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)
November 4, 2014

The midterm shellacking the Democrats got tonight was about one thing and one thing only: competence. I think voters everywhere finally came to realize just how out of control and incompetent government – at every level – and took it out on Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, so much so that they were willing to give Republicans a chance to turn things around.

I hope the GOP recognizes the chance they’ve been given and don’t screw it up.

…and I hope the Democrats just keep on doing what they have been doing.

While it was disappointing to watch Jeanne Shaheen beat out a good man like Scott Brown in NH, seeing the “Queen of Corruption” Kay Hagen lose in North Carolina and that smug elitist twerp Sandra Fluke lose her race for the California house. At least some folk in the Golden State still have a sense of good judgment.

..and can we all now agree that “Abortion Barbie” Wendy Davis got what she and her grotesque excuse for a political campaign in Texas deserved?

More than anything else, seeing that pathetic excuse for a human being Harry Reid lose his Senate Majority Leader status made the whole night worthwhile. A big tip of the hat to RNC chairman Reince Preibus for recruiting great candidates and putting together a get-out-the-vote ground game that bettered anything the Dems could put together.

The biggest loser of the night? Barack Obama. But don’t expect him to act or do anything different than he’s been doing for the past six years – anyone as insufferably narcissistic, petty and arrogant as he is could care less what happens to his party or this country. It’s all about him, and if anything, I expect him to be more confrontational with Republicans than less.

It won’t help him any, however – what the 2014 midterms have clearly shown is that he’s now the lamest of the lame ducks. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Awesome pic coutesy of Ed Driscoll.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:45 | Comments (2)
November 2, 2014

I took no small amount of jabs and ridicule from the family at our gathering to celebrate my Auntie Marge and Uncle Don’s 60th wedding anniversary because of my expressed respect and passion in these pages for Phil Spector. I respect their point of view while at the same time fiercely holding my own view that Phil’s music has changed my life and that, whether you believe it or not, the worst he committed was manslaughter – any time you mix guns and alcohol bad stuff is bound to happen. And when you appear to not possess all of your mental facilities the pathetic and jealous hoi polloi will rip you to shreds.

Screw ‘em, that’s what I say!

That aside, while some folks might consider the Crystals’ Da Doo Ron Ron (what a great video!), or his Christmas album, or the Righteous Brothers’ (You’ve Lost That) Lovin’ Feelin’ Phil’s greatest production (and why not, it’s the most played record on pop radio stations of all time), “River Deep, Mountain High”, recorded the next year by Ike and Tina Turner remains his greatest production EVAH.

Lots of folks have written about the failure of this song and the impact it had on Phil’s career, so I won’t bother with it here. All I can tell you is that I do think it is Phil’s finest work, and I dare anyone to listen to it without thinking there wasn’t something special going on during those legendary sessions at Gold Star back in 1966.

The big question here is, was it over-produced? My response: absolutely not. It was what Phil wanted and from the very start it just jumps at you like a rabid raccoon ripping into your jugular vein. Listen to Tina’s performance (performed with minimal lighting since she had asked Phil and his engineer Larry Levine if it was OK if took off her blouse to make her more comfortable!) and all that raw emotion and screaming and yelling, and you know there was nothing in her performance, Phil’s production, or Levine’s engineering that was going to hold anything back. Both Phil’s production and the musicians playing is extremely hot from start to finish, matching the intensity of Turner’s performance. I don’t think there was anything like it, before or since.

Was it ahead of it’s time? I don’t think so. I just think that for three and a half minutes back in 1966 magic was made and God made the world stand still.

I only know this: to listen to Celine Dion try and match what Phil and Tina did is OK, but outside of that dress :-) and her willingness to take the song on, you just realize what a great and unappreciated combination Phil Spector and Tina did almost a half century ago.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:36 | Comments (2)
November 1, 2014

Halloween passed fairly uneventfully here at the Richard household. Sadly, the much-anticipated chili reception across the street never came to pass (we’ll do something about that next year!), and the trick or treaters came largely in two fell swoops upon our house. We didn’t have our light on, but that didn’t stop a young band of marauders from ringing our bell. I ignored the first one, but when they rang a second time I felt compelled to open the door:

Me: Sorry, I don’t have anything for you.

Angry Pumpkin: But it’s Halloween, and your light was on.

Me: No it wasn’t. You saw the plant lights in the dining room.

Angry Pumpkin: But it’s Halloween…

Me: Would you like some carrot sticks? That’s all I have.

Angry Pumpkin: It’s Halloween and you had a light on.

Me: Sorry… Hey, carrots are healthy, Michelle Obama says so!

So that’s how Halloween went here. On All Saints’ Day I think of those who have passed before me and inspired me and my life in so many ways: my godfather Milt, my grandmother and grandfather, and my brother Mark. I think of all the saints I immersed myself in a gazillion years ago when I was up for the ordination process in both the dioceses of Massachusetts and Kentucky, especially St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, and Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. Neither Thomas Merton nor Henri Nouwen have, or will ever, achieve sainthood in the Catholic Church, but I’ll bet they’ve influenced more people than the Church would be willing to admit. Of course, both were deeply flawed – as am I – but that’s the way it goes.

I have little doubt that there is a saint – known or unknown – who has been a guiding force in your life. Reach out to them in thought and prayer, and know you are never alone.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 00:02 | Comments (0)
October 31, 2014

It’s Halloween, and we’ll be celebrating by joining our neighbors across the street who cook up a large pot of chili and sets up chairs in their driveway for us neighborhood flok to come over and socialize for a few hours. It’s very nice.

A few Halloween-related links for your enjoyment:

My aunt was asking the other day where all the ghosts and spooks associated with Halloween came from. Well, consider this your Halloween primer, but I think I was right when I mentioned that the pagan festival of Samhain celebrates the darkest days of the year where the spirit world and this world are in closest proximity – hence the fascination with death and ghosts and skeletons and such.

This History Channel website has all kinds of cool facts about the various traditions associated with Halloween.

I always thought this song in its spooky, haunting oddness was perfect for Halloween. Say, I wonder whatever happened to Kate Bush?

Here’s a cool poem, perfect for the holiday:

She comes by night, in fearsome flight,
In garments black as pitch,
the queen of doom upon her broom,
the wild and wicked witch,

a crackling crone with brittle bones
and dessicated limbs,
two evil eyes with warts and sties
and bags about the rims,

a dangling nose, ten twisted toes
and fold of shriveled skin,
cracked and chipped and crackled lips
that frame a toothless grin.

She hurtles by, she sweeps the sky
and hurls a piercing screech.
As she swoops past, a spell is cast
on all her curses reach.

Take care to hide when the wild witch rides
to shriek her evil spell.
What she may do with a word or two
is much too grim to tell.

– Jack Prelutsky, The Witch

Hat tip: The Holiday Spot.

Geez, I dunno, sounds more like a poem about Hillary Clinton to me more than anything. After all, when you spout crap like this you deserve to be called a witch – or worse.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:33 | Comments (0)
October 27, 2014

Thoughts from the Eastern Time Zone…

Is there anything better than October in New England? Crystal clear days where you’re warm in the sun but chilled in the shade. The trees in various stages of color and losing their leaves. Today my brother, mom, dad, and me went up to Essex for fried clams and scallops. It was fantastic. And like the name of the business says, in New England it’s called “seafood”; everywhere else it’s just “fish”.

Hillary Clinton is an idiot. And once again come 2016 Democrats will discover how much of a reprehensible and obnoxious phony wretch she is and be begging someone – anyone – to challenge her so she’s not the their nominee for president.

We’re just days away from the last original Pink Floyd album to be released. Fitting that it be released this time of year, as I’ve always associated Pink Floyd’s music with the increasingly morbid and dreary days of late October and early November when you can really feel the seasons closing in – soon the clocks will be turned back and the folks doing the evening commute here will be plunged into darkness. Not much to look forward to after that except the Christmas holidays. Being where I am I can completely understand the desire of folks to pick up stakes and head to Florida for the winter; living in Arizona I have little desire to experience another New England winter. Ever.

But now that I know that the next Goodboys weekend in Vegas is scheduled for the weekend after Super Bowl I’m totally Jonesing and already starting to count the days down.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:59 | Comment (1)
October 25, 2014

So Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America, is removed for “gender insensitivity” after referring to Ian Poulter as a whiny little girl. I’m no fan of Bishop to begin with, but in a world of political correctness one would think someone in his position would know not to get in a pissing contest with a professional golfer. He ought to have known better.

Here is how you make a three-foot putt.

This looks to be awesome.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:58 | Comments (0)


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