May 22, 2019

So we’ve got our plan for surfacing the pool deck area in place, now it’s just a matter of when and the contractor has availability. But, anticipating the arrival of summer heat (something that hasn’t really happened yet, unbelievably!) I wanted to get the patio painted and the new pineapple and flamingo lights strung up. The old pineapple lights had lasted for a good long time (at least a good seven years or more), but the combination of heat and dry was starting to make them look faded and ratty. Clearly, it was time for a change.

Enter the good folks at

I liked the pineapple lights I had strung up on the patio previously and ChristmasLightsEtc. had them, but it was when I saw the pink flamingo lights that I knew I had hit paydirt. The nice green cactus just beyond the patio with the pink flamingo lights just ooze color and whimsy, don’t they?

After the pool deck is completed, right behind the cactus where a tiki now stands we’re going to have a firepit put in. It won’t be huge (4 1/2 feel ought to be perfect) and it will be wood-burning – perfect for those cool nights during the holiday season.

Once the pool deck and firepit are installed I think that will be it for the back yard, at least as far as the back yard is concerned. We’ve worked hard to make the back area a sort of mini-resort, and I can’t wait to show y’all what it will look like when we’re done.

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May 15, 2019

With a big nod to Amazon Music and the freedom of virtually unlimited storage for playlists available on Tracey’s iPad, I finished creating for her a new “Flower Power” playlist that eliminates all the CDs I burned for her several years ago.

The problem with all this new technology is that there is literally no limit anymore to the number of songs you can build around a playlist – it’s literally thousands. As are the number of digital selections available for download on Amazon, so I wanted to be smart when building Tracey’s initial playlist, figuring we can always add more songs as she finds artists she wants to hear more from. So the rules I set up were as follows: (1) no songs earlier than 1965 and none later than 1972, and (2) they had to be songs that Tracey would actually want to listen to – for example, “In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly certainly qualifies as a song from the FP era, but there was no way Tracey would ever submit her ears to what is (to be perfectly frank), a crappy song that exemplifies only the worst self-indulgence of the era.

…if I didn’t like it, well, that’s a whole ‘nutha thing – it wasn’t my playlist, after all.

We ended up with more than 325 songs with a 16-hour listening period – perfect for her and Tammy to blast at eardrum-shattering levels while they’re road tripping to San Diego for their collective birthday celebration (there’s no point in telling you how old the twins are turning; let it just be said that everyone’s getting friggin’ old).

…which, BTW, is kind of interesting about the music on the FP playlist – the twins were way too young to even appreciate the social forces that molded and shaped the music of the era; heck, by the time they would have started listening to Top 40 radio, the “Flower Power” era had turned to dust, and disco, soul, early punk, and milquetoast one-hit wonders of the ’70s were standard fare.

But there’s no doubt that the music of the “Flower Power” era had more than just its moments – it was memorable music and a genre that truly reflected the era from which it came: an era of rejection of the status quo, Vietnam, Watergate, anti-war demonstrations, college unrest, and free love and free speech.

(Ed. note: ironic, then, isn’t it, that the same liberals who were all about free speech in the ’60s and ’70s are now, by and large, the leaders of our colleges and universities and doing whatever they can to stamp out speech and expression they disagree with. But that’s a topic for another day.)

More interestingly – at least to me – is all the psychedelic stuff that was, by and large, all crafted prior to the wide use of the Moog synthesizer, which forced studio engineers and producers to create sounds with all sorts of analog tape effects and studio tricks that you can now do with the flip of a switch on a keyboard. You listen to a couple of songs that didn’t make my Top Ten (for example, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and the Lemon Pipers’ “Green Tambourine”) and realize that these very cool “period pieces” were all done with conventional instruments.

One final word: while there isn’t a whole lot of Beatles presence in this Top Ten, their influence on the spirit, culture, and sounds of the times cannot be overexaggerated. Think about it: four of, arguably, the greatest albums in pop music history – and I’m talking TRUE top ten / top fifteen) were produced in this era: Rubber Soul, Revolver (in my mind the greatest rock album ever produced), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (not a great album in my view, but it had an incalculable impact on the era and beyond), and Abbey Road. Without The Beatles, there would simply be no “flower power” era as we know it today.

OK, enough of the prelims, let’s get on to the music. You may agree or disagree with my choices, but you won’t be able to deny that these are all pretty friggin’ great tunes.

10. Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire. Sure, it came out in 1965, but there’s no way any music collection called “Flower Power” could be considered complete without this protest song whose sentiments still ring true today. There’s no Dylan in this top ten list, but the pissed off attitude towards racism, hypocrisy, and social injustice contained in “Eve” would not be misplaced on any of Dylan’s mid-60s output. Even Dylan would probably admit that lyrics (by P.F. Sloan) seldom got better (or more timely) than this:

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

The interesting story about this particular song is that McGuire’s vocal (backed by members of LA’s legendary “Wrecking Crew”) was just a throw-away while attempting to get familiar with the tune, but the tape from the session was given to a local DJ who immediately put it on his playlist and the song took off.

9. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane. San Francisco. The “Summer of Love” Surrealistic Pillow. You think “The Sixties”, this song has gotta be on that playlist. It’s a short but very clean recording, breathtakingly powerful in the way it gradually builds to its inevitable climax. No one makes music like that today.

8. Hey Jude / Revolution. Sure, I could have gone with “Strawberry Fields Forever” / “Penny Lane”, because The Beatles sure knew how to create “Double A side” singles. I’m choosing “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” because it illustrates just how versatile, and just how damned good a band they were. I’ve always considered “Jude” to be the Sistine Chapel of rock and roll – musically, everything seemed black and white until the day I first heard it on the radio, and I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard it that very first time. “Revolution” is not just gritty and cynical, it also dares to ask the question to those who would want to tear down the establishment what exactly they would replace it with. So pure Lennon. The opening, with Lennon’s fuzz guitar and McCartney’s scream, is worth the price of admission alone.

7. Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In – The Fifth Dimension. I mean, how “Sixties” can you get, right? I don’t think it’s a particularly great song, but the instrumental backing (again provided by the “Wrecking Crew”) is pretty friggin’ awesome – most especially on “Let The Sunshine In”. Like Donovan’s “Atlantis”, The Youngbloods’ “Get Together”, and The Byrds’ “Eight Miles High” the song sure captures the spirit of the times, doesn’t it? Hence its inclusion.

6. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones. You can’t recall the music of the FP era without forgetting what happened at Altamont just a few months after Woodstock. “Gimme Shelter” (the title song for the movie about the Stones’ tour that year), is a spooky, paranoid example of the dark side of the FP era and its growing excesses in a variety of forms. It’s aural equivalent is The Doors’ “End of the Night”.

5. Woodstock – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Another overly-idealistic anthem to the era, but it’s a great song, nonetheless. Musically it’s a very tight recording with the bass and drums doing some very intricate rhythm throughout. And the album it came from, “Deja Vu” is a must-have for Sixties music enthusiasts. It’s a classic.

4. Time Has Come Today – The Chambers Brothers. Quite simply (at least in my view), the most exquisite example of psychedelic rock and a Great White Shank “top 10” life song if there ever was one. Legend is that the song in its longest version was recorded in a single tape with no overdubs. Not sure I believe that, but it’s an awesome aural experience with headphones – give it a try but make sure you have the volume up so you can appreciate the sounds shifting back and forth between your ears. The song has everything but the kitchen sink – backward effects, the fuzziest fuzz guitar, a honkin’ harmonica buried deep in the mix, all dripped in echo like you wouldn’t believe. I still remember my mom telling me how much she hated the song – she said it reminded her of giving birth. Funny, that made me love the song that much more.

3. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield. Like “Gimme Shelter”, this song also has a spooky, paranoid vibe that permeates the grooves. Lots of folks immediately associate the song with Vietnam War protests, but it was actually inspired by the Sunset Strip curfew riots that took place way back in 1966.

2. San Francisco – Scott MacKenzie. The happy “peace and love” absolute idealism of the FP era distilled into its purest form. Of course it was all bullshit – none other than George Harrison would report back to his band mates about the horribly lost and drug-induced teens he found by the hundreds during his visit to San Francisco during the “Summer of Love”. But it’s still a rather nice, nostalgic tune – one that would have been my choice for #1 had things not taken a darker turn.

1. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Consider this the flip side to Scott MacKenzie’s “flower power” opus. By 1970, the innocent peace and love of the San Francisco movement had turned dark and ominous. The Manson murders by a bunch of lost, disillusioned, and spaced-out hippies had shaken the country, and on college campuses it was “Student Demonstration Time” with Vietnam War protests seemingly everywhere. Needless to say, the Kent State shootings were the beginning of the end of the “flower power” movement. Within a couple of years, Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat), Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin would all be dead. But few songs have ever communicated anger and rage against “the establishment” as effectively as “Ohio”. Nearly 40 years later, it remains the standard for protest songs, with anger and resentment oozing from the very first grungy guitar lick and Neil Young’s vocal. The fade-out alone with the call-and-answer make it the ultimate protest song from beginning to end.

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May 5, 2019

As you might imagine, Cinco de Mayo is YUUUUGE here in the Valley of the Sun. You won’t be able to get near a Mexican restaurant, and you can bet Scottsdale will be full of drunk rich dehydrated millennials and hipsters puking their guts out after being served their eighth Silver Patron margarita under a blazing sun.

Me, I think I’ll just make margaritas here for Tracey while I finish putting up the rest of my palm tree and flamingo patio lights. I don’t do margaritas much anymore, but we’ll probably order some Mexican takeout and simply enjoy a quiet day at the Richard hacienda.

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April 30, 2019

Surprise, surprise! The following day after our first thunderstorm (a few flashes of lightning, a couple peals of thunder, and a couple of two-minute downpours was about all she wrote), there I was at my local Fry’s and what do I behold, but the first Sam Adams Summer Ale of the year! The Summers always arrive here in the Valley of the Sun earlier than they do up in the still-Springy Northeast, where they’re still having to tolerate that lousy Cold Snap, which is most definitely not to my liking.

I also enjoy the Sam Octoberfest and the Winter Lager greatly, and the Boston Lager is my go-to beer when all else fails, but there’s something special about the first Summer Ale of the year. For one thing, it arrives just as we’re getting into the 90s pretty much every day with the triple digits not-too-far over the distant horizon. But more than that, it’s the expectation of all the places I’ll be enjoying Summer Ales between now and when the fall arrives: golfing both here in the Valley of the Sun and with my Goodboys pals back in Massachusetts. Refreshing nite-caps at the Casa Blanca just down the street from where my dad is living (where the Summer Ale drafts are always wicked fresh)! During Goodboys Invitational weekend, of course, and, after that, in Newport, Rhode Island where I plan on spending a couple of nights before heading back into the July monsoon. It’s just exciting to think of all the restaurants, bars, and golf courses that I’ll be able to enjoy a cold, refreshing Summer Ale with good friends while recalling so many cold and frosty Summers from the past, in both good times and not-so-good.

…Not to mention the nite-caps on our redesigned patio and soon-to-be redesigned pool deck under happy pineapple and flamingo lights. But more on that to come!

Even with its slightly-altered recipe (I couldn’t tell the difference) my first bottle tasted great with freshly-grilled teriyaki vegetables and chicken from the soon-to-be redesigned “Sun Deck”. But more on that to come!

Prior to heading over for grocery shopping I bought a medium bucket and worked very hard on my driver at the Kokopelli G,C. driving range. After my fairly-pathetic performance off the tee at Superstition Springs a couple of weekends ago, I’ve decided that I absolutely despise taking back my driver only 3/4 and in the fairly upright plane I’ve been using for, like, years. So today I’ve decided to go the almost-full Paula Creamer and take more aggressive swings while flattening out my takeaway just a tad. Y’see, the primary miss of my 3/4, steep takeaway has been a big banana slice, which I absolutely despise. I don’t know why that is (and I don’t really care) – all I know is that I hate that damned trajectory.

…I realize, of course, that lengthening my swing and flattening it out can lead to pulls when I jump at the ball, but I think I can learn to live with that as long as I don’t start my transition too soon and get too active with my upper body. I’m willing to give in to my natural fade and accept the fact that drawing the ball and/or hitting it dead straight will never be my calling card, but I’ll accept the longer and straighter drives, which I absolutely crave right now. After all, isn’t the driver is supposed to be the most fun club in the bag? So I’m committing myself to having some fun with it. And if I’m going to go down, my attitude is that I’m going to go down swinging. Hey, Tiger Woods isn’t – and never has been – known as a great driver of the ball, so why can’t The Great White Shank be a little more like Tiger Woods?

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April 20, 2019

Hard to believe it’s Easter weekend already – isn’t the year flying by? My landscaper Carmelo and I take great pleasure in having the front “prayer grotto” and rear bougainvillea looking mighty fine for Easter, and I don’t think front or back has ever looked as good as it does this year.

In the front Carmelo has created a lower arch than we have had in prior years. I’d like to think we’re trying to accomplish two things: 1) accentuate the “grotto” aspect of the prayer grotto, and 2) simulate in our own small way the shape of the rock-hewn tomb Jesus was laid in and rose from on the third day. It’s kind of cool to duck your head underneath and have a look at the candle burning in front of the cross, dontcha think?

In the back, this year the gold bougainvillea really seems to have taken off. OK, so they’re more Christmas colors than Easter. But they still look great against a clear blue sky, don’t they?

Here’s hoping everyone has a blessed Easter weekend. Me? Today is “opening day” of The Great White Shank’s 2019 golf season, teeing it up at Superstition Springs Golf Club. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work on my golf game given my right hand (feeling 85%, thanks), work, and doing stuff around the house, but I’d like to think the minor changes I’ve been working on with my golf swing in what little time I have had are significant – things I hope to take to the course tomorrow. My sister-in-law Tam has made everyone Easter baskets, which will make for a colorful Easter Sunday.

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April 17, 2019

It had been a task I’d been putting off for as long as I can remember: cleaning the kitchen cabinets inside, outside, and upside. After all, while the outside of the cabinets had been cleaned from time to time since our arrival here in Arizona more than fifteen years ago, I had never gotten around to emptying out and cleaning the insides. Ugh. Here’s a pic of our kitchen so you know what I’m talking about:

I’m guessing, like most folks, we have several “go to” cabinets that contain the most-used stuff, like pots and pans and the like. But then (also like most folks, I gather) you have those cabinets that become the dumping ground for all kinds of assorted stuff that you end up either never using again or completely forgetting about – kinda like the household equivalent of a black hole. For us, it has always been the furthest cabinet on the upper right. Below the countertop, that’s where you can find glass vases of various shapes and sizes from the many wedding anniversaries and Tracey birthday observances over the years. Above the counter? Well, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what was even in there. Mostly because I seldom had a need to get anything from there due to its proximity furthest away from the cooking area. It was never used for any kind of cookware, so over the years whatever was put in there (outside of the trash bags) was pretty much ignored.

After the New Year, it was my resolution to clean the kitchen from top to bottom, including the inside of all cabinets. I had a feeling that, like most people undertaking a similar goal, I would find some things I really didn’t want to see in the deepest, darkest regions of my cabinet space. (Which I did, BTW, but there’s no need to go there.) Nevertheless, out came the plastic gloves and cleaning agents, believing that, in the end and once it was over and done with, I’d find the whole experience freeing and rewarding, with a kitchen that was top-to-bottom clean.

There really wasn’t any rhyme nor reason as to where I started – the Saturday I chose to start the day was sunny and the air clean and cool, so I opened the patio doors and chose the top right-hand side (nearest the doors), figuring I’d work the kitchen in a deliberate fashion from right to left. I opened the cabinet and after pulling the trash bag box I noted first a cardboard box marked “FRAGILE!”. I took the box out and gave it a bit of a shake (big mistake, as it turned out) and laid it on the island countertop. Opening the flaps I saw what looked like three shirts wrapped around an object of some kind. Imagine my surprise at pulling the first t-shirt out and two immediate observations:

1. The t-shirt was from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee – one of the schools I had been hoping to attend for my Masters in Divinity degree during my pursuit of being ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church.
2. The presence of beach sand on the countertop.

“What the hell?”, said I, suddenly realizing there was something of an unusual shape in the box. I carefully removed a second t-shirt (and with it, more sand) – another reminder of the four years we had spent in Kentucky between 1998-2002 and the following 1 1/2 years we lived in Milford, Mass. just prior to our move to Arizona. Removing the final t-shirt which served as a covering, I let out a gasp.

“Oh wow!” I had completely forgotten about a sea sculpture I believe (frequent commenter Jana will help me here) our good friend from Kentucky Jana gave to us as a gift before we left for Massachusetts.

It was beautiful, and something I had completely forgotten we had. I’m sure we had put it up in that cabinet when we first moved here, simply because we were so focused on getting all our important, daily-use stuff where it was going to be, figuring we’d find a place for it when everything else got settled before completely forgetting about its very existence.

Looking at the sea sculpture and the Sewanee shirt, my mind was flooded with memories, some good, some more bittersweet. More than anything, however, a real sense of melancholy came over me at just how much time had passed. I thought about what life was like when the box had been packed, the air from that time and moment sealed inside the box along with the sea sculpture and the t-shirts. Heck, I was in my late ’40s then, a whole lifetime seemingly ahead of me. My mom was alive and full of life, still living with my dad in their Lowell, Mass. condo. While seniors, my parents were still fairly young seniors and doing all the things they enjoyed doing together – going out to eat and going to the Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun casinos every month, playing cards with my Auntie Marge and my Uncle Don every Saturday night.

Now, more than fifteen years later, Mom is gone, and Auntie too. I’m 63, and I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks – at this point in life there’s really not a whole lot of new and exciting things to look forward to. Oh, there will come retirement (perhaps sooner than I’d like), and working on my golf game and not having to deal with all the bullshit at work is something worth looking forward to, I suppose. But I also know damned well that there’s bound to be some medical issue that arises that isn’t going to be pleasant, something that will make me long for days long passed – not wasted, I don’t think, not unappreciated at the time, neither – just days that were far better than they will be at some future point in time (hopefully later than sooner!).

Which is all life is, when you get right down to it – just time tick-tick-ticking away, and just a little faster every year.

But enough about things and events one can neither control nor foresee. I’ve put the sea sculpture on my bathroom vanity, just a foot or so away from the seashell tray filled with little seashell-shaped soaps that had sat on my parents’ bathroom countertop in the apartment they moved into not long after we moved out here in Arizona. I’d always liked it, and I brought it here to Arizona when my dad didn’t have room for it in the bathroom of the studio apartment he moved into last year. Together these cherished objects provide a daily reminder of times long passed – good times, I think, even if at the time I may not have thought the life and/or the situation I was in felt that way.

I guess that’s what time in its inevitable rite of passage does best – helps you remember the good times, forget the bad. Or, perhaps, what you thought was bad at the time that really wasn’t that bad after all. It’s just the ebb and flow of life, right? And its moments like the one that Saturday afternoon that made me realize just how long a road it has been that I’ve traveled, both physically (and metaphysically).

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April 13, 2019

It’s 2019 and we’ve finally decided to something about the backyard. It looks OK – most especially the repainted patio:

…but the 800 lb. gorilla in the backyard has always been the swimming pool patio/deck. Over the past few years it has really started to show its age – the pool deck coating has become chipped and completely missing in spots, revealing the poured concrete underneath it.

…but, given the size and shape of the backyard, the pool deck is such a critical feature that we’ve been holding off on any kind of decision until we could comfortably answer the question, with what?

As you can imagine, living in the Valley of the Sun and with all the swimming pools out here, the products and options for resurfacing pool decks are endless – everything do-it-yourself material you just pour and smooth over yourself to more exotic solutions such as the various kinds of tile out there.

In addition, I’ve been wanting to maximize the space available for true recreation on the pool deck by moving the barbeque grill back where I had it when we originally moved out here: to the concrete slab on the east-facing side of the house where the previous owners once had their spa.

The main problem with that location is that there’s no light out there, so when barbecuing during the fall and winter it’s damned dark out there. Sure, I could do what I used to do before and bring my flashlight out with me, but that’s not very cool, is it? Besides, that concrete slab is just begging for a new and exotic look that will make the whole area look that much more inviting and fun. So, I’ve been tossing around in my head running some kind of overhead lighting solution that doesn’t look third-rate and then recoating or painting or resurfacing that slab.

Finally, I’ve been thing about a wood-burning fire pit for a while now. Sure, we have a chiminea, but it’s not really cut out for the kind of wood burning you’d like to do come, say, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And there’s this neutral spot between the pool deck and the grass area in front of the tiki bar just screaming out for something that looks recreational on cool nights: not to mention something you can enjoy by simply turning the chairs around on the pool deck to enjoy.

So there’s a lot of potential work to be done. But nothing was going to get moving until we made a decision on what to do with the pool deck. Every six weeks or so we get these magazines featuring every kind of home improvement company or service vendor you could imagine. Tracey is pretty picky about what she’s looking for as a pool deck surface replacement – it can’t be boring, and it can’t be all brown-shaded: after all, our newly-repainted patio is painted in lovely tropical colors. That being said, you also don’t want to get crazy and choose something that might turn off someone who might now share the same ideas about color and theme we do.

Enter the folks at Allied Outdoor Solutions and their Carvestone product. It’s perfect for what we’re looking for. Between the costs of do-it-yourself coatings and the high cost of solutions like granite and travertine tile, this not only fits our budget, but it comes in a wide range of colors that we’ll be able to select to integrate our patio and pool into a happy and colorful theme. Better yet, they will do our blank concrete slab for the designated barbeque area and even include a color medallion in the middle of the slab to really make it stand out. I think I’m going with an ancient sun:

Once the pool deck is done, everything else will fall into place: the barbecue grill will go to its new area on the east side of the house, and I’ll have the good folks at Hawkeye Landscaping create a lighting solution that will look great. (Hey, if we ever move from here and the new owners want to put a spa there it will make the side yard even more attractive!) Then, we’ll put in a wood-burning firepit with a mortar siding that will match the pink color in our patio with a surface around the top that will match the color of the pool deck. Everything will be integrated, everything will be designed for three-season “fun, fun, fun” that – oh, by the way – will increase the value of our property and make it more attractive to new home-buyers.

I’m kind of pleased and excited about the changes. I think, between the repainted patio, the cut-back mesquite tree, and the commitment to a new pool deck solution we’re finally going to be able to put the (at least for us) age-old question of “what are we going to do about the backyard” behind us. Can’t wait to show you the before and after pics – it ought to be something!

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April 11, 2019

It’s time to tee it up. All the yakking, prognosticating, and Rory McIlroy “Grand Slam” and Tiger Woods is Back! hype is over. It’s time to walk the walk, my friends, through Augusta National’s 18 holes in Great White Shank style. So here are 18 thoughts – some golf, some not, as another Masters beckons:

1. (Tea Olive). This will be the week when, looking back, the whole story behind the so-called “Russia collusion” began the shift from Donald Trump to the Democrats. Personally, I don’t think Democrats are outraged as much as they are scared shitless. Because (and it’s going to take time) the truth will ultimately be revealed that the truth behind “Russia” was nothing more than a silent coup attempted against a duly-elected President of the United States. And it’s going to get ugly. Because, just as the legendary mouthpiece of the Watergate scandal, “Deep Throat” told Bob Woodward about Watergate, “everyone is involved”.

2. (Pink Dogwood). Maybe, maybe not. But I’m leaning to this being a very big story going into the 2020 elections.

3. (Flowering Peach). I wish more professional golf tournaments would follow the example of Augusta National. The whole phone thing has gotten way out of hand.

4. (Flowering Crab Apple). I’ll admit, when she was first elected I thought Alexandra Ocasio-Cortex was very hot. But for gawdsakes, the woman can’t keep her friggin’ mouth shut, and her outrageous conspiracy theories are making her look like an absolute fool. Can’t somebody shut this girl up? I know if I’m feeling this way there are plenty of others as well. I’ll tell you this: she’s ruined whatever good will I was willing to toss her way. Once h-o-t hot, now just another Democratic leftist loon.

5. (Magnolia). …what she is, in fact, is a narcissist whose election inflated her ego to staggering proportions. And the same holds true for her Jew-hating compadre, Ilhan Omar. Something tells me “San Fran Nan” Pelosi is about to drop the hammer on these two clowns. As the new face of the Democratic Party, they may have a large Twitter following, but that doesn’t – and never will – translate to votes. Not to mention the fact that together they’re making their national Party look like morons.

6. (Juniper). I can’t think of Juniper bushes without thinking about this scene from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.

7. (Pampas). I guess it goes without saying that if the governor of Virginia were a Republican he wouldn’t get this kind of treatment. Democrats and their political operatives in the mainstream media are such friggin’ hypocrites.

8. (Yellow Jasmine). If you’re looking for what my next “Top 10” music list is going to feature, here’s a little hint, my little flower children.

9. (Carolina Cherry). The fact that The Boston Globe gave valuable opinion space to an pathetically ignorant and outrageously childish moron like this tells you everything you need to know about where today’s Democratic Party is. (Not to mention the Globe’s mindset.) Simply put, these people are batshit-crazy loons. And don’t tell Donald Trump is to blame – all he did was win an election over a Hillary Clinton.

10. (Camellia). …let me play straight with y’all: if you’re using Trump’s election to lower and disgrace yourself in thought like Mr. O’Neil has done in print, you’ve got bigger life issues than just Donald Trump being your president. Grow up.

11. (White Dogwood). This just another reason why I despise the NFL. When someone fears his political beliefs are going to harm him when it comes to getting drafted, it tells you just how many teams there are in the NFL truly committed to winning. If you’re a NFL owner who believes being a good social justice warrior trumps (no pun intended) putting the most talented team on the playing field, you need to find yourself another line of business.

12. (Golden Bell). This is a great story. His tenure in Boston might have been stormy, but no one who watched Manny and David “Big Papi” Ortiz hit back-to-back over their years together could never deny that whatever you were doing at the time, you dropped it to watch them hit. Never mind the fact that Manny helped the Red Sox win World Series championships in both 2004 (the best one ever, with Manny being named World Series MVP) and 2007. He may have driven me (and my parents) crazy from time to time, but I sure remember Manny Ramirez fondly.

13. (Azalea). I think the esteemed (at least in my view) Victor Davis Hanson has hit the nail on the head with this. Democrats know the only way to keep African-Americans on the plantation is to pander to them by playing the race card. As Candace Owens so eloquently put it in her fiery Congressional testimony on Tuesday, Democrats think African-Americans are stupid and only understand identity politics. And so, to make sure their electoral slaves stay chained to their political masters, their 2020 clown car candidates bring the concept of reparations mainstream. It’s a cynical and pathetic joke that is going to backfire on them, big time.

14. (Chinese Fir). Seems to me this is kind of a big thing. This is what makes folks so enraged about the “Deep State”. And I’m no political partisan when it comes to this: I guarantee both Democrats – and Republicans – are equally guilty. The present system of spoils stinks and, in my view, beyond repair. The only fix for the system is term limits, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

15. (Firethorn). My back patio painting project is done, and (as you’ll see in a soon-to-be-published post) our decisions on a major re-do in the backyard are committed to, so it’s time to start working on my golf game in earnest. The right hand feels ~ 85%, so there’s no excuse not to. The goal will be to hit balls and work on my short game twice next week, then kick off the 2019 golf season with (hopefully) the traditional Opening Day at Superstition Springs G.C. a week from Saturday.

16. (Redbud). When Barack Obama starts making more sense than all the Democratic challengers who have announced to date, you know the Democrats have a problem. It still wouldn’t surprise me to see Michelle Obama make an entry in the race – after all, looking at the Dems’ clown car candidates to date, you have to think the major donors out there would just love to throw their money behind a force like Moochelle. I think it would be a mistake on her part, but power can be a very enticing force.

17. (Nandina). My dark horse picks for the Masters this year? I’m going with Paul Casey and Jason Day, because I can’t make up my mind who will play better.

18. (Holly). My pick for the Masters this year? I’d love it to be Rory McIlroy, but logic says that Justin Rose has the game and the track record to win the Green Jacket. Lots of folks are picking Tiger Woods, but something tells me he’s not going to play as well as everyone suspects.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:44 | Comments (0)
April 4, 2019

Now this is the proper way to do cocktails.

So it appears there’s a ghost at the Wilmington, Mass. Market Basket. Maybe they should contact The Dead Files and ask Amy and Steve to come out.

When you remember that this country’s college and university systems are run by former ’60s hippies, feminists, and radicals solely for the purpose of indoctrinating and brainwashing students into advancing their liberal/progressive agenda this kind of thing makes sense. As I’ve said numerous times before the Baby Boomer generation is worst thing that has ever been foisted upon this country in its history.

…and when you replace the words “journalist” and “contributor” when it comes to the mainstream media – most especially, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and The Washington Post and The New York Times” – with the words “Democratic Party operatives” this kind of thing makes sense as well.

Even in this day and age, with the likes of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar being the anti-Semite face of the Democratic Party, it’s hard to find a more vile, despicable, and hateful person than Linda Sarsour. But the mainstream media sure loves to give her air and face-time. Hey, maybe the Dems can get her to run for Congress in 2020? After all, they’ve already got a rather infamous anti-Semite planning a run for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico.

Just another example of why Joe Biden ought to hang up his running shoes. PowerLine blog’s Paul Mirengoff is right:

A normal person would flatly deny the allegation if he didn’t believe it. If he did believe it, he would either deny the allegation anyway or apologize.

If he wasn’t sure (i.e., he didn’t recall doing what he’s accused of but knew he was capable of it — which is probably the case with Biden), a normal would either deny the allegation or simply say he doesn’t remember inappropriately touching Flores. He would not add the obligatory salute to the “Me Too” movement.

This whole episode – like any number of others that can happen when one is running for the highest office in the land – shines a light into a candidate’s soul. And from this one can only gather that Joe Biden appears to have none, he’s just a panderer to the worst angels of our nature. Time to call it a day, Joe.

…besides, you can bet this Twitter thread is gonna draw some blood. All I can say is, those of us in conservative circles have known this fact for a long time.

Folks who are all worked up about the Red Sox tepid start need to remind themselves that their pitching staff is still, for all intents and purposes, in extended spring training. These guys pitched into almost November last year, and I think manager Alex Cora is right to ease them into the season.

Just another reason why President Trump can’t close our southern border soon enough. Could there be decent folks just looking for a better life? I’m sure. But my guess the vast majority are just like this ungrateful, vile woman looking to eat and drink at the trough of the American taxpayer. Here’s hoping this woman’s sorry ass is deported quickly and efficiently.

OK, I got it: Increased taxes all around, open borders, infanticide, and slavery reparations. Man, that is one hell of a Democratic Party platform going into 2020.

I love this song. Reminds me of me and my friend Jerome Pascua back in Kentucky calling up the Georgetown public radio station almost daily to make our eclectic requests. Good times.

…”No Exit” was a great album. This was another great track from that album. Dreamy, yet edgy.

It’s a long read, but everything you need to know about what was really behind the Robert Mueller / “Russian Collusion” investigation can be found here. Even if you despise Donald Trump with a passion, I ask you to open your mind for just a few minutes. I guarantee you wouldn’t want any Democratic president to go through what President Trump has had to endure for the past 2 1/2 years.

Could this be the par 3 “hidden gem” being touted by Exec-Comm for Friday play at this year’s Goodboys Invitational?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (0)
April 1, 2019

The pic is of a dog, of course, but the same sentiment holds true if you’re a dog or cat lover, a bunny lover, or any kind of an animal lover, for that matter. Here at the Richard hacienda we’ve had several cats and a slew of rabbits over the years. My sister-in-law Tam still grieves daily over her bunnies “the Beastie Boys“, Cookie and Sherman, who were such a big (and important) part of her life during some very difficult years. And I know not a day goes by where Tracey doesn’t think about the true love of her life, her Marble, and miss him terribly.

Me? I try to remember all the rabbits we have had come through our lives with various computer passwords. It sounds strange, I’m sure, but every time I have to type in their names it’s an opportunity to remember something fondly about them.

Whenever Tammy gets blue over the loss of Cookie and Sherm, all I can do is tell her just how much her rabbits, the ones she’s had and the ones she has now, and those rabbits we have had and have right now, caught the gold ring in life. They, of course, may not know it, but a lot of rabbits don’t get to live very nice lives – rabbits require a lot of work and folks who think a cute, cuddly rabbit for Junior will often allow it to be mishandled and mistreated, or leave it stuck in a small cage. And I’m sure the same holds true for a lot of dogs and cats. So all you can do is spoil your pets rotten, talk to them in stupid, child-like voices, and give them the very best lives you can. And when the time comes when you have to say goodbye to them, even with the pain it causes, the best way to celebrate their lives is, after giving yourself a little time to mourn, welcome yet another new family member into your home.

Because what the pic above says is absolutely true.

Pic hat tip: Ace of Spaces HQ.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:46 | Comments (0)


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