These are my experiences in maps, photos, and stories.

New York State - Maps, photos and stories of special places.
Other States - Maps, photos and stories outside of NY.
Topics - Essays, links, and other interesting content.

Google County Maps - State land maps, tracks and waypoints.
State Land Websites - Links to many of the state land webpages.
State Truck Trails Over A Half Mile - Dirt roads to explore in the backcountry.
NYS DEC Lean-To Locations - Listings, coordinates and GPS data for lean-tos.

Moose River Plains - Maps and photos of state's largest free camping area.
Piseco-Powley Road - Maps and photos of 15 mile dirt road with camping.

For Downloadable Backcountry Campsites and Trail Data see Google County Maps.

Wildlife Management Units (Deer) - Google Map shows the WMU boundaries.
Google Maps of Deer Harvest Density in 2016 by WMU or Town. In 2015 by WMU.
Google Maps of Buck Harvest Density in 2016 by WMU or Town.
2016 Deer and Buck Harvest by Town - Google Spreadsheet with FIPS codes for making your own calculations.

Parking and Access to Trout Streams - An interactive, downloadable Google Map.
Lakes with DEC Contour Maps - A Google Map links to Contour Maps for Fishing.

NYS Statewide Snowmobile Trail System - State trails on public and private lands.

Interactive Maps of NY Census - Explore and download KML files.
Charts and Interactive Diagrams - From population to pollution control.

Big Red - Photos and Videos of my lifted truck with its camper shell.
Big Red's Dual Battery Setup for Camp Power, Video Tour and Diagram.

Charts: Change in Sunset from Previous Day, Daily Temperature Departure from Normal – Week of November 16, 2017 and November 14, 2017 Weather Forecast.
Google Maps: Capital Region Zip Codes, Median Property Tax By County and State Taxes Per Capita.
Photos: Alfred E. Smith Building, Coeymans, New York, Delmar, New York, Elm Ave Park & Ride - CDTA, Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Glenmont, New York, South Bethlehem, New York, Westerlo and Winifred Matthews Holt Preserve.
Maps: Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Canadaway Creek WMA, Farmersville State Forest, Huggins Lake Trail, Mohawk Springs State Forest and Watts Flatts WMA.
Videos: Heading Up to Thacher Park, Interstate 81 Outside of Harrisburg VA, Irish Creek Overlook – Blue Ridge Parkway, Mays Gap, Sugar Grove, West Virigina and Use Lowest Gear.

See more Charts, Google Maps, Maps, Photos and Videos or archived November 2016.

Questions, comments? Feel free to email me at

How The Federal Reserve Manages Money Supply

The federal reserve is a private association of banks and financial institutions. As it's actions have significant economic implications, the federal reserve does have an appointed head by the president but all other bank governors are selected by the banks who are members of the federal reserve.

It exists primarily to prevent bank panics by requiring banks hold a percentage of their reserves in cash and be a lender of last resort to banks who face demands for cash that they don't have in their own vaults and other banks are unwilling to lend to them.

The federal reserve occasionally changes the reserve rate for banks and often changes the discount rate, the rate they charge to banks at last resort that need a loan that no private bank will give them. Changing the discount rate influences the rate banks charge on loans. In times of extreme recession, the fed will do quanative easing aka open market operations which means that they either force banks to buy government bonds so that they have more cash to loan out or force them to pay back the bonds to take money out of the market.

The rational for doing this is publicly stated by the fed. The reserve rate, discount rate, and total open market amounts are released. Internal deliberations and individual transactions with banks are kept private to avoid market speculation. While the federal reserve sounds scary and has a massive impact on the economy, it generally does a good job at moderating inflation and recessions. Obviously people can and do disagree whether more or less unemployment or inflation is better.

Map: Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Map: Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of over 7,000 acres of upland habitat in Delaware County acquired by the State in 1961. It is located in the Towns of Colchester and Walton along Route 206. East Trout Brook Rd and West Trout Brook Rd run through the heart of the property from Rt 206 and join at the southern end of the property. Parking areas providing access can be found along each of these roads.

This large parcel of public land affords multiple uses for outdoor recreation including hunting, trapping, angling, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

Some of Bear Spring Mountain's unique attributes include the location of a state run campground in the middle of the property and basic facilities for horses.

I support mass incineration, not mass incarceration of those convicted of felonies. Here’s why …

I have long been a proponent of the death penality, as the death penality provides a finality in justice and ends a life that provides no further use to society based on the past actions of a person. If it’s fine to junk an old car, throw a tin can or bottle made out of non-renewable resources into a landfill, it’s certainly fine to discard the life of a human being who has engauged in horrific violent acts or other horrific acts that society has deemed a felony.

I support an all felony death penality. There should be only one penality for those convicted of a felony — any felony — and that is death by execution. But execution need not be a grizzly process, it could be highly automated and done in a fast, reliable way like using a specialized waste-to-energy plant that would quickly incinerate the carcasses of those convicted of felony level crimes. Rather then the slow and painsteaking process of lethal injection, death by fire at over 2,000 degrees would quickly kill and vaporize the carcasses of those convicted of felony. As such plants would only be burning human carcasess, the waste stream would be controlled and emissions could be controlled much better then those plants that burn solid waste — while producing renewable energy to keep the lights on in the cities.

Some people would object to that plan, on grounds that it reminds them of how the German Nazis killed those of the Jewish faith during World War II. Genocide is a horrific crime against mankind — it’s an action that takes place outside of law. It’s immoral to target whole classes of people based on their race, religion, gender or belief. But executing people who have committed serious crimes against other individuals is neccessary to protect order, and conserve limited resources. Replacing mass incarceration with mass incineration of those convicted of felony-level crimes is a logical step towards conservation of resources, deterring crime, and protecting society. A serious criminal — one who has committed a felony — who is executed will never be able to commit another serious crime.

Opposition to the death penality on grounds that is unfair to the accused never made much sense to me. Death penality cases always get more review because of the finality of the decision. In contrast, people sentenced to jail or prison for decades often get minimal review. It could be argued that long-term incarceration is much more painful to an individual then whatever pain comes during an execution. A few milliseconds of horror is much less pain then years of incarceration. Mistakes are sometimes made in the justice system, but a low-cost, high efficency execution system, like centralized waste-to-energy for convicted felons would free up millions to compensate those families who loved ones lives were wrongly taken by the state. While a multi-million dollar payment can’t make up for a life wrongly lost, it can give a grieving family the financial security they need to put food on the table.

I believe our current system of mass incarceration is cruel and abusive — especially compared to a system of mass incineration of convicted felons. Mass incarceration ultimately puts society at risk because most people who are incarcerated are ultimately released from prison — often bitter without life skills needed to succeed. Felons are left permanently disabled without the rights that they had before they were released. Felons lose their civil rights such as the right to own firearms, to vote, to hold elected office. Felons can’t hold many jobs and are often denied housing. But this becomes a moot point if all felons going forward were executed, their lives ended so they would never be able to be part of society again.

I am opposed to wounding rather then killing those convicted of felonies. I just think it puts society at risk and wastes resources to incarcerate individuals for many years, then release broken individuals back on the street. Many violent acts could be prevent if all felons were executed going forward — and the policy was that nobody convicted of a serious crime is allowed to go back on street. Obviously, we couldn’t change the law retroactively, but we could prevent future crime and save millions with highly efficient waste-to-energy centers that disposed of those criminals convicted of felonies going forward.

Change in Sunset from Previous Day

Some good news! Each night now the sunset is getting earlier, but at a declining rate. Come December 9th, the sun will start setting later and later each night, accelerating to 22 second later then the previous night come December 16th. Okay, we still have a while until we have the 7 PM sunset with Daylight Savings Time returning on March 11th, but so be it.

Good evening! Light rain and 42 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a south-southeast breeze at 10 mph. The rain held off, but now it started to come down as I walked home from the libary. The skies will clear tomorrow around 4 pm.

Tonight will rain, mainly after 7pm. Low of 42 degrees at 6pm. 11 degrees above normal. South wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. In 2016, we had clear skies. It got down to 28 degrees. The record low of 12 occurred back in 1972.

Tonight will have a New Moon. The First Quarter Moon is on Sunday, November 26th with partly cloudy skies expected. The Cold Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd. The sun will rise at 6:51 am with the first light at 6:21 am, which is one minute and 14 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 23 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes over last night.

Tomorrow will have showers likely before 4pm, then isolated showers after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a temperature falling to around 39 by 5pm. Windy, with a southwest wind 23 to 29 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies. The high last year was 64 degrees. The record high of 71 was set in 1921. 4.2 inches of snow fell back in 1914.

In four weeks on December 16 the sun will be setting at 4:23 pm, which is 6 minutes and 23 seconds earlier then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had snow, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 21 and 1 degrees. Cold day last year. Typically, you have temperatures between 36 and 21 degrees. The record high of 55 degrees was set back in 1971.

Happy Start to Regular Season in the Southern Zone! I hope you were one of the lucky ones if you were out in the field or in a tree stand today. I am sure it’s a zoo on public lands. Heck, even later in the season, I’ve hunted small game on public lands, and looked down the ridge and spotted numerous hunters. Nearly half a million people participate in the southern zone deer opener. Mostly though I make excuses for not spending enough time out in the field and not taking advantage of those tags that I buy every year. 

Small game I can process while camping and dump the carcasses in the woods to feed the coyotes, but I hate to see a deer carcass ending up in a landfill. Next weekend I will be up in the Adirondacks with my shotgun assuming the weather cooperates. I keep telling myself I am going to buy a tree stand and a safety vest, but it never happens. So I usually just do small game, sitting up on a ridge, looking down. Obviously, some day in the future when I own land, things might be different. For me, owning more land is much more important then a fancy house. Smaller and simpler for a house is better in my opinion. Use the gut pile to bait coyotes, then I can shoot them too and get the pelts to sell. Double bonus. I really do need to spend more time out hunting though.

I can’t believe that yesterday, they were pouring concrete for sidewalks with such cold weather as part of the Delmar’s burn the free state money program. I guess they had to replace the water pipes before the leaks kept getting worse but it seems like the state’s streetscape program is a complete waste of taxpayer funds everywhere its been utilized in recent years. It either subsidizes suburbanite sprawl or replaces already pedestrian friendly streets with shinny new concrete and asphalt that quickly cracks. I don’t consider myself to be a real conservative, but I hate how much money and therefore resource the government squanders.

Finally got the power supply and transistors in the mail, which is one of the things that sucks about eBay. It’s sometimes really slow but that’s fine, I haven’t had a lot of free time since I get home from work. Amazon is great but I don’t want to pay for a prime membership. Maybe I’ll have to rethink that now that I am doing more electronic stuff. Wired up the transistors to the LED strip and nothing worked or the light output was either too dim or not switching on or off. So I probed with voltage meter and studied the diagram. I now I know what I did wrong, I hooked the resistor for the “pull down” line between the gate and the signal from the Arduino. The “pull down” resistor should be hooked to ground, so that when there is no HIGH, the gate goes fully LOW, so the lights are totally off or dimmed to the appropriate level. That makes a lot of sense, but somehow I was tired and confused when I wired it.

Figuring this out, I got lots of fun measuring the voltage levels and resistance levels. And studying the diagrams, trying to figure out what I did wrong. Most scary though was when I accidentally shorted out the 12 volt hot side with my voltage probe into the Arduino which at the time was hooked up to my laptop, which not only made a little it spark, promptly sent 12 volts to the USB port on my laptop which caused the kernel panic and the laptop to reboot. In the process, I killed the power supply on the Aruindo. It still works from the USB power, I can’t power it in from the VIN pin. While the Arduino could be replaced for like $8, I was not happy about possibly frying my laptop.

Fortunately the laptop was not fried by the brief spark. I did however fry the Arduino’s built in power supply. Ordered two more for $16. The laptop’s USB port seems fine, and I am able to program and operate the Arduino as normal using the USB port, except the power in port is dead, so I can’t boot the board up without using the USB cable. I will keep it for development purposes though, and I can always pull the the Atmega328P microcontroller for other purposes. It’s niec the Arduino I have the socketed microcontroller. Many do not. I should also be able to reuse the USB port and power jack for other things. For sure, I am not going to leave my laptop hooked to the Arduino anymore when it’s being powered by 12 volts, and in many cases will do more testing of voltages before I connect things on up. You live and learn.

visited the Bethlehem Sportsmart but I ended up buying nothing except a donation to the Hurricane Relief, because there wasn’t anything there I really needed. I thought that you had to pay to go in, like a Gun Show, but I guess not this year. It was just like a giant tag sale with lots snowshoes, ice skates, and skiis. I did look at ice skates, but not fit me. I think ice skating might be fun, assuming that my ankle holds up. I am more interested in ice skating on remote lakes, rather developed areas. Watch as I sprain my ankle and die from hydothermia all alone. Or fall through the ice. I have a busted snowshoe and my poles need new bottom pieces, but I’m not going to throw them out when there is  a good chance that I can repair them and get a second life. I hate to throw away anything that I can fix and continue to use, or spend money on things 

Picked up my dry cleaning. That should be good once legislative session gets underway. I will need more shirts come budget time, but I have a few that are in good shape, and several in packages that have yet to be opened. I will miss Sears now that is closed.

Figured out what kind of bolt I need for the Yakima Anchor Plates from doing some Internet searches. It looks like it’s a 6mm metric bolt. I just need to figure out the length bolt I need, a factor that will in part depend on how thick the aluminum cross bar I buy. I want to get as thin and wide bar as possible, but it has to be rugged to not flex or break on rough roads. Before I buy those things at Lowes, I want to confirm the height of my truck cap compared to the car wash, to make sure I can fit into the car wash without damaging the solar panel. It’s kind of important to be able to was the road salt of my truck once that time of year comes around again on the calendar. I was going to do this today, but then I got lazy and then it got dark and started to rain. So it will get put off until tomorrow.

Looking ahead, Bye, Bye American Pie which is The Day the Music Died in 11 weeks and Winnie the Pooh Day is in 2 months.

November 2017
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