December 31, 2019

Whenever I start my last post of any year, the first thing I do is copy the last post from the previous year to see if it contains anything relevant to what I might use as a muse for this year’s. Reading the very first paragraph of last year’s December 31 post, I had to laugh (italics mine):

Who knows what will happen in 2019. Will I still be blogging? Will I still be employed? Will I still be a Goodboy? Will I still be alive? Who knows?

Well, the fact is, yes I’m still alive. And yes, I still am employed, even after at least two major layoffs (the last of which counted my boss as a victim). Hard to say if that solidified my position or not, but I’ve learned after all this time to stop worrying about it and just do the best job I can and let the chips fall where they may. Am I still a Goodboy? Yes, but I have to confess I really don’t really care a whole lot about the whole Goodboys thing anymore. After 29 years (this will be our 30th) there’s really not much left to accomplish or entertain, at least as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure there are those in the Nation who will disagree with me, but that’s OK – they can carry on after this year to whatever end they wish. My continued participation will be based solely on my satisfaction (or lack thereof) with the present situation, and all I can say right now is that I’m not happy about things at all. But let’s see how things all play out.

The one thing I can say about 2019 is that it went by very fast, like, crazy fast. Overall it was a good year for the Richard household. Got a lot of good stuff done in the back yard – something I wasn’t necessarily planning on doing, but it all just seemed to come together spontaneously. And all for the best! Everything looks so great out there. Health-wise all creatures great and small (including my dad, God bless him and his 90+ years!) seemed to fare quite well, although it was sad to see my sister-in-law Tam lose her lovebird, Big Bird. But if (as it appears) she ends up having to move out of her present digs next year (her apartment complex has been sold), I’m hoping she’ll be open to getting a new feathered friend in her new digs to keep her company. Our rabbits Marlie and Peach came through another year OK, as did Tam’s three beasts. Both our Marlie and Tam’s Butterscotch are both well up there in bunny years, so there will be fingers crossed in 2020 for their continued health and well-being!

Financially, we had a very good year in 2019 and we’re now in the best financial shape of our lives. Through a nice refinance we were able to give Tam my ancient Saturn and I now have a decent second car should my employment situation change. We’ve still got more work to do to truly satisfy our Edelman Financials guy, so here’s hoping that in the coming year (fingers crossed here in a big way!), all things being equal, we’ll be able to continue the fine progress we have made.

Goals for 2020? At this point in my life the days of dreaming big are long past. I’ll take a tranquil year, thank you, although it never turns out that way. Keeping the financial progress and relatively good health all around going would be very good. I have ten pounds to lose and am planning a return to the gym in March once all the folks with their New Year ambitions and resolutions fall by the wayside. I’ve missed the gym and look forward to making it once again a regular part of my weekly schedule. Trying to find Tammy a new place to live will be a challenge, but we’ve got until October to find her the right kind of place. I’ve got a lot of cabinet and closet reorganization projects in mind around the house that have been a long time coming and a bunch of playlists to create on Tam’s iPhone; both things I know I’ll enjoy doing.

Missing in my 2020 goals is anything to do with golf. Sure, there’s still the desire at some point in my life to get down to a 20-handicap, but I’m presently on sabbatical with no immediate plans to do anything about it. I dunno, I guess the whole Goodboys experience of the last year and subsequent events has just put me in a mindset of seeking enjoyment in other things. Nothing more than that. I guess we’ll see what happens when my retired brother Dave comes for a visit in March or April. The weather will be nice and, who knows, maybe I’ll get bit by the bug once again. At this point I’d rather focus my attention on Tracey and I getting our Arizona concealed carry permits – now that’s something to look forward to!

Anyways, that’s really about it. Sounds kind of boring, I know, but boring is OK. Of course, 2020 is a presidential election year so that will be kind of interesting. In that arena, the always entertaining Kurt Schlichter has some predictions that I think are spot-on – at least for now. Next November is a lifetime away politically, but I plan on doing my part and donating some of my time to help the Trump reelection effort here in Arizona. Especially with our lame U.S. senator Martha McSally, there’s work to do for sure.

So that’s that. Another year in the books. Who knows what will happen in 2020. No matter what happens – whether I continue it here on a regular basis or focus of my attention more on my Twitter account (which admittedly needs work!) I hope y’all will come along to witness the ride. Again, I want to sincerely thank everyone who considers this humble little outpost in the blogsphere a part of your daily (or occasional) Internet habit. I enjoy writing for the entertainment and the kind of catharsis it provides, but it’s always nicer when you know there are people who occasionally read what you write. So thank you all for that.

OK, time to skedaddle. See y’all on the flip of the calendar and the start of a New Year. I know I’m ready for that flip, are you? Take us outta here, George!

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December 28, 2019

Christmas was fine this year, although I took on more than my share of cooking than I planned to. Pot roast on Christmas Eve, and a turkey on Christmas Day. It all ended up working out OK, though – I was especially proud of the way my first attempt at Yorkshire pudding came out:

What was really interesting was the fact that, for the first time in, like, what?, 28 years, there were no golf gifts of any kind under the Christmas tree. Which was OK by me – golf is nowhere near the top of any priority list for next year. While things could certainly change, right now I’m really kind of a mind where I don’t care if I even pick up a club again. All it would do is remind me of last year’s Goodboys weekend and its residual after-effects.

Still, it was a good holiday – we got lots of rain (something no one in the Valley of the Sun except, perhaps, Chamber of Commerce members would mind), and work was fairly quiet. There’s always something to be said about that!

…and in other news:

Shhhh!! The name of the fake ‘whistleblower’ Eric Ciarmella is supposed to be a secret!!

R.I.P. Don Imus. Given his chosen profession he lived life on the edge, and that was always dangerous when it came to live radio. But dude owned up to it and paid for it in spades (am I allowed to say that anymore?), and everything he did in his philanthropic interests more than made up for one ill-advised, off-the cuff comment. The I-man was a great and there won’t be any more like him – most especially because of the politically correct, liberal fascist world we’re all forced to inhabit these days.

I’m just warning y’all do not be drinking or eating when you read this….(taking a deep breath). Are you kidding me? The woman is an obnoxious shrew, as phony as the day is long. The fact she has gotten as far as she has in this world and this culture ought to give everyone pause. What’s frightening is that there have to literally tens of thousands out there like her in academia.

But…but…impeachment!

…along those same lines: Memo to “Slo’ Joe”: Folks don’t need food assistance if they are working. There’s not a place you go these days where there aren’t “now hiring” signs. With all the various support systems out there at federal, state, and local levels, there is simply no excuse for the truly able-bodied to work.

…and, surprise surprise – “Slo’ Joe” has no intention of testifying before any impeachment committee. If you’re innocent, “Slo”, why not be willing to testify?

…along those same lines, anyone guess who’s missing from this picture? Maybe he did want to leave those swanky Hollywood hills digs he bought for a song?

But…but…impeachment!

Kids grow up, right? Sounds horrendous, but I have zero sympathy for pedophile priests – the a$$hole got what he deserved. May his soul rot in hell.

But…but…impeachment!

Y’all want to hear my latest theory? OK, OK, so that Hillary Clinton prediction doesn’t appear to have worked out (not that I’m willing to concede yet), but what if the “new Democrats” – meaning, the emerging powers-to-be in the Democratic Party and those who think like them, are willing to sacrifice the careers of dinosaurs like “Slo’ Joe”, Bernie, “San Fran Nan”, and House Majority Leader) Steny Hoyer, knowing they’ll be washed away following a slaughtered at the ballot box come November in order to leverage that defeat into a Democratic Socialist party looking ahead to 2024? Think about it: there’s a damned lot of old dead wood at the top of the Democratic Party thanks to the fact that Barack Obama did nothing during his presidency to build up the Party through its state and local organizations. The enthusiasm and passion are all with the young Dem Socialists, and you can’t tell me they’re not already thinking ahead to a time when the old guard is destroyed. While a short-term defeat, in their minds it might not be worst thing that could happen in the long run. Something to at least consider.

But…but…impeachment!

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December 25, 2019

In the end, this is what Christmas is all about:

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas to y’all from Goodboys Nation weblog. May your Christmas be filled with the love and joy of this most holy season.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:52 | Comments (2)
December 24, 2019

As you can tell by our Christmas tree, 2019 was a very good year for the Richard household. The work has been incredibly hard, and there have all sorts of twists and turns along the way. But, I’m guessing like most Americans, the economy must be damned good to have that many presents under the tree for just a family of three.

How do I know? Well, all I can say is Wow:

Holiday shopping set records over the weekend, with Super Saturday sales reaching $34.4 billion, the biggest single day in U.S. retail history, according to Customer Growth Partners.

“Paced by the ‘Big Four’ mega-retailers — Walmart, Amazon, Costco and Target — Super Saturday was boosted by the best traffic our team has seen in years,” said Craig Johnson, president of the retail research firm.

Job growth and fatter wallets, along with stronger household finances, have put consumers in a buying mood this season, Johnson said. And more of them are shopping online. As retailers offer improved web platforms, online spending so far this season has accounted for 58% of sales growth from a year earlier, he said.

…but, but, impeachment!!

When this is all you have, there’s really not much more you can say. I wish I could say I feel sorry for her and those like her, but their agony is my joy.

Rest in peace, soldier. President Trump, get us the hell out of there! Enough of our families suffering because of ill-advised foreign adventures. I know this must kill you inside – so let’s get the job done.

Any videos with ducks in it makes me laugh. But this one is especially funny.

…but miniature pigs are pretty entertaining as well.

This is the result of playing the race card when it suits you and caring only about identity politics at election time. Democrats never gave a $hit about African-Americans; they were always a handy voting bloc to have around every November as needed. Articles like this oughta scare the bejeezus out of the DNC. As the President famously said back in 2016 – what have you got to lose?

…maybe that explains this. I can’t believe the Democrats could be this stupid, but I gave up a long time ago associating the liberal political opposition with anything remotely equating to intelligence.

Because Democrats are all about the blue-collar working man, right? Talk about your identity politics pandering! I don’t know who are the geniuses advising the Biden campaign, but between this stunt and this, I’d have to say that they’re well aware “ol’ Blue Collar” Joe has already lost his primary voting contingency (and, oh, BTW, the supposed primary argument for his running in the first place) to Trump. By St. Patrick’s Day Biden’s campaign will be history.

If you want commentary on true polling data – not the “push polling” done by mainstream media outlets – be sure to bookmark Richard Barris. I’ll admit that I thought Hillary would have entered the race by now, but I think Barris is right in saying that Bernie Sanders has the enthusiasm right now. If he chooses (as I believe he will) Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as his running mate, the Democrats will be frothing all over themselves into an Electoral College wipeout.

…for me, I think Sanders winning the nomination would be a good thing. You see, I want a presidential race painted in broad strokes, with clear lines of difference between the parties and the candidates. American voters ought to have the right to choose between capitalism and Democratic socialism, and I think Sanders best fits that bill. Not to mention the fact that the debates ought to be fun!

What would Christmas be without a great Elvis tune?

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December 23, 2019

The President has it exactly right:

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December 21, 2019

It’s almost Christmas. The sunsets are already starting to get longer, but the mornings will continue to get later for another week. In five days Christmas music will disappear as if it never existed, and Hallmark will start running LGBTQ-friendly Valentine’s Day movies. And the world will go round and round. Who knows? I might even start contemplating things to do with my golf clubs, but I’m not counting on it. In the meantime…

Massive hydrogen peroxide experiment gone hideously bad.

You may not have heard of him, but one of these days the name of Admiral Mike Rogers is going to go down in the annals of the greatest American patriots.

…along those same lines, if you belive ethis story I’ve got some Florida swampland to sell you. Judge Collyer is as dirty as they come, and was an integral part of the conspiracy to deny Donald Trump the presidency and then torpedo his administration.

…but the chickens are all coming home to roost, and next April-May is going to be devastating to the Democrats, a true game-changer in political history.

This is great news. I hate the new LED lights – they’re too damned bright for their supposed wattage. Can’t wait to get my hands on some nice, old-fashioned incandescents.

I think this about sums up the past week in politics:

The left actually thinks Queen Nancy had a good week. She caved to Trump on USMCA, she led her party to a political disastrous impeachment, she put the House in jeopardy by forcing her moderates to vote for said impeachment, then she took her impeachment ball & went home. Great week.

The loony left doesn’t want you to see this video about President Donald Trump. Believe me, it is worth your time.

…and yes, loons, surprise, surprise – he still is your president and will continue to be! Honest to God, you can’t fix ignorance.

Given the news about this, I think this is a great idea!

POTUS Trump should invite Carter Page, George Papadopolous, Roger Stone, General Flynn, all FISA court judges, the “whistleblower”[Eric Ciarmeaala, BTW], Barry Berke’s 8yr old son & Rep Ted Deutch’s family group chat members to the State of the Union. Just to make it realllllllllly awkward.

I get a little uneasy about the Dow getting crazy, but there’s little doubt about the optimism in America right now:

Wow, DOW just topped 28,500. Now just 5.25% from 30,000. Best recession ever.

George Harrison’s “Brainwashed” is a great tune – the lyrics alone are especially timeless given the state of affairs these days:

Brainwashed in our childhood
Brainwashed by the school
Brainwashed by our teachers
And brainwashed by all their rules
Brainwashed by our leaders
By our Kings and Queens
Brainwashed in the open
And brainwashed behind the scenes

God God God
A voice cries in the wilderness
God God God
It was on the longest night
God God God
An eternity of darkness
God God God
Someone turned out the spiritual light

Brainwashed by the Nikkei
Brainwashed by Dow Jones
Brainwashed by the FTSE
Nasdaq and secure loans
Brainwashed us from Brussels
Brainwashed us in Bonn
Brainwashed us in Washington
Westminster in London

God God God
You are the wisdom that we seek
God God God
The lover that we miss
God God God
Your nature is eternity
God God God
Your are Existence, Knowledge, Bliss

The soul does not love, it is love itself
It does not exist, it is existence itself
It does not know, it is knowledge itself
How to Know God

They brainwashed my great uncle
Brainwashed my cousin Bob
They even got my grandma
When she was working for the mob
Brainwash you while you’re sleeping
While in your traffic jam
Brainwash you while you’re weeping
While still a baby in your pram
Brainwashed by the military
Brainwashed under duress
Brainwashed by the media
You’re brainwashed by the press
Brainwashed by computer
Brainwashed by mobile phones
Brainwashed by the satellite
Brainwashed to the bone

God God God
Won’t you lead us through this mess
God God God
From the places of concrete
God God God
Nothing’s worse than ignorance
God God God
I just won’t accept defeat

God God God
Must be something I forgot
God God God
Down on Bullshit Avenue
God God God
If we can only stop the rot
God God God
Wish that you’d brainwash us too

Personally, were it my song I’d add “Brainwashed as a Goodboy”, but that’s just me and the way I’m feeling these days…

Been on a lot of cruises during my time, but never saw anything like this happen. Makes you wonder who the hell is operating these things these days. Just a thought: does this mean the cruise ship commanders had to exchange insurance information?

World gone mad. I find it hard to believe this tory, but you still have to be careful around the LGBTQ activists and their associated political lobby. They’ll go to no ends to make everyone else falls in line with their view of themselves as perfectly normal and not mentally ill and misguided weirdos.

…and speaking of folks who are mentally ill, ol’ “blue collar Joe” Biden is a moron.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:08 | Comments (2)
December 20, 2019

…because this is what happens when you’ve wasted three years on your liberal orgasm of self-indulgence. One can only hope that when the GOP takes back the House in 2020 they shove it all right back down your vile, hateful, evil throats. You could at least show some guts and pass your counts to the Senate for consideration but you’re a bunch of losers playing a loser’s deck.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:01 | Comments (0)
December 19, 2019

[Ed. note: Is Phil Spector still around? I checked his Wikipedia page and there’s no indication he has, as they say, left this earthy coil, so good for him. And screw Robert Mueller, while we’re at it – he’s the one who should be in prison. But this is what life is like in 2019 America. It’s all about impeaching the President for, like, nothing, and, well, I don’t know what else. Man, do I long for the innocence of 1963 – the year Phil put his holiday gem together. We weren’t surrounded at that time by social media “social justice warriors” and their pathetic daily outrage at anything and everything that offends their LGBTQUVWXYZ, etc. etc. sensibilities. Screw them too.

But I digress.

Merry Christmas, Phil – you got railroaded for a drunken accident by people who hated you for your success and your arrogance, but you’re still a musical hero of mine for the way you changed the way pop music commemorated the season.]

That’s right, cats and chicks of all ages, it’s that time of year again. I know the guy’s still sitting in a prison cell, whacked out, burned out, and for all intents and purposes checked out of society and the rock n’ roll world he was once such an iconic part of. But heck, it is the Christmas season and I know it’s not REALLY Christmas until I slap into my CD player the best damned rock n’ roll Christmas record of all time. Which is (for those of you cats and chicks who may not be hip to these kinds of grooves), Phil Spector’s magnificent “A Christmas Gift For You”.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s just The Great White Shank spoutin’ his “yeah-i-know-he’s-in-jail-for-murder-but-believe-me-Phil-Spector-really-was-a-genius” bull$hit, but in this case you need to give me a break. ‘Cause it’s not just me, it’s a whole range of critics across the media spectrum, from Rolling Stone (who rated it #142 in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time), to bloggers like Hip Christmas and BlogCritics. BC’s praise of the album and its greatness is especially spot-on:

A Christmas Gift For You contains thirteen performances, all captured during that incredible early sixties period when Spector was producing these amazing records. You already know all of the songs, as they have all become tried and true radio staples at Christmas time over the years. Song for song, the wall of sound production — with all of its bells, whistles, and strings — captures all the magic and wonder of Christmas like very little music I can think of. When you hear these songs, it’s like being instantly transported to a kinder, simpler time. It really does feel like Christmas.

In addition to the Ronettes and Crystals classics already mentioned, the standouts here include Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and a version of “White Christmas” so gorgeous you’ll be checking your window for snowflakes. On Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans’ “The Bells of Saint Mary,” the bells and the castanets ring gloriously amid a swirl of gospel-charged backing vocals.

So the thing is, Phil Spector’s recent legal troubles aside, this record just doesn’t sound any different to me. For my money, it’s still the single greatest Christmas record ever made. And tougher sell that it may be these days, it will definitely be on my CD player when the guys and I get together for some Christmas cheer next weekend.

For me, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

The album, considered by many to be Spector’s finest piece of collective work (The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”, The Righteous Brothers’ “(You’ve Lost That) Lovin’ Feelin'”, and, of course, Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” being singular achievements), had a bumpy ride on the road to becoming a much-loved and respected holiday pop classic. Originally recorded during the summer and fall of 1963, it was understandably overlooked in those tragic weeks following the assassination of JFK and then virtually forgotten. It was only until its re-introduction to the public on the Beatles’ Apple Records label in 1971 – at the urging of John Lennon and George Harrison (both of whom utilized Spector on their first post-Beatles’ solo albums following his work on Let It Be) – that the album got radio play and finally earned its long-deserved place in pop music history.

So what exactly is it about A Christmas Gift For You that makes it both a holiday pop classic and a piece of work sufficient enough to warrant recognition among rock’s all-time greatest works? David Sprague, in his Amazon.com review, puts it simply: “[Spector’s] “wall-of-sound” technique is perfectly suited to the music of the season, as he proves with layer upon layer of piano, sleigh bells, buoyant percussion, and, of course, those legendary Spectorsound harmonies.”

True enough, but it’s only after you buy it and crank it up VERY loud that you start to appreciate not just the massive sound Spector lovingly and painstakingly crafted, but the way his session players and musical artists make the most out of the material given them. Here, Spector’s artists The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, and Bobby Sheen are simply vocal instruments in the overall mix, working within the material and the arrangements, not overpowering them. Listen closely, and you begin to see how the subtleties within each arrangement illustrate Spector’s respect for both the material and the genre that brought him such fame and respect in his day:

* On “White Christmas”, Darlene Love’s lead is beautifully understated (something virtually unheard of in this post-Whitney armageddon of Britneys and Christinas who sound like wailing alleycats in heat). And listen to how the pianos, basses, and saxes (alto and tenor) underscore the rhythm, and how beautifully they finish the song’s fade-out. Magical.

* On “Frosty The Snowman”, Ronnie Spector takes a harmless children’s tune and turns it into a holiday pop masterpiece. Her earnest vocal is the showpiece here – think ‘Frosty’ meets ‘Be My Baby’, with enough warmth and sweetness to turn ‘the Frostster’ into a puddle of lukewarm H2O. Loved hearing it in that iconic scene in GoodFellas where Jimmy goes nuts with everyone buying expensive stuff after the Lufthansa heist.

* On “The The Bells of St. Mary’s“, Bobby Sheen’s lead is sweet and soulful out in front of a driving rhythm highlighted by chimes and Hal Blaine‘s amazing drumwork on the fade-out. Oh, and that’s Darlene Love doing the “yeah, yeah”‘s towards the end.

* The Crystals’ version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” rejuvenated the classic so much so that the artists as varied as the Jackson 5 (ugh!) and Bruce Springsteen, among others, felt it necessary to pay it homage with their own versions. Listen for how the bells tinkle out Brahms’s Lullaby behind La La Brooks’ spoken intro – talk about attention to detail!

* On “Sleigh Ride” The Ronettes give a big fat wet kiss to Leroy Anderson’s classic arrangement; their now-classic “ring-a-ling-a-ling-a-ding-dong-ding” back-up is pure icing on this sweet holiday confection.

* “Marshmallow World” is a fun piece – dig the opening piano with an absolute ton of echo on it. And listen to how the saxes underscore the piano/guitar rhythm – you’re talkin’ Wall of Sound here, baby! The mix has always sounded a little muddy to me, but I think that’s just the sheer number of musicians playing at the same time – Phil always did his mixing live while the entire ensemble was playing. Darlene Love’s vocal is energetic and playful, a great performance.

* “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. You don’t get the #2 slot on my Top 10 Christmas list for nothing. Simply put, there is nothing wanting in this recording – the performances are top-notch throughout. Ronnie Spector’s lead is both devilish and sexy, and the arrangement rocks. Listen for the piano fills and the sleighbells workin’ behind the saxes. It almost sounds as if Ronnie is slurring her s’s here (‘kishing’ Santa Claus); I think she’s doing it deliberately so I fall in love with her voice all over again every year at this time.

* On “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, listen for the guitar riff (Tommy Tedesco? Barney Kessel?) that frames the song throughout, a style similar to what Brian Wilson would later employ on The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” a couple of years later. There’s also a piano (and guitar?) doing something funky from the instrumental break onward, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is.

* “Winter Wonderland” is a faithful and fun rendition. Listen for those trademark shimmering strings featured throughout – they sound kinda funky to me – and how drummer Hal Blaine absolutely beats the daylights out of his toms on every fill. Darlene Love’s vocal is both soulful and fun. A magnificent arrangement.

* “Parade of The Wooden Soldiers”. OK, listen to how the strings behind The Crystals’ rollicking performance absolutely shimmer like glistening snow, especially behind the trumpet solo in the middle. No one – and I mean NO ONE – could make Christmas pop music like Phil Spector. (If you doubt me, just listen to John & Yoko’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”) Again, Hal Blaine’s drum fills on the fade-out are pretty intense.

* “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”. Arguably the showpiece of the album. If you want a true holiday audio feast, come inside Mr. Spector’s kitchen where everything – including the kitchen sink – has been tossed in here. Shimmering strings and double acoustic bass (how does he get that sound?) create the necessary tension, then horns introduce a TOTALLY PUMPED and unleashed Darlene Love vocal that leaves nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – in the tank. The grand build-up to close the song is classic Spector: layers and layers of guitar, piano, strings, and percussion back the call-and-answer vocals between Love and the backup singers (a seventeen-year-old Cher‘s voice can be clearly heard) until the tension is finally released in a tidal wave of vocal calisthenics, soaring strings, drum fills, and piano arpeggios. Simply put, one of the great pop vocal performances of all time.

* “Here Comes Santa Claus” is anticlimactic following Love’s tour de force, but it’s to Bobby Sheen’s credit that his straight, if understated, reading becomes the showpiece on this song. The trumpet solo in the middle has a ringing, jazzy touch to it which compliments Sheen’s soulful vocal.

What truly makes A Christmas Gift For You such a remarkable achievement is the success Spector achieved in fusing together what was then a radical way of interpreting familiar holiday songs without, as he would write in the album’s liner notes, “losing for a second the feeling of Christmas and without destroying or invading the sensitivity and the beauty that surrounds all of the great Christmas music.” More than anything else, Spector respected the music he was trying to interpret as his own. In the end, this is what makes this work an enduring classic for the ages.

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December 18, 2019

And so the Democrats finally get what they’ve been aching to do since Election Night 2016 – impeach the President. I hope all you Democrats and liberals out there are rejoicing tonight, because this is your high-water mark as far as the whole impeachment saga goes. How do I know? Think about it:

First you had the whole “Russia collusion” thing. Question: did you hear any specific charges related to “Russia collusion” in the Dems’ two articles of impeachment? No.

Then you had the Mueller investigation and subsequent report. Question: did you hear any specific charges related to the Mueller investigation in the Dems’ two articles of impeachment? No.

Then you had the Ukraine phone call. Question: did you hear any specific charges related to the Ukraine call in the Dems’ two articles of impeachment? No.

So what exactly did the Dems impeach him for? As Powerline blog’s Paul Mirengoff (no fan of Trump by any means, BTW) writes:

The historical significance of this event lies mainly in the fact that, until now, no president has been impeached without some allegation in an article of impeachment that he committed a crime. This was also the first impeachment proceeding that had no support in the House from a single member of the president’s party.

Legal scholars disagree as to whether impeachment requires a crime. However, the Constitution provides that impeachment of a president is to be for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” I find it hard to read this language as permitting impeachment in the absence of the two crimes specified or another significant crime.

Moreover, as Ted Cruz pointed out during a discussion at the Heritage Foundation earlier this week, the framers of the Constitution rejected a draft that called for impeachment for “corruption,” as well as a draft that called for it in cases of “maladministration.”

It seems to me that the Democrats have impeached Trump for some combination (as they see it) of corruption and maladministration.

“Abuse of power”? Are you kidding me? In what way, specifically? “Obstruction of Congress”? You mean, by the President exercising his rights to not provide requested information to Congress without a formal impeachment inquiry in place? I mean, seriously – is that the best they could come up with?

I have to think that “San Fran Nan” Pelosi knows her time is up. She’s obviously lost control of her party’s power base. How do I know? The fact that she’s allowed the likes of Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff to manage this fiasco. Think about it, Democrats: these are your powerhouse legislators? An absurdly obese toady and a bug-eyed loon who is as dirty as they come?

Unfortunately for many liberals and Democrats, they’re going to wake up tomorrow absolutely stunned that Donald Trump is still President. And will continue to be. This is how ignorant the Democratic base is: they really think they accomplished something by this charade.

Oh, I do believe the Democrats have accomplished something. No one knows what will happen between now and next November, and I would caution all those conservatives out there that there is still a heckuva long way between now and next November 3. Anything can happen in politics. But because the only cards the Democrats have left in there hands to play – the race card and the impeachment card – that’s not a whole lot for Democrats in red states and swing-voting districts to argue on behalf of their re-elections. The impeachment charade might play well on the cable networks and in liberal strongholds across the country, but compared to the record Donald Trump will be running on, that accounts for bupkis. And right now (and of course things can change) the House will be a bloodbath for Democrats next November.

And regardless of the brave Botoxed face “San Fran Nan” is putting on, I have to think deep down she knows this is a fiasco beyond all imagination — the reality of which will hit the Democrats Thursday morning when everyone realizes that everything that they have focused on and pushed for the last three years has resulted in nothing. Trump is still President, and will continue being President for at least the next eleven months. Oh sure, she’ll likely try to extend the fiasco as long as she can, but how can you on one hand argue that the President deserves to be impeached but then employ delay tactics to keep it out of Mitch McConnell’s hands? She knows she’s trying to make chicken salad out of chickensh*t, but you can only play that game for so long. But she knows there’s no other choice – whether or not the Dems retain the House after next November’s election she knows she’s out – so she’s reduced to playing the role of loyal soldier knowing there are young lions out there just waiting to rip her apart.

I hope it was worth it, Democrats. Because starting tomorrow you’ll have to actually face the reality of life after impeachment. And it won’t be pretty.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:04 | Comments (0)
December 14, 2019

I’m actually heading to Las Vegas for (believe it or not) work, but when I come back it’s all Christmas, all the time. There are presents to warp and all kind of stuff to get ready for. In the meantime…

Climate change teen-fab and elitist / leftist human shield Greta Thunberg is nothing but a misguided and exploited twit, someone who makes me want to burn as much wood as I can possibly find in my brandy-new firepit, throwing as much CO2 into the atmosphere as I can manage. She makes me want to take chainsaws to redwoods, machine guns to polar bears, and dump all my old motor oil into every water source I can find. She’s learned well from the Fascist Left; someone who has no interest in rationally and deliberately looking for solutions.

This certainly caused my ears to perk up. Maybe my prediction of a Madame Hillary Stacy Abrams ticket isn’t that far off after all. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been right on this kind of thing, you know…

Oh, to live in Kentucky again. Now this is my kind of judge!

Is there nothing that meat won’t do? As I remember a Montana rancher saying one day, if God didn’t intend man to eat meat then why did he create steak? And the same holds true for bacon. Me? I live for bacon, crispy side, please.

Like father, like son. Hunter Biden is a sleaze ball, and the apple don’t fall too far from the tree.

Good for the Hallmark Channel. Listen, you warped, perverted LGBTQ activists: you want your own pervert Christmas? Create your own movies and run them on Logo or OWN and allow the rest of us enjoy the holiday season without forcing your own personal agendas on the rest of us. Just because you’re screwed up emotionally and sexually doesn’t mean you have the right to impose your views on us. Just as we don’t have the right vice-versa. Live and let live, for gawdsakes!

..and this is more than good, because in the Age of Trump expect to see a whole lot more of this. When the Obama White House encouraged Democrats to punch back twice as hard they never could have imagined Republicans and conservatives finding the courage to do the same. But President Trump is leading the way on this — believe me, when you’re dealing with bullies and the Fascist Left, punching back twice as hard is the only thing they understand.

So sad. The Independence was a beautiful ship. I still to this day get stirred emotionally when I see beautiful aircraft carriers.

I think the Red Sox are making a huge mistake if they trade Jackie Bradley, Jr, but cutting payroll and raising ticket costs is something very few baseball franchises can do and get away with it.

Trump is right: what’s good for the goose…

Personally, what I’d like to see is an extended, marathon six-month impeachment trial in the Senate where everyone – and I do mean everyone involved in the Russia collusion hoax and the FISA court abuses gets called, regardless of Party, and burn the whole damned town down. It won’t happen, of course – there is too much money and too many reputations on the line, but I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to see folks like so-called “whistleblower” (actual political hack and general, overall fraud) Eric Ciaramella and sleazeball extraordinaire Hunter Biden giving testimony and being carried away in chains if they’re found to lie under oath. Drain the Swamp!!

…and that includes those Fusion GPS butt-wipes.

Now, there’s something very interesting going on here. As we all know, Simpson and Fritsch are founders of Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm. That’s what they get paid to do. Their smearing of the Trump campaign was funded by, first, a conservative website and later the DNC. Are they being paid again? If so, who’s paying them? If not, that’d be important to know.

More importantly, however, than all of that is the following: the Mueller report and Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report have shown, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Fusion GPS’s investigation was based on little more than lies, innuendo, and drunken gossip. To a very large degree, Simpson and Fritsch are responsible for the terrible days many Trump campaign advisers have had. They’ve been accused of being Russian agents, the president himself had to explain to his wife that, no, he didn’t let prostitutes pee on a hotel bed in Moscow, and Americans’ trust in their political system has been deeply undermined.

There comes a point where political subterfuge for the sake of pushing one’s political agenda becomes very dangerous. The damage Fusion GPS has done to this country is incalculable.

R.I.P. Danny Aiello. Loved him in Moonstruck.

Congratulations to Boris Johnson and the conservative “Brexits” for their overwhelming victory. Of course, there will now be a “resistance” similar to what happened with American liberals after the 2016 election: liberals, after all, are the poorest losers in the world. But now watch how President Trump uses Brexit to work on exceptional trade deals with the UK, further tossing China’s economy into the dumpster. Good for Boris, good for the UK, screw the Chi-coms.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:33 | Comments (0)

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