| Welcome Back
Happy New Year! Wow can you believe it, 2008? Where did 2007 go? It really blew by for us since there was a lot going on. We bought a new home in Coupeville, Washington which we absolutely love. Moving was no fun but settling in has been great.
To make the year go even faster, Ken had surgery on his shoulder and has kept him out of commission for the past couple of months. The good news is that he's on the mend and will soon be back to his old ornery self.
Ken's sister Diane and hubby Del visited from California a couple of times as did Ken's brother Ron and wife Lolli. Marilyn's sister Susie visited a couple of times from Eatonville, Washington and so did her sister Sandy and husband Steve.
When you lump all this together it really makes the time fly. We hope your past year was memorable and 2008 will be the best year ever.
Ken and Marilyn
Many of you were lucky enough to recieve some of the fine hand made hard maple kitchen tools that we feature each month. Now it's time to take care of those tools and there's nothing better the Wood'n Wares Spool Oil.
To make your wooden utensils last a very long time we recommend hand washing them and applying Spoon Oil on a regular basis. It adds a lustorious finish that helps make the tools work great. This food safe Spoon Oil is also great on butcher blocks.
Check out all the great kitchen tools by going to, www.runnerduck.com/woodnwares.htm. Remember these beautifully crafted spoons are hand made by Bob and Jean in their little wood shop in Montana, USA . Check out the large selection by clicking on the spoon display above.
|We got a new boat! We had been wanting a boat that we cold take out crabbing but also something that we could sail. We had been looking at a Gig Harbor Lobster Boat that is classified as a sailing dingy but is a sail boat, row boat and motor boat. It seemed like a good combination. Our brother-in-law Steve stumbled upon a "dipping lug" rigged sail boat, row boat and motor boat. It was here on the island and we went and took a look.
It was made by the Freya Boatworks in Anacortes, Washington in 1989. It is in mint condition and everything is there. The sail is like new as is the wood. The hull is a lap-strake made from Alaskan cedar. The Freya Boatworks only built one of these and we now own it.
With Ken's shoulder not yet healed and the weather not so nice so it will be a while before we get her on the water but we're looking forward to it this spring.
| Clean Machine! The first of the New Year is always a good time to start things fresh and that should go for your computer as well. Over the year a lot of baggage can build up on your hard drive that potentially can slow down your computer. Your hard drive can also become fragmented which again can really slow things down. Defraging your hard drive can really clean things up. To "defrag" means to organize all the bits of information into a more accessible order. When you install a new program and save anything to your hard disk the data just writes to the next available slot. Trying to find this scattered data on your computer is what slows it down.
It's important to do things in the correct order. FIRST delete old files that you no longer need, uninstall programs you no longer use and get rid of all the temporary files generated by Internet Explorer. You can do that by going into the "Tools" menu in IE, select "Internet Options" and then "Delete" under Browsing History. Delete the different file types that you don't need such as "Temporary Internet Files" and "Cookies".
Once all these files are deleted be sure and empty the trash can on your desk top. Now restart your computer.
If you have a program like Diskeeper
defrag your hard drives using that program, if not you can use Microsoft's defrag program found. To open Microsoft's defrag program open up "My Computer", right click on the drive letter, then "properties" and in the properties box select the "Tools" tab. Now click "Defragement Now" and your hard drive will be defraged. The downside to Microsoft's defrag is that it is about twenty times longer than Diskeeper
After your computer is defraged reboot it and you should be good to go for quite a while.
|Site Of The Month|
This is kind of fun. Do you have any idea what happened on your birth date or what has happened over the years on your birthday? We found a site that has some interesting information like the day of the week you were born on, how old your are in years, months, days, hours and seconds, and much more. It also has links to other web sites that have all sorts of information about your special day.
Just go to http://www.dayofbirth.co.uk/, enter your birthday and have a fun time. This is really fun to do with other people looking over your shoulder.
Marilyn's Corner - Serving Tray
My family Christmas gift exchange often centers around craft projects and this year one of the gifts included a plane wood serving tray. They can be purchased at almost any craft supply store.
I decided that it would make a nice hot plate serving tray. To provide some good insulation from a hot dish I covered the bottom with wine corks. I debated with cutting them in half and placing them on end or laying them flat. I think either way makes for an interesting effect but I opted to lay them flat.
All you need for this project is some corks, white glue, a serving tray and a good imagination.
I arranged the corks with the vintners name or logo facing up. This added a level of interest and pattern.
Of course you can add just about any materials to the tray. One of my sisters is thinking about putting broken ceramic tile in the bottom creating a mosaic.
The fun thing about these kinds of projects is that you can get really creative and make a fun piece that your company will talk about long after they have gone home.
Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at www.runnerduck.com
. Just click on the Craft Egg.
|The Tempos Big Swing Band|
News and CD of the Week
If you weren't lucky enough to get The Tempos CD for Christmas it's not to late to order one for yourself or a friend.
"Big Swing" features fourteen great swing songs from the 40's and 50's. If you love the old big band swing music we think you'll enjoy this CD. It's the kind of music that makes you just want to get up and dance, you do remember how to swing don't you?
The only place you can get this CD is from our web site. Go to www.thetempos.com and click on the "Click Here" at the top of the web page or click the album cover.
We only printed up a thousand of them so get yours before the are all gone!
If you'd like to get a taste of this CD just go to The Tempos web site. When you are at the Tempos web site click on the horn valve button that says "Hear our CD". Then click on the song titles to hear a little bit of each song.
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 email@example.com. We perform all over the Seattle area for all sorts of events.
Album Pick of the Week
We are saddened to tell you that Oscar Peterson died December 23rd at the age of 82. Oscar is one of the greatest piano players and composers of our times. He has performed at every possible venue in the world. His music has influenced many young people to take music seriously and enjoy every minute of it.
While it's all but impossible to recommend one CD over another I feel that "Night Train" represents a good cross section of his music.
We'll all miss Oscar but fortunately his music will live on forever.
|Joke of the Month|
| This is another one submitted by RunnerDuck reader Baxter R. Thanks for the good laugh Baxter.
A police officer pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, "I clocked you at 80 miles per hour, sir."
The driver says, "Gee, officer I had it on cruise control at 60, perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating."
Not looking up from her knitting the wife says: "Now don't be silly dear, you know that this car doesn't have cruise control."
As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and growls, "Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once?"
The wife smiles demurely and says, "You should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did."
As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, "Damit, woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?"
The officer frowns and says, "And I notice that you're not wearing your seat belt, sir. That's an automatic $75 fine."
The driver says, "Yeah, well, you see officer, I had it on, but took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket."
The wife says, "Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving."
And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket the driver turns to his wife and barks, "WHY DON'T YOU PLEASE SHUT UP?"
The officer looks over at the woman and asks, "Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma'am?"
The wife replies, "Only when he's been drinking."
|This Month's Free Recipe|
There are a lot of Chocolate Cake mix recipes out there but we think that this one beats them all. It comes from a very old family recipe Ken found in his mothers recipe box. We think you'll really like it!
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Cups Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
- 1 Heaping teaspoon Soda
- 1 teaspoon Instant Coffee
- Red Food Coloring
Mix everything together except Water, Soda, Coffee and Food Coloring.
Bring the water to a boil and add Soda, Coffee and Red Food Coloring.
Blend into the mixed ingredients.
Pour into a 9" X 12" cake pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Pile on your favorite frosting and your family and friends will be delighted.
Remember, if you have a recipe you'd like to share please send it to Marilyn at runnerduck.com. We'd be happy to post your favorite recipe on our Kitchen site or in our newsletter and give you credit.
|Cookbook of the Month|
| Southern Cakes
by Nancie McDermott
While we think that our chocolate cake is the best you'll find there are lots of other cakes waiting to take the prize. This cookbook has some of the best cake recipes that you'll find anywhere.
Denise Floyd "Favor Connection" from Franklinton, NC had this to say about this cookbook: "The recipes in this book are the cakes that my grandmother made when I was a child. I can remember her in the kitchen baking all day and then placing a towel on the counter and displaying all her baked cakes for our family. The photography in this book is awesome. From the coconut cake on the cover to the buttermilk cake is a replicate of the real thing. The recipes are easy to follow and well written. If you love the southern heritage of cakes made by your grandmother or your mom, you'll find them all in this wonderful book. I found the ingredients to be readily available in my pantry and the stories about each recipe add to the interesting reading. A nice addition to my collection."
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This Months Woodworking Project
This month I want to talk about a little problem I had. As many of you know I am finishing out a new wood shop in the building behind our new home. The building was unfinished inside with bare stud walls. I had the electrical put in, insulation installed and sheetrock hung. I'll tell you all about that next month but for now the sad story of the project.
Since the construction workers needed full access to the walls and ceiling we moved everything outside. We covered everything with plastic tarps and tied it down really good. As luck would have it the contractors took about three weeks longer than I had planned during which the wind blew and the rain fell. Add to that the fact that we live one block from salt water and it's a recipe for disaster!
After all the work was done we uncovered all the cabinets, work benches and tools to survey the damage and damage there was. The particle board shelves in the book cases were swollen and soft, the legs on the work benches were stained from standing in water and worst of all water had gotten under the tarp that was resting on top of my tablesaw.
My first thought was to take it apart and head for the dump. I just didn't see any way that I could recover from this mess. Not only was the steel top rusted and pitted but the table extension made of particle board was swollen beyond use. While my contractors table saw isn't the fanciest cabinet makers tablesaw it works great for what I do and really didn't want to replace it.
So I broke out the Naval Jelly and a small steel brush and went to work.
I poured the Naval Jelly on one small area at a time, let it soak for about ten minutes and then started scrubbing. Surprisingly it started coming back to life. Some spots cleaned up really fast and others took a second coat and a lot more scrubbing. Following the instructions I rinsed the area with water and dried it with a towel.
As you can see there are still a lot of stains but the surface is smooth and clean. After I rinsed and dried it really good I laid down a coat of paste wax and buffed it out. The table doesn't look as good as it originally did but it works just fine.
Next I had to remake the table extension, it was made from laminated particle board. The moisture caused the particle board to swell and the laminate to separate.
Since I had the steel table of my tablesaw ready to go I installed my Freud Glue Line Rip blade and cut a piece of 3/4" MDF to size.
This gave me a really clean cut to glue the new laminate to.
I cut the laminate oversize, applied contact cement to the back of the laminate and the surface of the MDF. I let the cement dry for approximately twenty minutes and then put it on the MDF. Since contact cement is very unforgiving I first placed some slats across the MDF. This kept the laminate from bonding to the MDF before I was ready. Start along one edge and using a roller press the laminate into place. Remove a slat and do the next section. Repeat this until the laminate is glued in place. Use the roller, working from the middle out, to insure that there are no bubbles under the laminate.
After the cement has dried I used a flush trim router bit to cut the edges of the laminate.
I covered the top, bottom and sides to give it the most strength.
After I finished the table extension I attached all the hardware and mounted it to my tablesaw. Remember, when screwing into MDF you need to predrill the holes. The best rule of thumb is the pilot hole should be 85 to 95% of the screw core diameter.
There it is, my "like-new" tablesaw. It's absolutely amazing to me that it would have ever come back this good. It still has many years of making sawdust left in it.
Remember, I'm sort of out of commission as far as woodworking goes for a while due to my shoulder surgery. If any of you have wood projects to share I would be happy to put it into a format for our newsletter. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and lets see what we can come up with. Thank you!
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