Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, October 7, 2013 10:00 PM


On Tuesday I skip work and ride the motorcycle up to Orville Wright middle school in Los Angeles to particpate in a UCLA volunteer day. We team leaders get there on time and go over safety rules and set up the tools for the classrooms and the gardens. The UCLA students are late, so we start working in the garden without them. When the UCLA students finally arrive, we go over the safety rules and the goals and get to work. Everybody pitches in and we make a lot more progress on the gardens than we expected. After we get the UCLA students back on the bus at the end of the volunteer period, we clean up and go to Subway for lunch. We talk about how to make next year's UCLA VOlunteer Day better and what went right and what went wrong. And then I ride the motorbike back home. On the motorbike ride home I cannot express how good it feels to be helping people out whether it is in a clasroom setting, cleaning up ecological preserves, or just deweeding and re-mulching a community garden. Since it is still early, I walk over to the post office to mail an item and make a side trip to the grocery store. Since Person Ti_Ca calls and says he is out with friends visiting from the state of Washington, I sit back and watch the movie "Sneakers" which I have not watched for many years. I identify with the political anarchists and the hackers in the film.

On Wednesday at work I spend a fair amount of time building a detailed model of a component and find out in a late afternoon meeting that the model already exists. This little incident shows the way that people on this project do not share their work or results with others. I tend to consider myself an open source person and like to give stuff away and share with others. But nobody else seems to do that. WHen I get home I lift weights with some increased weights - even more than from a month or so ago when I went to see the shoulder specialist (who tried to talk me into lighter weights). I barely feel any pain in the shoulder and it disappears quickly when I put ice on the shoulder after the workout. I spend some time with the roses and then help Person Ti_Ca with some homework. We get into a slight argument about effort and initiative and I keep referring back to my childhood where "I wasn't allowed to go play ice hockey or football with friends until my homework was finished". I've repeated this story many times but it doesn't seem to be sinking in.

A nondescript Thursday at work finishes off the workweek. When I get home I lift weights heavy again. I probably shouldn't do that, but the shoulder feels good and doesn't hurt, so why not? I still ice the shoulder afterwards just in case, but I also know that I'll have three days off from lifting weights for the shoulder to recover. I help Person Ti_Ca with some homework and then read before bed. It's almost time to get back to the library for another supply of books.

Friday starts with a ride up the Los Angeles river in chilly weather. I meet up with Derrick and we turn around and head back down to the pier. At one point as we fight a slight headwind, Derrick says to me, "Ray, You're pulling us at greater than 20 mph into a headwind". This new bicycle is so incredibly efficient and I have not fully explored it's limits yet. Eventually I head for home after about 50 miles. I get cleaned up and try to finish funding my newly created revocable trust. Why is it that banks are the most difficult to deal with? When I get home after some grocery shopping I go to pay a bill online and can't see any of my accounts. So another call back to the bank eventually gets it straightened out. Why is it that banks are the most difficult to deal with (compared with mutual funds and credit unions)? I relax in the afternoon heat and know that I have missed Person Ti_Ca's extra credit laboratory session in biology that would have been fun to visit.

After Internet qualifying for the MotoGP race in Aragon, I get out for a mountain bicycle ride to the pier and back. As I'm heading for home I run into Terry and he rides with me until my exit. He's feeling tired so he actually sits down and I'm afraid there's going to be another fainting spell. But he sits, stands up, then sits back down again, and then goes off to ride a bit more. I water the roses and impatiens and carnations and the grass for a final fall bloom season. Other than a failed trip to Home Depot where they don't have what I'm looking for, I stay close to home today and be a vegetable.

I start Sunday's ride early and meet Derrick almost at the WHitter Narrows dam. I turn around and we start riding south as usual until I get a flat tire. My spare tube is also flat - it has been a long time since I had a flat on the road bikes and I haven't checked it for a long time - so Derrick gives me a tube and pretty soon we are on our way again. Though I only have 75 psi in the rear tire, I still pull my weight and ride hard. We see Terry near the Long Beach pier and we drag him along back towards where he parks his car and where I exit the Los Angeles river trail. I do all of the pulling up the river trail and have to slow down occassionally to let Terry catch up, but I'm happy just to ride and be able to get home. I'll be taking the new bicycle in for a quick check-up and adjustment on Tuesday, so I'll buy new tubes and a new pump. (This pump had never been used before and gotten rusty from non-use and didn't inflate the tube with the CO2 cartridge.) After a shower Person Ti_Ca and I go eat Thai food and the waitress, as usual even though this is a restaurant that we have never been to before, asks me "Why can you speak Thai?" I'm used to this question but have not been practicing Thai lately and I stammer through some explanation. At the Thai restaurant I ask for the Detroit Lions game to be played on the television and I get to watch the Lions barely hang on to a win over Chicago. When I get home I watch an exciting MotoGP race from Aragon and then do some typical Sunday things tog et ready for the workweek: laundry, cook vegetables, and relax. Later there is a fun a Moto2 race from Aragon.

On Monday I set out to update the simulation with new component models and new carbon fibre layups. I make some good progress before I go off to a meeting that I have not been invited to. I was invited by a third party and (probably) specifically dis-invited by the lady who is running the meeting. We start the meeting and when I am pointing out some deficiencies, she gets pretty mad and launches into a "Don't make negative comments. I want constructive comments and I don't have time for anybody pointing out errors". A co-worker looks over at me with a "I can't believe that she said that look because I, personally, am a big believer in pier review. I continue attending the meeting and make constructive comments. After the meeting I report the shortcomings to my project boss and she says that we have to talk to her boss about the problems. By the time that I get back to my office, my functional manager calls and says that two of my co-workers have reported the lady's bad behavior to him and they are ready to go to Human Resources with a complaint about her unprofessional behavior. I try to smooth things over with "We expect unprofessional behavior from her and we know that she just wants everyone to agree with her point of view with no dissent." But my functional manager agrees that her behavior is unacceptable and I just tell him that when I am called by anybody I am going to state the absolute truth and not worry about anything else. I go to one more staff meeting and then I leave work early to lift weights and watch the Moto3 race. During the weight lifting I feel no pain at all from the shoulder but I ice it down afterwards anyway. Except for certain weird movements of the shoulder while not lifting, I feel no pain in the shoulder at all. Later I watch the Moto3 race from Aragon where my favorite rider wins the race with a last lap pass. And then I help Person Ti_Ca with his homework.

I have an unproductive Tuesday and Wednesday at work. I do get the Monte Carlo simulation documentation drafted up and sent out for comments on Wednesday, but I'm a bit fed up with some of the things going on at work and the lack of backbone by managers these days and the upcoming uncertainty of who is retiring and who is not. After work on Tuesday I ride the new bicycle over to the dealer for a quick set of adjustments and I buy a few small things for the rides. I meet a few of the regular drop-in people while I am there and then I ride back home. On Wednesday after work I decide to go for a couple of repetitions of heavy weights during my workout. During the workout I maintain strict form and do not feel any shoulder pain. After the workout I do not ice the shoulder and only a bit later do "I feel something" in the shoulder though it is not really pain. We'll see how it feels overnight. On both Tuesday and Wednesday I help Person Ti_Ca with homework and work on some small little hobbies around the house.

I have a boring Friday at work though we have a very productive, long meeting in the morning to get a number of us on the same page for the analysis flow. I leave work a bit early to lift weights heavy again and then mow the lawn. Today I put ice on the shoulder after lifting. This is as heavy as I should lift for now and, in fact, should probably back off the weight levels for next week. Later I prepare my cycling bag with the new supplies that I bought in advance of Saturday's ride.

I start Saturday riding the road bicycle up to the Whitter Narrows dam. When I arrive there I turn around and come down a different bike path all of the way down to the ocean. I don't quite realize it, but I am just flying down the river trail at greater than 22 mph and blowing away people who try to hold on to my wheel. At one point I go under an overpass and have a pigeon, coming in for a landing, run into my head. When I get to the end of the trail and ride towards the beach trail and I get another rear flat tire after riding over some fallen branches due to the heavy winds. I change the the tube and head for home and battle heavy headwinds home. After getting cleaned up Person Ti_Ca and I head to the main Long Beach library to get resources for his term paper and then go work on the term paper. Throughout the day I relax, help Person Ti_Ca with homewok, watch television, and eventually get down for reading and sleep well before 9 pm.

On Sunday I ride north on the Los Angeles river and meet up with Derrick. Just as I leave home within a half mile of home I have to slow down and let four raccoons cross the stret in front of me. When they cross the street they stare at me and I stare back at them. I'm a bit late or intentionally slow because Derrick meets me sooner than I epxteced. I turn around and ride down to the Long Beach pier with Derrick and and at the end I say, "We have to catch that guy up ahead". So Derrick sprints ahead and I catch up and and when all is said and done, Derrick confirms that we have hit 31 mph during the sprint. We continue to the pier and head for home and grab Terry and catch up to other riders and pull them along. When I get to Del Amo (my stop) I pull over and then turn around to go back and get Terry. (Terry is a bit older then me and can easily drop off the back of our hard rides.) It turns out to be almost 50 miles, but not quite. After a quick shower and some grocery shopping I watch the Korean Grand Prix where my favorite driver wins again. Person Ti_Ca and his family are heading to Universal Studioas and I complain to Person Ti_Ca's family, of various ages, that he will not not help me learn the Khmer language. ANd they agree that he should help me. I relax with football and watering impatiens and roses and relaxing around the house.

Monday is a generic day at work with some meetings and some other work. When I get home I have a good session with the weights with no shoulder pain. Later I watch the Dodgers game and help Person Ti_Ca with homework.