Bad News Sells….

After a great morning on the golf course I returned home to discover a spectacular five car pileup in front of Monroe Pointe aka Casa Kenny. There was a long traffic backup as the rubber necks wanted to catch some sort of glimpse of the blood and gore. There was one idiot running a STOP sign and four innocent bystanders. Live pictures at Five.

You have to wonder about the obsession with bad news. Life is good or so it would seem. Maybe not as we are often compelled to go to the dark side. Is it maudlin curiosity or outright fear? Hard to tell. We have mass shootings both here and abroad. It seems the larger the populace the greater chance for mayhem. Bad things don’t usually happen in small towns. Not so in Knoxville and Chicago. Nor Baghdad and Nairobi. Drought, floods, wildfires and tornados. All grist for this thing we call our mind.

For a moment let’s just observe without making judgment calls. Your phone rings and it is someone who haven’t heard from in a while. Immediately one asks “What’s wrong?” Well I have prostate cancer. “Holy crap are you going to die?” Unfortunately no. You will have to put off shopping for black or dusting off your barely used suit and that out of date tie…at least for a while.

The TV blares “Breaking News”. “Presidential Address”. We all sit up and take notice. Just the words, Crisis, Blockades, Sanctions, Plane Down, Wildfires, Floods, Drought conjure up a whole set of attitudes before we know anything about what the actual facts are. It has to be bad. Real bad.

It seems we are wired as such. Our caveman roots cause us to be ever vigilant. Suspect the worst because it is how we maintain our edge. The old “Fight or Flight” reaction keeps us on our toes. There is more brain activity associated with fear and danger than with soothing music and Elysian fields. Unfortunately this gets translated into drama, pessimism, paranoia and ultimately depression if we let it go too far. The problem is these feeling are visceral to the core. In a perverse way we enjoy it.

We compare ourselves to one another every day. If you see some poor bastard in a worse state we say there but for the grace of God go I. Oh you or your loved one has a terminal illness. Phew, I just dodged another bullet. It is probably why we hate the Yankees or the Mother Teresas of the world. They do things we can’t ever hope to accomplish so we either ignore or revile them . It is just easier on the psyche that way.

If we were just left alone to our misery that would be wonderful but the marketers of the world won’t let you lie still. We are going to pick you up and fix your ills. We are going to prey on your weakness and show you the ideal you have been missing. Viagra, Tagamet, some Beta blocker or the latest golf gadget. We can cure it all. Or so we say.

Not to be left out, our politicians see all this as red meat. The public is pissed off at Washington so I will pronounce myself the savior. If you are Democrat, Hillary will lift you out of the depths and like Moses show you the Promised Land. It is called playing to the base. Just keep teeing up totally impractical ideas and they will believe you can do it. Promise the world until you get elected and then blame it on the other side for their intransigence. This is good stuff.

The Donald is really taking the country by storm. He is brash, outspoken, arrogant and defies the logic of any question with his answers. Who cares? He is against the reigning bums. He’s against immigrants so the workers like him. He wants to make life great for the successful. He gets in people’s faces and everyone from Joe Six Pack to the A list love him. Beware Republicans! Beware. No one ever said politics made sense.

In our age of social media there is a phenomena. People don’t pass bad stuff on to others. Facebook pages don’t display blood and gore. It seems to stop at the person. They do forward things that are uplifting by a count of seven to one. It seems when they are moved or in awe about something they want to shout to the world. Call it a poor man or woman’s evangelization. This is what they want to share and in that there is an interesting positive in our world.

ISIS has taken over the internet for the sick and disenfranchised. They have performed brilliantly and in quite an expert fashion when it comes to producing their vitriol in a compelling way. We are turned off and shocked. The unemployed and itinerant youth of some God forsaken place sees this as cool and inviting. This is where we have to counter attack. They are raising jihadists from small boys they have captured to malcontents who wander into their camps. There is a lesson to be learned.

Media of all sorts and to the extent we listen has an enormous impact on our lives and our minds.We are bombarded thousands of times a day by messages large and small. Whether it is the news we watch or the ad that flashes by for both us and our kids it formulates our opinions and our beliefs. Bad news sells. I get it. But then again it really doesn’t have to.
As always
Ted The Great


Yankelvich Research says we receive 2,000-20,000 marketing messages every day. Those higher numbers include every time you pass by a label in a grocery store, all the ads in your mailbox whether you see them or not, the label on everything you wear, etc.

• An average child sees 30,000 TV commercials in a year.
• By the time they reach the age of 65, the average American will have seen two million TV commercials

• According to the A.C. Nielsen Co. the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of TV each day (that’s more than 52 days of nonstop TV-watching per year).
• Parents spend 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children.

Our news magazines like Time et alia have shrunk down to nothing. Most advertising is not print but on TV and the Internet. In 2013 Internet advertising reached $49 billion.

Ohm My God……

A cerebral welcome from the physics lab here at TTG University. Actually the only science course I ever took in my life was an Easy A Biology course at Georgetown taught by Fr. “Ha Ha” Harley SJ. It was a sight to behold as I dissected worms and frogs with the basketball team in assembly line style. The first guy took off the head and the next the skin and so on down the line. The last gnius put it all together in the wax tray. Quite efficient. And you thought jocks were stupid. But I digress.

As I understand it, an ohm is a unit of resistance for current between two poles. Not sure it is exactly so but work with me as I hope it will make for a clever epistle. Let’s for a moment view all that current as the river of life itself. It courses and roars from the get go and often overflows its banks. I think that is what we call mania. I know a lot about that. So according to the TTG textbook on physics we have to throw ohms in there lest we go completely off the rails.

There is the Ohm of rules,ethics or religion. These are serious brakes. Now I know some of you want to throw out the whole concept of an Intelligent Being but think for a moment where we would be without One. A whole lot of chaotic. I learned in Catholic school that if I didn’t shape up I was gong to hell. Why else would I want to be good? You mean there is no punishment for my transgressions? Let the good times roll and maybe we can shelve this one.

Alright even if we don’t have you know Who, there has to be something holding the planet together. We will call this the Ohm of Society or Propriety. There are just some things you don’t do in public unless you are Bruce Jenner aka Caitlin or The Donald. I am not just talking about tacky behavior but serious slime. The problem becomes difficult when we go from one area to another. Things that are perfectly acceptable at the Breakers in Palm Beach would be totally out of bounds at the ISIL Country Club in whatever country they are taking over. In Saudi Arabia everything points toward Mecca. In New York our rugs are positioned towards the Hamptons.

Now there is also the Ohm of ritual. We have always done it this way. If it was good enough for your grandparents then it is more than fine for you. In Jewish, Italian and Irish circles this also falls under the heading of guilt. Why are you acting this way? Weren’t you brought up properly? Did we teach you to talk like that? Where do these kids get these crazy ideas? This becomes particularly tense when your son or daughter makes about 100 times more money at 30 than you made in your entire life. Oi Vey!

Now this is all fun and games until we get to the OHM of negativity.No matter what you do or dream up there is someone there telling you it can’t be done. “It’ll never work” becomes their mantra. I wonder how many great ideas have been quashed over the years by choruses of naysayers. Republican or Democrat, it makes no difference. Sure we are the seat of innovation in the world but imagine if we all were cheering the troops on? Yes, there are venture capitalists and entrepreneurs and God bless them . But imagine if we all were singing “Go for it”out of the same hymnal.

Creativity is a gift we all have. We can look at a situation and see what could be. If it is broken,fix it. If it is good how can we make it great? Every day I see people who are complacent or just peachy with their lot in life. Young and old alike. I can’t tell you the number of times people look at me with a quizzical expression and say what is that screwball up to now? It is not a matter of whether it works or not or whether it will come true. It is the absolute fun of letting it rip.

We all talk of excesses and believe me there are plenty. I am actually talking about a different altered state. Sit down and look at your world. Don’t say why but why not? Don’t shoot down the invention before it gets off the ground. Get off our butts and see something beyond the TV screen or our IPhones. Most of all give a sense of excitement about our world to your kids and those around you.

I met with a woman the other day who works for the Greenway Foundation here in Denver. She is going to help us on a project to better the Cherry Creek. 40 years ago the South Platte River was a dropping off point for everything in the Queen City that looked like refuse. Little by little a dad and his son transformed it and now their Foundation holds a summer camp to teach kids about the riparian environment and the denizens that inhabit it.It sells out for the summer in three weeks. How many times do you think people told them they were crazy?

I am totally out of my element as to explaining science but I think when the ohm is in place there is a buildup of energy and that creates an ampere of power. In other words all that resistance really gives energy to our lives . What a cool thought.

As always
Ted The Great


The “body fat analyzers” you see at gyms these days use a mechanism to estimate “body fat” or “muscle mass” by calculating body impedance to a couple of frequencies. No wonder I feel fat.

“ Georg Ohm, was a German physicist, best known for his “Ohm’s Law”, which implies that the current flow through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference (voltage) and inversely proportional to the resistance”. If you have even a clue what this means I am never talking to you again.

“Guilt and its handmaiden, shame, can paralyze––or catalyze one into action. Appropriate guilt can function as social glue, spurring one to make reparations for wrongs. Excessive rumination about one’s failures, however, is a surefire recipe for resentment and depression”. I couldn’t have said it better.

My buddy Neal Seibert passed away last night at home in Alexandria, VA. His wife KC was with him. I just had a cigar and a 15 year old scotch in honor of him. Life is too short my friends. Live it. And that is a factoid.

PC….Sort Of

Now you know that I am PC at all times…sort of. Supreme Court decisions, Confederate flags, religious ed,ISIS et alia have this poor old bald guy scratching his shiny pate. Let’s make it clear from the start that I believe we have gone over the top. I will also add that there are no easy answers but sides in the game Battleship America have been drawn so we should all get ready for torpedoes and salvoes from all angles.

We had a cocktail party in our building a few weeks ago. Just a get together to meet and greet. There were two new residents of #105 and they happen to be Mrs. and Mrs. .There was nothing dramatic or uncomfortable about their presence except for the fact when I first met them I was clueless about the situation.

As I chatted with both young ladies, I being fleet of mind surmised somehow this was out of the ordinary. Then putting two and two together and actually coming out with four I had an aha moment. Rather than being cute about it I asked them straight on. They have been married for almost three years. I said ,”What should I call your partner?” One replied, “My wife and vice versa.” Then she said something surprising, “Thank you for asking.” Wow.

I thought about that for a moment and all of a sudden it dawned on me how uncomfortable it must be for them. They love each and maybe a hell of a lot moreso than some straight couples I know. They were beyond pleasant and engaging. Yet for so long they have had to tiptoe around the subject and walk on eggs. The Supreme Court decision made them legal everywhere. They no longer had to hide. I don’t care whether you are for or against same sex marriage. As a human being you can’t help but be touched.

I let my mind wander to Indians, Redskins, and various other grievances. I have really been trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. What is the deciding factor that fine line separates one from free speech and denigration? Have I hurt you viciously or have I just caused you a minor irritation? Not easy to decide.

For my Southern Rednecks, sorry Southern Gentlemen(Redneck is not PC) there is a lot of hue and cry about the Stars and Bars. If I am black I hate it. If I am white I look at it like a college mascot. Adorning hot rods to barns is it really a vestige of white supremacy or is it nothing more than continuance of some sort of crazy history? I had a whacko roommate in OCS who after a few beers would get this fire in his eye and through gritting teeth declare vehemently,”The South shall rise agin.” Him I worried about. Do I really get crazy when I see Bubba Watson driving the Dukes of Hazard limo with the rebel flag on top? Not really

I had a wonderful discussion with my shift mate at hospice yesterday. We have had a controversy regarding school vouchers here in Colorado. The state Supreme Court ruled you couldn’t use them for religious schools. Others disagree. Was it because they were religious or because the public school advocates felt threatened? Was it a real issue or fabricated? Interesting to ponder.

I have been involved in inner city schools and they have been parochial. At first when discussing this with someone I have to wade through stories about how they were beaten by nuns or abused by priests. I don’t deny it is a problem but is this the crux of the issue? We take underprivileged kids of all beliefs and academic ability. There are no entrance tests and quite frankly there are very few religious in evidence. Sure there are crucifixes but theology is not jammed down anyone’s throats. But you wouldn’t know that.

The real rubber meeting the road is a thing called graduation rates. We had a school in Paterson New Jersey that graduated 100% of its students and 80% went on to some form of higher education. The public school figures were 55% and 30%. The public school at the time cost over $10,000 per student and we needed to raise $2500 per. Point being because of prejudice and narrow mindedness some real good never gets accomplished. Is it part of a discussion on political correctness? I think it is.

Every time we try to restrict or rule out we limit possibilities. We have preconceived notions about this or that and are so afraid of offending someone else that we inhibit creativity and innovation. How can I be spontaneous if I have to measure every word or thought? How can I let it rip as I do if I take every possible consequence into consideration.

Look at politics. How can someone really speak their mind if they are castigated for something they wrote 40 years ago? When you re in a news conference God forbid you give an unrehearsed and not fully vetted answer. The absurdity of this is that the true you can’t possibly come out and your life is defined by handlers and speech writers. Some might get crazy about the Donald and they probably should but at least His Hairness is letting it all hang out and we can judge accordingly.

Long story short there are no easy answers. There is no committee of judges to say what is wrong and right. I would not and hope I have never hurt anyone’s feelings on purpose. I hope you wouldn’t either. The anonymity of the internet and web sites have made us a nation of gotchas. Instead of hearing what people have to say as a whole we look for a word or phrase to set us off in a totally wrong direction.

I am working overtime on listening for heartfelt emotion and passion. If it rubs me the wrong way I am trying not to dwell on it. I take as the beauty of our individuality that you are entitled to whatever you want to say. I will try to do my best to find out what’s in your heart and forget the particulars. It’s going to take awhile but that’s how I want to be correct in my thinking

As always
Ted The Great


Political correctness may have given birth to our “Victim” society or vice versa. I claim to be wronged by every aspect of society and its vocabulary. Therefore I am not responsible for my actions, you are.

A professor at Ball State University was recently banned from even mentioning the concept of intelligent design because it would supposedly “violate the academic integrity” of the course that he was teaching.
In 2007, Santa Clauses in Sydney, Australia, were forced to revolt for the right to say “Ho Ho Ho”, the traditional laugh of jolly old St. Nick. It turns out that their employer, the recruitment firm Westaff (that supplies hundreds of Santas across Australia), told all trainees that “ho ho ho” could frighten children and be derogatory to women. Why?  Because it was too close to the American (not Australian, mind you) slang for prostitute.

Administrators at a California high school sent five students home after they refused to remove their American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican Day of Independence. That’s right, kids, you can’t wear your country’s flag in your country, lest it offend someone celebrating the holiday of a different country.

Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Larry The Cable Guy do not do college performances any more due to the PC of today’s higher education audiences. I think the intelligentsia are missing out on a lot of fun and will probably watch it on Facebook or Netflix when no one is watching.