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February's Journal
April's Journal

[16:35] Right, I'm off for three weeks now. A course for a week, then Rachel and I are running the length of Hadrian's Wall over the course of four days (so taking the week off), then I'm on another course for a week. Chances are I won't be posting anything while I'm away, but there might be some photos to put up once I'm back. But in essence I'm going to be incommunicado for the most part until early April. Before that though was today. Today started excellently with Rachel being here (she's working from (my) home today, too), then nothing much happened at work other than me replacing a hard drive without any issues whatsoever, then I had a huge lunch packed for me by Rachel, then I basically just tidied things up to make sure nothing was hanging over me for the time I'm not in the office. I fully expect to come back to at least two major shambleses, but there's nothing I can really do about that. I'm off to have a physio give me a massage and probably tell me that the shin splints in my right leg require me to not run for a few days, which is going to be incredibly hard not to do. But if I'm going to run Hadrian's Wall, and then two weeks later do the London Marathon I probably should take the time now to get fixed. We'll see what she says and I'll undoubtably give you an update once I get back to my desk. Until April, then.

[17:05] It's my brother's birthday today. I must remember to call him this evening. What I did remember to do was get up half an hour later this morning as I was down to only run for 1.5 hours before work. My right shin really isn't happy when I start running at the moment. After about 8km or so it settles down a little, but it's more than a little painful before that point. I'm close to hobbling until things loosen up. I've got a massage appointment tomorrow where I'll ask if I should let up on the running or 'run through it' as it were.

Work today has been fairly standard. Installing more stuff for the web developers on their migration servers, having a meeting where I tried not to grind my teeth when things take to long to get said, and booking a replacement disk in to go and swap tomorrow. Happily it's at the close server room rather than the further away one. Potentially, tomorrow is my last day in the office for three weeks, too. Which will be a little odd. I think I mentioned I have a training course for a week, then holiday, then another week-long training course. I might be able to do an update now and then, but probably not. More on all of that tomorrow. I am a tad worried that I'm going to come back to all kinds of problems, some of them caused by people trying to solve smaller ones and making them bigger. I may have to read my work email while I'm on the courses, just to see what kind of stuff I can head off at the pass.

[17:10] I'll tell you, running for two hours before work isn't something I'd want to do often. However, given how beautiful the weather was this morning, and how not-unpleasant the run was (I have increasingly worrying shin splintiness in my right leg, but it seems to be manageable), I might do it again some time. I seem to recall that in previous years I've run as far as 30-32km before work in similar circumstances. Anyway, I went to bed very early last night, so even when I woke far too early this morning I still didn't feel to bad when I got up at 05:30 for an 06:00 start. After that it was shower, breakfast, then in to work (a little late, but who cares?). Most of today I've been doing Apex stuff with the load balancer, as well as stuff with HTML::Mason, CPAN, and nascient Ansible roles. I'm going home now, though, as I'm quite tired. Only 1.5 hours of running tomorrow morning, thank goodness. Although if the weather's as nice as it has been today (although I've been out of sight of it since 09:10) I wouldn't mind going longer. That's not what the plan says, though. And we must follow the plan.

[17:40] I made it to the cinema with time to spare last night. It was a good film too. I was somewhat disappointed that the sub-woofers/bass speakers were in really bad condition and fluttered an awful lot. It didn't distract from the film itself too much, though. As the film was somewhat longer than I'd counted on (plus the stupidly long programme beforehand) I didn't get to Tesco much before 20:30, and therefore didn't get to eat much before 21:15. The pizza I'd had in the freezer turned out not to be one you're supposed to freeze, but I cooked it anyway, rationalising that if I had digestive problems it wouldn't affect my run as that was at lunchtime today. As it was everything seemed to be OK in the morning, I made it to work nice and early, got a server staged with firmware updates, did the OS updates on it and its guests just before lunchtime, went for a nice controlled 10K run, showered, had lunch, and then got on with installing stuff on web servers for the afternoon. I'm going to head home as soon as I've sent this, have a nice quiet evening, and then attempt to run for two hours tomorrow morning before work. Probably not very quickly.

[16:30] It was a pretty hard weekend in terms of running. What made it better was that I spent all of it with Rachel, in Croydon. I headed off there on Friday evening and got good train service all the way there. There was a bike waiting for me so I could head home and let myself in (Rachel was still food shopping). We had a smashing, quiet, night in. On Saturday morning I incorporated the local parkrun into a moderate 18K or so run, before heading home to Rachel's place whilest she finished marshaling the course. Unfortunately she suffered a puncture so had to push her bike back, which added a good forty minutes or so to the morning. We met at a local cafe for a quick second breakfast, then she went off to play hockey and I went home to look at her bike. Having judged both tyres to be on the way out, and thinking that a puncture repair kit and some spare inner tubes would be a plan, I suggested Rachel head home via a bike shop for same after hockey. This she duly did, and after she got home I showed/supervised her changing two tyres, inner tubes, and fixing a puncture. The remainder of the day was spent cleaning and relaxing. On Sunday morning we decided against going too far away to start our run (a bus and train required on the way out, and a train on the way back (taking an hour)), so we cycled to the local park and ran 10 miles on the Vanguard Way and then 10 miles back again. Definitely not a flat course, and even with some light rain here and there I sweated heavily. I had plenty of water, so I think I did OK in terms of hydration. We were still very very glad to get back to the cafe in the park, get some dry clothes on, and in my case eat a Danish pastry as well as have a sugary drink. We cycled slowly home, got clean, and then had a late lunch. Rachel did some baking, I did some internet stuff and uploaded our runs, and then we had an evening of watching the middle episodes of The West Wing's final season. I made an executive decision not to get trains which would get me to work before 09:00 and felt all the better for it when I arrived before most of my officemates anyway. Today has mostly been about helping people with various issues they've created themselves, pushing out the Content Views for this week on Satellite, contributing to a few of the Red Hat Bugzilla articles I'm notified on for various reasons, and finishing the build of three web server VMs. I may try to leave a little earlier today (I'm going to be pulling some early mornings and later finishes over the course of this week), and see if I can't see Logan at the cinema.

[16:35] Nothing much going on today. I packed to spend the weekend at Rachel's, shaved, came in to work, did a day's work, and now I'm off to the train station. I guess the highlights of the day were not running (I'm at that point in training now), writing two rather funky Ansible roles, and a conference call with Oracle which descended into farce a few times (although I don't think Oracle knew that). Anyway, we really need to have someone come in in person and talk to us about what we have going on. Here's hoping that happens some time soon. I don't think it will, though. Other than that I responded to, and opened some more Satellite bugzilla entries, and caught up on my email a bit. Here's hoping that on Monday I get to finish preparing the three VMs I built this week. Over the weekend I'll be running moderately long and actually long on Saturday and Sunday respectively... that is if my right shin doesn't feel as uncomfortable and 'splinty' as it has been, or worse.

[17:20] Although I got in early (07:30) this morning, it turns out I didn't need to as I wasn't allowed to my bit of the major HR system upgrade (OS and firmware patches) until around 10:10. That was OK as it meant that the run I would have done before work I could do over lunchtime in an extended lunch 'hour'. It went quite well considering how clompy and heavy I felt. Also I think I'm doing a little bit of damage to my right shin (splints), but we'll have to see how things pan out over the next few days/weeks. Otherwise work was mainly about patching, rebooting, testing, fixing, and trying to get some reading done on software repositories. I've also got a whole load of meetings, training courses, and conference calls scheduled for the next few weeks, which is a bit annoying, but part of my job these days I guess. Right now though I'm going to go home, and have a hard boiled egg and soldiers (as per a suggestion by Rachel) as I really think that's what'll hit the hunger spot right now. Tomorrow I have to pack for a weekend away at Rachel's with lots of running. Also, I need to shave quite urgently. More patching tomorrow, but not with an early start, thank goodness.

[17:05] A day of preparation for tomorrow, and mini-meetings. It started off with an early rise to get my 1.5 hour run done. It wasn't a great run, but it also didn't rain, so that was a plus. I got a reasonable distance done, which is more than I was expecting when I started. At work I spent the morning preparing the live KVM guests and their hosts for tomorrow morning's software and firmware patching, as well as everything else that goes along with it. There were some emails back and forth about a few things, and I also headed over to one of the server rooms to replace a hard drive. The afternoon was spent having a quick meeting with someone about their use of RHEL, Satellite, and custom repositories (which I have to relearn how to set up, as they were covered in the Satellite course but I haven't touched since). Other than that I've been cleaning up my inbox, sorting out various things, and hoping to go to the cinema. Sadly, the latter isn't going to happen as I have free tickets and that means I can't reserve a seat online. This means I'm at the mercy of the rest of the world not wanting to go to the showing I want at least a reasonable seat at. Luckily I can see online if a showing's going to be full, and they all are at the times I can be bothered to go.

[17:00] Thankfully today has been a whole lot quieter. My Satellite install looks to be behaving itself, even if the amount of warnings and so forth have gone up tremendously since the update yesterday. Anyway, Rachel left for work this morning and I headed into work and managed to get through checking my email and dealing with the morning issues without being interrupted. I got another disk ordered for another server with RAID issues, and got over to a server room to replace a disk which arrived before lunch time from yesterday's call. Then I ran a 10K quite well (started slow(er) and speeded up over the distance), had a shower, lunched and got on with doing things. Now it's the end of the day, I've got a plan for things to do tomorrow after the morning run before breakfast, I'm heading home to go for a really gentle jog with Max and Stacey, and I've decided that whilest I'm definitely not fat, I have let myself go with regard to muscle mass and fat percentage, so I'm going to be making some diet changes. So there's that...

... Although I've just got a text which says Max isn't running as he has some injury issues, so I might just go home and do useful things there instead.

[18:50] The week started with a real bang. Which wasn't helpful given the little bit of residual tiredness I had from yesterday's half marathon race. I'll get that out of the way first: I had an OK race, but I didn't feel as fit as I did in the same race last year, and this showed. I was 40 seconds slower over the same course, and additionally was beaten by my friend, and Rachel. The former by 1min 50 seconds, and the latter by 30 seconds. I was, and am, disappointed in myself, even as I'm very please for them both as that's PBs for both of them. Anyway, I have to move on. Saturday I cycled to and from a fairly gentle parkrun, which wouldn't have hurt my chances on Sunday, if I'm honest. The remainder of Saturday and Sunday when not running were taken up with eating and relaxation.

So, today. Rachel is working from (my) home, so we got up fairly late and I headed into work. Before I'd even read my email I had to get involved in a fairly complicated bit of firewall/static NATting, which took up a good 45min of my time. Once that was done it was on with the large number of issues which had cropped up over the weekend, including a failed drive in a large RAID5 set which must have broken only minutes after I left on Friday evening. The 1st line support person at Oracle wasn't a native English speaker, so he noted down "field disk" which caused the backline engineer to waste time having to ask me what that meant. I've got a disk coming tomorrow morning now (I hope) so that's all sorted. I made the mistake this afternoon of attempting a Satellite 6.2.8 upgrade before other people had tested it, and paid the price with errors when attempting the post-upgrade upgrade steps. Luckily, a number of Red Hat's Satellite engineers hang out on a dedicated Satellite IRC channel, so with them and a small amount of thought on my part I was able to (I think) get things running again. I created a Red Hat Bugzilla bug as I went along, which I hope will be helpful to other people who might have the same issue. At this point though I'm very tired and just want to go home to Rachel, who's been waiting for me since 17:30 or so.

[17:30] After yesterday's stressfulness with regard to the P2Ving, it was nice to not have to get up early to run, and to come in to work knowing there wasn't anything problematic going on that I had to stress about. So came in today and did some useful stuff without any real worry or woe, which was lovely. I even solved a recurring disk space/usage issue that should now mean the server never runs out of disk until the day we decommission it. Here's hoping, anyway.

Rachel's had another pretty stressful week though, so I'm looking forward to looking after her when she arrives this evening, hopefully in time for her sports massage at 19:00. If not I'll have to take that appointment and she can have my 19:30 one. Hopefully she won't miss them both! This weekend she's back off to London on Saturday morning for a hockey match and I'll be cycling (rather than running) to parkrun to do a nice steady fast jog/slow run around it in preparation for Sunday morning's half marathon race. Rachel'll be back some time in the mid to late Saturday afternoon so she'll be ready to race too, I hope. Sunday afternoon will obviously be a full-on laze-fest, I hope. See you Monday.

[17:40] Well, the P2Ving of the server I mentioned yesterday was a bit more of a fraught event than I'd been hoping for. First of all there were issues getting the virtual version to boot. I spent a good few hours trying to reimage it to see if I was doing something wrong. To cut a long story short, the issue wasn't that there was LVM involved in things, it was that the 'hardware' had changed so much between the physical server and the VM that I had to boot into a rescue ISO and rerun dracut to rebuild the initramfs with the driver for the new disc controller before it would work. Once I had that sorted it seemed like I'd got the networking completely buggered up. This took up most of the rest of the day, with me checking everything down the stack and across switches. Again, to cut a long story short, it turned out to be the VLAN I'd attached to one of the VMs virtual NICs being named confusingly. Once I had that sorted everything worked like a dream. Everything else then just fell out as it was supposed to, thank goodness. That little escapade meant that I didn't really get to much of the other stuff I'd been hoping to do today. It also meant that the things that came in via email that were important made me feel quite pressured and under the gun, as it were. In the end I have everything under control and a list of things to do tomorrow which should be fairly easy to take care of... I hope. I also ran this morning. Just another hour as I'm sort of tapering for this Sunday's half marathon. Hopefully I'm actually capable of running at my hoped-for half marathon pace, otherwise it's going to be a pretty poor time, relatively speaking. No Rachel this evening, disappointingly, but she will be coming tomorrow evening. We'll be meeting at a sports center for his'n'hers sports massages.

[17:40] Again! Another very busy day! It started with a 1 hour run before work. This basically went as I'd hoped; uneventful, nothing painful cropped up, and I didn't feel all that tired. A normal taper run, I hope. One more to go tomorrow before the half marathon race on Sunday. Once I got into work I did a whole load of work with the switches in one of our server rooms where we're going to move all of the hosts on them to Cisco fabric extenders. Hopefully all of the work I've done and now passed on to the Networks team will generate a result in due course. After that I spent some time looking at whether a server with a slowly sickening punctured RAID(5) stripe can be P2V'd to our VMWare cluster. This then necessitated a load of (what I thought was) simple switch and port-channel work on a couple of switches. Disappointingly, because I'm out of practice on Cisco IOS commands and consequences I caused a brief network outage on a couple of VMWare hosts hosting manylots of VMs. Luckily it wasn't for long, and no-one really noticed. At the same time as that I've been doing a lot of maintenance on some linux servers, troubleshooting and running an Oracle/PeopleSoft installation for someone, and getting my normal day's work done as well. It's now time to go home so I can relax for a little while. I am enjoying the uptick in work, but I wouldn't mind if there was a bit more consistency to how it came along.