Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tough weekend

I've been dreading the arrival of this weekend for a while because I knew it was going to be tough weekend. Saturday morning Caron and I met Jason and a couple of his mates, actually about a dozen of them out at Northern Farm for a mountain bike ride. They had started the ride at morningside which is about 25-30km away from Northern Farm and ridden there. Took my leave from Caron who was going to potter around and then go back home while I joined everyone for the ride all the way back to morningside which would make my ride about 60km and theirs about 90km. Very pleased that Caron appears to be enjoying the mountainbiking so I want to encourage it as much as possible. They guys with Jason are clearly in a very different league to what I am used to, for starters, no less than three of them had bicycles in the R40-50k range which is avery different kettle of fish from my R4k bicycle or Jasons 'will pay you to take my bike' range. Jason still hasn't settled on a new mountain bike and the Sani to C draws very near. He has high hopes of buying one of the expensive ones second hand but he clearly isn't listening to the guy that owns it's wife who firmly rejected the idea. At least until she gets a nice brand new, very expensive bicycle herself. Going around Northern Farm with this bunch was educational, we were going up quite a tough hill, Jason and I (more me) struggling to keep up and we hear from the front. "Ok guys, time to pick up the pace!" "How?" I wonder to myself but fortunately some of the other guys aren't in much of a better place than I am so I manage to hang on. On the way back I was cycling next to Jason (another one) my heart rate monitor reads 165, his reads 106. How is that possible, it's not like I'm really that unfit. Ok, he has been known to actually win the odd race and everyone seems to know him. I lost count of how many times he stopped to greet people and then catch up to us, apparently with ease. Fell off four times on the way back, twice because Jason stopped at a crucial point in a tricky section which I would have made if it wasn't for the obstacle in the way. The other two, one was me attempting the impossible. Everyone else just dismounted and walked over the sand and the last I should have managed but didn't. Very glad to get home, I hadn't taken food for such a long ride so I ended bumming food of Jason and others who kindly gave me enough to make it home. Lay on the concrete in the shade for about 5 minutes before I tried to move. Serious energy depletion. Washed the bikes and oiled the chains before putting them away for next weekend. There is quite a lot of effort that goes into mountain biking but once you get your head around the fact that it is just part of it and absolutely has to be done, it isn't such a chore. Cleaned my roadbike as well which was looking decidedly neglected.
Went to Sandon with Caron for lunch and to buy Carls birthday present before coming home to a much needed afternoon nap. About 18:00 a friend popped over, he was feeling that life was just getting a bit much between work, family and financial problems and he just needed a safe place where he could vent a bit without offending or creating more problems which we were happy to be able to give to him. I think he left feeling much lighter when I had to go off to work for the first change control for 2007. We have been working on some technology which will mean that in future we won't have to bring the system down for anything, we will be able to upgrade hardware, operating systems, applications and as far as I can think, anything, without stopping the service to customers. We're quite pleased with ourselves, the traditional way to give this level of performance is to throw an awful lot of money at it and I think we have managed it by purely doing it with software. Time will tell but I have a really good feeling. We also installed our automated installation software which means that the tagging, compilation, installation/patch creation is all completely automated as well as taking the installation/patch and deploying it onto the production servers. It's such a win, what used to take us hours manually we can now do in minutes.
Finally crawled home at 02:00 feeling a bit wasted only to wake up at 05:00. Why is it that the later one goes to bed, the earlier one wakes up? It just isn't right.
Went off to the motorcycle course which was extremely worthwhile, so much so that every motorist should do it as well. Not so much to impress on them that they ought to be mindful of motorcyclists but it would really help them in driving their own cars safely. It really helped that it didn't only consist of lectures but on the road tuition as well. Very enjoyable, I think I should make a point of taking it every year or two. Made it home safe but very tired but only finally went to sleep at about 22:30, go figure. Normally, nothing will keep my eyes open after a change control and I have to go our to see a movie but this evening, not a problem.
I must have been quite tired because I was seriously grumpy the whole of monday but by tuesday I was much better and with the change control and all the little issues that it creates sorting or sorted out, life was looking up.

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