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August's Journal
October's Journal

[17:10] There's something very odd going on with network connectivity for a certain subset of workstations here at work at the moment. The issues are hard to pin down, and I think have been going on for quite a while (months, if I had to guess). However, they're so odd I'm having difficult explaining them to the people who might be able to work out what's going on. Hopefully I'll have more luck as the week goes on. There's been lots of email going back and forth and I've been doing all kinds of little bits of work such that I have achieved stuff, but it doesn't really feel like it. Hopefully something a little more substantial will get done before the end of Thursday lunchtime.

Over the weekend I managed my part of a serious bit of work quite successfully, and have been rewarded with two days of TOIL, one of which I'll be taking as Thursday afternoon and Friday morning (to go with the Friday afternoon I've already got booked). Alongside the work I did a parkrun on Saturday (which I thought was pretty fast, but turned out not to be as fast as I'd though, sadly), and a run with Rachel on Sunday morning, which gave me a smidgen of confidence about this weekend coming's A-race marathon (but not as much as I would have liked).

Otherwise it was a nice weekend, aside from two nights of really bad sleep, which manifested on Sunday afternoon as me needing a nap on the sofa while Rachel was out seeing some friends. I seem to have recovered, after a fairly good night's sleep last night. We'll have to see. Otherwise I'm off home now to get this evening's dinner for Rachel and I (she's coming home again for another night, which is wonderful), and to do a gentle 30 minute recovery run to keep my legs ticking over.

[17:20] More stuff done today. No meetings, but lots of small things here and there. I've managed to make some impact on our helpdesk ticket queue, the red lights on our monitoring system, and deliberately lock everyone out of our finance system (it's being patched over the weekend). I think I might even have managed to stay at work just long enough to avoid the tropical storm-like weather we had just a few minutes ago, too.

This weekend I'll need to be near a computer at various points to help with the finance system patching that's going on. But when I don't have to be I'll be running at parkrun (not sure if I'll be going flat out or not), running on Sunday morning for an hour and a half (but with some seriously fast, or at least "marathon pace", bits), and welcoming Rachel home on Saturday evening after she's done all kinds of things in Croydon. We get then and all of Sunday together, so that's pretty great. Then it'll be Monday, and a slightly short week as I have Friday afternoon off to get trains to Manchester for the marathon (in Chester) next weekend.

[17:50] A busy day of doing one or two things which aren't really supposed to be my job any more, but sort of are, really. They all did what they were supposed to, and that's good at least. We had a major DoS attack last night, so there was some debrief from that to deal with, although not all that much. Over lunch I did my last track session before the marathon. There was a moderate head wind for the middle 200m of each lap of the track, so that was 'interesting'. Nothing I couldn't handle though, according to my splits. The afternoon has mostly been spent in a meeting where I didn't say a thing, a technical meeting where the language barrier was, well, a barrier until I could explain my point properly, and then 30 minutes of documenting what I did this morning with regard to a software rollout, so that other people can do the same as me if I'm not around.

No Rachel tonight, or tomorrow night. She'll be coming on Saturday evening as she's got a lot on this week and on Saturday. I miss her.

[15:05] I was in work for 06:45 this morning to begin the first of three V2V operations. They finished, successfully, at around 12:00. Everything seemed to go perfectly, which was brilliant. I've had lunch, done a few more useful things, and now I'm going home to have a relaxing and quiet afternoon. There's not really much more to say about today.

[16:45] So it turns out I should have been in work at 07:00 this morning to do some cold backup testing of something I'll be doing over the weekend. Luckily I got a text from my team leader (who was in work) and I dashed downstairs and was on my laptop and connected and able to do things within a minute or so. Once that was all done I did the morning routine and got in to work proper. Today I've done a lot of very useful stuff, including going over to one of the data centres and performing about five different tasks, all of which came off without a hitch. One task - a backup restore - worked correctly (changed tapes), but I hadn't set it up properly, so someone had to redo the operation an hour or so ago, but I wasn't to know what I'd got wrong. Over lunch time there was a break in the rain (still going on now, but apparently there's some monsoon-like rain on the way) so I got a nice hour's worth of running done. Otherwise the day has been quite quiet, with only one VM to build and commission, and a few emails to do with load balancing and the like to work through. I'm in for before 07:00 tomorrow morning to do those three V2V conversions, which hopefully should come off without a hitch, even if they do take a while.

[17:25] Busy weekend. Saturday morning Rachel and I got up and did our own things running-wise. Both about 2.5 hours long we both didn't quite do as well as we would have liked owing to the remnants of the colds we had. Rachel still shot around parkrun at the end while I did something a bit more sedate. I honestly don't know where my stamina-at-speed has gone this past year. After that we got cleaned up and then headed out to the train station to get to Retford to be collected by Rachel's parents. We had a lovely relaxing sit in the garden with some beautiful weather while we all caught up on things, and then after dinner headed to bed. Sunday morning was our lie-in of the week, and we managed to stay in bed until close to 09:00, which was brilliant. Eventually we drove to York, got the park and ride into town and had a surprise birthday semi-party for Rachel's sister-in-law with a whole load of family and friends. After that we took trains home (first class!) with seat picnic, watched an episode of Person of Interest, and then went to bed.

This morning Rachel vanished off to London and I headed into work where it has been remarkably quiet. I've solved a few issues, closed a few tickets, and even managed to keep on top of my email. There are a few things coming up which should made this week fairly interesting. I'll detail them as they happen. For now though I'm off home, thence to Tesco and after that... maybe dinner and a film.

[17:10] I'm at the tail end of my cold, thankfully. Sadly, Rachel's right in the midst of her affliction, so we didn't run before work this morning. Aside from a 03:30 toilet break we both slept right through, which was a very necessary blessing. At work today I've had a really good blitz of my work inbox, made sure six or so servers I created recently were doing the right thing in places, been for a run at lunch time in what turned out to be quite warm weather, avoided a four hour meeting, and helped keep another meeting down to a little over half an hour. I've even managed to clear a few red lights from the monitoring system, too.

I'm going to head home and look after Rachel for the evening, including being the one who goes foraging for food, then we're going to have a bit of quiet time together and an early bed so we can attempt a 2.5 hour run tomorrow morning which will culminate in parkrun at 09:00. Then there'll be a bit of dashing around to get ready, then we're on trains to see Rachel's family for about 24 hours, before coming home again in time for a late Sunday evening at home and then off to work again on Monday.

[18:30] One of those achieveful days today... I think. In any event I built a few servers, did some useful Ansible debugging which will make future builds even faster (although there's still an NFS mounting issue I need to take a look at), and even lined up a few things to work on tomorrow (although they're boring and tedious and stuff). In other news I went on a short training course on how to use our new all-singing, all-dancing asset tracker/rack inventory/job scheduler thing. It was complicated, and I think I'll only get used to it by using it a lot. Currently I can see my knowledge of it atrophying very quickly if I don't.

Anyway, it has been a long day and Rachel is due home in about an hour and ten minutes, so I should head off and get some stuff from Tesco before getting home to put the spuds on and do some washing up. We may run before I head in to work tomorrow morning, otherwise I'll do it at lunch time. Either way it'll be lovely to see her again. It feels too long since Tuesday morning.

[18:10] Well, here I am, back again. Rachel and I just ran (although some of it had to be walked) the West Highland Way in four days. Pretty much 100 miles from end to end it was a wonderful experience we might even do again one day. There was rain (not as much as you might expect, except when there was), wind (again: barely any, then lots) some phenomenal views, lots of up, lots of down (just as bad in a way), and a disappointing-but-acceptable level of sleeping accommodation that we'd definitely make some changes to if we did it again. We were in motion for approximately 22 hours, covered about 3.4km of ascent, and ate enough that I actually put on a bit of weight over the course of four days. Train journeys were long, and in the case of the sleeper home, not all that relaxing. In the end though we had a good time, and came home safely.

At work today I've managed to catch up on all of my email, and even make some forward progress on a few things. Tomorrow is when I hope to start taking bites out of the things I really need to be doing. But then again, I'm sure something else will come up.

After two days of not running, but getting over a cold (still not completely gone) I did my first run post-WHW, and it was my hardest track session yet. Definitely still feeling running pretty much a marathon every day for four days (one day was short by nine miles, but the others were mostly over) it was a hard session, but I managed it. Whether or not that stands me in good stead for the marathon I'm set to do in a few weeks from now I have no idea, but it felt good to get it done.

Now though I'm off home to do the last of the washing from the trip away (mostly Rachel's stuff that she tried to hide from me so she could take it home and do it herself) and then relax for the evening. Possibly with a film, or two.
[17:20] Rachel arrived last night and there was much rejoicing. We did some packing and organising for the trip, had some dinner, watch some television, dealt with a bit of wibbling on my part and then went to bed. Rachel had to be up before dawn to get to London in time to do a breakfast event so she dragged herself away from me around 05:20 and was out of the door before 06:00, I think. I didn't quite manage to get to sleep properly after she left so eventually turned on the radio and dozed to the sound of Radio 4.

Eventually I got up and did the morning routine thing, then headed to work. I've had a few meetings today about various things, and even made time for a gentleish 45 minute jog/run at lunch time. I'm about to head home and do the final cull of extraneous clothing before packing everything for tomorrow. We're heading off to run the length of the West Highland Way over four days. Chances are it's going to rain every day, but that'll just be part of the 'adventure' I'm sure. It'll give me a chance to test out my new waterproof and waterproof gloves to see if I fare better than last time I ran along it. Then again it was snowing and sleeting that time. We've got all the accommodation, travel, and baggage transfer stuff sorted. I've overpacked (hence the culling), and I've a huge bag of food I need to carry and eat every day so as not to collapse in a heap on the moors... So, see you next week.

[16:05] It was a quite weekend without Rachel around. I spent Saturday morning doing the running thing and then a bit more packing for the trip this week. In the evening there was a barbeque thing at Keith's house so I cycled over there with a steak and some drinks and spent an enjoyable few hours with people before cycling home in the dark. Sunday morning was entirely given over to a long run along a very straight bit of tarmac, which ended up going around the houses (literally) owing to diversions in place that I didn't know about. I still managed three hours of continuous running, even if it was a good few miles shorter than I'd need for a marathon in approximately the same amount of time owing to the fact it was considerable slower than I'd need to run on the day. I can't say I've been too happy with this season's marathon training. I don't know if it's me, or the plan I've been given (possibly due to me not being clear about which races I cared about). In any event, we'll just have to see how the race goes on the day, but I'm resigning myself to this not being my year for marathon greatness. I have entered Manchester Marathon for 2020, which I'm hoping will be great.

Today I've been for a haircut at lunch time, but think I may have to head back there now as I'm pretty sure I'm lopsided somewhat. We'll see what they think when I get back there after posting this. I then need to head into town to get some insect bite cream, but I might do that tomorrow as it's in entirely the wrong direction. Rachel arrives this evening and there will be much rejoicing. Although she does have to leave at a silly time tomorrow morning to be in London for a 'breakfast event'. I'm very lucky to have her, and that she's willing to do so much travelling.

[16:20] A thankfully quiet day, with very little going on. I learned a bit about the Django framework, but wasn't pleased about it, and spent a lot of time at my desk generally keeping on top of my email. Mostly today was about waiting for other people to do stuff, and they haven't really done it (probably because they're busy with other things). The two VMs I created yesterday don't seem to have been touched yet, but that's OK because I don't really care about them at the moment.

Yesterday after work I cycled into town to collect some sample contact lenses, and I fully intended to wear some of them today, but never got around to it. I'm contemplating wearing contacts when I'm running in Scotland as there's every chance it's going to be pissing it down and it'd be nicer than having wet, foggy glasses. I may have to keep the glasses with me though, just in case. Anyway, I also came home via Tesco and picked up about 6700 (k)calories of dried fruit and nuts for the run (we're estimating about 2000 calories a day while running for about 6-7 hours). This means I need another 1300 calories still to purchase, so I'll be getting that as more of the same, and hopefully something a little more savoury, but equally capable of dealing with being shaken up and down for hours without becoming dust, liquid, or something in between which isn't its proper/edible form. Also some Mars bars.

This weekend I'll be running both days (long on Sunday), going to Tesco for a bit of food, and potentially even going to a barbeque on the Saturday evening if the weather is clement. Then, Monday.

[16:35] Rachel arrived last night. We had dinner, relaxed, were happy to be in the same place. This morning she had to be up and out of the house by 06:10. I was semi-awake again owing to whatever strangeness is going on with my circadian rhythms at the moment, but managed to doze a bit again after she'd left for the train station. At work I've had an OK day with just a few stupid emails from developers, and a solid effort of a run at lunch time on the track near where I work. I'm going to head off and collect some contact lenses from town and then gently cycle home, possibly by the long route along the river if the weather's nice enough.

[16:50] I had another early night last night as, again, I began to fall asleep around about 21:00. I don't know what I'm doing to feel so tired. Maybe I'm not getting enough calories in the day. Either way I don't feel bad in the morning, and for the whole day up until around 20:30 I feel perfectly fine. It does mean I'm waking up early, but that's no real issue as I can lie there feeling like I could get up at any time without feeling too aggrieved at the day starting.

Anyway, work today has been mainly about moving a whole slew of live sites into the cloud from our on-site infrastructure, and then beginning the slow progress of working out what can be removed from the load balancers, firewall, and servers (and in some cases actual servers themselves). While I'm usually not a fan of 'the cloud', in this case (and a few others) the ability to delete huge swathes of bad procedure from the load balancers' rules is a joy to me. Getting rid of a few servers (some KVM guests, some physical) also makes me happy too.

Rachel will be with me this evening, which is great. She's off to Cornwall for the next few days, so won't be around on the weekend, which is disappointing. It'll mean I do all my weekend runs alone... although given how much stronger and faster than she is at the moment much of them were anyway! We'll be looking at what we need to pack for our running trip tonight, as well as having dinner together and doing as much relaxing as possible before I fall asleep on her.

[17:10] For a not-particularly-busy day, I began to fall asleep on the sofa before 21:30 last night, so just gave in and went to bed. I'm pretty sure I was asleep before 22:00. This is probably why I ended up waking up around 05:00 this morning and having to try very hard to doze until 07:00. I just about managed it, but it wasn't easy. In any event, I made it up and to work and have had a semi-useful day of it. I have had two or three emails about some complicated stuff coming up in the next few days and weeks, some of which I hope other people will deal with. My team leader's back in tomorrow so hopefully two of those things can be chatted about between myself, him, and another person. We'll see, as he'll be very busy with all the other stuff he hasn't been around to do for the last two days.

Anyway, I need to head off and meet Cormac, who's driving home my bike repair stand for me. Then I need to pop to the post office to collect a delivery.

[17:05] As things go, this was a good weekend, on balance. I ate sensibly for pretty much every meal except the Indian Rachel and I had together on Sunday evening, but despite overeating somewhat, it was still well deserved. But that wasn't the only good stuff that went on. On Saturday I got up and did my hour's running (including parkrun), then got all of my household chores done (including cleaning up the outside wall where the builders had left marks, and having a brief panic about the dish washer seemingly having water left in the bottom of it after use (which I'm still not 100% sure I've solved)). By the time Rachel arrived in the evening (I cycled out to meet her at the station, and the train was late), we were ready to settle down with a nice meal of burgers and salad. On Sunday morning we decided not to get up as early as we did last week for our run as we assumed the weather would be a lot cooler. It wasn't all that much better, but I still felt a lot better on my run. Rachel still ran somewhat harder and definitely longer than I did, but I came away feeling a lot happier about my effort than last Sunday. We got cleaned up, had some lunch, and before we knew it Rachel had to head off for a meeting in a pub in town. While she was out I did some research on a multi-day run we're going to be doing soon, annotating the map book and looking up where our accommodation was for each night, and also managed to nearly smash my laptop by tripping over the power cable on the way back to the sofa. I think it's OK, but the power connector inside the laptop is a little looser than it was previously...

Anyway, then it was the end of the day, Rachel and I went for Indian, had a lovely relaxing evening, then went to bed. This morning Rachel's journey to work was delayed a bit due to points failures, but she got there in the end. I have had a fairly useful day getting a few really annoying things sorted out and much more neatly dealt with, managed not to have anything go wrong that I needed to fix, and even cleared a few things off the monitoring system. If all goes well, two more red lights will go tomorrow, too. For right now though I'm going to leave work pretty much on time for once, which is a joy.