December 10, 2014

A long but interesting history of the U.S.S. Arizona. Some really great pics as well.

Another interesting story about Hitler’s propaganda war against Christmas.

I agree with Gordon Edes, the Sox really botched the Jon Lester thing is to high heaven. I’m guessing five years with an option for a sixth at $120 mil during spring training would have secured them a top-of-the-line pitcher for years and at less money. Now they’re going to have to use their minor-league riches to trade for more pitching than they planned or overpay for a less-talented free-agent starter.

I’m putting together my George Harrison digital music collection (more about that in a future post) and re-discovered this tune that I hadn’t heard in years. I had forgotten just how dynamic it was and the energy it had. It was the last tune Phil Spector worked on with George, and Phil’s handiwork is all over it (how ’bout dem horns!). A great tune.

Everything you really don’t want to know about the truly despicable Harry Reid. I look at Senate (soon to be) Minority Leader Harry Reid and see what George Bailey called Old Man Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life” – a warped, frustrated old man. The big question will be how much his Senate Dem colleagues will continue to put up with his shenanigans once they’re in the minority, knowing full well Reid was personally responsible for some Democratic Senate losses (Alaska? Louisiana? North Carolina?) by not allowing his own senators to bring forth legislation that could have helped their causes back home.

Since we’re getting closer to Christmas, the opening scene to Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” is still a wonderfully-irreverent howl.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 08:31 | Comments (0)
December 9, 2014

A few observations on all things golf-wise:

OK, I get it – Tiger Woods’s “new old” swing looked pretty good at last weekend’s Hero Challenge event, but here is a question no one else seems to be asking: if the original reason why Tiger got away from his old (pre-Hank Haney) swing was because he wanted to take pressure off his left knee and back, and now he’s going back to that swing some eight years later (and older), isn’t that going to risk impacting the very same body parts he changed his swing for to begin with?

Oh sure, now everyone is going to pick Tiger for every major in 2015, but I think given his age and the wear and tear he has put on his body that it’s equally likely he suffers an injury (back or leg) or two that takes him out of action for an extended period of time.

While you have to hand it to Bill Horschel for winning the 2014 Fed Ex Cup, fact is, he just got hot at the right time. Any forty or so golfers on the planet could have done the same thing. If you’re looking for the real deal out there, Jordan Spieth is coming into a class all by himself. It will be really interesting to see if he and Rory McIlroy could generate some sort of rivalry in the years ahead.

I understand lots of folks are excited about Rickie Fowler and are projecting him to have a big 2015, but until I actually start see him win tournaments, as much as I like him, I won’t believe it.

I understand the 2014-2015 PGA Tour season is already underway with those fall events no one but the most avid golf fan watched, but until January comes with those Hawaiian events with green grass, blue ocean vistas, and palm trees it won’t feel like a new golf season is upon us.

How to explain Tiger’s crappy short game last weekend? He says it’s because of his transitioning to a new swing, but I don’t believe it. Your short game around the greens shouldn’t change because you’re adopting a new swing. Your short game is your short game. Just watching these clips makes you wonder what the heck is going on.

Forget about TPC Sawgrass, now this is what you call an island green!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:41 | Comments (0)
December 7, 2014

A few items while looking at a half-decorated Christmas tree waiting to be completed. Unfortunately, the sun is shining, the temps are in the low ’70s, and there are ball to be hit, so the tree will have to wait.

Some very cool pics from Pearl Harbor. May all those service members and civilians who died on that “Day of Infamy” rest in God’s peace and be remembered this day by loved ones.

Farewell Mary Landrieu, you deserved what you got. You ran a crappy and careless campaign thinking there was no way on God’s green earth Louisiana voters would send you packing. But that’s what happens when you choose to follow blindly a Democratic leadership in Washington that has only contempt for normal hard-working folks lik the ons you were supposed to be representing in Louisiana. I’m sure there’s a cushy lobbyist position just waiting for you so you can continue to hang with your fellow elites in Washington.

I read stories like this and this and can only imagine what kind of slop is being served to students whose parents are paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars for what passes as “education” these days. The deranged are truly running the asylums.

Whoa, wait a second! I thought Berkeley, CA was the high temple of orthodox liberalism – y’know, tolerance, acceptance, and diversity. Oh, that’s right – it had to have been those horrible Tea Party people and right-wing conservative folks doing all the looting and burning. My bad.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:22 | Comments (4)
December 4, 2014

Tiger’s back and everyone is starting to get excited. Around these parts, the heat has long since broken, the golf courses have completed their transition from Bermuda to winter rye, the snowbirds have arrived in earnest from Canada and the Midwest, and the literally hundreds of local courses with an hour’s drive time have upped their rates to take advantage of the population influx.

Which taken together means golf season in the Great American Southwest is here.

The Great White Shank is itching to get going, but there’s still work to be done at the range. Vegas weekend is coming in February, so I’m still a month away from my first official preparatory golf outings of the year, but that doesn’t mean I’m not ready: I’ve got my first couple dozen orange Wilson 50s courtesy of Amazon.com that I’ve already started chipping and putting with around the Superstition Springs putting green.

It woulda been kinda nice to not have to order new balls to start out another golf year, but, frankly, my supply took a beating during Goodboys week in July, leaving me with just white Callaway HEX Hots that, while perfectly fine for golf, left me feeling kind of naked (golf-wise) out there. I’ve gotten so accustomed to hitting (and looking for) orange balls I know are mine that having to continually check my ball to make sure I’m not hitting someone else’s becomes just one more thing this ADHD golfer has to worry about when he plays.

Maybe when (if) I ever become a real golfer I’ll switch back to white; until then it’s good to stay humble and play my happy orange balls. Besides, if their good enough for Pornanong Phatlum (although she plays Volviks), they’re most certainly good enough for The Great White Shank.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 12:06 | Comments (2)
December 3, 2014

They say a picture tells a thousand words, and if there were any better example of the utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy of African-American Democrats when it comes to how the “Michael Brown affair” in Ferguson has played out on the national level, I have yet to see one.

Let me get this straight: one black man is dead, shot by a police officer. A grand jury is convened and as a result of the testimony by sworn witnesses (primarily African-American) the police officer is cleared of wrongdoing. Following the announcement, looters, rioters, and thugs burn and destroy dozens of businesses while police pretty much watch it all go down and the National Guard isn’t called in until the second night. President Obama then holds a series of meetings at the White House to discuss the situation and the only aggrieved parties represented are the those on the side of Michael Brown? And who’s part of that representation? A despicable, low-life, race-baiting shakedown artist and tax cheat like “The Rev” Al Sharpton? Subsequently, you see members of the Congressional Black Caucus use the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives parrot the blatantly false and unquestioningly-disproven “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” narrative that Michael Brown was shot trying to surrender to Darren Wilson?

Is that what goes for the established political voice of African-Americans these days? If so, where was Charlie Rangel – he’s another African-American tax-cheating fraud of an elected official. Oh well, I guess when as a President you aren’t afraid to look straight into a camera and outright lie to the American people, or as an Attorney General you can be held in contempt of Congress for stonewalling any number of scandals that have occurred under your watch, well, there’s no bar low enough to exclude anyone.

I guess what bothers me the most about this whole Ferguson thing is the incredible damage it is doing not just to race relations in the United States, but to the African-American community in general. Is this their reward for voting Democrat as a bloc for decades? Mindless sloganeering and incessant pandering by race-baiting agitators and community organizers all because of one dead convenience store thief? After all, that same scene is played out in spades on the streets of Chicago and other American inner cities on any given weekend; but I don’t see “the Reverend Al” or his partner-in-crime Jesse Jackson marching those mean streets demanding an end to the violence committed against minorities by minorities. Guess it just doesn’t fit their preferred narrative that white cops everywhere are on the prowl just begging for a reason to bag yet another poor, mild-mannered, innocent black youth who just wants to go to college and fulfill his dreams.

If this President had any integrity whatsoever he would have used the White House meeting to hear from all aggrieved parties in the ongoing Ferguson conflict – not just those seeing “justice” (i.e., revenge) for Michael Brown. But, sadly, that’s just not the way this president operates. He thrives on agitating and creating division and could care less about the Ferguson residents, business owners, and employees who have seen and are seeing their livelihoods vanish before their very eyes. All because no one at the very first protest following Brown’s shooting laid down the law and started arresting the very first rock-throwers. Or, more importantly heard from African-American “leaders” and elected officials at all levels of government – federal, state, and county – for calm and respect for the rule of law while the system plays out.

There’s little doubt that as soon as the unstated approval of lawlessness in Ferguson was approved by what goes under the name of “African-American leaders” these days, the stage was set for the violence that has occurred since then. The question, then, is why did this happen? Why would African-American “leaders” sanction such lawlessness and violence? Because after decades of life on the Democratic Party plantation, these modern-day slaves to power have no other card in the deck to play. Radio talk-show host “The Great One”, Mark Levin, hit the nail on the head: (Hat tip: Real Clear Politics):

Now, this country’s being turned upside down by this president and attorney general and their surrogates, so the question is why, and I’ll tell you why, among other reasons.

In the black community under our first black president and first black attorney general, it’s miserable, high unemployment. The schools stink. And they oppose school choice. What else is going on?

Black on black crime is through the roof. Nine out of ten blacks are murdered by blacks. You have gang violence in inner cities like Chicago. What are they doing about it? Nothing.

When they met on Monday, did they talk about it? Not a word. What about those shop owners burned out in Ferguson, MO? Overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. Were they invited to speak on Monday? Nothing.

So now Obama and Holder and the surrogates are doing what? They’re undermining our police officers. All police officers regardless of race pushing what, an agenda to nationalize local police forces. Why? Why? He’s doing a disastrous job. This has nothing to do with racial profiling, nothing to do with racist cops, nothing to do with the militarization of the police force, and yet this is what they burp up and spit out.

But that’s what happens when you have race-baiting agitators pushing a narrative completely void of truth and fact and entirely for political and self-serving purposes. It’s beyond a disgrace, and especially so because there are many other African-Americans whose voices are not welcomed at the table simply because their own narratives don’t fit the well-worn script of Democratic racial politics played by shameless and morally and intellectually bankrupt African-American Democrats.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 14:28 | Comments (0)
December 2, 2014

It has become as much a fall tradition around here as Halloween and Thanksgiving Day. You get into November and sooner or later it’s time for the Mesquite tree to get its annual trim and transition from being a “neighborhood tree” to a “backyard tree”.

Inevitably, it all starts around September with a consultation in the heat between me and my landscaper par excellence Carmelo (pictured amidst the wreckage above), the two of us looking skyward underneath, shaking our heads at how much it has grown since the last fall trimming, noticing its outer branches touching the house and the Tiki bar, most definitely hanging over the wall and the neighbor’s swimming pool. Being a good neighbor, I’m highly sensitive to my property infringing on his, so that means Carmelo and the boys showing up sometime after the heat breaks and all his lawn reseedings from summer Bermuda to winter ryegrass have been completed.

There’s nothing particularly magical or scientific involved: one guy goes up in the tree and starts sawing under Carmelo’s watchful eye, while he handles the lower hanging branches and directs the overall shaping. Me? I’m at the other end of the yard on the other side of the pool reviewing progress from a distance and basically yelling, “Stop!” whenever the guys start getting a little frisky with the saws. It only takes an hour, but in that time the yard is covered with branches. The leafy stuff gets hauled away by his hired hands, the larger branches get cut into two-foot long pieces and stacked against the house where they will dry out over the next year and be ready for burning in the chiminea come next fall. I also have a bunch of mesquite wood chips handy that I’ll soak and toss in the gas grill whenever I’m cooking steaks or fish.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:42 | Comments (0)
December 1, 2014

Driving over to the Superstition Springs driving range on a calm, warm, and bright early-December afternoon my mind wasn’t on hitting golf balls, but on the poor folks in Ferguson, MO who lost their jobs, businesses, and economic livelihoods all because of a bunch of lawless thugs and losers, and incompetent, race-baiting politicians – of both colors, no race can stake claim for what happened. I won’t get into Monday-morning quarterbacking here, there’s no point in it, but nearly a week later I can’t get those folks out of my mind and can’t help but wonder if there is any remorse by anyone now that they have had their lawless masturbatory moment in the sun.

Not sure how a town like that goes forward, but hopefully the political agitator outsiders and the mainstream media fools have all had their fill and can just leave and let the town try and put its life back together. Like George Harrison once sang, it’s gonna take a whole lot of precious time, patience and spending money….

So it was on my way over to Superstition Springs that an idea grabbed me – a real solution for this day and age – for those special occasions when “the man”, “the system”, or other usual targets of progressive fury create such a sense of unfairness or injustice that these folks need a place where they can gather and protest and cover their faces and put those dopey little Guy Fawkes masks on to blow off whatever steam is needed without harming the lives and livelihoods of hard-working and tax-paying folks – y’know, people who actually have a life.

And in honor of Attorney General Eric Holder’s rabbit-ear sensitivity to anything smacking of racial inequality and injustice, and his oh-so-faux outrage at the drop of one of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s dimes (a mere fraction of the estimated 4.5 mil in back taxes he’s said to owe, BTW), I propose a solution any city or town can create at a fraction of the cost it would take to rebuild real lost businesses and lives – Holdervilles.

The idea came to me as I was passing the Rockin’ R Ranch, a tourist thing located a mile or two from Superstition Springs. As a state with lots of tourism and snowbirds, we have them all over Arizona – faux “Wild West” towns where folks can bring their families for fun, food, and entertainment. They’re all sorta like towns of by-gone days – wooden structures with signs like “Hotel”, “Bank”, “Apothecary”, “General Store” – you get the picture. Well, putting that kind of thing into everyday use, here is how my idea would work:

Let’s say you’re a city or town that’s about to host a WTO summit, or one where May Day typically brings out your left-wing loons (Oakland and Seattle come to mind), or one with a history of racial problems and/or tensions between the police and African-Americans, or just a place where folks are generally pissed off and regularly on edge – Chicago, for instance. :-) You pick a location far away from the center of town easy to access and secure, then construct your own “Wild West” town, complete with plenty of stores for looting (liquor stores and electronics stores are a must!), as well as all other kinds of business every modern-day city has: banks, grocery stores, Laundromats – whatever you want. Then, the next time some a supposedly mild-mannered “gentle giant” steals from a convenience store and roughs up the owner, then attacks a police officer through the window of his cruiser before being unlawfully shot and killed, you direct all the protesters, looters, and shooters to that part of town where they can burn and destroy to their heart’s content.

It’s a win/win idea – it’s good for the protestors, good for the law-abiding folks, good for everyone. Then after “Holderville” has been burned to the ground, you simply employ local contractors to rebuild and restore it at a mere fraction of what it would cost were it a real town or city. Pretty creative, wouldn’t you say? And a perfect solution for life in the post-political, post-racial, America unified “Age of Obama”.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:37 | Comments (0)
November 29, 2014

A few thoughts while wondering where the wet, cool fall we were supposed to get went. From what I see it looks warm and dry through the end of the year. I guess El Nino went el poopo…

If this is true put me down as, “hell, yeah!”. He wasn’t really presidential material in 2012 but I think he learned from his (obvious) mistakes. Would love to see him battle whomever the Dems nominate for the top slot in 2016. I’d go to the barricades for Rick.

…Speaking of which, there’s no way Hillary Clinton is the Dem nominee in 2016. She’s a phony, a has-been, and an elitist of the highest order. You read stuff like this and its makes you sick. I’m no liberal or progressive by any means, but I can’t believe true liberals or progressives outside the Beltway would ever conceive of voting for such a politically elite and entrenched retread like Hillary. To know her is to loathe her.

It’s the holiday season, and in my mind it doesn’t get better than the “All Creatures Great and Small” series episode of “Merry Gentlemen”. If you want to be heart-warmed and have a good laugh, just click the link – you’ll be glad you did.

Ferguson protestors ruin Seattle’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Yeah, that will bring people around to your cause. What a bunch of jerks.

…and a little Grace Jones to lighten the mood. She’s awesome. To me, she sounds a little like Bette Midler here, but kudos to the dress she’s (sort of) wearing, so I’ll forgive her for that.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:21 | Comment (1)
November 28, 2014

Courtesy of the CBS Sports golf blog, I found this really cool golf website filled with all kinds of neat stuff. In particular, I found their four-part series on “How to Act Like a Tour Pro” – they call it “Tour Sauce” – priceless:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

I can totally identify with the “Tour Sauce” bit – I’m all over it going forward. After all, they’re speaking The Great White Shank’s language:

You haven’t been “taking lessons.” Instead, you’re working with a new swing coach. It doesn’t matter that your lessons cost $25/hour at Ranger Rick’s (they just put in lights this year!). You’re going through some swing changes, and you need to make it clear to everyone that you feel good about where you are in “The Process.” Just remember, all the hours you’ve been putting in with the new “physio” you brought on the team a few months [Ed. note: weeks] ago are going to start paying dividends soon (never mind that this new “physio” is just the instructor in your group Cardio Jam class at L.A. [Ed. Note: Desert] Fitness).

I hope all the Goodboys get time to practice these oh-so-pro rituals over the winter so they too will be ready to make their own “Tour Sauce” come spring (which, after this week, seems like light-years away).

Like they say, put a little mustard on that hot dog!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:05 | Comments (0)
November 27, 2014

With so much negativity around this week it is nice to be able to take a deeeeeeeep breath… ah, that feels better! – and simply enjoy the presence of family and friends and Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season. In that spirit, here’s a poem that sums up the sentiments of the day:

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we’re poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We’re wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you’ve got;
Realize it’s a lot,
And you’ll make all your cares go away.

– Karl Fuchs, “Thanksgiving Day”

Hat tip: poemsource.com

Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving filled with all the blessings this day brings.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments (2)

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