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[23/12/2013 - 11:30] Seems I forgot to do this on Friday before I left for the week (and Christmas, it turns out). Friday was a good day. Nothing actually happened. Nothing went wrong, no-body needed anything and I was still able to get a 6km run in at lunch time. It was a good day. I'm still not sure how I managed to leave without doing a journal entry, but I did. I'm at my parents' house for Christmas now, and doing some remote working to make up for the fact I had to reboot Monday off work (I had booked it, then cancelled the booking when I realised my train wasn't until late in the evening, then rebooked it when the weather turned poo on Sunday evening). The weather here in the North is actually quite beautiful at the moment, and as soon as lunch time comes around I'm going to take advantage of it with a run.

Have a fantastic Christmas, and a very wonderful new year. See you in 2014.

[17:25] Well, the weights session last night didn't kill me. Or indeed injure me in any way I have yet to notice. Which is good. I can't swear that I did the maximum weights I could in every exercise, but I only stopped when I thought it was going to be detrimental to my health. I'm fed up of little injuries, and even just worries. Anyway, job done I went home and actually had An Evening. Which isn't something I've had in a while.

Despite a night interrupted with bad dreams (including only the second ever time in my life that I can recall where I dreamed about Kris (the first being good, this one... not so good)) I managed to a) make it down to the boat house in time for this morning's erg and, b) get a season's best of precisely 8000m in 30 minutes. Which is pleasing. Work followed, with some trips out to the other server room, some minor bits of work regarding Moodle/Drupal and some other stuff, a mid-morning snack, lunch, no major afternoon woes, some email, and shortly an outing in what I hope is at least a dry evening, if not a still one. As opposed to last night when it was windy as anything. Also: I spilled my protein powder all over my work area floor as I was leaving last night. A polite note to the cleaners appears to have solved that issue though, which was nice of them.

Tomorrow's Friday, which means an actual lie-in until at least 07:10. Incredible.

[17:00] Outing last night, erg intervals and core this morning. 6km run at lunch time and 3-rep maxes this evening in the weights area. I do like exercise. I'm just desperately hoping that I don't suffer an injury by doing something stupid. Here's hoping that tonight isn't the night.

In other news, it's windy as hell outside and cycling to the boat house is going to be interesting, to say the least. Other than that it has been the usual day of doing bits and bobs here and there. Nothing's gone pop for the most part, so I'm feeling fairly OK with getting out of here now.

Tomorrow morning is the 30 minute erg, which is going to be the usual amount of pain that it always is. Then a day of work and an evening out on the water. I'm looking forward to it already!

[17:05] Managed a pretty darned good set of three 6km ergs last night with Max. This means that I'm back on track to get my 3 rep maxes (no relation) done on Wednesday evening. Of course, after sweating out what was probably close on 1kg, and probably not replacing enough fluids I then got into some gladder-than-normal rags and headed into town to meet Kate for a celebratory Christmas dinner. Drinks and conversation followed, closely accompanied by a visit to an Argentinia steak restaurant where I had 440g (uncooked weight, but I had it pretty blue) steak, and chips. This proved to be just about the right amount of food to set me up for a good evening of more conversation, a tiny bit of wine, and a chance to relax. Pretty great, really.

At work today I've mainly been doing small but important things, failing to install ADSL modems and firewalls, and avoiding people at the work Christmas party. I had the food, and the free drink, but the music was too loud and the laughter too abrasive (and in many cases forced) to be pleasant for more than fifteen minutes after I'd finished eating. Luckily, there was work that I had to do this afternoon, so if anyone asks, it was leave, or stay late. And I can't stay late because I have an outing this evening. It's going to be a cold one, judging from the weather. Just so long as it's not wet I won't mind all that much.

I don't think there's anything else to say, other than to comment on the fact that there are loud people still in the entrance area, five hours after Christmas lunch was served. I don't think much work went on elsewhere this afternoon. I have zero problem with that, I just wish I felt like joining in.

[16:25] I'll tell you what's distracting, someone swearing and cursing and getting annoyed out loud. I wish I could help, if for no other reason than it keeps things quieter. I've done my part today by taking at least five other tasks of other people's desks/queues as I had a bit of free time over the course of today, for once.

I didn't do the planned morning erg this morning as I was having a far better time being in bed. It was also my first 'lie-in' in a few days, too. As a result I'm out of here on the dot of 17:00 today to get the ergs done (3x6km UT2) before I have my first 'Christmas' dinner with Kate. This means I'll be doing my three rep(etition) maxes on Wednesday, hopefully. I do wonder if I've put on any strength since last time. That and the ability to squat and dead lift without breaking myself utterly. Anyway, one of the reasons for not doing the ergs was that this weekend was pretty intense, rowing-wise. Saturday morning was 3x2km pieces at rate cappings of 28, 30, and 32 strokes per minute. Plus we were in mixed ability crews, so that wasn't totally amazing. The second outing was more about technique. Sunday morning started with an 18km outing with almost no stops (other than a loo break), and then a much shorter technical outing again. Again, the crews were mixed up, so things weren't quite as good as I've been used to for the last few months. I guess we'll see how things improve as time goes by.

Rachel popped over on Sunday afternoon, which was awesome. Given I'd done the shopping on the Saturday (in the foreknowledge that Sunday's rowing would be hard) there wasn't really anything for us to do but relax and catch up on stuff.

Anyway, that's about it for the weekend. I've been out to the other server room twice today to help someone look at the generator filling panel, fixed a few things, returned a SAN disk to IBM, been for a relatively fast 6km run over lunch time, and even caught up on some RSS feeds. If I can get these ergs done this evening and make it home alive after dinner with Kate I think it might be a good day. It certainly started well.

[17:35] A Friday. Having followed a Thursday evening where I managed to squeeze a weights session in before a Men's Squad meeting before dinner and an evening with Rachel. It was an OK Friday. Or has been thus far. For the date, nothing actually happened that I wasn't capable of dealing with, which was nice. I even got to go for a run at lunch time. Although one of the people I was running with was a little over-familiar and insisted on talking altogether too much. Running time is quiet time for me. I don't think I'll be running with him again.

Absolutely no exercise this evening. Other than the cycle home, which I never count. The weekend's rowing is going to be in boats with people who in the main aren't anywhere near as experienced with rowing as I am. They're going to be interesting outings. Hopefully I'll be at stroke, so not absolutely drenched by what it's possible the rowing is going to be like further down the boat. I just hope that if I am at stroke I can have some effect on making the boat move as well as possible. We'll have to see how that goes. There's not much else going on this weekend other than Rachel coming over on Sunday afternoon.

[17:00] The outing last night wasn't too great, in my opinion. To much with the mixture of good rowers and less experienced ones. Still, they have to learn somehow and I'm sure I was more than my fair share of bad rower in a good boat before now (and perhaps still now as well). Still, going home for a nice steak dinner and some downloaded television afterwards more than made up for it.

This morning I managed to drag myself out of bed to do the weekly 30 minute AT erg at the boat house. Only one other person turned up, but that was OK. I didn't break any records, probably due to still feeling Quite Tired. Better than staying in bed, though. And it also meant I felt less guilty about stuffing my face with a not inconsiderable amount of food over the course of the morning. And I still feel hungry now. Anyway.

Anna came over for lunch. Why we stopped having lunch neither of us know, but it's good that we've started again. Work has been much as it ever is. I've made a few minor (more cosmetic than anything else) breakthroughs on a few things, which is nice. Now I'm off to do a quick weights session before tonight's Men's Squad meeting. Hopefully it'll finish in time for me to get home and welcome Rachel, who's visiting.

[17:55] I suppose the highlight of the day (other than getting to do a 6km run without any kind of ill effects during or afterwards) was upgrading to two 24" 1920x1200 monitors. I now have all the screen realestate. It's actually kind of embarrassing. Still, it means I can lay everything out when I'm doing lots of upgrades and not have to spread things over more virtual desktops. Also, RHEL7b1 came out today and I've already got it installed to play with. It looks a lot like Fedora 19, which is helpful.

So yes, a run at lunchtime, and an outing tonight rather than weights. I can almost feel myself beginning to get fitter. Almost, but not quite.

Work-wise? This and that. A few small things here and there. Nothing, really, to get my teeth into at the moment. Maybe soon when the Oracle VM Servers can be updated. Until then? Well, there's always little-but-important tasks that need doing.

[16:55] Did I mention yesterday that I did an update of Oracle VM Manager and everything worked perfectly? Well I did, and it did. I guess I also didn't mention that I came very very close to being crushed under a 15 ton gravel truck on the way to work either. Well I did, but didn't, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, that was yesterday. As was last night's weights session, which was completed, but nothing much to write home about. Shockingly, it was the first proper bit of exercise I'd done since Thursday evening (other than morning exercises that morning). I full intended to do the erg sessions I missed yesterday morning this morning, or at the very least do morning exercises again. I did neither. I'm 50/50 that I might have somehow amazingly banished my cold, or at least gotten over the snotty phase in less than two days. This can only be a good thing. I just hope my energy returns as quickly as the cold left. I've an outing tonight, before which I intend to do at least one 6km erg. Perhaps two if I can manage it. Then the outing.

[17:00] I'd like to say that what happens on a stag weekend stays on a stag weekend, but that would imply that anything untoward happened. It didn't. We had an awesome time doing fun things, and then headed home at around 02:30 and went to bed. The following morning there were lots of bacon and egg sandwiches. Then we all went to our respective homes. Friday night I went to Croydon to see Rachel, then got the train out west the next morning. It all went from there, really.

Probably being in the cold a lot is what caused my incipient cold to finally manifest in a big way yesterday. That meant I coughed, sneezed and dripped all the way through the day and night. I know I shouldn't, but keeping myself a little more dehydrated than I should is helping me feel a whole lot better. I know that when I go home tonight after weights (I didn't go and do morning ergs this morning as much as I would have liked to if I'd had the energy and ability to breath) I'll be drinking a lot of liquids and I'm sure my body will fire up the old mucus-producers and I'll have lovely evening. I'm just glad last night I had delivery pizza and Rachel to make things a good bit better.

Stag weekend activities: "Top Golf", karting, curry, casino. A good time was had by all.

[15:10] So the sore throat that I was definitely coming down with last night which caused me to turn up to the boat house for the cancelled-due-to-wind outing also made me basically go straight home once I'd ascertained that I wasn't going to miss anything important. I didn't quite go to bed straight away, but I did have a delicious steak dinner and do nothing at all for the first night in a long time. Actually, I stayed up reasonably late, but by dint of my first morning off in some time too, I was able to sleep in until all of 07:00, which helped enormously. I actually didn't feel too bad at all when I got up.

What had distressed me utterly last night was the loss of my favourite fleece hat. That hat had been with me to at least three corners of the world and come back intact, if a little sweaty and dirty. I took it off as I was cycling in to work yesterday morning and left it on the handlebars of my bike by accident once I'd locked it up. I only realised this when I left at the end of the day and couldn't find it in my pockets. Someone claimed to have seen it over the pillar supporting the button to release the gate to the secure cycle area, but dilligent searching in and around that area produced no results. I cycled home sad and with very cold ears.

This morning I cycled in with another hat (just not the same) and put up posters on the front door and emailed the entire building. It turns out the person I locked my bike up at the same time as was in fact the person who'd put my hat (which he'd found on the floor in the high winds we'd had yesterday) and put it on the pillar. Why he hadn't taken it in to Reception I'll never know (and didn't ask as that would have been rude). He didn't know where it was either. However, within ten minutes of sending the email, someone returned the hat to me! Hurrah! Reunited!

Now, at the end of the day (plenty of early morning patching sessions mean I can leave a little earlier) I can leave for a night with Rachel and a stag weekend with Dunk and friends happy that my hat and I are together again.

Have a good weekend. I'll see you Monday.

[17:10] Obviously as I didn't have to get up early for work/patching I instead went down to the boat house for even earlier in the morning and did a 30 minute erg. I had some company, which made it more than tolerable, luckily. No records broken today on account of a) last night's weights session breaking us fairly decisively and, b) having to stop for about 20 seconds or so to get the CD play to stop skipping. All of the CDs at the boat house are scratched in some way or other, which makes playing tracks on them while doing a long erg a sort of Russian Roulette as to whether you're going to have to stop or not in the middle of your exercise to skip to the next track. Anyway, that over with and feeling actually more awake than beforehand I headed to work.

Happily, work today wasn't too bad at all. Nothing particularly bad has happened and I've been able to make a reasonable dent in all the things I should be doing at the moment. Which is good. Especially as I could legitimately take off most of tomorrow afternoon given all the early starts I've had this week which I haven't recouped with early departures.

The wind has been pretty strong for most of the day, but looks to have calmed down for the most part now. As it is I think we've cancelled the outing for this evening and instead there'll be a core session and then circuits. I don't think I'll stay for the circuits as my throat is getting more and more uncomfortable and subjecting it to the air in the boat house for any longer than necessary is probably a bad idea.

[17:00] The last early morning of patching this side of Christmas is now complete. As a result the fourteen or so servers on my list decided to give me a going away present in the form of a few slow and buggy updates, one server which refused to come back after a reboot (the lights out management hardware likewise failing until I physically cycled over to the old server room and cold power cycled it by removing the power cables for five minutes), and two servers which I should have done the firmware updates on yesterday so that they didn't take an extra 40 minutes to prepare for rebooting this morning. Still, by 09:30 everything was done and dusted and rebooted and happy and everything. Which is all that I wanted, really. I have three more servers to patch with standard OS patches, and then just the Oracle VM servers and the VM Manager to patch in a whole other schedule. Most of that will happen next year.

In other news, I bought a few more Christmas presents today (only my father's present remains to be purchased, now), had lunch not terribly late, and caught up on emails. There's weights tonight, then I'm home for leftovers and television before another early night. Rather than patching tomorrow I'm doing the usual Thursday morning 30 minute erg. I can't decide if I'm looking forward to it or not...

[17:30] I so need to get out of here. So herewith the short version. Weights last night was good. I appear to either be getting stronger, or other people are getting weaker. Or maybe bits of me don't hurt as much as they used to and I'm just able to try harder. Anyway, good session. Good night's sleep, good morning's patching, good 8k run at lunch time, good afternoon of work and preparation for tomorrow morning's patching of many machines.

And now I'm off for a row in the cold and the dark, and then home to hopefully find a Rachel waiting for me. Which'll be nice. Tomorrow is early morning patching and early evening weights. Other than that, hopefully another nice, quiet day.

[17:00] Welcome to December. The beginning of the end of another year. Another year where rather a lot has happened, and I'm still alive and functioning after everything that has gone on. Which is nice. Who knows, I might even make it to the end of next year too. Anyway.

Over the weekend I was down in London for the Fours Head of the River Race on the Tideway. Aside from the weather being as good as it was probably possible to be, it was still extremely cold hanging around for about an hour or so waiting for our turn to race. In the end we did as well as we could given the conditions, the training, and the crew that we were on the day. The longest race one of our crew had ever done before, and the first time on the Tideway for two of them. We did OK. The food afterwards was something I'd been looking forward to since I got out of bed in the morning though. I just wish there'd been more of it!

Sunday ended up being a rather fun 2- outing with a guy called Dan. Despite being tired and not really looking forward to steering a pair on the river, we did pretty well and came home dry and quite happy with what we'd achieved. I coached a women's crew for the second outing and then went home via Tesco to relax for a smidgen of the afternoon before heading back to the boat house to take everything off the trailer and reassemble all the boats, etc. After that there was just enough time to pop to the pub and then have a lovely meal in friendly company before cycling home before I collapsed.

Rather than a morning erg, which I might have enjoyed, I had the first of three early mornings of patching. Other than some on-the-fly fixing of things, it went as well as could have been expected. Hopefully tomorrow and Wednesday will go at least as well. That I can cope with. Other things I can cope with (at least I think so) is starting proper running training tomorrow lunch time. It's about time, I'm pretty sure my achilles is as sorted as it's going to be, and I feel a little like I need to get back into it again. That, and doing morning exercises. I'm feeling flabby and misshapen around the middle a little. And the photos from 4HoRR aren't doing much to dissuade me of that. Weights tonight, though.