Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, March 22, 2010 10:00 PM

Finally - start of F1!

Its a blah week. Sort of. There's a a panic at work. But I just work away at the best pace that I can and say "It isn't going to happen" when somebody wants something done in a ridcualously short time. On Tuesday night I get out running and pop my left calf - as sometimes happens. So I end up walking home from a fair distance. It's either the left calf or the right hamstring that "give out" and leave me walking.

Saturday starts with a visit from Person M_Fl before he has to go to work at the hospital. After he leaves I watch qualifying from the Grand Prix of Bahrain and try to learn the new paint schemes and drivers for eahc team. I'm excited when my favorite driver gets the pole for Sunday's race. Its a beautiful day today and the extended aquarium ride gets the blodd pumping. Today I ride with another rider for a fair distance. He's Armenian from Russia and so we have a nice conversation about many different topics. On Saturday afternoon I feel myself dropping off to sleep (after visiting the library and doing mower/edger oil changes) and have almost a three hour nap. Where did that come from?

I head for clubs in West Hollywood to meet up with Person T_U. I'm a bit late tonight, so I stay at one club for a short time and then meet up with T_U just before midnight. We each run into acquaintances and I enjoy myself on this night. The different DJ plays very good music! Near 2:40 am I am leaving the club for home. Since we have to move our clocks forward, this is really now 3:40 am. I get home and get the lights out for sleep at 4:45 am on Sunday morning.

Near 7 am I'm up and watching the Grand Prix of Bahrain. My favorite driver, who starts from the pole, dominates the first 2/3 of the race until an exhaust header causes a power loss. But he manages to limp home with a 4th place finish. On this bright sunny day I get out for the extended aquarium bicycle ride and crank along quite nicely. Afterwards I go buy lunch and a new front tire - this time I decide to buy a new tire before I have a catastophic failure somewhere. Thus I spend a few more minutes outdoors in the bright sunshine changing out the tire and being ready for some bicycle commutes.

I struggle through the week. Is it the time change? I'm not very productive at work, have a bad attitude, and am looking forward to a three day weekend. But I do get in good workouts with the weights throughout the week. Late on THursday I;m told that I have to go to work on Friday (our off Friday) in order to get my presentation for NASA/NOAA next week reviewed. I am so disappointed.

I make the most of the work for our off Friday. I start with a conversation with Tree in Thailand. I try to cheer him up since he has some trouble at home. And then I jump on the mountain bicycle for a bicycle commute to work. After a shower I put my head down and have a very very productive day at work. I work on some onorbit anomaly that one of our satellites is having. I get some great results with a simulation when trying to match the telemetry data. But I don't stop there. I set up the problem as a genetic algorithm and let it run. I'm excited! I finally get my presentation reviewed (after warning everyone that I have to be home before dark because I'm on the bicycle and my lights are not working). And then I have a great bicycle ride home to end the day.

I wake up at 2 am on Friday night and cannot sleep. How can this be? I had two hard bicycle rides on Friday. Regardless I read for a while and surf the Internet and get back to sleep near 4 am.

On Saturday I'm up well before 7 am to see morning low fog. Thus I wax the motorcycle and do a few other things before starting out on the extended loop ride on the road bicycle. I have not been on the road bicycle for a long time and it feels good. Except that everything about me is tired so I struggle during the entire ride. After a shower I run some errands and return a library book before relaxing during the afternoon. And I do finish waxing the motorbike by turning my attention to the wheels. The motorbike looks almost brand new! Late in the afternoon Person T_U calls and we go to the driving range near his house and hit a bucket of golf balls. I have not swung a golf club in 8 years or so, so I certainly hit some funny looking shots. On the other hand I do hit some nice shots. A few regular trips to the driving range and I could play again.

Sunday starts slowly as the morning night and low fog is back. When the morning is clear I head out for the extended aquarium ride. I feel okay, still a bit hungover from previous rides. But I move along well. The rest of the entire day is spent relaxing and doing a small amount of yardwork.

On Monday I'm very productive for part of the day. I'm still working on the anomalous behaviour of one of our satellites. I'm struck by a thought from a short time ago when a co-worker mentioned something about increased solar flare activity. Sure enough, when I enlist his help to find measured solar activity on the date and time of our satellite anomaly it matches exactly. It matches exactly! I get really excited because I've probably stumbled on to the root cause of the onorbit anomaly. I put together the story and send it off and other people get the wheels churning further to track down other details about space environment. When I get home I struggle with the heavy weights workout and realize it is time for a few extra days off. I've been at it now for nine weeks without more than 2 or 3 days off.