2017 August 15

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Big Red
Delmar, NY
Donald John Trump
Elm Avenue Park and Ride
Elm Avenue Town Park
Empire State Plaza
Rensselaerville, New York

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

Good evening! Partly clear and 73 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a south-southwest breeze at 5 mph. The dew point is 68 degrees. We had a brief rain shower but now that’s done. The muggy weather ends tomorrow around 3 pm.

Went down to the park but after about 30 minutes I saw on the radar that a severe storm was heading my way, so I hurried home. A few raindrops fell and I got a bit wet but the severe weather stayed south of me. 

Tonight will have a slight chance of showers before 9pm. Patchy fog before 3am, then patchy fog after 5am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low of 62 degrees at 5am. Two degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 68 at 8pm. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 20%. In 2016, we had partly cloudy skies with more clouds in the early hours of the next day. It became sticky as the night progressed. It got down to 68 degrees. The record low of 41 occurred back in 1972.

Tonight will have a Waning Crescent Moon with 26% illuminated. The moon will rise tonight at 1:33 am. The New Moon is on Monday night with mostly clear skies. The Harvest Moon is in 3 weeks. The sun will rise at 6:03 am with the first light at 5:33 am, which is one minute and 4 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 10 hours and 8 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 33 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high of 82 degrees at 3pm. One degree above normal. Maximum dew point of 62 at 8am. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. It was somewhat humid. The high last year was 83 degrees. The record high of 97 was set in 1936.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, a chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Maximum dew point of 66 at 6am. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Maximum dew point of 65 at 7pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 80 degrees.

I am taking a long weekend through Wednesday for a road trip but where I am undecided. I still haven’t received my eclipse glasses, I’m worried that they might not arrive in time. I was originally planning on going back out to the Finger Lakes but I’m looking for a new adventure…. Maybe the Allegheny National Forest or even Erie Penna to see the eclipse better  but that’s a long trip. I’m off from Saturday through Wednesday, so I can pretty much go wherever I want to. Thinking unceasingly of taking NY 30 North and maybe paddling some lakes and checking out the St. Regis Canoe Area or Lows Lake. I also haven’t seen much of the Green Mountains in recent years so that might be another fun option. I’ll have to decide by Saturday. 

Lost my credit card and had to close out the account. After a week and a half I finally got a replacement card. It’s been a pain not having a credit card. Sure I have a debit card but it doesn’t always work everywhere and I like having a backup as I don’t carry a lot of cash typically. 

In four weeks on September 12 the sun will be setting at 7:09 pm, which is 46 minutes and 40 seconds earlier then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had patches of fog, mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 77 and 49 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 74 and 53 degrees. The record high of 94 degrees was set back in 1947.

Looking ahead, Friday the 13th (October) is in 7 weeks, Average High is 60 is in 2 months, Election Day 2017 is in 12 weeks, Average High is 40 is in 13 weeks, Election Day 2018 is in 64 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 168 weeks.

Some rain on Friday but other than that it looks like we have a nice week ahead, sunny and warm come early next week.

Weather Summary
Tonight. Slight Chance of Showers then Patchy Fog and 62 degrees , 68 max dew point, 6:04 sunrise.
Wednesday. Patchy Fog then Mostly Sunny and 82 degrees , 68 max dew point, 7:54 sunset.
Wednesday Night. Mostly Clear and 55 degrees , 6:05 sunrise.
Thursday. Mostly Sunny and 79 degrees , 58 max dew point, 7:53 sunset.
Thursday Night. Chance of Showers then Showers is likely and 65 degrees , 63 max dew point, 6:06 sunrise.
Friday. Showers is likely and 79 degrees , 63 max dew point, 7:51 sunset.
Friday Night. Showers is likely and 66 degrees , 70 max dew point, 6:07 sunrise.
Saturday. Chance of Showers and 82 degrees , 70 max dew point, 7:50 sunset.
Saturday Night. Partly Cloudy and 63 degrees , 66 max dew point, 6:08 sunrise.
Sunday. Mostly Sunny and 82 degrees , 66 max dew point, 7:48 sunset.
Sunday Night. Partly Cloudy and 62 degrees , 65 max dew point, 6:09 sunrise.
Monday. Sunny and 84 degrees , 65 max dew point, 7:46 sunset.
Monday Night. Mostly Clear and 62 degrees , 65 max dew point, 6:10 sunrise.

Read the transcript of Donald Trump’s press conference

While I rarely agree with the president on policy issues, a strongly agree with him on the right to freedom of speech. I think we should have a robust debate on what statues grace our public places, that people shouldn't just be silenced or shouted down because their views are re-pungent to some. State and federal prosecutors should look into those who incited the rioting at the peaceful protests, and prosecute them appropriately.

Long hot summer of 1967

"Long hot summer of 1967 refers to the 159 race riots that erupted across the United States in 1967 that left 76 people dead, 2,100 injured, and 11,000 arrested for participating in riots."

"In June there were riots in Atlanta, Boston, and Cincinnati, as well as the Buffalo riot (in Buffalo, New York), and a riot in Tampa, Florida. In July there were riots in Birmingham, Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Britain, Conn., Rochester, N.Y., and a riot in Plainfield, New Jersey."

"The most serious riots of the summer took place in July, with the riot in Newark, New Jersey and the Twelfth Street riot, in Detroit, Michigan. As a result of the rioting in the Summer of 1967, and the preceding two years, President Johnson established the Kerner Commission to investigate the rioting."

This Day in History – Woodstock Music Festival Opens

"On this day in 1969, the Woodstock Music Festival opens on a patch of farmland in White Lake, a hamlet in the upstate New York town of Bethel."

"Promoters John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield and Michael Lang originally envisioned the festival as a way to raise funds to build a recording studio and rock-and-roll retreat near the town of Woodstock, New York. The longtime artists’ colony was already a home base for Bob Dylan and other musicians. Despite their relative inexperience, the young promoters managed to sign a roster of top acts, including the Jefferson Airplane, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many more. Plans for the festival were on the verge of foundering, however, after both Woodstock and the nearby town of Wallkill denied permission to hold the event. Dairy farmer Max Yasgur came to the rescue at the last minute, giving the promoters access to his 600 acres of land in Bethel, some 50 miles from Woodstock."

"Early estimates of attendance increased from 50,000 to around 200,000, but by the time the gates opened on Friday, August 15, more than 400,000 people were clamoring to get in. Those without tickets simply walked through gaps in the fences, and the organizers were eventually forced to make the event free of charge. Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens kicked off the event with a long set, and Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie also performed on Friday night."

About a month ago, I noticed a squeaking noise every time I released my rear brakes, especially in stop and go traffic. I decided to take my truck to a local brake shop, as it was most convenient for me – I knew I could drop it off in the morning, and have it to drive home in the evening. I had previously replaced the front brakes in October, because I was told during an inspection that they were getting worn, and I didn’t want to risk problems during my November vacation.

The brake shop told me I should be on four new pads and rotators, for an absurd price, something like $1,200 or $1,300. I said absolutely no, because I had just replaced the front brakes. The strongly pushed me towards doing the front, insisting the only 9 month old pads were glazed due to the heavy lifted truck, and that would reduce my stopping power and might cause noise. I know they are cheap pads, and probably the lift kit works them hard, but I knew they still had a lot of life left. I said no, but I agreed to do the rear.

Replacing the rear was supposed to be like $650 final price including tax, but the shop lied about not including tax which came out to like $720. I was pissed about that. Sure, I could do it myself for less, but rear drums are a pain to get apart. I figured get it done now, and move on with my life. By dropping it off at the brake shop, I could have it off before work, catch the BusPlus express to work, and then stop at the shop before the closed after work. No time or fuss required. Replacing the rear brakes got rid of the noise, although I have a sneaking suspicion that all I really needed with some grease. I should have asked more questions before telling them to proceed, demanded my old parts back, and gotten a written estimate. You live and learn.

I worried a bit about what the shop told me about the front glazed brakes. I started to wonder the quality of both the front and rear brakes I got replaced over the past nine months were lower quality, further reducing my stopping power over OEM brakes. But at least I have a lot of pad life left, and supposedly the hydraulics are good on the brakes.

Since lifting my truck, the stopping ability of my truck has been reduced. But so has the acceleration due to the lower gear ratio and handling is worse from being higher off the ground. But I do like the increased viability. I downshift aggressively going downhill – and always have – that’s why I changed the transmission fluid at 50,000 miles. I won’t do that again, but that was an expensive mess with some broken parts found during the change and filter replacement, but I should be able to make it as long as I own the truck.

Roughly 800 to 1,000 miles later, I’ve not noticed any real issues. Sure, the truck doesn’t stop on a dime, and it takes some force on the brakes to make a hard stop happen. But under normal driving, it seems fine. I’ve done expressways, city driving, up and down mountains and hills, and all over, with no noises or noticeable problems except one time I thought I smell brakes, immediately after descending a hill and parking – but it could have been somebody burning garbage up the road or some other smell like some dry leaves or crap getting stuck on the muffler. I downshift regularly on the hills. Parking brakes sets easier, which is good, because I often use the parking brake at lights, and when I’m parked on hills, because with the lift kit’s weight and all that heavy camping gear, it’s sometimes difficult to get out of park, without some force.

Eventually, I think I will take it to another, hopefully more reputable shop and get their assessment of the brakes – especially if I notice issues with stopping. I guess I could also pull the pads and look myself, but I’m not really experienced with working on brakes. If I need to upgrade, I won’t put just OEM or basic after-market pads back on the front if they say those brakes are truly glazed and worn as the sleezy brake shop insisted they were. I’m sure they mostly trying to sell me brakes – probably ones cheap – and would glaze back over. If I do need new front brakes, eventually, I’ll look at bigger brake kits with ceramic pads and slotted rotators. I’ve heard thiner brake lines can also increase caliper pressure, which means more braking with less force. Front, disc brakes are relatively easy to service – I could probably order and install premium pads and slotted rotators online for under $500 and install myself. Maybe my best option is to go to the lifted truck shop in Schenectady, and see what they suggest for brake performance upgrades. I doubt a regular shop would be as familiar with lifted trucks with big heavy wheels to stop.

But despite my lingering questions about a future undiagnosed brake failure coming down the line, I think I will be fine. Glaze on brakes won’t promote premature brake failure – indeed if anything the brakes will run cooler rather then hotter – because they aren’t sticking well enough. All the evidence suggests that things are fine for now. I will make sure to continue downshifting on steep hills, and keep an eye on the stopping power of the brakes. But with no noise being produced, and brakes stopping well enough for now, I can’t even be bothered to look towards spending more money on a second opinion. I might think about getting a second opinion though in October before I go to West Virgina, and explore those steep hills. I will see – I don’t want to waste money on my truck unnecessarily – but I want to keep it in top condition for when I am on the rough back country and steep mountain hills.