March 3, 2007

RunnerDuck Home

WELCOME BACK:  Hello, hello and welcome to March 2007, the Ides of March are upon us. Can you believe that March is already here. For those of you suffering through all the snow storms we can imagine that spring can't come soon enough. Here in the great Northwest the weather has been typical. Rain, wind, sun, warm, cold and snow just like we'd expect. Last weekend we went up to check on our boat at Sandy Point near Bellingham, Washington and drove through snow, rain and sunshine. On the first day of March we had about three inches of snow at our house and were snowbound for a period of time. One thing for sure the skiers are really happy with all the snowfall in the Cascade ski areas.

Here's a little reminder for you, on Sunday March 11th we "Spring Forward"! That's right, in case you haven't heard they have changed the days for daylight savings time. It will start two weeks earlier than in years past. Previously daylight savings time started on the last Sunday of the March, starting with 2007 it will begin at 2:00AM on the second Sunday of March.

The end date for daylight savings will also change to the first Sunday in November, 11/4/2007, instead of the last Sunday in October. See our "Digi Talk" section below for some important computer information regarding daylight savings time.

We thought it would be fun to have a little contest for the kids. A friend of ours, Philip Staiger with Project Dogwaffle at, has written a wonderful art program that is easy for kids to use and gives them good insight into creating art using a computer. The program is called PD Particles for the sheer fun of digital painting. It's not for toddlers but for children that have shown an interest in computer art. Here's how the contest works.

Submit a picture of a Runner Duck that was created by the prospective young artist and we'll choose the best one. Philip has donated a first prize of his full up art program called PD Artist and a second prize of PD Particles. The pictures do not need to be created on a computer. They can be hand drawn, sketched, painted or created with crayons. You will need to scan any hand created art so you can email it to us. We'd prefer a .jpg file but we can view just about anything that a PC can view. Please submit your pictures no later than Wednesday, March 28th, 2007. We'll announce the winners in our April RunnerDuck Newsletter. Good luck and get those pictures going. By the way if your young artist doesn't know what a runner duck is just go to Google and type in "Indian Runner Duck" with the quotes.

Wood 'N Wares

Do you like cooking? I mean do you REALLY like cooking? If you do then you know how important good kitchen tools are. Wooden spoons and wooden utensils are no different than a good knife. If you have the best if feels good, looks good, works good and lasts a long time. Once you use a Wood 'N Wares wooden spoon you'll never go back to those awful store bought wooden things again.

Check out the large selection by clicking on the display below.

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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn

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What's New?   Other than March coming in like a lion we've just been busy getting our projects ready for this newsletter. We really hope you enjoy the projects we bring you each month and would like to have any feedback on other things you like to see us make or build.

One thing we really appreciate are the donations that we get from people that really appreciate our efforts. If you've never made a donation now might be a good time :-) We actually take the money that you send us and buy more materials for new projects. It helps keep us going and it allows us to bring more projects to you. Just click on the "Donation" button towards the top right side of this page. Again, thanks to those of you who have already donated!

Here's a recent example of a donation we received:

This is the most amazing site on the internet... I love you guys. I love wood working, cooking, gardening and sell at festivals and flea markets. Thanks for all the free stuff you give people like me. I will make a donation each time I print out a plan.
I can't wait for your News Letter.
Thanks, Linda

Is that cool or what?


As we mentioned above daylight savings time is changing starting the second Sunday of March the 11th. One thing you may not realize is that your computers are preset to automatically change to daylight savings time on the last Sunday of March. There are also a lot of programs within your computer that rely on this date. The good news is that Microsoft has made is easy for you to update to the new times. The best place to start is at and follow the directions.

Other pieces of digital equipment that you may need to pay attention to are VCR's, DVD recorders and alarm clocks that automatically update. All of these devices were preprogrammed with the old daylight savings time rules. You will need to go into these devices and make the appropriate changes. Unfortunately we can not tell you how to do that here since there are so many different types but just be aware that you will probably have to do something to get the time set correctly come March 11th and November 4th.


Have you ever stumbled onto a web site that just won't let you go? We're not talking about not letting you log off or anything like that but one that captures your interest so hard that you just can't quit digging in it. This weeks Site of the Month was discovered by Ken's brother Ron and since he sent it to us we've spent many hours checking out all the interesting photos that it has to offer.

The subject matter is extremely broad and covers everything from cars to robots to animals to Presidential airplanes to ... well you get the idea.

The web site can be a little slow to load but that's because of all the pictures that you get to browse through. For a truly different web experience set aside some quality time and start surfing, we don't think you'll be disappointed!



By now you are asking what the heck is a Shuffler? Well it's a combination Shawl and Muffler! These are wonderfully warm and make great gifts. It requires a little sewing skill but nothing that I'd call difficult. They are a lot of fun to make and functional too.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Fleece material, 60" wide X 2 yards, this will give you enough to make three Shufflers.
  • Matching or contrasting thread
  • Lace or trim
Cut the fleece into 20" wide X 6' long.
Turn the edges of both ends over 1/2" and sew the lace or trim on the top side.
Turn down the edges again 2" with the lace on top and top stitch next to the fold.
Fold up the ends 7" so the right sides are together with the lace on the inside to form the pockets.
Stitch 1/4" in along the sides of the pocket.
Turn the pockets right side out.
Top stitch around the sides and bottom folded edge of the pockets.

On both long sides turn the edges in 1/4" and top stitch.

That's it, now go find a comfy chair by the fire and wrap up in your new Shuffler. Be sure to put your hands in the pockets for extra warmth.

Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at Just click on the Craft Egg.

Kids Stuff


Do you ever have a hard time trying to decide if you are getting the most popular toy for that special child? As grandparents we know all too well that dilemma. We have provided a list of the most "wanted" toys for 2007. Just click on the banner above and see what all the kids are craving!

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

It's not too late to get The Tempos "Big Swing" CD!

"Big Swing" features fourteen great swing songs from the 40's and 50's. If you love the old big band swing music we think you'll enjoy this CD. It's the kind of music that makes you just want to get up and dance, you do remember how to swing don't you?

The only place you can get this CD is from our web site. Go to and click on the "Click Here" at the top of the web page or


We only printed up a thousand of them so get yours before the are all gone!

If you'd like to get a taste of this CD just go to The Tempos web site. When you are at the Tempos web site click on the horn valve button that says "Hear our CD". Then click on the song titles to hear a little bit of each song.

The Tempos big swing band is available for hire. If you have a special event that could use the wonderful music of a classic sixteen piece big band be sure to contact We perform all over the Seattle area for all sorts of events.

Album Pick of the Week


"With Love" from the Charles Tolliver Big Band is a real piece of work. It sort of reminds me of some of the Stan Kenton arrangements from years ago. The songs are heavily arranged for his big band and they are wonderful. If you like big bands with great arrangements then I'm sure you'll like Charles Tolliver's work.

This Blue Note CD was just released in January and has many new fresh ideas. The band is a mix of young and old musicians and the best of both really shines through.


The other night I turned off all the lights in the computer room and noticed that there were about eight little lights glowing all over the place. The light on the printer, wireless phone stand, scanner, modem, wireless hub, etc. Then I realized that each one of these were burning a tiny bit of power twenty four hours a day. Now when I shut down my computer room for the night I make sure that all those little lights are off. I have no idea how much I'm saving in energy but I'm sure it has to be something and like they say, every little bit helps.

Why don't you take a look around your house and see what tiny lights might be burning when they really aren't needed?

If you have a conservation tip please send it to kennyb at and we'll post it in our newsletter.

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We've been receiving some pretty good jokes. If you've sent any keep them coming if you haven't then add us to your list. We love a good laugh.

These were sent to us by Michelle and they address our aging population.

   Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house together. One night the 96-year-old draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?"
   The 94-year-old yells back, "I don't know - I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses, "Was I going up the stairs or down?"
   The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea - listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful - knock on wood." She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you ... as soon as I see who's at the door."

   A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say "Supersex."
   She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair. Flipping her gown at him, she said, "Supersex."
   He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, "I'll take the soup."

   Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards.
   One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, "Now don't get mad at me .. I know we've been friends for a long time, but I just can't think of your name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is."
   Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, "How soon do you need to know?"

   As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!"
   "Heck," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"


Orange Custard and Caramel Sauce

I love a good custard and this one is especially good with the caramel sauce. The next time you are having friends or family over try this treat on them, they will really like it!


  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 2/3 Cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Orange Peel
Heat 1/4 cup Sugar over low heat until the Sugar melts. Stir frequently!
Evenly divide the caramelized Sugar into four 6 ounce custard cups. Rotate to coat the bottoms of the cups.
For the custard combine Sugar, Salt, Vanilla and Eggs. Gradually stir in Milk.
Blend in the Orange Peel and pour into the cups.
Place the cups in a pan with water. The water should come to within 1/2" of the tops of the cups.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 - 60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Invert the cups to unmold.

Serve with an orange rind spiral and mint leaves. Not only does it taste wonderful it looks really good too.

Remember, if you have a recipe you'd like to share please send it to Marilyn at We'd be happy to post your favorite recipe on our Kitchen site or in our newsletter and give you credit.

     Every month we post a new recipe on our web page. Be sure and check out the New recipe at the RunnerDuck Kitchen Store.


"All American Desserts"
400 Star-Spangled, Razzle-Dazzle Recipes for America's Best Loved Desserts
by Judith M. Fertig


As if our Orange Custard weren't sweet enough how about 400 more desserts? We think that you'll find this dessert recipe book one of the best ones out there.

One reader who reviewed this cookbook wrote: "After cutting back on dessert for health reasons, this book has inspired me to make dessert more often. The desserts I've made from this book turned out great. Of course, you can get classic American recipes from many sources, but after presenting the simple versions, the author often includes a few versions with more "razzle-dazzle."

There is a wide variety of desserts represented, so anyone should be able to find something to suit their palate, from light to rich, gelatin to pastry, and anything in between. The historical and descriptive anecdotes about ingredients and desserts are interesting and inspiring. You can tell that the author really enjoys dessert. The reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that the organization could be better."



Download WOOD StoreŽ woodworking plans directly to your computer and start building in just minutes! OR, we'll mail them to you, your choice!



Storage Stool

We have a small 5th wheel camper and storage is always a problem. I thought that if I had a small foot stool to prop my feet on when I watch TV it would also make another place to store stuff. It's a pretty simple design and it gave me the opportunity to use the biscuit cutter I got for Christmas.

Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557
Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557

Here's what you'll need:

  • 12' of 6" X 3/4" stock, I used Spruce
  • #10 biscuits
  • Two 2" hinges
  • Glue
Depending on the number of clamps you have the first step of this project can take a while. There is a lot of gluing and clamping to get all the panels ready to cut and assemble.
I start out my cutting the pieces to length plus about 3", that gives me room for the snipe from my planer when I run them through. I'm really big on machine tools and use my planer to even out the boards after they are glued, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Here are the dimensions of the stool as a guide.

Trim the edges of the boards with a "Glue Line Rip" blade from Freud. I use that because I don't have a jointer but it works really good.

FreudŽ LM74R Glue Line Rip Blade
FreudŽ LM74R Glue Line Rip Blade

After you've cleaned up the edges lay the boards out and match the grain. Make marks, I use chalk, across the edges so that you'll remember what pieces match up. Using a square make a small line across each edge to show where the biscuit joints will go. I made mine about 3 1/2" apart.

Align the biscuit joiner with the marks and make your cuts.

Now glue the panels together with biscuits. I used #10 biscuits. Put glue on one half of the biscuit and insert it into the slot. Apply glue all along the edge. Apply glue to the other half of the wood and apply additional glue to the biscuits.

Put the pieces together and clamp them. Not only clamp them from the edges but add a couple of pieces of scrap wood across the top and clamp them to help keep the surface flat during the drying.

Once all the pieces are dry we'll start cutting them to size.

Before I cut them to size I need to get the surfaces nice and flat. To do this I start out with a scraper to remove any excess glue from the glue lines.

3-Piece Cabinet Scraper Set
3-Piece Cabinet Scraper Set

This rest of this project is posted on our web site at

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