Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, March 2, 2009 10:00 PM

Get Serious


It's a long week. People are panicking as we make our way towards our big design review next week. There are many people who want stuff from me. I tell them, "No". I give them a big, firm, "No. Not until after the design review". Each one threatens to go over my head and get priority. I welcome them to do that. And I reinforce, "Don't ask for any help from me or my co-worker in Dynamics until after next Wednesday when we present". There are people who are disappointed and ready to try and get priority, but I don't really care and I know that they won't be able to get priority anyway.

On Tuesday and Thursday I get in good workouts with the weights as I try and start back in. I still have a fever which is lingering, but I need to workout.

Friday is a great day! After cleaning the roses and carnations I get out for the extended loop ride for 31 miles. I get a haircut and then run some errands that include visiting a kitchen cabinet maker and visiting a Home Depot. When I get home I set the lawn mower low and cut the grass way back - I usually do this in the fall, but this will have to do. By now I am tired so I just relax and deal with many phone calls and many text messages. The most important phone call is with Person J_VKPI as the funeral for his Mom is Saturday. I try to console him and get him through this difficult time. And finally I drop off to sleep early - I'm worn out and Saturday will be a long day.

On Saturday I'm gaining consciousness and waiting for the day to warm up a bit when I get a text message from Person J_VKPI indicating the showing and funeral are 9 and noon, respectively. I don't know if this is a change or a mix-up, so I jump on the mountain bicycle in the still cold morning and get down and around the aquarium and back home - no time for an extension. A quick shower and nice clothes are required before I head up to the funeral home - the same one from a year ago for Person J_VKPI's grandfather.

When I walk in a number of people remember me from one year ago. But I introduce myself around and try to console Person J_VKPI as well as I can. I do a lot of smiling at people because I know very few people. And, as I scan the chapel, I notice that I am the only white person present. The service is concise and short and soon we are parading off to the Hollywood Hills cemetary. At the cemetary there is another brief service, we all throw flowers onto the lowered casket, and then they finish lowering the casket and eventually completely cover it with dirt. We continue to mingle for a while longer and then I take leave, but not bfore giving my phone number to someone, "Call me when you're in my area and we'll hang out".

Late on Saturday I get in a good workout with the weights, take a shower, and start driving up to clubs in West Hollywood. The first club is crowded and Person T_U joins me as we push and shove our way through the crowd. We run into a few people who are also heading over to a second club and we tell them that we'll meet them over there. At the second club I immediately fall into place with the great music. There are only a few acquaintances present so I just get into the rhythym of the evening. At one point somebody comes over and asks me if I am Ray. I do not recognize this guy but somehow he knows me and just wanted to stop by and say Hi. And then he goes off to dance. The promoter of the club, Robert, introduces himself and I tell him how much I like the music that DJ Kim is playing. He agrees that DJ Kim is special. Near and just after 2 am the music starts to fall way from my sweet spot territory and so I decide to head for home. Tonight there is the slightest amount of drizzle in the air and so I know that I will see some accidents on the way home. Very close to home on the 710 where there is construction going on there are two very very nasty accidents with lots of police and fire vehicles present. I notice that one of the cars is a competitor to the World Rally Car and I can only say aloud, "If you would have bought a real World Rally Car you wouldn't have stuffed the entire vehicle into the cement guardrail." The lights go out for sleep at 3:17 am on Sunday morning.

On Sunday Person M_Fl stops by before work and we hang out for a while. I get the laundry done, practice my presentation for work, and just work on little things around the house. Late in the afternoon I get out for an hour walk and then work on things in the garage.

Monday and Tuesday are long days at work as our design review starts. On Tuesday I don't get home until 8 pm because of a lengthy set of presentations and silly questions by reviewers. A couple of the reviewers have admitted that they did not prepare in advance. So now they are asking many questions as they hold up the entire review due to their lack of preparation.

On Wednesday afternoon a co-worker and I make our presentation. We both do very well. I've practiced my speech many times while looking at the charts, while walking, and while riding the motorcycle. I hit all of the key points and use and Albert Einstein quote ("Nothing happens until something moves") to draw people into the presentation. When it is done I am happy with my co-worker's effort, my effort, and the comments from people in the audience. After the wrap-up meetings I head for home and get in a good session with the weights. It feels like a very large weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now I can concentrate on productive things rather than being nervous about the presentation.

On Friday I leave work early (because I have enough hours in) and have a great session with the weights. This is followed by breaking up some old wooden shelves for disposal and a 30 minute walk. A warm shower relaxes me and I just veg in front of the television for a couple of hours. It's not quite a clubbing weekend, so eventually I head for sleep fairly early.

Saturday is a great day! As the morning warms up I get out for the 31 mile extended loop ride. After a quick shower I get a couple of books at the library and do some grocery shopping. When I've recovered from the ride I mow, edge, trim, and fertilize the yard. By now I am really tired, but I have a nice warm shower and do the laundry. The rest of the evening is spent with the books. Seeing that I could use a good deep night of sleep, I've got off the food at a reasonable hour, taken Kava root extract, turned off all of the phones, and put in ear plugs.

I don't quite get the great sleep that I usually do with the previously-mentioned preparations, but it's good enough. When the morning ahs warmed up a bit I start out on the loop ride. I'm a bit tired from the previous day's ride, but going north on the San Gabriel river trail I hook up with two other cyclists and pretty soon we're egging each other on to faster speeds. By the time that I get to Del Amo and have to leave the bicycle trail I am spent. I crawl on home along Del Amo. I spend a fair amount of time on Sunday reading and relaxing and I even waste an hour of life on a Word Superbike Race (aka, Word Stupor Bike Race). Production-based racing is guaranteed boredom! Thus I get on down to the ocean for a skate. The entire organism is tired but it is good to get out and skate in the ocean breeze. Needless to say the rest of Sunday is spent reading and recovering.