Monday, June 30, 2003

A productive day at the office with my Orange client. Looks like there remains hope that one day we may get this product to market. I was going to go to the gym today but didn't. Lazy Randy.

I do feel sorry for Joy. Losing her father should have been easy since she knew it was coming and should have been able to accept that reality. But losing her doggy, unexpectedly, certainly has to be troublesome. I have a dog. His name is ShitHead. He and I have been together for 15 years, more or less. When he dies, I will definitely hurt.

Nothing else new to report. Same old stuff: work work and more work with a little play in between.
Went to Daniel and Nikki's on Saturday evening for a party. It was a birthday party for Nikki and I either forgot or Daniel didn't tell me. There was a drunk jackass named Paul that could make a preacher cuss. I guess he may be a good guy when he isn't drunk but he was a real jackass. Got home early.

Sunday was pretty much kick back. Joy came over and we hung out. After she went home, she later called and told me her dog had died. Bummer. First the father and now the dog. Finished up a lot of work for my client in Orange and now off to bed. Got a meeting at 10am later today.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

I went to the gym today. Relatively light workout and ran the horse trail in 34:16. This is a definite improvement over the last run that I allowed Jordan to out pace me by about 5 seconds.

Joy's father died today. Fortunately it wasn't a surprise because he had cancer. I feel her pain and would bear it for her if I could.

Daniel has invited me to a party at his house. I will go.
Sorry for the lack of posts. Life has been busy. First the good ... Things are progressing with the 510(k) approval for my Orange client. We hired a key software engineer from Portland, got the attention of Executive Management, and will receive TUV's blessing for our 510(k) filing as soon as we submit the necessary software documentation. I anticipate submitting, and receiving approval from TUV within about 2 weeks and receiving FDA approval to market the device by mid August. That is good news. My chances of making some real money here is increased. Happy Randy.

More good news. I am taking off from work July 2 through 5 and going out of town to Las Vegas to rest and relax. Going with the old Irishman from Newport and Joy will accompany me. This shouyld be relaxing even though I do have a business meeting scheduled in Vegas on the 3rd of July.

Yet more good news. Looks like I will get to meet a fellow blogger. I have been reading this kid's blog (he is in his 30's) for sometime and he and I have exchanged emails are plan to meet after my return from Vegas. This guy seems like a real interesting person and I am anxious to meet him for drinks, conversation and food. It's looking like a Beverly Hills event.

I also got an option for 14,000 shares of my Orange client's company. This is definitely good news if the device can be brought to market. Not too shabby for a starving hillbilly!

Some bad news ... I am still fighting the smoking. It is tought to quit. I have been to the gym only two times since I posted here and both run times sucked. The lesson there is if you want to smoke, don't try to run. Quitting smoking is coming.

Stay tuned to read of the trials and tribulations of a sarving hillbilly.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

So much for a few days of no work. Received a call from TUV late on Friday informing me that the 510(k) filing for my client in Orange couldn't be approved without the necessary software documentation as part of the submittal. So I wait until late Friday evening to send the email informing the executive management of these facts thinking that I could get peace until Monday morning. Wrong. My phone started ringing and my email box filling before noon on Saturday. So I spend all day working and telling the same people the same thing over and over again: FDA regulatory requirements are non negotiable. So here I am finishing up at damn near 4 am on Sunday from a weekend that was suppossed to be "kick back." Got a meeting on sunday afternoon to discuss and another meeting on Monday morning. My poor client. More to come on this.

And I am still curious who logs on everyday and reads my blog from a pacbell ISP?

Friday, June 20, 2003

Too tired to post much. Jordan and I are scheduled to go to the gym later today. Odds that he will make it: less than one chance in 1,000,000. Any takers?

Daniel didn't come by with my change from the book buying or the receipt. When the money is needed, there is time. When not, this is the email history after I invited him:
daniel: id love a lefty but ive been so busy this week i want to spend the evening
with my wife.
me: the dog and the tail principle
daniel: different principle; you don't give head like the wife does. ask jordan.
me: lol

It's really no big deal about the money - it was a $80 book and now it is a $100 book. Let's see if I get the receipt.

Sometimes I think I am too hard on these kids and other times I think I am too soft. Jordan has one class this summer - a math class. Daniel has a math class and at least I think two other classes. My fear is that I have taught these hoodlums the financial aid route and not the discipline requisite of a student. Jordan has a job and Daniel doesn't.

Time will tell.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Today is a really overcast day in beautiful Southern California. I was planning on playing on the boulevard in Newport today but it looks as if I may not given this weather. I have also decided to take the rest of the week off from work and simply kick back and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I made it to the gym today and wow! Smoking and not going and drinking too much and eating too much makes working out a challenge and running painful. But I wnt and made the run and had a light workout. Here is what I did:
50 crunches, inclined.
15 reverse crunches, inclined.
5 wide grip assisted pull ups (setting of 8)
5 narrow grip assisted pull ups (setting of 8)
5 narrow forward grip assistend pullups (setting of 8)
Horsetrail run (with no music) 36:25. Weather: mid 70's - near perfect!
Dumbbell press, 30 lb weight each hand, three sets of 10 reps
Steamroom for 9 minutes.

Pretty light workout. I have had a book, The Men's Health Guide to Peak Conditioning, published 1997, for a while and hope to start planning better workouts. My workouts, as this blog reflects, are simply not well planned. I will develop a routing for arms, chest, back, legs and keep running. My goal isn't to be Mr. America but I can do better. And I know the key is to eat right which I don't.

Daniel needs a book for school so "Randy to the rescue."

Today was an alcohol free day, not by plan, just didn't draink. That will likely change on Thursday.

Also, I booked a trip to Vegas arriving Wed, Jul 2 returning to Orange County Sat, Jul 5. Joy will accompany me and perhaps others?

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

We submitted the paperwork to the FDA today that could lead to approval of a medical device. If all goes well, there could be real money in my future. Had dinner with Joy that Marie brought us. Time to take it easier for a few days. And get back to the gym and quit smoking.

Monday, June 16, 2003

One more request to my few readers ... If you want to give me feedback, don't hesitate to click on the "shout out" that appears at the bottom of each post. Or you can sign my guestbook. I think I know most of the readers of my blog but there is one person that logs on most every evening from ISP and you have me confused. If you just want to read and remain unknown, thats OK too.
Long day. My client in Orange definitely got a days work out of me. Started this morning around 9am and am just finishing. Still needs proofing and verification. For tomorrow morning.

Jordan and Daniel started the Summer term at school today. Should be interesting.

Definitely more to come.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Gave Joy a ride early on Saturday to the airport to go to Portland to visit her family. Orange County airport is really easy. Every community should have an airport close and convenient.

Jordan and I went to Mexico. Spent the night in Rosarito Beach and introduced Jordan to the fun and games that are available in that party town. It was fun. Didn't do anything exciting other than visit a few bars. Went to the Boom Boom Room in Rosarito and a few other places. Not too many people were out having a good time. Jordan wants to go back after the summer term at school.

Got to go to the airport and pick up Joy shortly. Then a snack for me followed by rest. Tomorrow will be a busy day at my client in Orange.

More to come.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Got a lot accomplished for my client in Orange this afternoon. It is a good thing that my meeting today is in the early afternoon since I can't seem to get my ass to sleep at a normal hour. I remail excited about the prospects of getting this medical device to market and the resulting potential benefits. I could potentially end up with a few dollars in my pocket.

Jordan bought me dinner today! We went to a Chineese place on Yorba Linda Blvd for a quick bite. That was a first.

I also, at last, changed the print cartridge in my printer. I bought a refill kit and have been refilling the same cartridge for quite a few times. It was empty again and I started to refill it yet again and decided it was time. The new cartridge cost $21.95.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Joy refused my offer to help her get a cell phone. Such an irrational person.

Daniel and Nickki came by to get my help in Getting Daniel a job. Resume complete. Interview techniques discussed. Now he needs to get of his ass and act. I hope he does what he needs to do.

Beer tasting today. This is day 5 of the batch of beer I am brewing. Testes good given it is warm. Moved the beer to the refrigerator for cooling and clarification. It is interesting that CO2 is more soluable in cold beer than warm.

Work with the client in Orange continues. The meeting on Tuesday in Carlsbad went well. Looks like there is hope for success. Still full of risk. Should we award a contract to a company that has never made a finished medical device? Much risk.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Went to the beach with Daniel, Nikki, Jordan and Venessa. It was kinda fun. Out too late. Not excessive alcohol. Got home to work on stuff for the client in Orange. Gave Joy the go to get a cell phone on my credit card. Got to get up early to make a 10am appointment in Carlsbad. Long day but fun day.

Monday, June 09, 2003

No gym today. Spent a few minutes in the office chatting with the Exec VP of R&D about medical device design and manufacturing. Sad. It's like teaching pigs to sing. I have learned to give the advice, document the giving of that advice, submit my invoices, deposit payments for my advice and not let it bother me as much.

I posted earlier about the beer I am making. I bought The Beer Machine which is a self-contained microbrewery that brews about 21 pints of beer in 7 to 10 days. For reference, a case of 24 cans of 12 ounce beer is equivavent to 18 pints. The process involves cleaning the system witha bleach based solution, adding the ingredients, allowing to ferment at room temperature for 3 - 5 days, referigerating for 5 - 7 days, and drinking. Day 4 is tomorrow when I test if the fermentation is complete. More to come on this topic.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I simply had to post the following which appeared in the Saturday, June 7 edition of The Orange County Register. A direct link is HERE.

'Failed war on drugs' spurs presidential bid
O.C. judge wants to carry Libertarian Party banner and seek decriminalization.
The Orange County Register

The epiphany was trigged by a young thug's war whoop, a triumphant "yee-ha!" as he was led away in handcuffs for a short stint in jail. The punk was 17. Dangerous. Mixed up in drugs, with a nasty habit of robbing prostitutes and roughing them up. Judge James P. Gray was sitting on the Municipal Court bench back then, enforcing a plea bargain that was worked out up the food chain, in Superior Court. The kid would be behind bars for a few weeks. It was nothing. "He had gotten away with it, and he knew it," Gray says. "It was wrong."

Gray got angry. Day after day, the same low-level drug offenders shuffled in and out of his court room. So much money spent on processing them, warehousing them, setting them free and then arresting them again. It wasn't helping anyone, he thought. And it cost so much that there wasn't anything left to really hold the bad ones accountable.

The judge had been a lifelong Republican. A federal prosecutor who sent drug dealers to the slammer. But on a balmy April day 11 years ago, Gray stood on the courthouse steps and made a startling declaration: America has lost the war on drugs. It's time for a new plan of attack: decriminalization.

This invoked a firestorm in Orange County. The sheriff vowed to run him out of office. People wondered what he was smoking. Many of his colleagues disapproved. But Gray remained steadfast in his conviction that the war on drugs is an abysmal failure and is now taking his crusade national.

In February, the lifelong Republican quit the party, re-registered as a Libertarian and is exploring a run for president or Senate. He has spent the past three months traveling across the country - New York, Texas, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida - and has emerged as a leading contender for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 2004.

He could be Orange County's first presidential contender since Richard Nixon.

Gray holds no illusions that he will ever sit behind a desk in the Oval Office. He just wants to legitimize debate about the drug war, focus a national audience on the issue, and force the major parties to deal with it.

"I want the Libertarian Party to make repealing drug prohibition the centerpiece of every state and federal campaign around the country," Gray said. "The bugaboo of all third parties is that so many people agree with their positions, but when it comes time to vote, people don't want to feel like they're throwing their votes away, and they go with the lesser of two evils.

"But if every vote for the Libertarian Party is seen as a vote for change, a vote against drug prohibition, we could win with 10 percent.

"If I can help my country turn away from this hopeless war on drugs, it would be the largest and most lasting gift I could give."

Gray has written an entire book on the subject - "Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs," published by Temple University Press in 2001. Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is quoted on the back cover ("We can fight drug use and abuse and still explore viable options"). As is Walter Cronkite ("Drives a stake through the heart of the failed War on Drugs and gives us options to hope for in the battles to come").
The signs of failure abound, Gray says. One of every 32 American adults was behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of 2001, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Justice. In federal prisons, more than 60 percent of inmates are there on drug-related crimes. In state and local prisons, drug-related offenders fill up nearly a quarter of the beds, according to the state Department of Corrections.

The war on drugs has resulted in tremendous prison growth, higher taxes, increased crime, loss of civil liberties and a diversion of resources that are needed to address other problems, Gray says. Laws get tougher, punishments get stiffer, but drugs remain in plentiful supply.

His alternative would look something like this: Drugs like marijuana and heroin would be decriminalized and sold at licensed pharmacies for dramatically less than they fetch on the street. They could be taxed to pay for drug treatment and education programs.

The rug would be pulled out from under the druglords, he says. The profit motive would disappear, and with it much of the attendant violence. "This would reduce crime a minimum of 20 percent the first year," Gray says. Many things in our society are dangerous, but making them illegal is not the answer, he says. Tobacco and alcohol are dangerous, but government regulation ensures some control over their sale and use. "We have no controls at all with these illicit substances, because they are controlled by the mob," Gray says. "Have you ever heard of a drug dealer asking for I.D.?"

The Libertarian Party is often the butt of jokes.

"The old one is, a Libertarian is a Republican who smokes pot, or a Democrat who's against taxes," says Mark Selzer, southern vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of California. "We're the un-authoritarian end of any political spectrum. The live-and-let-live end."

The party attracts people who are a little right of right and a little left of left. The editorial board of this newspaper, which has no control over news content, adheres to a Libertarian philosophy of smaller government and personal freedom.
In Orange County, there are 9,320 registered Libertarians - less than 1 percent of registered voters. But in the 2000 election, the Libertarian presidential ticket received 382,892 votes (of 105.4 million cast, or about 3.6 percent). Gray hopes to nearly triple that in 2004.

Even without formally declaring his candidacy- he won't decide until the end of the year - Gray has raced to the front of the presidential pack. His main competition would be Don Gorman, owner of a small chimney sweep business in New Hampshire; and Gary Nolan, a radio talk-show host from California. He's also interested in Barbara Boxer's Senate seat, which he thinks might be a more realistic goal.

"As a former drug warrior judge turned drug reformer, he speaks with an authority on the issue that few can match," writes Ron Crickenberger, political director of the national party in Washington, D.C. "Judge Gray has brought credibility, dignity, and insight to the drug reform movement, and we would heartily welcome him into the race for our nomination."

If the 2004 presidential election is as close as the 2000 presidential election was, "he could be the guy who throws George Bush out of office," Selzer says.

That wouldn't necessarily disappoint the former Republican. "I believe that John Ashcroft (Bush's U.S. Attorney General) and Osama bin Laden, each in their own way, are working together to turn our country into East Germany," Gray says. By greatly expanding surveillance and detaining people indefinitely without charges, "Ashcroft is an extremist who is creating permanent damage to the Constitution."

Libertarians love the sound of that, but some are wary. "I like the man," says Aaron Starr, chairman of the Libertarian Party of California. "But the drug war is one issue, and it's not the only issue we have. I don't want us to be thought of as a single-issue party."

Those who know Gray well don't think the Libertarians will be disappointed.

"I respect him very much for what he's trying to do," says Dale Dykema, a prominent Republican who sits on the board of the Lincoln Club, the local GOP's fund-raising powerhouse. "He has only the best intentions at heart. Jim is not a radical. He's just interested in creating alternative methods of solving the problem."

Gray is a man who plays piano, who breaks into song in his chamber, who wears ties with smiley-faces beneath his somber black robes. He spent two years in the Peace Corps in the 1960s, teaching health and physical education in a tiny Costa Rican village ("I probably set the world record for brushing my teeth in front of elementary school classes"), was a judge advocate and attorney for the Navy in Guam, has scuba-dived to the wreck of a Japanese ship in Micronesia's Truk Lagoon and sat in the seat of a Japanese Zero fighter plane more than 60 feet under water.

He goes river rafting with his two sons (one of them adopted from Vietnam), plays tennis each afternoon during his lunch hour (squaring off with other judges), and is writing a musical called "Americans All" (which celebrates diversity and will be performed at a local high school this fall). Gray brought his new wife to tears when he serenaded her with a ballad he had written especially for their wedding, "It's Been a Long, Long Way to You."

He's the son of the late U.S. District Court Judge William P. Gray, a local legal legend with a hard-nosed reputation for reform. The elder Gray held the sheriff and Board of Supervisors in contempt of court over jail overcrowding and inmates' rights, took a woman to lunch at a men-only club to protest its policies and supported attorneys accused of being communists during the 1950s.

Gray follows in his father's activist footsteps. He set up the Peer Court program in 12 schools, which refers non-violent youthful offenders to a jury of their classmates, who are often far more pointed than any adult could be. He set up one of the first programs to force drunk drivers to get counseling and blood tests as well as jail time. And it was Gray who brokered the landmark $5.2-million settlement between the Catholic Church and a local man who said he was molested by a priest as a teen, ushering in a new era of accountability.

"He was brilliant in what he did," says Kathy Freberg, the attorney who represented Ryan DiMaria against the Diocese of Orange and the Los Angeles Archdiocese. "He called us in and said, 'Before we even talk about money, we're going to talk about policy changes that L.A. and Orange can adopt to prevent molestations in the future.' He said, 'You can make some real change here.'"

In the end, both sides agreed on a new code of conduct for the church, including a toll-free phone number Web site victims can use to report abuse, educational pamphlets and a promise by priests not to abuse.

"He may just be the single most responsible person in Los Angeles and Orange counties in protecting Catholic children from molestations," Freberg says. "It was just so unusual to have a judge that really was insisting on all of us looking at the bigger picture, at the impact we could have beyond the courtroom."

Register staff writers Ronald Campbell, Peter Larsen and Larry Welborn contributed to this report.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Long day but productive. At the office for a morning meeting with my client in Orange. Looks like we may have a chance of bringing a medical device to market. Yea. Yea. Yea.

Went to the gym. Here's the results:
*Crunches 50 inclined.
*Reverce Crunchs 15 inclined.
*Macjine (describe later) working lower back: one set of 15.
*Assisted pull up setting of 9 is a 46 lb assist, 5 each of wide, narrow and forward narrow grip.
*Hores trail run time 32.53. Weather: overcast and cool.
*Flat bench 100 lb, 2 sets of 5 reps.
*30 degree incline, 90 lb, 2 sets of 5 reps.
*60 degree incline, 80 lb, 2 sets of 5 reps.
*90 degree incline, 70 lb, 2 sets of 5 reps.
*Repeat crunches (and reverse) same quantity.
*2 sets of 10 reps of behind head lying on flat bench.
*Standing, 10 lb dumbbells in each hand, 2 sets of 10 reps.
*Flex Fitness Pectoral Fly, 90 lb, 2 sets of 10.
Steam room for 10 minutes and shower.

Made beer at home. More to come.

Somebody came by exhibiting characteristics of speed abuse.

Jordan and I hung out. More to come on this also.

Tired Randy.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Some people think that business travel is like a vacation. I say it sucks. Departed Tuesday morning at way too early of a time for San Jose. I got to the San Jose airport and went to pick up my rental car only to discover that the rental car company didn't have any more full size cars ready. Why have a reservation system if the system doesn't work? After picking up a mini van, I drove to Pleasanton, sat in a meeting for a couple of hours and then drove to Petaluma. The drive to Pataluma involved driving North on the 880 which is as bad as the 91 freeway in Southern California. Spending Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning in Petaluma in meetings isn't the most exciting thing to do. Then the drive back to San Jose to turn in the rental car followed by a flight back to Southern California. Business travel sucks. One advantage to business travel is there is always plenty of money available for entertainment. Drinking excessively and eating excessively may not be a real advantage.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

I just finished a bag of almonds that I bought at Cosco for about $10. It was a huge bag. The bag lasted nearly a month. But they were not roasted or salted and tasted rather bland. Today I bought two six ounce cans of Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Almonds for $5 at Ralph's. Blue Diamond almonds taste much better than the Costco type. I guess there may be a relationship between quality and price.

Today I returned to the gym. This was my first visit since Wednesday. I did pretty much the same workout and then ran the horse trail outside in the heat. My run time was slow (35:55) and my breating was very difficult. If I don't stop smoking soon, the gym will likely fall by the wayside. Here is what I did at the gym:

Here is what I did at the gym:
*Crunches 50 inclined
*Reverce Crunchs 15 inclined
*Assisted Pull up setting of 8 (40 lb assist), 5 each of wide and narrow grip
*Ran the horse trail (walked some). Time: 35:55 (it was pretty warm)
*Free weights, 30 lb dumbbells each hand, inclined bench (45 degrees), 2 reps of 10.
*Free weights, 30 lb dumbbells each hand, flat bench, 4 reps of 10.
*Free weight, 40 lb bar, flat bench, lift from bench behind my head to full arm extension, 2 reps of 10.
*Free weights, 10 lb dumbbells each hand, standing, arms by sides, lift up so that arms are parallell with the deck, 2 reps of 10.
*Steam room for 5 minutes.