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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 20 December 2004

Latest Update: Sunday, 26 December 2004 4:15 p.m.

Monday, 20 December 2004

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While we were out last night with the dogs the wind really started to kick up. Laying in bed reading it was whipping around the corner of the house so hard it sounded like the roof was going to come off. The deck gate was not latched and started banging back and forth pretty hard. Bob finally went out and latched the gate before it blew off completely. As rusted as the hinges are that could certainly happen.

I heard this morning we set record lows in the state this morning. My coworker lives the next county over out in the country. It was 8 F at her house and about 11 here at ours. I braved the conditions around noon for a quick 20 minute walk. By that time it was 17 F but the wind chill was still hovering around 5 F. It never did snow.

Last night I finished up the Laurie Berensen poodle mystery and started the last and most recent Cynthia Riggs.

With a four day week I will put in a couple of extra hours so I can leave early on Thursday. The Firm is closed Friday. We started a new on-going project today that will carry over into the first of the year.

Tomorrow night I am meeting my sister after work to help her with a little Christmas shopping project. I Doubt I will get a post up but will be back Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by. If you are heading out of town for the holidays have a safe trip.


Tuesday, 21 December 2004

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No update.


Wednesday, 22 December 2004

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Twas the night of the radio interview and all through the house not a dog was stirring nor even his spouse!

Bob is during his radio interview right now. My job is to keep the dogs quiet and not to drop anything on the floor. The best way to accomplish this feat is for me to sit here at my desk checking my e-mail and doing my page. Duncan sleeps either under my desk or beside my chair while Malcolm lies out in the hall or on the bed. When Bob finishes up we can reactivate.

I went to the gym for the 6:30 class. Getting home around 7:45 I had just enough time to get everyone settled down and quiet before the phone rang about two minutes before 8pm.

We had a virtual heat wave today with temperatures climbing into the mid 50's. It was raining when I left the gym. We will not have a white Christmas but we will have a cold one. The temperatures will take a plunge back down into the low teens at night and highs in the 30's just in time for the weekend.

I finished up the Cynthia Riggs book Monday night. We had a successful shopping expedition last night at the mall but it was almost 9pm by the time I got home. I am now reading the third book in the travel guide series by Maddy Hunter, Pasta Imperfect.

Emily has taken off for Italy with her group of senior citizens who includes not only her spry grandmother but her mother as well. Hunter is very funny especially if you have traveled with tour groups. On this tour, Emily's small group has joined a larger tour booked by a romance publishing house for writers, readers, and publishers. Of course, Hunter has me cackling from the very first chapter. Once I finish Bob will read it than I will pass it along to my sister to read.

As you know I very rarely discuss politics and/or local happenings on my page. However, I just cannot let this one get by without comment. The city of Winston-Salem and our county Forsyth just put up 36 million dollars to bribe Dell to build a plant in our city. Dell in return will offer 700 jobs. The catch...I am willing to bet half or more of those jobs will be filled with employees from surrounding counties who drive into our city to work from their county where their tax rates will not go up.

This mornings paper had a small article indicating we are going to repeat the process, in a smaller amount, to bribe Lowe's home improvement stores, headquartered in nearby Wilkes County to move their technical support operations here. Same scenario, same results.

Bob and I very rarely agree on things political I but in this case he and I are on the same page. Those employees who come into our county to work should be charged a payroll tax to support our county for their job and salary. Most of the workers come from surrounding counties where the tax rate is lower, the cost of living is lower, etc, etc. We outbid the other counties for Dell by almost twice as much. Those county governments aren't stupid. "Let Forsyth and Winston foot the bill for out citizens to get good jobs".

I shall climb down off my soap box now! Have a great evening.


Thursday, 23 December 2004

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Today was my last day of work until Monday. While a lot of the Firm employees were off today many of the attorneys were working which meant a normal working day for me and my coworker. As I have mentioned we are downstairs with the help desk and the technicians. They had a very slow day especially the techs. The help desk folks fired  up a DVD movie on a lap top to display on one wall to watch between the few calls they had.

I worked steadily all day on database changes and a project for one of our offices cleaning up company information. By working through lunch I was able to leave at 3:30. On the way home I made the weekly grocery store run. It looked like the day before the forecast of snow in the place with long lines at every checkout. I had no idea it would be like that by this afternoon.

We had a nice steady rain all night and most of the morning. By this afternoon the rain and warm temperatures had blown through bringing in the next blast of cold air I mentioned yesterday.

I will take some pictures tomorrow of the tree and decorations for my Christmas Eve post.


Friday, 24 December 2004

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A happy Christmas Eve to everyone.

Bob and I went out to Tractor Supply this morning to buy my Christmas present. Yes, I am so easy to buy for. This year I wanted a hand truck. TS has exactly the one I wanted. Not only is it a hand truck but I can turn it into a rolling cart. Now, this is one of those tools you don't use all the time but when you need it...you need to have one. I am getting to the age where I need to stop trying to lift stuff over 50 pounds. I can but shouldn't be. Also, working in the yard I need to roll things around, etc.

I love the Google Doodles artist. I have my Google link at work set to the main search page not the advanced for several different reasons. If you have not checked out this weeks be sure to do so. Google doodle for the holidays.

As promised, here are pictures of my tree and other decorations.


This afternoon after lunch I fired up the lawn vacuum and picked up sticks. While at TS Bob bought an assortment of grade 5 nuts, bolts and washers. Last month while getting up the last of the leaves I saw one of the wing nuts that holds the handle to the frame of my lawn vacuum fall off. I shut it down and realized that not only had that one fallen off but sometime earlier I had lost the one to the other side. Bob did a quick fix with the hardware we have downstairs that come in one of those kits with the little drawers. Unfortunately they are not very good grade metal. As I was using the vacuum that same day they both came out again. The vibration from the machine causes them to come loose and fall off. Bob loathes the cheap nuts and bolts they sell at most places like Lowe's and Ace Hardware. I suggested we might find the better grades at TS. Sure enough Bob had a good time picking out his assortment which included the stuff to fix my vacuum. I am certain the ones we installed this morning after we got back will not break off or come loose.

After getting the lawn cleaned up I camped out in my office to get some work done on the computer while listening to more of my Christmas music. The den stereo speakers are acting up again preventing me from being able to listen to them at night while reading. Next, I need to get my luminaries ready to put out tonight after dinner. I do twelve bags which are enough to go the entire width of the lawn.

Bob and I will spend a quiet evening reading and eating the wonderful looking homemade cinnamon rolls Mary and Paul just dropped off.


Saturday, 25 December 2004

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I just returned from my sister's house where we had, as usual, another wonderful Christmas Day. If you celebrate the holiday, I hope you had a great Christmas at your house as well. We started off with a delicious breakfast followed by light snacks for lunch.

It was full day of surprise gifts the biggest one pulled on Al. Our little shopping foray the other night was to get Al some tools, which he had picked out and one of those big red mechanics tool boxes. I kept quiet on my page just in case he read my journal so as not to give away the surprise. The very three large boxes rode around in my truck all week. This morning I drove the white truck. This afternoon Bob came over in the blue truck. We very quickly unloaded the three boxes and stacked them in the garage. After the last of the gifts were opened Frances asked Al to come help her get something out of the garage. He was very surprised to say the least.

I got some very nice things including a fancy new hand held vacuum for my stairs and the cars and some very nice place mats, napkins and napkin rings from their trip to Mexico a couple of months ago.

We had a wonderful meal of Cornish hens, rice, yams, broccoli, and assorted desserts.

Last night I finished up Pasta Imperfect and started a new author for me, Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series set in 7th century Kildare, Ireland. These have been on my TBR pile for sometime now. I was looking for something a little different so I thought I would try one and see how I like it. We have the second title in the series, Shroud for the Archbishop for me to start with. So far I am enjoying the few chapters I managed to get in last night before bedtime.


Sunday, 26 December 2004

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Too cold for golf this morning. Temperatures were around 29 degrees with a fairly good breeze. It felt like snow. We did not get any but the folks east of us along the coast did. Seems like almost every year now they get snow at the beach at least once during the winter.

We slept in until about 7:45, late for us. After getting our gifts put under the tree I loaded up the wrapping stuff and empty boxes and got them stored for another year. Bob caulked the shower our bathroom where it was leaking between the door and the shower stall.

While he started the laundry I vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, and dusted. After lunch I worked on the Friends newsletter to get it ready for printing tomorrow so I can mail it out this week.

My folks came over at 3pm to see my tree and decorations staying about an hour. Frances will take them back home. We are all having left overs for dinner tonight at our respective houses from our Christmas day feast.

I had planned to wash my Trooper but it really did not warm up enough. The forecast last night had been for a high of 47 but it had just barely topped out at 41 by the time my folks left at 4pm.

Tonight we shall enjoy an quiet evening of reading and relaxing.


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