2018 February 12

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Alfred E. Smith Building
Bennett Hill Preserve
California Road State Forest
Corning Tower Observation Deck
Elsmere. NY
John Boyd Thacher State Park
NYS Census - Employment
Partridge Run Game Management Area
Role of Government

February 2018
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

I was reading the other day about Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to Food Stamps that help the needest Americans. While I agree with Donald Trump that we need to cut government spending, Food Stamps is not where the pork is. It’s in law enforcement and the sheer number of laws that need enforcing. If we had fewer laws, we could have fewer cops, fewer jails, fewer government officials. We need to transition law enforcement workers from public sector jobs to the private sector, where they can serve as an engine of economic growth rather than a tax on working folk. We need to repeal laws not create new ones. 

Our government has gotten too big and complicated. The fear of the evil doer in combination with the corporate war profiteers have swollen our defense department. Even though the threat of terrorism is insignificant we spend trillions going after a phantom enemy. It all needs to be shrunk. While I’m sure many men and women in uniform work hard, they should be re-trained for private sector jobs. They don’t all need to be eating out of the public trough. Government is too big and burdensome. 

While there is much that government does that is important, the overregulation of private lives and the centralization of power is a threat to all Americans. Our leaders should work tirelessly to downsize government, not take from the needest but from the fattest of fat cats that have made their billions profiting off of the fear of average Americans. Government should be in the business of repealing programs, especially unnecessarily punitive and expensive programs. Re-train government workers, and help them be the next generation of private sector professionals.

One way to shrink government is to end the war on drugs. It’s stupid to tell private citizens what they can or cannot do in their own private homes. I think all recreational drugs should be legalized. This would save billions in taxpayer dollars. If people want to use heroin and opioids recreationally then that’s their choice to poison their bodies. People don’t die from overdoses, they die from consuming unsafe, unregulated illegal drugs. Government should stand back and only regulate these recreational substances to ensure their purity and safety, and to tax them to provide essential revenue including treatment programs from those who are addicted. Prohibition has always failed and its making our country broke with all the money we spend on corrections producing even more broken people.

Downside government. It’s the way we can move our country forward. 

Good evening! Mostly clear🌌 and 31 degrees in Albany. A bit breezy, 18 mph winds from the west-northwest with gusts up to 28 mph. The current wind chill is 19. So not the most perfect evening, but not that bad for being mid-February. You can’t expect every night to be perfect this time of year.🎢

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 15 degrees at 5am. 🌒Two degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around 6 at 6am; Northwest wind 13 to 18 mph decreasing to 7 to 12 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph. Maybe I’ll turn up the heat tonight when i get home or maybe not. I probably should, it’s going to be quite cold. 📉My utility bills have been a lot higher this year. 💰💰I should look at them more carefully to figure out why. In 2017, we had snow and freezing fog in the evening, which became light snow by the early hours of the morning. It got down to 16 degrees. The record low of -18 occurred back in 1875.

Tonight will have a Waning Crescent Moon with 7% illuminated.🌒The moon will rise tomorrow at 5:34 am. The New Moon is on Wednesday night with a chance of rain. The Snow Moon is on. Wednesday, February 28th. The sun will rise at 6:54 am with the first light at 6:25 am, which is one minute and 21 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 13 hours and 29 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 40 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high of 29 degrees at 3pm. 🌻One degrees below normal. Northwest wind around 6 mph becoming light and variable. A year ago, we had light snow and mist in the morning, which became snow and freezing fog by afternoon. The high last year was 33 degrees. The record high of 58 was set in 1900. 9 inches of snow fell back in 1893.

A picture perfect weekend on tap. Saturday, mostly sunny, with a high near 32. 🌞Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 45. Typical average high for the weekend is 35 degrees. That said, if you have Monday off, look for a chance of rain and snow. ☔Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Mild, but I wouldn’t call President Day or what they call in DC, Washington’s Birthday.

Today has been a rather busy day, and my phone messed up while I working on the morning’s blog so it never got posted. 📱But finally it’s time for heading home after a long and crazy Monday at work. It’s heading towards the 8 o’clock hour but often Mondays are long days at work. 💼I will probably leave work on Tuesday early as I have some family business to attend to on that day.

I’m happy with the GPS logger I built yesterday.📍I just need to solder together a permanent power supply on perfboard, and I have female sockets I can mount on perfboard coming next week. This way things won’t be flopping around,📡 coming loose while driving down the road. Based on my calculation, I can log my time, coordinates, speed, direction, and altitude each second in ASCII text, and not run out of disk space for 4 years running straight.📀

That said, it will only be switched on when my truck is running. 🔋I’m going to hide it in a cream cheese container somewhere in the truck, lest my truck get broken into or for some reason the authorities search it. Not that the equipment is valuable, with all the parts costing less then $15, but i’d rather not advertise that I’m logging my road trips to casual thief or nosy authorities. 🔌Not that I would ever record doing anything illegal. 🙈🚫It’s not that hard to unplug, and I don’t do that many things too illegally. Plus it’s cheaper to use a cream cheese container then a proper box.

Eventually I will build a second module that will use battery power, so I can put it in a backpack, and record my hiking trips for mapping purposes. 📂But now this will work well in my truck, providing a detailed log of my travels and the roads and places explored. I can then make graphs and data of places I’ve explored. I’m particularly interested in altitude and grades of the road that I’ve been exploring.📈 I think when I record the data, it won’t be that hard to process.

In four weeks on March 12 the sun will be setting at 6:58 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is one hour, 34 minutes and 45 seconds later then tonight.📆 In 2017 on that day, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 23 and 6 degrees. Sometimes on March can be quite cold. Typically, you have temperatures between 43 and 24 degrees. The record high of 69 degrees was set back in 2012.

I am looking forward to winter coming to an end. Mid-February is the absolutely worse time of the year, so cold and gray.☁ But as we can see, the warmth of summer isn’t that far away, as in two months the cold will start yielding as spring comes closer. I miss traveling and camping. 🐜Sure there are black flies and mud season road closures but it sure beats these cold winter days. 15 weeks until Memorial Day. 

Looking ahead, Presidents Day is in 1 weeks, 7 PM Sunset is a month away, 🐣Memorial Day is in 15 weeks, Labor Day is in 29 weeks, Constitution Day is in 31 weeks, 🐸Columbus Day is in 34 weeks, Veterans Day Observed (Monday) is in 9 months, Cyber Monday is in 41 weeks and New Years Eve is in 46 weeks.

😍Only 101 days remain until the start of Memorial Day Weekend!🎆

Average Temperatures

This table shows the average high, median, and low temperatures for the next year. Previous year values are shown in parenthesis.

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)

nycmap $id

Trump Administration Wants To Decide What Food SNAP Recipients Will Get

"Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a hunger advocacy group that also helps clients access food-assistance services, said the administration's plan left him baffled. "They have managed to propose nearly the impossible, taking over $200 billion worth of food from low-income Americans while increasing bureaucracy and reducing choices," Berg says. He says SNAP is efficient because it is a "free market model" that lets recipients shop at stores for their benefits. The Trump administration's proposal, he said, "is a far more intrusive, Big Government answer. They think a bureaucrat in D.C. is better at picking out what your family needs than you are?"

Map: California Road State Forest

Map: California Road State Forest

The 1,410-acre California Road State Forest's topography is very hilly with thin soils and rocky exposed ridge tops predominating. Better quality upland sites support a mixture of northern hardwood, hemlock, and white pine forests. Lower quality upland sites are dominated by red oak, eastern hophornbeam, hickories, and other species adapted to droughty and nutrient poor soils. Pine and spruce plantations were established on what were formerly farm fields and pastures. Flatter ground supports open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods in seasonal flooded areas.