March 30, 2019

This will be a good weekend for staying as far away from the computer as possible. I’ve had a bunch of long workdays, and it’s time to work on cleaning the back patio and prepping it for repainting and re-staining next weekend. We’re on the very cusp of much warmer weather, so there’s not a moment to lose! Of course, it means the golf game is back on the shelf for a week or two, but that’s OK – I’m not really all that revved up about playing right now, anyways. There’s just too much to do. And there are plans for a bit of a backyard redesign that I’ll be sharing in my (hopefully) next post (with pictures, no less!). In the meantime…

Think I’ll play this great tune repeatedly while washing down the patio, see what the neighbors think. I mean, you just have to play this loud, right? The cool thing about this song is that the only non-Moog sounds are Donna Summer’s voice and a drummer kicking out the beat with a single smack. But, just to show that more isn’t necessarily better, I have to admit I like the studio (single) version better. It’s just tighter. Check out the video – all these musicians acting as if they’re playing when actually there were only two musicians on the recording, and one of them was Summer, singing! (my boldings):

Before “I Feel Love”, most disco recordings were backed by orchestras. Instead, the team produced “I Feel Love” with a Moog Modular 3P synthesizer borrowed from the classical composer Eberhard Schoener, aided by Schoener’s assistant, Robby Wedel. Wedel proved essential for using the technically complex synthesizer, and Moroder described him as the “unsung hero” of the project. He demonstrated how to synchronize the song’s various elements using an internal click track, a feat Moroder described as “a revelation”.

The song was recorded on a 16-track tape recorder, with the various parts played on a sequencer. As the Moog went out of tune quickly, it had to be recorded in bursts of twenty or thirty seconds before being retuned. To create the hi-hat sound, the team took white noise generated by the Moog and processed it with an envelope. As the Moog could not create an appropriate kick drum sound, the kick was played on a drum kit by session drummer Keith Forsey. Aside from Summer’s vocals, the kick drum is the only element of the song not played by a machine.

40 years later, it still sounds like it came from another universe. It’s an all-time favorite.

Hell, if it were up to me it would haven been closed two weeks ago. But I’ll take it.

I tried to tell y’all that Joe Biden wasn’t aware of what was about to hit him, and, once again, The Great White Shank has been proven right. Biden has always been a stooge, a dolt of a politician, with the political instincts of a sugar glider. Case in point, 2016: sure, his family tragedy had a lot to do with his decision not to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, but as a politician he had to have known that had he entered the race he not only would have beaten Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, he was probably the only Democratic challenger who would have beaten Donald Trump. I guarantee you I wasn’t the only one that breathed a sigh of relief when Biden announced his decision not to seek the presidency.

…that being said, these kinds of moments come and go in the world of politics in the blink of an eye, and in 2019 Biden is old, white, and a symbol of everything that’s wrong with Washington politics. He’s a dope and a joke – someone you wouldn’t even rely on to run supermarket errands. Forget about what the polls say – at this point they’re all about name recognition and nothing else. Fact is, Biden would get his lunch handed to him on the debate stage when things start to get serious. And the unflattering articles being written about him are shots across the bow to tell him to make like an egg and beat it. He’s yesterday’s news, and the other candidates need his donors dough-re-mi for their own campaigns to help them rise above an ever-crowded field.

Simply put, who cares what Jeff Flake thinks? This is a guy, remember, who couldn’t even garner a favorability rating over 16% – 16%! – in Arizona, and as a result chose wisely not to run for re-election. Why anyone thinks anyone cares what this political ignoramus thinks is beyond me.

If I’m Barack Obama I’m carefully watching where the “Russia collusion” hoax fall-out goes from here. This whole thing started with Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch. They thought they were going to get away with it, but then Hillary, of course, lost the election, and then they never thought in a million years Donald Trump would show the patience to allow the Mueller witch-hunt to proceed to it’s completion.

…do you not see it? All the hubbub from Democrats and their operatives in the mainstream media saying, “Donald Trump better not fire Robert Mueller!”, and those unsubstantiated (of course) rumors that Mueller planned to indict Donald Jr. and Ivanka were all nothing but political head-fakes designed to lure Trump into firing Mueller, thereby opening him to real obstruction of justice charges that would increase the chances of impeachment.

…but it was all a joke. Everyone, from Mueller on down to just about everyone except sleaze-ball Adam Schiff and his toady congress-critter from California Eric Swalwell knew there was never any collusion. Now the Democrats have put themselves in the position of looking like sore losers – something easy to spot by voters.

Want my opinion? After the Mueller report is released in its entirety (or as much as is legally possible) in the next two weeks, watch Chuckles Schumer and “San Fran Nan” Pelosi swallow hard and call a yuuuuge press conference to wave the white flag, announcing their acceptance of the results of the Mueller investigation. They’ll say their intention were honest, that they were just “watching out for the American people and the sanctity of the American electoral process.” Of course, it will be bullshit, but it would be the smart thing to do politically – they have to know at this point they’re fighting a losing battle. Besides, they and their party need to start switching the focus and attention to 2020, the debates, and their candidates’ plans for where they want to take the country (for better or for worse).

I’m still not convinced that we won’t see Michelle Obama enter the race for the Democratic nomination.

Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:30 | Comments (0)
March 28, 2019

If Spring is here it means that the MLB season is upon us. Thank goodness, because I was getting pretty sick and tired of seeing the same baseball movies being shown night after night on the MLB Channel!

I’m not quite sure if I’ll get the MLB Extra Innings package in order to get the Red Sox games out here, but I’m definitely thinking about it. I’m not picking the Red Sox to repeat, because repeating is such a difficult thing to do with such a long season ahead of them, but I will say this: my prediction is that if the Sox haven’t got their bullpen and closer situation straightened out by July 31 and the (for real this year) major league trading deadline, they’ll go get themselves a closer and automatically become the favorites to repeat – their front-line starting staff is (barring injuries, of course) in my view the best in the game.

So without further adieu:

AL East: Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles
AL Central: Twins, Royals, Indians, White Sox, Tigers (my surprise pick)
AL West: Astros, Athletics, Angels, Mariners, Rangers

AL Champs: Astros over Red Sox

NL East: Nationals, Mets, Braves, Phillies, Marlins
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, Pirates
NL West: Dodgers, Rockies, Padres, Diamondbacks, Giants

NL Champs: Cubs over Dodgers

World Series: Astros over Cubs

Play Ball!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comments (0)
March 27, 2019

First, let me state I’ve never been to Seattle, but I’ve been to Vancouver, British Columbia, and while it was beautiful to be sure, I can’t say I liked it all that much. I found the beggars to be numerous and abusive, and I almost got into a fight with one of them when he made a move towards my group that I thought threatening. I’ve also seen the increasing number of young people panhandling along the freeways here in Phoenix. I published a post on this not long ago, so I’m not surprised this “Seattle is Dying” special on homelessness is getting so much attention and generating so much controversy.

I’ll agree it is a complex problem borne out of a number of factors, many of which are beyond the control of the average Joe. All I know is, what is happening in Seattle, Portland, and southern California is encroaching on Phoenix and is a cancer that has to be nipped in the bud before it spreads even further. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that in this day and age people ought to have the right to clean and drug-free streets and communities, and should not have to worry about being hassled by folks who are either lazy, addicted, or in any other way incapable or unwilling to work. It may sound cruel and (to some folks) un-Christian, but can anyone argue that this kind of rampant homelessness and addiction is good for society as a whole? What kind of lessons does it teach our children? How much money and resources are dedicated to this issue and this kind of population?

Of course, liberals and progressives will blather on about wealth inequality and the 1% bullshit, as if shaking down every billionaire and sticking wads of $100s into the pockets of the homeless will make a difference. All they want is a socialist, totalitarian society, and we’ve where that got the folks in Venezuela and behind the so-called “Iron Curtain” back in the mid-to-late 20th century. The fact is socialism doesn’t work and has never worked – all it does is put the money and power into the hands of a few who then do anything and everything to consolidate and exploit that power. You might be able to change socioeconomic systems, but you can’t change people.

I think what I would like to see is a national conversation about the issue devoid of politics. But I don’t see how, frankly, that is possible anymore. It would require grown-ups in the room – Democrats and Republicans, liberals, progressives, and conservatives alike – to sit down and brainstorm various ideas. I can’t speak for Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) or Kevin McCarthy (House Minority Leader), but personally I can’t imagine the likes of Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi leaving politics aside in good faith. I just think they’re both poison and only capable of thinking politically how to destroy Donald Trump, and that’s not going to get anyone anywhere. I wish I was wrong.

You may laugh at this, but this is exactly the kind of thing President Trump could engage the likes of Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka on: that is, opening the door to a sober and honest discussion of the issue. Trump is hardly what one would call a politician, and this is one of those issues that ought to transcend politics. It’s also an issue many folks are obviously thinking about (or starting to take seriously), but haven’t the courage the speak up about in the fear of being accused of lacking compassion.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:10 | Comments (0)
March 25, 2019

I hate to say to y’all I told you so, but, well, I told you so. But of course, no one listens to The Great White Shank – especially those so consumed with hatred for Donald Trump that you haven’t been able to see or think straight for the past 2 1/2 years. To those who believe in The Great White Shank, well, yesterday’s news (the headline aside) should have come as no surprise. If it did, shame on you.

You obviously get your news and information from CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and you treat it as gospel.

After all, your thinking goes, there’s no way Donald Trump and sixty-odd million Americans could have taken the coronation of St. Hillary Clinton away from her legally, right? I mean, it had to be something else – something, y’know, like Russia and the hacking to DNC servers and Trump being an agent of Putin that allowed him to be put over the top. Had to be, right? It couldn’t have been that Hillary Clinton was so unlikeable as a person and so horrible as a politician. And there just had to be some kind of Russian influence connected with the Trump campaign that prevented her from campaigning hard to the finish and making a visit or two to Wisconsin, right?

Never mind that the Russia collusion idea was planted by the Clinton campaign itself as an excuse immediately after her defeat – it’s right there at the end of the book Shattered. Now I wonder, I wh-wh-wh-wh-wonder, where on earth could they have gotten that idea? Could it have been that the campaign was already aware of Operation “Crossfire Hurricane”? Let me answer the question for y’all: the answer is yes. And, sooner or later (probably sooner if Senator Lindsay Graham has his way) we’ll all find out it was an operation conjured up by the Obama administration DOJ and Attorney Loretta Lynch to help grease the skids for Hillary.

I’ve been saying all along the whole Mueller investigation was a bunch of bullshit. The dirty criminal rats that infested the nation’s intelligence organizations (you can find most of them as “political commentators” on CNN and MSNBC) knew damned well that the Mueller campaign was a final, desperate roll of the dice to see if the Trump administration could be destroyed in order to cover up their own illegal activities and shady connections with a dirty Clinton campaign that was itself trying to cover up illegal (and likely criminal) activities involving “pay for play” activities at The Clinton Foundation. The FBI knew damned well Hillary was guilty as sin: her e-mails weren’t destroyed (or attempted to be destroyed) out of ignorance or carelessness. Her Secretary of State position was a perfect place for shaking down TCF contributions in return for access, and her e-mails had more than enough proof.

…in fact, there’s was such a rat’s nest of illegal investigations into Trump political and business associates’ activities going on that, when – surprise! – Trump was elected president, their only chance was to use Trump’s sacking of FBI Director James Comey (deservedly so, as it turns out) to unleash an investigation that, under the pretense of “Russia collusion”, sought to implicate the President, his family, presidential campaign, and business associates for illegal (or at least questionable) activities prior to his election.

And that’s all it is, and all it ever was. But now that that whole premise has gone to shit, what will it be now, Trump haters? Go ahead, if you want to, and hang your hopes around a single stupid legal sentence in Robert Mueller’s investigation summary stating Team Mueller could not make a determination of obstruction (thereby forcing AG Barr to make the decision and make it look political) – that was just Mueller’s way of giving the finger at a man who wasn’t afraid to call his wasting of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on something he knew damned well from the outset was a completely false investigation and witch hunt.

…regardless of what the clown-car express in Congress led by the likes of Jerrold Nadler, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi think, there’s going to be no moving of the goalposts allowed here. After all, you can’t spend 2 1/2 years trumpeting the integrity of an investigation, then, when the results are not to your liking, attack the investigation and investigators and vow to move on with your own congressional investigations. Oh, they might try it – they’re dumb enough and tin-eared enough politically to do it in order to satisfy their raving, drooling, Trump-hating base, but the average voter out there won’t buy it or support it.

…and you can also forget pinning your hopes on the Southern District of New York (SDNY) continuing the fight for you: the losers in the mainstream media whom you will undoubtedly continue to watch and pin all you’re hopes and dreams on will try to convince you they’re the next form of “the Resistance”, but the rats there are already jumping ship – after all, they know a losing battle when they see one.

So, Trump haters, what are you left with now? That Trump’s doesn’t act “presidential” when he tweets out mean Twitter comments? Or that he’s racist or a xenophobe because he wants to stop illegal immigration on our southern border? Because, if that’s all you’ve got, good luck with that come 2020.

As far as I’m concerned, all of you Trump haters – the ones who purposely mislead the country on their 2 1/2 year-long hate-fest, and those of you who knowingly and willingly drank their Kool-Aid as gospel, can go pound sand. And don’t expect to find any safe haven nor respect here. After everything you’ve put this president – and this country – through, you’re revealed to be nothing but fools. The Democratic Party has been revealed to be a threat to the Republic. And their co-conspirators in the mainstream media have destroyed themselves to the point where they can never be trusted again to report on anything truthfully. Together, you’ve all gotten what you deserve.

Welcome to the new reality.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 19:58 | Comments (0)
March 23, 2019

This weekend has been all about tax preparation and housecleaning before “the Great Backyard Patio Cleaning” project begins. There’s cleaning, redecorating, and painting to do before the heat gets here, so there’s really not a moment to lose. In the meantime a few items and thoughts:

Unlike the mainstream media, I’m choosing not to comment on the results of Robert Mueller’s now-completed investigation until the findings are published. But regardless of what the findings show, Scott Johnson is spot-on when he writes this:

We have all operated on the assumption that the gravamen of Mueller’s investigation was alleged “collusion” by the Trump presidential campaign with Russians interfering with the election. See, e.g., the FISA warrant taken out on Carter Page. His reputation duly impaired, Carter Page still rolls merrily along. One inference we can draw from the Mueller investigation: Carter Page is the cleanest man in the United States. Perhaps now that the Mueller investigation is closing up shop we can see the whole FISA warrant.

The political corruption of the FBI and the intelligence agencies by the Obama administration was to remain a deep, dark secret. If the the American people had not had the temerity to elect Donald Trump along with a Republican Congress in 2016, we would have remained in blissful ignorance. After such knowledge what forgiveness?

There’s already been way too much reckless and rampant speculation by folks who don’t know anything other than their frothing, drooling hatred for Donald Trump. The performance of the mainstream media during the Mueller investigation has been shabby and reckless, to the point where they have single-handedly destroyed whatever prior reputations they might have had for fairness and objective reporting. And there is no one – on the right or on the left – who has covered themselves with glory these past two years.

…you know who/what I blame for this? Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein cashing in on their work during Watergate with “All The President’s Men”. Great book, great movie, fer shure. But the fact of the matter is that neither Woodward, Bernstein, The New York Times,/I>, nor The Washington Post brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency. That was done by Nixon himself and his rampant and deep paranoia, and his uncanny ability to surround himself with, well, advisors with (to put it kindly) questionable ethics. And while the Post and Times reporters were simply doing their jobs, Nixon’s presidency would likely have self-destructed on its own as soon as the tapes were discovered and he refused to turn them over.

…By making themselves the story and the stars of Watergate, they changed the way journalism was practiced and how journalists themselves were seen. Now everyone wants to be Woodward and Bernstein and bring home their own Republican president as a trophy, and it has gotten far past the point of “reporting the facts”. Now it’s all “unnamed sources” and rife speculation without any facts to back them up. Now it’s all who’s winning and who’s losing, as if politics were nothing but a friggin’ horse race. Let’s just recall how many times MSNBC and CNN suggested the walls are closing in and/or the wheels are coming off the Trump administration. It’s nothing but opinion-based journalism, and you know what they say about opinions and what they are like…

Way to go, Ohio! Look, if liberals and Democrats love abortion and infanticide so much, let them and their massively-rich donors in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the Beltway, and the folks they sell dead baby parts and tissue to pony up to support the abortion industry and the organization that that sucks from U.S taxpayer dollars the most. After all, that would be the “compassionate” thing to do, wouldn’t it considering the hardest-hit folks would be minorities and lower-income folks.

…in that way it’s no different from NPR and PBS – organizations whose original (and perhaps well-meant) missions have long since gone the way of the kiwi due to the growth of media and technology over the past few decades. Time to eliminate all federal funding for media organizations.

It’s also time for President Trump to go Teddy Roosevelt and start calling out the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter to support equally the views and opinions on those on the left and the right. It’s one thing to say, well, these are social media platforms and folks can use or not use them at their own choosing, but the gray area gets when, say, a conservative candidate’s Facebook page gets treated differently from a Democrat or liberal candidates page due to some shady, unseen algorithm designed by some pencil-necked geek in Santa Clara or Cupertino. You simply cannot have elections adversely impacted like that.

…while I hope it doesn’t come down to the threat of legal action – as a 100% libertarian when it comes to the matter of free speech and would hope these folks would commit to doing a better job of self-policing – speech in all forms ought to be free and unfettered so long as it isn’t threatening or violent in any way. And just because some snowflake is offended or complains about speech they feel is offensive shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. It’s time for these social media platforms to wise up and, frankly, grow up, recognizing their platforms have implications that go far beyond expressing opinions and sharing baby and vacation photos. People’s lives and livelihoods are now at stake. These companies and their offerings, while offering unlimited potential and opportunity to do good in the world, also offer the same to do great harm by serving as arbiters over what, and what doesn’t, constitute free speech.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 20:49 | Comments (0)
March 21, 2019

A few thoughts while welcoming Spring here in the Valley of the Sun.

Taco Bell hot sauce: is there anything it can’t do?

Agreed – Rickie Lee Jones was a great album. Hard to believe it’s forty years old. I’ve always enjoyed Jones’s music – it’s quirky, sometimes dopey, always entertaining. I think my favorite performance of hers is her one-of-a-kind rendition of “O Holy Night” on The Chieftains’ Bells of Dublin release. Check it out. It might take a couple of listens, but I guarantee you’ll find it as charming and almost childlike as I do.

Democratic clown car candidates – example #1: Nothing like a wealthy, privileged East Coast elitist promoting “a discussion” of making people who make a helluva lot less than she does in income pay for something they had nothing to do with to people who haven’t suffered one iota from slavery. Something only a liberal loon could conjure up, no?

Democratic clown car candidates – example #2: Hey Andrew, I’ll make you a deal: I promise to keep my hands off of yours if you promise to keep your paws off of mine. Seriously, what kind of moron comes up with this shit?

Democratic clown car candidates – example #3 : What else would you expect when you’re someone who has slept your way into power? Kamala Harris may be as dumb as a rock and a total bitch, but she’s as ambitious as hell. Not to mention the queen of hypocrisy.

Democratic clown car candidates example #4: Brave?? Heh. She’s the Democrat equivalent of Monty Python’s Sir Robin. She’s a joke, and a bad one at that.

Honestly, if these are the best the Democrats have going into 2020, it will be Michael Dukakis all over again.

…and don’t get me started on poor “Slo” Joe Biden. That dude can’t even imagine what is waiting for him as soon as he announces. He’s going to be ground into a pulp by the Berniebots.

…never mind the fact that ol’ Bern may have himself a minority bloc enthusiasm issue.

So lets see: in the past week FOX News has: (1) Suspended Judge Jeanine Pirro for a question based on a truthful premise, (2) added long-time Democratic operative and debate cheater Donna Brazile as a commentator, and (3) given anti-Trumper and illegal immigration stooge Paul Ryan a seat on its Board of Directors. As Bob Dylan once sang, “you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” FOX News is systematically and deliberately destroying its brand.

…which is OK, as far as I’m concerned: since they’re abdicating the niche as the political counterpoint to the CNNs and MSNBCs out there, I predict someone with some big-ass dough-re-mi is going to see the way clear to create their own major conservative cable network (OANN, at least at this point doesn’t count). And don’t count the Trumps out in this: they have the money and the gall, and they aren’t afraid of making the mainstream media’s collective heads explode.

Prediction: we’re all about to find out just how much of a snake “American hero” John McCain was. And wife Cindy and daughter Meghan can spare me their crocodile tears: he was a vile, petty, and corrupt hack of a politician. But at least the mainstream media loved him – which was all he ever wanted, anyways. But from the beginning, he sought to derail a Trump presidency.

At the same time that McCain was appearing to let “bygones-be-bygones”; while he was endorsing and standing by Trump, McCain sent one of his top aides on a desperate flight to London. Why? Because McCain had become aware of a “dossier” that had been compiled by a former British MI6 intelligence agent and Russian specialist, Christopher Steele. The report allegedly contained the “truth” about Donald Trump’s illicit connections to Russia, and its autocratic and kleptocratic leader, Vladimir Putin. Unable to swallow that Trump’s campaign rhetoric was just that, political brinkmanship during a tough primary, McCain helped initiate the greatest political witch hunt in the modern history of our republic. Together, with his former Democratic Party “rivals,” such as former President Barack Obama and the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, McCain operated as an insurgent from behind the political battle lines: pushing the salacious dossier into the waiting hands of Trump’s foes.

It did not matter that the dossier was unvetted. It also did not matter that the dossier was initially created after anti-Trump elements within the Republican Party paid Fusion-GPS, an opposition research firm headed by Democratic Party members who were also full-time DOJ officials, such as Bruce Ohr. What mattered was that John McCain was going to exact his vengeance upon Donald Trump for having questioned his untouchable status. The fact that McCain, rather than respond to Trump’s attacks–counterpunching, as Trump called it–opted to instead lay low; let the Trump Campaign gain momentum, and then attempt to cut that momentum off at the last possible moment with propaganda from overseas implies a degree of maliciousness unbefitting a former United States Naval officer. After all, McCain had claimed that he had moved beyond Trump’s attacks. He had indicated that all was settled between the two of them. Instead, he bitterly clung onto his grudge against Trump and tried to subvert him.

Of course, they’ll never tell you that! But they know.

What a bunch of maroons. Can you say, “Forward Base Trump” in Polish and/or Hungarian? Because that’s what’s going to happen, and Trump’s got the cojones to do it. Screw “Adolf” Merkel and the Germans. All they’re good for is beer, wienerschnitzel, and golfers Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer, anyways.

If you’re Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, this has got to hurt. Hey, don’t blame The Great White Shank, I tried to tell her she oughta put a lid on it (at least for a while), but I guess damned-cute socialist chicks just can’t help themselves.

Hey Goodboys! Who’s in on going all Patti Page your July this year? Not that I’ve heard anything, of course…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:44 | Comments (0)
March 18, 2019

Just another reason why you’ll never see The Great White Shank’s butt ever residing in Massachusetts ever again. The Bay State might be a great place to visit during the summer and fall, but politically it’s a cesspool. The spoils system associated with its political class at both the state and county level is more than just a joke, its a disgrace. And the fact that people there put up with it and think it’s all a joke tells you everything you need to know.

Congratulations to Rory McIlroy for winning THE PLAYERS. So there I was, at Los Olivos in Old Town Scottsdale after hitting a large bucket of balls, a margarita, a bowl of guacamole, and a ground beef taco in front of me. It was St. Patricks’ Day so the Mexican restaurant is not exactly ground zero for foodies, if you know what I mean. I have a corner of the bar all to myself, and THE PLAYERS on Golf Channel on the flat screen. I’m thinking to myself, it’s St. Patricks’ Day, I’ve got Mexican food and a margarita in front of me, I’ve got a ring-side seat to THE PLAYERS, I’m happily fatigued from hitting a large bucket of golf balls, and a woman who loves me. A nice memory to have when I’m lying in a hospital bed dying with tubes up my nose and my ass.

…poor Kyle Porter of CBSSports.com. His “Big Cat” shoots three under in the final round and he’s lathering all over himself. Hey Kyle, your “Big Cat” once again proves he’s just another golfer out there on the big boys’ tour.

Thank you, President Trump. This is how an American administration should act. If Hillary Clinton were president I guarantee you the “apology tour” started under Barack Obama would be in full swing.

Ditto on this. It’s about time GM is held accountable for all the handouts they got from American taxpayers.

No surprise there. The American mainstream media is exactly the reflection of Democratic congresswoman Ilham Omar. They love Muslims and hate Christians. Someone shoots up a school or a Pittsburgh mosque, and it’s Trump’s fault and time to confiscate all guns. Some wacked-out Bernie Sanders supporter opens fire on a group of Republican congressman having softball practice? Crickets. The mainstream media has become the equivalent of domestic terrorists and seditionists.

..because, as with stories like this, when you accept the fact that the mainstream media as nothing more than a bunch of Democratic operatives disguising themselves as “journalists” it all makes sense.

R.I.P. Dick Dale, “King of the Surf Guitar”. Wow. All my musical heroes are all disappearing. Now I know how my mom felt whenever she’d hear about the passing of someone from her teenage years and beyond. Next they’ll be coming for me.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

My guess is what happened at Boeing to allow the 737 MAX to fly is the same thing that is happening at my company and companies all over the US. You have senior management who couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag with instructions written on it, unaccountable to anyone. And an environment where those who dissent are accused of not being loyal and then let go or reassigned. You have Human Resources organizations that are neither human nor a resource. And worst of all, you have managers who have come from other companies who bring all their hacks and yes-men along with them in order to insulate themselves from being accountable for anything they do. It’s a damned good thing I’m planning on retiring (hopefully) in 3 1/2 years!

Man, I hate it when the Democrats’ core constituency misbehaves.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:53 | Comments (0)
March 16, 2019

It’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in the Valley of the Sun. Saturday I’m going to devote to pleasure (working on my golf game), while Sunday will be painful with a ton of work on my plate. In the meanwhile:

Beto O’Rourke is your typical Democratic politician fraud. Oh yeah, he’s really worried about his own personal carbon footprint. I’ll say it for, like, the hundredth time: when Democrats start taking their consumption of fossil fuels seriously, I’ll start taking their hysteria over climate change seriously. Until then, shut the hell up.

Speaking of your so-called up-and-coming Democrats, this Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a piece of work, isn’t she? Just another shining star in today’s Democratic Party (the party of compassion, dontcha know?), I guess.

It’s the weekend of THE PLAYERS, and I’m already sick of NBC repeating ad nauseum Gary Koch’s “Better than most!” call. Yeah, it was interesting at the time, but enough is enough. I’ve already heard it a half-dozen times, and we’re not even into the weekend yet!

R.I.P. Hal Blaine, rock drummer extraordinaire. All you have to do is listen to an oldies station for two hours and I guarantee you’ll hear a sing featuring Hal on the skins. He worked with everyone from Spector to Elvis to Sinatra (Frank and Nancy), including practically every L.A.-based ’60s and ’70s pop icon. He was witty, smart (well, except when it came to women), and was absolutely the best in the business. His passing marks the end of an era we will never see again.

Regardless of what you might hear from the likes of CNN and MSNBC, Donald Trump didn’t pull the trigger on those poor folks in New Zealand. Sometimes a wacko is just a wacko.

So now it’s the likes of none other than Chelsea Clinton – Chelsea Clinton! – at the mercy of the PC mob. Here’s a word of advice to you, Chelsea (not that you’d listen) – actually two words: NEVER. APOLOGIZE. Even if you do, the PC mob could care less.

…but she is right: Rep. Omar is an America-hating, vile anti-Semite with the intelligence of a six year old. She’s an embarrassment to a Democratic Party that, frankly, has gone beyond embarrassment at this point. And a word of advice to anyone out there who doesn’t like hearing Rep. Omar called for who she is: if you’re looking for apologies, you’ve come to the wrong place, podna.

CBSSports.com’s Kyle Porter is biggest Tiger Woods butt-wipe in the business. So let me get this straight, Kyle: if your so-called “Big Cat” (and you’re the only clown in the industry who calls him that) doesn’t dunk two balls in the water and quad-bogeys #17 he’d be right up there on the leaderboard. Using that kind of logic, if Phil Mickelson didn’t miss a few two-foot putts and birdied all 18 holes he’d be -14 and leading the tournament instead of missing the cut. When are you going to stop making excuses for “Big Cat” and simply recognize the guy is now just an ordinary golfer on the PGA Tour? Sure, he might win a few more tournaments down the line – perhaps even a major – but his days of dominance are over. Whatever your “Big Cat” can do these days, there are more than a dozen others who, given the right course and the right set of circumstances, can do the very same thing. Grow up.

Just another reason why John McCain was a vile and petty bastard. Sorry folks, don’t miss him, not in the least. And his no-talent daughter used up her fifteen minutes of fame a long time ago.

If CNN wasn’t broadcast in the nation’s airports would anyone besides the most deranged Trump-hater watch? To see a once-vibrant news organization go to hell is just sad. Could you imagine working there? CNN is nothing but a bad joke.

And speaking of bad jokes, how about today’s Democratic Party? Just one look at all those who have declared for 2020 ought to tell you something. Oh, and just wait until poor Joe Biden announces and watch the knives come out. The Democrats have nothing left but a bunch a identity-politicians who hate Donald Trump and give the word “shallow” a bad name. Can someone tell me exactly what platform these clowns are going to run on?

…which is why – and you heard it here first, folks! – Michelle Obama is going to be the Democratic candidate in 2020.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 04:42 | Comments (0)
March 14, 2019

It would appear that our unusually gray and wet “Arizona winter” is over, with a wide open, HOV-lane way clear to what promises to be a short spring before we start getting much warmer weather.

If you’re a golfer or a Spring Training fan, it’s hardly been Chamber of Commerce weather this winter. The folks who came down here for the Christmas / New Year’s holidays found the Valley of the Sun anything but: the weather was lousy. And while Waste Management Phoenix Open weekend was OK, it was a chilly one, never really got out of the 60s even on the sunniest of days.

Of course, for those of us who call these parts home you won’t get a whole lot of complaints – rain has been fairly regular and decently plentiful. Looking at the Southwest in general, the mountains of California, Nevada, and Arizona have been absolutely pounded with wet snow on a regular basis since the New Year. That’s got to be good news if you’re responsible for monitoring water levels on the Colorado River and Lake Mead. Even folks like yours truly have benefitted: I haven’t had to run my irrigation systems for a straight week yet this year, and there have been a couple of weeks where I’ve had the water completely turned off.

But, as the Rolling Stones once sang, “It’s All Over Now”: next week we’ll be in the mid-to-high ’80s, and while that will feel really nice compared to what we’ve had thus far this year, those of us who live around here all know that the ’80s are merely a hop skip and jump to the ’90s, and after that we’ll be well on our way to May and the first triple-digit days of the year. After that, monsoon season won’t be far behind.

Here at the Richard hacienda, the irrigation system goes back on starting tomorrow and probably won’t get shut off anytime soon. It’s near time to schedule the feeding of our queen palms in the back. Looking out my home office window on this sun-drenched day, I’ve got buds on our lime tree; the night air will soon be sweet with the fragrance of fruit tree flowers. It won’t be as nice this year as it has been in the past: the guy at the end of the street cleared out all his orange bushes and trees – a damned shame because it made the walk to and from the mailbox a dreamy, lovely experience.

But one look at the calendar tell you that the year is already flying by: there’s corned beef and cabbage to be picked up at the supermarket for St. Patrick’s Day, and we’re less than a month away from Masters week. Heck, any day now I expect to hear from Goodboys Exec-Comm where we’ll be staying and playing for this year’s Goodboys Invitational weekend – it’s a damned good thing my hand is finally rounding into shape for scheduling my first round of golf for the year.

The year is flying by.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:23 | Comments (2)
March 10, 2019

I believe in serendipity.

…and I desperately needed a diversion.

It was Saturday morning, and boy, did I need a diversion. A string of 14-hour days swimming in the shallows with some very big sharks at work and a string of medical appointments with Tracey had left me so dog-friggin’-tired on Friday night that it was all I could do to crawl off to bed at 10 PM after a dinner and a hot bath. But a weekend and a new day awaited, and, rather than doing the work I promised by boss, I knew I needed a diversion: something that would make me think I actually had a life, y’know?

But where to go? Say, I have an idea – how about going down to the PGA Tour Superstore down the street?

I really hadn’t planned on buying anything, but while poking through the clearance aisle a salesperson came up to me and asked if I was looking for something. I guess in some way the scene recalled Ralphie in A Christmas Story when Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas, when after not being able to remember to tell him what he really wanted, Ralphie starts crawling up the slide and blurts out in rapid-fire the exact requirements of the BB gun he so desperately hungered for.

“A TaylorMade #3 hybrid and 60-degree wedge!” I blurted out, my mouth far ahead of where my brain was at the time. (No surprise there!)

The sales guy smiled and said, “Guess it’s your lucky day. Just so happens there’s a TaylorMade fitting rep here with us today. Why don’t you go over to the TaylorMade stall and introduce yourself? I’ll be over with your clubs in just a minute.”

The TaylorMade guy was indeed there, but, to be truthful, from the sounds of it golf wasn’t his only gig. From what I could gather from the conversation he was having on his phone it sounded as if he was also somehow involved in real estate – nothing surprising there, it seems like everyone these days has a toe or two dipped in our very h-o-t hot real estate market. But he seemed like a nice enough guy. Asked me a bunch of questions, seemed genuinely concerned about what I was looking for. He set up the machine for a left-handed golfer, and by that time the sales guy had brought samples of a M6 3 hybrid and a 60-degree wedge for me to try.

(The backstory of this is that I’ve been feeling very frustrated with the Cobra hybrids I’ve been carrying for two years now. I’ve tried everything: setting the ball in the middle of my stance, a little back in my stance, a little forward in my stance, a lot forward in my stance. Upright swing plane, shallow swing plane. Swing harder, swing slower. Nothing seems to permanently take, and frankly, it’s not just hurting my game, it’s pissing me off. And the Callaway 58-degree wedge I’ve been using has been OK – I’ve actually had some highlights with it – but it’s one ugly muhfuhkah (if you know what I mean), with a big black circle of something that nothing seems to be able to remove. And besides, I’ve been just wanting to get anything and everything Callaway out of my bag. It’s OK for everyone else, but my past experiences with Callaways have left a bad taste in my mouth.)

That didn’t mean, of course, that I was going to buy anything – one thing about TaylorMades (and, I guess, just about any golf club manufacturer) is that new equipment is expensive. And for me, a 26-handicap golfer striving to get down to a 20, the equipment is the absolute last issue I have with my game. More work on my driver, short irons, and course management will do a helluva lot more to reduce my handicap than any new club or clubs added to the bag.

But as I say, I needed a diversion.

I dropped a ball and started taking swings with the TaylorMade 3 hybrid. No question it had a nice feel to it. The TaylorMade rep spent the first five minutes watching me, agreeing with me that the correct way to play this club was position the ball in the middle of my stance and swing at 70% my normal swing. After a few swings he asked me why I was a 26-handicap. I replied that’s what everyone asks. He tells me he’s going to off to try and find me a couple of different shaft flexes, but I could tell he was itching to make a couple of phone calls and was left alone.

I really enjoyed the time. Whacking balls into the screen, playing around with ball position, swing plane, swing speed. After the week I’d had, I felt like I was on a mini golf vacation. My hand felt even better than it did on Thursday when I hit a large bucket for the very first time since my Xiaflex procedure back in December, which had felt better than my first time out hitting a small bucket ten days’ prior to that. The discomfort was there, but barely noticeable. Overhead, the speakers were playing 70s rock – I heard Kenny Loggins, Chic, Van Morrison’s “Old Domino” I hadn’t heard for a while. Seals & Croft’s insipid “Hummingbird” I could do without. I was taking swings and really enjoying the feel of the club in my hands. Was it better than the Cobra 3 hybrid? Not that I could really tell. My distances when caught fairly decently to “on the screws” had been ranging anywhere from 171 to 185 yards – probably no better, no worse than how I probably hit the Cobra.

By this time, I had probably hit the equivalent of a medium-sized bucket, and the TaylorMade guy hadn’t come back. If I hadn’t been enjoying the overall experience – hitting golf balls, music overhead, the sounds of golf-related activity all around me – I probably would have just up and left at that time.

But, as I said above, I believe in serendipity.

(It should be stated at this point that one of the things I have been working very hard on as of late is the feeling of having my arms and the shaft vertical and at the very same place at impact as they are at address. This goes back to last fall when I was struggling mightily with my short game and my Goodboys pal Killer encouraged me to get the shaft vertical to the ground at impact on my chips – something that has made a huge difference with my short game.)

I had taken a few minutes to take a break and just enjoy my surroundings. I dropped a new ball and then at that very moment just happened to make the absolute best, purest swing of the session, catching it right on the screws – perfect swing, perfect ball flight – when overhead came the sounds of ABBA singing “I Do, I Do, I Do, I do, I Do”, with it’s opening lines:

Love me or leave me, make your choice but believe me
I love you
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do
I can’t conceal it, don’t you see, can’t you feel it?
Don’t you too?
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

I stood there posing, those few precious seconds where everything in life seems to be in sync: finish on the front foot, back toe screwed into the ground, club finish high just off the shoulders, the ball, following the perfect trajectory and apex, stopping at a whopping 194 yards from the tee. Overhead, Agnetha and Frida crooning the song I would later log at #1 on the Goodboys Nation blog post I had been working off and on for the past couple of weeks. It was a moment in time, something that doesn’t happen very often.

“Nice swing.”

I hadn’t noticed the TaylorMade guy was back and had been watching. I sure hoped he hadn’t seen my previous swing (a big push skied to the left that barely went 140 yards).

“I have this stiff flex shaft you might want to try.”

“No thanks”, I told him. I’ll take the clubs.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 09:50 | Comments (0)

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