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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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....

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 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.

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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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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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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