5 Mile Hike

Saturday MJ & I went on a 5 mile hike through Thompson Park with the Boy Scout troop. We had a total of 5 scouts, including MJ, join the hike. The weather was  really good. Clear skies and temp was in the 80’s. We had the scouts use their compasses to direct us through the park. Of course we had a backtrack a few times, but they did good.

I’ve lived in Lincroft for the past 12 years. I have to say I was surprised at how large the park was. I’ve been in Thompson park a few times, but I always stayed on the paths or near the buildings. I never ventured out on the trails. I quickly realized I’ve been missing about 3/4 of the park!!

With MJ receiving his Tenderfoot badge, he is starting to work on Second Class. This hike is one for the requirements for that rank. Hopefully he’ll be able to get a few merit badges completed while at week long summer camp in July.

Weekend Campout at Cheesquake

I joined my son on a Boy Scout camp out to Cheesquake State Park. This was my son’s 2nd camp out with the troop. It was my first not only with this troop but also my first in scout camp out in 18 years. We managed to pitch camp before the rain began. I had the job of Troop quartermaster, which is to say I helped handout all the gear. If the scouts needed anything, I would get it out of the trailer.

About an hour after getting camp setup it began to rain. It rained through the entire day and night. a couple of tents got flooded. But for the most part the boys managed to keep their sleeping gear dry.
It was a lot of fun to see the kids learn the basic outdoor skills such as orienteering, pioneering, first aid and some team building skills. At night in my sleeping bag I called Cathy to say goodnight and to tell her about the wonderful memories of sleeping in a tent. Of course she told me that I was nuts.

Fortunately the rain let up about 2 hours before we had to break down camp. All in all it was a great way to spend the weekend!

New Furnance for the House

The old furnace finally gave out. I took it apart to find out the glow-bar starter had cracked. I replaced that to find out that the furnace would keep short cycling and not come up to temperature. Probing around with the multi-meter didn’t reveal the faulty sensor. The old furnace is a 23 year old Coleman and at it’s best it was 80% efficient.

We had a HVAC contractor install a high-efficiency two-stage forced hot air furnace with a 14 SEER AC unit. The furnace is rated at 92.4% efficient. I’m still amazed that the exhaust vent is a PVC pipe. The unit is so efficient that the exhaust gases are cold.

Of course we installed the unit after the winter is over. So we’ll be anxiously waiting for winter to see what the savings will be!

On another note this is the first major project in the house where I didn’t do the work! After 12 years in the house, I finally hired a contractor to come in and do the installation. I have to say it was well worth it! They were in and out in one day. That included installing a stainless steel sleeve in the existing chimney to vent out the hot water heater exhaust. With not having the furnace vent into the chimney, the hot water heater alone does not have enough hot exhaust to make sure the acidic exhaust gases flow out the top of the chimney. The sleeve makes sure that the masonry work in the chimney does not erode.