radio landing in the Billboard 200?s top 10, the time between The Beach Boys’ first top 10 appearance on the chart — Surfin’ U.S.A. in June 1963 — and their most recent stands at 49 years and one week, the longest period by any band. The Fab Four’s stretch between first and last top 10 albums is 47 years, seven months and three weeks, from Meet The Beatles in February 1964 to the 1 compilation in October 2011.

The artist who holds the overall record to span of top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 is Frank Sinatra with 52 years, two months and one week. The late crooner’s first release to land in the upper reaches of the chart was Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! in April 1956 and his latest was the Nothing but the Best Songs hits collection in June 2008.

…one can’t overlook that Paul McCartney turns 70 today. He was never my favorite Beatle – for a long time it was John, but towards the end and after it was George – but without a doubt he’s one of, if not the, greatest tunesmiths in rock history.

I’ve already noted my favorite post-Beatles Paul songs, but I’d have to say that during his Beatles career it’s hard to argue with “Yesterday”, “All My Loving”, “We Can Work It Out”, Penny Lane”, “Good Day, Sunshine”, “Let It Be”, and “The Long And Winding Road”. All classics, and I’m sure I’m missing a couple-two-three or more.

In celebration of Paul’s birthday, there’s only one Beatles song I can think of.

Happy birthday, Paul!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:39 | Comments (4)

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