Good morning! Happy Tuesday. Three weeks to National Pie Day. Partly cloudy and three degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a west-northwest breeze at 7 mph. The current wind chill is -14. Not super cold, well at least compared to New Years Eve and Day. Lots of sun filtering through the windows of the bus. Next week the Elsmere Avenue detour ends on the bus, as the Delaware Avenue construction comes to its conclusion.

Last night it got down to negative eight, early in the evening than warmed during the night. My bedroom was remarkably warm come morning, I never even contemplated turning on the supplemental electric heat. Sure I wish I had a wood stove but at least I don’t have to worry about cleaning off my car living in the city.

Today will be partly sunny, with a high of 21 degrees at 3pm. 10 degrees below normal and 10 degrees warmer than yesterday. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. The high last year was 36 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1890. 7.1 inches of snow fell back in 2014.

The sun will set at 4:34 pm with dusk around 5:06 pm, which is 54 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly sunny conditions and 20 degrees. The wind chill around sunset will be 9. There will be a southwest breeze at 9 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 8 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 53 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 6 degrees at 6am. 12 degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around -3 at 6am; Southwest wind 6 to 9 mph. In 2017, we had cloudy skies. It got down to 31 degrees. The record low of -14 occurred back in 1970.

So it is January once again. The coldest weather of the year is next week on average, and the long range forecast seems to confirm that as the truth. There is little evidence that we will see any weather above freezing through the next week but we will be in the 20s for the immediate few days. We have to watch that potential Nor’easter for later in the week (but it may very well go out to the coast), as with the cold weather any significant snow will be tricky to remove.

Yesterday, I really enjoyed the ski into the Normans Kill Gorge which actually was quite sheltered from the winds. With the cold there was nobody else around and there was kind of a glistening stillness to the land. There was a ton of traffic barreling or more like crawling along the Thruway with all the holiday travelers either returning from the city or heading down there. I thought about heading up to Thatcher Park or Partridge Run but I figured it would be too cold. While I find those rail trails to be quite boring to walk, the Normans Kill gorge is quite delightful.

Starting up my truck yesterday, I was surprised to turn it on and come back to seeing it with the ABS and Traction Control lights on, along with flashing messages saying Service ABS, Service Traction Control, Service Stabilitrak. I panicked for a few seconds, until I realized I had left the truck idling for more then 5 minutes with the transfer case in the automatic 4×4 position. This tells the computer to constantly check the ABS sensors for wheel movement, if it sees none after 5 minutes, it will disable all the systems controlled by the ABS sensor. Fortunately, after two times of turning on and off the engine, the computer resets, and it’s like nothing happened. This happened a few years back when camping, idling to make power for camp. I am pretty sure it’s just a glitch in the software, probably something I could have fixed by the dealer updating the firmware, but it’s just ease to make sure when I park the truck to leave it set in 4×4 or 2-wheel drive. 4×4 auto makes it easier to turn the steering wheel and get into tight spots, as regular 4×4 locks all the wheels, allowing no slip. Annoying as all shit.

Last night I had cheese fondue at my parents house. It was nice tradition, they’ve been doing it for years. Normally they do it on New Years Eve, but being so cold and with the next day being a Monday, I decided to come out for it on New Years Day. Always good, as who can go wrong with cheap wine, and dipping things in milk fat aka cheeses. Maybe in the summer, I should try this while camping. It could be fun thing around campfire, and if I could control the heat over charcoal or a carefully controlled coals, it would have such a nice smokey taste, which I think would be good.

The wireless headphones that I finally got after inquring with Anker work really good. I really like not having that cord getting twisted up. They were perfect for skiing and pretty nice on the bus today. Loud enough that I can hear them over the noises of the bus, but not to so noise-canceling that I can’t hear people speaking or other noises need I need to hear them. I am glad I have working headphones again, as it was annoying having the broken headphone jack on my phone.

This weekend plan to complete my LED lighting fixture, with the night lighting modes. Yesterday I got delivered this double LED channel which will allow me to mount the LED strips in a professional-looking LED fixture that resembles the traditional florescent lighting fixture, but is much thinner. I also got an Arduino UNO protective case to mount the Arduino, although the Arduino driver shield will sit up top, with the IR sensor and Mosfet transistors. I got some thicker 20-gauge wire for permanently wiring the LED strips rather then jumper cables and 26-gauge wire I’m currently running, which is a bit thin and causing some minor voltage drop. It’s safer to use bigger wire, as voltage drop means heat, not that it actually poses any kind of fire risk. The internal LED strip voltage drop (causing a color shift) should be also addressed when the LEDs are mounted, because the long 5 meter strip will be cut into four one meter sections, each wired in parallel.

Over the weekend I ordered a few very inexpensive soldering practice kits from China. Not expecting all of them to arrive or to even have them for a few weeks, but I want to improve my soldering technique and make some cute flashing snow flakes and other things. All of them operate on 5 volts, so when I get them and build them, I’ll just hook them up to a USB cable, and power them using a USB charger or any USB port I have. I am thinking of ordering this neat USB flashing star kit in a Plexiglas box and building it my niece, as I think she might like that.

The next set of electronics projects I’m building involve LED-based displays. This way I can write whatever I want to screen. One project involves building a large multi-color display on Styrofoam board using addressable full-color LEDs. I am going to paint the board black and will write an Arduino program to display a wide variety of colors and data. The other involves MAX7219 red LED modules, for building a scrolling display. Initially this will output messages from my computer via USB but eventually I may turn it into a countdown clock with a clock chip module or hook it up via Bluetooth for broadcasting messages from across the room.

No camping next weekend for sure, but I’m still hoping for a trip during Martin Luther King Jr. Day Long Weekend. That’s less then two weekends away from now. I am hoping the cold will break before then, and we will have a snow-free weekend for some snow camping up north. Who knows those with the cold.

As previously noted, there are 3 weeks until National Pie Day when the sun will be setting at 4:58 pm with dusk at 5:28 pm. On that day in 2017, we had rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet, mist, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 39 and 32 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 31 degrees. We hit a record high of 64 back in 1906.