Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Wedenesday, Febraury 28, 2018 8:02 PM

End of February

I have a blah week. I slowly but surely make progress on the Python neural network which I went back to and finally realized two problems - one while out walking and one while out cycling. And when I fixed these two problems I am now happy with the results that I'm getting. Even some deep learning going on also! During the week I mix up cycling with lifting weights and walking though I don't get out for any long bicycle rides. But I keep seeing images of poorer people on the news who are about to lose the last things that they own, due to whatever circumstances, and these thoughts stay with me throughout the week and especially when I am in bed for sleep. I think it means that there is an opportunity here for me and I need to go out and find it.

I want to go out cycling long on Friday, but I don't make it. Instead I do the grocery shopping, prepare a birthday gift for Sunday, and get in a good session with the weights. After noon I jump on the motorcycle and ride down to Orange County where the large Vietnamese community is having a Tet Festival to celebrate the new year - year of the dog. I wander around and enjoy the traditional dress and music. I don't get a chance to speak with many people at all, but it's okay. I rush on home to relax. And I receive word that I have been accepted and sponsored to participate in the gerrymandering effort in San Francisco that I applied for. The idea is to bring together mathematicians to study the effects of geometry and computing on redistricting efforts throughout the United States. I'm excited about the event but hopeful that I can contribute.

On Sunday I get out for a long walk before a 3rd birthday party for Elliott - Tony and Joe's adopted son. Elliott has grown so much since birthday number 1 which Person Ti-CA and I attended. I make a new friend in Person Ra_Fi, but I enjoy the food, the party, the observations of Elliot being a 3 year old and trying to decide what is going on, and the other participants. I cannot express how happy I am for Tony, Joe, and Elliott as a family! On the way home I park semi-illegally and pick up a decadent chocolate fudge-iced piece of cake for later and then drive home. I do manage to get in a decent bicycle ride before later enjoying the cake.

On Monday I get up and go walk for almost an hour and then relax. Richard, the next door neighbor's boyfriend of 20 years, comes over and we enjoy some wine and watch the Olympic ice hockey and curling events. (The neighbor's first husband died 25 years ago and then she met Richard 20 years ago before she passed away eight months ago from pancreatic cancer.) When Richard leaves to go have dinner with my neighbor's son and daughter-in-law, I turn to some Python programming. And I receive word that I have been accepted with sponsorship to a congressional redistricting effort in San Francisco where the intent is to get mathematicians, geometricians, politicians, policy-makers, and geeks together to draw appropriate congressional districts without gerrymandering. I'm excited to be accepted and sponsored! I hope that we can make progress on the redistricting effort for 2020. I start preparing for the event with gathering demographic statistics at the county level (if not voting district level) for every state in our union.

Monday is a very windy day and as I wake up a bit after 6 am I think that it is raining It is not. But the winds are nasty and I get out for a loop ride on the mountain bicycle with more than 20 mph winds with, against, and sideways with me throughout the ride. It is a fun ride! And then I turn my attention back to redistricting and to a "fair trade" effort that somebody has volunteered my name for.

On Tuesday I walk in the 37F weather for 55 minutes before a shower, a trip to Target for various supplies, and a visit to my doctor. She yells at me for staying away for 18 months, but then I explain I only have a problem with my left Achilles tendon, Since I knew this was going to happen, I've fasted for the appointment, so we we take the opportunity to take some blood tests and I explain to her "I've gained weight, because I can't run, and though the caloric expenditure is not great, it affects my emotional well-being". She understands and refers me to a physical therapist for the left Achilles tendon but she does suggest a blood pressure medication. This will be the first time I've ever done a "chronic medication" at 60 years of age, so I agree to try if she agrees that if I can lose a few pounds and get running again, she will take me off the medication. We have an agreement! I go on home satisfied with the diagnosis and recomendations and start getting blood test results throughout Tuesday that everything is great!

On Wednesday I am supposed to have lunch with Person M_Fl, who I have not seen for a few years, but he cancels due to a cough and possible flu. But I get out in the cold weather for a 55 minute walk and then do some web programming, Later I walk to the grocery store for supplies and then get in a very good session with the weights. After a warming shower I go back to the Python programming for the redistricting effort and some other backend programming for a separate "fair trade Long Beach" effort. I break up the "sitting and programming" effort with some minor cleaning of the house and some heat and ice on the left Achilles tendon. Alternating heat and ice on the Achilles tendon helps it feel better, but it is not a long term solution and I continue to wait for a phone call for my first physical therapy apppintment.

On Thursday and Friday I get in good bicycle rides. The Friday ride features very strong winds, so I get two segments of easy riding and two segments of very difficult riding. I'm down two gears on the final segment home as the wind just blows continually. Thursday is a day close to home, for the most part, as I put together another website for some people related to fair trade and take a break to go to the library for two more books. And on Friday I battle the wind on the motorcycle up to CSULA as the team continues to make good progress towards a big test next week. It is very cold coming home on Friday night on the motorcycle and I am glad to be inside the house and out of the wind and cold.

On Saturday it is cold so I go walk for almost an hour and then start to work/re-start the website that I agreed to build. I've been at it for two hours and making progress with a complete re-start/ So I stop and have a good session with the weights, take a warm shower, run errands, and water the new grass that I planted in the front yard. I get back to the website and, except for an unknwon duration break of watching television, it is almost bedtime and I've been working on the website the entire day. But I send out a draft to the principal because it is starting to look and act like it should.

On Saturday night and into Sunday morning I have some very very deep sleep. But when I do wake up, even for a short period of time, I am thinking of the website that I'm working on. When the alarm goes off and turn it off and sleep more. I'm lazy. But I do get out for a decent 30 mile bicycle ride where I chase down another road bicycle rider and then pass a number of other road bicycle riders on the headwind ride towards home. I'm pushing today for being lazy yesterday, but it feels good. I relax a bit and then go to a "Fair Trade" meeting where I've been roped into developing a website for the Fair Trade Long Beach group. When I walk into the meeting I'm face to face with the cute asian lady from the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force meeting a few weeks ago that I was coping out. So we start talking about fair trade and Thailand and cement and Cambodia and etc. The meeting, as all meetings are, is boring. But somehow I get roped into being a member-at-large for the meeting. But in my mind I'm just putting together various websites for them. After the meeting I rush on home to prepare dinner and finish off a Sunday evening.

I start Monday with a long walk and a trip to the grocery store on the way home. Because I am lazy and just say to myself, "I'll lift weights later today". I read a few sites on the Internet and see that there might be rain on Tuesday, so I shut down the computer and get out for a good two hour bicycle ride on the mountain bicycle. There's wind on a couple of the segments of the ride, but nothing anywhere near last Monday or Friday. I'm glad to have got in a good workout when I ride into the driveway - I wasn't feeling well mentally this morning and riding always helps. After a shower and watering the new grass, I slowly go back to work on the website that I was working on all day this past Saturday. There are a couple of things to fix as well as additional pages to add.

On Tuesday we finally have rain! I get in a heavier session with the weights and then get a haircut. Since there is rain, there isn't much to do except work on websites.

I'm lazy on Wednesday and don't get in a workout. Instead I walk to the store, mow the lawn, water the impaties and carnations, and fertilize the lawn to jump start some green grass for the year. Throughout the day I make great progress on the education tracking website and maybe in a week or so it will be good enough to show to people.