November 18, 2014

Now this is what I call a “war on women”. Can you imagine what would happen if the Republicans did this? Why, it would be plastered all over the mainstream media! Stay classy, Democrats. Typical liberal hypocrites.

Happy 76th birthday, Gordon Lightfoot! May you stay on that “Carefree Highway”.

A story to make you cry and be proud. Well done, sir – may you rest in God’s peace. (Hat tip: Free Republic)

You know what bugs me? That I always get the Spring movement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Hayden’s Water Music Suite #2. And can’t decide which on I like better. What say y’all?

And while we’re on the subject of classical music, isn’t this lovely? And a lovely image and sentiment as well. Wish it could be a statement on and of this world.

Uh, Mr. President, wouldn’t it be better if we employed ground troops to stop ISIS before they get their hands on a nuclear weapon? Sigh. I’ve given up trying to make sense of anything this guy says. If he isn’t outright lying to people, he spouts stuff that are both sophomoric and imbecilic.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:03 | Comments (0)
November 17, 2014

I’d been tossing around in my mind joining a gym for several months, but didn’t really know what I wanted or what I was looking for. I just figured I’d walk into a couple of joints an would know the right one when I found it. So when I walked into Desert Fitness – just a few blocks south of us – and spoke with one of the fitness directors there I knew I had found a match. No contracts, unlimited visits with a single monthly rate and a small annual rate if you stayed using it for three months seemed perfect for me.

What locked it in for me was talking with Tony, one of the fitness instructors there. We met for an hour (no charge) and went over my goals, the state of my current health, my diet, and what I was looking to accomplish. I liked the fact he didn’t bat an eye when I said, some kiddingly, that “when I go to Vegas in three months I want the chicks at the Parasol Up bar at Wynn Las Vegas fighting over me and the guys at the Wynn spa amazed at what great shape I’m in”.

Since I hadn’t been in a gym for well over thirty years, I knew how much the equipment had changed, and I’m no dummy – I know that any time you enter a fitness program it’s critical to know how you use the equipment right – not just so you get the most benefits from your workout, but so you don’t hurt yourself in the process. We agreed to an arrangement that wouldn’t break my wallet but would also put me on the right path towards looking good and feeling good about myself. For the next four weeks, my Thursday nights and Saturday and Sunday mornings would be handed over to Tony and the program he would set up for me.

I’m three days in and am just now beginning to revisit the concept of crunches, lunges, and lifting with exercises designed for my upper body, lower body, and core. I’m aching from my shoulders to my knees, but it’s a good hurt – my body and muscles are getting reacquainted with themselves after decades of inattention. At 59, I’m not getting any younger, and I’m determined that I will NOT enter my 60s broken down and filled with aches and pains. It’s not as if I’m overweight or hopelessly out of shape, but, well, I guess yes I am out of shape and I’m excited about taking this step into fitness.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:44 | Comments (2)
November 14, 2014

No, not me.

Sure, I could be ranting over Barack Obama playing tin-pot, third-world dictator out of spite because he happened to get jammed in the mid-terms, but I’m not in the mood. …well, maybe another time.

But after a long, hard work week, I thought it would be fun to cruise into the weekend and listen to someone else blow off some steam. But first allow me to put this in context…

As someone who used to play in a band you know there are gonna be nights where things aren’t going the way they should – y’know, everyone and everything is a little out of sync, the equipment’s faulty, the set-up stinks, the sound is crummy. Like they say, that’s show-biz. Of course, if you’re playing the American Legion hall at some shotgun wedding or anniversary party you might be able to get away with a version of “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” that’s out of tune or off-key. But if you’re playing Vegas, baby, and backing none other than the legendary Paul Anka, you better be top notch and on your toes – at all times.

And if you don’t you get this treatment. (Warning: foul language in spades!)

Me, I found this absolutely hilarious. I wonder if fellow Goodboy “Killer” Kowalski’s immensely-talented show-biz squeeze has ever talked to her band like that. I sure hope so – that would be something I’d like to see! :-)

OK, time for the weekend, and it can’t come soon enough.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comments (0)
November 13, 2014

For whatever reason I’ve always musically associated Pink Floyd‘s work with the month of November. Whether it’s because their body of work is somewhat dreamy and dreary as a cloudy November day full of browns and gray, stark and painted with great contrasts as a crisp November day with bare trees against a clear sky, or just because their music evokes a mood similar to that I’ve always associated with this transitional month (similar to March) to me Pink Floyd and November are perfect sound partners.

Therefore, to see The Endless River, their first release of new material in twenty years and their final planned release take place during November seems to me a fitting way to end more than four decades of incredible music. Inspired by the sessions surrounding their previous album The Division Bell and the loss of keyboardist and original member Rick Wright, The Endless River is unique to the Floyd catalogue in that it is primarily instrumental; there’s only one sung track on the album. But make no mistake about it: the classic Pink Floyd “sound” is intact, made even more so by Wright’s contribution – one that is greater here than perhaps any time since their 1975 classic Wish You Were Here. And Wright’s contributions make one realize just how much of a part he played in creating that sound before bassist Roger Waters’ lyrical tendencies took the band off in a different (and not always positive or popular) direction.

Congrats to guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason for a fine and fitting end to Pink Floyd’s musical journey. Having Rick Wright along for one final ride makes it all not just worthwhile, but an incredibly joyful listen as well. I just wish my brother Mark could be around to hear it – as a huge fan of the classic Floyd sound I know he would have truly enjoyed it.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:54 | Comment (1)
November 12, 2014

It’s feeling a lot later in the year than November across much of the northern U.S. while here in the Valley of the Sun it feels like a month earlier. I’m not complaining – temperatures in the ’80s are just fine with me. Hard to believe we’re a couple of weeks away from Thanksgiving and you-know-what follows after that. All of which makes this poem perfect for a mid-November day:

“How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.”
- Elsie N. Brady, Leaves

Hat tip: egreenway.com

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:16 | Comments (0)
November 11, 2014

There’s not much I can write that already hasn’t been said before and by others. Having never served (or desired to serve) in the military it nevertheless has always been both humbling and amazing to me to about and learn about those who have served, and are serving, their country for the cause of freedom both here and around the globe. Folks can argue about the political decisions by which our brave men and women – and their families – have made this sacrifice across the ages, but on this day I hope anyone who cherishes the freedoms we take so much for granted will take a moment to express their gratitude to our serving men and women and veterans for all they have done and continue to do on freedom’s behalf.

Goodboys Nation weblog thanks you for your service and remembers in both thought and prayer those who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving under the flag of this great country. May your service and sacrifices never be forgotten.

—-

While I hate to inject politics into what ought to be a non-political post, it’s instructive, I think, to understand how the liberal left thinks, as evidenced by this incredibly moronic and repugnant Salon article penned by one Daniel Masciotra. Look, you can be as anti-war as you want. And you can even be anti-military, believing that if the leaders of the world all just sat around in a great big circle and sang Imagine, there’d be no wars and we could all focus our full attention on truly important things like man-made climate change. But only in the astonishingly juvenile and out-of-touch world of liberalism could someone pen a piece that is not only void of reality, but so shockingly insensitive and disrespectful to those who volunteered, fought, and died so that he and others can pursue and live the American dream.

And that dream does exist. Don’t believe me? Check this heartwarming story out. Mr. Masciotra should be so lucky in his life, but frankly, he’s so bat$hit crazy he wouldn’t know the first thing about what this country stands for and means to others far less fortunate than he obviously has been in his coddled, elitist existence. Personally, I think he needs a tongue-lashing from Sam Kinison.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:25 | Comment (1)
November 10, 2014

Got this in an e-mail from fellow Goodboy “The Funny Guy” the other day. Pretty darned funny in and of itself whether you now play golf, have ever played, or even if you never have if you ask me, but as TFG so succinctly puts it, shades of things to come.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 16:20 | Comments (0)
November 9, 2014

This is the first of a couple of posts I hope you’ll like, taken from a nature reserve up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire during my visit back East a couple of weeks ago. You wouldn’t know it, but busy Route 1 is no more than a mile or two away. The day was cloudy and warm – a perfect day to walk, breathe deep the clean, woodsy air, and snap a few pics. Hope you like them!

I love the contrast between the bright yellow leaves and the surrounding woods.

You don’t see lovely sights like this in the Valley of the Sun come October (or any time of year, for that matter!). Given the progress of the seasons, I’m guessing most of the tree-bound leaves have joined their counterparts on the ground.

Quintessential New England, wouldn’t you say?

A perfect picture for two days before Halloween. I would have loved to place some jack o’ lanterns on the posts!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:06 | Comments (3)
November 8, 2014

Following up on my earlier post, I caught this picture of our Apple cactus in full fruit life-cycle: the purplish fruit that then turns to red, then inevitably splits open, allowing all the bees and other flying things the spoils left over. With all the pastel colors it looks more like a celebration of Easter than anything else, doesn’t it?

I can’t remember when I had all the various cacti planted on our west side, but given the spectacular growth and maturity of not just the Apple cactus but the others as well I’m guessing they’ve reached their age where they’re flourishing, and it’s just a joy to watch. We don’t do anything to water or feed them, all we did was plant them. The A/C unit in close proximity keeps the air moving on the hottest days and coldest nights, so I’m guessing this is their way of thanking God and creation for being given a chance at life.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:55 | Comments (2)
November 6, 2014

Queue the cocktail hour music.

I was so bummed since Oronoco Rum became unavailable, I painted the cement walls around our house and the four tires on my 1999 Saturn SL2 black. After all, I couldn’t very well make the fab Hemingway Daiquiri recipe provided by renowned Wynn Las Vegas mixologist Patricia Richards with Bacardi, right? So it was with wonder and great relief that I discovered on a recent trip to Total Wine a similar cachaca-based Brazilian silver rum called Olo, and all I can say is…

The magic is back.

So now I can once again look forward to cool, comfortable, and hopefully mosquito-free nights under the happy back patio lights with Hemingway daiquiris to light my way.

Sticking with rum, I’ve long been wanting to find a great recipe for hot buttered rum to have around the Christmas tree during the holiday season, and courtesy of Wayne Curtis’s fine book …and a Bottle of Rum, I’ve got one. You lookin’ for a Hot Buttered Rum recipe to make you all warm and fuzzy even with all those four million illegals that President Obama is about to give amnesty to? Check this recipe out:

1 pound butter
1 pound brown sugar
1 pound granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 quart vanilla ice cream

Bring butter to room temperature and mix all ingredients except the ice cream. Add slightly softened ice cream and mix well. Store mixture in freezer at or around first frost or hard freeze.

To make drinky-poos by the mug during the holiday season, add 1 1/2 oz. rum, 1 tablespoon of ice cream mix, then fill to the top with boiling water. You’ll be singing with Bing in no time!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:50 | Comments (2)

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