Sergeant Tony's Blog

And Oh, So Many Startlements … 7/26/2017

Wednesday, Jul. 26th 2017 3:43 PM

Screenshot 2017-07-26 15.32.07

Esquire magazine’s, “What I’ve Learned,” is one of my favorite features.

The piece isn’t written by magazine staffers. Instead it’s written by famous non-staffers, guys like Robert De Nero, Bruce Springsteen, Brad Pitt, and Colin Powell.

I’m expecting Esquire to call me soon for my contribution since I’ve reached the “Sage Age.” But until that happens I’m going to update and republish my own feature on my birthday, which was yesterday! So here’s the 2017 installment of …

“What I’ve Learned So Far, “ by Tony Ludlow, Sage.

“Son, you can do anything or be anything you want,” my mother said, “if you put your mind to it. Study hard! They can never take away your education.” I didn’t understand at the time who “they” were and why “they” would or could take anything away from me. Until I discovered that my parents grew up in the Great Depression when “they” took everything from everyone.

Education, like art, is for its own sake. Education, formal and self-styled, isn’t for employment, though employment may come because of it. Education is for learning. Learning how to think, how to appreciate, how to understand, how to process the world around us, and how to advance the human race forward. Now, more than at any time in my life, has the lack of education been more obviously detrimental to our Republic.

I’d rather spend money on experiences than things.

My grandfather—my “Big Dad”—told me that it was unnecessary to tell others “how smart you are or how much money you have.” People will know without you telling them. I was only 12 years old when he said this. At the time, I was managing my vast fortune of $8.75 in a passbook savings account at the First National Bank of Fort Smith, Arkansas. After Big Dad taught me this, I kept my portfolio information as secret as Donald Trump’s tax returns!

What he told me about money:
– The love of it is ridiculous.
– Obsession over it will ruin you.
– It can’t compensate for a lack of character.
– Opulence and extravagance are misguided behaviors, like Christian fishes on $80,000 automobiles.
– Live below your means. Even though Oscar Wilde said, “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” But I’ve outlived him by almost 15 years. So I’ll take my lack of imagination, thank you very much.
– Pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month.
– Be a good tipper.

Helping others reach their goals and ignite their ambitions is the best way to make a difference in the world.

More than what you believe, or claim to believe, more than what creeds you espouse, dogma you declare, things you consider true, or political views you hold, it’s what you do that defines you. It’s what you do that defines you. It’s what you do … that defines you. Everything else is just talk, pleasant parlor conversation, proud boasting in Sunday School, cheap talk at a cocktail party, pontificating in a Sunday sermon, chit-chat at the country club, bragging over beers, ranting on Facebook, or taking to Twitter in the middle of the night. It’s what you DO that defines you.

The universe rewards action, not intention.

Have a plan and a contingency plan and a contingency plan to the contingency plan. Be flexible. “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy,” it’s said. Sun Tzu wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Women who are confident, kind, and clever are the most attractive women I know! And if they like to smile and if they have a great laugh … well, that’s the best! (Remind you of anyone in my life? Maybe … Ashley Holloway? lol) Party girls are a dime a dozen. Head cases, manipulators, and drama queens stir the pot, but they don’t represent a foundation for anything stable. They make for poor companions and even lesser friends. Same thing applies to men.

I don’t trust extremes, political, religious, or social activist.

I don’t trust people with agendas.

I have little respect for people who label others. It’s the hallmark of bullies. Calling multidimensional people by one dimensional names is lazy and stupid at best and insolent and disrespectful at worst. Most people are too complex for one label. When someone only knows one small part, maybe only 3% of who you are, but assign you a label based on that 3%, you know how shortsighted and wrong labeling others is.

Those whose friends all come from one gene pool, one interest group, one religious affiliation, one political party, or one ethnicity make me suspicious.

I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs and I don’t trust the people dogs don’t like.
How someone treats the wait staff, hotel clerks, airline representatives, anyone in the service industry for that matter … that’s who they really are.

There’s no accounting for taste.

The true measure of a man has little to do with what you can see.

Happiness is an inside job. Money can’t buy it; stuff won’t provide it; vacations won’t alter it. Who you are on Monday morning is who you are.

I admire people who live by a code, who value honor, who are discerning, who won’t suffer a fool.
I think everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, a second opportunity, and a chance to be forgiven. There are two sides to every story and every situation. No matter how flat you make the pancake, it still has two sides.

One of the hardest things to do in life is establishing boundaries to keep toxic people, and even careless people, at a safe distance. Removing people from your life is tough, it’s like a coach cutting players from the team.

I’ve learned the difference between style and substance.

Defining “enough” is the most liberating thing I’ve ever done.

Getting along with others is an essential skill. More people get fired because they’re unpleasant, hard to get along with, or just jerks with no social skills than because they’re incompetent.
When I meet someone for the first time, I fully expect to like them. New people start out with an “A” in my book.

I’ve learned that someone’s attitude, the way they process the world around them, the spirit and enthusiasm that they use to engage life, and the energy they exude everyday are more important than looks, money, beauty, or education. A good attitude will compensate for a lack in those four things.

Everyone has these three things in limited supply and they must be respected and treated with care: time, energy, and money. Don’t waste anyone’s or your own.

Not even God can change the past, so forgive yourself and move on, as best as you can … and purpose to do better. And distance yourself from anyone who prefers to shackle you to a past that you can’t change.

Find out what the right thing is to do, and then do it.

When you quit laughing it’s over.

When you quit physically moving, it’s over.

I know what I know and it’s not enough.

I’ll try and do better this year!

— 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! Click, click, click, done! All done!

by First Sergeant Ashley Holloway, MS, 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.”)

Two Common Nutrition Myths

#1: Thinking that all organic foods are healthy. Organic cookies and ice cream are still cookies and ice cream. An organic foods (or their ingredients) are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. That may be admirable, but it doesn’t automatically make it a health food or lower in calories or higher in nutrients. Read your labels! Every year the Environmental Working a Group puts out a list of 12 foods that they encourage consumers to purchase the organic varieties of.
The list for 2017 includes:
Sweet bell peppers
Cherry tomatoes

#2: Thinking that certain types of foods will help boost your metabolism. The whole idea of metabolism boosting foods is generally a myth perpetuated by hype and the excellent marketing teams of different diet products and services. Your metabolic rate is determined by your gender, height, weight, body composition, and age. While there are a few foods that may very temporarily increase your calorie burn such as hot peppers and cold water, these effects are so very small that they should be secondary weight loss strategies, not primary. The best way to increase your calorie burn is through exercise. My recommendation is USMC Fitness Boot Camp! A really awesome Marine runs it!


With the heat rising, know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.…


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



Have a GREAT day!
Yours in good health and fitness!
Sgt. Tony

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