[17:35] Well, the 2K test wasn't as bad as I feared it would be to do... perhaps
because I didn't try as hard as perhaps I should have. In any event, I was fine
afterwards, but had a less than impressive (but only nine seconds off my PB)
time to show for it. As such I still had enough energy to do a reasonable
weights session afterwards. A sure sign that I could have gone harder. Next
time, when it means something a little more important. I tried to get a
reasonably early night, and was rewarded with not feeling too bad this morning
when I dragged myself out of bed for morning exercises. I could/should have
gone for a session at the boat house, but I figured less than 14 hours after a
2K and weights I should probably take it a smidgen easier. I've got an outing
Work today has actually been productive. I've managed to stop at least three
different servers complaining about issues they were having, and even a few
little problems that weren't immediately obvious have also potentially been
fixed too. Although most of them were on that server that I had to graft a new
/usr/bin onto so there's no guarantee there's not a lot more broken there,
I think I'm approaching readiness with regard to the applications the developer,
DBA, and I will be rolling out on Friday. There was a complicated issue with
URL paths and rewriting and Tomcat contexts and things this morning, but after
it confused my very knowledgable team leader for a while (too, thank goodness)
he managed to work out what was going on, and so now I know too. I can't claim
I know exactly what's going on, but I think I have a handle on things such that
I can at least work out what things to pull and prod if necessary. There are
still a few tiny things to do here and there, but I think otherwise I've got my
arms around the issue, as it were.
[17:00] I've got my postponed 2K erg test this evening, in about an hour. I'm
really not looking forward to it. It's going to be painful, and not
particularly good. However, I will endeavour to do my best. We'll see.
Over the weekend I had fewer outings than I expected (one, versus four). But
that was OK, especially as I got to have a 10K run on Sunday morning instead
(even if I got up early when I didn't have to). After the run I headed on down
to London and met Rachel for a relaxing time, which included a nice hotel visit
to use the pool and other facilities. I came back this morning and actually
didn't have a load of things exploding. My team leader also seemed to be in a
reasonable mood given all the things that'd gone on, and the mistakes I'd made.
I've actually also made some real progress on the thing which needs to be in
place for this coming Friday. I think I might have everything I can get ready
ready by the time the external developer arrives. Of course there'll aways be a
few things I haven't quite figured out, or have forgotten to do, but they should
be fixable fairly quickly I'd have thought given that I should be pretty au fait
with the whole setup by then, as well as having my team leader on hand in case I
don't know something. Anyway that's Friday, and I've got a shopping list of
things to do before then. I've written them down so I don't have to think about
them any more today. Chances are I won't have much brain left by the time I get
home this evening post-erg...
[17:55] And the short week from hell continues. This time (although the other
times have been too) down to mistakes on my part. A whole short cascade of
them, really. Perhaps it's karma (like my sunglasses and accidents in America)
due to choices I've made in the past. Who knows. To cut a long story short
though, I was patching against the recent bash vunlerability and managed to
completely hose the box running Oracle VM Manager due to just glazing over when
I should have been concentrating on what was right there in front of me on the
screen. Cue an entire lunchtime and chunk of the afternoon trying desperately
to salavage the OS and the application installation. Right now I have both
running again, but I really don't trust either of them as far as I can spit.
After last night's outing and the previous days of exercise I ached horribly
this morning. Hopefully the cycle and tonight's row will stretch me out a bit.
I've got rowing both mornings this weekend before I head down to London to see
Rachel. Then I won't be back until lunchtime on Monday (which is why I've
detailed today's excitement in an email to everyone else in the team so they
know the score). Hopefully I'll return to find everything's still at least not
fallen over, and I can get on with the work I should have been doing on Resin
for next Friday. After that (next Friday) I can think about the backup and
reinstall of the OS and the software stack on the ill-fated server.
For now though, I'm getting out of here before I do any more damage.
[17:35] Today has been a tough one. And it's not even over yet. Last night's
first weights session of the season was extremely tiring. I'm sure I came close
to straining my hamstrings at one point, but apparently didn't. However, I was
shattered by the time I got home. So obviously I stayed up until gone midnight
posting my photos online (see them
here if you want. Then I went to bed and managed to drag myself out of it
at 06:40 so as to get to the boat house and finish a single 6K UT2 erg by 07:30.
I know I used to be a whole lot fitter than I am right now as the single UT2
erg damn near killed me. Shower and a slow slow cycle to work followed. Over
a second breakfast of protein shake and a bacon baguette I managed to run the
wrong update on one of our system monitoring and control servers and had to
spend the remainder of the morning watching/helping my coworker fix the mess I'd
made. Thankfully it only seems to be one monitoring service which is unhappy,
and we seem to have 90% of it working again (well, 100%, but it keeps emailing
us errors). However, in the meantime I was presented with a sticky problem to
do with resin (ho ho), a Tomcat-alike servlet engine, which I have to have up
and running and configured for quite an important service by a week on Friday,
and my updated Firefox (31, RHEL6) suddenly deciding that my Oracle VM Manager's
SSL certificate (self-signed) was no longer valid. As this runs with WebLogic
underneath I was desperately not looking forward to getting stuck into that.
And indeed, it cost me the rest of the day trying to make it work with a proper,
signed certificate. Especially because of keystores, certificate formats, and
the chaining we have to do given the certificates we get. Suffice it to say I
think I now have it working, but I'm not totally convinced I know why. In any
event, I wrote everything that worked down and have put the text file in all the
obvious places people might look when wanting to do the same thing again in the
future. Chances are it'll probably be me, so that should be nice for me, at
And now it is well past when I wanted to leave. I'm rowing this evening, so as
long as I get to the boat house for about 18:00 I should be fine, but that means
I should probably go now. Friday tomorrow, thank goodness. For day two of a
three day week I already feel like I've run out of energy and enthusiasm.
[16:50] Well, I'm back. I didn't die, but I did have three car-related
incidents, one of which was an accident and probably my fault, another a close
call, and the last something a piece of something on the freeway at night that I
couldn't have avoided without causing an accident. Suffice it to say,
having a total damage waiver with no deductions was a very good idea. I'll
definitely be using the company I bought the rental through, and the rental
company itself. Thus far (and I don't expect any further contact with them)
I've had zero hassle. The trip otherwise was really good. I took a lot of
photos and, I think, used most of the time well to do lots of fun things
(touristing, cycle touring across the Golden Gate Bridge, road cycling, mountain
biking, trail running, beach running, seeing lots of cool things, and hanging
out with lots of friends new and even newer). I've still got to put the photos
up somewhere, I'll try and do that before the end of the week, also I may put up
a potted history of what went on most days whilest I was there, but it won't be
much more than an aide memoire for me, so you might want to gloss over it when I
do. I intended to do the same for my trip to Bhutan, but never got around to
it, so the same might happen this time. In any event, I had a great time, the
weather was amazing (hot even for LA; the locals were complaining), and I'm very
glad I went, even with the car issues.
Obviously, my first day back at work it absolutely bucketed down on the cycle
in, but since I've been here catching up on email and the like the weather has
been lovely. I think my feet are just about dry now that it's close to going
Monday evening and Tuesday morning Rachel came to welcome me back, which was
lovely of her. She even did some food shopping so we had something to eat.
Yesterday after she'd gone I did pop to Tesco and get some essentials for the
week, and also mowed the lawn, which was looking a little wild. I also probably
stayed up a little too late, and suffered for it this morning when I dragged
myself out to do morning exercises. I made it in the end, more as a punishment
for not doing my start of season 2K Test at the boat house, but instead going
for a nice 10.7K run. This means I still have the test to do on Monday evening,
when perhaps I'll be a little more awake, and have remembered how to row...
[16:45] Right, I'm done. That's it. I've made it through the week and today
intact. Now I get to go home and begin packing. I'm off for the next two and a
bit weeks. I'm heading to California to see people, do fun things, and very
carefully drive down the coast from San Francisco to LA, trying to look at the
scenery without going over the edge of the cliff. There'll be Alcatraz
visiting, touristic type stuff, lots of driving, trail running, sailing,
mountain biking, and probably a bit more driving down to San Diego and back
before I fly home from Los Angeles. Two people are very generously putting me
up/putting up with me in the two major cities I'll be staying in, which has made
accommodation planning so much easier. The driving I think will be OK given how
wide the roads are and the routes I'm taking for the most part. All that
remains is for me to get to the airports and back in both countries.
Nothing really has happened today work-wise. Silly to start anything the day
I'm about to leave. I did a gentle 6K run at lunch time, which was going to be
with other people until it turned out they'd be doing something more akin to a
slow jog as far as I was concerned. I think I've printed out all the maps and
directions I need, got a US sat. nav. from a friend, and washed all the clothes
I could possibly use.
I think that's it, basically. Have a good few weeks, and safe driving willing
I'll see you when I get back, with photos and a summary of what I did on my
[17:05] All in all a successful day today. After last night's rowing club squad
meeting and AGM (which I'll admit I ducked out of just before the end so I could
get home and have something to eat) I was up with the mist this morning to be in
work to reboot a server and drain its power such that a false positive voltage
warning would clear. Happily that went perfectly, so I was in my chair by
around 07:30, having been at the other server room just before 07:00. Then
there was a morning of catching up on emails, doing some logistics, and worrying
that I might not have done enough planning and preparation for my
soon-to-be-happening vacation. I think I'm going to be OK, but I should
probably do a bit of reading up on things to do where I'm going. Over lunch I
went into town with Cormac, originally to get some foreign money for the trip,
but in the end decided it would be a better exchange rate to get it out of an
ATM over there on the credit card and then immediately pay it off via internet
banking. I think that's going to work better.
Anyway, this afternoon I've been reinstalling a server as a newer version of
RHEL, and 64-bit rather than 32-bit. This'll be for our new DNS software, which
I'm sort of leading the project on somewhat, and should be happening at the tail
end of September-ish. Now that that's done and the server seems happy and stuff
I'm going to head off and do my 2x 8min AT ergs, sweat a lot, shower, then go
home and start putting things in piles.
[18:25] I'm not going to go into just how long I and an Oracle engineer spent
flashing and reflashing an x4140 ILOM (and BIOS) to try and get it to work.
Suffice it to say that it didn't. Even with the BIOS set to optimal defaults
and the HBA removed. Even when going through the unofficial (but suggested)
firmware upgrade sequence. The server's up and running, but it's not in any
particularly supported state. The ILOM updates fine, it seems to be the BIOS
that just doesn't want to. Anyway, that took up all of the morning and my lunch
time. So I went for a fast 8K run as soon as I got back. There was the usual
pain, but delayed about 500m into the run, sadly. After that went away I
decided to push a little harder to see if that kind of exertion would lead to it
coming back. Apparently it didn't. I'm still not as fast as I was over 15K
back in February, but I think I could get there again with a little more time.
Nothing much else has happened today. Other than compiling a few Apache modules
and getting ready for tomorrow morning's early start (reboot and "flea power"
drain of a server to clear a voltage warning) I've mainly been just keeping
things ticking over.
Last night was dinner club with Kate. We're both about to go our separate ways
for a few weeks, so it was nice to catch up beforehand. Tonight it's the boat
club's season start squad meeting, followed by the AGM. After that I'm going to
go home, put some washing on and eat everything in the house.
[16:45] A sort of satisfying, sort of not kind of day. Most of it has been
spent working with an engineer (on site) to get the server I changed the RAID
battery in working again. This seems to have necessitated a motherboard swap.
Which went perfectly well. Only then we made the mistake of trying to bring the
ILOM/BIOS up to date. Long-time readers of this journal will already be shaking
their heads and sighing. Yes, it went wrong. Only after he'd left for the day
(to come back with more information and another motherboard to replace the one
we'd apparently semi-bricked) was I able to flash downgrade the ILOM and get the
server working again. I have some more information now which we might try to
utilise tomorrow, or we might just keep it on the old, outdated ILOM/BIOS
revision and just let it go to its grave in the next few years. I guess we'll
Bits of me ache in a less-than-pleasant way today. I'm mildly concerned about
tomorrow's run at present. It's my usual injury site that's causing me some
consternation. Tonight's 2x 6K UT2 ergs should be fine though. Speaking of
exercise, I was pointed at tapiriik today,
which seems pretty awesome. I'm now almost fully synced across the three major
web sites I use for tracking my fitness, etc. Far nicer than having to upload
everything three times. There are some issues with the number of activities
I'm trying to get across from one site to another, but hopefully that'll
happen over time.
Did I mention I had a driving refresher lesson (and first time in an automatic)
last night? The weather was awful, but I had a perfectly fine time, did some
motorway driving as well as back roads, roundabouts, etc. Seems I'm a great
driver, who just needs to make sure he knows which lane to be in when entering
roundabouts. So, that bodes well for my vacation.
[16:30] And we're into September. I say it far too often these days, but the
year really is slipping by awfully quickly. Luckily I think I'm getting a fair
amount out of the time, as it goes. For example, this weekend I spent Saturday
running (pain free) with Rachel before sending her on her way to Tanzania for a
few weeks. Then heading to the boat house to just miss the end of the barbeque
(so instead working with Keith to decide what jobs needed doing on the Sunday
'boat house maintenance day'). The evening was mostly about trying to make up
for the previous week or two's bad nights of sleep. Sunday morning saw me still
not feeling totally like I'd had a great night's sleep. Still, I'd had enough
that I could get down to the boat house for around nine and then spend the whole
day until around six in the evening working on all kinds of things, and
directing people to do all kinds of things to make the boat house ready for the
new season. If nothing else we've certainly thrown away a considerable amount
of stuff we almost certainly didn't need. Sadly, I didn't manage to get someone
to weed around the outside of the building, but I can't have everything. I went
home quite tired at the end of the day.
This morning I was still feeling the effects of Saturday's run. That is to say
that I'd felt tension in my right hip and leg for the whole run (only 8K or so)
and was still noticing it somewhat, even when doing morning exercises. By the
time I got to lunchtime and the 6K of sprintervals I was going to force myself
to do my first 30 paces caused me to pull up short for a few moments to try and
banish the return of the old - very painful - glute/hamstring injury. I managed
to, but only completed an 8K steady run in a rather lacklustre time. At least
the pain didn't continue. I don't know why I was so tired, given I didn't do
any exercise yesterday. Maybe that was the problem!
Work-wise I headed over to the old server room this morning to swap four DIMMs
in one server, and a RAID card battery in another. Guess which one resulted in
a non-booting (not even POSTing) server? The former. Did you guess correctly?
I've no idea why, but not even the ILOM/SP fires up, which is a bit
disconcerting. So, I've got an engineer coming out tomorrow with a new
And now, it's time for me to go home and prepare myself for a driving refresher
lesson. I haven't driven in a few years (since I took a lesson to refresh
before the last time I was planning on going out of the country), and never an
automatic, so I figured it might be a good idea before I go on holiday.