August 5, 2006

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WELCOME BACK:  Once again the weather seems to be topping the news. We don't know if it has anything to do with global warming but boy it sure has been hot! Not just here in Washington state but all over the world, well maybe not Australia ;-)

In the past week we broke three records, two for the hottest days for a particular day and the hottest nighttime temperature ever! Now before all you people from the midwest and south go poo pooing it, it is a record and we're not use to it. The hottest nighttime temperature ever recorded in Seattle was 70 degrees F! Ken grew up in Nebraska where there were many nights hotter than that but not out here.

We did manage to get our fifth wheel trailer moved from the Port Susan Camping Club in Marysville, Washington, where we keep it for the winter, up to Sandy Point where our boat is. We had other things to do so didn't even spend the night but at least it's set up and ready for some good summer camping.

An interesting story about our plans to take the trailer up to Sandy Point. Last year we got a notice in the mail that our Norcold refrigerator had a recall for a valve that could start a fire. We set up an appointment to get it fixed in September 2005. We showed up with the trailer, dropped it off at the shop and went about some shopping in Marysville. During lunch we called to see how they were doing and they said that they didn't have the part and were unable to fix it. Now why they didn't tell us that when we were there we'll never know.

Now, one year later, they have the part and we took the day off to get it installed. We showed up at our 10:00, our appointed time, and asked how long it would take. They said about three and a half hours. So we headed out for some shopping and lunch. We called them during lunch to see how they were doing and they said that they'd start on it after lunch!

Once again we were miffed because we were sure it would almost be done. It turns out that we sat around waiting for it until 4:30. By that time the rush hour traffic was in full swing and it took us another two hours to get it up to Sandy Point which is usually an hour drive from Everett.

Roy Robinson did the repairs and they do a good job. If you are looking for fast service though I'd pick another place. I think we will next time. Twice burned, once gone!

Summer Serving Tools

Summer picnics are a blast with good food and great friends. Why not dress up your table with some great hand crafted, hard maple serving utensils? We have a great selection of summer serving utensils including this salad serving set.

Check all the great kitchen utensils and gift sets at

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Thank you,
Ken and Marilyn

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What's New?   The Tempos big swing band, the band that Ken plays drums with, has just released their newest CD, "Big Swing". It has fourteen great old swing songs from the 40's and 50's. To order your copy see The Tempos News below.

Once again our cat, Miss Kitty Kitty, has provided some entertainment for us that we wanted to share. She does some of the darndest things and we think that perching on the edge of a bird bath is one of the strangest.

She normally gets up on her tip toes to drink out of the birdbath but this time she decided to get up on top of it so she didn't have to stretch so far. Once she got up there she didn't have any place to stand except on the edge because she didn't want to get her feet wet. I think that if there were a caption for this picture it would be "What Bird?".

If you have any funny pet pictures of your favorite pet we'd love to see them and even share them with our readers. Just sent them to


We want to remind you about a little feature that we have on our web site that can save you a lot of time and even some anguish. We call it "
Quick Links" and you can find it on the left column of our web page. The quick links page has a number of links that will help you with everyday things like a dictionary, maps, weather, phone book, greeting cards and much more. There's a conversion site that will convert distance, temperature, speed, weight and much much more.

One of the more important links is to Hoax Buster's. We highly recommend using this site before you forward one of those curious emails that promises Bill Gates will send you money if you forward it or things that sound too good to be true. Every time we get an email that sounds a bit strange like that we go to Hoax Buster's, plug in the subject from the email and sure enough there it is, bogas!

To make life even easier we've added a "Bookmark" for your favorites on our Quick Links page. Just click on "Bookmark This Page" and it will ask you where you would like to place it within your favorites. Select the location and then click OK. The next time you are looking for our Quick Links page just go to your Favorites button in Internet Explorer and we'll be there waiting to serve you.

By the way, the "Bookmark" does not currently work in Mozilla Firefox web browser, only Microsoft Internet Explorer.


With the camping season upon us we thought that this web site would be of timely interest to you.

It's funny how some things come around sometimes. Back in 2002 we featured an article on "Tin Can Tourists" which is about old metal camper trailers, August 23, 2002 Newsletter. We recently received the following about the picture we had in that article and thought we'd share it with you.

"I run the TCT site and you asked about the fifth wheel pictured on your site. It is owned by Ken and Lana Hindley - I know them very well. The picture you have is of a 1936 Curtis-Aerocar travel trailer and custom built 1938 International D15 tow car. There are only a few of the Aerocar's in existence and most are in museums. The tow car is a one of a kind."

To find out all about this interesting trailer and tow vehicle go to There are many links to interesting sites from this site so you can spend a lot of time surfing if you are not careful.


Summer Screen Door

OK so it's not really a door but it works like one. It lets the summer breeze in and keeps most of the bugs out. We don't have a lot of bugs here in Western Washington but this screen really does seem to help keep them out.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 Yards of wind sock material (any color)
  • Matching polyester thread
  • Pinking shears
  • 3 Grommets with installation hardware
  • 3 Cup hooks
With pinking shears cut eighteen strips of fabric 5" wide by 84" long.
Cut another strip 8" X 38", for header.
Cut a liner for the header 4" X 36".
Fold the header in half long way to make it 4" X 38". Fold the bottom out 1/2" on each side and iron. Sew both ends only using a 1/2" seam.
Turn it inside out and press it. This will give you a pocket that is sewn on both ends and has a 1/2" edge folded in on both sides.
For the long strips fold them in half long way and sew with a 1/2" seam on the edges and one end only, not the other end.
Turn each "tube" inside out and press.
Place the liner for the header inside the header pocket. Arrange the eighteen strips evenly inside the header pocket. Sew the header close 1/4" along the bottom. Continue sewing all around the header 1/4" in from the edges.
Add the grommets across the top of the header. Place one in the center and the others 1" in from each end.
Hang it over an exterior doorway using three cup hooks.

That's it now enjoy the cool bug free breeze. At least we hope it's bug free!

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


Summer's here and it's time to get out doors and have some fun! There is a large number of really fun outdoor toys at the toy store. Check out all the neat things that will get you wet, get you dirty and get you outdoors.

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

IT's HERE! The Tempos "Big Swing" CD is released!

Finally after months of mixing and creating the graphics our new CD is released. We call it "Big Swing" and it 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 and click on the "Click Here" at the top of the web page or CLICK HERE.

We only printed up a thousand of them so get yours before the are all gone!

If you'd like to hear The Tempos live then your next opportunity will be August 27th at the Hiram Chittenden Locks in Ballard, Washington. This is a great venue and besides our great music you can go watch boats go through the locks and fish swim up the fish ladder. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day.

You can get more detailed information on The Tempos web page We hope to see you there!

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

"Big Swing
By The Tempos

You guessed it, our CD is our "Pick of the Week". Some of you may not know it but Ken has been playing drums with The Tempos for over 35 years and the band has been around for over 48 years.

The Tempos was the brainchild of Boeing engineer Henry Fichtner, who, with some co-workers and friends formed the group in 1958. A few months later the late Dr. Vernon J. Harkness, school principal, teamed up with Henry and the two co-led the band for many years. Henry played piano until 1976 while Vern played sax and trombone until 1980.

In the fall of 1963 it was decided to name the band and Wayne Watling, the bass player, suggested The Tempos for the nine-piece group.

Expansion began in ’69 when Vern's son Kelly and Alan Waldron joined the sax section. In ’70 Lloyd Fetz (trombone) and Doug Wilbert (trumpet), both award winning musicians at Tyee High School along with teacher-trumpet man Gordy Holt joined to shore up the brass section.

When drummer Bob Gidney retired in ’72, the band landed Ken Bloomquist, a Kent-Meridian grad that had played with Capitol recording artists ‘The Serfs’ throughout the ‘60’s.

In the fall of 1974 The Tempos hired its first singer, Sharon Lacey, whose warm voice and outgoing personality gave the band a pleasant added dimension. Sharon entertained the audiences in front of her and endured the antics of the band behind her until 1997, more than 22 1/2 years.

Continuing into the millennium, The Tempos perform at a variety of dances and functions throughout Washington State, providing quality big band music without sacrificing the camaraderie and memories inaugurated by Henry Fichtner 48 years ago.

We hope you enjoy or CD!


We've been pumping out conversation tips for almost five years and so far we've received about three from our readers. Either all our ideas were so great that you didn't feel the need to submit any or you just plain drew a blank.

Instead of repeating ourselves we'd really like to hear your ideas on how to conserve energy, water, fuel or anything else that comes to mind.

Please send us your ideas at and we'd be glad to post them.

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

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Highlight the XML link (right click and drag over it), select Copy and paste it into your newsreader.

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Gordy a trumpet player for The Tempos sent this one in. Cute, thanks Gordy!

Popsicles and Sex

The only way to pull off a Sunday afternoon quickie with their 8-year old son in the apartment was to send him out on the balcony with a Popsicle and tell him to report on all the neighborhood activities. He began his commentary as his parents put their plan into operation:
"There's a car being towed from the parking lot", he shouted.
"An ambulance just drove by."
"Looks like the Anderson's have company", he called out.
"Matt's riding a new bike...."
"Looks like the Sanders are moving"
"Jason is on his skate board...."
After a few moments he announced, "The Coopers are having sex!!"

Startled, his Mother and Dad shot up in bed! Dad cautiously called out, "How do you know they are having sex?"

"Jimmy Cooper is standing on his balcony with a Popsicle."



Tis the season for BBQ and friends. Here's a really good Kabob recipe to help make your party a success.


  • Round Steak, cut into cubes
  • Onions
  • Potato's
  • Pineapple
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Salad Oil
  • 1 Glove Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Water
Marinade the steak cubes for 2 hours.
Skewer the Meat, Onions, Potatoes and Pineapple.
Add 1/4 Cup Honey and 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice to the marinade.
Place kabob's on the BBQ to start cooking. Brush on the marinade and keep turning applying the marinade each time your turn.

That should get your party going :-)

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.

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


"Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures and Glazes"
by Jim Tarantino


Here is a wonderful recipe book to go along with our Kabob's above. You'll find a world of great outdoor cooking inside this cookbook.

Henry Cox from Raleigh, North Carolina reviewed this book on and had this to say. "This is an excellent resource for both the beginner or experienced BBQ fan. It lists a wide variety of processes for excellent food off the grill or in the oven. The play with peppers and fiery spices in the Latin American section is especially nice. Great book. I highly recommend it."

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If you are looking for a great web hosting service with fantastic support check out If you mention that you heard about them from RunnerDuck you will get a "Duck Deal". Just ask about your Duck Deal when you sign up.



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



Paint Box

Our grandson, Hudson, celebrated his third birthday this month and the theme was "Party Like Curious George with Paint". While he's a little young for this gift we figure it's something he'll have for many years. Who knows, one day he may even become a famous painter! It's a box to store all his paint brushes and some paint.

I actually had this idea and decided to build it out of scrap wood so there are three different kinds of wood, walnut, oak and maple. I think it gave it an interesting look.

Here's what I used:

  • 1/2" X 8" X 52" Walnut
  • 1/2" X 8" X 14" Maple
  • 1/2" X 4" X 14" Oak
  • Glue
To make the box; Cut the sides 5" X 14". Cut the bottom 5 3/4" X 13 3/4". Cut the ends 6" X 5". I made dove tails for the corners using my handy dandy Rockler dove tail jig.

Rockler Dovetail Jig with Half Blind Dovetail Template

Be sure to set up your jig using scrap pieces and fine tune it until you have a prefect fit.

I find that using a pair or dial calipers works great for setting up the dove tail jig.
Once you cut the dove tails route the grooves for the bottom, ends and the lid. I used a 1/4" router bit set 1/4" deep.

For the bottom I set the fence so that the top edge of the groove would be just slightly above 1/2". Be sure to start and stop before the ends of each piece otherwise the groove will show on the ends.
On two sides and the tall end route the groove the same as the bottom except run it all the way out the front end of the sides.
In the bottom route a groove 1/2" wide by 1/4" deep. Make two passes with the router to do this.
Cut the bottom and top edges to fit in the side and end grooves. I used my table saw and made one pass with the pieces flat and one pass on the edges.

I set the blade to 1/4" high and the fence 1/4" away from the blade. I like to use my height gage on my square to set the blade.

Hi-Gage Square Attachment
Hi-Gage Square Attachment

Only dado the two sides and one end of the top.
Without glue, put the box together and check the fit. Mark the location of the center groove from the bottom onto the ends.
Route a 1/2" X 1/4" groove in each end to match the center piece.

Here are the box pieces laid out.
I used a 1/4" round over bit in my router to make the radius the top of the center piece.

To see the rest of this project go to

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