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Breakdowns, Major ISP, Kingmaker, Phone, Deposit and Jacket

I guess I’m writing an update this week after all, setting something up temporarily in order to post it and move that scheduled post again. Ended up at one of the major ISPs now, since no such networks operate in this area anymore, but I won’t accept that this is something permanent, won’t share the connection with dad and won’t normally go to certain places on it, so we just have one connection and I’m only connecting when that computer’s off, and not doing the usual stuff. Extremely uncomfortable and anxious about posting this now on it, and I am just posting, having written it in a file. But while I’m on the topic of the site, I again saw no visits on January 11 and 14, though it’s again rather odd, because I seem to remember having seen something for January 11 at first. May be wrong, of course…

To start from the beginning, the network I was in actually shut down on January 5, not the next morning or even at night, but just after 12:30 PM. Got up after dad left and just managed to catch the last few minutes, starting to do something and having it cut off before I was really done, but it was a good thing I at least caught those last few minutes.
In the evening, there was a note from dad on the kitchen table saying he had already made two contracts with one major ISP, so we won’t share a connection and an IP, and he was asking some things, but I obviously couldn’t handle that, really cracked when I read, whimpering and hugging myself and rocking back and forth and being frightened and angry and wanting to scream but just stopping myself and ending up doing so in writing. Kept writing “no” and “cancel” in large letters, probably illegibly most of the time, first all over his note and then on several more pieces of paper. Kept alternating between meaning to struggle to eat after all and just running back into my room and staying there without eating, had a doughnut with honey and then meant to grab some more things, but he coughed and I thought he’ll wake up, so I ran back to my room and struggled to breathe, hugged myself and rocked back and forth again for some time before running out again and grabbing a little more food to take to my room. Was a complete mess, couldn’t even think, had no idea what to do, was just faced with something that couldn’t possibly happen, having a contract with a major ISP made for me and being expected to use it normally, but as I somehow ate those few things while reloading for a long time to get the best prices from the shopkeepers on Kingmaker, I eventually managed to calm down just about enough to get back, throw away all those papers and write a long reply, which I left on dad’s nightstand, before going to bed at 2:50 AM.
Got up around 10:45 AM or so, meaning to go to the toilet because I thought dad was out, but when I stepped out of my room I saw that he was in the living room and froze. Just stood there for minutes, couldn’t do anything, until he started typing and I ran there, stood on one knee and babbled and whimpered, quite certainly making little sense, and he kept asking what was I trying to say and getting angry, but I eventually understood that he had canceled the second contract, so there won’t be one made for me or a second one at all for now, keeping the options open for later. But he had also spoken to the network guy and he had no solutions either, didn’t know of any other network in this area or anyone willing to take over his, or at least this area, and also said that nobody’d accept to use his equipment either in order to come to this area, even though that never was an issue when a network was taken over or we had to switch before. Still, dad also said that the son of that friend of his had spoken to that other network from this area in more detail and they said they’re focused on moving now, won’t talk about connections until that’s done, probably in March. So I had something to cling on to, and I’ve been doing that since then.
Someone came to install things that day, but just left again after realizing that the building wasn’t connected, only the other two major ISPs having already made connections here, and he didn’t have the tools for that. He came again the next day, and left yet again, saying he wanted a stamped statement from the building’s homeowners’ association stating that the cable won’t be cut, so dad had to sort that out with the administrator, who was baffled by the request, saying that none of the others had asked for anything of the sort. Surprisingly, that evening I noticed an active connection on the old cable, which was still connected, and while I quickly unplugged the cable, not knowing what that was about, dad later found out that the son of that friend of his had left the cables as they were as well and had just had his new connection, with a different provider, set up, so we had ended up being able to access it. But our connection was only finally installed on January 9, before leaving for the doctor’s appointment, and later I noticed the second contract on dad’s desk, the one not tied to the one we have for the landline, and costing about 50% more as a result. When I asked about it, he said he had just delayed it and ended up canceling the first one instead, because they’d have hooked up that one to the phone outlet, which is behind a wardrobe that he really didn’t want to move, and had also been told that the connection’s worse when done that way…
Since there’s the cable that used to connect dad’s computer to the switch in my room, connecting my computer to the router, which is currently in the living room, wasn’t a problem, but, again, I’m only doing so when that computer’s off and not exactly being active, in fact pretty much the only “signs of life” I gave on-line since the network shut down being some posts on the GOG.com forums and a couple of submissions on MobyGames, and I feel very uncomfortable and anxious even about that. And that got even worse yesterday, when dad asked that son of that friend of his to come over, bring him another cable and also fix the jack for this one, since it was broken and my connection was very unstable unless I placed the router in a certain position, and he wanted to check that it worked correctly, so dad came over to ask me to connect the computer while that one was also on, and with that guy there, with me not knowing what he was doing. And I also got a notification about an IP address conflict at that time, and I couldn’t see the connections to the router after that. Mine did show up when I tried again, after the guy left and I turned the router off and back on, but dad’s doesn’t seem to show up at all… Can’t say whether it ever did, of course, but that’s odd, and means I won’t be able to check that his computer really isn’t connected.

Didn’t use this time to start reading anything yet, but at least I used it to play a bit more, and finally finished the Kingmaker campaign from Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker on January 8, starting the ShadowGuard one that same day, though I haven’t gotten far since then. Played a little more Ascension to the Throne as well, but got to battles in which I can’t avoid immediately losing unique units and I want to keep them alive, so I may end up setting it aside for now. Do mean to try to push through though, so it won’t count as having taken a break from it, but I’ll see what will happen.

Did time the squats again, if only twice, 2:09 on January 13 and 2:20 on January 14. Did them in the kitchen both times, and the first time I was way too fast and my feet kept slipping, my legs sliding to the side and forcing me to pull them back into position, making it even harder. Even so, I did the first 50 in about one minute, probably less, and it’s possible that I lost count and actually ended up doing 101, but was completely exhausted after 80 and slowed down quite a lot, as otherwise I’d have ended up with a new record.
That actually was a bit of a concern for this week’s run, which was on January 14, since there was a bit of pain after that effort, but it was fine in the end. Had the usual stuff, though the yogurt was one of those “Greek” ones, and as something sweet it was again a doughnut with jam, and went out at 3:15 PM, when the reported temperature was 6-7°C. It was sunny too, but there was a bit of wind and I didn’t just have the training shirt on, but also the undershirt and t-shirt I was wearing around the house under it, plus of course the jacket for the walk to and from the park.
The time was 47:28.46, with sector times of 4:27.28, 5:05.24, 5:50 (5:49.97), 4:25.32, 5:00 (4:59.33), 5:44.14, 4:25.48, 4:57 (4:56.45), 5:46.30 and 1:49 (1:48.95), making for lap times of 15:22.49, 15:09 (15:08.79) and 15:08.23. Started more slowly, meaning to catch up from sector three of lap one, but that didn’t go so well, so the first lap was worrying, making me push hard from the start of lap two, thinking I’ll aim for a good time on that lap and then see what I’ll have left. But it turned out very well, as I had no problem to keep it up and after sector two of lap three I started thinking that I just had a shot at staying under 47:30 as well, and I actually managed that, though I doubted it all the way to the end. Felt just fine, and while there were a fair number of people, that just meant some weaving and going the long way around, only slowing down a bit once, on sector one of lap three, when a guy on roller skates caught up just as I was going for an opening between other people and he was faster and less maneuverable, so I allowed him through first.

Last week’s run was on January 10, and going out at 3:45 PM meant I didn’t really have time to go for 16 kilometers again before dark, but I didn’t wear that thing to protect my nose again, so I really wanted to stay under 48 minutes on ten kilometers… And the day didn’t start well at all. Had been awake for a long time, having slept little after waking up to pee at 10 AM, but only got up a bit after 1:30 PM… And made the really bad choice to struggle to not hide from dad again, which led to him trying to talk to me about the router, me walking away, mumbling that there was no time for that and I didn’t want to talk about it anyway, him angrily saying that we needed to talk about it, and me running to my room and hugging myself and rocking back and forth again, and being unable to take a shit when I tried to do so after he went out. I tried to move the router to a different place, according to what he had managed to say before I walked away, but the cables wouldn’t allow it and I just ended up with a bit of pain in my legs due to the position, which was again a concern but again proved to not be a real problem as I ran.
Again had the regular stuff, again with a large doughnut with jam and honey as something sweet, and just had the running t-shirt under my shirt, plus of course the jacket for the walk. Since it was sunny and the reported temperature was 9°C, it might have been possible to try to run in just the t-shirt, with an undershirt under it, but it was rather windy, so I didn’t risk it, and that proved to be the right choice. And I also did manage to take a shit after all, when I tried a second time.
The time was 47:39.40, with quite a jump for the line at the end and sector times of 4:20.79, 5:05 (5:04.27), 5:51.17, 4:34 (4:33.81), 5:00.16, 5:49.14, 4:27 (4:26.90), 4:59.40, 5:46 (5:45.58) and 1:48.18, making for lap times of 15:16.23, 15:23.11 and 15:12 (15:11.88). That first lap didn’t exactly look good, and sector one of lap two was even worse, but I had lost time on that one, and things got better from the next sector, when I started pushing. There were some people, making me weave and go the long way around, but yes, the real roadblock was on sector one of lap two, first only losing a little bit of time to wait for an opening under the bridge, but then losing a fair bit more right after it, when I had to first wait for a moment to even be able to go on the grass, towards the lake, and then needing to do so where the ground slopes quite sharply and also go around a drinking fountain, which I grabbed on to in order to avoid slipping towards the lake. Might have been better to wait one more moment for the people coming from the opposite direction on the other side of the path to pass the group in front of me and then go for the opening created by them, but I didn’t. And there was one more issue, just at the start of sector three of lap three, when I was looking at the stopwatch and an old man was walking slowly right towards me, not stepping aside even though I obviously wasn’t going to do so, not even seeing him until he was right in front of me and I had to quickly sidestep in order to avoid him.

There were some incidents after both runs, the one after this first one actually involving me, since I was going to have a look in this nearby Mega Image on my way back when I heard someone walking quickly from behind, tried to step aside but felt the person bumping against my hand. Realized it had been done on purpose when I tried to apologize in passing and the guy got into my face and started accusing me of hitting him, but I just said a few times that I hadn’t and he eventually went back to his laughing friends. They all came into the store while I was still inside, but I just avoided them and walked out without any other problems. On the other hand, as I was walking back from this week’s run I saw another accident, but didn’t notice any visible damage and don’t even really know what happened, as I just heard the noise and then saw two cars stopped and one driver angrily asking the other whether he looked where he was going.

I mentioned the doctor’s appointment above, on January 9, and that actually went very well in itself. Started with very good news as well, as my grandmother was unable to come, so that situation was avoided and it was just me and my parents, dad bringing my mother here the day before and taking her straight back after the appointment. With the appointments starting at 3:30 PM, dad’s being the first one, I thought we’ll leave at 3 PM and had just put water on the stove to make tea, whimpering and again being quite a mess after the new Internet connection was installed, when he came and said we’ll actually leave at 2:30 PM, so I took the water off and rushed to eat something before we left, which actually happened at 2:40 PM. And we only needed about half an hour to get there anyway, then we just waited until 3:35 PM, when he went in. I was next, and the doctor really was nice, and she didn’t find anything important, only saying that there’s a bit of inflammation in my nose, things don’t quite look as the textbooks say they should, but that’s the case for everyone, considering the pollution in Bucharest. She wanted allergy tests, but I didn’t, so she just wrote me a prescription for some simple spray to clean my nose, plus another against allergies which I should just use in case things get bad again, though after reading the effects and possible side effects I’d much rather not use it at all, and said I should be back in a month, to see how things go. And she also took a swab to test for an infection, but said it was unlikely, and I checked the results on-line and confirmed that there is none.
There was some waiting after I got out, and while we’d have had to wait for my mother’s appointment as well anyway, it took even longer, problems with the system causing delays, making it impossible for them to release prescriptions with reduced prices and possibly other things as well, and causing the lobby to fill with people who were getting increasingly annoyed with the wait. But it was eventually sorted out and we could leave at 5:20 PM, and I was dropped off at Basarab, to go to the Kaufland from there, while they kept going. And I didn’t do anything there either, since I was looking for a kind of cat food that was supposed to be on sale, but that apparently didn’t include the specific type ours eat, that one wasn’t available at all, and I didn’t feel like checking other locations, so I just came right back from there, getting here just before 6:35 PM.

One other thing that happened that day, on the way to the clinic, was that my phone gave that error again, so there was probably another message that I lost. And then it happened again on January 11, 30 minutes before the message from dad that I did receive, after turning it off and on again, letting me know that I could come back, since the guy who had been here had left. So, before going to bed that night, I finally filled the form to send it to be serviced under warranty, and the request was approved on January 13. It’s now under the extended warranty, and since I paid for that I made use of the complete service, having someone pick it up, but that was a bit awkward, since I received a first SMS at 6 PM on January 13, stating that it’ll be picked up between 10 AM and 7:30 PM that day, which couldn’t be right… And I couldn’t have handed it over then anyway, since I needed the printed invoice and warranty certificate as well and the printer refused to work. I had seen dad print a test page after refilling the ink, so didn’t even think there could be a problem, but I connected it to my computer and it wouldn’t work, and he was unable to get it to work again later either, despite saying that it had worked for him after a few tries. He eventually managed to print bad but somewhat readable copies of what I needed using the other printer.
Received another SMS the next day, at 11:10 AM, when I was still awake after having gotten up to pee a bit before 11 AM, and while it said the same thing as the previous one, that time I expected it to be correct, so I changed before getting back to bed, so I’ll be able to jump straight out if somebody’ll come. But nobody did before I finally got up, at 12:40 PM, after only managing to nap a little bit more during that time, in part due to hearing chainsaws again, those who had “pruned” the trees in the area behind the building to little more than bare trunks the day before returning to complete the destruction, leaving behind an even more terrible sight and effects that the area will never recover from. The day before they had started cutting early, the sound of chainsaws likely waking me up before 10 AM, if not even 9 AM, though I only got up to have a first look a bit before 10:30 AM, seeing how savagely they were cutting branches, and that they likely cut at least a few trees completely as well. They kept at it until a bit after 2 PM that day, leaving just destruction behind, as it keeps happening all over the city.
But to return to the phone, the guy came some time later, at just about the worst moment, calling just as I was on the toilet and dad was out for a little while. At least it was before I left to run, but that old phone dad gave me, which I had put the SIM card in again, apparently won’t work for calls, since I could hear the guy but he couldn’t hear me, so he called twice, hung up after a while both times, then rang the intercom as I was rushing to wipe at least the worst off. Ran there and managed to open just the instant before he gave up, since he called again just then, then ended the call and came up as I rushed to my room to grab the keys, leaving him to wait at the door a moment longer. He said right away that he heard the phone ring but nothing else, I tried to explain the problem, but I doubt he cared or even listened, likely being quite annoyed with the whole thing, so he just asked if I had something to send to be serviced, I handed him the box, he printed and handed me the receipt and walked away, not even glancing inside the box or at the documents. But it seems to have been good enough, since today I received a message stating that they started servicing my product.

Since I got to today, after only going to bed at 5:20 AM, I woke up at 9 AM, maybe because dad left then, went to pee, got back in bed, but had a hard time getting back to sleep. There was some sound of chainsaws again as well, apparently cutting the branches which they hadn’t cleared away yet in order to be able to load them into the truck, but I guess the fact that I was worried was the bigger reason why I just napped a bit more before waking up again at 11:30 AM to pee one more time, and then I’m not even sure I got another very brief nap before getting up, at 12:30 PM. I had an alarm for 1 PM, but there was no point in waiting for it, since I had to go to the bank to stop the deposit made a year ago from getting renewed for another year, since it was made like that back then and I only noticed when I was given the documents and couldn’t get myself to ask for everything to be done again in order to fix that.
The only issue was before I left, when I struggled with the new jacket’s zipper for some ten minutes, since it had caught a bit of fabric and wouldn’t budge anymore, but I eventually got out at 2:40 PM and everything went just fine. I first tried the more advanced machine that’s inside, noticing a “deposit” option there as well, on the second page, but didn’t want to risk it, so I waited my turn, said that I wanted that deposit to not be renewed and to have that amount plus what I’ll add today be turned into a new deposit, for only six months, and everything was done in a few minutes, though I was left with 0.81 RON in my account, that change not being added to the deposit and I again didn’t want to ask for things to be done again just for that reason, and I also thought it possible that only integer amounts can be entered, so didn’t think about it too much.

I mentioned a new jacket above, and unfortunately that did cause quite a problem and a huge reason for frustration today, after I sorted things out at the bank. Had noticed it in Carrefour earlier, when looking for something else, and it made its way into my mind even though I rather ignored it at first, so Monday I tried one on, then Wednesday evening I actually purchased it, wanting my mother to also have a look at it with a critical eye, since she was here that evening and was going to leave again in the morning. So I went out at 7:25 PM and actually needed just about two hours to get back, but I took my time, seeing two size M ones left, one of them likely being the one I had tried on already. Was tempted to get the other one though, because while it had more loose strings, they didn’t seem to be potential problems, while this one seems to have one that may come undone, but after trying that on and checking both for quite some time, the very last thing I checked, one of the upper pockets, made me change my mind, as that other one simply had a hole in that pocket! Thought about letting an employee know, but couldn’t get myself to do so, instead just getting this one, trying it on again, checking it one more time, really considering to try to hide it away somewhere and come back the next day, but eventually buying it, along with a couple of other things, just after 9 PM. And I do like the jacket, but have serious questions about how long it’ll last and there’s the matter of the price…
The thing is that, while discounts for clothes have started, January 15 being the normal start date and Carrefour actually listing January 2 to February 28 as the period, and this had a yellow price label as well, which normally marks products that are on sale, there was no old price listed on it, indicating that it wasn’t actually discounted. And Carrefour does change prices on Thursday, so I did mean to have another look and see whether a discount appeared later, and try to get the difference back in that case. So I even kept the label on it and today I went there after sorting things out at the bank… And saw the price listed as 100 RON instead of 145 RON! And then I scanned the label and it indeed showed up as costing 100 RON! So I went straight out, to the information desk, and asked if something could be worked out if I purchased it probably less than one work hour before the price changed, assuming it changed Thursday and seeing as that location closes at 10 PM, and considering that seeing such a period listed for clothes sales can create a reasonable expectation that prices remain for that period. But I was told that their sales can change every day and clothes that haven’t been worn can be returned, but if I wore it for two days that can’t happen anymore. Not that I wore it for two days, since I didn’t go anywhere yesterday, and I could have easily thrown it in a bag, claiming that it hadn’t been worn, and I pointed that out, also saying that many would likely do that, and that clothes are being tried on in the store as well, but that didn’t get me anywhere. But I wasn’t trying to actually return it, but to get that difference back, even as store credit. But, as I said, I got nowhere, also being told that waiting another day might have meant that they wouldn’t have had my size anymore, so it can be said that I paid that difference for that.
Threw something about knowing where I won’t be going anymore over my shoulder as I left, then got back here and was actually angry enough to call the number on their site. However, that number is for the site, and the guy said that physical stores don’t have to accept returns and anything else is a matter of individual store policy, nothing being established at corporate level, so if the people at that store refused to do anything for me, there’s nothing else to be done, and trying to talk to someone who could decide on the matter would just mean talking to the people at the same store again. I even mentioned the possibility of store credit valid only for today, which I’d go and use right away, and while the guy went silent for a few seconds at that point, he nevertheless ended up just repeating that there’s nothing to be done if the people at the store refuse. So I then tried to call the number listed for this store as well, seeing a man’s name as the e-mail contact, but a woman’s voice answered and I didn’t want to just talk to the same person again, and my anger only allowed me to talk to people so much anyway, so I just hung up and wrote an e-mail to that listed address, explaining the situation and asking for that store credit, if at all possible. Don’t have reasons to hope I’ll get it, and I’m very much aware that I could have had much better luck if I would have lied, placing it in a bag and saying it hadn’t been worn, or even that I had received it as a gift, in which case I would have likely been at least able to return it, if not to also purchase it again at the reduced price, but I went there wearing it and that eliminated that option, and I don’t want to lie anyway. But if they want to be like this, I’ll keep it in mind and find ways to get back at them. And I will definitely report on the situation thoroughly when I’ll receive the next survey, since I’m a member of their panel.

Now that I got all of that out of the way, I’m just left with the regular shopping trips, starting with the one on January 5, when I had noticed we were running out of Liza’s food and dad had left money. With the network already dead, I didn’t wait out the weekend, going out at 3:45 PM, taking the recyclables out as well, and waiting until 4 PM for the free bus for Auchan. Meant to use it to go to the one at Vitan, but since that didn’t come, I walked, and also ran some of the way, to the usual one. Saw another one of the free buses get to the stop after the park just as I was crossing that street and the driver seemed to wait, since I was running, but I gave up on the idea of trying to catch it, was feeling awkward about it, so I stopped in order to make the message clear and it left after a moment.

The next one was on January 11, when I was still awake after peeing some 20 minutes earlier when, at 10 AM, somebody started ringing and knocking, and even whistled loudly once. It was apparently the building’s administrator, but dad seemed to sleep right through it, getting up half an hour later, and I guess they only met later that day, but I didn’t know what that was about at the time and my mental state got even worse as a result, I couldn’t sleep anymore, panicked even more, and got up for good after dad left. Did get back in bed just before 2:45 PM and slept for about one more hour, but in the evening I had to go out, since dad was going to come back with some guy and I didn’t want to be here then. Since he said they’ll get here no earlier than at 5:30 PM, that was when I left, taking some remaining books to donate to a place in this mall next to the park, since there’s a campaign asking for books for school libraries.
After dropping those off, I went to that Carrefour, getting two kilograms of cheap carrots. Expected the yogurt to be a lot cheaper as well, and the cabbage to also be a bit less, but that wasn’t the case, so I didn’t buy any and after getting back I checked again and saw that the catalog did indeed specify that the prices for the food products were only valid until January 8, even if I guess there’s a single date field on the site and that stated that the catalog was valid until January 15. Saw what seemed to be a good offer for shampoo though, but didn’t buy any then, walking to the Kaufland from that area next, finding nothing interesting and then taking the metro to the bigger Carrefour.
Didn’t walk in at first though, since I had those carrots, couldn’t see any keys at the cabinets and couldn’t get myself to talk to a guard, so I walked to the Kaufland at Basarab as well, left the carrots in a cabinet and ended up buying some Sibiu Salami that was already sliced and discounted. I really avoid such products, but I’ve actually been considering buying just a small quantity of that salami for some time now, for some reason recalling eating it when I was little more and more often, and it was just under 100 grams and, discounted like that, at a reasonable price, so I went for it. Then I tried to add it to that cabinet, but ended up needing to move it and the carrots to another since it refused to lock again, and made my way to the bathroom to justify putting things back instead of taking them and leaving, since I had spotted a guard with his eyes on me… And ended up accidentally going into the women’s bathroom, only realizing it after I came out, so went to wash my hands in the men’s, at least, alongside the employee who had been cleaning the stall next to the one I had been in, who looked and sounded like he had dealt with something awfully gross. Then I went back to that Carrefour, didn’t find anything interesting, returned to grab my stuff from the cabinet at Kaufland and got back, just getting in front of the building at 10:20 PM.

The next day I woke up at 10:10 AM and decided to stay awake, but only got up a bit after 10:30 AM. After seeing a better price for that shampoo bundle on Auchan’s site, and some other things listed as being available at the Vitan one as well, I meant to go there, so I quickly ate something and went out at 11:07 AM, but again saw no free bus, despite waiting until 11:20 AM, and none passed me in either direction as I walked there either. Or at least none passed unless it happened just when I quickly checked the prices in that new Supeco on the way, not finding anything interesting. And then I didn’t find what I was looking for at that Auchan either, that shampoo bundle being nowhere to be found, the red cabbage being a bit more expensive than the site said and the country of origin of the onions being covered with a piece of paper, so I doubted they were from here. But I got a few other things, then took the free bus with the shortest route to the usual Auchan, getting a few things from there as well, including what at the time was the last pack of this cheap kind of yogurt and some sticky bug “traps” which I’ve probably searched for all of last year. That shampoo bundle wasn’t available there either though, the red cabbage and the onions were even more expensive, and there was just one torn box left of a kind of tea which I had decided not to buy from the other location, so I of course didn’t get it from there either.
Taking the free bus again, got off at the park and walked to that Carrefour, though that was actually the second time I stepped off it, the first time being in order to allow others to get off, since it was very crowded, and I also caught my leg against the door after it was closed, so I had to open it again to pull it out and my pants got a bit dirty. But at least I got that shampoo from that Carrefour, though it was a good thing I knew where it was after having seen it the previous day, since there were three rows of regular bottles hiding those bundles. Also got some more bread, for dad as well, and then walked back, still needing onions, since they weren’t Romanian at Carrefour either. But this nearby store said they were, and the price was the same, so I got some from there and was back a few minutes before 4 PM.
Something that worried me that evening was that water wouldn’t stop flowing into the toilet after dad used it. It usually keeps flowing after he goes, but I can usually fix it by hitting it once or twice in a certain way, or by flushing again and then hitting it if he flushes in a particularly odd way, but that time nothing would work at all. I eventually ended up lifting the lid a few times, but couldn’t really do much like that, since it would only lift a little, yet between that and hitting it and flushing a few more times, it was eventually fixed, at least for the time being. Sure felt soiled after that, considering how filthy and most probably full of mold that lid is…

As for Tuesday, I went out again after the run, leaving the building at 5:35 PM, taking the metro to Cora after thinking to check that site as well and happening to see some liquid soap that I guess we used to have in the bathroom years ago, since we’re still using that bottle. With the pump of the one in the kitchen being pretty much broken for a long time, I kept meaning to get another one that also has a pump, not just refills, and if they didn’t change it, that one should work for quite a while, and it’s among the cheapest ones that also has a pump anyway. And it’s a good thing I went just when I did, since I got there at 6:10 PM and found a single bottle left on the shelf. There were others by the same brand, and the bottles seemed identical, but I wanted to get one that’s exactly the same and did so, then grabbed a few other things I was looking for… And saw a better offer for that shampoo. Two medium bottles with a discount instead of a large bottle with a “free” small one, but it worked out to a better price if calculated for the same quantity. But I had already purchased it from Carrefour, so I got back on the metro… And actually did get back to that Carrefour near the park, just to get some more of those cheap carrots, plus one of those croissants for dad, for the total to get to a certain amount. That was also when I got more interested in the jacket and tried it on the first time, but I had also seen some made by a Romanian manufacturer in Cora and meant to have another look at those before deciding. Yet I didn’t do that, rushing to buy it the next evening, and ending up in the current situation, feeling that I was cheated out of 45 RON. Think I saw 8:23 PM when I got back.

And if I started this with how uneasy and anxious I was due to the new connection and not using it when dad’s computer is also on, I unfortunately have to finish it with something added after initially posting this, something which worsened my mental state even more and likely permanently raised my level of anxiety and feeling of insecurity even further. I mean, dad had gone to bed earlier in the evening and I was connected because I knew he was asleep and his computer off, and logging on here and actually working on the site and changing some things is what I most want to avoid doing unless I’m clearly on my own connection, and most preferably also a direct one, though there’s no way to get that again at the moment. However, he woke up without me realizing it, and turned on his computer three minutes before I initially posted this, and I only noticed that he was awake about half an hour later, when I went out of my room to take a shower. And he even said he didn’t know I didn’t want to be connected at the same time he was, after having told him that all along and making sure that my cable was unplugged unless that computer was off! Just kept saying he didn’t know what I meant or that I was referring to him when I said I didn’t want to share the connection, as if there’s anyone else here or I hadn’t very clearly spelled out each time that I’ll only connect when I’m the only one connected. Was shaking for hours after that, and now I’m even worse of a mess and I’ll keep thinking that something’s wrong. Doesn’t matter that the chances of that are extremely small, it’s the simple fact that my computer must only be on its own connection, it’s an anchor I need, if you want to use that term, without requiring any explanations or responding to any arguments, and he just fucked that up at precisely the worst time; he couldn’t have picked a worse moment if he’d have tried!

Written by Cavalary on January 17, 2020 at 11:36 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

New Finds – XXII

Yes, another quick addition to this series, and in fact another one actually written earlier and scheduled to be posted now. More exactly, I had first ended up including these three bands in the previous post, but then didn’t like having six in one post, got rather lost in trying to pick a seventh, left it for the next day and then realized that I only had one “slot” for a personal post after all, so the idea I had, to schedule two personal ones for this week in case I still won’t have suitable Internet access, won’t work without copying at least one more of those old book reviews, which I didn’t want to do just yet. So I guess it’s a bit of a trick, and maybe I should consider this as part two of post 21 in this series instead of the 22nd one, but I’ll just stick with the regular numbering…

I got to two of these additional bands after noticing, as I mentioned at the time, that Aryem was the only band from Mexico that I ever included in such a post. As a result, I searched my list for others from there, dismissed the one that actually had a release last year, and was left with one other and Edenwar, whose vocalist is from there. They’re in a different league compared to Aryem, but don’t exactly seem active as a band anymore, and the project wasn’t even intended to release a full album at first. But they did release one, and A New Silence and Depths of Insanity are readily available, so I’m keeping it simple and having those as my picks.

Which leaves me with the other band I know of that actually is from Mexico, Mutum. As for the picks, from their second, and so far last, full album I’m going for The Memories: Gloria Victis, which may show up as simply Gloria Victis elsewhere, while from their first one, after a quick search and based on what I could find at a better quality, let’s say Wings of Glory. They haven’t released an album since 2013 and I’m quite sure I first heard of them around the time the video for Gloria Victis was posted, in 2014, but I didn’t even need to start to actually listen to it in order to remember it, and I’d say they’re clearly the best band in this post, or at least were at the time that album was recorded. And they do seem to still be somewhat active, and seven years passed between their first two albums as well, so the amount of time since the second one may not be that bad of a sign.

And just as I was looking over that previous post, considering it finished, a few more things were posted by that guy on that group, and I ended up with another new find, Lark Puden. I’m not seeing any activity in quite a few years, and their one album is from 2014, but I’m adding them, and in fact they’re the reason why I ended up with two of these posts, after all. Good female vocals, pretty good sound otherwise, but they seem to insist on messing things up with those bad male vocals. At least they’re not growls, but they really should get rid of those, and I tried to pick songs that are less affected by them, ending up with More Time With You and Between Darkness and Light after spending way too much time trying to decide, I guess since I was in “extra time” anyway. The whole album is on Bandcamp though, so you can listen for yourself to see exactly what I mean.

Written by Cavalary on January 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM in Music | 0 Comments

Written Before Losing Internet Access to Have Something to Post After…

Writing this while I still have Internet access and scheduling it to be posted at 11:59 PM on Friday, since if I won’t find a suitable replacement by then, I highly doubt I will over the weekend and want to make sure I’ll still have two posts this week. If I will find a suitable solution, I’ll obviously edit it to add all of that and post it at that time, but if you’re reading this now, it means that didn’t happen and it’s a good thing I scheduled it. And I’ll be scheduling two for next week as well, though the first is really broken off the previous post and the second is that one I’ve been scheduling at 11:59 PM on Sunday for a long time, moving it forward week after week, modified to say that now the lack of Internet access is the most probable reason why it showed up, not the fact that I’m either dead or in hospital, but that will definitely remain a possibility as well, especially after two weeks without suitable Internet access at that point. Will be leaving that other message in it though; it should get posted here again anyway…
That said, should start with the Internet situation, and that’s unchanged at the time I’m writing this. Dad talked to the few other networks I had found and that larger provider that’s still at least not among those big ones, but they all said they don’t cover this location. That network that used to be located nearby, and which is now moving away, didn’t answer his calls, but I sent them a message on Facebook and they did reply the next day, though only to say that moving doesn’t mean giving up on the network in this area, since that had been my first question. However, they completely ignored the other one, asking whether they could make a connection here in case they don’t abandon the area. So I asked again, and waited out the free days, but when they still hadn’t replied on the afternoon of January 3 I repeated the question, and that evening they did finally reply, unfortunately only to say that they can’t make a connection here because of NetCity. But I really don’t think what I have now is through NetCity, so there must be a solution, and I told them that, again suggesting that they try to talk to the network guy, and also asking what else can I do to convince them to try to work something out, other than finding more clients for them here, since I can’t do that. And the next day, after again getting just a few hours of sleep, spending a long time trying to plan it and having to rush to the bathroom after sending it, I also sent the guy an e-mail myself, asking whether he could help them or offer me any other solutions. But I don’t even know whether that address I have is actually his, or whether he’d still check it now, considering his situation. Either way, at the time I’m writing this I have no reply from either, and in case there will be replies after I’ll lose access I won’t be able to see them, which I pointed out in both cases.

Other than that, with the deadline for the minimum fee being the next day, on December 30 I struggled and somehow held it together long enough to fill things in on his computer and ask dad to make the payments for this year’s half marathon and marathon. On top of no longer having a field for choosing an organization to support, nor one for the name to be printed, the form doesn’t ask the best time achieved over that distance during the past two years anymore, but the expected time, so if the sectors will be determined based on that I’m guessing the first ones will be overcrowded as well and it’ll be quite a mess, but let’s get there first. I wasn’t even sure that the payment went through, since they do say that it can be made in RON as well and there’s a rough conversion displayed when you select the race, but on the payment page just the EUR price was listed, dad can’t use his card to pay in foreign currencies and also didn’t receive any alert, though it should have happened. He said he was going to check at the bank, but since I didn’t speak to him after that by choice and he didn’t include that information among what he forced at me, I’m still not really sure. I did receive some confirmation e-mails, but I seem to remember three e-mails from the previous payment processor, one to confirm that the request was received, one to confirm payment and another, right after that one, as the actual, final, confirmation, with more details, and this time there was just one, and the organizers again didn’t bother to reply to the message I sent about it so far. Can find my name if I search the list though, and also access the entry with the provided password, though only the one for the half marathon seems to allow edits.

Since I mentioned the stuff dad forced at me, I’ve obviously been a mess, hiding away, not talking or not making sense or lashing out. Holding it together enough to write these posts is quite a struggle, and personal blog posts should be a relief… But that evening he insisted to keep calling me until I hesitantly poked my head out of my room, then he started with something else, which he had no reason to need to tell me face to face, then just threw the fact that he had spoken with those providers, except this one network, and all refused, leaving me a complete mess as he went out, nauseous, shaking… Just managed to eat a tiny bit that night, without making salad or touching what I had actually planned to eat then. And no, he didn’t mention anything about the payment, so I was still just as worried about that as well, but that was obviously nothing compared to this.

Oh, also on December 30 I again saw no visits in either view. But the next day I received another game, or more exactly a package, one I chose myself, though that of course made me feel bad yet again, for even more reasons this time. That guy who donates so many on the GOG.com forums had that game running for months and those who participated and managed to escape the dungeon by the end or obtained at least one achievement along the way could ask him for games up to a certain value determined by their achievements, and he rushed things quite a lot at the end to make sure that pretty much everyone who made at least a bit of effort and didn’t just give up on the way will manage to escape. The game ended at the start of the Winter Sale and I was told at the time that I could pick games up to £20, according to the price he’ll pay during said sale, at any point until the end of the sale, which was on January 2. So I took my time, waiting to see whether anything else will be added, either to the discounts or to the catalog itself, knowing I wasn’t going to pick any of the games that were going to be removed from the sale earlier, but in the end stuck with what had been my initial pick, after just quickly going through things once, and that was the complete Age of Wonders III package, so the Deluxe Edition, Golden Realms and Eternal Lords.
So, on top of simply receiving a game, and in fact actually asking for one, and also of the fact that Golden Realms and Eternal Lords were half the price last January, it was something with pricing that includes some regions paying more than the base price, which I was saying I’ll never purchase or cause to be purchased in such a manner. That increase is very slight in his region for the Deluxe Edition, but it does exist, though it’s also possible that at that 75% discount it worked out the same as if the price would have been rounded up in the local currency, which they normally tend to do. Interestingly enough, he’d normally pay slightly less than the base price for Golden Realms and Eternal Lords, but of course that no longer applies in case of buying gift codes, so he paid the base price for those and that possibly slightly higher price for the Deluxe Edition of the base game. On top of that, it is, after all, the first game GOG.com released with regional pricing after dropping their flat pricing principle, adding another huge reason why I didn’t want to cause it to be purchased.
But it worked out to about, or maybe just under, £19, and I had no other ideas that were less troubling. I mean, he would have paid clearly more than the base price for most other games on my wishlist from there, so those were clearly out of the question, and I also wouldn’t even be able to try most on this computer, while this might just work, and I really think I should at least try a game I specifically ask for, without it having already been purchased and placed on a list. Of course, there are the old games as well, but those also tend to be cheap, and possibly either at least without higher prices anywhere or, in a few cases, even flat priced, so I’d rather leave them there in case I’ll actually want to purchase them myself someday, plus that I’d have needed to ask for many of them to get to that amount, and that didn’t sound right either. But, of course, this is all a rather poor attempt to rationalize being a hypocrite and slipping on another of my own principles just so it won’t worsen my already poor mental state even more at this point, or at least not by much.

Last week’s run was right on January 1, and relatively early. Got up at 9:35 AM, after waking up to pee, getting back but then deciding to actually get up after all, hoping I’ll avoid the worst of the crowd if I’ll go earlier. Had the usual stuff, with the exception of a spiral doughnut that was stuffed with something, probably vanilla cream, as something sweet, and wore the training shirt again, but only the running t-shirt underneath, with the jacket also on as I walked to and from the park and then of course tied around my waist as I ran. Despite the wind, with a reported temperature of 5-6°C when I went out, at 11:55 AM, and 7-8°C by the time I finished, that meant I was overheating from lap three, probably enough that I should have just had the t-shirt on at that point. Did have gloves though, and that was probably a good choice, and also once again that thing to cover my nose. That obviously made it much harder, but I’d still say it’s a necessity at this point, even more so considering the wind, plus that when I woke up I was sneezing, there was stuff in my nose and my throat felt somewhat irritated as well, though that was also possibly because I’ve been hugging the teddy bear Andra gave me while trying to sleep these days, and it’s likely dusty.
Ran 16 kilometers again, since it was obvious that the time would have been awfully embarrassing on ten, and I only managed 1:19:48, with sector times of 4:28, 5:14, 6:06, 4:34, 5:15, 5:59, 4:36, 5:16, 6:06, 4:35, 5:16, 6:13, 4:44, 5:22 and 6:04, making for lap times of 15:48, 15:48, 15:58, 16:04 and 16:10, again making a point of not remembering exact times. So I was over a minute slower than the week before, yet it was really all I had. That last time I controlled my pace very well, knowing that I could push if I needed to and ending up faster than initially planned, being fastest at the end, but this time I had to give everything to just stay under 1:20, using every shred of energy left on the final sector to manage even that, and it was the fourth slowest time over this distance. Tried to aim to stay under 1:19 again at first, but already knew on lap two that I was going as fast as I could, and lap three made it clear that I was only going to get slower and that target was out of the question. For a while I considered going for a half marathon distance if I’ll get to over 16 minutes per lap, but on sector two of lap four it felt like my heart was giving me a warning, so I decided to give up on that idea if I’ll at least manage to stay under 1:20… And by the end I wasn’t even sure I’d have stayed under 1:50 for that half marathon distance if I would have tried it, considering how exhausted I felt.
Of course, there are various elements which can be used as excuses. First, standing in an odd position as I looked at something on the computer before leaving, and possibly also in front of the bathroom sink after that, did something to my leg muscles and they felt heavy and hurt a bit even before I started, only getting worse as I went along. My right knee gave me a few warnings early on as well, but that got better later. Other than that, there was of course that thing protecting my nose and making it a fair bit harder to breathe as well as I needed to, even if it didn’t feel that my nostrils were closing that much because of it anymore. And then there were the people, not as many as I feared at first but the park getting more and more crowded as time passed, and there were obvious roadblocks on sector three of lap two, sector three of lap three, sectors one and two of lap four, and no less than three of them on sector two of lap five, the last one of them alone, under the bridge, clearly costing me a couple of seconds. And there were a few other minor ones as well, and a lot of weaving and picking my way through in general. And there was the wind as well, with occasional gusts all along but picking up quite a lot on sector two of lap four, staying that way for some of the next sector as well, then picking up again on sector two of lap five.

Since I’m writing this on the evening of January 4, this is pretty much all I can say at this point. And I’m quite out of it anyway, and can only hope that the chills and exhaustion and nausea and foggy mind are caused by the lack of sleep, bad mental state and constant anxiety, or even actual panic, and I’m not adding a flu on top of it. Not that it’d be surprising, as I tend to get one around this time of year, and dad definitely has been having something for quite some time again, and he obviously doesn’t even care to at least try to avoid spreading it, so the fact that I’ve been avoiding him for these other reasons probably only goes so far. But maybe I’ll somehow avoid it this time around…

I guess the last thing to add has to do with the plans for the future when it comes to writing here, or somewhere, if I won’t get suitable Internet access again. I already said that I should have scheduled posts for next week as well, but if I won’t log on here again, there obviously won’t be any others after that. Still, if I will still be around and have some access, on whatever plan dad will get for himself, I may end up posting stuff on that old LiveJournal account. And if I’ll read something the review should also be on Goodreads, and if I’ll finish a game I’ll review it’ll likely be on MobyGames, though it may take weeks or months for it to be approved over there. May also log on to the GOG.com forums, but I’m more uneasy about that if I don’t feel comfortable with the connection. And I’m very uneasy about logging on to Facebook under such circumstances, though I guess that’s also not impossible. But what I’d probably actually feel the most uncomfortable doing until and unless I’ll be in such a network again is checking my regular e-mail… But who knows what I’ll end up doing if no such solution will present itself.

Written by Cavalary on January 10, 2020 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

New Finds – XXI

Yes, two posts in this series less than a week apart, and actually written only two days apart, since I needed something non-personal as the week’s early first post and there’s a personal post to write and schedule after this as well, and at the time of writing I don’t know whether my Internet access will be cut off after January 5 or actually on that day. So the idea would be to have another look over this, remove this part and post it myself shortly after midnight, but if I won’t be able to do so, I have scheduled it to be posted at 5 AM, when I’d normally go to bed. If you’re reading this, it means that’s what happened and I have already lost my Internet access, without finding a replacement that I’d be willing to use on my site, or even on my computer at all.
The necessity of a quick post is also why this just includes the two bands that were the actual new finds from what was posted on that Power of Female Fronted Metal group and a third band that was just a random pick off my list that happened to have released a new album a few months ago. I was just sort of randomly scrolling and pointing with the cursor, meaning to then check whether there was a new release, and this was actually the second band I ended up selecting in that manner, the first one being one I had already included in such a post in the past. Tried about a dozen more times after that, but all those other bands either had no album released in the past year, had already been included in such a post, or weren’t on Metal Archives at all and I didn’t take the time to try to find information elsewhere. Should really get around to changing my script to also include Spirit of Metal, but if I haven’t done it in all these years, I definitely won’t be doing it now.

The first of those new finds is Aryem and the picks are easy to make, since there are two songs in English readily available, Betrayed and Horizon Cries, the latter seeming much better. They say the album should be coming soon, but they have since changed their vocalist, so I’m not sure how relevant any of it still is. But, as I said, I’m in a hurry, so I’m posting this here now, and in fact it seems to be the first band from Mexico that I’m including in such a post…

The second new find is Living Shields. They currently seem to be working on their first actual full album, but the five songs released before are readily available and I’ll go with Painful Fate and Candle Light. The vocals tend to be the weak point, maybe less so on Painful Fate but quite obviously otherwise, and that’s the most important part for me, but I did say I had to post something quickly and this was what I had to work with at the moment. And they do have other things going for them, and Painful Fate shows that something can be done about the vocals as well, to some extent, so maybe they’ll be much closer to their potential on this upcoming full album.

As for the band I rather randomly picked, that’s Rexoria, and I’ll just make things easy for myself and stick to what’s officially posted from their two full albums, so I’ll go with Song By the Angels from the first and Reach for the Heavens in Time from the second as my picks. Strong, confident, professional… In an entirely different league compared to my new finds. Not sure how to feel about the lyrics though, as if you for example take my two picks, I resonate with the issues tackled, but on pretty much all songs I get the sense that Christianity is presented as the solution. I guess it’s not spelled out beyond any deniability, quite clearly not feeling like they’re shoving it down throats, but it nevertheless rubs me the wrong way. Doesn’t change the fact that I like the sound though.

Written by Cavalary on January 6, 2020 at 5:00 AM in Music | 0 Comments

Best Run Times at the End of 2019

It’s time for another one of these posts, obviously just for my own use, likely including as a way to stay at least somewhat motivated. That’s actually been a problem recently and is likely to become even worse of one, but I already signed up for this year’s half marathon and marathon, so I’ll need to keep it up… Assuming my nose and breathing issues won’t prevent that. Yesterday’s time definitely showed that some problems exist, but there were plenty of other explanations as well, so I won’t read too much into it just now and, either way, that run is a matter for another post… One which I guess I’ll need to write by the end of the week but schedule to show up next week in case nothing will change I’ll be left without suitable Internet access. Right now trying to lose myself in some numbers seemed like a much better idea.
Same as a year ago, I didn’t copy the times for the shorter distances, so those are still in the first two such posts. Since it was nothing like my usual runs and not relevant for these purposes, didn’t include last year’s Dream Trek Summer Edition either. On the other hand, did copy the times for that 35.2 km run through the park and the marathon though, and have now included some additional comments as well, but the usual notes are in the same format, with the first value representing the distance and the second the lap on which that particular time was achieved. And the times still include only the seconds, ignoring the fact that I now usually have exact ones as well and those may change some things. Still consider adding the dates as well, but was also thinking about it a year ago and didn’t then, so probably won’t do it now either.

10 km (through the park)
Note: Only the best time from a year ago is still here now, having dropped to fourth.
1. 46:09
2. 46:24
3. 46:32
4. 46:39
5. 46:41
6. 46:48
7. 46:54
8. 46:59
9. 47:05
10. 47:07

16 km (through the park)
Note: This is the first time it’s actually a matter of the best times over this distance, since a year ago I had covered it exactly ten times. All seven such runs from 2019 made the top ten, so only the top three times from a year ago are still here now, the first having dropped to fourth.
1. 1:15:10
2. 1:15:37
3. 1:16:09
4. 1:16:54
5. 1:17:23
6. 1:17:38
7. 1:17:51
8. 1:18:08
9. 1:18:24
10. 1:18:42

Half Marathon (21.1 km)
I. Bucharest Half Marathon real time

1. 1:45:36
2. 1:51:54
3. 1:54:56
4. 2:02:38
II. Through the park
1. 1:42:52
2. 1:43:15
3. 1:44:04
4. 1:48:20
5. 1:48:26
6. 1:53:11
7. 1:53:19
8. 1:56:41
9. 1:59:11

35.2 km (through the park)
1. 3:26:38

Marathon (42.2 km) – Bucharest Marathon real time
1. 4:19:40

Lap around the park lake (3.2 km)
Note: Only the top three times from a year ago are still here now, though the first dropped only to second place.
1. 14:21 [10-1]
2. 14:31 [10-1]
3. 14:38 [10-1]
4. 14:44 [16-1]
5. 14:46 [10-1]
6. 14:48 [10-2]
7-9. 14:50 [10-2] (and a second [16-1] and third [10-2] time)
10-13. 14:51 [10-1] (and a second [10-1], third [16-2] and fourth [10-3] time)

Lap sector one [10-1 unless otherwise specified]
Note: Only the best time from a year ago is still here now, though it dropped only to second place.
1. 3:56
2. 4:07
3-5. 4:08 [16-1] (and a second and third time)
6. 4:10
7-9. 4:12 (and a second and third time)
10-11. 4:13 [16-1] (twice)

Lap sector two
Note: The top four times from a year ago, the first two being tied, are still here now.
1. 4:32 [10-1]
2. 4:42 [10-2] (Slightly uncertain I remembered it correctly.)
3. 4:49 [16-2]
4-7. 4:50 [10-1] (and a second [10-2], third [16-2] and fourth [10-1] time)
8. 4:51 [10-2]
9-11. 4:52 [10-1] (and a second [10-3] and third [10-3] time)

Lap sector three
Note: Only the top two times from a year ago are still here now, though the first dropped only to second place, after I improved on it by a mere second.
1. 5:24 [10-1]
2. 5:25 [10-1]
3-4. 5:36 [10-1] (twice [10-2])
5. 5:37 [10-3]
6. 5:38 [10-2]
7-10. 5:40 [10-3] (and a second [16-1], third [10-1] and fourth [10-1] time)

Final sector on a 10 km run
Note: All the top ten times from a year ago are still here, the additions just adding to the ties for second and sixth.
1. 1:40
2-5. 1:42 (and a second, third and fourth time)
6-15. 1:43 (and a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth time)

Final section of a Half Marathon (21.1 km) run (through the park)
1. 9:52
2. 10:00
3. 10:03
4. 10:10
5. 10:31
6. 10:45
7. 10:53
8. 11:57
9. 12:07

Written by Cavalary on January 2, 2020 at 7:37 PM in Personal | 0 Comments