December 28

Look to the * for today’s advice.



Woodrow Wilson 1856

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The most critical limit of Wilson’s power was that he couldn’t control what the losers did. For a while this didn’t seem to matter, since the Germans had been decisively defeated, their weapons were taken away, and they were broke.

The vindictive surrender terms, made possible by American entry in the war and enshrined in the Treaty of Versailles, triggered a dangerous nationalist reaction. Hitler was able to recruit several thousand Nazis. Allied demands for reparations gave Germans incentives to inflate their currency and pay the Allies with worthless marks. The runaway inflation wiped out Germany’s middle class, and Hitler recruited tens of thousands more Nazis by appealing to those bitter people whom he referred to as “starving billionaires” — they might have had billions of paper marks, but they couldn’t afford a loaf of bread.

*President Wilson thought he could control the situation by entering WW1, and it made things worse. The U.S. entry into the war would guarantee an Allied victory – and a Second World War.

Don’t get into a situation today that you know you can’t control.


Joe Manganiello 1976

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Manganiello is an old-school gym rat. He doesn’t do any fancy exercises, just tried-and-true bodybuilding staples like the bench press, overhead press, and pus-hdown.

*Bench press, overhead press, and push-downs – work on those Pittsburgh steel muscles today.


John Legend 1978

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John Legend’s “All of Me”—the new No. 1 song on Billboard’s authoritative, all-genre Hot 100 chart—is a paean to crazy love, a passion that can’t be deterred by “curves” or “edges” or “imperfections.”

*Listen to John Legend all day. It’s good for your soul. Remind that special someone how much you love their curves and edges – all their perfect imperfections.


Stan Lee 1922

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Elaborating on why he shouldn’t rate George Lucas-scale wealth, he explained that, working at Marvel and its predecessors, “I was happy enough to get a nice paycheck and be treated well. I always got the highest rate; whatever Martin [Goodman] paid another writer, I got at least that much. It was a very good job. I was able to buy a house on Long Island. I never dreamed I should have $100 million or $250 million or whatever that crazy number is. All I know is I created a lot of characters and enjoyed the work I did.”

*If you are getting a nice paycheck and are treated well – be happy. You could be much happier if you’re the one signing those checks and treating your employees well – as long as you enjoy the work that you do.


Denzel Washington 1954 – watch Training Day

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Read the room 

One of Training Day’s best scenes takes place in a diner at the very beginning of the film. Jake strolls in and sits down at the table where he’s meeting Alonzo. Jake is understandably nervous. He tries to hide it by striking up conversation with somebody who clearly doesn’t want to talk while he’s reading his newspaper. Alonzo is rude to Jake – but Jake is pretty bad about reading the social situation he’s found himself in. What follows is some real hilarious awkwardness coupled with Alonzo being a real tool. Lesson to take from this is to never forget to read to the room, the body language the other person is giving off and how you might be being interpreted. Especially in a new job situation, there may be more below the surface than you are hearing. Proceed thoughtfully.

*Read the room at work today and ask if anyone wants to watch Denzel win an Oscar for his role in Training Day.


Seth Meyers 1973 – Chex mix with lots of butter

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Death-row last meal? ____My mom’s homemade Chex mix. No one makes it like her, although I recently learned that the key to her success is just butter.

*It’s not a death row last meal, but we are getting close to the end of the year. Snack on it while watching Training Day.

SNUB – Sienna Miller

Review –

  • Avoid situations that you can’t control
  • Bench press, overhead press, push-downs
  • Listen to John Legend
  • Enjoy the work that you do
  • Watch Training Day
  • Make Chex Mix

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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