September 24, 2004

RunnerDuck Home

Thank you so much, those of you who have contributed to the MDA and to help get me (Ken) out of jail. If you haven't done so yet, please take a minute and donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association through this link, They are going to arrest me on October 5th and lock me up in a local restaurant. I need to post bail to get out and that bail comes from your donations. I thank you and so do those suffering from Muscular Dystrophy. We really appreciate your tax-deductible donation.

Welcome to Fall 2004! We started off the season with clouds, rain and temperatures in the 60's just like it should be in the Northwest. The weather prognosticator says that we are going to have cool summer like weather for the next week or more. That sounds good to us. We still have some work to do on the boat and would like to get our travel trailer moved to Port Susan near Marysville, Washington and covered up before the rains really set in.

Yippee, we have good news. Marilyn finished the bridge cover for our boat and Ken installed all the bungee hooks to hold it in place. If you've been following along you know that this is a big deal. From initially making the top three to four inches too narrow, even though we used the old cover for a pattern, to not being able to punch holes through the Sunbrella material it has been a pain. We are starting to get an appreciation why the canvas makers wanted $1,800 to make a new one. We've spent almost $600 in material and who knows how many hours measuring, cutting, sewing, ripping out, sewing, etc.

The cover looks great and fits pretty darn good, now we are starting on the cockpit cover. This will zipper onto the bridge cover and slope down to cover the whole back of the boat. We have no previous cover to work from so this will be a whole new creation. Wish us luck :-)

We won't make it up to the boat this weekend because we are going to be celebrating Marilyn's dad's birthday. He will be 80 years young this year and still doing pretty darn good.

We mentioned last week that we were going to swing by the Laurel Farms Craft Fair in Snohomish, Washington. We did and it was really good. The farm is huge with many large buildings. The craft fair was in only one building but had a large number of crafter's. We asked several people what went on at the farm but no one had a good answer. We think that is was a large milk farm that quit the farming business and went into the facility rental business. They rent the place out for weddings, corporate meetings and other events like this craft fair. Pretty interesting how things change over the years.

We did find a neat metal crab that will be and addition to our place in Sandy Point when we build there someday. We also found a couple of presents for the big holiday later in the year but we can't say Chris…. Yet ;-)

Is your wood butcher blocks and wooden kitchen utensils ready for the upcoming holiday cooking season? Our Spoon Oil is great for any wood in the kitchen. Wood utensils, wood cutting boards, butcher blocks, etc. Protect your wood and make clean up easier with Wood'N Ware Spoon Oil.
While you are at the site check out all the fine hand crafted maple utensils that are available. By the way they make wonderful wedding gifts!

Click on the Picture

To check out all the great gift sets go to
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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn

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What's New This Week?   It seems like we are always telling you about the adventures of Ken's brother Ron but that's because he does some pretty interesting things. Since his retirement he has really gotten into R/C airplanes. His latest acquisition is a sailplane. To learn more about it he went to the California Valley Cross Country Radio Controlled Sailplane Race in Carrizo Plain. As it turns out it is not a spectator sport and he was the only spectator there.

He did a great job of documenting the event in his most recent travelogue. We think you may find it quite interesting. Check out the sailplane race at


We haven't mentioned this for a while and there seems to be a lot more of it coming in these days so here goes. If you get an email from your bank, mortgage company or credit card company asking for information DON'T DO IT! ! !

We can't emphasize this enough. The scheme is called phishing and all they are trying to do is get your personal information so the can steal your identity or your money. They are getting more and more cleaver by adding very official logos that they have ripped off from the company's web sites.

If your financial institution wants to get a hold of you they will do it by mail or phone. They may send you information from time to time by email but will not ask for any account information. Don't fall for the bait and get hooked. If it looks really legitimate and you feel you need to respond then call them using the phone number off your statement and not from the email. If you instigate the call you can be pretty sure that you will be talking to real people and not some crooks. The nice thing about email it the delete button is only a mouse click away!


Have you ever seen a sign that doesn't make sense, is silly or just plain stupid? This week we serve up a fun site that has signs from all over the world that make you wonder what people are thinking when they post them. Ken Dumas has put together an interesting collection of signs that we think you'll find quite amusing. They are from his extensive personal collection and submissions by other people.
Log onto and be prepared to have a chuckle or two. We've actually seen a couple of these signs here in Washington State.


Plant Name Tags

Click on picture for bigger view.

     This project may seem a little strange for this time of year but I have good reason for it. Most people think about tagging their plants when they get them or when they plant them in the spring but think about this. In the fall you start pruning back plants and the leaves fall off others. They stop blooming and it gets really hard to tell what they are. Put name tags on them now and then if you want to move them in early spring you'll know for sure what you are moving.

Here's what you'll need:

Empty pop cans.
1" X 3" Avery labels, or whatever size or brand you like.
Hole punch.
20 gage wire.
Ballpoint pen.

Poke a hole near the top of the can and cut the top off.
Cut down the side and then around the bottom.
These cuts will probably be pretty jagged so cut around the piece to smooth the edges.
Grab each end of the piece and run it over the edge of a table to flatten out the can. I wouldn't do this on your heirloom coffee table but perhaps a rounded counter edge.
Put an adhesive backed label on the painted side of the can.
Use it as a guide and cut around the label.
Punch a hole in one corner of the label. You may want to use a nail rather than risk damaging your good hole punch but a hole punch does work good.
Place the label on a soft surface like a mouse pad with the metal side up.
Using the ballpoint pen write your plant name on the label. You will want to press hard enough to emboss the label.
All that's left is to run a wire through the hole and attach it to your plant.

Make a bunch of these tags unmarked for a thoughtful gift.

The beauty of these tags is that they last forever. The water or sun will not affect the embossing.

     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.

Kids Stuff


It's Baby Safety Month at Click on the above banner to go directly to the savings for Baby Safety Month.

To make it easier for you to take advantage of all our great Baby Safety Month offers, we've put together a complete list of every offer included in this special event. Along with offer details, we've also included the promotional codes you'll need to receive your discounts at checkout.

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

We haven't picked on singers for a while so we thought we'd share some "chick singer" jokes.

How does a singer change a light bulb?
She stands on a chair, takes hold of the bulb, and waits for the whole world to revolve around her.

Why is the ideal chick singer only three feet tall?
Because she is the perfect height for the band to rest their beer glasses on top of her head.

What is the difference between a vocalist and a terrorist?
You can negotiate with a terrorist.

What do a vocalist and a terrorist have in common?
They both blow bridges.

Why is a bad singer like a bomb?
Because when you hear it it's too late.

Why do singers never say anything bad about musicians?
Because they're too busy talking about themselves.

How many singers does it take to sing 'My Funny Valentine'?
Probably all of them.

How do you know there's a girl singer as a patient in the intensive care unit?
She's the only one that asks for more echo on the monitor.

Musician: How's your singing career coming on?
Singer: Great! Lately I've been concentrating on songs from the Southern states of America. My audience seems to prefer them.
Musician: How do you know they prefer songs from the South?
Singer: They're always putting cotton in their ears!

Singer: So, what do you think of my singing?
Band leader: It could be worse.
Singer: That's not a very nice thing to say.
Band leader: Okay, it couldn't be worse.

What do you say when a chick singer reaches the stage?
The chain is too long.

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

"The Marsalis Family"
Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Branford Marsalis

We have some sad news this week, Ellis Marsalis Sr. passed away this past weekend. While he was not a famous musician his son, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. and grandson's, Wynton and Branford, turned out to be some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time. This weeks CD offering features the whole Marsalis family. It is truly hard to believe that this much talent can come from one family. The only complaint about this CD is that there should have been two of them in the collection.

Be sure and visit the RunnerDuck Music Store for great savings on just about anything.



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



This weeks joke comes to us from Jean at Wood'N Wares.

Four men were bragging about how smart their cats are. The first man was an Engineer, the second man was an Accountant, the third man was a Chemist, and the fourth was a Government Employee....

To show off, the Engineer called to his cat, "T-square, do your stuff." T-square pranced over to a desk, took out some paper and a pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle. Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.

But the Accountant said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, "Spreadsheet, do your stuff." Spreadsheet went out into the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies. He divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 cookies each. Everyone agreed that was good.

But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, "Measure, do your stuff." Measure got up, walked over to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, got a 10 ounce glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 8 ounces without spilling a drop. Everyone agreed that was good.

Then the three men turned to the Government Employee and said, "What can your cat do?"

The Government Worker called to his cat and said, "Coffee Break, do your stuff." Coffee Break jumped to his feet, ate the cookies, drank the milk, pooped on the paper, had his way with the other three cats, claimed he injured his back while doing so, filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions, put in for Workers Compensation and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave.

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Do you have storm windows? It's still a little early, at least for most of us, to put them on but it's a good time to be thinking about them. Making your own isn't that difficult and the new materials the hardware stores have made it pretty easy. If you start now then you'll be ready when the temperature drops and the snow flies. Your home will be a lot warmer and your pocket book will be a lot heavier with all the cash you'll save on your heating bills.

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


Carrot Salad

Here's a really good sounding salad from Nina Kipperham. We haven't tried this one yet but will be soon.


  • 2 Cups Grated Carrots
  • 1 Cup Diced Celery
  • 1 Cup Diced Meat, can be canned meat such as Spam or left over ham or even chicken or tuna.
  • Minced Onion
  • 1 Cup Salad Dressing
  • 3/4 teaspoon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Canned Milk
  • 2 Cups Shoestring Potatoes
Mix Carrots, Celery, Meat and Onion together.
Mix Salad Dressing, Mustard and Canned Milk together.
Mix the two together.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mix in Shoestring Potatoes just before serving or else they will get soggy.

Sounds good to me, I'm off to the kitchen!

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

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


"How to Peel a Peach : And 1,001 Other Things Every Good Cook Needs to Know"
by Perla Meyers


What's the best way to keep half a lemon from going bad? Is it better to buy large or small eggs? All cooks have questions when it comes to the kitchen, and answering them can be a time consuming and often frustrating process of trial and error.

Not any more! Top cooking teacher and food writer Perla Meyers answers all the questions a cook might ask when shopping for ingredients and equipment or preparing a wide range of foods. It's like an entire series of cooking classes in a book. Complete with 100 fabulous contemporary recipes that put the book's advice into action, this indispensable reference will find a welcome home on every cook's kitchen shelf.


Router Vacuum

One of the messiest tools in my wood shop is the router. Every time I use it I have to break out the vacuum and clean up the shavings for the next fifteen minutes. I don't have one of those wonderful vacuum systems in my shop so I have to use my shop vac. This handy vacuum attachment helps eliminate that problem.

You'll have to adjust the dimensions to fit your particular situation. You may have a different size hose coupler or you may have a closer area to clamp your router vacuum.

Here's what you'll need:

  • (1) 5 3/4" X 18" X 1/2" hard wood, I used maple.
  • (2) 5 3/4" X 5 1/4" X 3/4" hardwood, I used fir.
  • 2 1/2" hose to hose connector or what ever fits your vacuum.
  • Glue
Layout the cutout for the router end of our vacuum on the 5 3/4" X 18" X 1/2" piece of wood. I used the hose connector to set the width of my notch. I placed the hose connector 1" back from the front edge.
I made the two front corners 3/8" wide and drew a line from those points to the tangent point on each side of the connector.
I made a 1" diameter cut in the back to round it out.
I drew lines from each front corner 5 1/4" back to a centered 2" wide area for my clamping handle.

Cut the two 5 3/4" X 5 1/4" X 3/4" pieces. One will be the middle piece and the other will be the top piece.
Glue the middle piece to the opposite side of your layout on the bottom piece.
Flip the piece over and cut out the pattern using a band saw.

Lay out the cut lines for the top to match the outside lines of the middle and bottom piece and cut.
Drill a 2 1/2" hole into the top piece. Center the hole with the edge of the hole 1" back from the front edge.

Glue the hose connector into the top piece of wood, flush with the bottom, using a filling glue like Gorilla Glue or epoxy.
Glue the top onto the middle piece.

When everything is dry, clamp your router vacuum to the table with the mouth over the router. Plug your vacuum hose onto it and away you go. That should make clean up after you route a whole lot simpler.

We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

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