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November's Journal
January's Journal

[17:15] Today I have been mostly probably been coming down with the flu. Proper flu, mind. None of that Man Flu stuff. Persistent tickly cough, most of my joints seem to ache and I'm deeply low on energy. I don't think it's anything to do with the 5km erg I did last night (in a time I probably could have done better than if I was on my game) combined with the yoga at lunch time. Still, it could be, I suppose. We'll have to see what tonight and tomorrow brings. As it is I won't be going for the outing as a) the river is completely frozen over to a depth of about 2" and, b) I really don't feel right.

There has been little to nothing to do today. What work has come has been stupid because I wasn't responsible for the mess it is now and I don't 100% know all the little wrinkles it has which need working out. Trying to use an IIS certificate when an Apache one was required was the last straw (not my fault).

Anyway, the weather's been a little better today so I'm going to see if I can get home in one piece and do the mountain of washing up I know is waiting for me. It's OK though, it's the price I willingly pay for the wonderful treats that Kris bakes in the kitchen. I'm in early tomorrow (if I'm in at all, otherwise I'll do it from home) to upgrade the load balancers from the version they're on now which (other than today, oddly) have been wobbling about like a drunkard. We'll see how that goes, eh?

Oh, and finally, exactly one year ago today I proposed to my beautiful wife Kris in a restaurant in this here town. I'm so lucky that she said yes.

[16:50] The lead DBA managed to work out what was wrong with our DNS today. A Stupid Oracle 10.2.0 time-related bug fixed in So all seems well there, which is good. Otherwise there's not a whole lot going on. I went to free yoga again at lunch time today to find only the teacher and one other person there. We still had a good session though. Plenty of hip-opening stuff.

When I got home last night, fed up of front wheel skidding, I spent a little time getting my decent tyres on my mountain bike. Panaracer Fire XC Pro (2.2) shoes tend to have a bit more grip than anything else I could have had on previously. Of course today's the day that the temperatures get above freezing and most of the snow has gone. That's great. Still, I'm ready for the next batch.

Tonight is my 5K erg test night. I'm really not looking forward to it because a) I'm feeling lazy and, b) it's semi-instrumental in deciding where I go in the boat for upcoming races. There's two or three people I really should do better than and one I really hope I do. Other than that, I just need to get a reasonable time and not die.

Kris went to do her biometric stuff today for her temporary leave to remain visa only to find that "the machine" at the post office was broken. They've taken her telephone number and will apparently be calling her when it's fixed. If it isn't within about ten working days we may have to take a trip to London or somewhere to find somewhere else to do it. We have fifteen working days before, I don't know, someone comes to take her away.

Speaking of going away, I'm going to do so now so I can do the washing up before my eighteen or so minutes of effort at the boat house.

[17:40] Final working week of the year and it starts badly for everyone. My colleague was in until 02:00 this morning and was called back at 05:00 to deal with a power blip which tripped all of the air conditioning units out in the server room. If he hadn't come in, and the air temp had gone up another degree the power to the room would have been automatically cut, thus making today a whole lot worse than it was. As it is I wobbled in on my bike over the hardpacked snow (read: ice) to deal with the load balancers still being broken (just not quite broken enough to allow me to get away with upgrading the software now, I have to wait until Thursday), the UPS/air conditioner issues (one of them is now leaking) and something really odd going on with the DNS application which not even the people who sold it to us seem to understand. I'm going to get out of here as soon as I can and safely make my way home to my wife.

Speaking of her, I used my run today to a) help her get some library books out and then, b) go into town to pay in the money and cheques we got from our wedding guests (which was nice). I really do love running in the cold when I have the right clothing on. But mostly so long as my fingers and ears are covered properly the rest of me takes care of itself.

Speaking of running and exercise in general over the weekend I had one outing during which I developed some extremely painful fingers and toes due to the cold (-6 to -7 out on the water on Saturday morning, I've since ordered some pogies) and another outing cancelled after the river completely froze over and we ended up doing a ten minute power erg and then a 10km run to the lock and back. Both mornings of exercise lead me to think that staying home and nice and safe and warm for the rest of the day was the best idea.

So, in keeping with that, I'm about to make my slow and careful way home.

[16:35] Thank heavens for another quiet day today. Well, quiet apart from the fact that our up-until-now flawlessly working ZXTM boxes have begun to exhibit some seriously annoying issues with the back end service and therefore conseqently/apparently with the GUI. Serious slowdowns, etc. We've been recommended to do an upgrade to the most recent version (which has only just been released) so I've asked for some downtime to do it Monday or Tuesday of next week. We'll see how that goes.

For England its been pretty cold here today. Aside from a few large stretches of ice I still had a pretty lovely run at lunch time in the brilliant sunshine and crunchy snow of here and there. I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the weekend's rowing though, if it remains this cold. Talk about cold hands. And if I'm down the boat and getting splashed with buckets of cold water... Hmmm. Oh well, hopefully it'll cause people to get their minds in the boat and keep it well balanced.

Probably lots of Tesco shopping this weekend... or... no, we're eating out of the freezer over the weekend and shopping early next week (when I also have to do my 5k ergo test). Yes, that's right. I will be going to Cormac's to get a 1mm spacer for my bike's rear cassette though. Not that I'm riding that in this weather; I'm on my mountain bike because I need at least some chance of having grip on the roads.

Anyway, email(s) sent out about the open house we're having between Christmas and New Year, a little bit of work done and now it's time to try and get home without having a traffic accident because of all of the ice. See you Monday.

[17:00] It's cold and wet here today. At around 11:30ish or so there was (from out of nowhere) a tremendous gust of wind which brought with it hail and rain and - according to all the weather stations dotted around town - the temperature dropped about four degrees (centigrade). Since then its been cold, wet, hailing and occasionally snowing. Also it got dark at around 15:00 which really wasn't nice.

Today at work has been likewise dull and unpleasant. Well, mainly dull. I don't have a whole lot to do right now so I'm fixing things and checking things and keeping busy and hoping nothing goes wrong before the end of the week. This seems likely (that nothing will go wrong) but you never know as servers can somehow be sensitive to the weather and we've had some serious Weather today.

Anyway, I'm off this evening do some stuff. Mostly importantly though is sushi dinner with Kris before we start. Hopefully we won't have any issues with getting in and out of town.

[16:30] So tired today. Not as tired as Kris who didn't sleep terribly well last night but tired nonetheless. And I was in for 07:30 this morning and everything. In the end it turned out that everything went perfectly and things were back up and running in an hour less than the two and a bit hours we had scheduled as downtime.

Since then I've really not done a whole amount. The httpd service I turned off yesterday has been joined by the mysql and tomcat5 services (I should have turned off yesterday too) today. Still no screams. This means we're on target to decomission the machine some time towards the end of next week. Incidently there are only seven more working days left this calendar year. That's really quite amazing. Talk about a speedy year passing by.

Anyway, yes, went for a run at lunch time. The weather managed not to be totally terrible and instead went with a light, very cold mizzles which just seemed to make me want to run very steadily but at a slightly faster pace than perhaps I wanted to. Still, it got me back to the office and into the shower a bit faster, which is always good.

I'm probably/hopefully rowing this evening. I think I'd much prefer to be out on the water than on an erg this evening. Don't ask me why. And especially don't ask me why I'd rather be wet and cold than hot and sweaty as I don't really have an answer for you. Kris is out this evening too with a friend for a meal and a film. I look forward to having her home safely some time after I get back.

[16:15] We went to see Love and Other Drugs last night. It actually wasn't too bad (for being free). If you can see it for free or like seeing Anne Hathaway naked I recommend it. We managed to get some bike oil on Kris' just-cleaned coat on the way home which precipitated a bit of thought about a few things. I certainly have one or two changes I need to make here and there. If nothing else I don't want to prove someone's mother right.

I was in dark and early this morning (pre-07:00) to make a few small but very important changes to the load balancers and then do some physical server moving (which seemed to go smoothly enough). Since then I've been doing the cleanup from that, telling other people to do the bits they need to do and discovering that a bug in ZXTM which has been around since version 4.2 has finally started to be flagged up. This is going to require a fair amount of work to iron out. Luckily it apparently hasn't been an issue too much before now.

I had my first every proper yoga session today. I was quite pleased as how flexible I seem to be. I do have to work on it a lot more though, and my strength when it comes to holding some poses. I do enjoy a lot of the balancing ones though. And I can see how being too muscled would be a problem. More next Tuesday lunchtime.

I'm going to head off early now as I'm in early again on Wednesday morning too surprisingly. I don't think I'll erg this evening. I've got running at lunch time tomorrow and some kind of outing (or erging) in the evening. I think that's enough to be going on with.

[17:00] Today I have been mostly going for a run, bringing up new instances of services on the load balancers and discovering that people who write web applications really need to learn not to hardcode hostnames into URLs. It can be really, really annoying. Still, I have a date with Kris in an hour and a bit so I can't really complain about much else today.

My boat raced at the weekend. I think we might have not only won our class but also the whole thing if we hadn't caught a crab about a minute from the finish line. It wasn't me who did and I don't particularly mind that it was someone else either. What matters to I think everyone in the boat (except the sub who did catch it) is how well we rowed as a crew and how well we were able to stick to the race plan. It signifies potentially very good things for the coming year.

Sunday was a lot more relaxing that Saturday. We didn't actually go out despite meaning to. It didn't matter though as we achieved a good few things and the house was already tidy after Kris' awesome efforts on Thursday so we were able to sit back, achieve a bit and then settle in for some keeping warm and happy on the sofa.

I've suddenly remembered that I have to be in before 07:00 tomorrow morning as well as Wednesday or Thursday mornings so I should probably head off now and come in tomorrow bright eyed and bushy tailed. Speaking of tomorrow, I also have my first free yoga class. First official yoga ever. I'll let you know how it goes. Today's run was pretty good, although it was my first timed run in I don't know how long. Sad to see I was about 30 seconds off my best time for 6km. I'm going to blame still being ill, coming off that injury and the cold, cold air.

[16:25] After yeaterday's physio appointment I found myself concentrating over-much on my running technique today. I don't think I did much to help or hinder it either way, but it slowed me down a lot. Whatever, my knee, calf and foot didn't hurt at the end.

Quiet day today at work. Nothing to report really. Last night was great though. I got home to find the house had been pretty much tidied from top to bottom by Kris with only a bit of washing up for me to day. That was pretty sweet. Then we had two good friends over, chatted for a while, watched a fun film, ate takeaway Indian and laughed. Then I got to go to bed with my wife. All in all it was a pretty awesome evening. In the grand scheme of things the silly stuff which happened this morning really doesn't matter a jot compared to that.

[17:00] Well, my physio appointment wasn't as good as I thought it would be. The guy was odd and seemed to mainly be concerned with pointing out what parts of me didn't seem to work properly or weren't lined up as perhaps they should be. I left with some exercises and a feeling that maybe I had birth defects. Anyway, I have a return appointment in six weeks to see if the things he's given me to do do any good. Long story short, the callous I have on the side of the ball of my right food actually turns out to be because of the way I angle my right foot. Given I've had it for as long as I can remember/most of my life I don't know how easy it's going to be to train my body/leg/foot to behave as it "should".

I was in work for 06:58 this morning to do a ZXTM upgrade and then be on hand while a database was upgraded. Everything seemed to go smoothly even though the DBA got me all confused about listener port numbers for a few minutes. I learned a little lesson for myself for next time with regard to checking config files to stop that happening again.

I think that's it for now except to mention that last night's outing turned out to to be cancelled due to it being pitch dark with icebergs in the river (not conducive to safe rowing) so we found fourteen people and did a 12km erg relay (two sets of seven people per team swapping into a pair of two ergs on connecting slides). 500m per pair before swapping. I think I might have almost fainted at one point given the speed we were pulling at. In the end my team won by a scant 30m. Definitely one of the more interesting indoor sessions I've been in on!

[16:25] Not quite as cold last night, today. Having the bedroom window open just a little seemed to have helped with the condensation too. One or the other anyway. We'll try opening it again tonight and seeing what happens.

I ran at lunch time for the first time since my wedding day (I went for a nice hour-long run first thing in the morning while I believe Kris was doing some yoga). Just a 6km jaunt with no real pressure. It felt pretty damned good to have the road under me again. The cold weather was only just on the wrong side of being too cold to breath while keeping me cool on the run, but that didn't matter. I'm looking forward to getting out there again on Friday.

Tomorrow morning I'm in early to do a ZXTM upgrade and then be on hand to stop certain applications while their databases are upgraded. I'll also be doing a quick update of the applications to a slightly newer version at exactly the same time, which is helpful. Hopefully that'll fix some of the HTTP 500 errors that've been spamming our logs recently.

Rowing tonight. After the excellent feeling I had after Monday's erg I'm hoping that it'll carry forward into tonight's row in the sub-zero temperatures, but only if I remember the stuff I was told about my technique. Not sure feeling pleased will keep me warm though. Must remember all of my kit when I leave for the boat house.

[16:00] Epic 60 minute erg last night. The upside of being told good things about the future in the rowing club (involving me) was balanced out by my technique really going to pot in the second 30 minutes of the erg. You win some you lose some.

Freezing cold here today. After last night's freezing fog everything was white with frost this morning. It looked beautiful. The roads weren't too bad either, considering. Just a shame that we had masses and masses of condensation on the house windows this morning. It's the only reason I hate this time of year (and my house). I wish there was some way of banishing it. I don't see it happening to anyone else's houses on my cycle to work.

Work today has been quiet. The morning was short as we had the work Christmas Lunch today (which started at about 11:30). I came back to do some stuff this afternoon at about 14:30 but I'm off home now. I'm in early on Thursday anyway.

[16:35] Hello. I'm back. And I'm married.

Seriously? What? I think it's going to take a little while for that to sink in properly. Say on the order of ten years or so. It just doesn't feel real (while feeling pretty awesome and special right alongside that). I'm not going to go into details because there's altogether too much to detail. I will say that everything went perfectly, there were only a few tiny issues which Kris and I didn't actually find out about until afterwards and as we didn't see them They Didn't Happen. All of our relatives got on well, all of our friends mixed well and stayed up until the not-so-small hours on both nights and at the end of the time there I became a husband to the most beautiful woman on the planet. Seriously, she was hot. So hot in fact that my usual wordiness deserted me completely when I saw her for the first time and I'm not ashamed to say that I teared up a little. But you didn't hear it from me, right? The venue (Langshott Manor, Horley) was perfect, the speeches were great (even mine, apparently), the food was amazing and all was well. People even liked the photographer. The drive to the minimoon location (The Summerhouse, Eyton-on-Severn) went perfectly, it snowed the first night and we had plenty of wood to keep the room just as warm as we wanted it to be.

All in all we are now well and truly married and the event is something that everyone will remember fondly for a long time. I still fiddle with my wedding ring a lot though.

Since we've been back we've been working through the masses of washing that we accumulated, trying to reheat the house, dealing with the horrible cold I appear to have been blighted with now that I don't have a wedding to worry about and pondering when to do all the thank you letters we need to write.

I've also been back out rowing in the cold twice (at seven seat both times, which has been great for staying drier than all the way up at the bow seat) and back at work for the first time today.

I think that's it for now. If you ask I'll give you some snippets of the day (two days, really) and also let you know when the wedding photos (the unofficial ones taken on my camera by my brother) go up on my gallery. I should head off shortly and work out if I have the energy to go and erg for an hour this evening after having done a mountain of washing up. We truly have come back down to Earth again and into the day to day necessities of life.

Still, I go home to my wife this evening. It's not all bad!