Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, May 6, 2012 10:00 PM

Cinco de Mayo

As on Monday I'm tired throughout the rest of the workweek. I've finished up a couple of efforts and have lost a bit of enthusiasm and motivation for the next big push. So Wednesday and Thursday are only semi-productive. When I get home each night I try to get in workouts with a long walk on Tuesday, heavy lifting on Wednesday, but a Thursday workout is bypassed to see "Girls Rising" at the theatre. Throughout the movie, a documentary about the impact of education or lack of education on girls futures, has tears welling up in my eyes throughout the entire movie. Some are tears of joy, but most are tears of desperation and despair.

On Wednesday after work I take the Yamaha YZF-R1 in for a tuneup and get a ride home from Person Ti_Ca. Each day the dealer calls with something extra wrong with the 11 year old bike. First it is the old chain, then it is the worn out front tire, and finally on Friday it is a spark plug coil. I felt each of these problems before taking the bike in. The surging and tight links of the chain, the front end chatter, and the occassional missing at mid-range. So now the repair bill is up from an original $450 to about $700. But they are all things that have to be done to keep the YZF-R1 running well.

The off Friday starts with a mountain bicycle ride down to the pier and back. Today there are not many cyclists or runners out, but many bike trail blockages. There are city trucks doing work near the river (and parked on the bicycle trail), there are tree trimmers and their equipment, there's a small dolly in the way, and a minor fender bender traffic accident that is blocking the bicycle trail. Nonetheless it is always great to be on two wheels! When I get home I edge and mow the lawn and get cleaned up to run errands. I convert a bank CD to a savings account, visit my cycling-roofing friend to pick out roof colors, drop off a book at the library, and do some grocery shopping. I'm happy to finally get home after 1 pm to sit down and have lunch. After lunch I go trim the roses and feed the impatiens and then relax - having just received the bad ignition coil news about the Yamaha YZF-R1 after hoping that I could have it back today. But I cannot sit still. Late in the afternoon I'm down on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor and then wiping it down with a Windex/alcohol mix to put a nice clean shine on it.

Saturday starts with the mountain bicycle ride to the pier and back since I'm hung over from Friday's activities and am not up to anything longer. I run into Terry during cycling and we stop and talk. A short while later a young cyclist stops and asks to borrow a pump. He has a flat and we end up trying to fix the flat but he's got the wrong tires on the wrong rims and its a mish-mash of a bicycle. So he and his three fellow riders will have to try their best to get home. I work on some web programming as I wait for the call from the motorcycle dealer. The call finally comes and I drive to the dealership, pick up the motorbike, ride it home, and then take a bus and walk back to get my car. Usually it is a two bus ride, but the second bus is always a long wait so I just walk the last three miles. As I'm finishing the walk to the car I see the usual second bus pulling up - it was exactly the same time for me to walk as it would have veen to wait a long time for the bus and ride. After relaxing a bit I'm getting restless, so I head out to a coffeehouse to read and have a strawberry smoothie. I just barely have my smoothie in hand and a magazine opened when they announce that they are closing in 15 minutes. The coffeehouse has changed its hours from closing at 10 pm to closing at 9 pm. Whoever heard of anything closing at 9 pm?

Sunday starts with a long ride where I meet up with Derrick. Derrick has not ridden for two weeks since he has been busy with the Cal State Los Angeles super-lieage vehicle. Derrick is excited because they have made a lot of progress over the last four days even if he has not slept much. We have a great ride together and enjoy each other's company. After a shower I run some errands, grab some food for lunch later, scuff in the new front YZF-R1 motorcycle tire, and trim the roses. I take a break and consider life, and then continue on with errands. I share some thoughts with my brother via email and suggest that we set aside some time for a long phone conversation about our futures as we are both getting closer to our "golden years" - whatever that means. Person Ti_Ca returns from his hiking field trip near 5 pm and we work on homework a bit.

There are problems at work on Monday through Wednesday with our network and simulation servers so I don't get as much done as I would have liked. To relieve stress I get in good weights workouts on Monday and Wednesday and just a short set of walks on Tuesday. Tuesday is taken up with some banking with Person Ti_Ca and so the short walks is the best that I can do. On Wednesday, as I'm trying to find flights for the summer vacation, I'm told that I don't have to go and now everything is up in the air - including visas for certain countries that require visas before you arrive. What to do now?

On Wednesday, as I'm trying to get my visa and travel plans together, Person Ti_Ca comes back from working out and starts an argumnet. Well now this throws the entire trip into disarray. After a while I go for a very long walk because that's what I do when I have problems. When I get home I collapse into bed and go to sleep.

Thursday is a disaster at work. It starts well with my simulation from Wednesday finishing and the results looking good and I start another simulation. And two co-workers come and ask for advice and I share with them what experience that I have. But then there is a call near 10 am from the vibration test lab and pretty soon I walking over to the lab with people on the mobile phone that I'm explaining the upcoming or cancelled trip arrangements to. The test article is not behaving anywhere near prior test articles of the same type. I end up spending until almost 7 pm at the test lab with no lunch helping debug and interpret data. At least I run into old friends that I haven't seen for a while, but the test article is behaving weird. Eventually we decide on some courses of action and take debugging steps and decide to re-group on Friday to try again. When I eventually get home Person Ti_Ca is in his room and then leaves without saying a word as I'm out watering the impatiens, looking over the roses, and watering the lawn. Unfortunately no workout for today (unless I decide to go for another late night walk.)

Friday is a better day at work though it starts with a 0.5 degree F fever. I have no serious phone calls from people in trouble and I'm able to make a lot of progress on the step beyond the simulation that I've been working on for so long. When I get home I lift weights, mow the lawn, and scrub the shower tile before rinsing down. Person Ti_Ca spend a fair amount of time on homework and even miss Person T_U playing guitar with some friends at the First Friday celebration. And I'm collapsing into bed a bit after 9 pm.

Saturday starts with checking out qualifying for the MotoGP race from Jerez, Spain and then a very windy bicycle ride to the pier and back. There must be a 30 mph wind today and lots of riders (of the fewer who are out) are struggling. I run into a cycling friend Terry who shows me his new Trek Domane on today, his first ride of it. When I get home I scuff the Yamaha YZF-R1 rear tire and then start hanging plastic sheeting on the garage for the upcoming re-roof. In the middle Person Ti_Ca comes home from the gym and helps out a lot - including a trip to the store for more plastic and wanting to climb up on the ladder and staple the plastc up himself. After a shower we go have lunch and then I come home for some web programming. And later we do more homework.

Sunday starts with a very windy road bicycle ride. I meet up with Derrick and we turn south into the wind. I appear to be stronger today since Derrick has been putting in long hours with his school's super-mileage vehicle, so I do a majority of the pulling down to the pier. We enjoy the break and then head for home. When I'm home my legs are tired! AFter a shower I watch the exciting MotoGP race from Jerez, Spain and do small errands around the house. Later I even catch the Moto2 race from Jerez, Spain as Person Ti_Ca goes off to a wedding. I should do some web programming, but there's an issue I'm having and so I give it a day off - hoping the solution comes to me during the break.

It rains on Monday morning and the car is out of the garage for the re-roof, so I drive to work. I bring some workout clothes and get in an almost hour walk towards the end of the workday in order to let traffic die down before driving home. It's a productive day at work in advance of two days of solid meetings. Person Ti_Ca and I do homework when I get home and then I watch the Los Angeles Kings even their playoff series at two games apiece with a close win over St Louis.