October 31, 2013

HALLOWEEN IS HERE
by Debbie

It’s time for Halloween,
A day for trick or treat,
When the kids dress up in costume,
And walk proudly down the street.

They ring alot of door bells,
And collect alot of candy too,
And if they happen to see a ghost,
They will be greated with a boo.

Pumpkins light up the windows,
And decorations adorn the front yard,
So be careful when you come in,
Because the skeleton will be on guard.

So go have alot of fun,
And don’t have any fear,
Because it will soon be over,
And you’ll have to wait till next year.

Hat tip: The Holiday Spot.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:05 | Comments (0)
October 30, 2013

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, winners of the 2013 World Series. The team showed just how tough they are, beating the best pitchers of the Tampa Bay Rays, The Detroit Tigers, and the St. Louis Cardinals. They gritted out one game after another and made the fewest mistakes – exactly what a team needs to do in baseball’s post-season. And congratulations to David “Big Papi” Ortiz, voted Most Valuable Player of the World Series. What a great way to spend an October week in Boston!

Let the celebration begin!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:00 | Comments (2)
October 29, 2013

I’m still around. Busy as a beaver here in New England between work and family and a little bit of golf. Of course, the Red Sox is the big topic of discussion around here and righty so. It will all be over one way or another by Halloween night, just hope everyone is feeling happy and satisfied by then.

Don’t say I didn’t warn y’all this was going to happen. But that’s what happens when you put left-wing socialist zealots in control of the government without any push-back or expectation of accountability by a fawning, kiss-a$$ media. It’s pathetic, but that’s what this country voted for. Did you really fall for that “If you like your current coverage and doctor you’ll be able to keep it” nonsense?

Liar, liar pants on fire.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:28 | Comment (1)
October 25, 2013

I dunno, maybe because it comes from a precious memory of my check-in at Treasure Island casino a few years ago. It had been a long, hard, uphill drive from Phoenix, and I was just vegging out in the registration check-in line listening to The Sandals on my MP3 when all of a sudden I hear fellow Goodboy “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis yell “GOODBOYS!” loud enough that the whole line looked over and started laughing. There was a cute chick in front of me, and she turns to me and says, “I want to hang with you guys this weekend!”. (Her boyfriend didn’t seem to share the same sentiment.)

So there I am on a high – a long, hard drive over, a whole weekend of unpredictable fun and frolic ahead of me, and as I’m walking towards the casino and I hear Katy Perry’s Hot N’ Cold overhead, and the song – great as it is – just really sent me into the stratosphere (the state of mind, not the casino where all putts – no matter where you are golfing in Las Vegas – break towards). I’m standing there with my carry-on under a speaker with a grin from ear to ear, a moment in time that was the perfect reflection of the Vegas vibe and how it carries you away from reality.

Such is the same with much of Katy Perry’s music and her music videos. She always looks great, sounds great, and entertains, which is the way music oughta be these days. Sure, not all of her stuff is fluffy, but much of it is whimsical and fun, not to be taken too seriously – just the way Vegas is (that is, when you’re not dodging bullets or standing aboard Wayne Newton’s yacht).

Which is why I lover her new hit “Roar” so much. It’s just fun, it’s got a memorable riff that you’ll find yourself humming to all day long, and – even though I’m not a parent or a prude – it’s PG! I mean, how many artists videos today would you feel safe having your kids watch? the song is fun, the video is just as good (love the monkey and when she’s painting the elephant’s toenails), and – yes – it reminds me of Vegas and that I’m just a few months away from a return trip with my Goodboys friends.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:17 | Comment (1)
October 24, 2013

The Cardinals played a sloppy game, and the Red Sox showed why they’re where they are by taking advantage of the Cards’ miscues and once again playing fundamentally solid baseball. Once you get to the post-season, it’s all about avoiding the kinds of mistakes that get amplified beyond belief and, if you’re the other team, taking full advantage of them when they occur. Jon Lester really stepped up and pitched the kind of a game you’d expect from your #1 starter in a seven-game series.

The pressure now falls fully on the Cardinals’ shoulders for Game 2, because they certainly don’t want to have to go back to St. Louis down 2-0 with their #3 and #4 pitchers having to turn a series around. They’ve got the right guy on the hill, but I also expect John Lackey to be a veteran presence out there on the mound. He’s been there before and he knows what he’s got to do.

I really think the tense and incredibly close series the Sox played against the Tigers is working in their favor because gritting out close games has now become second nature to this veteran team. Clearly, nothing fazes them. They’re playing solid defense, have confidence in their starters and bullpen, and are not afraid to force the cardinals to throw strikes because otherwise they will grind you down. Sure, Adam Wainright wasn’t on his game last night, but the Sox didn’t swing at the pitches the Pirates and Dodgers did.

I still expect this series to go at least six games, but Boston fans have to feel good about the consistent play of their team this post-season. It’s now up to the Cardinals to prove to their fans they can do the same.

Tonight I’m heading back to Massachusetts for a week in lovely late-October to experience the World Series up close and personal, and it ought to be a lot of fun, if a bit chilly. I hope there are still a few leaves on the treees to enjoy some walks in the forest, watch some waves by the sea, and play a little late-season golf. I’ll be reporting to you from the Eastern Time Zone, so stay tuned.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:54 | Comment (1)
October 22, 2013

Meant to post on this news when I heard about it the other day. A true New England icon bites the dust. The Hilltop Steakhouse was famous for the big “Frank Giuffrida” sign that stood out at the top of the hill on Route 1 South in Saugus and the plastic herd of cows that watched the traffic pass by for more than half a century. They even put elves hats on them at Christmas time. Back in its day there would be lines out the door – you could see from the road all the people’s faces in the window staring at those cows out front as the lady at the hostsess stand barked out numbers and room locations in machine-gun speed:

“14, 242, 313, 219, 522 for Sioux City!

17, 97, 111, 142, 149, 188, 330 for Kansas City!”

And so on. As they called out the numbers, everyone would look down at theirs to see if theirs was close, but there was no way to really tell, I don’t think they ever gave a number in any kind of sequence in all the years I went there.

Our family used to to the Hilltop every Easter – I think we did it for, like, 35 years straight starting in 1969 or 70. It was a gathering pace for generations that came and went with time and travel, and our tables varied over the years from a low of around eight to as high as fourteen or fifteen some years. It was a place to touch base with everyone as to what was happening in everyone’s life, a gathering to show off your newest girlfriend – I think over the years I must have brought six different girls. There was the year my cousins’ Aunt Sylvia came and the liquor was really flowing – more than a few of us left bombed out of their minds. You could probably recite what everyone ordered from year to year, because it rarely varied – those who ordered the lobster pie, those who wanted their dressing on the side, those who insisted on the rare or well-done cut, those with the sweet tooths who always ordered dessert. Very fond memories, to be sure. They had a unique salad dressing and beautiful logo cocktail glasses, and I’ll bet there’s many a New England cupboard with one or two of those glasses taken as a remembrance of a fine meal. (I’ve still got four of them and use them for my Johnny Walker Red nitecaps!)

As the years went by, there was a lot more competition from other steak house chains so that you didn’t have to drive all the way to the Hilltop for a good steak. The family that owned it made a big mistake trying to expand to additional locations and they lost their shirts. The crowds started to dwindle, and the original location became way too big for the numbers that came. The upstairs dining rooms, reserved for larger parties, went from busy and boistrous to dark and shuttered, and the place just had the feeling of being passed by. The last time we went, a couple of years ago, the service was awful and it was sad to see such a proud tradition fall to the passage of time.

So it’s not a surprise to anyone that the Hilltop has closed. Time can be kind of a harsh mistress and nothing stays the same. But the Hilltop Steakhouse will never be forgotten around these parts, especially when an Easter Sunday comes around.

Hey, at least the Kowloon (right across the street) is still in operation. When that goes, what’ll be left?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:32 | Comment (1)
October 21, 2013

My folks sent this to me in an e-mail, I really liked it. My only gripe about it is, you don’t have to be a so-called “Christian” – God loves you for who you are, not for what your religious persuasion might be…

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.

God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.

He opens you up, touches you deep inside, and scoops out all the yucky stuff–including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.

Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

….still, in a world of hard ground and hard knocks it’s nice to know there are others like you occupying the same patch!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:47 | Comments (0)
October 20, 2013

And another Red Sox player goes down in post-season history:

…and, previous post’s sentiments otherwise, I’ve ALWAYS thought he was and is “THE MAN”.

OK, I was wrong. And maybe about Stephen Drew as well. So sue me.

Gotta give the Tigers credit, though, their starting pitching was beyond Jake – Sanchez, Scherzer, and Verlander gave the Sox everything they could handle and more. But seven-game series are all about exploiting weakness and making the best of opportunities when they present themselves, and that’s what Boston did once David “Big Papi” Ortiz gave them life with that grand slam in Game 2. Boston’s bullpen was unmatched and Detroit’s not so much.

I think Prince Fielder is going to have a long, cold winter. He’s getting paid an awful lot of money to play as badly as he did.

But I’m reserving my tickets for Xander Bogaerts’ induction into the Hall of Fame in July 2042. I hope Cooperstown has sufficient accommodations for a worn out, broken down old fart like I’ll be. If they serve Sam Adams I’ll be OK.

Hard to believe the Red Sox are heading back to the World Series. And I’m going to be there to see the triumph and tragedy, whichever way it breaks. Awesome. Time to break out the Red Sox World Series anthem “Tessie” once more:

Bring on the Cards. GO SOX.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:52 | Comments (0)
October 19, 2013

Controversial column by Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee in this month’s Golf magazine where he equates – although he doesn’t come out and say it directly – his being caught cheating on a 4th grade math test with that drop Tiger took at The Masters during Friday’s round at Augusta. Now Tiger’s agent Mark Steinberg has his panties all in a wad and threatening to sue Chamblee for what he wrote.

So what exactly did Chamblee write? In grading the performances of a number of high-profile golfers in 2013 he had this to say about Woods:

Tiger Woods: When I was in the fourth grade, I cheated on a math test and when I got the paper back it had “100″ written at the top and just below the grade, was this quote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” It was an oft-quoted line from the epic poem “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott, and my teacher’s message was clear. Written once more beneath that quote was my grade of “100″, but this time with a line drawn through it and beneath that an F. I never did ask my teacher how she knew I cheated and I certainly didn’t protest the grade. I knew I had done the wrong thing and my teacher the right, but I never forgot the way I felt when I read that quote.

I remember when we only talked about Tiger’s golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and … how shall we say this … was a little cavalier with the rules.**

100 / F

I’m not in the business of predicting wins or scores but am often asked to do so. Before the events started, I predicted that Adam Scott would win the Masters, Phil Mickelson would win the Open Championship and Stacy Lewis would win the Women’s Open Championship, but I also said that Tiger would win the U.S. Open and he would do so with a record score. I also said that Tiger, coming off his 7-shot win at Bridgestone, would win the PGA Championship. So I was 3 for 5 in the majors that I predicted and 0-1 in scores, which makes me even money in the betting world and 50 percent in the academic world, which is an F.

But at least I earned this one honestly.

**Tiger’s rule controversies in 2013 included taking an illegal free drop at the Abu Dhabi Championship, avoiding disqualification at the Masters despite signing an incorrect scorecard following an illegal drop, giving himself a favorable drop after hitting into a water hazard at the Players Championship, and a two-stroke penalty for causing his ball to move while removing a twig resting against it at the BMW Championship.

Now, of course, the professional golf world considers its reputation for policing itself beyond reproach, believing that somehow, simply by golf being a “game” instead of the money-driven big business it is, people are supposed to behave differently from their nature unlike other sports. You hear the stories from time to time: some nobody from nowhere is at top of a leaderboard or near the cut line and assesses himself a one or two-stroke penalty because he sees or does something no one else appears to see, and golf commentators in print and on TV fall over themselves saying what a class act he is and why that makes golf so different from any other sport, er, game.

Bullshit.

The fact is, the best players in the world are what they are because their talent and their competitive nature trump those who have either the talent or a competitive nature, but not both when it counts. And sometimes, that competitive nature becomes such a driving force that even a Tiger Woods is going to take every advantage available to him when it counts. Did Tiger take an improper drop at Augusta? Hell, yes – even I saw that clearly from my seat at the bar over a cold beer after a blistering-hot day at the Superstition Springs driving range. The fact is, he really should have been allowed to sign his scorecard as he saw it and then disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. But he’s Tiger Woods, so that couldn’t be allowed to happen. And no, that ball didn’t “oscillate” (as Tiger insisted) at the BMW, it moved.

To me, Woods’ most flagrant offense was the drop he took at THE PLAYERS, where his drive on the 14th hole, from the blimp’s angle directly above, was clearly shown to be over water, virtually from the start. Instead of dropping somewhere back of the ladies’ tees as he should have, Woods gave himself a very favorable drop much further ahead. Let’s recap, shall we?

When Woods’ tee shot at the par-4 14th hole at TPC Sawgrass found a lateral water hazard that runs to the left of the fairway, he had to take a drop that was questioned by NBC’s Johnny Miller as being “really, really borderline.”

At issue is determining where the ball last crossed land and went into the hazard. Woods ended up taking a drop that was 255 yards from the pin. His 3-wood tee shot, which he said was a “pop-up, big, high hook,” started well to the right and then “went way left,” Woods said.

The only way to know where the ball crossed the hazard line is to have seen it from the tee. Woods consulted with playing competitor Casey Wittenberg and Wittenberg’s caddie/coach, Adam Schriber, to determine where to drop.

“I saw it perfectly from the tee,” Wittenberg said. “I told him exactly where I thought it crossed, and we all agreed. … I told him I thought it crossed on the corner of the bunker right where he took his drop, and it’s all good.”

Wittenberg was questioned several times about the drop and the ball flight, which he said was hooking into the water.

“Yes, for sure, there is no doubt, guys,” he said. “The ball crossed where he dropped.”

After his “borderline” comment Miller also said, “I can’t live with myself without saying that.” Was he accusing Woods of cheating? And what else was Wittenberg, an up-and-coming youngster with his whole professional career ahead of him supposed to say? “I thought Tiger’s drop at the time was questionable and I told him so, but he told me to go screw”? Of course he’s going to defend Woods – after all, he’s TIGER WOODS and if you’re a aspiring golfer who doesn’t want to see your career and reputation destroyed by a 5-second spurt of honest opinion you keep your yap shut and move along.

As the saying goes, where there’s smoke there’s fire. And there was plenty of smoke during Tiger Woods’ 2013. Any one of these occurrences taken singularly could be called an aberration; taken together they show a pattern of someone who ought to know the rules as well as anyone taking advantage of his place and position in the golf world to bend (if not break) them whenever it becomes necessary.

Does that make him a cheater? A rule-bender? Someone who allows his competitive juices to cloud his judgment?

Does Chamblee’s column accuse Tiger of being a cheater?

Talk about borderline….

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 12:51 | Comments (0)
October 18, 2013

I’m on my patio, the moon shines bright
I’m having a Sam Octoberfest late at night
The Red Sox won four to three
They were lucky to win that game, to me

After doing housework my back is wrenched
I think Shane Victorino needs to be benched
He swings at friggin’ everything and can’t hit the damned ball out of the infield. Same thing with Stephen Drew, why are they even in the damned lineup? They stink! OK, so maybe they were great during the regular season, but these are the playoffs and with the team one win away from going to the World Series this is no time to be sticking with veterans who couldn’t hit their way out of a wet paper bag. Put Xander Bogaerts at short and Daniel Nava in right field and sit those bums for a couple of games until they get healthy or at least their heads on right. Having automatic outs in the 2nd and 8th slots are killing us, and you can’t have that against good pitching, which is what they’re going to be seeing the next two games against the Tigers and whichever team (God willing) they play in the World Series. If I see another Shane Victorino strikeout or weak ground ball to the right side I think I’m gonna puke. If I can see it why can’t John Farrell – is he blind?

The night is quiet and all’s been said
Think it’s time to go to bed

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:08 | Comments (4)

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