Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Here it is, the top of the bottom. The Siena Research Institute has been polling presidential scholars since 1982. Much is made of those who ranks highest (it's always the usual suspects -- Lincoln, Washington and FDR -- in the top slots), but who brings up the rear?

In 2010, these 13 men ranked the lowest in everything from "intelligence" to "luck."

30) Rutherford B. Hayes
31) Jimmy Carter
32) Zachary Taylor
33) Benjamin Harrison
34) William Henry Harrison
35) Herbert Hoover
36) John Tyler
37) Millard Filmore
38) George W. Bush
39) Franklin Pierce
40) Warren G. Harding
41) James Buchanan
42) Andrew Johnson (pictured)

I admit I know very little about 11 of these 13. I lived through the Carter and GW Bush years but could probably learn more about the inner workings of their Administrations. But I wonder if it matters? Is history always important? Is there as much to learn from failure as success?

For more information about the Thursday Thirteen,
or to play yourself, click here.

And the crowd goes wild!

For the second month in a row, I have reached my goal of 13 workouts/month (with a workout defined as 25 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of either floor exercises or weight machines).

And remember, February is a short month. That makes my accomplishment even more awesome! Thank you very much.

Of course, I'm still a big fat moo-cow. Maybe that's why that girl (middle left) is sticking her tongue out at me. But I'm making progress. Fitness is becoming a part of my life.


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? LA Mental by Neil McMahon. It's a thriller about Dr. Tom Crandall, the oldest son of one of Los Angeles' oldest and wealthiest families. His siblings are all coming undone at the same time. Wild child Nick's drug habit has landed him in the hospital, dull Paul is suddenly cheating on his wife with a sophisticated lady film producer, and his only sister, engaged Erica, decided to have one last fling before the wedding and unfortunately someone found out and is blackmailing her. These family catastrophes can't possibly be related ... can they? Of course they can! Otherwise we wouldn't have a thriller! It's one of those books that's fun while it lasts, but I suspect I won't remember a thing about it when it's done.

What did you recently finish reading? Star, Peter Biskind's biography of Warren Beatty. The end of the book is sadder than I expected. He went from being one of Hollywood's power players throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s and even the early 90s. But now he's old and irrelevant. He is, by all accounts, finally happily settled down with one woman and a passel of kids. Yet you're left to wonder -- did he "retire" from film to be a good dad, or is it just a convenient excuse to get around admitting that he's no longer young, handsome and in demand?

What do you think you’ll read next? I don't know for sure, but I think I'll pick up Mona Lisa in Camelot: How Jacqueline Kennedy and Da Vinci's Masterpiece Charmed and Captivated a Nation.


I Want Wednesday

I want my problems to be less complicated and weird. I get the feeling  that when I try to explain to my best friend why I'm upset over stuff like this and this, his eyes roll back in his head and he wishes he hadn't signed up for such hazardous duty.