2017 March 03

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Albany Pine Bush
Alfred E. Smith Building
Bulldozing the Albany Pine Bush
Overlook Mountain
Stewart State Forest

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

That roar or the wind is intense. Partly cloudy and 21 degrees in City of Albany. Breezy, 20 mph breeze from the west-northwest with gusts up to 31 mph. The current wind chill is 6. Winter is still here. Only a few more weeks. 

I got the low voltage disconnect in the mail today. Now the thing is figure out where to mount it. Wiring doesn’t look hard. I realized beside the cable I need between the disconnect and the battery, I need a fuse and fuse holder for safety. This will keep things from burning up should the relay catastrophically fail.  I should be able to get that cable that Autozone sells and splice it using my cutting pliers and a pocket knife. The fuse holders just use a hex wrench to crimp the cable. 

The big question is where I will mount the unit – its a fairly small relay but I lack space under the hood of my truck with the other isolator relay between the batteries. But wait, I have a better idea. 

Maybe I could mount it in the cab next to the inverter? That would save on running those extra control wires back into the cab for the reset control.  Then I would have to get a wire from the cab back out to the cap. I’d rather not drill a hole through the floor boards though. The Internet suggests there is a gasket back there I can run the hot back like on my old truck. Or through the vent holes. That makes a lot of sense and is a good opportunity to run a thicker wire back there in light of the growing 12v load in the truck cap with me using those various USB powered devices. 

Also got the LED dimmer for dimming the lights in the truck cap. Still waiting on the gang switches to control the truck cap lights. I will need those before I start wiring up the truck cap. 

Inflation, consumer prices for the United States

Red - Negative Inflation
Orange - Inflation above 5 percent
Green - Inflation between 0 and 5 percent

Inflation as measured by the consumer price index reflects the annual percentage change in the cost to the average consumer of acquiring a basket of goods and services that may be fixed or changed at specified intervals, such as yearly. The Laspeyres formula is generally used. International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics and data files.

World Bank, Inflation, consumer prices for the United States [FPCPITOTLZGUSA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FPCPITOTLZGUSA, March 3, 2017.

Happy Friday! Going home time. We have some bright sun filtering through after the earlier snow squall and 30 degrees in City of Albany. There is a west-northwest breeze at 15 mph. The current wind chill is 19. Ducking cold out. I look forward to the muggy summer days. Drive safely, so you can make it the weekend. People seem to be cranky on the road, probably because of the cold. 

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 41% illuminated. The moon will set around 12:36 am. The First Quarter Moon is on Sunday night with partly cloudy expected. The Full “Worm” Moon is on Sunday, March 12th. The sun will rise at 6:25 am with the first light at 5:57 am, which is 1 minutes and 39 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 12 hours and 35 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 53 seconds over last night.

Tonight will have a chance of snow showers, mainly before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 11 degrees at 6am. 11 degrees below normal. Half the normal temperature. Gawd, I know it doesn’t work that way but it is cold. Wind chill values as low as -5. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 18 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -20 occurred back in 1950. But not that cold. 

No real plans for tomorrow. Going to be cold with temperatures only reaching 21 degrees with windchills pushing zero all day. Sunny though. Maybe I’ll stay home and do some reading and maybe cleaning. Somewhat warmer with temperatures around 32 degrees. Maybe go hiking locally on Sunday. I want to wash my truck. If Glenmont is still closed, I’ll have to wash it in Greenville. I do enjoy hiking at that town preserve. 

In four weeks on March 31 the sun will be setting at 7:20 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is 1 hour and 32 minutes later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain and temperatures between 71 and 49 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 51 and 31 degrees. The record high of 89 degrees was set back in 1998.

Looking ahead, St. Patrick’s Day is in 2 weeks, Good Friday is in 6 weeks, Arbor Day is in 8 weeks, Cinco de Mayo is in 9 weeks, Memorial Day Weekend is in 12 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 44 months. Election Day will be here before you know it. 

Map: Stewart State Forest

Map: Stewart State Forest

The 6700-acres of Stewart State Forest are unique in the northeast and increasingly rare in the Hudson Valley. A mix of wetlands, fields and woods, the site includes 18 miles of gravel roads and over 22 miles of major trails which provide unparalleled recreation - hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting, dog training and trials, skiing, snowmobiling, bird watching and fishing. Old farm fields take you to an earlier gentler time in our nation's history.

Hiking: Hiking is allowed on the property. Please see the attached map for trail locations. Please note that unless specifically posted as foot trails, all trails on the property are multiple use trails. Roadways on Stewart State Forest are accessible by car for people with disabilities, but a permit must first be obtained from DEC. Special arrangements must be made to obtain combinations for entry at selected gates.

Camping: Camping is only allowed by permit in specially designated group camping areas and must be greater than 150 feet from any trail, road or water body.

Snowmobiling: Allowed on designated trails.

Mountain biking: Allowed on designated trails or multiple use trails.

Horseback Riding: Allowed on all multiple use trails and roads.


Google Maps: Producing Coal Mines In America (2014)

You will need to zoom in to view the individual coal mines in each region of country. Warmer color balloons are mines that produced the greatest tonnage of coal in 2014. Click on balloons to see mine name, tonnage produced, underground versus strip mining, and other information about each mine.

Data Source: Energy Information Agency - Coal Mines, Surface and Underground All operating surface and underground coal mines in the United States (2014).

Appalachian Regional Commission history

"Harry M. Caudill (1922-1990) was a mountain warrior who fought for Appalachia and his native Kentucky homeland. He fought with words and political action to preserve his land and local culture, writing books, becoming a citizen activist, winning a seat in the state legislature, and rising to national prominence as a spokesman for Appalachia. During the 1950s and 1960s especially, he rose on the issue of coal mining’s destructive effects on Kentucky land and its people."

"Caudill, after years of battling with the powers that be, had succeeded in drawing attention to the plight of Kentucky and the larger Appalachian Region. Kentucky then, and still today, is besieged by corporate interests who came for the region’s natural wealth, primarily its coal. Caudill not only did battle with the coal barons, but also local corruption and local politicians – often the handmaidens of the outside interests. The cover of one of his books is displayed at right, as its title and subtitle aptly capture what Harry Caudill railed against for much of his life."

Google Maps: Applachian Region – Poverty Rate, Percent Of U.S. Average, 2010–2014

Southern West Virginia and the portion of Kentucky have the greatest levels of poverty in 420-county region, covered by the Appalachian Regional Commission. In general, New York counties are in the middle when it comes to poverty in the Appalachian region.

Data Source: County Economic Status in Appalachia, FY 2017. 2010-2014 ACS Averages, Poverty Rate compared to National Average. https://www.arc.gov/research/MapsofAppalachia.asp?MAP_ID=116