George Rucker's Stupendous Newsletter for April 18, 2017

Good Morning in Russian = “dobroe utro” pronounced (dough-bro-ye oo-tro)

FALMOUTH — While the first day of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission’s annual meeting, held for the first time on Cape Cod, dealt with threats to a tiny Mexican porpoise and massive Arctic polar bears, Thursday’s sessions brought the focus home with a profoundly local subject: gray seals.

Last year the gray seal count grew on the Cape by over 20,000 and as usual I complained as seals are one of the food that Great White Sharks like best.  I was upset as if the seal count goes up so does the shark count.  To top things off we had two Killer Whales show up.  Guess what one of their favorite food happens to be?  You guessed it,  seals.   Another thing is they have no fear of the sharks and when in a pack they have the ability to tip the shark over and for some reason the shark will drown in the upside down position.  They usually hunt sharks in packs so I am not sure if two could manage a 20 foot shark, but they are about 30 feet long themselves.  Perhaps they will tell their buddies that the seal population is up and then return with others for both sharks and seal food.

After seal hunts and bounties exterminated gray seals from New England by the mid to late 60s, few imagined they would come back, certainly not to the point where tens of thousands now inhabit the Cape and surrounding waters.

I thought it was time to thin the seal herd last year, just to provide less food for the sharks.  Well guess what?  This year the seal population is up by 50,000.   To top things off the Right Whales are in Cape Cod Bay once again with their numbers also climbing.  I do not yet worry about them as there are only about 500 right whales in the North Atlantic.  I just wonder why most of them come here to the Bay.  It must be to please the tourists who pay money to watch them frolic.

I consider myself an environmentalist and the last 13 years of my working life was in environmental protection field, but I did not make laws in its regard.  I have noted that rules either for or against any species, plant or animal, is a disaster.  The rules involved about not hunting or disturbing seals have caused a huge increase in their population.  They in turn have provided extra food for some very large sharks.  Now we also have some new and larger predators that are not normal to our waters.  I wonder if Kayak users might be another source of food, perhaps we should ask how Eskimos fare, kayaking in northern waters.

It’s a bygone era for any surf caster who might be fishing off the beach for striped bass.

Seals eat the fish right off fishermen’s line, and steal their bait.  Normally those beaches would be packed with fishermen.  Go to those beaches now, and the parking lots are empty.  Some people still fish in the Cape Cod Canal as you can usually see the seals when they are swimming about.

Just look at all the wild turkeys just another example of nature gone wild.  About the only good thing I feel is that the turkeys have managed to move those Canadian Geese out of our area.  The turkeys have run amuck in Falmouth and will stop traffic and chase people.  As big as those birds are, I feel the Native Americans must have had plenty of food on their table as these birds look like they would be rather easy hunting.


12 Hilarious Deer Abby Questions

Dear Abby, I have a man I can’t trust.  He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his.

Deer Abby, a couple of women moved in across the hall from me.  One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties.  These two women go everywhere together and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment.  Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby, What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby, I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years.  It’s getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don’t know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby, I’ve suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby, Our son writes that he is taking Judo.  Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world.  I’ve seen it.  Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby, My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years.  He must be crazy.

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn’t know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby, My mother is mean and short tempered I think she is going through mental pause’

Dear Abby, Our son was married in January.  Five months later his wife had a ten pound baby girl.  They said the baby was premature.  Tell me, how can a baby that big be that early?

Dear Abby, You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor.  Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor.  Now what do I do?


From the April 7 2017, Patriot Chronicle, Humor Section

Man Gets Home to Chaos.  When He Looked For His Wife, He Found This.

A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around the garden.  The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog.

Walking in the door, he found an even bigger mess.  A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall.  In the front room the TV was on loudly playing the cartoon channel.  The family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife.  He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.  He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.  As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap ane more toys strewn over the floor.  Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.  She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went.  He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?”

She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work you ask me what in the world do I do all day . . .?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous replay.

She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”


Waling around the marsh at Mark's Cove, I noticed a lot of fiddler crab holes - sure sign of spring.

The invention this week will be Teflon.  I know it was invented to help contain Uranium and other radio active compounds by lining their containers plus being very slippery seemed to be a good cooking surface however of late has been falling from grace and other compounds like ceramic, copper and  titanium have taken its place.  Lets see where this weeks invention leads.

Some inventions, such as television and stainless steel, are developed with a purpose:  the invention itself is the goal.  Other inventions, however, have come about entirely by accident.  Some inventors are looking to invent or experiment with something else entirely when they stumble upon something unexpected but useful.  Teflon is one of those unanticipated discoveries.

Teflon is the brand name for a polymer, also called a synthetic resin.  It is extremely slippery, doesn’t react with water and maintains its integrity when exposed to high temperatures.

Roy Plunkett, a chemist working for the DuPont Company in 1938, was trying to make a better refrigerator by combining a gas (tetrafluoroethylene) with hydrochloric acid.  Not quite ready to combine the gas with the acid, he cooled and pressurized the gas in canisters over night.  When he returned the next day, the canisters were empty yet still weighed the same as the night before.  What had happened to the gas?  Plunkett cut the canisters in half and discovered that the gas had turned to a solid, creating a very slick surface in the canisters.  The slippery solid was polytetrafluorethylene or PTFE.

The new substance now trademarked Teflon, found multiple uses in the U.S. war effort during World War II.  It was even used in the Manhattan Project, the top-secret U.S. program to build the first atom bomb.

Neither Plunkett nor anyone else at the time thought that Teflon would be of use to consumers.  Yet in 1948 French engineer Marc Gregoire, after using Teflon on his fishing tackle to prevent tangling listened to his wife’s suggestion that the nonstick substance would be ideal for coating cooking utensils.  Gregoire introduced “tefal” pans. The first to be lined with Teflon.  In the United States, Teflon-coated pans went on sale in 1961.  Today, of course, Teflon pans are in nearly every kitchen.  Other applications for Teflon include building materials, space suits, computer chips and insulating seals.

In recent years, Teflon has come under fire.  As researchers delve further into the connection between modern chemicals and disease, some have linked Teflon to known carcinogens.  Conclusive results are elusive, however.


From Federalist Papers humor section

An average looking man walks into a bar and a beautiful woman approaches him and the woman asks the man, “How would you like to get out of here?” and the man is stunned.

He never thought a woman like her would ever approach him so he agrees.

They both get into his car and drive really far.

He stops at a cliff with the view of the whole city.  Within seconds they start taking off their clothes.  After 15 minutes of passionately making love they finally finish.  They both put their clothes on and they both just sit there awkwardly.

The woman speaks up and says “I’m a prostitute and its going to be 100 dollars for my service.”

The man is stunned and saddened that she didn’t really like him.

He gives her the money and they both sit there awkwardly.

The woman tell him that she is ready to leave and the man replies “I’m a taxi driver and its going to be 150 dollars for the ride here and back.

.....It’s as they say, when life hands you lemons, make some lemonade....geo.


Once again from the US Chronicle, Humor section

President Obama goes to a primary school to talk to the kids.  After his talk he offers question time.

One little boy puts up his hand, and Obama asks him his name.

Timothy, responds the little boy.

And what is your question, Timothy?

I have four questions:

First, why do you think taking guns away from honest citizens will make us safer?

Second, what gives you the authority to bypass Congress on gun control?

Third, since criminals don’t follow the law how will more gun laws help?

Fourth, if guns don’t make us safer why are you surrounded by armed bodyguards?

Just then, the bell rings for recess.

When the resume, Obama says, OK, where were we?
Oh, that is right: question time.  Who has a question?

Another little boy puts up his hand.

Obama points him out and asks him his name.

Luke, he responds.

And what is your question, Luke?

Actually, I have two questions:

First, why did the recess bell ring 20 minutes early?

Second, what happened to Timothy?


Summer will be here soon.  One of my favorite things to make a fresh fruit salad.  You do not need a recipe for the fruit as you only need to use the ones that you like best.  I like mango, cantaloupe and other melons , berries (all), pineapple, grapes etc, however some fruit needs a little extra as they might discolor.  Like apples turning brown or bananas and avocados doing the same, there is an easy fix just mix in a small amount of lemon juice to prevent any oxidation.

The secret here is what do you want to use as a salad dressing.  There are quite a few things to use, like vanilla yogurt, whipped cream etc.

I have lost, somewhere in time my favorite recipe from a cookbook written around 1960.  My copy was used so many times the hard cover was cracked and it had food stains all over the place.  Some pages were even stuck together.

The internet is an amazing place as I just found the book I was looking for while writing this letter.  It is a used copy for .49 cents.  How could I pass that up.  The shipping is another story, it will cost $5.49, so for $6 total I can find that old recipe.  The book is the hardcover edition of Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cook Book, written in 1961.  I could splurge and go for a collectible edition for $45.45 but I do not need to spend the extra money for a plastic wrapped edition.  When the book arrives it will be a copy of my very first cookbook.

Perhaps I can find the recipe for free with another search.  No luck on finding the recipe and not even a good substitute for it.  I will include a recipe in a couple of weeks.

I gave it one more try. And this is as close as I remember.  Perhaps the only thing missing is a pinch of clove.   From


2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
½  tsp. salt
3 tbsp. vinegar
1/3 c. honey
1 c. salad oil
1 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. paprika
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated onion

Place first 5 ingredients into small mixer bowl; mix. Add oil, drop by drop; beat until dressing has thickened. Stir next 4 ingredients together; add to honey mixture by spoonfuls. Beat well until thickened. Store in glass jar; use for any fruit salad. Yield: 1 pint.

Other than my chili recipe this was my second most requested recipe.


During my life I have had many pets, although dogs are my favorite.  I did have one very good cat while in the service.  This cat traveled with my family more than 25,000 air miles and perhaps another 10,000 vehicle miles.  My joke was the cat could say his first name, but his whole name was Mao Tse Tung.  Upon my retirement the cat left me lived the rest of his life hunting in the area of Monument Beach known as Back River.  He did not like living in a house with dogs.  I would see him every once in a while walking along the grasses in this pretty large salt marsh behind the house we were living in.  I guess he had decided it was one move too many.  He had many scars from fights and I am sure left the planet with many offspring pretty much around the world.

Back to dogs, while young my grandmother took in a very good German Shepard.  He was retired from the USMC and could dig a hole like none of my other dogs could.  The holes were so large that a man could climb in with him.  A trick I am sure taught by the Marines.  Perhaps because I was still a small child the holes just looked larger.   I had two uncles that were in the corp. and one of them talked my grandmother into adopting this animal.  He received a monthly stipend and free vet care for life.  Also living on a sixty acre farm gave him a rather large area to explore.  This made it easier for her to take the dog.  He had a couple of campaign ribbons and one purple heart and an honorable discharge which she kept on the wall, framed and covered in glass.  He was an excellent guard dog.

I have two dogs that were my personal favorites, Smoky a blue tick/beagle mix and the other Tatum an akita/rottweiler mix.  When my dogs were left alone I would put music on the radio.  I did it so they would not feel so alone with us out of the house.  It was probably more that I felt better leaving the music on.

Well in my internet reading for this letter I found dogs do like music.  The Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow have published a paper which suggests music affects dogs' behavior.

Researchers played a variety of music to dogs at a re-homing center in Dumbarton, Scotland and assessed physiological and behavioral changes.

Prof Neil Evans said the most positive behavior changes were seen when the dogs were played reggae and soft rock.  I found this funny as these are pretty much my favorite also.

Although these genres stood out, he said the study suggested each dog had its own music tastes.

Prof Evans said: "Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences."

'Canine-approved play list'

The dogs were played five different genres of music: soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae and classical.

The study suggested that dogs spent "significantly more time lying and significantly less time standing" when music was played, regardless of genre.

By measuring the dogs' heart rate, researchers said they showed a decrease in stress levels when played music - particularly when it was soft rock or reggae.

PhD student Amy Bowman said: "We were keen to explore the effect playing different genres of music had.

"It was clear that the physiological and behavioral changes observed were maintained during the trial when the dogs were exposed to a variety of music."

The Scottish SPCA said it would now be investing in sound systems for all its kennels.

How cool is this information.  It makes me want to go out and get another dog.  I do find my life easier with out the early morning and evening walks.  I occasionally just dog watch a relatives dog while they are away for a vacation.  Those short periods make me realize life is easier without a furry friend about.   (Some of the information is from BBC news Scotland)

My only thing about dogs is I do wish they had a longer lifespan.  I am always saddened by their loss of each one although not my personal favorite always had something special, even that one mean cat.  Well maybe not so mean, after all he could say his first name Meow and I got him for free while living in Texas from a person on Charlie Chan Street.  (Sort of pre-cursor to his name)


I will check in on the web site

Lets see what Mr. Money Mustache is recommending.  (For Investments) For MMM, Vanguard has always been THE one-stop shop for index funds of all types. They have the lowest expense ratio and the most respect for their customers. In fact, the company is legally structured as an investor-owned entity, meaning its responsibility is to YOU as opposed to an outside group of shareholders. Read around all you like – the smartest investors will generally recommend Vanguard funds.

(For Banking) Capital One 360 is MMM’s  primary bank account. They offer no-fee checking and savings accounts that also pays interest – and they consistently rank close to #1 in the interest rates they pay. They are also highly competitive mortgage originators. My favorite feature, however, is the ability to link the Capital One 360 checking account to three other bank accounts so you can shuffle your money around electronically at no cost.  (Sorry on this one . . . I see Capital One on TV but never in any structure.)

(Budget Software) You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a simple to use (but sophisticated under the hood) bit of budgeting software that uses the principles of human habits and behavioral finance to make you more conscious and efficient in your spending. Although MMM was born a weirdo and always favored saving over spending himself – sometimes to a fault, this software has built a fanatical following of happy users because it works perfectly for many people who have had compulsive spending problems in the past.  (Since I have retired I try to live within my means and no longer buy impulse items)

MMM has many more tips but they will be in other letters.


Have a great day.   George

As usual to get a weekly email, put letter in subject line and email

Older copies of the letter with Walter’s liberal comments added go to the end of