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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 12 April 2004

Latest Update: Friday, 16 April 2004 19:08

Monday, 12 April 2004

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I took the weekend off, more or less. Like Bob, I pretty much work seven days a week with week days running anywhere from 8 to 15 hours. Other  that checking my mail periodically I didn't do any work at all.

Friday night we went up to Pilot Mountain to do some observing. The forecast ended up not being as good as predicted by the Clear Sky Clock. While the skies were fairly free of clouds the transparency was horrible. Around 10 pm the wind starting kicking up getting down right gusty making rather chilly up on that exposed mountain. We did get a few objects on our lists before packing it in around midnight. By the time we got home and gave the dogs some attention it was 1am before we got to bed.

 I got up on Saturday at 8 and went to the gym as usual. Saturday afternoon while I addressed the Friends newsletters I watch the first two of four parts of a movie one of my coworkers loaned me. She is originally from Newfoundland, one of those places I have always dreamed of going to. We have been exchanging CD's of Celtic, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, and similar music. In our conversations about her native country she mentioned Random Passages, a movie about and filmed in Newfoundland and said she would loan it to me. I highly recommend it. 

In addition to the lovely scenery, the movie has a lot of the traditional Irish and Newfoundland music as well as wonderful actors and actresses. I started watching the third part while I ironed then stopped for the day to watch the Masters. I am reading Medusa by Michael Dibdin for the Mystery Morgue review site and wanted to get some chapters in on that Saturday night.

Sunday, dad and I played nine holes before the rain set in. I came home and cleaned house then napped before the Masters came on. Around 4 we left to go over to Frances and Al's for Easter dinner. Delicious meal as usual. We had pork roast, yams, green beans, macaroni and cheese, rolls, fruit salad, apples, and pie and lemonade squares for dessert. It was a fun evening visiting with the family and watching Phil Mickelson win his first major.

Last night I went to bed early and watched the remaining part 3 of the movie then read some more on my book. I will watch part 4 sometime this week or next weekend. 

Today was back to work as usual. I went to the gym tonight and tried a new class, double step. I did pretty good for my first time. The weather today was wet, raw, and cold. More of the same for tomorrow. 

I hope you had a great Easter holiday weekend. 


Tuesday, 13 April 2004

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Bob needed some tax forms from the library. He called our friends Paul and Mary to see if they wanted to meet us for dinner at the Chinese place around 6. Paul had a dinner/meeting but Mary joined us.

The Firm is doing some moving around with our InterAction team. Three of us, my supervisor and one coworker work in a separate building one block down the street from the main building that houses the law firm. In our building, on our floor, are the servers for the firm and the tech department. On the floor above us are the tobacco litigation support people and on another floor we have our billing department. The remainder of our building houses several county offices, some small law firms, and the NC title office, etc.

The main building, OW4, is about 15 or 16 floors of which I think the Firm has around 10 or 12 including the basement where our help desk people are and the training rooms. 

When I first went to work at the Firm our team was under the Technology department. They moved us to Knowledge Management when the cut the team down from five full time and six part time to just five full time which is when they hired me full time last year. Two of team moved up the street leaving the three of us in the old office space. My supervisor, David, is actually the main programmer for the software we work on but does a lot of other things related to the database. They are moving him to the floor in the other building where the KM team works and moving myself and Sheila to the basement where we will work under Kirsten. So, I will be moving office space and working under a new supervisor starting next week.

Once they get the space organized in the main building I guess we will move up there either this week or Monday. They moved everything, phones, PC, and our personal stuff for us. It is only a block up and over. I think the Firm would eventually like to get out of that building anyway.

I don't mind the move except I will loose my wonderful view of the mountains. Obviously, being in the basement, I will not have a window at all, but I can live with that I guess. 

Last night I finished us Medusa by Michael Dibden. His main character, Aurelio Zen is an Italian Police Office. All of Dibden's books are set in Italy. A body is found in some old military tunnels that turns out to be a man that was supposed to have been killed thirty years ago in a military plane crash. Instead, the corpse is one man of a four man operation known as Operation Medusa, designed to be part of a covert paramilitary cell if the early '70's. After the body is taken to a nearby hospital morgue it disappears the same night, stolen away by the Interior Ministry of Italy who wants to keep the finding the body under wraps. Zen must prove the reason behind the murder against the wishes of the Italian government while at the same time try to prevent the other three members of the unit from being killed to bury the secret behind the corpse. One of the members is blown up by a car bomb, one has mysteriously disappeared, and one is looking for the other two.

Other than having to stumble over the Italian phrases peppered throughout I found the writing to be excellent and enjoyed the plot. The Aurelio Zen books are a police procedural series if you like that type of mystery. 


Wednesday, 14 April 2004

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I met my parents for lunch today at a downtown restaurant about three blocks over from where I work called Sweet Potatoes. They do serve other things besides sweet potatoes, though I did have the sweet potato fries which were delicious. I had been wanting to eat there and so had my parents. They do have a different dinner menu than lunch menu. The food was very good and the service excellent.

This afternoon I mowed and edged the lawn finishing up around 5:30. I ate my leftover Chinese from last night and Bob fixed himself a ham sandwich. This morning it was raining again then this afternoon it was just cloudy and cold. I mean temperatures in the low 50's but winds gusting up to 25 mph. I had to trade my cap in for my ski hat. 

I am reading a new Aaron Elkins, Good Blood, starring archeology professor Gideon Oliver. I love this series. It has been four years since we had a new book in the series while he wrote a couple of stand alones. I highly recommend this series to all mystery readers. They are set in modern day. Gideon always gets involved in a murder case where a body is found that needs someone who can identify and date old bones. Very often another murder will take place surrounding the finding of the body. They are excellently written, great characters, and wonderful plots. 



Thursday, 15 April 2004

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Starting Monday, in addition to being in the other building, I have to shift my work hours from 7:30am to 3pm to 8:30am to 4:30pm. I also have to start taking my half hour lunch break. Marvin wants us all working the same hours as the attorneys to make us somewhat like personal bankers...on call when the attorneys need help with a database problem. He also feels like we should take the half hour break. Fine with me, I now have an extra half hour of reading time that I will most likely loose in the evenings. When I am busy with my other work I will spend later hours in my office and go to bed later. Since I pretty much work seven days a week when I am busy, I will shift a lot of my work load to the weekends as well.

Tomorrow I pack up all my office stuff and the firm will move it over in the afternoon. I already have my new parking card so I guess I am all set.

It has been a long week. I am looking forward to the weekend. Spring has sprung again here in the Triad. Temperatures started off a bit cool this morning in the high 30's but by the time I left work it was almost 70. I put on shorts and t-shirt then took the guys down to play with Emma for a little while. We had an early dinner so I could make the 5:30 spinning class.

Well, I've got some work to do. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, 16 April 2004

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I finally ran out of gas. I spent the first hour or so at work this morning packing up most of my desk. Having only been in my current desk location less than a year I really did not have much in the way of stuff to pack up. After I filled up one box I got started on the regular work tasks. The guy that moves our stuff came in about 10 and said he could move us anytime we were ready. He started moving my co-workers boxes since she took the day off and the one box of mine I had filled.

About an hour or so later he returned to get her computer and printer and my computer and printer. I used another box to put some last minute things in I was keeping on hand for working purposes. Then, they delivered some file sized boxes so I could pack up the two, five drawer lateral file cabinets full of our paper trail of reports we have to run on people and companies when we do merges. After first purging what had gone out of date, we only keep six months, I started packing up the remaining files. But first, you have to put the damned boxes together. They come flat, box and lid all one piece. Fold a into b over to c back to d, etc, etc. I am usually pretty good at that sort of thing but gosh those boxes were a pain. By the time I had put together and filled ten of them I had pretty much had it. 

With thirty minutes left on my work time I took a small load of things I was bringing home to my car then walked up to the other building. I unpacked the one box that had been taken over earlier. My cubical is about twice as big as my other one but has less storage space. I am also in the same room with the help desk which means I have to get used to hearing people talking all day long. The space we moved from was only occupied by the three of us. Although the cold rooms were at one end of the room for the computers and people went in and out all day long it was relatively quiet.

I had intended to come home and work outside for an hour or so before dinner. I need to dig up the chick weed that has overtaken a portion of my natural area under the pine tree. I sprayed it last week to kill it but it needs dug up. Instead I flopped back on the bed to watch the final tape of Random Passage I started last week. The only VCR we now have working in the house is the TV/VCR combination we bought Lenore when she was in the nursing home and is now located in our bedroom. The other two free-standing VCR's have died a slow and painful death.

I need to finish checking my mail and do a couple of things before settling on the couch for the evening to finish up my Aaron Elkins. I only lack about 50 pages but I was too sleepy to stay up last night and finish.

I hope you have a great weekend. It promises to be a lovely one here weather-wise. We may even get in some observing.



Saturday, 17 April 2004

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Sunday, 18 April 2004

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