Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, July 26, 2010 10:00 PM

Boulder Again?

On Tuesday I'm all set up to bicycle commute but I have trouble sleeping on Monday night and feel like blah. So I rode the motorbike to work, stay productuve, and then work the abdominals and lower back. After the workout I put on running shoes (with my orthotics) and go walking for 30 minutes - the first time I've gone walking since I hurt my Achilles tendon on 5 May. I watch the mountain stage of the Tour de France where they climb the Col du Madeliene and I'm jealous of the climbing ability of the leaders!

The rest of the week I drag through the week. Thursday and Friday are just blazing temperatures and that probably doesn't help with me feeling fatigued. But I get in good workouts each night and on Thursday I go for a 45 minute walk and ice the Achilles tendon afterwards. But then I'm limping around on Frdiay, so I'm not sure what's going on down there. On Frdiay I leave work a bit early to lift weights and mow the lawn and then to relax with a cool shower. When Person T_U calls to think about going out I mention the visibility of the International Space Station at 8:21 for 6 minutes and also mention that I'm tired and that I should go to sleep early tonight. But at 8:21 through 8:27 in the evening I stand outside and watch the International Space Station streak across the sky. And then I head for reading and sleep early.

Saturday is supposed to be very hot, so I start cycling early. I head north on the Los Angeles rvier trail and go up and over the Whittier Narrows dam and back down the San Gabriel river trail for a 40 mile ride. After the ride I take a cool shower, run a number of errands (to buy new cycling shorts and dress pants), and then return home to put the car away and turn on the air conditioning at home. I am so burnt out from the bicycle ride so I lay around for the rest of the day with the Tour de France coverage and qualifying for the German MotoGP and Moto2 races. I end up in bed before 9 pm for reading and for sleep.

On Sunday I start the day with the German MotoGP race. My favorite rider has come back from breaking both bones in his lower right leg 6 weeks ago and almost finishes 3rd - beaten to the line on the last lap. Today I just do the extended aquarium ride and it is actually hazy and gloomy down near the ocean. And today is much cooler than yesterday and there is no air conditioning running at home. Another mountain stage of the Tour de France is consumed as I pack for the work trip to Boulder again. Boulder is having 100F temperatures so it should be an interesting week.

Late on Sunday I pull the car out of the garage for use and drive to downtwon Long Beach for a fundraiser to build a school in Myanmar.

On Monday I drive to work and then to the airport to fly to Boulder. Actually we fly to Denver and then drive about an hour to get to Boulder. Monday starts with a smooth flight to Denver. The rental car is a Saturn Vue and I note that it has some power and does actually handle okay for a crossover. But the GM cruise control curse (C3) continues as it hunts around to try and maintain a constant speed. I also notice that the radio keeps changing volume (actually getting louder at idle and becoming faint during highway driving). And I also notice that if one goes over a bump while turning to the right the air conditioner stops, changes blower speed, and then continues. During the drive from Denver airport to Boulder I'm struck by a major league downpour and what used to be 70 mph becomes 30 mph for two miles. And then, as rapidly as it struck, the downpour is gone and everyone is back up to 70 mph.

On Tuesday morning I go walk in the walking/running trails behind the hotel and my achilles tendon is acing up again. Thus I limp my way through the week in Boulder. One of the Boulder people tells me about arnica gel for pain releief so I buy some at GNC for $2. Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't - I'm using the gel at the same time that I'm not walking or running. So I'll keep using it for a while.

On Wednesday I receive phone calls and emails from work at 1:30 in the morning, 3:30 in the morning, and again at 6:30 in the morning. There are words to be written for a current solicitation and bid. This will make an interesting and long Wednesday as very little sleep is obtained and we start at the vibration lab near 7:45 am on Wednesday. On Wednesday we struggle through the Y axis. We had conflicts with another test in the vibration lab, accelerometer noise issues, and some inertia to overcome. We completed the pretest signature and it matched very well with the May Nadir signatures. A series of increasing amplitude sine bursts showed some accel/cable issues which were fixed. We eventually achieved the 19.9 g sine burst level. A post burst set of sine signatures matched very well with the pretest signatures. The random vibration campaign went well as we started where we left in May 2010 with good force limits. The full acceptance level was run with little difficulty. A final set of sine signatures compared well with previous signatures. At 16:30 the break configuration command was given to change over from the Y axis to the X axis. By the break configuration command I am punch-drunk from lack of sleep and another resposnioble overseer is punch-drunk from drinking late the previous night. So we meet up on Pearl street at 6pm to have dinner. Representatives from Ball, NASA/GSFC, and Northrop Grumman meet up on Wednesday evening on Pearl street at 6 pm. We end up hitting two taverns with dinner being had at the second. Soon it is after 9 pm and everyone needs to get "home" for sleep for the night (even though we know we are needed a bit late on Thursday for testing).

On Thursday we arrive late at the vibration lab because the mechanical people are finishing the axis changeover and their is a medical conflict. We start in with the low level signature and find that the OMPS nadir sensor behaves very close to how it did in May. We proceed rapidly through the sine bursts and then overlay a second set of signatures with very good results. Starting with the final force limits from May, we proceed very rapidly through the random vibration tests ultimately getting to an acceptance level. A final set of X axis signatures shows no change to the sensor. The break configuration command is given at 2:45 pm and we agree to meet on Pearl street again at pm tonight. We have dinner at a mediterranean restaurant. As we enter we are asked if we want to be seated indide or on the patio. Because it looks like rain we stay inside. Twenty minutes later there is a stampede through the restaurant when a downpour hits and the patio diners are running for cover. After dinner we walk around Pearl street some more and see a piano player, a violin player, drummers, and a "magician" who eats fire and does his Houdini impression by getting out of a straightjacket/chain combo lockup within about two minutes.

On Friday morning the Saturn Vue has picked up a rattle from the rear of the vehicle. We get into a good pace as we sail through various signatures, sine bursts, and random vibration levels. Unsurprisingly the sensor behaves just like it did in May. By 1:30 we are heading for lunch because we are done. There were no mode shifts seen and no unexepected behavior. When I return the Saturn Vue the attendant asks, "How did you like the vehicle". He smiles knowingly when I respond with, "It's a General Motors product". I have a smooth flight at arrive at home near 8:30 pm.

Saturday starts with qualifying for the German Grand Prix and my favorite driver, a German, pulls a rabbit out of the hat to grab the pole position. I follow this with the extended aquarium bicycle ride where I feel very strong throughout - I guess a few days off in Boulder helped restore some energy. I mow the lawn and then run a few errands. In the middle of the afternoon Person E_Fl comes to visit. I hadn't seen Person E_Fl, a neighbor, and thought maybe he had left the area. He did move but only a few blocks away and we have a nice visit. I consider whether to go out clubbing tonight but finally decide to just go to sleep early.

Sunday starts with another extended aquarium ride. I see a friend, Dennis, heading in the opposite direction and we both stop and chat for a few minutes before we each continue on our way. The German Grand Prix is not good as my favorite driver loses his pole position and runs in third place for the entire race a squandered opportunity. During the afternoon I do some maintenance tasks and then I lift weights - the first time on one week. The week off is good and I have a fun workout with slightly dropped weights. It feels great to be back at home and cycling and pumping iron.

Monday starts with the extended aquarium ride. I then run a few errands and relax throughout the day. It is good to be home on a Monday (since I worked last Friday on our off Friday) when nobody knows I am home.