Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Tuesday May 31, 2016 8:02 PM

Memorial Day Weekend

I go to bed on Monday night and read and then get to sleep. And I'm woken up by Person Ti_Ca coming home from activites at 2:30 am on Tuesday morning. I barely sleep the rest of Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday we good progress on the big test but the results are so much different than we anticipated. There are discussions all around and by the end of Tuesday we have only completed the first test and are somewhat unsure of a good strategy for Wednesday's activities. On Tuesday I lift weights for a second day in a row and then go to the Work Evolution Labs at the old Packard motor car company in Long Beach to work on solutions for homeless people. My skills mesh nicely with the other people present even if the taks that I get are fairly "low powered". But I work on them and promise some results by Wednesday night.

On Wednesday we proceed with the plan of testing that I proposed and though we still don't entirely understand the test results, we keep pushing forward with some "on the fly" contigency plans for extra testing. I've driven to work today because I'm cleaning out my office and bringing personal effects home from work. So I load up the car with my personal belongings and patiently drive home. I don't get in a workout today but instead keep trying to fix Person Ti_Ca's car alarm that keeps waking me up (and neighbors also) at 3 am when he is returning from whatever social activities he is engaged in. I don't think any of the car alarm solutions that I've tried have worked. We may have to take the car to a Scion dealer. (The alarm issues only cropped up when we replaced his old, dead battery with a new battery and the alarm must have reset itself to factory settings with hron chirps at every button push.) Later I geocode some addreses and provide a draft map of business locations for the homeless effort and hope that this will satisfy their itch for a few days. I also have set up a meeting with a Long Beach Human Righs Commission member to discuss some of the my non-profit technology solutions for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.

I start Thursday with a 0.5 degree feveer. Thursday is a long day at work testing and trying to understand the data. The actual space flight hardware is not behaving as the predictions say. But we continue to take data and hope to make sense of the data in the next day or so. When I get home I have a good workout with the weights. And I try and tie up loose ends with the CSULA senior design team, some phonecalls, and a new project for monitoring the fill level of a container and sending the data over a WiFi connection and to a server. But I need to buy a few electrical parts to actually build the system.

Friday starts with the first ride in the national cycling team jersey of the Czech Republic which came in the mail recently. Its a good ride up past the WHitter Narrows dam though it is windy continually buffeting me around. After running a couple of errands I have a teleconference call with the Cal State Los Angeles senior design team (rather than going all the way up campus today). And in the early afternoon I edge and mow the lawn. Later in the day I work on the Cal State senior design team algorithm and then do some reading before sleep.

Saturday starts with a mountain bicycle ride to the old yacht club and back. The weather is perfect with bright sunshine, a few puffy clouds in the sky, and cool temperatures. I push a bit harder on the ride that I wanted to since I originally wanted it to be an easy day after yesterday's buffetting ride and before Sunday's (hopefully) long ride. I visit the acupuncturist for almost the last time before he moves away and I have to try and find another one. In the afternoon I continue to clean up and sorth through the personal effects that I've brought home from my office at work. At 6:00 pm I drive to Hermosa Beach to meet up with my closest co-workers for a retirement dinner. We have a small, but fun gathering of the people that I've worked closest with over the last three years.

I start Sunday a bit leery but on the road bicycle up to the Whittier Narrows dam. I reach a turn-around point and start back towards home. I pick up a rider just south of the WHittier Narrows dam and I pull him along until he meets up with his regular riders and drops off. I end up the ride just short of 50 miles pretty srtrong and wondering if I should have done more. After a shower and some errands I watch a very exciting MotoP from Mugello, Italy even after my favorite rider, an Italian, drops out with a rare engine failure. When they show an overview of the crowd numbered greater than 101,000 people, I get tingles up my spine and think that I should be there someday (even if I sometimes have a hard time dealing with big, drunken crowds). Throughout the afternoon I work on some scripts and work related to the recent test that we just performed and cannot fully understand the results.

On Monday I make great progress trying to understand the test results, get models/simulations to match the test, and get more people involved to help resolve the discrepancy. The day goes by fairly quickly since there is so much to do in these last few days. When I get home I have a good session with the weights and watch a really messed up Moto2 race where the Italian organizers are penalizing riders at random. My favorite rider gets placed at the back of the grid and salvages 7th place, but now is trailing in the championship. Later in the evening I work on a thank you note and contact information to pass out to people at work.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I make a lot of good progress on the test results and models and simulations and by the end of Wednesday I do realize that I will be missed by people here. Tuesday near noon there is a second retirement party with more than 30 people present. Just before my boss gets up to speak and I excuse myself from the young kids that I'm talking with and say, "It looks like Tim is going to try and give a speech so I better head him off". So I ramble through a 10-15 minute speech about the fun I've had working at TRW and Northrop Grumman and I keep going back to "You must have fun at this job"...or else you need to make a change. Only because I've had a lot of fun at my job. And I throw in some other fun facts about being in El Salvador during a civil war, dying my hair various colors at times when I was more of a punk rocker, an about the importance of doing your best for the sake of the company but mainly for your own satisfaction. I think I did okay on the speech. And everyone gets a hug on thw way out because most of the people present are fun co-workers and friends. Tuesday is a trying day and I don't get in a workout after work. And I;m sapped of energy on Wednesday also but I manage to work the abdominals and lower back before trying to get a few last things acoomplished for work before I leave.

Thursday is wildly out of control at work. There are people who come by because they think it is my last day (though next Tuesday is my last day). They still get a hug and words of thanks and friendship. Then there are the people who are panicking because of my domain knowledge and "We don't know how to do this" and "We don't know how to do that". I try and answer the mail as well as work on the model and simulation that we just performed. Finally at 2pm I leave work and go visit my dentist for a last visit on the company's insurance plan. When I get home I go for a long walk and then continue to try and sort through things to keep and things to toss out.

I start Friday with a long walk because I have no time for anything else. I ride the motorcycle up to Cal State Los Angeles and look through the senior design projects and meet up with the team that I have been helping. I listen to a number of presentations and note that many have words such as "..we would have fulfilled this requirement if we had enough time..." The team that I helped stands up, stumbles and fumbles their way through the presentation because they are extra nervous, but they can honestly say "We met all of the requirements of our customer and demonstrated that the product works...before we fried an electronic chip which will be replaced next week". My team, we well as one other team, met all of their requirements and built demonstration units that proved it. I'm proud of the team and tell them so. I also search out for Dr Won, who I met a few years ago at Cal State Los Angeles, and tell her that I can help her blood glucose monitoring efforts because I have a lot of the code written to do the tasks that she needs to do. So we agree to stay in touch. When I get home I trim two bushes in the front yard and call it a day - no workout with the weights today.

I start Saturday a bit early and get out for the old Yacht club ride and back. After a short rest I go visit the acupuncturist for the last time (since he is moving to Irvine). I have to find a closer acupuncturist for future pains. I then put a bicycle in the car, drive to the motorcycle repair place, and ride the bicycle home. Then after a short rest I ride the motorcycle to the repair shop and drop it off for a minor tuneup and a new rear tire which has a nail in it and cannot safely be repaired. I then drive the car back home making stops to pick up food for lunch and for the grocery store. At home I watch qualifying for the Monocao Grand Prix and then polish the headlights of Person Ti_Ca's car. And then get down for a nap. When i wake up I work on websites to verify for a final time (I hope) that they are compatible with different size screens for desktops, laptops, tablets, phones.

I start Sunday north on the Los Angeles river on the road bicycle. I pick up a rider a few miles short of the dam and he rides with me. WHen we make the turn north (again) for the second dam he takes the lead for a bit and then I have to pull him along again. He is on a long ride, so at some point I hit my turn-around point and leave him on his own. There's a persistent headwind going back towards home but I crank along. I notice that nothing hurts today - maybe it was the Aleve that I took yesterday for some aches and pains. As I head west on Del Amo a car barrels out of a parking lot and I have to take severe evasive action not to get run over. I sprint to catch up with the car as he turns into a 99 cent store. I wait for him to exit the car and simply ask, "Didn't you see me? I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting you". He says something about his right to make a right turn, but he's mixed up his later turn into the parking lot with his earlier failure to stop when entering the main road of Del Amo. I just vociferously shake my head with a "You're completely clueless look" and get back onto Del AMo for the ride home - there was nothing else to be said. I spend the morning and early afternoon watching a wild Monaco Grand Prix in the rain (but drying conditions) and the Indy 500 where a rookie stretches his fuel to win. Later I trim the roses and work on websites and am ready to declare that all of the websites are "responsive" to different sized-devices and I can proceed with other work.

On Memorial day I am a bit "hungover" from Sunday's long ride so I take the mountain bicycle out for the loop ride. Halfway through the ride I realize that I have "underperformed" and should have taken the road bicycle out longer. But I crank along and have a good two hour ride. For the majority of the day, besides a mid-afternoon nap, I work on a website to monitor blood glucose levels in support of a possible collaboration with Cal State Los Angeles faculty members. Today I am not at my best and keep making silly mistakes that makes me go back and keep re-working the algorithms and results. But the basic glucose monitoring site is finished and now I can work on "area under curve" sites and alarms.

Tuesday at work is a flurry of people asking me last questions and help, people saying goodbye, and exit interviews. I manage to make it through the day with my sanity intact. I do say goodbye to a lot of people but I'm sure that I missed a lot. I fight traffic on the way home in the car and realize that I won't have to do this often again. When I get home I have a workout with the weights and get ready to go to another homeless meetup/mashup. Person Ti_Ca comes home from work and I hear a lot of activity in his room. Just as I'm walking out the door for the homeless meetup, Person Ti_Ca comes up to me and says, "Can we talk now?" I tell him about the homeles meetup and tell him that we cna talk after his work tomorrow. The homeless meetup is okay and we make some progress on business leads, the website, and other facts. When I get home near 9:30 pm Person Ti_Ca is gone (which is not surprising) but I note that he has emptied out all of hi dresser doors and his closet and stacked everything up as if packing to leave.