Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, November 30, 2009 10:00 PM

Heading Out Again


It is a long five day week of work. The managers have been spun up over a number of topics and perceived deadlines, yet they cannot make a decision. Over the course of the week we have 4.5 hours of meetings about one topic and we cannot reach a decision - only 5 PowerPoint charts are made. As the managers fall deeper and deeper into panic I just sit back, work hard at my tasks, and laugh at the chaos.

I've prioritized my work because nobody else will make a decision. Towards the end of the week one boss wants something done that isn't going to get done. I tell him that I've prioritized throughout the week otherwise and his task isn't going to get done because I've committed to meeting my own deadlines according to my priorities (since nobody else said otherwise earlier in the week). The boss is not happy and keeps pleading for me to get his job done and I know I've repeated "It isn't going to happen" at least 10 times on Friday alone. By the end of the day he realizes it isn't going to happen because I'm not going to deviate from my plan - if nobody else wills et priorities, then I will. And if they are different from somebody else's priorities thent hat's just too bad.

Needless to say I get in some good workouts with the weights on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Thursday I get out walking twice throughout the day. It's cold outside now, so at night I stay bundled up as much as possible.

On Friday I leave work with some taks unfinished - the ones that I determined were low priority even if the boss later said they had to get done. ("It isn't going to happen.") I get in a good workout with the weights as I slowly get back into lifting, take a shower, and head for clubs in West Holywood. Today one of the clubs is empty, so I stick with the herd/clone club and try to make the best of it. Near midnight Person X_J decides that he wants to hang out with me and we talk about palces that we have traveled. Except later Person X_J wants me to go back to his hotel room with him. I decline the offer and eventually bid farewell to X_J when he heads for an afterhours club. I hang out outside the club after closing to let the traffic die down and then rush home - the lights going out for sleep at 3:15 am on Saturday morning.

On Saturday the alarm goes off at 5:10 am because I have arranged to call Mr Tree in Thailand. We have a nice visit and then he has to go to sleep - the call was arranged for 8 pm his time so that he could sleep at 9 pm in order to wake up at 4 am to go to work. When the mroning has warmed up a bit I get out for the aquarium ride. The legs feel strong today - how did that happen on two hours of sleep? After lunch I get down on my hands and knees and repalce the brake pads on the Yamaha YZF-R1 with sintered double H pads -the higest coefficient of friction pads. I can't wait to get them "bedded in" when they will have maximum performance. On Saturday afternoon I babysit the carpet cleaner and a man measuring two windows in the kitchen for blinds. And then head for bed fairly early.

On Sunday I wait for the morning to warm up a bit before heading up the Los Angeles river and Rio Hondo trail for a bicycle ride. It's a slow day and I just do little things around the house and prepare for a hectic three days of work.

On Monday I out my head down and make a lot of progress at work. I even surprise myself at how easily I'm able to write documents as well as analyze models and run simulations. I wish I was always this productive! I increase the weights just a bit on the Monday night workout and then watch Monday night football.

Tuesday and Wednesday are also productive days though shorter days. People are starting to leave for the Thanksgiving holiday, so the days are quiet - perfect for being productive. Each day, when I've done as much as I'm going to do, I leave and lift weights.

Thanksgiving day starts with the traditional long bicycle ride. I start off towards the Whitter narrows dam. On the way I struggle. It is not until I get within 5 miles of the dam that I realize there has been a headwind the entire way. I remember hearing about possible windy conditions, but I did not expect them at this low of an altitude. Nonetheless I struggle up and over the dam and fly back down south towards home. It is good 40 mile ride! After the ride I watch the Detroit Lions lose again and I have the traditional Thanksgiving spaghetti dinner (closer to lunch time). I get out for a 40 minute walk on Thanksgiving night and run into two friends (Danny and Sim) for idle chitchat.

Friday starts with the extended aquarium bicycle ride. The legs feel good and its a good ride. After a shower and some errands I head for the primary care center since I've had a cough for two months (since the sinus infection in Cambodia). There are very few cars in the parking lot so I'm tinking it will be a quick visit. I am wrong. The cars must all be for patiens with very few doctors present. It takes three hours to see a doctor and get some chest x-rays done. When I return to the doctor's office he asks, "Do you want to wait for the radiologist to second-look the x-rays and compare them with past x-rays?". And I just point to my phone and say, "Seeing that I've been here three hours, I'll just go home. You call in the prescriptions when the radiologist sees nothing amiss. Or I'll come back if something looks bad and needs discussion." I go home and work in the yard for a couple of hours to work off steam. A few hours later I have not heard anything, so I drive to Subway and then to the grocery store. When I'm in the checkout line for the grocery store I hear over the store intercom, "Mr Manning please return to the pharmacy". My prescription has just been sent in. I get cough medicine with codeine, an antibiotic, and an inhaler (which I don't really need). When I get home I start with an extra double dose of cough medicine (with codeine) and soon I'm starting to drop off for sleep. I struggle to stay away until 8 pm when I take more cough medicine and go to bed.

Unfortunately I wake up at 2:30 in the morning and cannot sleep. So I get up and take more cough medicine and surf the Internet for a while. On Saturday I'm hung over from the cough medicine and can only get out for an hour walk (and becasue it is very windy). Person C_T cmes to visit in the afternoon and we have a nice visit and do some shopping for his apartment. And then I have a slow, relaxing evening.

On Sunday I wake up late and head out for the extended aquarium bicycle ride. I'm slow to start with but pick up strength and speed as I go. As I'm at the mouth of the Los Angeles river I see a cyclist rolling his bicycle along with a flat rear tire. So I stop and help himget the tire fixed and use one of my CO2 cartridges on his tire. We ride together up the Los Angeles river and have a nice conversation - he's a marriage counselor and we share various stories about counseling and child welfare and etc. He actually rides past his stop to accompany me to Del Amo and then he turns around to head for home as I leave the Los Angeles river trail and head for home.

On Monday I take two United Airlines flight from Los Angeles through Chicago to Fort Wayne, Indiana for busienss meetings on Tuesday. This is the first time in a long time that the United flights were on time and went off without a hitch.