December 20, 2002

RunnerDuck Home

WELCOME BACK:   Four days to go and it'll all be over. We hope that you have an absolutely wonderful Christmas and Santa is really good to you. We are off to Marilyn's family Christmas this Saturday in Eatonville, Wa, at her dad's new house. Then Christmas Eve we have Ken's family over for pizza, white elephants and gift exchange. Christmas day it's just Marilyn, Ken and Ginger, our old puppy. How ever you celebrate we hope that it's the best ever! Here's our Christmas card to you this year. It's our grandson Camden who's a little over two years old and his dog Samson.

Here's some late breaking news. We just found out that we are going to be grandparents again. Jenni, Ken's daughter is pregnant with number two. Congratulations go out to her and her husband Matt.

We think we are pretty well prepared for Christmas. All the presents are bought, all the decorations are up and all the cards have been sent. I think that's pretty good with four days still to go. What's that you say, you haven't got all your cards off or you forgot a couple. Well don't despair we have a deal for you. On our home page about a third of the way down there is a link to free cards from 123 Greetings. You can find the card you like and pre date it for delivery on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. We know, it's not as nice a traditional paper card that you can put on the fireplace mantel but in a pinch it's better than nothing. The nice thing about these cards is there is absolutely no obligation, pressure sales and they are FREE, our favorite price, no postage!

I don't know about the rest of the country but we've been getting hammered with the rain and winds. All the way from Northern California to the Pacific Northwest El Nino has helped generate unseasonably heavy rains and wind. Ken's brother in the Mendocino area got over 12" this week with some parts north getting more than 24". If only all of this would have converted to snow in the mountains it would be fantastic skiing. Unfortunately it's been rather warm with all the rain. With freezing levels well above 3,000 feet not a lot of good skiing snow has accumulated.

      We will be adding some new artists to our crafts page after the first of the year. Be sure to be watching for these exciting new additions. Until then remember to check out Ron Godin's rustic Adirondack art. It 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? I (Ken) have got a new Sidewinder 2 feedback joystick and Microsoft Flight Simulator Pro 2002. Since then not much has gotten done around the house or on this newsletter. It's amazing how much time can be consumed by a simple little program. Well it's not that simple of a program. I've been taking the flying lessons and I'm about ready to tackle landing. I'm not much of one for gaming but this is a real kick. It's amazing how you can get into it and almost feel like you are really flying. If you've always wanted to learn to fly but haven't had the time or money this is a pretty neat alternative. It's not too late to ask Santa ya know? I also got Links 2003 by Microsoft and it's great also but the Flight Sim has put it in the back seat for the moment.


     Even though it's the Christmas Holiday the evil doers are still out there. We just found out that there is a new virus that is transmitted by Flash movies. All most everything that moves on a web page is either an animated GIF or a Flash movie. Flash Shockwave by Macromedia is a wonder addition to your viewing experience and most of you probably don't even know you have it.
     The virus comes from movies when you are running an older version of Flash Player. You should be up to version 6. If you are then you have nothing to worry about, at least from Flash movies. If you have version 5 then I would highly recommend updating to the latest. Here's how you check it.
     Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools, Internet Options..., General Tab (Temporary Internet Files section) Settings..., View Objects. Right click on Shockwave Flash Object, select Properties and verify version. If it's less than six then upgrade. Not all Internet Explorer versions have these tabs. If you can't find the version of Shockwave on your machine then just go to the Macromedia site, and download the latest version, it's free.


     No doubt many of you will be getting new digital cameras for Christmas. You'll be shooting pictures like a Pavarotti and downloading them to your computer like crazy. One thing you need to think about is how you are going to manage those pictures. You could always go out and buy a great organizing program like ACDSee for about $50 to $80. It really works great and is used by millions. We found an alternative to that which is free. Granted it doesn't do anywhere near all the stuff that ACDSee does but hey, it's FREE.
You might just want to check out Gazo Digi-Book. It's a fun little program that has a number of options to change the way it looks. You organize your pictures into different photo albums on a book shelf. Take out a book and open it up to see what pictures are in it. Double click on the picture you want to open and there it is. To check this out go to and start getting organized before things get out of hand.


Holiday Projects

     With only a few days till Christmas I am really busy and thought rather than create something new, how about checking out some of our past Holiday projects for kids and family. With time running short these might just be the perfect thing to finish off the Holiday look.
We'll give you the name of the project, a picture and the link to our web page.

Reindeer Tree Ornament,

Candy Reindeer Tree Ornament,

Christmas Pins,

Pretzel Log Cabin,

     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.

      You may be out of time to get any Christmas presents delivered by anything other than Santa Clause but anytime you need a present for a child we highly recommend Here is a direct link to their web site. And remember when you buy something at Amazon using this link we get a couple of cents and believe me every penny counts!

The Tempos News and CD of the Week

     Well the music season is over for The Tempos in 2002. We have no more parties or concerts until next year. We'd like to say thank you to everyone for a great year. Have the happiest of Holidays and we'll be seeing you next year!
     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 The Tempos at

      One of the most famous groups in all of jazz was Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. This CD that was first recorded in 1985 at the famous Sweet Basil sets off the New Years celebrations in a great way. This is one of those "must haves" if you want some great jazz for your New Years party, or any time of year for that matter. Give a listen to "New Year's Eve at Sweet Basil: Art Blakey and His Jazz Messengers", you'll love it!


We can thank The Tempos singer, Diane, for this rather blond joke ;-) A young redhead goes into the doctor's office and says that her body hurts wherever she touches it.
"Impossible," says the doctor. "Show me."
She takes her finger and pushes her elbow and screams in agony. She pushes her knee and screams, pushes her ankle and screams. Everywhere she touches makes her scream.
The doctor says, "You're not really a redhead, are you?"
"No," she says, "I'm actually a blonde."
"I thought so," the doctor says. "Your finger is broken."

The RunnerDuck Goodies Store

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


      A lot of people seem to have trouble reading things off of the computer screen so they print everything. That is a big waste of paper (trees) and ink (money). We'd like to suggest only printing the things that really need to be saved in hard copy. If you need to print just part of what is on the screen, select the text and the under "File", select "Print". There is usually and option to "Print Selection". This will only print what you want and leave the rest.
     If you still insist on printing everything use both sides of the paper. Start a pile of paper that has only been printed on one side. Print the other side later, that way you only kill half a tree.

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


Mandarin Orange Cake
      Here is a great recipe for that Holiday get together.

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix (2 layer)
  • 1 Cup Mandarin Oranges with Juice, cut up
  • 1/2 Cube of Butter
  • 1/2 Cup of Oil
  • 4 Eggs
Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 Medium size Cool Whip
  • 1 Large can of Crushed Pineapple with juice
  • 1 Large package Instant Vanilla Pudding.

Mix all the cake ingredients together.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Mix all ingredients together and beat for 2 minutes.
Frost the cooled cake and refrigerate before serving.

Your guests are going to love it.

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. Be sure and check out our December 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


      This week's recommended cookbook is one of the very best cake cookbooks ever written. "Perfect Cakes" covers cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, fruit cakes, rolled cakes, filled cakes, meringue cakes, nut cakes, coffee cakes, sponge cakes, and pound cakes, not to mention frostings, fillings, and glazes, Nick Malgieri's Perfect Cakes is a "product of a lifetime of collecting and baking."
     Malgieri is a much acclaimed cookbook author (Cookies Unlimited), pastry chef, and baking instructor, so he's had a lot of practice presenting recipes in a way that makes them easy to follow. The informative chapter on ingredients and equipment will get you started. Ingredients and baking equipment for each recipe are listed in a yellow box; steps are clearly numbered and storage instructions follow every one.

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.


Place Card/Ornament/Coaster

     This week's project is a Three Fer project. You get three for the price of one. We are going to make a place card for the dinner table, a Christmas tree ornament and a coaster. This is really simple and just in time for that Christmas dinner or party.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2) 1/4" X 5" X 11" Oak for each ornament.
  • 1/16" X 3 1/4" diameter cork.
  • Glue

Here is the pattern for this project, PATTERN

Cut two pieces 5" X 5 1/2" out of the 1/4" Oak.
Trace the pattern on to one of the pieces.
Cut out the 3 1/4" hole.
Glue the two pieces together. Don't use too much glue so it doesn't squeeze out into the center.
Cut out the pattern after the pieces dry.
Drill and 1/16" hole near the top to put a string or hanger through.

That's it for the basic ornament.

For a place setting print out the persons name on a 3 1/4" round piece of paper and put it into the ornament. Have your guests take them home and put pictures in them to hang on their Christmas tree.

For an ornament cut out a picture to 3 1/4" round and glue it into the ornament and hang on your tree.

For a coaster cut out a 3/16" piece of cork 3 1/4" round and glue into the ornament.

There you have it a three in one project for your Holidays. Have fun and enjoy your efforts when people complement you on your project.
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

Until Next Time...

      We really want to wish you the merriest Christmas ever. As the song says, "may all your dreams come true". Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

     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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