April 30, 2014

The game giveth and the game taketh away. I was wondering what happened to once-phenom Anthony Kim. Dude isn’t even playing golf for fun anymore. Unbelievable.

…and best wishes for a full recovery to once-player, now Golf Channel commentator, and celebrated FOT* Notah Begay, who suffered a heart attack at age 41 last week. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

Wonder how much play this will get? What it confirms as far as I’m concerned is that Hillary Clinton not only has blood on her hands, but she and President Obama had the chutzpah to knowingly lie about the Benghazi attack while standing beside the coffins of those who were killed in the attack. It’s beyond disgraceful, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the mainstream Obama a$$-kissers to push Donald Sterling off their nightly newscasts.

Now hold on, there. I thought it was only Tea Party rallies that are supposed to be “too white”. At least that’s what the mainstream media tells us.

Yep, that’s right, it’s none of those things I wrote about in Sunday’s post. You know what’s really holding African-Americans back? According to thee head of the EPA, it’s pollution. Like I wrote yesterday, this country is in the best of hands. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

How stupid is this? So I guess that means that every Mexican restaurant that holds a Cinco de Mayo event and/or hands out sombreros to folks celebrating a birthdays is racist and/or propagating racial and cultural stereotypes. I’m pretty damned sure Ms. Hernandez isn’t a Goodboys Nation blog follower, but if she is I have four words for her:

GET A DAMNED LIFE, YOU IDIOT!

There, I feel better.

————-

*Friend of Tiger

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:24 | Comments (0)
April 29, 2014

President Barack Obama uses a NBA owner’s reckless comments about African-Americans to compare us to a country that uses Islamic law to seize people’s Bibles.

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Secretary of State John “Did you know I served in Vietnam?” Kerry is pathetically trying to explain his comments about Israel becoming an “apartheid state”.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, just days after scaring the wits out of Vladimir Putin by launching a – gasp! – hashtag offensive in support of the Ukraine, defends Kerry’s comments by citing a far-left wacko blog.

One might excuse these folks for their juvenile, shallow, and clueless performances because their political agendas blind them to the reality of the world stage, but to me it’s absolutely frightening. One can only imagine what the Russians, Iranians, al Qaeda, Chinese, and the North Koreans think about our political leaders. They have to think to have elected such idiots we must be idiots ourselves.

I sure hope not, but I get the strong feeling that someday these friggin’ morons are gonna get a lot of innocent people killed.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments (0)
April 28, 2014

A few thoughts and observations to kick off another work week…

Prayers up for the folks in the Midwest and South who have lost loved ones and are up against what looks to be a pretty significant tornado outbreak.

Yep, this ought to scare the crap out of Vladimir Putin, all right. And to think, this from one of our State Department spokespeople. This country is in the best of hands.

What a fraud. She ran as a fraud and continues to make her living as the progressive Left’s “darling” in her fight for justice against the evil one percent. Yep, between Elizabeth Warren and lifetime political hack Ed Markey, Massachusetts is perfectly represented by two U.S. senators with a powerful voice against the wealthy and politically connected.

And while we’re speaking about the wealthy, this just shows the wealthy don’t have the corner on brains. I mean, how stupid can you be. Here’s what I think the NBA ought to do: 1) force Sterling to apologize in writing to the league, its players, and its fans; 2) The league should suspend Sterling’s involvement with the team, and 3) take temporary ownership of the team until Sterling finds a buyer for the team. I’m all for free speech, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to what you might say.

Pretty cool to see the Chiller channel on DirectV (channel 257) now adding The X Files to their schedule. Tracey was a fan before I was, and she caught the series on Fox after it had already become a cult classic. It’s cool to see Mulder and Scully looking so young in the show’s first season before all the characters that helped made the show what it became. Even early on, the quality of the plots is pretty impressive.

When I first read this story I thought I had misread something. Hard to believe there are people like that out there. Or maybe with the way things are these days, maybe it’s not.

Congrats to Seung-yul Noh and Lydia Ko for some marvelous weekend golf that resulted in two Asian players with a ton of talent winning their first PGA Tour and LPGA Tour victories. While Ko had won previously as an amateur, this was her first victory since turning pro.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:21 | Comments (4)
April 27, 2014

Here is my thinking about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s controversial comments that the media and the majority of conservatives swooped in so quickly to condemn – and to a certain extent, rightly so. After all, using racially-inflammatory terms like “colored people”, “Negroes”, and “picking cotton” are going to get you in trouble, no matter what you’re trying to say, and no matter what the context is.

But the points I think Bundy was trying to make (not well articulated, that’s a given) were two-fold: 1) the importance of individual freedom and the traditional family unit, both of which are under assault these days from virtually every corner, and 2) the impact of a massive and over-reaching federal government that, under the guise of “compassion” and “caring”, has resulted in the destruction of the African-American family unit and generations of African-American families dependent on some form of government assistance at every level. And while his racially-insensitive words are to be condemned, what is he saying here that is really wrong?

Look at our failed inner-cities, by and large controlled by corrupt Democratic political machines and the labor unions. Look at the disproportionate number of African-American babies aborted each year and the number of young African-Americans in prison or jobless. Look at the crappy public schools inner-city youth attend and the Democrats’ war on education vouchers, private schools, and home schooling. Look at the inner-city youth and gang violence the mainstream media does everything it can to suppress news of. Look at Democrat attempts to flood an already-depressed market for lower-skilled workers with millions of illegal aliens. Look at corrupt shakedown artists like Attorney General Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton, who, rather than be open to an honest debate over the state of the African-American community in 21st century America, seek to stifle that debate and maintain the status quo by crying “racist!” at every turn.

How does any of this work in the African-American community’s favor? I’ll tell you – it doesn’t.

Cliven Bundy may not have articulated his words in a way that are appropriate for use in this day and age, but the message he was trying to get across is spot on. Modern-day liberalism doesn’t care about anyone and anything else other than attaining and expanding its power, and it seeks to employ an activist court system and federal government to pursue those objectives at every turn. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the only time Democrats and liberals truly care about African-Americans is when election day comes around. And you can’t tell me that deep down, these oh-so-caring and oh-so-compassionate big-government, liberal elites don’t fully understand who the real modern-day slave masters and plantation owners are: it’s THEM.

This is why anytime you hear Democrats say that there’s absolutely no waste in government and absolutely no place to cut without hurting “the most in need”, they’re actually talking about THEMSELVES. After all, THEY’RE the ones with the most to lose if African-Americans were to ever find a way to cast off the shackles of six decades of “Great Society” programs and policies, that, perhaps well-meaning at the start, have served to decimate the African-American community and its culture in the 21st century.

Look, I don’t know if Cliven Bundy is a racist or not. And the words he used to express his concerns about the federal government and its war on the traditional family unit and individual freedom were both highly inflammatory and inappropriate, no question.

But that doesn’t mean the concerns he was expressing weren’t wrong.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:29 | Comments (0)
April 26, 2014

R.I.P. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I wasn’t much a fan of his pro-Castro politics, but I sure loved his writing. One Hundred Years of Solitude and The General in His Labyrinth remain two of of my favorite books of all time.

You call this journalism? Our media seems to have forgotten what journalism is all about. You want to advocate for what moves you politically? Fine. But don’t pretend you’re a journalist and just admit to everyone you’re a lapdog to Barack Obama and his taxpayer dollar-mooching wife. The job of a journalist is to cut through the obvious crap and look out for the interests of the people. Think about it: Putin’s on the move, there’s a disgraceful VA scandal breaking right here in Phoenix, members of Congress and the Department of Justice are coordinating with the IRS to stifle political dissent, and the President is being asked about green tea ice cream? It’s a disgrace.

As is Speaker John Boehner’s despicable comments about Republicans who aren’t as willing as he is to give in on comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Look, I’m no racist or xenophobe, but I’m not willing to give illegal aliens amnesty while our borders are not secured. Given the lawlessness inherent in his administration why would anyone think that Barack Obama would hold up his end of any deal struck between him and Republicans? The only think Barack Obama knows is gangsta politics, and you know whatever Republicans would offer him in terms of a stick would then be used against them politically before the 2014 midterms.

Yep, I’d be concerned too…

This is an awesome video – show you what golf is really like in The Big Easy.

Count on it – Tiger Woods will not be back playing PGA Tour golf until the Bridgestone Invitational. That’s two weeks before the PGA – plenty of time to get his game down for golf’s last major of 2014.

Scott Johnson of Power Line blog has it absolutely right when it comes to Senate President Harry Reid:

As Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid has brought his office to an unprecedented low. There is no lie he will not recite, no libel he will resist so long as it advances some narrow partisan purpose. As Majority Leader, he holds the mirror up to President Obama. They illuminate each other. It’s not a pretty sight.

If Reid had a shred of decency, he would be ashamed. But he doesn’t and he isn’t.

Harry Reid is a despicable human being and a disgrace to the U.S. Senate and the state he represents. But that is what you get when you have a President who is nothing more than a stooge partisan whose only concern executing his Socialist agenda, come hell or high water. If Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and John Boehner is the best we can do as far as our elected leaders go we’re in B-I-G trouble. I sure hope I’m not around when it all falls apart.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:41 | Comments (0)
April 25, 2014

I’ve come to cherish late nights out on the back patio, nitecap in hand and all the lights out in the house. Its so quiet and peaceful, and it’s that time of year where the tile on the patio is still a little warm from the afternoon sun and heat. The landscaping lights go off at 10 PM, so, unless there is a moon out, it’s just me and a bunch of darkened houses upon which to contemplate the day past and the one to come.

But I’m not really alone, because there’s this bird over on the next block south of us who provides a symphony of entertainment – calming, soothing, lovely in the night air. I’m guessing he or she might be a mockingbird, because it has what seems like a gazillion calls that it switches around after four or five repetitions. There are chirps, tweets, squawks, and every other kind of bird sound. Some soft and lovely, others brash and auduacious. All of them incredibly beautiful.

I often find myself wondering if there is a heaven, whether there are pretty sounding birds like that nightbird to accompany one’s journey through eternity. I’d like to think so. After all, the nightbird’s calls are a thing of beauty, lovely and unique in God’s creation. Can you imagine? A sun-splashed golf course during the day, a quiet night with a cocktail and the nightbird to keep one company. Sounds like heaven to me!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:44 | Comments (0)
April 24, 2014

We’re less than three months out from the 2014 Goodboys Invitational and I’ve been getting cards and letters from tens of thousands of folks wanting to know where the Goodboys stand in terms of their handicaps so they can begin to make their Vegas wagers. Well, the 2014 pairings haven’t been announced yet, but as far as our individual Goodboys handicaps go, here is where things stand as of today, courtesy of MyScorecard.com:

“Vegas” Clark – 6.8
“Killer” Kowalski – 6.9
“2 Times” Proctor – 13.7
“The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis – 13.8
“Deuce” Doucette – 15.4
“Hulkigan” Tripp – 18.7
“Skipper” Bornemann – 19.6
“Goose” Dwyer – 21.6
“Doggy Duval” McLaughlin – 23.0
“Possum” Shepter – 25.3
“The Great White Shank” Richard – 25.7
“Cubby” Myerow – 35.8

I know what you’re thinking: with all the work on my golf game and the rounds I’ve been playing, why can’t I pass the Possum to grab that elusive 10th spot in the standings? Well, the fact is, the more you play, the harder it is to reduce your handicap. Going into last weekend’s round at Western Skies, the MyScorecard.com tracker indicated I had to shoot a 97 to lower my handicap. I shot a 98 and saw my handicap drop 1/10 of a point, from 25.8 to 25.7. Which got me thinking: what if I had shot, say, a 94 – below what MyScorecard said I needed to shoot? And you know what? That would have dropped my handicap only 3/10 of a point more, to a 25.4. So even shooting a 94 wouldn’t have been enough to overtake that damned Possum (who, to be honest, doesn’t play enough to move his number one way or the other).

You see, when it comes to lowering one’s handicap in the MyScorecard.com system (and, I’m guessing, the USGA system if you have one there), once you enter a dozen rounds or so you basically are what you are – meaning, in my case, it will take more than a few consecutive sub-100 rounds to get my handicap moving south in any kind of meaningful way. Which is not to say it can’t be done, it’s just that if I want to catch that Possum varmint before the 2014 Goodboys Invitational there’s not a moment to lose – it’s “put up or shut up” time.

The clock is ticking…

Filed in: Golf Quest,Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 01:44 | Comments (0)
April 23, 2014

Frequenter commentator Jana got it just about right following my last post about that damned neighborhood cat we’ve been trying to keep out of our Tiki bar beach:

That cat will most likely show up in rain gear…a yellow slicker, rain hat and boots and continue to utilize the mega litter box.

Well, the cat didn’t show up in any rain slicker, but what it did do was figure out that by scooting behind the Tiki bar it could spend as much time doing its business as it liked, then hop up onto one of the chairs, then onto the Tiki bar itself before launching itself onto our Margaritaville “Boat Drinks” table on the patio before the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler could spray his flea-bitten varmint coat.

How do I know that? Well, judging from the track of paw prints and a little going away present he/she left on the Tiki bar that’s the best I could deduce from all the evidence. Leaving me no other choice but to admit temporary defeat and cover the sand area with tarp to let that cat know that the restroom is closed for repair. The only thing missing (something I’d love to find) is the restroom repair sign – in English and Spanish – just in case the cat is a smarty-cat.

Not only is the battle lost, but the truth is I have been soundly beaten, beaten by a hundred million years of evolution. But that doesn’t mean the war is lost – not by any means.

So what’s next? Well, it’s obvious that, as much as I love the beach sand, at least while the cat is alive and on the loose, beach sand is O-U-T out. So what’s next is finding a ground cover that the cat will find objectionable when it comes to its normal bathroom practices. I looked all over the internet for a faux natural-looking beach covering tarp I could lay on top of the sand, but not only would that look unnatural, you’d have to be concerned about the material when it rained. No, what I need is some kind of covering that’s not just comfortable under foot, but natural and attractive as well.

Enter rubber bark mulch manufacturers who provide ground covering material for playgrounds and folks that don’t want to deal with traditional bark mulch offerings. It’s offered in a variety of colors, and I’m told the unrough surface tells cats to stay away. The only question is what does it cost, how much will I need, and will cats dig down into it to find the sand and send me back to square one?

Stay tuned…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:10 | Comments (8)
April 22, 2014

While few were expecting the Boston Red Sox to repeat their unexpected fast start from a year ago there are warning signs all over the place as they continue to stumble out of the gate. As opposed to going virtually injury-free last year, this year injuries to outfielder Shane Victorino and third-baseman Will Middlebrooks have caused repeated reshuffling of the day-to day lineup. While I wasn’t crazy about Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s streakiness as a hitter, I’m even less enamored of his replacement A.J. Pierzynski, who, at least to these eyes, seems kind of old with a slow bat. While I wasn’t in favor of the Sox signing sure-handed shortstop Stephen Drew – far better to find out now what Xander Bogaerts can do at short and assess whether Middlebrooks is their future 3B or July trading deadline bait – there’s no question the Sox have lost some range defensively, and I’ll bet the Sox pitching staff feels the same way.

Another concern is starter Clay Buchholz, who looked awful getting rapped all over the place during his 2 1/3 innings against the Orioles. He had shoulder and velocity issues last summer and looking at him throw it’s hard not to think there might be something physical going on there. And Felix Doubront’s inconsistency doesn’t bode well for him to take the kind of next step the Sox were, I’m sure, hoping for him. Still, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy all look like they’re going to have solid seasons, and their bullpen is solid – enough to prevent them from going into any kind of extended losing streak. And I do think Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, and bo

More than anything else, it just appears this team is still trying to find its identity and that certain “something” it had last year. Whereas in 2013 they had something to prove after the disastrous Bobby Valentine year and to a new manager at the helm, this year they can be excused if there’s still a little bit of a World Series hangover after such a short off-season. And with Victorino and Middlebrooks out, shuffling players in and out of positions they may not be familiar with isn’t going to help, either. At any rate, I just don’t see the kind of crisp baseball they played last year.

And, if I might stray a bit off the baseball field, I think it’s time for a chnage in the NESN broadcast booth. Sure, Don Orsillo continues to do a great job as play-by-play guy, but I no longer find his partner Jerry Remy either interesting or entertaining. Sure, Jerry’s not responsible for his son’s murder rap and all the negative publicity that has followed since, but baseball is supposed to be fun and a much-needed distraction from everday life, and I just don’t find Remy able to pull that off anymore. Now that they have Steve Lyons for the pre-and post-game shows I sure wouldn’t mind seeing a platoon of him and Dennis Eckersley to bring a little life and fun back in the Sox broadcasts.

The season is still young, of course, and the American League East looks to be a five or six-team battle into September, but right now the Sox ain’t looking too good. If they’re still playing like this a month from now I’ll be concerned. But after last October, I’m more than willing to cut them some slack.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (0)
April 21, 2014

It was a dreary and damp day in the Valley of the Sun – quite unusual for this time of year, and my mood matched the low-hanging clouds and drops of rain that were spitting on my scorecard on the 10th tee at Western Skies Golf Club. The twosome I’d been playing with had hit the snack bar before we started our back nine, and here I am with a 55 staring back at me courtesy of yet another nine holes of sloppy golf. It wasn’t that I was hitting the ball poorly – in fact, the work I’d put in on my iron play following the criticism of my last round was really paying off. But playing out of trouble had proved unusually troublesome, and a round that had started off bogey-par-bogey had disintegrated into the usual crapola with double bogeys on 6 and 7, a triple on 8, and a quadruple on 9. And those 19 putts hadn’t helped, either.

Worse than that, my focus on that front nine had been terrible, as bad as it had ever been. I’m talking real golf ADD stuff, y’all. I knew I should have ordered a beer instead of that orange Gatorade I had left still unopened at the range when my foursome was called – that was almost as bad as was leaving my golf shoes back at the house. But a complete inability to see the shots I was trying to make and then execute them – why, that was just the equivalent of a slow death by fifty-five paper cuts.

55. I mean, at some point you just have to admit when you’re beaten. There comes a time where you just have to admit that your golf game is a fickle lover and you’re simply not getting out of the relationship what you’ve been putting into it; that you’re just not capable of the kind of get-around-the-course skill a round of golf requires – something quite different from beating balls on a driving range with nothing at stake. I was at what Roy McAvoy called in the movie Tin Cup, a defining moment: either you define the moment or the moment defines you.

As I heard the other twosome pulling up I knew I had either get my sh*t together – and pronto! – or risk slinking back home with yet another big number to enter into the Goodboys’ MyScorecard.com handicap system. Going into today’s round, MyScorecard.com informed me that if I wanted to lower my handicap (presently, 25.8) I would have to shoot a 97. The fact I had already tallied 55 strokes, and after only nine holes, made that a highly unlikely proposition.

I found myself thinking about what Phil Mickelson would do in a case like this. The thing I like and respect most about Phil is that he’s never afraid to tell it like it is. He puts up a big number and he’ll respond to a questioner saying he’s got no other choice but to post a 64 or 65 the next day. I’m sure in my situation he’d say the only thing to do is recognize the situation for what it is and just try to go as low as I could, leaving nothing behind. It was either go low by committing myself to two hours and nine holes of completely-focused golf and getting around the course in as few strokes as possible, or go home.

Reaching for a couple of new balls out of my bag, I saw I still had a half-dozen orange Wilson 50s I used to play regularly that were now reserved for chipping and putting around the Kokopelli and Superstition Springs driving ranges. And it occurred to me at that moment that I really didn’t deserve to be playing those lovely white Callaway Hex Hots Tracey had given me for Christmas – heck, I had already lost two of them today. Outside of Pornanong Phatlum and a couple others on the LPGA Tour, orange balls are considered for dufuses, but that’s where I found myself at that time – smack dab in the center of Dufusville. It was time to admit defeat, recognize what I was and am as a golfer, and simply accept things for what they were.

But I wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

I teed up one of the orange Wilsons on the par 5 10th and striped it down the middle. Immediately, I felt myself begin to relax. It’s kind of weird to say, but I felt at home playing a ball that was, and could only ever be, The Great White Shank’s. One of the guys made a joke about me resorting to orange balls to turn my round around, but he wasn’t laughing when I sank a two-footer for par. And then, on the par 3 11th, sank another two-footer for par. After my par-par-bogey-par start he even joked about switching to orange balls himself. And that’s the way it would be for my back nine, solid play marred only by a triple-bogey seven on 7 when I briefly resorted to sloppy mode and couldn’t get out of trouble after a wayward tee shot that had barely missed the fairway.

I ended up parring three of the last four holes to shoot a 43 – my second-best nine-hole total of all time – to post a 98 made the hard way. Not sure where exactly this leaves me – there is clearly still a lot of work to do. For the first time in my golf life it’s a not question of shot-making – with Alex Black’s help I’m striking the ball better than I ever have – but whether I have the mental game to string 18 holes of golf together at a time is the question. And I’m not sure I have enough orange Wilsons to get me beyond the next round or two in order to find out. But I at least proved to myself that when the going got tough I could find a way to get into Billy Ocean mode. And that’s a positive I can take away from my round.

Three months away from the 2014 Goodboys Invitational and I’m still trying to figure things out.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:54 | Comments (0)

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