Tuesday and Wednesday are super-productive days at work. I dive into some tasks that I expect to take a fair amount of time and before I know it they are almost finished. In addition to being super-productive I have many people come in to my office and ask for my advice. Most of the advice is technical but one lady is asking me advice about her kid. I do my best to satisfy my co-workers and friends. On both Tuesday night and Wednesday night I also take work home to work on and continue the strong forward momentum. On Tuesday when I get home I have a good workout with the weights. On Wednesday I ride the 1985 Ciocc road bicycle less than a mile and meet up with the guy who has bought it on ebay. We spend more than an hour talking about this bicycle as well as other old bicycles and components. Finally I walk on home without the Ciocc road bicycle that has served me well for 28 years, the Ciocc bicycle that cost more than my used car at the time that I was going to UCLA, and the Ciocc bicycle that has provided me many hours of struggle and speed. I can remember my very first ride with the Ciocc from the bicycle shop in Westwood to my home at the time and now I will always remember this last very short ride. An hour later I get a call from the guy who has bought my bicycle. When I see his name and number come up on the phone I am assuming that he has changed his mind. But he sees the Ted Ernst repair shop sticker on the bicycle (that he didn't see when we were lookign over the bicycle) and now we have another 15 minute conversation about what a great mechanic and ambassador Ted Ernst is for cycling.
Thursday and Friday continue the previous day's pattern at work of being very productive and having many people stop by my office and ask for help. After work on both days I lift weights with a slight increase in weights on Friday. On both nights I sleep very deep and extra special and I wake up before the alarm goes off in both cases.
On Saturday I hang out a bit before going cycling on the mountain bicycle down to the old yacht club and back. It is warmer than expected even though it is overcast, but there aren't as many cyclists out as I would have expected. On the way home I stop in at the park where Person Ti_Ca and I planted trees just to check up on them and to see the plantings in the other area of the park away from where we worked. Near 1:45 pm I get on the blue line train and then transfer to the red line train to get to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. I hang out with Person P_C, one of the three cyclists that I met last Sunday. He wanted to pick my brain about engineering and life and stuff. We have a wide ranging conversation. We walk over to Union Station where Person P_C takes the gold line back towards his home and I take the red line. WHen I transfer to the blue line I actually am caught by surprise thatthey have the silver line running to the westside and I actually mistakenly get on that train. I realize my mistake after two stops so I get off the train and walk back to where I can catch the real blue line train for Long Beach. Person Ti_Ca is just heading off to do homework with a classmate when I get home and I relax at home.
The Sunday bicycle ride is eventfull. On my way north on the Los Angeles river towards the Whittier Narrows dam I pick up two riders and we tow each other along until I have to drop off and meet up with Derrick. While waiting for Derrick these same two riders have picked up four other riders and are headed for Long Beach. But I wait for Derrick. When he arrives we start south on the Los Angeles river and after passing the bridge a group of Korean riders (who we've seen before) pass us. Derrick has had a long Saturday so we don't go with them though they are not that much faster than us today. A bit down the road the last Korean rider pulls right as if to pass his fellow riders and then tries to swing way back to the left. He apparently catches the rear wheel of the rider ahead of him and he is going head over the handlebars and is on the pavement. Derrick and I stop and as the first responders, so to speak, I ask the rider if he has hit his head. I know the answer and when he confirms that he has, I do not let him get up and make him sit for a while. The other Korean riders stop, of course, and offer help. The rider has hit his shoulder and hip and head and I'm telling one of the other Korean riders that he has to go back home and put ice on the injuries- he should not continue on and one of you has to go with him. I've lost something in the translation, but eventually everyone agrees that they are returning home and will put ice on the injuires and maybe take an anti-inflammatory. Derrick and I continue on to the pier ad run into Terry and his brother riding so we stop and talk with them for a bit and we also run into (another) Terry, a co-worker of mine and his friend. But we pass them later like they're standing still and end up with a good ride. I run a few errands and relax and soak my feet again and read a book and just have a slow Sunday.
Momentum builds at work over Monday and Tuesday. I'm very productive and help people out also. Though Monday I made a number of silly mistakes, I found them as I was talking with co-workers and realized the silly mistakes. I just said to people on Monday, "I'm hungover...from cycling today and laughing at everything". I get in a heavier workout with the weights on Monday with a few less repetitions and everything feels good. Except later I'm changing the sprinklers over and grab onto a bush and put my bad right shoulder into an awkard position and it hurts. On Tuesday I just go out for a long, brisk walk after work and wonder if I'll be able to lift weights on Wednesday due to the shoulder.
Wednesday is another productive day at work. And then I have a double Red Bull at noon - my first Red Bull of the year. When I drink Red Bull at work I run down the hallways shouting, "I see you! I'm going to get you", to an imaginary giraffe. My boss knows this so today she puts me back in my office and pulls the door shut and tells me to stay inside. Later she opens my door and, at random, I'll run down the hallways again "I saw you turn to the left!" Other people have picked up on my fun but not really contributed. When I get home I have a good workout with the weights with no shoulder pain and then I mow the lawn, do some trimming, and feed/water the carnations. Since I might have to work this weekend I have to get these taks out of the way. When I finish I ice the shoulder and it feels good even though it didn't hurt before the ice.
I start out north on the Los Angeles river on the road bicycle with a good pace and enthusiasm. I get to the Whittier Narrows dam rather quickly, cross over the dam, and start down the San Gabriel river trail. I notice that some maintenance works have cut "my favorite tree" which was growing at a 45 degree angle over the bike path. I wonder if some cyclists ran into it or complained about it. But I'm sad. As I'm riding south the wind is picking up and it is pushing me around quite a bit. I'm keeping up a good pace but I'm expending a lot of energy. By the time I get to the ocean the wind has picked up to very high levels and it is a pure headwind as I head east. And I'm expending a lot more energy. I finally turn and head north for home with a sidewind and I'm glad when I end this 55 mile ride. It has taken a lot out of me. I grab a quick shower and start to run errands and feel like a walking zombie because I have no blood sugar and I feel at any moment I might be on the ground. I buy a radio-controlled car for $20 to hack into and play with, I get to the library, grab lunch for later, and do the grocery shopping. When I get home I grab a couple of bites of lunch now for some blood sugar and then I get out the chainsaw and finish chopping up the downed branches from a few weeks ago. Afterwards I scrub in the shower hard to avoid a spider mite bite or two like I had last time (and had to keep putting cream on to get rid of) and then I relax. I can barely walk now so I take the afternoon very carefully and slowly.
Near 2 or 3 am on Saturday morning I am having trouble because somebody is snoring, so I move to another bed. I hear a drip-drip-drip and I wonder if there is a slow water leak in the house. But I realize it is a mechanical watch on the dresser and I move it to the living room and I am able to sleep. I get out on Saturday on the mountain bicycle with sore legs and end the two hour extended ride with sore legs, sore arms, and a sore neck. The wind was again a killer today but it is always great to ride. I run a few errands and then I relax around the house with some paperwork and a start on income tax returns. Today it feels good to just stand outside in the sun and let the warmth soak into my body.
When I wake up on Sunday morning I'm wondering how I'm going to do today's bicycle ride. But I get out of bed and start riding north on the Los Angeles river trail. There are other riders that I catch up to and I ride with them for a short bit and then I move on - because they are riding too slow. The legs are starting to feel good and I make it to the dam and meet up with Person P_C and we wait for Derrick. As the three of us push off to go south the riders that I wwent away from are finally making it to the dam. Derrick and Person P_C and I have a good ride though it is a bit slow. WHen Derrick calls out our speed at one point I ask if we have only been going this fast for most of the ride. He says "No", but I pick up the pace and now everyone is following me. We get down to the lighthouse and have a break and then turn back north. I'm pulling everyone along again but my legs are feeling better and better as we go. Finally I say I'm going to call it a day and I turn around (again) and head for home. I get in a quick shower, go grab some food for the Super Bowl, and return home. When I return home I just keep moving around washing and cleaning because I'm afraid that my legs (probably the left one) will cramp up. So I just keep moving around and cleaning and wondering if I'll be able to sit still for the game and the advertisements. I'm cheering for Denver yet they can't do anything right. By halftime I've watched Bruno mars give a lame and boring performance and I'm looking for the channel that carries the puppy bowl. I watch a bit of the third quarter but it's a blowout so I go find other things to do.
On Monday I find some system errors that I report and hope that they are fixed soon so that I can start running my simulations again. I get home and have a great session with the weights with a little bit more weight on each lift and a couple less repetitions. I ice the shoulder afterwards even if there is no pain. Person Ti_Ca and I spend some time doing statistics homework before I pull out the $20 radio controlled car that I just bought from Target and make sure that it works right out of the box. After seeing that it works properly, I start taking it apart to get to the drive electronics to hack into it with a new controller. It's just a little fun project to work on the wide and mess around with and learn.