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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 27 March 2006

Latest Update: Sunday, 2 April 2006 4:25 p.m.

Monday, 27 March 2006

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No update


Tuesday, 28 March 2006

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Well, I am back. I hope you missed me?  Let me get you caught up on the last five days.

Bob and I left Thursday afternoon for the Wake Forest lodge up at Fancy Gap to hopefully get in at least one good night of observing. We had it reserved for Thursday through Saturday night.  Upon arriving at the lodge around 5:30 we had cloud cover. Bob and Becky drove down from their place about 25 miles up the Blue Ridge Parkway in their camper truck. We had a wonderful homemade woodsman stew consisting of venison, lentils, and lots of vegetables which we ate in front of a roaring fire.

Friday dawned cold and cloudy. Bob and I spent the resting, reading, and napping in front of the fire while it snowed off and on all day but did not stick to the ground. I took a nice hike late in the afternoon. Around 5:00 the snow starting coming down heavily. In the meantime Steve and Jim arrived along with Becky and Bob again. They went home and came back bringing with them a home cooked smoked salmon. We added salad and bread for another wonderful meal. With the observing snowed out we watched the NCAA basketball games and sat around talking.

Saturday we had roughly an inch of snow on the ground but not the roads or pavement. By mid morning it had all but melted in the sun or blown away. It was very windy  but the sun came out. I went for another hike. It looked as if the clouds were going to blow away and bring up some clear skies for observing. Which it did...along with 35mph winds with 50+ gusts. Not good observing weather especially since it was about 20 degrees with wind chills in the single digits.  A couple of folks tried setting up their scopes but it was blowing them around too much. As a matter of fact it was hard to even stand up at times. We finally bagged it for the night and went back inside for more basketball and talk around the fire.

Sunday morning we were up early to clean up the place and head back home. Steve and Mimi had looked after the dogs for us. We arrived back home around 10:30. The dogs did their happy dance but unfortunately Bob had a rude home coming. His main computer system had died for no apparent reason when he fired everything back up. I took the dogs down to visit with Oscar and Trudy while I chatted a few minutes with Steve and Mimi to thank them for taking care of the guys.

While I took care of unpacking and stowing away left over food etc. Bob worked on his system. After trying several options there was still no joy. Later that afternoon I cranked up the mower. The wind was blowing pretty hard down here but it was not near as cold as it was in the mountains. Although we did not get to do any observing I had a much needed rest after three weeks or so with Jackie gone. My batteries were extremely low in power.

It was back to work for me on Monday. We had a very busy day, for a Monday. In the meantime Bob was still not able to get his PC working. After dinner I took Malcolm for a long walk around the block. With Bob's system out of commission I could not publish my page yesterday.

Over the weekend I had started Oh Danny Boy the latest Molly Murphy by Rhys Bowen. Last night I sat up until 11:30 so I could finish. It was excellent as usual.

This morning I had a 9:00 dentist appointment then on to work. Tonight it was back to the gym. This afternoon Bob called to tell me he had built a completely new system and was working on installing the necessary software to get himself up and running again. I am not sure when he will post again.

That's about the long and short of what has been going on here. I have some pictures from the mountain trip that I hope I can post later this week once Bob gets everything working again.


Wednesday, 29 March 2006

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I forgot to change the current link on yesterday's post in case you missed it. If you read Bob's page you know he is now back up and running after a frustrating few days.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After work I made the usual Wednesday library and grocery store run.

I have started another Dana Stabenow, Liam Campbell mystery set in Alaska.  In So Sure of Death, Liam finds himself and his new partner investigating the murder of a fishing family on their boat. At the same time his former girl friend and pilot Wy has discovered a murdered archaeologist at a dig she has flown the scientist in charge of the site and his supplies to in another remote part of Alaska. That is as far as I have read but so far I can tell it will be as good as the first book in the series.



Thursday, 30 March 2006

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Not really much in the way of news but I did want to drop by and say hello. I am still busy as a bee at work trying to manage my special projects along with having to do all the day to day stuff. I will be glad when we get a new person hired to replace Jackie.

It has turned warm again with highs today in the 70's. We did not have much of a winter. I can remember back when I was in Junior and Senior High School, 1969 - 1973, we had very warm winters with very little or snow and cold weather. Then we had some really cold winters in the early and mid 80's and then back to warm ones again. I have a feeling these last few warm winters are about to go back to the cold ones again.


Friday, 31 March 2006

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No update.


Saturday, 1 April 2006

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Last night I met my folks and sister after work for dinner. I spent the evening playing ball with the fellas and finishing the Liam Campbell mystery. I am now reading a new Mary Daheim, The Alpine Recluse. This is the series featuring small town newspaper owner and editor Emma Lord of Alpine, Washington.

We were up at 7:30 this morning. I did not go to the gym but instead plunged head first into the house cleaning. Having let it go last weekend since we were away it certainly needed a good cleaning.

Afterwards I took off to run some errands which included a trip to Lowe's Home Improvement. I picked up an assortment of things for various upcoming lawn and landscaping projects. After a quick bite to eat I took the dogs out back to play some ball while I did a few low maintenance chores before putting them back in the house so I could mow and edge. I landscaped on small area just outside the back door by the deck stairs that refuses to grow grass. I spread a couple of bags of mulch to make it look better. Since part of the area is directly in front of where the trash cans reside I cannot plant anything along their.

By three o'clock my energy was starting to go thus I called it quits for the day. I had intended to do some lawn patching with seed and dirt but with little or no rain forecast for next week I decided to wait on that project.

Next chore, organize and clean off my desk after two weeks of dumping junk upon it, again, due to being gone last weekend.

It reached a high of 82 today. On this day last year it was 63 which is actually about average for this area and time of year. It has indeed been a very strange winter and spring. The record high of 85 set back in 1986 came close to being broken.


Sunday, 2 April 2006

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Dad and I played golf this morning. It was his first time since his hand surgery. He got along wonderfully.

Last night went up to nearby Pilot Mountain for the astronomy club public observation. It was the first time in awhile we actually had really good observing weather. With plenty of scopes available for the public to view the moon and planets Bob and I actually had a chance to work on our Hershel 400 list. We bagged about 15 objects before calling it a night around 11:15. By the time we got home, set the clocks ahead, walked the dogs, and got to bed it was going on 1:30. I doubt I got to sleep much before 2:00 or later and then back up at 6:40.

I very rarely take afternoon naps but this afternoon while trying to read the paper and watch the race I just could not hold my eyes open. I napped off and on getting in at least that hour of sleep I lost with the time change.


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