Who Am I ?…..

Perusing my normal news fare I saw a breakdown of the latest poll for choice of president of these United States. Breakdown is probably the operative word for our present predicament. I noted the number of cross sections that were taken. Sort of an MRI of our politthink. I found it interesting how they can derive all these conclusions pertaining to hundreds of millions of us from a sample of a few thousand but then again what do I know?

I continued to muse on what particular silo I was being placed. That should be easy. I am a white,male,Catholic,former Navy,Vietnam Veteran,Boomer,college grad,married with kids(none at home) former Easterner now Westerner, Independent,cancer survivor,homeowner, golfer,grandparent,blogger,world traveler, volunteer, activist, conservationist (but not tree hugging),cigar smoking,red wine drinking, whack job of a writer. Did I get it all? And you thought you had me all figured out.

We have this constant urge to put people in categories so we can figure out who is with us and agin us. Really stems from early caveman survival where there was security in numbers. At least the caveman part still exists. Now we want to know who stands for what? You have to have not only a belief system but that has to be fairly well defined and you are not allowed to deviate more than a couple of degrees either side of center. This creates groups and a nasty thing called Group Think.

The phrase was coined in the mid 70’s and accounts for a good portion of our commercial and social interaction. In the office every sycophant smiles and nods approvingly at the boss’s brilliance though inside they think he is a bona fide a__hole and a stupid one at that. Disagreement of any sort is sure fire suicide so you grin and bear it. That’s all fine but it gets a little iffy when this dude or dudette is driving the bus off a cliff. C’est la vie.

Socially speaking you have to play on the right side. Liberal or conservative is the first dividing line and any dialogue or lack thereof proceeds from there. Tut tut and tsk tsk will greet any wayward thought. “You know TTG we don’t talk that way around here.Where did you ever come up with that line of thinking?” And life goes on blithely in Happy Valley and all live happily ever after.

This is fine and probably only 5% of you will get what I am trying to say. That is not from any BS feeling of superiority but just the way things work out. We crave our comfort zones. Ostracism and rejection suck so bad we will do everything we can to be part of the group even if we feel differently from time to time. Bury that crazy thought. If things are going just fine then the system works. But kids, I don’t think in a lot of ways it does.

We have incredibly complex problems in government, business and society. Terrorism, globalization, the debt, tax reform, inequality, racism,infrastructure and crazy diseases just to name a few. The Donald says to the Black community, “Try me. I can’t be any worse.” Does anyone in their right mind think this is a prudent course of action? But then please don’t tell me Hilary’s bag of tricks is anything more than an amalgamation of shopworn ideas from political hacks. Do you think an 80 year old John McCain going for his 6th term is going to light fires and inspire millennials?

I have been doing a lot of work on this whole thing of aging. How many of my generation are put out to pasture even if some of those leas have greens and tee boxes? What incredible reservoirs of experience and wisdom we all have in everything from corporate governance to construction to child rearing. Can’t we somehow put that to use?

I have been consulting with a group called helloindigo.com They are a group of retired healthcare executives who have seen the challenges and the opportunities for my peers….old farts. You have the ability by working with them to find out what your passions are and pursue them no matter how off the wall or unattainable they may seem. Once they help you get to the point of discovery they provide you with resources to achieve that goal. Sounds fair enough. I have spoken to 10 or more friends who I think it might work for. They all listened attentively and said they would think about it. Unfortunately I don’t think any have pursued it.

Maybe it is erroneous for me to draw a conclusion without extensive investigation but it seems to me, for them that would be stepping out of the mold. It would be taking a chance. Yet today we are so conditioned to draw inside the lines we don’t realize the real cool things going on inside of us.

I have this crazy thought that inside of us is a kernel that is just dying to bust out. Whether you are 10 or 100 you have spent your life keeping it in check and throwing wet blankets on it. It is really what makes you,YOU! It is what you are good at. It is a thing that I would call your personal genius. What an absolute tragedy if we went to our grave without even giving it a try. My friendly mortician, the Body Snatcher told me last week he sees that aftermath all too often.

I apologize if I am on a kick and probably somewhat repetitive.I know a lot of you are perfectly happy with your pastimes. I don’t want to take that away. I guess I have personally opened up the vault and found a little bit of magic and Damn is it fun! I want to add about 20 more phrases to who I am and I want to help you do the same no matter how young or how old you are. Sorry, it is my tragic flaw. Actually it’s my passion.

As always
Ted The Great


The Baby Boomer generation is some 75 million people. Just 5% would be 3,750,000 bundles of energy and talent living out their dreams and making this big blue marble a better place.

helloindigo.com is a fledgling business trying to find its way. They are looking for a hundred or so who are willing to take a chance on finding their soul. I have no business interest with them other than that great thing called, Intellectual Curiosity.

Media paints the older generation as a period of decline. All sorts of stereotypes show feeble and frail. The new set of elders are vibrant and enthusiastic. They have taken care of themselves for the most part. The tragic part is a lot of them will not have enough money. The challenge is to get them in productive work.

My buddy, Jane Anhold has found her passion and it is golf. She should be in single digits on her handicap next year Right on.

Right Before Our Very Eyes…

For the last two weeks we have been treated to unique insights into human nature via the Olympics. In addition to “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” there are all sorts of vignettes that could be applicable to many parts of our society. I love to watch the race or event but I also relish in some of the sidebars. People just being people. Not so much stars but people just like you and me. Human!

On the fields of competition some take it well and others fail miserably. Look I understand what happens when you have trained for years for this very moment and you fall short. You play woulda, coulda, shoulda for hours in your head as you toss and turn at night. But it is not a fatal disease ( for most) and sooner or later you heal. Yet you hurt and you fire back sometimes in not quite the best fashion. Given the state of media you can’t escape the glare and man do you wish you could take back that rant or the international sign of distress in the middle of your hand. Don’t we all.

Ryan Lochte probably showed us at our worst. First he was a drunk superstar.Then he lied to cover his tracks. And then he lied about the lie. And then he couldn’t bring himself to make a full blown apology but equivocated. It is kind of like the Donald on the Khans and Hilary on emails. Oh and can anyone forget when Slick Willy Clnton looked America in the eye and said with a straight face that he did not have sex with that woman? Then on a roll he continued to say, “It depends on what the definition of is is?” You can’t make this stuff up.

The young lady who was the goalie on the American soccer team told us that Sweden cheated or at least did not play to the spirit of the game.Methinks they were just beat by a smarter team. Many of the big names did not show up under the guise of not wanting to get the Zika virus.But there were others for whom this one time chance to compete was not to be so quickly abandoned. They would eventually go back home to oblivion and not multi million dollar contracts. Their future is probably in a factory or office but they had that one moment on stage and that was enough for a lifetime.

Leading up to the games we were exposed to cheating via steroids and other banned substances of all sorts by athletes and even entire nations. There were probably payoffs from top to bottom to get the games in the first place. Of course the officials were shocked and indignant and claimed no knowledge. Very much akin to Volkswagen’s, bank’s and big insurance company’s protestations when they are caught redhanded. We will pay billion dollar fines without admitting any wrongdoing. It is what we do.

I was blown away by the beauty portrayed by the panoramic shots of the Copacabana Beach at various times of the day. The views from Christ the Redeemer and the favelas slums were in stark contrast to one another and then again maybe they weren’t. All God’s children. There we all are, warts and all. The pretty facades being displayed and the rotting innards kept from view. If we all just close our eyes maybe it will all go away.

As I looked at the beach I of course got my water fix of sorts. I couldn’t help but think of the wonderful seascapes Kathy and I have visited over the years.Those waves lap and crash ashore in Brazil just as they do on millions of miles of coastlines throughout the globe. Funny how some are barren and even forlorn while others command astronomical prices as they are home to the swells and fahionistas. The shacks of the Philippines are right up there with the high rises of Monaco or South Beach. The view is still the same. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The closing ceremony was intriguing as the story was told of all the different regions of the host country. The black women in hoop dresses were festive but also a grim reminder that slavery was not just “Made In The USA” but a horrible footnote to the history of the southern hemisphere as well. Yet you couldn’t help but think that this was a world in many ways that we will never get to know. Villages in the Amazon, undiscovered tribes and scenery that would knock you for loop if we ever know how to get there. Most of us will never see it it for its pure beauty and culture. It makes me wonder why we want to go to Mars?

The Olympics are a lot like “America’s Got Talent.” If you ever watch the show you are amazed by people who normally for the want of an audition would never have their incredible talents discovered. Your jaw drops when a singer belts out a soulful ballad or performs a routine that astounds you. Just as you see some unknown from a country you have never heard of break from the pack to stun the foregone winner and roaring crowd. I always love the underdog.

It will be four years until the next summer Olympics. The venues are now locked and shut. The flame is extinguished. The streets won’t be swept anymore. The show is over. There might be a new bus or two but the glitz will fade and people will move on. The locals will have deserved pride and some fat cats will have their wallets well padded. That is not said with a sense of regret but of resignation. For better or worse that is the way the world turns. Just like the Cubs, hope springs eternal but reality keeps biting you in the ass. Such is life.

As always
Ted The Great


Some Olympics cost astronomical amounts of money. The 2008 Beijing games cost $44billion but made $1bill in profit. The Sochi winter games cost the Russia over $51 billion and there was no way they made money but you will never know. They are a value or a waste depending on new infrastructure or increased tourism. Either way it is out of control.

Unlike many other countries, the United States federal government doesn’t fund Olympic programs, though some athletes get special funding from their national governing bodies. For example, USA Swimming reportedly provides approximately $3,000 to national team members of its top 16 ranked athletes. But other aspiring athletes are actually unemployed and need to be supported by their families—and some families have even gone bankrupt trying to support their son’s or daughter’s Olympic dreams.The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team was comprised of 558 athletes (264 men, 294 women) in 24 sports.

Brazil has 4,655 miles (7,491 km) of coastline, making it the longest continuous coastline in the world. It is the fifth largest country by landmass and sixth in population at 202 million.The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest, containing one fifth of the world’s freshwater reserves and producing one third of the earth’s oxygen. About 60% of the Amazon lies in Brazil.aThe Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest, containing one fifth of the world’s freshwater reserves and producing one third of the earth’s oxygen. About 60% of the Amazon lies in Brazil.a

Still Crazy…

After nonstop viewing of the IMAX screen representing the mosaic of our so called life I have to take a break. My son Scott, his wife Dionne and their two boys are visiting form London. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire. I am referred to as the Padge which is short for Padre. Consider it a fact that these two and our five other grandkids are incredibly special to Kathy and me.

Eleven year old Harper once exclaimed to me that I was the craziest grandpa anyone could have. I asked her if this was good? She replied,”Are you kidding? I love it.” Out of the mouths of babes. Unfortunately for most of you this is not a persona I adopt it as a normal state of affairs. If I am not creating some sort of mayhem I feel I am not doing my job.

Now many of you may take exception and look askance at a 71 year old acting, dare I say, childishly. Think what you will, I will hold out that until you are outrageous you haven’t lived. There is a bit of impishness involved but when I am me I could never feel more alive. And therein is causing me to ponder. Is it really that difficult? Or even better is it something we all aspire to in our Walter Middy minds?

With the kids here we decided to use a gift we had purchased at a charitable event…a ride to get ice cream on a 60 year old Denver Fire Engine. A retired fireman named Dan showed up in front of my daughter’s house in a gleamingly restored Ward La France pumper, outfitted with benches in the back. We climbed aboard and rang the bell, turned on the lights and of course gave a quick blast of the seen. So much for quiet residential streets.

Danny took the long way around to the Little Man Ice Cream place on the West side of Denver. Seizing the moment I could not resist as we roared through the canyons of downtown. I stood up with my Titlest floppy hat protecting my bald pate and started waving and shouting hello to all the tourists and worker bees in the Mile High City. My 12 year old grandson wanted to hide but there was nowhere to be found. He later admitted that the first few blocks were gruesome but he knew Padge was not to be denied. In the end he thought it was pretty cool. Another disciple!

Some responded including a couple of pretty girls. They were probably far sighted. But on a glorious summer afternoon maybe we brought a bit of laughter to just a few Denverites. I greet people warmly on the street, at the gym, at the club and even in church.That is what I am all about.

To put it bluntly I do not take myself or for that matter anyone else very very seriously. If you do you become very conscious of faults and foibles. You worry about how you look and how people will react to you. Did I phrase my thoughts just perfectly or was there room to be criticized? It just doesn’t matter. No matter what you say or do you cannot take it back. In the long run who is going to remember in two weeks, a month or a year?

I love practical jokes. One of the best ever was back in my Wall Street days. A buddy of mine had a neighbor who of course knew all there was to know about anything. He had purchased a VW Beetle when they first came out. They didn’t have a gas gauge but a lever near the accelerator to turn when your tank ran low. Simple and efficient.

The neighbor bragged and bragged about mileage to the point of absurdity. My compadre decided to start adding gas to his neighbor’s tank on a regular basis. Voila, this egomaniac thought he was getting over 150 miles to the gallon. He boasted to the neighborhood and was driving the dealer’s maintenance department crazy with his rants. This went on for awhile and then my friend started removing gas via syphon. You can just imagine our mark was now getting 10 miles to the gallon. Need I say more. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Point being, life can be a lot of fun if you give it a chance. I am irreverent. I love to catch people, especially self indulgent ones off guard. We are all of the same cloth. If you think you are especially gifted or smart consider the fact that we are in the Lucky Sperm Club. We could be living in a hut in Somalia or have a penthouse unit in Aleppo, Syria. Chinks in the armor are healthy. You don’t want to be carrying all that weight around. We all put our pants on one leg at a time…even Hilary. Somebody has got to burn that pea green pants suit.

Someone described me yesterday as a disrupter and I was flattered. Status quo is boring. Seems we spend our lives climbing ladders. Executives, sports figures, performers and clergy. If they all look the same and progression is preordained what good is that? We are all at a cocktail party. Do we want to engage each and everyone to find out how the other one ticks or do we just throw air kisses and look over their shoulder to see who we want to talk to instead of this mere peon? Think about that some time.

Well Ta Ta for now and let’s get together soon. I will have your people call my people. Let’s set our sights on six or twelve months from now. Kind of busy until then. Still crazy after all these years. And loving it !

As always
Ted The Great

Too random for that.

One Upsmanship…

Watching the Olympics has been a blast for me. I am blown away not only by the sheer physical talents but also the demeanor which seems to be almost childlike. Of course Bob Costas wants to attach deep philosophical significance to every move. Personally I like Vince Scully. If someone hits a dramatic home run he just says nothing and lets the roar of the crowd do the talking. In this case let the athletes and adoring parents fill the gaps.

The kids have kids and spouses and significant others. The swells and glitterati seem to be backstage in the Green Room. I hope they don’t get called to the set. The young’uns are doing just fine. Simone Biles at 4’8” is beyond incredible. Beyond her performances is a wonderful character underneath. There is friendship so deep among teammates you just wish you could bottle it. But somehow I don’t think that is our way.

I ruminate often about this thing called competition. We chant USA. USA and that is fine but what about the kid from Peru in lane 8 that no one knows. Maybe she or he has spent endless hours in the pool or gym floor only to come in DFL.( For the uninitiated in sports that is Dead F—ing Last). Is there virtue and consolation in that? It depends on whose eyes you are seeing it through.

Now don’t think I am going soft in my old age. I still love to win a $2 Nassau at golf but I wonder if we have gone over the top. There is such a fine line between all out effort and victory and yet we are so prismed to think the only outcome is winning. If you don’t, you are a loser, plain and simple. Sports, politics, business and perhaps even marriage are a fight for supremacy. The only real competition you don’t want to lose at is war but I still think that is highly overrated.

Pondering further it seems that it is really a struggle between dominant and subjected people. We always want to be the leader, the conquerer. Four of a kind when someone is showing a full house. If you are not the lead dog the view is always the same. We don’t take the victory in stride but want to jam it down the vanquished throat.Akin to the gladiator standing over the fallen hero or animal to the wild huzzahs of the coliseum. Oh baby, am I cool or what? Really?

We do it in even more subtle ways. We hate deficiency or handicap of any sort. Sorry for your malady or loss but it makes me better than you. We will even try to categorize individuals into groups or dare I say stereotypes. All blacks are lazy while I work my ass off. Women? Ha! They should be home, barefoot and pregnant and leave the heavy lifting to us. They have no place in business. A Harvard or Stamford education will beat St Olaf’s every time. Every step of the way I have put you in your place.

Think this is nuts? Think again. If I have the latest Ferrari or Porsche then I am better than you. My big house towers over yours and even if it does not, it has more goodies inside like a full court gym for my kids. Mine is bigger than yours takes on all sorts of new implications. Is it primal or an acquired taste? I dunno. We all want to do well. We all want to use our God given talents. But we always want to keep score somehow even if only mentally.

Is it me or are we blocking out a lot of life’s joy by our obsessions? I think we fret as much about losing as winning. Okay you did not make the shot at the buzzer or you fell off the beam. You missed the three foot putt for a win or you lost a big deal in business. You are apoplectic, depressed,suicidal and self loathing. You kick the dog and break furniture if you or your team loses….and that is in the first hour or so. Over days that loss gets in your gut so bad you become visceral at the thought.

We have become so enamored with outcomes that we totally ignore the process. I am not so foolish to think we don’t undergo pain and the inevitable reruns in our brain as we toss and turn in bed at night. But how did you get up at the plate to start with? There was some sort of selection process where you proved yourself worthy to be considered. If you nuke a five iron over the green don’t curse that you used he wrong club but revel in the fact you hit the crap out of that little white ball.

What if instead of a brief encounter with winning or losing this is your lot by virtue of your place in society? A kid in the barrio or ghetto is forever taught they are less. Women have eternally fought for their place from suffrage to the board room. You don’t speak my language? You are low life Mexican even though you may be from Spain or Costa Rica. All the little things that make me superior and you inferior.Have to feel good about me.

In your eyes you are right and I am wrong. Nice bottle of wine TTG but I have one better in my cellar. Your kid is cute but mine is handsome. Let me tell you how to do things the right way. The only problem is you will never be satisfied. You will be on edge to make sure things are just perfect. People, places and things all have a pecking order and your spot is at the top. You think it is fun. I think it is sad.

Compete but enjoy. I am not espousing participation trophies for all but get a grip. The odds your kid is going to make it into pro sports are slim and none. It doesn’t make them bad. It captures the essence of humanity.
One up? Very rarely is it forever. Life has its twists and turns and that is what makes it a beautiful and beguiling thing.

As always
Ted The Great


Leo Durocher coined the phrase,”Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser”.

Mark Twain said,”We are all perfect. Just at different things”

Jim Carrie,”Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes”.

“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” Isaac Asimov.

‘If you embrace the winner take all philosophy then it makes working with others impossible” Unknown.

“If you score a touchdown don’t showboat. Make it look like you have been there before” Lou Holtz

“I never did say that you can’t be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I’d trip her up.” Leo Durocher

The Best We Got?

Saturday night I spent the early evening and well into the night with several old and new friends at the Black Lake Lodge in the mountains of Colorado. This little Eden lies two or three miles off the main road. Before you turn off down that byway is the Master Bait and Tackle shop if you come unprepared but I not being true fisherman decided to pass up this chance of a lifetime. As you wander further and further into the forest primeval any vestige of civilization slips away with each weather torn rut in the road.

The good old Lesbaru took its place among the pickups and high end SUV’s in the lot. Any evidence of wealth or position was left in the trash barrel at the front door. Everyone is a good old boy no matter where you call home. I greeted everyone and this place immediately felt as comfortable as a pair of old loafers.Throughout the evening the conversation was devoid of politics. A true accomplishment. To be terribly trite we just sucked in the mountain air and of course more than enough Irish Whiskey to go with the card playing. We had escaped.

The next day on the ride down to home I made the terrible mistake of turning on the news. The Donald was taking on a Gold Medal family and the Dems were decrying the Russian invasion of their inner sanctum. I winced at Trump making one gaffe after another and having no sense of decorum. I listened in disbelief that the spin meisters had created a diversion for the exit of Madame Wasserman Schultz by the looming presence of Putin and Co. Forget the giant headlines that the ruling class was out to screw Bernie out of the nomination at every turn. And all these fools want to lead our country for another four years?

By Monday night I could not summon the courage liquid or otherwise to watch my beloved PBS Evening News. Where else to go? Charlie Rose, of course. I have saved a gazillion of them for a time just like this. The first one to catch my eye was one with David McCullough, historian extraordinaire. Actually it was a compilation of several interviews. He verbally weaves as good a story as he writes. It all centered around the Declaration of Independence and the war with the British. As he told of courage and mistakes and true grit of a rag tag band of rebels I could not help but think wistfully about where we are today. Do we even come close to having a Washington, Madison, Jefferson or Adams? Incredible and oh so sad where we are by comparison.

The next was an interview with Tom Friedman who along with David Brooks are two of my most favorite reads on the body politic. Tom is coming out with a new book in November and he presented a wonderful teaser that was particular by its overview of the world. He split the world into orderly and chaotic nations. The latter were the Sudans, Syrias, Libyas Yemens et alia of the planet. There was little or no government present and these were seedbeds of violence and atrocities.

The rebels had no life per se and therefore nothing to lose. They could not be intimidated and took what they wanted whether it be spoils of war or human beings. The populace seeing no hope took off for points unknown preferring a treacherous journey to sure death or enslavement. Ergo the basis of our current migration problem.The only possible solution for these God forsaken people were the orderly nations but the welcome mat not only wore thin but was pulled inside before long. Millions of people trying to survive and the best they have are wind blown tents on arid and barren landscape without sanitation or water.

The most shocking part is that the destination nations including our own were blindsided by events. The billions we all have spent on spy agencies rendered us clueless. This all came crashing home to me. Our world is changing at warp speed from terrorism to technology. We have Moore’s Law that doubles computer capability every two years or so. We have climate change that is raging out of control regardless of the cause. We have changing views on morality and ethics. And yes whether we like it or not globalization is woven into every thread on our fabric of life. Do you think there is any chance we can turn back clock and take a timeout to get our act together?

As Friedman concluded and in a way McCullough fantasized we have not the mental acuity nor the flexibility in our political systems to meet the challenges. The cognoscenti are in technology and sadly they are the only ones right now who can see the future.Both of our political parties are hopelessly concentrating on the short term of the next elections. There is not a statesman or woman in the lot who is willing to do what is appropriate and evident for fear of upsetting the party hacks or their electorate. We need the gumption of our forefathers who probably went against the tide and pursued independence even though failure meant a trip to the gallows. I think we need a totally different third or fourth party to break this infantile gridlock.

We have a gigantic debt problem. Healthcare is a runaway train. Entitlements have got to be revised. The tax code borders on absurd. We need jobs but the reality is there are just not enough high paying jobs to go around. Our infrastructure needs serious work from roads to sewers. We should have serious discussion on these and more but all we have is catfighting,backrooms and well rehearsed scripts. Kids, this is the best we got and it should embarrass each and every one of us. I know it bugs me to death

As always
Ted The Great


Washington and his troops were beaten badly in the Battle of Brooklyn. Their retreat across the East River was aided by a fog that mysteriously hovered on the Brooklyn side alone. The British fleet could not pursue because of an eerie wind that prevented them from intercepting the Colonial troops. Our guys further retreated to New Jersey to spend the winter of their discontent. Some marched without shoes and suffered dysentery. In one last gasp they crossed the Delaware and defeated the Hessians at Trenton and then at Princeton. This all out push saved the war and the early colonies. And the rest is history.

We take years and billions of dollars to run for national and local offices. Most countries in the civilized world accomplish this in 6-8 weeks. We have approximately 100 days to go until Election Day. I am buying stock in liquor companies and drug companies that make anti depressants.

Over decades we through the CIA and other clandestine organizations have tried to influence elections and regimes though our world. With a straight face we say we are shocked at Russia’s interference.

Excitedly I told my friend about the Friedman interview and how he should watch it. He vigorously shook his head no and said he wanted no part of that “Liberal Asshole”. That was encouraging. If you go to Charlie Rose.com it is S25 ep139. It runs about 40 minutes.