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31/05/2017
[18:05] Obviously after yesterday being nice and quiet, today wasn't so much. I came in to find that the disk I'd been told to worry about I don't need to worry about (as it was an old warning, not a current one) but the /var partition of my Red Hat Satellite server had filled up, meaning things were in a bit of a state. After getting things rebooted and the filesystem expanded I discovered that there were a whole load of repository synchronisation tasks which were running, but not finishing, and weren't cancellable either. I've filed a bug about it and hopefully someone will get back to me before the end of the week (i.e. tomorrow as I'm not at work on Friday). In the meantime I've disabled the nightly synchronisation until things are fixed. Hopefully that won't mean there's more mess for me in the morning.

I ran at lunchtime today. It was another hot day, so I didn't try to go all that fast. I may take tomorrow off (as well as Friday, when I'll be traveling, or seeing my family) running. I'll be at work in the morning, then seeing a house with Shaun, lunch, afternoon work, then home, packing, and to the train station to meet Rachel before we go to my parents (arriving very late at night).

Rachel has ITB Syndrome at the moment, which isn't pleasant. I hope she feels better soon. We're hoping to run parkrun with my father on Saturday (or at least at the same one as him, anyway).

30/05/2017
[17:35] Lots done this extended weekend. Rachel arrived on Friday evening, so we were able to jog to, do, and jog home from a parkrun together, which was nice. We met a few friends there during and afterwards, so had a pleasant bit of socialising, too. Rachel had booked some houses for us to view early afternoon, so we got those done before she had to head back to London to see some friends in the evening, at which point I had the place to myself. That also meant that I had to decide what to do with myself on Sunday morning. In the end this turned out to be nothing at all, which disappointed me as I'd hoped to get up early and do a run with the local triathlon club, and didn't. In the end I waited around for Tesco to open, did the shopping and then went for a run. It wasn't as hot as I'd been dreading, but I still lost quite a bit of fluid. I did stop to say hello to my rowing club, who were running a regatta on the river, but not for very long. Rachel arrived mid-afternoon and we took the opportunity to do a bit of not very much at all (she did some work) before having a meat-free dinner. Yesterday had started out with some reasonable plans for getting out and about. However, we just couldn't be bothered and instead had a lazy breakfast in bed, did a run, some washing, some cooking, and lots of logistics for the Kenya trip. Suddenly it was the end of the day, we had another meat-free meal (delicious home made curry) and headed to bed.

Mostly this morning I've been fighting the network issues we've been suffering here, mopping up from the email server issues we had over the long weekend, running a hot and sweaty 10K at lunch time, and fielding 101 calls from all of the estate agents I'm signed up with. I've arranged one viewing thus far for this week. It'll be on Thursday with Shaun, who's going to come with me to take a look at a house I'm very interested in.

26/05/2017
[16:30] So the house I had an offer in on now appears to have gone to a price I just can't justify. So, that's out. Rachel and I went to see it at lunchtime and although she liked it and I couldn't see much which put me off it, it just isn't worth the money that's now being asked for it. Oh well. Moving on. Rachel's booked us to see a few other places tomorrow (one or two I've seen before). I do hate this whole house-hunting thing.

I've done a few things at work. Nothing particularly interesting. This weekend is mostly about Rachel and I enjoying our time together, seeing some houses, having a nice bank holiday Monday. The weather's lovely, so hopefully we'll get some time outside.

25/05/2017
[17:15] As days go, this was a useful one. I ran a very controlled 13km this morning, keeping my heart rate at 150bpm or lower. Given how warm it was this meant that I didn't melt all over the towpath and I wasn't completely dehydrated for the rest of the day (I probably haven't drunk enough though, regardless). On the way to work I posted back to Amazon the laptop case that Rachel hadn't selected out of the two I bought for her. At work I've added all the currently alive Brocade switches to Observium cleanly, as well as clearing up a few bits and bobs of systems administravia that had been bothering me for a few days. Additionally I cycled into town at lunch time and got my three months of bank statements that my mortgage advisor needed, as well as emailing my conveyancer a copy of my passport as proof of identity. Rachel should hopefully be arriving around about 19:30 this evening, at which point we'll have a nice, relaxing, evening together and not have to rush through the logistics of organising our trip to Kenya, or copying all the files off her old laptop and onto her new one as she's staying tonight, and working from my house tomorrow (as well as staying for much (but not all) of the weekend). But now, home time.

24/05/2017
[17:10] It was lovely to be able to meet Rachel at her local train station last night, as well as go home with her and remind ourselves how nice it is to be together. I also got to give her her set up new laptop, and let her choose which sleeve she wanted out of the two I got for her. Unfortunately we didn't have today off and both of us needed to be on early trains to get to various work things, so it was an early night (a poor night's sleep for me) and then an early morning. We still managed to get to the station together and went our separate ways on different trains. When I got back into town I made a ten minute detour to reintroduce myself to my housing conveyancer (who remembered me from the first and only house I've ever bought and sold previously). He gave me lots of good advice about estate agents (they're basically a bunch of lying shits out for themselves) and things to think about with regard to the house I've got an offer in on. I've hopefully adjusted my hopes and expectations sensibly off the back of that conversation. After that it was a cycle in to work via me seemingly imagining a green traffic light for me and being one of those cyclists I hate who go through red lights. I hope I wasn't too annoying to the people I affected. Once at work (having cycled extra-extra carefully for the remainder of my journey) I've had a thankfully uneventful day, and even decided not to run at lunchtime, despite having my running stuff waiting for me. I may run tomorrow morning though, as it'll have been two days off, and running in the heat of the day at lunchtime would be unsensible. Also Rachel is coming tomorrow evening, so I want to be home and unshattered for her.

23/05/2017
[15:35] Quick entry today. Rachel arrives back in the UK in an hour or so. I hope to meet her at the train station in Croydon. I need to leave shortly to achieve that. Today's been a useful day of VM creation, DNS frobbing, and having to up my offer on the house I want by a considerable margin. Here's hoping I don't have to do it much more! Back in work from Croydon tomorrow morning, but sans Rachel's new laptop, which I'm taking to her this evening!

22/05/2017
[18:20] Happy Monday to you. It was an interesting weekend for me. Another one without Rachel, which could have meant I didn't have much to keep me occupied. However, as I've been running 10K every day she's been away, and I wanted to do parkrun, I got up earlyish and got the run done. I'm thankfully free of discomfort at the moment (just about) so that's good. Once I got home again there was a fairly quick turn around so I could get out and see two houses. I thought the first one I saw wasn't too bad. It ticked many of the boxes I've got, but suffered from a lot of leylandii. However, they were all on the property, so could be removed. The second property just didn't feel good for me, despite some positive aspects. Once I got home I felt like I could put an offer in on the first one, but my family took one look at the place online, including sneaky photos I'd taken myself and were horrified by various aspects of it that just hadn't registered with me. Given the price, and the likely bidding war I decided not to put an offer in after all. The remainder of Saturday was Tesco shopping and lazing around. On Sunday I got my run over and done with fairly early on, before it got too hot, then set about cleaning the house for Max and Stacey to arrive later on. As I still had a free cinema ticket left over I decided on the spur of the moment to go and see Alien: Convenant, which ate up a few hours. Max and Stacey arrived in the latter part of the afternoon, we quickly got ready and cycled 42.2km at a reasonable pace, and then after showering headed out to a pub for a burger and cheesey chips each (although Max had a tuna steak for some reason). Nobody had much energy left to stay up for a film, so we headed to our beds at around 22:00.

This morning I got my tenth 10K in ten days done before work, and still suffered somewhat from the morning heat. The weather was lovely though, so it was great to be out and feeling like I could at least maintain the pace I was running at, even if it wasn't all that fast. In work have had masses to do in terms of repurposing and blowing away and creating VMs, took a snapshot of my Red Hat Satellite server and did a (I think) successful upgrade from 6.2.8 to 6.2.9 with newer RPMs than last time that fix the horrendous memory leak that messed everything up previously, and went for a house viewing at lunch time with Shaun.

The house viewing was interesting. Whilest there was no dining room (just a small area in the kitchen), the kitchen wasn't all that amazing, the garden was large and would require a lot of work, and a few other things (like single-glazed sash windows throughout) I liked it so much I've put an offer in on it. We'll have to see what happens, but it's likely I'll have to significantly raise my offer as other people make them. Someone even made an offer without going for a viewing! Hopefully their offer (which is way over mine) will be rescinded once they've viewed the place and considered the negatives. I could definitely live there. I just hope no-one else wants to more than me!

Max and Stacey are staying at mine again tonight, so I should head home soon. I'll be coming in early tomorrow to do some patching, then leaving early to head to Croydon to see Rachel, who gets back there tomorrow evening!

19/05/2017
[16:35] So my parents are wonderful. They've offered to help me with buying my house. In the grand scheme of things it's not a lot, but it turns out it might be pivotal in upping my deposit to a level which means I can get into the range of houses I'd actually be happy living in. I don't think "thank you" and "thank goodness" quite cover it. Anyway, there's that. Mostly that came about because I went to see a house a lunchtime today that was really nice (aside from a few issues to do with the kitchen, and a lack of dining area entire), and I wanted to put an offer in. After calling my mortgage advisor she told me that I could only offer about 22K less than the asking price. In this area that means you're almost certainly not going to get the property (either through refusal from the owners, or being outbid). Having called my parents it turns out they had some money they'd been saving for me, having given the same amount to my brother when he bought his first (and current) house. I don't really want to take it, and having looking at my finances again and metaphorically checked down the back of the sofa, I might not need to. But if I do, it's there. Which is wonderful. So, I'm thankful for my parents, again. I might even force them to accept repayment, if I do take it and I can repay them. But that's for the future, if and when I actually have a house I can call my own and the mortgage repayments aren't crippling.

The rest of the day has been thankfully quiet. I did a moderate 10K this morning before work without getting too rained on, then came in early to patch and reboot half a dozen servers or so (including some firmware updates) without any issues. The remainder of the day has been about creating new VMs, dealing with requests for more VMs (put off until next week), and catching up on email.

This weekend I've got three house viewings (one this evening), a run with a parkrun in the middle of it, Tesco shopping, Max and Stacey staying on Sunday night (and Max only on Monday night), and hopefully a whole lot of relaxing and reading otherwise. With luck there might be some Skyping with Rachel, but given she's in Tanzania at this point, that might be unlikely.

18/05/2017
[17:45] Houses are starting to blend together in my mind now as I view more and more. I can't even remember much about today's, which is why I guess it's useful to have the spreadsheet and photo albums that Rachel created for me to put things into. She's great like that. Anyway, another semi-fruitless viewing today, two tomorrow, two on Saturday, and one on Monday. After last night's excitement over a house that it turns out I really didn't have the deposit/funds for (thank you mortgage advisor for telling me so quickly so I didn't get my hopes up too much) I've tried to throttle back my hopes and expectations somewhat. We'll see what the next few days throw up.

This morning's run was a little better-feeling than yesterday morning's. Still not particularly fast, but as everyone keeps reminding me, not every run has to be flat out, or even close to race pace. I'll try to concentrate more on heart rate rather than speed/pace, I think. I had to get up a little earlier than normal this morning so I could get my run in and still get to work fairly early so I could move some SAN volumes over from a physical server to a VMWare cluster and mount them on a guest. That all went swimmingly, thankfully. I'll do the same tomorrow morning so I can get in and patch and reboot three or four servers that've been in dire need of an update for almost a year... only I've only just been allowed by the vendor whose software stack we have on them as they only just finished validating their code against the more recent version of the OS.

Anyway, that's that. I had a frustrating call with Rachel last night. She could hear me clearly, but my connection to Kenya was such that I really couldn't tell what she was saying a lot of the time. Then she ran out of credit and we got cut off. We still have texting (now that she's purchased more credit) but I really wish she was coming home sooner.

17/05/2017
[17:25] Honestly, I can't tell you if I would buy the house I saw today. There was something about it that just didn't work for me. Maybe it was the room layout, or the kitchen, or the massive amount of garden I'd have to mow. It wasn't the location, which was pretty good. I don't know, really. Anyway, I've got another viewing of a house I probably won't be able to afford very shortly, so I'll get on with this entry.

Max was over last night. He went for a chaingang cycle which I (wisely, it turned out given this morning's run) didn't join him for. He brought burritos home, which was great. I don't know if it was them, or other factors which meant I got a terrible night's sleep, but this morning's 10K run really wasn't very much fun at all, and I can't really blame the weather as it was warm but raining. Anyway, it wasn't a fast run at all and I felt shockingly tired by the end. Work today has been mainly about logisticising, emailing, selling the RAM I removed from Rachel's new laptop (hurrah!), and getting wet at lunchtime cycling to see the house I mentioned. That's about it, I think. Off to see that other house now, then home, dinner, an early night, a run tomorrow morning, then I'll be in work earlyish (hopefully, given the run) to move some more SAN volumes from a physical server to one hosted on a VM farm. With luck (and some detailed instructions) I shouldn't make the same mistake I made last time and lose all the data.

16/05/2017
[17:00] One of the houses I was due to see on the weekend has already gone off the market. This is the kind of thing I'm up against in trying to find a house to live in here. It's depressing. Still, I'm sure there'll be plenty more houses for me to look at that are either too expensive, or too shitty, or too far from where I'd like to be. Hey ho.

In other news I ran a very hot and sweaty 10K at lunch time, might be cycling ~50km this evening with a chaingang and Max (who's staying over this evening as part of his and Stacey's current semi-peripatetic lifestyle), and have had a number of moderately useful meetings today about things I'll be doing for others as time goes on with regard to VMWare, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and things of that nature. Otherwise not a lot else has happened, other than some things for Rachel's laptop arrived today and I get to return one of them tomorrow.

Tomorrow there'll be work to do (probably writing up some wiki pages), and two house viewings, one of them at lunch time and the other after work. That means I'll probably do my 10K before work, potentially some of it with Max, if his achilles tendons are up to it.

15/05/2017
[17:55] Weekends without Rachel are dull. However, pre-the weekend wasn't dull. Oh Thursday night I left work and headed to London in time to get to the social/briefing for the marathon we'll be doing in East Africa later on this year. The venue has moved from Tanzania to Kenya for various reasons, which isn't anything other than exciting, I think. Anyway, the evening went well and after dinner in London we went home. This was with Rachel's parents, who are also coming on the trip (as are my parents). Friday was spent either hanging out at home with Rachel's parents, or taking the Overground to Wapping to help one of Rachel's friends move house. That was interesting, but ultimately made me worry about how much stuff I have, and whether or not I'll ever find a house I like that I can buy. We had a quiet night as we had to be up horribly early on Saturday morning to get Rachel to Heathrow in time for a 08:40 flight. The byproduct of that was that I made it home in time to do parkrun... although I didn't as I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to do so. Eventually I dragged myself out of the door to do 10K, and decided to keep my heart rate under 150bpm as much as I could. I sort of managed it. After that it was Tesco and lunch time. I'm not sure I did anything much with the remainder of the day. Sunday was nearly completely devoid of me doing anything until I made myself go for a run, and spent a productive few hours installing the RAM upgrade in and setting up Rachel's new laptop. The former went smoothly as I'd already been through the process as a dry run before the RAM arrived. The latter also went smoothly, but installing all the updates took most of the afternoon, even with a fast connection and an SSD. I even searched for solutions to all but three of the log-filler errors that even a freshly-installed Windows 10 has. I'd also left the RAM at work after it'd been delivered on Friday, so cycling to work and back to get it was a way to get a bit more exercise and use up some more of the day.

This morning was a usual Monday morning. I got up, exercised, came to work. One of the first things I did was a final rsync of the last volume on the QNAP to my replacement RHEL7 NFS server and then swiched the mount point over and rebooted the server using it. After that things were fairly quiet until I got back from my lunchtime run to find that someone was complaining about a web service they use giving back the message "HACK!" when they tried to look at financial data. After running around the building for a while it was discovered that a now-departed developer had put a condition in the code involved which would print that string if a data import didn't go as planned. Panic over.

I've also arranged five more house viewings to take place between now and Saturday afternoon, and Max is now staying over on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday night. This means we'll probably go for a run tomorrow evening rather that tomorrow lunchtime. We'll see. Oh, and I've ordered two laptop sleeves to see which is better, and will then send back the other one.

11/05/2017
[16:05] Got quite a bit done this morning after my 10K run before work. Although the run wasn't much cop again. I don't know what's wrong, but I do seem to have lost a lot of my fitness recently. I still feel like I'm carrying a bit too much around my middle, and my muscle to fat ratio has gone in the wrong direction in the last year or two. Anyway, that's something I hope to address in a few months, post the little bit of rowing I intend to do this year.

So yes, the work was getting an NFS server up in place of the QNAP we've been having issue with. I got all but one of the six servers still using the QNAP onto the NFS server today, but the last one is causing issues due to the interaction between rsync, Xen, NFS, and the networking stack. Throw in some issues with the power saving mode on my graphics card and it hasn't all been smooth sailing. I also just got back from a ten minute walk around the site with Cormac who's had some issues at work recently. Hopefully things will work out OK for everyone there.

I'm off now down to London to go to a social evening with all the other people going to run in East Africa (those who can come to the evening, anyway), where we'll be told some important news about it. Then it's back to Rachel's for the night with her parents, and then I have tomorrow off to help one of her friends move house and spend some time together before she heads off to East Africa on Saturday morning. I'll come back home and then have the remainder of the weekend here doing... whatever it is I do when Rachel isn't around. Then it'll be Monday again, hopefully without anything too fraught occuring.

10/05/2017
[17:35] I ran this morning before work. It was an easier route, and I ran it more slowly, but I felt much worse during and afterwards. I don't believe it was down to last night's dinner, but might have been because I ran before I ate. This hasn't been the case before (that I'm aware of), but potentially I've detrained somewhat since the marathon training schedule. Anyway, I made it home, then to work on time.

At work a server which has been low-grade worrying me for months threw a power supply, so I've got a new one coming tomorrow at some point. There's every chance that it's not going to fix all of the issues I've been seeing on and off with it for a while now, but it will clear some of the trees to see the wood, as it were. Otherwise I've created a VM for someone to get up to speed with RHEL7 since they last used RHEL about seven or so years ago, created another VM to do some more work on tomorrow (mounting a second HDD, setting up NFS services, etc.), and generally got on with my job. At lunchtime I went out to see another house, but wasn't very impressed with it.

I'll try another run tomorrow morning. See how that goes.

09/05/2017
[17:35] Rachel worked from (my) home yesterday, so after I'd been to do a second viewing on a house with Shaun (which, on reflection, I don't think I'm going to put an offer in as I just don't want it enough) she and I met at a nearby Curry's/PC World and we bought her a new laptop. She won't be taking it to Kenya/Tanzania next weekend, so I've got time to get it all set up here and have her take it away when she comes to see me on her return (or if I go to see her). That means I'll have time to make sure it works, and potentially get her a case for it (and possibly double the RAM, too).

Neither of us slept all that well last night, and we both woke up feeling a bit unsatisfied with the night's sleep. I had a stomach ache too, which didn't help. She headed off to London, I tried to doze a little more and then got up and did my morning exercises before coming to work. Work today involved replacing a disk, sorting out a plan of action for getting off one of the old QNAP filestores we have, and learning some more about how to fix my Satellite installation if/when I move it to 6.2.9. I also went for a 10K run at lunch time and arranged a house viewing during tomorrow lunch time. I'll try to get a run done before work tomorrow morning. Maybe knowing I have to get up a little earlier will convince my body to get some better sleep tonight.

08/05/2017
[16:30] Over the weekend I ran a faster parkrun (as the filling in a run to/from it), saw two houses with Rachel (one of which had some real potential), went to look at laptops with Rachel again, with a view to buying one, and signed up to Netflix. Some other stuff happened, but none of it was all that important, really. Definitely fun, though. Potentials were striven for.

Today I've arranged to see the house with potential again this evening with Shaun, will then go with Rachel to probably buy her a new laptop, have worked out how to get Office installed on whatever machine she gets (legally), and even got some useful work done. Mostly the latter has consisted of dealing with things in my email inbox, doing a few Satellite housekeeping tasks, and prodding my line manager to get on with something. That's about it, really. Hopefully I'll do something more worthwhile tomorrow.

Oh, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on Friday evening. It was... OK. I was somehow hoping for better. Maybe I'm just jaded.

05/05/2017
[16:15] It really was nice to have Rachel over last night. Sadly she'd had two big chunks of bad/distressing news over the course of the day so the evening was somewhat muted. We still had a lovely dinner and a nice quiet evening together, and even slept well (or at least I did, I think she did too).

At work today I've managed to keep my mistakes to a bare minimum... although in disconnecting a SAN volume from one server and mapping it to a VMWare cluster to be connected to a VMWare guest I managed to completely delete the contents of the volume by mapping it as a new datastore, rather than a raw LUN. Luckily we had snapshotting enabled on it, and nothing had really happened on it since 18:00 last night (it was a standby database, I think). That meant we could revert to the snapshot and mount that instead. A little distressing for me, and hopefully not something I'll do again in future! The DBA responsible for things was remarkably sanguine, too.

Anyway, it's now time for me to head off for the weekend via the cinema. Rachel'll be coming back again on Saturday (hurrah!), I'll be doing parkrun before she arrives, then we'll have some lunch and go and look at two more potential houses (although I don't think one of them will have much potential). After that... who knows? It's a good day and a half filled with promise.

04/05/2017
[17:00] It looks like I forgot to do this entry on the day, I'm not sure why. Anyway, it was a good day as far as work went. Nothing exploded, so I was able to get on with a whole load of decent Ansible stuff and even push out two new servers. Then I headed home and made the place presentable for Rachel coming back home again for another night. I have to say, it's lovely to see so much of her so often.

03/05/2017
[18:00] I'd planned on getting out of work early today, but a failed upgrade of Red Hat Satellite put paid to that. Sensibly, this time around I'd done a VMWare snapshot of the server before doing the upgrade as, even though it looked like everything had gone swimmingly, the resulting installation had numerous OOM errors (Ruby), incredibly high CPU load (postgres, among others), and various bits of functionality were either broken or incredibly slow to perform. Reverting was slightly nerve-wracking, but everything seems to be back to where it was pre-upgrade, thankfully. In other news I spent the morning doing a mass of Ansible role work, most of which I think will work first time (famous last words).

I'm off now to get a free cinema ticket for Friday afternoon, and then home to do a mass of washing up caused by making fajitas last night with Rachel whilest she made us ricotta-based chocolate muffins. Everything was, as you would expect, delicious.

02/05/2017
[17:00] I do like short weeks. This is another one because of yesterday's bank holiday. Over this weekend I had a lot of Rachel company (happily), a reasonable parkrun (with a run there and back, too), two house viewings (both had reasonable potential), plenty of lovely food, cycle trips, picnics, and plenty of relaxing. We even got to have brunch in town, and look at new laptops for Rachel's birthday, too. Rachel was away on Monday seeing friends, and didn't make it home until very late due to one thing and another, but that was OK as it gave me a chance to catch up on really terrible films she wouldn't enjoy watching.

At work today I've cleared a few things off my to do list, added a few more on, and generally kept the status quo as far as I can tell. There's a Red Hat Satellite upgrade pending, but I'm holding off until tomorrow afternoon when there'll be someone from Red Hat on my favourite IRC channel to help in case things go wrong.