George Rucker's Newsletter, April 12, 2016

Tuesday Letter,

I am having a horrible time with this letter.  This is my third try as my other two have disappeared into wherever computer mistakes go.  My first computer is being repaired and my van now has three lights on that are not normal, my life is collapsing around me.  I will once again try to salvage my weekly project.  The last two letters that were already up to page seven and are now in limbo.  Whoops, I am not sure what Pope it was who said limbo is no longer a real place.  He should have asked me as if I can’t see it or haven’t seen it, it does not exist.


Cedric watched as a woman at his supermarket shopped with a three-year-old girl.  As they approached the sweet section the little girl asked for some liquorice sticks and her mother told her, 'No'. The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss. The mother said softly, 'Now Cindy, our shopping is going well, Don't be upset.........we'll soon be out of here.'

Presently, they came to the aisle where the ice cream was on offer and the little girl began to ask for an ice lolly.  When told she couldn't have one she began to cry.  The mother said gently, 'There, there, Cindy, don't cry. Only two more aisles to go and then we'll be at the check out' .

When they got to the conveyer belt the little girl immediately began to demand sweets next to the checkout.  Finally she threw a tantrum when her mother would not let her have any sweets.  The mother, calmed her saying, 'Cindy, we'll be through this queue in two minutes and then we can go home and have a glass of milk and then a nap.'

Cedric followed them out to the car park and stopped the woman to compliment her on her child management.

'I couldn't help admiring how patient you were with little Cindy,' Cedric said.

The mother turned and replied, 'Oh, no, I'm Cindy.  My little girl's name is Dorothy.


During my life, I spent about four years in the Navy.  I say ‘about’ as my tour of duty was referred to as a Kiddy Cruise.  I enlisted at age 17 and expected to be discharged the day before I turned 21.  However President Kennedy extended everyone who was being discharged by 90 days.  This tour extension was only for certain career fields and lucky me as a Radioman I was one of those that was to be extended.

This period of time was during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  It would have been fine if I was stationed someplace north like Washington, D.C. but I was on a Destroyer Escort, the USS Brough DE148, with the home port of Key West Florida only 90 miles from Cuba.  To make matters worse this small vessel was scheduled to participate in what is now referred to as “The Bay of Pigs.”  We did not think that the beach we were to land on would light up like a Christmas tree, so we pretty much cut and ran with the other ships that night and did not drop off our force of Cuban fighters.  For some reason Castro seemed to know where we were planning to land.  I would say his intelligence was better than ours that night.

During the day our mission was to train Sonar Students (which will be the topic of this weeks invention) and by night we were the primary mail carrier for all ships blockading the island of Cuba.  We would drop off our students every day at about 1500 hours, 3:00 p.m. for you civilians and pick up the mail that our ship needed to deliver to the blockade.  Once the mail was loaded our ship would set sail for Cuba.  During the evening we would drop the mail with the first ship we met.  That ship would then transfer the mail to the other ships in the active blockade one by one.  Thank God for that as it took a few trips with our small life boat to move all the mail we had to deliver and if we needed to pass mail to all the blockade it would take forever.   Once we tried the boson chair but the mail ended up in the drink after that they just used the small boat.  After the mail transfer we would return to Key West, tie up for the remainder of the night and wait for our next daily group of students and the day would start all over again.

Now to talk about Sonar which is an acronym for Sound Navigation and Ranging.  Throughout much of history, what lies beneath the ocean - from sea monsters to submarines - has been a guessing game.  Ships - from Roman triremes,  a galley, developed by the ancients as a warship, with three banks of oars on each side, to the titanic - these ships simply had no way to see what lay ahead of them under the ocean’s surface.  There were no “eyes and ears” able to see and hear underwater until the invention of sonar.

Sonar uses sound propagation to determine what objects are underwater, including other vessels.  Today sonar consists of two types: active sonar (“eyes”) that emit pulses of sounds and listens for the echoes when the pulses hit objects, and passive sonar (“ears”) that listens for sounds made by other ships.  Much as a bat does, sonar uses echolocation - bouncing sounds off objects to determine their distance and size.

The invention of sonar was spurred by the “unsinkable” Titanic’s catastrophic collision with an iceberg in the north Atlantic in 1912.  If the Titanic had been equipped with sonar, the ship’s crew would have detected the iceberg in time.  Just after the disaster, the worlds first patent for an underwater echo-ranging device was first by British meteorologist Lewis Richardson.  In 1913 , German physicist Alexander Behm obtained a patent for a similar model.

During World War I, the need to detect German submarines, which were devastating British sea trade, mandated the development of echolocation gadgets.  By mid-1917, the anti-submarine division of the British Naval Staff had produced a practical and workable underwater sound-detection machine.  During the 1930s, U.S. engineers began to use the term “sonar,” which they coined as the equivalent of “radar,” for their systems.

Modern submarines use sonar for navigation underwater.  Fishing boats use it to detct and track schools of fish.  Oceanographers use it to map the ocean floor.  For many years, the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System, a large set of passive sonar arrays at various points in the world’s oceans, designed to give early warning of enemy submarines headed toward our shores.  Other nations are believed to have implemented similar systems.


Right whales throng Cape Cod Bay, with babies in tow

PROVINCETOWN — It is not enough that there are daffodils blooming in the front yard. We must have right whales spouting in our back yard — the bay — before we can say that spring has truly arrived on Cape Cod.

By that measure, spring was in full force on Saturday and through the early part of the week, when researchers with the Center for Coastal Studies observed about five-dozen right whales in the southern and western portions of Cape Cod Bay. Sixty-one of the critically endangered cetaceans were detected by Coastal Studies’ aerial survey team on Saturday, and 61 were again counted on Monday.

Among them were some especially welcome new arrivals: right whale mothers with calves in tow.

“I’m very happy to report we have several of them — four mom-and-calf pairs,” said Christy Hudak, research associate with Coastal Studies’ right whale program.

The right whales — whose seasonal return to their feeding grounds in the bay is awaited here with the same anticipation that seizes Capistrano as it awaits its swallows that were late this year. Hudak said that the delay was “definitely due to the winter,” a particularly harsh one that at times covered portions of the bay in ice. During the colder months, aerial surveyors with other agencies discovered small sub-populations of right whales lingering offshore on Stellwagen Bank, Hudak said.

The whales are currently scattered throughout the bay to the west and south, in the area outside Plymouth Harbor, she said. Their position makes it difficult for land-based observers to sight them from traditional whale-watching spots, such as Herring Cove and Race Point, but the good news is that there are plenty of humpbacks and finbacks to see from those vantage points. Coastal Studies counted 10 finbacks and 21 humpbacks in the middle and northern half of Cape Cod Bay on Saturday.


I found the above article early but while on vacation I photographed about 50 seals on a sandbar off of the beach below the Coast Guard Station located in Chatham.  They too are early this year, some scientists suggest the number of gray seals in United States waters may now be at its highest point in history, I suspect over 20,000.  If any are interested a male grey seal eats about six percent of its weight per day of fish. Which, for an 800-pound male, could be about 50 pounds of food, including prized fish like cod and flounder.  Of the 50 seals in the photograph posted on Facebook about 1/3rd are male.  I see why fisherman in years gone by put a bounty on seals.

What will follow these seals will be the sharks that will disrupt the beaches in the summer.


I heard from my barber that mackerel are already in the canal and will be going up our streams to spawn soon if not already.

Cape Cod Canal fishing is one of the most challenging and rewarding types of fishing along the entire East Coast of the United States. Few locations on earth offer the shore bound angler a better chance at hooking a bass in the 40 pound range.

This man-made land cut has produced spectacular fishing the past few seasons. Fishing the Cape Cod Canal during the spring run of big striped bass has been just as impressive, if not more impressive than the famed autumn migration.

If this past spring is anything like the spring of 2015, impressive schools of trophy size striped bass should enter the canal starting in May.

Timing is Everything

The canal will support a population of striped bass from May through October.  But to really cash in on great canal fishing, a fisherman needs to be at the canal when a large biomass of striped bass moves through the land cut.

The two fishermen I know say to start fishing between April 15 and May 6.  Patty and I plan to fish this year and we both have our federal salt water licences.  If you are over 60 the fee is nothing but a registration fee of $1.15.  The cost for a 2015 saltwater fishing permit is $10 for ages 16-59. For anglers aged 60 and up, it's free.  Most Wal Marts sell them.  Patty and I both bought ours on line.

The permit is valid for a calendar year, expiring on December 31st.


The importance of an occupation after retirement

As we get older we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to "make a difference" in the world. It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of other "seniors" who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither.

Harold Schlumberg is such a person:

Here is what Harold has to say about it:

"I've often been asked, 'What do you do now that you're retired?'

Well...I'm fortunate to have a chemical engineering background and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer and wine into urine. It's rewarding, uplifting, satisfying and fulfilling.

I do it every day and I really enjoy it."

Harold is an inspiration to us all.


Being from a Polish background the small pirogi ravioli like items were served regularly, usually with butter and onions.  I found this recipe interesting and hope you do also.

Easy "Pirogi" Casserole

What You Need

  9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  4 cups hot mashed potatoes
  ½  cup (½  of 8-oz. tub) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
  6 green onions, thinly sliced
  1 pkg. (3 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits, divided
  2 cups KRAFT Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided

Make It

Heat oven to 375°F.

Cook noodles as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, combine potatoes, cream cheese spread, onions, ½  cup bacon and 1 cup cheddar.

Place 3 noodles in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with 1/3 of the potato mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining bacon and cheddar; cover.

Bake 33 to 35 min. or until heated through, uncovering for the last 5 min. Let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve.


Being 75 I am very much aware of how children are being raised today.  I make jokes about them not learning any manners, especially being rude as young adults and I blame it jokingly on Sesame Street with kids just sitting in front of the TV.  It might be Roe vs Wade in the early 70s which cheapened life in general.  It could be the fact that nuns teaching me could use corporal punishment (a smack with a ruler) and if I complained to my parents I would get another smack from my parents.  Following are a few things that have gone wrong with parenting.

We’ve got an entire generation of kids spitting up on outfits that cost more than my monthly electric bill. There were no designer baby clothes when we were kids. Why? Because our parents weren’t crazy enough to spend $60 on an outfit for us to have explosive diarrhea in or vomit on. Our parents were focused on saving for their retirement and paying their house off. The real beauty of it is that none of these kids are going to score a job straight out of college that will allow them to pay for the necessities of life, brand new cars, and $150 jeans, so guess who’s going to be getting the phone call when they can’t make rent? Yep, we are.

We all love our kids, and we want to see them happy and fulfilled, but I fear we’re robbing them of the experiences that make life memorable and make them capable, responsible, confident adults. For the majority of us, the very nice things we had as teenagers, we purchased with money we earned after saving for some ungodly amount of time. Our children are given most everything, and sometimes I wonder whether it’s for them or to make us feel like good parents. The bottom line is that you never value something you were given, as much as something you worked for.

Delayed gratification is a really good thing. It teaches you perseverance and how to determine the true value of something. Our kids don’t know a damn thing about delayed gratification. To them, delayed gratification is waiting for their phone to charge.

Problem-solving skills and the ability to manage emotion are crucial life skills. Kids now have every problem solved for them. Good luck calling their college professor to argue about how they should have another shot at that final because they had two other finals to study for and were stressed.

Common sense is that little something extra that allows you to figure out which direction is north, how to put air in your tires, or the best route to take at a certain time of day to avoid traffic. You develop common sense by making mistakes and learning from them. It’s a skill best acquired in a setting where it’s safe to fail, and is only mastered by actually doing things for yourself. By micro managing our kids all the time, we’re setting them up for a lifetime of cluelessness and ineptitude. At a certain age, that cluelessness becomes dangerous.

Mental toughness is what allows a person to keep going despite everything going wrong. People with mental toughness are the ones who come out on top. They battle through job losses, difficult relationships, illness, and failure. It is a quality born from adversity. Adversity is a GOOD thing. It teaches you what you’re made of. It puts into practice the old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. It’s life’s teacher. Our bubble-wrapped kids are so sheltered from adversity, I wonder how the mental health professionals will handle them all after the world chews them up and spits them out a few times.

I know you’re calling me names right now, and mentally listing all the reasons this doesn’t apply to you and your kid.  My kids aren’t as bad as some, because I was too poor or too lazy to indulge them beyond a certain point.  I’m certainly not saying that our parents did everything right. God knows all that second hand smoke I was exposed to, and those Sunday afternoon drives where Dad was drinking a Schlitz and I was standing on the front seat like a human projectile, were less than ideal; but I do think parents in the 70’s defined their roles in a way we never have.  I worry that our kids are leaving home with more intellectual ability than we did, but without the life skills that will give them the success and independence that we’ve enjoyed.

We are now living in a “I can do and give as much as you can” society – without realizing that its our children who suffer in the long run.


Lately there has been a lot of hype about Coconut oil.   It was once avoided because of its high content of saturated fat.  I can remember that movie theaters could keep pop corn fresh for almost 6 months.  It was outlawed in theaters for use due to the amount of saturated fat.

Lately coconut oil has made a comeback as a super food with health benefits. This versatile oil can be used as a cooking oil and for do-it-yourself cosmetic purposes.

Makeup Remover

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is very effective at breaking the water -resistant substances use in eye shadow and mascara, making it a really good makeup remover.  Apply directly to the face as an oil cleaner or apply to a cotton pad and swipe over face.  Makeup will melt away and the coconut oil will leave your skin softer and refreshed.

The next thing coconut oil is supposed to be good for is called oil pulling or also known as “kavala.”  To me it sounds disgusting.  Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional folk remedy where oil is "swished" (kavala graha) or "held" (snigda gandoosha) in the mouth.

Practitioners of oil pulling claim it is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Its promoters claim it works by "pulling out" toxins, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation.

Oil pulling has received little study and there is limited evidence to support claims made by the technique's advocates. In one small study, sesame oil was found to be effective at reducing plaque and oral bacterial load, but was less effective than chlorhexidine (an antiseptic mouthwash); the health claims of oil pulling have otherwise failed scientific verification or have not been investigated. Oil pulling is controversial amongst Western health practitioners. The National Center for Health Research states that "it's still unclear whether or how the practice actually works to get rid of bad bacteria in our mouths. It's also unknown what the long term effects on oral and overall health may be.

All I can say is I might try it once, any readers who are a fan please let me know.  Nope, there is no way I can keep that melted coconut oil in my mouth for over one minute let alone five.  This whole idea is disgusting.


Yesterday I was buying a large bag of Dog Chow for Socks the wonder dog and was about to check out.

A woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had, an elephant?

I'm retired now, with some spare time on my hands. So, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, and that I was starting the Dog Food Diet again. Although I probably shouldn't, because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially the perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Dog Chow nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try the diet again.

(I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.

I told her no. I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard!

The manager won't let me shop there anymore....


 Simple Home Remedies for you!

1.If you are choking on an ice cube simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.

2.Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop.

3.Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink
4.For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5.A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6.If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7.You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

8.Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

DAILY THOUGHT: Some people are like slinkies - not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

 Great to see you here.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.

Well I am off to exercise once again, see some of you there.