April 4, 2018

We’ve been waiting for, like, forever but it’s finally here: the Masters. Between now and Sunday we’ll be treated to the best professional golf has to offer, and in the most beautiful of surroundings. Here’s ten predictions for the Masters:

1. Jim Nantz gets all folksy and greets us each day with “Hello, friends.”
2. All the ESPN guys commentating on golf – especially Mike Tirico – will stand out like brown shoes on a tuxedo, and the late Ken Venturi will once again be turning over in his grave.
3. Tiger Woods’ name will be mentioned 14,659 times over the four-day broadcast.
4. The azaleas will astound.
5. It will sound as if every blue jay and sparrow, and nuthatch will have gathered on the Augusta National grounds.
6. We won’t get tired of the limited commercial breaks.
7. Tiger Woods finishes second to Bubba Watson.
8. Rory McIlroy misses the cut.
9. …as does Sergio, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Thomas.
10. Anticipation to do it all over again in 2019 will begin.

Speaking which, queue the music!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:33 | Comments Off on Ten Things You’ll See and Hear at the Masters
April 2, 2018

Lots going down this coming week. For one thing, it’s Masters Week, my favorite professional golf week of the year. On the weekends, I’ll set up a Bloody Mary bar for me and Tracey, and we’ll watch the before, during and after proceedings on Saturday and Sunday with cocktails and a special lunch on Saturday (usually Harvey’s Specials) and on Sunday a big breakfast with all the trimmings. I sure hope I get to see it all in a stress-free environment.

I mention this because it’s also a big week at the Client-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless – the first of three weeks where I’m hoping all the work we’ve been planning for over the past two months to fix everything that ails that client finally gets put into motion. There’s a lot riding on what’s about to happen because a lot of folks think all the ongoing issues they’ve been having will be fixed and everything that ails them will be cured with a single magic bullet of changing file formats. Will it? My personal feeling is no, and it’s still 50/50 that our solution in place since December will be yanked and the lawsuits will start flying. All I – and my team – can do is control what we can control, start making things happen this week, and try not to f**k things up any more than we have to date. Next weekend should be one filled with a lot of activity – hopefully good activity that will allow me to enjoy the Masters without a laptop in my, well, lap. We shall see.

Last but not least on the list is taxes. I’ve done my part to get everything where Tracey needs them, now it’s her turn to bring the ship into port.

It’ll be interesting to see what things look like on all of these fronts come a week from now.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:41 | Comments Off on Big Week
April 1, 2018

Happy Easter to everyone from Goodboys Nation weblog and the Goodboys!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 14:43 | Comments Off on A Goodboy’s Easter

First of all, a happy and blessed Easter to all. It’s important, especially given the tone of this thread, to remember the overriding lesson of Easter, that the death and suffering of Good Friday does not have the final say as to how the game is played out in biblical terms. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, “…if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith”.

Still, my Easter is not a time for joy nor sadness, just another reminder of how everything associated with it is gone.

…I remember a Holy Saturday afternoon service at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in North Billerica, Mass., sitting in the back pew, bathed in the colors of the stained glass windows above, and being overwhelmed by the imagery contained in the lyrics of that mournful Easter hymn, “The strife is o’er, the battle done”:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.

The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions has dispersed.
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.

The three sad days are quickly sped;
he rises glorious from the dead.
All glory to our risen Head.

He closed the yawning gates of hell;
the bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let hymns of praise his triumph tell.

Lord, by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death’s dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

…I have a picture on my nightstand of my godfather Milt, who was our choir director at St. Anne’s back in the early to mid-Seventies, smiling and happy in his choir director robe (something few, if any, musical directors or organists do anymore, BTW), and opposite him, a picture of me, Charlie Corkum and his wife Marem, and Don McKeown (me, Charlie, and Don served as the bass section of our choir) with two of our sopranos, Gladys Cerrato and Eleanor Daley, taken at Milt’s parents’ house – a big, rambling two-story house that until recently sat at the corner of Boston Road (Route 3A) and Treble Cove Road down the road from St. Anne’s – during a choir breakfast between the early and late services on Easter morning.

…I remember us as a choir trying to process down the aisle while Milt played this horrendous Easter hymn I still somewhat remember, “Hail Thee Festival Day”, at breakneck speed. I think Milt just wanted to get it over as quickly as he could, but I remember Auntie Marge complaining about being practically out of breath by the time we ascended to the choir stalls!

But they’re all gone. Some many years ago, others, like my mom, Auntie Marge, and the old Gullage house, more recently. And as for the old St. Anne’s choir, I think my dad and I are the only ones left. It’s not surprising – we’re talking over forty years ago!

…I remember a Good Friday in the mid-’90s, standing at the altar with my good friend Pete Jeffrey and our interim priest at the time, Fr. Hendy Webb, consuming the last of the consecrated Host in preparation for Easter.

…I remember one of the years I attended the Great Vigil of Easter at the Church of the Advent in Boston and hearing thunder and rain pelting down on the roof as the story was told of Noah and the Great Flood, the lighting of the Paschal fire, the infant baptisms (they’d all be in their early twenties by now!), and the glorious sounds of “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today” sung by the choir. I would love to go back there some Easter Eve to experience it all over again, but I’d be afraid of seeing it fall short of the what I remembered it as being.

…I remember all the years – I’m talking decades here – the combined Richard and Fudge families would gather at the Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus. There were some great times, and I’m glad my Auntie Marge and I were the ones to end it in a proper fashion before it became something akin to an obligation as the restaurant started to go downhill and the family kept on getting older and more spread out!

…I don’t remember any of the Easter services at Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabethtown, KY (or, for that matter, anything associated with Easter during our four years in Kentucky). I find that strange. I see their website is pretty minimal, and that they now share the building with a Lutheran church, so things can’t be going all that well there.

At any rate, all I’m saying is that I used to love Holy Week and Easter. But everything I associate with that time is gone.

I grasp onto George Harrison’s “Be Here Now” as a lifeline, feeling a combined sense of gladness and melancholy to have had such wonderful memories that I can still remember and cherish. But it also makes me sad: sad to know I’ll never experience those memories again; sad to know there will come a time when those memories will die with me as well.

And there’s no resurrecting that or them in any way, manner, shape, or form.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:37 | Comments Off on My Easter


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