Good evening! Mostly cloudy and 33 degrees in Delmar. Calm wind. Kind of a gloomy but not too cold evening after a rather dark and gloomy day, that got off to such a bad start with the bus running late. But I’m not longer bitter. I promise. I guess they need emission and inspection checks from hardworking individuals to make the state wealthy, so it can spend it on the welfare queens. Steal from the poor, give to welfare queens who always are illegally parked in front of the County Welfare office. At any rate the gloom isn’t expected to last too much into tomorrow. The skies will clear tomorrow around 7 am. But more clouds for Thursday. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 29 degrees at 5am. Three degrees below normal. Cool but not that cold. Calm wind. In 2016, we had cloudy skies. It got down to 34 degrees. Closer to normal. The record low of 14 occurred back in 1939.

Tonight will have a Waning Crescent Moon with 10% illuminated. The moon will rise tomorrow at 3:40 am. It may be clearing by then, so you might see if you get up way before I will be getting up. The New Moon is on Friday night with a chance of rain then rain is likely. The Cold Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd. The sun will rise at 6:46 am with the first light at 6:16 am, which is one minute and 15 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 15 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 10 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high of 45 degrees at 1pm. Yeah, the sun at least for one day. But still three degrees below normal. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon. A year ago, we had sunny skies with more clouds in the afternoon. The high last year was 46 degrees. The record high of 74 was set in 1993. 4.8 inches of snow fell back in 1906. Long time ago.

Not a particularly nice weekend on tap, even by November standards. Saturday, snow showers likely before 10am, then rain showers. High near 44. Chance of precipitation is 80%. I heard freezing rain up north. Sunday, a chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Typical average high for the weekend is 47 degrees.

I still think I will take Friday off, if I can get it off. I got the square nuts to build the rack for my solar panel. Now I just need to find bolts that will fit snuggly, cut and drill the aluminum bars that I will buy. Maybe I will do that on Friday. I will have to see if my parents will be around, as I may want to ask my dad if I can borrow his drill. I have diamond-blades for cutting into the aluminum but lack a power drill of my own. Maybe I should think though about adding that tool to my bin. But first I have to carefully measure everything out so I don’t accidentially mess up a hole and things don’t fit tight.

But I’m staying in town for the weekend, because I don’t want to deal with freezing rain up north. I’m not ready to be out washing the road salt of my truck, moreover, I don’t want to get frozen in the truck cap, or have to deal with the extra patrols for the opening of the Southern Zone regular season, even if I will be in the Northern Zone. I’m still hoping to get away on Black Friday through that Sunday though. 

Traffic was pretty heavy coming home on the bus tonight, and I was pretty cheesed out on Facebook about those stupid huts they want to build in the Adirondack Preserve, and charge people big bucks to stay at. Public lands belong to the public, they should be free to use. Pay for public lands by selling timber, hay, and grazing rights. Some oil and gas development. Keep the facilities rustic and manage resource extraction so it pays for public use of the land without compromising it. I don’t get the environmentalists who don’t use office or toilet paper. Or those who want even higher fees to use public lands that should be free for a wide variety of rustic uses. Multiple use can benefit all New Yorkers, we don’t have live under the extreme idea that not a single tree may ever be fallen inside the blue lines of the Adirondack or Catskill Parks. But unfortunately, Manhattan and surrounding areas where all the people live don’t understand that natural resources can be managed for sustainable harvests for generations to come.

I put together a map of the relative state tax rates, but unfortunately the Google Maps export got messed up, so it won’t be posted until later in the week. It also sucks because the US Census Data on State Taxes doesn’t include local taxes, which actually makes New York look lowered taxed then it really is. New York has high state taxes, but when you add in local taxes, we have some of the highest taxes of all. Most states don’t rely on localities to tax as high as New York does, especially with the big Medicaid mandate that pushed down to counties. 

I continue to work on my light dimmer program. Been researching color theory and things along the line of HSV to RGB conversions, along with color temperature algorthms, as I want to be able to have very percise flexibillity in getting just the right light for my bedroom. Also rewrote a timer algorithm that is non-blocking of the central loop, so I can use the remote to adjust lighting settings while a ongoing mode is occuring in my program. I can’t wait until my RGB LED strip arrives, along with the transitors and power supply so I can start playing with a real-life demostration.

Also been looking at the different methods of building circuits boards for permanent use — perf board versus strip board — various soldering irons versus kryon twist wiring. And all the stuff that goes along with soldering like choosing between lead and lead-free solder, solder wicks, etc. I have a solder gun and certainly have wired bigger things but I need to be more percise for soldering electronics. While I still hunt and shoot with leaded ammunition, and l’m not concerned about lead fumes when soldering as my other electrical solder is leaded and lead portion doesn’t melt or vaporize while solder typically, I think I’m going to go lead free for future electronic projects. That’s the future, and it makes the net result less toxic where it gets disposed of in a fire eventually or properly recycled at an e-waste event. I am planning to move out to country and live off gird after all eventually. And I hear a lot of fire is involved with that kind of life. Hopefully though I will get a lot of use out of the projects I end up building and will be able to salvage components from them at the end of their lives. 
I might eventually even switch to lead-free ammunition for hunting and target practice, but that’s a whole another ball of wax because traditional ammunition is a lot cheaper, you use a lot more of it, and it’s a lot easier on your barrel. Solder in contrast is pretty small cost, as even if my electronics hobby picks up and I make a lot of solder bridges on perf board, it’s still only an occassional use. Lead poisioning of Bald Eagles and other raptors is tragic, but as species, it really isn’t a threat to them like DDT once was. Lead shot to humans might break teeth if your not careful, but I doubt you ever swallow it or get enough fragments to do any harm as an adult. I get to get out to range to do some shooting or somewhere in the back country where I have a safe backstop sometime soon. I do pick up my shotgun shells and spent brass as much as possible.

Back to electronics. I also found a local supplier of Arduino Uno cards for a good price in Newburgh on Ebay. Something like $7 each with free one or two day shipping. I should also look at EBay. I don’t have an Ebay prime account but my parents do. Once my LED driver is done, I will want future units for future projects. I calculated that the Arduino run on a 12 volt power supply consumes about a 1/4 watt an hour or 1.9 kWh a year, so it’s pretty reasonable. I expect the LED dimmer to always be powered up so to turn the lights by remote when ever I need them except when I’m out of the town for the weekend or on vacation or traveling for work. 

I was also reading about the Raspberry PI. That’s a miniature full-blown computer compared to the Ardiuno which just a fairly basic microprocessor for driving simple electronics. The Raspberry Pi can drive LEDs at different but it really over kill for that, and at $35 is much more expensive. The base model of the Raspberry Pi uses 3.5 watts, which is nothing for a minature computer on a chip board, and has wireless internet, monitor and takes USB disk port, and runs Linux including a LXDE window manager. I could see the Raspberry Pi as a home computer in an off-grid home, as a much more efficent alternative to using my laptop with a 12 volt power supply. My laptop is fairly energy efficent, but when it’s charging, it can use upwards of 90 watts which is a lot of electricity, when your trying to make every watt count on a battery powered setup. 

I don’t envision ever owning a television or home internet. My smartphone provides plenty of internet access, if I need high speed internet access like for uploading photos or video, there are always public hotspots in town that I can stop at local libraries and the alike. I had that TV tuner for a while before it stopped working, but I almost never used it except for occassionally watching the PBS Newshour. But I quit watching that, as I found it was just such a time waste. I really am not a fan of all that technology.

In four weeks on December 12 the sun will be setting at 4:21 pm, which is 10 minutes and 46 seconds earlier then tonight. The fact is the sunsets don’t get much earlier then they are now, especially on a gray and depressing days like today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain, snow, freezing fog, mist, cloudy skies and temperatures between 40 and 28 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 37 and 23 degrees. The record high of 62 degrees was set back in 1979.

Looking ahead, Election Day 2018 is in 51 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 155 weeks. That’s pretty much all you do on Tuesdays is vote. That said, I need to start adding some of the 2018 calendar and special dates to holiday.txt file that powers that automagic date count down thingy-ma-bobber. 

I think it’s time to get some sleep. Good night.

Good evening! We have made it through the Monday work day. One day down. Mostly cloudy and 36 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a north breeze at 7 mph. Listening to Punky’s Dilemma, I’m a Citizens for Boysenberry Jam fan. I’ve never had Boysenberry Jam before. I wonder what it tastes like. 

Definitely pretty dark this evening for the commute. Traffic is moving slowly but that’s pretty much the norm during rush hour. It will be less during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Probably cook up something for dinner, maybe pasta, then head down to the library for a while. 

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 29 degrees at 6am. Three degrees below normal. North wind around 6 mph. In 2016, we had clear skies. It got down to 25 degrees. The record low of 12 occurred back in 1996.

Tonight will have a Waning Crescent Moon with 17% illuminated. The moon will rise at 2:38 am. The New Moon is on Friday night with a chance of rain/snow. The Cold Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd. The sun will rise at 6:45 am with the first light at 6:15 am, which is one minute and 15 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 12 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 12 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, with a high of 40 degrees at 1pm. Eight degrees below normal. North wind around 6 mph. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies, clearing in the afternoon. The high last year was 58 degrees. The record high of 70 was set in 1973. 14.4 inches of snow fell back in 1972. I bet that was pretty awesome. I’m not ready for road salt season yet, already saw a pickup truck covered with it when I was out waiting for the bus. 

Not a particularly nice weekend on tap. Saturday, rain and snow showers likely, becoming all rain after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 46. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Sunday, a chance of rain and snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 42. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Typical average high for the weekend is 47 degrees.

Maybe a will take off Friday. It certainly looks like I could from the coverage calendar, and the weather looks nice. The weekend forecast right now kinda sucks. Maybe it will improve. I probably made a mistake in staying home this past weekend. 

On Saturday I dropped off my blazers for dry cleaning, as it will be legislative session time before you know it and I’ve heard that there may be a special session or at least conference before the end of the year. My attitude is just get through all of that crap and bring summer back once again. 

In four weeks on December 11 the sun will be setting at 4:22 pm, which is 11 minutes and 49 seconds earlier then tonight. Not that much of a difference and by that point each night the sun will be starting to set a little later each night. In 2016 on that day, we had snow, mist, cloudy skies and temperatures between 31 and 13 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 37 and 23 degrees. The record high of 61 degrees was set back in 1952.

Looking ahead, Christmas is in 6 weeks, January 1, 2018 is in 7 weeks and 35th Birthday is in 11 weeks.

A dark and cloudy morning, with the mercury around the freezing point at least of water. It was remarkable how thick the ice was on the quiet sections of the Vlomans Kill. It’s been a cold November after a pretty warm October. It’s supposed to warm up by the end of the week so don’t be counting on an early hard water season. Maybe some clearing late, probably after dark, maybe we will reach forty in the city by midday. 

The sun will set at 4:34 pm with dusk around 5:04 pm, which is 57 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 38 degrees. There will be a north breeze at 7 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 48 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 12 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 27 degrees at 5am. Five degrees below normal. North wind around 7 mph. In 2016, we had clear skies. It got down to 25 degrees. The record low of 12 occurred back in 1996.

In an effort to get enough sleep and not feel drowsy in the morning, I took a sleeping pill but evidently not as early as I should, so I was pretty drowsy by the time I woke up. The gray skies didn’t help. I guess I’m better rested then I would have otherwise been. I should use the red light more. Hopefully I will get the concept version of led driver I’m building working by the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

I may hold off on getting an SSD drive for my laptop a bit longer. I was thinking of getting one during the Black Friday sales on the internet to speed my laptop and make more room with all the videos I’ve been cutting for the blog. But it’s another expense for something I don’t really need. Maybe if I can find a 512 GB one for closer to $100 then $200. After all, I was good this year and I didn’t but myself anymore firearms. That said, I need a smaller soldering iron, electronics solder, solder wick, cases and perf board for permanently wiring up my Arduino projects. And more electronic components. That stuff ain’t expensive but it ain’t free either. 

I am still thinking about taking off Thursday and maybe Friday off for a road trip. It all depends on the forecast and if I can get those days off. A lot of people are taking time off around the holidays. 

Looking ahead, there are 6 weeks until Christmas when the sun will be setting at 4:27 pm with dusk at 4:59 pm. On that day in 2016, we had drizzle, mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 43 and 21 degrees. It was fun camping on Irish Hill that day. Typically, the high temperature is 33 degrees. We hit a record high of 66 back in 1889, although I think 2015 also was pretty warm.

Good morning! Monday’s come back around again. Next weekend is Thanksgiving week. Six weeks to Christmas. Cloudy and 30 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a north breeze at 5 mph. The skies will clear around 9 pm.

Today will have a slight chance of rain and snow before 11am, then a slight chance of rain between 11am and noon. Cloudy, with a high of 39 degrees at 1pm. 10 degrees below normal. North wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies, clearing in the afternoon. The high last year was 58 degrees. The record high of 69 was set in 1964. 6 inches of snow fell back in 1886.

Kind of a cold and gray day but no rain or snow has fallen yet and it may not happen because the air is too dry. Have a great day and have fun watching those conservatives blasting and burning their Kuerig machines on the YouTube. 

Good evening! It looks like our long Veterans Day Weekend has drawn to a close. Mostly cloudy and 30 degrees in Delmar, NY. Calm wind.The skies will clear Tuesday around 4 pm. It was a cold weekend and I stayed in town but today was quite pleasant out for a walk in the woods. 

Tonight will have a slight chance of snow showers after 3am. Cloudy, with a low of 27 degrees at 6am.Five degrees below normal. Calm wind.  Still warmer than last night. Do keep an eye for slick spots on the road if you go out late tonight. Chance of precipitation is 20%. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 31 degrees. The record low of 13 occurred back in 1981.

Tonight will have a Waning Crescent Moon with 26% illuminated. The moon will rise at 1:34 am. The New Moon is on Friday night with a chance of showers then chance of rain/snow. The Cold Moon is in 3 weeks. The sun will rise at 6:44 am with the first light at 6:14 am, which is one minute and 15 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 10 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 14 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a chance of snow showers, possibly mixing with rain after 10am, then gradually ending. Cloudy, with a high of 40 degrees at 1pm. Another chilly November day. Eight degrees below normal. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies. The high last year was 58 degrees. The record high of 69 was set in 1964. 6 inches of snow fell back in 1886.

The long range doesn’t look that great for next weekend. Major bummer! Next Saturday, a chance of rain and snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 48. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Next Sunday, a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Typical average high for the weekend is 47 degrees.

I guess I will wait and see if I should take off a long weekend. I’m not really sure at this point but it may be my best chance to get away before the winter sets in. I can live with cloudy skies as long as it’s not too cold and it’s not a misty wet rain. I’d love to get out of town, especially after the southern zone for deer opens up and the northern zone is quiet. Might even bring my kayak and do some paddling at St. Regis Canoe Area as I’m sure u would be all alone up there except maybe for some other hunters. 

In four weeks on December 10 the sun will be setting at 4:22 pm, which is 12 minutes and 53 seconds earlier then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 29 and 16 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 38 and 23 degrees. The record high of 64 degrees was set back in 1966.

Looking ahead, the Cold Moon is in 3 weeks, Christmas Eve is in six weeks  and New Years Eve is in 7 weeks.

Autumn really has its finest colors not when the leaves are still on the trees but in November when the sun angle is low, the skies are blue and crisp. The fading greens of the farm fields below, the smell of wood smoke and pungent manure on the farm fields. 

Out walking today at Five Rivers, that November sun, while plentiful is quite harsh and weak. It’s by no means a summer sun, which is nine weeks in the rear view mirror, replaced with the cold and chill of the winter months. The squirrels were out and about at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center but no deer were to be seen. A lot of ice on calm parts of the Vlomans Kill.

November reminds me there is definitely still a lot of harsh, bleak winter weather ahead. I am still telling myself I will leave New York eventually for a warmer, more pleasant climate, but I am still here, living on table scrapes of the metropolitan region. It isn’t that bad, but it’s still New York with it’s awful winters. I guess it doesn’t really matter. I can wash the salt off my truck, take the bus to work on those snowy days.

I can’t be too down on the weather. Winter is just part of the four seasons. It will warm up once again, and autumn is great for hunting season and those long winters evening in the woods. Hopefully the snow will hold off for a while. If I plan right, and get set up plenty before dark, winter camping can be a whole lot of fun.

Few things annoy me more than the tacky poly vinyl chloride covered plywood McMansions located on Orchard Avenue as you drive out to Five Rivers Environmental Education Center on the outskirts of Delmar and Albany which are eating away at the farm land and woodlands on the outskirts of town.

Some of those houses are for the rich but many are just upper middle class. Many have 1kW of solar panels on their roof (even if they use 20 times their output in a day), pantries stocked with organic food and frying pans made out of certified recycled steel. Many of those people would be horrified to shop at Walmart, although their bit trash can is always full despite ever so carefully washing out their milk bottles and tin cans.

I am quite fine with these people paying more in taxes. They complain about the high cost of tuition at private schools, maintaining their SUVs, the cost of groceries and utilities. But they have a lot more than a lot of us, I think they should pay their fair share. I’m fine with them taking away their fancy house’s mortgage deductions and SALT deduction. If you can afford to live so high on the hog then you should pay more.

Good morning! Happy Sunday. Three weeks to December’s Cold Moon. Mostly sunny and 27 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph. Kind of a cold day, although this morning has warmed up quite quickly. 

I do kind of regret not heading up to Vermont yesterday, but honestly it would have been a fairly cold and long night.  But so be it — there are still plenty of opporunities to get camping in the future — possibly as soon as next weekend.

Today will be partly sunny, with a high of 39 degrees at 1pm. 10 degrees below normal. South wind 5 to 7 mph. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies. The high last year was 45 degrees. The record high of 68 was set in 1909. 7.3 inches of snow fell back in 1968.

The sun will set at 4:34 pm with dusk around 5:05 pm, which is 59 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 38 degrees. There will be a south-southeast breeze at 5 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 50 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 14 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 25 degrees at 6am. Seven degrees below normal. Calm wind. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 31 degrees. The record low of 13 occurred back in 1981.

Yesterday, I finally got my hair cut. Barber kind of messed up but I fixed it well enough. He’s getting a bit elderly and sometimes gets distracted but he’s fun guy to get your hair cut. After visiting the barber shop yesterday, which was steamy hot then the blast of cold air stepping outside, I started feeling sick again.

I went to the grocery store then came home. I was going to head out hiking, but ended up reading this book about electricity and electronics and it started to get late before I knew it. Honestly, I wasn’t really going to go up to Vermont yesterday, and it was too late to go to Five Rivers so I decided to give Big Red a break, and just walk down to the library rather then go hiking. I wanted to return one book and get more books out about electronics so I could further my knowledge. 

Besides spending most of the evening laying on the bed reading through several books on electronics, I hooked up the Arduino to the infrared sensor that came with the kit, and used to the universal remote I had bought to use with my HDTV tunner (that never worked with the tunner), and played with capturing various signals from the remote through the serial port and the Arduino IDE. I am thinking rather then have a physical switch on the LED driver I am building, I should just use a remote control to go between modes. It would be cool to make the volume button raise or lower the lights in the room. Maybe hit something like “1” on the remote to set reading lights, “2” to set a dimming red light for going to bed, “3” to setting a dimming red light that becomes light red to orange to yellow to white-bluish color eight hours later in the morning.

So many of the books you get out from the library on the Arduino are for projects that are pointless, or are aimed towards little children. But I honestly are primarily interested in building LED drivers that provide high-efficency lighting that can be precisely controlled. Once I get the one working well enough upstairs, I may build ones for other rooms, or even possibly build one for my truck. The Arduino microcontroller is easy to program, the components are cheap, and the 5050 LED RGB chip gets you 75 lumens per watt or about 18 lumens per every 20 mA 3 VDC chip, which is roughly a quarter watt per chip at maximum brightness. Then obviously add some losses from the built in resistors, line losses, the MOSFET transistors, power supply and the Arduino, which when powered by 12 VDC will somewhere between 30-50 mA due to loses from the built-in linear regulator stepping the voltage down from 12 VDC. I’ve heard that color rendition is rather poor from many 5050 RGB LEDs, I may want to eventually incorporate some warm white RGB LEDs into my circuit to provide light with better color rendition. RGB LEDs don’t suffer from color shifts like old florescent bulbs do when driven evenly on all channels, but they make colors somewhat over saturated and are hard to tell apart, because your not producing any true color light besides Red, Blue, and Green. Human eyes mix those colors together to produce white, but the “simulated” white still doesn’t show the mixed colors like true full-spectrum light does, as produced by daylight, incadescent bulbs, or closer-to-full spectrum lighting produced by phosphorous.

I am fully aware that there a lots of Chinese LED strips and bulbs that come with remotes that are quite flexible. But I want to automate my set up further, and really understand the technology well myself. If I’m thinking about eventually living in an off-grid cabin, I should look at making every watt work as hard as possible, and build a 12 VDC lighting system that is highly efficent and flexible. Inverters are rather inefficent, I think I would to avoid using one for an off-grid cabin, although it might make sense to have one for the occassional 120 VAC tool and maybe to power a mini dorm-room style refrigerator. I doubt I would ever need a large refigerator, although I guess if I got a deer or cow wrapped I would probably want  something that size. 

There are plenty of efficent 12 VDC laptop chargers like the one I have in my truck that uses a boost converter to produce 19 VDC out there from 12 VDC, and my LCD monitor I currently use is 12 VDC — but if I needed another voltage — there are plenty of Chinese boost and buck converters you can find online — to produce whatever voltage you need. If you understand electronics, there isn’t much what you can’t build pretty easily out of Chinese parts that you can order off of Ebay or Amazon. 

It’s such a nice day, I should take a shower and head out to Five Rivers for a walk. Then maybe to Walmart to get some supplies for the week, and then maybe for an afternoon hike — maybe Hannacroix Preserve (?) — then out to the folks house.

Next weekend, I may take an extended weekend to head up to the North Country or the Adirondacks. I’m not really interested in the Southern Zone Deer Hunting but I will bring my .22 and my shotgun and may look at small game up north. Assuming the weather is not too cold, snowy, or rainy. Heck, maybe even get the kayak out one last time. If not, I may look at building that solar panel rack (finally) for my truck.

As previously noted, there are 3 weeks until December’s Cold Moon when the sun will be setting at 4:22 pm with dusk at 4:53 pm. On that day in 2016, we had rain, snow, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 42 and 35 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 41 degrees. We hit a record high of 63 back in 2009.

Well I better think about getting outside before this nice day fades into darkness. Have a great day!

Good morning! Happy Armistice Day! The holiday was commemorate the ending of World War I, the war to end all wars. Except it wasn’t the war to end all wars, as we had World War II then the Korean War, Vietnam, ans several wars thereafter. 

Idealism shattered like a infant burning in napalm, the Republican Congress renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to commerate those who have served in the many foolish conflicts the United States has found themselves dragged into by their elected political leaders. I guess because the United States is rich and powerful we have to be the world’s policeman and stop evil doers the world over, but I have to ask, do we need to be involved in so many conflicts, leaving so many dead and broken individuals both of American and other enthicities? Is it too little to ask for peace, and to focus on the problems that are facing our country back here at home? There are a lot of folks struggling in the hills and hollows, quality healthcare remains unafforable and we still have a climate crisis to face — money that is too often being burnt up as bombs, ammunition, and caring for those who return. Serving our nation is a noable cause. I thank our nation’s veterans and I pray for peace. I’ve said this many times, as have millions of Americans, but it seems like at times no one in Washington is listening.

Cold but sunny this morning. Partly sunny and 20 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a northwest breeze at 6 mph. 61 degrees inside and I’m considering going out hiking and camping tonight, but the evening might sure be cold. I worry a bit about ice and snow tonight, not to mention difficulties getting started in the morning with the mercury around 10 degrees or lower in the mountains. It might also be cold by the fire, even with the heater and again in the morning. 

Today, Veterans Day will be sunny, with a high of 33 degrees at 1pm. 16 degrees below normal. North wind 3 to 8 mph.  Pretty bitterly cold for mid-November but not as windy as yesterday. After walking back from the library yesterday, I decided to retire to my bedroom and work on maps it was so cold. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. The high last year was 54 degrees. The record high of 70 was set in 2002. 3 inches of snow fell back in 1906.

The sun will set at 4:35 pm with dusk around 5:05 pm, which is one minute and one second earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 31 degrees. There will be a calm wind. Today will have 9 hours and 52 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 17 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 11 degrees at 6am. 22 degrees below normal. Calm wind. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies with some clearing in the early hours of the next day. It got down to 27 degrees. The record low of 15 occurred back in 1976. It will likely be the coldest Veterans Day on record, especially this evening going into tomorrow.

This morning with the sun and minimal breeze in Delmar, it probably feels a lot warmer then the mercury would suggest, even though it’s only about 20 degrees. Just a lot of bright sun out there to make it feel warmer, especially behind a window with the greenhouse effect. Or in a heated room. My bedroom doesn’t have any south facing windows, so it seems remarkably dark out there, because of the sun angle at this time of year in November.

Assuming the barber shop is open on Veterans Day, which it may not be, I plan to get a hair cut. That’s my major thing to do today. I also want to stop by the library and upload the 15 or so maps I made up. I am back to making New York State DEC land maps, mostly of state forests, becauses that’s where I have best and most refined GIS data for. I also need to go grocery shopping, whether or not I stay home or go hiking then camping.

I looked at several places to go hiking today in Southern Vermont. I don’t want to go much farther then that. If I go hiking this moring into the afternoon, I would probably camp after that, but it sure it going to be quite cold for this time of year. Sure I’ve camped in colder weather, but I don’t really like to do it that much, in part because I worry about getting started in the morning, after opening and closing the doors. 

I can idle the truck in the evening to bring the battery voltage up, but honestly it doesn’t charge that well at idle. The battery is fine, and I’ve never had problems since I replaced it and no longer use it for listening to the radio with the engine off, but still I am not that much of a fan of camping when it’s this cold. Of course I say that and I will go camping in the Adirondacks in mid-January when things are much colder. I also worry about ice and snow, even though if I were to go to Vermont I probably wouldn’t camp that far from all-year maintained roads. 

I also don’t want to spend the money on beer, food, gasoline and other camping supplies today if I can avoid it. I’ve had a lot of expenses lately, including paying down my vacation and maintance to the truck and would rather conserve money. But it is a fairly nice day, and it might turn to snow by next weekend. On the other hand, if it’s nice next weekend I might take a long weekend, and either head for a big trip up to the North Country or maybe just the Adirondacks.

I guess I probably should stay in town this weekend. It’s a lot of work to pack and unpack things for just one night camping, and opening and closing the door will let a lot of heat out of my apartment. And it is pretty darn cold out there — even with the heated tent it will be cold start tomorrow. And cold by the fire even with the Big Buddy heater. I don’t like the cold as much as I once did. I really should save money, my bank account is kind of in rough shape after vacation. I could take money out of savings but I’m avoiding that. Plus heating costs with this cold weather. Winter isn’t over yet. 

I order the LED strips I will need for building my Arduino powered room lighting. I also ordered the MOSFET tranistors and a 10 amp power supply. The later is over kill — I had read that the 2,700 lumen RGB 5050 LED strips require 6 amps but that’s for both of them that come in the box. I will likely use only one. The Arduino itself only uses less then 50 milliamps. Each strip is 15 feet and has 150 5050 LEDs, each of which puts out around 18 lumen or 2,700 lumen total, which at maximum brightness is more then a 150 watt light bulb. I doubt I will drive them anywhere near maximum brightness, which is good because that will help maximize their lives.

The strips are about 15 feet each, which is much too long for my purposes. I may cut them into three 5 foot strips and mount them in parallel. LED tape can be easily cut. I will eventually use the sticky tape to mount them to the wall. If a little paint peels off when I eventually remove them, that’s fine, I’m sure the landlord will be repainting my apartment once I move out as paint has pealed in multiple locations over the past ten years. Right now I am going to use the breadboard to wire them up for testing but eventually I will use perf board and 28 gauge (control) or 20 gauge wire (power) and solder things together. I will use a hot glue gun and eventually mount everything into a small plastic box. Then hook up a button to trigger the various mode — warm white for reading, a red fading mode for getting to sleep and a red to yellow to blue-white mode for waking int he morning. I’ve sketeched the basic code to make this work in Arduino IDE, but I have to have the actual strip to make it all work. This will be one of many projects I plan to build. The generic non-name Arduino Unos are under $5, so I can use these microcontroller boards for many projects.

Good morning! Happy Blustery Friday. Today for many people is Veterans Day holiday observed, although tomorrow is actually Veterans Day aka Armstice Day. That’s a day we hope for peace and honor those who have served in our military — and pray for an end to war. War really is a horrific thing, destroying lives and communities, it steals billions from our economy that could be better spent addressing real human needs in our community, and the climate crisis. But while the climate is being cooked by increasing levels of carbon it’s freaking cold out today.

Right now, it’s mostly cloudy and 31 degrees in Delmar, NY. I am not sure if we will be above freezing today. November sometimes sure feels like winter. I got the heat on before the big cool down yesterday, so it’s a comfortable 60 odd degrees inside. I don’t think I would want it any warmer. Outside it’s quite blustery, with a stiff breeze at 26 mph the west-northwest with gusts up to 51 mph. I saw one of the garbage can tops belowing away. I ran outside without any more then a t-shirt on to grab it. Fortunately none of the milk bottles in that bin I use for recycling didn’t blow anywhere. I may have to get the transfer station soon though, because I’m starting to run low on room at least in recycling contianer. The current wind chill is 16. It’s freaking cold out. At least I’m not so sick today as I’ve been the past few days with a horrific sinus infection.

Partly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, and we are at today’s high of 31 degrees. Only going to get colder as the day progresses. 19 degrees below normal. Windy, with a northwest wind 20 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. We might have some snow today. Not a big deal but it’s cold enough that the roads may have snow on them and get slick briefly. Snow squalls are around. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. The high last year was 50 degrees. Nothing like today. The record high of 72 was set in 1931. 3.2 inches of snow fell back in 1987.

The sun will set at 4:36 pm with dusk around 5:06 pm, which is one minute and 2 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 27 degrees. The wind chill around sunset will be 14. Yuck. Breezy, 20 mph breeze from the northwest with gusts up to 33mph. Today will have 9 hours and 55 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 17 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be clear, with a low of 11 degrees at 6am. 22 degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around 8 at 6pm; Northwest wind 9 to 15 mph. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies with more clouds in the early hours of the next day. It got down to 35 degrees. The record low of 15 occurred back in 1956. I think it’s safe to say we will break that 1956 record with that arctic cold blasting in this morning.

Finally feeling better. I was so sick on Wednesday night from a sinus infection. I don’t know how I made it through Wednesday at work, but somehow I did. I closed my eyes on the bus ride home on Wednesday night, and set an alarm so I would be awake by my stop. For a while on Wednesday I literally felt like I was going to die. I was about a sick as one could get. Then I slept for 12 hours, and pulled myself out of bed for Thursday mainly because I wanted to get my truck fixed. The Sudafed made Thursday barable at work, but several people at work noticed I was pretty sick. But I think it was just mildew in my nose passage, not something I was likely to spread to others. By Thursday evening I was feeling better, maybe in part because the fix to my truck was only $90. That noise was really bothering me, and stressing me out even though it wasn’t a big fix. I’m tired of feeding Big Red $1,000 bills. 

Big Red is back from the off-road shop. It turns out that one of the shock absorber bushings had failed. It was $90 plus tax to replace the bushing. I probably could have done that myself for a quarter of the price, but I don’t do my own repairs anymore, and apparently things were corroded as fuck down there. I would probably bugger shit up trying to get the rust off, and that’s why I am not a mechanic.  But now it doesn’t ride as rough as shit over the bumps, and doesn’t make that obnoxious noise. I think it probably the best $90 I’ve ever spent, because that noise was literally driving me insane and made it pretty undrivable over washboarded roads. I actually am shocked that it passed state inspection. I guess they really don’t look that carefully.

If you hadn’t noticed by this point in the blog post, it’s very cold out today with that whipping wind and temperatures below freezing. I think the library is open until 9 PM, so I will probably walk down there to update the blog and play on the Internet. I do need to make up some more maps, but I don’t know if I neccessarily need Internet for that. I will need that though to do more West Virigina maps. I don’t know if I will do much too hiking, although I guess if it clears out I might go out to Five Rivers.  I should also think about getting a hair cut.

I am toying with the idea of going up to the Adirondacks tomorrow, but I’m afraid it might be quite cold. I would like to do some hiking though, maybe Moxham Mountain or somewhere else, but it might quite cold. If I did go up north, I would camp out over Saturday nigth with the heated tent. But I may skip that with the cold coming. But I do want to get out before there is a lot of snow up there for the winter. The La Nina pattern suggests we could have a rather snowy winter. 

I am toying with the idea of next weekend taking a long weekend and going up to the North Country. That is if it’s not too cold, and most importantly that there isn’t a major threat of lake effect snow. It’s the opening weekend of gun season inthe southern zone, but it’s open for a while up north. Probably camp up at Brasher Falls State Forest, visit the usual Massena places. There is something so charming about the rough country of the North Country. I haven’t been up there in two years, and it’s trip I like taking. Maybe take off two days next week. Although I don’t know, it might be difficult if a lot of people are taking a long week with the Thanksigving holiday.

My neighbor is gone to work today, so I’m able to listen to music using my desk speakers. I have misplaced my headphones after coming home. I think they are somewhere in Big Red. I’ll have to look around a bit. Not being able to listen to music at home except through the headphones kind of sucks being in an apartment. That’s one big advantage about camping out in the wilderness — you can listen to music and shoot guns and nobody gives a fuck. For the most part. Occassionally a ranger will stop by to confirm your not destroying state property but other then that, it’s great. Owning my own land and property would be great for that reason among many others.

I tell you on a day today, I sure wish Ihad a small cabin in the wilderness with a wood stove. It would be so cozy rather then this undersize gas heat in a somewhat drafty apartment. Wood is nice, especically if you can harvest it off your own land. Honestly, I hate all the trappings of modern living, although I definately would want some kind of 12 volt power supply from solar for LEDlighting and running my smartphone, which is what I’m typing on. Plus probably a propane instant-on heating for a hot shower. I don’t care about dumping out a shitter bucket, and I certainly wouldn’t mind not having television or Internet at home, because those last to things I’ve never had. Smartphones make it easy to live without Internet today. And they work great with a 12 volt supply, and don’t consume much power.

The other day, at work we were talking about buying homes and all that stuff. But honestly I’m quite happy with my mildew infested cheap apartment in the suburbs and taking the bus to work. Bleach keeps things under control. I hate driving in the city, especially with my big jacked up truck. It’s too difficult navigating around those little cars folks drive in the city. I would rather save my money, buy a lot of land eventually so I can shoot guns whenver and burn whatever I want. Having neighbors that don’t give a fuck as long as you leave them alone are the best. I just hate vinyl siding, marble counter tops, big houses with fancy lighting and all those trappings of suburban living, even with those plug-in hybrid cars and solar panels and big recycling bin next to their full landfill trash bin that are supposed to make you green. I’m just too much of an rough, country boy to support any of that upper middle class living. I’m quite happy for the federal government to take a swipe at those yuppies with by taking away their precious SALT exemption. 

And if you think today is cold, there are 2 months until Coldest Day of Year (Avg. 14-30 degrees) when the sun will be setting at 4:42 pm with dusk at 5:13 pm. Then again, that is pratically the weather forecast today. Hopefully we won’t have wind chills like today in January. But if we do that’s not shocking, because it’s January in Albany when it’s cold.