2017 June 16

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Burnt-Rossman State Forest
Delmar, New York
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June 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Good evening! I hope your Friday evening is going well. Cloudy and 64 degrees in Delmar. There is a south-southeast breeze at 5 mph. The dew point is 62 degrees. The skies will clear tomorrow around 9 pm. At this hour, traffic has all but died down and the spring peepers are singing their song. 

It’s been quite a week in many ways, but I survived it. People get wrapped up in politics and all the silliness of the news and blow to blow of things rumbling in the far distance. And it was a pretty crazy week at work but I survived. I’m sure if the weekend forecast was better I would be heading out of town. But for now, it’s just nice sitting out back. 

I sat out back for about two hours reading a book called All You Can Pay, which details price discrimination and how it’s increasing today as with computers and the Internet that Big Business is learning more about us. Technology means we are increasingly getting a customized price, a form of invisible haggling that takes advantage of the consumer to maximize the amount they can afford or are willing to pay. Haggling used to be a a big part of shopping but now retailers are extensively sizing up people for profits. It’s really creepy how much the Internet knows about you these days. 

For a while I went down to the library. I just worked in essay for tomorrow and watched some interesting YouTube videos. It’s always interesting all that you can learn from the Internet. While the Internet learns about you too. 

That USB powered LED reading  lamp is still going strong and provided a nice white light on the book without eye strain. It’s just amazing how a lamp that can’t draw more than maybe 5 watts of power can light up a book so well. And the backyard at the same time. The color changing LEDs remain pretty and after five nights sitting out back, including some nights using the fan for multiple hours, and the lowest voltage disconnect hasn’t kicked in because the battery voltage is still too high. Battery voltage reads 12.1  volts, that even with the relatively low draw of the LEDs, it would be done in another hour. But I will retire to bed before then, and as soon as I start the truck tomorrow it will start recharging. 

Tonight will have a slight chance of showers after 2am. Cloudy, with a low of 62 degrees at 4am. Five degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 62 at 11pm. South wind 3 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. In 2016, it got down to 56 degrees with mostly sunny skies. The record low of 44 occurred back in 1954.

Last Quarter Moon tonight with 51% illuminated. The moon will rise around 12:11 am. The Full “Buck” Moon is on Sunday, July 9th. The sun will rise at 5:17 am with the first light at 4:42 am, which is 5 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 8 hours and 41 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 16 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high of 81 degrees at 2pm. Two degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 68 at 1pm. South wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies and a high of 81 degrees. The record high of 94 was set in 1994.

Based on the totality of the evidence I don’t think I will go camping after the Gas Up. Even though Dutch Hollow State Forest is near Gallupville, it’s not going to be that nice of an evening and I don’t think I will feel like pitching a tent with all the humidity then taking it down along with all the gear. Hopefully next weekend will be better for camping. Tomorrow evening, I can do what I did tonight and sit out until late with a book and the reading lamp on the tailgate of my truck. 

Looking ahead to Sunday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. South wind 9 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Maximum dew point of 71 at 1pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 79 degrees.

In four weeks on July 14 the sun will be setting at 8:31 pm, which is 4 minutes and 5 seconds earlier then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had thunderstorm, rain, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 87 and 73 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 83 and 62 degrees. The record high of 99 degrees was set back in 1995.

Still have to order that camp reflector oven but I will do that later in the week. I don’t want to have it come when I’m stuck at a late night at work. I’m excited about being able to make Grands biskets right on the gas stove with ease compared to having to build a wood or charcoal fire with the Dutch Oven. 

Looking ahead, National Nude Day is in 4 weeks, September 1st is in 11 weeks, Lowville Cream Cheese Festival is in 3 months and Autumn Begins is in 14 weeks.

Not planning to rise early tomorrow but I should probably get to bed soon. 

IIHS Study Says Midsize SUV Headlights are Blinding Everyone

"The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been systematically tearing apart every segment over inadequate headlights for the past year. In its most recent study, midsize SUVs took a beating, with only two models garnering a “good” rating for their illumination capabilities. The other 35 continued a trend of providing lackluster performance from a safety standpoint — especially non-luxury offerings."

Hard Lessons from Zion

"The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, which is scheduled to close in 2022, is one of six nuclear plants across the U.S. expected to shut down over the next decade. Each plant and the community around it will need to address the same crucial problem that plagues the 30 reactors decommissioned since 1957: where do you send millions of pounds of fuel rods that will remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years? The answer, for now, is nowhere."

Mug-o-Meter – Week of June 16, 2017

Today will be rather wet, but the Mug-o-Meter suggests that it will get really humid by Saturday going into Sunday. It might get quite oppressive over the weekend with the humidity if the sun comes out and makes it real feel warm -- but it's also possible that clouds with predominate for most of the weekend. Relief from the humidity comes in Tuesday through Thursday.

Good morning! It is about 61 degrees under cloudy skies with a few sprinkles as I walked down to the Park and Ride this morning. More rain expected later, I don’t expect it to get much about 69 degrees today. I think I just beat the rain walking down to the express bus. I’m sure it will be wetter soon, based on the radar. I did bring my rain coat for later. Much hotter come Saturday, although I’m not expecting much of a washout for the weekend.

The sun will set at 8:35 pm with dusk around 9:10 pm, which is 21 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 65 degrees. The dew point will be 62 degrees. There will be a south-southeast breeze at 8 mph. Today will have 15 hours and 18 minutes of daytime, an increase of 17 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have a chance of showers. Patchy fog after 2am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low of 61 degrees at 4am. Four degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 62 at 6pm. South wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 56 degrees with mostly sunny skies. The record low of 44 occurred back in 1954.

Got home and watched the PBS Newshour Live last night. It was actually a much more informative coverage tonight, rather then just gore and sex appeal. Maybe they didn’t obligated to cover flashy stories tonight, and got more into the meat of the serious policy discussions going on, and our president’s continuing ethical problems.

The rain stopped and I walked down to the library. Started making up some maps but didn’t get real far on that. Maybe more tonight. Ended up watching a video on one of the farming channels that I follow on Youtube. It’s just quite interesting all of the things and technologies that farmers nowadays use to produce food and fiber.

Then I got watching videos on off-grid cabins and mini-houses. In part because I’ve gotten into 12 volt wiring, and in part because I hate how overly complicated and energy wasteful modern housing, I’m just fascinated by the technology. I would rather own more land and much less house, and be able to manage my energy generation and consumption myself, along with water and waste disposal. I’m not somebody who loses much sleep about a piece of plastic wrapper tossed into a fire, especially compared to the multi-national owned landfills that are corporate alternative. Fresh eggs are good too.

Sat out back for a while playing on my phone and doing some reading. My truck accessory battery has kept a good charge all week, despite using the fan quite a bit and the truck cap lights. LED lighting technology is quite energy efficient, and the fan doesn’t use that much power. By the low voltage disconnect protecting against battery abuse, I am also allowing the battery to charge quicker and not become damaged. The next time I go driving somewhere, the charge in the accessory battery will be fully restored.

On this day in 1911, IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York. Today it’s continuing to create jobs in the form of environmental remediation for all the hazardous solvents that leaked out of the chip manufacturing plants in Endicott, poisoning many families drinking water in the region. Technology is the gift that keeps giving in the form of toxic byproducts. God only knows how much toxic chemicals are leaking out at the SUNY NanoTech laboratories in the Albany Pine Bush, but we can guess even the smartest scientists only have a hint of what nasties they are releasing into the air and water.

Looking ahead, there are 4 weeks until National Nude Day when the sun will be setting at 8:31 pm with dusk at 9:05 pm. On that day in 2016, we had thunderstorm, rain, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 87 and 73 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 83 degrees. We hit a record high of 99 back in 1995. Skinny dipping in mid-summer is always fun in the creek. Heck, even this weekend might be warm enough to spend in a creek after dark.

Still studying getting a campstove reflector oven. I have found that Coleman Camp Oven that I was looking at on Amazon for $32 with two day shipping. Ebay has a mix of new and used/old ones — I would consider getting an older model, as the steel probably is a bit higher quality — but it seems like they are actually more expensive when you consider shipping. I might end up buying new. The reviews seem pretty good, although they do suggest putting some kind of pizza stone or thermal mass under what your baking for better heat dispersion, and to use a stand-alone oven thermometer over the built in one. Maybe I can get that at Wally World. As much as I like my Dutch Oven, it’s such a pain to get it the right temperature, especially with a wood fire, and it’s heavy and bulky to carry around to camp. The propane stove in contrast, you just push the pilot light button, set the heat and it works. It won’t be automatic temperature control, like a real oven, but should work decently for corn bread, fresh muffins, and cookies.

Saturday I am going to get my hair cut then go to the Gas Up. My hair is so long and shaggy, it needs to be cut. It’s going to be a hot day, but not too stormy. I could set my tent up in the woods and spend the night out camping Saturday night, but at this point I’m leaning against it, as I don’t want to have to set up a tent and load all the gear. But then again, I won’t be far from Cotton Hill and Dutch Hollow State Forests, so I could change my mind. I still haven’t put my camping gear away from last weekend. I also want to permanently wire the color changing lights in my truck cap to a switch, rather the cigarette lighter port it’s currently in, for ease of switching on and off. Should be a good weekend.

It was a pretty smooth commute in, although it’s starting to rain now. Well, I’m almost to work. Have a great day!