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We are now about two weeks out from 2018, with Easter about 16 weeks away. We still have some cooling to happen before we reach the coldest time of year, but slowly we will start digging ourselves out winter and warmer weather that is norm in spring time will once again return.

Albany, NY Temperature Normals and Records

Week Date Dawn Sun-
rise
Sun-
set
Dusk Day Avg High Avg Low Record Hi Record Low
0 Dec 12 6:45 am 7:16 am 4:22 pm 4:54 pm 9:05 37 23 62 (1979) -12 (1988)
1 Dec 19 6:49 am 7:21 am 4:24 pm 4:56 pm 9:02 35 20 54 (1895) -13 (1973)
2 Dec 26 6:52 am 7:24 am 4:28 pm 5:00 pm 9:04 33 18 59 (1895) -17 (1914)
3 Jan 2 6:53 am 7:25 am 4:34 pm 5:06 pm 9:08 31 16 61 (1890) -20 (1970)
4 Jan 9 6:53 am 7:24 am 4:41 pm 5:12 pm 9:16 30 15 62 (2008) -20 (1968)
5 Jan 16 6:50 am 7:21 am 4:49 pm 5:20 pm 9:27 30 14 62 (1995) -16 (1971)
6 Jan 23 6:46 am 7:16 am 4:58 pm 5:28 pm 9:41 31 14 64 (1906) -20 (1970)
7 Jan 30 6:40 am 7:10 am 5:07 pm 5:36 pm 9:56 31 15 56 (2013) -12 (1965)
8 Feb 6 6:33 am 7:02 am 5:16 pm 5:45 pm 10:13 33 16 55 (1991) -20 (1948)
9 Feb 13 6:24 am 6:53 am 5:25 pm 5:54 pm 10:31 34 17 58 (1900) -18 (1875)
10 Feb 20 6:15 am 6:43 am 5:34 pm 6:03 pm 10:50 36 18 66 (1930) -16 (1966)
11 Feb 27 6:04 am 6:32 am 5:43 pm 6:11 pm 11:10 38 20 61 (1997) -13 (1940)
12 Mar 6 5:53 am 6:21 am 5:51 pm 6:19 pm 11:30 40 22 63 (1974) -21 (1948)
13 Mar 13 6:41 am 7:09 am 7:00 pm 7:28 pm 11:50 43 24 70 (2012) -6 (1885)
14 Mar 20 6:28 am 6:56 am 7:08 pm 7:36 pm 12:11 46 27 78 (2012) 2 (1967)
15 Mar 27 6:16 am 6:44 am 7:16 pm 7:44 pm 12:31 49 30 78 (1998) 11 (1975)
16 Apr 3 6:04 am 6:32 am 7:24 pm 7:52 pm 12:51 53 33 79 (1981) 16 (1954)

nycmap $id

Greenville Central School District, Total State Aid

School Districts, especially districts with a small tax base in poor rural and poor parts of our state, receive a great deal of their funding through the state. This funding can be quite variable, as seen immediately after the 2009 recession when the state cut funding to schools across the state under the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). This graph shows the history of total state aid funding to my alma mater, Greenville Central School. In 2008, before the recession they received $11.3 million in total aid, which dropped to $9.5 million as the GEA cuts fully took effect during 2011. They wouldn't see their aid increased above the 2008 level until the 2016 school year, which is when the GEA was fully repealed. These numbers look at total aid, which includes building aid, which can be quite variable based on how much state aid funded construction, so this may not give a completely accurate picture of funds received.

Data Source: Projected school aid runs based on the enacted state budget for 2017-18. (As prepared by NYSUT; an excel spreadsheet.) https://www.nysut.org/news/2017/april/school-aid-runs-your-districts-funding-for-2017-18

Also, earlier today I posted a map of what percentage of local school budgets are state funded. If you missed it, you can see it here: http://andyarthur.org/google-maps-2017-18-proposed-budget-funded-by-property-tax.html

Good morning! With two weeks to Christmas Day we have a lot of snow and ice on the ground and more snow or maybe rain coming tonight into Tuesday. Mostly cloudy to the north and clearing to the south. It looks like we are four degrees below freezing at 28 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a southwest breeze at 7 mph. The skies will clear around 11 am.

While I did not walk down to the express bus, I did catch the earlier  local bus. I have quite a bit of work to catch up on today. I still feel a bit sick but I think I will have enough energy to make it through the day and if I work hard, hopefully I can get home at a reasonable hour. This isn’t a terrible winter morning at any rate and the hazelnut coffee and egg nog I bought yesterday is a nice treat. Made up scrambled eggs for a little extra punch but I tell you those grocery store large eggs are tiny. I joked on Facebook, the grocery store eggs are tinier then President Trump’s hands. I miss the fresh eggs I get from my parents, but the chickens don’t lay that much in the winter. All and all it was a pretty good breakfast.

Today will be partly sunny, with a high of 33 degrees at 12pm. Four degrees below normal. Should melt some more of the snow and ice.  Southwest wind 6 to 9 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. The high last year was 31 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1952. 4.3 inches of snow fell back in 1970.

The sun will set at 4:22 pm with dusk around 4:54 pm, which is 7 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 32 degrees. There will be a northwest breeze at 6 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 6 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 42 seconds over yesterday. Daylight is growing shorter for at least a few more weeks until we get down to around nine hours and three minutes. But in the meantime, sunsets are already starting to get slightly later.

Tonight will snow likely, mainly after 4am. Cloudy, with a low of 24 degrees at 8pm. One degree above normal. Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 8 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. In 2016, we had light snow in the evening, which became snow and freezing fog by the early hours of the morning. It got down to 28 degrees. The record low of -12 occurred back in 1988.

Continuing to study Walmart online ordering option for buying jeans as local store never has my size in the color and type that I like, and when they have them they only have one pair. I just need to buy $35 to get free two day shipping. What I need to do is figure out what other supplies I need. Honestly if I could plan things out better I probably could save money by shopping union at Shoprite for groceries and then buying other supplies online using the two day shipping. That said when you buy stuff online, it often comes in extra packaging which is a pain when you don’t have trash pickup where you live and have to haul it to the transfer station or use it start campfires in the wilderness. And you can’t buy ammunition anymore online in New York because of some bullshit law. See you knew I was going to get in my dig against New York State somewhere in this post. Hah!

Honestly, while yesterday with my cold still in it’s grips of my throat and nose, I was pretty down on the snow, now I’m much more accepting. I mean I think it will fun to do some skiing and snow camping. While it is a lot of work to dig out a parking spot and haul the gear back, snow camping can be remarkably fun, even if the nights are a long. Snow is remarkably insulating, even if it cold. With the heated tent and roaring fire, it can be a lot fun.

As previously noted, there are 2 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. Typically, the high temperature is 33 degrees. We hit a record high of 66 back in 1889.

Good afternoon! Snow showers and 33 degrees in Delmar, NY. Light easterly breeze. The skies will clear Monday around 2 pm. First snow showers of the year.

For the first time since Monday night I am back down to the library where I can post things and upload new content to the blog. I’ve been so sick during the second half of this week with the cold, but finally on Saturday the cold is receding and I’m starting to actually feel half decent. In other words, half great. Which is decidedly different from being healthy. It’s just a cold but it’s not disappearing as quickly as I would have hoped. I think by the time I have to back to work I will be feeling better. But it’s going to be mad cold next week.

This afternoon will have snow showers, especially after 5pm. Cloudy, with a high of 33 degrees at 2pm. Four degrees below normal. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies with more clouds in the afternoon. The high last year was 33 degrees. The record high of 62 was set in 1966. 7.3 inches of snow fell back in 2009. Just a dusting today, nothing like that day almost a decade ago now.

The sun will set at 4:22 pm with dusk around 4:53 pm, which is 2 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for cloudy conditions and 31 degrees. There will be a calm wind. Today will have 9 hours and 7 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 51 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will snow likely, mainly before 9pm. Cloudy, with a low of 24 degrees at 5am. One degree above normal. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. In 2016, we had partly cloudy skies. It got down to 16 degrees. The record low of -4 occurred back in 1902.

I hope the snow holds off, because I have absolutely no groceries at home. I am out of milk, eggs, cheese, and I ate the last can of soup I had at home. The freezer is mostly empty, with even the frozen meals I had stored for months being gone. All that’s really left is some ice. I don’t even have coffee. I decided to not grocery shopping after camping, and most of the week I’ve been too sick to get out shopping. I guess I can always get milk at Stewarts and just get creative with dinner. I do have some canned vegetables, stuffing, and what looks like to be a five year old pork chop in the freezer. Maybe that would be good, so I can use that stuff up.

It is totally my fault that I got so sick, as I probably should have not gone into work for the first half of the week, and given myself a little time to recover before I got so sick. I didn’t feel all that great on Monday or Tuesday, but then again I hardly ever feel that great on Monday, and some congestion isn’t not uncommon for me going inside a warm building after camping all weekend in the cold. sitting next to a campfire, breathing in all that smoke. I can’t call into work every day I feel the least bit marginal in the morning.

For Sunday, a chance of snow between 7am and 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. West wind 6 to 11 mph increasing to 12 to 17 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow. It looks like it will be frigid with the expected wind chill. The mercury won’t be that cold at 36 but look at those winds. I want to keep working on the solar panel, but not climbing up on the roof my truck when the wind is whipping around. I’d also like to go for a hike, but even bundled up, while recovering from a cold, that probably isn’t recommended.

Looking ahead, there are 8 weeks until The Day the Music Died when the sun will be setting at 5:12 pm with dusk at 5:41 pm. Bye, Bye, Ms. American Pie. On that day in 2017, we had cloudy skies and temperatures between 30 and 19 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 32 degrees. We hit a record high of 57 back in 2016.

Good morning! What day is it? Hump Day, of course. Four weeks to State of the State Day. Partly sunny and 38 degrees in Delmar. There is a west breeze at 10 mph. I think its a pretty pleasant morning, although I still feel slightly under the weather. I guess it’s a winter thing.

Today will be sunny, with a high of 42 degrees at 1pm. Three degrees above normal. West wind 8 to 10 mph. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies with more clouds in the afternoon. The high last year was 44 degrees. The record high of 68 was set in 2001. 12.5 inches of snow fell back in 2003.

The sun will set at 4:22 pm with dusk around 4:53 pm, which is 6 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 41 degrees. There will be a west-southwest breeze at 8 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 10 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 3 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 30 degrees at 6am. Five degrees above normal. Southwest wind 6 to 8 mph. In 2016, we had cloudy skies. It got down to 32 degrees. The record low of -7 occurred back in 1901.

Wearing a suit and tie, or as former really awful Syracuse Assemblyman once called it, a politician suit. I just use a dark navy blazer with a matching pants. Comfort is as important to me as looking nice. I don’t care that much if it pays the bills and helps my savings and investment accounts grow. I actually don’t have worry as much about grabbing a pair of stained or ripped jeans when I wear my suit.

Finally got the solder clamp and soldering supplies. I kind of made a mess of the first few joints. I’ve never had a lot of practice soldering small electronics components and that lead free solder is definitely a bit tricky to get to the flow right. It either is a bit too hot or too not flowing at all. I just got to play with it some more. I have solder wick but I think I may want to get a solder sucker to better clean up the solder that has overflowed in parts.

Looking ahead, there are 4 weeks until State of the State Day when the sun will be setting at 4:35 pm with dusk at 5:06 pm. On that day in 2017, we had rain, drizzle, freezing drizzle, mist, cloudy skies and temperatures between 37 and 31 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 31 degrees. We hit a record high of 61 back in 1913.

Good morning! Happy Tuesday. Cloudy and 46 degrees in Delmar. Light breeze. No rain yet, but it’s expected later on today. Despite the rain, it should be quite mild with 54 degrees later on. I made sure to bring my rain coat.

Feeling a bit congested this morning, as I did yesterday, but this seems like lately it’s more of an early week thing then anything else. Usually I recover relatively quickly. Maybe I just don’t like Mondays or Tuesday. Not really coughing, but I have an itch in my throat. It’s been a problem all late November into December. I can wait until winter is over and summer returns, and I can open the windows up for fresh air.

The sun will set at 4:22 pm with dusk around 4:53 pm, which is 8 seconds earlier than yesterday. It won’t be long before the sunset start getting later. At sunset, look for rain and 54 degrees. The dew point will be 48 degrees. Breezy, 18 mph breeze from the south with gusts up to 29mph. Forget about that umbrella. Today will have 9 hours and 11 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 6 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will rain before midnight, then showers likely, mainly between midnight and 3am. Low of 40 degrees at 6am. 15 degrees above normal. South wind 13 to 16 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. In 2016, we had light rain in the evening, remaining overcast into the early morning. It got down to 28 degrees. The record low of -5 occurred back in 1901.

This weekend looks pretty nice but seasonably cold. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 37. Sunday, partly sunny, with a high near 34. Typical average high for the weekend is 38 degrees. We might want to watch the wind though, as that could make it feel cold, not to mention the risk of lake effect snow showers blowing west to Albany.

Regardless, I will probably stay in town, because I’ve been out camping this past two weeks and I need to save some money. I also want to work on some electronics projects I’m building and maybe get the aluminum bar drilled and mounted on the truck for the solar panel. It would be nice if I could get the solar panel finished this weekend, but that will depend on a number of factors. I might go out hiking during the weekend but will probably avoid heading out small game hunting until after regular deer closes next Sunday.

Last night, the Route 719 CDTA conked out on Interstate 787 near Exit 2 and the oil trains. Low air pressure it seemed like based on all the beeps that were chiming, but also the driver said there was a diesel or maybe motor oil leak in the back. Lots of lights were flashing on the dash board. Fortunately the driver was able to get us to the shoulder. He went back to see if he could dump the air tanks, and noticed the leak. He called in another bus which got us home. Bus eventually stalled out on the shoulder, and the lights dimmed without the alternator turning, until the driver killed the headlights. They got us a replacement bus within 15 minutes so it wasn’t more then a minor annoyance, but you have to wonder why this happens so frequently.

Granted, this is the first time a bus has broken down in 2017 when I’ve been on it. The new buses, being newer, are just a lot more reliable. It used to be in the bad old days that the buses broke down a lot more on the expressway. Honestly, I’ve only once had problems with a local bus breaking down, but on the expressway they seem to have a lot of problems with the air brakes acting up, especially after dropping the hammer to merge onto the expressway. I think the governor on the air brakes compressor sometimes get stuck after hard acceleration, which is different from the stop and go the buses do all day in the city.

Looking ahead, there are 7 weeks until National Pie Day when the sun will be setting at 4:57 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.

December 2016 High Temperatures

Last year was a bit above average, but no exceptionally warm or cold days. Most says were in the 30s and 40s. December can sometimes be cold. Maybe not as cold as December 20, 1942 when the high for the day was only negative 8, and the low was negative 17 in Albany, but still can be pretty cold.

This week we reach the earliest sunsets of the year at 4:22 PM or there around. Generally a fairly cool and cloudy week on tap, with some rain mid-week. Tuesday looks to be the warmest day of week, quite warm by recent standards with temperatures making a run at 50. Then as we head into the weekend, there will be a bit of wind chills to keep an eye on, especially at night.

Weather Summary
Tonight. Patchy Fog and 20 degrees , 7:09 sunrise.
Monday. Patchy Fog then Partly Sunny and 40 degrees , 4:23 sunset.
Monday Night. Mostly Cloudy then Chance of Rain/Snow and 30 degrees , 7:10 sunrise.
Tuesday. Chance of Rain then Showers and 48 degrees , 4:22 sunset.
Tuesday Night. Showers then Rain/Snow and 31 degrees , 7:11 sunrise.
Wednesday. Snow then Chance of Snow Showers and 35 degrees , 4:22 sunset.
Wednesday Night. Mostly Cloudy and 21 degrees , 11 max wind chill, 7:12 sunrise.
Thursday. Partly Sunny and 31 degrees , 11 max wind chill, 4:22 sunset.
Thursday Night. Partly Cloudy and 18 degrees , 13 max wind chill, 7:13 sunrise.
Friday. Partly Sunny and 31 degrees , 13 max wind chill, 4:22 sunset.
Friday Night. Mostly Cloudy and 17 degrees , 12 max wind chill, 7:14 sunrise.
Saturday. Chance of Snow and 31 degrees , 12 max wind chill, 4:22 sunset.
Saturday Night. Chance of Snow Showers and 19 degrees , 8 max wind chill, 7:15 sunrise.

nycmap $id

Good morning! Where did November go so quickly? It seems like yesterday was October. Mostly sunny and 28 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph.

Again this morning, the bus driver stopped the big articulated bus on Elm Avenue, and let me hop on. Nice of him but I was enjoying my walk down to the express bus stop. But that’s fine, it would have been a hustle, because I’ve gotten in the habit of cutting it closer and closer to when I need to be at the Park and Ride at 8:26 PM. It would suck if I missed the bus and had to walk the mile back to Delaware Avenue.

Today will have a chance of showers, mainly after 3pm. Mostly sunny, with a high of 42 degrees at 1pm. Typical for today. South wind 6 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A year ago, we had mist in the morning, remaining cloudy in the afternoon. The high last year was 52 degrees. The record high of 67 was set in 1933. 7.1 inches of snow fell back in 1972.

The sun will set at 4:23 pm with dusk around 4:54 pm, which is 20 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 41 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 11 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 17 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 24 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have showers likely, mainly before 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 38 degrees at 5am. 11 degrees above normal. South wind 5 to 11 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. In 2016, we had light rain in the evening, remaining overcast into the early morning. It got down to 37 degrees. The record low of -5 occurred back in 1875.

I am rather surprised how fast the month of November came and went. While it wasn’t an awful month, what had to get done happened and Thanksgiving dinner was good, especially with all of the family together. Those days won’t last forever so I’m thankful for all the time I have. December will probably come and go just as quickly, especially if we get snow and my camping adventures are either slowed or remain more local. I don’t have any special plans for Christmas except maybe going out to the folks house for Christmas dinner. If it’s nice and there isn’t too much snow, I might either go out to Madison County or the Adirondacks for camping/hiking/snowshoeing. Maybe hang some Christmas lights on the trees, but then again I do that in the summer. It seems like snow has held off so far this year, but they are saying that the jet stream pattern is changing and we might get snow before you know it.

I took Friday off from work. On Friday morning I will buy the aluminum bar for mounting the solar panel and in the afternoon head up to the Adirondacks. I would prefer to go hiking on Friday but I don’t think I’ll have time before sunset. Hunting and camping Saturday, maybe do a short hike too. I don’t know yet. I have some vacation time to use before the end of the year, so I might as well use it before I lose it. Plus who wants to work a five day week if they don’t have to? January comes back and I’ll be working plenty of five day weeks and long days. Got to take the time when you can. I suspect 2018 will be a pretty busy year for me. My hope is to get the solar panel on the truck next weekend, once I get the bar put up. I want to have it topping of the battery, especially as the cold of winter comes and I leave the truck parked for six day or longer.

Friday will be a bit windy. Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph. Other then that, it definitely looks like a picture perfect weekend on tap. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 42. Calm wind. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Typical average high for the weekend is 41 degrees. You rarely get weekends that nice in December. Sure it could be warmer, but that quite rare, even with the warming climate.

I have gotten most of the supplies together to build permanent circuit boards with perf board and solder. While I don’t think I will have time this weekend, but eventually I will assemble my LED lamp fixture. I have 20 perf boards, plus two unused Arduino boards for projects. I was looking on eBay the other day, and found I could order Arduino Mini Pro for about $1.30 a piece from China. You have to use a separate board to flash the memory with the Mini Pro, but the big benefit besides cost is the Mini Pro is very small and can mounted directly to the perf board. I am still deciding on my next project, maybe a countdown timer or a GPS logger. Some of the air pollution sensors are interesting too. For more advanced projects, I could start building stuff with a Raspberry Pi, but for most of my needs I just need a basic, inexpensive, energy efficient microprocessor rather then a full mini-computer.

Whatever you may think of Trump, it’s definitely been a good year in the market. They’ve been up 17.6% since last year, if you look at just the S&P 500. Many of my low cost index funds have done pretty good this past year. Okay, I would be a lot richer if I invested in Bitcoin, but that’s so speculative, and I suspect it will give back much of the gain that we’ve seen this year. As a saver, my general impression is that the Trump tax cut will actually save me a fair amount of money. I don’t itemize or take special deductions, so I will benefited greatly by the larger standard deduction. As a renter, I don’t pay property tax and don’t benefit from the mortgage deduction. Someday, I might benefit from those things, but I would prefer to buy land with cash and live in a low property tax state where I can own whatever guns I want without registration and do what I want with my land. I wish people would save more and consume less. I’m quite happy with not having Internet or television at home, and with my $50 smartphone and the basic Walmart/StraightTalk phone plan.

Sure I don’t like how the GOP tax cut gives the wealthy a big break, which all the evidence suggests has been priced into the market. I actually decided to buy a FDIC-insured certificate deposit, rather then invest more in the markets, but I think we are close to the high for the next few years, and I’d rather use of that money to buy index funds in a year from now, when the market is lower. I was on the fence though, because the CD doesn’t pay all that much more then my regular account. But it locks up the money so I won’t be able to spend it for a year. I have a lot of market exposure, and I’m just not sure if the market can grow much more. Of course, people who said that a year ago, are 15% less wealthy then would be at this point. I am very concerned that GOP tax cut will push up interest rates and inflation, and possibly cause a recession at the same time.

I think people are underestimating the risk of stagflation, with quantitative easing being hard to unwind. All it takes is a major energy crisis, and we are in serious trouble or more like deeper shit then a hog farm. People say the United States is energy independent, but that’s mostly a lie as world energy markets are deeply connected, and serious problems like an OPEC Energy embargo or even just a Middle Eastern Civil War could greatly inflate the price of oil and put the markets into severe shock, especially as we’ve moved away from conservation in recent years. Inflation and poor economy are possible, even if they are unusual. True, inflation isn’t like the late 1960s, but we’re spending so much money in both in the public and private sector on credit, that we could suddenly push up inflation and interest rates by surprise.

In four weeks on December 28 the sun will be setting at 4:30 pm, which is 6 minutes and 52 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had snow, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 38 and 29 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 32 and 17 degrees. The record high of 61 degrees was set back in 1982.