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 

Factoids:

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. 

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