February 3, 2017

Well that was quick: Tiger Woods, after three dismal rounds in his vaunted “comeback tour”, has withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic after posting a ghastly opening round 77 due to “back spasms”.

Yeah, right.

I posted here about the challenges Tiger would be facing coming back after his long hiatus from back surgery. Simply put, in that time the golf universe has changed beyond any kind of measure even someone of his accomplishments could ever imagine. The good golfers have multiplied in spades. They are young, fearless, hit the ball incredible distances, and have the best equipment and workout / fitness regimens in the world. And while undoubtedly they respect Tiger for everything he has brought to the game and made possible for them, they look upon him as nothing more than an artifact of days long gone by and never to be seen again.

The fact that Tiger says with a brave face that he’s preparing for Augusta and is only entering tournaments with the idea of winning is not just laughable, but pathetic. It’s all talk, designed for mainstream media ass-kissers who write as if Woods is still a force to be reckoned with. They’re just about as clueless about Woods as he himself is, afraid to admit that the object of their affection is nothing but a mere shell of the golfer and the presence he once was.

I was texting my Goodboys pal Killer last week about how Tiger looked at the Farmer’s Insurance Open. In my view he looked rusty for sure, but even more so, I didn’t like his gait as he would walk from one hole to another. He looked like someone with a stiff back – not necessarily in pain, but certainly in discomfort. The Great White Shank is all about telling the truth, whether it be politics, golf, or his own situation in any way, manner, shape, or form. Anyone who has followed this blog for the past eleven years knows no one is exempt from the truth, not even yours truly.

I said in my earlier piece that I thought Tiger was one awkward swing from retirement. For all we know, that time has come. Just don’t expect Tiger to man up and tell the truth about what he’s actually feeling and thinking. And that’s because it would require him to actually sound and seem human. Look, we all have flaws; his is being unable to reveal to those who, if not liking him, nevertheless respect him for all he has done and brought to the game of golf, the reality of his ability to play golf. If he can no longer play with the “big boys” he ought to just come out and say so.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 22:24 | Comments (0)
February 1, 2017

If Sunday was the first day that the late afternoon sun felt like it had the beginning of an attitude, and Monday was just plain gorgeous after a coolish start, then Tuesday was the first day you could feel Spring coming on. The feathery acacia out back is bursting with yellow buds and – here’s the real sign – I heard the first cooing of mourning doves filling the air most of the daylight hours. Which means, pretty soon I ought be seeing them gathering on the roof of Keith’s house next door and on our east wall checking out our lemon and lime trees for possible nesting sites. It’s not as if there aren’t several empty nests ready for immediate dove occupation, either!

It may be winter back home in the Northeast, but here in the Valley of the Sun, Spring is being sprung!

This weekend, in addition to the Super Bowl, is also the weekend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. And the weather is going to be Chamber of Commerce-perfect: sunny and in the ’70s. Scottsdale will be hopping and the folks are going to be loving it!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:50 | Comments (0)
January 31, 2017

He’s said he’s gonna make it at 8 PM EST. Just in case I’m right, and so it’s noted for the sake of posterity here goes:

In my view all the talk about Neil Gorsuch or Thomas Hardiman is just that: talk. The kind of talk President Trump loves to hear out the smart-ass “opposition party” media he has come to despise. So I’m thinking he’s making a choice right out of left field (or, in this case, right field).

I’m predicting Trump chooses Texas senator Ted Cruz. And if that’s the case, then watch liberal ‘splodey heads everywhere. Can you imagine watching Democratic senators once having to eat another member of their special club, and with hateful vigor? If they try to filibuster Cruz, what choice does Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have but to drop the hammer down and invoke the so-called “nuclear option”. And if that happens, all I can say is Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Anthony Kennedy better keep their health the next four years, because if they don’t Trump will pound conservative judges down the throats of the Democrats again and again.

If I’m right on this…

[UPDATE]: OK, so I was wrong, but I’m pleased with Trump’s pick of Neil Gorsuch. And you can forget about all the talk of Democrat opposition, Gorsuch will be confirmed with between 65 and 70 votes. Why? Because Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer knows this particular choice isn’t the battle worth dying on a hill over. It will be the next vacancy that occurs when either Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Anthony Kennedy decide to retire that a true battle royale will take place.

Here’s a prediction for you: Schumer knows that the Democrats are likely to lose another 4-6 seats in the Senate simply because in 2018 the electoral map favors the Republicans so strongly. Look for increasingly-public hints that Ginsberg step aside before the 2018 mid-terms so that the Democrats are playing with a deck much more in their favor than they would with Republicans holding, say, 55 or 56 seats instead of 52.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:26 | Comments (0)
January 28, 2017

Today was the first day you could really feel the days getting longer and the sun having that first sense of an attitude that will only grow in the coming months. It’s been a really weird winter here in the Valley of the Sun: my pool guy says he’s been living here for 30 years and doesn’t remember anything like it. We’ve had a lot of clouds, rain, and cold (at least for these parts), but while the days have been below normal – running sometimes as much as ten degrees less – we haven’t had a night yet that dropped below freezing. One would think below-normal days would lead to below-normal nights, but my twelve-foot ladder and the cactus coverings are still in the garage. And since we’re on the cusp of February and when the average daily temperatures start going up – well, we’ll just chalk it up to one very strange winter here in the Valley of the Sun.

Tiger Woods missed the cut on his return to the PGA Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open, and most folks – rightly so – are chalking up his sub-par performance to rust and the need for more reps. CBS color analyst Sir Nick Faldo expressed his concerns about Tiger being able to have enough flexibility in his back to be able to hit the low fade that he showed to great effect on a couple of occasions. My view is that Tiger’s swing looks like that of someone with a bad back, and I don’t think he’s even walking that great. Tiger’s problem is that he’s up against a new generation of golfer that someone at his age and health history won’t be able to come close to matching. That PGA Tour commercial with the slogan, “these guys are good” ought to be changed to, “these guys are so f***ing good that it might as well be a different sport they are playing”.

That’s what Tiger is trying to compete with.

As much as I appreciate Tiger’s contribution to the game, the fact is he’s one awkward stance or swing away from doing irreparable damage to his back, and if he’s thinking he can compete with this generation of golfers he’s deluding himself. Were he perfectly healthy? Yeah, maybe. But he’s no longer the Tiger of old. The media might puddle themselves whenever he makes a great shot, but the fact is the kids he’s playing against can all make that same shot, and a heck of a lot more times over the course of a round than Tiger now can. This isn’t to say that Tiger couldn’t catch lightning in a bottle over a given weekend and briefly turn the clock back to his era of greatness, but the chances of that are, frankly, not that good – there are simply too many good players out there. Between the caliber of the competition, the slow pace of play that now seems the norm (no friend to someone with a bad back), and Father Time and his health history, I’m predicting that Tiger won’t make it through the year without suffering a career-ending injury. I understand why he’s attempting this comeback; I just think he’s fooling himself. It’s a different game now – ironically, thanks to Tiger; he just doesn’t realize it yet.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:08 | Comments (0)
January 27, 2017

As I’ve mentioned previously in this blog space the music of George Harrison has really been a source of support, wisdom and guidance during the past few months. During this time we have been heavily involved in so much heavy-duty, life-changing stuff: arranging our living trust, my sister-in-law’s divorce, refinancing our house, retirement planning, etc. and all this focus on the future that it would be easy to forget about the here and now and the life going on “within you and without you“.

One of the themes that runs through many of Harrison’s songs is his desire to keep himself focused in the present moment where his spiritual journey and the material world he lived in intersected continually, always in conflict with each other, always threatening to take his focus away from the here and now, and away from the question of who he was and why he was here. In popular culture, it has come to be known as an Admiral Stockdale moment. Laugh about it all you want, but isn’t that the fundamental question regarding our existence?

Throughout this period Harrison’s music has served as a reminder of my own desire and need to live more in the moment, focusing on the now as opposed to what might or might not happen down the road. His belief system, so entwined with Eastern religion and karma, reflected the need to see himself and his life journey in the now – actually, the very now, to both positive and (at times) destructive effect: the past isn’t really reality, it’s just what your perception of it is, and the future may not even get here. Which is all true: in the case of the latter, heck, you could be dead before you even finish reading this post.

Harrison saw this passage of time as the “flying hour”, and the song he composed about it reflects this view of existence:

All through my life I’ve been hearing
All about those good old days
It makes no diff’rence
What was or what may be

Past it is gone
And future may not be at all
Present improve the flying hour

Some people look into the future
They’re hoping that they’ll see better days
It’s such a sweet thought
It’s something that could be, but

Past it is gone
And future may not be at all
Present improve the flying hour

What was and what may be
Is not here,
It is not clear to me.
Right now is the one thing
That I can feel
The one thing real to me… ooohh

So as you sit back to remember
That which you can not recall
It makes no diff’rence
What was or what may be

Past it is gone
And future may not be at all
Present improve the flying hour.

It makes no diff’rence
What was or what may be

Past it is gone
And future may not be at all
Present improve the flying hour.

When you’re dealing with the kind of complicated stuff as I mentioned above, combined with the pressures at work, it would be easy to get overwhelmed and just say, (bleep) it: I’ll just let someone else handle it or just ignore it and/or hope it goes away. But recognizing the need to resist those inclinations, and simply focus on the task at hand (whatever it might be in front of me) in the here and now – the flying hour – and letting the future be as it may – well, it’s been a life-changing experience. And while I’ve had my moments of despair and soul-searching (those will never go away), it has helped keep me sane.

May we all come to understand and appreciate what it is truly like to live in the flying hour.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:02 | Comments (0)
January 26, 2017

Folks, this is what winning feels like:

The Dow hits 20,000. I wonder why that might be, hmmm? Anyone have problems with this?

Embrace the suck, Nancy. Don’t you realize that in Tuesday’s White House press briefing, the news media basically challenged the White House to find evidence of voter fraud? Nothing like opening the hen house to the fox.

…I can guarantee you this: that between the Department of Justice under AG Jeff Sessions putting forth new standards for federal election voting and the initiatives starting today to combat the issue of illegal immigration will drastically reduce voter fraud for the 2020 presidential election.

This can’t happen soon enough.

…nor can this.

…nor can this.

A wake-up call to all the women marchers out there. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Personally, I hope the meltdown by the liberal left never ends. As I’ve said before: their agony is my joy.

…and along those same lines, the mainstream media is just beginning to discover that with the Trump administration the rules of engagement have changed.

It’s truly amazing the swiftness by which the Trump administration is changing how business in Washington is going to be done. And it’s happening so fast that the media can’t even begin to wrap their heads around it. Trump has left the media and the liberal left to play catch-up and by a completely different set of rules than they could have ever imagined. It’s pretty pathetic, if you ask me – why should they be surprised that Trump is doing exactly what he has spent the last year and a half saying he would do?

Winning never felt so good. And just think: we’re only seven days into the Trump administration. It was Trump himself who told his supporters that they would be winning so much and so often that they’d get so tired of winning that they’d be begging him to stop.

It was a funny line, of course. I’m beginning to believe he meant what he said.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:45 | Comments (0)
January 24, 2017

It’s another gray day here in the Valley of the Sun. Actually, it’s been a pretty damned gray January. We’ve had quite a bit of rain this winter, something you won’t hear too many folks complain about here in the Desert Southwest. More importantly, they’ve been getting a lot of snow north of us and in the West in general, which will be great for raising those reservoirs and, of course, Lake Mead.

One of the hot items on my to-do list for January was getting my sister-in-law’s divorce work off my plate. We did the whole thing through DivorceWriter.com, and figure we saved ~ $200 bucks by not paying a lawyer to know all the rules (they are extensive) and the process (very complicated), and do all the paperwork and the running around. As long as you don’t share property, financial assets and children (as was in this case), it’s definitely the way to go. And, better yet, I can get 1/2 off my next divorce! Unfortunately (or fortunately), I don’t expect to take them up on their offer.

Wanna hear something strange? While Tam and I were hanging around the Superior courthouse last Friday waiting for her paperwork to be processed, we noticed that we had begun her divorce process by initially filing on November 22nd, the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, and ended it with our final filing on January 20, the date of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Don’t know what that means, but, like they say, it does make you go, hmmmmm…

It was great to see the Green Bay Packers get smoked by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. Everyone around here thinks Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is akin to a god, but to me he seems like a whiny punk, as if nothing that ever happens is his fault. Is he a good quarterback? Sure, but folks around here seem to think he’s one of the all-time greats, even – if you can believe it – better than Tom Brady. The same was true about Peyton Manning. But the Patriots, and especially Bill Belechick and Brady, are so incredibly hated around these parts that folks can’t see straight through their jealousy and envy.

So this is the week Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour. Sure, he’s talking big, but after seeing what’s happened the last two weeks on tour, in the back of his mind he has to be wondering whether he can keep up with the youngsters anymore. And Tiger has to know he’s just one awkward swing from saying bye-bye to his career.

I’d be interested in seeing what some of my Goodboys pals who frequent the gym think about this. Technology is just changing so fast. I mean, we just did a re-fi on our home and not once did we have to make copies of and/or fax anything anywhere. All the documents were signed and processed electronically. The only thing old-fashioned was having the notary visit our house and go through the pile of paperwork to sign and notarize, but I’ll bet even that goes the way of the kiwi in the next five years.

This doesn’t seem right to me, and I’m surprised the media isn’t making a huge deal out of this.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:07 | Comments (0)

I thought the above to be pretty funny. I stole it from one of the posters on The Conservative Treehouse.

OK, now onto the business at hand. Consider this post deadly serious, because, frankly, I’m a little pissed, and it’s taken me a day to think about what I wanted to write so there would be no confusion over the sentiments expressed.

I read about things like this occurring and I am truly worried about what the heck is going on in this country. Look, I understand that there are folks out there who don’t like President Trump, and even despise him. Count some of my Goodboys friends among them. I get it: the guy has been a lightning rod ever since he came on the scene decades ago. There are plenty of those like him out there: brash, hard-driving New Yorkers full of themselves and abounding in self-confidence to the point of being obnoxious. But there’s only one that to date has transcended what constitutes as politics these days to become the President of the United States.

This can be unsettling to some, I get that. They’ve never seen the likes of this before: a Republican presidential candidate who speaks what he believes without all the polish and varnish of a politician. One who isn’t afraid to punch back twice as hard when his detractors in the mainstream media and the political Left try to de-legitimize his presidency on a daily basis. All too often, Republicans have run to the shadows cowering whenever the media or Democrats accused them of being racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or whatever. Until Donald Trump came along, no one – and I mean no one was willing to be a voice for the millions of Americans who have been laughed at, sneered at, and looked down upon by the liberal elites on a regular basis for the last eight years simply because they were white, male, conservative, pro-life, Christian, (gasp!) God-fearing, or any of the above.

And now, just because someone with the balls to stand for the priorities of (gasp!) his own country ahead of globalization and the bogus religion of so-called “social justice” and political correctness, liberals and progressives everywhere are raving and drooling all over themselves like a bunch of spoiled toddlers. Frankly, it’s embarrassing. As Americans, I think we’re better than that.

But maybe we aren’t anymore.

Look, you want to march in protest? Fine. (Although I have to say I can’t recall hundreds of thousands of white, male, racist Americans gathering to protest Barack Obama’s election in 2008.) But I draw the line on violence of any kind and moonbat behavior like the woman’s above. At least (I’m guessing) she at least voted for Hillary Clinton – better than the thousands upon thousands of protesters this weekend I guarantee couldn’t even have been bothered to vote.

But here’s what I don’t get: you don’t like Donald Trump as a person? Fine. But what are you protesting against? Building a wall? Well, last time I heard, there’s nothing wrong with exerting control over one’s sovereignty and borders. Women’s rights? Tell me exactly what rights Donald Trump plans to take away. And don’t insult my intelligence by bringing up bringing up access to contraception and the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. LBGTQWXYZILGNMOPQRST rights? Tell me exactly what rights for gays and lesbians Donald Trump has said he’s going to take away. Reducing taxes and excessive regulations to create more jobs? You’d have to be a veritable moron not to want that.

I’m serious. Look, I have my own concerns with President Trump. I would have liked him to have released his taxes, although I understand why he hasn’t to date. I worry about his ability to balance straight and tough talk and diplomacy with foreign leaders, but he’s had to work closely with the most political of political foes in the past and has done alright, and he’s surrounded himself with good people, especially those from the military. Unlike the moonbats I don’t think he’s going to blow up the world, and I most certainly don’t believe he became President to enrich himself and his family. (I can guarantee you I wouldn’t have the same sentiment re: the latter had the Clintons regained the White House!)

I just wish everybody could take a breather and give the guy a chance. Like him or not, respect him or not, he is the President of the United States. You might not like it, but there’s not a heck of a lot you or anyone can do about it at the moment, is there? That’s the way elections work in this country. And don’t get me started about the popular vote vs. the Electoral College: the facts will come out about the massive voter fraud in California, Nevada, New Mexico and elsewhere because of illegals voting. Hillary probably won the popular vote, but I guarantee it wasn’t by two million votes. And at any rate, the idea of the person winning the most votes but losing in the Electoral College is not exactly unheard of in American history.

In truth, and as glad as I am that that woman was thrown off the plane – she deserved it – I feel sorry for her and those like her. Think about it for a moment: if you’re going to allow something as petty and (in the grand scheme of things) inconsequential as a presidential election to bother you to the extent that you feel the need to berate or harm strangers, or destroy property you really need to seek psychiatric help. In her case, what an empty life she must lead.

But it’s more than that. I read stories about friendships being broken off and families being torn apart simply because the other person voted for Donald Trump. To me that tells me those people weren’t very worthy friends or family members to begin with. To me it just boggles the imagination. If you want to allow the results of an election to cloud your friendships and relationships with others that’s your choice. But it’s not – at least in my view – much of a way to go through life. Actually, it’s pretty damned sad and pathetic.

Those who frequent this blog know I’ve been pretty damned hard on the Obamas and the Clintons, and liberals in general, but I’ve always said if I found myself sitting next to Michelle Obama on a plane I’d treat her like I would anyone else, offer to buy her a cocktail, and even try and get a selfie with her. And I guess that’s the whole point of this post: if I have the ability to distinguish between the person and their politics, it can’t be that hard, right? It would be nice if those on the Left could do the same thing, if for anything but for the sake of this country.

I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter. We’re all put on this ball of rock floating through space, and for what reason? And maybe that’s what George Harrison was thinking when he wrote the words to one of his better-known hits. If we all individually tried to make the world a better place, collectively it would help bring everyone and everything together. Why allow our ability to express and share love, and to laugh at the absurdity of it all and ourselves to dissolve in the pettiness of politics?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:23 | Comments (0)
January 22, 2017

I have two words for all the women and pseudo-women who showed up in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere to express their so-called “concerns” over a Donald Trump presidency: YOU LOST.

Normally I would consider a minimum of sympathy for the so-called “cause”, but knowing that the likes of Madonna and Ashley Judd were there, and knowing that they’re both old enough to remember Bill Clinton’s presidency, all I can say is, where were you when this man was not just engaging in locker room talk with another guy, but actually sexually abusing a White House intern, in the Oval Office? I don’t recall either of you old hags having an issue with that. In my view, actions speak louder than words.

So to all of you so-called “women’s rights” activists and social justice snowflakes, I’ll say two things: 1) I respect your right to march and organize even if I think you’re all ignorant, and 2) your agony is my joy. Get over it, and, more importantly (and seriously), get a life.

…and I think this ought to send a message that the days of a community organizer’s Justice Department allowing violent rioters to be caught and released with nothing more than a slap on the hand are over. I don’t have any problem with folks protesting, but you destroy the property of others or prevent folks from making a living and getting around, well that’s gonna be a problem. And it’s about time.

This so funny, and so true:

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:02 | Comments (0)
January 20, 2017

To all my friends on the other side of the political aisle, all I can say is, swallow your pride and get on board and let’s work to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN together!

Make no mistake about it: the Trump Train is leaving the station, and you have two choices: get on it, or find yourselves under it. Rest assure, the Shank household will be having our own little inauguration party with champagne and all kinds of finger foods. This day has been coming for so long, can’t wait to see what the new Prez has in store.

Congratulations, President Trump!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 03:53 | Comments (0)

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