George Rucker's Newsletter for December 13, 2016

 Hola this fine Tuesday,

I thought my letter last week would cause me some grief.  It did not, Walter as usual did post some of his insight on his site of and I found it interesting.  What unusual about his post this time is he left me a note inside last week’s letter.  I am currently a Republican yet in the past I was a Democrat.  I actually shook hands with George McGovern the presidential candidate of 1972.  I was in the service at the time and joined a rally just outside the Alamo in San Antonio.  I had spent a year in VietNam at the time plus three 90 day temporary duties. When I met Patty I was a member of Green Peace and wearing a Save the Seals Tee Shirt.  The same politician changed my view twice.  He raised my taxes so in protest I became an Independent.  He did it one more time so I once again protested by joining the Republican Party, his name was Michel Dukakis governor of Massachusetts.

Walter was a republican, and actually voted for Nixon, then Reagan and the first George Bush.  The second George Bush pushed him left due to the 6 trillion spent on war.

It almost looks like both of us come from both side of the tracks.  He is not as far left as I thought and I probably am not a far right as he thought.


Other than Walter’s note I did get one from one of my readers, not on climate change but on the dollar bill.  She is one of my favorite people as we had our heart attacks at almost the same time and participated in cardiac rehab together.  She much like my sister will be the first to let me know if I made an error in my letters.

When you cut and paste most of your letter it is easy for some things to get by.  Patty many times during her edit will have me delete a section due to it’s falsehood.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. A law passed in a Joint Resolution by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by President Dwight Eisenhower on July 30, 1956 declared IN GOD WE TRUST must appear on currency. This phrase was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate. The first paper currency bearing the phrase entered circulation on October 1, 1957

This is where the motto came from:   the Mint Director on December 9, 1863, Secretary Chase stated:

    I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST.

The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

This caused me to think about paper money in general but that will be in a different letter.


The 2 cent coin has "In God We Trust", while on the Silver 3 cent coin it is missing.

I have a cute thing to tell kids when you see a dead deer on the side of the road.  It looks like Santa lost his temper again."


This was sent to me from Florida from a friend whom I met in my late teens, aboard the USS Brough.

Thought you might enjoy these photos.

Click on the pictures to advance....and continue to click for next picture


There's a reason shows like The Office and movies like Office Space are such hits — because working in an office brings its own special, shall we say, "charm."

While all offices are a bit different, dealing with coworkers and small talk, break room mystery smells, and paperwork — oh, the paperwork — can do a number on the soul.

But they say laughter is the best medicine — and Twitter is the best distraction — so while you're pretending to work, have a laugh to keep from crying...

A coworker left himself signed in to Linkedln and now his skills include "mouth breathing."

[break room]

coworker: What's for lunch?

me: [eating] food, generally

cw: no, I mean what are you having?

me: an unwanted conversation


I once made what I considered to be the oldest written recipe.  It was a form of lentil soup.  It was supposed to have been in the Bible even though I could not find it.  I made the lentil soup more than 20 years ago and did not like it.  I now find there is an older recipe.    Remember, though, that anything that's called the "world's oldest" today might be eclipsed tomorrow by a new discovery.

This is a very special recipe on several different levels. First, at 4,000 years old, it's the oldest known written recipe. Second, it was handed down by a god.

Although the recipe was said to have been given to men by the Sumerian god Enki, the written version was found contained in a hymn dedicated to the beer goddess Ninkasi. Beer was the national fermented drink of ancient Babylonia.

I'm really beginning to think that Mesopotamians were aliens, because they seem to have invented everything under the sun, and made it look like they knew what they were doing from the get-go. Beer is no exception.

The beer Mesopotamians drank was rather strong, and full of bits and pieces of bread and floaties and what-not, which would sink to the bottom of the liquid.  This mention of brew strength comes from experience.  I am one of the founding fathers of a club named the Monument Beach Brewers Association.  We found that there is a limit as how much alcohol can be absorbed into the beer.  I am not exactly sure why the limit but feel to go higher requires the use of a distillery type action.  Perhaps the yeast can only produce so much alcohol, which is it's waste before the yeast dies.

My favorite taste for beer is not the max of 14 percent alcohol but from 6 to 8 percent.  I like hops but very light as it has a bitter taste.  My grandmother grew her own hops which grew like a vine on rear chicken coup fence then from there to the horse pasture,.  It was an perennial and once planted will come up each year.  She grew many other perennials like that, concord grapes, asparagus etc. Other thing I do prefer with making beer is corn sugar which is an inverted sugar while Europeans prefer only malt, both are inverted sugars, unlike the table sugar and easier for the yeast to use.  The Mesopotamians used honey which is not my favorite as it imparts taste and personally gives me a headache.  One of our beer batches was mead, a Viking type of beer which used honey for sweetener.

Brewing beer is not horribly expensive but is sort of a science and requires certain items to be purchased.  These items are not found in many homes.  Yet if you happen to like some of the micro brews on the market you might try to experiment on your own.  If you do not mind the nationally advertised beers like Bud, Miller, Coors etc then do not bother as the stuff becomes clutter in the home.  I like sort of a national beer that many do not, Yuengling Beer, a lager and sold in about one third of the states.  Yuengling happens to be the oldest American brewed beer. One interest fact is the Yuengling owner, Richard Yuengling Jr., a few years back made the top 20 richest people in the U.S. with just over 1.1 Billion dollars.  That same year Bill Gates made almost 8 billion dollars.  In 2015 he now has fallen to 361st with 1.9 billion.   Donald Trump is on the list at #156 and 3.7 billion dollars.

In case any are interested and since I am on the web site.  George Soros #19 with 24.9 Billion, The Koch Brothers at #7 with 42 billion, Face Book Mark Zuckerberg at 55.5 billion, and still at number one Bill Gates at 81 billion

No recipes are given for beer as there are truly so many choices due to differences in taste.  I can say this: It was fun to experiment and a batch takes about a month.  It truly is a science.  If you can get a group of people you like to hang with and the space to brew it.  Brewing beer can be a lot of fun.


Some have said my recipes are not the healthiest.  I do not go for healthy but tasty.  Here is a healthy recipe for those that need one.  It is also for breakfast so not a lot of competition.  This is from the October issue of Web MD.

Try a Taco for Breakfast

Smaller than a breakfast Burrito but just as satisfying a breakfast taco is a morning that satisfies on all fronts: Flavor, nutrition and convenience.

Make one in a few simple steps:

1.  Place two small corn tortillas on a large plate.  Spread each with a couple tablespoons of black beans, pop into the microwave for 20 seconds.

2.  Meanwhile, add a drizzle of olive oil to a small nonstick pan heated to medium-hot.  Crack an egg in the pan and use a spatula to fold and cut into the egg as it cooks – you’re essentially scrambling it in the pan.

3.  While the egg is still in a bit runny, add a handful of baby spinach or arugula.  Cook the egg and greens until the greens are wilted and egg is cooked.  Divide the mixture between the tortillas.  Add slices of avocado and some hot sauce or salsa.

You can make lots of variations, depending on what you have on hand.  Have leftover cooked greens, mushrooms, or other veggies from last night dinner?  Add that to the pan.  Feel like tofu rather than egg?  Scramble it up.  You can also add crumbled chorizo, and herbs and spices – cumin and oregano work well – Kerri-Ann Jennings


Let us move on to an invention that changed mankind, “Arabic Numerals.”

Despite their names, French fries are not from France and the Arabic numeral system – representing ten digits from zero to nine in a positional notation decimal system – is not from Arabia.  In fact, it was mathematicians from India who developed the decimal numeral system around 500 B.C. (Sorry, but I refuse to buckle under with the new politically correct form of C.E.)  The concept, which includes using zero as a placeholder and indication of the value of numbers through their placement (i.e., having a ones column, a tens column, a hundreds column, etc,) was revolutionary.

Although not mentioned in my small article the Mayan Indians on a totally different continent had a symbol for zero.  So necessarily not that revolutionary.  The concept of zero is perhaps a reason for another letter as I find the information interesting.

Prior to this system, the value of 30 would have been denoted with a 3, and the actual value would have been understood through context.  The new system made it possible to distinguish meaning in the absence of context, communicate value through placement, calculate fractions and recognize zero as a value.

In Europe, Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci popularized the use of the decimal numbering system and Arabic numerals in his book Liber Abaci in 1202 and thanks to the invention of the printing press in Europe in the 15th century, the use of numerals and the decimal system became widespread.

How the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 came to look as they do remains a subject of debate.  Some scholars believe the symbols evolved from Arabic letters used in the western regions of the Arab world, while others suspect the numbers graphically represented the number of angles contained within the symbol, but no one knows for sure.

What we do know is that the foreign symbols caught on, and adding XXVI TO MCVI suddenly became passe.  Although Roman numerals remained in use for clock faces, lists, written outlines and other traditional writings, the Arabic numerals multiplied exponentially, making the Arabic innovation the most widely used numeric system in the world to this day.


As the Korean war was at a stalemate the US realized that they didn't know how many prisoners they had so they appointed a Marine Colonel to do a census of all the prison camps.

He walked in the office of a prison and asked the ROK soldier there how many prisoners there were.

"Many, many", he replied.

"No, I need to know exactly how many for my report".

"We have many, many", he replied again.

The Colonel then asked if there was someone who could give him the exact amount. The soldier said that a Marine Sergeant sitting at the next desk might be able to tell him.

He went over to the Sergeant and said, "How many prisoners do you have here, son"

"Colonel, we've got a piss pot full".

The Colonel said, "Now why the hell couldn't that little SOB have told me that".


On one of my vacations to the Bahamas, I was lucky enough to be sharing the Island with two famous people, the wrestler, Hulk Hogan and the great Chuck Norris.  There were many more people of merit but not being a Basketball fan I would not have known who many of the 7 foot tall black guys in the elevator were.  There was some sort of Basketball union convention and most of the people were over 6'8" tall.  It is also the vacation when I lost my super power of being able to look over everyone head.

I always go out of my way for Chuck Norris jokes like:

Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.

Chuck Norris can gargle peanut butter.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity – Twice.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris

If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.

Chuck Norris’ roundhouse kick is so powerful, it can be seen from outer space by the naked eye.


Another week and my kitchen is still a work in progress.  I found this recipe interesting and one I would not mind trying.  This is also from Web MD October issue, there is only so much to read while sitting in some Doctor’s office.  Well I made this on Friday

, not only is this interesting but very tasty.

Note there are 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, the recipe uses Granny Smith but any variety will work.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Onion Compote


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 pork tenderloins, 1 lb each
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
1 large onion
2 large Granny Smith apples, pealed, cored, sliced ½ inch thick
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

2.  Heat olive oil in a large nonstick oven-safe skillet over medium high heat.  Season pork with salt and pepper.  Sear pork on all sides until browned; remove to plate.

3.  Add thyme, onion, and apple spices to pan and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.  Place pork atop apple mixture atop apple mixture.  Place in oven and bake 10-15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees F.  Remove pork from oven and cover with foil for at least 10 minutes. (Sorry but I went another 15 minutes to insure the pork was cooked)

4.  Combine mustard, maple syrup and apple cider in a small bowl.  Return skillet to medium-high heat, add apple cider mixture to apple-onion mix, and cook until slightly reduced.  Place apple compote on plate and top with slices of pork.  Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme and serve.

Serves 6 at 289 calories per serving.


In the Cape Cod Times dated 9th of December we have a dead whale washing ashore in North Truro.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) performed the necropsy.

The animal's body had appeared on Wednesday to be relatively fresh but once IFAW staff began to examine it Thursday they determined it was likely dead at least two days and possibly over a week, she said.

"We try to make an effort to necropsy every animal that we can" to see if there are any trends in diseases, to get an idea of the general health of the population and for other reasons, Niemeyer said. "It's really important with any wildlife to know what may have been the cause of death."

While there hasn't been a dead, beached humpback carcass reported on the Cape in a few years, humpbacks have been found washed up in Boston Harbor, Maine, New York and Rhode Island, Niemeyer said. In September, IFAW researchers examined the carcass of a young male humpback on a private beach on Martha's Vineyard.

A dead endangered North Atlantic right whale calf was found in May off Chatham. A necropsy was performed on it on Harding Beach and it was determined it had been died from a ship strike. A pilot whale stranded and then died off Chatham in July. It was taken to Woods Hole for a necropsy.

The West Indies population of humpbacks, which passes through Cape waters, is no longer protected as an endangered species but is still protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

If interested now is a pretty good time to view seals on the shore of Cape Cod if you want some directions to the best viewing beach visit URL


Now I have heard this twice about a cookie that has always been pretty good.  It went well with milk and I found coffee.  They are saying that the Oreo cookie now has a funny taste.  Well being a little skeptical now that the moon was closest since 1949 I had to give them a try.  And guess what?  They do seem different.  First they are no longer made in the good old USA and second they now are produced with Genetic Engineering in Mexico.  Which means some ingredients have been changed to a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).  Ever wonder why food is made and modified by the worlds’s largest pesticide manufacturer, Monsanto.

 How is a GMO Different from Hybridization / Cross-Breeding?

Genetic modification is the process of forcing genes from one species into another entirely unrelated species. Unlike cross breeding or hybridization—both of which involve two related species and have been done without ill effects for centuries—genetic engineering forcefully breaches the naturally-occurring barriers between species.

Other examples of GMOs include strawberries and tomatoes injected with fish genes to protect the fruit from freezing, goats injected with spider genes to produce milk with proteins stronger than kevlar for use in industrial products, salmon that are genetically engineered with a growth hormone that allow them to keep growing larger, dairy cows injected with the genetically engineered hormone rBGH (also known as rBST) to increase milk production, and rice injected with human genes to produce pharmaceuticals.

None of this belongs in a cookie.

Now for a side bar of interest.   Barack Obama appointed former Monsanto VP and head lobbyist Michael Taylor as Deputy Commissioner for the FDA — the board tasked with regulating Taylor’s own industry.  This truly is evidence of Obama Administration’s Revolving Door Politics even with their animus history, Barack Obama seems to be warming to the K Street corporate lobbyists he once adamantly denounced.

The companies running our industrialized food economy refuse to label genetically engineered foods.  Genetically modified foods are labeled in more than 60 countries including France, China, Germany and the U.K., so their citizens know what they are eating.  This will continue until we have laws requiring the labeling of GMOs in the U.S.

 We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But Don’t Know It

A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature, and is experimental. The correct scientific term is "transgenics," and is also often referred to as (GE) genetically engineered.

Example: Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO Corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Insecticide, but is sold unlabeled.  You can’t wash the pesticide off that is located inside the corn.

I wonder why the FDA does not require a label that states GMO inside. . . Oh wait – perhaps it is Michael Taylor at least I would list him as my prime suspect.


Have a great week.   I will see some of you during exercise.

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