November 8, 2002

RunnerDuck Home

WELCOME BACK: Sorry about the big rant last week but it just seems like there are getting to be too many "big brothers" out there. Ken has one older (big brother) and that's quite enough ;-)
I'll bet you thought you'd never hear someone from Washington State welcoming back the rain but we're finally getting some rain and glad to see it. Not unlike many parts of the country we are starting to have a drought. We're down about 2 1/2 inches for the year. That could go away quickly if we got a lot of snow pack in the mountains but with a small El Nino predicted this year we may not get it. The snow pack is where we get all our summer water. Unlike the folks in the Midwest where they have to rely heavily on rain to water their crops ours just comes trickling down the mountain.

Careful here comes another rant! We're saddened by the loss of yet another holiday. It looks like Thanksgiving is only a memory of years past. Halloween is over and now it's on to Christmas. WHAT? Where did Thanksgiving go?
We stopped by a few stores last weekend and all the Halloween merchandise was off the selves, except for a few 50% close outs and the Christmas goodies where all in place. It's sad that marketing is driving our holidays and not the holiday itself. I remember when we had a good time at Halloween with lots of home made costumes and treats. Next came Thanksgiving with a big family get together with everyone bringing food. After that we started the Christmas music and preparation for all that it brings. Today, we believe, that there is not much incentive for marketing to push Thanksgiving because there are not costumes, decorations or gifts to buy. Halloween has costumes and candy to buy. It's the biggest marketing event for the candy market of the year. The next big opportunity to drop a boat load of change is Christmas. Why would you want to promote Thanksgiving? It's only a time for sharing the fruits of your labor with family and friends. Traditionally it was with things that you grew in your garden or raised on the farm. That's mostly replaced by your local grocery store but the tradition of sharing and giving should be continued.
We're not talking about not getting into the spirit or starting to work on that Christmas list, just don't push it so hard that you miss Thanksgiving and the joy that it can bring.
We hope you all plan for a family and friends Thanksgiving event and don't let it get lost in the 5th Avenue barrage of advertising.

      With the holidays fast approaching now would be a good time to order a sign from the Adirondack's. Ron Godin is ready to make a special sign for your holiday giving. His rustic Adirondack art is really something to see. Just go to and see what he has for you.
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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn


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What's New This Week? Raccoon food feast! Unfortunately that's what's new this week. The raccoons got into our pond again and really cleaned us out. We had about 18 very nice size gold fish, about 6" long. We now have 5! We found a bunch of tell-tale fish scales on the bridge near our pond so that must have been their dining table. We took all the suggestions for keeping the raccoons away from our pond and researched each one. What appeared to be the best solution was spraying a human urine/ammonia mix around the pond (I know, it sounds disgusting but we're desperate). Well so much for that recommendation. We are now headed for a more high tech solution, an electric fence. We figure our 17 year old dog will not be interested in it and will stay away, we hope.
We are going to make this a project in one of our up coming newsletters. After we do some more reading and get a better understanding of everything involved we'll get it going. In the mean time the only hope for the remaining fish is their skill in hiding in the PVC pipe we've put in the pond.


     A lot of people are talking about upgrading to Windows XP. We just recently did it to one of our machines and it went pretty good. I did have to spend about an hour with the Microsoft technician but it was more because of something I did than the software. I just tried to up upgrade another of our machines and ran into trouble. I mention this to possibly save you some time and money.
Before you go out and buy the upgrade to XP I'd highly recommend going to the Microsoft web site and having them do a system check to see if you can upgrade. The system I'm trying to upgrade had some drivers that were not current and I even had to install a more recent service pack. This computer is running NT 4.0 and they need at least service pack 4 to install XP. The bigger issue turned out to be that there is not enough room on my C: drive to install it. It takes about a gig of space for the installation of XP. Now I don't know what to do because I hate to throw more money at this computer to add a new hard drive but it might be cheaper than a new computer. It's an older Pentium III running at 450 MHz. It won't be long before programs won't run on a machine that slow, can you believe it? To see if your computer can be upgraded to XP go to and have them run a check.


     In our never ending quest to increase our knowledge of all things we stumbled onto this real interesting NASA site. They post a new question every week so it's fun to go back to every single week. We think that this might be a good starting point for those young curious minds that may have some reports to do for school. To get the question of the week and other interesting information just go to and get a little smarter.

Do you have a favorite web site that you'd like to share with our readers? Just send it to us and if we find it appropriate we'll post it for all to read.


Memory Book

     This week I want to offer up more of an idea than an actual project. The project part of this can be making a bag to keep your memory book in but you're mostly on your own to do that.
Many years ago Betty, my mom, started a diary of sorts that documented family get togethers. It isn't formal in respect to when you need to add something to it. It's not near as painful (for some) as a daily diary. Here's how it works.
Every time the family gets together, doesn't have to be the whole family, for something fun someone gets assigned the task of recording the event in the memory book. The next get together someone else gets to do it. Every time there is a gathering the book is brought along and it's amazing how much fun it is to read back through it. It also helps a lot when questions arise. "Gee the last time we did this grandpa wasn't here". "Yes he was"! "No he wasn't"! And so on. Just flip back to the date in the memory book and see who was right. They were both right, grandpa didn't show up until near the end of the party.
Here's a picture of our book and bag.

Click on the picture of a bigger view.

The bag was made by sewing an edging along the top of two pieces.
Sew a pocket on one piece to hold a pen.
Sew the bag together inside out.
Turn it right side out and attach a couple of ropes to help carry it.
There are a million ways to make one but this is pretty simple.
I just bought a hard bound note book at the office supply store but again you can use just about anything.

Good luck and start enjoying those memories.

     We really 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.

      It's been a while since we've reminded you about these wonderful books so here we go. Alexia's Personalized Books are these custom created books with great stories and pictures. When you order them you provide a little personal information like the child's name, town, grand parents name, etc. With this they create a custom book just for that child that puts the child right in the middle of the story. We got one of these for Camden, our grandson, and he just loves it.
Check them out at Alexia's Personalized Books.

Also, be sure and visit the
RunnerDuck Toy Store.

The Tempos News and CD of the Week

     Need a band for that company party or community get together? Do you like music from the 30's, 40's and early 50's? Then the Tempos might just be what you are looking for.
     Remember 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 The Tempos at

      One of my favorite newer female singers is Karrin Allyson. If you haven't heard her music I think she's sort of like a female Michael Franks. You don't know Michael Franks? More on him next week.
Karrin's CD was released in August of this year and has a whole bunch of great new music. You really need to give her a listen if you are not familiar with her and if you do know her you need to have this CD in your collection.
      You can get "In Blue" by Karrin Allyson this week for only $13.49, that's 25% off the regular price.

The RunnerDuck Goodies Store

     Check out our cool polo shirt at the RunnerDuck Goodies Store. There are lots of other neat RunnerDuck items also.


      Here's a no brainer, car pool. If you are driving any distance to work it would really make sense to car pool. I know, I work a different schedule, I need my car at work sometimes, nobody in my neighborhood goes that way. Well with traffic becoming a bigger and bigger problem car pooling is becoming a more attractive option. One of the things that is making it simpler is the Internet. You will find lots of transportation sites these days that help bring people together. If you haven't checked it out in a while just go to some of your local government sites and search for transportation or carpool.

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


Susie's Mushroom Turnover Treats
      As you are well aware we are coming into the entertaining time of year. We thought that we'd feature Hors D'Oeuvres for the rest of this month. This weeks treat comes from Marilyn's sister Susie.

  • 9 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped small
  • 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Pound Mushrooms
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1-2 Tablespoons White Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 Bouillon Cube (any flavor)
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream

Mix and chill Cream Cheese, stick of Butter and 1 1/2 Cups of Flour for dough.
Saute Onion, 5 Tablespoons Butter, Garlic and Bouillon Cube.
Add Sour Cream and stir well.
Roll out dough and cut into 3" rounds.
Fill each piece of dough with the mushroom mix and seal in half.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes.

Serve to the delight of your friends and family.
These freeze and reheat well too.

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. If you haven't done so yet, check out our November 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


      In looking for the prefect cookbook to accompany this weeks recipe we found "Hors D'Oeuvres" by Victoria Blashford-Snell. From spicy cilantro shrimp to Eggplant Caviar Crostini, the recipes of master chef Eric Treuille and professional caterer Victoria Blashford-Snell show how to prepare more than 250 simple yet sensational canapes. Every great party begins with great-tasting appetizers, whether it is an informal gathering of friends and family or an elegant champagne soiree. Illustrated with inviting, actual-size photographs of every recipe, this uniquely practical guide includes full-color, step-by-step instructions and indispensable cooking tips to ensure successful party food whatever the occasion.
      Click HERE for "Hors D'Oeuvres" by Victoria Blashford-Snell.

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

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.


Cranberry Scoop

     Cranberries are in season and you will need a scoop to make sure you get every last one. Well not really, this is a decorative scoop that is based on some designs I've seen of old cranberry scoops.
We are going to be doing this project over the next two weeks because I'm just starting to come back up to speed in the wood shop and my shoulder still tires easily (for that story see old newsletters).

Here's what you'll need:
5' of 6" X 3/4" cedar.

Cut two pieces 13" long and true the edges so you can join them.
Bond the two pieces together so you have a piece 13" X about 11"
After this piece is dry cut it down to 13" X 10".
Lay out the tines so they are 1/2" wide with 1/4" spacing. Start with a 1/4" space and end with a 1/4" space. Cut them 6" deep with either square or rounded bottoms (ours are square).

Click on the picture for a bigger view.

Cut a point onto each tine. I used a 1" diameter hole template from the center of each time to give it a nice radius.

Make the sides 13" X 5".
Starting about 5 1/2" from the back make a nice curve as shown in the picture. Cut one side first and use it for the pattern of the other side.

Sand everything down and next week we'll finish the sides and the handle.

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


According to a news report, a certain private school in Birmingham recently was faced with a unique problem.
A number of 12th grade girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. After they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of lip prints.
Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back.
Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man.
She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.
He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers, and then there are educators...

Until Next Time...

      Remember, Thanksgiving first, then Christmas! Having said that, we have lots of great places to start shopping for those holiday gifts. One thing you don't want to do is wait until the last minute to do your shopping. Leave the lights down, no Christmas wreaths and NO Christmas music until after dinner on the 28th, OK?

     If you want to talk about something just drop us a line 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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