I have roof cables installed on my roof to help with our awful ice dams. Problem is, it is very expensive just to leave them running all the time when I am at work. But if I turn them off and a snowstorm starts while I am at work, then the ice dams form before I get home. Can anyone suggest some kind of a remote activation device. Ideally something that would let me turn on the cables from my phone or from the web. The system is already installed on the roof, so all I need is some kind of system to turn it on and off. Please do not suggest modifications to the roof - we have been through every type of soffit, sheathing, roofing solution over a period of 20 years - these ice dams are just an insoluble problem and the only way to control them is with the cables. So I am only looking for replies that can suggest ways to turn the cables on and off remotely. Thanks!
Can you suggest places where there's no extended shutdown over New Year, and places that appear to best advantage in December/January? [more inside]
What are your favorite popular songs about winter that do NOT mention holidays? [more inside]
Help me decide on warmer footwear with a suit, but flat or with a low heel. [more inside]
I'm shopping for the best. leggings. ever. Help me find them? [more inside]
Who is selling plain fleece clothing this year for children/teens? Mail order or big mall OK. [more inside]
It's getting to be fall and winter's not far behind. This is our first fall/winter in our first home. What are the practical/DIY/gardening-y things we need to do to be ready for the change in seasons? [more inside]
I will be traveling to Athens, Greece for 5 days in about a month, and need some suggestions! [more inside]
So, my brother and his wife are flying over from Australia, and my brother-in-law from India, in December. We're all Indian, and we generally get together (us and my parents) once a year or so for around a month. Usually the trips are in India and feature a few exciting things to look forward to: last time we stayed in a few resorts along beaches in South India, and stayed in a house in the country, a houseboat tour through backwater canals, that kind of thing. I'm wondering: what kind of similar-ish things can we book and where? [more inside]
Starting this year, my son needs to wear a school uniform - the pants are a plain navy chino (any brand is fine). I am worried he will be cold if we get any awful days like we did this past winter. Is there such a thing as flannel- or fleece-lined navy chinos in boys' sizes? [more inside]
It's that time of year again, when I need to put the sandals away and figure out what the heck to put on my feet for the next 9 months. Help. [more inside]
My group of six young professionals would like to get out of the Boston freeze for five days or so around New Year's. (We can see it coming and we're not looking forward to it!) We'd like to go someplace tropical, and we'd like to spend less than $1000/pp. Where should we go, where should we stay, where should we eat, and what should we do? [more inside]
I'm planning a trip to Prague and Budapest in the fourth quarter of this year, and would love to hear your suggestions on which time would be best! [more inside]
I've never had "winter clothes" before and this year I want to actually be warm and have at least a little sanity to how I deal with being outside. Given the circumstances below, does The Green have any advice? [more inside]
We're going to Japan! From December 25-January 15th, to be precise, and are overwhelmed with the possibilities! Where should we go? [more inside]
What strategies were used by peasants of medieval Europe to prepare for and survive the harsh winter months? [more inside]
I live in the SF Bay area and I'm thinking about moving to colder climates at some point, but for various reasons I can't handle a cold ambient temperature inside my home, even if I bundle up. In colder areas (specifically New England and the Midwest), how easy/possible is it to find apartments that are well-heated (perhaps buildings with a whole-building radiator system?) or other situations where I can have a warm (68-70 degree) home without paying through the nose for utilities? [more inside]
I've been invited to a Winter Solstice party and the host would like me to participate by reciting a poem or short written piece. My muse has deserted me so I can't write anything at the moment. What would be a good piece to share?
Do trees respond to a harsh winter by producing a larger volume of seeds in the following spring? [more inside]
Winter here and I've dusted off my slow-cooker. What are your favourite recipes for the inexpensive cuts of beef that are well suited to long, slow, low-heat cooking? Bonus Mefi-miles* for minimising the fat content. I tend to cook big batches on the weekend, freeze portions and microwave as needed of an weekday evening. *loyalty points, or favourites I guess [more inside]
I grew up in Wisconsin, and have hated winter for most my life. As a kid it was okay, but since being a teen I was sure that I'd move out to a part of the country that had mild winters. Recent years though, I've come to realize I don't want to move away from friends, and I actually like parts of the city and am starting to see myself growing old here. I just really really hate winter. Can I come to terms with my hate of winter and my new found love of the area? [more inside]
My husband works outdoors in all kinds of weather, and he's mostly fine with it, but the one thing he says he still hasn't found is a good pair of gloves that keep his hands warm and dry, but that are thin enough that he can still do things with his hands (use tools etc). In the dead of winter, when it's 33F and raining, the hands get frozen quickly. [more inside]
My wife has accepted a post-doc position in the University of Wisconsin system with duration of around two years. Where exactly in Wisconsin is slightly up in the air, but no matter where we end up, we have a host of questions to ask about moving there and Wisconsin life in general. Once we know where we're actually going, we may have more questions about the area, but right now I think our biggest concern is winter. [more inside]
A few years ago, my mother sent me pictures of this odd ice formation that she found in her birdbath, wondering if I had any idea how it formed. I asked around on Facebook and none of my friends could identify it, but no such luck. I just occurred to me today to ask Ask. Here are the pictures: birdbath and close-up. Any thoughts on how that shape was created? This was winter 2010, in Connecticut.
does anyone make high-quality cold(ish)-weather outdoor wear, such as fleeces and windbreakers, in slim-fit cuts? [more inside]
Please help me find a warm, puffy and DISCOUNTED coat for next winter! [more inside]
I am convinced - or I've convinced myself - that there was an xkcd diagram that showed winter as unbearably cold and long, summer as unbearably hot and long, and a very short burst of spring and autumn where temperatures were just right. Does this actually exist, or is it some other cartoon, or have I imagined something as real?
With all these winter storms here in the Northeast (and Midwest and South), I've been hearing a lot about salt supply issues. Supposedly much of it has to come from Chile...but there are plenty of salt mines in North America, aren't there? What about solar evaporation from the ocean right here? Wouldn't such sources save on the costs and environmental impact of shipping long distances? Are domestic sources just exhausted by demand in the Midwest and parts of the South far from ports?
My family and I are set to travel by train to DC for a week of enrichment during our Mardi Gras break. The weather looks like it has the potential to close museums etc. and make us fairly uncomfortable for the significant walking from place to place. We could cancel it all and set out for something warmer tomorrow, but is my concern overblown? We're going tomorrow through Friday. The potential for closures and outages is the biggest factor, I guess.
What is the best/easiest way to clear snow and ice from a driveway and parking area in sub-freezing temperatures? [more inside]
My poor dad is recovering from an accident, and is stuck in the house during this crazy winter. What are some fun activities to keep him busy while we wait for the snow to melt? [more inside]
Help my little family enjoy spending time outside with two feet of snow on the ground. [more inside]
Help me find the warmest full length winter coat in the world. [more inside]
Cross-country skiing on trails also used by snowmobiles: Apart from common courtesy and common sense, is there any etiquette that I should be aware of? [more inside]
There are summer and winter versions of big sports events such as the Olympics and the X Games. Are there spring and fall-based sporting events too? If not, why not? Are there any sports that are specially seasonal outside summer/winter?
I was up in the attic the other day, putting away some stuff, and I noticed a delightfully large amount of mold going down either side of on section of the roof. Joy. The question now is exactly what to do, with a roof that obviously needs repair, in February, in New England. [more inside]
(This is from my 11 year old son, purely because he's curious and because we have 11' snowbanks this year). How big would a snowman have to be for at least some snow to survive to the next winter? [more inside]
Last Olympics there was an FPP linking to a thorough Olympics prospectus. Among other things, it has a condensed three-event-a-day set of viewing recommendations, a per-sport set of athletes and countries to keep an eye on, and bunches of athlete and sport context sprinkled throughout for flavor. I loved being able to tune in to a random event, pull up the prospectus, and quickly find a few sentences/a paragraph that gave me the gist of the narrative/context for that event. Is there an equivalent this year? Failing that, what are other good resources for Olympics viewers this year?
Running in Chicago in the wintertime. I'm not as worried about the cold (love running in the cold!) as I am about ice. (South Side location.) [more inside]
What are some websites or books about skiing? [more inside]
I'd like to ship glass containers carrying liquids to a friend in a Northern state (opening them up and placing them in another container is not an option, as they are carbonated.) It is currently winter and frequently well below freezing outside. Is this possible to do without the contents freezing solid and exploding? FedEx recommends placing thawed gel coolants in a package to prevent freezing as a "heat sink". How does this even work?
Where in Toronto can I find (1) an extra large size toque with ear coverage (like the Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon) or (2) size 15 waterproof warm winter boots (like the Sorel 1964 PAC T)? I've already visited or called several places (MEC, Get Outside, Patagonia) to no result. [more inside]
Every year I dread cold weather, mostly for norovirus-related reasons. Especially since it seems media reports about norovirus outbreaks, flu deaths, etc. have increased over the last few years. It's all I can do to go to work and social events during the week (barely--I probably won't eat food prepared in a strange kitchen or where I notice a lack of handwashing). You could not pay me to get on an airplane or visit a nursing home this time of year. Lately all I want to do is burrow into my apartment with herbal tea and bleach wipes, but life demands that I go to parties, spend time in public, etc. [more inside]
I live in a drafty old house and have recently winterized the windows using a kit from Home Depot. It works pretty well! But these bad cats really, really like to claw through the plastic. Is there a more cat-proof option?
For a Texas boy, I got pretty good at dressing for the weather in London and Seattle. But now I've moved to Toronto, where I've found my clothes inadequate for the cold of the previous couple of weeks. I was also possessed to plan on a visit to Ottawa's Winterlude in a few weeks where I have been warned I might just freeze to death. What new clothes do I need and where do I get them? [more inside]
Point me to your favorite winter socks. Because it's cold here. Really, really cold, and every single pair of socks I own has holes. All of them. [more inside]
We're driving in snowy weather for the first time in our lives. Do we need snow tires, or is it better to just get a new set of all weathers if we are spending the money? Cars are a Corolla and a Focus.
How can I provide heat to my chicken coop, without an electricity source? [more inside]
Besides skiing, of course. I think myself and Ms Jo will be in Denver area for 4 days or so within the next two weeks. We may ski one day, but prefer just being out of doors and walking and hiking. Is this too crazy given the season? I would love to go to a hot springs but the closest one looks kinda cheesy/expensive. We will have a car. I like beer. Suggestions for activities and accommodations are welcome. Basically, I am looking for a non-ski reason to go Denver area this month for 3 or 4 days. If the answer is to come back later (during brew fest and better hiking weather, so be it).
I have a small weekend cottage. I am currently 2 hours away from said cottage and the power there went out 3.5 hours ago. The temperature there is currently -2 F. Power company estimates return of power around midnight. Are my pipes going to freeze? [more inside]