And Furthermore…..

The hurricane season is upon us but Mother Nature has really been getting her hits in all year long. How soon we forget! Earthquakes in New Zealand, Japan, and of course the east coast of the United States. Tornadoes in Joplin. Drought in Texas. Flooding in the Catskills and Vermont. What is going on here?

If you are living in any of the affected areas you are quick to use the term disaster. And for you it really is. We have had the pine beetle wipe out huge sections of our forest greenery in Colorado. We have had raging wildfires taking out palatial homes and cabins alike. It has not been good.

In our scientific, uber cyber world this seems not only inconvenient but downright scary. But wait. Don’t we have satellites to do something about it ? Don’t we have an app. When I built my house the agent didn’t mention these things on the disclosure forms. There has got to be a way I can sue him, the county or God or something?

In Katrina we didn’t do enough. In Irene we did too much. FEMA screwed up in Louisiana. Ron Paul says we don’t need them at all. The TV and radio got carried away. There was only $5 billion in damage not $8 bill. The stock market soars. No sweat. Only 40 poor souls lost their lives.

Has any one waxed eloquently about the beauty of the forces of nature? I have been at sea in a raging hurricane. Sure you get a little nervous but there is a majesty of a rolling angry wave that is all its own. We didn’t fear the sea. We respected its power.

There is something quite amazing about an earthquake. The epicenter was about 80 miles south of DC. It’s tremors and reverberations were felt in Cleveland, New York and Canada in a matter of seconds. I though of the massive fissures in the earth as our planet pushed here and there, searching for some leg room. Not to destroy but just to relieve pressure. Plate upon plate of rock and magma, heaving and groaning thousands of feet deep in the earth’s bowels and oceans.

We are so quick to equate power with money or guns. Armadas. Flying fortresses. Missiles that can wipe out cities in seconds. We throw accolades at rock stars, movie queens and sporting heroes of all types. The almost farcical spectacle of a Kardashian wedding. We ooh. We aah.

Whenever I would hike in Vail I would come upon this glen or that. I almost imagined I was the first human being to ever set foot on this little piece of earth. The incredible beauty. The deafening silence. Then you began to hear. Birds. Animals. All in unison. Better than any concert I have been to.

We live in the city and the other evening I took my sentry duties on the front porch. There was the faint rustling of the trees on a beautiful summer night. It had rained a little earlier and the smell was sweet. I thought that even in all the turmoil of the world, life wasn’t so bad after all.

I guess in the midst of all the craziness of this thing we call life, I actually revel in the uprisings of Mother Earth. I really do look at our planet as a vibrant organism. A person prone to tantrums. A beast that can be tranquil and hibernate for only so long. Like every other human thing it wants to be appreciated and loved. Not just used and thrown away.

I am not sure we have done a good job. We have really laid waste in so many ways. I am not a tree hugger per se but I have the utmost respect for this wonderful, gift giving hunk of a planet.

I believe God has put it here but let’s not debate theology. All I know is we should be thankful and understand we have to give something back if only by protecting it. Kiss the earth? Why not? She would love it.

As always

Ted The Great


The earth has a width of approximately 8 miles.

The fresh water in the entire world comprises 3% of all waterOf that approx 70% is in glaciers and 30% in groundwater(lakes and rivers)

The earth’s surface is 28% earth,72%water

As a country we put almost 5 1/2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As a planet we put 29.9 metric tons into the atmosphere. No matter what you think about global warming this can’t be good.

This and That II

My wife as always questions my sanity. Unfortunately a lot of others do also. But there really is a method to my madness. I just happen to have about 17 thoughts going on at the same time. I still haven’t figured out if my train of thought is a high speed bullet or a switching engine in the yard. Oh well.

Health: We went to the ball park on Saturday. A very full figured couple was sitting in front of us. He was eating a corn dog and she had a plate of fried something with powdered sugar on top. That was bettered in the fourth inning by a big plate of nachos laden with melted Velveeta cheese. But spare them criticism. They were washing it down with Coors Light.

Now you can do whatever you want with your body. It’s the American way. But when this couple checks into the hospital a few years from now with diabetes, clogged arteries or high blood pressure will they say “I screwed up?”….or will they just whip out their Medicare or insurance card and say “Heal me!” Either way you and I are being screwed.

Money: While watching the ballplayers, there was the Rockies third baseman who bats around .270. He is considered a bargain because he only makes $2 million a year. Then there was Troy Tulowitzki who makes $15 million. If you think about it, his one year salary is like being paid $250,000 a year for 60 years. Rush makes $50 million per year. Hmmmm.

Working at it: Practice makes perfect. My young priest buddy was commenting on what it takes to be a good Catholic or any religion for that matter. Do you just listen to what the higher ups say and if you agree with them, you will be saved ? Or do you really work at it. Questioning, thinking and trying to get it right. I am wondering if the same holds true in being a husband, a father, an American? I think so.

Golf: The game of golf is more than interesting. If you know my swing you know why. But you know what? It usually lands in the fairway. What’s better is just watching your fellow players. You can learn a lot about a person in 18 holes. How does he handle success? Adversity?

Is it a walk in the sun or a testosterone test? You have the club announcer? After every great shot he proudly calls out in amazement what club he hit. The bad ones …well you know I was distracted by you picking your nose. How well do you treat the caddy or bag boy? Especially if you have had a bad day.

Enter the scraper. He hits his putt within four feet and picks it up with disdain that he didn’t get a birdie or par. Ahem! Didn’t you forget something? Oh you know, “I always make those.” No wonder his handicap is low. And of course the cheat. User of the leather wedge. Let him go. It ain’t worth the effort.

Jobs,Jobs,Jobs:  Cure to joblessness. Dog Grooming. We don’t own a dog now and when we did, Mason the Wonder Dog was never coiffed. But we were watching Mr. Magoo for our neighbors and of course I forgot to bring him for his appointment. I casually called and they said to call back In three days and they would see if they could work him in. I then proceeded to call every pooch salon in the Yellow Pages and was told by one, she was not taking on any new clients. Puuulease. It’s a friggin’ dog!

Sweets: Ice cream maker. I am really getting carried away with this. At first it was for the grandkids. Now I am a mad scientist. I can put Bailey’s, Meyers Rum, Cookies, raisins or chocolate chips in just about anything. I have mixings to freezer down to about 30 minutes. Cleanup is another story.

Medical Waste: A friend told me this morning that he had heart problems and was kept over night for observation and a procedure. Total bill: $51,000. I work in a home where one wing is hospice and the other is senior critical care. The hospice people know when they are leaving. The old folks just linger on, staring into space. I guess this is what you call Quality of Life.

Anniversary: The 9/11 anniversary that is looming. My daughter was married on 9/15. We were in Colorado. I used to walk every day through the WTC. I knew 21 of those poor souls that perished. I watched the TV screen in my living room overlooking the turning aspens as many of their pictures flashed by. One was Fred Kelly who sat next to me on the trading desk for many years. Two others I had given their first job on Wall Street.

We were all one no matter where we were. People stayed in their homes. We prayed for survivors not vengeance in those early days. Flags flew everywhere. Tears flowed easily. We hugged. We talked. The skies were silent. Where did those days go? Will we ever be one again? Will it be too late?

As Always

Ted The Great


The Fed made emergency loans during the financial crisis to several banks totaling $1.2 trillion dollars. Unbeknownst to any one. That’s roughly the same amount involved in 6.5 million delinquent mortgages.

Tom Brady makes $31 million a year. His super model wife beats him out by earning $45 million per year. I can’t throw a football so I better lose weight. Look out Fabio.

62 % of American households own a pet. There 86 million cats and 78 million dogs. Last year we spent as a nation $50.84 billion on pet care.

We pay the members of congress approximately $235,000 of salary and benefits per year. In the last 10 years, this is up 89%. The rate of inflation has been 26% over that time period.


It costs US $ 5.21 mill to run the majority and minority leaders offices in the Senate. $5.07 million to run the Speaker of the House offices. We spend $94 mill in printing costs. The chaplain’s office in the House costs $179,000. The Senate chaplain’s office is funded at $415,000. Go figure.


Whenever I get to thinking, the first place I go is to the dictionary. Leadership is the ability influence people and get them to accomplish an objective or common goal. Fair enough. I think this begs the first question as to the common goal.

We live in a country that is wildly diverse. We should be probably four or five countries in reality. Ethnicity, spiritual values and economic goals all stir the pot. So let’s at least try to come up with a common goal.

Prosperity should be a start. Then what is your version of prosperity? Let’s just say economically it covers obscene wealth to subsistence. It should also be living in peace and some sense of security. Dems and Republicans have different ways to get there but let’s leave it there for now.

Now we need a leader or leaders. I say leaders because we have to encompass industry, spirituality, government and military to name a few. But who is she or he?

I’d say the person must have clearly defined goals and understand those goals implicitly. Have them down cold. Bolstered in their beliefs they must communicate them clearly to their flock. They must lead by example. Walk the walk. They must take care of their entire people. They expect excellence not perfection. They are humble and of strong character. Know anybody?

The masses will be eyeballing your sincerity as well as your knowledge. If they are going to commit to you they want to really feel it from the heart. Ambivalence has no quarter. They will look how you stay on message and how easily you are swayed by man. money and fame. They will pore over your weak points and attributes alike.

But the undeniable fact is that we cry out for leaders. I am not always sure why. Are we really lemmings or sheep? Why do some of us wait to step forward ? Are we really afraid? I think on this end we like the security of the crowd. We want to be loved so why take a chance? Deep down we may fear success but that’s enough of that.

But it is interesting that a team of high achievers still looks for a leader. The current race for a Republican nominee is outstanding for its breadth as well as its outcomes. A football team is lost without their star quarterback. A company loses its way because a CEO moves on. A country club goes down hill by the action or lack thereof of a board. Fascinating when you think about it.

I think of Obama. He really had people going for him. He was selling the crack of Hope and Change. And the country lined up.

Did he know his product cold? B. Did he communicate it? During the election B+. Afterwards C-. Was he humble? C- On transparency…D. On resisting outside influence C-. On staying true to his school…C- Not exactly the Dean’s List.

I think his plan was scattershot that was further exacerbated by a crappy economy and a pursuit of healthcare reform at the absolute worst times. He relied on guys like Emanuel who were old school hard nosed. His rhetoric went from exciting to professorial. He showed no humility. He wanted to change Washington but he got sucked up in the vortex of the Beltway and reelection.

My critique is academic not political. It goes hand in hand with who the hell else is out there. I could go through Congress but I don’t see anyone there. Correction. I do see some there but the upcoming elections and normal course of business disqualifies them. We need lovers not fighters. It ain’t there now.

We have Jamie Dimon but to me he is suspect. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates seem close. But where are the MLK’s, Pope John XXIII‘s, the Gandhis, the Regans, the Billy Grahams, the Eisenhowers and the FDR’s ? Who would you rather have? Joe Torre or Mitch McConnell? Joe Montana or Harry Reid? I just don’t see them out there.

Maybe you can’t be a leader of the people. Maybe we are too fractured. In trying to build consensus we are barraged by the talk show hosts playing to their corps. We are discouraged. We don’t see the answer. No one has dreams right now.

Maybe we just have to lead ourselves. Maybe we all have to speak out at once. Not necessarily in unison except in the pursuit of action. The president of Starbucks just came out and challenged all of us to withhold any donations of any kind to incumbents whether they be corporate or personal until the Congress and the President get a viable solution to the budget and deficit mess.

Cut off the PACs. Cut off the lobbying. My vote is the cattle will low in the fields and keep on grazing. My bet is that we don’t have the balls. And that is too bad. We could show leadership in ourselves. Oh well. What time are cocktails? Do you want to hear about my golf game today? Wonder how my stocks are doing.

As Always

Ted The Great.


The human heart weighs 10ozs. Some of you remember when LBJ came on and said, My fellow Americans, I come to you with a heavy heart. How heavy?

Men have 1.5 gals of blood in their body. Women have .9 gals.

Draw your own conclusions

Sign language users actually sign in their sleep.

The average person grows 590 miles of hair in their lifetime. I must have really been speeding as a kid.

The largest hog, Big Boy, weighed in at 1904 pounds. I feel skinnier already.

Ted’s Head…No Wonder I Am Bald

Someone asked me the other day what my blog is about. I said that I wished I could tell them. I literally have hundreds of ideas floating around my little Irish brain. My poor wife will ask me as we are driving what in God’s name is going through my mind? Now or twenty seconds ago?

Some things are more than obvious. Over the last few weeks I could dedicate my creative time to the National Debt, the Congress, the President, Syria, Somalia, space, nature, catastrophes, Muslims, healthcare, God, friends, Tiger Woods, hospice and Wall Street. That was easy.

I am currently reading “Money Driven Medicine,” “Bought and Paid For” by Charlie Gasparino, “Unbroken” and “The Jesuit’s Guide to Just About Everything,” I watch all the Sunday talk shows on tape and PBS News every Evening. I especially like Brooks and Shields on Fridays and try to tape Charlie Rose most nights.

I try to spend some of my time talking to young people. I want to hear their dreams as well as their problems. I take them on to try and help as well as learn. I am fascinated by how many times our lives are parallel and how often we are worlds apart. I have to constantly remind myself that there are many roads to travel to get to the same point.

I find myself planning more and more. This is not my forte. I usually figure what is going to happen in my day about twenty minutes before I have to do it. Some of my greatest buddies plan weeks, months even years ahead. That sort of panics me.

As you get older you have to plan. I know many of you are well heeled and your biggest worry is to keep breathing. I know some of you are young enough where planning is a waste of time. But basically I just want to figure out a game plan for the next thirty years. There is longevity in the family but Kathy is hoping that gene therapy will have totally different result. I am hiring a taster.

Physically I want to be in decent enough shape to be able to play golf with my grandkids into their late teens early twenties. I want to dance at their weddings or at least not be drooling in a corner. I was doing cannon balls off the diving board a few weeks ago to the delight of the grandkids. So we will see.

I want to have enough money to make sure we are comfortable. We all might have a different concept of comfortable but Kathy and mine is pretty simple. We have three or four world trips we want to take and be able to pay for them. Cars are just transportation right now. We are not really into making a statement.

I hope I go out of our house feet first. Kathy and I have had 29 real estate closings in forty years of marriage. I think I would be really pushing it with one more. The grandkids seem to dig it. They all have their own personal water guns provided by yours truly. The front porch will always be there day and night. Life is good.

When I am at a dinner I always like to ask the qestion of people as to how old they feel? The answers are interesting. Me? I literally feel like I am in my late thirties ,early forties. Kathy says some times  I act like a two year old. I hope so.

Ted’s Head thinks about life, love, the world and of course all of you. It really humbles me that people would think I have something to say. I really try not to play to the audience but speak what is on my mind.

Someone said I was a screaming liberal. Someone said I was way too conservative. A few of you have said I am thoughtful. Some have said I raise something in their soul. I hope a little of all of the above is true.

I hope you will strike back if you feel offended. I hope you bring me down if I pontificate. I hope as always that I just get you to think. In my writing as in other things I think all the time. It is my way of being alive. My way of being real. Thank you all for being part of it.

As Always

Ted The Great


This is the 37th edition of Ted’s Head.

There are about 110 hardy souls that read it on a regular basis. I hope if you are committed due to severe brain damage they will still let you have a computer.

There are just under 4,000 hits so far in our little journey together. Just bring it up. You don’t have to read it. It’s good for the stats.

There have been 27 comments on the blog. I love them so keep them coming. Except for the guy that keeps booing from the cheap seats. Just kidding.

Always feel free to pass it along. Especially anonymously. I understand

My New Girlfriend ..Or Three……..


This was quite a weekend. Hot is the watchword here but it is true everywhere these days. We were invited to a concert on Friday night by some great friends. It took place at the Denver Botanical Gardens. It is but a few short blocks from our “house in the city.” The day’s heat gave way to a balmy and gorgeous evening.

The venue is an idyllic one. In their wisdom, the Garden cognoscenti placed a grass amphitheater with the stage in the center of these plants and fountains. Open air, it holds probably 3500-4000 people. You can bring a picnic dinner and of course some vino. Pull up a blanket or a folding chair. It really doesn’t get much better.

The star attraction was Roseanne Cash(Johnnie’s daughter). The apple didn’t fall far. She had a sophisticated but mellow way about her. She is not unlike Norah Jones. A little jazz. A little C and W. Just right for a night like this. Very cool.

We couldn’t help but notice a group nearby who had set up a table full of this and that. There was a woman in a wheelchair and they all seemed to be doting on her. Several friends tended to her every want. They were at the top of the rise so she could have easy access to the hardened exit path.

As the concert wore on, they packed up their wares but lingered on the walkway. Two of the women were dancing as others did. Then they took the hands of their friend who was trapped in her chair. Stationary as she was, they twirled and laughed.

I stepped over and asked if they minded if I cut in. I did my best American Bandstand moves and she was obviously delighted. When a pretty girl smiles at me I have to keep going. I gave her a big kiss and thanked her for the dance. She thanked me for flirting with a helpless old woman. Not the case. We both laughed.

I spoke with her friends and found out that Nola was 66. She was diagnosed with ALS(Lou Gehrig’s Disease) three years ago. She obviously had been an athlete. They thanked me. I said the pleasure was all mine. I have thought about her so many times this weekend.

Saturday there was golf and other distractions from the fiasco in DC. Sunday morning brought me to 7:30 mass. There is a great young priest named Pat Dolan. He really has a way about him. Relaxed and forthright he truly gets you to thinking. In today’s world his homily was about critical thinking.

He simply stated that we should get away from celebrity thinking. Just because so and so who is famous thinks this way or that it doesn’t mean we have to take it as gospel truth. Harry Reid. John Boehner. Mitch McConnell. Barack Obama. Maybe even the Pope. I said that. He didn’t. But think for your self. I am trying.

After church I went to Porter Hospital. I may have mentioned one of my goals has been to get into hospice work. My task today was to help out on Butterfly. It is for those under 18 who are dying or suffer a life threatening disease. This was a day long program. It was for patients and their siblings. It was there I met my other girl friend for the weekend. She was eight years old.

She was a sibling and she told me her sister had gone to heaven. I asked her when and she simply replied, “Last week”. She said the shoes she had on were the ones she had worn to the funeral. She was calm and loving and almost matter of fact. Her acceptance of life and death blew me away.

I can’t go into details but suffice this day, although exhausting, shook me out of the sameness of everyday life. Hospice has a way of doing that. It reminded me of Fr. Pat a couple of weeks ago. He asked if we were bugged by the government ? The heat? The stock market? Your golf game? “How dare you” was his retort. “How dare you!” Think of where we are in relation to the rest of the world.

I am not on a religious kick but I am on a spiritual one. For the four hundredth and thirty ninth time I am taking stock. I look around me. I really wonder how long I can take all I have and not be incredibly grateful. Maybe you all give thanks but I do such a lousy job at it.

This weekend finished with a special on Somalia. Seven million human beings are in true danger of starving to death. I am amazed at the Doctors Without Borders and the women of this worldwide help program or that. They are beyond compassionate and devoted human beings. Whatever I do is a drop in the ocean. I have got to do more.

A friend called earlier. I was not in a bad mood but a very contemplative one. I was trying to find the right words to say. The only way I could was by putting pen to paper. I hope it comes across as honest and frank talk. It’s all I got.

Those women at the concert and Porter Hospital and in Somalia got to me. I wonder if they know they are in in my head. I am in a funny time where everything around me affects my ideas and actions. Some for the better. Some for the worse. What a marvelous world. Thank you ladies.

As Always

Ted The Great


There are hundreds of jobs in the administration that have yet been filled due to Congressional oversight or lack thereof.

The FAA had to furlough thousands and stop several construction projects (which employ people) because the Congress can’t pass an authorizing bill that most agree upon.

Barclay’s and HSBC stock goes up because they are firing people. Stock market goes down because unemployment is up and personal incomes are down.

Ever since the threat of a downgrade by Moody’s and S and P the yield on the ten year US Treasury bond has gone down over the last three months from 3.3% to 2.7% making it in essence more valuable.

If we sold all of the gold in Fort Knox the gold price would plunge at a dizzying rate possibly making the dollar worth more.

I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer but does any of this make any sense to anyone?