Notes from my vacation,
I am sure some will miss my weekly handout for those without a computer that I exercise with. Sorry, or as they say in Vietnamese for “Sorry about that,” Xin Loi, pronounced (Seen Loey)


Are you planning on driving south?  Well here are a couple of tips.  Get an EZpass for your car, as it allows you to fly through many tolls, some as fast as 65 miles per hour (New Jersey Turnpike).  Are you planning on driving from Washington DC south through Virginia on I95?  Well Virginia has something called EZpass Express.  It works like many cities’ fast lanes, the ones that change directions with the major flow of the traffic.  The change is usually for commuters either going or coming from work.  So be sure to hit the right direction as the Express lane is a toll road only for those willing to pay.  I cruised through the Northern part of Virginia at 65 to 70 mph while those on either side, although free were in stop and go traffic.  The northbound traffic was mostly stopped while the southbound traffic, my direction, was rarely able to hit 40.  I guess that is what happens when you are unwilling to pay the toll.

I lost my favorite coffee mug in Lumberton, North Carolina.  It was always running away anyway I guess.  Whenever I needed it, the silly thing would be someplace else.  If I was on my computer and looked around it would be down in the cellar, supervising the laundry.  If I was by the stove cooking the silly thing would be up in the computer room, making sure nobody was fooling around with my computer.  For Patty the cup was always a sense of mirth as she would know I would be looking for it once again, especially if I walked through the room more than once.

Here is a little about the Marriott Cypress Harbor.  It is a very well run resort with many staff members all of whom are great at their jobs.  I have been here for three days and have not yet had a sales pitch.  I consider that a good thing.  The place is pretty much run like a cruise ship with things to do every hour.  You can take classes on crafts or exercise or just relax by their three pools.  Every building has more than one gas Bar B Que grill and all units have a view of the lake that these buildings surround.  It has a 1.75 mile jogging trail, a boat to traverse the lake if you do not wish to walk around.  It has miniature golf, volley ball, soccer field and other amenities.  If you can get to stay here either by trading your time share or by using www.afvclub you can’t go wrong.  There is no lake swimming but you can rent a small boat and go onto it.  I did not see anything but ducks and fish on the lake but alligators might be out there.  This resort is very close to attractions located in Orlando.  The May weather in Orlando has been wonderful, hardly any clouds, so no thunder storms, with a mild 10 mph wind and pretty much comfortable due to low humidity.

Most Crock-pot recipes tend to be for fall and winter, particularly the cooler months.  I found one that would work for the warmer months.
Bananas Foster – 12 servings
12 bananas cut into quarters (length wise)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup dark corn syrup
2/3 cup melted butter
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
12 slices pound cake
Vanilla ice cream

1.        Combine bananas and coconut in Crock-pot slow cooker.  Combine corn syrup, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, rum, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl; stir to blend.  Pour over bananas.

2.      Cover; cook on low 1 to 2 hours.  To serve, arrange bananas on pound cake slices.  Top with ice cream and warm sauce.
Want some fun . . . determine if these factoids are either true or false.

1.      Money isn't made out of paper; it's made out of cotton.
2.      The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp (marijuana) paper.
3.      The dot over the letter 'i' is called a 'tittle.'
4.      A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.
5.      Susan Lucci is the daughter of Phyllis Diller.
6.      40 percent of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
7.      315 entries in Webster’s 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.
8.      The 'spot' on 7UP comes from its inventor, who had red eyes. He was albino.
9.      On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily.
10.     Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister.
11.     Chocolate affects a dog's heart and nervous system; a few ounces will kill a small-sized dog.
12.     Orcas (killer whales) kill sharks by torpedoing up into the shark's stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode.
13.     Most lipstick contains fish scales (eeww).
14.     Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
15.     Ketchup was sold in the 1830's as medicine.
16.     Upper- and lower-case letters are named 'upper' and 'lower' because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the Upper case' letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, 'lower case' letters.
17.     Leonardo Da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time, hence                      multi-tasking was invented.
18.     Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.
19.     There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.
20.     The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan; there was never a recorded Wendy before!
21.     There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange and purple.
22.     Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors. Also, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa’s lips.
23.     A tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion will make it instantly go mad and sting itself to death
24.     The mask used by Michael Myers in the original 'Halloween' was a Captain Kirk's mask                      painted white.
25.     If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the                      largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar (good to know.)
26.     By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand (and you thought this list was completely useless.)
27.     The phrase 'rule of thumb' is derived from an old English law, which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
28.     The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles at that time, the most known player on the market was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.
29.     Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with. It's the same with apples.
30.     Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!
31.     The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
32.     Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries.
   33. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages it.

A Little Bit of Philosophy

 *'There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle.' (Albert Einstein)*
As we grow older and wiser we realize a $300 or $30 watch - - - they both tell the same time.
Whether we carry a $300 or $30 wallet/handbag - - - the amount of money inside is the same.
Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $30 or $3 wine - - - the hangover is the same.
 Whether the house we live in is 300, 3,000 or 30,000 sq. ft.  - - - the loneliness is the same.
 And we realize our true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.
Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down - - - we go down with it.  Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane reaches its destination - - everyone arrives at the same time.
Therefore.  .  .  We should realize that when we have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, with whom we can chat, laugh, talk, sing, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth -- that is true happiness!
Six Undeniable Facts of Life:
1.      Don't educate your children to be rich.  Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.
2.      Wise words: "Eat your food as your medicines.  Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food."
3.      The one who loves you will never leave you because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.
4.      There is a big difference between a human being and being human.  Only a few folks really understand that.
5.      You are loved when you are born.  You will be loved when you die.  In between, you have to manage!
6.      If you just want to walk fast, walk alone; but, if you want to walk far, walk together!
Six Best Doctors in the World
1.      Sunlight
2.      Rest
3.      Exercise
4.      Diet
5.      Self Confidence
6.      Friends

 And, finally: The nicest place to be is in someone's thoughts, the safest place to be is in someone's prayers, and the very best place to be the hands of God.


The king wanted to go fishing, so he called on the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.
The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days, so the king went fishing with his wife, the queen.  On the way he met a farmer on his donkey.
Upon seeing the king the farmer said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace!  In just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area".
The king was polite and considerate, he replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard.  He is an extensively educated and experienced professional.  And besides, I pay him very high wages and he gave me a very different forecast. I trust him."
So the king continued on his way.  However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky.  The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.
Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the professional.  Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.
The farmer said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting.  I obtain my information from my donkey.  If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."
So the king hired the donkey.
And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions. The practice is unbroken to this date and thus, the democrat symbol was born!!!

Everyone knows that was just a joke but how did the donkey and elephant become the symbol of the two major US parties?  We will check for trivia sake.
1.      The Democratic Party’s donkey and the Republican Party’s elephant have been on the political scene since the 19th century. The origins of the Democratic donkey can be traced to the 1828 presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson. During that race, opponents of Jackson called him a jackass. However, rather than rejecting the label, Jackson, a hero of the War of 1812 who later served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, was amused by it and included an image of the animal in his campaign posters. Jackson went on to defeat incumbent John Quincy Adams and serve as America’s first Democratic president. In the 1870s, influential political cartoonist Thomas Nast helped popularize the donkey as a symbol for the entire Democratic Party.
2.      The Republican Party was formed in 1854 and six years later Abraham Lincoln became its first member elected to the White House. An image of an elephant was featured as a Republican symbol in at least one political cartoon and a newspaper illustration during the Civil War (when “seeing the elephant” was an expression used by soldiers to mean experiencing combat), but the pachyderm didn’t start to take hold as a GOP symbol until Thomas Nast, who’s considered the father of the modern political cartoon, used it in an 1874 Harper’s Weekly cartoon. Titled “The Third-Term Panic,” Nast’s drawing mocked the New York Herald, which had been critical of President Ulysses Grant’s rumored bid for a third term, and portrayed various interest groups as animals, including an elephant labeled “the Republican vote,” which was shown standing at the edge of a pit. Nast employed the elephant to represent Republicans in additional cartoons during the 1870s, and by 1880 other cartoonists were using the creature to symbolize the party.
3.      Democrats today say the donkey is smart and brave, while Republicans say the elephant is strong and dignified.

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By 1880, other cartoonists had picked up the symbols and spread them across the country. Over a century later, their continued use in cartoons, party literature, campaign buttons and all sorts of political merchandise and propaganda has cemented the association between the parties and their animals. The Republicans have even adopted the elephant as their official symbol (the Democrats have yet to do the same for the poor donkey).

Well Patty and I took a trip to Cocoa Beach.  I expected the beach to be sort of dark tan or even brown.  I only looked much like all Florida sand.  This made me want to know how it got its name.  We both walked out to the end of the 800 foot pier and had a drink plus a piece of Key Lime pie at the Rikki Tiki Tavern, you could shop, watch people fishing, surfing and swimming.
The first real settlement in Cocoa Beach, Florida was started by a family of newly freed slaves following the Civil War, but a hurricane in 1885 discouraged settlement. Then, in 1888, a group of Cocoa men bought the entire tract of land.  The land remained untouched until an attorney named Gus Edwards arrived. He bought Cocoa Beach and began to develop it. The City of Cocoa Beach was established on June 5, 1925, and was incorporated as a City on June 29, 1957.

Cocoa Beach came to life during the 1960s due to America’s space program. NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center is located approximately 15 miles away. The city became home to many young families where one or both parents worked on some aspect of the space program. Children raised here were sometimes referred to as “Cape Brats.” The community was once so full of children that the schools overflowed and portable class rooms were built to host them. It was not unheard of for there to be 45 children per classroom. After manned space flights, the town held astronaut parades. Before there was a “Silicon Valley,” Cocoa Beach and other surrounding towns were full of the best and brightest technical minds around. Today, many Kennedy Space Center workers still call Cocoa Beach home.

Cocoa Beach was also the setting for the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” although only one episode was actually filmed here (Jeannie’s wedding).

On Friday, the two of us went to visit a friend who cooked at two weddings on Cape Cod, one being my daughter Marcy.  He is semi-retired after 30 years of cooking.  Many of the years cooking on ships for oceanographic scientists out of ports like Woods Hole MA and Groton CT.
He now cooks in his own food truck, as he is used to the small kitchens on those ships.  He locally sells rubs and sauces and has done so for about five years. I had some ribs that were extraordinary and Patty had a salad, one of Bob’s creations a Bok Choy and Barley Salad, Bob said the dressing took a while to perfect due to the ingredients in the salad.  She gave the salad an A++.
If you live in Tampa area his truck would be well worth the trip.

Old Goat Quiz

Great mental exercise for the over-60 crowd.
Which of the following names are you familiar with?
1. Monica Lewinsky
2. Spiro Agnew
3. Benito Mussolini
4. Adolf Hitler
5. Jorge Bergoglio
6. Alfonse Capone
7. Vladimir Putin
8. Linda Lovelace
9. Saddam Hussein
10. Tiger Woods

You had trouble with #5, didn't you?
You know all the liars, criminals, adulterers, murderers, thieves, sluts and cheaters, but you don't know the Pope??
Lovely, just lovely...
Sometimes I worry about you...

Once again I am not at exercise.  Have a great week …   George

As usual to get this in your email, put letter in subject line and email
Older copies also found at end of