Kerfuffle, Enigma, Addled….

Words are fun. I especially like the ones that describe emotion or a state of mind. With COVID 19 I have been put to the test. There are so many conflicting points of view and definitions, there are times when I really wonder where the hell I am at. 

Over the years I have loved and actually made a living out of solving problems or just figuring out different ways to do things. It is not necessarily contrarian but just another set of eyes. Not prescience but just not willing to accept a certain solution as the only one. I have met my match this time in even trying to define the problem before solving it.


At first glance, it is a disease and we have to look to medicine to cure it. As a country and a business we have spent a lot of money trying to eradicate this or that malady. Right now we have the world’s greatest scientific minds racing for the cure. I wish it was a more cooperative venture but for the moment I have given up tilting at windmills. Right on cue the Chinese are hacking into our research to see if they can beat everyone to the punch. Yikes!

While waiting for panacea we need assurances. Where else would one go but to the  federal government? Kids, unfortunately this has been a dismal failure. Stockpiles, disaster plans, supply chains, even the lack of a synchronous response, all point to chaos and infighting. It makes you wonder what all these agencies are doing? First we need ventilators, then we don’t. This drug works. No this one does. Field hospitals and mercy ships go wanting for customers. No one is singing out of the same hymnal. 

Let’s turn to Congress. World War II, 9/11 and even the financial meltdown got everyone on the same page. Not this time. Each side has a shopping list and an agenda for the next two or three trillion. Chastise the other side as being un American because in our perfect storm this is an election year. I don’t know who I abhor more, Pelosi or Uncle Mitch in front of the microphone. His Hairness? Don’t go there. 

Failing all else, we may have to just rely on ourselves. We have a newly retired emergency room doc here in LaLa Land, who just got back from several weeks of volunteering his time at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. The number of people who just “Do It” is astounding. Some have contracted the disease and died. Something about no greater love. Our hats are off to them in spades. 

But what about you and me? It has been shown that social distancing and masks work. I don’t really want to wear my bandana to Publix but I do it out of courtesy for someone’s else’s fear. images-10You son of  bitch ,TTG ! You are taking away my rights as an American. If I want to stand wall to wall with people at a bar or on a beach I am going to do so. It is my legacy. The other side wants to lock down forever. Is there a happy medium we can all agree on? Sorry, poor choice of words. 

I fear we are painting with broad brushes. As of press time we have 90,000 deaths due to COVID. 39,000 were in two states, New York and New Jersey. Nationwide 80% of the deaths have occurred in patients over 65. A large majority have been in nursing homes. For just a minute imagine if we just locked down the populace by age. Sure younger people are going to get it but they will recover. We old farts make up 15% of the population. Has anyone asked why we have to sequester the other 85% ? Am I willing to do it? Yes for the sake of my kids and grandkids. I won’t like it but I will do it. Would you?

The lockdown has instilled fear in every part of our society as buyers of stuff. People swoon at the idea of going to the mall again but are reticent. Cars, boats and other toys are languishing on lots and on shelves. Depreciation is almost as bad as corrosion. Is it just me or does the fact that 75% of our economy is based around consumables finally hit home? 

The problem as I see it is twofold. First we have to find a vaccine or at least therapeutic drugs to help us get through it. Let’s hope we are on it. Secondly we have to reinvent ourselves from top to bottom. Just take government, education and infrastructure to start with. The latter is both the physical highways, airports etc and the nation supply lines. It is a total absurdity and embarrassing that livestock are being euthanized and crops left to rot in the field while food banks go wanting. It is almost Orwellian. 

We are smug in our world. I know there is poverty but a vast majority of us are doing okay. Most of the jobs lost will come back. We preen ourselves in the mirror and say we will come back better than ever. images-4That might be right depending on your version of contentment. I would rather keep looking and searching. We have problems that are systemic and need more than a vaccine. I will continue to be flummoxed and addled amidst the enigma that has me in a kerfuffle.It is just the way I am 

As always 

Ted The Great 


3.7 million gallons of milk daily are washed down the drain every day. Farmers in Washington state have a surplus of one BILLION potatoes.

There are 700,000 pigs across the nation that cannot be processed each week and must be humanely euthanized.

Congress has authorized roughly $3 trillion in coronavirus relief in four separate measures over the last two months. The new $3 trillion bill would greatly increase monies to states and municipalities. 

A  study by SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute found that over four years from 2015 to 2018, New York taxpayers paid $116 billion more in federal taxes than the state received in federal funding. During the same period, Kentucky received $148 billion in federal funds more than Kentuckians paid in federal taxes.  Imagine that! 

Over 100,000 volunteer medical workers have gone to New York. Many of them have been stymied in their efforts to go by bureaucracy or lack thereof. One nurse in North Carolina want to donate her time. No one would call her back. She called a hospital and they said she would have to go through their recruitment agency. She wanted to do it for free but they pay her $3800 per week…..which of course New York State taxes her on.  I can’t make this stuff up. Unknown-3

Chinks In The Armor……

When you are young you are invincible. As a small child you don’t know fear. As you supposedly mature, you know it but consider yourself Superman or Woman in oh so many ways. Unknown-1.jpegGrowing older older still, you find sanity replaces stupidity. You put on a coat of armor to face the world and it seems to work. 

No one in their wildest dreams could have imagined the havoc that has been wrought on us not only as a young nation but an entire globe as we know it. That incredibly microscopic COVID virus has brought powerful nations, billionaires,  manufacturers, store chains and the average resident of this planet earth to a complete halt. Bravados have been silenced and fingers are being pointed. We are all fraying at the seams. 

Our beliefs and attitudes are being challenged. Where did we go wrong? How do we pick up the pieces. I will try to give you a few on my hit list. How about yours?

Globalization, cooperation and common markets were supposed to be our panacea. Unknown-2.jpegConnected by land, sea and the web we were intertwined without national boundaries. The biggest mover of these was China who posed an unlimited marketplace for our goods and a cheap labor force to drive down prices and maximize profits. They could make anything. 

To get all this business done, we created larger, faster and cheaper modes of transportation from gigantic jets to bullet trains. Cross country or cross global was a necessity not a convenience. And places like Wuhan, that no one ever heard of, were very much a part of our narrative…like it or not. 

China became a player because we were begging them to do so. We created a stage for a country that wanted to regain its international status and before we knew it they were stealing the show. We welcomed them with open arms but failed to remember the lesson of the Trojan Horse. They play our game but not by our rules. Unknown-4.jpeg 

In spite of the virus we have the world’s greatest pharmaceutical brains to combat anything. If you can implant hearts and other body parts, how is a stupid microbe going to bring us down? Those brilliant scientists have cured Restless Legs Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. What else is there as we sleep snug in our beds? 

We have taken education as a whole for granted. We insert our kids in one end in kindergarten and in sixteen or seventeen years out comes a finished product to enter society. Nobody really thought about teachers. No one questioned the syllabus. Just get it done. But I ask you how many of us would now question a college education costing $50-75,000 per annum as to its efficacy? You can get the same lecture on line all over the country. What do Ivies, Buckeyes or Trojans really cost? Have we got to rethink all of this?

We don’t think a thing about putting an order in on Amazon or the like. The guy rings your doorbell the same day in many cases. Yet we have the total dysfunction in the process of getting food from the field to your table.blog_complexity.jpg People are seriously challenged at food banks all over the country and we have farmers plowing under entire plantings because either they have no one to pick it or transport the goods to were they are needed. That ad from UPS about “Logistics”  keeps ringing in my ears. 

For decades there has been an exodus from rural America and even the suburbs to the conveniences of the big city. Close to work, entertainment, restaurants and mass transit all were part of the siren’s call. Now people are leaving like rats deserting sinking ship. Country homes are being scooped up outside of big metro areas. So much for mingling with the masses.  

The local paper here in LaLa Land is heralding an upcoming golf match with four PGA pros for charity. Rory McElroy commented on how much demand there was for the public to view live golf once again. And he is right. Golf aficionados would love to curl up on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to watch shot after shot. Ditto football, baseball et al. 

Without getting too heavy duty, this to me is one of the biggest chinks and believe me, the hole in mine you could drive a truck through. How much time do we spend on totally inane things? Kids with cartoon and action games. Adults with mindless hours binge watching the latest stream. Facebook, Instagram and emails. For some crazy reason we will spend hours on the above but can’t find the time for writing a letter or just meditating. 

Right now I am sidelined with the remnants of some surgery on my eyelid. I am out of commission for anywhere from 4-6 weeks. No discomfort just waiting for the healing process which is a pain in itself. No golf et al. But I do walk four to five miles a day. In a strange way I get into a “Walker’s High” and think as the paths and landscape roll by. I will pick a topic and try to think it through. Today’s was the blog I am writing. 

What kept ringing in my poor brain was this concept of how jaded I have become. Life on automatic so to speak. I have my Kevlar on and no one can touch me. images-2.jpegIf you have ever donned any sort of body armor you realize there are spots you can’t cover. Arms, ankles, neck and parts of your face. No matter how smug you feel, you are vulnerable. 

I finished my walk thinking that the armor is my way of coping and saying everything is alright. But when you get right down to it there is a lot as above in this world to screw up our serenity. I think that is called reality. We better get used to it.

As lays

Ted the Great 


There will be very little campaigning for the presidency and the there is it will be at a distance. This is encouraging except for the fact that TV and Internet advertising will be on steroids.

Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime are running out of new shows to stream. Seems the sheltering in place even affects even movie sets. 

Big Changes:

Tourism. People will want to vacation but getting there is the problem. People will be very averse to taking trains and planes. It will take a hearty soul to take a cruise anytime soon.

Working from home could have serious impacts as companies won’t need as much office space, there will be a curtailment of business travel and even business clothing being less needed. 

The age of telemedicine may be upon us. The advent of monitoring devices for everything from blood pressure and heartbeat have been around but now will be connected to the physicians office. Unknown-5.jpeg

A triple convergence of Brexit, the U.S. China trade war and now Covid-19 will reshape the world’s manufacturing supply chains