2017 December 19

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Basswood Pond State Forest
Climate Change
Delmar, New York
Internet Politics
Overlook Mountain
Pharsalia Woods State Forest

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

Good evening! Partly cloudy and 45 degrees in Albany. There is a southwest breeze at 9 mph. The skies will clear around 8 pm. A fairly mild evening, assuming the rain stays off to the north. I meant to bring my rain coat today, but in the mad dash to the bus, I confidentially grabbed my winter coat out of habit.

Tonight will have a chance of rain showers, possibly mixing with snow after midnight, then gradually ending. Partly cloudy, with a low of 32 degrees at 6am. 12 degrees above normal. West wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. In 2016, we had clear skies. It got down to 6 degrees. The record low of -19 occurred back in 1951.

Tonight will have a Waxing Crescent Moon with 3% illuminated with the moon setting at 5:51 pm. The moon will rise tomorrow at 08:56 am. The First Quarter Moon is on Monday night with mostly clear skies.  The sun will rise at 7:21 am with the first light at 6:49 am, which is 33 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 57 minutes of darkness, an increase of 6 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high of 35 degrees at 1pm. One degree above normal. West wind 11 to 15 mph. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies, clearing in the afternoon. The high last year was 28 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1957. 8.4 inches of snow fell back in 1975.

I didn’t catch the express bus because I decided to bake blueberry cake, which I always forget how much longer it takes compared muffins. I just wanted blueberry cake or muffins this morning, but I get tired of washing out all of those silicone muffin tins, and I refuse to use paper ones.

I have yet another sore throat and a minor cold today after standing out in the cold, although I guess that really hasn’t gone away over the past month and a half. Not real sick, but it’s just more of an annoyance from the cold then anything else. Maybe at some point I should go to the doctor if it continues to annoy me, but honestly, I don’t care that much. Eventually winter will be over, and I can get some more fresh air and feel better. Even thought today is mild, it sure is gray, and still pretty damp out.

Finally got the lead solder in the mail yesterday. It works perfectly for soldering those tiny little components to the perfboard. I am going to practice a bit more, then finally get the components permanently mounted on the perfboard (and not the messy one I’ve been practicing with). I will keep the lead-free solder for projects that are less tiny and more-heat tolerant like connecting together wires or pins on the LED strip, and use the lead solder for mounting components. I was looking how inexpensive the other day electronic components are now — you can mixed boxes of like 2,000 resistors or capacitors on eBay for like $10. So many things you could build.

This weekend, I am finally going to get my LED fixture put permanently together. I still got to get something to mount the LEDs on. I was originally thinking aluminum, but I may go with some kind of plastic “U” shaped and fairly thin clear plexiglass to defuse the light. I am just working out how to lay out the circuit to minimize excess wire and keeping things neat. There are some different software packages for Linux that do just that, but I’m figuring out which one is most useful.

Tonight I am going to meet the folks for dinner, then do the annual drive for the lights in the park. Always kind of fun, but sort of cheesy at the same time. Unfortunately, I will miss the Albany County Young Democrats holiday party, but I can’t do everything.

Cloudy and wet but mild this weekend heading into Christmas Eve. Saturday, rain. High near 49. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Sunday, which is Christmas Eve, a chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Typical average high for the weekend is 33 degrees. For Christmas, rain, snow, and sleet likely. Cloudy, with a high near 40. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

I may end up staying in town for the long Christmas Weekend. It’s just not going to be that nice. Maybe for the New Years Eve Weekend I can get up North. It would be special to ring in the New Year around the campfire. With such mild weather, there might even be less snow up north by then.

In four weeks on January 16 the sun will be setting at 4:49 pm, which is 24 minutes and 47 seconds later then today. In 2017 on that day, we had partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 39 and 14 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 30 and 14 degrees. The record high of 62 degrees was set back in 1995.

Looking ahead, National Pie Day is in 5 weeks, Lame Duck Day is in 7 weeks, Presidents Day is in 2 months, First Day of Spring is in 13 weeks, Election Day 2018 is in 46 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 150 weeks.

Gross Domestic Product, 1999-2017

In Q1 2000, the US Gross Domestic Product exceeded $10 trillion dollars for the first time. It seems likely, bar a recession, that the GDP will exceed $20 trillion by 2020. This is not in real terms, it does not include the impact of inflation over the past 20 years. The economy has doubled in size since 1988 in real terms, when you consider the impact of inflation.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product [GDP], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDP, December 18, 2017.

Map: Pharsalia Woods State Forest

Map: Pharsalia Woods State Forest

9,151 acre Pharsalia Woods State Forest was formally New Michigan State Forest. Hunting, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, hiking and wildlife observation are some of the more popular uses of the forest. Access is made easy by the nine-mile Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Truck Trail that passes atop a forested plateau and offers visitors many great views.