Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, February 4, 2008 10:00 PM

Long Super Bowl weekend

On Wednesday I have a slight (less than one degree) fever. Thus I do not go out cycling in the morning. Instead I spend a lot of time working on the yard, repairing a fence that recent storms damaged, and cleaning up the roses. At 11 am I call in for a 2 hour teleconference and then skate over to the dealer to pick up the World Rally Car. It feels good! The rest of the day is spent opening up mail from the last month, cleaning up paperwork, watching some pre-recorded television shows, and staying warm to fight off this minor illness.

On Thursday I let the morning warm up before heading out for a road bicycle ride. I'm turning past the aquarium towards the ocean path when I run over a chain link fence wire and destroy my rear tire and tube. What do I do now? I walk the bicycle over to the Long Beach BikeStation that serves as the turn around point for the Los Angeles river ride. I walk in and sheepishly say, "I have a problem", and show the guy the problem that I have. And I continue with, "And I don't have any money or any identification on me. But I'll give you contact information and I'll bring you the money later today". I pause again. And add, "But I bet you hear that a lot". The guy looks at me and my bicycle and says, "Not from guys like you". I don't quite know what this means, but he provides me with a new tire and tube, tells me that I owe him $21, and I can pay him back tomorrow morning. I profusely thank him and ride on home.

In the afternoon I get my hair cut, do some reading, and go visit a doctor for a pre-checkup interview. I get to the doctor and though they have told me over the telephone that they take my insurance, they now say that they don't. My eyes gloss over as they say there is a difference between an HMO, a PPO, an EPO, and preferred network plan. I tell them that I specifically called them in advance and gave them my information and they claimed to accept it, but now they do not. Thus I drive home and spend time on the telephone trying to figure out what is going on. I do not get resolution.

On Friday I wake up and am almost able to regain consciousness. I mill around the house until it is sorta warm and I take off on the loop ride. Except that I detour to the Long Beach BikeStation to give Brent the money that I owe him. I give him $30 and he says, "Let me get you the change", and I just tell him to keep it and have a cheap lunch. (He only wanted $21.) And I explain that he didn't just repair my rear tire and tube, he also showed me something about trust and going out on a limb to help people. I continue on the ride and have a good one as I finish up. During the afternoon I get email suggesting that I need to look at some shock data and I grab the data and start processing it.

Later on Friday I lift weights because I'm feeling like a slug today and because it's a bit cold and I want to generate some body heat. Though I'm almost over the illness, I know that I should stay at home tonight and stay warm. I miss a phone call from Person M_Fl and call Person T_U to chat. Late on Friday I get phonecalls from work indicating that I am needed for a 7 am Saturday morning teleconference and an 11 am Sunday morning teleconference. What the heck? I'm supposed to be relaxing and on vacation and I have to work on the weekend? Well, it's what I have fun (usually) doing...

Saturday is a slow day because my temperature is back up 1.5 degrees. Nonetheless I have the 7 am teleconference for work, go cycling around the aquarium in the mid day sun, and do the laundry and grocery shopping. Now I am tired, so I lay on the couch with a blanket and watch television. I don't know what I watch, but I watch anyway.

Late on Saturday I finally decide that I better go to one of those ice skating fundraisers that I go to once a year now. Though I have enjoyed being on the couch under a blanket, I get up and drive to Burbank. I run into quite a few of my former ice hockey teammates. In the old days I would run into them once or twice a week during the season. Now I see them once a year at the ice skating fundraisers. It's good to see them again and it's good to be back on ice skates and helping the struggling new ice skaters. I rush on home and drop off to sleep just before 1 am - noting that I feeel very good now.

The alarm goes off at 6 am on Sunday morning and I'm at work by 7 am. I process some data in advance of the 9 am teleconference. I've used the trafficless Sunday to drive to work and carry everything to the office that was at home (rather than struggle with it in a backpack on the motorcycle). The teleconference goes well and I leave work just after 11 am. After noon I get in a great session with the weights and take a warm shower to relax for a while.

I watch the SUper Bowl without having a real favorite. The 4th quarter is exciting and results in another Manning being named most valuable player for the secnd year in a row. Because it is very windy and a bit cold I do not go out walking after the game. Preferring, instead, to stay inside and stay warm and conclude the weekend.