April 18, 2003

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Happy Easter

Can you believe that Easter 2003 is upon us already? How can that be? It seems like this year is going faster than ever. I think that when there is a lot going on in the world, like the war in Iraq, it some how makes time move faster. I'm sure our good troops over there wish it would go faster but at least a number of them will be coming home soon. I think we'll have troops over there for quite a while but at least they'll start rotations.

For some of you it may have been a while since you've received our newsletter. That is because there may be something in your email system that is preventing it getting through. Things such as spam filters that block the wrong emails. We have signed up for a new service that we believe will rectify that problem. We want everyone that subscribes to your newsletter to get it.
If you feel you did not subscribe to this newsletter we would like you to unsubscribe now. We do not do anything with your email address except delete it from our list. No one ever sees it and we never sell our lists. To unsubscribe send a blank email to unsubscribe@runnerduck.com with Unsubscribe as the subject. Be sure to use the same email address that is on this newsletter, otherwise we can't find you in our database.
We don't want to loose any of you wonderfully dedicated readers but we also don't want to bother anyone.

Do you have a great story? Well Marilyn has one for you this week. The other day at work while she was heating up her lunch in the microwave a guy came in who was obviously running late. He needed to get his lunch warmed up and eaten in short order. All of the microwaves were busy so what's a guy to do. The main course of his lunch was a fish! I don't know about the guts but the head was still on. It wasn't a particularly large fish, more like a small flounder. The only option he could readily see was the toaster. Yep you got it, he popped that sucker into the toaster, pushed the leaver down and let it cook away. Can you imagine the smell? We'll Marilyn could and it wasn't particularly pleasant. At that point she left the premises but what a surprise the next person that went to toast a Pop Tart, English muffin or some other sweet treat got. It sort of makes you wonder what the person's home must be like? Needless to say Marilyn will not be bringing any bread for toasting any time soon.

If you have a fun story you'd like to share with us we'd love to post it for all to read. Remember we are a family oriented newsletter so they'd have to pass our screener, me, but send them on. If we feel it's a note worthy story we'll pass it on.

We are continuing to look for crafters who would like to sell their creations through our web site. We currently only have one persons crafts on display, Ron Godin, but would love to add more. We are talking with a couple of people right now but the more the merrier. Drop us a line and some pictures of your art and we'll see if we can work together.
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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn

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What's New This Week? The North Cascades Highway opened two weeks early this year. What this means is that they were able to clear the snow away earlier than usual because of our mild winter. If you've ever traveled the North Cascades Highway you know what a wonderful scenic trip it is. If you haven't had the opportunity then you really need to do it. If you are visiting the Washington State area this summer make plans to take a drive on this wonderful highway. It was first opened in 1972 to much fanfare. The first person over the new road was the chauffer for Governor Dan Evens, Ted Bundy. Yep, the same Ted Bundy that became the infamous serial killer. Ah isn't history grand?


     I tell you it's getting to be more like the old Mad magazine Spy vs. Spy cartoon out there in cyber land. A lot of companies are working overtime trying to get into your pocket book and computer. As if pop-ups and spam weren't bad enough, the new spyware is becoming a real problem.
What is spyware you say? It's a nasty little application that gets written to your computer when you install some programs off of the internet. Programs like Comet Cursor, Xupiter and Gator eWallet all write this application to your computer and allow them to collect all sorts of data about your surfing habits, how you fill out forms and lots of other nasty stuff. This is not to say that they are all bad but just that the potential is there for abuse.
I don't do much online stuff with LapDancer, my Dell laptop, but apparently one of these spyware programs got installed. I was out looking at the Disney site and up popped a pop-up with a reference to questionable material. They say that spyware can actually take over your web browser and do things like that.
My guess would be that you currently have spyware on your computer and don't even know it. The best thing you can do is mount a counter attack by installing a program that gets rid of spyware. Two that have been highly recommended are SpyBot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware by Lavasoft. The best thing to do is install one of these programs. Download the latest updates for it, run the program and then restart your computer. Run the program again just to make sure that all your spyware has been removed and then leave the program running in the background to help protect you from further attacks. Both of these programs have good documentation so you should not have any trouble installing them.


     Just in time for Easter...
Our good friends at Fastwire Networks, the people who host our web site, sent us this weeks "Site of the Week". Lori writes; "You've probably heard of "Easter Eggs", a programmers code name for hidden messages, graphics and "just weird stuff" that application / software geeks hide in their code just for fun? Here's a website that lists a whole bunch of Easter Eggs - in applications we all use ... fun stuff! www.eggheaven2000.com"
Thanks Lori, I'm sure our readers will have fun looking for all those neat, geekie, Easter eggs.


Ginger Jars

     Ginger has such a great flavor but it's so hard to keep for any length of time. You can wrap it in paper towels, put it in a Zip-Lock bag and then refrigerated it but we think this is a much better way.

Here is a list of the things you will need.

  • A Ginger Root.
  • Some small jars with a good sealing lid.
  • Some White Wine

Peel the Ginger Root using a spoon. Most of the flavor is near the surface of the root and if you use a peeler or knife you may go too deep. Just scrape the skin off with the tip of a spoon.
Cut the Ginger into small pieces about 1" long.
Put the Ginger into the jars and fill them up with wine.

Put them in the refrigerator and they'll keep for months.

When you need to use some ginger in a recipe just take a piece out of the jar, grate it up and you're good to go.
You can also use the wine for adding some great flavor to your dishes. After you've taken some of the wine fill it back up.

These also make wonderful gifts to hand out to friends when they come to visit.

What do you make with Ginger? Check out this weeks recipe for a really good marinade made from Ginger.

     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 marilyn@runnerduck.com and we'll do the rest.

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

Harry Potter Is Back

      In case you've been on vacation in central Antarctica and haven't heard, Harry Potter is back with The Chamber of Secrets on DVD. I was just released last week and we have it here for you at a great savings. We don't know how long this special will last but Amazon is offering this new DVD at 40% off. That's a $12.09 savings. If you are a Harry Potter fan you need to get this for your collection while the price is low.

Click Here

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

Just when I thought we were nearing the end of the list a friend of ours sent some more so here you go.

Q: What do you do if you see a bleeding drummer running around in your back yard?
A: Stop laughing and shoot again.

Q: How many 2nd violinists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, they can't get up that high !!!!!!

Q: What's the perfect weight of a conductor?
A: Three and one-half pounds, including the urn.

Q: What do all great conductors have in common?
A: They're all dead.

Q: What's the definition of optimism?
A: A bass trombonist with a beeper.

Q: What do you do if you run over a bass player?
A: Back up.

Q: How do you reduce wind-drag on a trombonist's car?
A: Take the Domino's Pizza sign off the roof.

Q: How do you get a clarinetist out of a tree?
A: Cut the noose.

Q: What do you throw a drowning bass player?
A: His amplifier.

Q: How do you get a three-piece horn section to play in tune?
A: Shoot two of them.

You can check out our summer schedule at the Tempos web site www.thetempos.com/jobs.htm. 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 thetempos@runnerduck.com.

      Almost anyone who really loves music and especially Jazz remembers the great performances at the Playboy mansion on the TV show Jazz After Dark. While I'm not particularly a Hugh Hefner fan the show was fantastic. There is now a CD with many of the great performances from that show. It's a two CD set and it just came out last week. This is one you definitely need for your collection.


Remember, we have a link on our web site, www.runnerduck.com, to our ever popular Grammy® Shopper site. If you haven't been there yet just click HERE to see all the 2003 Grammy® winners complete with links to purchase any one of them.

Questions and Answers

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

Q: Kim from the Country Bin writes, I found your web site and was wondering if I could get some information from you on how to go about selling my crafts. I make hand painted wood signs with whimsical sayings on them. Each sign has a different design painted on them. I also hand paint jars which I make into lamps and candle holders. My most popular items are my hand painted teapots, coffee pots and bread boxes.

A: She did the right thing by writing us. We are now working with her to help her get a web presence. If everything comes together you should be seeing Kim's crafts in the RunnerDuck Crafts store soon.
If you have crafts that you'd like to sell just drop us a line and we'll see if we can make it come together, crafts@runnerduck.com


Happy Easter

The RunnerDuck Goodies Store

Check out all the great products in the RunnerDuck Goodies Store. Show the world that you love RunnerDuck!

RunnerDuck Coffee Mug   RunnerDuck Mouse Pad
RunnerDuck T-Shirt   RunnerDuck Golf Shirt

There is lots of other cool stuff at the RunnerDuck Goodies Store.


      Even though some of you have had lots of rain and snow pack over the winter it's always a good idea to start conserving water for that not so rainy day. This conservation tip is really difficult for me to get use to because I grew up with dish washers that didn't do a very good job of washing dishes.
Don't pre-rinse dishes. Check to see if your dishwasher can clean dishes without pre-rinsing them. Most newer dishwashers don't require pre-rinsing. Not only will this save a ton of water but the gas or electricity to heat all that water.

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

The RunnerDuck web site is hosted by

If you are looking for a great hosting service at a terrific price check them out at www.fastwirenetwork.com. 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.


Ginger Marinade
      We showed you how to keep Ginger for longer periods of time in this weeks "Marilyn's Projects" so now we'll show you how to use some of it. You can use this marinade on all sorts of meat, poultry and vegetables.

  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine from the Ginger Jar
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Clove Garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger, grated
Mix all the ingredients together and it's ready for some great seasoning.

Here's just one suggestion.
Marinade meat chunks and vegetable chunks (about 1-2" square) a minimum of over night.
Put the meat and vegetables on a skewer and cook on the B-B-Q.
Bake a potato.
Cut the potato in half lengthwise. Put the meat and vegetables on top of the potatoes and drizzle a little cooked marinade over it all.

This is just one of many ways to use this marinade. We're sure you'll come up with many more once you try it.

Remember, if you have a recipe you'd like to share please send it to marilyn@runnerduck.com.

     Every month we post a new recipe on our web page. Be sure and check out the April 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 marilyn@runnerduck.com.


The Cooking.com Easter sale Continues. For your Easter Roasting, we feature 4 of our bestselling Roasters, as varied as the traditions we celebrate this Easter. Traditions that include something for every member of the family - from the Easter egg hunt for the kids to the big Sunday meal with a baked, glazed ham or an herb-crusted lamb as the centerpiece. To go with it, an array of vegetables, fresh from the spring garden.

Click Here for more information.



"Marinades: Dry Rubs, Pastes and Marinades for Poultry, Meat, Seafood, Cheese and Vegetables" by Jim Tarantino

      In keeping with our marinade scheme here is one of the all time favorite cookbooks about marinades. It's been around for a while and continues to be many peoples favorite "go to" cookbook. Here's what one reader said about this book.
"Of the fifty or so cookbooks on my shelf, this is the one I use the most and has the highest percentage of recipes you are likely to actually use. The best of these recipes are truly incredible, but while some are better than others I've yet to try a recipe I thought was a dud. I won't bother to list my favorites here- you should buy this book and start experimenting yourself. (Well, okay, you HAVE to try the "Shashlik" recipe with lamb kebabs!) The only complaint I have about this book is that its index isn't very good, but after you use it for a while you will know where to find things without it.
In addition to the wonderful recipes, there are other features that make this a very useful cookbook. First, it has text about techniques regarding marinating and dry-rubbing that has a lot of good information for cooks, including a great table comparing the relative properties of various oils. Tarantino provides recommended uses for the marinades and dry rubs, and instead of saying "Try on fish, or beef or pork" and leaving it at that, his recommendations are far more precise: beef brisket, pork tenderloin, swordfish steaks, scallops, shrimp, rabbit, venison, and other delicacies make their way into the suggestions for use. While it's fun to flip through the pages looking at the various recipes, there is a handy table in the back which can help you to quickly match up what you plan to cook with an appropriate recipe.
A final word- most of the dishes I've cooked that my dinner guests raved about and requested the recipe came from this book. I'm tempted to try to keep it a secret, but it's too good not to share."

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


Cupola, Step 1

     Oh boy a new project! We got a weather vane for Christmas and have been trying to figure out where and how to mount it. We finally decided to mount it on our "wheelhouse" on top of a cupola. Of course the first thing we need to do is design and build a cupola. After researching many sites on the web we did not find any free plans for one so we had to make our own. We hope you enjoy this project and the free plans that come with it.

This project is a little challenging so we'll break it into three steps. This week we'll build the vents.

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

We used Cedar for everything but the plywood but you may want to choose other wood. We felt like Cedar would look the best and last the longest.

  • 1/2" plywood 2' X 4', best if it's marine grade.
  • (2) 1" X 6" Cedar 6' long
  • 1" X 4" Cedar 5' long
  • (2) 3/4" X 4" Cedar 8' long
  • 2" X 2" Cedar 3' long
  • 36" fine screen
  • Nails, screws and glue.
  • Stain and/or preservative.
We may as well get one of the more difficult pieces out of the way. The posts are cut from 2" X 2" to 8" long.
Cut some scrap pieces of wood 2", 4" and 6" long.
Set the miter up on your table saw at a 45 degree angle.
Cut four 1/2" dados on two sides of each piece. NOTE: If your stock for the vents is something other 1/2" then set the dado that width. Do this by setting up a stop on your miter for the first cut which should come out exactly to the corner of the 2" X 2".

After making your first pass put in the 2" spacer and make the second pass. Repeat this with the other two spacers.
Cut all four posts and then set up your table saw for the opposite 45. Do the same thing again for all four posts.

Now cut the vents from the 3/4" X 4" Cedar. Cut the vents 2 7/8" wide using a 45 degree tilt to your table saw blade.
Cut (16) pieces 9 1/2" long.
Cut four of the pieces 2 3/16" wide with an opposite 45 degree angle.

Now all that's left is to assemble the vents to the posts. This is a little tricky but actually went better than I had imagined.
Start by gluing one side of one post where the vents will go.
Install the vents with the 45 degree angle approximately in the center of the post where the two opposing vents will meet.

Nail each vent into place.
Put a post on the opposite end of the vents and repeat the process.
Continue around the until all four posts are glued and nailed to the vents.

You should now have something that looks like this picture.
Fit some screen around the inside of the vents to keep the birds and bees out.

Next week we'll make the base.

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 projects@runnerduck.com .

     If you want to talk about something just drop us a line at duckmaster@runnerduck.com 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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