George Rucker's Newsletter for August 23, 2016

Another week, another Tuesday,

I want to say I was inundated with duck jokes last week but alas I cannot.  I guess I will need to revert to some chicken jokes.  I will start with one that has been around forever, 1847 actually, which is a long time.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" is a common riddle joke? The answer or punch line is: "To get to the other side."

It is often falsely labeled as an example of anti-humor, in which the curious setup of the joke leads the listener to expect a traditional punch line, but they are instead given a simple statement of fact. However, many fail to realize that the riddle is actually a pun concerning the attempted suicide of the aforementioned chicken. The "other side" referenced in the punch line of the joke refers to the afterlife that the chicken hopes to reach by being run over by a car and achieving death.

I bet you did not know that.  The other side was in reality death and it still in use today.

There are ‘quips and quillets’ which seem actual conundrums, such as this: ‘Why does a chicken cross the street?  Are you ‘out of town?’   Do you give it up?’   Well, then: ‘Because it wants to get on the other side!’

The joke had become widespread by the 1890s, when a variant version appeared in the magazine Potter's American Monthly:

Why should not a chicken cross the road? It would be a fowl proceeding.

There are many riddles that assume a familiarity with this well-known riddle and its answer, for example by supplying a different answer, such as "it was too far to walk around."  One class of variations enlists a creature other than the chicken to cross the road, in order to refer back to the original riddle. For example, a turkey or duck crosses "because it was the chicken's day off," and a dinosaur "because chickens didn't exist yet." Some variants are both puns and references to the original, such as "Why did the duck cross the road?" "To prove he's no chicken.”

Other variations replace side with another word often to form a pun. Some examples are "Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide" or "Why did the whale cross the ocean? To get to the other tide." A mathematical version asks, "Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?" "To get to the same side." Alternatively, the punch line can be regarded as the chicken "getting to the other side" as a euphemism for death, and crossing the road being its method of suicide.

Another class of variations, designed for written rather than oral transmission, employs parody by pretending to have notable individuals or institutions give characteristic answers to the question posed by the riddle.  As with the lightbulb joke, variants on this theme are widespread.

I saw two duck jokes in there . . .  Why did the duck cross the road?  Because it was the chicken’s day off.

Why did the duck cross the road?  He wanted to prove he was no chicken.

OK, now lets get those duck jokes rolling or more chicken jokes will be coming.

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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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While fishing for lobster, a lobsterman caught an ultra-blue lobster in Plymouth last week.  I have seen pictures of some blue lobsters before but none a s blue as this one.

Why Are Lobsters Blue, and Why Does Cooking Turn Them Red?

 Q. Why do lobsters turn from dark blue-green to red when boiled? And why are they that dark color in the first place?

A. A relatively simple explanation for the color change emerged in a study published in 2002: Heat changes the shape of a protein called beta-crustacyanin in the shell, relaxing its bonds with the pigment astaxanthin. The freed pigment reflects wavelengths of light in the red spectrum.

But it turned out that the heat-related shape change accounted for only about a third of the color difference, according to a 2005 study by Dutch researchers in The Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The new research pointed to a complex quantum-physics interaction that would account for a much larger shift — and for the living lobster’s original color.

When the red pigment is fully hidden in the enclosing protein, it absorbs all wavelengths of light, red as well as blue and green, so the lobster appears black.

The previous research had found that the red pigment molecules were grouped in pairs within the crustacyanin, crossing each other in a tight X formation. The Dutch researchers calculated that they interfered with one another, causing shifts in their quantum energy states, thus altering the wavelengths of light that are absorbed.

Using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to examine protein-pigment interactions, the researchers found that this effect was a large one, suggesting that it is the primary source of lobster color.

This article was a little technical for me so I looked for another . . .

A lobster of a different color

Most lobsters are colored a mottled dark greenish brown. In rare cases, a lobster of a different color (colormorph) appears. Exotic lobsters in shades of blue, white, yellow, black, and red have been reported from time to time since the earliest lobster harvests. Perhaps the most unusual colormorphs are the "calico" lobsters appearing as marbled black and orange/yellow; or "half-and-half" lobsters with a line straight down their backs where two colors meet.

Calicos and half-and-halves are hatched that way and they stay that way (until cooked!) because the basic color pattern in lobster shells is inherited just like the color of hair in humans and other mammals.

However, some of the blue, brown, green, red, and black tones can be genetic or they can have other causes. In some instances lighter/darker shades can be influenced by diet, sunlight, and bottom type. For example, if you put a blue lobster in a holding system and its color becomes normal over a period of time, that lobster is undoubtedly not a 'genetic blue." It was probably blue as a result of a dietary deficiency.

Lobsters get their characteristic color, not only from genetics, but, also from the foods they eat. A natural-colored lobster fed a diet of squid will turn blue. A lobster deprived of all prey that eats phytoplankton (floating plantlike critters) appears pale blue.

Lobsters need to eat things that eat plants to get a carotenoid (pigment found in carrots) called astaxanthin (relative of pigment found in carrots), which binds to a protein in the lobster's shell. If lobsters do not get carotenoids from their diet, they can not bind the pigment because only plants can manufacture carotenoids.

The protein to which astaxanthin binds in natural-colored lobsters is blue in lobster shells and green in lobster eggs. When the astaxanthin is not in the diet, would-be natural colored lobsters appear blue because the blue pigment in the protein expresses itself.

So, then, why do lobsters turn red when you cook them? Because the carotenoid is allowed to express itself. Heat breaks up protein bonds. When you cook a lobster the bond between the protein and the carotenoid breaks down and the red color becomes visible.

How, then, do you explain live red lobsters? A live red lobster is red because its genetically based protein-astaxanthin complex is red—not because it has free astaxanthin!

That should be easier to understand.  It is also the end of this weeks letter.


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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Have a great day,

George

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You can see some of my older letters at www.capecod-beaches.com or you can get on my email address by e-mailing me with “letter” in the subject line to grucker@capecod.net

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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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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