[17:45] Neither of us wanted to get up this morning. However, as we're both
people with jobs Rachel went to the train station and made her way back to
London and I got up and headed to work. The morning was filled with dealing
with the QNAP NAS which has started to error one of its disks (apparently the
one I just replaced a few weeks ago). Then it was lunch time and I headed out
for the first of my heat acclimation runs (wearing a non-breathable layer to
keep in heat and sweat). I met Max for a chunk of it, before he went a shorter
route (having already run 14km before work). I didn't sweat all that much more
than I might have done, I think, as it was only 3-4degC, so not all that warm.
We'll see how I do running for 1.5 hours tomorrow morning (probably when it'll
be a little colder). After lunch I sat down with my team leader and tried to
explain the complexity that is Red Hat Satellite to him. I don't think it went
very well as you have a fairly circular series of dependencies in terms of
knowledge, so you have to just jump on somewhere and start explaining things in
the hope that eventually things will join up inside the explainee's head. In
this case I don't think they did. What I did highlight was another problem with
our firewall (blocking a port required) and an issue with all the clients
connected thus far which was stopping remote updates from taking place. The
former was solved with a firewall rule change, and the latter by restarting the
I'm going to solve the problem of being in work by going home now.
[17:30] Well, that was my first 100km of running week for 2017. And it went
fairly well, I think. On Saturday I had a nice run before and at parkrun, as
well as the run home (no pack this week), and then on Sunday ran three 10km laps
as part of a heat acclimation experiment. There was about ten minutes of
testing between each lap, but then we got back out and did the next one.
Definitely a good way to use a Sunday morning. Rachel arrived late on Saturday
night, we had a lovely night, Sunday and Monday morning, and she'll be there
this evening having worked from (my) home today. She also signed up for the
same experiment that I'm doing (and is apparently the only woman, so she'll be
an interesting set of statistics), so went and did her 30 minute sweat test on a
stationary bike over lunch today while I was taking my new trainers back to the
shop because they make my feet tingle. I'll be getting some new new ones just
as soon as there's a delivery from Asics. Anyway, I should head home to spend
some time with my woman.
Oh, before I forget: note to self that publishing six new Content Views with Red
Hat Satellite at 09:55 will mean they won't finish being published until 16:10
in the afternoon, even with 16GB of RAM and 8 CPUs. Which is a bit
[17:00] It was lovely to see Rachel last night, even tired and energy-low as she
was from whatever stomach upset had caused her to not really want to eat
anything for the previous 24 hours or so. We got an early night as we were both
pretty pooped. This morning she was up and out, regretfully, before it was
fully light. I stayed in bed a little longer and tried to stretch whatever
skeleton/muscle thing I've done off the back of yesterday's run. In work I've
done a few things with Satellite, subscribing another set of servers and
updating a few things here and there (including some Red Hat Bugzillas about
some of the errors I've been seeing since I installed it). I was meant to go
for a short run at lunchtime to break in my new trainers, but I'm still not sure
I'm going to keep this pair as they still feel just a little off/too tight
across the bridge of my foot/down towards the toes. They make my forefoot
tingle a bit, even when they're really loosely-laced.
Anyway, I've booked a physio session for half an hour from now to see if
something can be done about my back before tomorrow's 21km (including parkrun),
and Sunday's 30km as part of a heat acclimation experiment. Other things this
weekend include Tesco, and plenty of time with Rachel, I hope!
[18:25] So I got in at 07:30 this morning, only to find out that the DBA I was
relying on to do his part had hurt his leg and emailed me at 05:30 to say that
he wasn't going to be in and therefore the patching was cancelled. Naturally I
didn't read this until I got into the office and opened my email, at 07:30. So,
I've had a very long day without the payoff of a software and firmware update.
Still, I did use the day productively to have a long lunch break to run in
-3.5degC winds, write some ansible roles to move servers (which are
ansible-configured) to Satellite from RHSM, and generally do things which people
came to ask me to do. And now I'm going home, after a very long day, to get the
house clean and tidy and ready for Rachel arriving, in about an hour or so (less
than that, by the time I get home). Tomorrow is a rest day, but I will be
jogging 3-4km in my new trainers to see if they actually work for me or not. It
definitely won't be running.
[17:30] Wednesday, and I was up early this morning for a run. One and a half
hours, with my other/older 33l rucksack which obviously fits everything I need
for the Hadrian's Wall run, but might just be a smidgen too big. Still, if I
can run for that amount of time and not suffer any chafing or other issues, I
think it'll do. It certainly saves me having to buy another pack which I won't
use that often. Anyway, that was before breakfast. After a shower and
breakfast I headed into work, still cold despite showering due to the shower in
my rental accommodation just not really being all that good when the incoming
cold water feed is close to freezing. It's warm at work though, so that's OK.
Most of the day I've spent moving workstations over from RHSM to our Satellite
setup, and opening Bugzilla tickets for problems I find along the way. I also
prestaged all the firmware updates for the server I'm patching tomorrow morning,
other than the BIOS update which I believe I'll install once I know the server
has rebooted successfully beforehand. I also went to collect (and pay for) my
new trainers, and was disappointed to find that not only are they in colours I'm
not all that keen on, they feel like they're a lot tighter and a little weird in
how they feel on the insole. I won't run in them tomorrow morning, but will
wear them around the house for a while to see if that helps them feel a bit
more comfortable. Otherwise I may have to take them back and wait for more to
come in. The shop's good like that and may be the best shop I've been to when
it comes to accepting returns. Right now though it's home time, and then steak
for dinner, I think.
[17:45] Happy Tuesday. I had a totally useful extended weekend, thanks for
asking. It start on Saturday morning when I packed up pretty much everything
(except water and food) for running Hadrian's Wall into my Inov8 pack, and then
ran 5km to parkrun, did that, then ran home again the same way, plus a little
(to get my 16.1km in). Aside from getting quite hot and tired (even in the
sub-zero temperatures) it showed I can run quite happily with that pack, at
least. It also showed than I'm going to have to get another one (or try another
pack I have, which is more set up for hiking than running) so that I can fit in
the things that'll keep me alive (snacks and water). After the run I showered
and headed straight out to the train station to get to Croydon and see Rachel
after far too long apart. We had a lovely Saturday afternoon/evening/night, and
then went for a long run on Sunday morning. Well, late morning. As usual, even
though she'd barely exercised while away Rachel was more than a match for me on
the 22km or so we did. After getting cleaned up we jumped on trains back to
mine again so we could have the rest of our time together here. Sunday evening
was very pleasant, and contained stir-fry, which was delicious. As we had
Monday off we didn't feel much of an urge to get up all that early, but we did.
This was mainly so we could make lots of phone calls to book accommodation for
the Hadrian's Wall week, then dash to Tesco, then head into town to go for a
swim. Something I haven't done 'seriously' in years (I've been in hotel pools a
few times). I tried a few 25m lengths of front crawl, and, I think, made a
little bit of progress. I switched back to breast stroke again though, as I
just can't maintain a good, relaxed crawl. We had a rather lovely brunch in
Patisserie Valerie after getting out, then I was deposited in Waterstones for a
little while whilest Rachel tried to find some new work clothes to purchase
(without success). After that all that remained was to head home and curl up on
the sofa with more escapist The West Wing until dinner-and-then-bed time.
This morning neither of us wanted to get up at all, but work called us both. At
work I spent a considerable amount of time unpicking a few issues which had come
up over the weekend and not been addressed by anyone else on Monday. I've been
watching with some consternation how long it takes a lightly-loaded Red Hat
Satellite installation to publish new Content Views, and subscribing at least
one more workstation to it (mine). Over lunch I did my bi-weekly 10km at 'full'
speed, which actually went quite well. Tomorrow morning I'll be running for 1.5
hours again, but nowhere near as quickly (for now). Hopefully at lunch time
I'll be taking all my Hadrian's Wall kit to the place I'm picking up my new
trainers (same as my current/old trainers) and finding a bag to use if the one I
have at home isn't any good. Thinking about it, I may try the one I have at
home tomorrow morning on my 1.5 hour run. That'd make it roughly the same
amount of time I ran with my Inov8 one on the weekend.
[16:40] Not only did I clean the bathroom and change the bedding this morning, I
also slept in. The latter was marvellous. Coming to work and knowing it was
Friday was likewise quite nice. Today has been a quiet day, with the highlight
being heading out a lunch time to buy some new running shoes (they didn't have
the ones I wanted in this shop, so they're getting them from the other one some
time next week), and to look at potential running rucksacks for the Hadrian's
Wall run in March.
Now I'm off home, running tomorrow with my current running rucksack to see if
it's adequate, doing parkrun in the middle of the run, then heading to Rachel's
to see her as she's coming back from Kenya tonight (but playing a home game of
hockey tomorrow lunch time). We'll stay at her place until Monday (running on
Sunday), then as we're taking the day off, come back here, do a Tesco shop, and
then (I hope) relax for the rest of the day.
So, see you on Tuesday.
[17:30] I wish my Garmin 230 would behave itself a bit more. It feels like the
glitches and things in its tracking seem to be getting closer and closer
together. Today I went for a 1.5 hour run at lunch time and the track is...
well let's just say it's really not right. It seems to have the distance right
(although at this point I can't be sure about that either). Endomondo has coped
as well as possible, but Strava (that bastion of stupidity when it comes to what
you can and can't do with an 'official' track) has really got its knickers in a
twist, requiring me to add another 'blank' entry for the distance that it
doesn't seem to be able to allocate.
Anyway, that was lunch time. I was in work early this morning to patch a single
server. Wouldn't you know it, for the first time I pretty much bricked the box
doing a BIOS firmware update. I've no idea why, but it just didn't come back
after I'd done the OS update and told it to reboot. Eventually it sicked up a
stack trace of the UEFI booting failure, so I called Dell with that. They told
me to go to the machine and drain the flea power. This never does anything.
However, as the box was on next business day support I had nothing to lose, so I
went over and did it. It did something. The box (eventually, after some BIOS
tickling) booted. So, feeling brave, I restaged the BIOS update and rebooted
again. This time everything went swimmingly. I probably shouldn't have done
that, but I'm the kind of guy who likes to live on the edge. Suffice it to say
the box has been up all day and seems stable.
At this point I think I'm just going to try and get home alive, have steak for
dinner, and wish it was Friday. That would be nice. Although now I think about
it, I won't be staying in on Friday lunchtime, but instead going to buy some new
trainers. Still, that won't be quite as tiring as running 18.5km. I hope.
[17:35] It was freezing when I got out for my run this morning. Something close
to -4degC according to the weather station I checked with once I was at work. I
didn't feel too bad given the layers I had on, but the cold certainly seemed to
tire me out a bit more, and my achilles weren't as happy as they have been these
last few months. Still, run done, which is always a good feeling. Same again
tomorrow, and then I've got Friday off to think about other things, like getting
At work I got a server that is way behind on software and firmware
patches ready for a moderately early session tomorrow morning (which means I'll
have to do my 1.5 hour run at lunch time, again), did some tidying up of my
Satellite install and proclaimed it 'ready' for having clients ("content hosts")
connected to it for real. Hopefully I won't mess things up too much. After
lunch there wasn't much time between finishing eating and going to get a free
gait analysis done at my running shoe shop of choice where the guy recorded me
on a treadmill with three synchronised cameras and told me I wasn't looking to
bad but (as every other gait analysis has shown) I need to do something about
the tilt of my pelvis, which is meaning I'm not able to "toe off" properly and
with good glute activation. Something to work on, definitely.
Anyway, I should go home reasonably on time again, get some house cleaning done,
and then make myself another huge dinner, like I had last night, but that seems
to have left me even hungrier than if I'd eaten far less. Most odd...
[17:00] A useful day today. Up early and into work in time to patch and reboot
two KVM hosts without issue. Firmware updates included. Unfortunately there
were some processes that are not automatically started on boot which I wasn't
reminded to start so there was some downtime, even on services with failover
features. No-one really noticed, and the MySQL issues later on in the morning
were, I think, nothing to do with me.
I went for a quite nice 10km run at lunch time and came back to have lunch and
decommission a VM, as well as showing a user around her new VM workstation
(enabling us to remove a PC from her desk, and save a bit of cash on a new PC
Otherwise today has been about negotiating when I'm going to do the first two
30km heat acclimation runs in the physiology experiment I've signed up for,
having a very, very quick chat with Rachel on Skype (typing), and pinning down
some dates for patching some of the remaining horribly out of date (as opposed
to simply seriously out of date) servers over which I have system administration
domain. But now it's home time, as I was in very early this morning and I
should have gone home hours ago. Tomorrow morning is a 1.5 hour run before
work, and then in the afternoon I'm getting my gait analysed, again, for free.
Which should be interesting if nothing else.
[17:30] Happy Monday. I hope you had a nice weekend doing whatever it is you do
on a weekend. For my part I ran on Saturday morning, combining my long(ish)
run with parkrun. Met Max on the way there so we ran together there and back
(he went a minute faster than me during the actual parkrun). Then it was Tesco,
lunch, and lots of relaxing before heading out to Keith and Sarah's house for a
rather delicious vegetarian wellington-based meal as thanks for helping with
their New Year's Eve party setup. I stayed until 23:00, but then had to go home
before I fell asleep there. I'm such a lightweight, and I wasn't even drinking
alcohol. Sunday morning was full of rain and cold weather and I spent about
half an hour deciding whether or not to do my run. I did in the end, but then
spent the rest of the day watching films, eating, and then ordering pizza for
dinner even though I'd just been to Tesco the day before. I shouldn't order out
again for a few weeks because of that, I think.
Here at work today I've done some useful things, got another ten servers ready
for patching tomorrow morning (early start), and even built someone a virtual
(VMWare) workstation to replace their old physical one. I think I'll head home
now and have a nice gentle evening before tomorrow's work, 10km run, and more.
[17:55] Hurrah, Friday. I was able to get up late (07:45), get to work before
it started snowing, and do a good morning's work. The wind and the snow really
whipped up for about an hour or so, but by the time I had to head out to do a 30
minute heat test (part one of an experiment to do with thermal acclimation when
running). This afternoon, as soon as I got back, I had to cycle out and replace
a hard drive in the NAS that's been causing problems. I also managed to
purchase the return leg of the train journeys Rachel and I will be taking back
from the other end of Hadrian's Wall. I feel sure I've mentioned this already,
surely. But if I haven't, we're going to be running the length of it, from
Bowness to Wallsend (see what they did there?) in Newcastle. ~90 miles, four
But anyway, that's that's in the future. For the immediate future, there's
running tomorrow, running Sunday morning, dinner with friends on Saturday
evening, and probably an awful lot of relaxing on Sunday afternoon. Probably
food shopping. I have such an exciting life.
[18:15] So for getting in at 07:30 this morning I really shouldn't still be at
work now. Yet I am. It's probably due to catching up on internet videos. The
day's gone fairly well, though. The patching this morning went flawlessly, if a
little slowly (the last servers came back precisely on 09:00). I also firmware
updated our oldest QNAP NAS and aside from the 'interesting' new web GUI, had to
fight with the either buggy or weird new NFS sharing syntax. Eventually
everything worked, so that was good. Over lunch I did my Thursday 1.5 hour run
in what turned out to be a rather cold and rainy session. I had a nice long hot
shower when I got back to work. This afternoon I have mainly been eating,
working on figuring out how to do interesting things with Red Hat Satellite when
RHEL6.9 comes out and RHEL6.8 gains an EUS repository, and eating. Also, I got
a text from Rachel who's - as I write this - flying from Cape Town to Nairobi to
begin her second we in Africa, now working rather than taking a much-deserved
vacation. I'm off home now, hopefully before it starts snowing (apparently it
might), and then it's Friday. A day off from running, although I will be doing
a 30 minute heat-acclimation test on a stationary bike for someone's physiology
[17:35] A good 1 hour run before work, even off the back of a not terribly good
night's sleep. I'm not sure why, but hopefully I'll have a better night
tonight. The day was spent getting fifteen servers ready for patching and
rebooting tomorrow morning in the vulnerability period (including prestaging
patches and firmware updates), working through lunch, having various meetings,
going to a training course on the new helpdesk software we're all going to be
using (and pointing out many many interface issues), and handing Cormac all of
my Babylon 5 DVDs so he can marathon the whole lot.
I'm off to have an earlyish dinner with Andy who's just in town briefly for the
afternoon, then home to get ready for tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to do my
run at lunchtime tomorrow, like I did last Thursday. Otherwise... I guess
that's about it, really.
[18:05] More fun with Red Hat Satellite today. I got to show the other person
who went on the Satellite course with me what I'd rediscovered in a paroxysm of
panic-induced learning yesterday afternoon. Also had a meeting this afternoon
with some of the people from the other half of the new institution we've become
about the new VMs I've just created for them. They want some high-availability
stuff incorporated into their VMs, so I've had to do some new stuff with
Satellite (yes, that's definitely going to be a Thing from here on in) to make
sure that when I move all my RHEL instances over from RHSM to Satellite they
still have access to the things they're going to need to have access to.
I decided, while redoing my marathon training plan following sensible feedback
from Rachel, that every other Tuesday I'd do a 10km run a tempo (AKA as fast as
sustainably possible) at lunch time. Today was the first day. It wasn't all
that unpleasant, and should hopefully mean that I don't buck too much against
the sensibleness of my other runs being comparatively slower. Like tomorrow
morning's 1 hour run before work. Other than that I've had some useful
technical conversation with some people, replied to all of my lovely emails from
Rachel, and managed to not get too annoyed with a piece of technology which is
slowly beginning to fail (and would be decommissioned if the web developers
would get their old machines dealt with).
Anyway, that's that for now. I should head home and relax for the day, dig out
my Babylon 5 DVD box sets for Cormac, who'll be over late to collect them, and
then head to bed ready for tomorrow morning's training session down by the
Except to say that I went to the dentist after work last night and while the
dentist says that she's happy with the aftermath of the tooth being taken out,
she absolutely can't say if I'm going to need no work on the tooth which is now
'easier' to get to/clean, some work, or whether I'm going to lose it entirely.
For the time being there's no work to be done, but it's a little
disconcerting/disappointing not to know what's happening with the thing.
[17:30] Well, I had a weekend of running, eating, and watching television (when
I wasn't reading). It wasn't super-interesting, but I got to do some marathon
training, see a few friends (briefly, whilest at parkrun), and relax the rest of
the time. The weather wasn't too bad either. I also had a load of emails and
texts from Rachel, which definitely kept my spirits up, even though she's away
for another twelve or so days at this point.
Today I've done a bit with Red Hat Satellite, updated a VM template or two,
created some new VMs from those templates, modified my marathon training plan
based on Rachel's sage advice, and remembered to pack my toothbrush so I can go
straight from work to the dentist to see if I need any drilling and filling off
the back of the wisdom tooth I had out a month ago. I am going to tell them
about the dry socket and other tooth pain I've had since then and get them to
check my whole bottom left set of teeth aren't actually going to crumble into
pieces in the next little while (because that's what they feel like they're
about to do now and again since I had the wisdom tooth removed).
My parents are slowly starting to recover from the horrible
under-the-weatheredness they've been suffering from since Christmas, which is
good. I just hope they both continue to be on the mend until they're right as
Right, I should get ready to head off, clean my teeth, and go and pay more money
to make sure I can continue to eat things you have to bite into bits for the
rest of my life.
[18:00] Having Rachel around last night was wonderful. And altogether far too
brief a time before she heads off to South Africa and then Kenya for two weeks.
We got some time to reconnect, have a nice dinner, and generally remind each
other how much we enjoy being together then, this morning, she had to go. I
headed into work and spent the morning doing very little, and then accelerating
head first into some major Red Hat Satellite work. This was, initially, pretty
unforgiving, and I was making little to no progress. But then with the help of
others online I was able to make some serious inroads, and even get a few
clients registered and updating. I even think I have a bit of a handle on what
I'll need to do next week... maybe.
Over the weekend I'm going to be doing some medium long runs, eat a lot,
consider doing parkrun before my Saturday long run (or incorporate it into it),
go to Tesco, and otherwise try to fill the days up so I don't miss Rachel too
much. Other than that, that's it. Maybe some reading here and there.
Next week'll be the first full working week of 2017, and for that reason I'm not
looking forward to it all that much. Hopefully the things I do (running, some
fun things with computers) will make it a little better. Not having Rachel
coming on Thursday is definitely a lowlight.
[18:00] I reset the alarm twice this morning. I'd gone to bed fully intending
to get up at 06:00 and be out running for 1.5 hours just before 06:30. Then I
decided at around 05:50 to only run for 1 hour (and therefore put the alarm
back to 06:30), only to remember at around 05:56 that I was patching servers
this morning at 08:00 and probably wouldn't be able to run before work at all
(so put the alarm back to 07:00). The getting up at 07:00, getting to work, and
patching all then went according to plan, but I didn't really get any more
quality sleep after 05:45. What I did then do, having been in work from about
07:45, was go for a nice long, not too strenuous run at lunch time instead. It
was good to get out in the rather pleasant weather (just on the right side of
too cold) and do the full 1.5 hours as I'd planned on my marathon training plan
spread sheet for this year. I'm going to take as much pleasure as I did last
year in each little tick I manage to achieve.
Workwise there was the patching and rebooting this morning, then a considerable
amount of back and forth negotiating when I can do my next rounds of patching
(it'll be next Thursday (not next Tuesday, annoyingly), and the following
Tuesday), working out what to do about new RHEL7 servers people want on the bit
of the network (and VMWare cluster) I haven't really had much experience with
since the joining together of my old group and the other group. They do things
all kinds of different on that side of the firewall.
Still, given how things have gone today I think it has been a fairly productive
ten hours or so. And now I'm about to go home, wait for Rachel to arrive, have
a lovely, lovely evening, and then go to bed with two wonderful things... the
other one being the knowledge that tomorrow is a rest day from running.
[17:20] My first early morning run of the new marathon training season. It
didn't go all that badly, but nor was it a triumph. While I'm not a paying
member of my rowing/sports club I can't use the facilities there, so I ran from
home and back. Only an hour this morning, with 1.5 hours tomorrow morning.
I'll have a think about the route that's going to be required to fit another
fifteen minutes of running in without running out of river tow path to go along.
Also, this early in the training cycle I'm going to try and not run all that
fast so as not to burn out as much as I think I might have started to do last
Not much going on at work yet. I did, I hope, fix a major issue with the DBAs
not getting notifications when their servers weren't doing what they should be
doing. Chances are they're getting a lot more email than they were yesterday.
Hopefully this will lead to things getting fixed without me having to prod them.
We'll see. For now though I'm heading home to eat something that wasn't made by
Rachel (I had the last of some rather delicious cashew nut curry last night).
Then it's another early night for an early rise tomorrow.
[17:40] Happy new year. I hope you had a good festive period doing whatever it
is you do when at that time of year. For my part I had a pretty great one,
thanks for asking. After spending it with my family (who sadly all suffered
from illness at one point or another, although I managed to steer clear), who
were lovely, and is was wonderful to see them, I came home again, had a night
in a nice hotel with Rachel, did some good runs (although I was beaten by
Rachel in the New Year's Eve 10K by a good 20 seconds, and by Max in the New
Year's Day parkrun by a good minute and a half), and ate a lot of rather
delicious food (mostly made by Rachel or my mother). Hopefully my family will
get well soon so I don't need to worry about them all the time.
I'm now back at work and having forgotten my running socks ran today at lunch
time in my normal ones. I think my feet/heels/achilles survived the experience.
I've also written up the first draft of my marathon training plan for this
season. We'll see how that goes.
Happily, very little that affects me happened at work today. This has allowed
me to do the important things, like update the journal with 2017 links. Now I'm
going home, happy to have survived the first day back, and the first day of
marathon training. What's going to be horrible is it being the first day
without Rachel being there at the end of it since before the new year.