[16:25] Nothing much happening today. Sadly, Rachel's somewhere between Entebbe
and Dubai at the moment so we can't really celebrate her birthday. But happy
birthday to her anyway. I'll see her on Saturday when she gets home though, and
hopefully we can have a nice remainder of the weekend and Monday off.
Ran in this morning, running home this evening via a weights session at the boat
house again. One downside to running in today is that I forgot I had a physio
session at lunch time and there was no way I could run to it (sweat, timing,
etc.) so I've had to rearrange it and leave myself electronic reminders not to
do the same thing again that day.
Work has mainly consisted of finding more of the issues with the new RHEL7
VMWare servers I built recently (postfix this time) and fixing them.
[17:30] For the first Wednesday morning since 2016/05/04 I didn't get up at the
crack of dawn and run 19K+. I have to admit, it weas quite nice. However, I
was still stiff as blazes after yesterday's three shorter run/jogs and a
strength and conditioning session with Max. We'll be doing the same tomorrow,
so we'll see how that goes. I ran back to the boat house last night with his
pack so he could try mine and got a graze/rub on my collarbone for my trouble.
I don't think it'll get in the way of anything, but it's still a little
Workwise nothing really happened today that it's worth telling you about.
Hopefully something more interesting will happen here tomorrow. For now I'm off
home while there's a break in the rain.
[15:45] A fairly poor night's sleep. Probably due to me not closing the
curtains, or perhaps too much of Rachel's amazing cheesecake before bed (I still
have a remaining portion for tonight). In any event, as it was only a 06:50
wake-up time I wasn't too groggy. After a quick porridge breakfast I headed
over to Max and Stacey's to run (jog really) to work. That was nice, and the
weather was good. I'm not sure it's going to be good for the run back to the
boat house this evening for strength and conditioning training. Otherwise today
I've simply been finishing off the servers I built in a bit of a rush yesterday,
dealing with some annoying WinSCP/sftp-server interactions, and emailing lots of
developers, etc. about their servers to ask why they're in such a state.
Off for another jog now, then weights, then home. And I may not even run
tomorrow at all! Madness. Still, it makes me feel closer to Rachel, who has
been sitting in a car all day driving from Kenya to Uganda, and hasn't exercised
since last week.
[17:40] At my parents' for the weekend. Friday was two trains and a lot of
reading. Saturday was setting up, hosting people, saying hello to relatives,
and looking after my newphew a bit. Sunday was sleeping in, doing computer
maintenance for my mother, and then two trains home again. It's surprising how
much that kind of thing can tire you out. Or maybe it was just that my body has
had time to go in to proper recovery mode and is taking out the last few months
of training on me. I'll see to that tomorrow with some light jogging with Max
before and after work, and then another strength and conditioning session
(hopefully they'll start happening twice a week now).
At work today I tried out my setup script for three new VMs and discovered why
things like that need a few iterations of testing. As it is I think I now have
another three servers ready to go, and the scripts have been refined a little
bit more so there are even fewer warnings and things that go on. So on that
note I'm going to go home and watch the last Game of Thrones before an early
night for a semi-early jog tomorrow.
[16:00] Had a humid and sweaty set of train rides down to Croydon to see Rachel.
Although with the trains being the mess they were we actually met on the
platform of London Blackfriars, which enabled me to sardine myself next to her
for thirty minutes of catch-up before we got home. Whilest I got myself clean
and desweated, Rachel went out to vote in the referendum. Then there was
dinner, some Person of Interest, and bed. We were both pretty tired from the
day, so slept quite deeply/well. However, when we woke up it was to the bad
news that the UK had voted to leave the EU. The less said about that the
better. We got our respective trains home or to Heathrow (Rachel's in Africa
again by now) and I cycled to work and had my last day of Windows 2012 Server
training (for now). A moderately interesting day, but one I'm very glad is over
so I can go home, pack, and get trains to my parents. There's a celebration
this weekend, so I'll be there, not running, and trying to not itch too much in
long trousers and a proper shirt. Back on Sunday afternoon in time for Tesco
and a bit of downtime before the week starts all over again.
Ironically, for the doom that happened in the early hours of the morning here in
the UK, the weather was rather bright and cheerful.
[16:10] Another constructive day of learning lots of stuff I'm probably never
going to need, but it still being quite interesting. Also: the most I've ever
learned about IPv6. Definitely very very interesting, but also something I'm
going to have to review a few times before it all sinks in. There's a lot more
to it than IPv4.
Anyway, that's it for today. I'm off to Rachel's this evening, so I need to get
down to the station and on a train. Hopefully the trains will be running well
tonight and tomorrow morning so I can get back to work in time for the beginning
of the course's final day.
Oh, and I ran this morning. I was hoping to do a nice 21.1K run, but chickened
out at 18K as I felt absolutely shattered by 1K in, but somehow managed to keep
going at an acceptable pace. Happily, in solidarity with Rachel (who's going
away to Africa again for a week or so), I won't be running again until at least
Tuesday next week, and then probably only once or twice before the
following week. This will hopefully give my body a bit of time to
recover and repair. Although I may be doing weights and core with Max, and
potentially doing some short, twice-a-day runs with him. Anyway, off now. Back
[16:15] No pub last night, but Rachel and cheesecake, so that was OK. Also did
my first proper core/weights session in a long time with Max, which left me
tired. Earlyish night, then realising that I was more than tired, I was sore
and aching, which made a fastish 10K in the morning (Rachel did sprintervals)
quite a challenge. Then in to work to try to stay awake through a morning of
TCP/IP, CIDR, and DNS. Thus far on this Windows 2012 Server course I've yet to
learn anything that I didn't learn a long time ago in a Windows 2000 Server
course way back in the early 2000s. Hopefully if I get to go on the other two
courses I'll get something new to remember. Thus far though all I'm doing is
reactivating very old memories.
Home now, an attempt at a longer (slower) run tomorrow morning, and then I'm on
day four of the course before heading off to see Rachel.
[15:35] Today, the Windows course supervisor accused me of "typing like a linux
user" because I type "so quickly". I told him it was to stop my hands from
cramping from using the mouse to do so much GUI work (the Microsoft Way(TM)).
I'm also done for the day course-wise as I finished my lab exercises nice and
quickly. As a result I'm off to do a watt bike session at the boat house before
Max (and Stacey) arrive to do a weight session. Then we're all off to a local
pub for food and to hope that Rachel arrives before too long from London to eat
with us. After that we'll head back to my house for home made (Rachel made)
chocolate cheesecake and entering the Vanguard Way Marathon. I think that's
about it. Oh, other than me running a 10K this morning before breakfast which
wasn't quite as fast as I would have liked, but much faster than I've been doing
longer runs recently.
[16:10] Pretty excellent weekend (other than amount of sleep) in passing. I did
a solid (if dull) long run on Saturday, then headed out for "afternoon tea" with
lots of cake in the afternoon. Rachel arrived very very late on Saturday
evening, bless her. Neither of us got a particularly good night's sleep.
Sunday was therefore a moderately late start. We got another solid (but
shorter) run done in the late morning, then I was taken out for lunch before we
went to do the Tesco thing. After that we retired to the sofa to start watching
the final season of Person of Interest. That's probably about it, for things of
All this week I'm on a training course, hosted in my building. Therefore there
won't be much to my entries this week other than saying I was on the course, and
perhaps what I did outside of work. For example, I'm off to the boat house now
to do some light weights and core stuff, then I'll be going home. So there.
[16:45] Ah, the sheer joy of not getting up early on a weekday morning, and
especially a Friday. Rachel didn't have to get an early train, so we didn't get
out of bed much before 08:00, which was fab.
Then at work I made some more progress in getting another training course
approved. Hopefully this'll happen before the course fills up. Otherwise I've
been fixing small things, reading lots of documentation about Redhat Satellite
6, and making sure the second last of Rachel's birthday presents to arrive is in
good order. I should start wrapping things at some point.
This weekend I'll probably run long tomorrow, although I am still very tired.
Then tomorrow afternoon there's an afternoon tea thing going on as a
housewarming for some friends. Sunday will probably be when Rachel arrives from
seeing other friends (unless she comes on Saturday evening, which I don't think
she'll do as she has lots to take care of at home). We'll probably do a shorter
(but still quite long) run, Tesco (unless I do that on Saturday) and then end
the second last season of Person of Interest and finally start on the new one.
Then it'll be Monday, and I'll be on a training course every day next week.
Probably some time for a journal entry after it finishes, but there won't be
much to tell you.
[17:20] I just got an email offering me cheap entry into the 2017 Manchester
Marathon to make up for the fact that the course I ran in 2015 was short by
385m. They say that if you didn't run the racing line you probably ran the full
marathon distance anyway, but I think that's probably bollocks. Either way, I'm
not taking them up on the offer as I'm doing the London Marathon next year.
Although after this morning's run (another half marathon distance to match
yesterday morning's) I'm not sure I could manage it. I'm really quite tired,
and very much looking forward to doing very little (read: no) exercise tomorrow.
In work news I've done some serious work in getting things working on the RHEL7
servers I was required to build without us doing much testing beforehand. All
kinds of annoying and finicky things have been identified and fixed. I've even
got a license server thing working when beforehand it wasn't being started
because the installer was brain-dead and assumed that a way of working on RHEL5
would work on RHEL6 and 7. It doesn't. This caused me to learn a bit more
about systemd and unit files, which was good. Now I have something scriptable,
which is nice.
I'm heading off shortly, hopefully not to get rained on, to Tesco to get food
for this evening's dinner with Rachel (whenever she's able to arrive). Then
we'll get a moderately early night and won't have to get up very early at all
tomorrow (although in time for her to get a train and me to get to work before
it's too far past 09:00).
[17:05] I got an early enough bed time last night that getting up this morning
wasn't too much of a trial. The run wasn't too bad either, even if I felt
pretty shattered afterwards. If I can manage the same distance tomorrow I won't
care if it's slower. It'd be nice to be within about 30 seconds of it, though,
so that I'm on 1h40m or just under. Anyway, at work today there was even more
iterative fixing of stuff on the new servers running newer technology than I've
been able to test before it being used live. A lot of interesting things have
been coming out of the woodwork, but I think thus far I've been able to deal
with every one of them. I also 'finished' the storage tender evaluations I was
asked to do. I'm not entirely sure how good a job I've done, nor am I going to
be able to defend my scoring/thoughts at the meeting next Monday as I'll be on a
training course. So, I might have damaged my reputation with some higher-ups by
dint of giving them gibberish to work with. We'll have to see. For now though
I'm just going to be pleased that I've done a reasonable day's work, and head
home. Another early morning tomorrow, then a day of work, then Rachel in the
evening. If the weather stays good and I have a good run tomorrow has the
potential to be a pretty good day. We'll see...
[17:30] Various things annoyed me today. Mostly it was to do with install
scripts belonging to a huge software company we're heavily invested in using.
It did require me to do some new stuff and learn some cool things, but I could
have done without doing so, to tell you the truth. It meant I missed a meeting
I probably should have attended. I've had a day of incrementally fixing twelve
virtual machines so stuff can be installed on them. It's all for a good cause
and means we can slowly get rid of actual hardware (old, running an old version
of RHEL), but it's slow going when we're moving to new technologies I haven't
been given time to check out all that much.
Rachel had to leave early this morning to get back to London for a meeting, so I
took the opportunity to do an early morning run to make up for the fact that I
didn't run last night with her. I just couldn't face doing sprintervals, not to
mention being roundly beaten by her when we did them together. She's just
better at long distance sprinting than I am.
Anyway, that's that. Home and plenty of washing up to keep me occupied, and
then the first of my very early morning runs tomorrow.
[17:20] A strong weeekend, running-wise. I ran from my city to another on
Saturday, via the river. This required me to slog through some extremely
overgrown paths which left my legs covered in scratches and my arms covered in
grass seeds. On the plus side, I managed 20 miles without dying too hard, and
my new ultra vest performed admirably. I took the train home rather than run 40
miles. Sunday morning I ran a much more sensible 13km or so on the towpath
instead. After the day before's run my legs weren't entirely happy with the
effort, but they got me out and home again. Then all I had to do was three
loads of washing, the washing up, and a Tesco trip. After all that I still had
time to clean and tidy the house a tiny bit and sit down to watch something
before Rachel arrived. Then the weekend was over. Blink and you'll miss it.
I wasn't entirely looking forward to today. Many many things were pending, and
I wasn't sure where to start. However, after a slightly lazy morning I got in
and just started at the beginning. I've been doing stuff basically for the
whole day and have actually achieved quite a lot, considering. I'm about to
head home where Rachel will either make us go out to do hill sprints, or won't,
and we can have a relaxing evening. I imagine it's going to be the former, even
if it's start raining again. I think that's probably everything. Oh, and I got
quite tanned/burned on Saturday. Serves me right for not wearing sun cream. I
just wish I didn't have quite so silly tan lines now. They're even worse than
when I was rowing.
[18:00] The reason I'm here so late today is not just that I got into work late
this morning because I was looking at ultra vests and trying to work out which
one I was going to keep, but also because I've just taken ownership of what's
going to be a massive amount on infrastructure work and the learning 'curve'
(read: cliff) is vertical. I've already asked if I can go on a training course
for what it is in August in the hopes that that'll mean I do a reasonable job of
setting up what I need to set up, but we'll have to see. In the meantime I've
finally got VMWare cloning from templates working, so I was able to create 12
new servers rapidly today, and therefore get them configured and stuff fairly
quickly on Monday in time for Wednesday when they're due. I will admit I'm
starting to see the attraction of moving everything from physical to virtual
Other than that I said goodbye to Rachel this morning (she's gone to see an
aunt) and hopefully will be saying hello to her again on Sunday afternoon when
she comes back and stays until Tuesday morning. Between now and then I'm going
to try and do a long run with the choice of ultra vest I've made and try not to
melt, go to Tesco, do a shorterish run on the Sunday, and before all that mow
the lawn (tonight). Then I'll reward myself with pizza and catch up on some
television I downloaded months ago but still haven't made time to watch. See
you Monday when it'll be all hands to the pumps starting my knowledge cramming.
[18:15] I should have gone home on time today. Unfortunately I pulled the wrong
disk out of a server and had to wait for a RAID1 resync before I could pull out
the right one and replace it.
Other than that I did a shorter, slower, run this morning, had a physio session
at lunch time, and had my work plate piled pretty high with things I need to do
before the middle of next week (thanks for the lack of planning, guys). So,
obviously, I'm going home. Mostly because Rachel's coming to see me this
evening, which is fantastic, and just what I need. Therefore I also need to
head to Tesco to get us dinner. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll get a lot done
(probably mainly RHEL7/VMWare templating, which hopefully will work this time
around), but I certainly wouldn't mind the week being over just as soon as
[17:10] A fairly good run this morning, with just a hint of achilles/heel
trouble here and there. Nothing too problematic though, I don't think. I also
made it up to a half marathon distance as I had the time and the inclination.
So that was good. I'll try to do the same tomorrow morning, although not being
quite so muggy and humid would be nice; I was utterly soaked within about five
kilometers, which wasn't pleasant when I stopped. I had to wash my kit and
leave it at the boat house (where I'll collect it this evening so I know I have
everything ready to take back there again in the morning). Had a nice chat with
Keith and Steph who were both there getting ready to train on the ergs when I
had finished getting changed. Then it was off to work, where I've spent much of
the day looking over more storage tenders and remembering why I really prefer
doing 'real work' rather than administration-type stuff.
So, I'm off home now via the boat house, then will have to decide if I head out
to watch some rowing on the river this evening, or stay home. The weather's
pretty nice so I might stay out. Not too late though as I've got that run in
[17:25] I need to get this entry done as quickly as I can before the rain comes
down. So, quickly, I've started being part of the tender review process for our
new storage. It's going to be deeply heavy going. More on that another time.
Probably tomorrow. I also forgot to note down that I had a physio appointment
today, so I've rescheduled it for Thursday lunch time. After I'd had the call
from the physio saying I'd missed it I popped out for a 10K run instead. It has
been incredibly hot and sunny here today, so the run wasn't all that fast, but
felt hard because of the heat. Otherwise, the two ultra running vests I've
settled on choosing between have arrived. So when Rachel arrives on Thursday
evening we'll have our final decisions, send back the one I'm not keeping and
I'll buy her big birthday present of whichever one she prefers.
And now, home. I should have gone home earlier as I was in early to patch and
reboot the load balancers, but I haven't. Maybe I'll recoup those hours on
another day this week instead. Early morning run tomorrow, if the weather isn't
[17:10] First things first: Rachel beat me soundly in the ten mile race we did
on the Sunday. I just couldn't keep up with her after about six and a half
miles. That was probably due to the fact we'd run 20 miles (rather than the
twenty six she'd wanted to do) the day before, and that'd worn me out. She'd
deny it, but I think at the moment she's running a lot better than I am. By
"the moment" I mean since Boston, rather than the last year, or anything like
that. Anyway, that's a roundabout way of saying that we did a picturesque but
quite hard twenty miles along the North Downs Way on Saturday (which saw me
absolutely soak my clothes with sweat, which was a bit worrying). Sadly much of
the last two fifths of it were walked, but we did fairly well considering. Much
more improvement required. Also, my achilles and one ankle weren't particularly
happy with the experience, either. Ladybower won't be quite as hard on them,
considering the conditions underfoot, but the weekend has definitely highlighted
that there's a lot more for me to do before the lower ends of my lower
extremities are ready for fifty-plus miles in one go. But yes, after relaxing
for the remainder of Saturday (we didn't get home until gone 16:00) we rose with
the sun on Sunday and got a train and then cycled a few miles to do the Dorking
10. The weather was pretty much perfect, if a smidgen too warm. For more than
half the distance I was running fairly well, even with hills (which I don't
normally train on), then Rachel just eased away and there wasn't anything I
could do about it if I was going to finish the race without walking. Only one
minute and forty-seven seconds behind, but that's somewhere around about 500m,
which isn't something you'd sniff at.
I came back to work this morning on two trains and a cycle again. Everything
seems to be OK here, and I've been added to an evaluation group for storage
tenders. However, getting access to the tender documents that've been submitted
is proving to be a bit of a pain. Hopefully that'll be sorted tomorrow, after
I've come in a little earlier to patch and reboot the load balancers. For now
I'm going home rather than to the boat house to do weights, so that I can go
straight back out again and do the Tesco shop.
[15:50] More of a placeholder day than anything else. The highlight thus far
has been replacing my keyboard with an identical (but newer) model that I
rescued as part of a pair from the WEEE bin here at work. It's amazing what
people throw away in there. Otherwise, I was a little late to work this morning
as I was packing for this weekend, which starts this evening with a train
journey down to London to meet Rachel to go and look at some ultra vests.
Hopefully with a view to buying one or another based on how we feel about what
we try on. Probably not in the shop, unless the prices are as good as we can
get online, but you never know. Then we'll be down in Croydon for the weekend,
with a trip to the North Downs Way on Saturday morning to run about 26 (and
likely a bit) miles at a fairly leisurely pace, and then an early rise on Sunday
morning to head to Dorking for a 10 mile actual race (which I'm pretty sure
Rachel will beat me soundly in, especially given the day before's mileage).
Anyway, it's all about getting time on our feet. I've packed two types of shoes
(most of Saturday will be off-road, so the trail shoes I put back on on Thursday
get a proper outing), and a large amount of clothing to deal with whatever the
weather ends up doing on both days. Outside of the running, well, hopefully
we'll get a little bit of time to stop and relax and recover from our individual
week of work. I'll then be heading back to work straight from the train station
on Monday morning.
[17:15] Running in my trail shoes this morning wasn't so bad. It turns out I
ran my slowest ever in a long time, not that it matters all that much. However,
importantly the shoes didn't rub, and my legs seem to have survived the
experience. So that bodes at least a little well for Saturday's long trail run
with Rachel. I haven't really worn them to run in since I was big into
adventure racing many years ago. That's definitely something Rachel and I
should have a go at in the future.
At work I've done all kinds of useful things today. Honestly, it's the most
productive I've been in some time. Not only things on the computer, but also
having face-to-face conversations with people that resulted in Things Happening,
and Decisions Being Made. Quite pleasing, really. What isn't pleasing is that
Rachel can't come to see me this evening as she has things to do elsewhere.
I'll have to come up with some way of keeping myself occupied for the evening, I
guess. It may involve television, or books.
[18:00] I should have gone home an hour ago, but I had too many things to do.
None of them particularly difficult, just time-consuming. I won't bore you with
what they were, mainly so I can go home more quickly. I did the morning run
before work from the boat house and it was pretty hard work. No tension in the
front outside of my right calf this morning, but a bit of discomfort in my left
achilles tendon instead. If it's not one thing it's another. I was fairly
exhaused afterwards. I'm not sure if I'll be recovered enough to do similar
tomorrow, but that's OK as I'm going to try running a little more off the beaten
track (in places) with my other shoes instead. I might even leave from my house
rather than the boat house so I do less on actual tarmac (which might do me some
damage in that footwear). Otherwise... I guess that's about it. See you
tomorrow where I imagine I'll tell you all about how things went, probably. Oh,
and today I spent an 'amusing' couple of hours going around in circles trying to
jump through the right hoops to get a training course (run internally, no less)
paid for. Or at least authorised to be charged internally. That was a pretty
keen way of observing how disorganised and problematic this place has become in
the last year or so.