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November's Journal
January's Journal

[16:45] I nearly forgot to do this before I left for the Christmas break. Let me just jot a few things down. I achieved useful things this morning by taking three working network cards from the spare UPSes I have here and swapping them into the new UPSes in the new building. Suddenly everything works, which is brilliant. I then got a whole load of other small things done, cleared off a lot of browser tabs, and generally got things sorted in time to go and do a nice moderately pleasant 8.3km run at lunch time. Following that was a shower and then straight into the work Christmas lunch, which was huge, and quite tasty. That left me feeling pretty great for the afternoon, by which I mean that I was hungry enough that the large amount I ate was offset by that, so I didn't feel bloated and sleepy all afternoon.

I'm now just about to head off and try and collect a few Christmas presents from places around town where I had them delivered, and then head home for the weekend. I'm off next week to see my family for the Christmas period, come back via Rachel's parents house for one night, and then we're back here for the new year, including a 10km race on New Year's Eve. After that I'm back on the 4th of January for a Brave New World of who knows what. I hope you have a good break yourself, whatever it is you get up to.

[17:25] I've had a pretty stupid day, if I'm honest with you. I saw the new Star Wars film at 00:01 this morning, then went home and was in bed by around 03:00. This meant that getting up at 07:30 wasn't all that pleasant. I did some achilles exercises and then came to work. Most of the morning was spent doing annoying things, and then going over to a building that's being recommissioned and trying to get UPS network cards to fit, and then completely failing to get the UPSes themselves to respond via serial connections. This was then compounded by not being able to talk to them via the network cards as they're preconfigured with stupid IP details, and I don't have administrator rights over the laptop so can't use arp. Basically it's a tale of woe that I can't really be bothered to go in to right now, except to say that it carried on into the afternoon when I went back to try again and nothing worked. I came back, hot, sweaty, and annoyed. I should go and do an erg at the boat house, but if there's no hot water I really can't be bothered to get hot and sweaty and then not be able to get clean before I go home.

I'll have another go at things tomorrow, after reading up on stuff online a bit, first.

[11:55] This morning's run was good... other than my right adductor getting quite sore almost as soon as I started running. It did die down a bit after about 5km or so, but wasn't ever what I would call "fine". It continues to be a little worrying, I have to say. Otherwise I've had an OK morning, and am just about to head off for a Christmas lunch from a vendor. Which should be nice.

In other news, Cormac has a spare ticket to see the new Star Wars film tonight/tomorrow morning at 00:01, so I'm going to be seeing that with him, which is nice. Of course, I didn't know this until this morning so I haven't banked any sleep or anything. This means that as a lightweight when it comes to late nights tonight might be "interesting". I think I may need Coke. Anyway, I should be back later. If not, see you tomorrow.

[17:15] A day of cycling back and forth to the data center as the screws on the hard drive I was sent were stripped, then the wrong size, then the screws on the caddy I had to use were security torx. A lot of wasted time and a lot of cycling when I could have been at my desk worrying about another technology being pushed on us by Oracle (Puppet, this time) before we're ready (not that I didn't want to be using it, just at my own pace).

Sod it, stuff went on today, but I really can't be bothered to tell you all about it in excruciating detail you honestly don't care about. I'm going to do an erg and then go home and eat. I suppose I could tell you I ordered more Christmas presents today, which I hope are right, and arrive in time for me to collect them before I go to my parents' for Christmas.

[17:10] As weekends go, it certainly was one. I was lucky enough to have Rachel come to town on Friday evening. Trains were being poo, so she didn't arrive when we'd hoped she would. That was disappointing for us both. I think we made up for it, though. On Saturday she had to go back for a Christmas dinner thing, so I had much of Saturday to do house-related things and just relax a bit. On Sunday I thought I'd get my long run for the week out of the way so even though it was raining and cold I headed out. This week I've been feeling - I don't know - a little low on energy. This proved to definitely be the case when the run turned into something of a slog well before the half way point. I managed to finish before I keeled over and spent the rest of the day until Rachel managed to get back here (even more train woes) in the middle of the evening. Having had a pretty terrible series of train journeys, and spending most of her weekend traveling, she was a bit down, so I tried my best to be a source of happiness. I think it almost worked. Dinner and fun downloaded television got us the rest of the way. She headed off this morning and I did my morning exercises thing and came to work. We had another engineer out today to have another go at the server that just wouldn't work. After replacing still more bits inside the chassis we finally managed to get it working again. I'm pretty certain I don't want to touch another server's internals for the next few weeks, if that's OK with the universe. I'm off now to do a light weights session, then head home and get some details from my so-called "smart" gas meter... which my utilities company doesn't think exists.

[16:40] Mostly today has been spent either in the data center failing to get that server still working. We're going to try again on Monday, with even more replacement parts. It'll be a new engineer, too, which might help. Maybe. This afternoon I've been writing up reports on things, congratulating the Networks guy on handing in his notice, finding out where approximately I'll be sitting after Christmas (nowhere good, I think), and wishing it was the end of the day so Rachel would arrive and the weekend can begin.

Over lunch (late) I did manage to go for a nice quick 6km run, which burned off a bit of frustration and tension about stuff, but I'd still prefer it if Rachel had arrived already. I'm off for a physio session very shortly, then it's the weekend with parkrun, Tesco, cleaning and washing up, and probably a long run on Sunday.

[17:05] I'm not sure, but I think my hamstring pull is getting better. I'm still undecided as to whether or not I do my cardio erg this evening. Part of me says do it, care even less about the power/split/distance than usual and just take the cardio effect and get home in one piece. I think that's what I'll do, or at least try.

In work-related news I spent the morning with an Oracle engineer trying to get the server I appear to have killed going again. With no luck. We think the replacement motherboard that was sent out was DOA, even though it half works. Sort of, but not really. He's coming back again tomorrow morning with another motherboard and we'll try everything all over again. The afternoon was taken up with a meeting about the brave new world which we're all going to be living in here after the new year. That was interesting. More on that as it happens.

[16:55] The early morning one hour run went pretty well. Got up at 06:20 and started my run at around 07:10. It seems to be that if one thing on me gets fixed/stops hurting, something else starts. Right now I'm not having achilles tendon issues, adductor issues, or sole/blister/callus issues. What I am having is some weirdly painful outside of right leg bottom-of-hamstring-just-before-it-turns-into-tendon-attached-to-back-of-knee issues. I think it was slightly uncomfortable before I started running. Now it's really uncomfortable, but easily walkable on. Good job I don't have another run before Friday and if necessary I can miss out on doing tomorrow's cardio erg. Given last night's erg, that might be a plan anyway as I really didn't get on with it. I don't think I'm overtraining, but perhaps I'm getting over skirting around the edge of a cold or something. Anyway, I'll do some light stretching and see how things feel in the morning and at the end of the day.

Work-wise I managed to break a server somehow today. I went over to the data center to replace a RAID card battery, and when I went to turn the server back on it just wouldn't boot the Service Processor or POST in any way, shape, or form. Annoying. Happily, the company who made it didn't need to be convinced to send out a new motherboard and engineer tomorrow, so I should be able to have it back up and running by lunch time, I hope. Other than that the day's been pretty quiet. I have this feeling I've forgotten something that's due to happen tomorrow (morning), but whatever it is I don't think it's too important. Or it if it is, never mind.

[16:55] Got in early to do an application upgrade and restart. Seemed to go smoothly. Then over lunch I went to collect a Christmas cake from Kate and came back via the middle of town to recover one of the two switches that're in buildings about to be cleared and razed. Feeling smug I went straight to one of the data centers to replace a RAID card battery and ended up standing around for 20 minutes before being told that in fact I couldn't take the server down after all as actually it was being heavily used (as opposed to what I was told yesterday; that it'd be fine). So I came back to the office and got on with swapping fuses around so that all of my extension gang power sockets work again.

How exciting is that? I'm off to do my cardio erg and then go home and eat too much.

[16:55] It was a good weekend overall.Mostly this was down to Rachel coming to see me on the Friday night to start with. That meant that Friday evening was pretty great. On Saturday morning I'd been due to do parkrun with Max, but he decided not to, which meant I was off the hook and could spend a bit more time with Rachel before she had to dash off to play hockey and then see her family. I cycled with her to the train station and then spent a little time at a local winter fair before heading home, doing the whole Tesco thing and then some house work. On Sunday morning I went out and did a nice long run, taking in next year's half marathon course, plus running to and from the finish line and home. That made it around 26.4km, which was more than enough. What was great was that I wasn't running as hard as I could, so other than some aches and pains which came on over the course of the final ten kilometers or so, the soles of my feet (blisters) and my ankles (achilles tendons) were fine. The aches and pains were actually in the tops of my legs (hip flexors, I think). Anyway, the run got done and I stretched on an off for most of the afternoon until Rachel arrived towards the end of the day. We were both a little flat from the day/weekend's activities so the evening was quiet.

Disappointingly, as I was tired we went to bed quite early, which might have been part of the reason we both slept quite badly. I don't know how close I was to convincing Rachel to take a sick day so we could both catch up on some proper, uninterrupted sleep, but I think it was more likely this morning than at any time previously. For my part it was probably for the best that I didn't take one myself as a few small but useful things got done or set in motion today which will give me things to do for the rest of the week, some of which tomorrow. For now though I'm off to do my Monday evening weights (legs and core only for the most part) and then go home. I'm not sure whether to have a late night or an early one in the hopes one of them will help me sleep better tonight.

[16:40] Fairly productive day, today. Last night's 20 min cardio erg went well, with a new PB. I did think it tired me out somewhat more than normal, so I ate hugely, and went to bed at a reasonable time, just in case. At work today I got two useful things done in town (one of which will actually be handled by someone else tomorrow morning), and got some useful information on something else which is going on next week which could have resulted in the loss of two switches... but hopefully now won't. Other than that I've got a new battery pack for a UPS I hope to deploy next week, been fighting with Subversion, which suddenly refuses to get updates from the server it's supposed to talk to, and struggling to understand why a database log file checker is now unable to see the log files it used to be able to.

However, it's now Friday afternoon, and the end of the working day, so I'm going to look forward to Rachel arriving this evening, parkrun tomorrow morning, a nice breakfast after that with Rachel, and then waving her off until Sunday evening (leaving me time to go to Tesco, do a long run, catch up on television stuff and do a bit of reading and lazing about before Monday).

[16:55] And the week was doing so well up until now. Suddenly, very little to do. I've been twiddling my thumbs for most of the day and chasing small issues in an effort to keep busy. In all fairness, I've managed to do so, but it has been touch and go. There's an SSL issue of some description arising from the upgrade of the load balancers this morning (which I didn't do), but that's being handled by the person who did the upgrade, so I'm keeping well out of it for the time being. It certain is a strange one, though.

Quick 20 min cardio erg this evening, then home. No Rachel, sadly. She's coming tomorrow night instead, which I'm very much looking forward to. Between now and then there's this evening, tomorrow's work, tomorrow lunchtime's 6K fast run, and making the house a little bit more presentable.

[17:10] I wasn't feeling it when I got up this morning for my hour long run. I don't know if I pushed a little too hard last night, or that I'm at the beginning of a cold or other 'low ebb' in energy. Either way, the run started off feeling like it wasn't going to be a good one. Not to mention that my right adductor put on its usual show of being rather unpleasant to use. By the end of the hour I'd put in a reasonable run though, and I felt quite pleased with how it'd gone. I'm trying (and succeeding) to not care about the fact that Max seems to be running upwards of five times a week at the moment. I think it's sensible for me to go with my three runs a week for the time being. There's plenty of time before the marathon to properly ramp up the training. Anyway, after the run I headed to work and got on with things. Nothing particularly interesting gone on today. Although I'm sure I did something fairly important this morning it has completely slipped my mind by this end of the working day.

I've got a rare 'quiet' evening planned for tonight, so I'm off home in a few moments to enjoy it to its full. I don't even have any washing up to do!

[16:45] An evening of legs and core-oriented weights, then dinner with Kate. Disappointingly, the place we wanted to go wasn't open on a Monday, so we went to the Chinese restaurant next door. I don't think it was a total mistake, but the food was - whilest filling - a bit uninspiring. Neither of us was on sparkling form either, I think. That meant I went home feeling a bit downbeat. That might have been the stomach ache though, I don't know. In any event, texting Rachel before bed (and getting a reply) was probably the highlight of my evening.

I got up a little earlier this morning so I could get in and do an application upgrade before 08:00. That actually went perfectly smoothly, which was nice. I also got another step closer to getting the test version of the application up and running too. I'm still not entirely sure why it's not running as it should, but I think it's a programmatic issue, rather than an operational one (which is my area). I'll talk to the developer some time about it. After that it was a morning of mini-tasks, then going over to the data center to move a server to a rack with connectivity to the SAN, with Cormac's help. Oh, and swapping out a dead hard drive in another server whilest I was over there. Once all of that was done I went and helped Cormac with a disk array issue he was having. By the time I got back to my desk it appeared that I'd knocked the network cable out of a server when I was moving servers around at the data center, so I had to cycle back over there and move a cable about 3mm, and then cycle back to the office again. Just a little annoying, considering the wind I had to battle against on the way there.

I'm now off to my 20 minute cardio erg before an evening of not doing a 2K test with the rest of the active rowers. I will potentially have company in the shape of Max, who I caught up with last night at the boat house, but possibly not. It doesn't matter; it's 20 minutes of cardio, then I get to shower and go home.