Tag Archives: blogging

Of cats and dogs and cliches …

I thought this was a good subject to write about three years ago and I still think so. I hope you will agree.

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

I was reading this morning and ran into the cliche you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I have to tell you that this is one particularly annoying expression to me. This is another of the general negativity directed toward seniors.

By the time I retired, I had become something of an expert on markets. After 20 years spent writing about international markets for Reuters News Service I went on to write for the Investments Department of a major philanthropic organization. The final five years of my working life I actually managed the investment of $900 million in the debt market.

c2c616d5ae15f2c08c080737b4ea8d7d.jpgWho says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

After retiring, at the age of 70, I started writing this blog. It had nothing to do with markets or the economy. The primary focus was weight loss in the beginning, but after taking a number of…

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Filed under aging, cliches, curiosity, successful aging

Are you guilty of information avoidance?

Next month I will complete my seventh year of writing this blog. What started out as a ‘weight loss’ blog has developed into a total mental and physical health resource and I am grateful for the following it has developed. I can honestly say that within six months of starting the blog, I began to feel conversant with various aspects of my own personal health. I had learned and paid attention to how much I was consuming at and away from the table. What’s more I kept my exercising activities in focus also. I believe that as a result of that experience I have not only lost over 10 more pounds since starting, but have maintained that healthy weight with nearly no fluctuations outside of five pounds, plus or minus. One of the aspects of that experience is that I am willing to confront anything that looks like a developing problem when it appears on my radar.

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I wanted to discuss that because before starting the blog for the majority of my life I had struggled with a weight problem. Because I have an athletic background, my activities disguised my poor eating habits for years. Hitting my late 20’s, however, the chickens started coming home to roost and I gained weight and declined in health for years afterward. One of the features of that period was a reluctance to truly face the problem. I wouldn’t weigh myself as regularly. I wouldn’t admit that I was tiring a lot earlier than previously. Continue reading

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Filed under information avoidance, Wall Street Journal, weight control, weight loss

Of cats and dogs and cliches …

I was reading this morning and ran into the cliche you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I have to tell you that this is one particularly annoying expression to me. This is another of the general negativity directed toward seniors.

By the time I retired, I had become something of an expert on markets. After 20 years spent writing about international markets for Reuters News Service I went on to write for the Investments Department of a major philanthropic organization. The final five years of my working life I actually managed the investment of $900 million in the debt market.

c2c616d5ae15f2c08c080737b4ea8d7d.jpg

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

After retiring, at the age of 60, I started writing this blog. It had nothing to do with markets or the economy. The primary focus was weight loss in the beginning, but after taking a number of courses on nutrition, anatomy, physiology, the brain, longevity and yoga, to name a few, I expanded the scope to focus on good nutrition, exercise and living past 100 while keeping our mental faculties intact.

So, I contend that you can teach an old dog, me, new tricks. I think that you need to cleanse yourself of cliches like that as they are absolutely negative and do nothing but jam a road block into your path of straight thinking.

While on the subject of negative cliches, another troubling one that springs to mind is curiosity killed the cat. I am not sure why, but I hear that one a lot. What’s wrong with being curious? Since when is curiosity a bad thing? I consider curiosity one of my best traits.

In researching the saying, it seems it started otherwise than we know it today. The original word was care not curiosity and the meaning had to do with care and worry, That is, too much worrying killed the cat. This varies from what we know today as curiosity – digging into a subject to find out more. So, it’s current usage has run totally askew from its origin. Yet it persists in this new and troublesome form.

Since many of my readers are fellow bloggers, you know how much a part that true curiosity plays in your most meaningful posts. I certainly do.

Finally, we all know how important it is to avoid cliches, not just negative ones. Nothing bogs down writing faster and glazes over the eyes of a reader more effectively than cliche-ridden sentences. So, I beg you to avoid cliches like the plague.

You got that last one, didn’t you?

Tony

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I Pay a Visit to Van Gogh’s Bedroom

Although I have been writing professionally for more than 50 years, I am relatively new to blogging. I started writing this blog on invitation from a friend nearly six years ago and have only been doing it that long.

For your background, I began writing in the men’s magazine and paperback book business and worked at a couple of publishers for a half dozen years. I recounted my leaving that business in the post How to Handle Career Adversity if you want further details. I worked at Reuters for 20 years after that.

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This is one of the three paintings. It was completed in 1889.

All of this is to say that while I have a lot of experience writing, I am a relative newbie at blogging. When I first started, my partner used to say that my posts read more like short articles than blog posts. They weren’t personal enough.

Maybe I just didn’t (don’t) get it. When I post something, I am sharing information that I think will benefit the reader and help that person to live a longer, healthier, happier life. I really don’t feel my personal details are all that interesting or useful to anyone else.

Having said that, I am now writing this totally personal post. You can decide whether or not it has any value or interest for you.

A hundred years ago, it seems, in my first year of college, I encountered the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. To put it mildly I was overwhelmed. There are no words in my head to explain to you the impact his pictures had on me.  it was totally visceral. I particularly loved the famous Van Gogh’s Bedroom. So, can you imagine my delight in learning that the Art Institute of Chicago was having a special showing of the three works of art known as Van Gogh’s Bedroom. That’s right. He painted the picture three times. I did not know that.

As an Art Institute member, I was invited to a preview and talk on the works yesterday and planned to attend. The weather in Chicago has been fearsomely cold this past week and as a result, I was not able to do my normal bike riding. I climbed the stairs in my high rise which is good weight bearing exercise, just not nearly as much fun as biking. At any rate, because the structure of my day was so turned around, I forgot about the talk until moments before it started. I rushed out, but was too late to catch it. I was, however, able to see the exhibit and read about it. Magical is the only word I have to describe those paintings.

Van Gogh created the works while living in Arles where he also painted another of my favorite works, The Boats at Arles. They are candy to my eyes.

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The Boats at Arles

I have included the pictures here for your viewing pleasure. If they have any meaning or impact on you I recommend you read further on them and the painter. They tell a wonderful story about this beautiful troubled genius who created them.

Tony

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Is There a Downside to Instant Electronic Communications?

Like so many folks these days, I have an iPhone and rely on it heavily for communications with friends, weather info for biking, map info for navigating, etc. If you have a smart phone I’m sure  you have your own myriad uses.

The reason I am bringing this up is that I stumbled across a fascinating item in the New York Times from late March.
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You can read the entire piece at the link, but here are some of the highlights that particularly touched me. It was titled Your Phone vs. Your Heart. Interesting dichotomy.

I have written at least 10 posts on the value and benefits of positive psychology. If you want a look just type in positive psychology into the search box at the right and click on search.

Barbara Fredrickson wrote the NYT piece. In case you aren’t familiar with her, she wrote Positivity, one of the bibles of positive psychology as well as Love 2.0: How our supreme emotion affects everything we feel, think, do and become. Continue reading

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Siri For Seniors

I am sure by now that you have seen Martin Scorcese in the Apple ad on TV using Siri in the back seat of a taxi checking his schedule, rejigging it and asking how’s the traffic, then telling the driver to change course. I don’t know if that is literally accurate or there is some poetic license there as it appears to be a light-hearted take.

I have been impressed with Siri since its introduction, but haven’t been able to experience it till this past week when my iPhone 5 was delivered. As soon as I got it set up I said to Siri, “What is the betting line on the Ravens game this Thursday?”

After a momentary wait, she answered, “The odds are in favor of the Ravens by 12 points.” It was love at first byte.

What a magnificent tool to have at your fingertips. All manner of information is just a Siri-query away. Apple says on its website, “Siri makes everyday tasks less tasking. It figures out which apps to use for which requests, and it finds answers to queries through sources like Yelp and WolframAlpha. It plays the songs you want to hear, gives you directions, wakes you up, even tells you the score of last night’s game. All you have to do is ask.”
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