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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 16 April 2007

Latest Update: Sunday, 22 April 2007 3:20 p.m.

Monday, 16 April 2007

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A very windy day. I think we set a record for wind gusts not associated with a tropical storm. Gusts today reached 50 to 60 mph. It was very chilly walking from my car to the building this morning but had warmed up by lunch time. On the way back from walking to the post office and drug store a gust of wind blew behind me almost knocking me off my feet. If you have seen pictures of me posted on mine or Bob's journal page you know I am no light weight by any means. Since the wind was blowing hard I had a firm grasp on my CVS bag but it still almost blew out of my hand. Even though I had a firm hand on my cap it still blew off and up the sidewalk. We have a few small limbs down in the front. Several of the larger pine limbs from the back tree are down.

Yesterday afternoon we lost cable. Being under the tornado watch I turned on a local radio station and the local TV station. It was fuzzy but we could see the pictures well enough if they broke in with a warning. The power blinked off and on but we never lost it. My folks did, for about two hours. 

When I arrived at the gym after work they had closed due to lack of power. The winds are to continue through tonight and early tomorrow before tapering off to a moderate 15 to 20. 

I am now reading a J.S. Borthwick, Foiled Again. Her books are set in and around the state of Maine. Sarah Dean, an English professor is married to a local doctor Alex McKenzie. Sarah started out in the earlier books as a graduate student. While Borthwick is not one of the best writers in the genre I enjoy her characters and her settings. Her plots can be a little on the thin side but for a light cozy, they are okay.

By now, I am sure you have heard about the tragedy which happened today on the campus of Virgina Tech. This is only about an hour or so away from Winston. As you know I hardly ever comment on national news events but I shall this one. Before all is said and done this shooting will be blamed on either the guns, the manufacturers, or on those citizens who choose to own weapons for either self defense or hunting. The trouble is, those that own them for self defense cannot have them except in their homes. Law makers continue to pass gun laws to protect criminals from the good citizens of the this county.

I have learned how to hold and shoot a firearm. If law abiding citizens were allowed to openly carry weapons this situation and hundreds others like it would not have happen. When this guy started shooting at people one of those students would have pulled out his firearm and shot the guy dead before he had time to shoot 32 people. I am almost certain that if I were confronted with the same situation I would be able to hold the gun steady enough to at least shoot the guy enough times to stop him. At least I hope I could. I also hope I never have to find out. I have a concealed carry permit but it does me no good. Most, if now all buildings I enter from my work place to the grocery stores have no weapons signs posted on their doors.

I am not advocating the wild, wild west here, just the right to bear arms and protect myself against those citizens whom the law makers are continuing to protect.      


Tuesday, 17 April 2007

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If you read Bob's page you know we had a great report from the vets this morning. Duncan's blood work was normal. We think the tumor is gone. The problem is he will not let me or anyone else hold his mouth open and look inside. But, I know exactly where to look so I took a quick peak Sunday night while I had his mouth pried open. I could not see it.

We are going to finish the rest of the chemo and prednisone, about another ten days worth and then stop the treatments. I told Bob perhaps we will take him in to our vets the end of May and have them sedate him just enough to let us take a look in his mouth to make sure it is not growing back.

The bad weather and high winds have moved on through leaving quit a mess. Lots of trees down around the city and a few thousand still without power. Tonight I picked up the larger branches in the yard leaving the little stuff for the mower. With the bag on, it picked up the smaller stuff and crunched it up. The pine limbs in the back have to be sawed up before I can put them on the street. I also have a lot of limbs down in the natural areas which I left. I will get out there this weekend and do a good cleanup job. 


Wednesday, 18 April 2007

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Things seem to pretty much back to normal from the storm. There are still small areas in Winston and surrounding cities without power. We learned from our neighbor down the street what the sonic boom was Sunday. I knew the lightening hit was close because I saw the flash followed by another of the same.

Turns out the corner house down the street took the direct hit. Or, I should say the tree house in the back yard. The hit threw pieces of the tree house into the front yard, traveled into the ground and hit their natural gas line. It blew outside phone boxes off the houses nearby to them. We are very lucky half the neighborhood did not go up.

Frances dropped her PC off at the house this morning. Bob is not sure if it took a hit or if the power failed at a bad time scrambling the hard drive. Dr. Bob will no doubt get it fixed. We were over at Kim's last night until almost 10 while Bob tried to fix her phone service.

Guess I will cut this short. Stephanie just call to go walk in about 10 minutes. It is still warm enough, 60's, for me to leave my gym shorts on. I did not bother to change into my sweats when I left the gym because it was so warm.


Thursday, 19 April 2007

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We have a very enthusiastic bird somewhere outside our deck window. He sings, REALLY loud in the morning and at night well past dark. Since I am not home during the day I have no idea how long he keeps it up.

Very busy day at work today. Drew is on vacation today and tomorrow. I had to cover his job plus mine today making for a very busy and tiring day. Our Firm is promoting the "wear Virginia Tech colors" day tomorrow. In their support you are supposed to wear maroon and orange. I have neither of those colors in my closet. But, I will be wearing my new, yellow, Ronald McDonald House t-shirt. Each year the Firm sells the shirts for a modest price which goes to a very worthy cause. Just in case you don't know, the Ronald McDonald House provides inexpensive home like rooms for parents and children being treated at hospitals for serious medical illnesses which they are away from their homes. They have these houses all over the United States. The one here in Winston is just up the street from Baptist Hospital/Wake Forest Medical Center.

It was cloudy and cool today. Still no rain by lunch time or when I left work. But, as I was leaving the library heading toward the grocery store it started to sprinkle. It was raining pretty good by the time I left the store. I swung by Subway to pick up a sandwich for Bob. I fixed me a salad when I got home.

Still reading the J. S. Borthwick. The irony of my timing is the murder in this book takes place on the campus where Sarah teaches. The dean of the English department is seriously wounded by being stabbed with either a foil or an epee during sword fight of the play Romeo and Juliet. During this same performance, a student who had been hitting on girls on campus was found murdered by the same type weapon. While this is nothing compared to the idiocy which took place Monday at Virginia Tech I just find it weird to be reading a book about a murder on a college campus during the same time.


Friday, 20 April 2007

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Whew! Friday at last. Both Drew and Steve were out today leaving me holding down the fort. It was a moderately busy day. As usual, by Friday afternoon I am pretty much done in.

Last night I sat up reading well after 11 in order to finish Foiled Again by Borthwick. Today at lunch at I started another Detective Beaumont mystery by J. A. Jance. It was little cool at lunch with the light winds and partly cloudy skies but I sat outside on the bench in front of our building to read and enjoy the sunshine. By the time I got off work it had warmed up considerably.

This morning when I got to work our IKON department, which does all our copy/mailing services, has printed small black square paper patches with an overlay depicting the VT colors inside a ribbon to wear on our shirts.

Now, for a relaxing evening.


Saturday, 21 March 2007

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If there is anything like perfect weather, today is the day. Clear blue skies, temperatures in the mid 70's, no wind. Bob and l went out to Lowe's Home Store this morning. We picked out a new refrigerator, which Bob will order next week. We also looked at new front glass outside doors for the front. I will pick out the one I want from the brochure and Gerald will go out and pick up and install it.

After lunch I hit the yard. After using the edger I used the blower the to clean up the grass and all the seeds and debris in the driveway. Then I mowed. It was not all that high but I have a very busy week next week so getting the mowing out of the way will help. Plus, I just wanted to stay outdoors. My yard work was stopped several times to visit with the various neighbors also out enjoying the weather.

The forecast is looking good for observing tonight. 


Sunday, 22 April 2007

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We went up to Pilot Mountain last night for the astronomy club public observation. The partially lit moon was up, which along with Saturn, gave the general viewing public something cool to look at. I took the opportunity to do some work on my lunar observing list. This was the first time I have used the new moon map Bob bought for me. Between letting the public look through the scope I logged about twenty objects from my list. Bob and I also managed to knock off a few on our Hershel 400 list as well.

It was cool and breezy but all in all a very pleasant evening. We left around 11:30. By the time we got home and walked the dogs it was going on 1 when I turned off the light. Back up at 6:30 this morning to play golf. Today was another picture perfect day. It was bit cool this morning but it warmed up by 9 am or so enough to remove my sweater.

I took along a pair of yard work shorts and t-shirt to change into after lunch. I have talked often enough about the maple seeds that fly around known as helicopters. They settle in the soil and grow little maple trees all over the place. Dad must have had 50 ranging in size from one to three feet high. Not only do they grow up but they also grow down at the same time creating a very deep root. The only way to remove them is to dig them up. I cleared two of his gardens of these trees plus various other weeds and large clumps of grass. He had a flowering quince bush that was not doing very well where it was. I cut it back and dug it up to bring home. It is soaking in shallow tub of water out back. Next weekend I will find a spot to plant it.

After the late night, golf, and gardening I am pretty much wiped out for the day. Steaks on the grill and the couch relaxing are about all I have planned for the rest of the day. Al and Frances are coming by to pick up their rebuilt computer and have Bob set up their mail accounts.


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