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: Growth in Jobs, First Year of Presidency, Job Creation by Year and Temperature, Through Tuesday January 23.
Google Maps: 2015 Percent Of Households Heating With Coal, Median Household Income By NY Municipality and PA Percent Of Households Heating With Natural Gas.
Photos: Albany County Rail Trail, Alfred E. Smith Building, Clarksville, New York, Delmar, New York, Empire State Plaza, Swift Wetland Preserve, West Capitol Park and Winifred Matthews Holt Preserve.
Maps: Cornell, Wittenberg And Terrace Mountains, Donahue Woods State Forest, Hadley Mountain Firetower Views (Local Resolution), Hope Falls Roadside Camping and Tenant Creek Falls, Wassaic Multiple Use Area and Willard Wildlife Management Area.
Videos: (How to cut plexiglass with exacto knife, 12 Gauge Bottle Opener., Bobcat wipes out entire flock of chickens in two hours, HOW TO: Weld Acrylic, Heating With Coal. How to Start a Coal Fire and Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour – “Flush To Finish”.

See more Charts, Google Maps, Maps, Photos and Videos or archived January 2017.

Questions, comments? Feel free to email me at

Map: Willard Wildlife Management Area

Map: Willard Wildlife Management Area

The Willard Wildlife Management Area was originally a part of the Willard State Hospital lands used in its farm operations. Farm operations were discontinued in 1963 and the land was transferred to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for hunting, fishing, and recreational use. This WMA consists of 135 acres of cropland and 23 acres of woodland which borders on Seneca Lake.

Good morning! Happy Saturday. Finally the weekend! 😁Two weeks to The Day the Music Died:(🎶 Mostly cloudy and 34 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a southwest breeze at 11 mph.☁ Few breaks of blue sky around but not a lot. ⛲
🐤Only 59 days remain until the first day of calendar spring!🐸 In a few months I do look forward to hearing the spring peepers, watching the snow melt ☀ and eventually everything greening on up. 

Today will be partly sunny, with a high of 43 degrees at 1pm. ⛅13 degrees above normal. Southwest wind 11 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon. A year ago, we had cloudy skies. The high last year was 40 degrees. The record high of 53 was set in 2006. 8.7 inches of snow fell back in 1978.

The sun will set at 4:54 pm with dusk around 5:24 pm, which is one minute and 14 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 43 degrees.🌄 There will be a west-northwest breeze at 14 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 35 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 54 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 30 degrees at 3am. ☁16 degrees above normal. West wind 5 to 11 mph. In 2017, we had cloudy skies. It got down to 38 degrees. The record low of -18 occurred back in 1994.

Breakfast this morning was coffee ☕with some eggs. 🍴Enjoyed those fresh mushrooms 🍄 from the farmers market on Wednesday. 🐮 I sure will like it when the fresh corn 🌽🌽 returns to the farmers market. Also bought potatoes which I will cook up tonight.🍘

After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to stay in town this weekend. 🚫⛺Money is tight once again, there is a lot of snow up north, and it doesn’t look like that nice up north. ⬆ At this point I’d rather keep working on my hobbies, get a haircut 👦and save the money 💵for nicer weather. It’s just so much easier to camp without snow, ❄especially when it comes to finding a place to park 🅿and not having to dig out a site⛺and sit in many hours of darkness 🌃. They have 2-3 feet of the white stuff where I’m looking at camping.⛄Maybe in the Heldebergs or Schoharie there is less but the skies are still pretty cloudy. ☁

Camping on cloudy days ☁isn’t the end of the world, 🌎but it can be rather cold feeling ⛄and winter like experience, and honestly not that much fun. Blue skies are much more uplifting to the soul. 💨I’m sure we will have nice sunny weather at some point 🗻 and the snow will melt away. 💦I look forward to those warmer days 🐥of spring time. 😎

Last night I started working on soldering the blinking LED heart💖 that I got from China.🏯 I had a hell of a time on the first few joints doing the resistors, I probably should have done the LEDs first.:idea:I guess if I mess it up I can resolder connections, and run jumpers to pads that may have been accidentally destroyed. At the end of the day, it’s a $3 practice kit including shipping from China 📬 so if it doesn’t work it’s not the end of the world. 🌎 I can always turn it into carbon dioxide in the woods.🔥

At some point, probably in early February I’ll have to run to the transfer station to drop off bottles and cans.🚯 I don’t make a lot of trash because I try to avoid excess packaging and can recycle the paper at the park and ride. ♻And in the summer a lot gets burnt to start campfires.📛 I always like the trip out there. Plus it gives me an excuse to clean out my truck. 🚚

I should probably get going take a shower 🚿and get my hair cut. 👦 Daylight is being burnt quickly 🌄and the library closes at five 🕔if I decide to go down there. 📚

As previously noted, there are 2 weeks until The Day the Music Died when the sun will be setting at 5:12 pm with dusk at 5:41 pm. 🐙On that day in 2017, we had cloudy skies and temperatures between 30 and 19 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 32 degrees. 🎶We hit a record high of 57 back in 2016.


It's those dang second graders who are ruining America.

"A class of second-graders is celebrating victory this Thanksgiving now that the state has agreed its highway signs should recall cooperation between Pilgrims and Indians rather than conflict."

"Bowing to the children's protests, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority said Wednesday it had commissioned a new logo to replace the road's present symbol of a Pilgrim hat with an Indian arrow shot through its middle.The redesign was spurred by teacher Barbara Skolnick Rothenberg's second-grade class who were studying Miles Standish and the other colonists who stepped onto Plymouth Rock in 1620."

Here are several future improvements I’m planning to make with my LED-Lighting Strips

1) Fix the Shutdown Glitch

Towards the end of coding my LED lamp driver, I added a fade in and fade out for the power button. While the effect is pretty, for some reason it doesn’t always properly read the off or on status, which means the lights will sometimes flash off then come back on, and vise versa. I was thinking originally it was a button bounce problem, but I think more likely it has to do with the way I’m recording the on/off mode based on brightness.

2) Add a Purple Light Mode

Right now, I can set the lights to a very red, warm white to a very blue cool white. But I don’t have an artsy purple mode, like is commonly used on buildings these days. I would like to be able to set the lights to purple. This is actually a pretty easy function to code in.

3) Add More Precision Between Warm White and Cold White in Moderate Ranges, around 2500-3200k

This is just a matter of adjusting a few lines of code, but I want more accurate then 100 kelvin change when using the channel up and down buttons when transitioning from a warmish soft-white to a warm white to a yellower light color.

4) Add a Timer Modes

I want to set the LED luminares to automatically start fading out at 10:30 PM each night, and then come back on a 7 AM each weekday morning, following a schedule. I’ve tried counting cycles to make the light come on eight hours later, but I’ve not had much luck at that. Automatically turning the lights on and off at a set time makes more sense.

I might also add a “night light” mode that would either use a photo-diode or just a timer based on the month to glow red a low out put in the evening after dark, so that when I come into my bedroom after dark, it’s not pitch black but still has a small amount of light output. At 5% output with just the red LEDs lit, it would make my bedroom not pitch black, but still only use a few watts or less of power.

These various timer functions would require a DS3221 Real Time Clock board or something similar. Fortunately, I just got four of them in the mail yesterday, so I will be able to move forward on several timer-clock type projects going forward.

5) Store Lighting Setting in the EPROM

Right now if the power goes out, due to be unplugged, the lighting setting automatically reset to default values. If I were to change complier keywords in the source code, I could store those variables in the EPROM, and they would be stored even after I unplugged the fixture. This also would help when the power goes out.

6) Add Warm White LEDs

If I want to improve color rendition and reduce wasted energy, I am going to have to swap out some of the Red-Blue-Green (RGB) LEDs for warm white strings. While it’s true that you can simulate any color you want with RGB LEDs, they have poor color rendition of any color besides red, green, or blue. Yellows, purples, and other colors just appear dull. The light level appears much lower then in reality, because your cones are sensing the color output of anything that is not a pure red blue or green. Eating food under these colored lights just looks bizzare.

To do this, I will have to add a fifth wire to my LED lumineres to provide power for a warm white channel, and then add another MOSFET to drive the LEDs. Then I will have to re-write my code to alter how much white light in comparison to the RGB colors. This would probably greatly increase the apparent light output, really improve the color of everything under the lighting, and just generally improve the usefulness of the project. But it’s a pretty big upgrade, and I don’t know where I would mount the fourth MOSFET on my already crowded circuit board.

When you read about the shortages of natural gas and delayed deliveries of propane and oil during the latest cold snap, ❄ you have to wonder why more New Yorkers 🏠 don’t choose to heat with anthracite or bituminous coal.

Coal has a lot of advantages for home heating. It’s relatively inexpensive and once a coal fire is built it lasts for a long time and puts out an intense heat. 🔥 Many coal stoves don’t require any electricity. Their mechanisms are simple and reliable. It’s like wood heat – only better. Sure it takes a little bit skill to start a coal fire and bank the coals, but once a coal stove is operating it can go for a day or longer with minimal work.

But probably the biggest advantage to coal is it is a secure fuel, like wood is, only with less work. You can have coal delivered to your house for the whole winter, and placed in a large pile. But if you have a pickup truck, you don’t have to have coal delivered. You can get a pickup truck load of coal from one of many coal retailers including many hardware stores and garden supply stores.🚚 You aren’t reliant on a single coal supplier to get your coal from if you haul your own coal.

Farming and rural areas more commonly use coal for heat, especially in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.🐮 You see lots of places selling coal there, ready to be purchased and hauled to your home or farm. Sure you can get coal delivered but the fact that you have the ability to shop around and haul your own coal home is a major advantage that people often overlook when choosing a heating fuel for their home.

If wood heat isn’t practical, I know that I would definitely look towards coal for heating a home.🌲 Coal is not renewable and its also a fossil fuel that emits carbon but so is oil, gas and propane. But unlike those other fossil fuels, coal can be stored on-site to provide a homeowner with heat throughout the winter, no matter how cold. Reliability and having a fuel supply you can haul with your own vehicle is a good thing to have in the bank. 🏦

January 2018
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