January 11, 2016

Was thinking about this tune the other day. One of my – and my brother Mark’s – all-time favorite Pink Floyd tunes. Goes back to Syd Barrett, Piper At The Gates of Dawn days, but our favorite version was always from the Ummagumma album. Always loved the spacy lyrics:

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
A fight between the blue you once knew.
Floating down, the sound resounds
Around the icy waters underground.
Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania.
Neptune, Titan, Stars can frighten.

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
A fight between the blue you once knew.
Floating down, the sound resounds
Around the icy waters underground.
Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania.
Neptune, Titan, Stars can frighten.

Blinding signs flap,
Flicker, flicker, flicker blam. Pow, pow.
Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?

Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
The icy waters under
Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
The icy waters underground.

Barack Obama’s final State of the Union speech should be so imaginative!

…but I digress.

So it was a great surprise to me when we saw the Floyd in Washington, D.C. during their 1994 Division Bell tour (the absolute best concert I will ever see) that I almost jumped out of my socks to hear it played as their opening song. Sadly, the Pulse DVD of that tour has them opening with Shine On You Crazy Diamond – not bad in and of itself, but a disappointment for sure, especially since it wasn’t included in any bonus track.

As usual, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask y’all to turn the volume up at this time. :-)

Still, it is interesting to see how the song evolved between the original 1967 studio track and how it was performed live at that time (which is awesome!), the live version on Ummagumma, and as played on the Division Bell tour. And not to be missed is this version by David Gilmour and Rick Wright with Gilmour’s band recorded at Abbey Road studios sometime after that. All are mesmerizing in their own ways!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:26 | Comments (0)
January 9, 2016

Been a hard week at work and at home so it’s always good to toss up a new post if only to catch up on things.

Say, that YUUUGE Donald Trump event in Lowell, Massachusetts was just minutes from where I used to live on a number of occasions. And it certainly got the mainstream dino-media’s attention. Wish I had been there!

Lots of folks just don’t get the Trump phenomena, but Mark Steyn has a post that’s a must-read from start to finish.

I’ve watched this video multiple times and it still gives me chills. Never been anything like it, and never will. Just watch Secretariat turn on the afterburners after the final turn. Amazing.

I never thought I’d be writing this, but the last two weeks have been so very bad to the Hillary Clinton campaign that I can easily see a scenario where either Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren are trotted out to replace her due to “health reasons”. Both her campaign – and the candidate – has been a disaster; Hillary is bad enough, but she’s now taking hubby Bill’s reputation down with it.

If you want to know why most people don’t trust the media anymore you can’t do better than the massive cover-up involving Muslims sexually assaulting German women during New Year’s celebrations. It’s absolutely sickening.

…Same with that moron mayor of Phildelphia claiming that police offer shooting had nothing to do with Islam even after the shooter said he did it in the name of Islam.

I’ll say it again: Michael Savage was right when he wrote that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Now this is what I call a video!

When you get to the NFL playoffs it’s inevitably the ability to play disciplined football that allows you to move forward as much as raw talent. The Cincinnati Bengals found that out the hard way!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:51 | Comments (0)
January 4, 2016

When you think it of, nothing has changed in the last four days except for the fact there’s now a “6″ at the end of the year instead of a “5″, yet I find my mindset changes. Do others feel the same? Me, it makes me want to do more house cleaning, as if getting rid of 2015′s dirt and dust will somehow make a difference. But it’s still just the same kind of housecleaning one would do any other time of the year.

But with January comes a mindset change in terms of music. In the spring my mind turns to surf music – probably in the anticipation of the summer months. Come summer through early fall I enjoy classical music. Fall usually brings with it a desire to hear Pink Floyd music mixed with classical. January? For some reason a new year makes me want to dust off my Exotica and Tropical Breezes music collections. I rang the New year in listening to some classical Cuban music, and with all the fireworks and smoke in the neighborhood I was waiting for the Fidelistas to come pouring over the back wall!

And while Les Baxter and Martin Denny are the mainstays of classic Exotica, the Tikiyaki Orchestra’s Swingin’ Sounds for the Jungle Jetset is as good as it gets when it comes to modern Exotica. Their follow-up to Swingin’ Sounds, Aloha Baby! is also top-notch, while the predecessor, Stereoexotique makes me think of Kava Kon, for some reason. But it’s all good.

January is also a month for cleaning up my Blogroll links, replacing outdated links, removing sites I no longer frequent, and adding new ones I’ve discovered. To that end, I found a great new blog about all things Las Vegas, called Vital Vegas. I know of a few Goodboys who’ll want to check that one out!

Francois, Newfoundland is on the other side of the island from where my Mom’s family is from, but I still enjoy this video tribute to that part of “The Rock” so much, it makes me want to just melt away and disappear to the land of (part of) my heritage. Just the phrase “Canadian Maritimes” has always had a magical ring to it.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (0)
January 3, 2016

Final weekend of the year without PGA Tour golf until next December. This week I’ll be enjoying (like all my Goodboys cohorts) watching primetime golf in beautiful Hawaii. Always nice.

…and Hawaii will certainly look nicer than it’s expected to be around here. Today it is sunny and 70, starting tomorrow through next weekend we’ll see a series of El Nino storms expected to bring between 1 – 2 inches of rain here to the Valley. Too bad for the snowbirds looking to play golf in the “Valley of the Sun”, but around here we all know that if you can get any chance for rain you take it!

You somehow knew before the end of his final term the Obama administration would be getting around to trying every way possible to reduce the number of guns in America, and he’s about to go full throttle. You can expect Democratic state legislatures to start heavily taxing guns and ammunition to make it gun ownership less attractive and affordable, but that will only have the effect of increasing the underground movement of guns from “cheap states” to expensive states”. Glad I live in Arizona!

…and with this you see the final leg of liberalism come into play. There’s abortion, increased taxes, and gun control. They’d like to add climate change as well, but they know the vast majority of Americans know it’s bullshit. They can’t make abortion more readily available than it already is. They can’t increase taxes with a Republican-led congress, and “blue states” are running out of things to tax even more than they already are, so gun control is the only avenue left to rally the troops.

Hope everyone has been enjoying their holiday season. Even at work you can tell people are holding out until the very last minute before everything goes full throttle in 2016. I think that’s a good thing – they’ll be plenty of time for work starting tomorrow!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:36 | Comments (0)
January 1, 2016

A brand spankin’ new year is upon us. Blank pages ready to be written on from experiences both good and bad, from hopes and dreams to be realized and dashed. It’s all kind of frightening, when you think of it, isn’t it? After all, it’s easy to take comfort in what has already come to pass…

All I know is that today I’ll be taking down the Christmas tree and the house lights. And good riddance to them, I say – I never got into the Christmas spirit but for a few precious hours during my time in Vegas and back on Christmas Eve, so, frankly, it’s a relief to get things back to normal and start to see what the New Year brings with it.

Happy 2016, everyone!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:56 | Comments Off
December 31, 2015

And so another year passes into the log books. There was a time when I looked back on years for highlights and lowlights, but the fact is, it’s all relative to what one’s idea of a “good year” and a “bad year” is. Turning 60 makes you focus on the here and now: while, sure, everyone should have a long-term plan in place for what you want to do with the rest of your life, I find myself content with relatively short goals; that way, if you make them it’s all fine and dandy, if you don’t you already know what your next short-term goal is. I find myself trying to cherish every day for what it is and what it brings, good or bad, and trying to make or take something positive out of it. I know I’m alone in that regard.

Personally (to quote Frank Sinatra), I thought it was a very good year. Tracey and I – and her sister Tammy, of course, that’s our nuclear family – maintained our health and our relative happiness (I say relative because I can only speak for myself), and the same is true for my parents and those I love and care for. (I would venture to say from all our gym work that the three of us are, in fact, in better shape at the end of 2015 than we all were at its start!!) And once you get past the basic fundamentals of health and well being, the fact that we all still have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and clean air to breathe and water to drink, everything else after that is truly relative, isn’t it?

Both Tracey and I managed to stay employed for another year – which in this day and age is nothing to sneeze at by any means. We also managed to cut our debt in half: not as much as we would have liked, but considering other factors such as a myriad of car repairs, irrigation system fixes, and a sewer line replacement we still put ourselves in a good place to finish the deed in 2016, God willing. Most importantly, while it took most of the year to do, we finally replaced the car we lost back in August 2014, and my 1999 Saturn with its 163K miles should be able to look forward to a far less taxing 2016.

For the furry members of our household, 2015 was a mixture of sadness and gladness. Our family once again lost a rabbit: Tammy’s much-adored Floppy, which, I think, makes it something like eight straight years where between the three of us we’ve lost a rabbit. It’s not anything anyone is doing wrong it’s just the ebb and flow of beasties coming and going at a given time. (Unfortunately, we expect that streak to continue as I’m guessing our oldest rabbit Cosmo has seen his last New Year’s. But he’s had a great life and we’ll worry about that when the time inevitably comes.) On the positive side of the ledger, Tam’s rabbit Butterscotch was given new friends when Floppy was replaced by “the Ghurkins”, Midget and Bailey who, five months later, remain beyond cute and remind you of why you fell in love with rabbits in the first place.

2015 was the year my golf game made some truly great strides thanks to Hunter Mahan and my swing coach Alex Black. With Goodboys partner “Cubby” Myerow, we finished in second at the 2015 Goodboys Invitational, and, with recent changes in my short game I’ve definitely reached a new plateau that I can (hopefully) build upon that in 2016. Around the Richard hacienda, in addition to the fore-mentioned sewer pipe fiasco, 2015 was also the year of the honeybee invasion and the Tiki bar roof replacement – all major efforts in terms of effort and cost. Here’s hoping 2016 is a little more tranquil in that regard, as there are certainly no major plans for any house or backyard renovations. But, as every homeowner knows, that kind of thinking can change in an instant!

Looking ahead to 2016 I don’t really hope for much. I’d like to stay employed where I am but need to be ready to move to the next challenge if I am not. I’d like for Tracey and I to spend somewhere nice for our 30th anniversary, but that all depends on what progress we make on our debt by the time September 28 rolls around. I’d like to drop the necessary 5-7 strokes to get me to a consistent mid-90s average for my golf rounds. I hope to be a concealed-carrying gun owner. And I’d like to get back to Vegas again, of course. And New Orleans if at all possible – it’s been far too long! But again, in the grand scheme of things, that’s what they call “small ball”. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

What I wrote in last year’s final post still holds true. No matter what 2016 might bring, all one can do is hope for the best and cope with the rest, control what you have control over and deal with what you can’t. It’s important to cherish the small things: the sound of palm trees rustling in a summer breeze, a hot cup of coffee on the patio on a pleasant Saturday morning, and later, a little late-night nitecap under the moonlight. Whacking golf balls on a sun-drenched driving range or golf course. Enjoying a glass of pinot grigio and enjoying the good life at the Parasol Up at Wynn Las Vegas. Being able to use the bathroom every morning without someone (or something) to assist. I mean, I get it – I’ve never taken for granted the stuff most people do. Good health, a job, food on the table, clean water to drink, a circle of loving friends and family. It means the world to me.

Finally, before calling it another year, I would like to say to all who continue to make Goodboys Nation weblog a part of your daily Internet travels a big “thank you!” for your patronage and comments. We may not always agree politically, but it’s OK as long as we respect (or at least tolerate) one another’s views. Maybe a year from now we’ll all be able to look back and say, “there, there, Great White Shank, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” One can only hope.

To all of you and your families, my best wishes and prayers to you and yours for the happiest and healthiest of 2016s!

And as is custom every year at this time I’m pleased to say, take us outta here, George! May you rest in peace. You are missed.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:40 | Comments (0)
December 30, 2015

…because both he and the people he has on it refuse to take quarter from liberals.

Example #1

Example #2.

Any other questions?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:09 | Comments (0)
December 28, 2015

A few thoughts as yet another year gets ready to roll off the calendar…

Prayers and thoughts for the folks whose lives have been lost and uprooted during the Texas twisters on Saturday night. Hard not to think that just a day before they were gathering to open presents and share Christmas with loved ones. Just goes to show you just how precious every day is.

I was doing my Christmas cards but wasn’t much in the holiday spirit so I had my Pink Floyd mix playing. I was diligently working my way through my card list and also had the Heifer International gift catalog in front of me (a tradition in our household going back to our Kentucky years) when Pigs (Three Different Ones) started playing, so I grabbed the catalog and checked off a pig. Two songs later, Sheep came on, so with a chuckle I checked off a sheep. And then I saw on the list I could send honeybees, so remembering my bee adventure from the summer, I checked off an order of them as well. Made for a nice Christmas gift for someone!

Headline: Kentucky’s Mall St. Matthews Shuts Down After Brawls Involving Up to 2,000. I know where that mall is, back in our Kentucky days we didn’t live that far from it. Here’s the kicker, though: no one was arrested? No description other than “youths”? Heh. And people wonder why the media is so distrusted and hated these days….

Check out this “letter to the [Washington Post] editor” by one Alan L. Waters of Bethesda, MD. Hey Alan, here’s an idea – why don’t you practice what you preach and go first! Michael Savage was right when he called liberalism a mental disorder.

So if Hillary Clinton is indeed bringing in both Bill and Chelsea to prop up her flagging campaign what does that say about: a the “strength and stamina” issue Donald Trump has raised, and b) about her strength and independence as a woman seeking to be First. Woman. President.? I’d be curious what her internal polling is telling her.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:15 | Comments (2)
December 27, 2015

Another December day, another freeze warning up for our area. As I’m sure y’all can testify to (especially my Goodboys friends back east), it’s been one strange winter thus far. Typically, your average winter in the Valley of the Sun goes something like this: the first week of December (typically around the 7th) you get a period of clouds and rain followed by the first freeze warning of the winter. You wrap your cactuses and cover your fragile vegetation and then get two nights of freezing temperatures. But then the cold is gone and December then reverts back to days in the low-to-mid 60s and nights in the 40s with a sun that shimmers through the high clouds like tinsel on a Christmas tree during the day. At night, the sky with the moon and those same high clouds shines like a chilled martini glass; while a little chilly you can still enjoy a glass of wine on the back patio in shirt sleeves. January is typically tranquil with the occasional chilly day and night in the high 50s and mid-to-high 30s at night. With February comes a repeat of December with a period of storminess followed by the last freeze of the year. So you again wrap up the cactus and wait a couple of days. The cold departs, and then you get around that last week of the month that day where the sun feels different and you know pretty soon you’ll be looking at 80 and the heat season starts over again.

Not this year, though. December has been unusually cold for around these parts, and has been so since the start of the month. And not just chilly but windy as well – the kind that cuts right through you and makes the walk to the mailbox at the end of the street a damned unpleasant task. We’ve had our first freeze, and in minutes I’m about ready to go out and wrap the cactuses all over again because we’ve got another stretch of 3-4 days where the morning lows will be at freezing or below. For the past couple of weeks it has actually been warmer in Massachusetts than it has been here!

Of course, it look as if that’s all about to change and the season will (hopefully) start flipping to something more akin to these parts, but that’s what can happen during an El Nino year.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:37 | Comments (0)
December 26, 2015

Across the old British Empire it’s Boxing Day. I hope y’all passed a wondrous and joyful Christmas. Ours was fine but it is good to have it over and done with and get back to the real world. For yours truly it means finally being able to get back to the gym and start getting myself back in some form of shape. For others the holiday season keeps on truckin’, and that’s OK too. A few thoughts on this day after:

This was a big big big day in our nation’s history, and for George Washington, especially. Dude caught those damned Hessians with their pants down (in some cases, literally) and gave the upstart revolutionaries a reason to hope again.

The highlight for me this Christmas was tuning into American Movie Classics and seeing this Frank Sinatra Christmas special from 1957 with special guest star Bing Crosby. Frank had his bachelor pad with the sunken living room and everything goin’ – it was very cool.

Mark Steyn is having himself a purry little Christmas.

John Hinderaker of Power Line blog is showing off his fifty year-old Nativity set. I’ll admit, our set never made it out of the garage this year. I just never got in the spirit. But I still remember the set my parents had. Wonder whatever happened to it?

A big thank you to WCRI in southern Rhode Island / southern Connecticut for brightening our house with Christmas music in a classical style over the past two days. Listening to WCRI throughout the year makes me feel a little bit closer to home, and their Christmas festival of music makes it even more so.

OK, that’s enough for now. Take me away to Christmas Island, Jimmy!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:07 | Comments (0)

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