[17:00] A decidedly unearly start this morning, which suited me just fine.
Rachel and I had a lovely evening last night finishing up our watching of Mad
Men with me still getting frustrated at the raw, naked sexism in almost every
scene, but then enjoying it for the story's sake. We also had a delicious
(very healthy) dinner made by Rachel too, which is always good. After I
eventually made it into work (still before 09:00 mind) it was straight into a
meeting, which devolved into a great decompression/bitching session with someone
from another group with whom it turns out I'm getting on very well with. After
I emerged from that feeling like I'd deepened a professional relationship it was
on with the actual working day. This revolved mainly around clearing up old
VMs, working on the Satellite installation which was throwing up a few errors,
doing things with the firewall and traffic managers, and sorting out permissions
and package installations. Over lunch I managed to pop out and get a new pair
of road shoes for the recently-begun marathon training season and autumn
marathon. Happily they came in exactly the colour I was after, although I
wasn't able to get another pair of insoles for them. I only got a second pair
last time after the first ones tended to ruck up when running in heavy rain.
Hopefully the ones in this new pair won't and I won't need any other insoles.
We'll see. This afternoon I've mainly worked on rationalising the SAN volumes
which're presented to the VMWare cluster. Names now match in both directions,
and we've got rid of the volumes which weren't accessible to all of the hosts as
well as the volume clustering (which we didn't have licensing for anyway). It
really satisfies my sense of obsessive order to see it all laid out much more
Now I'm off to have one of those rare things, a weekend at home with nothing in
particular planned (except having fun times with Rachel). Tonight should be
nice and quiet, followed by an hour's run tomorrow morning with a third of it
being parkrun. I'm not sure what else we'll do with the Saturday, but I do know
we've got a lot of logistics planning to do for various things happening in the
next few months, so I imagine we'll spread that out over the whole weekend. On
Sunday I've got a one hour run to do according to my coach, although Rachel's
intending on doing a longer one so I guess I'll be back before her and will
probably prepare lunch for us both. Other than that... Tesco, possibly some
baking (by Rachel) and reading/Netflix. See you on Monday.
[18:00] Another rainy day where I managed to get in to work early before the
rain really started to come down, but got soaked at lunch time when doing my
hill reps, and will get equally wet cycling home again shortly. Outside of
those things, today has been a reasonable day of work. I came in in time to not
have to do anything while someone tested a failover situation of their VMWare
guests, then got stuck into a few tasks that've been pending for a while. I've
still not finished one of the tasks, but it's now much more advanced, and if I
think about it there's no real reason why I can't carry on and finish it
tomorrow. I probably won't though as it's a bit of a leap of faith someone, in
one regard. Anyway, after running some hard hill reps at lunch time (although I
did start my jog back one rep short of what I maybe should have done) the
afternoon was about getting some answers from people about VMs that were
potentially not required any more, doing some configuration work (which I then
duplicated in my Ansible playbooks), building and commissioning two new VMs, and
getting on top of my inbox a little.
Now though it's time to go home and make sure the house is clean and tidy for
Rachel's arrival, hopefully some time around 19:30 or so. I should probably
have towels on standby as it's possible she won't have brought a waterproof and
might be a little wet. She's working from (my) home tomorrow, so that'll be
plenty of reason for me to leave actually on time tomorrow, even if she won't
stop working until a good hour after I actually get home!
[17:30] Today has been a day of things happening. I can't really detail
everything that went on as it has mainly been about sitting by other people's
desks talking about firewall rules and trying to make them work. I think that
come the end of the day we've got something workable in place, but it's
certainly not the end of things. My brain is fried at this point though so I'm
not entirely sure there's much else I can talk about. I've made it through the
day in one piece, it was a rest day from running, so that was nice, and I'm just
about to head home and hope that I don't get drenched in a sudden rain shower.
Tomorrow I may or may not make it in in time to be around for a failover test,
but I should. Other than that it should be another day of keeping things from
coming apart at the seams for another few hours.
[17:15] After a lovely evening with Rachel last night, I had an atrocious
night's sleep (probably due to over-eating). Still, it meant I got to look at
Rachel (apparently pretending to be) sleeping. We got up early, she to get a
train to work, me to cycle into work so I could reboot a server which'd been
semi-silently complaining about things for weeks. Both things apparently went
off without a hitch. I didn't even get rained on when I cycled in. Nor when I
went for a faster-than-slow run at lunch time, which was nice. In between all
of that was a lot of puzzling at things, having helpful conversations with
people, and a little bit of gant chart-like organising of 'this before that,
those before this'-style stuff. Ducks have been put in various rows, and I
think it'll all work out, eventually.
I'm just off now to help Cormac move a server and then I should head into town
to go to someone's birthday drinks for a little while before I head home and
collapse for the evening. Although I didn't feel all that tired all day, and
definitely not while I ran (it was a good run), I'm suddenly feeling quite
pooped and wish I was just going (or was already at) home.
[17:05] A good weekend, thanks for asking. I managed to make good food choices
pretty much for the whole weekend barring the final meal on Sunday, and that was
only because Rachel didn't arrive until late into the evening for reasons I'll
get to in a moment. So on Saturday morning I misread what my coach asked for
and only jogged to and from parkrun, as well as doing what was required in terms
of 'on' and 'off' efforts. This only amounted to half the amount of time I was
supposed to be on my feet. I remedied that with a fun bit of running on Sunday
morning. The remainder of Saturday was spent cycling out to get a new bike lock
for the one which got broken apart while I was in watching a film at the cinema
on Friday night. Happily - for the second time - even though the lock was
broken open, the thieves didn't take the front wheel of my bike. The last time
this happened it was in the cycle park at the main train station. Either way,
after checking the bike over for things having been losened or taken, it seemed
fine. So, new lock, and also a quick cycle into town to get one of Rachel's
last two birthday presents. Hopefully the other one will arrive here at work
shortly. After I'd been out and about I went home and aired the house out a
bit, as well as doing a tiny amount of housework and going to Tesco. Sunday
started with a run, then I just lazed around a bit as I'd been up early in the
morning (although not out of bed) watching the GPS tracker attached to the
person Rachel was pacing for the last 30 miles or so of the South Downs Way
100. I'd followed them late into the night, but then kept the laptop on the bed
so I could power up and check again at around 05:00. They seemed to be doing
OK, so I went back to sleep again. In the end they finished at around 09:45,
which was very impressive. Rachel eventually made it home, but was so tired
from having been up the day before (Saturday) with a full day of meetings and
travel, then going through the night as a pacer, then getting home again on the
Sunday morning, that she needed to get herself together before coming to me
(although I did tell her she didn't need to come, I promise). In the end she
made it on to a train that should have got her to the local station for 21:08,
only there was a points failure, so I didn't meet her at the station until
around 21:45. We went home, she had a snack, and then we went to bed.
Today, aside from getting soaked on the cycle in to work (and I expect the same
to happen on the cycle home) I've had a very busy day being pulled in about
nineteen different directions doing things. I think I've solved almost
everything I was asked to do, and even learned a few new things in the process.
We'll have to see if I got them right or not. For now though I'm heading home
to see Rachel and have a nice quiet evening. Tomorrow morning's a moderately
early start to reboot a server which has been complaining (quietly, no-one
noticed for at least two weeks) to see if that fixes the issue. I hope so.
[17:15] Another early start day as I wanted to get in and get a server rebooted
(to clear some orphaned multipath mount stuff) and work with one of the more
cleverer firewall people to work out why something networky wasn't networkying.
In the end both things happened, and I also got to clear up a nasty bit of
DNS/firewall clutter that was part of the problem in the first place. With all
of that done and it still not 09:00 I was able to settle down and plough through
my inbox for a few hours and make some progress in clearing it down somewhat.
That's always a good thing for a Friday. Lunchtime happened, then an afternoon
of discovering that there's a good chance my officemate turnover will increase
somewhat in the next few months... maybe. How, who, and why remains to be seen.
Speaking of things remaining to be seen, I'm off to see the latest John Wick
film this evening after having a burrito with Cormac (who's managed to force
back the time of dinner to 17:45 or so from the 18:30 I was hoping for). After
the film I'll head home and hope it's not raining too hard, then be up in the
morning for a coach-manadated parkrun before potentially doing a lot of
housework which hasn't so much been piling up as neglected for quite some time.
There'll probably be a Tesco trip at some point over the weekend, and then on
Sunday Rachel will arrive after having run 30 miles or so pacing a friend of
hers who's doing the South Downs Way 100 mile this weekend. I don't think I'll
be running on Sunday, so that may be when I catch up with the last two episodes
of Chernobyl, which has been holding my attention recently. So that's the
weekend covered. See you Monday.
[18:15] A long day today. It started early as I didn't want to stay in bed past
06:00, especially as I needed to be in work to do some very important upgrades.
The whole morning routine went to plan and I was in work a little after 07:00.
The first set of servers to upgrade went almost without a hitch, I just had to
reboot a server or two rather than just letting the upgrade process do
everything automatically (and without any reboots). The second set of servers
went off without a hitch, and much more quickly owing to how much less busy
their configuration is. In any event, the upshot was that everything got done
without issue, and the upgrade even fixed the problem which had precipitated the
decision to upgrade in the first place, which was great. Not that we'll be
going back to using these servers for the thing which was a problem. Or at
least not yet. So anyway, after that was done I was able to get on with some of
the dozen or so things which were pending for me to do. I worked through them
as much as I could, stopping at lunch time to go for a hill reps run, which
didn't really go as I'd hoped, but was potentially what I was supposed to do, as
it were. We'll see what my coach says when he reviews my week's running on the
weekend. In the afternoon I returned to work, did a few more things, then was
handed a helpdesk ticket that completely stumped me, and even the head of
Networks, who's a very clever chap. I've written down everything we know so
far, and emailed him, the person who knows the most about the firewall, and
myself. That means we should start from a position of knowing everything we've
already discovered tomorrow morning. Whether or not what we know is actually of
any use remains to be seen. The reason there's such an issue is because of
people not cleaning up after themselves network-wise, and then bodges having to
be put in place, which then multiply until the whole unworkable mess comes
collapsing down around someone's ears. Mine in this case as I'm the last person
standing in terms of who does the stuff in this area.
But enough about all that, I'm going home.
[18:05] I made some progress today on a present I'm hoping to get Rachel. I
think I'll be making the decision as to which of two to get tomorrow, and
probably ordering it then. Just one more data point to collect. Actually no,
I've decided to get both and then see what Rachel thinks of them. Maybe we'll
keep both. Anyway, they should arrive/be collected before the end of next week,
which'll be good.
Otherwise, I've spent the day helping people with their technical problems and,
for the most part, succeeding. There were a couple of hairy issues which took a
bit of thought to get right, but I think at the end of the day (and it's just
been confirmed by one of the people I helped walking past my desk on his way
home) everything's gone as it should have done. Hopefully this'll mean that the
very important work I'm going to be doing tomorrow morning with both traffic
manager/load balancer clusters will go just as well. We'll just have to see.
[18:25] A slightly less frenetic day today, as I seem to have broken the back of
the things I was behind on yesterday. This meant that I've been able to
concentrate one some harder/trickier firewall and load balancer-related things
today. Fewer things done, but what I have done was more complicated, and with a
more satisfying pay-off. I even managed to get a run done at lunch time, and
even ran somewhere I barely ever run, which was a nice change. I've spent the
time after work (when I should have gone home) looking at a final birthday
present for Rachel, and debating which showing of a film I should go to with my
last free cinema ticket... Although I've just this minute decided and booked
the ticket for Friday night. It'll mean I either have to pack a dinner or... go
for a burrito (yes!) in town beforehand. I think I'll do that. I haven't had
one in ages.
Anyway, time to go home and hopefully not get too wet doing so.
[17:25] I'm back from holiday! It was great, thanks. A whole week away with
Rachel (and her family) in the New Forest. Kayaking, various other water
sports, mountain biking, running, tennis, croquet, and lots and lots of eating.
Seriously, massive amounts of amazing food. I started to cut back on what I ate
by the Tuesday as I was worried about putting on too much weight. It was an
amazing trip, with lovely company, and with all kinds of fun and excitement.
The only fly in the ointment was how hard the ten mile race we attended on
Sunday was for us both. Rachel (of course) beat me by a good six minutes or so
(twice what I was hoping for)), but it was very hot, there were hills, and I
really didn't feel in shape after a week of barely running and big meals. I'm
going to make an effort to lose a little bit of excess over the next few weeks
and months as well as slowly getting back into a marathon training mode for an
autumn marathon (not sure which yet). That starts with my grocery shopping at
Tesco this evening once I've been home and made sure the house is in order.
Today hasn't been quite as bad as I was expecting after a week away. Plenty of
things to do, but I believe I've pretty much done everything that was massively
urgent or seriously outstanding. There's obviously plenty more to do, but I'm
going to take tomorrow to have a good look at what it all is and start making
some decisions. Until them I'm going to head home before it's too late in the