2017 May 11

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May 2017
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Shared Autonomous Vehicles Could Still Increase VMT

Conventional wisdom assumes there will lots of cheap oil for the coming fleet of autonomous vehicles. Or that coal-fired powered plants, generating electricity will replace the need for cheap oil. But will it?

I still think in many ways we are at the twilight of the fossil fuel-era. Many of the predicted fossil fuels won't become a reality, because most of them are marketing gimmicks.

And I'm not sure that autonomous vehicles are all they are cracked up to be? Will computers ever be smart enough to react to potholes, pedestrians, deer, fog and other drivers? Even if they are safer then humans, will people trust a system that still causes carnage on the highways?

I don't believe there will ever be autonomous vehicles in mass. I think motoring is in it's final years, and we should enjoy it while it's still a thing.

Interview: The Pitfalls of ‘Buy American’

"Like people in the 1970s, people today want to return to the so-called “Golden Age” when there were lots of jobs in heavy industry that were union, paid really well, and provided excellent benefits. They imagine that “Buy American” might help to bring all that back."

"The problem is that employers have long since turned on the labor movement and driven down working conditions so far that is very hard to return to that world. The strategy being pursued by employers today is totally different from what unions faced in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Steelworkers and Auto Workers had these great jobs."

"And, of course, that seeming “Golden Age” puts the focus on only one particular sector. Steel jobs were not naturally wonderful jobs with pensions and health care and high salaries. They had been hideous jobs where people worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, until the Congress of Industrial Organizations built powerful unions in the 1930s and changed all that."

"Manufacturing is only 8 percent of all employment in the United States. What we need is a massive grassroots movement that makes all jobs—whether they are in manufacturing, or in service, or in agriculture—into really great jobs with union protections."

Map: California Road State Forest

Map: California Road State Forest

The 1,410-acre California Road State Forest's topography is very hilly with thin soils and rocky exposed ridge tops predominating. Better quality upland sites support a mixture of northern hardwood, hemlock, and white pine forests. Lower quality upland sites are dominated by red oak, eastern hophornbeam, hickories, and other species adapted to droughty and nutrient poor soils. Pine and spruce plantations were established on what were formerly farm fields and pastures. Flatter ground supports open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods in seasonal flooded areas.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/82768.html

Good evening! Partly sunny and 63 degrees in the City of Albany. There is a northeast breeze at 6 mph. The dew point is 41 degrees. Not a terrible afternoon, maybe a little bit cool. Still early May though. 

The sun will set at 8:07 pm with dusk around 8:39 pm, which is one minute and 4 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 58 degrees. There will be a northeast breeze at 5 mph. Going to be a pretty nice evening, although I wish it was a bit closer to seventy but with a sweater it will be nice watching the moon rise. 

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 44 degrees at 5am. Two degrees below normal. Northeast wind around 6 mph becoming southeast after midnight. In 2016, it got down to 43 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. The record low of 29 occurred back in 1969.

Waning Gibbous Moon tonight with 92% illuminated. The moon will rise around 8:13 pm. The Last Quarter Moon is on Friday, May 19th with mostly cloudy expected. The Full “Strawberry” Moon is on Friday, June 9th. The sun will rise at 5:35 am with the first light at 5:03 am, which is one minute and 7 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 9 hours and 27 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 9 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high of 65 degrees at 3pm. Three degrees below normal. East wind 3 to 6 mph. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies and a high of 80 degrees. The record high of 91 was set in 1881. There was a dusting of snow in 1996.

Not a particularly nice weekend on tap. Saturday, rain, mainly after 8am. High near 56. Southeast wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Sunday, rain likely before 2pm, then showers likely after 2pm. Cloudy, with a high near 57. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Typical average high for the weekend is 69 degrees.

In four weeks on June 8 the sun will be setting at 8:31 pm, which is 24 minutes and 31 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had drizzle, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 65 and 52 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 76 and 54 degrees. The record high of 93 degrees was set back in 2011.

Looking ahead, June 1st is in 3 weeks, Average High is 8 in 6 weeks, National Fried Chicken Day is in 8 weeks, Hottest Day of Year (83 Average) is in 9 weeks, Ugly Truck Day is in 10 weeks, State Fair Opens is in 15 weeks, 7:30 PM Sunset is in 16 weeks, September 11th is in 4 months, Average High is 70 is in 19 weeks, Hunter’s Moon is in 21 weeks and Thanksgiving is in 28 weeks.

Talk about a beautiful day. Sucks that I had to work today but I look forward to quick dinner and heading down to the town park. I will bring a book and my lamp hooked to a USB battery pack so I can read for a while this evening. Should be a great evening. 

I was kind of fortunate that I could enjoy the greens of spring time, driving my dad to the doctors this morning, heading out to Westerlo this morning. With the blue skies and the fresh green everything looks quite spring like. 

Quite a lot of traffic heading home this evening but I guess it’s a nice day so everybody is leaving to try to get home, so they can enjoy the nice weather. 

I think the time for replacing my Carhartt vest is coming near. I noticed an enormous rip in outer shell and it has has been frayed on the bottom for years. I’ve started look this week for places with a good prices. Almost bought from Cabellas as I’ve done in the past but the shipping was a deal breaker.  I am going to stick with the same color and size, so it’s just a matter of shopping around on the Internet and allocating the funds. 

Fifteen days from now will be Memorial Day Weekend. I am really hoping for nice weather which will jinx it for sure. Vermont is quite nice in the spring time. I just have to get up there fairly early to get a good campsite, although I made out pretty good last year. I had the perfect site for my purposes. A little buggy but so it is on most Memorial Day Weekends. I am going to try out using some of the new bug sprays and that new fan I have for the truck. A breeze from a fan can really help keep the bugs away. 

I hope you are enjoying today’s nice weather. Fifty years ago on May 11, 1967 it was cloudy and the high temperature was only 53 degrees. We had rain showers on and off during that day. Generally, May 1967 was a pretty damp, cloudy, and wet month. For most of that month, Albany had temperatures that were running 10-15 degrees below normal. It will be interesting to see if this month will turn out as bad as the weather a half century ago.