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Barbara Fritchman ThompsonBarbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 5 November 2001

Latest Update: Friday, 10 May 2002 11:55

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Monday, 5 November 2001

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It was nice to spend a quiet, relaxing afternoon watching the race and getting caught up on my mail. I grilled steaks and chicken for dinner to go with pasta salad. Last night, after doing a few things on the computer, I spent the evening finishing the Murder With Peacocks mystery. I can't wait to read her new one.

I sat up to watch The Practice at ten but when I turned over to the channel about five minutes till ten they were running part 1 of an old rerun from last season. At ten they ran the second part. At first I was confused because not only had I seen ads this past week for the new show, they has also pre-empted the 9 o'clock show Alias, which was supposed to be new.

Then it dawned on me it was game seven of the World Series. I guess they figured since it went to seven games that a lot of people would be watching it plus the Emmy's so ABC bagged their regular season shows. Can't say I blame them. The Emmy folks had encouraged winners to tone down their wardrobe's and many were going to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11.

It should be a quiet, normal week at the Thompson Techno Grotto for a change. Other than my normal couple of hours at SciWorks the only other thing I need to do is help another Friend's volunteer mail out the newsletter. Otherwise it will be the routine activities of gym, golf, and taking care of the dogs.

I do not wish bad storms on anyone but it looks like Hurricane Michelle will miss us. Not that I want the coast to suffer wind, rain, and water damage, but we could have benefited from that baby cruising up this way and dumping about 8 or so inches of rain on the Piedmont.

Have a good week.


Tuesday, 6 November 2001

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Another busy Monday. I returned straight home after my workout at the gym. After checking my mail and doing some assorted chores I hit the shower than played with dogs outside in the yard for a little while until time to fix an early lunch.

While eating lunch I noticed the tooth that has been bothering me of late was getting more annoying when I was eating or drinking hot or cold liquids. I called dentist around 11:30 to make an appointment to have the dentist take a look and see what needed to be done. Most of the fillings in my teeth have been in there for twenty or thirty years and some of them as just starting to wear out. Two so far have been had crowns because there was not enough tooth left to refill.

Anyway. The dentist has a 4 pm cancellation for the afternoon so I took it. I was planning on going out to SciWorks to do my volunteer work anyway. On the way I had to stop at the bank, drugstore, and Office Depot. I worked at SciWorks for couple of hours and left about 3:15 for the dentist arriving around 3:30.

I just barely got settled in when they called me. Forty minutes later I left the dentist office with a new filling. He felt like he could save the tooth and decided to drill the old filling out and just give me a new one. I was not supposed to eat until the numbing wore off. Bob fixed frozen dinners for he and Lenore. About 6 pm I was able to eat a baked sweet potato and some soup. 

After I ate dinner I did some work at the PC than went out to the den to watch Angel at 9. After  it was over we walked the dogs. When we got back in the house we had a message on the answering machine from one of the astronomy club members alerting us to an aurora visible in the sky to the Northwest. Bob and I went back outside and around to the back of the house. Sure enough there was a nice red looking glow in the sky. It was awesome to see. I have never had the chance to view one so I was very excited. Bob hurried back in to call our friend Bonnie in Rural Hall so she could get a chance to see it.

I came back in and went off to bed to read. The tooth, once the numbing wore off, never even bothered me. This is the first major dental work I have had done with this new dentist and I really liked his manor as well as his professional skills. 

This morning it feels great and I have already had a bowl of cereal for breakfast without any problems. The reason I did my SciWorks volunteer stuff yesterday was Bob wanted to go to Computer and Software Outlet to get some new monitors. He is using one of my old ones that has been acting weird for a year now. It is finally about to go on the fritz permanently I think. He is going to buy me a new one and take this one for his office.

Now this morning he has decided not to go to buy monitors so I will rethink my morning plans and do something else. This after I am going over to the library. Another Friends volunteer is going to help me fold and paste labels on the newsletter I have ready to go out. 

Guess that's it for today. 


Wednesday, 7 November 2001

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The difference a good monitor can make. Yesterday morning Bob finally decided we might as well go out to Computer and Software Outlet and buy me a new monitor for an early birthday present. I am very happy with a 17" rather than upgrading to a 19" that he kept asking me if I was sure I didn't want to do.

We bought the monitor and stopped to vote on the way home. Very light turnout here, with only 23% of the voters making the effort. There was very little to vote for; mayor, aldermen, and two bond referendums. We have a new mayor, the same alderman for our ward and two new bond packages. That about sums up the voting day.

After lunch I took off for the library to get the newsletter mailed out and to stop at the auto store to buy some new windshield wipers for my car. While eating lunch we decided we would head up to Bullington since it was forecast to be a super clear night.

I got back from the library around 3:30. Bob had set up my new monitor and WOW. What a difference it makes to have an NEC AccuSync 70 to replace the Dell that I was using. Clear, easy to read screen, great contrast, etc. I am really happy with it. Plus, with the great viewing ability and design it can sit a little further back on my desk giving me work room in front of my key board when I need to write stuff.

I fixed dinner around 4:30, pork chops and rice, to give us time to eat and get everything ready to go up to Bullington. Bonnie was coming too. And, it was a grand night. Clear, clear skies with lovely views of deep sky objects. We viewed Saturn as well as some of the clusters than ended up sitting under the stars just talking. You would not believe how peaceful it is to sit out under a clear sky and quiet surroundings. We did a couple of meteors and one very bright satellite pass. Bonnie has to leave early so we all packed up around 9:30 to come home. Jupiter was rising over the mountain just as we were leaving. Other than a pink rather faint glow we did not see a repeat of the aurora from Monday night.

We gave the dogs a chance to run around and get a last time out then off to bed. I read a chapter or two in my book before turning out the light.

This morning is the regular Wednesday routine; gym store, etc. I do need to stop at the pet store and get treats and dog for the guys. This afternoon I am going to tackle the basement with a vengeance. Although I still have some yard work stuff remaining to do I can get the basement cleaned and organized again. I want to finish getting the finished apartment area cleaned up so we can use it this winter to go down and sit in front of a real fire. 

And, I need to finish cleaning up my office and desk area after the installation of my new monitor.


Thursday, 8 November 2001

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Happy birthday to Bob's mom, Lenore. It is really difficult to take her out to eat anywhere because she does not eat much and she eats very slow. I have Friends of the Library meeting at 4:00. We decided to let her choose the take out location and I will pick something up on the way home. I bought a birthday cake yesterday at the grocery store.

Off this morning playing golf with my dad. 

Otherwise, not much new going on to talk about so I shall bid you a fond adieu. 

Oh, by the way, I made a horrid typo in my post for yesterday. Usually my editor checks those for me and corrects them before he publishes. I was supposed to say stop at the pet store to get treats and dog food for the guys. Not get a dog for the guys which my regular readers know is my dogs. Whatever you do please do not get a dog from a pet store.


Friday, 9 November 2001

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Another lovely day for golf. The course was rather full due to the lovely weather. We did not finish until 12:30. I mom from the course and told her we had just finished up. Rather than have our regular post golf lunch at The Orchard, she had fixed some lunch for us.

After a visit and lunch I left to take some CBCR stuff by Nancy's then came on home. I checked my mail, gave the dogs a good brushing, and did a few other general household chores before getting my shower. I left around 4:00 to go to the library for my Friends meeting. Lenore chose take out from the Rose and Thistle as her birthday dinner. 

After we ate and walked the dogs I sat in the den and caught up on yet another pile of mail that has accumulated this week. Then I read until time to watch ER.

This morning I am going out to SciWorks for a couple of hours and then stopping by Lowe's Home and Garden to pick up some grass seed and my fall pansies to plant. 

Guess that's all the news to report from the Thompson Techno Grotto. Have a great weekend wherever you are.


Saturday, 10 November 2001

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With the time change messing up my sleep and the past two weeks of being busy it all finally caught up with me yesterday. At SciWorks I typed up cards and pockets for a couple of stacks of books then left to run by Lowe's to pick up grass seed. I also bought two bushes for the front yard and my pansies.

Back home, I unloaded the car then fixed some lunch. Just as we were finishing with lunch the Southern Foods delivery guy called to say he could be here in fifteen minutes or about 1:15. After he left I laid down to take a nap and just rest for a few hours. I even bagged going to the gym for my exercise class which is something I never do unless I am really exhausted. Last night I sort of read and napped on the couch until time to walk the dogs and watch my show that comes on at 10.

Tonight we have public observation for the Astronomy Club at Pilot Mountain. It is supposed to be excellent viewing weather, cold and clear. We need to leave around four to get up there before the crowds and to get a good spot to set up. I will make Lenore a sandwich as well as some for us to take along to eat for dinner up there. It only lasts until 11, so we should be home by 11:30 or shortly after.

Today I am going to start working on the lawn. I think I will split it up and do the front today and save working on the back  for next week. I need to mow up the leaves and put out more seed and fertilizer. Then water it all down. We are now officially in a rather severe drought which does not show any signs of being broken. No rain in sight. If you are concerned about me watering the lawn with a drought, Winston-Salem has plenty of water because we get ours from the Yadkin River and a huge lake reservoir above the river head. The city of Greensboro actually has pipes that are connected to our water system so they can buy water from us when they run low.

I did get my computer desk cleaned up and organized. I still have my side desk to do but it does look better anyway.


Sunday, 11 November 2001

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Bob added a new picture of Malcolm and Kerry on their page yesterday that he took of them laying at the front door while I was out working in the front yard. 

If you did not read my diary page yesterday before early afternoon, like 1:00 or so, you missed the typo of the year award. I referred to our public observation at Pilot Mountain as a "pubic" observation. Thanks to one of my readers who sent me e-mail I had Bob change it and republish my page. What is even funnier is that I asked Bob if he read my page for the day and he said yes. I told him to go back and look at it again. He read it out loud and when he got to the bit about the observation he read it as "public". So, he missed it too.  Last night at the "public" observation I shared this little story with several of our club members who got a good laugh out of it too.

That makes two big bloopers in one week. It has been that kind of a week.

I got the pansies planted and one of the bushes. By the time I mowed, seeded, and fertilized the lawn it was almost noon. While I watered the lawn I did stuff like dig up two crepe myrtles that were not doing very well, and generally cleaned out some of my natural areas. This afternoon after I may go out and blow the leaves up in the back while I listen to the race on the radio. 

The public observation went very well last night. We had a big turnout of club members and the general public. Unfortunately some clouds started rolling in about sunset and stayed around most of the night. We did get to see Saturn and Jupiter and look at a few deep sky objects but most of the good stuff was clouded out.  This is my first ever try at taking a sunset picture with the digital camera. The clouds really did make a gorgeous sunset but are not very good for dark sky viewing. 

sunset-pilot-mountain.jpg (165323 bytes)


We packed up about ten and came on home. The crowds had pretty much thinned out and several of the club members had left as well. I was pretty tired and with the conditions not great I asked Bob if we could go ahead and leave too. If I had not been so tired I would not have minded just hanging out and talking. 




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