[17:15] Blerg! Talk about a crap way to end the day. I've been feeling low
on energy all day and the 6km at lunch time was tiring all the way around (so
I'm not going to do my 5K test this evening at the boat house, that'd be
silly), I think I may be having a weird digestive reaction to the black grapes
we got from Tesco on the weekend and I have a headache (more just a feeling of
thickness to my noggin). And then to cap it all off while I was in a meeting
a production database server rebooted (just like its partner development
sibling has been doing). Sync floods on the hypertransport buses seems to be
a symptom, but there's no real cause ascertainable at the moment. I've opened
a call with Oracle and hopefully they'll get back to me tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, I need to be in for 08:00 to try and update of the
firmware on one of the APC UPSes in the hope that the newer TCP/IP stack is a
bit better. That should be a brief bit of interestingness. And better
interestingness than the last three hours or so this afternoon.
Saturday was good. Rowing in the morning, Tesco after that, relaxing in the
afternoon. Sunday was even better! No rowing in the morning, laziness, fun
and wonderful breakfast, then progress on home/buildings insurance, finding a
hotel for the night we have as layover in a foreign country for our honeymoon
and insurance for that trip too (which I ended up buying today, so, two things
we can tick off!).
To be honest I'm completely done in now and just want to go home. Hopefully
I've given Oracle all the information they need, I'll get home safely with
Cormac (who's picking up his car after leaving it at ours while he was on
holiday) and then I can collapse and just use my brain for thinking more about
home insurance which we really need to deal with before Wednesday morning.
[17:00] Blah, blah. Blah-dy blah. Subversion stuff, 10K run which was really
rather lovely (if freezing cold and brilliantly sunny), small amount of
patching, lack of response on support calls, terrible night's sleep (possibly
due to last night's sushi, missed opportunities this morning (nobody's fault)
and finally going home to a pile of washing up (but that's the price you pay
for having wonderful food to eat every single day).
Rowing and Tesco on Saturday, nothing on Sunday but organising stuff for the
honeymoon. Well, that and other fun stuff, I hope. Oh, and did I forget to
mention that Kris makes the most awesome banana and chocolate chip muffins?
Well, she does.
[17:00] Nothing much happening today. This is a good thing because after all
of yesterday's exercise I'm really quite tired. Last night's row was... OK I
guess. Nothing stunning but probably useful in some way.
Today I have been discovering that the building and contents insurance I have
which is due for renewal at the beginning of February is not only going up but
might have possibly been far highter than it needed to be for at least the
last year. Oh well. Maybe Kris and I can use my day off from everything on
Sunday to do some online searching and come up with something cheaper.
Speaking of Kris, she's working very hard at the moment. It's showing in that
she too is feeling pretty tired most evenings and similarly in the mornings.
We're both really looking forward to the honeymoon (and organising portions of
it, which we also might do a bit of on Sunday).
And finally, tonight is a date night. Mmmm, 40% off at Yo! Sushi. That
sounds like an excellent idea.
[16:40] A disappointing day in terms of resolutions with the companies I've
been getting support from. One has flat-out refused to acknowledge that its
product is at fault, another seems to have lost the feature request we put in
a few months ago (and is offering useless advice on how to mitigate the issue
in the mean time) and my two bug reports seem to have floundered and lost all
Still, at least I had a nice fast run in the rain (it was going to be another
10K but it was raining a lot when I left so I chose another route, then the
rain stopped) at lunch time. I also did a Widowmaker on the erg last night as
well as a semi-abbreviated core workout. Any more than that and I think I
wouldn't be in any fit shape to do this evening's outing. Both Kris and I
nearly didn't go out at all last night (she to a late-starting seminar) but we
both found the energy, enthusiasm and resolve to do our own things and came
home the better for it in both cases. We're now looking forward to Thursday
as that's Date Night. Mmmm, sushi.
Oh, it might be that someone from the British Heart Foundation is as I type
this round at our house picking up the wardrobe and futon we don't use any
more. At least I hope so. It'll give me a good bit more space back in the
garage (and the bedroom) for me to rationalise things into.
Other than that I think that's it. The wedding photographer is printing the
photo we're taking to my grandmother in a few weeks, I don't currently have
any injuries and there'll be prawns in tonight's dinner. Home soon. Hope it
doesn't rain this evening while I'm rowing.
[16:55] Another day completely taken over with responding to support calls
with further information. Not all bad news as in two cases there may have
been potential breakthroughs with regard to what the problems were/are. One
of them may progress more tomorrow, the other may require me to spend a large
chunk of a weekend day here at work watching nothing at all happen
(diagnostics run). So, there you go.
In other news I have a date this week organised. It's with my wife, as you
might have guessed, so that's excellent. I'm also hopeful that someone from a
charity will come and pick up my surplus wardrobe tomorrow while I'm at work
(so thanks to Kris for being at home). Odds are even that they won't mind,
notice or care about the few scratches in it and I'll get some of the garage
back to allow me to tidy more of it. Oh, and maybe I can get rid of the old
fold-out futon too... Here's hoping!
Off to the boat house tonight for more strength training. It's going to hurt,
again. But it's all in a good cause. Cycling, rowing, etc.
[17:55] Mostly today I have been making progress with support calls. I have
two bugs open with Red Hat, something to do with the VLAN UPS snafu open with
APCC and a call open with Sun/Oracle as one of our database servers rebooted
itself again over the weekend. And, as I said, pretty much all of them have
made some progress, which is awesome.
In other news the rowing over the weekend was pretty good. Especially as on
the Saturday I got an extra half an hour in bed (meaning I didn't have to get
up until 07:30). Otherwise I did lots of house tidying and cleaning and then
tried to relax the rest of the time. Kris had a full weekend of yoga teacher
training so we didn't see each other between 08:00 and 18:30 both days. We're
going to remedy this by me taking next Sunday off from rowing so we can
actually have a whole day together in each other's company.
Hmmm, it's far later than I thought it would be by the time I finished the
things I was doing today. I blame running 10K at lunch time. That probably
slowed me down in terms of energy to do other stuff. Or maybe I just have
too many things in my Google Reader.
[17:30] There are a few things I need to work on. They're me-related rather
than anything physical or work-related. And it would be helpful if I got them
changed (fixed?) sooner rather than later. They're a problem that I would
really like to deal with. Unfortunately today was not the day to do that.
Today was the day when I worked on the plan to update the large number of RHEL
boxes I'm responsible for. Unfortunately though this evolved into working on
two bugs with RH in connection with dm-raid. That - and going for a run at
lunch time - ate up most of my day.
Kris is in London today giving a talk at one of the universities (I'm so
proud) so I'm not feeling any particular rush to head home. Washing up and a
quiet house await. However it does mean I can get the place tidy and warm for
when she does come home late this evening.
Lots of rowing this weekend and then probably cycling or something like that
as this is one of Kris' yoga teacher training weekends so she'll be out most
of both days. It's good thing really as I'm feeling a little unfit given how
Tuesday's strengthening session left me.
[17:00] While some of last night was plain old problematic, the outing in the
boat was really quite cool. Even in the pitch dark we still managed to do
pretty well and came up with a reasonable row. I definitely think there was
progress. For my part I still need to work on my rock over a lot more. I was
told that the person I'm following was responsible for my some of my lack now
and again. If you're a rower you'll know what I mean. Back at home it was
just lovely to be with my girl, be happy, have some dinner and go to bed.
Today our new SAN threw another disk so I was tasked with opening the support
call with IBM about it. Amazingly things seemed to go smoothly and the
replacement disk was here before 13:15. I went for a run (during which time
it arrived) to try and work some of the stiffness out of my legs from the
Tuesday and Wednesday punishment I gave them. I'll run again tomorrow as I
think I'm going to be stiff again then, too.
Kris and I are off to Tesco this evening. Obviously this is the highlight of
our week. Still, since I got this new front light I can't help but be happy
every time I cycle with it in the dark. It's brilliant (in every sense of the
word) and I'm sure motor vehicle drivers are treating me with a bit
more respect since I started using it. Maybe they're just blinded and are
swerving away in panic.
I had a bit of a Facebook moment (well, more like a couple of minutes) today.
Luckily Kris was on hand to bring me back down to Earth. She's good like that
and I know that I'm very lucky to have her in my life. She's also been
offered at least two preliminary interviews with universities in America so I
think it's highly likely that at least one of them is going to offer her a
job, potentially on the tenure track. If so, well, it's going to be all
change here! Watch this space this half of the year...
[17:00] The money cleared! So Kris and I have booked our honeymoon! Hurrah!
I won't say where or when we're going beforehand for obvious reasons, but it's
going to be completely amazing and totally brilliant. And there'll be lots of
pictures, obviously. Neither of us have been anywhere like it before. Well,
I sort of have with regard to some of the major architecture, but otherwise,
no. Which is also great.
Obviously, to counteract this great news we had a power cut in the middle of
town today which necessitated me taking a taxi to the server room, standing
around for a few hours turning off disk arrays and such and then turning
everything back on again when the power came back. And then standing around
watching those self-same arrays be checked for errors. I left the office at
around 11:30. I didn't get back until gone 14:00 at which time I was very
hungry and not a bit tired.
It was probably a good thing that I didn't have time to run today after last
night's strength session. Lots of lunges and other movements have meant that
for the first time in many many many months my legs ached this morning and
actually still do a bit now. Running at lunch time would probably have meant
I'd be useless for anything this evening when I'm out in a boat with the 8+.
As such I'll hopefully be able to put down a bit of power and help the shell
on a bit more than would otherwise have been the case.
Our Big Brother monitoring system seems to be calming down a bit now, even
with the oddness of many of our servers here shutting down too due to some
kind of UPS/network/routing/subnet interaction we still haven't gotten to the
bottom of yet. I'll take a look at that tomorrow though, when my head doesn't
feel quite so clathered.
[17:00] Not much happening today. Probably something to do with not much
happening anywhere. Unless it was and no-one told me. I know that Kris has
been working very very hard at the moment. I'm really very proud of her for
just how much she's dealing with (successfully) right now. I'm looking
forward to getting my teeth into something serious here soon, but there are a
few minor things which need to be done first, including getting every single
RHEL5 machine updated to the updates that comprise RHEL5.6.
I'm off to the boathouse this evening for a good session of erging and muscle
workout. I get the feeling it's going to be rather tiring, which is good as
I think I have both my and Kris' allocation of energy today. It's a shame
today wasn't a running lunchtime day too as the weather was marvellous when I
looked out of the window at around 12:15. Oh well, I'm sure it'll rain again
tomorrow when I do go out.
I was hoping to pay for something expensive today. But I've been stymied by
the British banking system. Why is it I can "Faster Payment" out of my bank
account in seconds (and have it arrive with the company/person I'm paying in
the same amount of time) but a transfer from one bank/building society to
another has to go via BACS and takes at least two days. Everything's
electronic! What are they doing with it?
[17:00] The rowing over the weekend was pretty good. I took the precaution of
taping the bits of my hands which has previously been bleeding to allow them
a little more time to heal. This turned out to be a good idea when it was
decided that as well as racing in the 8+ (we came third overall) we'd also be
splitting into two 4+ crews and racing the distance again. In the end,
despite me being in what I'd like to think was the wrong 4+ we ended up only
being seven seconds behind the other 4+ who had, on average the stronger crew.
So that was good.
Otherwise the weekend started with a bit of low point and got better with
plenty of time with Kris, some delicious food (including a Chinese delivery
which both of us had real problems finishing, which was a first) and some
actual time to relax, even if most of Sunday was spent either at the boat
house or on the water in some rather windy (but not rainy, hurrah!) weather.
I managed to troubleshoot an issue with the new service we assimilated at the
same time as dealing with issues at home on Friday night (or at least work out
what the problem was) which was rather cool. Coming in on Monday it was a
pleasure to find out that people had acted on my efforts and the fix was
already under way.
Its been raining for the whole day at this point but I still managed to get
out for what I only assume was a rather fast run at lunch time. I blame the
fact that about a quarter of the way around I noticed that for the first time
there was another runner behind me on my loop so I had a shot of adrenaline to
keep my speed up for all but the last kilometre or so. Which was nice.
Otherwise Kris and I have been playing phone and web tag with various travel
agencies and airlines to coordinate our honeymoon which we're hoping to take,
well, quite soon. More on that we we know it. Probably.
[16:15] Today has been a good day. I've worked hard today. It has been good.
I really like days like this. I mean, there were some slack bits here and
there but I did good work on a Big Brother monitoring script that further
refines the monitoring of RAID hardware for LSI cards (stupid HDDs and their
transient errors). I worked so much I didn't actually get to go running at
lunch time which is a bit peeve-worthy, but there's a good chance I'll get to
work up a sweat this evening which will more than make up for the missed dash
around the block.
This weekend I will be rowing both mornings and in fact most of Sunday as
there's a Head race on into which I've been entered in both a 4+ and an 8+.
This was news to me when the email came in at around midnight last night (i.e.
I didn't get it until this morning). Kris isn't best pleased and to be honest
neither am I, but I guess if I say no to the 4+ (the thing I was unaware of) I
will leave four other people in the lurch.
[17:00] The replacement HDD which was supposed to arrive before 17:00
yesterday finally turned up at around 15:00 today. Unfortunately while the
application within the OS claimed it was disk 1 (of disks 0 and 1) which was
at fault, this translated to disk 0 on the front of the chassis itself
(labeled 1 and 0). As a result I pulled out the 'good' disk and now have the
server resyncing to the new disk from the suspect one. I can't take out the
suspect one and replace it with the old 'good' disk until this has finished
(in about half an hour). Hopefully the fact that I was asked to replace the
suspect disk because of an ASC/ASCQ 11h/00h error won't affect the syncing
process. We'll have to wait and see.
The main reason I hope things go smoothly is that I have a date with Kris
tonight. Cocktails and sushi in town if things go according to plan. I feel
like I'll deserve it after today's Cacti wrangling (I now think I pretty much
grok the new PIA plugin handling), RHEL5.6 publishing (and trickled out RHN
updates which broke things in amusing ways) and SVN wrangling (more on that
soon I imagine).
[18:00] Looks like all is well now. I hope. I'm going to leave before
anything goes wrong that I have to deal with. Of course, should something go
wrong and I check my email before bed I'm sure I'll end up dealing with it.
That's just the kind of guy I am, I'm afraid. For now though, cocktails and
[17:00] In an effort to let my hands heal a bit more I didn't go and erg last
night. I did however go to the library with Kris, only to discover that we
still had books out so couldn't take out any more. I didn't mind at all as I
really like cycling in the dark with the new light I have.
After an evening of closeness with Kris on the sofa last night I realised that
it was much better to go to bed early with my wife than stay up and watch a
film I've seen before. Oddly though I was still really, really tired this
morning. I don't really know why. Maybe it's something to do with getting
over the last of the flu, but that seems unlikely.
Today I've sent more information to Sun/Oracle about the server which has
been rebooting for no readily apparently reason, doing various load balancer
configurations, sorting out Oracle Support Service Numbers and contact
information and patching RHEL boxes. Oh, and updating the O'Really pages with
the new Zazzle information. Go and buy a T-shirt, or three.
I'm out on the water this evening. I get the feeling it's going to be cold.
Cold and wet. Not pleasant, anyway.
[17:00] Aside from the annoyance of one of our big and important servers
rebooting itself again for no good reason (I've opened a support call about it
with Sun/Oracle) today has been about setting up my own store to do O'Really
designs on T-shirts again. Yes, its been a long time coming but you can once
again get the designs that gave me my 15GB of fame back in the day from Zazzle
and choosing the design you want. One small note, I have no idea how good the
quality is, but so many people asked about getting them again I had to do
something. I'll update the pages on this site tomorrow when I get a free ten
minutes or so. For now though I'll remind myself that the Thai food I had for
lunch was excellent, that my hands seem to be healing well and that I need to
head off right now and meet Kris at the library to get a book out for her.
[17:20] I'm not sure but I don't think either of the rowing sessions over the
two weekend mornings did anything for anyone in the boat. We had a chat about
it after the Sunday outing and came to the conclusion that we really need to
get back to basics for the boat/crew as a whole. Not that there are any major
faults with anyone in particular, it's just that we all need to start rowing
the same way. Stopping the 'fitness' outings (we're all fit enough right now)
and concentrating on technique really is what we need to do right now, we
Anyway, rowing (in the cold, pogies are awesome, however blisters all over my
hands are not) aside, after the Saturday outing I went for a good long run
around a common across from the boat house while I waited for Kris to get out
of yoga and we went to Tesco for the weekly shop. Shopping while hungry isn't
always the best idea but we seemed to manage it.
We took the tree down on Sunday afternoon. I'm glad it stayed up as long as
it did; the lounge feels very bare without it now. Bare enough that I'm
thinking of getting another bookshelf or something to fill the gap its left.
I'm very much enjoying the books I was given for Christmas at the moment. It
feels good to be reading again. In fact I may read when I get home this
evening (after doing the washing up).
Finally, I did my run today. Started off slow but about half way round pushed
up to close to flat out. I think I ended up being about a minute and a half
off my best time. Which is probably OK, I think. The ache in my foot seems
to be subsiding/not presenting as much now too, which is good.
That's enough randomness for today, I need to go home!
[16:30] Dragged myself out of bed and into town in the rain to install a
replacement "SASBP" fan tray. For some reason this had the effect of causing
one of the drives to vanish from the RAID1 pair and then reappear (possibly
when I reconnected the new fan tray). Of course, a resync was then necessary.
This seemed to go OK and the box is now happy so... I'll just chalk it up to
experience. Sun/Oracle didn't seem to have any idea what caused it either but
did the usual recommendation of upgrading the ILOM/BIOS and RAID hardware
firmware, in the event that that might stop it happening again. I remain
I was also unconvinced by the weather at lunch time (which actually did stop
raining) and the probable bruising of the padding of my left foot (line of
thicker skin just before the toes attach) due to the fact I went from no
running to 10km and 6km over the course of the week. This meant that I didn't
actually run today and won't again until Monday. What Kris and I did do last
night was check out the improved climbing wall (with a view to potentially
going on Saturday afternoon) and go for a date/dinner out. It was wonderful
and especially so given the management misread our voucher and gave me 50% off
the entire meal rather than just the main courses.
I'm now off home using my new front light/torch thing. I've bought a new
mounting bracket (shipping tomorrow) but have zip-tied on one I got free from
someone at the rowing club to see how it works. I'm actually really looking
forward to it being pitch dark outside now. I'm doubly looking forward to
this evening (or some time over the weekend) when other fun things might
Other things happening this weekend include rowing twice (probably in the
rain), going to Tesco and relaxing, hopefully.
[17:00] Very vivid dreams this morning just before I woke up. Oddly, I was
very aware that they were dreams and was egging myself on to stay asleep and
enjoy them as much as I could. Still, waking up wasn't too bad given the
Today I managed to log a support call with Oracle (Sun, as was) Support and
get a part shipped out successfully. I don't get to fit it this evening, but
instead have to do it at 08:00 tomorrow morning instead. It's not such a
problem really, but it would have been nicer to do it on the way to see Kris,
the new climbing wall here in town and then have a date with my girl.
Otherwise all has been quiet today. The only things of note are that I've
booked train tickets for Kris and I to go and see my parents and my
grandmother in the near future and that I need to find the best versions of
the O'Really designs I did from a few years back. I have a moderately cunning
[16:40] So, just before Christmas I caught the actual flu from someone in
the office. Everyone did thanks to his coughing. This lead to a Christmas
spent mostly on the sofa with Kris looking after me until she too succumbed.
After that happened we mostly went in for mutual support and division of
labour until we began to get better again. Don't let the above make you think
we didn't have a great Chrismas holiday though. We did. Aside from going out
for Christmas Day dinner (which was a good thing as we never would have been
able to cook a proper meal that day given how we were feeling) we spent a lot
of time together, enjoyed an open house that far fewer people than we were
hoping for but in the end was just the right amount of people came to and had
a wonderful New Year's Eve where we basically didn't drink, but still had a
wonderful intimate evening together. Not to mention the fact that we weren't
hung over the next morning. I didn't manage to get much exercise done due to
feeling like I was 80 for most of the time, but we still got out of the house
a few times (even braving the Sales) and had a lot of fun. Presents-wise we
decided to have a minimal giving rule this year and instead will be spending
what we would have spent on each other on the honeymoon when we're able to
take it. We're much more into experiences than gifts now, I think.
So anyway, that was our Christmas. Illness, happiness and frugality without
sacrificing the best things. Incidently, the Christmas Day dinner was with
Cormac and Steph at a Loch Fyne. Walking there and back probably wasn't the
best idea, but it did give us an appetite, helped us walk off the meal and
meant we actually got some Vitamin D over the course of ten days or so. I
think that was also the only time the sun actually got out from behind clouds
between December 23 and 31.
Today I have been mostly doing small, inconsequential things, going for a
gentle 6km run and finding out that I do actually have an outing this evening
after it took upwards of 12 hours for someone to let the emails to the rowing
mailing list out of their holding area and be delivered.
[16:15] I was going to tell you all about the Christmas break today. Then
lots of work happened and I had to update the Journal for 2011 markup. So I
don't have time. I'll do it tomorrow. Haircut time now.