December 31, 2014

And so another year that passes into history. And for us here in the Richard household we say a not-so-fond “good riddance!”. Oh sure, it could have been a whole lot worse – my family and friends appear to have all come through the year in relatively good health and spirits (which at this stage in everyone’s lives is the best one can hope for). Tracey and I have remained employed and surrounded with all those things so many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, we lost another bunny, yet gained a new one. And while we lost one of our cars in the August accident, we’re hoping all the liens presently on our house will be taken care of by the lawyers when all is said and done.

So what’s the hope for 2015? Continued good health and well-being for my family and friends would be nice. While we’ve made good progress on our debt there is still a ways to go; hopefully 2015 will be the year we’re finally out from under that shadow. Golf-wise, I’d like to reduce my handicap by three – count ‘em, three! full points by this time next year – a 23.1 would sure be a testimony to my new swing and approach.

Oh, and peace on earth.

And what I wrote in last year’s “Farewell to 2013″ post still holds true. No matter what 2015 might bring, all one can do is hope for the best and cope with the rest, control what you have control over and deal with what you can’t. It’s important to cherish the small things: the sound of palm trees rustling in a summer breeze, a hot cup of coffee on the patio on a pleasant Saturday morning, any time spent in Las Vegas, a little late-night nitecap under the moonlight, the joy of whacking golf balls on a not-so-hot summer afternoon, being able to use the bathroom every morning without someone (or something) to assist. I mean, I get it – I’ve never taken for granted the stuff most people do. Good health, a job, food on the table, clean water to drink, a circle of loving friends and family. It means the world to me.

Finally, before calling it another year, I would like to say to all who continue to make Goodboys Nation weblog a part of your daily Internet experience, a big “thank you!” for your patronage and comments. We may not always disagree politically, but it’s all OK as long as we respect one another’s views. Maybe a year from now we’ll all be able to look back and say, “there, there, Great White Shank, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” One can only hope. To all of you and your families, my best wishes and prayers to you and yours for the happiest and healthiest of 2015s!

And as is custom every year at this time I’m pleased to say, take us outta here, George!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:17 | Comments (2)
December 30, 2014

Still working on my George Harrison compilation and it’s been making for good listening thus far, hearing many tunes that are familiar (from All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World, and Extra Texture (Read All About It), and others from albums not so (Coud Nine, Somewhere in England, Thirty Three and 1/3, and his final album, Brainwashed). One of the cuts from the latter seems to strike home for me in any manys, especially during this time of (as Dickens called it) the “rolling of the years”. It’s a fine tune called “Any Road”:

I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there, traveling here
Everywhere in every gear

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves
In watery grottoes and mountainous caves

But oh Lord we’ve got to fight
With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light
No use to stop and stare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

You may not know where you came from
May not know who you are
May not have even wondered
How you got this far

I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer
By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair
Traveling where the four winds blow
With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow

But oooeeee it’s a game
Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame
Ah yeah it’s somewhere
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

I keep traveling around the bend
There was no beginning, there is no end
It wasn’t born and never dies
There are no edges, there is no sides

Oh yeah you just don’t win
It’s so far out, the way out is in
Bow to God and call him Sir
But if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

All we can do is try and live the best lives we know possible and are capable of without imposing ourselves and our will too much on others. In the faith and knowledge that God knows our every weakness and strength and will sort it out right in the end.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:54 | Comments (0)
December 29, 2014

[Ed. note: Goodboys Nation weblog was recently given permission to listen in on a recent meeting involving The Great White Shank and his brain trust of most trusted advisors. For the sake of anonymity let's call them Dirk, Big Eye, Jim, Jerome, Gaylord, Eustis, Doris, and Reg). Let's listen in...]

TGWS: I’ve called this meeting because we need a plan going into 2015.

JEROME: The boss is right, a plan is exactly what we need.

JIM: Gotta have a plan.

EUSTIS: Nothing better than a solid workplan going forward, I always say.

BIG EYE: I’m with the boss on this. Let’s put a plan together.

DIRK: I think Doris should keep the minutes of this meeting.

DORIS: Why should I keep the minutes? I kept the minutes last time!

GAYLORD: I think Eustis should keep the minutes, he never does.

EUSTIS: I think Reg should keep the minutes, I don’t have a pen on me.

REG: I didn’t bring a pen, either.

DORIS: Neither did I.

DIRK: Gaylord, did you bring a pen?

GAYLORD: Er, uh, I had one here somewhere…

JIM: I have a pen. Let me call the roll.

TGWS: You idiots!! We don’t need to call a roll, we all know who we are and why we’re here. Besides, I want to hit balls sometime today. Here’s the problem we’re facing. I just got a call from the Callaway folks. They’re not just a little disappointed in how our 2014 year ended up, they’re pissed. They want to start seeing results and a return for their money. Frankly, I can’t blame them…

REG: Neither can I.

GAYLORD: Nor I.

EUSTIS: Nor I.

DIRK: Gotta hand it to those Callaway folks, they know a stinker when they see one.

JIM: Can’t throw bad money after good.

DORIS: Sometimes you gotta cut your losses.

BIG EYE: Damn straight, I’d drop us if I were them too.

TGWS: Whose side are you guys on?? Madre di Dios, I should drop my Callaway endorsement now.

BIG EYE: The boss is tossing in the towel.

JIM: Good idea.

REG: Best idea I’ve heard all day.

DORIS: I’ll draft the resignation letter.

GAYLORD: I can help Doris with that.

TGWS: Imbeciles! What’s the matter with you! I was just making a rhetorical point!

EUSTIS: Er, what point is that, Boss?

JIM: Yeah, boss – what are you getting at?

TGWS: I’m talking about all the work I put in last year and what did I do? Pull a Hindenberg at Goodboys Invitational weekend. All that work, and look at me – I’m still a 26.1 handicap, tied with “Possum” Shepter. Paul freakin’ Possum Shepter! Great guy, great Goodboy. But for gawdsakes, the dude only touches his clubs five times a year – and that includes Goodboys weekend!

GAYLORD: That Possum’s one hell of a golfer.

JIM: Ain’t more than a few like him in these parts, no sir.

JEROME: Can’t beat a fella who plays that good.

REG: Very efficient.

DIRK: Unbeatable.

EUSTIS: No way The Great White Shank gonna beat that Possum…

TGWS: What the hell you guys talking about! Why, you’re supposed to be my brain trust and my biggest supporters! What I want to know is, where do we go from here? As you know, my fitness instructor Tony has recommended major changes to my swing that, I have to admit, I’m kinda liking while still working out the kinks. So what are we going to tell my swing coach Alex Black? That I’m getting advice from a fitness instructor?

JIM: Always liked what that Tony was saying. Get athletic at address.

REG: Can’t be too athletic at address, what I always say.

DORIS: Being athletic at address is just what the doctor ordered.

GAYLORD: Yep, athleticism means more stability and flexibility.

EUSTIS: I’d listen to what Tony says.

TGWS: But a lot of what Alex says still makes sense, doesn’t it? And it’s not like I’m throwing out everything he’s taught me over the past two years, right?

DIRK: Alex is a good man. Lots of wisdom there, chief.

JIM: No need to throw out good advice, I always say.

EUSTIS: The Great White Shank and Alex Black are like two peas in a pod.

JEROME: Lots of good advice from Alex.

REG: If a PGA pro talks, you listen.

TGWS: Or maybe I ought to just take the best of what both Tony and Alex have recommended?

JIM: I was just saying, take the best of what both Alex and Tony have taught.

DIRK: Great idea, boss. I think you’re on the right track there.

BIG EYE: Take the best and leave the rest.

DORIS: Leave it to the boss to come up with the best ideas!

GAYLORD: Can’t argue with that. The boss is tops.

REG: None better.

JIM: That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

TGWS: But what if Alex is wrong and Tony is right?

REG: Always thought Alex was trying to steer the boss wrong.

BIG EYE: No wonder the boss had such a bad year!

GAYLORD: All that formal golf instruction is overrated, anyways.

DORIS: A complete waste of time.

REG: Who’s going to tell the boss that?

TGWS: Jumpin’ Jehosaphat. You idiots! I’m right here in the room with you. I can hear what you’re all saying!

REG: That’s The Great White Shank, never afraid to take advice.

DORIS: Always willing to listen.

JIM: The boss is a great listener.

BIG EYE: Always willing to hear what the folks are saying.

JEROME: None better.

EUSTIS: No way, he’s the best.

BIG EYE: Can’t put anything past the boss.

TGWS: Oh for crying out loud! I’m going to hit balls.

EUSTIS: That’s the boss, totally dedicated.

GAYLORD: He’s the Bob Mann of Goodboys golf.

REG: No one works harder.

JIM: Love the boss’s work ethic.

DORIS: Anyone have the minutes to today’s meeting?

GAYLORD: I though Reg was going to take them.

REG: I thought Jerome was going to take them.

JEROME: I thought Big Eye was going to take them.

BIG EYE: Does anyone have the plan we plan we came up with?

EUSTIS: Nothing better than a solid workplan going forward, I always say.

Pic Hat tip: My brother Dave. He’s a whiz!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:25 | Comments (2)
December 27, 2014

A few parting Christmas notes as the attention turns to the rolling year and whatever 2015 has in store for us.

The Christmas music festival on Newport, RI’s classical 95.9 WCRB was a joy to listen to; really filled the household with lovely and peaceful Christmas music. We just take for granted nowadays that you can just click on an internet link and hear music from anywhere in the world, but none of this would have been possible a dozen years ago. With live-streaming and downloads CDs seem as quaint as cassettes and LPs. Makes you wonder what’s in store technology-wise in the next decade.

A very unique perspective on Christmas – talk about your “Jingle Belles”! And a politically-inoffensive “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Hat Tip: Instapundit.

A Christmas tree recycling program fit for man and beast.

While well-ensconced in our individual cozy and safe Christmas situations it’s important to keep in mind what Christians in the Middle East are having to deal with.

With the above in mind, it is hard to believe there are people like this out there. Hopefully he was just having a bad day and ended up finding something about Christmas that brought him joy.

I know I’ve never watched “A Christmas Story” without considering its “white privilege” and underlying racism.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:42 | Comments (0)
December 26, 2014

…why, hit golf balls, of course! This is the driving range at Papago Golf Course. It’s only ten minutes away from where my sister-in-law Tammy lives, so very convenient when I’m picking her up whenever she visits. And it’s very picturesque as well – that’s a pretty cool butte to have as a target to hit into. Even though you’re just ten minutes away from Sky Harbor Airport you’d never know it – being adjacent to reserved Indian land the golf course and range allow a sense of being away from everything – no traffic sounds, just the breeze rustling the various trees and grasses. Whenever I hit balls there I almost feel like I’m on vacation.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comment (1)
December 25, 2014

From all the Goodboys…

…and all of us here at Goodboys Nation weblog. May all your Christmas dreams come true!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:37 | Comments (2)
December 24, 2014

There’s crappy weather in travel-significant places across the US, but here in the Valley of the Sun we have warm spring-like weather. Most years right around the first or second week of December we’ll get one or two nights in a row where the temps hit freezing or slightly below and kill off the flora, but not this year. Hence, the bougainvillea remain as colorful as ever.

Several years ago I planted two gold bougainvillea on the opposite side of the wall from where a red bougainvillea has flourished for years. The gold bougainvillea have it tough – that becomes a very hot sun corner during the summer, with only the A/C unit fan around to circulate air. One of the bushes is pretty much dead, but the other has done pretty well – enough to create some lovely Christmas colors on a lovely late December day.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:26 | Comments (0)
December 23, 2014

It wouldn’t be Christmas at frequent commenter Jana’s Prospect, KY hacienda without her legendary cheese grits. Mind you, they weren’t my cup of tea, but Tracey sure enjoyed them – and lots of other folks too! Now that we’re in Christmas week and everyone’s thoughts are around food and drink and celebrating, here by popular demand is Jana’s cheese grits recipe. Enjoy!

1 cup grits, stone ground or instant
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook grits according to package directions. Stir in the shredded cheese, butter, eggs, and milk.

Pour into a buttered one-quart baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until set.

Serves 4 (or 3 if Tracey is involved)

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:42 | Comments (2)
December 22, 2014

President Obama, on the execution-style shooting deaths of two NYC police officers

There’s no reason for folks to be patient. I’m impatient. That’s why in the wake of what happened in Ferguson and what happened in New York, we’ve initiated task forces that in 90 days, are going to be providing very specific recommendations,” he told Candy Crowley during an interview that aired Friday on CNN’s State of the Union. “On the other hand, I think an unwillingness to acknowledge that progress has been made cuts off the possibility of further progress. If – if critics want to suggest that America is inherently and irreducibly racist, then why bother even working on it? I’ve seen change in my own life. So has this country. And those who would deny that, I think, actually foreclose the possibility of further progress rather than advancing it.

Andrew McCarthy responds in National Review Online’s Corner blog:

…Obama, like Sharpton [Ed. note: and I might add, Eric Holder], divides us out of the most shameful of political calculations. It has further signaled to a violent fringe Obama well knows is out there that savage acts against police and others are likely to be rationalized and tolerated – and, indeed, that violent acts short of murder will be ignored or sugar-coated as “peaceful protest.”

And now, two police officers have been murdered because they were sitting in their squad car wearing their uniforms – by a violent criminal who was clearly animated by the racially-charged, rabidly anti-police atmosphere Obama, Sharpton & Co. have promoted.

Before the murders happened, police were being assaulted on the streets of New York City, where the rabble felt free to chant, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” When the murders happened, some among the rabble engaged in the same kind of celebration that Islamists do when terrorists kill Americans or Israelis. And after the murders happened, others brayed that the killing of police would continue.

What it there to have “dialogue” about? What is the other side of this story that the president would have the widows and children of these two murdered officers hear? Or that he would have the police, who are now targets of the mob, understand?

When liberals use coded language like “patient dialogue” what they’re really saying is: a) they have no rational response to the issue at hand, and b) they’re only interested if your idea of dialogue represents their viewpoint. Barack Obama can say what he wants, but the fact is he’s a large part of the problem that has resulted in this country being torn apart by race. As Michelle Malkin notes, he still hasn’t had any comment – let alone condemnation – on the hatchet attacks on two NYC policemen back in October by an Islamic fascist.

Spare us the self-righteous sermonizing, Mr. President, and go back to do doing what you do best.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:17 | Comments (0)
December 21, 2014

Thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the two NYC policemen killed execution style by the hands of a loser wanting to live out “the Reverend” Al Sharpton’s dream of seeing police officers killed.

I just wonder if today’s killings of two NYC police officers ends up being the tipping point as far as how all this lunacy resulting from the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner is responded to. You have protesters shutting down major highways and disturbing Christmas shopping at malls. Until today I think it was all somewhat tolerated, but I’m guessing that these police officer deaths are going to have a ripple effect on every jurisdiction where these losers are operating.

Can you say “zero tolerance”? It isn’t going to be pretty, nor should it be.

Do these (to put it kindly, after all, it’s Christmas) morons really think this kind of activity is helping their cause? And now that police officers in New York City and St. Louis are being targeted and killed, you can bet everything is now going to escalate.

And what are the chances of President Obama making a forceful national statement defending the police and the rule of law? Zero. Oh, you’ll get a bull$hit statement while he’s playing golf, but it’s all too little, too late.

I don’t care what anyone else thinks, much of this could have been avoided had our Race-Baiter-in-Chief and his race-baiting Attorney General acted responsibly in the days following the Brown incident. Instead, they stoked the violence that resulted in Ferguson and elsewhere, and they now have police blood on their hands. Neither of them seem to understand (or maybe they do and they just don’t care) that, sooner or later, words and actions have consequences – especially to morons and losers who have nothing better to do in their lives but provoke civil unrest for the deaths of people they neither knew nor cared anything about when they were alive.

I’m guessing you will see the true colors of 21st century liberalism in the coming days with no small amount of people calling the police officers deaths “justified” or “payback”. Obama, Holder, and Sharpton have created a whirlwind, and the chickens are all now coming home to roost.

This country is coming apart at the seams, and you have a President who spends his days watching SportsCenter and playing golf while he’s not shredding the Constitution. Let me tell you, the smartest people in America in the coming days are going to be those who own guns and won’t be afraid to use them when their safety is threatened.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:39 | Comments (0)

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