[16:00] Mostly today I have been doing morning exercises, running at lunchtime,
or otherwise installing linux workstations repeatedly. That's about it, really.
I'm about to head off to the train station and then to Croydon and Rachel. Over
the course of the weekend we'll be going do parkrun (me to run, Rachel to
volunteer), going to hockey (me to stay at home, Rachel to play), going to see
her parents, and then coming back to my house on Sunday afternoon (probably too
late to go to Tesco before it closes). On Sunday morning we'll be running for
2h20m somewhere around the countryside near her parents', but we don't know
exactly where, yet.
[17:05] I've had a busy day today. It started with a hopefully regular return
to morning exercises, followed by my first shower in my finished shower room.
It's still a cold room (hopefully the EWI will fix that for next winter), but
the floor feels a lot warmer and the shower heads (big fixed overhead one, and
one on a flexible hose) both work really well and if unless I'm mistaken, the
hot water arrives at the shower a lot faster than before. But that might just
be me, or something to do with the central heating also being on at the same
time (although I don't think it was, now I remember the time of day). Anyway,
everything's pretty good there. One small issue is that with the frost on top
of the shower room roof this morning I could see that there was a place where
the shower room fitter hadn't put the insulation back inside a wall panel
properly as there was a melted strip across the usually uniformly frosty roof
felt. I'll have to see if there's something that can be done about that in the
future. I don't think it will be an entirely easy job.
At work I've done a lot of small tasks again today. Fixed a few issues, updated
a few servers, rewritten a few Ansible roles for upcoming retasking of VMs.
That kind of thing. Over lunch I had one of my hardest track sessions yet
(10x800m at 3:05/800m, with 3:05 jogging recovery). Amazingly, I did every 'on'
within the time alloted. I don't know if it was the new (springy) shoes, the
Snickers I had about thirty minutes beforehand, or the fact that the wind was
reversed from how it normally is (so a tailwind down the back straight, rather
than down the finish straight). I'm sure Rachel would say it was because I'm
getting fitter/faster... but the proof of the pudding will be a week on Sunday
when we have a half marathon race. We'll have to see who does what then...
I was supposed to be helping Cormac rebuild a server and disk array this
evening, but he forgot his keys to get into the building where it is, so we'll
probably end up doing that next week some time instead.
[17:25] Hopefully I'm about to go home and find that my shower room has been
finished. I wouldn't say "done and dusted" as there is a lot of
dusting to do given the last two and a half weeks of work that has gone on. I'm
probably going to have to do some mopping (which is going to be a problem given
I gave my mop away to Max and Stacey) at the very least. Definitely lots of
dusting and maybe even some vacuuming. Wiping down walls may also be necessary,
as well as sweeping both inside and out. Lots of cleaning, really.
Between seeing the final stages of work this morning and leaving for home as
soon as I've written this entry there has been a fair amount of work done,
including rebuilding a few VMs, doing some troubleshooting that Oracle required
(which still didn't fix an issue we're having), submitted a whole load of
Ansible updates, and gone for a run up and down a hill seven times for fifty
seconds each time (not to mention the fifteen minutes to get there and back).
Honestly, I've got nothing more to tell you and I just want to get home in one
piece and relax for a bit. I'll see you tomorrow, hopefully.
[17:10] As usual, I'm my most productive ten minutes before it's time to leave
for the day. Still, it does mean I got some stuff finished that has been
hanging over me for weeks now. That was the creation of three new VMs (albeit
only one of them got all the storage space them all wanted). Other things I've
done today is create four other fairly beefy VMs, and get them fettled with
Ansible (it's so good that the fix I got from Red Hat for Satellite now means
that multiple servers can be subscribed at the same time without
DuplicateKeyErrors occuring), go for a fartlek run at lunch time, have a number
of short but very useful meetings, and chat to my shower room fitter before work
to make sure everything's going well (he refitted the shower higher up so it's a
lot better placed now). Last night on the way home from work I went via
Homebase and got a corner shower basket/shelf thing which he should have fitted
by the time I get home this evening, too. There's a good chance he will be only
a few hours away from getting everything done by now and tomorrow will just be a
making good and clearing away day. I certainly hope so, anyway.
In other good news, while I was waiting for the shower room fitter to arrive
this morning I checked in the garden shed and the front mudguard I've been
hanging on to since it was shipped back with all of my stuff from the US by
accident (it was supposed to go on Kris' bike) is the same as the one I broke on
mine, so it'll finally be getting used, which is good. I'm not sure when I'll
have time to fit it. Maybe tomorrow morning if I get up early enough.
Anyway, I'm off now to see Dunk who has found himself in town on his birthday.
[17:00] Definitely a busy few days, so I'll dive right in. On Friday there were
all kinds of issues with the flooring delivery. One pack turned up on its own
(not bubblewrapped like it was supposed to be). It took until 15:00 and a few
telephone calls before three more (making one more than I'd paid for) arrived.
These were bubblewrapped, but I still had at least one pack's worth (out of all
four) that were damaged in some way and potentially not usable, so it was good
that I got the extra pack gratis. Given the time it wasn't worth me going into
work so I finished off some more working from home stuff and cycled to the train
station. Of course, with the skip outside and a milisecond of lost
concentration I managed to shatter the back of my front mudguard on my bike,
including where it attaches to the forks via stanchions. So that was a final
annoying bit to end my day at home. The trains to meet Rachel in London were
fine, and we ended up in a GBK near St. Paul's. I ate hugely, and possibly
slightly ill-advisedly, but I was starving. We went back to Croydon and had a
good night's sleep (other than me waking at around 04:00). The Saturday started
with an early set of trains down to Dorking, and then a nice run along a chunk
of the North Downs Way to Guildford. I then got trains back to Croydon and
Rachel got a train to a presenation she was giving. She arrived back at her
house mid-evening, by which time I'd eaten lunch and relaxed on the sofa for
quite some time. We made potato curry for dinner. Sunday morning we laid in
bed for quite some time and then jogged to the closest park for me to do my
tempo session for the week. As with Saturday I didn't quite hit the splits I
was supposed to, but I'd like to put that down to terrain, heavier shoes, and
maybe just being too tired. The remainder of the day was again spent relaxing,
although Rachel had a social engagement in the evening so I had dinner alone
before she came back and we went to bed.
This morning I got the usual trains home, cycled to work, and put in a day
telling Red Hat what I already knew (that something was broken on their end with
regard to Satellite, not mine), got some more clarification on server backup
policy, got more information on servers I'm to build in the next few days, and
at a big packed lunch that Rachel had prepared for me, because she's lovely.
I'm now off home via Homebase to buy a corner wire shelving thing for the
shower, go home and see if the shower has been refitted at a useful height, go
to Tesco, and the collapse. I might pop out to the shed, if I remember, and see
if the mudguard that should have gone to America for Kris's bike is the right
type to replace the one I shattered on Friday afternoon. That would be
serendipitous and incredibly helpful.
[16:45] I got home last night to find that the shower room fitter had mounted
the shower too low. I called him and he agreed that it was pretty low but that
fixing it would be a real issue (but that he'd do it). It was only as I was
going to the loo before bed that I realised that moving the sink unit meant that
the waste pipe was going to stop the below-sink drawer from closing, too. He's
agreed to fix that, also. More work. I also got a call from the people
supplying the flooring for the shower room saying that they'd been sent one of
the right pack of flooring, and two of the wrong, so they wouldn't be able to
ship them to me before Monday. As my guy isn't here tomorrow that wasn't such
of a problem, except that he'd be twiddling his thumbs on Monday waiting for the
flooring to arrive. I cycled to work and got a morning's work done, mostly
doing stuff with Satellite and VMWare. Then I went for my lunchtime run, which
was a rather punishing 9 x 800m on the track, taking 3min5sec per 800m. I
managed it, just, with a quite uncomfortable muscle soreness in my right calf
area. Back at work I got a call from the flooring supplier saying they were
actually going to ship the flooring tomorrow, after all, although there was a
chance it'd be damaged in transit owing to how fragile it was. They're going to
bubblewrap it, but we'll have to see how that goes. As it is I was due to do
some server maintenance tomorrow morning, but got someone else to do it when I
initially thought I'd be taking delivery tomorrow. Luckily, I didn't tell them
I could take the task back again when I was told the delivery would be on
Monday, as it's now back to being tomorrow. I'll take the time before the
delivery to load up the skip with the garden waste I have, I think. There's a
chance that if the delivery isn't until mid-afternoon that I won't make it into
work, and instead will head straight to the train station to go and meet Rachel
in London for dinner, then head to Croydon.
Over the weekend we'll be hopefully running a chunk of the North Downs Way on
Saturday, then doing some long sprintervals (1km) on the Sunday. Rachel has a
fairly packed social and work schedule over the two days, so we won't see as
much of each other as I'd like, but enough. I'll head to work on Monday
straight from Croydon, so probably won't see my shower room fitter until
Tuesday morning, which will hopefully be his last day. If I get a chance I'll
post some updates, otherwise it'll be Tuesday for my next entry. For now I'm
off to collect my new trainers, and then go home and put on some washing.
[17:10] Started the day off with a nice text to Rachel. This isn't a rare or
unique event, I just felt like it. Then it was a quick chat with the shower
room fitter and then a cycle into work. Most of the day has been spent doing
the usual bits and bobs which normally fill my days. Nothing spectacular
happened. I got some movement on a few things I've been waiting on in terms of
support cases with Red Hat, scheduled some snapshotting and diagnostic commands
of the Satellite server for tomorrow, and uploaded some logs to a Bugzilla.
Over lunch time I had a moderately hard fartlek session with Doug and a few
other runners from my building, then had to deal with the fact that the showers
aren't draining. There's every chance that the showers might be out of service
tomorrow, which is going to be a real bind if I want to do my lunchtime track
session. We'll have to see how things look in the morning when I check on the
way to my desk. If they're not, I'm not entirely sure what I can do. I can
have a very quick shower and see if one drains that small amount of water away
eventually, but we'll have to see.
For now though I'm just going to head home and have dinner in front of the
television and hope Netflix doesn't drop out again half way through an episode.
[16:55] Annoyingly, the flooring I ordered last week is now not going to turn up
until Friday. Double annoyingly, this is the one day when my shower room fitter
won't actually be here, so I'm going to have to work from home until it's
delivered. It's entirely likely this won't be until some time in the afternoon,
which could mean I don't get to go to work at all on Friday. You might think
this is a good thing, but it actually isn't, for a variety of reasons.
Anyway, that was the news of the morning. It definitely means that things won't
be finished before the end of Monday, and it might even be into Tuesday before
it's all done and dusted. Speaking of dusting, once everything is done
I'm going to have to wash the floor and do a huge amount of cleaning on the
ground floor as everything is covered in dust of various types.
Other things that happened this morning was that I chopped up the second
tree/bush/thing's branches a bit more and moved them through from the second
garden to the patio behind the house. There's a very good chance that the skip
that my shower room fitter has ordered won't have enough room for all of the
garden waste I've generated. I'll use Friday to spend a few minutes seeing what
I can cram into the skip, and then perhaps talk to Max and Stacey about putting
the rest into their recently-purchased van to take to the tip. Otherwise I'm
going to have to chop what remains up into very small bits and slowly feed it
into the green wheelie bin over the course of a few months (bin is emptied every
At work I've changed a hard drive over at the most remote data center, done some
troubleshooting of a Satellite issue, patched a whole load of workstations which
were way behind on patches, and done a lot of emailing about various things.
Our status display is looking a little better than it did when I got in this
morning, which I usually take as a sign that I've done some good during the day.
Over lunch I ran a 'recovery' 30min/6km which only took me 27min as I might have
pushed the pace a little in the second half to get out of the wind and rain a
I'm off home now to look at the skip, see what the shower room looks like this
evening and then probably have a big pizza while watching television. Tomorrow
[17:55] I'm not sure, but I might have got a lot done today. Or I might not. I
can't honestly tell at the moment. I started by getting my email and other
things tied down, and then did a fair amount of troubleshooting of various
issues on various servers. A PSU arrived which I was able to give to a
colleague to install so that I didn't have to. He also sorted out a
fibrechannel issue I'd been having too in the same visit to a remote server
room, so that was very helpful. Over lunch I went and did a new set of hill
reps (6x50 seconds, up from 40 seconds two weeks ago), and then this afternoon
got stuck into a Red Hat Satellite upgrade from 6.2.12 to 6.2.14 (the 6.2.13
attempt a few weeks ago just didn't go very well so I reverted to a snapshot).
I'm not entirely sure why I'm still here at close to 18:00, but it might have
something to do with wandering around the building getting people to talk about
the backup capacity we need, getting workstations plugged back in again so I can
apply many months of updates, and generally doing all the things that take up my
The weekend was pretty good though. On Saturday I attempted a 'fast' parkrun
(my 100th) but didn't manage anything particularly fast, disappointingly. The
going was pretty soft in places, and I had some non-light shoes, but that still
didn't really account for how slow I felt, compared to how fast I have been in
the past over the same course. After that I was able to shower at a nearby
friends' house rather than have a stand up sponging in front of the kitchen sink
on a towel. Then it was cleaning and tidying the house a bit before heading to
Tesco in time to get almost everything done and meet Rachel in the soup aisle.
Exciting. Anyway, after we'd bought things we headed home and snuggled up for
the remainder of the day. On Sunday we had a large amount of porridge and then
cycled to work so we could do a 2 hour (boggy and soggy) long run from and to
work to take advantage of the showers there. It was only after we'd arrived
that I remembered that there was a good chance there'd be no hot water on a
weekend. This was confirmed when we got back. I had a very cool shower and
Rachel used her experience of washing in African countries to get hot water
from the kitchens and a bucket or two to sluce herself with. We then ate some
snacks and went to the nearby running shop to get me some new trainers. Mine
weren't available in the right colour so I've got some on order from the other
shop in the company and they should arrive some time this week. We then headed
home, ate a very late lunch and then entertained Max and Stacey for a few hours
and we all caught up on each other's news. The remainder of the day was spent
watching a bit of television, doing fun things, eating nice food, and then me
dozing off on the sofa and needing to head to bed.
Speaking of heading to bed, I should head home so that I can go to bed
after seeing how far the shower room rennovations have progressed today.
[16:50] A mildly frustrating day of doing the same thing over and over again to
get it exactly right. This is the problem when people want something just so
and unfortunately if it isn't then things don't work. I don't really mind as
that's the kind of person I am sometimes anyway. Hopefully this also applies to
my shower room fitter and the people I spent the morning winnowing down to who
are shipping me the flooring for the shower room (I was asked to find someone to
order it from rather than my guy doing it himself). Aside from a few close
calls in ordering by the square meter rather than by the pack (would have left
me two square meters shy of what I needed), getting caught up in telephone tag
with a few companies, and generally getting confused about SKUs I think I
probably got the best deal at the end of the day. The three packs of flooring
laminate planks will hopefully be delivered either Monday or Tuesday of next
week. This should potentially coincide with pretty much everything else being
done, or nearly done. I think it may be more than another five days of work
before everything's back in place. This means I can't clean and vacuum the
place to get rid of the plaster dust that seems to be all over the place right
now. Anyway, other than building some VMs this afternoon, and doing a lot of
fiddling with network settings and the like, my day has been fairly quiet, which
is how I like Fridays, when possible.
This weekend there'll be one day of really wishing I had a working shower in the
house as I'll be coming back from parkrun and having to have a sponge bath in
front of the kitchen sink. Then some cleaning and tidying where possible in
preparation for Rachel coming to stay. Then we'll be meeting at Tesco so we can
make sure we get the right snackage and other food for Sunday when we'll be
doing a two hour run from and back to my workplace so we can take advantage of
the showers there, and then be fairly close to the running shoe shop we want to
go to to get new trainers. Later on Sunday afternoon Max and Stacey will be
coming over to catch up and eat cake, and then it'll be (too soon) the end of
the weekend and back to work on Monday morning.
[17:00] More tiling has appeared in the shower room, and there's some plaster
filling in some of the holes which were made taking out the old shower room
fittings and things. There's a nice-looking cage thing that looks ready to
accept a shaver (electric toothbrush charging) socket, and... that's about it,
really. Not sure what's taking up my fitter's time during the whole day, but
given he seems to have been doing well up until now there's obviously something
that's meaning he's there the whole day. We'll see what's changed when I get
home tonight. I've been looking at shower basket things to have mounted inside
the cubicle so that there's somewhere for me to put soap and shampoo, but
there's not a huge rush on that at this stage. Likewise the flooring. I think
he might be getting the infra red heater this afternoon, which should be useful
for short term heating of the room during the winters, if the EWI doesn't make
the place feel a lot nicer.
At work there have been some conversations about the fact that I might not be
able to provide all of the VMs that people are asking for. We might just have
to go ahead and squeeze them in anyway. I did an almost gentle 'recovery' run
at lunch time, and we've had some discussions about which VMs are backed up with
Veeam and which with NetBackup. I have a good few conversations to have people
people over the next few days. I also headed over to the furthest away server
room and replaced a hard drive (success), plugged a server into the SAN (partial
success), and tried to get a recalcitrant PSU working in a server (failure).
I've logged the failed PSU with Oracle and will hopefully get a new one out
soon, although it might not be until Monday given the laxity of the person at
the far end who seems to have taken ownership of the case.
It hasn't been a particularly hard week, all things considered
[16:55] So the washer works. Although the 30 minute programme seems to bounce
all over the place with regard to the countdown/amount of time remaining
display. Also, I don't think that the spin cycle for that setting is quite long
enough. I'll give it another go with some other washing tonight (I have plenty)
and see how that goes. Over the weekend I might try another programme or two
and see which ones allow me to unlock the magical 1400rpm spin speed without
taking three hours over the washing part.
Other things of note at home in the shower room refurbishment is that the
shower tray is now down, the sub-flooring is down, and the first of the tiles
have gone up. I'll see what's changed again when I get home this evening just
before I collapse on the sofa.
At work today I started off by logging a failed disk in one of our servers,
moved on to getting a whole load of smaller things done, went for a hard run
session at lunch time (to which Max turned up and kept me honest/made me feel
like he was simply waiting to pass me), and then came back to work after a
shower to watch as we had some serious issues due to a failed power supply in a
network switch. I'm going to head home shortly and rest up for the remainder of
the day and then have a good stab at tomorrow.
[17:35] Apparently I had a washer delivered this morning just after I left for
work (the call that they were 30 min away came when I was cycling to the
office). Hopefully my shower room fitter accepted it, checked it, removed the
transport bolts, and got it installed for me. I'll have to see when I go home
after writing this entry. I haven't had much time to think about it since I got
to work as we discovered that the two brand new servers we bought to add
capacity to our VMWare cluster aren't actually able to run the version of VMWare
ESXi that we're currently on. This has necessitated a day of meetings and
discussions about where we go from here to get them into service. Luckily, some
of the new VMs I was asked to create (before Friday) which sort of depended on
this extra VM hosting capacity coming online have been able to be created with
slightly less CPU and RAM resource. Consequently 'fitting' into the VMWare
cluster we have available. Getting those built, and then fixing a linux
group/user issue took up most of my afternoon... along with the meetings.
No running today, but tomorrow's going to be interesting with 6 x 1km intervals
(probably on the track) at 3:58/km. I get three minutes of recovery between
each one. I can see myself working up quite a sweat, despite how cold it is
here at the moment.
[16:55] I had a pretty good weekend, thanks for asking. I got to Croydon on
Friday evening in time to hang around in a coffee shop for fifteen minutes or so
before Rachel arrived from her sports massage. We then took the tram home,
which was nice. On Saturday I did parkrun (my 99th ever) according to my
coach's training plan, and then made it home again in time to wave Rachel off
for her hockey match. I got clean, had some lunch at the appropriate time, and
then set about waiting for Rachel to come home. We had a relaxing remainder of
the day, which was lovely. On Sunday, after a bit of a lie-in we took a train
to Oxted and ran home again via a bit of getting lost, and then some more of the
Vanguard Way. Unfortunately we were both a bit low on energy by the time we got
close to home so tempers got a little frayed. Mine the most, I think. Rachel
was going to split off and do more than my coaching programme had demanded, so I
headed home and had a shower in a bit of a mood. By the time she got home I'd
realised how silly I was being and everything got sorted out. We had a smashing
evening together, decided not to cook, and had take away Indian instead, which
This morning she got up before the alarm went off in an effort to a) let me
sleep a little longer and, b) stop the alarm from going off. Unfortunately
whenever she gets out of bed I wake up, so I spent the time until she came back
to tell me I needed to get up lying there wondering what time it was. In the
end everything worked out perfectly with regard to getting up, breakfasted, to
the train station (other than there only being one lock on the bike rather than
the usual two), on two trains, on my bike, and getting to work just before
09:00. Thus far today I have made sure everything I'm responsible for is up and
running, done the weekly Satellite update of content views, made sure the new
VMWare hosts are getting installed (some issue there, but nothing to do with
me), and got myself ready for any work coming down the pipe tomorrow. Other
things happening tomorrow include checking in with my shower room fitter on how
things are going, getting my old washer out of the way so it can be collected
by the people delivering my new one, checking to see if my shower room fitter
is still happy to install my new washer, and doing a day's work. Tomorrow is
also a rest day from running, which is nice. Tonight I'll be going home, then
to Tesco for the weekly shop, and then settling down for a quiet evening in.
It was Rachel's first day of jury duty today. Apparently she got sent back from
one selection, and then released for the day after there were no trials
scheduled for the afternoon session. So, that's one day down, nine to go.
[16:10] Not such a busy day today, thank goodness. I didn't sleep terribly well
as my cold has really started to bite now. I'm glad it's not the flu, but I
could really do with it not being an unpleasant cold. I'm off to Rachel's
tonight for the weekend, so have left the shower room fitter to do what he needs
to today, which is mainly finish off stripping everything out and making good
before he starts putting in new shiny things next week. He got sent the wrong
shower tray (mirror image of the right one), so he'll be getting the right one
next week, but that's no problem as he wasn't due to fit it for a while anyway.
I hope to be running both tomorrow and Sunday. Saturday without Rachel as
she'll be playing hockey, and a long run on Sunday, hopefully off-road somewhere
for 1 hour and 50 minutes. Here's to a dry weekend, where possible. And one
where I don't have to blow my nose too much.
[17:00] It was a slightly earlier rise this morning as I had to be in work by
08:00 to reboot a KVM host and make sure the services on its guests were shut
down and started up correctly. That all went according to plan, so I decided to
keep the momentum going and filled my morning with a healthy amount of work.
Unfortunately I seem to be getting something of a sore throat at the moment,
which I'm quite worried is going to turn into another cold (hopefully not the
flu again, which is going around my office). This meant that this lunchtime's
track session was pretty hard work. However, I think last week's cross country
skiing/the training up until now meant that I had enough strength/reserves to
get all eight 800m intervals done either below or right on the target time,
which was nice. I might have spent a little longer having a nice hot shower
afterwards than normal. This afternoon I've mostly been fighting with the
required packages from PeopleSoft to make their implementation of Puppet work.
I'd like to think I've solve the issue, but I'm going to be going home before
the DBA/developer who's working from home today tries my changes to see if they
do what he needs them to. I'm sure I'll have an email from him tomorrow morning
either thanking me or giving me more to do. We'll see.
The shower room rennovation continues apace. Or at whatever pace is apace. I
have no idea. It's a proper shambles in there at the moment. The guy replaces
the loo every night, but it's a bit precarious sitting on it before going to
bed and first thing in the morning. I'm cleaning my teeth in the sink and the
only sensible place to wash is at work, which is why it's helpful that I'm
running every day... Apart from tomorrow, when I'm not. So I should try not to
sweat until I get to Rachel's tomorrow evening (and where I'll be for the
For now though I'm off home to see what's happened to the shower room today and
have a nice relaxing evening, safe in the knowledge I don't have to get up
particularly early tomorrow morning, and it's a "no running" day.