Very Interesting..

I feel like Arte Johnson of Laugh In as I peek up from my arte-johnson-04foxhole just above the planet Earth. You old farts will know what my reference is and you young’uns will just have to work with me or go to You Tube. He had this sly look of understanding. Almost like he got it and no one else did. Our pratfalls and pitfalls of the last 365 is an example of humanity at its best and worst. Just when we think we have it all figured out, it comes up and bites us on the ass. Fantastico.


I am not an anarchist but if you follow me at various times you know I think what we are doing is not working or severely flawed. At the Church get together,  I asked a well versed politico if he thought that government on the national level was working? He had one thought. The Executive branch in the time of Regan numbered 500. Today it is 3800. He talked to someone who was a deputy undersecretary to something. Think of that idiotic nomenclature looking for some sort of meaning at your and my expense. And he probably had a staff, office space etc.

Status quo might be wonderful for some but it ain’t going to solve many of our problems. We love neatness and prognostications that call for more of the same. Things have been on a tear lately but our lack of investing in the future is going to catch up with us. Sooner or later broken roads, sewer and water pipes, outdated transmission lines and fiber optic cables will have to upgraded or completely replaced. I am not coming up with an off the wall, aha moment but a statement of fact.

We have relied on our government/bureaucracy to predict and make the right moves to alleviate this. Wrong assumption! There was an article in today’s WSJ written by a life long government employee. He was pleading for guidance from a new group. His system rewards status quo thinking implicit by our Civil Service rules and acceptance of mediocrity. He wanted someone to open the windows wide and chart a new course.

Foggy Bottom has toed the same line for decades on Taiwan and China. We sell the island whatchamacallit, arms and have a vibrant trade but we do not really recognize them. We don’t want to fray our ties with the Mainland. We made Israel a state in 1948 and yet we have danced around the Palestinian issue for almost 70 years. Now you say both are difficult and I agree but is there has to be some way to solve them in less than seven decades? Does it take someone to stand up and say enough?

I spoke with another amigo who is very involved in small business. He opined on large versus lesser sized corporations. Aping the government tcreativity1he big boys create departments and undersecretaries of their own. Meetings, studies, reports abound. Then we have to take it up and down the line until somewhere, somehow makes a decision which then has to be signed off by everyone. Entrepreneurship and creativity is frowned upon. This could be the byproduct of success and size but as he said if one of his small businesses acted in this fashion they would be bankrupt. Are We?


I bemoaned my state in life to my lovely wife the other night. Waxing eloquently I said when one speaks out they become a lightning rod. One side thinks you are great and huzzahs to you for speaking out. The other wants to fight you every step of the way. If they were cogent in their arguments I would welcome their retorts but too often discussion disintegrates into mud slinging of a sort and you wonder why the hell you brought this up in the first place? That is not where I want to be.

As I sit here pondering the year to come I can’t help but feel a strange sense of hope and excitement. After reading the above you might think I am bipolar and you may be right. My Fantasy Football team is loaded with upstarts. Out of the box thinkers. Maybe chivalry is not dead and the damsel we want to save is the forlorn Princess America. Can we slay the dragons of Congress and Presidents of Washington and corporations throughout our fair land? Can we really storm the dual ramparts of privilege and apathy?

Well, we have to be inducted and our boot camp is in a library and not a battle field. Not guns but the internet of sorts. We have to become aware and form our own opinions and not take the pablum handed down as gospel truth. When people go to Facebook to get their news we can all laugh at the lunacy until we find ourselves doing the same thing. It takes some time spent and we all bewail our lack of it. But you and I know these excuses are really BS when it comes down to it.


I look at a problem and it seems fathink-outside-the-box-quirly simple in its solution. Am I a rocket scientist? No way, I am just a fresh set of eyes. I am not blaming anyone but pleading for at least an honest hearing. We take any suggestion of an alternate direction as an affront or we refer it to committee for further study to be reported in a year or two. I am going to keep at this and just hope I don’t have to go into the concussion protocol from pounding my head against the wall. For now I will continue to Ponder The Imponderables in the hope of making them understandable. It is what I do. Very Interesting? Of course. At least to me and I hope to you.

As always and Happy New Year!
Ted The Great


Over 100 million people did not vote in the 2016. By 2012 standards they reflected the stereotype of being younger, less educated, less engaged and less affluent citizens than voters.

With nearly two-thirds of nonvoters saying that staying away from the polls on Election Day was an action they chose rather than that it was an unavoidable situation.That can’t be solved with a phone reminder.

Nonvoters are markedly less likely than voters to follow what’s going on in government and public affairs. Only 17 percent say they follow these topics most of the time, while another 31 percent do so some of the time. 

Non Voter Breakdowns

1. “Pessimists,” representing 27% of nonvoters
2. “Too Busys,” representing 20% of nonvoters
3. “Strugglers,” representing 19% of nonvoters
4. “Tuned Outs,” representing 16% of nonvoters
5. “Active Faithfuls,” representing 11% of nonvoters
6. “Doers,” representing 8% of nonvoters

Oh Holy Night…

In this season I get to pick from many nocturnal activities. It could have been last night. We are in Vail for a couple of days and we took my brother and sister in law to dinner in town. We have been helping daughter Lindsey with her newly purchased but mechanically challenged condo. Uncle David is an electrician and out of the goodness of his heart is overhauling her electric baseboard system. I am the Gofer, which is appropriate.

Before dinner we walked up Bridge Street and what to our wondrous eyes should appear? A whole bunch of new lights on every tree and every crossbeam. A group of a dozen or so foreign speaking visitors barreling down the street with little concern of who was coming the other way. And as we were gazing up at unlit and unoccupied condos I tried to explain to my kin why people spend $4 or $5 million on these babies, to come only a few weeks a year. Did I make sense? Probably not. Especially after the $10 ice cream cone.

Dinner was great and as only can happen in the mountains our waitress was from Galway, Ireland. Arianna travelled across the pond around 15 years ago and after a short stop in Boston arrived in our winter wonderland and decided to stay. Young people seek time off here after college and parents pull their hair out after dropping a quarter million large on their higher education. I was riding on the Vail bus one time and the young lady at the helm was sporting a Harvard sweatshirt. I asked her who did she know that went to Harvard ? She laughed and said, “Me,” of course.

We will assemble LOFO,The Loyal Order of the Fat Ones, on Friday afternoon at Churchills. This emporium of smoke, whiskey and good fun seems appropriate for this crowd. I am bringing my brother in law to demonstrate to him how really nuts I am. I have spoken to you before of The Church’s many charms. I made the mistake of taking a good friend there last New Years in the early afternoon. The light of day did not do any favors to the worn rugs and sagging leather chairs. A fitting metaphor for the crowd there. Hey, who cares?

As I write I can’t help but think back about Xmases past. I grew up in a wonderful old colonial house with numerous fireplaces. The boys were responsible for maintaining the hearths. We had a wood room in the basement which was the old coal bin for the house. Just outside it was an old pot bellied stove, Unused but a great keeper of the lore of the manse.

Dinners were peaceful as we lingered, feeling the warmth of the flame and the sound of pine sap crackling. My father held court at the head of the table and he had a habit of asking leading questions. These were not fast food hit and run affairs and it is probably where I acquired my gift of gab. Grandma made a mean minced pie that was ceremoniously set on fire with a lit bit of Four Roses or some other high octane spirit. Top that with hard sauce and you were in seventh heaven.

We have moved so many times and been in so many places we are not particularly imbued with sacred rituals. In some ways one feels a lack but on the other hand we have had so many different experiences we feel very blessed. In the early eighties we took hay rides on our first sabbatical in Denver. We sang carols and the kids had huge smiles as we meandered through the hilly roads of Genesee. The cold crisp Colorado sky was tamed by a little schnapps or whatever and we always wound up at someone’s home for simple chow. Our first Noel there greeted us with three feet of snow. The Reverend TTG had to perform services at home that Christmas day.

One Yuletide we were in Perth Australia. Another in Boston in the Navy. Last year we were in Wimbledon, England with son Scott and family. The one constant for 45 years has been Kathy at my side. Best present of all. This year we will sit in front of the tree or by the fire and think of the many that have moved on in every sense of the word. Great friends who have been so much a part of our lives. Strange as it sounds it is not a sadness but a warm appreciation for all they have given to us. We are a very lucky couple.

I will pay my visit to Fr Michael at Samaritan House with a wad of $2 bills in tow.He thinks I am being generous. I am just trying to buy my way into heaven because I know it is my only hope. We are going to 10:00 mass on the big day. I will be doing the second readings and I will say a prayer for all of you.Nothing crazy just a gentle nudge to the Big Guy so He will look out for all of us no matter what our beliefs.

I am corny and sentimental in Ted’s Head on this day. I know there is mayhem in the world and in our fair nation. I just decided to not pay heed to murders, bombings, insults and slurs as I look out at the hills. Not wanton disregard for the pain and suffering but just setting a different priority for my cranium on this spectacular morning. I hope you might be able to do the same. And so for another year as I ride out of sight,Merry Christmas to all and to all a Holy Night.

As always
Ted The Great.

There is a village in Peru where people settle the previous year’s grudges by fist fighting on Christmas. They then start the new year off on a clean slate. Hmm, they may have an idea there.

Paul McCartney earns nearly half a million dollars every year from his Christmas song, which many critics regards as his worst song ever.

During the Christmas of 2010, the Colombian government covered jungle trees with lights. When FARC guerrillas (terrorists) walked by, the trees lit up and banners asking them to lay down their arms became visible. 331 guerrillas re-entered society and the campaign won an award for strategic marketing excellence.
Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female or castrated.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch

Many of the most popular Christmas songs, such as “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” were written or co-written by Jews. L’chaim!

A Kick In the Head…..

That little voice inside of me has been whispering lately. “Why do you always think about enigmas and try to solve them? Why don’t you let someone else do it. Relax.” The siren’s call has been getting louder lately. Then my daughter Megan planted an IED in my serenity. She lent me a new book by Tom Friedman, “Thank You For Being Late”. Then as I settled into the old leather chair in my office I am sure she remotely detonated it from her cell phone.

I happen to like this author so I was predisposed to his message but it wasn’t one but a panoply of insights into our world today. It was technical, political, practical and ethical all rolled into one.It is an mazing book. If you assume there are three great forces at work, technology, globalization and Mother Nature, he studies each one in detail. We are in a tectonic shift as the result of these powers intersecting. We have taken this relatively predictable world and turned it upside down.

Some may choose to deny it. They pine for the good old days but the genie is out of the bottle. Even status quo is unacceptable. He starts with technology and the application of Moore’s Law. The latter states that the computing capacity as we know it will increase exponentially as its costs decrease. In addition to breakthroughs as more and more people are exposed to the science, that capability will feed upon itself causing explosive growth.

As I read through this section I had the feeling of sheer breakneck speed and although I like to cruise around 80mph, it was little unsettling. Seems I am not alone. There is new term being tossed around called dislocation. When something totally new comes along it takes us a period of time to learn it and put it to use. Today we are working and producing at such warp speed that by the time we assimilate a particular piece it has already been rendered obsolete. To wit the various iterations of iPhones. You don’t email, you tweet. Thousands of apps come to the fore daily. What’s a guy to do?

So many things have happened that we almost take them for granted. Uber was ingenious but then we got LYFT. The first iPhone came out in 2007 and now it is the laptop for many. We used to have hard drives et alia and now we have the Cloud. We don’t develop software but go to a thing called GITHUB to select from a vast array of programs. We use them, adapt them and then leave it for someone else to improve upon. And that is happening in every square inch of our world.
With this enormous flow in place we turn to the Market or world we live in. It is hard to grasp population growth. Population grows at a rate of around 1% which doesn’t sound drastic unless you realize that is 75 million people a year. A major portion of that is centered in India and the African continent. Mobile phones and computing power are coming to all ares of the globe. They not only want to learn, they want to participate. The Web has enabled all sorts to collaborate regardless of skin color or uniform or garb. Like so much today there are no ground rules and we sail on in uncharted territory.

Mother Nature is throwing all of us a curve or should I say just acting up. Whether you believe in global warming or not things are in turmoil. Friedman goes into this in pretty good detail as it relates to displaced people.Not only from war but catastrophic drought. Now we are warm and cozy in front of our fireplaces with visions of sugarplums but there are 65 million displaced people on the move this very day or night in this orb we all call home. In subsaharan Africa there is route taken by Somalis, Eritreans whatever that literally spans the Continent. After weeks and months they end up in Niger and work their way northward to the Med and hopefully freedom of what ever sort.

Add in the Middle East that only exacerbates the problem with wars in Syria and Yemen. There is desperation for all these people as it becomes not a search for a better life but life in any fashion. If they stay they will die from starvation caused by whatever force of nature you want to use. Thank You For Being late takes you from awe to depression to reality and to hope. It is an amazing journey that I know I can’t do justice through this epistle but maybe it will at least tease you to look under the hood.

A conclusion is that the last 11,000 years have been the Holocene era and now we are passing into a new one. Let’s call it an outgrowth for the Garden of Eden. We have had things very well and the jury is out as to whether we have eaten the forbidden fruit too many times. Things are going to be very different for us in so many ways. That is not to be fatalistic or depressing as much as an alarm bell that  we have to open our eyes and get our minds and  asses in gear.
The best takeaway I got was the absolute need for an adaptive mentality. We have to say maybe we don’t have all the answers. It means giving in and admitting we might be wrong about this or that. Not acquiescence but the ability to connect and learn from others. In technology which is going to drive this world there is no prejudice and there are no real borders. Open to new ideas and a new way of thinking on everything from government to education to our definition of a good life.It’s is totally different model. Let’s at least take a test drive. We might wind up buying it.

As always
Ted The Great


People in desperate situations have children. It sounds crazy but it is the one thing that can make them feel worthwhile. A father is able to procreate and a woman can suckle. Scary.
An AT&T experiment brings new ideas to solving problems. When new people are needed for a project they make every effort to hire from within. If an employee is lacking a certain skill they have on line courses in conjunction with Georgia Tech to bridge the knowledge gap. This may lessen the need for four year degrees.

In the Mideast we have seen people obtain freedom “from” but we haven’t given the freedom “ to.” In Iraq we conquered Hussein but did not have an adequate blueprint for people to take it from there.

Friedman makes a curious statement that people have taken to “collecting their wounds.” They seek pity long after the fact and use their ills as crutches and excuses not to move forward. This prevents any forward progress. Not just a few but becoming a method of living for many. Interesting.

So Little Time….

I started out with one topic for this week’s missive and found myself wandering from place to place. Not ADD but so many thoughts to capture my attention. I am random by nature but this is ridiculous. Just for a moment, think of my plight. There is a plethora of fascinating parts to our lives if we are just smart enough to sit down for a moment and look. Not always the case, especially for me.
On Sunday there was a keynote speaker at our church. They have a discussion group most weeks and this one was filled to overflow. There was a young woman who spoke and she was a Muslim. My virgin voyage into Islam and it was not because I was promised anything in the afterlife. She probably presented more questions than she answered. I walked away wanting more and that was just fine.

I went to my Google and such, in an effort to fill in the blanks. Problem was I only created more. This is beyond complex as a religion or ideology or whatever is not easy to define. I could question Muhammed’s motives from the get go. Are you peaceful or a local chieftain that was looking for a following? Is violence a core belief or an ancillary? Is there a chance you were God given or just another huckster? Why do you have today 1.8 billion followers in this world?
I wanted to wax eloquently to my readers but I just felt like a moron after several hours of research. More to follow.

I am befuddled by our President elect. Not by his Twittering but his appointments. If you have ever read my previous meanderings you know I delight in hoisting the petard against sacred cows. Boeing? Carrier? Bring it on, big guy. My sane self says I can’t believe this will ever work. My Walter Middy says if there was ever a time to gore fatted calves, this is it.

There was a tragedy in Boulder Monday night. A body was found in a parking lot with a bullet in its head. Black man about 40 years young. Another senseless slaying? In a way. He had killed himself. He wasn’t a nobody. He was Rashan Salaam, a celebrity in these parts because in 1991 he brought the Heisman trophy to Colorado with his derring do on the football field. We are in the middle of this wonderful country and we don’t get a lot of press so when I say he was BIG, I mean really BIG.

Better yet he was a fine young man. He went on to the Chicago Bears. He was not a rock star type but someone whom you would have over to dinner. He worked with the University and was basking in the glory of one of our most successful years. From last to first in the PAC 12. What caused it? We will never know but it is a wailing siren to every troubled person on this planet.

I watched the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor tonight. It is wonderful to see these old guys getting their due. Imagine if you were in a gun tub on the Arizona and you could see some Japanese pilot waving to you as he was about to blow you and your ship to smithereens. That red dot on his fuselage would become etched in your mind for the rest of your life. You then had a choice. Jump into the water which was awash in fire laden oil or go down with your ship? Think you are having a tough day?

I worked out at the gym today. It snowed last night and the current temp has been in the single digits. Not very crowded. Only the hard core and oh yes, me. I saw people trying to get in shape or at least manage what they had. I also saw a beautiful young woman. I had seen her many times before. Hey,I am not brain dead…yet. But there was something different. She had had her lips puffed up and who knows what else?

It was sad because there was no need for it but she felt there was. What was lacking in her life? I looked at others that were a tad older. Maybe they could use a little help but whatever they got it was not to the plus side. Why do we always seek something better? Is it wonderful to want to be better or is it an absurdity as we try to beat the clock or show disdain to what God has given us? I decided to cancel off my liposuction surgery. This gut is here to stay.

Lastly I got a FaceTime from my granddaughter Ryan. Her mom and dad presented her and her two sisters with an early Christmas present tonight. Tomorrow morning they are all going to New York for the next few days. They were beyond excited and asked me places to go. I was reliving a time spent long ago. It was an absolute joy to see their euphoria over something not quite so tangible as a wrapped present. This was going to be an experience to be savored long after the batteries would wear out on this or that. Life is good.

That’s it. My poor brain can’t stand any more stimulation. I haven’t told you half of what is running around in there. I will sit back, maybe have a bit of Scotch and think about how lucky I am. I only hope your life is half as eventful and rewarding as mine

As always,
Ted The Great

Factoids: None. My cranium is flashing TILT.