What’s A Guy To Think…..

Yahoo Headlines:

Stocks Careening Between Hope and Greed

Greek Finance Minister Resigns…Crisis Deepens.

New Home Sales Highlight Continuing Recovery.

Gas Prices Are Silver Lining For Economy.

Is The modern Day Depression Already Here?AD: Men Boost Testosterone With One Trick….No Joke

Now I am a man of small mental resources. I hinge on every bit of info that comes my way. Should I be up or down? Should I get more meds? Should I be happy or sad. Please tell me. I thought I was happy but obviously the pundits know better. HELP!

I remember when I was really stupid. I didn’t have Geraldo, O’Reilly, Rush, Keith, Rachel or Nancy Grace, to name a few. There was no Fox, CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC, C Span, Court TV, CNBC. There was no Facebook, Twitter or sexting. You rode the train and furtively stuck the NY Daily News inside your NY Times or Wall Street Journal. That’s okay. Away from snooty suburbia you could read the rag on the subway.

Mel Allen, Vince Scully and Red Barber announced games and even a few were on TV. How bereft I was when all I had was my imagination to see the green grass of Ebbett’s Field or Yankee Stadium. Stats stopped at batting averages and WL, ERA for pitchers. Pitch count? Never heard of it with Ford, Spahn, Drysdale and Gibson.

But I am old fashioned and in the dark ages. What were we going to get accomplished at pickup games on the Village Green? You have to work on your stroke and your three seamed fastball when you were thirteen. Make sure you have two uniforms with cleats and helmets and of course pads for your arms, wrists and shins. Make sure you are properly hydrated with electrolytes and plenty of protein for a long game. Oh yes I was a neglected child.

Today they get in the car and hop into a seat that would make an astronaut proud. Unfortunately when I did get a ride it was one of a family of seven, I got the center armrest in the middle of the front seat. If I was fleet of foot.

Most of the time I rode my bike. The one without fenders, no chain guard, handle bars flipped over so you could place your bat and mitt on the front. But the best part was the center bar where I would let my buddy sit for the somewhat uncomfortable but available ride home. Helmets were for football only.

Yeah, I went to the library not Amazon for my books. AC in the house was an attic fan that could suck the sheets off the bed. We went to the movies and threw pop corn boxes at the screen until the manager threw us out on Saturday afternoons. We were home at dark. Need a ride? Just start walking and I will try to get there honey before you make it all the way home. Sure.

God, what a dope I have been. If I had all the stuff they have today I would be so much happier. I would be so much smarter and richer. I would get so much more out of life and really be able to cram tons of important things into my day.

It’s probably better to just sit here and wallow in my own ignorance. I really do want to know that the market was off 150 points immediately not later. I want to fret over Greece and Spain minute by minute. I want to know what Justin Bieber or Lebron had for lunch. Or what time of day they relieve themselves. What’s a guy to think? Probably nothing. There must be an app for that.

As Always

Ted The Great

Factoids: I am an old fart. I can’t think of any.

Golf Is A Many Splendored Thing….

This week’s U.S. Open led me back to an unpublished piece I wrote a little while back. With a great weekend of golf behind us, it somehow seemed appropriate.

It is said you learn more about a person in playing 18 holes of golf with them than you do over twenty years of normal interaction. You find out how that person handles adversity. Do they cheat? How do they treat people like bag boys and caddies? Their spouse? Is it all about them? Great studies in human nature.

Low handicappers as rule are slow and  somewhat self absorbed. They want to hit that perfect shot. When they do and when they don’t, they want to tell you all about it. And of course they will tell you right away what club they hit. Who really cares what club you hit? Is it on or off the green?

High scorers are different. They spend hours over the ball. Not from concentration but indecision. Let me see? Are my hands right? What about my aim? I have to remember what the pro said about taking it back. Will you just hit the friggin’ ball? Self conscious? Excuses. Excuses.  I looked up. I pulled it. I shanked it. Don’t ever say that word. It is either a pitch out or a Chinese hook.

Betting is another thing. It should be straightforward but sometimes has so many variations you could be up or down big in the space of a few shots. The most I have ever heard bet on the course was $100,000. Michael Jordan usually plays for $25,000. Me? I love a $2 or $5 Nassau but that is considered bush league by today’s standards.

There was a story going around about Gulph Mills Country Club on the Mainline in Philly. It seems several years ago three young turks were teamed up with the president of Sunoco in a Saturday morning pickup game. The hot shots wanted to play for big money and kept needling the CEO. Exasperated, the senior exec asked the biggest mouth how much money he made last year? He replied, $100,000. He said, “Fine, I’ll roll you dice for that and then we will play a two dollar Nassau.” Case closed.

I love to needle and in turn have it shot right back. Banter takes on whole levels of finesse especially as one’s opponent is about to strike the ball. I also love to cheerlead and help without becoming an authority. If you have seen my golf swing you understand why I keep instruction in big terms and not theory. KISS. Keep it simple stupid.

When he was alive, my brother belonged to quite a few golf courses. Like ten or eleven at one count. It was great when I pulled my hat down, we looked enough alike that I could come strolling into some of the finest courses in the country and have them say, “Good Morning Mr. Kenny.” Of course I  would nod and keep right on moving. I love it when a plan comes together.

The best thing he taught me was how to treat guests. He really didn’t care about how he played but rather were you having a good time. He was beyond gracious and caring to the staff and it reflected in their friendship with him. Good lessons to learn.

We had opening day at Lakewood last month. Teams of five played in a scramble where you used the best shot of the five and kept playing the hole. Great because at some point everyone contributes. I played with three great guys and one who was a pain in le derriere.

This gentleman never cracked a smile. He was a very good golfer but always complained. He would call the putts and if it didn’t break the way he thought it would, it was of course because you hit it wrong. He was aloof. He was arrogant. He took away from everyone else’s fun day.

The point is simple. He could have been so much more. I really felt sorry for the guy. It was a gorgeous day. We were on a golf course. What could really be wrong? I mentioned it to a friend and he said he had seen the act before. He stated the guy probably never had a good day in his life. How sad.

Lessons learned. Don’t take your self too seriously. Life is too short. We are on the right side of the sod. Realize how much your good or bad mood can affect others. It’s only a game. Kind of like life.

As always

Ted The Great


There are approximately 16,000 golf course in the US. Roughly 25% are private. 300 courses are maintained by the military.

We spend $76 billion a year on golf. That is split between 26 million golfers but not evenly. 50% reported spending over $1000 a year on equipment. 2% of golfers spend $15,000 or more on everything.

The most expensive public greens fee is Pebble Beach @$495. That’s about $125 per hour. Usually you can get on a local public course for $30.

It is estimated that 300 million golf balls are lost in the Us every year. Now if you are only allowed to look for five minutes, how much time do spend chasing those little white things down.

There are 5.75 million female golfers.

Only 22% of all golfers score better than 90 for 18 holes. The average score is 97 for men and 114 for women.

Remember: Every shot makes somebody happy.

Taking A Break…

It has been a crazy week. Kathy’s sister and brother in law are in town for the week. David is a thinker like yours truly and the conversations at 6:30 AM have gotten weighty. At 9:00 PM we are talked out and ready for some recharging. No, we don’t go out drinking like days of old but head for the sack.

I haven’t missed my daily dose of news and interviews and there were two special ones this last week with Tom Colburn, senator from Oklahoma and Jeb Bush. Neither are running for office and of course without the reelection pressures they spoke freely and made absolute sense. We have serious problems ahead. You know it. They know it and Washington knows it but they think somehow if they don‘t bring it up somehow the Lord will provide. My Georgetown Logic 101 didn’t teach me to see it that way.

My son rode his bike Sunday morning some 40-45 miles. His wife came in third in a biathlon on Saturday. My son in law is participating this week in Ride the Rockies which is an endurance battle to cover some 480 miles in 6 days going up and down a gazillion passes. And they think this is fun. We are taking to the car.

We cruised out of Denver this morning at a leisurely pace to head north. Boulder gave way to Lyons and a great backroad ride through small towns placed us at the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park at Estes Park. These are not the lights of Broadway.

It of course was a gorgeous Colorado day but the horizon quickly turned a dark and murky color. There is a huge out of control fire burning football field sized swathes through dense forests in a matter of moments. It is estimated the fire can travel at speeds of up to 30-40 miles an hour. The humidity has been in the high teens and gusty winds have fed this insatiable monster. Homes are engulfed in minutes and a life of striving somehow goes for naught. It is nature at its best and worst. Thank your stars.

As you enter the park the vastness is everywhere. We begin the climb up Trail Ridge Road which will launch us from an altitude of 8,000 feet at liftoff to 14,700 in the next 45 minutes. The park is about 450 square miles with still snow capped peaks standing sentry everywhere. If you have an ego, come here. You will get over it. The combination of size and eons of geologic history do make you feel somewhat insignificant.

You tip your hat to Teddy Roosevelt. Before and during his presidency he spent a fair amount of time in the West. It was his unrelenting pressure that produced places like this, Yellowstone and Yosemite. Congress could have cared less at the time. Funny how their short term thinking is a legacy borne out by their legislative heirs. Some things never change.

As you reach the summit above tree line, the tundra is the only surviving vegetative life in this unforgiving terrain. During the winter the wind howls up to 150MPH and the temperature does not get above freezing for five months.

It is not quite moonscape but the realities of life are ever present. And yet the sky is beyond Colorado blue and you are reminded of John Denver’s lyric in Rocky Mountain High. “They say that he got crazy once and tried to touch the sky”. Good stuff.

As you wend your way down the backside you go at an easy pace. It’s as if you want the feeling to last forever. The tranquility to be savored. Bleakness turns to aspens greening in the sun. There are campers and pup tents of all sorts. A man in waders is in a mountain stream fed by the snow. The water flowing from snowmelt will wind up in Denver or even LA through tributaries far and wide. You are constantly reminded of the magnificent quiltwork of nature that keeps us all alive. I wish I was better at getting that across.

As we drive back to Denver two things come to mind. We pass towns and homes of all description. Shacks and mansions sit on the same hill. Everyone has their own idea of heaven. All are glass houses. None should throw stones.

Secondly is the respite somewhere remote provides. Away from the hustle and bustle, I Phones, texting and tweeting. Some place where your thoughts are your own. A place to dream and imagine. “What if” doesn’t play out on an Excel spreadsheet but in your heart. I am glad I took a break. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

As always
Ted The Great


There are 58 National Parks in 27 states. They are administered by the National Parks Service which is part of the Department of The Interior.

They range in size from 6,000 acres to 8 million acres. Alaska and California have 8 followed by Utah with five and Colorado with four. The total area of all parks is 52 million acres.

The largest house under construction at this time is 90,000 sf in Windermere, Florida. There are several homes available to be built that range in size from 200-500 sf. I think they used to call those Airstreams. Actually, the average size of a house in the US is 2,000 sf but going down.

Ugly Americans. Sad to say as we entered the park a car in front with Texas plates no less threw a large piece of paper out of the car. Further on there were many signs saying it takes over fifty years for the tundra to recover from people stepping on it. Of course there were several groups running and standing on the frozen soil to get that one great picture. The rules don’t apply to them. Oh yeah. I forgot we are too regulated.

Driving Me Nuts……

“Summertime and the livin is easy”….well almost. I really am betwixt and between. Part of me wants to just put my feet up and set life on automatic. The weather is just perfect and the front porch continues to beckon whether it’s coffee in the morn or a glass of red and a cigar in the afternoon. Maybe I ought to reverse that order.

More than a couple of you worried about me last week. You thought I should be put on a suicide watch. Au contraire mon amis and amies. Just because the idiots running the asylum are incompetent at best, does not call for slashed wrists. Actually it just gets my engine revving more. But for now it is a kinder gentler me.

As you read this Junior Golf is starting. I have four of the grandkids in it this year. Three assemble from far and wide and stay with Gammy and Padge Tuesday night. We pick up the fourth at 7:15 AM Wednesday and we are off in the “Padgemobile”. Actually, Aiden wants to stencil that on the side of my car and put a big PEACE symbol on the hood. The kid may have potential yet.

Speaking of golf I have gone over to the dark side or on second thought the bright side. I played golf with Kathy and two of her cute friends last week, much to the hooting and howling of the peanut gallery in the men’s grill.

Now some of you are rational I hope. We played in 3:40 with two of us walking. Would you rather see a beautiful woman over a putt or one of my slug friends? They don’t fart and belch to speak of and at the end of the round they give you a big hug and a kiss. What’s wrong with that picture?

It so happened Kathy and I played on Sunday with another gal and a young lad of 11 years young. It seems he is the reigning 10 and under champ of Colorado and sports a 10 handicap…and plays to it. On the par 3 Fifth hole he put his ball on the green quite methodically. This is now starting to get a little unnerving.

TTG grimaced over the ball but managed with my ever classic swing to put it soundly on the short green stuff with a six iron bridging the 167 some odd yards. It started rolling towards the cup and in typical Tiger fashion I bent over to pick up my tee thinking I would have good chance at a birdie two. I then hear the young’un yell “It just went in the cup.” I couldn’t see that far so I had to trust his steely vision. On arriving at the putting surface there was no ball on the green but a peek inside the cup revealed my Srixon 3. A Hole In One. How about that?

I finished the round with a respectable 83. That followed one of the ugliest rounds of my life on Saturday with a generous 93. Which was preceded by a 40 for nine holes on Friday. You wonder why I think I am going crazy? I then proceeded to buy drinks at the bar and have too many vodka and diet tonics in a pint glass and life was good. Say good night, Ted.

Why all this rambling? I really have so many ways to travel. Life and its people are a mystery to me. That’s not confounding but a real joy. I love to “Ponder the Imponderables.” A good friend called me a lefty last week. I didn’t take it personally. As a matter of fact I loved it because it shows that most of the time people don’t have a clue where I am coming from. Not sure I do either.

I just want to hit life head on. I want to speak out but with some degree of purpose. I hope you do too. There are things wrong but they are not insurmountable. Another friend is apoplectic about the future of the world. He is sure we are headed to economic ruin. Maybe we are but I would sure as hell like to try and stop it rather than sitting here waiting for it to come.

I watched an interview with Charlie Rose and Larry Fink who is CEO of the investment firm Blackstone. It was one of the best I have seen on current day problems but also with thoughts on mending them. It’s the type of conversation I wish our leaders of all stripes would have. I recommend you take 40 minutes and watch it.

And so I will keep bouncing from nirvana to neurosis. It’s good for the soul. And when Kathy says I am driving her nuts I will point out to my sweet that for her it  is a putt not a drive.

As always
Ted The Great

Odds of having a hole in one…about one in 12,000 for an average golfer.

Days on which most occur..Friday Least on Sunday Dunno why.

The average golf score is 100 and has been that way for decades.
It has not changed despite changes in balls, equipment and course design.

Charlierose.com 5/31/2012 Larry Fink. While you are at it 5/30/2012 Donald Rumsfeld…have a drink ready for that one.
6/1/2012 Buch Harmon