What's Up/Current Events

As I receive news releases and notices of upcoming events I think will be of interest to my web site visitors and readers of my column, I will post them on this page. Please visit often and check to see what is new and exciting in home improvement, earth-friendly living, convenience, and money-saving ideas.

New home-related products

New landscaping products

Black and Decker Flex Tube Blower/Sweeper: With its joystick, the Flex Tube Blower/Sweeper can be maneuvered to quickly remove leaves, grass clippings and yard debris from driveways, garages and sidewalks with 140 mph of blowing force.

The Blower/Sweeper includes both a flexible blow tube with joystick and a straight blow tube. The flexible blow tube when used with the shoulder strap improves blowing control and is less fatiguing. The adjustable shoulder strap shifts the weight of the blower from the arms to the shoulder for lightweight blowing. The joystick on the flexible blow tube offers easy one-hand use and improved control, especially in areas such as flowerbeds or in the deck. The blower's straight blowing tube allows the Blower/Sweeper to be operated as a regular straight-tube blower. Typically homeowners dislike the lack of control, weight and noise of blowers on the market today," said Alan Lofurno, Director, Outdoor Products. "We've addressed all three of these concerns with the Flex Tube Blower/Sweeper. The joystick provides excellent control, the overall design and shoulder strap offer a lightweight solution, and the low-noise design feature suppresses the noise." Key Features: Flexible blow-tube with joystick offers improved control and less fatigue
140 mph blower speed quickly clears grass clippings, pine needles and other yard debris
Low noise design
Large paddle switch for easy on/off control
Adjustable strap takes weight off arms to reduce fatigue Includes the flex tube, straight tube and shoulder strap
Availability: Major home centers and mass merchants
Pricing: $49.99 (Prices will vary based on location and retailer) Model #: FT1000 Warranty: Full two-year warranty

Black and Decker 12" Grass Hog™ Cordless Trimmer/Edger: Go cordless with the 12" Grass Hog for your trimming and edging. With its 12" cutting swath, the rechargeable Grass Hog cuts more grass in less time and can trim up to a 1/2 acre yard on a single charge.

The rechargeable Grass Hog's 12" cutting path, the largest cutting path of any rechargeable string trimmer, cuts more grass in less time. The Grass Hog's battery is powerful and light, designed to trim up to a 1/2 acre yard on a single charge. The new trimmer/edger produces one-half the noise of gas. The Automatic Feed Spool helps to complete trimming projects faster and more accurately as it eliminates the guesswork of stopping to bump the string trimmer to release more string. The patented Automatic Feed Spool uses centrifugal force technology to automatically sense when additional cutting string is needed and releases the right length of string to maximize cutting performance. Eliminating the need to bump or hit the string trimmer on the ground to advance string also prolongs the life of the tool. The Grass Hog efficiently trims the yard, but without the hassles, fumes and expensive maintenance of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. An array of features, including Groom 'N' Edge® which converts the Grass Hog from a string trimmer to a maintenance edger, make trimming and edging even easier. Key Features:
12" cutting path cuts more grass in less time
Automatic Feed Spool maximizes cutting performance without bumping to advance the line
Cordless convenience: no cords, no gas, no fumes, no tune-ups
Run time and performance to trim a 1/2 acre yard on a single charge
Groom 'N' Edge feature rotates head 180 degrees for edging
Removable battery charges overnight (approximately 12 hours)
One-half the noise of gas-powered string trimmers
Handle adjusts to a range of positions for comfort
An edge guide provides "point-of-reference" for precise maintenance edging
Product Specs: 12" cutting path , 12-volt detachable lead-acid battery .065 line diameter 10 lbs. 6800 RPMs. Availability: Major home centers and mass merchants. Pricing: Approximate retail price $100. Prices will vary based on location and retailer. Warranty: Full Two-year warranty. The Black & Decker Hog family consists of a variety of lawn and garden products packed with power, performance and exclusive features. Each tool is designed to make the job easier for all of your landscaping needs.

Black and Decker 10 Gallon Utility Vac: Quickly clean up wet and dry messes around the house with the 10 Gallon Utility Vac. Then detach a portable blower from the top of the vac to quickly clean off patios, sidewalks or driveways.

With its space-saving design, the 2 gallon vac is easily stored in the corner of a closet, in a pantry or on a shelf. When faced with a mess or spill, grab this lightweight vac by its specially designed top handle for a quick clean up. "We are trying to change the way people think about cleaning their homes," said Drew Meng, product manager. "Many times a wet or dry mess is made and you won't want to use your expensive upright vacuum to clean it up. The 2 gallon vac, with its grab and go convenience, is perfect for cleaning up mud, cat litter, broken glass and gives you the added convenience of both wet and dry cleaning." Both the 10 gallon vac and 8 gallon vac have the power and capacity to clean up a wet mess as large as a flooded basement or as simple as unclogging a sink. The vacs can also be used as a workshop vac or to clean up dry messes after home improvement projects. The 10 gallon and 8 gallon vacs also feature a powerful removable blower. The portable blower detaches from the top of the vac to quickly clean off patios, sidewalks or driveways. Each vac is lightweight, easy to transport and features an anti-tipping design. Each vac comes with a flexible hose with a wide opening for suctioning large amounts of water or debris. The vacs have powerful, yet quiet, motors.
Product Features: 2 Gallon Vac Innovative space-saving 2 gallon design
Handle on top for quick "grab and go" use
Hose stores on-board for the convenience of quick pick ups 3.5 amps motor power for quick pick up power
Compact hose storage Wrap-around tank cord storage
Easy to access on/off power switch
Product Features
10 and 8 Gallon Vac/Blower
Wide base tip-resistant design 8 Gallon Easily converts to portable blower Increased power and performance for demanding household jobs Wrap-around tank cord storage
Easy to access on/off power switch Glides to the job on durable caster wheels Accessories store on-board for the convenience of quick pick ups 6' power cord and flexible 1 ¼" x 6' durable hose 1 ¼" x 20" floor extension wands 1 ¼" floor nozzle and squeegee for hard floor cleanup 10 amps (8 gallon) and 11.5 amps (10 gallon) motor power for quick pick up power Pricing: $24.99 $49.99 $59.99 Model: UV200 UV800 UV1000 Availability: Major home center, mass merchants and hardware stores Warranty Two-year warranty

Woodstrem Corp. Repellents Emitting Odor Found Most Effective

USDA Study Shows Deer Away® Leads the Pack In Reducing Foraging Damage While Franklin Roosevelt assured us “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”, nobody has to tell the deer that. A recent study on deer repellents conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found those repellents that prey on a deer’s sense of fear — by emitting odors perceived as indicators of humans or predators — are the most effective form of deterrents.

The seasonal study also identified Deer Away® as the longest lasting formula. In three tests conducted in the winter, spring and summer seasons at the National Wildlife Research Center in Olympia, Wash., Deer Away significantly reduced foraging damage on seedlings for up to 18 weeks. The product consistently ranked in the top five of most effective deterrents tested. The USDA study determined that products using fear are more effective in preventing foraging damage than those that deliver pain, repel by taste or create a conditioned aversion. Deer Away, now part of the Havahart® line of caring control products from Woodstream Corporation, uses the odor of putrescent egg solids to chase deer away before they get a chance to nibble on trees, shrubs or ornamental flowers. Deer Away is available in easy ready-to-use spray bottles of 16-, 24- and 32-ounces. The formula is also effective in deterring rabbits. The Havahart brand of caring control products for pets and wild animals features a comprehensive line of natural repellents and live animal cage traps. For more information, visit the company’s website: www.havahart.com or write to Woodstream Corporation, 69 N. Locust St.; Lititz, PA 17543.