George Rucker's Newsletter for January 17, 2017

Greetings,

Guess what?  Today is Ben Franklin’s birthday.  He happens to be one of my favorite people of our country’s historical past.  We even claim the same religion, Unitarian.  Unitarian Universalism which is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning".   Although I am not a church goer, I try to live my life in that manner.  During my life I have given an occasional lecture while enrolled in a Unitarian Fellowship.

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Patty went to the football game in Foxboro this weekend.  I am a wuss for games this time of the year as I do not like getting cold.  The temperature would be like sitting in a freezer for three or four hours.  It just is not my cup of tea.  When I say freezer, I mean the freezer part of the refrigerator.  Most normal parts of the refrigerator are kept to about 40 degrees.   I cooked some comfort food, cranked my heater to 72, called my neighbor and we watched the game on my new 8 foot screen.

Sundays games were terrific.  I have already printed the tickets for Patty, and future son-in-law, Dave.  I once again will retreat into the movie room, crank my sound so I will think I am at the game and just watch while being comfortable.  Life is good.

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Where to Retire...

You can retire to   Phoenix, Arizona where

1.  You are willing to park three blocks away from your house because you found shade.
2.  You've experienced condensation on your rear-end from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3.  You can drive for four hours in one direction and never leave town.
4.  You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5.  You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door at 500 degrees.
6.  The four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

OR

You can retire to   California   where...
1.  You make over $450,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2.  The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3.  You know how to eat an artichoke.
4.  When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
5.  The four seasons are:  Fire, Flood, Mud and Drought.

OR

You can retire to   New York City   where...
1   You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2.  You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3.  You think Central Park is "nature."
4.  You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multilingual.
5.  You've worn out a car horn.  (IF you have a car.)
6.  You think eye contact is an act of aggression

OR

You can retire to   Minnesota   where...
1.  You only have three spices:  salt, pepper and ketchup.
2.  Halloween costumes have to fit over parkas.
3.  You have seventeen recipes for casserole.
4.  Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5.  The four seasons are:  almost winter, winter, still winter, and road repair.
6.  The highest level of criticism is "He is different,"  "She is different," or "It was different!"

OR

You can retire to   The Deep South   where...
1.  You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2  "Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3.  "He needed killin" is a valid defense.
4.  Everyone has two first names:  Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Joe Bob, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
5.  Everything is either:  "in yonder,"  "over yonder"  or "out yonder. ”
6. You can say anything about anyone, as long as you say "Bless his heart” at the end!

OR

You can move to   Colorado   where...
1.  You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2.  You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home, so he stops at the day care center.
3.  A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4.  The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

OR

You can retire to   Nebraska   or   Kansas   where...
1.  You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2.  Your idea of a traffic jam is three cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3.  You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4.  You end sentences with a preposition;  "Where's my coat at?"

OR

FINALLY you can retire to   Florida   where...
1.  You eat dinner at   3:15   in the afternoon.
2.  All purchases include a coupon of some kind - even houses and cars.
3.  Everyone can recommend an excellent cardiologist, dermatologist, proctologist, podiatrist, or orthopedist.
4.  Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5.  Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.

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"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." Will Rogers

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First thing with the following is “The Darwin Awards are not real.”  They do sometimes come very close, plus I mostly find e-mails about them quite funny.  There is not a committee that goes through these deaths each year to find the best.  I will however try to find the origin of each award for the year 2015 which I just received.

Here is the letter from 2015 . . .

THE  NEW  DARWIN AWARDS ARE HERE!!

The Darwin Awards are finally out. The annual honor given to the persons who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way. Last year's winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out.
This year's winner was a real rocket scientist... HONEST!
Read on... And remember that each and every one of these is TRUE.

And the nominees  were:

Semifinalist #1
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk… Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. The resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.  (This is from Joke Overflow, April 2010, Totally false)

Semifinalist #2
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It a appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed.. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.  (Rehash of both the 2004 and 2009 Darwin Awards. Totally False)(sub-note: However in 1989, two Navy airman lost their lives while mooning another F-14 due to lack of oxygen as they totally forgot to put their oxygen masks back on while during the prank)

Semifinalist #3
A 22-year-old Reston , VA , man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park , jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. 'The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground,' Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was 'Major trauma.'  (Although this was a 2004 award and reused for 2015, it happens to be true)

Semifinalist #4
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend - no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate - was hospitalized. (2004 must have been a great year for the awards.  This one is false, however the act was true.  Both of these men had bites, but both men lived.  This could have been a good award if one or both had died.)

Semifinalist #5
Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter!
Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as ''bright'' by his peers. (Once again this was a 2004 award but I could not find the origin and will consider it false.  Just like the old song by Jim Croce  "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", used to sing about things that you don't dare do (pull the mask off the Lone Ranger or tug on Superman's cape, for example). He might have done well to add, "You don't flick your Bic inside a building with a gas leak"!)

Now, the winner of this year's Darwin Award (awarded, as always, posthumously):
The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car.

The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. Police investigators finally pieced together the mystery. An amateur rocket scientist.... had somehow gotten hold of a JATO bottle (Jet Assisted Take Off, actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra 'push' for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO unit to the car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!

The facts as best as could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the scorched and melted asphalt at that location.

The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20 -25 seconds.

The driver, and soon to be pilot, would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog fighting F -14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become irrelevant for the remainder of the event.

However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20 seconds) before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock.

Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable. However, small fragments of bone, teeth and hair were extracted from the crater, and fingernail and bone shards were removed from a piece of debris believed to be a portion of the steering wheel.

Epilogue: It has been calculated that this moron attained a ground speed of approximately 420-mph, though much of his voyage was not actually on the ground.

(This is one of the original entries of the Darwin Awards and is termed to be an Arizona myth.  The story was totally debunked in 2003 in the pilot episode of MythBusters.)

You couldn't make this stuff up, could you? (I say that evidently you can.)

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Do Coffee and Tea Count as Daily Water Intake?

I have never understood that whole “caffeinated beverages don’t count towards your water intake” business. I need to try and explain this statement if possible.

I know caffeine is a diuretic so you could eliminate more than you take in, but you are still taking in liquid. To me “doesn’t count” just means you would be in the same health situation at the end of the day if you drank 8 glasses of tea or drank zero glasses of water and again to me that just can’t be.

Please help me understand why caffeinated beverages don’t count toward your water intake.

In an effort to answer this question properly, I did some online searching and found that opinions vary widely. The best article I found was from UK’s The Daily Mail. Britain’s leading nutritionist, Jane Clarke recommends 2.5 liters of water a day because:

    We know from research that this is what the body needs to function properly (from helping the brain to work at its optimum, to eliminating waste). If you drink enough your energy levels will be more consistent (say goodbye to that after-lunch snooziness or end-of-the-day crabbiness); many of the people who ask me for advice also find that their concentration improves.

Clarke also believes that it’s fine to count tea and coffee as part of your daily intake, with a few cautions:

    The good news is that you can now count tea and coffee as part of your intake. Previously it was thought they acted like diuretics, encouraging the body to get rid of fluid. We now know this isn’t true, and you can drink tea and coffee as part of your 2.5 liters. And there is nothing like a cup of tea to give you a lift.

    My only note of caution is that large amounts of caffeine can reduce the amount of calcium we absorb from our food; the tannins in tea have a similarly negative effect on iron absorption.

    Also, caffeine, even small amounts, can make sensitive people feel more stressed, jittery, and can keep you awake if drunk at the wrong time of day. A couple of cups a day are fine as part of your water intake.

One of the main reasons I’m choosing water over other sources of liquid is the fact that water contains ZERO calories, and I’m trying to lose weight. Most of this section was taken from a Web MD article which started me thinking about hydration in general.

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A young man shopping in a supermarket noticed a little old lady following him around. If he stopped, she stopped.

Furthermore she kept staring at him.

She finally overtook him at the checkout, and she turned to him and said, "I hope I haven't made you feel ill at ease; it's just that you look so much like my late son."

He answered, "That's okay."

"I know it's silly, but if you'd call out 'Good bye, Mum' as I leave the store, it would make me feel so happy."

She then went through the checkout, and as she was on her way out of the store, the man called out, "Goodbye, Mum.”

The little old lady waved and smiled back at him..

Pleased that he had brought a little sunshine into someone's day, he went to pay for his groceries.

"That comes to $145.85," said the clerk..

"How come so much? I only bought 5 items."

The clerk replied, "Yeah, but your Mother said you'd be paying for her things, too."

Bet you thought this was going to be a tear jerker.  Don't trust Little Old Ladies!!!

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Lately more then ever, people seem to be jumping the gun primarily on what is good and what is bad.  I guess we could put this under fake news, or not enough research news.  I am an AARP life member, but I would quit it if I could but then it would be a waste of money already been spent as there is no refund.  When I joined I was 55 and paid the fee, now with 20 years gone by there is probably nothing left of my payment.  If anything I probably owe them money by now.  I find AARP not just a liberal group but a very liberal group.  They are not as far left as my sister but pretty close.  They do however have good deals on certain things.  I always ask if the place I plan to spend the night has a military or government rate, AAA rate, or an AARP rate and I will find that one of the three will have a discount.  The three also have vacation rates that are pretty good and most of the time I will jump on the very good deals and pass on the others.  For some reason lately BJ’s has had some good offers.

Well back on topic, AARP has a free bi-monthly periodical, plus a monthly newspaper, and this month they have an article on Fast fixes for what Ails You.

Just remember, what is good today is probably bad tomorrow, or vice versa

Low Energy - drink a glass of water, take a nap, watch a sitcom as laughter can change mood and energy.

Depression - give or get a hug, make a donation to a good cause, plan a trip.

Sleep Deprivation, banish all pets from the bedroom, if something is bothering you write it down and how you plan to fix it, take a meditation class.

Heart Disease - pop a probiotic pill, take a fast walk, connect with a friend.

Headaches - take Magnesium Oxide (400 milligrams), have a cup of coffee or tea, dim lights and put a cool compress on you neck.

Diabetes - have a piece of dark chocolate, use vinegar for salad dressing, go to a YOGA class.

Arthritis - take off your shoes and walk barefoot, wash dishes by hand, exercise regularly.

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That is all for this week.  I will see a few of you at exercise and just remember to smile.

George

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I have a mailing list, to be added just put letter in subject line and email grucker@capecod.net.  It has currently approximately 150 members.

Some old letters at the bottom of www.capecod-beaches.com

Once again on the road,

From Orlando we went north to the Florida town that is farthest to the west, so far west it is in the next time zone, which is central. With Patty retired we are both now on a fixed limited income so to save money we decided to stay in government quarters. Our first try is with the Navy and I must say it is very nice, both clean and comfortable. We are located on the Naval Air Station, of Pensacola, Florida (www.dodlodging.net) ; we reserved three days using the Navy Gateway, Inns and Suites. What is great about this base is the location is right on Pensacola Bay so we have a beach. It is home to the Naval Air Museum, and a lighthouse. Another great thing is the Navy’s Blue Angels practice here probably twice a week. I will need to take a few pictures and Patty wants to get some autographs for the grand kids.

Last night we went into the city of Pensacola to eat at one of America’s great steakhouses, McGuire’s Irish Pub. Many of my friends would like this place as many drinks are in the $3 to $4 range. The walls were covered with money; my estimate is over 1 million, every square inch of the ceiling and walls down to about 3 feet. The money is not flat on a flat surface but hung perpendicular. There is so much money that sound does not carry and the Irish music is muted. They make all their beer and I had a red lager named, McGuire’s Irish Red. Patty drank something called an Emory Chenoweth, not sure what it contains but probably 10 inches high and only $3.50. My taste of it was delicious. There was a drink with a limit of 3 per person, served in an old fashion quart size Mason jar from the local cemetery, called “The Irish Wake” at a cost of $9.99. The seating capacity of this place was very close to 800 or 900 people. The parking lot was perhaps five acres. Many pictures of famous people are on the walls, more than one can imagine.

Day two: We went to the Naval Air Museum. It is huge and extensive, over 150,000 square feet and four stories high. One day is not enough, as there is so much history from WW1, through today. If I was going to say which is bigger the USAF or the USN, I would go to the USAF at Wright Patterson AFB.  Pensacola trains most of the Naval Aviators if not all, some became very famous and some were our past presidents. Their planes and log books will be enshrined here forever.

There is a lighthouse on the base which posed nicely for some pictures. You can look up http://www.pensacolalighthouse.org/  there is also a museum attached. This is still a working lighthouse kept up by the Coast Guard.

The last day was a visit to a fort. It was Fort Pickens National Park. From the fort we watched the Blue Angels practice maneuvers, our very own private air show. There were six planes and they kept passing over and around the fort then back to the base and up into the sky. A great day especially after we left the fort for a nearby beach that gets 4.9 stars out of five. It was not crowded at all and many have said it is the best beach in the Eastern United States, Langdon Beach. If I return to Pensacola, I would stay at the Naval Lodge as it is closer to the museum and lighthouse with its own private beach. The beach used by the Inn I was in although also on base but perhaps two miles away, without the seclusion afforded by the lodge.

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The next day we are off to stay on Joint Base Charleston, currently commanded by the A.F... We are staying at an Air Force Inn once again; it will be the least expensive nights of our trip. Unlike the old days when there were many clubs, the military has sort of made drinking out of vogue. Only one club on base now and this one had Bingo on the evening we arrived, however our arrival was an hour late to catch the entire evening’s game. There were two guaranteed $1,000 prizes included this evening along with all their normal prizes. We just ate in the Grill portion of the club, ran to the commissary and then back to our room. If anything was funny, we saw many open parking spaces in front of the club. Only trouble was the first 2 were for General Officers, the next 4 were for Colonels, then a few for Commanders of local units and the club manager. There was a group set aside for the E-9 enlisted also.  I parked in the back.

We made our reservation again by using www.dodlodging.net  for those active or retired military members with proper identification.  I tried to read the regulation (AFI 37-135 24 September 2014) to see if DoD Civilian guests are authorized, as in the past I have stayed with DoD Civilians with Temporary Duty Orders while we were having required environmental training and could not decipher the policy.  There are so many exceptions and rules I feel DoD Civilians with DoD ID cards might be eligible.

I did notice that rule 39 includes: Other DoD ID card holders not on official business to include disabled veterans.

It almost looks like many people are authorized so probably the best thing is just check and confirm eligibility.

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Ok, off to Fort Sumter, the place where the American Civil War Began. Decades of growing strife between north and south erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back. You can’t drive to it so we took a ferry. The place where the ferry started there were two naval ships the USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. I did not catch the name of the destroyer.

This is a National Park so once again I got to use my park pass. If you are 62 or over you should spend the $10 for one of the passes. Once you pay the fee all National Parks are free for life, this includes the National Seashore on the Cape. I have got my $10 back many times over already and I bought it 3 or 4 years ago.

This is also the area my father went to college, he attended the U.S. military Academy called, “The Citadel.” His study was chemical engineering. This was also the start to get his commission and join the army’s, 101st Screaming Eagles and become a paratrooper during WWII. I did not have time to visit the Citadel museum so I might have to return on another trip.

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I am not sure if I can call these vacations anymore. Where we are retired now I would say they are just trips, excursions or adventures.

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Many of my friends know I was once a Democrat who was a McGovern supporter. While I was stationed in Texas I shook McGovern’s hand by the Alamo, in San Antonio , during a rally. This particular political party left me behind many years ago.

Great Orators of the Democrat Party – PAST:

"One man with courage makes a majority." ~ Andrew Jackson

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The buck stops here." ~ Harry S. Truman

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for country." ~ John F. Kennedy

AND NOW...

Great Orators of the Democratic Party today:

"It depends what your definition of 'is' is?'' President William Jefferson Clinton

"Those rumors are false. I believe in the sanctity of marriage." ~ John Edwards

"What difference does it make?" (Re: Benghazi) ~ Hillary Clinton

"I invented the Internet." ~ Al Gore (he did however vote to provide tax payer money for it’s startup)

"America is, is no longer, uh, what it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was, uh, and I say to myself, uh, I don't want that future, uh, for my children." ~ Barack Obama

"I have campaigned in all 57 states." ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

"You don't need God anymore; you have us Democrats." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006) (A really, really stupid remark.)

"Paying taxes is voluntary." ~ Sen. Harry Reid

"Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he is." ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton (Quoted1998)

"You have a business. You didn't build that. Someone else did!" ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2012)

And the most ridiculous gem of wisdom, from the "Mother Superior Moron": "We just have to pass the Healthcare Bill to see what's in it." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted March, 2010)

(As one Doctor said: “That is also the perfect definition of a stool sample.”)

A Great Republican: "Life is tough! It's even tougher when you are stupid.'' ~ John Wayne

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Now I am on the Delmarva Peninsula and staying with a Navy Inn again. The internet and password are the same so my computer is happy. We drove all day (8 hours), had breakfast when we left but decided to have a nice dinner after we checked into Wallops Island, home of Surface Combat System Center (SCSC). It is located on a 6 square mile island with NASA.  There are so few people around it is weird.  The gate guard would open the gate electronically from his guard shack to let us in and out.  The gate was roughly a 10 foot high fence on rollers.  On my arrival there were about 8 men cooking on a bar-b-cue grill before they disappeared.  This was the most people I saw during my entire stay.  No base exchange, no club, no gas station, no commissary, just 3 or 4 buildings, a parking lot and a guard shack. The big building being what looked like a school for Navy training of Combat Systems.  The gate guard could jog around all the buildings in probably 5 minutes.

One funny thing, other than the ghost base item above.  A room is $70 and a suite is $70.  I took the suite, being the bargain hunter, penny pincher that I am.  All suites are on the second floor and all rooms on first floor.  The furniture in the rooms was sort of early Virginian, which was ornately carved cherry wood, no fiber board here, not even plywood.  Much better furniture than I have in my own house and those of the people I know.  The bed was a sleigh bed also cherry and carved.  I counted the drawers in the room in the 4 rooms of the suite, there were 21.  I was only sleeping there for two nights, our arrival and the one night after our day of exploring, so I did not unpack my suitcase as we would be leaving in the morning.  Not using all these drawers made me feel guilty so I put my glasses and wallet in one just before I went to sleep.  The Air Force would say we would be leaving at zero dark thirty.  There were probably only 4 or 5 other people and/or couples staying at the Inn but I did not see any of them, just their vehicles.

We had dinner at Ray’s Shanty on Chincoteague Road. If you drive the coast heading south after using the Cape May ferry this restaurant would be well worth the stop. https://www.raysshanty.com/ I had ½ pound of steamed shrimp from North Carolina; it came with fries, slaw, and hush puppies. This meal was incredible and only $17.95. Patty had 2 crab cakes made in the facility with the same sides that I had for $21.95. Just an FYI my shrimp size was XL, probably 16 – 20 per pound. Another thing I noticed was this place also sells fresh seafood; the sign said uncooked North Carolina  shrimp the size I just ate, goes for $35 for 10 pounds (head and shell on). In New England we pay way too much for seafood and it is not as fresh. Patty and I were taken on a tour of the restaurant/facility while waiting for our table by the owner’s wife,.  The owner, her husband, Captain Ray Twiford we met on our way out of the restaurant.

Adjacent to this base is a NASA installation that commands the oldest rocket launch range in the U.S. This might be interesting as they do offer tours, but we are visiting Chincoteague National Park tomorrow to visit and photograph the wild horses on nearby islands.

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We did get to go to the NASA museum on our way back from Chincoteague. I was becoming paranoid with all of the “Restricted Area,” signs on this base, plus those of the NASA and was wondering what they were hiding. There were probably nine parabolic dishes pointed toward the sky, some at least five stories high. More rockets are shot from this base then Cape Canaveral, Kennedy’s Space Station, approximately 30 per year. The next one is May 31. If you are an engineer in the field this would be the place to be. https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home . Why might you ask, great food, low cost homes, incredible ocean views and parks and beaches everywhere.

I have always thought that buying a home on the Delaware portion of this three state peninsula as the state of DE has the 46th lowest tax rate of the lower 48 states. I guess taxes are most important to me anyway.

I did learn that the next full solar eclipse of the sun will be on August 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. Let us hope for good weather and no clouds as this phenomenon does not happen very often.

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Having returned to my home once again I can return to my writing about inventions that changed mankind.  This week we will talk about the Stethoscope.

Many people have heard their stomach growling or listened to their heartbeat in the middle of the night.  But few know that inside the human body is a cacophony of sounds– from the gurgle of the intestines to the whisper of the lungs to the rush of the arteries and low rumble of other organs.  Doctors can draw conclusions about patient’s health depending upon the sounds they hear through a stethoscope.  The word “stethoscope” comes from the Greek words stehos, meaning “chest,” and skopein, meaning “to explore.”

Modern stethoscopes feature a round chest piece containing a hollow cup (bell) with a plastic disk, or diaphragm, inside it.  When the piece is placed on the patient’s chest, body sounds vibrate the diaphragm, creating sound waves that travel up hollow rubber tubes to the listener’s ears.  The bell transmits low-frequency sounds, while the diaphragm transmits higher-frequency sounds.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in France in 1816.  Reportedly, while walking in Paris, Laennec saw two children sending signals to each other using a long piece of solid wood and a pin.  With an ear to one end, the child received an amplified sound of the pin scratching the opposite end of the stick.  After much experimentation, Laennec came up with the first stethoscope.  It consisted of a wooden tube and was connected to one ear only.  The tool was very similar to the ear trumpet, a device used by the hard-of-hearing to listen to conversations.

Flexible-tube stethoscopes for one ear arrived in 1840.  They were called ”snake ear trumpets.” In 1851 Irish physician Arthur Leared invented a binaural (two-eared) stethoscope which greatly improved the ability of a doctor to hear internal bodily sounds.

Today, physicians use many types of stethoscopes.  The acoustic stethoscope is the most familiar, but there are also electronic stethoscopes (stethophones) that electronically amplify body sounds.  They use a PC-based software that converts the sound into visual graphs that can be transmitted for remote diagnosis.

The invention of the stethoscope marked a major step in the redefinition of disease.  Formerly identified as a bundle of symptoms, disease in the current sense is considered a bodily problem even if there are no noticeable symptoms.  Using a stethoscope, a doctor can quickly tell the health of the lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines even if the patient notices no pain.

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Here is another summer crockpot recipe. . .

Roasted Summer Squash with Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 medium zucchini, cut into ½ -inch slices
3 medium summer squash, cut into ½ -inch slices
½ cup chopped pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
Springs of fresh basil (optional

1.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 10 minutes or until onion is translucent and soft.  Remove to Crockpot slow cooker.  Add zucchini and summer squash; toss lightly.

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I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally... but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone on your e- mail list.

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up

DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!!

They only want to see you in your birthday suit.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.

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<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9_IP2UJfYKU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

"You know" he said, "I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?"

The driver said, "No problem. Have at it."

Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway.

A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.

The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.

The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.

The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law...But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."

The supervisor asked, "Is it the Governor?"

The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."

The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the President."

The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."

The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"

The young trooper said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"

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Two nuns were shopping in a food store and happened to be passing the beer and liquor section.

One nun asks the other if she would like a beer.

The other nun answered that would be good, but that she would be queasy about purchasing it.

The first nun said that she would handle it and picked up a six pack and took it to the cashier.

The cashier had a surprised look and the first nun said, "This is for washing our hair."

The cashier without blinking an eye, reached under the counter and put a package of pretzel sticks in the bag with the beer saying, "Here, don't forget the curlers."

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Sorry had to finish up with the jokes as it is Monday night and I have been very busy.

See some of you at exercise.....  George

for a copy with your morning coffee, put letter in subject line and email grucker@capecod.net

older copies available with Walters additions as he thinks it makes the letter easier to read.

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