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November's Journal
January's Journal


21/12/2012
[16:35] I ache. I think it's due to a potential vague groin strain, the 10K I ran at lunch time (only 31 seconds over what I thought I'd get due to traversing a fence rather than getting my shoes totally soaked and covered in mud and filthy water), and probably the activities of last night (among other things cycling to and from the pub in the cold and the rain). I got in to work a few minutes late this morning due to sleeping a little longer than I should have done. I'm so tired at the moment. It doesn't really matter given that most people weren't here today and there was no way anyone was going to get any work done on an end-of-year Friday.

Really, there's nothing much more I want to tell you about. There's a chance I might do a journal entry here and there between now and 2013, but it's not certain. I'm going home now to pack and thence to the station to take a succession of trains north to my parents' in Manchester for the next five or so days. Therefore I'll wish you all a Merry Christmas/festive period and a very happy new year, whoever you are, and wherever you are. If I don't see you before, maybe I'll see you in 2013.

20/12/2012
[18:25] Guh. Today was too long. I wish it was far closer to being over. As it is I slept quite badly last night. I was woken by the door coming off my electricity meter box, went for a drink and spent the rest of the night coughing. I do not want to be coughing all night tonight, thank you very much. I've got far better things I want to be doing.

Unpacked eleven new servers today. Guess what I'm going to be doing in the new year. Sent some emails, cycled into town to do some networking stuff and generally ate a bit of chocolate and tried not to break anything. Other than Monday I haven't really done much exercise this week. I think it's good for me to take a proper break now and then, especially given the muscular aches and pains I've had on and off for the past few weeks and how intense training is going to be from the beginning of next year.

Anyway, it's time to go to the pub and see a few people for the last time this year, then go home and hopefully have a great night before the last working day of the year and my trip to my parents for Christmas.

19/12/2012
[2012-12-20 10:45] Sorry, didn't manage to do this on the day again due to it being a half/short day. Plenty of emails (so many of them these days, it seems) in the morning and then the work do Christmas party over lunch and early afternoon. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading in a book shop while waiting for somewhere to reopen so I could see if it had an Apple MacBook mini-DVI->VGA/DVI dongle, when the actual Apple Store didn't. Nothing before 2009, apparently. Which is a bit annoying. The other place didn't reopen before it got cold and dark, so I went home and spent the evening in contemplation of the good things in my life at the moment, and watching downloaded television. Much better than going out into the cold for a weights session.

Oh, the Christmas party was OK, I guess. Improved massively by having a text conversation through the boring bits though.

18/12/2012
[18:10] Hmmm, sorry about yesterday's entry. Not sure what happened to me come the end of the day. So the weekend was awesome. Saturday I was out in a single scull without stabilisers (seriously) for the first time. And I didn't tip over. It was brilliant. Then later on I was in a pair with Marc and that was fairly OK. Sunday I was coaching and then out in a pair for the first time and other than being quite scary, was also brilliant. Saturday afternoon and evening were utterly awesome and Sunday afternoon I went to Tesco and spent some quality time with friends. All in all rather a successful weekend spoilt only by it being Monday at the end of it all.

Last night was weight maxes at the boat house. For us that meant five different weight exercises, seeing how heavy we could go and still do three repetitions of each exercise within a minute. I didn't do too badly, but I do feel a bit stiff today. Coupled with the sinus pain which has turned into a heavy cold and I'm not feeling top notch at the moment, which is a tad annoying. Still, now's very much the best time for me to be ill given the lack of social engagements and training I have on before Christmas. It'll be all hands to the pump as soon as I get back into town after being away at my parents from the end of this week.

Right, that's a bit of a better entry than yesterday. I should go and have a meeting and then eat my own weight in sweet and sour chicken and rice. Then some yoghurt, I think.

17/12/2012
[18/12/2012 - 18:10] Wait. What? Why didn't I do this yesterday? Hmmm, I can't even remember what I did yesterday and it's only a day later. Can't have been all that important, can it? Probably sent some emails. Did some other work stuff. Probably would have mentioned going to the boat house to do weights in the evening.

That about covers it.

14/12/2012
[17:55] Yay! Awesomeness is planned and in the works. But that's not for a while now so I'll talk about today's annoyingness with regard to the Dell server with multiple personality disorder. When I installed the OS initially it didn't seem to recognise that it had an eth0. So I went with using the other one of the onboard pair (eth1). I then installed some KVM guests on it on the same VLAN as their host. Eventually one of the guests had to go onto another VLAN, so I had to add another bridge and trunk the physical port at the switch end and add VLAN interfaces at the server end. Today some more RAM and a replacement RAID battery arrived, so I shut the box down and did the necessary with the hardware. On rebooting the box the network stuff didn't come up. To cut about an hour's worth of fiddling short, every time you reboot the hardware it thinks - alternately - that one of the onboard NICs is missing. If that's the one you've got plugged in and everything tied to you're out of luck if you want a network accessible box. Not to mention that because of the APC UPS software being brain dead you also won't get a console login either. The only solution is to boot into single user mode, find out which NIC it things it knows about this time, change all the ifcfg-* scripts bring up networking, check everything works and then init to runlevel 3. Not really the best way of doing things, but I don't intend to reboot this box all that often. Especially now.

At lunch time I went into town in the cold, driving rain, to do some very important research. Which didn't go as I'd planned but was more than adequate for my purposes. Oh, and another meat delivery arrived for me which I'll be packing away (after defrosting it all on my desk for the day) shortly and taking to a rowing friend's house where it will be pan fried and eaten with the rest of the guys who're going to be training as much as I will be in the coming season or two.

This weekend there's some excellent things going on. Primarily on Saturday when I'll be rowing in the morning (really looking forward to the 2x I'll be in for the second session) and doing fun things in the afternoon and evening (party in the evening). Sunday will be more rowing and food shopping and probably resting in the afternoon. Unless the weather's really good, in which case I may run. I think that's it otherwise.

13/12/2012
[17:45] Hurrah! Another day closer to the weekend. In fact, only one working day remains before this week is workingly over. Which is brilliant. Not only that but I may have tracked down something I was hoping to purchase (before the end of January, but still, it's good to be ahead of the game sometimes) that I've been looking for for a little while. I'm not entirely sure as it's not quite what I had in mind, but I think it may work very well. Oh, and there may be something excellent happening in mid January if I can keep certain plates spinning correctly until then (and after, at and past the end of January). There's a meeting tonight after circuits at the boat house about the upcoming series of races between now and March. Hopefully we'll be putting together some crews, or at least working out what people want to race, tonight. I'm not really all that keen on racing in "small boats" (anything smaller than a 4- or 4x), but apparently it'll be good for those of us training at this level. I remain slightly sceptical.

What else, what else...?

Oh yes, I went into town at lunch time to collect my mother's Christmas and birthday presents. As soon as my orders for my father come in that'll be everything done seeing as my parents bought my brother's present on my behalf a few days ago. Nice to have everything done some quickly and neatly and be able to get on with just looking forward to the lovely and fun things which'll be happening over the festive period.

Right, I think that's it. I did do work today, but frankly none of it was particularly interesting or noteworthy and mostly involved bash scripting and UPSes. Oh and some load balancer work and some KVM planning.

12/12/2012
[17:20] Last night's 5K test could have gone better. Not that I was too tired or anything, I think I could have just gone all out a bit more. As it was I was three seconds behind the person I was trying to beat, which was a bit galling, but my own fault for not giving it everything I had. I was also four seconds off my last time at this distance, so bothersome there too.

Today I've mainly been doing administravia and setting up a workstation for one of our new developers. Oh, and apparently getting a split lip due to the cold and slight underhydration. Not what I wanted before going out for dinner this evening. Such is life.

Some big emails I've been working on here at work got replies today. It looks like everything complicated I've been in the middle of should probably work out OK when the time comes, which is a great relief. I'm sure the issues I highlighted will raise their heads again, but otherwise I think all is well, at least for the next little while.

Anyway, today is "weight max" day at the boat house so I'm off to try not to snap myself in two before dinner with a friend. It should be interesting as I may get to talk about digital film projection all evening.

11/12/2012
[17:00] I think that my back is good enough for the upcoming 5K test this evening. Not that this means I'm looking forward to it at all. But it needs to be done. Last night's weights session didn't seem to have any effect on it, which was promising, but today it's... noticable. That's about the size of it.

I got in for 06:50 this morning to replace RAID batteries in two different servers, one each in each of the two server rooms. Both seem to have gone perfectly well, which is nice. That's allowed me to get on with an extremely complicated and entangled email thing, and hopefully get to the bottom of things in a way which doesn't jeopardise future events and activities. It's currently looking vaguely positive, but we'll see.

So yes, probably should have left early today given the time I got in, but instead I'm going at 17:00 as per usual (actually, usually I leave later). Maybe I'll go early tomorrow instead.

10/12/2012
[17:10] A whole weekend just went by. Did you miss it? I don't think I did as a lot went on. At the same time as not a lot at all. That probably doesn't make sense. Don't worry about it.

Saturday morning was rowing, obviously. This time in a double (two people, two blades each, sculling rather than rowing). I think it went pretty well, I have to say. Definitely something I'd do again. Possibly even in the bow seat and steering. Who knows. I still haven't broken my single scull (without a Wraptor on) cherry, but that'll come eventually. The second session was me bank partying someone in the final stages of recovering from a hernia operation, so mainly just jogging about 5K at an easy pace. The weather was really weird. Going from clear, to foggy, to overcast, to crystal clear over the course of about three hours. After that it was just a case of doing the usual Tesco shop and then blowing off the entire rest of the day to relax. I could have gone to a capsize drill at the local pool (but didn't need to as I did it last year), and a party only a five minute cycle ride away but really couldn't be bothered. Relaxation is king sometimes.

Sunday morning I should have been rowing, but a bit of lower back pain coupled with dodgy weather for getting in a pair (two people, one blade each, rowing) with someone who wasn't very experienced either put paid to that. Instead I was bank party for 10K of reasonably fast running for some other people who're much more experienced at pair rowing. The remainder of the day was spent either traveling to, seeing a friend in, or traveling back from Croydon. I know, not really the place you ever want to admit to going to, but when friends buy houses there you sort of have to roll with it. Plenty of cheese and bread eaten, among other things. So it wasn't totally terrible. I got back pretty late due to train woes here and there, but was still in bed to get a good night's sleep.

Most of today has been spent getting virtual machines on correct VLANs after having been steered wrongly by my team leader as to where they should have gone in the first place. Couple that with one of the servers I had to use being recalcitrant about one of its interfaces (two now required as the second of each virtual machine on each box needing another interface for a different VLAN), and in the end having to go all dot1Q on its ass and it was an interesting couple of hours. I didn't run at lunch time as I'm trying to keep my powder dry for tonight's weights and tomorrow's 5K test (which I think I'm ready for despite the stomach bug and back issues recently). Speaking of the former, time to go, I think!

07/12/2012
[17:30] Tcha! Another day of a grumbly stomach. Food seems to be staying down with no issues. I just seem to get some kind of indigestion afterwards for a while (especially when I head to bed) and then some stomach pain on and off throughout the day. Still, it's nothing debilitating, and it isn't stopping me from going for runs, and hopefully the rowing and other fun things I have planned for this weekend.

The day has been quiet, which is always good. Got my stuff done. Got my run done (just a gentle 6km/26minute trot), and about to go get my food on at a rowing meeting in a pub. As I said, the weekend will have rowing, probably some fun in a swimming pool doing capsize things, Tesco, travel, and other good and enjoyable stuff. Maybe even a bit of running, etc. to get the heart rate up. It's going to be cold and wet though (and possibly hot and wet, at least in the swimming pool) so I should pack appropriately for all excusions, I think. Sunday could be a late one so I hope I'm well-er by then at least.

Right, better head off to the pub for food and stuff. Have a good weekend!

06/12/2012
[18:15] Sorry about yesterday. Complete write off due to either food poisoning or some kind of bug which caused horrible stomach pains all of Tuesday night (zero sleep achieved) and most of Wednesday. In fact I had a few more pains and general discomfort last night, but far, far less unpleasant. I managed to eat something about 23 hours after I last ate on Tuesday evening, and had breakfast this morning no problem. I didn't actually throw up, so I'm minded to think it wasn't the winter vomiting bug or the norovirus, even though people say it still could have been/be. All I care about is getting well again for the weekend and the things I'm going to be doing then.

Got in this morning to a mass of emails and started to reply to them as quickly and as well as I could, but then had to head over to the other server room for about four hours while an electrician did complicated things to the building management system. It was freezing over there and eventually I lost the sensation in my toes, which was a bit annoying. I got back in time to have a late lunch and catch up on the last of the things which I should have dealt with yesterday. Also, the RAID battery I should have fitted yesterday arrived in the courier service today, so I'll fit that in a vulnerability period next Tuesday morning. We've also had another battery go, so I'll log that with Oracle tomorrow and get a replacement for that shipped as well.

No circuits for me tonight, so I should head home before the roads get too trecherous and try and feed myself healthy again. I knew I should have defrosted some more steaks this morning. Oh well, I'm sure I've got something else in the house that won't play merry hell with my digestive system. Probably.

04/12/2012
[17:45] Early morning to do firmware updates. Wouldn't you know it but this server didn't exhibit the same behaviour as its sister and didn't need me to be on site to frob it on console. In fact I could have done it all from home without even getting dressed. Still, such is life, and I felt I owed work a longer day for some of the time I've slacked off in the last few months for various (good) reasons anyway.

Mammoth email required writing today. I'm not entirely sure why my working days seem to consist of so much emailing these days, but it's not entirely a bad thing. If nothing else my typing speed has taken a bump up, which is good. For the most part I still only type with the first two fingers of my left hand and the first three on my right if I stop and concentrate. Oh, no, sometimes I use the third finger on my left too. Barely ever my little fingers though. And almost always my right thumb for the space bar. How odd.

Anyway, last night's weights session was pretty good, even if I was banned from really heavy weights until my back is completely happy again. Tonight's session is erging on sliders, which should be a whole lot more fun. If nothing else it'll get a bit of a sweat going, which is always good.

Tomorrow currently doesn't really have anything going for it to mark it out as anything other than the middle of the week. Except I may have to cycle all the way out of town (practically) to get a RAID battery which was delivered elsewhere rather than here. Unless the person in Goods In at the place it went to sticks it in the courier service we have. I'll email tomorrow and find out what the deal is. If the weather's OK it might be a nice way to fill up an hour or so in the morning. I'm a little worried about the roads at the moment though. They feel hellishly slippery under my wheels. It may be getting close to the time of year where I should think about changing from slicks to something with a bit more grip.

03/12/2012
[17:05] And now it's December. This year will soon be over, and with it a rather important chapter of my life will be consigned to "last year" or "a year ago", and then eventually "a few years ago". It still feels more important than that. And it is. But it's also something that shouldn't define me, except in what I should (have) learn(ed) from it. Life goes on. It's short. And if you try, it can be good. I need to keep trying.

I tried this weekend and nearly came a cropper. It was freezing cold on the Saturday morning as I headed to parkrun. The course director announced that the route was "lethal", and it was. A man two ahead of me slipped on some concrete on the far side of a bridge we were crossing and broke his arm. I slipped in exactly the same area and grazed my left knee and the inside of my left arm. By the time we came around for the second lap there were volunteers on the bridge requiring people to walk through the area before running again. A very good idea. Still, I got an OK time for the conditions, which was good.

After that I chatted with a few people, headed home, showered and then bank partied friends in a crew who were racing. That was rather fun and meant that I didn't just go home for the rest of the day. In fact, after having done that I was able to toddle off to Tesco and get that out of the way too. There were some Christmas things to eat and drink at the boat house, so I didn't leave until I'd partaken of those, as well as setting up shop (literally) for someone on the bar (rowing-related things) and manning that for a while before heading off. I'm afraid Saturday evening was mostly about keeping warm at home rather than going out and doing anything.

Sunday morning was wonderfully crisp and clear, and given I was still worried about putting my back into a rowing stroke I went for a gentle run instead. As is usual when I set out on a tempo run I don't seem to keep it as such and in the end did about 16km/10 miles in 1:10. Which isn't terrible. A tiny breakfast followed so that I'd still be hungry for meeting people at a pub at around 13:30. By the time I arrived there were only stools left, so my back ached by the end of the meal, and we were in the section where only certain food could be served. But all of that was OK as it was lovely to see people after a semi-self-inflicted period of lack of socialising. Hopefully this will be the start of seeing more of people again. After food and conversation I headed home rather than opting to see Skyfall again and settled in for the afternoon to do some housework, washing, washing up and then eventually collapse on the sofa for the last few hours of the day.

This morning I was up in good time to do morning exercises and then get to work. Plenty of small things to do today, including popping into town to re-reconnect the wireless bridge that it looks like the cleaners are being rather clumsy with. A 6km run at lunchtime to work out the kinks brought on by the long run yesterday and then an afternoon of mainly writing emails.

I'm off to the boat house for weights and stuff nowish, then it's an evening of this and that before bed. Tomorrow morning I'm in early for the last time this side of Christmas (yeah, fat chance) to do a firmware update and hope that it doesn't brick the box. Chances are good (that it won't).