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[17:25] I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that it's probably a good idea for me to become a monk. Or at least devote all my free time and energy to something like exercise, for a while. Rather than anything else distracting. That way I won't get myself into any (more) trouble. At least for a month or two. It's probably the best time to do so anyway, as we're coming up on the regatta season in the rowing calendar and I want to make sure that this hernia thing doesn't cause me to lose my place in the top boat. Anyway, today is the day I spent a significant portion (read, almost all) of my Zazzle profits from the sales of my T-shirts. I figured out there really wasn't any way for me to collect the money without a Social Security Number (there probably is, but I can't be bothered) in the USA, so I gifted Kris something, because I can. She doesn't have to keep it, but I'd like to think she might. I don't want to hear anything from any of you about how "that was an incredibly stupid thing to do." or similar. I made the decision, it's done.

When I got home last night I immediately grabbed a whole load of gardening implements, and the strimmer and set to work on the front garden. About two hours later I'd pretty much given the grass its first (approximate) cut of the year with the strimmer (so as not to mow over all of the tulips the landladies thoughtfully distributed at random amongst the grass), removed about two tons of dandelions (barely made a dent, really), dug over an area, and remembered why I bought a large amount of weedkiller around this time last year. Or when I moved in, anyway. Ordering pizza was the only solution as I was pretty much too tired to do anything else by the end.

This morning we had an early outing. It really wasn't all that good. We had a sub, and also the others in the boat just don't have the same rhythm as those I'm used to rowing in a 4+ with. We got through it though, I had second breakfast at the boat house, then got to work. For some reason I'm famished all of the time, so I had third breakfast when the sandwich van arrived. I think I may need to start running more regularly or things aren't going to go well waistline-wise.

Work has mostly been about getting the Oracle Linux/VirtualBox installations out into the field, and learning more about the web-based application it seems I'm going to be supporting from now on. That and catching up on emails (some of which I sent last night, which I'm a little worried about the responses I'm due from), trying not to raid the vending machines, and trying to keep myself properly hydrated. Another outing tonight. The weather looks fairly OK, so that should be good.

I think I can manage a month. At least.

[17:10] Wotcha. Happy Monday. And frankly it is a fairly happy Monday as they go. The weekend as a whole went pretty well, to be honest. The Saturday was all about rowing, of course. We raced twice, got mildly damp due to a bit of rain, but then pulled two reasonably good races out of the bag. Although the second one (in the 4+, the first being in an 8+) didn't win us anything due to a) there being no-one else in our category and, b) us having to chew our way through an 8+ to get to the finish. This cost us probably on the order of ten seconds. We lost to the fastest crew in a 4+ (but not in our category) by three seconds. Deeply frustrating. Still, there's one shot glass waiting for me at the boat house to collect in about half an hour as we did win our category in the 8+. After the racing, I went home and collapsed for a bit before heading back for the Captain's Dinner, which was quite fun, even if I left around about 23:00 so that I could get some sleep. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered as I still woke up at 06:00, even though the one 'recovery' outing of the day wasn't until 10:00. I headed down to the boat house anyway and did my bit in cleaning and tidying the place up and moving things back into the main room again. I was out in a 2- with Max after that. For my first time steering a 2- on our home river I think I did pretty well, and the boat was very well sat, too. We were both quite pleased. I went home after that, did some grocery shopping, went to talk to someone about getting some portraits of me naked done (a bucket list kind of thing) and decided that I might quite like life modelling as a tiny side gig, sometimes. So I've got some contact details which I will follow up on another time. All that remained after all of that was done was to spruce up the house a bit and wait for someone to come over with alcohol and pizza. All three duly arrived, and a smashing time was had by all. And that was the weekend. Pretty much. I'd like to think it carried on until rising on Monday morning, to be honest. The sun was shining and as Monday mornings go, it really wasn't so bad. Even if bits of me ached.

I got into work early to do some PHP upgrades on two live servers (it looks like everything went perfectly there), do more Oracle Linux and Virtual Box stuff, and generally have to listen to my team leader swear and curse all day in that way that he has which can be really quite distracting. Despite my tiredness, I still managed to squeeze in a quick(ish) 6km run at lunch time. I don't think I'll do any exercise this evening though, much as I'd like to. Instead I'm going to go home and attempt to strim(mer) the front garden without killing all of the tulips the landladies saw fit to liberally distribute in amongst the grass. Also, the dandelions seem to have exploded all over the place in the last two days. I don't think I'm up to weeding too, today, but maybe I am. Also, I've been eating like a horse. I really did use up a lot of calories recently.

[17:25] Last night's outing was done with the head coach on the bank. And we did the long course too. All 16.5k of him cycling beside us and keeping us literally on our toes. It's rare I come off the water feeling like my mind and body are completely wasted, but there you go. Cycling over to the pub to see Cormac and Co. for his birthday (and have some food) saw me mostly sitting very quietly and trying to keep up even the gentle flow of conversation. I left after about an hour and a half as I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.

I certainly felt tired when I got up this morning too. Add to that my morning exercises, then cycling to work and I've been a smidgen off my game all day. Which hasn't been the best thing considering the amount of work I've been trying to get done. Building another VirtualBox installation, getting Java, Tomcat, Unison and installed on twelve virtual servers, getting latest updates for umpteen various things, and a whole host of other small and large tasks. I haven't even had time to get another desktop box up and running for someone, get anything from the meeting I had this afternoon actioned or keep up with the flood of emails which have come in. Oh, and it turns out I'll be coming in first thing on Monday morning to do some PHP upgrades. So every morning next week I'll be up early as well. Hurrah.

This weekend I'm racing twice on Saturday (rowing) and then out for a bit of a fun row on Sunday. Although it could be the day I go into the drink for the first time given who I'll be rowing with, and in what boat. Otherwise I don't really have anything all that fun planned other than a semi-formal dinner on the Saturday evening. Oh, other than seeing someone about a potential nude portrait. Because, hey, why not?

[17:05] So last night lived up to all of my expectations, actually. Including one or two which I had hoped wouldn't be the case. I was still able to make good despite the drawbacks, though. A fun evening overall. Didn't get an awfully good night's sleep though. I honestly think it was down to being uncomfortably hot. The temperature really did rise yesterday. Still, by the time I left the house this morning I was doing pretty OK. There's plenty going on in my head, but I don't think I'm doing too badly. What also helped was going via the boat house (ostensibly to make sure a few bits of kit for tonight's outing were there, as they weren't at home) and getting to have second breakfast with a few people from my crew who were still in the building from this morning's erg (which I didn't go to). Hmm, to go back to this whole head thing... I'm not sure what's happening in there at the moment. It's looking increasingly likely that certain bridges aren't so much burnt as will be unlikely to be crossed again. Which makes me sad, but I'm not sure on which levels. I wish I did... I'm frowing here as I write this because I really don't know what it is I'm trying to elucidate on. Maybe nothing, right now.


Life is really annoying and difficult to navigate sometimes. I have this nagging feeling I've made some big mistakes in the last few months, and am even now missing out on what could be a rather rewarding path. I'm just not 100% sure. And maybe I should be. Then again, I've been 100% sure about things in the past and look where I am now. Really, I don't know what I'm doing. I think I will wait a few more weeks, see what happens in other parts of my life and then see if I can do the right thing. Whatever that is.

Confused? Don't worry, I am too.

What's that? Work, you say? Yes I did loads today. Two meetings about services, and versions of Ruby. Installing Oracle VirtualBox and testbed virtual server instances. Networking stuff. We now have a Sandwich Van cam (really, don't ask, I'm very angry). Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'm about to get a whole heap of new work dumped on me.

Still, outing tonight where hopefully I won't burst open where my hernia is. Whee.

[17:00] Finally, it's Wednesday evening! I've been waiting for this point in the week for days now. Trying to keep yourself busy is pretty easy when you row though. Last night I was down at the boat house with most of the rest of the M1 crew doing ergs. We moved five or so out on the balcony as the weather was so good, got them all on sliders and did two 6km pieces. That, coupled with going home and watching some television, then going to bed early, ate up another evening and night. This morning I did my usual core-plus-weights session at home and then headed in to work. The day's gone pretty slowly, though. I broke things up a bit by going for a 6km run in the humid lunchtime weather and came back with my first proper warm weather run sweat this year. Which was good. After a cycle into town this morning to fix some networking stuff, and some surprise Oracle Linux setup stuff this afternoon the end of the day is finally here! Hurrah! Time to go home and... do some house tidying, washing up, and other housework. That's right, I have a night off from rowing, and I intend to make the most of it!

[17:15] Feels like I've done something to the connecting joint of the little toe on my left foot. However the only thing I can see is that I have a tiny bit of athlete's foot. You obviously didn't want to know that, but I needed somewhere to note down this happening so that years from now I'll know when It Began. Or something, anyway.

Went for a row this morning. That's a rowing, in a boat, rather than an argument. We were pretty much first (second, another Nines boat was out more quickly than we were) on the river, and it was initially very quiet and a great way to start the day. Honestly, the weather's been so nice today I wish I'd brought my running stuff so I could have gotten out in it and enjoyed it over lunch. However I didn't, as I'm trying to be good and not 'overtrain'. Instead I'll be indoors this evening doing some erg training with other people before a quiet evening in of tidying the house and stuff so that it looks a bit more presentable for tomorrow. It looks like I've placed myself in a moderately peculiar situation where the things I want to happen aren't, but the things that can happen are (due to a stupidly small amount of action on my part). I don't think I'm going about things in the wrong way... more just potentially missing out on the optimum solution to my life at this time because certain aspects of that life haven't resolved themselves inside my head yet. Also, I want my cake without having to eat it. If that analogy works at all.

But you know what? I think there's still time, a chance, a hope that I can get things, make things, right. I just have make the 'correct' decisions at the points they're required. All I have to do is work out when those are!

That's probably a bit too deep for a Tuesday evening. I should go and erg. Erging make everything betterer.

[16:45] I just had all the weekend. Seriously. Even though a large chunk of it was spent not doing anything (when I really wish I'd been doing something) I was absolutely shattered by the end. I had a quiet Friday night and even ordered pizza for myself, which is something of a treat for me these days (I think it's close on four months since I last ordered something delivery). Went to bed fairly late but was up in time to get to the boathouse for a 07:00 on the water outing. That first one was in a 4+, which we'll be keeping together for the race next weekend. We pushed fairly hard and aside from a gentle stroke side lean seemed to do pretty well. The second outing was in the 8+ which also had the same lean, but seemed to go OK too. A few of the people from the club had organised a belated birthday lunch for me at a local Pizza Express, so we wandered off to do that before heading off to give a commemorative thing to the boat club next to us who'd just had a significant anniversary. The weather was absolutely spectacular too, so it was a bit of a waste to go home and spend it indoors. However I had housework and washing to do, so that's what I did. By the time evening rolled around I was sort of hoping someone would suggest something to do, but no-one did. As a result I began the task of catching up on all the correspondence I'd had pending for mmost of the week. I did almost all of it before it was time for bed, and then given the Sunday outing wasn't until 09:00 finished the rest in morning from bed. I don't normally bring IT into the bedroom, but I figured that my first lie-in at home in I-don't-know-how-long deserved it. The Sunday outing was an uber-long one. We were out and on the water for about three hours all told. I think everyone was a bit shell-shocked by the end of it. I know I went home and walked around Tesco in a daze as quickly as I could so that I could get home and collapse for a bit. Oh, I nearly forgot, that Saturday night was when I went to watch Doctor Who at Keith and Sarah's house. While the television was a bit of a non-event, it was nice to see them outside of a rowing context.

I've managed to line up at least one fun thing other than rowing to happen this week. Plus there are morning or evening outings pretty much every day this week, too. So my time should be well-occupied, if not my mind too.

I went to the doctor this morning who's sending me for an ultrasound scan of the other side of me to see if I might have a hernia there, too. Neither of us think so, but better safe than sorry. In the meantime he's said not to bother with surgery unless anything feels like it's getting any worse. Frankly, if I didn't know I had one I wouldn't know I had one. If you see what I mean.

I think that's about it. I had a friend running the Hamburg Marathon on Sunday where she got a very respectable time. I wish I'd been running it/one too, to be honest. But right now it appears rowing's where I'm at. I may still start upping my distances again in the near future with a view to running another unofficial one in a few months, such as June, like I did last year. Anyway, outing tonight, so I better get on with things so I can head home before going down to the boat house. I hope the weather stays dry.

[16:55] It's very strange, I literally have nothing planned for this evening once I leave work. I've no-one coming over, I'm not going to see anyone, I don't have any training (I ran this morning at 06:00, with company, which was nice), and I barely have any email correspondence to reply to. I may have to resort to cleaning and tidying the house. Which is a bit poor for a Friday evening/night, but there you go. These are the things that happen to us when we make certain decisions. Also, some people are out of town going to compete in various marathons that I wish I was doing too. Part of me is contemplating doing a marathon distance on Sunday afternoon, but given I'm rowing twice in the morning (or is it just once?) and then pretty much every morning and/or evening next week it might not make a whole world of sense. So we'll see.

Last night's outing in the 4+ started OK and got a whole lot better, which was good. It bodes semi-well for the other outings we have and the race we're apparently entered in the Saturday after this one.

Work today has been worky. Lunch with Anna was lunchy. It's time to get out of here for two days. Then I'll come back and start all over again next week. Something new and good might happen next week. I don't have any plans, but I always have hope.

[17:25] Went to the boat house this morning to get an erg done. Felt like poo beforehand. The cold is starting to bite now and I don't like it at all. In the end though I got a pretty good distance for the 30 minutes we were on for. So that was good. I don't even think I was the tiredest. I didn't head straight to work, but instead got my Belgian bun fix and had a hot chocolate in town before popping down to the hospital at the other end of town for a quick clear up of some stuff before my GP appointment on Monday to discuss my hernia dealing-with plan.

At work I've been doing some rather clever things with the KVM guests I've been asked to do for the people who want to install Moodle (heaven help us). That took up a lot of the rest of today, with a break in the middle to go for lunch with Cormac and Shaun.

Now I'm off back down to the boat house to see if the wind is gentle enough for us to get out in a 4+ and beast it up and down the river a few times before I go home for dinner and a gentle collapse. I should also clean and tidy the house (at least downstairs) some time soon, but it's getting the tripartite of time, energy, and inclination to do it.

And finally, I'm a little embarrassed and guilty about how little I'm feeling about developments in my personal life. Does this mean I'm a bad person, or that what was going on really didn't matter to me as much as I thought/might have wanted them to? Honestly, I have no idea. So I'm going to leave it all alone for a few weeks and then come back and readdress it when a few other things in my life (and outside of my control) hopefully get their bottoms in gear and sort themselves out too.

[17:05] Somewhat of a better day today. Probably due to a good outing last night, a decent night's sleep (although I did go to bed pretty late), a coffee with someone nice, and all the work I set myself to get done apparently going according to plan. I even worked laterally around a file size issue in a way which should make things a little better in terms of future compatibility, etc. So that's nice.

I'm going to go for a run this evening rather than do weights (obviously) then I have dinner with Kate to look forward to. After this time last night and a rather difficult phone call, I think I deserve a break, and a chance to run a dozen kilometres or so. Tomorrow has an erg at the beginning, then a trip I really don't want to be making, but is necessary for peace of mind, then a day of work followed by an outing in what I hope is lovely weather, again. More on some of that tomorrow.

Also: I still have no idea what's going on in important areas of my life, but at least things are a smidgen less complicated for the moment. Whether they stay like that remains to be seen.

[16:50] It's all gone wrong today in my life. Some past stuff has potentially come around to bite me in the bottom. First up in terms of things going wrong it's the spending too much time being in too close proximity to other people in the last few days. As a result, when I woke up this morning I couldn't swallow due to a sore throat caught from someone on the rowing camp. Therefore in the next day I'm going to get another cold. This is deeply frustrating. It also meant I missed out on this morning's erg as there was no way I was going to be able to breath with any kind of comfort while doing the 2x 6km rows. This evening's outing is going to be only slightly less hard in terms of ravaging my throat. So, that's joy and kittens straight away at both ends of the day. Then there's my personal life, which I won't go in to here. But suffice it to say I've made a veritable telegraph pole for my own back and the only thing I can do about it is deal with what I've done and hope that I can come out of the far end without causing too much damage to myself and those around me. Really, it's not that interesting, except to me. I guess I only mention it to serve as a reminder to myself when I reread this entry some other time.

Workwise things haven't gone to badly, really. I've dealt with the fact I was given bad information with regard to disk sizes for the virtual machines I built a little while ago with the judicious use of LVM, built two more KVM hosts, and am very close to creating two guests per host. In fact I'll most likely do that tomorrow morning. I have missed out on one job I should have done, but I'll hopefully get to that tomorrow, too.

I've also been to do a psychology experiment, and will shortly be leaving the office again to get some time in the sun to relax before my outing this evening in the hope that will settle my head somewhat. That about covers the stuff I want to tell you about. I hope it's sunny where you are.

[16:40] OK, I'm back. It has been something of a packed five days or so. My birthday got all kinds of better when I went to do a psychology experiment and then got to have lunch with someone lovely, followed by heading down to London in the afternoon, checking into a hotel, then having a rather delicious steak dinner at The Bull Steak Expert. The rest of the evening went rather well, despite the weather, and after an excellent night's sleep there was time to wander to the Environmental Photographer of the Year exhibit at the Royal Geographical Society before so in-depth conversation (more on that another time, perhaps) and a trip back home to see if my bike was still in on piece at the train station (it was).

What commenced then was a flurry of packing for the rowing camp and an attempt to get to bed before it got too late in the day. I managed to get enough of my kit together that the morning was more about weeding things out than anything else, and then walking to the boat house to help with the last of the boat trailer packing. I hitched a ride in the van pulling the trailer and we all got there (Norwich) safely, even if it took a good number of hours. There was then the first of three outings that day, in a 4+, in the rain. Even in those six hours on the water on day zero (pretty much everyone else arrived later on in the evening or on the Saturday morning) we learned a lot. Especially when the head coach arrived and started following us in the chase launch. By the time we'd done our last outing and staggered back to the hotel a lot of other people had arrived, and were looking with some consternation at us as we arrived in Reception and asked for our room keys. Being that tired at the end of the first day didn't seem to bode well.

However, the next two days of three outings per day seemed to pass very very quickly. The weather improved, even if the wind speeds did pick up. Some outings even had sun! A lot of people learned a lot very quickly and I think overall the whole club came on in leaps and bounds. I'm not sure I made as many advances as other people, though. This might have been down to apparently "not being the lowest common denominator in the boat" according to the head coach. Which is apparently as close as you can get to an outright compliment from him, which is good. So, I'll continue to do what I'm doing, only better.

I rode back again with the trailer yesterday evening, and after unpacking a bit with Keith and Sarah, managed to convince them to give me a lift home rather than walking with my bag as I had on Friday morning. All that remained was to pull out all the clean clothes (few), all of the still wet clothes (lots), and throw myself into bed. I don't think I've slept as deeply in years. There are various reasons why I haven't slept well in the recent past, and given what's going on in my life at the moment (I've decisions that need to be made in the fairly immediate future) I'm surprised I'm sleeping as well as I am at the moment.

This morning though I felt really rather chipper. Some morning exercises (missing out ones which could stress my hernia), a shower, and I even put a wash on. No food in the house, obviously, so I took some of my remaining snacks from rowing and got free sandwiches from the van using my filled loyalty cards. Speaking of food, I don't think I've ever eaten as much as I did in one sitting as I did at dinner on Friday and Saturday. And I'm still sure I've lost weight (no scales hand, sadly). I'm sure everyone burnt so many calories. Speaking of which, I almost got sunburnt for the first time this year on Sunday when the sun actually put in an appearance for a few hours!

Work today has mainly been about catching up on the last five days of email I haven't been able to deal with while I've been out of contact. I'm down to about sixteen messages in my inbox, one of which is very important. The others not so much. I've been over to the other server room again to do some asset tagging, and otherwise had a fiddle with a few things. Tomorrow I'll be racking up and installing two more servers, but right now I'm not 100% certain where they'll be going. We'll have to see. As soon as I leave work I'll be going home and changing into clothing I don't mind getting damaged as, hopefully, lots of people who were on the training camp will be coming to the boat house to detrailer and re-rig all of the boats before they're put back into the boat house again.

So, that was my last five days. Did you do anything fun?

[12:15] On my birthday I have: a huge spot on my jaw, and a hernia. So I'm some kind of adolescent old codger. I'm not quite sure what that means, but hey, I've always been a bit of a contradiction. I've spent the morning worrying somewhat about my abdominal muscles and what this weekend's training camp might entail for that area of my body (also how good the camp might be in various ways). However, before that I've got two days of not doing anything rowing-related (not not exercise-related) at all which will give me a chance to rest and recouperate. Or at least recouperate. I'm off to do a psychology experiement now, then have lunch with someone, then eventually I'll toddle on down to London to have a fun time, stay over, go and see a photo exhibition tomorrow and then head on back to home and get an early night as Friday is the first of a set of three very busy days. I won't be writing again until Monday afternoon, so have a good next few days.

[17:30] The perfect present; a visit to the ultrasound department of the local hospital where I was told I have (admittedly, "the world's smallest") hernia. It seems that the heavy lifting I've been doing as part of my rowing training has caused an inguinal hernia on the right side. I'm pretty sure I got it way back in January. So considering it's still tiny there's a good chance it won't get any bigger if I don't do any more weights. It still needs to be sorted though, so once I've gone back to my GP, and been referred to a surgeon, I'll probably go onto the NHS waiting list for surgery. It's really not something I want to have happen, but it's better than the one alternative, which is to do nothing. There's nothing else that can happen, really. I have the impression that I can keep doing everything that I'm doing (running, rowing, erging, cycling) but should probably stop doing weights for a while. If nothing else that seems to make sense. It took the ultrasound technician almost half an hour to even find the thin in an area about the size of a £2 coin, so we're not looking at something big, here.

Anyway, once I got out of there and took stock I called my parents and let them know, then texted my boat captain and told him, and finally took myself off to meet a friend who very graciously came out for a drink with me and then ended up staying to have dinner with me. Spending time with them was definitely the best way to take my mind off the bad news.

I went to this morning's erg sessions. Two 6km UT2 ergs, on sliders. I felt pretty good afterwards, to be honest. My abs do ache a bit, especially that area and the matching one on the other side. Maybe it's slightly psychosomatic, who knows? I've an outing this evening (leaving after this entry is posted) so that'll be a good test of things now that I know that I have something wrong. Not that the four outings over the weekend felt bad. They were actually some of my best. I guess now I'm just aware of things and will be looking at the slight bulge and wondering if I'm about to explode.

Today's work was mainly about installing two machines, then creating two KVM guests per machine on top. Everything went perfectly smoothly thanks to the preparation I've put in place over the last little while. So, tomorrow morning I'm moving three servers to the other server room and then doing a psychology experiment, hopefully having a lovely lunch with a friend, and then I'm off until Monday morning! Thursday I'm having fun in London, Friday is day one of the rowing training camp. The rest of the weekend is going to be hardcore training and eating, and sleeping. I expect to be fully shattered by Sunday evening. Oh, and I'm having a light jog on Friday morning, too.

I better go, I'm just wittering now. Have a great second half of the week and I'll see you on Monday, life permitting.

[16:45] Everything happened this weekend. I don't have time to tell you all about it in detail as I need to go and have an ultrasound scan to see if I have the beginnings (or more) of a inguinal hernia. More on that another time depending on the news, and whether I have the time and inclination to go into any kind of detail about it. Otherwise though, Friday was pretty hectic for a start with me leaving work, getting to the boat house and then going straight into 1.5K, 1K and 500m erg sprints. Definitely quite tiring. Then there was a yoga session which left me aching a bit for the rest of the night, and then a rather great film evening for which I saddled myself cooking the food for people, rather than bagsying the seat I'd hoped to get to watch the actual film. That was the only disappointment of the evening, really.

Saturday morning was two outings on the water in reasonably nice weather. In fact the best rowing weather of the year so far, I'd be tempted to say. Between the two I managed to drop off my bike for its free one month service and then after hanging around the boat house for slightly longer than necessary collect it again so I didn't have to walk home and back without it. Already pretty pooped I decided to go out and do the weekly food shop before I collapsed utterly, so that was good too. The latter part of the day was spent meeting a friend from London at the train station, walking around town and ending up back at my house for tea and stuff, then realising we were really hungry and that getting some food before the day ended (and the last train comfortably achievable left). So, food ended up being eaten rather quickly, and then a combination of walking very quickly and a taxi ride sorted everything else out. Given how the day had developed and Sunday's itinerary I opted for as early a bed as possible.

Sunday was more rowing. Two outings coached by the head coach for the first time. Everyone tried their best and his faint praise actually didn't feel too bad. It was probably something to do with knowing that he Really Knows What He's Talking About. So every criticism and comment (and praise) was important. We tried even harder in the second outing. Which is why I think everyone was shattered by the time we got out of the boat. I managed to get home, get some food together and over to my friend's photography studio and not be the last one there, which was good. The afternoon's photo shoot (did I mention the photo would be used as the basis for an oil painting to be hung in the entrance lobby of a university department?) was loads of fun, and we all got to dress up in some rather good clothes. Someone even said I looked handsome (just not the person I was hoping would, sadly). So that was good. There was free pizza and Coke, so everyone was happy (and full). The shoot went well, so now we just have to wait a few weeks for the finished article to appear. After all of that I just went home and after doing some more cleaning of the house, washing, washing up and general squaring away of things I just wanted to collapse for a little while. But no, another friend appeared (one I have had a penfriendship with for months, but never met). We started talking like we'd known and seen each other for years, so that was pretty cool. Eventually they had to go, I had some food and then went to bed where I went out like a light.

This morning, in a fit of maddness (according to my cox and a coach) I went for a lovely long run. It was wonderful, I had almost no aches and pains and I felt so mentally clear afterwards. Certain recent events had clouded my head a little, so it was good to get some perspective (possibly) for a while.

Obviously I've been famished all day, but I figure it's probably a good idea to not have eaten for a while before a scan of your abdomen. I'm missing weights this evening, but I think that'll be a good thing given I'm about to have something hard pushed against me for a while. Plus it's the re-establishment of 3-rep maxes, and I don't know if my body would like that until I find out if I have an actual hernia or similar.

More on that tomorrow, if I learn anything before the results go to the doctor in about two weeks. Oh, also, I filled my ISA. I figure better to get it out of the way as soon as possible, then forget about it for a year.

[16:55] Today I have mostly a) been resting from yesterday's hard exercise day (outing after work was cold and windy, but productive) and, b) consolidating the first four KVM guests I build the day before. Also responding to a massive influx of emails, which actually required me to start doing so last night when I got back from the outing.

I think I've managed to shore up those things which needed shoring up, hopefully got a few of my ducks in a row and basically ensured that life can continue as I'd like it to, at least for the next week and a bit. Maybe more. What I want to know is how my life managed to get so complicated. Did I do it all myself? Is it all my fault? That seems fairly likely when I look back at things I might have done differently. A small part of me has been watching my antics (there aren't many other words I can use) with a vague sense of horror and disbelief. Here's hoping that I can extricate myself from the knots I'm tying myself into as time goes on.

In the meantime I've got a packed and tiring evening in front of me. As soon as I leave work I've got a cycle to the boat house, then erg sprints until I come close to passing out (that's not the purpose/intent, but it could happen). After that there's yoga, which should be much more relaxing, but still pretty hard work. Finally there's pizza and watching a film with people upstairs in the boat house. I'm hoping to get a good seat, next to someone nice, otherwise it could be an uncomfortable way to spend an hour and a bit. After that, well, it's home and to bed. Tomorrow's all about rowing. Well, rowing, getting my bike serviced, Tesco shopping, maybe going for a run, and cleaning and tidying the house as that's a long-overdue chore that needs doing rather urgently. Sunday will be more rowing, then an all-afternoon photoshoot with seven other people for someone who's going to take one of the photos and create a huge oil painting to hang in a nearby university faculty's entrance lobby.

Anyway, other than a crapload of existential angst about various and sundry parts of my life, things are going pretty well right now. More on whether or not I'm physically broken in the first days of next week. Until then have a great weekend.

[18:15] Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! It looks like I'm mostly moved over to my new VM host! At least, I think I am. There's probably tons I still need to do, and the DNS needs to update properly, but otherwise I think I may have found a new home! It's weird, as things aren't quite in the same place, and some things don't work the same as they did previously. Most of the issues have been down to me being a spoon, spanner, or various other implements. Huge and enduring thanks to the fine, fine gentleman who's allowed me to trample all over his house with barely a by your leave. I hope I don't break anything else (I've already metaphorically knocked one ornament off the mantlepiece with my clumsiness).

Some work happened today. It was fine. I've erg and run today too. Which has been good. Now I'm off for an outing in what looks like reasonably nice spring weather. Hurrah!

[17:15] Obviously the awesomeness of yesterday wasn't in any way maintainable, but I gave it a damned good shot today. It's just hard to compete with everything that I told you about, then another two 6km ergs (on sliders with the rest of my crew, and cox), then a huge Chinese food blowout with Kate. Of course it turned out both of us were pretty shattered, so the dinner didn't last as long as it normally does, and we discussed some things which were bothering us, but otherwise it was great. I went to bed as soon as I got home and probably didn't move again until 07:00 this morning.

Most of today has been spent either getting kickstart installations ready, setting up the out-of-band management on new servers, or doing the actual installations and some post-install fine-tuning. In the grand scheme of things I've had a pretty good day, all things considered. I did ask if there was the chance of doing something social tonight, but it turns out there isn't so I'm going to go home after weights tonight and catch up on downloaded television for the first time since this time last week. Then probably another early bed as tomorrow's another hard exercise day. Not that I didn't do my morning exercises.

[17:15] Welcome to April. And welcome to still reading this on Live Journal for the time being as the BOFHcam site it still down pending the VM being booted and me getting everything moved over to the generous space offered by my good friend Ozzard. As soon as the old VM is up it shouldn't take more than 24 hours to get things rolling and done.

Anyway, let me tell you about the last four days! Friday was pretty great, I have to say. Having the day off I basically went and did lots of weights, rowing, and other fun things. In the evening I went out for the first time in I don't know how long and celebrated a rowing friend's birthday. That was pretty cool and I didn't even really have anything to drink, which was great. Saturday was just as fun, with me basically bank partying all morning for different crews, then relaxing and tidying the boat house a bit, and then teaching two brand new beginners how to row for about two hours. After some relaxation and housework I went out for dinner with a friend in the evening and ate some rather lovely Thai food, which I haven't done in ages. Sunday was, of course, all about rowing again (I do do other things). Only this time I was at the boat house basically all day. Arriving at 07:30 I had an outing, then did a whole mass of rather useful cleaning up, throwing out and tidying of the boat house before the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race. Once most people had vanished after the race, those of us who were left decided to rearrange the committee room so it was a lot more comfortable and then ended up ordering in Keralan food and sitting around chatting until gone 21:00. Which was pretty fun, I have to say. Monday was therefore about sleeping in, and then having a house guest over for most of the day. Which was fun. Oh, you don't care, but I went to Tesco on Saturday. It's those little bits of minutiae which matter, isn't it?

Anyway, after a fairly good night's sleep, I had a brilliant morning before I even got to work. After getting out of bed I did two rather great 6km ergs in a totally deserted boat house, then cycled to work with not two but four Belgian Buns in my bag. I ate those while catching up with work this morning, then went for a rather good run at lunch time. This afternoon I've been racking up new servers and getting them registered in the DNS, on the firewall and generally get them ready to be installed. And now that that's mostly done I'm heading off for another two 6km ergs and then what I know will be a fun Chinese meal with my favourite repeat dinner companion, Kate.