Many Thanks…

Many Thanks

It seems like some of the craziness is tapering off while we still hold onto our cherished moments of insanity. Transition can go forward and the vaccine is in sight. Yet as homo sapiens we can’t control our urges to mingle on the feast day of feast. 

We all want our place at that Norman Rockwell table even though Uncle Lenny always gets smashed and someone makes a remark or taunt to causes one or several to leave the buffet in tears. We say grace but real fast so we can dig in. Some don’t say anything. 

In the midst of all this I have decided to sit down a few days before and really think about all I have and how good life has been to me. Not riches or fame but an incredible series of events and relationships that have formed me over these 75 years.

For a moment just think about family. Not just immediate but over the centuries the number of unions that go into the DNA of you and me. My grandmother, who at the age of 14 joined her 16 year old sister to go down a country lane in County Roscommon, town of Boyle  and wind up in a place called America. Talk about guts or desperation or perhaps a little of both.

There have been so many teachers that cajoled, disciplined and gave you little pearls of wisdom that have stuck with me all these years. The Sister Eamons and Albertas that were strict but not as heartless as wags might tell us. My beloved Jesuits who taught me to question and an English teacher in college who liked the way I wrote and may have given rise to Ted’s Head so many years later. 

Bosses? As a true rebel and egalitarian I have railed from time to time about authoritarian figures. Still there were some who saw something in me whether as a captain of a ship or a titan of industry. One in particular gave me wide latitude to as he said, “make myself or hang myself”. Your option. 

I mentioned to a fellow golfer last week, a memory  when  I had a caddy back in New Jersey. He dryly noted he never owned a caddy. I quickly added that Steve, a black man from Harlem and I were good friends. It did make me think about so many people who have been so giving to me over the years. 

Whether it is a waiter, maitre’d, cleaning lady, bartender, nurse, shopkeeper in a little town, just for a moment of revery I am going to cogitate about how gracious so many people have been to me. Again I have always thought of them as friends.  I wish there was some way I could thank each one of them and let them know what that has meant to me. Maybe just a please, may I have, and thank you today can make up for some of that. 

Kathy and I have lived in so many locales over the years. A little nuts? Of course but just think of the myriad of people we have come to know from all walks of life. Neighbors by the score in towns, churches, clubs, kid’s soccer teams, schools and business. When you stop to add them up, it is really astounding. 

Of course there have been some that have stood out more than others. Roommates, teammates, classmates, shipmates. For some unknown reason we clicked and I am so fortunate to have so many good friends right now and it is incredibly sad that some have so few or none. I have girl friends. Don’t tell the divine Miss K but I love talking to women. I am an equal opportunity gabber and sometimes flirt. To each and everyone of you I say thank you. 

To those who have departed you know now what an effect you have had on my life. My closest friends, John and Tom. My older brother Kevin. All gone far too soon, no matter what their age. All are there when I needed them. I only hope I was half as good in return. 

Of course the final piece has to be family. I have a sister that is the mother hen and the glue that holds this group of reprobates together. Even at this age when we are supposed to be independent she is there watching and worrying. 

My son and daughters are in a word, fantastic. They have spread their wings but have not forgotten their roots. Each is is special and unique in so many ways. My munchkin grandkids can do no wrong. I look at pictures around this joint on a daily basis. I think of each one as the amazing individuals they are becoming. I forget birthdays and ages but they are always in my heart. 

Last but surely not least I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such a wonderful wife. A good friend told me several years ago if I was married to any other woman I would have had three wives by now. The oracle thus spake. I am always amazed at the serendipities and pure chance that we met. It’ll be 50 years in January and doesn’t seem half that long. 

The coolest thing is that when asked what she did for a living, she responds forcefully she was a mother and a wife. It has been her calling and her life. She is as cute as the day I met her and suffice to say I married up. 

I hope if you have gotten this far, that you too can think about what gifts we all have. Not just a quick prayer on one day of the year but a realization that someone has been looking down on us even if you don’t believe in a God. Thank you for listening and reading all these years. You are all wonderful and dear friends. Thanks for the ride

As always 

Ted The Great

I Am Thoroughly Confused…

I live life in what some of you might consider a random fashion. Winging it and turning on a dime might be considered some of my DNA. Yet the last year has been a challenge. Like every other homo sapiens I look for a little certainty where there is none. 

For Kathy and me, this year started off in the South Pacific where we cruised, making Australia as our final destination. We toasted our 49th wedding anniversary overlooking the Sydney Opera House. All was good until all hell broke loose. It’s ironic that Wuhan was light years away and yet it would soon affect every human being on the planet. 

We can argue about response time and safety measures but I think this virus caught everyone, including some very smart scientists by surprise. Yes they had talked of some sort of super virus that would spread because of our global connections, but to this extent? We were all quickly assured we were smart enough to figure out a way around it. How naive and probably incredibly stupid. 

I respect this pandemic but I don’t live in fear. I will take adequate protections but if somehow it sneaks through my bubble then it is probably the luck of the draw. That’s just me. But it galls and yes confuses me why people don’t wear masks? They are available and stupidly easy to put on, so it defies logic that we don’t all do so. I do not look at it as a threat to my virility or Superman status. It is simply a mark of respect for my common man and woman. 

We have just concluded a presidential election. For months we have been lectured to by the cognoscenti. Pundits and pollsters have flooded the airwaves with their version of the way things are or will be. Raw news and facts are now sandwiched with editorial comment. 

Op Eds aren’t just one but every page of the paper. The “latest” polls proved terribly wrong. The Blue Wave fizzled and 71 million Americans thought he other guy was right. How could they?

The Dems outfoxed the GOP. They pushed mail in voting while the Republicans excoriated it and held big rallies and get out the vote campaigns. They did a fabulous job on Election Day but unfortunately the public wanted to mail in. They failed to realize the subtle impact of COVID on the voting process. I guess they were confused.

But beneath the rubble there was another number that stood out to me…the number of non voters. There are in the US 233 million people of voting age. Only 145 million voted. Imagine if you had figured out a way to get some of that other almost 90 million out to cast their ballot? Confusing isn’t it?

The stock market is not easy to figure out. Yesterday we had a ginormous rally over the possibility of a vaccine. Today we are wondering how to distribute it, so perhaps we will have a pullback. A month ago oil was at almost $0 per barrel. Today it is at $40. Once again every financial guru has his day but can anyone get it right? It leaves the public guessing which may be the way they like it. 

Add into this maelstrom the, NFL and college football, weather forecasts, protests for and against, crime and my golf game and poor old TTG has run amok. No matter what little tidbit of sagacity I try to hold onto, there are nine counters saying I am an idiot. (Please don’t comment on my last). You can say these are just alternate opinions but I do have to question just how really smart they all are?

I abhor the term genius. I think I have told you Mark Twain’s maxim that everyone is perfect, just at different things. In times like this we crave some stability, some light to lead us out of the darkness. We watch Dr Phil and Dr Oz on TV. We pick our news cast or channel by who seems the smartest. If we stepped back for a moment, we could probably punch holes in every argument both left and right. 

People are great but man are they opinionated with a dollop of superiority on top. Not so much social but intellectual. They know the perfect way to redo their house, buy golf clubs, go on vacation, pick out single malt scotch and fine wines and of course express themselves politically. They have it all figured out or do they?

I guess my point is that we are not as smart as we think we are and the other guy is not as dumb as he looks. The titans of industry, renowned scientists, columnists, pollsters and eloquent bartenders are all entitled to their opinion. And I am entitled to mine. But life isn’t as predictable as we think. There are aberrations and upheavals beyond our control every day of the week. 

As we look for answers we would do well to dig deep and form our own well thought out viewpoints. God forbid that may take some of our valuable time in our ultra busy world. Then we have to be able to adapt them to our ever changing diorama called life. As we accept things for what they are, we might actually feel less confused. I know I do. 

As always

Ted The Great 


Polls affect public perception of everything from voting to racism to God. If they are flawed it results in wrong conclusions by ordinary people and vast amounts of money spent going this rabbit hole or another. Polls actually cause us to think one way or another even if it turns out to be wrong.

“Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
Thomas A. Edison

Illusory superiority (also known as the above-average effect, superiority bias, leniency error, and the Lake Wobegon effect) is primarily a term used in social science which indicates an individual who has a belief that they are somehow inherently superior to others. They have the tendency to overestimate their own capabilities in relation to the abilities of others.  Legends in our own minds

HAPPY VETERANS DAY….Thank you for your service