Good morning! Where did November go so quickly? It seems like yesterday was October. Mostly sunny and 28 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph.

Again this morning, the bus driver stopped the big articulated bus on Elm Avenue, and let me hop on. Nice of him but I was enjoying my walk down to the express bus stop. But that’s fine, it would have been a hustle, because I’ve gotten in the habit of cutting it closer and closer to when I need to be at the Park and Ride at 8:26 PM. It would suck if I missed the bus and had to walk the mile back to Delaware Avenue.

Today will have a chance of showers, mainly after 3pm. Mostly sunny, with a high of 42 degrees at 1pm. Typical for today. South wind 6 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A year ago, we had mist in the morning, remaining cloudy in the afternoon. The high last year was 52 degrees. The record high of 67 was set in 1933. 7.1 inches of snow fell back in 1972.

The sun will set at 4:23 pm with dusk around 4:54 pm, which is 20 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 41 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 11 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 17 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 24 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have showers likely, mainly before 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 38 degrees at 5am. 11 degrees above normal. South wind 5 to 11 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. In 2016, we had light rain in the evening, remaining overcast into the early morning. It got down to 37 degrees. The record low of -5 occurred back in 1875.

I am rather surprised how fast the month of November came and went. While it wasn’t an awful month, what had to get done happened and Thanksgiving dinner was good, especially with all of the family together. Those days won’t last forever so I’m thankful for all the time I have. December will probably come and go just as quickly, especially if we get snow and my camping adventures are either slowed or remain more local. I don’t have any special plans for Christmas except maybe going out to the folks house for Christmas dinner. If it’s nice and there isn’t too much snow, I might either go out to Madison County or the Adirondacks for camping/hiking/snowshoeing. Maybe hang some Christmas lights on the trees, but then again I do that in the summer. It seems like snow has held off so far this year, but they are saying that the jet stream pattern is changing and we might get snow before you know it.

I took Friday off from work. On Friday morning I will buy the aluminum bar for mounting the solar panel and in the afternoon head up to the Adirondacks. I would prefer to go hiking on Friday but I don’t think I’ll have time before sunset. Hunting and camping Saturday, maybe do a short hike too. I don’t know yet. I have some vacation time to use before the end of the year, so I might as well use it before I lose it. Plus who wants to work a five day week if they don’t have to? January comes back and I’ll be working plenty of five day weeks and long days. Got to take the time when you can. I suspect 2018 will be a pretty busy year for me. My hope is to get the solar panel on the truck next weekend, once I get the bar put up. I want to have it topping of the battery, especially as the cold of winter comes and I leave the truck parked for six day or longer.

Friday will be a bit windy. Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph. Other then that, it definitely looks like a picture perfect weekend on tap. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 42. Calm wind. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Typical average high for the weekend is 41 degrees. You rarely get weekends that nice in December. Sure it could be warmer, but that quite rare, even with the warming climate.

I have gotten most of the supplies together to build permanent circuit boards with perf board and solder. While I don’t think I will have time this weekend, but eventually I will assemble my LED lamp fixture. I have 20 perf boards, plus two unused Arduino boards for projects. I was looking on eBay the other day, and found I could order Arduino Mini Pro for about $1.30 a piece from China. You have to use a separate board to flash the memory with the Mini Pro, but the big benefit besides cost is the Mini Pro is very small and can mounted directly to the perf board. I am still deciding on my next project, maybe a countdown timer or a GPS logger. Some of the air pollution sensors are interesting too. For more advanced projects, I could start building stuff with a Raspberry Pi, but for most of my needs I just need a basic, inexpensive, energy efficient microprocessor rather then a full mini-computer.

Whatever you may think of Trump, it’s definitely been a good year in the market. They’ve been up 17.6% since last year, if you look at just the S&P 500. Many of my low cost index funds have done pretty good this past year. Okay, I would be a lot richer if I invested in Bitcoin, but that’s so speculative, and I suspect it will give back much of the gain that we’ve seen this year. As a saver, my general impression is that the Trump tax cut will actually save me a fair amount of money. I don’t itemize or take special deductions, so I will benefited greatly by the larger standard deduction. As a renter, I don’t pay property tax and don’t benefit from the mortgage deduction. Someday, I might benefit from those things, but I would prefer to buy land with cash and live in a low property tax state where I can own whatever guns I want without registration and do what I want with my land. I wish people would save more and consume less. I’m quite happy with not having Internet or television at home, and with my $50 smartphone and the basic Walmart/StraightTalk phone plan.

Sure I don’t like how the GOP tax cut gives the wealthy a big break, which all the evidence suggests has been priced into the market. I actually decided to buy a FDIC-insured certificate deposit, rather then invest more in the markets, but I think we are close to the high for the next few years, and I’d rather use of that money to buy index funds in a year from now, when the market is lower. I was on the fence though, because the CD doesn’t pay all that much more then my regular account. But it locks up the money so I won’t be able to spend it for a year. I have a lot of market exposure, and I’m just not sure if the market can grow much more. Of course, people who said that a year ago, are 15% less wealthy then would be at this point. I am very concerned that GOP tax cut will push up interest rates and inflation, and possibly cause a recession at the same time.

I think people are underestimating the risk of stagflation, with quantitative easing being hard to unwind. All it takes is a major energy crisis, and we are in serious trouble or more like deeper shit then a hog farm. People say the United States is energy independent, but that’s mostly a lie as world energy markets are deeply connected, and serious problems like an OPEC Energy embargo or even just a Middle Eastern Civil War could greatly inflate the price of oil and put the markets into severe shock, especially as we’ve moved away from conservation in recent years. Inflation and poor economy are possible, even if they are unusual. True, inflation isn’t like the late 1960s, but we’re spending so much money in both in the public and private sector on credit, that we could suddenly push up inflation and interest rates by surprise.

In four weeks on December 28 the sun will be setting at 4:30 pm, which is 6 minutes and 52 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had snow, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 38 and 29 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 32 and 17 degrees. The record high of 61 degrees was set back in 1982.

Margie Singleton – Ode to Billie Joe

Margie Singleton's version of Bobbie Gentrie's Ode to Billie Joe. This song got a lot of play on country music stations in the late 1960s but has all been forgotten in the past 50 years. The oldies stations still play Bobbie Gentry's version but I doubt many country stations still play Margie Singleton.

The irony of the song is that the Tallahatchie Bridge is not a good one to commit suicide on. It's only about 20 feet above the river that is fairly deep and muddy, and plenty of people have jumped off it and walked away without a scratch. https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2705/4539269463_edfbbb8d6c_b.jpg

Bobbie Gentry intended for the song to be more ironic then about suicide. Bobbie Gentry's goal with the song called out the callousness of society as the Vietnam War was escalating, with the family noting the suicide in with more mundane business of life.

GISS Land-Ocean Global Means Temperature, 1880-2016

The average land and ocean temperature globally between 1951-1980 was 56.7 degrees fahrenheit. NASA, with it's vast earth monitoring system of satelites and ground based equipment measure temperature around the globe to follow trends over time. They put out GISS numbers monthly and yearly, that look at the difference in temperature between the 1951-1980 average compared to today. Those numbers are widely cited on climate change blogs. While scientifically accurate, their analysis is confusing to the layman who finds it hard to understand negative and positive Celsius numbers of a few degrees.

Most of us know the weather only by Fahrenheit, and rather then use negative numbers and departure from the average, I used actual global temperature averages. In 2016, the global temperature was 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, in 1960, the global temperature was 56.2 degrees Fahrenheit. While 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit difference in global temperature over 66 years doesn't seem like a lot, it does mean spring comes earlier across the globe, areas freeze up later, and summer days are somewhat hotter. As the oceans are a powerful heat sink, actual global land temperature changes are less then 2.2 degree Fahrenheit difference between now and 1960, but still there is a noticeable increase there too.

Forces like el nino and la nina, and other weather patterns do change global temperatures a bit from year to year. But as carbon dioxide emissions have rapidly increased, so have temperatures. Within the next 20-30 years, it's almost certain global yearly temperatures will exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a big jump from 56.25 degrees Fahrenheit at the turn of the 20th century.

Data Source: Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, LOTI). https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/