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[16:50] Right, I'm off to run a marathon and then look at bits of New England and New York before coming home via Iceland. There'll be no journal entries before the beginning of May due to travel, and a Bank Holiday Monday. After that I'll be back and hopefully with some photos to show you and stories to tell. Potentially good ones, but we'll see.

Today I ran an almost-great 11km before work, spent a day writing handover emails, and had a meeting that I had to keep guiding back on track before it went on for far too long. Also, most of the stuff that has been planned off the back of the meeting should hopefully take place before I return anyway. That may mean any fallout from it I won't have to deal with either...

Everyone take care and I'll see you in a few weeks.

[17:00] A nice, relaxed run before work in the morning (no major niggles), a hot shower, plenty to eat once I got to work, and a day consisting only of standard, planned things, and a rant at my line manager about office moves. As days go, the second last one before I leave for two weeks was quite good. I know I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon, but as I'll then not have to deal with the fallout from it for a couple of weeks I can happily defer anything I don't like about it until I get back.

Last night's meal with Kate was nice. Although a bit too noisy in the restaurant, we still managed to catch up on everything that's been going on in our lives since the last meal, plus I got home nice and early owing to us starting early and both of us being lightweights in our advanced years.

Right now I'm going to pay in a birthday cheque, head home, do the washing up, and think about how I can eat a whole head of broccoli before I go away. Also begin packing planning and do the last bit of clothes washing if necessary. Oh, and my mother's ankle injury wasn't as serious/worrisome as I'd feared it might be, which is a great weight off my mind.

[18:10] As days go, this was a useful one on a few different levels. First of all we got Rachel off to work on time, and with the last of the stuff she had at my house that she wants to pack for Boston, etc. Secondly I got a nice run done at lunch time which doesn't seem to have done anything problematic niggle-wise (in fact it might have quietened down a few things a little, we'll see what happens when I stand up in a few minutes to go for dinner with Kate). And lastly, I've managed to find the time to reinstall another RHEL5 workstation (32-bit, no less) with a newer 64-bit RHEL7 install, which is always good. I have a handle on the whole tiger-vnc setup with systemctl now, too.

I'm trying very hard to start tying off and closing down anything that I've been working on, so that there's nothing to hand over or worry about whilest I'm away. Only two working days remain now before I head off for Boston and Iceland. For now though, I'm off, and will see you tomorrow, post morning run and a day's worth of work.

[16:50] I had an absolutely smashing weekend, thanks for asking! Saturday was awesome because I only needed to run 5K, which barely took any time at all. Then Rachel arrived, which was also brilliant, then lots of my friends turned up and we walked 4 miles or so to a pub along the river and had masses of great food, then walked home again. People hung out for a while, then headed off to a bar, with Rachel and I following along later after we'd had some decompression time to ourselves. The evening was spent with the same friends eating and drinking before everyone went their separate ways. Sunday was my birthday, so Rachel did wonderful things for me, including breakfast in bed and my getting to open my presents and cards there, too. She then sprang an amazing surprise by giving me a suggested schedule for the day which was filled with fantasticness. We got a rather fun 15.7K run out of the way first, as well as going to Tesco, then got on with the cool things. This meant lunch somewhere lovely, then cycling to a nearby hotel we really, really like, checking into our favourite (or at least my favourite) room, and then enjoying the facilities, having dinner in the restaurant, and then a fantastic night and a top-knotch morning and breakfast before she cycled to my place to work from home and I came into work (just about on time!).

Disappointingly, today's work included another new disk for the server with the weirdly problematic RAID1 setup. Another new disk in, no media errors reported, but then two back to back fscks show media errors. Fewer than on Friday, but still some. I've handed the server back to the user again and they've started up a few processes, but we're going to see how it behaves overnight before we close the case with the 3rd party coverage people. I'm off to a talk this evening with Rachel about training and coaching for endurance, before which we might do a quick 7-10K run as I didn't do one at lunch time due to bits of my left leg not quite being totally happy after yesterday's run. We'll see how things feel when I get home, but I might just leave it until tomorrow, or even Wednesday morning.

Tomorrow I'm in early to reboot a server, then there's at least one workstation to reprep from RHEL5 to RHEL7, and then I've dinner in the evening with Kate, postponed from last week.

Oh, and I'm 40 now.

[17:45] Busy day, spent the morning rebuilding a RAID array, twice. Filesystem and disk hardware still suspect. Am now late for my physio appointment. This weekend it's my birthday, so plenty of walking and pub on Saturday. Just Rachel and me on Sunday. Back to work on Monday. Will tell you all about it then. Have a good weekend. Mine should be rather nice, I hope. Also: running.

[17:35] One of the servers that was repaired yesterday seems to have fallen over again last night at around 19:30. Or at least it turned its root filesystem readonly again, which is the same thing. The engineer thinks that given we changed the RAID card, it's probably that one of the disks is playing up and even though it's not reporting that it's broken, it is, and this is causing the RAID card to throw a fit. Therefore they're sending out two new disks tomorrow which I'll have to fit one by one to see if we can get off them both and onto them, resyncing the RAID1 array each time. That's going to be a fun morning.

Otherwise, today has been one of those "fix all the small things, not get my teeth into anything proper" days. It started really well though, with an awesome 15km run, with a faster time and a lower average heart rate than yesterday morning's. I still didn't totally enjoy getting up at 05:20, but theoretically, given how short a distance I get to run next week, I could get away with doing all of my runs at lunchtimes, or even after work. I'll probably do the former though, so I keep my evenings free for relaxing.

So, with Thursday over, onwards to Friday.

[17:30] Eventually, everything seems to have worked out, today. It started fine with a good, workman-like, not too easy 15km run. Just a bit of rain, nothing too problematic. Then I got to work and had two hours or so to get caught up with things before two different engineers arrived to look at two different servers. I took them over to the other server room and they individually got to work. The guy working on the IBM server only had to replace a RAID daughterboard, although getting the server to boot cleanly afterwards took a few goes. We're not sure why. That server got handed back to the DBA responsible for firing up the services just before lunch. The other server, after having had its motherboard replaced, worked even less well than before the operation. So we called a break, got another motherboard sent out on 4-hour turnaround and went for our respective lunches. Once the second replacement motherboard arrived about three hours later we headed back over and got that one installed. After a little bit of faff, as well as discovering that the OS/new board had rearranged the order in which the NICs were labelled, we were good to go. Since then I've been back in the office catching up on everything that went on whilest I was standing in a server room making conversation.

I've got another run tomorrow morning of the same distance, and then I'm in work doing stuff again... Oh, did I mention that I had to cut up my debit card yesterday as the details of it were stolen off a web site I use to order outdoor clothing and stuff? It's cancelled, and all of the money that was taken via fraudulent purchases has been returned, but I don't have a way to get money out before Saturday when the new card is scheduled to arrive. Happily, the only thing I might buy before then is a pizza on Friday evening, and I can use PayPal for that. Also, I have some cash in my wallet, so I should be OK.

[18:00] Well, nothing else broke today, which has been a great relief. That's allowed me to get on with all the other small things I should have done yesterday, as well as today's stuff. I've got two different engineers arriving tomorrow morning at around 10:30, each of them for a different server. Hopefully neither of them will be too late, and neither of them will have any issues fixing the server they'll be here to deal with. Before that I have an early morning run of 15km, followed by a nice shower. Hopefully the weather will be kind.

On the cycle in this morning, which for once was quite late due to laziness, I passed the scene of a rather unpleasant road traffic accident. Happily, it doesn't seem like anyone was killed, but a car came off the road and hit a cyclist as well as some pedestrians. I'm sure there'll be more information forthcoming, but what I saw was a bike in the road, a car wrapped around a lamp post, and a rather frightening pool of blood on the road. I'm going to cycle home very carefully this evening. I was going to have dinner with Kate, but she's coming down with something and would prefer not to infect me this close to the marathon. Which is nice of her.

[18:15] A rather smashing weekend, I think. Whilest I detest 'the taper' something fierce, it does give me plenty of time to do other things. Like get to Tesco sooner on Saturday, and therefore be on trains to Rachel sooner. Not that it mattered quite that much as she, her newphew, and her brother and sister-in-law didn't get home for another 30-40 minutes after I arrived (my fault). I did make use of the time when I couldn't get in to do a bit of weeding in the front garden. We had a nice evening of chatting and eating before a fairly early bed (everyone was tired). Sunday morning Rachel did some make-up miles before I joined her for the last 22km or so. That was good, if a little tiring. By Sunday evening I'd had two calls from my co-worker, who was shutting down (on Saturday morning) and powering up (on Sunday evening) all the servers in a server room where power work was being done. I couldn't help in two of the three cases he called about, but I was able to do so in one, which made me feel a little better. Monday was the early start and two trains to work which I don't enjoy, but does mean Rachel and I get more time together. At work I started to pick up the pieces from what'd happened over the weekend. First up was a server which booted cleanly, but just didn't seem to be able to get a network connection. I spent the morning in the server room and came away feeling very much that it was a hardware, rather than software, issue. The company who made the hardware don't agree, so we're at a bit of an impasse on the support web site at the moment. I took a break to go for a quick 10K run over lunch, then was settling in to do some other stuff when one of our finance system servers' root filesystem went read-only. When I finally managed to reboot it it failed to boot for a good hour or so before suddenly managing to... very very slowly. Once it was up I had a look around and everything seemed OK, even though stuff was still treacle-slow. I've risked another reboot and it's now trapped in the same failing to see its RAID card (I think) loop. It may manage to boot again over night, but I've opened a support call with the 3rd part people who cover it now and suggested there might be a RAID hardware issue. We'll have to see how that goes, too. In the meantime I think I'm going to go home and have a very relaxing evening, I hope!

[16:35] A bit of a lazy start for me this morning. Coupled with doing a new set of exercises to hopefully stave off some incipient "runner's knee" issues, I didn't get into work much before 09:00. It didn't matter all that much as everything I was planning on doing today still got done, not to mention an extra RHEL5->RHEL7 reinstallation in light of Red Hat issuing their "12 months to go" notification for the end of life of RHEL5. I've only got about two-thirds of my entire server estate left to do. If for no other reason but this, my next year's worth of work is going to be pretty busy, given all of the services that're going to have to be migrated and upgraded.

So yes, I have, I think, runner's knee in my left leg. I've been putting off looking up what the symptoms might be, but broke last night as I waited for Rachel to arrive. As she said to me this morning over Skype, I need something to worry about in the last few weeks, let it be this rather than anything else. I emailed my physio to ask if she had any advice for me, but I haven't had a reply yet. I'm wondering if it's anything to do with me cutting back on the weight training for my quads/legs in general in the last few weeks. Who knows? Anyway, that's why I've added a new exercise or two to my morning and night time routines.

I'm heading off for the weekend shortly. One of my co-workers is in tomorrow morning and Sunday evening, sandwiching some power work going on at one of the server rooms. He'll be doing shutting down and powering up work on all of our servers there at those times. I've said I'll be available via telephone, but that's it. The reason being that after tomorrow's short, taper-mandated length run, I'll be going to Tesco, and then to see Rachel, and her brother, sister-in-law, and nephew from Saturday afternoon. The additional people will leave on Sunday morning, giving us time to do our longer run then (although I'll be doing less distance than Rachel, according to my taper programme). Then it'll be Monday morning and back in work again to pick up all the pieces from whatever goes wrong over the weekend. Have a good one!