Still Crazy…

After nonstop viewing of the IMAX screen representing the mosaic of our so called life I have to take a break. My son Scott, his wife Dionne and their two boys are visiting form London. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire. I am referred to as the Padge which is short for Padre. Consider it a fact that these two and our five other grandkids are incredibly special to Kathy and me.

Eleven year old Harper once exclaimed to me that I was the craziest grandpa anyone could have. I asked her if this was good? She replied,”Are you kidding? I love it.” Out of the mouths of babes. Unfortunately for most of you this is not a persona I adopt it as a normal state of affairs. If I am not creating some sort of mayhem I feel I am not doing my job.

Now many of you may take exception and look askance at a 71 year old acting, dare I say, childishly. Think what you will, I will hold out that until you are outrageous you haven’t lived. There is a bit of impishness involved but when I am me I could never feel more alive. And therein is causing me to ponder. Is it really that difficult? Or even better is it something we all aspire to in our Walter Middy minds?

With the kids here we decided to use a gift we had purchased at a charitable event…a ride to get ice cream on a 60 year old Denver Fire Engine. A retired fireman named Dan showed up in front of my daughter’s house in a gleamingly restored Ward La France pumper, outfitted with benches in the back. We climbed aboard and rang the bell, turned on the lights and of course gave a quick blast of the seen. So much for quiet residential streets.

Danny took the long way around to the Little Man Ice Cream place on the West side of Denver. Seizing the moment I could not resist as we roared through the canyons of downtown. I stood up with my Titlest floppy hat protecting my bald pate and started waving and shouting hello to all the tourists and worker bees in the Mile High City. My 12 year old grandson wanted to hide but there was nowhere to be found. He later admitted that the first few blocks were gruesome but he knew Padge was not to be denied. In the end he thought it was pretty cool. Another disciple!

Some responded including a couple of pretty girls. They were probably far sighted. But on a glorious summer afternoon maybe we brought a bit of laughter to just a few Denverites. I greet people warmly on the street, at the gym, at the club and even in church.That is what I am all about.

To put it bluntly I do not take myself or for that matter anyone else very very seriously. If you do you become very conscious of faults and foibles. You worry about how you look and how people will react to you. Did I phrase my thoughts just perfectly or was there room to be criticized? It just doesn’t matter. No matter what you say or do you cannot take it back. In the long run who is going to remember in two weeks, a month or a year?

I love practical jokes. One of the best ever was back in my Wall Street days. A buddy of mine had a neighbor who of course knew all there was to know about anything. He had purchased a VW Beetle when they first came out. They didn’t have a gas gauge but a lever near the accelerator to turn when your tank ran low. Simple and efficient.

The neighbor bragged and bragged about mileage to the point of absurdity. My compadre decided to start adding gas to his neighbor’s tank on a regular basis. Voila, this egomaniac thought he was getting over 150 miles to the gallon. He boasted to the neighborhood and was driving the dealer’s maintenance department crazy with his rants. This went on for awhile and then my friend started removing gas via syphon. You can just imagine our mark was now getting 10 miles to the gallon. Need I say more. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Point being, life can be a lot of fun if you give it a chance. I am irreverent. I love to catch people, especially self indulgent ones off guard. We are all of the same cloth. If you think you are especially gifted or smart consider the fact that we are in the Lucky Sperm Club. We could be living in a hut in Somalia or have a penthouse unit in Aleppo, Syria. Chinks in the armor are healthy. You don’t want to be carrying all that weight around. We all put our pants on one leg at a time…even Hilary. Somebody has got to burn that pea green pants suit.

Someone described me yesterday as a disrupter and I was flattered. Status quo is boring. Seems we spend our lives climbing ladders. Executives, sports figures, performers and clergy. If they all look the same and progression is preordained what good is that? We are all at a cocktail party. Do we want to engage each and everyone to find out how the other one ticks or do we just throw air kisses and look over their shoulder to see who we want to talk to instead of this mere peon? Think about that some time.

Well Ta Ta for now and let’s get together soon. I will have your people call my people. Let’s set our sights on six or twelve months from now. Kind of busy until then. Still crazy after all these years. And loving it !

As always
Ted The Great

Too random for that.

Inside Ted’s Head…

We are now into the fifth year of Ted’s Head. We have made new friends and we have lost some others over the years. Some have passed on and others have passed out from this insanity that I put out most weeks. Our numbers range from 200-500 per week depending on how bored people are. I am grateful for every one of them .

The plot line is simple. As my poor wife will attest my mind idles at about 75-80 MPH most of the time and when I get really wound up, look out. I hope I can be considered observant of people and events. It’s not ESP but just a fascination and wonderment at life and all the crazy things it throws at us. Rather than knowledgeable I would rather be considered intuitive or my old favorite, pragmatic. There is only so much we can control.

Most weeks I start thinking about what interests me most around Saturday or Sunday. I am a bit of a news wonk, reading at least two newspapers a day and spending a fair amount of time on line and making PBS news somewhat mandatory. I just like the fact that their news stories are 10-15 minutes in length rather than a 60 second sound byte. I love the WEEK because it takes a news piece and gives you contrary viewpoints. At no time are you told it has to be this way or that. And then I just put thoughts on paper and somehow they seem to make sense….or at least I hope they do.

I am always asked if I am conservative or liberal? Or should I say someone will say, “Oh yeah, I know the way you feel about this or that.” You probably don’t. I have worked with the homeless and in hospice so I am going to try to help my fellow man. Yet the easiest way to get me going is to say,”You owe me.” I will help, but you better be putting in the effort.

Government is a necessary evil…to print money and safeguard the populace.I think we have gone way too far in its involvement in our lives. People were never meant to be lifetime politicians. They were supposed to come, serve their time and then go back home to their livelihoods. I think the whole idea of civil service exemptions from punishment and firing are an absurd overreach of a concept that started out one way by the founding fathers and now has taken on a wholly different life of its own. The government itself has grown so bloated and out of control there is no way to trace money and programs. But it is the grist for the politician’s mill and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

I am not anti capitalist nor anti rich which from time to time some of you have suggested. I find “obscene” wealth to be tawdry. Conspicuous consumption and a desire for things are just childish to me. Those are personal feelings but not a cause celebre. Do what floats your boat! At the same time my most detested trait is arrogance. To act in a way that refuses to take into consideration your fellow man just goes against my grain. I have never felt above or below anyone. My archbishop told me once he thought I had a problem with authority. I probably do, but it is a healthy irreverence for titles and supposed superiority. I always call priests by their first name. Not to be disrespectful but to say we are all in the same boat. Otherwise, Father you can call me Mr. Kenny.

I am not a tree hugger per se but I do think we are screwing up this blue marble we live on. If you study the planet and its systems you realize very quickly this is a well oiled machine. Everything whether it is a food chain or the Gulf Stream makes sense and is part of a process. In the Industrial Revolution we were eager and avaricious but weren’t privy to the data and science that we have today. Today as rational people we have to take steps to change. I guess it comes back the that old hubris thing that I hate so much where we say up yours, we are going to do what we want, no matter what.

As far as the world I don’t think we can or should be the world’s policeman. I think our allies have been playing us like an A Flat wherein we are the beef in any alliance and they pay little more than lip service. For the last decade and a half we have spent over 2 trillion dollars and have very little to show for it. The rest of the world was doing its thing while we were jackassing around in the Middle East. Brings back memories of Viet Nam. It actually is a self fulfilling prophecy because contrary to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warnings we have a marriage made in heaven with defense contractors and our government living up to the specter of the “military industrial complex.”

I hope you all don’t agree with me. We all have disparate opinions. But and it is a huge BUT that we should have to ability to discuss it rather than immediately drawing sides. People are petrified of discourse because they fear if they listen they might find out they agree with some thought or ideation that is contrary to what they have put stock in for so many years. If they are iron clad stubborn they don’t have to worry about it. “That’s my story and I am sticking with it. End of discussion.” We will never grow as people or a country if we adapt that position.

All I can really hope for is that I get you to think. My buddy,Leonardo Da Vinci would think about a problem for several days. On one hand he might look at it this way. That afternoon, a totally different perspective. And then another. More often than not his solution was an amalgam of thoughts over the several days. I guess this is why he is one of the few people in history that I would attribute word “Genius” to. He was.

Lastly everyone asks what is this whole thing with Ted The Great? Very simply, I grew up on Wall Street with many buddies.They went on to become mucky mucks in high places. I called a glitterati one afternoon and his rather officious secretary answered with all the stuffiness she could muster. When I attempted to engage her in light banter she demanded,”Who is this?” I calmly said,”Ted” Really irritated, she sneered, “Ted who?” I just blurted out,”Ted The Great” and the rest is history. It’s a total spoof.

Thanks so much for listening today and as often as you can.

As always
Ted The Great


I figure I have written around 250,000 words of blather over these years. The are all included in the archives of the website, I hope you would think enough of this lunacy to pass the web address to some fiends or mailing lists you may have . Always fire back at me when you think I am out of line or God forbid you might agree.

What, Me Worry?…..

I am back in World Headquarters once again after our trip across the pond. It was a marvelous sojourn that lasted but one week. We did a variety of things but the pace was perfect. A sight here and there but moreover a chance to spend some QT with the Kenny’s of the UK. Christmas there is steeped in tradition and there was an air of festivity as we went to dinner on Christmas Eve and then on to carols and Mass at what seemed to be at least a century old church. Splendid!

There was one notable absence during our stay. News! The kids don’t watch the telly that much and as is true throughout the world, our goings on in the States don’t demand all that much attention overseas. So upon our return I curled up in my old leather chair with a week old copy of The Week which remains on of my favorite sources of update. This of course was the year end edition and I was struck by a section on polls of what we Americanos think of the current state of affairs.

It seems our mood is dark. 70% of us think the US is on the wrong track. An equal number think we are not as great as we used to be while 60% think the American Dream is broken. Ironically we tend to blame this all on Washington with Obama, the Congress and even the Supreme Court in our crosshairs. Unless we changed our mode of government while I was gone I think in two cases we elect these representatives. And don’t we have the power to get rid of them? Sorry. Why screw up a good story with a touch of reason?

It goes on to enumerate our acceptance of same sex marriage and pot but religious intolerance is on the rise. A fascinating discovery was our distaste for technology. More than a plurality thinks it makes us lazy,illiterate and is ruining our interpersonal communications. How many I Phones and Android devices were given this Christmas? Like Nancy Reagan championed awhile back, can’t we just say No? Ah yes,when in doubt blame someone else.

The section that captivated me was devoted to our fears. It seems 85% think that a large scale terrorist attack is just a matter of time. I believe there will be an attack but I am not quite sure how large it will be.However I can tell you I am not staying up nights thinking about it. A whopping 60% think there are sleeper cells imbedded in our society. 45% think our government could use the military to seize control of certain states and 44% believe machines with artificial intelligence could wipe out our civilization. That’s scary. Not the events but the fact people are having these notions.

Intriguingly this all supports our current political maneuverings. I am going to figure out what is petrifying you and tell you I can fix it. Even better I will chastise any opponent in sight who thinks I am not right. He or she is the Anti Christ and damnation will occur for anyone who doesn’t vote for me. Now you may think think this is absurd but then again you may think it is true. As if this whole thing was not whacky enough we can refill our popcorn box because William Jefferson Clinton is about to arrive on the scene. The sheer prospect of Willy and the Donald locking horns over sexism should sell better than Star Wars.

This whole fear thing is becoming endemic in our society. Growing up I had to learn to “Duck and Cover” in the basement of St Mary’s grammar school. That was nothing compared to our present day world. We worry about germs and allergies. ISIS is right alongside the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. We freak out that our kids won’t get into the right school or won’t have the right friends or God forbid not marry well, whatever the hell that is.

I have mentioned it before but I really think we are losing it. Incredibly we are paranoid about the government prying into our innermost thoughts and yet will tell the world of our every moment and thought through Facebook and Twitter. We worry about Big Brother but we are buying drones by the thousands. This thing called anxiety or worry seeps into our vey pores. I meet people who can’t believe Kathy and I would have the balls to fly to London. Okay maybe that last one is just me. I am not being critical but quite frankly laughing on one end and feeling very sorry for these people on the other.

I am an optimist but at the same time a pragmatist. I am either too stupid or too old to be afraid. Life comes at you in so many ways if you try to hit every curve ball thrown at you,you are going to be terribly disappointed. Shit will happen! I think the difficult part today is that people haven’t seen the bad in a really long time if at all. We don’t focus on the root causes of things but as usual just try to treat the symptoms. There are very specific reasons for our maladies and yet we don’t have the time to sit down and understand what they are and how to take evasive or corrective action.

All these fears and percentages above are just a state of mind. A matter of perception. We crave the good old days. A sort of Norman Rockwell, Mayberry notion. Fuggedaboutit! We got it good here. Real good. In 2016 my simple resolution is to look at things squarely but with a particular bent to the upside. Alfred E Neumann used to appear on every Mad magazine cover with a goofy grin that smacked of innocence and not taking himself too seriously. That is one vestige of yesterday I can embrace. What,Me Worry? Never. Happy New Year to all and

As always
Ted The Great


On Christmas Day in London all public transportation (trains and buses) are closed for the entire day. You can drive car or walk but that’s it. The Queen comes on the telly at 3:00PM to address the Commonwealth. Doesn’t say all that much but people watch. They have parties to view it. Beats Obama.
Heathrow Airport in London is fascinating. These are some facts I “borrowed” from their site.
More than 70million passengers pass through every year – six million more than the UK population. Heathrow is now the third busiest airport in the world after Atlanta in the US and Beijing, China.

Heathrow sells more than 26,000 cups of tea, 35,000 cups of coffee and 1,050 bottles of champagne every day. More than 974 tons of chips(French Fries) are sold every year

One bottle of Chanel No 5 is sold at World Duty Free at Heathrow every nine minutes.
Breakfast is the most popular meal of the day at Heathrow with almost five million eggs, 6.4million croissants and 4.5million rashers of bacon served every year. The number of pastries sold annually would line a runway in both directions 350 times
Safety vehicles are fitted with a digital scarecrow system that plays the distress calls of various bird species to scare them away from runways.

A total of 27,260 separate items have to be stocked on to a Boeing 747-400 before it departs on a long-haul flight. With space at such a premium careful calculations are made to ensure sufficient quantities for 377 passengers are carried without waste and to keep down fuel costs. The items loaded include no more than 233 toothpicks, 58 loo rolls, 2,000 ice cubes (five per passenger), 1,263 items of cutlery, 340 safety cards, 1,291 items of crockery, 650 paper cups, 337 blankets, five first aid kits, 220 drinks stirrers, 735 glasses, 99 full bottles and 326 quarter bottles of wine, 435 sickness bags (1.15 per passenger) and 164 bags of nuts in Club World.

One plane takes off from Heathrow airport every 45 seconds.

.Terminal 5, which is humongous, has 30 miles of baggage conveyors, 2.8 miles of tunnels and 44 baggage reclaim belts. Around 53million pieces of luggage are processed every year.

The Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) receives and cares for more than 80million animals each year, including 45million invertebrates, seven million live eggs, 28million fish and 13,000 cats and dogs. ?????