Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for March, 2016

Why Does My Phone Have a Camera? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/31/2016

Mar. 31st 2016

If a 15 year old boy takes a cell phone photo of his junk (why one would take a picture of their privates is beyond me!) he can be arrested for having child porn on his phone. The law is slow to catch up with technology.

In fact, the history of technology outpacing man’s ability to adapt to it successfully, is full of mankind’s slow response to it. Humans always develop new technologies faster than we can understand them and seamlessly, or usefully absorb them and put them to their maximum use. Weapons and war are full of such examples. Cell phone technology, privacy, and the law are hot button topics. Should Apple help the FBI break into one of their iPhones?

Our “slow to respond” reflex is also true of the Internet. Even though we’ve had it for years, it still feels like the wild wild west. We don’t see the same kind of civility on the Internet that we show in face to face conversations and it must be a treasure trove for every sociologist looking to expand their research. Our sense of propriety hasn’t kept pace with the technology. If anything the internet has degraded it, corrupted it, poisoned it, practically eliminated it.

In no other time in history has there ever been an opportunity for so many to have access to so many. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can broadcast to the world. Literally. And with that access, with everyone having a megaphone, the yelling and lack of propriety have become common place. Everyone wants to argue and confront one another. Everyone is right. And unfortunately, you don’t have to pass an intelligence exam or an etiquette quiz to own a computer and internet hookup.

There’s an instructive cartoon that shows a stick figure—we’ll call him Bob—sitting at a computer screen and the caption goes something like this: “Here’s Bob. Bob sees something on the Internet he doesn’t like. Bob ignores it and moves on with his life. Bob is smart. Be like Bob.”

I like it. But it’s a little too simplistic and narrow. Sometimes things posted need to be confronted and corrected. Errors in information, misinformation that could be detrimental to someone’s health and safety, hate speech, racism, bigotry, lies … evil. Those things should never go unopposed. But generally speaking, Bob is right!

Differences in genuine political orientation, religion, personal preferences, and opinion aren’t the things you confront on Facebook. You let that stuff go. For example, my friend likes jazz but I think jazz is noise, and he shares a jazz song on Facebook, I either “Like” it or I move on. I don’t comment under that song that jazz sucks. Why in the world would I do that? Recently, Ashley and I saw the new Batman/Superman movie and I posted on Facebook that we liked it. Almost immediately some guy commented, telling me I was wrong, that it was the worst thing he’d ever seen, and that Ben Affleck was a horrible Batman. What??? Seriously, Dude? It’s just an opinion about a movie. It’s like criticizing someone for not liking chocolate ice cream.

A lot of people confuse facts with opinion and vice versa. A few months ago when the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag was at its zenith, I shared some direct quotes from the actual Confederate States Articles of Secession that clearly spells out in plain and unambiguous language that protecting the institution of slavery was at the heart of secession and the formulation of the Confederacy. As a history teacher, I thought history would help in the conversation. It didn’t. I was told by a guy I barely know—and had actually forgotten that he and I were even Facebook friends—that I was wrong and that what I shared was only my “opinion.” No, brother, those are the facts, written by the people themselves in the early 1860s. Facts are pesky things. They aren’t opinion.

If a friend of mine posts something on social media that I think might be in error or something that might be wrong and might need correction or alteration, I’ll send him a private message if I think it’s that important. (The Marine Corps is big on public praise and private correction. So am I.) “Hey, Bob, you posted something on Facebook about eating raw eggs, can you tell me more about that? Can you tell me how you came to this way of thinking?” I might write that in a private message or email. (Stephen Covey’s: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”) I’ve done this a couple of times, rather than post on Bob’s timeline: “Hey, Bob, eating raw eggs is wackadoodle stupid thinking, man! You ain’t Rocky! You’re gonna make yourself sick!” That’s disrespectful to Bob … and probably none of my business! Now, if I genuinely want to understand the whole eating raw eggs thing, I’ll send Bob that private message and ask him about it.

But I see it every day. Rude, cruel, disrespectful, unsolicited criticism and negative commentary written for the world to see, some of it coming from complete strangers cowering behind the safety of a keyboard hundreds of miles away, some distant friend of a friend of a friend, saying unnecessary things they think will have no consequence, no repercussion. It’s reprehensible and cowardly, at best. And damaging and hurtful to others at worse.

Unfortunately it’s not always strangers miles away. Sometimes it’s a former co-worker, a distant relative, or even some long ago friend or classmate. But what they all have in common is that their unwanted commentary is also unsolicited.

Here’s an analogy for social media that I think is worthy of consideration. Imagine that Facebook is like a nice restaurant. The people at my table (my friends) are the people I’m going to share with and with whom I’m going to interact. If I overhear a conversation in the booth behind me that I don’t agree with, I won’t interject myself into their conversation, even if one of my friends at my table knows someone at that other table (friends of my friends). I don’t correct those people at that other table, I don’t make fun of them, I don’t chastise them, I don’t even engage them. Nor do they come over to my table and do those things. Their conversation is none of my business, even if I overhear them say things I don’t agree with. If they all think jazz is great and all of them are eating raw eggs, that’s none of my business.

What if we see people in the booth next to us start eating without saying a prayer first, would it be okay to interrupt them and tell them how wrong they were for not praying before they eat, that they’re eating unsanctified food? If my Facebook friend, whom I know to hold theological views different from mine, posts some religious belief that I disagree with, it’s not okay for me to post a comment expressing my objections, or my disappointment, or my alternative beliefs. That’s none of my business.

Or try this example. Imagine that you’ve got a political sign in your front yard indicating your support for a certain politician. Now imagine people knocking on your door at all hours of the day and night, shouting at you, or telling you how wrong you are. Perfect strangers showing up on your front door to tell you that you’re not a patriot. Or others driving by your house honking their horns and yelling their objections to your support of that candidate.

The online world may seem artificial, but the damage that can be done to relationships in the real world isn’t. Those are quite real.

So here are my rules for Internet etiquette, with particular application to Facebook.

Should I Make a Comment, Or Move On?

1. Were you asked for your opinion or commentary? If “NO,” move on.
2. Were you tagged in the post? If “NO,” move on.
3. Were you mentioned by name in the post? If “NO,” move on.
4. Will your life be negatively impacted if you don’t say something? If “NO,” move on.
5. Can you “Like” that post and write something positive and helpful? If “NO,” move on.
6. Have you had interaction with this person in the past few months? If “NO,” move on.
7. Are you an expert in the subject that’s being discussed? If “NO,” move on.
8. Is the thing you’re going to write something you’d say to this person face to face? If “NO,” move on.
9. Is the thing you’re going to write true, respectful, useful, encouraging? If “NO,” move on.
10. Would you welcome that person writing the same thing on your wall, timeline, post, etc.? If “NO,” move on.

Here’s another tip: if you’ve not interacted with a person on Facebook when they celebrated a birthday, or when they experienced the death of a loved one or beloved pet, or when they got a promotion, or took that long awaited vacation, or got into the college of their dreams, or started raising chickens, or bought an old classic car, or ran a race they’d trained for, or had a new baby, etc., etc., then don’t blindside them with some negative or confrontational comment that will literally come out of left field from their perspective. This has happened to me more times than I can remember. Some person I had completely forgotten was a Facebook friend comes out of the woodwork to tell me that I’m wrong about my love of Captain Crunch.

Common courtesy, like common sense, isn’t that common. And if someone treats you online in a way they wouldn’t treat you in person, it’s probably a safe bet they don’t deserve to be on your list of online “friends” anyhow.

I draw a distinction between respectful discussion when discussion has been requested. The other day I posted a question about barefoot running and asked for those who run barefoot, or have tried barefoot running, to discuss the topic and give me their thoughts. And for the most part, that’s who commented. The discussion was interesting and insightful.

I hope this list goes viral. I hope you’ll share the heck out of it. And if it can keep at least one ill-written post from being shared and one relationship from being irreparably damaged by it, then it would be worth it!

Treat others as you want to be treated. Build one another up. Encourage one another. And if you can’t, remember what Mom said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” And I like what the New Testament says: “And be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted …” Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

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If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check!

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The Health Benefits of Oatmeal

1.Boosts Energy- Oatmeal has a good number of carbohydrates, and your body needs carbs to keep its energy levels up. That’s where oatmeal can come in handy. Low fat and relatively low calorie, a single bowl of oatmeal can help to boost your energy levels (very important in the morning) while not loading your body with fat. Pair a small bowl of oatmeal topped with chopped up fresh fruit and nuts with a glass of milk to give your muscles the tools necessary to rebuild while giving your muscles a head start on post-workout muscle recovery.

2. Prevents Diabetes- Oatmeal has a low glycemic index which is beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes. A low glycemic index helps the stomach empty its contents slowly, which has a positive effect on our insulin sensitivity. Oatmeal also contains fiber which slows down how quickly the carbohydrates effect blood sugar levels.

3. Helps with Weight Loss- Oatmeal helps decrease your appetite because it is full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, which delays the emptying of your stomach, keeping you full for longer periods of time. This is very beneficial if you are trying to eat less. Also, cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, is increased with the oatmeal compound beta-glucan. A 2009 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found satiety increased as a result of eating foods that contain beta-glucan, like oatmeal.

4. Fights Colon Cancer- Oatmeal is full of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and a high-fiber diet can be beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect and adds bulk to the stool, which prevents constipation.This fiber attracts water and passes through the digestive tract easily, speeding the passage of food and waste. And according to the American Cancer Association, insoluble fiber helps the body to fight against bile acids, and their toxicity, which helps to lower the risks of cancer and helps to promote good colon health. A 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal found that total fiber intake, was strongly associated with a reduction in colon cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber consumed there was a 10 percent decreased risk in colon cancer. The more fiber people ate, the more risk reduction was found.

5. Boosts Heart Health- Oatmeal’s soluble fiber helps with heart health. The soluble fiber helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood stream. The way this works is the soluble fiber sort of gathers the bad cholesterol to itself while traveling through the body, then takes the bad cholesterol with it as it leaves your body. Oatmeal also contains both calcium and potassium, which are known to reduce blood pressure numbers. A 1999 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found whole grain consumption, because of it’s soluble fiber, was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

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A LITTLE SLEEP …

Happily, lazily, carelessly fitness is lost and weight is gained.
The realization that fitness has slipped away isn’t as apparent as weight gain, though.
The tight jeans and snug shirts and jackets, on the other hand, shout: “hey there, fatty.” And remember, 80% of your weight loss and gain has nothing to do with exercise. It’s about the calories. Calories. Calories. Calories.

The loss of fitness is discovered in more subtle ways, though. Getting winded at the top of the stairs, straining to lift the big bag of dog food, wishing you’d checked that luggage instead of carrying it through the airport … those are announcements that you’ve lost strength and stamina.

The numbers at the doctor’s office confirm that your weight gain and your lost fitness are putting you at a growing risk of illness, heart disease, and other health related maladies. Memphis is the fattest city in the country because of those things.

More women die of heart related illness than from all cancers combined. Help a friend get healthy and fit. And if that person who needs to get healthy and fit is you, GET BUSY!

Live your life as fit and as healthy as you can!

“How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.” ~ Proverbs 6: 9-11

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MAKE A FACE!!!!

INCREASE YOUR WEIGHTS!

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!

What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.

YOU DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR WORKOUT IS HALF-ASS OR KICKASS!

It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

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Be ye kind, one to another.

Yours in good health,

Sgt. Tony

USMC Fitness Boot Camp

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Announcement for 3/25/2016

Mar. 25th 2016

Attention Evening Crew! The church campus closed today at noon for Good Friday. All activities at the church are canceled, so we’ll stand-down as well.

Have a great weekend! Get your 1 hour of CC!

See you Monday!

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/24/2016

Mar. 24th 2016

The following was written last June 2015.

“Yesterday the earth didn’t explode when the Donald Trump descended from on high via an escalator, to unauthorized Neil Young music — Neil cares not for the Donald, he’s a Bernie Sanders man — to announce to the waiting world that he, the Donald, the King of the Combovers, would save us from “the losers” in Washington by running for president … again, raising the number of mental midgets vying for the presidency to about 120 or so. In a rambling, often incoherent, narcissistic diatribe laced with the kind of hyperbolic bragging and boasting that has endeared the Donald to the people, Trump announced his announcement, to the great joy of every late night talk show host and stand up comedian in the free world.

This has, of course, inspired me to launch my OWN candidacy for the presidency! LUDLOW 2016! I will not run as a member of the Republican Party, the Tea Party, the Democratic Party, or the Libertarian Party. I will be running as a member of the Coffee Party. And since I’m a better choice than 95% of those who’ve thrown their big hats into the ring, I thought, here at the beginning of my run for the presidency, I’d compare and contrast me with the most recent, and most annoying, candidate, Mr. The Donald Trump.

Ludlow vs. The Donald:

Divorces: Ludlow: 2, Trump: 2, so a tie
Bankruptcies: Ludlow: 0, Trump: 5 and counting
Personal debt: Ludlow: $0.00, Trump: Million$
Number of enemies: Ludlow: 2, Trump: Millions
Number of people sued by candidate: Ludlow: 0, Trump: Millions

Ludlow: United States Marine
Trump: Meant to join, but …

Ludlow: gun owner
Trump: comb owner

Ludlow: military hair style performed by a barber
Trump: hair of unknown origin coiffured by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and a cotton candy man at Coney Island.

Ludlow: skin tone: normal caucasian
Trump: skin tone: normal Cheetos

Ludlow’s ego: normal-ish, given his awesomeness.
Trump’s ego: cosmic black hole, given his gasbaggery.

Think about it, America. These are some of the many reasons a vote for LUDLOW 2016 makes more sense than voting for Mr. Potato Head.

In all seriousness, I’m already weary of the presidential campaign and it’s only June of 2015. The election isn’t for another 16 MONTHS! Even if I had a candidate I liked right now, I’d be sick of them by November 2016!

Quite honestly, I liked voting absentee from Japan a lot better. My sources for information back in those days were The Japan Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Voice of America shortwave radio broadcasts, CNN International, and NHK television (Japan’s public broadcasting network) news broadcasts. Without the distraction of 24 hour cable news pundits, prognosticators, and opinion spreaders, things were clearer. In Japan, I voted absentee for president 3 times and never seemed to mind the process.

The process is divisive and nasty. Just the other day a woman was sentenced to 23 years in prison for killing her friend with a crock pot (who uses a crock pot as a lethal weapon?) after they got into an argument over presidential politics. Of course, political enmity has been divisive since our country’s beginning. Aaron Burr, the sitting Vice President, and Alexander Hamilton, the former Secretary of the Treasury, were bitter political rivals and personal enemies who met on the morning of July 11, 1804 to dual to the death.

Politics and religion do more to divide than anything else in our fine Republic. If you can, try to keep it civil as this whole sordid mess continues to crank up. And when in doubt … you can still VOTE LUDLOW 2016!”

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The Skinny on Trans Fats

What exactly are trans fats, why they aren’t so healthy for us, and which foods contain them? Let’s get the skinny on trans fats.

Though meat and dairy products naturally contain trace amounts of trans fat, most trans fats are artificially made by bubbling hydrogen gas through vegetable oils, a process called partial hydrogenation. This process stabilizes the fat therefore it allows foods to stay fresh longer. It allows for a longer shelf-life for baked goods, allows frying oils to be used longer before breaking down, and gives foods made with trans fats a certain type of texture and “mouth feel” that you just don’t seem to get with other oils (think of pie crust).

Trans fats began appearing in foods in the early 1900’s with the invention of Crisco shortening. You can mainly find trans fat in products made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, salad dressings, and fried foods.

In July of 2002, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine made it official that trans fats have a negative effect on blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. We have all heard that saturated fats raise the risk of heart disease, but trans fats are even worse than saturated fats. Trans fats not only raise “bad” LDL cholesterol like saturated fats, but they also lower “good” HDL cholesterol. This is a double whammy to your cholesterol numbers. Studies also show that trans fats may increase triglyceride levels and cause inflammation, which increase the risk for heart disease and may also increase the risk of type II diabetes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 required food manufacturers to list trans fats on the Nutrition Facts Label and on some supplement facts panels. But there is a loophole that you need to be aware of. Under the labeling regulations, any food that has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving is allowed to list zero grams of trans fat on the label. Very sneaky!! The best way to know if you are taking in unwanted trans fats is to check the ingredients list of your foods for the words “shortening”, “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated oils”, which indicate that the food contains trans fats. The higher up on the ingredient label that you find these words means a larger amount of trans fats in the product. Remember those 0.5 grams of trans fat can add up to several grams of unwanted trans fats a day.

Food labels do help us be aware of trans fats in the foods we buy at the supermarket, but do not help at all when we go out to eat. Many sit down and fast food restaurants continue to fry foods in trans fats laden oil. A large order of french fries can contain up to eight grams of trans fat. Fortunately, some restaurants and many food manufacturers have been working to phase out using trans fats in their products … having to list a high trans fat number on a food label can be quite a motivator. Some food manufacturers have said that this change has been difficult, because reformulating products can be expensive. Alternative oils can be more costly and most of the substitute oils do not bake up the same way as products made with trans fats. And as we all know, as consumers we can be quite picky about our food, we want the flakiness of our favorite baked goods, but don’t want these foods to have the trans fats in them that make the food so flaky and tasty! That is a big dilemma for food companies.

Nonetheless, changes are already in the works. In 2013, the FDA changed the status of trans fat and removed the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status which means that now, no amount of added trans fats is considered healthy. This past Tuesday the FDA said that all trans fat has to be removed from food products within the next three years. Companies can petition to be excluded, but I am hoping none will win!

Many companies have already made changes, you can buy trans fat free cookies, creamers, snack cakes, potato chips, and the Girl Scouts are making changes to their cookies too. Remember, most of the foods that are usually full of trans fats such as snack cakes and cookies, should already be quite limited in your diet. Now that these foods are being made without trans fats, they should still be a very small part of your diet. But it is good to know that these occasional foods are not and will not be as unhealthy as they once were!

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THURSDAY, 24 March: Carioyoga! If it’s not raining.

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If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check!

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Rank T-Shirts

If you’re due a promotion t-shirt, PLEASE email me with your name, number of years, and preferred American Apparel t-shirt size. Even if you’ve done that in the past, please do it again for me. Thank you!

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Running With Music!

If you run with music, for safety’s sake, turn the music down or use only one earbud, especially in a race. I recently bought an excellent single earbud (XDU Noise Isolating Earbud) from Far End Gear http://farendgear.com/xdu/)

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SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
• Keep a “to do” project list
• Embrace change
• Exude joy
• Share information and data
• Talk about ideas
• Read everyday
• Give other people credit for their victories
• Have a sense of gratitude
• Compliment others
• Forgive others
• Accept responsibilities for their failures
• Keep a journal
• Want others to succeed
• Keep a “to be” list
• Set goals and develop life plans
• Continuously learn
• Operate from a transformational perspective

UNSUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
• Exude anger
• Horde information and data
• Talk about people
• Fly by the seat of their pants
• Fear change
• Watch TV everyday
• Take all of the credit for their victories
• Have a sense of entitlement
• Criticize others
• Hold a grudge
• Blame others for their own failures
• Say they keep a journal but really don’t
• Think they know it all
• Operate from a transactional perspective
• Secretly hope that others fail
• Don’t know what they want to be
• Never set goals

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What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

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Batter Up? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/18/2016

Mar. 18th 2016

The group I was traveling with in upstate New York wanted to go to Cooperstown. They were excited to visit The Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Baseball Hall of Fame was not on my bucket list, but I was happy to go.

I’m just not much of a baseball fan. I know that sounds unAmerican. But baseball, to me, is just too dull. Plus I’ve always thought of baseball as a game invented to give non-athletes something to do.

Playing baseball as a kid was kind of uneventful. There’s just too much sitting around in the dugout. Too much standing around in the field. I quit playing baseball when I realized that I could think of at least ten other things I’d rather be doing than standing around in center field yellin’ “swing-batter-batter-batter-swing!”

(As an aside, one of my teachers regularly challenged us with this: Give me a list of why ‘XYZ’ is a good thing or a good idea. It stuck. I’ve done this in my own personal management, and have lived to regret any time I didn’t follow the logic of the list. Give me ten good reasons why … )

So, back to baseball.
Watching baseball is just too boring unless it’s the playoffs or the World Series. Plus there’s too much spitting and scratching and grabbing in the MLB. When the camera pans across the dugout and all of those millionaires are spitting and dribbling sunflower seeds out of their mouths and into their beards. It’s just nasty.

And what’s up with the coaches (managers) wearing a uniform with a number on it? Really? I mean, when was the last time one of those guys called their own number and took the field? Could you imagine any other coach of any other sport wearing a uniform; Coach Mike Krzyzewski wearing a Duke uniform while coaching the Blue Devils? Picture legendary Dallas Coach Tom Landry wearing a Cowboy’s uniform instead of his suit and tie and trademark hat.

Back to baseball. (See how hard it is to stay focused on baseball?) I’ve tried to like the game. I have. I just can’t wrap my mind around the whole thing. I mean, it’s like 2 minutes of action stretched out over two hours. Somehow, though, my oldest son is a YUUUUUUGE baseball fan. He’s also in the Marine Corps and just before each of his multiple deployments he’s had to write his Last Will and Testament. Writing out your Will is standard stuff in the Corps. And nothing gets your attention quite like being a 19-year-old being required to sit down and write your Will. My son’s Will explained what I was to do. He wanted to be cremated. And he wanted me to scatter his ashes in three different places: 1) Japan, 2) the Mississippi River, 3) Busch Stadium in St. Louis (He LOVES the Cardinals!)

Oddly, though, I love baseball MOVIES. Two of my favorites are “Field of Dreams” and “The Natural.”

So there we were in Cooperstown, and I was walking around The Baseball Hall of Fame, the Mecca of avid baseball fans. I’ve even known people to relocate to Cooperstown, just to live near the Hall of Fame! Did visiting the Hall of Fame change my attitude toward the game? Well, the historian in me loved it. The history was incredible! I enjoyed that!

But after a couple of hours, I excused myself from the group and took off! There was some place else in Cooperstown, NY that interested me!

I walked a mile from the Hall of Fame and found the home of James Fenimore Cooper. The town is actually named after him. You might remember that he wrote “The Last of the Mohicans.”

I enjoyed walking through Cooper’s home, now a museum. Being in the place where the man lived, worked, and died was educational though no one else in my party felt the same. None of them joined me.

Remarkably, “The Last of the Mohicans” wasn’t written in that home in Cooperstown, on the edge of a lake surrounded by forest and nature. Cooper wrote about the struggles on the American frontier of 1741 while he lived in New York City in 1826.

NEW YORK CITY???

I know, right?

Harper Lee wrote about Alabama in “To Kill a Mockingbird” while living in NYC too. Hundreds of novels about somewhere else have been written in New York City. I think the next time I’m in New York, I might just go ahead and crank out a novel or two about somewhere else while I’m there!

Anyway, back to baseball … again! I don’t care much about baseball, but I DO care about hot dogs and beer. I will gladly go to the ballpark because those two things are there! In fact, I’ll go with you to any empty ballpark and just look at the luscious green grass so long as hot dogs and beer are there! Hot dogs and beer are good.

But there’s also another reason I like going to the ballpark. The enthusiasm and passion of the true baseball fan is awesome to me.

I’m drawn to people who have a passion for something. Anything! A person with hobbies and interests is fascinating to me, even if I don’t share their passion. Maybe especially if I don’t share their passion; that way I’m sure to learn something new.

Once I listened to a woman talk at length about wine. I don’t drink wine, and it’s a subject I don’t know anything about. She didn’t speak in a “Sideways” snooty kind of way about wine. She had a great passion and interest and knowledge about vino and listening to her talk with passion and animation about it almost turned me into a connoisseur. But sadly, my pallet is entirely too pedestrian! I can’t tell the difference from a glass of pinot noir and Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill … or grape Kool-Aid.

I’m always amazed by the Facebook status updates of people who write: “I’m bored.” I don’t get that. I don’t understand it at all. (I guess they must be updating their status from a ballpark! hahaha) Sounds like passionlessness to me, if that’s a word. Why don’t they read a book!? Or write one! Draw something! Paint something! Turn on the Discovery Channel! Do an internet search of some topic of interest. Download some new music. Come over and clean my house. I can’t think of a bigger turn-off than hearing someone say while sitting in their home with so much at their fingertips, that they’re bored.

No passion.

No thanks.

I end every day disappointed that I’ve run out of time to read, and research, and learn and must go to bed because my alarm will go off at 0400 and it’s already after Midnight.

Back to Cooperstown: within walking distance from Cooper’s home is Christ Episcopal Church. Cooper died in 1851 and is buried in the churchyard. Wandering around his old home a few blocks away were people who had a passion for history. Wandering around The Hall of Fame nearby were people who had a passion for the history of the game. And buried there in that old cemetery was at least one man who lived with passion and wrote about it!

How bout you?

Got passion?

— 30 —

——————————————————————

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check!

——————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

I’ve given our RD the day off as she recovers from LASIK eye surgery.

Today, I’ll give you the talk I’ve had with three non-Boot Campers in the past 12 hours.

80% OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EXERCISE!
That includes every exercise program and approach you’ve ever heard of. Including mine.

80% OF YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO EXERCISE!

If weight loss is your goal, start using the MyFitnessPal app! Log your eating, count your calories, and adjust your calorie intake. (You Weight Watchers can count your points!) Conservatively speaking, losing 2 pounds a week is about right. More weight than that is either a loss of water weight and/or muscle.

If you want to
be stronger,
healthier,
fitter,
sleep better,
have lower blood pressure,
have a better quality of life,
have less stress,
be more productive,
have more energy,
be able to relax,
have a better mood,
have more confidence,
be able to lead a more active lifestyle,
be able to play with your kids or grandkids, etc., etc., etc. … then EXERCISE!

Plus it DOES contribute 20% to your weight loss goals!

When you quit moving, it’s over!

———————————————————————

What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


For Love of the Word — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/10/2016

Mar. 10th 2016

I loved school. But in the 8th grade I ran into a bit of an academic buzz saw. Algebra and English were conspiring against me. They were evil twins dishing out misery and torture of the worst kind and I hated them. I was awful at Algebra and even further awfullering about to the grammaring.

Mrs. Holman was my 8th grade English teacher and the first adult black woman I ever had a conversation with. Or, as Mrs. Holman would insist, “the first adult black woman with whom I ever had a conversation.”

She was a middle-aged lady who wore big jewelry, very distinctive perfume with a powdery scent, and she spoke with an adorable Southern accent, right out of some fancy finishing school. If she said, “Young sir, you need to go to the barber shop.” It would sound like, “Yuung suuh, you need to go to the baahba shop.” Think refined Southern like Scarlett, not trailer park Southern like Reba.

Of the six or seven 8th grade English teachers on faculty at Darby Junior High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Mrs. Holman had the reputation for being one of the toughest.

Perfect, just perfect. (More like present imperfect.)

Our first one-on-one conversation occurred because I had to see her after school early in the first semester. I was tanking her class in a HUGE and grotesque manner. The first semester was all grammar and the second was all literature and writing.

My apparent goal during that first semester was to establish a new level of failure in her grammar class. As it turned out, I was doing a particularly spectacular job. Transitive verbs, indirect objects, conjunctions, subjects of prepositions, past pluperfect verbs, subordinate clauses, diagramming sentences … none of it was sticking. It was only slightly less horrible than algebra.

So three days a week, instead of going to football practice after school I had to go to Mrs. Holman’s classroom for remedial grammar. I was not happy about this and I had a fairly good sized chip on my shoulder. Of course I blamed Mrs. Holman. It was HER fault that I didn’t understand grammar, was my justification. Grammar, like most things in school, had little real world application. I didn’t see much point to most of what I was studying. But I tried hard because, according to my parents, doing well in school was my job.

But as you would expect, my coaches were furious at me because I wasn’t at practice. And I was afraid of losing my position on the team. (Which I lost to a boy who obviously didn’t have Mrs. Holman for English. I needed an easier teacher.)

By the end of the first semester, and after a lot of hard work, I raised my F- to a solid C. And my bitterness towards my teacher actually turned into something of a crush on Mrs. Holman. She was beyond charming! She had a way of disarming me and convincing me that I could do well. She took such an interest in all of her students, not just me. She was absolutely irresistible. I started working hard to impress her, and to get back to after school sports.

By the end of the first semester I was no longer having to get extra help after school and the literature and writing of the second semester were way more fun.

Everything was going just fine, that is until Mrs. Holman did something terrible. She slipped some poetry into the mix and I took an immediate dislike to it.

Poetry? Seriously? Are you kidding me?? Little girls writing horrible little lines about rainbows and butterflies. It either sounded pretentious or it sounded like sissy stuff. As far as I was concerned, it was Crap.

My grades started to tumble again. It seemed like poetry wasn’t very manly or compelling for a young lad hoping to be a real man one day. I had to start going back to Mrs. Holman’s classroom after school for more help. I complained to her that poetry seemed so feminine and the subjects of the poems outside my experiences and interests. I just couldn’t relate to it. I was sure, I told her, that none of the male members of my family ever read such stuff. She just shook her head and smiled.

Then one afternoon as I was struggling to figure out what some ridiculous poem about daffodils or kittens meant, she handed me a small book.

“Tony Ludlow, you will delight yourself in this book immeasurably, or I am no judge of such matters,” she declared in the wonderful way that she spoke. I took the stupid book from her and dreaded having to open it up to read more flowery words about subjects that were of no interest at all … in a style of writing that seemed self important. “This ain’t deep stuff,” I thought, “but these poets think it is.”

But the book Mrs. Holman gave me was a short collection of poems written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. She had placed a bookmark inside and told me to open to that passage.

“I want you to read this poem and a week from now you will give me a report. I want you to tell me what it means.”

I would have been more excited about a root canal or raking leaves.

The poem she assigned to me was “Ulysses.”

And then everything changed.

Mrs. Holman started giving me other poems to read that weren’t assigned to the rest of the class. They were poems about life from a man’s perspective. One of those was “Dulce et Decorum Est,” the most famous poem of World War I, written by a soldier named Wilfred Owen. It was the last poem she ever assigned to me. And it was the last poem Owen ever wrote. And it brought me to tears.

Other poems followed.
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”
“Dover Beach”
“O Captain! My Captain!”
“If”
“Invictus”
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

The cunning Mrs. Holman had won.

In college I became a double major in History … and English. And I never forgot the great influence of a teacher with passion and love.

On the last day of 8th grade, Mrs. Holman went around the room saying good-bye and good luck to each of us. When she got to me, she shook my hand and smiled. I said, “Thank you for everything, Mrs. Holman!” And she looked straight at me, paused, leaned in closer, and then said in a low voice that was almost a whisper so that others couldn’t hear: “Tony Ludlow, I expect greatness from you.”

You expect WHAT??

What was I supposed to say to that? What was anyone supposed to say to that?

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, as if I could run right out that afternoon and perform ‘greatness.'”

I was an average student, a completely ordinary, skinny, knucklehead kid with a smart mouth and tons of irreverent goofiness, with absolutely no visible means of greatness. I was a very average boy, from a very average family, living in a typically average Arkansas town. Why did she say that to me? I didn’t hear her say that to anyone else! Why did she burden me with such an assignment? Greatness! Greatness? Good lord …

Over the years I’ve never believed, despite all of my feigned cockiness and false bravado, that I’ve ever achieved greatness. The “burden” that Mrs. Holman gave me that day was intended to serve as a compass marker, a way to orient the map, a process by which to plot a course. A direction in life. A push. I don’t think she intended it to be an anchor, or a hardship, or even a destination.

Greatness travels with passion and has nothing to do with your zip code or bank balance. I find that passion may be the single most attractive thing in a person. An average looking woman with a passion for something (anything!) is infinitely more attractive than a beautiful woman with nothing that energizes her life.

A passion for things. A lust for life. A thirst for knowledge. A positive attitude. These things are magnetic and winsome in any person! Become those things! Be those things and the world will find you! Be the opposite of those things and the world will avoid you.

We can be awesome … and extraordinary … and incredible!

I’ve never achieved greatness, but I know that Mrs. Holman did. Hers was a life well lived. She was greatness, and love, and light and she poured a little bit of those things into every child she taught!

Thank you, Mrs. Holman. I’ll always love you for investing your life in me and giving me a love for the written word.

“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” ~ “Ulysses,” Alfred Lord Tennyson

… and not to yield.
… and not to yield.

… and not to yield.

— 30 —

————————————————————

BOGA for all on Thursday!

————————————————————

Literacy Mid-South

Our own Lee Chase IV works for Literacy Mid-South because he has a passion for reading and for helping others to read. Next Tuesday, (March 15) Literacy Mid-South is having a special lunch at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis at 12 noon. The lunch and presentation are free, but Lee needs to know that you’re coming. Ashley and I will be there at a Boot Campers table. There are 8 more seats open at our table! If our table is full when you contact Lee, he might be able to seat you at a table next to us! Contact Lee ASAP!

—————————————————————

MARCH MADNESS!
This year, like every year, we’ll have a group NCAA Bracket on ESPN. It’s GREAT fun and it’s simple. You fill out a bracket on ESPN (I’ll give you the details soon) then give me $20 to get in on the fun. At the end of the NCAA tournament, the person who has won — and paid — wins the whole pot!

—————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The Buzz about Coffee and Caffeine

If you love nothing more than a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning, then you are definitely not alone. Caffeine may be the most widely used stimulant in the world with approximately 90 percent of Americans consuming caffeine on a daily basis. More than half of us consume more than 3 cups of coffee a day or approximately 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine with about 10% of us taking in more than 1000 mg a day.

Caffeine is a natural component of chocolate, coffee, and tea, and is also added to most colas and energy drinks. It’s also found in diet pills and some over-the-counter pain relievers and medicines.

One thing is certain, caffeine is addictive. Although caffeine’s effects are milder than other stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin; caffeine uses the same mechanisms that these harder drugs use to stimulate the brain. When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine is quickly absorbed from your stomach and peaks in your blood in 1-2 hours. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure to give you a quick, high buzz that feels like energy.

Luckily, since coffee is so widely consumed, it has been researched extensively. According to leading health and medical experts, the general answer is that normal coffee consumption (about one large mug a day) will not hurt your health. To date, there is no obvious connection between caffeine and cancer, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

However, certain people may want to limit their caffeine or choose decaf coffee. People prone to ulcers, pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, and those who have anemia, or low iron levels would want to limit their caffeine intake since caffeine can reduce iron absorption.

Studies show that just 30 mg of caffeine can have an impact on your mood and behavior. But an intake of just 100 mg a day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, so consuming a large coffee in the morning and an energy drink in the afternoon can be enough caffeine to cause withdrawal symptoms the next day. Those withdrawal symptoms can cause the fatigue that actually sends you in search of that next cup of joe.

Caffeine has also been shown to enhance exercise performance. No wonder we see it in so many sports gels and gu’s. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, studies from the 1970’s suggested that caffeine enhanced endurance performance by increasing the release of adrenaline into the blood stream which stimulated the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue and/or skeletal muscle. The working muscles use this extra fat early in exercise, reducing the need to use the body’s carbohydrate or glycogen stores. By sparing muscle glycogen in the early stage of exercise, it allowed the glycogen stores to be used later in exercise which delayed fatigue.

More recent studies have reported that consuming 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance of well-trained elite or recreational athletes in a laboratory setting. To put this into perspective, 3 mg per kg body weight equals approximately 2 regular size cups of coffee; and 9 mg/kg = approximately 5-6 regular size cups of coffee. The exact mechanisms for how caffeine increases endurance has not been clearly established, but it may involve metabolic, hormonal, or direct effects of caffeine on muscles and/or on the nervous system.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, caffeine, when used moderately, may help improve performance when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. But that’s really part of the problem, because overuse of caffeine can interfere with sleep, in some cases substantially. It takes about 3 to 4 hours for the caffeine to be eliminated from your body. In children and adults, caffeine can lead to disturbed sleeping patterns, anxiety and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches and difficulty concentrating. For anyone looking for energy, the best way to get it is naturally. Eat healthfully, stay hydrated, get lots of exercise (I highly recommend USMC Fitness Boot Camp) and get plenty of zzz’s.

———————————————————

What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


For Love of the Word — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post, 3/9/2016

Mar. 9th 2016

I loved school. But in the 8th grade I ran into a bit of an academic buzz saw. Algebra and English were conspiring against me. They were evil twins dishing out misery and torture of the worst kind and I hated them. I was awful at Algebra and even further awfullering about to the grammaring.

Mrs. Holman was my 8th grade English teacher and the first adult black woman I ever had a conversation with. Or, as Mrs. Holman would insist, “the first adult black woman with whom I ever had a conversation.”

She was a middle-aged lady who wore big jewelry, very distinctive perfume with a powdery scent, and she spoke with an adorable Southern accent, right out of some fancy finishing school. If she said, “Young sir, you need to go to the barber shop.” It would sound like, “Yuung suuh, you need to go to the baahba shop.” Think refined Southern like Scarlett, not trailer park Southern like Reba.

Of the six or seven 8th grade English teachers on faculty at Darby Junior High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Mrs. Holman had the reputation for being one of the toughest.

Perfect, just perfect. (More like present imperfect.)

Our first one-on-one conversation occurred because I had to see her after school early in the first semester. I was tanking her class in a HUGE and grotesque manner. The first semester was all grammar and the second was all literature and writing.

My apparent goal during that first semester was to establish a new level of failure in her grammar class. As it turned out, I was doing a particularly spectacular job. Transitive verbs, indirect objects, conjunctions, subjects of prepositions, past pluperfect verbs, subordinate clauses, diagramming sentences … none of it was sticking. It was only slightly less horrible than algebra.

So three days a week, instead of going to football practice after school I had to go to Mrs. Holman’s classroom for remedial grammar. I was not happy about this and I had a fairly good sized chip on my shoulder. Of course I blamed Mrs. Holman. It was HER fault that I didn’t understand grammar, was my justification. Grammar, like most things in school, had little real world application. I didn’t see much point to most of what I was studying. But I tried hard because, according to my parents, doing well in school was my job.

But as you would expect, my coaches were furious at me because I wasn’t at practice. And I was afraid of losing my position on the team. (Which I lost to a boy who obviously didn’t have Mrs. Holman for English. I needed an easier teacher.)

By the end of the first semester, and after a lot of hard work, I raised my F- to a solid C. And my bitterness towards my teacher actually turned into something of a crush on Mrs. Holman. She was beyond charming! She had a way of disarming me and convincing me that I could do well. She took such an interest in all of her students, not just me. She was absolutely irresistible. I started working hard to impress her, and to get back to after school sports.

By the end of the first semester I was no longer having to get extra help after school and the literature and writing of the second semester were way more fun.

Everything was going just fine, that is until Mrs. Holman did something terrible. She slipped some poetry into the mix and I took an immediate dislike to it.

Poetry? Seriously? Are you kidding me?? Little girls writing horrible little lines about rainbows and butterflies. It either sounded pretentious or it sounded like sissy stuff. As far as I was concerned, it was Crap.

My grades started to tumble again. It seemed like poetry wasn’t very manly or compelling for a young lad hoping to be a real man one day. I had to start going back to Mrs. Holman’s classroom after school for more help. I complained to her that poetry seemed so feminine and the subjects of the poems outside my experiences and interests. I just couldn’t relate to it. I was sure, I told her, that none of the male members of my family ever read such stuff. She just shook her head and smiled.

Then one afternoon as I was struggling to figure out what some ridiculous poem about daffodils or kittens meant, she handed me a small book.

“Tony Ludlow, you will delight yourself in this book immeasurably, or I am no judge of such matters,” she declared in the wonderful way that she spoke. I took the stupid book from her and dreaded having to open it up to read more flowery words about subjects that were of no interest at all … in a style of writing that seemed self important. “This ain’t deep stuff,” I thought, “but these poets think it is.”

But the book Mrs. Holman gave me was a short collection of poems written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. She had placed a bookmark inside and told me to open to that passage.

“I want you to read this poem and a week from now you will give me a report. I want you to tell me what it means.”

I would have been more excited about a root canal or raking leaves.

The poem she assigned to me was “Ulysses.”

And then everything changed.

Mrs. Holman started giving me other poems to read that weren’t assigned to the rest of the class. They were poems about life from a man’s perspective. One of those was “Dulce et Decorum Est,” the most famous poem of World War I, written by a soldier named Wilfred Owen. It was the last poem she ever assigned to me. And it was the last poem Owen ever wrote. And it brought me to tears.

Other poems followed.
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”
“Dover Beach”
“O Captain! My Captain!”
“If”
“Invictus”
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

The cunning Mrs. Holman had won.

In college I became a double major in History … and English. And I never forgot the great influence of a teacher with passion and love.

On the last day of 8th grade, Mrs. Holman went around the room saying good-bye and good luck to each of us. When she got to me, she shook my hand and smiled. I said, “Thank you for everything, Mrs. Holman!” And she looked straight at me, paused, leaned in closer, and then said in a low voice that was almost a whisper so that others couldn’t hear: “Tony Ludlow, I expect greatness from you.”

You expect WHAT??

What was I supposed to say to that? What was anyone supposed to say to that?

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, as if I could run right out that afternoon and perform “greatness.”

I was an average student, a completely ordinary, skinny, knucklehead kid with a smart mouth and tons of irreverent goofiness, with absolutely no visible means of greatness. I was a very average boy, from a very average family, living in a typically average Arkansas town. Why did she say that to me? I didn’t hear her say that to anyone else! Why did she burden me with such an assignment? Greatness! Greatness? Good lord …

Over the years I’ve never believed, despite all of my feigned cockiness and false bravado, that I’ve ever achieved greatness. The “burden” that Mrs. Holman gave me that day was intended to serve as a compass marker, a way to orient the map, a process by which to plot a course. A direction in life. A push. I don’t think she intended it to be an anchor, or a hardship, or even a destination.

Greatness travels with passion and has nothing to do with your zip code or bank balance. I find that passion may be the single most attractive thing in a person. An average looking woman with a passion for something (anything!) is infinitely more attractive than a beautiful woman with nothing that energizes her life.

A passion for things. A lust for life. A thirst for knowledge. A positive attitude. These things are magnetic and winsome in any person! Become those things! Be those things and the world will find you! Be the opposite of those things and the world will avoid you.

You can be awesome … and extraordinary … and incredible!

I don’t think I’ve ever achieved greatness, despite my boasting, but I know that Mrs. Holman did. Hers was a life well lived. She was greatness, and love, and light and she poured a little bit of those things into every child she taught!

Thank you, Mrs. Holman. I’ll always love you for investing your life in me and giving me a love for the written word.

“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” ~ Tennyson

… and not to yield.

— 30 —

————————————————————

BOGA for all on Thursday!

MARCH MADNESS!
This year, like every year, we’ll have a group NCAA Bracket on ESPN. It’s GREAT fun and it’s simple. You fill out a bracket on ESPN (I’ll give you the details soon) then give me $20 to get in on the fun. At the end of the NCAA tournament, the person who has won — and paid — wins the whole pot!

—————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The Buzz about Coffee and Caffeine

If you love nothing more than a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning, then you are definitely not alone. Caffeine may be the most widely used stimulant in the world with approximately 90 percent of Americans consuming caffeine on a daily basis. More than half of us consume more than 3 cups of coffee a day or approximately 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine with about 10% of us taking in more than 1000 mg a day.

Caffeine is a natural component of chocolate, coffee, and tea, and is also added to most colas and energy drinks. It’s also found in diet pills and some over-the-counter pain relievers and medicines.

One thing is certain, caffeine is addictive. Although caffeine’s effects are milder than other stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin; caffeine uses the same mechanisms that these harder drugs use to stimulate the brain. When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine is quickly absorbed from your stomach and peaks in your blood in 1-2 hours. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure to give you a quick, high buzz that feels like energy.

Luckily, since coffee is so widely consumed, it has been researched extensively. According to leading health and medical experts, the general answer is that normal coffee consumption (about one large mug a day) will not hurt your health. To date, there is no obvious connection between caffeine and cancer, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

However, certain people may want to limit their caffeine or choose decaf coffee. People prone to ulcers, pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, and those who have anemia, or low iron levels would want to limit their caffeine intake since caffeine can reduce iron absorption.

Studies show that just 30 mg of caffeine can have an impact on your mood and behavior. But an intake of just 100 mg a day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, so consuming a large coffee in the morning and an energy drink in the afternoon can be enough caffeine to cause withdrawal symptoms the next day. Those withdrawal symptoms can cause the fatigue that actually sends you in search of that next cup of joe.

Caffeine has also been shown to enhance exercise performance. No wonder we see it in so many sports gels and gu’s. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, studies from the 1970’s suggested that caffeine enhanced endurance performance by increasing the release of adrenaline into the blood stream which stimulated the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue and/or skeletal muscle. The working muscles use this extra fat early in exercise, reducing the need to use the body’s carbohydrate or glycogen stores. By sparing muscle glycogen in the early stage of exercise, it allowed the glycogen stores to be used later in exercise which delayed fatigue.

More recent studies have reported that consuming 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance of well-trained elite or recreational athletes in a laboratory setting. To put this into perspective, 3 mg per kg body weight equals approximately 2 regular size cups of coffee; and 9 mg/kg = approximately 5-6 regular size cups of coffee. The exact mechanisms for how caffeine increases endurance has not been clearly established, but it may involve metabolic, hormonal, or direct effects of caffeine on muscles and/or on the nervous system.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, caffeine, when used moderately, may help improve performance when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. But that’s really part of the problem, because overuse of caffeine can interfere with sleep, in some cases substantially. It takes about 3 to 4 hours for the caffeine to be eliminated from your body. In children and adults, caffeine can lead to disturbed sleeping patterns, anxiety and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches and difficulty concentrating. For anyone looking for energy, the best way to get it is naturally. Eat healthfully, stay hydrated, get lots of exercise (I highly recommend USMC Fitness Boot Camp) and get plenty of zzz’s.

———————————————————

What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


What Would The Duke Do? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/3/2016

Mar. 3rd 2016

“The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy,” said Corey Flood in the movie “Say Anything,” a totally awesome movie, by the way.

What is a man?

And where are they?

And who is raising them and how are they being raised? If you’re the parent of a son, what kind of man are you insisting that he be?

Hold that thought.

After a decade overseas, living twelve time-zones from Memphis, I returned in the late 1990s and walked out of the airport and into a country I didn’t recognize; I instantly morphed into Rip Van Winkle … or Tom Hanks in “Castaway.” Adrift in my own land.

Reverse culture shock. The struggle is real and I can’t overstate the reality of it.

Think about how you’ve felt when you revisited a place you lived a long time ago? How odd that felt? It’s like time travel. The past and the future have a familiarity, but they’re different.

After I returned, I had to learn the many varied ways that America had changed in the 10 years I’d been wandering the streets of Japan. The American version of English had changed while I was gone. There were new words. New slang. And cultural references I didn’t get. Humor had changed. Music had changed. Fashion had changed. Cultural norms and social interactions were different, maybe evolved, but who could tell. I was lost.

Everyone who played professional sports when I left the country had retired and new names—unknown names—had taken their places. There were no familiar television shows. The landscape of politics, religion, gender roles, entertainment, and literature had changed … even the feel of the national consciousness was different. There was an unfamiliar sound and cadence to everything. And there was so much noise.

I was frustrated and out of step.

After my first couple of blurry and confusing weeks back in the States, I wanted to buy a one-way ticket back to Japan. I fantasized about it everyday. For months. I was homesick for my old America, the America I’d left, the one I’d remembered. And I was homesick for Japan, the last place I felt normal.

Of all of the changes that baffled me, none was so puzzling as the role of men in America. On television and in the national dialog, there seemed to be an absence of men. Real genuine men. Oh, there were plenty of males, lots of guys. Few men.

On television, I didn’t love Raymond. I found no friends on “Friends.” And while I thought, and still think, that Jerry Seinfeld is a comic genius, neither HIS show, nor any others, offered up much substance if you were looking for men or male role models. Ross? Kramer? Joey? Chandler Bing? George Costanza? What kind of men were these?

The men on television were portrayed as morons, crybabies, buffoons, cowards, and imbeciles. The male characters of that dreadful show, “Yes, Dear” were disgraceful. They were little boys, insecure, and indecisive. They were in constant need of a woman to direct them and run their lives. Were it not for their wives and female friends, the men in these television shows were colossal failures, pitiful imitations of what I’d grown up believing a man should be.

Where were the examples of real men on television and in film?

I was struck by how embarrassed I was to be male. I had never been embarrassed to be male in my life. The average American male, as reflected on television, was a passive boy-child, clearly in need of adult supervision and guidance! Personally, I didn’t feel the need to have anyone, male or female, validate my life or help me make decisions. I didn’t feel the need to have a female “project manager” or a “boss” giving me direction or making alterations in my personality or my way of living. I didn’t need anyone to lay out my clothes for me. I didn’t need anyone to pack my luggage. I didn’t need unsolicited advice. I didn’t need to live my life “by your leave.”

I met a woman who had as one of her prerequisites for a potential husband, “must not wear blue jeans, ever.” She would only date guys who wore khaki pants. (Did television do this?) What kind of prerequisite was this? She ended up marrying a guy who didn’t even OWN a pair of blue jeans and was the most passive guy I’d ever met. Seriously! You can’t make this stuff up.

Don’t get me wrong about the value I place on women. Well, certain kinds of women, to be sure. I love women and am happy to have a lot of female friends whom I love and admire and appreciate. I value women. I admire women. I sometimes place them on too high a pedestal for my own good. You can blame my mom and my sisters for that. Spectacular women are a source of awe and great admiration.

But it looks to me that as men started to be less men and more little boys, women were forced to step up. It’s hard to know if the world of entertainment influenced reality or if reality influenced the arts. Did the arts give men permission to become idiots or did idiot men start to outnumber real men and that was reflected in the arts? I don’t know.

When I was a kid we had actors like Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, and John Wayne to look up to. The men those actors portrayed were real men. I remember being in a clothing store one time in high school and holding up a shirt and thinking “would Charles Bronson wear this shirt?”

What would The Duke do?

I had a lot of real men in my life when I was growing up; men in my family, teachers, and coaches who’d fought wars and rebuilt countries and lives. Men who’d stepped up and answered their country’s call for service, and then, when it was over, had turned their swords into plowshares. Men who weren’t afraid of hard physical labor and getting their hands dirty! I was mentored by men who were preparing me to take my place in the company of similar men.

When I left the country in the late 80’s, there were real men on TV. Funny man Bill Cosby, as Dr. Huxtable, was making us laugh, but still giving out tough love and wisdom on The Cosby Show. There was Tom Selleck’s character, a Vietnam vet sporting Hawaiian shirts and a bushy mustache, who was funny AND cool … and honorable. And Jack Arnold, Kevin’s wise dad, was helping his son navigate the coming of age in The Wonder Years. And there was Captain Jean-Luc Picard taking the Starship Enterprise to a new universe in a new generation.

And then somehow men disappeared and boys took over.

But I think something happened after our country was attacked on September 11, 2001. Our culture and consciousness started to shift.

In the years that followed, men made a comeback on television and in the movies! (Thank you Jack Bauer, Coach Eric Taylor, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Jason Bourne, Frodo and the Kings of Middle Earth.) It was easier to find men on television and in film with whom I could identify. I think it was easier after 9/11 because the call to service was being answered by men (and women, of course) who, despite the Chandler Bings, stood up and said “NO!” to those who’d chosen to attack us! (Unfortunately, the call to service was to the wrong country. But that wasn’t the fault of our warriors.)

After a hiatus, men are back! It’s OK to be a man who isn’t afraid of being a man, who isn’t waiting for someone to give him instructions or permission and who isn’t paying $200 for a pair of blue jeans with fancy stitching on the butts (why, the very idea!) … and who owns a pair of boots that have already been broken in.

Not long ago I heard a young woman bad mouth her boyfriend. Over the course of several days she revealed that he wasn’t very smart, not very assertive, not very ambitious, blah, blah, blah. Then she married him. I’m not sure why. I felt sorry for the guy. Not because he wasn’t very smart, or very assertive, or very ambitious—I never actually met him—but because his girlfriend, and now his wife, spoke about him in such demeaning ways. She seemed to have such a low regard for him. I guess she’s the type of young woman who wants such a man … to control … or criticize … or boss around … or just to humiliate.

On the other hand, a young female friend posted an article on Facebook entitled, “13 Ways to Know You’re Dating a Grown Ass Man.” And judging by the comments posted, a lot of young single females would like to date, and presumably marry, one of those kinds of men. (The list is a good start, but hardly enough.) I’d probably want to tell those females to be the kind of lady who’d attract such a man. So, clean up your Facebook page — and maybe your lifestyle — and get rid of your soft-core porn selfies with your boobs half out and your duck face pics taken while you parade through yet another bar. (For the record, you don’t need bigger boobs, you need to read better books.) Few men — even scuzzy ones — are going to see you as anything but a brief physical distraction on their way to someone else. And a real man of decency and character will be looking for a woman of class and substance who’ll win their hearts and minds, and to whom they’ll pledge their souls. And feel free to wait productively patiently for such a man. The wait’ll be worth it.

If you’ve got a real man in your life, an awesome man, be thankful. He’s an American classic! He sailed the ocean in a wooden ship for months to carve out a new country out of the wilderness. He forged out of nothing a country and a government that has become the envy of the world. And he’s stood up, time and time again, to do violence to any who would take away the liberties of our land, yet is compassionate enough to take a child into his arms. And he’ll protect you when the lights go out, when things rattle in the night and others run the other way.

Here’s to the men in our lives.

— 30 —

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80% OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EXERCISE. If someone tells you otherwise they’re either misinformed, or selling you something. Or both.

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN
(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

Whole-grain nutrition

To keep our muscles fueled for our USMC Fitness Boot camp workouts, long runs, and bike rides, we should consume 60 to 70 percent of your daily calories in the form of carbohydrates. A good way to get those carbohydrates in is by eating foods from the grains group.

We need from 6 to 11 servings from the grains group each day, with at least three or more of these servings being whole grains. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, corn or another cereal is a grain product. Unfortunately, not all grain products are alike.

The two main types of grain products are whole and refined. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel – the bran, germ and endosperm. The bran, or “outer shell,” protects the seed and contains fiber, B vitamins and trace minerals. The endosperm provides energy from carbohydrates and protein. The germ provides nourishment for the seed and contains antioxidants – vitamin E and B vitamins.

Examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, bulgur and popcorn. Refined grains have been milled – the bran and germ are removed, which also strips the grains of much of the fiber, B vitamins, iron and dietary fiber found in the whole grain.

Some examples of refined grains are white rice, wheat flour and white bread. Refined grain products are sometimes enriched, which means that certain B vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and folic acid, along with iron are added back after processing. Unrefined or whole grains provide our bodies with fiber, antioxidants, minerals, phytochemicals and other health-protective compounds.

Even though whole grains are so healthy, an estimated 80% of Americans eat less than one serving of whole grains a day. Not good, because studies show that people who eat diets high in refined grains have higher incidences of chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.

One reason for our low intake of whole grains may be because figuring out just which products are whole grains can be quite confusing. You would think that foods labeled with the words “multi-grain,” stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” and “seven-grain” would be whole-grain products, but these foods are usually not whole grain.

The color of foods may also be misleading. Just because a grain food is brown in color doesn’t mean it is whole grain. Breads may contain molasses or other ingredients that give it a brown color. You also cannot rely on the fiber numbers to find whole grains. Whole grains are usually higher in fiber than their refined counterparts, but some higher-fiber breads, especially “light breads,” may have added processed fiber from peas or other foods which may help prevent constipation, but the antioxidants and phytochemicals that come from the whole grain is missing.

To know for sure that the food you are eating is actually whole grain, be sure to check the ingredient label. The words “whole” or “whole grain” will appear before the grain ingredients name, for example “whole wheat’ or “whole oats.” Wheat flour, enriched four, and degerminated corn meal are not whole grains.

To make it easier to spot whole grain foods, some have the following health claim on their labels: “Diets rich in whole grains and other plant based foods and low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.”

Bran cereals are not technically considered whole grain since both the germ and endosperm are missing, but is still a healthy choice since the bran is usually missing from refined products. Wheat germ is also a good choice since the germ is also missing from most refined grains.

As you can see, it may take a little more detective work to find whole-grain products, but the benefits from whole grain nutrition are worth it. To help you get in your three servings a day of whole grain foods, try this tasty granola as a great post-workout treat.

Healthy Homemade Granola

4 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup toasted wheat germ
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup ground flax seeds (optional)
½ cup toasted, chopped nuts
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons honey
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup golden raisins or other dried fruit

– In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nuts, brown sugar. Mix well.
– In another bowl, mix the oil, honey, water and vanilla.
– Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.
– Spread over a jelly-roll pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
– Bake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
– The last 10-15 minutes add the raisins or dried fruit.
– The granola will brown as it cooks.
– Cool in pan on wire rack.
– Store in an airtight container. Makes 24 servings.

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What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

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