Regrets to Gilded Glamour

Episode 52 is a special milestone installment marking The Far Middle’s one-year anniversary. Once again Nick connects a series of seemingly unrelated topics, “dots,” which is the hallmark of each episode this past year.

Marking the occasion, Nick dedicates the episode to the ultimate Pittsburgh Steeler: “Iron Mike” Webster. Nick discusses the great center’s Hall of Fame career and the tragic decline that followed his playing days. Next, Nick concludes his observations, started in episode 51, that follow a night out in Pittsburgh. He goes on offer a reality check to D.C. college students’ concerns over climate change; present his take on the Met Gala; discuss his latest market analysis; and, brings the episode full circle with a salute to “force of nature” Dr. Cyril Wecht.

Disciplined, Fierce and Prolific

Episode 51 of The Far Middle features a first dual-dedication to Ichiro Suzuki and Dick Butkus—two great number 51’s who, while opposites in their approach, shared greatness. Their success was grounded in a “good old-fashioned work ethic,” says Nick before quoting Calvin Coolidge: “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”

Nick goes on to discuss America losing its work ethic and how government policies are the root cause; including higher education and today’s college admissions game. Nick also shares a few observations on the state of America’s cities following a recent night out in Pittsburgh. He concludes with a few tidbits on the prolific Agatha Christie, the best-selling novelist of all time.

Rules For Thee But Not For Me

Episode 50 of The Far Middle is dedicated to the elite NHL players who’ve scored 50 goals in the first 50 games of a season, and in particular the Islanders’ Mike Bossy. Nick recounts the dramatic final five minutes of the 50th game of the 1980-81 season where Bossy netted his 49th and 50th goals.

Next in this episode’s line-up, Nick provides an overview of the oil industry, from the different types of crude grades to how production and refining work in tandem. “The next time you hear someone spouting off on oil-import-this or oil-export-that or corporate greed babble or oil industry blabber—be skeptical, head back to the reality, to the science,” says Nick. Nick goes on to discuss government corruption; academia circumventing the laws the private sector and individuals must abide by; education funding, student academic proficiency, and teachers unions; a new federal government research initiative to identify the “pain points” to make agencies more user friendly; and, Treasury Secretary Yellen’s theatrics. Nick concludes with a review of the documentary, “Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police.”

Four-Way Threat

Episode 49 of The Far Middle is dedicated to Robert “Bobby” Mitchell. For those unfamiliar, Bobby was the original four-way threat, the Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders before there was a Bo or a Deion.

Nick begins by discussing a recent CNBC survey and its design, which looked at President Biden’s approval rating and Americans’ top concerns. Next, Nick discusses the latest restrictions being imposed on Afghan girls and women by the Taliban’s “Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” and the White House’s response. And on the subject of the White House, Nick recommends they stop fibbing on the smallest of matters to start to build trust. Additionally, Nick delves into his recent column on the difference between a liberal and a leftist, his concerns over our lady “TINA,” and closes with a look at Stephen King’s recent novel “The Institute.”

The Strikeout

Episode 48 of The Far Middle is uniquely dedicated to “the strikeout.” Listen as Nick connects the number 48 to Major League Baseball strikeouts.

Nick highlights Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, aka the Strikeout King, as he discusses the risk/reward of pitching for strikeouts. While on the topic of risk/reward, Nick examines ESG investing. “Doing right—sometimes—that correlates to amping up risk. Change is risky,” says Nick. Next, Nick looks at what airpower means on the modern-day battlefield and air superiority’s evolution. And while Russia invades Ukraine, the United Nations is focused on a “climate catastrophe.” Next, Nick analyzes Europe’s energy mix; escalating violence in America’s major cities and society’s need for public safety; and, another basic societal need, a reliable electric grid. Nick concludes by marking the 116th anniversary of the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and noting its silver lining.