George Rucker's June 7, 2016 Newsletter

The first Tuesday of June,

Some letters are fun to write, while others are a chore.  I was thinking of some older ones  that were fun and one comes to mind about Polish proverbs, not that there are many.  One is particularly interesting and used a lot in a work place, and it could be anybodies’ work place.  I think I used it about six or seven years ago when either the DEP or EPA was about to inspect our workplace.

Most of this is from a blog by Karen Ann Kennedy, Certified Health Coach, Speaker - Author - Trainer and writer for Huffpost Healthy Living.  It is modified for a man’s view.

A co-worker recently slipped a sign under my door with an old Polish proverb that reads, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

I got a really good chuckle out of it and hung it up in my office in a spot where only I could see it.

Later that day, another co-worker came to me with a problem. I jumped into “fix it mode,” which is what I always do, and found myself getting terribly involved in everything that was happening. When the exchange ended, I reached for a file and saw the sign hanging there. In that moment, I got it! I realized exactly what the sign meant and I knew that one of the biggest causes of stress in my life was my need to become the ringleader of every circus in town.

Why do I feel the need to fix everything and everyone in my path? To answer this question, I did what any self-respecting man would do: I poured a glass of beer, broke out a Slim Jim, and sat down with my journal. As I looked back at the pages that are my life, I realized that I’ve been “the fixer” my whole life!

What’s wrong with that? I’m glad you asked!

It’s not a bad thing to be there for people, however, sometimes the best way to help people is to let them help themselves! It’s like the “teach a man to fish” philosophy. If you always swoop in and fix everything, you deny people an opportunity to be independent and learn those important coping skills that they need to get by.

Springing into “fix, it mode” may also signal to your friends and family that you don’t have faith in their ability to take of themselves.  It can cause a lot of undue stress in your own life.

And finally, if you’re not careful, some unscrupulous folks will try to take advantage of your kindness!

Over the years I have found myself being sucked into all kinds of drama that I had no business being in. There were so many times when I caused myself unnecessary stress by worrying about something that didn’t concern me. It takes a lot of strength to pull back from things that are going on around you, but I urge you to try!

When you find yourself getting sucked into another person’s circus, stop and ask yourself this:

1. Does this situation really involve me?

2. If the situation doesn’t really involve me, what is my motivation for getting involved?

3. What will it cost me to get involved? We’re talking time, money, stress, etc.

4. Can I really bring something to the table that will help all parties get to a better resolution?

5. What will happen if I decline to participate in this situation?

If the situation doesn’t really involve you, it’s wise to think about why you are considering getting involved. If your motivation is to be in on the latest gossip or to get the upper hand in a situation, back away! If your motivation is anything less than for the good of everyone involved, you don’t need to be a participant.

If getting involved is going to cost you time that you don’t have, sleepless nights, or strained relationships, don’t get involved! It is not selfish to look out for yourself. There are some things that come with a cost too high to justify your involvement.

If you aren’t going to be part of the solution, don’t be part of the problem. Only get involved if you are able to be helpful. Jumping onto the pile when you can bring no added value just muddies the water.

On one of my bike rides, an older gentleman had fallen and was pretty badly cut up. At least 30 people were just standing around him. I’m not entirely sure what everyone was doing, but upon seeing such a mob, I continued to ride.   Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so. Had I stumbled on the man and he was alone, I would have surely stopped and offered my assistance, but at that moment, with so many people there, I didn’t feel there was anything else I could add to the situation.

In the end, as you go through these questions, it’s a good idea to play out what will happen if you decline to participate. Will my absence create an even bigger situation? Will not participating hurt me or hurt someone else? This still doesn’t mean that you have to get involved, but it’s just helpful to know what the consequences will be.

The main point here is that, if you’re anything like me, you’ve already got a lot of things on your plate in your own life. I’m sure each of you are managing your own circus, and your own monkeys, so the question then becomes: Do you really have the capacity to take on someone else’s circuses and someone else’s monkeys?

If getting involved causes you to lose your peace of mind, step away. I guarantee you there are other ringleaders out there who would be happy to jump in and take your place.


It’s difficult today to find something that is not made, at least in part, from plastic.  Everything from the clothes we wear...TV remote buttons, computer keyboards, food wrapping and storage bags, and even major parts of automobiles contain plastic.

Plastics are not found in nature.  They are man-made, the products of chemical engineering consisting mainly of the element carbon found in petroleum.  About 50 to 55 percent of the world’s petroleum is refined into combustible fuels.  Much of the rest is turned into a number of products, including fertilizer and plastic resin pellets.  The pellets are made by combining short chains of carbon molecules, called monomers, into larger chains called polymers.  The pellets then go to processing plants where they are further chemically altered to make different types of plastics.

Plastic is such a common part of our daily life that it’s easy to forget it is an invention of the recent past.  In 1909, a Belgian-born chemist named Leo Baekeland synthesized the first truly synthetic polymer form a mixture of phenol and formaldehyde.  The condensation reaction between these monomers resulted , three-dimensional polymers, creating a substance that could be molded when hot into hard shapes.  Called Bakelite after the inventor and considered the first commercial plastic, it was widely used for handles on flatware, phones, auto parts, furniture and even jewelry.

In the 1930s, Wallace Carruthers, a chemist for DuPont chemical company, invented a polymer that could be stretched out into strong fibers as nylon.  Nylon is lightweight, strong and durable.  It is now used for clothing, tents, luggage, rope and many more everyday items.

The use of these early polymers became widespread after World War II and continues today.  They were followed by the creation of many other plastics, like Dacron, Styrofoam, polystyrene, polyethylene and vinyl.

Although plastic, with its myriad uses and applications, seems like a miracle substance, it has created a large problem.  Because plastic doesn’t react chemically with most other substances, it doesn’t decay.  Instead it stays in the environment for decades; scientists predict it could hang around for centuries.  The disposal of plastic has thus become a difficult and significant environmental program.  Today, efforts to recycle plastic are being expanded in the hopes that we will someday be able to dispose of plastics more efficiently and with less harm to our environment.


Even if you aren't a Sports Fan this is Very Interesting!

36 have been accused of spousal abuse

7 have been arrested for fraud

19 have been accused of writing bad checks

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3 have done time for assault

71,   I  repeat  71,   Cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14 have been arrested on drug-related Charges

8 have been arrested! For shoplifting

21 currently are defendants in lawsuits,


84  have been arrested for drunk driving In the last year!

Can you guess which organization this is?  Is it the NBA Or NFL?

Give up yet?

Scroll down,

Neither, it's the 535 members of the United States Congress

The same group of Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

Remember, many of them are up for election this year!!!  VOTE THEM OUT---ALL OF THEM UP FOR REELECTION.

You gotta pass this one on to all of your address listing!


Meet Walter Barnes - All golfers should live so long as to become this kind of old man!

Toward the end of the Sunday service, the Minister asked, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?”  80% held up their hands.  The Minister then repeated his question.  All responded this time, except one man, Walter Barnes, who attended church only when the weather was bad .

“Mr . Barnes, it’s obviously not a good morning for golf.  It’s good to see you here today.   A re you not willing to forgive your enemies?”

“I don’t have any,” he replied gruffly .

“Mr . Barnes, that is very unusual.  How old are you?”

“Ninety-eight,” he replied.

The congregation stood up and clapped their hands .

“Oh,   Mr. Barnes, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live   ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?”

The old golfer tottered down the aisle, stopped in front of the pulpit, turned around, faced the congregation, and said simply, “I outlived all them bastards  - and he calmly returned to his seat .


I am a fan of kabobs, all types, chicken, pork, beef, etc. While in Asia I would stop at an occasional road side stand, as they would always cook of charcoal.   I also like Thai food and beef satay is very tasty but the usual portions are small.  This recipe makes a lot and when served and is on my list of things to make..

How to Make Beef Satay


    1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
    4 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tablespoons minced onion
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup fish sauce
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons ground coriander
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    ½  teaspoon ground turmeric
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 2-inch piece of fresh lemon grass (white part only)
    2 pounds beef top sirloin, trimmed
    4 12-inch long metal skewers


    Place ginger, garlic, onion, brown sugar, fish sauce, vegetable oil, soy sauce, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper into a mixing bowl; whisk into a smooth marinade.

    Bruise lemon grass by hitting it lightly several times with the back of a large chef's knife; mince the lemon grass and add to the marinade.

    Cut beef sirloin into strips about 2 ½ inches long and 1/8 inch thick. Thoroughly mix the beef into marinade until all beef strips are completely coated, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

    Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

    Remove beef from marinade and shake off excess marinade. Thread 1/4 the meat onto each metal skewer.

    Arrange skewers on the preheated grill and cook until the meat stops sticking to the grill, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip skewers over onto other side and cook until meat is well browned and shows grill marks, 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Turn onto first side again and cook until meat is still slightly pink, 2 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and let skewers rest about 2 more minutes before serving.

How to Make Peanut Dipping Sauce


    3/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

    ½  lime, juiced
    1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Spriracha, or to taste
    1 (5.6 ounce) can coconut milk
    2 teaspoons chopped red bell pepper, or to taste
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste
    2 teaspoons chopped peanuts, or to taste


    Place peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Whisk garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil into peanut butter, followed by lime juice and chile-garlic sauce.

    Bring coconut milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; pour over into peanut butter mixture. Whisk until smooth.

    Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped red pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.


I have not talked much about my bird feeders.  The other day I had one very large turkey, by large it was about 15 to 20 pounds.  With its neck extended it was about 6 inches higher than my bird bath or about 3 feet tall.  I can usually tell male and female turkeys apart as the males have a gobbler hanging from their neck.  This one did not.  I have never seen any solitary turkeys until now, when they come in small packs of 3 or 4 are they are usually young males.  Large groups of which I am not sure of the name (flock, rafter, congress) are usually young and female.  I found the name congress funny but who would call our U.S. congress “turkeys” Wait . . . I know . . . me.

The black squirrel has been more frequent of late.  I think it is female and has had two darker than usual baby grey squirrels.  The three of them were in the yard this morning.

The chipmunk is back.  I think it is the same one as last year as it has no fear of me.  It scoots by to drink water from a flower pot while I am drinking coffee in the morning.   If he gets closer than 10 feet, I still plan to make a wallet of its pelt.  I had a lot of fun with those letters last year, the great chipmunk uprising of 2015.  I have some nieces that live in the countryside perhaps they can trap me two or three.  I do not think there is enough leather on one of those tiny things for a wallet, perhaps, but three or four would do.

I have one new aviary type friend, a sparrow, I call them friends as they show no fear of my presence.  It joins my other two friends, a chickadee and a crow.  The chickadee still scares me when his wings hit my ear but the crow keeps its distance to about 10 to 20 feet and has a distinct call for food.  The crow usually wants cheese, meat or possibly suit.  My crow vocabulary is limited so I cannot usually tell what it is asking for and always accepts whatever I toss to quiet the crow down.

Muhammad Ali is now floating with the butterflies. Cassius Marcellus Clay, the greatest boxer of all time, died early last Saturday in Phoenix, according to multiple reports. He was 74 years old.

Following an iconic stent as boxing's world heavyweight champion, Ali faced his toughest opponent. His 56-5 career record rested against the ropes.

Battles against George Foreman and Joe Frazier were nothing compared to a 32 year battle with Parkinson's disease.

Proud to say I was there for the “Thrilla in Manilla” during my Phillippines tour.


First time I heard about paraprosdokians, and I liked them. Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous.  This is a rerun.

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you  . . .  but it's still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up -- we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify... " I answered " a doctor."

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Sadly this is true!!! So...  Spread the laughter, share the cheer, let's be happy, while we're here.


See many of you at exercise class later this morning.                   George


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