July 4, 2003

RunnerDuck Home

WELCOME BACK:   Happy Fourth of July everyone! We hope you have a safe and sane holiday with your friends and family. We're celebrating rather low key again this year. The town we live in does not allow fireworks so you'd think that all would be quite on the Western front but not so. From our vantage point up on the hill we get to see and hear everything that goes on in the valley. You can almost see where the city limit is because there is an arsenal of fireworks just outside the line while there is a smattering inside the city. I guess some people just need to live dangerously. We can see the big commercial displays at some of the schools but the more exciting displays are the private individuals and groups that have gotten together to blow up things. The whole valley lights up like a war zone for about two hours, pretty spectacular.
If you have a strong need to blow up some stuff this year please pay attention to all that is around you and pay special attention to the kids. It's amazing how many people end up getting hurt each year. We need all the readers we can get so please play it cool.

Just to keep you abreast of our up coming grandchild, here's the latest. Jenni, Ken's daughter, is due at the end of July. Because the baby seems to be anxious to get out of there she has been put on bed rest. Everything is still looking really good but they would like the baby to hang on for a little while longer. Nothing more fun than trying to do bed rest when there is a two year old bouncing off the walls around you. We're all pulling for her and like the new baby, we can hardly wait.

What happened to all our famous people this week? It seems like falling dominos in the world of entertainment. First we lost Katherine Hepburn then Buddy Hackett and now Strom Thurmond. We include Strom Thurmond as entertainer because of his past history in government life. It's hard to believe that they are gone when they are people that you've seen your whole life. It's wonderful that we have all the old movies and footage to remember them by.

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? Boat problems! Since Ken's brother Ron is up from California and helping out we decided to have him help change one of the starters on our boat. The starboard starter decided to die the last time we used the boat. It's never fun to get into the engine compartment and work on things because there just isn't any room. It seems like every time you want to access a bolt there is something else in the way.
After a few bruised knuckles and a few dropped tools and hardware down into the bilge we got it out. It seems that the armature was broken. We were lucky to find a rebuilt one and got it installed. It was a lot easier put in the new one.
Since we don't like to boil the batteries dry with the charger we turn it off when we're not using the boat for a while. Because of this the batteries were dead and we couldn't start it. After a day on the chargers we went back up to the boat and both engines started just fine. We put the port engine in and out of gear to check things out and it worked just fine. When we tried the starboard engine nothing happened. The shifter would not move. It appears that the shift linkage cable is frozen. This wouldn't be so bad except the only way to change the cable is to haul the boat and pull the outdrive off. The wonderful thing about boating is nothing is cheap. Here's a break down of this $30 repair.
Haul the boat (in and out) $186
Pressure wash $30
Environmental fee $30
Remove and replace the outdrive (labor) $300
Linkage cable $30
Total $576

Endless hours of waxing, priceless!

Not bad for a $30 part! While we have it out we are going to wax the hull, touch up the bottom paint and change the zincs, just another $100 in materials. At least now we can get back on the water and start having fun.


      Have you heard that ATTBI has changed their name again to Comcast? What this means is that all those thousands of people with an ATTBI email address are going to have to change them again to Comcast. They claim that all your mail will be forwarded from your old address but it would be my guess that somewhere in the future they will stop doing that.
If your email address ever changes be sure to send us a notice of change. That way you'll never miss a copy of your favorite newsletter. Just send an email to address-change@runnerduck.com with your old email address and your new one. Be sure to identify which is which.

Something else that is new this week is the Federal Government has finally taken action on solicitor phone calls. They have set up a web page where you can register up to three phone numbers to add to the "Do Not Call" list. If you register before August 31st you should stop receiving about 80% of unsolicited phone calls by October 1st. It's a very simple process, just go to www.donotcall.gov and add your phone numbers. It takes all of about three minutes. After you register you'll receive an email that you must respond to by clicking on the enclosed link. That will open up a web page that completes your registration. The email says, "Once you have registered, your phone number registration will be effective for 5 years. It will be illegal for most telemarketers to call you, and you will be able to file a complaint if a telemarketer does call you. The website www.donotcall.gov provides information about filing a complaint.
I sure hope this works because I couldn't possibly put any more siding or windows on my house ;-)


     On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from England and Democracy was born. As they say, the rest is history, lots of history. Have you ever had a curiosity about the Fourth of July holiday beyond it being Independence Day? We found a site that that has been a work in progress for the past eight years. In their Purpose and Scope section they say, "This database was begun in 1995 by James Heintze, Librarian at American University, Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to bring together in one source selected examples of Fourth of July celebrations that have occurred throughout our nation's history from 1776 to 2003. The goal is to capture a slice of the American cultural tradition--its pageantry, spectacle, music, and symbol in order to enhance our understanding of the American character and heritage."

Be prepared to do some serious reading about the Fourth. They have amassed a ton of great information. Just go to www.american.edu/heintze/fourth.htm and enjoy.

If you are a kid that wants to have some holiday fun check out www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/july4. They have all kinds of really fun Fourth of July activities just for kids.


The Fourth of July sizzling specials at Cooking.com continue for RunnerDuck readers. Just enter coupon code C96885 and receive 15% off any single item. Just click on the banner below.


Fourth of July Fun Rocket

     We had such fun with this project last year we thought we'd feature it again. We all know that many fireworks are unsafe and can cause fires. Well here's a little Fourth of July fun that is relatively safe. It does require some adult supervision but what the heck, it's always fun to play with your folks.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A plastic 35mm film canister
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • One square of bathroom tissue
      This is definitely an out of doors project. Unless your folks have a great sense of humor about getting vinegar all over the house please keep this outside. It has somewhat unpredictable results so stand back. We found that with some film canisters the rocket would get much higher than with others so you may have to experiment a little bit.
Put about a 3/4 tablespoon of baking soda into the middle of a 4" X 4" piece of tissue paper. Fold up the corners and twist the ends so the baking soda will stay inside the tissue. This makes the release of the gasses a little slower so you have time to put in the vinegar, put on the lid, put it down and stand back. Poke the tissue down into the film canister.
Put 1 tablespoons of vinegar into a small container.
Have an adult help with the next step.
Pour the vinegar into the film canister, put the lid on, place it on a flat surface with the lid down and stand back.
It should take about 2 seconds for it to "pop-off". Remember the results are unpredictable so you may have to play around with it and try different film canisters to get the best results.
It can be fun to decorate your rocket with paint and even a paper nose cone.
Have fun and enjoy the Fourth!

     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

The next big event for the Tempos at will be the Air show in Yakima, Washington on July 26th. It will be at the McAllister Museum of Flight. Their web site has some great information about the museum including a picture of Charlie McAllister's pilot license signed by Orville Wright, mcallistermuseum.org/index.htm. The dance is from 7:30PM-11:00PM. The band is the famous Seattle group, the "Tempos", a 17 piece pro swing band that has been performing in the Seattle area for over 30 years, playing mainly Glenn Miller style music. There will also be a silent and live auction with Bob Clem as master of ceremonies and auctioneer. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided and adult beverages will be available. Only a limited number of tickets will be sold. This event is primarily a fundraiser for McAllister's. The price of the tickets are $40.00 each and only 200 are planned to be sold. Contact McAllister Museum for tickets. (509)457-4933.

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.

      Summer is a time for relaxing in a cool breeze and listening to some mellow music. George Winston is a wonderful piano player that can set the perfect summer mood with his CD called Summer. Gary Selikow, who reviewed this CD wrote; This is a remarkable slice of tranquility on CD. It brings to life the wonders of nature during summer through the genius of George Winston and his associates. I find it extremely soothing and sustaining, from the dreamlike opening piece by Peter Seeger "Living In The Country" to the exquisite Loretta and Desiree's Bouquet. From Spring Creek by Phillip Aaberg - evocative of a waterfall and stream, to the lively Corrina, Corrina. This album is powerful collage of inspirational meditation music.


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.


      Here's another travel tip to save money and make you safer during your summer vacations. If you pull a travel trailer be sure to check the air pressure in the tires. Over the winter they can leak air and cause a drag while pulling your trailer. This is of course a safety issue also. Poor handling of a trailer, due to low tire pressure, can be a very dangerous thing. Also be sure to take a good look at your tires for weather checking. Just because your tires don't have a lot of miles on them doesn't mean they aren't bad. Sun damage can really take a toll on trailer tires. If they look questionable have them checked by a professional.

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


A boy was taking care of his baby sister while his parents went to town shopping. He decided to go fishing and he had to take her along.

"I'll never do that again!" he told his mother that evening. "I didn't catch a thing!"

"Oh, next time I'm sure she'll be quiet and not scare the fish away," his mother said.

The boy said, "It wasn't that. She ate all the bait."

Thanks to Bette for that cute one.

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.


Double Custard Lemon Pie
      One of the flavors that is always refreshing when it's hot out is lemon. This week we are sharing one of Ken's favorite family recipes. This one came from his Auntie Vi in Iowa, God rest her sole.

  • 1 9" Pie Shell
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Peel
  • 1 1/3 Cups Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Boiling Water
  • 2 Egg Yolks, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • 2 Egg Whites
Combine Sugar, Cornstarch and Salt in a saucepan.
Add Boiling Water and cook over direct heat until thick and clear, stirring constantly.
Stir a portion of hot mixture into the beaten Egg Yolks then add the egg yolk mixture to the portion remaining in the saucepan.
Stir in Butter and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Stir in Lemon Juice, grated Lemon Peel and Vanilla.
Save out 1 cup to use as a topping.
To the remaining hot filling add the Gelatin which has been soaked in 1/4 cup cold water.
Stir until the Gelatin dissolves.
Blend in Half and Half and chill until the mixture forms mounds when dropped from a spoon.
Beat the Egg Whites until stiff but not dry.
Fold into chilled gelatin mixture.
Spoon into a baked Pie Shell and chill until set.
When set, spread the cup of filling you reserved over the top.
Garnish with whipped cream if desired.
This pie is suitable for freezing.

We think you will absolutely love this pie and take it on many a summer picnic.

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 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.



"Icebox Pies" by Lauren Chattman

      To compliment our summer pie experience we found this cookbook that is perfect. These cool no bake pies will be a real hit at your next hot weather event. Here's what one reviewer wrote about this cookbook, "Just in time for the summer season of family gatherings and backyard barbecues comes Lauren Chattman's Icebox Pies: 100 Scrumptious Recipes For No-Bake No-Fail Pies. From Coconut Cream Pie; Toasted Almond Semifreddo Pie; Rocky Road Pie; and Frozen Milky Way Pie; to Mango and Coconut Ice Cream Pie; Coffee Health Bar Ice Cream Pie; Blueberry Icebox Pie; and Chocolate-Almond Icebox Pie; these are desserts that would be the perfect topper for any warm weather dining experience, indoors or out! If you are looking for a special dessert for a special occasion, or just some extraordinary toppers to daily family dining, then check out Lauren Chattman's Icebox Pies!" Midwest Book Review from Oregon, WI.

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


Bronze Mesh Planter

     At first I wasn't really wasn't very excited about the way this project looked when I was finished. I was hoping for a more dramatic look from the bronze mesh. As it turns out it's pretty cool because as the light changes the planter changes appearance. The more direct sun that shines on it the more you see the mesh the more shade there is the less you see of it. It's sort of like one of those fancy paint jobs you see on a car that are always changing color.

Click on the picture for a bigger view

Here's what you'll need:

  • (2) 8' X 1" X 6" tight know cedar
  • (2) 8' X 2" X 2" cedar
  • #6 X 1 1/4" deck screws
  • #8 X 2" deck screws
  • 12" X 5' bronze mesh
  • 3/4" Bronze brads
  • Stain
Cut the following 2" X 2"s:
(2) Base pieces 11"
(2) Base pieces 14"
(8) Frame pieces for the top and bottom 17" with a 45 degree angle on each end.
(4) Corner supports 6"

From the 1" X 6" cut:
(3) Bottoms 16" X 5 1/4"
(4) Sides 12 5/8" X 5 1/2"
(4) Sides 14" X 5 1/2"
(4) Caps 17" X 2 1/4" with a 45 degree angle on each end.

Start with the base by butt joining the four base pieces. Glue and screw them together.

Center the base onto the three bottom pieces leaving a 1/8" space between each board. This it to let the water run out.

Center and screw four 2" X 2" frame pieces to the bottom. Run the screws in from the bottom.

Build the box of the planter by screwing all the sides together using the corner supports. Run the screws from the inside.

Cut the bronze mesh 10 1/2" X 55 1/2". Make sure that the ends are perpendicular to the sides.
Fold over 1/2" on each end of the bronze mesh. This will keep it from fraying.
Staple the bronze mesh starting close to one edge. Put the staples near the top and bottom so they will be covered up by the frame later.
Pull the bronze mesh tight and crease it at each corner. Staple it the same way on every side.
The end of the bronze mesh will fold over its self. Using bronze brads, nail the end about every 1 1/2", top to bottom. Do not nail above where the 2" X 2" frame will go.
Remove the 2" X 2" frames you mounted on the bottom. Doing it this way will help make everything align better.
Set the box on top of the bottom and install the frame around it.
After the frame is in place put a few screws into the box from the inside out.
Install the frame around the top using 1 1/4" deck screws from the inside out. A good way to align this is to use a strap clamp to hold the frame in place while you screw it.
Install the cap by placing the planter upside down on top of it. Carefully align it and screw it using 1 1/4" deck screws.

That's about it! Fill it up with dirt, plant some flowers and wait for them to grow.

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 .

     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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