Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday March 16, 2015 8:02 PM

Approaching Spring


The wet weather is gone by Tuesday morning. I get to work early and try to make up for a semi-productivve Monday. I have meetings in various buildings today so I spend a lot of time walking across campus to get to the meetings. After work I ride to the motorcycle dealer for a tuneup and get a ride home from Person Ti_Ca. And relax later with a Los Angeles Kings win in Edmonton.

I drive to work on Wednesday and again have to walk to another building for some work. In the afternoon I have some ideas to try to match our simulations to the test data and start making progress just as I have to leave work for the week to go to the train station. Waiting at the train station from Los Angeles International airport is Karl who is visiting from Florida. We rush on home, put on cycling clothes, and go for a good ride to the end of the ocean trail (with the construction detours) and back. Karl echoes my thoughts that, "With the construction and removal of the Belmont pool, I barely recognize this place". After getting cleaned up we meet up with Person Ti_Ca at a Lebanese restaurant and enjoy good and fun conversation.

Thursday starts with Karl riding over to get a swim in. I lift weights and mow the lawn and clean up the yard a bit. When we gather for lunch we drive to the Cerritos mall and look at the labrador retriever puppies (they don't have any golden retrievers) and relax for a bit. When we get home we jump on the bicycles and ride up to the Whitter Narrows dam. It is a windy day but the more we ride the stronger I feel and I do most of the pulling on the way home. After getting cleaned up we get out for supplies for an evening of watching movies. There is wine flowing and pizza being cooked and a very touching movie called "The Rocket" playing. Person T_U drops by and he gets in on the wine and pizza act and hangs out for a bit. And then we finish the movie.

Friday starts slowly. But Karl goes to play some tennis and I lift weights and try to fix a derailler squeak that has cropped up in the extra biclce that Karl is riding. After getting cleaned up, Karl, Person Ti_Ca, and I have Japanese food for lunch, buy vitamins, and buy other supplies at Target. AFter a short bit of releaxation, Karl and I get out on the bicycles along the ocean and around Naples Island. And then we rush on home to beat the failing sunlight. There's replenishment of glycogen and blood sugar supplies and then we head to a club in West Hollywood.

Karl, Person Ti_Ca, and I pick up Person T_U and we head for clubs in West Hollywood. We hit three clubs throughout the evening and run into a number of Person Ti_Ca's friends. I also see some clubbing acquaintances from a few years ago when I used to go out more often. At the third club Karl has picked up a friend that he can't get rid of. The guy is very persistent towards Karl and it takes a long time for Karl to convince the guy that he is married and not interested. The rest of us are just enjoying the music and hilarity of Karl's situation. We eventually drop Person T_U off at his home and then we return and get the lights turned off near 3 am on Saturday morning.

Saturday starts slow as everyone recovers from a busy Friday. I go get the motorcycle back from the tuneup. Karl and I go have a Thai lunch and he runs ideas past me because he has to propose an offer for somebody who wants to buy 50% of his business. So I logially run him through some concepts and try to steer him away from a naive idea that somebody else will not try to steal or take control of his business because they seem like good people. Later in the afternoon karl and I get on the mountain bicycles for another ride in the unseasonably hot weather. It's a good ride on tired legs for both of us. As we are getting close to home we saw a rider near Wardlow street veer sharply to the right, get caught in some bushes, and fall. As we approach he tries to get off the ground and falls back down. This is suspicious, but Karl and I stop and the first words out of Karl's mouth are "Are you having a heart attack". When the rider gets off the ground and I see how flushed his face is, I know the reality. And the rider mutters something like, "Don't ever drink and drive". He's drunk! Drop dead drunk! We make sure he is more or less okay and then continue om with, "Ride slowly". We're both tired from lots of cycling and clubbing, so we spend a relaxing evening watching a hilarious series called "LilyHammer" and then a movie called "Metro Manila".

On SUnday morning I take Karl to the airport so that both of us can return to our usual lives. I go out and ride for just 90 minutes, but despite the last few days of hard riding, I feel pretty good. I spend the afternoon cooking lunch for the week, a bit of spot cleaning around the house, and relaxing.

On Monday I try to get into the swing of things after a few days off and find myself completely and utterly bored. After work I come home to find the freezer half open and the temperature very high (so that most of the frozen food is partially melted). I close the freezer door and keep re-setting the temperature. I get in a good workout with the weights where I've dropped the weights more and increased the repetitions to alleviate the loads on the joints. After the workout I do some laundry, pay a bill, watch a recorded "Blacklist", and relax.

I'm bored on Tuesday at work also but the boredom is broken up with a long meeting with a customer where they are confused and we are also confused. And I get in some standard work and need to start documenting the effort. When I get home I put on the new running shoes and do some walking and running - more than 90% walking actually. And I stop in at the grocery store for supplies on the way home. When I get home I help Person Ti_Ca with homework.

On Wednesday I get to work early ( as usual) and start working on the documents that I have been putting off for months. I get four almost complete with four to go. I go to a meeting at mid-morning and tell people how much trouble we are in and they finally start to believe me. Near 1pm I leave work to go to see my doctor for a physical. We talk and he probes and orders blood tests and tells me to see the "health enhancement" facility because my blood pressure is high. I like that my doctor gives me a chance to improve things before he starts on drugs. I knew that my blood pressure was going to be high so I need to start working on that. When I get home I have a super session with the lowered weights. And then I catch up on some Cal State Los Angeles work.

I have a difficult day on Thursday. I make progress on documents and results that I am supposed to generate, but I keep thinking of my blood pressure. In the afternoon there is a good meeting and I manage to get everyone on the same page so that we can start some testing soon (subject to a bit more work on the part of another co-worker). When I get home I lift weights and I have no joint pain even though I lifted weights two days in a row. As I'm relaxing on Thursday night and watching the Kings game I have this overwhelming feeling come over me and I lay down on my bed and start crying. I have not felt well emotionally for a while and maybe the crying will help. I manage to see the kings finish their win over Vancouver 4-0 and I head for reading and sleep.

I start Friday with a great 40 mile road bicycle ride. Today I feel very strong and I increase the pace on demand. There is a point in the ride when I'm thnking about things and I start crying again. What is going on? If these were tears of joy about being on a bicycle, then I would understand it. But these are not. During the ride down the San Gabriel river trail I see a train heading opposite me. I've seen the train tracks near the San Gabriel river bicycle trail for 25 years or so but I don't think I've ever seen a train on them. But today the train is going north as I head south and I wave the first conductor and to the conductor at the end of the train. I think about continuing on to the ocean for a longer ride, but I have other errands to do. When I get home I edge and mow the lawn and take a cool shower in the unseasonably hot weekend weather. I drop books off at the library, pick up some home maintenance supplies at Home Depot, buy lunch to go, and do the grocery shopping before returning home to catch my breath. I just do some small things around the house thorughout the day as the temperatiure outside climbs to 91F but the inside of the house remains cool.

Saturday starts with me sleeping until 7 am. I get up and drink a lot of water and drive to have my blood taken (as part of Wednesday's annual physical). When I get home I immediately change into cycling clothes and take the mountain bicycle down to the old yacht club and add in some extra miles at the end. It is starting to get pretty hot, but I finish beforethe temperature starts blazing. Again I work on my taxes and relax inside the cool house while the outside temperature blazes to 91F or so. Person Ti_Ca and other friends go to the beach but I just relax in the coolness at home.

On Saturday night there is a party across the street which is a bit loud but ends about when I am goign to sleep. It's a hot set of days, so a window is open to let cooler air in. Because of the previous-mentioned party I stick foam ear plugs in for a good sleep. I woken up at midmight with a commotion that sounds like an intervnetion but I fall back asleep. Near 2:30 am on Sunday morning I'm woken up again (thorugh the ear plugs) with somebody who still sounds like they are having an intervention and using the f-words every other word. I call the Long Beach police and report a possible domestic disturbance based upon what I hear. About 10 minutes later everything is quiet and I call the Long Beach police and cancel the request. There are a few other noises heard throughout the night, so when I wake up on Sunday morning I amtired and hungover.

I don't get out of bed until 7:05 on Sunday morning and I prepare everything for a road bicycle ride. I start north on the Los Angeles river and battle a pretty strong headwind as a result of our high temperature, high pressure system. There is nobody who goes past me on the northbound ride though today would be a great ride for a group of 5 or 6 riders to take turns pulling at the front and make a good pace (compared to my individual ride). I cross over the WHitter Narrows dam and head south on the San Gabriel river trail. I'm aided by a tailwid though this trail is more sheltered than the Los Angeles river trail. I'm just cranking along and keep saying, "Let me go catch that rider up ahead" nd I manage to do that continuously until my turnout to head for home. It's a good 40 mile ride and I can feel it in my legs. AFter a shower and cleaning the roses and watering the impatiens, I mail off my tax forms and do some healthy grocery shopping to try and lower my blood pressure. I finally sit down and watch the Australian Grand Prix and though it is good to get past the winter F1/MotoGP withdrawl symptoms, something is missingas I watch. It's a great race for positions 3 through 10 and some unpredictable events thrown in. In the mid afternoon I lay down for a nap and finally recover consciousness at 4pm to watch a couple episodes of Lilyhammer and prepare to go back to work on Monday morning. Soon these Monday morning "return to work" preparations will cease (in their current form, at least).

Monday is my designated day to start eating healthy and minimizing sodium intake to lower my blood pressure. After Sunday's walk through the grocery store comparing the sodium content of many foods, I've found low sodium alternatives to some food that I like. But today I have a decent day at work and though letting my blood sugar drop a bit too low, I do well at eating healthy. When I get home I have a great session with the weights where last week's level of weights is easier than it should be.