[17:35] It seems I have the two world's smallest hernias. One on each side,
in approximately the same place. This is annoying, but not entirely
unexpected at this point. I'll definitely be going back to the GP and asking
for a surgical consult this time. When I can arrange to have the surgery I
don't know, yet. But after the middle of November, I hope. I have things to
do before then and I'm pretty sure even minor surgery is going to put me out
of action for at least a month, if not more. Christmas is almost certainly
the best time for that to be the case. So, that's that, anyway. More, I'm
sure, as time goes by.
I deliberately didn't do much yesterday other than go home, clean the house,
and watch terrible television. And I think that and the semi-early night has
helped. I certainly woke this morning with a bit more energy and was able to
fit in a morning exercises session before getting on the way to the hospital
for the ultrasound scan. Given that includes planks, situps and other things
and the hernias were still tiny, "and I would have missed them on a bad day"
the ultrasound tech said. So, it's not like what I'm doing at the moment
seems to be making them any worse, right now. I'm desperately glad that
running doesn't seem to either. Nor four 2K races at maximum effort. A huge
phew on that score. I will lay off most of the weights sessions for the
forseeable though, I think.
All change at work on the SSL certificates front today. Many of them were due
for replacement and I got pretty much everything done in short order with only
one issue, which isn't even my fault. Other than that it was a day mainly
concerned with making sure everything worked. Lunch with Shaun and Cormac was
a chance to catch up, and complain resignedly about the management and their
lack of belief in those who work under them.
Now though, I'm off to the boat house to do a coached erg with a rather good
coach we've managed to snag for at least one session, and more if we impress
him. It's going to be interesting.
[17:30] So tomorrow morning I go for my second hernia ultrasound scan. I'm
beginning to worry that perhaps they're going to find another one on the other
side (left, this time) to match the first. And that the first will have
gotten worse. Although the left side doesn't ache any more I'm still
concerned about how the confirmed hernia on the right is 'progressing', as it
were. I guess I'll find out in about 15 hours or so.
The weekend was really rather great. Aside from getting up at the sparrow's
fart on Saturday morning to drive to Nottingham the racing itself went pretty
much as expected. My 4+ had its first outing in its race configuration rowing
up to start our first race. I think it shows just how much we've all grown as
rowers that we were able to integrate the new crew member (who was also
slotting into our 8+) and perform well enough to a) qualify from the heat to
the final and, b) beat the crew we were hoping to beat in the final (coming
4th out of 6). Each of the four 2km races we did on Saturday were about two
hours apart. Just time enough to get some food and drink down and have it
settle/be absorbed somewhat. The first two races were done by midday, the
second two, in the 8+ (with me stroking) were early afternoon and early
evening. We qualified easily in our heat, and then managed to scrape a very
close 2nd place (from 3rd or 4th, the 1st place boat was well ahead) in the
final. So that was pleasing too.
By the time we got back to the boat house it was pretty late into the night
and so we showered there while waiting for the trailer to make its way home
too. Detrailering and rerigging took place then, with the remainder happening
on Sunday morning before a moderately gentle row to the lock and back. After
that I headed to London as quickly as I could to meet Rachel and catch up
after not seeing each other in a month or so. We went for a wander in one of
the many parks before settling down for a proper reacquaintancing. Dinner was
probably one of the spiciest kormas I've ever had, even as it was very, very
tasty. Just as Saturday night, when I eventually got to bed, I slept like a
log on Sunday night, but still really didn't want to get out of bed this
morning. Still, needs must. I got to work pretty much for 09:00, which was
impressive given the route I took to get there.
For being mostly asleep today, I seem to have achieved a reasonable amount.
Which is pretty good. I'm not training this evening. I'm pretty sure what
I've done in the last 48 hours should require at least one evening off from
exercise. Anyway, time for me to go home and tidy the house a bit (it's a
complete tip downstairs), have plenty of food, sit and watch a
terrible film and then get an early night. More tomorrow!
[16:45] I think I'm a little closer to a Big Decision. Just a little, maybe.
It needs a lot more thought. A lot more. And some time. But then it might
be time to go right ahead and do it. I'm still not sure, but I'm edging
closer to it. Obliquely. More on that on Monday. In the meantime I went to
see another rental property to consider moving to given the raising of the
rent on my current place. And turned it down because it had electric heaters
rather than gas-fired central heating. Electricity is so expensive these days
that it makes no sense to use it for heating. Also, the place was furnished
and I have furniture again, now.
We did some derigging last night for the regatta in Nottingham tomorrow. I'm
off to the supermarket as soon as I've done this to get the food I know I'll
want for tomorrow, then it's back to the boat house to put everything in and
on the trailer before it heads there tonight. I'll be leaving here very early
tomorrow morning to drive down, taking part in as many as four 2K races over
the course of the day, then getting home late tomorrow night. Sunday we
apparently have some kind of outing on Sunday morning (probably just rerigging
the boat(s)) and then I'm heading to London for the afternoon and evening to
have what I hope will be a really rather lovely time. Unless the weather
really is absolutely abysmal, as it's supposed to be in Nottingham on
Saturday, annoyingly. Anyway, time to go. Have a good weekend doing...
whatever it is you're doing when you're not here, reading about the minutiae
of my life.
[17:10] I don't really know what to make of what's going on at the moment in
my life. Currently I'm not actually doing anything wrong. In fact I've been
more honest (with myself and others) than I have been in a while. Not totally
honest. There's no need for that at this point; clean slates are definitely
the best way to go in some regards. But definitely more clear about where I
am and what's happening in my head and around me. The rowing (at stroke)
seems to be holding together despite my seeming best efforts to destroy what
rhythm we had previously when I was at the other end of the boat. The outing
last night wasn't a total failure, but I still feel like I'm not managing to
get us up to the race rate we may so desperately need this weekend. I feel
really rather inexperienced in a boat for the first time in years. Someone to
whom I used to be very close got back in contact today and we've decided to see
each other again on Sunday, which will be interesting. I still have a pending
meeting planned, which may have to be cancelled (it's not for a few weeks)
depending on scheduling and other such vagaries. Should that be the case I
just hope I'm able to deal with it in such a way (if cancellation becomes a
necessity) that no feathers are ruffled. Hair may already be out of place
though, by that point.
My morning outing was cancelled late last night. But as I was still in
'getting up early' mode I made my way to the boat house anyway and did a 30
minute erg instead. I'd like to think it was a good thing, and helped embed
the stroke I have to pass down the boat now just a little more. We'll see on
Saturday (race day) as I don't think we have another outing before then. Both
a good thing and a bad thing, I think. What I could really do with is going
home and going to bed, pulling the covers over my head and shutting the rest
of the world out for a while. But I have things to do, so I'll go and do them
[16:10] Last night's outing wasn't terrible. It wasn't brilliant either, but
no-one actually said "you're terrible at stroke, we want the other guy back".
So, I'm counting that as a win. I think we're out again in the eight again
tonight, so we'll see how that goes. Or it may be the fours. I honestly
don't know any more.
Not much happening at work today, thankfully. I've had my head full of other
things for the most part, especially as someone I haven't spoken to in weeks
popped up and put themselves back on my radar just as I was clearing things
down for the day in preparation to go and look at a potential new place to
live. My landladies are putting up the rent and it's possible I may want to
move on to somewhere a little cheaper. We'll see, anyway.
So anyway, I'm off in five minutes from posting this, have the outing, then
will hopefully either be talking to someone and putting something to bed for
good, or getting stuff sorted such that life becomes a smidgen less
complicated, at least for a little while. More on that another time, if
[16:55] Last night was the club's 2K test night. It was very well organised
and really quite successful, I think. For most people, anyway. I'm sad to
say that while I got a new PB, I was the second slowest in the crew (of six,
we're two men down at the moment) with regard to speed. I mean, I was less
than 2 seconds behind the fastest of those I had a chance with, but we were
all a good 15 seconds behind the fastest guy in the boat. Even so, I'm not
really that disappointed. I gave it pretty much everything. And I have a
good feeling (now, probably not just before I next do it) that next time I'll
be even faster. As it was everyone else had been doing lots of weights while
I'd been trying not to make my hernia any worse, so I have that reason, I
guess. But yes, fewer than 2 seconds behind the fastest in the people I could
We had an outing this morning in the fours again. Another new crew
permutation and combination. This one feels like it might have a bit more
promise to it, but we're still going to be a lot less impressive than the
other crew at Nottingham this weekend. This evening (in the rain, dammit) I
will be stroking the eight again and trying not to mess up again. I think I
need to spend some serious time on the erg beforehand getting my head in the
right place to control what's going on behind me. But before that I'll be
watching/cheering on someone doing their 2K who didn't manage to make it last
night. So I should probably get on with the last of today's work so I can get
out of here on time, through the rain and ready to get that done.
I may or may not go for a run tomorrow morning if it's still hammering it
down. We'll have to see. Other than that, life continues to continue. I
don't have anything new to report in other areas of my life, much as I'd like
to. Although I did come very very close to entering the San Francisco
Marathon this morning, until I realised it clashed with a regatta. Next year,
[17:25] Weekends. They really can be everything at once, can't they? An
outing of disappointment on Saturday morning due to someone dropping out of
the squad - and an inferior rower coming in - has really blown my confidence
in the 4+ we're taking to Nottingham out of the water, almost literally, but
definitely figuratively. The 8+ was slightly better, but more on that in a
second. I went for a run after the second outing with another rower and the
person he's now dating, and tried not to be a third wheel. I even sent a text
afterwards to apologise for being so, but was told on Sunday that I hadn't
been, which took a significant weight off my mind. Much of the middle of
Saturday was spent relaxing on the sofa and stewing about various things that
are on my mind at the moment. Then it was time for someone's birthday curry.
That was quite a pleasant event, even if I had to leave to be in bed by 22:30
as I'd half-volunteered, half been chosen to sit in the stroke seat for the
8+ outing on Sunday morning. Not only was this my first time at Stroke, we
were doing 6x 500m race pieces (with starts), and the head coach was on the
bank the whole time, watching everything that we (I) did. Amazingly, at the
end of the outing he said that it might be a plan to put me there more often
or even permanently (for the time being). This is a huge responsibility and
something that I hope I'm able to rise to meet the challenge of. Especially
only a few outings from our first side-by-side regatta of the season next
weekend. After something like that I decided to spend the rest of the day on
the sofa, following a quick trip to Tesco.
In the office this morning everyone was back, so obviously I had just as much
to do as I did last week when it was just me. Contact lens-related eye check
at lunch time, and otherwise I've just been keeping things going, changing the
RAID card battery in a server and trying not to think about my 2K test at the
boat house this evening. It's going to be deeply unpleasant, and a possible
place in a crew going to Henley might be riding on it, to some degree. I just
wish I was taller (6' would do), and a whole lot stronger.
How am I? I'm doing OK. There's various stuff going on in my personal life
that're beginning to be frustrating for me, but there's absolutely nothing
I can do about any of them except wait, and try not to be an idiot. The jury
is still out on just how likely that is for me.
[17:15] So today has been thankfully pretty quiet. I mean, I've dealt with a
disk failure, a RAID battery failure, a tape restore, one of our developers
being suspended for reasons I can't go into here (so his workstations have
been seized), lunch with Anna where we put the world to rights somewhat, and
a run at 05:50 this morning which could have been later and with someone else
if the first person hadn't cancelled until 02:00 in the morning while I was
asleep. However, I went and did it anyway as I still needed to be at work for
08:00 to patch and reboot a server. Thankfully that went perfectly and well
within the downtime period I had allocated, so all was well there. So, yes,
Last night's 4x 2K ergs went pretty well, even if I somehow managed to pull a
muscle in my left trap. between two of them, rather than during. I
think I managed not to make a complete fool of myself with someone else who
was there at the same time, and left (I hope) with my dignity mostly intact.
Tonight, in a shocking break from the norm I won't be going rowing, or even to
the boat house. Instead I'll be socialising, with friends, who don't row. I
know - that's crazy talk - but there it is. Obviously the weekend will
consist mainly of rowing, and trying not to make a fool of myself some more.
This seems to be something of a recurring feature of my life at the moment,
and while I'm managing it moderately well online, I seem to be tripping over
my feet somewhat (equal parts literally and figuratively) in the real world.
I do find it fascinating that despite my best efforts to be the same person
online as off, there seems to be something of a disconnect between my two
personae. I wonder why that is.
[16:55] Another day alone at the coal face. More backup things, more disk
fixing things, more emails sent without any response. I'm beginning to think
that I'm only good for certain kinds of things and somehow completely useless
at others. Or that my success comes in waves. Either way, it's depressing
and leaves me wondering if a) I've failed to grasp something important
(literally take hold of it before it went away) and, b) I'll be destined to
always get the short term 'win' rather than the long term one. Maybe it's all
down to my way of thinking and being. Almost certainly. And yet... I don't
seem to be changing. Maybe because of everything that's gone before I just
don't want to change, or have become so recalcitrant given/angered by my past
that I refuse to accept anything other than a significantly
closer-to-perfection state for things that I want out of life, now.
Well, that got a little more serious than I was expecting... So, yeah, the
weather's taken a turn for the windy today. This morning's outing was
probably the best of the weather, even if the rowing wasn't the best we've
done. Plus we got locked out of the boathouse when we got back too due to
someone being a little over-zealous with the security. That's probably about
it for today, other than to mention the 4x 2K ergs I'll be doing in about
fifty minutes from now. I should then try to leave the boat house before I do
something silly, again.
[17:30] An altogether busier day for the one man operation that is me. Disk
failures, two sets of backups to deal with, firewall change requests, annoying
users, meetings, failed connections of various sorts and it all started with a
5K run with interval sprints at 06:00 this morning. After last night's ergs
and then a 10K jog I was already feeling pretty drained when the day started.
Now I'm pretty much plum tuckered out. No weights for me this evening, I need
a night off. I'll be going to do some blade painting anyway, and maybe coach
a crew from my bike, but that's it.
A night off would be nice. Or a morning off.
[16:35] Something of a very full bank holiday weekend. Obviously there was a
bucketload of rowing. Every morning, basically. Luckily not only was it hot
and sunny every day (how rare!), but also for the most part I was at the end
of the boat that wasn't getting splashed, for once. Saturday was one of those
days when, after rowing, I ended up not really doing anything else with the
day and really wishing I'd had some company, or similar disraction. Sunday
afternoon I had planned - and even arranged - to meet a friend for coffee and
what I hoped would be a lovely chat, only to be told that not only were they
running late, but they'd be seeing someone else instead. That was really
disappointing. Rather than waste the remainder of the day after getting
myself together for that I went home, strapped on my running gear and went out
to run a half marathon distance along the river. And out-and-back thing,
rather than a loop, so I could more accurately gauge how long it would take
given that my GPS watch wasn't charged. I really should keep it charged.
Anyway, that run (22km in about 1h 36m) kept me from going completely downhill
and, in conjunction with the reasonable outing that morning in the 4+, meant
that I slept well that night, too. Monday had all the makings of being a big
day of ups and downs. There was a reasonable outing in the morning in our 4+
(we're working on race starts and 500m pieces), but then after a joint
breakfast a good few of us spent the rest of the day at the boat house sanding
down our new blades and then, eventually, applying the first layer of paint.
We eventually called it a day at 17:00, so I could go home, have a shower and
get a change of clothing and then grab something quick to eat before heading
back to the boat house again to coach a women's 4+ boat. Not only did I
manage to do that, they seemed to like what I taught them and how I taught it,
too. There was a bit of weirdness with one of the crew, but that wasn't
anything to do with the rowing, really. And we sorted most of it out as we
cycled away afterwards. I was heading for Keith and Sarah's barbeque.
Although by the time I got there it was more about watching the last Star Trek
film and polishing off a few burgers which hadn't been cooked. I left some
time after 22:00 and was in bed pretty much as soon as I got in the front
That was mainly because - obviously - this morning was an early rise to get on
the water before 06:20 for four 500m race-start pieces. I'm pleased to say
that despite giving away significant height and weight to each of our seat
counterparts in the other 4+, we pretty much held them for the lengths of the
pieces. Over 2K... I doubt we would have managed it, but we did feel like
perhaps we weren't the poor-relation boat all that much.
When I got into work I discovered that not only was my team leader on vacation
this week (old news), but my co-worker was going to be off for at least three
days with "hand, foot and mouth disease". Probably longer. So, I've suddenly
got all of their work, as well as my own. This means this week just got a
whole lot harder, especially considering the other things I have going on at
the moment. Although not quite as many things as I would like. Or maybe just
not in the right areas. I've got an erg tonight, a 06:00 run tomorrow morning
and then I'm patching servers as soon as I get into work after that. I might
even go back down to the boat house in the evening and try the weights
routine, now that it's not heavy weights, but more about cardio and toning. I
still have to think about my hernia, and any other ones I may have.
Anyway, I think that's about it as far as my life goes at the moment. It
occurs to me that this site hasn't been much about BOFH-related issues for a
while now. A good long while. Still, who cares?
[15:20] 30 minute erg last night, in the sun, on the balcony. Quite pleasant.
No exercise this morning, but I was still in work by 06:45 to patch a machine.
Which went perfectly. However the box wouldn't boot afterwards. In the end
it took unplugging the fibre connections to make it work. Weird.
Ran 10K at lunch time, which was awesome. Didn't break anything this
afternoon which, considering this is a Friday, is also pretty great. I'm also
going to leave now (weights this evening before the outing) because I've been
here far too long already today.
It's a long bank holiday weekend, so I won't be back until Tuesday. I'm sure
you'll all cope. I hope you have a good three days doing whatever it is that
you all do. I'll be rowing each morning at 07:30, then the rest of the day'll
be my own for whatever it is I might feel like getting up to. Although on
Monday there'll be blade painting and a barbeque. I might also be coaching on
Monday evening, but I'm not sure yet. Currently the weather is still lovely,
and I'm hoping it'll remain so for a good few days yet. Oh, and I had a nice
dinner and drinks with Kate last night (as always). Discussion of life and
how we're doing in it was pretty great.
[17:05] Isn't it strange (or, indeed, not) how much harder it is to form a
relationship with someone the more meaning you want to imbue said relationship
with? Or maybe it's just me. Anyway, nothing you need to concern yourselves
about for the moment. Just a little musing I've been musing on for the last
little while. Years in fact, now I think about it. It's just crystalising a
little more for me as time goes on. Anyway...
Sort of a quiet day today. I had an outing in the new lineup 4+ this morning
and it was only a little better than I was expecting. Given I was expecting
it to be pretty poor I wasn't all that much happier about things. Maybe with
time we'll improve, but I really do wish I was in the other boat. Last night
I was coaching a women's crew. They weren't all that good either, mainly down
to a variety of reasons to numerous to go into. So, that wasn't too great
Work has been a succession of meetings and small victories. Also I had lunch
with Anna and set the world to rights (there was chocolate cake), and fixed my
Oracle Linux yum repository for tomorrow's update (yes, another early morning,
hurrah!). I guess that's it, really. Time for an erg, then I'm off for a
drink and dinner with Kate. More world-to-rights-setting is sure to go on
there, also. The weather's been lovely today, too. Why I don't have an
outdoors job I simply don't know.
[16:25] Welcome to May. Time is seriously passing us by now, isn't it? But
that's OK, I feel. Take today. Well, take last night first. We had an
outing in the 8+ and aside from a pretty rocky start it seemed to go fairly
well on the whole. Even if I think we all started to lose focus/concentration
by the time we'd been out there doing practice starts for over forty minutes
(after everything else). I was so glad to get home, make some food, and turn
off my brain for a little while before bed. This morning I was up with the
larks (sort of) and down to the boat house to do the erg we're supposed to do
this evening. Only I'm coaching a women's crew this evening so I can do it
then. Also, I need to get to the hardware store before I coach so I can get
the last of the supplies needed to begin painting out new blades. Sandpaper,
brushes, white spirit. Those kinds of things. So yes, two 6km ergs before
work, and then a rather delightful (still pretty tiring) 10K at lunch time
today because I've been missing going for middle distance runs for a good long
time now and blowing out the cobwebs of my 6km-plus legs was well past due.
Workwise I've been doing more coordinating with the developer responsible for
the service I've been handed to maintain. It looks like some of his grand
plans for upgrading of Debian stone tablet edition to something more modern in
the RHEL area are perhaps a little... ambitious, given the timeframe that
exists. Still, it's not my problem. I'm pretty sure I can deliver the
platforms he needs for the software. It's whether or not a) he can deliver
the software configuration and, b) he's allowed to that matters.
In other news, I think I might have sorted at least one tiny part of the
confusion that is my life. Whether or not it stays sorted, and whether or not
a vaguely interconnected piece (but not really) sorts itself out in a few
weeks from now remains the far more important point. Right, I should get
ready to go. Have a great evening. I hope the sun is shining where you are,
as it is here. The lunchtime run was wonderful.