George Rucker's Newsletter, June 14, 2016

Well Met this fine Tuesday,

Once again I am playing an on line game, or as some say a “Massively multiplayer online role-playing game” with the acronym of MMORPG.  You would never guess what my new avatar’s name is . . . ”Ben There.”  It is the name I have used now in four different MMORPGs in different forms, probably for 30 years now.   This game is called,  Final Fantasy XIV.  I am joined by my son, granddaughter, and daughter and a few friends.  My son has started a guild by the name of Mcats, and the guild hall has an extensive water view and only steps from the beach below.  It is truly hard to believe how nice the graphics look, if this were actual property and not electronic bytes it would be worth millions.  I am already a 18th level archer, well tanned, tall with snow white hair.

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This week’s invention of merit is called Graphical User Interface.

Sometimes someone isn’t more than just a pretty face.  That’s the case with the graphical user interface, a fancy way of describing the images, icons and text you see and use on the computer screen.  Often refereed to as GUI (pronounced “gooey”), the program, or set of programs, puts a pretty face on computer operating systems and is designed to bring structure to the user experience.  Cars have a steering wheel; computer screens have a GUI.  Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Macintoshes are two of the most popular examples of GUI programs.

GUI typically includes a pointing device (or cursors), icons, a desktop screen, windows and menus with dropdown functions.

Beyond the graphic icons, an important goal of GUI is to make it easier for users to move data from one application to another _ for example, to copy an image created in one program into a different document.  Prior to well-designed GUI programs, computer users had to be fluent in the text commands required to operate the computer via a keyboard.  Before that, punched cards (index cards with punched holes) would be inserted into the computer to facilitate each and every command.

Today, advancements in GUI have made computer literacy accessible to everyone.  Thanks to point-and-click technology, the world is at our fingertips _ and we don’t have to understand much more than how to move a mouse in order to operate the system.  Today, even toddlers can figure out how to get around on a touchscreen or work a mouse.

Although an obvious example of GUI can be seen in the personal computer, many electronic devices now use graphical user interfaces as well; the touchscreen directory at the mall, smartphones, ATMs, television, point-of purchase registers, and more.  The first GUIs were introduced in the 1970s by Xerox Corporation, but it wasn’t until a decade later that Apple made them cool and ubiquitous.  By the 1980s previous deterrents, such as lack of a central processing unit (CPU) power and low-quality monitors, were becoming less of an issue as technological advancements put increasingly sophisticated computers within financial reach of consumers.  The innovation also vaulted productivity to new heights as work became increasingly computer-centric.

In the future, advancements in graphical user interfaces will continue to define the best in computer technology, providing distinction and preferences between operating systems.  It will also likely creep into other realms of our lives, as innovators find new ways to incorporate touch screens and other technologies into our homes cars and personal devices.

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While Patty had jury duty last week, I went out and purchased some plants and such.  When she was released in the afternoon, we visited one of the more unusual stores on Cape Cod in the town of Truro, MA.  They have a web site if you are an unusual spice user.  I have mentioned it before, the URL is www.atlanticspice.com.  You can find many items that are not sold locally that can used for crafts like “Essential or Fragrance Oils.”  They also have many Teas and other Extracts.

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Sausage, Ricotta, and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

    1 (16oz) package of jumbo pasta shells
    4 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
    12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    approximately 4 tsp of garlic powder *see note
    1 tsp dried oregano
    3/4 cup parmesan (grated or shredded is fine)
    1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
    4 packed, heaping cups of spinach, rough chopped and stems removed if you prefer
    1 lb ground Italian Sausage
    dried parsley for garnish

Instructions

In a skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain any excess fat and remove from heat. In the same saucepan, cook spinach until wilted or about 1-2 minutes. Cook the shells according to package directions (I cook them until they are pliable for filling and no more).

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 8oz of mozzarella, ½  cup of parmesan, eggs, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir in the spinach.

Coat the bottom of a 9x13in pan with the entire jar of spaghetti sauce. Spoon the cheese mixture into the shells and place shells open side up, very close together in the dish. There will be more shells than will fit into this pan and you can either make a second smaller pan (5x8 is good) or freeze for future use. Sometimes the shells also break in the box so this is fine.

Sprinkle the sausage over the top of the shells. Then sprinkle with the remaining 4oz of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. If you like a cheesy crust, you may broil it uncovered for 3-5 minutes (watch closely). Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

I am not a huge fan of garlic, but I find that this recipe really absorbs the garlic and mellows the flavor while baking. I usually put enough garlic powder until I think "wow, I put too much in.” That is actually the perfect amount.

This was very good but way too many shells.  I think an increase of sausage to 1.5 pounds and the use of two jars of sauce and two 13x9 pans would work.

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Who died before they collected Social Security?

KEEP PASSING THIS AROUND UNTIL EVERYONE HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ IT . . .  THIS IS SURE SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!

THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S CALCULATION OF AVAILABLE SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEY FORGOT TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY EVER COLLECTED A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!


WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?

Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did, too.  It totaled 15% of your income before taxes.

If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.  Read
that again.

Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny?  We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a Government bank to insure you and me that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government.

Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back.

If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's
contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the Government pays on the money that it borrows).

After 49 years of working you'd have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65) and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!  If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

THE FOLKS IN WASHINGTON HAVE PULLED OFF A BIGGER PONZI SCHEME
THAN BERNIE MADOFF EVER DID.

Entitlement my foot; I paid cash for my social security insurance!   Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!

Remember the benefits for members of Congress?  Free healthcare,  outrageous
retirement packages,  67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation,  unlimited paid sick days.

Now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payment’s entitlements?

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it's time for us to collect, the government is running out of money.  Why did the government borrow from it in the first
place? It was supposed to be in a locked box, not part of the general fund.

Sad isn't it?  99% of people won't have the guts to forward this.  I'm in the 1% I JUST
DID!

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Whenever I do something for the first time in my life, I tend to write a little about it.  Well Saturday before last I went to a Polo match.  This match was between USA and Mexico.  The match was in Rhode Island, perhaps an hour drive or so from the house.  Team USA was the winner, although judging by the amount of alcohol drank I would have given the edge to Team Mexico.

The ponies and riders seem very physically fit.  These polo ponies can almost instantly accelerate into high gear to chase the ball.  I feel the horses truly enjoy the sport as much as an animal can.

I do not know all of the countries that participate in this sport but it is more than 20 and from the flags I personally know here is a list of a few, U.S., Mexico, Ireland, Sweden, Malaysia, Singapore, and The Royal Jordanian Polo Club.  I could not recognize many of the flags surrounding the field so there are many more clubs world wide.

The question most of the new polo viewers ask is how do the ponies get from match to match?  This is true as many of these countries participate with vast distances of travel required.  After reading the following I know why this is a sport of the wealthy.

The horses’ journey begins with a Vet completing the health certificates. Horses are transferred by road to the airport. This often involves a ferry journey to a European airport.

The loading at the airport is carefully controlled, with the horses walking up a non-slip ramp into the specialized horse container, known as a stall.

The stall is well ventilated, has plenty of head room and can accommodate horses in either "economy" (three horses to a stall) or "business class" (two horses to a stall).

Once the horses are safely in the stall, they and their attendant are transported to the aircraft. The stall is transferred onto a hydraulic lift and rolled into the main deck of the aircraft and secured in place with floor locks.

Horses are generally last to be loaded so they can be the first to be offloaded. There are passenger seats behind the cockpit for the attendant to have easy access to the horses at all times. The attendant will monitor the horses throughout the flight, giving them water and feed, as required. The air-conditioned deck is controlled to maintain an ideal ambient temperature for the horses.

Once landed in the country of destination the horses are offloaded, customs cleared and transported by road to the quarantine station where they are held until the completion of quarantine. Dependant on the requirements of the destination country quarantine time can vary from 72 hours to 30 days. In some countries your horses can travel immediately to their destination once they have been checked by a veterinary officer and customs cleared.

Each team has four ponies and there are two officials.  Therefore, during each period they have ten horses on the field.  The field is huge, the outdoor polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, slightly larger than nine football fields and almost 10 acres in size, it is the largest field in organized sport.  My guess was five football fields and I am off by four more fields.

Most of the viewers use the match as one great big eating and drinking feast.   It has its slow moments but all in all not as exciting as ice hockey but way better than women’s field hockey.

Admission is inexpensive compared to many professional sports, from $12 to $50, which makes me wonder why this is called the sport of Kings.  In addition the parking is free.  Many also tail gate and children less than 15 are free, go figure.  For a schedule see the following site:  http://www.nptpolo.com/  I do recommend this for children and dogs as they can run on the field.

I would go again in a heartbeat and anyone that have never gone to a game should seriously think about it.

Newport Polo
250 Linden Ln, Portsmouth, RI 02871

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Go Ice Fishing

How do you settle a presidential election when the vote is too close to call? With an ice fishing contest, of course!

After the first round of votes were counted, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were deadlocked.  Instead of going through a recount, the two agreed to a week-long ice
fishing contest to settle the election.  Whoever caught the most fish at the end of the week would be the President.

The candidates decided a remote frozen lake in northern Wisconsin would be the ideal place. No observers were allowed on the fishing grounds, but both candidates would need to have their catches verified and counted each night at 5pm.

After Day 1, Trump returned with a total of 10 fish, Hillary came back with nothing.

Day two finished, and Trump caught another 20 fish, but Hillary once again came back with nothing!

That night, Hillary and her cronies got together and accused Trump of being a “lowlife, cheatin’ son-of-a-gun.”

Instead of fishing on Day 3, they were just going to follow Trump to spy on him and figure out how he was cheating.

Day three finished up and Trump had an incredible day, adding 50 fish to his total!

That night, Hillary and her democratic buddies got together for the full report on how Donald was cheating. Hillary stood up to give her report and said, “You are not going to believe this, he’s cutting holes in the ice!”

And that, my friends, tells you all you need to know about the intelligence on the left side of the aisle!

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A NEW PEW RESEARCH. INFORMATION TEST: FYI I got all right so it is not that hard.

This is a terrific test. And it shows results in a number of ways. It surely indicates that the majority of Americans don't know what's going on.

It's astonishing that so many people got less than half right. The results say that 80% of the (voting) public doesn't have a clue, and that's very scary.

There are no tricks here -- just a simple test to see if you are current on your information.

This is quite a good quiz and the results are somewhat shocking.

Test your knowledge with the challenge of the questions, then be ready to shudder when you see how others did:

If you get less than half correct, please cancel your voters’ registration.

Click here: Test Your News IQ - Pew Research Center

http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

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 *The Back Nine*

 If you’re not a golfer, you may not know what the “back nine” means.  It refers to the last nine holes you play out of 18.  Read on... this will give you pause for thought …

 THE BACK NINE I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY!   AND THEN IT IS WINTER.

 You know ... Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.  But, here it is... The back nine of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

 I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.  But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting gray...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change...Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become.

 Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!   And so...now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things
 that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the back nine, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this earth...it's over. A new adventure will begin!  Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done.

 It's all in a lifetime.  So, if you're not on the back nine yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the back nine or not!

 You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life...so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

 "Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY ! HAVE A GREAT DAY Remember "It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. LIVE HAPPY IN 2016!

 LASTLY, CONSIDER THIS:

 ~Your kids are becoming you......but your grandchildren are perfect!
 ~Going out is good.. Coming home is better!
 ~You forget names.... But it's OK because some people forgot they even knew you!!!
 ~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything like golf.
 ~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV 'ON' than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep".
 ~The things you used to care to do, you aren't as interested in anymore, but you really do care that you aren't as interested.
 ~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" Switch.
 ~You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?"... ???
 ~You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!
 ~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
 ~Everybody whispers.
 ~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear again.
 ~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!
 Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" Send this on to other "Old Friends!" and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!!! It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

 TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN; YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE, SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS... Author – Unknown

 “Do Not Regret Growing Older. It is a Privilege Denied to Many"

 CHEER

Have a great day see many of you at exercise

George

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