[16:05] I broke and turned the central heating on last night. In my defence it
was also to make sure that it worked for Rachel coming home tonight. It does,
although I'm a little concerned about how not-hot the radiators got. I made
with the pliers to make sure the thermostat things were moving around (some
weren't). We'll see how things go tonight.
This morning I couldn't sleep past around 05:30, probably due to excitement at
Rachel coming home, so I eventually got up, did some exercises, then had a
shower and shaved off my beard. This took quite a while but the result is that
I now look a little younger, and smoother. After that it was just a case of
finishing the morning routine and getting to work. Today I have again been
quite productive, but again for other people/the team rather than my own todo
list. However, I'm starting to consider my todo list as something to be
sublimated into the team's todo list. Among the things I have done today is
arrange for two servers to be moved and reracked, got 50% of the way through
getting my colleague's new workstation ordered (this was first attempted in
April and then stalled fatally), got my line manager to send an email to Red Hat
to address a licensing issue given that telephone tennis appears not to be
yielding any useful results, helped someone install firmware updates to
(hopefully) fix some hardware bugs which took down a VMWare host, and been for a
run at lunch time for an hour, including some hill repetitions. Oh, I also got
a few texts from Rachel, who's back in the country and heading to my house by
train as I write this. This is, basically, wonderful. And also the reason I'm
leaving work early. I'm also in early tomorrow to do patching, so there's also
[17:15] Mostly today I have been trying to deal with the fact that someone here
is being remarkably slopey-shouldered about some things they would normally have
been assigned to deal with. It turns out I'm probably going to have to deal
with them instead. The day started quite well with me doing my 50 minute fasted
run before breakfast, doing the usual morning things, and then getting to work.
I'm not sure the Greek food I had last night was quite as filling as I would
have liked as I thought I was speeding up on the run, but it turns out that
after the half way point I was actually gradually slowing down. Never mind. At
work a colleague and I spent about an hour touring two server rooms making sure
we knew where all the servers we were concerned about were. We found them all,
so that was good. Back in the office I spent some time doing useful things
before getting up to move some long-abandoned kit down to WEEE recycling. It
was about time. Much of the afternoon was spent trying to get other people to
do things they need continual shoves to be made to do. I was only partially
successful at doing this, but when one of our virtual server hosts broke
partially it was a spur to get a whole load of powered-off VMs deleted. The
final three, which will allow us to decommission some spinning disks, I should
find out about tomorrow, I hope. Other than that there was a fairly useful
meeting with everyone from my team and the team that shares the same office
space. We didn't cover everything, but a lot of higher-level stuff was brought
up, although we still didn't get the hand-over of certain lower-level
information from our outgoing team leader that we would have liked. Hopefully
that'll be forced out of his as time goes by, and soon.
I'm heading home now to see if my central heating still works.
[17:35] Today started off quite well, to be honest. I woke earlyish, but still
felt more than rested enough to get up, do morning exercises, shower, make
lunch, have breakfast, and cycle to work in the frost with my new warm Sealskinz
gloves on (still a little colder than I'd have liked in the fingertips), and be
in before 08:30. So that was good. Then I got a few useful things done well
before they needed to be. It was only after that when things started to go
downhill. My team leader got a secondment to a team he prefers to be a part of
recently and decided that today would be the day he'd move desks and abrogate
all responsibility for any of the stuff he used to be responsible for in my
team. This has left something of a hole as he hasn't really done any kind of
handover, and all of the things that he was doing we're going to have to try and
pick up and run with in his stead. This is more than disappointing, and there
are quite a few people who're not pleased with this turn of events, but no-one
seems to be calling him on it. I'm determined not to get too stressed about it,
and definitely not outside of work hours, so there's that. Inside of work hours
I'll do what I can to slowly and methodically work through all the things that
seem to have just been allowed to lie and see what I can do to get them done.
Over the weekend I had a reasonably productive pair of days. Saturday morning I
got up and did housework stuff for a while, which didn't seem to have much
effect on things, but dealt with a few things I've been letting sit around for a
while. Then I had some lunch and cycled into town to not be in the house any
more. I headed to Waterstones and picked a book to read with hot chocolate and
carrot cake, wishing Rachel was with me so I'd have someone lovely to look up at
occasionally. By the time I decided to leave I'd also decided to buy the book,
so I could finish it, as well as two others on "buy one, get one half price".
It was cold, windy, and raining as I left so I was glad to get home. On Sunday
I got up late enough that it was a reasonable idea to get my run done before
breakfast so I wasn't hanging around any longer waiting for it to digest. This
turned out to be a good idea as the run went really well. After getting home,
clean, and fed I went out and did the Tesco shop and decided that today was the
day I'd mow the lawn for the last time this year. This was after calling the
gardener I used last time and not getting a response, as per usual. Mowing the
lawn left me feeling hungry so I had lunch and then allowed myself to relax for
the rest of the day. And that leads me to going to bed last night and getting
up this morning.
There are now only two more nights until Rachel's back in the country again and,
hopefully, OK to travel to see me on Wednesday evening. I'd go to her, but I
have an early start on Thursday morning to patch 20 servers, so coming all the
way back from Croydon in time to do all that before 09:00 would mean a very very
[17:15] Another Friday, another 'flurry' of activity at the end of the working
week. Not really, but I did get a fair bit of semi-useful stuff done. Morning
exercises, sort of, happened first. Got to work and spent the time before my
team leader arrived replying to emails from Rachel, so that was good. Lined up
a while load of Ansible lint to deal with, but then had to do my lunch time run,
shower, eat lunch, and then head over to the server room to help my team leader
rack up a FEX, and then end up deracking two other older switches, which was
helpful for Networks, but didn't really push forward anything I've been doing.
By the time I got back from doing that it was close to time to go home so I had
to rush through an annoying repeated round of Ansible linting of roles I hadn't
even written to get our continuous intergration system to not choke totally on
invisible syntactic whitespace. Some of my own stuff did get done, but mostly
it was things for other people, again. That's OK though, that's OK. That's
what my job is about sometimes, and luckily the things I need to do no-one's
asking me about, let alone clamouring for, as yet. Theoretically my team leader
thinks he's off on secondment to an office/group down the corridor on Monday, so
I may not see hide nor hair of him for the forseeable future, other than when
he's required to come back and tell us about things that he hasn't kept us in
the loop about. There's every chance some things might go more smoothly/quickly
without him around, but it's also likely some of the many things he kept running
will eventually grind to a halt because he's not around to look after them.
We'll just have to see what happens and deal with them on a case by case basis
when that occurs.
[17:25] More things were achieved today. And it was good. I started off by
getting to work after some morning exercises and a shower (breakfast, make
lunch, etc.). While doing the morning fire-fighting I was able to listen to a
podcast about Rachel's trip to Kenya which even had an interview with here,
which wonderful. The rest of the morning was all about doing bits and bobs.
After lunch I headed over to the closest of the server rooms with a colleague,
to find that the server we wanted to rack up was already racked, which was nice.
Networking it seemed to go OK (more on that in a moment) and, once we'd got the
knack of it, deracking a whole load of old servers came off without a hitch,
too. Back in the office it turned out that Networks were reluctant to feed
certain VLANs over to the switches we'd had at our disposal. This problem led
to me and my team leader and the head of Networks going back over there to fit
some new switches and generally get some stuff moved on. Unfortunately there
were space issues in the rack so we've postponed doing what we need to until I
and my team leader go back over there tomorrow late morning and do some
shuffling of things first. In the mean time we've plugged the server that
caused all of this into a switch in another rack so that it can get configured
and installed. That rigmarole took up the remainder of the day, so now I'm here
at my desk catching up on email and things before I go home for the day.
No contact from Rachel today. According to the spreadsheet she left me of where
she'll be and what she's doing she's visiting all kinds of projects today, so
it's unlikely she's had time or phone/internet connectivity to respond to
anything I've sent her. And she may not in the evenings either at the hotel
she's staying in. Either way, we're into the final few laps before the (Rachel
coming) home stretch. We can do it.
[17:15] Rachel and I were able to have a nice long video call on Skype last
night at around 22:15 after she'd sent everyone to bed at her hotel in Kampala.
It was great to reconnect and for us to talk about how each other was doing.
Then I went to bed as it was gone 22:00. It turns out that even though she was
two hours ahead, Rachel didn't go to bed for almost another hour, which was
disappointing. Then again, she works harder than almost anyone else I know or
have ever met. Today she was on a flight to Karamoja, and has been meeting with
various people during the day. I hope she gets some relaxation time tonight as
the next three days are going to be pretty full on for her, I think.
For my part I got up at around 08:00 this morning as I was tireder than I
realised when I went to bed. I was still in work before 09:00, which is what I
aim for 99% of the time. The day still didn't involve going to install the
server I thought we were going to do two days ago, but that's OK as I still did
useful things for other people. We might get to do it tomorrow, maybe. Mostly
today I did firewall things, talked to my team leader about renewing a
subscription with Red Hat, and went for an hour's run at lunch time in what I
would still consider to be unseasonally warm weather. It being hill repetitions
day meant that I got back feeling quite hot and sweaty, but a shower dealt with
I'm going to go home now, and attempt to cycle gently and casually and not care
about other cyclists and other road users (except in making sure I and they are
safe). I don't know if it's the reduced light in the evenings now, but the
roads feel more dangerous than they did a few weeks ago.
[17:30] Early start this morning to get my 45 minute run done before breakfast
so as to do it 'fasted'. This is to help fat adaption, which would be a really
good thing in my case as I'm hauling around what feels like 80-100,000 spare
calories I would happily devote to the cause. Anyway, that went well as the
weather was just the right temperature for me (cool to cold). Shower,
breakfast, and I was out of the door and cycling to work. Disappointingly I
didn't do some of the helpful stuff I mentioned yesterday, but I did help with
some other stuff which means that tomorrow (barring interruptions) we should be
able to get on with what I was talking about yesterday. I do have an hour long
hill repetitions run tomorrow at lunch time, so I'll hopefully be back in the
office at the right time to do that. Not that it matters precisely when I do it
as lunchtime's fairly moveable.
Rachel popped up not only on Skype but via SMS as her phone seems to be working
again now, which is great. She's in Kampala at the moment, but only until
tomorrow when she moved on again. We had a short Skype call this afternoon and
a flurry of texts to celebrate her being back online (albeit briefly), and
hopefully will have a longer Skype session tonight once she's back in her room
after welcoming people joining her to see some of the projects taking place in
[17:25] It was a somewhat disappointing weekend, really. I didn't make full use
of it by any means. Especially not with the weather being so lovely.
Naturally, after having run a marathon distance on the Friday morning I didn't
do anything on Saturday morning. In fact I stayed in bed a little longer and
brought the laptop up so I could Skype with Rachel in Kenya with toast and a
drink of juice. After that I did eventually get up, but it was only to laze
around the house and do very little. After a while I got properly dressed and
did a few useful things, but mainly it was television watching that got done.
Around 13:40 I contacted Cormac and asked if he was free to come to the cinema
with me at 15:00 or so. He was, so I headed out on the bike to go and book the
tickets as the vouchers I was going to use can't be used to reserve tickets
online. By the time I got to the cinema there weren't any seats left for the
showing I wanted so after checking with Cormac I booked for the next one at
around 17:00. That left me with a few hours to spend in town rather than cycle
all the way home again so I wandered around for a bit, bought a sandwich and a
drink, and then trawled the charity shops to find a cheap book to read. I then
sat in the sun near the cinema and read the book until it was time to go in.
The film was OK. Not something I'd have been pleased to have paid to see, but
definitely worth the use (or two) of a free voucher. I headed home after that
as Cormac and Steph were doing their own thing for dinner. Having had Chinese
on the Friday night as a reward for the run that morning I made myself go via
Tesco to buy something cheaper instead. On Sunday morning it was another lovely
day so once I was up I got my run out of the way while it was still relatively
cool. That went quite well despite my body not quite having recovered from the
Friday morning. After that I'm afraid the day went downhill. After lunch I
went out to get the Tesco shop done and then just slobbed on the sofa for the
rest of the day. I should (and could) have done more, but I just didn't want
At work today, surprisingly, I do think like I've got quite a lot done. Mostly
for other people though, not that that matters. I've also got all kinds of
things arranged for tomorrow and bits of the remainder of the week to move all
kinds of things forward, which is great. I've also got a fasted run to do
before breakfast tomorrow morning, which should be nice if the weather's as good
as it was this morning. I'm going to head home now and write Rachel today's
email and then work out how to cook the gammon joint I defrosted over the course
of the last 24 hours.
[16:45] Everything went pretty much according to plan for me this morning. Not
so much for Rachel though. I'll get to that in a moment. I woke at 04:20 (I
know), had my breakfast, and after some time to let it all go down a bit was out
the door and running right on the dot of 05:00. This, I hoped, was around the
time Rachel was setting off on her marathon in Kenya (two hours ahead of me).
Other than being relatively slow for me, my run was great up until the last 10K
or so, when I ran out of steam somewhat and had to take a few 500m walking
breaks (you never stop moving). What was most interesting was that pitch black
night and the extremely heavy fog which, when coupled with the moisture beading
on my glasses meant that even with a head torch on sometimes I couldn't see more
than a dary grey 80-90cm circle on the ground that didn't really highlight
contour changes in front of me and a white cone of fog in front of my eyes. The
whole route wasn't like that, and towards half way around the sky brightened
enough that I could put the torch away. In the end I finished the run in around
4:08 and was able to 'jump' into the shower and then cycle to work in time to
beat my team leader in, which is all that really matters.
Rachel, I found out this afternoon, had a bit of an interesting day in that
after the half marathon and 10K people had finished and there were only about
15-20 people left out doing the full fat version there was a torrential hail
storm and everyone had to take cover under whatever shelter they could find.
Marble-sized hail stones pelted everyone and left red marks. The race was
abandoned and people were collected by minibus and wrapped in space blankets as
they were cold and wet. Most people went back to finish the last few miles
after the storm had subsided, but apparently it was an interesting day to say
I'm heading home now myself to relax at the end of a very long day. Thankfully
nothing major happened at work today so I've been able to rest and recuperate
fairly well (although I don't think I've stood up out of my chair and moved
around quite as much as maybe I should have). Over the weekend I've got
Saturday off running (thank goodness) and only a 55 minute run on the Sunday
(for time rather than distance), so that should be fine as a leg-stretcher.
Other than that Rachel and I are going to try and connect via Skype, and I need
to go to Tesco. Then it's Monday again.
[17:20] 'Amusingly' I woke right about the time I need to wake up tomorrow
morning to run before work. This was far too early to be waking up this
morning, but at least I got to see how dark it would be. Then I tried to go
back to sleep again. I think I just about managed it. Getting up for real and
getting on with the morning meant cobbling together stuff to take to work today
in case I decide not to carry on with my run when I get as close to work as the
route takes me. I think I've brought everything I need to not only work in
clean normal clothes during the day, but also continue my run in fresh kit at
the end of the day. Now we just have to see how I feel tomorrow morning...
At work today I've tried not to get to het up about anything, as well as
drinking a little more than I normally do. Nothing really happened at work
other than me filing some bug reports and reading documentation for an upgrade
of Satellite I'll attempt in a few weeks from now.
Rachel hasn't been in contact today at all. This is probably down to her SIM
still not working in her phone, and the network connectivity at her hotel being
"wobbly". Hopefully I'll hear something from her tonight/tomorrow morning
before we head off to do our respective runs. I'm taking one last look at the
route on the web and hoping I remember all the twists and turns in the
half-light of tomorrow morning and then I'm off.
[17:55] Another less than perfect night's sleep. I still can't work out if it's
stress due to work, or missing Rachel quite a lot. Or both. Either way I still
managed to lever myself out of bed in time to get showered, make lunch, eat
breakfast, and cycle in a leisurely fashion (mostly) to work. It mizzled all
the way there, so my running kit was a bit damp when I took it out of my bag at
lunch time to go and do my 55 minute run (with 15 minutes of hill repetitions).
Given how wet it got with sweat by the time I was half way through rainwater
dampness didn't really matter. It probably kept me a bit cooler for a minute or
two more, if I think about it.
Plenty of small things done and/or fixed at work today. Nothing really of
substantial note, though. I changed a few passwords on a few online accounts in
response to some standard extortion emails. I think Livejournal may have been
cracked. Either that or something I had used those passwords on long ago has
finally given up its user database.
Tomorrow's a rest day before I decide if I'm going to do a really big run before
work on Friday morning. If I do then I have the chance to bail out of it at
about 10 miles right next to my workplace, so I'm going to bring some clothes
and food in tomorrow in case I do that. Otherwise I'll be committed to
finishing the run... only not really as I'll be taking my phone and taxi money,
so I can really stop at any point, if necessary. I hope not to though, given
the pace I intend to run at.
It's really starting to get dark earlier in the evening now. I'm glad I brought
my lights with me today. I wish I'd brought my reflective tabard, too.
[17:30] Another night of broken sleep. Not terribly, but I was still awake in
the early hours for a bit. As I had to do a fasted run today I eventually got
up at 06:45 and ran for the mandated 40 minutes in some of the mildest weather
in quite a few weeks, and that's saying something. Annoyingly, I managed to get
stung through my running top on the left of my rib cage, which has then
continued to be quite uncomfortable for at least half the day.
Workwise I haven't achieved as much as I would have liked, but I have updated
the Red Hat Satellite server to the most recent release (although a whole new
version also came out today, which is mildly annoying. I may upgrade to that
next week), installed a new server for someone (VM rather than physical), and
done a few commits to our Git repository for useful things.
I'm going to go home now, while it remains a little lighter.
[17:25] So Rachel's now in Kenya. And I'm here. Which isn't very good, but the
way it has to be given how much my being there would have cost us (she's there
with work, if you remember). We had a lovely Friday evening and Saturday
morning and early afternoon. We even squeezed in a
slightly-faster-than-I-was-expecting run before we had to head to the train
station, too, which was nice. I made it home some time before 21:00 and was
able to sit myself down with a film to eat my danish cinnamon whirl before a
late bedtime (which meant I didn't spend all that long awake, thankfully). On
Sunday the weather wasn't all that great, but I somehow managed to fit in a 50
minute run somewhere mostly new without being completely drenched by rain. So
that was good, too. When I got home and cleaned up I was just in time to watch
my father finish the Manchester Half Marathon via the YouTube stream of the
finish line, which was great. The rest of the day I spent doing house things
and being glad I was indoors rather than out. Also Tesco. Disappointingly, it
appears that there's something wrong with Rachel's SIM/phone/roaming setup which
means that texts aren't able to even be sent from my phone. She also can't send
them from her end either, which is likewise distressing.
Also disappointingly, I had a terrible night's sleep last night, which meant I
didn't really want to get up this morning. Add in the torrential rain on the
way to work and I arrived really not wanting to do much with the day. Happily I
was able to ask someone at one of the remote data centers to reseat a disk for
me (which fixed the problem) so I didn't have to go out in the rain again and
do it myself. So that was good. The rest of today I've basically been picking
up the pieces of everything that span a little out of control over the weekend,
including the HDD of one of our monitoring workstations which broke completely.
That's now been reinstalled on a 'new' HDD and everything is back to normal
I'm going to head out and see if it's still raining and aim to get home before
it actually gets dark, as it seems to be more and more quickly as autumn gathers
pace. Tomorrow morning I'm going to do my fasted/before breakfast run and then
head into work, hopefully in slightly better weather than today.
[15:40] Early morning start to get my fasted run done before breakfast. Happily
the wind hadn't come up then, and it only drizzled for about 30 seconds, so when
I finished at the closer railway station to cycle Rachel's bike home for storage
while she's in Kenya I felt fairly OK. A cycle home, shower, shave, breakfast,
and a packed lunch preparation later and I was on the way to work. Over the
course of today I've done some useful things for other people with the new
firewall, cycled over to a data center with a replacement SSD and fitted it,
although the SAN itself doesn't seem to think the new one is 'visible'. This is
risible, so I've asked the people who made the system to log in and give it a
Very shortly I'll be heading off to the train station to get a train to see
Rachel for tonight and tomorrow morning. I fully intend for us to enjoy
ourselves as much as possible as tomorrow afternoon Rachel's off to Kenya (and a
few other countries in Africa) to run a marathon and do some work for her
charity. This time last year we took both of our parents to do much the same
thing, but money's a bit too tight to be able to do it more than once. So yes,
she'll be away for almost three weeks, so I'll be throwing myself into work and
training to keep my mind off her not being around and to hopefully make the days
feel like they're going by a little faster. I'll be home again by Saturday
evening, so Sunday will be all about Tesco shopping, my weekly longer run, and
then relaxing and generally not doing very much at all. Hopefully it won't rain
too hard, although that should be a useful part of my training. I might even
wear my ultra pack and stick some weight in it to give me a more realistic
[17:50] Is it odd that the highlight of my day was a five minute dentist
appointment at 08:25 this morning that cost me £45.00 (everything's fine,
I even looked like I'd been to the dental hygienist in terms of how my gums had
become healthier since the last time I was there 18 months ago)? Since then
I've done a lot of work, and also been informed that my line manager has
resigned, my team leader is off on a secondment and can't wait to drop
everything he's been doing as team lead, someone else in the team is waiting to
be moved downstairs back with the people he makes more sense to be with, and at
least one other person who does lots of stuff around here, who's in the same
room but not the same team, has at least one foot out of the door. It's going
to make for very interesting times very soon as the line management above and to
the side (potentially absorbing us) is both idiotic and bullying. On the plus
side, I may be about to be thrown into the deep end on learning a whole
load of new things, but I'm also going to have to recultivate a sense
of not caring that I'd just worked my way out of so as to not be stressed when
I'm asked to do things and either don't know how, or don't have the time to do.
So yes, there's that. In other news, I'm going home, running before breakfast
tomorrow morning (not far) to give a report to my coach on how it felt to run
'fasted', and then tomorrow evening I'm back off to Croydon again to see Rachel
before she heads off to Kenya (and other countries nearby) for a little more
than two and a half weeks. I wish I was going with her again.
[17:55] I spent all of yesterday in London being moderately bored at the Red Hat
Forum. It really wasn't as good as I'd been hoping, and a lot higher level than
I was expecting. Barely anything of technical value, it felt more like
something for middle managers and above to attend. It's my own fault for not
reading more about it before I went, I guess. Anyway, the food was pretty
great, and getting to leave for it with Rachel in the morning, and then walking
to her workplace and getting the train home again with her was lovely. As was
getting the later train back here this morning. The weather's been absolutely
lovely, too. In fact it was too hot to run comfortably at lunch time, but I
still did, in my new shoes for the first time. My heel's still not totally
healed from the rub I got over the weekend, but with a bit of micropore tape on
it seems to survive, mostly.
At work today I did a few complicated things with help from John and generally
got back on top of my inbox and all the things in it. Managers continue to make
various seemingly stupid decisions, but there's nothing new there these days.
I'm going to go home and make sure my house is still there, and then relax and
try to get myself ready for tomorrow. There's nothing in particular happening,
I just feel quite tired. Also, I desperately need to remember I've got a
dentist appointment before work.
[17:05] Not a huge amount happening this weekend. Well there was, but there
were also long periods without Rachel, so they sucked. On Friday I headed to
Croydon and arrived at Rachel's house just after she did, which was good. As
she'd left our dinner in her work fridge we went out to the new pizza place a
few doors down and were not blown away by the service by any means. Still, the
food was mostly hot. On Saturday morning we elected not to do parkrun as it was
pouring down. Instead Rachel left to deliver a few things and then we met at
her favourite close-by cafe to try and have some brunch... but failed to do so
as it was packed. We ended up at a place right opposite her house which was...
adequate. Later on after Rachel had headed to her hockey game I went into
Croydon center to shake an Amnesty International collection thingy until Rachel
came to take over from me. It rained the whole time so we were both soaked from
either hockey or standing outside of Waitrose for forty minutes. After a hot
shower back at the house we had a late lunch and then relaxed for a few more
hours before I had to get a train home to go to Kate's wedding reception.
Although I arrived on time I knew nobody but the bride and one other person
(from work, who I despise) so I didn't stay all that long. It felt like a bit
of a waste of an evening that I could have spent with Rachel, but I did want
Kate to know I'd been there. On Sunday I did my mandated run according to my
training plan, did some washing, went to Tesco, and finished my new book, as
well as watching a bit of television. In the evening Rachel and I had a nice
long Skype before I headed to bed. Disappointingly, now that my left sinus has
stopped aching and being annoying the right one has started to do the same
thing. I'm hopeful it won't be quite as bad this time around, but we'll see.
I'm off to Croydon now as I have a Red Hat Forum in London tomorrow, and will
then head back to Croydon again after that, so I won't be back in the office
until Wednesday. Which is a shame as I've finally made some real progress on
the new load balancers I've been wanting to install for the past three weeks or
so. It took a lot of this morning to figure out what was going wrong with the
installer and the six network interfaces I had to play with, but I eventually
got it working. That meant that after I'd been to get my new running shoes at
lunch time I could head over to the other server room and install the matching
server there in one go. Back at my desk I've done an Ansible run, registered a
few IPs/DNS entries, and set up adapter teaming. Anything else people want they
can either do themselves tomorrow, or wait until I'm back on Wednesday.
[16:50] All kinds of rash issues when I got home last night, and throughout the
evening. With a healthy application of Anthisan and then one of Rachel's hay
fever anti-histamine tablets before bed, as well as 1g of Paracetamol I actually
had a really good night's sleep and didn't wake until some time after my radio
came on at the usual 07:00. It seems pretty obvious that I've been having some
kind of histamine reaction to something, and odd as it may sound it may be
something to do with my sinus (infection). Strange, but true. In any event
things have been a lot better today, but as I'm off to Croydon this evening to
see Rachel I'm not taking any chances and have packed all of the above medicines
and things in case I need them over the course of the weekend. Although owing
to one thing and another I won't be in Croydon (or with Rachel, boo) for more
than tonight and the first half of tomorrow. After that she's off to hockey,
and then I'll be heading back home to attend a friend's wedding reception.
Given the lateness of the hour that'll finish I won't be going back to Rachel's
that night, and she's got something on for two thirds of Sunday so that sort of
puts paid to that. If she's feeling up to it (and I really wouldn't blame her
if she wasn't) Rachel may come to me on Sunday afternoon/evening, but we'll have
to see. In any event I'll be going to see her on Monday night as I've got a
thing on in London all day on Tuesday, so I'll stay with her on Tuesday night
too and then head back to work and home on Wednesday morning.
I've done a lot of good preparation work for next week and finally getting some
servers installed with operating systems, although I think I have to replace at
least one DAC cable which may be causing a problem. Other than that I ran a
nice gentle 30min at lunch time, and all I have to run over the weekend is a
45min steady pace on "as much trail as possible". So that's nice. I might not
even get up and do parkrun tomorrow morning. Then again, if Rachel decides to
volunteer I might have to go along and take part just so I'm where she is.
Time to head to the train station at a leisurely pace given the heavy rucksack
full of clothing for Rachel to take to Kenya I have with me.
[17:05] I got very little sleep last night as not only has my left sinus decided
that it is very upset with something (no mucus, but very sore/inflamed, and
causing a headache), but I have incredibly itchy hands and areas on my body in
the evening and over night, manifesting as a rash in some places.. I got up
and put on some anti-histamine cream in the early hours and that seemed to
help, but over the course of the day my sinus has become more painful and,
weirdly, my rash has moved from some places and appeared in others. Right now
it's in my left armpit and my scalp is quite itchy in places. I don't know
what's going on. If I have another bad night tonight I may go to the doctor
tomorrow and ask what's going on.
In other news a book I've been waiting months for arrived from Amazon, and I
went to buy some new running shoes and ended up requesting a different colour of
the shoes they had in stock, which probably won't arrive for a week or so, which
is a bit annoying.
My nose/face really is quite uncomfortable, but at least I'm not having to blow
my nose every minute or so. Small mercies.
In other news, I did a lot of VMWare-related stuff today. Moved VMs around to
free up a host for re-networking, moved a whole lot more onto different
datastores, and generally balanced things a little. So, that was useful.
[18:00] Another day, another round of paperwork filling in. It seems to be an
iterative process, helped by me cycling to the two server rooms and peering at
things and writing down information. Then coming back and filling it in on
forms and scanning and printing them. Not really part of my job description,
but it has resulted in both of the two servers I've been trying to install for
the past month or so now being ready to use Kickstart on. All I have to do now
is wait for Networks to put the FEX ports on the right VLANs and I should be
ready to go. Well, I need to write the Kickstart files, but I've got templates
and examples to work off so it shouldn't take more than a minute or two for each
I ran my second ultra-marathon training plan session today. A 3K run to a hill,
then up and down it four times before a similar run back to work again. Given
where I live isn't known for being particularly contoured, this is about as good
as it gets for 'hill training'. Sometimes it would be useful to have a car so I
could go further afield, but for the forseeable future it's where I went, or
getting down to Croydon and the North Downs.
There continues to be an undercurrent of dissatisfaction and annoyance here at
work, palpable in pretty much any company I'm in. I don't know if much is going
to change in the short (or even long) term, but I'm hopeful we won't lose
between one and three very useful people before morale improves.
[17:50] An especially hectic and annoying day consisting mostly of me walking
around the building trying to match up purchase orders and invoices with
internal forms to allow servers to be plugged in, acceptance tested, and asset
tagged, such that I can then get said servers entered into our asset management
system and maybe, just maybe, installed with an operating system and made ready
to use. Currently the chances of this happening at all are close to nil. This
aggravates me in ways I'm unable to vocalise. At least I managed to get one
server (of about twelve) connected, and the ports used passed over to Networks
to be given the right port profile. I also went for my first coach-planned
training run. Exactly six months before my first ultra marathon. It was easy,
and I enjoyed it. And not just because it was me being away from the stupidity
of work for half an hour.
When I got home last night the lawn had been mowed. The grass in indeed
shorter, but is definitely not as neat and manicured as it was when I moved in a
year ago. It basically looks like my hair just after I've had it cut. Anyway,
that's that. I think I'll go home. I was in at 07:30 this morning for some
VMWare disk resize work, so I should have gone home hours ago.
[17:50] It's all gone to hell here. Not terribly. It's just that there's no
Process here for dealing with new servers when they come in the door. I don't
know how much of is it up to me to do, but I've amassed enough temper to stand
up and start trying to do something about it. It isn't having any effect yet,
but I've sent out enough conciliatory emails and enough meetings today that
perhaps there'll be some movement tomorrow. I know for a fact that some
problems/blockers aren't my fault, but I'm hopeful that the more I can get
smoothed out the better chance other people have of getting their jobs done.
I'm going to have to liaise with Networks, my line manager, my team leader, and
even some upper management to get things going. It's going to be interesting.
What was more disappointing than interesting was the 10K race I ran this weekend
with Rachel and some other ex-rower friends. I'd been hoping to get sub 40min,
but only managed a shade over 42min. I was beaten by around 2min 40sec by
Rachel (who also got first woman overall), and a friend (by a little over a
minutes) who I never would have assumed would have beaten me in the past. I
really have lost so much of my speed (and fitness?) since my marathon PB in the
first quarter of the year. My ultra training starts tomorrow, so hopefully as
times goes by in the next six months I'll develop some solid fitness base again
upon which I can add some speed when necessary.
There's tons more I could write today, but I really can't be bothered at this
point. I want to go home.