George Rucker's Newsletter for March 28, 2017

Góðan daginn = good morning as said in Iceland,

I did not have a recipe in last weeks letter.  There are times when I just run out of space.  I think it mostly happens due to my incoming emails or possibly many interesting articles in the news.  I will start this week with a recipe, just to get it out of the way.

I mentioned to a friend at the Y that I would put a chili recipe into the letter.  There was a time when I would be asked to make chili for most parties.  The first recipe I used was from a Mexican rancher from the state of Wyoming.  It was a long time cooking and counting the rehydration of beans took almost four days to make.  I no longer take the time to make chile long and slow.  There are many ways to make chili and most are pretty good.  It depends on a persons taste buds and that is probably why there are so many chili cookoffs.  Many have secret ingredients, I know of one that uses rattlesnake meat.  Myself I happen to like to add refried beans as there are those when they see a bean say this is no longer chili.

When I have eaten chili I do not like to either see or taste kidney beans, in cookoffs I take points off for kidney beans while my wife would add points.  I think the only bean that is used would be the pinto bean, most refried beans are pinto.  In Spanish, they are called frijol pinto, literally "speckled bean." Chili with beans is called chili con carne.

In another life I was a member of the International Chile Society.  I still receive their quarterly paper, it is called “The Chile Pepper” I always thought if clever to use “Pepper” in place of “Paper.”  I actually signed a statement stating that I would never put any beans into my chile, a prerequisite to join the society.

Following is the way I make chili now, but finding Bush’s Chili Magic, chili starter can be a problem.  I tend to buy 3 or 4 cans whenever I see them on the shelves to insure a spare can.  The Sagamore Market Basket has some on the top shelf, in the bean section, at the moment.  The recipe is on the can but I tend to cook them with my own recipe.  They like things moderately spicy in Texas. And our Texas Recipe Chili Magic® Chili Starter delivers! We've simmered big, tender pinto beans in a sauce made with smoky chipotle peppers and mild green chilies for a real Texas kick. All you have to do is add meat and tomatoes!  For me this makes pretty good chili but I had to modify it to make it more like my own. I sometimes add one can of pinto beans (usually Goya) if I expect more people.

Medium Texas Chili - my version from memory

1 can  BUSH'S® Chili Magic® Chili Starter Texas Recipe

1 can refried pinto beans

1 pound lean hamburger (90% or less fat)

1 can Ro Tel Mexican style diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro

             (Note you can use Del Monte diced with chili peppers in a pinch)

1 diced yellow onion

Over medium heat brown meat in a large enough pot to hold all of above.  If you did not get lean beef, drain grease.

Put everything else into pot bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 or more minutes. (Sometimes at this point I put everything into a crockpot and cook on low for 3 or 4 hours)

Serve with shredded cheese or chopped fresh sweet onions.

This also goes great with grilled hot dogs.


Walter’s Big Pot of Really Good Vegan Chili

When you need a heaping helping of something fast, inexpensive, and healthy, few things that fit these criteria better than a big pot of chili. And no oil is used; your endothelial cells lining your veins and arteries will thank your not causing damage and hardening of these life-sustaining conveyors.  Simple, hearty, and warming, this is a great choice for casual summer / winter parties and for Superbowl Sunday. Serve with stone-ground tortilla chips, guacamole, and a big salad or cole slaw.


  • 4 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 Celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 Zulchiin (or one zuchini and 2 yellow summer squash, halfway thru cooking time))
  • 8 oz Mushrooms
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 28-ounce cans dark kidney beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-oz can Chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid or dice 10 from own garden
  • 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 Can Chipotle Peppers
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, seeded and minced, or one 8-ounce can mild or hot chopped green chiles
  • 3 12-0z PBR or a Good IPA Beer (or use Wine, Vegetable stock or water)
  • 5 tablespoon (Tbs) good-quality chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Tbs  ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbs dried oregano
  • 4 Tbs ground cumin
  • Salt  to taste
  • Chopped ripe tomatoes for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish


  1. Add the onion sauté over medium-low heat until translucent in PBR beer. Add the garlic and sauté until the onion is golden. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the flavors have melded.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the other seasonings. If time allows, let the chili stand for up to several hours before serving. Heat through as needed. The chili should be nice and thick; if it has gotten too thick, stir in a cup of water. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.

Varations and optional garnishes:

  • Add a cup or two of cooked corn kernels toward the end of cooking time
  • Add a medium or large firm-cooked sweet potato, peeled and diced; I like to keep the skin on.
  • Put out extra “hot stuff” like minced fresh chili peppers, dried hot red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for those who like their chilies extra-spicy

Preparation time: 75 minute(s) | Cooking time: 50 minute(s)

It’s always better the next day.

Number of servings (yield): 21

Nutrition (per serving, if you use oil (not recommended) to saute instead of beer): 236 calories, 37 calories from fat, 4.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 938mg sodium, 719.6mg potassium, 39.9g carbohydrates, 11.6g fiber, 5.8g sugar, 11.4g protein, 6.8 points.

Without oil (which is how I cook  it): 216 calories, 17 calories from fat, 2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 938mg sodium, 719.6mg potassium, 39.9g carbohydrates, 11.6g fiber, 5.8g sugar, 11.4g protein, 6.2 points.



A List of Republican Budget Cuts

Notice S.S. and the military are NOT on this list         .

These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting.

  Read to the end.

* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy -- $445 million annual savings.

* Save America 's Treasures Program -- $25 million annual savings.

* International Fund for Ireland -- $17 million annual savings.

* Legal Services Corporation -- $420 million annual savings.

* National Endowment for the Arts -- $167.5 million annual savings.

* National Endowment for the Humanities -- $167.5 million annual savings.

* Hope VI Program -- $250 million annual savings.

* Amtrak Subsidies -- $1.565 billion annual savings.

* Eliminate duplicating education programs -- H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon , eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

* U.S. Trade Development Agency -- $55 million annual savings.

* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy -- $20 million annual savings.

* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding -- $47 million annual savings.

* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy -- $430,000 annual savings.

* Community Development Fund -- $4.5 billion annual savings.

* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid -- $24 million annual savings.

* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half -- $7.5 billion annual savings

* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% -- $600 million annual savings.

* Essential Air Service -- $150 million annual savings.

* Technology Innovation Program -- $70 million annual savings.

*Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program -- $125 million annual savings..

* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization -- $530 million annual savings.

* Beach Replenishment -- $95 million annual savings.

* New Starts Transit -- $2 billion annual savings.

 *  Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts -- $9 million annual savings

* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants -- $2.5 billion annual savings.

* Title X Family Planning -- $318 million annual savings.

* Appalachian Regional Commission -- $76 million annual savings.

* Economic Development Administration -- $293 million annual savings.

* Programs under the National and Community Services Act -- $1.15 billion annual savings.

* Applied Research at Department of Energy -- $1.27 billion annual savings..

* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership -- $200 million annual savings..

* Energy Star Program -- $52 million annual savings.

*Economic Assistance to Egypt -- $250 million annually.

* U.S. Agency for International Development -- $1.39 billion annual savings..

* General Assistance to District of Columbia -- $210 million annual savings.

* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority -- $150 million annual savings.

*Presidential Campaign Fund -- $775 million savings over ten years..

* No funding for federal office space acquisition -- $864 million annual savings.

*  End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.

* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act -- More than $1 billion annually.

* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget -- $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

*Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees -- $1 billion total savings.  WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?

* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees -- $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of -- $15 billion total savings.

*Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.  WHAT???

* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies -- $1 million annual savings.

*Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- $12.5 million annual savings.  WELL ISN'T THAT SPECIAL

  * Eliminate Market Access Program -- $200 million annual savings.

* USDA Sugar Program -- $14 million annual savings.

* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -- $93 million annual savings.

* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program -- $56.2 million annual savings.

*Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs -- $900 million savings.

* Ready to Learn TV Program -- $27 million savings..

* HUD Ph.D. Program.

* Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

* TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

My question is, what is all this doing in the budget in the first place

  Please Send to everyone you know......... OR WISH TO KNOW ....... OR JUST PLAIN WORTHY OF KNOWING THIS IMPORTANT STUFF ! ! !


It surprises me when things I think are real news and we are over whelmed by fake news, or at least things that should not be in the news.

The sixth largest lake in the United States was drying up, or should I say about three feet from record lows.  They actually wanted to dredge some of the channels as many larger boats could no longer get out into the lake.  The lowest year for Lake Tahoe was in 1992.  That is news, however what is even better news is the following.

Lake Tahoe expected to fill up with largest physical rise in recorded history.  There was so much water during the past two months, January and February that the lake’s water level is expected rise to its highest level in recorded history sometime this year thanks to the stormy weather that hammered the Western part of the United States this winter.


Just to let you know, I checked in with Mr. Money Moustache and went looking for the cheapest phone carrier.  I personally thought it would be TracFone.  I use an AARP carrier, called Consumer Cellular at $45/month.

Smartphone’s service shouldn’t have to cost a lot.  According to Mr. Moustache who has the goal to combine the best aspects of mobile and smartphone ownership (nationwide calling without long distance fees, having your phone, email, internet access, recipe book, camera, video recorder, voice recorder, calendar, notepad, music player, virtual scratch turntable, etc. all in a single device that is always in your pocket).. with the minimal cost associated with a ‘dumbphone’ on a prepaid plan.   He does not think anyone should pay more than $25/month for all.

Mr. and Mrs. MM now have both of their phones running on plans that cost them $10 per month each.  The $10 gets them..from the carrier Airvoice

 *   Up to 250 minutes of voice calling, which uses up your $10.00 at a rate of 4 cents per minute.

 *    Up to 500 text messages, which use up your balance at 2 cents per message (in either direction).

 *   Cellular Data (any that you use while not on a wi-fi network) is billed at 33 cents per megabyte.

 *   All Data on wi-fi is free.

The blog I was reading was written Oct, 2012 so I needed to check if the company is still available and what, if any, were the price changes.  They still offer the $10/ 250 minute plan, however:

For $20/month they offer Unlimited talk, Unlimited text, Unlimited MMS (looked this up MMS is most popularly used as picture messaging from camera-equipped phones.)

Unlimited Data providing you . . .  When using Wi-Fi, you will need to turn OFF your Cellular Data Network Setting on your handset. If you do not turn off the cellular data network setting on your handset, you will be charged for internet usage even if you are using Wi-Fi because it will still be considered Cellular Data Usage. Turning off the Cellular Data Network Setting will ensure you will strictly be using Wi-Fi and that you are not connected to the Cellular Data Network.

I find the company tempting but I am happy with my current company.  I am thinking of reducing the Data used as last month I did not hit 10 Megs of data, and I pay for 3 Gigs of data.

Every once and a while writing this letter has some perks, my cell company just reduced my bill to $24/month with 500 Megs of data included and all Wi-fi free.  My voice is limited to 250 minutes but those that know me would say that is overkill by about 220 minutes a month.  I rarely talk on the phone.  The reduction saved me $23/month, thanks Mr. Money Moustache and to Ronald who told me about him in the first place.


On Christmas Day in 2014, joy in millions of households across the world was replaced by disappointment.  A group called the Lizard Squad hacked into Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation, both video game plafforms, making it impossible to connect to the internet and use their systems.  Microsoft’s Xbox Live has 48 million subscribers and Sony’s PlayStation has more than double that number, about 110 million users.

Service was eventually restored, but the hacking soured Christmas for many kids (and adults) eager to play new games.  Video games have become so common – and so sophisticated and realistic – that it’s easy to forget that only 40 years ago they featured simple black-and-white blips simulating balls bouncing on a TV screen.

Just in case you do not know - I am a gamer.  I have played these game for most of those 40 years.  I have played with clubs, been in tourneys, had games written by my son that were not used by anyone else, etc.  I have played through 8 bit graphics to the multi pixel games on the market today.  I have used the name “Benthere” and “Donthat,” in many games.  I have participated in Beta testing prior to going out to the general public.  I still am a life member of “Lord of the Rings,” a game I no longer play.

In the World of Warcraft, (a world-wide game) Benthere has a city with his name, and many titles of accomplishment.  I think the best would be from winning the weekly fishing tournament and able to use the title of “Salty.” That account is on hold as I can only play one character at a time and I now play Final Fantasy 14.  Again as Ben There, now with a first and last name have made it to level 60.  This will be this weeks topic of world inventions.

Today video games are played with controllers that connect to specialized computers called consoles.  Consoles have a central processing unit (CPU) and a user control interface that allows the gamer to control the action, a software kernel that provides the interface between the various pieces of hardware in the system, and video and audio outlets.  Video game designers and programmers code each individual game with a series of algorithms that drive outcomes based on players’ choices through the game.

Current systems also offer solid-state memory cards for storing saved games and personal information.  Systems like PlayStation have DVD drives that allow gamers to upload different games, and all game consoles provide a video system that is compatible with television sets.

The software for today’s computer gaming systems has evolved to include realistic full-color graphics, multi-layered sound effects and very complex interactions between gamers and the system.  It also allows gamers to interact with other players all over the world through the Internet interface.  But maybe most importantly, a huge variety of games is available.  Some popular games include Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty; Ghosts, inFAMOUS Second Son, Titan Fall and Minecraft.

Ralph Baer, who died at age 92 in 2014 after a long career in radio and television industry, credited with inventing the first video game console.  One day in 1966, he was sitting on a curb outside a Manhattan bus station waiting for a friend when he realized how he might make his idea for playing games on TV work.

“It was basically a demonstration of how to put a spot on a screen, how to more it laterally, horizontally, and vertically, and vertically, and how to color it, how to color the background,” he told a Washington Post reporter.  After much work, Baer came up with a console that attached to a TV set and played an electronic ping-pong game later called Pong–the ancestor of today’s realistic and elaborate video games.  Video games are now a $10 billion dollar a year industry.


The other day while Patty and I were eating at the Mezza Luna in Buzzards Bay, they happened to have a very good appetizer.  It was Asparagus wrapped in crisp Prosciutto. The appetizer was so good I decided to see if I could find a recipe and put it into my letter.  It is from Submitted by Teresa Haider

"Extremely easy and elegant appetizer. Asparagus spears are wrapped in a sheath of prosciutto, then baked until crispy. A great dish to make ahead, and bake just before serving."


1 tablespoon olive oil

16 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed

16 slices prosciutto


    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with olive oil.

    Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and spiraling up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet.

    Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender, and prosciutto is crisp. Serve immediately.

Note: The difference being our appetizer had 4 stalks for each of us wrapped in what looked like mozzarella or another type of Italian cheese and the prosciutto wrapped on the outside of the cheese.


Let us talk a bit about last Christmas.  Many children were asking Santa for a toy that was very hard to find in stores, “Hatchimals.”

Hatchimals, the furry interactive toys that self-hatch out of an egg, created a frenzy when they hit the market last October. Stores quickly sold out of the toy, leaving parents frantically trying to score one in time for the holidays.

 "Hatchimals turned into a global phenomenon," said Tara Tucker, vice president of global communications for Spin Master. "The brand's in the market for only four months but it sold in 50 countries."

I started this weeks article, 1. Is the company coming out with another hit.  And 2. What is the Hatchimal selling for now?  Last year they angered some parents when bidding had the price as high as $500.

Well they are still available at Target, Toys R us, Wal Mart, etc. for what they sold for last Christmas, at least they are on line, $59.99.  The funny thing is Ebay sellers are still high for the product, $84 to $250 and Amazon is also high $79 to 199.95.  For some reason I would say there is little change in demand.

Spin Master is keen to keep the momentum going in 2017 with two new Hatchimal products.

The first is Hatchimals Glitter (priced at $59.99 each), which takes the original Hatchimals concept and adds sparkle. The eggs contain "Sparkly Pengualas" and "Shimmering Draggles" (both with sparkling fur) with new sounds, songs and games. Hatchimals Glitter will hit stores in July.

You might want to get out early this year and order 1 or 2 away of last years model.  Or   if you are one of those parents who get the newest thing for their children or grand-children.  You can wait and order in July for the newer ones.


  Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

  Chuck Norris can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.

  God can walk on water, Chuck can swim through land

  Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

  Chuck Norris can squeeze orange juice out of a lemon.

  Chuck Norris runs until the treadmill gets tired.

  Chuck Norris can make a fire by rubbing two ice cubes together.

  Chuck Norris makes onions cry.

  Chuck Norris had a grenade, he threw it, it killed 73 people and then exploded.

  Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

  When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.

  Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.

  If you work in an office with Chuck Norris, don’t ask him for his three-hole-punch.

  Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.


Have a nice day . . . George

for an email copy put letter in the subject line and email

older copies of my letter can be found at the end of

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.


<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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.