Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, July 21, 2008 10:00 PM

Summer Blahs


The entire week is a blah week. Though the weather is not necessarily that hot, I seem to lack enthusiasm and energy. I get in blah workouts with the weights on Tuesday and Thursday though even the number of repetitions that I do is down. And my left knee is acting up in a strange way that has me hobbling around a bit on Wednesday night and Thursday.

On Friday I decide to switch things up. Thus after feeding the neighbor's cat and bunny again, I go walking and clean up the roses. I do not go cycling first thing in the morning. Instead I wait until later and it takes me a while to get going as I battle the onshore breeze. But then I get into a great rhythym and I'm cranking away up one gear for the rest of the ride. The rest of the day is kinda slow and I end up taking some Kava root extract, turning off all of the phones, putting in ear plugs, and heading for bed before 9 pm - just to miss Person R_CT's phone call.

Saturday starts out slowly checking the qualifying results for the MotoGP in Germany, doing some small maintenance around the house and with the carnations, and then getting out for another bicycle ride at mid morning. I again start slowly and end up cranking along up one gear as I finish just as the day starts getting warm. But this is consistent with playing with the heat shock proteins. During the ride I come across two confused cyclists and when they tell me where they want to go I tell them to follow me. They are two ladies originally from Taiwan who have cycled down from Walnut to check out the Cal State Long Beach campus - that's 30 miles just to get here. But they have planned ahead and will be using the trains to get part of the way home. I wish them to have a good trip as I point them in the right direction and I head for the ocean trail.

On Saturday afternoon I drive over to the neighbor's son's house for a surpise 70th birthday party for the neighbor. The organizers pulled it off perfectly as the neighbor lady doesn't have a clue and is totally surprised. I spend the majority of the party talking with the retired schoolteacher from across the street about world politics (because she used to be in the Peace Corps). Later I head for a club in Long Beach. I fully expect it to be boring and it is. The music is just mainstream typical boring and the crowd is nothing special. I cut my losses and leave just after 1 am on Sunday morning and have the lights out for sleep at 1:26 am.

Sunday starts slowly but I get out again near mid morning for a bicycle ride. I ride north on the real Los Angeles river trail until I can see downtown Los Angeles in the distance and the trail ends. And then I turn around and head against the wind for home. But I'm feeling strong again today and click past Slauson, Gage, Florence (pronounced Florrrr-en-sa), Firestone, Imperial, Rosecrans, and others on the way home. I watch the MotoGP from Germany in the wet and it's entertaining.

On Monday I ride the motorcycle down to Huntington Beach for the memorial service and rosary service for John Frye (a co-worker). This is just a rosary service so I'm the only person from work here. (The real funeral is on Tuesday.) Thus when there are words to be said I get up and say a few words about my co-worker. I spread some facts about my co-worker that his family and friends did not know. And then I have very nice conversations with his family and friends until it is time to go home.

Though the blahs are still present on Tuesday and Wednesday, I manage a reasonable session with the weights on Tuesday. I pick up some of the lost repetitions, but not all. On Wednesday I have a four hour meeting with a subcontractor and I am ready to go to the liquor store when the meeting is over. Instead I leave work early, go for an hour long walk, and then work on documents from home.

On Thursday the blahs are still present and the repetitions for the weight lifting session after work are down again. What's going on here?

I'm productive at work on Friday and rush on home to meet Person M_Fl who has come over to try and cheer me up. We hang out for a while before he has to go on home. And late in the evening I get in a 35 minute walk and have a telephone conversation with Person T_U about the balhs.

Saturday starts with a great bicycle ride up and over the Whitter Narrows dam and back on home for a total of 40 miles. I love that ride and have to do it more often. After doing the laundry and watching qualifying for the German Grand Prix I go on out to Best Buy and buy a 40" LCD flat panel television. When I get it home and have to move the old tube-based television that I bought in 1988 to watch the Winter Olympics (of that year), I talk to the television set. As I'm moving it into the future guest bedroom I say, "You have served me so well now for 20 years". And after setting up the new television I watch it a bit and just relax around the house during the afternoon. Later, after downloading a procedure on how to adjust the mountain bicycle rapid-fire shifters, I start trying to get them adjusted properly. During the rides up and down the street the shifting is about right. Now I just have to try them out under real riding conditions.

On Sunday morning I am so physically hungover that I can only go for a walk and stop in at the grocery store in the morning. I watch the German Grand Prix and then jump on the mountain bicycle for the aquarium ride. The rapid-fire shifters are almost perfect. But I'll ride it like this another time or two before re-adjusting. The MotoGP race from Laguna Seca, that I was at three years ago, comes on. There is an epic battle for the lead between Rossi and Stoner until Stoner goes off and drops his bike (but gets it picked up and comes home a distant second). The first 24 laps of the race are so close, so thrilling, so exciting, and so intense that I almost have to look away. The remainder of the day is taken up with little things around the house and some relaxing before starting the workweek.

On Monday I try to stay productive at work and add value at the meetings and teleconferences that I'm asked to participate in. After work I start the final week of high repetition lifting with increased weights. It's a good workout. Hopefully it will help me sleep tonight.