Menu Members Guests LTQ
BOFHcam navigation bar

BOFHJournal

1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

May's Journal
July's Journal


30/06/2011
[17:05] Annoyingly I appear to have pulled a muscle in my back. Stupidly it was while I was kneeling repairing the puncture I got the day before. I don't know how it happened as I wasn't in a stress position as far as I could tell. It appears to be the large back muscle below my right hand lat. Possibly the thoracolumbar fascia Either way it hurt quite a lot and was only 20 minutes before I was due to be at the boat house for an outing. Aware that I couldn't back out of the outing at that stage and find a substitute I (gingerly) headed down and explained what was wrong with me. After some gentle erg warmup it appeared that I was able to row 'safely'. The coach on the bank was a bow sider so he said that an any moment he could jump in and I could cycle his bike back. In the end we didn't need to swap and I survived without any major pain, tearing or otherwise coming apart at the seams. This seems to indicate that it's not the increase in erging and outings that's at fault. I didn't sleep especially well though and although I've only had two Ibuprofen (with breakfast) any odd twists and turns haven't gone down well. I'm not rowing again this evening or over the weekend as lots of people are at Henley so that should give me a good few days to recover before next week.

As it was Steph's birthday yesterday so after the outing a lot of friends ended up at the curry place that Kris and I went to a week or two back. I had a really rather delicious meal that was all the more tasty for being quite late in the evening. I think I left around 22:30 and was in bed pretty much straight away.

Today has been a light day with the main bit of work being the BigBrotherising of my web application/service tests and some final tweaking to make sure that something was getting returned by the curl commands.

Tomorrow I change my utilities tarrifs (exciting!). I wonder what Kris is doing.

29/06/2011
[17:10] I'd have left on time today only I managed to not only delete most of a script I was writing, but then reflexively save it and quit it before I realised what I was doing. So there was no chance of recovering the deleted stuff from the undo buffer either. I just this moment finished rebuilding it from memory and the other bits of backup I had.

Other than that it has been a pretty quiet day. Not much else happening other than finding out that Kris is doing OK in New York and that we miss each other a lot. I'm off home in a few minutes to get ready to row in what I hope will be an OK evening's weather, and then to have a rather nice curry with a good few people to celebrate Steph's birthday. I'm going to make sure not to order too much as I didn't manage to avoid eating any of the cookies and sweets here at work today. Pushing myself during the outing is also my punishment. It's a good job I actually enjoy exercise.

Oh, and I got another puncture on the way home last night. Luckily there was someone from work to give me a lift home, so that was good.

28/06/2011
[16:55] Good news, everyone! Today I figured out how to craft a script/URL to check that the last of my major Tier 1 applications was working correctly (not just that the web server was up, but also that the application was talking to its database, etc.). This is what we would class as good news in these here parts. I can now begin to put together a script which will check all of the ten major services I've been working on connecting to and add it to our Hobbit/Big Brother monitoring system. Not only will this be good for us in terms of service monitoring but it'll prove to someone that it can be done after all and isn't a complete waste of time to try. I'd rate that as just as important as the former.

In other news, Kris left for the airport this morning and to judge from the flight tracker web site I'm watching her plane on, she's just cleared the coast of Ireland heading for New York. The torrential rain and lightning and thunder storm I caught the very beginning of on my way back from my lunch time erg session (tiring, didn't do too well) looks like it might have kept her flight grounded for over an hour. That must have been extremely frustrating. Hopefully they turned on the on board entertainment and brought around drinks.

I'm heading home in what I hope is dry weather in a few minutes where I will do the washing up, begin the tidying of the house which usually happens when the exuberance Kris has in spades is absent for a time and then settle down with a nice dinner and watch a film or something. Theoretically I'm rowing both tomorrow and Thursday evenings so I will put off actually cleaning the place until the weekend when there may not be any rowing at all due to lots of the crew being at Henley (most not rowing, just going to watch).

27/06/2011
[16:35] As weekends go, that was a pretty good one. Rowing both mornings and the outings being pretty positive as things go. I was in the seven seat for both so I was able to have some control over what happened in the boat. On the other hand it meant that I had to be awake and aware at all times. The rest of Saturday was OK as we did some useful stuff. However by the end of it I think I had a touch of cabin fever as I was climbing the walls looking for something to do. I really felt like that for my part I'd wasted some of the day.

That certainly wasn't the case on Sunday. As soon as I was back from the outing Kris and I set off on a cycle. And we cycled and cycled and cycled. We stopped off for lunch in a place about 18 miles from home and had wonderful bakery goods from a market stall before cycling on another 18 or so miles to what we thought would be our end-point train station. Only the whole town seemed like a bit of a hole and we still had plenty of day left... So we turned around and added another 18 and a bit bum-numbing miles to our trip back to where we had lunch. Collecting some well-deserved cold drinks we walked our bikes to the train station, got on the train (luckily before anyone else with bikes did, so we weren't thrown off again), waited for it to leave (30 minutes), got off 35 minutes of journey later and cycled home, making sure to take enough detours that we finished exactly on 60 miles in the saddle. Whew! Talk about a long and hard journey. Only it wasn't hard, just tiring, if you see the difference. Anyway, the weather was much much better than the previous cycle trip and despite the numb bums and every square inch of bare skin being covered in flies and thunderbugs and every bit of skin being covered in sweat we'd had an excellent time. Showers and a snack followed before we got on our bikes again and cycled out to meet Cormac and Steph for extremely tasty freshly-made Chinese dumplings and steamed buns. I think we'll be going there again.

So, lots of rowing, massive amounts of cycling, a bit of a tan here and there and some tasty food. Definitely one of the better weekends this year. Kris has the very best ideas sometimes. She's off to New York for five days tomorrow so I've listed myself as available for outings every day this week and over the weekend but I don't think many other people in my crew are as free as I will be.

Today I came in to work and immediately left to head into town with two other people to derack two servers and a disk pack and take them to the new server room. I racked them up there and then dashed off to get hot and sweaty on the way to a hair cut. That done I popped home for a cold shower and then back into work for an afternoon of technical fiddling (read: tiny but useful jobs).

Heading into town now to swap a book for a smaller version of same and then home to see my wife for our last evening together this week.

24/06/2011
[16:25] Today has been a totally awesome day. It started brilliantly at 05:45 and continued past that and into a breakfast date with my wife at a pastry shop/cafe in town. And it was all down to Kris being wonderful. I'm definitely a continuing fan of early rising.

Work has been typically light today and no-one asked me to go over to the other server room which was nice. I also had time to cycle down to the boat house, do a fun 30 minute erg, shower and cycle back in time to catch a bit of Wimbledon over the web while I ate my lunch.

I haven't managed to solve the last of my application tests due to old code being used for the login session stuff so I've asked if there's a way to bypass it much like I was offered the option with the other web application which was giving me a hard time. We'll see what happens about that next week. In other news I've managed to stop myself eating any of the last bits of sweets and chocolate arrayed in front of me during the working day. That coupled with the vegetable korma I had last night, the moderately small breakfast I had this morning, the usual mostly-healthy lunches I have and the good chance that I'll be able to eat lightly and heathlily this evening heralds a reasonable start to my push to get rid of the little bit of excess I have around my middle. That and the amount of erging, rowing, cycling and running (yay, running!) I'm ramping up to, again.

So, I'm off now. Rowing both mornings, cycling with Kris at least one of the days and doing more possession-winnowing and house organising in the other time we have free and going out for what looks like Chinese dim sum this evening. This could be close to one of the best days I've had in the last quarter of a year.

23/06/2011
[16:55] Not so much with the requirement to be over at the new server room today. I had expected not to have to go over there at all as yesterday it was stated that everyone would turn up on Friday. However at around 09:40 I got a call to say an electrician had been waiting there for over an hour for someone to let him in to do some work. Cue me pedaling over there to stand around for an hour or so. Luckily it was between the regular deluges that the weather was seeing fit to deal us.

I managed to not only cycle to the boat house at lunch time but eschew my 30 minute erg for a 15 minute run (oh how great it was to be able to run again!) and a 5 minute 90% effort erg. I'm pleased to report that with some stretching beforehand and the erg afterwards I don't appear to have anything other than a bit of tenderness in one heel where the achilles tendon attaches to the bone. I won't run again for at least a week or so, but this is promising... I hope. The erg was good and the two together were a good way for me to start the new, fitter me. I've been feeling a little unfit around the waist these last few weeks and I think it's time I did something about it. Willpower is where it starts. I've been staring at the sweets and chocolate and biscuits laid out less than 1.5m from me all day today and have managed to not have a single bite of anything. I feel very good about that at the same time as craving them quite badly. I guess that shows just how far I've fallen off the "don't need sweet stuff" waggon. Smaller meal portions are also the new order of the day, too. And more vegetables and less meat. Even though I really do like meat, a lot. I've also been contemplating what to do when this year's rowing calendar ends. Rejoining the gym for six months has a definite appeal, but then so does the climbing wall (which is now better than it was previously). The climbing wall's relatively much further away from work and the house though...

Anyway, after last night's rowing (pretty good, I was at seven too so had a real opportunity to affect the boat) and today's exercise I think tonight is definitely a night-off night. Unless Kris comes up with something fun for us to do together.

22/06/2011
[17:20] I wouldn't say today has been a complete waste. No no no, I discovered all kinds of things about how you put a server room support system (mechanical, fire, UPS, alarms, all that stuff) together and deal with snags. This involved me getting into work at 08:30 and standing around talking to and observing a number of engineers until around about 12:30. I then got to cycle back to the office, scarf down my lunch and then go back again for a further two hours. Since then all I've really had time to do is bang my head against a few walls with regard to web application logon stuff, talk to two developers about sidestepping the authentication on one application which was going to be highly problematic and email a few people about another (new) application. I think it's time I went home and hugged my wife for a bit. Before I go out rowing and almost certainly end up getting drenched. The weather has been all over the place today.

I didn't even have time to erg at lunch time. Which was annoying.

21/06/2011
[17:15] Rather than go and erg last night I had pizza and watched Game of Thrones with my girl. Sometimes it's important to make these choices. It was good pizza too. I had the rest of it for lunch today.

Didn't sleep too well though, probably due to the very bright sunshine this morning at about 04:00. I managed to doze a little until close to 07:00 and then just got up and did the morning exercises to wake up all the way. The morning at work was mostly spent standing outside the new server room first of all waiting for an electrician to finish his job (he did, but still needs to come back as he didn't have everything he needed) and then wait another forty minutes or so (including a cycle to the office and back because he was so late) for another electrician to come and fix the emergency lighting. As soon as I got back to work it was back on with the automating of logins to the web applications we run, using curl. I'm getting pretty good at decyphering the almost infinitely different ways web application programmers have come up with to do user authentication but one or two of our apps are still thwarting me. I will be triumphant though, eventually!

Lunchtime was erg time to make up for yesterday lunch time when I was out doing sorting-out-legal-things. Lovely weather, no-one else around as usual, just (by 8m) over 8km erged. Not too bad really. Definitely not something I was capable of a few years ago.

This afternoon I have mostly been doing more web application 'curl'ing. And trying not to eat too many sweets. I should have drunk more water. I will before I go home so that my wife doesn't frown at me. It's very cute, but I shouldn't be eliciting it for reasons of dehydration.

Tomorrow I may be spending a large amount of time at the new server room again (doing moderately useful stuff this time) in the morning. I may try to erg again at lunch time and then in the afternoon I might be able to snag one of the web developers of one of the applications which is giving me grief and strong-arming them into showing me the sneaky back door I hope they have in their code which will enable me to do what I've been trying to do for the last two hours unsuccessfully.

Not sure if I'll go and erg again this evening. It might be a plan considering all the junk I ate this afternoon (and the pizza I had for lunch).

20/06/2011
[17:15] After leaving work in a real mood on Friday at lunch time it took me a good few hours before I was able to enjoy the rest of my time away from the office. Luckily I have a wonderful and amazing wife who listened to me stress about things and then helped me decide how we were going to spend our afternoon. Cycling! About 55km of it out of town and across the country to a lovely little town to the east of us. While the going wasn't particularly hard we took it nice and easy and laughed when the rain came down particularly hard. It helped that there were warm towels and a hot shower in our hotel for the night. Additional helpingness was provided by the completely awesome meal we had there in the evening. Not having to leave the building once we'd been allowed to store the bikes indoors was really rather good.

As is our habit we were up with the larks on Saturday morning but still managed to take full advantage of our stay before heading out for a quick walk around the gardens nearby to work up a bit more of an appetite for breakfast. There's nothing like a full English breakfast when you've been doing good, honest exercise... to remind you that you should now do a whole lot more to work off everything you just ate. Duly aware we set off again in the occasional showers to do another 36km or so to another town where we took an hour for lunch before getting the train home. Not content with that we turned around immediately on arriving at the house and did the Tesco shop while we still had the wherewithall to do so. All that remained then was to be ready for Andy to come and collect us to have a pub dinner and a catchup. Duly done we retired to the house and went to bed.

It definitely felt like a three day weekend when we woke up on Sunday morning (early, of course). Having promised we'd spent the day beginning the winnowing, tidying, packing of stuff I went into the garage and starting moving things out while Kris dived head first into the wardrobes. We emerged only for breakfast and lunch. By very early afternoon we'd done pretty much everything we could for a first pass and are pretty pleased with the result. It's going to make future days like Sunday a whole lot easier to do.

Today I went into work resolved to be happier, work harder, make no mistakes and turn things around somewhat. A major part of achieving everything except the last one (that's a two person/part process) was being handed a rather sticky task to work through. I definitely feel like the very much junior team member at the moment, but when no-one is giving me anything to do when I've run out of things I can do without change board permission that just seems to be how it goes.

I was out for lunch doing important things which hopefully have been dealt with now. All I can do now is prod and wait for a response and hope it's not a problem. I've been working on more of my problematic task this afternoon (if you must know: curl logins to web services with authentication front ends back by databases, so tedious, but necessary if we want to get proper monitoring of services, not just web servers).

Anyway, I think that's enough of that for today. It's good that I'll have something to continue with tomorrow (even if some people here don't think it's actually a worthwhile task). I think I'll go home, kiss my wife a lot and then go and erg. After that, dinner and Game of Thrones!

17/06/2011
[12:25] Today could have been a good day. And... no, it will be a good day dammit... because I'm spending the afternoon with my wife! We're going cycling and it will be wonderful, even if it rains (which it looks to). This morning I can write off as just another in a long line of minor mistakes that I've made which aren't helping my cause. I can't be any more specific because that really wouldn't be the done thing. Suffice it to say I'll be doing something about it on Monday when there's a free moment to do so. It's been a long time coming. I just hope that it works out as I think it should.

Have a good weekend. See you Monday.

16/06/2011
[17:05] Today was a pretty good day. Not awesome, but OK. Here's why: I made sure someone understood that I was, in fact, right about something. Not that he believed me or gave me credit for it. But I stood my ground and made sure he knew I believed I was right. Just a shame he burps so much during lunch. I also had some work to do! That's right, some honest-to-goodness toil. I loved it. Although it was only removing one version of Open Office and getting a new version on and then making sure it would still run headless for application connections I got the whole thing down and reproducable for when it needs to be rolled out to other servers. I finally got a phone call from the UPS people to tell me that they're looking into the pricing discrepancies they've quoted me for individual vs enterprise quantity licences for their UPS client software and I was in at 07:00 this morning to do a machine restart which came off perfectly. That was the good stuff. The not so good stuff is that Kris is in Nottingham overnight after doing a seminar/talk/presentation this evening. She'll be seeing my parents who happen to be nearby, but she won't be here, with me. There's a thing which I was hoping would be better and not cause any issues which I got through the post the day before yesterday which could be problematic. I'm hoping it won't be but I think it will. I have a meeting on Monday which should smooth a few bits of it out, at least.

Other than that, I can't think of anything else going on at the moment. I could go out this evening and see people at the pub but I think I'd really rather just stay home and eat pizza. Tomorrow I'm only in for a half day anyway (cycle trip with Kris, hope the weather's OK) so I doubt much'll be going on then, either.

15/06/2011
[16:55] Blah blah blah about work. You know the drill on that score. I'm also suddenly coming in at 07:00 tomorrow morning to reboot a server which needs to, well, be rebooted apparently. Not much has happened today otherwise although I did have a chat about the project/service I helped migrate a few months ago and then wrote an additional proposal document for a few weeks ago. Hopefully it will manage to extricate itself from managerial limbo before I go totally mad.

I've been for an erg today. Considering I didn't wake up feeling terribly active this morning (the morning exercises weren't too enjoyable) I think I did quite well to cycle down, 30 minute erg, shower and cycle back in under an hour and to put in a reasonable distance. I don't think it had anything to do with the really wonderful meal we had on the spur of the moment at a new Indian restaurant on the way back from a free showing of Life in a Day at the cinema. Anyway, I need to head off now and meet Kris as we're going to a John Lewis store to use the vouchers we got as wedding presents. I have no idea what we're going to get, if anything. We should spend them soon though, it's kind of important.

14/06/2011
[17:15] I'm glad things are going to change here in a few months (well, more than a few, but still). If there wasn't a change coming I think I'd be pretty peeved at various aspects of working here. Anyway as they are going to be changing I figure it makes the time before that change a real chance to have a learning experience par excellence to set me up for the future. As such I learned a little bit more this morning. Honestly don't think he does it on purpose. He just has no social skills and doesn't have any real inkling that things should change.

But enough about that. I did some good work this morning with SSL certificate woes that some of an applications team were having. I'm pretty sure I fixed the last of their problems created by Thawte and Terena certificates going to a type that uses an intermediate certificate keychain thingy. So that's pretty good. I then did a few other things before cycling into town to drop off my watch so that it can go away to have the battery replaced without the water resistance being left compromised. That will apparently take four weeks so that I'm forced to use my phone or nothing at all to be aware of the time. Maybe it's good for me to have a break from being able to clockwatch and learn to use my circadian rhythms instead. Or not.

Most of the afternoon I was over in the new server room hefting about new racks and bemoaning the missing bolts and upside down mounted fixtures and fittings that whoever initially assembled them managed to do. If I'd had the time I would have torn them down and started again, but I didn't. As a result there are a few things about them I'm not happy about. But they'll do. I should really leave now as Kris and I have another date this evening (cinema this time) and I can't be late to meet the wife. Also, it's beautiful outside and I hate being indoors when it's like that.

13/06/2011
[16:50] Kris came home! And it was All Good. Lots of all goodness all weekend long. Even when it rained for most of Sunday. Friday we ended up going out to Tesco to get lots of vegetables because, obviously, as a batchelor all I had in the house was meat and bread. She liked the flowers I had put in every room in the house, though.

Saturday morning I was out rowing and ended up stroking the boat on bow side. Being back on bow after so many weeks on stroke was a bit odd, so that that combined with stroking the boat made for an extremely tiring outing, mentally. Still, all in all I think it was a pretty good show with reasonable balance and even a bit of power in the water now and again. While I was in the boat Kris went off to yoga teacher training for the day. As she was due back at around 18:00 I spent the afternoon replacing the chain and outer chain ring of my old bike (the one I'll be using daily in a few weeks, for the next nine or so months). Having ridden it for a day or so it now occurs to me that I need to spend another twenty or so pounds on a new cassette as this one is skipping something fierce with the new chain on.

Before Kris had come home we decided that rather than eat at home we would go out and sample the new (I hadn't been there before and it wasn't open a few months ago, I don't think) Bedouin restaurant. Good choice! The food was uniformly excellent, the service was good and we're pretty sure they undercharged us, too. Even with the generous tip we left. Definitely worth a repeat visit (or two) in the future. We continued catching up on Game of Thrones before bed. It really is very good.

On Sunday I didn't have any rowing, and it started raining so I didn't even go down to the boat house to erg. Instead, once Kris and I had extricated ourselves from the wonderfully warm bed I stayed at home while Kris went to yoga teacher training again. I'm pleased to say I managed to spent the whole day not exercising, not continually eating (just) and not watching television (for the most part). Instead I read, did housework and generally relaxed. It was probably very good for me, even if I did feel like climbing the walls by the time Kris got home. It was nice to have her home, and have a delicious meal together.

I woke up this morning feeling really quite tired. Which was odd considering we went to bed pretty early. I had spent the last two nights waking up at odd hours in the early morning but had managed to get back to sleep fairly quickly. Kris finally succumbed to the timezone change (day three, as always) and has spent most of the morning and the early afternoon asleep on the sofa. A very good thing as far as I'm concerned as I know just how hard she works every day she's able to, and to take a morning off is no bad thing for her.

Other than some tidying up of the load balancers and some other minor bits of work today has been a rather gentle Monday in terms of things to do. I did managedto figure out why a whole slew of boxes had stopped reporting things to Big Brother and some of them weren't working at all (it was the new NAS box refusing to respond via NFS (or anything else)) as of 03:40 this morning. So that was a +1 for me. Not that my team leader cares. I also did the rapid cycle to the boat house and back at lunchtime to squeeze in a 30 minute erg. Didn't managed to break 8km (7991m, so close!) today but I put that down to feeling a bit tired, still.

I'm about to head home and see how Kris is doing. We've got a lot of planning to do this evening for the next few weeks and months. Hopefully we can get a lot of it done this evening before we settle down with dinner and some quality viewing on the gogglebox.

10/06/2011
[16:00] Kris is home! Kris is home! It's just a bit galling that she's been home since 12:10 and I've been stuck here until now (I'm leaving as soon as I finish writing and post this). Her flight was a little delayed but she shot through Immigration in a few minutes, collected her bag and was able to get on the coach she'd planned on with about ten minutes to spare. We've talked on the phone and I'm sure she's had some lunch and has been working through the pile of post which has accumulated for her over the past 88 days or so since she left.

For my part I've been helping with mains-to-generator power tests at the new server room, discovering that Oracle have no idea how to construct a service contract such that I'm able to reconcile assets with what they've listed (hello? Serial numbers?) and reading more documentation. That, however, is now over. I'm going home to see my wife! I hope she liked the flowers, and the other nice bits and bobs I put in the fridge for her to snack on.

Have a wonderful weekend. Mine will have a bit of rowing and a lot of waiting around for Kris to come back from yoga teacher training (I know), but we'll be together again, for a little while.

09/06/2011
[16:35] With luck it's now less than 24 hours before I get to see Kris in the flesh again. After close on 40 days apart (and just a short time together after 44 days or so apart previously) it's about bloody time, too. I'm determined that we will have the very best time it's possible to have together in the six weeks (five weeks after the bits she has to be away for) we'll be in the same place for before she leaves for St. Louis. After that, well, we will be making sure we see each other as often as possible, costs be damned. That should work out to hopefully no more than five or six weeks apart at a time (just like it has been this time), but even that is just not how it's supposed to be. We're going to always have the next time we see each other planned, organised and paid for before we have to be apart again. That way there's always a countdown rather than a "when will it be?" to think about and concentrate on. Without that kind of focus I can see us both becoming quite miserable at how things have to be for the time being.

So yes, just 24 little hours to go, and a chunk of those I'll be asleep for, or at least trying to be. Before that I'll be heading to Tesco for a few odds and sods and making sure the house is clean and tidy. I'll be aiming to get into work early tomorrow too so I can leave a little earlier than usual, even for a Friday.

Last night's outing was... interesting. We had a young guy who hasn't been rowing much at all recently in with us. I'm sure we put him on his weaker side (bow) and as a result he caught a good few quite serious crabs and then got quite a bad cramp in his calf too. Still, overall the boat was reasonably set for significant periods of time. Doing that and the lunchtime erg made me feel all virtuous and stuff too, which was good. Incipient blisters despite callouses aren't so good, though.

Today I've been cycling back and forth between here and the new server room to deal with alarm engineers and other people, letting fire suppression into other places and reading lots and lots and lots about verious funky aspects of RHEL6.1. I wonder when we'll be pushing out our first RHEL6.1 servers. I get the feeling it might be quite soon. It'd be silly not to at this point.

I really miss Kris. I want her home soon and safely. We're not meant to be apart.

08/06/2011
[16:50] Is it odd that I'm proud that my hands aren't all soft and smooth and although not rough or bumpy are calloused and hard from the things I do with them. I think a man's hands should show that he works with them (even if it's just exercise from climbing or rowing or something, rather than building things or other physical labour). Anyway, after this lunchtime's erg (not a fast one, but a powerful, low stroke rate 30 minutes) and coming back to do some small but useful bits of work I'm ready for this evening's outing on the water. I don't think it's going to be very good (there's at least one person in the boat who's pretty checked out when it comes to rowing at the moment, and one other person who's not a particularly good rower anyway). And anyway, it may be that as we've asked for a substitute who hasn't responded to say he can make it we might not even be going out this evening. That would suit me just fine considering I've done some exercise today and there's a few small things I could be doing at home this evening considering Kris comes home in less than 45 hours now (although it's a little over 47 before I'll see her).

That's so awesome.

07/06/2011
[16:50] A somewhat exciting day today as I managed to almost completely hose the Xen virtual server upon which bofhcam.org runs. I'd been trying to fix a problem with certain packages not being updated and managed to partially update the entire OS from one version to another. This caused some significant networking issues which left me unable to connect. As I had no control over the host server I couldn't get on on console to fix it. Luckily the person who did have access let me in via the session he had open from Tanzania and we got everything fixed with a bit of luck and the use of "screen -x". So, long story short it all appears to be up and running again, even if it is running a different kernel than it should and udev isn't quite as it should. I think it'll be fine.

Other than that there's been lots of reconfiguring of apps that I use now that there are new versions, reading lots and lots of documentation (work docs, not bofhcam.org server upgrade docs) and trying not to get annoyed when people keep mentioning that I should have registered change requests for the updating of the SSL certificates I did on Friday. Yes, I know I should now but for the last five years it wasn't something I was ever told to do and was never an issue until certain badly-written applications decided they didn't like the requirement for intermediate certificates.

I'm going to go home now, do lots of house work in preparation for Kris coming home, go out for dinner with Kate, come home and talk to Kris and go to bed. After last night's 30 minute/8K+ erg and extended weights session I feel like I deserve a night off. I'll be erging and rowing tomorrow lunchtime and evening.

06/06/2011
[16:35] Friday evening was spent trying to get all the boats for the weekend tied onto the boat trailer. This was hard when all the boat ties we used to have had gone walkies. Eventually someone had to go to Halfords to empty the shop of them before we could finish. I had to leave after about 2.5 hours to have finner and talk to Kris so didn't see the final state. I did do my duty and made sure those boats I put on were on and tied down and riggers, seats and blades were also packed properly.

Saturday morning I was up with the larks to head to Peterborough in a car with another crew mate and the cox. We arrived in time to see the Novices going out in the boat for their race. When they came back I set about putting the riggers on in the correct places and, when we went for our heat, putting the seats in the right places too so that we had a working rate meter.

Our heat wasn't brilliant. It was the first time we'd raced in that configuration so as a result the first 500m was our warm up and get used to each other row. The second 500m we underrated (rowed fewer stroks per minute) everyone else and made over 2.5 lengths up on the first and second (of four) placed crews. We came within 1 metre of getting second place and a chance to get into the final via the repechage. Still, definite promise.

We headed home pretty quickly after that so I was able to not only trim the entire hedge but also mow the lawn and tidy the house somewhat before my next door neighbour's 56th birthday party for her house, 50's style. I did most of the barbequing before heading home (all of 10 paces) to Skype with Kris and then get a moderately early bed.

Sunday, with no rowing in the morning, lead me to feel a little aimless. When Tesco opened at 11:00 I went there, came back, had lunch and then proded Cormac to see if he wanted to go for a cycle. When he eventually replied I headed over there where we cycled out to one of the few hills nearby. It then started to rain (a tiny bit) so he decided to cut the ride short. We turned back on ourselves and I took the lead up the hill. Annoyingly he overtook me as we approached the summit. I think I need to do a little more cycling (or get a lighter bike) because I'm damned if he's going to beat me in the future.

Today has been mostly about me wondering why I seem to have pulled my back (more lats than back back, probably with putting the boats on the trailer on Friday), feeling a bit old generally in terms of body aches (I wish my tendons weren't so messed up) and reading, reading, reading about RHEL6.1 and all the fun things it can do. I think I'll go and erg this evening in a last gasp attempt to look all fit and healthy for Kris when she comes home on Friday. I did promise myself I wouldn't be any fatter (or thinner) by the time she came home.

03/06/2011
[15:35] Hurrah for no rowing last night. It meant that I could go home and quickly leave again to get down to the cinema in time to see the new X-Men film with half a dozen or so of my friends. Almost empty screen, comfy seats and a really quite engaging film. Follow that up with a cheese and bacon burger next door and then a cycle home in the wonderful summer warmth of the night and the day could only have been better if the washer had finished doing my clothes when I got home. Only it hadn't, because I'd done everything to it except press the start button. As I needed a few bits from that wash for this weekend I started it straight away and settled down to try and stay awake for the two hours or so a wash takes. I managed it, hung the washing out and went to bed. As per usual I didn't stay awake long enough to hear the radio turn off after the standard 30 minutes.

Happily I didn't feel too bad this morning and with the morning exercises out of the way I was even awake. I spent a few minutes while making lunch working out what I have to do over the next week before Kris gets home to get things ready for her return. I'm pretty sure I've got everything scheduled. All I need to do now is stick to that schedule. Not having rowing on Sunday (race or outing) will be a big help.

I was down at the new server room again this morning letting someone in to do more fiber termination and am just about to go back over there to lock up again on my way home. Apparently he needs to get in again on Monday to do some more work. I guess I'll be the one letting him in and locking up after him then, too.

Had my semi-annual eye test (which goes alongside my contact lens checkup) at lunch time today. The cycle in and out of town was perfectly pleasant in this weather. What was also pleasant was finding out that not only was the eye test going to be five pounds based on the voucher I'd just found, but in actuality it was going to be free as the cost is now included in the contact lens monthly direct debit. Which is nice.

OK, I should start to get ready to go over to the other server room and lock up and then head home to prepare for derigging the boat we're taking to Peterborough this weekend, make dinner, eat it and then settling in to have a lovely long Skype chat with my wife. Sunday should be quiet with me doing lots of chores and things which (in some cases) should have been done a good long time ago.

02/06/2011
[17:20] Nothing much happened today. I arranged a few things to happen on Monday, moved a 50GB mount from one NAS to another, got a 'free' burrito at lunch time and paid some rowing race fees. That's about it really. Other than the outing being cancelled this evening which means I can go to the cinema and eat with people there's not much else going on today. Speaking of which I should head home so I can head out.

01/06/2011
[17:05] Mostly today I have been looking at more documentation for RHEL6.1 (Clustering and Virtualization) and helping rack up the new QNAP NAS we have as a test unit. It's to replace the NetApp NAS we have which is costing us an arm and a leg for no real return.

Lunchtime was my first erg (or any real exercise other than half an hour or so of exercises and weights work I did last night at home rather than go to the boat house and erg) since Friday lunch time. It wasn't terrible (I kept up a pretty good split (or down, depending on your point of view) until at least the half way point (15 minutes)) but then faded a little in the second half. I blame a few too many onion bajis at the birthday party. I'm rowing this evening in a four, but not the four that'll be going to Peterborough this weekend, which is a little annoying. Still, we are out in the right four tomorrow night. Although it may turn out that I'm going to be stroking the boat, which doesn't excite me all that much.

I've been missing Kris quite a lot recently. I'd like to pretend that's why I have been eating quite so much sugary stuff at work but mainly it's because it's in such easy reach. I really wish it wasn't. I'm not going to have any more from here on in. No matter how much I want some or how hungry I am. There's always carrots from my lunch to eat first. But anyway, yes, Kris. I try to keep her in mind, without having her too close to mind such that thinking about her gets in the way of doing anything. I do manage for the most part by doing fun things like sending her postal mail or writing long emails or drawing her pictures, but sometimes at home in the evening I really do wish she was around now rather than in 8 days and 23 hours or so from now.