July 30, 2020

A few thoughts and comments while we’re in the middle of a murderously-hot week here in the Valley of the Sun:

This year’s monsoon season is off to a very slow start. Last week we had a brief thunderstorm with perhaps 1/10 to 1/20 inch of rain, but that’s all. There was some nice thunder and a bit of lightning, but it was primarily to our west. This photo from the middle of my swimming pool doesn’t do justice to just how shimmering the sky was with its copper and salmon-colored overtones, but it was drop-dead gorgeous. Need more storms just like that!

…of course, we’re not into August yet, so no need to be impatient.

People are freaking out about this President Trump tweet, completely unaware that he’s just exposing their same way of thinking when it comes to opening schools, mail-in voting and the like. What he’s basically saying is, if the virus is so bad that we can’t open schools, can’t worship in churches, and have to resort to mail-in voting all because of the virus (even if we can all shop in places like Lowe’s, The Home Depot, pool supply stores, and supermarkets – with appropriate social-distancing, of course!) then I guess we’re to sickly and fearful as a nation to even have a national election. An epic troll by an epic troller, but the usual suspects take everything he says as gospel.

…the fact is, if you can have voting precincts utilizing the same kind of single-line separation for social distancing just like at Walmart, Lowe’s, and your local supermarket entrances, with plenty of surface sanitizer and folks voting via paper ballots and single-use pencils, you can have an election that is done both correctly and expediently. To argue otherwise is nothing but fear-mongering and the height of ignorance. The Federal Election Commission needs to move on mandating this ASAP.

…which is why, I believe, the President brought the issue of mail-in voting to a head today via his own unique use of his Twitter bully pulpit.

BTW, this is the kind of guy he really is. Just don’t expect to hear anything about this from the cable news talking heads.

I have always thought “Slo’ Joe” Biden was going to pick failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams or California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. It’s therefore interesting to Obama national security advisor Susan Rice’s name become prominently mentioned over the last few days. If Rice is indeed chosen for Biden’s VP slot it would tell me two things: (1) regardless of what the media-hyped polling is saying, Biden is in deep trouble and he needs to pull out all the stops for Barack Obama’s unwavering and enthusiastic support in order to (2) motivate the Democratic base and Obama’s previous coalition to pull Biden’s gonads out of the fire.

…think about it: why else would such a career Washington politician with Biden’s supposed bona fides need another national security “expert” to be a part of his team. The fact is, he doesn’t. But he desperately needs all the help he can get from the Obama coalition to gin up enthusiasm for his candidacy – enthusiasm which even the most optimistic Biden pollsters know is in desperately short supply.

…of course, if Biden picks Harris, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to need that Obama coalition (he absolutely will) but he’s going strictly for the race and gender card – neither of which I see as helping him at all. Biden is nothing but a sacrificial lamb being tossed into the Trump meat-grinder by the Dems party establishment to delay the likes of Bernie Sanders and his progressives wrestling the Democratic Party’s power center away from the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Chinacrats like Dianne Feinstein.

Forget about what the national pollsters are telling you. The fact is – and I’m hearing this not just from my “big guy” contact in national GOP circles whom I befriended back in 2016, but from a couple of folks I know in a couple of other GOP congressional campaigns as well – is that there is no way pollsters are able to identify the Trump voters out there. There’s a huge (and I mean HUGE) amount of fear out there what would happen if folks’ support for the President’s reelection were ever published. Not only are these voters not getting represented, but if they are called they’re either neglecting to answer or disguising their votes.

…the national pollsters are too lazy to take the time and do the kind of digging that is needed in order to ferret out these voters, so it is left to smaller pollsters who care deeply about their profession (and their reputations) to try and get it right. There are scientific ways of doing with, which is why I respect pollsters like Richard Baris and Scott Rasmussen.

R.I.P. Herman Cain. Never had the honor of meeting the man but he always seemed like a nice guy who oozed the kind of positivity one would expect from a successful entrepreneur. I liked him a lot and would have gladly voted for him as President.

And R.I.P. as well to Peter Green, one of the truly great and innovative British blues guitar players who was single-handedly responsible for Fleetwood Mac’s early success with songs like “Albatross” and “Black Magic Woman”, which Carlos Santana later made a hit with. He was a troubled individual in life, hope he finds the peace he never found with the angels in eternity.

Wait a dog-gone minute here: I was under the impression that the Portland demonstrations were “primarily peaceful”, or, as congressman Jerry Nadler called them, “a myth”.

I close with this spot-on tweet from TheHuBLife:

Imagine showing up to a funeral and then going into a lengthy diatribe about fractional reserve banking, the plight of the Arctic penguin and closed with a “get out in vote in November” request.

Who does that?

A Jihadi terrorist spreading propaganda… that’s who.

Indeed.

Granted this might be considered anecdotal, but all I can say is that at the pool supply store I continue to see at least one couple from places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Illinois come into the store saying they’re new to Arizona and have just adopted their first year-round swimming pool. You can look at stories like this (and I’m sure the same pool stores in Florida would say the same thing) but there is an exodus occurring from “blue” states to “red” states that you’ll never see the mainstream media pick up.

…all I can say is that around here real estate has never been hotter than it is right now. Lots of folks wanting to buy with record low inventory. Fact is, folks are pissed off at the assholes running their Democratic states and are choosing to vote with both their feet and their wallets. Good for them.

The video everyone has seen and needs to be seen. PERIOD. Take control of your own health and tell the morons in the mainstream media and the doctors who believe what they are saying to go f**k themselves. What I don ‘t understand is that you have this whole thing politicized to the point where the patient is being taken completely out of the equation. If the patient wants to take the HCQ treatment to fend off COVID19 LET THEM DO IT. If you want them to sign a friggin’ waiver protecting your pathetic, yellow-bellied ass from future litigation I’m sure they’d be happy to do so. It’s just so pathetic.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 14:25 | Comments (4)
July 26, 2020

Whether one is an active participant or not, the third weekend of July – Goodboys Invitational weekend marks the apex of summer. Far more so in the northern climes like New England, where soon after Goodboys comes August and the soft, dreamy combination of cloudy humid days and the first real indications that the days are indeed getting shorter and soon it will be Labor Day and that lovely, short period known as “late summer” before stores start advertising back-to-school sales and putting out the chrysanthemums. Before you know it, the nights start getting cool and fall is upon you.

it’s not quite like that here in the Valley of the Sun, but even here – most especially working at a swimming pool supply store – you can tell we’re past the apex of the season. Sales start slackening off given the fact that the chemicals everyone needed in order to get their pools ready for the 4th of July and the season beyond have all been sold. Sure, we’ve still got new customers coming in trying to get their pools swimmable for the remainder of the season, but the big bucks have pretty much all been spent.

I can tell because the powers-that-be have (thankfully) already reduced our Sunday hours from a ghastly 9 AM to 6 PM to a more reasonable (and tolerable) 10 AM to 5 PM. And while I’m expecting the 9 AM openings on Monday – Saturday to continue for a few weeks, I’m guessing the 7 PM closes will be brought back to a more reasonable 6 PM. My hours are already starting to be reduced, and frankly, that’s a good thing – I never really wanted to work four days a week and the 32 hours a week I’m currently working. I’m slowly being brought back to a more reasonable 28 hours a week, but even at that I’m looking forward to the end of September when, supposedly, the terms of my current gig will be up.

Not that I’ve minded it all that much – after all, the goal was to make as much additional money I could while still getting my severance pay from my former employer while learning new skills that I could take forward to give me some minimal income and a few days out of the house each week for the next couple of years. That mission has been accomplished, and then some – the district sales manager actually offered me a full-time, associate store manager position if I wanted it – but the current gig has met all my expectations.

Outside of having to work Sundays (something I plan on avoiding once September is past) I’ve enjoyed this gig quite a bit. Not the least bit has been the physical work – not just being on your feet 6-8 hours a day, but lugging buckets of chlorine tabs, pool sand, and pool salt has resulted in my getting back into shape as much physically as if I had started going back to the gym. I’ve lost eight pounds (back to my fighting weight of 162) and have regained some nice muscle tone in my pecs, arms, and legs. My doctor was very pleased at my annual physical last Thursday, and I’m feeling better mentally and physically than I have since I can remember.

As Goodboy “Goose” suggested back in March when I was first sacked, this whole experience has been a blessing in disguise. Would it have been nice to have ridden the meat grinder for another 2 1/2 years? Perhaps, at least financially. But I’ve since discovered that I was long past due for a break. I was beaten down mentally, physically, and spiritually. And while I haven’t yet had the time to decompress the way I would like and have time for self-reflection, maybe I’m not quite ready for that amount of down-time yet; while four days of pool supply work a week is too much I don’t think I’d want anything less than three, as I know I would start getting itchy about things.

So it has been a very good transition into somewhat semi, early retirement. The summer here in the Valley of the Sun still has another 2 1/2 months to go before the heat breaks, but I’m really looking to fall to become a time for the self-reflection and taking stock of things I so much need. I want to travel back to Massachusetts to see my dad, walk in some colorful woods, perhaps play some golf with my Goodboys friends, and listen to Gordon Lightfoot and classical music. And while it still indeed is summer, 2020 (among other things) will go down as the Year Without a Summer. No golf. No Goodboys. No Sam Adams Summer Ale. No surf music. No travel. Just a minimum-wage gig working at a pool supply store trying to make as much hay while the sun shines.

It’s unlike anything I’ve felt before. And I kinda like it where I am, after the apex.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:19 | Comments (0)
July 21, 2020

Of course I’d been thinking about this for a long time, but seeing an e-mail from one of the winners of this year’s Goodboys Invitational made me realize I no longer wanted to have anything to do with whatever plans he or the rest of the guys had as far as next year’s tournament went. I knew then and there it was time to leave.

I posted the following in an e-mail to all the Goodboys:

Gentlemen,

Please remove me from this, and all subsequent Goodboys 2021-related threads going forward as I am officially announcing my retirement from the active Goodboys list.

Specifically, in regards to next year’s Goodboys Invitational, as President Lyndon Johnson once declared, “if nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve.”

I henceforth join all those who have proudly worn the Goodboys mantle over the years, even while recognizing that Goodboys is like the Hotel California (where you can check in any time you’d like but you can never leave).

You are, and will always be, my friends.

Feel free to reach out to me directly if you wish to stay in touch.

It’s all good. As the late, great George Harrison once sang:

Jai Guru Dev

The Great White Shank

The fact that I felt no sense of sadness or sentimentality or loss while writing the e-mail told me that it was time to leave. I’m sure the Goodboys will do just fine without me. The fact is, there comes a time when you have to know you’re no longer relevant and have become part some dusty relic of the past, and that it’s been beyond time to make way for whatever the Goodboys decide to do going forward without you. Perhaps there will be a new generation with new blood and new enthusiasm. Maybe it will all fall like a house of cards and disappear into antiquity as if nothing ever came before it: heck, both greater and lesser institutions have suffered the same fate.

At any rate, you don’t just kiss three decades of involvement good-bye without at least some remorse. Lord, there were some great times with a lot of laughs. With one notable exception, I’ll always consider my Goodboys pals as brothers-in-arms. As for said exception, the less said the better. Best to simply say, “peace be with you” and leave it at that.

There’s not much else left to say. As Dennis Wilson once sang:

Here we are
With our dreams in the sky
We all have our dreams
It’s wonderful to know we’re alive
At the end it’s over

There you are
At the end of the show
Mem’ries are real
It’s wonderful to know you’re alive
At the end

Thank you very much
For everything you’ve ever wanted, oh
Thank you very much
For everything you’ve ever needed, oh
Thank you very much
For everything you’ve ever dreamed of
Whoa, whoa, it’s over

Dennis knew the pain and joy of separation, not just in fact, but in the heart. As do I.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 02:21 | Comments (0)
July 18, 2020

A few random thoughts on what looks to be the last the last weekend before we finally get ourselves some bona fide monsoon activity here in the Valley of the Sun:

So once again, President Trump was right and the “fake news” was wrong about so-called “Russia Collusion”. Question: so when does The New York Times have the guts to return their Pulitzer prizes?

Wondering why this article – from the New England Journal of Medicine, no less – isn’t getting more attention:

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

Ordering people to wear masks is nothing more than the state infringing on the freedoms of its citizens in order to exert power. Nothing more, nothing less. And the fact that so many sheep out there are willing to go along with it is both disappointing and frightening.

…and the fact that these folks were then pressured to print a retraction of the main gist of their article simply underscores my point. There are very powerful influences at play here that have nothing to do with folks’ health and well-being.

…which is why whenever I hear our governor Doug Ducey push the need for folks to continue wearing masks, I’m stunned that no journalist out there has the guts to ask him “OK, Governor, we hear what you’re saying so here’s a question for you: for how long? A month? Months? Years? Until there’s a vaccine? What if there isn’t a vaccine?” I mean, where does this all end? When does it all end? As the above article states, the science is hardly settled over masks, yet our elected officials the the state and local levels are pushing it as if it is. One can only wonder at the backroom conversations we’re not privy to.

…and speaking of masks, it’s kind of funny that I was feeling a bit sentimental about the Goodboys Invitational weekend and having to miss it this year until I saw an email from one of the guys cautioning that he would be avoiding physical contact so “his two children would grow up to see their their grandparents”, or something to that effect. I had to hold my tongue (or fingers, actually) from advising said Goodboy that as long as said grandparents didn’t live in any of these states where (mostly) Democratic governors – plus “RINO Charlie” Baker in Massachusetts – sent COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes they’d be OK.

…which then got me thinking it’s probably best for everyone that I’m not there this weekend, knowing that politics would inevitably come up and I’m not really that good at holding my tongue. Instead, getting a lovely call and a Facetime from my best Goodboys buds on Friday and Saturday nights made my weekend. So in the end is well and all will be all, and peace be with all the Goodboys.

Mind you, I’m not opposed to the wearing of masks – in fact, perhaps it’s time for mandatory masks whenever in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and rehab and long-term care facilities. But the whole social distancing thing is total bullshit founded on fear and not science. Historically, there is one of these pandemics every decade in one form or another, and of course there’s the annual flu season, and yet we’ve all managed to get this far. But everything has become political, so common sense and compromise are all out the window, and I see no going back. Unfortunately, this is now the “new normal”: the over (and overt) politicization of everything, leading to a distrust in our government institutions.

…and unless someone gets a handle on this – and a really good handle it must be – it will be every man for himself and no one wants to go there.

I never thought the Democrats would be so stupid as to support the rioting and destruction of cities, but “San Fran Nan” Pelosi’s tweet from today seems proof that that’s exactly what they are doing. Does anyone beyond the loony left think what is happening every night in Portland is a good thing? Politically it’s absolutely absurd. The Democrats are turning this election into a “jobs, not mobs”, law and order referendum on which political party is better able to stop the lawlessness.

…and why Republicans have been so silent on this is beyond me. The future of our Republic is at stake. Do they not see it?

If black voters have a choice between this and this, I pray common sense will prevail and they will choose the latter. Because it was never about Confederate statues, it was about law and order, seeing how far their movement would be allowed to go.

Can we all now agree that Dr. Fauci is nothing but a partisan hack who has nearly single-handedly tried to destroy this country with his inane predictions and falsehoods? I’ve been waiting for the mask to drop, and it finally has. Anyone who thinks that New York’s Andrew Cuomo’s decisions have been anything but reckless and criminal in nature has no business anywhere near the White House. I expect a major push-back against this self-serving, media clown in the coming days. God damn him.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:25 | Comments (0)
July 16, 2020

….for their 30th anniversary golf weekend starting tomorrow, while my thoughts will be with them, I’m pretty damned happy at my decision to beg out of this year’s festivities given all the mask-wearing travel amongst scaredy-cats who don’t realize just how they’re all being played by the national media. As those who frequent this outpost in the blogsphere are well aware, I’ve never bought into the COVID-19 hysteria, believing that (a) had “blue state” governors not condemned to death tens of thousands of elderly people to their deaths we would have death numbers quite close to an average flu season, (b) if our political intelligencia had been privy to more realistic data than the bogus models of “experts” predicting millions of U.S. deaths, and (c) if the COVID-19 responses by certain elected officials (and most especially the mainstream media) hadn’t been politicized to the nth degree by false reporting and hyped-up hysteria I might actually be in Massachusetts today getting ready to join the Goodboys to commemorate this august achievement.

Thirty years is a long time. I was 34 years old – 34! – when the “founding fathers” first went to Bethel, Maine for an overnight / 2 rounds of golf thing. At that point there were no “Goodboys” per se (not sure how many years later that name came about), but it wasn’t that many. Back then, Tracey and I had our cats Rascal and Bandit, and the idea of having rabbits as pets would still be a good nine years and a move to Louisville, Kentucky later.

Thirty years is a long time. George H.W. Bush was president, and right about the time the “founders” were gathering at Bethel, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was announcing he would run for the presidency the following year. Ian Woosnam was the reigning Masters champion, Payne Stewart had won his iconic U.S. Open victory, Ian Baker-Finch – Ian Baker-Finch! – had won the British Open, and a brash newcomer named John Daly had surprised at the PGA. Music-wise, nothing much was happening. Don’t believe me? Look at the names on this list. OMG.

Back in those days (when men were men) there was as much legendary drinking as there was golf. For the first eight years, northern New England was the primary destination before the “first infusion” of new blood ushered in the Cape Cod era which lasted quite a long time. Lots of great memories there. Over the past decade or so (and yet another infusion of new blood), the ‘Boys have been splitting time between Portsmouth and Plymouth, and the renewing of acquaintances and the retelling of – to coin a phrase from Jimmy Buffett – “short stories with long laughs” has taken greater precedence over the rather impressive drinking exploits of the days of yore.

Most of the Goodboys remain like brothers (or at least distant cousins) to me. I’ll never forget “Vegas” Clark making a 2 hour drive from his home on the Cape to pay his respects at my brother Mark’s wake. My mom never forgot that amazing gesture as long as she lived. Same holds true for the year my mom passed away, when all the stress and strain of the previous six months came pouring out of me at the Goodboys in 2016; the guys (and particularly my partner “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin, who experienced it all first-hand) helped me get through the weekend when it was hard keeping it all together. I will never forget these acts of kindness and true brotherhood.

Somewhere along the line, however, the shine started wearing off on it all. Just being back in New England and familiar surroundings became more important than the Goodboys tradition. Using the time to visit my folks (watching the first round of the British Open on Thursday mornings over coffee with my mom and dad is a precious memory), the Thursday night “Christmas Eve” tradition of the Green Meadow driving range and dinner with my closest GB friends, and then watching the Sox and the British Open with a few of the guys – or even with perfect strangers – at local establishments became more important than the tradition I was back there for. It’s not that the guys (at least the vast majority of them) were a problem, I had changed and the tradition just started getting a little old and stale for me. Simply put, it became more of an obligation than anything else, most especially given certain personality conflicts I just wasn’t willing to try and reconcile.

Not that my absence this year is a bad thing: traditions need to evolve with new people flowing in to give them renewed energy and a sense of purpose. I’m sure that if the guys want to continue the tradition going forward they’ll undoubtedly find a way to make it work and keep it working. I’m not closing the door on any future participation, mind you: no one knows what the future holds; but I’m now on the outside looking in, and I don’t feel bad about it. The Goodboys will go on fine without me, they deserve participants who will keep the positive energy going, and I’m just not able (or willing) to do that given the present state of things. It’s just not worth the emotional time and effort.

I suppose the question will be raised regarding the name of this website. To be truthful about it, I haven’t thought much of what (if anything) to do with it. It’s just a name, after all. For the foreseeable future things will remain as is – I’m not going anywhere. But if I decided to do something y’all will be the first to know!

To be honest, I’m feeling rather sentimental about the whole thing. I’ll miss my Goodboys friends, but, in the words of George Harrison, “all things must pass”. So with the guys gathering together tomorrow – and keeping with the spirit in which this post is written, I’ve chosen this gentle Jimmy Buffett ballad as my own personal message:

Just outside the harbor
All the ships asleep
Maybe one cold watchman
Walks a lonely beat
And way out on the water
A ship is under sail
Leaving wavy starlight
And a dreamer in her trail

I wave bye bye
I pray Godspeed
I wish you lovely weather
More luck than you’ll need
You’ll only sail in circles
So there’s no need to cry
Oh, I’ll see you again one day
And then I waved bye bye

A sailing ship reminds me
Of a certain girl
Who left a certain dreamer
To sail into her world
I’ve very friendly postcards
From very far away
But they just remind me
Of a certain day

When I waved bye bye
I prayed Godspeed
I wished you lovely weather
More luck than you’ll need
We only sail in circles
So there’s no need to cry
Yes, I’ll see you again one day
And then I’ll wave bye bye

My best wishes to the Goodboys for a fun and successful 30th anniversary weekend – I’ll be thinking of y’all while I’m staking shelves with pool chemicals and performing water tests. Enjoy that round on me, and may the best team win!

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comments (0)
July 12, 2020


(Hat tip: Powerline blog)

Not much of a chance to blog this week, so this weekend’s edition will be kind of abbreviated, but not lacking for substance.

Hope you like the new pic on the main page. That’s me and the late, great Cosmo. He was a truly great rabbit.

I guess all lives really don’t matter after all.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ill-conceived and deadly policy of placing COVID–19 patients in nursing homes and long-term facilities isn’t going away any time soon. The guy is a butcher, and he and his public health officials need to be held personally (and, in my view, criminally) responsible for their decisions.

Some of the most intolerant people I know live in Massachusetts, so this doesn’t surprise me at all. Which kind of explains this, doesn’t it? But liberals are the tolerant and open-minded ones, right?

And no, we’re not stacking bodies at designated places across the Valley of the Sun as a result of the so-called “surge” in Coronavirus cases. Anecdotal, but the truth: I’ve driven past that same damned billboard on the 60 going east five times over the past four days advertising ER wait times at a prominent local medical center, and each time the number is zero. ZERO. So how the hell can Arizona be called the epicenter of Coronavirus cases? It’s just total media hysteria driven by our – yes, Republican – governor, who is either ignorant, or (more likely) totally unwilling to share the facts with his constituents.

If you’re looking for anything sports-related on this blog you won’t find it here. I’ve checked out of Boston.com and the MLB Network for Red Sox and baseball coverage and the GOLF Channel for golf coverage. I’m just not interested. Perhaps in 2021 I’ll reconsider, but I don’tr think I’m alone in folks who have walked away from sports due to their politicization of everything. That’s the problem with the liberal left – they get their claws into everything and ruin things for the rest of us who just want to check out of everyday life for a few hours.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:27 | Comments (0)
July 10, 2020

“‘Tis a bittersweet fact that, from the very joyful moment you bring a new animal into your household as a member of the family, the clock starts ticking down to the sad moment when you have to say goodbye.”

And the hits just keep on coming. Boy oh boy, 2020 has been a very hard year here in the Richard household. In January we had to say farewell to our beloved rabbit Marlie; this past Tuesday we had to do the same to my sister-in-law Tammy’s rabbit Butterscotch.

In rabbit terms, Butterscotch lived a kind of “Forrest Gump” kind of life – meaning, she always seemed to be in the middle of the action from the moment of her birth to the time of her passing some eleven years later.

Butterscotch was originally one of what were called the “backyard bunnies” – some 100+ rabbits discovered in some lady’s Phoenix back yard back in 2010. Evidently, the woman had originally had a couple of rabbits who were allowed to breed and she lost control over the uncontrolled breeding that inevitably resulted to the point where her back yard was inundated with rabbits both above ground and underground, requiring rabbit rescues all the way from California to Texas to help take in all of the rabbits.

It was during this time that one of the pair of rabbits we had adopted from a local rabbit rescue, Ginger, had suddenly passed away, leaving her mate Geronimo feeling sad and lonely. One Saturday, on a trip to Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary, I looked at some of the “backyard buns” they had brought in. Amongst a group of rabbits passively hanging out in their cage, I asked Kelly, the curator there, which one of the rabbits seemed to have the kind of passive sweetness that could win over a brute like Geronimo, and Butterscotch was invited into our family.

I blogged about the successful effort to bond Geronimo and Butterscotch together. Unfortunately, she and Geronimo were only together for the better part of a year before Geronimo passed away quite suddenly. We then adopted Marlie the rabbit in the hope of bonding her and Butterscotch together, but that was a doomed prospect from the start: Marlie as a rabbit was very “food aggressive” and better left to a life in solitude. Not knowing what else to do, we offered up Butterscotch to my sister-in-law, and her two rabbits at the time, the legendary “Beastie Boys” Sherman and Cookie, welcomed her with opened paws.

Butterscotch was then there with Cookie when he passed, and she then played a critical role as Sherman’s mate until he, too, passed five years ago. It was then my sister-in-law adopted “the ghurkins”, Midget Lee and Bailey, who looked to Butterscotch as not just their mate, but as the matriarch of the bunny household until last week.

As with so many bunnies, the end came rather quick for Butterscotch. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but Tammy and I think she may have had a series of strokes that first cost her her sight, then her ability to use her from legs. Tam nursed her along hoping that Butterscotch would pass away at her apartment, but she had a very strong will, even when her quality of life had been reduced to practically nothing.

Of all the rabbits we have had over the twenty years since Tracey first brought Marble the rabbit home back in Louisville, Kentucky I don’t think (perhaps with the exception of dear departed Little Half Pint) we’ve had a rabbit with as sweet a disposition as Butterscotch. She was adored whenever we would bring her to the vet to get groomed. And her passing ends an era where she knew (at least in bunny terms) an inordinate number of our rabbits: Geronimo, Little Half Pint, Cosmo, Peanut, Marlie, Cookie, Sherman, Midget Lee, and Bailey. Her passing hurts only because she was just a sweet, adorable thing who, from what was a very rough beginning, caught the gold ring and enjoyed a very interesting and happy life.

Rest in peace, Butterscotch.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:11 | Comments (0)
July 2, 2020

Feels kind of muggy out there today and they’re saying there’s a possibility of blowing dust tonight, so while we have only officially started monsoon season on June 15, and they don’t consider it a “monsoon event” until we’ve had three straight days of humidity like today, it’s about time to buckle up.

Anyone else out there glad most of us have gotten through the first half of 2020 without losing our collective minds? Man, if you had told me on New Year’s Eve while I was sitting around a fire quaffing pinot grigio that we’d be dealing with COVID-19, lockdowns, masks, and statues being taken down, and I’d be working in a pool supply store I’d have wondered what the heck you were smoking.

But it’s been a tough first half of the year, losing one of our beloved rabbits, Marlie, and then losing my job at the meat-grinder. Sitting out on the back patio late at night nursing my nite-cap my former life seems like a dream, like it never happened, almost like I never happened. It’s just a very strange feeling. Of course, as long as the severance checks continue to come in there’s really no pain being felt. And having four days at the pool supply gig gets me out of the house and interacting with all kinds of folks has been a good thing. But there will come a time (September, specifically) when the severance checks stop and another time (November, to be exact) when the pool supply gig will end.

…which is why starting later this month it will be time to start considering the next phase of my “retirement”, which I hope will result in the home office being operational once again. I’ll be looking for part-time remote work similar to the kind of thing I was doing before. It would, of course, have to be a really sweet situation, but folks “in the know” say that there are opportunities out there for folks in exactly the same situation I find myself in.

…and, of course, since one of the options available in any scenario is to simply do nothing, I could always do just that and plan on a six-month hiatus until the pool season starts up again next April and, as The Beach Boys’ once sang, “do it again”. But I’m not so sure I want to go that route. I’ve started thinking about maybe picking back up my golf game this winter and dedicate some time to getting my handicap down to a 20. Something to consider, anyways…

It feels strange to be here in July and to not be a part of the ramp-up to Goodboys Invitational weekend, but hearing some of the nightmare stories at the store from people who have attempted air travel in “these uncertain times” makes me confident I made the right decision. Will I miss the guys? Sure. Will the guys miss me? Doubtful. But it is the right choice to make. It’s not as if the air travel experience was great to begin with; to add the whole mask-wearing bullshit on top of it would make the trip East – and most especially, the long trip back to Arizona – unbearable.

…especially with the media’s treatment of the recent spike in Coronavirus cases; it’s so infuriating. Look, no one ever thought this thing would be 100 gone by now. Remember? The original thought behind the lock-downs was to “flatten the curve” and avoid overwhelming the hospitals. But how the goalposts have moved. Look at this chart: where is the surge in cases coming from? Geez, I wonder what happened around, oh, say, two weeks ago? Of course, the media won’t admit the correlation between the surge in cases and all the riots and looting that took place after the George Floyd shooting.

…but even if they did, why not equally emphasize the lack of the rise in death rates? I’m no scientist or math major, but all this just tells me that the mortality rate of the COVID-19 virus simply does not warrant the level of hysteria and fear being plied by the mainstream and local media day in, day out. Especially given the fact that a significant percentage of the deaths resulted from decisions made by Democratic governors leading to all those nursing home deaths? The fact is, COVID-19 continues to be a virus whose deadliness simply does not arise to its reputation. Nasty? Yes. Sometimes deadly? Yes. But no more than the average flu season.

I’m not surprised at the great economic news today. All I can offer is anecdotal evidence from the pool supply store, but it seems like half the people coming in are brand-new pool owners having either just moved here from other states or just bought their first house with a swimming pool. The real estate market around here is blistering hot, and you simply wouldn’t have that kind of activity if the economy were in a doldrums. The media won’t, but the President’s economic team deserves a lot of credit for helping the country start recovering so quickly after such a disastrous start to the year.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 14:22 | Comments (0)

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