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.