The Winter Of Our Discontent …..


My apologies to Messrs. Steinbeck and Shakespeare for my plagiarism of the title but it fit into my thinking over the past few days. I went for my four mile walk yesterday with the whole concept of discontent on my mind. What? In La La Land? Have you totally lost the last few brain cells you have? It was perfect. Knew the path well so I could just work through so many feelings and thoughts. 

When we got back from Denver I had two copies of The Week to peruse. Flipping through pages and jamming all that mayhem and chaos into one place, you


are bound to ask, is anyone happy? Hong Kong,
San Juan, and even our own metropolises are full of people who are fed up and not going to take it anymore. Temporary malaise or unsolvable problems? Good question. 

For the moment let’s just say discontent is a dislike of the way things are going. I think that is normal for those whom their life really sucks but is it rational for a country like ours? Things aren’t perfect but they are better than most. We don’t even have to look to DC but just our own burghs and dare I say homes. We have this irrepressible urge to change things all in the name of making them better but why?

Cars, golf clubs, kitchens, bath rooms etc have the same functionality they had fifty years ago. Government, schools, business…ditto. Have we made things better or more complex? th-5.jpegDid you ever come upon a small town either here or abroad and find yourself saying what a cool place? These people gather for coffee, fish in the local stream and the kids play sports at the local sand lot. Do you say these people don’t know what they are missing or maybe we don’t know what we are?

Nirvanna is the latest and greatest, which would be wonderful if we could freeze it in time. Okay that is just perfect I don’t need any more. Then the seductive siren of innovation says you can have more. If you do this or that you will be much happier. Homes, clothes, technology, cars and all manner of food pronounce the ultimate experience..until next month. Aha!. Perchance this is a major part of our discontent. Is it an itch you can’t scratch or a rub that only gets worse? 

Discontent equates with unhappiness of some sort. If you don’t like your life you want it to change. Got it. If someone is holding a knife to your neck in a super market looking for cash or raping you just for something to do I would say you are right on for thinking,”Get my ass outta here”. But today are you being talked out of something you love because it is heaven forbid “dated”?

Sounds crazy? Maybe not. There are some of us that are predisposed to to look on the dark side of things. It is estimated 35% of our populace thinks that way. Good for you. I honestly think that a good portion of us are talked into it. Acquaintances are hypercritical about every little thing. You think things are going along great and then wham you have no idea how backward and behind the times you are. 

Add to all of this the insidious part of our media world. I got my Wall Street Journal yesterday with its slick monthly magazine. Page after page of gorgeous women in all sorts of seductive poses. What? My wife doesn’t look or act like that? Dinner? We are going to tell you about four must see restaurants throughout the US. Not in Palm City,FL or Cheyenne, WY? Well you just get yourself on a plane to San Francisco  or Austin and make sure you staying the Ritz Carlton on your overnight jaunt.

I came away from all this wondering with more than a headache. The first conclusion I reached is that we set unreachable goals. I am the greatest dreamer in the world but I am also practical to a fault. Do I want to be a better golfer, husband and dad? Of course. Do I want to be in shape ? You bet, but the only six pack I am going to have is under my arm leaving a liquor store. th-6.jpegSet goals but make them reachable. 

Secondly we have to stop comparing ourselves and keeping score. I have told many of you before the biggest symptom of depression is a lack of self esteem. You can be successful beyond compare and still you don’t feel you measure up to others. Next time you watch or see an ad tell me if it doesn’t say, “If you don’t drive this car or drink this type of scotch you are a loser.” An ad exec told me once that it was his job to sell a lack of self esteem. And we and our young people today get thousand of messages on TV, radio and our phones telling us just that. Yikes!

Lastly we have to learn and have the guts to tune it out. We crave the latest and spend our spare time looking at our phone and I Pads. We have in a word become captive. It is not the phone or Facebook or You Tube that is doing this.  It is us! We created its popularity and we  feed it. There are fascinating things on the internet. There is also a bunch of crap. 

Bottom line is how do you want to live? Is that great little town attractive or do you have to be the end all and be all? More importantly is how content are you in your own skin? Not someone else’s view but your own perception of Can you be discontent with the world but content with you? I think so. How about you?

As always 

Ted The Great 


Post WWII people were grateful for an opportunity to do well. Now we consider it an entitlement whether you are rich or poor. It spans color as well as age. 

We spend over $200 billion per annum remodeling our homes. Buy Home Depot and Loews

Companies advertising will spend over $210 billion this year  getting us to but stuff!

In the United States, people spend an average of 444 minutes every day looking at screens, or 7.4 hours. That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on a smartphones and 43 minutes with a tablet. We are only ranked 7th in the world

“We don’t always know what our life purpose is or what our true path should be but we do get clues and that comes from our discontent.”

N.H Nguyen

Taking Chances….

We are here in another form of LaLa Land. Not content with our outpost in Florida we have made a quick cross country jaunt to the great state of Colorado. th-1.jpegWe are spending a couple of days with each of our kids’ families and then back we go. You know the old saying,”Fish and Family…They stink after three days”. 

In Florida you take your chances crossing the street or getting in the way of the 4:30 rush for Silver Hair Specials at your local restaurant. In Colorado they can dream up a whole variety of things to curl your hair with fear. Rock climbing, extreme skiing, 100 mile runs and my favorite this weekend, The Triple Bypass! 

You start in Evergreen Colorado which is in the foothills about 20 miles west of Denver. You wend your way at breakneck speed for 120 miles over three jegundo mountain passes, the final one being the Vail Pass Summit at 10,662 feet above the surface of the ocean. You will have climbed a total of 10,000 feet in your trek and at various parts one does question their own sanity. 

As you travel you may see some people paragliding after running off the edge of a cliff. There are also hot air balloonists who glide on the wind and try to land in a safe spot without hitting power lines. biker-3803751__340.jpgHow about tear assing down a mountain path and  over rock ledges  with only a little bit of steel and two wheels between your legs?

Now these tales of hair raising evoke a number of different concepts. First and foremost is why do it? You can say because it is there and that would be an apt response. You might get your jollies by adrenalin instead of heroin running through your veins. You might want to impress someone in particular or the the world in general. 

I think if I can do scary stuff it takes me out of my comfort zone. You defy the ordinary. I am afraid of heights but I jumped out of an airplane from 17,000 feet. It can be a new frontier or just a new experience. This can be physically as well as financially. If you don’t challenge yourself life is just a tad boring. 

My son packed up his family and moved to London to try a totally new job. He stayed for three years and he and his family will never be the same. People develop new products and ideas. Success is rarely guaranteed. You work without a net. Now the question becomes what if you fall?

I really question our responsibility if someone drives a car at 200 miles an hour and hits a wall or drops in his attempt to scale a sheer face. Do I or should I say we have to nurse him back to health at the cost of several hundreds of thousands of dollars? I choose to go skiing out of bounds or hiking on uncharted paths. Should we have to organize search and rescue teams at considerable expense to retrieve this would be superhero? Good question. 

We have bankruptcy laws that protect the risk taker and probably screw the investor. You say they take their chances but what if it is a depositor in a local bank? How about a mom and pop investing in a mutual fund that has lost its way. Silly? Maybe not. Was Jimmy Stewart that far afield in “It’s a Wonderful Life” ?

As one grows older, you observe those around you. I am amazed at  things in parents and maybe grandparents of today do to protect their children. th-5.jpegThe college entrance scandals are symptomatic of parenthood gone awry. We bow to their every need. We are their sole sort of support both financially and psychologically. We have immersed them in bubble wrap. 

Think I am bent on hyperbole? Think again. My two daughters have been involved in heading the local PTA’s . When you do that you come in close contact with the teachers. The amount of parental interference in everything from scholastics to sports is off the charts. Finally the pressure and intimidation becomes too much and they just acquiesce. That is beyond sad. 

I have really marveled at my grandkids’ independence.Whether it is riding bikes instead of getting a ride or getting summer jobs they seem to be getting at least a small taste of the real world. I am not bragging as much as saying it works. There is a world out there beyond the helicoptering of mom and dad. You get the same thrill of independence and accomplishment as you do from doing a 360 on a ski hill. 

We seem hell bent on giving everyone everything they want today. The government will protect you nine ways from Sunday. Who wouldn’t vote for them if they promise, health, education and housing for free. If you screw up and don’t pay your bills we will rescue you. Not just the young. If you eat and drink your brains out of course we are going to heal your broken and diseased body. 

I am not saying everyone has to be at risk but if you choose not to try something new or out of the box don’t demand that we all be treated equally. There is reason T Bills pay 2 or 2 3/4 % and junk bonds pay a hell of a lot more. I love taking chances and unfortunately I have paid more than once for my misdaventures. But in the long run I would not trade it for the world. Come on in the water is fine. 

As always 

Ted The Great 


More than 5,000 riders participated in this year’s Triple Bypass. The event raised money for non profits in Colorado. There were some bona fide lunatics who did the Double Triple Bypass by retracing their 120 miles the day after. 

The National Park Service spends over $5 million per annum to rescue you hikers and skiers. One in Grand Teton National Forest cost over $115,000 to find two skiers who had died. th-3.jpeg

Free tuition would cost approximately $340 billion per year. $70 billion of that cost is at public universities. 

In My Humble Opinion..


It seems today everyone has an opinion about something. On etymological  matters such as these I go to Webster’s: Opinion, a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter. Sounds healthy enough. The key words to me are view and judgment. These are not incontrovertible facts but a reasoning or deduction of sorts.

 My first thought is to consider the source. Is this person considered an expert on that particular topic or are they just shooting from the hip?th-5.jpeg Did they derive their thesis from years of study or is it the diploma of the streets that gives them a sense of authenticity? You and I have all run into someone who spouts off with not a lot of know how. Such are our times.

I did a talk on Global Migration a few months ago. What gave me the right? First I used a well thought out syllabus from the Institute of Foreign Policy. I also spent a fair amount of time studying and reading. I was not an expert by any means but I had some chops. 

People asked me if I was nuts speaking on such a volatile subject but hopefully I took them on a journey through facts. What are the numbers? What is the law? What is the current state of our facilities? As I prepared and learned facts I found myself drifting from one side of the argument to the other. Maybe I could offer God forbid, an informed opinion? 

I will tell you today it is the law that if someone presents themselves at our doorstep requesting asylum they are heard by a border control officer. If they are denied they have a right to appeal and stay until they are heard. Now you may have an opinion for or against but that is the law.images-25.jpeg 

Now the numbers become startling. There are over 1 million people who have requested asylum. There are 394 judges who will hear those appeals. These people have to be processed properly and that takes time for an overwhelmed Border Patrol. The facilities were outposts to hold four or five people in detention not hundreds and thousands. You can have an opinion as to whether that is the proper way to do it but that is what we as a society have set up through our legislatures and bureaucracy. 

I think where we go astray is by considering our machinations to be without fault. We think our sources are irrefutable. Joe Jones told me this and of course he knows what he is talking about. Time after time I have questioned people’s logic and they cannot say with certainty the origin of their facts. 

It is rather bizarre in our info inflated world there are so many false accusations and assumptions on both sides of the fence. I think when you get right down to it, the hoi polloi and even the cognoscenti should really do more dumpster diving before they shoot their mouths off. Fuggedaboutit TTG ! Well we can always dream, can’t we?

In truth we all believe that our opinions are true and valid. They are part of our psyche. Some seem right. Some seem terribly wrong. They have been formed over years or etched because of certain event. We can vote them out of the mainstream but if we are to have any credence as a democracy we must at least allow them to think so. 

I am not a fan of Colin Kapernick nor Wayne Lapierre. I cringe at Hannity. I wince at Maddow. We can allow them soap boxes and even praise them. But we cannot accept what they say as fact driven truth. It is an opinion and they are entitled to it. 

The most interesting part of all this is that I probably agree on at least one tenet espoused by all of the above. Something in there makes sense when stripped of the dramatics and vitriol. I have this crazy thought that if we assembled a little from each we could find a workable solution to our knottiest of problems. But then again that is just my opinion. 

As always

 Ted The Great 


The difference between fact and opinion on the following grounds: The fact is described as the statement that can be verified or proved to be true. Opinion is an expression of judgment or belief about something. Fact relies on observation or research while opinion is based on assumption.

Types of Opinions:

Op Ed 

Legal Opinon

Financial  Opinion

Judicial Opinion: Majority, Concurring,Dissenting

Critical  Opinion in Art, Music, Golf Swings !!!!

And in al of them they are just opinions. 

IMHO: In my humble option. Are you kidding me? Who is humble?th-4.jpeg