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Noriaki Kasai Tried but Failed to Return to the Ski Jumping World Cup

Just under three years since his last participation in the World Cup, Noriaki Kasai tried again now that international ski jumping competitions returned to Japan. However, unlike that previous time, he had to go through the qualification round, and he failed to do so both times, the first attempt being particularly frustrating, since he was the 51st, the first to fail to qualify, by a mere 0.4 points. There was a third competition as well, today, but the Japanese “national group” no longer took part in the qualification, and his lack of recent results obviously means that he doesn’t have the right to participate otherwise.
Then again, even three years ago he failed when he had to go through qualification, but the lower number of entrants for the second competition meant that qualification was no longer necessary. And the few other competitions that he took part in since then also had no qualification rounds, and they were all of a lower level, in fact his return to the Continental Cup last week being the first time he participated in an international competition since the end of 2020. But, despite being 50 and a half and obviously no longer capable of important results, he clearly has no intention to give up completely, so unless he’ll be stopped by a serious injury or illness, which I definitely hope won’t happen, he’ll probably keep trying each year, at least when the competitions will return to Sapporo.

Written by Cavalary on January 22, 2023 at 6:14 PM in Sports | 0 Comments

Covering Three More Runs, Getting Halfway Through December

On December 8, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, but it took me half an hour to clean up what dad had left in the kitchen, and the smell left from what he had fixed himself to eat in the morning was making me nauseous. Then I had all of the usual stuff, again with two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as the sweet thing, and I went out at 3:25 PM, wearing the full running gear and an undershirt underneath, plus the jacket on the way to the park, tied around my waist while I ran. The reported temperature was 6-7°C, holding steady.
The time was 47:31.51, with sector times of 4:17.79, 5:06.19, 5:54 (5:53.75), 4:30.06, 5:05 (5:04.51), 5:51.00, 4:23 (4:22.71), 4:54.16, 5:42.78 and 1:49 (1:48.56), making for lap times of 15:17.73, 15:26 (15:25.57) and 14:59.65. I aimed to stay under 48 minutes and the first two sectors didn’t exactly look good, and the first lap was barely on target if I was going to pretty much maintain that pace, which seemed unlikely. But I tried, and after lap two I still had a chance, so I really pushed from the start of lap three, and even more after the first sector, since I was thinking that if I’ll make it, it’ll be by the slimmest margin. That resulted in a sector two that was much better than expected, and while on sector three I was running out of breath and the fact that my nostrils were constricting because of the cold only made it worse, I kept it up and even managed to just squeeze under 15 minutes on that lap. That even gave me a small chance to stay under 47:30, but I was too tired to take advantage of it, which was frustrating, though in the end it was still much better than I thought.
Despite wearing the jacket, I was shivering on the way to the park, but it was fine while running, the lack of wind obviously helping. The humidity didn’t, on the other hand, and it was also pretty wet, though much of the lane was just moist, only some areas being soggy, and even those weren’t really bad, with the exception of one where there were puddles as well. But I avoided what I could, and since there were few people, I probably ended up going the long way around in order to avoid the wetter parts of the lane more than because of them. As for physical issues, I felt the need to snap my back almost right away, but I eventually managed to do so and it was fine after that.

After having lunch, changing and even doing the day’s squats, I went back out at 7:20 PM, taking some trash, which I dropped off in a bin, and the paper and cardboard, for which I made a little detour, in order to get to a recycling bin. Then I went to the metro station, since I had dad’s pass, got off at Basarab… And wasted time by walking straight to Carrefour Orhideea and not finding any of that cheap bread for dad, nor any expiring products that I’d have cared to buy. So I went back, washed my hands when I got to Kaufland and entered the store before 9 PM, so the discount labels weren’t yet placed in the bakery area. But the employee started doing so just as I was about to walk away from there, so I ended up standing around while she did that and getting a few products, including two of those breads for myself. Then I added a number of other things, finishing with a banana that I grabbed just when it was announced that the store had closed. At the self-checkout, however, I accidentally placed my bread on the scales after selecting the other bakery products, which were in another bag, and while the machine accepted that even though the bread weighed at least twice as much as those other products should have weighed, it strangely did not accept the other, much lighter, products when I selected the bread. So I had to call an employee, but in order to avoid explaining the entire situation, I just told her that the machine wasn’t accepting the bread, and she logged on to override that error. Then I arranged the purchases in the bags and went back to the metro.
I got back here a little before 10:50 PM, washed what was in the kitchen, put the purchases in their place, ate the banana and the sweet pastry which I had grabbed, and went to the bathroom when it was almost 12:10 AM, after waiting for dad to shave. After using the toilet and washing, I was out at 1:15 AM, and dealing with my bread and also slicing one of dad’s meant that I couldn’t recover that time, so I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM and finished at 3:50 AM. I got in bed at 5:20 AM.

On December 10, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, had all of the usual stuff, but pretty much only wasted time on the toilet, feeling that I really had to go only for the feeling to completely go away moments later. Not that it was surprising that there wasn’t actually much left, after going twice on each of the previous two days, and once again clogging the toilet on the previous day. That happened the first time I went on that day… And instead of just reaching in and dealing with it right away, when the water was still draining, I hoped that it’ll soften if I’ll leave it there for a while, then I decided to try to use a stick when I saw that the water was draining more slowly, and when that only clogged it completely I ended up having to reach into what at that point was plenty of very shitty water and struggle to deal with it, though I at least wore a glove on that hand. But, again, that happened on the previous day, so I’ll now return to December 10 and add that I also had two more of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, and left at 3:25 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was about 14°C, dropping by 1-2°C by the time I finished.
The time was 47:46.10, with sector times of 4:20.38, 5:08.00, 5:58 (5:57.69), 4:32 (4:31.94), 5:01.68, 5:51 (5:50.97), 4:24.16, 4:58 (4:57.66), 5:46.00 and 1:48 (1:47.62), making for lap times of 15:26.07, 15:24.59 and 15:08 (15:07.82). The initial target of staying under 48 minutes seemed to drift increasingly out of reach as time passed, so I was thinking that I’ll have to settle for just staying under 49 minutes, and that even that won’t be easy, but sector two of lap two got my attention and made me aim to stay under 48:30. However, after the end of the lap I wondered whether I might just somehow manage to squeeze under 48 minutes after all, and while it seemed very unlikely, I pushed hard, each sector looked good and, while I never thought that it could be possible, I was actually already safe after the end of the lap, so the final sector only added to the margin.
I had no real physical problems, even a certain pressing need that appeared at the start of lap three lessening after that first sector, but it was crowded, as expected, being Saturday. So there was a notable problem caused by people on each of the first four sectors, and while sector two of lap two and sectors one and two of lap three were better, sector three of laps two and three “featured” two such problems each, and those were also the worst, clearly causing me to briefly stop, usually because of kids that were riding something and swerving in front of me, a girl who was on a bicycle that was too big for her being particularly annoying. She had actually also just managed to stop herself from falling right in front of or even into me at the start of sector two of lap one, but that didn’t cost me any time because I had no time to react, in fact only realizing what had almost happened after passing her, but on sector three of laps two and three she was riding, still very unsteadily, towards me and seemed to have fixed me while she was still a short distance away, so you could see that she was getting increasingly confused and scared as she meant to avoid me but instead found herself coming straight towards me, and she ended up cutting me off both times. Otherwise, I had to wait for an opening in order to squeeze through some roadblocks, including on the long straight of sector two of lap one, a kid on a scooter also cut me off, and a cyclist who was on the lane and going in the same direction checked her phone and ended up swerving towards me just as I was passing her.

I had a quick look in the nearby Mega Image on the way back and spotted some expiring cheese that I was interested in, so I hid it behind the pile of expiring products, rushed to grab some money and went back, still without a mask, to buy it, along with some tea. Then I ate some walnuts and a bag of snacks, did the day’s squats, wasted even more time on the toilet despite once again feeling that I had to go until I actually got there, washed, also ate a couple of biscuits of another kind, cut my toenails, and in the evening I cooked something, eating a late lunch just before getting back to the kitchen. However, I couldn’t recover the time spent washing a part of the glass baking tray, and when I realized that I decided to also move and mix that cheese with what I already had, licking what was left, so I ended up actually starting to eat dinner at 3:20 AM, finishing at 4 AM.

On December 16, I woke up just before 12:30 PM and thought that I’ll just lie in bed a little longer, but I’m quite sure that I managed to fall asleep again just before the alarm rang, at 1 PM. Either way, I got up at that point, but after helping to make packages two days earlier and wandering around on the previous day, I was really tired, sleepy, pretty much every joint in my body was hurting, as were plenty of muscles, and my legs and back were the worst. But the plan was to run, so I had all of the usual stuff, the yogurt being a bio (organic) “Greek” one with 10% fat and the sweet thing once again two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey. And I again wasted time on the toilet, which was on the one hand once again not surprising, considering how much I had left there the previous evening, but on the other a concern, since it really felt like there was more to come. Either way, I left at 3:25 PM, when the reported temperature was about 6°C, holding steady, so I wore the tights and that old training shirt which I had also worn on November 28, without a t-shirt, plus the jacket on the way, tied around my waist while I ran. I stopped on the way to the park to sit on a bench and get something out of my left shoe.
The time was 48:10.98, with sector times of 4:20.17, 5:10 (5:09.90), 6:00.38, 4:29.31, 5:03 (5:02.56), 5:55 (5:54.69), 4:31.25, 5:00 (4:59.87), 5:51.63 and 1:51.22, making for lap times of 15:30.45, 15:27 (15:26.56) and 15:22.75. Considering how I felt, I started by thinking that I’ll try to avoid getting significantly more depressed if I’ll just stay under 50 minutes, but the first sector wasn’t as bad as I feared and after the second I was aiming to stay under 49 minutes. However, going over six minutes on sector three of lap one made me worry about that target, and it still seemed hard to make it after sector one of lap two. But I was pleasantly surprised to find myself faster on sectors two and three, and on lap two as a whole, than I had been on lap one, so after the end of the lap I was wondering about 48:30 and even gave a passing thought to staying under 48 minutes after all. That seemed really far fetched, and it was, but I gave everything on lap three and after two sectors, that second one once again being a pleasant surprise and the fastest sector two of the day, it seemed that I won’t have problems to stay under 48:30. And sector three was also faster than I thought it’d be, and also the fastest of the day, and that applied to the lap as well, so the target became to stay under 48:15, which was no problem. It’s still the first time I went over 48 minutes in two months, and the slowest run over this distance in three and a half, but it was better than expected, so I’ll take it, this once.
I tried to arrange that sleeve of that training shirt and the stopwatch, worn over it, before starting, but I failed on both counts, realizing after a few steps that the sleeve was pulled too far down and held in place by the stopwatch, so I was exposed almost to my shoulder on that side, and when I tried to pull that sleeve back up, the stopwatch was sliding. In addition, since it wasn’t tucked into the tights and the jacket was tied over it, the shirt was sticking forward at the front and allowing cold air on my abdomen. So I initially kept pulling the stopwatch up and was wondering what to do about the shirt, but around the end of the first sector the shirt seemed to have settled into an acceptable position and about halfway through the second sector I just stopped worrying about the stopwatch, since it didn’t seem like it could slide off, and while it kept moving around a little, it also pretty much found a position for itself and I left it like that.
Otherwise, there were relatively few people and they caused no notable problems, the lane was soaked in some areas and I avoided them whenever I could… But the main problem was how tired I was. I felt my leg and butt muscles contracting as soon as I started running, it seemed like my joints weren’t exactly listening to me, and from the start of lap two I was starting to overheat and sweat a little as well. But I just pushed through it and the problems seemed much less noticeable as time passed, though as I was pushing on lap three I did notice that my vision was cloudy when I was checking the time.

On the way back, there was a moment when I seemed about to get dizzy, but it passed, and while my chest was stinging, that was most likely radiating from my back, where something seemed to be stuck in a wrong position. Either way, after getting back I ate the small part of an apple from my mother that was still edible, even did the day’s squats, and then had lunch, with an entire bag of bagels instead of bread. Then I went to the toilet and washed, and in the evening I finished The Blacktongue Thief, though I only posted the quick review the next day.

Written by Cavalary on January 21, 2023 at 11:51 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

I Was Still 37 in the Period Covered by This Odds and Ends Post

The key had been sent in the evening, but it was in the early hours of September 28 when I redeemed Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning – FATE Edition, received from that same guy who gives so many gifts on the GOG.com forums, this time the occasion being the 2022 edition of his “Fight Club” giveaway. One problem is that the installer is too large for the space that’s left on the disk where I have the others that I am or might be interested in playing, so it’s the only game that falls into either of those categories that I haven’t downloaded. Of course, it should be no problem to download it at a later time, and it’s a game that still receives updates, so the downloaded version is likely to become outdated, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I probably should at least put it on the external HDD… Or perhaps finally get around to doing something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, which is to leave all of the installers for the games that I’m uncertain whether I’ll ever care to play only on the external HDD, download those for the games that I’m not interested in once again and put them there as well, just in case, and only leave those for the games that I do want to play at some point in both places, which should free enough space to add it.
But, to continue with September 28, I thought that I had a reason to go to the Treasury that day, so I set the alarm to ring at 11 AM, planning to go there and then continue with the shorter part of the walk of the route of the marathon. However, when I looked again at the papers, I saw that I had initially looked in the wrong place and in fact only had a reason to go there on September 30, so I changed the plan and did the long part of the walk that day. I initially only meant to have breakfast before leaving, but considering the distance that I had to cover, I decided to have lunch as well.
I left right at 2 PM, one reason for concern being that my knees were giving some warnings, though those went away after a while. Either way, I obviously started with the last part of the route, going straight to Constitution Square, then continued to the starting location and followed the route from there, staying on that side when I returned to Constitution Square, since I was going to go on the other side later. When I reached the point where the route turns off Unirii Boulevard, I crossed to the other side and turned around, not going as far as the spot where the route actually turns, since I had walked past it on the way to Constitution Square and was going to do so again later. Then, after turning at Unirii Square, I put on the mask and checked that Mega Image, and then also that Carrefour, where I found two 1 kg bags of spoiling bio (organic) apples and bought the one that was quite good, just a part of one apple having been visibly eaten by something. Then I returned to the route and continued, just very quickly checking that Zero Waste store when I got there, without putting the mask back on. I did accidentally cross Elisabeta Boulevard instead of turning on it, but I realized it before I actually finished crossing and went back. And since it was getting late and I had already covered that part, after crossing Libertatii Boulevard again I decided against covering that part a second time, crossed back and went straight to Constitution Square, on that other side. Then I covered the rest of the planned route, continuing past that spot where the marathon’s route turns off Unirii Boulevard, until I could turn and get to Vitan.
The next planned destination was Kaufland, but I started looking for some rice that was on sale in Mega Image, so I first checked that large Mega Image and then a Shop & Go, and when I couldn’t find any left in either of those locations, I entered the Mall and tried to use the display to search for that Mega Image. However, the display didn’t seem to function properly and a guard asked whether he could help me, insisting when I just kept trying to use the display, so I hurried away, trying the floor above before going down to the basement and finding it there. But I still couldn’t find any of that rice, which continued to be the case after crossing the road and checking another Shop & Go. So I continued on my way to Kaufland, checking the hours of another Mega Image and Shop & Go but not entering since they closed later.
After peeing and washing my hands when I reached Kaufland, I entered the store at 9:35 PM, but an employee was cleaning the bakery area and no discounted products were left. But I did find toilet paper and took some time to dig for some good onions, the announcement that the store had closed coming just as I paid at the self-checkout. However, the machine ran out of paper and I had to wait for a couple of minutes until an employee replaced the roll. Then I took some time to stuff the onions in the backpack and throw the toilet paper in a bag… Only to stop again after walking out, to put that toilet paper in a better position in that bag.
After returning to that Mega Image and not finding any of that rice there either, I finally did find it in that Shop & Go, so I got one. I still checked two more Mega Image locations on the way back, however, and while I didn’t buy anything, the cabinets offered something to write about. In one case, I somehow missed them and asked the guard where to put the rice. I had walked in with everything until then, but since that was purchased from one of their stores, I couldn’t really do that anymore, so I put it in a cabinet after the guard pointed to them, though I didn’t lock the door. And at the other location I put the rice and the backpack in a cabinet and found that a coin had been left there, after being released by the mechanism, so I used it to lock the door… And then found why it had probably been left there in the first place, since the mechanism refused to release it after I unlocked, but I insisted, which the other person probably hadn’t done, and eventually managed to retrieve it. And I’ll also add that I felt a little chilly after leaving that Mega Image, and I had taken the jacket with me, but I didn’t bother to put it on at that point, so I just carried it all day for no reason.
I got back at 11:20 PM, just had that apple that was eaten by something, finding that the damage didn’t go too far, put the other purchases, except the apples, in their place, and got to the bathroom, to use the toilet and wash, just after 12:15 AM. I was back out just before 1:15 AM, but there were things to wash, I also put the apples in their place, and I also ate something sweet and some nicer snacks while working on dinner. And I had only eaten about half of those snacks, if not less, by the time dinner was ready, so I took a few more minutes to finish those before starting to eat dinner, which I did at 3:20 AM, finishing at 3:55 AM and getting in bed at 5:20 AM, despite not flossing. And I’ll also mention here that there were no visits recorded in either view on September 28.

Since before going to bed I saw two more of those errors from my SSD, and that it was actually reporting one more than what was listed in the system logs, the next day I copied the contents of D: to the external HDD. That increased the number of those errors by hundreds, but after seeing that the probable cause is a faulty or simply loose cable, I then opened the computer, switched the SSD’s cable with that of the VelociRaptor and made sure that all of the cables were fixed properly. And that seems to have been the problem, since I haven’t seen any more of those errors since then. But I was really shaking at that point… Though I otherwise felt surprisingly fine, just my left leg burning a little.

To start with the early hours of September 30, I tried to quickly suck the vitamin C, D3 and zinc supplement as I was starting to eat dinner and it hurt my tongue, which continued to hurt during the day, only getting better in the evening. And I also slept poorly after waking up at 9 AM and going to pee, but I did get some more sleep before the alarm rang, at 11 AM, and I got up, the plan for that day being what had been the original one for September 28.
After leaving a little before 12:30 PM, I hurried to the Sector 3 Treasury, since cash operations end at 1 PM on Fridays, getting there at 12:50 PM. Then I went straight upstairs, asked for the amount that I could withdraw that day and the entire process was completed quickly, so it was still a few minutes before 1 PM when I walked out. That meant that I reached that branch of my bank during that break that’s between 1 PM and 1:30 PM, but one of the ATMs placed outside allows deposits as well, so I used it. Then, after checking that Mega Image and finding good cabbage but not getting any, since I didn’t want to carry it for so long, I got to the point where the marathon’s route turns off Unirii Boulevard and walked that part of it as well, the only moment that I may mention being after I returned to Unirii Boulevard, when I quickly checked a farmers’ market.
I entered another Mega Image when I reached Alba Iulia Square, finding an expiring mix of raisins and nuts, which I grabbed, alongside the cabbage. And I also saw a bag with some cucumbers that were supposedly spoiling, though they seemed good enough to me, so I took that as well, went to the checkout… And that was when the problems appeared. After the cashier scanned that mix and the cucumbers, since they must scan those discounted products separately, on top of the change being rounded down, when I looked at the receipt I saw that the base price of the cucumbers was higher than the listed one, since I had checked. So I complained and when he checked again in the system and said that the real price was what I had been charged, I said that in that case I didn’t want them anymore. He said that I had already paid for them, but when that didn’t change my decision, instead of giving me back what I had paid over what I should have paid for that mix, which was the only discounted product that I was still purchasing, he weighed and scanned the cucumbers again, once again rounded down the amount that was listed before paying it back, and ignored the fact that he had initially charged me for the bag as well. He didn’t comment when I also rounded down when I paid for the cabbage, recovering exactly the 0.07 RON which he had rounded down by the first time, but that still left the 0.14 RON which he hadn’t handed back for the cucumbers. I stepped aside and calculated carefully, to confirm all of that, but I didn’t say anything else, just leaving angrily.
I still had to cover that small part of the route that’s on Burebista Boulevard, but it was hard to pay attention to it when I was so angry. Still, I continued, and when I got back on Decebal Boulevard I calculated and saw that I had more than enough time to cover all of the remaining part of the route, so I quickly checked the Profi, Penny and Mega Image from there, and then also had a quick look in the newer bakery and the Mega Image on the way to the other Penny, which is where the route turned. One problem was that, after deciding against getting the ketchup that was on sale, for dad, from the first Penny, I couldn’t find any of it left at that second one, so I just got a jar of zacusca for him, then made my way back on the other side of the road, to be able to say that I really covered that last piece of the route as well.
I got back a little before 5:55 PM, just ate half of that mix, and went out again at 7:30 PM, the first stop being the Mega Image from Titan, where I found two of those bags of raisins in dark chocolate among the expiring products, even though they were expiring in December. The bags were a little torn, but the tear didn’t seem to actually affect one of them, being just at the top, so I grabbed it… But then I decided to use it in order to take a sort of revenge for being cheated by the cashier from that other location, so I eventually also took a bag that wasn’t expiring soon or damaged and as I wandered around the store I slowly removed the discount label from the first bag and carefully placed it on that second one, so I ended up buying a good bag at the discounted price. And I also got a bag of snacks for dad. But I had spent too much time in that store and it was getting late, so I initially started to run after walking out, though I soon switched to merely jogging the rest of the way to Supeco, which I reached a couple of minutes after 8:30 PM, just getting wine for dad. And when I got back here I also checked this nearby store, but only one piece of regular cheese was left and it weighed almost one kilogram, so I didn’t buy it.
I was back for good a little before 9:40 PM and a few minutes after 10:30 PM I went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and wash, being out again when it was almost 11:25 PM. Then I ate the old orange that was still in the fridge, which I had actually taken at the end of the half marathon, and half of a large bag of healthier bagels, while making mamaliga again. But I used plenty of milk and poured it in right after the water started boiling, so the pot ended up badly burned and, while I finished what I could eat in my room at 3:40 AM, it was almost 4:05 AM when I finished scraping what I could off the bottom of the pot, in the kitchen… And the bottom of that layer was charred… Either way, I got in bed at 5:20 AM.

Moving on to October 5, I left at 4:10 PM, taking the plastic and metal and dropping them in the bins from the metro station, since I had dad’s card. Then I went to Obor, got more of those cheap perfumes for him, since the Hall was open again, and after looking through the indoor farmers’ market as well I made a mental note of someone selling Kapia peppers at a good enough price. But I didn’t get them at that point, continuing to that mall, getting teas from that pharmacy, putting them in a cabinet, which no longer required coins, and entering Carrefour. After getting mushrooms and the single egg with code one that I could find after digging through those sold by piece, and using the self-checkout, I was on my way back to the farmers’ market when I remembered that I also wanted to activate the credit on my prepaid phone card, so I went back… Only to be told that it can’t be done by charging with just 1 EUR anymore, the minimum being 5 EUR. So I just went back out… But the person who had been selling those Kapia peppers had already left by the time I got back there, even though it was only around 6:45 PM. And, while I noticed some cheaper ones outside and they weren’t covered when I went there, after I finished having a look through that area as well, that stall wasn’t manned anymore and the person from the next one told me that the one who was supposed to be there had already left, so I couldn’t buy any from there either. I was probably still in that area when a certain pressing need first appeared, though it was faint at that point.
After a quick look in another store, I went past the metro station and checked that Mega Image, but couldn’t find the cat food that I wanted. So I decided against getting back to the metro station, to walk to the bigger Mega Image that’s on the way to Iancului Square… Only to not find that cat food there either, though at least I got the laundry disinfectant. Then, after crossing in order to get to the metro station at Iancului Square, I realized that there’s a Mega Image there as well, so I crossed again… And only lost some more time, since I couldn’t find that cat food there either, and I also put the bag in a cabinet and then retrieved it, though I still walked in with the backpack. And after that I changed the plan, which had been to go to Unirii, so I just kept walking. I was starting to realize that the increasingly pressing need that I was feeling was not normal, but that didn’t stop me, so I checked the next Mega Image, again putting the bag in a cabinet and retrieving it after once again failing to find any of that cat food… And then, since I wasn’t sure that the discount applied there as well and I didn’t want to ask while I still had other options, I didn’t buy any after finally finding it in a Shop & Go, which I at least entered without bothering to use a cabinet. And that proved to be a good choice when I continued past Kaufland and entered that Mega Image as well, once again putting the bag in a cabinet and finding that cat food, so I could buy it, along with some snacks.
After retrieving my bag, I went to the Orange Store from that mall as well, but one of the employees was apparently on a break, the other was busy, and after a little while I gave up. Then, after putting my things in a cabinet and going back to wash my hands, I entered Carrefour and got bread and something sweet that I found among the expiring products, using the self-checkout and selecting one for each of the pairs of breads, so I won’t need to call an employee in order to get the evening discount. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet and put everything back in one when I got to Kaufland, washed my hands again… And found no paper bags in the bakery area, and even the few plastic ones that were left were on the floor. But a few sweet pastries were still there and I took one when I saw that an employee was scanning the labels and thought that the discount would increase. However, I just held it in my hand as I also took the price label and checked, and when I saw that the discount hadn’t increased I put it back. And I also decided against getting any of the expiring protein yogurt that I saw, since the discount was too low and there was a lot of it, so I thought that I might have a chance to still find some on another day, when it’ll be even closer to expiring and the discount should also increase. So I ended up only getting something for dad, in good part because I didn’t want to have just wasted time yet again. Then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and arranged everything, but that pressing need was really, awfully pressing at that point and it was so hard to make it back. But I did make it, albeit after unbuckling my belt when I was close to arriving and continuing like that.
I think it was 10:25 PM when I got back, but I’m not quite sure. Either way, I rushed straight to the toilet, what came out and the cramps being a sign of what was to come. And there were also some drops of blood at one point, though those quickly stopped. After that, I put some of the purchases in their place and washed a few of the things that were in the kitchen… Though I first had to find the sponge, which dad had accidentally thrown in a bag, along with some trash, the good thing being that it hadn’t ended up in the bin. I also ate a small apple, that expiring sweet thing and lunch, and went back to the bathroom at 12:45 AM, leaving a little more in the toilet before washing. I got back in the kitchen at 1:30 AM, but there was so much to clean after dad’s cooking, and I also had the remaining purchases to put in their place, so I started eating dinner at 4 AM, finishing at 4:35 AM. I got in bed at 5:25 AM.

The last day that I want to cover in this post is October 11, and I’ll start with the early hours, since I once again made mamaliga, finished eating at 4 AM and got in bed at 5:20 AM. And things were quite unpleasant after I got up, since my face was swollen, my muscles were hurting worse than they had the day before, and I also finally realized that I had lost those 5 RON when I went back out after the marathon.
Still, I left a couple of minutes before 7:30 PM and quickly checked two Mega Image locations and had very brief looks in two confectioneries on my way to Auchan Vitan. However, what I had seen on the site was proven correct, the tea that I had ran out of not being available in that location and the price of the cat food having increased. On the other hand, as I was looking for tea a couple asked me in English about the difference between the types of honey and I couldn’t recall the word for salcam, acacia. I explained that it’s a tree and it’s the kind of honey that doesn’t harden, but I felt quite embarrassed. Either way, I then got two breads for dad, managing to do so just before the employee checked that area and took away what she considered was old. I stuck around for a while, to see whether she’ll place discount labels on that bread, but I saw her throw it into large bags and place labels on the bags, probably to be sold as dried bread, so I eventually made my way to the self-checkout.
After that, I went to Penny, entering with the bread and getting some of that cheap cat food from there. And, after peeing and washing my hands, I entered with everything in Kaufland as well. A 70% discount for bakery products had just been announced and I grabbed some things, and since good evening discounts applied to those as well, I also got some carrots and the one banana that seemed better. I was using the self-checkout when it was announced that the store had closed and they were just closing the regular doors when I left the checkout area, but when I asked how to leave, the guard told me that they hadn’t yet disabled the alarm on the emergency exit, so I had to wait a little. And then I went to one of those tables and took my time to arrange the purchases.
On the way back, I checked that Mega Image, and then decided to make a detour and go to the one next to Tei as well, putting my things in a cabinet but not seeing any bakery discounts and not finding the kind of snacks that I wanted to get for dad either, so I just got him a bag of a different kind. And the receipts were taking a long time to print, the cashier was apologizing to the previous customer as well, so I just took the correct change from a pile of coins that she had on the counter, then also grabbed a 0.50 RON coin that I saw on the stack of catalogs and walked away without the receipt, retrieving my things from the cabinet and stuffing the bag of snacks in the backpack.
I was back at 11:20 PM, ate some plums and candy, and at 12:20 AM I went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and shower. It was 1:15 AM when I got back to the kitchen, and since I also sliced the last of the breads bought two days earlier for dad, I couldn’t recover that time, so I started eating dinner at 3:20 AM and finished at 3:50 AM. Something obviously felt wrong with my feet and legs, but it’d have been surprising if that wouldn’t have been the case. Either way, I again got in bed at 5:20 AM.

If I almost managed to finish the previous two personal posts before midnight, in each case only having the last paragraph to add a few minutes later, in this case I just barely managed to finish the part about October 5 by then, so I posted that, made a little change to the last paragraph a couple of hours later, and then added the part about October 11 before going to bed in the morning. This is still much better than finishing posts days later, but some of those posts were also significantly longer…

Written by Cavalary on January 15, 2023 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Grim Work

Since I grabbed them for free and noticed that I can read them quickly and without struggling, I decided to continue with the adventures of Marigold the barbarian, now a chief without a clan, seeking vengeance. And I guess that Grim Work can be enjoyable if you pretty much unplug your brain and let yourself be carried away by such heroic tales that don’t shy away from graphic details and focus solely on the action, depicting characters who conquer overwhelming odds thanks to their incredible strength and fortitude, a solid dose of hero’s luck and a fair amount of stupidity on the part of their enemies. I do, however, recommend reading The Crystal Keep first, even though it was released later, since it offers context and some reasons to care.
The problem is that Grim Work hardly does any of that, the few chapters that depict scenes which took place before Marigold’s solitary attack on the wizard’s tower only briefly showing how he ended up being the only one left and knowing who to take revenge on. Considering his hatred towards wizards and how many he supposedly killed, including some that, by his own admission, weren’t really guilty of anything other than knowing how to use magic, it’s hard to understand how come he and his clan left Cezare to dwell so close to their lands for what seems to have been quite a while. And the action itself requires a completely unreasonable amount of suspension of disbelief, not just because of what Marigold is able to withstand or even all of the hero’s luck, but also because of what he faces. Not that it’s badly written, but the substance is worse than the form, and likely not even enough to set the stage for some tabletop gaming session… Not that it could be, since it depicts a single “player character”.

Rating: 2/5

Written by Cavalary on January 13, 2023 at 3:24 AM in Books | 0 Comments

Another Week of Odds and Ends from September

Since an NGO and Kaufland had a campaign on September 16, offering a card for public transport in exchange for five items brought to Kaufland’s recycling machines, and dad said that he could use it, I went out at 3:20 PM, taking a banana peel, which I threw in a bin. I had five kefir bottles, five oil bottles and five that I was certain would be accepted, plus a glass bottle, and I expected long lines, but I didn’t see anyone when I got there, the guy from the NGO just sitting in front of the machine and chatting with the guard. So I asked whether those white kefir bottles are accepted and was told that they are, so I put those in, keeping the rest. The guy told me that I could put more in, but they were only offering one ticket per person and I had no use for the regular discount ticket that was being given by Kaufland those days, so I said that I’ll use them some other time, then gave my name and phone number when he asked me to, signed and received the card with two trips.
When I meant to put the bag with the rest of the bottles in a cabinet, another guy came and stood behind me, so I stepped aside to let him retrieve his things and wanted to move to another cabinet, wondering whether he was referring to himself or to me, or maybe to something else entirely, when he kept muttering “stupid”. Either way, that other cabinet that I tried wouldn’t lock, so after he left I got back there and put that bag in the one which I had initially meant to use, and also finally put on the mask at that point. And then I unnecessarily went to the information desk, handing the regular discount ticket, which the recycling machine had also printed, to the employee, forgetting that you only need to do that if the machine doesn’t offer the discount because of an error, so she gave me an odd look and then explained that. Not that I had any use for that ticket anyway, since I wasn’t going to buy products from the category that it applied to those days, so I have no idea why I did it at all.
Either way, I grabbed a few things, including something for dad that was listed as being on a two for the price of one deal in the catalog but which had no sign announcing that on the shelf. Since an employee was placing discount labels on spoiling fruits and vegetables at that point, I waited for a while, but I couldn’t see anything interesting after she was done, so I then made my way to the self-checkout, having no problems with it, that two for the price of one deal also being detected correctly.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet, I also went to Carrefour, despite feeling quite a pressing need. And cabinets were a problem there as well, since I could just spot two free ones and they wouldn’t lock, so it was a good thing that someone else emptied another and I could use that one. Either way, I just grabbed some garlic, since it was on sale and did actually look like it was Romanian, plus some good cornmeal from the expiring products, and had no problems with the self-checkout. Then I retrieved my things from the cabinet, rushed to arrange them a little and got back here a couple of minutes before 5:30 PM, hurrying to take care of that pressing need.

On September 19, I went out at 7:35 PM, taking the recyclables, which I dropped off in a bin on the way to Carrefour, where I found that bread that I get from there unsliced, so I took the one that seemed to look the best. The bag was torn, but I might have accidentally torn it, and I used labels to hold it closed. Then, after getting one thing for dad as well, I used one of the two vouchers which I had obtained for previous purchases, the cashier taking away that receipt.
After getting water for dad and some expiring roes from Penny and not bothering to use a cabinet, I did put everything in a cabinet when I got to Kaufland, then peed and washed my hands and entered the store at 9:15 PM, seeing bakery discounts and grabbing a few things. I also asked the employee whether an evening discount applied to a sweet pastry that had a regular discount those days and she scanned it and said that it didn’t, but seconds later a 75% discount was announced for bakery products, so I went to a self-checkout to check and saw that the 75% discount applied to the listed price for everything, so to the price that included that initial evening discount for the products that had one, and I went back and grabbed some more things. I’d have also wanted potatoes, carrots and plums, all of them having evening discounts, but just after I got the potatoes, as I was weighing them, an employee took away the crates of carrots, even though I checked the time and it was just 9:43 PM. And then he also took away the remaining potatoes, so I wouldn’t have been able to get both if I’d have started with the carrots either. But I wasn’t going to also miss the plums, so I went there and started picking, and an older woman who had just entered the store joined me as I was doing so, saying that she had expected them to stay open until 11 PM.
As I was about to finish using the self-checkout, a guy came to stand next to me, telling another one that he’ll use that machine, and when I told him that it won’t work until I’ll pick up all of my items he said that he knew that, which made me start to panic and rush too much, only realizing after walking away that I didn’t have the receipt, and when I looked I saw that it wasn’t on the machine either, so I asked him whether I had taken it and he said that I hadn’t even taken my change. In fact, I had taken what the machine had given me, but it apparently hadn’t given everything at once, releasing the last two bills after I took the others, and since I didn’t count and was also rushing so much, I didn’t notice. But it’s a good thing that it doesn’t release the receipt until you take all of the bills given as change, and that guy didn’t steal them, so I went back for those bills and the receipt, then stopped next to a free machine and checked everything, the announcement that the store had closed coming while I was doing that. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet, found a way to somehow carry everything out and then stopped at the first table, taking my time to arrange the purchases and walking away at 10:10 PM.
There was a stray dog on the sidewalk on the way back, and it was barking quite angrily, but no cars were passing at that time, so I walked on the street in order to give it a wide berth. And I also went into the nearby Mega Image, leaving the bag with the water next to the cabinets and getting some onions. I checked the weight at an unmanned checkout and had the exact amount ready when I went to a manned one, but that one listed a slightly higher weight, yet as I started digging through my pockets for the difference, the cashier said that what I had given her was fine.
I got back a few minutes after 11 PM, having to wait a little at the door, since dad had also just gotten back and apparently rushed straight to the toilet, leaving his keys in the door. I had carried 17 kg, without including the onions, and what was strange was that my left ankle, and also some muscles from that leg, which had given me some serious warnings on the first part of the walk, at least until I reached Penny, got much better after that, when I was carrying all of that weight. But that weight was probably why my legs were burning again, and they continued to do so over the following days. Either way, I put the purchases in their place and ate some plums, a piece of a delicious pie brought by dad two days earlier and lunch. It was almost 12:40 AM when I went to shower, but I was quick, being out again right at 1 AM and also sticking to the dinner schedule.

On September 21, I went to the family doctor, leaving at 2:30 PM… And finding myself on the way to the metro station, only realizing it as I was about to take the second turn on that route, so I lost a little time, but I still got there a couple of minutes before 3 PM, which was the time of my appointment. Many people were there at that point, and while the rest were quite clearly waiting for another doctor, one was sitting on that bench, right in front of my family doctor’s door, so I assumed that she was waiting for her and didn’t say anything, just trying to read a little more, since I had once again taken the book with me, even though it was hard to pay attention when those other people kept arguing and trying to push ahead of each other. However, when another person came to my family doctor, asked who was the last person waiting for her and I said that I was, it was revealed that I was actually the only one, since that woman was also waiting for that other doctor, despite sitting quietly on the bench while pretty much everyone else was crowding and arguing a couple of steps away. So I knocked and poked my head in, but was told to wait a little longer and that I’ll be invited, so I put the book away and waited for what turned out to be a few more minutes, maybe even about five minutes, until it was just about 3:10 PM.
To make sure that I won’t forget, I first asked for something that dad needed, and then also for the prescription for the iodine pills for myself, since our authorities were providing them to everyone under 40, just in case. But I was mainly there for her to look over my test results, and dad had scanned and e-mailed all of them to her, so including those from 2021, which he had finally managed to find. However, it wasn’t just that she hadn’t looked at them already, but she couldn’t even find that e-mail at that point, asking whether I also had them on my phone, or if I could call dad and ask him to send them again. So I told her that my phone can’t be used for that and I don’t even have an active credit, and I also hadn’t taken those results with me, despite having considered it, since there was a chance of rain and I didn’t want to risk getting them wet when she should have had them in that e-mail. So she called dad, and he was fortunately running late, so even though he had been supposed to leave at 3 PM, she apparently caught him just as he was walking out the door and he rushed to turn the computer back on and send everything again.
I made some occasional comments while she looked through those results, and when she eventually asked how I was feeling I said that I felt fine, but my running times show that something’s obviously not fine and, with the marathon two and a half weeks away, the slight anemia shown by those latest test results is a worse problem than it might otherwise seem, since I want to complete it in less than four hours and, if I had obtained my best time over ten kilometers just before getting COVID-19, I wasn’t getting anywhere since then. She then asked whether I run because I like it or because I’m in some program, and when I said that I’m not in any program and you can’t like running over 30 km, because it hurts, so I do it because I started and want to keep it up and set targets, she seemed amazed by those 30 km and didn’t even seem to know the distance of a marathon. And when I mentioned the long practice run, she asked how many hours it had taken me and again seemed amazed when I told her. Either way, I then said that, since my latest test results are surprisingly good but still reveal a slight anemia, I’d just want a prescription for that iron which had been prescribed to me after being hospitalized at Coltea and asked whether it was subsidized, but she checked and said that it was only subsidized for children, so she wanted to prescribe something else that was subsidized for adults. But I said that I’ll stick to what I know, and what worked, and that it’s not that expensive anyway, especially compared to iron supplements, so she prescribed it after all, albeit just one box, so for 15 days. And she also added some multivitamins on the prescription, but I decided against getting those, sticking to what I had taken alongside that iron the first time as well.
I was out of the office at 3:35 PM… And again went the wrong way, meaning to go in one direction and finding myself on the way to get back here. And I didn’t want to just turn around, so I kept going for a while, making my way to Kaufland when I could do so without actually turning back. Then, after having a quick look in that sports store, I washed my hands… And found myself wondering what I had meant to get from there, being about to just leave when I saw some catalogs, grabbed one, looked through it and remembered that I wanted beets. However, just four were left and none of them were actually good, but the two small ones were acceptable and I decided to grab them even if I was going to go out again in the evening, so I won’t risk being left without. And the self-checkout machine apparently decided to give me another 0.10 RON coin instead of a 0.01 RON one as change.
After throwing the beets in the backpack, I checked a Mega Image on the way to Tei, putting my things in a cabinet and then retrieving them, without getting anything. And I left getting that iron for another time as well, since there was a long line at Tei and, after waiting for a little while, I checked the time, saw that it was 5:05 PM and decided to walk away. Then, after pointlessly checking that Mega Image as well, once again putting my things in a cabinet and then retrieving them, I checked Supeco for spoiling vegetables without actually entering, just looking from the door and turning around when I didn’t see any. And I didn’t get anything from Carrefour either, but at least I no longer bothered to use a cabinet when I went there. However, I had a look in this nearby Mega Image as well and among the spoiling fruits and vegetables I found a bag containing four cucumbers, three of them small, and they seemed good, so I bought them. I didn’t get a receipt, so I’m not sure whether the cashier charged me for the bag but then rounded down the price or didn’t charge for the bag but rounded it up.
I got back at 5:55 PM, put everything away, had watermelon and lunch, and left again at 7:50 PM, taking the watermelon peel and throwing it in a bin. However, I wasn’t sure where I actually wanted to go, so I stopped for a moment at the corner and eventually decided to go to Carrefour Mega Mall, finding two nicer yogurts among the expiring products and getting one. Then, after having a look in a bookstore, I also went to that location of the pharmacy which I had decided to get the supplements from. I couldn’t pick them up directly, needing to order them first, but I wanted to ask about the iron as well. However, after getting an order ticket and taking my place in line, I changed my mind and left, even though only a couple of people were ahead of me. Then I went to that Kaufland, washed my hands and entered without bothering to use a cabinet, not finding any green onions but finding plenty of beets, so I got some more of those, plus three small Kapia peppers. Those were still expensive despite having an evening discount, but I decided to go for it. Then I wandered around while waiting for 9:45 PM, but the discount didn’t increase, so I eventually used the self-checkout, having no problems. And then I decided to check that Mega Image as well, putting my things in a cabinet and finding a discounted bread that seemed interesting. I picked it up, tried to find the ingredients in that “book” that they have, put it back when I couldn’t, but eventually decided to get it after all, for dad. Then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and took some time to arrange everything in the backpack.
I got back at 10:45 PM, put the purchases in their place, ate something sweet, washed what dad had left, and it was about 11:45 PM when I went to the toilet and to shower. I was done an hour later, but after dealing with dad’s bread, and also with the one which I had bought for myself two days earlier, and since I also ended up paying too much attention to the TV, I ended up starting to eat dinner at 3:20 AM, finishing at 4 AM. And I also banged my head quite hard against the corner of the exhaust hood after taking the beets out of the oven. In addition, the pain which I had started to notice around my appendix after eating mamaliga the previous night was still there, but over the following days it became increasingly clear that it wasn’t something to worry about.

Written by Cavalary on January 8, 2023 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments