George Rucker's Newsletter for January 17, 2017


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.


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.


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??


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.


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


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!"


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!


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.


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?"


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.


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


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 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.)


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.


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!!!


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.


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



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

Some old letters at the bottom of