Picket Fence Weblog

Daylight Saving Time and An Energy Study
March 7, 2008, 10:52 am
Filed under: Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Yes, it is time once again to set the clocks ahead.  We are springing forward time, for darker mornings, and lighter late afternoons.  This is the true vision of summer months to come.  And if you live in the northern half of the U.S. you know what I’m saying, loud and clear.

Does it seem that daylight saving time has gotten shorter?  I mean, does it seem like the time between “Fall”ing back and “Spring”ing forward has gotten a lot shorter?

If you think it has, then you’re right.  On August 8th, 2005 President George Bush signed the Energy Policy Act that actually changed the dates on which we change our clocks.  This is supposed to help save energy for Americans.  The data is being tracked by The Secretary of Energy.  After the study is completed, congress has the right to keep the new DST hours.   In 2004 DST started April 4th and ended October 30th, this year it starts March 9th and ends November 2nd.  Daylight Saving Time has actually gotten longer, but the time in between has gotten shorter.

So don’t forget to set those clocks ahead at 2am Sunday morning.  Lose an hour of sleep to gain an hour of sunshine.  Seems a fair trade.

Don’t want to set your clocks ahead or back?  No problem.  Get one of these:


and you won’t have to.  Unless you can find a way to.  If you do, let me be the first to know.

As always, Art.


A Groundhog and His Shadow
February 4, 2008, 10:04 am
Filed under: Winter

That’s right.  If you haven’t heard already, the Giants won the Super Bowl.  Not only that, but that pesky groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and that means more winter.   6 more weeks of winter really isn’t all that long, though.  Here in Western New York our winters can start in November and last through mid April.  We are pretty used to the snow and ice and that means that we are always prepared.  Barring Alaskan cities, Rochester, NY (where we are located) is the 12th snowiest U.S. city.  That leaves Buffalo at 11 and Syracuse at 4.  You can click here and check out the USA Today article that I took the information from.

You don’t have to live in one of these particular cities to get tons of snow.  Many cities under the number 15 snowiest get their share of snow too.  At shoppicketfence.com there are plenty of ways to help combat the snow and ice problem.  We have Roof Melts, which can drastically reduce the ice buildup on the roof of your home, eliminating ice dams and reducing the risk of roof leaks.  If you need an easier way to clear your sidewalks you can check out the Electric Snow Thrower.   This can take care of heavy or light snow and simply throw it off your walks with a 6.75 amp motor.  These have been extremely popular and gotten rave reviews.  If you are going to be outdoors removing snow, with the Snow Thrower or otherwise, you can get these heavy duty Snow Blowing Gloves.  These gloves are specially made to keep your hands from getting cold or wet while your working outdoors.  In the winter, everything can become more difficult, even walking to your car, and especially across the parking lot.  If this problem plagues you too, you can try the Yak Trax.  These rubber and steel made shoe additions improve your traction on slippery ice and snow.

The Roof Melt Talbets

There are plenty more products at shoppicketfence.com.  Don’t forget that spring will be here pretty soon and you can start picking up supplies today!

As always, Art.

Howling Winds
February 4, 2008, 9:50 am
Filed under: Links, Winter

We have had quite a few windstorms this Winter. Part of my fence blew down in the last storm. I was lucky that I did not lose trees or power. A lot of people were not as fortunate. I think you always need to be prepared for a power outage. I have lived through 2 major ice storms. During the one storm, I was without power for 9 long days. The next time that happens, I am checking into a hotel!

There are products that will help conserve heat when you need it the most. Picket Fence sells Solar Curtains, Blackout Liners, Drapes and Door/Window Draft Guards that insulate and guard against heat loss. They also carry a lot of useful Fireplace accessories. Sadly, my fireplace is decorative only. I wish it was real. There is something so cozy about having a real fireplace and chimney.

Stay warm and well!

Until next time… Ann 🙂

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” -William Arthur Ward


A little More Security
January 30, 2008, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter

I thought that I would touch on some more security features and products that shoppicketfence.com has.  I had been blogging about ponds and pond gardens, but today, here in western NY, it is freezing cold, windy, and snowy.  So, gardening, ponds, and lawn care are about the last thing on my mind.

At shoppicketfence.com there are more security products than just the camera that looks just like a flood lamp.  We also have a wireless driveway alarm, too.  This sends a signal to a transmitter that sounds an alarm, so you know if someone has pulled in to your driveway, or started up your walk. Many people like and use this product so they do not miss deliveries.  It’s great for businesses too.

There is also the Transonic Pro.  This is not so much a measure of security or alerts as it is to keep pests away, which is a kind of security.  The Transonic Pro can drive pests away from your garden, home, garage, or storage space.  It keeps small and large pests and rodents away for good.  I’ve heard of some folks who use this in the spring and summer for their garden and then use it for their garage and/or storage in fall and winter.  They really are multi-useful.

Just a few unique products from the QCI Direct

As always, Art.

A small breakthrough
January 28, 2008, 11:37 am
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter, yard fun

Ok, I know in Western New York it is still winter, but we’re having a little bit of a warm up. In fact, it is supposed to be in the middle 50’s by tomorrow. It wasn’t all that warm this weekend, but it was sunny enough, and by gosh just warm enough, for the topsoil to thaw slightly. I decided to go up to camp and make sure everything was ok. I mean, as long as the weather’s good I may as well spend a little time there. It also got me out of chores around the house. Anyway, it was even warmer at camp then in the city. I thought that maybe I would measure out the are I was thinking for my new garden pond and place markers in the ground, surrounding it with twine, so I could see the shape of the pond.

So I put stakes in ground and set up the string and stood back to look at it. The shape was great. I could tell it was going to look natural. Since the ground was warm, I decided to plunge the shovel into the ground, just to see how many rocks were going to be in the soil. Since the camp is so close to the river, it’s mostly sand for the first foot or two, and after that its actually not all that bad. Sparse large rocks posed a problem but they were easy enough to cast aside. Before I knew it, I had almost dug the pond out.

About half of the pond is already dug out. It’s a lot easier than I thought. My pond is only going to be about 7 x 12 feet, and about 3 feet deep, so it’s not all that large. But the ground, it is still partially frozen, but because the river is close to the lake, it wasn’t frozen all the way, which actually made it easier, I think. I realized that I had spent most of the day digging, it only took a few hours to dig half out. I stopped though, and cleaned up and headed for home. It’s really made me excited for spring, to have a new project ready for me when the sun comes out and the snow quits for good. It is a small breakthrough, and it sort of cured those winter blues a little, plus, there is no turning back now, I have to put a pond in. Unless I want to return in a few weeks and fill it back in. Which dosen’t seem likely. I’ll keep you up to date on what my next step is, which as of now, I’m not sure of.

In the meantime, check out some of the fun spring categories at shoppicketfence.com. Pond, lawn and garden, and patio, deck, and pool are some of my favorites.

As always, Art.

Car Talk
January 28, 2008, 9:22 am
Filed under: Links, Winter

So, how is your car holding up in the cold weather? My car is 8 years old, going on 9. It’s a lower end car (chevy prism), but has served me well through the years. I would love a new car, but since that is not going to happen anytime soon, I need to take care of the one I have. Besides regular oil changes and keeping the tires properly inflated, I also strive for safety. I recently bought the Porta Jump to have on hand to jump start my car. If I was stranded with a dead car battery, I would have no idea how to jump start it. The Porta Jump stores in your glove compartment until needed. You just plug it into your cigarette lighter, wait for the green light and start it up. No more trying to figure out which cable goes where or relying on another car or another person! Other handy car accessories I have from Picket Fence include Tire Minders. These go over your existing valve cap and change color, alerting you when your tires are not properly inflated. Last but not least, I have the blind spot mirror so I can see what I would normally not be able to. Drive safe this winter and beyond! Until next time… Ann 🙂



“Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.” – Erma Bombeck


Containing Winter’s Worst
January 21, 2008, 11:03 am
Filed under: Links, Outdoor Enthusiasts, Winter

Cleaning my house takes about 2 hours. It’s a job I’m not particularly fond of, so if I can find things to reduce that time, I’m all for it. This year I made a vow to take my shoes off and leave them by the door. This has made a world of difference. It keeps the mud and muck outside where it belongs. No more constant mopping up the grime left by dirty, melting snow and slush. These Shoe Covers are also good debris busters. They slip right over your shoes. I also this Boot & Glove Dryer to keep boots and shoes dry. Less drips means less cleaning. Spring is 9 weeks away so don’t get discouraged by the cold, dark days – sunshine and milder weather is on the way!

Until next time… Ann 🙂

“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”