August 31, 2015

A few thoughts and links to kick off the last week of traditional summer…

It’s great to see such an all-around good guy like Jason Day fulfill all the potential he’d been showing over the last few years. After lapping the field at The Barclays, he’s now won three of the last four tournaments he’s played, including that first major at the PGA Championship. As long as his health holds up there’s no reason in the world why he, Rory McIlroy, and Jorden Spieth can’t be golf’s new “Big Three”. Hopefully, all three can be in top form for the rest of the FedEx playoffs.

…speaking of which, I’m sure a few of the Goodboys will make next weekend’s Deutsche Bank Classic one of their Labor Day weekend venues. Ought to be a good one. Me? I’ll be spreading topsoil and planting clover in my back yard.

You want to know why I, and a lot of other people, are captivated by Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP presidential nomination polls? Because he’s not afraid to speak his mind, and he won’t let the mainstream media attempt to make their agenda his. Bet after Friday night that CNN reporter won’t try the same trick again.

This appears to be good news for Red Sox fans eager to see more of the outfield trio of Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. Me? I’m hoping they see the light and install JBJ as their every-day centerfielder – you just don’t find that combination of arm strength and ball-hawking athleticism too many places. I think Mookie is a natch for right field, but Fenway’s right field is one of the toughest in baseball. I think Mookie’s up to the challenge.

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t see Hillary Clinton’s latest strident and outrageous comments about Republican as anything but an obvious tactic to shift the attention away from her problems with the Justice Department and the FPI over he e-mail and e-mail server problems?

Talk about your lucky-ass surfers!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:35 | Comments Off on Monday, Monday
August 29, 2015

Hard to believe it’s almost the end of August, isn’t it? Where has this year gone? When I think of August I think of hazy, hot, and humid days, the furniture in the house getting all sticky from the humidity, the hurricane tracking chart I’d order each year from WBZ-TV meteorologist Don Kent, heat lightning in the distance, fresh tomatoes out of the garden, and selling our grandfather’s gladiolas out of a bucket on the side of Salem Road. I think of dreading that day when the Merrimack Valley Advertiser would post the school bus routes for the upcoming school year; that meant summer, for all intents and purposes was at an end.

Of course, here in the Valley of the Sun, August is just another hot month in a string of hot months that begins in May and lasts until the heat gods swip the flitch the second week in October. Out here the kids have already been back to school for a couple of weeks now. But you know it’s August, not June, because the days are getting increasingly shorter – we’re losing almost two minutes per day – and the sun angle has the swimming pool and the south-facing landscape increasingly in shade.

So this weekend it’s all about August poetry. Lay back, chill out, and embrace those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer!

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
– Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown

Hat tip:

Happy birthday, Mom!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:08 | Comments Off on Weekending – August Poetry Edition
August 28, 2015

Ed. note: Here’s a great way to cruise into the weekend. I thought this was hysterical, hope you enjoy it.

Thanks. What an incredible crowd. They tell me this is the biggest crowd in the history of the North.

A while back some founders got together. And I mean they were good people but they really didn’t know anything about building a country. C’mon, you know, let’s face facts. Franklin with his little glasses and Washington with those horrible dentures — it was a nightmare. They didn’t know what the hell they were doing.

So then everyone comes to me and they say, “Please help us we’re in this terrible mess.” And believe me I knew this was gonna happen because our leaders were a total disaster who didn’t have a clue how to negotiate. Not the first clue, OK. It’s crazy. And I knew em all. Millard Filmore? The guy was a trainwreck. Franklin Pierce? A complete moron. Moron. And then James Buchanan they say dressed up like a woman if you can even believe it. I could tell you stories.

I mean they’re useless but I did business with ’em because I’m a businessman. It’s what I do. I traded cotton. I traded tobacco. I built the biggest plantations in the world. In fact I’ll tell you a story. Jefferson Davis came to me and begged me — begged me to live on a beautiful plantation that I had built in Mississippi. And it was beautiful, everything top notch and luxurious. I mean not the slave cabins ’cause they’re built for slaves. But everything was great and he’s pleading with me and what am I gonna say, “No”? So I sold it to him for an unbelievable profit. Largest profit ever made on a plantation sale. Hundreds of dollars in profit all pre-Confederate, which two centuries from now will be worth around $10 billion if maybe I decide to leave any to my kids. Who knows. We’ll see. And I say that not to brag just to give you an idea what’s what.

And by the way the slaves love me. Love me. The food portions. The amount of sleep. They’re nuts about me. If they end up freed when this is all over I will win the slave vote.

Anyway our politicians are the worst, they’re total failures and they didn’t let the South go bye bye and so I pick up the paper today and I read Salmon Chase may run against me in ’64! This idiot is in my own cabinet. And I like my cabinet, most of them have terrible beards but they’re OK. They follow orders. First of all what kind of name is Salmon? Should be a harpooneer on a whaling ship with a name like that. So I thought to myself, Salmon Chase, isn’t he the guy who night and day pleaded for a job with me after I kicked his ass at the convention in 1860? It was. I even found his telegraph number, give it a try see if it works. Dot dot dash dash dash dot dash dot dot dot dash.

And I can just hear the papers: “Abraham’s attacking again. He’s saying terrible things.” No. I say what I say because I’m honest. And I’m actually doing my job. Not like those nitwits in Washington. I mean I’m out here opening a cemetery for Christ sake! And as I look at this place I’m thinking, “How could there have been so many casualties?” There’s rocks and orchards all around, if I had the time I’d develop the property, but you can’t tell me that if you call yourself a soldier and you hear a shell or something coming you couldn’t have found a place to hide. And incidentally, so what, now Meade is some kind of a great general because he defeated Pickett’s charge? You’re up on a ridge with all your cannons and everything and the other army is walking right toward you. I mean they’re literally walking. Who couldn’t win that!

The point is I’m up all hours saving the Union and then here we are in this cemetery and I’m supposed to do what? Honor the dead? They’re dead. They’re losers. How are we in debt to them? I hate to tell you, but I like the guys who didn’t die. I’ll honor some of them.

And speaking of honoring, they want me to wrap up so they can honor me at a dinner. I’m so in demand it’s insanity half the time. All I’m telling you is if you’re living everything is for you.

The funny thing is, I could picture this.

Hat tip: FunnyorDie, via Power Line.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:54 | Comments Off on Trump’s Gettysburg Address
August 27, 2015

Leave it to the Democrats to immediately take the execution of a television reporter and her cameraman on live TV and politicize it to promote gun control. I mean, what is wrong with these people? Does everything have to be political? Why not be a human being and simple express your sympathies and condolences and leave it at that?

…along those same lines, what would those same Democrats suggest to have prevented this or similar acts from occurring in the future? Send the police into every home and confiscate every gun they find? Is that it? Then why not have the guts to come out and just say so? The sad fact is, in a free society you can’t always tell the wackos from the sane. In this case the shooter passed a background check and purchased his gun and ammo legally. He was an angry black, gay, Obama supporter racist. Perhaps we should remove anyone fitting that description off the streets?

I read things like this and this and this and wonder why on earth Jeb! Bush is even bothering to run for the GOP nomination. Is there any other candidate out there so politically and philosophically at odds with the base of the party he supposedly represents? He has zero personality, and he’s revealing himself to be a open-borders, Common Core-loving big government politician – so how does that distance him from the likes of Hillary Clinton? Lemme tell you, anyone who invests a nickel in this mealy-mouthed, spineless chihuahua’s campaign ought to have their head examined.

Now here’s a New York politician that speaks my language. Good for you, Rev. Diaz – I think there are a helluva lot of people out there that think exactly the way you do. I see Donald Trump’s poll numbers only going higher after last night’s brouhaha.

This is such a sad story. It’s just a reminder that the 9/11 terrorists are still taking lives, one survivor after another.

Every time I hear this song on the radio it jumps out at me the same way it did the very first time I heard it. Just love the snap of Mick’s drums, Lindsey’s grungy guitar, and those sparkling vocals. Has to be one of my top five favorite tunes of all time.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:51 | Comment (1)
August 26, 2015

Check out the weather that passed to our west earlier tonight. I didn’t think the wind we got here in the East Valley was all that impressive, but there appeared to be a fair amount of tree damage as I made my way down to the gym.

This, I think, is the best article written about the state of Tiger Woods’ game and what we might come to expect of him going forward.

You what I like about Donald Trump’s candidacy to this point? He doesn’t take crap from anyone. He’s currently sucking all the air out of the room, forcing other supposedly top-tier candidates to make fools of themselves and twist themselves in pretzels trying to be something they’re not. In short, not only is he freaking the GOP establishment out, he’s distinguishing himself from the obvious politicians – something that people, I think, find refreshing.

I’m gonna miss Don Orsillo in the NESN broadcast booth next year. If he’s going I hope NESN does the right thing and replace Jerry Remy as well. His act has worn a little thin to these ears.

So now the Red Sox are going to try Hanley Ramirez at first base? Talk about a square peg looking for a round hole!

A big welcome back to the Tikiyaki Orchestra. Their new CD may not break any new ground, but it’s still going to be a welcome addition to my Exotica collection.’s Joe Bastardi has been talking about a hurricane off of Florida’s east cost for the past two weeks. This one could – could – be a bad one before it’s done.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:56 | Comments (2)
August 23, 2015

Me? I spent the weekend doing anything but what I should have been working on, which is: cleaning the house and getting the back yard prepped for sowing clover (my way of reducing water as opposed to grass that is much thirstier). Still…

I read this and wonder what became of the Democrats as the party of the “common man”:

Among the places where Mrs. Clinton enjoys stalwart support are the Hamptons, where she and Mr. Clinton have spent the past several summers, walking their dogs on the beach, attending clambakes and raising money for their family’s philanthropic foundation. This summer, the fashion designer Tory Burch is among those hosting fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton.

Alan Patricof, a longtime donor and friend, said the pancake breakfast he and his wife, Susan, were hosting for Mrs. Clinton on Aug. 30, for up to $2,700 per person, had almost reached capacity at more than 300 people.

300 people? How about the 30,000 folks Donald Trump attracted in Mobile, Alabama the other night. You know how you know The Donald is getting under the Republican establishment’s skin? When they recruit flacks like the National Review’s Quin Hillyer and Mona Charen to write hit pieces on their behalf. The current Republican Party needs to have a fork stuck in it. Given the choice between Democrats like Barack Obama and so-called Republicans like Jeb! Bush and John Kasich, give me the former – at least you know what they stand for.

Even the idea of this being publicized tells me that national Democrats have followed the mainstream press and turned on Hillary Clinton. At this point she really has no excuse for the months of outright lies she has told. Listen, I know Democrats and how they think: it’s one thing to be a liar, it’s a whole ‘nutha thing to be a liar and an awful candidate. The Dems gave her a mulligan because of Barack Obama but now it’s a case of “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. Mark my words, Hillary Clinton and her candidacy for the Democratic nomination are toast.

Speaking of a possible Biden candidacy: if given the choice between Joe Biden and Jeb! Bush I’ll gladly pull the lever for the former. Jeb Bush is a mealy-mouthed, milquetoast suck-up of a politician that believes in nothing but getting elected. I don’t care what anyone says, he’s no conservative. Same goes for John Kasich. And the same goes for any politician that Karl Rove supports. These people are the poster-children for everything that is wrong with the GOP.

I’m done with Accuweather as my go-to site for all things weather-related. They’ve been infected with “global warming disease. Lots of storms? Global warming. Not enough storms? Global warming. Too much rain? Global warming. Not enough rain? Global warming. Too many Pacific typhoons? Global warming. Not enough Atlantic hurricanes? Global warming. My new site is Weather Underground, especially Dr. Jeff Masters’ blog. It’s worth adding to your Favorites.

Sure, Tiger Woods had a decent weekend at the Wyndham Championship – hey, he made the cut, right? But I’m still not convinced. Sedgfield was a course where he didn’t need to hit driver much at all; while those classic Tiger stingers he hit with his 2-iron showed he’s crawling his way back, he’s not going to be able to get away with that on a normal PGA Tour venue. He had a couple of good days with his short game but he sure seemed to get sloppy all around on the weekend. He’s coming along for sure, but anyone who thinks he’s ready to challenge at a major is kidding themselves.

…but you can’t deny the draw is all about him. Even I found myself yelling at the TV screen and the cadre of aging Tour pros and FedEx Cup playoff wannabes they were showing; I just wanted to see how Tiger was playing.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:37 | Comments Off on Kicking Off a New Week
August 20, 2015

OK, I’ll admit it. At least for now – and in politics things can always change – consider me firmly aboard The Donald’s bandwagon. Why? Is it because I agree with everything he says? No. Is it because I agree with all his political positions (whatever they may be)? No. Simply put, I like the cut of his jib. He has a knack for saying things and speaking things that no other political candidate (at least in my memory) has had the courage to say. He’s unflappable, he’s not afraid to push back against the media and its conventional wisdom. He’s definitely not afraid to say what comes into his mind at any given time, and he does it without the built-in filter that most political candidates seem to have, and he does it in a way that’s both optimistic and refreshing.

You watch this YouTube video of his rally the other day in Derry, New Hampshire and you can’t help be riveted to everything he says. From the moment he enters and embraces the American flag – you’ll never see a Democrat do that! – and the way he acknowledges the crowd but just keeps talking, it’s an amazing thing to behold. He oozes charisma, and I guarantee – most political pundits are missing this – he’s speaking to everyday Americans. For once, Republicans have a candidate who’s not afraid of the media, not afraid of political “gotcha” activists, not afraid of anyone. You may not agree with everything he says, but you can’t disagree with where his heart is. He loves capitalism, he loves America, and he’s all about what he considers the unfinished business of the American people – to protect American workers and American families from its enemies, both without and (especially) within.

The Beltway and East Coast elites are doing everything they can to sink Trump’s ascendant candidacy with stories like Trump lost the Fox debate, Trump’s popularity is falling, he’s already peaked, he’s making the case for other candidates, but the evidence isn’t there. In fact, there’s anecdotal evidence (here, here, and here) that interest in his candidacy is surging. Perhaps there will come a time when his ego gets the best of him and he self-inflicts enough damage to turn “the folks” against him, but that time ain’t now. What Trump is doing is sucking all the energy from the room that the Republican establishment had planned for yet another mealy-mouthed, vanilla, middle-of-the-road, say nothing controversial candidate like the pathetic Jeb Bush. He’s the one steering the conversation and forcing the Bushes and Kasichs of the party to confront and address issues they’d never in a million years want to bring up on their own.

More than anything else, Trump is betraying his wealth and privilege by speaking the kind of language “Joe 6-pack” can understand. And you can bet he’ll be steering his message to African-Americans as well. Call it the return of the “silent majority” or the “Reagan Democrat”, but Trump’s message – at least for the present time – is resonating in a way that no poll conducted by so-called professionals can tap into. The working class of this country has been thirsting for a champion, someone who sees just how damaging the ruling political and socio-economic class (on both sides of the political aisle) has been to the interests of everyday Americans. Trump isn’t afraid to confront the political establishment and its ineffectiveness, corruption, and incompetence and take on the special interests.

Where Trump goes from here is anyone’s guess, but anyone who underestimates him or the interest his candidacy is generating does so at their own risk.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 19:13 | Comments Off on Trumptastic!
August 17, 2015

It took a whole Saturday of ripping duct tape and plastic off and around the pool, four gallons of chlorine, a half gallon of pool acid, two packages of stabilizer, and two visits from Alan my pool guy, but I’m pleased to say that the swimming pool is back and operational. It’s not that 100% eye-popping clear you’re always looking to attain just yet, but it’s pretty close. There was a little bee activity on Saturday, as three scouts from the hive (or from a different one, I didn’t get their confessions before they were put to death: one done in with dish soap, one squashed by the dish soap spray bottle, and the third drowned), but I haven’t seen any since.

Trying to clean up the mess that lay at the bottom of the pool was a little more work than I anticipated. I skimmed it out the best I could and the pool vacuum tried its best, but we got a clog in the line that Alan had to blast out with his top-secret pool spray weapon – it looks like a silencer that you screw onto a hose and turns a trickle of water into a nuclear-force spray that obliterates anything in its path – in this case, the pipes running between the filter and the pool. Very cool.

So the pool is back. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to stay on bee patrol and kill any scouts that want to check out the scene – I don’t want all this time and effort to go to waste. After that, however, I’m just gonna let things live and let live. If I see a bee I’m not going to freak out, but if I start seeing any kind of interested gathering I’ll return to Dirty Harry mode and start shooting first and asking questions later. But while the pool is back, that doesn’t mean I’m done with it: the regulator that maintains the water level broke off in my hand while I was trying to adjust it. Not sure what that will cost or what the effort is to fix it. You just can’t win.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:24 | Comments Off on Pool’s Back In Session
August 16, 2015

It would appear that the Tiger Woods era, for all intents and purposes, is over. — Rich Lerner, Golf Channel

When I heard these words out of Rich Lerner’s mouth during Golf Channel’s PGA Championship coverage on Saturday night I almost dropped my dentures into my Sam Adams Octoberfest. OK, I don’t wear dentures, and I wasn’t drinking an Octoberfest at the time, but for the ultimate Tiger Woods suck-up at Golf Channel to admit was has been clearly apparent to the majority of professional golf watchers for the past year is nevertheless amazing. Woods had missed his third straight cut at a major, and most of the golf community had long shifted their attention to the much more entertaining and interesting games of twenty-somethings like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and the ultimate winner of the PGA Championship, Jason Day.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on with Tiger’s game. He doesn’t play enough, his swing changes don’t hold up over the stresses and strains of a professional golf tournament, he doesn’t putt consistently enough, and, frankly, he’s no longer as good as all the young whippersnappers that fearlessly bludgeon golf courses with their games and length. It’s all part mechanics, part physical training, part equipment. Taken together, Tiger Woods is an old-before-his-time and beaten down, middle of the pack golfer. Will he win a tour even again? Probably. Will he win another major again? Possibly. But as far as being a force in his profession you would have to say the odds are quite stacked against him.

The question is whether Tiger wants to devote the necessary time, effort, and travel to do what it takes to challenge the best golfers in the world. He’s not going to make the FedEx Cup playoffs, so perhaps he might want to start at the first tournaments in the wraparound 2015-2016 season. It would mean basically starting from scratch and teeing it up against players and in places I’m guessing he never thought possible. But that’s the state of his game right now. Or he could just wait until early 2016 and prepare for the run up to Augusta. I guess we’ll see.

In the meantime, a big congrats to Jason Day for winning his first major. Sure it would have been great to see Jordan Spieth pull out a third of four majors, but how could you not root against Day? He seems like a great guy, he’s been knocking on the door of greatness for so long, and it just seems like the PGA was meant to be his tournament.

Congrats also to Spieth, who take over the world’s #1 ranking from Rory McIlroy. I don’t know about you, but I could watch Spieth hit golf balls all day long. I love his swing and enjoy hearing him talk to his ball in flight. Most of the time it listens.

There’s a lot of snow to fly between now and April 7 when they tee it up for the first round of the Masters. If the majors in 2016 bring anywhere near the kind of quality golf we have seen in 2015 it will be a great year.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 23:10 | Comments Off on Changing Of The Guard
August 14, 2015

A few thoughts while bracing for Big Heat coming in for today and Saturday:

Ought to be a great weekend for staying inside out of the heat and watching the PGA Championship. The last major of the year (has the year gone by that fast?) is being played at picturesque Whistling Straits. Beautiful course to watch golf being played. I’m rooting for Dustin Johnson to break through and win his first major. After his heartbreaks at WS in 2010 and his 18th hole collapse at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay earlier this year it would be a great thing to see. But after the year he’s had how can you not pick Jordan Spieth?

I see the above picture of Hillary Clinton confidante Huma Amedin and Madame herself and cannot help think of Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada:

…except I’m wondering in the case of the former and the increasing likelihood that Clinton has committed, or at least covered up, felonious acts involving her e-mail server whether at some point we’ll see “The Devil Wears Orange”. One can only hope.

It may seem like heresy, but I’m in agreement with the sportswriter Bill Chuck on this: sure, it would be hard to trade David “Big Papi” Ortiz, but think about it: the Red Sox aren’t going anywhere this year, he’s proven himself not good enough alone to keep them out of a last-place finish, and Hanley Ramirez needs to move to the DH position to allow Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Mookie Betts to play the outfield next year. Why not trade him and get some prospects in return? He obviously still has talent and value, and the Red Sox need to be looking to the future.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comments Off on Feelin’ The Heat


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