2018 January 29

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Balsam Creek State Forest
Berne, New York
Cheney Mountain
Delmar, NY
Dormansville, New York
In My Apartment
NYS Census - Education

January 2018
« Dec   Feb »

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

Good evening! So it’s official now, I’m no longer a Young Democrat, I’m an old one. 🎂🍰 My 35th Birthday came and went. Mostly cloudy ☁ and 29 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a north breeze at 7 mph. The skies will clear tomorrow around 10 pm. 

It was a pretty good birthday, 🎂figuring all that I had to work today and was stuck in the office late. 🏢I did get a chance though to go for a walk to Price Chopper and buy some coffee.☕ Not a half bad sunset from my corner office overlooking the mountains, and I still make a decent amount of money even if it’s still never enough to fully make ends meet.🚍Ended up having to wait a while for the bus at 7:30, because I just missed the 6:45 home but that’s fine. I had my laptop with me and they have free internet at work. I could sit at my table in the office and work on my laptop while waiting for the bus. I probably could have gotten a free drink on my birthday but I’m a bit tired and feel somewhat congested so I refrained. I really have some mixed, maybe conflicted feeling about turning 35. I guess it means I’m finally an adult.  

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 21 degrees at 6am.☁ Six degrees above normal. Maximum wind chill around 13 at 6am; North wind around 7 mph. In 2017, we had cloudy skies, clearing in the early hours of the next day. It got down to 17 degrees. The record low of -12 occurred back in 1965.

Tonight will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon with 97% illuminated.The moon will set tomorrow at 6:18 am.🌕 The Blue Moon will be tomorrow with a chance of snow showers. The sun will rise at 7:11 am with the first light at 6:41 am, which is 58 seconds earlier than yesterday. 🌄Tonight will have 14 hours and 4 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 20 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a slight chance of snow showers between 10am and 4pm.❄ Mostly cloudy, with a high of 29 degrees at 1pm. One degrees below normal. North wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. The high last year was 30 degrees. The record high of 56 was set in 2013. 11 inches of snow fell back in 1966.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 24.☀ Sunday, scattered snow showers.❄  Cloudy, with a high near 33. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Typical average high for the weekend is 32 degrees.⛄

Seems like it might be too cold for camping, but maybe I can do some hiking locally. If Saturday looks like the best day I might see if I can go to my parents house for Sunday dinner then and stay home on Sunday because I don’t want to risk getting caught driving in a snow squall. After the rent was paid, there wasn’t a lot left over so I’m trying to save gas and avoid shopping this week as much as possible. 

Mom and Dad gave me a check for my birthday, which I used to buy a few more inexpensive electronic components – namely a box of Arduino Nanos, another LED display module, an Arduino SD Card socket, an Arduino GPS Module, and some PIR sensors to switch on lights or other devices when you walk into a room.💻📟 I think I spent less than $45 total. That’s real money on a tight budget but remember my big jacked up truck can easily suck down nearly twice that in gas, at least when prices are high.  I’m building up a pretty good electronics kit, and some neat projects but there always is more to build and learn.:idea: I’ve also learned that projects rarely ever get fully done when you build them yourself and can dream up improvements. I just love how you can plug things into those tiny Arduino Microcontrollers, write some code and build totally home, custom solutions to your needs.📝 It’s both fairly simple physical electronics and microcontrollers programming in C#. I haven’t done much with computers in recent years but I do like the stuff I am building now. 

In my 35th year, I hope to do a lot of traveling and camping. I’m just hoping the snow disappears early for the winter so I can get back to truck cap camping.🚚 I do need to find out why I’m not getting much power back to the truck cap though. I think I may have a blown fuse or a loose connection. ⚡I’ll figure it out when the weather gets nicer. I also want to finally get that solar panel mounted up top of the truck cap, so I can just park the truck in the sun to quickly and fully recharge the accessory battery. 

I do miss camping and traveling. I am thinking about this April doing that North Country trip I’ve been putting off. ⛺It’s a long trip to the Northern Adirondacks but there is some nice remote country up that way. Massena is nice too. For my November Road Trip, I’m thinking about Northern West Virginia, weather dependent. I kind of liked camping in Cannan Heights on Forest Road 13.🔥 Maybe see the famous bridge that is on the West Virginia state coin. I don’t know for sure though, as the days are so short in November. I still also want to see more of the state forests in Allegany County NY, especially the Klipnocky State Forest famous for the hairy women. 🌌

I’m tired and have been in bed before nine tonight. 💤The lights are off except for my phone and the variable message system. 💥Hopefully that will fully shut down tonight at eleven like it’s supposed to, and not leave the leds blinking making it hard to sleep. I’m sure if it doesn’t fully power off as it should now that I’ve fixed the code, I’ll will power it off by just unplugging it. 💫

In four weeks on February 26 the sun will be setting at 5:42 pm, which is 36 minutes and 15 seconds later then tonight.🌆 In 2017 on that day, we had rain, snow, cloudy skies and temperatures between 38 and 24 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 38 and 20 degrees. The record high of 63 degrees was set back in 1976.

Looking ahead, Presidents Day is in 3 weeks, Memorial Day is in 17 weeks, Labor Day is in 31 weeks and Columbus Day is in 36 weeks.

📢😎Only 115 days remain until the start of Memorial Day Weekend!🍔🍗✨

I’ve been considering buying a drip coffee pot. These days they aren’t really that expensive and for a few bucks over the base model, I could have one with a timer that would ensure by the time I got out of bed I would have hot coffee every morning – assuming that I bothered to set the timer, fill the machine with water and fresh grounds. Then again, all except the automatic switch, I could do the same with the camp percolator I currently own.

Right now, I use a camp percolator for all my coffee. It works fine, but it sure gets dirty and it’s somewhat messy dumping out the grounds and washing out the filter every morning. I ended up with coffee grounds all over my kitchen, accumulating in all the places that aren’t real easy to clean. In many ways, drip coffee machines are less messy, especially with the disposable paper filters that commonly used with them.

Drip coffee pots use less electricity and make much better coffee then the percolator, especially with my tendency to put the percolator on it and boil the heck out of the coffee until the grounds are incredibly bitter. I don’t use sugar or cream, just one percent milk, which ensures the coffee is as bitter as it can be. Maybe I should watch the percolator more carefully, and not walk off and do other things.

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Part of my problem with drip coffee pots is they use a lot amperage – even if it’s temporarily – to heat the water. Sure my electric stove does too, but sometime I envision living off grid without a high amperage electricity supply. I guess one of those high-tech drip coffee pots probably won’t last that long, but then I got to throw it out – which is a pain, because I don’t have trash pickup and would have to take it to the transfer station. Not to mention all those coffee filters and grounds, which are a wet mess, especially because I don’t have a compost bin where I live.

Most people a long time ago would have bought an coffee pot. But I think the percolator pot works fine for my purpose, no matter how grimy it gets or how awful bitter the coffee it makes. I don’t need excessive technology in my life that really serves no real purpose that some point I’ll have to pay to dispose of later on.

Passive Infrared Receiver (PIR) sensor review, test & how to use

I ordered three of these from a supplier in China for $3 or 98 cents a piece. I was going to order them from an American vendor for a slightly more, but I accidentally left them off my previous order, this was cheaper and I was in no rush to get them. I am going to use one of them with my LED lighting strip, so that the lights turn off automatically when I'm not in the room to save power. And I might also use them so they come on automatically in the evening -- but only if I am home. PIR are very easy to use, they are a self-contained module, that simply pulls a pin high for a period of time after a person is detected.

Temperature, Through Monday February 5

For my birthday week, it is expected to be a bit cool for late January but not cold by any means. The coldest night will be early Wednesday morning, dropping down to 11, which is cool but not that cold. Maybe hit 40 or so on Thursday with clouds and snow flurries. Nothing really to celebrate or complain about. It's winter. But it won't last that much longer, regardless of the decision of the Ground Hog.

Map: Balsam Creek State Forest

Map: Balsam Creek State Forest

This 559 acre state forest, located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, is bisected by the 150 foot deep Balsam Creek valley. Balsam Creek and its tributary to the north, Cold Creek, are well known spring fed trout streams. The hardwood forests abound with valuable high quality hard maple and black cherry sawtimber and veneer.

In the 1930's the Conservation Department planted pine trees in the open fields near Fish Creek Road. Today these trees have grown to mature plantations of white pine, red pine and Norway spruce sawtimber. DEC forestry staff regularly conduct carefully controlled timber sales on this forest, maintaining a vigorous forest while at the same time providing the forest industry with critical raw materials.

Wildlife found here includes white-tailed deer, black bear, and fur bearers including fisher, coyotes and mink. Briar Hill public forest access road provides 1.5 miles of gravel surface access for the public north from Fish Creek Road.


50 days from now is the first day of spring (Tuesday, March 20th).

While it will take a while for things to warm up, there will be a warm up and get progressively nicer as we head through February into March.

Date High Median Low
Thursday, February 15 35 (39) 26 (36) 17 (32)
Sunday, March 4 40 (23) 31 (16) 22 (8)
Saturday, March 17 45 (40) 35 (28) 26 (16)
Wednesday, March 28 50 (51) 40 (45) 30 (38)
Saturday, April 7 55 (46) 44 (42) 34 (37)
Wednesday, April 18 60 (58) 49 (49) 38 (40)
Tuesday, May 1 65 (74) 54 (62) 43 (49)
Wednesday, May 16 70 (77) 58 (61) 47 (44)
Sunday, June 3 75 (72) 64 (59) 53 (45)
Friday, June 22 80 (81) 69 (67) 59 (53)
Saturday, August 18 80 (77) 70 (74) 60 (71)
Saturday, September 8 75 (68) 65 (59) 55 (49)
Friday, September 21 70 (81) 60 (72) 50 (63)
Tuesday, October 2 65 (69) 55 (54) 45 (39)
Monday, October 15 60 (74) 50 (66) 40 (57)
Sunday, October 28 55 (67) 46 (52) 36 (37)
Saturday, November 10 50 (50) 42 (40) 33 (29)
Thursday, November 22 45 (37) 38 (34) 30 (30)
Tuesday, December 4 40 (36) 33 (30) 26 (23)
Monday, December 17 35 (35) 28 (28) 21 (20)
Tuesday, January 8 30 (23) 22 (16) 15 (9)

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