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22/11/2010
[13:10] I came into work today and haven't managed to do anything other than print out a mass of stuff for the wedding. This probably doesn't really matter all that much.

This weekend gone I have rowed in two races (once in a 4+ and once in an 8+), eaten some lovely food, slept and done a whole load of wedding preparations. I'm off into town as soon as I've posted this to get some new socks and then home to tidy the house and do the last bits of packing for the wedding. The schedule of events for the next two-ish weeks is this: And then I'll be a husband. With a wife and everything. Obviously there'll be photos in due course.

19/11/2010
[16:30] Owing to the fact that Kris has an almost all-day spa session on Monday I have elected to be at work for half of the day (the morning, obviously) which means this is the next to last rather than last entry before I go and get hitched to the most beautifulest woman in the world (Kris). Its been an OK Friday, to be honest. Not much has happened, I've been able to print out some cycle rides and other wedding stuff and eat the remainder of the smashing red curry prawn chowder Kris made on Wednesday night. I really am very lucky (for a huge variety of reasons nothing to do with her skills in the kitchen) to be able to hang on to her for the rest of our lives. All we need to do is get through the next six days and things can start for real!

I'm off into town to buy a map or two of the area around where we'll be staying for the minimoon and then home to help do more jobs and things (and the washing up). This weekend I'm rowing in two races and then having the Sunday off (to do more wedding stuff and wrap Christmas presents for my family who I won't see again after the wedding until some time next year). Have a good weekend and I'll see you (briefly) on Monday.

Oh, and £900 for a Leave to Remain/Settlement visa? You are having a laugh.

18/11/2010
[17:00] Unfortunate news late last night in that a good friend due to attend the wedding may need to go to at least one (if not two) funerals around the time we'll be getting married. This is unfortunate and could lead to him not being able to attend. We're very sad about this but more than some we know how life can Happen to you.

In other news, last night I was bow side Stroke, in a new (and heavyweight boat), at night with the cox and seven seat people being at least three times more experienced than me. Needless to say it wasn't a good outing. At no time did I feel "switched on", get a feel for the boat or feel that everyone was rowing with me. I'm perfectly happy to say this was almost certainly down to bad rowing on my part. I was just glad it didn't actually rain properly and I got us home in one piece. I'm also very glad we're going to be rerigging the boat to standard stroke side Stroke for Saturday and I'll be back down at bow again. Not that I think it'll mean we do that much better when we race this weekend. I also don't think the 4+ I'm in (as opposed to the 8+ last night) will do particularly well either. Still, if you're going to get a club back on its feet it needs to start getting out on the water more in different combinations to see what works.

Speaking of work, our Networks guy had his last day here today. 16 months he was here and in that time he was worked extremely hard yet didn't get to do the things he thought he was hired to do. A real shame as I think he was on the way to getting a handle on things here and making some good changes. Now my team leader starts the search for another networks person. Hopefully it won't take too long.

No friends over for Thursday this evening. Kris and I are heading to Tesco (she already having gone to the sorting office to get a signed-for thing which she wasn't in for yesterday) and then we're doing more wedding stuff. No big things still to do, just lots of small stuff.

17/11/2010
[11:45] Just a short one today as I'm off for a free lunch with work today, then on a Spanning Tree Protocol course this afternoon. Not much to tell you really. This isn't exactly just a placeholder but it doesn't actually say anything of note other than to tell you about the PCI DSS compliance stuff I did this morning, the disappointment over the I/O errors which appeared at the usual time this morning (which I was hoping I'd banished). Maybe a reboot into the new-and-improved initrd will finally put those to bed.

Erged last night, had a great time. It was nice to see so many people down at the club (even if more were women than men, we need a bigger men's squad) but I think I might have done myself a very minor injury somehow. Hopefully it'll be fine for this evening (it's already feeling much better) for when we go out in what might be terrible weather.

Heading off to lunch now!

16/11/2010
[17:00] Although I didn't sleep particularly well it was still a pretty lovely morning to wake up with my bestest girl. Aside from the crisp, clear weather it was just nice to remember that this is the person I'm going to wake up to for the forseeable future. Hurrah!

I collected my rear wheel from the bike shop yesterday. They're pretty sure that there was nothing wrong with the freewheel but seeing as they pretty much disassembled and reassembed it I'd like to think that it feels a little better now. It certainly seems to accept going backwards without the chain going slack. I need a 1mm spacer apparently (since they removed the plastic shield thing) and they don't have any in stock, but otherwise I think everything's OK.

The men's rowing squad had a big meeting at the pub last night. I think some things were decided. I'd like to think so anyway. It all got a bit weird towards the end and there was some tension in the air. Still, plenty of rowing this weekend.

Work today was mostly about fiddling with LVM and initrds in the hope I can banish some of the I/O errors which continue to plague two of the servers. We'll see how it goes. Oh, also some fairly important load balancer rule changes which I won't see the resolution of as I'll be away getting married when the final bits drop into place. However, I don't mind one bit. I'll come back to hopefully find if not one but perhaps two or even three more RHEL3 servers I can decomission. It could happen, I doubt it, but it could.

15/11/2010
[16:25] An interesting weekend. Saturday morning, with no outing planned I cycled down to the boat house for just after 08:00 and did a nice 1 hour of erging with the captain of the men's squad (such as it is). After that I spent some time listening in on the coach, club captain and men's captain discussing where things were falling down at the moment (most places). I went home, had a nice lunch of cheese on toast and then set about tidying and cleaning the house. I managed to do everything but the kitchen, which wasn't a bad achievement. Later in the afternoon I cycled over to Cormac and Steph's to try and work out why the freewheel of my new bike was so sticky. We couldn't make any headway so I popped into a cycle shop on the way home to ask them to take a look. The upshot of that was that I was to bring it in to them at their new shop on Monday morning. In the evening it was a friend's birthday meal so I cycled out to a local pub that does Thai food, met some friends (some of whom I haven't seen in a year or more), had a good time, some good food and drink, played with helium balloons and cycled home in time to get to bed for about 23:00.

The reason I went home early was that I'd been asked to row in a boat with some students on Sunday morning and I didn't want to a) be late or, b) show up my club. So, I turned up nice and early, got on with everyone and then managed to re-pull my right calf which had (and has) been niggling since the middle of last week. I thought after I pulled up on that run on Friday and then didn't do anything else to it it'd be fine by then but one hard push and it went again. Luckily the action of rowing didn't seem to exacerbate it and everyone in the crew seemed to think I made a difference to the boat so I'm pleased. I came home, showered and camped out on the sofa for the afternoon having done everything but the kitchen the day before. Lunch was scrambled eggs and chorizo made with cream and butter and dinner beef ravioli with red wine (definitely needed something with it, but I don't know what).

This morning I washed the kitchen floor, got the house ready for Kris returning home and cycled to work via the bike shop. I don't know if they'll have fixed the freewheel by the time I leave (in about 10 minutes) but I'd like to hope so.

Today I have been mostly corresponding with someone who might be able to help with the continuing I/O errors we've been getting on active/ghost attached Sun 2540 FC arrays, playing with RHEL6 (and filing bugzillas), helping the web team with configurations and buying Christmas presents for family. Kris rang around 11:45 after getting the early coach back from Heathrow to say she'd arrived home safely. I'm looking forward to seeing her.

There's a squad meeting for the men this evening in a pub. Hopefully we'll find out what's happening with the club at it and whether or not there's any shape to the training and rowing this year. I've just renewed my ARA membership so there better be.

12/11/2010
[16:50] The lowlight of the day (so far, but I'm hopeful) was pulling the bottom of my right calf half-way through my 6km intervals run at lunch time today. This therefore necessitated me gently limping 2km or so back to work. I'm not entirely sure what happened as for the first 4km or so everything felt perfectly fine. In fact I was pushing hard, feeling good and and noticing the effort everywhere but my calves. Oh well, such is life.

Given there doesn't seem to be anyone available for an outing on the river both days this weekend and with this calf injury I won't be doing parkrun as I might have hoped to with no rowing (because of my calf) but instead will be going for a long but semi-gentle erg instead and then eating lots of bacon sandwiches (hopefully).

So yes, that was the lowlight of the day. The highlight was getting texts from Kris at 07:00 my time (I don't even want to think what time that was in Boston) from my beloved letting me know a) she was awake and - by extension - b) she was alive and safe at her destination. Which is good.

I'm going home now to do a bit of house cleaning, make some dinner and settle in for the evening. I might even stay up a little later too seeing as I don't have to be at the boat house tomorrow morning at all. I mean, I may end up getting there for 08:00, but I don't have to, you know? Also this weekend: more house cleaning, vacuuming, washing the kitchen floor and some exercise on Sunday. At this rate it'll probably be a cycle ride.

Of course, if the weather is shocking I reserve the right to stay home both days and eat delivery food.

11/11/2010
[17:50] We were up fairly early this morning so that I could walk Kris to the bus station to get her coach to Heathrow. Only the heavens opened and we decided that her getting a taxi was a better option. She called from the plane to let me know she'd got there safely and right about now she's somewhere over the Atlantic heading for Boston.

The early rise meant that I was able to cycle into work (in the torrential rain) and get a good start on things. Of course, what this meant in actuality was discovering that we had an issue with the firewalls which meant that all traffic in and out of the network suffered horrific packet loss and was very slow. Not the time to be downloading RHEL6 ISOs. Still, we sorted that eventually by failing over to the other firewall. No-one really knows why that fixed it.

The rest of the day has been spent setting up the new RHEL6 kickstart area, doing some investigations of why certain SNMP stuff isn't working any more (I have totally failed to make any headway on that) and work on why RHEL6 32-bit Workstation fails to restart Dell Optiplex GX760 machines every time (choosing instead to crash the kernel). Something to do with the Dell BIOS I think.

Anyway, no Thursday this evening as someone's busy and I have things I need to do at home anyway. It'll be odd to get home to an empty house for the first time in months. I miss Kris already.

10/11/2010
[17:15] Another useful day of not very much, but what I did was good. Talking to the people with whom the lines of demarcation are wobbly with regard to the servers and the service they offer. Hopefully the things I've sent them and the preparatory work I did today will stand everyone in good stead.

I went for a cycle at lunch time rather than a run given how broken I felt yesterday. Amusingly pretty much every pulled muscle and joint ache I had yesterday seemed to have gone away by this morning, but I decided not to push my luck. I think I went about 20k or so in about 43 minutes, which wasn't too bad given the wind.

I'm out on my mountain bike this evening being bank party for a crew out on the river. I marked myself as injured on account of yesterday and frankly I figured it was time I... oh, hang on, it looks like the outing's been cancelled anyway due to someone else being injured. Ah well.

09/11/2010
[17:15] I appear to be falling apart. I woke up this morning with a nasty crick in my neck which has only worsened over the course of the day, I have athlete's foot, my right calf is probably strained, I have blisters on my hands, bits of me are chafed or slightly torn and my left ankle seems to be complaining somewhat too. All in all I feel quite a bit older than I know I actually am. And I really don't think I've been over-training recently. I very slowly worked back up after taking two weeks off because of my right knee (which incidently is probably the one thing which isn't complaining at the moment!) and the rowing hasn't been that hard. Still, I guess I'll scale things back a bit and see if that helps. It wouldn't be good to be injured for the wedding and mini-moon.

I did some work today, not much, but useful stuff.

08/11/2010
[17:05] Another fun-packed weekend! Rowing both mornings was in a 4+ with a different cox each day. One day I was near the bow, the next day I was stroke for the boat. Both days (but especially the Sunday) left me pretty tired mentally and physically.

I don't remember much about Saturday other than meeting Kris after rowing to go to Tesco, then lunch. I'm pretty sure I went out later on to give Kris the house in preparation for her hen afternoon and evening thing. I guess I went over to Cormac's and played computer games, watched TV and ate pizza. Getting home at around 23:20 to find most of the women still there meant a rapid retreat to the bedroom to sleep was the safest option.

Sunday I made it to the boat house in good time but not before Kris got a phone call asking where I was. That got pretty much sorted out later on. We went to town and did some errands but I was mentally a bit wiped by that point and therfore got things wrong I shouldn't have. Luckily the concept of lunch proved to be a path to fixing things and all was well again soon. Which was nice.

The rest of the day passed in a haze. I think Kris had a nap and I... did some stuff (I honestly can't remember what). An early bed seemed like the best idea under the circumstances.

This morning I managed to drag myself out of bed and was at work having cycled through the rain in time to do not all that much today. I'm feeling a little old and broken today what with bleeding from various bits of my body (barked my shin something fierce on a toilet partition too), pulled calf muscles and generally not reflecting my apparent youthful age and fitness. Not even a run at lunchtime (this week is interval training at 6km distances) restored my bounce. In fact I felt raw and tender afterwards in various places. I think taking tonight and tomorrow off would be a good idea.

05/11/2010
[16:35] Aside from a bit of confusion with the ordering of Chinese food a good night was had by all last night, I think. Not only that but I got to sit next to Kris for almost the whole evening rather than being relegated to different ends of the room, and me on a bean bag. That was lovely.

Today I have been mostly working on dealing with the PCI DSS report I had generated yesterday, marking things as false positives, communicating with the company whose CGI/ASP stuff was 'vulnerable' and going for a run in light drizzle while thinking about the training routine I'm going to have to put in place to be ready for the 24 hour endurance mountain bike thingy I shouldg get around to entering soon. Oh, and ordering a torch/bike light which should help me not crash into trees when I cycle in the dark.

This weekend I will be a) rowing both mornings and, b) perhaps going for a very long cycle (or alternatively playing computer games) while Kris and her female friends have her hen/batchelorette thingy.

04/11/2010
[15:20] I was up and in work dreadfully early this morning. I estimate around 06:40 I was at my desk and patching machines. The upshot is that every RHEL server I administer is fully patched and pretty much all of them are running the most recent kernel. Which is nice.

Of course there were some issues with the multipathing stuff we have set up between our X4600M2 servers and the 2540 storage arrays but I'm beginning to get up to speed with that side of things now (as well as having opened a bug with Red Hat about the buffer I/O error messages).

Lunch was with Kris today, outside of the library. That was rather nice and a great change of pace from sitting in front of a workstation all day. However, as I was in so early this morning I'm going to toddle off right about now and after some washing up have a nice relaxing late afternoon and evening. There's a standard Thursday happening this evening (first one in a while) so I imagine one or two people will come over and we'll get some food, watch some TV and generally natter about this and that.

Last night's outing was... interesting. We had a 50/50 male/female crew split which meant the rhythm was a little odd and the power transition down the shell exceedingly strange. I was at 7, which isn't somewhere I normally sit (bouncing usually between bowside bow and strokeside stroke seats). However, with my Sealskinz socks and one of the mildest November evenings I can ever remember it wasn't all that bad.

03/11/2010
[17:00] With one co-worker on a SAN course and my team leader working from home while he waited for his boiler to be repaired I didn't have anyone else in the office this morning. That was OK though as nothing actually needed doing.

So what I did do is prepare for tomorrow's awesome patch-and-reboot fest when I get to bring down pretty much every single server over all three tiers of our flagship service while they're updated. The chances of everything going according to plan is actually pretty high, considering. Still, being here at just before 07:00 isn't going to be pleasant.

What was pleasant was today's 8k run which seemed to go with nary a hitch in terms of energy levels and more importantly twinges of injury, etc. Even the light rain was nice as it kept me a little cooler. After last night's reasonable 30 minute erg test (7954m, which isn't great, but isn't bad) I thought I might be a little tired, but it looks like my cardio-vascular fitness is on the rise again, finally.

I still haven't worked out which light(s) I'm going to get for Christmas, although I have narrowed it down to probably one of two similar products. I still have to work out which one, and then how to/who is going to order them, and when. Delivery times could be... interesting, from what I can tell.

Tonight's outing on the river might be my first proper test of a) the new shoes I fitted in the bow seat of the 8+ I normally row in and, b) my Sealskinz socks as I don't think the weather's as nice as it was this time last week.

And finally, Kris makes a damned good carrot cake muffin (and 'frosting', too!).

02/11/2010
[16:55] Today I have mostly been looking at RAID cards locking up (and affecting not only the kernel of the host OS but also some of the guest OSes), Samba mounts locking up because of Windows boxes behaving strangely, Nessus scans (PCI DSS compliance) locking up and refusing to finish and my brain locking up trying to understand the technical specifications of about fifteen subtly different LED flashlights (torches) which I hope to winnow down to one (or a pair) to purchase for a potential 24 hour endurance mountain bike event in the new year.

Kris sorted out a few small bits of wedding administravia today too which is, as always, wonderful of her. I should go home and give her a damn good hug.

Also tonight I'm off to do a 30 minute erg test (apparently informal) and do some boat maintenance (shoe swapouts). I think I'll get hotter and more uncomfortable trying to change shoes on boats which are upside down than doing the actual erg.

01/11/2010
[16:50] Heavens to Betsy, it's November! Less than two months to Christmas! Only two months until 2011! And more than that, only a shade under 24 days until Kris and I get married! That's just plain bonkers. Really.

Still, we spent the weekend working on the order of service, choosing readings and working on our vows. I should have printed mine out today but I'm waiting for Kris to do hers so we can post them off together with the readings and all the other paperwork required to allow the Registrar to sign off on it all and say "Yes, I see no religion here". Apparently this is fairly important.

Anyway, other than that the weekend was pretty good on most fronts. I ran 10k on Saturday, rowed for an hour exactly on Sunday (15K, almost to the metre) and even managed to squeeze in a Tesco shop. Otherwise there was roast duck last night, plenty of relaxation and even a chance to catch up on a film or two I didn't manage to see at the cinema.

Today I have managed to completely confuse myself regarding a machine which rebooted itself late on Friday night and then lost one of its connections to a RAID array over the weekend. I was sure there were some IRQ shenanigans going on and also that my rerolled initrd with a preloaded RDAC driver would help but I seem to be wrong on both counts, which annoys me. I also had my semi-annual appraisal... and wasn't fired (which I count as a win) and went for an 8k run (building up from last week's 6k runs).

Tonight... well, tonight should be nice.