Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday March 7, 2016 8:02 PM

Into March

On Tuesday after a slow day at work I squeeze in a 48 minute run and a shower before heading down to a co-working space, WE Labs, to attend a seminar and make a pitch to solve the homeless issue. I thought that investors were going to be present, but instead community leaders and social workers and police are present. Nonetheless I make my pitch to a nice reception and field a number of audience questions as well as private questions afterwards. There are a number of people who take my information and say "We'll be in touch". Let's see what happens.

Wednesday and Thursday are both hectic at work. The testing has finally started and they are trying to run two tests at once and can't make up their minds which test has priority. I have another job with a conflict also and even an email to my project boss's boss is met with a typical twit response which makes it obvious she won't make a decision. So I tell my boss I'm making the decision as to my priorties and if I get yelled at, I don't really care. If nobody else will make a decision, then I certainly will. The testing goes very slowly with some issues that have to be resolved. By Thursday afternoon I'm told that the team will assemble at 5:30 am on Friday to try and finish the second test. This is almost impossible unless Friday is an 18 hour day. We'll see who has the stamina. With the work stress and idiocy floating around, I have a great Wednesday weights session and a great 48 minute Thursday run to relieve stress and laugh at people at work.

On Thursday afternoon my functional boss comes into my office and closes the door and gives me my raise and bonus information. The raise is reasonable, but the bonus is a shock. I keep looking at the number because it has to be wrong. It is much higher by factors than I expected. I thank my boss, he thanks me for a year well done, and then he leaves. I keep thinking about the bonus number as I run on Thursday and keep telling myself to slow down a bit and not get too excited or I might hurt my left calf (which tends to give trouble but has been silent this entire calendar year).

It's an off-work-Friday, but I wake up at 3;15 am and cannot sleep. Thus I get up and go to work and I'm in my office at 4:18 am preparing for the day's test. The entire team arrives by 5:30 am and we start the test and things go smoothly - too smoothly. Before we know it, we are finished with the series of tests that we thought might go late into Friday night. Instead everyone is heading for home near noon. I get home and switch from the motorcycle to the car to go to the library, the bank, the drug store, and the grocery store. And then I try to catch up on some non-profit paperwork. Today feels like one of those days where you cross the date line and a single day stretches out forever. But late in the afternoon I go work the abdominals and lower back and then watch some news and do some reading before sleep.

Saturday starts with a 38 minute run. My body is sore from standing and moving during all of Friday's testing as well as the abdominal/lower back workout. After a shower I ride the motorcyle up to Cal State Los Angeles and meet with the senior design team. We gather into two cars and drive up to an almond orchard to study the bees' hiving habits, how to monitor their activity, and how to measure it. We're all in bee suits to protect us from stings as the two professional beekeepers, who are funding this study, explain the economics and nature and ins and outs of beekeeping. It is a very rewarding experience even if the one beekeeper is "a talker". I finally have to keep asking the team, "Do we have all of the information that we wanted to gather on this trip and can we finish the academic quarter?", in order to try and over-ride the talker and get out of the almond orchard at a reasonable time. I eventually make it back home just before nightfall and have dinner and catch the stadium series ice hockey game between the Red Wings and Avalanche and then I see the start of the Kings' game before going to bed to read and sleep.

On Sunday I start north on the Los Angeles river trail and there are cyclists in the opposite direction warning me of trouble ahead. I slow down and come across a burnt out car on the bicycle path with Los Angeles Police Department or Sheriffs gathered around. I see a ton of glass on the pavement, so I get off the bicycle and carry it beyond the danger zone. I remount and ride north and see a tow truck coming to the rescue. I catch up to Ted and we ride to the top of the Whittier Narrows dam. At this point he continues north and I head for the ocean. I keep grabbing riders along the way and pull them along all the way to the ocean. As I make the turn back towards home I get "dropped on" by a pigeon and ride with bird poop on me for the ride home. I'm tired when I finish but it's a good 55 or 60 miles. After the ride and a shower I run a few errands and help Person Ti_Ca with homework until I start in on some wine. Now I clean both bathrooms and spray various areas for weeds and then come back inside the house to finally sit down and relax. The rest of the day is a slow day with some minor tasks around the house and a Kings' game later at night.

At work on Monday and Tuesday I struggle along trying to get two simulations/models to match the recent test measurements that we've made. Finally late on Tuesday it appears that I am getting close on the second set. The first one is still problemmatic. I get in a quick weight lifting session on Monday after work and a good one hour run on Tuesday after work. Since I felt a bit "off" on Tuesday morning with some chills and body aches (and many people at work are sick or have recently been sick), I only eat an orange for dinner and take some Kava root extract to try for extra deep sleep in hopes of heading off any illness.

I sleep very deep on Tuesday night into Wednesday and don't feel at all like I am sick or getting sick. I get to work and continue on the various tasks at hand. In the afternoon we have a meeting with the customer's technical representatives and the meeting goes well. When I get home I lift weights but I struggle with the lifts. Maybe I did have a little illness that has a residual effect. But I do my best and it feels good to finish. I have a quiet Wednesday evening until Person Ti_Ca comes home and is in a panic because he has to pick out clothes for a job fair/interview the next day. Of course every suggestion that I make is rejected, so after a while I wonder why my opinion is even asked. And I also just stop volunteering my opinion. I should have learned this lesson a long time ago.

Thursday starts with a mountain bicycle ride to the old yacht club and back home with a few extra miles thrown in. After getting cleaned up I head down to a human trafficking task force meeting. There are almost 60 people present at the meeting and each one appears to be from a different organization. It's good to see a wide group of organizations trying to fight human trafficking. I mention in the introductions that I'm a geek who wants to bring technology to prevent human trafficking and help the victims. And people start clapping for me. I hope I can find a way to help. After the meeting I go home and spend almost two hours edging and mowing the lawn and trimming a bush in the front yard. It was time to get averything in order for a few forecast days of rain. And for the remainder of the day I just relax and watch the Kings' ice hockey game.

Friday starts with a road bicycle ride up the Los Angeles river. I run into Ted, the Polish rider, and we continue on to the Whittier Narrows dam. Ted has ridden long the previous day, so he stops at the dam to turn around and go home. I continue noth past the dam to an appropriate turn around point and come down the San Gabriel river trail. I end up feeling fairly good after 45 miles. After a shower I run errands inlcuing recycling cans, small grocery shopping, a trip to the library, and the purchase of some socks (to replace both dress and sports socks that have sprouted holes). At home I update some finances and pay bills and clean up the roses to prepare for the rain on Sunday and Monday. Later in the early evening I walk over to one of the First Fridays street festivals. I wander down Atlantic avenue and then back up and get ready to head for home. Except that I see an information table related to human trafficking and there are two guys who were at the Thursday meeting who I didn't get a chance to meet. They both remember me because I introduced myself as the only geek in the crowd of social workers, health workers, and law enforcement workers. They both get my phone number and email address as we will try to find some common ground where I can contribute.

I'm tired on Saturday morning and so I take the mountain bicycle around the loop. There is an open course triathlon going on part of the roads that I'm riding, but fortunately they are going the other direction. My ride is good and after I;ve warmed up a bit I'm able to push more than I thought I would. After the ride I wipe down the bicycle and fertilize the lawn in advance of the SUnday and Monday rains. After a shower and some relaxation I get on the road bicycle and take it to the shop where I bought it. It will be away for a while since they probably have to send the frame back to the manufacturer and I'm hoping that I get a brand new frame (to go along with carbon fibre wheels that I'm buying). In the late afternoon I pull out many files and start trying to organize technical papers and personal papers in advance of looming retirement.

It finally rains pretty hard on Saturday night into Sunday morning. When there is a break I get out for an 80 minute run. I wanted 90 minutes, but I settled for 80. Because it is a cold and windy day, it is best to stay inside the house and stay warm. Thus after a shower I continue to organize papers and start in on a bibliography of all of the papers that I have so that I'll be easily able to find specific papers in the future. I get down for a 90 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon and then cleanup the bathrooms and wash the floors.

Monday is supposed to be a day of heavy rain so I drive the car to work. I'm up at 4:35 and out the door by 5:05 am to beat traffic to work. Monday is a mix of productive times and frustrating times at work. I continue working on getting the models/simulations to match the test data. At one point I discover that the people responsible for the test put the wrong inputs into the test. I'm frustrated with myself that I didn't catch it during all of the reviews (along with many other people who could have caught it). We work through the ramifications of the wrong inputs and it will be more embarrassing than harmful. At the end of the day I gather some of my belongings as I slowly continue to bring personal things home from work for my upcoming retirement. I'm surprised that on this day the freeway moves along at 70 mph the entire way home. I get in a decent workout with the weights after not lifting since last Wednesday. And then book a flight and hotel and rental car for Santa Fe, New Mexico at the end of the month. I can't remember the last time that I booked or used a rental car.