Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday March 2, 2015 8:02 PM

Where's the rain?


Tuesday is a blah day at work. I am very productive in the morning and then the day starts to drag. At a reasonable time I rush on home and ride the road bicycle over to the bicycle shop. There are a few things that need attention including possibly new bearings in the bottom bracket. I walk back home with a stop at the grocery store for supplies for the week. And then, after watching the season finale of State of Affairs, I send emails to Cal State Los Angeles students and I work on the Arduino motor controller and data acquisition system that will help one of the teams out. Working on these projects is good for me because it gets me back up to speed for some projects of my own that I want to work on.

On Wednesday and Thursday I have more blah days at work. When I get home on Wednesday I lift increase the weights a bit and have a great session with the weights. I'll have to stay at this weight level for a while now. On Thursday after work I get a call saying that my bicycle is ready so I walk over to the bicycle store and pick it up. I hang out for a bit and talk with the owner and staff (who know me well) and finally I leave for home. After watching the news on Thursday I pick out a bookshelf and start going through all of the books to decide which ones to keep and which ones to donate somewhere. ANd then I move the bookshelf away from the wall and give it the beginning of a good cleaning. This bookshelf has not moved since the hardwood floors were refinished, so there is 7 or 8 years of dust accumulated in some places. As quickly as I get a new rag to clean the bookshelf it is ready to be tossed away because it is so dirty. I'll finish the cleaning and oiling process over the next few days before turning to a second larger bookshelf which needs the same treatment.

I have a frustrating day at work. I'm trying to make sense of some test data and to correlate a model behavior with the test and not having any luck. It isn't even close. I take a couple short walks during the workday to get the blood pumping and to get a fresh perspective on the problem, but it isn't working. Finally I just set February 1, 2016 as my retirement date and go on home. I get in a great, heavy session with the weights. This is a good level of weights to be at for a while. And afterwards I prepare the bookshelf and area for the cleaning/refinishing to be done this weekend. Later I watch a recorded "Blacklist" and then work a bit on income taxes. I just want the evening to finish so I can go ride on the tuned up road bicycle in the morning.

I'm out the door a bit after 7 on Saturday morning to try out the tuned up road bicycle. I am immediately faster and I just keep cranking away until 40 miles are finished quicker than I expected. Wow - was the bottom bracket bearing that badly worn? After a shower I get to Finish Line for new running shoes, the library, a coin dealer to sell some old coins (that I bought many years ago and got cheated on), Togo's to pick up lunch, Home Depot for supplies, a used book seller to drop off some old books, and the grocery store for supplies. When I run these errands I stack them to make a big loop and minimize the driving. For the running shoes, I've bought Nike AirMax shoes in order to slowly walk/run and run back into occasional runs. I'll just take my time and go slowly as I have for my shoulder and lifting weights and try to get back to a run or two per week by the end of the year.

Sunday starts with me physically hungover from Saturday's activities and the threat of rain. Thus I get on the mountain bicycle and ride to the old yacht club and add some extra miles for a good ride. It takes more than 5 miles for the soreness to leave my legs as I get started, but soon I'm cranking away. As I'm adding the few extra miles in I see two road bicycle riders who passed me a while back stop with a flat tire. So I keep going and hit my turn-around point and go back to see if they need help. But they seem to have things under control and I ride on home. WHen I get home I water the impatiens, trim the roses (including bringing some cut roses into the house as usual), start the laundry, and start cooking vegetables for the week's lunch.

On Monday and Tuesday I have decent days at work. However there are wild rumors floating around that the company is going to offer an "incentive" to get some of the older higher-paid employees to retire or leave. I am hopefull and will be the first one in line regardless of what incentive they offer. I get in a good, heavy session with the weights on Monday and then start looking through a box of old VCR tapes that I have. The first one that I pull out, the 1990 Grand Prix of Monaco, is interesting and I wonder when I will sort through this entire box of tapes and if somebody is interested in purchasing some of these tapes. On Tuesday after work I put on the brand new running shoes and go walkign (mainly) with a little bit of running thrown in to break the shoes in. As stated above, I am going to go very slowly at trying to get back into a run or two per week by the end of the year and not rush into anything and hurt myself as I have done in the past. Later on Tuesday I watch some of the Kings-RedWings ice hockey game and cheer for an eighth consecutive Kings win.

Wednesday is another blah day at work. Oh I make progress on things that I have to do and I help some people out with things that they don't know how to do, but I could be more productive. (They will miss me when I retire because I like to help the less experienced people out with their problems and I tend to be patient and encouraging with them.) At the end of the day we have a final meeting before our trip to Santa Barbara on Thursday to visit another division of Northrop Grumman. When I get home I have a great session with the weights and I am thinking that I cannot even tell that I have ever had a shoulder or elbow problem because there is no pain or discomfort. But I do put ice on both areas after lifting as a precaution. There is a community meeting with the city councilman about the recent closing and, hopefully, relocation of the neighborhood post office branch. But I decide to sit this one out and just relax and later help Person Ti_Ca with homework.

Thursday is a strange day. I get to work extra early so that my project boss and I can drive up to Santa Barbara in her car to visit a vendor. We speed up there quickly because there is no traffic and try to visit a coffeehouse before the meeting called the Lucky Llama. But a last minute traffic jam makes us abort the mission and just go to the meeting. We have the vendor meeting and everybody seems to be on the same page...possibly except me. There are some test behavior questions that are knawing away at me and I raise these issues but agree that when we do a test later this year we can measure the true behavior. After the meeting there is really no traffic to speak of and we arrive at our home office a bit after 12. I go ride out and have some salty french fries for lunch and then stop in at my functional boss's area to talk with people and to meet new hires. It turns out that I am able to make a number of connections between people looking for solutions and the people who have the solutions, so I make the introductions and step aside. There are three new hires from Purdue and Cornell and they seem like nice guys. Eventually I get tired and leave work early. When I get home I mow the lawn, wash the motorcycle, do a bit of lawn trimming, grab a shower, get halfway through waxing the Yamaha YZF-R1, and then start a backup of my PC to an external hard drive. As I'm running through my home tasks I thinkto myself, "I should take these three new hires out for pizza and just talk to them and explain how things sorta work and encourage them to exceed." I make a note to myself to try and make this happen on Wednesday when I will have a car to drive them to lunch (since I'll take the motorcycle in for a tuneup on Tuesday). Later on Thursday I watch the start of the Kings' game as they go for their 9th straight win. And later, being restless, finish waxing the motorcycle.

Friday starts with a good 40 mile road bicycle ride. I consider riding longer, but I have other things to do and it is more difficult to ride alone with nobody to pull, push, or talk to. When I get home I trim the lawn, grab a shower, and run a number of errands including dropping more books off at the used book store as well as getting two more books from the library. Late in the morning and into the afternoon I take a break and have some lunch. After lunch I wax the rims of the Yamaha YZF-R1 and then I collapse down for a nap. When I wake up I have energy so I udst the hardwood floors and get down on my hands and knees and wash the hardwood floors with the special cleaning fluid. (In reality, I wonder if all of these special cleaning fluids for hardwood floors, stainless steel, ceramics, and other surfaces are special chemical blends or just a mild soap and water?)

I'm physically hungover from all of the activities over the last two days. But I get on the mountain bicycle on a windy and rain-threatening day and get in a good ride to the old yacht club and home (with a few extra miles thrown in as usual). The rain isn't supposed to come until later in the day, but it is very windy and gusty. After the ride I trim some roses and bring some into the house and then catch up on some news. It is a pretty slow day but I do finish cleaning the hardwood floors and I clean the kitchen floor. My legs are stiff from the two rides and I cannot figure out why because these rides aren't that much different than my typical rides.

Sunday starts off rainy and wet and I keep checking the weather forcasts before starting off on the mountain bicycle. I do not take the road bicycle for a longer ride because I don't want the road bicycle to get wet and dirty and because my legs are still stiff and because I'm unmotivated. There are some drops of rain during the ride but I'm enthused to be riding and I enjoy the different smells that occur due to the wet rain and plants and pavement. I ride down to where the bicycle path is temporarily closed and then head back towards home for a few extra miles. I catch up to a guy on a road bicycle and he says, "I remember you on the road bike last week". I don't think it was last week - maybe a few weeks ago. But we have a nice conversation as we push against a headwind and we each eventually head for our respective homes. It's a quiet day with the Kings' game and catching up on some little things around the house. I notice that my legs are STILL stiff. What's going on here?

I find that I am having more and more difficulty getting enthused for work on Mondays. But I ride in to work in the wet and "cry" that I just waxed the motorcycle and now it is all wet. I get through the data and pick up some productivity as the day wears on. After work I get in a good workout with the weights and then wipe down and re-wax the motorcycle.