Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday May 2, 2016 8:02 PM

The Decision

On Tuesday I am at work a bit after 6 am but I'm a zombie from lack of sleep. I have three jobs going now: This aerospace gig, the non-profit, and some other hobby-type things with hackers and makers. Quite a few people make a comment about the email that I sent out the previous night at 3:30 amand I just say, "I have three full time jobs". We go examine the hardware and look at the test data in a number of different ways and decide that Monday's test setup was crappy and we need to reset the test and run it again. By 2:20 I am ready to drop off and my boss sends me home. I go out for a long walk and stop in at the grocery store for supplies and then go home to work on the non-profit job. Yuckie - filling out paperwork to apply for non-profit status from the US government (and later the California state government). And I try to stay enthused with an ice hockey playoff game playing in the background.

I make it through Wednesday at work and though only my boss says I look tired, everyne says that I sound tired and that my voice sounds tired. I've announced that I will be taking Thursday off work to get a four day weekend. But at 3 pm my boss asks if I can come in to work. And I refuse. I tell her that I've already lined things up for Thursday and I cannot help. I also get a request to do an aircraft analysis that has to be finished by Monday, but I refuse that one also. (Someone else's emergency becomes my problem?) After work on Wednesday I mow the lawn and clean up the carnations and then finalize the non-profit applications.

I'm lazy on Thursday morning and just take the mountain bicycle out for the 26 mile loop ride. Afterwards I edge and trim the lawn and get cleaned up for other errands. I mail off the non-profit applications, recycle cans, look at golden retriever puppies (that costs $2000), and have a long lunch with Ruby to discuss some business strategy. After lunch I grab two new books from the library, get to the grocery store, and then go home to relax.

On Friday I am really lazy. When the alarm goes off I do not go cycling at all. Instead I work on some test data files from work and then spend the entire day at Cal State Los Angeles helping the senior design team. We make a lot of progress and get within 95% of where we wanted to be by the end of the day. This day at CSULA has taken longer than expected, so I face tough traffic on the way home and just relax for a bit. But then I turn my attention back to the human trafficking and domestic violence geolocation and realize that the US Census Bureau keeps changing the definition of zip codes in terms of GPS coordinates. So I revert back to a slightly older definition and will be ready to verbalize during presentations about the continuing change of zip code definitions. Person Ti_Ca calls fro Signal Hill with a dead battery in his car. The Jiffy Lube people said that the battery was starting to go, but we thought that we could make it a few more months. Person Ti_Ca's friend, Brandon, has helped him go purchase a new battery but I drive down and install the new battery. WHile there I meet our friends Steven, Tommy, Sma (a new Cambodian friend), and Neery (another new Cambodian friend). The battery installation takes 5 minutes and now Person Ti_Ca is surprised that his car has an alarm. Wht wouldyour car have a token if it didn't have an alarm? Nonetheless the potential disaster is smoothed out and I head back for home.

I wake up on Saturday mentally apprehensive. These are brand new carbon fibre wheels of the highest quality, but I keep thinking that I am going to have a problem with themin the back of my mind. I start north on The Los Angeles river trail at a good pace and continue on to the base of the Santa Fe dam. There I take a quck break and turn back for home. I feel strong throughtout the ride and maintain a good pace for a total of 56 miles. Afterwards I make a quick trip to get a Togo's submarine sandwich for a laterlunch and do some grocery shopping. I also put a voltmeter on Person Ti_Ca's old batter (about 12.25 Volts), his new battery (about 12.6 Volts), and the battery terminals when the car is running (about 14 Volts). So I don't know why the old battery crapped out so suddenly, but the car appears to be charging the new battery and hopefuly there are no other issues to deal with. I sit down and hammer away at CSULA software problems and within an hour I have a ptoential solution to try (in case we don't receive word back from the chip manufacturers before Monday). In the early afternoon I just relax and be a a vegetable for a while with a free HBO weekend playing on DirecTV.

I start north on the Los Angeles river and continue with a good pace past the Whittier Narrows dam. At some point, before the Santa Fe dam, I stop and turn around and head towards home. There are periods of this ride where I am just spinning along and other periods where I am pushing a big gear. Nonetheless I finish the ride at 45 miles and call it a day. I grab a Subway sandwich for later lunch and watch an exciting MotoGP from Spain. If anybody needs to know why MotoGP racing an be fun and exciting and exhiliarating, then this is the race to watch. As the race ends and the post-race rider interviews occur I am in tears at the result.

I have good days at work on Monday and Tuesday as I tune up a simulation to almost perfectly match the test results. I'm shocked that it turned out so well. After work on Monday I get in a high repetition, low weight workout and watch the Moto3 race from Spain. On Tuesday after work I drive down towards a meeting with community members and tech people related to homelessness. But I don't make it. Steam starts coming from the hood of the World Rally Car and I pull off the main street and park in a school parking lot. I open the hood and see water dripping onto the pavement from thelower part of the radiator so I must have blown a radiator hose. I call a tow company 90 minutes later they show up and get me towed to the Subaru dealer just before 9 pm when the Subaru dealer closes the gates of their facility.

On Wednesday I work on documenting the recent simulation updates to match the test data and then sheepishly walk to various boss's offices to turn in my notice of retirement for June 1st. I'm happy that each boss tells me how much they will miss me, how much they always counted on me, and how much I contributed to the department, the products, and the younger engineers. I hope everyone remembers me as the person who would help anyone, have a smile on his face while helping, and make people feel better after they've left my office. On Wednesday night I don't feel up for a ride or a run, so I walk for almost an hour and then catch the Moto2 race from this past Sunday. And continue working on the non-profit website which I hope I get to demonstrate for various agency executive directors next Thursday.

I am tired from both work and the non-profit work. I try to jumpstart my energy with a good workout with the weights on Thursday night and another good abdominal/lower back workout and mowing the lawn on Friday (after work), but I still end up falling asleep very early on Friday night.

I start out on the mountain bicycle on Saturday because there is supposed to be rain. The rain gets slightly harder as I ride along and I actually see one group of cyclists stationary under an overpass because they think it is already too wet. I continue on and it is very wet near the aquarium and along the ocean trail. I ride this early part of the ride like a sissy since I just got word from a cycling friend that he had a fall last Tuesday and broke orf ractured his pelvis (to go along with Derrick's nasty accident from a few months ago). By the time I get to the Long Beach pier it looks like everything is dry and there has never been any rain. Nonetheless I am still careful and when I finish the ride I notice it is a few minutes slower than normal. After a shower I drive Person Ti_Ca's car over to the Subaru dealer and pick up my car. Using my car I run errands including another trip to the post office to file more paperwork for the non-profit. When I get home and put my car away, I jump on the extra bicycle which is on permanent loan from Person C_T and is a smaller size. I ride back to the Subary dealer, put the bicycle in the back of Person Ti_Ca's car, and drive home. Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix is next though it is a bit muted since the gaps between cars are large. I cook lunch for the week and clean up the stove and then lay down for about 90 minutes. When I get up I do a quick clean of both bathrooms and get back to some non-profit web programming.

I start out tentaievly on Sunday up the Los Angeles river trail. I don't know the sourc eof the tentativeness. Nonetheless I keep on going up past the WHittier Narrows and - what the heck - I keep going all the way to the Santa Fe dam. I stop in and talk with "el chalan" for a few minutes and then turn back towards Long Beach. I do't remember much of the ride except for catching a few riders and finishing pretty tired after about 56 miles. After a quick shower I watch an interesting Russian Grand Prix from the Sochi OlympicDrome. My favorite rider gets taken out of the race early but it's an chalenging race and keeps my interest intense. Later Person Ti_Ca clean the hardwood and kitchen floors and then I work on the non-profit website - ready to go live with the new responsive version Monday. (I hope.)

I have a very productive day at work on Monday working on simulations for an upcoming test in a week or so. I've used test-tuned data from a previous test to make some final predictions for the next test. The phone calls and emails are rolling in now about my retirement date and about my plans for "after Northrop Grumman". When I get home I have a good session with the weights and then send all of the responsive website files up to the server. I chase my tail on some Javascript notation for two hours but finally finish the day's work. The site is still a bit weird looking on a small smartphone screen, but I'll work on that on Tuesday. But this is probably what we will have for the big meeting on Thursday.