Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, October 09, 2000 8:13 AM

Rumor Control and Damage Control

The last 14 days have been categorized as rumor control and damage control.

Over the last 14 days at TRW, I have had to dismiss a number of rumors that have been presented to me by either co-workers or people that I barely know. The rumors that I have had to dispel are:
1) That I have received two job offers from the recently completed EOS Aura Delta-CDR. (I correct the rumor to say that I have had three job offers.)
2) That I am leaving TRW for Hughes or Boeing. (I dispel this rumor with a sincerely delivered speech about liking the TRW environment, liking my coworkers at TRW, and liking the opportunity that I have had at TRW. Besides, why would I leave TRW to do other aerospace stuff. I'll leave TRW, though, to do other stuff.)
3) That I am leaving TRW to work at NASA. (Okay, NASA was one of the job offerers following the EOS Aura Delta-CDR, but why would I want to move to the east coast?)
4) That I am leaving TRW to join a pre-IPO startup. (Well, okay, I don't know how this rumor got out, but it may have been related to an actual July interview that I DID take. But there is no truth that my departure is imminent - the interview was more of a courtesy interview rather than a real interview.)
5) A business person who I have spoken with three times in the last four years, asked me "So when are you leaving for Bolivia?" And after that is met with a blank stare, is elaborated with "Somebody at the 8am EOS I&T meeting said that you would not be here for anymore activities because you were going to be in Bolivia." And she adds in "My husband is from Bolivia and we could give you some tips if you needed them." (I dispel this rumor with the logic that I would rather be in Peru or Cambodia right now where some serious government destabilization is occurring.)
6) The "When are you going to Vietnam and Cambodia?" rumor is met with "When a ChiChi who knows the language is willing to go with me and get involved in the political process." (I don't know the source of THIS rumor!)
7) The "When are you starting your new job at the mall?" rumor is met with "When the Fresh Connection at the Manhattan Mall hires me." (The source of this rumor must be one of two coworkers who were with me at the Manhattan Mall when I asked the Fresh Connection if they had applications for employment. Now I'll be serving fresh salads and baked potatoes!)

And let's not even talk about the more personal rumors that have been floating around in the last 14 days!

Over the last 14 days, there were 9 ice hockey games. Besides trying to play a couple of makeup games, there were the playoffs. After advancing to the playoffs and winning the first round, we split the first two games of the final. A third and deciding game will be played on Sunday night to decide the overall champion of the league. We will be playing a team that we don't like (to put it mildly).

The nine games and two nights at the Frat House over the last 14 days mean that there have been no days where I got to sleep before 1 or 2 am each night. Because of this, sleep and recovery have been shortchanged and I am tired. I am exhausted. So much so, in fact, that my weight lifting sessions are characterized by malaise, listlessness, and lack of reps. My overall lifts are about the same, but the repetitions to failure are way down. And morning blood pressure and pulse rate measurements confirm the overtraining/lack of rest state.

Two weeks ago, on an off night from ice hockey, I go to the Frat House. ChiChi is there. We have a good long discussion about ChiChi's current partner and we talk about all sorts of other things. ChiChi wants to buy me dinner, but I decline - afraid of what it might lead to. Instead I go home. ChiChi spends the night at the Buddhist temple in Little Saigon.

Sabrina, the HVAC, is working again, which is good news. She cuts hair for a living. Judging from the outfits that she has had over the last three weeks (including tonight), she is doing well. Two weeks ago she was wearing a beautiful, though faux, fur, which she purchased in West Hollywood. Last week she was wearing a gorgeous vinyl/plastic overall/jumpsuit outfit that I was jealous of. She found it on Melrose. Tonight she is wearing a vinyl/rubber floral print dress.

Ted, who I introduced myself to two weeks ago, is again at the Frat House. He is the one who I asked, before really being introduced, whether he was a computer geek or a scientist. He was taken aback, but eventually admitted that he was a scientist. We struck up a good conversation and, by the end of the evening, I had given him the homework assignment of getting me more information about DNA microarrays, or biochips, if you prefer. A few weeks later, when I saw Ted again, he sheepishly admitted that he had not found DNA microarray information for me. I tell him that that is okay because our partnership, the Hiramoto, Chen, and Manning partnership, is now falling apart because Packard Biosciences has beat us to the patent with their patent number 6,094,966, related to the piezoelectric dispensing of complementary DNA on slides. (Without showing the devastation in my face, I console Ted that he did not perform his homework assignment.)

On Friday October 6th, the rain is coming down. I like the rain. Except when I ride my motorcycle to work. I don't care today - I ride the motorcycle anyway. And I am wet for the first few hours of work. At the end of the day, the motorcycle will not start - the battery barely cranking over the engine. I try to push (or bump) start the motorcycle and am surprisingly successful on the second try - there is a slight incline to the R8 parking lot which I utilize fully to get started. (Possibly the rain has done something to the motorcycle battery.)

On Friday October 6th, after watching the majority of the qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, I head for the Frat House. Though I barely make it because now the truck battery decides to get weak!

On Friday, October 6th, I am at the Frat House and run into Ted and Sabrina, of course. Sabrina seems friendlier than usual, perhaps because she is working full time now. During the evening, as I am sitting on a stool facing the dance floor, Sabrina comes and stands behind me - hand/arm on my shoulder as a tip-over stabilizer. Though she is showing a modicum of conservatism with only 4 inch heels. And later in the evening, she is draped over me as we sit outside and talk with a number of her friends. And her hand makes it into MY pocket - grabbing the cell phone. "Oops - that isn't what I wanted to reach for" was what she said as she reached into my pocket. (Probably intending to reach for my wallet - yeah, that's it.)

I eventually leave - knowing full well that I may be stranded because the truck battery is weak. Here I am, 1:30 am in the morning, a deserted side street in the Garden Grove T-zone, hookers and drug pushers hanging out, and I may be trying to push-start my truck on my own. However, I am lucky - the truck barely snapping to life from the battery.

Saturday morning finds me at the Autozone replacing the battery in their parking lot. And after running other errands, I get blasted! A trip to the liquor store is among the errands. As well as searching through the medicine cabinets and hiding places at home for anything - "Oh God, please let there be something left over" - anything that will get me off. Combined with a bottle of whiskey, the drugs that I have found in the house suffice and I make it through Saturday afternoon. But it takes a handful of everything that I have found.

On Sunday night we play our championship deciding ice hockey game. I'm expecting to score the winning goal in overtime. We jump out to a 2-0 lead and am relieved that I will not have to score. The other team ties the game in the second period. One of the referees, who was at the triple overtime game a few weeks ago, comes up to me and says something to the effect that "It looks like you're going to have to get the game winner". The other team takes the lead, 3-2, in the third period. With just seconds to go in the game, I pass the puck forward and we bang away at the puck in the opposing team's goal crease. But time runs out with the puck loose and our team not being able to grab the tying goal.