December 5

Look for the * for today’s advice.



Martin Van Buren 1782

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OK is an idiom that took the world by storm when it came out of the 1840 reelection campaign of President Martin Van Buren. Born in Kinderhook, N.Y., Van Buren carried the nickname “Old Kinderhook.” Supporters used the shortened “OK” in rallies, and it took off from there.

A killer innovation for its time, Van Buren introduced the whole town to the concept of the indoor toilet (most were accustomed to bearing the cold in an outhouse) and, according to Dawn Olson of the National Park Service, to the “novel idea to have running water and indoor plumbing in the 1850s.”

*Any time you hear someone say “ok” today, tell them that it’s Martin Van Buren’s birthday and explain how “ok” came to be. You can also impress this poor person with your vast knowledge of Van Buren’s indoor toilet.


George Armstrong Custer 1839

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He organized buffalo hunts to break the monotony of his month-long stay at Fort Hays in 1867. Custer must have also suffered from boredom during his later visits because he supposedly had a Fort Hays blacksmith forge this dumbbell.

*I doubt that you can organize a buffalo hunt, so do this dumbbell workout instead.


Andrew Yeom Soo-jung 1943

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A South Korean cardinal has prayed for reunification with the North so that, “through trust and reconciliation, may we become one big family again”.

*Today is the day to reunite with someone. A friend or family member that you’ve had a falling out with. You be the one to reach out to them. If North and South Korea can make an effort, so can you.


Walt Disney 1901

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Be Proud of Your Money

In 2013, Forbes ranked Scrooge McDuck as the richest fictional character with a net worth of $65.4 billion (which is open to interpretation).

A gleeful smile is on Scrooge McDuck’s face when he dives into his legendary money pit. The lesson here is to learn that you can enjoy your money and not feel bad about possessing it.

Money doesn’t have to make you feel dirty and doesn’t need to be viewed as the root of all evil. Money is earned through hard work – be it your own or your family’s. See it as something to be proud of versus as an evil tool. As Walt Disney said:

“Some people forget that you can still do good work even though you work with dollar bills.”

*You’ve worked hard all year on your financial goals. Be proud of it. You can do good work with it.


Little Richard 1932

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Little Richard exploded the Fifties music scene with his thunderous piano and electrifying stage presence, setting the tone for the future of rock and roll. His unrestrained performances and visceral rhythms were unlike anything audiences had ever seen.

*Listen to the man who some credit as the creator of Rock n’ Roll.


Margaret Cho 1968 – beer can chicken

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What do you love to cook most, and how do you prepare it?
I think the most beautiful, simple, poetic thing to make is a roasted whole chicken. Just rub the thing with cut lemons and good oil AND butter, stuff the cavity with the same lemons, stick in a hot oven – make sure to cover the top of chicken loosely with foil for the first 30 min so it doesn’t burn. It’s easy and really delicious and satisfying. Selene Luna puts a half empty beer can inside the chicken too! That’s a fantastic trick! It flavors and moistens the meat as well as cooking it faster from the inside!

*Enjoy making this beer can chicken while listening to Little Richard. Enjoy eating it while watching a Disney movie of your choice.

Get some Tutti Fruiti ice cream for dessert.

Little Richard did not invent the name “Tutti Frutti“; it was a popular flavor of ice cream. The phrase is Italian for “All Fruits,” and the ice cream had little bits of candied fruit mixed in.

SNUB – Paula Patton

Review –

  • Impress people with your knowledge of Martin Van Buren
  • Dumbbell workout
  • Reunite with someone
  • Be proud of your money
  • Listen to Little Richard
  • Make beer can chicken

Published by

Travis Jones

I was born in Northwestern Pennsylvania and lived in a trailer park. I was raised by very conservative and religious (Wesleyan Methodist) parents. By some miracle I graduated college and moved to Florida. I have been a public school teacher since 1995. I have 7 years until I can retire. I was married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. I remarried in 2017 to Kate - 21 years my junior. Some of my life experiences as a 46-year-old, white American male, will come through in my writing, but the majority of this daily journey will be dedicated to improving myself, and hopefully you as well.

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