Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, May 7, 2007 9:00 PM

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

On Tuesday I telecon in to the vice president's meeting and present the back-up information for us to make a good decision. After I leave the telecon and go about my business, the vice president calls me and thanks me for the help but wants me back in another teleconference. I can't get away from him! After work I lift for adbominals and lower back and go walking for about 75 minutes. And relax.

On Wednesday and Thursday I do pyramid lifting sessions and then go walking - about 65 minutes on Wednesday and another 40 on Thursday after mowing the lawn. On Wednesday a check for $843 from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission arrives in the mail. The back of the check says something to the effect of "By way of background, you have been identified as an investor that has been injured by the violations of the securities laws addressed in the referenced administrative actions". I don't recall being injured, but I'll take it.

I have a 0.3 to 0.4 degree fever on Friday morning when I wake up and I notice the blood in the eye that is left over from yesterday. But I get out for the loop ride hoping that the cool breezes will cool my body temperature down. It's a good ride and I feel strong throughout. After the ride I run some errands and eventually see the acupuncturist early in the afternoon. I show her the bloody eye and ask her for help with stress relief. She puts the needles in places that they've never been before and I note afterwards that there are little scabs where some of the new locations are. But I do feel good! Later Person M_Fl comes over and we hang out as he waits for traffic to die down before he heads for home.

Everybody is occupied tonight, so I head out on my own. I get a wristband for one club and then head to another. It's still early so I just get a RedBull and 7-Up and listen to the music and watch as the crowd starts to slowly build. After 11:30 I leave this club and go back to the one that I have the wristband for. There are a few acquaintances present and there are no substantive conversations. Near 12:30 I'm at a guy on the dance floor - I know that I know him from somewhere. But these old neurons are just not performing pattern matching and facial recognition as well as they used to. After quite a while the guy sees me staring at him, gets a huge smile on his face, and fights his way over to give me a big hug. I recognize that it is Person E_T when I hear the British accent being yelled into my (ear-plugged) ear. "You've changed your hair quite a bit. I didn't even recognize you. But I like this hair a lot", I say to Person E_T. Person E_T is visiting from Houston with his friend Person X_Ma. We hang out until the club closes and then afterwards as we make plans to meet up again on Saturday night. On the drive home I run into construction again but finally get to turn the lights out for sleep at 3:25 am on Saturday morning.

I'm up at 6:30 am on Saturday morning and note that the slight fever is gone. Maybe it was just a measurement noise fever. I get out for the aquarium ride in the cool morning and crank along quite nicely down towards the aquarium. Today there is a morning onshore seabreeze, so I fight it quite well on the way towards the ocean. And then I step back a notch on the way home. After a nice warm shower I get some reading in before babysitting the contractors who are out to measure windows for new wood blinds. When the measurements are finished I get in an hour nap before heading off to visit Person A_G. Person A_G typically leaves phone messages that start with, "Good morning Sunshine". I like being called sunshine! We have a nice visit but we don't go skating because I'm too tired. Instead we just walk around a street festival and watch the emo boys and girls wander around.

I meet up with Person E_T and Person X_Ma at a first club. We hang out there for a while until we decide to head for the herd/clone club. We're in line to get in for 10 minutes and we are not moving at all. Thus we decide to bag it and head to a different club where there is a one minute wait to get in. I immediately start running into many many acquaintances over the evening including Person W_V (who I have not seen for probably a year) and Person P_P (who I probably haven't seen for six months). Person P_P and I have a discussion about the length of his hair because it is very long right now and I try and convince him to just trim it (rather than going very short with it). Person T_U joins us near midnight for the fun. It seems tonight that my smile is infectious because I'll see a woman, man, or in-between hanging out, we'll make eye contact, I'll smile, he/she will respond with a hearty smile, and then life goes on. Near 1:15 am there is a squabble (or fight) on the dance floor unti security breaks it up and escorts the pugilists out. As the music gets better and better, i finally decide that I need to leave. I bid farewell to my remaining friends and leave the club at 2:40 am on Sunday morning. The lights go out for sleep at 3:27 am.

On Sunday I'm up a bit after 7 am to read the newspaper and care for the roses. Near 11 am I start out on the aquarium bicycle ride. The ocean breeze is again against me on the way down towards the aquarium and then gentles nudges me back home. It's a good thing because I'm tired from all of the walking this past week, three bicycle rides in three days, and three hours of sleep each of the last two nights,

For the rest of Sunday I continue reading the newspaper, watching a non-essential race, cleaning up the backyard a house a bit, downloading (legally) some music that I heard at the clubs the previous two nights, and doing other reading. I note that there is no nap taken this afternoon. Thus I head for sleep early.

On Monday I have a very productive and fruitfull day at work. Towards the end of the workday I receive a text message from Person E_T saying, "I am in no mood to go back to Houston. I should just pretend to be lost in Los Angeles."

I can understand Person E_T's desire to avoid going back to Houston. But my text message back to him jolts him to reality and gets him on the airplane. "I understand. But you have to go back or you won't be able to buy more shoes".

On Monday night there is a neighborhood meeting at the police station where we talk about neighborhood beautification, fences, traffic flow, and other issues of local importance. A few people know me by first name though the only one that I know is the city councilperson's chief of staff. How do these people know me? After the meeting I get in a good session with the weights. As recovery and rebuilding I step back on the weights for each lift, stay away from dropsets and pyramids, and just do some volume training.

bed and don't hear anything else, so I go back to sleep. Later I hear a metallic grinding sound so I shuffle around it bed to be alert. When I shuffle around in bed and rustle the covers the noise stops. This is not good. I pop my head up and note that the sound is coming from the bicycle hanging in the bedroom on the other side of the room. I grab my flashlight and shine it and am shocked. I cannot believe what I am seeing. I slowly get out of bed, turn on the light, and put on some clothes. Are you f___ing kidding me? How in the heck did this happen? Thus I am staring eye to eye with a baby possum sitting on the rear wheel of my road bicycle in my bedroom. Are you f___ing kidding me? The possum can easily fit in the palm of my hand - it is that small. But I'm not going anywhere hear it because possum carry rabies and have nasty teeth and claws. What do I do now? The first thing that I think of is a hockey stick. But that is not manueverable enough. Thus I grad a fireplace broom and a fireplace shovel in each hand. When I return to the bedroom the possum has moved to the seat of the mountain bicycle. I open the bedroom door to the outside and prop open the screen door - maybe I can guide the possum out. Though the possum appears to be staring at me, I know that it is having trouble seeing with the bedroom light on. Thus I exploit my advantage. I start saying out loud, but softly, "I'm not going to hurt you. But you have to go. And we cannot have bloodsheed here, neither mine nor your's, because this bedroom carpeting is only a couple months old. I'm not going to hurt you." I give the possum a gentle nudge with the shovel and knock it to the floor. Now it's on the defensive. It tries to scurry about whenever I get close to it with the shovel or the broom. But I also note that it is always staying close to a wall - though it cannot see well with the light, it probably has a radar, laser, ultrasonic, microwave, infrared, or some type of sensory perception for nearby objects. Now I exploit this advantage - if I can just "guide" the possum towards the door and get it to make the sharp turn around the edge of the door towards the outside, I'll be home free. Or, well, the home will be possum free. Thus I use the broom to encourage the possum towards the door and use the shovel to prevent it from getting away from the wall. I'm again shocked when the possum makes the sharp turn around the door on its own and scurries outside. I quickly pull the screen door shut and the bedroom door shut. I note the wise choice I made with the fireplace broom and shovel as they both had the speed and agility to accomplish the task without bloodshed. Now I start walking around the entire house to try and find the possum's port of entry into the house. The only thing that I can find is an unused dryer vent hose that comes up from the crawlspace beneath the house. I tightly plug the hose with a rag. There's no way I'm going to fall asleep now so I watch televsion for a while. I decry how the safety and security of this house has gone downhill since Nopester left. Nopester would never have let a possum get anywhere near the house. Near 2 am I head back for the bed but every little wind noise, dog bark, or house creak has me on pins and needles thinking that it is the possum's mother coming to get me. Eventually I fall asleep.

Thursday starts with a good loop ride followed by lots of errands. After the bicycle ride I see my ethernet router on the floor and realize that the possum knocking the router to the floor was the first sound that I heard the previous night. I grab a picture or two of the like crazy. Later I edge and mow the lawn and then fix broken picture links within this website.

It's only near 5 am that I wake up a time or two and hear noises. But they are outside the house. The one noise is the sound of a cat (or other small animal) jumping onto the wooden fence that is attached to the house right near where I sleep. But it's outside. I get up after 6:30 and read before heading out for the aquarium ride - the recently disrupted sleep patterns and yesterday's good ride helping me to decide to take it easy. Afterwards I head to downtown Long Beach to pick up the community newspapers and read about local happenings. On the way home I stop at a Burger King and read some of the community newspapers and contemplate whether to go back to work or not. But I'm not working today. Exactly the point - I contemplate whether to ever go back to work. I give Person Dan_SF a phone call and hear that he has some sort of throat cancer or lymphoma or something and though his prognosis is good for recovery, I reinforce to him that I am standing ready to help however I can. Late in the afternoon, after doing laundry and getting in more reading, there's a phone call from Person J_VKPI that I miss. This is the first contact from Person J_VKPI since he went off to bootcamp in the middle of February. I'm waiting for his call back of my call back.

It's after 10:30 pm on Friday night that I get a wristband for the herd/clone club and head off to another club. I grab a Red Bull and 7-Up and enjoy the music. There really are no people here tonight that I know, but I hang out anyway because I am enjoying the music. Finally after midnight I head back to the herd/clone club and run into a few acquaintances. I see Rene, a friend of Person J_VKPI's, and I tell him that I exchanged voice mails with Person J_VKPI and so I give Rene my number so that he can find out what is going on with Person J_VKPI when we speak. It's kinda crowded tonight, so it takes me a while to get to the bar to get a Red Bull and 7-Up. (The good thing about this club is that the non-alcoholic drinks are given out in very large cups - thus one non-alcoholic drink will last me the rest of the evening.) Except that a girl (or lady) muscles in in front of me, tells me that she know this bartender, asks me what I'm drinking, and has it served to me. I thank her and then try to pay the bartender except that he says that she already paid for it. And now she's gone so that I can't thank her for actually buying me the drink. Regardless I enjoy the rest of the evening and don't want to go home when the club boots us out at 2 am. Thus I stand around outside along with many othr people and just make idle chit chat with a few people. Finally I head for home - coming upon a big accident in the last couple of miles from home with glass and car parts strewn over every lane of the freeway (and causes a 15 minute delay in getting home). But I persist and get the lights turned out for sleep at 3:37 am on Saturday morning.

I get out for the aquarium bicycle ride just after 7 am and then go to another community meeting with the city councilperson. This time the city auditor also shows up. It's a good discussion but there are more to come. Most of Saturday is a lazy day. There are phone calls or text messages throughout the day with Person C_T, Person T_U, and Joe. Eventually there is no coalition assembled and I'm heading for sleep at 10:30 pm.

On Sunday I get up a bit late and get out cycling for the loop ride near 9 am. There are many people riding and running and skating along the ocean and within a mile or so on each river trail. I just crank along and enjoy my fourth ride in four days. After doing some reading I watch the MotoGP and 250cc races from China and am disappointed when one of my favorite riders, Yuki Takahashi, doesn't even take the start. It turns out he fell during qualifying and dislodged the metal plate in his forearm left over from his fall last June for the Suzuka race. This goes along with his broken femur back in November. Poor Yuki! Neither race is particularly close but they are still good to watch. Late in the afternoon I get in a good session with the weights and then start winding down the four day weekend.

On Sunday night and into Monday morning I have trouble sleeping. I've done evrything right - with a good Sunday bicycle ride and a good session of lifting weights - but I still have trouble sleeping. I wake up once with a variation of the recent set of dreams about being stuck somewhere and not being able to get out. The Monday at Northrup Grumman is the opening day of a week long training class and I enjoy the start of the class. After work I lift for abdominals and lower back and get out walking - running into the next door neighbor as I start and we share the 30 minute walk. Phone calls with Person A_G and Person C_T close out the night.