George Rucker's Wacky Newsletter for February 6, 2018

Well met once again                                                             06 February 1918

A while back I mentioned a way to cook beef.  You just put it in a very hot oven for a prescribed amount of time and then turn the oven off for 2 and a half hours without opening the door and your roast should be done.  When I tried it did not work.

I found another recipe that used this technique.  Lo and behold this time it did work as I found that instead of turning the oven off you just put it at 170 degrees.  For some reason gas ovens cool down faster then electric ovens.  I am told older electric ovens can use this technique also with the same good results.

Perfect Eye of Round Roast

Eye of round is an extremely lean cut from the hindquarters of the cow.  Once you use this cooking method there is a good chance you will not cook this cut any other way.

my rub was 1 teaspoon kosher salt
                    1 teaspoon black coarse-ground pepper
                    ½ teaspoon dried thyme
                    4-6 cloves finely chopped garlic

Mix together and set aside until ready to use.

You will need an eye of round roast (2 - 8 pounds, mine was 3 pound roast)

Rinse your roast and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub seasoning all over the roast, and let it sit out on the counter for 30 minutes.  It helps the seasoning settle into the roast.  Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Place the roast in a roasting pan or Dutch oven with fatty side up.  Roast at 500 degrees uncovered for 7 minutes per pound.  Mine was three pounds which would have been 25 minutes but I cooked it and extra two as Patty does not like meat to be too rare.

Once the high temp time period had finished I put my gas oven at 170 degrees and waited for the 2.5 hour period.  I have a meat thermometer and my roast checked at 147 degrees.

FYI - if the thermometer reads 120 to 125 it is rare, 130 to 140 it is medium rare, and 145 to 150 it is medium.

This method should work for most roasts but I would try it on a cheaper cut first.

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I do not hate Colin Kaepernick, perhaps I just do not understand him.  In my youth living on a tobacco farm I had more black friends than white.  In the farm area of Windsor CT within two miles of my house there were perhaps 5-7 boys in my age group but within 1/4 mile there were perhaps 10 black families with children in my age group.  Much of our lives were outdoors so if we wanted to play sports there was always a mix of races.

In highschool my first girlfriend in North Carolina was Hawaiian.  I was from CT and not liked and she was considered too white for the black school.  We were both disliked we were both sort of pushed together.

Everyone in my circles of life worked hard for any money we earned.  I do think that if any of us had made it big we would not hate our country, as it provided us with our chance of sucess.

Ever since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to refuse to stand for the National Anthem, he’s become one of the most hated men in American sports. Kaepernick has been licking his wounds in recent weeks, after realizing that no NFL team is willing to risk their reputation with signing him to their team. After mysteriously dropping out of the public eye since the summer began, now we’re learning that Kaepernick has literally taken his ball and gone home, after not being able to cope with being in America any longer.

To me this makes zero sense.  In the military many of my friends were black and some were Latinos.  We played sports, cards, parties etc. but we all respected the flag and our country.

Kaepernick’s anti-American antics over the past 2 football seasons quickly made him the hero of the left, as he constantly was propped up by Barack Obama and his Black Lives Matter group who were all too eager to worship at Kaepernick’s American-hating throne. But ever since Trump got into office, life for Kaepernick has taken a drastic turn for the worst, as Trump’s crackdown on cop-haters across America has made Kaepernick’s popularity take a nose-dive in recent months, as those invites to the White House have suddenly ceased. Combine that rejection by NFL executives you can clearly see why Kaepernick’s ego is massively wrecked. So when given the opportunity over Independence Day to denounce the United States and run back to his father’s country of Ghana, before being adopted by a white family in Wisconsin, Kaepernick took the opportunity and ran with it.

My thoughts are do not let the door hit you on the way out.  I’m sorry as he became a millionaire in the U.S. capitalist system by playing football.  Whenever I hear somebody say they are leaving our country pretty much for any reason my thoughts are the same.  I have seen some pretty poor countries and some richer but none can compare.

While the NFL world continues to debate whether Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent because of his national anthem protests, the quarterback is focused on learning more about his heritage.

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A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from LA to NY. The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde, tired, just wants to take a nap. Politely she declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun.

He explains, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vise versa."

Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500.00." This catches the blonde's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game.

The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer.

"Okay," says the lawyer," your turn." She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?" The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references. No answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and coworkers, to no avail. After an hour, he wakes the blonde and hands her $500.00.

The blonde says, "Thank you," puts her head on the pillow and goes back to sleep.

The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, "Well, what's the answer?"

Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.

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Remember Mad Mike of the Flat Earth Society, I found an article about him once again.

“Mad” Mike Hughes wants to go to space, and he’s not waiting around for anyone to help him get there. So he’s going to build his own rocket and get to space on his own. The reason he wants to get into space so he can prove to everybody that the world is actually flat, so of course he’s not asking NASA for help.

As the first step on his plan, Hughes will launch himself in a smaller rocket, soaring about a thousand feet into the sky. He announced the plan a few months ago, but ran into trouble when the Bureau of Land Management told him he couldn’t launch from public land. Since then, he’s been working to move his operation to private land.

According to an announcement that Hughes made on his Facebook page, the launch is going to happen for real this time, on private land that won’t get the BLM involved. The date is set for February 3, 2018 so mark your calendars.

Best of luck, Mike! Also, by the way, the Earth is round.

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Russia and China are shaming the U.S. for not signing a treaty against weapons in space. In reality, all three nations are racing to weaponize the final frontier on their own terms.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is fired up. In comments to the Russian media this month, Lavrov excoriated the United States for refusing to back the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), a treaty to ban the placement of conventional weapons in space. “The United States continues nurturing plans to militarize outer space, I mean the deployment of weapons in outer space,” Lavrov said. “Which will, naturally, have very adverse consequences for problems of international security.”

The Obama administration wouldn't go for the treaty, and neither will the Trump White House. It's not hard to see why. The Air Force has flown a secretive unmanned space plane into orbit and tested hypersonic weapons that, if they ever work, could strike targets worldwide. The Pentagon has launched satellites that can maneuver to keep an eye on other spacecraft, which is a defensive move—but also could be the first step toward attacking them.

Don't be fooled by the Russian outcry, though. Lavrov’s rhetorical double-take is significant: The difference between “weaponizing space” and “putting weapons in space” is a big one. China and Russia very much want to bring war to space—on their own terms.

"They've been building weapons, testing weapons, building weapons to operate from the Earth in space, jamming weapons, laser weapons, and they have not kept it secret," Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, said in a recent public speech in California.

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes:

President Donald Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.


That is, either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin – so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections – over the explicit findings of Trump’s own CIA, NSA and FBI chiefs.


In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system – a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.

3 guys walk into a bar
The first guy says "I have got the smallest arm in the world"
The second guy "I have the smallest head in the world"
The third guy "I have got the smallest d*ck in the world"
The 3 guys go to the Guinness World Records
The first guy comes back and says "I really do have the smallest arm in the world"
The second guy comes back and says "Amazing, I do have the smallest head in the world"
The third guy comes back angry " Who the Hell is JUSTIN BEIBER?

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A cowboy walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman.
He gives her a quick glance then causally looks at his watch for a moment.

The woman notices this and asks, "Is your date running late?"

"No", he replies,"I just got this state-of the-art watch, and I was just testing it.."

The intrigued woman says, "A state-of-the-art watch? What"s so special about it?"

The cowboy explains, "It uses alpha waves to talk to me telepathically."

The lady says, "What"s it telling you now?"

Well, it says you"re not wearing any panties."

The woman giggles and replies "Well it must be broken because I am wearing panties!"

The cowboy smiles, taps his watch and says, "Damn thing"s an hour fast."

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The Trump administration plans to end "direct" federal funding of the International Space Station to free up funds for lunar exploration goals, as reported by Loren Grush at The Verge. A draft budget proposal from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) leaked to The Verge and other publications states a space exploration objective as, "Ending direct federal government support of the ISS by 2025 and transitioning to commercial provision of low Earth orbit (LEO) capabilities."

The official budget proposal will be released February 12, delayed from February 5 due to the three-day government shutdown earlier this month. Congress will then review the proposal and has final say on the federal budget.

NASA spends about $4 billion annually to support the International Space Station and its astronauts living there, and the agency spent nearly $100 billion over more than a decade to construct the station. Funding for the ISS was approved by the Obama administration through 2024, though the provision left the door open to continue U.S. federal funding for the station into 2028. The Trump administration and the newly-formed National Space Council, however, have shifted the focus of NASA's human spaceflight program to a return mission to the moon and establishing a small space station in the vicinity of the moon, known as the Deep Space Gateway.

The bottom line is that NASA does not have the funding to pay for the enormous Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the Orion crew spacecraft, the Deep Space Gateway (DSG), and continue funding the ISS. With the end of the station's service life approaching, the White House wants NASA to turn its attention to SLS and DSG as the agency pivots to a focus on lunar exploration.

The budget draft also makes it clear that the White House wants public-private partnerships to be a continued goal of NASA. "Transitioning to commercial provision of low Earth orbit (LEO) capabilities" could be an indication that the administration wants to offer private companies the opportunity to continue funding and running ISS operations after 2025.

If the Deep Space Gateway program falls behind schedule, ending operations on the ISS prematurely could lead to a gap in U.S. access to space. However, funding for the lunar venture, and the giant rocket to launch it, needs to come from somewhere, and the ISS is the major NASA program approaching the end of its life rather than the beginning.

The official White House budget proposal will be released February 12, and subsequent congressional hearings on the budget should provide a clearer picture of the International Space Station's future.

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (continued...)

In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system – a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.


I better stick in a recipe.  This week Patty asked for a Waldorf salad.  I made one and put it on a bed of baby spinach and baby arugula and surrounded it with some sliced strawberries.  I am not sure how long ago I had this in my letter but the fall apples are still brimming on the shelves.  If interested, I used Cortland apples.  We gave this recipe an A+

Waldorf Salad II - From http://allrecipes.com/recipe/16800/waldorf-salad-ii

Ingredients

    ½ cup mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3 apples -- peeled, cored, and chopped
    1 cup thinly sliced celery
    ½ cup chopped walnuts
    ½ cup raisins (optional)

Directions

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, and salt.

    Stir in the apples, celery, walnuts, and raisins. Chill until ready to serve.

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (continued...)


Up to now, Trump has been flouting the norms of the presidency. Now Trump’s behavior amounts to a refusal to carry out his oath of office – to protect and defend the Constitution. Here’s an imperfect but close analogy: It’s as if George W. Bush had said after 9/11: “No big deal. I am going golfing over the weekend in Florida and blogging about how it’s all the Democrats’ fault – no need to hold a National Security Council meeting.”


What a morning…
8:00 AM I made a snowman.

8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.

8:15 So, I made a snow woman.

8:17 The nanny of the neighbors complained about the snow woman's
voluptuous chest.

8:20 The gay couple living nearby grumbled that it could have been two
snowmen instead.

8:25 The vegans at #12 complained about the nose. Carrots are for
food, not for  decorating snow figures.

8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white.

8:31 The Muslim guy across the road wants the snow woman to wear a head scarf.

8:40 Someone calls the cops. They show up to see what’s going on.

8:42 I’m told that the snowman’s broomstick has to be removed because
it could be used as a deadly weapon.

8:47 Things get worse after I mutter, "Yeah, if it's up your Butt."

8:52 My phone and broomstick are then seized and I'm taken away in a
police car.

8:53 My neighbors are cheering.

9:00  I'm on the news as a suspected terrorist bent on stirring up
trouble during this difficult weather.

9:10  I am asked if I have any accomplices.

9:29  A little known jihadist group has claimed it was their plot.

Moral to the story: When it's this snowy and cold; stay inside, down warm fuzzy drinks, and try to remember when America was great.

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (continued...)

At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller – leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the FBI, CIA and NSA – has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups – all linked in some way to the Kremlin – for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, America needs a president who will lead our nation’s defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracWhat would that look like? He would educate the public on the scale of the problem; he would bring together all the stakeholders – state and local election authorities, the federal government, both parties and all the owners of social networks that the Russians used to carry out their interference – to mount an effective defense; and he would bring together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin – the best defense of all.

Thursday night I made another very good meal.  Fairly quick and easy.  I buy my meat from a butcher who will slice the breasts but you can also buy thin sliced chicken at the market or just do it yourself.

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Zucchini https://therecipecritic.com/2016/07/crispy-parmesan-garlic-chicken-zucchini/
There is also a video on how to make it at this site.

Ingredients

    2 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half, or 4 thin chicken breasts
    8 Tablespoons butter, divided
    ½ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
    ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon grated parmesan, divided
    ¼ cup flour
    2 medium zucchini, sliced
    2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

    In a large skillet over medium heat melt 2 Tablespoons butter. To make the chicken: Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and flour. Dip the chicken in the butter and then coat in the bread crumb mixture and place in skillet.

    Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until the outside is crispy and the chicken is cooked throughout. Set aside on plate.

    Add 2 Tablespoons of butter back to the skillet and saute the minced garlic for a minute. Add the zucchini to the skillet and saute until tender. Salt and pepper to taste and add some 1 Tablespoon parmesan. Add the chicken back to the skillet and heat for a minute or so. Serve immediately.

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (continued...)

What we have instead is a president vulgarly tweeting that the Russians are “laughing their asses off in Moscow” for how we’ve been investigating their interventions – and exploiting the terrible school shooting in Florida – and the failure of the FBI to properly forward to its Miami field office a tip on the killer – to throw the entire FBI under the bus and create a new excuse to shut down the Mueller investigation.

Think for a moment how demented was Trump’s Saturday night tweet: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

To the contrary. Our FBI, CIA and NSA, working with the special counsel, have done us amazingly proud. They’ve uncovered a Russian program to divide Americans and tilt our last election toward Trump – i.e., to undermine the very core of our democracy – and Trump is telling them to get back to important things like tracking would-be school shooters. Yes, the FBI made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia. What is more basic than protecting American democracy?


Wife: "What are you doing?"
Husband : Nothing.
Wife : "Nothing...? You've been reading our marriage
certificate for an hour."
Husband : "I was looking for the expiration date."

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (continued...)

Donald, if you are so innocent, why do you go to such extraordinary lengths to try to shut Mueller down? And if you are really the president – not still head of the Trump Organization, who moonlights as president, which is how you so often behave – why don’t you actually lead – lead not only a proper cyberdefense of our elections, but also an offense against Putin.


Putin used cyberwarfare to poison American politics, to spread fake news, to help elect a chaos candidate, all in order to weaken our democracy. We should be using our cybercapabilities to spread the truth about Putin – just how much money he has stolen, just how many lies he has spread, just how many rivals he has jailed or made disappear – all to weaken his autocracy. That is what a real president would be doing right now.


It was the mailman's last day on the job after 35 years of carrying the mail through all kinds of weather to the same neighborhood.

When he arrived at the first house on his route he was greeted by the whole family there, who congratulated him and sent him on his way with a big gift certificate envelope.

At the second house they presented him with a box of fine imported cigars.

The folks at the third house handed him a selection of terrific fishing lures.

At each of the houses along his route, he was met with congratulations, farewells, cards, and gifts of all types and values.

At the final house he was met at the door by a strikingly beautiful young blonde in a revealing negligee. She took him by the hand, gently led him through the door (which she closed behind him), and led him up the stairs to the bedroom where they had a most passionate liaison.

Afterwards, they went downstairs, where she fixed him a giant breakfast: eggs, potatoes, ham, sausage, blueberry waffles, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
When he was truly satisfied she poured him a cup of steaming coffee. As she was pouring, he noticed a dollar bill sticking out from under the cup's bottom edge.
"All this was just too wonderful for words," he said, ".....but what's the dollar for?"

"Well," she said, "Last night, I told my husband that today would be your last day and that we should do something special for you. I asked him what to give you?"
He said, "...Scr*w him .........give him a dollar."

The blonde then blushed and said, "....But the breakfast was my idea."

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (cont

My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump, Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.


But whatever it is, Trump is either trying so hard to hide it or is so naive about Russia that he is ready to not only resist mounting a proper defense of our democracy, he’s actually ready to undermine some of our most important institutions, the FBI and Justice Department, to keep his compromised status hidden.


And for the Pats, it was another nice run.  Next time do not keep it close in the first half.

Have a great day everyone.

George

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Thomas Friedman article in the NYTimes (The end)

That must not be tolerated. This is code red. <strong> The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.</strong>