Something’s Happening Here…

Is it me or are we starting to come out of this thing? As I travel about the country I get the feeling that everything is going to be alright. I was speaking with a friend who stages homes. Her business stinks because people are selling houses quickly rather than having to move in chi chi trappings. They are looking good all on their own.

Healthcare costs are actually leveling off rather than soaring to meteoric heights. Say what you will but hospitals are finally getting the idea you can’t gouge the hell out of people. The fellow who wrote the tome for Time may have the unwashed masses questioning their doctors and their litany of tests. Amen.

There are cardiac and cancer centers cropping up everywhere. I think this is overkill(if you excuse the pun) but it may have some sort of sobering effect on the populace. They will have choices and will shop. That’s a little dicey when we talk about medical outcomes but they are beginning to realize they have alternatives. We still have a long way to go but we’ll take all we can get.

My daughter is an interior designer to the up and coming hot shot set. She charges less than the big timers but her plate is full. Maybe that is why. She has even hired here sister part time which is evidence of a boom or a touch of insanity for both.

Restaurants are the most amazing part. Le Cirque not exactly, but we do inhabit some decent feeding troughs. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. You name it and the tables are full. We even had an emporium of eats in Denver taking itself just a little too seriously. I asked for a table for four at 7:00PM. The obviously nouveau riche maitre’d said we could come at 6:45 or 7:15. I said I was coming at 7 and to knock off the New York crap.

The Senate passed a budget for the first time in four years. We are actually talking about some element of gun control. I sat there somewhat disbelieving as NRA chief Wayne La Pierre said that a background check was delaying HIS people from buying guns for a couple of days. Then with a straight face he castigated Mike Bloomberg for spending $12 million on ads touting action on gun control that Wayno felt subverted the political process.

Now correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t the NRA give a fair amount of dough or at least threaten reps with extinction if they don’t agree with them? Isn’t that subverting something when polls show 88% of the country is for backgrounds checks? Do as I say not as I do.

Gay marriage. Immigration reform. We may even talk about a balanced budget and the deficit in the not too far distant future. Obama actually coughed up a possible admission that entitlements might be addressed. The only really depressing part was the number of amendments to the budget as passed. Some of them were truly bizarre. Funny until you consider that they had to be…. considered.

We survived the fiscal cliff, a Moody’s downgrade and now at least the front end of sequester. We canceled the White House tours for effect. We’ve closed some towers at obscure airports but I think on a planning basis we might be getting the word out that this can work. You mean TTG that we did not need full-time round the clock staffing at Baker Field in Ottumwa Iowa?

Now Al Sharpton has been saying we need spending but I think we tried that a couple of years ago and found very little makes its way through the morass of bureaucracy to fill those “shovel ready jobs”. About the only infrastructure that is getting built is in DC. Take a look at the backdrop next time a pol is on TV and count the number of cranes.

Color me reckless but I even see a glimmer of hope out of Rome. This guy Frances can’t be all bad. He’s a Jesuit and a down to earth guy. There’s going to be a glut in the used limo market in Rome. Can’t you just see the red hats of the Curia cringing as they saw the “man” getting on the bus and carrying his own bags. Get the popcorn ready.This could be good.

Yesterday I was sitting by the beach smoking a cigar and enjoying a vodka and tonic. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed two preteens walking up from the shore. They were laughing and they were obviously identical twins. As they got closer one had on what looked like a flower colored cast on her leg. Nearing me I realized it was her leg….artificial.

A friend told me her story. It seems that she had cancer earlier in life. She had to have the leg removed and lost all her hair. I am sure she wondered if I was undergoing chemo. But in her own words she beat it and was moving on with life. In my words she was both a heroine and a role model….for all of us.

I wish I could make her a poster child for the US of A. For the downtrodden and swells alike. I’d like her to go before Congress and the President. Tell them to stop the nonsense and speak of moving forward. I wish she could be a constant reminder that life deals you bad cards as well as straight flushes. You just don’t know and that is both the beauty and the tragedy of humanity.

It is sad we need reminders of broken bodies and busted dreams of kids and soldiers to get our act together. It’s a bitch I have to whack myself and you over the head with all we have. Let’s get positive. Something is happening here. Don’t get in the way.

As always,
Ted The Great

The federal budget the U.S. Senate passed contained so many proposed amendments that some of its amendments had their own amendments. The chamber voted on only a few dozen of the 572 amendments that were filed to the 94-page bill.

In each of the years 2011 and 2012, the NRA spent nearly $3 million on federal-level lobbying efforts. During the 2012 election cycle, the group laid out more than $25 million on ads primarily supporting Republican candidates or opposing Democratic ones.

The Quinnipiac University poll indicates 92 percent of U.S. voters support gun checks, and 56 percent want a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds. At post time a new CBS poll seems to show a weakening of that resolve.

Through January 2013, S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed average home prices increased 7.3% for the 10-City Composite and 8.1% for the 20-City Composite in the 12 months ending in January 2013. Kath, I think we better sell.

PS Ted’s Head is about what is going on in my brain. I have been cheerleading and personal lately because that is the way I feel. I’ll get back to being pithy but right now life is good.

I’m Playing With Myself

With all this church liturgy going on around me I feel I have to confess. On my run. On the golf course. Even while I am sitting here writing my latest epistle. I have been playing with myself. No you slugs and voyeurs. Not that. I have been playing with my mind.


I decided to take a long run yesterday. As those of you who hit the pavement know, the first quarter to a half mile sets the stage for what is to come. Your old bones and muscles loosen up and you begin to hit a pace that is comfortable but not too easy. You want to feel like you are getting something out of this. 


But your mind starts to play tricks on you. You know from this point to the park is a mile but man it feels longer today. Does your calf feel tight? I wonder how far I will be able to go? Maybe not as far as I thought. Come on big guy. Push through it. 


Then a turn for the better. The “runner’s high” starts to kick in. You know the route by heart so you start thinking about things. The miles click away as you are deep in thought. You make a plan for the day. You try to solve a problem. You try to figure out what the hell you are going to write about later on today. So far. So good.


Then reality hits you. The big turn is coming up. If you go left it’s 4 1/2 miles. If you go right it’s 7. That mind is really playing tricks on you now. Aren’t you tired? Don’t you have things to do? Screw it. You go right and just keep plodding. The last challenge is a final sprint at 6.9 miles. Aaah! I made it but there were several times the result was in question. Now you feel like king of the mountain and not Willy the Wimp.


It’s amazing how many times your psyche works on you during a simple run. It’s even better on the golf course. You get over that shot over the water. You take the club back like you have several hundred times before but something sneaks into your brain. It shorts out every circuit in your body and as you come through spasmodic eruptions occur up and down your torso. You have choked  and your ball falls short with an ignominious plop/splash. 


Now when tragedy befalls the pro and duffer alike there is an immediate rush of excuses. Did you say something in the top of my back swing? I swear I heard a car backfire. Or maybe it was that gnat farting three fairways away. Otherwise I would have executed the shot perfectly. Ditto the quarterback. Foul shot shooter. Or the hockey shot that goes wide of an open net. 


The crazy part is that the situation itself is rather matter of fact. It’s how we react in our mind that creates such incredibly different results. Life does not throw you a curve. We do. And yet people everywhere will try to blame it on someone or something else. 


I really believe in the philosophy that no matter what happens in life better or worse is because of a decision you or I have made. I have said it before but in today’s day and age it bears repeating. You lose money on an investment? You made the trade. You are married to a horror show? You said I do. You make a million dollars? Nice choice.


We tend so much to blame the economy, the weather, the sun, the moon and the stars. Woulda’s coulda’s and shoulda’s become a mantra. Get over it. Live moves on. So should you and I. Reality doesn’t suck. You and I just think it does at times. 


I have learned many things about myself over these last twenty years. First is I am trying as hard as I can. If it is not good enough for you I am sorry about that. You move on and so will I. I have also tried to set realistic goals. It does not mean I am resting on my laurels but I am also not going to blow my brains out chasing some unachievable dream. Life is too much fun not to just sit down and enjoy it. 


Lastly is I try not to take myself too seriously. Most people don’t “know who I am” and that is fine by me. It is actually more fun to be unknown and be my crazy self. I don’t have any standards to live up to except my own. 


So Bless me Father I confess. I have been playing with myself. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose. And I am having far too much fun for it to be legal. I hope all of you can do the same.


As always 

Ted The Great


The human mind probably processes around 50,000 thoughts per day, 4000 per hour or 65 per minute.  Think fast.


Why do you people choke? Researchers argue that the subjects are victims of loss aversion, the well-documented psychological phenomenon that losses make us feel bad more than gains make us feel good . (In other words, the pleasure of winning a hundred dollars is less intense than the pain of losing the same amount.) Don’t think.


In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms (or defense mechanisms) are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind[1] to manipulate, deny, or distort reality (through processes including, but not limited to, repression, identification, or rationalization),[2] and to maintain a socially acceptable self-image or self-schema.[3] Think positively


Femmes Fatales…..

Well we are here smack dab in the middle of whole bunch of rancor and discussion. “Leaning In” by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook is more than a book or controversial musing. It is candid discussion whose time has come. That’s right. From one of the male chauvinist creeps I am saying, Right On. 


That’s actually a little far from the truth. I am not as bad as I look. I have been surrounded by incredible women all my life. That’s my wife, my sister, my mother and my daughters and daughter in law and a lot of women friends to name a few. I have embraced them(well only a few literally) and cheered them on. In my own realm the above are so incredibly talented and just great people. I really don’t get the uproar. But then again I am a male.


It’s funny when I go to parties I drift to the left or the right as the case might be but it is usually in the direction of the opposite sex. They are fun and more than willing to enter into any type of conversation. Now  I’m not the sharpest pencil in the drawer but given the option of a frank discussion of this or that current event or the shot by shot recreation of some bozo’s golf game, what do you think I am going to do?


My somewhat alien outlook was reinforced several years ago as I departed J.J. Kenny. My brother Kevin asked me who I thought should head up the trading desk? I said without hesitation that Anne Conwell, a highly talented proven leader should. He simply stated, “No, seriously?” Anne didn’t get the position and in all candor she did not push for it which I think is the point of the book.


My sister and mom felt duty bound to their husbands and family which was understandable but sad in a melancholy way. They both had an enormous amount to contribute to both the corporate theater and world as a whole. An exaggeration? I think not. 


My wife approached things from a somewhat different angle. By her own choice her chosen profession was to be a mother. She could not have worked harder or with more ease. She was beyond good and has demonstrated that time and again as she advises her children and has now taken up the mantle with her grandchildren. She and I have been a good team but I would not feel differently if she had chosen a different lot in life.


How did this crap start or more importantly how is it perpetuated in a basically evil premise in so many parts of the world? Woman are not second class.This isn’t cultural but barbarian. How we accept that as a country among backward nations is beyond me. In so many cases it is considered a matter for diplomacy, which in my mind is just looking the other way. 


 I guess we can trace the male superiority complex back to the caveman era and all that hunter gatherer jazz. Well now there are more women graduating from college and getting PHD’s than men. They are a larger part of the electorate. Stay in the Bronze or Iron Age and get left behind mes amis. Kathy says and I really have to agree with her if we had women running the place we would have a lot less war. I’ll vote for that.


I listened in a distracted way to a special on PBS re feminism. While working on my blog I heard Gloria Steinem and a plethora of some pretty angry women. They not only professed their equality or superiority but a vitriol that bordered on a total detestation of anything with a penis. I couldn’t help but feel they had met their enemy and were taking no prisoners. If they did I shudder to think of the atrocities they would heap on my compadres at the female Abu Graib.  


I was actually hurt by the whole presentation not only as a man but as a human being. Color me human but I can get just as pissed off by Jane Fonda or Nancy Pelosi as I can by some ignorant slob. I can’t walk on people whether male or female. A vile hatred based on your sex doesn’t do it for me. I guess that is in some way where we have come. Too bad. 


As for the Catholic Church and my somewhat disengaged feelings, I really have a problem with an organization that espouses the equality of man(woman) but says that woman should not be qualified to become priests. I have a problem with a government that doesn’t really reflect its people in both numbers and makeup.


I don’t like heavy handed women but I feel the same way about arrogant men. It shouldn’t be who is in charge but how the hell can we all figure out a way to make this thing work. We all have our strengths…and our weaknesses too. Let’s try for a minute to hear the dialogue and not get hung up if it is coming in alto or bass. 


I guess I will have to give up my pass for the men’s grill. I may not be able to play in men’s day anymore. I will forfeit my key to the frat house. For every door closed there is one that opens. In actuality I would hope we could hang up our jockstraps and our bras as well as our egos. Life’s too short and there is too much work to be accomplished. Let’s not complicate this thing any more than it is.


As always

Ted The Great



My thanks to theology Prof. Kathy Petrie for pointing out the reign of Constantine and the politicization of the Church began in the 300’s not the 600’s. Mea culpa.

A good friend passed along a website that has made me reconsider my position on gun control. Take a look.


 In 2003, there were 1.35 females for every male who graduated from a four-year college and 1.3 females for every male undergraduate. That contrasts with 1960, when there were 1.6 males for every female graduating from a U.S. four-year college and 1.55 males for every female undergraduate. 


In the sequester I think it is time for corporate America to sponsor certain government activities that have been curtailed. The DEA could have a Mexican Drug Cartel fund it. NIH and the FDA by the drug companies. White House tours could be underwritten by the Republicans. The Thunderbirds by Ford. And last but not least The Blue Angels by the porn industry. 






Holy Sequestration…….

As a Christian and hopefully a Catholic I have been watching the Red Hats do their thing in Rome. I hate that they wear red. I hate that people kiss their rings. I hate that so many have gone so far astray.

I have told you before my faith is strong but my religion is teetering on collapse. You say it is just a passing thing but I think not. Christ was a simple man. He shunned politics. He had no visible wealth. He would talk to people in a conversational way. For all His heavenly power he was a very down to earth man.

He turned the reins over to Peter and Paul. They were very strong but of disparate views. Peter wanted this whole thing to be centered in Rome and Paul had bigger ideas. He traveled far and wide talking at Ephesus(Ephesians) and Philippo(Philippians) and Gallations(I guess that’s Gaul). You get my point.

They went along at a good clip until the 600’s when the Emperor Constantine saw a good thing and wanted to capitalize on it. He made Catholicism the religion of the empire and the road went downhill. This intertwining of men’s souls and their pocketbooks could not be good.

The church with its new found importance started having material things heaped upon it. This wasn’t necessity but the love of the finer things in life. Concurrent with this was the gradual evolution(maybe a poor choice of a word) of the coronations of kings and queens but only after the approval of the pope. So if you want to curry favor send a little gold Rome’s way.

This collection of wealth became more profound in the 900’s but the boys in red saw a chink in the armor. You see to that period in time priests were allowed to be married. The major drawback was not celibacy but the fact when they died their estate went to family and not the Holy Mother Church. Ergo they decided priests could no longer get married. They needed the dough.

They progressed along until the beginning of the Renaissance. You see the Golden Age was not exactly an explosion of creativity as it was once again the power of money. The royalty and doges of every sort discovered that the one with the most lauded artist had the power. Let’s cover the ballroom, boudoirs and sitting rooms with the most ornate and splendiferous art we can find. Do you think the Sistine Chapel was an accident?

The Sforzas, Medicis and Borghesis not only filled the halls with goodies but realized what a power center the Pope was. By figuring who was going to rule empires the Pope really had the last say. As it turned out the “families” raised sons to be pope. The “princes” aka the boys in red shared in that power. Good stuff was showered on all.

The power of the cardinals, bishops and priests really hit high gear.Indulgences.Orgies. Good times. No one could figure out why Luther wanted a reformation. Heathen! Non believer! He hit the nail on the head and no one liked it. The clergy reverted back to “if you don’t listen to me you are going to die in hell.” Strong stuff before Google and Facebook. Do you believe? Yes, I believe.

Now you believers and non believers alike are saying why is TTG teaching history or even worse theology? Because my friends, history has a way of repeating itself. Please bear with me.

Let’s go back a couple of hundred years when the founding fathers had an idea. It was simple and the pomp and circumstance was kept to a minimum. The assemblies were in Washington, Williamsburg and Philadelphia but I don’t know that anyone played Hail to the Chief at that time.

As time went on they kept the message simple and intrusion was minimal. But then again one day they realized they had power. And because they had power people were more than happy to shower wealth to curry favor. The message however simple was lost and it soon became all about them.

Shielded and separated from reality Washington became kind of like the Vatican. Shrouded in secrecy, the bastion of old men(and women), they told the people they didn’t understand. And yes if you don’t listen to them damnation or in this case recession or depression will be your comeuppance.

If you are like me you do not question the original premise but rather how it is being translated. You cannot stand the vestiges of power. You are incensed by the lack of common sense. You abhor that money has taken over a thing you hold so dear.

I am hoping the sequestered group in Rome will find some sort of Divine Guidance that says get your act together. Let’s find a guy who can stand up and face the music. Someone who worries about the common good rather than the vault. A leader who says let’s get back to basics and take all the bickering and pushing and shoving and stow it. Someone who says where we are at right now is plain wrong. Sound familiar? If they find him maybe they can tell DC how they did it.

As always

Ted The Great


The Borghese Gallery in Rome sits on acres of land and is home to millions if not billions in art collected by Cardinal(Red Hat) Borghese.

The Vatican Museum of statuaries, tapestries and other works of art can take several days to visit properly. All of the wealth entailed is the property of the Catholic Church.

The average net worth of congress is $1 million. The members of the Senate have seen their net worth increase by some 70% since 2004. The House has increased by 17%. Harry Reid is worth over $5 million and some say as high as $10 million although he has been in public service for 40 years.


In the church we use the title of reverend, most reverend, his Holiness etc. In government we say Mr. President, Mr Speaker, Governor, Mayor etc long after they have gone on their way. Maybe we should just call everyone by their first names.