March 21, 2003

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WELCOME BACK:   Happy Spring 2003! While many of you are wondering when winter will end,especially those folks in the Rocky Mountain region, officially it's over.Isn't it funny how a date on the calendar signifies the end of a seasonwhile a foot of snow falls on your head? Here in Western Washington we'vebeen having Spring for quite a while although the spring rains have beenright there with it. We hope those of you still suffering from the cold andsnow will soon be basking in the warm Spring rains.

Now that G-dub has pulled the trigger we can only hope and pray that it willsoon be over and with little blood shed. If everything goes according toplan the people of Iraq will be better off after removal of a tyrannicalleader. We really hope that the people of the world will see the good sideof the Americans and that our intentions are honorable. Like we said lastweek, we don't like to express any political views here but we do pray forour troops and the good people of Iraq.

Ken's brother Ron is back home after his quick trip up to see his new grandson. Like all proud grandfathers he has shared a picture of the baby with us. Please join us in welcoming Kian Larkin Bloomquist into the world. Here is a picture of him last Sunday at four days old.

Wow, what a chunk, 9.9 pounds, and look at all that hair. This kid could almost pass for a toddler.

      It won't be long and you'll be getting your summer cabin ready to enjoy. One really nice thing that you could do for it is to order a custom Adirondack sign from Ron Godin's rustic Adirondack art. He'll make a wonderful sign that says anything you want. To check them out just go to and see what he has for you.
     You are logged on to this newsletter as [[-Email-]] and receiving it because you are a friend of mine or a friend of theirs.
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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn

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What's New This Week? Spring 2003 is definitely new. Today is the first full day of spring andit's almost time for the grass to be cut, seeds to be planted and trees tobe pruned. Since you've procrastinated all winter long now would be a goodtime to sharpen all those blades and cutters and get the gas poweredequipment tuned up. Change the oil in your lawn mower and weed eater tostart the season fresh. Some people believe in dumping the old gasoline butI've run gas powered equipment on gasoline that is several years old anddidn't have a problem. "Martha" on the other had would have you changing theair in the tires so you have fresh air in them for the season. You'll findyour summer maintenance jobs a lot more pleasurable with sharp tools and goodrunning equipment.


     As if dealing with the war wasn't enough there seem to be a bunch of new viruses and potential security holes that are being exploited. We would recommend that if you haven't done it in a while that you go to Microsoft's web site, and make sure that you have the latest patches and updates. They have made it really simple to evaluate your system to see what needs updating. I just did this on my laptop and I spent about an hour updating all the patches that I'd missed. I wasn't too worried because I'm not connected all that much with my laptop but my main computer is a different story.
Once you are at the Microsoft Support site click on the Find and Download Software link under Support Menu. Select what you would like to update like Microsoft Windows Update and the next window that opens will ask to Scan For Updates. When you click this button they will analyze your computer and give you a suggested list of updates and patches. Select the ones you want and let the software install them. I found that when I did this it told me that there were some updates that had to be done first. That's part of what took so long. Install the update, restart the computer, log back onto their web site and go through the whole routine again until everything is updated.
It shouldn't be that much of a pain if you are fairly current. But in my case I was way out of date. Good luck and stay safe.


     One of the really nice things about writing this newsletter is that we get to met some really wonderful people. One of our more recent acquaintances is Christen G. and his seven year old daughter Ellie. They live in the English Lake District at the bottom of the Helvellyn mountainrange, on the southern shore of Ullswater (an eight mile long inland lake) in the UK. He runs pleasure cruises, Ullswater Steamers, on their 125 year old passenger boats and has The Pier House restaurant.
Anyhow, he mentioned that Ellie likes Dinosaurs and one of our readers had just sent us a great link to a site all about Dinosaurs. We found it to be so interesting that we decided to make it our site of the week. If you are in school and looking for a great place to start a report on Dinosaurs this is the place to start. Just go to and have a ball.
By the way Ellie is looking for pen pals so if you are interested just drop us a line and we'll try to get you hooked up.


Spring Flower Napkin Holder

     This is one of those projects that the kids can do, with a little help from an adult, that look really nice and are useful. You'll want to make one for every place setting on the table.

Here is a list of the things you will need.
  • Green felt.
  • Yellow or White felt.
  • Red felt.
  • Scissors.

Be sure to have your parents help you with the cutting so you don't cut yourself!

Using the pattern from our web site at, cut out the different parts of the project. You can mix up the colors if you like but you should probably keep the leaves green.

Put the stem through the slit in the leaves.
Put the stem through the slit in the pedals.
Now put the other end of the stem through the leaves and pedals.
Doing this you've formed a loop that the napkin will go through.

There, now that was simple and really looks nice, doesn't it?

     We hope you enjoy Marilyn's Corner and look forward to all the fun things she brings you each week. If you have a fun project that would be suitable for our newsletter we'd love to share it with our readers. Just contact and we'll do the rest.

Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at Just click on the Projects or Kids Only Eggs.


      This is a reminder that Fast Lane has some really fun remote controlled vehicles. They include just about anything that rolls on the ground from race cars to fire trucks.
The Fast Lane Story; Fast Lane is a Toys "R" Us exclusive brand featuring an extensive line of "Ready to Run" remote control vehicles, as well as a wide selection of play sets and die-cast trucks. These officially licensed toys come with everything needed for loads of charged up fun. Perfect for collectors and kids to take home, charge up, and play with in the Fast Lane!

Click Here

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

We felt it was time to bring you another musician joke so here goes.

A society wedding band is getting it together on the stand, waiting for the crowd to come in. The leader is taking the time to exercise his authority.
"I'm sick of you guys showing up at the last minute. When I say eight o'clock, I want the music to start at eight. I don't want you walking into the room at eight!"
The drummer gives him a "chigga dum".
"And I also expect you morons to dress like you want to be here. Tuxedo means tuxedo, not the upper half of an old black suit with a bow tie."
The drummer gives him a "bucketafish".
"... and shoes; Not black sneakers!"
"... and a clean shirt and a shave. I don't want any bums in my band!"
"Chiggadagump, crash".
"And if I find out who's making that noise, he's fired!"

Why is it that the band leaders never seem to figure out us drummers?

You can check out our summer schedule at the Tempos web site If you are making plans to visit Seattle this summer try to fit in one of our fun concerts.

     Don't forget that The Tempos big swing band is available for hire. If you have a special event that could use the wonderful music of a classic big band be sure to contact

      As we told you last week we put a whole bunch of time into creating our Grammy Shopper web page. We hope you find it useful in selecting your favorite CD from all the different categories.

Just click on the banner below to see the 2003 Grammy® winners.

Click Here


      A year ago we suggested getting rid of that gas powered mower and getting abattery powered one. We did a review of our new battery powered Black andDecker lawn mower. If you are looking to cut down on emissions into theenvironment we'd suggest this as good alternative. We really like theconvenience of the battery powered mower and not having to deal with a longextension cord or gas and oil. Just be ready for a couple down sides. Whilenot insurmountable they do not work well in tall grass. If your grass hasgotten too tall you'll need to make several passes at it. The other thing isthat it does not work well in wet grass. If you cut your grass every weekand can wait until it's dry, battery powered lawn mowers are a goodalternative.

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

Questions and Answers

Welcome to our new Q&A center.
Got questions? We've got answers.
Got answers? We've got questions.

Carol asked:
Q: Do you know of a way to get just one or two female runner ducks? I have four drakes that found their way to me and I'd like to thin the pack to a drake and a hen or two. Everywhere I find them for sale requires getting 25.

A: Anyone out there have any suggestions for Carol?


What with all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went un-noticed last week.

Larry La Prise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey" died peacefully at age 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the casket. They put his left leg in... and then the trouble started.

The RunnerDuck web site is hosted by

If you are looking for a great hosting service at a terrific price check them out at If you mention that you heard about them from RunnerDuck you will get a $5.00 per month "Duck Discount" for as long as you have your account.


Cheddar and Rice Stuffed Peppers
      Ken loves stuffed peppers and this recipe is really good.

  • 3 Green Peppers
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Cooked Rice
  • 1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Blanch the Green Peppers for 2 minutes and drain.
Saute Onions, add Rice, Cheese, Tomatoes, and Seasonings.
Cut the Peppers in half lengthwise and stuff.
Bake at 325 degrees C for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve it up as a wonderful side dish and your guests or family will go nuts.

Remember, if you have a recipe you'd like to share please send it to

     Every month we post a new recipe on our web page. Be sure and check out the March recipe at the RunnerDuck Kitchen Store.
We'd be happy to post your favorite recipe there or in our newsletter and give you credit. Just drop a line to


Hurry! For a limited time, take $10 Off* each shipment of $75 or more! Simply enter Coupon Code C93834 at checkout. Offer ends 3/23/03.

*Excludes Krups, Henckels, All-Clad, KitchenAid Stand Mixers, and purchases of Gift Certificates. Cannot be combined with any other offers or be applied to previous purchases.

Click Here for more information.

While you are there be sure to check out's Easter Shop.



"Vegetables" by James Peterson

      We thought we'd point you to a wonderful cookbook on vegetables this week. "Vegetables" by James Peterson is one of those cookbooks that spends more time on your counter than in the cupboard.
Here's what one reviewer of this cookbook said, "I LOVE this book. I used to hate making vegetables - I'd whip out a can of corn, green beans or frozen broccoli with the best of them. Thanks to this book - we have the best vegetables on our table. I love the short cut microwave artichoke method - so easy and delicious - even my kids like them! And don't get me started on the Roasted Tomatoes - To Die For!
This book details how to buy, store and prepare vegetables - its like having Grandma's knowledge in a book. This book is a must have for every kitchen."

Be sure and visit the RunnerDuck Cookbook Store for other great savings on cookbooks and cooking supplies.


Saw Blade Holder

     I have some pretty nice saw blades for my table saw but unfortunately I just keep them in a pile in my cupboard. Not only does it make it hard to find the one I'm looking for but I'm sure it's not good for the blades. This box should do the trick to solve both problems.
This project will take two weeks so we'll start this week with cutting out all the pieces.

Here's a list of what you'll need;

  • 4' X 4' X 1/2" Birch plywood.
  • 4' X 4' X 1/4" Oak plywood.
  • 12" X 1/2" Piano Hinge.
  • Wood Glue.
  • Knob for lid handle.
Cut the following pieces from 1/2" plywood.
11 3/4" wide by 31". This will make the front of the box, the front of the lid and the back of the box.
Cut the box front 8" tall.
Cut the lid front 7 1/8" tall.
Cut the back 15 1/4" tall.
8 1/2" wide by 31" for the two sides.
14 3/4" high in back and 8" high in front. Approximately 38 degrees. Be sure and keep the box and lid pieces matched so they mate up and look good.
Cut the long side of the lid 7" high. This should leave a 1/2" step at the top edge.
8 1/2" wide by 22" for the top and bottom.
Cut the top and bottom 10 3/4" wide.
Cut the steps from 1/2" plywood. Use double sided tape to hold two pieces of wood together and cut them at the same time.

Lay out the cuts as follows:3/8" up, 3/4" over, 3/8" up and 3/4" over. Continue this for 9 steps. The last flat should be 1/2". As a double check the back of the steps should be 3 3/4" high.
Rip 3 pieces 1/4" wide and then cut them into 20 pieces 6" long.
From the 1/4" plywood cut 10 pieces 10 3/4" X 7".

That should keep you busy over the weekend. Next week we'll put it all together.

If you have a project that you would like to share please drop us a line and we'll help get it published in the RunnerDuck review. We are looking for woodworking, gardening, crafts and kids projects so send us your thoughts at

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RunnerDuck Coffee Mug   RunnerDuck Mouse Pad
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There is lots of other cool stuff at the RunnerDuck Goodies Store.

     If you want to talk about something just drop us a line at any time, we like to talk about most anything. We are always looking for content for our newsletter so if you have something to add we'd love to publish it. Assuming it meets our strict family oriented requirements!

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