2017 February 01

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February 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Earlier in the day, I was home and happened to hook up the HDTV box when I was cooking dinner. I found this show about querying marble – for marble top counter tops. How garish was my reaction. Sheet marble is great for making beautiful public buildings, but it’s just tacky for counter tops. I guess you want some durable and long lasting – and easier to clean then concrete. But I don’t know. I’m fine with laminate over plywood.

Later on I went to the maul. I had to buy a few things for work. Then I went for a walk in the maul. Talk about everything being tacky. Everything is “buy, buy, buy”, “sale, sale, sale”. They’ve tried to make this faux homey look to the mall, but everything at the maul still looks cheap and tacky. No marble but lots of thin stone flower tiles in places.

Honestly, I don’t get the appeal of a life with so much thin panels marble and granite plastered over plywood and stucco these days.

“Remember kids, Ground Hogs are unprotected species, farm pests. Punxsy better do the right thing or his family members might just get it come when it finally warms up and they come out of their burrows.” 

Good evening! Partly cloudy and 36 degrees in City of Albany. There is a west breeze at 13 mph with gusts up to 26 mph. Those gusts are cold. The skies will clear around 5 pm.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 37% illuminated. The moon will set around 11:58 pm. The First Quarter Moon is on Saturday night with mostly cloudy expected. The Full “Snow” Moon is on Saturday, February 11th. The sun will rise at 7:07 am with the first light at 6:38 am, which is 1 minutes and 5 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 13 hours and 57 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 25 seconds over last night.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 21 degrees at 5am. Six degrees above normal. West wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. In 2016, it got down to 29 degrees under partly clear skies. The record low of -18 occurred back in 1961.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 29. Sunday, a chance of snow after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. Chance of precipitation is 30%.Typical average high for the weekend is 32 degrees.

In four weeks on March 1 the sun will be setting at 5:45 pm, which is 36 minutes later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain and temperatures between 38 and 21 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 39 and 21 degrees. The record high of 61 degrees was set back in 1991.

Looking ahead, March 1st is a month away, Ides of March is in 6 weeks, April Fools Day is in 2 months, Average High is 60 is in 11 weeks, May Day is in 3 months, Start of June is in 4 months, Flag Day is in 19 weeks and Summer is in 20 weeks.

Before Tobacco, There Was Leaded Gas

"While you may be looking for reasons to be cheerful today, here instead is something else to depress you. Ninety-four years ago exactly, on Feb.1, 1923, a car pulled into the Refiners Oil Co., at the corner of Sixth and Main Streets, in Dayton, Ohio, and filled up with a new product known as Ethyl gasoline. Meaning today marks yet another anniversary of the monumentally unfortunate first time gasoline with lead in it was offered for sale to consumers."

State’s mistakes on tourism signs keep coming

"Wow. Seriously, if it were trying, could the state have made a bigger mess of its decision to plaster “I Love NY” road signs on highways across New York?"

"First, it was revealed the signs were made in Arkansas."

"Next, the state and the Federal Highway Administration escalated its war over the signs, with the federal government contending they violate federal law and may lead to the withholding of highway funding."

"And, now the USA Today Network’s Albany Bureau has revealed the state Department of Transportation used emergency highway contracts and shelled out thousands of dollars in overtime costs to get the signs installed before the July 4 weekend last year."

"Incredible. These state officials may love New York, but that affection obviously doesn’t extend to the taxpayers."

Federal outdoor recreation trends: effects on economic opportunities

"Outdoor recreation is a central way that people interact with the natural environment. Federal land agencies are key providers of settings, facilities, and landscapes for recreation. Outdoor recreation is also an important driver of economic activity in rural communities near recreation destinations and across the United States. Future participation in outdoor recreation, and associated economic activity, will be influenced by demographic changes in population, lowering per capita land available for recreation, and changing recreation resource conditions, influenced partially by climate change. In this report, we summarize recent trends and current projections to 2030 of recreation participation and total days of recreation for 17 key outdoor recreation activities common on federal lands. We report the current economic activity supported by outdoor recreation on the seven agencies participating in the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation and describe how anticipated future changes in recreation participation and climate may change the economic activity supported by outdoor recreation."

Trump’s campaign paid his businesses millions over course of campaign

"The final bill is in: Donald Trump’s campaign paid his companies $12.8 million from the time he launched his improbable presidential bid in the lobby of his company’s flagship Trump Tower property through the end of last year, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission data."

"In fact, according to FEC reports, the latest of which was filed Tuesday night, $2 million of the overall tab went to Trump Tower Commercial, LLC, for rent and utilities for the campaign’s headquarters, as well as for payroll, presumably for building staff who worked for the campaign."

"And the campaign checks are likely to continue flowing to Trump Tower, since Trump plans to maintain his campaign office during his presidency, as POLITICO reported last month."

Google Maps: 2017 State Trifectas

"Republicans have total control over 25 states outright and another two where they can override a Democratic governor’s vetoes. These 27 states cover 56 percent of the population. Meanwhile, Democrats have total control outright in a mere six states and veto-proof majorities to override a Republican governor in just two more. These eight Democratic-controlled states add up to only 19 percent of the population, or roughly one-third as much as Republicans control."

Google Map based on this data:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/11/14/1598918/-Republicans-now-dominate-state-government-with-32-legislatures-and-33-governors