Every once in a while I have to rant. Sometimes I feel the need to explain something.
First the rant.
Kathy Lee Gifford is, hands down and without question, the most annoying person on television. Let me be fair and restate that. She’s the most annoying “female” person on television. There are so many men ahead of her.
Hoda Kotb, is an award winning newsperson. I mean a genuine broadcast journalist. Recently I saw an interview that she did some years ago with the incredible Aung San Suu Kyi, the brilliant, beautiful, and brave Bumese opposition leader, former General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Ms. Kotb’s interview was insightful, intelligent, and inspiring. Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the most phenomenal women in the world and Ms. Kotb’s interview highlighted Ms. Suu Kyi’s regal grace, dignity, and elegance.
But currently Hoda Kotb sits next to Mrs. Gifford at 10 AM for the “fourth hour of the Today Show.” From Aung San Suu Kyi to KLG? Oh, Hoda.
Since I’m often home working in my office at that time, the television in the front room is on and tuned to The Today Show, mostly for background noise, but also to hear news updates.
At 10, the regular Today Show crew abandons ship, leaving poor Hoda at the helm with Gifford, who fights for constant attention and control of the show, a show which typically runs aground after Gifford’s uncontrolled babbling — often under the influence of alcohol actually consumed on air — without direction, limitation, or restraint. Fingernails-across-a-black-board!
The other day Hoda and KLG were talking about men. It was the usual “why do men do this” and “why do men do that” kind of stuff. To the credit of The Today Show producers, they actually have real men on a panel answering questions about men instead of a panel of women explaining men.
On this particular day, Hoda and KLG seemed perplexed about why men won’t talk on the phone but will text. What got my attention was how confounded they seemed. But the men on the panel weren’t confused at all. They just nodded in agreement.
I, for one, HATE talking on the phone. I can’t really emphasize that enough. I hate it. The men on the panel were like me too. But women seem to LOVE talking on the phone. See, we’re different. Efficiency and multitasking are other reasons men prefer texting.
A phone call conducted with proper decorum and protocol will take time. A text won’t. Here’s an example.
Called person (we’ll call Rick); “Hello?”
Caller (we’ll call Bob): “Hey, Rick, it’s Bob.”
Rick: “Oh, hey Bob, what’s happening?”
Bob: “Not too much, how are you doing?”
Rick: “I’m doing OK, you?”
Bob: “Yeah, good thanks. Listen, the reason I called was … I’m sorry, is this a good time to talk?”
Rick: “Sure, I’ve got a few minutes.”
Bob: “OK, great. The reason I called was to ask you if you still had those tickets to tomorrow night’s Tiger game, the ones you were trying to give away?”
Rick: “No, sorry I gave those away.”
Bob: “Oh, okay, no problem. My plans for tomorrow night changed and I’m free so I was gonna see if you still had those tickets.”
Rick: “Sorry, man. I gave those to Mike this morning.”
Bob: “Well I appreciate it anyway.”
Rick: “Next time, maybe?!”
Bob: “Right. Thanks anyway. Tell Jill I said hi.”
Rick: “Will do. Give my regards to Marcie.”
Bob: “Sure will. Talk to you later then.”
Rick: “See ya later.”
That’s about as fast as a polite phone conversation can go. Sometimes social etiquette will require a lot of other polite questions about kids, family illnesses, recent events, the last game the Tigers played, and the weather. And all of those things could create rabbit trails of their own.
Bob: “Hey Rick, still got those tickets?”
Bob: “Thanks man, see ya later.”
Every man reading this who hates talking on the phone like I do is nodding his head and saying “EXACTLY!”
Sherry Turkle’s book, “Alone Together,” subtitled “Why we expect more from technology and less from each other” lays out the social evils of being disengaged from people because technology (texting, emails, online chatting) has taken away our facility and need for face to face connection and interaction. And while I agree with some of her insights and observations, I think many of her conclusions are based on personal opinion, bias, and prognostication. I’m not a social scientist, but historically, with each technological advancement humans have made, there have been critics of how that technology had a negative impact.
I’m all for polite and reasonable conversation and face to face connection. I’m all for a skilled use of the English language. I like it when people speak and write well. (I like when people know the difference between they’re, their, there, your, and you’re.) But the mode of communication and the situation allows for certain communication liberties to be taken.
For example, could you imagine this communication over a walkie talkie between a forward platoon commander and the rear artillery officer?
Forward Officer (we’ll call him, “Lt. Bob”): “Come in, Delta Leader, this is Bravo Zulu, over?”
Artillery Officer: (we’ll call him “Major Tom”): “Hey Bravo Zulu, how’s it goin up there? You guys still taking a lot fire, over?”
Lt. Bob: “That’s an affirmative, Delta Leader, it’s a real mess up here! Lots of shooting and noise and man, the weather really sucks, you know what I’m sayin? Over?”
Maj. Tom: “I hear ya, Bravo Zulu. The weather back here has been kind of nasty too. But I hear it’s gonna clear soon, so that’s good. Anyway, at least we’ve got these tents to hunker down in. Plus I just got a letter from my wife. Over?”
Lt. Bob: “Roger that, Delta Leader. Glad to hear about the weather and your wife. That’s awesome. What did you guys have for lunch back there? Over?”
This goes on for a while. Finally …
Lt. Bob: “Listen, Delta Leader, the reason I called was that we need some artillery fired on the enemy up here. Would that be cool? Over?”
Maj. Tom: “OK, Bravo Zulu. No problemo! We’ll fire some shells down that way. Now if you’ll just be good enough to give us the coordinates, we’ll make some big noise downrange for you. Over?”
Ridiculous, right? But when Lt. Bob and Maj. Tom are face to face they’ll speak properly, respectfully, and professionally. The situation dictated a different means of communication, which dictated different language.
If the man in your life doesn’t like to talk on the phone, it doesn’t mean he’s disengaged from you or is using technology to affect a larger social paradigm shift. It probably means that he just doesn’t like to talk on the phone.
Public Service Announcement: Do not text and drive. Do not talk on the phone and drive. Do not make out with your partner and drive. Do not engage in any kind of shenanigans and drive. And if you’re a big fan of Kathy Lee Gifford (bless your heart), do not call me to take up for her. You know that I won’t answer anyway!
WOMEN’S DISCOUNT FOR FEBRUARY!
For the month of February, all new female recruits can join for only $75! And women who join now will get the rest of February and ALL OF MARCH for that price!!
In fact, TWO can join for that price! Tell your cheap, and or frugal, girlfriends that it’s the best time to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!
WIND CHILL AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
When the wind chill is 29 or lower, we’ll go inside at 0530, 0830, and 5:45 PM. The 0645 class is inside from now until March.
Check with weather.com or The Weather Channel. I’ll post it on my Facebook page and the Boot Camp website Blog page (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) if there’s a question. And if you’re not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.
What about inclement weather days?
We’ll follow the Memphis City Schools decision. If they close, we’ll stand-down. If they close in the morning but the streets are clear and good to go by the afternoon, the evening class will meet. I’ll post that status on Facebook and the Boot Camp Blog page.
SPRING HALF MARATHON!
Spring Half Marathon Training continues this weekend!
Our next training run is this Saturday at 7 AM. Meet at Shelby Farms in front of the Visitor’s Center. Saturday’s weather is expected to be agreeable! But if it’s raining we’ll go on Sunday instead.
Cost for the three month training: $75 for active duty Boot Campers, $125 for “Friends of Boot Camp.” All are welcome to join in the fun.
There are at least five half marathons in the spring! There’s one in Nashville, Louisville, St. Louis, Fayetteville, AR and Oklahoma City! The Germantown Half Marathon is also in March.
BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!
First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend.
Second, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.
Now here’s how the discount works!
It’s simple: make a Facebook status update and get a discount!
For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, you can take $2.50 off your next reenlistment fee for each update!
You can take up to $20 off for any given month! That’s 8 “check-in’s” in a month.
Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.
BE SURE TO TAG ME!
You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.
So log on and start getting your discounts now!
I’ve got a few prime hours open during the week if you know someone looking for a trainer. I use the facilities at Christ Methodist and the hourly rates are standard for Memphis. Over-all fitness training, boot camp style workouts, strength training, sports specific conditioning and agility (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.)
TonyLudlow@aol.com or 901-644-0145
FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP FOR YOU!
Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program because of your recruiting them, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!
THE 0830 AND THE 0645 CLASSES!!
The 0830 Class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Don’t forget that there is child-care available at the church for this class!
The 0645 meets on MWF inside for the rest of this week. Starting on March 1, the 0645 class will follow the same weather policy of the other classes.
ATTENTION 0830 CLASS MEMBERS: please remember that no cell phone usage is allowed while you drive your car on the campus. So when you pull onto the campus, no cell phones please!
NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES
If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, ask me about it! I think you’ll like it!
WANT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS BY THE END OF NEXT MONTH?
Take Shape For Life is the BEST weight loss program I know of. If you’d like to lose weight talk to me. This is the program I used to lose the almost 30 pounds I gained after knee surgery. Let me help you!
You can also go to www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/
TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS
The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until the time change occurs.
However, I’ll be running at 4:30 PM at St. Mary’s track on Tues and Thursday and you’re welcome to join me for an informal jog fest!
A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
For you visual learners, you’ll find this an easy way to glance at the week or month and see where the workouts will be, if there’s a venue change.
What would you do if money were not an issue, fear were not a factor, and failure were not an option?
To your optimum health and fitness!
SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!
Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145