Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, June 25, 2007 9:00 PM

Start of Summer

On Tuesday I'm riding to work at greater than 100 mph in order to get to my office for a 6 am telecon (9 am on the east coast). There is hardly any traffic today until I get close to the Harbor freeway. Near the Harbor freeway everyone is on the brakes and coming to a complete stop as there is an accident and a car, that has rear-ended a truck, is engulfed in flames. The flames shoot 15-20 feet into the air. And I can feel the heat of the fire in the far right lane, as everyone squeezes over to the right, even though the accident and fire is in the far left lane.

Near 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon my boss's boss is in my office, looks over my shoulder through the window, and exclaims, "What the heck is that?" I turn around and there is a lot of white smoke blowing past window. We walk into another office facing west (where the smoke is coming from) and there's a car in our parking lot on fire. What's going on here? Two car fires in one day?

On Thursday I start my four day weekend with the aquarium bicycle ride. It takes 45 minutes (of the 70 minute ride) before my legs feel like cranking along. But hopefully all of the lactic acid from Sunday's ride is now gone. When I get home I mow, edge, and fertilize the lawn to start the summer. Near noon I get out for errands to buy new weight lifting gloves, knee pads for skating, a book ( ), a fencepost to repair a fence, and some groceries. In the afternoon I start reading the book and find myself laughing out loud from some of the text. Late in the afternoon, like a big kid, I have to try out the new weight lifting gloves that I bought. So I have a great, heavy session with the weights and then go walking for 30 minutes. And the remainder of Thursday is spent reading and watching some television.

On Friday I try to sneak in a bicycle ride before the roofing contractor shows up. I feel good during the ride, but the roofing contractor beats me home (but has started in on the minor repairs and maintenance). Later, after a visit to the acupuncturist, the termite inspector and the heating/air conditioning service people come and I babysit all of the group through their routine maintenance. After 4 pm I am drifting off, so I lay down for a nap. More reading brings me to 8 pm and I get in a great, heavy session with the weights before a shower sends me headed to clubs in West Hollywood.

I get a wristband for the herd/clone club and the walk over to another club to kill some time before the first gets crowded. The music at this second club is very good and I just stand back and listen to the music, watch the video displays, and ignore people. It's an uneventful night at the first club except when 6 paramedics come in and take somebody away on a stretcher - I don't know if the guy passed out/fainted or tripped on a step and hurt himself. I meet up with Person T_U at the herd/clone club near midnight. We hang out and mingle with the crowd until closing time. In the interlude I've turned down a request to "Oh the evening is young. We should go _________." Person T_U and I hang out outside the club with the crowd and I chase down Person M_VJ and his friend, Person J_J, in order to have a little conversation. But they are in a hurry to get home, so it's just a brief conversation. I return to Person T_U and we talk until he decides to head for home at 2:15 am. I'm about to leave when I see Person M_VJ and Person J_J hanging out, so I go talk with them some more. Before we know it it is 2:35 am and they suggest we go have tea. We walk down the street to discover that everything is closed. Now what kind of place is this that everything is closed at 2:35 in the morning? Thus we hang out some more until we walk each other to our cars and I head for home starting at 3 am on Saturday morning. The lights go off for sleep at 3:40 am.

Saturday starts a bit before 7 am with the laundry, some grocery shopping, qualifying for the F1 race in Indianapolis, and finally a noontime loop bicycle ride. During the ride I feel strong and only have a bit of discomfort in the neck (which is typical of cyclists and motorcyclists). Late in the afternoon when the weather has cooled a bit I get out and fix the side fence that is threatening collapse (or actually did collapse during windy weather a few weeks ago and has been propped up since). I note the rotted wood and figure this will hold the fence for a few years at best, but new fences are on the horizon. I have a long conversation with my 93 year old aunt and a few short conversations with Person J_VKPI, Person C_T, and Person T_U. Since I am tired today I decide to stay at home and go to sleep early.

On Sunday I get out for the aquarium bicycle ride and note how tired I am. After I watch the F1 race from Indianapolis, I clean the bathrooms (except the floors) and then I get out skating down by the ocean. It's a reasonable skate and I hang out afterwards for a little while to cool down and watch people. The rest of the day is consumed with reading, cleaning up the roses, talking with neighbors, and taking out the trash.

I wake up on Monday morning with a sore throat. Is this from the four good bicycle rides in four days plus lifting sessions and skating and two hours of sleep? Or it from the long bicycle ride last Sunday? Throughout the semi-productive day at Northrop Grumman the throat remains sore, I have a slight case of the sniffles, and my eyes feel tired. Thus I leave work 30 minutes early with the time to be made up later int he week. When I get home I go and lift weights and surprisingly have the heaviest lifting session ever. Bar none. How could this be? Well, I accept it, realize that I may be sore all over later, and just read and relax the rest of the night - hoping to get some extra sleep.

I do not sleep well at all on Monday night. I get up and surf the Internet and watch television at one point. Thus on Tuesday I struggle through the day with the last couple hours at Northrop Grumman a real effort to stay upright. And my nose, throat, and stomach are upset. I'm even wondering if I'm going to be able to make it home on the motorcycle. But I start out slowly and find that as I concentrate on the ride and the traffic that I don't feel sick at all. Thus I lift weights on Tuesday after work and lift heavy again (this time for the pull muscle group). And then I try to rest.

I sleep well on Tuesday night and feel pretty good. But when I arrive in my office my nose starts running and my eyes start tearing up. I don't notice how rough my voice sounds until I answer my phone. Thus people try to avoid me at work on Wednesday, but they cannot. There are too many things going on. When I get home I work the abdominals and lower back and take an actifed to try and knock myself out.

I spent Thursday, the first day of summer, in bed. I have less than a degree of fever, but all of the other symptoms are there. I call in sick to work and sleep and lie around for a majority of the day. Late in the afternoon I mow the lawn, but it's the most that I can do. More actifed hopfeully points me in the direction of a good night of sleep.

I'm surprised that I make it to work in one piece on Friday because all of the actifed is clouding my judgement during the motorcycle ride to work. But I have a reasonable day and start to feel a little better as the day goes on. When I get home I walk over to the grocery store and then I start washing windows. I get about halfway through before I quit. And then I get in a session with the weights that starts with light weights and builds to very heavy weights. It's a good workout considering the circumstances. And then I relax for the remainder of Friday.

After good sleep on Friday night I get out for the aquarium bicycle ride. I'm slow today, but it's okay. Afterwards while still sweaty I wash the outside of the remaining windows - now the view outside is crystal clear! After laundry I am a bit tired, so I lay down for a while and watch television. There isn't much on, but I need some rest. Late in the afternoon Person T_U stops by to see the progress on the house since his last visit. He has been talking about a day trip to San Francisco for the last few days, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen becasue he doesn't have a place to stay. I suggest he go anyway and just find someone up there to spend the night with. Person T_U calls later and is going out, but I decline because it is probably important to get some good sleep now.

I wake being lazy on Sunday morning and read the newspaper before going out cycling. It's a good ride (as always) and then I sit back and watch some racing. Near 1:30 pm I head for LAX to pick up the younger of the kids that I used to babysit. He's coming home early as Mom and Dad take an extended vacation. And then I watch motorcycle racing from Britain in the wet! Yuki Takahshi, after having a broken forearm, borken femur, and re-broken forearm in less than one year, has a great ride to finish fourth - just barely off the podium. And then I head for sleep.

Monday is a blah day. But I get in a good session with the weights after work and relax. I'm in bed early because I have a 5 am teleconference at work - thus I have to get up a little after 4 am. I try to sleep but I have a headache and I wake up a number of times throughout the night and cannot fall asleep. Tomorrow is going to be a disaster!