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June's Journal
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[16:30] Happily a quiet day. But it is Sysadmin Appreciation Day. The tenth anniversary of same. This means lots of sweet things in the office which I'm doing remarkably well at resisting. A sugar crash probably wouldn't be the best thing to have.

I reckon I've got everything I need for the Rat Race tomorrow and Sunday... or at least I think so. We'll be in a major city so it isn't like there won't be places to get food but it's all about the saving and learning to pack enough food to be self-sufficient.

Anyway, that's about it really. I'm off tomorrow morning and back on Sunday night. Pretty dull really. Sorry about that. If it helps the weather was nice at lunch time and I got to spend it with Kris (and some wasps).

[17:30] More intermittent rain again today. The weather will look pretty fine, then for five minutes we'll have a huge cloud burst which utterly drenches everything. Moments later there'll be brilliant sunshine. Britain's weather is great, isn't it?

It's good that I didn't have any rowing last night or this morning. It meant I didn't get wet, didn't get cold, didn't have a frustrating time with people who can't seem to balance a boat (me included I imagine) and was around to patch and reboot two boxes (and diagnose a third which just seemed to lock up for no reason at almost exactly 07:00).

In work today I've been mainly dealing with the few machines which still need patching for recent and not so recent security and bug discoveries, working out why a developer's application couldn't talk to another box (turns out that when you request a firewall change you need to specify all the ports you expect your application to open, not just the base port) and going into town to buy some camping equipment (cook pot) and collect a climbing helmet I hope I don't have to use (I'm hoping to buy a multi-sport lid in Sheffield).

There's been some minor confusion over what food people are going to be getting for this evening's thingy at my house. It doesn't really matter in the end as I have the world's 17th largest collection of take away and delivery menus.

[17:10] Last night's outing was pretty abysmal. The four of us rowing came from three different boats and boy did it show. There was barely five balanced strokes over the whole outing. Most depressing and not what I needed given my ups and downs at the moment. Still, a lovely dinner with Kris helped a lot when I got home.

After a lovely lie-in this morning (just long enough) I came into work during the brief dry spell and have been filling in the final blanks on the revision of the incident report I got back from the Operations Manager. He's done some good things to it so I'm quite happy with that. I've prepared two RHEL4 boxes for a major update tomorrow morning (including breaking RPM utterly for about an hour until I rediscovered how to fix the RPM database again). Now all is well and I've even managed to get the DBA team to write me some system stop and system start scripts for the applications on them. That should make things go a lot more smoothly come 07:30 tomorrow morning.

No rowing tonight or tomorrow morning (almost a shame) so with today's rather good 8km run at lunch and a light run with Kris this evening things are looking good for a nice lead up to the Sheffield Rat Race this weekend. I think I may buy a multi-sport helmet while I'm there (discount voucher and no opportunity to get one online in time) so I don't have to carry two around for the race itself and/or run the risk of damaging a borrowed one.

[16:25] Kris was at yoga training last night so I took the opportunity to do some housework, the washing up and generally put stuff away. It's amazing how quickly piles of things start accumulating. Anyway, it seems to have gone well. Which is brilliant.

I had a quite a disturbed night with a few crazy dreams which didn't set me up for the early morning I was hoping for. Still, there's always another morning for all of us. Work today has been mildly frustrating with me failing again to get the information I wanted from the building management services with regard to the power cut incident report. I've sent off the initial draft of the report for approval and changes and just moved on to work on other things.

Among the other things I've been working on have been plenty of printouts of the Sheffield Rat Race information for this weekend coming, having a burrito for lunch, fixing a kernel panicking ZXTM load balancer, rewriting ZXTM rules, installing RHEL patches and the 1001 other tiny things that make up this systems administrator's day.

In half an hour or so I'm going to leave for town, buy a roll of bandage and a survival bag and go home to prepare for rowing this evening. With luck it may not even rain. With even more luck the boat will be bow-rigged and I'll get to sit in the stroke seat.

Venison burgers and chips for dinner is what's going to keep me going. That, and an evening with my girl.

[16:45] We had a success on Friday! After another grueling row down most of the course we achieved a result on the boat ahead and rowed home feeling on top of the world. Probably the best call the cox gave during the race was along the lines of "come on guys, this is the last day". We pushed something fierce and caught them about 100m or so from the finish bridge. It was a shame we weren't being recorded (as we had been the night before when it'd been an epic row over we'd barely survived). The party afterwards (for the end of the racing and because our men's first crew regained the head of the river status for the first time in something like 16 years (maybe fewer, I don't remember) was epic, even though Kris and I left around midnight.

The reason for this was partly tiredness and partly because I had to be up at 06:00 on Saturday to be ready to go kayaking for the day with my AR team. Around 07:00 my ride turned up with three kayaks on his roof and a few minutes later the two other team members arrived with another car to which we transfered everything. Duly loaded up we drove for a few hours to the coast where we met some other people and paddled across one of the larger bays, had lunch and then battled back through wind and tide to clock up about 11.11 miles in about five hours.

Having dropped off with tiredness on the way home I was finally allowed to collapse on the sofa for the rest of the day. I don't quite recall what we had for dinner that evening but it was nice, and filling.

Sunday I actually slept in a little bit which was nice. I didn't feel too tired so Kris and I popped out to Tesco and got the shopping done so that post lunch with Kate and Aaron we could just come home and chill out for the afternoon. After a rather lovely lunch with the aforementioned we did indeed go home again and indulge in the said relaxation with reading and dozing and generally not doing much apart from some washing. Definitely the kind of day I needed.

Stupidly I went to bed a little too late on Sunday night and ended up feeling pretty tired and groggy this morning. Luckily even with Kris getting up early I was still able to rouse myself by the time it was necessary to get up and start the day. Work this morning was pretty much about making calls to get people to tell me the issues they had with the power cut... and not getting calls back from those people. I went for a nice 8km run which seemed to go pretty brilliantly. I didn't push hard but did put a nice burst in for the final 1km or so. This afternoon I've rewarded myself with some new pedals for my daily commuter bike and a mini cake from the kitchen for being so great, generally.

[16:35] Final day of racing this evening. The weather has been pretty shocking today so I'm not sure how pleasant it's going to be. Either way, last night's rowing was rather painful. We weren't caught, again, but it was hard going. Very hard. I was glad when it was over and I could go home and have a nice relaxing evening with a mass of protein and carbohydrates and then bed. I'll be very glad when we finish tonight. I just hope we don't get caught and instead catch the crew in front!

Today's work has been putting together the initial draft of the incident report for last Friday's power failure in town at one of our other server rooms. I finish that on Monday when the UPS people are back and I can talk to them.

As it is, I'm now off to make some bread, go rowing, collapse, have a barbeque, drink lightly, leave relatively early with my girl, go home and sleep and then get up at 06:00 tomorrow to go sea kayaking for the day. Sunday (with it's lunch with Kate) will most certainly be a day of rest!

[17:00] Well, we didn't get caught. Neither did we catch anyone. We rowed over. This means we had to row the whole course being chased all the way down. By the final stretch though it turned out that pretty much everyone was out except us. This meant a nice gentle paddle over the final 500m or so, which was nice. This evening is going to be Very Interesting with hopefully us catching the crew in front in short order. Being caught would be extremely annoying.

I was actually at work today. Not that anything happened. We really seem to be between projects at the moment and I've very little to do apart from chase down errors, fix various scripts to make them more useful/verbose with regard to corner cases and help the new networks guy find his feet. Highlight of the day was obviously having lunch with the fragrant Kris. The good kind of fragrant.

[16:50] Well, we got caught last night. This was quite annoying. I think it was mainly down to the fact that we just didn't hold our pace for long enough. Of course, this means we get the chance to recapture our place this evening but I have no idea whether or not we're going to manage it. Something about the boat just feels a little sluggish. I'll let you know how we do in tomorrow's entry.

We have 'security consultants' in at the moment doing, basically, Nessus scans of all of our subnets/VLANs at the moment. Although we gave them specific IPs on one of the VLANs they managed to actually use an IP allocated to our flagship application's live DB standby server. This took us a few minutes to work out once the DBAs came upstairs to complain about strange connectivity symptoms. I think my team leader's interactions with the consultants was remarkably restrained.

Other than that Kris and I had a wonderful lunch out on the grass of the physics laboratory near by which was very helpful in making us both feel much better after the early morning stress we'd encountered. I really do think there's definite potential for... potential.

Home time, snack time, rowing time, revenge time (I hope).

[16:25] Last night's outing wasn't too bad. We didn't have any 'weather', the crew (new addition again) seemed pretty settled and ready for tomorrow and aside from spending about 40 minutes trying to find new bits to fit some new shoes for the guy in the 3 seat I got home in time for a nice dinner with Kris.

I'm a bit annoyed at my 320GB portable HDD at the moment. It may or may not have completely broken or reverted to USB1 speeds recently. This is very annoying as a lot of the recorded television Kris and I are watching in the evenings is on it. I meant to bring it into work today to a) copy some files to it to take home for Kris and now, b) see what the hell is up with it. I think tomorrow instead, unless I figure it out connecting it to another PC tonight before I go out for the first night of racing (rowing) this evening.

I've been slowly fixing fiddly things today to get rid of red warning lights on our Big Brother/Hobbit system today. Other than getting a burrito at lunch (monster queue) I haven't really shifted from my desk. Can't wait to get out of here in half an hour or so and do something a bit more active.

[17:05] Well, I survived. And I don't believe I sustained any injuries either, which is nice. Aside from getting there by car just a few minutes before we needed to and me making a very poor choice in not taking any water on what turned out to be a three hour run (can we say "dehydration"?) we did pretty well, coming in first for our race and team type and pretty highly for any amount of people in our race type overall. Given this was the first time we've ever competed together as a group and we all made a few small mistakes with regard to equipment, map reading and training I think it all bodes quite well for the future. I'm happy with everyone in the team and that they can all more than pull their weight. Some are better runners than mountain bikers, others are better at mountain biking than running. I think we could all do with a bit of a map-reading refresher given the fact we ended up going off the map at one point and had to find our way back on with a bit of hard running. Definitely a fun day out. Especially screaming down some of the steeper inclines and really wearing myself out pushing slower team members up the steeper ones. We'll get a tow-line system in place next time.

What really got on my nerves was that one of my inner tubes split where the valve meets the rubber while I was pumping the tyre in the garage at home. I resorted to trying to fix it with superglue while we drove to the race (having put my spare on the bike). What then happened is that the other inner tube went in exactly the same way in the transition area. Not having two spares I had to just bin the rubber and see if the one I'd repaired would work. Amazingly, it did! I did buy another one there and then but didn't seem to need it, which was nice.

The best thing about coming home was that I got a text from my rowing crew organiser saying that the Sunday outing had been cancelled and then another one from Kate to say she couldn't make lunch. Apart from not getting to see Kate this was a very good thing as it meant Kris and I got to have a completely lazy day with only a relaxed trip to Tesco in the morning. I had no knee ache (or anything else) so was feeling pretty pleased with everything. To cap off the day we made a delicious roast duck for dinner before an early night.

This morning started very well and only got better when some of the issues hanging over from Friday's power outage were dealt with before I'd even arrived at work. The new networks guy started today. He looks a little "deer in the headlights" at the moment but I'm sure he'll settle in pretty quickly.

I tried running at lunchtime today. Just a gentle jog by my standards, but after about 2.5km my right knee started to give some warning feelings. Rather than 'push through' I chopped the distance down to 4km and even walked the last 300m or so. I've rowing tonight (nice zero-impact exercise) and I won't run again until next Monday lunch time. That should see me right(er).

[16:30] Today was a not a good day to wake up absolutely shattered at 04:09. I have no idea why this happened and it was very annoying. The day seemed to agree with me as from about 11:00 onwards we were treated to an absolutely tropical downpour with associated thunder and lightning. In fact, the latter was so strong it knocked out one of our server rooms and left me and the rest of the people here dealing with those machines which didn't auto shut down (and those that did because they'd moved site and hadn't had their UPS software changed) and then waiting around while the UPS ran down and stopped powering the switches and disk packs. Once the power was back we then had to work on bringing everything back. Of course a number of disk packs are complaining about their cache batteries being broken (surprised?) and there's another issue or two which will niggle at me over the weekend unless someone gets their finger out and fixes them.

I've had enough though. I'm going home, relaxing, doing a lot of washing up and then preparing for Questars tomorrow. It'll be another early morning and then a good few hours of driving before I exert myself for about five hours in what might be the cold, wet and mud of the Wiltshire countryside. I better pack a helmet and waterproof. Also a towel and some clean clothes.

Back on Monday after also rowing on Sunday. Possibly.

[17:00] Again, a pretty quiet day. I started off feeling pretty damned tired and not even getting out of bed until gone 08:00. This is fairly rare for me considering what time Kris usually gets up. I think the large amount of exercise I'm doing at the moment may have something to do with it. Anyway, once at work I barely had time to do anything other than help move another application from one set of web servers to another before I was off to have my teeth checked. Six minutes in the chair and £30 later I was back out and heading into town to help a workmake move a server and storage from one rack to another and mount a tape drive into the mix. This took considerably longer than it should on account of him forgetting to bring essentials like cage nuts. Still, it did give me time to do all the fun, fiddly and neat-making stuff I like to get sorted when no-one else bothers.

Back at the office I've been doing more ZXTM rule bug hunting, reading far too many vaguely amusing things on a web site and waiting to go home. Today (and indeed tomorrow) are rest days from running and rowing and stuff (which is nice) so I get to actually draw a breath or two and let my blisters heal.

[16:55] Not much happening today. Went for a run at lunch time (slower again, unfortunately, also blisters and things) and have been trying to get a meeting with someone about the whole new module thing for which I've been writing that rule set. Oh, and helping the web team get another application moved from the old server to the new ones. That needed me to remember that it takes two rule modifications to get things working. Until then there were all kinds of problems. Luckily I've fixed that now. Well, other than the global issue. But you don't need to know about that.

I'm rowing this evening. I think that's about it.

[17:00] No rowing last night so I took the opportunity to rest my feet and put them up for the evening. Kris came home after yoga and we have a lovely dinner relacing together. With no lunch to make today (burrito day) we could laze around in bed a little longer this morning and still get in in good time.

Having achieved that and more we got into work where I started on writing some rules to deal with the new PeopleSoft issue we have. Of course, following the meeting yesterday there's a good chance everything I'm doing won't ever actually be used, but it's a good thing to do as a technical exercise.

Of course, while I was doing that our main (indeed only) MySQL cluster (master-master) got out of sync for some reason and as our team leader hadn't actually told us how to fix it I and my team mate had to grub around for a little while learning enough MySQL knowledge to be able to get things working again. Everything seems fine now but you never know what you've missed when you don't know everything.

I'm hopefully rowing this evening and even more hopeful that the weather won't turn to torrential downpours like it has three times today already. I'm also planning on running tomorrow and considering just whether or not to do another 8km in my train running shoes and Camelbak again considering what happened to my feet on Monday. Still, it will probably be my last run before Questars on Satrday...

[16:45] Saturday morning was another row in my other crew. It wasn't as good as the first one but we were still reasonably happy with the results. That coupled with the outing the night before in the other boat had me nicely warmed up for the race on the Sunday. Kris and I had intended to go to a barbeque on the Saturday afternoon/evening but by the time I'd come back from rowing and we'd achieved a few things in town I was basically wasted. We'd done a Tesco run on the Friday evening before I went rowing so the Saturday lunchtime/afternoon was spent having a lovely lunch in town at GBK and then walking into town to get my new glasses (apparently they look rather good on me) and some things in the market.

Sunday after a lovely lazy morning I headed off to the Bedford Quarts where my crew was racing in the IM3.8+ heats. We're still Novices but fancied our chances. I have to say, we did rather well by losing out by less than a foot of boat to a real IM3 crew who'd been fastest boat on the river (at least 22 seconds faster than us) just the previous week. We're really starting to come on now and I'm pretty sure we'll get our first points soon. After doing pretty much all the de/rerigging of the boat at the boathouse and the regatta I didn't stay behind once we got back and went home to help Kris prepare a lovely chicken mughlai. We both crashed out fairly soon after that.

John (team leader) isn't in this week so I've been delegated to deal with the issues which crop up concerning the load balancers and our main information system. I was in a meeting this morning where I put forward a technical solution I'm not 100% sure is possible. I've asked for some test servers to try my thoughts out on but I may have to wait for the Change Committee to approve things before I can try anything.

I tried the 8km run in my Salomon AR shoes today, with my new 2l Camelbak filled and on too. My time went way down and I seem to have a rub on my right achillies *probably fixable with different socks) and a proto-blister between the ball and the beginning of my big toe on the same foot. Other than that it didn't feel too hard. I think I need to start doing almost all of my training with a weight penalty now. Just to make things seem more realistic.

No rowing this evening, which is actually quite nice considering. Other than that I just wish the person I'm doing the Rat Race with in Sheffield next month would read her email a little more regularly and let me know whether or not I should get a hotel room for two before the prices go up any further.

[15:45] My usual exercises weren't too much fun initially this morning. I think I can put that firmly down to a combination of eating a whole Dominos Meateor pizza last night and waking up very very early and only being able to doze after that. Still, once the blood was flowing things seemed to wake up a bit.

No running today as I went to the pub to say goodbye to the youngest member of the Support team here (Windows section). Probably a good idea considering that I'm doing a lot of calorie-burning stuff over the next few days that I've already mentioned a good few times to you. Anyway yes, rowing this evening after Kris and I get back from doing some grocery shopping.

In amazingly cool news the order I placed with Wiggle yesterday at 11:43 arrived on my desk via the building custodians at 10:40 this morning. That's some pretty fancy work on Wiggle's part. Especially as I went for the free delivery option. I'm now the proud owner of some actual bike bottles and more importantly a Camelbak hydration rucksack thingy. An Octane 8+ (2 litre) if you must know. I'm not usually one for carrying water with me when I go out and do running and cycling and things but I guess with it being summer and me really starting to get into longer distance events now it makes a bit more sense, rather than stopping and having to fill up bottles regularly. I should practice running with it on now to see just how hot my back gets and how much my top gets rucked up underneath it. As it is I'm wearing my competition Salomon's for a few days to make sure they and my feet are still on good terms for next weekend when my first event is and for the future events I'm planning on. One of them's the Rat Race in Sheffield at the beginning of August. I'm probably going to be paired with a supremely fit triathlete woman who is going to embarrass me utterly. I've got a few weeks between now and then to up my game. Good job I've already filled the time with lots of exercise.

For now though it's getting close to the time I pack up for the week and head on out to meet Kris to raid Tesco.

[17:15] Last night's outing was excellent. There's nothing quite like rowing in a crew where you're pretty much outclassed by five of the other people in the boat. Obviously there's some work to do but for a first outing in a new crew I have to say the boat was very very set and even square blade paddling was a joy. I was a little surprised at the speed of the draw strokes the Stroke pair laid down but they did enable us to get a very comfortable 46-48 strokes per minute at the end of the wind. With a bit of work over the next ten days or so I think we should be able to hit a solid 50spm before we drop into our rhythm. That should see us either catch the crew in front or row over the course without being caught.

Erm, that's about it for meaningful news. Work is quiet. Today is my rest day (except for this morning, which was energetic here and there). I'm about to go home and deliver some crisps to a very hungry young woman with a salt and pepper craving.

Tomorrow I'm not running at lunch as the office is saying goodbye to someone, but then I'm rowing in the evening in my regatta crew in preparation for the Bedford Quarts on Sunday. Oh, and I've also caved in finally and purchased a hydration system (read: rucksack with a water bladder in it). Also another bottle cage and some bottles for the bike.

[17:15] Just a little tired this morning. Last night I was out in my regular crew doing a timed race. I didn't think we did particularly well, especially as my footplate came off in the final 100m or so and I had to row the equivalent of "feet out" for it. We all headed home to do our own things, thinking we'd come somewhere middle of the table, as per. For me that meant a shower and a fantastic pasta/chorizo/pancetta/tomato saucy kind of thing. It was only when I turned up ten hours later for our morning outing at 06:00 that I found out we were the fastest novice crew and I had a nice glass tankard to celebrate my first ever proper win (heats in a regatta notwithstanding). A bit of a surprise I can tell you. Especially considering the quality of our outing this morning.

Work has been nice and quiet today with developers solving their own problems after baffling me due to doing their own thing and not revealing the mistakes they'd been making. The lunch time run was enjoyable as I did it untimed so as to be able to relax and take it easy considering I have a second outing this evening with my new crew for the week of racing coming up in two weeks. I'd like to think I'll do pretty well considering the quality of the other people in the boat. If they're as good as I think they are they'll help bring out the best part of my rowing. We'll see, I suppose.

Happily, tomorrow is a complete rest day. This is good as I think it's my last one before the 16th. After that I don't have another day of proper rest until at least the 27th. I'm sure it'll be fine.

[15:30] A nice quiet day today. This is a good thing as tonight I'm rowing in a timed race this evening. Kris and I were up early this morning so we could get into work and for my part do some Zeus load balancer patching. Of course the work went flawlessly and only took about 90 seconds (for both boxes). Since then I've been helping to solve Ruby/Rails MySQL connection problems, having burrito lunch with Kris and trying to put some firm shape to the next five to seven weeks of rowing and AR events and training. As I think I said yesterday, it's going to be an awful lot in a very short space of time. I should emerge much fitter from the other end of it... if I don't end up injured in some way.

I should get on and finish what I'm doing today so I can get out of here for 16:00. There's all kinds of fun things to be doing before the race this evening.

[17:55] The weekend was lovely. Warm weather, a bit of cycling, no rowing and some housework. Kris and I bought some new sheets for the bed which should mean we're a whole lot cooler over the summer as well as having a lovely lunch at Pizza Express. We didn't manage to get a fan, but other than that a very successful Saturday.

Sunday started off with a great run for two around the greener parts of town before a more expensive than we thought trip to Tesco. This turned out to be because of an over charge for five bottles of olive oil (we only bought one). Happily, Tesco refund double the amount the overcharged when queried about it so that was a nice little discount. Especially as, while Kris was having a nap, I cycled back with a Clubcard to collect points on the original amount. After that the day was all about large amount of relaxation and chilling out. We chilled out so much that when dinner time came around we just opted for delivery Chinese (although I made egg-fried rice) and Top Gear on the television.

I was in town first thing this morning to help move a Sun L25 tape drive from one server room to another. Amusingly it turned out that I was the only person to figure out why the thing wouldn't come out of the rack. It would have been a two person at most job normally. Still, nice to see the server room we got it out of (to make sure everything was still running OK).

Otherwise I managed to take another whole minute off my 8km time today (although mapping it this afternoon it appears to be on the order of 8.2km after all) and discover I've been moved from the 4th boat to the 3rd boat for the week of races coming up in two weeks or so. The training for that, coupled with the training for regattas, running, AR training and events and my morning exercises should really boost my fitness over the next - fraught and filled - five weeks!

[16:25] Rather than go straight into town after work yesterday I left a little early and went home to put up the tent in the garden. with the door facing away from the driveway it felt very private inside, which was exactly the feeling I was going for. It was also the first time I've put the tent up on my own, strangely. Still, having helped put up about seven almost identical ones (sometimes on my own) at the Peterborough Regatta just a few weeks previously it didn't take too long, even in the heat. I was perspiring quite heavily afterwards, especially after I'd humped down rollmats, blankets, towels, a duvet and pillows to make it a reasonable place to sleep. After a quick shower and a change into smart clothes I rushed off to get into town in time to meet Kris and pretend I'd come straight from work. Having to turn back and get the voucher for Loch Fyne meant I had to cycle even faster to get to the bar in time. Luckily she was a little late so I could mop most of me dry and try to look at least a little debonair.

We had a lovely cocktail each sitting on high bar chairs and chatting about the day and then wandered down the street to the Loch Fyne restaurant where we devoured the appetiser bread in minutes as we sat in the outside seating area enjoying the shade and the hum of quiet conversation around us. The starters and mains (I had my first ever oyster, opinion: salty) were delicious, as was the single glass of wine I had (more alcohol in one night than I think I've had in the last three months). We walked and then cycled home to give ourselves time to digest, chatting and smiling all the while until Kris noticed the tent in the garden. Cue excited noises and a happy lady. After plenty of water to drink we retired to the tent for the night.

While a perfect evening, the thing about sleeping on the floor is that it can never be as comfortable as an expensive mattress (which is what I have, told as I was by a clever person a long time ago that given the amount of time you spend in bed a good mattress is essential to a happy life). As a result I didn't sleep terrifically well, but I was lovely and cool. It also rained in the night, which is always great to experience from inside a waterproof tent.

After waking for the last time this morning we enjoyed the feeling of the great outdoors before getting up and on with our days. Kris stayed home today to put on the inordinate amount of washing we appear to have accumulated in the last week (I blame the heat and lots of exercise). I headed into work where I spent a little bit of time working on an XML + SSL + Flash + IE issue which I've been looking at on and off since the beginning of March. During my 8km run in what turned out to be much cooler weather (more rain too, which was lovely) someone I'd mentioned the problem to came up with a URL which allowed me to create a two-line 'response' rule for our Zeus ZXTM load balancers to set the Cache-Control and Pragma headers to useful values. With that one minute's worth of work: success! Hurrah for me (and people on the web who had already run into and solved the same problem in another guise or two). That, coupled with the previous 12 hours and the minute or so I took off my 8km time has made for a very good day.

I'm now just half an hour away from going home, doing a bit of housework and then going out for a row in what should be a rather good 4+ outing with some better-than-usual rowers. Roast chicken and potatoes for dinner... and then it's the weekend on top of that! I might just go and see the new Transformers film while Kris is at a girly night tomorrow. No rowing on account of many of the club heading down to see the Henley Royal Regatta tomorrow and Sunday. I think I'll get some cycling in.

Tell a lie, it's Friday! I'm out of here in five minutes!

[16:30] Eurgh! Early morning outing this morning. It was... interesting. Someone who normally sits at the 2 seat was stroke for the boat. Not something I would have decided on in terms of crew order, I tell you. Still, couple that with last night's 4+ outing and yesterday's 8km run and we have a reasonable amount of exercise in the last 24 hours. What I don't have this evening is any exercise or social activities planned so I'm getting the opportunity to take Kris out for our delayed date from Tuesday. With luck and a following wind it's going to be a lovely evening with a mini-surprise at the end which will either be brilliant fun or no trouble at all. Just so long as it doesn't rain.

Work today has been pretty much empty with just a few patches to test and install. We've reached a trough between project work at the moment so it's really more a case of keeping things running and tidying up bits we haven't had time to deal with before. That and pushing the web team to get off the servers we wanted to decommision more than two and a half years ago and onto the shiny new Xen boxes I built.

[16:45] Frustration abounded this morning Kris as she suffered a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully I was helpful in showing her that it wasn't anything to do with her but all about the person who made the decision. Something like that anyway.

Work has been quiet but with the occasional oddity here and there. One machine's RAID subsystem went psychoschizoid overnight and refused to believe all the disks in its RAID5 were supposed to be there. Only after rebooting the whole box and telling it to accept that the 'new' disk was in fact supposed to be part of the array was it able to rebuild onto it and get on with doing its job.

I went for another hot and tiring 8km run at lunch time (something like 26degC according to the BBC weather) and managed to knock perhaps fifteen seconds off my time. This is actually quite promising for when the air temperature drops a few more degrees or so. I'm rowing this evening. If the weather is anything like it was last night when it turned out I was going to be in the stroke seat for a bow-rigged 4+ rather than the 8+ I'd assumed we'd be in I'll be dripping wet by the time we get to to lock. I was rather angry to find that not only could I have not turned up and those people who had turned up could have still had an outing, but that it was probably down to our crew organiser not getting himself in gear and contacting people a little more in advance. As it was Kris and I were extremely upset to have missed our date evening/celebratino of her getting her third (of five) chapter of her Ph.D submitted to her supervisor. Still, I did go home an hour early so we could have iced chocolate drinkies on the lawn and calm down a bit from the excitement and heat of the day. Same routine this evening for me, except that I'll be washing up. Kris is out running. I don't envy her as the weather's supposed to get even hotter around about 19:00 tonight. At least I'll be near water.