February 18, 2019

…kicking a week off where I’ll be traveling back to Massachusetts for the equivalent “chew and screw” starting with a Tuesday night red-eye and a three-night stay. I’ll be back in the (hopefully) sunny confines of the Valley of the Sun (although it hasn’t been much of an “Arizona winter” this year!) Saturday night and then back to working on taxes next Sunday.

I read this and couldn’t believe my eyes. Chris Berman??? That blow-hard helping to call Red Sox games this year? Are you kidding me? Why, the ghosts of (Ned) Martin and (Jim) Woods must be rolling in their graves.

Along those same lines, if there’s a San Diego Padres game on the MLB Network being called by the San Diego announcers, I’ll watch just to hear former Sox announcer Don Orsillo call a game. Even with a new team and a different partner he’s still a joy to listen to. He’s just perfect for the laid-back pace of a ballgame.

I GUARANTEE you won’t read anything as concise and accurate in the mainstream media as this series of tweets by the usually spot-on Larry Schweikart. The Democrats don’t know it yet, but they got played by the White House over the recent deal and national emergency declaration signed by the President.

…how do I know that? When you’ve got like likes of “conservative” screed Ann Coulter and the Washington Post on the same side of Trump’s decision. Whoever put this plan together at the White House is likely a genius, but let’s just see how this all plays out, shall we?

BTW, I used to like Coulter a lot but nowadays she’s the political analyst equivalent of Madonna (or Chris Berman, for that matter) – the only thing she’s interested in is being heard and published. She’s always looking for ways she can get herself quoted by the usual Beltway media outlets, and that means being “controversial”, even it means being a patsy for the national mainstream media. Most conservatives I interact with stopped paying attention to her a long time ago; she’s become a parody of herself.

Speaking of the wall, I really don’t think – no matter what Trump does and how this national declaration plays out – their stand on this issue paints the Democrats in a positive light. Think about it: in just a few short weeks they’ve moved all the way from “San Fran Nan” Pelosi not willing to go higher than a single dollar for new wall construction to tearing down the wall either partially or completely. Are these people nuts? What voters (beyond, of course, their own rabid, frothing anti-America base) do they actually believe would support such an irrational political stand?

Grab the popcorn, this is gonna get interesting.

Just another reminder why the whole “Russia collusion” thing was a useful distraction to just how bad things are at the FBI. The whole organization needs to be disbanded and salted over as a stain on the American intelligence community. Efram Zimbalist, Jr. must be turning over in his grave.

Sorry, Chris Sale, after last year’s tightrope ride me and my heart are willing to give another Red Sox reliever a shot at being closer. Just as long as it’s not Heath Hembree. Hey, if at the end of spring training nothing is working and Craig Kimbrel hasn’t signed with anyone, bring him back on a one-year deal. Winner winner chicken dinner!

If this is what counted for news during the NBA’s All-Star weekend I guess I’m just too old to understand. Or care.

…ditto, I guess, when it comes to “orbiting”. Why, back in my day “orbiting” meant riding my bike an hour to and from the street where the girl I was infatuated with at that time lived. How times have changed, and not for the better.

R.I.P. Patrick Caddell, veteran pollster of the political wars. Always liked him, seemed a man of unusual sanity in an insane business.

Ditto Bruno Ganz, the actor who starred in “Downfall”. He may be gone but the hundreds of YouTube video Hitler rants will remain for posterity. Here’s one of my favorites. May he rest in peace.

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February 16, 2019

This weekend will be spent inside working on taxes preparation. But that doesn’t mean I will remain silent.

Because I won’t.

As a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham, here’s hoping for a speedy and successful recovery. His music has meant so much to me over the years, so he’s obviously in my thoughts and prayers.

Gee, it’s hard to see all your musical heroes grow old.

I don’t think PGA Tour fave Matt Kuchar’s reputation is going to take much of a hit because of this, but on the surface it just seems all so unnecessary. I mean, you win a golf tournament, you know what the customary cut is for caddies, and you not only go cheap on him but you basically tell him, “a deal’s a deal”, no matter that you just bagged a 1.3 mil payout? I don’t think it was necessarily insensitive, but it sure seems to shine a light into the guy’s soul. It sure doesn’t paint “Kooooooooch!” in a very good light.

I’ve always thought the Rolling Stones make this list. But in my view the #1 most overrated musical artist of all time has to be Madonna. She was a fraud from day one, disguising her lack of singing ability with layers of synth, and employing her “edgy girl” persona into a brand simply by seeing how many people she could offend, since being offensive was a sure way to stay in the news. She was never even that attractive, let alone hot.

Today’s Democratic Party is a clown show. It truly is the inmates running the asylum. These people would be considered just a bunch of no-talent clowns if they hadn’t won back the House and weren’t backed by a mainstream media that will never touch them, no matter how outrageous their behavior is.

…but what can one expect from a party whose motto could be, “We’ll keep your baby comfortable while you and your doctor decide whether or not to just let it die.”

Yep, the Democrats have had themselves quite a couple of months. And this doesn’t even mention the fiasco happening in Virginia. Fact is, the Dems are a clusterf**k from top to bottom.

If socialist babe Alexandria Cortez-Ocasio is really going to do a 15-city “Green New Deal Tour” she better not be traveling by the same mode of transportation her plan ultimately wants to get rid of. If she does (which, of course, she will) she’s a hypocrite of the highest order.

…but I’m guessing folks are kind of starting to figure that out already.

…speaking of AOC, the 25,000 folks who would have gotten well-paying jobs and help fill all those local and state coffers with tax revenue thank you (not!) for being the job-killing socialist bi**h she’s turning out to be:

The main quality of the progressive agenda being pushed by Ocasio-Cortez is knee-jerk nihilism — the unthinking destruction of the status quo for destruction’s own sake. Even the win over Amazon is more evidence of progressivism’s nihilism than its sustainability. Ocasio-Cortez may be dancing on the grave of 25,000 jobs in Queens, but even her fellow Democrats in New York understand what actually happened. She didn’t save New Yorkers tax money — she likely cost them millions in tax revenue.

I’m actually starting to think there will be plans afoot for the Democrats to cleanse their party of AOC and her rabid, frothing anti-Semite pals Ilham Omar and Rashida Tlaib next election go-round.

…if you think “San Fran Nan” Pelosi is going to allow them to become the new face of the Democratic Party you don’t know Speaker Pelosi. Even she has to know these loons are going to make President Trump’s bid for re-election that much easier.

…because once you’ve lost a leftist like Cher, you know you’ve gone too far.

A final word on Ocasio-Cortez: now here’s a movement I could get behind.

Did I say she’s cute?

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February 11, 2019

It’s been a chilly and gray January and February here in the Valley of the Sun, and I was looking for some music to play while working that would fill the background with the sounds of sunnier and warmer climes. Sure, I already had my incredible and legendary “Tropical Breezes” collection, but I wanted something a little looser and fancy free, and stumbled upon the idea of creating a subset of “Breezes” that would be something you’d hear if you were on a beach in sunny south Florida or the Caribbean and kickin’ back with a boat drink or a cooler of Red Stripes. Hence my new music collection, “Caribbean Beach Party”!

It was just like making a tropical drink – a few parts this, a few parts that, with a little of the unknown in between. I started with the basic essentials: all the Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and steel drum music that was already part of “Tropical Breezes”. So far, so good (in fact, it was the mellow side of JB and steel drum music that formed the basis of the old Dish Network Tropical Breezes channel that gave me the idea of the music collection to begin with. So here is what I started with in terms of artists:

Jimmy Buffett
Kenny Chesney
Alfred St. John Trinidad & Tobago Steelband
Bob Lyons (steel drum artist)
Bob Marley & the Wailers
Doug Walker (steel drum artist)
Greg McDonald (steel drum artist)
Jamaican Steel Band
Jason Roseman (steel drum artist)
Kent Arnsberger (steel drum artist)
Larry Hall (steel drum artist)
Raggae Beat
Robert Symons (steel drum artist)
Steel Tropics
Tropics Steel Drum Band

Which, BTW, would be sufficient in and of its own to warm the bones of the most rugged seafaring Gloucester fisherman running out a winter nor’easter on the Grand Banks. But I knew that after a time – given the fact these artists and their songs were already familiar – it would get a little stale. Enter the music of Danny Morgan and Eric Stone.

I was introduced to the music of both these musicians not from hearing them live, but, interestingly enough, through the Wayne Stinnett‘s Jesse McDermitt series of Caribbean action adventure books. It would be harsh (not to mention, insulting) to call them Jimmy Buffett wannabees; as artists they appear to be known pretty much to the South Florida crowd with their own vibe and muse that makes their sound more regional than national. This is no criticism in any way – in both cases they’re good at what they do, and they make music perfect for poolside, barside, and boat cruising anywhere you want to put it. It’s hard to characterize their music, but I call it “island time”, with Stone’s music having a bit more of a nautical flavor.

Here a couple of samples by Danny and Eric to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

So after adding The contents of Morgan’s Captiva Moon, Beach Life, and It’s Always Summer, and Stone’s Boatsongs #1, #2, and #3, I found a couple of other steel bands that warranted inclusion: the Pirates of the Caribbean Steel Band (great name, huh?) and the Island Caribbean Steel Drum Band. Sufficiently steel, but just a little different enough from the others to warrant their inclusion and enhance the collection.

I’m telling ya, folks, you can’t go wrong with this collection! Just six payments of $29.95… just kidding. I’m guessing all or most of this stuff is available on iTunes and Amazon Music, and I guarantee it won’t be a waste of your time. Sitting by the pool or blaring it on your boat, it will be purrrrrrfect for the summer months that – believe it or not – are just around the corner.

Now pass me one of those Red Stripes, will ya?

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February 9, 2019

This weekend is going to be a working one, unfortunately, but I’m actually going to try and hit a small bucket of balls to see if the hand feels any different than it did a few weeks ago. In the meantime…

just another reason to read my post from yesterday.

It’s one thing for some leftist Washington think-tank to produce a completely batshit crazy, out-of-their-friggin’-minds proposal for something as amorphous as climate change. But the fact that media darling and cute-as-a-button socialist like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez actually believes this kind of bullshit begs credulity. No wonder House Speaker “San Fran Nan” Pelosi has, without any shred of doubt or hesitation, put the kibosh on it. Tells you exactly what her opinion of the radical socialist loon faction in her party is.

You want to know the truth? In some ways I feel bad for Speaker Pelosi. She’s an old-timey, beyond corrupt pol of the highest order, but she’s no dummy – unlike the cast of freshman (can I say that?) congresswomen who are as dumb as a rock.

…that being said, Friday’s supposed “grilling” of Assistant AG Matt Whittaker by the Democrats shows them to be nothing but a bunch of angry, petty, and obnoxious morons. How these people even got elected is beyond me. They wouldn’t know how to fart and chew gum at the same time.

Count me as one wanting to put the brakes on the political lynching of Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. I know why the Democrats are doing it – this way they can claim the high road when politically lynching the next Republican who finds himself in the same situation – but to me this is no different than what the Dems tried to do to Justice Kavanaugh and equally as wrong. Mr. Fairfax deserves the right and dignity of due process as any man, and as far as I’m concerned he’s innocent until proven guilty. This whole tearing down of political figures simply on the word of someone, or as a result of someone’s nose getting out of joint out of political correctness, has to stop. Were I any of the Democratic leaders of Virginia involved in the current controversy I’d tell everyone to f**k off.

Didn’t I tell you this kind of thing and this kind of thing was going to happen? As I mentioned in this post, the mainstream media has already decided on Kamala “Mattress” Harris as their fave, and they’re going to try and destroy anyone they think is going to get close to her. If they treat any of her challengers with kid gloves (like Elizabeth “Fauxcahantus” Warren, whose candidacy is imploding before our very eyes) it’s because they know they don’t have a chance. Just wait, Joe Biden – you don’t know what’s about to hit you.

The only reason why Rick Santorum is even being quoted these days is because the mainstream media will pick up any comment any Republican might say that is critical of President Trump in any way. In Santorum’s case, I lost all respect for him after he repeatedly invoked his special-needs daughter in just about every question asked of him during his failed presidential run. Sebastian Gorka is right – the guy’s a phony.

Mark my words: if you don’t think this is going to be a major campaign issue come 2020, you’re dreaming. The Democrats are going to be painted as the supporters of infanticide that they are. And it’s about time: the technology is already there, and it shows third-trimester abortions are a disgusting, immoral, and disgraceful practice. But yep, it’s all about “women’s rights”, right?

…unless, of course, the baby is female.

It’s pretty obvious that in Meghan McCain’s case the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. She’s just like her old man – a vile, vindictive, and petty human being whose 15 minutes of fame were up a long time ago. Hey Meghan, if you can find a rock big enough to cover you, go crawl under it.

But enough of politics.

That was an incredibly spooky Dead Files episode the other night, involving the Santa Fe prison where the 1980 riot took place. It was one of their best. I’m thinking about asking Amy and Steve to do an episode on my missing golf game.

Here’s hoping this is true and Great White Shank fave Paula “The Pink Panther” Creamer can find her way back to playing good golf and the LPGA winner’s circle. A pretty girl with an equally-pretty golf swing.

I always knew Rocco Mediate to be Goodboys material.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:42 | Comments (0)
February 8, 2019

This is not so funny. If this is the kind of thing you want to see in your city or town or neighborhood, go ahead and vote Democrats into your political structure. These homeless camps are a cancer spreading across this country. And the only reason why is because this kind of behavior is tolerated. I see the same beggars every week just off the 202 Red Mountain Freeway. By and large, they’re young enough to work and know better, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how one or two beggars all of a sudden become a tent community, and all of a sudden you have what’s going on in Seattle, San Francisco, and SoCal. They’re nothing but leeches, sucking off the community that tolerates their presence out of guilt. Believe me, there is nothing to feel guilty about: when I donate my money it goes to organizations that help the truly needy, not the bloodsuckers who are nothing but lazy bloodsuckers.

…don’t get me wrong here, and please don’t accuse me of being cold-hearted. There is no doubt there are folks out there in desperate straits and have mental-health issues. But even here in supposedly “red” Arizona there are associations, organizations, and publicly-funded outreach to help families and individuals truly in need. What I’m talking about is the industry that’s gone up around panhandling. Let me ask you a question (it’s rhetorical because I already know the answer): how many beggars out there do you see who are in their 20s and 30s, fully capable of holding down a job? The answer is the majority of them.

…I’ve seen it first-hand: there was a young couple working both sides of my local Fry’s parking lot. His sign said, “Out of work. Family To Support. God Bless You.” Her sign said, “Need Help. Three Children To Support.” Husband Left.” Tracey’s car needed gas one morning, so I headed to the Fry’s before I satarted work, and what do I see? Said couple being dropped off by someone driving a very nice car.

A big part of the cities’ woes is the professionalization of panhandling. The old type of panhandler—a mentally impaired or disabled homeless person trying to scrape together a few bucks for a meal—is giving way to the full-time spanger who supports himself through a combination of begging, working at odd jobs, and other sources, like government assistance from disability payments. Some full-time panhandlers are kids—“road warriors” who have largely dropped out of society and drift from town to town, often “couch surfing” at friends’ homes, or “street loiterers” who daily make their way downtown from the suburbs where they live. Some, like New Yorker Steve Baker, have turned begging into a full-time job. “If you’re inside a bank, you’re a doorman,” he says from his perch inside a bank lobby. “You’re not gonna rob from nobody or steal from nobody—you come in here and make a job for yourself.”

It’s a cheap way to make money, not just because they work off of people’s guilt, but because they can make a living doing it (italics mine):

People’s generosity encourages the begging. About four out of ten Denver residents gave to panhandlers, city officials determined several years ago, anteing up an estimated $4.6 million a year. Anecdotal surveys by journalists and police, and even testimony by panhandlers themselves, suggest that begging can yield anywhere from $20 to $100 a day—though police in Coos Bay, Oregon, found that local panhandlers were taking in as much as $300 a day in a Wal-Mart parking lot. “A panhandler could make thirty to forty thousand dollars a year, tax-free money,” Baker says. In Memphis, a local FOX News reporter, Jason Carter, donned old clothes and hit the streets earlier this year, earning about $10 an hour. “Just the quasi-appearance of being homeless filled my cup,” Carter observed. That all the money is beyond the tax man’s clutches adds to the allure of professional panhandling.

To be honest, I’m kind of a mixed mind about this. The libertarian side of me says it’s their choice if they want to sit out in 110-degree weather and wait for the generosity of others to make their time worthwhile. OTOH, I can’t help but wonder what this kind of thing does to society as a whole. We’ve come a long way from earlier generations like my folks who grew up during the Great Depression who saw living “on the dole” to be insulting and whose parents (my grandparents) took every odd job available to feed and take care of their families. Of course liberals will say something like, “We’re the richest country in the world! No one should have to go hungry! There’s plenty of money to go around!” But any society that encourages laziness and devalues hard work will soon find itself with too many people to support and not enough people to support them. As Margaret Thatcher once famously said, “”The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

So the next time some young person standing by the side of a road with a sign, and – increasingly – a dog, because, of course, people love dogs, y’know – do them, your country, and your culture a favor. Put the guilt aside and just say no.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:52 | Comments (0)
February 5, 2019

It’s a solid #4 on my list of all-time greatest albums of all time. Do yourselves a favor: take 90 minutes out of your time, pour yourself the cocktail of your choice, and just listen. No, it’s not “Rumours” – it was never guitarist Lindsay Buckingham’s intention to play the music industry’s game of churning out one chip off the old block after another in order to sell gazillions of albums while losing your soul. Buckingham – much like Brian Wilson did with the Beach Boys’ Love You album – had been influenced by the emerging punk, anti-corporate rock movement of that time, and had been wanting to push the band to explore something a little different. As I wrote about the album at that time:

And I guess that’s why I, and so many other fans of the group, regard Tusk so fondly and for what it is. It’s eclectic, that’s for certain, with Buckingham’s contributions sounding little more than home studio demos. But the album also has a certain groove or feeling running through it that is unique within the band’s canon. To me it’s a late-night kind of listening experience, one filled with the longing for love, the remembrance of love lost, and the hopelessly-intense experience of being in a relationship with a lover that’s rarely optimistic and/or positive. From the Christine McVie tracks that bookend the album, “Over and Over” and “Never Forget”, respectively, you pretty much get Tusk‘s intentions: love is a roll of the dice, filled with longing, pain, brooding, fear, anger, paranoia, and uncertainty. Rather than crackling with the kind of tension displayed on Rumours, Tusk displays a more introspective moodiness – one of the reasons I like it so much.

I’m not sure the group bought into it totally. Still, Tusk sold millions of albums and remains (at least in my view) the finest work the group has ever done. In addition to the above I would add that it’s edgy, bitchy, passionate, moody, eccentric, and uniquely odd for its time. The musicianship is incredibly tight and (particularly Buckingham’s guitar work) intricate throughout. More than anything else, whether overtly or quietly, it’s intense beyond intense – something meant to be listened to with your significant other, perhaps late at night over a glass of wine or two. The way its passion, intensity, and intimacy pours out from the speakers is an experience you have to set time aside in order to appreciate.

There are some great songs on Tusk from all the band’s songwriting members. From Lindsay Buckingham, “Tusk”, “What Makes You Think You’re The One”, “Walk A Thin Line”, “I Know I’m Not Wrong” (this alternate version would have fit even better), “That’s All For Everyone”, “That’s Enough For Me” (love the fuzz on both guitar and bass), and “Save Me A Place”. From Christine McVie, “Think About Me” (one of the best tracks they ever cut, IMO – just listen to Buckingham’s grungy guitar work throughout), the album’s moody opener “Over and Over”, “Brown Eyes” (a mysterious piece featuring old Mac alumni Peter Green on the song’s tag), “Honey Hi” (one of the few songs on the album featuring layered harmonies), and the album’s closer, “Never Forget” with its easy groove and sparkling Lindsay/Stevie (can she sing lower?) harmonies on the song’s tag.

…but it would be Stevie Nicks who would grace Tusk with a series of songs she (at least IMO) would never top for the rest of her career: the dreamy “Sara”, the edgy “Angel” (“like a ghost through the fog” is a great lyric) with its grunge bass line and guitar backing, the pleading “Beautiful Child” (“Your eyes say yes, but you don’t say yes”), and, in my view the only song that rivals both “Silver Springs” and “Seven Wonders” in Nicks’s contributions to the Fleetwood Mac canon, “Storms”.

If there is one song that defines Tusk, it is “Storms”. Quietly intense, Buckingham’s layered guitar work and McVie’s organ weaves in and out like some ghostly visitor, dropping in and out to emphasize (or not emphasize) the sense of deep longing, loss, and introspection that permeates the song from start to finish. The song’s final verse drips with a sense of despair, sadness, and resignation:

So I try to say goodbye my friend
I’d like to leave you with something warm
But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
Always been a storm
Ooh, always been a storm
I have always been a storm

We were frail
She said, “Every night he will break your heart”
I should have known from the first I’d be the broken hearted
I loved you from the start
Save us
And not all the prayers in the world could save us

There’s no way a song like “Storms” could have existed on either Rumours or its more commercially-sounding successor, Mirage. Rather, it’s as if Tusk and this track were meant to define one another: moody, passionate, almost desperate in its longing to strip away the rock n’ roll façade and just wrap its legs around you in an intimate embrace. All the play-acting and transparency is stripped away; the protagonist is saying to her (or his) partner, “listen to me!“. Which is exactly the kind of statement Buckingham was looking to make.

Sure, there are a few duds on Tusk: how could any double-album not? Nicks’s “Sisters Of The Moon”, while featuring a solid band performance and a searing Buckingham solo, sounds contrived to the brink of (given Nicks’ witchy persona) parody, and a couple of Buckingham’s contributions (“The Ledge”, “Not That Funny”) are really nothing more than glorified demos. Still, this is a band that delivers rock-solid performances throughout. Given the sparse arrangements, the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie have plenty of space to fill, and they never sounded better, and Buckingham’s guitar work shines from start to finish. Buckingham’s production work here is almost the anti-Phil Spector: aside from “That’s All…” and “Brown Eyes” there’s very little studio funkiness; the band could be playing in your living room. One commenter called it Lindsay Buckingham’s “Pet Sounds”; I think that’s about right.

Tusk may not be everyone’s tea, but it stands out as a unique musical statement for a band that, following Rumours could have played it straight but chose not to.

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February 4, 2019

Actually missed the first half of the game because I was finishing up a three-weekend odyssey of cleaning the kitchen and all cabinets from top to bottom. Been in this house fifteen years and I can’t remember the last time all the cabinets got emptied and scrubbed. Ugh. They needed it. But after that….

I mean, what can you say about Tom Brady, right? But it was the Patriots defense that made this whole victory happen. And to think, as far back as November all the Boston scribes were writing about how poor the Patriots looked. And you know what, they were right! In the NFL – as Bill Belichick knows all to well – it’s not how you play in November that counts, but how you play in January. The Patriots peaked at exactly the right time.

Of course, what we are seeing is something that will never happen again. I mean, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick getting their sixth Super Bowl in nine – count ’em, nine – tries. Are you kidding me? I sure hope all the folks back in my home town understand just how incredible and precious this is, because once it’s truly over it will never happen again.

…not to mention the fact that Boston is now 2-0 in post-season play against Los Angeles teams in the same year. I don’t think that has ever been done before, right?

In other news…

Courtesy of Instapundit, have to admit this is pretty funny:

…talk about dead man walking.

If this is true (which I doubt it is, coming from a Hot Air “Never Trumper” linking to the “Fake News” Washington Post, screw you, Mitch, and all your other spineless, limp-wristed GOPe weenies. All you’re doing is making President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign message for him.

..which ought to be a reminder to all you Trump-haters out there that he is, and will continue to be, your president for quite some time. Because that means more winning. And isn’t winning better than losing?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comments (0)
February 1, 2019

So, there we were, Carmelo and me, standing around discussing the state of the front yard. I was getting ready to have some new accent lighting put in to kind of spiff up the way the house looked at night and was commenting to him how it would be nice to have another tree in the front, closer to the road. “You’ve already got one”, says Carmelo, pointing to a growth in the middle of some red yucca that had been there for years. “Your tree gave birth to a baby.”

We walked over to the red yuccas, and sure enough a new tree had sprouted up in the middle. I don’t know what kind of tree it is – people round these parts seem to only know mesquites and palo verdes, and this isn’t either. The previous owner of the house told me it was a pistachio tree, but from looking at a couple of Arizona botanical websites, I don’t think so. It’s a nice tree, though, with small leaves and bright red berries from time to time. The mockingbirds have used the main tree as a nest in recent years, and I’m hoping the mourning doves might consider it for a nursey this year since I moved the planter they had two broods in last year from its location by the side gate to a strategic fork of branches in the same tree.

There were three red yuccas surrounding the new sprout, and it was Carmelo’s suggestion that one of them go to allow the new tree to really be noticed. Which he did, and which it has:

…and you can see how big the new tree is over on the right side below:

“Junior” is a cute little guy who is presently growing like a weed – almost a foot since we removed the red yucca more than a month ago. The fact that the mature tree created enough of a root system in order to generate this new tree suggests to me that it probably was the culprit behind the sewer line issues we had several years ago. Still, it’s a nice addition to the front yard, and in an absolutely perfect place that is only going to make it more attractive as it grows larger in the years to come.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:50 | Comments (0)
January 30, 2019

A few thoughts of a political nature while I put together some non-political posts – yes, it is possible! 🙂

…the problem is, I would love to be posting about my golf game, but I’m nowhere near to playing golf. I had a follow-up appointment with my primary care quack on Monday, and while the good news is that he was very pleased with the results of me being on a low-dose blood pressure medication (it looks like taking a pill is going to be part of my bedtime regimen going forward), the bad news is, after I told him about my Xiaflex procedure and the pain and swelling I was still encountering, he wished me good luck with hitting balls without pain for at least six months.

…which means, come April, if nothing has changed, I’ve got a decision to make about my participation in this year’s Goodboys Invitational. I think I should have done my homework before taking a plunge into the Xiaflex procedure. Although, who knows how bad it might have gotten had I waited? It was getting pretty bad.

Some other observations:

Kamala Harris is not only a fraud, she’s a vile, Catholic-hating opportunist who slept her way to the top. Seems to me to be a perfect poster-child for the Democrats.

…if this is true, count me disappointed.

…and speaking of 2020 candidates, isn’t it a tad early for your campaign to be characterized as in “disarray“? I mean, we’re still a friggin’ year away from the first primaries, aren’t we?

But here’s the problem: the above illustrates the problem so-called “mainstream” Democrats are going to face in 2020: not only are there going to be too many candidates, it’s going to be a shit-storm of controversy and intrigue continually fed by the media/entertainment complex to whom the Democrats are so closely – and poisonously – intertwined. Think about it: everyone at CNN, MSNBC, and the mainstream network are nothing more than left-leaning Democrat politicos who have their oars in the water for one candidate or another. We already know no white male heterosexual male stands a chance (sorry, Joe Biden, you should have stayed in in 2016), and you know damned well that whomever is not positioning far enough to the left is going to find themselves undercut and sliced to shreds by a bunch of hack, leftist political operatives who, to this point, have had nothing better to do than trash Donald Trump.

…know this: these people have no class, no morals, no soul, and are the most vile and vicious of political animals who will leak and lie and undercut anyone and everyone along the way to elevate their own standing in the leftist cable news network wars of talking heads. You just watch.

The most ignorant of prognosticators are already out in force saying where and how President Trump is vulnerable, but what these never-Trumper morons are missing is that the Democrats are going to have to actually field an opponent to Trump, and none of them will have anywhere near the political cache and operation that Madame Hillary had – not even close. Next to Hillary, the next crop of Democrat challengers are going to look like a bunch of wet-eared, socialist/leftist pikers who’ll get destroyed, not just by Trump, but by their own internal party politics. The Democrats in 2020 are going to find out just what “Mittens” Romney and the Republicans found out in 2012: it’s not enough to be against a sitting president, you have to give people a damned good reason to change horses midstream.

..that being said, the same holds true for anyone who says Trump has it in the bag for 2020. Twenty-one months is a lifetime in politics. No one knows what the world or the political landscape will look like. Nevertheless, the frothing, drooling mainstream media can’t help themselves thinking about a change in the Oval Office, and in my mind it does the Democrats no good. People will be sick and tired of the 2020 election before the primary process even gets underway.

To this day, I still can’t believe the likes of Hillary Clinton – Hillary Clinton! – lost to the likes of Donald Trump – Donald Trump!

…but every time I start think that, I come to my senses.

One might ask why the Democrats have chosen such an unattractive, incompetent loser to give the rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union speech. You’d think they’d want to pick someone who has at least won an election and get people to tune in.

…admit it: you – and everyone else – wants AOC! Hell, I’d watch just to look at her! She may be a leftist Socialist who would love to see the likes of me silenced and in jail, but (at least to me) she’s easy on the eyes.

(On the subject of easy on the eyes, Gwyneth Paltrow can hit-and-run me on a ski slope any day. I mean, what a body!)

…but I know why the Democrats have chosen her: their big effort in 2020 is to eliminate any form of voter ID for elections at all levels. In their mind, Abrams was cheated out of being elected governor because of racist voter ID laws, so whether she’s competent or not, she’s the poster child of the Dems’ get-out-the-illegal-vote effort.

Why I love Roger Stone and will gladly support his legal defense fund: he speaks the truth:

Stone pleaded, “I’m broke. I’m looking at $2 million in legal bills to try to not spend the rest of my life in prison on some kind of trumped up phony political charges because I supported Donald Trump for president, and because I helped bring down the most evil, corrupt, foul-mouthed, self-centered, short-tempered kleptocrat in American history: Hillary Rotten Clinton.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:24 | Comments (0)
January 28, 2019

Well, it’s Waste Management Phoenix Open Week here in the Valley of the Sun, and the vibe is already there. Think about it: you’ve got a great golf tournament with Chamber of Commerce weather expected, you’ve got the Super Bowl with GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Tom Brady coming just hours after the golf tournament’s conclusion, and we’re all living in the greatest country on God’s green earth, free (at least for now) and lacking for virtually anything. I mean, how good is that?

A few thoughts and comments:

How I wish the mainstream media would have the guts to show President Trump in a forum where his inherent goodness, warmth, and humor show through. But they can’t, and they won’t, and you know why? Because they’re a bunch of assholes. It’s no wonder dopey, brain-dead libs who drink in their bullshit on a daily basis think the guy is Hitler.

…which is why it is the mainstream media that is fully and wholly responsible for the “climate of hate” we now find ourselves in:

The reason I pose these questions is not to point out blatant media bias, which is so glaring at this point that no one who wasn’t trying could possibly miss it, but to ask how the current climate of hate in this country contributed to this Taheb’s blood lust, and what we as a society are doing about it.

Until fairly recently, I strenuously disagreed with this notion, and to some extent I still do. Climates, much like guns, do not kill people. People kill people. Blaming a climate lets the perpetrator off the hook because, when the killer’s agency is minimized, so too is his culpability. What else can a passive receptor of hate-filled messaging do except to kill the person whom he is told to despise?

Those who live, breathe, eat, and sleep their hatred for Donald Trump are nothing more than rubes: beyond ignorant, believing a force-fed agenda and narrative by a mainstream media who hates Donald Trump, not because of who he is, but because of the threat he presents to the “Deep State” and the Washington elite and their cohorts in the mainstream media. To them, Donald Trump is an existential threat. And you know something? They’re right.

…that being said, there’s no excuse for the drooling, frothing hatred being pushed out on social media these days. Someone is going to get killed, and all because a mainstream media and entertainment industry morons who are the equivalent of human puss are given a platform by said media for their vicious and vile hatred. Entertainment industry folks who, BTW, closet themselves behind their own walls while denigrating a president who sees the same thing as necessary to protect this country and its citizens.

Run, bitch, run! The Democratic Party deserves you. And why not? After all, you’ve got as your main competition the likes of a total phony who lied about her Native American to achieve minority status and another who slept her way to where she is today. Great crowd, that.

…first thought after reading this: does it come with a mattress?

This is exactly right, and why I won’t go to anything but supermarkets anymore. Why go to a book store when I have the largest book store at my fingertips with my new Kindle? Why go to Walmart looking for a basic CD player and a HDMI cable when I can order it off of Amazon Prime? Look, I don’t know what the long-term implications of all this is (I suspect they’re not great), but I’m 63 years old and don’t need to be driving my 1999 Saturn with 178K miles on it looking around for something that might or might not be there. I may be old and sentimental about things and the way they were, but I’m not stupid.

…just this morning I was antsy about finding a new book to read. While sitting on the toilet and flossing my teeth (I know y’all didn’t want to hear that, but no worries, there are no photos!) I poked around on my Kindle and not only found this cool book, but downloaded it and was able to start reading it in fifteen minutes time! And all without wasting any gas or burning any unnecessary fossil fuels in the progress. I mean, how cool is that?

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


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