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21/12/2016
[17:20] Well, it's my last working day before Christmas and I've just about managed to steer clear of anything that might be an issue that would need dealing with tomorrow. I've been for a reasonable run, charged everything that needed charging, downloaded everything I can think of to download, and cleared down my email as well as I can. I think it's time to go home, via Tesco, and wait for Rachel to arrive. Tomorrow we'll be doing fun pre-Christmas things together (including going for a run, I hope), and whatever else springs to mind. In the evening we'll be getting the same train to London, and then I'll be heading to my parents' for a few days. I'll be back home again in plenty of time for the new year's eve 10K, and working out where we'll be going for the celebration. Rachel'll be going to see her parents and then coming to see me for the new year. That's pretty much it, really. Have a very happy holiday season and I'll be back in the new year with lots of patching, Satellite work, and whatever else is foisted upon me. Also running. Lots of running.

20/12/2016
[17:15] Today I have mostly been getting up early, patching two servers for OS and firmware, their two KVM guests a piece, and having all of that done before 09:00. That was followed by a morning of doing things, a lunchtime of doing a 10K-ish run with 6 minutes of maximum sustainable effort in the middle of it, and an afternoon of catching up on my news feed (whilest doing work as it came in).

Now I'm off home, to enjoy a quiet evening and look forward to not having to get up early tomorrow morning. And also that Rachel's arriving tomorrow evening, and tomorrow's my last working day of 2016.

19/12/2016
[16:55] Well, here I am, back again. The Monday after the Windows course before. It was... another Windows course and it took up the whole week. It was interesting, sort of, here and there. I don't think I'll ever use most - if any - of it, but it's good to know that knowledge is now stored away in my brain in case I ever need to become a Windows administrator again (I hope not). On the Friday afternoon, as a treat to myself for finishing the course with my sanity intact, I managed to get a ticket for Rogue One at very short notice. I have to admit, it has been a while since a film has actually managed to leave me thoughtful (and in this case also sad) well after the lights came up. It's a good film (modulo some still-imperfect CGI of human faces) and I might even go and see it again. However, after it had finished I headed home to await Rachel's arrival. She'd had a horrible day of terrible trains and wasn't feeling 100% awesome on arrival. We slowly solved that with a quiet evening of sitting quietly and just being with each other. Unfortunately, my wisdom tooth socket had been playing up for a few days, so I spent a few hours calling, being disconnected from, and being called back repeated by NHS 111. The eventual upshot was having to call them again in the early hours of Saturday morning, and then spending about 45 minutes sitting in a waiting room rather than going to parkrun with Rachel. Still, what eventuated was that I got the socket repacked again, and I'm told that the healing is healing in the appropriate manner and I just need to be a patient patient. After that I cycled into town to meet Rachel, buying two small Christmas presents before meeting her, and then watching her try out new hockey sticks before choosing the one I'll be giving her for Christmas. Then it was time for brunch, a little bit more shopping, and then heading home before we got too sick of people being people in a small city centre before Christmas. We headed home and went for a nice 8.5K or so run and then got clean, into comfy clothes and settled in for the remainder of the day. Sunday morning we got up semi-early and ran a little more than a half marathon in an effort to discover if we were still capable of longish distances. It turns out we are, but my body's not all that happy about it at the moment. After getting cleaned up again we cycled out to meet on of Rachel's old school friends. She met us in one place, but then we had to cycle to the local train station to actually be picked up instead, so that our coming home would be easier afterwards. We drove out to the house and went for a nice long walk in the mud with two spaniel/gun dogs. Disappointingly, the borrowed wellies I had on gave me two heel blisters. I'm hoping they'll have healed sufficiently that they don't affect my running tomorrow. A late lunch followed, and then we were dropped off at the tiny, tiny little local station to make our way back. After getting back to where our bikes were we cycled home and collapsed onto the sofa for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Rachel made a delicious cottage pie for dinner and then it was the end of the weekend, disappointingly.

Rachel headed off to work this morning, and I dragged myself out of bed to come in to the office. Mostly today has been about catching up on the things I couldn't do in the corner of my screen whilest on the course last week, setting up for tomorrow morning's early morning patching, and having a desk meeting with the other person who's going to be administering Red Hat Satellite with me. I see from my clock that it's pretty much time to go home now, which is good. Only tomorrow and Wednesday to go and then I'm off work until 3 January, hurrah!

12/12/2016
[17:00] I wasn't even supposed to be in the office today, yet here I am. Still, it means you get a journal entry, I guess. The weekend wasn't a huge amount of fun for the most part. This was due to a definite confirmed "dry socket" where my wisdom tooth was removed. The meant that unless I took an Ibuprofen every five hours or so I'd end up with a deeply uncomfortable jaw. Obviously that meant that taking one at 22:00 on Friday night meant by 03:00 the following morning I was woken up with pain. I still managed to get through the night by taking a tablet and waiting the 30 minutes or so before it kicked in sufficiently to get back to sleep. As a result I wasn't feeling full of the joys of spring when parkrun time rolled around, so I went anyway and paced a friend to a reasonable time, rather than making myself feel even worse. When I got home I decided that it was time to use one of my free cinema tickets, so discovered there was a showing of Doctor Strange on 30 minutes from the time I checked, so headed out on the bike and had pretty much the whole cinema to myself, which was nice. Then I just went home, put on comfy clothes and hibernated indoors for the rest of the day. I ordered a pizza rather than cook myself, or go out in the terrible weather to the shops for something.

On Sunday morning, in the small hours, I seriously considered going to the hospital for some help for the pain in my jaw, but relented in the end. I did call a helpline soon after I got up, and get an emergency dental appointment for this morning, though. I made it to Tesco, and even got some lunch down before deciding that more running/raising my heart rate was probably a bad idea given my surgery. Rachel arrived in the evening after a horrible train journey, so we sat quietly for a while before we both felt a bit better about things. Cooking and eating together (delicious blue cheese mash!) also helped.

This morning Rachel didn't need to be up and out early, so we were able to get a more graceful start to the day. We then cycled most of the way to the train station before I peeled off to go back to the place I'd had my tooth out to get something oil-of-cloves-y wedged in my empty tooth socket and Rachel headed off to get a train to Oxford. As soon as I was done at the dental surgery I collected my antibiotics from a nearby Sainsbury's pharmacy and then headed in to my Windows 2012 R2 course, late. As luck would have it I hadn't really missed anything of note, and was caught up by lunch time. The instructor has a cold or flu or something (which I'm sure he's already infected me with), so the day ended a little earlier than it should have. This has given me time to come upstairs to my office, fix a QNAP, a firewall, and a load balancer issue, and also write this. However, it's 17:00 now, I and really want to go home.

09/12/2016
[17:10] A much better night's sleep last night. Not only that but I was able to have a sensible me-sized meal, too. Hopefully nothing ended up in any hard-to-reach part of my mouth. Regular swilling with salt water will hopefully help there. I did have to resort to an Ibuprofen today as the aching was getting a bit much. Hopefully that's just an artefact of healing, rather than any kind of incipient infection.

I was in early this morning for another round of patching, firmware updating, and rebooting. Luckily everything seemed to go well, including dealing with an errant lights-out-management card. So that was good. I've then spent the day dealing with a mass of small-but-essential things, negotiated some more patching dates, and even gone for a run a lunch time, although I forgot my data/charging cable, so can't upload it until I head home. Which, given I was in early, I should have done at least an hour ago.

This weekend Rachel will be arriving after having done all she needs to do in Croydon, and then we'll be having some quality time together, I hope. Before then I'll be doing parkrun, food shopping for things that are in the main not wheat-based, and hopefully getting some convalescing in, where at all possible.

Oh, I think next week I'm on a Windows course. So I might not be doing any journal entries. I just remembered. So yes, if there's nothing here next week, that's why. Have a good one.

08/12/2016
[16:55] By the time I got home last night I had really unpleasant stomach pain and bloating. Sitting at home I managed to eat an apple before feeling just too grim to try and attempt anything else. I ended up going to bed at around 21:40. Throughout the night I woke either covered in sweat, feeling like my stomach was about to pop, or both. Nothing seemed to help, and in the end I had to wrap myself in a toweling robe or soak through the bedding. By the time I got up at around 06:30 I was feeling a little better, but the emerging fact that the dental surgeon really did a number on the inside of my cheek next to the tooth extraction site, coupled with my fragile stomach meant that breakfast was just a small slice of toast and some orange juice. I made it to work in time to do the early morning patching, then settled in to see if I'd last the day, or want to go home again. It turned out I've lasted the day, and even managed to do some productive things like getting more machines scheduled for patching (tomorrow morning), rebooted a server to get its out-of-band management card working again, and... you know, I think that's it. Which isn't bad considering I was contemplating getting a taxi to seek medical consultation in the night. I'm really looking forward to being able to run, and eat normally again. Not to mention clean my teeth without worrying I'm going to be spitting blood. On the plus side, Rachel has been lovely, texting me throughout the day today, and being in contact last night to offer middle of the night support over the phone if I needed it.

07/12/2016
[17:30] On and off I've had a really sore stomach/trapped wind since Monday evening/Tuesday morning. I had initially put it down to back-of-the-mind worrying about the wisdom tooth extraction dental surgery that was due to happen on the Tuesday afternoon. However, it's still affecting me now, and appears to be getting somewhat worse, which is unpleasant.

Anyway, Rachel arrived on Monday night, which was cause for celebration, obviously. On Tuesday, while she worked I curled up on the sofa and tried to keep warm in the face of impending dental doom, and my stomach upset. Around lunch time, with Rachel out at a meeting in town, I cycled to the dental surgery and was just able to see her (she couldn't leave her meeting quickly enough to come with me) before I was confined to the chair for the operation. About forty-five minutes of cutting, drilling, yank, and what sounded distinctly like cracking, I was done. We cycled home gingerly, and I tried to get some food down. I don't seem to have had much of an appetite since Tuesday morning, and anything I do eat seems to set my stomach off again. Rachel looked after me handsomely for the remainder of the day and we curled up to rewatch some West Wing episodes before bed.

It wasn't until I looked in the mirror this morning that I noticed I'd drooled blood all over my face (and therefore my pillowcase) in the night. That wasn't helpful. Still, Rachel was there to help me change the bedding, because she's wonderful. I made it to work, where my new workstation was waiting for me. I've transplanted my newish SSD to it and everything is speeding along very nicely, thank you. Sadly, the M.2 NVMe drive it came with isn't recognised by my disk cloning software, so I can't move from the SSD to it just yet. Some investigation will be necessary on that score, I think.

I've just looked up the symptoms of IBS and I can clearly state that it's obviously that that I've got, due to the foolproof method of internet diagnosis. Just one more thing to pile on top of the swollen jaw and occasional blood I'm tasting in my mouth. I think it's time to leave work and complain to myself in the comfort of my own home before I arrive early tomorrow morning for patching and rebooting.

05/12/2016
[17:25] A busy day and a busy weekend! Saturday started with a jog to parkrun with Max, who's uninjured again. Disappointingly, he then proceeded to beat me by a good 36 seconds over the 5k course. We ran home again afterwards though, and he was pretty self-effacing about it all. Maybe I should start doing intervals again. Anyway, once home I got cleaned up, and then headed to the train station to travel to see Rachel in Croydon. I arrived a little while before her, but with her keys was able to settle in and catch up on a few things before she arrived. On Sunday morning we slept in and then went for a rather hard run to the pub we were going to be having a late lunch in with Fi. This meant that we therefore knew where we were going to be going. We then ran back, and added on a loop of the nearby(ish) park, which I wasn't entirely happy about given how tired I was feeling. Still, we got in close to ten miles of running, which is always a good feeling. Then there was time for a quick shower before jumping on bikes and heading back to the pub again. We had a nice few hours chatting to the variety of friends Fi seems to have, had a nice meal, and then made our excuses and cycled home again before it got too dark so as to have a bit of Sunday to ourselves, relaxing. Then suddenly it was this morning and I was getting up stupidly early to get trains home, and cycle to work. Today has been moderately useful, with me getting some work I was supposed to do tomorrow morning done (by accident) this morning instead. Then there was clearing up the issues that generated 26,300+ emails over the weekend, getting closer to scheduling patching and rebooting dates for a few dozen more servers, installing bits and bobs for database developers, and working out that there are some server things I'd still prefer to have someone watching me perform, just in case I bugger things up.

I'm off work tomorrow to have a wisdom tooth out (unless I'm not as it might turn out that they can't take it out under local and I need a general and proper surgery instead; they won't know until I'm in the chair, despite having X-rays). So I'll be back on Wednesday when I might have a new workstation to play with and transplant my new SSD into. Rachel also arrives this evening to keep me company at the dentist and afterwards tomorrow (she'll go back to work from mine on Wednesday morning), which is going to be a big help... although I might be more of a whinger if I've got someone to look after me. Maybe if I was single I'd be a bit more stoic...

02/12/2016
[17:45] Today should have ended a whole lot sooner, except that it didn't. This is because of a really annoying thing that happened with Red Hat Network and Red Hat Subscription Manager. I don't expect you to care about either of those things, but suffice it to say that expiring entitlements, a lack of access to repositories, broken functionality, lucky laziness with regard to deleting old install repositories, and a fairly useless Red Hat Support operative conspired to make the last five hours or so so full of typing that the ends of my fingers actually ache a bit from the amount of percussion they've been subjected to. And this is someone who types every day of his life. Anyway, I think I'm about five minutes away from having completed the migration of all 300+ servers I'm responsible for away from one thing and onto another... Where they'll remain only for a month or so before I move every single one of them again to the Red Hat Satellite installation I'm still in the process of waiting for a co-worker to come and help me install.

In the meantime I also got some other work done today. My very first P2V of a server. This is when you take a physical server with an operating system on the hard drive and convert it into a virtual machine (in our case sitting on shared storage on a SAN in a VMWare cluster). Other than that, no run today. Rachel arrived very late last night with her friend Janet. There was just time for me to say hello and welcome before I headed to bed. It was lovely to have Rachel there in the morning, and therefore very difficult to get out of bed and go to work. She'll be there this evening when I get home, having gone for a run whilest I'm typing this entry. She'll leave early tomorrow morning to go and run an Amnesty stall then play a game of hockey, and I'll arrive some time in the late afternoon for the night and Sunday's birthday celebrations for Fi. This means I'll be coming back to work from Croydon again on Monday. Third time in a row. Hopefully it'll be as straightforward as it has been the last two times. Then Tuesday is D-Day (dentist).

01/12/2016
[17:55] And so we hit December. This has been another one of those super-speedy years. I'm pretty sure (as I've said before) that time is accelerating as I get older. It's depressing, really. On the one hand it means that when Rachel's not where I am, it's less long before she is again, but on the other hand it means time together doesn't last as long either. And also that my dental surgery has advanced ever closer (next Tuesday).

Still, today has been reasonable for various reasons. I got a lot of useful work done, I got a good handle on the first ever P2V server migration I hope to be doing tomorrow morning, and I had a good run at lunch time. Not only that but Rachel will be arriving this evening (albeit with company for the night). Still, it's nice to do something nice for someone else now and then.

Tomorrow's Friday, I'm going to be doing something cool with technology that hopefully has zero impact if it goes wrong (we can restart the original server we're trying to convert to a virtual server if the virtual server doesn't do what it's supposed to), I won't be running at lunch time (rest day), and I'll be seeing Rachel again in the evening (she's showing our guest around town tomorrow, then seeing them off to the airport from the train station and then going for a sports massage). Anyway, I should be off to make sure the house is at least reasonably clean and tidy.