Sergeant Tony's Blog

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

Thursday, Mar. 24th 2016 9:02 AM

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!”

— 30 —


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!


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


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!


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!


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


• 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

• 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


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!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

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