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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 3 May 2004

Latest Update: Sunday, 09 May 2004 19:16

Monday, 3 May 2004

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I started a new book over the weekend, Prairie Nocturne : A Novel, by Ivan Doig. No. these are not mysteries. I discovered Doig when I picked up one of his earlier books at the library book sale. Doig sets his books in his native state of Montana. Prairie Nocturne picks up several characters from his Two Medicine trilogy novel Dancing At the Rascal Fair. Doig has written some other books set in the Montana but not as part of the series. I recommend them all. You can read more about them on his web page. Having never been to Montana, yet, I go there every time I read his books. He is not detailed to distraction like Michener yet his descriptions of the mountains, plains, customs, etc from the white man took the land from the Indians to the mid 1920's you will love his books. Doig writes well and deep yet his books are easy to read.  

He has a very strong female lead character, Susan Duff, still single in her mid-forties teaching music in Helena. Former governor, ranch owner, and Susan's lover Wes Williams has hired her to teach his African American chauffer to sing. Susan moves back into the old homestead from Helena to concentrate on teaching Monty to sing and hopefully to finish writing her operetta she has been struggling with for years. Being 1924, you know can guess the many problems that are going to arise with this scenario of a white lady teaching a black man for training as a singer destined for the hall of New York. Wes and his brother are also buying up more and more ranch lands in the Two Medicine country, much to the disappointment of Angus McCaskill, who has been fighting the Williams' land takeovers for generations. And, of course, they use Border Collies to drive the cattle.

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Well, I have been to the gym after dashing home and fixing a quick dinner. I need to finish catching up on the mail. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.

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Tuesday, 4 May 2004

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Just a quick post to say hello. It is 7:45 pm. I rushed home, fixed dinner, went to the library to box up the book sale, returned back home and mowed the lawn. Whew. After a quick mail check I shall retire to the den sofa to rest until time to walk the dogs and go to bed.

As you know, I now work along side the help desk folks. They spent the entire day reinstalling adobe reader and ZoneAlarm for folks both of which blew up after the patch was installed last night for the new worm. Many of our laptop and desktop pc's were also hit directly. It was mayhem down there all day. I went upstairs to eat my lunch and take a break from hearing it and the news channel (they have a TV on in the break room) was covering the worm and telling home viewers what to do. BLAH! Someone needs to kill those SOB's that create this stuff.

 

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Wednesday, 5 May 2004

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It finally warmed back up to more spring like temperatures this afternoon. Yesterday morning when I left for work we had frost in some of the low places. This morning it was around 42 degrees. The house temperature has been dropping to around 62 at night but warming back up during the day. Today the outside temperature made it to 78. I think tonight it is not to be as cold and by the weekend back to the high's in the low 80's again.

I ended up making the weekly grocery store run this afternoon rather than wait until the weekend. Since I had no plans for tonight other than getting some work done I had time to make a quick stop on my way home. And, I had to stop at the pet supply store and pick up dog treats for The Guys. 

It was so nice after dinner I took them down to play with Emma for a few minutes before getting started to work at my desk. 

Otherwise, not much in the way of news. The Firm help desk is still fighting the woes from the worm patch. Our team just work steadily all day on data base changes and clean up.

 

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Thursday, 6 May 2004

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After work this afternoon I drove over to pick up dad and head over to Lowe's. His edging bricks came in yesterday and were to be put out today. When we got there they had ten stacked up on the pallet with no more in sight. We asked the young guys working in that where they rest of them were. They told us that was all. We said "you sold 1058 of these things since this morning". That is how many the guy told dad was on back order last week. When he called today and they told him they had arrived the guy even asked if he wanted them delivered. 

The young boys went off in search of...five minutes later he came driving around the corner with a pallet full on a loader. A quick trip back home, we off loaded them until Sunday when we will "plant them" so to speak. I told dad we can play nine holes then come home and get the planter built. 

We had a quick dinner of hot dogs for Bob and a veggie burger for me. Man it has turned hot. 80's this afternoon and even hotter tomorrow. No rain in sight.

 

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Friday, 7 May 2004

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Very long week, thankfully the weekend has arrived. This morning Sheila and I arrived at work to find a grand total of 600 tickets in our data change inbox. Last night David downloaded information on all 100 counties of NC that needs to be cleaned up. 

It will take several weeks to get them cleaned up what with having to handle the other database changes as well. I worked through lunch today so I could leave at 3:30.

The weather looks possible for some observing tonight. Will let you know tomorrow.

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Saturday, 8 May 2004

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Good afternoon, or whatever time of day it may be where you are reading this. We found a new observing location thanks to one of our WSAL club members. Last night our core group, Steve, Paul, Bob and I, drove out to see what the observing conditions are like. It takes roughly 45 minutes to get there but well worth the drive. While we had very little in the way of horizons, the place is fairly dark. Conditions were clear last night but seeing was fair as was transparency. The field, behind the house of Steve's colleague from work, is used to grow grass to feed livestock. The grass we pretty high but for us that was not a problem. We were able to set up in a mowed path alongside the field. Bob and I got a few more objects on our observing lists.

Of course this time of year, it does not get full dark until 10 or so. We got about 2 hours of observing before packing up and heading back home around 12:30. By the time we walked the dogs it was going on 2am by the time we got to bed.

I was up at 7:30 to let the dogs out, read the paper, and then off to the gym. I have cleaned house, given the dogs some outside ball playing time and watched a taped episode West Wing. While watching the show I mended a couple of the couch pillows where the side seams had torn loose. I brought the old VCR back upstairs so we could watch taped shows in the den rather than the bedroom. This is the one that tends to get hungry and eat tapes periodically. Bob said to just put in the tape and let it run rather than try to fast forward through commercials. So far so good. Tonight I want to watch the first two part Masterpiece of the returning series Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison. This is the sixth series of these mysteries. Last week and tomorrow night presents another two parter in the series.

This afternoon I have some work to do, finishing up an article and other miscellaneous type projects. Ribs and chicken on the grill for dinner. Today is nice and cool in the shade but rather warm, low 80's in the sun with a really nice breeze. Enjoy your weekend.

 

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Sunday, 9 May 2004

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Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. It was another two shirt day as well. Dad and I played nine holes of golf getting back home at 9:30.  We immediately started building his planter with the edging bricks. It is always hard to get the first/ground level row down and as level as possible. We then added the second row. I had just finished up, around 11:15,  when mom called us in for lunch when dad decided he wanted the planter to be one more brick long so the gas light would be centered better. We were building the planter around the light post. After our lunch I dug up sod and dirt to add the extra brick on each side and the two end bricks. We added the second row to those, spread the dirt, and I was finished.

I got home around 12:30. When I pulled into the basement the garage door had an epileptic seizure going up and down, up and down, without stopping. Bob came down and unplugged it. I short rod had come loose from a plate on one side. Bob removed the plate, reinserted the rod and bolted the plate back down. Plugged it in...same thing happened. I pulled the car out and Bob closed the door manually. I came up stairs to get a dry shirt. The one I had been working in at dads was now soaking wet and clammy by the time I drove home. 

He then blew out the gutters for the last time until fall ridding them of the last of the helicopter seeds. After he finished on the roof I mowed and edge, swept up the seeds from the front porch, drive and sidewalk then hit the showers. It was 3:15 and I was beat. I read the paper until 4 then went down to help Bob with the towel load to go in the wash and let the dogs out for a potty break. I left to pick up the takeout Chinese on the way over to Frances' to have dinner with her and mom and dad for Mother's Day. We had a nice dinner while watching the Wachovia golf tournament being played in Charlotte, NC. Al is down there with a fleet of buses from Holiday Tours driving spectators from the tournament site to the parking lot.

I left her house thinking I could beat a thunderstorm on its way in from the west but it started raining/hailing on the way home. By the time I got to the turn for our neighborhood it was a frog chocker of a rain. I parked as close to the side door of the basement as possible and made a two step leap into the house. Bob could have raised the door by hand but I did not want to raise and lower the door again until we get it fixed.

Sounds like most of the storm has now passed through. Duncan is hiding under my desk while Malcolm barks when it thunders. I need to check my mail and do a couple of other things before calling it a day. 

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