December 20, 2014

Greetings, American capitalist pig-dogs – and to you, so-called “The Great White Shank”. While a clever nickname, my trusted advisors – do you have any trusted advisors, Great White? – tell me it is quite the apt description for what you call your “golf game”! Why, I’ll bet you’ve even done this at a driving range, haven’t you?

But, as you are so fond of saying, “I digress”.

I’ll bet you are surprised to see my posting in your normal spot. It just so happens my trusted group of hackers – yes the very same ones who brought SONY pictures to their knees and Hollywood to disgrace because of their ill-advised plan to insult me – have hacked into your pathetic little website to teach you a lesson about respect. You don’t think my advisors monitor your posts? Well they do – and not just yours, but that crazy Rob at CrabAppleLane Blog and Dave E’s Fish Fear Me blog. “Fish Fear Me”? If they fear him, does he expect me to fear him as well? Well, I don’t fear him.

But then again, I’m not a fish.

And even if I were a fish I would be so finny and scaly that he would soon learn to fear me!

As would the other little fishes in the pond.

And I would eat those fishies. (Oh, I wouldn’t call it seafood, you can only get that in New England. Everywhere else it’s just fish.)

But I digress.

Besides, I don’t fear anyone or anything. Well, let me correct that – if there is one thing I fear is having to spend the rest of my life watching those cackling hens on “The View”. OMG! (as you Americans love to use in so-called “tweets”), if there is a hell on earth surely it has to anyone forced to watch that slop every day. Can you imagine?

Now listen, you The Great White Shank. You need to get a life, and I mean quickly! Look at your blog posts. Golf? Incessant bleating at liberals and about American liberalism? Hah! As if they care. Your golf game? Who on earth would care about that! And then you throw in an occasional post about sports, music, food, cocktails, or some poetry to make it seem as if you are such a oh-so-renaissance man. And your musical taste – everyone you listen to is either dead or cast aside by the side of the road like an old sofa. Why, I’ll bet you haven’t listened to a new piece of music since 1980!

Here in North Korea we don’t have that problem. For one thing, my people only listen to my speeches, so listening to Kitty Perry or that Justin Burber is not an issue with us. There’s no need for poetry, as my people have copies of all my speeches to warm their imaginations. Here in North Korea, we don’t need to write about food – after all, my people go hungry so as to serve the interests of our population. Now I will admit, I’ll have an occasional boxcar or white wine spritzer in my recreation of Elvis’ “jungle room” back at my imperial palace, but that’s just to take the edge off of having millions of people worship me on a daily basis.

Something, I see, given the traffic at your Goodboys Nation weblog, you don’t have as a problem! 🙂

Allow me to offer some presidential advice, you so-called The Great White Shank – give it up. As a blogger you are smaller than the dot over the “I” on the word “nit”. Can you not see the folly of your ways? Your country cowers at the very prospect of my anger. Your President Obama is making peace with those crazy Castros. Soon he will be reaching out to make peace with me. Right after, of course, he does the same with Iran and their nuclear program! After all, it takes a narcissistic dictator-wannabe to know one when he sees one! And there is nothing The Great White Shank can do to stop him.

And as for your post yesterday about liberals. Do not think they are amused. One day your web-hosting site will get a call from the IRS and look to shut you down – after all, any country that allows voices of dissent is a weak one. Your foolish Attorney General is right when he says international law trumps your Constitution. Just just wait to see what happens when you get a comment one day from the International Court of Justice – before you know it you’ll be tried, convicted, and hung by your “Buster Browns”!

And I will be there to watch you flail like one of those fish who fear Dave E. so!

But enough about me, let’s talk about you. So, what do you think of me? I always liked that line. Say, I’ll bet you use that whenever you’re in Vegas, huh? Next time you go, try this one: You see a pretty girl and walk up to her. Say, “Do you believe in the hereafter?”, and when she says yes, you respond, “Then you know what I’m here after.” That one usually works for me. And if it doesn’t, no big deal – I have her executed.

Well, I’ve got a busy day ahead of me: I’m off to watch the execution of a few family members before heading over to the “jungle room” to watch some Miami Vice reruns with a boxcar or two. They are very delicious. Don’t think for a moment, however, Great White Shank, that I won’t continue to monitor your website for signs of, shall we say, disrespect. Consider yourself on the clock in regards to my three-strike rule:

Strike one: You hear from me as I am doing right now.
Strike two: You get a final warning from me.
Strike three: You get to enjoy “The View” for the rest of your earthly existence!

Sayonara. Oh wait a minute that’s Japanese.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:50 | Comment (1)
December 19, 2014

The Washingtom Examiner’s Ashe Schow has a great column on the vast illogic that defines today’s liberalism.

Sometimes, small percentages of the American people are worth fighting for. And sometimes they’re not, at least for the Left.

About 10 percent of the American people are uninsured and can’t get health insurance? Better disrupt the entire healthcare system to help them.

About 6 percent of U.S. residents are here illegally? Better disrupt the entire immigration system to make them legal.

Less than 1 percent of women are raped each year while in college? Better redefine consent to turn nearly all sex into rape unless nobody reports it.

But 10 percent of rape accusations are false? (One study suggests it’s as high as 40 percent.) That’s negligible and can be ignored.

Exactly. If liberals truly cared about the uninsured they could have easily set up a quick and dirty program specifically for them, or, better, just hand out stipends to those who couldn’t afford insurance – in either case it would have been a whole lot cheaper in the long run! But liberals don’t care about people, they care about causes.

Same thing with immigration. Liberals don’t care about immigrants. What they do care deeply about is cultivating a voting bloc that will enable them to gain and stay in power for decades.

Liberals oppose torture, right? After all, Senate Democrats just released that scathing report on the CIA. But they have no problem with the president seeking to normalize relations with a country that still tortures political dissenters as regular practice.

Liberals oppose the Koch brothers for all the money they pour into conservative causes, but when it comes to bundlers like Tom Steyer and Estafania Anias there’s not a peep.

Liberals are all about diversity and color-blindness, but everything they say and do is race-focused. Liberals are all about tolerance, but try having an opposing view and see what happens. Liberals are all about acceptance, but in their hearts they hate those who don’t see things the way they do.

I could go on and on but there’s little point, it’s all so obvious. And if it wasn’t for a lap-dog media that champions the same causes liberals do and pays them lip service every chance they get, these people would be laughed out of the room.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:12 | Comments (2)
December 18, 2014

Sure, Christmas is just around the corner, and behind that a brandy-new year but pardon me if I’m not that much into the Christmas spirit this year. In some ways it seems like last Christmas just left; in other ways it seems like 2014 has been interminable. At any rate it’s not going on my list of great years, that’s for sure. Which is why it is so exciting to have locked up my arrangements for the annual Goodboys weekend in Las Vegas.

From February 27 through March 2 we’ll be doing up “Sin City” right this year at The Venetian. I know, I know, what happened to the Wynn Las Vegas haunts we enjoyed so much the past two years? Well, cost had a lot to do with it. And it’s not like we’ll need a camel and full week of water to trod our way over to the Parasol Up – its just a 20-minute walk away. If the weather’s good we might play a little more golf than we have done the past few years. The plans are still being firmed up, but TPC Summerlin and a return to Primm Valley don’t sound out of the question.

I tell ya, I really can’t wait. 2014 has been a long, hard slog from start to finish, and weekend in Las Vegas, baby, sounds really great right now.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:08 | Comments Off on Christmas is Near, Thinking of Vegas
December 17, 2014

phil That’s right, cats and chicks of all ages, it’s that time of year again. I know the guy’s still sitting in a prison cell, whacked out, burned out, and for all intents and purposes checked out of society and the rock n’ roll world he was once such an iconic part of. But heck, it is the Christmas season and I know it’s not REALLY Christmas until I slap into my CD player the best damned rock n’ roll Christmas record of all time. Which is (for those of you cats and chicks who may not be hip to these kinds of grooves), Phil Spector’s magnificent “A Christmas Gift For You”.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s just The Great White Shank spoutin’ his “yeah-i-know-he’s-in-jail-for-murder-but-believe-me-Phil-Spector-really-was-a-genius” bull$hit, but in this case you need to give me a break. ‘Cause it’s not just me, it’s a whole range of critics across the media spectrum, from Rolling Stone (who rated it #142 in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time), to bloggers like Hip Christmas and BlogCritics. BC’s praise of the album and its greatness is especially spot-on:

A Christmas Gift For You contains thirteen performances, all captured during that incredible early sixties period when Spector was producing these amazing records. You already know all of the songs, as they have all become tried and true radio staples at Christmas time over the years. Song for song, the wall of sound production — with all of its bells, whistles, and strings — captures all the magic and wonder of Christmas like very little music I can think of. When you hear these songs, it’s like being instantly transported to a kinder, simpler time. It really does feel like Christmas.

In addition to the Ronettes and Crystals classics already mentioned, the standouts here include Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and a version of “White Christmas” so gorgeous you’ll be checking your window for snowflakes. On Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans’ “The Bells of Saint Mary,” the bells and the castanets ring gloriously amid a swirl of gospel-charged backing vocals.

So the thing is, Phil Spector’s recent legal troubles aside, this record just doesn’t sound any different to me. For my money, it’s still the single greatest Christmas record ever made. And tougher sell that it may be these days, it will definitely be on my CD player when the guys and I get together for some Christmas cheer next weekend.

For me, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

The album, considered by many to be Spector’s finest piece of collective work (The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”, The Righteous Brothers’ “(You’ve Lost That) Lovin’ Feelin'”, and, of course, Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” being singular achievements), had a bumpy ride on the road to becoming a much-loved and respected holiday pop classic. Originally recorded during the summer and fall of 1963, it was understandably overlooked in those tragic weeks following the assassination of JFK and then virtually forgotten. It was only until its re-introduction to the public on the Beatles’ Apple Records label in 1971 – at the urging of John Lennon and George Harrison (both of whom utilized Spector on their first post-Beatles’ solo albums following his work on Let It Be) – that the album got radio play and finally earned its long-deserved place in pop music history.

So what exactly is it about A Christmas Gift For You that makes it both a holiday pop classic and a piece of work sufficient enough to warrant recognition among rock’s all-time greatest works? David Sprague, in his Amazon.com review, puts it simply: “[Spector’s] “wall-of-sound” technique is perfectly suited to the music of the season, as he proves with layer upon layer of piano, sleigh bells, buoyant percussion, and, of course, those legendary Spectorsound harmonies.”

True enough, but it’s only after you buy it and crank it up VERY loud that you start to appreciate not just the massive sound Spector lovingly and painstakingly crafted, but the way his session players and musical artists make the most out of the material given them. Here, Spector’s artists The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, and Bobby Sheen are simply vocal instruments in the overall mix, working within the material and the arrangements, not overpowering them. Listen closely, and you begin to see how the subtleties within each arrangement illustrate Spector’s respect for both the material and the genre that brought him such fame and respect in his day:

* On “White Christmas”, Darlene Love’s lead is beautifully understated (something virtually unheard of in this post-Whitney armageddon of Britneys and Christinas who sound like wailing alleycats in heat). And listen to how the pianos, basses, and saxes (alto and tenor) underscore the rhythm, and how beautifully they finish the song’s fade-out. Magical.

* On “Frosty The Snowman”, Ronnie Spector takes a harmless children’s tune and turns it into a holiday pop masterpiece. Her earnest vocal is the showpiece here – think ‘Frosty’ meets ‘Be My Baby’, with enough warmth and sweetness to turn ‘the Frostster’ into a puddle of lukewarm H2O. Loved hearing it in that iconic scene in GoodFellas where Jimmy goes nuts with everyone buying expensive stuff after the Lufthansa heist.

* On “The The Bells of St. Mary’s“, Bobby Sheen’s lead is sweet and soulful out in front of a driving rhythm highlighted by chimes and Hal Blaine‘s amazing drumwork on the fade-out. Oh, and that’s Darlene Love doing the “yeah, yeah”‘s towards the end.

* The Crystals’ version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” rejuvenated the classic so much so that the artists as varied as the Jackson Five and Bruce Springsteen, among others, felt it necessary to pay homage with their own versions. Listen to how the bells tinkle out Brahms’s Lullaby behind La La Brooks’ spoken intro. What incredible attention to detail!

* On “Sleigh Ride” The Ronettes give a big fat wet kiss to Leroy Anderson’s classic arrangement; their now-classic “ring-a-ling-a-ling-a-ding-dong-ding” back-up is pure icing on this sweet holiday confection.

* “Marshmallow World” is a fun piece – dig the opening piano with an absolute ton of echo on it. And listen to how the saxes underscore the piano/guitar rhythm – you’re talkin’ Wall of Sound here, baby! The mix has always sounded a little muddy to me, but I think that’s just the sheer number of musicians playing at the same time – Phil always did his mixing live while the entire ensemble was playing. Darlene Love’s vocal is energetic and playful, a great performance.

* “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. You don’t get the #2 slot on my Top 10 Christmas list for nothing. Simply put, there is nothing wanting in this recording – the performances are top-notch throughout. Ronnie Spector’s lead is both devilish and sexy, and the arrangement rocks. Listen for the piano fills and the sleighbells workin’ behind the saxes. It almost sounds as if Ronnie is slurring her s’s here (‘kishing’ Santa Claus); I think she’s doing it deliberately so I fall in love with her voice all over again every year at this time.

* On “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, listen for the guitar riff (Tommy Tedesco? Barney Kessel?) that frames the song throughout, a style similar to what Brian Wilson would later employ on The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” a couple of years later. There’s also a piano (and guitar?) doing something funky from the instrumental break onward, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is.

* “Winter Wonderland” is a faithful and fun rendition. Listen for those trademark shimmering strings featured throughout – they sound kinda funky to me – and how drummer Hal Blaine absolutely beats the daylights out of his toms on every fill. Darlene Love’s vocal is both soulful and fun. A magnificent arrangement.

* “Parade of The Wooden Soldiers”. OK, listen to how the strings behind The Crystals’ rollicking performance absolutely shimmer like glistening snow, especially behind the trumpet solo in the middle. No one – and I mean NO ONE – could make Christmas pop music like Phil Spector. (If you doubt me, just listen to John & Yoko’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”) Again, Hal Blaine’s drum fills on the fade-out are pretty intense.

* “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”. Arguably the showpiece of the album. If you want a true holiday audio feast, come inside Mr. Spector’s kitchen where everything – including the kitchen sink – has been tossed in here. Shimmering strings and double acoustic bass (how does he get that sound?) create the necessary tension, then horns introduce a TOTALLY PUMPED and unleashed Darlene Love vocal that leaves nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – in the tank. The grand build-up to close the song is classic Spector: layers and layers of guitar, piano, strings, and percussion back the call-and-answer vocals between Love and the backup singers (a seventeen-year-old Cher‘s voice can be clearly heard) until the tension is finally released in a tidal wave of vocal calisthenics, soaring strings, drum fills, and piano arpeggios. Simply put, one of the great pop vocal performances of all time.

* “Here Comes Santa Claus” is anticlimactic following Love’s tour de force, but it’s to Bobby Sheen’s credit that his straight, if understated, reading becomes the showpiece on this song. The trumpet solo in the middle has a ringing, jazzy touch to it which compliments Sheen’s soulful vocal.

What truly makes A Christmas Gift For You such a remarkable achievement is the success Spector achieved in fusing together what was then a radical way of interpreting familiar holiday songs without, as he would write in the album’s liner notes, “losing for a second the feeling of Christmas and without destroying or invading the sensitivity and the beauty that surrounds all of the great Christmas music.” More than anything else, Spector respected the music he was trying to interpret as his own. In the end, this is what makes this work an enduring classic for the ages.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:31 | Comments (2)
December 16, 2014

“The leaves drift toward the earth like ships to land,
A voyage launched from timbers’ great lofty berths,
Toward harbors safe, concealed from raider bands,
Of icy galleons coursing wintry dearth.
Squirrels don thick coats against Wind’s numbing dare,
Mount last determined searches ‘long the ground.
Brown grass conceals the season’s paltry fare,
As hopeful birds scratch for what may be found.
Through frosted windows glow the hearth’s warm light,
As fading day casts shadows ‘cross the lawn,
And grey meets grey as winter gathers might,
Undaunted as the chimney starts to yawn.
Farewell brave day as twilight draweth nigh.
Perchance on morrow sun will gather high.”

— Dan Young, The End of a Winter Day (Hat tip: egreenway.com)

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:34 | Comments Off on December Poem
December 13, 2014

A few weekend thoughts on a dreary December weekend, all while knowing that today – 12/13/14 – is the last sequential date we’ll know in our lives.

I’m wondering how on earth things have gotten so politically wacky in that, like not a few others on the conservative side of things (including my own awesome congressman Matt Salmon), I find myself agreeing with both Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren against the “CRomnibus” budget bill that passed both houses of Congress. And not just because of the size, scope, and process behind the bill – I agree with them on substance. The incestuous relationship between Washington and Wall Street needs to end, and if it means aligning myself with Nanc, Liz, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and my own awesome congressman Matt Salmon against the likes of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell, well then so be it.

The other day I wrote favorably about James Taylor’s version of “In The Bleak Midwinter”, but I forgot about Shawn Colvin’s version, which tops that in every way.

Reason #112 why I never go ball-hawking.

I’ve never been to or bought anything from an IKEA, but I love Hemingway’s style of writing. This is brilliant.

Now that baseball’s winter meetings are over I’m fairly pleased with what the Red Sox accomplished. Sure, they let Jon Lester walk, but there was no way he was worth the stratospheric dollars the Cubs ended up paying him. Not sure Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval will hold up over the term they signed him for, but he and Hanley Ramirez will give their lineup some much-needed pop. And with the acquisitions of pitchers Wade Miley, Rich Porcello, and Justin Masterson (who I hated to see leave the first time) along with Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz, they’ve got a young starting rotation without trading off the cream of their minor-league system. Meaning, if they’re in the hunt come the July trading deadline they still have chips to land a big-name starting pitcher if needed.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:54 | Comments Off on Weekending
December 12, 2014

As you can see from the pic, yes indeedee there was ample time to hit golf balls and still finish the Christmas tree. Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season, a few thoughts…

I’m listening to the classical music station WCRI over the internet and invariably they’ll play Christmas selections played by a string quartet. Funny thing about music played by a string quartet, why do I always feel like I’m on the Titanic?

Lileks looks back on Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Frequent commenter Jana makes her famous cheese grits for Christmas. If you ask nicely I’ll betcha she’ll allow me to post the recipe, I’ve got it here in my recipe drawer.

My biggest problem with the Christmas season? How short the days are! I’m doing my 7 AM calls virtually in the dark. That sucks.

Looking for the perfect eggnog recipe? Me, no thanks, I’ve got my hot-buttered rum mixture all set and ready to go in the freezer.

While I prefer James Taylor’s version, this is lovely as well.

And since fellow Goodboy “Cubby” Myerow was going to ask for it anyways

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:45 | Comment (1)
December 11, 2014

When I began fitness training a month ago I never dreamed that my simple goal of wanting to get in better shape and “firm up” would be a have as much of an impact on my golf game as it would on my overall state of fitness. It was during our initial interview that I mentioned to my trainer Tony that I played golf, and when I told him I was a 26 handicap and looking to improve my overall flexibility and stability, he told me he was a 10 and promised to incorporate various exercises into our sessions designed to do just that.

As we would talk between reps and exercises we really connected with our mutual interest in the technical aspects of the golf swing. I think he recognized from my initial work that I had issues not just with core, lower body, and upper body strength, but also a validation of my stability and flexibility issues as well. A week into our month together he had me show him my set-up and address and take some imaginary golf swings; he in turn offered up definitive ideas about what the golf swing should look like and certain aspects I could improve upon were I willing to listen. And while Tony stressed he wasn’t trying to play golf instructor and change everything I’d learned from my swing coach Alex Black over the past couple of years, it is clear his background in fitness has greatly influenced his thoughts about the golf swing and his approach to the game.

Hey, when you’re a 26 handicap, beggars can’t be choosers, so of course I was open to any suggestions he might have.

To Tony, the golf swing was all about athleticism and aggressiveness – an angle I had never before considered. His recommendations fell into three areas: 1) my set-up and address, which he felt was too passive and loose; 2) my posture, which was too hunched over, and 3) my spine angle, which, rather than staying firm and straight throughout, tilted slightly to the left as I took the club back. His recommendations? 1) take a wider stance and a little more crouch to improve overall stability through the golf swing; 2) improve my posture at address by straightening my back, pushing my chest out, sucking my gut in, and lifting my chin to allow a freeing up and lengthening of my swing to generate more power and torque; 3) work on turning around my spine, not tilting backward.

The excercises he had me doing to facilitate the above are not easy: lots of strengthening the muscles not just in my upper body and chest, but my core and side muscles. He introduced several drills to improve stability and strength in my legs and ankles (balancing on a half ball while take slow, easy swings is not for the faint of heart!). But nearly a month in I can already feel the difference, and last weekend at the Superstition Springs range I could really begin to feel the impact of what we are trying to accomplish. The wider, more athletic stance with a bit more crouch really made me feel like an athlete and more willing to attack the ball; my improved posture and focus on my spine angle improved my overall ability to make solid contact with the ball, and eliminating that spine tilt (something I never knew I was doing) drastically reduced the number of balls I was hitting fat or quitting on early (so that’s where that big push / slice to the left came from!).

More importantly was the positive attitude these changes have brought. I feel more confident about my swing and more willing to attack the ball. Last year, my approach to golf was to try and play smart and avoid the big number in order to achieve playing bogey golf. I’ve got no one to blame but myself for this – my entire approach to the game had become defensive in nature. As a result, I spent too much time trying to avoid trouble and mistakes, and not enough just playing the game and trying to hit solid shots. Now, I’m not afraid to try and lengthen my swing in order to hit the ball as hard and as solidly as I can, knowing that the more repetitions I make the better the results I’ll begin to see.

Of course, that doesn’t foregoing the strategy of playing smart, but the whole idea of going out and trying to avoid mistakes is just so negative. Far better to focus on good form and making a good swing and dealing with whatever happens after that. The good players aren’t afraid to make mistakes – they have the confidence that more often than not their games have the ability to absorb them and still come out OK. And that’s where I want to be. Last year I never knew what was going to happen any given time I began a round; I was all over the place both mentally and physically, always struggling with that damned big number and my lack of consistency.

Going into 2015, I see these swing changes enabling me to swing more positively and agressively while still staying within myself. Hopefully, the result will be a few more yards with each club – never a bad thing – greater consistency, and most importantly, a more positive approach and outlook to the game.

And if I look in better shape while doing so, all the better!

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:18 | Comments Off on Better Fitness, Better Swing
December 10, 2014

A long but interesting history of the U.S.S. Arizona. Some really great pics as well.

Another interesting story about Hitler’s propaganda war against Christmas.

I agree with Gordon Edes, the Sox really botched the Jon Lester thing is to high heaven. I’m guessing five years with an option for a sixth at $120 mil during spring training would have secured them a top-of-the-line pitcher for years and at less money. Now they’re going to have to use their minor-league riches to trade for more pitching than they planned or overpay for a less-talented free-agent starter.

I’m putting together my George Harrison digital music collection (more about that in a future post) and re-discovered this tune that I hadn’t heard in years. I had forgotten just how dynamic it was and the energy it had. It was the last tune Phil Spector worked on with George, and Phil’s handiwork is all over it (how ’bout dem horns!). A great tune.

Everything you really don’t want to know about the truly despicable Harry Reid. I look at Senate (soon to be) Minority Leader Harry Reid and see what George Bailey called Old Man Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life” – a warped, frustrated old man. The big question will be how much his Senate Dem colleagues will continue to put up with his shenanigans once they’re in the minority, knowing full well Reid was personally responsible for some Democratic Senate losses (Alaska? Louisiana? North Carolina?) by not allowing his own senators to bring forth legislation that could have helped their causes back home.

Since we’re getting closer to Christmas, the opening scene to Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” is still a wonderfully-irreverent howl.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 08:31 | Comments Off on Links! Links! Links!
December 9, 2014

A few observations on all things golf-wise:

OK, I get it – Tiger Woods’s “new old” swing looked pretty good at last weekend’s Hero Challenge event, but here is a question no one else seems to be asking: if the original reason why Tiger got away from his old (pre-Hank Haney) swing was because he wanted to take pressure off his left knee and back, and now he’s going back to that swing some eight years later (and older), isn’t that going to risk impacting the very same body parts he changed his swing for to begin with?

Oh sure, now everyone is going to pick Tiger for every major in 2015, but I think given his age and the wear and tear he has put on his body that it’s equally likely he suffers an injury (back or leg) or two that takes him out of action for an extended period of time.

While you have to hand it to Bill Horschel for winning the 2014 Fed Ex Cup, fact is, he just got hot at the right time. Any forty or so golfers on the planet could have done the same thing. If you’re looking for the real deal out there, Jordan Spieth is coming into a class all by himself. It will be really interesting to see if he and Rory McIlroy could generate some sort of rivalry in the years ahead.

I understand lots of folks are excited about Rickie Fowler and are projecting him to have a big 2015, but until I actually start see him win tournaments, as much as I like him, I won’t believe it.

I understand the 2014-2015 PGA Tour season is already underway with those fall events no one but the most avid golf fan watched, but until January comes with those Hawaiian events with green grass, blue ocean vistas, and palm trees it won’t feel like a new golf season is upon us.

How to explain Tiger’s crappy short game last weekend? He says it’s because of his transitioning to a new swing, but I don’t believe it. Your short game around the greens shouldn’t change because you’re adopting a new swing. Your short game is your short game. Just watching these clips makes you wonder what the heck is going on.

Forget about TPC Sawgrass, now this is what you call an island green!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:41 | Comments Off on Chip Shots

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