Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, January 14, 2012 10:00 PM

Bad Year Start

On New Year's day I get out on the mountain bicycle for a ride down to the pier and back. On the way back home I hear my name called and it's Derrick who has ridden down on his road bicycle and is currently rehydrating near the Catalina landing. So I turn around and ride with him to the lighthouse and then we turn back up the Los Angeles river and head for home. Just to be a bit different I actually watch a bit of a college football game - the rose bowl. It's as uninteresting as I expected it to be despite it being a close game.

On Wednesday and Thursday I go to work and try to be productive. Most people have taken these two days off and there are very few people at work. I get some work done since there are no meetings and since there are very few disturbances. On Thursday after work I have a 90 minute telecon about the adoptions business that is very hostile. I end up just listening for a majority of the time as three other people just go at it. This isn't what I signed up for when I wanted to apply my geek skills to helping people. After the meeting I put on warm clothes and go walking for 45 minutes to get rid of the stress.

After the morning warms up a bit Friday starts with a long mountain bicycle ride to the pier and back. Aftwerwards I rake leaves, mow the lawn, and trim the lawn. A warm shower gets me ready to relax, but it is not to be. Ruby and Joseph call me and ask to have a meeting with out business/lawyer at 3:30 in Torrance, so soon I'm on the motorbike and riding to Torrance. As we are gathering there is the cutest little ChiChi and before I even introduce myself I say, "Can I have your phone number?" I'm not sure where this came from, but fortunately the ChiChi declines my request. We have a very long business meeting and I finally get back home near 7 pm to continue work on websites.

I get a late night text from Derrick indicating that he is sick, so I just do the mountain bicycle ride to the pier again. It is another cold day but if I am able to ride in the sun, then it isn't so bad. I continue working on websites until near 1:30 pm I drive off to a hazardous waste drop off for some used motor oil and pain that I have laying around. I then meet with Joseph and his sister Cecilia at a park and we take a number of photographs of me in a suit and tie for the websites, brochures, and marketing pitches. Though I am asked to contort into a number of different positions, Cecelia shows me some of the pictures and they are very good and professional. I rush on home to watch some football but then have a teleconference at 4:30 until 5:30 to discuss the future direction of the business. I repeat a number of times, "I am only focusing on the website for the 17th". And then I relax with the second football game of the night.

There is rain on Sunday morning so I work on websites until I see a sunny break. And I see another cyclist ride by the house (used as my canary in the mine). So I get out for the long ride to the pier and back on the mountain bicycle. The wind keeps shifting and the sun keeps going in and out of clouds, but it's a great ride as I crank along strongly especially towards the end. After relaxing for a bit I drive over to Joseph's house for a Skype teleconference with all of the partners. The teleconference is a disaster as we argue for almost 4 hours over shares and roles and positions. I thought that we had this all worked out and now we are back to square zero. I finally have to leave for Person Ti_Ca's belated birthday party, but I just say, "I'm going to concentrate on getting the site ready for the investors pitch on the 17th and not going to think about this crap".

I rush on home, change clothes, and get to the restaurant for Person Ti_Ca's birthday party 30 minutes early to announce that we are coming. Since I don't know how many are coming beyond the original 12, I apologize to the waitress and manager and ask for their patience. Forty minutes AFTER the party was supposed to have started we have 6 people and we go sit down. For the next two hours people keep coming until their are more than 20 people present. I don't know what happened to being on time and/or RSVPing, but it works out. After the party I rush home to collapse into bed.

On Monday through Wednesday of the week I am productive at work and contribute where I can. After each day I lift weights or go walking before sitting down and working on the website more. By late on Wednesday night it is getting near to a review and just needs a few little clean-ups. Thankfully I can sleep on Wednesday night at a reasonable hour.

On Wednesday at work I go into the lady's office who has been problemmatic at work. We've known each other for 25 years and been friends on and off. I just go in to wish her happy new year and to tell her that we can peacefully co-exist on this project and that I'm staying away from her turf. Soon the "anticipated short new year greetings" turns into a 40 minute conversation about many things including her life as a child in Lebanon and, at one point, she has tears in her eyes. I can only hold her hands and let her know that I cannot fully put myself in her position but we all need to prioritize our battles and what is important or not. Seeing that I was movd from a nice window office to a small cubicle in this recent move, she's upset with me that I'm not upset. And I just tell her that it doesn't matter to me and it isn't important. We finally end the conversation hpoing to co-exist peacefully. I think we made some good strides at being able to work together and become friends again.

Thursday is windy and a bit wet in the morning, but I'm on the motorcycle for work anyway. I continue to debug the problem that I have with my simulation as well as help some other people. At noontime I walk outside the building and it is very windy and very cold. By the time that I get home, hopefully having solved my problemmatic simulation, it is very cold and windy. But I put on extra clothes and a hat and gloves and go walking for almost an hour. And then work on the websites. It is supposed to be into the 30's F for the lows this coming weekend - very cold for us.

On Friday I have a productive day and discover some innaccuraces in the simulation that I fix and it is now to the point where I almost believe the results. There is still a bit of debugging to do and some reality checks to be performed. After work I lubricate the chain of the Yamaha YZF-R1, get in a workout with the weights, and then rake leaves. After a shower I relax as Person Ti_Ca and I catch up on some epidoes of Modern Family and I work on some websites.

Saturday starts very cold so I run a few errands and then go cycling. Even starting at 9 am yields very cold fingers and ears during the ride. But I enjoy the ride! After a shower I run a few more more errands and then I work on websites and watch playoff football.

Sunday morning is colder than Saturday morning, but I'm supposed to meet up with Derrick for a ride. So I start early (to meet him farther north and get in some extra miles). We meet up and start riding and catch on to this group of riders who are going very fast at times. So we trade off pacing and get down the Los Angeles river very fast. We continue on to the pier, turn around, and head for home. There's a tough wind going north that Derrick will have to battle for a long way. After a warm shower I relax with football playoff games and some more website work. I'm hoping that this work pays off soon with two of the websites that I'm intimately tied to having demos for investors in the next few weeks.

Sunday night into Monday morning is the coldest day of the year with low temperatures near 35 F. Nonetheless I am on the motorcycle at 6 am to get to work and then I try to warm up. It is a mixed day of very productive times followed by lethargic, unenthused times. But the progress is still good. When I get home I increase the weights a bit and have a great workout. I think I've lifted the same weight long enough to get me back into the swing of things since my time away from lifting in Thailand and Cambodia. After lifting I work on a different website where the principles keep changing their format and minds. We have a teleconference at 8 pm and I keep warning them that they will not make their deadline for the Chadwick Conference if they don't stop changing things and let us work. We'll see what happens in the next couple of days.