From Sea To Shining Sea

We all survived the weekend in San Diego. No jail time. Just probation. Understanding  judge. Water. Ships. Friends. People watching. We had a blast.

There is always a rhythm to a city. This one is laid back. You don’t get the frenetic activity but rather people enjoying the water and the day. It is almost as if work is a necessary evil. Probably is. It’s not valley girls or lala. It’s just a whole bunch of people at peace with themselves. Kinda cool.

Not everyone owns waterfront property but then again they do. They crowd into beachfront bars with open patios. They pitch camps on the beach early in the morning. They have barbecues for several dozen family and friends. Some live inland but the parks and beaches are their country clubs on weekends.

Even the well off seem restrained. Sure there are mega yachts. They are well over 100 feet but everyone waves on the water. I didn’t see many fancy cars. You do your thing. I will do mine. There is a lilt to sailboats rocking and halyards banging that is music. The sea gulls though intensely disliked, have a mournful cry. It bespeaks water and sand.

But let’s talk Navy. This is a Navy town. We counted at least 25 ships in port. The roster included the megacarrier Carl Vinson. I was looking for the scrape marks where Bin Laden went over the side. There were frigates and jeep carriers and supply ships and some things that looked ominous just sitting at the dock.

Ever present were Navy security boats. Ships were surrounded by cables and buoys that I am sure were not environmental in nature. We sailed by the Amphibious Base and saw a vast array of every type of craft imaginable that were designed for one thing….The US Navy Seals.

You were proud to be an American. But you also had to look at all the redundancy and wonder if we couldn’t start saving that afternoon. Then a pair of Navy F18 jets came screaming off a runway in front of you and you knew the brass wouldn’t allow the cutbacks. Just bring the congressman down here. We’ll win him over.

There was a Swift Boat memorial replete with the only remaining boat in captivity. My friend Don arranged for them to open it up for me on Saturday morning. I hadn’t set foot on one for 41 years but nothing had changed. I could do it in my sleep.

Memories flowed back. There were the twin 50’s in the gun tub. Twin Graymarines got you up in step fast. Ever watchful. Ever wary. That was war. Yet I showed Kathy where I would tape letters to her on cassettes. That was good and I think she got it.

The last part of the base we saw was on top of Point Loma. It has a spectacular and majestic view corridor to the bay and ocean beyond. There were row upon row of headstones from WWII standing at attention. These warriors should have the best seat in the house. They earned it. It was sobering to see.

We stayed with our great friends on their 58’ Hatteras motor yacht. By the time we left even Kathy was saying she could spend a year or two there. There was a relaxed atmosphere you couldn’t imagine. Many times I played “what if” not with a spreadsheet but with my mind. Not regretting. Just reveling in all the sea has meant to me.

I also met up Saturday night with a fellow Swift boat captain by the name of Don Farrell. The last time we said hello and good bye was in Cat Lo, Viet Nam. 41 years ago. It took us about 20 seconds to melt away those so many months and decades. The only war stories we told were the fun ones. We bored everybody and drank too much, but who cared.

Don is good people. The same type as all the guys I was over there with. Just decent sorts that wanted to do their job and make sure they got everybody home in one piece. Don and I marveled at the responsibility given to us as 23 and 24 year olds. We were glad we were more right than wrong on the shots we called. I am incredibly proud to be one of them.

Trips to La Jolla, Torrie Pines and Del Mar filled out our itinerary. One of my favorite stops was a coffee shop on Orange Avenue on Coronado Island. I could hang out there for hours. There were pull carts on the Coronado Golf Course overlooking the water and I felt I could stay for another week or two or seventy five.

Life is so good whether you are on the Atlantic, Pacific or downtown wherever. Count your blessings. We are so lucky. Yes we have to get our act together. All of us. We have got such a long road ahead as a country. Let’s all pull on the oars of this boat at the same time. And yes, may we have fair winds and following seas.

Sorry for the soft soap. It’s what is in Ted’s Head right now. I will get back to deep thought next week. Request permission to come aboard, Sir.

As always

Ted The Great.




There are now 285 commissioned ships in US Navy.There were 752 in my day…1970. There were 6084 in WWII.

The US coastline of all 50 states 19,924 miles. Think of all the waterfront property, Jimmy.

The USS Carl Vinson is a shade under four football fields at 1192’.It has approximately 6000 service personnel.. Every one says they were the one who dumped Bin Laden over. It needs at least 37’of water to operate in.

Reach Out And Touch Someone


Life is full of incredible possibilities. I have had one of those fabulous weeks of interacting with people. I have met dozens of new faces, given 5 attaboys, had in depth talks with four great friends, given two talks and hugged and kissed ad nauseam. I’m in seventh heaven

I love to hug and kiss everyone. In today’s society that may get me in trouble but TS. I hug men. I hug women. Especially young women. I tell my kids, I love them every chance I get. I say “Hi Beautiful” to my granddaughter, Harper. She says “Hi Handsome” right back.

 The Irish are a wonderful lot. I had tears in my eyes on Sunday watching Rory McElroy come up the 18th at Congressional. He was hugged by his fellow countryman, Graheme Mcdowell. He was hugged by his wonderfully understated dad. He was loved by all. It was a sight to behold. Life is good.

But hugging is an art. You have to be careful because some people are reticent. Especially guys. They give you a funny look. A real funny look. They sometimes even give you a strong pushback even on handshakes. I want to give everyone a bear hug. It’s just my style.

Now kissing is a whole other gig. I kiss my wife, my daughters and sons. Not all in the same way. Guys really don’t like kissing. I kissed my homophobic brother as he lay dying and I knew it would be our last meeting. His eyes got as big as golf balls. It shook him up so much he rallied for two or three days.

My daughters think kissing me on the lips is gross. They at least do cheeks. Women for the most part just give air kisses. That’s okay. They don’t know what they are missing.

As you can probably gather I am slowly coming out of my shell. I have decided from this point forward not to take myself so seriously. Sure the market stinks. Real estate is down. I shot 100 on Saturday but came back with an 85 on Sunday. I love you man!

A young man came to wash the windows on our house the other day. His name was Brendan. Scruffy in a friendly way, he had found his way to Denver six months ago. It turns out he has been everywhere from Louisiana to Haiti to Peru and Iowa. He had simply been helping out people struck by disaster with no remuneration. No complexity and no ego. Just a very decent person. I wanted to hug him but we had just met.

I love to tell women they are pretty, when they are. My daughters think it is creepy. My wife thinks I am a flirt. She said I may get picked up….by the police. I am just having fun.

There was an octogenarian woman in church who was dressed to the nines. She had a big red hat and looked like a million. I went over and told her how great she looked. I asked if all the guys in Denver were chasing her ? She asked me if I had any older brothers?

I sit on the front porch and will engage anyone who cares. I have taken to writing a mini blog and hanging it on the fence right next to our cement goose. I leave a pen and people respond. Some neighbors. Some strangers. Just people reaching out.

We are going to San Diego this week to see great friends we haven’t seen in a couple of years. They are nuts and we love it. I also hope to meet up with an old Swift Boat buddy I haven’t seen in 40 years. Please accept a collect phone call if we all wind up in jail.

Why am I carrying on like this? Just a silly Monday morning. I played golf with my son Scott yesterday. We had dinner with him, my lovely daughter in law and their kids. I had breakfast of sorts with my two daughters. Great memories. Sappy? You bet.

In this crazy world we live in, it is sometimes just goofy fun to be a little crazy. As I said last week, life is too short. Go ahead and just hug someone. Catch them by surprise. Plant a big smacker right on their lips. If you get slapped consider it your red badge of courage. If they smile or wink at you, all the better.

As Always,

Ted The Great


Factoids for Weird Wednesday:

There are more people alive today than have ever lived……          Children laugh sometimes 100 times a day. Adults 15 times……       Women blink twice as much as men…my little chikadee ….. Finally, sneezes usually exceed 100 miles per hour



War and Medicine

I had a great conversation with a doctor Friday night. No, I wasn’t getting a physical. We were at a dinner party. He was one of those great young men that really want to heal but be rational at the same time.
I have been on a tear lately about medicine. I am in the system so to speak, since I now have Medicare. I must admit the is a lack of diligence on my part as I try to treat my wounded wing. There was treatment, cortisone shots and of course arm therapy. I cut it short. I said this is BS. I was getting sucked in.
In the late 50’s, Eisenhower (sorry kids) was president. He gave an amazing speech that warned of the formation of a military industrial complex in the US. It would so intertwine government and private industry that lines would blur. All in the name of national security.

As I went to an orthopedic group of some 30 doctors, replete with physical therapy, operating suites and a pharmacy I was literally blown away. At the number of people and the extent of treatment.

I went to see a friend who was in intensive care with some sort of liver disease. The unit was packed with poor souls trying to get back to life but for so many the route was one way. I began to think of the hundreds and thousands of doctor’s offices, ICU’s, operating rooms, therapy practices and medical suppliers all throughout this country.

Maybe it is my stage in life but it really is overwhelming. As I talked with my doc friend, I put forth that there has to be a finite amount of money we are going to spend on medicine. We can’t let it get to 25% of GDP from it’s present 15%. Which dwarfs the 6% we spend on the military today. We just can’t! It ain’t free! He agreed.

I imagine the same has been noted in the past for the military industrial complex. We have made the whole process of healing people a profit center. Okay boys and girls we have to show growth. We have to increase share price. Keep those people alive at any cost.

The war on disease is no different than our wars on other nations. We use weaponry of a different sort but damn the torpedoes and who gives a crap what it cost. We are talking human lives here. Just like national defense.

Yet I am struck by the fact that we save someone’s life late in life but that creates a myriad of problems that have to be corrected by a totally different subset of specialists. And on and on. Then lucky you will be able to spend years in a facility that will keep you living at any cost.

Am I harsh? Maybe. But is it harshness or pragmatism? I don’t want to die. At least not just yet. But there is a progression in life. It starts the day you were born. When we get to the point of being able to cure most anything I get scared. For myself as a human being and for my kids and grandkids who are going to wind up paying this bill.

It is interesting that we have waged war in Afghanistan and Iraq to the tune of $1Trillion. We have never had a raise in taxes to pay for it. In our war on disease we have never paid for it either. We are now saying bring our troops home. Maybe we should think about how far we have come in medicine and contemplate if it is time to slow down and see how we can pay for further gains.

Boeing and Northrop and Raytheon are up today. So is Pfizer, Healthsouth, St Jude Medical and Baxter. Somehow something doesn’t seem quite right. On one end it is feeding our IRAS but at the other end it is eating our lunch.

As Always

Ted The Great

Fact Thought: A person proposed a unique approach this week for those who are at odds in a discussion. Let’s just say I am a conservative and you are a liberal.

Before we start any arguing I have to spend twenty minutes telling you what you are saying about liberalism. Then conversely you take twenty minutes telling me what I am putting forth about conservatism. Now that we have that settled, let’s talk

If you can stand it here is a similar piece I wrote awhile back. Similar but at least we can get it out of the way and get me off my soap box.

Why Are We So Afraid To Die?

Kathy and I are updating our wills. You have to think of the mechanics of estate planning but you also have to address the end of life. Whether you are excited or disappointed about my prospects, I really don’t anticipate going anytime soon. But sooner or later the day comes.
I hate to say it but I am really not afraid. At least at this point. I think it is in part because I have been around 6 or 7 people either at or very close to their time of death. None of them beat the rap. They all moved forward on the path of life. Yes, all the stories had the same ending. And they should.
My mom was the best. I would visit periodically from Arizona during the last eighteen months of her life. She was determined of one thing. She was going to die at home. She fell about six weeks before she died. I swear to this day she probably broke her hip. But she wasn’t going to a hospital. That would only prolong things.
In the last days she determined she was ready to go. Why hang around she said? Her friends were gone and she wanted to see her husband and God. Kathy just wants to see God. One morning she said she prayed the rosary the night before so that she would die in her sleep. She wanted to know if I thought that was wrong? Are you kidding?
My brother wanted to spend the last day of his life playing golf at the National on Long Island. He wanted to shoot 75. He wanted to sit in the card room overlooking the Great South Bay He wanted a cigar in one hand and a martini in the other. He died in New York three years ago after 45 courageous but tortuous days in the ICU. Ugh!
Where am I going with this ? We live in an increasingly biotech world. Advances in science are hell bent on curing disease and ergo prolonging life. That’s both good and bad.
I have a neighbor with a pretty liberal bent. She felt we should provide every human being with the best in medical help. A worthy goal, but is it practical? I posed a question that tried to ascertain whether we should do this. Of course she said. But what if I have cancer and there is a treatment that could prolong my life by two months but costs a million dollars? Oh no we couldn’t do that. Am I missing something?
We have give or take 45 million baby boomers. Let’s say each one of those spends $100,000 in end of life procedures and care. Not a big number by today’s standards. Do the math. It just doesn’t work.
I am not talking about death squads but by the same token we have to inject some sense of sanity into the whole issue. As bioethicists, we have to establish parameters to long term care. As rational people we have to realize there are limits that grow with age, condition and hope for survival.
Yes this is my third rail. This is my adult conversation. I know I will hear about it but it is something that has been on my mind personally for a long time. As I set up living wills, there is an element of sobriety. There is a realism that I must feel not only as a human being but as a steward of my children’s and grandchildren’s future.
I have had a great life. If something happened tomorrow I wouldn’t in any way feel cheated. By the same token I work out hard and try to eat well so that the next 15 years of my life can be spent enjoying my grandkids and doing things with them.
If I make it beyond that I consider it gravy. If I make it too much further than that I might think God has already sent me to hell. Hang on to life. Yes, it is precious. But also read the highway signs and know when to exit.
As Always;
Ted The Great

TMI…Too Much Information




My daughter, who to some is the queen of the computer keyboard and I Phone, called the other day and said it was finally freaking her out.

She writes a daily blog, follows the news and stock market. She looks up MLS for her real estate business. She scans suppliers for her decorating clients. She has hit information overload.

To put Megan over the top takes a lot. I began to ponder. We all check our email. Might run a spreadsheet or write a proposal and then it hits high gear. Texting, Twitter, Facebook. We are socially networked. I wish it felt better.

I heard the anorexic Steve Jobs relate his latest tale of wizardry, cloud computing. A breathless wag said he only gets off his deathbed for things he feels strongly about. TMI


With the I Cloud you are no longer bound by device. You can access information from your cloud by phone, computer or Ipad.


It’s all there in front of you. 24/7. I was especially taken by the proposed usage. You can keep your music library in it. That’s the big deal.


You remember the promise at the onset of PC’s many moons ago. They were going to enable us to do things quickly and therefore have more time to ourselves. Do you know anyone who now has more time to themselves than five, ten, twenty years ago?


Just for a moment imagine the amount of texting among the teen set. Some average 150-250 texts a day. At home late at night. In class. In the car. At the dinner table. It’s just those crazy kids. Guess again.


For the adult crowd, go into a Starbucks, fancy restaurant, locker room, golf course, bar or super market. It’s everywhere. Talk to someone and the telltale buzz occurs. He or she keeps looking at you but you know they really want to see who is tweeting. Go ahead. Answer it. It has to be more important than talking to me.


Players now tweet from the game floor or the dugout. They and other entertainment stars now tell you what had for breakfast, how their digestive tract is working and how their love life or lack thereof is going. And how about Anthony Weiner ? I won’t go there.


We are now on call 24/7. You get called on the weekend. Late at night. This is important… not really. There used to be a thing called spare time but that is a thing of the past. Sorry honey, I have to take this. Then if you don’t get a response momentarily, where the hell have you been?


The scariest part of this whole thing is the power that can be corrupted. Just think that 9/11 was planned over the internet. Let’s say there are 20-25,000 Al Quaeda who have waged a terror war against the entire world. Regimes have been overthrown. Battles planned. All from their Blackberry or I Phone.


We have spent over a trillion dollars and untold numbers of our own because of this. I am not castigating Jobs or Bill Gates but be careful what you wish for. I fear it will only get scarier with hacking. When power is so easy to access, we have got a problem.


Yes we have to keep up. But I really wish so much of the time wasn’t spent on spurious endeavors. I wish the time we spend playing games could have just a small part of it learning of the world’s problems and how we might solve them.


Weiner and Ensign and Spitzer and Edwards were supposed to be knee deep in the affairs of play on words. How come they have all this spare time to follow their dalliances electronically rather that the deficit? Maybe there is a whole new deficit?


I actually love technology. My children and many of yours use it quite efficiently. Many earn their living at it. I don’t text. How the hell could I ponder if I did all that? My limited brain capacity can only handle so much. But I get it.


I am going to go out on the front porch now with my vodka and tonic. I might have a cigar. I will read the paper. I will engage my neighbors and friends face to face. Probably old fashioned but somehow that is just the right amount of information for me.


As always


Ted The Great




Emails Worldwide…

107 trillion– The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2010.

294 billion– Average number of email messages per day.

1.88 billion– The number of email users worldwide

89.1%– The share of emails that were spam.

262 billion– The number of spam emails per day (assuming 89% are spam).


Text Messaging US


 Teens in the US average 3349 text messages per month.


Over 5 billion text messages are sent in the US daily.That is in addition to emails.

Life Sucks….Or So It Would Seem.

Kathy is leaving me! I have injured my arm pretty badly and can’t play golf for another week or two. Either I go somewhere else for the daylight hours or she will. So being a wimp, I am on my way to one of my favorite haunts, Barnes and Noble.

Armed with a Venti coffee, I am now wandering around the pay as you go library and my first stop is the magazine rack. Sorry TTG, Playboy is all wrapped in plastic. There is actually some sense of order to the rack that goes from houses to sports to food to your body beautiful.

We have Self, Men’s Health, Women’s Health and good old Cosmopolitan for the vain. Splashed with lurid covers, I can learn how to “Make Your Move.” There are “Twenty Five Things that Will Drive him Wild”. Note to self. Make sure I get that for Kathy. Whew, it’s getting hot in here.

Now to the sports area, where it used to be just Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and Golf magazine. Now we have Outdoors where you can have the most challenging hikes you never knew. Powder shows you how to jump off cliffs and kill yourself. And Backpacking asks if you are really a man you will take a forty day trek with a 70 pound pack?

Finance has the siren’s call of Money, Kiplingers and Mutual Fund magazine. All will turn your IRA of $25,000 into a million overnight. Trust me.

Ah, the fashionistas. Throw out everything from last year. Since you didn’t keep what you wore five years ago or you missed the latest, don’t worry it is coming around again. Whether it is women or men, if we looked like those models I wouldn’t be writing a blog and you wouldn’t be reading it. The underlying theme of all this is that the celebrities or at least their handlers are going to make you light years better.

Several years ago I was working on a project tp put a positive spin on mental illness. I hired a couple of advertising people for the afternoon. They asked me what were the symptoms of depression? I said the major one was a lack of self esteem. All conversation stopped.

The Mad Avenue boys said, “we have a problem”. They related that their whole purpose in life was to show people how inadequate they are. They constantly barraged you with a lack of self esteem. I started to watch the TV ads for more hidden messages. They weren’t subtle. They were Mack trucks. You stink!!

Pondering as I may, I thought about all the visible and audible messages we get every day.The news. Dr. Phil. The Greatest Loser. Talk show hosts from Rush to Chris Matthews. As for those two, I listened to both one day for an hour and not one positive thought or concept was conveyed by either. We get barraged every day. All day long. Negative. Negative. Negative.

Don’t you get it? Your life is horrible. If you don’t listen to me, vote for me, look like me, think like me, dress like me, or pray with me, your life is over. Finis!

Take golf, which I can only talk about while I am nursing my wounds. We beat each other into the ground. We take lessons. We buy the latest equipment. We still don’t get much better. And then what do we do?. We go out and play the hardest golf course we can find. Ted, do you know how cool it was to play Bandon Dunes in 45 degree temperatures and 50 knot winds? Go ahead. Tell me.

The Cordillera Valley course was designed by Tom Fazio. He is renowned for building “playable” golf courses. I played one hole on the official opening day with  Tom, President Ford, Gary McCord, and Dave Pelz.

Going down the fairway with a gorgeous view of the Gore Range beyond, I said, “Tom. You have no idea how much fun people are having playing this course.” He replied. “Ted. Isn’t that the idea?”

Life isn’t as bad as we make it out to be. We listen to too many authorities and fail to rely on our own instincts. Look around at what you have physically as well as spiritually. It’s much more than you need. Be honest but don‘t beat yourself up. Be glad you don’t live in Tripoli or Calcutt

Life doesn’t suck. It couldn’t be better.

As Always

Ted The Great


Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz…and his first shirts had toilets on them instead of ponies.                There are 400,000 parasites and twenty five types of bacteria exchanged in one French kiss. Isn’t it romantic?          400,000 houses in the US do not have indoor plumbing. I love nature.            It is estimated that .7% of the world is drunk at any given point in time. Hoc est hic.                There are 100 billion neurons in the average brain. How many did you kill over the long weekend?…….I GOTTA GET BACK TO GOLF SOON !