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: High Temperature, February 21, Rate of fatal work injuries, by industry, 2016 and Sunset February 23 through March 24.
Google Maps: 2016 County Population, December 2017 US Unemployment and Maple Trees Tapped.
Photos: Albany County Rail Trail, Alfred E. Smith Building, Coeymans, New York, Delmar, New York, Empire State Plaza, New York State Capitol, New York State Museum, Save the Pine Bush and Westerlo, New York.
Maps: Corn vs Hay-Pasture in Albany County, Golden Hill State Forest, Granger State Forest, Middle Saranac Lake, Ohisa And Otsquago State Forests and Sand Bay State Forest.
Videos: East Branch Campsite Walk Around, How PIR Sensor Works and How To Use It with Arduino, Icy Day at Swift Wetland Preserve, Lead Battery Recycling, Old vs New: 1974 vs 2017 Ford F-250 and Wolf Hill Road.

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

Questions, comments? Feel free to email me at

Behind the minimum wage fight, a sweeping failure to enforce the law

"As Democrats make raising the minimum wage a centerpiece of their 2018 campaigns, and Republicans call for states to handle the issue, both are missing an important problem: Wage laws are poorly enforced, with workers often unable to recover back pay even after the government rules in their favor.

"That’s the conclusion of a nine-month investigation by POLITICO, which found that workers are so lightly protected that six states have no investigators to handle minimum-wage violations, while 26 additional states have fewer than 10 investigators. Given the widespread nature of wage theft and the dearth of resources to combat it, most cases go unreported. Thus, an estimated $15 billion in desperately needed income for workers with lowest wages goes instead into the pockets of shady bosses.

"But even those workers who are able to brave the system and win — to get states to order their bosses to pay them what they’re owed -- confront a further barrier: Fully 41 percent of the wages that employers are ordered to pay back to their workers aren’t recovered, according to a POLITICO survey of 15 states.

"That’s partly because, in addition to lacking resources, states lack the tools to go after the landscaping firms, restaurants, cleaning companies and other employers that shed one corporate skin for another, changing names while essentially continuing the same businesses — often to evade orders to pay back their workers."

Happy Weekend! Cloudy, damp with maybe some drizzle and 36 degrees in Delmar, NY.☁💦 There is a south-southeast breeze at 11 mph.  It was kind of chilly evening out waiting for the bus. Don’t expect a real nice weekend. The skies will clear Sunday around 11 pm.:'( At least we are getting closer to spring. I look forward to being able to head north after a long week at work. 

Tonight will have a chance of showers, mainly before 11pm. Cloudy, with a low of 34 degrees at 6pm. 💦15 degrees above normal. South wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. In 2017, we had partly cloudy skies with more clouds in the early hours of the next day. It got down to 41 degrees. The record low of -11 occurred back in 1894.

Tonight will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon with 60% illuminated. The Worm Moon is on Thursday night with a chance of showers. 🌔The sun will rise at 6:38 am with the first light at 6:10 am, which is one minute and 33 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 12 hours and 59 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 49 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, with a high of 46 degrees at 2pm.⛅Nine degrees above normal. Northwest wind 8 to 11 mph. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies with more clouds in the afternoon. The high last year was 74 degrees. The record high of 74 was set in 2017. 8 inches of snow fell back in 1962.

Looking ahead to Sunday, rain, mainly before 4pm. ☔High near 42. Southeast wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. Typical average high for the weekend is 37 degrees.

So that’s the weekend to be. Doesn’t sound that nice for sure. 💦The Save the Pine Bush hike is tomorrow at nine thirty, and I hope to go. I have some family business to attend to before then but so be it. I think the rain should hold off tomorrow for the hike. 

After looking at my options for power supplies for the LED lights in my bedroom, I ended up reordering that cheap $13 power supply that broke after three months. 💡Ran cool, provided sufficient voltage at close to 10 amp and was great until I unplugged it with a full load on it. I’m going to be more careful about how I use it and unplug the load before wall outlet. The reviews of the alternatives, especially the more expensive ones weren’t all that much better. Eventually I’ll fine something that works. Because ultimately all I really need is a big enough 120 volt to 12 volt transformer and a some diodes for a bridge rectifier and a capacitor. Power regulation isn’t that important for this project as the Arduino will regulate its own voltage and as long as I have sufficient forward voltage it should be fine. I figure it’s free electronic components I can scrap. 

I can’t wait until it’s nice to get back out camping and traveling again. It’s been a long time, although I think I want the snow to be gone before my next night in the wilderness. 🗻⛺But the days of winter are long on tooth and can’t last forever. Living in the city is fine but I love those small towns, the countryside, and the long nights by the fire. 🔥

In four weeks on March 23 the sun will be setting at 7:11 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is one hour, 33 minutes and 27 seconds later then today. 🌇In 2017 on that day, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 37 and 13 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 47 and 28 degrees. The record high of 80 degrees was set back in 1938.

Looking ahead, Read Across America Day is in 1 weeks, 📚Good Friday is in 5 weeks, Arbor Day is in 9 weeks, 8 PM Sunset is in 10 weeks, Memorial Day Weekend Starts is in 13 weeks, 🎆Average High is 80 is in 17 weeks and Buy Nothing Day is in 9 months.🎁

🎆Only 90 days remain until the start of Memorial Day Weekend!🎇

As millions of Americans live in a different “Skinner box” or social community then you do, they may have a different opinion on the issues of the day.🐭 That doesn’t mean those Americans are evil or corrupt.😃 Instead, they come to value different things differently, and have a perspective that may not match your own.

When you stop attacking others for not sharing your own beliefs,😡 you can become a more wholesome and thoughtful individual, that realizes that different communities have different problems,🐮🏙🏔🏘🚜 and that the solutions best for your area might be unworkable in other communities. Competition often leads to better results.👪 Good ideas get moved forward while old ideas die.🤔

February 2018
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