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Week of 9 July 2001

Latest Update: Friday, 10 May 2002 12:01

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Monday, 9 July 2001

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[Barbara is still in Atlanta but will be back sometime late this afternoon or this evening. You can expect a full update tomorrow. RBT]



Tuesday, 10 July 2001

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HI, I'm back. I did not take the digital camera so pictures will be posted later this week. Bob not only got the scanner working while I was gone but the color printer too! What  a good man he is. On the roll I am dropping off at the drugstore today are also the pictures from the previous weekend trip to Easley. 

Now for the part you have all been waiting for. They don't call it Hot-lanta for nothing let me tell you. It was hot and humid as I knew it would be. But I digress from the story.

The ride down was perfect. I left around noon to give me plenty of time for an easy drive and stop off in Aiken, SC for the home visit. Lovely couple, they have two smooth coat BC's and want to get a couple of more. They live in a secluded neighborhood at the end of the city limits with a lot of land and places to bike ride. I made to their house right at 4:00 as I predicted. After a brief visit I hopped back on I-20 for a quick twenty mile drive across the SC/GA state line and stopped in Augusta for dinner and gas. I actually rode by the backside of the famous golf course.

I chose Barrabas to eat dinner and a good choice it was. Grilled lamb chops, potato wedges and broccoli with delicious bread. Tea to drink since I was driving. I left Augusta sometime after six with plenty of time to get into Atlanta. Unfortunately road construction prevented me from getting off at the I-285 bypass and I had to drive on into Atlanta to get on I-85 to get to the airport. I was listening to the race from Daytona on the radio and felt like I was right there with them as I was driving on the interstate with cars whizzing past on both sides doing well over 80 while darting from lane to lane while I was trying to find my lane to get onto I-85.

I arrived at the airport around 9:00, parked in the lot and made my way into the terminal. As you all know, I do not fly so negotiating an airport terminal as large as Atlanta International was an experience. I popped into a sports bar briefly to check to see who was leading the race than started the long trek to the find the gate where Marcia would be arriving.

After going through security I negotiated several escalators, walked several blocks, and finally arrived at D1 at the end of that wing of the terminal about ten minutes before she was scheduled to touchdown. It turns out the plane was ten minutes late which was not bad at all. We recognized each other instantly from our wonderful pictures posted on our web pages and did all the greeting rituals. Afterward we backtracked my journey  to the luggage claim area where I entered the terminal. It look an entire hour from time Marcia walked into the terminal until we got her luggage and left for the car. It was about a twenty-five or thirty minute drive from the airport back North of Atlanta to the hotel. We arrived hot and sweaty well before midnight, parked the car in the hotel parking deck and found our room.

Very nice suite. We unpacked and sat up talking for a while. Finally off to sleep around 1:30. Marcia left a wakeup call for 8 the next morning. We showered and dressed and made our way down to the lobby for a very nice continental breakfast. I had a bagel and a doughnut with juice. We then set out for the nearby MARTA station based on the directions from the girl at the front desk. After going up and back down the wrong set of stairs we then found the correct ones and walked the several blocks across a shopping center parking lot to the MARTA station located under a parking deck.

It was not very crowded as we rode in. We got off at the Five Points stop, which is basically the center of downtown. We walked four blocks to Olympic park where we took turns taking pictures of each other. Very nice park with some interesting waterfalls. We popped into a nearby refreshment stand to get some water and directions from a very nice young policeman on how to negotiate our way to the Coca Cola Museum.

It was hot and steamy by the time we got to the Museum. We shopped in the souvenir shop for a while and then walked across the street to enter the Underground.  Atlanta Underground is pretty cool, lots of shops and restaurants to stroll in and out of as you walk along the "street". In the middle of the street are vendor carts selling t-shirts, etc.

One of the carts sold teddy bears who were not stuffed. You picked out your favorite and then stuffed it yourself. Atop the cart was a little teddy bear turning a crank that blew out the stuffing. After I chose my bear I went around the other side of the cart and pressed a pedal as the lady filled the skin and my bear came alive. Marcia has pictures of the process and I took one of the bear turning the crank if it took. I then chose a felt heart for my bear, made a wish, and he was stitched up  right there before my eyes. I chose a blue ribbon and he was placed in his own "cradle looking box" with his birth certificate. I bought him for Bob. Bob gets to name him. I think as of last night he had chosen Ursa Major and we will nick name him Major. Here's a picture of Lenore meeting Major.

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Marcia bought a t-shirt and some other stuff I will let her tell you about. We finished up the Underground and decided to go back out to the hotel and Perimeter Center Mall via MARTA. First we ate lunch so I could be fortified for the Marcia shopping expedition. A very successful one I might add. I did buy a new Stevie Nicks CD but needed to leave my hands free to help Marcia carry some of her packages.

We finished up our shopping and proceeded to try to find the other shopping center we crossed to get to the MARTA station. However, the Mall stop and the hotel stop are two different places. After asking several people where the Starbucks Cafe was and getting totally blank stares we realized something was wrong. We finally stopped at the catalog department of J C Penny to borrow a phone book while Marcia got out her phone to call the hotel and find out where the hell we were. The hotel sent their shuttled bus over to the Mall to pick us up and we arrived back at the hotel again hot and sweaty around 3:30.

After leaving dinner and taxi reservation requests with the front desk we headed up to the room. Marcia took a quick nap while I read the paper and watched the golf match. Then, I took another shower to dress for dinner. The taxi took us back downtown to Pittypat's Porch for a wonderful meal. We both ate the mixed grill of chicken, pork, and steak in a wonderful wine/mustard sauce served over rice with bread and salad bar and a couple of glasses of wine. 

After dinner we walked back to the same MARTA station we departed from that morning. Poor Marcia. That morning we had to go up an escalator from the MARTA to the street that was almost at a fifty degree angle and probably three or four stories high. Well, we had to go back down that same escalator to get to the Marta. I have a picture if it comes out. She held on my arm so hard I lost most of the circulation and I am sure her fingernail imprints could be found on the railing on her side. I am exaggerating a bit. I was very steep and she handled it very well.

We sat in the bar area of the hotel and had another couple of glasses of wine before heading up to the room to get ready for bed. Marcia was up early the next morning when the 7 am wake up call woke me up. We went down for breakfast and then came back up to get my things and head for the car. I dropped her off at her office building and I took off north for home.

Just so happens the I-285 exit I needed was just around the corner and already being north of Atlanta I did not have much in the way of rush hour traffic going my way. I was quickly onto I-85, making a quick bathroom stop at the GA/SC line before making it to Spartanburg by noon. I stopped at a Fatz Cafe for lunch and got gas before hitting the road home, arriving right around 4:00. We ordered Chinese take out for dinner. I spent most of the evening catching up on mail and then watched the end of the race that Bob had taped for me. How nice that Dale Jr. won the race where his father was killed back in February.

Off to bed around ten, I fell asleep pretty quickly. Gym this morning than I need to mow the grass this afternoon. I may vacuum the floors just to get the dog hair and stuff up but Bob kept the house pretty neat while I was gone.


Wednesday, 11 July 2001

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Trip pictures are posted for both the Atlanta trip and my weekend visiting Fletch. More Atlanta pictures will be posted later this week after I finish shooting the roll of film now in the camera.

Yesterday was catch up day. I dropped of the first roll of film at the drugstore for the one hour processing  while I was at the gym. Back home I quickly ran the vacuum to get the dog hair up since I missed the regular Sunday cleaning day. After lunch it was mow the lawn and then shower and clean up. I worked on e-mail most of the afternoon and putting away things from the trip, etc. Bob uninstalled and reinstalled the scanner software. We scanned in all the pictures for the trip page while the meat loaf was cooking for dinner.

After dinner I began putting my trip page together than back out to the den to clear up a pile of stuff on my side table that needed some attention. Off to bed around ten to start an Anne Perry mystery.

If you remember last week I decided to go out one morning and pull weeds and do a general clean up around the natural areas. By this past weekend I made an interesting discovery. After 46 years of not being allergic to poison ivy, oak, or sumac, I am now allergic to one or all of them. Since I know what poison ivy looks like my guess is it was either oak or sumac. At any rate I have these nice red welts on my right arm, a few on my legs, and one on my left arm. Fortunately I was wearing leather gloves and I did not touch my face. 

About a month ago I had one of these red welts on my knee and thought I had caught a nettle while looking for a golf ball at the edge of a wooded area. Instead I must have brushed up against one of the poison bushes and got my first reaction.   

This morning I am going over to my friend Nancy's house. We are going to tie dye some more rescue t-shirts to sell at the sheep trial weekend after next and on the merchandise page of the web site. This afternoon I will continue to get things caught up.



Thursday, 12 July 2001

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Best laid plans..... I took off for Nancy's yesterday morning. Upon arriving she had not heard back from Judy, her mother-in-law, who was supposed to call and give us the proper mixing amounts of the various agents we were using to prepare the shirts for the tie dye process. Judy had delivered the supplies for the dying operation last weekend to Nancy since she is a weaver and dyes her own materials. While waiting for her to call we discovered we did not have the necessary string to tie up the shirts. We left another message for Judy to call Nancy and headed out to find string and get some lunch.

Upon returning to Nancy's house from lunch we tried calling Judy who was now at her desk but had not bothered to return our phone call. Nancy talked with her for several minutes and discovered Judy had not brought to other necessary ingredients we needed to dye the shirts. Nancy was under the impression everything we needed was in the bag of supplies Judy had left. Nancy found a nearby weaving shop that would sell us a small cup of the activator for the dye and then off to Home Depot to get a box of TSP. Back to Nancy's to move put the shirts in a big tub to begin soaking in the TSP solution overnight. 

At this point I came on home to take a shower and see what was going on at the Thompson Techno Grotto. Bob decided we should go out for dinner and stop by the library to get books. Frances was stopping by on her way to work to pick up some additional copies of her resume so we could not leave until she got her. 

After she left we took off for dinner and the library. Back home, we decided since it was to be a clear night to pull out the new scope and see how it performed. After settling Lenore for the evening we took the dogs out back for their last time while we set up the scope. Unfortunately there was really not much in the way of anything to view and it was very humid. So we drug it back inside, went back upstairs, and I headed off to bed to read for awhile. Bah humbug on that day!!

This morning I am going to the gym and then back over to Nancy's to finish the dye process. Everything we need is now in place and it is now a matter of tying up the shirts, putting the dye on them and storing them in plastic bags to begin the drying process. 

I should be home by early afternoon. I forgot when we went to the library yesterday that today is the second Thursday of the month and I have Friends of the Library meeting this afternoon. I will go over for my meeting then come back home and fix dinner.


Friday, 13 July 2001

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I forgot to mention I bought the new Stevie Nicks CD, Trouble in Shangri La while in Atlanta at the mall. Very good I might add if you enjoy her music. Other than the purchase of Major, which I could not resist, I have a pretty good alibi as to the reason I was able to resist making any purchases as reported by Marcia's yesterday.  She was discussing my superb ability to resist buying shoes or clothes while out and about in Atlanta. Even I was amazed that I left Atlanta without buying a t-shirt or a baseball cap. I just did not see anything that really appealed to me. And because Marcia was dressy shoe/clothing shopping  I was kept well away from the tennis shoe/sport clothing thereby not being tempted by anything. But, I had a great time helping Marcia pick out her cloths and shoes.  Did she mention that bright orange t-shirt she bought at Atlanta Underground? Oops!

Nancy and I finally got the shirts tie dyed. Wow, what an involved process. After a quick workout at the gym I was at her house right at ten o'clock. The first step is to take a shirt from the tub where they soaked all night in the TSP. After wringing it out you then lay it on the table and fold it in whatever manner you wish to create the design. We folded them in half both top to bottom or side to side. Then you fold them accordion style until the shirt is in the form of a long snake. With short cuts of string the shirt is tied about two or three inches apart. Nancy did some bullet looking shirts which required laying the shirt flat on the table and twisting until the shirt is in a flat round ball. The tying on those is rather sophisticated so I left those for her to do.

After we tied all the shirts we than went outside to do the dying. Nancy mixed the dyes first and then poured them in squirt bottles. We laid the shirts on the grass on newspaper and squirted whatever color of dye we wanted over the shirts using the stringed sections as guides for making the various color patterns. The shirts are then placed in a plastic grocery bag and were placed on a plastic sheet on her back porch. The entire process took until 3:30 with only brief stops to feed Phoebe, eat our lunch, and cool off from being out in the hot, humid weather. I was dripping wet with sweat but managed to only get dye on the old pair of shoes I was wearing and not on my clothing. 

This weekend when the shirts are almost dry they must be removed from the plastic bags, strings cut off, and very carefully lowered into the washing machine to be rinsed in a fixer type solution. Nancy is going to call me when she gets to that step and I am going back over to help her with that if I can get away from here. Not sure what happens next.

By the time I got home and showered I was just too tired to make it to the Friends of the Library meeting. I fixed the left over meat loaf for dinner with instant mashed potatoes and corn. After dinner I worked at the computer for awhile and then sat in the den to read until bed time. I have two books going at the same time right now. I can do that if one is fiction and one is non-fiction.  I am reading a book recommended by Wendy, Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist In Spain by Chris Stewart which is another funny travel book of sorts in that Chris and his wife buy this isolated farm in Spain. 

After dogs last time it was off to bed to read a little of the Anne Perry mystery.

Errands to run this morning. We have a wonderful cool, cloudy, morning with light drizzle. Great weather after all the hot, humid stuff we have been coping with. 


Saturday, 14 July 2001

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I have added a few new pictures to the Atlanta trip page if you are interested.

Speaking of pictures. I took these the other day down in the basement while Bob was putting the new motor drive on the new scope. Some of them did not turn out great but I liked them all so, what the heck! The first one is the back of the Trooper with the big scope and all our stuff packed in as it looks when we take off for Bullington. Duncan is very interested in what Bob is doing.

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I spent most of the morning running errands and doing the grocery shopping then working on stuff in the afternoon. I cleaned up my office a bit and finished filing some papers. Bob and I scanned the pictures right before dinner.

Last night we had a Friday the 13th party to attend at one of our astronomy club friends house, Priscilla. It was just a small group of her friends from work and two other couples from the astronomy club. We got home around 11 o'clock. 

This morning I am off to the gym for spinning class. I have missed two weeks in a row and look forward to the class this morning. From there I am going over to my parents house to have lunch and visit with them for a little while. My sister has found a job finally so I will get to hear all about that from her.

Supposed to be clear and cool tonight so we will be off to Bullington for a night of observing. 


Sunday, 15 July 2001

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Seeing Stars! When I got back from my folks house yesterday Bob announced that he wanted to go to Wal-Mart. I double checked my hearing to make sure I heard him correctly before I had a fainting spell. Bob (who never goes out especially to a crowded store on Saturday after) wanted to go to Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon. So off we went. He was looking for several things which we did not find but he did end up buying one of those inexpensive sets of walkie talkie radios. Not sure why so perhaps you can visit his page to see if he explains what they will be useful for. 

Back home I took a shower than hit the couch for a brief nap and to rest since I knew we would be out late last night. Bob, the dogs, and I all slept until about 5:45 than I got up and fixed a quick dinner of sandwiches. Unfortunately for Bob, his shipment of pipe tobacco has been delayed and he was forced to stop at the drugstore on the way to Bullington to pick up some Prince Albert  but in a box instead of a can. You all remember that joke don't you?  

Anyway, we arrived at Bullington right around 9 pm. Jeff from the astronomy club was already there with his telescope set up. By the time we got our stuff all set up and organized other astronomy club members starting showing up. By dark we had a total of ten people up there, the most we have had since we started going up there. Of the ten people there were two other couples, Marcia and Duke and the Ketners who brought the club 12" scope. David and Steve brought the Steve's 16" and Jeff had a small grab and go. Bonnie brought her small tube so we had a lot of variety in size and power for viewing. 

The skies were pretty clear. Since right now there are no major planets to look at and the moon was not up we did the deep sky objects looking for nebula's and star clusters. There must have been a small meteor shower because we kept seeing them all night long go shooting across the sky. Lots of satellites going over too.

The most awesome for me was getting to see my first comet, Comet C/2001 A2 (LINEAR). I was really surprised how big it was and I could see a little of the tail though not much. The other more experienced members of the club also found Andromeda, a really cool looking galaxy, and some others that I had not had a chance to see before. I am still learning to find star clusters using the Telrad so I did not find much on my own but I continue to learn.

It actually got cool enough for a jacket and by the time left around 1:30 this morning it was pretty chilly. We got home at 2 am, gave the dogs a quick out and off to bed. Fortunately the late night for them also meant they let us at least sleep in until eight. When Bob up to go to the bathroom we put them out in the hall and closed the door than slept a little more. I got up at 8:30 to let them out and read the paper.

This morning is total house cleaning day. I missed last weekend due to being out of town, so it really needs a good cleaning today.  The race is from Chicago and does not start here until 2:30 EDT so I have plenty of time to get everything done. 




Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Barbara Fritchman Thompson. All Rights Reserved.