2017 July 03

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

Why High-Octane Gas Costs So Much More than Regular

"According to the EIA, there’s no Big Oil collusion to blame. Rather, it’s a confluence of market, industry, and regulatory factors that affect everyone, not just those in luxury cars. In August 2016, premium gasoline reached a 12 percent share of all U.S. gasoline sales, a level not seen in 13 years. AAA said the demand for premium gas is due to more car owners “treating themselves” as pump prices drop. That’s true, up to a point. About 80 percent of all registered vehicles run fine on regular, according to AAA, and in a given year some 16.5 million people mistakenly believe premium gas will improve their aging hoopties or “clean out” engine deposits. But another factor driving demand is that more stringent fuel-economy standards have put downsized and turbocharged engines in more and more new cars. And most, if not all, of those engines, whether in a Mini Cooper or a Nissan Juke, require premium for the best power and mileage."

"The refining industry hasn’t been able to keep up. Greater domestic production of light crude oil has led to a surplus of naphtha, a lower-octane feedstock. When refiners convert naphtha into reformate, a high-octane component produced in a separate catalytic process, they’ve taken advantage of the naphtha surplus to produce more reformate. But these greater volumes of reformate are lower in octane than smaller volumes, the EIA says, and with the plastics industry turning away from naphtha, refiners have more of an incentive to blend the lower-octane stock into their gasoline. In turn, refiners haven’t increased their octane production with overall gasoline production. In 2016, refiners dedicated 30 percent of their total capacity to octane production, a three-point dip from 2007."

Good afternoon! Partly sunny and 68 degrees in Inlet. There is a west breeze at 11 mph. The dew point is 55 degrees. A pretty nice summer day for sure.

This afternoon will have isolated showers after 3pm. Mostly sunny, with a high of 70 degrees at 2pm. 12 degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 55 at 12pm. West wind 11 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies and a high of 82 degrees. The record high of 102 was set in 1911.

The sun will set at 8:44 pm with dusk around 9:19 pm, which is 15 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 64 degrees. The dew point will be 55 degrees. There will be a west-northwest breeze at 7 mph. Today will have 15 hours and 21 minutes of daytime, an increase of 52 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 49 degrees at 5am. 12 degrees below normal. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm in the evening. In 2016, it got down to 54 degrees with mostly sunny skies. The record low of 44 occurred back in 1971.

On this day in 1886, the New-York Tribune becomes the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.

Looking ahead, there are 4 weeks until Mutts Day when the sun will be setting at 8:22 pm with dusk at 8:55 pm. On that day in 2016, we had rain, drizzle, fog, mist, cloudy skies and temperatures between 71 and 63 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 82 degrees. We hit a record high of 98 back in 1917.

The first two days camping at Moose River Plains — Friday June 30th and Saturday July 1st were certainly wet. It rained and rained on Saturday, and it poured driving up here. There was a part of Cedar River – Limekiln Lake Road that was so wet that even driving at 15 MPH the windshield wipers were having trouble keeping up. Fortunately, I picked a fairly well drained campsite, which while wet in some parts after the heavy rain remained relatively dry.

Saturday with the rain, I mostly stayed in camp, spending some time reading and listening to podcasts, mostly under the truck cap. Ran out of propane on Saturday evening after dinner, ended up going down to Old Forge in search of more propane on Sunday, but being a Sunday everything was closed. Old Forge was crazy with the traffic. So I ended up turning around, an ended up hiking to Cascade Falls and Cascade Lake in Big Moose.

Yesterday, I hiked back to Cascade Lake and Cascade Falls. It was a pretty nice afternoon. It’s about a 7 mile round trip hike and while the trail was wet in parts, all and all it was pretty pleasant. Cascade Falls aren’t as impressive as their name suggests, but Cascade Lake is quite scenic.

I ended up buying an overpriced $6 one-lb container of propane. That’s really expensive when the last time I filled my 20-lb propane tank for $11 total. But the dual fuel stove wasn’t working well, especially because the gas I have is quite old. I just got to make sure to keep at least one of those tiny disposable cylnders (which I hate) around for emergencies, especially when camping in the Adirondacks where there are limited suppliers of propane. That said, once I get my tank filled again, I don’t expect I will need more propane until at least the end of the summer. The bigger user of propane is the heater, and I don’t use that in the summer.

Took a shower at Limekiln Lake Campground, but the beach was closed so no swimming. But I apprechiated getting clean after getting wet the previous days from all the mud. Baked another pizza (which I think is a fun, delicious camp food) in my oven last night, then went down to Helldiver Pond to watch the sunset. Rained and poured overnight, but by mid-morning got quite sunny and things started to dry back out again.

This morning, I made up blueberry muffins, a bit without local blueberries because they aren’t out yet I the Adirondacks. More sun and warmer weather would be nice, but you have to deal with what god gives you. I was thinking of moving my campsite down to the Plains so I could walk down there tonight to watch the starts but with my gear still pretty wet, I decided against that for now.

This afternoon, I’m heading down to Moss Lake. Probably do some fishing and paddling on the lake. I do need to get some ice and I might see if I can get my propane tank filled, but if not the little, expensive container should work through Monday. I will get it filled before the next time I go camping. Assuming that I can get turned around in Inlet — the traffic is crazy.

Senate Health Bill Leaves Key Problems With Health Care System Unresolved

"NPR asked eight health care experts to tell us what they view as the biggest problems with the current health care system. Then we asked: Does the Senate bill fix them? Most of the experts we consulted (backed up by a Congressional Budget Office assessment) said that for the most part, no — the Senate bill won't solve the health care system's problems, and that it in fact could make some of those problems worse."