George's Newsletter 5/2/2016

Here we are with the first Tuesday in May,

When looking at my bird feeder it is not unusual for a stray or different bird to stop by.  I try to take a picture but most of the time I am to slow and scare it away.  Today I managed to get three shots of one of these different birds.  I think it was just an immature red wing black bird.  About the only marking was a white band on the forward part of his wings.  I also am glad the gold finches have returned and will change one feeder to thistle.

Many of you must have guessed I am a fan of festivals and fairs.  I like getting to them but always hate leaving as I usually end up in a traffic jam.  In New England We have quite a few of them if anyone is interested.  Most are not on my bucket list like the Kentucky Bourbon festival but many do look interesting.  Best of all driving in NE makes most things easy to get to and are rather short drives.  Here are a few that do look interesting from the current Yankee Magazine.

June 4, 2016 Portsmouth New Hampshire. www.prescottpark.org/  This is the biggest and oldest Chowder Festival (at 32 years) Chefs from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts serve signature variations of clam, seafood, corn and other chowders.

July 17, 2016 Shelburne, Vermont www.vtcheesefest.com It has a $60 admission fee.  I do think it is pricy and you must really like cheese to go.  One last thing is this festival is on 1400 acre oasis on Lake Champlain and was sold out last summer.  I guess there must be many people who like Vermont cheese.

August 3-7, 2016 Rockland, Maine www.mainelobsterfestival.com Now we are talking as this is a Maine Lobster Festival.  It started in 1947 and was conceived to revitalize summer tourism.  It draws about 30,000 people and they serve 20,000 pounds of lobster.

Do you have finer tastes and want something closer to the Cape?  There is the Nantucket Wine festival www.nantucketwinefestival.com May 18-22, 2016.  Don’t like to take a boat off the Cape then you can try the Newport Wine & Food festival www.newportmansions.org September 23-25, 2016.

Wild Blueberry festival August 19-20, 2016 www.machiasblueberry.com Machias Maine.

Corn festival September 17-18 2016 www.southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org Norwell, Massachusetts.

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Glass takes one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled and infinite amount of times.

Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years.

Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

If you stop getting thirsty. You need to drink more water.  When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.

Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.

Kites were used in the American civil war to deliver letters and newspapers.

The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent.

Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 450F.

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.

The banana cannot reproduce itself.  It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

The University of Alaska spans four time zones.

The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.

In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage.  Catching it meant she accepted.

Warner Communications paid 28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

A comet’s tail always point away from the sun.

The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent.

Caffeine increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines.

The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.

If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.

When a person dies, hearing is the last sense to go.  The first sense lost is sight.

In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed.

Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.

Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams.

The moon moves about two inches away from the earth each year.  I thought it was about 1/4 inch but it is actually 3.8 centimeters or 1.5 inches.

The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.

Due to earth’s gravity is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters.

Mickey Mouse is known as “Topolino” in Italy.

Soldiers do not march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down.

Everything weighs one percent less at the equator.

For every extra kilogram carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at lift-off

The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of elements.

And last but not least:

This is called ‘Money Bags.’ So send this on to 5 people and money will arrive in 5 days.  Based on Chinese Feng Shui, the one who does not pass this on will have money troubles for the rest of the year.

Superstitious or not, I passed this along because it is interesting information.

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Nearly shagged a Lady boy last night.  Picked him up in a night club.  He looked like a woman.  Smelled like a woman.  Even kissed like a woman, but as we arrived back at his apartment he reversed his car into a tight parking slot in one fluid movement!
That’s when I thought - hang on just a minute.
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I saw my mate Charlie this morning, he’s only got one arm, bless him.  I shouted “Where you off to Charlie?
He said, “I off to change a light bulb.”
Well I just cracked up, couldn’t stop laughing, then said, “That’s gonna be a bit awkward, aint it?”
“Not really.” he said.  “I still have the receipt, you insensitive bastard.”
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I’ve accidentally swallowed some Scrabble tiles.  My next crap could spell disaster.
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Angela Merkel arrives at Passport Control in Athens airport.
“Nationality?” asks the immigration officer.
German,” she replies.
“Occupation?”
“No, just here for a few days.”
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As the coffin was being lowered into the ground at a Traffic Warden’s funeral, voice from inside screams:
“I’m not dead, I’m not dead.  Let me out!”
The Vicar smiles, leans forward, sucking air through his teeth and mutters,”Too late, mate, the paperwork’s already done.”
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I spent a couple of hours defrosting the fridge last night.  Or “foreplay,” as she likes to call it.
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After both suffering from depression for a while, me and the missus are going to commit suicide together yesterday.
Strangely enough, however, once she killed herself I started to feel a lot better.  So I thought - sod it, I’ll soldier on.
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I woke up this morning at 8 and could sense something was wrong.  I went downstairs and found the wife face down on the kitchen floor, not breathing!  I panicked.  I didn’t know what to do.
Then I remembered - the local café serves breakfast until 11:30.
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“Jesus Loves You.”
Nice to hear in church - but not in a Mexican prison.

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I just noticed that I missed a food festival worthy of mentioning.
How could I miss the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival June 25, 2016.

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France has increased the tax on millionaires to punitive levels.  With the problems in France between the Christians and Muslims added to the mix there is a mass exodus of millionaires.  During 2015 the country of France has the highest number of millionaires leaving a country, over 10,000 of them.

I found this interesting and wondered if it is happening here or in other countries?  After France, the list of countries ranked by millionaire outflows includes China ranked second, followed by Italy, India, Greece, the Russian Federation, Spain and Brazil in descending order.

After reading about the outflow, I needed to know where are they going?  As for inflows, Australia was the favorite destination with maximum inflows in 2015 - a total of 8,000 new millionaires.  The US was ranked second with 7,000 inflows, followed by Canada, Israel, and UAE and New Zealand.

I am surprised to see the United States ranked second.  I thought our taxes were pretty high.  Oh well, interesting, I guess we are still the land of opportunity.

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When white man found this land, Indians were running it.  There were: -
No Taxes
No Debt
Plenty buffalo
Plenty beaver
Medicine man free
Women did all the work
Men hunted and fished all the time
The white man was dumb enough to think he could improve on that system!

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During our last vacation I tried this recipe and found it worth the effort.  It is from the Harbor Light Inn, Marblehead, MA and is called Apple raisin French Toast.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
½ cup raisins
1 loaf French baguette, cut to 1 inch slices
5 eggs
1 ½ cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

Grease 9x13 inch baking dish.  In a large bowl mix together brown sugar and 1- teaspoon cinnamon.  Mix in melted butter.  Stir in apples and raisins until evenly coated.  Pour into prepared pan.  Arrange bread sliced in an even layer over the apples.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, pour over bread; making sure every slice is fully soaked.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375.  Remove dish from refrigerator while oven is heating.  Bake covered 40 minutes.  Remove cover and bake 5 minutes.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Never will PC Pitstop or Microsoft call you to tell you that your computer has a virus
Never pay for “Support” because a website told you that your computer is infected
Never give personal information over the phone unless you can verify the source
Never disclose your checking account number or pay with a money order online.
Never believe what an internet stranger tell you about your computer status
Never use support hotlines from search engines.  They are rarely legitimate.
Never let an unsolicited party have access to your computer

I have done a couple of these in the past but never again.  They all have ended up badly.

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I have been looking forward to a documentary about Arthur T. Demoulas.  It has been shown in a few places, but when shown close to my home I plan to go.  I find it interesting when employees stand behind a manager and be willing to totally lose their livelihood for him or her.  Another surprising fact is all Market Basket employees are also non-union.  During my life few supervisors have attracted that sort of loyalty.  During my military career only once did the NCO’s award “The Order of the Sword” to an officer.  This ceremony  recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the enlisted corps. Only seven other individuals have been so honored since 1978, or the past 38 years.  I retired from the military in 1979 and the only reason I know of the earlier award as it occurred on Clark Air Base, Philippines where I was stationed.

Just in case your forgot the Market Basket family war, I was one of the customers who went to other stores during the strike.  However, I did not go as far to post my sales slips onto the MB windows.  Here are a few cuts from the article posted at www.foodfightfilm.com/

FOOD FIGHT, Inside the Battle for Market Basket

Throughout the summer of 2014, a corporate food fight played out in dozens of communities impacting tens of thousands of workers and economies of three states.  When the faction of the Market Basket board headed by Arthur S Demoulas fired his cousin and arch-rival Arthur T. Demoulas as long time CEO of the successful supermarket chain, it set off a firestorm that sparked one of the most unique corporate dramas in American history.  It’s what the New York Times called “the last stand for the middle class.”

FOOD FIGHT is the story of the battle to save Market Basket, and about the power of ordinary, passionate people to rewrite corporate history.  Within days of hearing the news that their beloved “Artie T” had been axed several high-ranking managers resigned, others were fired.  Truckers stopped trucking.  Warehouses stopped supplying.  Vendors stopped shipping.  Customers stopped shopping.  Employees picked in parking lots.  Practically overnight, the $4 billion dollar business, with 71 stores scattered across three states, ground to a halt.  Governors from two states were called in to negotiate a settlement.

www.foodfightfilm.com/see-the-trailer/

Screening dates are:

May 6-7, Luna Theater, Lowell, MA

May 7, Lynn Auditorium

May 12-15, Warwick Cinema, Marblehead, MA.

May 14, Somerville Theater

May 16, Peterborough Community Theater

May 20, Starlight Cinema, Rochester (this looks like the closest to Cape Cod)

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I searched the web yesterday for a site that would allow me to vote for the worlds funniest joke.  It ended up sending me to the United Kingdom, which I do agree is that the Brits do have a good sense of humor or as they spell it humour.  Here are some of the jokes form the site for the top 50   www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2406713/50

All of the jokes that made the final list are genuinely funny and good natured which proves crude gags don’t really cut it.

The array of topics reflects the modern era as well with gags about Goggle Plus, Facebook and Twitter all making the list.

Funny tales about marriage, famous icons and religion also cropped up in the poll while gags about families, money and food also appear in the list of our favorites.

The most popular joke about marriage turned out to be: “Why do men get married?  So they don’t have to hold-in their stomachs anymore.”

1.  I can hear music coming out of my printer.  I think the paper’s jammin’ again- Unknown Origin

2.  You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving ability today.  They left a little note on my windshield.  It said: ‘Parking fine.”  That was nice, but I did not think I parked it anything special.

3.  20 years ago we had Johnny cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs.  Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs.  Please don’t let Kevin Bacon die - Bill Murray

4.  Money doesn’t buy happiness!  Well it does buy a jet ski.  Have you ever seen a sad person on a jet ski?  Yeah, I thought so - Unknown Origin

5.  I found a Justin Bieber concert ticket nailed to a tree, so I took it.  You never know when you might need a nail - Unknown Origin

6.  How do you know when you’re too drunk to drive?  When you swerve to miss a tree then realize it was your air freshener - Kevin Hart

7.  Last week my mother-in-law fell into a wishing well, can’t believe it actually worked - Unknown Origin

These are pretty funny but are more or less one liners.  I like jokes with a story.

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Where is the worlds coldest place?
East Antarctic Plateau...On the high ridge of the East Antarctic Plateau, the temperature can drop as low as -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which was recorded during August, 2010.

Where is the world’s most populated city?
Shanghai...At a whopping 24,150,000 permanent inhabitants, Shanghai is the only city that is home to over 24 million people in one city.

Where is the world’s least populated city?
Vatican City...With a paltry population of 842, the city-state of Vatican City is the smallest city and state in the world.

Where is the world’s wealthiest city?
Tokyo, Japan...The tower might as well be made of gold since Tokyo tops the charts with a GDP of $1,520 billion, beating New York city by a mere $310 billion.

Where is the world’s poorest city in the poorest country?
Kinshasa, Congo...it is the poorest city and located in the poorest country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the country’s GDP of $55 pillion.  Many of its residents live on less than $1 per day.

What is the highest point in the world? (This one is easy.)
Mount Everest...Towering 29,029 feet in the air, the top of Mount Everest is the closest you can get to touching outer space while still standing on the Earth.

Where is the lowest point in the world? (Again not to hard)
The challenger Deep Trench...It is the lowest know natural point in the world at 35,797 feet below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.  Only three people have ever made it to the bottom in a submersible, one of which was film maker James Cameron.

What is the most photographed place in the United States?
Surprise: The Guggenheim building in New York...Photos have always told stories, but in today’s world of cell phone cameras and social media, that story is relayed as data to companies who monitor everything we do.  Geotagged data was culled by Sitesmap using Goggle-based image sharing software, and can show as the most photographed places in the world, right down to this landmark.  The strange winner is this building in New York City.  Guess it impresses a lot of visitors.  I thought it was Grand Canyon.

I have a few more of these facts and will continue it with next weeks letter.  Have a great week.  I will soon be off to exercise as my weight is once again within striking distance of the great Tom Brady.  Only 3.5 pounds to go, perhaps this will be the week I make it.