Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, July 26, 2004 8:58 PM

July Heat

I try to make the week a geenric summer week of walking before work, going to work, working out after work, and then relaxing during the evening. But circumstances don't agree with my efforts.

On Monday evening as I'm starting out on a post-weights walk, I see the end of my street blocked off with police activity. One neighbor says that the police told him that somebody found a pipe bomb in the corner house. Yes - this is a generic summer evening! So I turn around and start the walk the other way from my house. When I return about 50 minutes later the police are gone and all of the houses on the block are still standing.

On Wednesday night I invite Person T* to come over and watch a DVD of "The Last Samurai". I make the invitation because Person T*'s son is away and she is alone in her new house. We don't quite get through the entire movie, but it's close enough. I'll give the DVD back to the co-worker who lent it to me and said, "Having been in Japan recently, you, Ray, will enjoy this movie". I kinda enjoy the movie but I have a hard time sitting through non-racing events these days on the television or at the theatre. Witness all of the times that I fell asleep during movies with Person N_V.

On Thursday I get out for a long, brisk walk before a very productive day at Northrop Grumman. I get home and go for a short walk before taking the long walk over to Mom and Dad's house to pick up their van (for a Saturday run to the airport to pick them up). But I get to the van and it won't start - the battery is dead. I talk with the neighbor who has another key to the van and who has been moving the van around so that it doesn't get a ticket. The van started a day or so ago but it won't start now - even the dashboard lights are very dim. So now I have no choice but to turn around and walk back home. This day sees me walking for a total of more than 2 hours. After a quick shower I ride the motorcycle over to Person T*'s new house and we watch "The Gods Must Be Crazy" from 1980 that I have never seen. And then we fall asleep.

I return home on Friday morning before 7am. The neighbors are probably wondering, "What's going on here? Ray usually leaves for work about this time and now he's just getting home." I wait around most of the day for the city of Long Beach inspector to inspect the heating and air conditioning system. The contractor who installed the work also has a person who is paid to just sit there all day and wait for the inspector to arrive. (He actually does about 15 minutes of work preparing for the inspection, but his job is to sleep in the truck and wait.) The contractor's person and I have a nice discussion about El Salvador because he is Salvadoran and I have visited the country. I spend the day washing and waxing the motorcycle, doing some programming, and painting the bedroom with the second coat of paint. The inpspector finally arrives, spends about ten minutes looking at things, and lists the things that need fixing. He's in the (hot) attic for just a few minutes and comes down and comments about how hot it is up there. "Well, duh, it's an attic in the summertime and you're being paid to be up there". When he leaves I turn to my Salvadoran friend and say, "I don't like that guy". My Salvadoran friend agrees with me and goes about his business of closing things up and leaving. Another day of repair work and inspection will have to take place.

When the contractor and inspector leave I go for the aquarium bicycle ride, take a shower, do the laundry, do some grocery shopping, and relax for the evening. I deal with many phone calls from people who want things: Person M_C (relief from the pain of his surgery), Person M_F (help after his auto accident), Person L_S (help with schoolwork), Person T* (companionship), and Person C_T (me). I help as well as I can, but I need an evening to relax.

On Saturday I'm up and go for a northward ride on the Los Angeles river trail. When I get back home I pump up the metabolism with a Red Bull and half an ephedrine tablet, take a shower, go to the ATM, and head for Northrop Grumman. But I do not escape the demands: Mom and Dad call and arrange for a ride from me, Person T* wants me to come over for dinner, and Person M_C wonders if he can ride to the clubs with me tonight if I go out. But the time at Northrop Grumman on Saturday is productive working on stowed and deployed models.

On Saturday night I pick up Mom and Dad and the youngest kid from LAX near 9pm and return them to their home in Long Beach. I meet Person M_C at a Denny's where he leaves his car as we head for a club in West Hollywood. Traffic is bad, there's a long line for parking, and the parking fees have doubled. What's going on here? Person M_C and I walk into the club just before midnight. I wave or smile or hug all of my acquaintances. And then the fun starts.

Between midnight and 2 am when we leave I receive literally ten offers. What's going on here? I know that I have the biggest smile on my face the entire time because life is going so well and that smile and enthusiasm is just plain infectious. And people want to feel it and be near it. Thus they are drawn to talk to me, squeeze me, and hug me. Though two offers are very good, very titillating, and very desirable, I turn all offers down. One offer is from Person P_P. We have a good conversation and because it is loud in the club, he decides that he just has to put his arms around me and hug me tight as we speak in each other's ears. But this display of "more than friendship" does not drive others off. In fact, I see a couple people lurking - waiting their turn. How do I get out of this mess? By displaying a smile that just won't quit! And politely refusing. The smile is misinterpreted by some, but it works.

I drop Person M_C off at his car and arrive at home just before 3 am on Sunday morning. I'm hungry, so I have some bread and cheese and work on some web programming for ResourceScout that has to be done before Monday's flight to Oakland. I get the programming done and email my colleagues. And go to sleep at 4:05 am. But not before I set my alarm for 4:58 am so that I can get up at watch the German Grand Prix live!

After the race I get out for a bicycle ride, feed the roses, and grab a quick shower. Ruby has found a few inaccuracies in the web site, so now I make a few more changes. By 11 am I am ready for the British Grand prix for motorcycles. Rossi easily wins with his main rivals finishing down the order. After the race I get out inline skating (rollerblading) for about an hour. As I'm finishing the skate Peson C_T calls. We quickly decide that he should drive down to Long Beach while I take a shower.

Person C_T and I hang out and play and then we go have dinner at SoupPlantation. As Person C_T is leaving, this weekend should be over with so that I can sleep. But it is not. Ruby calls and now there are a couple more changes to be made as well as gathering all of the files and documents to go to Oakland with. But I am heading for bed before 10:30 pm.