July 15, 2019

You might recall this post from back in April regarding plans we were putting in place for a backyard pool deck makeover. As I mentioned then, the original deck over the years had become faded and chipped, in some places down to the original concrete:

We contracted with a company called Allied Outdoor Solutions, who produce a product called Carvestone, a layered synthetic material that, once the original surface is prepared and roughed up, is applied, hand-textured, and colored to whatever design you are looking for.

When the sales guy came over and had us look at their samples, all we knew is that we didn’t want something traditional and boring with a lot of browns and grays like so many others have around their patios and pool decks around here. Tracey wanted colorful – and I mean really colorful, whereas I was willing to pretty much go along with any design as long as it wasn’t boring. As it turns out, regardless of what the Allied Solutions folks claim (and to Tracey’s chagrin) you really don’t have any truly bold colors to choose from – just a lot of muted pastels – but I think that’s just the nature of the product involved. Still it would have been nice had they been right up-front about it at the beginning.

After looking at sample materials, we decided to go with a yellow base with a combination of rust, blue, and gray in the mix. After we reviewed samples they made on a board (rejecting one for being too bland) pink grout was chosen to kind of draw in our existing Caribbean/Key West-inspired back patio. We didn’t really know what to expect, but I think it ended up coming out pretty well, dontcha think?

When I first had a look at it I was surprised to see just how mid-century modern / art deco it looked in a kind of Palm Springs-kinda way. Add an occasional splash of robin’s egg blue, and, why, one could almost imagine the likes of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra tossing back martinis and manhattans around the pool, circa 1958.

The next step is to replace the existing tiled patio with the same material and pattern. The deck itself needs a couple of weeks to “cure” before we add back the patio furniture, so it’s just as well that I’m heading back to Massachusetts for ten days. After that, we’ll be putting in a small wood-burning fire pit in preparation for the fall. And after that the backyard should be complete once and for all!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:52 | Comment (1)
July 6, 2019

On this Fourth of July weekend, there remain some truths that are self-evident, like…

Anyone under the mistaken preconception that Joe Biden isn’t a moron needs only to look at this video. And folks, I’m not making this up. Say what you want about Donald Trump, but I’m guessing he knows who actually was President when the stock market crashed back in 1929, and knows damned well that television hadn’t even been invented yet. The fact that Biden is allowed to make statements like this so earnestly, and is then unchallenged by the media on it, shows either their complicity as Democratic operatives masquerading as journalists, or – just as likely – they’re just as stupidly and pathetically ignorant as he is.

…and get ready for more of this as we all get older, I’m afraid, because these are the kinds of folks running your public schools.

No, we didn’t feel the latest California earthquake, although there are news reports some folks here in the Valley saw their swimming pool waters suddenly start swashing around. California earthquakes make me think of that Warren Zevon song with it’s great line:

And if California falls into the ocean like the mystics and statistics say it will
I believe this hotel will be standing until I pay my bill.

They just don’t write lyrics like that anymore.

Speaking of music, and it being Fourth of July weekend, this somber, poignant Beach Boys tune lamenting the strife of the Vietnam War-era was in my mind as I watched all the vicious comments by Democrats and those on the liberal left towards President Trump’s “Salute to America” celebrating both our country and those who serve to protect our freedoms:

Born of the age
Flagged hopes
Censored rage
The black clad box
Bombs bursting in air
Bleed white red and blue
Cried dawn’s early light
For the hope

Oh where has it gone
Brothers sisters stand firmly and try
Reaching the spacious skies
Fourth of July

Lie by the sword
Black times
False reward
The greetings of doom
So proudly they hail
Lost fortune of free
The stripes and bright stars
Promise lost

Oh where has it gone
Brothers sisters stand firmly and try
Reaching the spacious skies
Fourth of July

Brothers sisters stand firmly and try
Reaching the spacious skies
Fourth of July

One would think we could have one day where everyone could just relax and agree that, while certainly not perfect, there’s no other place on this planet like the USA and the freedoms we both hold and cherish. Heck, you’d think even Democrats would agree and celebrate the fact that it’s those very freedoms and the promise of opportunity arising from those freedoms that is attracting so many of their oh-so-precious illegals trying to come here. But their – and the media’s – irrational, visceral hatred of Trump and this country burns so brightly they can’t even see just how out of touch they are with so many folks who happen to think this country is not just special but worth preserving.

After all, where else on earth could an ignorant moron like Colin Kaepernick succeed to a level where he could force a major footwear manufacturer to dump their Betsy Ross flag-themed sneakers?

But you gotta remember, you’re talking about a political party and a mainstream media that just had their worst week in 47 years. That’s an awful long time, but think about it: not only do they have a world-class moronic goofball at the top of the polls, this is what the Democratic agenda for 2020 looks like:

— Open borders and unrestricted illegal immigration
— Unrestricted abortion return to busing
— Tax hikes to roll back President Trump’s tax cuts
— Massive redistribution of wealth to combat climate change
— Medicare for All / Obamacare / Single-payor healthcare (including all illegal immigrants)
— Unfettered LGBTQ etc. etc. etc. activism

Is there anything out there who thinks this is a winning strategy against a Trump presidency and his booming economy?

Look, I know nearby Tempe is a college town with ASU and all that, but this kind of thing is outrageous and the shop owner and his/her employees need to find a new line of employment.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:20 | Comments (0)
July 3, 2019

…so my cool dude Hawaiian primary care MD tells me I’m anemic and that all my red blood cell counts are way lower than they should be. He refers me to a hematologist, and it just so happens the closest hematologist to me is at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center just twenty minutes away on the 60, two exits short of Superstition Springs G.C.

Right from the start there’s a big interest in getting all of my medical charts from my primary care, and my appointment is booked. I start getting e-mails with all kinds of forms to fill out with careful instructions as to where I should go and what I should expect when I get there. I keep reassuring myself that I don’t have cancer, and that hematology and oncology departments are always linked together for some strange reason, but the night before my appointment I can’t sleep and find my brain turning over and over what would happen if things end up for the worst.

Tracey and I arrive at MD Anderson and are met by some friendly elderly folks dressed alike, charged with making folks feel comfortable upon their arrival. Ironically, it’s their innocent desire to make me feel comfortable that makes me feel decidedly uncomfortable, the discomfort only growing by walking by a cancer tree with colorful tags for all the patients being treated there, and a registration desk featuring a jar with little tags one can wear in support of brain cancer patients. A guy ten feet away from us is on the phone to a friend, telling him that there’s a blockage in his pancreas that the doctors are suspicious about, so they’re going to expedite a procedure to try and figure out what the heck the blockage is. All I’m thinking is if that dude has pancreatic cancer I’m looking at a dead man walking. He seems to be upbeat; all I can do is silently wish him the best.

I’m taken back to the first moment I heard that I had prostate cancer. You hear the word “cancer” and all of a sudden you’re transported to a different place, a different world where there are only two kinds of people: the folks who have cancer, and the folks who don’t. Whether or not you’re going to get it at some point in time is meaningless – as long as you don’t have it, you don’t have it. And if you have it, you have it, and there’s no hiding from it. I suppose I can call myself a cancer survivor, but I think that’s overstating it a bit. I never felt any pain with my prostate cancer, never had to be treated for it other than the relatively simple procedure to have it removed one day, then go home the next day minus one prostate gland. Sure, there are certain things I miss about not having one (no need to go into the obvious), but all in all it wasn’t that big a deal.

…certainly not like the folks you see at MD Anderson who you know are undergoing cancer treatment: the unsteady gaits, the wheelchairs, the knit hats, the gray, sallow complexions. They can try and make your initial visit as cheery and stress-free as possible, but in the end you know that one way or the other it will inevitably end up being you and a doctor in a room and the doctor describing for you what the blood tests found, good or bad. And there’s no way to hide from that. It’s spooky, it’s unnerving, and it’s uncomfortable to have to deal with the what ifs of your own mortality.

In my case, the suspicion is that it’s either something genetic, or the result of acid reflux, or perhaps a polyp in my colon causing the anemia. The fact is they don’t know, but the nice Indian doctor seemed pretty certain when she told me she didn’t think it was cancer. But until the lab results come back one way or the other you just don’t know.

And now I’m also dealing with what they are calling “several bi-lateral polyps in my lungs measuring no more than 4 mm in size”. And so I’m going to have to see a pulmonary expert to see how to treat that. I’ve long suspected that the unrelieved cough I’ve had since February and the anemia is why I can’t work out at the gym – I get winded way too easily. I can play golf, for sure, and it wouldn’t be fair to my ineptness as a golfer to blame my inconsistent scores on either my red blood cell count or my lung polyps, so I’ll just have to see where that goes. The problem is, much like my mom was, I’m a worrier by nature. And as I get older, I can’t help but think what the big breakdown in my health will end up being. There’s no point in living in denial and thinking nothing bad is ever going to happen to you; likewise, you can’t live your life in fear of what tomorrow will bring, either.

I guess all you can do is live your life to the fullest as best you can for as long as you can and keep in your thoughts and prayers all those who find themselves on the other side of the cancer equation. You’d like to ask them what it’s like – are they fighting it bravely, or are they resigned to some ultimate fate. Are they battling it with the help and support of loved ones, or virtually alone and left to their own fears and thoughts. It’s hard for me to think this way, but I guess that’s what visiting a hematologist at a cancer facility will do to you.

In the end, it’s all about your own mortality. Unlike some folks, I guess, I don’t worry about how I will be remembered when my time comes. I don’t think I will have left the world in any better or worse shape than it was when I got here nearly sixty-four years ago, and perhaps that’s the best anyone can ask. And maybe that makes it easier in the long run – no regrets, no unfulfilled dreams. Run the race to its inevitable conclusion, and listen to as much surf music and Bob Marley as you can while doing so.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comments (2)
July 1, 2019

It’s another hot and oppressive week in store for the Valley of the Sun. As one would expect for this time of year. A few thoughts and comments to kick off the week:

To start off, I’m going to say it right out loud, front and center. Pride Month is bullshit. The fact of the matter is that if you’re gay or lesbian, be who you are and just live your life. But don’t try to shove your lifestyle or sexual or personal preferences down my throat. I don’t do that to you, don’t do that to me. Live and let live, as they say.

…but for every other so-called classification in the LGBTQ etc. et. etc. rainbow movement, you really ought to recognize that you’re mentally ill and need to get help; for whatever lifestyle you think you are choosing, or sexual preference you are pursuing, there is nothing but a long, dark road to self-destruction and moral and spiritual death. Don’t believe anything the mainstream media is telling you about how “brave” and what a champion your are. You’re not a victim, and it’s damned well certain you’re leaving victims behind in your misplaced narcissism and perversions. People will call me a hater, but believe me when I say I write this out of love. There is a better way.

With all due respect to DNC Chair Tom Perez, yes it is.

The Red Sox 2020 season ended this weekend in London. What an embarrassment.

Looks like it’s Home Depot, not Lowe’s, for me from now on.

As hard to believe as it sounds, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Mass. Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahauntus” Warren against Donald Trump in 2020. And the Democrats will get slaughtered. Me? I say bring it on. Would love to have that debate.

Oh man, this is awesome, especially if you like turtles.

Came upon this video on YouTube last night, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve always considered Kate Bush as one of my favorite musical artists. There’s really no one out there that even comes close to the unique ability to combine fantasy, whimsy, and mystery as Bush does. She can be outrageous and spooky at the same time, but her music is truly one of a kind. For my money the video for “Running Up That Hill” is worth the price of admission. And the lyrics are just soooo intense. As Bush later recounted:

“[The] song is about making a deal with God to swap lives with another person. Bush explained in a 1985 interview: “It’s about a relationship between a man and a woman. They love each other very much, and the power of the relationship is something that gets in the way. It creates insecurities. It’s saying if the man could be the woman and the woman the man, if they could make a deal with God, to change places, that they’d understand what it’s like to be the other person and perhaps it would clear up misunderstandings. You know, all the little problems; there would be no problem.”

It’s long about due time that A.G. William Barr and the Department of Justice designate Antifa as the domestic terror organization it is and start identifying the money and social media organizations that allow these assholes to coordinate activities against those whom they disagree with. What happened to photo-journalist Andy Ngo is inexcusable in a modern-day Republic such as ours. You simply can’t let the bastards get away with intimidation and violence. In my view, Portland’s weasely mayor Ted Wheeler ought to be arrested and charged with aiding and abetting assault on an American for mandating the Portland police stand aside and allow the assault to take place. I don’t care what side you are on – there is no place for this kind of thing in today’s America.

…waiting for a single Democratic candidate for President condemn this kind of behavior in 5…4..3..2..1

There is a sickness in the modern-day American Left that the election of Donald Trump has helped to uncover. Make no mistake about it: Trump didn’t cause this – as I have mentioned previously, Hillary Clinton is more than at fault for allowing this kind of thing to occur when she didn’t show up once the 2016 election results were in to congratulate her opponent gracefully and facilitate a peaceful transfer of power. Being the absolute, narcissistic bitch that she is and always has been, she put herself ahead of the country and fostered the kind of insanity that has erupted as a result.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:41 | Comments (0)
June 29, 2019

Back from a week of hard and stressful corporate meetings, hence the lack of posts. The only bright spot of it all was meeting my sister-in-law Tam’s son for dinner and drinks – the last time we saw each other was 25 years ago, so that was great. It is truly amazing how time has flown. Being in meetings and all the necessary follow-ups and e-mail chasing, I haven’t really had much of a chance to follow any news but there is still time for a few items worth mentioning.

Given that Bob Newhart was always one of my favorite comics, it was great to read this review of a recent performance he did in Minneapolis. Hard to believe he’s still going strong at 89. If you haven’t watched his classic “Stop It!” routine, it’s embedded in Scott Johnson’s post and is a must-watch if you want to see a master of comedy and timing at work.

Another of my favorites is Richard Dreyfuss. The guy never gives a bad performance, and in interviews he has always come off as both thoughtful and sincere.

…which reminds me it’s almost July and Goodboys Invitational season, a time when I always watch the special feature “The Making of Jaws” from the 30th anniversary special release. If you love “Jaws” and love to hear a good story told, it’s a must-watch. It’s pretty damned funny, not to mention a truly amazing thing that the movie ever got made.

Both Newhart and Dreyfuss are a dying breed – entertainers who not just entertain, but are not vulgar and have a deep respect for a country that has allowed them to be as successful as they are. I never get the hatred so many Hollywood celebrities express towards this country and folks who happen to disagree with their political views. For one thing, why would you want to alienate half your audience? You watch Hollywood these days and all you see are political activists disguised as entertainers who really don’t entertain much.

I didn’t watch either of the Democratic debates, wouldn’t anyways because I knew exactly what they would be spewing over the two nights. But the fact that there is no candidate – not one, not even Slow Joe Biden – who wouldn’t extend free health care to illegal aliens tells me all I need to know. There is not a Democratic candidate in the world who will get elected in 2020 pushing a platform that only attract more illegals to migrate here.

…which is, of course, exactly what the Democrats want. they are out of their friggin’ minds.

Speaking of “Slow Joe” Biden, I, too, like Cory Booker (who, BTW, is as much of a fraud as Kamala Harris), was astonished at Biden’s latest comments yesterday while attempting to defend himself against Harris’s accusations of supporting policies in the past that were racist in nature. Here’s what Biden said:

“We’ve got to recognize that kid wearing a hoodie may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gangbanger.”

Can you imagine the outcry had Donald Trump said such a thing? Talk about your stereotypical views of the African-American community! I’m guessing Biden’s comment is going to get a lot more play in the coming days. The guy is a walking, talking joke – ignorant and stupid on his feet – and he’s doing the slow Jeb Bush dance into political death.

It’s time for the Red Sox to start playing up to their capabilities. OK, I get the World Series hangover, but there’s something wrong with this team. For one thing, it’s become fairly clear that, as erratic as Craig Kimbrel could be last year, he at least was a bona fide closer and had his role. The Sox need a closer badly, and now they’re probably going to have to pay big $s – either at the trading deadline or during the off-season – in order to get one.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 07:55 | Comments (0)
June 21, 2019

Three items today that shows that the general public’s tolerance for the kind of social engineering going on is reaching critical mass, to the point where they are starting to push back.

1. Good to hear that states are finally starting to crack down on people and their “emotional support animals”. We’re not talking about blind folks (wait, can I even use that term anymore? Or is it now “sight challenged”?) and seeing-eye dogs. We’re talking about morons having exotic creatures and trying to bring them onto planes and restaurants and other public places for “emotional support”. I call them morons, but they’re really losers who can’t – or refuse – human companionship because of their so-called emotional vulnerability. Bullshit. Perhaps its because of their reliance on animals to give them a sense of self-worth that they’re so incapable of human relations. So they garf onto to animals to the extent they can’t go anywhere without them and the hell with the concerns of others. The fact is, these people are sick and don’t need emotional support animals, they need psychological help. Hopefully, the movement to reign these clowns in keeps growing.

2. Transgenders and women’s sports. I’m glad these Connecticut women athletes are filing suit, but it’s a damned shame it has had to come to that. I’m going to try and use common sense here – something that isn’t very common nowadays. And, typically, liberal activism lies at the core of what is beyond madness. Folks aren’t going to like what I’m about to say, but I don’t care. Transgenders don’t belong in women’s sports – period. It has nothing to do with fairness, it has everything to do with what you were born with.

Taking the broader view first, I’m sick to death of all the mainstream media articles celebrating transgender “rights”. In my view, the whole issue of transgenderism is nothing more than social and sexual deviancy pushed by those who deep down hate themselves for what they are and are therefore looking for some way of society accepting what and who they are. I don’t buy the issue as physical – you are either born with male or female sex organs. And if you’re a male who longs to be a female (or vice versa), well, I’m sorry, but life doesn’t always work out the way everyone wants. It’s not an issue of gender – it’s a psychological issue that requires psychological help. And these transgender activists (who, by the way, are the least tolerant of individuals alive) want to shove their sexual and social identities down the throats of everyone else. They push their sick, deviant lifestyles on others and expect everyone to kowtow to their demands or they’ll file lawsuits to get what they insist is theirs.

This is nowhere more apparent than the push for transgendered males to participate in female sports. It’s pathetic, and its patently unfair to the “real” women who work hard to succeed in their various forms of competition. Genetics and human nature don’t lie – you can take all the friggin’ drugs you want, and have yourself mutilated to the point where you can (supposedly) “feel good” about yourself, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re what you were born as. You want to change that? Then in my opinion you’re a freak. Harsh words? You bet. But frankly, I’m tired of the mainstream media condemning religion (most especially Christianity) and our Judeo-Christian traditions, and celebrating social and sexual deviancy as if freedom of expression trumps all. And where are the so-called “feminists” in this ongoing travesty? Feminism used to stand for women being treated equally and celebrated for their exploits. And now you have these freaks coming in and competing on an unfair playing field against women who, through no fault of their own, have to deal with this kind of bullshit.

Fortunately, I think people are starting to push back. The courts shouldn’t have to get involved with this. The solution is simple: whatever you were born with is what you are. If you want to go dickering around with what God created, that’s your choice, but don’t try to force your own freak show on the women’s athletics stage.

3. The issue of homelessness – especially as it applies to what is happening in places like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles – is finally starting to percolate into the public domain after it being shoved under the covers for so long. And why is that? Because people are increasingly sick and tired of their cities and neighborhoods being taken over by panhandlers and homeless camps and all the negative issues that go along with that – most especially public health and crime. I do believe that most people have long since tired of the influx of these people into their communities but have heretofore been afraid of being tarred with the labels of intolerance and heartlessness. But the problem is growing, and in places like the above, the issue of public health has forced the issue into the daylight, and it’s going to need to be confronted with a combination of the rule of law, compassion, and ingenuity.

As a nation, the whole issue of mental health is one no one seems to want to take on. People think about “insane asylums” and the whole thing gets stigmatized. We don’t have nearly enough professionals trained in the care of the mentally ill, and there aren’t nearly enough places for housing the mentally ill where folks can be trained. In my view – and call me callous if you’d like – what I would like to see are laws first and foremost enforced. If folks don’t want to go to shelters, you jail them in places specifically designed or set aside for their care. If people can no longer take care of themselves or are willing to take care of themselves you designate them wards of the state and you find places to permanently house them.

Oh sure, the next question I’ll hear is, “where do we get the money?” I’ll tell you where: you can take all the money and resources that states are having to spend for housing and care of illegal aliens and dedicate it to our own citizens, first and foremost. The issue is not compassion – how’s that working out for you, California? The issue is putting our own people first before we even start thinking about those from other countries. Frankly, I don’t care about what happens to those who set foot in this country knowing they are committing an illegal act. If they’re not true candidates for political asylum you turn them back and send them back to their own countries. Why are we wasting our precious resources – in every sense of the word – on people who are here illegally when our own fellow citizens can’t or won’t be taken care of in a humane way? I’m not saying the issue isn’t complicated or easy to solve, but I’ll be damned as an American citizen to see my tax dollars go to folks who aren’t even American citizens instead of our own fellow countrymen.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:31 | Comments (0)
June 20, 2019

As hard to believe as it seems, the predicted high temperatures for this coming weekend in the Valley of the Sun are supposed to only be in the very high ’90s – almost unheard of! The daily highs should be running in the mid-100s and we should have at least seen more than just a two-day stretch in the 107-108 range. But hey, I’ll take it – so much so that I’m going to play a round of golf this weekend and not be concerned the least at a tee time just shy of 10 AM. I guarantee that’s nothing anyone would want to try were the temperatures running near or at the norm.

In the meantime, some thoughts for this Thursday:

Just when you thought the Democrats couldn’t get more radical, there they are, having hearing on slavery reparations in the House. I mean, are you kidding me? Do they really think this is some kind of a winning strategy for 2020. I’ll tell you this: it’s pretty darned obvious that the most radical wing of the Democrats have control over the current and future direction of the Party. I’m hardly one to refuse to offer the Dems more rope if they truly want to hang themselves, but what they are doing is stupid politically – there’s no other way to put it.

…speaking of stupid, “Slow Joe” Biden is doing nothing to dismiss the idea that he’s old, out of touch, and way in over his head. You read the stories of comments he’s made recently both here and here (Talking up his cozy relationship with segregationist senators? Really, Joe?) and you wonder just how long he’s going to last. The only chance Biden had was to use his “centrist” positions to unite voting blocs traditionally Democrat (i.e., white middle-class and suburban swing staters) with the more radical wing of the Party who just wants someone who will defeat Trump. But he’s already turned his back on positions associated with the former, and looks and acts too old, gaffe-prone, and feeble to attract the latter.

…what is abundantly clear is that “Slow Joe” is actually not very bright, is a COG (creepy old geezer) around women, and he sounds stupidly dated with his “C’mon, man” kind of hip schtick. I don’t see how he can be fast on his feet and look and act anything but an old, worn-out tired Washington swamp rat sharing a stage with his fellow Democratic challengers. Had he run against the Clintons in 2016 he not only would have beaten Hillary, but Donald Trump as well, I’m certain. Now? He’s nothing but a joke whose time is now past:

Democrat voters are fickle, folks. In every cycle, the party’s leaders always try to push a favorite candidate, and that favored candidate is usually rejected. The lone exceptions to this dynamic in modern times have been Walter Mondale, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, all loooooooooosers. In 2016, the party’s leaders went so far as to actually rig the primaries in Clinton’s favor, and Obama and his evil minions did everything they could to rig the general election in her favor, and she still lost.

The Fainting Felon’s attempt to saddle the nation with a third Obama term was a miserable failure, and now here is Joe Biden, trying to execute the exact same failed strategy four years later. But Biden’s trying to do it before a party voter base that has been radicalized to the point of insanity, and the primary voting is going to be dominated by the most radicalized among them.

Say goodnight, Joe.

How does one know the “young rads” now own the Democratic Party? When socialist babe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compares the housing of illegal aliens – something no different than what the Obama administration did, BTW, to “concentration camps” and is allowed to pretty much get away with it by her Party cohorts. Hey, AOC, one word of advice: when you’ve lost the likes of “Sleepy Chuck” Todd, it might be time to examine your own level of ignorance when it comes to history and just shut the hell up if you don’t know any better. She’s really become an embarrassment to all but the most young and radical of the Party, but not even “San Fran Nan” Pelosi is dumb enough to tell her to shut up. After all, Pelosi knows that, as Bob Dylan once sang, you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:20 | Comments (0)
June 17, 2019

That’s right, the year has gone by that fast. The mornings are already at their earliest, but there’s still increasing daylight to be had by the lengthening sunsets until Saturday, when (here in Phoenix) we lose a second of daylight.

To me, it’s not the end of June that delineates the first half of the year from the second half, but Goodboys Invitational weekend. Sure, that’s still four weeks away, but it just seems like the height of summer then. And once you get past Goodboys weekend it’s time to start making plans for the dwindling days of summer and the onset of early Fall.

Here in the Valley of the Sun, it’s “officially” monsoon season, but the reality is that you don’t get the first hints of monsoony until there’s a noticeable increase in the humidity around July 4 or thereafter. They’re saying that the first half of monsoon season will be dry, but that we’ll get above-average moisture in late August and September. That would seem to jive with Weatherbell.com‘s Joe Bastardi, who says there will be more tropical systems forming closer to the East Coast and the northwest coast of Mexico than normal. We’ll see.

A few other items on my mind…

This past weekend’s U.S. Open was enjoyable to watch on TV because of scenic Pebble Beach, but I’m guessing most folks found it to be a snoozer because neither Gary Woodland (congrats to him!), Brooks Koepka, or Justin Rose are exactly what one would call colorful personalities on the golf course. Truth be told, they’re all kind of robotic in their approach to the game and their efficiency – which, BTW, I’m guessing is why they played so well at Pebble.

…contrast that, say, with the likes of the swashbuckling Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, who got treated rather rudely with their “go for broke” mentality. Which is why, I reckon, most folks enjoy watching them play.

…while on the subject of the U.S. Open, the FOX broadcasting team of Joe Buck, Paul Azinger, Curtis Strange, and Brad Faxon were awful. I hate announcers who tell you something you can see for yourself on the boob tube in front of you. They brought zilch, nada, nothing to the telecast. Case in point: Tracey noticed that Tiger Woods had the top of at least one strip of KT Tape (she knows it well!) showing on his neck above his shirt. Now wouldn’t that be newsworthy? I mean, you’re not relying on KT if you’re feeling in tip-top shape. If Tracey could see it, you’d think the bozos actually being paid to point out interesting things to their audience would as well.

…but all this does is reinforce my opinion that the media – and it doesn’t matter if they cover politics or sports – are as dumb as rocks. And ESPN’s Mike Tirico is the epitome of that. He’s a joke. I’m still trying to figure out what he thinks he actually brings to golf telecasts.

I happen to find quite persuasive Larry Schweikart’s analogy of today’s national debate over abortion to the nineteenth-century national debate over slavery. Modern technology has overwhelmed the original, now grossly primitive, concept of “women’s choice” and abortion on demand. That was all well and good before you could see the amazing evidence of God’s hand at work in the womb; increasingly, the advocates of abortion on demand are going to have to face the fact that anything after the first trimester is akin to the destruction of a human being. And women – and their male counterparts – are going to have to actually start taking responsibility for their lifestyle choices.

…which is why, like socialist babe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (and Texas senator Ted Cruz), I support the sale of over-the-counter contraceptives. Anything we as a society can do to reduce the number of abortions is a good thing. Of course, the vile ghouls who both work and financially support Planned Parenthood would disagree.

Gee whiz, President Trump, it’s about freakin’ time. What took you so long?


Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:46 | Comments (0)
June 13, 2019

Random thoughts from here and there, hither and yon…

To bad for the Boston Bruins, losing Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup finals. I haven’t watched a Bruins game — for decades, I could probably, if you forced me, to name two Bruins (Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask, right?) but it still would have been cool to have the Sox, Patriots, and Bruins all holding championship titles at the same time.

…the good thing is, at least now I won’t have to listen to and read countless stories in the Boston media about whether the Bruins should or should not go to the White House and read about all the spoiled SJWs saying they’re not going to visit because Trump is a, whatever. The fact that so many members of the Red Sox refused to go remains a disgrace. Just like with Barack Hussein Obama – who I hardly respected – you honor the office, not the person who occupies it. Had the Red Sox gone as a team it would have in turn honored the Boston fans to see their team celebrating their achievement in the Rose Garden.

For a group of people who demand tolerance for their chosen sexual and social identities and lifestyle choices, I can’t think of any group less tolerant than the LGBTQ etc. etc. etc. activist community.

Today begins, of course, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. And while I hate to have to pick him to win (GOLF Channel would be virtually unwatchable) I gotta go with Tiger Woods to win. With the exception of Phil Mickelson, there’s no one who knows his way around that track better than Tiger, and the shorter distances and small poana grass greens ought to work in his favor.

Anyone who actually pays attention to any political polling this far out of the 2020 elections needs to get a life. And that applies especially to anyone who takes any poll by Quinnipiac University seriously. I’m not sure they’ve ever gotten any poll right, like, ever. And yet the bozos in the mainstream media trumpet every QU poll that comes out. They only do it, of course, because Quinnipiac is so left-leaning, but you’d think those folks would have some sense of shame after a while. Of course, they publish the polls solely to get headlines, and the mainstream media lapdogs are more than happy to oblige.

I’m sorry, but there ought to be no joy – and certainly no celebrating – in beating a soccer opponent 13-0 like the U.S. Women’s team did against Thailand the other day. Believe me, I’m no snowflake when it comes to teams beating another decisively, but there ought to be a classier way of doing it than the U.S. showed. They came across as a bunch of classless bullies.

While still on sports, I told you the Minnesota Twins were going to be good this year.

…and the Red Sox are just a lifeless, boring team. I’ve heard of World Series hangovers before, but this one is particularly ugly to watch. It’s not the the 2014 team that finished in last place after winning the World Series the previous year – that was a particularly bad team. It’s just there’s little worse than boring baseball, and the Red Sox this year are B-O-R-I-N-G.

And speaking of lifeless, I knew the knives were going to come out for “Slow Joe” Biden, but even I didn’t think he’s oblige his detractors by running such a lackluster, uninspired campaign. You listen to all the gaffes and lies he drags out on the stump, and you can’t help but wonder if he really believes half the shit he’s saying. He’s going to get run into a blender come debate season.

The only reason why the Democrats are pushing the impeachment of President Trump so forcefully is because they know they’re going to need impeachment to offset the incredible embarrassment that’s hurtling towards them as a result of Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham‘s investigations. It’s increasingly obvious the Democrats were up to their necks in unethical and illegal activities involving spying and dirty tricks that it’s going to make what the Nixon White House did pale in comparison. The drip, drip, drip is just starting, and its going to get much, much worse – not just for Democrats but for the so-called “legacy” of the Obama administration. And for Democrats there will be nowhere to hide.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:59 | Comments (0)
June 11, 2019

The big heat has finally arrived here in the Valley of the Sun, heat advisories up everywhere. Hard to believe it’s the beginning of June and this is the first time we’ve seen these kinds of temperatures, but we’ll take it. We’re just a little bit over a week away from the unofficial start of monsoon season. Where has this year gone? It seems like yesterday I was putting the Christmas decorations away.

This is a special kind of heat, when it gets to be 107-108 plus. 108 seems to be the magic number when it comes to heat advisories being triggered. I call it “double bogey heat”. After you’ve lived here for a while, it’s hot but 108 doesn’t seem to me to be crazy hot. When you get to, say, 113 or above, now that’s crazy heat – the kind that pushes your swimming pool temperature to 94, 95 – the highest our pool will go. In 15+ years I’ve never seen it go above that, and frankly, I really don’t want it to.

I’m in kind of a funny place mentally this year. Maybe it’s because of work (where there are big changes in the wind) and a couple of long-time members of my team at work have announced their retirements. Or maybe it’s because come October it will be (to quote that Sgt. Pepper tune), “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m” sixty-four.” The age feels strange to me. Starting next year I’ll be able to start taking my pension from working at Lahey Clinic for so many years. This fall I have to sign up for Medicare. I’ve had this cough I can’t seem to get rid of for at least four months now and my primary quack can’t figure out what’s going on. I think he’s going to change my blood pressure medication to see if that helps at all. It all just seems kind of weird to me – it’s as if I’m still in my forties but am living an older person’s life.

Maybe that’s why, ever since I resumed playing golf after last year’s Goodboys Invitational week on that warm and lovely October afternoon on the last day of triple digit temperatures, the sky filled with high wispy clouds being pushed out by the remains of Hurricane Rosa, that I enjoyed myself so much on the golf course and have done so since, playing rounds with strangers of all kinds. There’s a kind on anonymity out there: they don’t know – or care – how old I am, I’m not thinking about how old I am, I’m just out there recreating. Sure, I’m trying to reduce my handicap seven friggin’ strokes and am constantly working on refining my swing to get me there, but it’s always a good time, my score gets logged with comments, and I’m back to real life.

It’s not like I’m fixated on sickness and death, but I can’t help wonder from time to time how it will all go down for me eventually. I’m reading John D. MacDonald’s Condominium on my Kindle, about the tales and travails of a condo complex in Gulf Coast Florida during the early ’80s condo boom filled with retirees and shysters trying to take advantage of their ages and situations. Some of them are dealing with illnesses of various kinds, others with money worries or problems, all of them wondering why they’re in “God’s Waiting Room” and how the hell they all got there. And it resonates with me.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve come to love Arizona and our house and community, but I miss the summers and falls in New England. I sure don’t miss the winters and the springs. But I can’t help but wonder where this all leads. I think about what I would (or could) do when I retire, and frankly, it bores me. Sure, I’d have the time to both play golf – perhaps join a weekly golf league – and clean the house more regularly then it currently gets. Or maybe I would find some kind of part-time work that I’d really enjoy. But I don’t feel ready for that. And what about if I (or, rather, when) I get sick – like, really sick. How would I handle it? Would, say, getting cancer (again) freak me out? Or would I attack it, like so many others do, with a grim determination to fight it out?

I guess it’s different getting older when there are no children involved. For my sister-in-law, she’s got her kids (and grandkids) that she’s constantly communicating (or attempting to communicate) with to one extent or another. I don’t think it’s because she feels like it’s important to leave any kind of legacy, she’s just a mom who cares about her children and it fills her life to some extent. Tracey and I d don’t. It’s not something I regret, and I don’t think Tracey regrets it, either. It’s just life the way it all turned out. Of course, I still have my dad around and my good friends back East, but everyone there – even Dad – has their own lives and situations. Tracey and I did a lot of traveling back in our first two decades of marriage, and, outside of the occasional weekend trip to Las Vegas or San Diego, or the occasional trip back East, traveling really doesn’t interest me much. People are weird, and traveling has become both weird and tedious. For example, I can’t imagine taking a cruise on one of those super-ships they have these days. All they are are floating hotels with young families and kids running all over the place.

I think I like it better here in the backyard where the landscape is beautiful, and at night the colors are lovely and the lights happy. Just like last night where a warm, slightly dusty, breeze from the southwest rustled the palm trees and got the wind chimes all a-tinkling. I sipped a Sam Summer and thought about just how pleasant it all felt. And how I should really try and find a weekend to play another eighteen holes before I go back to Massachusetts for Goodboys weekend next month. I’ve been thinking that next year’s Goodboys will be my last – it will be thirty years of Goodboys golf, and sooner or later everything has to come to an end. But then I catch myself and stop thinking about things too far ahead. (As is, in more than kind of a way, what this post is doing.) I don’t really like thinking too far ahead anymore – it troubles, if not frightens, me. Far better to stick to my mantra of listening to George Harrison’s “Be Here Now” every day before I start work.

Because the now is all there really is, isn’t?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:11 | Comments (0)


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