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September's Journal
November's Journal

[22:30] Apologies for failure to write this earlier in the day but I'm still in under the wire, just. So, as I was arriving this morning I bumped into the TNT delivery man bringing in my new SunFire x4200 M2. Hurrah! Something to do at last! Having dragged it one-handed down the corridor and unpacked it in the office I noticed that Sun have gone for some swanky new screwless rack rail kits these days. Which is a really cool... except that they don't fit the old Sun rack we have (which incidently already has two other x4200 M2 servers in it using the older screwed-in rails. So, after some back and forth with DBAs and my line manager I resigned myself to racking it in one of the other racks... which offended my asthetic sensibilities no end. In an effort to forget about that aspect I simply plugged in all the cables and didn't go back to the server again, doing everything else from console from powering the server on to installing and configuring the box for hand over to the developers. Which happened within about an hour of be starting to do things.

I kind of wish I'd taken more time over it as there wasn't much left to do for the rest of the day. I answered some pending emails, went for my Wednesday run (the day I push myself) and installed half a dozen replacement SSL certificates. A standard day in the life of a systems adminisrator, really.

I may have over done it a little with the running as the climbing session this evening was a little more tiring than I was expecting. Still, all good for building up that stamina, etc. etc. I'm just back now, having showered and eaten so now I should have the mental energy to remotely help someone through connecting their laptop to a wireless router thingmybob. Then bed. Definitely bed.

[16:55] Feeling a bit better today. Funnily though I went to bed fairly early and still managed to sleep through. I guess the concept of needing less sleep when I'm exercising more isn't completely true. It doesn't matter anyway, it's not like it's important. Sooooo, what else? The Pound's up against the Dollar I see. That's good. I guess that's about it really. Nothing happening at work other than setting up a few switches to relieve the monotony of the working day. Truly I have very little to do at the moment. If the new machines turned up I'd have something to concentrate on then. Until that happens I'm just twiddling my thumbs and writing documentation. I wish I had a big project to sink my teeth into for a few weeks. It'd certainly fill my brain up with something constructive. I'll pop to the gym now I think. Then look for something fun to to. Doctor's orders, apparently.

[16:25] The weekend's rowing was good. I think that as the only left-hander in the boat I'm noticing the distinct right side lean the boat has a bit more than everyone else. That may be why I can't get that oar as clear of the water as cleanly as I'd like. Or maybe I'm just crap. Could be the latter. Doing doubles on the ergos-with-sides with the coach beforehand was interesting as I got to follow someone who knew how to row, keep pace and push me in terms of power. I finally got my bike grips too, even if I had to convince the bike shop guy to take them off a display bike and swap them the again-incorrect ones which arrived to replace the incorrectly delivered ones from last week. I relaxed for the rest of the day after doing some food shopping. I would have gone to a party but I think there was something a little problematic with the food I cooked and I remained under house arrest for the evening.

On Sunday I had intended to stay in and just give my body a day off, but it was not to be and after feeling recovered from the previous day's... unfortunateness I couldn't stay in one place for more than a few minutes. In order to give myself some respite I popped down to the gym and ran a quick five miles on the treadmill before a light weights session. That seemed to calm me down and I could go home and actually sit still to read and stuff. Oh, I forgot to mention that on Saturday I finally got the last few bits and bobs to affix Jenny's bike's mudguards properly, and her bell.

Anyway, that was pretty much it for the weekend other than a nice Skype call, some retro television fun with Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars: IV and a nice glazed gammon joint and vegetables for dinner (and also lunch sandwiches today). Top Gear was suitably silly, and then I went to bed and slept, as always, like a log. I'm very pleased by the fact I don't ever really seem to have had a problem dropping off, even when there's stress in my life. I think the only points I've had trouble have been when I haven't done enough exercise. Of course, all bets are off when it comes to waking early. The clocks going back don't really affect me, but if I'm mixed up about stuff you'll find me walking at 05:00 or earlier and unable to get back to sleep. I tend to go into work early on those days. It's better than staring at the ceiling and Radio 4 isn't very interesting at that time of the morning.

Today has been another nonentity day for me. The highlight was the run, although with my running partner back I wasn't really pushing at all and stopped a few times to let him catch up again. I'll give it a proper go on Wednesday I think. Before then I really hope the new x4200 M2 turns up so I can get stuck into getting it upgraded, installed and stuff. Life continues to continue otherwise. Suitably revised.

[16:30] You know what? There's nothing quite like writing an email on behalf of a representative of a foreign nation to put you in a good mood. Especially when the reply contains a sentence that could be read in two ways, one of which makes you smile twice as much as the other. Otherwise today was a run day (went rather well, thank you for asking) and tonight is a gym night (hope to have it go rather well too, thanks muchly). I then fully intend to put a load of washing on and take a load off. Saturday is rowing and cycling bits day. Sunday is other stuff I haven't finalised yet.

More reading today for me. Also I broke and had some chocolate. Probably the first I've has since the end of September. Erm, otherwise that's it for work things other than some networking preparations for next week's arrival of a shiny new SunFire x4200 M2 and tidying up a kickstart install to see how quickly I can get the thing up and running post a round of firmware upgrades.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, from looking at penguins and other aquatic life, to just lazing around and readind, have a smashing weekend.

[17:40] I've achieved less today. This is mainly due to reporting back on my successes and doing some reading around on stuff. I've also been on my hands and knees cleaning up massive amounts of cruft that'd fallen between desks in the office (all part of the autumn clean that was elicited by adding new furniture to the room and generally moving things around). Off the back of my analysis of XenSource we could be making some purchases in the near future. I just have to hope I did a good job in my looking at things and going "Hmmmm."

Other than that I had lunch with Shaun and chatted about this and that, had a look at things to do in far away places and wondered about the shape of the things to come. For some reason I'm in a thoughtful mood today. "Relax, have fun, be me (who else could I be?) and see what the future holds" seems to be what my ideas have boiled down to as I don't think there's ever a point when you know for certain what's going to happen to you next. So I'm just going to be me, do the things I want to do and see what happens.
[ This momentary digression brought to you by "An Over-long Day", "Not Enough Food", the letter "Q" and the numbers 4 and 10 ]

Right now though the above means going home, picking up the masses of small change from my lounge floor where I had an abortive attempt to count up the contents of my coppers glass last night and getting ready for people coming over to watch Red Dwarf for the evening with my second portion of lemon chicken and rice. Not that the lemon chicken and rice will be watching Red Dwarf. No, I'll be eating that, obviously.

Maybe I'm a little too tired to be writing this...

[17:45] I have achieved today! Real achievement. That I did. All by myself. Me! Wicked!

I have taken a server with two network interfaces, each one on a different VLAN according to the switch both interfaces are connected to.  Neither eth0 or eth1 has an IP address assigned to it.  On the server are three virtual machines.  One of them is using one Xen bridge to talk on one VLAN (via eth0).  The other two are using another bridge on the other interface (eth1) to talk via that VLAN. This means that Domain0 actually has no connectivity whatsoever. This is great from a security point of view as it means access to the one part of the server which allows access to the rest of the DomU architecture is only accessible via serial console. We find this most pleasing. Of course I'll have to keep Dom0 up to date with patches so now and again I'll lower and then raise eth0 with an IP and run the updates. This would necessarily require a brief interruption to the connectivity of any DomU which was using the Xen bridge associated with it but I think we can deal with that as we'll only have development servers on the VLAN associated with that interface.

If none of the above made any sense to you answer me this: do calcium channels broadcast sports or documentaries about penguins? Enquiring minds want to know. Or maybe - given their potential connection to the treatment of psychosis and bi-polar disorder - both, which is why you need to block them with something like Nimodipine to stop seeing sports documentaries about penguins!

Sorry, I'm on a bit of a high today after achieving tons with Virtualization and a run at lunchtime. I can feel myself beginning to get fitter again. All the things I'm doing finally seem to be having an effect. Especially the gym (which I was at last night as you may recall). I could do with eating a bit more vegetable matter (I've got fruit covered) to be quite honest, although at least I am eating reasonable meals these days. Anyway, for now I should head off as I'm famished and could do with the remainder of the lemon chicken with broccoli and baby sweetcorn I made yesterday.

[17:15] Today has been lots more furniture moving and attempting to 'knapsack problem' the bookshelves and desks and filing cabinets in such a way as we can fit everyone in the room. I think we've finally managed it and the place actually doesn't seem that crowded. At the moment we haven't got him in the room and we don't have his computers on the desk yet, so maybe there're still kinks to work out. Either way it's going to be excellent to have another good apple in the room, as it were.

Otherwise I've been drawing complicated diagrams with which to help me work out what the hell is going on with networking in Virtualization. I'm going to take the plunge tomorrow and start doing some allocating of virtual IPs and stuff without base IPs for the physical interfaces. Also some vaguely disturbing activities with Xen bridges. It'll all go horribly wrong I'm sure, but that should be part of the fun!

Even with not doing any exercise at lunchtime I was famished by around midday so I think I'm going to be seriously in need of some food after the gym this evening. I've had some chat with a developer today and sorted out why one of their Ruby on Rails applications was completely filling about 45G of free space on one of our servers every time he ran his stuff. With luck that won't be happening any more. I also a chance to catch up with Jenny and find out how she's doing, which is always a good thing. It seems she had a most excellent time at the local climbing wall. This is brilliant as I was very much hoping she'd continue to climb after getting over there. It makes me happy to know she's getting enjoyment out of something I enjoy so much myself. She's also going to find out about netball and is probably going to be going out on a weekend here and there skiing and walking and stuff too. I'm quite envious! However, gym time!
[17:10] OK. A lot's happened since Friday night so let me see what I can recall. First off I went to the gym on Friday and had a rather good session. I ended up doing a quick 2km to make sure I was in the zone as it were. After that I went home and curled up for the night. This was because I assumed that Saturday was going to be fairly energetic. And it was!

After getting to the boathouse for around 11:00 straight from the off I was stroke (nearest the cox) in a quad (that's four people, each one with two oars) and we were out on the river. It has to be one of the best and most enjoyable things I've done in a long time. This is most likely something to do with sleeping alone. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I was probably the best in the boat even though I hadn't ever actually rowed properly before. This was surprising given the other people had. This gives me a sense that I might actually be able to get reasonably good at it, eventually. After everyone else had gone I found I was still completely full of energy so ended up doing a good twenty minute stint on an ergo and came out with a time of just over five kilometers. Given that the boathouse was showing the rugby in the evening I helped rearrange the room so that people could come and watch it. Definitely a nice way of getting to know people (the arranging, not just the evening's entertainment). Following that I headed home to find that the bread I'd put on in the breadmaker hadn't quite risen as much as it should have. Probably something to do with slightly lethargic yeast. Still, entirely edible. I popped out to get my cycle grips and some other bike things and found that the shop had had the wrong ones delivered. I'm going to have to go back next Saturday instead and hope they have them then. From there I went to Tesco and got food for the day and then, finally settled down at home for some lunch. At that point I was very close to not moving again for the rest of the day. So instead I got up and toed in the brakes on my new bike and put some washing on before making a Skype call. I still remain very impressed with the quality of line. Anyway, the call was good too, I think. I had to reveal a surprise, but it was probably better than not doing so and things falling through. After that it was just a case of working out whether or not I'd go back to the club to watch the match. I went, it was enjoyable, I lost my voice a little, I came home and went to bed.

Sunday was just as full of excitement and consisted of getting up in time to make it into town for a lift to London. I climbed with people from pretty much 10:00 until 17:00 although I have to admit I was completely shattered by around 16:00 and only did some light bouldering after then. Having to cycle in the freezing cold late in the evening wasn't especially great but getting home for a nice hot shower was smashing. I probably had some dinner but I don't really recall. Bed followed fairly shortly.

Today I've been generally trying to understand the connection between peth, eth, veth and vif interfaces in a Virtualization context. It's all a bit too interconnected for me at the moment. Probably something to do with being a bit tired and below par, energy-wise. Still, plenty of energy for making sure others are OK. That kind of energy comes from a different pot and is fairly inexhaustable. I should head off fairly shortly and go home to collapse. I may even have a proper meal.

[16:25] So, not the most productive day today. I've had better days in terms of work. However, before going to work I managed to do something fun with a microphone which I think was appreciated. Let's just say it was a beastly wheeze. Since then I've been in work and trying to figure out how to use the multiple physical network interfaces on my test box for the different virtual machines I have installed such that Dom0 doesn't have access to multiple VLANs while the DomU VMs are on those differing VLANs themselves. I think it'll have something to do with not assigning IPs to the physical interfaces but still using them in the bridging setup. Not entirely sure at the moment. If I get time over the weekend I'll take a look at reading up in it, if I can find where to start. The whole vifX.Y/xenbrZ thing frankly confuses the hell out of me as I've nor really done much Proper Networking stuff in years. I'm sure it'll all become clear, like the whole concept of Virtualization did this week.

This weekend I'm going rowing, making a Skype call or two, collecting some grips, black tape and cable ties for bike work, shopping for standard groceries and going climbing for the day on Sunday. Hopefully there'll be some relaxing in there somewhere too. And maybe a surprise for someone.

For now, gym.

[18:15] Not quite as impressive day today. Although I've been doing a whole load of good things with the virtual machines and fixing the rather complicated mess I've been making on the Redhat Network, there just hasn't been the time to get a handle on the things I've wanted to do today. In other news I have been able to confirm that I'm not going completely crazy. This is good news and means I can just relax a bit more. Speaking of relaxation I intend to indulge in all kinds of it this evening. There'll be no people coming over as I just need some time to chill, have a decent meal and generally unwind for once with no exercise.

[18:10] Whee and cor and wow and stuff like that! I've had an excellent day today. Aside from getting up a little late and missing the window to reboot a machine I was supposed to do (which someone else did for me, nicely) I've had an amazing great day. This is what happens when I find something I can get my teeth into! So I came in and had a damned good read of the Xen stuff and went online to get some other opinions. Before I knew it I had two virtual machines up and running (despite a hugely long install time. Think I'm going to need beefier machines than the test box I'm using at the moment). Happily, while those installs were going on I went and ran a blistering 6km in some freakishly quick time which I forgot to make a note of. I'm pretty sure it was something around about 25 minutes though. Back from that I plunged into virtualization and made some definite Big Progress before taking a brain break to help an office mate rearrange his work area for an upcoming change to the office topology.

I'm off to a meeting to discuss getting a climbing wall for where I live this evening, but before then I'm heading into town to have some food with friends who're also attending. I've been buzzing all day and I really wish I could chat to someone about it this evening but I think the person I'd most like to be effusive with is busy, so I'll just make do elsewise.

Despite some last minute difficulties with kickstart and network configurations today has been a Damned Good Day.

[16:00] It's all really annoying. All of it, apart from little bits of Skype, which are nice. This stupid Xen stuff is driving me crazy with my inability to get a file-based OS image up and running. Not only that but in trying to follow the instructions I've managed to completely mess up the grub on the host machine I'm using for testing. So that won't even boot now! I'm just about the worst Xen proponent there is. Bar none. I think I'm going to go to the gym and then read.

[17:40] Over the weekend a machine which has been reporting that one of the disks was in a bad way decided to up and die in a quiet and unspectacular way such that there was no console access or anything. I forensically determined what the issue was and made my way into town as soon as I was sorted at work. After getting the machine up again through an fsck, reboot, fsck cycle I left the bad disk out as Patrol Reads were causing lockups on fsck and called Dell. Surprisingly they agreed to ship out a disk within four hours and, lo and behold, it'd arrived within three. I popped back into town this afternoon and not only installed the disk but took the opportunity to upgrade the firmware of the ESM, BIOS, RAID controller and hard drives (such that they matched that of the replacement disk). It all went flawlessly. I'm a little scared. Now I just have to get downtime on its sister (Live) server and do the same little updates before it pulls the same kind of stunt.

The weekend was pretty good. On Saturday I cycled out in the morning intending to get the grips and bar ends for the new bike that I'd been hoping had been ordered in for me and found that my favourite cycle shop had let me down on both counts. Cue me cycling all over town to find someone who sold at least the grips. Eventually I found a place way down near where Jenny used to live and got some ordered for next Friday. Hopefully the guy there'll actually place the order.

Once home I got to sample the rather incredible quality of Skype-when-it's-working for two hours or so and arranged what should be one of the more excellent holidays I'll get to go on. Here's hoping that everything works out.

I don't honestly remember what I did with the rest of the day. I do know that I cooked a pretty decent meal in the evening (i.e. there was proper vegetables in it) and got to bed fairly early.

This is because on Sunday I was due to go for my first rowing training session! Aside from arriving about ten minutes early for a session at 11:00 which turned out to be at 11:30 (because the club captain had neglected to tell me) I also found that Sunday was the juniors day (something else the club captain had forgotten to tell me) so I ended up training with them for the duration. Luckily there was a fairly tall 16 year old boy with a similar reach to me so when we put the ergos on the slides there was someone with which I could match stroke length. Happily it seems either I'm a natural or the little bit of coaching given to my by Jenny really seems to have stuck as both the guy teaching me and a woman rower who came in briefly to watch thought I had almost perfect technique given that I'd never actually been coached formally before. I think I must have rowed about 10km over the course of the morning. Trying to row in time with someone with my eyes closed and only the feel of their movements on the ergo behind (connected with slides) is a very cool experience and I can't wait to try it in a real boat. Apperently I may get to do this next week (on Saturday) in a tub (read: a more normal-looking boat, rather than one of those things that looks like a razor blade). I'll be doing sculling (two oars) rather than rowing sweep (one oar) to begin with. I'm informed by someone who knows that you "go like stink" in a quad (two people with two oars, sculling) so I'm looking forward to that. Also learning to feather my blade(s). So, that was Sunday morning. I'd intended to go cycling in the afternoon but my halfway point was going to be deserted so instead I stayed home and read a book and a half before cooking some simply smashing blackened honey chicken with the other half of the fresh vegetables from Saturday.

The rest of the day I've been relearning huge chunks of virtualization which it turns out I'd got completely the wrong end of the stick about! Talk about irritating. Hopefully the new engrams I'm going to form will be the right this time and I can get on with installing guest operating systems on the machine I have prepared. I'm rather smug that I've managed to get it to boot in such a way that I'm still getting serial console access. Tomorrow I try installing a RHEL5(xen) instance and if that goes well... something else. I'm limited by using operating systems for which I can obtain a para-virtualized kernel, but I guess I can build one if necessary.

I should go home now and do some washing up; its been a bit of a while since I did any.

[16:20] A much better day today. Much, much better. Just a shame my network connection has been a bit flakey this afternoon. I didn't manage to get any further with my virtulization experiments but I have read a lot more. I feel so full of knowledge. Yet there are still some concepts which are causing me to scratch my head. I've also looked at bus timetables (for two countries) train timetables and B&Bs. It has, all in all, been a pretty good day.

I'm feeling a lot happier for having had some sleep, some food and some relaxation. Although I need a lot more of all of the above. People came over last night anyway and I have to say it was nice to have the company despite thinking being quiet and reading would have been prefered. As soon as I've been to the gym this evening I intend to have that quiet time then instead. On a related note I went for a run at lunch time. I didn't push myself too hard as I was letting the networks guy keep up with me. I really do feel pretty great after a run. I hope I can keep it up.

Otherwise I hope to do some serious cycling tomorrow after picking up the new grips and bar ends from the bike shop (if they have them in) and then Sunday is when I try out for the rowing club I hope to join. More news on that on Monday. With luck and a following wind there should be a chance to chat to Jenny over the weekend too. Here's hoping that Skype behaves itself.

[15:20] I'm tired and a bit flat today. Consequently even the slightest things are being blow up in my head into far larger issues than they actually are. A case in point: The fun thing I'm trying to organise looks to be getting more complicated and potentially shorter in duration than I thought might be the case. It doesn't matter really, it's just not what I was expecting. With a good night's sleep (I wish) and some thought I'm sure it'll all work out just like it's supposed to, and it'll be excellent. Right now I just feel like going home and curling up for the evening. Hopefully it won't be too disappointing if I don't invite anyone around as I normally do.

I've been reading more about virtualization today, and installing the spare Sun V20z with RHEL5. That took a bit of fiddle to get the thing to boot from USB key. Probably my 'achievement' today. Oh, and getting in at 06:30 this morning to help with the complicated thing I described yesterday.

[16:00] Ah, turns out people still want to come over anyway so I'll do the regular hospitable thing and then collapse after they've gone. All in all I'm just a bit down and under the weather energy-wise (fit as a fiddle otherwise as last night's short but impressive climbing session demonstrated) and could really do with some of what I'm missing to cheer me up a tad.

[17:05] A quiet day livened only by masses of reading about virtulaization, a journal or two online and a very pleasant run at lunch time. I think I should have eaten something better than a malt loaf for tea but a) I couldn't be bothered and b) I didn't have anything worth cooking which was defrosted. I know I should be eating more healthily, especially after exercise and I will. Promise. Just not yesterday. I'm climbing with Cormac this evening so I'll get some chicken out and do something stir-fry'y when I get home. Oh, and I'll make sure I drink enough too.

Everyone in the office is in early tomorrow. I'm talking pre-07:00 early. This is so that we can do some firewall and loadbalancer failover stuff without annoying too many people. Obviously there'll be a few people who whinge and complain and stuff but it's not like we can please all of the people all of the time. And to be honest some of the time we really don't want to please anyone, let alone everyone. So yes, tomorrow morning we're going to be mirroring a few critical switch ports, sniffing and logging with wireshark about six or seven gigs of raw ethernet traffic and monitoring connectivity via ADSL external lines to load balanced instances of the key applications when we down one of the firewalls. This is to find out whether gratuitious ARPs are being interpreted correctly and caching is behaving as it should. See, I can do complicated too (not aimed at any psychiatry Ph.D owner in particular)...

[10:30] Today already feels like a bad day. I'm not feeling particularly down, but it's definitely the worst day I've had in a long time (that wasn't specifically because of a known thing happening, if you can parse my meaning). It started last night with a designer from Möben coming around to design me a kitchen. He was with me for two and a bit hours and came up with something that would probably be smashing. The only problem is that it was way over what I could afford (to the tune of about 6K) and didn't feature any new floor, new radiator or new lights. Not to mention taking the cupboard out or leveling off the floor where the boiler was torn out. I could probably take off about 1K by stripping the tiles off and making the walls good myself, but even so that's still extra money on top of an amount I don't have which is a bit of a bind. I'm thinking I should go and talk to some more people, get some quotes for other designs and get some quotes for getting the blinds, floor, celing, lights and radiator done and the tiling and stud-walled boiler cupboard removed. Then I'll have a better idea. The Möben guy isn't due to get back to me for a week or so, so I've time to get something done.

Maybe just not today. Today I have to cycle out into the wet, twice, purely for a little bit of money. Also to further the cause of psychological research. Other than that I need to read more about virtualisation. Or "Virtualization", as I may have to start referring to it as. In other news, I miss... things.

[17:20] Yes, 'twas a good weekend in passing. First off was purchasing the very first tranche of Skype credit so I could contact Jenny in the US. Seems her headset has already died a death. We had a good chat about things she was up to and the housing situation. I think I helped her work through some of the things going around in her mind on that score and it seems that she's made a decision. This is helpful as it means that she now has a definite end-point to where she's living at the moment and the place she'll be moving into seems fairly nice.

Otherwise the day was spent wandering around various kitchen shops until my brain was tired and I could sketch and label my kitchen with all the correct measurements from memory without resorting to looking at my bit of paper. That went on until well after 16:00. In fact I think it was closer to 17:00 when I got home in time to have people arrive. We toddled over to Keith and Cat's and from there into town. It was fantastic to see Dunk even though I'd seen him the weekend before. Still, long time planning (it was what, over a month?) lead to a great evening. I think I got home some time around 02:00 on Sunday morning and left people watching Robot Monkey while I went to bed.

Sunday was more about eating far too many sugary things and then going for a walk to get bacon. I think I had some kind of strange reaction to that amount of sugar because I became a little short of breath and got a pain in my chest. Which was a little strange. I'm certain it was something to do with the sugar because it went away fairly quickly after I ate some protein and drank something non-sugary. Eventually I went home and spent pretty much the remainder of the day autumn-cleaning my house to within an inch of its plaster, floorboards and concrete. I don't think I finished much before 19:00 at which point I collapsed in a dusty, sweaty heap and had a fabulous thin-crust pizza liberally decorated with extra pancetta. That was hands down one of the best things I've ever eaten. Given that I didn't use all of the pancetta from the packet I'm going to have to do something similar tonight, possibly on garlic bread.

Anyway, today has been all about the reading up on Virtualisation and making sure that my line manager and I are on the same page when it comes to knowing which kind is which. That is "para" versus "full" virtualisation. I won't explain the difference because half of you don't care and the other half already know.

The weather here is pretty good (cool, no rain, overcast) for running so I went today at lunch time. Just the standard 6km. Nothing impressive, but I did feel rather tired at the end. I wonder if I pushed myself on some of the harder (read: uphill) bits? Otherwise things are in the status quo right now. I have someone coming over to look at my kitchen this evening and tomorrow lunch time I'm going to participate in a psychology experiment for a bit of money. It's always good to have a little bit of pocket money.

[16:25] It has been something of a full day today for things what have happened to me. And I'm talking about from the very beginning of the day. I was absolutely shattered and heading to bed... in fact I was in bed when I re-remembered that about two hours from that moment the Ig Nobel awards were going to take place in Boston. I dug out my laptop and tried in vain to get the Quicktime stream to load. Firefox, directly pasting the URL into Quicktime itself; neither work. It was only after twelve minutes into when the ceremony should have started that I remembered to try kicking things off with Internet Explorer. Of course everything worked perfectly so I grabbed something warm and went downstairs to pipe it through the computer next to the television. Cue a rather well-transfered live feed of the whole thing (less twelve minutes) into my living room. That's one up for modern technology, I think. Of course this meant I didn't go to bed until around 02:00, but it was worth it to share the experience with those people who were actually there. Not the most polished occasion, but definitely worth the price of admission.

Happily I wasn't too tired when I awoke to another completely clear and sunny day at around 07:00. Dragging myself to work (still on the old bike, I need to get myself an adjustable spanner so I can put the old pedals on the new bike and I'm still waiting on the grips and bar ends) was lovely given the temperature and sunshine and I set to work. Aside from accidently deleting about 4GB of old Tomcat logs, which I and my line manager were looking through at the time and therefore having to run over to the offsite tape safe to get the right one to restore them from before we could carry on, I've been tasked with catching up on the state of play of Virtualisation. Turns out things have come on a long way since I last played with VMWare.

Anyway, this weekend I intend to have a ton of fun with Dunk and Co. who're visiting for "night out fun" in town. If possible I will try to buy a spanner, apply pedals to the new bike, do some cycling and perhaps even go rowing, if the guy from the rowing club ever gets back to me. For now I will head off and tire myself out at the gym for the evening. Have a smashing weekend doing the important things that I know you have to do. And stuff. Yes, you know what I'm talking about.

[16:50] There's something I meant to mention today. Something fairly cool, only I can't remember what it was. I'm sure it'll come to me...

What the hell was it?

No, no, it's gone. Damn it. Ah well, can't have been important.

Anyway, I got a parcel posted off today, although who knows when it'll arrive at its destination. I also didn't manage to go for a run, but considering I was pretty shattered after last night's climbing session that's probably a good thing. I'm quite hungry at the moment (the last few days) but I've been fighting it and only eating when appropriate rather than whenever I see something tasty (which is hard considering the amount of cakes and things that appear in this building due to birthdays). Couple that with the money for my new bike, various other important spends which have gone on recently and generally trying to save a little more so that the kitchen isn't such a drain on my funds when I get it done and for some odd reason I've moved off the topic of food and onto money. How did that happen? Anyway, yes, less junk food eating, more exercise and no spending on fripperies. At least, not many. My headset/microphone arrived this morning so I've been able to get Skype up and running on my linux box at work. It took a little effort, even with RHEL5 rather than RHEL3. I can't imagine how hard it might have been on that platform.

Oh, I tracked down a beep in the server room which turned out to be a fairly important disk failure in an enclosure connected to a server. The enclosure had no warning and the software on the server had picked it up instead. Only as it wasn't a failure in the server proper it hadn't been flagged with anything other than an audible beep. Nothing in the software at all until I alerted the Windows team and they queried the server directly. Ah, and I stopped us from doing zone transfers and caching of DNS data for the domain we're a part of and instead we now do forwarding, which is far better for our situation.

Finally I'm very envious of Jenny who's attending the IgNobels this evening. I may stay up or record the web cast. Or I may just go to bed. We'll see. Tonight's a Thursday, as per, so we're watching the entire third season of Red Dwarf.

[17:30] My bike arrived this morning! It's shiny and stuff. Looks different to my stripped one (having a groupset, handlebars and wheels notwithstanding), possibly smaller, definitely weird. Anyway, a colleague helped me get it home on the back of his car and then I headed over to the cycle shop I prefer to find some extra bits. Unfortunately two of the three bits were out of stock so I'm going to have to go back there next week and get them then.

I've reinstalled a Windows box as a linux box this afternoon to allow us to do some promiscuous network snooping on this Solaris 10 ARP issue. Other than that there's still not much happening here. Oh, I'm going climbing this evening. After last night's gym I'm feeling a bit of an ache, but hey-ho, there you go.

[17:00] OK, so I had a call from the bike place the insurance people are using. They were been unable to track down a Scott Scale 60 2006 (obviously) or a 2007 model (in medium). This was annoying as they'd have been able to get it to me for less than the amount of money the insurers were willing to give me. As 'luck' would have it I managed to find a place online which was willing to sell a 2007 model medium for a little less than I paid for my 2006 one. This means I've got about £56 quid to pay on top of what the insurance will pay out, and then I'll need to get some bar ends and replace the grips with the ones I really like again at my favourite bike shop.

Otherwise I've managed to seamlessly upgrade a decrepid RHEL3 box with PHP 4.4.4 from RPMs no less! And I even built the RPMs myself from source. How nuts is that? Yes, I know, you're agog at just how incredible that is. So'm I, so don't worry, you're in good company. I'm feeling in something of a good mood, despite the amount of money I've spent today. Hopefully a good chunk of cash'll be credited to my account over the rest of this week and I'll feel a little better about things.

I should pop home and go the gym. After the run today I'm feeling quite energised. At least right now.

[13:50] The decorating at Dunk's over the weekend went very well. Arrived on the Friday and spent most of the evening (and night) watching Halo 3 unfold on a large LCD television. All of Saturday until early evening was papering the dining room below the dado rail and some of the wall above it and Sunday morning doing the last of that. Jon and Donna and Corwin (the new addition) turned up to say hello on Saturday evening and we all had lots of pizza and chatted for a while. It was great to catch up with them after so long. The train journeys there and back (plus bus on the way back) were flawless now I think about it.

The only issue with the weekend, other than realising that when I got up on Sunday morning that one of the planes going over Dunk's house was carrying Jenny to the USA was getting back to find that my lovely five month old bike had been stripped down to its frame. I know I shouldn't have left it there for two nights and I really can't explain why I took that rather than my older one. I wish I could remember my frame of mind on Friday morning when I left for work. Anyway, I have a crime number from the police and have contacted my insurance people. Unfortunately the maximum I could hope to get from them won't cover the cost of a like-for-like replacement. All I can hope for it for them to give me the money and I see if I can get the bike from somewhere online and make up the difference.

I'm not best pleased. Still, to find a bright side I could say that I got to walk home, which was good exercise. Also I may have arranged something lovely for the middle of November, subject to status, as it were.

[18:00] Well, colour me amazed if it turns out that against all expectations it may be possible for the cycle company appointed by the insurance people to replace my bike for roughly the amount I'll get from the insurers. More tomorrow, I'm dead late for something!