Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, November 20, 2000 7:10 AM

Just A Few Things

After intense scrutiny and work during the EOS Aqua acoustic and sine final preps and tests, I am exhausted. After waiting on EOS electronics to be ready to test and not hold us up, I am exhausted and livid. As the sine test ends on Thursday, I finally feel the loss of adrenaline that comes with the test and on Friday I am a zombie. At times I cannot keep my eyes open and am "caught" with my eyes closed a number of times on Friday. On Friday afternoon, as I am walking down the 1500 M1 hallway with the GSFC customer, thinking "That wall over there looks like a good place to lay down and collapse", one of my shoes flies off and comes to rest ten feet in front of us. The customer turns to me and says, with a real serious voice, "Would you trust this guy to sine test YOUR 1 billion dollar spacecraft?"

Late on Friday, the payload attach fitting (PAF) shock and separation is to occur. We are watching through the window. Here's the countdown: "Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Mark." At that instant, the Boeing person absolutely, positively hits the mark. There was no anticipation of the countdown and there was no delay. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Cero. Love. None. And the PAF ordnance blows and the PAF falls gracefully to the ground. Unfortunately nobody told the Boeing guy that this was a practice countdown and that he shouldn't fire the ordnance. The tapes were not running and now we have no shock data. Shows what happens when non- M740 people run a dynamic test. But I am so exhausted that I am beyond feelings.

I have the Ramones cranked up:
"She had a very bad affair with some cat from Hiroshima.
She turned into a head of lettuce, she eats Thorazines in her farina.
But they took her away, tossed her in the bin,
Now she's hanging out in East Berlin.
And everytime I eat vegetables it makes me think of you."

I hang out at the Frat House until about 1:30 am on Saturday morning. Having been "caught" with my eyes closed a number of times there by my acquaintances.

Saturday, after a good bicycle ride and a $112 visit for Nopester to the veterinarian, I get to the usual Saturday errands. (The $112 visit included a checkup, ear cream, and antibiotics. The visit ends with no fights between Nopester and the other dogs and cats at the vet, though he was so excited and tired out by the visit that I have to pick him up entirely to get him in the truck - Nopester not even helping me by putting his front paws onto the seat so that I can lift his hind quarters. And this after the vet saying that Nopester had gained 8 pounds to get to 83 pounds.) And on Saturday afternoon, when I want a nap, I realize, "Oh God, how did this happen?", that I have three dates for tonight.

One, fortunately, turns into a long telephone call when we cannot get the logistics figured out and finally agree to try another time. This leaves Toni (not to be confused with Tony) for dinner and Jo (not to be confused with Joe) later. Jo having invited me to the opening of a new club in Long Beach, "Club Asia".

For both remaining dates, I go for the "Just ran away from rehab" look. Unshaven and tussled hair - it's amazing what a bit of styling gel can do. And I'm so desperately in need of sleep that I cannot get my contact lenses in. Until I realize that I'm trying to put them in with my glasses still on.

Dinner goes off without a hitch. But Toni decides to go to Club Asia with me (where I'm supposed to meet Jo). This presents some quandaries and difficulties, but I agree to the arrangement and decide to handle the situation on the fly. We get to Club Asia and run into Jo. And, "Why did I not expect this situation to get more twisted?", we run into Alex. We shouldn't discuss the inevitable awkwardness of the situation here and we shouldn't discuss the theatrics that accompanied the entire incident. But let's just say that other than being tired, being "caught" with my eyes closed a number of times again, and being the center of attention of the entire club at various moments during the evening, it was a fun opening to the club.

And on Sunday morning, when I wake up, roll over on my side and see who's there, "Oh God, what have you done?", and roll back over to my other side, I believe that I have made the proper choice. Sort of. Maybe. Wait, let me rethink this. "Oh God, what have you done?"

I go shopping at Vons early Sunday morning. When I come out to the truck after the shopping, I notice that an old beat-up car has parked very close to me. Close enough that I have to squeeze into the truck door. And I notice that the old beat-up car, probably the same car that Christopher Columbus came to this land in, has The Club protecting it. The Club is used to protect a car worth less than the purchase price of The Club.