2017 October 05

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

Good evening! Mostly clear and 63 degrees in Delmar, NY. Calm wind. The dew point is 56 degrees. A pleasant evening for enjoying both the Harvest and Hunter Moon that seem to fall concurrently this year. I’m sure in Western NY there is a lot of both of things going on right now.

Right now, I’m sitting on the bed of my pickup truck, listening to the spring peepers working on this blog post. Not a half bad evening for sure for early October, especially with that big full moon overhead.

I am feeling a little under the weather tonight, but not too bad. Seems like I have a bit of a stomach bug with some aches. I thought about visiting my mom, but I can’t until I am sure I feel better. Maybe it was something I ate. They had breakfast pizza at work along with a big plate of eggs, and I think between hte two of them they may have upset things. I don’t think this will impact my trip, but if I don’t feel good tomorrow, it will be another nail towards postponing it.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 54 degrees at 5am. 11 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 56 at 9pm. Calm wind. A great evening for getting out and enjoying the Harvest and Hunter Moon. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 41 degrees. The record low of 24 occurred back in 1965.

Tonight is the Hunter and Harvest Full Moon. The Last Quarter Moon is next Thursday with partly cloudy skies. The Beaver Moon is on Friday, November 3rd. The sun will rise at 6:58 am with the first light at 6:30 am, which is one minute and 8 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 12 hours and 30 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 50 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a slight chance of showers before 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high of 70 degrees at 3pm. Six degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 55 at 4pm. West wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies. The high last year was 75 degrees. The record high of 90 was set in 1900. There was a dusting of snow in 1954.

Not a particularly nice weekend on tap. Saturday, a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 8 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Maximum dew point of 61 at 4pm. Sunday, a chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. Maximum dew point of 67 at 11am. Typical average high for the weekend is 63 degrees.

In four weeks on November 2 the sun will be setting at 5:46 pm, which is 42 minutes and 37 seconds earlier then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 64 and 48 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 53 and 35 degrees. It really cools off a lot as November approaches. The record high of 82 degrees was set back in 1950.

As you can see from my earlier blog post, I am seriously reconsidering my trip down to West VIrigina next week based on the forecast. I am just sick and tired of camping in the rain, and honestly, it’s not worth the long drive down there to camp in the rain or have wet, damp overcast days. Especially when I could find nicer weather back in the western part of our state. And maybe spend more time in Pennsylvania. Or do something dfferent. Or postpone the trip. I’ve laid out my options in the other blog post.

Last night I got in the mail the replacement charger for my camera, after I managed to lose my camera battery charger. It was real cheap and came with two extra lithium ion batteries for camera. Seems to work well, and now all the batteries are charged so I should be well set for all the video and pictures I decide to make up at camp.

Spent some time cleaning up the kitchen, but tomorrow once I start getting packed I want to wash the floor and do some final cleaning. I also should do some vacuuming and rinse out the bathroom sink. And then it’s just the usual packaging for a camping trip. This time I should make sure I make up a packing list, because especially when I get to West Virigina — if I go there — getting supplies won’t be easy every day, unlike Western NY where there are more Walmart and other grocery stores around.

I was concerned for a while that the digital camera was refusing to read memory cards but Iet it sit out today without the card and battery in it, cycled a card in and out of it, and it seems fine. The camera seems dry and seems like it’s taking okay pictures, but the lens does seem a bit soft towards the center — I’m hoping it just needs a cleaning. from a finger print I should check that out. I will bring my big Digital SLR camera and my Smartphone as a backup.

While I’ve not done any packing for the trip, I’ve gone camping so many times that I’m not concerned about making that happen tomorrow if neccessary. I will have to go shopping and do wash too. But it will be done.

One thing I do need to do is buy toilet paper. I meant to do that today but it didn’t happen. So I’m left with wet whipes and paper towels. Which is fine between the two of them, as long as I make sure to toss them in the garbage can. I often use them when camping, especially the prior. But I didn’t get out tonight. I’ll burn it, so it won’t go to the landfill.

I also need to return some bottles and cans to the grocery store. I am running low on room in the recycling trash barrel. I should also take the paper to the recycling dumpsters at the Park and Ride because I only need so much paper to start fires while camping.  Thick stacks of paper and junk mail don’t burn very well.

My phone with the bluetooth mouse and keybord continue to preform quite well, and make an excellent mobile blogging platform. Expect many updates while I am gone, using my phone. It’s almost like having a miniature computer that I can bring anywhere with me.

Looking ahead, Daylight Savings Time Ends in a month and Thanksgiving is in 7 weeks. Can you believe only 7 weeks until Thanksgiving?

Especially because I don’t feel all that great and it’s getting late, I should probably finish this blog post up, kill the lights in my ruck cap, head back inside, and go to bed.

So based on the latest forecast, I face a bit of a dilema when it comes to my multi-state road trip that was originally planning to go down to Pennsylvania to West Virigina to Virigina and travel along a ways of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The problem I face is the forecast is expected to be quite bad for the first half of next week due to Tropical Storm Nate which is expected to drop as much as 2 inches of rain on West Virigina between Sunday and Wednesday — mostly on Monday but a front will keep the skies cloudy and possibly somewhat damp through Wednesday. I camped out too many cold and wet days over the summer into the fall, and I”m hardly excited to repeat that again.

I have two options for the week. The first is I could try to postpone the trip for a week. That might work fairly well, but it’s also a gamble. The third week of October is often much cooler then the second week, and the risk of unexpected snow storms, especially in the most rugged part of West Viriginia where I am planning on going increaes. No guarantees of better weather next week either. Plus the following week I don’t have Columbus Day Weekend off, so I would have to use an extra vacation day.

The second option is just to carry on my trip as planned, and expect a very wet period to startout the trip. Monday would be wasted and maybe Tuesday and Wednesday might not be perfect, but maybe it will be less rainy and cloudy as predicted. Of course that’s a gamble, remember I took a summer vacation when it rained nearly every day.

The third option is to change my trip plans all together to a different part of the state/country. I could do another trip out to Western NY, spend some time exploring and camping at various state forests in Allegany and Cattaargus County. Except for Monday, the forecast out in Western NY looks pretty good. Maybe later in the week head down to Allegheny National Forest then south for a night at Hicks Run Campground in Elk Country. That might be pretty in autumn to see and hear the elk out in their rut. I would have to reach out the DCNR and have them email me a camping permit or maybe stop by their regional office. But that could be done. Alternatively or maybe afterwards, I could go south almost to West Virigina and camp at Ohiopyle State Park. I’ve always been interested in that park, ever since a hunter I ran into last autumn was telling me how beautiful it was. And then maybe a night or two in West Virigina? I mean if I’m driving home, assuming I have enough energy, I could drive all the way back to Albany in one day, but that would be tiring, and I worry about dozing off at the wheel. I guess I could overnight again at Aspah Run or County Bridge campgrounds outside of Wellsboro — as I had originally planned.

I have options. Now just to pick one. Soon. As I have to pack tomorrow night if I’m planning on leaving for next week.

As ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law

"For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace. Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. Trump’s message was clear, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations: Tell Iowa no."

"Supporters of the Affordable Care Act see the president’s opposition even to changes sought by conservative states as part of a broader campaign by his administration to undermine the 2010 health-care law. In addition to trying to cut funding for the ACA, the Trump administration also is hampering state efforts to control premiums. In the case of Iowa, that involved a highly unusual intervention by the president himself."

"And with the fifth enrollment season set to begin Nov. 1, advocates say the Health and Human Services Department has done more to suppress the number of people signing up than to boost it. HHS has slashed grants to groups that help consumers get insurance coverage, for example. It also has cut the enrollment period in half, reduced the advertising budget by 90 percent and announced an outage schedule that would make the HealthCare.gov website less available than last year."

Nothing More Sharply Divides Americans Than Politics. It Wasn’t Always Like This

"The partisan split in America is the highest it's been in two decades, with Republicans and Democrats holding vastly disparate views on race, immigration and the role of government, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center."

"Pew has been measuring attitudes on policy issues and political values dating back to 1994, and its latest check-in finds — perhaps unsurprisingly — that Americans are more divided than ever."

"The fact that Republicans and Democrats differ on these fundamental issues is probably not a surprise, but the magnitude of the difference is striking, and particularly how the differences have grown in recent years and where they've grown," Carroll Doherty, Pew's director of political research and one of the authors of the study, told NPR."