June 30, 2017

No, that rabbit isn’t dead, it’s Peach taking a well-deserved bunny nap after a morning of rearranging his area – something he does constantly – and finishing his breakfast of romaine lettuce, Italian parsley and slice of banana. That after his snack of dried pineapple chunks and Nibble Rings.

The first time we saw Peach taking a nap we kind of freaked out because he has this habit of his eyes kind of staying open and rolling back in his head as if he were dead. Of all the rabbits we’ve had over the years he’s the only one who sleeps like that. The other cool thing about Peach is seeing all that white fur under his belly and under his feet and bunny tail. If you see him during the normal course of his day you’d swear he’s a brown rabbit, but he’s got a whole lot of white just under his top fur.

Peach is a cool rabbit, but very timid. His cage area is open to the rest of the room (and, by default, the rest of the house), but he won’t venture beyond the rugs that define his area of the room from my office.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:57 | Comments (0)
June 28, 2017

I’ve finally gotten to the point in my range work where I can start working on achieving a Vulcan mind meld with my King Cobra F6 driver. It’s been two months since I got my new clubs and I’ve worked harder than I ever have on understanding my swing and focusing on the things I needed to in order to be a better ball-striker. I’m now at a point I’ve never been, like, ever in my golfing life: being able to go to the range and see the same results from one session to another. It’s not only made my range work more enjoyable, it’s allowed me to be able to work on the kinds of little things I’ve never been able to work on before – little things like playing around with opening up the club face a little more, or trying to hit cuts or draws just for the hell of it. Knowing that if I follow the same axioms like set-up, keeping my Vs, and not jumping at the ball and over-swinging I’ll get the same results.

It doesn’t mean I won’t hit the occasional shank or get out of sorts for a few balls, but unlike in the past when doing so would freak me out and send me into a downward spiral of more shanks and greater over-swings, now it’s an adjustment I can make. Just go back to focusing on what I’d been doing right before and it’s almost like it never happened.

I’m not going to lie to you: Matthew’s Five-Minute Fix from ten days ago might sound moronic – it certainly did to the guy I was playing with last Saturday when I told him about it – but maybe it takes a moron like myself to find a swing key in something moronic. It has made a difference in the results I’ve been getting at the range ever since. And that front-nine 44 at Trilogy Power Ranch was no fluke: I followed the same axioms during that nine that I’d been doing at the range the four – count ‘em, four! – days I hit balls last week in 110+ degree temperatures. Sure, the back nine wasn’t great, but looking back on that round I could see where and how it started to get away from me, and I took something away from it.

Which brings me to today’s post: hitting my driver. Because I’ve spent so much time working on my irons, my driver and my putter have gotten the short end of the stick, but at least as far as the driver goes that ended this week. So on Sunday, yesterday, and this coming Friday I’ll get a large bucket of balls, hit six sand wedges, six pitching wedges, six 5- or 6-irons, a few hybrids and six 5-woods, then settle down with the driver for the rest of the bucket.

It’s something I’ve never done before, but looking at Saturday’s round I’ve come to view my driver as the canary in The Great White Shank’s coal mine, at least as far as over-swinging goes. It usually manifests itself around the third or fourth hole where drives that had started out pretty controlled and straight start to get pushed left, and increasingly so as the round goes on until it reaches a point where I feel I have to start steering the club to just find a fairway. You can kinda-sorta get away with that kind of thing out here in Arizona where one can hit bank-shots off the subdivision walls and fences, but in New England those balls are in the woods and long gone.

Right now I’m just trying to figure out much I can get away with as far as shoulder turn and length of swing go. I know if I jump at the ball and over-swing there’s gonna be a big push to the right. Not a slice, a push. Less frequently do I seem to come over the top and yank or pull the ball to the right (the dreaded two-way miss), and if I do that’s a clear indication I’m over-swinging. So I’ve decided on a strategy that takes the left side out of play: square up aimed slightly right of center and allow the Cobra F6′s natural fade to bring the ball left into (hopefully) the middle of the fairway. At worst, the left side of the fairway or the left rough. I’m also deliberately hitting a lot of balls so that I do start to over-swing and have to force myself to cut down on my swing so that I learn how to adjust when (not if) I start doing it on the course. Not baby the swing, not try to steer the ball, just cut down the length of my swing and swing normally.

It’s been a fun challenge to work on something so esoteric as my trajectory and ball flight, but I see it as an indication as to how far I’ve come in the past two months. Having the basic fundamentals down I feel as if I have the time and luxury of truly learning how to hit my driver. Whether this works or not, well, ask me after Goodboys Invitational weekend: like I say, playing golf in the Valley of the Sun is different from playing in New England. But, agreeing with Greg “The Great White Shark” Norman, who says the ball off the tee is the most important shot you hit on any hole, I feel I’m at a point now where if I can keep my drives in the fairway I stand a damned good chance of making bogey or better.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:40 | Comments (2)
June 27, 2017

Finally, today we’re going to start seeing daily temperatures that have been at 115 or better here in the Valley of the Sun start to drop to something a little more reasonable. The heat wave of the past ten days has been the hottest stretch of weather I can remember since we moved here, I can tell you that.

Cute and cuddly alligator? Not.

Expect to see more of this happening nationwide. The problem with the Komen Foundation is they lost their way, expanding into supporting Planned Parenthood and its bogus claims about providing free mammograms to women. As a result, the Komen Foundation’s reputation has been irreparably damaged. Too bad, but that’s the way it goes.

Unlike some, I don’t long for the good old days, at least when it comes to retailing. Even in the mall heyday I never liked Sears. Retailing of any kind has always – and will always – require creativity when it comes to treating the customer right.

…along those same lines: unlike Amazon, a brick-and-mortar store can’t carry everything, but what you do have to have is a) a reason for folks to come in, and b) a customer experience that leaves them wanting to come back for more.

…it’s like a restaurant: you can have the best food in the world, but if you have crappy service the word will get around, you’ll have lots of empty tables, and no one will want to come in. Likewise, you can have the best and most attentive service in the world, but if the food sucks the word will get around and you’re in the same death spiral.

…Sears never figured either of those things out. Their stores were always unimaginative and cluttered, and the help never seemed to care one way or the other. Now, Kohl’s is typically cluttered and sales help hard to find, but most folks seem to overlook that because of their selection and good deals. When I need, say, socks and underwear, I can go into a Kohl’s, find it in five minutes, and usually end up picking up an item or two I didn’t plan on simply because of the deals. Retailing isn’t easy, but even in these Amazon days it can be done successfully.

…I guess what I’m saying here is that I won’t miss Sears leaving the retailing scene in the least.

No matter where you go – even if you’re in the tropics and on vacation – rule #1 is nothing good happens after 11 PM.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:33 | Comments (0)
June 26, 2017

I like this…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 06:55 | Comments (0)
June 25, 2017

Days until the 2017 Goodboys Invitational: 27
Location: Trilogy Golf at Power Ranch
Score: 44 / 52 = 96
Handicap: 23.7 / Trend: 23.9 (+.02)

Would have been a great day for some David Lee Roth out at Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch, because crazy from the heat did we get. It was already 105 at 9:30 AM when we teed off, by the time we finished in a tidy 3:15, it was 115. And not a whiff of a breeze out there to move the air around. Definitely the hottest conditions I’ve ever played in out here, tho’ still not as brutal as that day on Goodboys Friday at The Ledges in York, Maine where it hit 105 degrees with humidity. Comparing today like that day in 2013 is like comparing the steam room and the sauna at the Wynn Las Vegas Spa – different kinds of heat, neither suitable for playing golf.

But with just 27 days remaining until Goodboys Invitational weekend I gotta play, so me and my playing partner for the day, Ryan (a 13-handicap, he) kept pushing the fluids to stay hydrated and got the round in and done without getting hurt or getting heat stroke. But it was hot: so hot, in fact, that beside the par 5 7th, in the shade of a large Palo Verde, a family of thirteen – count ‘em, thirteen – rabbits, everything from adults to young ‘uns, just lay there in the open trying to stay cool, not even moving a muscle when we sauntered up to the tee just yards away from them. Wish I had a pic, but that would have meant walking back to the cart to grab my camera. Believe me, there was no extra walking if we didn’t have to.

On to the golf. Obviously if you make the turn – any turn – in 44 you’ve doing something right, but I was scrambling out there because of my driver. One of my take-aways from today’s round is that I have to do a better job of hitting my driver once I get a few holes in. I can feel it starting to slip away from me: my swing gets a little longer, I start pushing the ball out to the left, and by the tenth hole I’m missing fairways entirely. But for that opening nine, my ball-striking was the best it has been all year (thanks Matthew!), and while I missed two putts less than two feet in length, I also made a magnificent (and lucky!) birdie on the par 3 8th out of the sand – on a downhill lie, no less, that came out silky, hit the stick, and dropped into the cup. The short game giveth, the short game taketh away.

It was on the back nine that I started to get sloppy. Maybe it was the heat, but I didn’t help things with some questionable course management decisions. I gave up the prospect of a certain bogey on #10 by pulling my 3-hybrid from 190 yards away (given the hole and the angle a 3/4 5-iron would have been more than enough), but I wanted to hit my hybrids as much as possible today and it was an opportunity. I caught it good and the last time we saw my orange ball it was rocketing its way over the restrooms well left and beyond. Triple-bogey seven. On #12, knowing I was pushing my driver I should have aimed left of the fairway, but there’s a road on the other side of the fence I didn’t want to take a chance with, so my big push left disappeared into the dirt and brush by an adjoining subdivision. Could we have found it? Probably, but in New England that ball was OB in the woods. A couple of sloppy recovery shots and a two-putt, and that was another triple-bogey seven. Fortunately, the par 3s (bogey, par) and the par 5s (par, bogey) kept my back nine from going completely off the rails. Another big push on the par 4 #16 (#1 handicap hole) and more sloppy play (including a shanked 9-iron) led to a third triple-bogey, and a quad bogey on #18 after finding the fairway (including a whiffed 5-iron) led to a 52 that could have been even worse were it not for my short game.

There’s a lot of good I can take away from today’s round – 12 holes bogey or better, 33 putts, much better ball-striking with my irons. I even hit two really solid 5-woods that helped me par and bogey two of the par 5s (needed to see that, fer shure). But looking ahead to Goodboys weekend I’ve got to tighten my game up once I start getting deeper into the round. By the back nine I was falling back into bad habits: over-swinging, playing the ball too far forward, etc., so my work this coming week and my next planned round at Stonecreek Golf Club will be focused on staying within myself. I need to learn to slow down and take more practice swings until I feel exactly the swing I want to make, then replicate it – especially when I’m on the tee. Stonecreek will pose a sterner test than Trilogy, so reigning my excesses in will definitely be needed.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:43 | Comments (0)
June 24, 2017

Not quite what the Tradewinds sang about, but you get the idea. Yep, that’s the view of the Kokopelli Golf Club driving range, looking from the far right-hand side of the range to the first fairway. It was 11:30 AM on a Friday, the sun was shining bright, the temperature was hovering around 106, and I felt like I was a member of a very exclusive golf club where I was the only member as I walked out onto the range. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that, does it?

It’s my fourth time out in a week to try and nail down the incorporation of Matthew’s “Five-Minute Fix” into all the work I’ve put in since I got my new clubs six weeks ago. Am I 100% there yet? No. Do I feel as if I’m striking the ball better and more consistently than I ever have? Yes. Will it all translate to the course? I’ll tell y’all after my round at Trilogy Power Ranch tomorrow. The high is supposed to be around 115, and I’m going off at 9:30 AM, so hopefully I’ll be off the course by the time the witching hours of 2 PM and beyond come in. I will say I feel very confident about the changes that I’ve made with a lot of hard work, self-assessment, and, of course, Matthew’s tip. I’m still going to scull or shank the occasional ball, but the key is that when I do so, I know what I did wrong and can fix it pretty damned quickly.

My work on the 5-wood and the 3- and 4- hybrids continues to come along. Just trying not to over-swing and shift my weight with these clubs is so important, and still a work in progress, but I’m not going to play defensively: they either get the job done when they’re called upon or they don’t. But I guarantee you they will get their chance, fer shure.

Hard to believe that one month from today the 2017 Goodboys Invitational weekend will be history, the twelve Goodboys who have spent the last three months or so e-mailing and yukking it up in gleeful anticipation all scattered to the four winds like late autumn leaves. My clubs will find their normal place in the back corner of the garage until the fall, and I’ll go back to my normal routine – there’s lots to do around the house and the backyard.

Until that time, however, I’ll just focus on continuing to get my swing in order. There’s lots of golf to be played in the next month, and I’ll be playing at least once a week until I head back to Massachusetts for the third week in July. This weekend it’s Trilogy at Power Ranch, next weekend it will be Stonecreek Golf Club in Phoenix, with its ponds and gazillion sand traps. The Friday after that it will be back to Lone Tree Golf Club, and finally, two days before I head east, the traditional send-off at the quirky and always-tough Superstition Springs Golf Club. I have a feeling that by that time I’ll have a pretty damned good idea of where my game stands, and I think I’ll be ready. If not, well, let’s not talk like that, keep focusing on the progress I’ve been making. Sooner or later it will translate in scoring – you watch.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:47 | Comments (0)
June 23, 2017

Every picture tells a story:

You first.

Class act.

Heroes work.

Classic surf.

Very cute, but evil.

Puzzling.

One can only hope.

Napkin math:

[Jon] Ossoff raised $23.6 million to make a symbolic run against President Trump, most of it from Marin County, California and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Running the numbers, Democrats might have been better off considering that same amount would have bought 855,072 school lunches (at $2.76 each); 236,000 elementary school textbooks (at $100 each) or even 956 Priuses (at $24,685 each).

Max Weber said that the purpose of a bureaucracy is to maintain or expand its own power. Who cares about children, education or the environment when there’s power to be grabbed? Either that, or Democrats just aren’t very good with numbers.

And they most certainly liberals don’t give a sh*t about anything else except exerting and maintaining their power. They’re beyond reprehensible. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

World gone mad.

Monster vote in Georgia.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:41 | Comments (0)
June 22, 2017

Hat tip: Mark Simone

Hey liberals, I forget – why weren’t you fifty points ahead? Indeed.

I don’t care, President Trump, bring it on. I’m still not tired of all the winning.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 03:39 | Comments (0)
June 21, 2017

Poor Jon Ossoff, the pajama boy candidate Democrats from all over poured massive amounts of dough-re-mi into in the hope they’d finally have something to crow about in their ongoing resistance to Donald Trump’s presidency. Turns out not even the mainstream media and Hollywood show-biz elites could stop him from getting smoked in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election.

As it turns out, Ossoff appears to have suffered from the same affliction Hillary Clinton did: the more voters got to know him and see him, the less they liked him. Take a look at this chart of the vote shift between the first April 18 election and July 20th’s. Never mind the fact that pajama boy didn’t even live in the district and couldn’t even vote for himself because of it – he was the Dems boy who would lead their journey out of the political wilderness they’ve found themselves in since Donald Trump’s election.

Sooner or later, Democrats and liberals are just going to have to accept the fact that not only is Donald Trump President, he will be for another 3 1/2 years. Moan about it all you want. Groan about it all you want. Proclaim yourself the “resistance” all you want. The fact is, Democrats need to take a long, hard look at what their party has become. A party that stands for nothing beyond the obstruction of Donald Trump’s agenda for working Americans. A party who stands for larger and more intrusive government. A party who believes in greater taxation, unfettered illegal immigration, and waging war on average Americans using race, culture, gender, and every other kind of social injustice they can gin up as a way to tear us apart instead of uniting us.

How’s that working out for ya?

Most Americans between the coasts have come to realize that the Democratic Party, their operatives in the mainstream media, and the liberal/progressive agenda they espouse have become a joke. They’re nothing but a bunch of losers (and sore losers at that) pushing a loser agenda who can’t accept the fact that their crappy candidate lost a presidential election to the likes of Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump!

The Democrats are now 0-4 in special elections. And Democrats can hem and haw all they want about pajama boy’s loss, but this little political race was a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency. Karen Handel might have won the seat, but the biggest winner of the night was President Trump. And you know what that makes them? Losers. In the words of Boston’s iconic radio talk-host, Howie Carr: their agony is my joy.

Oh, and the biggest losers as far as this election goes? CNN. Can you say, constipation?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 03:20 | Comments (0)
June 20, 2017

Not only the longest day of the year, but out here in Phoenix likely the hottest as well. Just before I posted this at 3:30 PM, as you can see our backyard patio (in the shade) it showed 119.

It was already 108 when I hit the driving range for a large bucket at 11 AM. And it wasn’t just hot, it felt a little humid as well. By the time I was through it was 112 and I was a sweat-drenched rag from top to bottom. Taking a dip in our 90-degree pool felt pretty refreshing when I got home, I can tell you that!

And “Matthew’s Five-Minute Fix” continues to pay dividends. Ball-striking wise, it was my best range session in a long time. Not my personal best – I still remember one large bucket a couple of years ago where everything I hit was a beautiful controlled draw; not sure what I was doing right then, it never reappeared again. But right now I’m very pleased. I’m planning another session on Friday ahead of playing a round somewhere on Saturday. I’ll try and ride this wave as long as it lasts.

I’ve been saying all along that once all the investigations are done it will be shown that Donald Trump would have won at least 4 or 5 more states had it not been for all the illegal voting that undoubtedly happened. If this happened in 2008, you know damned well it was just as bad or worse in 2016. Between the Trump initiatives on illegal immigration and national election voter fraud, expect the Democrats to have even more of an uphill climb in 2020. If they can’t cheat, they can’t win.

Good luck with your new vocation, Colin Kaepernick. Hope you’re a damned better Social Justice Activist than you were a quarterback. At least no one will be able to accuse you as a SJA of throwing a ball like a girl.

…and speaking of troubled athletes, didn’t I tell y’all this was gonna happen? I’m still confused by one thing: what was he doing out there at 3 AM if he was taking such powerful pain meds? Something isn’t making sense. But the truth will eventually come out.

A hero in every sense of the word. May he rest in peace.

The Red Sox aren’t going to go far this year with the infield depth they currently have. The Josh Rutledges and Deven Merreros of the world just ain’t gonna cut it. Given that even with that lack of depth they once again sent Pablo Sandoval to the DL makes me hope we’ve somehow seen the last of “Fat Pig”. What a waste of money…

Never mind just how bad a candidate Hillary Clinton was. How the Democrats lost a completely-winnable 2016 election all wrapped up in a single post. It would be a must-read for every Democrat strategist out there, but that train left the station a long time ago and it ain’t never coming back.

You can’t have it be the longest day of the year and the start of summer without a bitchin’ surf band performance with Fender guitars and a hot chick bassist. With shoes that match her skirt, no less. :-)

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 15:34 | Comments (0)

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