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November's Journal



12/12/2018 [17:55] Today was one of those days when I didn't want to get out of bed, for no real reason at all. I did though, and went down to find that the radio wouldn't turn on. Was it broken? I couldn't think why. I turned on the kitchen lights... only for that not to work either. At that point it seemed obvious a breaker had tripped. I noticed that the smart meter was on battery power too, and nearly dead, so it'd been like that for a while. I flipped the breaker back on and the toaster started making a very odd buzzing sound and smelling of burning insulation. I quickly unplugged it, shook out everything I could, and then tried plugging it in again. More unsafe-sounding buzzing and a hint of smoke. One dead toaster. I hadn't even used it in a while (maybe three or four days), so I don't know why it chose the middle of last night to go wrong. The upshot was I cycled to work with it in a carrier bag this morning and dumped it in the work WEEE recycling trolley. Not impressed considering it probably wasn't more than three years old. Rachel's promised she'll get me one as an early Christmas present this weekend coming, which is lovely of her.

At work today I've mainly been fighting with Ubuntu 18.04 and VMWare. There are various issues with their interaction when it comes to customisation of various things after cloning from a template. After I got back from my lunch time hill reps run (mildly disappointing graph of my speed decreasing on each repetition of the hill climb) I found some useful information which basically boils down to the fact that I'm going to have to do manual configuration until we get on a more recent version of vCenter. I did fix the other issue I was having with regard to SSH host keys though, so it wasn't all bad news.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up stupidly early to run fasted for an hour before breakfast, and then do 30 seconds of work from home at 07:00 before showering, breakfasting, making my lunch, and cycling to work to do the followup task. I still might leave work early tomorrow evening given when I'm actually starting work tomorrow.

In other news, my hand/knuckle still hurts when I use it. I really do wonder what's wrong with it.

11/12/2018 [17:35] My hand still aches. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but some time last week I appear to have banged, knocked, or otherwise done something to it in such a way that I've either broken a bone or bruised or strained something in or around the first knuckle of my left hand. We're getting on for a week now and it seems to be getting somewhat worse rather than better. There doesn't seem to be much I can do about it so I'm going to just wait for a little while and see if it gets better on its own.

In other news I've had a day of work where I didn't actually achieve all that much, but probably still made progress theoretically such that things can happen in the future. Planning progress, I guess you could call it. Plenty of meetings (by which I mean two, which is more than I usually have) and things decided in them, but not much in the way of things typed into keyboards and results visible. Maybe tomorrow. No run today either, which I'm thankful for, but one tomorrow.

I think I'll go home and be glad I don't have to go out again to Tesco tonight.

10/12/2018 [17:25] Back again. Wotcha. It has been something of a long weekend, again. I'll get right into it as I want to go home, get the Tesco shop done, and relax. Rachel arrived on Thursday night, which was nice. We got to bed in good time for her to get up at 05:30 to do some work, and me at 06:00, so I could have a little breakfast and we could get on our way doing a 2 hour 30 minute run. Rather than look for trails and stuff we stuck to roads and pavement and did an out and back route. It drizzled a bit, and I (in the depths of a bit of a depressive patch) snapped at Rachel a bit. I also didn't really hydrate or eat properly (not that Rachel did either) so I faded quite a bit towards the end. All my own fault, really. Rachel on the other hand did well and only faded in the last mile or so. She's training really well at the moment. Once we were back and showered and fed a little more we headed back out in the rain with our bikes and decided to take an extra train from the nearer station to get us on our way to Matlock. Trains happened, everything went to plan, and then we were in Matlock. We cycled via cycle routes to Rowsley, and then after finding that the route I wanted us to take just wasn't going to be feasible, via the A6 to Bakewell and our Air BnB place for the night. It was more than good enough, and after a quick walk around Bakewell (it's not huge), a visit from our host at exactly the wrong moment, and a delivery Indian which was very tasty, we headed to bed. In the morning we jogged to Bakewell parkrun where Rachel absolutely demolished me, finishing a good 45+ seconds ahead of me on a very straight, almost perfectly flat out and back course. As I said, she's streets ahead of me on speed and fitness at the moment. At least, I think so. We jogged home again straight afterwards so we could shower and have breakfast at a local cafe that we'd been given a 10% off voucher for. Then it was basically time to head home for the last time, pack, and cycle back to Rowsley to meet and have lunch with Rachel's family. We did so, then checked into the hotel and went for a short walk. After some alone time for me to get my head in a bit more order we all got into our glad rags and headed down to the hotel dining room to have a really lovely and very delicious dinner together to celebrater Rachel's mother's birthday. Before we knew it it was gone 22:00 and bed time for almost everyone. Definitely me, though. In the morning Rachel and I had our first lie-in in possibly two weeks or more, which was lovely. My mood was beginning to lift a little by then, which was a relief. After breakfast together everyone went their separate ways and Rachel and I cycled back to the train station and got the succession of trains home again, two hours before we'd been due to. Luckily there were no issues with bike place bookings and we were home just before it got properly dark, which was nice. Sadly, my front light decided to stop working, which was disappointing, but I have plenty of spare ones. We had a quiet night in, dealing with the fact that the heating hadn't been on, so our (mostly my) kit from Friday morning hadn't really dried and had therefore stunk up the lounge/dining room/kitchen. I don't think I'll make that mistake again.

This morning we both got up early. Rachel so she could get to work on time, and me so I could get into work to do some patching before 09:00. Both things went according to plan, and I've spent the rest of the day getting ducks in a row for various things I still have to do this week. Hopefully they won't be too hard. I also asked my coach to set me up with some speed work between now and the 10K race Rachel and I are doing on New Year's Eve, but he thinks it's a bit too late to get much out of it, especially with the 28/23 mile back to back runs we're doing the weekend after next. Still, I have to hope that I can still get sub-40 minutes, at at least keep Rachel in sight. At the moment I don't hold out much hope!

Time to go home now, do the Tesco thing, and collapse on the sofa for the evening, I think.

06/12/2018 [17:40] I can't quite work out of today was a day when I got stuff done or not, really. I mean, I did create a new VM template for a new operating system, and I did do lots of dashing around when we had some new-firewall issues. But at the end of the day, did I get anything done? I think so. My old team leader dumped a pile of annoyance in my lap which I'm going to have to pick up and sort through next week, but I'm choosing to ignore that for now.

In any event, it's now home time, and I'm not back until Monday (when I'll be in semi-early to patch and reboot some servers). Rachel arrives this evening, thankfully, then tomorrow morning we get up early and run for 2 hours and 30 minutes before coming back, showering, having breakfast, and then heading out to take our bikes with us to her mother's birthday party weekend. There'll be some cycling, some running at a new parkrun, and plenty of food and relaxing otherwise. With luck the weather shouldn't be too bad, but we're going to have to pack for the worst. I'll tell you something about it on Monday.

05/12/2018 [17:35] Today was a good day. I got up and did morning exercises, showered, made lunch, and got to work in one piece. The morning was semi-productive in that I created and provisioned three VMs without any major issues other than a brief finger fumble over RAM allocation in vCenter, as well as helping set up someone's office in the hopes they'll get to move in to it before anyone notices that they're not a 'manager' per se. They do deserve to be in it, though. Over lunch time I did an excellent hill reps run where the graphs (after uploading) show that all of my ascents of the hill were progressive in speed. And this afternoon I've helped somewhat with a colleague's issue, helped pin down what was generating so much switch error email traffic, and even got my inboxes up to date.

I'm going to try and go home safely now and count myself lucky that sometimes I have a good day.

04/12/2018 [18:10] I didn't intend to be here this late, but something weird came up on the firewall and I and one of the firewall admins spent too long trying to work out what it was. We still haven't worked it out, but we've decided to go home anyway.

Before that the day consisted of doing useful things to help other people in my group, again. The one thing I wanted to do myself I started doing and then got side tracked, such that I'm going to have to pick it up again tomorrow morning instead. It isn't urgent, so that'll be OK. Before that I had lunch. Before that I headed over to a server room to replace a hard drive. And before all of that I went for a short run before work and watched the sun rise, which was nice.

Last night I went to Tesco and came back with a large pizza for dinner, which I shouldn't have had as I'm trying (not very hard or well) to lose a smidgen of fat from around my middle.

I think that's everything. It doesn't seem like all that much, now I read it back to myself. I must try and do a bit more tomorrow.

03/12/2018 [17:10] I arrived late into work this morning as trains from Croydon weren't running quite to time. It didn't seem to matter as most everything had either gone OK, or had been fixed by the Networks people before I got in. There were still one or two things I found, pointed out, and ended up fixing myself though. The remainder of the day has therefore mainly been about tidying up after the trauma of moving from one kind of firewall to another, and dealing with the usual things that happen to my servers over a weekend.

The weekend away from work was fairly interesting. I made it to Croydon in good time on Friday, only to find that Max and Stacey weren't coming, but we might meet them on Sunday lunch time after our run instead. Saturday started with parkrun (me running, Rachel marshalling) and then me using most of the remainder of the day to keep warm while Rachel dashed about doing Amnesty things, going to play hockey, and doing the shopping (even though I asked her if we could do it together). We got up on Sunday morning and took a train to Coulsden South and then ran south to the North Downs Way and west to Box Hill. It was muddy, but for the most part didn't rain to heavily. I got to try out my new ultra pack, and neither of us got too cold or anything, so that was good. When we arrived at the Box Hill visitor center we discovered that Max and Stacey weren't coming after all, so we had a nice hot lunch and then semi-hastily made our way to Dorking train station to get home again. Disappointingly, I felt into a bit of a depressive mood after we got back, having felt the beginnings of it on Saturday, and maybe even Friday evening. That put a distinct downer on the remainder of the weekend. I wish it hadn't. As people says "depression lies", so I'm trying hard not to believe anything I thought or felt during that time. I don't think I'm quite out of said dip at the moment, but work isn't about emotion, so I've been able to effectively forget about it. We'll see how things go over the next few days.

I'm heading home now where I'll hope the house has survived the weekend, head to Tesco for the week's shop, and then relax for a bit before bed. It's only the end of Monday and I already wish the week were over.