Green Church Options

March 14, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Environment, Religion 

The report of the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church “Green Team” to the Buildings and Grounds committee is complete.

We suggested several possibilities for inclusion in the upcoming Capital Campaign.  I say “suggested” rather than “endorsed” because timing prevented the Green Team from meeting and voting on the options.

The proposals are:

  1. Installation of Solar Panels – likely on the Fellowship Center – this is a big dollar project
  2. Switching from fuel oil to biodiesel for heating the church and manse – we concluded that the distribution network isn’t there today but should be soon.  This would cost more, but be cleaner.
  3. Replacing electrical lighting fixtures and incandescent light bulbs with lower energy alternatives (newer long tube ballasts, compact fluorescent bulbs)
  4. Insulating the roof of the Fellowship Center to increase R-value
  5. Lowering thermostats and placing framed instructions on temporarily turning them up in all locations – our new programmable thermostats automatically go back to the programmed setting after 2 hours.  This would involve setting them lower most of the time and turning them up only when a meeting is held in a particular room.
  6. Installing ceiling fans in the Fellowship Center (essentially a big high-ceiling multi-purpose room with basketball hoops)
  7. Installing storm windows in the Meetinghouse (sanctuary) – our historically accurate building does not have them.
  8. Power Vents for Fellowship Center (to pull hot air out of the room in the summer)
  9. Weatherstripping/caulking all buildings

As you can see, most of the recommendations are non-controversial but cost a fair amount of money when done all at once.

The focus of the Green Team should now shift to preparing advocacy and educational presentations for Earth Day (April 22).  We have the “Adult Forum” slot that day after worship.  The youth are leading worship that day, and we may have the environment be the subject of the “Adult Message” that replaces the “Children’s Message” (where the kids all come down front and get a special lesson) on that day.

A quick life update

September 23, 2004 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Flying, Life 

I haven’t blogged for a while, so here’s a quick life update.

Flying – I am still at it. I am probably within a month of getting my pilot license – maybe less if the weather cooperates. I have to do another lesson or two to prepare for the test. After that I have to take a “mock” checkride with another instructor from the club. After that – the big day. I already know who the examiner will be – he’s a pilot for Continental so I’ll probably need to take a vacation day for that as his schedule can be wacky.

Solar Panels – still cooking. With the cooler temparatures and sunny days this week, we are pumping (selling) lots of power back into the grid. Be sure to go to Smith Electric Company for pictures and stories of the installation. I’ll update that blog as soon as I have news.

Hockey – Hockey is almost here again. The NHL is on strike, but my Trenton Titans (ECHL) are still playing. I’ll be attending a game on October 11 between the Titans and their AHL affiliates the Philadelphia Phantoms. Since I’m such a good husband, I give my wife an opera or two every year to offset the 30 or so hockey games that she goes to. Unfortunately for me, the local company is performing their fall presentation on October 22, the same night as the Titans’ opening game. I’ll have another two weeks to wait for the next home game!

My Wife’s Job – She’s settling in. She still has to finish out her old Black Belt work, and she has one new person frustrating her on two projects. However, she’s coming home a little less frazzled every day. I think that’s a good sign. She’s been on vacation without me all week – tomorrow I’ll be home too.

Cats – they’re fine. They’ve enjoyed having my wife home all day this week. They are starting to get snuggly again now that the temparatures are beginning to drop. Still shedding a lot, though.

That’s the roundup!

Jury Duty

June 24, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life 

My wife has jury duty this week. In our county, the petit jury service time is one week or one trial. On Monday, she was excused by juror number on the court answering machine message.

On Tuesday, she was selected for a specific trial’s selection. This is a nasty case – one drug dealer was shot and killed by the defendants – two other drug dealers. On Tuesday, she didn’t make it into the box, but she reported that the defense was rejecting well-educated jurors.

On Wednesday she got the day off as she was assigned to the trial, but no proceedings were taking place.

Today, she went back. This time, she actually made it to the box but was then asked about her background. For education she listed 2 Bachelor’s degrees (engineering and economics), her Professional Engineering license, and her Project Management Professional certification. Then they asked about her hobbies. She included “photovoltaics”. (Don’t forget our home solar system.)

She was excused very quickly.

She got to leave for the day, as no other trials were choosing a jury. She’s probably excused tomorrow as well – there are no other trials in progress.

So, she managed to avoid service on a particular nasty trial. No lying involved – just the truth from an eclectic woman (who I’m happy to be married to, by the way).

A Few Updates

June 16, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Admin 

It’s been a little quiet here. There are a few reasons.

1. My boss has assigned me a hot project, that is going to require a lot of thinking and take up my daytime.
2. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends a bit. Every weekend for the past few weeks I’ve had either work (data conversion on Sunday – a career hazard) or family on one of the two days. The other day, I’ve been doing my flying lessons and trying to get the chores (cut the lawn, pay the bills, etc) done. No rest time.

A few updates on milestones:

1. I’ve done my first 2 cross-country trips for my flight training – both to Cape May. I have a longer one to do, then the dual long cross country, plus my solo cross countries. This is going well.
2. The solar panels on the roof are complete and fully in use! See my other blog at Smith Electric Company for more info.

I’ll post more when I have something important to say, or I’m not in such a time-crunch.

Solar Power Today!

May 18, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

The last pieces of our solar electric system for our house are being were installed today. In about 2 hours, I should be I am now producing my own electricity!

See my project blog Smith Electric Company for more info and pictures!

Solar Energy; Out of Office

May 7, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Admin 

All but one of the solar panels have been installed on our house. The remaining work on the outside will be completed on Monday – we expect the electrical work to be completed May 18 or some day that week. See the project site at Smith Electric Company.

I will be attending a training class in Philadelphia next week, so postings here will be few and far between.

Solar Installation in Progress

May 3, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

The installation of solar panels on my roof has started. Physical installation will take most of the week. Electrical installation will be done the week of May 17, when the electrician is back from vacation. (The delay was caused by permit issuance delays in my township.)

Pictures and updates will be found at my project blog: Smith Electric Company

I’ll be updating all week and as the project continues.


April 16, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

I’m on vacation next week, so this blog will probably be a bit light on new information.

Here’s my “to do” list:

1. If the permits come in early enough, the solar panels for the house will be installed. Not likely.
2. Sleep. Get over the cold that I have now.
3. Update my resume – work is just too weird right now with impending reorganization. I need to have it ready to go in case I need it.
4. Weather permitting, empty and hose out the garage floor. Too much mud on the floor from this past winter.
5. After cutting the lawn once, take the lawnmower for it’s delayed annual service (should have done this in February).
6. Relax. Read. Watch TV. Rent a movie.
7. Go through my sock drawer and pitch the really old and unusuable ones.
8. Clean up my home office (this is REALLY bottom of the list).

Today’s Accomplishments

April 9, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

Once in a while, you have to pat yourself on the back for the little things.

1. Spoke to solar panel installer about revised schedule (more info at Smith Electric Company). Re-arranged vacation schedule at work on short notice.
2. Located 14-year-old bug in the billing system that just showed up this month. This was a tricky one.
3. Managed not to annoy wife who got to stay home today when I got up and dressed this morning.
4. Pet cats. Cats happy to see me.
5. Offered advice to another IT group on a joint project.

All in all, a quiet day. Any day without discord is a gift.

Solar Energy Blog Updated

March 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

My blog about the installation of solar panels on our house has been updated. Go take a look!