[17:55] I got married around this time of year in 2010. It really doesn't feel
like something that happened to me. I mean, I remember it, and how wonderful
the day was, but there's pretty much no continuity of emotional life between
then and now. I had to take a moment this morning to remember which year it
actually happened in. 2010-2012 was all a bit of a blur in some ways. Still,
time has moved on, I've moved on, whether I chose to or not. I don't often
wonder what might have been, but I guess today I'm more than usually entitled
to do so. I can't really envisage what it would be like in St. Louis, MO. for
me at this point; how my marriage would be faring, my career, my social and
exercise life, and how I'd be different to the person I am today, here. It's
certainly nothing I should (or will) dwell on. That'd be pointless. Forward
is where I should be looking and aiming myself. I'll leave the past as
something to refer to, not live in.
Work happened today. Some really frustrating stuff with WebLogic and SHA-2
certificates, and some other stuff I can't be bothered to tell you about. I had
a great 10K run at lunch time where I tried very hard not to push, and came away
with a reasonable time despite that.
This weekend it's maintenance day at the boat house on Saturday, and then rowing
on Sunday. I hope the weather stays dry. Cold I can handle. Cold and wet is
just miserable. Happily Rachel will be arriving on Saturday evening, so that
should make the end of that day and the remainder of Sunday once we're back from
our morning things a lot more pleasant. Then it's Monday again, as usual.
[17:10] I think today was a good day. And that follows on from a moderately OK
last night when the outing (that was within minutes of being cancelled) turned
out to be reasonably good, despite the mix of abilities in the crew that went
out. Then I think I got a pretty fair night's sleep. This meant that this
morning's 30min AT erg, rather than being the poor effort I was assuming it
would be, turned out to be my season's best attempt, which was nice. Then I got
into work and managed to find the time to cycle into town and swap over six of
the remaining ten wireless access points before I had to head back to work
again. Hopefully someone else will do the last four, one of which I wasn't able
to find the first time around. I couldn't find one of the other six the first
time around either, and it took me a long time to track it down this time, but I
managed it. The afternoon has been somewhat less productive, but sometimes
after a good morning you need to rest on your laurels a little bit. I'm
absolutely not going to the boat house this evening and intend to sit on my sofa
all evening and do nothing at all. I think I've earned it, for today at least.
Tomorrow's a whole other day, and will involve a run at lunch time. It may also
involve stepladders, which would be annoying. Here's hoping it doesn't.
[17:20] Aside from arriving at work late this morning (not that it matters, I've
pulled enough lates over the last I don't know how long to easily balance that
out), today has been a fairly quiet day. I could have spent it cycling all over
town doing wireless access point swaps, but I decided not to, and got stuff done
here instead. That does mean there's only two days left to do the remaining ten
WAPs before our network brethren begin to get much more annoyed at us. I think
I'll aim to do a good few tomorrow and see what that leaves me with for Friday
such that I can still squeeze a run in at lunch time. Today's run felt... odd.
Heavy, I guess. Maybe it was something to do with the pace I was running at
(which didn't feel all that fast), or my pelvis positioning, or something else.
Whatever it was it felt heavy, trudgy, for want of a better word, and high
impact on my hips, or whatever it is just above my glutes on both sides. In any
event the poor weather made my GPS track almost worthless in terms of pace,
although I guess the time still stands given I know what the distance is to a
reasonable approximation. I'm up early tomorrow for the usual 30min AT erg, so
tonight should be a reasonably early one, commensurately. Before that there's
an outing with an extremely mix-ability crew in some rather cold and foggy
weather. Luckily it doesn't seem to be windy or raining at the moment, so the
only wet I'm likely to get is from whoever's in front of me in the boat taking
[17:25] I guess today was a success. Thinking about it I would say so. I got
up and made it to the boat house in freezing fog and did my three 6K UT2 ergs
without feeling too rough afterwards. And even did them with a negative split
over the course of the three. I came to work and did a morning of useful mini
tasks, had lunch, then went to the other server room and fixed a RAID array,
fixed a power issue, and confirmed that a certain course of action isn't going
to fix something else (thus making a support call critical path that much
shorter). And now I'm going to go home and shave as my facial hair has gone
past the point at which it's agreeable to those who have an interest in it. And
then watch something good on downloaded television whilest I wait for Rachel to
Tomorrow is a work day with a run in the middle of it. Also an outing in the
evening so I can't do a second weights session, for the fourth week in a row.
Also, did I mention that someone left the balcony doors and windows open at the
boat house over night, so there was ice on my erg and the temperature in the
training room was somewhere around freezing this morning?
[16:55] For various reasons I got to sleep in on Saturday morning, which was
nice. As a result I headed down to the boat house in good time to get most of
the cleaning my crew was supposed to do done before they got off the water from
their small boats session. Cleaning was finished and then we went out as two 4+
boats rather than an 8+. Don't ask me why. After getting home and having some
lunch I had just enough time to put a load of washing on and go to Tesco before
getting home, hanging the washing out, and then getting on a train to see
Rachel. Sunday it rained all day, so we decided not to do anything outdoors and
had a really lovely, lazy day indoors catching up a little more on Breaking Bad.
Naturally, for having had such a good weekend, I had to get two trains back to
work, came in to find someone (probably one of the cleaners) had taken my
earphones, we had two RAID sets with failed disks, a failed motherboard battery,
and a variety of other semi-major and minor issues. I think I've got pretty
much all of them under control now, and one of the RAID sets repaired. Tomorrow
there'll be more to do, but there won't be a nice 10K at lunch time to have to
fit in like I did today. Nothing special, just trying not to injury myself. I
think I feel a little heavier than normal at the moment, possibly as a result of
last weekend's half marathon, possibly also because of the amazing food Rachel
managed to get me to eat this weekend.
Anyway, now it's time for Monday evening weights before tomorrow morning's UT2
[17:45] Today was going really well until one of my servers announced it had a
power fault. Normally this can be solved by simply rebooting the out-of-band
management interface, but for some reason it was uncontactable. While I was
trying to make contact again I discovered at least four other servers which also
weren't responding on that interface. Having noted them down and gone for an 8K
run over lunch I returned to find that the server with the purported power issue
had in fact responded finally. So, as I usually do I rebooted the service
processor (not the OS). For the first time ever this actually caused the OS to
lock up (or the server hardware itself, I can't tell). Naturally this box was
hosting four Xen guests, which also died. Rebooting the box seemed to bring
everything back, but there was a lot of things to sweep up afterwards in terms
of bits of software, databases connections, etc. I also still have four servers
which can't be contacted out-of-band, but no-one seems to care about that on a
Friday afternoon. I also managed to get out in the morning to change over one
of the eleven old wireless access points which need replacing. Hopefully I can
get the other ten done early next week. Oh, and a hard drive in a server's
RAID1 array died overnight too, so I'll have that to replace on Monday as well.
Frankly at this point I'm glad it's time to go home for the weekend and forget
this place exists for 48+ hours. Over the weekend I will be rowing, running,
and possibly even having some time to myself to relax. I should be heading to
see Rachel at some point over the weekend, which'll mean I have a bit of a
journey on Monday morning. Given Rachel does that far more often when she
comes to see me I think I can deal with it for how rarely I do the same. Oh, I
don't think I mentioned; the run was pretty good. Nothing seems to ache more
than it did before I ran. Still, that half marathon's effects do seem to be
hanging around in terms of muscle soreness longer than I remember other runs of
that length doing so.
[17:35] The outing last night wasn't terrible. Neither was it totally amazing.
The crew mixture was both scratch and of varying ability. It was also dark.
And we had no coach. Frankly, in retrospect I'm amazed it went as well as it
did. Steak and beans with potato cakes for dinner helped me get over it all.
This morning was the 30min AT erg. It seems my body is still getting over the
half marathon as my distance wasn't all that good. I think I could have done
better if I'd pushed into the red a little more, but given how little else it
feels other people are doing (probably because we're just not training at the
same times, rather than them slacking off; I don't think they are) and the time
in the season it is I don't think it matters all that much that I'm mostly just
treading water rather than making amazing gains.
Work today has been pretty uninspiring. However, I have made up a good bit of
documentation and a plan of action for tomorrow's work. Hopefully the weather's
going to be dry and it's going to involve quite a bit of cycling around town
replacing old/out of date wireless access points. I'll see how many I can do in
the morning before getting back to work to go for my run. Then if necessary do
a few more in the afternoon and see if I can slope off work a little earlier
For now though it's home to try and reduce the pile of washing up I have so that
Rachel doesn't feel like she has to do it when she arrives later on this
evening. She's weird, and seems to actually enjoy it. What's more she's one of
the few people I've met who actually does wash up properly, rather than leaving
things still partially dirty.
[17:15] Let's see... today I mainly did lots of little things, went for a 6km
run which reminded me that my calves are still extremely tight and could do with
more stretching and rollering, and cycled between two servers rooms a few times
with SFPs and single-mode fibre cables. Other than that it was a pretty quiet
day, really. Some cleaning up of old servers, some configuration of new ones,
and some free food from the IT exhibition downstairs. That's about it, really.
I've got an outing tonight, and the usual 30 minute AT erg tomorrow morning
(which isn't going to be fun at all after the weekend). After that it's just
another day at the office (I hope) before Rachel arrives in the evening to make
[17:45] Things have been fairly positive today. Other than waking far too many
times in the early morning. I'm sure that's something I can address, just as
soon as I work out what it is that's causing it to happen. Anyway, after I
finally gave up and got up at the right time it was a case of getting down to
the boat house for the usual Tuesday morning 3x 6km UT2 ergs. These actually
went quite well, and were quite a pleasure to do as they really got the blood
flowing through my quads after the weekend's racing. I was a hot, sweaty mess
by the end of them, but that's what showers are for.
At work I spent the day fine-tuning the two servers full of disk which are going
to be hosting Moodle servers (KVM) and getting one of them transported over to
the server room so I could rack it up. This took far longer than it should have
done owing to the usually easy task of installing the Dell "rapid rails" being a
right faff due to too much paint on the rack. Cue five minutes with a
screwdriver scraping off enough so that various bits of the rack kit could bite
correctly. Once that was done everything went smoothly.
Right, I'm off home now via the boat house to collect my dirty kit from this
morning, then it's home for more food (I'm so hungry at the moment) and an
evening off. Tomorrow evening is an outing, so I should may hay while the moon
shines, as it were.
[18:00] A busy weekend at the end of it all. Saturday was all about rowing.
Two races before midday, although only 2.5K in length. I did one in a 4+ and
one in an 8+. Even though both crews were pretty much scratch, I had hoped that
the 4+ time we laid down would be a lot faster than it turned out to be. It
didn't feel like a bad row, but it was the slowest of our 4+ boats, I think, and
slower than a good few others. It didn't matter so much because it's not really
an important race, and because the 8+ won its category, so it was hip flasks all
round when we met up at a pub in the early evening to attend the prize-giving.
As I'm not big on pubs, and it was better that I not be there I went instead to
Tesco once I had my prize and met Rachel, which was a lot better for me. We
went home and had a delicious sausage and pasta bake before an early bed.
Early bed because we had to get to St. Neots in the morning and that meant a
very early rise to cycle to work to get a lift from one of my work colleagues.
We made it in time, collected numbers and at 10:00 the race went off. I'd like
to think I didn't go too fast at the beginning, but my lack of race fitness for
that distance really showed itself at around the 12km/8mile mark and my splits
worsened by about 10 second per km, which wasn't good. I managed to stagged
across the line a few seconds slower than last year's time, which was a few
seconds slower than the previous year's time. Doubly disappointing was that my
average heart rate was up on the previous two years, too. Despite my HM PB at
Cambridge this year it feels like I'm not getting any fitter. Rachel says it's
all about not being able to serve two masters (rowing and running), but at this
point in the season I don't feel like I'm doing right by either of them. The
poor showing in the 4+, and the blisters (two, right foot) and the adductor
pain (right leg again, of course) post-HM, coupled with the time I got, make me
feel a little like I'm not doing this training thing quite right. As soon as my
blisters are tolerable to run on I'm going to start doing longer runs where the
first 10km are slower than the second. I think that might help my body work out
what it is I want from it.
In other news, I got six KVM guests up and running today, and will probably be
installing one of the physical servers three of them live on in the server room
tomorrow... if I can get the server over there other than on the back of my
bike. For now though I'm off home for the evening to myself without any
exercise before I get an early night for tomorrow morning's 3x 6km UT2 ergs with
Max to try and get some of the stiffness out of my legs.
[17:00] I feel like I wasted most of my day going over old ground trying to get
the new servers I'm installing working over serial console redirect. As it was
I didn't hit upon the magic series of options until gone midday. After that it
was just a case of getting the partitioning right and I very quickly had two
identical servers built (they're called plato and aristotle). Disappointingly,
that ate up most of my day. Connectedly, given it was bucketing down as I
cycled in this morning and didn't really clear up until gone 14:00 I doubly
missed the opportunity to get a gentle run in today at lunch time. No great
loss as I think the rest today probably did me more good than doing some
exercise. Rachel, working from (my) home today also didn't go for a run, so I
feel a little better again about missing out. We've both got our own exercise
planned for tomorrow (hockey for her, two head course races for me (one in a 4+,
one in an 8+)) before the half marathon on Sunday morning. Did I mention that
my friend won't be doing it now due to a foot injury? Well, she won't be. That
just leaves me, Rachel, and at least four other people I know doing it (along
with, like, all the other hundreds of people who I don't know). I really hope
the weather is kind this weekend. Rowing and running in the rain (when it's
also cold) is not altogether pleasant. Right now though I'm off home to try and
keep quiet whilest Rachel has a Skype call with people in Africa, or the USA. I
forget which. See you Monday with tales of the weekend to tell. I don't
imagine I'll win anything or set any PBs, but it should hopefully be a lot of
[17:05] Last night's outing was cancelled at the eleventh hour, which I was only
890% disappointed about at the end of the day (literally). This meant I could
go home and do very little with my evening, which was lovely. It also meant I'd
had a complete rest day, which got me to thinking about doing a Thursday morning
erg after all. In the end Max convinced me that an AT erg wouldn't be to my
benefit, so we settled on a set of 40 min and 20 min UT2 ergs instead. This did
end up making me a smidgen late for work, but it was just what I needed to get
my exercise fix in without overdoing it.
Today was mainly about consolidating a few bits of work here and there and
getting the other new server I have to prepare up and running with regard to
virtual disk layout and the out-of-band management setup in place.
It turns out I will be racing twice in boats this Saturday (the day before my
half marathon), so I have to head down to the boat house this evening to take a
look at the 4+ I'll be in as it seems there's a fair amount wrong with it in
terms of damage and breakage. Tomorrow's Friday. Thank goodness.
[18:15] Today has turned out to be a rest day as a late outing cancellation came
through about an hour ago. I'm not even mad. I'm supposed to be tapering a bit
anyway for the races this weekend (although one of the rowing ones has been
cancelled too due to lack of competition), so I guess more rest is good. Given
a lack of outing tonight I might just do a 30min AT erg tomorrow morning after
Most of today was spent in an off site server room helping an engineer fix
various issues relating to CPU boards and DIMMs in a server. I think we got it,
in the end. It hasn't left much time for me to do start building the two new
servers I have. Hopefully I can get back on with that tomorrow. I've managed
to get one server prepared for being built (out of band communication and RAID
disc set up), but the other one's still factory fresh and in need of some
serious fettling. For now though, home time! And probably some leftover pizza
from last night!
[17:35] Weights last night went pretty well, even with what remains of my cold.
I discovered from talking with a few of the men's squad rowers that I'm
basically the only person following the official training plan at the moment.
Everyone else is pretty much doing their own thing. Not to say that what
they're doing isn't any better or worse, it just feels a bit devisive that we're
not all training together in the same way. I guess it doesn't really matter,
except when it comes to putting together crews for significant amounts of time.
As it was I finished my weights, went home, and got an early night for this
morning's early rise.
I made it to the boat house just in time to be able to squeeze in 3x 6K UT2 ergs
with a few minutes of break between each, and a shower and a cycle to work in
time to be at my desk before 09:00. The ergs felt good, and a nice recovery
exercise after yesterday's short, fastish run. I don't think I'll have time to
run tomorrow, but I've got an outing in the evening anyway so that should do as
a tapering exercise for this weekend's half marathon. The reason I can't run
tomorrow lunch time is that I have another engineer out to investigate some ECC
errors in another one of the servers which suffered from this weekend's power
issues. I had an engineer here this morning doing another motherboardectomy on
a server whose service processor had stopped working. We didn't even try to do
a BIOS/SP firmware upgrade. Life's just too short.
I'm about to head home via the boat house to collect some kit from this morning,
then it's an evening of relaxation and maybe even some television. I don't even
have to be up early tomorrow... unless I decide that that's when I'll squeeze in
my run... Hmmmm, there's a thought. Long and slow, or short and fast. Or not
at all. I'll see how I feel in the morning given I'm still not sleeping in
[17:10] Went to see friends on Friday. Had a great time. Got home at 01:00 and
slept fairly well. Did a good (but I think too short) run on Saturday morning,
feeling full of cold. Had brunch with Max and Stacey in town. Went to Tesco,
went to bed having felt like getting up early for rowing the next morning would
be a bad idea and having texted asking for a sub. Went to the boat house
Sunday morning and was told a sub had been found and that infecting people was
not a good idea. Went home, back to bed, read most of a book before getting up
again. Tried not to do anything too energetic, went to town to meet Rachel and
bought her some decent sun glasses before having lunch. Went home, did lots of
washing up and clothes washing. Relaxed for the rest of the day and had a
This morning was a little less lovely. I think my cold might be on the way
out... maybe, but even so I was pretty tired when I finally dragged myself out
of bed and to work. By lunchtime though I felt pretty great and even managed to
run a really fantastic 6K in cold, sunny, weather. It was one of those runs
when you feel like you could have gone so much further at what turned out to be
a pretty good speed (although I'm still not sure I can keep it up for a half
marathon distance right now). We also had a power cut over the weekend, so not
only had my workstation rebooted, but all the servers in one of our server rooms
had too (no thanks to the UPS). This caused some issues with a few servers (ECC
errors, blown service processors, unhappy PSUs) which means I've had to open a
few calls with Oracle which could take a few days to get resolved as they're
being a bit hard to convince that I know what I'm talking about. Anyway, time
to head off for some weights, and then home. Tomorrow morning is 3x 6K UT2
ergs, so it's going to be an early one.
[16:20] Last night's outing wasn't too bad all things considered. I did end up
with two proto-blisters (perils of only erging for the past few weeks, rather
than actually rowing), and we had to replace a lot of parts (seats, shoes)
which'd gone missing, and we found two bits of damage on what should have been a
practically completely refurbished boat when we got back. Otherwise the row
itself wasn't too bad. For a scratch crew it was fairly well set, although
sitting at seven I still wasn't immune to getting splashed a lot by the stroke
man (who should have known better). I then managed to get a reasonbly early
night's sleep, and slept perhaps a little better than I have been recently...
although I'm still waking moderately early/in the middle of the night for
reasons I can't seem to fathom at the moment, I don't think. It was nice not to
have to get up early this morning anyway. In fact I didn't actually get to work
until gone 09:00, which is incredibly rare for me. Not that it mattered. I
didn't run at lunchtime, which was probably best for me in terms of letting my
body recover, especially in light of what I hope will be a long run tomorrow
morning, and being out on the tiles (at least for a little while) tonight. I
don't think I'll get home/to bed much before 01:00. The weekend has a run on
Saturday, as I said, and two outings on Sunday. Rachel should arrive in good
time on Sunday for us to have some kind of pleasant afternoon and evening,
hopefully. Naturally, somewhere in there there'll be a Tesco trip and probably
something else active, probably on Saturday afternoon.
[17:25] The fireworks last night were pretty good. Some new ones I hadn't seem
before towards the end were quite spectacular. Given we hadn't eaten before we
left home to see them Rachel and I headed back shortly after they were done so
we wouldn't be too hungry. As I ate dinner I noticed that I'd begun to get a
sore throat. I think I'm coming down with a cold.
While still sore in the morning, it was more the general feeling of tiredness
this morning which put paid to any improvement to my 30min AT erg distance after
Rachel had left for work and I'd cycled to the boat house. Max was there to
pace me at UT2 level but that didn't help all that much. As is usually the way
with sore throats, it hasn't been too bad for most of the day, but now the end
of it is approaching things are starting to get a little more uncomfortable.
I'd really like to just be going home right now, but I have an outing in what is
going to be pretty chilly weather. I'm just glad that it doesn't appear to be
anything other than cold tonight, rather than windy and/or raining.
I got given two new servers to build today. After carting them upstairs they're
now sitting in the prep room ready for me to make a start on at some point. I'd
have done something today but they needed to come up to room temperature from
the moisture condensing temperature they were from sitting in Stores for the
last 24 hours or so.
Anyway, outing tonight, then home to eat lots, maybe have a hot drink and have a
moderately early night, hopefully uninterrupted by a runny nose and/or painful
swallowing. Tomorrow I may or may not run, depending, and then I've got a
social thing happening in the evening which will lead to me getting back to the
train station some time gone midnight on Saturday morning. Thank goodness I
don't have any rowing that day (although I may go running if I feel up to it).
[17:20] The outing was cut short last night as bits of the boat disintergrated
underneath two of the rowers. This allowed me to get home before Rachel in the
end as she missed two trains. We had delivery food and counted ourselves lucky
that we had the finances to be able to do that on a whim (when cooking at that
time of night just wasn't going to be any fun). Wonderful extra time in bed
this morning made me realise how much I'm going to dislike getting up early
tomorrow morning for a 30min AT erg that I'm fairly certain no-one else is going
to be there for. Still, it adds another line of data to my spreadsheet tab, so
I'm going to be pleased about that. Rachel came to work at lunch time today so
we could go for a run together. Rather than sprintervals we ended up doing a
fairly steady, fairly quick 8K instead. Just the usual aches and discomforts
for me, so I count it as a win.
I'm about to head off, get some food from Tesco to last me the rest of the week
and then head home. After that we'll go down to the boat house to watch the
fireworks, before going home for some dinner and getting warm. As for work
today... not much really, some fighting with online discussion forums so that I
can ask questions about APIs, but other than that just the usual daily sysadmin
[17:20] Happy November! I'm sure it will be, in places. It started off OK, at
least. I was in the North Yorks. Moors this weekend, celebrating my
grandmother's 100th birthday, seeing my parents, and meeting my brother's
newly-adopted and about-to-turn two years old son. That was interesting. I'm
desperately not small-child-friendly, so it was a bit of an effort. Apparently
though I did quite well out of the experience, so I'm sure Christmas is going to
be far less stressful that I initially thought. Anyway, aside from new
additions to the family I also got to meet much of the extended family that I
haven't seen or spoken to in over twenty years. That was mildly interesting
too. One or two were just as they'd been described to me, a few surprised me,
and a few remained as unknown to me as they'd always been. My grandmother had a
wonderful day though, so I'm told, so that's all that matters, really. I
arrived at my parents' on the Friday, very very late (cheap train tickets rule),
managed to squeeze in a fairly uncomfortable 17K run on the Saturday, then
headed to my brother's place on the Sunday. Monday was the actual party thing,
and then I was dropped off at the train station to make my own way home again.
Naturally one of my trains was delayed the crucial five minutes, so I had to
alter my journey, and got home a little later than planned.
That didn't stop me having my usual semi-interrupted night's sleep (although I
blame some of the weirder dreams and broken sleep on eating a pizza just minutes
before going to bed), or getting up to do my two UT2 ergs this morning. Work
followed and has been fairly uneventful, aside from discovering I'd made a few
omissions to last week's DNS software upgrade (happily fixed by others in the
team). Not as flawless a finished article as I'd been hoping for. Although at
least next time we'll have a list of things to check post-upgrade.
As the Fours Head took place this weekend I now get the chance to get back in a
boat, just as the weather turns a bit chilly. I should head off to that, if for
no other reason than I'll be early, so hopefully if everyone else is we can get
the outing done and I can get home to Rachel before it's too late in the
evening. Tomorrow's Wednesday, Rachel's working from (my) home, so we might
even be able to squeeze in a run together at some point, too!