George Rucker's Newsletter for February 7, 2017 

Bonjour mes amis, this is French for Hello my friends,

"Ça va" literally means "it goes." So when someone asks, "Comment ça va?" they are asking, "How's it going?" and when you reply, "ça va," you're saying, "It's going along."

Much of last weeks letter was taken up with one topic; I am sorry about that.  I will start this week first writing about another invention that change mankind.  I took a few college classes on this topic while working in the environmental protection field.   I have visited some of the nearby plants on tours as far away as Providence RI.  I have utilized the same labs for testing the bacteria levels measured for this process, utilizing the same equipment to insure the same outcome as the personnel working within the facility.  I know enough about this invention and have completed enough credits to work in this field, but probably not run one due to my lack of experience, not that I ever wanted to, as I don’t.  I have inspected the process more than once with the assistance of some college professors and other environmental professionals.  This weeks invention will be Wastewater Treatment Systems, enjoy.

While working for the Defense Department I saw first-hand the results of a system failure and the costs involved to return the plant back to operational status.  Our treatment plant failed due to an oil-water separator failure.  This separator failure allowed jet fuel to flow into the treatment plant and thus the snow ball began rolling down the hill.  Wanting to know more about this entire process and to understand why and how it works was the reason I took more night classes.  This has been my motivation for attending any college class throughout much of my life and also the reason for accumulating over 300 credits and only having an associate degree.  My interests seems to vary due to my life’s circumstances.

Wastewater treatment systems are one of those innovations that don’t seem all that important until you stop to consider what life would be like without them.  What happens after we flush the toilet or run the garbage disposal is not a topic most of us dwell on – this is just one of the many privileges of living in a first-world country.

However, when you compare our way of life to that of developing nations struggling with cholera, dysentery and typhoid fever resulting from the absence of wastewater treatment, it’s easy to understand why modern wastewater treatment plants are considered one of the greatest public health inventions of all time.

While gravity-based sewer systems have existed for more than 3,000 years, it has only been within the past century that we have developed widespread solutions to deal with the river of wastewater and its related public health and pollution issues.

Modern wastewater treatment works in three basic steps.  In the primary stage, solids are removed from the water and collected for disposal to either a landfill or an incinerator.  Usually this culling process uses metal screens that filter the water into pools, or primary clarifiers, where it sits to allow solids to separate out.  Primary treatment is expected to remove about half of the solids, organic materials and bacteria.  At this point some treatment plants simply chlorinate the remaining water to kill the bacteria, or microbes, before releasing it.

For plants utilizing the secondary treatment, the next stage allows the waste stream to flow into oxygenated aeration tanks, where it becomes a concentrated sludge.  There, naturally occurring bacteria consume the biosolids, or organic material and existing nutrients.  It is expected that 90 percent of all solids and organic materials are removed from the wastewater during this phase.

The last treatment stage uses chemicals or filter beds to remove phosphorus and nitrogen from the water.  At this point, chlorine is added to the water to kill any remaining bacteria before it is discharged.

I have seen the solids recycled into a compost when mixed with leaves and recyclable paper, or made into fertilizer although not a grand scale as there are to few companies doing that sort of recycling.  It reminds me of starting a new manure pile every year when young and living on a farm.  During the third year, the oldest pile would be added to the garden topsoil while plowing the field in the Spring.  That was almost 65 years ago.

According to the latest UNICEF study on water supply and sanitation, released in early 2015, 32 percent of the worlds population – 2.4 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and 663 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources.

As bad as that sounds it is an improvement of the 2013 study.

During this time of my life was there anything I found to be interesting or unbelievable?  I could not believe it but tomato seeds manage to survive this entire treatment process and still be viable enough to grow out of the compost piles.  My best guess is since we eat most of them raw in salads they do not die in our system, we simply do not digest the seeds.  Then after they get transferred to a treatment plant, pass through the aerobic process (excess oxygen), then the anaerobic process (total lack of oxygen), lastly the drying of the solids and finally the heat of composting, they start to germinate and spring to life.  I did notice compost piles give off a lot of heat, so much so that piles steam on cold mornings and melt snow in the winter.  Perhaps the heat is not hot enough to kill the seeds.  This was just something I noticed, pondered and then formed a theory in my mind, just useless knowledge until this paragraph.


This recipe is misnamed as it is anything but crispy, however it is nothing short of terrific.  I used the New Zealand Jazz apple and it was beyond incredible.  Everyone who tried it went back for seconds.  I also used the max time to be sure the apples were cooked as you will not be able to see them under the topping.  Some of my changes to this recipe.  I did not think there were enough apples so I used 6.  I also thought the recipe had a little too much sugar so I used 1/3 cup of both types of sugar and it was still pretty sweet, perhaps 1/4 cup would work.  My last change was since I like cinnamon I added cinnamon drops in the apple mixture (1/4 cup).

Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp


5 medium apples, coarsely chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted
1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix


    Spray 2- to 3 ½-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

    In large bowl, toss apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add to slow cooker.

    In medium bowl, mix melted butter and dry cake mix. Sprinkle on top of apples.

    Cover; cook on High heat setting 2 to 3 hours or until apples are soft, removing cover for last 30 minutes of cooking.


Duckology - This has been added for the Oregon University Ducks as they are having a terrible football season and have replaced the coach.  However the new coach has put three players into the hospital during practice.  Perhaps he will also be sent packing, but you know me as I would just say “Suck it up buttercup and keep moving you wuss.”

bean : The small round bump on the end of a duck's bill. Also called the nail.

bill : The part of the duck that forms the mouth and nose

brood : A group of baby ducks.

broody : A hen who wants to sit on a nest and hatch and raise her babies

camouflage : Color or markings that allow a duck to blend in with its surroundings so predators won't find it.

clutch : A bunch of eggs to be incubated.

crest : The tuft of feathers on the top of the duck's head (Lemon has a white tuft on her head---she is a crested Pekin duck).

crop : The place where the food first goes when it is swallowed.

dabble : The kind of duck that tips (bottom's up) to reach weeds growing under the surface of the water.

down : The soft fluffy 'feathers' found next to the skin of adult birds (under their other feathers). The soft fluffy covering on ducklings.

drake : A male duck

duck : A kind of waterfowl. Also the name for a female duck.

duckling : The proper name for a baby duck.

egg tooth : The temporary horny bump on the duckling's upper bill used for pipping (breaking through) the shell. The egg tooth falls off shortly after the duckling hatches.

grit : Small pebbles fed to birds to help them grind up their food.

imprint : The process of learning to recognize 'mom'. If the natural mother is not around then the first continuing contact will become mom.

incubate : To provide a fertile egg with the conditions necessary for it to develop into a baby.

lamellae : The serrations found on the bills of ducks and geese that look like teeth. They are used to help cut and rip grasses and weeds as well as to hold insects or fish.

mate : The partner of an animal. The pair-bonding of birds.

molt : All birds must get rid of old worn feathers and grow new ones from time to time.

    The duck begins to shed some old feathers
    Pin feathers grow in to replace the old feathers
    As the pin feathers become full feathers, other feathers are shed

paddling : The name for a group of ducks on water.

pinfeathers : The feathers that have not grown all the way out .

pip : The first crack in the egg made by the baby duck trying to get out.

plumage : The feathers of a duck.

preen : How ducks clean and comb their feathers. They use their bills to get dirt out of their feathers and to make them lie correctly. Ducks also preen to spread oils on the feathers that will make them waterproof.

team : The name of a group of ducks in flight.

vent : The external opening of the digestive tract and the reproductive system.

waddle : The walking motion of most ducks.

waterfowl : Birds that have webbed feet and like to swim.


A couple was invited to a swanky masked Halloween Party. She got a terrible headache and told her husband to go to the party alone. He, being a devoted husband, protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some aspirin and go to bed, and there was no need of his good time being spoiled by not going. So he took his costume and away he went.

The wife, after sleeping soundly for one hour, awakened without pain, and as it was still early, she decided to go to the party. In as much as her husband did not know what her costume was, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him.

She joined the party and soon spotted her husband cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with every nice chick he could, and copping a little feel here and a little kiss there. His wife sidled up to him and being a rather seductive babe herself, he left his partner high and dry and devoted his time to the new stuff that had just arrived.
She let him go as far as he wished; naturally, since he was her husband. Finally he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed, so off they went to one of the cars and had a little bang.

Just before unmasking at midnight, she slipped away and went home and put the costume away and got into bed, wondering what kind of explanation he would make for his behavior.

She was sitting up reading when he came in and asked what kind of a time he had. He said, "Oh, the same old thing. You know I never have a good time when you're not there."

Then she asked, "Did you dance much?"

He replied, "I'll tell you, I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Pete, Bill Brown and some other guys, so we went into the den and played poker all evening.

But I'll tell you... the guy I loaned my costume to said he sure had a real good time!"


I have a report on my new kitchen.  Other than paint the kitchen is finished and what I like best is now it is like cooking in Disneyland or what I would envision cooking in Disneyland to be like, magical.  I sure do like the granite counters and I guess I should look up the do’s and don’ts on this surface.

Granite is a very resilient surface that can take some abuse. Minimizing this abuse can help extend the life of a granite countertop almost indefinitely.

Granite countertop dos:

    Clean up spills immediately by blotting, the longer they sit the more chance there is that it will stain
    Clean the surface with a mild soap and warm water, using a soft cloth
    Dry the surface of any moisture right away
    Have cutting boards ready for all slicing
    Use coasters under all drinks to keep moisture off the countertop
    Seal your granite countertop regularly – every 6 months to 2 years depending on use

Granite countertop don’ts:

    Place hot pans directly on a granite countertop, thermal shock can damage it
    Wipe up spills, blot at them to try and soak them up rather than spreading them around
    Use abrasive cleaners
    Use chemical filled cleaners
    Cut directly on the surface
    Allow acidic drinks to sit; though not as sensitive as marble, acids can eat away at the finish if given time

Putting a hot pan directly onto granite causes thermal shock, as stated above.  However Crock pots, if they're on the countertop when they're turned on, don't create a lot of thermal shock, because the temperature change is gradual. Thermal shock-based damage is more likely when you take a hot item and put it on the countertop, creating a large temperature different between the countertop immediately under the hot thing and the cooler countertop immediately adjacent to it.

Harsh cleaning agents such as bleach, kitchen degreasers and glass cleaners can strip the granite surface off the sealer, and can permanently stain the surface. This is because these common household cleaning agents contain acids, alkalies and other chemicals, which can harm the granite. One must be careful to only use mild soap and water to clean it. Even frequent use of soap can make the granite surface dull.

I have purchased a granite cleaner that I like and seems to not leave any streaks and removes any other residue.

Granite is a durable and easy-to-maintain countertop material. It does have its disadvantages, however, mostly all products in the market have some or the other drawback. While deciding on which countertop material to buy, one must weigh the pros and cons. Despite these cons, granite countertops are elegant, unique and enhance the beauty of one's kitchen.


 As one goes through life one learns that if you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move.
--Katharine Hepburn


Every once in a while, I get an email that does not seem true and many times it truly is the case.  I have friends that just returned from Mexico and they stated they had a great time but they stayed within the resort.  I see nothing on this topic reported by any of the news stations, including my favorite FOX.  This same country produces their own oil and sell it internationally so supply should not be a problem.  Some of the articles I see are dated in January so this problem for Mexico is recent.  There are a ton of sites on the topic on Google and they read like the following.

Demonstrations spread throughout Mexico during the first days of the year, reportedly occurring in 28 of the country's 32 states, with Mexicans from political parties, labor unions, and other groups mounting sit-ins, roadblocks, and other protests.

In recent days, popular outrage has curdled into violent displays as looters strike stores and other outlets around the country.

If Mexico collapses into chaos and/or revolution before President Trump can build his Wall, he and we have a seriously dangerous situation on our hands.  A prosperous and stable Mexico is in his and our interests, and his policies should be designed with that in mind.

A check of the Drudge report has nothing on this topic either.

My best guess is this topic it is Mexican propaganda as to why they can’t pay for the wall.  However most of my friends say if it is only about $125 per taxpayer where do they send the check.

The following is not the southern wall but interesting due to the programming I see on TV, the protesters are in the minority.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 25-26, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

The survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government approves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here.


During my late 20s and early 30s of my life, in the Philippine Islands I lived in a house with some great plants in the yard.  It had banana trees, papaya trees, many orchids growing from chunks of moss, plus one old decaying stump in the from yard along the walkway to the front door.  One of my college papers was about that old stump and the orchids attached to it.  There were hibiscus plants with blossoms year round, and for 6 months of each year I had two avocado trees that produced fruit.  These trees were huge, by huge 4 or 5 stories, my house was pretty much in constant shade and these two trees would produce bushels of the fruit.  My youngest maid, who’s duty was to keep my children safe, would take some of the avocados to market and trade for shrimp and stuff like that for our supper.  The base Latin club “Latinos Unidos,” would come by and trade for them also usually using Latin food.  I never took money from anyone who wanted any, but most of the time would trade for things if offered and it was usually food stuffs.  I always had many more than I could use and the maids or the gardener would occasionally take paper bagfuls home.

This house took a part of my housing allowance as it was considered sub-standard officer’ quarters.  They were rented to E-6 and above enlisted personnel for half of the monthly allowance.  I moved my family from the off-base, gated, 5 bedroom house ($45/month + $20 for guard fee) to be much closer to work.  I could almost now walk to work.

Back to the avocados Here is another recipe for Guacomole from the NY times.

This guacamole is the definitive recipe, adapted from Josefina Howard, the chef at the original Rosa Mexicano restaurant in Manhattan. It is dead simple and easily scaled to serve a crowd, which is good, because you'll need a lot of it — even if you're the only one partaking.

Featured in: By The Book; Memories Of Mexico, Seasoned By Time.



    3 tablespoons chopped onion, split
    ½ teaspoon minced Serrano chili, or more, to taste
    1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
    ½ teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
    1 small vine-ripened tomato
    1 ripe Haas avocado
    Tortilla chips for serving


    In a medium-size bowl, mortar or a Mexican molcajete (lava stone mortar), thoroughly mash 1 tablespoon of the onion with the chili, ½ teaspoon cilantro and the salt to make a paste.

    Cut the tomato in half horizontally, squeeze out the juice and seeds and discard. Chop pulp, and add it to the bowl.

    Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, cutting around the pit. Gently twist the top half of the avocado off to separate the halves. Carefully rap the pit with the edge of a sharp knife and twist it out. Using a paring knife slice the avocado flesh of both halves lengthwise, then crosswise, cutting down to the skin, to form a grid. Scoop the avocado into the bowl with a spoon.

    Add the remaining onion and cilantro, and gently fold all the ingredients together. Season with more chili and salt if desired. Serve at once with tortilla chips.


I guess that is all for this week’s letter.  Have a great day and greet everyone with a smile and they will smile back, usually.

Yesterday, I watched one very exciting Super Bowl.  Thank You Patriots for one great game especially since it was on my Birthday.


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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 ( ; 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  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.


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  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.


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.


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.


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


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


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. 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.


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. . 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.


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.


Here is another summer crockpot recipe. . .

Roasted Summer Squash with Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese


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.


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


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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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!"


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."


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

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