Fritchman Thompson Diary
of 27 March 2006
Latest Update: Sunday, 2 April 2006 4:25 p.m.
28 March 2006
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.
29 March 2006
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
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.
30 March 2006
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
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.
31 March 2006
1 April 2006
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
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
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.
2 April 2006
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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Thompson. All Rights Reserved.