June 27, 2003

RunnerDuck Home

WELCOME BACK:   Last week we mentioned that the Empress of the North, the largest sternwheeler, is now in Everett, Washington for final outfitting. Just in case you are there looking for it you'll find it a little south of the Kimberly-Clark factory. Unfortunately you can't get very close to it but it's still cool to look at. It will only be there for a couple more weeks and then it's off to Alaska.

Empress of the North in Everett, WA
We get really thrilled when we hear that one of our readers has successfully made one of our projects. Probably the most difficult project we have on our web site is the waterwheel. RunnerDuck reader Flynn has been building his for some time now and is about ready to turn on the water. He's planning a big backyard Fourth of July party for the christening of it. We got a sneak preview of it this week thanks to some pictures he sent. Here it is being installed onto his shed. We're expecting to see another picture after the water is running.

If you ever build one of our projects and would like to show us how it came out we'd love to see it. Sometimes our instructions might be a little confusing but remember that we are always here to supply answers. We've built every project on our web site and know most of the pitfalls.

We are currently in discussions with several crafters to sell their art pieces on our web site. Stay tuned for further updates as we finalize things. If you are a crafter who would like to sell their creations through our web site please drop us a line and we'll see what we can do. We currently only have one persons crafts on display, Ron Godin, but would love to add more. Check it out at www.runnerduck.com/craft.htm.
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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn

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What's New This Week? We got our waterwheel running again. Ken's brother Ron helped weld the new steel shaft onto the hubs and the four new gussets onto each side just for added protection. We really like watching the waterwheel go around and the noise that the water makes as it splashes out of the buckets. It had been broken for about six months and we really noticed that something was missing in our back yard.

Ken's brother Ron grinding off the old weld

We have another person that is going to make one of our waterwheels and his main reason is because of the great sound they make. Alexander from Vancouver, B.C. writes; I am a retired professional engineer, specialty in machine design. Years back, I worked in South Korea, on a large dam and pumping project. I lived in Seoul, and my kind frequented the Chosun Hotel, a fairly posh place. The first floor dining and bar area had a huge, floor to ceiling panoramic window, looking out into a fantastic semi-tropical garden, with a large waterwheel, turning, turning.... through a sophisticated speaker system you could hear the water, the rustling wind in the bamboo, the birds... there were frogs there, water lilies in the mill-pond. It was a place of magic, of dreams. My best ideas were born there.
By sheer chance, I came across your webpage showing how to build a waterwheel and on the spot I decided that I am going to build a waterwheel, less millhouse, in my little back garden. Perhaps some magic will come back. I went over your instructions. Being what I am, I shall make some changes, but the essential character of the wheel will remain yours. Would you like me to send you some pictures when it is done? I live in Vancouver, Canada.


      Have you ever found a product that you just absolutely love and want to tell everyone about? That's the way we feel about Caig RS5 Contact Cleaner. The reason we mention this is the DigiTalk section is because it's great for applying to cable connectors before you plug them in. We have no interest in this company and don't get anything for mentioning this, we just like it a lot.
We have a television cable to our trailer at Port Susan from an outside antenna. We noticed that our picture was getting a little weak so I went out and checked the connector. It looked a little oxidized from all the time it had spent in the humid environment. I put a couple of drops of Caig on it, screwed it in and the picture was back clearer than ever. We did this quite a while ago and it has not deteriorated at all since then. I've used it on my trailer plug to the truck with great results also. A little goes a long way so you don't need a bunch.
Check out their product line at www.caig.com. I'm not sure of retail outlets for their products but I got mine from their web site. If you have lots of cables for your TV, CD, DVD, computer, etc. then I'd recommend their products. They have web specials and their #K2C: 2cc Squeeze Tube Sampler Kit for about $10 might just be the ticket.


     We've recently made some friends over the electronic highway and found out that they embroider and silkscreen shirts of all kinds. They have some really nice items and we thought we'd give them a plug. While a lot of their stuff is commercial and targeted at companies and groups they do have some rather cute shirts for everyone.
Nancy writes; You mentioned looking for folks who have special items for sale, craft wise. Do me a favor. I don't know if you're talking about things I have available but check out the shirts on the Exclusive Designs page on my NEW website, www.ad-expressions.com. We're so excited, it just launched this week. I've been getting your newsletter for about a year now and always loved it. My friends love your tips too.
I made the China shirt as my daughter, Terri, had just returned from China after adopting a beautiful little girl, Taylin. Terri said, "Everywhere you go you see items saying, made in China, and Taylin is, so let's make a shirt that says that." Well as you can imagine, everywhere my daughter goes people want to know where she got the shirt. We made the website to help get the info out to more folks. Other great favorites of folks are the Grandma shirts.
Thanks Nancy I'm sure there are a few grandmothers out there that will just love your shirts.


Fourth of July Whirligig

     A lot of towns are banning fireworks due to safety concerns but this Whirligig will make your Fourth of July fun and safe. This project does require cutting so have an adult help you. We wouldn't want you to have a safe toy that you got hurt making.

Here is a list of the things you will need.
  • Plastic pop bottle. Just about any size will do depending on how big you want to make it. Ours is from a liter bottle.
  • Wire, a clothes hanger will work fine.
  • 2 plastic or wood beads that will fit on the wire.
  • Glue, check to see if it will work on plastic like household glue.
  • Red, White and Blue acrylic paint.
  • Primer spray paint.

This is a little hard to explain but the picture should help a little.

Cut the bottom off at the seam, about 2 1/2" up from the bottom.
Mark sixteen blades each with an equal width. Measure around the bottle and divide by 16.
Cut the blades straight up to the next seam about 4" down from the top of the lid.
Bend each blade 90 degrees at a slight angle to give the blades some pitch like a propeller.
Drill a hole in the center of the cap the size of your wire.
Cut about 1/4" off the top of the bottom to remove the seam.
Make a number of cuts about 1/2" to 3/4" long around the top of the bottom. This will allow the bottom to fit inside the propeller.
Drill a hole in the center of the bottom the size of your wire.
Apply glue around the top of the bottom. Insert the bottom into the propeller and twist it to spread the glue around.
After the glue dries spray paint primer on the whole whirligig.
Paint the blades Red and White.
Paint the hub, front and back, Blue.
Paint White stars on the hub.
Put the wire through a bead, the propeller and another bead. Bend the end of the wire into a hook and bend the back over 90 degrees. Be careful not to make it too tight.

That's it now go enjoy your fireworks anywhere you like.

     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.

      Just in case you haven't ordered your copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yet we thought we'd extend this offer for another week. J. K. Rowling has done it again with another wonderful Harry Potter book. You can order it here at a great price and be intensely submersed in this fantastic tale in no time at all.

Click Here

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

We haven't had a good Tempos joke in a long time so here's a new one for you.

One day in heaven, the Lord decided He would visit the earth and take a stroll. Walking down the road, He encountered a man who was crying. The Lord asked the man, "Why are you crying, my son?"

The man said that he was blind and had never seen a sunset. The Lord touched the man who could then see... and he was happy.

As the Lord walked further, He met another man crying and asked, "Why are you crying my son?"

The man was born a cripple and was never able to walk. The Lord touched him and he could walk... and he was happy.

Farther down the road, the Lord met another man who was crying and asked, "Why are you crying, my son?"

The man said, "Lord I'm a professional trombone player." ....... and the Lord sat down and cried with him!

The next big event for the Tempos at will be the Air show in Yakima, Washington on July 26th. We'll start playing at 7:30 PM and go until 11:30 PM. If you are in Yakima that weekend make plans to swing by the Air show to check out some really wonderful antique airplanes and hear some equally wonderful music. If you decide to go over for the weekend you might want to reserve your hotel room soon because these places fill up fast. We'll bring you more information as we get it.

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 free 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.

      Two things I really like are guitar and bossa nova. One of the best is the musician that started it all, Charlie Byrd. In 1962 he, along with saxophonist Stan Getz, launched the U.S. bossa nova craze. I've been a fan of his ever since. This weeks CD is a classic with Byrd playing all of his famous Jobim and Bonfa songs.


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.


      Summer is here and that means that people will be traveling a lot more. If you are one of those people that go camping with a trailer or motor home we have some tips for saving gas plus reduced wear and tear on your vehicle. Most people over pack their RV with more than they will need. Every little bit of added weight reduces your mileage. A couple of ways to reduce weight are to make sure that your holding tanks are empty before you take off. At 8.3 pounds per gallon it can add up pretty quick. If you are going to a place that has full hook-ups don't fill your water tanks before you leave. Put in only the amount of water that you will need while you are traveling from campsite to campsite. Besides improving your mileage the lighter weight will help save on all your running gear, drive train and tires.

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.


Yankee Doodle Salad
      Just in time for the Fourth of July we have a wonderful salad to make your holiday picnic just perfect.

  • 4 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Relish
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Mustard
  • 2 Cups Cubed Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Pound Cooked Hot Dogs, cut in pieces
Cook and then chill the Macaroni.
Mix everything together.
Chill for 2 hours.
Makes 6 cups.

Now get out there and have a great feast!

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 NEW July recipe that will be posted next Tuesday 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.



"Chicken Salad: 50 Favorite Recipes" by Barbara Lauterbach

      Not only is our Yankee Doodle Salad a hit at summer picnics but most any of these chicken salad recipes would do too.
The author of Potato Salad is back with 50 of the best recipes for this old-time crowd pleaser. For potlucks and parties, luncheons and lunch boxes, chicken salad is the perfect solution for today's busy cook. Classics like Waldorf Chicken Salad, bursting with fruit, walnuts, and savory blue cheese, and spicy specialties like Curried Chutney Chicken are irresistible and sure to impress at the family reunion. And fabulous tips for making basics like homemade mayonnaise and vinaigrette make it that much easier. Barbara Lauterbach has fired up her test kitchen, bringing the best of today's ingredients and techniques to bear on a tried and true favorite. The result is fresher, faster, and even more delicious-plain ole' poultry just got a whole new attitude.

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


There some sizzling specials at Cooking.com for RunnerDuck readers. Just enter coupon code C96885 and receive 15% off any single item. Just click on the banner below.


Gizzie (Sun Tracker)

     This weeks project has had my interest for some time now. It's sort of a scientific instrument that's more fun than science. I first saw this device when my brother Ron got it for a birthday present. A friend of his made it from plans he found in a German book on things that measure our environment. I've since lost the title of the book but will try to find it for you. It's all in German and since I don't read German it was a little difficult to figure out. The book called it a Heliograph Mit Laborkolben but I call it a Gizzie.
Basically it's a device to record the suns path by burning a track onto a piece of paper. It works really good. This is a great device to just have sitting around the house for a conversation piece.

Click on the picture for a bigger view

Here's what you'll need:

  • 4" X 24" X 1/2" Oak (true size)
  • 2" X 1/4" - 20 hex head bolt
  • 1/4" - 20 wing nut
  • (2) large 1/4" flat washers
  • (2) 9/16" #6 flat head screws
  • 1/16" to 1/8" diameter wire 6" long
  • 3 1/2" X 7" Galvanized sheet metal like you would use for furnace ducting.
  • 250 ml round bottom boiling flask. Good luck finding the flask. We don't have a single store in the Seattle area that carries this. We ordered ours from Indigo Instruments at www.indigo.com and it arrived in only a few days, $15.40 including shipping. Good people to deal with.
Cut two 1 1/2" strips from your piece of Oak.
Cut all the pieces as follows:
  • (2) Legs, 7 1/4" long.
  • (2) Arms, 5 1/4" long.
  • (1) Upright, 9" long.
  • (4) Blocks, 1 1/2" long.
  • (1) Spreader, 1" long.
  • (1) Hanger, 3" long.
Cut a radius on the top end of each leg.
Stack the two arms and upright with double backed tape. Mark a full radius on one end and cut.

While they are stacked drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the arc.
Cut a taper on the hanger starting 1" down, going to 3/4" wide.
Cut a fine slot 3/4" long into the 3/4" end of the hanger for the sheet metal.
Glue and clamp the legs, blocks and upright as shown above.
Put the bolt through the holes of the arms so you have them aligned. Glue and clamp the spreader 1/4" back from the end of the arms.
Drill two holes the size of your wire approximately 3/8" back from the end of the arms centered on each one.
Bend a radius in the wire to go around the flask.
Bend the ends 90 degrees to fit into the two holes. This should be fairly tight but not overly tight or your flask will not hang straight down.
Sand, stain and finish all the pieces.
Mount the arm to the upright using a 2" X 1/4"-20 screw with a flat washer on each side and a wing nut.
Cut a piece of galvanized sheet metal 3 1/2" X 7" to 8 1/2" long.
Bend it into a radius that is evenly spaced about 1" to 1 1/2" away from the flask.
Drill and countersink a hole for a #6 screw in one arm centered on the side half way between the back of the spacer and the upright. This is to hold the hanger.
Put the screw in half way for now.
Drill and countersink a hole in the hanger about 1/4" up from the 3/4" wide end to clamp the sheet metal.
Insert the sheet metal into the slot in the hanger and tighten the screw.
Put the wire around the flask and insert the ends into the two holes on the arms.
Slide the hanger into the arm and adjust it so that the sheet metal is about 1" to 1 1/2" away from the flask.

That's it, now you are ready to make some final adjustments and burn a sun track.
Fill the flask with water.
Using a couple of paper clips attach a piece of brown grocery bag paper onto the sheet metal.
Put the Gizzie in the sun and focus the sun onto the paper. You'll have to rotate the arms to adjust for the angle of the sun.
It will immediately burn a hole through the paper but it should not start a fire, at least ours hasn't. You might have some water ready just in case.
It will probably take you a few times to get is set so that you get a long track on the paper. Leave it in place from day to day and see how much the sun moves.
This is fun and educational in showing how the sun travels. Have a great time making this Gizzie and then playing with it.

We hope you've enjoyed this project and have good success with it. Remember, if you ever have any problems with our projects just drop us a line and we'll try to help. Since we build every one of these projects we have a pretty good idea of how to get through them. We also make lots of mistakes so we can help avoid them. 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 .


A man and a woman, who have never met before, find themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train. Though initially embarrassed and quite uneasy over sharing a room, the two were tired and fell asleep quickly -- he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.

At 2:00 AM, he leaned over and gently woke the woman, saying, "Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold."

"I have a better idea," she replied. "Just for tonight, let's pretend that we're married."

"Wow! That's a great idea!!" he exclaims.

"Good," she replied. "Get your own damn blanket."

     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!

     If you forward these newsletters to your friends just drop us a line and we'll do it for you. Just send us their email address and we'll do the rest. Remember, we never share our email list with anyone, period! Just drop me a line or go to our registration page and sign up your friend.

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