2017 March 20

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

“American capitalism has brought more benefits to more people than any other system in any part of the world at any time in history. The problem is to see that the system is run as efficiently and as honestly as it can be.” ~ David Rockefeller, 1915-2017

Good evening! Partly cloudy and 42 degrees in City of Albany. There is a northwest breeze at 5 mph. Not a terrible evening for late March, although it could be warmer. But it’s spring now, and as I just noted a few minutes ago, it will only get nicer as the days go on.

The sun will set at 7:08 pm with dusk around 7:36 pm, which is one minute and 9 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 40 degrees. There will be a calm wind. Maybe a bit too cold for tailgate drinking, although I only have Corona at home, and I couldn’t get any limes, only lime juice. I don’t drink much, especially not in the winter. i’d rather hold off until the nice days of summer, up at camp.

Not a terrible, fairly quiet, and as you can see, I got several new things posted to the blog, that I designed over the weekend. I am just waiting for the springtime to roll around. I want to get that voltage relay set up and new switches and lights wired up in the cap. Then replace the accessory battery with a good fresh one, take the latest load of bottles, cans, and trash to the transfer station, get things hosed out, and camping gear back in the truck. I’m still hoping to get out camping during Easter Weekend, especially if I get off Good Friday, which happens some years.

I do look forward to the days when it will finally be nice enough to go to the park after work. Those days can’t be that far away. But then again, in the mean-time I will probably stuck late at work, which will make the time go by even quicker.

Tonight will have patchy fog after 5am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low of 32 degrees at 12am. Five degrees above normal. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. In 2016, it got down to 32 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -1 occurred back in 1956. We are really past the most frigid weather of the year, with the record lows only about zero or slightly above it at this point.

Last Quarter Moon tonight with 46% illuminated. The moon will rise around 12:31 am. The New Moon is on Tuesday, March 28th with chance of snow showers expected. The Full “Pink” Moon is on Tuesday, April 11th. The sun will rise at 6:56 am with the first light at 6:28 am, which is one minute and 46 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 11 hours and 46 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 54 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high of 46 degrees at 3pm. Typical for Tomorrow. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 46 degrees. The record high of 78 was set in 1921. 6 inches of snow fell back in 1905.

Not a particularly nice weekend on tap, although there is still hope for Sunday. Saturday, a chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Sunday, a chance of rain and snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Maybe things will improve later on in the week. I probably will end going into work for at least one day during the weekend, so I guess it’s not a bit deal. Typical average high for the weekend is 48 degrees.

In four weeks on April 17 the sun will be setting at 7:40 pm, which is 32 minutes and 2 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 76 and 36 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 59 and 38 degrees. The record high of 91 degrees was set back in 2002. By then, I definitely will able to go down to the park after work, especially if I don’t procrastinate, and stay there until dusk.

Looking ahead, Patriots Day is in 4 weeks, May Day is in 6 weeks, Memorial Day is in 10 weeks and Inaugeration Day 2021 is in 45 months.

Age of Coal Generating Units, 2008 vs 2015

As recently as 2008, the median coal generating in America was built in January 1966 or earlier. Since implementation of various Clean Air regulations and the switching over to natural gas, the median age of a coal plant in the United States now dates back to 1972. That means 50% of all coal generating units that are still operating today were brought online prior to 1972.

Data Source:
2008 Data is from Source Watch, Age comparison of coal plants, based on 2008 EIA 860 form. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Existing_U.S._Coal_Plants#cite_note-14
2015 Data is from Energy Information Agency, EIA 860

As our first day spring gets underway, we have been blessed by seasonable weather and sunny skies. Going forward it is only going to get nicer, especially as we head into the spring time. In two weeks, temperatures in the mid-fifties will be the normal, and low temperatures below freezing with occasional.  Sunsets around 7:30 in about 2 1/2 weeks. Not too bad.

Albany, NY Temperature Normals and Records

Week Date Dawn Sun-
rise
Sun-
set
Dusk Day Avg High Avg Low Record Hi Record Low
0 March 20 6:28 am 6:56 am 7:08 pm 7:36 pm 12:12 46 27 78 (2012) 2 (1967)
1 March 27 6:15 am 6:43 am 7:16 pm 7:44 pm 12:32 49 30 78 (1998) 11 (1975)
2 April 3 6:03 am 6:31 am 7:24 pm 7:52 pm 12:52 53 33 79 (1981) 16 (1954)
3 April 10 5:50 am 6:19 am 7:32 pm 8:01 pm 13:12 56 35 86 (1922) 21 (1974)
4 April 17 5:38 am 6:08 am 7:40 pm 8:09 pm 13:31 59 38 91 (2002) 21 (1971)
5 April 24 5:27 am 5:57 am 7:48 pm 8:18 pm 13:50 62 40 81 (2001) 25 (1965)
6 May 1 5:17 am 5:47 am 7:56 pm 8:26 pm 14:08 65 43 86 (2001) 28 (2008)
7 May 8 5:07 am 5:39 am 8:03 pm 8:35 pm 14:24 67 45 91 (1936) 26 (1968)
8 May 15 4:59 am 5:31 am 8:11 pm 8:43 pm 14:39 69 47 93 (1900) 31 (1977)
9 May 22 4:52 am 5:25 am 8:18 pm 8:51 pm 14:53 71 49 97 (1911) 33 (2002)
10 May 29 4:46 am 5:20 am 8:24 pm 8:58 pm 15:03 73 51 93 (1931) 34 (1956)
11 June 5 4:43 am 5:17 am 8:29 pm 9:04 pm 15:12 75 53 97 (1925) 39 (1990)
12 June 12 4:41 am 5:16 am 8:33 pm 9:08 pm 15:17 77 56 94 (1949) 38 (1972)
13 June 19 4:42 am 5:16 am 8:36 pm 9:11 pm 15:19 79 58 94 (1995) 38 (1950)
14 June 26 4:44 am 5:19 am 8:37 pm 9:12 pm 15:18 81 59 99 (1952) 39 (1979)
15 July 3 4:48 am 5:22 am 8:36 pm 9:10 pm 15:13 82 61 102 (1911) 44 (1978)
16 July 10 4:53 am 5:27 am 8:33 pm 9:07 pm 15:06 82 61 100 (1936) 47 (1963)

nycmap $id

Filing Taxes Could Be Free and Simple. But H&R Block and Intuit Are Still Lobbying Against It.

"Here’s how preparing your taxes could work: You sit down, review a prefilled filing from the government. If it’s accurate, you sign it. If it’s not, you fix it or ignore it altogether and prepare your return yourself. It’s your choice. You might not have to pay for an accountant, or fiddle for hours with complex software. It could all be over in minutes.

It’s already like that in parts of Europe. And it would not be particularly difficult to give U.S. taxpayers the same option. After all, the government already gets earnings information from employers.

But as ProPublica has detailed again and again, Intuit — the makers of TurboTax — and H&R Block have lobbied for years to derail any move toward such a system. And they continued in 2016."