Fritchman Thompson Diary
of 6 August 2007
Latest Update: Sunday, 12 August 2007 1:50 p.m.
back. We had a wonderful time though by midday Saturday I was beginning
to think the trip was doomed. When we got down to Level Cross Saturday
morning where Holiday Tours is located I turned the car off to unload
the luggage. Not sure why I did since I have to park the car after we
unload at the bus. Thankfully, this time I did. When I went to crank
the car to park it did a nice whirring sound but would not crank.
I kind gentleman brought his car over while I fished the jumper
cables from the car. They told me when it cranked sparks flew from
around the battery terminals. I parked the car and raised the hood. I
carry a screw driver and a hammer in my car. I needed a racket set to
get the cable connector loosened. The same kind man had an emergency
took kit in his car. He loosed the terminal nuts. Around the outside of
both posts, particular the positive one there was a lot of corrosion.
When I removed the cables the inside metal was coated. I always carry a
pocket knive with me on trips in my pocketbook. I spend maybe ten
minutes scrapping the gunk from the connectors and posts before we
reattached both. The car cranked right up.
If you read Bob's page on Saturday and then again this morning you
will see I sent him a correction to his Saturday post. He thought the
man who helped me did the scrapping work. Since I am sensitive to the
helpless woman thing I sent him a retraction from work this morning to
let him know I did all the hard work, the man just loosed the nut and
Just as we left Holiday Tours and got on the interstate we saw black
smoke up ahead. A 4 wheel drive was literally burning up on the side of
the road. Something I have never seen before.
I called Bob from the rest stop to let him know what had happened
though there was nothing he could do about it. After we arrived in
Columbia and made a lunch stop we drove to our first site seeing event.
More on that later. I pulled out my new camera to take some pictures
and...yep, the batteries were dead. I called him from my cell again. He
said to try the other set of recharged batteries. No joy. I put in the
set of regular alkalines and thankfully got a full charge. Whew. From
there on out the camera worked just fine and the trip went along
When we arrived back at Holiday Tours last night the car cranked
just fine. Still, I will have Bob call our mechanic to ask him why they
never cleaned or replaced the cables when they were checking the
battery for charge life. Plus, they had it twice this month and should
have noticed the sluggish starting problem.
Since the car appeared to be behaving well we stopped for dinner on the
way home. I was home by 7:30. No gym tonight as I have a lot of things
to finish up including catching up on mail, etc.
Sometime later this week I will have pictures to post and stories about the trip.
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
It's hot. After a relatively cool June and
July the heat has arrived. It was close to 100 degrees Sunday in
Columbia when we left the zoo at 12:30. I knew it was going to be hot.
I packed a dry t-shirt in my tot bag for the return bus trip home. The
sleeveless shirt I wore during our three hour tramp around the zoo was
soaked by the time we boarded the bus.
Here, today, the heat and humidity pushed the outside conditions up over 100 degrees. More of the same for tomorrow.
I have almost finished the Masie Dobbs. It was a perfect book for the trip. The first third of the book author Winspear
introduces us to Masie and her newly opened private investigator
business. The middle portion of the book reads somewhat like a book
version of Upstairs/Downstairs, the popular British drama series shown
on Masterpiece Theater. Masie starts her life in the service of a
wealthy family of whom her dad delivers produce. Very quickly the Lord
and Lady discover Masie's yern for learning and her high IQ. Masie's
roommate in the house has fallen in love with the young Master of the
house. Masie eventually goes off to a woman's college but WWI
interrupts her life and everyone else's around her. I have about thirty
pages left to read to the end. The third portion of the book goes back
to the case she starts investigating in the beginning of the book. We
learn what happens to the man Masie fell in love with during the war
and how she solves her first case.
I love Winspear's writing and her characters. She has three more books out in the series which I look forward to reading.
Bob downloaded my pictures from the trip. He will have them ready for
me for my post tomorrow night. We are in the middle of a Midsomer
Murder so I best get going.
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Thanks once again to my web master (Bob) for
posting my pictures. I took 102 pictures. To save Bob a lot of work I
chose a few to represent the trip to share. If you are interested be
sure to hit the web sites I provided links to for more pictures and
This is the Lorick House.
It now serves as the Lake Murray Welcome Center. You can read about the
history of the house on the web site. The house is one of the few
plantation homes to survive Sherman's torching of the south.
Our next stop was the State Museum of South Carolina.
Again follow the link for more information. The museum is housed in an
old cotton mill. If you are ever in Columbia, SC I highly recommend
this museum. Lots of things for kids as well as adults. I loved this
Henry Fitz telescope. They had several different telescopes on exhibit
but this was my favorite.
After checking in to the hotel and grabbing a quick bite to eat we
headed to Lake Murray to catch this boat for a 45 minute ride out to
Bomb Island to see the purple martins. About ten years ago these birds
starting spending the months of June through the first of August. They
then spend three months flying back to South America.
The island has was used for bombing practice during WWII. The birds
began swarming back to the island each evening around dusk to find a
place to roost for the night. Each morning they leave in large swarms
to fly as far as 40 to 50 miles before coming back each night. Many of
the pine trees you see in the distance are black with birds rather than
green. They swarm in great flocks of thousands at one time. We were
about a mile or so out and the noise was deafening. You can only
see a few boats in this picture but there was literally hundreds of
them on all shapes and sizes watching the birds.
I was able to get a fairly decent picture of one flock flying right
over head. It was truly one of the most amazing sights I ever witnessed.
The next morning we arrived at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
when it opened at 9am. This was one of the finest zoos I have visited.
We had about three hours which was not long enough to see everything
but long enough to be out in 100 degree heat. The animal enclosures are
designed to allow the animals to be close enough to see unlike some
zoos where they are so far off you need binoculars. This cute fellow
was a tortoise but I cannot remember his exact species.
And of course, penguins. We spent a long time in front of their glass enclosed habitat.
This little guy kept sticking his head in to steal fish while the guy was feeding them.
When we walked up the meerkats this one was standing guard.
This one was asleep but woke up to poke its head out from the hole down below.
A few minutes later the first one went
down the hill and crawled in that same hole behind the one peaking out.
Then this one climbed up to take his place.
Here it sits standing guard
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I just got home from getting a hair cut
and making a couple of quick stops. I was supposed to eat dinner but
could not decided what a wanted so I came on home. Popcorn with a
Midsomer Murder sounds like a good plan as we continue to be scorching
in 100 degree heat.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Friday, 10 August 2007
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Greetings. I had a very rough couple of days
at work. When I got home last night all I wanted to do was eat dinner
and watch a Midsomer Murder. I did not even come back to check my mail.
After a good night's rest I was ready to roll this morning.
Or course, with me being gone last weekend the house was in need of a
good organization and cleaning. I still had trip stuff to put away,
table tops to clean off, etc. With the vacuuming and dusting finished I
headed for the yard.
I had not mowed since the Thursday before I left. With the hot, dry
conditions the only thing growing is the Bermuda grass. If you are not
familiar with this type of grass it loves hot, dry conditions. You
could lay a piece of Bermuda grass on the sidewalk and it would take
root and grow. So, while the other grass has started to turn brown the
Bermuda continued to grow. It was way too hot to try to mow earlier in
the week. Both Thursday and Friday we hit triple digit numbers for
This morning we are having a cold wave. It is 82 and feels like 85. A
few clouds and nice breeze made it pretty nice to be outside. After I
mowed I walked the dogs down to the corner then let them lay outside in
the yard while I swept the sidewalk. When the sun comes out it gets hot
again but things are much improved.
I am taking to break to read mail and check web pages. This afternoon I
will clean up the basement of the boxes and kitchen items Bob removed
last weekend from his office and lab clean up. And as usual, my desk
needs some major work.
One of the funny stories from the bus trip I forgot to mention. The bus
we were on had one of those new on board talking GPS systems. As we
were going along "she" would give out directions making it very weird
while watching a movie or playing bingo. This was a new trip for
Holiday Tours and the driver. We had to find our way around the area to
the places we were going. The driver and escort did a wonderful job but
several times the GPS system got a little upset if the driver missed
his turn. "She" would frantically repeat "recalculate, recalculate"
when he did not go the way "she" wanted him to. Thankfully, "she" did
not try to play Bingo.
Sunday, 12 August 2007
Even though the temperatures were somewhat
cooler this morning at 7:20 when we teed off it was still pretty warm.
Once the sun got up over the morning clouds and haze it turned hot
without any breeze stirring at all. At least by the time we got to the
back nine we a little breeze kicked up once in awhile.
Other than paying bills and doing a few other things here at my desk I
plan on spending the afternoon relaxing until time to fire up the grill
I finished the J. P. Beaumont last night. Not sure what I will start next. Perhaps something from my TBR shelf.
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