George Rucker's Newsletter for December 27, 2016

 Here we are once again,

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year.

I received a great present this year.  I always sort of boasted that the movie room had an 80 inch screen well it actually was only 76 inches.  It has been boosted to 96 inches along with a new base speaker, so now I will call it my 100 inch screen.  It can go no larger, as my wall speakers will be in the way at the bottom and the ceiling is being touched by its black non reflective frame.  Two of my native wall masks needed to be moved.  I refer to them as spirit masks as they are supposed to keep evil spirits from entering the house, although they rarely work.  I have many but my first one was from the Phillippines.  Some are from Africa, South America, Pacific Islands, Native American tribes of the western part of the US.  I like them all; even though they scare some children.

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The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can be in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.

My 60 year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?”

Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us.”
Well, lemme tell ya' sumpthin,' fella, If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today.  I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.

On average, an American man will have sex two to three times a week. Whereas, a Japanese man will have sex only one or two times a year.  This is very upsetting news to me. I had no idea I was Japanese.

I can’t understand why women are okay that JC Penny has an older women’s clothing line named, “Sag Harbor.”

I think it's pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

What is it about a car that makes people think we can't see them pick their noses?

Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Earnest T Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.

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Time to sneak in another invention that changed mankind.  This particular invention I have used many times in repairing circuits.  I have experimented by building one using tinfoil and wax paper.  When they fail it is usually due to a short.  While working at the depot level repairing equipment, I heard one explode as it was one that was polarized and put in backwards.  The invention this week is the Capacitor.

A capacitor stores electrical energy.  Unlike a battery which discharges its load slowly and maintains an even flow of electricity, a capacitor empties its energy in one big burst, firing up a ceiling fan, turning over a car ignition, turning up the amplifier on your sound system or triggering the flash on a camera.

Capacitors are manufactured in different sizes and shapes depending upon their application.  A capacitor is made up of two terminals or metal plates, separated by a dielectric, or insulating plate (made of a nonconducting substance like ceramic, Teflon, wax paper or glass).  Once hooked up to electric charges, capacitors receive the current and store that energy on their plates.  While plates with a larger surface area can store more energy, it is the dielectric that determines what type of capacitor is needed for a device.  For instance, a dielectric like ceramic, a porous material, is ideal in a device that measures humidity, while plastic capacitors and electrolytic capacitors perform best when large voltage loads are needed.

The first capacitor was known as the Leiden jar, named for the University of Leiden in Holland, where it was invented in 1745.  The Leiden jar consisted of a glass filled halfway with water, lined with metal foil on the inside and outside and sealed with a cork.  The cork had a metal rod running through it, connected to a chain that hung down to the bottom of the jar.  A metal ball on the top of the rod connected to an electrostatic generator, while the outside of the jar was grounded, allowing the inside metal surface to absorb the charge.  The equal and opposite charges built up and, when connected by a conductor, gave off a spark of energy.

Benjamin Franklin was fascinated by the Leiden jar, which would prove instrumental to his future experiments with electricity.

Today, most electronics include capacitors.  They are vital to touch screen technology – when your finger makes contact with the screen and passes voltage to it, the capacitor allows for that energy to transmit to the computer.  They are especially important to devices that store memory, since when the capacitor is not fully discharged it can act as a temporary battery.  This permits your digital camera to retain pictures in memory even when you forget to recharge the battery.

The future of electronics includes supercapacitors – several capacitors strung together that will enable our laptops and phones to recharge in seconds and retain that charge for weeks or months at a time.  Electric cars would also become a more practical alternative.  Already used in some trains and heavy construction machines, the applications for supercapacitors are endless.

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"Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone."_-- Louis L'Amour

INNER PEACE

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual ...

HANDLE EVERY STRESSFUL SITUATION LIKE A DOG.  IF YOU CAN'T EAT IT OR PLAY WITH IT, PISS ON IT AND WALK AWAY

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 It doesn't matter what party you belong to, this is good natured political humor from a show on Canadian TV, where a black comedian said he misses Bill Clinton.

"Yep, that's right”, he said, “I miss Bill Clinton! He was the closest thing we ever got to having a real black man as President.  He played the sax. He smoked weed. He had his way with ugly white women. Even now?  Look at him ... his wife works, and he doesn't - and he gets a check from the government every month!”

And Now:
Manufacturers  announced today that they will be stocking  America 's shelves this week with "Clinton Soup," in honor of one of the nations' distinguished men.  It consists primarily of a weenie in hot water.

Chrysler Corporation is adding a new car to its line to honor Bill Clinton. The Dodge Drafter will be built in Canada.

When asked what he thought about foreign affairs, Clinton replied, "I don't know, I never had one."

The Clinton revised judicial oath: "I solemnly swear to tell the truth as I know it,  the whole truth as I believe it to be, and nothing but what I think you need to know."

Clinton will be recorded in history as the only President to have sex in the Oval Office between the Bushes.

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Slow Cooker, Easy Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients

    10 red potatoes, cut into cubes
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup real bacon bits
    1 small red onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
    1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix
    2 teaspoons dried parsley
    1 teaspoon seasoned salt
    ½  teaspoon ground black pepper
    3 cups water
    1 cup half-and-half
    ½  cup shredded Cheddar cheese, or to taste
    1/4 cup chopped green onion, or to taste

Directions

    Put potatoes in the bottom of your slow cooker crock. Scatter flour over the potatoes; toss to coat.

    Scatter bacon bits, red onion, garlic, chicken bouillon, ranch dressing mix, parsley, seasoned salt, and black pepper over the potatoes.

    Pour water into the slow cooker.

    Cook on Low 7 to 9 hours.

    Pour half-and-half into the soup; cook another 15 minutes.

    Garnish with Cheddar cheese and green onion to serve.

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I have not tried this soup but it was posted on facebook and looked different and interesting.

Dill Pickle Soup

Ingredients

5 tablespoons butter or margarine
5 medium carrots, shredded
2 large potatoes, cubed (about 2 cups)
3 large dill pickles, shredded
1 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
Salt

Directions

Combine 5 cups water, the butter, the carrots and potatoes in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the pickles and continue to boil.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sour cream and salt in a separate bowl. Add enough water to make a paste, then slowly, to avoid curdling, add the mixture to the soup to thicken. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add pickle juice, to taste.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Recipe courtesy of Ted Wietrzykowski, Polish Village Café also available on http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dill-pickle-soup-recipe.

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SPLINTERS IN YOUR HOO HOO

A woman from Vancouver - who was a tree hugging NDP’er, an anti-hunter, anti-pipeline environmentalist -purchased a piece of timberland near Squamish, BC . There was a large tree on one of the highest points in the tract. She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land so she started to climb the big tree. As she neared the top a spotted owl attacked her.

In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground and got splinters in her crotch. In considerable pain, she hurried to a local ER to see a doctor.

She told him she was an environmentalist, an NDP’er and an anti-industry person and how she came to get all the splinters.

The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then asked her to wait in the examining room and he would see if he could help her. She waited three hours before the doctor re-appeared.

The angry woman demanded, "What took you so long?"

He smiled and told her, "Well, I had to get permits from Environment Canada, the Parks Service and the BC Department of Land Management before I could remove old-growth timber from a ‘recreational area’ so close to a Waste Treatment Facility. And I'm sorry, but due to the Provincial Medical cut backs they turned you down.

You may wish to try Dr. Suzuki.

Note: I looked up the definition of NDP in Canada.  I think it stands for “New Democratic Party”

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1) Sparkling Wine and Salty Snacks

Sparkling wines are very food friendly. Their acidity keeps the palate refreshed and on the alert, and their lowish alcohol level won’t overwhelm food. Yes, they pair well with fancy, sophisticated foods (Champagne is a classic match with caviar, for example), but bubbles also thrill to no-frills salty snacks (like french fries, potato chips, and popcorn) and fried foods like fish-and-chips. Sparkling wine loves them all!

2) Cabernet Sauvignon and Beef Sliders

Full-bodied and rich, Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic pairing partner for meaty dishes like beef and lamb. Nothing’s better than a simple grilled cheeseburger and a Cab. With burgers, also consider Merlot (Cab’s gentle neighbor in Bordeaux), Syrah, or Zinfandel.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic match with blue cheese…and beef.

3) Chardonnay and Chicken Quesadillas or Grilled Shrimp

Try rich, full-bodied Chardonnays with flavorful dishes like chicken quesadillas or marinated grilled shrimp.

4) Riesling and Spicy Appetizers

Try Riesling with spicy foods. It’s frequently bright with acidity and typically on the low-alcohol side with flavors of apple and citrus.

5) Sauvignon Blanc with Salsas and Guacamole

To describe the fresh, food-friendly acidity of Sauvignon Blanc, break out the z-words — zingy! zippy! zesty! With lots of citrus and grassy flavors, along with herbal aromas, Sauvignon Blanc excels with vegetarian dishes. And it’s one of the few wines that can endure asparagus and raw tomatoes. It also likes dishes that are prepared with herbs, particularly cilantro and parsley. Goat cheese? Sauvignon Blanc loves it.

6) Syrah and Foods from the Grill

Syrah loves the ‘que. Try it with ribs, grilled burgers, or even grilled eggplant or portabella mushrooms. And bacon-wrapped dates? Yes please.

7) Sangiovese with Pizza and Meatballs

Sangiovese’s refreshing acidity and nice tannins make it a terrific friend of food, with flavors and aromas of cherries and violets. Sangiovese-based wines like Chianti are classic partners with pizza and tomato-based pasta dishes. They’re also terrific with grilled meats and poultry. Barbera would also pair perfectly with pizza and cocktail meatballs.

I gave up on this article as I am looking for what goes well with Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine.  I guess I always used it for its best thing . . . going parking.

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 When did the U.S. start using paper money?

A:  On February 3, 1690, the Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the first paper money in the U.S., in order to pay for its war. Massachusetts was a truly pioneering colony when it came to money. They were also the first to mint their own silver coins in 1652, despite a British law against it. The paper money created in 1690 was called a bill of credit, and represented the colony's obligation to the soldiers. The soldiers could spend/trade the colony's IOU just like silver and gold coins.

During the revolution of 1775, the colonial leaders tried to repeat Massachusetts' paper experiment on a wider scale, but the newly christened continentals lacked any backing, such as silver or gold. On a small scale it may have worked, but so much money was printed that rapid inflation stripped them of all their value.

Less than 100 years later, two competing currencies were used to finance the opposing sides of the Civil War. Their values fluctuated with the fortunes of war. It wasn't until the National Banks Act after the civil war that the U.S. government introduced a monetary system where banks could issue paper notes based on their holding of government bonds. These disparate currencies were taxed out of existence in the following decades and replaced with national bank notes, giving the U.S. its first uniform paper currency.

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It’s difficult to be funny consistently. Even the best comedians and comediennes lay an egg occasionally. The most successful funny people, however, are always on the lookout for new material and do the proper research to find it. Many write their own jokes, and others hire people to do it. Practically, it’s probably best to use both methods.

According to British evolutionary theorist Alastair Clarke, there are only eight kinds of jokes. Tom Holt, in his wonderful book “Ye Gods!”, maintains that there are only three actual jokes and that everything you hear is only a variation of one of the three. However you slice it, though, good jokes are funny. Bad jokes are not.

There is a misconception that a joke has to be dirty to be funny. Truly, even though “The Aristocrats” is one of the funniest jokes ever written, other jokes are nearly its equal and aren’t filthy. For example, take this rather innocuous double entendre:

A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel shoved down his pants. The bartender says, “Ahoy, Cap’n, you’ve got a steerin’ wheel shoved down your pants!” The captain says, “Arrrrrr, it’s drivin’ me nuts!”

Even in the most polite society, that joke is bound to get a chuckle if not an outright guffaw.

Here’s an example of a completely clean joke. Myron Cohen made it famous many years ago. There are, in keeping with Holt’s theory, hundreds of variations on this joke, called The Bank Robbers. Anyway, here it is:

    A policeman is interviewing the bank manager after a robbery. He asks the manager if the robber’s faces were visible. The manager replies, “No, they were all wearing stockings over their heads.”

    The policeman then asks the manager what kind of getaway car the robbers were driving. The manager says, “Well, now, this is slightly unusual. They weren’t driving a car. They were riding an elephant, instead.”

    The policeman says, “An elephant?”

    The manager says, “Yeah. They used it to dodge the traffic. They even plowed through a couple of cars.”

    The policeman asks the manager, “Do you know what kind of elephant it was?”

    The manager says, “How should I know? Isn’t an ‘elephant an elephant?'”

    The policeman says, “No. African elephants have big ears, and Asian elephants have small ears.”

    The manager says, “I already told you I couldn’t recognize any of the robbers. I couldn’t recognize the elephant, either, because he had a stocking over his head.”

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Once again I am on page nine and sending this to my wife and weekly editor.  I hope it passes muster.  I will see some of you later in the morning at exercise.

George

To save my paper and get this via email just email grucker@capecod.net with letter in the subject line.

Some older letters are posted at the bottom of www.capecod-beaches.com

Do you like rice served in a Mexican restaurant?  I is easy to make without using any of the boxed mixes.

Mexican style rice.

Ingredients

1 cup rice, white, basmati and jasmine work great
2 cups Progresso chicken broth
1 10oz can Old El Paso enchilada sauce
salt and pepper to taste


Directions

In a large skillet or saucepan add the rice, Progresso chicken broth and Old El Paso enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir well, cover the pot, then turn down the heat to a medium.

Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the rice is completely cooked, stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper.

Top with tomatoes, green onions and cilantro or whatever else you prefer before serving.

I could personally just have rice, or rice and beans for lunch or dinner. I know not everyone feels that way though. This rice works as a filler for burritos as well. You’ll find that it’s simple to remember, too; which allows you to just whip it up whenever as the perfect side. This rice goes so perfectly with pretty much anything that you don’t have to pay too much attention to your main dish.

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