Paraphernalia

Wikipedia définition: “Paraphernalia most commonly refers to a group of apparatus, equipment, or furnishing used for a particular activity.”

When I was a kid, I had a bike.

Whenever I wanted, I leapt on my bike and went for a ride.

It was that simple.

Now it seems you can’t go for a ride unless you’ve got the right shoes and togs, preferably smeared with advertising so you look like you’re on a pro team.

And don’t forget the gel-padded gloves, the water bottle, the pump, the tinted protective glasses and the indispensable crash helmet.

Bicycle clips on your ordinary trousers are passé.

You need a special low friction, ultra high-speed, no wind-resistant pair of tights.

Whatever happened to simple?

Whatever happened to inexpensive?

Let’s take another example: fitness.

All the advertising suggests that you need an expensive gym membership to stay fit or at least have a few costly machines at home.

Not so.

Even if you have no exercise ideas of your own, the internet abounds in excellent exercise suggestions that require nothing more than willpower and a functional body to perform without any equipment whatsoever (see list at end of post).

So why are we constantly cluttering up our lives with all this unnecessary equipment and expense?

Perhaps we’re trying to convince ourselves that if we don’t have the equipment we can’t do the activity.

Perhaps we’re afraid that if there is no one to look at us, then we won’t exercise.

Ultimately, though, it’s between you and you.

The rest is just distraction.

All that equipment, all that clutter – it’s a hindrance rather than a help.

Keep it simple.

Do what you can.

Go slowly – you’ll quickly become disgusted if you overdo it.

Here are a few YouTube exercise channels that I particularly like:

Bowflex Workouts
Although this company makes fitness equipment, the workouts without any equipment at all are very interesting. The link I’ve given will take you to a series of standing abdo exercises that I’ve tried out myself, but the are plenty more videos like that. It’s a little macho with the man giving the orders and the girls doing all the work, but my goodness those girls are beautiful!

Tapp Brothers
These guys are into parkour but their exercise suggestions without equipment are really interesting and useful for anybody.

Flipping 50
Targeted at people over fifty, the lady presenter may be a little less flamboyant but her suggestions are good.

K’s Perfect Fitness
The girl has the obligatory stunning looks of a standard get fit channel, but she actually has some good exercise tips without equipment as well as with. The poor sound is a minor irritation (microphone on camera so no presence).

Very important – don’t get depressed if you don’t look like the presenters in these videos!

Hope that helps.

Have a great week.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

They Say

A new scientific study seems to appear almost every day.

Some of them might be useful.

Many of them are not.

For example, a recent study found that the reason natural fibre garments smell less than those derived from petrol is that natural fibres, such as cotton, wool or linen, absorb sweat whereas artificial ones do not.

Now I don’t know how much funding ‘they’ got for this study, or indeed how ‘they’ got any money at all, but I could have told them that before they started.

It’s common sense.

The problem is that what used to be common sense isn’t any more.

Money must be spent in order to establish the obvious.

Take another recent study that found that if an ‘independent study’ was made (that’s right – we even need studies about studies now) using money from an interested source, then it was 40% more likely to be biased.

In other words, and to give a fictional (?) example, if a cigarette company gives a lot of money to fund a study about the causes of lung cancer, it is more likely that the conclusion will be that the major cause in smokers is prevalent air pollution rather than smoking cigarettes.

Who would have guessed?

My only comment about that study would be that the 40% of increased probability is much too low and that some interested party probably put enough money into the study to get ‘them’ to bring the figure down from 100%.

Moral of the story: human beings are infinitely corruptible, especially where money is concerned.

So the next time you hear someone “they saying,” I suggest that your very first reaction should be:

“Who are “they”?”

Oh, it’s a report from a government body….

“No, who put up the money for the research?”

It was a health organization….

“No, who really put up the money?”

Because on closer inspection, no ‘independent report’ is independent.

Someone somewhere has always got something to prove, an agenda, an ‘interest.’

It would be much more honest to admit that bias.

Who knows, it might even help to make the findings useful?

Have a great weekend.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

Performance Tips (No, Not That Kind…)

Hi Everybody,

Wow, 2017. Happy New Year.

Seems like the new millenium was only last week.

Anyway, I just had to share this video which I think you’ll enjoy and find useful:

Why Smart People Underperform

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m proud to say I didn’t even think about it this year.

But if you did, we’re in that New Year’s resolution dicey patch, when they’re already starting to fall apart.

While this may have little to do with your NYR, it contains simple practical tips on how to get your life back on track.

Sorry, if you’re looking for tips on how to keep it up for longer, then you’ve come the wrong place. We’re not really talking about that kind of performance.

On the other hand….

And don’t worry about the “smart” or the business blurb in the opening speech by Marie Forleo.

The advice from Dr. Ned Hallowell is valuable for anybody.

Here’s the link again:

Why Smart People Underperform

Enjoy.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

12,218

My 2016 Christmas Card
My 2016 Christmas Card

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the 8,747 visitors to this site for their 12’218 reads over the first year that this site has been operating.

Your support is very much appreciated and I hope that you will stay with us in 2017.

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In a spirit of Christmas frivolity, I will leave you with this idea.

A friend on Facebook was asking about the name of the affliction where a person answers a question, for example, ‘How are you?’ with a number.

I don’t know the name of the affliction off the top of my head.

But it got me thinking.

What if we all agreed to use a scale of 0 to 10 so that when someone asks, ‘How are you?’ we could reply with, say, ‘1’ on a bad day and ‘9’ on an excellent one?

That way, with ‘1’ they would know not to bother us further, and with ‘9,’ we would know not to bother them…

It would be so much more efficient and communicative than replying with the usual, ‘Fine,’ which really indicates nothing at all except the weight of social convention.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and health and happiness in 2017.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

P.S. If you can guess where this photo was taken, I’ll send you a free copy of my 2016 album, MY TITANIC.

The Dreaded In-Between (continued)

If you read my post a couple of weeks ago about reducing those floating moments (minutes, hours, days?) between actions, then you might be interested in having a look at this video:

3 Signs That You Will Become Rich One Day.

Don’t be put off by the mention of money in the title and the business-inspired aspect of the video.

This advice applies to anybody and anything.

It’s about the importance of time and using it to our best ability.

The remarks at the end about going out and doing things rather than wasting time on social media are spot on (although, I suppose, if you’re reading this, it’s technically a form of social media. Oh well, mummy knows best.)

Hope you find the video useful.

And don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t achieve all you wanted to do today.

Just try again tomorrow.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

The Fragility of Life

I had the misfortune to run over a cat on Friday last whilst driving through a small village on the way to the lake.

Well, strictly speaking I suppose, the misfortune was really the cat’s, mine being only minor in comparison.

Suddenly, there it was without warning, a sandy blur racing across the road only a meter or so in front of the car.

I braked hard but to no avail.

There was a sickening sensation as the right front wheel went over something and then it was in my rear-view mirror, throwing itself in the air and leaping around as if charged with electricity.

I stopped the car off the road and went back to check out the poor beast, dreading what I would find.

Mercifully, for both of us, the cat was dead when I got to it, so it can’t have suffered for more than twenty seconds, thirty at the most.
I had had a vision of it being horribly mutilated but clinging on to life and me sitting with it while waiting for a vet to come and finish it off.

We were both spared that.

Fortune in misfortune.

I picked the cat up and put it gently on the pavement, so it wouldn’t get run over by other cars.

“I’m so sorry,” I said aloud, “I’m so sorry.”

I thought that perhaps someone in the village would know whose cat it was, so that the owner wouldn’t wonder for months what had happened or if it was going to walk through the door at some point.

Closure.

Later, I informed the police of the accident.

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I learnt to drive in 1979.

In all the time since, I’ve never run over an animal. No humans either, I should add.

I hit a rabbit in Ireland once.

We were driving along a country round and there were rabbits everywhere, like the terrestrial equivalent of Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” One of them suddenly took it into its head to leap under the car from a bank by the road, but fortunately I was driving so slowly that it was only a little dazed and soon hopped off again.

Only recently, I was thinking how grateful I was that I’d been spared.

And then this.

No warning.

Sometimes, I have inner warnings to slow down while going through a forest, for example.

Once, when I had a premonition, several deer glided like grey shadows in the winter light from the forest and across the road, invisible until the last moment.

But I was ready for them.

Not this time.

No premonition.

No warning.

A hedge at a right angle blocked any vision of the cat until it was in the road.

What could the animal have been thinking? To dash across the road with a car so close.

I shall never know.

The film goes round in my my mind.

There’s that split-second when our eyes met just before it disappeared under the car….

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And what lesson can be taken away from something like that?

First and foremost, such an experience underlines the fragility of life.

One minute here, full of health and energy, the next gone.

It makes you think.

It makes you define your priorities, or it should do.

It could happen to any of us.

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And, rather disturbingly, it also makes you realize how much the colour red is present in food.

I wish you a safe week, wherever you may be and wherever you may drive.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

The Dreaded In-between

I’m trying to cut down on my in-between times these days.

It’s quite a challenge.

But what are ‘in-between’ times?

If you’re looking for a definition of the ‘in-between’ and what to do about it,
check out this video from the ModernHealthMonk:

Feeling lazy? Use the 3 SECOND rule

Much depends, of course, on how you view time and when it’s well-spent or not.

Basically, I think my time would be better spent if I could move seamlessly from one activity to another with little or no down-time in between.

A lot of you probably feel the same way.

The problem is all those moments, minutes and sometimes hours spent vaguely thinking about what to do next.

You may even have something in your sight line that you know you should do, but you think about doing it instead of doing it.

– You check your iPhone for messages, even though you only did this ten minutes ago.
– You look at the BBC News app for the third time that day.
– In fact, you do anything to avoid getting on and doing whatever it is that you’re thinking about.
– And then you think about all the other things you have to do and this makes you feel so exhausted that you can’t raise the enthusiasm to do any of them.

And so on.

I’m a great believer that identifying the problem is 50% of the solution, and this is where Alex’s video is a help.

Giving a name to these in-between times helps you to be more conscious of the process and therefore to do something about all this time wasting and procrastination.

And he suggests that once you have made yourself aware of what you are doing (or rather not doing!), you should count to three and then do whatever it is that you’ve been thinking about or putting off.

This is not to say that you should never daydream.

Daydreaming can be very creative.

But too much in-between time ultimately gives you a sense of frustration with yourself.

You know you could be using your time better.

So try to make a habit of catching yourself when you’re having an ‘in-between’ moment.

And move on.

Have a great week.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

It’s Here: TTAC Live Symposium

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Here’s a heads up about the live event starting today and running over the whole weekend.

Just click on the picture or on:

TTAC Live Symposium 25th – 27th November 2016

And remember: the valuable advice in the symposium isn’t just about cancer but about keeping you healthy in general.

Hope this is useful.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

Note: Affiliate links

The Lost Ways

Given the recent election of Donald Trump as the new American President, we may all have to brush up on our survival skills in the near future.

So here’s a heads-up about an interesting book called ‘The Lost Ways‘ which offers a number of intriguing survival techniques and recipes based on old lore.

As an example, you can watch a video on how to make pemmican, a traditional native American way of curing meat with fat and cranberries or blueberries which makes it practically last forever.

Click Here!

But even if you’re not going to be stuck in the woods for months without a refrigerator, there are lots of other wonderful tips and nuggets of wisdom that you can glean from this fascinating book.

Click Here!

If, on the other hand, you’re actually pleased about the election result, you might want to consider getting a free Donald Trump t-shirt.

It takes all sorts to make a world, as my mother would say.

You need to hurry, though. At the time of writing, the offer is only valid for another 19 hours….

Click Here!

God bless America!

Have a great week.

Love

Richard

mesunglasses

P.S. Affiliate links.

Scandinavian Logic

We’ve just come back from a trip to Stockholm, Sweden.

While there, we coined a new term: Scandinavian logic.

It describes situations where a certain amount of information is given but not enough to be really useful.

Example: The parking at the hotel.

The lady at reception indicated that it was in a red building across the road, that the name of the hotel was marked and then she gave us a code to enter the car park.

We drive across the road.

It is dark, so all colours are relative.

There’s a brick building that seems to be a car park but no mention of the hotel.

We drive around for a bit and eventually come back to the building.

We enter the code in the command box which is accessible from the car.

Nothing happens.

I get out of the car and approach a man working on a lorry nearby. He informs us that there is another command box.

In fact, we discover that there are three in all. For two of them, including the hotel one, you have to get out of the car to punch the code in.

The name of the hotel was taped onto the command box, but not visible anywhere else outside.

A number of similar things happened to us during our stay, hence our coming up with the term.

The problem seems to be an incapacity to put one’s self in another person’s shoes.

People seem increasingly unable to think about anyone else but themselves.

And it’s not because everyone spends a huge portion of their day hunched over a mobile phone that communication is improving.

The opposite is true.

Communication is getting poorer and poorer with every new means of communication that we invent.

It’s important to reverse this trend.

Do not make assumptions.

The situation is not necessarily clear to the other person.

What you are saying is not necessarily clear to the other person either, even if it seems clear to you.

Try to imagine the situation from the other person’s point of view.

And try to use simple and succinct language.

In the example above, a few simple words of explanation could have avoided twenty wasted minutes of searching.

What can you do to improve your communication this week?

Have a great week!

Love

Richard

mesunglasses