Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, February 12, 2018 8:02 PM

February Already?

On the 30th of January, Tuesday, I get up a bit late and continue working on the Python k-nearest neighbor algorithm as well as for some stuff for Karl from Florida. This Python k-nearest neaighbor stuff is really starting to get on my nerves since I know I am close but cannot quite get the convergence that I expect. For a time on Tuesday afternoon I ponder and wonder about generating an n-dimensional ellipsoid process to classify the data. But I decide that this is a bit extreme and I keep that in my back pocket in case I cannot get the convergence that I need from the simpler algorithm. Near noon, after a walk to the store for supplies, I lift weights fairly heavy, water the new grass which is starting to pop up, water the impatiens, grab a shower, and then get down on my hands and knees to clean the kitchen floor. Since I have not cleaned the kitchen floor since I went to Vietnam, the water in the bucket is very black as I finish cleaning the kitchen floor. And then I go back to the Python algorithm and make incremental progress but not getting towards the convergence criterion that I expect.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are a bit of a blur. In the early mornings, when it is still chilly, I work on the Python k-nearest neighbor algorithm as well as a 2nd order matching program. The 2nd order matching program seems to go a lot faster and by Friday afternoon I am finished with it. But on both Wednesday and Friday I get out for strong, if only 30 miles each, bicycle rides. Maybe those intervals helped strengthened my legs! And on Thursday I get in a decent session with the weights. On Thursday I run off to a Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force meetint. I used to go to these regularly, but have lapsed for a while. Nonetheless some people recognize me and welcome me back. After the meeting I hand out my non-profit cards and say, "We have algorithm geeks that can help with your policing for human trafficking". And I also run into the lady that I "skeletoned up" the website for and she is happy to see me and we discuss some additional ideas that she has but does not know how to do. So on Thursday night I scrape the Web for some data and let her know that I've recovered the basic data that she needs to make an evaluation of a siutation but, since I'm a geek and not a social worker, I do not know what the suggested responses are. However I lay out an artificial intelligence framework that would get the data though I realize later thatthis is over her head for now. And on Friday I make a motorcycle ride up to CSULA and our team has parts coming in and we are going to have a "build day" next Friday to put together a working prototype. Things are starting to get exciting.

And yet on Friday I am a bit depressed because I have my cycling and lifting weights and walking and working on algorithms for good causes and for fun causes, but I think that I am missing something. What could it be?

I'm supposed to go cycling on Saturday morning, but instead I get up and work on my Python programs and find the problem with the 2nd order matching algorithm. In addition I add in a Monte Carlo analysis capability and then I go out for grocery shopping and a trip to the library to return two books that weren't working for me and to pick up three new books that I hope will be better. I have a very good and extended session lifting weights, mow and trim the backyard, and replant the new carnations from the small indoor pots to the backyard. I sure hope that they thrice. In case they don't, I start more carnation plants indoors from seeds. After a shower I start in on filing tax forms for my non-profit. I really need a CPA or accountant to get involved, but I work through the numbers and get the forms ready to drop in the mail on Sunday or Monday. I take a break in the afternoon since I've made a lot of progress today but want to get back to fixing the k-nearest neighbor algorithm that good bear fruit in the future. I know that I am close, just like the debugging of the 2nd order matching algorithm, but somehow I am missing something. I'm watching telelvision later in the evening and perhaps I've dropped off to sleep but woken by a noise. I get up wand walk around the house because, sometimes there have been cats or baby possums that have wandered into the house. And I look in the mailbox and see it is stuffed with two packages of bite-size Milky Way bars. Who put them there? I typically take Milky Way bars and one other set of candy bars up to CSULA to motivate "the kids", but they wouldn't know where I live. It is a mystery.

I get up on Sunday and stay in bed for a while until I get out on the mountain bicycle for the reverse loop ride. I keep up a good pace and even put in a very long surge when a road bicycle rider goes past me and I want to stay close to him. He's too fast, though he isn't that far ahead of me when it is time for me to turn for home. And I just maintain a decent, not slow nor not fast, pace along Del Amo to get home. A great ride! I water the new grass, the impatiens, and the newly-re-planted carnations and grab a shower. I pick up some supplies for the football game and finally see a message from my neighbor's son who has stuffed the Milky Ways into my mailbox because I relieved him of a ton of dirt (that he doesn't have to dispose of). I tell him that I'll take a bit more for some bare spots in the front yard, but I'm disappointed that I don't have a secret admirer who left me Milky Ways. Over the last two days I've managed to complete the tax forms for my non-profit and have them ready to be dropped off at the post office on Monday. My personal income taxes, on the other hand, will be a disaster this year, so I haven't even started in on them yet. I do a bit of Python program as I step back to the k-nearest neighbor algorithm and then watch the football game.

I have a horrible time sleeping on Sunday night and wake up with chills and a fever. I take my temperature and I'm up 2 degrees from my normal. I get out of bed and put on warm clothes and crank the heat up and drink a ton of water. Later I'm feeling well enough to walk to the post office to put the non-profit tax forms on their way and stop in at the grocery store for supplies. When I get home I dig and prepare a few bare spots in the front yard for re-seeding and get them re-seeded, covered, and watered before running out of energy. I have a quick shower and then end up taking a two hour nap. When I get up I still have a fever but I go work the abdominals and lower back to pump the blood around and then I relax. I specifically stay away from the Python programming today to give it a rest and let me start anew after (hopefully) a bicycle ride on Tuesday. Except that I change my mind when I have a good idea for trimming out design parameters and I implement this and things are working better now. I just have to decide on a better criteria for removing design parameters but this should be easy to get to on Tuesday.

Wednesday, Thursday, and most of Friday is a blur. I've done my preliminary cut at taxes and though I'm retired and have no income, I have to pay an ADDITIONAL 8000 dollars of taxes to the US and California governments. WTF? I get i workouts to relieve stress, trips to the library for new books, Python programming to take my mind off taxes, and other things to relieve my upset. On Friday afternoon I ride the motorcycle down to Costa Mesa to meet with one of the CSULA ocean ceanup teams and we start building the conveyer belt system to remove plastics from the ocean. The team, some more and experienced and some less experienced at building things, works together well with the more experienced team members explaining the rationale for why we have to re-do a few things and/or why some things are mis-aligning. Generally speaking, due to the hard work and diligence of the students, there are no major or moderate problems and by the the that the sun is down and the evening has turned cold, we have a conveyor belt system running - albeit with a few issues. But we brainstorm and figure out the ways that we can improve the design for the real system (since this was a prototype).

On Saturday I'm physically hungover from bicycles rides on Thursday and Friday and from all of the up/down/move/lift activity of Friday's build, so I don't go cycling. I gather my reserves and have a very good session with the weights, get ne wbooks from the library, continue to be livid about owing taxes on no earned income, and have a fairly slow day at home with some fun cross-country skiing events from the Olympics playing.

I'm still tired n Sunday but get out the door for a decent two hour mountain bicycle ride and I push at times and spin at times. When I get home I have an invitation and Joe and Tony's adoped son Elliott's 3rd birthday party and I have a conversation with a Burmese friend, Htet, who is temporarily in Thailand. I walk to the grocery store for supplies and come home to clean dishes, clean the stoe, clean a few spots on the bedroom carpet, re-look at taxes, and then watch some of the Olympics speed skating events.

I have a fairly slow Monday. I work on a few things before visiting two banks - one for the non-profit to straighten out my ATM pin that has given up the ghost and another to finishing transfer personal assets into a trust. The financial advisor at the second bank, a very very smart man, keeps poking me to sell my World Rally Car to him. But I always tell him that the line of people who want to buy my World Rally Car stretches from here to the 605 freeway (that's three or four miles long). When I get home I have a very good workout with the weights except for the bench press which is lagging behind, And then I do some gardening and watering of new grass in the front yard before a nice warm shower. In the afternoon I catch up on CSULA efforts and some other things, but it's a slow day.