I have had a minor malady in my left eye for the past few weeks. Nothing serious but it gets you thinking about just how incredible these precious orbs are. They are literally our windows on the world. Right up there with hearing, they are what feeds our minds and our psyche.  

Of course like so many other things in life, we take them for granted until they are threatened. In real time they provide one with the most incredible movie on earth. You watch in wonder at beauty. You crouch in fear at the unimaginable. You are disgusted by vileness and soothed by an idyllic scene. And this all happens automatically without changing your F-stop and you never run out of film.

When you bat your baby blues to greet the day, the input starts. Is the day sunny or gray? You take that quick look in the bathroom mirror and you immediately feel like a movie star or a well worn hack. Don’t be so hard on yourself, there is always plastic surgery. 

You grab your coffee and go right to your laptop or phone. What has happened in our world overnight? Certain things go in the mental trash can and some pique your interest. Data is flying everywhere and those eyeballs are the the valve that controls the flow. It is like this giant factory coming to life.

The National Eye Institute explains the process: “When light hits the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), special cells called photoreceptors turn the light into electrical signals. These electrical signals travel from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. Then the brain turns the signals into the images you see.” Yikes! All this is going on in my crazy head?

Past the mechanics I ponder the validity of the process. We all have this 4 million pixel TV screen but do we all see the same picture? In reality we do but this is where judgment or predisposition gets into the act. The Donald or Biden pops up on the screen. Do you see a friend or foe? Do you luxuriate in that warm fuzzy or are you ready to throw a brick at the screen? Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder.

We here in Harbour Ridge had a Zoom interview with Marco Rubio the other day. For the most part our senator does not move my needle either way. As he talked and answered some serious questions he seemed to talk not as a politician but as somebody we were having a cup of of coffee with. He knew his subject but did not pontificate. Not once during the call did he revert to a party line. It was, dare I say, refreshing. 

My eyes saw and probably believed to some degree. In a way they were at least receptive and less guarded as I normally view politicians. Maybe these peepers when used properly can change my ways of thinking. It is like I am looking at things in different way. Hmm, not bad for an old fart. 

On the other hand we view things that seem pretty cut and dried but somehow people don’t agree. I watched the events of January 6. Forget about whether or not the camera angles were right or wrong, a bunch of people stormed the Capitol and broke down doors and windows. Last week I saw some pols trying to downplay things. “It was just like a normal tourist day” one decried. Did my own eyes deceive me?  

We have all become tech savvy people. Through the miracle of Fotoshop we can create any type of picture we want to project to the world. In other words there are times that we shouldn’t believe what we are seeing. Now what do I do? Is it really fake or do my internal filters and prejudices make it so? Interesting question. 

We need photographers to capture those moments that are so fleeting for us. We do it ourselves with our SLR’s and I phones. They seem to get it just right while most of us click away, only to constantly hit “trash” as if, what was I thinking when I took this? But then you see that one frame that is poignant. It says it all and then we look at it over and over again. Good stuff.

For a moment think about how many zillions of pictures have passed through those two fiber optic cables over the years. They are probably stored in some hard drive in the back of our craniums. Some elated us. Some hurt us deeply. Some were accomplishments. Some were total failures. Etched seems to me to be a very operative word. And that is what we are all about. The sum of our experiences. 

People send us all sorts of emails with pictures. I search the files to try to come up with the right pic to supplement my musings. This cacophony of images is really a treasure. We have  woman here at Fla La Land that takes nature photographs. They are both beautiful and startling. They take you away to another place that is right in our back yard. Wonder why I never saw that? Maybe I just never looked. Maybe they are the real touch of reality in our crazy world. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I have tried to keep Ted’s Head to a thousand words over all these years. I try to paint a picture but probably in comparison I fail miserably. If nothing more maybe I am just here to conjure up those memories in your own mind. I hope they are all good. 

As always 

Ted The Great 


Your eyes are about one inch across and weigh .25 ounce. They do not change is shape and size over our lives. Our eyes blink over 4,200,000 times a year.  

The human eye can differentiate about 10 million different colors. 80% of all learning comes through the eyes. The only organ more complex is the brain.

People read 25% slower on a screen than they do in print. The human eye can only see three colors, red blue and green. All the others are combinations of these. 

While a fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, an iris has 256. This is why retina scans are increasingly being used for security purpose.

These nature pictures are a few examples from my good friend, Lois Fraser. You can go to her Instagram account @loisfraser She would love to hear from you and you will enjoy more of her fabulous work. Look at your own habitat. There is a lot there.

Garden of Eden

Most of you know the story. Many, many eons ago, God had created this fabulously lush and verdant Garden of Eden. Nothing could be better. It is ironic that the supposed site is where Iraq or some other portion of the Middle East is today. Was this prophetic or was His GPS broken?

The first humanoid was a guy named Adam. He was fat dumb and happy until this chick named Eve along. She was a looker and the A Man was head over heels in love. Turns out there were snakes in Paradise and one in particular proved to be their downfall. They ate from the Tree of Life and that is how strife and struggle started. Or so the story goes. 

The original couple probably fought and accused each other of causing this mess. Things like pride, jealousy, lust and overindulgence became the norm of the day. Right from the get go they wanted more than they had. They wanted to strive and accomplish more. Contentment was a long forgotten goal. As the planet reproduced, everyone took different sides. 

Fast forward several millennia and you would have thought that history would teach us something? Not so. It got worse. People, towns, cities and countries all wanted to be better than the other one. Each civilization built cities and trade routes and acquired a specialty of some sort. But one group or another always wanted to be first. It was bred into us.

In a perfect world there would be balance and equality. Everyone brought something to the table. Exchanging gold for spices and silk or fruits and vegetables for lumber it seems on the surface work. But going back to that cute little couple in Paradise there was never enough. 

Today we call that entrepreneurship and growth and that may well be true. If there are frontiers to conquer and horizons to sail to, that will keep our minds occupied and creativity will flourish. Progress is a good thing unless we subvert it. We create cures for disease but we also dream up ways to kill people with similar compounds. The Wright Brothers taught us to fly but today we have used that knowledge of flight to build supersonic fighter planes and hypersonic missiles. We used to wage war from afar but now we can annihilate each other with the flip of switch. 

My poor little brain has been cogitating on all things cosmic these days. My first question is strife inherent and a necessary part of our existence? I believe events are somewhat spontaneous and just happen. How we interpret them and react is what causes problems.  

We all think differently. We like to label ourselves this or that but we really are incredibly different. We don’t think white or black or American or European or Asian. We are alone in our thoughts which is both petrifying and exciting. To say you and I or Biden or the Pope agree on everything is an absurdity. And I think this is where the politics, religion and ethics collide. You are either with us or against us. How much time is wasted trying to figure that out instead of embracing those difference and dare I say benefit from the interaction?

I have my idea of what heaven is but I get cut off many times trying to get  there. You have yours. Do you take that collision as a minor bump in the road or a threat to your existence? I think one of the major difficulties today is we have made every little thing a Waterloo. Everything is a crisis and a threat to your manhood or womanhood and as such can not be ignored or glossed over. 

We have taken something so basic as communication and parsed it and reviled portions of it, so most people are afraid of saying anything. Spontaneity and creativity are snuffed out. We become placid and compliant. The only winner is the one who yells the loudest or who has the most clout….or the biggest gun. 

I have been studying empathy because I want to have it as much as possible.I am not getting all Kumbaya, but I think it is the only way we can break down the walls on both sides. We have to figure out where the other person is coming from.  I want to listen. I want to admit I might be wrong. Is that difficult? You bet it is. But what is my alternative?

I can shut out a number of the people in my life because they are either left or right. Another group I will ask if they are moral or immoral? Then I have to separate believers and non believers.  For immigration or against it? Racist? Gay, straight? Ah yes, now I have my small select group of friends. We can sit around over drinks and congratulate ourselves on how perfect we are. We can get a visceral pleasure when one side or the other falters. And we think that is cool. 

Think about the number of times there are negative thoughts or situations in your daily routine. Of course you are happy overall but screw the other guy. That son of a bitch has no right. I feel your pain. Ha! I hope you rot in hell. 

Back to that Garden of Eden thing. No one is perfect. No one is that smart. Life has its good and bad spots. Weeds in that flower bed or thorns in the bushes. And of course a few snakes. Understand them. Greet them. And most of all don’t let them get you down. Damn those first two! Why did they have to screw it up? 

As always 

Ted The Great


Main Causes of Conflict:

Money. You are criticized for having too much or too little by your friends and family. It is a struggle to make it and keep it.  

Approaches. We all have different ways of solving problems. Some are diametrically opposed. Tough to problem solve.

Perceptions. Did you hear what I had to say or did you hear something else? Eye contact and body language can cause a myriad of problems

Goals. What you and I think are important can be greatly divergent. What is the end game. Define that and half your problem is solved. 

Pressure generates a LOT of conflict. Performance pressure, financial pressure, emotional pressure. All kinds of pressure exist in our lives.

Power.  Everyone wants to have power. Those who do not have any power, want power. Those who have all the power want more of it.

Values. Values lead to generalizations about people. You are a Republican so you have to be against human rights. You didn’t go to an Ivy League school so you can’t be smart 

Policies. They cause conflict because it is in their nature. People, with different values, create policies. Policies only change when people change them. If you disagree with a policy, there are limited ways to change the policy.