May 31, 2014

Maybe it’s just me hoping, but I’ve got a feeling that between President Obama’s horrendous speech before the West Point grads, his clueless State Department spokesperson’s laughable attempt to portray the administration’s foreign policy as competent, the Q1 GDP’s downward revision, and Obama’s pathetic “Blame Bush” excuse for the gross and (I’m guessing, ultimately) criminal misconduct at the VA is the straw that breaks the Obama administration’s back, at least as far as the lamestream media’s coverage goes.

What these events have done is finally, after six years of a “blame Bush” and “who, me?” presidency, reveal Barack Obama as nothing more than an incompetent figurehead, and his administration as a bunch of political hacks and shills pretending they have a clue when it comes to the concepts of leadership and administration. With 2 1/2 years left in his presidency, the Obama administration finds itself shown to be nothing more than a bunch of incompetents interested only in pursuing its radical leftist agenda without any accountability, ability to speak the truth, and interest in the rule of law. As a result, it now finds itself bereft of energy and out of ideas as to where his presidency goes from here.

The biggest problem with all of this if you are an Obama aficionado is that your fearless leader can only go to the well so many times before even his most loyal boosters in the media begin to see through the charade. How many times can you send your spokesperson out before the White House press corps and say it’s all Congress’s fault, or those dastardly Republicans and conservatives pushing political talking points, or that the President only found out about the latest breaking scandal by watching the news? How many times can you assert there’s not “a shred of evidence” behind the IRS scandal when the vast amount of evidence shows the obvious contrary? How many times can you look voters straight in the face and tell them one lie after another about their health coverage? At some point, people start to see you as the incompetent, clueless bozo you are and just tune you out.

And that’s why the Obama administration needs to be most concerned about the events of the past week. You see, there’s still significant work left to do in their agenda to transform America into the socialist vision they hold so near and dear. Climate change, income inequality, immigration – these are all areas President Obama thought he’d be able to push through in his second term using his popularity, the power of his rhetoric, and his political capital. But with everything going on, who but his most radical loyalists and low-information voters will listen to anything he has to say? True, there are things he’ll still be able to push through with executive action, but that’s about it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the only reason why Barack Obama and his Attorney General haven’t been impeached and forced to resign is because of the color of their skin. Anyone else – Democrat or Republican – would have been shown the door after the Benghazi attack and cover-up, and the IRS scandal. While Obama and his AG Eric Holder might be able to make it through the next 2 1/2 years unscathed (and I’m not sure about that, given even egregious scandals that are undoubtedly to unfold), this past week has finally revealed just how out of touch and incompetent this President is.

Will anyone listen to anything he or his administration says with a straight face anymore?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 12:11 | Comments Off on Barack Obama’s Awful, Very Bad, and Nothing Good Week
May 28, 2014

Dreams are cool, aren’t they? Unless, I guess, you are prone to nightmares, and then maybe dreams aren’t so cool. I’m fortunate that I don’t have nightmares at all, can’t remember the last time I had one. The other day I had a dream that has stayed with me since, which is pretty unusual – at least as far as dreams go. Usually you wake up with them and by the time you’ve finished showering and brushing your teeth they are gone. But this dream has stayed with me for the better part of three days now, to the point where it seems like a conscious memory from a waking moment, which it was not.

I dreamed I had to take a letter down to the mailbox at the end of the street. Funny that I don’t remember anything about what I was mailing, except that I remember having a lot of difficulty getting it into the slot. What I do remember, and the part of the dream that has stayed with me since, is that, rather than looking out over the little park, and behind that the canal, and behind that the houses in the next sub-division, I was looking out over a vast desert area full of the kind of scrub you see once you get outside of civilization here in the Valley of the Sun. In my dream, I can feel the vast emptiness of the land before me, the breeze against my face, and the sky an ominous dark gray, as if a storm was blowing in.

And that’s it. Nothing else. It seems kind of odd that such an uneventful kind of dream would stay with me, even to the point of it haunting me when I’ve walked down to the mailbox since, but that’s the core of the dream: the breeze on my face, the desert, the growing dark sky in the distance. It doesn’t sound like much, but in my dream there was something about it that seemed important.

Draw your own conclusions…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:47 | Comments Off on Dreams
May 27, 2014

It’s Memorial Day, and most folks here in the Valley of the Sun are kickin’ back, enjoying a few brewskies in the shade, or taking a dip in the pool where it isn’t 103 degrees. I’m guessing a few are at the Superstition Springs Golf Club driving range, but today my mind is as far away from golf as it ever has been.

Why? Because I’m shoveling fouled sand into a wheelbarrow to prime my sandbox area for whatever the next stage of my Tiki bar area recovery effort takes me. Why? Because that %#$!@ neighborhood cat that everyone in the neighborhood knows about but will do nothing about has destroyed my Tiki bar area, leaving me a gazillion options but none that are as clear-cut and financially attractive as I’d like. Here are just a few:

1. Rip the entire thing out and pave it over with concrete.
2. Leave it as it is and allow the cat to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.
3. Lay a coating of chicken wire or window screening on top of the sand, then cover it with a thin coating of sand.
4. Create a “boardwalk” by laying weathered planks down on top of the sand.
5. Buy a gun and shoot the son-of-a-bitch.
6. Lay a trap to capture the bastard and hold it for ransom until it’s owners come begging.
7. Fence the entire area in.

Obviously, #2 is the option that requires the least attention and cost, but who wants to walk in a sandbox they know has been pi$$ed and $hit in by a cat? And, while #5 is the most desirable option, it would be my dumb luck to miss the cat and hit one of my neighbor’s kids in the head. Next thing you know, I’m on the front page of Drudge Report with the headline, “Missed Cat, Killed My Kitten!” and my neighbor wanting the government to put all NRA members in an internment camp and confiscate every gun in America.

Frankly, #6 ain’t worth the bother. I’d rather poison the cat. And, #s 1 and 7 aren’t especially aesthetically pleasing.

But back to Memorial Day. I’m not enjoying a few brewskies in the shade or relaxing in the pool, I’m carting fourteen – fourteen! – wheelbarrow’s full of soiled cat box sand and creating a big mound in the scrub area out front (they call this “creative landscaping”) and carting the rest of it 1/4 mile down the street into the desert area by the canal behind the houses across the street. (I originally thought of bagging the soil, but my second plastic bag ripped open as I was tossing it into the wheelbarrow, so I knew that idea wasn’t a keeper.)

While I was back in Massachusetts I had awoken one night at 3 AM with option #4 in my head. Unfortunately, the company in Wisconsin that sells weathered planks wants $1,000 plus shipping for nine 12″ X 2″ X 9′ planks, so that ain’t gonna happen. I really like the boardwalk solution, however – it not only would deter the cat, but it offers a potentially-attractive upgrade to straight beach sand. So now it looks like I’ll be traveling to Home Depot, or Lowe’s, or Lumber Liquidators to find pressure-treated lumber and stain the whole thing myself. It’s a lot of work for the hottest months of the year, but I don’t see a lot of alternatives at this time.

And it’s all because of a %$#@! cat.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:27 | Comment (1)
May 26, 2014

For a lot of folks Memorial Day has come to signify the start of summer, but I think it’s more important than ever that on Memorial Day we remember both those and their families who have sacrificed themselves for the cause of freedom around the globe. Barack Obama and his socialist minions don’t want to hear this, but the fact is, if America doesn’t stand as a bulwark for the cause of freedom throughout the world, no one will. And it’s the sacrifices made on freedom’s behalf – most especially for those throughout the years who have given the ultimate sacrifice – that makes me proud to fly our flag outside our house and to be able to say, “I am an American”.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:22 | Comments Off on Memorial Day
May 24, 2014

A few thoughts and observations while in the midst of the unofficial weekend of summer:

A golf video that never gets old. What amazes me is that Nicklaus didn’t even take time to line up the shot, he just made it. Very cool.

If you needed any further evidence that this year is passing rather quickly, here it is. I gotta start thinking about what I’ll be getting the twins for Christmas!

The Great White Shank axiom #17: nothing good ever happens at a strip club after midnight:

Broncos safety T.J. Ward has been charged with misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace for allegedly throwing a glass mug at a female bartender at a Denver strip club earlier this month.

Ward, 27, appeared in court Friday to face the charges stemming from the incident at 2:40 a.m. on May 10 at PT’s All Nude club.

According to court documents, Ward was seen on video surveillance picking up the mug from the bar and throwing it at the bartender after being told he couldn’t bring a drink into the club.

A court date was set for June 23.

Not sure what else to say about a story like this, except that, like the first commenter writes, “Guns don’t kill people. Self absorbed, entitled Hollywood leftist elites do.” I mean, if every guy who felt shunned by chicks while growing up decided to take his frustrations out by killing people there’d be no people left on the planet.

If Rory McIlroy really thinks dumping fiancĂ©e Caroline Wozniacki is the best thing for his golf game, I’m all for it. But seriously, he’s too young to get married, and better to call things off even if it means doing so after the invites have been sent out. Marriage is a tough enough gig without having to do it under the kind of microscope he and Wozniacki would undoubtedly have been under given their status in their respective sports.

Since no one else out there has the guts to say it, I will. The only thing protecting a gross incompetent like President Obama is the color of his skin. If any other president had presided over such a lawless and reckless presidency, be they Democrat or Republican, they would have been impeached months ago. And the same holds true for his punk Attorney General Eric Holder. I don’t know how else to put it.

If you love hearing stories about crazy golf bets, this will make your day.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:41 | Comments Off on (Long) Weekending
May 22, 2014

“Pretty swing, ugly golf – that’s what you ought to call a post on your blog”

“The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis and I are having a farewell beer after our round at Green Meadow Golf Club’s “Jungle” course (the next time we would see each other would be Goodboys Invitational week), after I had just posted an embarrassing 105. I was bemoaning the fact I had taken 38 putts that day (three-putting the final three holes), complemented my eight holes at bogey or less with three quadruple bogeys and three triple bogeys, and how the “big number” had become almost pathological in the way it could seemingly jump up from out of nowhere at the first sign of golf adversity. Rather than improving off of where I had ended last year, I was retrogressing.

“You’re trying to be too fine out there”, TFG says. “Every golf course is going to be different, and you need to be able to recognize that and make the necessary adjustment. You can’t keep trying the same thing over and over again and hope for a different result – that’s the very definition of insanity. If you’re missing fairways with th driver, pull 3-wood. If you start three-putting your way around greens, try something different if only for the sake of changing things up. If you’re chipping poorly, try a different club. More than anything else, stop pin-hunting and just play to the larger part of the green.”

Course management. That’s what it all comes doesn’t it? On any given day, recognizing what you’re doing well and what you’re not, then make the necessary adjustments. If you’re out for a nice day and to get some sun, it doesn’t really matter. But when you’re in competition or trying to post a score, the ability to recognize and adjust – and quickly – becomes vitally important. It’s an aspect of the game that really isn’t taught much (at least to my knowledge), but one that I haven’t been able to do whether I’m hitting the ball well or not.

As I’ve mentioned before, if there is one thing I’ve finally learned this year is that hitting balls at the range is a totally different exercise than playing a round of golf. At the range you’re just trying to hone your swing and instill good habits. Out on the course, it’s all about getting around and doing whatever it takes to get that little ball in that little hole with as few strokes as possible. And that requires focus, a plan, and making the necessary adjustments as quickly as possible.

TFG again: “None of us are pros, we’re all going to hit bad shots out there. It’s what you do after you make that bad shot that separates the good players from the bad. Your swing is fine, stop worrying about technique and focus on the next shot. You make a bad shot and you’re not making the adjustment, you just turn bad shots into bad holes. You can’t do that.”

And how. Lately my cards have shown the same gruesome Jeckyll and Hyde quality about them. Pars sandwiched around quadruple bogeys. Stretches of brilliance pock-marked by ghastly crooked numbers. And rather than getting better, the problem seems to be getting worse, to the extent where it has become almost pathological. One shot goes off line and I’m already conceding the possibility of a big number on that hole. It’s easy to say, “stop pressing!”, or “stop thinking so much”, or, “forget about your score, just play!”, but it’s not that easy. As someone with a tendency to get all ADD out on the course to begin with, it’s really up to me to develop a pre-shot and post-shot routine that I can go to time and again. I doubt I’ll ever be able to fully erase the kind of mistakes I tend to make out there, but I can learn to mitigate them to a manageable level.

I guess what I’ve come to realize is that the whole idea of playing bogey-and-a-half or bogey golf or par golf or whatever is a fool’s errand, a pointless chase, an exercise in rhetoric. If one ends up improving their game to a certain desired level, they only realize they’re doing it or have done it after the fact, and through the way they’ve played over x number of rounds; it’s not something you set out to do like climbing Mt. Everest. The game simply doesn’t work that way. You end up putting too much pressure on yourself to post scores instead of simply playing the game to the best of your abilities. It doesn’t mean you just go out there without any plan and hope for the best; it does mean you go out there aware of your strengths and weaknesses and learn to deal with it.

So two months out from the 2014 Goodboys Invitational, The Great White Shank finds himself in kind of an amorphous place. After losing my swing completely after my last lesson with Alex Black (no fault on his part, I just realize the changes he was suggesting are things I’m just not capable of or comfortable trying), I’ve successfully dropped back to the changes we implemented in our prior lesson to that (call it Alex Black 2.1) and am back to hitting the ball as good as I think I’m capable of. And for now, I’m going to leave it that way. With a lot of work to do around the house and at work, I’m taking a few weeks off before I hit the range again and ramp up my preparation for Goodboys 2014 weekend.

When I resume my golf activities the only focus I plan on taking is making good swings and dealing with whatever outcomes that result. I need to get back to working on my short game – it’s the part of the game I enjoy most, and I just haven’t spent the same amount of time on it this year as I did last year. There are opportunities for strokes to be saved out there that I simply haven’t been taking. As TFG says, “a one-putt covers up a lot of sins.” I know I concede two many two-putts, content to just roll the ball up there and try to get it close without ever giving it the chance to go in the first time. So I plan on practicing getting a little more aggressive with my putting. But that’s not a cure-all. The cure-all is in taking a new approach to game and how I handle things out there on the course.

Which means, no big changes, no more pursuing “Possum” Shepter to see if I can garner that coveted tenth spot on the Goodboys handicapping chart. Just play the game and see where it takes me. Make good swings, exploit the opportunities when they present themselves and minimize the damage when things go awry. I think that’s the way to go.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 09:46 | Comments (2)
May 21, 2014

Arrived back here in Phoenix last night the same way I left it – a little breezy, a little dusty, a little warm. The Jet Blue non-stop flight back was as good as the one I took from here to Massachusetts – really top notch. Not sure whether it’s a good thing or not, but going through security at Logan Airport yesterday I didn’t have to remove any shoes or take my laptop out of its container. Nothing of note happened back here while I was gone. The pool inched up a couple of degrees, another layer of dust will need to be brushed from the pool surfaces, and there’s plenty of cleaning to do this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. It promises to be a quiet one – just the way I like it.

Even though it was great to see my folks and friends and all the familiar haunts back home, it’s good to be back.

Now, on to do the rabbit areas.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 19:36 | Comments Off on Back In The Saddle Again
May 18, 2014

I’m a dinosaur so here is your dinosaur classic rock and roll tunes for the day. These come from the John Lennon/Phil Spector session around 1974-75. Both were going through tough times, but there was some pretty damned find music that came out of the sessions.

Bony Maronie

Stand By Me

And, the most bizarre of the sessions tunes, Be My Baby.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:57 | Comments (3)
May 17, 2014

I’ve been so busy at the range or playing golf that I haven’t had a chance to check in and let y’all know I’m still alive and well. Here’s a few news items that I hope you’ll find interesting:

I’ve read about this story from time to time and am still amazed at the audacity and bravery of the mission and the young men asked to carry it out:

The story of the DamBusters is well told, in every form. But we ask that, on 16 and 17 May, you take a moment to imagine you’re one of those young Canadian men hunched in the dark, thundering down a flat expanse of cold, black water, deep in the heart of an evil empire on a moonlit night.

The hills around you are filled with armed men who wish to kill you. Imagine the roaring sound of four Merlin engines thundering at 240 miles per hour, just 60 feet from death. Imagine the flash of tracer fire, the hellish vibration of the Lancaster, the icy air, the explosions, the grim determination, the shaking hands, the stench of sweat, gas, oil and death, the sound of the bomb spinning up beneath you and then releasing, the gut wrenching pull up, the shells and hot metal shrapnel smashing through the thin aluminium skin all around you.

Imagine the steady voice of the bomb aimer in your headset, muffled yet high-pitched from fear. Imagine the Lancaster in front of you exploding as it passes over the dam. Imagine swimming upstream against a flow of deadly tracer, trained on your face, on your body, on your friends. Imagine your family 6,000 miles away. Imagine it was you in the front of that fragile, thin-skinned, yet screaming Lancaster.

Then ask yourself if you have thanked those men enough.

Indeed. Hat tip: Instapundit

This is pathetic. I guantee Iain McGregor would have wanted the event to continue as usual. He died doing what he loved. Could anyone ask for anything less?

I see we’ve got a TopGolf coming to Scottsdale. I can’t wait to try it out!

If this story is true, it is sickening. I don’t care if your passions run liberal left or conservative right, but family members ought to be out of bounds. What is wrong with society today?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:42 | Comments Off on Catching Up
May 14, 2014

May is a funky month in Massachusetts. You can get warm, summer-like weather, or you can get some back-door cold front that swoops down from the Canadian Maritimes and turn your weather cool and dreary. I’ve seen both, and I’ve only been here for a day and a half. But it’s great to be able to see the Red Sox on local TV, sad to see the Bruins eliminated by the Montreal Canadians in their Stanley Cup playoff series.

I think this is a bigger story than it’s been reported thus far, but I guess that’s just me. I know that if the shoe was on the other foot, and a Republican senator had used the IRS as a weapon to target liberal and progressive fund-raising groups, there’d be howls for his/her resignation from every major media outlet.

This is a real sad story. I know the area that is burning, it’s just down the street from the The Crossings – one of the nicest golf courses I’ve ever played. But there’s no relief on the horizon.

At the risk of getting audited by the IRS I’ll say this: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a rumpled old senile liar.

Wow. This sounds promising. But like Glenn at Instapundit says, we need more trials.

Great to hear this, glad to hear my own individual efforts are paying off.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 19:33 | Comments Off on Reporting From The Land of the Veal Cutlet Sub


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