Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, December 5, 2000 7:10 AM

More Circumstances

It is Thursday night. I am at the Library coffeehouse in Long Beach. (For history, two weeks ago I came to the Library to meet a date. I got stood up for the date, but at the Library I ran into a former roommate, Ruby. Ruby is a social worker and, well, that brings us up to date.) I have a notebook computer and am working on the cellular automata simulation of the united states' economy. Ruby shows up and I her show her the simulation and she enjoys it. Especially as each and every state changes color based upon it's economic/demographic status. We talk about a great idea that Ruby has to incorporate a number of social services assets unto the web. She has filed a patent application and is working to find seed money for a startup. After I tell her that Sweetie could help getting the hardware and networking together and after I tell her about the decline of Hiramoto, Chen, & Manning, she gets the brilliant idea that I should come aboard her startup and get the database direction, pattern matching, and data mining in shape. I agree to meet with her other principals next Thursday.

On Friday I receive a notice from my health care provider stating "All of us at Health Net are committed to keeping you informed of changes to your health plan benefits. As a result, we want you to know about important enhancements to your mental health benefits...blah..blah. (Your chemical dependency benefits are not affected by this law.)..." I am relieved.

Friday night I head to the usual place. I run into a number of acquaintances and have fun. I can finally relax now that EOS testing is finished. Brandon is there and he shows me a cute little cell phone holder that is actually a stuffed animal of a dog. (He's proud of this because he usually gives me his cell phone to hold while he is cavorting around and now he won't have to do that anymore. He says that he has named the dog Ray.) Paul, who is the person that ChiChi left me for, is there. We have interesting discussions about marketing and psychology (which he is studying in school). Nobody seems to know where Sabrina is - she having not been around for the last four or five weeks. There is a suggestion that she may have traveled again to Vietnam. This gets my blood boiling knowing that she went and didn't ask if I wanted to go along. The crowd is relatively small today, so I'm home in bed by 1:30 am.

Saturday night at 10pm sees me in Burbank for another one of those ice skating fund raisers. There is a huge crowd! The net take will be large. I help a number of people get the hang of the ice skating. On the way home I just cannot bypass a trip to downtown LA. It is eerie! I am the only car on the street at 4th and San Pedro. There is thick fog and as I stand at 5th and Los Angeles streets at 1 am on Saturday night (actually Sunday morning) I cannot see the other side of the intersection! I am careful walking around to make sure that I do not accidentally step on a sleeping bag or a cardboard box that serves as home for someone. Finally as I start driving home, it is very easy to hit someone walking across the street if one is not careful (due to the thick fog). But I manage to miss all obstacles and slowly make it home.

Sunday night I play an ice hockey game. We lose the game, 4-1. I actually have a good game though the final result doesn't show it. But, unfortunately, I get hit by the puck above the knee on the inside of the leg where there is no padding. I hobble off for a quick rest, but it doesn't really hurt much. Though the swelling and discoloration have already started when the game is over.

On Monday morning, with the stress of EOS testing finished and after two days of cycling, one ice hockey game, one session with the weights, and two late nights, I record the lowest blood pressure reading in 90 days. The relief of stress via loss of stress-producing activities and increased physical activity is apparent.

Monday, after a good bicycle ride and a decent session lifting weights, I head up to Culver City to play another ice hockey game. (The leg doesn't really hurt that much, though the swelling and discoloration is obvious.)

Tuesday, after three bicycle rides and two ice hockey games in three days, I decide that I need more. So I go for another bicycle ride. Seeing that I am still physically hungover, the ride is a lousy one - I'm slow, my legs are weak, and I get stopped by a train. After the circumstances, there is only one thing to do. Pack up the notebook computer and head for a coffeehouse. I arrive at the Coffee Tavern and see the ChiChi with the cutest smile on the planet. (From a long time ago.) And after getting my drink, I keep saying to myself "Don't look up. Just keep your eyes on the display, the keyboard, the mouse, anything. But don't look up." Because I know that I will only get into trouble. And I actually do look up a few times, but manage to keep my thoughts on the social services stuff.

And arrive home, take some Kava root extract, and collapse into a deep, restful sleep.