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January's Journal



23/02/2018
[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.

22/02/2018
[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.

21/02/2018
[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.

20/02/2018
[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.

19/02/2018
[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.

15/02/2018
[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.

14/02/2018
[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.

13/02/2018
[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 two weeks).

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 little sooner.

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 is Wednesday.

12/02/2018
[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 day.

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.

09/02/2018
[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.

08/02/2018
[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

07/02/2018
[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.

06/02/2018
[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.

05/02/2018
[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 was delicious.

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.

02/02/2018
[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.

01/02/2018
[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 weekend).

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.