September 30, 2012

As popular as the Ryder Cup is, the sad fact is I’ve never watched one before. The primary reason is the timing of the event – coming on the last weekend in September, Tracey and I have more often than not been celebrating our anniversary on a cruise ship or in some tropical place. This year, however, our debt being what it is, we’ve around and have both really gotten into the Ryder Cup. Golf wise, it’s the absolute balls to see guys who are ususally competing against each other paired up with and cheering on their various squads. It has been a joy to watch, and the quality of the golf (especially by the Americans) has been fantastic. Watching the final teams coming down the final holes in the gathering darkness on Saturday and shooting darts at the pins was truly exhilarating – you see how some embrace the pressure and excel (Ian Poulter, Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner) and others just can’t seem to bring their games together (Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker).

There’s little question that the Americans have a youthful firepower (Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson) that Europe just doesn’t have. Although Nicolas Colsearts is a definite keeper, Europe has too many has-beens to match what America is bringing to the table. I mean, c’mon: Paul Lawrie? Peter Hanson? To watch the American young guns play with such verve and energy is truly a sight to behold.

One other thought: I really think you’re seeing before your very eyes why Tiger Woods’ road to beating Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors has just gotten measurably tougher, and I think he knows it. You watch Keegan and Bubba and Webb and Nicholas excelling under the pressure of a Ryder Cup and realize that, for them, the prospect of staring down a Tiger Woods in the last round of, say, a U.S. Open or The Masters isn’t that big a deal. These guys are eating pressure for a living – they love and actually (gasp!) embrace the opportunity to play on the biggest stage amongst the best players in the world; after the pressure of a Ryder Cup these guys aren’t going to be phased at all at the propect of playing – and beating – Tiger mano a mano come Sunday at a place like Augusta.

This Ryder Cup has been a true spectacle for the game; it’s the best playing the best and showing the very best of what golf can be. I can’t wait to see what Sunday brings.

The only thing that would make it better is to be watching the proceedings gathered around a big screen TV with my Goodboys friends and cold refrigerator filled with Sam Adams Octoberfests.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:06 | Comment (1)
September 29, 2012

There’s so much trouble and uncertainty in the world right now, I feel myself wanting nothing more than to withdraw around my prayer candle and veg out on my patio in total escape mode. George Harrison’s Living In The Material World CD – a fave from way back in 1973 when it was originally released – has become a soul companion and almost like a Bible to me. Very spiritual, very calming, very centering, very important as far as my sanity and my world view is concerned. Those who have followed this blog know I’ve always found Harrison’s music very close to my soul, but now it seems more than that. His music has become almost a hymn to my soul for all those loved ones who I’ve loved and keep in my prayers and thoughts – my brother Mark, my friends Shirley and Mike, and others. I love them and I feel so alone without them. Still…

A few tunes what I’m talkin’ about:

The Light That Has Lighted The World

Be Here Now

The Day The World Gets Round

“In silence they pray, oh how they pray for the day the world gets round.”

The Lord Loves The One (That Loves The Lord)

…and, of course, this outtake from All Things Must Pass, perhaps George’s greatest tune, I Live For You Even in its earliest form it was, how you say, majestic. For me, along with this Brian Wilson classic, they serve as my ultimate “life songs”, worthy of any grave stone I might wish for. Through them God touches me through my heart.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:37 | Comments (2)
September 28, 2012

I can’t post cute rabbit pics, so this video will have to do. Watch the church scenes closely and the difference in reactions between the girls and the guys – it’s priceless, a total scream! Not to mention that the music is really tight solid throughout – I think it’s the best Katy has ever done. Note the difference in instrumentation between verses (very synth-like) and chorus (heavy on the guitar, bass, drums), as well as her vocals (front and back) throughout. Sultry, fun, passionate. This is one talented (and hot!) girl.

Whenever I hear this song I think of walking through the TI casino in Las Vegas – I was heading to meet the Goodboys at the Breeze Bar, but the song came on and I stood in the middle of the place, transfixed, until the song ended. To me, it’s that good.

Speaking of which, oh God, how I miss Vegas. Great vibe, cute chicks, great fun. And I was just there last weekend, barely escaping with $2 in my wallet and glad to be getting out of there with my life. Now that I’ve been away four days I just want to get back there. But that’s Vegas.

BTW, I’m ditching my Cobra irons and woods for Callaway RAZR woods and irons before next Goodboys weekend – they were made for me, and I them. They’re awesome clubs, and when/if I ever learn to hit their pitching and sand wedges I’ll, be a 27 handicap!!

Happy anniversary to my lovely bride of 26 years. How she has ever put up with me this long I’ll never know… I sure wouldn’t.

Is it just me, or is it my sense that, be it Obama or Romney, everyone just wants to get past this election so we can all just enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the holiday season? Me, I’m planning on getting us a retro 50′s style aluminum tree like my grandparents had and putting it out on the back patio to enjoy over a Sambuca or Johnny Walker Red with a lot of Loreena McKinnett and Phil Spector holiday sounds in the background.

I can’t remember looking forward to Christmas this much. I wonder what that means…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:22 | Comments (3)
September 27, 2012

I’ll tell ya, it’s a freakin’ crazy world out there. If I didn’t have my music I truly would lose it. Fortunately, there is an antidote for anything and everything that could possibly ail you. It’s called music.

News item: Rather than kill the bastards that sacked the Benghazi embassy and killed our ambassador and three other brave Americans, in the face of possible danger those serial liars called the Obama administration choose to run like a scared rabbit.

Antidote.

News item: Looks like we’re headed into another recession, just don’t expect the pathetic lapdogs in the Obama media to cover it.

Antidote.

News item: The President of the United States chooses “The View” over face-to-face meetings with world leaders. Of course, what would you expect from someone who, after learning of the assassination of one of his own ambassadors, heads to Las Vegas for a fundraiser. What a cold, uncaring, pompous ass…

Antidote.

News item: Bobby Valentine will not be back as Red Sox manager?

Antidote.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:31 | Comments (0)
September 25, 2012

Happens right around this time of year, every year. It’s like clockwork. You can really tell the days are getting shorter – it’s near dark around 7 PM now – but the temps here in the Valley of the Sun remain hot, in the mid-’90s, which actually feel tolerable compared to the months of 100+ we’ve been through. The pool tries to keep up as best it can, but it’s fighting not only the shorter days but the sun angle, which puts half of it in shade for the better part of the afternoon. Even with the past weekend temps hovering around 105 or so, the nights have been in the mid-’70s, so the pool has struggled to stay above 80 degrees. Now 80 may sound nice, but without the heat of the day it’s still a bit of a bracer at night, especially when there’s a breeze around.

Tonight I took what is likely my last nighttime swim of the year. The moon was bright and heading towards full, the air temp was 79, and the water 80. I enjoyed a few laps in the dark, then called it a night – perhaps a season. After all, the forecast is for lows around 70 or so the next few nights, meaning the bottom will drop out of the pool temp. It’s funny how the water takes so long to warm in the months of April and May but loses it’s warmth so quickly come mid to late September. Soon the days will follow the nights and drop into that delicious time of year known as “Arizona winter” – the main reason why folks live around here to begin with.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:34 | Comments (2)
September 24, 2012

I know what you’re thinking: where the hell is The Great White Shank. Truth be told, I’m still around but struggling with my blogging. It’s just been hard to keep up, and for the following reasons:

1. I’m back on my diet – not a big thing, I was heading back towards 165 and felt a few weeks of going back on the Eades diet would make both my physique and my liver happy. Unfortunately, with the heat still around, that means I’m doing my 1.8 mile walks at night which make it hard for me to sit down afterwards and type.

2. I’ve lost the ability to upload pics from my Blackberry. I know, it’s probably time to upgrade to something else, but we have to wait until our AT&T contract comes up for renewal so we get the good discounts. Ever since I had to re-image my Blackberry back in July the old desktop software doesn’t work, and I can’t figure out how to get the new desktop software to work yet. Too bad, I got some great bunny pics to upload. Perhaps in due time.

3. You can’t bullsh*t a bullsh*tter – even interesting bloggers like Rob and Dave E. will tell you that blogging takes a certain commitment of time, and between work, and items #1 and 2 above it’s just been hard. If I can figure out #2 above I’ll feel better – I like to intersperse my writing with photos; it just makes for a more interesting blog. And besides, the people who enjoy checking in on my blog aren’t stupid – if I’m just going through the motions they’ll be the first to know.

I haven’t given up yet, I’m just going through a phase. Just bear with me for a bit.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:29 | Comments (0)
September 18, 2012

Over the next day or two you’re gonna be deluged by the mainstream dino-media once again pouring their disdain all over Mitt Romney’s campaign for something he said that just flies in the face of the narrative the Obama lap dogs are trying to push: that Romney made another gaffe. Last week, it was Romney’s statement about the disgraceful actions by our Egyptian embassy prior to the attack on it – turns out Romney didn’t say anything the Obama adminsitration didn’t walk back from less than a few hours later. This week, it is Romney’s comments at a fundraiser in response to a question about how he can beat Obama in November:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…

“And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49 … he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

Of course, the media is already in hyper-overdrive attempting to spin Romney’s comments to make it look like he was talking about the American electorate, but that dog ain’t gonna hunt. For once – and thankfully, as far as I’m concerned – it’s about time time Romney talked the truth about what the upcoming election is all about. Oh sure, both he and Paul Ryan have talked about it in various interviews and speeches, but not in as direct a way as Romney’s comments describe. And I’m glad to hear that in his follow-up news conference he didn’t walk back on his comments. He shouldn’t, and it’s about time America has this debate laid out on the table for all to see and discuss.

It’s a perfect wedge issue for Romney. While the economy is hurting, there’s plenty of blame to go around – Democrats and Republicans alike. That’s why his running against the Obama record on jobs and the economy isn’t, and shouldn’t be, enough. While the Obama appeasement foreign policy is now in shambles, that alone isn’t enough, either – after all, the Middle East mess has plenty of bipartisan blame to go around as well.

But it’s in the role and the nature of government, and the size and influence of government in our daily lives where there is a significant difference between Romney and the Republicans, and Obama and the Democrats. I’m sure Romney didn’t mean his comments for public consumption – after all, Republican or Democrat, when you’re fundraising you gotta toss some red meat, right? It’s a game both sides play: consider Barack Obama’s comments that “Republicans want dirtier air, dirtier water, and less people with health insurance“. I doubt he seriously believes that, but it’s just hard inside political baseball.

Still, now that Romney’s comments are out – and make no mistake about it, I’m glad they’re out, and I happen to agree with him – it’s the perfect opportunity to debate the size and scope of government in our lives to the top of the 2012 election campaign issues list. Fact is, most Democrats (67%!) absolutely want the government to take a greater role than it already does – the latest Gallup poll says so. There are ~32 million people unemployed. Almost 9 million people on disability (helped, no doubt, because of people’s unemployment benefits running out). A record number of people on food stamps. The misery list goes on and on and on.

So who pays for all this? The hard-working taxpayer, that’s who. And as the number of takers begin to overwhelm the number of givers, what do you do? Print more money? We’re already $16 trillion in debt. Heck, you could tax everyone 100% of their income and you still wouldn’t even come close to eliminating this country’s debt. So it’s good that the time has come for an honest debate that’s as old and as American as this country is, and, while I’m sure Romney is correct in saying he could have articulated the point he was making better, I’m guessing (or at least hoping) his campaign isn’t upset to have this debate start right here and now.

I don’t have a problem with this, not the least bit. I like the idea of an “ideas election”. I thought that’s why Romney picked Paul Ryan as his VP candidate to begin with. What kind of country do we want to be? What kind of a people do we want to be? That’s the kind of election I want to have.

(Hat tip: Drudge)

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:07 | Comments (2)
September 17, 2012

I know it’s been a while, been meaning to post something but work and stuff seemed to get in the way. A few thoughts to pick up the pieces from the last week or so:

There are those who would argue one way or the other about who would make a better president, but I doubt Barack Obama could even come close to what Mitt Romney has done personally on behalf of others. It’s a great read, wonder why the Romney campaign seems so hesitant about sharing this with the American people.

I hope the New England Patriots learned something about that debacle in Foxboro yesterday. I don’t care who you’re playing in the NFL, you can’t just show up and expect to win. It was embarrassing.

Bobby Valentine continues to not impress as a manager, and I sure hope the Sox deep-six him as soon as the season is over. Look, I can stand watching over-matched teams when they’re young or their roster is depleted by trades and injuries; what I can’t stand is to watch players miss cutoffs, not work pitch counts, and basically go through the motions, which is what this Red Sox team is doing. Blame the players all you want, but fundamentals and good baseball start with the manager.

Forget about the polls and the stupidilydaily narratives the mainstream dino-media is putting out to prop up President Obama and his pathetic record, both domestically and – as last week showed – internationally. The guy has been a disaster in every way you can imagine. Still, I think there’s just as good a chance the guy wins as not, and I think John Hinderaker of Power Line blog is onto something:

So, when you put those elements together, it seems that fewer and fewer votes are up for grabs. I can relate: it is difficult to imagine circumstances that would cause me to vote for a Democrat for any office. For better or worse, and for good reasons or bad, an enormous number of Americans feel that way. The result is that there are many millions who would rather vote for four more years of failure than vote for a Republican. More evidence of incompetence, whether on the economy or foreign policy, doesn’t sway their determination to vote Democrat.

The conventional wisdom is that the presidential debates are the next events that could shift significant numbers of votes. Maybe, but I doubt it. I will be surprised if the debates have more than a small and transient impact. Given the reasons why most voters align with one party or the other, something as mundane as a discussion of public policy isn’t likely to have much effect.

I would also add this: people are tired and worn down, not just because of the economy, but because this election season seems like it has gone on for as long as anyone can remember. The country is polarized beyond belief – and for that you can thank Barack Obama. Fact is, it really wouldn’t have taken much for the guy to have been ahead in the polls by a dozen points or more. A little more outreach to the GOP, a little more willingness to trim the size of government and spending by eliminating obvious waste and I think enough people would have cut him some slack to allow him to coast to a second term. A little Clinton-esque triangualtion would have gone a long way. Instead, it will be up to each campaign’s ground game and who gets the most folks to the polls. Either you like Barack Obama or you don’t, and nothing that will happen between now and November will change a thing. Hell of a way to run a country…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:47 | Comments (0)
September 13, 2012

Other activities have kept me from blogging lately, hopefully I can start stringing a few interesting posts together so people don’t think I’ve fallen completely off the face of the earth. Here are just a few thoughts:

Normally, when a team is out of the pennant races you’re assessing talent for next year, but I’m not seeing much with the Red Sox, given their just-completed series with the Yankees. I like pitchers John Lester, Felix Doubront and Junichi Tazawa, and I think Ryan Lavarnway will ultimately both hit and catch well. The rest I could care less about. Bobby Valentine is a joke of a manager, there’s absolutely no life in the Sox dugout, they’re just playing out the string. Worse yet, they’re playing such undisciplined ball: not working pitchers, and I’ve never seen so many missed cutoff thows. That’s just bad baseball, and you can lay that at the feel of the hopefully soon-to-be-discarded “Bobby V.”

This whole explosion of Middle East and the attacks on the embassises and consolate in Lybia has me feeling very sad and irate at the State Department – they were (obviously) caught off guard by the planned nature of the demonstrations and executions, but the pitiful, weak-kneed official statements criticizing those who insult Islam and not laying the blame on the sick animals responsible not just for the attacks but the planners as well.

Forget about the sick and perveted mainstream media hacks focusing their venom not on the embassy attacks and the deaths of our overseas personnel, but on Mitt Romney’s assertive and spot-on comments about our shown weakness in the face of danger and the freedoms we stand for here in this country. Compare Romney’s performance with President Obama’s cold Rose Garden performance – not even taking any questions so he could jet off to Vegas in time for yet-another campaign stop. Mitt’s conduct was presidential in nature; Obama’s both juvenile, classless, and reprehensible. Could you imagine the media’s howls if the roles were reversed?

Hard to understand Obama’s incredibly-odd choices this week. The Middle East is awash in voiolence and discord, yet Obama’s blowing off Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu so he can yak with Letterman and fund-raise with Beyonce and Jay-Z. Is that Presidential? It really makes me wonder if he knows something we don’t. I mean, you read stories like this and you have to wonder…

It’s weeks like this, where there is so much tumult in the world, that I find myself retreating inside myself, seeking solce away from work and the keyboard, and listening to George Harrison, who’s music always helps me see the big picture. His tunes and lyrics help me think of this world as a larger plan of some kind. Most certainly, the deaths of the Libyan ambassador and those assigned to defend him warrant a candle lit for their spirits to be lifted high to God’s everlasting protection and mercy; Lord knows, they’re in a better place than we who are left behind.

So soothe the spirit as only you can, George – may you rest in peace.

The day the world gets round
To understanding where it is,
Using all its found,
To help each other, hand in hand

The day the world gets round
To understanding where its gone
Losing so much ground
Killing each other, hand in hand
Such foolishness in man
I want no part of their plan – oh no

If you’re the destructive kind
Now I’m working from day to day
As I don’t want to be like you
I look for the pure of heart
And the ones that have made a start,

But lord, there are just a few
Who bow before you,
In silence they pray,

Oh how they pray for the day the
World gets round

Using all theyve found
To help each other, hand in hand

The day the world gets round

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:39 | Comments (0)
September 6, 2012

Having finally gotten past the national political conventions, we now have only the debates to get through before this interminable election season ends on November 6. I know I’m not the only one who will be glad when it’s all over. The Democratic convention lived up to every expection of a three-day set of proceedings akin to the famous bar scene in Star Wars – it was wild, crazy, disorganized, and outrageous. Here are some thoughts, not that they matter much:

Tuesday: It was the big night for Michelle Obama’s speech, but I didn’t watch it. Given the fact that I’m not single, female, and needing to be scared to death that Mitt Romney will force me to back alleys for coat-hanger abortions performed by amateurs with dirty instruments I figured a combination of MLB Network, Iron Chef America, and a Sean Connery movie would be sufficient entertainment alternatives.

Wednesday: I’ll admit I had to see the afternoon debacle over the party platform, where a majority of the delegates, not ashamed to be acting in the tradition of Peter the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, denied God thrice before a confused and overwhelmed convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa. He finally put an end to the madness by declaring the a formal recognition of God and Jerusalem as capital of Israel passed by a 2/3 majority even though it was clear to everyone the motion had failed. What an embarrassment. After that, not interested in hearing the screeds by Sandra Fluke – the Georgetown University student and unabashed proponent of American taxpayers not only footing the bill for her birth control, but all abortions and sex-change operations as well, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren, and Bill Clinton, I chose a trio of old Humphrey Bogart / Lauren Bacall movies on Turner Classic Movies. Not a bad decision by any means. One final thought: is it just me, or did anyone else see the irony in the collection of women speakers speaking about women’s rights sharing the same stage with a pathological cheater and philanderer?

Thursday: Big night with Joe Biden and the Prez. Me? I chose Golf Channel’s first-round coverage of the BMW Championship. Given that even the most ardent Obama supporters begrudgingly admit there was nothing new in his underwhelming and pedestrian speech, I don’t think I missed much. Besides, watching Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy trade one great golf shot after another was really something to behold. To see two great golfers at the heights of their games battling it out ought to make for a great weekend for golf viewing.

OK, so I didn’t watch a minute of the convention, but these days you don’t need to sit in front of a TV and watch the proceedings to know what was going on – there are plenty of blogs, YouTube videos, Twitter, and all sorts of websites to filter out the bull$hit. The Dems, facing a deficit in voting enthusiasm, needed to fire up their base – women and minorities – so, forget about jobs and the 32 million unemployed people out there, the most important message to take away from these proceedings was two-fold: 1) a woman’s right to abortion on demand, no matter when, how, or who, trumps every other national concern; and 2) that the government who loves you and cares for you needs to further expand so it can take care of everyone and everything, no matter the cost. After all, it’s the only thing we all belong to, right? Unreal.

Seriously, my guess is that this convention turned a lot of independents off. It’s obvious that today’s Democratic Party is as far removed from the party of FDR, JFK, and LBJ as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is from reality. Like with the mainline Protestant churches, it has been hijacked by a rabid, viral, and hateful bunch of left-wing zealots masking their loathing and disdain for this country and its constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms under the phony progressive banner of “equality”, “justice”, tolerance”, and “diversity”. (I put those words in quotes because they’re really not interested in those ideals, only using them as cover for their real objective, which is to obtain the necessary power so that the federal government becomes the vehicle to implement their socialist agenda in every way possible before the people wake up to their real objective.

The good thing is that, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and Barack Obama and Joe Biden you have two very different visions for America’s future to vote on come November 6. It will be, perhaps, the most important election this country has had since 1860, for, just like that year’s election, the outcome will decide what the United States of America will look like in the coming decades. In my view, the choice is really between, as the great Mark Levin has written, liberty and tyranny, and the kind of people we want to be.

I can only pray the electorate chooses wisely, the future of our nation depends on it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:14 | Comments (3)

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