George Rucker's Newsletter for March 7, 2017

Buongiorno,amico mio, Good Morning my Friend in Italian,


It has been a while since I wrote about this topic, if I actually did, as some topics I think about and just rehash in my mind and never put onto paper.  Well anyway last August or possibly September, I looked at my electric bill thought when did this happen?  My kilowatt per hour (kw/h) charge was almost 17 cents each.  My provider at the time was EverSource/Nstar electric, who happens to be the default provider for most of the New England area.

Everyone pretty much has the ability to pick their provider so I called EverSource and asked them where I could find a list of providers.   Now that I think about it I could have just done a search on my computer.  However talking to them was interesting as they offered to lower my rate for three months to almost 10 cents per kw/h provided I retained them as my provider.  After the three months it would revert back to the default rate.  I wasn’t bourn yesterday so I declined their offer and wanted to see what others had as an electric rate.

Off I went to find a site that lists all Mass providers along with their rates and if there are any penalties for withdrawal.  It is darn near impossible to find rates in a side by side graph.  I couldn’t find one anywhere.  I did a phone call and found that the billing is done by an actual third company.  They bill for every electric company and every transmission company.  Three fingers are in this electric pie, no wonder electricity is so expensive.  I was mailed a list of providers, their rates, and any penalties for switching.  Note just for your information most penalties drop after one year of payments.

I picked Ambitenergy who offered the rate of 8.75 kw/h for six months, for me this would be almost a 9 cent  per KW/h saving.  They also give me vacation points which I do not know how to use.  I now have 4714 of these points.  Anyway I have to sign up for renewal of automatically revert to the default provider.  My last experience with the default provider was they were in this for the money and would charge me more than twice the rate I could get for myself.  I have gone once again for www.ambitenergy.com and locked in the 9.75 rate for the next 12 months.

Do me a favor.  If you switch to this company let them know who gave you this information.  George Rucker, Account Number A5213522, thanks.  I am not sure of the reward but probably more vacation points or something.

The delivery rates in New England are much higher than other parts of the country.  This fact has caused and investigation as New England transmission rates appear to be “unjust, unreasonable and unduly discriminatory or preferential” and this called for an investigation.   The same does not hold true in other parts of the country, where transmission and distribution make up much smaller portions of the bill, even though the grid operators in the other regions serve a much broader territory per customer some areas of the country have rather great distances between neighbors.

Sorry, trying to find out what was going on with transmission rates makes it look like the other regions of the country are trying to raise their rates to equal those of New England.  The whole thing is a legal quagmire headed by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

If you want my two cents, here it is.  They produce nothing just move electricity from point A to point B with those ugly poles.  Once the cost of the poles and wire are recovered the balance is all profit, and this profit goes on and on forever.  This part of the electric company should have never been taken from them and by allowing them to sell it off was  just another way to screw the consumer.

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Spaghetti with Garlic-Shrimp & Broccoli 4.8 stars from www.Kraftrecipes.com

Accept oohs and ahhs when your family tastes this garlicky shrimp and broccoli pasta dish—and all for just 20 minutes in the kitchen.

What You Need

½  lb. spaghetti, uncooked
4 cups small broccoli florets
½  cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing
1 lb. uncooked deveined peeled large shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

Make It

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 2 min.

Meanwhile, heat dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 min. or until shrimp turn pink.

Drain spaghetti mixture; return to pan. Add shrimp mixture and cheese; mix lightly.

Special Extra

Add ½ tsp. crushed red pepper to the hot dressing along with the shrimp and garlic.
Variation

Prepare using thawed frozen cooked cleaned large shrimp, and reducing the cooking time for the shrimp and garlic to 2 to 3 min. or until the shrimp are heated through.

My notes: This is quick to make, about 20 minutes start to finish.  Low in calories.  As far as taste goes very average C+ or B-.


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During my life I have gone through many cars.  Of the cars I have owned a few stand out as favorites and if still available today I would like to drive.  One was a blue and white, two tone, 1955 Packard, a yellow and black 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber, and a 1986 Nissan Maxima, the Maxima could talk and no others have done so that I have driven.  Other than those three the rest were pretty much just transportation.

I was watching a Chevy commercial the other day and they claim to have the J D Power award for “Initial Quality” for 2017, 16, 15, and 14.  I thought either Chevy owned J D Power or “Initial Quality” only means the day you pick up your vehicle as most of the people I know would rather have vehicles with the longest lasting quality.

Well after a brief search, J D Power is an independent polling company and they claim  very strict standards.  Perhaps the survey that Chevy used had particularly worded questions that would prove the results they were touting.

Once while test driving a car, a Chrysler product, the vehicle door handle came off in my hand.  It was a very quick no thanks as I handed the salesman the door handle and went on my way.  If given the J D Power polling test at that moment Chrysler was a total failure.

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A frustrated Japanese father vented, "When I was a youngster, I was disciplined by being sent to my room without supper. But in my son's room, he has his own color TV, telephone, computer, and CD player."

"So what do you do?" asked his friend.

"I send him to MY room!" exclaimed the father.

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St. Patrick's Day is all about the Irish and the beautiful country Ireland but did you know that there are many aspects of the big day that the Irish can not claim as their own invention? Such as the St. Patrick's Day parade phenomenon, for instance? To get you up to date with all the weirdest and most wonderful St. Patrick's day facts, here are Irish Central's top strangest titbits about the patron saint to have you all caught up on your St. Patrick's trivia by March 17.


1. The Irish can’t claim credit for the invention of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

The world’s first recorded Saint Patrick's Day Parade took place in Boston on March 18, 1737, followed by the New York Parade, which first took place in 1762.

Ireland took over a century to jump on the parade float with the rest of the world and only had their first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin in 1931.


2. This St. Patrick’s Day we’ll all be wearing green, but shouldn’t it be blue?

The original color associated with St. Patrick was blue but because the Saint preached about the Holy Trinity through the symbol of the shamrock and the Irish ‘little folk’ were also associated with green, it became the most common shade in connection with him.

Parade committee organizers across the world wouldn’t take too kindly to us changing the color, so maybe we’ll leave it at green for now.


3. 100 lbs. of green dye was poured into the Chicago River in honor of St. Patrick’s Day

In 1961, business manager of Chicago’s Journeymen Plumbers Local Union, Stephen Bailey, received permission to turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Due to uncertainties about the amount of dye it would take to turn the river green, a massive 100 lbs of vegetable dye was used in comparison to the 25 lbs used today.

The Chicago River stayed green for a full week.


4. Saint Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland

… and not a snake in sight. Patrick is said to have banished the snakes from Ireland but in fact, Ireland never had any snakes as the weather was too miserable for the cold-blooded reptiles.

The banished snakes were thought to be symbolic of the pagan druid priests with whom Patrick might have had a few issues to iron out.


5. George Washington ordered that “St. Patrick” be the response to the password “Boston” on Evacuation Day

On Evacuation Day, March 17, 1776, the General Orders issued by Washington were that those wishing to pass through Continental Army lines should give the password “Boston,” to which the reply should be “St. Patrick.”


6. The resting place of Saint Patrick

Though never fully proven, Down Cathedral in the town of Downpatrick, Co Down, is thought to contain St. Patrick’s remains and, according to legend, he lies beside Saints Columcille and Brigit.

Apparently, he’s missing a few things like a jaw and a tooth, but these can be seen in Dublin Museum.


7. Saint Patrick’s Relics

A few of the Saint’s relics can still be viewed in Ireland today: St. Patrick’s Bell and shrines of the Saint’s jaw and tooth can be viewed in Dublin in the National Museum, while Patrick’s copy of the four gospels is held at The Royal Irish Academy.

Saint Patrick’s Crozier, with which he banished the imaginary snakes, was venerated for centuries in Dublin's Christ Church only to be publicly burned in 1538 under the orders of the archbishop, George Browne.

Sounds like George had a few issues too.


8. Drink, drink, and yet more drink!

The global corporate-relations director of Guinness says 5.5 million pints of Guinness are sold on any given day, but this figure rises to an astounding 13 million on St. Patrick’s Day.

IBISWorld also reports that Saint Patrick’s Day 2012 brought in $245 million in beer sales.

Who’s up for making March 18 into International Hangover Day?


9. The Royal Dublin Dog Show was the place to be on St. Patrick’s Day

Due to strict laws on the curtailment of sales of alcohol on Holy Days in Ireland, from 1927 to 1961, the only place a thirsty Irish person could legally get a drink on Paddy’s day was at The Royal Dublin Dog Show.

One TD was reported to complain that it was a grand occasion “except for all the dogs.”

At the time, the church and state were worried that the Irish would drink too much on the day.

Turns out they were right. Oh well.


10. And after all that, he’s not even Irish!

Saint Patrick was actually born in Roman Britain at the end of the 4th century AD and taken to Ireland by slavers when he was a teenager.

The exact place of his birth is debatable as some say Scotland and some say Wales but, either way, he’s Irish now.

Sources: Ripley's and Rev Patrick Comerford

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Along with St. Patrick’s day, another celebration that is coming up is the Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras History

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of "Boeuf Gras," or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.

On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans, and named it "Pointe du Mardi Gras" when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday. Bienville also established "Fort Louis de la Louisiane" (which is now Mobile) in 1702. In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America's very first Mardi Gras.

In 1704, Mobile established a secret society (Masque de la Mobile), similar to those that form our current Mardi Gras krewes. It lasted until 1709. In 1710, the "Boeuf Gras Society" was formed and paraded from 1711 through 1861. The procession was held with a huge bull's head pushed along on wheels by 16 men.  Later, Rex would parade with an actual bull, draped in white and signaling the coming Lenten meat fast. This occurred on Fat Tuesday.

New Orleans was established in 1718 by Bienville. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans, but not with the parades we know today. In the early 1740s, Louisiana's governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, established elegant society balls, which became the model for the New Orleans Mardi Gras balls of today.

The earliest reference to Mardi Gras "Carnival" appears in a 1781 report to the Spanish colonial governing body. That year, the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association was the first of hundreds of clubs and carnival organizations formed in New Orleans.

By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders to celebrate Mardi Gras. Dazzling gaslight torches, or "flambeaux," lit the way for the krewe's members and lent each event an exciting air of romance and festivity. In 1856, six young Mobile natives formed the Mistick Krewe of Comus, invoking John Milton's hero Comus to represent their organization. Comus brought magic and mystery to New Orleans with dazzling floats (known as tableaux cars) and masked balls. Krewe members remained anonymous.

In 1870, Mardi Gras' second Krewe, the Twelfth Night Revelers, was formed. This is also the first recorded account of Mardi Gras "throws."

Newspapers began to announce Mardi Gras events in advance, and they even printed "Carnival Edition" lithographs of parades' fantastic float designs (after they rolled, of course - themes and floats were always carefully guarded before the procession). At first, these reproductions were small, and details could not be clearly seen. But beginning in 1886 with Proteus' parade "Visions of Other Worlds," these chromolithographs could be produced in full, saturated color, doing justice to the float and costume designs of Carlotta Bonnecase, Charles Briton and B.A. Wikstrom. Each of these designers' work was brought to life by talented Parisian paper-mache' artist Georges Soulie', who for 40 years was responsible for creating all of Carnival's floats and processional outfits.

1872 was the year that a group of businessmen invented a King of Carnival, Rex, to preside over the first daytime parade. To  honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff, the businessmen introduced Romanoff's family colors of purple, green and gold as Carnival's official colors. Purple stands for justice; gold for power; and green for faith. This was also the Mardi Gras season that Carnival's improbable anthem, "If Ever I Cease to Love," was cemented, due in part to the Duke's fondness for the tune.

The following year, floats began to be constructed entirely in New Orleans instead of France, culminating with Comus' magnificent "The Missing Links to Darwin's Origin of Species," in which exotic paper-mache' animal costumes served as the basis for Comus to mock both Darwin's theory and local officials, including Governor Henry Warmoth. In 1875, Governor Warmoth signed the "Mardi Gras Act," making Fat Tuesday a legal holiday in Louisiana, which it still is.

Like Comus and the Twelfth Night Revelers, most Mardi Gras krewes today developed from private social clubs with restrictive membership policies. Since all of these parade organizations are completely funded by their members, New Orleanians call it the "Greatest Free Show on Earth!"

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 Q: What is the difference between Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras? A: Mardi Gras is an all-night party in New Orleans, Fat Tuesday is who you wake up with the morning after!

 Mardi Gras reminds me how much inflation changes things. Beads used to buy you the island of Manhattan, now you only get two coconuts.

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 You Might Be From Louisiana If

 When out of town, you stop and ask someone where there is a drive-thru daiquiri place, and they look at you like you have three heads.

 The crawdad mounds in your front yard have overtaken the grass.

 Every so often, you have waterfront property.

 You learned to drive a boat before you could drive a car.

 You know the meaning of a "Delcambre Reeboks" (That would be a pair of all white fishing boots).

 You can name all of your 3rd cousins.

 You can plan your wedding around hunting season & LSU football.

 Your burial plot is six feet over rather than six feet under.

 You're not afraid when someone wants to "ax you something".

 The smell of a crawfish boil turns you on more than HBO.

 You prefer skiing on the bayou.

 You assume everyone has mosquito swarms in their backyard.

 You like your rice and politics dirty.

 You pronounce the largest city in the state as "Newawlins".

 You know those big roaches can fly, but you're able to sleep at night anyway.

 You can't think of anybody that can cook better than your momma.

 Your last name isn't pronounced the way it's spelled.

 You have spent a summer afternoon on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs.

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See some of you later at exercise.


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 (www.dodlodging.net) ; 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 http://www.pensacolalighthouse.org/  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.

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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 www.dodlodging.net  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.

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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.

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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.

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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

AND NOW...

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

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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. https://www.raysshanty.com/ 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.

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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. https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home . 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.

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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.

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Here is another summer crockpot recipe. . .

Roasted Summer Squash with Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese

Ingredients:

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.

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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

DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!!

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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<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9_IP2UJfYKU" 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!"

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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."

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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 grucker@capecod.net

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

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