October 17, 2014

Hard to believe it was ten years ago today that Dave Roberts stole that base and turned Red Sox history around. Even watching the video ten years later I still get the shivers watching it all unfold. It seems like a dream – the heroics, the late nights, the incredible tension and exhilaration everyone in Red Sox Nation felt over those four days, so much so that the World Series with St. Louis felt so anti-climatic. And it’s equally hard to believe that the Sox have three – count ‘em, three World Series championships in their pocket over that time.

But it’s true, and none of it would have been possible without Dave Roberts. And I don’t think there has ever been a series like it in baseball history. They were, and will always be, the greatest Red Sox team in history.

Watch this and relive the magic. And it was MAGICAL. Feel the magic.

Mom and Auntie, don’t be afraid to click the link, you’ll be transported in time. :-)

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:25 | Comments (0)
October 15, 2014

…and PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon is echoing the very sentiments I had planned to post about today. To me, this is his key line:

Race relations in the U.S. seem to have gone backwards fifty years in the last six, African Americans overwhelmed with victimology and picking on cops before there is any evidence. Critics of the president are constantly accused of racism. Seventy percent of black children are born out of wedlock.

What Barack Obama has done to race relations under his presidency is both vile and beyond contempt. And he knows damned well what he is doing – I truly believe both he, his Rasputin Valerie Jarrett, and Attorney General Eric Holder want to see race riots for the purposes of furthering their own political agenda. And nothing anyone can say will change my mind about that.

There’s nothing racist about it when you’re telling the truth. Stacy Dash isn’t saying anything different than I’ve been saying for years. Read the article and you tell me what’s there to disagree with.

This country is in the best of hands. I guarantee you the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett are freaking out tonight at the prospect of a full Ebola outbreak just as people are getting ready to vote in the mid-terms. Let me tell you, these people could care less about people dying, their only concern is about their political agenda. And the American people are starting to realize this.

I’m not a fan of her by any means, but Michelle Obama still looks like an idiot dancing with a turnip.

Geez, ya think???

You have to love Yahoo! News. So Barack Obama cancels attending two fundraisers to attend to the Ebola crisis, and this is how they frame it:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s best-laid plans to go all out for Democrats in the final weeks of the midterms are running smack into a widening Ebola crisis, as Americans anxiously turn to the government and their president for answers.

Yeah, I also hate it when the stupid little stuff like, oh, I don’t know, having to actually be President gets in the way of what you really want to do, which is attend fund-raisers for Democrats. You know when I’ll truly know he cares about what’s going on? When he cancels his weekend golf game.

You read a story like this and you wonder how something like this can happen in America, but then you see that the mayor is a radical leftist lesbian and then it all makes sense. As I’ve been saying for years – liberals, for all their blather about tolerance, acceptance, and diversity are the most intolerant, are the most resistant to alternative opinions, and have absolutely no interest in the concept of true diversity. Liberalism is a cancer in American society and culture.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:05 | Comments (0)
October 14, 2014

I think actress Gwyneth Paltrow is a fox. There, I said it. If you (especially of the fellow Goodboys variety) want to call me a fool, or misguided, or a dope so be it. But if you were to give me a choice as to what Hollywood actress I’d want to share dinner with, while perhaps at one time I might have selected Meg Ryan or Renee Zellweger (both of which were adorable in their own ways), at the ripe old age of 59 I’m all in for Gwyn and I’m hoping she’d be OK with that and all in for me as well.

Look, I understand there are folks out there who consider her a completely out-of-touch elitist. And yes, I know she’s a dyed-in-the-wool leftist who even with the Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, Solyndra, and VA scandals, and the unrelenting and infuriating incompetence and blatant disregard for the truth or rule of law on display from everyone in the Obama administration starting with the President and First Lady on down is still left stammering hubbada-hubbada-hubbada when she’s in the presence of St. Barack.

But that’s OK with me, because I’ll willingly admit the attraction is purely physical – I think she’s a beautiful woman. Hair, face, shoulders… um, on down. Just the right mix of sophistication and, I hope, as one gets to know her, harmless naughtiness as well. It would be worth dinner on me just to share a very expensive bottle of wine (her choice) and engage in mindless chit-chat if only to see her smile light up a room as only as hers can.

I don’t know enough about her intellectual capabilities or willingness to even hob-nob with such an inconsequential excuse for a human being such as I, nor do I care, but when she’s quoted as saying such marvelously pretentious statements as:

“I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year.”

Or…

“I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

Or…

“I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup.”

Or even…

“When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat.” (Which, of course, would serve as the perfect opening for me to respond, “As it is with me whenever I feel our bodies touch, mon chérie. Si je vous ai dit que vous aviez un beau corps tiendriez-vous contre moi?“**)

…well, that’s a girl I simply have to know better.

And if you’re thinking that I’m too old and too married to be blogging about some hot Hollywood chick, all I can say is, I might be old, I might even be married, but I’m not dead. The day I stop appreciating a pretty woman is the day I might as well pack it all in. And if she’s an elitist, well maybe we’re all elitists in our own right. Hey, I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $2,500,000 a year, right?

At my age I’m not just looking for a Hollywood actress who might be beautiful and who might provide an evening of stimulating conversation. I want the whole enchilada, and I think Gwyn is all that and more. So Gwyneth, if you’re ever in the Phoenix area and are looking for someone to treat you to a nice meal and a night you’ll not soon forget, you know who’s ready to pick up the tab.

And speaking of enchiladas, you like Mexican food, right?

——–

**If I told you you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:32 | Comments (0)
October 13, 2014

I’m writing this very late on a Sunday night (actually it’s Monday AM). My 59th birthday is over, and I’ve embarked on my sixtieth year of existence. If you had asked me twenty or thirty years ago what it would be like to be this age, I would have thought you were speaking of someone who was old and ready for the nursing home, but, truth is, I feel younger and more vibrant, and more cognizant of the way time flies than I could ever have imagined myself feeling.

A co-worker recently decided to hang up his IT spikes at the ripe old age of 67; I think that’s a goal worth realizing. As demanding and sometime infuriating as my profession is, I love my work and hope to be playing the project manager game for another eight years. Of course, to even think more than a week or two ahead in the kind of world we live in is sheer folly. As much as Tracey hates to hear me say it, I could be dead tomorrow and she’d be left to pick up all the pieces and journey ahead. That’s just the way it is.

All this being said, I think there’s a lot to be said about the wisdom gained over the years as I stare the big 6-0 square in the face.

First of all, forget about the past and whatever you’ve done well or screwed up. I’ve made huge mistakes, and I’m guessing y’all have too. Too many people let their pasts dictate their futures. I say let go of all of them – good and bad – and simply try to start each day anew as if you were an adult child. Whatever happened in the past is past, tomorrow is just conjecture. Today is all you have, so live it accordingly.

Secondly, pursue love in every way, manner, shape and form available to you as long as that love is not abusive or using your position or power to taking advantage of your affection. I truly believe God wants us to live our lives to their absolute fullness, and open our hearts and senses to all the beauty He has created and made available to us. As long as you’re pursuit of love doesn’t break laws or infringe on someone else’s rights, do it!

Finally, forget about what families, friends, and others tell you what you ought to do. Pursue your dreams in whatever way they reveal themselves to you. I’m going out on a BIG limb here, but I’m tired of being told what I ought to think and believe, whether it be by the so-called norms of society and religion. You only have one life, and you don’t want to ever find yourself laid out on a hospital bed and dying saying to yourself, “I only wish I had…” Have the guts and the self-confidence to break free and pursue whatever that dream was. Your life is your own, live it accordingly. Can you not see the shadows closing in?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (8)
October 10, 2014

I awoke this morning, my head filled with a dream of my late brother Mark and I walking along a fog-shrouded Revere Beach reminiscing about one of our favorite all-time albums, The Guess Who’s Rockin’. It all seemed so real, except for the fact that he was wearing shorts (something I can never recall Mark ever wearing) and that I had a bushy moustache, something I never had either.

The weirdest thing was that, at least to my memory, Mark and I had never traveled to Revere Beach – but that’s how dreams go. What I do remember is that it was at Hampton Beach that, back in, oh, say, 1974 or 1975, rummaging through a bin filled with bootlegs and cut-outs, we stumbled upon that album. Already fans of the band’s hits (in my mind, you can’t beat So Long Bannatyne), we loved it from the first moment we put it on and immediately tried to find ways of integrating a few of its cuts into our band’s repertoire.

While unheralded at the time, fans have caught up with it and now recognize it as a gem. You can hear the full album here.

My favorites? The opening cut, the hard rocking “Heartbroken Rocker” (turn it up loud!), their remake of Johnny Horton’s “Running Bear”, which is a hoot, and “Your Nashville Sneakers”, which definitely made it onto our Top Priority song list – especially whenever we were called to play shotgun weddings, something we specialized in. And, of course, their remake of Clyde McPhatter’s “Sea Of Love” played behind a cut called “Hi Rockers!”.

What always bugged me about that track was that it was such a great cover version obscured by a nonsensical conversation between two obviously-high (get it?) guys. Thanks to YouTube both you and I can now here it a little more than a decade later.

I don’t know what dreams mean, but it was wonderful at least for a few precious moments to feel my brother still alive and rockin’ like the band and album we so much enjoyed.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:45 | Comments (3)
October 9, 2014

I remember seeing Fr. Benedict Groeschel for the first time on the Eternal Word Network for the first time back in the early ’90s when I was in the early stages of my spiritual renewal. A Fransciscan who took the Order’s original vows of poverty and charity so seriously that he began a new congregation, the Franciscans of the Renewal, smack dab in the middle of the Bronx to bring the light of Christ and service to the poor in the midst of the inner-city poor, he was brash, didn’t believe in bullshit of any kind, and didn’t hesitate to speak his mind in that marvelous New Jersey accent of his. He hosted numerous shows on EWTN, wrote a number of books (his Arise From Darkness is one of the few keepers in my once-extensive spiritual library), and helped kindle the interest in Roman Catholicism that brought me to where I am today. So it was sad to hear of his passing a week ago:

Fr Groeschel was a friend of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and helped her set up a convent in New York in the 1970s; he also established the St Francis House for homeless young men and the Good Counsel House for pregnant unsupported young women in the city. Later, with his long beard and distinctive grey habit, he became a familiar figure to viewers of the Eternal Word Television Network, the Alabama-based international Catholic station. As a spiritual writer he published more than 40 books; he gave retreats and spoke at conferences around the world, and contributed to a range of Catholic and secular magazines and newspapers.

He was deeply involved in ecumenical activities, numbering several Protestant ministers and rabbis among his close friends. The Friars of the Renewal – all bearded and sandalled, always apparently cheerful and invariably travelling in a small group with at least one guitar and perhaps a football – have become familiar at all major international Catholic events, notably World Youth Day. Fr Groeschel, stooped in his old age, quietly spoken and unpretentious, seemed in his later years to be an unlikely founder of this vigorous network of energetic young friars, but his forceful teaching and deep spiritual commitment were nevertheless the real heart of the community.

After all the hard work of his life and the joy and wisdom he brought to so many people over the years, and his health struggles over the past decade, I’m certain Fr. Groeschel was ready for some rest and peace in the bosom of Christ. May his soul flourish in the eternal light and joy of Christ’s kingdom in Heaven.

Well done, good and faithful servant of our Lord. You will be missed.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 18:54 | Comments (0)
October 8, 2014

Can’t see the full moon through the thick cloud cover, but I know it’s there. There’s almost nothing like a full October moon – except a full November moon, which I’ve always loved with the bare trees and all.

Like I said in my last post, all the rain and moisture here in Arizona has created quite the tropical climate. And with the tropical climate come mosquitoes. And I’m not talking Bingo, Bango, Bongo, and Irving.

Here’s a nice video that’s perfect for an afternoon nap.

Every time I think the Obama administration can’t sink any lower in terms of disgrace, a new day dawns. It’s come to the point where it’s not even worth bothering about – this is the President this country deserves.

Of course the previous story was oh so yesterday. Why bother with that when you have today. If it wasn’t so sad it would all be pretty pathetic, but Barack Obama long ago gave up caring what the presidency means in terms of history and what anyone else thinks or does.

Tomorrow kicks off the 2015 PGA Tour season, but I doubt anyone will care. I understand why the Tour does it – they’re trying to maximize the number of tour events and prevent the kind of extended offseason (read: “silly season”) that used to attract only the most avid of watchers. But does anyone but the avid watcher really care about the fall events? I’m guessing not. Folks won’t start paying attention to golf tournaments until January in Hawaii as an escape from the piles of snow in their driveways.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:43 | Comments (0)
October 7, 2014

You’re Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers. A bonafide RBI machine. And yet, for all the salary and the salaried teams you have played for these past few years, you chalk up another year where you won’t even sniff a World Series game. Nor will you ever. There are good baseball players, and there are winners. You’re just a good baseball player.

You’re Don Mattingly, and you’re already starting to think about other teams you can manage after your butt is fired.

You’re John Farrell of the Red Sox, and you don’t even know you will be the first manager fired in 2015. I hate to say it, but the Sox won in 2013 in spite of you, not because of any great organizational and leadership qualities you possess. Next year there will be no hiding the fact that not every great pitching coach makes a great manager.

You’re Harry Reid, and if it hasn’t already, this commercial and this video ought to scare the bejeezus outta you. As I’ve said many times in this spot, the Democratic Party only cares about black people come Election Day. And if even 10-20% of that voting bloc wakes up to realize they’ve been had you and your party are screwed. And deservedly so.

You’re George W. Bush, and to see the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds being left to slaughter by Barack Obama and the so-called “Western powers” West has to absolutely break your heart. Look, folks can agree or disagree as to whether going into Iraq was the right idea or not, but in 2009 Iraq was relatively stable, the U.S. had a major presence in the Middle East, and no one was going to mess with us. But with your successor, Barack Obama, people mean nothing and politics is everything.

You’re Barack Obama, and you don’t care that big-wig party insiders like Leon Panetta have started writing books challenging your narrative and writing of your incredible incompetence and chronic misjudgment. And you know why you don’t care? Because you’ve surrounded yourself with so many syncophants who think you’re God that you actually believe it.

You’re the State Department’s Jen Psaki and, frankly, you are CLUELESS. Suggest you find a job you’re capable of performing without making an embarrassment of yourself.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:17 | Comments (0)
October 6, 2014

And to think, they call this the “desert southwest”. This year, it’s been more like living in Florida or along the Gulf of Mexico, where it’s another week, another rain event caused by yet another disintegrating hurricane. A few weeks ago it was Norbert, then Odile, now it looks like we’ll have the remnants of Hurricane Simon passing right over the Valley or just southeast of it. I saw the furthest cloud band off to the south late yesterday, today the clouds moved in from the southwest pretty quickly.

Had I not been bogged down with work it would have been a perfect day to hit the driving range. Unfortunately, with the house all a-flutter with Tracey leaving the taxes until the very last days of our six-month extension, the daily installment of hospital bills and demands for payments we only refer along to the lawyers until after freaking out, having my sister-in-law and her two rabbits staying here until her new apartment is available (hopefully next week!), and trying to juggle all our obligations and chores around a single car, hitting a golf ball is the furthest thing from my mind.

It would be nice to lounge outside on the patio with a Sam Adams or a Pinot Grigio, but that’s impossible these days – all the rain and moisture we’ve had has exponentially increased the amount of mosquitoes and black flies that converge around me as soon as I step outside. They seem to care not a sniff for the twins. We’re not supposed to have clouds of mosquitoes and gnats here in Arizona, but that’s what this monsoon season has brought with it. Kinda makes me long for the past years of dust storms and dry thunderstorms!

Considering that Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell.com (his free Saturday updates are a must for any weather enthusiast!) predicted this weather event three weeks ago and has predicted a wetter-than-average fall and winter for Arizona, it doesn’t look like life in the tropics is going to end anytime soon.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:39 | Comments (0)
October 5, 2014

Look, I love Phil Mickelon as a golfer. If Phil’s playing and in contention I’m watching him because he’s a human highlight film in and of itself. And is there a better interview than Phil after a round? Whatever he’s thinking he says, no Tiger Woods blather about his game being really close after vomiting up a +3 for the day. Unlike so many of the soft and pampered prodigies-from-their-diapers players that increasingly dominate the PGA Tour’s leaderboards week in, week out, Phil is no David Simms-esque souless robot – he’s passionate about everything he does, opinionated, and not afraid of “Phil being Phil”.

So while it might have been better for Phil to hold his powder about Tom Watson’s captaincy until a day or to after the American’s Ryder Cup defeat was in the books, I completely understood where he was coming from and respected him for not being afraid to speak his mind. Unfortunately, what Phil did was lead to an open season on Tom Watson and his captaincy at the the Ryder Cup where now you hear all kinds of whispers from unnamed sources about how Watson screwed this up and that up, and, most recently, how mean and harsh to the team he was at their Saturday night meeting. To the point where Watson now has to go public and apologize for the way he captained?

Puh-leeze. Last time I checked the Ryder Cup’s format no points were given to the captains for anything they did. In fact, the last time I checked, I thought the Ryder Cup was all about players competing against one another and let the best man and best team win. No points for good behavior, bad behavior, good captaincy or bad captaincy. It’s simply about the golf that is played. Then you total up all the points and determine who wins bragging rights for the next two years.

So it was with great satisfaction I read Quin Hillyer’s excellent column at National Review Online defending Watson’s performance, of which he places the blame where it rightly belongs: on the players who were simply outclassed by the Europeans in each and every facet of the game, on and off the course.

And maybe — well definitely — some of [Watson's] decisions were just downright poor, in terms of who to pair with whom and who to play when. Others have catalogued those criticisms, again and again, so I won’t belabor them. But two points should be made in Watson’s favor. First, why is nobody giving him credit for what turned out to be a stroke of genius, completely as unusual as it was, of putting rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed out as partners in the opening Four-balls, especially considering that neither had been playing well in recent weeks? Watson, using the tough-guy approach, even told them that he was throwing them into the water in order to force them to sink or swim. Well, it worked: They swam. Actually, better: They surfed. They were the stars of the show. They were terrific. …Also superb was the new pairing of Ricky Fowler and Jimmy Walker. Meanwhile, the conventional pairings, the ones where players supposedly felt oh-so-comfortable with each other, failed spectacularly. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson had a record as a great pairing. They bombed. Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley were supposed to be unbeatable, but they won their first match only because their opponents played even worse, and they were terrible in the second match. Matt Kuchar was supposed to be able to pair well with anybody. His teams bombed.

And, like I was saying earlier…

Finally, here’s the real rub of the green: It shouldn’t matter much who one’s partner is. A player’s job is to hit the ball from where it lies. In match play, his job is to get it in the hole better than the opponent does. The Euros consistently hit the shots when they need them. For 15 years, Americans haven’t. All of this Sturm und Drang about pairings and the like is overblown. The role of the captain is overblown. Either a golfer gets the ball into each hole in fewer strokes than his opponent, or he doesn’t. Ray Floyd wouldn’t be whining about pairings. Lanny Wadkins wouldn’t. Nicklaus wouldn’t. Trevino wouldn’t. Johnny Miller wouldn’t. Lord knows that Hogan wouldn’t. And of course Watson himself, in his heyday, never would have dreamed of such a thing. They would just go out and beat you. The current crop of Americans hasn’t done that. Tom Watson was right: They just got outplayed. Instead of pointing fingers, they should knuckle under and learn darn well how to win.

Might having a Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, or Jason Dufner helped the American cause? Perhaps, but I doubt it it. The fact is, the Europeans enthusiastically embrace the kind of team play the various formats in the Ryder Cup require, whereas the individualist Americans reflect the way golfers have been created in the post-Tiger era where you can make a boatload of cash simply by getting there. Were the golfers back in the Arnie/Jack/Gary/Lee/Tom era better than today’s players? That’s, of course, an open debate, but what cannot be denied is that those players had a comraderie and toughness forged out of an era where courses weren’t all green and lush, golf bags traveled in the trunk of a car as much as by plane, and if you weren’t making cuts or Monday qualifiers you had a world of pressure coming down on you from your wife and family to start bringing home the bacon (literally!).

You want to know what really happened at this year’s Ryder Cup? The Europeans outplayed and out-hustled the Americans. They also had the better mix of players – think about about it: outside of Spieth, Reed, Walker, and Fowler (who can’t be faulted for the way he was surgically dismantled by Rory McIlroy in their Sunday match) can you think of any American players you’d want in your foxhole who can grind it out like Graeme McDowell, Jamie Donaldson, Ian Poulter or Lee Westwood?

There’s nothing magical about it: if the Americans want to end the domination of the Europeans at the Ryder Cup they simply have to play better as individuals. Do that, and the entire team will benefit. So let’s stop blaming Davis Love for what happened at Medinah and Tom Watson for what happened at Gleneagles. The fault here lies purely at the American golfer’s feet, and it’s time for them to man up.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 11:20 | Comments (0)

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