Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, March 1, 2004 8:00 AM

Get Rid of February!

I am glad that February is behind me. The combination of putting Nopey to sleep, a ruptured disc, and Person N_V's indiscretion has made this a February to forget.

On Monday I get ready to fly to Chicago (en route to Fort Wayne, Indiana). There is a long line at security as there was a security breach one terminal over, but I make it to the gate just in time to start loading the plan. I talk with co-workers a few minutes and then turn to get in line. And Sweetie is there! (Sweetie is really Peter who's wedding I attended on May 5, 2001. I hadn't seen Sweetie since his wedding almost three years ago. And we had lost contact because I changed all of my phone numbers and email addresses to get away from the Psyhco Thai and Sweetie moved to buy a condo with his wife.) Sweetie and I do a double-take as neither of us expected to run into each other. We give each other a big hug in front of my co-workers and start talking about our lives, our work, our families, our pets, and all of the other things that have happened in the three years since we last saw each other. We don't talk during the flight, but I wait for Sweetie as the plane unloads in Chicago and we exchange phone numbers and business cards. And Sweetie gives me a big hug in front of all of my co-workers again as we part. The remainder of the flight to Fort Wayne is uneventfull.

The meetings in Fort Wayne are productive. I also get out for long walks each morning (as the church thermometer reads 19 degrees F) and each afternoon (as the church thermometer reads 28 degrees F). I'm glad that I brought a winter coat, a sweatshirt, a winter hat, and warm gloves. Though some of the locals look at me weird for wearing so many clothes. "But, hey - I'm from southern California."

The trip home from Fort Wayne is uneventfull as we arrive in Los Angeles ahead of schedule. It turns out a strong tailwind pushed us all of the way home. But we did have to land from the ocean heading inland - the first time that I've done that. There is heavy rain falling so I have fun driving sorta fast on the way home.

I send quiet nights at home on Thursday and Friday night. There are a fair number of phone calls from Joe, Person T*, Ruby, and Person J_VKPI, but I maintain my resolve to spend some quiet time alone.

On Saturday morning I'm up early for a long walk. About halfway through the walk there is a pure black cat that looks like it wants to cross my path. And I will it, "Don't cross my path. Stay. Stay. Don't even think it." The black cat is holding firm until a load car goes past and almost scares it. More "Stay. Don't cross my path." manages to keep the black cat from crossing my path as I finally make it past the cat. I just need to get past the month of February. Mowing the lawn, finishing and mailing taxes, and miscellaneous paperwork and scheduling complete my quiet Saturday. I get in a good session with the weights and another long walk before considering evening plans.

Saturday I am in bed by 10 pm. Person N_V comes over a bit later and we have a long talk. But we're both asleep by a bit after midnight.

Sunday is a maintenance day. After a good morning walk, I paint some trim, perform a plumbing repair, and work on computers. It's time to upgrade the antivirus, so I purchase Norton's antivirus software and install it on two of the three computers where it's needed. Another long walk pretty much ends the weekend.

There were no strange or wild activities on this weekend as I attempted to get the heck out of February as quickly and as quietly as possible. I cannot say how much I look forward to Monday morning and the start of a new month (and leaving February's ills behind).