George Rucker's Stunning, Spectacular Newsletter for September 12, 2017

Greetings to you all:                                                                     12 Sep 17

The other day a friend and I were talking about exercise and just exercise in general.  When we are young we do not even think about it, exercise pretty much just happened.  We would bike, roller blade, swim, skate, dance into the night. jog etc.  I was on military drill teams and a Navy swim team for my Destroyer Division.  I had a pretty good back stroke in the day and one of our team’s best wins was against th Seal training team, always the team to beat.  In fact the Seals tried to recruit one of swimmers.  He was a Native American who had the fastest crawl stroke and our closer for relay races, the last lap in a relay race.  It was very choppy looking form but for some reason he was the best and fastest swimmer I have ever seen then and since.

While in the service I swam a lot and became a diving instructor and the president of our base SCUBA club at a SAC base, K.I.Sawyer.   I guess like the Marines you are never an ex Marine, so I must still am a professional diving Instructor.  I received my training from Northern Michigan University, go Badgers.  Until that point I was diving but all my training was from books.  The University had a forgotten diver program for those without professional training.   I had purchased all my equipment by ordering it through catalogs and then teaching myself.  One of my scariest and coldest dives was an under the ice dive in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  At least they tether you in case something happens so they can pull you back to the hole where you entered the water.

Well back to exercise, after military retirement you just exercise on and off.  I guess it depends mostly on your interests.  In my 40s I pretty much just rode my bike as I did not like to jog.  I would swim in the ocean or a pool but never with any regularly.  If you have friends with the same interests it helps.  I was lucky to have two friends who biked regularly but they both lifted weights and I was not interested in that form of exercise.

There comes a time in life when we lose what I could call elasticity or flexibility.  At that point exercise is a chore.  We pretty much use the excuse that we are too old to exercise so what is the use.   It is my feeling that at this point we need exercise the most.  This was the point when I had my first heart attack while shoveling snow.  I sometimes think it was the repetition of motions used during the snow removal process.

In reality it was my life style or even my ex-life style.  I was an ex-smoker although I quit in 1979, my cholesterol was marginally high, same with my blood pressure, nothing that required medication.  My waist was a few inches larger, my eating habits were poor with too few fruits and vegetables.  I drank much more that I do now, I would say I am a very low on the drinking scale now, perhaps three a month.

Since my heart accident I have been on a regular exercise regimen.  I probably should exercise more but find that two one hour periods per week have given me the ability to do better on my bi-annual stress tests.  I sort of compete with myself.  I might take a week off for a vacation but as soon as I return  I get back on the regimen.  While on vacation I walk, swim, and exercise when I can.   My cardiac Doctor recommends I exercise more, perhaps four or five days a week.  I am lucky that I currently have a trainer who adds a lot of humor to the program.

What I am saying is do not use any reason for not exercising, especially one that you are too old, too sore, too tired etc.  We had a 102 year old woman in our group and she always did any of the exercises she could.


A humorous read.

Cancel  your credit card before you die.

Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die!  This is so priceless, and so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today.

A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge.  The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank.

Here is the exchange :

Family Member:   'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'
Citibank :  'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member : 'Maybe you should turn it over to collections.'
Citibank : 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member : So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'
Citibank : 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member :  'Do you think God will be mad at her? '
Citibank:     'Excuse me?'

Family Member : 'Did you just get what I was telling you – the part about her being dead?'
Citibank :  'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member :  'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0 balance.'
Citibank :  ' The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member :  'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'
Citibank : (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member :  'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)
Citibank:  'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'
Family Member :  'Sure.' (Fax number was given)

After they get the fax  :

Citibank : 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'
Family Member : 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her.      She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'
(What is wrong with these people?!?)
Family Member : 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Citibank : 'That might help....'
Family Member : ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'

Citibank : 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'
Family Member : 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'


And you wondered why Citibank needed help from the Feds?


It is so common that everyone it but hardly notices it – until it rings.  You may take it for granted but the humble telephone stands proudly among the greatest inventions of all time.  Before the telephone was invented, it would take weeks or even months for written messages to reach those for whom they were intended.

A modern telephone is a complete system.  Whether it is a landline phone or a cellphone, a typical phone handset has a loudspeaker at the top that presses against your ear and a microphone at the bottom near your mouth.

In traditional landline phones, when you speak into the mouth-piece, the sound energy in your voice makes a plastic disk called a diaphragm vibrate, moving a coil nearer to or farther from a magnet.  This movement generates an electric current in the coil that corresponds to the sound of your voice: if you talk loudly, a large current is generated; if you talk softly, the current is smaller.  The microphone turns the sound energy of your voice into electrical energy.

The loudspeaker in a telephone works in the opposite way: It takes an incoming electrical current and converts the electrical energy back into sound energy.  In some phones the loudspeaker and the microphone units are identical, just wired up in opposite ways.

A cell phone, unlike a landline phone, has no external wires but instead uses radio waves to output a signal.  Landline phones and cell phones have the same structure except that landline phone rely on actual telephone lines, whereas cellphone rely on advanced electronics to send out radio waves that go in all directions until they hit a cell tower.  The cell tower then sends out radio waves to the person you want to call.

In the 1870s, two inventors, Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically.  Both men rushed their designs to the patent office, but Bell arrived there first and so was able to patent his version, which he dubbed the “telephone.”  Thus his story is the one most often recounted about the device’s invention.

Bell’s success resulted from his attempts to improve the telegraph, which had been developed in the 1830's and 1840's by Samuel Morse and others.  The great drawback of the telegraph was that only one message could be sent at a time.  Bell’s extensive knowledge of the nature of sound waves enabled him to conceive of a way to use electricity to have two messages or conversations at the same time.

In June 1875, Bell was experimenting with a technique he called the “Harmonic telegraph” when he discovered he could hear sound over a wire.  He developed this technique and on March 10, 1876 he spoke through a new device to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, in the next room, saying, “Mr. Watson.  Come here.  I want to see you” – the world’s first telephone message.



As many of you are aware, the Knights of Columbus submitted to congress that the words "Under God" should be added to our pledge of allegiance.  Both Houses of Congress passed the law and it was signed by President Eisenhower in 1954.  The information below was based on a poll taken by NBC on what percentage should keep the words in our pledge versus the percent who want it removed.

If you read this and agree that "under God" should be left in the pledge, then just forward it to others and you have voted for it to be left in.  If you delete it and don't forward it you are voting NO to "under God."  Easy, huh?

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Shock to NBC

This is not sent for discussion.  If you agree, forward it ... If you don't, delete it.  I don't want to know one way or the other.  By my forwarding it, you know how I feel.

86% to keep God in the Pledge of Allegiance and 14% against.  That is a pretty commanding' public response .

I was asked to send this on, if I agreed or delete if I didn't.  Now it is your turn.  It is said that 86% of Americans believe the word God should stay.  Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having God in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Why should our Nation cater to 14%? Ever!


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I am having a problem finding a joke to use today.  I went into my 2013 September letter and found one worthy.

If you have raised kids (or been one), and gone through the pet syndrome, including toilet flush burials for dead goldfish, the story below will have you laughing.

Overview: I had to take my son's lizard to the vet. Here's what happened:

Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was "something wrong" with one of the two lizards he holds prisoner in his room. "He's just lying there looking sick," he told me. "I'm serious, Dad. Can you help?"

I put my best lizard-healer expression on my face and followed him into his bedroom. One of the little lizards was indeed lying on his back, looking stressed. I immediately knew what to do.

"Honey," I called, "come look at the lizard!"

"Oh, my gosh!" my wife exclaimed. "She's having babies."

"What?" my son demanded. "But their names are Bert and Ernie, Mom!"

I was equally outraged.  "Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we didn't want them to reproduce," I said accusingly to my wife.

"Well, what do you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?" she inquired (I think she actually said this sarcastically!)

"No, but you were supposed to get two boys!"

"Yeah, Bert and Ernie!" my son agreed.

"Well, it's just a little hard to tell on some guys, you know," she informed me (Again with the sarcasm!).

By now the rest of the family had gathered to see what was going on. I shrugged, deciding to make the best of it.

"Kids, this is going to be a wondrous experience," I announced. "We're about to witness the miracle of birth."

"Oh, gross!" they shrieked "

We peered at the patient.. After much struggling, what looked like a tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later.

"We don't appear to be making much progress," I noted.

"It's breech," my wife whispered, horrified.

"Do something, Dad!" my son urged.

"Okay, okay." Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it next appeared, giving it a gentle tug. It disappeared. I tried several more times with the same results.

"Should I call 911?" my eldest daughter wanted to know.

"Maybe they could talk us through the trauma." (You see a pattern here with the females in my house?)

"Let's get Ernie to the vet," I said grimly. We drove to the vet with my son holding the cage in his lap.

"Breathe, Ernie, breathe," he urged.

The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the little animal through a magnifying glass.

"What do you think, Doc, a C-section?" I suggested scientifically.

"Oh, very interesting," he murmured. "Mr. And Mrs. Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"

I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside.

"Is Ernie going to be okay?" my wife asked.

"Oh, perfectly," the vet assured us. "This lizard is not in labor. In fact, that isn't EVER going to happen. . .

Ernie is a boy. You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as they come into maturity, like most male species, they um . . Um . . . Masturbate.

Just the way he did, lying on his back." He blushed, glancing at my wife.  We were silent, absorbing this.

"So, Ernie's just . Just . . . Excited," my wife offered.

"Exactly," the vet replied, relieved that we understood.

More silence. Then my vicious, cruel wife started to giggle. And giggle.  And then even laugh loudly. "

Tears were now running down her face. "It's just .that . .. I'm picturing you pulling on its ... its ... teeny little . . ."

She gasped for more air to bellow in laughter once more.

"That's enough," I warned. We thanked the vet and hurriedly bundled the lizard and our son back into the car.. He was glad everything was going to be okay.

"I know Ernie's really thankful for what you did, Dad," he told me.

"Oh, you have NO idea," my wife agreed, collapsing with laughter.

Two lizards: $140...
One cage: $50...
Trip to the vet: $30...
Memory of your husband pulling on a lizard's

winkie:  Priceless!

Moral of the story: Pay attention in biology class. Lizards lay eggs!


I you are like me and appreciate modern innovative war machines and would like something to read.  The current Virginia class of submarine or SSN-774 class is an interesting vehicle.  It is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the United States Navy. Virginia-class submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral (shallow coastal water) missions. They were conceived as a less expensive alternative to the Seawolf-class attack submarines, designed during the Cold War era. They are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, many of which have already been decommissioned. Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service past 2060.  Based on recent updates to the designs, some of the Virginia-class submarines are expected to still be in service in 2070.

Because of the low rate of Virginia production, the Navy entered into a program with DARPA to overcome technology barriers to lower the cost of attack submarines so that more could be built, to maintain the size of the fleet.

These include:

    Propulsion concepts not constrained by a centerline shaft. (This means no propeller)
    Externally stowed and launched weapons (especially torpedoes).
    Conformal alternatives to the existing spherical sonar array. (Stealth exterior)
    Technologies that eliminate or substantially simplify existing submarine hull, mechanical, and electrical systems.
    Automation to reduce crew workload for standard tasks

I think my favorite thing is it uses two tactical high-data rate communication (SATCOM) masts.  I am not sure how much of an area it can survey with it’s up link or down link using super high frequency to satellites.

The Virginia class is the first to utilize photonic sensors instead of a traditional periscope: the class is equipped with high-resolution cameras, along with light-intensification and infrared sensors, an infrared laser rangefinder, and an integrated Electronic Support Measures (ESM) array.  It can view all 360 degrees.  It goes up takes a picture and drops back below the surface, basically no tell tail splash from the wake of the scope.

For more information visit


I happen to like most potato soups and most broccoli soups.  Here is a recipe for a mix of both.

Loaded Broccoli and Potato Cheddar soup from

You’ll Need
–5 tablespoons butter, divided
–1 small onion, small dice
–4 medium carrots, small dice
–4 cloves garlic, minced
–4 medium potatoes, small dice
–1 quart chicken broth
–2 small broccoli heads, small dice
–1/3 cup flour
–3-½ cups whole milk
–1-½ teaspoons kosher salt
–½ teaspoon black pepper
–4 cups cheddar cheese
–¾ teaspoon tabasco sauce
–6 slices bacon, precooked and chopped

How To

    In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the onions
    and sauté until translucent.
    Add the carrots and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
    Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
    Add the potatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
    Add the broccoli and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until tender.
    While the soup is simmering, melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter in a large sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute.
    Whisk in the milk and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
    Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt, pepper and the tabasco sauce.
    Pour the cheese sauce into the pot with the vegetables and broth. Stir until well-combined. Season to taste. Garnish with the chopped bacon and enjoy!

Tip – If you want a thinner soup, add additional milk in the last step to adjust the consistency.



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Older copies with Walter’s additions of video and pictures available at