2016 April 13

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Bennett Hill Preserve
Delmar, New York
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April 2016
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Tonight at 11:59 pm the moon is expected to be at first quarter stage, but it will have already set in Albany so technically our first quarter moon will be on Thursday night. The end of Waxing Crescent Moon is at 11:50 tonight. Tonight is expected to be fairly cloudy with a lot of hazy clouds pushing in during the next few hours but clearing out by late. 55 degrees now, 30 degrees by daybreak.

While I was complaining about the lack of traffic going to work this morning, the 787 is all backed up. Pretty bad traffic tonight. Fender bender. But we have the left lane bus driver, since she’ll keep us moving as fast as anybody on the expressway that is nothing like an expressway this evening. But like everyone on this clogged road, I just want to get home as soon as safely possible.

With the increasing cloudy skies, a light but chilling north breeze and temperatures expected to only be in the upper 40s, I’ll skip the park tonight and I’ll just read at home. Maybe tomorrow night will be finally warm enough. Sunny and 56 tomorrow for the high.

I’m still undecided about the weekend. I could go either way but I do have that Save the Pine Bush cleanup on Saturday. I don’t know, I’d almost rather just go down to the park on Saturday evening and relax in town.

Transit: The GPS Forefather.

One of the great questions faced by man kind -- but only recently answered conveniently and accurately -- is where am I? From precision agriculture to ship navigation to bus systems to navigation systems in cars, the answer to this question has solved many problems for mankind.

It wasn't all that long ago -- maybe 5 or 10 years ago -- when the average person couldn't just pull a cellphone out of their pocket, and find out their exact location down to 10 feet from their cellphone. Now such technology is common place.

The Transit Satellites, the first successfully launched today in 1960, started to answer that question. The transit satellites were primitive technology compared to the modern GPS satellites, but a necessary first step in man answering the question -- where am I?

Certainly a nice morning with the bright sunshine and temperatures around 42. A bit cool but not bad compared to recent weather. I found that sunshine made it much easier to get going today — and a delightful walk down to the bus stop. 54 degrees later.

A quick clipper front will come through a little before sunset at 7:37 pm and push some clouds in through midnight but I’m thinking more partly cloudy then cloudy. Sunny by tomorrow morning. The 8 pm temperature will be 48 — cool but it’s still only mid-April. Later this week into the weekends will have warmer evenings.

Today in 1960, the United States launches Transit 1-B, the world’s first satellite navigation system. The technology in Transit 1-B, which relied on calculating differences in time, would eventually lead to the modern GPS system, which is essential for modern day life — and ending the age old question — where I am ? People forget that until 5 or so years ago, you couldn’t pull out your cellphone and track your location down to 10 feet, anywhere in the United States.

Happy Birthday to Butch Cassidy, the notorious American train robber, bank robber, and leader of the Wild Bunch gang in the American Old West.

We are 180 days out now from Columbus Day, when we usually have peak color for the leaves. Because it’s been cold, the budding has been retarded in Albany but I’m sure with this weekend’s warm weather the budding will speed up. Listening to Kenny Chesney’s Boys of Fall. Summer is an endangered species, it seems to last only a few weeks every year.

I may be the only person who hates when there is no traffic on the 787 going downtown, but it really cuts into my time to blog and take pictures. Bus rider problems. So be it.