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Week of 4 June 2001

Latest Update: Tuesday, 14 May 2002 18:03
 

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Monday, 4 June 2001

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Reality! Back home yesterday around 6:00 after a too wonderful weekend away. Trip report will be posted tomorrow with pictures. We had an absolutely wonderful relaxing time. It was good to get away. The drive up was a little hairy in the pouring down rain and fog on the Parkway. 

Needless to say the dogs were glad to see us home and performed their celebratory dog dances running around barking. Bill took off right after we got home to head back to Raleigh.

This morning I will clean and unpack and get my house back in some semblance of order while Bob does the laundry.

This afternoon I have an appointment at 4:30 with a potential client. More on that tomorrow if it turns out to be something good. I answered a blind box ad in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago for someone looking for a researcher. He called me last night and set up the interview for today, so we shall see what transpires.

Guess I better get started, I have a lot to do. 

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Tuesday, 5 June 2001

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Trip report for Doe Run is up

The interview yesterday afternoon went pretty well. Nothing definite was decided but I am supposed to talk with him again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime I am going to dig around and see if I can find some information on some of the things we talked about to prepare myself for another meeting.

We watched another Nero Wolfe episode last night and then off to bed to read.

Sorry for the short post. I spent most of yesterday doing the trip report, cleaning, unpacking, and getting things caught up from the weekend away. Today I am supposed to play golf this morning with my dad thus this report was written last night. 

 

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Wednesday, 6 June 2001

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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB! 

Today is Bob's birthday. Of course his big present was our trip away this past weekend. Speaking of which, I forgot to change the current update link for yesterday. Sorry 'bout that folks. I bought him a new rain jacket with a hood to were when we walk the dogs but I gave him that several weeks ago when we were having one of our monsoon seasons so he could be wearing it. 

Yesterday was hot compared to the cool temperatures we have been having. Dad and I played golf and then stopped at our favorite diner for lunch. Just as we got there and ordered my mom and sister showed up to join us. They had been out running around doing errands and decided to try and catch us for lunch.

By the time we had lunch and stopped back at their house it was almost 2:00 by the time I got home. I returned a couple of phone calls and headed out to mow the lawn. Nancy came by to pick up some CBCR merchandise to take with her to a tournament this weekend just as I had finished doing the back yard. By the time we visited a little and then I got back to my mowing it was 4:00 before I finished up.

After a quick shower I fixed steak sandwiches for dinner. We walked the dogs and I spent the remainder of the evening reading through the stack of magazines I was behind on. We had a brief thunderstorm in the early part of the evening but it was more noise and flash than actual rain. Off to bed to read a chapter in my Robin Paige mystery I started over the weekend until lights out.

Nothing spectacular planned for today. Off to the gym and store this morning. Bob wants to have toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner. Guess that will be an easy dinner for me to handle. I need to trim shrubs today which means I have a full day of yard work to get done.

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Thursday, 7 June 2001

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P6060062.jpg (253550 bytes)  I bought Bob a big balloon and a birthday cake at the grocery store yesterday. 

Heat followed by crash, boom, bang. I started trimming the bushes around 10:30 and it was already hot and steamy. I used the gas trimmers for all the bushes except the row of azaleas along the house. Those needed cut way back because they were dying in the middle from not getting enough light. By noon I had everything trimmed down and took a break to cool off and eat some lunch. 

After lunch I started racking and sweeping up all the clippings. Heat nor cold bothers me but it really was quite hot and humid. By the time I got everything cleaned up I was pretty soaked with sweat. After I go cleaned up it I read e-mail and caught up on diary pages. My friend from Florida called to talk about an applicant for a CBCR dog she is helping us out on and we chatted on the phone for a short time. As we were talking the skies got black and it just poured rain for about fifteen minutes with the wind really blowing. But no thunder or lightening.

I finished up what I was doing to fix Bob's special birthday dinner of toasted cheese sandwiches and fries. 

The skies were darkening again while I was fixing dinner and just as we sat down to eat there was a loud pop followed by a bright flash right outside the Lenore's window. I jumped clean out of my seat and told Bob we must have taken a hit pretty close to the house. He swears it was a block away but I think it hit right by the house. 

After walking the dogs I started to make a phone call and the phones were dead. Bob went downstairs to check the switch and the GFI outlet had blown in the downstairs kitchen. Bob reset that and checked the switch box and thought we had the phones working. Turns out the strike hosed the phone system completely. 

Bob has to call the insurance agent this morning and then see what we can do to get our phone system back up and running. Right now we do not have the automated and just have the two lines, ours and Lenore's. 

During that storm we got an inch and half of rain in about thirty minutes. After it passed on through that was the end of the rain and storms for the night. Cloudy and rainy today as well. 

I am off to run a couple of errands this morning than home to work all afternoon. I have to get the downstairs room organized which is full of boxes and other stuff we are storing down there. The Southern Foods guys is delivering our food order tomorrow and he needs to be able to get through to the kitchen freezer down there. 

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Friday, 8 June 2001

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Errands and more errands. Yesterday morning after stops at Lowe's, Office Depot, drugstore, library, pet store, bank, and gas station, I was back home by 11:30. Sheesh, you can waste and entire day doing that stuff if you want to. 

After a quick lunch headed downstairs to do a load of laundry for Lenore and tidy up the finished side of the basement. That really did not take very long, just stack some boxes and organize some things we are storing down there. Just after I finished and came back upstairs, Frances called. She had just finished having an interview at our local hospital and needed a tune up on her resume. I told her to come right over and we would do a revision for her to drop back off with the lady she had interviewed with.

We worked on her resume for an hour or so. After she left I had a couple of CBCR things to get taken care of and then worked on organizing my desk. Early dinner of pork chops and rice pilaf and then off to the gym for spinning class. 

Last night I paid some bills and finished reading the Robin Paige mystery. If you like Victorian setting and mysteries I highly recommend the husband/wife team of Robin Paige. I finally found the three we do not have on Barnes and Noble's web site and ordered them. I have read two so far. I shall have to add them to my favorites page

After having the automated attendant phone system for so long it is really weird hearing the phone ring a normal ring and not having to pick up the phone and say hello, hello, hello, before the person can hear me and start talking. We also always had to dial nine to get out and with the phone system zapped we now just have a normal phone line. I must have dialed nine half a dozen times yesterday out of habit.

Off to be to read. I started a new book from the library that I am not real sure about at this point. I will report on it more later. It seems to be a little weird.

This morning I am picking Frances up at her house at 10:00 to go to the Lazy 5 Ranch. Last week Frances visited there with Al and had a great time. She wanted to go back with me since she knows I love animals and zoos. You can drive your car through the pastures and have the animals come right up to your car or take the trolley. We are going to take a picnic lunch and walk around the petting zoo and then take the trolley ride through the park. Hopefully I will get some good pictures.

We have a couple coming over for dinner tonight. They are members of the astronomical society. Very nice, young couple, we have enjoyed talking with them at the various club outings and meetings. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend, whatever your plans may be. And, thanks for stopping by.

 

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Saturday, 9 June 2001

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Okay, if you have kids and they love animals call them over to the computer and share my trip page from the Lazy 5 Ranch. We had a wonderful time, the overcast skies kept the temperatures down, and the wagon ride was superb. We took our lunch and ate in the picnic area between roaming around the barn and bird area and taking the wagon ride. 

I picked up Frances at 10:00. It took an hour to get there. We left right around two and got back to her house at three. I was home by 3:30. Bob helped transfer pictures and do some cropping so I could organize and write the trip page. I worked on this until around six. 

We were expecting Marsha and Duke sometime after six. I put chairs and some small tables on the deck with some snack mix and taco chips to munch when they arrived. They brought a nice bottle of wine from one of the many local wineries which we enjoyed while chatting out on the deck. I also had beer and wine chilling in the fridge to supplement their bottle. Around 7:15 I ordered several entrees from the Chinese place and Duke and I went to pick them up.

Good time was had by all. The wine was quite good and so was the food. The dogs were pretty well behaved. After they left at 12:30 we hauled the stuff in from the deck, cleared up things to a reasonable condition in the kitchen, and headed for bed.   

The guys did let us sleep in until 8:00 by which time I needed to get up and answer the call of nature anyway. 

This morning I need to finish cleaning up the kitchen and putting away the chairs and tables. I want to change the sheets today instead of waiting until cleaning day tomorrow and I have a couple of small chores to do outside in the garden. Otherwise I really need to get back to work on the book. 

If the weather remains clear for tonight we are heading up to Bullington to do some observing.

 

 

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Sunday, 10 June 2001

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What I meant to say was......in yesterday's post I did not mean to infer that if you do not have children you could not enjoy the animal pictures from Lazy 5 Ranch. Thanks Marcia for calling that to my attention. <g>

Busy day yesterday. After taking care of the odds and end chores that needed done outside I came in to fix lunch. After lunch Bob helped me change the blade on the lawn mower from catching to mulching. I catch the grass in early spring and again in early fall but like to mulch it in the summer. It is good for the lawn and less hassle. 

Bob also wanted to do some work on the telescope. I helped him with that, finished doing a bit of spring cleaning on the mower and decided I would go ahead and cut the lawn while I was at it. By the time I finished getting all that done it was well past three o'clock. I came in to cool off and take a shower while Bob took a nap.

I worked on mail and doing some search stuff on the Net until dinner time. Finally I woke Bob up at 5:45 and I asked him if I could start dinner since I was getting hungry. I heated up the left over Chinese and after cleaning up the kitchen we had a little time before we needed to prepare for our observing trip.  I decided I needed to get started fixing the checkbook so I could balance for the month of May.

As I mentioned last week, Quicken erased all my data for this year. I did not keep a running balance in the check book for each transaction because I was so used to using Quicken to reconcile at the end of the month and keep up with the balance. I decided I would create a check book ledger in Excel to get me by for the remainder of the year and make it easy to keep up with check transactions and to balance at the end of each month. I guess I have been spoiled all these years using the computer to do it for me. I always enter the end of month balance and had April so I just started Excel with May. Excel's help function actually had instructions on how to set a check register up making it pretty easy to do.

I worked on that for thirty minutes or so and then we settled Lenore and dogs so we could head up to the Bullington observation site. The weather gods had promised clear skies last night but they lied, as usual. We arrived shortly after 8:30 to find several club members already set up and playing with telescope equipment. We stood around talking and waiting for the skies to get dark, which they did, but it also became partly cloudy with a very hazy horizon.

As we were scanning the skies for something to look at I noticed a bright red object off to the south. I pointed and said "hey, what's that?", Bonnie said it was airplane but I could not see that it was moving or blinking. Jeff grabbed a pair of binoculars and "Eureka" I had located Mars. I was so excited. We all grabbed scopes and starting aligning and focusing to get a good look. It was very low over the horizon and continually appeared and disappeared in the clouds and muck. When it was visible it was truly awesome to see. As it climbed somewhat higher in the sky the color changed according to the cloud and air mass that we were looking through. I am sure as a kid I looked at Mars with a naked eye but this was my first experience through a scope.

Meanwhile, overhead several areas of skies cleared well enough to take a look at some really neat stars. I did not realize that some stars have bright white/blue color while others are orange/yellow looking. They also have different looking twinkle patterns when viewed through an eye piece that you do not see with a naked eye.

We sat around watching mars come and go and looking at other star until about midnight. Jeff and David took off for Doughton Park on the Parkway around 10:30 to get above the haze and stuff for a better view of Mars. We got home around 12:30, walked the dogs, settled Lenore, and off to bed. Mars was fairly visible from the front yard by the time we got home. We also got to see the moon rise as we were driving home. Because it was low in the clouds and haze it too had a very red eerie look to it. 

Two late nights in a row, so I may fall asleep during the race today. I was up this morning and yesterday morning by 8:00. Clean house this morning and watch the race this afternoon. I have computer work I need to do tonight after dinner of homemade pizza.

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