March 28, 2016

Was cleaning out the Pictures folder on my phone and came across this photo that I took while I was back in Massachusetts last fall. Too nice a pic not to post it up on the blog, I think…

Being here in Atlanta for business while back in Arizona the Valley of the Sun is in the full of Spring, it seems like an image from another world (actually, another planet)!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:12 | Comments (0)
March 27, 2016

From Luke 24:1–12:

At daybreak on the first day of the week the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they remembered his words.

Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.

Christ is risen, Alleluia!

The happiest of Easters from all the Goodboys and Goodboys Nation weblog!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:50 | Comments (0)
March 23, 2016

Ahhh yes, Holy Week. Back when I was deeply involved in church stuff this was THE week of the year, with lots of activities and services and time for meditation, contemplation and the like. These days? Not so much. I really don’t venture close to my Roman Catholic church because of the crowds, was thinking this year of heading up to one of the smaller Episcopal churches on Saturday where they have a small group that gathers since I’m traveling to Atlanta for business on Sunday. Times have changed, I’ve changed. It’s all good though…

But that doesn’t mean Holy Week gets short shrift in my consciousness. I was looking at the prayer grove next to the house today and it is truly beautiful and peaceful there. Thanks to our El Nino winter where we only really got two nights where the temps made it anywhere much below freezing the bougainvillea are as full and vibrant as I can remember. Carmelo’s guys do a truly great job maintaining the grove and keeping the natural archway we’ve cultivated looking as lovely as it is. And yesterday’s windstorm helped turn the ground into a carpet of Lenten violet just in time for the Triduum:

Our neighbors all know that the grove is available to everyone to use as a place for meditation. There’s even a bench to the left that makes it perfect to sit and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Not sure anyone has actually done so, but it’s there just the same.

Tomorrow night I’ll place a candle at the base of the table and let it burn as long as Creation desires.

My prayers and thoughts go out to all for a blessed and spiritual Holy Week and Easter.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:50 | Comments (0)
March 21, 2016

So let’s see: Bubba Watson already has two wins on the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season, you had Adam Scott with back-to-back wins on the recently-completed “Florida Swing”, you had Charl Schwartzel winning at the Valspar (green jacket holders all), and now you’ve got Jason Day picking up the win at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational. Has there ever been such a suite of top-flight players playing their best just weeks before the Masters?

And if you’re looking for additional story lines and intrigue, consider that Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, two of the three top golfers in the world, have been struggling as of late. Can they get their kwan together in time for Augusta?

It’s a great lead-up to Augusta. Can’t wait for the proceedings to start.

—-

And while we’re on the subject of golf, kudos to Paula Creamer, who, after a year of being nowhere and playing a similar form of golf, finally looks like she has finally gotten her golf act back together with two very good finishes the last two times out. Let’s hope this means a little more coverage for The Great White Shank’s favorite LPGA golfer!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:15 | Comments (0)
March 19, 2016

To quote one of my heroes, that cultural icon Charlie Sheen.

There’s a YUUUUGE! Donald Trump rally just up the road a piece in Fountain Hills ahead of Arizona’s primary this coming Tuesday (no need to worry, Ivanka, already voted for The Donald by mail), and as become par for the course lately, the usual wackos and get-a-lifers are out in force.

Which has gotten me to thinking lately: if it is true, as they say, that you can take the measure of a man by his enemies, what of the argument by Ted Cruz and many of his supporters that Trump is some kind of closet liberal? What of the argument by so many in the media and GOP establishment circles that Trump would get destroyed by Hillary Clinton in the general election? What of the argument by those on the liberal left that Trump is a buffoon, a racist, sexist xenophobe who has no place in any election cycle, let alone this year’s presidential cycle? And, most recently, what of the legion of political commentators and GOP insiders who say there’s no way Trump will ever get enough delegates to gain the GOP nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland that that an open convention is a sure thing?

If all this is true, why the hysteria?

More to the point: if, as conventional wisdom says, Trump has no chance – zero, nada, zilch – to win in the general election, and if there is no way, once elected, he’d ever be able to do what he’s said from the start he’s going to do (build a wall and have Mexico pay for it, temporarily suspend Muslim immigration, renegotiate trade deals with our trading partners, etc.), why all the outrage from every freakin’ progressive liberal leftist wacko organization? Why the increasing level of protest and vitriol? Why the panic setting in on the so-called “conservative” right and the Beltway establishment on both sides of the political aisle?

I mean, it wasn’t that long ago – weeks really – that the worst you’d see is a couple-two-three protestors being escorted out of one of Trump’s rallies. Ah, the good old days! Now you got the Progressive Left mobilizing in Obama community-organizer style in damned-near Occupy Wall Street numbers blocking streets, doing the old civil disobedience stuff, carrying the usual array of vile signs and Mexican flags (yeah, that’ll really help the cause!) and chanting long-outdated and stupid unimaginative slogans (“Hey hey, ho ho Donald Trump has got to go!”) in yet-another pathetic attempt to recreate the Sixties of their parents and Bernie Sanders / Fidelista heroes.

[Ed. note: I'm not saying there shouldn't be protests - that's the ultimate form of freedom of speech and what makes America America. But I draw the line - and they should as well - at protest and civil disobedience that conlicts with my rights to travel freely and go about my own business freely. But that's not the point of today's post.]

The point is: Why Trump? And, more importantly, why now? I mean, Trump’s been saying the same stuff – in some cases, literally – for the past nine months. And why aren’t these folks organizing at Ted Cruz rallies? After all, isn’t Ted the “true” outsider, the “real deal” conservative, the keeper of the conservative agenda, so say his legions of supporters on the conservative right? And why aren’t these folks organizing at John Kasich “town halls” (political speak for I-don’t-have-enough-supporters-to-hold-a-rally)?

I’ll tell you why. Because Trump is winning. Trump is winning, and his opponents – the open border, cheap labor, big government, free trade, status-quo establishment types of the military-industrial-entertainment complex (to quote Fox Mulder) on both sides of the political aisle are scared out of their wits. Scared that Trump has tapped into something they can no longer control. Scared that as he continues to win folks who naturally gravitate to winners will also join the political insurgency that started when he and Melania rode that escalator down to the Trump Tower lobby last June. Scared that Hillary Clinton – the ultimate establishment candidate – stands no chance against the withering broadsides Trump has only started to hint at that are coming.

What scares them is the increasing likelihood that Trump could – gulp! – actually win and upset the status quo and spoils system both political parties have worked so hard to cultivate since the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. What scares them is that deep down they know that Trump is a winner writing his own rules as to how the political game is to be played in 2016. He’s his own man, a closer that doesn’t enter into any deal he doesn’t think he can win.

Trump is playing chess while his opponents from every side of the political spectrum seems to be playing Chinese checkers. And somehow, I think they also know this, which is what scares them the most.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 12:38 | Comments (0)
March 17, 2016

A few thoughts in between work and naps as I try to get over this damned bug.

R.I.P. Frank Sinatra, Jr. I can’t believe he was 72. I give the guy a lot of credit, he was living in one of the longest parental shadows any son could ever live in and still made himself his own man. Would have loved to see him in concert singing some of his Dad’s songs. When I heard the news all I could think of is how old we’re all getting.

Speaking of which, Happy 75th birthday Mike Love!

This country is truly going to hell in a hand basket and it’s not because of Donald Trump. Dudes, just go to a gym and start losing weight – it’s cheaper!

Wow! My sister-in-law Tam can get a little wacky at times but nothing like this. But it’s still good to know there are measures if needed. :-)

Put me down with Eric Willbur as a little concerned about the 2016 Sox. Hanley Ramirez makes a diving stop at first base in spring training and that’s news? Yowza. I’ll tell you what isn’t news: the Pablo Sandoval signing will go down as one of the worst in Red Sox history. The guy is poison.

…Which is why I think Red Sox manager John Farrell is on the shortest leash in baseball. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him gone by early summer. I’ll tell you that affair with that Comcast NE sports chick did him no favors with Red Sox management.

OK, so tell me how this news helps Ted Cruz’s campaign in any way.

Hillary, time to take your meds, dear…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:32 | Comments (0)
March 16, 2016

Silly me. I thought Donald Trump’s entry would turn the Republican Party establishment upside down simply because he was unlike anything they would have ever dared allow into the mix of candidates for the presidential nomination. He’s brash. He’s bold. He’s not willing to play games with the mainstream media. And, more than anything (listen up, John McCain and Mitt Romney) he’s a winner who plays by his own rules, defying any attempt by the Republican Party / Democratic Party / media establishment “cartel” (to use Ted Cruz’s words) to keep the status quo.

I’ve always felt deep down that if it came to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the GOP establishment and their insiders in the conservative media would talk a good game publicly but deep inside (and in the voting booth) choose Madame Hillary. Why? Because she’s the quintessential Washington / Beltway insider. Not as progressive as Bernie Sanders has forced her to be, totally part and parcel with the establishment. Simply put, more than anything else, she’d be predictable and far more likely to keep the status quo and system of spoils that Washington operates around more than Donald Trump ever would – indeed, even more than Barack Obama has.

Me? I despise everything about the GOP establishment, and like many Trump supporters who come from the conservative side of the Republican Party, want to see it burn to the ground, taking the likes of squishes like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, the GOP senators and representatives who ran as conservatives but turned into squishes as soon as they arrived in Washington (our Arizona senators McCain and Flake are poster children), and the big-money donors who ensure nothing ever changes with them. I know Trump’s candidacy isn’t going to do that single-handed, but it can sure make these bastards squirm in their seats, that’s for sure.

I knew Trump’s ascendancy would turn the candidates against each other as the original seventeen slowly but gradually were reduced to the current four – that’s politics, after all – but I never in my life imagined that the conservative media would turn against each other the way it has. I mean, you’d think that simply because I support Donald Trump I and those like me are to Republican Party and GOP politics the equivalent of kryptonite to Superman. I used to enjoy websites and blogs like Red State, Hot Air, National Review Online, and Power Line (to name just a few), cable outlets like FOX News, and radio shows hosted by Salem Communications (Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, and Dennis Prager) but finally grew weary of the daily onslaught and increasingly personal and vicious attacks on both Trump and his supporters. Heck, you’d think we were the problem, not Washington, the GOP establishment, and indeed the entire nominating process that created the fertile environment from which Trump’s candidacy emerged.

Me, I’ve always believed that you can disagree with someone politically but it doesn’t have to get personal. My problem with the media outlets above is that not only has their coverage been incredibly one-sided (in FOX’s case, Megyn Kelly has become virtually unwatchable in its anti-Trump vitriol), but once-favorite bloggers have allowed their sites to not just become quite nasty in tone, but stifle any form of dissent to the extent where long-time visitors and commenters have been banned (never a good thing unless they regularly violate the rules of conduct) and links to other blogs that have dared to cover Trump’s campaign with any kind of favorability or at least even-handedness have been removed.

As both a Republican and a conservative, I thought we were better than this. I mean, Mitt Romney was a squish and a phony, but I supported his candidacy and voted for him. Same thing with McCain. Perhaps Trump isn’t a conservative, and perhaps he’s playing a different game than your usual probable (at least at this point) Republican nominee, but fer gawdsakes, the guy isn’t afraid to take the game to the likely Democratic nominee (at least at this point), and you cannot deny he’s bringing the kinds of voters into the booth – and perhaps the Party – that no other Republican candidate could ever dream of doing. Does anyone really think that with Ted Cruz – a so-called “true conservative” (whatever that means) at the top of the ticket he could bring states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and possibly New York and New Jersey into play for 2016? I don’t think so.

But I believe Donald Trump can. Of course, the media outlets mentioned above will rail endlessly that Trump couldn’t beat Hillary in a general election, but that kind of conventional wisdom has been proven wrong by Trump over and over again since his entry into the race last summer. Of course, as I mentioned above, you can expect an endless parade of so-called “conservatives” who’ll come out in support of Hillary, but all that does is reinforce my original conviction that these folks have never been conservative, they’re just so tied with the UniParty establishment in Washington that the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency scares the bejeezus out of them.

As it should. Which is why I’m sticking with The Donald through thick and thin. After all, can you imagine another candidate with the chutzpah to put out an ad like this?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 18:28 | Comments (3)
March 13, 2016

It’s been quite the month of March so far.

A visit back to see the folks in late Feb introduced me to a bug of some sort, then my mom took sick with probably the same thing I had and ended up spending the better part of ten days in the hospital, meaning another trip back and doing that familiar “create order out of chaos” thing that comes with being the oldest brother once you have elderly parents – trips to the hospital, keeping the whole family informed and on the same page, that sort of thing. I don’t mind – comes with the turf. But between spending a day in the ER down the street after my sister-in-law did something to her shoulder (the whole room – and I do mean the whole room filled with kids and teenagers coughing, sneezing, and puking), and two more plane rides filled with the same (though, fortunately, not the latter) my body has been beaten down to the point where I’m the one that needs to go to the doctor and see about getting something more than over-the-counter meds.

I’ve never been one to go the flu shot route – to me it always seemed like an inherently convenient way for the government to slip in something that could modify behavior, like turning conservative-thinking folk into the other persuasion (no conspiracy theorist, I!) – but after this year, and recognizing the fact that, all the gym work aside, I am now in my sixties, I think next year I’ll give it a go.

It’s good to be back home in the Valley of the Sun. Sitting here under the Tiki bar on a lovely, sun-splashed Sunday morning with a big cup of joe in my favorite Jacques Cousteau-quoting…

The Sea
“Once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonders forever.”

nautical-themed cup at my reach, doors to the kitchen wide open, the sounds of birds chirping and folks going about their weekend-warrior activities beyond the walls outside, Golf Channel on the TV inside, it occurs to me that it doesn’t get a whole lot better than this. The air fragrant with the sweet smell of all the fruit trees budding (from the looks of it my neighbor Shawn is going to have a bumper crop of grapefruit; same for us and our lime tree). Gekkos scurrying along the walls and darting in and out of the bushes planted alongside. The sound of water trickling across the swimming pool fountain rocks. If I felt better I’d hit a bucket of balls over at Superstition Springs this afternoon, but I tried to swing a 7-iron yesterday in the front yard and it felt like it weighed twenty pounds. When I start feeling better I’ll start making the transition from working-on-my-swing winter golf to preparing for Goodboys Invitational weekend which, hard to believe, is just four itty-bitty months away.

[Speaking of which...Yo, Goose - I know you frequent this site from time to time. If you look carefully in the upper right-hand corner of this page you might notice that one of those two strikingly-handsome gents holding the Spielberg Memorial Trophy looks an awful lot like you. Meaning, isn't it about time for Exec-Comm to start stirring from its off-season hibernation and start getting on the stick as far as the 2016 Goodboys Invitational is concerned? I mean, where are we going? Where are we playing? Who's in? Who's not? Whither "Mothra"? Where are we staying? Who is my partner? How much will it cost? You know, the usual things...]

After being away from the house for the better part of a month there’s a lot of work to do inside as far as cleaning is concerned. Not so much outside, fortunately – at last not like the last two years where we had the grande Tiki bar deck and Tiki bar roof replacement projects. I want to re-theme all the silk flower pots and replace the clay one that finally disintegrated from years of sun and heat, but frankly, that’s about it. God-willing-and-the-creek-don’t-rise we’re still on track to have all of our non-mortgage debt paid off by Halloween (Labor Day if we get a little lucky), but I’m more than happy just taking things week to week, recognizing how fragile our individual earthly existences are where everything and anything can change at a moment’s notice.

The bougainvillea are outstanding this year. Will try and get some pics up over the next few days.

Hope y’all didn’t think I had dropped the ball on the blog too badly. It’s good to be back.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 12:02 | Comments (5)
March 2, 2016

Not much going on here, still recovering from a bout with the flu. So just to make sure y’all know I haven’t disappeared…

Super Tuesday turned out to be another good night for Donald Trump. The big loser last night was “Marcolito” Rubio, who has revealed himself to be nothing more than an obnoxious little Chihuahua punk. Just like every other Republican candidate this election season, attacking Donald Trump is poison.

So now Mitt Romney is going to give a speech denouncing Donald Trump? You mean the winner of the 2012 presidential election? Oh, wait… Yeah, that’ll work – to The Donald’s benefit, where I fully expect him to gain another five points in the polls. Romney might be a great guy personally, but politically he’s a loser. America needs a winner in the White House, not losers like Mitt Romney.

R.I.P. George Kennedy. He was awesome in Police Squad! and The Naked Gun series.

Seems to me that this could be a big thing.

I always thought Allah hated kids.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:14 | Comments (4)

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