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31/07/2012
[17:55] Oh, something I forgot to mention yesterday is that I got my travel insurance for the two trips I'm taking in the next few months. Surprising cheap given where I'm going, and what I'm doing. Still, apparently that's the way it goes.

Otherwise, phew! Today has been non-stop as far as work is concerned. Immediately that I got in I was patching a server. After that it was getting another box (a repurposed Dell server with Windows on it previously) to boot from USB stick and kickstart into Oracle Server. That took a bit of fiddling and I'm still not sure that the serial console stuff over the DRAC is working correctly. Once that was done I had to get Oracle VM Manager installed. Hoops jumped through I left it to its devices and cycled out to one of the outlying sites we have and helped terminate some fibre so that we could move a bothy (look it up) over from 100Mb copper to 1Gb fibre. As there was a problem with the bit of kit which terminated the fibres I took the opportunity to cycle another mile or so into the countryside to install a switch, a single mode SFP and a single mode fibre at a farm we provide networking to, too. Once the brand of SFP we need for the other end comes in we can get that switch connected and that site off the poxy ADSL/edge device hodge-podge they've had for I don't know how long and into at least the 20th century, if not the 21st. That'll mean at least two more trips out to that end of town in the next few days/weeks. When I got back here about ten minutes ago I started looking at the now-installed Oracle VM Manager... but frankly my brain is toast/mushy/toasted mush/mushy toast and I just want to leave here and go and do something physical instead.

That'll be an erg at the boathouse as I didn't get to run at lunch time and we had our first outing back in the 4+ in over a month last night. It wasn't awesome, probably due to lack of practice/laziness from being in an 8+ and it being a different boat to the one we were using beforehand. So anyway, an erg tonight, then I may watch some of the gymnastic highlights and think about when I might be able to even attempt to go through the box of Kris' stuff and make an inventory to send her. That and reply to at least a few of the emails in my inbox. And eat. And sleep.

Busy is great. I just wish it was a bit more on my terms.

30/07/2012
[17:20] Saturday morning was about getting up in time to get to Worsley Woods parkrun. Which I managed. Aside from the usual brilliant sunshine interspersed with torrential downpours the run went pretty well. Over two miles of straight line running helped counteract the muddy steps (actual steps!) and other uphill bits and meant I got a personal second best time of 18:55, which I'm quite pleased with considering how little running I've been doing recently. Back from that we did a quick Sainsbury's trip to collect some glasses on loan and then after watching some qualifying heats in the rowing we had lunch and then went to set up a church hall for some kind of function on Sunday. All that was left to do after that was go back to the house, pack and eventually leave for the station. The train journeys home were uneventful and it was so warm when I got off my last one that I walked the three miles home in the dark with my rucksack and the oil painting by my father of where I'm planning to go for my big trip in October. When I got home and unwrapped it all was well so it's now hanging in pride of place in the lounge/dining room and really helping the place feel a bit more… homely.

Sunday morning I couldn't help but get up early. I did try to relax for a bit but seeing the weather being amazing I just had to get out and go for a run. If nothing else than to wait for Tesco to open. In the end I couldn't help it and ran a half-marathon distance in a reasonably respectable time. It was that or… not do something active. Drank plenty and ate something as soon as I got home (running that kind of distance before breakfast does tend to lead to feeling quite hungry once you stop), then showered. As soon as I felt like I wasn't going to turn inside out I went to Tesco and filled up on essentials, like milk and bread, among other things. Mostly after that the day consisted of repairing a puncture, doing washing, and catching up on emails (non-work). The Olympics seems to be streaming quite nicely so I had that on in the background, which has been kind of nice. I'll admit, I haven't done anything with regard to sorting or repacking my things yet. Nor have I let Kris know what of her stuff came back. I fully intend to get around to that as soon as I have the time. I don't know what this week is going to bring outside of work hours (it's going to be manic inside of them) so we'll have to see how that goes.

Mostly today I've been trying very hard to catch up with everything that went on last week. I've got pages and pages of things to do and am going to need some guidance on what order to do it all in. Being a bit more monkey than organ grinder (although with my Networks team leader off I'm grinding somewhat as well at the moment) sometimes it's nice to just be told "this before that, these before those" and get on with it. That way when a deadline is missed it tends to be down to management rather than me as to why that was the case. Although I'm sure the blame can be passed down to me for not being quick enough at doing something.

So yes, all of today has been either preparing switches, digging out the right bits of networking equipment required, going to meetings, getting given lists of things to get done yesterday, if not last week, and configuring servers. I have to admit, I've got lots to do and it's not going to slow down for a while. This is... good, I think. It certainly means I don't have any time to do anything else, like think. But it also means I barely have time to breathe and sometimes may not, when I really want to, get to go for a run at lunch times. I guess taking today off was a good thing to do given the half-marathon distance I did yesterday and the rowing I'm doing this evening, but still, I miss it when I can't get out on the Path for a bit.

Rowing tonight though, in the 4+. I should head off as soon as I've got my ducks in a row for tomorrow morning. Not that they'll stay there overnight; I know something is going to come up which means things that I want to get done won't.

27/07/2012
Friday. What happened on Friday...? Well I didn't go for a run as planned. Given my brother was here I think we just lazed around the house for a bit until his ride to Wales arrived. After that I think it was just a walk around Sale Water Park to stay loose and then me going into town for the evening to see some friends (some of whom I haven't ever met in person before) at a pub for drinks and some food. That went well and I was able to get home in plenty of time to see the main part of the Olympic Opening Ceremony. My opinion? I liked it, although there were bits when I think it went speeches went on a little long, or the music wasn't right for the situation. Still, it all went off pretty much without a hitch, so that's was good. I didn't get to bed until gone midnight though.

26/07/2012
Thursday. Travelled to see my brother in Bradford. We ended up walking around Ogden Water (I think that's the name) and then onto the moors above it for a bit. Played with his cat (Dylan), looked at the current state of his house (coming on) and then drove back to Manchester. Weather was OK, although it did rain a bit in the evening. New hiking socks and liner socks seem to be doing pretty well. I may end up getting more.

25/07/2012
Wednesday I got up in time to do a quick 8 mile run along the Bridgewater Canal before breakfast,. Not my fastest run, but I think I'm still a bit tired from last week's exertions. After a shower and breakfast I headed into Manchester city centre on the tram, walked down Oxford Road and visited my old computer science department, visited my high school and then took the bus back into town again. After a wander through the shopping centre I bought some hiking socks, chatted with the person who sold them to me about one of my upcoming trips (which he'd just done himself, which was very useful) and then had lunch in a park. I spent a few hours browsing and reading in the Waterstones nearby and then took a tram back to my parents. While not as hot as London apparently is this week it's pretty warm up north so dinner was eaten outside in the garden. Lovely.

24/07/2012
Tuesday was spent relaxing and catching up with my parents before we drove out to Styal for a nice long hike through some of the countryside. Again, beautiful weather. We all got back to the car feeling a little hot and tired, so it was nice to get home, shower and relax for the rest of the evening. A proper holiday day.

23/07/2012
The Friday night of racing was brilliant. The boat behind pushed really hard again and again was unable to catch us. In fact, they pushed so hard they blew up and were caught by the crew behind them, which was great for us. My crew can honestly say that we were in the right place on the river. I'm pretty sure there were a number of other clubs who believed that the lack of "names" in our boat meant that we were going to lose most nights. It was great to prove everyone wrong. The party afterwards was fun, but I headed home at around midnight so I could get some sleep.

This was because on Saturday morning I wanted to do parkrun for the first time in weeks. I toddled along and put in a reasonable 19:30 time, which wasn't too bad for not having run in a while, being tired from rowing for two weeks constantly, the ground being wet and muddy, and wearing my heavier shoes. Hopefully I'll get back up to speed in a little while. After that I went home and then after some lunch cycled 20 miles or so on my good bike with Cormac to a barbecue. Food was consumed, sun was hidden from now and then and friends were talked to as company was enjoyed. Towards evening we both cycled back again.

Sunday morning was a nice long gentle 13km run by the river. It was great to get out again for an appreciable distance. My legs did ache somewhat by the end of it considering what I've been doing recently, but it was a good ache. Showered and cleaned I went down to the boat house and helped clean and tidy the place for a few hours before going over to Cormac and Steph's new place to help move a desk upstairs and generally hang out for a bit. In the evening a group of us went to see the new Batman film.

Monday was another beautiful day and as I wasn't due to leave for my parents' until the evening I spent the morning relaxing and packing before heading down to the boat house again (I know, I know) to take all of the recycling to the tip and then give a hand to the coaches taking some visiting American teenagers through how to row. It's an occasional thing over the next three weeks, so I only got to see them on day one. I got a lift to the station in the evening and took two trains north to Manchester, arriving just after midnight.

20/07/2012
[17:15] An extremely tough race last night. It's possible it might be the toughest of the whole week. We'll see what happens tonight. After tonight though it's party time and a week off from rowing entirely. In fact it'll be a week off from everything as I'll be going to see my family until the following Saturday on Monday. Before that I hope to run the parkrun here tomorrow and then a week on Saturday where my parents are. I can't imagine they'll be good performances given the amount of running I haven't been doing recently.

Work today has been centered around getting Oracle VM Server installed on two new machines. Aside from a few minor disk sizing-related issues it was pretty plain sailing, especially as I've done a lot with IBM servers now so I know what little foibles there are which need a bit of jiggling to work around. Hopefully while I'm away next week no-one will get on with the fun stuff and not leave me anything to do. I do know that there's a good chance there'll be masses of networking stuff for me to catch up on. I have to say I'm almost looking forward to it. Almost.

Anyway, when I get back it'll be very close to the end of the month and August will be upon us. I know that the first of the month is an important deadline for various Big Things. I hope that they happen as they should and afterwards everything that has been put on the backburner can be picked up again. All my hopes and best wishes go out to wherever they're needed or wanted, as always.

Right, I should head off, have some dinner and get to the boat house. There are blades which need adjusting. See you in a week.

19/07/2012
[17:15] Tough race last night. We very nearly lost. But in the end somehow we managed to hold things together. I think it's likely that unless we pull something extraordinary out of the bag tonight (or another crew makes a mistake) things aren't going to go well tonight. Still, I'll try my best, as always. More on how it went when I update tomorrow.

Today I was mostly out of the office. The morning was spent in town swapping out a switch and checking on network stuff for two moves which are due to take place at the end of the week (wait, that's tomorrow. How did Friday happen so quickly?) and next week while I'm away. That seemed to go pretty smoothly. Then I was back in the office to have lunch before heading back out to the place I was at yesterday afternoon to try again with more compatible fibres with their connectors switched around. This time everything worked perfectly and I was able to get out of there before the heavens opened and I got soaked on the cycle ride back. Since then I've basically been trying to catch up on email and try to get out of here for another early dinner.

Speaking of which, see you tomorrow.

18/07/2012
[17:10] Good solid row last night. Nothing spectacular to report. We didn't lose, we didn't win. At least we've avoided the whitewash that every crew fears. More racing tonight, another update tomorrow.

Mostly today has been a day of two halves. Like most days, really, when you think about it. But anyway, all morning was spent getting two big IBM boxes up and running in terms of having 3.176TB of RAID5 spinning and checked, their service processors accepting network connections and things like that. I'd have had a go at getting their operating systems on (whatever it is they're going to be, I have a lot of reading to do before that happens) but after 10 minutes to inhale my lunch I had to head out to a remote site for what I thought would be a complex but straightforward bit of network stuff. Four hours and a brief network outage later and it still wasn't done, and I had to revert almost all of the changes that I'd made so as to leave things in a working state when it became obvious I couldn't do anything more today. After a long discussion with my team leader and my line manager I have three possible solutions to try the next time I'm allowed some downtime. It's entirely possible that all three of them won't work, but I'm hopeful at least one will. We'll see.

Early dinner and then rowing.

17/07/2012
[17:10] Non-stop all day today. Sort of great, really. I've been doing useful things the whole time, too! First it was network configuration and RAID stuff, then emails, then a Nessus scan of ~140 Windows servers and preparing the report for viewing. That was all of the morning. Then I managed to find 5 minutes to scarf down lunch before heading over to a remote site to spend the afternoon tracing fibres and making sure I know where everything goes for tomorrow's lunchtime work. We're getting rid of a huge D-Link DMC chassis which is taking up loads of space in the rack we're about to slim down into two racks with less capacity. This means a lot of fibre/SFP/copper jiggery-pokery. It's all going to be a bit exciting. Cormac's agreed to come along and give me a hand though, so that should make things a bit faster (having hands at both ends of links which're going to be changed.

We had a short outing last night to prepare for Tuesday to Friday's races. It wasn't brilliant, but at least there's a good chance we won't all panic on the night(s). Some of the paint came off the blades, which was a bit annoying, but at least the water level appears to have dropped a bit. I'm racing tonight, so I should go home and have some dinner sharpish. More tomorrow.

16/07/2012
[13:50] So all of my things arrived on Friday, around midday. So many boxes. So many, many boxes. I drew a picture with those words as the caption once, when everything arrived in St. Louis and there were even more for Kris to deal with. That was in happier times, though. I held it together for pretty much the whole day while I went through them all and tried to find out where everything was. In the end though it all became a bit too much when I was surrounded by so many reminders of what was essentially my previous life. It was made somewhat harder by regularly finding a good few things of Kris' which appear to have come back by accident. I'll get in touch with her soon about what she wants to do about them. I do think that a good few of them she'll want/should have back, so I'll post them soon. By the end of the day, with stacks of things everywhere in every room in the house I crawled into bed, surrounded by piles of clothes and went to sleep.

I got out of the house as quickly as I could on Saturday morning and went down to the boat house for the outing. It went pretty well, especially with a coach on the bank. The river had come over the bank and onto the hardstanding by some distance, so getting the boat out and in again was interesting, but doable. After I got back I headed out to Tesco to get that out of the way and ended up spending quite a bit more than I usually do per week on food. I don't think it was on anything in particular. Maybe a few more easy-to-cook things for next week when I'm (hopefully, weather/river permitting) racing every evening. Anyway, that was that and the rest of the day was spent looking through more boxes, making a path in the downstairs room to get to the things I needed (like the sofa, table, computer/monitor, kitchen door) and moving other things upstairs to the second bedroom where I'll either unpack and use, discard, or repack for storage until I move into a bought house at some point in the long-term future (money allowing). Given my lack of shelves and things there's a good chance all of my books (which have come back rather than those I've accumulated since) will stay boxed for the forseeable future. I'm sure other things happened on Saturday, but I'm damned if I can remember what they were. Probably on Friday too, but that's pretty much a blur, too.

Sunday was a very productive day. We didn't have an outing, so I headed down to the boat house anyway and painted my crew's blades with our club colours. The main colour was already on, but this set of oars had never had the stripes put on. Now they have, and they look really quite spiffy. I used a tape measure and masking tape and everything. That took about five hours to do to my satisfaction, so I barely had time to cycle home and have some lunch before I had to get over to Lianne's to do an afternoon of gardening (part one of my repayment for her and her partner's help in moving house twice in fairly quick succession). Mostly the day consisted of using shears or loppers to bring a number of hedge-type plants back into line, or at least to a level where she can keep them in check herself. Three hours of aching hands, scratched arms and a sense of achievement later I headed home again for a shower so that I could get to the boat house to go out with the W4 (women's fourth boat) crew, Keith (their cox) and the other person I'd been sharing their coaching with for a pub dinner and then a viewing of True Blue on the flatscreen in the committee room. That finished rather late so I cycled back in the dark and fell into bed.

A lot of emails had amassed in my inbox while I was away on Friday, so dealing with them was the first order of the day this morning once I got to work. Next up was dealing with a huge swathe of VLAN changes for the switch I'm going to be putting in shortly so that the department who're moving from here to town get all of their connectivity. Still to do today is make sure a cross-charge PO for a wireless access point power brick comes in, collect said power brick from Central and get it installed elsewhere in town, work out when I'm going to swap the above switch over in town (a floor up from the wireless thing), unbox two servers and also work out what Oracle VM is all about. Then this evening, despite the rain which keeps happening, we'll be out in the boat again for the last time before the races start tomorrow. Hopefully no-one will damage the blades.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get everything I just mentioned done, today.

12/07/2012
[16:40] Our planet really is astonishingly beautiful. In fact that video along with the audio has made me go and purchase the audio track from Amazon for 79p, only I still had a bit of money left on my birthday gift certificate, so it was free. So, a second birthday present. I guess I'll always think of the person who gave it to me now when I hear the track. It's going to go on my running iPod (also a gift) and onto at least one erging CD which will live down at the boat house. I think it's an ideal first track out of the gate.

Today the weather has actually been lovely all day. I especially felt the need for a quick run at lunchtime despite the hard row last night and what is likely to be the same tonight. 4K+ in my FiveFingers and my calves are feeling achey, but OK. I'm definitely glad I'm limiting how far I run for the moment as it really is a whole new way of running and my calves really do need to learn what's happening and to deal with it. I definitely think that once they're up to the task at any distance, my running is really going to take off in a good way.

Work today has mainly been switch configuration and learning a lot about Cisco IOS with regard to VLAN trunking. It's a pleasure to be Doing Stuff again and to be the person with whom the buck stops (my networking team leader is off having hand surgery at the moment). It really makes you learn, rather than just foisting off on someone else (when there isn't someone else to do so to). Anyway, networking and updating packages, that's been my day. Now I'm off to the boat house again, with a book and Mars Bar to await another hard outing in the 8+.

I have the day off work tomorrow as all my worldly goods apparently are due to arrive back from their loop to St. Louis and back via the shipping lanes of the Atlantic Ocean. I'm trying not to wonder what's missing, broken or has otherwise accidentally not made it back (in one piece). All will be revealed tomorrow. Which is also when I should probably start having contents insurance, really. Over the weekend it turns out we're not rowing on Sunday, so I'll have to think of something to do to fill up the morning (and afternoon) as there's zero chance of me staying in bed. Yup, it'll be a run. Hope the weather's nice. Have a good weekend wherever you are and whatever you're doing. See you on Monday.

11/07/2012
[15:15] The outing last night was good, but hard work. I think we came on quite a long way though. Here's hoping that even with the crew change tonight (the whole set crew will be in place) we'll remember everything we were told yesterday. I set the smoke alarm off twice last night when doing my sausages (the first time I've had them since early January). I don't think the grill is as good as the salamander in my old house. Oh well.

Today's working day has been pretty dull, really. Although I have gained a lot of useful timetabling/scheduling information for when all the projects I'm going to be lead on are going to start needing some work. I'm actually really looking forward to having so much responsibility, even as I'm bricking myself slightly.

I'm off into town now, having caught someone up on my life since 1997 via email who I've not spoken to since then, to take a look at a network cabinet, check the switch type and swear very quietly if it's not the right kind. The issue mainly comes down to the fact that my team leader is off getting some surgery done on his hand and may not be back for quite some time, leaving me holding the bag on a good few things he perhaps didn't give me enough information about to deal with in his stead. Still, we'll see how things go.

10/07/2012
[17:10] There are some emails which you can stress and worry about for days. Eventually though it's just time to send them and hope for the best. I'm now in hoping for the best mode. For all my rereading it it's pretty much exactly what I wrote initially, just with a few typos fixed, so maybe I got it right first time. Or at least 'right' in that that's what I wanted to say, but perhaps not what I should have said. I don't know. Oh well.

Anyway, today has been more of the same old thing. Babysitting people at the other server room as they finish terminating the copper, installing packages on Solaris servers and filling out appraisal feedback. All the while watching the weather and hoping that the absolutely torrential downpour comes to an end before I get in a boat this evening. Right now everything looks good outside, but there is absolutely no guarantee that it'll stay like that. The weather is so changable these days, it's very odd. Not a proper summer at all. Or maybe it's a proper British summer. What else, what else? Ah, yes, I took a look at the appraisal form again and made a note of everything I'm supposed to be pushing. I've got them on an electronic post-it on my screen now so as and when I have the time I'll start on with those projects. They'll definitely give me something more to do during the working day.

So no running at lunch time today as I figured it might be an idea to keep my powder dry for this evening (and the next two evenings, although I may run tomorrow lunch time). I also really think I should go all the way home and get something to eat before the outing as I feel like I'm wasting away. So, with that in mind, have a good evening.

09/07/2012
[17:00] A packed, packed, packed weekend. Definitely close to the limit of what I can fit into two days and still feel like I'm having enough time to myself. Friday evening started off pretty well with a pizza and mozarella sticks (of which I had to obtain photographic evidence to show someone). I put on a film too and it was almost a perfect night in. The only thing missing was someone for company.

Saturday morning from 07:00 onwards was rowing. Lots of hard rowing in the 8+ with a coach on the bank who made some radical changes to the boat (including putting me back at bow again). That went on until 10:00 with heavy "pieces" up and down the river until we'd all blown up somewhat. Rather than have a useless outing in the 4+ we decided instead to simply row down to the club who were taking a trailer to Bedford and get it on. This was good as it meant that once that was done I could jog back to the club, get changed and get on to my next thing of the day which was seeing the new flats my one-time landlady Teresa has just completed the build of. Champagne and finger food while talking about grown-up things with grown-ups followed for about an hour and a half while we admired the really very nice two floor construction. If I had the money I'd have rented one of them in a heartbeat, but they're not going to be cheap at all. I had to leave them before I wanted to because a) I was pretty sure me eating all of the canapes would have been considered rude (I was famished post-rowing and the champagne was going to my dehydrated head) and, b) I had to meet my friend from Australia who was in town for the day for lunch. Despite the frequent and random torrential downpours we found each other, had a lovely lunch and caught up. Two hours later though she had to go and meet someone else and I had to get to my next thing. By 17:30 I was pretty tired and ready to drop, but my last social engagement of the day was still calling. A rower friend was having a barbeque, so I cycled over and spent five hours or so chatting with lovely people, eating lots of meat and trying to stay awake. When I'd been home for an hour or so in the afternoon I had seriously considered a nap, but the sofas just aren't as good as the one I used to have, so I just couldn't bring myself to do it. By 23:00 though I had to go home and get to bed.

Mostly that was because all of Sunday was spent in Bedford at the Bedford Sprint Regatta. 600m or so of short course, high rate rowing. We'd entered two different categories and had a maximum of four races over the course of the day (two semis and two finals). In the end we won one semi, lost another and then won the final associated with the semi we'd won. That was brilliant and meant that I finally broke my Novice duck. I now have 1 point and can no longer enter Novice category races. Which is good as I'd been entering IM2 races for over a year now. We had a great time, even if I felt the cox picked on me quite a lot over the course of the day. We got home in the early evening and waited for the trailer to come back so we could row the boat back to the boat house. Once that was done though it was gone 21:00 and all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. Definitely a good day though.

Mostly today I've been babysitting contractors putting network cabling into the anterooms of the new server room site, moving a server from one place to another (involved a taxi), starting running again in my FiveFingers shoes and finally drafting my important email. Oh, and it turns out my stuff is going to arrive in town on Friday, so I've booked that off to be in for the delivery guys. Once it's all in the house I have to start going through the boxes looking for things which shouldn't have been shipped back and those things which might not have come back which perhaps should have. Honestly, I'm not really looking forward to seeing my things again, and definitely not going through everything. I sort of do and don't feel up to erging this evening. I think I will, otherwise I'll just go home and potter around aimlessly.

06/07/2012
[16:45] So we raced in the 8+ last night. Quite a long one really, through the middle of town rather than out towards the lock. 2.2K or so, in our new crew configuration. I've been moved to the 3 seat, which I'm not particularly happy about, but after talking with the cox and stroke person understand that it's not about me, but someone else who we want to basically move out of the way to stop buggering up the boat. I miss sitting at bow. That's always been my home, but I guess now I'm able to put a bit more power down without causing the shell to skew around when we don't want it to turn. Not that I'm tall (I'm probably the second shortest in the boat), but I seem to be one of the strongest. Anyway, it turns out we came second in the race, and only six seconds behind the crew who are three above us in the division we'll be racing in for four days next week. This bodes well. Of course, the other boats below us then (who didn't row last night) may be faster than us so we'll have to watch out for them as they're currently unknown quantities.

I've spent the day either working on important bits and bobs, moving servers to other server rooms, attaching things to SANs, doing networking stuff, convincing other sysadmins to obey the UPS shutdown commands we're going to be sending to their servers and trying not to do anything which pisses my team leader off.

This weekend I've got rowing on Saturday morning, then derigging and putting the boat on a trailer, then hopefully seeing Teresa to celebrate the building of her first houses (champagne and canapes), then meeting a friend over from Australia for lunch, then going to Tesco, then a barbeque (even if it's raining) then getting home and going to bed on time as Sunday will be a full day of rowing races in Bedford. Phew! If all that comes off without a hitch I will be astonished. I definitely have to get to Tesco for food for the next week and meet my antipodean friend, and the rowing and derigging are essential immovables, so what might slip is the Teresa thing and getting to the barbeque as early as I would like. We'll see. Tonight is all about getting around to ordering that pizza (and taking photos of the whole process, don't ask) and watching a film while I try to relax. Oh, and doing some washing.

It turns out that including this evening there's only three days between now and the 21st when I won't be in a boat at least once that day. I know I've fairly thrown myself into exercise these last few months, but it really is paying dividends for my fitness... and my mental health. My own blood, sweat and - sometime in private - tears have been shed between the end of January and now. And there will be more to come. Because I have marathons and more still to run. I always enjoyed running, but there was something which made me happier. Now though it's running on the Path which is where I feel happiest given I've lost the other.

05/07/2012
[16:05] A morning of sorting things out and generally catching up on things. After last night's sculling test of some balance floats, then an outing in the 8+ (with a new rigger being attached beforehand) I was ready for a nice quiet morning, and I had one. So quiet in fact that I almost missed the meeting I was supposed to be in because I'd ended up starting to move a machine across to the other server room. That should happen tomorrow morning instead. This afternoon I had to cycle over to one of our island sites and move some switch ports over to another VLAN. Slightly more complicated than I was expecting what with people being in the rooms I needed to get access to and ports being in use when they shouldn't have been, but otherwise all went well and I got a bit of cycling done in the sun.

Still thinking about the email I want to write. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow once I've had a bit more time. Although speaking of time I need to get out of here and get my hair cut so I can get to the boat house for the race this evening. Afterwards I'm having pizza. Actual delivery pizza, for the first time this year (not quite, but close).

I'm really, really missing running at the moment. It's my cathartic, essential release and it keeps a lot of things at bay. If only for the hour or more that I'm out, on the Path.

04/07/2012
[13:20] Happy independence from the UK, USA. And no, the irony is not lost on me. Not at all. I hope you have a great day and you take it off from whatever it is you're working on at the moment. Just today, at least.

Today has mostly been about Nessus scans. In fact all about Nessus scans, really. They've given me lots of time to catch up on those emails I have the mental capacity to deal with today, which is good. This means I've got an afternoon to do the wireless installations I wanted to do yesterday (afternoon) and think about what I want to write in my other email.

There's an outing tonight. Given the weather I've got every type of clothing option given we've had every type of weather since I got up and came into work today. No run at lunchtime again in an effort to not overtrain and give my body a chance to recuperate a little. Although I did do morning exercises as usual. I think the rest is helping a little, even if I feel like I'm getting fat just sitting around on a lunchtime and in the evening rather than running or rowing or doing something active.

More tomorrow.

03/07/2012
[15:45] A full morning of bashing my head against the stupid server I've been trying to get to boot from USB stick. Almost a stand-up shouting match with my team leader, and an eventual discovery (by him, not me) as to why things weren't working. Not the best of mornings (or early afternoons) really. Still, a bit of time and a bit of distance and it looks like everything is finally working properly. I've even got the box up and running with an OS and all of the major parts of it monitored. This is something of an achievement and the reason I'm now going into town to sort out some wireless networking for someone else rather than risk doing anything else big today.

I got an important email today. It's one of those ones that makes you think a lot about things. I wouldn't call it positive. Nor is it at all negative. It is... what it is. And that's it. I'll reply to it in a few days. Once I've thought some more about it all. There's no rush. Not any more.

I had been hoping there wouldn't be an outing last night. But there was in the end. The rain pretty much stopped before we'd gone too far but I was pretty tired and I don't think at my best in the boat. Hopefully taking today off completely from exercise will help for tomorrow's outing and Thursday's race. Then it'll be an intensive course of resting again until the weekend when we're racing at Bedford on the Sunday. Anyway, I should go; things to do. You know how it is. Keep doing things, move forward, keep pedaling... or fail to stay upright. And I do so very much need to stay upright.

02/07/2012
[16:35] Mostly today I have been getting more and more annoyed with IBM hardware. It really shouldn't be this hard to boot a server from a USB stick with a kickstart setup on it. One, I hasten to add, which I've used in over forty other Dell and Sun/Oracle boxes without any issue. IBM, your servers may be all fast and stuff, but their BIOS/UEFI configuration leaves a hell of a lot to be desired. Not to mention your serial console redirection.

As a result of all the faff I've had today (and still haven't resolved) I don't really have time to tell you much about the weekend. Frankly there's nothing which happened which you haven't heard me talk about before on Mondays other than a street party on Saturday where a few of us spent the day sitting in the sun waiting to see if people would pay us to give advice (you had to be there) and me doing some rowing coaching. Otherwise there was rowing, running and food shopping.

I'm a bit tired today and not entirely sure I'm looking forward to this evening's outing (especially if the weather is as horrible as it is right now) so really I'd much prefer just to go home and curl up with a nice warm book for the evening. Especially seeing as tomorrow I'm going to have to start fighting with this IBM server again. It might not be quite so bad except that it takes a bloody age to boot every time I want to try getting it to work again after a change. Also not helping is that chunks of IBM's web site are 404ing too so I can't look up what some of the settings are supposed to be, and I just appear to have broken console redirection again. Joy. Basically, it's all a bit poo. I should go before I break something else.