Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, August 12, 2013 10:00 PM

Birthday Time

On Tuesday there is a delay in testing since some test facility personnel have a medical issue that they have to deal with. Thus on Tuesday morning I decide to completely re-order the simulation events because they don't match up with the parent document and I'm sure this will lead to confusion in the future. By lunch time I have (almost) completely re-ordered the events though this has been somewhat tedious and needed some clever thinking to be compact. As I'm talking with my project boss after lunch I get a call that says that we are ready to test. SO I rush to the test facility and find that the basic run, prior to testing the unit, has not been performed. I inisist on it being performed and during the run they blow up an amplifier that cannot seem to be re-started. If we had our unit on the shaker during the blowup it could possibly, though low probability, have been catastophic. Because the amplifier is blown and they cannot reboot it, we conclude testing for the day and I ride on home. I ake work phone calls when I get home as I'm walking to the grocery store and try to arrange some contigency plans in case the amplifier cannot be repaired in a timely manner. And then I relax, do some web programming, and help Person Ti_Ca with homework. Typically I have a lazy day of no workout or a trivial workout on either Monday or Tuesday and this week it is Tuesday.

On Wednesday I work away on re-ordering the model and simulation and make a good amount of progress. Hopefully by THursday it will be finished. Unless I am interrupted to go finish the test when the facility has repaired their broken amplifier. Or unless there are stupid, senseless meetings to go to. When I can take the work day no longer, I go home and jump on the mountain bicycle for a ride to the pier and back. Again I push the pace with and against the wind and have a great workout. When I get home I just need to sit on the couch a bit and eat dinner and watch the news because it was a taxing workout. Later Person Ti_Ca do some homework and I aim for sleep early - but it ends up being not that much earlier than typical.

On Thursday I have a fairly productive day and solve my model and simulation problems. I start a script that will run over the weekend and hopefully produce lots of good results. I run off to a number of meetings and just wait to go home to start a weekend. Today at work there is a sewer line break or backup and all of the bathrooms in our building are out of service. So everyone has to walk to the next building over to find a bathroom. When I get home I find that I have ordered the wrong connector off ebay (for $2) and I am mad at myself for making such a silly mistake. Thus the weights workout is a bit extra intense to try and burn off the frustration. I'll just have to order the proper connector off ebay for another $2 and wait another week.

On Friday I do my traditional "one mile on the bicycle for every year old" birthday ride a week early. I actually get in about 58 miles and feel pretty good throughout the ride. The rest of the day is a struggle through some errands and Person Ti_Ca's homework, but I keep moving and walking around the house so that my legs don't cramp (as they sometimes try when I have them bent or sit for a while after long rides). I take a book from the library with me as I go with Person Ti_Ca to the dentist and when I get home I keep moving by edging and mowing the lawn. By now I hope the threat of cramping is reduced so I start taking it easier.

Saturday is a productive even before noon! I start by watering the grass and trimming, feeding, and watering the roses. Near 8 am I head out for a mountain bicycle ride to the pier and back. My legs feel strong today and not tired, but I only push a couple of sections of the ride so that there will be something left for Sunday's ride. After a shower I buy a new backpack (the old one was ripped and torn from everyday use and many overseas travels), get gasoline for the lawnmower, and clean out the paper shredder that has become slow and sluggish from too much use. Person Ti_Ca has gone to workout with a friend, so I relax in the early afternoon. I spend a lot of time on Saturday reading and I've already finished one of the books that I got from the library yesterday.

On Sunday I meet up with Derrick for a bicycle ride. We start out riding and soon there's a guy ahead of us moving along quite rapidly. Derrick wants to catch up to him so we trade off pulling each other at speeds near 25 mph to catch up to him just as we get to the mouth of the Los Angeles river. The rider was going fast and stayed ahead of us for a long time. We run into Terry and his brother and ride over to the pier before turning around and heading for home. I wanted an easy day of riding but it was a hard ride. I grab Subway for lunch and watch the IndyCar race from Mid Ohio (where I attended a Can Am race back in 1982). I finally make up my mind and jump back on the orad bicycle in the afternoon and ride over to the pro bicycle shop a couple miles away to get fitted for a new bicycle and to put a deposit down. But they are closed on Sunday. Is this an omen? So I spend Sunday evening just getting ready for another workweek.

Monday and Tuesday are fairly productive days at work. On Tuesday we go finish the vibration test that was halted last week due to facility and equipment failure. We make it through the test though the post-test optical shift is more than desired. Though I drag myself through Monday at work, I get in a good workout with the weights after work as I increase the weights just a bit again. On Tuesday after work I take my 27 year old Ciocc road bicycle over to the bicycle shop and they adjust a new bicycle and let me test ride it. The brakes are so strong that I almost end up on my face the very first time that I apply the brakes. But I get a nice little test ride and then we discover that they don't have my size. So we talk quite a bit and I end up putting a deposit down on an all carbon fibre bicycle that is a bit more expensive (but they discounted some because they didn't have my size in the other bicycle). As I'm at the store with my old bicycle a lot of people come buy and look at it and say "You can sell that bike for more than you paid for it" and "You should sell it in pieces because you can make a lot of money". But I'll just get the word of mouth out and put it on eBay and see what kind of offer I get to offset the cost of the new bicycle.

By Thursday the week is winding down. I believe that I have found the last little innaccuracy or error in my system level simulation. I set up a script to generate a slew of results to look at on Friday and then I leave work early. When I get home I go walking, buy a bottle of wine, continue on some work tasks (while drinking the wine), and run some more retirement scenarios. The retirement scenarios that I run are based upon recent rumors that we have heard floating around the company. Near 6 pm I call Frank and Jeanine and they are on for a birthday dinner for me. We have been a bit estranged for a while and I look forward to spending time with them and expect to have tears flowing during the evening. Later in the evening with the entire bottle of wine gone I continue to work on carbon fiber creep modeling, Monte Carlo simulations, retirement calculcations, and an adoptions teleconference call at 7 pm. I think that I am coherent during the phone call, but I am not sure.

I feel horrible throughout Friday. I have a nasty headache that I take two Aleve for and my stomach is upset. Nonetheless I end up finding the last of the little, niggling problems with the modeling/simulation that had been bugging me for almost a week. When I am finally happy that everything is suitable, I start a script to run over the weekend that will run 84 different load cases and get us a plethora of data to look at starting on Monday. When that is finished I turn my attention to another problem that others cannot solve - the gap/slop in the root hinge of a structure. Soon I have a conceptual simulation running but the results are not believeable, but by the time that I call it a week I have the framework built and I just need to hone in on the particulars to make it more realistic. When I get home I lift weights and because I don't feel well, some of the lifts are a struggle. And then I mow the lawn. I'm feeling a bit better later in the evening and Person Ti_Ca and Frank and Jeanine and I go have a birthday dinner and catch up on old and new times.

On Saturday I sleep until almost 7:30 because I'm feeling a bit under the weather. There is a text from Derrick indicating that he is sixk also, so I mill around the house for a bit and just take the mountain bicycle out for a ride down to the pier and back. I run into cyclist Terry and we ride together and we both extend our rides a few miles to spend extra time talking and stuff. When I get home I have lunch and lay down. I take my temperature but don't have a fever but I just lay down for a while. Near 3 pm Person Ti_Ca, his friend Dennis, Person T_U, and I gather up and drive down to the Orange County fair. Within a half hour I realize how boring the fair is. Though Person T_U makes me go to a Peking Acrobats show that is very good and the men and women are very talented with grace abd balance and strength. Later I know that Person Ti_Ca is giving me the silent treatment and so I just ignore it. As we are leaving I ask to duck into a bathroom quickly for the drive home. When I leave the bathroom I cannot find anybody and assume that they walked back to the car. So I leave the fair and walk to the car and do not find them waiting for me. So I sit in the car and close my eyes for 15 minutes until I get a call wondering if I am still in the bathroom. But they end up walking out to the car and we get home safely (even if in silence except for my conversation with Person T_U).

I have a bit of trouvble sleeping on Saturday night, but get up On Sunday and start riding. I don't run into Derrick (who has later sent me a text saying that he is still sick), but I run into a couple of riders and I help drag them up to the WHitter Narrows dam and we take a break. Of course we talk about my old bicycle, but then we start back for Long Beach and these guys are fast! I have trouble staying up with them but I get to the end of the trail and turn back to head for home as they head for a cafe for a break (I've declined their invitation to join them because I want to get back home). I don't have any plans for today, so when I get home I trim two bushes, grab a shower, eat lunch, watch some of the PGA golf tournament, watch parts of movies, trim the roses, and spot water the grass (where the city has dug up my yard to install new gas valvaes but has turned the grass entirely brown). I have a brief phone call with Person T_U because I need to ask him when the silent treatment from Person Ti_Ca started. We both estimate 6 pm on Saturday. Thus it is approaching 24 hours since a word has been spoken to me from Person Ti_Ca and I'm just giving the silent treatment right back.

Monday is a good day. I check the results of my sscripts and simulations and see that they look good. They look very good! SO I post-process the data and send out two large quantities of data/information that I owed people. And I also continue working on the gap/slop problem though I don't get much time to work on it. When I get home I lift weights and it feels great. The lifts are difficult but I maintain good form and I feel strong today. Whatever little bug that I had on Friday and Saturday (and maybe a bit into Sunday) is definitely gone.