July 15, 2012

With Goodboys Invitational week upon us, a few links to whet the appetite for – what else – more golf! Hard to believe that a week from today it will all be over and, for all intents and purposes, my clubs go back into storage until it’s time to ramp up for the next mini-Goodboys Las Vegas weekend in February.

Golf courses of the Obama administration. Given the fact he’s played over 100 times since taking office, you’d think I might have happened upon at least one of these courses, but no. I know some Goodboys who have played Farm Meck on Nantucket, tho’…. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

While I always thought LPGA golfer Suzann Petterson was cute in an OK kind of way (personally, my affections lean towards Paula “The Pink Panther” Creamer), I didn’t think she was this cute. All I can say is, I’ll be paying a tad more attention to Petterson in tournaments down the road.

How does one prepare for the British Open? So many options

As far as I’m concerned, only the Masters tops the British Open as far as enjoyable golf viewing goes. Yahoo! Sports contributor Dwight Crisp shares many of my favorite reasons why.

BTW, my pick for the British Open? I’m going with Lee Westwood. I think he’s playing well enough to nail down that first major. I’d love to see him do it.

…wonder what it will take for a few Goodboys to get together and do a video like this?

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:17 | Comments Off on Golf Golf Golf Golf Golf…
July 14, 2012

Nothing really to write about today; sufficient to say I’m escaping from the Arizona heat to join my folks and Goodboys pals for ten days of East Coast recreation. Just to find a place where the thermometer reads only two digits at 10 AM will be good enough for now! There’s plenty of golf and Goodboys Invitational-related posts coming up over the next ten days, so don’t be a stranger.

Finished up my Arizona Goodboys preparation yesterday under what would be more like Florida conditions than Arizona ones – the monsoon really pushed up the humidity and down the air temp, so it was a muggy 101 instead of last time’s broiling and dry 112. But, like they say, it’s a dry heat, right? Bullshit. I’d rather play under cloudy, muggy conditions than bright searing hot ones. I’ve settled into a pretty good pattern with my irons and short game; will they hold up under New England conditions and the bone-crushing pressure of a Goodboys Invitational? Only time will tell. But I’m as ready as I’m gonna be with a golf game in the best shape it has ever been heading into a Goodboys Invitational.

This is always an exciting time of year for The Great White Shank, and it comes as a much needed diversion from work and AZ life – not to mention a house filled presently occupied by three females and six rabbits (who’ll hopefully keep the place in one piece until I get back). 🙂 And then, friends, it’s all about debt reduction – and seriously. But there’ll be more than enough time to worry about that – for now I’ve got my swing, my strategy, and a whole host of good times, good food, and good drink ahead of me.

Catch y’all in the Eastern Daylight Time zone.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:30 | Comments Off on Headin’ East!
July 13, 2012

It’s so damned hot out there right now that I can’t even think straight to put enough sentences together that would make any sense. Therefore, I give you today’s links of a very animal variety:

Chimpanzees getting loose from any place, anywhere is never a good idea – for society or for them. Hence, this Las Vegas headline:

Neighborhood resident David Plunkett said he saw the male chimpanzee jump on top of a police car — with its lights on and an officer inside — before the animal jumped to the ground and headed into a vacant lot.

You can bet if the chimps were illegals from Mexico they wouldn’t have been dealt with so harshly!

Bull shark nabs fisherman’s catch before she can even celebrate:

Carolina Live reports the family estimating the shark was about 200 pounds and six feet long:

“I was actually kind of scared because I seen it jump and actually thought it could jump up here and get me,” said Brame. “Because the tide was all the way up, and it was probably three feet below me.”

“We couldn’t believe how it actually happened,” said Moore. “We keep watching the video over and over and over again.”

Actually, the girl was lucky she didn’t get yanked in the drink.

Two dogs “got married” Thursday night at a Manhattan extravaganza to benefit the Humane Society of New York:

Since the guests came from more than one species, a company co-owned by Ellen DeGeneres provided a pet food buffet.

Why am I not surprised? Wackos and liberals just being and doing what they do best – nothing of any socially-redeeming consequence.

Headline: Toddler Burned After Rabbit Chews Cord:

After noticing smoke coming from the hose while she was vacuuming, the girl’s mother followed the lead back to the power point in the next room and found her daughter’s hand stuck to the cord.

The wiring had become exposed after the pet rabbit chewed the lead.

If said toddler was living in New York City, is there any doubt Mayor Bloomberg would call for a ban on rabbits, electrical cords, or both? Listen, they’re great pets, but rabbits will chew anything and everything; before you bring a bunny into your house you really have to pick out an area and make it rabbit safe.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:58 | Comments Off on Animal Planet
July 12, 2012

A few innocuous links for those who might care (although I can’t imagine who they might be):

I don’t know what “X Factor” is, but Britney Spears shows her tough side with an X Factor contestant. Good grief…

Jesssica Alba tweets her family vacation in Italy. Now I don’t know much about Ms. Alba (I’m guessing she’s an actress), but that glass of wine in the first pic looked pretty refreshing!

R.I.P. Ernest Borgnine. Guy was a class act and a great actor. Even in small bit parts (he was particularly great in R.E.D. – a really fun and underrated movie, BTW) he lit up the screen.

Kendra Wilkinson defends Jessica Simpson’s post-baby body. I haven’t a clue as to who Kendra Wilkinson is, but I will say that Jessica definitely needs some gym time. Once a fox, always a fox with a little gym work. Hey, if a slug like me can lose 15 pounds following the Eades diet, so can anyone. I will say this about Ms. Wilkinson: say, what’s up with that nose? 🙂

Naomi Campbell dances through the streets of Italy. I guess Italy is the place to go to see celebrities this summer.

Headline: Raccoon Attack Sends Woman To Hospital. Look, I know raccoons can be kinda vicious, but this part of the story caught me eye:

She had just gotten to her neighbor’s yard when she tripped over them. As soon as she fell, the raccoons began to viciously attack, biting her arms and legs as she lay trapped under them.

I’ve learned enough from watching wildebeasts and lions on National Geographic specials, once they get you off your feet, you’re toast. Don’t let the raccoons get you down!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:58 | Comments (2)
July 11, 2012

salas Sad to hear that a venerable Newport, RI institution has closed its doors for good. Located just down from the Thames Street wharves, Sala’s served a mix of Italian food, Asian cuisine, and seafood. Lunch was served downstairs in a very informal setting, while dinner was served in an upstairs dining room that overlooked Thames Street and its quaint shops and pedestrian bustle.

Even though its closing took place months ago, I only learned of it the other day, and being so close to another Goodboys Invitational weekend, it strikes me as particularly sad, since it was my good friend Mike “Doc” Frechette, one of the “founding fathers” of Goodboys Nation, who first brought me down to Newport and introduced me to Sala’s back in the early ’80s. The Doc passed away a few years ago, and to hear of Sala’s closing is just another poignant reminder of time passing by and people and places fondly remembered now belonging only to the ages.

Sala’s wasn’t gourmet by any means; it was good food served at a very reasonable price. I always thought it interesting that you could order your pasta with Italian or Oriental sauce, that you paid for your pasta by the half-pound, and that the meatballs and sausages were purchased individually. The times I went down there with the Doc, the food was always good, and I remember one time when Tracey and I visited there having a particularly excellent veal cutlet that I still remember to this day. Judging from the restaurant reviews on Yahoo! it would appear the place had seen better days before its closing, which is too bad. But I never experienced a bad meal at Sala’s, and, as with the Doc, it will always be remembered fondly.

Increasingly in this day and age of ever-expanding restaurant chains it is places like Sala’s that are ever hard to come by. Which is one of the reasons I love places like New Orleans, Boston’s North End, and Newport so much – with still plenty of room to put places like McDonalds and Applebees, there’s something to be said about leaving space for small, unassuming, and unique eatling places that fit well into their equally-unique surroundings.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:17 | Comments Off on Farewell, Sala’s
July 10, 2012

Wicked hot outside today with more heat coming. Not too hot, though, to post a few links:

Hot, Hot, Hot!!: The heat wave that was over the top half of the country last week has moved south and west. I can’t imagine what we’d doing if we had a long sustained outage here like they did in the mid-Atlantic last week, but “seasoned citizens” would certainly recall the days before air conditioning became common.

Shark, Shark!!: Just in time for my upcoming visit back East. I can’t wait.

Don’t Tread On Me: Don’t know if my HOA will let me get away with it, but I’ve ordered me a Gadsden flag to fly outside my house.

Obamacare fallout, Part I: I tried to tell y’all what would happen after Obamacare was upheld by the Supreme Court. I told you It would be a pyrrhic victory for Democrats, now they have to deal with problems like this and this. Be honest with yourself, regardless of party affiliation: if you were a small business owner right now would you be hiring or making plans to expand your business?

Obamacare fallout, Part II: You can bet the farm that no way in hell did President Obama think he was going to win that Supreme Court case and have to defend it in the coming general election. He really thought he’d be promoting his last race for public office as a final crusade to to get the hallmark of his “hope and change” agenda enacted and gin-up Democratic and liberal turnout. Instead, this is shaping up as a 2010-esque debacle for Democrats from top to bottom come November. And methinks, brave talk aside, the Obama campaign and Democratic operatives everywhere see this coming.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:30 | Comments Off on Just Stuff
July 9, 2012

…until Election Day 21012. A few thoughts I think are worth keeping in mind two months before things get going in earnest.

Forget about the polls. It’s hard to believe most pollsters are still polling registered voters at this point; unless you see a poll of likely voters it doesn’t mean a thing.

Forget about polls that lean heavily Democratic. The fact of the matter is, this remains a center-right country where independents now outweigh both Democrats and Republicans. The mainstream dino-media would have you think everyone and their brother is a Democrat; just as the media would make you think half is the country is gay (the reality is ~ 2-3%), nothing could be further from the truth.

Of all the political commentators out there, you won’t find them more insightful than Jay Cost.

You won’t hear it from people, but dislike of Barack Obama runs deep and broad. You read stories like this, and you understand why you don’t, and won’t, see people making their preferences known in letters to newspapers, bumper stickers, and front yard signs. The fact is, the liberal left are totally unhinged at the prospect of Barack Obama losing and will resort to any means, even violence, to attack those who don’t toe the line. It’s a level of thuggishness that the media won’t cover and the Democratic Party leadership – even President Obama – will never condemn. It’s shameful, disgraceful, and dangerous to allow the losers the liberal left has become to behave in such a fashion.

The above point is not to be underestimated – my neighbor who’s a GOP operative says he’s lost count of the number of life-long Democrats and independents who’ve told him they won’t – even in the presence of family and friends – discuss their true intent to vote against President Obama; they’re too afraid of who might find out. They’re content to just keep their mouth shut and wait for that moment when they can draw that curtain and make their true feelings known.

There are liars and then there are damned lying liars, and the Obama administration puts lying liars to shame with their utter hypocrisy and lies, and unprecedented incompetence. You read stories like this – from someone who has yet to release his medical records or even his college transcripts! – and you wonder where on God’s earth the media is on this. What a joke.

And to think, Barack Obama ran in 2008 as a candidate who was going to “unite America”, “change the tone in Washington”, and run “the most transparent administration in history”. It’s really beyond laughable that people actually buy that bullshit. Both Barack Obama and his administration have become a joke of the worst kind, and one can only hope the joke is on him four months from now.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 21:11 | Comments Off on Four Months To Go…
July 8, 2012

Courtesy of fellow Goodboy Steve “Killer” Kowalski, who submitted this incredible photo. Not sure when or where it was taken, but evidently it was reported that his wife was able to get out safely and – more importantly – dude was able to par the hole.

fire

Now that’s what you call not just focus, but Goodboys focus. Thanks for the pic, Killer!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 20:51 | Comments Off on Shot Of The Day
July 7, 2012

We’ve got a muy caliente weekend on tap here in the Valley of the Sun, I’m sharing the house with three women (the twins and my sister-in law’s 17-year old daughter) so I feel like I’m in the middle of the world’s largest chick sleep-over. Wonder if I can sneak out and find a place to watch a little baseball and golf over a Sam Summer or two.

How many thought both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would miss the cut at the Greenbriar Classic? Phil doesn’t surprise me – his game has looked like crap ever since winning at Pebble Beach earlier this year, and I’m wondering if his health issues, age, and outside interests are starting to catch up with him. Unlike Goodboys Steve “Killer” Kowalski and Pat “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin, you can’t just show up, flip a switch, and expect your game to be there. Tiger, on the other hand, is just a small surprise. In his case, I think it really was more of an off week – after all, he scheduled attending this event a couple of months ago when he was struggling, figuring he’d need all the work he could get prior to the British Open. Now, after winning the Memorial and the AT&T, his motivation level just wasn’t there. He should be in the thick of things two weeks hence at Royal Lytham St. Anne.

The Red Sox look like crap. This team is ready for a major trade or two. I don’t see Josh Beckett making iot past the All-Star break. Get some young talent for him or package him with either Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury and go after some big fish.

Everyone knows I’ve been a little hard on Michelle Wie in the past, but she looked damned good on Friday at the U.S. Women’s Open. After a long midnight chat about three months ago we decided to bury the hatchet, and I’m now pulling for her almost as much as I do for the Paula “Pink Panther” Creamer whenever she’s in the field. Both a great kids, and I’d love to do a foursome that involves Killer, me, Michelle, and Paula. Put some bets down for drinks afterwards and watch us tear ’em apart on their choice of venue. Michelle, Paula – any takers?

Not sure what’s more beautiful to watch: golf at Pebble Beach, or John Cook’s golf swing. He’s a great guy who was tutored a bit by the great Ken Venturi, always had a nice swing, but he’s really playing great now. Both he and Tom Kite are a couple of class acts, and there are more than a couple-two-three players on the PGA Tour who could learn a lesson or two about dignity and class.

Thank you, Ray Allen. It was great to have you in Boston. Best wishes for the rest of your career.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 10:29 | Comments Off on Weekend Sports Page
July 6, 2012

[Ed. note: A week ago, on a broiling hot afternoon that saw the temperature hit a whopping 112, CBS golf commentator Gary McCord and The Great White Shank got together on the Superstition Springs G.C. outdoor patio overlooking the ninth green for a cold brewskie and a little golf talk following TGWS’s driving range session.]

mccord Shank, last year right around this time you and I sat at this same table and talked about the state of your game and your preparations for the 2011 Goodboys Invitational. You had a sizzling 94 at Sagamore Spring to kick off the weekend but struggled mightily on Saturday and Sunday. Today, I was watching you hit the ball pretty well out there in that blazing heat. What’s the difference in your game and game prep, both mentally and physically as another Goodboys Invitational weekend approaches?

tgws Gary, all I can says is, I’m feeling great about my game. I’m not saying that I’m going to go out there and set records, but for the first time in my golf existence I’ve reached a point of consistency and predictability so that when I’m going good I know why I’m going good, and when I’m going bad I know why I’m going bad. So there’s a level of comfort out there, and I’m feeling great about it.

mccord Sounds pretty exciting. Tell us about the progression from last year to this year.

tgws Well, Gary, as you know, I left Goodboys Invitational weekend feeling disappointed about my play. Still, I felt that I was continuing to make progress and that I was getting close. After that, I had a couple of good rounds here in Arizona during the fall where I played on both sides of 100, then came that February shootout in Las Vegas against The Funny Guy [Ed. note: Goodboy Ben “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis] where I really played well. A couple of months ago back in New England, I played OK at Portsmouth Country Club, then saw my game fall apart again at Breakfast Hill a few days later.

mccord And in two weeks you’re going to be playing Breakfast Hill in the opening round of the 2012 Goodboys Invitational. Not a good place to see your game fall apart. Sounds like some pretty inconsistent play to me…

tgws It was, and after I got back to Arizona I had a really poor driving range session, upon which I completely revamped my set-up at address, shifting my weight to the balls of my feet and flattening out my takeaway so I wasn’t quite as upright. I then played Las Vegas National in May – in sustained 40 MPH winds, no less – and never drove the ball better. Unfortunately, my short game completely fell apart, so I decided to totally revamp that as well. So what I’m playing with now is a completely different set-up at address, swing plane, and short game from last year’s Goodboys, and I’m feeling pretty confident at this point that these changes are worth it.

mccord Shank, you’re one of only two Goodboys in the 22 years the Goodboys Invitational has been held to have never missed a Goodboy weekend [Ed. note: “The Funny Guy” being the only other]. You’re also one of three five-time winners of the event; what are your thoughts going into this year’s Invitational?

tgwsYou know, Gary, it’s both good and a little melancholy at the same time. I miss some of the lads that were part of Goodboys for so many years – “Bone” Piekarski, “Doc” Frechette, “Kernel” Clickner, “El Dandito” Drewett, just to name a few – but I like the group we have and the mix of old and new. I’m excited about playing with Mark “Skipper” Bornemann this year, and Scott “Hulkigan” Tripp will really find his weekend playing with Ron “Cubby” Myerow, um, interesting. Over the years we’ve all had our ups and downs and good days and bad days, but over 22 years who wouldn’t? This year, I think we’re all in a good place mentally and physically, and just ready to have a fun weekend.

mccord What would being the first six-time winner of the Goodboys Invitational mean to you? How would it impact your Goodboys legacy?

tgws You know, Gary, this game is all about honor, tradition, and integrity. I’m just hoping to go out there and play well enough to not be on the losing end of a humiliation bet for the first time, and make my partner proud of me. This year I just want to enjoy playing a few rounds of golf and watch some British Open coverage over a couple-two-three Sam Summers with my friends. There’s too much bad shit goin’ on out there in the real world to take things too seriously. I’ve worked damned hard on my game this year, am feeling great about it, and just hope it translates into some good competitive scores during the weekend.

mccord Any game plan in mind as these final two weeks tick down? What are you focusing on mentally?

tgws Gary, I’m going into the weekend with only these thoughts in mind: 1) keep it in the short grass, 2) stay away from trouble, 3) keep the ball below the hole, 4) don’t short-side myself, and 5) have a good time. If I can do that, no matter where I finish it will be a successful Goodboys weekend.

mccord Well, best of luck this year, Great White Shank – we’ll be pulling for you and your partner “The Skipper” to make some serious noise – and some birdies – out there.

tgws Pars and bogies will be good enough for me. Thanks, Gary, be well, buddy!

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:18 | Comment (1)

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