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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 7 March 2005

Latest Update: Sunday, 13 March 2005 6:50 p.m.

Monday, 7 March 2005

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Last Friday between getting off from work and meeting my family for dinner I made a quick stop at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. After browsing the mystery section and not finding anything I was looking for I wandered over to the pets section. There I found three dog books I was looking for one of which was recommended to me by one of my readers.

This weekend I started Ella In Europe by Michael Konik. Since I enjoy books about dogs and travel this one looked like a good addition to my collection. Konik is a DOG LOVER. He really loves dogs. He grew up with dogs and other than a brief time in the early part of his adult years, has always had dogs. When he moved from New York city to Los Angeles he rescued a cute white lab/greyhound mix as a puppy.

In addition to teaching her tricks and certified her as a canine good citizen and a therapy dog. When Ella turned 10 he decided to take her on a six week tour of Europe. As you know, most European cities are much more dog friendly allowing them in places of business and restaurants. Here in the United States as dogs are becoming more and more a part of the family I have seen some relaxation of the rules in some places of business. Of course, many business owners are also dog owners and take their pets to work.

Konick is a Libertarian...need I say more as I am married to one. He makes a lot of valid points about places that allow screaming, misbehaved children but not a well behaved dog. The book mentions the places he visits, restaurants, and his travels from one country to the next via trains. He is constantly on guard to make sure he represents an American dog owner as a tourist in positive way following all the rules which is more than can be said for a lot of American tourists in other countries not traveling with dogs. If you love dogs and/or good travel books that are not a boring rendition of a guide book you have to add this one to your collection.

I will give you the other titles I bought later, as I read them.

It has been Monday as usual. Early dinner and gym. The temperatures rose into the 70's today. I think we are due some rain/thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow.


Tuesday, 8 March 2005

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As Pooh would say, "it's a very blustery day..."! It was raining lightly when the dogs and I went out to get the paper this morning. Just as we got back in the house it started a major down pour.

Later in the day when I went out for my walk the skies had cleared except for a few white, puffy clouds but the winds were howling about 38mph. After trying one circuit around the block I decided I would do the remainder of my walk in the parking deck. Not only was it hard to walk I was actually afraid of things blowing around. The deck has six or seven levels up to an open deck on top. I always walk up the ramps to each level but did not go out on the open one, again, due to the wind. Then I work my way back down.

As I sit here working in my office I can still hear it howling around the corner of the house. Well, I still have some things to do so I best cut this short.


Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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Today is my parents 59th wedding anniversary. My mom is at home but is still not doing real well. We are not sure what the problems are but Frances and I are trying to help out as much as possible without completely taking over. Speaking of Frances, I will go ahead and wish her a Happy Birthday on tomorrow's page. I am certain I will not have time to do an update tomorrow.

I have Friends meeting at 4:30. From there I am meeting everyone for dinner either at a restaurant or takeout to celebrate her birthday. If we do go out we will still go back to her house for cake and ice cream.

If it's not the dogs at the vet it's the car at the mechanics. This afternoon coming home I noticed when I turned into the driveway the car was steering very stiffly like the I had lost power to the car. I used to drive a '66 Chrysler when I was in high school and college. It used to cut off on me when I turned corners causing me to have to wrestle it around a turn until I could get it fired back up.

After dinner it drove fine to the gym but half way home it started acting up again. I called Bob to come down to the basement to let him know what was going on. We checked the power steering fluid reservoir, which had fluid in it but Bob filled it anyway. In the meantime I noticed I had something dripping under the car and wet/spray on the hoses around the battery.

Guess we will drive out to Tim's first thing in the morning to get is checked out.


Thursday, 10 March 2005

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Happy Birthday Frances!


Friday, 11 March 2005

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Whew! It has once again been a very long and busy week. Last night we had a wonderful dinner at Outback then back to Frances' for cake and gifts. I left work early, 3:30, to come by and pick up Bob so we could run out to pick up the car. I left him to pay while I took off for the library to make my 4:30 Friends meeting.

Tonight, I met my folks and Frances at another restaurant, The Carriage House. My cousin and his wife are on their way back to Pennsylvania after coming from first Florida and then Myrtle Beach. Since I was gone last night until after 8pm, I did not go back to Frances' tonight to visit. I hated to cut the visit short and come home but knew I had a slew of e-mails plus I wanted to put up a post and the dogs need some attention.

The Firm purchased pizza for everyone today to enjoy while watching the second round of the ACC basketball tournament. A great many of the Firm attorneys and staff attended many of the ACC schools. I don't follow college sports any longer but I do enjoy watching some of the ACC and NCAA games if I have time.

We have had some very crazy weather around here. This morning was chilly but sunny. This afternoon we had rain/sleet/hail/snow showers. It has now cleared but will be windy and cold again for the weekend.


Saturday, 12 March 2005

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As usual, it has been another busy day around the Thompson household. Although I was tired this morning when I got up I decided I would go on to the gym for spin class. As with most cases, once I got started I had more energy than I thought.

Back home, I started a small load of special items I wash separately from the main wash. Before I started the house cleaning I took the dogs out for a walk down the block. On the way back we discovered Mimi and Sean were outside in their backyard with Emma and their new puppy. Bob and I were down briefly Tuesday night to meet Oscar when they brought him home from the breeders. Oscar is a Spinone Italiano.

If you scroll down to the picture of Holford's The Full Monti, you will see a close resemblance to what Oscar look like. As are most puppies, he a cute little guy running around, stumbling all over the place with ears dragging the ground. He followed Duncan around for a while then played some with her sister Emma. Malcolm is rather indifferent to dogs in general. If Oscar got to close to him he let out little warning growls but that was about all.

We stayed for half an hour or so to visit. When I got back home Bob said he needed something from Office Depot. Since I had a short list of items I also needed I took a quick run out there after lunch.

I then did the usual house cleaning before finally getting a shower and sitting down to work at my desk. I took a break around 4 to take the dogs for another quick walk after which I decided to turn on the Duke/State game.

I fixed bacon, egg, and pancakes for dinner. Just as I sat down I knocked a large butter tub off my table (we eat in the den on This End Up Tables that attach to the sofa). This in turn knocked over my water and a full sized serving cup with heated syrup all over my side table and everything on it. I had put the syrup on the table so I would not spill it when I moved my eating table! Yea right! It took half an hour to clean things up enough to allow Bob to reheat his dinner in the microwave. I was so mad at myself it took awhile for me to calm down enough to heat up my dinner.

Afterwards I washed up the dished and mopped both the kitchen and den floors. After repeated attempts to had wash the syrup from the table we eventually had to take it to the sink and do a full hosing down with hot water. This End Up tables are pine boards with tiny spaces between the boards. The syrup ran down into those spaces. Most of the stuff on my table was junk which could be thrown away. I managed to get the sticky mess off a couple of important papers while the other stuff that got just wet will dry.

I think what made me so darn mad was the fact I should have moved the butter. Guess I am not only physically tired but mentally as well. Dad has a cold which means no golf tomorrow. Just as well, I can spend the morning relaxing before heading over to my folks house for my usual Sunday visit. I still have a lot of "work" to do at my desk but I can work on it tomorrow afternoon.


Sunday, 13 March 2005

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Mother Nature is once again playing her dirty tricks. March 13 in the Triad is not supposed to be shirt sleeve, 75 degree weather. Trust me, we will pay for this in late March or early April.

I spent the early part of the morning doing a few chores here at home including catching up on some ironing. I left around 10:30 to head on over to my folks house. Earlier in the week I had Bob order my dad one of those amplified telephones. He really has a hard time hearing some people on the phone or if he gets an answering machine. The one he ordered is pretty cool with tone and amp settings as well as very large numbers. After I removed it from the box I realized we needed four AA batteries and an outlet strip. Mom and dad live in a 49 year old house which has few electrical outlets per room. The phone wall already had the microwave and answering machine plugged in.

While Frances went off to pick up takeout for lunch I did a quick to the nearby Office Depot for batteries and an outlet strip. I left dad reading the instructions to see how to mount the wall bracket and program the memory. After lunch we had everything working with the necessary numbers programed and ready to go.

Each time you hang up the phone it cuts the amplified sound so that someone who does not need 18 decibels of amp to hear will not be deafened. All dad has to do is press the amplify button to resume to the amp setting which can be changed as he talks.

I stayed for a while longer to visit. Once I got home I decided I may as well crank up the mower, set it down a notch, and give the grass a cut/clean up of leaves and small twigs. I picked up the big stuff blown down from all these windy days by hand.

After I mowed I cleaned out the gas grill using a toothbrush to clean the vent holes. We fired it up to grill some ribs to go along with some noodles. Just as I finished cooking the gas in the old tank finally ran out. We have a new tank full and waiting to be hooked up next time. Our old tank has to be discarded due to the new connections they put on the current propane tanks.

As I was cooking the clouds started to roll in. When we took the dogs for their after dinner walk it had just started to sprinkle.

Guess that's about it for this weekend.


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